Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to browse through my website. My name is Edwige Cabanetos and I would like to tell you a little bit about myself. I hope you will enjoy my story and that it helps you, in some small way, with your own journey.
From France to London
I was born in France and grew up in the countryside by the Atlantic coast. When I reached my early twenties I decided to travel and explore different horizons. My last stop was London! New life, new culture, new everything. But overall, a much faster pace of life! What you are about to read, is a brief summary of why I have become a multi-discipline holistic therapist.
From a very young age, I was chronically ill with a constant sore throat and continuous colds. I suffered from extreme sinusitis crisis and very strong migraines which meant I had to stay away from light for long periods of time. As a teenager, I had very frequent visits to my Doctor for recurrent thrush. At one stage, I was seeing my Doctor every month for about a year. My worst ailment was psoriasis which flared up every time a stressful event would occur! My wrist articulations were soaring daily since my teens and would get worse all the time.
I didn't know at the time that all these ailments were the result of too many wrong choices and bad eating habits. This pattern carried on and became more pronounced when I moved to London. I now realise that learning a new language whilst making my mark in London was a very stressful time for me and that stress directly affected my health, but I was completely unaware of the connection at the time, too distracted by the excitement of the big city.
I will never forget one of my first jobs in London. After finishing my au-pair contract, I started working as a cashier at William Hill, the bookies! What a huge learning curve that was - trying to master the English language whilst dealing with many different nationalities and a whole range of different English accents. Sometimes, this was an extremely stressful experience and environment. Then, I worked in the complaints department for a logistics company and I knew I had to start to change some of my lifestyle patterns. At this point, the stress was affecting me both physically and mentally.
London was clearly a big hit for me. I had come from a rural environment to a big city - everything became faster and life was fun, at the beginning. It was all new and exciting but it was non-stop and it started to become a bit of a problem. London is not a forgiving place. I had to learn, think, eat, and talk fast. The only way I knew how to relax in the city life was to join in with the crowd and have a "merry old drink"!
I had never addressed my health back in France, and coming to London increased my health issues threefold. Going through stressful jobs, with bad eating habits, smoking, drinking etc took my body to a very unhealthy place. As a result, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). My IBS symptoms weren't the only worry (constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and lack of motivation, to name a few). I also was constantly tired. I had a long history of antibiotic use, which clearly disrupted my bowel's microflora. I am French and France is one of the biggest consumers of antibiotics in the world! Over 633 million daily doses of antibiotics are being prescribed yearly in my country alone!
There is often an associated link between the use of antibiotics and diarrhoea in people suffering from too much stress. This cycle creates a disturbance in the guts' microbiota, allowing the bad bacteria to grow stronger, causing diarrhoea (eg: Clostridium Difficile being part of the bad bacterias' colonies in our bowel). Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea (ADD) can also be a risk factor for IBS development.
I realised that something needed to change and change quickly and change fundamentally.
From Pain to Health
The body is designed for survival and is an extremely powerful tool that is able to self-heal, if, we give it a chance. Of course, I could have carried on with my life and adapted to the pain and discomfort just as I had done for years. Instead, I became interested in my digestive system and started to learn about it. I had had enough of the pain and discomfort and wanted to learn how to get better.
I had literally taken myself to the point of misery, with an increasing number of appalling symptoms and a lot of pain - it was beginning to spoil my social life! What I really had to do was to re-evaluate my diet, my lifestyle, my habits and start on a completely new basis.
You can read the lifestyle changes I started to make below. Step by step I started to regain my health and vitality.
I joined a gym and started a regular exercise routine, working out between one and three times a week.
Having smoked since I was 11 years old, I was ready to give up. This was one of the hardest thing I've ever had to do. It took me four attempts before succeeding.
I strongly recommend you to do it with someone.
As a first step, to dealing with sugar addiction, I started to reduce my sugar intake by not adding sugar to my hot beverages. I then conciously reduced my everyday processed sugar consumption until I only had processed sugary treats at weekends.
I used to strain so much from chronic constipation that it led to a very lazy bowel, creating a vicious circle - slow bowel led to more straining which led to a slow bowel etc. My gut's nervous system (Enteric nervous system) was under such a high level of stress that it got confused between the physical and emotional burden!
When my microwave broke down, I threw it away and bought a steamer and slow cooker instead. I started steaming, stir-frying, slow-cooking and grilling my food.
I eventually started to remove the most commonly reactive foods; wheat, dairy, corn, sugar, soya, eggs, peanuts, from my diet. I did this with one food type at a time, for a full month.
I cut down my alcohol intake dramatically. I found that alcohol made me put on weight very quickly. After six months, it became an occasional treat.
I saved up a kitty when I stopped smoking and used the money to invest in a juicer and a blender. I really enjoyed the benefits of organic fresh fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies. I eventually focused on greens and stopped the fruits juices, as I felt it was affecting my moods by spiking my blood sugar levels.
I wanted to improve my hydration. I started with one 250ml glass of lukewarm water, first thing in the morning, adding a slice of organic lemon to it and building up to 2.5L per day.
I completely changed my skin-washing routine and started to use chemical-free products.
COMING OFF THE WAGON
If you fall back into some of your old habits, hopefully, not all of them, then this is the time when you must listen to and be aware of your body's responses and warning signs. It is really important and actually beneficial to do this; to realise how much your body has gained from your commitment to better health.
When you go through this process you will realise the significance of the improvements you have made. Always remember the way you used to feel before you regained your health and how much work you had to put in to stay healthy; this will naturally put you back on track!
