What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine acknowledges every symptom as the body's way of putting on the "check engine" light. Unlike the Traditional (disease-centered) approach of stopping a symptom, we search for and address the underlying root cause of disease.

Functional Medicine approaches the WHOLE person knowing that symptoms are usually connected. We use state of the art data collection, a systems-oriented approach and engage both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership.

Read about Functional Medicine

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rebecca a photo“Words cannot express how grateful I am for the individualized care I have received from Lisa at 4Better Health! If you or someone you love is suffering with an auto-immune condition, want more energy and less pain and are looking for an alternative to traditional medicine, you have found it! With their help you will be amazed at the power you have to change your path.” 

Rebecca Alferes 53 Years Old

“Frustrated with conventional medicine philosophy of just take a pill for the rest of your life? Functional Medicine is your answer. Since I first saw Lisa 2 months ago I have lost over 10 percent of my original body weight and have more energy than I can ever remember having.”

Micheal Annantuonio – 36 years old

“After suffering for over 2 years and seeing many practitioners (who often dismissed my fatigue & pain) Dr Zub adjusted my medications and supplements. As a result, my baseline functioning and health is finally better. Dr. Zub works as a partner with you the patient, is earnest, humble and actively learning She is a Gift!” 

C.G., Needham M

“I feel like I have finally found a physician who is willing to work as a partner with me with the goal of improving my health. Dr Zub is an outstanding physician both from a diagnostic and a Functional Medicine perspective. I’ve recommended her to many of my friends.”

Karen Bird – Needham MA

“In a very short amount of time, Dr. Zub has been able to identify and address underlying chronic health issues that I have been dealing with, that other doctors were unable to do. I love 4 Better Health’s approach to treat the entire person thru a therapeutic partnership and get to the root of issues, not just throw medicine at a symptom. I truly sing her praises and have already referred others to the practice. I truly wish I had found Dr. Zub a long time ago as she has been life changing!”

Diane Tamagno

Linda LaCamera(1)“Finding 4 Better Health was a blessing after many years of traditional medicinal doctors /Endocrinologists being unable to get me to feeling optimal. Dr Zub listened to me, truly heard me & devised a proactive plan for me to have a better life. My body is still healing, but I am no longer barely functioning to get through my daily life. I can exercise again without being completely depleted of energy. I have been able to successfully lose 20 pounds. I feel I can always contact Dr. Zub with any questions or concerns I may have. We continue to work together to find the right course of action for my health. I can’t say enough great things about their practice.”

Linda LaCamera

colleen adams“4 Better Health embodies the true meaning of holistic healthcare! Thank you, Dr. Zub, for taking a genuine interest in each aspect of my life affecting my health and vitality; and for taking the time to educate me on the ways in which my body functions on a metabolic level, and the things I can do to better manage my energy and well-being!”

Colleen Adams

“Prior to working with Lisa I’d have to be home-bound one day every other weekend in order to deal with my problem. Now that I don’t need to do that anymore I’m back to hiking/mountaineering, kayaking, bike riding, snow-shoeing, being with friends, and spending time in the White Mountains. I am soo thankful for all 4 Better Health has done for me. You had a MAJOR hand in getting me back into this kind of shape [and I’m looking forward to getting even stronger and more fit]. I feel in command of my life again and I am enjoying doing all the outdoorsy, active things I love to do! What a gift you have given me!”

John Curcio

jenweightloss“My weight has always been a fight. I was having trouble sleeping  and walking upstairs because of pain in my hip and knee. I have tried a million diets but in the end I never felt in control of what I ate. When I made the decision to do the cleanse/detox I had my reservations. But it changed me. What I want
to eat and what my body craves. I feel better than I have in years. I am  sleeping better than ever and taking the stairs every chance I get. In 6 months I’ve gone from 265# to 180#. It’s all planning and consistency!”

Jenn

I was exhausted and in pain- aching from my neck to toes and waking up 4 or 5 times a night. My doctors told me it was just old age. Within a week of taking a few supplements and small changes to my diet recommended by 4 Better Health; my pain was drastically reduced and I began sleeping so much better. I am doing much more than I had been able to do in a very long time, my spirits are better, my outlook is better and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I would recommend this practice to everyone.

