Cheryl MartinJanuary 2016
By Donna Caruso
Cheryl Martin faced death four times, yet managed to survive. Perhaps it was these experiences that eventually led to a life of helping others get healthy. And while her childhood dream of practicing medicine was put aside for marriage and children, her love of healing was always waiting in the background. Today Martin is the owner and director of the Gardens Wellness Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where she lives a fulfilling life restoring good health to her many patients.
Martin was born premature and as an infant, almost didn’t survive. Martin’s mother was advised not to get too attached to her daughter since she was probably not going to live. Martin surprised everyone by coming through, despite clinically dying several times.
But being born premature was only the first of Martin’s many near-death experiences: She almost died from a misdiagnosed thyroid problem, suffered a carotid aneurysm, and was one inch from being killed in a head-on auto collision. If anything, she is a true survivor.
The dynamic and multitalented Martin has worked in numerous professions during her adult life, including real estate, marketing, web design, TV host, and executive producer. She became involved in the Gardens Wellness Center prior to its opening and decided it was the one place she desperately wanted to be. Over the years, Martin acquired expert education and training in a variety of disciplines, including neuro-linguistic programming, hypnotherapy, massage, cognitive behavioral therapy, and life coaching. She also trained as a midwife and periodically works as a doula or a midwife’s assistant. She radiates boundless energy and a true gift for healing.
Gardens Wellness Center
A one-stop facility for a wide variety of holistic approaches, the Gardens Wellness Center focuses on not only alleviating symptoms but on finding and treating the cause of a person’s illness. The practice provides acupuncture, chiropractic care, functional medicine, hormone replacement therapy, colon hydrotherapy, nutritional counseling, herbal prescriptions, detoxification, hypnotherapy, reiki, massage, reflexology, and more. Common conditions that are treated include endocrine and hormone disorders, infertility, migraines, pain management, and orthopedic and sports issues. The majority of patients have been referred by their doctors, while others have come because they are disillusioned with the traditional treatments they’ve received. The Center’s aims are to prevent disease and heal or improve existing conditions, bringing patients to the healthiest state possible.
“The typical patient comes in with a modality already in mind,” says Martin. “They will say, ‘I’m in pain, so I want acupuncture,’ or ‘I had a car accident and I need chiropractic.’” On every initial visit, Martin reviews the health history of new patients and consults with a health practitioner regarding a treatment plan. She continues to follow up by going over patient charts, diagnoses, and treatments to make sure each person is healing and progressing. She and her team work harmoniously to provide for each patient’s optimal outcome. Every person that comes through the door is evaluated physically, mentally, nutritionally, and spiritually. The team at Gardens Wellness Center embraces the patient’s unique needs and treats the patient for each of the deficiencies they present with.
“For example,” Martin says, “if someone is on a medication with the side effect of decreasing bone mass, I’ll explain that they need a very high calcium supplement. Then I explain that if [they] take the calcium, it may not absorb properly in the bones and might get into the soft tissue, so [they] also need vitamins D3 and K2 to transport the calcium, break it down, and make it available to the bone. They’ll also need magnesium or the body won’t be able to utilize it. In a case like this, the patient will go home with Life Extension® Bone Restore and won’t have to buy many different separate products.
“We do not take someone for just one treatment, unless they’re only coming in to treat stress,” Martin adds. She tells people who think they can fix everything in one visit, “We’re not going to take your money, because it may have taken you seven years to develop your condition and one treatment is not going to fix it. You will need seven to 14 treatments before we see changes in your body.” Once they understand, patients almost always comply.
Acupuncture for chronic pain is very popular at the Center and Martin explains how the body and acupuncture work together to heal an old injury. “When something acute happens in your body,” she tells patients, “your body immediately [focuses] its attention on repairing that injury. But after some time, your body will get busy with fighting an illness or tending to another problem and will ignore and forget your first injury.” The result, she explains, can be permanent pain, inflammation, and loss of motion. Acupuncture treatment at the site of chronic pain re-stimulates your body to go back and heal old injuries, as well as restore motion and wellness.
One of Martin’s favorite referrals following treatment was from a recent patient who told her that he felt like the Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz,” and that every movement hurt. “He told me, ‘I feel like you guys added oil to my joints. I’m working out at the gym now, which I couldn’t do a month ago.’”
