Adrenal Fatigue, Copper toxicity, Under-Mehthylation, Estrogen Dominance – It’s not in your head


 

I am not trying nor could not do justice to all these topics, or you in the one article.

I will link to as many specialists, articles and courses as I know of at the end for you to continue your own personal research. 

My intention here is to share my story with you, as it has mirrored so many clients stories over the last few years and it breaks my heart to hear of even one other woman who has had to spend as much time and money as I did feeling crazy and wondering if they were ever going to get answers. 

I want to you feel seen, heard, validated. Your experiences are real. You are not alone. 

If you are seeking answers and support I can help we may have to really search for them, but hopefully with the use of my own experience we can create some short cuts. 

 

 

So, let me take you back to 2010 and the perfect storm many have experienced of a divorce and a death, coupled with the text book post divorce grieving bonanza of really bad choices, overwork and stress. 

I lost at least 10 kgs and everyone unfortunately was telling me how wonderful I looked and I wanted as fast as possible to feel like I had my shit together and was doing fine. 

I wasn’t 

And you probably aren’t either if you’re reading this. 

And that’s ok. 

There were new wonderful opportunities that I said yes to and there were many choices that I wish to dear heaven that someone had  been able to convince me to walk away from.

I worked A LOT and I never sat still, EVER, for a really long time.

The thing I want you to take time to hear, is it took YEARS at this pace for the wheels to really fall off, and this is such a key thing for women to understand. 

Most of us are pretty resilient, and we are privileged to be able to have a long weekend here, and get a massage there. We think relative to what we have been through that we feel ok, this is not accurate.  We have long ago lost our benchmark of what normal or ok, or basic healthy homeostasis even looks like. 

Our endocrine systems are a nuanced and complex ecosystem, it’s ridiculous to think that we can have such a sustained spike in our stress chemistry and pressure on our adrenal glands and it not have repercussions for the rest of the system (most importantly our ovaries and thyroid) 

And so in ever increasing increments our baseline becomes eroded until one final cliched card brings the whole house down, and we can feel genuinely baffled at this point because the divorce or frighting experience or the job loss was “years ago and I’m ok now” 

Let me repeat myself here. 

You’re not, and that’s ok.

This occurs for a variety of reasons, firstly when we have experienced a significant stress and we are not given time to really rest and heal physically and emotionally, cortisol and adrenaline become our day to day companions.

This sets up a raft of biochemical patterns the most well known of which is that our pre-frontal cortex, the bit of our brain in the front of our heads that is really clever and rational and can make sensible decisions is taken off line (mostly) so we can in theory flee the big scary bear that our bodies believe must be coming for us. 

But that bear isn’t coming, what is however when we don’t have a calm rational thought in our brains is often a barrage of really hectic unfortunate choices with consequences.

Well that was the case for me anyway;

The abusive relationship, throwing money at problems that shouldn’t have been let in the door in the first place. 

It is immensely embarrassing but I’m sharing this because in my experience and those of my clients, shame has a role to play in keeping us from seeking help and finding solutions. 

Life is happening so very fast and we often feel so out of control that slowing down doesn’t feel like a safe option, so the situations begins to snowball and perpetuate itself. 

The manifestation of this for me a few years on, was that I was felt so very anxious, and exhausted and emotional, all the time.

My cycle had taken on the characteristics of a Tarantino movie complete with psychedelic plot twists, waterfalls of blood loss and unexplained emotional outbursts complete with existential crises.

Four years passed and by 2014 things got so bad I finally started to seek help both from a psychologist and an integrative doctor.

I went from my divorce diet super slender self to putting all 10 kilos plus back on in the space of less than a year. And I am going be really honest here, I’ve never lost that weight. I have much to say on this topic of scales and weight but let’s finish this story first. 

I had been taking on and off for years things like Neurocalm, Adrenotone, buckets of zinc, a thing called Estrosense that helped my Liver clear out unneeded estogen and all manner of liver support herbs 

Now as I write this, I am really baffled at how there wasn’t some alarm bells going off in someones head somewhere. I will decline in putting the next paragraph all in caps lock because I know it’s not helpful but please imagine if you can that I am pretty much shouting this because this is how I feel about it!

Let’s think about it, as I’m sure you will relate; I was a young woman in my early 30’s, I didn’t have any history of serious illness I had the lifestyle of a saint (albeit a busy saint with a propensity for putting myself in relationships I shouldn’t) I rarely drank, I ate all my greens, I walked the beach every day and did yoga. Why the bloody hell should my liver not be working properly? 

And why on the Goddesses green Earth would I be ok with just accepting that this was how I was now; tired all the time, emotional and with a uterus that had a 5 film deal with Tarantino? 

