What do you do when your doctor doesn’t know what’s wrong? What happens when you don’t fit a diagnosis — or the diagnosis doesn’t fit? What do you do when there’s nothing that can be done to help you?
You come here.
At Chiyu Center, we help you find answers. We listen closely to your whole story because we know that there will be clues there. And because we have been in your shoes, we understand the very raw, human, and emotional aspect of what you are going through, too.
Clinically, we look at your situation from our unique Integrative Health Analysis perspective. This means we examine your symptoms, signs, and history, and plot it all according to biomedical, traditional, East Asian, natural, functional, energetic, emotional, psychological, social, environmental, and even spiritual perspectives. We will stand back and look at it, and like those 1990’s 3D computer images, we will allow ourselves to see what emerges. In our experience, what emerges is always useful, new, and profound.
We’re going to open up for you a universe of inter-connection, possibility and hope.
And we’ll do it all while working with your doctor.
What is a Mystery Illness?
A mystery illness is something that does not fully fit a diagnosis according to modern medicine. Doctors are not sure how you got so sick — or even if you are sick. (They might suggest it is all in your head.) They are not very positive that anything will help you feel better. But YOU know something is wrong, and you know that something needs to be done about it.
What is Auto-immunity?
Great question! And the simplest answer is: a mystery illness. Scientists are still uncovering the roots to autoimmunity. They have identified many potential causes, from genetics to environmental toxins to an imbalanced gut microbiome. But they still do not have a clear understanding of it, and therefore, they have no truly treatment. For most advanced autoimmunity, the treatment of choice is corticosteroids, which is simply unsustainable as a long-term treatment.
From our perspective, what we call autoimmunity in modern healthcare is simply a complex collapse of the entire system. But don’t let that scare you! It’s okay. We’ve discovered that autoimmunity actually looks a lot like what ancient Chinese medicine physicians called “Gu Syndrome.” (We’ll be posting about “gu syndrome” soon.) Happily, we can treat Gu Syndrome — and we can treat it very, very effectively. (Perhaps even astonishingly effectively.)
Why is Erika so Effective with Autoimmunity / “Gu” Syndrome?
Because she understands it. Erika has in-depth and personal and extensive experience with it from nutritional, functional, energetic, East Asian, modern, evidence-based, “leaky-gut,” trauma-induced, spiritual, and otherwise robust and comprehensive integrative perspectives. She is actually almost finished with a book about autoimmunity — and its not just your typical autoimmune diet book. It is a book that will radically shift your understanding of yourself and empower you to truly transform your autoimmunity into the fire that it is meant to be — the fire you will rise from like a phoenix. (If you want to know when you can get a copy, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.)
At Chiyu Center, autoimmunity makes sense to us. And while we know that it is very, very scary to be in the thick of it, we aren’t scared by it. With our unique integrative perspectives, we understand the “perfect storm” that contributes to it, and we understand the diet, herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies that rectify it. We know how to use ancient “gu” herbs that very, very few people in the world know how to use. What could be better? It will all make sense to you, too, once we explain what we see and how it fits together. The best part? We know autoimmunity so well that we can respond as it changes, and get you through the low-points that come right before the break-through. We even know how to get past plateaus. This is what makes us so darn good at helping people break into remission and into unprecedented health!
In fact, some people even call us the best. (*thank you!*)
How Long Will It Take for Me to Get Results?
Well, that depends. Everyone is individual. In general, you should feel significant relief the day after your first treatment, and every treatment thereafter will build on it. After 3-4 weeks of implementing and integrating therapies in a wise way, you should have greater energy, a lot less pain, and feel better in every way. It is always wonderful to hear our patients say in astonishment: “I feel good when I wake up!”
The Mountain Analogy: One of Erika’s favorite folk songs includes the verse: “Any path you’re starting out, will lead you to a hill.” And that’s very true. Of course, if you have autoimmunity or a mystery illness, you’ve come to quite the hill. But there’s no need to beat yourself up about it — any number of paths could have led you to this hill. It might have even been part of your destiny. Regardless, here it is: this “mountainous hill” is now in your path — and no one else can climb it for you. However, you can have teams to support you as you climb it. Now, there will be some bumps in the path. Sometimes, you’ll feel like you’re going downhill instead of uphill. No one ever walks uphill the entire time they hike to the summit of a mountain. Whenever you stop to look around, though, you’ll realize that you’re standing much, much higher than where you stood when you started out. As one of your health provider support teams, we expect you to have points where you feel like you’re walking downhill. We will be there to give you relief, refuel your energy, and to coach you through it. Like climbing a mountain, you just need to keep walking. Even at your low points, you’ll be able see how your steps have accumulated to carry you higher.
Six months after starting treatment, you should feel healthier, clearer, stronger, and happier than you have felt in decades. Most folks are considered “in remission” at that point — and their lab tests prove it.
