Spotlight on Megan Weigel of First Coast Integrative Medicine
In the first installment of her podcast series, titled Oh, But Darling, What if You Fly?, Weigel, a holistic nurse practitioner specializing in neurological care and multiple sclerosis (MS), reflects on the importance of this courageous act. “Let’s take the story of a health condition. Once a person is diagnosed, a healthcare provider usually tells them what they can expect. Then the patient comes to me and tells me their story of ‘what I can expect.’ But that’s not so! When a provider outlines the path of illness, it does not have to be your path. You are not always your genes. You are not your diagnosis,” she affirms. “You can make changes in your lifestyle and thought processes to turn your life around. You can heal—even when a cure isn’t possible.”
The key, says Weigel, is being motivated to change old patterns of behavior. “Oftentimes, a person needs to be directed to something unconventional, and instill behaviors that are different than the way they usually navigate through the world. Working through old stories, old lies, and old trauma is vital to seeing the clouds part in the sky.”
Weigel knows this experience firsthand. Several years ago, after a long period of busy work schedules and being “all things to all people,” she woke up one morning with an uncomfortable tightness in her chest. “I knew it was a health crisis,” she recalls. “I decided that I needed time out to figure out what the next chapter of my story was going to be.” Weigel, willing to sacrifice her cushy job to regain her well-being, was granted a month-long sabbatical, which she spent in Hawaii. “I wrote for two hours every day, spent time in self-reflection, and renewed my passion for my work. I came back to center. By the time I left, I knew that everything in my life was going to be okay, no matter what.”
Weigel, who has been practicing in the field of medicine for two decades, says she came to integrative medicine through her yoga practice. “Years ago, an opportunity to take a yoga practitioner training course fell in my lap. At first, I resisted with every fiber of my being,” she says. “My immediate response was that I was too busy.” However, she soon realized that her schedule was free every weekend the yoga workshops took place. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Eventually I knew it was the right thing to do and signed up for the course.” Now, this 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher is the co-founder of oMS Yoga, which brings free yoga classes to people living with MS.
She opened First Coast Integrative Medicine to offer a new approach to traditional medicine—patient, heart-centered listening. “Health is not just the absence of disease, but the experience of vitality. And how you feel is deeply interconnected with your personal history and even your beliefs. The interplay of physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual elements contributes to your overall wellness,” writes this passionate practitioner, who enjoys honoring her intuition when working with her patients. “My intuition is just one of the healing tools in my toolkit. I trust my ability to connect with people. Instead of being afraid of it, I lean into it and remain intentional about what I’m saying and why I’m saying it.”
According to Weigel, she loves nothing more than helping others achieve a healthier body, mind and spirit using a combination of conventional and holistic practices. “There is always something bigger and better that we can do for ourselves. Allow the healing in with a combination of spirituality, breathing and movement as medicine. Heal yourself and you can turn that into energy that can heal our world. Take that pen in your hand—even if you feel like you might fall. Because, more than likely, you’ll learn how to fly.”
First Coast Integrative Medicine is located at 14215 Spartina Ct., Ste. 200, in Jacksonville. For more information or to schedule an in-person or online appointment, call 904-543-3510 or visit FirstCoastIntegrativeMedicine.com.