Welcome back to A Magical Life Podcast. We’re joined today by Aline McCarthy who will be talking about Movement and Fascia Health.
Aline is a Functional Health Solutions practitioner and a certified health coach, fashion movement therapist, aromatherapist, and a Gyro tonic teacher. Welcome, Aline!
Now, what is gyro tonic?
“The gyro tonic method is a beautiful movement system that has been developed by a ballet dancer and is really very much, to me anyway, all about the fascia, the connective tissue of the body.
Of course, you’re going to be exercising your muscles, but it is so intrinsically set up to really support the connective tissue inside your joints. It’s really decompressing for your body and your joints, and so I find it an amazing healing modality that really tied in with the hands on fascia work that I had previously trained in.
The way I got into it was through my own back injuries and chronic pain that I had, and I did the first Gyrotonic class and all these light bulbs went on in my head of like, “Oh my god, this is exactly what I’m trying, you know what I’m doing with people with my hands but I’m actually now doing it myself in a movement form.” So it was instantly extremely fascinating to me and of course, I had to keep going and become a teacher myself.”
Aline, you’re passionate about helping your clients love their body and their mind to get back to vibrant cellular health and energy. Why is that?
“I have had a long history of struggling with chronic back pain because I have scoliosis, but also I grew up in the 80s eating a lot of sugar and having a lot of antibiotics and not the healthiest diet.
Even in my 20s when I became a vegetarian for 13 years and I thought I was doing all the right things but I basically just ate a lot of carbs and more sugar, and wasn’t really very well informed on how or what it meant to be on a really good plant based diet.
So when I had my big health crisis after my second child was born I basically had a lot of ligament tears around my pelvis and I was then sort of spiraling down being put on really heavy pain medication, and Valium and all sorts of other prescription medication from different neurosurgeons and people that I was seeing at the time. And then I ended up seeing rheumatologists or, different sorts of inflammatory doctors that would then diagnose me with rheumatoid arthritis.
This was absolutely devastating to me at the time because I literally thought my life would sort of end in a wheelchair and I didn’t know that there are ways to actually help your body heal from that inflammation. I really had to hit rock bottom with that until one day I decided I can’t be a victim anymore.
I stopped taking all of the pain medication and really started healing my gut and saw an integrative doctor who helped me do a whole lot of testing. And obviously, go through a program of eliminating trigger foods and really going after my gut health and therefore reducing my inflammation.
Obviously, seeing an osteopath and doing you know, keep going with my movement and keep strengthening my back as well. So everything came together very holistically, but in the end, I’m very healthy and thriving today. And I can lift very heavy weights and I don’t have rheumatoid arthritis.
So I’m very, very passionate about spreading that message and showing other people out there who are, you know, left, let down by the mainstream medical system, unfortunately. Which is so valuable, but in these sort of chronic things, sometimes you can really feel quite isolated, quite left, you know, to your own devices, no one is really coordinating the information between different specialists for you. And so you become more and more disoriented with your own healing journey. And I can’t even imagine how it would be for someone who has cancer or a really severe condition because it must be so hard even just keeping the communication up between different health practitioners.”
Aline, our team can tell you firsthand what it’s like having cancer and all medical modern medical professionals from Western medicine, give you the worst case scenario. And when you’re in a really vulnerable position, getting that label, getting that diagnosis, the worst case scenario is often all you can hear and comprehend. And you know, as with you with your rheumatoid arthritis you immediately went to, is my life going to end in a wheelchair? When you have something like cancer, it’s the same. You know, am I going to be isolated in my last days? What is that going to look like for me? And you’re right modern medicine – there’s no one guiding that, there’s no facilitator. It’s up to the patient, or the client who is often not in the right headspace to do that.
“Yeah. 100% so I got like, more and more down on myself, I got severely anxious about everything, I still had to care for two small children. One of them was actually a baby and you know, lifting them around wasn’t very nice on top of everything else. And so – and you know, taking prescription drugs also made me heavily sedated as well. And they made me slightly crazy. And as soon as I actually had weaned myself off these pain medications, I was so much better already.
It was like a night and day difference, and there I was having another hundred prescriptions basically in my drawer because the GP and the other doctors were convinced that that’s what I was going to be on. And so they didn’t even want to see me anymore.
They just gave me you know, “here are your next 50 prescriptions for more codeine” sort of thing. And every time I would say to them, I don’t want to take that stuff. It makes me feel really horrible. I don’t want to take more of that. I need help, and they would just not have any help for me, you know.
