Healing from the Ground Up: A Holistic Approach | Rosalind Cruz, NP-C

In today’s fast-paced world, where stress and processed foods dominate our lifestyles, the search for accessible health solutions has never been more urgent. Holistic medicine embraces the beautiful complexity of the human experience, focusing on the unity of mind, body, and spirit. This comprehensive approach to health emphasizes natural treatments, nutritious eating, sufficient water intake, and mindful living to foster overall wellness. Rosalind Cruz, NP-C, a dedicated healthcare professional with over three decades of experience in nursing, is at the forefront of this movement.

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Rosalind Cruz IV Drips & More

By addressing the root causes of health issues and promoting balance within, holistic practices offer a path to lasting vitality and well-being. Rosalind Cruz, NP-C, is the founder and medical director of IVdrips&more!, a company specializing in IV vitamin therapy, aesthetic treatments, functional nutrition counseling, and holistic alternative services. Her journey from a childhood marked by poverty to a successful career in holistic medicine is as inspiring as the services she offers.

NP Rosalind’s story begins in a single-parent household steeped in Puerto Rican heritage and public schools. Growing up amidst poverty, she faced numerous challenges but never lost sight of her dreams. Her environment was tough, but her spirit was tougher. She made a promise to herself to forge a different path, determined to rise above her circumstances and the socio-economic statistical “norms.”

“I always told myself, that’s not going to be me. I’m not going to be a negative statistic. I was born a determined person. You have to want more for yourself. Being raised in the projects, I said this is not where I want to be for the rest of my life.”

Raised with love and resilience, Rosalind believed education was the great equalizer. Her mother’s unwavering support was a constant source of encouragement, fueling her determination to succeed.

“I knew that education was the key to opening lots of doors to success. My mom was always pretty much by my side. Anything I told her I wanted to do, she supported me. She was never negative about anything. You should never think that you won’t amount to anything because you’re coming from either a single-parent home or a poor home. Whatever you set your mind to, you can do. I’m always telling that to any young person I meet. I tell them, you can do whatever you want in life. You just have to really want it. You have to be a go-getter.”

Despite encountering hurdles, Rosalind’s pursuit of success was anything but straightforward. High school never resonated with her, leading her to drop out.

“I was in a truancy program, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’ve got to shape up, and I’ve got to do better, so I did.”

Although she passed all her courses, she was asked to repeat a grade, prompting her to leave the traditional education system behind. However, this setback failed to dampen her spirit. She swiftly realized that formal education was not the sole path to success and actively sought alternative routes. Rosalind then pursued a home-study program, which she completed in two years, earning her high school diploma.

“I said, ‘Okay, now what am I going to do with my life?’ I was 18 years old. I wanted to be everything.”

Rosalind’s ambitions were vast. She could envision herself in various roles—a nurse, police officer, teacher, or enlisting in the army—but felt directionless. A call from a trade school offering a medical assistant program caught her attention, setting her on a medical path. She completed the six-month program and secured a job immediately after graduation. Then, she took a six-week phlebotomy program, passed and became a Certified Phlebotomist. “I wanted to start working in a hospital and had to be a certified phlebotomist in order to get hired,” she says.

Rosalind gained valuable experience working for labs as a phlebotomist, such as BioReference and LabCorp, and finally in a hospital, Sound Shore Medical Center. Seven and a half years later, in her mid-to-late twenties, she decided to return to school to become a nurse but faced significant obstacles. She cried one particularly challenging day, overwhelmed by constant pushback and rejections from schools, almost giving up her path to becoming a nurse.

“I was crying to my boyfriend, at the time, telling him, ‘I don’t know, I think God is telling me not to be a nurse.’ We were at a mall eating lunch. Then, this lady comes up to us. She says, ‘I’ve been overhearing your conversation. Don’t give up. Don’t give up on being a nurse. The rewards are endless. Don’t give up.’ And I looked at her and said, ‘Oh, are you a nurse?’ She replied, ‘Yes, I’m a nurse. And I’m telling you, don’t give up!’”

