More than Just a Company Name
Ask Dr. Lori Palazzo about her new practice and she will become exuberant. As her eyes brighten and with a beaming smile, she can’t help but convey how the twists and turns of her life have landed her right where she belongs.
Meet Dr. Palazzo
Born and raised in New Orleans, she and her family came to Georgetown in 2007 after a friend suggested they consider moving here after Katrina. It took them exactly one day to fall in love with our friendly community and the wide-open spaces that unexpectedly surround us but with the amenities of a big city.
As a primary care physician with additional specialized training, Dr. Palazzo soon opened a private practice to combine the best of both worlds. Her background in bioidentical hormones allowed her to help menopausal women with all-natural hormone therapy. Plus, as a certified plant-based nutritionist, she understood the importance of diet and nutrition for the prevention and management of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses.
Most importantly, specific training in functional medicine provided her with added insight into each of her patients.
Functional medicine is a process by which the physician assesses each patient’s lifestyle and habits to arrive at a personal diagnosis and treatment plan. Focusing on body, mind, spirit and community, the patient enters into a partnership of healing using natural and minimally invasive methods that strengthen and nourish the body.
In contrast, traditional medical schools use synthetic medicine and invasive procedures or surgery to treat ailments. With a focus on the outer symptoms only, western medicine fails to consider deep root causes and lasting consequences of disease.
A New Beginning
Prior to opening Joyful Living, Dr. Palazzo worked 18-hour days filled with fatigue, stress, and frustration fueled by the restrictions of the current healthcare model and its attendant insurance companies. When the end of her office lease finally gave her the impetus to close her practice, she began teaching in the medical school at Texas A&M University’s Round Rock campus. She later accepted the position of local health authority and medical director for Williamson County and Cities Health District—during COVID! That unique challenge provided valuable experiences, but only fueled her desire to return to her calling.
In February 2022, she opened the doors to Joyful Living in a little white cottage at the front of a picturesque park in Georgetown. Dr. Palazzo’s office conveys her personality with its modern, white décor and the striking floral painting that adds a touch of sophistication.
Originally believing herself a one-person show, her family has rallied around her and is fully engaged in her business. Husband, Paul, is still wondering if the recent meal she tested on him was really crumbled tofu with Mexican spices or, was it chicken? Likewise, daughter, Rachel, is testing recipes on her own meat-eating husband, and daughter Alexis has taken over the reins as the marketing manager.
Dr. Palazzo’s exceptional successes with patients is not hampered by the fact that she does not accept insurance. Proof positive is the young woman with chronic strep throats who no longer has to worry about having her tonsils removed. The diabetic woman with excessive sugar cravings who is no longer on medication and has lost 20 pounds. An 84-year old man who is off his medications, has lost 30 pounds and is no longer in heart failure.
What to Expect
During the initial consultation, Dr. Palazzo and her prospective patients spend up to two hours together getting to know each other. The patients’ enthusiasm, patience, and commitment are important to the success of their individual program. Dr. Palazzo will choose from three, six, or nine month options depending on the patient’s specific health needs and circumstances, all incorporating her S.T.E.M. approach: Sleep, Think, Eat, and Move. She plans to add a membership that includes a monthly check-in and blood work very soon as well.
When she closes her eyes, Dr. Palazzo dreams of a large building in Georgetown with an office, chef, massage therapist, nutritionist, therapist, and even yoga and tai chi classes—all under one roof.
Until then, she is content to practice medicine the way she has always wanted to. “Our bodies were created to heal themselves,” she says. “I believe being a healer is my God given gift and I hope to be the answer to peoples’ prayers for healthy and joyful living.”