[BODcast Episode 34] - Student Spotlight - Kelsey’s Transition from Traditional Nursing to Integrative Healthcare
In this episode, our CEO, Amy Sprouse, sits down with Kelsey Tucker, a Registered Nurse in the United States who is currently a student at Holistic Health Educators. Kelsey discusses the many hats she's worn in her nursing career, what introduced her to the holistic side of health, and what her future looks like. She's a true warrior that genuinely wants to help people, truthfully and respectfully.
If you're a nurse who has thought about transitioning from traditional medicine to holistic healthcare, listen to Kelsey's story and join our community!
Enjoy this episode!
Find our website and socials at www.campsite.bio/hhe
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I am so happy to see you today, Kelsey.
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And ever since we first talked on the phone, I just loved your hunger for learning things and your curiosity and your passion for the health care field.
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So it's been so fun keeping in touch with you over these past six months, and I'm really happy that today I get the chance to hear more about your journey and how you ended up here at Holistic Health Educators.
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And now you get this chance to kind of merge your medical background in nursing and clinical research and being so familiar with that field, you're now merging that with the holistic field.
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And so you're in a really unique position where you really do have that background knowledge of medical care, and now you're being confronted with all these holistic things and seeing how can these fit together for people.
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I'm just excited to hear more about your journey.
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So, first of all, thank you for coming on today.
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So could you first just share with us your background before you started getting into more integrative healthcare? So I actually have been a nurse now for going on to 13 years, but I've been in the healthcare field for a total of 18.
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I have done so many different things in nursing, literally worked every area in the hospital with exception of endoscopy, and I've done a lot of home health care.
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I actually am an It specialist, so I do a lot of immune globulin infusions, and I also worked in clinical research, like I said, multiple clinical research programs from 2015 to 2021.
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So, yeah, you definitely that curious, cat part of you definitely manifested itself in the job setting too, right.
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I was actually studying for my nurse practitioner's degree, and I only had 46 credits left, but I decided that I was going to withdraw from that program and study holistic health.
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So tell me about that.
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What was your perception of holistic health before and what gave you the push to want to look into it more? Honestly, I had always thought holistic health was kind of wonky like the weirdos on the other side, you know what I mean? There was such a stigma, such a division between modern medicine and holistic medicine, and I worked on cloved research, and a lot of the stuff just didn't make sense.
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And then I personally became very ill, and I had a couple of incidences where I've been seeing my primary care doctor, and they weren't able to figure out what was going on.
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But then a family member of mine runs a holistic clinic, and my grandma kind of pushed me to go in and talk with her, and, oh, my gosh, her scan was able to pinpoint exactly what I had going on, and within three months, I was doing so much better.
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I'd been having, like, cardiac irregularities, and my potassium levels were all over the place, and hormones were crazy.
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Oh, my gosh, my hormones were nuts.
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We ended up finding out my hormones is what was causing all my problems.
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And it just got me thinking, like, if I've seen, like, four specialists, I'd seen a gastroenterologist, I'd seen a surgeon, they were talking about removing my gallbladder and all kinds of stuff.
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And then I'd seen a gynecologist, and I'd seen a neurologist, and none of them could figure out what was going on.
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So I got thinking, if her scans and these natural supplements that I was taking fixed it, why didn't the other doctors know this? Why wasn't this figured out? And then after I got sick with cobid, I started having a lot more neurological related issues.
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And again, medical doctors couldn't figure out what was going on.
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I mean, heck, I'm still seeing doctors in mayo, and nobody seems to have any clue.
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But then after speaking with a couple of naturopathic doctors, some holistic health practitioners, they've been able to pinpoint and talk about things that actually make sense.
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Instead, in the medical field, there's so much of, oh, well, this is the research, this is the data, but you don't actually get to see it.
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And they just tell you, this is the way things are, and this is how it's supposed to be.
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And so many people, nurses in particular, even doctors, like, they rely on the information that's given to them by other people, and they don't normally end up doing much research on their own and figuring it out.
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Yes, I'm that person who does the research and tries to figure things out.
