Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Green Umbrella Professional Training Course

As a holistic practitioner, I have loved my job, my passion, my calling to help bring health and hope to many.  As in many seasons and times, there is a time to continue moving forward and there is a time to expand.  The time to expand has come now.

I am so excited to help others through the passion and calling of establishing a practice as a Nutritional Therapist.  It is the best decision that I have ever made for my life and it has given me the freedom and flexibility to live my dreams and passions.

The last 5 years have been some of the most challenging and most rewarding times of my life.  I am happy to say that these years as a Nutritional Therapist Practitioner has made me better, more humble, more passionate in my dream to help those who are suffering.

What is The Green Umbrella Professional Training Course?

It is a training program for holistic practitioner's to grow into a practitioner who can be confident and resourceful with each and every client and situation that comes to their practice.  Through digging into deeper knowledge about the health and synergy of our bodies, minds, and emotions, we will come to the place of understanding and an ability to guide others through profound levels of healing.

Please contact me for more information if you would like to join me on the journey of establishing your business as a practitioner and I would be happy to help!

Holistic Practitioner Professional Growth Course

How is the health of your business affecting your own health?

We all know that our adrenals need a break.  With financial pressures and the unknown of how to help our clients and how to grow our business, we can sometimes feel stuck.  That is where this course becomes vitally important.  It is time for someone else to care about your health, your adrenals, and the health of your business.  Let’s take care of your business and give your adrenals a break!

This program is for you if:
You have a passion and vision to help your clients with their health
• You have encountered clients who you don’t know how to help and who you feel overwhelmed at their symptoms and health problems

• You want to grow as a professional and learn practical tools that will help you be more effective as a practitioner and more confident with the results
• You want to learn how to develop multiple streams of income as a practitioner and how to sustain yourself financially
This training was created by a Nutritional Therapist Practitioner for other Nutritional Therapist’s and holistic practitioner’s who are committed to the success of their business and health of their clients!  I want to give you my secrets to success so that you can experience that same success!

What will you learn?
  • New methods of nutritional testing to give you access to more information about how to help your client
  • New methods of supplementation including Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • New levels of understanding of how the body works at the cellular level and how autoimmune disease and cancer develops in the body
  • New levels of understanding of the emotional and spiritual roots to disease and dysfunction in the body
  • How to incorporate multiple streams of income into your practice and ideas of what streams of income will benefit your business
  • How to develop the mindset and discipline of a successful business owner
  • Ways to expand your vision and capacity for individual growth and growth as a business person
  • And much more

Benefits of working with The Green Umbrella
  • Training and furthering of expertise to be able to bypass learning curve and find success with clients quicker
  • Group training twice per month
  •  Eligible for laboratory accounts with biofeedback testing
  •  Laboratory account access with micro-deficiency blood work after training period (expanding models of testing for best results with clients)      
  • Training in other modalities of nutritional testing (blood work and biofeedback testing)
  •  Mentorship/internship opportunities to develop quickly as a holistic practitioner
  •  Personal access to Megan for troubleshooting, marketing, and mentorship (2 hours per month!!)
  •  Opportunities for personal health growth and professional growth through all sessions 
  •   Addressing emotional/spiritual components to health
o   What thought patterns contribute to poor health
o   What emotions contribute to poor health
o   Effective strategies for overcoming negative emotional or spiritual health patterns and learning how to address it in your own life and the lives of your clients
  •   Developing in philosophy, mindset, and character of a business professional

5 months of training into The Green Umbrella Model of Care (10 total group sessions and 5 total one on one mentorship sessions!)

