Holistic Practitioner Spotlight with Dr. Birgitte Tan, a Grief Transformational Coach
Tell Us a Story About a Client Whose Grief Blocked All Other Efforts to Heal Her Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Martha, a 34-year-old woman who heard about my work with grief counseling, came to me following a recent job loss. She reported that she was terminated due to poor performance, which she attributed to her painful Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms affecting her work and attendance.
Martha identified that she started having symptoms of IBS four years prior – a year after she got married – with her symptoms getting worse and more frequent over time. Despite conventional and alternative treatments, relief was only temporary, and she now suffered exhaustion and depression, claiming she “had no energy to get out of bed and couldn’t stop crying.”
What Specific Treatments Had Martha Tried for IBS Relief Before Seeking Out Your Services?
As many others who suffer with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Martha first went with the traditional route of medications for her IBS symptoms and well as anti-depressants for her feelings of despair. She also explored holistic care from herbs, acupuncture, colonics, multiple cleanses, and detoxification programs. In addition, Martha tried counseling and even grief support groups. At best, relief from any of these modalities was temporary.
How Does Grief Play a Role in Chronic Health Problems?
Grief is not only from death, divorce, or dire diagnosis. Grief, according to the Grief Recovery Institute, is the unsettling feelings caused by a change in familiar routine. This means any change can potentially cause someone to grieve.
Grief is cumulative and as many studies have shown, can be toxic physically as well as psychologically. Lack of this awareness can lead to someone having unresolved grief and eventual physical maladies. Therefore, you want to be regularly mindful of any losses or grief that you experience and address it as soon as possible.
What Was Your Course of Action for Relieving Her IBS and What Was the Outcome?
Martha enrolled in an 8-week Grief Recovery Program™, which helped her recognize and recover from the losses she experienced (changes in lifestyle and location) after she got married. As she progressed through the grief recovery program, Martha noticed that her IBS symptoms started to improve and subside. From there, Martha was able to navigate her current work situation better. Her symptoms stayed resolved for three years.
At the recurrence of the IBS symptoms, Martha decided to revisit her grief recovery tools and could identify multiple recent world events that caused her to grieve. Following navigation and resolution of her recent grief, Martha’s IBS symptoms quickly resolved.
Why and When Did You Choose the Holistic, Integrative, or Natural Health Path?
I was introduced to the natural health path as I grew up in Asia. It is customary for the Chinese-Indonesians to seek out holistic care in addition to traditional (allopathic) medicine. Therefore, I grew up noticing the benefits of both approaches to health care.
As an adult, I experienced a multitude of grief – divorce, cancer, death of loved ones, and financial loss – all of which occurred within 2 years. This brought me to learn about grief transformation: how to transform tragedies to triumph easily and quickly. Learning the skills to turn tears into treasures, I now help others effortlessly let go of their difficulties and become everything they are meant to be.
Dr. Birgitte Tan is a global speaker, #1 international best-selling author, Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, Certified Life Mastery coach, and Diplomate ACVIM (Oncology).
Her passion is in empowering you and your loved ones so that you THRIVE even in the face of adversities and WIN with more ease and fun.
Dr. Tan is a successful Board-Certified Veterinarian specialist and founder of Dance Away Sadness: Move Beyond Your Grief™ support system.
Dr. Birgitte Tan
Grief Transformation Coach
Westlake Village, CA USA
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