My first step towards full-spectrum health was initiated at a young age. Having a mother who was passionate and knowledgeable about eating made me innately conscious of what I was putting into my body. During my teenage years, I rebelled against that awareness as I began binging on sugar and eating for emotional reasons. Perhaps it is no wonder that I soon developed premenstrual syndrome (PMS), acne, anxiety, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome.
I look back now and realize that these symptoms were ‘gifts’ in disguise. They ultimately led me in the direction of full-spectrum health.
With the eruption of health issues, I became intrigued with medicine and science to find solutions to what I was experiencing. I was so immersed in wanting to know more about my body that I began volunteering at the neighborhood hospital as a candy-striper, working in doctors’ offices as a medical assistant, and, one day, even decided on a pre-medicine track in college.
However, even though I thought I was on the path to finding answers, I continued to struggle with my health.
My PMS had turned into endometriosis, I developed increasing anxiety and depression together with my gut issues, and I felt like an emotional wreck most of the time. The part-time jobs I had taken on at medical offices were proving to be let-downs as I could see that these patients were not all finding their answers either.
I slowly realized that my quest needed to expand beyond science and medicine.
I took my first yoga class. I signed up for literature, philosophy, and world religions classes in college.
Like most of you reading my story, I was a seeker. I was looking for patterns of truth to emerge and speak to me.
I continued studying into my 20s, veering away from entering medical school. Instead, I thrust myself head on into seven years of graduate school that took me deeper into nutritional biochemistry, metabolism, and research. In some ways, it was ironic that I was moving towards what I had resisted against just years earlier.
All the while I was in graduate school earning my Master’s and Doctorate degrees, I had a curiosity about other traditions of healing, everything from Ayurveda to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to energy medicine techniques. I traveled extensively to other countries and even lived abroad for several years.
Then, something clicked inside me.
In my most alone moments of fear and not feeling well, I suddenly felt called to paint vivid colors and abstract shapes on large canvases. Everything in my world became rainbow, colorful, and bright. I even saw people as “colors,” with certain people resonating with warming colors and others, cooling hues.
Along with my newly-found interest in art, I developed a love for poetry and prose, and listened intently to layers of music. It was like another side of life had shown itself to me. And, in that unfolding, I had found another part of myself—not just the logical, linear side, but the creative, artistic flow within. One side of my spectrum began to come together with the other side, along with everything in between.
I began to notice how science, ancient healing traditions, and art were all connected. There was no real separation between a logical mind and a creative soul—they were best when dancing in sync together. I applied more art, color, and science to my own health and it was working for me.
The combination of science and creativity was the answer I had been searching for…
I eventually completely healed my reproductive health issues through a blend of emotional work, painting, color, and nutrition. In a similar way, I addressed my anxiety and depression by healing my gut through meditation, visualization, and dietary supplements.
When I finished graduate school and began working with people on their health, I continued using this integrated system of science and creativity that I had stumbled upon for my personal health. I later organized it into a colorful, easy-to-understand framework, connecting food, eating, lifestyle, body, and emotional issues. At the time, I called it Food & Spirit™, and today, I call the method I use the 7 Systems of Full-Spectrum Health™.
THE POWER OF THIS FULL-SPECTRUM SYSTEM WAS ASTOUNDING.
As I introduced this approach to my patients, I saw how deeply mind, body, spirit, and emotions all affect one another. Remove a toxic food from your diet, and you might also free yourself from depression, anxiety, or helplessness. Eliminate a toxic thought, and you might also rev up your metabolism and lose some unwanted weight. Tear down the barriers to your sense of purpose and connectedness, and you might also revitalize your immune system and restore your optimism. Introduce some color into your life through foods and eating, you might feel the sparkle and dance of life, enabling you to shift into new adventures!
The opposite was also true. Hold on to a toxic belief, and the healthiest diet in the world may not free you from troublesome symptoms. Remain mired in a stressful life, and even without caffeine, sugar, and refined flour, you might still feel wired, anxious, or depressed. A raging hunger for meaning or community might keep you dissatisfied and on edge even when your body is fully nourished.
Every one of us is a complex biochemical structure in which every factor affects every other factor in an endless synergistic loop. Sometimes this synergy works against us: Negative thoughts can impair our health; poor health can breed negative thoughts. As your health gets worse, your thoughts get bleaker; as your thoughts get bleaker, you move less, crave more sugar, and send more stress hormones coursing through your veins. You feel even sicker . . . and your thoughts spiral further down into depression.
But with the 7 Systems of Full-Spectrum Health, you can transform the downward spiral of disease into an upward spiral of vibrant health. (Download the 7 Systems chart here).
By addressing nutrition, exercise, thought patterns, and many other factors at the same time, you can break through toxic barriers and create a vibrant, healthy life an energized, full-spectrum life!
I know you can because it worked for me, and I have seen it help so many others, too!