My Journey Into Natural Health
Hi & welcome. I am Melissa, clinical Naturopath & the face behind Elixir Naturopathy.
My journey into natural health started when I was very young. My mother worked in a health food store so I was always surrounded by naturopaths, acupuncturists and nutritionists and would often find myself listening to their conversations about health and healing.
I was a very introverted kid and experienced anxiety throughout my childhood. It was only in my teenage years that it started to take over my life and I began experiencing panic attacks. At the time though I didn't know what anxiety was, let alone a panic attack, and I actually thought there was something seriously wrong with me mentally and I found this very frightening. With the advice of a Naturopath I was able to understand my body more, understand more about the importance of nutrition and ease my anxiety.
At this point the idea of a career in natural health didn't even cross my mind and, believe it or not, I decided to study law as i thought at the time this was the way I was going to fulfil my desire to help others. Only one semester in and I quickly realised this wasn't the way I was destined to do this and so I dropped out and decided to go traveling for a year.
I don't know if it was my time spent away from home that made me understand that my growing up in a place like Byron Bay surrounded by natural health options and practitioners was unique. I had taken this for granted my whole life up to this point and thought that these modalities were accessible to everyone everywhere. So when I arrived home I knew I wanted to study Naturopathy to support others the way I had been supported.
I decided to begin study at Endeavour college of natural health in Brisbane in 2010, part time during the week while living in Byron Bay the other half. And lets just say I was burning the candle at both ends, like most people do when they are 20 something. The constant travel, working and studying part time and on top of this I had a pretty active social life. This wasn't sustainable and it was only a matter of time before my health begun to deteriorate.
Part way into my degree I feel ill and was hospitalised for a week with an unknown condition that wasn't getting any better. I was told to have a throat examination and thats when they found a lump on my thyroid. Scans and biopsy’s later the results showed suspicious for cancers and I was advised to have immediate surgery to have the lump removed.
The first surgery was to remove half of my thyroid with the lump and this showed that I had a particular kind of thyroid cancer called a papillary carcinoma. I was very lucky in that my tumour was fully encapsulated so I didn't have to have radioactive iodine treatment. It was however recommended that I have the second half of my thyroid out to assess for any further tumours and for ease of monitoring moving forward. So after some deliberation I decided to go ahead with the second surgery.
However this whole experience had me researching thyroid disease prevalence, the role of nutrition and how our exposure to certain nutrients needed for a healthy functioning thyroid has declined of the years. I thought to myself, why was the prevalence of thyroid disease and cancers on the rise world wide? And what preventative measures could be taken to reduce this?
So two months after my second surgery, with even more motivation to work in the natural health industry, I moved to Brisbane and finished my degree. It is from hear that Elixir Naturopathy was born. Because I know exactly what if feels like to be confronted by health concerns and to feel helpless and out of your depths.
My own experiences have opened up my eyes to the increased prevalence of thyroid conditions among women in particular and the impact our genetics, environment and nutrition plays on not only our thyroid health but on reproductive health and digestion. I have a strong passion for working with women by supporting them through their own health journeys by giving them the tools necessary to improve their own health. I honestly believe that education is key when it comes to health. Its not about holding knowledge over others, its about sharing it so that everyone can benefit and make educated choices for ones self.
While these are my areas of interest, I also see a range of conditions in clinical practice, including:
Reproductive conditions such as PCOS, Endometriosis, pre and post natal care and optimising fertility.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Constipation & diarrhoea
Immunity and autoimmune conditions
Stress & fatigue
Peri menopause & menopause
Chronic health conditions
I am still forever learning about the body and what amazing capabilities it has, but I hope that my story as it evolves, helps to inspire others to make changes, however small, in their own life to improve their health.
At Elixir Naturopathy I believe in a few foundational principles:
Health is a journey - there is no such thing as a quick fix. Health is about implementing a set of habits, that when combined long term, equate to a healthy life.
In Support - I am here to support you. I will take the time to listen to your story in a caring and supportive environment and work with you to support your health.
Empowerment through knowledge - I believe in instilling clients with the information and tools to make healthy life choices and support their own health long term.
Individuality - I recognise that no two people are the same. So why should healthcare be? I recognise your biodiversity and tailor health advice to your needs.
Watch the following video to learn more about what to expect from a consultation with Melissa and what Naturopathy is all about.
Ready to make the first step towards a healthy happy life? Book your appointment now.