A Passion for Holistic Health Care for Children
A Spotlight on Dr. Lorelle Bradley of NIHA
by Robin FillmoreDr. Lorelle Bradley is a holistic pediatrician at National Integrated Health Associates (NIHA) who understands that to help children, and their parents, she must be more than their doctor. She also serves as a navigator and advocate, helping families develop their children into healthy productive adults. Trained as a general pediatrician, it is her holistic training that helps her navigate through roadblocks, detours, hurdles, and even road closures, which are often difficult and discouraging. She has found that the supportive environment found at NIHA, in Chevy Chase, enables her to practice the conventional and holistic components of her training, and allows her to live out her passion to serve children.
“As a holistic provider, I have many more tools to use to traverse through the difficulties that are oftentimes encountered in the journey,” notes Bradley. “Holistic and integrative medicine are my enhanced traction devices that allow for the consideration of the environmental, genetic, biological and spiritual passages that serve as alternate or complementary routes to bring families and children safely to their ultimate destination.”
Bradley graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine with a doctorate in medicine and a masters of science in cell and molecular biology, with an emphasis in genetics. From there, she received pediatric residency training at Howard University Hospital and fellowship training at Georgetown in community pediatrics and child advocacy. In her first position as a full time board-certified pediatrician at an HMO, she discovered that many patients had issues that her conventional training did not address, and thus, inspired her journey to become a holistic provider.
After much additional training, she become board-certified through the American Board of Integrative Medicine, in 2009, and since has been incorporating her knowledge of holistic modalities in general pediatric settings. She also gives back to the field by training medical students and resident physicians at Howard University and osteopathic students from other institutions through elective courses.
Now serving at NIHA, one of the area’s most respected integrative healing centers, Bradley notes that her skills have been strengthened. “NIHA is a unique health ecosystem, allowing synergy of a multitude of complementary and alternative specialties to play well in the sandbox together. I learn from all the providers at NIHA, including the health coaches, naturopaths, energy healers, the detox and IV infusion teams, and especially the dental team! I feel honored and privileged to be a part of such a diverse team that serves children and their families.”
Despite decades of training, Bradley makes time to expand her knowledge and enhance her skills, most recently to include mind-body modalities, herbals, supplements, diet and homeopathy. The focus of her recent training is to deal with ADHD, autism, behavioral issues, asthma, allergies (seasonal, environmental and food), gastro-intestinal disorders, eczema, Lyme disease with or without co-Infections and PANDAS/PANS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcus/pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome).
Each day has the potential to bring miracles with Bradley. At the least, she is witness to the promise and hope in her patients. “They are so resilient, strong, sweet and vulnerable. I love advocating for them. Seeing them respond to little interventions amazes me and keeps me passionate about my role,” she notes. While there are challenges for parents, who often feel overwhelmed when faced with healthcare decisions, Bradley approaches her patients as an advocate and as a mother (and a “Glama” to bonus grandchildren, because she is “too young to be a grandmother”). From this perspective, it is easy for her to empathize as parents must make, sometimes, difficult choices. Most importantly, she deeply believes in selectively choosing support systems that have positive influences on children and in recruiting “village members”, including teachers, mentors, spiritual leaders, and even healthcare providers, who support the child and parents through difficult times.
To Bradley, serving as a doctor and advocate with families as they go from birth through childhood, enables her to stand with amazing children as they encounter intertwining roads to success. She helps them discover physical, mental, emotional, environmental, genetic, biology and spiritual paths to healing and wholeness.
Dr. Bradley can be reached at NIHA, 5225 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Ste 402, D.C. For more information, call 202-237-7000 or visit NIHADC.com.