Maricich Doles Out Functional Medicine STORY & PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK
r. Maria Maricich wants to see you before you get sick. Far better, she says, to address your weaknesses before they cripple you. “The problem with Western medicine is that it’s diseasebased—we don’t seek care unless we’re in a health crisis,” she said. “People go to conventional doctors when they have a broken clavicle or are feeling ill. I want to prevent them from having the heart attack in the first place.” Maricich practices functional medicine, which uses a combination of Chinese medicine and Western medicine to deal with the root causes of disease and imbalances. She acts like a medical detective looking for patterns in blood work that indicate hidden allergens, environmental toxins, inflammations, nutritional and digestive imbalances, infections and other things that cause hormones and other body functions to be out of whack. Once she identifies the weakness, she uses supplements and other tools to bring the person back into balance. You might say Maricich was destined to become a health practitioner. Her father, Herman Maricich—a professional ice skater—had her on ice skates and skis before she could barely walk. Her mother, Connie Chesnel, was a healing arts buff, taking her daughter to massage therapists and energy healers when she was in her teens. A stint as the top U.S. downhill ski racer, the No. 10 downhill skier in the world, and a 1984 Olympian further convinced her of the necessity of
“The problem with Western Medicine is that it’s disease-based.” – dr. maria marich
giving her body an edge through good nutrition and exercise. “When I quit racing I was interested in alternative health but I wanted to do something legitimate,” she recalled. “One night I dreamed I was going to be a chiropractor but I didn’t know anything about it. I went to the library and could only find a few paragraphs in a book, but it talked about removing nerve interferences in the spine so the body could heal itself. I thought, ‘That’s cool.’ ” The blond-haired, blue-eyed skier spent seven years at a college near Atlanta, Ga., taking many of the same courses general practitioners do, with the exception that she took more neurology courses and none pertaining to surgery. Then she took additional studies in applied kinesiology, functional endocrinology and hormone balancing. When she finished, she returned to the Sun Valley area where she practiced briefly under another chiropractor before opening her Quantum Healing Arts, now on the third floor of the Gail Severn Gallery building in Ketchum. “I went to school in Georgia because I was tired of winter af-
Dr. Maria Maricich uses essential oils in her practice.
ter all those years of ski racing. But I missed the mountains,” she said. Many of those who come to her have digestive issues that range from feeling bloated to having colitis. Many are gluten-sensitive—a condition that, left untreated, can lead to autoimmune diseases, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease, Maricich said. Insomnia—another major source of referrals—could be caused by an imbalance in the brain or nervous system that keeps the brain from calming down sufficiently, hormonal imbalances or problems with the digestive or immune system, she added. Maricich may use a urine test to see if mitochondria—the powerhouse in cells—is working properly. She uses neurological tests, such as gauging how the eye responds to light, to look at attention deficit disorders in children.
Dr. Maria Maricich uses spinal checks and other tools to detect weaknesses before they become full-blown health crises.
She found metabolic imbalances in a client who was a recovering alcoholic so she used nutrients to create new neurotransmitters in that client. She’s helped other clients trying to lose weight, including her office secretary who lost 70 pounds, by giving them supplements to balance their body
systems and getting rid of wrong things in the intestine. “It’s not just about willpower. Certain imbalances can cause cravings and make it impossible for you to have success,” she said. “Whatever the problem, I want to dig deeper and figure out what the symptoms are, not tws cover them up.”
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Published on Oct 16, 2012