I have always known we are all filled with potential, with vitality and with a special something that comes from outside of us. Yet there are things that get in the way of these qualities, and sometimes that something is us! Although every person has challenges to overcome, and meaningful lives to discover, we are all unique in how that is expressed and felt. My journey has not always been an easy one but it pointed me to what is most important and to keep moving in that direction.
Just out of the gate and already I had a major setback in life. I was born with Hyaline membrane disease now known as Respiratory distress syndrome. The medical system at the time had only recently figured out a way to keep babies born in this state from dying. I was kept in an incubator for 10 days to let my lungs develop and breathing to stabilize. (Homeopathic remedies would have been so helpful at the time, check out this blog post on two babies with compromised lungs!) When my parents could bring me home my mother was told to give away her animals and keep the house as clean as possible to help me from getting asthma and other lung problems. My mother loves animals so she decided to keep her cats and the dog and I had to adapt to them by building my immune system. Because of my weak lung system as a kid I was always sick with flus, colds, infections and everything that came along. I was also very sensitive to all kinds of foods and had itchy hives quite often at night. The idea of food allergies was hardly known at the time and most kids were undiagnosed and left to be either 'picky eaters' or suffer varying degrees of symptoms.
When I was still quite young I also had a physical accident. While playing with my brother under a reclining chair, the metal bar struck my back and indented the spine. This was an era when chiropractors and osteopaths were not well known so it was never treated and the spine fused in place with the vertebra out of alignment. When I was a bit older I developed epilepsy and was given medications that suppressed the nerves to prevent the brain signals that lead to seizures. I had to stay home from school for almost a year while I was on this medication as I could not safely function and was unable to go outside unattended. Children can 'outgrow' epilepsy and this is what happened to me. After a couple of years I was able to stop the medication and could resume my life seizure-free, although that first year I was in a daze and taken out of school until they could find the right medication and dosage. Later in my teenage years I started to develop anxiety and mood disorders that carried over into my adult life. With all these experiences and challenges under my belt as a young adult, when I was finally free to make my own path and make my own decisions I was determined to change the course of my health. This lead to a life long passion for learning about healthy lifestyle habits and alternative healing techniques.
I was drawn to learning more about alternative healing practices since my experience with pharmaceuticals at a young age was so debilitating. I started to study acupressure and learned about the body-mind connection, how to listen to the body and what healing really was. I experimented with years of fasting, cleansing, detoxing and learned skills such as Qigong and meditation. I discovered I was allergic to chemicals and additives such as MSG because after eating them I still get itchy leg syndrome and sometimes develop hives. I started to feel healthier than ever and was able to regulate my metabolism, weight level and food cravings. I still struggled however with anxiety and mood disorders and had over the years tried acupuncture, hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, psychotherapy. These all brought a temporary or a basic level of improvement that I assumed was the best I could hope for and I eventually decided to reach out by helping others. I started a social phobia support group, taught a Qigong class and started to volunteer on a local listening line as well as helping to co-found a healing arts non-profit organization.
After an unfulfilling career in design I came to an all time low in my life. I had been studying Chinese Medicine and martial arts and although I became physically fit and strong, there were ongoing issues that were holding me back in life. I was teaching and creating art in my spare time and beginning to feel like I was constantly working and yet struggling to move forward in my life. My low was aggravated by a recent move into an apartment where I could hardly breathe. I became incredibly fatigued and the mood disorders spiralled into a very serious depression. I did a mould test and found that the air contained penicillium. When I was a child I had nearly died from an allergy to penicillin. I made an appointment at the Chest Hospital but all the tests on my lungs were physically fine - in fact, all that martial art training had brought my capacities above the norm, so there was nothing they could do to help me.
In desperation I told the physician I was becoming very depressed and nearly suicidal and unable to do anything for myself about my situation. I was referred to a social worker and then a therapist at the local medical centre. I was offered pharmaceutical solutions at each stage of the process and declined politely each time. All this was supportive but never addressed the causative factors so my suffering continued. The real shift was the biggest surprise of my life. It came from a friend who offered me a flower essence remedy for extreme environmental toxicity called 'YES.' I still did not believe that flower essences or energetic remedies were effective, yet I swear I took that spray in my mouth and I was packing and getting ready to move out that same night! It was the first thing to really change my situation and helped me to shift back towards health again. I was out of the apartment that was making me so ill in just two weeks and able to recover slowly over the next few months in a different apartment.
During this period of recovery I also started a program at the Montreal Institute of Classical Homeopathy. I had decided the previous summer to study homeopathy as a career change even though I had not yet tried a homeopathic remedy. My TCM & martial art instructor was certain that homeopathy worked so I trusted his word and took the plunge. I was finally going back to my other huge passion in life, health and healing. I thought I knew a lot already about health and alternative views but the MICH approach to homeopathy and health completely altered my entire perspective. I chose MICH because the founder is a Physicist turned Homeopath/Holistic Practitioner. No woo in her wow, as I like to say and I knew I needed to ground a healing art in Western science and history in order to develop my own practice.
In my own sessions with the MICH facilitators homeopathy started to touch some of the issues I had had from childhood in ways no other modality could. I really transformed in the process and resolved some of the difficulties and traumas that were holding me back in my own life. The increase of energy and opening up of possibilities that homeopathy provided was so fascinating and I am still moved by it. Some of the ways I now think and process my life are very different and these changes were often instantaneous, far-reaching and long-lasting. I am so grateful to have found homeopathy after such a long search for a method that could so beautifully help me on my own path to greater health and awareness.
MICH gave me a thorough education in Homeopathy, Naturopathy and Holistic Practice. The process to maintain and regain our healthy state is a fascinating journey and one that is made easier by finding helpers along the way. I am grateful to all my many teachers and guides over the past 20 years and now that I am in a position of teaching and helping others, I am grateful for that opportunity as well.