The 3 Secrets to Reversing Illness and Creating Advanced Health

Dr. Sara DeFrancesco is a Naturopathic Doctor in Portland, Oregon and expert in preventing and reversing symptoms and disease.

Secret. It’s a dirty word when it comes it medicine. 

I’m not talking about a magic pill, a secret potion, or a special herb that only grows in the Amazon rainforest. I’m talking about real, actionable steps that can get you real and lasting results.

If every physician learned these three steps we could obliterate obesity and diabetes, prevent heart disease, and help the 117 million Americans suffering from completely preventable and often reversible illnesses reclaim their health and their lives.

1. Stop chasing symptoms and instead focus on identifying and treating the root cause of illness.

If you treat the symptoms and ignore the cause it’s kind of like seeing the check engine light in your car come on and a putting a piece of duct tape over it as a solution. You won’t be bothered by the light anymore, but if you don’t refill the oil you can seriously damage the engine. Similarly, treatments that target symptoms alone instead of the cause of symptoms are extremely limiting and can lead to an poor health outcomes.

Symptoms are only important for two reasons. 1) Because they annoy you or cause you pain. 2) Because they are clues that when properly interpreted will lead a skilled physician to the real culprit. And by treating the culprit instead of the symptoms, many illnesses can be completely resolved or put into remission (which will feel even better than watching the bad guy get jailed on your favorite who-done-it drama, I promise).

2. Remove the obstacle to cure and re-establish the foundation for health.

Nutrition, sleep, movement, and mindset are all important lifestyle factors that make a significant impact on our health. They can either be an obstacle to cure or part of our cure, it’s that simple. Addressing these areas and establishing sustainable healthy habits are an imperative part of any successful program.

3. Prevent future illness and optimize function for advanced health.

Once you’ve identified and treated the root cause, eliminated obstacles to cure, re-established the foundation for health, and are feeling a whole lot better - you’re not done yet. This is where things start getting really juicy and you start feeling really alive.

Once you stop feeling sick it’s time to up the ante by using natural therapies that aid the function of your body’s systems and advance your health to create boundless energy, comfort, mental clarity, and elevated mood so you can improve the way you experience life, crush your goals, and bring yourself to the next level of wellness and fulfillment.

So those are the three steps to reverse illness and create advanced health: resolving the root cause of illness, re-establishing the foundation for health, and optimizing function for advanced wellness and fulfillment.

And those are just a few basic principles where natural medicine steps up to and beyond what conventional medicine offers us—not just providing a temporary band aid to cover a wound, but providing a groundbreaking new way to heal the wound from the inside out.


Thriving Force Natural Medicine is where patients aren’t patients, but partners. It’s where treatments aren’t standard, but specialized. It’s where both conventional and natural methods are combined into an intelligent hybrid that work together in bold new ways (that most MDs have often never even heard of) to give people back their lives. (It also happens to be where hurried, impatient doctor’s appointments go to die.)

But most importantly, it’s where people who are looking to maximize their potential as humans…come find it.

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