Wellness is made up of many components, from work-life balance to nutrition and regular exercise. While there are basic guidelines that help us understand what we should do to feel our best (such as filling our plates with greens or sleeping six to eight hours each night), each person’s journey to optimum health is different. Dr. Taz Bhatia MD, the author of Super Woman RX, agrees. To understand more, we recently talked to Dr. Taz to get the 411 on her concept of “Power Types” and what they mean, along how women can use their understanding of their own type to uncover a more personal and effective path to feeling awesome and energetic every day.
W.E.L.L. Team: What’s your professional background? Where does your interest in women’s wellness come from?
Dr. Taz Bhatia: I’m a board certified integrative medicine physician, a certified nutritionist, acupuncturist, yoga teacher, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, functional medicine doctor, and a pediatrician/ former emergency room doctor. My education and my interest in women’s health dovetail with my own personal journey for superior health.
In 2001, I completed a lifelong dream and became a doctor, first working as a pediatrician and then an emergency medicine physician. I was 28 years old—and while I should have felt like a million bucks, I was miserable. While I loved working with patients, I was stressed out, overwhelmed and exhausted. I’d put on 10 extra pounds that wouldn’t budge even thought I was partaking in long, high-intensity and frequent exercise sessions. My menstrual cycle was erratic, my face was covered in cystic acne, my joints were achy and my once long and thick hair was coming out in clumps. I remember opening my eyes in the mornings and squeezing them shut again; I dreaded every day and used multiple cups of coffee to wake me up, even though they never seemed to help.
I did what most women do, and went to see a doctor. From there, I followed the orders for lab work, prescriptions, further referrals to specialists—but nothing worked. When I finally became fed up with the lack of results (and the side effects of the medications I was taking), I decided to go back to my roots. I began by digging deeper into nutritional alternatives for health, using food as medicine, and then I went back to school to become a nutritionist, a Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner, a licensed acupuncturist and yoga instructor, and went back to several Ayurvedic (Indian health) recipes from my childhood!
Finally, I saw results! My face cleared up, my hair stopped falling out, my energy increased, I felt balanced and happy; I discovered and activated my own superpowers. It was this discovery of alternatives to conventional medicine, that sparked my interest, first in my own health, and then to help other women. I opened my own practice, and shortly afterwards was jam-packed with demands for more of my Super Woman medicine.
WT: That’s incredible! How many years did you practice before coming up with the idea of a “Power Type”? How did you begin to see and identify the different types?
DTB: For many years, I’ve noticed that several of my patients share certain issues, qualities, personality characteristics, even physical traits. Part of Ayurvedic practices and Traditional Chinese Medicine looks at “typing” people into certain groups based on all of these things; I started seeing continuity between these Eastern “typing” practices with the lab work, and other tests that I used from conventional medicine.
I started seeing what I like to call “Power Types.” I began keeping track of patients who would come in and share these similar qualities—and over the course of a year or so, I realized that I had discovered five key patterns or types of women who benefit from unique recommendations. By helping women discover their “type” in my practice, I was able to offer superior diet, exercise, supplements and mind/body practices that, when used in conjunction with conventional medicine, allowed my patients to thrive. Once I’d gone this far, I knew it was time to put it in a book to help all the women that I couldn’t practically see in my office.
WT: We love how all of your research and experience has come together and allowed you to work this way; it’s truly incredible. Do women today come to you to know which type they are? How do you identify their type?
DTB: When women come to see me for the first time, we spend a few hours together. I gather a comprehensive history, we do lab work and we discuss current issues. I can usually tell within the first 10 minutes of talking which Power Type my patient likely matches. To make this identification available to women everywhere, I’ve designed self-assessment tests that work to allow you to determine your Power Type.
WT: Once a woman knows what Power Type she is, what do you recommend she does to improve her personal path to wellness?
DTB: I always start with food as medicine, but that’s different for each woman I see. Some Power Types need to cut dairy; others need to ramp up protein. Next is to re-examine the current exercise regimen, and to either modify to fit the type, or do start an exercise plan that fits your own personal Super Woman. Finally, I incorporate and maximize mind/body exercises from yoga to journaling.
WT: So helpful, Dr. Taz. Thanks for sharing your insights and recommendations about personal wellness for women with us—we can’t wait to put them into practice.
Looking for a personalized plan to follow after taking Dr. Taz’s ‘Power Type’ quiz? See what she recommends in her new book, Super Woman RX, available on Amazon.com.