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And there's so many times that things just didn't align and they didn't make sense.
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With the support of some extra family members and my husband in particular, I was like, I'm really thinking that this holistic stuff makes more sense.
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The data actually lined up, the methodology behind it made sense.
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So I was like, I think I'm going to no longer be a nurse practitioner, and I'm going to study holistics.
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Yeah, that brought me to you guys.
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I've heard that story a lot where that's usually, like, the door people walk through to get into holistic health care is when they're not finding answers they're satisfied with in conventional through conventional medicine and appointments and diagnostic tools.
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And so that's cool.
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You have your personal story to draw from.
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What have you noticed? Okay, so tell us about your job transition.
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So you went from nursing and then taking a leap out of nursing into this new field probably felt a little scary.
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What were your emotions? Or were you just so ready for it? What was going on? So I felt like I was ready for it, but I'm also somebody who's very reserved, and I think about a lot of decisions that I make, even after I've made them, I'm like, was that a right decision? Was it not? So honestly, I approached it with some skepticism and some combining of the knowledge that I already had and combining with the knowledge that I was now receiving.
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And I was making sure that everything lined up.
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So to begin with, I was pretty reserved.
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But then honestly, after just going through my first probably ten lessons, I was like, no, this is right, this makes sense.
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And as far as transitioning out of nursing, I haven't completely transitioned out of nursing, but I'm still doing some nursing roles.
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But it's an administration of like, vitamins and minerals through intravenous therapy.
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So I've been doing that instead of actual IG infusions and such.
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So I'm not totally out of nursing, but I probably am still going to keep up that certification because those credentials, they're still nice to have, but it allows me to do some more things too, and being able to treat other people and help other people with any issues that they're having.
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So, yeah, I'm so happy you mentioned that because the healthcare system that we are fighting for at Holistic Health Educators is one where they're not separate fields and you just said like, oh, it's not that you actually had to completely leave nursing.
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Like, you still use the skill sets and you still use some of the actual clinical practices from nursing.
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And now you're doing it at an integrative clinic where people are administered IV therapy that contain those vitamins and minerals that their body is missing.
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You still get to do that component.
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And then also the Holistic approach, looking at their emotional health, looking at their nutrition, looking at their lifestyle.
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Now you get to step back and address them as a whole person.
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So I think this is like a really exciting, hopeful message is I talked to so many nurses and they just feel like it's so black and white.
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Truth be told, there are not a lot of middle ground job positions with our current system.
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We're moving in that direction right now, thank heaven.
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So I think ten years from now there's going to be way more job positions for nurses where you truly do get to use both.
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We have so many nurses come through our therapeutic nutritional counselor certification and they're confronted with that, like, do I stay in the hospital where everything is Westernized medicine or do I leave and practice therapeutic nutrition and emotional healing and all those things.
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And I'm just so excited for the day that we have more and more of these integrative clinics where there's still that clinical foundation access to some medical tools when you need them, but then you also get to do the Holistic things with them, with the nutrition and emotional.
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But I do want to point something out with that other stuff you were talking about just a minute ago.
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I did look into several different programs before I chose to list the health educators.
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And in looking through those programs, I learned the difference between a Holistic health practitioner and a naturopathic doctor.
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And those were the two degrees that it would be like, my end goal.
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Those are one of the two things that I want to go for.
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And I decided that I think the HHP is more for me than the naturopathic doctor because when I was doing these research with different school programs, so many of them in the naturopathic doctorate realm didn't really give much to the modern medicine that we see.
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They didn't really combine the best of both worlds.
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It was so much naturopathic.
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It was just like strictly naturopathic.
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They didn't really give much credit whatsoever to the other parts of the modern medicine that are there.
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But holistic health, on the other hand, combines both.
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So, like you were saying, integrated.
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It's more integrated program.
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And that's more, I feel like, to optimally help the patients and other individuals just to bring their health to the best point that it possibly could be does take a combination of the two.
