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Most illnesses develop over a long period of time with multiple causative factors.  Together we will find those root causes, whether they may be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual, or a combination.  Once we understand your condition on a deeper level, I will guide you on how to heal and onto the path towards vibrant health.  During your treatment, I will likely recommend a restrictive diet, certain foods, botanicals or homeopathics to enhance the healing process.  It is very important that the body is completely nourished and strengthened to treat any illness. My goal is always that your body is strong enough to heal itself, versus using medications and supplements that can often weaken the body and prevent full healing.

If you are undergoing pharmaceutical treatment, I am well versed in drug/herb/supplement interactions and will guide you through how to best support your present treatment, along helping you come off of medications if that is the goal.  

Through my extensive training, I am able to approach your healing journey from a very balanced perspective and deeply appreciate that there is a time to use conventional medicine, a time to use holistic medicine, or a time to combine the two for the most effective and healing protocol.  With many of my treatments, we are able to bring the body into a state of balance and harmony, and as a result most patients are able to begin weening off of medications.  In many cases, a patient has other healers, modality workers, and wellness members on their team as they work towards strong health, and I enjoy working along side them to fully benefit our mutual patients. 

I am grateful that I am in a position where I get to witness the miracle of healing on a daily basis.  I look forward to working with you and watching your life strengthen and flourish from our work together. 

 

IMPORTANT

It is important for you to understand and consider before we work together.  

1.     The speed of recovery and depth of healing depends on several factors. It depends on the amount of emotional trauma someone has been through, how disciplined they are with the treatment protocols and how often they come in for treatments. I will explain all of this to you when you come in and my prediction of recovery time. The recovery time can change based on future ailments or life events and this is out of our control.

2.     When the body starts to heal, you can experience extreme fatigue or old symptoms. When one experiences old symptoms, this is the body using the immune system to repair itself, clearing out diseased tissue, infection and rebuilding healthy tissue. There is never an exact time on healing. The body follows its own rhythm and takes the time it needs.

3.     For mental or emotional trauma, 95% of the time, these symptoms improve steadily throughout treatment. If there is a case of extreme shock or trauma, the patient may experience extreme fatigue because the body is now taking the time to rest and recover and heal. This is surprising to patients in this position, but it is absolutely necessary for healing.

 

CREDENTIALS

Dr. Christine Surrago is a certified Naturopathic Doctor in Santa Monica, CA.  She completed her doctorate at Bastyr University, the world’s leading research university in Naturopathic Medicine.  While attending, she was trained in both modern medicine and traditional naturopathy.  Because of this intensive dual training, her ability to diagnose and treat illnesses are exceptional as she can order laboratory and imaging studies that conventional doctors use, while treating illnesses with both pharmaceuticals and supportive holistic therapies.  

Some of her extensive studies and training in holistic therapies include constitutional Homeopathy, Visceral Manipulation, Craniosacral Therapy, Bioresonance, Neural Therapy and IV Therapies.  Her experience working within two very different worlds of medicine has given her the ability to guide patients undergoing pharmaceutical treatment while safely bringing their body back into greater function and balance.  In her practice in Santa Monica, CA, Dr. Christine is known for her treatment of chronic immune dysfunctions, gastrointestinal disorders, endocrine disorders, and mood disorders.

Most recently, Dr. Christine served as clinical faculty at Bastyr University's teaching clinic in San Diego, DA.  Her research and studies in various treatments and protocols is consistent and ongoing so that she can continue to bring her patients the most relevant, effective, and supportive healing programs available. 

 

HER PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH ILLNESS

My symptoms initially started the day my father died when I was 17 years old.  My father, who I was very close with, died from a sudden fatal heart attack.  From the day of his death onward, my body started showing signs that I was not processing his death well.  I started experiencing digestive symptoms that I never had before.  Within a year, I had lost 30 pounds had major intestinal and colon damage, high fevers, strange immune reactions and was continuing to lose 2 pounds a month.  While I was in my first year of college I had to discontinue my studies due to excruciating pain, fevers, weakness and difficulty concentrating.  From my own research and intuition, I realized it was probably Crohn's disease.  I was then diagnosed by colonoscopy showing major damage to my intestines and colon.  I was treated by a fantastic Gastroenterologist, who believed in keeping me away from medications that caused damage to the body such as steroids and biologics.  This was the first time a doctor ever told me that medications could cause damage to the body long term.  I then asked him "what about diet?"  Unfortunately he could not advise me about diet and recommended some books.  At the time, the books advised tomato sauce, bread and pasta which added fuel to the fire.  I told him I would figure out a diet that would heal my condition and he was supportive.  I had an intuitive hunch that diet and learning how to cope with my father's death would be the key to my recovery.

