Hi there! I am Shauna Bell. Welcome to SBell Wellness. I invite you to explore our site and learn more about my health coaching programs and natural solutions education. I also currently serve our community's children as an occupational therapist and youth yoga instructor. I enjoy this life alongside my hubby with our little furman. I am a proud daughter, sister, and auntie. Reading, researching, and talking about what I learn is a true passion of mine. I also like to spend time in nature, prepare meals and host gatherings for friends and family, practice yoga, and make DIY essential oil goodies for me and my tribe.
My Wellness Journey:
"Because you cannot serve from an empty vessel." This well-known saying has become a true guide to my daily 'why.' Let me share what I mean: Allow me to take you on a journey, one in which I share how I went from experiencing chronic illness that was just "my normal" to finding a lifestyle that is fulfilling physically, emotionally, and spiritually as long as I stick with what I have learned, give myself grace, and surround myself with like-minded people and supporters. I share this personal story because I want my clients to know that well-care is a journey and when we seek and find a tribe of support, it allows us to freely journey forward as our best selves. So here we go:
Let's take it way back for a minute...from a very young age of 5 years old, my life was impacted by debilitating migraines, various stomach issues, and 'emotional sensitivity' (none of which were ever actually linked to each other in any of the 'sick care' I had received). This just became my normal. I learned to live with these things. I accepted there were days where I had no choice but to hide out in a dark, cold room until the pain passed; sometimes this was multiple days. My stomach issues led to missed days of school and emotionally, well the joke was that "my bladder was too close to my eyes," I cried a lot. I tried conventional prescription medicines; the side effects were even more debilitating; actually sometimes pretty scary. One medicine was recalled and the other made me feel paralyzed and incapacitated to drive. I made it through grade school, high school, college, and even graduate school before no longer accepting that this was 'just how it is for me.' One day, pushing through my work as a newly graduated pediatric OT, one of these said migraines hit. This time, I experienced something that scared me into change. While washing my hands, I went to pump a soap container and completely missed. At first, I brushed it off as 'just a symptom' as I had learned to do for so many years. Then shortly after, I was trying to turn the pages of an assessment booklet and I found myself physically 'stuck;' I couldn't turn them. That was it! I had studied enough neuroscience and biology in my OT training to know something was 'wrong.' I had just spent years of my life studying for this new career, I wasn't going to not be my best at it because I had to stay captive to this illness. Knowing previous medical interventions had fallen short, and having a newfound insight from OT school that at least parts of healthcare can be individualized and life progressing, I decided I had to research more on my own; there had to be something else. Little did I know my integrated wellness journey began that day.
I came across many blogs on how gluten could be a trigger of inflammation that makes our bodies feel on fire; you know, the migraine pain I had suffered for over 20 years at that point. I decided 'why not', I committed to a wheat-free/gluten-free journey. I honestly was a skeptic, but willing to give it a chance; and if I didn't see the change in a few months, I'd be back to bagel chomping. Now, mind you this was over a decade ago before gluten-free was an everyday word. My hubby was a champ; we tried many 'playdoh' tasting pizzas and pasta, as I tried to make this 'new way' as normal as possible. Well, fast forward to today and it is our normal. Well, my normal. The hubby still indulges in gluten, but I like to think he eats a little better now, with my dedicated choices and gentle nudges as our resident chef. So, long story short, this initial choice to understand the impact of food on my wellness has been SO worth it. Migraines and IBS are now just documented in my medical HISTORY.
I wish I could tell you that the gluten-free was the sole answer to all wellness for me. But as with most things that really matter, this human body requires more areas of awareness and understanding. Somewhere along the way, I started dealing with chronic postnasal issues, joint pain, and inflammation, dry skin, hair and nails, poor temperature regulation, horrible menstrual cycles; which led to medical diagnoses of allergies, hypothyroidism, endometriosis, and infertility. All of the above came with once again the frustrating conventional medical disclaimer of 'unexplained causation' and offers of prescription medication and procedure. Again, sending me on a journey to find out more.
I found an amazing naturopathic doctor who just so happens to also be an OT. I'm a big believer that the right people show up in our lives just in time. She helped me to understand my body and it’s unique needs. I trusted in her recommendations for unconventional medical testing. I was guided to understand the root of my 'illness.' Food intolerance testing offered explanations to the 'why' that had never been talked about with me before. Her guidance helped me learn to view food primarily as fuel and choose quality supplements to support progression in all things. This has really meant learning just how poor the majority of our food sources are despite living in our civilized country. It has meant seeking information about food that is not in the mainstream market. It has meant learning what real food is and how enjoyable it is. You can now catch me always reading labels. I am that lady who could be seen putting more products back on the shelf that in my cart. I have accepted that these choices don’t always come with drive-through convenience yet, but I am learning to be a meal prepper and when I want that old way of convenience, I have my go-to "detour" meals that don't spiral me backwards. Without a doubt, every single bit of this digging in and learning to listen to my body has been worth it. I push forward with these lifestyle choices by crowding out the old and noticing how good I feel.
