How it all began
My story begins, like most of our stories in the middle, before illness struck and long before I understood my own predispositions to illness, or the impact of my life history and choices.
This is my own ‘healing’ story –
the route I took to get here.
We are not just our symptoms
A medical diagnosis does not define us, yet it’s often needed to begin our journey back to health. More important though is joining the dots and understanding the ‘Why’, Why did we become ill? And then things can change.
My story begins, like most of our stories in the middle, long before illness struck and long before I fully understood how the stage for my ill health had been set many years before.
I arrived in my mid-30’s stressed out and burnt-out after 12 years of teaching. My body was screaming to be listened to. Years of responding to time-pressured tasks, stress-induced fire-fighting and rigorous routines were asking me to repay the energy debt in full. This was the ‘fork in the road’ moment and I had to make a new choice – so I left my job.
Being a Type A ‘fix it’ personality, I trained to teach yoga to help me manage my stress. I asked myself “what did I love to do?” and the answer was “to eat!” so I started to learn more and embarked on a three-year course with the College of Naturopathic Medicine to become a registered nutritional therapist trained in functional medicine.
Working with a Functional Medicine practitioner was the next powerful choice I made. Functional testing revealed that my cortisol levels were off the charts (not a shock!) and that I had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and intestinal parasites, most likely from the stress that I had been under for years, coupled with a gut that was not in the best state to regulate my immune system.
This was mind-blowing! I started to connect the dots of years of unexpressed emotions = thyroid issues and hypervigilant nervous system + 6 months of anti-malarial medication = gut imbalance + one year of travelling the world = intestinal parasites all resulted in a dysregulated immune system that was now attacking itself.
This propelled me to study further at the Institute for Functional Medicine and develop my skills to understand more about the complexities of dis-ease. Today, I manage my autoimmune condition with the support of functional medicine, yoga and walking in nature. Sometimes I balance work and life and I teach my absolute passion for functional nutrition to students at CNM.
Befriending my body - a return to balance
It was easy to assume that my body was my enemy – it was attacking itself after all. But befriending my body was the best medicine I could give it. I found foods to nourish and balance my gut and immune system and herbs that would support my adrenal health. I returned to yoga as a tool to calm my nervous system and used meditation to give space in my busy life.
“We are all walking recipes”
What I came to realise is that there is no ONE ‘fix’; we are a blend of our
histories, our food and lifestyle choices and our genetics, we are in fact unique
walking recipes ourselves! Finding the ingredients to help you make the
best version of yourself is part of my work, so you can establish a loving
friendship with your body and find balance in your life