This month’s testimonial features our client Melissa Barnhill. Melissa had been living day by day, feeling lack of control with many aspects of her life and her health. She ultimately wanted to learn how to take back more control in her life, and improve her ability to slow down her mind and actions to be more structured with her intentions in life.
History – how was Melissa’s life impacted by her health concerns?
“Before I started working with Epic I was surviving, I was doing what I thought I had to do to move through life and stay safe. My focus was to just get through the day, I rarely thought about the next day and never planned for the future. Most of my energy went into taking care and considering the opinions and judgments of me from other people as truth. I was throwing whatever food was convenient and it was mostly sugary foods. I had asthma for years, it progressively got worse and landed me in the hospital/ICU 3 times in one year. I was not living, I was slowly dying and I wasn’t even 40 yet.”
Taking Action – what did we implement to help [client]?
We implemented thorough laboratory testing, including full blood panel, stool chemistry, food sensitivities, and neurotransmitter testing. We learned of many hormonal imbalances and nutritional imbalances/deficiencies that showed evidence of why Melissa struggled, in part, with anxiety and a feeling of hyper-activity / thoughts. In addition to targeted supplementation to balance out these findings, we also implemented a step by step process of coaching through hydration, then diet, then movement, stress management, and lastly sleep.
For Melissa, it was life-changing for her to learn what it looked like to slow down and tackle these healthy lifestyle pieces one at a time, which is a big part of the health coaching process. We encouraged Melissa to practice how to focus on just one or two things at a time, which empowered her to make changes in her lifestyle habits instead of becoming overwhelmed and stuck in previous habits and thought patterns.
Of all the aspects implemented in Melissa’s clinical care and health coaching, the most foundational one Melissa implemented sooner rather than later was EPIC’s recommendations/guidance on meditation/mindfulness. Specifically with structuring a consistent morning routine and to set her priorities and intentions for the day.
“Epic helped me step back and get a clear view of where I was in life and they met me there. They took my hand and showed me, in a caring, constructive and simple way how to move forward toward a healthy, healing, happy life! I made this choice to get healthy because I love my family so much, I want to give them the best of me, this time is precious and I only have one opportunity to lay a healthy foundation and guide them toward their own path in life. Troy, Olivia, Brookelyn, Stella, Liam, Mria and Alex – these people are my motivation. Doctor Bradley and Rachel listened to my concerns, they were very confident the Epic plan would help get me unstuck, I knew I was in the right place. My coach Dan is one of the neatest people I’ve ever met, he gave me the tools, knowledge and the space to grow. Coach Natalie and her consistent positive attitude and passion to help shined through on every zoom class. In Epic I found and environment and people who are deeply knowledgeable about how to turn your health concerns into empowerment for me to live the healthy and full life I was born to live”
Melissa’s progress was both steady and accelerated. As seen below, she started with a baseline symptom score of 148 (considered quite high), and then dropped to as low as 26 in just 5 months. For context, we find most of our healthiest clients being around 25 points or lower. Towards the beginning showed the biggest leap of progress, mainly with simple additions of hydrating at least 100 oz a day, a diet mostly cleared of inflammatory foods, and with a new morning routine to set her mind in the right place for the day.
Melissa shares her perspective,
“My life has changed immensely! I slowed my life down for the first time and began to picture what life would look like if I make a choice to take care of my physical health, if I bet on myself for once, how would this impact my life. By putting myself first, I became a better mom and partner. For the first time, I don’t have to rely on my inhaler to breathe anymore, I believe I can do anything, I believe my future is bright and that I am on the right path. I had no idea why I was rushing around, why I was eating donuts and candy mindlessly. I did not feel good about how I was modeling these unhealthy habits to our 6 kids.”
Overall, Melissa’s symptoms and mindset drastically improved. In fact, although she saw great improvements in overall physical symptoms, arguably her greatest gain was transforming her mindset/perspective – finding a supportive environment that encouraged her to elevate how she viewed herself, her purpose, and restructuring her life.
“. . . Through working with EPIC I can see that there are so many more people like you guys in the world. My world has been filled with so much darkness – most of the people, places, things and my perspective were in a dark place, I couldn’t see a clear life sustaining path for myself. The foundation of EPIC is so strong and good, this is the kind of foundation EPIC helped me see existed, it helped me see its a strong foundation I too can create for myself and my life. THIS IS THE STUFF LIFE IS ALL ABOUT!!!! I could have a wonderful pity party for all the yucky things I’ve uncovered and dug deep to realize. I can see how the life I was living – every aspect was slowly killing me. Now…well I know for certain that I will not be the ultimate cause of my own death or demise. Although it’s embarrassing to admit these missteps, I learned to see them all as not the end of the world but a chance to grow, change and contribute in a healthy and healing way. Thank you all for believing in me and for showing up as your best self each day. . . . Epic and this journey is the jet fuel that I needed to move through the darkness and I am so lucky to be a part of this group in any form. I want to learn, I want to help, and you all have created the perfect environment for people to do this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”