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Dr. Marylin Palackel James, D.O.

Dual Board Certified in Family Medicine and Osteopathic Manual Medicine
ABFM, AOBFP. Founder & CEO of Haven Family Health.

A Brief History

"If health is lost, everything is lost".  That is what I would hear my grandfather tell his patients when I'm eavesdropping in his clinic located in our house in India.  As a child I grew up with this amazing human, Dr. Peter Puthenveetil, my idol, and saw the tremendous impact he had on others as a physician. I thought, if only I could be at least a little bit like him, I would consider my life fulfilled.  It was this fire inside me, to be there for others at times of dis-ease, to inspire others to make better lifestyle choices, and serve as a conduit for healing that got me here.  I came to America as a teenager, and soon enough realized my calling to promote health and wellness among my peers and community. Throughout high school and college, I started various organizations to combat the current epidemic of obesity that is leading to various chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular conditions.  I understood the importance of addressing the root-cause of these problems, rather than just treating the symptoms.  I was a Junior in college then when I decided to become not just any physician, but a Family Medicine Physician.  My mentor and cousin Dr. Jennifer Spanier-Stiasny, D.O. then introduced me to the osteopathic world and I immediately knew that my calling was to become a DO.  

Dr. Marylin James
The DO Touch

As a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, we are trained to look at our patient as a whole, the mind, body, and the spirit.  We study all the anatomy, physiology, and hard sciences that the MDs do, but also have an additional 200+ hours of training in manual therapy.  As stated by the American Osteopathic Association, "DOs are trained to promote the body's natural tendency toward self-healing and health".

Here are the core Tenets of Osteopathic Medicine:

1. The body is a unit comprised of body, mind, and spirit.

2. The body is capable of self-regulation and self-healing. It is also capable of health maintenance. 

3.  Appropriate treatment involves understanding the basic principles of body unit, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function. 

For more information about Osteopathic Medicine, go to


My DO training helped me understand the importance of keeping an open mind and utilizing multiple modalities to help heal.  Throughout medical school and residency, I realized how powerful osteopathic manual therapy (OMT) is when integrated into mainstay care in the appropriate setting.  I did my 40 hour Cranial Course in medical school and currently utilize various modalities including cranio-sacral therapy, myofascial release, muscle energy, and strain-counter strain to name a few. Using these techniques I treat patients all the way from pediatrics through the elderly, and even pregnant women.  I have countless stories of how effective these treatments were and how much time and money it saved the patient.  It can be used to treat migraines, tension headaches, neck pain, back pain, frozen shoulder, TMJ dysfunction, recurrent sinus infections, tail bone pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, various types of knee pain, piriformis syndrome, plantar fasciitis and so on.  

After residency, I went to India to get my yoga teacher training and became a certified yoga instructor.  That was when I had an immersive experience with Ayurvedic Medicine, an ancient Indian medical science that is 5,000 years old but still practiced to this day. Through Ayurveda, I was able to heal various long standing health problems. This got me excited to integrate the Eastern medical practices with my Western training.  I went to Ayurvedic school and finished the 6 month Ayurvedic Coach program in efforts to bring this wonderful science of healing to my patients.  My practice style is strongly influenced by these principles which has many similarities to the Osteopathic Tenets.  Ayurveda also believes in the body's ability to self-heal and to maintain health, and the importance of looking at the mind-body-spirit connection.  It discusses the importance of gut in overall health maintenance and how each individual is different, with different microbiome, and constitutional makeup, thus requiring different lifestyle habits to live in synch with their own unique nature.  It is not a one size fits all.

In summary, this is my philosophy of care: Medicine needs to be personalized because every individual is unique.  Often times it takes as long as it took for the disease to manifest to reverse the disease, but it can be reversed because our body has the capacity to heal itself.  My goal is to partner with my patients to understand them at a deeper level and to be there every step of the way from dis-ease to ease. 

My Philosophy of Care

Education and Experience
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology, Loyola University, Summa Cum Laude

  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Des Moines University, Iowa

  • Family Medicine Residency, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, Illinois

  • Outpatient Family Medicine Physician in Florida since 2019, various locations

  • Telehealth Physician, ADHD Online

  • 40 hr cranial course

  • Herman and Wallace Pelvic Floor Function, Dysfunction, and Treatment level I

  • 200 hr YTT (Yoga Teacher Training), Kovalam, India

  • Ayurvedic Coach, Kerala Ayurveda Academy, California

Meet the Support Staff

"This is my dream team. Their unwavering support and belief in my vision has been pivotal in the growth and success of Haven Family Health" - Dr. James

Jessica Vera
Administrative Assistant

Jessica has been working with Dr. James since 2020 and has been a part of Haven Family Health since its inception in 2022. She is the backbone and voice of the practice: She is our patient communication coordinator, virtual front desk, and the manager of the administrative aspects of the practice.  She previously worked at Baptist as well as other outpatient practices.  Patients admire her interpersonal skills and find her very professional and personable.

She currently lives in Puerto Rico with her husband. She is a mom to three beautiful girls. Jessica loves spending time with her kids. In her spare time she likes to exercise, cook, travel, and go to the beach.


Melissa Barr
Medical Assistant

Melissa Barr has been a part of our team since October 2023. She is excited to be a part of the Haven Family Health team and has been appointed as our Medical Assistant. Melissa is a mom of three kids and previously worked in real estate and marketing before joining the medical field. We are thrilled to have Melissa as part of the Haven Family team and look forward to having all of our patients meet her.


Christina Burget
Marketing and Business Developemnt

Christina is a wife, a mom to a teenage daughter adopted from Guatemala, as well as a breast cancer survivor. She has a background in business and worked in logistics for about 16 years. Later she worked in real estate marketing and discovered how much she enjoyed the creative side of business development. This inspired her to start Mac B. Marketing. She works closely with Dr. James to spread the word about Haven Family Health and strategize ways to grow the business further.


Nick Behrman
Accountant/CPA and Financial Advisor

Since 2011, Nick's experience in public accounting includes working in tax, bookkeeping and auditing fields, while specializing in industries such as medical, legal, restaurants, retail, IT and non-profit.


He started his firm to create a simple all-in-one place to meet others bookkeeping, tax and consulting needs without having to seek multiple professionals or additional employees.


During his personal time, he enjoys spending time with his family and sea kayaking around the various waterways Florida has to offer.

Nick is a valuable part of Haven Family Health and we are very lucky to have his support and expertise. 

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