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Yes, I'm so yes, I'm so happy you reiterated that, because that's like black and white thinking you're going to lose on either side it's all us or all them on either side you're standing on, you're going to be missing out on what the other field has to offer.
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And so, yeah, if someone uses a pharmacological intervention to stabilize the patient or stabilize themselves while they learn these long term holistic solutions, awesome.
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If there are tools that are going to help them in their ultimate healing path, let's use them.
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Yeah, I love that.
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I love that you said that.
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As far as the classes go, things that I kind of questioned because I did do a lot of different teaching about therapy, specifically diets, especially when people would come back from having had a surgery or they'd get a new diagnosis of, say, gallbladder disease or diabetes, we did recommend diet changes.
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So as I've been going through the therapeutic nutrition counseling program, it is very true at the very beginning where they talk about how it's not just diabetes.
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This right here is your recommendation.
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The things that can cause spikes in different individuals are completely not standardized.
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And so many of the nutrition programs that through the last 13 years as an RN that I've been teaching people, they are standardized.
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Everything is you go to the this is diabetes, and you pull out one pamphlet.
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That one pamphlet is for everybody if it's type one or type two.
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Of course they had differences, but they really weren't that much different.
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And what you guys talked about, too, is, like, figuring out the glycemic indexes and what's going to help with people.
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And they need to understand, too, how carbohydrates change.
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And there's really not a huge focus on anything other than you count your carbs and you get so many carbs per meal.
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That's what they do in modern medicine.
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And it's like, well, in reality, those different carbs might be taking, like, your 14 carbs or something with this particular meal, but that means that your next one, you should really only have like, six or seven.
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Or because of the way the food actually breaks down, maybe you could have 16.
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It breaks it down differently.
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And you guys therapeutic nutrition program.
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So that was another one that I kind of had to reprogram my thought process on because I'd always been taught this is a standard diet for this diagnosis.
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I feel like the way we've just grouped entire food groups altogether has really created some really limiting and kind of damaging mentality when it comes to nutrition is like thinking fats are all good, all bad, or animal products are all good or all bad, or carbohydrates are all good or all bad.
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Because if someone's having 50 grams of carbs, that's going to break down completely differently.
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If it's a bowl of white rice compared to a bowl of wild grain black rice or quinoa or chopped vegetables, this is going to be totally different.
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I love that you pointed that out.
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It's like where you're sourcing your food matters just as much as what you're eating.
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I'm one of those people, too, is I've learned, like, throughout my whole life, I basically put together things like a puzzle.
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So you've got, like this multi piece puzzle, basically.
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And I know this is going to be a kind of wonky analogy for some, but if things don't add up, it's like my puzzle is missing a piece.
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And a lot of the things that I've learned throughout my career, there's still been missing puzzle pieces in my big puzzle.
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And so many of the things I'm learning throughout you guys'program are filling in those filling in those blanks of, okay, so this is why we do that, or, this is why that makes sense.
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Or I get a feeling that something just that doesn't make sense.
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And then the more I'm learning through you guys, I'm like, okay, now I know why that doesn't make sense.
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I filled in that puzzle piece.
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So it really does help to have the medical background, but also to have a Holistic program that I'm in now because it is still against so many of the blanks and the things that I didn't really fully understand before.
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And I'm not somebody that just accepts something because somebody said it.
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I like to just look into things a little more and make sure that everything adds up, especially if it's something that just seems odd.
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Let me know if you have an example of the top of your head.
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I want to share one that popped into mine while you said that, because I also had the chance to I kind of did it in the reverse order of you.
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I grew up in the Holistic healthcare field, and then I went to Johns Hopkins and took all these medical physiology courses, which not teach, like, application.
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They just teach you, like, the hard, cold facts.
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And I just kept thinking, heavens, that I had a holistic background so I could draw connect those dots.
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But I want to give one example.
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It's like in the holistic health care field, there is a huge emphasis placed on people's emotional states.
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Like, are you in fight or flight? Or are you in rest and digest? Do you have past trauma that's keeping you in fight or flight mode? Or are you able to regulate your nervous system and calm down? And what techniques can we use for that? And a lot of that was considered really hokey pokey for a while, like, all those meditation, breathing exercises sorry, my mom just walked in.
