My name is Sean Merrick, founder of Alchemy de Nova. The evolution of AdN has been a journey of 25 years and begins with a story. In my early-twenties, my father (my hero) and I were talking tattoos. At the time I had none, but one in mind; The Vitruvian Man, by Leonardo Da Vinci. My father asked why that piece in particular? My response surrounded a discussion about Mind, Body, Spirit and how that image captured my personal relationship with well-being. That day, I had no idea the next 25 years I'd spend in the medical industry as an allied health professional.
I did not know that I would graduate college cum laude with a degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology. While obtaining internships in chronic disease management and participating in some of the most cutting edge research projects in my field. Nor did I know that I would present at various health conferences, coordinate a cardiac rehabilitation clinic, direct a pulmonary rehabilitation clinic, be exposed to acute infectious medicine, chronic disease medicine, coauthor protocols used today in rehabilitation centers, be involved in home health, hospice, surgical procedures, or become a personal trainer.
Nor did I know these words would be written to you today.
What I did know is the personal meaning of The Vitruvian Man resonated with me and Da Vinci's work guided me for many years as my professional, and personal, passions began to unfold. The story above is just part of that journey.
Oh yeah, I finally got that tattoo many, many, many, many years after that discussion with my father! Oh, and few more since then. All of them encompass the focus of well-being.
The long path that led me to create Alchemy de Nova did not come from my education or professions within the allied, medical industry. In 2004 I began to suffer from intense fatigue, severe insomnia, joint pain, and the inability to recover from an active life. And, I was getting sick a few times a year.
It affected every aspect of my life.
But mostly it crushed my own psyche.
Being viewed by friends, family, even physicians I worked with as a pillar of health, privately I suffered everyday. Still, I spent hours in the gym, led a very active lifestyle, trying so hard to heal. Diligently I followed all the knowledge I learned in school, work, and every trend that define a "healthy lifestyle". Yet, I suffered
I was sick, and getting sicker.
Not being a fan of medication, I tried utilizing lifestyle modification and healthy living to manage. But finally I succumbed to my doctor who prescribed Ambien for sleep. 4 hours of interrupted sleep was the norm back then. He soon added Valium. Suggesting Adderall at one point to help with focus and energy. Searching for relief, I used countless over the counter medications for sleep and for energy. Trying every next best thing marketed. Even abusing coffee and alcohol. The medications only lasted a couple years. But the complaints continued. The last straw came with my doctor suggesting antidepressants. "No", was my response!
I began to reflect on my education, professional knowledge, our medical model, and the information that all of us are exposed to and sadly follow.
"Antidepressant for chronic fatigue, pain, and insomnia management is the best answer? Along with sleeping pills?"
It began to become clear to me that our current medical model, of which I was educated under and employed by, is ineffective. Doctors are not trained in disease resolution, nor provided the education to understand how to find the root cause. Physician's knowledge of food as medicine, proper exercise, and recovery is non existent or follows fraudulent evidence.
Drugs or surgery are their answers.
Facts: The average age of death has decreased for the third time in the U.S; obesity is on the rise; all chronic diseases are on the rise; children are being diagnosed with heart disease, Type II diabetes, and obesity at alarming rates; 70% of all Americans are on at least one prescription, 50% are on at least two; sleep is the foremost researched, next big drug.
So called "Modern Medicine" is failing us. When it comes to chronic disease management, drugs are given to mask symptoms but the disease persist. Even worsening over time.
Sadly, doctors don't have answers.
As this began to sink in I adopted new beliefs and my story continued. At this point in 2015, I had researched contemporary methods for health issues. Armed with this new realization, and wanting relief, I pursued naturopathic care. Unfortunately, my chronic fatigue and pain were not resolving. But I gathered wisdom during my visits with the naturopath. I realized that Functional Medicine was the effective answer; and for sceptics out there, the research is powerful and sound!
Heavily armed, I investigated a premier Functional Medicine Practitioner to help me.
What came about from that searching was an unlikely discovery. There are programs that offer attainable Functional Medicine Education. I enrolled in some well respected Functional Medicine Programs and now come to you as a very proud Functional Medicine Healer. I fired my naturopath and took control over my health.
To heal, we must empower ourselves to want to heal!
I took control over my health. I investigated my individual root causes. I ordered and interpreted my own tests. I applied my own treatments.
It has been a very long, yet an insightful journey investigating my health. My body is responding. I have improved significantly. Each day I am on my road toward improved health. And, the journey continues...
To keep the 20+ story short, I have not included very important details. But they must be shared in brief to better understand the evolution of Alchemy de Nova.
That tattoo? It resides on my back is in honor of my father who instilled the importance of personal health, personal passion, and to be sure to evolve in this life ("Life is about evolution, not autopilot" - he would say). He passed away not knowing that part about my tattoo...but you do.
Also, my improvements would not have come about if I had not one Saturday afternoon completely question myself to the point of fully dismantling many conditioned beliefs that are just false about wellbeing.
It is my conviction that optimal health only comes about when the soul is recognized, allowed to live and difficult transformation is accepted. The cornerstone of Alchemy is discovering your soul and allowing for transformation.
You see...it goes all the way back to about 1992, when the words, "Mind, Body, Spirit" were spoken. AdN welcomes you and your journey...let's walk together to optimal health.
2019 UPDATE: To better serve, I have obtaining a Masters Degree in Psychology. My wishes are to gather even more wisdom to help you heal; Mind, Body, Soul.