your partner in healing

Hi, I’m Kate, and I’m passionate about and dedicated to helping folks who want to shift from a state of anxiety, burnout, chronic stress or depression into a more peaceful and clear mind and energised, comfortable body by working on the root causes of these mind-body conditions.

It’s not all in your head . . .

We humans are moving forward in a process of creating a different way of being in this world—we know what we have created up to now is unsustainable and not working, and many of us are longing to do life very differently, because we are not coping, and we are not happy. But we still have old patterns within us and big stresses on our bodies and minds in the present, so we feel stuck! And for those who identify as highly sensitive or empathic, we can also take on emotions and discomforts from those around us.

But it’s also not caused only by the world or people around us . . .

Here’s my take: the best we can do for ourselves in the present is to understand what is driving our health of mind and body, and to heal the ‘inner me’ things that make it harder (sometimes impossible!) to cope with the challenging ‘outer world’ things. I’ve spent what feels like a whole lifetime (maybe more than one!) growing my formal knowledge and experience with clients, and doing a LOT of personal healing of body, mind and spirit, and that has led me to how I now support those who are ready to step through the doorway to a different way of experiencing ‘you’.

my path to wholeness

In my first career, I was an attorney in Texas, where I was born and raised. In 1995, I started practicing yoga, and soon thereafter, started studying nutrition and fitness in my spare time, because I was interested in improving my own health. In the following years, I found out just how powerful diet, lifestyle, and mindset can be in determining wellness and quality of life. During that time, I recovered from a severe back injury and surgery, lost a great deal of weight, got very fit, and rid myself of a number of chronic health issues, including repetitive sinus infections, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic candida, and adult acne, all through specific dietary changes, yoga and other moderate exercise, and Ayurvedic (an ancient Indian form of medicine) therapies. Conventional medicine had never been able to help me with those chronic things.

I also had my first experience with panic attacks during that time, spending some time on medication and coming off with an understanding that it wasn’t resolving anything, whilst moving away from that severe anxiety using counselling and physical healing. That was the first stage of my own healing journey, though I didn’t see or understand the mental health part of it at the time. Looking back on that time from where I am now, I can see that my life had consisted of a series of major burnout periods caused by chronic stress, and fuelled by the internal stories that I carried in my subconscious mind, created by various earlier traumas and the environment in which I grew up.

As I was feeling better and better, it seemed that everyone around me was getting sicker and sicker, with everything from cancer to asthma to thyroid disease to anxiety and depression. I couldn’t stop wondering “why are we all so sick?”, so I went forward to change my career with the goal of helping to reverse that trend. I was drawn to naturopathic medicine by a dear friend, who was battling cancer in her early 30’s. She told me of a naturopathic doctor who was part of her oncology team—he was the only one who was really listening and paying attention to her whole being, how much weight she lost, how her mental health was, how she felt about losing her hair, what she was able to eat, how she was sleeping, etc. He was attending to and caring for who she was as a whole person.

My decision to study naturopathic medicine was almost entirely intuitive—I had never met a naturopathic doctor, there weren’t any in Texas, and I didn’t really know what naturopathic medicine was exactly. I just knew I was supposed to do it, so I quit my first career and moved across the US to study. Best decision I ever made. By the end of my first year of study, I was sold on it for good. This medicine is my heart.

Why? Because I saw it work, time and again, combining its traditional foundations with modern scientific perspectives, to identify the causes of illnesses, empower people to change those causes, and support the body’s innate ability to heal itself, resulting in return to health and higher quality of life as a whole. But also, because my heart tells me this is true medicine: to see, attend to and care for each person as a whole, body, mind and spirit, who is intricately connected with nature, physically and energetically, and to work with each person to heal the things that are creating obstacles for our self-healing vital force.

embodied spirit, peaceful mind

Whilst my past personal physical health challenges were the motivator for why I became a naturopathic doctor and stoked my passion for this medicine early on, my past (and sometimes still present) personal experiences with chronic stress, burnout, and high functioning anxiety (which I didn’t really know I had for most of my life!) are what has led me to my current specialty.

In recent years, these conditions have been so much on the rise that we have a true mental health crisis in our world. Thankfully, we also have a growing understanding of what causes these conditions. My life experiences, including three major burnout episodes and a near miss on a fourth, combined with my understanding of physical and other causes, including the need for a trauma-informed perspective, form the foundation of my approach to the most common mental health concerns in our culture today.

Conditions in the body, such as chronic inflammation, nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities, digestive disorders, hormonal imbalances, and reactions to various toxins, can be causes of anxiety and depression and can feed chronic stress and burnout. Past traumas or other adverse childhood experiences, which tend to lodge themselves in our bodies as well as in the subconscious mind, are also key factors in these conditions. And whilst nourishing our spirit and connecting with something larger than ourselves is a key support in our healing journey, I have frequently seen spirituality or religion used in a way that actually blocks healing on other levels by denying or escaping the body or bypassing the healing of past traumas.

