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Dr. Beth O'Hara's questions
· What is/was your profession?
Functional Naturopath – incorporating genetic analysis, naturopathy, and emotional wellness. I am also a Functional Genomics Analyst. Created Mast Cell 360, a Functional Naturopathy practice for people struggling with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and related disorders.
· What is your illness(es)?
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance, Chronic Fatigue, Hypermobility disorder, Mold Illness, Fibromyalgia, Oxalate Issues
· Where do you work/what’s your business?
I own and run Mast Cell 360, a Functional Naturopathy practice I created to provide personalized, holistic healing plans for each person based on genetic analysis, symptom and health history analysis, lab interpretation, and emotional wellness support.
· What types of patients/conditions do you work with?
I like to use the word client instead of patient to emphasize that I work in collaboration with my clients instead of a more hierarchical doctor/patient relationship.
Most healthcare protocols work well for 80% of people with xyz symptoms, but there are always 20% who fall through the cracks. This is my area - the 20% of people with chronic illness for whom standard protocols aren’t working for. I work with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, hypermobility issues, autism spectrum disorders, chemical sensitivity and mold illness. These are all related to my primary specialties – Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance.
1. What makes your approach to care unique?
Mast Cell 360 is a place to be fully seen and heard, emotionally supported, and with cutting edge health care practices and techniques to allow people to heal. The Mast Cell 360 process incorporates all facets of healings – biochemical, environmental, emotional, and mental.
My background is very integrative. I was a Yoga Therapist for many years, studying physiology and the connections between the mind and body. I taught meditation. I studied a personal development and emotional growth system called the Enneagram in depth and taught it internationally. I have Bachelor’s in Physiological Psychology and Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, and I have a strong background in genetic analysis and biochemistry, which is where I look for why people fall through the cracks with standard protocols. I’m always wondering - What genetic variants are impacting health for this person? Are there any suboptimal nutrient levels? What biochemical pathways are blocked? What are the missing puzzle pieces? Is there a big stress component or a previous trauma factor?
From there, I also wonder about each person – how did this person’s life shape their health? Were there early events that affected the immune system? Are there stressful current events affecting this person’s health? And how is chronic illness affecting this person’s emotional state and social life? How do all these pieces weave together?
For me, we can’t isolate physiological/biochemical health from emotional and mental states. They are interwoven. This is what the 360 in Mast Cell 360 means to me – seeing the whole person and working with the person as a whole.
2. How did your illness shape your career?
I was determined at 6 years old I was going to go the medical school, and I worked really hard for it. I really wanted to be a neurologist or neurosurgeon. I would stay in anatomy labs during lunch to keep dissecting, and all I wanted for my 16th birthday was Gray’s Anatomy. I was on the pre-med track in college, and I got a full scholarship to medical school. I was taking a full class load, doing independent study