Before many people knew what Pilates was, back in the time of gyms offering Tybo (if you haven’t heard of Tybo shows it was a long time ago!), I started my Pilates training. I was as coordinated and fit as a sloth, bless them, and as flexible as a pine tree. I had very little body awareness and no idea about nutrition. My passion was Music Theatre, and as I pursued dance classes and singing, I found I was so many steps behind.
I heard of Pilates through my dancer friends and through this method discovered I had scoliosis, twisted pelvis, and wonky feet. I was dedicated to my physical training, gym classes, PT, Pilates and dance, which led to the birth of exercise clothes dominating my wardrobe. Besides overtraining, I was under eating. Protein shakes, carrot sticks, and apples were quick and easy and what I thought enough to combat my routines. Becoming a Personal Trainer and Clinical Pilates Instructor gave me more insight into the body, but mostly on a physical level. As I started to get sicker and sicker, more inflamed with recurring injuries, it made me look deeper.
My story is long and spans over decades of ill health and a quest to be well, (I expand on this in other blogs). Some of my doctors stated that I was lucky to be alive considering the levels of mercury poisoning I had. All the other ailments I went through from chronic digestive and parasite issues, endometriosis/Polycystic ovaries, depression/anxiety, stage three adrenal fatigue (three being the worst), plus heaps of other problems I had along the way like glandular fever. This led me to study and qualify in Naturopathy as a Clinical Nutritionist and Western Herbal Medicine Practitioner.
I learned quickly that exercise and movement are only one form of health. From all my own experiences combined with clinical training, clients and work in medical labs, I started to see similar patterns and connections. There is so much research that shows how a lack of nutrition, a continual release of stress hormones, not enough time to repair, dormant viruses, emotional health, and toxicity, causes the body to naturally create an inflammatory response. When these responses are over a period of time, the inflammation does not go down. This ongoing inflammation becomes either an autoimmune disease or chronic health condition.
Changing the causes of these responses is key. Putting in place strategies that will ignite the healing within is imperative. A decade ago I was holding cooking and nutrition seminars for my clients. The recipes included anti-inflammatory foods, turmeric with other herbs and spices, slow cooking, stock, coconuts, fermented foods and organic where possible. These foods and philosophies are ancient and have been used for healing by many cultures. My goal for my clients is that they have these tools for life. That turmeric is not just a fad and superfood, which marketing companies are hooking into, but it is something Naturopaths, Herbalists, and Eastern cultures are trained in. When herbs like Turmeric are mixed correctly with other herbs and spices, they can assist with the inflammatory processes found in autoimmune conditions like hormonal imbalances, fluid retention, arthritis, cardiovascular health, cancer, depression and many more ailments.
Qualified and experienced Herbalist have been mixing food as medicine with remedies for centuries and know the body does not work alone. Our organs work in synergy, and therefore when we combine food as medicine, herbal remedies we can assist liver health, digestion and symptoms related to these conditions. It takes years to gain wisdom and experience, I’ve come a long way since my Tybo days and my body has been through a lot. The principles of Pilates and the Naturopathic/Herbal Medicine philosophies support each other; treat the body as a whole and that it all comes back to the gut. As we learn the benefits of how the organs relate to nutrition, nutrition relates to physical, and how they all relate to emotional health, long term health can only exist when there is a combination of all these things.