Menu Close

Episode 37: Building Daily Rituals to Address Root Cause

Spotify Google  |  Apple

“I never really say get rid of your stress. We have to find a way to manage our stress,” shares Rachel Martin, IFM Certified Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner of 6 years. Rachel was drawn to functional medicine when her third child was born with a rare genetic disorder called congenital central hypoventilation syndrome. Then, Rachel was under a massive amount of chronic stress from taking care of her older children, opening her practice, and managing her youngest child’s condition, and her gut health was getting worse and worse. The standard medical interventions for treating digestive problems were not helping because they weren’t addressing the root cause of the problems. As Rachel began to learn more about functional medicine, she realized that the way to really help people make long term health changes was to tackle the root cause and focus on the gut-brain connection.

It is not possible to fix gut issues long term without taking into account the psychological component.

The gut and the brain are intricately connected and in times of stress, people will often find their digestive problems getting worse. When people are stressed, they often aren’t eating properly or sleeping enough and all of these factors need to be considered. Some issues that many people face when starting functional medicine treatment are that they overdo it on the supplements or they get into a neverending elimination diet with no attempt to work any of the foods back in later on. Rachel helps her patients to go a step beyond the basic elimination diet and supplements by incorporating daily rituals that help reduce stress. She recommends walking, yoga, and meditation to her patients in place of more high intensity exercises to help them bring mindfulness into their day. She also focuses more on helping clients know what to eat, rather than only focusing on what to avoid. 

If you want to improve your health long-term, you need to address the root causes like stress, diet, and sleep. The gut and brain are very much connected and when you improve your mental health and take time for self-care, you will improve your physical health simultaneously. Tune into this week’s episode of The Catalyst to learn more about daily rituals you can add to your routine to help reduce stress and heal your gut-brain connection.

About Rachel Martin, NP, IFMCP, Founder of Root + Ritual Functional Medicine:

Rachel Martin, NP, IFMCP is a mom of 3 kiddos, wife to a handsome firefighter, and Family Nurse Practitioner for the past 6 years. She loves reading books, laughing with her husband, dancing with the kids, sunshine on her face, and a morning cup of matcha.

Rachel has always been fascinated with the human body. It wasn’t until her body began to break down during nursing school that she began to pay more attention. For more than a decade, she has been caring for others in the healthcare field while simultaneously healing herself. Rachel has overcome IBS, mold, toxicity, and is now facing chronic stress. Rachel’s third child, Parker, has a rare genetic disorder: congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS). Her disease affects her almost entirely while she’s asleep aka when Rachel should be sleeping. It’s been a rough road for Rachel but has ultimately married two of the most important principles in functional medicine, namely gut health and stress management.

Rachel leverages what she is able to and makes peace with the rest. Parker has inspired Rachel to live in the moment and encourage others to do the same. Nobody has time to Google their symptoms and cobble together a complicated, time-sucking treatment plan.

Inspired by her own struggles, Rachel created a 12-week foundational lifestyle program in Functional Medicine. She equips clients with stress management tools and a simplified gut-healing protocol so they can quickly, effectively, and (most importantly) easily reclaim their foundational health.

In This Episode We're Talking About:

  • Healing the gut begins with healing the mind. By focusing on improving your mindset and creating daily rituals, you can come to a place of healing because you’re addressing the actual root cause.
  • Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s actually the least selfish thing you can do because when you prioritize self-care, then you’re able to show up as the best version of yourself. The people you’re serving then get the best of you.
  • It isn’t about perfection. It’s about making tiny changes that you can stick with day over day that create a net positive result. We have dynamic, busy lives so it’s impossible to bring 100% in any one area. Give it your all but allow yourself grace.


  • “It’s not enough to work on the gut. You have to address the gut-brain connection. And you have to address stress.” (6:08-6:14 | Rachel) 


  • “I never really say get rid of your stress. We have to find a way to manage our stress.” (8:54-9:00 | Rachel)


  • “You should not have a part-time job taking supplements, nor should you have to have a part-time job to afford all of your supplements because you’re taking so many.” (13:56-14:04 | Rachel)


  • “I’ve had so many people who have come to me, they’re all in their 30s and they’re exhausted. They’re like, ‘I’m doing everything right.’ And then their quote, unquote, right is intermittent fasting, low carb diets, and high intensity interval training. And I’m like, this is just too much for you right now.” (16:46-17:06 | Rachel)


  • “I want them to literally not see me for years or maybe we have the occasional maintenance. But I want my patients to stay well.” (25:00-25:09 | Rachel)


  • “Stop focusing on don’t eat this, don’t eat that. Tell me what to eat.” (28:34-28:38 | Rachel)

Links for this Episode:

Connect with Rachel Martin, NP, IFMCP:

Connect with Dr. Lara Salyer:

Thank You For Listening!

If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review! Your positive review helps other physicians find this podcast and increase the visibility.

About The Catalyst Host, Dr. Lara Salyer:

I worked as a family physician for 15 years until burnout changed the trajectory of my career. I realized I wanted to start a holistic functional medicine practice in my rural hometown and made it happen. In addition to practicing functional medicine, I now mentor practitioners who are looking to change their paths in healthcare by using what I refer to as the “Catalyst Roadmap”. I share each step of this framework with listeners so that they may apply it to their careers, relationships, personal goals, and projects. 

Episode Search

Mark your calendars! The Catalyst launches episodes weekly. You can expect to find a new, insightful conversation with a catalyst every Friday!