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But, like, a lot of those emotional release techniques and frequencies, it was like, okay, that's nice.
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We care about the chemistry in the body, but that's nice you care about emotions.
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There's kind of that disconnect between how emotions scientifically affect your body.
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Now, I'm taking these medical courses, and I learned about neurotransmitters and how if you have norepinephrine, which is adrenaline, if you have that stress hormone in your body, it literally shuts off your digestive tract.
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Whereas suppose if you have acetylcholine, which is the rest and digest neurotransmitter, it opens up your digestive tract.
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You get blood flow, you get nutrient absorption, you get breakdown of your food.
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So people who are chronically stuck in fight or flight mode, who constantly have that norepinephrine in their body instead of the acetylcholine, of course that's going to affect their digestion, and of course that's going to affect their nervous system, and of course that's going to affect all these other systems of their body.
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It's going to affect everything.
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It's going to affect everything.
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So that's what getting connected.
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I can totally relate to you on how fun it is to connect the dots, because you're like, oh, we are literally scientifically validating natural composition on a day by day basis.
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Right as you were talking there.
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One of the particular things that for me, like I said, I've been working with IG a lot of individuals with autoimmune disorders since 2016, and there were a lot of things about that that didn't make sense to me.
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But the more I've learned with holistic health, the more it's made sense.
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From what I've been taught about before an autoimmune disorder, it was just like one day, an hour worth of your lesson.
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You learn about autoimmune disorders in school.
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Very short, very sweet.
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And even in the training that I would get through work, it would be like, okay, this is your autoimmune disorder.
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It affects these areas.
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This is the medicine you use to treat it.
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And a lot of it didn't make sense because I'm like, how does somebody develop an autoimmune disorder? And when I would ask those questions, a lot of the time, nobody was able to actually answer me to just be like, oh, well, it's a thing that just happens with your body.
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It just happens sometimes.
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But then as I've gone through you guys'program and I've learned about how antibodies actually work on more of, like, the cellular level, how these antibodies are created.
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And it's basically your body just has this hyperimmune response to something.
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And it could be any type of stress, or it could literally be stress.
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Like mental and emotional stress alone can be enough to do it.
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And then you've got, like, ones that will affect, like, your brain.
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You've got others that will affect your muscle movements and such.
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And a lot of it can also be tied back to bad diets, the things that you're not eating appropriately.
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So your body and your cells can't do things like they should be able to do them.
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Like, Karen talks about she had seizures, she fixed it.
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And I've actually been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder because of having had COVID, and it's affected my brain.
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Actually, the doctors up in mayo, they're like, oh, you have encephalitis.
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You just have scarred areas on your brain.
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They're never going to get better.
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But I talked to Dr.
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Essence and he was explaining to me how I could basically be able to not exactly reset, but how you could reprogram your body to not have such a heightened immune response to things.
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So for me, one of those AHA moments was understanding more about how autoimmunity actually happens.
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And that's not something that they teach you, unless maybe you were going to specialize in that.
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I don't know.
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I haven't specialized in that in the medical field.
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But anyway, that was one of them where I was connecting dots and I was like, I wish I have so many blanks in my puzzle for autoimmunity, even though I've been working on it for several years that I just really wasn't getting answers to.
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But I've been able to fill in those spots.
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That's one thing that really stuck out to me from watching Dr.
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Essen's portions in the courses on autoimmunity was just realizing how many factors actually affect whether or not someone's having a flare up.
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And his goal, he's like, I want to help people get into remission.
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He's like, of course you can't reverse autoimmune forever.
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He's like, but there's so many things related to your emotions, your diet, your supplement protocol, all these things that can completely change how you feel on a day to day basis.
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So it is very empowering.
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Okay, I just have one or two last questions.
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This has been amazing so far.
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So thank you so much for joining us today.
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How would you say you're pursuing education and certifications? The Holistic health coach certification, therapeutic nutritional counselor certification? How would you say that's affected your career or working with clients? I feel like it's broadened my knowledge to the point where I can best help my clients.
