Hi everyone this is my first blog post for 2020, I know I have been just a little distracted during December and I did not get a blog post done, so it has been some time since I have put a post up for you all.

It seems a bit surreal at the moment we have had so much sadness with the bush fire crises in Australia it is making it a little difficult to focus on the year ahead. I am sure that everyone will be providing support to family and friends if not affected or trying to just keep going if you are affected. Please know that my thoughts are with everyone at this time who is affected, struggling, or trying to stay strong and offer support for friends and family.

Well, I would like to share with you a little about me this post as with all of what is going on it would seem appropriate to share a story of hope and courage.

Why am I passionate about helping others to live healthy active lives and be the best they can be?

I have been living with chronic disease and I know how it affects people and how our lifestyle choices can lead to our body not being able to cope with the challenges. You see I have lived with childhood trauma since I was just 8 years old. Unfortunately, trauma changes our biochemical balance within our body. The trauma over time has developed into post-traumatic stress disorder which includes severe depression and anxiety. This has been compounded by my career choices, I worked in a profession that requires a huge amount of empathy, this has had a huge impact on my mental and physical health over the last 30 years. So much so that I can no longer work as a nurse, as I simply can no longer cope with the trauma triggers.

The problem is that when we humans experience trauma and it is not resolved, our body enters the state of fight and flight this can keep us in this state over a long period of time, and often we tend to experience other trauma that compounds the situation. The problem is that our adrenal glands continually produce cortisone as they are designed to do, however, they are not designed to do this all the time as we are only designed for short bursts to get away from danger. When the adrenal glands continue to produce cortisone for extended periods of time we then begin to have other health problems associated.

These health problems occur because when we are in the state of fight or flight response our circulation is directed to the vital organs the heart, brain, and lungs to ensure we can run fast and make quick decisions to keep ourselves safe. This causes changes to our digestion and the metabolism of fats and glucose leading to cholesterol and glucose dysregulation including the malabsorption of minerals and vitamins. This means your diet could be adequate but your body simply can not digest and absorb the nutrients effectively to support your health. Our immune system can malfunction causing autoimmune disorders, the thyroid gland becomes stressed and can struggle to function correctly. Other effects include cardiac disease, nervous system changes, hypertension, weight gain, and much more. The end result is a chronic disease.

For me, I believe the prolonged stress has made me susceptible to obesity, a rare brain disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), insulin resistance leading to pre-diabetes, severe lower back problems, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. So this is how I stumbled across the benefits of natural therapy. It was 2014 and I had been struggling with my pain and my back and I was unsure what to do about it. I had seen doctors, I had other strange neurological symptoms but it seemed that the doctors could do little to help. I was taking medication for pain that had worked but it had not solved any of my health issues.

So I made an appointment with a naturopath, she was amazing, she spent 1 hour with me. She listened to me, she believed me and she provided me with education. As a nurse, this was not what I was used to. The most amount of time my doctor would spend with me was 10 – 15 minutes and I would often leave feeling worse than when I went in, as the usual topic was my weight…. “you need to lose weight”. There was never any understanding for why I was obese it was just assumed that I overate and was a couch potato, this could not have been further from the truth. Body shaming was what this caused, and this had been going on since I was 8 years old. I did not like my body much and my childhood experiences and the ongoing experiences with health practitioners had only helped to compound this.

My naturopath taught me about nutrition and why it was so important, she taught me about foods and inflammation, she taught me about how my body used food, she taught me about hydration. I followed her instructions. I lost weight without much effort, my energy increased and my pain went away I was amazed, I even joined the gym. It was because of this and realizing as a nurse I did not understand the real causes of illness or disease. I was becoming just like my clients experiencing a chronic disease that did not respond to modern treatments. I wanted to know more so I enrolled in a naturopathy course and went back to study, as I had recognized that preventative health and understanding the real drivers of health is so much more important if I am to help people make lasting change in their lives.

I am an unlikely naturopath, I come from mainstream health and I believe that we need both mainstream and natural therapies. I believe that we all should have the right to knowledge to learn the skills to live well and prevent disease. I believe that health should be holistic and that we should appreciate and respect all health care professionals and support each other for the benefit of our patients/clients. I am not super skinny, I carry weight as I know that health is so much more than how much you weigh on the scales or your physical appearance. Health is not just physical it psychological, emotional, and social. If we do not have the balance we will not have health. When everything is in balance the result will be health and wellbeing. I invite you to visit my website www.verdurenaturopathy.com.au and make a time to chat with me if you need help to improve your health.

Remember health is a journey and it is your journey!

Below is a very recent photo of me, I am very proud of it as this is the first time I have been able to see that I am beautiful! (this blog will be continued with the benefits I have experienced in managing my health naturally in the next post)