Dr. Matthew Lewis, DC
Dr. Matthew Lewis, DC

Why I Take a Consultative Approach to Healthcare

By |2023-01-27T21:45:00-05:00January 27th, 2023|Categories: Dr. Matt Lewis|Tags: |0 Comments

Depending on where you take your vehicle to have it serviced, you’ll deal with either a mechanic or a parts changer. A mechanic conducts a thorough evaluation before doing anything. Your mechanic asks you to describe what’s going on; drives the vehicle, taking note of any strange sounds, vibrations, or odors; visually inspects the vehicle; and runs diagnostics to check for any error codes.

A parts changer makes an educated guess as to what the problem is and then proceeds to change parts until the problem goes away. It can be a costly, time-consuming process that often fails to address the root cause of the problem.

Unfortunately, modern medicine is driven largely by a part-changer mentality. Many doctors spend only a few minutes talking at a patient and reviewing results from lab tests and even less time listening to the patient, coming up with a diagnosis, and generating a thoughtful plan of care. Instead, they jump right to treatments that often include prescription medications — many of which alleviate symptoms without addressing their root cause. Even worse, medications can cause adverse side effects, resulting in a symptom profile that grows longer and more complex with every visit.

In contrast, I take a consultative approach to treating and caring for my patients. This approach is more collaborative and relies far more on listening to my patients, enabling them to play a much more active role in their treatment outcomes.

Image for consultative healthcare

What Is a Consultative Approach?

A consultative approach requires a deep understanding and appreciation of your medical history, family history, lifestyle, life events, and current health conditions and concerns.

The process begins with you completing your functional medicine analysis form, which I review in preparation for your initial consultation, and refer to over the course of your recovery. Your functional medicine analysis is an inventory of your health history and presenting symptoms. In time, we should be checking off symptoms and seeing a trend towards better health and quality of life.

The consultative approach requires good listening in an environment that is not rushed, judgmental, or dismissive. I contrast this to a visit with a more conventional healthcare provider who works in an environment that rewards speed over thoroughness and the importance of building a collaborative doctor-patient relationship.

In this non-consultative scenario, it’s a quick conversation and lab review, followed immediately by knee jerk recommendations. I see this happening today in both conventional and holistic medicine as practitioners build models of medicine based on meeting the demands of insurance providers instead of improving patient outcomes.

Key benefits of a consultative approach to medicine include the following: Continue reading…

Understanding My Personal Approach to Doctoring

By |2019-06-12T11:03:32-04:00August 22nd, 2018|Categories: Dr. Matt Lewis|Tags: , |0 Comments

As a Tampa doctor trained in functional medicine and integrative healthcare, I take a patient-focused, integrative approach to doctoring. That is, instead of merely diagnosing and treating illness, I focus on restoring health by addressing the root causes of illness, which are unique to each patient. These causes of illness include everything from genetic susceptibilities to environmental toxins and pathogens to diet and exercise and even psychological and emotional states.

This approach to doctoring is standard practice in functional medicine. However, each functional medicine doctor has his or her own approach to doctoring and to managing his or her practice. In this post, I describe my personal approach to doctoring and practice management, so you can:

  • Compare my approach to that of other doctors.
  • More effectively team up with me to restore your health, if you choose to become one of my patients.

Earning Patients

I do very little marketing to build my practice. Instead, I earn my patients through referrals from several sources:

  • Other patients — typically a friend, relative, or colleague I helped with a similar health issue or concern.
  • Conventional doctors who are “stuck” with a patient’s health issues and realize a different approach is needed (especially those who have had experience with my methods and witnessed the profound improvement in these most difficult cases).
  • Other natural healthcare providers who do not practice functional medicine but understand its value and prefer an approach that helps their clients avoid the automatic application of pharmaceuticals or invasive medical tests and treatments.
  • Personal trainers or nutritional or health coaches whose client are frustrated because they have plateaued.

