Debbie – Nutritional Therapist

I live with my husband and 2 children, aged 13 and 9. When I am not working (or ferrying the kids around!) you will mostly find me out in the woods dog walking with a podcast playing in my ears (usually a health related one!) Other than that, I love working out especially with boxing classes and resistance training aswell as spending time in the kitchen with my husband experimenting with different ways of supporting our health. This can include trying out different fermented foods, sprouting and our current hobby which is making kombucha!

2. What led you to the naturopathic health industry? 

I experienced some health issues in my late teens and early twenties, hormonal, digestive and skin issues, and although I was offered various treatments (medications and creams) they only ever offered short term relief. My lifestyle or diet was never questioned or discussed even though now looking back I can see that this was having a huge impact on my health and therefore my symptoms. Even though I didn’t know half of what I know now, I was sure that there must be another way and I wasn’t prepared to simply accept that there was nothing I could do or that I would have to live with my symptoms. I wanted to understand the reason why my body was responding in such a way and so I set out on a journey to heal myself naturally and was introduced to the world of naturopathic health. 

A change in diet and lifestyle not only improved my physical health but my mental health too, the digestive issues I had lived with for years, the skin flare ups, debilitating periods and depression all began to clear, my energy levels improved, mindset shifted, and I was amazed at the benefits. It is safe to say that natural health and wellness quickly became my passion, one which I lived and breathed. I knew that I wanted to use my personal experience to help others and left the world of marketing behind to retrain as a reflexologist and then a nutritional therapist. Having the opportunity to move from the corporate world with its long hours and stressful deadlines to a ‘job’ which offered me fulfilment, a work life balance and the ability to live my truth on a daily basis is something I feel eternally grateful for and something I don’t consider to be a ‘job’ because I love it so much.   

3. Today, what does your practice entail? 

When I start working with a client, I usually begin by conducting a vitality health screening. This takes approx. an hour and is a comprehensive series of tests which seek to understand what is going on internally and what could be contributing to the issues the client is presenting with. It helps to understand where any areas of imbalance may be and is a very effective way of preventing ill health before it becomes problematic. This enables me to then offer natural recommendations to help to resolve any highlighted issues. 

Along with the information which has been gained from the health screening I then conduct a nutritional therapy consultation which is a deep dive into a client’s current state of health, including symptoms, diet, lifestyle, movement, sleep etc. I use this information alongside the results gained from the health screening to provide recommendations to help them to understand how to support their bodies and minds in order to improve their overall health and wellbeing. I always seek to understand their day to day lives to that I can ensure the protocol I provide is practical, manageable and sustainable and I offer ongoing support throughout the entire process. Sometimes people are looking for support with hormonal balance, digestion, skin issues, stress and some people are looking to simply optimise their health and support longevity.

Reflexology works amazingly alongside and has many incredible benefits including helping to reduce stress/anxiety, support hormonal balance and improve sleep.

4. What inspires you? 

My clients inspire me on a daily basis. They trust me to help them, share their experiences with me, implement the advice I offer, take responsibility for their health and they then reap the rewards. They continue to remind me that you don’t have to live anything other than optimally. They become empowered to change their lives and it is extremely inspiring to witness and be a part of that. 

5. Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 or 10 years?

I hope to continue helping people regain their health through the work I do, and my husband and I also dream of owning a farm/retreat which would enable us to reach more people, bring them together and making health accessible via workshops, food tasting and courses. Watch this space!

6. How did you find your “niche?” 

Not long after qualifying as a clinical reflexologist in 2015 it became clear that there were so many people going through fertility difficulties. Often, I was a last resort as people turned to a holistic approach after having been through so much heartbreak and struggling to achieve their dream of starting or expanding their family. I enjoyed this area of work as I believed whole heartedly in the power of holistic therapies and the fact that diet and lifestyle play such a pivotal role in health especially hormonal health and fertility. I trained in reproductive reflexology and when I was later able to combine this with my nutrition expertise began to see how life changing this work really was. 

7. Are you speaking and presenting? If so, on what topics? 

I run an 8-week course which provides the basics of naturopathic nutrition, helping people to make changes, understand how their bodies work and how to nourish and support themselves. I will be running a couple of nutrition sessions in the summer as part of a local nature inspired event and am also in the process of writing a workshop on gut health which is one of my favourite topics as this played such a huge part in my personal healing journey!

10. What is one piece of advice you would have for someone who is new to the natural health industry? 

Firstly, take your time to research and find the right course for you, one that resonates and aligns with your beliefs. Spend time thinking about your core values and your ideal client and start building a website and a social media presence so that you can begin to show up as the health coach that you aspire to be. The most important thing is to believe in the difference you can make and trust this amazing journey as once you have begun on this wonderful path you will never look back.  

11. Can you tell us about how your ANP membership has benefited you

It provides me with access to webinars so I can constantly update my skills and knowledge therefore maintaining industry standards. Membership allows me to keep up to date with CPD at a reduced rate and offers the opportunity to advertise my services on the practitioner directory and have access to many business resources.