We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Hernandez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
I think when people hear holistic medicine they think of more surface type healing or “woo woo” medicine . Naturopathic doctors actually have quite extensive medical training including 4 years of medical school, hands on clinical rotations, a science boards examination and a 3 day clinical boards examination to get your license. Honestly it’s less about what we learn but more how we take this knowledge and approach supporting health and healing. It’s one thing to know all the medical information but it’s another thing to dive deep into understanding the healing process and what goes into that. How to combine the information received from a medical intake and diagnostic labs and put it together to understand the person in front of you as a whole. How their symptoms are all interconnected and telling a story about whats going on at the root of their issues. This allows us to support that person not just physically but mentally, emotionally and even spiritually and energetically. Understanding and treating patients individually is where naturopaths shine. We are detectives in how we utilize all the information to support the healing process as a whole.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Wildcraft Medicine is a family medicine practice based in La Jolla, Ca. We specialize in preconception and fertility, digestive health, hormone balancing and supporting optimal wellness. Our passion at Wildcraft Medicine is in helping men and women become as healthy as possible so they can live their most vibrant, carefree and wild lives! Whether our patients are planning on bringing new life into the world, need to correct digestive disorders, or balance hormones, we are here to support them and their health at the deepest level. We specialize in unraveling our patient’s symptoms and using diagnostic testing to understand the root cause of their issues. Through creating a treatment plan that addresses our patient’s unique needs, and guiding them through their healing journey we can help empower them and restore their health. At Wildcraft Medicine we recognize that each of our patients are unique (and wild), individuals and we aim to treat them this way! By putting the pieces together we look at the whole picture and treat our patients as a WHOLE person. Health is multidimensional and we want to make sure our patients not only feel good physically but also feel good emotionally, mentally, spiritually and energetically! Healing is a process that the body is innately capable of doing. We are here to strategically guide our patients in the right direction by providing them with natural and holistic support to optimize this process. Our goal is to support our patients health so they can live up to their highest potential and live their most optimal life. Personally, I’ve always been interested in how the body works and how it’s all connected. Throughout my 4 years in medical school, I became an expert in the importance of diet and lifestyle and how to support the body using modalities like botanical medicine, homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine and more. Most importantly I learned to treat people, not diseases. Naturopathic medicine is so unique because it allows us to use different tools and therapies to best support each individual. It is a heart-based medicine with the patient at its best interest. Prior to medical school I attended Syracuse University and received my bachelors in Health and Exercise Science. I’m also a Certified Gemstone Therapy practitioner. I ultimately decided to start my own practice when I realized I was fulfilling someone else’s dream and wasn’t sure anymore what I wanted to do and treat. I took some time to reflect and realized my passion was to bring healthy babies into the world! Preconception health is about prepping the body before you get pregnant. This allows for both man and woman to be the healthiest versions of themselves and prevent passing on toxins to their newborn child. This ultimately sets up a foundation of strong health for the future baby. Preconception health and planning has been shown to reduce incidences of health issues like asthma and autoimmune disease as well as increases chances of a healthy viable pregnancy. I am also very passionate about treating and supporting digestive health as a healthy gut is the foundation of a healthy being!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, I love food. So we’d definitely go to some of my favorite restaurants. A good restaurant to me offers delicious food and variety that is also healthy. I love Puesto, Pueblo and Serranos for tacos and Mexican. For good healthy pizza you can find me at Powerhuas Pizza. I can’t say enough great things about Powerhaus. There are options for everyone- paleo, keto, vegan, gluten free, etc. And the food is amazing! I also love the restaurants in Little Italy. Such a fun place to walk around and you can’t go wrong with any of the food. Besides restaurants I’s take them to fun shops. One of my all time favs is Shop Good. They sell natural health and beauty products that are vetted by the owner to be high quality and get ready for it…actually work! They also have lots of great events and educational meet up’s. I also love Pigment. A great color coordinated gift and accessory store with everything from cookbooks, to jewelry and even make your own succulent decor. Pangea is also a fun store to walk through. Great for gifts. I love exercising and being out doors. We would take a workout class at The Movement Warehouse, (my favorite gym in San Diego), go slack lining at Kate Sessions park, take my dog for a long walk to the ocean or to dog beach in OB, and maybe play a round of golf. Balboa park and the Seaport downtown are also an iconic part of San Diego and would be on our list to check out.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I grew up in a very loving home with very supportive parents that really always told me I can be what I want to be, as cliche as that sounds. Even when I wanted to be a dolphin trainer which was my number 1 job choice through most of my childhood. My parents told me to find something that brought me joy and gave me purpose. They have always been very supportive of my choice to become a Naturopathic Doctor. I also need to give a shout out to all my friends and now colleagues from medical school. Medical school as you can imagine is very grueling and stressful at times (ok, most times). The environment at naturopathic medical school was incredibly supportive. This is not the norm in a traditional medical school setting where there is often lots of competition. My classmates would email out study guides to each other, offer numerous notes and support with how best to learn and study for tests. We all had an understanding that, especially with a niche like naturopathic medicine, when one of us succeeds we all do. Finally I’d like to give a shout out to my mentor, Dr. Nicola Ducharme. When I got out of medical school I joined her practice in San Diego and was overwhelmed with not just being a doctor but also having to be business minded. She taught me so much about setting up good business practices, work life balance and of course how to be a great doctor. Right away I was treating chronic illnesses like Lyme disease and Mycotoxin illness. Through this experience I gained a lot of knowledge about how to address complicated causes and support healing in a systematic way. Ok sorry one more! My husband!!! He is the one that has seen me through my ups and downs with transitioning from a student to a doctor, an independent contractor to a business owner and has been my rock through it all. There is so much self growth that comes with running a business and working in a heart centered industry but it’s not always an easy path. I have so much love and appreciation for him for supporting me through it!