It took Erika years to find remission. She can accelerate healing for most people to just six months because after going through it and analyzing it, she has a unique and truly in-depth understanding. This understanding allows her to craft and suggest wise combinations of integrative therapies. Working with her will likely save you years of time, pain, and money. Her methods are tried-and-true, modern and ancient, and rooted in her understanding of the human body as a complete, interconnected, integrated system.
Is Cancer Considered a Mystery Illness?
In a way, yes. Like with autoimmunity and other complex, chronic disease, we require our cancer patients to have a primary care doctor as well as any and all appropriate medical specialists for their condition. We are honored to provide Integrative Health Analysis and integrative treatments such a reiki and dietary guidance to those battling and triumphing over cancer.
How Do You Treat Autoimmunity and Mystery Illness?
We start with curiosity. We dig into the weeds of your story and symptoms. Because we have a profound understanding of East Asian and energetic perspectives, we incorporate these viewpoints into what might already known about your condition from biomedical and other perspectives. We build an Integrative Health Analysis and we use this a base to construct an individualized treatment plan, tailored just to you.
What Are the Elements of This Plan?
Since we practice integrative care, your plan will be integrative. In our experience, ALL chronic and organ/life-threatening disorders need integrative treatment Why? Remember, you are a multi-dimensional system, and everything about you is inter-connected. If your digestion is poor, your brain, decisions, and emotions will suffer. A serious illness or disorder, by its very nature, is so extreme that we can be certain that anything physical is influencing the other aspects of who you are, and vice versa. To most quickly, successfully, and fully restore you, we will need to treat you from multiple angles and avenues — we will need an integrative medicine treatment approach.
At Chiyu Center, we provide many elements of integrative care. For example, we provide exceptional Reiki, Acupuncture, Nutrition, Supplements, Herbal Medicine, Homeopathic-Spagryic Medicine, and more. (See our therapies for a full list of offerings). If we cannot provide a service or therapy we feel you need, we will refer you out to providers in the area who have that expertise. For example, we will refer you to a chiropractor if your spine is out of alignment. We will refer you to a medical doctor if we feel you need specific laboratory tests. Why? Because we feel you need it! It really is that simple.
Restoring your health is our #1 priority. We don’t compete with other providers; we collaborate with them. And no, we don’t get any money or “kick-backs” from referring you elsewhere. That’s illegal! When we make a referral, we truly do it for your good. What do we gain? We gain your appreciation for putting you first.
Can I Work with a Functional Medicine MD, too?
Yes! Again, we collaborate with other providers. You don’t have to choose between us or them. We encourage you to use as many integrative providers as you trust and value. We offer many therapies, herbs, and services that they don’t, and vice versa. Knowledge is a good thing and it is helpful to have many trusted advisors when making healthcare choices.
Will I Have to Decide Between Your Approach and Someone Else’s?
Not often. A lot of herbs and therapies can be very safely combined, and they work synergistically for maximum effect. We are aware of the latest advances in autoimmune and mystery illness nutritional care, and we have full access to pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements and nutri-ceuticals, the same exact ones that “celebrity” functional medicine doctors use in their practices. Don’t believe us? Shop around! We have had patients do that very thing, and then come tell us that yes, we do offer the latest and greatest probiotics, gut repair powders, et cetera. (We always respond with a shrug and smile — we knew that already!)
On occasion, you may be advised to be cautious and to choose to do one approach first, and then another. We will give you our thoughts on what we believe should be done first, then second, third, and so forth. The choice of what-to-do-when is always yours. Choices are good! We pledge full transparency and will explain the reasons behind everything we recommend. Trust yourself to be able to make smart decisions. You can do it! (Learn more about how to make wise — or even priceless — integrative medicine choices by downloading our free guide. Scroll to the top banner of our website to get it.)
As we work together, we encourage you to tell us your thoughts, concerns, and any conflicting information you find. When you alert health providers to how someone else is treating the same condition differently, you educate them and help them be even better physicians. There are so many ways to contribute to good in the world — and raising knowledge is an important one! At Chiyu Center, we are always grateful to learn of new or different approaches to treatment. We hope our colleagues in other fields and practices are, too.
Do I need a Functional Medicine MD to Work with You?
No. The truth is, functional medicine is really just re-branded natural medicine, and it only includes a few elements of East Asian medicines. We offer both natural medicine and a very full scope of East Asian medicine.
That said, if you have autoimmunity or another serious complex disease, we will almost certainly and strongly recommend specific laboratory testing. We will refer you to an MD who can order those lab tests for you. But don’t just go about ordering tests willy-nilly! We are very particular about which tests are actually worth their salt. We have found that most allergy and immune tests are a waste of money. Don’t waste yours! Talk to us first so you can use the best and most reliable laboratories and testing, and get the most reliable results.
I’m loving your approach. How can I make an appointment?
Easy! Apply to schedule here.