Melanie Stein, ND is an ISEAI Full Member who practices at Restorative Health Clinic of Portland.
What is your primary field of work and where are you located?
The name of my practice is Restorative Health Clinic of Portland, located in Portland Oregon. We are a group of Physicians specializing in Environmentally Acquired Illnesses and other complex chronic illnesses. Currently, our providers offer telemedicine consultations and in-person treatments.
Patients from all over the world travel to Restorative Health Clinic to receive treatment. We are one of the few clinics in the country offering Cell Membrane Stabilization therapy with phosphatidylcholine. In addition, we also offer Ozone Therapy, Nutrient Therapy, Chelation Therapy, Light Therapy, Neural Therapy, and Ionic Foot Baths. By providing comprehensive treatment plans, we work alongside our patients on their path to better health.
Safety and health are important to us; therefore, in our clinic, we prioritize maintaining a space free of water damage leading to mold and testing quarterly. We also pride ourselves on limited EMF exposure and are a scent-free clinic for our chemically sensitive patients.
Link to our video: https://vimeo.com/736315725
What are your specialties and unique perspectives on environmental health?
At the Restorative Health Clinic, we primarily focus on complex chronic illnesses. Our providers specialize in Tick-Borne Disease, Heavy Metal Toxicity, Mold Illness, Chronic Urinary Tract Infections, Breast Implant Illness, and many more. We look at the whole picture and ensure we are treating common comorbidities to these Illnesses such as Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Digestive Disturbances, Hormonal Imbalances, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue syndrome.
Patients tend to come to Restorative Health Clinic after seeing multiple doctors with little improvement in their symptoms. Our goal is to help people regain their quality of life and feel supported along the way. We treat the mind, body, and soul to help counsel patients through their illnesses. Our clinic team helps patients advocate for their health as they are often left behind in the traditional medical health system.
I encourage my patients to take an active role in their healing, providing them with information and acting as an advisor when determining treatment options. Not only do I treat the environmentally acquired illness directly, but I also use advanced laboratory testing in order to evaluate the underlying cause of inflammation and immune dysregulation in the body to help bring the body back to balance.
“I encourage my patients to take an active role in their healing, providing them with information and acting as an advisor when determining treatment options.”
How did you get into your field of expertise and what led you into the realm of EAI?
My journey into treating EAI is a very personal one. Many years ago I woke up paralyzed while on a retreat in the forest. I was taken to the hospital where they could not find a reason for my acute paralysis. Ultimately the traditional medical system diagnosed me with conversion disorder. 3 days later and after much testing I developed a bull’s eye rash. Despite knowing that this meant that I had Lyme Disease, I was dismissed and told, “Lyme disease does not exist in the Pacific Northwest.” I spent many months fighting to obtain treatment, most of which insurance would not cover because the medical doctors dismissed my diagnosis. It was not only until I found a Lyme Literate Physician and was placed on IV antibiotics that my symptoms slowly began to improve.
Two years into treating my tick-borne disease my symptom improvement plateaued and I was still in a wheelchair. Finally, my practitioner discovered a missing piece after listening to a lecture by Dr. Shoemaker. I was living in a mold-ridden home. I was told I needed to move immediately and get rid of all of my belongings.*
It was only then, that the treatments began to work and I slowly regained my mobility and health. Today, I am fully recovered with some mold sensitivity remaining.
After recovering I realized the need for more professionals in this field. I dedicated myself to studying complex chronic illnesses, taking every conference and certification I came across. This was the beginning of my dream of creating a Restorative Health Clinic.
*ISEAI Editor’s Note: The need to move, begin remediation, or get rid of belongings is a major decision with many factors to consider, including the severity of the mold problem in the space. ISEAI recommends this decision be made with the help of your own indoor environmental professional who can make recommendations that are specific to your space.
What are one or two of your biggest EAI “aha” moments?
One of my biggest aha moments was when I was personally struggling to find an EAI literate practitioner for my care. I was in desperate need of help quickly. Because of the limited number of specialized practitioners, most practitioners had a several-month waitlist. Through my healing process, I discovered a need to help expand this community of practitioners. This led to my vision of creating a Restorative Health Clinic as a center for health, healing, and education. I now regularly welcome other practitioners and students to my clinic to learn and grow their own knowledge of treating EAI.
My second “aha” moment was discovering the link between environmentally acquired illness and immune system dysregulation. Many of my patients were coming back after several months of treatment, with symptomatic returns. I realized that treating the immune system is just as important as treating the disease itself. Through the use of herbal and peptide therapy, as well as Phosphatidylcholine Cell Membrane Therapy, I am able to help return the cellular process back to homeostasis.
“I realized that treating the immune system is just as important as treating the disease itself.”
What would you like the public and other ISEAI members to know?
I remember sitting at the first annual ISEAI conference and realizing I was part of a community of practitioners who not only also experienced EAI but had the same passion I do when it comes to treating this patient population. It truly takes a team to treat EAI. I am humbled by the community we have created and the clinical pearls I have learned through communication with this group of wonderful individuals. I want to encourage people to lean on this community and each other to continue expanding our knowledge and educational opportunities on EAI.
I want people to know that I’m passionate about collaborative care and believe that there is a root cause to your health. I always want to encourage people to ask one more question and to reach out to others for help. I never want to hold anyone back from their success in learning or gaining momentum with their own health.
“It truly takes a team to treat EAI. I am humbled by the community we have created and the clinical pearls I have learned through communication with this group of wonderful individuals.”
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