Dr. Paul Bernitt, a Board Certified Doctor of Holistic Health and founding member of Trivita Clinic of Integrative Medicine in Scottsdale, has worked in a wide variety of health care entities including long-term care, OB/GYN, children’s hospitals and family medicine since 1998.
“My life was all about how much I could get done,” he says, “raising my family, being active in my church and trying to ‘get ahead in life’.”
In a turn of fate, Dr. Bernitt fell ill. He was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and, at age thirty-six, was already experiencing atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries. The traditional allopathic doctors he spoke with told him that he would have to reduce sugars and carbohydrates from his diet, increase his physical activity and that he would need to take medications to help him manage his condition.
Dr. Bernitt explains: “A mentor came into my life and challenged me. He said ‘So you have metabolic dysfunction and are progressing towards cardiovascular disease’, and then in a firm voice he asked: ‘Now, what are you going to do about it?’”
He knew he needed to take his health seriously not just for himself, but for his family and his community. He’d heard about Southwest Institute of Healing Arts and decided to enroll in the Mind-Body Transformational Psychology associates degree program.
“I really enjoyed the nutrition classes,” says Dr. Bernitt, “and, to my surprise, I quickly discovered that by making changes to my diet, I was able to reverse my condition.”
SWIHA caused a profound shift in his life: “I abandoned the administrative life and shifted into a more holistic and integrative approach. Most of my peers thought I had lost my mind.”
“I learned that [humans] heal, not from the outside in, but from the inside out through the intelligence of the body. Energy always proceeds action, which creates a result. The quality of the energy determines the effectiveness of the actions.”
“We are the placebo. We are the experience. Change your mind and emotions, and change your life. This is what has happened to me. It is a calling. It is a vocation.”
Heart to Heart
Dr. Bernitt then took this new knowledge and started a mobile cardiovascular service with his mentors. They hired technicians who visited doctors offices to do cardiovascular testing. What they found was concerning: about a third of the patients they were testing actually had advanced undiagnosed cardiovascular disease that was presenting asymptomatically.
“What was even more shocking,” Dr. Bernitt says, “is that there were many others who had the progression of heart disease and they were told the same thing I was: ‘cut back on sugar and carbs and exercise a lot and continue to manage the symptoms with medications. ‘“
He decided to put his Life Coaching skills to use and offered coaching sessions to the patients, assisting them in overcoming unhealthy habits and cultivating wellness for themselves. They soon found that they had many success stories of people getting off of medications and reversing their diseases.
However, he desired to make an even bigger impact and wanted to collaborate with a team of people to focus on early detection, prevention and reversal of conditions. He envisioned serving patients through a blend of traditional medicine and holistic healing.
That’s how his next venture began!
Wellness for Purpose
Dr. Bernitt is now the Director of the Clinic at Trivita Clinic of Integrative Medicine. They employ an Integrative Medical Doctor, a Nurse Practitioner and others who work under their licensed health care providers to offer traditional and evidence-based alternative and complementary medicine. They focus on early detection, prevention and reversal of lifestyle-related diseases.
“Our focus is on ‘wellness for purpose’, says Dr. Bernitt, “We believe that when someone knows why they are here, we can shift them from focusing on managing a disease to a focus of getting more of what they want: their purpose. This creates a tremendous amount of hope in people. “
Their services include primary care, women’s healthcare, non-invasive pain management, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, brain mapping and neurofeedback, allergy testing, a cardiovascular prevention program and much more.
He reveals: “I defined what I must be and do to maximize my values, and here I am today: atherosclerosis-free, director of an integrative medical clinic, and living a life of purpose. Not only do I get to do [what I love], I get to do it for the benefit of others. There have been so many challenges, but the challenges have made me a better person and a better holistic healthcare provider.”
He is living his ultimate purpose: to create the value of optimal health and wellness--mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally and environmentally--and to eliminate needless suffering through hope and healing.
Dr. Bernitt has some illuminating insight for those considering an education in the healing arts: “Choose a life worthy of living. We all face challenges and without purpose, challenges don’t serve us. With a purpose, challenges lead you somewhere. [An education from] SWIHA will help you develop a new language that the world needs to hear.”
If you’re being called to heal yourself and help others heal, just remember the wise words of Dr. Bernitt’s mentor: “Now, what are you going to do about it?”