CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Sergeant Melissa Dawson, who is in charge of the Employee Assistance Unit for Cleveland Division of Police, feels better than ever after joining a functional medicine program at Cleveland Clinic.

“Everything just works better for me. The inflammation has been reduced in my body. I don’t have the aches and pains like I used to have, so I just feel a lot better inside and out,” said Melissa.

She said before she got started she was stressed out, eating unhealthy and having trouble sleeping.

“The education is great. We meet with a doctor one session and a nutritionist the next session. And it’s been fantastic because we learned for example with nutrition, what foods work for our body and against our body,” she said.

She also wound up losing more than 20 pounds and reducing her blood sugar levels.

“We try to be gentle in the beginning because it’s really hard to make a lot of behavior changes at once. And our whole feeling is we meet each patient where they’re at and we start with baby steps,” explained Elizabeth Bradley, MD, Director of the Center for Functional Medicine at Cleveland Clinic.

She said all of the participants had their bloodwork done to help track their progress.

“When we repeated the blood work, they were just amazed to see that things actually improved and some things totally reversed, so that was a win-win also,” said Dr. Bradley.

Now that the New Year has arrived, Melissa has made it her resolution to continue with her new lifestyle.

“This going to be the new me for the New Year. I really want to focus on being healthier, physically, mentally healthier,” said Melissa.