In this health video you will learn benefits of integrative health care, of combining natural and more traditional methods of medication.
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Lyle Hurd: Well, it's a real pleasure to have an opportunity to have a dialogue with Sherry Torkos. Sherry is an alternative pharmacist -- is that the correct way to say it? Sherry Torkos: Well, I think the term integrative or holistic pharmacist would be -- Lyle Hurd: Okay, would you explain to us what that means and what you're doing with your time relative to helping people understand the benefit of an integrated type of personal healthcare program? Sherry Torkos: I've been practicing pharmacy now since 1992 and I have a conventional pharmacy degree. I attended the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and I graduated with honors. And, the type of practice though that I have chosen to participate in is more holistically oriented, meaning that I don't just work with drugs and pharmaceuticals, that I also integrate natural therapies into what I do. So, when patients come to see me I advise them on the use of dietary supplements, vitamins, herbs, essential fatty acids. I talk to them about preventative health care. So, for example, if people are at risk of heart disease or osteoporosis they may be interested in what they can do to prevent those conditions so that they don't have rely on prescription medications. So, I like to educate people on the role of supplements, lifestyle measures, things such as healthy eating and exercise, stress management, the importance of sleep -- some of the fundamentals for good health. And, these are principles that I strongly believe in and I integrated into my own life and, you know, I feel privileged that I can share my interest and my passion with others. Lyle Hurd: Now, even though you do a lot of traveling now and that you have become an expert on a number of various supplements and what they can do ingredients. And, you've written a number of books; you still practice pharmacy too, isn't that correct? Sherry Torkos: That's right. I practice pharmacy part time and the rest of my time is devoted to doing educational programs. I'm often a guest speaker for medical conferences, guest speaker for consumer health groups. I attend a lot of the health shows in Anaheim and Washington and also different areas in Canada. And, I really enjoy the opportunity to educate people whether they're consumers or healthcare professionals, about the science behind natural supplements because we have made significant advances over the past few years with our knowledge and understanding of the role that dietary supplements can play in health. So, I spend a lot of my time doing that, and I also, in my spare time, I'm very interested in fitness -- I'm a certified fitness instructor and sometimes I teach fitness classes in my community. And, I try to find balance so that I'm also enjoying a quality time with my family and my friends. Lyle Hurd: Great, and just one other question. Is the venue that you're working in as a pharmacist now the same? Is it a clinical or is it a private pharmacy? Sherry Torkos: I work in a private pharmacy right now just part time but when I first started my career in 1992 I was actually working in a medical office building with 10 doctors. And, at that time I would say that natural medicine was not embraced with open arms. And, when I began my practice and started to take on a stronger role with preventative healthcare and using supplements it was met with a little bit of skepticism. But, what I did to overcome that is provide education for the doctors that I worked with. Most of the doctors that I worked with they would say things like, "that stuff hasn't been studied," or "we're not comfortable, we don't know enough about it." So, to overcome that I brought in guest speakers and I would work on educating the doctors about the science behind different herbs and nutritional supplements. I found over the course of 10 years working at this medical clinic, and I was actually the manager of the pharmacy there, that there was a big revolution, or evolution I guess I could say, with the