Meet the Team: Restoration Healthcare Physician — Dr. Walid Faraj

Dr. Walid Faraj

Dr. Walid Faraj is a board-certified family physician and a holistic medicine practitioner who specializes in Integrative Functional Medicine here at Restoration Healthcare. The journey that led to his embrace of functional medicine started back in 2001 during his family medicine residency at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, Calif.

It was at that time that Dr. Faraj’s own father was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and once it was confirmed that he suffered a progressive neurodegenerative disease, specialists pretty much threw in the towel. Initiating no plan of treatment, doctors gave his father a walker, an appointment for physical therapy, an antidepressant, and a suggestion that he drink Ensure.


Upon questioning, his father’s specialists shrugged their shoulders and told his son that nothing else could be done.

Helplessness led to frustration, and soon Dr. Faraj set off on a 19-year quest to find more effective treatments for chronic and often debilitating medical conditions. Following his residency, he worked in a Native American health clinic in Northern California, experiencing the healing power of a sweat lodge and the healing wisdom described by tribal elders. He came to believe that a sense of community and spiritual faith could help in the treatment plans of many health conditions.

Further training allowed him to become board certified in integrative holistic medicine, and for the past nine years, he has applied these integrative modalities to help his patients optimize their well-being, practicing a wellness model of care.

As a physician at Restoration Healthcare, Dr. Faraj’s emphasis is on supporting the immune system, which we know to be linked to nearly all chronic health conditions. And, since 70 percent of our immune is in our digestive system, Dr. Faraj believes that many illnesses begin in the gut. As a result, he puts much of his emphasis on the choices we all get to make — particularly the power of food and as you’ll see below, the value of intermittent fasting.

We asked Dr. Faraj to elaborate on his career and share a few details of his life. Here is what he told us:

Restoration Healthcare: As a physician, what is it that you do at Restoration Healthcare?

Dr. Walid Faraj: In five words — provide integrative and holistic healthcare. But it’s much more than that. I suppose I pride myself in connecting with patients to build trust so that the doctor/patient relationship can thrive and become a two-way street. My area of emphasis is helping support the immune system because I believe there is an immune system component in all chronic conditions. Being a family medicine provider, I see patients spanning all age groups and varying levels of wellness. This ranges from patients who want to prevent illness and optimize wellness, to those who want to reverse illness and improve quality of life. Like all of us do at Restoration Healthcare, I work together with my patients to customize a sustainable plan of care.

RH: What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?

Dr. Faraj: I’ll tell you four things: 1. I’m trilingual — I speak English, Spanish and Arabic. 2. I do intermittent fasting by following the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap. 3. I was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and then raised in San Diego. 4. I can’t help but root for the Padres and Chargers!

RH: What is it that you appreciate most about Restoration’s approach to healthcare?

Dr. Walid Faraj: I most appreciate our shared vision to help meet the health care needs of all patients by creating individualized treatment plans based on gathering a thorough history, detailed exam, and in-depth diagnostics. This level of care is maintained by cultivating relationship-centered care between myself and our patients. In this relationship, we are partners in seeking health for the betterment of both patient and doctor, whether that includes exploring cutting edge medical treatments or ancient healing remedies and anything in between.

RH: What are your professional certifications/designations, and do you hold membership in any professional or social organizations?

Dr. Faraj: I am a member of the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine, and I am a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). I am also a member of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI), and the Functional Medicine Group of Orange County.

RH: Where did you attend college and what did you study?

Dr. Faraj: I received a Bachelor of Science degree (in animal physiology and neuroscience) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in health care and social issues from UCSD (University of California, San Diego) in 1997, and I graduated in 2001 from the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University.

RH: What is your favorite quote of all time?

Dr. Faraj:If you never assume importance, you never lose it.” — Laozi

RH: What do you like to do outside of work — any hobbies or outdoor pursuits?

Dr. Faraj: I enjoy yoga, going to the gym, going to the beach, traveling, and of course spending time with my family.

RH: That’s a great transition into our next question… tell us about your immediate family.

Dr. Faraj: Well, I am married to my best friend and love of my life, with both of us drawing inspiration from our three kids — an nine-year-old daughter, and two boys ages seven and three.

RH: What’s your favorite restaurant in the area — the one you return to time after time? And what dish specifically do you continue to order, even though there’s a whole menu of suggestions?

Dr. Faraj: Ritter’s Steam Kettle Cooking in Santa Ana, where my favorite dish is House Pan Roast.

RH: A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does she say and why is she there?

Walid: “One good thing about global warming is that I now live on the beach.”