Earlier in the week, nutritional therapist and naturopath Karen Chambers gave us her 5 top tips for wellness during lockdown (see Being Well article). I asked Karen more about her journey to becoming a wellness guru and how she changed her fast-paced career in the media for a more rewarding and healthy one.
What do you offer to your clients?
I work with people who are always tired, burnt out, suffering with bloating, food intolerances and gynecological issues such as endometriosis and hormone imbalances. All of these have a strong connection with stress, something I have experienced first-hand in my broadcasting career. I support clients by working with them 1-2-1 or in groups programmes to bring them back into balance through nutrition and herbs, addressing nutrient deficiencies in their diet and using genetic testing to discover what their unique nutritional needs are. My focus is always on ‘what this person’s body is crying out for?’. My job is to join all the dots and find solutions to the issues that the client has been searching for over many years and bring them back into balance.
What is it you love about being a nutritionist?
I love it when a client, past or present tells me how much happier and healthier they feel from working with me. They now have the freedom in their life to start living more, when previously a range of symptoms held them back. Hearing them say they are enjoying adapting to changes and it is all becoming second nature gives me such a buzz! It is a huge reward after juggling three years of intense study, whilst I worked full time to know that this knowledge I have which combines nutritional science, functional medicine and holistic practices can really change lives in a short space of time. I make a point of educating clients with information that is relevant to their unique health, not blanket advice. This empowers them to make decisions that feel right for them, not just because I told them so.
You used to work in TV, why did you want to retrain to become a nutritionist?
Yes, I worked as a TV producer for many years. I worked across news, current affairs, documentaries and children’s TV. I also worked in the music industry and magazine publishing before that. I loved producing TV but lots of the hours I worked were long and anti-social, it can be quite a stressful environment and often I would neglect my own health needs and put the job first. There were many late and boozy nights with the team, grabbing food on the go and too many coffees to keep going. Being a mainly freelance industry job security was non-existent, so whilst I was in a current stress with a job I would always be thinking about finding the next gig. I travelled to some amazing places, met some of the most talented and interesting people, many I am still friends with today but I craved another string to my bow and after tackling my own health and nutritional needs with a professional, taking the leap to study and qualify as a nutritional therapist was scary but from the first day of college I knew it felt right for me and I loved it.
Why do you think ‘wellness’ has become so fashionable worldwide and also in London?
It has become one of those words that people roll their eyes at because parts of the industry really do carry a premium price tag. When I explain to people what I actually do and that this is information that just can’t be pulled from Google and is bespoke to an individual I tend to get a much more positive response! The boom in wellness in London does provide options that we previously didn’t have before. But I have seen some very basic juices, supplements and foods for sale at eye watering prices. Within the capital there isn’t an even distribution of outlets that sell health products either.
Another reason why wellness gets a bad wrap is because there are some parts of the industry that have been associated with beauty; glowing skin, healthy hair, a so called ideal weight which has led to some marketing of unrealistic representations of what health and vitality looks like. Personally, I find some of these images misleading and from speaking to clients, this can have a strong impact on the self-esteem.
Do you think people will remain interested in being healthy?
Now more than ever we need to be on top of our health game. We are living through a pandemic, emotions are high, we are on second UK lockdown and physical health is a huge challenge for so many people right now. Looking after our health has to be a priority or we cannot be available to look after others that need us. Easier said than done. Wellness will look different each of us, we have to take into account our resources, lifestyle, available time and competition priorities, but even by just giving yourself one small thing a day that ticks your own personal wellbeing box will make a difference. True wellness to me is feeling good in your mind and body and achieving balance in your life. If something doesn’t feel good or aligned with you, then it isn’t the ‘wellness’ that you need.
Karen of Fierce Wellbeing is a nutritional therapist and naturopath specializing in gut and hormonal health. Karen transforms the health and wellbeing of clients through 1-2-1 gut and hormonal reset packages using nutrition, genetic testing and holistic practices, runs regular group online coaching.
Living in London, Karen enjoys discovering pockets of nature and great walks within the bustle of the city.
Find Karen online www.fiercewellbeing.com
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