This encouragement from a stranger renewed Rosalind’s faith in her ultimate nursing path. She was finally accepted into the Dorothea Hopfer School of Nursing. She was already working part-time as a Critical Care Technician in the progressive care unit at South Shore Medical Center. At this point in her life, she juggled and balanced her studies while raising her two-year-old son. And when school was out, she moonlighted in the ER, gaining hands-on experience as an ER tech. “It’s pretty amazing how life turns out,” she states.

After twelve years as a registered nurse, Rosalind began to think about furthering her career. She was eager to find a way to continue doing the hands-on work she loved while achieving true financial independence.

“I loved doing procedures. There are a lot of hands-on procedures as an RN, whether it is throwing in a Foley catheter or starting an IV. I thought it would be great if I could still do the things I loved but with my own business. As I started getting older, and everything started hurting—you go home, and your feet are killing you—you’re like, all right, something’s got to give!”

Her 12 years in the ER exposed her to various healthcare roles and medical diagnoses. She noticed that providers would see patients, do a five-minute exam, ask them a couple of questions and then have the RNs carry out countless orders.

“I said, ‘You know what, that’s it. I’m going back to school to become a Nurse Practitioner.’ One day, as I went to receive my Botox, a woman came in and told me she was an NP. I said, ‘You’re a nurse practitioner, and you can do Botox?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ So I was like, ‘Hmm, now I’m definitely going back to school!’”

This sparked her interest in aesthetic medicine, leading her to pursue training to be able to offer this service in her practice. She was tired of working in traditional healthcare, where everyone was sick. On the other hand, Botox made people happy. She was also particularly drawn to the idea of IV vitamin drips for nutrient replenishment, an area she found both intriguing and fulfilling.

“I started Googling IV drips, and I started seeing a lot of hangover drips offered by various places. I was like, ‘What!? I could do that.’”

She graduated in 2018, and by late 2019, NP Rosalind had taken the leap and opened her own business, opting not to franchise to maintain control over her practice. Her background as an ER nurse made the transition less daunting.

“Even my husband was concerned that I would be scared. I’m like, ‘Why would I be scared?’ I’ve been used to dealing with people in high-stress situations for over 20 years.’ Being an ER nurse is serious stuff. It’s intense, and I’m used to various types of people.”

Her experience dealing with medical crises gave her a unique perspective on holistic medicine, given that people in various stages of healing or illness always surrounded her.

“I just knew that how we’re living now is not right. People are getting sicker. I was thinking, ‘What is going on?’ So, I started looking online because I wanted to provide an alternative service. At first, I looked at integrative medicine and found a program for functional nutrition medicine.”

She enrolled in a ten-month program with the Functional Nutrition Alliance, which opened her eyes to the critical role of nutrition in health. “Andrea Nakayama’s program opened my eyes to so many things that I couldn’t believe,” she says.

NP Rosalind realized how vital diet and nutrition are in maintaining health and preventing disease. The program taught her the importance of micronutrients and the negative impact of highly processed foods on our microbiome.

“What we put in and on our bodies, what we inhale, everything matters. It opened my eyes to how horrible our food is and how all these chemicals have been affecting our microbiome. It’s causing all these autoimmune diseases since we’re not getting the necessary micronutrients. Without the micronutrients, you’re not feeding your good bacteria. We’re also not getting the right prebiotics and probiotics in our foods, so it all has a domino effect.”

An analogy comparing the gut’s microbiome to soil resonated deeply with NP Rosalind, reinforcing her commitment to holistic health practices.

“She said, ‘The soil in your gut is like your terrain. And if your terrain is filled with chemicals, how will it flourish?’ It made so much sense.”

Water, too, became a cornerstone of her health philosophy. NP Rosalind emphasized the importance of staying hydrated to cleanse the body of toxins, a simple yet often overlooked aspect of wellness.

