AWAKENING TO AYURVEDA : the science of life 

I came face to face with my greatest health challenge on an early morning in May many years ago, a morning that I had been preparing to run in the local Memorial Day 5K Road Race. I got out of bed and headed to the bathroom for my morning evacuation and began to experience a sensation of something not feeling right and just before I passed out on the bathroom floor. I woke up several minutes later being carried through the bathroom and looked up just in time to catch a glimpse of a pale white face staring at me in the mirror, horrified when I realized that face was mine. We made it to the ER in record time…I fought to remain conscious during the drive but it was impossible. Once we arrived we were taken to a room where a needle was inserted into my abdomen and infectious fluid began draining into a 500ml bottle that filled in no time, this began my weeks long stay in the hospital. 

3 days prior I had a visit with my OBGYN who performed an endometrial ablation on me to check me for cysts and fibroids on my uterus (we were trying to uncover the cause for some irregular bleeding). As we later learned the procedure was not executed quite like it should have been (oops!) and this is what caused bacteria to leak from my uterus into my left fallopian tube and into my abdominal cavity, eventually causing sepsis, collapsed lungs (from the pressure of the fluid) and acute liver and kidney failure (because of an allergic reaction to the penicillin I was being given). My abdomen swoll up to look as if I was 8 months pregnant, however it wasn’t holding a baby, it was holding all of my organs that had doubled in size from the infection and from all the infectious fluid that was still occupying space. The nurses had to wrap my belly with a support bandage just so I could get up and walk. The fevers from the infection were on a rollercoaster but once they stabilized I was moved to my home with a visiting nurse, IV antibiotic drip, a bottle of coalase (to make me poop) and an over the counter package of probiotics I was told to pick up at my local pharmacy when I ran out and a list of seemingly never-ending appointments to see my infectious disease doctor. That’s it. Nothing else. No instructions on what I should and shouldn’t eat, or how I could help my body and mind even begin the long journey to heal.

So I did what most people do and tried to make good choices based on what I knew from my past. Over time this led to chronic bloating and gas, weight gain, then skeleton level weight loss, then I stopped pooping. I stopped having restful nights of sleep, developed skin rashes, back pain, neck pain, brain fog, and anxiety over everything, stopped eating gluten and dairy and sugar, diagnosed with leaky gut, IBS, Reynolds Disease, Aktenic Karatosis, Basal cells, Tinnitus, CFS, joint pain… I feel like this list has no end. The first GI doc I saw was pretty scared of my history and sent me to a GI specialist in NY, who basically told me I needed to start taking pharmaceutical pill A along with pill B (of course that was in addition to supplements 1-12+ I was already taking). When I asked her for how long she very calmly said “forever” if I wanted to lead a “normal” life. I just couldn’t accept this as my new “normal” so my search to heal continued.

I met with several GI docs, a nutritionist, TCM practitioner, acupuncturist, a naturopathic doc, an allergist, and functional medicine doc. I tried all of their approaches and found that each approach was missing a critical piece of the puzzle and not finding the root cause of the problem but instead left me with a never ending relationship with supplements and pharmaceuticals and no clear answers as to why I was so sick.

Then I found a Transcendental Meditation teacher in my area and took a break from the western trained mind to spend some time learning meditation. During my training, I was introduced to an Ayurvedic Doctor that was visiting and seeing clients for a couple of weeks, I booked an appointment and that is where my actual journey of healing began.

It took a long time for my injured body to heal but Ayurveda gave me the guidelines that it needed to do the job it had wanted to do all along. Over supplementation and pharmaceuticals along with food choices that weren’t right for the current state of my body made it impossible for me to heal. My misguided choices were actually interfering with my body’s natural ability to heal itself. I needed to just get out of the way but I didn’t know how.

Ayurveda is a medicine founded on the understanding that ALL disease begins in the gut. It is also a medicine of subtraction. After my initial meeting with my Ayurvedic Doc I couldn’t believe how many supplements and foods were taken out of my diet and replaced with really simple things (cooked water is actually medicinal and seriously simple).

Over time Ayurveda has taught me how to turn food into medicine for MY body. It has taught me how important it is to make changes in the food I eat in each season (good bye salads in winter!) how to nourish myself during challenging times like grief or a cold (hold the lasagne…simple soups please!) And even as I enter a new stage of life, if I step out of line and challenge my body with something I know to cause imbalance in MY body (I’m only human ya’ll), I have my personal toolbox to get health back quickly.

The western (aka. allopathic, conventional) medical model is an important part of our health resources, it saved me from a terrible infection, but it is only a small piece of the guidance I look towards to support my health because the focus centers on pacifying symptoms. It is unable to help you heal completely at the root- physically, emotionally and spiritually.

The teachings of Ayurveda resonate deep within my soul. They are the missing link our world needs to allow individualized healing to take place. I began my studies in Ayurveda in 2012 and once completing the Practitioner level in 2019 began the Classical Ayurvedic Doctorate Program in Boston with Dr. Anusha Sehgal at Boston Ayurveda Inc. which I completed with a clinical internship at an Ayurvedic hospital (I-AIM: The Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine) in southern India in 2023. I am a licensed massage and bodywork therapist, completed hands on therapeutic training from the Academy of Lymphatic Studies for Lymphatic drainage, Marma Therapy certified and a Registered therapist of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.

I offer consultations online and in person at my Ayurvedic Clinic in Sunset Beach, NC. Additionally, I provide my clients with Ayurvedic Bodywork therapies, Marma massage therapy, Lymhatic Drainage, Panchakarma (detox), herbal Rasayana (rejuvenation), Biodynamic Cranial Sacral Therapy (2023) and Myofascial/Myoskeletal release therapy.

My focus is to bring balance back into the lives of all my clients and I feel one of the best ways to do this is by helping them bridge the gap between two incredible healing systems, Western and Eastern. I am happy to work with all western trained modalities to support my clients with a well rounded holistic system of healing. The potential of finding balance again is endless when this bridge is built.

And just in case you were wondering, I am no longer defined by my list of disorders. I once again welcome all the foods that once caused me trouble (dairy and gluten too!) but use my toolbox to guide me in how to turn them into medicine for me.

I look forward to meeting you, guiding you, supporting you when it gets difficult (and it will), and helping you build your Ayurvedic toolbox to bridge your path back to health.