My journey towards health and wholeness began in my office near Santa Cruz, California, on the worst and best day of my life.
I was working at a job that I loved and had secretly dreamed of having for many years. I had wonderful friends, a great family life, a church that I loved, ate a pretty healthy diet, and lived two blocks away from the stairs leading down to the Pacific Ocean. I was also very stressed, a [closet] people-pleaser, and someone you would describe as “very capable and responsible”. For so many years, I daily ignored my body’s cry to slow down and rest. I recall feeling for so long as though the energy was being sucked out of me—but this was my normal so I kept going and going and dismissed the feeling in my gut that I needed to slow down.
(Little did I know that in the not too-distance future I would realize how important listening to your gut is. After all, it has been deemed our “second brain” and gut health is absolutely crucial to our overall well-being!)
Then one day in late-2007, my life changed forever when I was struck with intense pain in my left eye (like a knife being inserted) and numbness and tingling on the left side of my face. I chalked it up to being tired and on the computer too long that week. However, after a trip to the emergency room the following day and appointments with an eye specialist, my primary physician, and a neurologist, I was diagnosed with a rare condition called trigeminal neuralgia, which is said to be an incurable disease. The medication I was prescribed caused me to hardly be able to complete two sentences—I was housebound, not able to work, and very afraid for my future.
For hours every day, I combed the internet desperately trying to find hope and a cure. I wanted off the medication, as my typical approach to wellness had been the natural route for many years. About four weeks into my illness, a friend told me and my husband about an Osteopathic Doctor, who happened to be Doctor of Homeopathy as well. After filling out an extensive questionnaire with his office, Dr. Jeff Lester took me on as a patient, telling me that he had successfully helped cure three other trigeminal patients who had come to him in the last 20-some years.
I will never forget that first visit with Dr. Lester. I asked him how I could get better and he looked at me and said I would have to give up one thing in order to be healed. I thought, “Okay, one thing. I can do that!” When he told me that it was STRESS that I would have to give up, I couldn’t believe it and wondered how on earth I was ever going to do that!
Meeting Dr. Lester helped changed my life. I began the homeopathic approach to healing and within one month, I was weaned off the medication I had been taking and started to rebuild the foundation of my life naturally by eating real food, taking four helpful supplements, and changing my lifestyle. I exchanged my old ways of people-pleasing and drivenness for healthy boundaries, being kind to myself, listening to my body, and living a “less is more” life. And, I learned about the affects of living an adrenalin-filled life and what stress does to our digestive system and overall health.
In less than two years, I was a new person and free from trigeminal neuralgia! What started out as the worst day of my life actually became the best day ever because it forced me to change my life around in a radical way.
Wanting to give away what I learned, I went back to school first to receive my training as a Life Coach and then five years later as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in New York City. I’ve also studied under Functional Nutritionist, Andrea Nakayama, in her Full Body Systems program, which skillfully blends the science of nutrition with the art of functional practice. Today, more than ever, I love helping others find health and wholeness for their lives.
If you are struggling and want to have a do-over of your own, I’d love to work with you. I can imagine that you are ready for a normal life again and I want to help you get there and am fully invested in you and your health and happiness. All of my sessions are conducted via phone or secured webcam connection.
Are you ready to follow your gut to better health? Start here with Janie!
Note:The information provided here is based on Janie Garber’s personal experience and your results may vary.