holistic healing for chronic illness amber walker
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Move Daily Health Podcast Episode 34: Holistic Healing for Chronic Illness, w/Amber Walker

holistic healing for chronic illness amber walkerHave you ever battled an unexplained chronic illness? Have clinical tests failed to provide answers for erratic digestive concerns?

Today we welcome to the podcast Dr. Amber Walker to discuss her book Mast Cells United, and her long journey through holistic healing. From environmental toxins like mould, to explaining why certain foods will digest well one day but not the next, we touch base on mast cells, EDS, and much more in today’s episode on living with chronic illness.


Show Notes:

0:00 – Who is Amber Walker and what is her story with chronic illness and MCAS?

6:30 – How did Amber get into Physical Therapy and how has her own patient history influenced her path?

11:00 – What are mast cells? What is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)?

19:45 – We discuss the process of getting “labels” from chronic illness, including misdiagnosis, and how to get away from identifying as any one label.

23:00 – How accurate is IgE food allergy testing? Amber discusses her patient experience with these kinds of tests, and why certain foods are sometimes fine while sometimes they can set off a reaction.

28:30 – We talk about the environmental factors that contribute to MCAS and chronic illness, notably mould toxicity.

32:15 – Amber touches on food supply and choice of cooking & beauty products.

33:00 – What about wifi and EMFs?

34:40 – We talk about the importance of using a quality water filter, no matter where you are.

36:30 – The importance of sleep hygiene & breath work for chronic illness.

37:45 – We talk about resources for re-wiring the nervous system and calming down sympathetic response.

45:40 – Keeping a focus on overall toxic load, not just food, not just mould, everything adds up.

48:15 – How exercise can help or hinder chronic illness.

59:30 – We discuss the importance of relationship and support, and blocking out the negativity of certain people.

105:20 – Amber’s book recommendations:

– The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel van der Kolk

– Toxic, by Neil Nathan

– The book of Joy, by Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu

107:20 – Amber’s non-negotiable daily self-care tool: Making time for spirituality & making time for patients

109:00 – Amber’s one piece of health advice: Healing is possible.

1:11:45 – Where you can find Amber

Additional Listening:

Move Daily Health Podcast Episode 013: Let’s Talk Functional Medicine, with Dr. Sharon Kelly

More about Dr. Amber Walker:

Dr. Amber Walker, PT, DPT, CFMP, is a physical therapist graduate of Regis University who has been working with patients for over a decade. She began her career in northern Peru, where she worked in clinics and hospitals, taught at continuing education events, conducted research, and started a public health project for children with disabilities as a volunteer with Catholic Medical Mission Board. Upon returning to the U.S., she mainly focused her clinical practice on sports medicine, spine pain, TMJ dysfunction, and swimmer-specific injury prevention. As affiliate faculty with Regis University, Amber has returned to Peru five additional times for leadership in conferences, university-sponsored clinical education, and service learning opportunities with DPT students.

Over the years, Amber gained valuable additional training in manual therapy and exercise through the Ola Grimsby Institute, functional dry needling, and comprehensive strategies for the chronic pain and chronic fatigue patient populations. She now specializes in working with patients who suffer from chronic conditions including fibromyalgia, dysautonomia, mast cell activation disease, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, migraine headaches, and chronic viral, gastrointestinal, and bacterial issues that influence immune system function.

Amber is certified in Kinetacore Functional Dry Needling and completed her Certification in the practice of Functional Medicine (CFMP®) in 2020. She is also trained in Craniobiotic Technique (CBT), a natural method of restoring proper immune function that directs the brain to the location of health stressors in the body via the stimulation of neurovascular reflex points.

Amber is the author of “Mast Cells United: A Holistic Approach to Mast Cell Activation Syndrome” published in March of 2019.  Amber is particularly passionate about building community and extending more holistic healing resources to the mast cell activation disease patient population and will be teaming up with others in 2020 for retreats, speaking engagements and other patient events.

Originally from Alaska, Amber thrives on being outdoors and is particularly drawn to mountain running and water sports. In the past she has held roles as a small business owner of an Anchorage-based stand-up-paddling company and a swimming coach.

Amber believes that nature and well-planned exercise programs are integral components of a holistic healing plan, and she likes to share this approach in the form of therapeutic paddleboarding options for patients in summer months. Amber is a certified Professional Stand Up Paddle Association (PSUPA) instructor with several years of experience guiding clients in adaptive and customized recreation experiences on the water.

More About Mast Cells United:

Allergies and anaphylaxis are on the rise, alongside gastrointestinal problems, skin issues, fatigue, orthopedic pain, neurological symptoms, and just about everything in between. Patients are coming out of the woodwork with chronic, debilitating, often invisible illness. Recent research estimates that 14%-17% of the population may have mast cell activation disease.

Much of the medical community has never heard of the condition, and existing mainstream treatment tends to focus predominantly on pharmacological management. However, once a patient has reached a stable baseline, there are a number of other individualized approaches that can guide patients to successfully address the underlying root issues.

This book includes:

  1. An in-depth overview of mast cell activation disease, with a focus on mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS);
  2. A patient story describing life with MCAS;
  3. Detailed literature review and current hypotheses for disease origins;
  4. A practical guide of clinical considerations for diagnosis;
  5. Chapters devoted to co-morbid conditions, including Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), POTS, Lyme disease and much more;
  6. Several chapters devoted to mainstream and natural treatment options, dietary considerations, and strategies for holistic healing;
  7. Content from dozens of interviews with prominent MCAS experts, including specialists in allergy/immunology, hematology, functional medicine, naturopathy, psychology, nutrition, gastroenterology, physical therapy, clinical research, and more!

Whether a patient, medical practitioner, or family member/friend, this book empowers readers and provides patients with concrete steps to move forward in the diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of mast cell activation syndrome.

Connect with Amber:

Website: Origin Wellness

Instagram: @OriginWellnessColorado

Facebook: Origin Wellness Colorado

Website: Mast Cells United

Instagram: @MastCellsUnited

Facebook: Mast Cells United

If you enjoyed our conversation and would like to hear more:

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Thank you and stay tuned for the next episode!

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