THIS IS NOT OK (ok I couldn’t help the caps lock there)

And not only was it not ok for me but it’s not ok when women I treat come in and can barely speak up to tell me what is going on. 

They are so tired, and so exhausted from the managing and the explaining of their symptoms and have spent so much time masking their anxiety that to whisper its existence out loud is almost more than they can bare. 

And so, I did all the fun tests, the saliva ones where you spit in jars and blood tests to check zinc and liver function and every other damn thing, and lo and behold by this point I had no cortisol left ( Cortisol levels increase in times of stress then as the years goes on you run out… I will point you in the direction of science to explain this later) 

I officially had Adrenal Fatigue. Hooray! 

Now this wasn’t a surprise but validation is very bloody helpful and a course of treatment ensued. 

I now also had a reason to rest. Truly friends I believe I am so very good at seeing and treating women with these kind of endocrine issues as I was one of the dumbest people I ever had to deal with. Honestly it’s been such a lesson in humility.

The only thing that could have helped me recover faster is taking more time at the time. 

Repeat that back to yourself as many times as you need because it will sound like an oxymoron. When you’re in this kind of state you will argue with the reality of this as impossible, or at least I did. I would recommend just accepting it as a truth till further notice. 

With that in mind I figured that after 6 months I would be all fixed (lets recap here that it has clearly taken at least 4 years to get to this state of health, feel free to face palm as you read along) 

So I went back after 6 months and redid the tests. I was feeling genuinely so much better within myself. My sleep was better my mood was more even, I was able to make decisions in my life without feeling like I wanted to crawl into a cupboard. So I was super excited to get the test back and have it proven that I was ready to take on the world. 

Oh boy. You can feel the disaster incoming already can’t you? 

The tests came back and things (according to the tests) were worse. 

I’m including this here for two reasons, firstly the fact that things weren’t better in hind site was a hint that there were a few other key things that needed investigating and secondly because it was a really pivotal point in my relationship to my ownership of my experience. 

The doctor in question is someone I still see, and still refer to, she’s amazing. I have no issue with her, but I did learn a lot about how to deal with women like myself in situations like this because as she clinically and technically pointed out the down turn in the graph she had so thoroughly printed out for me, I completely and hysterically (think Uma Thurman) lost my stuffing. 

This was the end officially of my tether. I couldn’t and won’t add up all that had been spent on supplements, testing and treatments. Never mind time off work, and time out from life. 

I had lost friendships and relationships because I was always tired and I was scared about how I was going to continue showing up to my life. It all felt like too much.

What did happen here to give me some hope is that a very clever girlfriend reminded me that I am not my test results. She reminded me that my experience of my own body needs to be my guiding compass and that tests are helpful as I’ve mentioned above to give validation and to support a treatment plan but they are not the be all and end all and that it’s quite logical, especially as an acupuncturist to see that our energetic experience of our health will change first and that physical measurable changes might take a little longer. 

And so with this all in mind I kept on keeping on. I rested, I took my B’s and my Zinc and my Adrenal Support and I had acupuncture and swam in the ocean and got on with my life.

Slowly. (Ish)

I had, had to stop any sort of exercise or yoga but in 2015 slowly began bringing it back in. This felt amazing. The kind of endocrine picture that I had been and most of my clients are in means that muscle is used up as a fuel and putting muscle back can become quite difficult. So to find myself feeling stronger was such a wonderful sensation and further evidence that slow and steady wins the race. 

Life went up and down and sideways as it tends to do and it was well into 2016 when the next, final and most important piece of the puzzle got put together. 

Whilst my impatience is something that I struggle with, my tenacity and persistence is something that I refuse to apologise for, because eventually I get my answers. I may well drive most people in earshot crazy in the process but there isn’t much I can do about that!

This is the piece of the story that I most often share with my clients when they come in, second guessing themselves and doubting that they have the right to ask for better health. 

Because  I am a health practitioner and I do have access to herbs and treatment I was managing a new raft of symptoms  “well” and was almost convincing myself that it was ok and that I should just keep on managing week by week as I was. 

My cycle had created a new type of bonkers and there was mid cycle spotting, odd off and on period bleeding, deep depression day 5 ish , floods of tears on day 18 and a couple of days each cycle when I actually just didn’t have anything to do with the outside world. 

Again I’m being really specific with my experience here as there are many women out there thinking it’s just them, it’s all in their heads, or perhaps this is just normal and they should be braver and stronger. 

I’m here to tell you that isn’t the case at all. 

It might take longer than you would like but help is at hand. 

I was taking Chaste tree, using progesterone creams from day 14, I was still on adrenal support herbs and had just randomly decided to pop myself on another Liver support supplement called Liv Phase 2.  I am still in love with this supplement for many reasons. 

