About Mara – a Natural Path Back to Health

Mara Gerke CNHP Herbalist Health Coach Chronic Pain Mara’s Journey
Managing Chronic Pain

My journey toward wellness began in 1994 when managing chronic pain became my main focus. I received my diagnosis of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD / CRPS) that year. For those of you who do not know, RSD / CRPS is a complex condition where its major symptom is chronic pain. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, however, at least I knew what was wrong with me.

So many people with RSD/CRPS don’t find out what is wrong with them for years. They live with not really managing or understanding their chronic pain. This is really hard to deal with and can be heart breaking for so many! Back in 1994, before the internet, I took a trip to the local medical school’s library and searched for information on RSD / CRPS. It was important to me that I learn all I could about RSD /CRPS and what its treatment options were.  I believe that an educated patient makes the best decisions!

Creating a Healthier Lifestyle

The information I read wasn’t exciting, however, I had no choice but to deal with it. They say God never gives you more than you can handle. I would usually agree with that. On that day, after reading all the information on RSD, it was hard for me to take. Looking at managing chronic pain seemed endless. Back then, I remember my best friend asked me if I was going to ask for a miracle. I decided I wouldn’t, instead I asked for a level of pain I could live with and just enough pain every so often to remember where I have been.

I think we all know that God’s time isn’t the same as our time. Finally, in 2005, my prayers were answered and my pain and many symptoms were relieved. Being introduced to the SOQI Wellness Products were instrumental in helping me continue my journey. The SOQI Products and changing my lifestyle habits helped me get off 4 of my 5 medications. Today, I am more active than I ever thought I would be.

My Passion for Helping Others

Building a lifestyle of wellness has to begin with you, the person you see in the mirror. You are responsible for your health! Since 1994 as I  progressed down my own path toward wellness I made lots of changes. You can say I took a more holistic approach to managing chronic pain. I quit smoking and changed my diet to a more nutrient dense diet (Eat to Live). I also began exercising, taking nutritional supplements and herbs from Nature’s Sunshine, and began using the SOQI Natural Health Products every day.

Natural chronic pain relief is possible even if I am not 100% pain free. It’s nice to be living again! I have more energy, less inflammation and better able to do the things I want to do. For years, I shared my journey and coping skills with others during chronic pain support groups I facilitated. Now I share my journey with you throughout our blog and by working with individuals one on one or with one of our online wellness programs. One of the best places to start creating a healthy lifestyle is our Healthy Habits Challenge a 13 week email program with monthly Q & A’s!

Continuing my Education in Natural Health

In 2005, I decided to continue my education in natural health. The training and certifications are many and I am continually learning by attending classes.  I am a Professional Certified Aromatherapist (CA), Certified Herbalist (CH), and a Certified Natural Health Professional (CNHP). As well as a retired Coach and Facilitator for a  Chronic Pain Support Group. I have also received training and certifications as an IN.FORM Health Coach, Craniosacral Therapy, and Nutritional Muscle Testing.

Our health is a reflection of what we put into our bodies, what we put on our bodies, how much we move our bodies, our thoughts, and our spiritual beliefs. I can not stress to you how important I believe these things to be for our health, especially with the rise of lifestyle diseases.  Daily, I continue to focus on prayer, gratitude, diet, exercise, loving thoughts and sharing my journey with others. I still have yet to meet anyone who told me that they got better from laying in bed and eating cheeseburgers.

My Goals

Helping Others Learn to Invest in Themselves

One of the most frustrating things I have learned is that when people spend a lot of money on a car, they tend to take care of it. They make sure they use good oil, good gasoline, the right fluids and keep it tuned up. However, when it comes to their own health, many don’t spend the time needed to keep their bodies tuned up. What I do know is that there isn’t a magic pill, not from the natural health field and not from the doctors. We all have to rely on our body as our mode of transportation. It’s time to acknowledge the fact that the ride you experience is largely based upon your own input and how you treat yourself. Be good to yourself!

So take a lesson from me, don’t wait till something forces you to change to make changes. Take care of yourself today! If something has already happened, focus on doing the best with what you have. Make sure to take the time you need to educate yourself on your diagnosis. Learn  what treatment options both naturally and traditionally are available. Most importantly, determine what you are and are not willing to do.  Remember, the choice is yours, it’s your health and it’s your life – Participate!

“If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with.” — Deepak Chopra

Faith and Hope

Love my Dog

P.S. – My strong faith in God kept me company as I traveled through my 20 year journey. Leaning on God for strength, as well as my family and friends continues to keep me going. I truly believe all creatures are gifts from God, especially man’s best friend. Those who know me know that I am definitely an animal lover! The picture on the left is me with my dog Duke. Duke, sadly, is no longer with us. He brought me tons of love, lots of smiles, and I still remember our walks in the woods!