We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Carol Schumacher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Carol, we’d love to hear about a book that’s had an impact on you.
“Even if it costs me my life” by Stephan Hausner. I love this book and would recommend it to everyone.
This book introduces systemic constellations in the context of serious illness in a practical way. Having been involved with family constellations for the past 20 years and also attended one of Stephan Hausner’s workshop live, this book gives a wonderful introduction and overview of how systemic work can bring to light ancestral patterns that might be involved in different illnesses.
Family constellations are an outside-the-box way of bringing to light what could contribute to chronic illness. It helps us become aware of persisting patterns and find a solution for them, which can be a means to help heal those patterns. It is reaffirming to read about the many examples of people with chronic illnesses and how ancestral patterns may have contributed to their chronic illness, and how many could find healing.
This book is a deep dive into the principles of family constellations. Stephan Hausner shows how loyalties to family and entanglements with its members, byways of how they were living their life and thinking and feeling about them and their relationships, didn’t serve them and may have contributed to their illnesses.
I love going back to the book and always finding something new that is inspiring and helpful. Constellation work is a wonderful tool to identify deep-seated patterns, which are important to healing when dealing with chronic disease. It’s not only about nutrition, exercise, and sleep; the connections we have, particularly to our families, are critical. With chronic illness, we often need to dig deeper.
This book shows a way to move forward by deeply connecting to your roots and accepting and acknowledging what is, thereby freeing up energy for living and healing.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am a Holistic Health Coach with a focus on the autoimmune spectrum. I help my clients optimize their physical and emotional health to thrive and live their best life despite a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease. Getting such a diagnosis or dealing with other chronic health conditions such as joint pain, digestive disturbance, brain fog, headache, insomnia, fatigue, and weight change should not be accepted as part of normal life where you can do nothing about it.
Working together as a team, we can slow its progress; and often achieve remission. Those with the above-mentioned chronic health issues could prevent getting a diagnosis of autoimmune disease!
I bring to the table my education as a scientist (Ph.D. in Chemistry), homeopath (The British Institute of Homeopathy), and health coach (The Institute of Integrative Nutrition). I also leverage my Gut Health training, Meditation, Hypnotherapy, EFT, Bach flowers, Soul Memory Discovery, and the Systemic Approach.
I have always been interested in health-related topics and particularly in the mind-body connection. Growing up, I watched both my parents struggle with health issues. My father was dealing with an autoimmune disease, Psoriasis (not known as such back then), since his late teens and was forced to think outside the box. He only could get better by changing his diet and making other changes to his life. Similarly, my mother was dealing with some serious gut issues. They both intensely researched the body-mind connection, and they were the ones who more than 20 years ago made me aware of family constellation work, according to Bert Hellinger. Many decades later, and with an unwavering dedication to a healthy lifestyle, my parents are still going strong and living their best life.
My decision and passion for focusing on autoimmune diseases with my health coaching came from my insights and experiences of dealing with autoimmune diseases in my own family. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and two of my three children, one with Addison Disease and the other with Raynaud’s Syndrome and Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD).
It was only when one of my children, as the first to receive a diagnosis, realized that my father actually had an autoimmune disease. For me, it had only been just a waxing and waning skin condition he suffered from. Autoimmune diseases tend to run in families; having a family member with one increases your risk. However, the genetic component in autoimmune disease is less than 20%.
Most chronic illnesses (over 85 %) result from lifestyle, diet, and the environment. These days there seems to be an autoimmune epidemic as so many people receive this diagnosis; it’s about 23.5 million people in the US alone. The undiagnosed number maybe double if not triple that. The chronic stress of daily modern life and the increased environmental toxicity can be potent triggers and risk factors. Also, epigenetic factors can play a role with unresolved trauma from past generations. As I mentioned above with my book review, ancestral patterns and unknown loyalties to family members can make it difficult to heal, particularly if we are not aware of those patterns and loyalties and can not release these patterns and trapped emotions.
My coaching is about the whole person, 360 degrees. It is based not only on nutrition, sleep, and exercise but also on the deeper transformation necessary to heal. Healing happens from the inside out. One method I use and that enriches my coaching and sets me apart from other coaches would be Bert Hellinger’s work. As mentioned above, the systemic approach addresses these deep-seated and unconscious patterns that are often at play with chronic disease and provide solutions.
My clients appreciate that the changes they have to implement are stepwise and in a manner that will be enjoyable, effective, and lasting. I help them navigate their journey by keeping them motivated and seeing them through their challenges and blind spots. I am there and provide accountability and emotional support. We become partners on their journey back to health, and they feel empowered and amazed how this time, they can make lasting lifestyle changes even if they have failed before.
As with every process, there are sometimes missteps, but their trajectory will always towards better health. I will be at their side as their trusted partner.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
That’s a fun question, a bit trickier, as with the still ongoing pandemic, some of the places might not be fully open. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I assume soon they will be more accessible again.
There are wonderful places I would recommend for dining; they all offer wonderful gluten-free and dairy-free options, which is crucial for me. Some of my favorites are Birdseye Kitchen, a Thai -Vietnamese restaurant with great curries and appetizers, Le Papagayo with great salads, Lotus Cafe, and Chandlers with a fantastic view of the ocean.
I would also take my guests for a ride along the coast. Black Beach in La Jolla, Torrey Pine State Beach, Moonlight Beach, and Ponto Beach are my favorite beaches for long walks and in the summer swimming and boogie boarding. When in season, Black Beach has fascinating surfers to watch.
Further inland, Double Peak Park in San Elijo and Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve have fantastic views and hiking trails. To the Elfin Forest Reserve, I love going to for a couple of hours of retreat during the week; there is a small creek running where the trailheads are, hanging out there can be so soothing. Also, I would like to mention Meditation Gardens in Encinitas; even though it can get quite busy, the sights are still beautiful. At the moment, however, I think they are temporally closed.
I would take families to the San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park, and the Museums at Balboa Park, particularly fun for young children.
If there is time, I would also plan a day trip to the desert, probably the Borrego Springs area, as this is one of my favorite places for hiking and retreats to hang out, read and do Arts.
There are so many more places, e.g., for evening entertainment, theatres, etc., but for now, I think that might be a week’s worth of sightseeing for the active guest.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Mariana & Ivan Polic, owners of “the Systemic Approach” Institute for their phenomenal training and loving support
Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/drcarolschumacher/