I went back into that same doctor as before and was like “ there is still something not quite right and we need to find it out”

Now while I had put Uma to bed I was still quite persistent. There was a whole lot of hmmm well maybe that’s just your liver, or maybe that’s just Estrogen symptoms … well sure but WHY are there all these Estrogen symptoms? 

“Hmmm let’s take another look at your most recent test results.”

So are you ready folks, after talking zinc for, let’s see, where are we up to? 6 years by now yes? 

I was still zinc deficient. 

So if you’re up to speed with your chemistry and you’ve read the title of this article you will realise that it was about now that I went and had a copper and a methylation test and discovered that my free copper levels were literally off the charts and that I under-methylate which is why my copper levels were out of control and why my liver was also having difficulty processing Estrogen, and a bunch of other things. 

Copper binds to the same sites as Zinc so all this time my zinc levels were being undermined by the ever increasing levels of Copper. (and yes I try not to think of the expense of all that zinc that never reached its destination). 

Copper toxicity damages thyroid function, inhibits zinc and iron uptake, (which then have their own cascade of symptoms) It is implicated in raised cholestrol, Syndrome X, multiple hormone imbalances and the obvious fatigue. 

The thing that I am so deeply passionate about conveying is that so often due to the alarming and urgent nature of our symptoms it is easy even as health practitioners to be treating a symptom thinking it is the cause.  It is important to gently and persistently keep looking for the root.

All of my treatment of the past 6 years at that point would have been infinitely more effective and potentially a whole lot could have been prevented by knowing that I don’t methylate well.

It is a simple and inexpensive test and around 40% of the population has a genetic set up that inhibits this function.

It has links to the MTHFR gene and by all means you can also go down that road of gene testing and in some situations that can be really helpful too. I am as you may have sensed a big fan of keeping things simple, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck its’s most likely a duck. 

If we don’t have a thriving phase two liver function happening so much of our endocrine system will end up under a great deal of stress. Add in actual stress and you have a perfect recipe for baffling ill health. 

There were SO many points where many less tenacious personalities would have taken someone else’s very well educated opinion as gospel and continued to struggle in silence.

Which of course would not have been their fault but I just cannot bare the thought that there are women out there struggling with not only some deeply un-fun physical symptoms but the incredibly hard mental health symptoms, that become barriers to seeking help in themselves.  

As a post script of sorts there hasn’t been a magical ‘there’ that I have arrived at. I don’t believe that this is something that any of us should be hoping for. In any given moment it’s about
“How can I be as well as possible and then getting curious or asking for the help to achieve that” 

Your wellbeing isn’t static it’s going to evolve across your life. 

I experienced a period of feeling amazing, post Copper detox and then just recently I went through a period of stress that saw my hair falling out and I am now back on T3 which is a form of thyroid medication.

I would be lost without my monthly acupuncture sessions and yoga.

There is no one single path for any of us, and I truly believe that the best approach is an integrated one, that takes into account the Ancient Sciences of Eastern Medicine, Western integrative science and emotional intelligence and support. 

This has been my story and experience so far and as I have mentioned earlier I would dearly love for other women to take advantage of my lengthy journey if it can offer them a shorter path to feeling well. 

I am committed to offering my clients the most exemplary care in my acupuncture and coaching clinic and where my knowledge and testing reach their limits always referring on to my extensive network.

Below are some starting points for reading, listening or courses to purchase. 

I am not affiliated with any of these clever humans but have benefited from and enjoyed their resources. 

I would love for you to share your experiences in the comments below and if you have resources that you have enjoyed please pop them in so I can add them into the body of this article. 

I want this to become a resource for all of us to never question the signals our bodies are sending us again. 

Our Feminine Health needs to be a priority in our lives for the wellbeing of all. 

From my heart to yours 

Keri 

x

 

PS I was going to include an Uma Thurman gif from Kill Bill to really clinch the deal but goodness that was a violent movie… but it is kinda how it feels on the inside right? I’ll let you go google yourself 😉

 

 

 

 

Stillness Through Moment Restorative Yoga

Burn out To Balance 21 Day course

 

Dr Libby Rushing Women’s Syndrome – this is your bible now 🙂

https://www.drlibby.com/shop/rushing-womans-syndrome/

The biochemistry she explains so effectively here is essential for us all to get our heads around. 

It’s in this book that you can find an explanation for how we struggle to put on muscle when we are in our fight or flight state. 