Rose Ciampa 83years old.
Dr. Patricia Zub
BU School of Medicine & Residency through Lahey Clinic

Medicine the way I was meant to practice!


Dr. Zub graduated from Boston University School of Medicine and completed her Internal Medicine Internship and Residency at The Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA. Practicing throughout Massachusetts, she has held positions at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge where she also served as Associate Medical Director of the Geriatric-Psychiatry Unit and was an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She later worked at Community Primary Care in Medway, Chadwick Medical Associates in Worcester and as an Internal and Functional Medicine physician at Visions Healthcare in Needham. She is also a Reiki Master and trained in Full Spectrum Healing. She has completely all of the coursework offered by the Institute for Functional Medicine and will be sitting for their certification exam when it is next offered in 2017.

I’ve had the eye-opening privilege of being on both the “traditional” and “integrative” sides of healthcare. I started my career path in medicine with very solid academic training in Boston after which I settled into a busy Internal Medicine practice. Although I was successful at diagnosing and treating a variety of illnesses, I quickly became disenchanted with the “modern” practice of medicine. Over time I recognized a pattern of patients improving for a while, only to return and require more medications for their illnesses which continued to progress. I agonized over the pressure of seeing more patients in shorter amounts of time cutting down on my ability and desire to know the whole person in front of me.

I sought a better fit moving through several different practice settings, to no avail. During this time, I pursued my personal interests in nutrition, lifestyle changes, and energy medicine. This journey exposed me to the notion of “Functional Medicine”. I immediately resonated with the paradigm of identifying the root cause of symptoms and supporting the body’s ability to heal as the type of medicine I was meant to practice. I now enjoy the privilege of learning and mastering this science-based interconnected approach of medicine and teaching my patients how to get and stay better. I offer hope to patients who have either failed or grown frustrated with the traditional approach and to those who seeking an alternative one. Time after time I see patients who’ve become used to miserable symptoms reduce and reverse them living longer, healthier, more vibrant lives. Medicine the way I was meant to practice!

Lisa Vasile, NP
Graduate School of Nursing UMass, Worcester

My life changed at 37 when I was diagnosed as Celiac!


She has a bachelor’s degree in Science from Fitchburg State University and master’s degree in Nursing with a sub-specialty in Education from UMass Graduate School of Nursing. She received her Post Master’s Certification in Holistic Health from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Lisa has vast experience in Ob/Gyn, Primary care and Auto-Immunity disorders. She has taught on the faculty at Umass Graduate School of Nursing, Mass College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and MassBay Community College and is a Veteran having served as Army Nurse during Desert Storm.
She continued studies through School of Applied Functional Medicine and Institute for Functional Medicine offering her the training to create 4 Better Health and utilizing Functional Medicine with her patients. She is considered an expert on Gluten by completing the Certified Gluten Practitioner certification and as a Celiac herself. Lisa also mentors other practitioners who are motivated to learn and utilize Functional Medicine in their practice through the 4 Better Health’s Practioner Programs and at the School of Applied Functional Medicine.

I know the misery and fear of IBS. I lived it and I’m now living FREE of all symptoms. I can get ready for work or a party and go on long car rides without worrying what might happen. I can go on a run with my kids and vacation with my husband. My belly no longer controls my life!

All my life I suffered from miserable IBS. Bloating led to gas pains which would leave me doubled over (one time laying on a blanket in tears on vacation in Utah at an outside festival!). I missed Christmas Eve drives with my dad and siblings while they delivered presents to family. I had days of barely making it to a bathroom or weeks of wanting so badly to empty but… not needing a bathroom. I had Heartburn and Hemorrhoids. I endured upper and lower GI testing… and told to eat high fiber cereals, guzzled water with fiber powders and take over the counter pills to stop the symptom(s) of the day. My life changed at 37 when I was diagnosed as Celiac.

Along with Celiac, a cascade of nutrient deficiencies were uncovered. ONE MONTH after diagnosis and dietary changes; 90% of my headaches, heartburn, bloating, abdominal pain, joint pain, constipation, diarrhea and horrible fatigue were gone. This ignited a fire of frustration “Why is food and nutrients not a major part of medicine?” “Why is it ok for a patient to suffer so long without anyone suggesting eating a different diet might help?” “Why was I sent on my way because routine testing was normal yet no-one had ever mentioned testing for gluten sensitivity or Celiac?” “Why had no-one ever tested my nutrient levels?” “Why was there no discussion about Auto-Immunity when I was diagnosed (except the old adage ‘the biggest risk of Auto-Immunity is having one)?” Oh no! I was not about to wait for the next Auto-Immune disorder to hit me.