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I think being able to have the certifications once I get completed through the program, will make a big difference on people being able to take me seriously, basically, so you can have all the knowledge, but if you don't complete the training, people aren't going to see those initials after your name, and they're not going to take you as serious.
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And I feel like it gives you more credibility.
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And having that knowledge, I think, also is going to help you to be better suited to take care of your clients and be able to put things together in a different way, take you seriously and be able to be able to connect the dots so that when you have patients that come in with wonky things that don't make sense, that you can actually put it together.
00:20:59,500 --> 00:21:00,220
00:21:01,030 --> 00:21:07,758
I just love that you said that, because connecting that people really do sometimes they feel like a puzzle.
00:21:07,854 --> 00:21:10,290
They feel like a puzzle that no one can hack.
00:21:10,350 --> 00:21:24,062
And so when you can come in and be like, okay, I know there's all these different components to someone's health and just figuring out so often the system of the body that a disease is manifesting in, it's actually rooted in a different system of the body.
00:21:24,256 --> 00:21:25,010
00:21:25,180 --> 00:21:28,118
And that's what's been so cool about for me studying integrative health.
00:21:28,144 --> 00:21:42,026
It's like, okay, someone's coming in with a digestive disorder, does this actually start in their nervous system? Or someone's coming in with respiratory conditions, does this actually start in their heart? There's just so many times we're taking a step back and looking at the I mean, let's not even get started about the Lymphatic system.
00:21:42,088 --> 00:21:43,598
But there's so many times right.
00:21:43,684 --> 00:21:47,390
Stepping back, you really do feel like a more qualified puzzle master.
00:21:48,070 --> 00:21:55,242
I honestly feel like the area where to me that has stood out the most is being in modern medicine.
00:21:55,266 --> 00:21:57,474
You have a neurologist, you have an endocrinologist.
00:21:57,642 --> 00:22:00,930
In Holistic health, those two systems are so intertwined.
00:22:00,990 --> 00:22:08,450
You find out those two things are so intertwined, they are almost simultaneous with the way that they work.
00:22:08,560 --> 00:22:13,766
But yet we have a neurologist and we have an endocrinologist, and they don't always work well together.
00:22:13,828 --> 00:22:16,060
They don't always communicate like they should.
00:22:16,390 --> 00:22:18,446
Well, that's exactly what's going on in your system.
00:22:18,628 --> 00:22:23,766
Like your neurological system and your endocrinology system are not working correctly.
00:22:23,958 --> 00:22:32,918
So maybe if we could combine holistic health with the modern medicine, we could put those two things together.
00:22:33,004 --> 00:22:51,126
So I think that particular area, when you talk about areas that affect each other so much and are so intertwined, that's been one that I found was also very interesting because I thought, hey, those are the same neurotransmitters that they're talking about that affect endocrine and neurology.
00:22:51,318 --> 00:22:57,194
So why don't we talk about that at work? You know what I mean? Yeah, that's such a good example.
00:22:57,292 --> 00:22:58,360
Such a good example.
00:22:58,810 --> 00:23:18,050
Last question I have for you is where do you see yourself in five years, what is your total vision? Like, if a genie could grant you any precise career, out any precise setting, what would it be? In five years? I would hope to be a holistic health practitioner, have that degree under my belt.
00:23:18,430 --> 00:23:24,138
I would like to work in conjunction with other clinics as well, but be able to having my own clinic.
00:23:24,234 --> 00:23:30,170
I'm kind of at this point deciding if I want to specialize more in hormones or immunology.
00:23:31,570 --> 00:23:36,650
In my most recent research, I've had a hard time finding people that specialize in hormones.
00:23:37,030 --> 00:23:47,690
And I know of at least three clients that I've seen recently that have all been having hormone related issues, and I've still been helping them, although I'm not fully certified.
00:23:48,010 --> 00:23:56,990
But I kind of am thinking that in correlation with some of the clinics that are here in my local area, that a complimentary service to them would be hormones.