I’m not blaming them, but I had to come to my own conclusion going, “hang on. Actually, these medications are making me worse. They’re not making me better. I’m going to stop taking them and I’m going to take that risk, how it feels in that moment because it’s going against your doctor’s advice. And, and I’m gonna try and find another solution.” But I’m obviously so glad that I did and, – as I said I was already 50% better after even just weaning myself off that medication because my body had become very addicted to it, unfortunately.”
Any information that we share here today on the podcast is by no means to replace information from your doctors. But more just a little message to the listeners out there. We hope that you can take away some of what we have said today and apply it to your life. Aline, what can your expertise do to help people accelerate their health, be it emotional, spiritual, or physical?
“With my very unique skill set of doing hands on work, but combining movement into it, but also combining the health coaching, and you know the integrative nutrition health coaching that I do, and the functional Health Solutions, I can really offer a quite holistic and very compassionate view as well because I’ve had my own struggles, so I can really see if someone who has a chronic pain issue might be having underlying problems like gut health, or liver health and stuff like that as well, which very often it is.
So I see that more and more. The more I keep learning about the body and how it functions as a whole ecosystem, the body and the mind are not disconnected. They are one and so is our gut-brain connection, and so is our microbiome a communication with our outside world and in our inside world.
And the more I can see that we need someone who, who thinks about, you know, what else can be involved? And that it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to refer them on if I think you know, someone else needs to be looking into that. Absolutely not. But I have the capacity to do quite a lot holistically for that person, and then actually also know where to refer them to if they need more intensive testing or care.”
That is fantastic. And yes, the Functional Health Solutions that’s a real game changer. We believe in getting a proper level of gut health, in reducing inflammation, and in becoming pain free.
Aline, what are your top three tips to creating wealth? (Now when we talk wealth, we look at financial, personal, and emotional.)
“Definitely my number one tip is to step out of your comfort zone. You cannot grow or create anything if you keep playing small and if you’re not stepping into your power and, yeah, if you’re staying in your comfort zone so that is a very important key message. I’ve done a lot of work with Tony Robbins and other sorts of growth facilitators. And, and I found it to be an absolute key in it doesn’t matter if it’s emotional, spiritual, or financial wealth.
The other one would be taking action. Taking action is often – we often take action in our mind, but we don’t really do it in real life. So for example, in our relationships, we often think we tell the other person that we love them. But we’re not really taking action to properly show that in our actions, when making time for that person, that we do value the friendship with that person or that time and, and it’s the same with our job or the same with our self care.
So we often have a lot of dreams in our mind, but we’re not putting it into action and that’s the only thing that’s really going to show the outside world that you mean what you’re saying. So that is number two and number three would just be to have no fear and, and to keep going you know, and don’t let fear stop yourself.”
We recently wrote a blog about fear and that we use it as an excuse to stop us from achieving, to stop us growing, to stop us really thinking about ourselves. Fear can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but it’s something that feeds stress. Now, we talked a little bit about inflammation and the gut.
What can you tell us about stress?
“Stress is literally probably the number one in terms of health disruption in general. So it’s so detrimental to your gut, and your microbiome. It really plays havoc because you release cortisol. If you have too much cortisol, it can really eat up your gut lining, eat up all the other cartilage that you have in your body and affect the connective tissue. It can also influence all the other hormones that you’re having. So you know, you’re then not sleeping well and then you’re having a huge cascade of negative health effects just from stress.
So as an integrative nutrition health coach, we always prioritize the primary foods before the secondary foods. And the primary foods are really the foods that, you know, have nothing to do with food actually, they’re our relationships, they’re our sleep, they are our emotional wellness, and stress is one big part of the primary food and how you’re managing and how you’re nourishing yourself with that.
Where as secondary foods are what you have in your mind is food, the actual nutrition and water, and stuff that you’re taking in. And I always say to people, you know, you can eat all the kale and the green smoothies and the superfoods, but you’re not going to digest all of those beautiful nutrients if you’re stressed or you’re hating your job or your relationships. Making you sad all the time. So really primary foods are so much more important than a lot of people give it, you know, they don’t give it enough value basically.”
Now we talk about weight loss here on a magical life. Have you battled your weight?