I now have a general practitioner and gynecologist that accept my desire for an integrated medical approach. I can trust that these women will not snub my choices. They actively listen to my continuous goal for bridging the gap that I feel conventional medicine alone has left us short-handed. Don't be mistaken, I believe conventional medicine in our country has ambulatory and surgical care on point, but the approach to everyday wellness is currently lacking in too many ways as it doesn't actively support the identification of root cause and prevention. Good doctors exist. Medicine has its place. Finding the right tribe to guide this is essential. I have experienced and believe that having a team including medical doctors and specialists (that are at minimum aware and accepting of nutrition and natural solutions as the first line of well care), a natural medicine practitioner to consult and guide integrated lab testing, and a health coach for lifestyle support and guidance will help you rock the integrated journey of wellness instead of just addressing sick care.
In achieving this integrated approach, I have made marked progress in my wellness. I still experience the occasional ups and downs, but accept that this is the human body. I honor it with grace and I am empowered with natural solutions to address it. I can confidently share that I no longer rely on synthetic prescription or over the counter medication on a regular basis for any illness. I have been able to successfully use food, essential oils, supplements, physical movement, mindfulness practice, and lifestyle balance as medicine. I have made great gains in sleep, emotional balance, and stress management. I have kicked pain and weight fluctuations. I don't suffer from chronic bad allergies or ongoing digestive discomfort. My thyroid is functioning well. My female body is healing.
The Gift of Mindfulness:
I would be amiss to not mention this additional instrumental part of my wellness journey. The gift of mindset awareness. It has been a great blessing in my life. In my role as an OT for kiddos, I was led to seek training in yoga and mindfulness as a way to help my clients with tools for regulation. I knew it would be a great tool professionally, but I had no idea how much it would change me personally. I learned amazing tools to teach kids to breathe on purpose, move through sequences to support the flow of 'calm, movement, calm' in the body and to learn how to engage others through brave leadership and with cooperative intent. Little did I know, I had learned so much to help guide my daily mindset. A consistent practice of yoga and mindfulness has improved my focus, the balance of emotions, better rest, and organization in thoughts, planning, and doing. Yoga and mindfulness have been a great wellness tool.
And remember when I mentioned that I believe the right people show up at the right time, well I was gifted another aligned part of this story. During my yoga training, I met a fellow wellness seeker, who just so happened to love essential oils and natural solutions too; she shared with our group. I started to research the products she was using and learned so much.
Enjoying essential oils for their aromatic properties and then learning how to clean with them had become a part of my journey along the way as I had learned that one of the number one disruptors to our health is fragrance and the artificial chemical make up of our cleaning, personal care, and beauty products. As with much of my journey, my strong interest in research and desire to find the safest choices for my body led me to dōTERRA oils. I chose to use dōTERRA oils exclusively after what I learned. The amazing quality of these essential oils and the ethos at the heart of this company made this choice a no brainer for me. I am confident we can trust in the responsible sourcing choices, scientific testing, and partnerships with medical and research scientists that dōTERRA is committed to. dōTERRA has the only certified pure therapeutic grade oils available because they chose to make this step a priority, even though it is not a requirement. This important detail is however essential for our choice in making swaps because the essential oils on the market are not regulated, and labels alone do not protect us from adulterated materials inside bottles we may find on every shelf on the market these days. dōTERRA not only sources and produces the best oils but also offers us amazing quality supplements for a range of wellness needs and the personal care line has a great selection to support us in swapping out our daily routine products for safer options too. As a dōTERRA wellness advocate; I am committed to continued education about the power of these 'gifts of the Earth' and so excited to share this with you. I know first hand that essential oils and natural solutions are great complementary supports to our everyday wellness needs.
Health Coaching: The Perfect Fit
This journey of integrated health-seeking has allowed me to create a greater congruity between who I am in my heart and soul with who I am in my day to day life. It has gifted me not only personal wellness but a true passion for understanding and sharing strategies for wellness with others as well. It led me to further my training with a certification in integrative health coaching so that I can help guide others in the area of wellness by focusing in on primary and secondary food. This looks like exploring nutrition, career, education, health, sleep, stress levels, physical activity, home cooking, home environment, relationships, social life, joy, spirituality, creativity, and finances as a means to individualize personal wellness goals and develop a program for lifestyle supports.
This journey continues with a wish for you:
My wish for you is that you too will be curious about integrated wellness and commit to learning more about your body and ways to help you feel your best self while living your best life. No matter what level of commitment you have to give to your journey, know I am here to cheer you on. May you always have a supportive tribe to journey forward with good health. SBell Wellness is here to support you!
Please let me know how I can be here for you on your journey! Send me a message. I would love to offer you a free consultation to provide natural solution suggestions with dōTERRA and/or an integrated health history to determine if a health coaching program with me is a good fit for your wellness journey at this time. I look forward to hearing from you!