Debunking your Thyroid with Nat Kringoudis 

https://www.natkringoudis.com/debunking-your-thyroid-masterclass/

Podcast 

https://www.natkringoudis.com/your-period-and-copper-toxicity-with-melissa-ramos/

 

Kirby Amour

Kirby Amour Copper Toxicity Care 

 

You can also book in with me for Acupuncture or Health coaching, in person in the Kirra clinic or via Skype 



 

 

 

Transformative Travel Part One – London

 

 

I lived in London for a brief part of my 20’s; had my 25th Birthday in hamstead heath, coming back after the winter in Edinburgh to turn 26 and get married on Kings Road in Kensington.

(Followed by our hand fasting in Ireland with Kate by my side )

The last time I had been in London was 11 years ago for my her wedding.

The wedding of Kate and Will actually (that joke is bordering on ‘Dad’ status by now but it never gets dull for me!)

I was still married and went from Kates magical wedding in Surry back to Ireland to finish packing up my house to leave and return home to Australia. I had been back and forth so many times (between the Isles and Oz) in the previous few years, that I just assumed that I would be back again in no time.

This wasn’t to be the case.

I can’t really explain the sudden nature of the need that filled me.

I had to go to London.

I had been contemplating a retreat in Greece (more on that next)

London, it seemed had set off the alarm and was calling me home.

That’s the feeling of it anyway. It felt simply that I had to go. It wasn’t even a matter of questioning it.

For weeks it played on my mind day and night, schemes of how I might justify it plagued me literally every waking hour and then I started dreaming of catching flights and running through airports.

The need was not subtle or going to subside any time soon.

And so I lept.

 

If you find yourself drawn to an event against all logic go.

The universe is telling you something.

Gloria Steinem

 

Landing in Heathrow was as expected at 5am; hilarious.

The queue took forever and once I got to the front I could see why. The officer I handed my passport to (in complete silence while trying to make my face look as bored  as the image on the front page) was ready for a cracking chat.

He proceeded to ask me where I was staying and had I been here before and did I realise that London was a very big city and not at all like a sleepy suburb of Perth (that we had flown out of).

I assured him yes Sir I was well aware of what I was getting myself into and that I was in fact much (much) older than the straight out of school gap year students that stood around me and was going to be ok. Thank you for checking though.

And so now to work out where I was going and how to get there.

Kate and Will had been held up by a cancelled flight in Spain and so weren’t home yet. There was anxious whatsapp messages awaiting me upon arrival. They wouldn’t be home until this evening.

Girlfriend and walking testimonial for my Coaching Immersion Tina who is off on a year long around the world trip with her hubby and two boys JUST happened to be in London the exact weekend and so I sent Tina a message to see where she was at.

Talk about timing!

Serendipity loves company and so trundling through the Underground up and down way too many steps I eventually found myself at Marble Arch, in the most stunning boutique hotel, having the best shower of my life and breakfast with a dear friend like it had always been planned this way.

 

 

 

That really was the feeling of the whole trip. That all the things that occurred were already planned, I just had to show up with my “well I wonder what will happen today” attitude and watch the magic unfold.

The night after I arrived was reserved for the beautiful evening guiding a group of women with the Goddess Space.

Pop over to read how that went.

And from then on it was Kate and I, many kilometres of walking a day, daily yoga classes, my fairy god babies and a very busy Will who was graceful in the face of his house and newly unemployed wife being absconded with.

 

 

 

As I found myself walking the busy pre xmas streets of London I was overcome with the reality of just how much of myself I had left behind.

How much of my creative wild soul had been left on this island 1000’s of kilometres away from my home on the Gold Coast.

It was impossible not to feel Just HOW much of myself was available to me here connected to this land that I had long forgotten the song to.

There was a cellular embodied recognition of the dirt and cobble beneath my feet.

My lungs recognised the air they inhaled, and my soul called me, deep in my bones to stop, feel and call her home.

The lost parts of myself.

Depths of feeling and memory, mine and not mine recoiled toward me on those streets and found their place back in my heart.

Sliding back into spaces of longing, love and homecoming.

Like a new harmony added to much loved favourite song my heart expanded and remembered.

Soul retrieval – this is the only way I can describe the depth of feeling. I’m still unable to talk about my experience without the tears coming.

 

I wondered as  I stood on my hill in Hamstead Heath if maybe it was the nostalgia of a women in middle age looking back on her much younger self, maybe unresolved pieces of my ended marriage.

But this was not the case.

It was forward moving, enlivening.

A remembering of a richness that still lives in me.

Like a carefully stored dress, found in an attic, preserved waiting for the wearer to remember.

And like most truly magical moments it was also perfectly mundane.

We caught the tube, we dropped the girls off at school, I did laundry, we ate Ramen and bought groceries.

We went to galleries and drank gin and ate cloud cake.

We did lots and lots of yoga

 

 

We made magic with the girls in the garden. I am “Fairy G” after all.

For all the versions of myself past and present that haven’t had these opportunities I will be grateful for all my days that I went.

