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Community Highlights: Meet Dr. Dana O’Keefe of Restoring Health Holistic Wellness Center

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Dana O’Keefe.

Hi Dr. Dana, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I decided to become a chiropractor after experiencing a notable concussion. I bent down to feed my mother’s dog and stood up and hit my head on the underside of her counter. I actually blacked out for a second or two. The next day I still felt woozy, so I called my chiropractor, Dr. Jennifer Vaughn. She told me to go to the ER because I had several concerning symptoms, slurred speech.. etc.. I didn’t remember what she told me and showed up at her office. She did an exam and sent me to the hospital for imaging. Fortunately for me, the imaging was normal, so I went back to Dr. Vaughn’s office. She adjusted me and within 20 minutes my speech normalized! I was astounded. I always knew chiropractic could help me with aches and pains, but I never considered the neurological implications of chiropractic. So… I was intrigued and spent two months researching the profession. I wrote a 22 page proposal to my husband and, I began my educational journey towards becoming a Chiropractic Physician.

In 2013, Dr. Vaughn and I decided to start a practice together, Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Physicians. Originally we offered mainly chiropractic at our office. But, as both Dr. Vaughn and I continued to get more education in nutrition and functional medicine, we began to grow that part of our practice. Little by little, we began to add additional therapies such as Class IV laser treatments, weight loss, neurofeedback, etc. As we grew, we realized our name did not reflect our practice any longer and, in 2020, we changed our name to Restoring Health Holistic Wellness Center. Our plan is to continue to add services and be able to offer therapies such as chiropractic, functional medicine, neurofeedback, weight loss, massage therapy, acupuncture, Vitamin IV therapy, and rehab/yoga. Our goal is to help people regain and maintain their health with a holistic approach.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Well, nothing in life really goes straight up (or down). So, yes, there have been plenty of struggles. Most people would agree that 2020 has been a struggle. This year, not only did we deal with COVID-19, but we had the added adventure of having a 20,000-pound tree fall on our building. We call him GROOT:) It has taken seven months to repair our building. But, we just passed our last inspection and we will be moving “home” on Dec 21!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
We are a holistic wellness center with one simple goal: to help people regain and maintain their health. We look at the whole person and address his/her health concern by looking at five areas: Structure, Nutrition, Stress/Brain Health Management, Lifestyle Choices, and the need for detoxification. The structure will include therapies like chiropractic, massage therapy, class IV laser, rehab/posture exercises, kinesiology taping. We strive to get our patients “up and going” and back to doing what they love as quickly as possible. Nutrition is a huge part of what we do at our office. Functional medicine typically falls into this category. Functional medicine as the “why” behind the “what.” For example, if a patient has high cholesterol, we attempt to find out why (could it be hormones, hidden infection, diet, etc.?) and address those issues if we can figure out the “why,” then the “what “(in this case, high cholesterol) goes away. We run various tests and labs such as blood labs, stool analysis, and food sensitivity testing (to name a few) to determine each condition’s underlying cause(s). Once we have an idea of what is going on, we then use diet, exercise, and physician grade supplements to help our patients reach their health goals. Stress/Brain health is key for the times we are living in.

To say that stress has affected people’s health in 2020 is an understatement! Our neurofeedback program has consistently helped patients struggling with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and cognitive decline. Too much stress will actually reduce the frontal cortex’s ability to function efficiently. You know…” the pantry stare.” Have you ever walked into the pantry and forgotten why you’re there? That is not normal aging. Our brains are designed to work quickly and efficiently. Too much stress can disrupt our brain’s ability to function normally. That’s where the use of neurofeedback, meditation, and other modalities can help. Lifestyle choices and detoxification tend to tuck up under functional medicine as well. We will address whatever issue a patient may need help with. Sometimes it’s just a matter of making a tiny little change such as turning your phone, computer, and/or iPad off one hour before bed. Too much blue light in your eyes might make it hard to fall asleep. So, that is a basic overview of how we look at each patient and his or her health needs at our office. I think what we are most proud of is: people are people and not numbers at our office. We honestly take the saying, “people are important and how we treat them matters” to heart.

We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
My family owned and operated a dance studio. I grew up as a “dance studio kid.” I eventually bought my dad’s dance studio and spent many years teaching dance. I was primarily a rhythm tapper and was fortunate to travel around the U.S. and several countries teaching for various dance conventions.

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