Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health

Suzan Speer

The Place Where I Could Get Well:
My Partners in Wellness


Suzan Speer headshot

What brought you to VCIH?

Dr. Chad Boomershine, Director of the Vanderbilt Fibromyalgia Clinic, led me to the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health. I was newly diagnosed with fibromyalgia and also suffered from severe planter fasciitis and reactive arthritis stemming from my Crohn's disease. Dr. Boomershine was the first doctor that I met who understood the relationship between depression and chronic pain. Under his care I was led me to Dr. Roy Elam, Medical Director of the Center for Integrative Health, and that is where my story of hope began.

What was your main goal when you started treatment VCIH?

My goal was to find one doctor who would listen to my health issues, appreciate the pain that I was experiencing and oversee my efforts to cope with my fibromyalgia diagnosis. I was scattered and in pain both emotionally and physically. I was seeing a gastroenterologist, rheumatologist, psychiatrist for medication management, psychologist for “talk therapy”, foot surgeon and physical therapist for my foot problem. I was wearing an orthopedic boot and walking with a cane when I entered VCIH.

How has this clinic experience differed from your past medical treatment experience?

VCIH is a beautiful and serene place that felt more like a spa than a doctor’s office. I was pleasantly surprised when Dr. Elam came to the lobby to greet me and walk me to his office. In thirty years of doctor’s visits, that was a first. Dr. Elam explained that VCIH was designed to treat the whole person and that healing came from treating the mind, body and spirit. I learned that the Center offered acupuncture, massage and physical therapy in addition to water therapy at the Vanderbilt Dayani Center. I remember thinking that with all the Center had to offer that this was the place where I could get well.

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