A Holistic Approach to Women’s Integrative and Functional Health

Woman meditating indoors and having a holistic approach to health

In the realm of women’s health, an integrative and functional approach has gained recognition for its comprehensive and patient-centered focus. This approach seeks to address the unique needs and challenges that women face by considering physical, emotional, and lifestyle factors. Let’s explore this holistic perspective on women’s integrative and functional health, supported by scientific insights.

Understanding Integrative and Functional Health

Integrative and functional health aims to combine conventional medical practices with complementary and alternative approaches to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms. It emphasizes the importance of identifying and addressing underlying causes of health issues.

Balancing Hormones for Women’s Health

Hormonal balance is a critical aspect of women’s health. Hormones play a vital role in menstrual health, fertility, and overall well-being. Imbalances can lead to various issues, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and menopause-related symptoms.

A study published in “The New England Journal of Medicine” (2016) titled “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome” discusses the hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS and the need for comprehensive, individualized care.

Nutrition and Diet for Women’s Health

Nutrition is a fundamental component of holistic health. What women eat can influence their energy levels, hormonal balance, and overall vitality.

The “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” has published various studies exploring the relationship between diet and women’s health, emphasizing the significance of nutrient-rich diets in promoting health.

Stress Management and Emotional Well-Being

Stress can have a significant impact on women’s health, contributing to conditions like anxiety, depression, and hormonal imbalances.

A systematic review in the “Journal of Affective Disorders” (2017) highlights the connections between stress and mental health conditions in women, underlining the importance of stress management in holistic care.

Exercise and Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is essential for maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, and promoting overall well-being.

Research published in “The British Journal of Sports Medicine” (2018) suggests that exercise has various benefits for women’s health, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases and enhancing mental health.

Mind-Body Approaches to Holistic Health

Mind-body practices, such as yoga and meditation, can be integral to a holistic approach to women’s health, supporting emotional and physical well-being.

A review in “Climacteric” (2019) discusses the positive effects of mind-body therapies in managing menopausal symptoms and improving women’s quality of life.

By integrating these aspects of health, a holistic approach to women’s integrative and functional health seeks to empower women to take control of their well-being. The combination of conventional medical care, lifestyle choices, and complementary therapies can offer a comprehensive approach to women’s health that addresses the unique needs and challenges they face at different stages of life. It is a personalized, patient-centric model that recognizes that each woman is unique and deserves individualized care.


The New England Journal of Medicine (2016): “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome”
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Various studies on diet and women’s health
Journal of Affective Disorders (2017): “Stress and women’s mental health: A comprehensive review”
The British Journal of Sports Medicine (2018): “Physical activity and chronic diseases preventing obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease”
Climacteric (2019): “Mind–body therapies for the self-management of menopausal symptoms: A systematic review”

March 7, 2024


Sarah Early - Peony's WIH

Sarah Early - MSN, APRN-FNP-C, IBCLC

Sarah graduated from a Masters in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner graduate program with high distinction and was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nurses while working and running Lactation Room. Her clinical education and training paved the way for her newest journey in private practice, Peony Women’s Integrative Health, which she opened in 2023. Working as a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner she serves clients in the DMV. Peony WIH focuses on caring for women with a root-cause, integrative, and functional medicine approach to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. PWIH provides in-office health consults with Sarah, integrative and functional nutrition support by a Registered Dietician, and Craniosacral therapy services. Sarah is focused on addressing the needs of women in the community through a patient-centered and collaborative approach to care. She is an active member of ILCA, USLCA, IATP, AHNA, AANP, and MBC.

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