Interview with Dr. Imane FarhatApr 14, 2023
Please see below questions. Feel free to elaborate or add in a question that you feel would benefit.
Tell us a bit more about yourself and your background
I am a Canadian registered Naturopathic Physician. I have done my medical training and board licensing in Ontario, Canada. I have been living in Dubai since 2011 and practicing between Canada and Dubai since 2012.
My goal is to work with you, our clients, to help investigate the root cause of your health condition. I try to unwrap and solve the puzzle of what’s happening in your body on a cellular level, that has led to the condition you are facing today.
I meet you at the level of health you are at and then guide you on the journey towards better health. I use natural therapies to help the body heal rather than selling a “miracle” cure, which doesn’t and never will exist.
When I see a patient in clinic, I see them as a whole, an accumulation of their environment, their upbringing, their health history, their lifestyle, diet, and outlook on life. Health is not just an illness being present or absent, it is a continuum during the process of life. It is what causes us to age gracefully or live a life with multiple limits. My role is to seek out our clients’ aging capacity.
Youthfulness is usually attributed to lack of disease. Its the capacity to stay healthy and easily ward off disease, weather that’s in the mental sphere, with respects to Dementia, Alzheimer’s, forgetfulness and the likes, or the physical attributes such as Diabetes, Metabolic syndrome, Cardiovascular disease and others too long of a list for this article. When we think of aging, we typically think of someone who is sick, lacks vitality and luster, which is typical of what disease states would look like. But when we come across someone who is “young at heart” or “looks younger than their age”, it is because the person in question is lacking any signs of physical disease. My role at AEON as a Naturopathic Doctor and Functional Medicine Physician is to bring the client to a healthy state of mind, body and spirit, and also to keep them healthy for as long as possible; hence the coined term, “Anti-aging Regenerative Medicine”.
What kind of conditions can Naturopathy treat?
Naturopathic Medicine is the grandfather of “root cause wholistic medicine”. Every disease has a root cause and can be tracked back in time. Naturopathic medicine has its limits with respects to life and death situations, where an emergency room is a better option or where surgical intervention is more suited. However I can manage most disease and health states, and when a condition is beyond my abilities, I co-manage those states with other physicians in house.
The most predominant condition’s we see in clinic range from those who are generally healthy and are looking to stay healthy by reversing the signs of aging; to those with hormonal imbalances, low libidos, poor stress response, metabolic disease, hair loss, weight loss, cardiovascular disease, and gastrointestinal issues, just to name a few.
What could a guest expect during a consultation with you at AEON?
I will typically spend 1.5 hours with you during the first initial consultation. During this visit we will discuss your lifestyle history, all pertinent medical history, goals, aspirations, mood, sexual history, social support systems, relevant relationship quality and anything else that is relevant to your case. I will order pertinent tests that are relevant to your goals and case, which always includes a comprehensive blood test, urine test and sometimes a stool, saliva and/or hair analysis. I also conduct a bio scanner during our visit to give you feedback of your bodies electromagnetic resonance summary. Wait until you see for yourself the amount of information this state-of-the-art new german technology can offer!
During the second consultation, we will review and discuss the results of your tests in details where a copy will be provided to you. Based on the results I will devise a treatment protocol that suites you best. It usually includes a few in-house procedures and others that you take home to complete at home, such as nutraceuticals, diet protocols, or lifestyle changes.
I will continue to follow up with you during your journey, either in-person at the clinic even after treatments are complete, or virtually if you are traveling via telecom or zoom. Health doesn’t stop when you leave AEON or Dubai, so why should your medical follow ups? Everyone needs a health advocate to keep them accountable to their health, just as we hire coaches and trainers to keep us accountable to our fitness routine. Why would your healthcare team be less important than your personal trainer at the gym? It shouldn’t! Pick your team wisely and keep following up with them.
Studies have found many health problems related to stress. Stress seems to worsen or increase the risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression and more. Could you tell us a bit more about how you would treat stress in an individual?
First and foremost I would test the physical affects that stress has affected your body. Every person experiences stress every day. It’s not about eliminating stress from the persons life or treating the stress itself, per say; it’s more about how the body perceives that stress and translates it into either a parasympathetic response or sympathetic response. My treatments focus on nurturing the body systems in ways that it can better respond more appropriately to the stress. If I discover the person is engaging more sympathetic output, which is our fight and flight mode, which is responsible for the wired and fired feelings we have, then my goal is to help them tame that response down and engage more of their parasympathetic activity. However if the persons response to stress is to over-exert their parasympathetic activity, which is the rest and digest systems, and now they have zero energy and motivation to do anything, and would rather lay on the couch all day than to do any type of work; then my goal is to now help better attune their sympathetic output in order to raise their energy levels.
