Founder of Montecito Wellness Clinic, Talina Hermann knows a thing or two about holistic health and medicine. It started with her own health and wellness journey; where conventional medicine fell short, she was prompted to take matters into her own hands. With a masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, training in Functional Medicine, and a doctorate in Integrative Medicine, Hermann and her clinic offer patients a unique set of tools for achieving a more balanced state of being. A vision of radiant health herself, we wanted to find out a more about what Hermann recommends, especially with cold and flu season rounding the bend. Lucky for us, Hermann gave us a full breakdown, along with her top tips for staying healthy year round. Read the full interview below to find out more.
PHOTOS Kendall Conrad
EDITOR Sofia Florimbi
First, tell us a little about your background. How did you get into the world of holistic health and wellness?
My journey into holistic medicine and wellness began following personal health challenges that were inadequately addressed by conventional medicine. This experience led me to delve into holistic medicine, which was transformative to my well-being, and I wanted to learn as much as I could and be able to help others struggling with similar issues. My challenging experiences led me to pursue a Master's Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, training in Functional Medicine, and eventually a doctorate in Integrative Medicine. My mission is to guide and educate individuals towards a balanced state of well-being.
What has your own journey with health and wellness looked like so far?
My personal health journey has been both frustrating and empowering, leading me to embrace a holistic lifestyle. It also steered me down a path of continuous learning and appreciation for the interconnectedness of our body's systems and how we are affected by them emotionally and mentally.
What practices do you follow regularly for your own optimized health?
Regular practices I follow for optimized health include a balanced diet rich in whole nutrient-dense foods, regular exercise, meditation, rest and recovery, and spending time in nature, hiking, or by the ocean, which I find rejuvenating. I am also a big believer in personalized medicine; thus, I modify my botanical formulas and continuously adjust my foundational supplements to address the imbalances that arise. I recommend a baseline of biomarker data to know where you are at now and to be able to compare and measure for future optimization. You cannot optimize or correct imbalances if you make health decisions based on guesswork.
Talina wears the Oblique Post Earrings, the Maja II Cuff in Funghi Napa, the Rounded III Bangle, and the Skinny Paper Clip Chain Bracelet.
What is the number one symptom you see in clients and what do you recommend?
In my practice, a couple of common symptoms I see in patients, especially in the wake of the pandemic, are long-lasting fatigue, sleep disturbances, hormonal and GI imbalances, anxiety, and depression that often go hand in hand with the above symptoms. I recommend a comprehensive assessment that includes personalized nutritional supplements or herbal medicine guidance and lifestyle modifications, to name a few, to restore vitality and correct imbalances.
What would you say is the worst thing we can do for our health? The best or most important?
The worst thing you can do for your health is to exist in a continuous state of chronic stress. Our bodies are designed intelligently but cannot heal in a state of fight or flight. Not all stress is bad for us, but we must interrupt the cycle with frequent breaks and self-care to reset our nervous system. Stress and inflammation are linked, and research shows that stress can cause inflammation in the body, leading to a number of chronic health conditions. Inflammation is the real root cause of the prevalent diseases we see today, especially lifestyle diseases. Under normal circumstances, the inflammation process is naturally stopped in the body when levels of a stress hormone, cortisol, begin to rise. However, chronic stress hampers a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory response in the body, thus disturbing the entire organism.
What are the best preventative measures we can take to keep ourselves healthy?
The best thing is to adopt a proactive approach to our health, involving regular wellness check-ups and functional diagnostic testing, a bio-individualized diet, getting enough sleep, consistent movement, and stress management. Equally important is to engage in activities that feed your soul and to connect with your community to support your mental and emotional well-being.
Talina in her dining room wearing the Rounded Shield Ring, the Ear Band Post Earrings, and the Mixed Rounded Ring Chain Lariat Necklace.
Do you have any tips for the upcoming cold and flu season?
I am interested in the emerging scientific research on training our immunity (both innate and adaptive). I am also always looking for information that empowers my patients to implement independently. Although research on trained immunity is still in its infancy, and continued studies in this exploding area will offer new therapeutic opportunities that can be personalized in the future, something I have been looking into is the impact of Short-Chain Fatty Acids on the immune System (SCFAs). These are metabolites produced by intestinal bacteria from dietary fibers, and they play a crucial role in maintaining health and preventing disease. In other words, the state of your gut microbiome plays an essential role in optimal immune regulation. Here are some dietary sources that can help increase SCFA production:
- Whole Grains: Foods like oats, barley, and bran are high in soluble fiber, which can be fermented into SCFAs.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of fiber.
- Vegetables: Especially those high in fiber, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and onions.
- Fruits: Particularly those with skins that are edible, like apples, pears, and grapes.
- Nuts and Seeds: Including almonds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
- Tubers: Such as sweet potatoes and regular potatoes (especially when cooled after cooking, as this increases their resistant starch content).
- Fermented Foods: While they don't directly provide fiber, fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi can contribute to a healthy gut microbiome, which is crucial for fiber fermentation and SCFA production.
