Dr. Sarah Davies

MBChB, MRCGP, IFM Certified Functional Medicine practitioner

Dr Sarah graduated from the University of Manchester in Medicine in 2003, and pursued a career in General Practice until 2021 when she finally made the decision to leave the NHS and concentrate on her work in the Functional Medicine Clinic. She is one of only a small number of fully certified Functional Medicine doctors in the UK and combines her experience from over 18 years as an NHS doctor with her training in Functional Medicine.

Since opening the Functional Medicine clinic in 2016, Dr Sarah has worked with hundreds with patients from across the UK with complex and chronic health conditions. She has a particular interest in the management of chronic fatigue and thyroid problems and has worked extensively with patients suffering from autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The clinic also offers a specialist service supporting adults with cognitive decline / Alzheimer’s Disease, who wish to use Dr Dale Bredesen's RECODE protocol. As a generalist, Dr Sarah is also happy to work with children including those with Autism Spectrum Disorders and food sensitivities.

Dr Sarah enjoys rock climbing and is developing her interest organic gardening at her home in the High Peak.

GMC Number: 6078548

Empowering you to heal & grow

Dr Alex Davidson

BSc (Hons) MBBS (Merit) MRCGP (2012) DRCOG AFHEA MA (Hons) AFMCP

Dr Alex graduated from University College London Medical School in 2005 and has pursued an academic career in medicine, working as an Academic Clinical Fellow in both Clinical Pharmacology at Imperial College London, and Primary Care at University College London.

She has a special interest in Medical education and most recently held a substantive University post in Medical Education at Cambridge University where she was Assistant Director in General Practice and educational lead for the second clinical year. She continues to be a GP tutor at Cambridge.

Her interest in Functional Medicine stems from her own experience as a patient, where she transformed her health using simple nutrition & lifestyle principles alongside high quality supplements. This led to her choosing to follow her passion and train in this highly specialised medical field, and she has now completed all her training modules through the prestigious Institute of Functional Medicine in the United States.

Dr Alex’s first appointment in Functional Medicine was as Chief Medical Officer at Taymount Clinic, UK, where she supported the Faecal Microbial Transplant service. She is a keen baker and is Medical Director of the Sourdough School, an academy specialising in the nutrition & digestibility of bread and the impact of the gut microbiome on physical and mental health.

She is a keen road cyclist and has particular interests in sports performance and gut health.

Dr Alex continues to work as a NHS GP two days a week.

Integrated Approach to Healthcare

Dr Clementina La Rosa

Dr La Rosa is a consultant paediatrician and endocrine specialist. She graduated from the University of Catania in Italy, completed specialist training in general paediatrics and sub-specialised in paediatric endocrinology focusing on the endocrine care of the young adult, with most of her core training based in a tertiary paediatric and adult endocrine unit at University College London Hospital.

Dr La Rosa’s clinical and research interests lie mainly in the field of female metabolism and hormonal disorders throughout a lifespan, particularly polycystic ovary syndrome, ovarian function, and Turner Syndrome and she has been involved in a project documenting long term consequences of disorders of reproductive development that was launched in 2014.

Seeking an integrated approach to improve patient’s health and quality of life, Dr La Rosa complemented her training with further education in Nutrition (PGCert Nutrition and Public Health, UCL 2012), Ketogenic Nutrition (American Nutrition Association 2021) and Functional Medicine (AFMMC 2017). Her practice combines conventional healthcare with functional medicine and nutrition. Her multi-disciplinary ethos incorporates an evaluation of diet, lifestyle, emotional health and environmental factors as possible precipitators of different chronic hormonal problems.

Dr La Rosa is a metabolic balance coach and Estima Certified Practitioner, these approaches are integrated into her practice to optimise nutrition and weight control where necessary

The Clinic Story

With a longstanding active interest in nutrition, Dr Sarah began to look for more natural and non-drug based ways to help herself and her family with their health problems. After seeing the benefits of the functional approach in practice at home and with her NHS patients, she decided to train in Functional Medicine.

