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Meet Ayesha Aman of RESTORE Center for Integrative Medicine in Plano

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ayesha Aman.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ayesha. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
After completing my Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan in Biopsychology, I attended Michigan’s School of Public Health and completed my Master in Public Health to pursue my love of research and drive to answer the ever-pervasive question “Why?” I continued to do research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia and Vanderbilt University Department of Preventive Medicine. I was excited to have this experience under my belt and learn from mentors who were well known experts in their fields when I began medical school at Wayne State University Medical Center. With my daughter and son having entered my life during medical school, it was a challenging yet rewarding 3 years completing my residency in Internal Medicine at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Grosse Pointe Michigan.

After residency, I joined UT Southwestern Medical Center as Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine. My goal was to be at an academic institution where I could be among physicians who practiced the most advanced, evidenced-based therapies in a collaborative and cutting-edge environment. The opportunity to teach medical students, residents, and physician assistant students was very rewarding. Everything was going well…but then an exhausting pattern started developing.

Each day after work, I used to sit in my car ready to go home, but before I could turn the key, I had to decompress and try to blunt the intense emotions, sights, and sounds from the day in the hospital. I thought it would pass and I would get used to things, but that never happened, in fact it became worse. Day after day, I was seeing patients suffering the most advanced complications of chronic, preventable, lifestyle diseases. I was diagnosing high blood pressure and diabetes regularly during a patient’s hospitalization for something unrelated. I used to think this only happened in the uninsured population, but not so. Why were there so many patients who went years without knowing they had diabetes or high blood pressure? Where were all these young patients with cancer and no identifiable risk factors or family history coming from? Why am I seeing so many cases of aggressive autoimmune disease in young women? Why are younger and younger patients on the kidney transplant list for kidney disease related to diabetes? Most importantly, how do I help stop this because so far, I am not helping to stop it, I am just treating it once it is too late.

The every-pervasive question “Why?” I am still compelled to answer it. When we stop asking “why?”, we get into trouble. And believe me, as a nation, we are in trouble. The statistics are worsening and our health care approach to treating chronic lifestyle disease, which accounts for 75% of disease in America, is stagnant. However, in the cases of emergency care, trauma, infection etc., traditional medicine is life saving and should not be discounted. We need both approaches. We just need to be as aggressive on the prevention side as we are on the acute intervention side. We need to address lifestyle more aggressively with therapies that address all the pieces that affect it such as mind, body and spirit. We also need to provide the structure and support to make these changes.

This was the start of my journey towards Integrative Medicine; the search to find the absolute best way to care for my patients and answer why our health continues to deteriorate as a nation and world. That is why the next step in my journey was to join Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine’s Fellowship Program, created by Dr. Andrew Weil, MD. The Fellowship in Integrative Medicine is a 1000-hour, two-year program and has achieved international recognition as the leading integrative medical education program in the world.

Integrative medicine is a new philosophy and a new direction in medicine which shifts the focus from a disease-based model of healthcare to a proactive, preventive, and holistic model. Integrative Medicine takes into account the whole person (mind, body, and spirit) including all aspects of lifestyle. It unites the best of state-of-the-art, conventional medical treatments with complementary therapies that are carefully selected and shown to be effective and safe by high-quality scientific evidence. Such therapies include the use of botanicals, acupuncture, massage, mind-body practices (mindfulness, clinical hypnosis, guided meditation), Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and many others. The science supporting these therapies is undeniable and more and more doctors and patients are recognizing that this is the approach for them.

Because the approach is holistic, integrative medicine takes into account the many interrelated factors that affect health, wellness, and disease, including nutrition, sleep, relationships, community, and spirituality. By utilizing both conventional and complementary therapies, integrative practitioners are able to get to the root cause of the problem and are often able to minimize medication use and invasive procedures.

Has it been a smooth road?
Fortunately, it has been a smooth transition for me to make the shift from a strictly traditional way of practicing medicine to integrative medicine. My colleagues have been very supportive and encouraging. Of course, my patients are the reason I am here, and I am so grateful to them because not only has this shift given me a greater ability to help them, it has revived my passion for medicine and introduced a new-found joy within my own life. While helping to guide my patients towards self-care and through experiencing the fellowship, I have learned to practice my own self-care and to teach my now 16 and 13-year-old children the importance of taking care of oneself. This is the truest path to prevention.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with RESTORE Center for Integrative Medicine – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
RESTORE Center for Integrative Medicine was established in October 2016. RESTORE represents the culmination of everything I have learned throughout my lifetime, not just during my medical career, that health care must be patient-centered and holistic. RESTORE is not just unique as an integrative center, but is also unique among other integrative centers in the type of services we provide and our team-based approach to care. Each of our specialized services is led by a highly qualified professional in the field, and we work collaboratively towards the care of every patient. Our practitioners make up your Integrative Health Care Team and include an internist, integrative registered dietician, exercise physiologist, licensed professional counselor, acupuncture and Chinese medicine practitioner, and therapeutic massage therapist. When you see me for your 90-minute Integrative Medicine Consultation, I continue to work to coordinate your care among all members of your team for collaboration at its finest. Your team members meet daily, sometimes multiple times a day, to discuss your progress so that we can continue to optimize your treatment plan.

These services were brought together because of an understanding of not just how some people have successfully obtained lifelong health, but more importantly, seeing why so many have not succeeded. We target the main components that are required to achieve lasting health. You will tackle each component one by one, together with your team who will not let go of your hand until you can fly on your own. By addressing all aspects of your health, we will leave no stone unturned.

Your RESTORE team partners with you to restore your health and treat the whole YOU – mind, body, spirit, and lifestyle. At RESTORE you will find hope, new tools, friends, coaches, answers and results.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Plano is one of the greatest cities I have ever experienced. I grew up in Michigan and my family and I have been in Texas for 7 1/2 years now. I know that few cities would have supported RESTORE Center for Integrative Medicine and welcomed us as warmly as Plano and its residents have. This says volumes about its openness, diversity, and progressiveness. We are lucky to be here.

We are trying to adjust to the tremendous growth Plano has experienced and the traffic! I would say that is what I like the least. This is only a temporary complaint because growth means opportunity and advancement so bring it on!

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Image Credit:
Misty Hoyt – Photography By Misty

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