Personal Quest Inspires Coach to Promote Wellness
Feb 27, 2015 06:44PM
● By Sheila Julson
Holistic health coach and Reiki practitioner Natalie Benoit knows firsthand the frustration of suffering from health ailments and finding no relief from conventional medicine. While growing up on Milwaukee’s north side, she had ambitions to be a singer, dancer and actress, but her childhood dreams were stymied due to chronic headaches, sinus infections, pneumonia and even a stroke when she was 15 years old.
Her fragile health continued into adulthood. “Employers had to be aware of my health problems and know that I had to excuse myself at any point and leave, if necessary. It was a difficult way of functioning,” Benoit shares.
At age 31, Benoit gave birth to her first daughter, who developed an ear infection at 8 weeks old. “I gave her antibiotics, despite going against my intuition. I was a new mom, so when professionals tell you to give medication, you give medication,” Benoit remembers. “After the fifth infection and giving her antibiotics, doctors talked about putting tubes in her ears. I remember leaving the ER, throwing the prescription out the car window and telling my husband I didn’t know what to do.”
Benoit’s desperation led her to read Healing Childhood Ear Infections, by Michael Schmidt, Ph.D. “My paradigm changed on a dime after I read that book,” Benoit relates. “It started with changing my diet while breastfeeding; I removed dairy products, began a whole foods diet and added omega-3 fatty acids. The changes healed my daughter, who is now 16 and has never had another ear infection, and ultimately, they healed me, too.”
Those positive results sent Benoit on an insatiable quest to research holistic modalities. She read all the books and articles she could and studied nutrition, herbal medicine and flower essences through the Clayton College of Natural Health online degree program, focusing on care for infants, children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.
In 1999, Benoit became certified in Reiki, a discipline that balances energy and relieves energetic blockages, and in 2009 advanced to become a Reiki master and teacher. As an independent contractor, she practiced Reiki and provided wellness consults through The Healing Spot and YogAsylum, both in Brookfield, and at The Chiropractic and Wellness Group, in West Allis. In 2011, she moved her practice to The Atrium at Rolling Spirit, in Greendale.
“If someone has a diagnosis or a chronic illness, I’ll work with them from a comprehensive approach and guide them on nutrition, supplements, herbology and several healing tools,” explains Benoit, who offers Reiki sessions, holistic nutrition education, wellness coaching and disease reversal coaching. She also incorporates Emotional Freedom Technique, which uses light tapping to stimulate the body’s energy meridian points.
Benoit leads classes on topics such as nutrition for cancer and healing PMS naturally, as well as workshops, where she teaches people about the benefits of fermented foods and how to make their own. “There’s a shift back to traditional foods like bone broth and fermented vegetables,” she notes. “Over the last 50 years, we’ve gotten it wrong by viewing the science of processed foods as progress.”
Benoit says her biggest breakthrough as a holistic coach was in 2012, when her nephew, Kaiden Schmidt, 11 years old at the time, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. “My sister and husband enlisted me as the primary wellness coach. We started many natural protocols to help protect his heart, liver and kidneys from the chemotherapy poisons,” Benoit recalls. She and her sisters also performed Reiki on Kaiden and emphasized to the health professionals that treated him to be mindful of positive energy.
Today, Kaiden is doing well. “Since I assisted Kaiden, I felt a calling,” Benoit says. “I’ve had cancer clients since then that had healed themselves with natural therapies. More and more people are thinking outside the box and are sick of being sick. The tenant of my practice is to remove what’s harming and add what’s healing. The body does the rest. Our body’s immune system is far more intelligent than our human minds can begin to understand.”
At age 47, Benoit says her health is better now than when she was 17. “There is only one disease, cellular malfunction,” she remarks. “The cause of that disease is the cure: how you think and what you put into your mouth. People are not victims. They can take their health back by feeding the body nourishing foods and nutrients and changing how they think about the capacity to heal. I empower them and let them know they have the choice to heal and the choice to be happy.”
Benoit’s next fermentation workshop will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., March 30. The $50 fee includes a demonstration of how to make probiotic kombucha tea and sauerkraut, handouts, recipes, a kombucha starter and a jar of sauerkraut to take home.
Natalie Benoit, Wellness is located at 6169B Industrial Ct., in Greendale. For more information, call 414-651-2243 or visit MilwaukeeReiki.MassagePlanet.com.
Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country. Connect with her at [email protected].