While the majority of my story revolves around challenges with weight and hormones, it's important to note that it wasn't just a single episode or a brief phase. Finding a few remedies and making lifestyle changes didn't mean that I would never have to face these issues again. The reality has been an ongoing journey with its own ups and downs.

My journey into managing weight and hormones started after my first year of college, when I put on the dreaded freshman 15. This hit me hard. As a former competitive gymnast, I'd always been proud of my fit body – it was a big part of my confidence, especially since I wasn't the most confident person otherwise. My six-pack abs were like a security blanket. Suddenly, I found myself obsessing over every food choice and ramping up my cardio, all while trying to come to terms with the fact that I was actually gaining weight. The idea of gaining weight had never been a concern before, weight gain was the last thing on my mind during my gymnastics days when eating freely was just part of the routine. Yet, here I was, facing this unexpected challenge. 

I understood deep down that there were no quick fixes, a belief shared within the Naturopathic profession, which values a comprehensive approach to health. However, my situation became more alarming in my second year of medical school. Under the highest levels of stress I had ever experienced, I broke out in hives during a class. It was only later, in a clinic room discussing my symptoms with doctors, that I came to the startling realization: I had gained 30 pounds in about three months. Initially, I had thought my clothes were shrinking in the dryer, but the reality was a tough pill to swallow. I discovered I had cysts on my ovaries and hormonal imbalances indicative of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Despite always being wary of pharmaceuticals for weight loss, due to their potential side effects and risk of dependency, I found myself desperately considering options like liposuction, anything that promised a quick fix to my predicament.

"What would people think when they saw me?" This question plagued me, despite having learned coping strategies from a nutritionist in college. The significant change in my appearance felt surreal, and I worried about whether I would still be accepted in my new, bigger body. Fortunately, I had the support of a team of Naturopathic Doctors who knew exactly what to do. They guided me through comprehensive blood testing, specialized hormone tests, and offered a range of therapies, including supplements, herbs, and homeopathics that I could integrate into my daily routine, even amidst the rigors of medical school. They also introduced me to flower essences and emotional freedom tapping, invaluable tools for managing the emotional turmoil I was experiencing.

I started with common vitamins and minerals like a B-complex, vitamin C, magnesium, fish oil, and evening primrose oil through seed cycling. I also took an adrenal herb combination, cell salts, a high-quality protein powder with amino acids, DHEA, and inositol. Additionally, I used biotherapeutic drainage remedies, popular in Europe, which treat the whole organ rather than specific mechanisms and help the body detoxify. I also used specialized herbal preparations made from plant embryos and took 1-2 flower essences at a time, along with nightly castor oil packs.

Within three months, I started to feel satisfied with my weight loss progress. Shortly after, my skin began to clear up. By removing dairy, adding more vegetables, and switching up my adrenal herbs to include schisandra, holy basil, and astragalus, as well as adding a bitter herbal formula for digestion, I felt brighter and less bloated. People began to notice the changes in me, and this time, their recognition felt positive and affirming.

This journey has provided me with a level of awareness that I carry with me in my day-to-day life, and I expect to continue benefiting from it for years to come. I've come to understand that we were not just treating hormones and stress, but the whole human being. My background in psychology, shaped by tough experiences during my teenage years, reinforced my belief that healing is always a multifaceted process. As I became more attuned to the various layers of dis-ease in myself and in my practice, my patients began seeking deeper insights. We delved into discussions about limiting beliefs, forgiveness, confidence, and how emotions can be stored in, and released from, organ systems. This approach underscored the importance of using herbs and gentler remedies, especially for those sensitive to pills and conventional treatments. It's about grounding into a new way of living and being, establishing boundaries, and learning to speak up for oneself in constructive ways. As needs and interests evolve, so do the remedies and approaches we use, like when I was heavily into weightlifting and needed amino acids for muscle soreness and recovery.

The services I offer reflect my commitment to constant learning and adapting to each patient's unique needs. They include specialized testing, lifestyle counseling, and a deep engagement with each patient to understand their personal preferences and goals. My experience with excellent MDs for both personal and professional collaboration has reinforced my belief in addressing physical concerns alongside mind/body healing. The body is multidimensional, and I pride myself on being able to speak 'a lot of languages' of modalities, see the big picture in people, and help others more deeply understand themselves as it too has inspired my logo, the phoenix rising, as the capacity I believe we can all embody at any point in our life.