I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired and told nothing was medically wrong with me. I suffered from acne, weight gain, extreme fatigue, hormonal imbalances, irritable bowel, anxiety and depression. The conventional answer was to pop me on a birth control pill, anti-depressants and addictive anti-anxiety medications. So I tried that route, and while some of my symptoms reduced, I still felt generally ‘unwell’. I began to use ‘Dr Google’ prior to studying, and discovered that there may be underlying issues, such as untested hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies and food sensitivities. I was also working full-time in a high-pressure career and neglecting my sleep and diet. I have a typical ‘A-type’ personality, in which drive and focus can outweigh looking after my basic needs of eating, sleeping and resting. When I approached my conventional doctor to test for my nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances and food intolerances, I became disheartened as I wasn’t getting support. I respect conventional medicine and acknowledge that it has a place in healing and is excellent in urgent situations. But I knew I would need to study integrative/functional medicine, then be mentored by someone expert in the field for a considerable time, then just maybe I would be able to help myself and others who suffered similarly. Years later, I have achieved that dream, and it’s deeply rewarding to raise awareness and help others. It’s important to have enough of an understanding of both conventional medicine (although I’m not a registered GP in New Zealand) having studied pharmacology, anatomy, pathology, laboratory diagnostics etc. as standard medical students study, but also to incorporate this knowledge with the understanding of how high potency nutritional supplementation, diet, exercise and lifestyle management can encourage the body and mind to heal. I interned with an integrative GP and learned in the field. I discovered how evidence-based natural recommendations can potentially be quite powerful, yet gentle on the body.
Oftentimes, it takes great courage to speak about new and innovative concepts and to be honest with people when they are not treating themselves well. But it’s all worthwhile when I see the results of my clients and how that makes me feel.
More about my background:
Dr Kathleen currently practises Functional and Natural Medicine remotely from New Zealand in which she consults with people from all walks of life, from the very young to the elderly worldwide. Dr Kathleen genuinely believes in the holistic wellness model, active herself in multiple modalities. While she is focussed on consultations and managing her practice team, she is also working on her animal welfare charity, Om Doga™ (status being finalised) providing yoga and reiki to humans and their dogs in classes and events virtually internationally and New Zealand wide.
In the past, she has given talks for corporate and educational organisations. She’s been featured on TVNZ’s Breakfast Show, in the New Zealand Herald, Good Health Choices, Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Next and New Idea and Oh! Baby magazines. You may have heard her on with Carly Flynn on Radio Live, Newstalk ZB, Coast and the Mix FM radio stations.
She holds a US doctorate degree in Integrative Medicine and Natural Medicine, graduating first in her class. This qualification incorporates the insights of both conventional and evidence-based nutritional medicine to support the total wellness of a person. She holds a US bachelor’s degree in anthropology, studying cultural, medical, and biological aspects and research into the healing practices of the ancient Aztec culture.
She has a passion for growth and development, constantly upskilling in new methods of functional testing and integrative therapies. She is also a reiki master and Yoga Alliance yoga instructor.
Dr Kathleen is currently a member of academic honour societies Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key. Previously, she worked on a research project in Maori Health at The University of Auckland Medical School and diplomacy in international relations. She’s also an advisor for the Live More Awesome Foundation to reduce the stigma of depression.
Dr Kathleen was previously active in the community for eight years as a volunteer certified SPCA/St John’s Animal Assisted Therapist with her Siberian husky dog, Una (RIP 2017), comforting children in hospital. She now continues to support St John frontline teams through charity work and was awarded a New Zealand Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her dedication to the community and animal welfare.