“Water is also so important. I can’t express that enough. People don’t drink enough water. I was one of them. Without water, you’re not flushing out the toxins. We are bombarded with toxins every single second. Everything around you has some kind of chemical, or more than one chemical, or a dye, or something that leaches into your skin or you inhale it. It all affects you.”

NP Rosalind’s passion for holistic health extended to raising awareness about the dangers of microplastics and their impact on humans and animals. Her clients’ experiences with fewer flare-ups of autoimmune diseases while traveling abroad further reinforced her belief in the detrimental effects of processed foods and environmental toxins in the U.S.

“They’re killing people. Whales are coming up to the shore dead because their stomach is full of plastic. They’re eating but not absorbing their nutrition because the plastic is in their stomachs. I’m like, oh my god, this is horrible. It’s so bad.”

Her clients with autoimmune disorders found that when they were on vacation abroad, they would have little to no flare-ups. Once they were back in the States, they would have symptoms often, sometimes going to the hospital every other month.

“We have human DNA and microbiome DNA, and although genetics plays a role, it’s really not what makes those symptoms come up. What makes them come up is epigenetics. So, it’s your lifestyle that really plays a role. You can go to the gym every single day, but if you eat at McDonald’s every day, you’re not going to get anywhere.”

She describes how our microbiomes affect everything in our bodies.

Rosalind Cruz IV Drips & More

“They call your intestines the second brain. I call it the first brain because when your first brain isn’t working correctly, neither is your other brain. There are so many bacteria in our gut that scientists don’t even know what more than half of them do. They have no idea what their function is. We are literally, from head to toe, made of microorganisms. Everything around you has microorganisms. We are in their world. They’re not in our world. They were created before we were created.”

Rosalind Cruz IV Drips & More

Her practice’s most popular offering, the Myers Cocktail, has been a staple in holistic health for decades. The John Myers IV therapy was originally developed by the late Dr. John A. Myers in Baltimore, MD, in 1954. These days, the Myers Cocktail helps with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, fibromyalgia, fatigue, migraines, and so much more.

This IV therapy provides a comprehensive blend of electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals to help replenish the body’s nutrients quickly and efficiently. NP Rosalind has seen how effective her IV drips are firsthand. “They come here feeling horrible, and they leave happy as can be,” she says.

“This is how you have to think about it. You need micronutrition every single day. The whole point of your eating is to fuel your body and to get the micronutrients that your body needs. The chemical processes that occur in the body occur every second. If you don’t have the micronutrients that you need in your body, the processes cannot be finished. When you get these nutrients through an IV, they skip the gastrointestinal process and go straight to the cells. Drips are great for people with gastric sleeves, which disrupts how they will absorb nutrients, or before or after surgeries, and even before or after traveling.”

NP Rosalind offers a variety of IV drips at her company, tailored to meet diverse health needs. These include “Thirsty Cells” for hydration, “The Virus Slayer” with B complex, magnesium, vitamin C, and zinc for immune support, “Inner Beauty” with anti-aging nutrients like B complex, biotin, calcium, glutathione, and vitamin C, “The Weekend Cure” for hangovers, and several others, which can all be customized.

Her holistic services extend beyond IV drips, offering functional nutrition counseling and naturopathic therapies. NP Rosalind’s dedication to helping others heal rather than focusing on profit sets her apart in the wellness industry.

“I’m a more conservative, realistic person. I’m not doing what I do for money. I do it to really help people feel better. When you look these things up at other companies, they’re trying to get you to do a Myers Cocktail for three weeks in a row and then once a month. I tell people you could do it every second to third week three times and then once a month if you want to do it that way, but you do not need it every week. Where there is deficiency, there will be symptoms.”

Functional nutrition counseling goes beyond traditional dietary advice to uncover the root causes of her clients’ symptoms. This detective work often reveals surprising underlying issues, such as heavy metals and/or intestinal parasites.