Treating Specific Health Conditions
Other common conditions seen at the Center include diabetes and high cholesterol, which are both treated with nutritional counseling, supplements, and functional medicine. “High cholesterol is controversial now,” comments Martin, noting the uncertainty about whether or not it is always dangerous. “Some people have chronic high cholesterol, but they don’t have clogged arteries, so it really depends on the person.” She adds that some people can have very healthy diets and still have high cholesterol levels, which is sometimes a side effect of an inherited disorder. Therefore, a cause has to be found first.
Counseling diabetics to stay away from sugar is also complex, Martin notes, because carbohydrates turn into sugar and “a diabetic has to know that you can’t eat a 12-inch sub and potato chips and think that’s [better than] eating two pieces of cake, because they both end up having the same result.” The Center teaches patients carb counting and to consume enough carbs before exercising, especially if patients are on insulin, and how to get obesity under control, which often cures adult onset diabetes. They also recommend that some people, regardless of weight, take insulin because their bodies simply do not produce enough naturally.
“A lot of diabetics are in complete denial,” Martin observes, “and it’s so important for them to understand how to manage their condition properly.”
Martin recalls a diabetic who told her, “I’ve tried to change my diet, but I can’t, so I’m just going to live this way and die early because I can’t control myself. I like my cakes and cookies too much.”
Using hypnotherapy, Martin induced the patient to choose healthy snacks instead of sweets, and after a few treatments, the patient stopped eating sweets nightly.
Martin’s favorite story is about her first stroke patient who came on a referral from a neurologist who believed hypnotherapy could restore some movement in her curled arm and fingers, which were barely moving. Martin says that each patient receives an individualized treatment plan, and in this case, she was uncertain about how to proceed. Her research found information that “you can use the mind to tell the arm that it is lifting weights or heavy objects and that will actually strengthen the muscles.”
During a hypnotherapy session, Martin had the patient imagine lifting her purse with her affected arm. Martin observed the patient’s fingers moving in a way they had not moved before hypnosis. “I’m watching her fingers [move] and the muscles tighten in her arm,” she says, “and I’m thinking that this is phenomenal.” This patient made remarkable improvements and Martin says she feels elated at being able to change a life so profoundly.
Martin also mentions the powerful effect that stress can have on physical health. “Emotions can make you sick,” she explains. “The same hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, that are responsible for motivating us to run from real danger can cause damage when we experience emotional problems. In the former case, they can save your life, while in the latter case, they can kill you.”
Many people develop what’s called a stress belly, Martin explains. The body stores fat in the abdomen because it’s saving its use as energy to fight whatever is elevating stress hormones. The danger comes when the body cannot find a cause for the elevated hormone levels so it starts to search the DNA. When that happens, it can trigger damaged dormant cells like cancer cells. All of this is due to stress. “Living a stressful life will eventually kill you,” Martin concludes.
For overly stressed patients, Martin recommends acupuncture, life coaching, hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and biofeedback to help patients learn calmness and retrain their thinking. Martin mentions that all these therapies are blended, each mode combining with the others, strengthening one another. Ultimately, the mind soothes the body.
Martin’s Personal Care
Martin herself eats a low-carbohydrate diet, avoiding bread, sugar, and processed foods. Her diet consists of fruit, vegetables, lots of fish, and some poultry. Martin recommends that her patients avoid the center aisles of a grocery store where all of the processed and packaged items exist. Sticking to the outer perimeter provides everything your body needs.
A strong advocate of Life Extension, Martin takes a variety of products, including those for healthy hair and skin. For exercise, she gets to the gym whenever possible and loves taking long walks after dinner.
Martin also takes her own advice and seeks regular care from both Western and alternative practitioners to be certain that her body is in optimal condition. She mentions that the staff at the Wellness Center often treat each other and that there is a wonderful feeling of harmony as they strive to bring good health to all their patients and to each other.
Advice to Others
“People take less care of themselves than they do of their vehicles or their homes,” Martin observes. She says many people spend enormous amounts of money on vacations, eating out, and buying clothes, then tell themselves they can’t afford to go to a doctor or dentist. She hopes people will examine how they are living and realize that health comes before anything and everything else.
“People assume that if they’re feeling okay, nothing’s wrong. But you have to take care of your body the same way you would get an oil change in your car. The biggest thing I could tell anyone is take care of your health, take care of your body, take care of your teeth.” This means regular, frequent checkups with both Western and holistic practitioners. “Take care of yourself.”
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
For more information or to contact Cheryl Martin, visit www.gardenswellness.com