A visit to Health Function’s Integrative Medicine clinic will work wonders for both body and soul. Set in a lovely landscaped garden that will immediately put you at ease, the clinic is a short drive up the hill behind Nelson East.
The initial feeling of ease is reinforced by the welcome you’ll receive from either Rose or Neil Middleton, who both work closely with the clinic’s founder and registered doctor, Cindy de Villiers.
The Health Function clinic evolved into its present form over recent years as Doctor de Villiers – or Cindy, as she prefers to be known – found she was gaining more satisfaction from treating the ‘whole’ person rather than prescribing medication for a specific issue. So if, for example, you book a consultation regarding a medical condition, such as underactive thyroid, Cindy will explore the reasons why you might have such a condition, rather than only prescribing a form of treatment, whether alternative or conventional.
Cindy’s interest in integrative medicine has been a gradual process starting with devoting one day a week to the modality, which over the last few years increased to the extent that her practice is now completely dedicated to functional medicine. To this end, the clinic is private and not linked with the Primary Health Organisation, the government funding channel for general practice services.
Cindy’s skill lies in finding the underlying causes for the chronic conditions and symptoms often experienced in modern life, such as difficulty maintaining focus, lack of energy, interrupted sleep, issues with digestion and much more.
“The quick fix is not us,” Cindy emphasises. “People are almost always going to have to make changes to their lifestyle.”
At the time you register, you will be given the opportunity to provide some key and quite detailed information about yourself, so that when you arrive for your appointment with Cindy, she will have prepared for you specifically.
Rose, whose role in the practice utilises her nursing and yoga teaching skills, relishes the opportunity to work in an area in which she’s long had an interest. “I’ve worked in health all my life, in a wide variety of areas including hospital, community and corporate services,” she says. “Over the years it’s become clear to me that there’s a gap in the health services and in knowledge and understanding of health.”
Neil has a background in the aviation software industry and has used functional medicine to optimise physical and mental capacity while he was operating at a high level of demand. His experience of functional medicine and the resulting performance improvements led to a turning point and then to his and Rose’s decision to formally join Health Function.
“We’ve spent the first year streamlining processes and helping Cindy to focus on the clinical side, delivering an enhanced client experience and expanding treatment options,” he notes.
“This year we’re looking at ways to extend the reach of our vision of personalised care,” concludes Rose.