Module 1:  Business psychology and leadership:  successful habits and mindset of a leader, multiple streams of income
Module 2:  Fibroblast Growth Factor:  The latest research and how this incredible growth factor directs stem cells and causes healing at a profound level
Module 3:  How to use Fibroblast Growth Factor in your practice, supplementation and how to test/use with clients including dosing, healing reactions, and special considerations
Module 4:  Multiple streams of income:  how to develop and incorporate multiple streams of income into your practice, what are possible streams?
Module 5:  Health at the cellular level, how to simplify your understanding of the body to be a great practitioner!
Module 6:  Cancer, how do people develop cancer, including alternative treatments and where to refer clients when your client is outside your scope of practice
Module 7:  Biofeedback testing/energy work:  What is biofeedback testing?  How to incorporate it into your practice
Module 8:  Blood work with Spectracell:  Micro-deficiency blood work and how to incorporate it into your practice
Module 9:  Emotional roots to disease:  Why do some people heal and some do not?   How do negative emotional patterns play into disease and what are the specific hindrances to healing?
Module 10:  Emotional roots to disease continued

Hi!  My name is Megan Van Zyl and I am the owner and CEO of The Green Umbrella!  I am very excited to present to you the NTP Professional Growth Training. 

My vision for The Green Umbrella began in South Africa as I was working in an orphanage and saw such a need that I didn’t know existed.  My heart broke and it started me on this journey of finding a way to fund orphanage work through my other passion:  nutrition. 

The Green Umbrella Mini Clinic’s training starts this fall, 2014!  I have been so excited to build up other holistic practitioner’s and help them find the support and motivation to take their business to the next level!

As a practitioner myself, I know how it feels to strike out on your own and start and sustain a practice day in and day out alone.  I know how difficult it becomes to learn from another mistake, hear another no, and continue to move forward in helping people and believing for that business breakthrough.  That business breakthrough came for me and I want to help you find that same breakthrough!

I created The Green Umbrella Mini Clinics with YOU in mind.  You are passionate; you are healthy and striving towards greater levels of health in your life.  You love to help people and you have compassion on those who are suffering with their health.

However, you need help to focus your efforts in a manner that is proven to be fruitful both in your one on one interactions with clients and in your marketing and business efforts.

As a Nutritional Therapist, I have combined all that I have learned in my years developing into a seasoned practitioner and developed a training and educational course for holistic practitioner’s.  My goal is to train and establish practitioners into their own thriving practices.

I am excited to collaborate with you and bring your business new vision, energy, and success!

To your health and thriving business,

Megan E. Van Zyl

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

When someone dies, how do we live?

In the last 7 months, I have known and will have attended 3 funerals for people who I have known personally.  I am 32 years old and I have never known anyone to die besides my grandparents (at a normal age).  The people who have died have all been under 65 years old with two of them being under 50 years old.  One person died suddenly of a heart attack while two people died after battling cancer for years.

It is challenging to know how to grief and how to live.  After my friend died in January, I was grieving and traumatized by her death for months.  Part of the reason I was traumatized was the fact that she was not given liquids by hospice care.  I didn't agree with the decision and yet I had no authority to change the decision.  Also, I ended up being kicked out of the facility after visiting for a week because I was "interfering" with her death.  Or more accurately, I didn't agree with their standard of care for my friend because I felt that it was inhumane.

I felt myself emotionally detach from my friend who was also battling cancer because I could not emotionally handle losing a second close friend to cancer.  My friend who died in January, I drew much closer to emotionally in the last few weeks of her life; however, with my friend who died in June I felt myself pull away in the last couple months of her life.

I don't know which is worse, to pull close to someone and suffer tremendous grief after their death or to pull away and emotionally guard yourself.  I guess it depends on where you are in your life and how you need to live and grief.

If I would have drawn close to my second friend who died, I don't know if I could have pulled myself out of the deep pit of grief.  Everyone does grieve differently and some people grieve in healthier ways than others.  It seems that for me, depression and isolation was the way that I handled the initial shock of my friend dying.  I found myself crying at random moments, not enjoying the things that normally enjoyed, and feeling very pessimistic about life and the direction of living.

Thankfully, I was able to have great closure at the funeral of my second friend.  The closure that I had was connecting with a friend who stayed close by her side every day until she died.  She prayed for her, talked to her, and helped her to eat healthy.  She was doing everything that I would have done if I had the emotionally strength and energy.  I felt relieved to hear that she had someone who did draw closer, who did put herself in a vulnerable situation for the sake of her friend.

