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DIVING DEEPER

Functional Medicine Practitioner Steve Martinez promotes patient-centered healing at Hydrate at the Sanctuary Wellness Experience

According to Steve Martinez, the road to optimal health does not begin and end at the pharmacy. In fact, pharmaceutical medications can cover up the root cause of our ailments. Recently, Steve joined forces with San Diego’s Modern Wellness Advocate Tracy Duhs to create Hydrate at the Sanctuary Wellness Experience where patients can reap the benefits of a richer philosophy: functional medicine. We’ve asked Steve to tell us more.

About functional medicine: How does functional medicine differ from conventional medicine? SM: Functional medicine is the art of focusing on the optimal function of the body and discovering the root cause of an ailment. At Hydrate, we believe that the biological makeup of every individual is different, so we take our time and listen to each patient’s story. We never rush patients through a quick, 15-minute consultation and then escort them to the door. Instead, our goal is to become an intimate part of their health and wellness journey. When I work with a client who is experiencing symptoms, the question I ask myself is, “Why are they experiencing these symptoms?” Not “How can we fix this with a prescribed medicine?” Pharmaceutical medications may effectively cover the symptoms, but we need to find the root cause. If I don’t identify which system within their body is producing the symptoms in the first place, then I’m just practicing “Band-aid” medicine. There’s nothing to be gained from creating a world of dependence on medication. We want to create a sense of interdependence where we guide patients to the point where they can take charge of their own health.

About new therapies: You’re a specialist in peptide therapy. What are peptides, and are they safe? SM: Peptides play an instrumental role within regenerative medicine by helping you regain your vitality. They are small strains of bioidentical amino acids, which act as signaling agents within the cell to stimulate the body to perform natural functions. They assist in creating “cellular efficiency.” The human body has more than 7,000 naturally occurring peptides with approximately 140 different peptides available to medical treatment. Peptides are extremely safe and, when used in the correct way, the chance of side effects is rare and minimal.

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About peptides: Why is there such a buzz about peptides? SM: We are hearing a lot about peptides these days, because people are taking charge of their health. They want to look younger, have more energy, lose weight, increase libido, and regain overall vitality. Peptides can be used for losing weight, building muscle, increasing libido, improving sleep, smoothing skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, relieving joint pain, increasing energy, healing wounds, rejuvenating hair, and more.

About peptide therapy: What does peptide therapy entail? SM: At Hydrate at the Sanctuary Wellness Experience, each patient’s path is different. Peptide therapy usually involves a series of injections, sublingual, oral capsule form, topical lotions or creams. Results also vary. Some peptides can actually take several weeks or a few months to start producing noticeable effects. But many of our patients report positive outcomes almost immediately.

More about Stephen J. Martinez, PA-C: Steve is a certified physician assistant who specializes in functional medicine. He is certified in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, holds an A4m (American Academy of Anti-Aging medicine) National Peptide certification and is an Institute of Functional Medicine Practitioner. In 2020, he cofounded Hydrate at the Sanctuary Wellness Experience with Modern Wellness Advocate Tracy Duhs to help San Diegans optimize their health through natural and bioidentical therapies.