Interview by Visual Collaborative
July 2019 9 min read
Chinyere Eze is the primary medical practitioner and business owner based in Waldorf, Maryland. Following a Masters in Health Science, She received a certification as a Certified Health Consultant through the renowned New York- based Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2014. As a licensed practitioner in the United States, she has over a decade experience in the fields of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine/Urgent Care and Family Medicine. In our “Vivencias” interview series Ms Eze discusses her industry and forthcoming projects.
(VC) Outside running your business as an executive and founder,What is your personal connection to Holistic Health?
(Chinyere) This idea of Holistic Health has been an area of interest of mine for nearly 20 years. In college, as I was pursing my Minor degree in Psychology, I chose to do research on the emerging field of psychoneuroimmunology which studies how our mental and emotional state affects our physical health. As a student at the time, I experienced first hand how lack of sleep and stress can adversely affect one’s health. With my study in Medicine, this concept of Holistic Health (wellness in mind, body and spirit) led me to later make the decision to explore how much power the human body has when we are in our optimal state of health. This goes beyond just eating well, exercise and adequate sleep to be healthy; it also includes having happy and stable relationships, living in a clean environment, having a sense of fulfillment and purpose in life, in addition to having peace of mind. This is something I continue to strive to attain in my own personal health.
(VC) When people come to you for wellness or cosmetic therapy, do you find that it is the mind that needs healing more than the body or it is the other way around?
(Chinyere) In my practice at Eze Health Center, I decided to take a unique approach to viewing one’s health as a combination of various factors. The idea of “wellness” goes beyond physical health as it embodies the mental and emotional state as well. We recently expanded into “Aesthetic Health” which is what you would consider the cosmetic branch of the practice. When someone sees himself or herself and their outward appearance and is concerned about how they look, it is in fact an important aspect of wellness. Some may dismiss this as vanity, but in fact when we look good, we feel good! The way I have explained this concept is that we have our Essentials and our Enhancements when it comes to physical health and appearance. The Essentials include aspects of our health that we absolutely need to thrive, including exercise, water, sleep, and nutrition. When it comes to addressing the Enhancements, this is a focus on what tools can be used to improve our physical appearance (ie. skin treatments, targeted body fat reduction). This element has a great impact on our mental and emotional state, specifically our self-esteem, which is also important. The ideals of healing incorporates acquiring a higher state of wellness both physically and mentally. Both are of equal importance as one aspect intertwines with the other.
I simply embraced the belief that I can do it. I was determined not to fall into that statistic and simply told myself there was no other option other than to succeed.
Photo courtesy Chinyere Muforo
(VC) As a woman of color in America who is well traveled and been exposed to quite a lot, considerably privileged, what do you tell the aspiring young woman or entrepreneur about success and risk?
(Chinyere) If we could break it down to a singular element that one must have to make it as an entrepreneur, that would be FAITH. You must have faith in the possibility that what you want to achieve in business can and will happen. Without that understanding of genuine belief in what you wish to accomplish, it will be incredibly difficult to try to launch such an immense step into entrepreneurship. Before I decided to open the medical practice, I was working in my profession for just 6 years. I had to take a huge leap of faith before embarking on this endeavor as I had never run a business before. In fact, I never took a business class prior to opening the practice! I read books and talked with others who had done it, however much of what I learned was from real experience and intuition. Of course, there is value in research and learning about business before opening one but an understanding of the theoretical versus the reality can sometimes be in contrast. Here I am, nearly 8 years after making that leap, and yet I survived! Despite the statistics of 50% of new businesses failing within the first 5 years, I simply embraced the belief that I can do it. I was determined not to fall into that statistic and simply told myself there was no other option other than to succeed. You simply have to believe success in your business is possible and then make moves to make it happen. Is business risky? Yes! But the fulfillment behind overcoming that fear of failure makes it truly worth it. Adrian Easterling, a good friend of mine and mentor who inspired me to open my medical practice has this great saying, simply put “Punch Fear in the Face!”. Starting a business can be challenging but it’s worth it! Do the work and take the time to develop, learn and grow. Nothing starts off perfect, but it is necessary to simply start, take that first step, then the next step and the next. Over time you will see how you evolve as a business owner and entrepreneur. Find your passion that meets the needs of others. If you feel that the service or product you provide surpasses what already exists, the possibilities are endless! That’s the essence of entrepreneurship.