00:23:58,510 --> 00:24:04,062
So I'm thinking, like, do some total health type stuff, but specialize in hormones.
00:24:04,146 --> 00:24:09,362
And I would really, really like if there was something that I could just be extremely passionate about, would be educating kids.
00:24:09,556 --> 00:24:31,670
I so badly want to, I don't know, set up a program with our local high schools and be like, hey, can I come in and teach kids about the power of energy and maybe do like a one week class on that and then like a couple of weeks later come in and teach a whole lesson on cells and self structure and how your cells work and what they need to work.
00:24:31,720 --> 00:24:40,542
Because I was a massive nerd in school, and I learned so much stuff about cells, and one of the biggest things that I loved was genograms.
00:24:40,626 --> 00:24:45,894
I made so many genigrams DNA structures, I would literally break them down and make models.
00:24:45,942 --> 00:24:47,330
I was kind of a nerd kid.
00:24:47,500 --> 00:24:57,782
And so that would be something that I would have loved when I was in school, would have been able to learn more about not just how many ions and electrons and whatever are within the cell.
00:24:57,856 --> 00:25:17,126
It would be what's the key that unlocks that cell? How does that cell actually work? Yes, I can figure out what its structure is because you tell me we have one of these and two of that, but they don't tell you, well, in order for that sell to work, you have to have this.
00:25:17,308 --> 00:25:28,886
And I would love to do like another week long lesson of something like that, teaching kids about cellular structure and then be able to say, hey, if you guys want to learn more, I'm going to offer these classes here, and you can learn these things here.
00:25:29,008 --> 00:25:32,114
So I don't know, I think it would be really cool.
00:25:32,152 --> 00:25:35,690
I love education, but I also really love helping people.
00:25:35,740 --> 00:25:39,926
So I need to figure out a way to balance the two because I feel like educating people.
00:25:39,988 --> 00:25:41,438
I mean, knowledge is power.
00:25:41,584 --> 00:25:42,674
Knowledge really is power.
00:25:42,712 --> 00:25:53,006
So educating them, they're probably going to figure out what they need to do, but a lot of people need their handheld, so I'd like to be able to educate them and hold their hand while they're going.
00:25:53,068 --> 00:25:56,834
Yes, I love that.
00:25:56,872 --> 00:26:09,758
And the passion you have for doing both, like educating people and working with people one on one is truly in the heart of the majority of students who come into our school.
00:26:09,844 --> 00:26:34,470
And I have to tell you, this is why we named our school Holistic Health Educators instead of Holistic Health Education, because our goal is to create this task force of educators worldwide that can do both, that can go out and educate their communities and have that background to be able to work with people one on one so they can have the courses and they can have the one on one interaction.
00:26:34,530 --> 00:26:36,410
So I just love that that's in your heart.
00:26:36,460 --> 00:26:40,614
And we need to get you in some of our home school classes, so I'll be contacting you afterwards.
00:26:40,782 --> 00:26:42,002
All right, let's do it.
00:26:42,076 --> 00:26:42,878
Get that set up.
00:26:42,904 --> 00:26:45,278
But thank you so much, Kelsey, for coming on today.
00:26:45,304 --> 00:26:46,706
It was great hearing your story.
00:26:46,768 --> 00:26:49,586
I love the vision you have for integrative health care.
00:26:49,708 --> 00:26:59,238
I love that you're still using the best of everything you learned with your medical background, and now you're just continually educating yourself and continually connecting those dots.
00:26:59,274 --> 00:26:59,894
00:26:59,992 --> 00:27:03,950
So I know your story is going to inspire people who are in the same position.
00:27:04,060 --> 00:27:06,930
So thank you so much for coming on, Kelsey.
00:27:07,110 --> 00:27:07,874
00:27:07,972 --> 00:27:08,762
00:27:08,896 --> 00:27:09,194
00:27:09,232 --> 00:27:10,262
You have a good one.
00:27:10,396 --> 00:27:10,694
00:27:10,732 --> 00:27:11,000
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