Anne, thank you for taking the time for an interview. At the beginning, it would be nice if you briefly introduced yourself: Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Anne. I’m actually from Hamburg and have been living in Switzerland/Zurich for over five years now. I grew up in nursing and have seen the inside of many different hospitals in Germany and Switzerland. Most recently, I worked as a clinical, delegated specialist in a department for abdominal surgery and provided medical support and care for patients after major abdominal surgery. After many years of experience in the medical field, it was time for me to seek a new challenge. As I know the time pressure in hospitals, it is a matter of the heart for me to meet my clients where they are at the moment.
As a specialist in gut health and orthomolecular medicine, I manage to do this every day with my online services and in my own practice for gut health in Zurich. On the side, I work in a social non-profit association for patients and their rights. In my private life I travel a lot with our camping van and our dogs in the mountains.
How did you get involved in the topic of gut health?
That’s a very good question. The awareness of the topic of gut health comes not only from my practical experience in hospital and in dealing with abdominal and intestinal patients, but also has a very personal background.
I was affected myself many years ago and had to go a long way until I finally found someone who could interpret my symptoms correctly and thus gave me back my very personal quality of life.
This showed me that there is still an enormous need for education and specialists in this absolutely exciting subject area. Especially because conventional medicine cannot be the sole solution and a combination with naturopathy offers so many possibilities for treatment. Because only a holistic treatment has really helped me and has not only tackled the symptoms but also the causes at the root and eliminated them.
You combine conventional medicine with naturopathy, why?
Through my own story, I know that sometimes conventional medicine just doesn’t get anywhere, but sometimes it is necessary. My knowledge of orthodox medicine in abdominal surgery is the perfect template to approach the topic of gut health holistically together with naturopathy and thus find optimal solutions for my clients.
I combine the best of both and take my clients seriously, giving them the space and time they need. Unfortunately, there is often no room for this in conventional medicine these days.
What does it mean for you to work holistically?
My clients receive very personal, individual advice and treatment online and in my practice. I’m not a supporter of a “formula” or therapies that are made up of a thousand different nutritional supplements.
For me, it is enormously important to see the person as a whole. I don’t just want to treat the symptoms, but really get to the root of the problem and thus solve the cause.
Each of my patients is treated with concepts that are individually tailored to his or her problem and thus optimally cared for and supported on his or her key to the path.
“Gut healthy, person healthy.” What comes to your mind with this statement?
That is exactly how it is! Since approx. 80% of all illnesses originate in the gut, this statement is pretty much spot on.
The gut has so many different functions in the body. Not only digestion, as many still believe, no, its influence on our well-being goes far beyond that. Immune system, skin, psyche, intolerances, etc. This is exactly why holistic treatment is so important. It can start with a small mild cold due to a weakened immune system and the stone starts rolling. A healthy gut can prevent this.
You say yourself: “There is no miracle pill for me”, what exactly do you mean by that?
Exactly that 😉. There is no miracle pill that you just swallow and suddenly your intestinal problems are history.
For me, holistic treatment also means making my clients aware of the importance of their gut health, so that they can independently recognise what they can do for a healthy gut and what they should better not do.
But this also means that my clients have to cooperate. A gut doesn’t become healthy overnight and requires corresponding attentiveness from its owner. The coaching sessions are, so to speak, a teamwork based on mutual trust. In which both, coach and client, have to play their part in successfully combating the causes. This is a very important aspect of holistic treatment.
What does therapy or counselling look like for you, what is the procedure?
It is very different. As already mentioned, my patients are treated very individually. It depends on the problem or question, the history and what they have already tried.
Everything starts with a conversation! First of all, I have a free consultation to find out whether I am the right person to talk to about the problem and whether we could work together. In further coaching sessions we analyse the current situation, complaints and also the current life situation. This is also part of a holistic treatment. On the basis of this, the content of the coaching is then determined, or defined together with the client. Follow-ups and emergency support are included in the package or can be requested individually.
Basically, however, it is always a 1:1 coaching tailored directly to the person. To document progress and raise awareness, I provide checklists, guidelines and workbooks for cooperation and implementation. I also provide them with a nutrition app so that they don’t neglect pleasure. Sounds a bit like school 😉 But experience shows that it really helps and the patients really cooperate and develop a good, healthy intestinal awareness. Nutrition, exercise and mindfulness are particularly emphasised.
I accompany my clients throughout the process via WhatsApp and am always on hand to answer questions. I am a motivator through and through, but successes are also celebrated together. For the future, more online offers such as group courses, e-books and retreats are planned.
What kind of people come to you?
Oh, that can be pretty much anyone. The spectrum ranges from ambitious workaholics striving for more to stressed people who often forget themselves. People with autoimmune diseases who want more quality of life or people with food intolerances. People who suffer from bowel movement or skin problems or a bloated belly.
Often they are also people who have already tried a lot of things and have had a long ordeal in conventional medicine. Sometimes also very sceptical people, exactly for this reason.
What is your personal advice for a good gut feeling?
Awareness and mindfulness! Simply address the taboo subject of the gut and make yourself aware that it is not intended by nature that you constantly feel as if you have a balloon in your stomach, that going to the toilet does not have to be an ordeal and that you should not constantly feel tired, exhausted and burnt out. That you dare to get help. And of course, that you internalise the three cornerstones of gut health:
Gut-healthy eating (which, by the way, also tastes delicious with my tried-and-tested app).
Being mindful of yourself. Everyone should do something good for themselves from time to time.
And lots of exercise even without running a marathon. 😊
What would you like to pass on to our readers?
Be brave! Don’t hide away if you have a problem with your stomach. Seek help, talk about it and be mindful of yourself and your stomach!
Many complaints are not directly associated with the gut. But it is now proven that the gut has an enormous influence on our whole body and its well-being and balance. So if you are suffering from ailments and you can’t find a solution, then it could actually be due to your gut. You can also try out my free gut check-up, which has been tried and tested many times, so you will know straight away whether you are at risk and need support or not.
How and where can our readers reach you?*
Via my homepage: natuerlichgsund-zueri.ch
Or directly by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
*FYI: The content and Annes’s counselling are in German.