(VC) Fitness or weight loss is a kind of “Visual Collaborative process”, and there are many people who do not know the size or dynamics of the industry, what kind of introductory verbiage or approach do you use when educating new customers?
(Chinyere) From the beginning of establishing this practice, my primary focus has been on the idea of “wellness”. Our motto is “Empowering patients to achieve wellness for life”. Often times, many new clients get wrapped up in just losing weight, with little thought of the importance of achieving optimal health and wellness. Our programs are called Eze Wellness & Weight Loss to reassert focus on the ideals of being well within the body and losing weight in a stable and healthy way. The wellness aspect is of utmost importance and when it is the primary focus, the weight loss will automatically come. Once patients embrace that understanding, it is typically a much smoother process helping them achieve their goals.
(VC) ) Tell us about your collaboration with Tammy Wright and how it all came about?
(Chinyere) Tammy Wright is an amazing Fitness Expert that I met approximately 5 years ago when I was asked to speak at the Women, Wealth and Wellness Conference in Maryland. She was also a featured speaker at the same event. Upon listening to each other’s presentations, we realized how similar our understanding of balanced health and wellness as being essential, especially for us as women. This meeting years later, led us to launch the Power Women Initiative, a movement to help women refocus on their personal health in multiple areas of their life. Through as series of free monthly seminars and workshops, we bring women together to learn, grow and achieve optimal wellness in their Physical Health, Relationships, Emotional & Mental Health, Environmental Health and even Financial Health. We believe that when you impact, empower and improve the lives of women, you can impact the health of families and thereby entire communities.
Photo courtesy Chinyere Muforo
(VC) At this stage of your enterprise and collective accomplishments with community, If you can work alongside any personality or business enterprise, who would they be and why?
(Chinyere) That’s an excellent question! Nowadays we have a renewed focus on the importance of Mental Health, which is very much intertwined with our Physical Health. My emphasis has always been on the concept of wellness and empowerment of individuals to create real change in their lives by taking the necessary steps to achieve it. No one better embodies this than the great Oprah Winfrey. The many shows on her OWN network including Super Soul Sunday, Belief, and Master Class are shows that highlight the power each of us have to achieve great things in life by simply being well within ourselves. Oprah gets it in a BIG way and her brand reflects what I feel is what the understanding of Wellness truly is.
In those moments when I feel overwhelmed and exhausted, I turn to God who would not allow me to remain burdened with more than I can handle.
(VC) In your quiet or noisy moments how do you get inspired. What makes you be of service and work the way you do. Do you seek religion or get spiritual like many others?
(Chinyere) Absolutely. My Christian faith and spirituality is what has carried me all of these years in business. Every morning, I wake up early to listen to a payer call led by Pastor Jomo Cousins of Love First Christian Center in Florida. Starting the day in prayer and positive affirmations is essential to having the “armor” to go out and face the world and the many pressures and responsibilities that come with life. I’m a mother and an entrepreneur and by no means is it easy to balance all that is necessary to keep home life and work life in balance. But my trust in God, and the destiny that he has for my life gives me reassurance that the weight I am given, I do not carry alone. One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” In those moments when I feel overwhelmed and exhausted, I turn to God who would not allow me to remain burdened with more than I can handle. I trust that no matter how rough things can get at times, His Word promises that He has a plan for peace in our lives, to give us a great future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11). What could I possibly fear?
(VC) Its the year 2019, where does Chinyere see her practice in 3 years?
(Chinyere) In 3 years, I would like to expand services to include elements of highly effective and thoroughly researched alternative medicine . By 2022, I would have firmly established my 2nd enterprise, Empower Health & Wellness, which is the entity specifically for government contracting, my community speaking engagements and health seminars / workshops. I intend to create effective wellness programs and health monitoring systems for government employees as well as businesses in the private sector.