“I have not battled with my weight. I’m quite lucky with that. You know, when I’m saying that sometimes you want to lose like a kilo, but that’s a ridiculous argument. So I know that I’m in the lucky group who hasn’t really had the 10 kilos off coming from the thyroid or the chronic inflammation that they’re having. And I’m very genetically blessed like that, I must say, because as I mentioned before, even in my 20s when I thought I was being a vegetarian and I basically just ate pasta and, and white bread and sugar all the time, I should have potentially, you know, been very overweight and unhealthy, but I wasn’t. And so definitely I have a good genetic pool there. And I was maybe also young enough and doing enough exercise, but I just believe that I’m a little bit on the lucky side of that.
But then in the last, say, 10 years, I’ve just been on an incredible health journey with myself and healing my own body. Yeah, I have a very healthy relationship with food and nourishment and I’ve observed my mind quite a lot. Also what I’m really craving when I’m sometimes reaching for food, and now that I’m more aware of what I really crave, which is sometimes more love and more connection, or sometimes I’m just plain bored. So I observed myself during COVID-19 recently eating a lot more and eating a lot more chocolate and stuff like that as well, that it was often just out of pure boredom. And it’s very good to observe that and then go, actually, I’m just bored, I need to do something else. And then you can actually replace that boredom with a fun activity with the children or having another project or finding an interesting book. And then I don’t actually need that food so much anymore.”
How do you keep your stress down? We know that you do meditation, what sort do you do?
“I became a Vedic meditator when I was also going through my health crisis. And that is very similar to transcendental meditation, or it’s basically the same, so it goes through a mantra that you are given. And you repeat that mantra and you try to meditate twice a day for 20 minutes.
I don’t always make it twice a day, but I definitely stick to my once a day, because I have found it to be an absolutely key tool as also being a mom sometimes and not getting enough sleep at night. But knowing that my body goes into the deep brain waves of a deep healing or sleep state during that meditation and knowing that it can make up to like three hours of sleep during that 20 minute meditation has really helped me relax around sleep disruptions and stuff that are out of your control as well.
And so it’s been interesting to observe how much stress has dropped off of me just purely knowing that I can catch up on my healing and my sleep state in my 20 minute meditation. So there was an interesting psychological thing going on that you’re like stressing out about not getting enough sleep as a mom and, ” oh My God, when am I going to get more sleep? and I’m not going to be able to function?.” And once I knew I could just do my 20 minute meditation and I would catch up on another three hours basically like that, so much stress dropped off of me already.”
Now all of us Functional Health Solutions practitioners look to you on our chat area for your aromatherapy skills, you are the essential oil wizard, or witch. Now what would be a few essential oils, you could recommend people to help them keep their stress down?
“Oh there are so many beautiful oils that can help with it and they can often be very personal because our sense of smell is so linked to our limbic system, which is very primal and it often takes us back into a memory trip into the past where we have beautiful positive memories of maybe a holiday in Italy where we smelled the lemon trees, or lavender fields in France for example, or sometimes it’s something that your grandmother used and you smell something like lavender that your grandma often used and you feel instantly so nurtured and you know, nurtured like only your grandmother used to do.
So obviously lavender and cedarwood and vetiver are some really grounding and well researched essential oils in terms of calming people’s minds, – there are so many but again, I just urge you to just try a lot of them out and combine them.
Pretty much all of them will really create a calm environment. That’s so easy to use. Orange is one that just means makes you super happy. All of the citrus fruits the bergamots, nerolis have been shown to really lighten and brighten the mood. So it’s really a beautiful creative area to dive into. And depending on which state you’re in, they’re always going to help with your stress. That’s what I love about them. They just do their job anyway, even if you’re potentially grabbing the wrong one.”
That’s good to know. Now people can find you on Instagram at The Wellness Witches or at www.thewellnesswitches.com.au. What can they find when they get in touch with you?
“They can find a lot of tips and tricks on how to decrease inflammation, heal their gut, move with more joy and some lymphatic tips and tricks and releasing their fascia at home. So I tried to teach really, really practical hacks that people can actually implement straightaway at home to help them to have more vibrant health.”
That’s beautiful. Thank you again, Aline, for joining us. We’ve really enjoyed talking to you today in the podcast. Now, before we let everybody go, let’s just remind people that you can be found at the wellness witches on Instagram, or at www.thewellnesswitches.com.au.
Now coming up in Episode 15, we have another listener question that we’ll be answering. And that’s all about building a relationship with yourself and the importance of what you need in order to find true self love and self worth. Thank you again Aline for joining us today. People can get in contact with you ,ask you a few questions and check out the movement therapy that you’re doing, absolutely beautiful to watch. And again, thank you for joining us, go forth and create your magical life.
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