We’re not going to start off by saying ‘New Year, New You’ (because how many times have you heard that already?!).
The year 2019 doesn’t have to be about a ‘new you’ because quite frankly, what’s wrong with the old you? Instead, we like to think of 2019 as being about the BEST version of YOURSELF and that means taking a leap of faith and diving into something you’ve been thinking about doing for quite some time now—whether that be a change of career or exploring a university degree.
But apart from this, one thing that Anna appreciates most about her naturopathy studies at ACNT is how it has provided her with invaluable knowledge to make better-informed choices when it comes to her own health and lifestyle. Below, she shares with us exactly how.
What are some of the key takeaways you’ve got from your experience and learnings as a naturopath?
One of the most important learnings has been that our body is incredibly intuitive with a wonderful ability to heal and re-generate. Our body’s are incredibly intuitive when it comes to detecting being out of balance or in distress. Listening to what our body is telling us via signs and feelings is a powerful way of bringing us back to balance. Using the information to change habits, eating patterns or bring more harmony into our lives is powerful. I have found that herbs and nutrition as well as the removal of stress can have a profound impact on one’s health—be it being able to conceive a baby, reduce inflammation associated with an autoimmune condition or bring back energy and a healthy outlook and mood, we really do have everything at our fingertips.
As a naturopath I have also learnt that making simple changes and lifestyle changes can have a profound impact—I like to describe this as the 20/80 effect—changing 20% of our eating can lead to an 80% improvement in our health and vitality. For instance, replacing coffee with a cup or two of herbal tea and making a conscious effort to increase green veggies by having a large salad every day can have a profound impact on energy levels and our skin. I am a huge believer in the powerful ability of herbs and nourishing foods to transform and revitalise us on a daily basis. They operate at a higher level than vitamins and powders as there is a synergy in the interplay of nutrients and minerals found in whole foods.
I have also learnt that in general as a society we have lost touch with nature as the demands of our workplace and family becoming more involved and technology becomes such a significant part of our lives. This affects everything from our relationships, to our physical movement, vitamin D intake and general outlook on life. We have lost the grounding and stability that we obtain when we are experiencing the beauty of nature. I do feel that we are becoming more aware of the need to incorporate more time enjoying the sea, sun and earth—it would be a dream to have work spaces with outdoor areas and compulsory work hiking and camping trips!
How has this changed the way you view health and wellness?
I have definitely become more of a believer in trusting nature, nurturing and taking time to reconnect to our bodies. When working in the corporate world I had the general approach of dealing with stress and imbalance by distracting myself with activity and “noise”. Taking the time to silence the mind and reconnect to emotions and the reason for them is a more logical and effective way to bring about healthy change and transformation.
What is one main thing you didn’t realise/entirely understand before studying naturopathy?
As a naturopath, I have been thankful to have discovered the incredible impact that toxins that we live and breathe can have on our health. Reading research studies related to the number of toxins in our personal care products (the average female can apply over 550 per day on her skin) and their impact on everything from our fertility, thyroid health, endocrine balance and immunity has been eye-opening and has strengthened my resolve to spread the word on natural living and toxin-free beauty. Prior to studying, I would not have had any idea that endocrine-disruptors are pervasive in our everyday lives.
The human body is very complex. What is one thing you want people to know about health and wellness as a whole?
I would love people to know and understand that the brain and body have an innate intelligence. Given the right environment, meditation and positive mental attitude we have an ability to change the way our body is programmed, overcome limiting beliefs and habits and improve our health and vitality. Genes and “diagnoses” do not have to dictate the future of our health.
What changes have you made to your own lifestyle since studying naturopathy?
I have definitely become more aware of all of the household cleaning products along with personal care products I use daily. I have switched to natural skincare and makeup along with cleaning products. I always turn to a herbal remedy before conventional medical remedies and incorporate herbs, nutritional superfoods (Maca, Acai berry, Spirulina and MSM powder are staples in my morning concoction) and herbal tea into my daily routine.