“The source of issues can also be in your environment or just needing liver detoxification. I’ve tested people’s blood and found they were allergic to dust mites. That’s bad because dust mites are everywhere. Once you know what you’re allergic to and why you’re itchy all the time or why you have this rash, then you have an answer. There are many different reasons why rashes occur.”

Her comprehensive approach often involves stool testing to analyze the gut’s microbial terrain, providing detailed insights into her clients’ health.

“I would have you check your stool. We could check it to see what is in your terrain, what is in your soil, and what kind of microbes you have in your gut. Many companies offer services where you can send your sample, and they’ll give you a nice 20-page report on all the different types of bacteria that are in your gut. It’ll tell you what’s lacking, what you need more of. That’s what functional nutrition is all about—getting to the root cause. A dietician is just going to tell you what to eat.” 

NP Rosalind believes that Western medicine often focuses on treatment rather than prevention. She advocates for a more holistic approach, including reiki, chiropractic care, and herbal remedies.

“First of all, vitamins, food, and herbs are where pharmacies or companies get their idea on how to make a synthetic version of a treatment. So if there’s a synthetic version of it, then there’s a real version. When you go to holistic training, they talk about massaging your feet and identifying certain points on your feet that can help with your organs. There’s reiki, and even chiropractors are holistic. There are herbs. Herbs are amazing. The creator gave us herbs to heal us, and our bodies heal themselves. You just have to give it the right tools. Those are usually the right foods, herbs, water, exercise, and oxygen.”

She emphasizes the importance of exercise and its profound impact on overall health. “If you get to these basic things that the human body needs, you’re going to be surprised at all the symptoms that are going to disappear,” she says.

“If you’re not paying attention and eating poorly day in and day out, before you know it, it’s going to catch up to you. Your body can only adjust and do so much for so long. Then it’s going to catch up to you.”

She advises people to be mindful of supplement companies’ marketing tactics and to focus on whole foods and quality multivitamins instead of multiple individual supplements.

“People are buying vitamins like crazy. I have one client taking five different things, and I’m like, ‘Why don’t you just get a quality multivitamin? You’re taking a magnesium supplement, you’re taking a biotin supplement, you’re taking a bunch of others; I’m like, ‘Why are you doing it like that?’”

NP Rosalind also underscores the power of optimism and mental wellness in achieving a healthier life.

“Your mind is very powerful, too. Once you realize how powerful your mind is and all the good things you can do with positive thinking and changing your way of thinking, it’s just fascinating.”

NP Rosalind is open-minded whenever a new client approaches her. She tries to understand where the client is coming from and their current standard of living. Using previous labwork results and questions about their lifestyles, she can determine which product to administer or customize for the client’s needs. She also recommends other resources when appropriate, like probiotics, prebiotics or other herbal remedies for common ailments.

“When your throat feels funny, do apple cider vinegar three times a day for at least five days. When your ears are bothering you, put some hydrogen peroxide in there. One or two drops will do the job. These are natural antibiotics. People do not know that salt is an antimicrobial and hydrogen peroxide is an antimicrobial.”

Her research has led to surprising discoveries, such as the importance of sometimes adding a bit of Pink Himalayan salt or Celtic salt to water for better absorption and to prevent chronic dehydration.

“I ask people, ‘When you go to the bathroom, is it yellow or clear?’ If they say clear, it’s not good. You need to have a little bit of yellow; otherwise, you’ll be urinating out all of your electrolytes. People don’t know this. I have had so many consultations with people who want to start losing weight, and they tell me that, and I’m like, ‘No, that’s overhydration.’ Your body talks to you all the time. If you don’t have daily bowel movements, there’s a problem. You’re obviously not eating enough fiber. I mean, the key is always fruits, vegetables, with pre/probiotics.”

NP Rosalind recommends the Mediterranean diet for its flexibility and nutritional balance over other restrictive diets, such as the paleo diet. US News consistently rates it as one of the best diets.

