By Sophia Godkin, PhD
If you’ve ever had symptoms that won’t go away no matter what you try, prescribed or over-the-counter, physical or mental, big or small, then I think you’ll enjoy reading the stories of Janna, Diana, and Maddie. Though their stories are very different, they have something very important in common: each woman, either suddenly or over time, was faced with a slew of physical symptoms that persisted despite her leading what she considered a healthy lifestyle – eating right, exercising, and managing her stress. More importantly, what these women’s stories share is a triumphant conclusion!
My life. I‘m a 63-years young proud mom of two beautiful daughters who love to travel the world. I spend a lot of time on my own, with my nose in a book, my arms deep in soil while I garden in the sun, or discovering new places, cultures and foods on my own travels to far off lands.
My challenges. Just a few years ago, I went for my annual physical and quickly saw that my doctor was sporting that concerned look on his face that everyone dreads. One week, one biopsy, and many tests later, it was confirmed; I had inflammatory breast cancer. Stage 3. Immediate chemotherapy, a full mastectomy, radiation; my body went through it all. I felt extremely weak and constantly ill. My hair and nails were gone, as was the sensation in my hands and feet from the nerve damage. To top it off, it turned out that all the treatment was also killing my liver. All I wanted was the strength to complete treatment and regain my strong body.
My triumph. I was blessed to be given personalized lifestyle recommendations via a health program my daughter discovered and suggested to me. Little by little, I changed what I was eating – less fats and proteins, and more vegetables, spices, garlic, vinegar and lemon. Green smoothies became a standard meal for me. Little by little, my liver values returned to normal. All I knew was that I was happy to have my liver and my body back, to be feeling anew, and that I had personalized health to thank for it. And I still do. I notice that when I follow my diet closely, my lymph flows freely and the swelling that sometimes shows up in my arm (a function of several lymph nodes being removed along with my left breast as part of cancer treatment), goes down.
My life. I’m 49 years old, an avid skiing, hiking, and health enthusiast. I have three daughters and three grandchildren who are my world. My life’s passion is helping others, which I did as a women’s coach for twenty years and now do in the health arena after a personal triumph with my own health.
My challenges. Out of my 49 years of life, I’ve been extremely healthy for 48 of them, maintaining a slim, strong figure with only a few grey hairs visible on my head. That all changed a few years ago, when I began to get aches and pains, and soon after muscle weakness, joint pain, memory loss, mental fog, ringing in my head, sinus issues, extreme hand dryness, shingles, fatigue and constant heart palpitations. If that wasn’t enough, I was waking up with nosebleeds and rarely did a severe headache pass up the opportunity to greet my afternoon. The vibrant, energetic woman I considered myself to be was all of a sudden physically debilitated and unenthusiastic about life.
My triumph. I sought help from numerous health professionals – naturopaths, clinical specialists, and the like – and though well-intentioned, none could tell me what was going on with my body or why I felt 40 years older than I actually was. Then came the long-awaited solution that at first threw me for a loop. Could it be that the causes of my symptoms and years of weakness and frustration were the very things I thought were good for me? I discovered, thanks to a personalized health solutions recommended to me by a friend, that my particular bodily constitution benefits from living at low altitudes and warm, dry climates, whereas altitudes over 5,000 feet can have the opposite effect. I also discovered that kale, touted as the nutrient-rich “superfood,” was good for me in very small quantities and that other greens were more beneficial for me at the time. Here I was living in the mountains, drinking green smoothies packed with kale every day for the past two years.
Pessimistic yet hopeful, I went to stay with my daughter, who lived in an environment that mimicked what I was being told was ideal for my body, to give this latest recommendation a try. Lo and behold, after nearly 3 weeks, all of my symptoms were gone! My soft hands, supple joints, and clear head and sinuses were back! I felt like a completely new woman! One who was and is so grateful for finding the right things for her body when she did!
My life. I’m a twenty year old nursing student, living at home with my family in Southern Canada. I spend a lot of time studying and I also work part-time. I have a pretty active social life, when I can fit it in, and I love to travel.
My challenges. Growing up, I considered myself to be quite healthy, having no issues aside from the occasional cold or flu. Then in 2015, within the span of a year and a half, I had walking pneumonia, strep throat several times, persistent inflamed acne breakouts and frequent vaginal infections (potentially a function of the antibiotics I was on for the pneumonia and strep throat). As a young woman just starting college, these symptoms were unpleasant to say the least. I was embarrassed about my breakouts, which persisted despite my trying a whole gamut of dermatologist-recommended treatment (benzoyl peroxide, niacinamide creams, extractions, lasers, and so on). It was unfair. I was eating healthy and working out 3-4 times a week. No one else my age was experiencing this, so why was I?
My triumph. In autumn of 2015, I received some insights, almost serendipitously, about foods that were great for my body to have at that time, and foods that were less good for my body. The insights suggested that I eat little if any eggs, gluten, and certain types of dairy products and that I eat a larger variety of vegetables and prepare them in a way so as to maximize the nutrients my body can absorb. The insights didn’t come from a health professional or a blood test, but from a health program that let me know what types of nutrition, exercise, and environment were best for my particular body. Just a few months later, my acne completely cleared up! Vaginal infections were a thing of the past. An unintended but definitely welcome effect- I lost 5 pounds too. I felt like myself again. Confident. Healthy. Happy.
You too can triumph over your health challenges, confusing and frustrating as they may have been for you in the past. That’s because we’re now understanding that our genes, whether for illness or health, obesity or thinness, acne or clear skin, brain fog or mental acuity, can be activated or deactivated. Turned on or off. And our environment and lifestyle control the on/off switch. What Janna, Diana, and Maddie have in common is that the cause of their triumph was personalized.
The wisdom of epigenetics has revived in society a new hope that each one of us can get and stay optimally healthy by learning to operate our personal epigenetic on/off switch. Developed alongside a global team of doctors, researchers and scientists, is a wellness platform known as Personal Health 360 (ph360) that applies personalized health to give each person insights specific to their unique body, from the point of view of the many facets of epigenetics.
The solution to your quest for optimal health lies in the ways you eat, exercise, think and sleep. The ways you socialize, work, and live, or anywhere in between. So I hope you’ll join Janna, Diana, Maddie and thousands of other men and women all around the world who are reclaiming their health and wellness by discovering what is right for them with Shae™, the next generation of ph360 and the very first application to customize health specifically for your unique body and circumstances in real time.