Hi, I'm Larissa!
20 years ago I was a young mum struggling with anxiety and gut issues. I was tired all the time and often felt unwell. I felt like no one really understood how I felt, and I was at a point where I didn’t know what to eat and my anxiety was always there and really getting in the way of me enjoying my life. I remember coming across an advertisement for a herbalist in the yellow pages (that was marketing back in the 90’s!) – it was a little ad and I somehow connected with it and I made an appointment to see the lady.
From the moment I arrived at my appointment I felt welcome. It was the smell of calming essential oils, the warmth of a cup of tea and a comfy space to share my story.
For the first time in my life I had found a practitioner who wanted to listen to me, what I was experiencing and what I wanted help with. She asked me questions no one had ever asked before, like ‘what are you eating?’ and ‘how well do you sleep?’.
When the consultation concluded she went into a little room and made me up a herbal formula. I remember thinking this was absolutely fantastic. I loved the brown glass bottle it came in and the earthy smell of the herbs but most of all I loved that the formula she made me was just for me. It wasn’t a one size fits all product based on what the majority of people need, it was created based on the consult I’d just had.
This experience had such a big impact on me that I started to dream about being a naturopath so that I could help other women like me regain their health. I started to research courses but at the time my life was so busy with little children and so I put off my dream for another 15 years. The pull to study natural health was really strong though, and I finally took the big step and enrolled in the naturopathic degree and committed to 4 full time years of study.
As anxiety had played such a huge part of my life so far, starting something like this meant overcoming some massive hurdles that began with getting in the lift in the carpark. I wasn’t going to let this or anything else stop me though and I showed up every day and worked through my feelings of self-doubt and fear.
A big part of studying naturopathy was to support other people experiencing similar health issues to me – I knew there were ways to feel better and have more energy. But I also wanted to be able to balance my family life with my work, as family continues to be my currency and I wanted to spend time with my husband and children (and grandchildren!). With the knowledge I have gained during my study I also have gained a greater appreciation of having balance in life and I knew this was so important for my own wellbeing.
I also realised that studying really satisfied a deep desire I had for knowledge. I’ve always loved reading and learning new skills and I found that studying health and especially from a wholistic perspective really fulfilled this need.
When I think back to the seed that was planted on that day I saw the herbalist, I realise how far I’ve come with my own health. I still struggle with anxiety or gut issues from time to time when I’m tired or I have a lot going on, but I now have the skills to get back in balance quickly. My goal as a naturopath continues to be helping women throughout the different stages of their lives and to support them in a way that they feel heard and empowered to take the steps needed to feel at their best and achieve their dreams.
If my story resonates with you, I’d love to support you on your journey. Whether that’s improving your nutrition, correcting deficiencies so you have more energy in your day, or supporting your nervous system with nutritional and herbal medicine to help you manage your busy life, I will listen to you and work with you to create a plan just for you.