“I’ve climbed my mountain so I can now help you climb yours!”
For as long as I can remember, I always had this calling to help the wounded. I brought countless stray animals (and people) home to nurture them with love, food and shelter, until I could see the light come back into their eyes. This calling has never abandoned me and has been the driving force behind my adult career path. First, becoming a Pilates instructor, helping people learn how to move properly and become physically stronger and more self- confident. Then becoming a Yoga instructor, helping people learn how to ‘root to rise’, to ground and center themselves, teaching them to reach beyond their physical and mental limitations to connect to something greater than themselves through the ancient wisdom that accompanies the physical practice. In 2007, my path led me to seek out a Holistic Nutritionist diploma, which allows me to address the biochemistry of the body and teach one how to use whole foods, targeted and cyclical supplementation as well as environmental and lifestyle changes, as medicine, against declines in health and vitality. And finally in 2018, graduating from a 7-year Osteopathic diploma program which has given me the ability to assist my patients in removing pain and dysfunction and heightening the functionality of their bodies. While I am passionate about all matters pertaining to health, my post-graduate studies have been focused on the digestive system, inflammation, energy metabolism and the brain (enhancing cognitive function, decreasing cognitive degeneration and the treatment of concussions).
I am what is referred to as a ‘wounded warrior’, having turned my wounds into my life’s purpose. My personal suffering turned into a drive and passion to help others not only avoid the same pain but to attain a greater state of being. As a teenager, I suffered from gluten sensitivities, terrible acne, and depression as a teenager, likely due to an incredibly poor diet - loaded with gluten and simple carbs, cigarette smoking, alcohol, recreational drug use and an almost non-existent support system. My brain was in a perpetual fog and my heart filled with sadness, my life seemed to be filled with one poor decision after another, spiralling deeply out of control until I would find myself in life-altering trouble…and this, more than once.
“I remember thinking (for years) that there had to be something better for me than this and then one day realizing it wasn’t just going to happen for me, that it would be up to me to make this life better!”
But I always knew I wanted something better from life. After one very important ‘rock bottom’, instead of just eliminating a particular bad choice, person or behaviour from my life, I began adopting new healthy behaviours, and integrating them one at a time. It started with a lot of introspection which led to seeking out knowledge, which then led to mindset and perspective changes.
Over time, I found myself consuming as much information as I could to understand and then embody the many pillars that led to a healthier, happier and more fulfilling life. This included seeking education and professional help for lifestyle, diet and supplementation modifications; exercise and meditation; and various manual therapies.
“If something had a positive impact, I wanted to become a practitioner of it or know the best person I could refer people to!”
I can say that there was no ‘single magic pill’, a turnaround requires an integrative approach incorporating several types of practices and interventions applied with discipline and conviction over an extended period of time. But if you stick to it, the turnaround will happen, and if you get there in time, you will find yourself in a better, healthier state than you were in your twenties or thirties, or pre-dysfunction.
“…and then in 2013, I almost lost it all…thank god I rejected the traditional western medicine paradigm and had accumulated the expertise and resources required to come to my own rescue!”
In 2013, when in my 3rd year of Osteopathic training, I experienced discomfort in one of my wrists while doing my regular yoga practice. However, what I thought would be an unremarkable injury, following 2 months of chronic pain and inflammation, and after a series of blood tests and imaging, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both wrists by a specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. At this point, I had lost approximately 90% of mobility in these joints and the pain was so bad that I could barely turn a door knob on the closet doors inside my home. I was told I was looking at having to abandon my education and my career - due to the fact that both of which relied heavily on my ability to use my hands. I was scared and devastated, and felt very alone. The course of action prescribed by the specialist was anti-inflammatory drugs and devices to assist me with my daily activities. I remember feeling incredibly powerless and lost. I shed a lot of tears asking myself how this could happen and what I was going to do. And then it became very clear to me. I had somehow forgotten that I had all the knowledge and resources I needed to reverse this condition and all I needed to do is apply them diligently to myself. And so I became my own patient, I followed my own protocols, set my mindset to that of a wise warrior and reversed the condition completely within a 6-month period.
Today I enjoy a both a successful full-time Osteopathic practice, and a regular personal yoga practice - which includes arm-balances (the most challenging for wrist joints). I would not be where I am today without a lot of effort and dedication, without challenging convention and striving for something better, not to mention an unwavering commitment to ‘do whatever it takes, for however long it takes to get there’. My knowledge and expertise have grown exponentially since I began taking the steps to turn my life around, and then conquered my osteoarthritis diagnosis, and this knowledge continues to grow so that I may in turn be able to help those in need, when they are ready to make a change.