I believe I have a health story that resonates. I used to think my story was unique. I used to feel isolated, embarrassed and hopeless by the many strange and seemingly unanswerable symptoms my body was experiencing. But now, after helping thousands of clients since 2003, I have observed just how common these health concerns really are and how many people are struggling with health issues that are not recognized by mainstream medicine. On a daily basis I see the frustrating, undiagnosable symptoms affecting my clients the same way they used to affect me. And, like me, people are searching for real answers that are safe, natural, and permanent. But all too often they are coming up empty handed or are totally overwhelmed by the amount of conflicting information out there. I personally understand that experience first hand. That’s actually how I got into this career in the first place.
I look at my health journey as a gift. Before I started researching my own health problems, I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. I actually spent my twenties wandering around Greece, Europe, and Ecuador, where I opened a cafe. But after my health crashed in my late twenties, due to an unhealthy lifestyle and high stress, I moved back to the United States and received help from a practitioner who used Nutrition Response Testing.
The first time I experienced Nutrition Response Testing I found it strange and unbelievable because it was very different from anything that I had experienced before. But I got better! And instantly a light bulb went off for me - I knew that I was going to learn this technique and that I would help volumes of people. I knew I had found my life’s purpose and passion. Since that moment I have been on an inexhaustible path to healing my own body and teaching others how to heal theirs. As a matter of fact, the mission statement for my practice is “to help as many people as humanly possibly without the use of unnecessary drugs or surgery”. And we have been doing exactly that since our doors opened in Ithaca, NY in 2006.
The thing about experiencing a lifelong health struggle is that I can relate to every single person who comes through our doors. I have personally experienced and recovered from nearly everything you can imagine. During my childhood I rarely felt well, I had nagging aches and pains and I always had stomach problems and headaches. I used to wake up in the middle of night screaming and crying because of “growing pains”. By my twenties I had become nearly non-functional. I was “labeled” with a variety of illnesses such as celiac disease, hypoglycemia, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, environmental illness, heavy metal and chemical toxicity, migraine and tension headaches, hormonal imbalances, acne, leaky gut syndrome, heart palpitations, adrenal fatigue, Raynaud’s phenomenon, candidiasis, non-specific autoimmune disease, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. That list goes on and on and I was even screened for multiple sclerosis and ALS because my entire body chronically hurt and my muscles twitched.
I spent a small fortune trying nearly every modality in both conventional and alternative medicine. Most doctors and experts had little to offer me other than medications with horrible side effects, and after all options were exhausted, I was frequently offered anti-depressants. I took a lot of medicines but I never took the anti-depressants because I knew I wasn’t depressed - I was in pain! I was often told there was nothing seriously wrong with me, that it was “all in my head”, that I should “just enjoy life” or that I would “grow out of it”. But I could barely get out of bed! I felt desperate and unheard.
What I have learned on my long journey is that the body is self healing. It is designed to heal! We just have to let it. I discovered that all those previously mentioned diagnoses were merely symptoms related to one thing – malnutrition. I was shocked when I learned this. After all, in my mid-twenties I owned a natural foods café and ate what I considered a healthy diet (lots of fruit, fruit juice, whole wheat bread and bagels, and I took LOTS of synthetic mega-dose vitamins). But then I learned about food intolerances and how they affect the body. I also learned the difference between traditional nourishing foods and whole food supplements versus faddist so-called “health foods” and synthetic supplements. I am so happy to say that I am now in the best health of my life! In my 40’s I am actually experiencing the vital, robust health that alluded me my entire life. How many people can say that they are growing “younger” and healthier as they are growing older!? I have zero diagnoses, I take zero medications and my labs are perfect. I accomplished this entirely through a whole foods diet, whole food supplements and a healthy lifestyle - all designed specifically for me as an individual through Nutrition Response Testing.
The combined experience of healing my own body along with helping thousands of clients improve their own health, has given me total certainty and know-how in this arena. It takes a personalized team-work approach. You have to be willing, you have to make the effort, and yes, it will take time. But it works! It is important to remember that real cellular healing takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight. In this fast-paced world we tend to look for quick fixes and lose patience. Although I felt better immediately, it took me over a year to feel real vitality and it’s taken me many years to build my body to optimal health. As long as we are alive and have bodies, we will always be working on health issues, and there is also this pesky thing called the aging process :-). But natural aging is very different than the devastating effects of degeneration and disease. We have to consider how long our bodies have been under stress and realize that it takes time and commitment to achieve superior health. As I embrace middle age myself and watch my mother enter her 80’s with vigor, I am enormously grateful I have found this path and that I have learned how to share it with others, so they too can experience vibrant health!
Tara Lambert, Founder of Nutritional Wellness Center