The thing about an old city is that you can meet yourself again and again.

Old self and future self sliding past each other with a wink.

Recognised but incognito.

The ultimate state of reinvention .

 

 

This trip was just for me. A deep soul connection that I needed.

With this landscape, with a very dear friend of 20 years and new friends courtesy of the internet.

Those people that you chat to and can’t believe it’s the first time you’ve met.

When it feels like you’ve  been doing lunch always.

Rhiannon is one of those people. Conversation that felt like a warm embrace, like we were picking up from where we left off.

A soul sister with needles and bangs and doe eyes and and that signature fierce spirit beneath the softness.

Watch this space as I just know there is collaboration in our future!

And so fighting back tears, (as I continued to do for the next couple of days) we parted at the train.

Till next time, not goodbye.

Never goodbye.

 

The oak trees, the light, the herbs that spoke to me in every hedgerow.

London I love you.

Till next time.

 

And with tears cascading down my cheeks she had one last rainbow wink for me as I turned my sights on Athens ….

 

 

How Planning and Manifestation work together

 

 

Organisation and planing are part of the process of Manifestation!

Less that two months ago while I was still batting away the idea of this overseas trip about to happen in a few short days time, I was doing that thing that we all have done at some point and ‘asking for a sign’

Which for me is totally ridiculous a) because I see signs for everything all the time and b) I usually only start asking for signs when I know EXACTLY what I need to be doing but it feels scary.

So when  I tuned in again for guidance, and yet again heard ‘get organised’ it felt underwhelming (because I was thinking it was going to be scary and that is not hard or scary at all!!) But I also realised that for me at least ‘being organised’ is a key part of manifesting.

It’s like the universe needs to keep me busy and out of my own way and get me ready to jump when things fall into place.

Time and time again these last few weeks, when I wasn’t sure what was next to do, and I’m hoping to hear something deeply profound! Loud and clear all I hear is “ Get. Organised”

Now some people that know me will be already rolling their eyes at this.

I have a not so secret Terrier streak that sees a finish line and channels some deep inner Virgo list busting skill set and just goes for it!

I’m not exactly the most disorganised person in the first place, but each time I have heard this I have acted on it because I understand and respect that you cannot expect guidance to keep pouring in when you don’t act on it.

However bizarre it might seem.

So I hopped to it; I’ve closed long empty old bank accounts and Feng Shui’ed my finances, shredded old journals, and re-organised my diary/ journalling / client record situation with this blog from Vienda as a guide.  This has felt supportive, luxurious, and is about anchoring into abundance and comfort.

This type of preparation despite its lack of direct connection isn’t the kind of action that often falls into the category of procrastination.

You know the situation, that final assignment needs to be done and suddenly the grout you’ve been happily ignoring is suddenly the most important thing in the world!

No, this is the deep dive into trust that though it might not seem directly linked to what I am trying to achieve  is essential to the process.

Isn’t it true that we can never really be sure exactly how something is going to unfold?

We might have a dream to travel, to create something, to find a new home or a new love and so we start with one little step at a time.

I dreamt (literally) of catching planes for weeks before I relented to following the creative crumbs of my new London Coaching offering. I have since got my passport out, it’s sitting on my desk reminding me every day.

And of course I have actioned plenty of the obvious steps.

Sales pages have been created, post have been scheduled, promo ideas have been written down, and mad brave cold calls have been made following the feelings to people I’m yet to meet that may be destined to be new friends!

There are goals beyond London that I have been working towards all year, and again they have been of the circuitous variety!

It feels very much like setting up the solid foundation for which many new things are going to be based on.

Next year it is my intention to have the option to work remotely some of the time and it feels like I need to be clear on the practices, clothing and lifestyle items that will travel well with me.

Obviously I don’t NEED these things to have a successful business coaching women but they have been super helpful in anchoring in the FEELING of how that is going to work from anywhere on the planet.

And if you don’t know by now I love me some Practical Magic.

With each clear and conscious purchase such as my new planer I am bringing my self closer to that which I am seeking and as Rumi has famously said will be finding it’s way to me too!

All the while I am staying open to those bolts from the blue, plot twists and unexpected but gratefully received moments of assistance.

I put these ideas out to the women in my Instagram community when this first came up in August and here are my responses to the things that they shared often get in the way of supporting their process of manifestation.

 

Information overwhelm Analyss paralysis Fear of Starting!

If you are already overwhelmed you have ALL the information you need. Step AWAY from the internet and just start. Fling the words up on to a blog, hit send on the intro email that you’ve spent the last week looking at, make that phone call. Just. Start!

Feeling I’m being idealistic or not knowing or having the experience

Short of saying your going to be the first woman on the moon (and hey I’m not going to tell you it’s not possible!) Being ‘idealistic’ is just a dream you havent experinced yet.