If I didn’t exercise for a small period of time, I started to feel depressed and lethargic. My sleep was affected, my sugar craving increased, my thrush would re-occur and my stress increased, triggering my psoriasis! If I had dairy products on a daily basis for over a week my wrist would start hurting again, I’d have excess mucus production giving me a stuffy nose and a skin rash! If I had alcohol I’d have a loose bowel and I’d feel depressed the next day; my bowel movement would start to become irregular and I wanted to start straining again. In essence, I was losing my health again.
As soon as I went back to the new way I felt happy, motivated, positive and good, overall. As you reach your balance you will naturally carry on evolving to the next obvious step that suits you. I did things I thought weren't possible. I made lifestyle adjustments that I felt were necessary to stay focused and keep listening to my body's needs:
I got rid of my T.V
I got rid of my microwave
Embarked on more self-development and education
Made my own music compilation to listen to for stress management
Listened to adverts-free radio channels
Limited my shopping in big supermarkets
Got weekly to fortnight organic foods deliveries from local farmers
To this day, I am still adjusting to what I feel is necessary for my body to stay balanced.
From Passive to Active
I started to re-evaluate what I really wanted to do in life. It was time to make a plan of attack that I felt I could achieve; I felt in tune with myself and able to fulfil my life purpose. Ironically, my health issues were the trigger and wake-up for me to focus on what I wanted to do, professionally. My gut condition took me back to health education, and a real journey started for me at this point. I knew then what the plan was going to be, and started to put it into action. I wrote down my ambitions, the step by step process and the end goal! It all started to fall into place.
My educational journey truly started years before I went back to College to study the complementary therapies that I now offer. I needed to go through the process of connecting with my health issues and rebalancing myself in order to gain a real understanding of myself and what I wanted from life.
I began to realise that my experience with my own health issues and my approach to resolving them could potentially help other people. I started to attend educational seminars and quickly moved to formal education. I have studied and am qualified in Colonic Hydrotherapy, Reflexology, Essential Oil Therapy, Live Blood Analysis, Naturopathic Nutrition and Clinical Hypnosis.
Having obtained this broad base of knowledge, made up of personal experience and formal education, I started to develop protocols for people to follow in order to improve their health or to help support and resolve specific issues.
My vision is still developing and building up to the place I wanted it to be when I first wrote my plan and that’s what the journey is about. Making it happen! Of course, it comes with difficulties, but these hurdles are part of the process and are needed to make you stronger. As I always say, it is only the universe at work… which is actually you… but that’s for another writing piece for another time.
From Old to New Routines
One of many things I have learnt throughout my own journey to a more balanced health is that my body definitely thrives on diversity. By diversity, I mean the food I eat, the exercise I do, my lifestyle choices and type of friends I make. Even my own living space. Changing things around a couple of times a year, to bring a fresh look to my living space always feels so good for the mind, especially in a city like London! My friends have probably lost count of the many times I have re-arranged my place!
When it comes to giving your body what it needs, I believe it is important to break routines now and then. Changes are what you might find hard to make at first, but it is, in my experience, what improved my overall well-being. It gave me the right "terrain" for steadier health. By listening to my body and recognizing its needs for changes throughout the years, I have been able to channel my energy towards a more significant way forward, but mostly keeping me on track towards my life goals.
I learnt how to take a more natural approach towards my body's ailments. As I opened myself up to new possibilities, I incorporated a combination of complementary therapies that worked for me alongside my self-development and recognised their impact on my health improvement. Reflexology, Naturopathic Nutrition, Colonic Irrigation, Live Blood Analysis, and Aromatherapy have been those holistic tools for me. As I became more connected with these complementary therapies I educated myself about them so that I could guide others towards their own health improvement. Health is an ongoing journey and I encourage you to explore and find the right combination that works for your health enhancement.
The complementary therapies I offer address the body on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. I believe in awareness and that the body becomes healthier when all these areas are in balance. Using holistic tools to understand your body's needs, can help you embark on an empowering journey to a more harmonious health.
There is a really powerful connection between our mind, body and soul, that is sometimes completely dismissed. I came across many people from all walks of life since I started practising, and the subject that always ends up by being addressed is the gut and its impact on their health. This amazing organ which, from my point of view, is the centre of our health, is not always understood. Its direct connection with our brain is what makes our life interesting on so many levels, but can also turn it into a real turmoil.
Please, read about stress here for a better understanding of the brain and gut connection, and its impact on our health.
Finding the right combination of complementary therapies, that support detoxification and stress-relief, is a good start. All the therapies I came across during my own health recovery journey were part of bringing me to a more harmonious being. It didn't happen overnight but I eventually attuned to the right combination by keeping an open mind towards the process. My ongoing journey has led me to a Clinical-Hypnosis post-graduate degree; a great tool that guided me to a deeper understanding of the unconscious mind and its influence on our own body's healing mechanism.
I've had an interest in Clinical-Hypnosis ever since I acknowledged how my mind took part in my gut's stress-related issue and its health improvement. This part of our inner-self that we like to call "unconsciousness"; that inner-voice we cannot really explain but has a role to play in our health. Hypnosis helps you reach out to this inner-voice and bring it forward in order to improve your health. I will be able to add this empowering technique in a near future to a concept that I am working on. A concept I am creating to allow others to engage in lifestyle changes and transitions.
I hope you enjoyed reading my journey and that it helps you to make the decisions that you feel are right for your own health improvement. Please, feel free to call me and ask questions about any of the therapies I offer at 4 Balance and Health.