How did I go from allopathic medicine to nutrition and then to hypnotherapy? Western medicine, as we know it, is a big part of my education. Yet during my medical studies, when my child was diagnosed as neurodivergent when I was sick, my vision of medicine was shaken up.
Through facing various challenges, I have come to realize that the concept of health extends beyond what I learned from science books. My understanding of "being healthy" has developed, and my practice has evolved. The mind-body connection, the impact of gut flora, and, ultimately, our ability to heal ourselves are now at the centre of my approach to health.
I was born and raised in France with a very easy childhood. My father was a doctor and radiologist. He was finishing his studies when I was born, and it was convenient for my parents to live in the student dormitory of the Medical University. I grew up in the middle of a hospital, like my home, for a few years. I kept this strange feeling of feeling at home smelling hospital odours. As a child, I loved reading anatomy books. Medicine was part of our culture at home. I knew about diseases and medicines even before studying medicine.
When I was older, I naturally chose to study medicine. Not a real passion, but because it made sense for me to study where I felt "at home". In my second year, a teacher planted a seed that has been growing ever since. He was a specialist oncologist well known for finding new chemotherapy protocols to save lives. He was good at it. We expected to hear about his prowess as a professor of oncology. He explained to us how his protocols could save lives… But also how, on an individual level, the results were often not what he expected. He spoke about the importance of the patient's relationship with his cancer and how some people with a poor prognosis achieve miracles through their attitude in the face of the disease. He spoke to us about the power each has over our healing. Throughout my studies, I was increasingly attracted by the preventive approach, the idea that we have more power over our health than we think and that the whole solution is not in drugs. I chose to specialise in medical biology, more specifically in bacteriology, because I found this small world fascinating, and I did not see myself prescribing drugs!
I worked as a medical biologist in Paris for a few years before moving to South Africa in 2005. It was an opportunity for me to train and work in Public Health. I worked on various projects, such as HIV prevention and access to healthy food for the underprivileged population. During this life-changing experience, I discovered how lifestyle can be directly linked to health and how prevention can make a real difference.
We moved to Hong Kong in 2008. I had my first child in 2009, second in 2010 and third in 2013. They were all born in Hong Kong! I haven't worked for a few years to take care of them. After a nasty throat infection at three years old, my first child suddenly stopped swallowing solid foods. This lasted for a few years, where he only accepted liquids and certain mashed foods. I learned much about nutrition to help give him the most nutritious and balanced diet possible.
After my third child, I discovered Zumba to get back in shape after 3 pregnancies in 5 years. This fitness dance was love at first sight, and I trained and worked as a Zumba instructor for a few years. Later, I obtained a physical and sports nutrition certification and started working as a fitness and nutrition coach.
In 2018, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It turned my life upside down but allowed me to open even more to complementary medicine. I studied holistic nutrition during my chemotherapy and radiotherapy, learning how food can help me heal and support treatment. I also discovered the benefits of acupuncture, reiki, and meditation. This disease and this treatment brought an awakening in me. I no longer had the choice but to put myself first and break some behaviours I had had for too long. I also wanted to understand why me. I had no risk factors for breast cancer (my family's cancer was colon cancer), and I had regular check-ups. According to the rules of Western medicine, I had no risk factors. So why me? I had to make peace with this, too. Over time, what was a challenge became an opportunity for more profound changes.
After the treatment, I abandoned the allopathic approach. I continued my practice as a holistic practitioner, focusing on rebalancing my lifestyle and diet to keep my body healthy and understanding how our emotions affect our physical body. I first practised as a holistic nutritionist. Having trained as a bacteriologist, I quickly specialised in the gut, our second brain. I realised very quickly how much our emotions and stress influence our intestinal health, our immune system, and, therefore, our whole body. I adhered to a new perspective of our body, highlighting the importance of our emotions on our health, a perspective that many specialists now describe and study.
I then trained in hypnotherapy. For me, first and then, to offer this magic tool to my patients. We're all different; our bodies, mind, and the relationship between the two are often complex and personal. Today, I use my life experience and knowledge to support my patients in the most beneficial and fair approach and in putting this approach into practice.