Even if the perfect version of the thing your planing and dreaming doesnt happen exactly how you envisioned it, along the way you have created a new skillset and experience to use for the next time you want to bring something new into your world.

Also everyone and anyone who has done anything new or different was told they were bonkers first by nay sayers.

Not being certain of others involved in the plan (or future being manifested)

Give yourself full permission to want what you want regardless of what other people think is possible Or even what currently looks possible. You’re allowed to want what you want. Share you future desires with key people in your world. How they respond gives you alot of information on whetther or not they are aligned with your future. It can be this simple, not always easy on the heart but pretty straight forward. Owning YOUR own narraitve is essential for creating the life your magic heart desires. These are three conversation starters worth exploring.

In my future I see….

Its a long held dream of mine to…….

Its important to me that………

 

We have to be very careful with our dreams and plans in the beginning.

Be discerning who you are going to share you bold new plans with. Not every is going to be as excited about it as you are and thats ok, but we need to know that this doesn’t mean we still shouldn’t pursue our dream. People will sometimes be fearful for you and it simply isn’t helpful. Sometimes we are just so excited and put too much importance in someone else seeing the brilliance of our new plan instead of backing ourselves whole heartedly and doing our due diligence. This breeds self doubt and resentment. Find a mentor, coach, or friend who is as Brene Brown says ‘ in the arena’ doing work of the similar calibre you are looking to create.

We need to make the unknown known.

Follow online, chat to, watch, listen or read about women who have done the thing youre hopeing to do or experience. Knowing your creation will be differnt again.

Having a mentor, coach or group who has been and done what you are wanting to do to has been super helpful for me.

Knowing when it’s time to let something go

Nothing is ever wasted. Trust this truth. Some plans, book drafts, ideas or relationships  are not meant to see light of day, but what you have learnt in the process will undoubtedly make the next thing you approach much more successful. It can be a bittersweet with out doubt.

Sometimes things do just take time and it can feel super frustrating but one thing I know for sure is that life is happening FOR us not TOO us.

 

I’d love to hear from you, your experiences on manifesting and how you support this process in your life.

 

Here’s to creating lives with meaning and benefit not just ourselves but our communities as well.

x

 

 

 

 

Wellness Education & Why Qualifications are Important

 

 

water ripple, aswa, wellness, corporate wellbeing, keri krieger

 

Never before has the importance of qualifications when seeking your health and wellbeing information been so important.

The quantity, diversity and overwhelming nature of the information that is available to most people on the internet these days is more of a hinderance than a help.

Gurus, health coaches, medical mediums, scientists and skeptics can offer people such polarising advice. As with any field it requires a lot of discernment and self knowledge to choose the right path for you, and often in the realm of health and wellbeing you’re not always in the best shape to be making these choices. Fear, ill health and exhaustion can have you bouncing from one extreme protocol, diet or ‘it’ food to the next, seeking relief.

Even within highly trained branches of natural, integrative and allopathic medicine there are quite naturally going to be differences of opinion. It is no wonder people are confused and hoping for a magic pill!

So what do you do?

I have been thinking deeply on all of these topics recently as I pivot my business and continue my never ending education.

I continue to be challenged with what to call myself so that it’s easy for those seeking my assistance to know what I do.

The word coach is often swallowed up in a world of ‘7 figure business’ marketing or ‘green smoothie’ wellness advocates. I have no issue with either of these markets but it is just not what I am.

My business involving coaching, courses and acupuncture, is based on my almost 20 years as an acupuncturist with thousands of hours of client interactions involving acupuncture treatment, counseling, lifestyle advice and intuitive support.

It is impossible even when I am not in the traditional clinical setting to leave these skills behind. And I certainly wouldn’t want to.

There is also the very real and ongoing nature of what is required of us as Registered Practitioners in Australia. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in Australia is governed by AHPRA. The Australian Health Practitioner Registration Association is the same governing body that oversees Doctors, Nurses, and Chiropractors.

One of the stipulations of this is the minimum 21 hours of ongoing education in your field of practice on top of 4 hours of education to ensure you are up to date with the latest in laws and ethics in your field as well as a current First Aid certificate.

Last year alone I did over 250 hours of ongoing education within the fields of Chinese Medicine, Yoga Teacher Training and Facilitation education.

I think this is important information for clients to know.

So how do I evolve my business and (hopefully) make it easier for my predominately women clients to find and access coaching, treatment and mentoring to support their wellness and health journey?

The answer I believe is simple but it requires both parties to be educated in our approach.

Underneath the title and the branding we need to look rigorously at the education of the person we are approaching and the type of assistance we are looking to receive.

