My health fell apart early and I struggled with significant challenges for more than two decades of my life.
The first real health issue that I remember was in 8th grade. I had agonizing abdominal pains. One of my sisters had recently had appendicitis, and my symptoms were similar. So off to the hospital I went. Imagine my embarrassment when it turned out to be severe premenstrual cramps. Thankfully the pain subsided with my period, but came again each month for quite some time. Fortunately it decreased in severity over time, but the cramps never went away completely until many years later.
Other unwanted hitchhikers during my teenage years were fatigue, intestinal discomfort and mood swings. Gymnastics injuries were also a fairly common occurrence for me and I eventually had to quit the team because body was coming undone. Abandoning something I loved because my health couldn’t handle it was a crushing disappointment.
In my second year of college, I slipped the disc in my jaw and everything really unraveled from there. Severe muscle spasms, numbness in my arms and hands and constant body aches kicked in. In addition to wearing an uncomfortable appliance in my mouth to allow the disk to move back into place, I was prescribed high dose muscle relaxants. I had some relief from the pain, but also unpleasant side effects. Acid reflux, more intense and more frequent intestinal discomfort and severe seasonal allergies were now added to my already too long list of symptoms.
During my 20’s, I utilized physical therapy, medication and chiropractic care to manage my symptoms. Although I was still symptomatic, I learned how to be functional. But after my second son was born, at the age of 33, my health took another nose dive. I was in constant physical pain which made it impossible for me to get quality sleep. I had such severe muscle spasms that I shook the bed! I was so ridiculously overtired and uncomfortable all the time. I managed to keep my life going and care for my family, but every day was an immense struggle.
One morning, while dropping my children off at day care before my part time bookkeeping job, I broke down sobbing. I had 2 beautiful and healthy children, a loving husband and a welcoming home. I wanted to be well and enjoy my life!
My desperation, discomfort and yearning led me to make a commitment to find a way to get better, no matter what that required. That decision led me into the world of nutrition and holistic healing, and my health finally began to improve. While it took time, I had incremental improvements from the beginning, which confirmed that I was on the right path and gave me the faith I needed to keep moving forward. It was not easy or quick, but it is the best thing I have ever done for myself!
During my healing process, I realized that my ability to find and maintain vibrant health depended on more than I was considering. I had learned that my physical body needed movement, stretching, high quality sleep, lots of clean, nutritious food and as little exposure to toxins as possible. I made huge improvements by focusing on those things, but realized my mental/emotional/spiritual health also needed attention. Beliefs, thoughts and emotions emit chemicals inside your body that can dramatically support or hinder your health. Since there was no way I was EVER going back to that miserable state I barely existed in for so long, I was more than up for the challenge of letting go of negative beliefs, thoughts and emotions. Addressing this area of my health has brought a depth of confidence, joy and inspired living that I would never have thought possible years ago. At 52, I can honestly say that I am the strongest, healthiest, happiest version of myself that I have ever been!
In addition to my own personal healing, I have had the immense privilege of working with hundreds of clients in my private practice since 2004. My practice started with a bodywork technique called Craniosacral Myofascial Release, with some dabbling in clinical nutrition (supplements for healing). In 2007, I dove deeply into studying whole food supplementation, applied kinesiology (aka muscle testing) and clinical nutrition protocols with Ulan Nutritional Systems. Implementing these more advanced techniques with most of my clients catapulted their healing! A year later I immersed myself in learning Restorative Endocrinology with Dr. Janet Lang and applying this new knowledge into my previous clinical nutrition services was a game changer! The results my clients achieved on my newly integrated system were even more dramatic than what I had been seeing. I completely fell in love with my new work! Because the bodywork took up so much of my time, and I was now more passionate about my clinical nutrition work, I made the decision to discontinue my bodywork services.
While I truly enjoy working one on one with my private clients in my clinical nutrition practice, time is limited and I want to help as many people as possible. Realizing that led me to create Design Your Healthy Life. I want to share the best inspiration, knowledge and resources available today and to help as many people as possible make excellent personal health a reality.