Have you noticed an ‘accent’ in my writing? Yes, I’m French Canadian. My dad is French and my mom is English so I was raised bilingual. I speak “frenglish” – it’s actually a real Facebook language! I often intertwine words from both languages within the same sentence.
I was born and raised here in Quebec and I live with my husband and three children along the banks of the St. Laurence River near Montreal.
Today my family and I enjoy vibrant health and vitality. That’s because I now understand how to proactively address health concerns with foods, herbs and lifestyle adjustments before they become serious.
But it wasn’t always this way. Like many children growing up in the late 20th century, I was raised on the “Standard American Diet” (otherwise known as SAD – and accurate acronym if you ask me!)
I spent my childhood and teenage years struggling with an assortment of physical ailments and anxiety disorders. I’d almost resigned myself to a lifetime of pain accompanied by chemical medicines when a New Year’s Epiphany opened my eyes to new possibilities, soon leading me to an education in herbalism.
I’ve been swimming in these herbal waters for over a decade now. I’ve transformed my own health, and I can help you do the same.
If even the word ‘herbalism’ is confounding you – hop on over here for a thorough explanation of the topic. Meanwhile, allow me to share a little about myself and my personal journey to self-healing the natural way.
Living In a World of Pain
As I young child I was plagued with stomach pains, nausea, sore legs, and chronic anxiety. I experienced stomach cramps so severe I’d be up all night. I remember lying on the cool bathroom floor and praying for some relief from the pain. And I still have vivid memories of my mom rubbing cream on my aching legs and feeding me medications before car rides so I wouldn’t throw up.
This was all part of my daily life. I was later astonished to discover that this was NOT everyone else’s reality.
New woes arose in my early teens at the onset of my menses. Now I had a monthly ordeal to dread. I’d lie in bed for days, popping ibuprofen to gain relief from the severe cramping. And then I’d begin to anticipate the next cycle with dread and horror.
I developed a debilitating anxiety disorder that soon expanded into panic attacks and a full-on agoraphobia. Now I was afraid to even leave the house to visit the grocery store.
The fear of the FEAR, and the fear of the next stomach cramping attack had taken up every inch of my life.
In my mid-teens I discovered a new ‘friend’, one that took away the pain and the fear. Recreational drugs to the rescue! Hallelujah – I’d found a way to numb it all. No more stomach pains, menstrual pains, leg pains and best of all no anxiety and panic attacks.
Needless to say, my elation with this new discovery didn’t last. Sleepless nights, malnutrition and constant intoxication soon carried me on a downward spiral and my symptoms worsened. Plus, when I began driving lessons it dawned on me that driving and flying were not such a good match.
So off to the doctor’s office I went, where I was diagnosed with AgoraPhobia and prescribed antidepressants. Unlike my illegal ‘friends,’ antidepressants did nothing for me and I continued living in an almost constant state of fear.
I hit bottom just after New Year’s 2003 when I woke up after a party with a searing heartburn that reached all the way up to my ears. I was hurting – bad – and because I knew no other way I was off to the doctor again.
I was diagnosed with gastritis (an unwelcome result all that ibuprofen I’d gobbled to lessen the menstrual pain), and the doctor gave me a prescription for a little pill to take every day. Then he told me I might have to continue taking this pill for the rest of my life.
WHAT?? I was only in my early 20s. No way was I signing onto a lifetime prescription.
And so began my quest for a better solution, one that treated the cause of imbalance and disease. A solution that did more than simply mask the symptoms.
Journey To Healing
I turned to a book on healing foods as a first step. Here is where I began to learn about the SADness of my regular diet. I clearly needed to make some changes in the way I nourished myself! To treat my gastritis I dined on grated carrots and pineapple for a month.
I still vividly remember my first visit to an herb shop, the profusion of health-providing aromas and the sound of cracking wooden floorboards that greeted me as I walked in. I left that day with some slippery elm bark to soothe my stomach and two bags of herbs, one for digestion and the other for anxiety.
To my amazement, my health greatly improved. Convinced and hungry for more, I signed up for the Professional Clinical Herbalist program at Flora Medicina School of Herbal Studies in Montreal, and my learning has never stopped.
I’m now helping people like you who are at the same place I was – thinking there is no way out, no relief. Fortunately, there are several pathways to relief. My passion and my purpose is to point the way, to support you on a new path to well-being.
I also teach people about how to make their own herbal remedies and body care products in hands-on workshops here in Montreal.
It’s deeply empowering to know how to use plants that grow near and far, to take control of my own health. This is true power; it can never be taken away, and it awakens the inner healer within us all.
Never have I had to stay up all night with a baby who had colic – because I know about catnip. Never have I had to give my child antibiotics for an earache – because I can use garlic and mullein oil.
My own health has completely transformed.
I rarely experience stomach cramps anymore, and menstrual pain is but a distant memory. And the anxiety and panic attacks? Well, let’s just say that last year I’ve traveled to New York City and Massachusetts, and I regularly host workshops and speak in front of groups.
When I’m not teaching, consulting, studying, or playing around with plants, you might find me reading up on dog psychology – another of my passions. Or learning techy website design and online marketing. And sometimes I’m pulling out the art supplies and colored pencils – I love coloring and crafts just as much, if not more than my kiddos do!
How about you? Are you inspired to get moving on your own health transformation?
Click here to learn about my online herbal consultations.