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Ellen Nicholas, FDN-P, AADP

Hi!  I'm Ellen Nicholas, a functional medicine practitioner with certification as a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.         

Unfortunately for you, I can probably guess why you're here....

My clients are almost always going to be fairly miserable people who have been sick awhile, in most cases--for months, and for some, it's been years... 

You see, I help professionals and entrepreneurs (frequently with families) in their 30's, 40's and 50's, recover from long-term, unexplained chronic pain and exhaustion, tickborne disease, and long haulers so they can function and lead NORMAL lives again!  

And not just the pared down minimal lives of the sick, but truly normal lives with plenty of energy, strength and stamina to be proactive at work, keep up with family, and have energy left over to have a recreational life too!  

I sincerely hope your first reaction reading this is to experience the joy of hope that for many has been dormant for too long.  It took me more than twenty years but that's how I know it can be done. That's also how I know what it takes to help you get there too, and a lot faster.


When you look at the questions below, does it seem like I may have psychically intuited what is going on with you? 

First, have chronic pain, exhaustion and misery taken over your life?

Have you been diagnosed with an illness or illnesses -- that you just can't get past?  Like Lyme?  Or mono?  COVID?  Have you done what you were told to do by the medical profession and you're STILL not well? You took your 30 days of antibiotics and they don't know what else to have you do?

Maybe you've been told to learn to live with your symptoms because the docs don't know what to do?  I hated most when I was told there was nothing wrong with me....

If you haven't been diagnosed with anything, and thus you don't even know WHAT you're dealing with, are you seriously struggling most days? Maybe, even every day?

Are you frightened because your ability to work and/or take care of your family has been impacted?

Have you decided it's time to get help from someone who understands and has lived the nightmare of complex chronic illnesses characterized by chronic pain, exhaustion, and misery?  

Orange Blossom

Here are some facts about chronic illness: 

According to statistics, there are approximately 150 million people in the US with a chronic illness. 


One-hundred million of them have more than one chronic illness, and almost unbelievably 30 million have more than FIVE chronic illnesses.*  (Spoiler alert: that was me and I thought I was alone.)


You have to wonder that we are in one of the most advanced, industrialized nations in the world with some of the most advanced medicine available in the world  -- and yet a stunning 60% of our nation's adult population is struggling with chronic illness.  How can this be? 

There are certainly plenty of rhetorical and philosophical questions that can be asked about why this is, but I'm going to settle for just this question: 


Are you one of them? 


Are you looking for a way to take back your health and prevent decline as time passes? Have you read a lot, seen the myriad possibilities of what you could or perhaps should do, but can't decide what to actually do because of the hundreds of possibilities?  If so, you have come to the right place. 


The work of Optimized Brain & Body is to help chronically ill clients regain or optimize their functional health.  


Typically, I help clients regain functional health utilizing the roadmap of my Signature Program, Mystery Illness Solution: A Recovery Roadmap for Chronic Pain, Exhaustion & General Misery.  This includes clients struggling longish term with tickborne disease, Long Haulers/COVID, and what I call "mystery illness" meaning you don't know what you have.  I will educate, lead and coach you to advance through steps designed to bring you from your present state -- to a healthier, more ABLE, functional you.  

In no way similar to a simple doctor appointment or two, the Mystery Illness Solution Roadmap is an intensive health journey.  At this time, remember that those doctor appointments haven't actually worked at getting you better. Be forewarned, those best suited to this program are very motivated and determined to get well.  Being sick is hard but getting well is not a lot easier.  However, those of us who have recovered -- and certainly speaking for myself,

I can tell you for sure -- being well is better!!!

 Clients can expect steps including an intensive health and personal intake;  testing if warranted;  test results discovery;  protocol development based on client's clinical presentation and test results;  execution of those protocols by the client; coaching and monitoring as needed to help keep you on the protocol path (sometimes weekly, sometimes biweekly, or monthly); further testing or retesting if desirable or necessary.   My work with clients is clearly non-medical, there are no prescriptions and no magic pills.  There i but while we treat nothing specifically, but everything non-specifically.  


So if the goal is normal functional health, what is that?  It seems like everybody, including the many doctors I've been to, says it's normal to have changes as we age...

The FDN answer to this question is that the only normal state of function is when one has no symptoms and their body is operating in a state of balance, one known as homeostasis.  The word I like to use to describe this state is "ABLE".  Able to think clearly, work, play, be social, have fun without pain, discomfort or lagging energy.


As a rule, for the average individual born healthy, when we are young, our body just keeps pumping out energy and we can seemingly do anything we choose.  As time goes by our body comes under fire from various stresses -- both good and bad:   starting a family, getting a new job; moving; deaths in the family; too much partying, over work; over-exercising; poor diet; pesticides in our food and water; insufficient rest; environmental assault of toxins and heavy metals whether at home, work or during commute in products and the air; etc.


The long-term affect of known stress and hidden stressors makes the body become less able to function perfectly.  It begins to make accommodations which eventually wind up being symptoms.  Fatigue, insomnia, overweight/underweight, digestive issues, brain fog, depression, and anxiety are just a few such symptoms.  Dysfunction in one system begins to affect other systems which then begin to dysfunction as well.  FDN calls this trademarked concept, Metabolic Chaos. This added dysfunction creates more symptoms further overwhelming the client and the specialists' ability to figure out what disease or ailment they are looking at and how to treat it.


No matter how common they are, symptoms are NOT normal and they aren't a result of aging.  They are a sign that something needs attention.  Without an intervention, attention and support, there's a good chance that a client will experience a continued decrease of energy  or feeling less "ABLE" as time goes by.  Lack of attention to early functional dysfunction could potentially lead to more serious outcomes which can no longer be optimized.   A familiar example is that failing to control blood sugar can lead to full blown diabetes and all of the ramifications that come with that.  A less familiar example for most people, is that failing to control blood sugar can lead to neurological issues.  In fact, these days Alzheimer's Disease is referred to as Diabetes 3.  

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