I am not the only provider in functional medicine who can attest to how well patients perform when they have a different option and more time and attention during office visits. Unfortunately, in the current healthcare system, too much is Continue reading…

How to Choose a Functional Medicine Doctor in Tampa

By |2019-06-12T11:11:14-04:00May 11th, 2018|Categories: Dr. Matt Lewis|Tags: |0 Comments

Schedule A Personal Consultation with Dr. Matt Lewis Editor’s Note: In this post, we offer suggestions, advice and warnings for anyone who is looking for a doctor in Tampa and in particular, those who are seeking a functional medicine and integrative healthcare provider. We hope this Q&A — featuring the thoughts of Dr. Matthew Lewis — proves to be informative in that search. Dr. Lewis is a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition (DACBN), and a Certified Functional Medical Practitioner (CFMP®).

Q: Aside from a Google search, asking a friend, consulting with your insurer, or driving past a doctor’s office that appears inviting enough to walk inside, what are specific ways people can find a functional medicine doctor in Tampa who fits their needs?

A: Many functional medicine-trained doctors provide a public education service on their websites in the form of blog posts, articles or recordings of webinars. Same with their Facebook pages — assuming they use social media to engage with and educate patients. These can be helpful in offering potential patients more information about the doctor and his or her practice, as well as provide important insights into that doctor’s specific areas of expertise.

(Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash)

Q: What questions are fair game for a doctor when trying to determine if he or she will be a good fit?

A: If it were me, there are three areas I’d focus on: Continue reading…

Tampa Functional Integrative Medicine

By |2019-05-26T09:45:17-04:00January 31st, 2018|Categories: Dr. Matt Lewis|Tags: |0 Comments

If you’re interested in having me or the medical professionals I work alongside diagnose and treat your symptoms of chronic and unexplained illness through lab testing, followed by nutrition, lifestyle, chiropractic, and other natural approaches to holistic healing, here’s what you need to know: Continue reading…

In Focus: Dr. Matt Lewis

Editor’s Note: Dr. Matt Lewis, D.C, CFMP®, specializes in diagnosing and treating chronic and unexplained illnesses through proper nutrition, lifestyle changes, chiropractic, and other natural approaches to whole-health healing.

Dr. Lewis (left) and friends at high school graduation (1991 – Bayside High School, NY)

A Tampa, Fla.-based medical practitioner, Dr. Lewis began his career in medicine after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va.; his Doctorate in Chiropractic from Life University in Marietta, Ga.; his CFMP® from Functional Medicine University in Greer, SC; and a certificate as a Digestive Health Specialist (DHS) through the Food Enzyme Institute in Madison, Wi.

We asked Dr. Lewis to fill us in on his career in healthcare thus far and to relate a little about his personal life.

Here’s what he had to say:

What was it that sparked your passion for resolving health issues and promoting wellness?

Dr. Lewis: My immediate family has a history of autoimmune conditions and diabetes, and my own lab tests demonstrated a genetic susceptibility to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (autoimmune thyroid). With much study, I learned how to restore my own health and vigor to prevent the onset of these and other illnesses. Today I live an incredibly active life and have acquired a deeper understanding of health and wellness, which I offer my patients in Tampa.

When did you decide the traditional route for treating patients was not how you wanted to practice medicine?

Dr. Lewis: After graduating from Shenandoah University where I studied pre-med and biology, I spent the next two years working as an advanced behavioral therapist in NYC with children on the autism spectrum. During that time, I gained a good deal of insight into how the environment, diet, heavy metals, and overuse of childhood vaccinations were influencing the rise in autism spectrum disorders. This was one of the main reasons I chose a holistic route, even though I did not continue to treat autistic children for very long.

At what point did you acquire an interest in pursuing functional medicine as a specialty?

Dr. Lewis: As a Certified Digestive Health Specialist (CFMP®), I practiced Continue reading…

Why Is a Tampa Chiropractor Blogging About Functional and Integrative Medicine?

By |2017-07-06T16:02:19-04:00July 6th, 2017|Categories: Dr. Matt Lewis|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Chiropractors crack backs, right? Their focus is on correcting misalignments of the musculoskeletal system to improve bone and muscle structure, thus alleviating stress and strain, especially on nerves. So why am I — Tampa Chiropractor, Matt Lewis, Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) — blogging about functional and integrative medicine?

The reason is that the true focus of chiropractic manipulation is holistic (whole body) health. The concept on which chiropractic is based, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH), is that the body’s structure, primarily the spine, influences its function. Realigning the musculoskeletal system restores health and function.

