One from the Heart
Once in a while you meet a woman who glows with a healthy energy, exudes vitality, and shines with a sense of personal well-being-a woman who is strikingly lovely as a person, and turns out to be equally lovely as a human being. Such a woman is Dr. Erica Forzese. Read on to learn more about this dedicated, kind, and giving lady known to friends and patients alike as Dr. Erica.
Pink: Dr. Erica, what brought you and your family to Hilton Head Island?
Erica: We were looking for nice weather and to be close to family. As luck would have it, a chiropractic practice opened up here on the Island and it worked out perfectly. Over the two years we have lived here we have added a munchkin (making two) to the mix and we just love it here. It is a great place to raise a family.
Pink: How do you define yourself professionally?
Erica: I am a family chiropractic physician with a specialty in pediatric care. I am the only chiropractor on the Island with a Pediatric and Pregnancy certification. I have worked with infants only a few hours old and individuals well into their 90s.
Pink: How do you maintain your personal health and well-being?
Erica: I have a two-and-a-half-year-old to chase after and I do biceps curls with my 19 pound baby all day long. Seriously, I really try to balance work and play. Family is extremely important to me and I am fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with my children. This makes me very happy. I have developed some really positive relationships in my life-especially with my husband. I do what I love and keep mental stress down. I try to make healthy choices and eat well. I also think it is important to always keep a positive attitude.
Pink: What advice do you have regarding overall health?
Erica: I believe health is a choice. You have to make it a priority in your daily life to take care of yourself. Those who are not willing to put the effort in will not reap the benefits. It is very easy to live an unhealthy lifestyle. I have found that those who are not ready to commit to themselves and prioritize their health tend to take much longer to heal and recover.
Pink: If you could give one piece of advice to women, what would it be?
Erica: Do something that makes you happy. Too often we go through day-to-day life without truly honoring our hearts. We get caught up in all of the "stuff" that needs to get done and we forget about ourselves. Find an activity that you love to do and that you look forward to doing and make it a part of each day. It does not matter what it is and it does not have to be the same thing each day. It could be meditation, exercise, or watching reruns of "The Golden Girls." A little bit of joy can go such a long way in terms of health-both mentally and physically. Happiness has its own set of hormones that can work miracles in the body.
Pink: What is the most common mistake you see women making regarding their own health?
Erica: I would have to say that most women tend to put themselves last in the pecking order. Work, family, and daily chores, among other things, take precedence and they forget or neglect to take care of themselves. Many women have high levels of stress and miss clues that may indicate serious health conditions, especially when those clues are not obvious.
Pink: Dr. Erica, I know you truly give of yourself in the field of volunteerism. Could you talk a little about some of the things you do that give you the most personal satisfaction?
Erica: One of the special things I have done recently involved a trip to Fiji. I went with a group of 40 professionals to provide healthcare to the locals. We worked out of schools, recreation centers, and churches. Everywhere we went we had long lines of people patiently waiting to be seen. We taught nutrition, physical fitness, awareness, and how to make good dietary choices. We also brought boxes and boxes of donated supplies. It gives one a wonderful feeling to help-especially the little children.
I am also proud to be a member of Zonta, which is an organization that tries to improve and empower women. We try to help women lift themselves up. Locally we work with CODA and Hope Haven. I co-chair the service committee and we direct funds and resources to where they are most needed. Zonta is a group of very strong-minded women who are always active. We don't just talk-we get things done!