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As mindbodygreen’s health editor, I collaborate with leading doctors, researchers, and influencers in the fields of integrative and functional medicine every day. Together, we develop content on subjects like the healing properties of turmeric, the real value of sleep, the best supplements for anxiety, and why it’s important to consider a natural solution before turning to an over-the-counter drug or pharmaceutical.
I grew up in Sedona, Arizona, which is a mecca for all things alternative—from crystals to healing vortexes to a shop where you can get your aura photographed (yes, really). It was during my childhood that I was first exposed to natural medicine: When I fell on the playground, a homeopathic cream was rubbed on my knee; when I started getting sick, my mom reached straight for echinacea and garlic.
Reading that, it may surprise you to learn that for most of my life I wanted to become a medical doctor. (Yes, a white coat and stethoscope and everything!) I was diverted from this path when I suffered a series of my own health struggles, (mainly, a severe case of asthma that kept me in and out the hospital, ER, and dozens of doctors offices for years). This experience taught me what it’s like to be a patient—and it left me pretty disillusioned with the way conventional medicine approaches things. Luckily, it also sparked my interest in wellness as I started learning everything I possibly could about diet and lifestyle change, herbs and alternative medicine, mindfulness—anything that made me feel empowered at a time when things were looking pretty hopeless. In the end, after years of research and trial and error, I solved my own health mystery by making serious dietary changes, taking a real hard took at my stress and anxiety levels, trying out some natural supplements that boosted my immune system—and, of course, using my inhaler or other medications when I needed them.
I earned a degree in Biology from the Honors College of Charleston while simultaneously interning for a naturopathic doctor, assisting her in opening a wellness center and detox spa that incorporated chiropractic medicine, massage therapy, naturopathy, and organic skincare. For my senior thesis project I analyzed holistic approaches to asthma treatment, including food sensitivities and environmental triggers. I then went on to become a certified yoga instructor from Kripalu School of Yoga and Ayurveda and worked for a company that develops comprehensive wellness programs for destination resorts and spas. I earned a masters in physiology with a concentration in complementary and alternative medicine from Georgetown University, where I learned from leaders in the integrative and functional medicine community such as Dr. David Eisenberg and Adi Haramati. I completed my degree as a program management intern at the University of Cincinnati's Center for Integrative Medicine. Currently, I work with influential members of the medical community like Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Aviva Romm developing fabulous content, reading the latest research, and following all the trends in health and wellness.
Today I know being empowered when it comes to your health is a dance,: One that displays a deep respect for modern medicine—and the many, many lives it saves every day—but also one that forces you to ask questions at every turn and never stop searching for a treatment approach that speaks to you and aligns with your values. My greatest passion lies in teaching people that when it comes to their health, they have options.
You could say I’m on a larger mission to completely change the way people think about health and healing