“The Mediterranean diet has all of the macros, right? If you have all the macros, then you’ll get the micros. If you’re just eating a carnivore diet and not bothering with plant-based food, you’re not getting any of the fruits and vegetables you need, and now your body will start lacking that. Every single food has its own beneficial nutrition in it. One client told me she had oatmeal every morning. I was like, oh honey, ‘That’s not good.’ She thought she was doing something good. Your body needs a variety of foods. Even if it’s every other month, you need to switch it up.”

Another method she uses to pinpoint dietary issues is using elimination diets to identify food sensitivities.

“What we were taught in my functional nutrition course was the three things we try to eliminate off the top when we first get a client: gluten, dairy, and refined sugars. Those are the first three we try to get people off of.”

NP Rosalind shares her personal experience with eliminating dairy, which alleviated her symptoms of what she believed was fibromyalgia, highlighting the power of diet in managing health. She also believes pharmaceutical companies sometimes push medications over dietary changes for-profit and thinks it’s a good thing people are slowly starting to become more aware.

“The funny thing is that the commercials are now about dogs. There’s a dog microbiome. I’m like, what about the human microbiome? It’s so funny. It’s coming to light. They’re talking about dogs now. I guess we’re coming up next. I think people are finally waking up. Even Western medicine doctors are waking up.”

She speaks about how traditional medicine practitioners are starting to recognize holistic medicine’s validity for many ailments.

“I’ve seen plenty of doctors who were Western medicine doctors who are now practicing holistically. They’re like, ‘Well if you put somebody on a blood thinner and tell them you cannot eat green leafy vegetables, why not just have them eat green leafy vegetables?’ Green leafy vegetables keep your blood thin. Garlic keeps your blood thin. Turmeric keeps your blood thin. There’s a bunch of food that keeps your blood thin.”

NP Rosalind’s holistic philosophy extends to using natural remedies, the wisdom of medicine used in various Eastern cultures throughout history.

“The human body responds to plants because we’re made from the creator, and the creator made herbs and plants. I use white willow bark tree for my pain. It is a natural NSAID—actually, synthetic NSAIDs work the same as a white willow bark tree because they mimic what it does.”

Her own experience with herbal remedies began with treating anxiety, transitioning from Xanax to natural products, like Bach’s Remedy.

“Xanax was such a pain in the butt. You have to go see the doctor. The doctor has to write you a triplicate. All it did was put me to sleep. It didn’t even help me with my anxiety. So, I looked into natural remedies. Even back then, it was always in the back of my mind that there has to be a better way.”

NP Rosalind offers advice for those interested in holistic medicine, encouraging them to gain experience in Western medicine before transitioning to holistic practices.

“I tell them to become a nurse practitioner and then go into holistic medicine. I mean, do your year of Western medicine so you can really learn. Then get into holistic medicine because you’re really going to help people that way. You’re going to make a difference in their life.”

She also empowers people outside the medical field to take holistic health courses to take control of their health and prevent disease.

“I do believe that people need to push because if they don’t see results, they don’t want to keep doing it. Eating right and eating healthy is a big chore. We have more garbage around us. It’s so much easier to just grab a Dunkin’ Donuts than it is to make your own scrambled eggs at home. And sadly, that’s how people think. The commercials we see are also brainwashing us. So, I’m always telling people to take courses. You don’t have to be a nurse or a doctor. There are plenty of courses out there that anyone could take and learn.”

The most rewarding aspect of Rosalind’s job is the deep connections she forms with her clients and the positive impact she has on their lives.

“Some of my clients nowadays say, ‘Bye, Rosalind, love you.’ I’m like, when do you hear somebody saying that to their doctor? I was like, that was so endearing. I love it! I love my clients! That’s why I remain genuine to them, always. I try to keep my prices affordable. And if they can’t afford it, I work with them. I’m genuinely there to help people.”

NP Rosalind’s journey from poverty to empowerment through holistic healing is a testament to her determination, resilience, and unwavering commitment to helping others. Her story is a powerful reminder that we can overcome any obstacle with passion and perseverance and create a life filled with purpose.

Rosalind Cruz IV Drips & More