With gut health at the forefront of the health and wellness scene, we are proud to be working with Biomed to celebrate the launch of their digestive support supplement and to discover what it means to truly trust your gut. This is the second of three inspiring stories from people who have turned their dream into a reality thanks to trusting that all important gut instinct.
Annabel Treon is a health and wellness coach, reiki healer and certified meditation instructor, and has been featured in several publications, including Hello! Magazine, Haute Living, eStylista and Masquerade Magazine. Educated at Cambridge and London Business School, Annabel left a lucrative career in finance to embark on a journey of health and wellness that took her from Bhutan to Cambodia, India to South America and beyond. Her experiences range from courses at the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida to living, working and meditating with the monks at famed Buddhist leader, Thich Nhat Hanh’s, Plum Village monastery.
As the founder of “The Wellness Lab”, a hyperbaric oxygen clinic in London, she is passionate about bringing together her vast range of experiences to help clients understand health and wellness from a holistic perspective, allowing them to find balance and order in their busy lives. She also runs talks and workshops in nutrition, wellness and mindfulness all over the world.
Tell us about a situation in which you had to ‘trust your guts’. What was the challenge or decision? What was the outcome?
I was admitted into hospital with a fractured vertebrae; one of the fragments had entered my spinal canal and I was advised that the spine had to be stabilised with emergency surgery, else there was a risk of paralysis from the waist down. The surgery itself carried significant risk and we consulted some leading specialists from the UK and US to help make the decision. I initially agreed, signed the consent form and went to sleep with a heavy head and heart. I said a little prayer before sleeping, as I often do, and woke up with an overwhelming sense that the surgery is not required; my back will heal and I will be fine. It was a big decision to make with major consequences both ways but my conviction assured my family who supported me in my revised decision. I wore a back brace, took bed rest, a lot of supplements to support my healing, and did intense meditations. As soon as I was a little mobile, I did hyperbaric oxygen as often as I could and within weeks I returned my wheel chair and surprised doctors with my mobility.
How has this changed your life?
Back surgery is no small feat – the recovery time is long and the implications on back strength and capabilities can be major (not to mention the risks that the surgery itself carried), so I’m glad I didn’t have to go through with it in the end. The experience reinforced my confidence in my own intuition and more importantly, the role that hyperbaric oxygen had to play in my healing catalysed my decision to finally leave the world of finance and open my own clinic to make it more accessible to others.
Do you think gut health plays a role in our overall health and happiness?
It’s not just my opinion but a fact!
Our gut is lined with over 500 million neurons that scientists are now calling “your second brain”. The 300-500 different types of bacteria in the gut which, in addition to other microorganisms, make up your unique gut microbiome. Research is now showing us that this microbiome effects everything from our immune strength to metabolism to mood; the gut can actually send signals and communicate with your brain. Gut health is responsible for some of our most essential hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA, cortisol and oxytocin!
How do you ensure you keep your gut healthy and happy day to day?
Diet is so important; I eat a wide range of plant based foods, lots of fibre and probiotic foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut to encourage the good bacteria to grow. I try to avoid antibiotics and highly processed foods and take a good probiotic supplement. Always be discerning with supplements and choose quality – I recommend Biomed’s digestive support supplement with live cultures, curcuminoids and ginger.
What’s your go to stress-buster when feeling overwhelmed?
Meditation, hands down – the research and science behind this simple practice is just incredible! Even for those who are daunted by the prospect, just take a few deep breathes of fresh air and relax; we are more resilient than we ever believe we can be.
What advice would you give someone facing a tough decision?
Don’t make decisions in panic or haste but rather from a state of composure. Do whatever it is you need to do, to find that objective stillness before reacting. Educate yourself on the options and potential outcomes – listen to other people’s opinions but recognise that they are just that… you are ultimately responsible for your decisions so trust your inner guidance.