Dr Sarah is one of only a small number of fully certified Functional Medicine doctors in the UK and combines her experience from over 18 years as an NHS doctor with her training in Functional Medicine from the prestigious Institute for Functional Medicine based in the US.

The original Functional Medicine clinic was opened in 2016 and has grown steadily. Dr Sarah now leads a Multi-disciplinary team including fellow Functional Medicine Practitioner Dr Alex Davidson and Consultant Endocrinologist Dr Clementina La Rosa alongside expert Nutritional Therapists, Erica Gibbon and Laura Johnson, and a Health Coach, psychotherapist and Journey Practitioner Karen Butler. The clinic doctors use their knowledge of general medicine alongside their training in nutrition, genomics and lifestyle medicine to help a wide range of patients with chronic health conditions to restore and optimise their health.

The Clinic passionately promotes the importance of nutrition and lifestyle in shaping and optimising health -preferring this approach over medications to mask symptoms wherever possible. We have many successes treating patients with autoimmunity, thyroid problems, chronic fatigue and many other issues using these techniques.

After seeing the amazing benefits of the functional approach in practice both at home and with her NHS patients, she decided to train in Functional Medicine.

The clinic views educating and empowering patients to take control of their own health as essential for success. It is often the efforts of the patient themselves which has the biggest impact when working in this field.

We advocate the use of advanced nutritional and hormonal screening tests, to inform our holistic Functional treatment plans. Using cutting edge diagnostics we drill down to understand the root causes of chronic disease.

Our practitioners continually work to expand their knowledge and understanding by joining together as a team and with like-minded practitioners from all over the world in continuing professional development.

Meet the rest of the team

Dr Sarah's team of specialists and experts are at the heart of the clinic's work.

Joan Combs

Practice Manager

Joan has 16 years’ experience as an NHS Practice Manager and has worked with Dr Sarah in the Functional Medicine Clinic since 2017. She holds a Distinction in Primary Care Management and was a practice Manager in Tameside before coming to work in the Functional Medicine Clinic.

Joan loves dealing with patients and is known at the clinic for her calm and supportive nature. She is the go-to person if you need advice on how the clinic works or need help with appointments, prescriptions or help with payments.

Joan has a love of the outdoors and her passions include Fell-walking and running and spending time with her family.

Sarah Watson

Practice Administrator and PA to Dr Sarah

Sarah has been a medical secretary for 20 years working in NHS hospitals as well as a busy GP Surgery. After 5 years of typing thousands of Dr Sarah’s clinic letters, there is very little about Functional Medicine that Sarah doesn’t know!

Sarah can advise patients on the work the clinic does and the treatments on offer. She is a great problem solver and will help you with any problems around the practice administration, booking blood testing and accessing your results.

As well as her admin role, Sarah helps to enable the smooth running of the clinic and stands in for Joan when she is absent.

Alongside her work in the clinic, Sarah is trained as a Gardening Therapist, and volunteers at her local Mental Health Unit helping patients to regain health and wellbeing through gardening and being in touch with nature.

Karen Butler BSc (Hons) Psychology

Journey Practitioner, Psychotherapist, Health coach

Karen gained her BSc(Hons) in Psychology in 2001 and also earned her master Coaching Certificate. She spent 22 years working within corporate organisations helping businesses to optimise employee performance while coaching the workforce in how to get the best from their working environment.

After a career working in business, Karen decided to formalised her counselling skills and switched her focus to helping individuals to optimise their potential through psychotherapy. She is member of the National Counselling Society and holds an Advanced Professional Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling and a Certificate in Counselling Skills for Working with Children.

The Journey

Karen is a trainer on the global Journey Method Online programme, including ‘Out Of The Blue - freedom from depression’ and offers Journey Therapy sessions online.

