Welcome to the #FeatureFriday where we are
on some of the amazing women in our world!
We started our #FeatureFriday series to highlight some of the amazing women we are honored to know and want the world to know about them too! Our feature this week is Dr. Alaina Gemelas functional medical practitioner at Whole Health Chicago! I love the idea of “functional medicine”. It helps individuals live their optimal lives! While someone might not be “sick” in the true definition of the word, things can be “off” and therefore not allow them to be the best they can be! Alaina is passionate about helping people, you just feel it when you meet her. I am so excited for you all to meet Alaina and learn more about her and Whole Health Chicago!
Meet Alaina 🙂
Tell us a little about you and your mission.
I am a chiropractic physician that specializes in root cause medicine. My aim is to look at all of the patient’s body systems, lifestyle, genetics and triggers and determine the underlying mechanisms of their condition in a functional manner. I work with patients to help them overcome chronic illness and achieve optimal health by determining all the factors that contribute to the way they are feeling, provide a proper diagnosis and offer transformative solutions. Recently, I joined the team at Whole Health Chicago so that I could be in an integrative setting. We have many practitioners with different educational backgrounds on staff, allowing for unique perspectives on patient care.
1. What was the moment you knew you wanted to be a Functional Medicine Practitioner?
My confirmation moment was deeply personal. I had dealt with a lifetime of strange symptoms and illnesses that no one had been to really help with by taking prescribed medications, having a few surgeries, and “just dealing with it.” The stress of chiropractic school triggered a health crisis that I wasn’t able to mask with the previously mentioned treatments, but I was fortunate enough to be helped by a brilliant professor that practiced from a systems-based approach. I followed his advice, and slowly started integrating more advanced treatment strategies into my personal health plan. For the first time ever, I saw a transformation in my health and was inspired to dedicate myself to practicing internal medicine with a whole-person approach.
2. What one project/moment are you the most proud of and why?
As a physician I have an incredible opportunity have many memorable moments with my patients. One that stands out is a 32 year old woman that came to me while undergoing treatment for a stage IV cancer. She came into my office hopeful that she could optimize her health and make her “transition” more comfortable. Today she has two little girls and is in remission. Obviously, she did the work but I was thrilled that she allowed me to help her on her healing path.
3. How would you describe a typical day? What’s your morning to evening routine?
The Monday through Friday grind is usually the same: I wake up around 6 and do some stretches and set an intention for the day. I always study for at least an hour in the morning in an effort to stay on top of the literature and keep my skills sharp. I am usually at the office by 9 to prepare for the day and then spend 7-8 hours with patients. I meal prep on weekends to keep myself fueled during the week with healthy meals. Evenings are spent winding down, usually with some tea and a medically oriented book or paper.
4. Describe yourself in 3 words:
driven, compassionate, studious
5. What individuals, celebrities, entrepreneurs, public figures inspire you?
I am most inspired by my patients, who instill an enormous amount of trust in me to help them get well. I draw a lot of inspiration from my family, especially my father. Among more well known people, I am inspired by those who are driven for self improvement and the pursuit of knowledge: Tim Ferriss, Charles Poliquin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson, Rhonda Patrick, Anthony Bourdain.
6. If you weren’t in the health and wellness world…and could be anything else…what would it be?
Food/travel/lifestyle show host – mostly so that I can healthily eat and travel my way around the globe!
7. You have a free hour, what do you do with your time?
Rock climb followed by restorative yoga
8. What’s on your music playlist? What inspires you?
I’ll listen to anything that catches my ear! Scrolling through my playlists you’ll see: rock, international, classical, blues, electronica, bluegrass, pop and rap.
9. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Sorry, not sorry – Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups and a good film
10. Favorite local coffee shop?
11. Food you can’t live without?
85% or higher Dark Chocolate (does that count?)
Coconut everything – they are the culinary Swiss Army knife
12. Wine, beer or cocktail?
Single malt Scotch, neat please
13. Favorite motivational quote?
It’s a song title: “The Way Out is Through” by Nine Inch Nails.
14. If you could go on vacation anywhere, where would you go?
Ikaria, Greece, my happiest place.
15. What’s next for you?
Lots! Continuing to practice at Whole Health Chicago. Achieving board certification in internal medicine. Spending more time writing and blogging for patient education and awareness. Stay tuned!
If you want to learn more about Dr. Alaina Gemelas and Whole Health Chicago, visit www.wholehealthchicago.com.