Here’s a little memoir about myself, my health journey, how I overcame my own autoimmune & endometriosis symptoms when I was in the worst place of my life and harnessed my nervous system sensitivity as a superpower—when nothing else I tried worked, and how I got myself better than I’ve ever been in my life.
(And yes, I will eventually write a book…for those inquiring minds who’ve gently reminded me several times!)
If you don’t already know, my name is Michelle Dowker—Naturopathic Doctor (ND) turned Emotional Transformation Facilitator (wha??). You’ll understand what this term means as I explain my story.
I worked several years as an ND in family practice using diet, lifestyle, stress management, natural supplements, homeopathy, flower essences, and functional lab testing to help people improve their health and prevent disease.
Trained to find the root cause of the problem, what I saw over and over was stress was a huge contributing factor to health problems.
Then I had my own health episode myself.
After a series of stressors, including the passing of my mother, I ended up with the worst endometriosis and autoimmune flare I’d ever experienced.
I was debilitated. My life was literally slipping away as I continued to lose function for even day-to-day activities.
I used all the tools I knew to try to recover: supplements, homeopathics, and of course, diet.
I was already paleo, so I went all the way to low-carb AIP, and still wasn’t getting any better.
I discovered meat-only carnivore, which got me back on my feet quickly. It seemed like a miracle and opened my eyes to concepts I hadn’t learned in naturopathic college.
But this extreme dietary change only got me so far. I plateaued with results, and sensitivities to foods worsened—to the point that certain meats were becoming problematic.
I felt like I was backed into a corner.
I had to admit to myself that the trigger for my health flare was stress—the exact thing I’ve found as a common theme with my patients over years of practicing as an ND.
But stress management techniques only got me so far, as to be expected. They help in the moment, but don’t get to the root of the stress response in the first place.
I went on a journey of inner healing. I’d tried everything else. It was time.
I confirmed for myself some important truths:
– The experiences you had and behaviour modelled to you during your developmental years (before the age of eight) impacts your beliefs—about yourself, others, and life in general, including situations and events.
– These beliefs shape your emotional reactions—to yourself, others, and life in general.
– These emotional reactions impact your actions and behaviours—towards yourself, others, and life in general.
– Stress responses are actions or behaviours, which were triggered by an emotional response that you had, that was brought on by a belief that you hold—about yourself, others, or the situation or event.
So trying to change the stress response—which is trying to change a behaviour, will only get you so far, and typically provides only temporary results—because there’s layers deeper that drive the behaviour in the first place.
Digging deeper is looking at the emotional responses, and deeper still, your beliefs you created in your subconscious during those vital developmental years.
The most important set of beliefs?
The beliefs about YOURSELF. And what you understand about yourself
These beliefs and self-understanding shape your relationship with you, and this is the foundation of every single relationship you encounter in your life.
When you become aware of your beliefs about yourself and relationship with yourself, the resultant emotions about yourself, and behaviours towards yourself—and heal those—everything else changes. Seriously.
It’s like the tumbler pins all line up when you insert this most important key into the lock & the door opens—to a whole new perspective on life.
When you change your perspective and see it all differently because you’ve healed the foundational key, your mind, body, and soul heal. Relationships with others heal. You find calm confidence, joy, and purpose like you’ve never experienced.
When this happens, your life changes in beautiful ways.
For me, it was the missing piece of my puzzle I needed for both my physical & emotional healing.
I had some beliefs about myself that were impacting my relationship about myself, based on my own past experiences.
One important thing I learned about myself is that I’m a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).
Fifteen to twenty percent of the population has this trait, and it’s characterized by a nervous system that filters less information coming in. This can bombard the system, increasing the stress response—which impacts health in so many ways.
As it turns out, because of the nervous system-immune system connection, those of us with up-regulated nervous systems have a higher chance of developing conditions of immune dysfunction, like autoimmune and endometriosis.
Being highly sensitive was something I was told was a flaw. I had always believed that there was something wrong with me because of it—a very deeply ingrained belief about myself.
This belief impacted me in so many ways. Understanding the truth—that this trait can actually be a superpower once you learn how to harness it—helped me shift my perspective about myself & heal a deep wound I had carried for many years.
There were some other beliefs about myself that I also worked on healing, and the work towards continued growth and transformation continues—I can only take my clients as far as I take myself, so I intend to soar high.
Once I did this work for myself, I moved past my stall and felt even better than I ever had. And tolerance to foods improved—to the point where I could reintroduce many different foods back into my diet again.
Now, don’t get me wrong, diet is important. It’s biochemical information for your body.
So I still maintain a paleo style of eating, with emphasis on making sure I get adequate nutrient-dense animal protein. But I no longer have to stay strict on a carnivore only protocol.
And the clients I work with now find the same for themselves.
I now work mostly with women who also resonate with traits like HSP, empath, or neurodivergent, who often also have an autoimmune condition or endometriosis.
The women I see have, like me, gone through the gamut of all the diets, medications, supplements, and even therapy.
They’ve seen some improvement, but they know there’s more to be had, and they know that this inner healing work is their missing piece of the puzzle—and they’re done trying to figure it out on their own.
I guide them through the process I developed for myself—using tools and techniques I picked up along the way in my 10+ years of naturopathic practice—but not to “fix” them…but rather to guide them back to their own inner knowing, self-love, and self-understanding.
Paired with that is my special talent to sleuth out, identify, and connect the pieces of your puzzle as you speak. It’s like I can sense the story beneath the words you use, to help you see the real truth underneath.
I attribute this knack to my high level of sensitivity, along with a very specific way I learned how to ask questions and listen for answers from my homeopathy training at naturopathic college.
It’s a deeply transformative process that’s designed to guide you towards your own inner perspective shift that changes everything. Like it did for me.
It’s life-changing work. I can attest to this, and so many of my clients have told me the same. I have several testimonials from women who were more than happy to share the details of their transformation and how this work changed their lives, and the collection continues to grow.
This work is bigger than me.
It’s born from my own life journey, education, and most importantly, my own life struggles that I turned into gold. I alchemized my pain, if you will—so that I could help others discover how to do the same for themselves.
This is the story of my life. And the story continues to be written.
If you’ve been wondering why I talk about the subjects that I do, this is why.
My hope is to inspire others to find their own self-healing journey, and find their remedy within. Healing your relationship with you is such an important piece of that puzzle.
I see many struggling to find solutions externally, hoping the next best diet or treatment will fix them.
I, too, have been in that camp.
And there is benefit to making adjustments to your diet and lifestyle.
But there’s a limit to where that can take you.
And looking externally puts you in a cycle of seeking that can take your power away, leaving you feeling stuck, frustrated, and even hopeless.
I’ve discovered with this journey just how much further you can go. And it’s a beautiful voyage. It puts you back in the driver’s seat of your life in every way.
I hope you find my posts helpful or inspirational in some way.
If you get any “aha” moments from anything I post, I’d love to hear about them if you care to share. It fuels me to know that others benefit from my work.
And if you deeply resonate with my journey and who I help, you think my process might be right for you, and you’re already involved in this work and you’re looking for a mentor to help you skyrocket your success more quickly and deeply, or you know this work is the next step in your journey, I’d love to hear from you.
Click here to send me a private message or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll chat to see if what I have to offer works for you, and whether you’re a fit for my programs.