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Bobbie Barbrey, RPh, CCN, a registered pharmacist and a certified clinical nutritionist, is the owner of Medicap Pharmacy in North Raleigh, a full-service retail pharmacy, which also offers compounding and nutritional counseling.

Healing: A Process, Not a Pill

By Bobbie Barbrey, RPh, CCCN

If you’ve watched TV lately you’ve no doubt seen the many pharmaceutical commercials bombarding the airway. As happy scenes play across the screen, potential side effects for the medication are quietly noted as background noise. In my view, these commercials reflect a fundamental—and problematic—attitude all too prevalent today. The answer to health problems, these ads suggest, is a miracle drug. In fact, the solution seems so easy we tend to ignore all the warnings of dire, even life-threatening side effects and risks. And the message completely ignores the power we have to improve our own health without drugs.

Pharmacist Bobbie Barbrey helps a patient design her optimal health plan.

This approach to health—that a wonder drug will cure us—dates back to the ’70 s when miracle drugs were being developed to treat symptoms and few were even asking why the symptoms were there. And many new medications did provide great relief. The problem is, we’re too much in the habit of reaching first for the pill to “cure” our ailments—forgetting that the pill addresses the symptom, not the problem.

The body is incredibly efficient at making up for our indiscretions, but at some point, that toxic load is going to overflow and create symptoms that can’t be ignored. Eventually we have to accept that we cannot be stressed, toxic, inflamed, infected, malnourished, and unrested, and still thrive, grow, be thin, and feel well. That combination doesn’t work. Drugs have a place in medicine, but I want to challenge everyone to seek more. The next time you have a symptom, stop and think, why is my body reacting this way? What did I do to contribute to the symptom? What can I do to remove it?

The Process of Healing

Years ago, I realized that my passion was helping people heal. In the early days of my career as a pharmacist, my focus was on the medications I dispensed. Now, my approach is a bit different. I see healing as a process, not a pill. A personal story is a good example.


Polypharmacy—someone taking multiple medications—is all too common and my dad was a classic example of that. He relied on multiple medications to treat multiple problems. Yet instead of healing him, at the age of 65 he died a painful death of advanced heart disease. During the time he struggled with poor heath, I was a new pharmacist, always excited to see his latest medication because I was sure that it was going to solve his problems.

Medicap’s New Facilities: More Space, More Service

In May, Medicap Pharmacy moved to a new location, doubling its size. “This has been a wonderful step for us,” says Mr. Barbrey. “By doubling our space, we have not only increased our retail space, but we have expanded our compounding labs and space for consultations and patient education programs. And all the safeguards for protecting clients and staff are incor-porated fully into our new facility.

“More space allows us to feature a larger selection of preferred supplement lines. As you walk into the store, you’ll see a wellness educator office up front. We are here to answer your questions and help you plan for improved health.
“And, of course,” says Mr. Barbrey, “our entire operation is taking all appropriate precautions to protect clients and staff from Covid-19. We also have three designated parking spaces for curbside pick-ups, as well as two handicap spaces. For those who prefer, we can do phone counseling and curbside pick-ups.

“Our new pharmacy is the realization of a dream I have had for many years. The appearance, the energy, and the way you feel when you come in encourages health. Don’t take my word for it.

Come and visit!

Truthfully, my dad wasn’t a good patient. After his first heart attack at age 42, he was prescribed three meds and was excited about how well they made him feel. But he continued to be a two-pack a day smoker, often ate late meals, made poor food choices, never exercised, was very stressed, slept too little, and drank more than he should. The many meds—while they reduced his symptoms—couldn’t overcome these poor choices.

Now when I work with patients, my goal is to engage them in their own healing process—a process that may involve medication, but is much more than that. I ask these questions: What is your present health like and where you would like your optimum health to be? What do you need to do to get there? What’s your responsibility in protecting your health?

The key to health is to evaluate your life, to ask yourself what more you can do. Drugs may help cover symptoms, but ultimately, I want you to embrace the idea that you can heal your body too.

The Power of
a Healing Plan

The best way to manage your health is with a plan. I encourage you to find someone to work with to develop and follow that plan. This is what I do in coaching patients. We start by moving away from the idea that drugs are making you healthier. We look at your health history, we look for hints of what’s contributing to your symptoms. I re-evaluate your labs from a different perspective, a tighter range, to see what’s starting to move out of balance before it becomes a major issue, and to see what areas to focus on. We dig deeper and try to get to the root causes.

Next, I’ll ask you the most important question of all: What will motivate you to improve your health? Perhaps it’s an emotional connection to your family, your kids, or grandkids? Perhaps it’s the traveling you still want to do, the new career you’re pursuing, the retirement you’re planning. Everyone needs a reason.

When the reason is clear, the plan unfolds. We identify the health issues to be overcome, and the changes and choices that must be made to move that plan forward. I love encouraging people to make these behavioral changes and not to be defeated by the number of meds they take. And, as they implement the changes, I’ve seen people able to reduce their meds, and/or their strength and frequency, with the consent of their doctor, as their health improves.

Assessment Is Key

An important early part of the healing process is to evaluate all aspects of the patient’s health issues. At Medicap Pharmacy, we routinely work with patient lab results. We also evaluate hormonal and adrenal status, typically done with saliva or dried urine via the DUTCH Test. In addition, we find the Biomeridian to be helpful—this is a non-invasive, energetic assessment that helps identify areas of highest stress or inflammation in the body. Beyond these assessments we look at environmental issues as well. Could there be exposure to mold in your home? What is the toxic burden that is compromising your health?

A condition we routinely see is blood sugar dysregulation—high blood sugar which often leads to diabetes. When I bring up these out of ranges levels with the patient, I’m struck by how often they say “My doctor is watching my numbers.” And my reaction is “No! We don’t want to watch your numbers; we need to take charge of your numbers—right now—to keep you from becoming a diabetic.”In our individualized health consultations, we help you find the most effective changes that will help you improve your health. Give yourself and your family the best holiday gift of all—that of good health. Schedule your consultation today.