The Functional Medicine Institute [Interview][Transcript]

Drs_Mark_Michele_Sherwood_The_Functional_Medicine_InstituteGuest: Drs. Mark and Michele Sherwood
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Mark Sherwood, Naturopathic Doctor
Author of Amazon best seller, The Quest for Wellness. Co-CEO of The Functional Medical Institute, a wellness-based medical practice in Tulsa, OK, with his wife Dr. Michele Sherwood. Co-host of the Living It TV, a weekly television program with bridges the gap between Biblical principles and Eastern and Western medicine.

Michele L. Neil-Sherwood, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Co-author of Amazon best-seller, The Quest for Wellness. Co-CEO of the Functional Medical Institute in Tulsa, OK. Had a successful private practice as a Tulsa doctor since 2002. Dr. Michele has been certified and trained through Cenegenics, BioTE Medical, Metagenics, Helm’s Medical Institute, and AMMG. She specializes in nutrition, medical food & supplementation, exercise prescription, rest, stress management, hormone balance and the Functional Movement.

Segment overview: Dr Mark Sherwood, ND, and Dr Michele Neil-Sherwood, DO, talk about their practice, the Functional Medicine Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the services they offer.

Health Professional Radio – Functional Medicine Institute

Neal Howard: Welcome to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. Our guest in studio today is returning, Dr. Mark Sherwood and his wife Dr. Michele Sherwood, both of which are practicing in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Founders of the Functional Medical Institute, a wellness based medical practice in Tulsa. Doctor Michele has an extensive fitness and athletic background, martial arts, strength training, body building as well as being certified and trained through Synergenics Helms Medical Institute and AMMG, Acupuncture and many, many others. Doctor Mark is a 24 year retired Veteran of the Tulsa Police Department, 10 years at the department’s SWAT team also a licensed Minister, ex Pro-baseball Player. They’re here today to talk with us about their brand new book, The Quest for Wellness: A Practical and Personal Wellness Plan for Optimum Health in Your Body, Mind, Emotions and Spirit and also to give us some insight into the Functional Medical Institute. How are you doing Dr. Mark and Dr. Michele?

Dr. Mark Sherwood: Wonderful, thank you so much.

Dr. Michele Sherwood: We’re glad to be here.

N: Thank you for being here. Now Dr. Mark, you and your wife wrote The Quest for Wellness: A Practical and Personal Wellness Plan for Optimum Health in Your Body, Your Mind, Your Emotions and Your Spirit. I most of the time I’m focused on my body, if can just get the aches and pain to go away then everything else will fall into place. Does your book suggest something absolutely, totally different from my notion of what health is?

Mark: It does, we focus not just on the body which is typically what we put in our mouth and what we do with our body, but it also adds the aspects of emotions, our intellect which is what we learned and that spiritual self which is truly something we want to be at peace and I’ll just use the example of emotions and how it affects us physically, sometimes we call it the roots of our wellness when we suffer mostly from trauma, we lose control of a life event. Sometimes we go to food as comfort and that comfort is something that is inappropriate comfort because it becomes something that gives us happiness in the sense that it’s not giving us happiness at all because most comfort food is gonna be food that’s inflammatory to our body. So we go to the comfort food because we can control it as opposed to the inability to control someone or something else and that bag of cookies won’t run from us, abuse us, yell at us or hurt us like for example a person might. So we can see how the emotional aspect is truly integrally tied to the physical piece as well as our spiritual piece.

N: Now Dr. Michele you and your husband, you’re sought out nationwide speaking engagements at business organizations, churches, civic groups, why write the book and what type of reception have you received from traditional practitioners that have picked up copies of your book?

Michele: Well with my colleagues it’s a little bit, it can find deaf ears which often times we as medical practitioners, we think we already know it all or don’t need anything and the book is those simplistically written that it doesn’t have scientific based evidence, randomized clinical controlled, placebo based trials in it so it can sit on the shelf, but every practitioner that had ever picked up the book and read it comes back to us with rave reviews going in “I think that’s part of what missing in my general medical practice. I’m so focused on that physical piece and I have neglected the spiritual, intellectual and emotional piece.” And nine times out of ten, someone is sitting in front of me for something other than physical and may be manifesting itself in a physical but it’s coming from somewhere completely different, that childhood trauma, that bitterness they’re holding for someone that’s emotionally wounded them, they’ve lost the relationship with, they’ve got their understanding or never had one, they maybe suffering because their intellectual piece, they didn’t do what they thought they should do in school and not being the person that they know that they could be and they’ve lost their dream. So all that being said, like you said we focus so much on that physical piece. Is my physical piece well? And that’s where practitioners in mainstream medicine has gone as we all start out medical school wanting to help the person, seeing the whole person but by the time we get through medicine what we see is we see the whole in the person and we label it as a disease and we start chasing after this and trying to fix it and we’ve completely missed it, we’ve missed the root of the problem and most often times it doesn’t need a drug. There’s no such thing as a Prozac deficiency, there’s no such thing as a Xanax deficiency, there’s no such thing as medication deficiency except in patients like type 1 diabetics. So we get over medicated, trying to treat these physical symptoms that have their root in something else and it’s showing up as a chronic sickness and disease.