What are the best ways to tackle seasonal allergies?
For seasonal allergies, I utilize herbal medicines, antioxidants, and medicinal mushrooms. The holistic approach is to strengthen the body's natural defenses, starting with eating seasonally. Acupuncture is also very effective in clearing up seasonal allergies.
Some of the herbs I use in my practice to tackle seasonal allergies are Astragalus root, Magnolia Flower, Siler Root, Field Mint, and Schisandra Fruit, to name a few. I also add antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Quercetin, Nettle Leaf, Bioflavonoids, and Bromelain, and medicinal mushrooms such as Chaga, Reishi, and Cordyceps to support our respiratory health and help improve oxygen utilization in the body.
That being said, if you genuinely want to get to the root cause of your allergies, I recommend looking into food sensitivities, the state of your gut health, and testing for environmental toxins.
What are your top principles for living a healthy life?
Less is more when it comes to living healthily. I adhere to these simple principles (most days):
I honor the interconnectedness of our body, mind, and soul and the impact of our environment on how we feel. I take proactive action when it comes to my well-being. Most diagnosable diseases take years, if not decades, to develop, and many of these imbalances can be corrected long before there is a bigger issue. I do my best to incorporate mindfulness and stress-reducing practices in my daily routine, which includes compassionate self-forgiveness and the ability to let go of what holds us back and no longer serves us.
Talina wears the Koutubia II Hoop Earrings with a High Cresta Bangle and Flat Ring.
How would you describe your everyday style? Your approach to getting dressed up?
I am a minimalist by nature, so when it comes to getting dressed up, I focus on high quality basics paired with bold but clean jewelry pieces. That is my daily uniform.
Who are your inspirations?
Kendall is someone I have long admired from afar. I love her strength, infinite creativity, and integrity in the quality of her designs.
I am always inspired by females who find the courage to share their vision with the world. Even though, at times, the world isn't quite ready for that big, bold vision, they persevere.
What types of accessories do you gravitate towards?
I gravitate towards minimalist statement pieces. I like pieces that represent the wearer's personality but are not distracting.
Which KC piece do you find yourself reaching for the most?
I have so many KC favorites! I have been wearing on repeat the Grande Post Earrings, Grandita Ear Cuff, Disco 3 Chain Necklace, Rounded Ring Hoops, and Cuban Chain Necklace, which can also be worn as a bracelet. KC's Jewelry Roll in Umber Suede goes with me everywhere and makes me feel very organized with all my beautiful KC pieces.
Which KC piece is currently on your wishlist?
I am excited about the upcoming holidays as I need more KC pieces. I also plan on gifting my loved ones with the new pieces from KC's collection. I got a chance to see the Delfina Medium Hobo Bag in Funghi Suede in person when I saw Kendall last time and have been obsessing about it ever since. Another obsession is the Rounded Arc Chain Collar Necklace, which is both bold and minimalist. The Koutoubia II Hoop Earrings will play well with my ever-evolving hoop earring collection.
Talina in her foyer wearing the Juana Cuff in Black Napa, the Rounded Ring Chain Bracelet, the Fatima Hoop Earrings, the Skinny Paper Clip Chain Bracelet, and Flat Ring.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
My husband and I relocated to Montecito from LA 14 years ago to start a family. This community welcomed us with open arms and hearts, and I am honored to now be able to offer support back through my education and training. I opened our Montecito Wellness Clinic about a month ago. It is an integrative medicine clinic that empowers patients to take charge of their health and well-being. It offers personalized medicine rooted in the wisdom of Traditional East Asian Medicine and the emerging science of personalized medicine and functional diagnostics to honor the unique nature of each patient. Our offerings are customized to our patients' health needs and goals to help them realize their full well-being potential. We focus on all aspects of an individual's unique being: physical, emotional, and spiritual. I am honored to share this space with gifted practitioners: Suvini Jayasekera, L.Ac MTCM, an acupuncturist & clinical herbalist; Colleen Koch, MA, LMFT, a holistic psychotherapist and the lead facilitator of our gatherings, and Megan Attore, LMFT, holistic psychotherapist and breathwork facilitator. I see patients in person and online, and I am in charge of our wellness program that offers a comprehensive restorative 3-4 month wellness optimization program. It is a highly personalized program curated to the specific health needs of the individual. We look at every aspect of health and identify dysfunction causes and opportunities to correct imbalances and restore function. We utilize advanced functional testing to craft a comprehensive strategy to help reclaim health and optimize well-being.
What's next for you?
We are in the early stage of the creation of my business. I see so many opportunities to serve our local and global communities with what we offer. I am always working on what is next; actually, I can't help it. A supplement line tailored to the specific needs of what we see in our clinic will be offered soon to support our patients when we don't see them in the clinic. I am working on a project I can't say much about, but it will be in line with my mission of empowering humans with knowledge and tangible skills to take charge of their health and will involve data and wellness. I am truly humbled to be a part of our patient's journeys and to witness what kind of transformation is possible when they choose to take charge of their health.