Call me Vicki – I’m glad you’re here!
Welcome to Second Journey Healing, my health coaching and consulting practice, designed to help women just like you to build better resilience while overcoming chronic stress and debilitating symptoms. Everyone wants to live a more robust, inspired, and joyful life, but let’s face it – it’s hard to rise up when you can’t even get out of bed. I’ve been there. Maybe like me, you’ve tried conventional medicine but nothing much has changed. Or maybe you’re a little baffled about conflicting health advice. Oh the paradigms need shifting, yes they do, but…
When you can’t go back the way you came
It took the unraveling of my own health, marriage, hopes, and dreams before examining the connection between stress-induced mineral loss and nervous system dysregulation. We all go through personal traumas. We know that stress can lead to illness. Yet it took me years before I truly connected the dots between chronic stress and metabolic dysfunction.
My own health nosedived after two surgeries, the emotional stress of losing two parents, several close friends, and my youngest brother to cancer. By the time my 44 year old brother died, I was deep in adrenal insufficiency with cardiac arrhythmias, panic attacks, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and agoraphobia – and still processing other traumas. Not knowing how depleted I’d become, I became housebound – even bedridden for awhile. No amount of sleep refreshed me, and I ached all over. Every.single.day. Test after test revealed little if anything, and medications made me worse. I was losing my hair, my patience, not to mention my faith in allopathic medicine. Talk about a hot mess:
- Adrenal insufficiency/burnout
- HPA dysregulation
- Atrial fibrillation/ tachycardia / bradycardia / PVCs
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Fibromyalgia
- Labile hypertension / BP spikes
- Suicidal ideation
- Acne / scaly skin
- Hair loss
- Hormone imbalance
- Plantar fasciitis / Morton’s neuroma
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Tinnitus /ringing in the ears
- Fear / Panic / Agoraphobia
- Iatrogenic illness due to wrongly prescribed benzodiazepines
- Histamine Intolerance
- Total thyroidectomy
- Cardiac stress tests
- 30-day Holter monitor
- Brain MRI
- Renal ultrasound
- Bone density scans
- Sleep studies
- Pulmonary tests
- Thyroid needle biopsies
- Blood tests
- Diurnal 4x cortisol saliva tests
- 24 hour urine tests
- Tests to rule out pheochromocytoma (adrenal tumor)
- Tests to rule out Cushings disease.
I can’t even remember all the tests. A family member called me hypochondriac because I’d seen so many different doctors. Well, doctors are only trained to “see” what they’ve been trained to see. They match symptoms to a pill. I’ve since concluded that many conditions are “not known because not looked for.“
The third cardiac trip did me in. I returned home unable to sleep, panicky, scared I’d never get well. Under enormous emotional, metabolic, and psychological stress, I knew something had to change. But the journey back to health – in fact, the journey back to me – couldn’t happen until I took charge of my own health. I started researching, thinking outside the conventional box, considering other options…and prayed.
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
So a friend tells me about a health forum online, where I bumped into the owner of the Magnesium Advocacy Group, a researcher and health coach who, along with his wife, a gifted chiropractor, lit the way for me. About that same time, a local women’s advocate showed up in my life to rally for my healing, and I’ll forever remember these three as my ‘triage’ support team.
I was counseled, comforted, and guided back to health in some very practical ways, including my introduction to HTMA, or hair tissue mineral analysis which changed my life. The hair test confirmed spot-on that I was a complete mineral desert: critically low across the board in magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium while normal serum blood tests showed “normal range.”
In light of the HTMA results, my symptoms and emotional state made sense. A depleted person can’t make energy. A full iron panel pointed to excess unbound iron after years post-hysterectomy, and my adrenals had flatlined. Actually, my whole HPA axis was dysregulated due to years of unresolved stress, personal traumas, and taking all the wrong supplements.
I began to address core emotional issues, traumas, and nutritional deficiencies, while following a whole foods protocol like my life depended on it. The body responds beautifully. My flagging adrenals woke up, energy returned, my heart calmed down, and hope began to rise.
At that point, I was indeed minerally undergirded enough to cope with the stress of an impending divorce, court, and prepping my home to sell. I didn’t ‘muscle’ through. I was just a little tenacious about working with my health coach to heal my imbalances, took my wellness seriously, and it all clearly affected my mental outlook in a positive way. Heck, it saved my life.
Healing physically became a time of inner transformation. I had to honor my own healing by pulling away from toxic relationships and naysayers, implementing radical self-care, and eating like my life depended on it.
Eventually I felt so good, I went back to school! With the bulk of the chaos behind me, I realized my passion again: The healing arts. After all, I began this journey years ago as a hospital nurse but with an increasing interest in the world of natural health.
It’s my joy and calling to do what I love – helping stressed-out women experience new levels of health so they can rebuild their lives … just as I’m doing now.
To that end, I now serve as a holistic health and wellness coach, mineral consultant, and advocate for women. Some have called me a Functional Health & Hope Coach:
- Certified Root Cause Protocol Consultant, Mineral Metabolism, Copernican Institute.
- Certified Holistic Health & Wellness Coach, International Association of Wellness Professionals
- Studies in Naturopathy & Nutrition, Trinity School of Natural Health
- Licensed Practical Nurse, Athens Vocational College
- Certification in Crisis Intervention, Stephen Ministry, Mt. Paran
- Trauma Healing – ongoing studies.
My most valuable experience has been my own health journey. I came so close to giving up when doctors couldn’t ‘cure’ me. It’s given me a deep compassion for women-in-transition. Coupled with my studies in Mineral Metabolism with Morley Robbins, founder of Copernican Institute, I feel my toolbox holds valuable keys to women’s health and healing.
At Copernican, I studied Morley Robbin’s advanced curriculum in Mineral Metabolism, Iron/Copper dysregulation, plus Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. The HTMA, along with specific blood markers, are by far the most valuable tests for my clients, providing a clearer understanding of the impact of oxidative stress on all our bodies, but with a simple means to get us back on track.
Recently, I’ve completed training with Arizona Trauma Institute for Certified Trauma Support Specialist.
Thank you so much for visiting Second Journey Healing. Reach out if you have a question. I’m here to support you on YOUR journey. I’d love to hear your story.
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