I have always been interested and intrigued by unusual things, and while I was playing golf, as a college athlete, at the University of Miami, trying to improve my game, I spent most of my time on the putting green listening to countless self help and sports psychology related audiobooks. It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year that I realized I was far more interested in the self help and psychology books than the game of golf itself or the business school I was enrolled in. So I decided to drop the game and switch up my studies to pursue a dual major in both Anthropology and Psychology.
Even though I had always done well, I had never really been interested in anything school had to offer until I decided to switch my major. The Anthropology department was like a dream come true to me. The teachers told stories of their travels and experiences around the world, and I was able to learn about the inner workings of culture, and how societal beliefs were able to influence individuals and manifest into reality. While in the Psychology department, I learned how individuals were influenced by their culture and how their overall perception, thoughts, and feelings influenced their choices, physiology and life experiences. It was the intricate interconnectedness of the individual and the environment in which they lived that I found so interesting.
But it wasn’t until I took a Medical Anthropology class, where I studied medicine from around the world, that my whole life changed. I remember two pivotal moments when the light bulb went off so clearly. They were the kind of aha moments that imprint themselves into your whole being. Of course there are many more but these are the two that first come to mind.
Aha moment # 1 My friend and I decided to write our final paper on the Ayurveda, and to gain a better understanding of the topic we went around interviewing a number of Ayurvedic practitioners at schools and local clinics. And the words of one practitioner have stayed with me ever since. He said, “There are four ways in which to heal, going from least invasive to most, first you can start with lifestyle changes, things that you can do yourself, then if that does not work you can move into manual work like massage or touch therapy, if that does not work you can penetrate the physical body through herbal medicine, acupuncture or surgical procedures, and finally, the most invasive of all methods is to penetrate the core of your being through affirmations or mantras.” These words have stuck with me and have shaped the way in which I work with my patients today. I have found that if you first change your perspective and clear the issues that stand in your way, it is much easier to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle choices, which can transform your entire body, mind and life as a whole.
Aha moment # 2 We had a guest lecturer come in that day, and she brought with her a bottle of Rescue Remedy (for fear and intense periods of stress), in the middle of her lecture she asked if any of the students would like to try it. And of course I said yes. During her presentation, she said that Rescue Remedy was free of side effects, and I thought skeptically, oh wow, how could something work if it doesn’t have side effects? (oh yes, I had been brainwashed). Because when it did work, and my friends and I walked out of that room feeling fearless, I knew that the only thing that had changed was taking that Rescue Remedy. And I also knew that I had never felt that good before.
Looking back it seems so simple, but at the time, all I had ever known was allopathic medicine. Before that time, I had never heard of Chinese or Functional medicine, moreover anything that was free of side effects. I was so used to side effects and conventional medicine in America. I thought side effects were normal. But through my studies, I have learned that side effects are in fact direct effects and actually not normal at all, well at least not throughout history.
Now let me be clear, I am not at all against allopathic medicine, however I am for functional medicine (evidence based and clinically proven, safe approaches to treatment). For example, if I got hit by a bus tomorrow I would go to the hospital immediately. But to know that there are evidence based approaches and options that have been used for thousands of years for almost every other case, that work strategically to activate our body’s own healing mechanisms and to balance out our systems to create optimal health and well-being is an incredibly freeing realization for the modern American.
Needless to say, after this, my life was never the same. I continued to gather, learn and absorb information out of pure curiosity and furthermore to address my own issues that surfaced along with the underlying root cause (mentally, emotionally, and physiologically speaking). Throughout this time period, I was able to get off ADHD medication, multiple acne drugs, and birth control pills (all very interesting stories by the way, especially the ADHD one) leaving me drug free and in better health than ever!
When I graduated from the University of Miami, I knew I wanted to pursue a career that incorporated this holistic approach that I could no longer separate myself from. I considered getting my PhD in Anthropology and Psychology, but every program I looked into didn’t feel right. Plus I wanted to work with people directly and apply what I had learned. Then, at the very last second just before the spring admissions deadline, my mentor suggested that I look into The Florida College of Integrative Medicine and that felt right.
I now spend my time researching, writing, speaking and working with patients around the world each day, helping the women I work with finally experience freedom and create health within their bodies, minds and lives as a whole.
My specialty lies in the approach I take, the journey of the consultation and the transformation my patients experience within the framework of Holistic Counseling and Functional Medicine. Although I am confident in working with a variety of issues and conditions because I see the whole person as one, I have extensive experience and training in helping women with Personal Growth and Development, Mental and Emotional Well-Being, and Women’s Health. To find out more about my approach, you can go to the Work Together section of my website.
- Doctor of Oriental Medicine- FL Board of Acupuncture
- Licensed Acupuncture Physician- FL Board of Acupuncture
- Diplomate of Oriental Medicine- NCCAOM
- Certified Chinese Herbalist- NCCAOM
- MS in Oriental Medicine- Florida College of Integrative Medicine
- BA in both Anthropology and Psychology- University of Miami, Coral Gables
- Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner- Bach Centre England
- Mindfulness Based Therapeutic Lifestyle Change Facilitator- TMH/ FL Hospital
- AFMCP with the Institute For Functional Medicine
- ADAPT Framework with the Kresser Institute For Functional & Evolutionary Medicine
- The Treatment of Infertility Full Course with Jane Lyttleton
- Relate Therapy Training with Esther Perel and Terry Real
- “All About Acupuncture”- May 2014: Greenmedinfo.com
- “You are Your Most Important Investment”- February 2015: A Better You edition of the Orlando Sentinel
- “Transforming Anxiety into Peace and Presence”- August 2014: A Better You edition of the Orlando Sentinel
- “Back to School with Flower Remedies”- July 2014: A Better You edition of the Orlando Sentinel
Dr. Brooke has presented at:
- University of Miami
- University of Central Florida
- Florida Hospital
- Florida College of Integrative Medicine
- Florida State Oriental Medical Association
- The Center of Wellness
- Whole Foods Market
- Hoover’s Market
- Life Skills Resource Group, and more…