Robin Stewart envisioned and co-founded MindBody Talent with Richard Hoffmann in April of 2019. Both of them had driving motivations to transform healthcare from an industry focused heavily on pharmaceutical drugs back into a healing profession that understands how to enable the human mind and body to heal itself.
Robin and Rich had both experienced too much that was wrong with a system dominated by pharmaceutical-based management of disease rather than actually curing and reversing diseases and chronic illnesses.
After five years in business as MindBody Talent, we’ve now heard similar stories to Robin’s so many times from converted conventional medicine practitioners that we could search and replace “Robin” in this story with 100 other names. The core story would be the same. It’s kind of like a Hallmark channel movie plot … boy finds girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back again. In this case, it’s health that is lost and found. In both cases, nothing is the same afterwards.
Turn the clock back ten years …
As a woman in her mid-40’s, Robin found herself verging on the age and textbook conditions of menopause. Her otherwise vibrant and energetic life was turning south with symptoms that neither she nor her conventional medicine doctors could fully understand or explain. Robin was wrestling with debilitating fatigue, she had brain fog, her sleep was erratic, she had muscle weakness, her hair was thinning and falling out, and (as Robin explains it) she was “putting on weight like it was my job.”
All of that was highly unusual for a woman who had lettered in four sports in high school, had a productive career as an Executive Recruiter, and was raising an active daughter as a single mom. She was a busy woman with a busy life. Robin had no time for what had become chronic health symptoms that were constantly dragging her down.
The conventional medicine path …
Like the majority of people seeking medical solutions, Robin turned to conventional medicine doctors for help. The usual pattern began. Tests were run, prescriptions were written, and Robin went on her way. The symptoms continued and in some cases grew worse. More prescriptions were written with more side effects and more approaches tried. Robin continued to feel awful, struggling with the same and additional symptoms that were continuing to frustrate her and make her life miserable. For almost five years, Robin and her doctors tried prescription after prescription and she was worse off than when she started.
The last straw for Robin came when her endocrinologist told her, “I’m going to write you a prescription for an antidepressant. Your labs are normal and everything is fine. This appears to be all in your head.” Being a tough and blunt native New Yorker, Robin told the doctor exactly what to do with his prescription pad. She was not depressed. She had an illness that her doctor had no idea how to diagnose or solve. Robin left his office (and conventional medicine) with a renewed commitment to find a better way out of her health challenges.
Coincidentally (or not), Robin had just received a recruitment search assignment to find a Functional Medicine doctor for a high-end health spa that was adding holistic health services to their range of offerings. At that time, Robin had never heard of Functional Medicine, but she was intrigued. The more she researched the field in preparation for her search project, the more she wondered if Functional Medicine could help her.
Robin found a Functional Medicine physician who quickly turned her previously undiagnosed autoimmune disorder into a diagnosis. Robin had been struggling with Hashimoto’s Disease, which was attacking her thyroid and causing all of the symptoms she had been experiencing. What her conventional medicine doctors had been fiddling with for over four years, unable to successfully diagnose and treat, her new Functional Medicine doctor pinpointed and clarified within weeks.
Robin’s new physician recommended a range of nutritional supplements and some lifestyle changes that included different food choices, modified exercises, and better sleep hygiene. Within five months, Robin had been weaned off of all of her previous pharmaceutical medications, her range of symptoms were gone, and her Hashimoto’s Disease was in remission.
In MindBody Talent’s daily discussions with physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, and specialty nurses across the U.S. who have converted away from conventional medicine, the stories are often a repeat of Robin’s story. Either they or someone close to them became sick, really sick, with a chronic illness or complex disease. Months, years or decades of searching for answers in the conventional medicine world yielded nothing but bottles of prescription drugs and a range of side effects, on top of their core base of symptoms.
In her book, “A Nation of Unwell: What’s Gone Wrong?” Kristine Gedroic, MD tells her own identical story. Through her illness and recovery, Dr. Gedroic was awakened to the fallacies she was taught in medical school, including the devastating consequences for patients treated with the conventional medicine approach.
In her book, Dr. Gedoric explains the problems clearly, “As physicians, we are not trained to consider why patients are having symptoms in an attempt to correct the underlying cause. We are taught to ask the questions we need to have answered in order to add up to a particular disease or diagnosis, and we are trained to consider what medicine will help with the symptom and make the patient more comfortable or less at risk. We then discard all the other elements that seem to have no relation”. Dr. Gedroic goes on to liken this approach to the analogy of a fire and smoke detector, “When we take medicine for a symptom without looking for a cause, we are dismantling our internal smoke detector while the fire continues to burn, becoming more intense and problematic over time.”
Fast forward to 2024. Robin Stewart and Rich Hoffmann have taken MindBody Talent from the seed of Robin’s enlightened mission into a market-leading, North American talent acquisition company that serves clients in 20 states across the U.S.
Most importantly, Rich, Robin and their teams have transformed Robin’s experience into an organization that is having a major impact transforming and elevating the western medicine healthcare system into a profession of healing, recovery. regeneration, and enhanced human performance.
The story that Robin and so many others have experienced is both old and new. The core tenets of health and wellness have been known for millennia:
- Proper and sufficient nutrition
- Enough quality sleep
- Energy Flow
These vital factors are largely ignored in allopathic medical schools and are rarely discussed in the practice of conventional medicine.
Conversely, they are the essential factors that Functional Medicine clinicians are bringing back to health care. They’re doing so with the added twist that we now understand so much more about the integrated systems of human biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, and spirituality. New understanding of the interplay between organ systems, the microbiome, mitochondria, the gut-brain connection, genomics, and myriad other discoveries (which are happening every day) add a solid foundation of science underneath the common sense factors that our ancestors knew intuitively and empirically.
The more the field of Functional Medicine advances, the more the pharmaceutical era of diagnose-and-prescribing drugs or surgery based on symptoms of illness looks amateurish and antiquated in comparison.
Robin sees clear gains that emerged from all of her years of frustration and suffering through her debilitating health struggles. By conservative estimates, MindBody Talent’s placement of clinical and non-clinical staff into Functional, Integrative, Personalized, and Regenerative Medicine clinics nationwide has already impacted the lives of over 35,000 patients. Robin’s pain has clearly been transformed into gain. The field of health and wellness has only seen the beginning of where MindBody Talent is leading its army of healthcare revolutionaries.