We all have different roles to play and the important thing is that we do play our role at that specific moment for that specific time.  I feel happy that my friends knew God and that they are in heaven, but I don't understand it.  I don't understand how to grieve in a healthy way and how to be able to live at the same time that you grieve.  To do all that you know to do, but to leave it in the hands of God because we cannot decide when and where and who dies.

My friend's dad died of a sudden heart attack this past week.  The third person and the third funeral in 7 months; I am so sad for his family, for his wife and his two children.  I am sad that he wanted to be a grandpa and never had the opportunity to be a grandpa.  I am sad that no one got to say goodbye before he died, that it was so sudden that he was gone in an instant.

I wish that we could do more, love more, live more, and grieve the way that we need to without losing ourselves or losing our own lives.  We are here for a great purpose and it is important to find a way to live through the grieving process and help other people to grieve in a healthy way.

In other cultures, the grieving process is a bit different than it is in America.  In South Africa, my husband's culture, the viewing of the body usually happens within the home.  Hundreds of people come to walk through the home and to see their lost friend, family member, or loved one.  Neighbors come daily throughout the entire grieving process (however long it takes for the family to grieve) bringing food and helping to clean or do basic things that are difficult to accomplish while you are grieving.

It seems that in America, people tend to isolate themselves and grieve alone.  They cry in their car by themselves, in their room by themselves, or anywhere where they do not have to look vulnerable.  I know that this is not everyone in America, but it seems that this is common in America compared to more collective cultures.

I am not sure what is the best for each particular person at a specific point in their lives, but it seems that having support, being able to talk and release heavy emotions and burdens are important.  I think that we can learn a lot about grieving from other cultures who take the time to grieve, who take the time to support those who are grieving, and who continue to live throughout the process, however long it takes.

I hope that I do not have a 4th funeral to go to this year.  I hope that I can learn to love better, to help support those who are sick better, and to grieve and to live through the grieving process.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Side effects vs. healing reactions

There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding side effects and healing reactions.  

When I work with clients, I usually will get an email, text, or a phone call to explain that they are experiencing side effects from the supplement or food plan that I have them on.  All of the time, they are actually experiencing healing reactions and not side effects.

It is very important to understand the mechanism behind a healing reaction or a side effect so that we can act appropriately and understand how our body works.

A side effect, according to Merriam Webster's Dictionary is: "an often harmful and unwanted effect of a drug or chemical that occurs along with the desire effect" or "a result of an action that is not expected or intended."

What is important to understand is when someone introduces a pharmaceutical drug, the goal tends to be to subdue the symptoms.  If someone has been diagnosed with depression, they want to subdue the effects of having low serotonin and take anti-depressants like Zoloft.  

Here are some potential side effects of Zoloft:

  • Fast, irregular heartbeat
  • Feeling faint
  • Hallucination
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal thoughts or mood changes
  • Bleeding or bruising
  • Vomiting
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in sex drive
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased sweating
  • Tremors

Summary of Black Box Warnings of Zoloft
Suicidal Thoughts or Actions in Children and Adults
  • Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide.   
  • Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications.  This risk may persist until significant remission occurs. 
  • In short-term studies, antidepressants increased the risk of suicidality in children, adolescents, and young adults when compared to placebo.  Shortterm studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24.  Adults age 65 and older taking antidepressants have a decreased risk of suicidality.   
  • Patients, their families, and caregivers should be alert to the emergence of anxiety, restlessness, irritability, aggressiveness and insomnia.  If these symptoms emerge, they should be reported to the patient’s prescriber or healthcare professional.   
  • All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should watch for and notify their healthcare provider for worsening symptoms, suicidality and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the first few months of treatment.

A couple things concern me about this list.  First of all, most people who are on pharmaceutical drugs are unaware of all the potential side effects.  Second of all, a side effect of Zoloft is suicidal thoughts.  More and more young people are being prescribed Zoloft and other anti-depressants and some with a very sad ending of a planned suicide.  The parents point to the drug that is causing this.  Is it worth it to risk a life by taking an anti-depressant?  

I don't know if it is worth it.  Each person needs to have the knowledge, the risks, and the options in front of them.  The problem is that most people don't know that there are more than one option.  Is the pharmaceutical drug the only known solution or are there other solutions to depression?  

