Naturopath and Bowen Therapist
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- If you’re feeling unproductive and unmotivated – you may just need to get out of your headspace. Go for a walk, go make a cup of tea, something! Just shake up your mindset.
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- Take a deep breath in, a deep breath out.
Doreen Schwegler knows health and wellness.
Doreen is the founder of All Degrees of Health in Essendon, Victoria – a one-stop Wellness Centre for the whole family. She is a Naturopath and Bowen Therapist.
I met Doreen at the Own Your Health Expo in Moonee Ponds. A fantastic day where health and wellness experts (like Doreen and myself) held stalls that featured services and products that help time-poor women. After speaking, we were both interested in each other’s work and how we approached wellness from different angles, our discussion led me to take Doreen up on a Health Discovery Session.
I told Doreen that I was having lower back pain and sleeping difficulties. First up, Doreen ran through a health overview and asked me questions to understand what was going on for me at the moment. One tool she used was Iridology. I’ve always been interested in what our bodies are able to convey without us knowing so was excited to experience this sort of diagnostic tool. By looking at the patterns, colours, and other characteristics of my iris, Doreen was able to tell me about my systemic health and provide me with diet advice.
It was then time for my Bowen therapy. Bowen therapy is a form of bodywork which is made up of a series of moves on the fascia (a soft tissue under the skin) that stimulates the body’s natural responses. It encourages self-healing, both for medical conditions and physical complaints.
Lying face down on the massage table, the very gentle treatment was performed through my clothing. Doreen made some small adjustments to my muscles and gave my body time to adjust between rounds. She did this a few more times and I became more and more relaxed as it went on. Getting off the table, I felt much more comfortable in my body and didn’t experience the niggling in my lower back as I had before the therapy. I left the experience feeling re-balanced and looking forward to another session.
A week later I returned for my second session. Although the pain had eased, there was room for improvement. This time my body reacted a lot more and the session went a bit longer so my body could sit with the changes. What surprised me was how very specific points around my lower back, knees and thighs would warm up, ebb and flow with energy and feeling, and then subside to a state of comfort and relaxation. I left the session feeling aligned and really good in my skin. Amazing!
Naturopaths seek to find the root cause behind a person’s presenting concern and develop the best strategy to optimise your health, what organisational elements do those strategies have?
One tool I have developed with clients is an action plan.
This is a word document that outlines why they came, their goals, the results of my findings (e.g. blood test summaries and what they mean, their health questionnaire results, weight etc), and actions they can implement like dietary suggestions, stress management tips, books they may find useful, other professionals they may find helpful and what supplements or herbs I prescribe and how to take them. This keeps me focused and gives them a clear plan of what they need to do.
Another tool I find valuable is Evernote. This is a document storage program that can be accessed by phone or computer. I spend several hundreds of hours a year attending educational seminars, reading literature and books, and Evernote allows me to store a huge amount of information including photos of documents that is easily searchable.
How do you organise yourself as a Naturopath and Bowen Therapist ? How do you stay well amongst running a clinic and managing everything else?
When you’re busy juggling patients and running a clinic it’s important that I prioritise what’s important to me. My three non-negotiables are regular exercise, eating well and finding some ‘me’ time.
I roster exercise at least 4 times a week, otherwise it just wouldn’t happen. With eating, I start with a good breakfast with some sort of protein (goat’s cheese, tomato and avocado on sourdough is a favourite); lunch involves a salad of sorts, soup or leftovers and dinner always has a protein with a variety of at least 3 coloured veggies. Making curries and soups that can be eaten for several days or frozen is handy to save time.
Regular meditation/mindfulness is a great tool to help focus at work and get more productivity out of a day. I roster in a regular massage or acupuncture session as a health maintenance strategy.
What three things can people do for better health and diet?
- Find some movement you enjoy, and do something most days. Whether it’s a dance class, Zumba on a DVD, walking an extra bus stop or joining a gym or exercise class, it should be non-negotiable, like cleaning your teeth.
- Ensure the food you eat is as unprocessed as possible and aim for something ‘alive’ at each meal e.g. some fruit or avocado with brekky; salad greens for lunch and veggies for dinner. Eat a variety of coloured foods. Some of the newer research supports that by keeping our gut bacteria healthy (called our microbiome) it helps not only our digestive health but also mental health, weight, diabetes risk and many more chronic diseases. One gut health professional I respect suggests we eat 40 different fibre rich foods per week including grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, veggies and fruits.
- Learn some sort of meditation or mindfulness technique. This helps with stress and allows us to maintain better focus in our work. There is a free app called ‘Insight Timer’ that I recommend frequently to clients.
My Health Discovery Session and Bowen treatment with Doreen led to quite a few insights. I feel inspired to keep going with my healthy habits and am amazed at the effect it had on my lower back. And I got to explore exactly what a Naturopath and Bowen Therapist is!
Take the first step towards a healthier and happier you. Doreen is offering a complimentary 15 minute Health Discovery Session to my readers until 30th November by calling 9331 0951 or you can book an appointment with her online.