The world’s longest continuous sidewalk — Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, Florida.

But it’s not that simple. Numerous factors play a role in human health, and these factors fall into two categories: genetics (nature) and environment (nurture), which includes diet and nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle choices, environmental toxins, and even relationships. To achieve the goal of chiropractic (whole health), some chiropractors, including me — Dr. Lewis — are branching out into other areas, including functional medicine and, when necessary, allopathic medicine (traditional medicine that relies primarily on pharmaceuticals along with surgery and other medical procedures).

This integrative healthcare approach equips doctors like me with a complete toolbox of Continue reading…

Dr. Matt Lewis is Blogging in Tampa

By |2017-07-06T16:03:38-04:00June 29th, 2017|Categories: Dr. Matt Lewis|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Over the course of my many years in practice as a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner (CFMP®), and supporting people using clinical nutrition, I have discovered that a key component to achieving optimal health is education. What you don’t know can, literally, kill you.

A large part of my job in diagnosing health conditions and identifying and treating the root cause(s) of such conditions involves educating my patients on nutrition and lifestyle and their impact on health. Unlike conventional medicine, which treats patients as passive recipients of pharmaceuticals and often invasive medical treatments, my practice involves you — the patient — as an integral part of the treatment team. To be an effective member of that team, you need to know what to do, how to do it, why it’s important, and how it works. Otherwise, patients like you either can’t or won’t do what’s required to overcome illness and achieve optimal health and function.

Education is key, and that’s why I’ve decided to start blogging about functional medicine in Tampa. My belief is that through my blog posts and discussions, you will learn a thing or two about your own body and about how your environment, diet and lifestyle choices impact your health. The proper knowledge and insight place you in the driver’s seat; your choices either promote or undermine your quality of life — the way you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally; what you’re able to do; and your performance level.

Over the course of coming weeks, months, and years, I will be blogging about a wide range of topics related to health and fitness in Tampa, including the following:

  • Nutrition, including insight on how to use food as medicine to avoid and support various illnesses and promote optimal health and performance
  • Digestive health, including insight on how to restore the delicate balance of bacteria and other microorganisms that reside in the gut and that play a significant role in immune system function and dysfunction, along with a host of illnesses related to chronic inflammation
  • Autoimmunity, and how it can be approached more specifically with nutrition, holistic treatment, and adjustments in lifestyle to avoid progression of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Colitis, Lupus and more
  • Leaky gut, food allergies and sensitivities, along with guidance on how to obtain an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment
  • Weight-loss resistance (inability to lose weight when trying to do so) and how to overcome it through nutrition and exercise and without having to starve yourself
  • Genetics, both human genes and the genetic makeup (the microbiome) of the various microorganisms (microbiota) that reside in and on the human body and that either promote or impair health
  • Neurological health — not only brain function in terms of clear thinking and emotional stability, but also in terms of the brain’s central control of other bodily functions and organs
  • Endocrine health — the endocrine glands (pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands) that regulate the body’s internal environment through the circulatory system
  • External environmental factors, including mold toxicity, Lyme disease, and sick building syndrome, that often produce debilitating and autoimmune symptoms that conventional medicine struggles to diagnose and treat

Yes, you can take control of your own health, but you need the knowledge and understanding to do so. Please join me in learning more about your health and your body. The time and effort required will be the best investment you ever made, paying dividends by making you feel and function your very best.

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About the Author: Dr. Matt Lewis, D.C., CFMP® specializes in diagnosing and treating the underlying causes of the symptoms related to chronic and unexplained illness through nutrition, lifestyle, chiropractic, and other natural approaches to whole-health healing in Tampa, Florida. He earned his B.S. in Biology from Shenandoah University, his Doctorate in Chiropractic from Life University, his CFMP® from the Functional Medicine University, and his certification as a Digestive Health Specialist (DHS) through the Food Enzyme Institute. Dr. Lewis’ passion for health and wellness stems from his own personal experience. With a family history of autoimmune conditions and diabetes, and his own lab tests showing his genetic susceptibility to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (autoimmune thyroid), he has learned how to restore his own health and vigor to prevent the onset of these illnesses and live an incredibly active life. Through this process, he acquired a deeper understanding of health and wellness, which he now offers his patients and others interested in whole health.

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