MindBody Biocognition helps you effectively change things in your life that seem otherwise stuck or unchangeable. Based on Dr. Mario Martinez’s research as a clinical psychologist, it begins with the deep unity of body and mind, and how to work with it. 

There are things that we cannot change through thought alone, because some of the deepest foundations of self are encoded in the body just as much as they are in the mind. We have to access this unity of body and mind in order to effectively change some of our most foundational understandings of life and our place in it. 

This is why Dr. Martinez says that the causes of health are inherited. Our health and longevity is one example of something that is fundamentally connected to our mindbody. In order to change what we have learned about health and aging from our culture, society, and family, we need to be able to access a different space than habit changes and positive thinking are able to address. 

MindBody Biocognition with Dr. Martinez is taught in a student-mentor relationship. He is able to guide you through specific processes to effectively change and shift aspects of your life. As you learn and experience the effectiveness of biocognition, you will be empowered to do more of it on your own.

Nutrition Therapy is strongly based on the principles of Intuitive Eating. These principles use forms of physical and emotional awareness to inform our eating habits, helping to create health and balance. 

Intuitive Eating rejects the diet mentality. Dieting is a heavily marketed industry, but it is not one that gets consistent or long lasting results. Instead, Intuitive Eating makes peace with food. Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. When we tell ourselves that we can’t or shouldn’t eat certain foods, it can lead to feelings of deprivation that spiral down into cravings, guilt, and binging. 

Honor your hunger instead. It is important to keep your body fueled with enough energy and carbohydrates. When we honor our basic biological signals, we are able to begin rebuilding trust and our relationship with food. It is also important to reject the ideas of “good” and “bad” food, or that we are “good” or “bad” for eating certain things. 

Respect when you are full. It can take practice to learn how to sense your fullness, so it can be helpful to pause in the middle of eating and check in with yourself. It also helps to cultivate the pleasure and satisfaction that comes from eating food you want, in an environment you enjoy. 

Intuitive Eating is a very different approach to food than what most of us have learned. It is a way to make food choices that honor your health and your taste. It takes a big picture perspective, focusing on what you eat consistently over time, and supports your ability to make the right kinds of adjustments to best create health.

Ha.Lé is pronounced ha-lay, like hallelujah. 

Ha.Lé is a name from our founder’s Vietnamese heritage, meaning Breath of Life. 

The breath of life moves through us moment to moment. When we purposefully change our breathing and allow it to soften and deepen, we can stimulate our vagus nerve. Stimulating the vagus nerve helps to turn off our stress responses and cue the body to relax, nourish, and heal. Our breath can literally be a key to create health and healing. 

Ha.Lé means Home in Hawaiian. 

Home is a place of comfort and safety. It is a place where we feel free to relax and let go of the stress that can make us hard. Home is a place where we nourish ourselves, rest deeply, and heal from injury and illness. 

At Ha.Lé, we invite you to come home. Come home to your body. Come home to your breath. Drop in to the ways that your own body and mind are speaking to you, telling you about this experience you are having. 

And the same four letters in English say hale, which means healthy. 

Hale means healthy in a way that is hearty and full of vitality. It is a way to thrive in the world, with our full mental and physical resources. 

These meanings layer on top of each other. They also connect to form a pathway: working with the breath can help us come home to our bodies and minds, which in turn helps us create health. 

Our bodies and minds are biological systems that are complex and full of potential for dis-ease, healing, and health. At Ha.Lé, we invite you to come home for nourishment and support. 

Integrative Medical Consults are appointments with a physician to determine how integrative health care can support your health. They are not a replacement for your regular doctors, but a way to coordinate your care across different treatments. Medical Consults allow you to access treatments that have been proven effective but have not yet made it into common medical practice, and to do so in a way that works best for you.

The first step is to make an appointment for a Medical Consult. Dr. Gurjeet Birdee will spend an hour with you, which is a lot more than the usual seven minutes! He will talk with you about your health history, the medications you take, and your current physical and mental health concerns. He will not prescribe or change your medications, but he will factor them into your care.

During your Medical Consult, Dr. Birdee will create an integrative treatment plan for you. It includes specific timelines for your care, laying out which treatments and how often you should receive them. For example, he might recommend that you receive bodywork once a week for 4 weeks to treat a chronic shoulder injury. He will also talk with you about what results to expect from your care, so that you understand which treatments you are receiving and why.

Your integrative treatment plan is a written document for you to keep. Once you have it, you will need to schedule the treatments you need. You can do that at the desk after your consult with Dr. Birdee, or you can do it later. Appointments can also be scheduled over the phone, via text, by email, or through the Ha.Lé website or the MindBody app.

