- Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University
- Interned at the Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research and Fitness Center under the “Father of Aerobics” Kenneth Cooper, MD
- BS in Kinesiology, Minors in Biology and Athletic Training, from East Texas Baptist University
- Certified Powerlifting Coach (USPA)
- Specializes in men’s health and performance
A Note from Ash
What does good health look like to you? I get a lot of blank stares when I ask this question, but it’s always my first question.
A lot of patients come to me knowing what good health doesn’t look like: low testosterone, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, erectile dysfunction, depression, heart disease, or enlarged prostates, to name a few of the common complaints.
Why good health in men is elusive
But that’s not answering what good health is. A lot of us guys get conditioned into this mindset that you keep your head down. You go to work. You work really hard. You keep going until you can’t go anymore. Then you retire. In the meanwhile, you build a good life for your family. And your health? You logic that your selfless dismissal of your health is for your family.
I spend my workdays telling guys how to be healthy, but I have not always maintained the balance. I had four sons over a period of 7 ½ years and a busy medical practice. I let myself gain weight. I didn’t work out. I believed the lie I was doing this for my family. It was hard to get back into balance.
But, being tough doesn’t mean working yourself into a heart attack.
I get it. I can relate. The struggle to balance work and family life is real, and it’s hard. I understand waking up early to go to the gym because it’s the only time of the day to squeeze it in. I understand having to work a twelve-hour day and then going home and trying to muster the energy to wrestle with four very strong and rambunctious boys.
I have had the same conversations with myself. How do I get and stay strong? How do I maintain more energy? How can I perform better at work? How can I perform better at home?
Men don’t want their health to get in the way
I know guys are struggling to get an edge on life. I know they want to work hard, play hard, and have more energy than money when they retire. I do too. I’m here to help men deal with the health issues that commonly arise throughout life, how to get through them and be better for it on the other side of them.
Moreover, when you find yourself with deteriorating health due to lifestyle issues, a pill isn’t going to cure it. When you see those first signs of your health and performance being threatened, picture ten years from now. You don’t want to keep treating symptoms; you want to regain your strength and performance.
Look, most guys start feeling these symptoms around their midlife. They’re not old. They feel their performance drop, and it’s unnerving. Why is this happening? And if this is happening now, what’s your body going to be like in ten years?
The medical system is failing us
That’s why functional medicine is critical to health. Functional medicine asks, “How did you get to this point? What lifestyle changes do you need to make to get back to health?”
At one point, I made a choice. I was accepted into both traditional and naturopathic medical schools. I shadowed traditional doctors holding five-minute visits with their patients, quickly writing prescriptions out. They didn’t have time to teach patients how to be healthy–they just had time to treat the sickness. I chose to become a naturopathic doctor, because I didn’t want to keep treating symptom after symptom, without teaching health.
In traditional medicine, if your blood pressure is high, you take a blood pressure medication. In naturopathic and functional medicine, you stop and look at the lifestyle that has gotten you to this point. Then you make changes so that your body can return to a natural state of peak performance. Medications and supplements are sometimes necessary, but they aren’t the end game point. The end goal is for your body to perform in health because you’ve treated it well.
Let’s get back to health
Of course, to do this, you need to know what good health is for you. Maybe it’s having the energy to take up a sport again that you used to love, like long-distance bicycling or rock climbing. Or, perhaps it’s getting home after a long workday and finding the energy to wrestle your kids on the couch, instead of walking in like the Grinch. Alternatively, maybe health means having the desire and ability to rekindle your sex life.
So, while you’re Googling answers to your questions, stop and ask yourself what your vision of health looks like. Then make an appointment with me. I want to help you find your way back to good health.