The month prior to his death, I was out of school for over a month with mononucleosis which is now notorious for causing chronic fatigue and autoimmune diseases. The combination of this virus and the emotional shock of losing my father started my symptoms of Crohn's Disease.  I knew that my lack of ability to cope with this trauma and my self-blame for not being able to save my father was causing my body to destroy itself.  The day that he died, he had invited me to go golfing with him.  I didn't end up going with him.  He ended up dying on the golf course that day.  At the time I thought if I was there, my love and support could've saved him and he would still be alive OR my love would've assisted him over to the other side peacefully.  My 17-year-old self took on responsibility for everything leading up to his death like his personal struggles with stress and diet and wish I worked harder to save him.  We all know that people can only heal themselves and this is a lesson that I have spent decades learning and still sometimes learn as I treat hundreds of patients a year. 

I saw several other gastroenterologists looking for a more holistic approach and it turns out my original gastroenterologist was the most holistic of them all.  The rest of them told me I would likely need surgery, bowel resections and stronger and stronger medications and could eventually develop colon cancer.  Hearing news like this, it is hard to even imagine a bright future.  They often used fear tactics to encourage me to take harsher medications.  I was very lucky to have the experience of seeing many different doctors because I can relate to many different experiences my patients have had with different doctors.  Some experiences are wonderful and others horrifying to hear.  I was lucky enough to end up with the right doctor starting out and that saved me from additional damage to my body.

There were no doctors in the area that practiced holistic medicine, so I took matters into my own hands.  I could not logically accept a life sentence to a chronic disease, especially since I went from being completely healthy to ill within a matter of days.  So I began to research extensively.  I started to listen to my body and noticed a correlation between how I felt after eating certain foods.  I then noticed a correlation between different situations and emotional triggers. I also listened to other people who struggled with Crohn's to learn from them.  Unfortunately, most of the people I have met with Crohn's didn't believe diet or emotional therapy or coaching could help their condition and ended up having bowel resections and their illness progressed.  

I did find one person who healed themselves, Jordan Rubin who wrote the book "Patient Heal Thyself."  This book was incredibly inspirational for me.  The diet he outlined and his protocol did not work perfectly for me, (neither does his supplement line) but it certainly did for him.  I then came to the conclusion that each person is unique and will respond completely different to treatments and there is no one size fits all for healing a condition.  

By the time I was 19, I was completely off of medications.  By the time I was 23, I found a diet and herbal protocol that cured my condition.  I went from 100 pounds and looking like a skeleton back to 140 pounds.  It then became my life mission and passion to assist others in their health and healing through diet, self-awareness and holistic therapies.  I never stop searching for therapies, diagnostic tools that can possibly help someone on their path of healing and I am constantly integrating new therapies in my practice based off of the success of other physicians all over the globe.

My healing process didn't come with major personal challenges along the way.  I was ridiculed by friends and work colleagues for my diet and therapies I was trying.  I was judged, criticized, projected on, you name it!  For one, I didn't grow up in the most holistic area of the country.  However, that doesn't seem to matter.  Even in Santa Monica a very health conscious city, will people run into these issues. Whenever you make a major life change, some people will be incredibly supportive and admire what you are doing while others will feel threatened and skeptical.  I often help patients work through relationship dynamics, how to create a strong healthy relationships and how to create healthy boundaries with people in order to support and accelerate their healing.

Even though I have cured myself of Crohn's disease, I never stop working on my health.  I believe that health is a never ending process of self-awareness, growth and expansion that extends throughout your whole life.  I am passionate about living a full and dynamic life.  

I hope my ever evolving story was helpful to you!  If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please contact my office at 310-828-8258.  I look forward to working with you.