There are some situations where a pharmaceutical drug is needed and warranted for intervention.  However, the biggest problem the I have with pharmaceutical drugs is that there is usually never a plan to help someone ween off the drugs and resolve the underlying issues.  The "plan" is to keep someone on a particular drug for the rest of their lives.  

Further, the potential side effects come from the synthetic, chemical compounds in the pharmaceutical drug that our liver has to process as a toxin and causes unwanted or undesired effects on our body. The higher our toxic burden load, the more work that our liver has to do and the more likely that we will feel sicker and sicker and sicker.  Many times, one intervention leads to the next intervention which leads to the next intervention.  When will it stop?

A healing reaction, on the other hand, is far different than a side effect.  For one, a healing reaction in my profession is actually a desired and expected reaction.  Our bodies are hard wired to heal given the right environment and the right nutrients.  When given the proper nutrients needed to heal, new tissue will replace old tissue and old toxins and traumas will be released into the blood stream.  When these old toxins and traumas are released, we may feel the symptoms of this release which is referred to as a healing reaction.  

This type of reaction is one of the most misunderstood aspects in the natural healing realm.  The healing reaction is also referred to as a die-off reaction, Herxheimer, retracing, healing crisis, cleansing, or detox reaction.  When a therapeutic, supplement and dietary plan is introduced into the body there will most likely be a period of time when the body produces less than desirable symptoms.  This is an indication that the plan is working and the body is healing.  How many supplements have you tried and noticed absolutely nothing, whether good or bad?  Most supplements are not healing the body, thus a true healing reaction is not experienced.

•    Old tissue holds toxins and bacteria that are released into the bloodstream during the healing reaction
•    Old tissue is being replaced with new tissue
•    “Out with the old, in with the new,” detox symptoms ensue as the body heals

POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS (but not limited to this list)
•    Increased joint or muscle pain
•    Diarrhea 
•    Extreme fatigue and/or its opposite, restlessness 
•    Cramps 
•    Headache (believed to be caused by buildup of toxins in the blood) 
•    Aches, Pains 
•    Arthritic flair up 
•    Insomnia 
•    Nausea 
•    Sinus congestion 
•    Fever (usually low grade) and/or chills 
•    Frequent urination and/or urinary tract discharges 
•    Drop in blood pressure 
•    Skin eruptions, including: boils, hives, and rashes
•    Cold or flu-like symptoms 
•    Strong emotions: anger, despair, sadness, fear, etc. 
•    Suppressed memories arise 
•    Anxiety 
•    Mood swings 
•    New phobias develop

This list may seem similar to the list of side effects for Zolft.  However, it is very different because of the different in the end result of the healing and resolution that the body is able to express by balancing dopamine and serotonin levels naturally.  

This is a reason to celebrate because when my client is experiencing a healing reaction, this means that their body is resolving a long-standing issue, imbalance, or dysfunction in the body.  There is true resolution and true healing at the cellular level.  These symptoms last anywhere from 1 day to 4 weeks, depending on how and what the body is healing.  However, at the end of these symptoms, the resolution of this issue is worth the temporary pain of symptoms.  

I would much rather experience 4 weeks of healing reactions and receive recovery from my condition than to experience side effects that indicate the increase of toxicity in my liver and the other potential undesirable effects of a pharmaceutical drug.

If you are on a pharmaceutical drug, do not receive these words as condemnation.  Rather, receive them as hope that your body can heal and that you can come up with a plan with your doctor to ween off the medications.  It is important to make changes in your diet, lifestyle, and nutrition plan and to have a buffer to help in the transition.  Your doctor can help with the plan to ween off and you may want to find someone who can help you find the right nutrition plan to help aid in this process of healing at the root level.    

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Controversy and fear-based thinking

I realize lately that I have been blogging about very controversial subjects.  I think that it is important to not take things for face value and to ask the appropriate questions to understand why and what is the meaning behind this?  If we don't ask the questions and have the understanding that we need to have, we will be pushed and pulled into decisions that we may not have made if we have the knowledge and empowerment to move forward into a decision.

