Expert Profile - Crystal Whisler
Dr. Crystal Whisler DC, RN, CFMP
Functional Medicine Chiropractor
Dr. Crystal Whisler’s Bio:
Dr. Whisler is one of the few certified functional medicine practitioners in the country. She uses evidence-based approaches for finding and addressing the underlying causes of chronic illness and brain-related conditions using the most advanced evidence-based approaches available today.
After completing a doctorate in chiropractic in 2000, Dr. Whisler specialized in functional medicine. With extensive post-doctoral education in many clinical disciplines such as clinical nutrition, systems biology, mind-body medicine, epigenetics, and environmental medicine, she takes a dynamic approach to assessing, educating, and working with patients to achieve their highest levels of wellbeing. She has been featured on many media outlets such as Today, CBS News, ABC, and more.
Currently, as the founder of Functional Medicine For Life, Dr. Whisler works virtually with people across the US and Canada to provide insightful solutions to clients’ unique biochemical, metabolic, and genetic imbalances. She uses a data-driven approach focused on healing fatigue, restoring brain chemistry imbalances, and reversing mental health disorders and neurodegenerative disease.
What life events or challenges that you’ve experienced (could be minor, could be major) – whether you’ve experienced them directly or via someone close to you, have had any type of impact on your desire to pursue a career in psychiatry?
I first discovered the healing power of functional medicine when trying to overcome my own health problems I experienced in my late twenties. I developed chronic fatigue with associated anxiety, brain fog, and depression. It took a tremendous toll on my performance and life. At one point I was barely able to work. I visited numerous traditional medicine doctors as well as many types of healers. Surprisingly, none of these specialists were able to help me with my debilitating fatigue and mental health issues.
What I learned is that traditional medicine and even wholistic cookie-cutter approaches offered me no solutions, and what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the next person. So, I took charge of my health by putting the pieces of the puzzle together by assessing my biochemistry and uncovering the root causes. This process combined with meditation and mind-body modalities, allowed me to heal completely.
Unfortunately, again in 2020, I experienced severe brain issues. I was exposed to toxic mold unknowingly for several months. This led to brain inflammation with subsequent, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and cognitive impairments. It was like trying to live life from a dark hole. By using my knowledge and experience I have been able to heal quickly. I deeply understand the physical and emotional drain of trying to cope with these chronic health and mental issues and the frustration that can ensue.
How did those events impact you emotionally/morally? How, if at all did those events impact the way you view how our current system teaches us to treat patients with mental health challenges?
It reinforced that the traditional medical model is severely lacking when it comes to chronic, brain, and mental health issues. To be honest, I feel it’s my purpose to help and guide others through this healing path. There are tools and systems to heal from mental health issues. There are root causes biochemically. When you combine the right approach to uncover and repair these root causes with psychological and emotional support, people’s lives can and do change.
When and why did you decide to actually focus on working with patients dealing with mental health issues, specifically, and how was your decision shaped by the experiences above?
My own journey through life-altering illness has been a powerful force in shaping my passion for teaching people how to heal through functional medicine. I personally found the mental health issues – the anxiety, the depression, the extreme brain fog, and the cognitive difficulties I experienced to be the most soul-draining aspect of being unwell. It is one thing to feel physically unwell, but it’s a whole other experience when mental and cognitive issues are involved. I certainly want to help others prevent and heal from these issues as we all deserve to live a healthy, happy, connected life where we can be of more service to the world.
What methods or practices do you utilize to help individuals get/feel better?
I use a researched-backed holistically integrated approach. This process incorporates environment, lifestyle, biochemical, and nutrition interventions specifically targeted to each person’s unique biochemistry, history, symptoms, goals, mindset, and so much more.
This is a 3-phase system that starts with uncovering the root causes and assessing your unique biochemistry through a thorough history and advanced functional labs. Next, is the foundations phase in which we upgrade lifestyle and environmental inputs. We use a metabolically individualized food plan and nutrients to restore deficiencies. Last is the solutions phase. Here we target nutritional and supplement strategies for your unique needs. We repair biochemical systems such as GI health, methylation, immune and inflammatory systems, neurotransmitter and hormones, detoxification capacity, and more.