You wouldn’t go to your child minder for a hair cut, neither should you seek psychological medical advice from the gorgeous lady down the road selling essential oils and moonstone (both of which I adore and use in my own home!) You may of course enjoy her company and wear her oils and stones as a reminder of your innate magic, inspire some restoration in your limbic system (where we register scent and emotion in our brain) whilst seeking out professional assistance.

This sounds obvious but I feel that common sense is often not so common and these things need spelling out.

And on the part of the provider there needs to be on going transparency and commitment to the evolution of their education and their field. Health care and our understanding of Mind, Body and Spirit is never going to be a static space.

New developments and understandings continue to occur. I mean, it was less than a decade ago when neuroplasticity was a new discovery.

Having said that I have long eschewed further theoretical based education in preference of emerging fields that offer practical skills that will have lasting effects for clients.

Juggling all of these desires I have chosen to enrol in the Diploma of Wellness Leadership Program through the Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy (ASWA). It is the first of this kind of qualification to be offered through a registered training authority and as such is a new benchmark in wellness education, not only in Australia, but on a global scale.

It has long been a passion of mine to not just treat corporate burnout on the treatment table and in private coaching but to support preventative change in the workplace environment. It is my aim to become a trainer and mentor of this program in workplaces throughout Australasia and through my involvement with ASWA over the last few years as this course was written I have recently been offered a role as an ASWA ambassador.

This is a truly exciting time for me and the industry I love. Most importantly though qualifications like this one make it much easier for individuals and businesses alike to make discerning choices about where to invest their time, energy (and dollars) supporting their health, wellness, and emotional wellbeing.

Wellness and Wellbeing are more than passing fads and I feel it’s important to acknowledge the importance of the preventative role these qualifications will play in the future and the support they will offer to traditional healthcare modalities.

There is a place for it all, and I look forward to sharing more of my journey as it unfolds.

Did you resonate with something that I have just mentioned, perhaps in your own health journey or education?

I would love to hear from you. This is an ongoing conversation that I would love for you to be involved in!

Rituals to guide you from Breakdown to Breakthrough.

 

Healing Power of Ritual

Ritual is something that I have always used as a marker to honor times and places both physical and metaphysical in my life.

Ritual speaks to the deep unconscious places in us and has anchored intentions and goals for me when life has gotten hectic.

This can be as simple as a cup of herbal tea or something as elaborate as this water purification ceremony, I experienced in Bali. This Ceremony occurred whilst I was on a Tigress Yoga retreat in July last year. I went with all sorts of wild intentions, most of them unrealistic! One of them was seeing this holiday as a ritual place marker of healing and time out. The problem with this was that I had an expectation of what healing looked like.

My expectation was that I would go on this magical holiday (it was really really magical) I would have 10 incredible days off (the first 10 days of actual holiday down time in years ) and I would magically spring back like a magical elastic band version of myself. Viola! Keri 2.0. Expectations much? The reality went a little differently.

But it was EXACTLY what I needed and it was in fact just what I had been asking for. I just didn’t know it at the time because it looked a whole lot like MORE breakdown… nothing like I expected breakthrough to look at all.

It was much like this water temple purification process actually.

I don’t know about you but the idea of going to a truly ancient spring on a beach in Bali bathing in the ocean and being blessed and cleansed conjured up all sort of (unrealistic) images. Eat Pray Love has a lot to answer for, but as these images can attest I looked much more like a drowned rat than a divinely inspired Julia Roberts.

 

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Bucket after bucket of salty spring water is tipped over your head as you are chanted over and a cup of coconut water is offered to you that, somehow in-between gasps and dunks, you are meant to mindfully ingest.

The actual blessing itself was quite like being caught in pounding surf, where you mistime the waves and get dumped trying to gasp for air before the next wave lands on your head.

Most of the time instead of feeling serene and mindful, graciously letting go and inviting in my carefully thought out intention I was just praying that I was ingesting the coconut water and not actually giving myself some deadly parasite that would plague my health into old age… I’m still not convinced that didn’t in-fact happen.

Bali TY & Water Temple 043Bali TY & Water Temple 046-1Bali TY & Water Temple 033

Did I feel different? Did I feel changed? Did I leave a different person?

You better believe it.

That pledge that I made to myself, the intention that I had set in action had been witnessed by the gods. Lets be honest I’m an out of the closet Pagan!

I am completely in love with the Balinese reverence to nature and beauty; these places have power if for no other reason than we believe them to.

And that is enough for me.

Rituals - Breakdown to Breakthrough

I came home and I couldn’t in all honesty continue life as I had been. Working with out rest, running from heart ache, avoiding tending to some very large wounds.

In the following months everything unravelled.