It is time that we make bold steps and to make bold decisions for our lives and the lives of our family's. One thing that inhibits this boldness is fear.  So much of our medical system and our food/governing bodies in this country is based upon fear.

Why is it that 93% of women in Brazil opt to have C-sections and over 30% of women in America end up with C-sections?  Is it because of our faith in our bodies, in our ability to labor and deliver a healthy baby, or is it because we are afraid of the pain, afraid of the unknown, and afraid of what may or may not happen.

The weird thing about fear is that it tends to lead you in the direction that you do not want to go.  Fear tends to attract that very thing that you are afraid of and sometimes to conquer that fear, you must experience that pain, or that rejection, or that wound in order to overcome.

Are you in a prison of fear?
How many of my decisions day to day are based upon fear?  Do I even recognize fear or has it become such a part of my decisions that I just operate in fear and self-protection at every moment of every day.  Fear can be subtle, but fear is very dangerous to our health.  Most people who have this struggle of fear every day find it hard to live their dreams and to envision success.

Fear keeps us from envisioning even our health and the health of our children.  I remember that I used to struggle a lot with the fear of rejection.  It would keep me from meeting new people, from speaking my mind and my opinions, and from simply living and trying new things.  I was so sensitive from past "perceived" moments of rejection that I could not find the strength nor the faith to rise above it and to simply live.

I had to conquer it through attempting the things that I was most afraid of.  I remember having panic attacks in Italy because I was about to move home to Minnesota to start raising support to be a campus minister.  In my heart, I knew that I had to do it and that I wanted to make the sacrifice to help college students find faith in God.  However, I was scared out of my mind to raise the support that I needed to pursue my dream.

I read a book about pursuing your dreams without regards to money and that money will come and serve your passion.  This book helped me to step out in faith (the little that I had) and to start talking about what was on my heart.  After 6 months of talking to people, I had raised 70% of what I needed to start as a campus minister.  I decided to just go and believed that the rest would come.  It did and I lived for 5 years on support so that I could do ministry on campus and in South Africa with orphans.  It changed my life and prepared me for the challenges that I have faced in building my own business in the health field.

I had to conquer fear of rejection so that I could live in my purpose on earth, but I still have to reconquer it every day so that I can continue in faith instead of in fear.  Sometimes the only thing that we can do to conquer these fears is to put ourselves in the position to stare fear straight in the face and to say, "I am not going to let you control me and my decisions in my life, I am going to do it anyway and you are just going to have to bow down and leave me to live my life."

I hope that we can all do this.  Let's conquer our fears, get true and accurate information about our lives and our health, and not information that is twisted because of fear.  What decisions in your life are you making based on the fear of the unknown?  What new decisions can you make to face and conquer your fears?

I don't want to be afraid of my baby being unhealthy or having a horrible birth because I am envisioning my own defeat.  Rather, I want to envision my baby and myself as healthy and perfect and I believe that I will be creating (with God) my own successful birth and delivery.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Business of Being Born

As I have been moving forward with my pre-conception diet (which I love by the way), I have come across a lot of information about home births and midwifery.  I have always leaned towards having a home birth, but after watching The Business of Being Born my baby's fate is sealed as being born under my roof with the help of a midwife.  

This documentary was created by Ricki Lake (talk show host), after she had a disappointing birth in the hospital.  Ricki Lake found that after being given pitocin (a drug to increase labor intensity), she was in intense pain and needed an epidural.  In the U.S, more than 50% of people are given epidurals while giving birth.  

Unfortunately, most people are not aware of the potential risks of an epidural.  Here are a list of some of the effects that epidurals have on labor and delivery:

  They lengthen labor.
  They triple the risk of severe perineal tear.
  They may increase the risk of cesarean section by 2.5 times.
  They triple the occurrence of induction with synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin).
  They quadruple the chances a baby will be persistently posterior (POP, face up) in the final stages of labor, which in turn decreases the chances of spontaneous vaginal birth (see below).
  They decrease the chances of spontaneous vaginal delivery. In 6 of 9 studies reviewed in one analysis, less than half of women who received an epidural had a spontaneous vaginal delivery.
  They increase the chances of complications from instrumental delivery. When women with an epidural had a forceps delivery, the amount of force used by the clinician was almost double that used when an epidural was not in place. This is significant because instrumental deliveries can increase the short-term risks of bruising, facial injuries, displacement of skull bones and blood clots in the scalp for babies, and of episiotomy and tears to the vagina and perineum in mothers.
  They increase the risk of pelvic floor problems (urinary, anal and sexual disorders) in mothers after birth, which rarely resolve spontaneously (taken from CHRIS KRESSER "Let's Take Your Health Back Now").

