Michelle

Michelle

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about

MEET MICHELLE

Hi and welcome! My name is Michelle and I’m a degree qualified with a passion for helping your body find its natural balance, with a holistic yet realistic approach to help you achieve optimal health.

I have a particular interest in gut health, auto-immune conditions, women’s health and perimenopause, anxiety and stress management. Prior to commencing my naturopathic studies I had a previous corporate career in finance in both Australia and the UK. Having experienced the challenges of living with a chronic auto-immune disease, stress and burn out, my goal is to help other people navigate through their own health challenges and achieve and maintain good health.

 

When I was 19 I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. I was managing the condition with conventional medication, but my compliance with the treatment was low and by 23 years old I had a major flare up and was seriously ill in hospital, losing a lot of blood. Whilst in hospital I had a colonoscopy and during the procedure my already highly inflamed and ‘paper thin’ colon was perforated. I then had to undergo emergency surgery and had a total colectomy ending up with an ostomy bag. After being in and out of hospital for almost 6 months, getting down to 47kgs and 2 further surgeries, they removed the ostomy and created a j-pouch internally. This was meant to resolve my issues, however unfortunately I began to experience inflammation in the pouch (pouchitis) and the rectal sleeve (cuffitis). I spent the next 10 years on various types of medication including antibiotics and immune suppressant drugs, alternating between flare ups and remission. I was frustrated by the lack of information and treatment options available for my condition. I asked my gastroenterologist if there were any changes I could make to my diet or lifestyle and was told there was nothing to do but take the medication and try ‘not to get stressed’. As I was working in a high stress corporate role at the time, I felt this was hard to achieve.

 

I felt completely alone, out of control and disempowered relating to my health. I was never sure when my next flare up was going to be. I was scared about what my future was going to look like? Would I continue to get sicker and end up back in hospital, the prospect of having a permanent ostomy bag was terrifying to me. I started to wonder how the medication impacting my long term health? Would I be able to have children?

In my early thirties I decided to visit a naturopath to see what natural medicine may have to offer me. Over time I started to make changes to my diet and lifestyle and incorporating herbal medicine and probiotics into my treatment protocol. My flare ups started to become less frequent and I no longer needed to take any prescription medication. I resonated with the naturopathic approach of treating the cause not just the symptoms, with a focus on prevention and education. Food really did become my medicine. I was so happy with the results, I wanted to learn more. My motivation for commencing my health science (naturopathy) degree was initially to help myself and my family lead a healthier life, but as I have progressed in my studies my primary motivation is to help other people struggling with chronic illness. As a naturopath, I feel I can make a significant impact on people’s health, educating and empowering them to optimise their health.

Specialty

Psychologist

Degrees

PhD

Certificates & awards

The Troland Research Awards

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