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Meet Lisa

Lisa came to me at Shift feeling disheartened, ashamed and defeated.

Please note:Lisa’s story includes details about abuse. If this triggers anything for you, please seek help or contact Lifeline (if you are in Australia), your healthcare practitioner or a support line in your area.
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We discovered.

As early as 11 years old, Lisa felt extreme lethargy and fatigue. As she went through puberty she became anaemic and developed an iron deficiency – which she thought was normal, and only years later realised it wasn’t.

“My gut was not functioning well at all – I would wake up 3-4 times a night to go and would have very broken sleep. Every morning it took 20 minutes to feel like I could even get up. I had no motivation for the day to do anything.”

Feeling tired all the time affected every part of her life. She felt trapped in a world that was controlling her; she suffered from anxiety, depression, panic attacks. Lisa needed to sleep in the afternoon and again early in the evening – everything she ate felt like it affected her body.

Being late teens, and feeling the pressure of everyone around her, one of her biggest issues was her skin. Lisa suffered from cystic acne with deep, painful pustules and infection in her skin. She bruised easily and experienced ‘brain fog’ daily.

“It didn’t matter what I wanted to do but I felt like my brain could not function. I would put my best effort into something and couldn’t remember anything about it. My world was empty, foggy, dark.”

These feelings, and her discomfort, continued for years. At 19 years old she went for a routine oral contraceptive pill script renewal and the GP at the time, felt her symptoms didn’t add up. They found she was celiac. She removed gluten from her diet and for a while felt much better – maybe this was the answer?

But it wasn’t. Six months later her digestion, fatigue and depression returned.

“I felt overwhelmed. Defeated. Why is this happening now? I thought I was going to die of some random disease so I went to Dr Google.”

At Shift we all these bumps in the road ‘roadblocks’ and it’s actually a really normal part of the healing journey. It’s normal for things to heal and then regress at times, the trick is not to give up, and to discover what is going on so you can take the next steps.
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Lisa had full blood tests, which showed she was again anaemic. Her doctor at the time said, “take some iron supplements, they’re much better these days.” But having been on iron supplements since she was six years, old she again became severely constipated and her stomach aches returned.

Over her life, Lisa can’t recall how many times she has been on antibiotics. From tonsillitis to viruses, it is common to be overprescribed antibiotics and this can have an impact on our health in later life.

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At Shift, our naturopaths want to look at your health timeline and what significant events would have made a difference to your current health today. If you experience gut and digestive problems, we look at whether any significant stress has impacted you throughout your life.
Meet Lisa 1

“I would definitely say I was a very stressed-out kid. There was sexual abuse when I was a child from someone very close to my family and that put a massive strain on me because I didn’t know who to talk to about it. I don’t think that there was any time that I felt like I was a relaxed kid enjoying a childhood.”

It’s normal for us to feel up and down and stressed at times, especially when it comes to hormones. But for Lisa, her feelings were extreme. She experienced a heavy period from 14 years old and was told by doctors at the time to go on the oral contraceptive pill to stabilise her moods and bleeding. This is very, very common – putting young women straight onto the pill without properly understanding what is going on in their bodies.

“My hormones were all over the place. I started doing different diets and then lacked energy. I’d get anxious, depressed and tired. It was a few years of this up and down but eventually, enough people who cared about me (who I am very grateful for today) said ‘this isn’t you, what’s going on is everything ok?’”

Lisa changed her living situation and stopped dieting, making little changes to improve her health. She had more energy and felt good – then she found out she was deficient in B12 and the B12 injections she took flared up her skin again.

“It was just this massive cycle of trying to solve one thing and another thing would come up and feel 10 times worse.”

After years of feeling tried, bleh and awful nearly every single day, enough was enough. Lisa decided to make an appointment with us at Shift.

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Everyone who walks through the door has their own journey that they are on and most of the time, have some pretty crappy health issues as well. Being at Shift, in that familiar space, and knowing the people that I was around would understand - even if their journey wasn’t the same - what it was like to have a health crisis and to know you needed help.
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She renewed.

When Lisa walked through the doors at Shift she had a big story to tell as you’ve read above. When we asked her “given what you have been through in your life, what have you learnt to help you work through the abuse and trauma you endured?”

For Lisa, it was a Shift appointment with our holographic kinetics specialist. We have a team of emotional wellness practitioners at Shift, and holographic kinetics or ‘HK’, is a therapy that is based on aboriginal healing techniques that helps to identify and clear stuck emotions in the body.

“That was the turning point for me because it let me realise the effect the abuse was still having on my life some 20 years on. It allowed me to speak about it and that was a really powerful thing.”

Lisa’s reason for choosing us at Shift to help her with her journey was twofold. She needed someone to explore who she was, what was going on with her body, look at where it has come from and why it is happening years and years later.

“All of these tests were done by people who actually cared about finding out about what was happening and not just masking the symptoms and that for me was a hallelujah moment.”

“It wasn’t these little things – each iron-rich food or upping my exercise regime – that needed to change. It was this massive approach that had to change everything that was happening in my body and in my life.”

“I’m was out of my depth, I didn’t know what I was doing, and I felt like I could do better.”

Her first few appointments with the Shift naturopathy and emotional wellness team enabled Lisa to discover a lot about her life, and her health.

“Shift made me put a value on myself and put a value on my life. By valuing myself and understanding if I do make changes, the impact can I then have to on making changes for other people. But if I’m not in a state of health, how can I help other people achieve a state of health?”

“I walked away feeling like someone actually cared, for the first time in the health world I went and saw someone who saw me as a whole person instead of ‘a symptom’ or instead of ‘a history’ or just this ‘one thing’. They were questioning everything about what makes me me.”

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So, what first began to shift?

“I reduced my water intake so I stopped having to get up during the night. It didn’t stop me from being thirsty but I worked with my Shift naturopath on my adrenals which helped.”

What happened next?

“I had started to notice that I was getting a bit more confident with social situations. There was still quite a bit of anxiety present but I started saying it was ok. Positive self-talk happened “you can make it, you can go”. Once I started to deal with my trauma and abuse, I started to realise that I didn’t have to feel depressed. When I did feel depressed, I would recognise it and do little things like go for a walk or go and see or chat to someone on the phone who will distract you and make you feel happy and not in your own head.”

What did you discover as you went through the healing process?

“I started to realise how complex humans are. I realised how we never really tackle things holistically and I wasn’t ok with that. I knew I wanted better. I started educating myself around my health and I think people looked at me in a different light - I was no longer this sad person who was always sick of always being tired. I was starting to be looked upon as a source of information - I hadn’t felt like that for a long time.”

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She arrived.

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Lisa, through the Shift Heal membership process, has seen significant changes in her life. She rarely gets stomach upsets, has decided to study to become a naturopath, and best of all she recently gave birth to a beautiful little girl.

“Through my time with Shift, I now feel confident in my health and doing something about it. I deserve to be healthy and I deserve to be happy.”

Our naturopaths at Shift see a lot of clients that present with chronic digestive issues with a similar picture to Lisa’s. As in Lisa’s case, this often then leads to many different health issues down the line, since the nervous system and the gut are each connected to every other system in the body.

When we truly listen to what our bodies have to say, we can then begin the real process of healing. When we take responsibility for what is happening and become curious about the reasons why we can begin the journey to making the shift.

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If you would like to hear Lisa’s full story, head to our Patient Series of The Shift podcast here.
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Is there anything that you might be ignoring?

Signs and symptoms are your body’s language, they are trying to tell you you need to change something. Are you listening? To book an appointment with a Shift naturopath head here.


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