Getting to the ROOT :: Addressing chronic health challenges + my own journey with acne


You've probably heard me talking about "getting to the root" of a health issue quite a bit, so today I wanted to really paint the picture of what this means and use my own story and journey with chronic acne as a case study.

When I say getting to the root, and using root-cause resolutions, it means that rather than slapping a band-aid on a symptom and taking a pill for an ill (which comes with a ton of side effects), we look at the complex web of symptoms and underlying causes of your challenges - as well as your story (our biography is our biology, which we’ll dive into more later) - and address them at the root level.

For example, let’s say you have a tack stuck under your foot that is causing chronic pain and an infection. You go to the doctor and they recommend you take some Advil for pain relief and antibiotics, you go back because it doesn’t work so they prescribe you a stronger pain medication. That doesn’t work long term so you go back and they propose they do surgery to remove the area that is causing chronic pain.

All you had to do was take out the tack in the first place, right?

So rather than being reactive and looking at surface level issues, instead we have to treat our health like good gardening.

Imagine you have a tree you love and you notice its leaves turning brown – if you call an expert who comes and paints leaves green and attaches them back to branches, you would think that’s crazy, right?

But that’s what we are doing in a lot of ways with these “quick fixes / pill for an ill” model!

If you want to get your tree truly healthy, you can’t just cover up the problem.

You have to look at the roots - that’s where it starts... with the soil, nourishment from the elements, balance of the microbiome, reducing toxic components in our environment, and energetic influences.

And THAT is what I call doing an “ecology check”... literally mapping out our Sacred Ecology.

Ok, let’s put this into practice with a true story... the saga that is my journey with chronic acne and how I got to the root of the problem.

I have dealt with many health issues in my life, but chronic acne was probably one of the most emotionally draining and long-standing challenges I’ve had for years.

I’ve been dealing with it since a preteen and thought FOR SURE that by my 30s it would be over... I was wrong. It was only in the past few years that I was able to "breakthrough," despite everything I had learned, tried and been doing based on knowledge and research.

Now let me be clear - I have been able to help a TON of other women overcome their acne and skin issues, and about 75% of them see immediate results that last after tweaking key areas using a functional nutrition approach. The other 25% need to go a bit deeper (more testing, botanical support, emotional + energy work, etc), but we eventually find what works for them.

Alas, I was living the story of the wounded healer able to support others in this area but coming up against blocks when it came to my own healing! I had chronic cystic acne - the painful, deeply rooted (how ironic) kind that would cause inflammation and stick around for weeks with each breakout.

With acne, and any skin issue, we want to look at some key areas in our Sacred Ecology that cannot be missed (I’ll be brief because this could easily turn into a book):

  • Diet
  • Deficiencies
  • Microbiome + gut health
  • Immunity + allergies
  • Cycles, Seasons + Hormonal cascade
  • Liver health
  • STRESS + Emotional wellbeing

And yes, I did it all - diet, supplements, dental hygiene, biofilms, hormonal balancing, microbiome, replenished deficiencies, meditation, movement, addressed allergens, etc...

And nothing worked long term. Maybe that sounds familiar?

While all of the steps that I took were absolutely helpful in my journey and paved a foundation for my healing, I had to look even DEEPER.


Wanna know what finally did work for me?

It had to do with tending to my ROOT...

After literally throwing every tool, food, supplement, {insert remedy here} that I knew at myself and my poor skin, I decided ENOUGH already - I needed to take my OWN medicine and followed my intuition, radically.

I took my own advice, and did what I do with my own clients - I mapped out my Sacred Ecology.

(btw health practitioners are probably the most stubborn when it comes to taking their own advice! lol)

I began by getting centered, and connecting to my own intuitive guidance (I use a process called Akashic Record reading which I use with clients and I’ll be telling you more about in future articles). In this centered, connected place, I hand drew my Sacred Ecology Map and started filling in the areas that I had already covered of my inner and outer ecology (mostly those pertaining to physiological health) and noticed the areas that I had neglected.

Part of doing this ecology check and mapping out your Sacred Ecology is paying attention to your stories.

I thought back to the only time in my adult life that I had amazing skin, and I asked myself:

What was it about that time that felt like an “ecology shift”? What was different about my own story at that time?


That’s when I had my answer: It was when I felt the most "me" and lived life to the fullest as unapologetically myself.

My clear skin was a direct outcome of me living this way, not the other way around. So often we wait until we have the perfect skin, perfect body & weight, perfect job, home, partner, etc to live to our fullest when, really, it works the other way around.

So I mapped out what it would look like if I did that now - what were the steps that I needed to take in order to nourish and nurture my radiant seed - my most authentic self to bloom and live that way again...

And would you know, I took some big risks and made some pretty radical shifts:

(1) I took a leap and moved cross country, finally settled into a place that feels like home and deeply connected to nature which I was missing in my life in Chicago (I know live in the countryside of southern Oregon)

(2) I repaired, committed and connected more deeply into my loving partnership with a man that feels like home to me

(3) stopped hiding or dimming my light, diving deeper into the areas of myself that had been put on hold

(4) and I decided to stop everything that was external - everything that was "not me" in ALL aspects of my life. Clothes, clutter, people, foods, you name it.

That’s right... this nutritionist said out with the supplements, botanicals, natural face products, cleansers, probiotics, other people's advice... everything.

It was me and my nature walks. My new face regimen consisted of no soap or cleanser, just pure water, a hot towel and hot/cold therapy in mornings.

No fighting anymore - just allowing myself to connect in with what is home, my essence, take a break from all non-self appendages and let my body, mind & soul do their thang!


Was it easy and quick?

NOPE. But I rode it out and trusted. And... it worked.

Not only do I have clearer skin, but I’m using less external support (i.e. facial products, supplements, etc) than ever before AND I know my deeper triggers so that I can anticipate and build resilience when I need it most.

Everyone's journey and ecology is unique, but I found that the "imbalance" and "deficiency" for me in my own Sacred Ecology was in my ROOT on a deeper level than I was admitting to myself.

And THAT is the power of diving into our Sacred Ecology.

I have seen magical things happen when clients get curious and dive into their Sacred Ecology... it's as if a deep remembrance is activated and they tap into something that is so ancient and yet natural - their own power of self-healing. I look forward to sharing some of those insights with you, and help you in activating that ancient knowing inside of YOU with the Sacred Ecology Visualization & Activation Journey. If you're in need of guidance in this exciting and fruitful process of exploring your healing journey, I look forward to connecting in a session.