I do this by first screening all the metabolic organs and glands that are responsible for stress responses. Mainly checking basic blood parameters, thyroid function, hormone functions, certain vitamin levels responsible for better stress response, just to name a few.
Are there any special tests for this at AEON?
Yes most certainly ! We have our clients undergo a comprehensive blood test checking their heart, thyroid, adrenal glands, and brain response, the four main organs and glands responsible for stress response. We also do a saliva 5 point cortisol test, which gives me a clear window to how well the body is handling the levels of stress. It measures the cortisol levels, which is the hormone responsible for stress response, on waking, mid-day and at bed time. This test also measures all the sex hormones, vitamin break down and melatonin production, which are all key players in the stress-response cycle.
Why do we test saliva and not just a blood test? Saliva is a better marker for testing intracellular activity of a hormone or vitamin. It’s more accurate in telling us what is available for individual cells to actually use. Many of our hormones and vitamins are found bound to other proteins in our blood but are not freely available for cells to use. They also cannot be absorbed into the cell membrane for cellular use, hence why some people with higher blood levels have more symptoms of deficiencies, while others with lower blood levels do not. It’s all about how hormones and vitamins pass cell membranes and how they are broken down to be used by the cells, that give its cellular effect.
We also measure metabolites of certain hormones in urine, which is also a more accurate test for the bodies use of that hormone.
Blood tests are sometimes only a snap shot of one particular time and are not a clear picture of what’s happening over a period of time. Saliva and urine can sometimes be a superior test for tracking an effect at a cellular level for a longer duration of time.
Stress management therapies seem to be on the rise. Why do you think this is?
With all of the pandemics happening, with the down fall of economies and peoples future careers in uncertainty, it is no surprise that stress is on the rise. The perception of stress is most definitely on the rise, but also the physical stress on our bodies is also on the rise. With every novel virus we get exposed to, with every new vaccine, with each new environmental toxin and medical intervention, is a form of physical stress inflicted on the body. How many of these exposures have people recently experienced? Now add in lack of exercise due to lockdowns, fears, and habituations. Now also factor in strained relationships into the equation. Is there any debate on why stress management therapies would be on the rise?
People are forgetting how to breathe, eat, and be mindful. Majority of people are being rushed, forced to live in fear and in isolation, in an environment that is changing too fast for most to get accustomed to. By the time people get accustomed to one new norm, another one pops up. These are all perceived as insults to our mind and subsequently to our bodies. Our nervous system is an intelligent organ system all on it’s own. You don’t need to be consciously thinking of a topic or event in order for it to physically affect you. Just as muscle has memory, the nervous system also has memory. What you habitually put into the nervous system is directly related to the output set on autopilot. People are not having enough time to cope with these fast changing events. Their nervous system is defaulting to their stressful autopilot mode. Hence everyone is in search for a stress management therapy.
Your top three treatments at AEON that you would recommend for anti-aging and stress relief?
- OZONE THERAPY
Since oxygen and breathing is the most basic fundamental necessity for every human body, and since without proper oxygen supply to our brain and organs, our sex hormone levels severely decline, and since our sex hormones are what also keeps us young and vital, my top choice for anti-aging would have to be ozone therapy.
A second reason for ozone therapy would be for its anti-inflammatory capabilities. Ozone therapy, when done regularly with the 10-pass method, reduces inflammation which gets built up in the body during stressful events. How many stressful events have you had this past 2 years? Imagine the inflammation building up in your blood since the pandemic with all the new viruses on the rise and with each round of infection. Ozone therapy is the best way to reduce it quickly. Inflammation speeds up the aging process; so our aim is to reduce inflammation as much as possible.
- IV VITAMIN DRIPS
The second treatment would be IV drips. We choose what’s best for the client based on their medical history, their physiological process and their goals. IV is a great way to get the most effective nutrients into the blood stream for direct use by the cells, by-passing the breakdown effects of the liver and gastrointestinal tract. The effect of a nutrient taken by mouth is only as good as the health of your intestines and stomach to break it down and absorb it. If you’re a stressed out person then your absorption rate is going to be very poor and hence why stressed people age faster.
- AESTHETIC FACIALS
The third treatment is aesthetic facials and body treatments. We have a great team providing all aesthetic, either natural or synthetic means, to help the client look as great as they feel. The health of a persons skin is key component of looking vital and young. There are so many treatments targeting skin health found at AEON, from hydra-facials, lasers, botox and stem cells, we have a variety available. What’s the point of feeling great when it isn’t showing on your skin?
We have a variety of tools in clinic to minimize the aging process. Whether it’s related to stress or to other processes, we are excited to work with every new client to reduce the negative affects of time.