N: One of the reasons for my statement focusing so much on the body is because I’m busy. I’ve got things to do, I’ve got places to go and I’ve been in, well I guess for lack of a better term, a nutritional habit, non-healthy eating. What are you talking about in your book is great but how does a guy, 50 plus reverse such bad habits and or how does a guy 50 plus talk to his grand kids when they’ve already got on that treadmill of sugar and that sort of thing? We’re talking a slow transition or are there things in your book that suggest that we can boom, just do it and everything’s okay?

Michele: Well there are things in the book that we can, like we say in the book we are confident that we can help you. And in the book it outlines a plan, what people have to be willing to do. It’s to dedicate a percentage of time to the plan and to the areas of total wellness and health, which are the physically, emotionally, intellectual and spiritual piece. We’ve got to pay a little bit of time to each one those pieces and we do about a complete assessment in the clinic which helps Dr. Mark and I know where we need to focus. If you’re completely focused on the physical and neglected all the others that’s we’ll have a patient start and start to develop that time. So we are able to proportion out the appropriate amount of time in different areas depending upon a person and where they need to do the work.

Mark: And Neal just to kind of address the second part of that question with, I’m 50 plus, where do you start and what do you do with your grand kids or your children? It starts with, there’s a clear plan to help a person withdraw from sugars, grains and bread, the inflammatory foods that last in the seven day period. So we give you the seven day plan to actually help you wean away from that, it’s not easy but it’s effective and it works and when you do it as a 50 year old person, you become an example because there’s not a kid out here that doesn’t look at their parents as an example, their grandparents as example. Whether it’s a good example or bad example kids are gonna do what they see and grandparents really, really make grave mistakes in regard to children when they try to begin to rewarding them with things such as sugars, grains and breads, those inflammatory foods as reward system when all we’re doing is strengthening them up that those things produce dopamine, serotonin and happiness, happy drugs in our life or later in life. So we need to begin to reward the children with things such as trips to the parks, such as trips to the beach, such as games, such as hydro-activities, such as walk, such as fishing trips, hunting trips, things of that nature that are actually beneficial as opposed to detrimental.

N: I’d like to ask some questions about why you think this bridging the gap between biblical principles, eastern and western medicine. How does that allow you to offer so many service in one place as opposed to what we see all over, you’ve got a specialty here and a specialty there and you spent years, years and years in this specialty, it seems like you all, you’re not specializing in anything but you have a well-rounded approach in order to actually help us. How does bridging those gaps fit in there?

Michele: Well number one is thank God for the specialists because when you need one you really need one and you need to know who to refer and send them into. But when you’re working at this level trying to help someone achieve healing and not just management, often times that’s where our practice shine and we’ve got it down to it pretty well-oiled machine in how we assess and ho we look at the four part person and where we not needed delegate time to. So we work as partners in helping a person become fully and totally well and we use all of the medical resources that we need as far as specialist when we need to. You’ve got the Endocrinologist, yeah that’s the type 1 diabetic has to see. You’ve got the person that has end-stage of vascular disease, they’ve got to see the Cardiologist but they can still heal. They can still get well and we utilize the principle of wellness in our facility to move them in that direction and maybe they need less medication, maybe we can help guide that specialist in the areas of healing and moving that person in a direction of total health.

N: Excellent. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. And it’s been a pleasure talking with Dr. Mark Sherwood and his wife Dr. Michele Sherwood, both Authors of the brand new book available on Amazon called The Quest for Wellness: A Practical and Personal Wellness Plan for Optimum Health in Your Body, Mind, Emotions and Spirit. They’re also have a website,, there you can get more information about their book and more information about their practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Functional Medical Institute. Both of them have been in studio with us today talking about their new book, their Functional Medical Institute there in Tulsa. It’s been great having you both here with us today.

Mark: Thank you Neal for having us, we so appreciate it.

Michele: It’s our honor.

N: Thank you much. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at and also at and you can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.

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