I have lived a healing path of these and other aspects of anxiety, chronic stress and burnout for many years, coming to a place of greater peace within Self, with trustworthy tools for self-regulation in times when circumstances are challenging. And I have helped many others along this journey as well. The landing place is where the body is fully inhabited as the home of the mind and spirit in this lifetime, and all three are given equal importance and bathed in love. Embodied spirit, peaceful mind: it is a lifetime journey.

my philosophy and healing tools

Everyone is different and has a different starting point and a different path to health. In working with you, I meet you where you are and provide guidance and support, as well as various tools, to help you move toward health of body, mind, emotions and spirit. My approach is holistic, and it follows a traditional naturopathic philosophy woven with modern functional and pathology testing, resulting in treatment plans that address your condition at its causes. So, what does all that mean??  

Traditional naturopathic philosophy holds that we all have an innate ability to heal on all levels if we are given the right conditions to do so. Looking at this broadly, traditional naturopathic philosophy sees every disease as the same disease (really?? stay with me here, I promise this is going somewhere good!). Every disease (or reduction in wellbeing) is essentially an overwhelm of the innate ability to heal, or the bodymind’s reaction to the many things that can push it off balance. At first, that’s not that big of a problem, but over time, the innate ability to heal, or vital force, diminishes in strength and cannot bring us back to balance. So, diminished vital force is one primary cause of disease or lack of wellness.

The two other primary causes are 1) the bodymind not having what it needs to run itself properly (in other words, not having the right good stuff coming into the body and mind), and 2) the bodymind not eliminating waste products and other chemicals or negative influences effectively (in other words, a build up of ‘toxins’ in the body and mind). Both of these get in the way of proper function of body and mind and further contribute to the lowering of the innate self-healing capacity.  

The list of things that can feed into these three primary causes is almost endless, including not just physical things we consume and eliminate, but also mental and emotional things, and it’s different for everyone! The general approach is to get the right good stuff coming in, and the bad stuff either avoided or eliminated. We are not taught in our culture that such a seemingly simple idea has vast influence over our physical and mental health, but it does! If you’d like to go deeper into this topic, grab my free Starter Kit.

Starting from this place, I work with you to assess the aspects of you and your life that are feeding these causes and getting in the way of your self-healing. Finding the causes can include functional, pathology, or nutrient testing, examination of diet and lifestyle, looking for toxic exposures, and exploring mental or emotional patterns or tendencies. Treatments can include herbal medicine, flower essences, homeopathy, nutrients, diet changes, naturopathic hydrotherapy, counselling and/or lifestyle recommendations that are individualised to your bodymind.

I think it’s really important to revisit one more aspect of my philosophy here: the reasons you may be unwell are not only within you. We live in challenging times and in a challenging culture and economy that is literally designed to constantly push us out of balance and connection with Self, reinforcing false stories that we are not enough or not right just as we are. It is important to have a mindset and self-regulation strategies that take this into account, because as much as we aim or intend to create a different kind of world, we must accept that the primary thing we can really change is how we interact with or respond to what is in the world around us, and that relies on our own internal physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

Connection with nature has immeasurable power to disconnect us from the aspects of our outer lives that can drain our vital force and cause us to lose ourselves, and to plug us into a vast source of vitality and self-connection that is built on the same natural laws of self-healing and balance that we are. If I could only recommend one thing to my clients, it would be to spend as much time as possible in nature!

credentials

I hold a Doctorate degree in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, USA, and a diploma of classical Five Element Acupuncture. Since moving to Australia in 2012, I have become a fully qualified member of the Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia, and was registered as an acupuncturist by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) until choosing to move from acupuncture into further training and practice in sound/vibrational medicine, more recently taking up use of tuning forks instead of needles for releasing energetic blocks.

Aside from private practice, I have also worked extensively in natural health academia. Whilst in practice in Seattle, I was an Adjunct Faculty member at Bastyr University and Clinical Supervisor in its teaching clinic, the Bastyr Center for Natural Health. In Australia, I have held positions as the Program Leader of Naturopathic Medicine and the Director of Education for six campuses nationally comprising Endeavour College of Natural Health. I left full-time academia to return to private practice, teaching and clinical supervision in 2016, and in 2020, shifted my career focus into full-time clinical practice and patient education.

I am known in Australia as a passionate advocate of naturopathic hydrotherapy, a powerful traditional therapy that uses the healing power of water to stimulate the body's innate healing capacities. I have written chapters on naturopathic hydrotherapy in the Textbook of Natural Medicine (4th ed), Advanced Clinical Naturopathic Medicine, and the forthcoming Nature Cure volume of the Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine Institute textbook series.

We acknowledge and honour the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which we live and work, the Peramangk people. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging, for they hold the memories, traditions and culture of Country. Sovereignty has never been ceded. It always was and always will be Aboriginal land.

LOCATION

13 Battunga Rd

Meadows, South Australia


CONTACT

+61 420 829 524

office@anamchara.com.au

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