Finally, all of your appointments and treatments will be documented. We are a collaborative practice, and so your therapists and Dr. Birdee will communicate with each other about your care and coordinate your treatment. We will also be in touch with your other doctors as needed, to make sure they are up to date about your treatment with us.

Integrative Medical Consults are an opportunity to have a real conversation with a physician, and to create a specific treatment plan for your health concerns. They also provide a way to access treatments that have been proven effective but have not yet made it into common medical usage. If you know that integrative care like bodywork or acupuncture helps you, then this is a way to optimize that health benefit in the most effective way.

Bodies can be complicated, and it can be hard to find the right path to treat subtle, chronic, or frustrating health issues. Coming to see an integrative doctor can help connect the dots and coordinate your care moving forward, both with your other physicians and with your integrative therapists.

Medical Consults with Dr. Gurjeet Birdee give you that opportunity. Dr. Birdee is a physician scientist who has spent over a decade researching the effectiveness of integrative care. He has a deep expertise in the evidence behind the treatments we offer at Ha.Lé, and is able to best direct patients in their integrative care.

Our understanding of the body is always improving. There is a constant stream of new information being published, helping to deepen our understanding of the body and its mechanisms. However, conventional healthcare is often not up to date, and it can sometimes take decades for proven information to make it into widespread consideration.

This is one reason why many proven integrative care modalities are not yet recognized or included in conventional care. It is not because they have not been studied, or were shown not to help. It is because conventional healthcare is sometimes very slow to incorporate new insight into the body.

Because Dr. Birdee has done the research, he understands how best to incorporate integrative care into your overall treatment plan. He will direct you with specific timelines and expectations, and will communicate with your other physicians about your care. Integrative care offers effective treatment for a wide variety of health issues, and Medical Consults now make them easier to access more effectively.

Sometimes we have health issues that are subtle, complex, or difficult to heal. Integrative care like bodywork, acupuncture, and therapeutic movement will often help, but it can be challenging to coordinate your own care on two fronts–with your physician(s), and with your integrative care therapists. Medical Consults at Ha.Lé help you bridge the communication gap and access the integrative treatments that will best support your health.

Dr. Gurjeet Birdee is a physician who has spent over a decade researching the effectiveness of integrative care. There are a lot of options out there for unconventional therapies for health, and many of those therapies may not be effective or safe. Dr. Birdee is an expert on what has been proven to help.

A Medical Consult is an hour long appointment where Dr. Birdee will listen to your story and assess your health. He will then direct your integrative care, giving you specific timelines and expectations for your treatment. He will also communicate with your other physicians, helping to coordinate your care.

Medical Consultations are not designed to replace the care of your other physicians, but to add integrative treatments to your care in the ways that will be most effective for you. This can be especially helpful for health issues that have been difficult or frustrating to treat because it gives you access to coordinated treatment through conventional and integrative care.

Integrative care is proven to be effective for a wide range of health issues, but access to it is usually outside of the conventional healthcare system. Medical Consults at Ha.Lé help bridge that gap, engaging the expertise of a physician to direct you to the integrative care that best meets your needs.

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Ashiatsu is a technique integrated into most Ha.Lé Bodywork sessions because it is such an effective healing tool. In Japanese, the root wood “ashi” means foot and “atsu” means pressure. Ashiatsu, or “foot pressure”, involves the therapist using her feet as well as her hands during the session.

Controlled foot pressure uses physics of both bodies – therapist and client – for maximum benefit. With feet, the therapist activates acupressure points and spreads tissue fibers, distributing more body weight and pressure than what is available with just the hands and arms. Ashiatsu techniques are especially effective for addressing muscle tension and relieving the symptoms of chronic soft tissue damage. They also help loosen scar tissue adhesions and are a profound way to receive myofascial release.

Sometimes Ashiatsu is misunderstood as a massage where someone walks on your back. In fact, it is much more complex and effective than that. The therapist uses bars and straps above the table to control the exact amount of weight and pressure, giving her excellent control over the depth of treatment. This means that she is able to work as deeply or gently as necessary in order to address your specific needs.

Ashiatsu is a very responsive and personal bodywork technique, and can create a strong bond between therapist and client. This bond increases the client’s comfort level, which makes the session more effective. We also use an Ashiatsu method of sinking into muscle fibers as breath allows, so that the pace and knowledge of our therapist makes the treatments therapeutic, profound, and beneficial.

