September 20, 2019 |

“For more than 10 years, I have been on a journey to restore my health and improve my wellness. What began with Lyme Disease in 2008 became a myriad of other potential issues – a pattern of Lupus and a marker for Sjogren’s in my blood, arthritis in my spine, and finally, fibromyalgia. Through much of my twenties, I struggled with wide-spread discomfort, brain fog, muscle weakness, and fatigue. It slowed me down – with my career, with my ability to teach yoga, and to generally care for myself in ways that would really help my body to heal. Over the years I saw many doctors, found that while Plaquenil helped the overall Sjogren’s symptoms it created sun sensitivity, and I began to understand just how connected the mind and body are in overall wellness.

It was such a relief for me to see Dr. Henri Balaguera because he saw me as a whole person, not just an illness to treat. Dr. Balaguera spent time with me to learn not just about how my daily habits and diet were impacting my health, but to better understand how the events throughout my life may have contributed to creating disease and imbalances in my body. I had been doing so much work on my own through hypnosis and coaching to release emotional distress, and I felt truly seen as he listened and encouraged me to go deeper. We talked about my tendency to treat stress and other emotions with food, usually of the fast variety, and Dr. Balaguera asked me to go on an elimination diet.

At first I felt nervous, but as I looked at the recipes and shopping lists I was given, I felt more at ease because it was in line with how I tried to eat whenever I changed my diet. However, the reason I hadn’t kept with diet changes in the past is because of the flu-like feeling I got as I removed gluten, dairy, and sugar from my diet. Prior to visiting Groton Wellness, I had considered trying a keto diet and talked about it with a colleague, who warned me about the “keto flu.” Having this information was really empowering as I started to feel sick in the first week of the elimination diet. I was open with my colleagues about the changes I was making, and everyone was supportive when I needed to work from home or take some time to rest – and they encouraged me to stay strong because it would pass soon. 

I also struggled for the first week with cravings, and my mind trying to negotiate why it was ok for me to have steak and telling me I’m not really going to give up pizza anyway. I shared my frustrations with my partner, who compassionately listened and stayed supportive, and I allowed myself to really feel into the thoughts and cravings to understand their root, rather than cave to the demands. Soon enough, they passed, and being on the diet felt more empowering than it did restrictive.

The results have been amazing:

  • My digestion has improved and food cravings have disappeared.
  • I am sleeping better than ever, and my skin no longer becomes itchy or crawly at night.
  • The inflammation in my body, which had been such a constant, is gone.
  • I have more energy than I have had since I was 18 years old. People regularly tell me that I am glowing.
  • I’m back to practicing yoga in a studio instead of just at home, and I am able to work on a passion project to help others transform their wellness, too.

I am so grateful for the transformative counsel Dr. Balaguera has given me, and even more thrilled that I have a doctor who has prescribed me red peppers, avocados, raw broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. It really is the medicine I’ve been craving.”

~ Laura Paine

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