A wonderful mix of anxiety, depression, shocking cortisol levels, high testosterone, absent estrogen, exhaustion, and an overwhelming inability to leave the house, left me bewildered and wondering how on Earth I had found myself having another breakdown. Seriously?

The REALLY important thing to realise here and this realisation is only available in hindsight. Is that ALL of this was actually me breaking through. It was the last point of contraction before the process of expansion could take place. And if I hadn’t had such an amazing team of people around me, if I didn’t have all the knowledge of my own years of training I would have believed that I was getting worse. Many people indeed told me I was.

I can tell you now that I wasn’t. Things do actually get worse before they get better but not in the way we think.

It has taken a huge amount of self belief, self care and faith to trust the intuition and self awareness that reassured me in the scariest of moments that this was not under any circumstance a downward spiral.

It was the upward one.

If you find yourself in this situation, in the heat of the moment it will be hard to tell the difference.

So here I am sharing my story with you, to let you know dear reader that there will be moments when you doubt your own resurrection story that ‘something has gong wrong’ with your carefully laid plans of healing your heart and soul.

Do not doubt yourself. Surround yourself with the best team of people you can find.

I involved medical science, herbal medicine, psychology, exercise and meditation.

And above all trust your intuition.

If this post speaks to you in your journey know that help is at hand. I’m kind of a specialist guide for The Dark Night of the Soul. (No water dunking required)

I’d love to hear from you. x

 

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Don’t Panic about turning 40 – 6 ways to keep your 40th birthday in perspective

Turning 40 imageOn August the 5th in a few weeks time I will have been here on planet Earth for 40 years.

Turning 40 for most women is a big crazy cue to have a complete breakdown and start questioning their lives and everything they have ever done. I’ve seen it many times which is why as I approach my own 40th I’m keeping things in perspective.

I’m treating it as a pretty amazing privilege that not all people get to experience, and I am choosing my language very carefully. and not 40. I have simply been here for 40 years. The ageing process of our bodies is not exclusively tied to the years you spend spinning around the sun, its just one factor.

Here’s 6 things that I am being mindful of as I approach my birthday to keep the crazy at bay.

 

1. Gratitude

Seriously when did we get all hung up about being past it and not express gratitude and amazement at the fact that we get to live a big long gloriously full life? Start a gratitude diary or before you go to sleep each night cast your mind over 3 things that your grateful for.

2. Don’t compare

Your unique life journey and your unique set of skills and experiences aren’t going to look like anyone else’s. Every book on the shelf of life is a TOTALLY different story. Own this and back the heroine in yours… she’s doing a great job! It has been helpful to remind myself of what I truly value and see how I am cultivating these things in my life. My commitment to Love is no exception.

3. Ignore the popular cultural stereotype we are often sold.

I went looking on pinterest last night and searched turning forty positive. Do you know how many pins I found. One. Thats right, in all of pinterest town there is ONE pin that puts a positive spin on turning 40. So I dug a bit deeper and found this little gem from Sheryl Crow and even she was struggling! Look away from all the memes telling you that its all over and find some inspirational women your age doing great things and keeping it real. They can be famous like Megan Gale and Angelina Jolie, both turning 40 this year or gorgeous women in your circle who are creating their own reality of the aging process.

4. So you didn’t have a baby.

Your worth as a woman and a human isn’t determined on this event. (Despite the social pressure of epic proportions) There will be many reasons that this wasn’t in your life path. There may be a great deal of grief over this for lots of different reasons. I know for myself that even though its been a conscious choice of mine not to have babies there is still a sense of grieving those alternate life possibilities that never eventuated. Let yourself have this process. Your unfolding into a new phase of your life, and its going to be delicious!

5. Check in with your limiting beliefs.

Yes there are different stages and phases in our lives where our priorities change and our bodies work differently. We need to take good care of our health for sure, but be gently and lovingly aware of what you may be telling yourself. Many of these beliefs may not even be yours. This interview with Dr Christine Northrup discusses just this.

I recall a conversation with a girlfriend of mine two years ago discussing the fact that bang on 40th her eyesight went. She proclaimed with such commitment that that is just what happens. Everyone she knew got glasses on their 40th birthday and that was that. With a big sigh she told me to wait and see. Well see I am and instead of checking my eyesight I’m checking in with my beliefs. (I’m not an affiliate of this book and yes its a 20 min video but the gems of wisdom from Dr Northrup are PRICELESS)

 


6. Take the pressure down.

Really.

So for anyone in this age bracket and especially us Aussies… this should really make you laugh. 1 for its oh so cheesy iconic 80’s references and 2 because its truth, sad, tacky, 80’s truth.

All the ‘by now I should haves’… or worse ‘at my age its all over’… enough!

Take. The. Pressure. DOWN.