My NP career shifted from helping people to being a PASSIONATE advocate to reverse and resolve symptoms. I poured my heart into studying Nutrition and Functional Medicine. While I was studying, My Mom was slowly drifting away. She went from being our beautiful, 6 foot tall, regal and funny 64 year old Mom (and Nana to 13) to needing help with eating, drinking, dressing and speaking. Dementia was robbing us all and there was ‘nothing’ medicine could do. NOT ONCE did the medical professionals discuss nutrition (even though when we took away her artificial sweetener drinks she functioned better). I was now angry and determined to educate and empower my patients in the root cause of disease instead of just treating it. LISTEN to the patient to find and fix the underlying reason our body breaks down so they can enjoy their families, savor a walk on the beach and grow old with their loved ones.

Sophia DaRosa-Spillane, NP
University of Massachusetts Boston Graduate School of Nursing

I feel strongly that it is important to understand and meet each person at a place where they can start making meaningful changes. Small persistent changes can lead to life changing results.


Sophia DaRosa, NP, has been working in medicine for over 20 years. She graduated with honors from the University of Massachusetts Boston where she received her Master of Science as an Adult Nurse Practitioner.  She also holds bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and in Nursing.

She has spent the last 15+ years working in integrative and functional medicine settings. These included the Marino Center for Progressive Health, Visions HealthCare, and The Rothfeld Center for Integrative Health.

She is currently working on certification from the Institute of Functional Medicine and has completed Basic and Advanced courses in Allergy and Immunology from the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy and has also completed training in Inhalant Allergies and Food Sensitivities from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.  Sophia has extensive experience with environmental allergies and food sensitivities, as well as a strong interest in gastrointestinal issues, adrenal fatigue, thyroid disorders, and autoimmune conditions.

She has worked in various medical settings, which include assisted living/rehab centers, a liver transplant floor, outpatient clinics including dialysis treatment, and an allergy clinic.

Sophia cares deeply about connecting with patients—making sure they feel heard and are at ease while working through various chronic medical conditions. She values the whole picture of health and wellness and how it relates uniquely to each person.

In Sophia’s words

“From a personal perspective, I understand what it is like to suffer from debilitating symptoms. For year, I missed important events when I was overcome with a storm of symptoms. In time I understood that food played a big part in these reactions. Sugar, dairy, and processed foods would exacerbate my already serious sinus symptoms.

Understanding this helped my overall health tremendously. However, I was also allergic to many environmental allergens. Through Sublingual therapy, I was able to calm my immune system by desensitizing myself to many of the identified. Today, I am no longer triggered endlessly by dander, dust, and pollens.

I am so excited to share with patients the important lessons I learned through personal experience.  Understanding what my specific burdens were, has put me more in control of my life and increased my quality of living. I want that for my patients too. I find personal satisfaction in helping patients uncover the root causes of their symptoms and helping them boost their immune system and overall resiliency by using different approaches. There is no one size fits all approach, so I try to recommend the least invasive and least costly methods first.

I have seen the impact of end stage illness and its impact on individuals and their families, and I’ve always felt honored to help care for and support patients and families through this transition. I wanted to understand how to help people avoid getting to that point.  A chronic illness diagnosis often involves numerous medications. Some are necessary and at times lifesaving. But I thought, there has to be a better way to support the body than adding more and more medications to the picture.

I sought out clinics that used a more integrated health approach. I feel so fortunate to have been mentored by some extraordinarily talented and passionate providers. Most recently, I’ve had the privilege of working with Dr Rothfeld for the last 7 years; a man who dedicated his career to helping individuals find the root cause of their illness.

I feel strongly that it is important to understand and meet each person at a place where they can start making meaningful changes. Small persistent changes can lead to life changing results.”

(*For patients who are following Sophia from a prior practice, please click on the “health history” link below)

To inquire about an appointment, call 508-625-1807 Or fill out your health history using our online intake form HERE