This technique is a globally recognized and critically acclaimed healing and transformational process, pioneered by Brandon Bays.

The Journey has released hundreds of thousands of people from blocked emotions and trapped cell memories, releasing conditions as varied as anxiety, depression, physical illness, trauma, low self-esteem, phobias, unwanted behaviours, pain, relationship difficulties and career limitations, allowing them to live more freely and to their potential.

This approach uses guided introspection to enable clients to strip away layers of emotions that have been stored in their bodies over the years, causing both emotional and physical blocks. Sessions last up to 3 hours for adults and 90 minutes for children.

Karen’s Personal Experiences with Functional Medicine

From the age of 11, Karen’s daughter began to suffer with health issues and fatigue, by the age of 20 she could barely stand or even speak. However, through working with Dr Sarah at the clinic, the Functional Medicine approach allowed her to successfully return to and complete her university studies, after taking 2 years out.

Having seen the power of Functional Medicine to transform lives, Karen is a passionate advocate for Functional Medicine. Her real life practical experience in caring for her daughter with Chronic Fatigue makes her the perfect health coach to support those suffering from this condition.

Having worked through many aspects of our Treatment Plans in practice, Karen is ideally placed to help patients make our recommendations a practical reality. Her combination of empathy, the wealth of psychological tools at her disposal and her real life experiences make her an enormous asset to our team.

In her spare times Karen enjoys horse riding and Nordic Walking.

Erica Gibbon (BSc, MBANT, CNHC)

Functional Nutritional Therapist

Erica has her own Nutritional Therapy clinic in Southport and works with clients face-to-face and online supporting them to achieve better health and more happiness through personalised 1-2-1 programmes, group training sessions, support groups and retreats.

Throughout her life, Erica has been fascinated by the ability of the mind to rise to, and overcome, challenges of the body and brain to regenerate health. That has led to her also practising as a HeartMath Coach, NLP Practitioner and Reiki therapist. She has studied with the Institute of Functional Medicine, The National Centre for Eating Disorders and The Chrysalis Effect for ME, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia recovery.

She is certified and regularly, teaches ‘The Brain Health Programme’, a nutrition and lifestyle programme to optimise memory, wellbeing and mood based on traditional wisdom and the latest research in Functional Medicine and neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to form new neural connections).

Erica has a passion for teaching and making complex subjects simple to understand and implement.

Laura Johnson (BSc, MBANT, CNHC)

Functional Nutritional Therapist

After a decade working in corporate Finance, Laura followed her true passion and studied at The College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM) London and now lectures in Naturopathic Nutrition at CNM’s Manchester college. She joined Dr Sarah's Functional Medicine Clinic in 2020 and has been working with Nutritional Therapy clients 1-2-1 since 2011.

Laura loves to inspire and help people to improve their wellbeing via functional food, explaining complex science in simple to understand terms and tailoring her advice to the individual’s likes, needs and abilities. Her special interests are in brain health, digestive issues, Diabetes, weight-management, allergies & asthma. She believes in putting as much pleasure and joy into healthy eating as possible and enjoys concocting healthy puddings and treats in her sugar-free kitchen.

Laura has practised yoga for 20 years, is an open-water swimmer and is a big advocate for engaging with nature and breathwork techniques as therapeutic tools. Using the Buteyko breathing method and nutritional therapy, Laura has been her own success story, giving up her daily asthma medication after more than 30 years to live inhaler-free and symptom-free since 2014.

Laura is currently studying to be a Buteyko Practitioner to train others in this safe, effective breathing method. She also co-created and runs ‘Feel Great Formula’, supporting women’s health & weight-loss via retreats & online courses and she regularly delivers corporate nutrition programmes across the North West & online.

The journey towards optimal health has to start from where each of us finds ourselves now. Change is not always easy, but once the benefits are felt, the encouragement to continue gathers momentum.

— Dr Sarah Davies

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