One of the most concerning facts of the side effects of an epidural would be that your risk of needing a cesarean section increases by 2.5 times.  How is this possible?  It seems that one intervention leads to the next intervention and all of a sudden, a woman who desired a vaginal, "natural birth," is all of a sudden needing an "emergency" cesarean section.  

This is a highly problematic situation for the health of the baby because vaginal birth is critical to the baby receiving the gut flora necessary to build a healthy immune system and to develop a healthy digestive track.  While a baby travels down the birth canal, she or he receives gut flora from the mother's vagina in order to start building immunity to protect itself from the environment outside the womb.  Unfortunately, in a cesarean section birth, the baby does not receive gut flora from the mother's birth cannel; rather, the baby receives gut flora from skin contact or the breath.  This can cause major imbalances of gut flora and later on can develop into digestive, neurological, and immune system dysfunction for a child.   

In 2005, 1 in 3 births ended in cesarean section.  This is unbelievable.  Cesarean sections are treated so casually today because so many people are having them during labor and delivery.  A C-section is considered major surgery and the recovery is gruesome.  Further, the mother is put in the high risk category after having a C-section and most likely will have to have C-sections with the remaining pregnancies.  

C-sections take about 20-minutes to perform, but take so much away from the experience that a mother could potentially have in delivery a baby.  For example, in a natural, home birth, a women peaks during vaginal birth by having a release of oxytocin hormones that causes her to have almost an orgasm release while the baby is being born (specifically during the distension of the cervix and uterus during labor).  Oxytocin has been shown to be pivotal in the bonding of a mother and a baby and has become known as "the bonding hormone (Wikipedia)."

Epidurals have been found to inhibit oxytocin production and to keep it from rising during birth.  This brings forth huge questions that I am not sure that we fully understand at this stage.  The research that has been done on monkey's show that monkey's who deliver babies through cesarean section do not care for that baby at all because the hormones are not released properly (oxytocin as the bonding hormone is not released during a C-section).  

What is even more concerning to me about hospital births is that America has the worst maternal mortality rates during pregnancy among industrialized nations.  In Europe and Japan, midwives deliver over 70% of the births.  In America, midwives are involved in less than 8% and some say the statistic is actually 0.5%.  In Norway, home births constitute 1 in 3 births; however, Norway statistically loses less women and less babies to child birth than in America.   

These are just a few of my concerns.  There are many more.  My concern primarily is that women do not know of their options.  There is simply the assumption that a woman who is pregnant will have a hospital birth.  In the 1900's, 95% of births were done in the home.  It became foreign territory to have babies born in the hospitals.  In fact, the doctors who began to deliver babies after receiving their education had never even witnessed a baby being born.  

Doctors began to systematically speak again midwives and to paint pictures of them as ignorant, uneducated people who did not possess the expertise to deliver a baby.  Throughout this process, the doctors began experimenting with different drugs to give a mother during labor and delivery, many babies were born without arms or legs because of the experimentation of drugs without full comprehension and knowledge of the dangers of these drugs.  

As women, I firmly believe, our bodies have been designed to give birth naturally.  We have all that we need from God and from nature to naturally conceive and birth a health, beautiful baby.  We have the hormones needed that are released during labor and delivery to ensure an other-worldly experience and an ability to bond with our baby in a way that we would not otherwise have without the release of these hormones.  Modern medicine interferes with this process to a large degree and takes away from women a potentially magical and pivotal moment of her life.  For me, I am excited to deliver a baby at home and to allow my body to do exactly what it was created to do:  give life.