Expert Profile - Janelle Mackowiak
Janelle Mackowiak, ND, DC, CFMP
Dr. Janelle Mackowiak’s Bio:
Dr. Janelle Mackowiak, ND, DC, CFMP is a graduate of the National University of Health Sciences, near Chicago, Illinois. She is not only a chiropractic physician but also is a CNME approved Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner. Her undergraduate degree, 1999 and master’s degree, 2001, were obtained from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, in the Allied Health field before returning to receive her doctorate education.
Dr. Janelle Mackoiwiak provides top-quality, patient-centered care with the highest level of empathy and professionalism. Utilizing a holistic but common-sense approach, she emphasizes equality in provider-patient discussion and a customized plan of action based on state-of-the-art, evidence-based medical practices, which builds trust, helps her patients recover more quickly and return to their activities of daily living sooner, and decrease their chances of recurrence.
Dr. Mackowiak is passionate about helping and educating others. She now dedicates her life to supporting others to gain the health and care that they deserve. Although she treats patients of all ages and everything from the common cold to the most complex diagnoses, her true passion lies with the treatment of chronic diseases, gut dysfunction, mood disorders, autoimmunity, diabetes, hormone dysregulation, and sleep issues for a mature clientele. She is certified in many aspects of the profession, including Nutritional Counseling, Hydrotherapy, and Homeopathy, just to name a few. She is a competent and dedicated doctor possessing the skills of patience and the unique ability to make them feel comfortable during difficult situations. Dr. Janelle has proven to be capable and qualified to meet the needs of patients seeking a healthy and active lifestyle.
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 work with patients with mental health challenges?
When I was in elementary school is when I started to experience bullying. By the time I reached Junior High School, the “popular crowd” that I once was friends with no longer talked to me, in fact, I earned the nickname “Jan-elephant”. I had very few friends and a very poor perception of myself which continued throughout high school and into adulthood. Symptoms of Depression hit hard, I was having terrible thoughts of myself, had zero motivation wanted to sleep all the time, and did not want to do anything. At the end of high school, I started working out, which helped me to feel better, but I wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t until years later, countless prescription medications that only made me feel worse, that I learned I was in control of my feelings. I started reading everything I could about a more holistic way of living. Little did I know at that time I would eventually become a doctor to help others that experienced much of what I did. I no longer wanted to take a pill I had no idea about that left me in bed for days. I was sick of the feeling that this was it and I was only in my early 20s. I was worried, scared, frightful, out of my mind, I was so sick and tired of being so sick and tired! Fast forward and I found a natural doctor, a chiropractor, who also made some supplement recommendations. Well, it didn’t happen overnight, but eventually, I started feeling better and regaining my health. The body is a miraculous thing and it will fight for you provided you have the correct things to give it. Now, I make it seem like it was easy.
Somewhat of a, try this. It was trial and error and we had to try many different combinations of herbs and supplements at different doses. It was a lengthy process. It was worth every single moment and at that time expense. I was able to get my health back which is what is needed for everything else we do. I cannot give back to anyone or anything if I care for myself. It takes work, every day, but it gets easier and with the help of a counselor, ND, and lots of self-work I am dedicated to helping others reach happiness and joy.
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?
If I only knew back then what I know now, I do not believe I would have had to suffer as long as I did. I also understand it is not “just one thing” that will help us with mental challenges, but a combination of therapies, often from different practitioners. It is one of the reasons I chose the career I did, because I felt I had the right tools after what I experienced in order to help others. We are often not given or taught the right methods to cope with our mental health challenges, thankfully it is becoming more accepted and acknowledged.
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?
Over the past 6 years, I have dedicated myself to working with patients who have chronic health issues of varying types, oftentimes there is an emotional or mental component that many other practitioners do not address. Like many other practitioners, we do what we do because of life experiences. What I went through is unacceptable. I know that countless amounts of people are suffering mental health challenges as well as sleep disturbances, hormone issues, gut dysfunction, autoimmune disease, etc. Naturopathic medicine involves the “determinants of Health” and if a determinant is suffering dis-ease we must remove the source/ reason it is causing the issue. If this is not addressed, it is impeding your health – it is SO important to talk about.
What methods or practices do you utilize to help individuals get/feel better?
As a naturopathic physician, I use foundational support including personalized medical nutrition and dietary strategies, exercise, nutrients, herbal medicines, and personalized stress management techniques. When I see a new patient, I also want to know what is happening with them mentally/emotionally, but I also want to know everything about their lifestyle habits, diet, nutrition, family and past medical history, sleep, sexual function, energy levels, exercise habits, EMF exposure, bowel function, stressors, etc. After a very detailed history, I speak to them about ordering the appropriate testing specific to their needs. It could be blood, urine, stool, or other types of labs based upon the individual needs of that patient and their goals. As mentioned above, the body has this wonderful ability to heal itself. The key is balance and supplying it the fuel and resources it needs to regain that balance. In the end, I like to employ a combination of lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, biochemical, environmental, and mindset components to address the patients’ concerns.