Ashiatsu Bodywork is a powerful set of techniques that often form the core of our integrative treatments. It works with tissues of the body in deep, powerful ways to reduce pain, release tension, and create health.

Yamuna® Body Rolling is a self-care and self-conditioning technique that uses specialized therapy balls to treat specific body parts. It is able to address multiple layers of tissue, including skin, fascia, muscle, and bone, as well as work with connective tissues, internal organs, and the nervous system.

Yamuna routines involve rolling the body on a therapy ball in specific ways. Using a ball and controlled body weight, the entire muscle is stimulated from origin to insertion and all the tendons and tissue in between. As the body rolls, deep breathing brings a relaxation response, allowing tension to release and the weight of the body to sink into the ball.

Using Yamuna therapy balls offers the most complete form of stretching, by directly and evenly stimulating tendons and muscle fibers. Conventional stretching lengthens fibers mainly in one direction only and potentially creates microtears in the muscle. Therapy balls, however, are able to stretch fibers lengthwise, crosswise, and diagonally without the risk of microtears. This supports the overall health of the tissue, increases movement throughout the entire muscle, and allows the body to move more dynamically overall.

Therapy balls are able to access tissues that are not easy to target with conventional stretching, like internal organs, abdominal muscles, hip rotators, and the spine. They can stimulate bone health from all sides, unlike most weight bearing activities that only load bone in one direction. And they are able to safely address joint injuries and increase range of motion without distressing sensitized tissues.

Yamuna Body Rolling is an effective and empowering treatment. By using the unique properties of therapy balls, Yamuna routines are able to give people comprehensive methods to treat their aches, pains, and injuries, and to maintain performance and health.

Triphala is an Ayurvedic blend that is used to support digestive health and overall vitality. It is tridoshic, which means that it works for most people regardless of their constitution. Literally meaning “three fruits,” Triphala uses the fruits from three Indian medicinal plants to support internal cleansing, regulate digestion, and improve the absorption of of nutrients:

Amalaki is also known as Indian gooseberry and helps lower cholesterol. It supports the liver and immune system, and is a high source of vitamin C,

Haritaki is the Tibetan “king of medicine,” supporting the brain and the heart. It help clear toxins from the body.

Bibhitaki is a fruit that supports the respiratory system and promotes good bone production. It is a powerful ancient rejuvenator.

Triphala consists of five different tastes: sour, bitter, pungent, astringent, and sweet. Ideally it should be taken in a form where you can taste it, either as a tea or tablet, and not in a gelatin capsule. The act of tasting primes your body to digest and assimilate the blend more effectively. The taste will probably change each time you take it, because Triphala supplies the taste that your body needs. Over time, it can begin to taste sweet, but you may find it astringent or bitter for a while at the beginning.

Triphala nourishes and rejuvenates the digestive system, which is key to supporting health. It gently cleanses and detoxifies the system, while kindling the digestive fire and supporting the body’s absorption of more nutrients. It is a natural antioxidant, and is said to support graceful aging and overall well being.

Stress is built in to being human, as we manage challenges and respond to problems. It is a fundamental part of being alive. It is also a whole-body event, with physical, mental, and emotional effects. Our bodies are designed to experience stress as a temporary state, and then return to rest and relaxation mode. However, modern life often creates chronic stress, where the body and mind do not fully reset.

Stress Management creates a set of tools that allow us to intentionally counter the effects of chronic stress in our bodies and minds. High levels of chronic stress put our wellbeing at risk. These fight or flight responses can reduce quality of sleep, slow healing times, affect digestion, strain heart health, and weaken your immune system. Because stress is a survival response, the body is basically pulling energy away from non-essential systems in order to fend off a lion attack.

Another way to think of stress is as a set of alarms. If our lion attack alarms are going off all day every day, our system doesn’t put energy toward long term health and wellbeing. The tools of stress management allow us to turn down the volume of the alarms and counter the signals of chronic stress. Through mindfulness exercises and daily physical practice, we are able to access the nervous system in a way that changes our physical, mental, and emotional states.

Because the effects of chronic stress build on themselves, layer by layer, over time, stress management can have profound effects. Physical discomforts, mental health impacts, and emotional resilience can all see positive results. Even if an issue is not caused by stress effects specifically, it is often made worse or heals slower because of the effects of chronic stress. Turning down the stress alarms frees up energy for the body to heal itself.

Stress management is key to our overall health and wellbeing, because chronic stress has comprehensive effects on our body and mind. Creating a sense of calm safety on a daily basis allows our survival-sensitive inner alarms to turn down the volume, which in turn lets our natural healing mechanisms get to work.