Dawn Marie Jacobson, MD, founder of Abundant Living Wellness Center, is a board-certified Integrative and Functional Medicine physician with special expertise in the natural medicine approach of Ayurveda. She focuses on personalized lifestyle treatments to minimize the number of prescription medicines needed to treat disease and maintain harmony of cellular and metabolic functions in the body.
Dr. Jacobson graduated from the University of Iowa College of Medicine with highest honors and completed her residency training at the University of California-San Diego Medical Center. She is an Integrative Medicine Fellow with the Andrew Weil program at the University of Arizona. Her Ayurveda for Health Professionals training was completed through Maharishi Ayurveda, Fairfield, Iowa. She has been a dedicated yoga practitioner for 17 years and has completed over 700 hours of yoga therapy training.
Dr. Jacobson's professional memberships include the Institute for Functional Medicine, the American College of Preventive Medicine, the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, and Alpha Omega Alpha.
Personal Healing Journey
After years of what some people might call "living a successful life" - graduating at the top of my medical school class; establishing and subsequently juggling numerous research, teaching, and medical responsibilities; and enjoying wonderful outdoor activities with a close network of friends that included skiing, surfing, running, and hiking- I reached a state of major burnout.
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia symptoms emerged. Daily migraines became my new normal. I had already suppressed allergy and asthma symptoms for years with medication. I suspected that I had some type of multiple chemical sensitivity response that became heightened when overworked and stressed by deadlines.
The turning point came when I experienced back-to-back ligament injuries in my ankle and rotator cuff. I was told that the ongoing pain was out of proportion to the MRI studies and surgery was not indicated. I was told to take pain medications and accept that the active life I once had might never return. I became depressed.
What is astonishing in retrospect is that not one of my treating physicians discussed the root causes of my chronic musculoskeletal and joint pain or the underlying constellation of burnout symptoms (allergies, rashes, fatigue, headaches, heartburn, irritable bowel, insomnia). Nor did they discuss lifestyle changes such as diet, herbs, yoga, meditation, counseling, bodywork, acupuncture, Reiki, sound therapy, etc. Fortunately, I had friends who encouraged me (more than once!) to seek integrative therapies to begin holistic healing of body-mind-and spirit.
I now live a more balanced life. I cook organic whole food from scratch (no more microwaves, boxes, or cans). I found a way to gently rehabilitate my joints through yoga, breath practices, and meditation. I follow a daily routine that matches the cycle of nature as well as my metabolic type. I seasonally take a small amount of type-specific herbs and supplements to maintain homeostasis of my immune, nervous, and hormonal systems. And I stay up-to-date on the prevention recommendations from western medicine (cancer screenings, metabolic screenings).
I am not always pain-free, but I am whole. This is the gift that Functional Medicine and Ayurveda have given to me. And I am grateful to be able to share these practices with my patients.