Provider Highlights: "Hearing Women Say They Feel Like Themselves Again Is the Best Part of My Job!"

by
Parsley Health
Author
Medically Reviewed
August 11, 2023

At Parsley Health, our medical teams are staffed with medical providers, health coaches, and RN care managers with specialized training in root-cause resolution medicine .

Read on and get to know medical provider Ashley Gish, NP, formerly with Parsley Health.

Q: Why did you become a nurse practitioner?

As long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in nutrition and women’s health. I always knew I wanted to work with women in some capacity but my path getting here wasn’t exactly straightforward.

I started practicing yoga when I was 13 (which was an absolute game-changer for my mental health!), then spent my early college years teaching yoga and working on organic farms in Australia. Out of college I worked with several humanitarian organizations locally and internationally. I had studied behavioral science and public health in school, and loved the idea of helping people live healthier lives. The common threads that kept coming up for me was that therew as a massive need for women’s health across the globe, and that a really impactful way to create healthier families and healthier communities was to care for women!

This realization inspired me to return to the University of Utah to study nursing and pursue my doctorate in Women’s Health and Midwifery. All of these experiences really solidified my belief in mind/body medicine , and when I finally found functional medicine, it felt like all of these interests were brought together in a really beautiful way.

Q: As a nurse practitioner at Parsley Health, what are the health conditions you see most often?

Digestive issues , anxiety , hormone imbalances , and thyroid and adrenal health issues are the most common conditions I see in a typical week. Stress and overwhelm are the modern-day ailments of almost every woman I know! And the impact it has on our health and our hormones is profound.

While an unbalanced lifestyle isn’t always the root of the issue, it almost always contributes to symptoms. Fortunately, there’s so much we can do to get patients back to feeling good!

Q: Why did you join Parsley Health?

Because I think there’s a whole lot more to health than just the absence of disease! And when people feel good, they’re able to do more good in the world.

One of the things I love most about Parsley is being able to spend more time with my patients. From the very first visit, we dive deep into the patient’s health history and get into all of the many factors that may be contributing to how they’re feeling. What they’re eating, how they’re moving, sleep, social connectedness, their sense of purpose. It all matters! It’s truly a holistic, whole-body approach to healthcare, treating the whole person rather than just symptoms.

I also love how well-supported patients are throughout their journey! Not only do they have access to their medical provider, they're able to email questions and have access to an entire team of RN care managers and health coaches who are a wealth of knowledge and provide so much education and support to keep patients moving towards their health goals.

Q: What’s the best part of your job?

Hearing women say they feel like themselves again is 100 percent the best part of my job! I love helping women discover the foods, movements, and daily practices they need to feel their best every day. Because when women feel good, they’re able to show up more fully in their lives. And it’s not only their life that gets better, but their families, communities, and the world, too.

Q: What is your experience of the current healthcare system and where would you like to see changes?

It’s a very reactive system. And for some things that actually can make sense, like when you break your arm, for example. But for so many of the chronic conditions that exist today, this approach of waiting until there’s a problem and putting bandaids on symptoms just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

There’s a well known story in public health about a fisherman seeing someone being swept downstream in the river. After pulling the first person out, he sees more and more people being swept away. The root-cause approach says, "Instead of exhausting all of our resources by pulling people out, let’s go upstream and find the problem."

I’d love to see more of this upstream, preventative approach being utilized more widely in our healthcare system.

Q: How would you describe your relationship with your patients?

In working with patients, my goal is for us to become partners throughout their health journey. A lot of women come to me after having had their symptoms dismissed for years , so it’s really important to me to create a safe space where women feel heard.

I’m always reminding my patients that while I’m the expert in women’s health, they’re the expert on their body, so we work together to make healthcare decisions that make sense for their bodies and their lives. There’s research and science (which I love!), but there’s also inner wisdom, and I think it’s important to honor both.

Q: What are three non-negotiable things you do every day?

A few minutes of breath work or a simple meditation first thing in the morning. I love the early morning hours; it’s quiet and I can be alone with my thoughts before the business of the day sets in. But it’s also a great time to get focused work done, so I’m often tempted to roll out of bed and dive right into work. But my day goes so much better when I take some time to breathe and get some movement in first.

Speaking of movement, some kind of daily movement is a habit I’ve been consistent with since I was a teenager. Even better when I can get outside. I’m a better provider, mom, and human when I carve out this time for myself. Even if it’s only a few minutes, it makes such a big difference in how I feel.

Eating nourishing, colorful food is another non-negotiable for me. It helps me to feel good in my mind and my body, but I try not to be dogmatic about it. I still think Michael Pollan said it best: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Q: Favorite health and wellness account on social media?

One Commune . They’ve brought together experts from so many different areas of health and wellness, and offer classes on everything from personal growth and spirituality, to eating for mental health and meditation. It’s a great place to learn and hear some new perspectives.

Minimalist Baker and Green Kitchen Stories are my go-to blogs for simple and nourishing recipes.

Camille Styles . Camille’s blog is a great resource for all things healthy living: simple recipes, travel itineraries, good books, gardening and home design. A little bit of all the good stuff!

Q: Favorite food?

I’m not good at picking favorites...but if I had to choose I’d probably eat tabbouleh and homemade hummus all day long. And I never say no to good chocolate, the darker the better.

Q: Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Plan something every day that brings you joy. A small but intentional action to look forward to...a walk with a friend or a matcha from your favorite coffee shop. It doesn’t have to be big, but it does have to be intentional.

I’ve always been a believer that joy is an underrated component of most wellness routines, so this advice has really stuck with me. It’s something I try to do for myself and recommend for my patients.

Because whether it's savoring a meal, spending time with people we love, or just having a little more fun, little moments of joy in our days makes our lives better. And there’s not much healthier than that.

Follow Ashley on Instagram here . Get to know our other Parsley providers here .

Want to become a Parsley Health member? Schedule a free call  to learn more about Parsley’s virtual primary care , how to use insurance  to pay for your Parsley medical fees, and more.

by
Parsley Health
Author

Parsley Health is the doctor that helps you live healthier, longer, by treating the root cause of symptoms and conditions. Our medical teams—staffed by leading clinicians and health coaches—spend more time with you, order the right tests, and prescribe food, sleep and movement alongside medications so you can get better—and feel better.

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