MY PERSONAL JOURNEY TO LIFESTYLE MEDICINE & HEALTH COACHING
After finishing my Master's degree my passion for science initially led me to do university-based research and teaching as well as to pursue a PhD degree. While on this path I became seriously ill and spent many years without ever obtaining a diagnose, let alone medical treatment. Eventually I was labelled with a whole host of chronic conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, severe food intolerances, insulin resistance, cognitive decline, chronic pain and fatigue, depression, thyroid dysfunction, and more. The only help I was offered in the public healthcare system was symptom management, as well as support to apply for occupational disability at age 30. At that point I had to first go on sick leave, then quit my job and eventually resign from my PhD enrolment. It was only then, when I had nothing left to loose, that I started to prioritise and seriously investigate my own health.
This has quickly lead me onto the path of functional medicine and lifestyle medicine and by implementing these principles I immediately began to improve. I took a deep dive and started to learn everything I could about this approach to health care and changed just about everything in my life. Only three years and many science papers later - and with the support of many wonderful people that crossed my path on this new journey - I had come from being labelled as "disabled for the rest of my life" to being largely symptom free and more happy and vibrant than ever before.
From here on it became my passion to share with others what I have learned on my healing journey. After supporting many friends and family with their own personal health challenges I decided to work in this field professionally. You can read about my professional background below.
Today, I am in my mid-30s, and share my passion for health and nature with my husband Thomas. We live in the beautiful area of Hay-on-Wye at the foothills of the Black Mountains and enjoy good food, our local bookshops, gardening and the gorgeous Welsh outdoors.
After several years of explaining to numerous people what has helped me to recover, sharing what I have learned along the way and supporting them in undertaking steps for their own health I decided it was time to formalise my education in those areas by undergoing training in both Health Coaching, Lifestyle Medicine and Functional Medicine. I studied at the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy and am now a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach.
This programme was developed in collaboration with the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), which is the global leader in Functional Medicine education and clinical practice. It is also enlisted by the UK Health Coaches Association as one of the most reputable health coach training programmes available today. It comprises a wide range of subjects including various coaching methods, positive psychology & behaviour change, psychology of eating, mind-body medicine, stress medicine, functional nutrition and functional medicine. The curriculum is taught by highly accomplished experts in these subjects, such as Mark Hyman, Terry Wahls, David Perlmutter, Thomas O'Bryan, Jeffrey Bland, Kristi Hughes, Kara Fitzgerald, Deanna Minich and other distinguished medical doctors, professors and researchers. If you would like to learn more about this programme, please take a look here.
In my previous academic career, after finishing my Master's degree, I spent several years as researcher and lecturer at various international universities and research institutes in Germany, Denmark and Indonesia. This is where my life-long passion for science was sharpened with a mindset to always be curious, open for the unexpected and critical towards my own and others' pre-conceived ideas. It has taught me how to read and understand scientific publications and translate those findings into real-life situations and vice-versa. All of these skills have proven to be enormously helpful to sift through thousands of medical publications and understand the elegant and sophisticated physiological processes, which are involved in making our bodies function optimally.
It is all of this experience and education that I bring into my current profession as a health coach and lifestyle medicine specialist, to make sure I can provide you with state-of-the-art support for how you can recover from your health problems.
I am a member of the UK Health Coaches Association, a professional association dedicated to developing standards and ensuring quality within this new profession in the UK. I offer coaching in English and German.