Explore the Five Pillars of Wellness

By |2020-08-05T08:21:36-04:00January 15th, 2020|Articles, Dr. Sharp's PlumLine Articles|

At Plum Spring Clinic, our holistic approach to healing chronic illness is grounded in the conviction that our well-being arises from our self-care in five major domains: happiness and resilience to stress; nutrition; exercise and movement; rest and sleep; and toxin avoidance and elimination. This article provides holistic health tips and features a brief discussion of each of the pillars of wellness.

Pillars Of Wellness

Happiness and Stress Resilience

First in the pillars of wellness, happiness, may seem to be simple;  however, it takes no less attention or practice to achieve and is […]

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Is Your Sunscreen Doing More Harm Than Good?

By |2020-06-22T11:55:12-04:00October 30th, 2019|Articles|

Skin ProtectionDid you know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US? In fact, the number of Americans diagnosed with skin cancer is higher than the number diagnosed with all other cancers combined and the rates continue to rise. Research has shown that sun exposure is the number one modifiable risk factor for this potentially deadly and disfiguring disease. Sun exposure also has been shown to cause premature skin wrinkling and aging. So it is no wonder that Americans are using sunscreen to provide skin protection more […]

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The Last Place

By |2021-04-07T09:09:45-04:00October 31st, 2014|Articles|

I find myself exploring people’s minds for what’s going on in their body. And this is what I’ve found: The mind, particularly the part of the mind that holds our secrets, can torture us, body and soul.

I see a lot of people who have chronic back pain, fatigue, diarrhea, migraines, arthritis, and insomnia. They’ve been to their primary care physician, a specialist, a chiropractor, a psychiatrist and a physical therapist. They’ve had x-rays, scans, blood and urine tests. They’ve been on medication or supplements and may have been in therapy. They’ve changed their diets and taken meditation classes. And still […]

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Paul’s Lessons

By |2021-04-07T09:11:35-04:00September 22nd, 2014|Articles|

40 years ago last month, I started my internship in Pediatrics. Since then I’ve had a convoluted professional (and personal) path, but I observe a theme in that path – my attraction to families dealing with chronic illness and disabilities. My father was a physician who taught me that medicine is more art than science and the core of the art is respectful, caring talk. An observer of my career trajectory might see it as a search for the meaning and effective manifestations of his belief. I’d like to think they wouldn’t be mistaken.

One of my best childhood friends had […]

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The Importance of Kindness

By |2021-04-07T09:12:45-04:00May 14th, 2014|Articles|

I have been studying trauma and its effects on our health. There is troubling and compelling evidence that adverse experiences—especially in childhood—hurt us in the long run in every way imaginable.

I see more women in my practice than men by about a ratio of about 2 to 1. I see illnesses that are complex and multi-system in nature. For example, many of my patients have both headaches and digestive problems that don’t get better with medication. I see patients who don’t sleep well and have disabling fatigue. I see people who gain weight and can’t get it off. […]

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Picking up the Phone – Some of my tools for fighting anxiety

By |2021-04-07T09:14:10-04:00January 6th, 2014|Articles|

I’ve been writing in this column about trapped fight-or- flight responses as the origin of post-traumatic stress disorder. The theory is that the primitive part of the brain that controls our nervous system’s response to threat needs to come to completion any time it is startled into action. The body wants to fight or flee and if it cannot, the energy of those powerful impulses are stuck. Imagine your accelerator and brake […]

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The Inner Cage – How your body can hurt you by trying to protect you.

By |2021-04-07T09:15:33-04:00November 4th, 2013|Articles, Events and Announcements, Functional Medicine|

It’s a scary idea. That we might have a disease process going on with no symptoms or signs to help us know that there’s a threat. This is the concept that drives the importance of routine physical exams and doctors visits. And certainly some of the diseases that shorten our lives or lead to disabilities can be discovered in their earliest stages in these routine health maintenance visits. But there are some that cannot.

I discussed in my last column the work of Peter A. Levine1.  He is the father of what’s called Somatic Experiencing2. It is his hypothesis that many diseases are […]

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The Hunt – Luke’s Fatigue and Severe Indigestion.

By |2021-04-07T09:16:25-04:00September 4th, 2013|Articles, Functional Medicine, Nutrition|


I love a good Who-Done-It. This attraction to solving mysteries extends beyond my recreational reading. When I was introduced to functional medicine about 10 years ago, my immediate reaction was to ask why they didn’t teach that to me in Medical School!

The core belief of functional medicine is that all our maladies are from breakdowns in one or more of the basic physiological components of our body. Each of these components takes care of a part of what keeps us healthy. Here are the core domains: breakdown, […]

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