My Personal Story
My name is Allison and I am a Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner, Breathwork Facilitator, Health Coach & Life Coach. I graduated from the University of Albany with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. About a year before graduation, my own health issues surfaced. I began to experience chronic headaches and migraines, anxiety, depression, brain fog, hip and joint pain, abdominal pain, acid reflux, constipation and bloating. These symptoms were relentless and it felt like I was in constant war with them.
I failed nearly all of my finals that year because my brain would just not work properly, regardless of how hard I willed it too. Memorization was nearly impossible. Problem solving? Forget about it. The brain fog was constant. The only short-term relief I could get was from a cup of coffee, but the coffee gave me acid reflux, bloating and anxiety.
Trying to move my body while I was extremely bloated brought about intense abdominal pain. This left me lagging behind as I walked with friends or walked from classroom to classroom. I avoided social functions and the ones I would attend, I felt absolutely miserable, unable to form sincere connections and be present because the pain was so overpowering, or because I felt so sluggish and tired that I was unable to produce an independent thought. I always felt so heavy, as if I wasn’t strong enough to carry my own weight. I thought this was just the way I was and accepted it until the pain in my abdomen got so strong that it hurt to walk because the pain began to shoot up my spine and into the sides of my neck.
I went to my primary care physician. He ran a bunch of blood tests and took x rays of my hip joints. He told me everything came back normal. I wondered how that could be, I KNEW something was not right with me. He wanted to prescribe me Adderall for the brain fog, anti-depressants for the anxiety and depression and some other medications for the pain and bloating. I was not ready to accept a life of a pharmaceuticals as my fate.
l asked my doctor if he could test me for Celiac disease. He agreed that food allergy testing might be a good idea. When my allergy panel came back, I had high levels of IgE antibodies for many of the foods I had been eating on a daily basis for years. In retrospect, after all of my training, I was not properly tested for Celiac disease and never have been, so for all I know I could have it. I went ahead and eliminated those foods and about two weeks later, things started to get better. The intense abdomen, spine, neck pain was gone. I was pooping more regularly, but still didn’t feel regulated in that department. This went on for a few months. I didn’t feel great in my body or mind, but I didn’t feel miserable. I was still struggling to stay focused. I still had mild anxiety and depression.
Im not sure how I stumbled upon the concept of leaky gut, but I did. and everything made sense in that moment. The foods I was eating that I was having reactions too had been destroying the integrity of my gut lining. The foods I was allergic too was aggravating my immune system internally even though I didn’t have any of the typical allergy symptoms like itchy throat, coughing and sneezing. 75% of the immune system is located in the gut lining so my symptoms manifested as the bloating, constipation and abdominal pain. The inflammation carried on to the gut-brain axis where it began to affect my mental health and abilities. The joint pain in my hips was both a result of stored childhood trauma and chronic inflammation in my bloodstream.
It took a few years, many hours of research on the internet, dozens of books and determination but I eventually was able to heal myself and reverse 100% of my symptoms. I will get flare ups from time to time, but I am very clear about what triggers them and how to mediate them. It was during my gut healing journey that I decided to become a health coach. I graduated Health Coach Institute and became a Certified Health & Life Coach. I loved health coaching, but it just didn’t go deep enough into the physiology of the body for me, I wanted to help people with their unexplainable symptoms, so I continued on to train as a Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner. Even after all of my gut healing, the only symptom that continued on once my gut was healed was the pain in my hips. It had decreased significantly, but it would still show up. I began tracking it and identified that it showed up in times of emotional turmoil or stress. As I went through my training to become a breathwork facilitator, I had to experience breathwork sessions myself. I went through many breathwork journeys. I became so in harmony with my body through this training. About halfway through, I was so shocked when I felt myself ovulate from the left ovary! I didn’t know it was possible to have that deep of a somatic awareness! But being in harmony meant I had to feel all the uncomfortable parts of my body as well. For about the first 5 sessions, the pain in my hips was at an all-time high and I couldn’t lay still regardless of how I positioned my legs. It was excruciating. But I kept breathing, sending the breath into my hips. Session 6 it was like magic, the pain didn’t exist anymore. I actually felt blissful in my hips. I became super curious about this and eventually came to the conclusion it was an energetic imbalance. I came to the conclusion that all the traumas from my childhood and young adult hood were never dealt with. They completely bypassed the part of the my brain that integrates my experiences in the world, but they had to go somewhere and for me that was my hips. I cant remember the last time I had even the slightest discomfort in my hips.
Since then, I have been living my happiest, healthiest life.
I cannot even fathom how I existed as the person I used to be. My weight has remained stable, my skin glows from inside out, all of my body systems live in harmonious cooperation.