“Wellness is not merely the absence of illness; it is a state of complete physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.” – Lauren Vaknine
At 23-months-old, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. By the time I was 18, I was wheelchair-bound and on chemotherapy. When all my friends were leaving to go to university or off travelling, I couldn’t walk, feed myself, chew food, take myself to the toilet, or even sit up straight.
Aside from being in unbearable pain, the chemo had also made me very unwell by damaging my liver and my immune system and making half my hair fall out, and I was left feeling like I was the most unattractive 18-year-old on the planet, and I wondered how I’d ever be happy or healthy again. My friends were living their lives, young and free, and I was perpetually lying at an obtuse angle until someone came in at sporadic points in the day to move my joints. I was the Tin Man, but I couldn’t even walk myself down the Yellow Brick Road.
Then, at the age of 29, I went into remission. Yup. It took a decade (or 27 years if we’re being picky), because no matter how hard my mum tried, access to information was scarce when I was young, so by the time I was an adult, I had to do every single bit of research and digging myself. But I did it.
My mum was my champion, instilling in me the belief that I could get better, despite all evidence suggesting otherwise. She guided me towards a spiritual and mind-body approach and the belief that I could be healthy.
The decade between my most challenging years and my remission was spent immersed in intensive self-study, in an attempt to learn all I could about the body, illness, wellness, nutrition, mindset, epigenetics, neuroplasticity, toxicity, the psychopysiologic or psychosomatic element of chronic pain, the medical model and how it was hindering my recovery, meditation, spirituality, energy, law of attraction, and anything else that could help me fill in the blanks. I tried many modalities including homeopathy, herbalism, reiki, craniosacral therapy, acupuncture, reflexology, IPEC Therapy and more.
The decade following that was then spent implementing it all into my life, adding daily wellness rituals such as yoga, meditation and self-care, and honing these skills.
I qualified in nutrition, life coaching and neurolinguistic programming, so that I could realise my passion of integrating everything I’d learnt that had allowed me to go from disabled girl to fully able-bodied businesswoman, wife, mother of two and all-round woman of impact, in order to help others achieve the same. (If you want to read a more in-depth version of my story, click here.)
I’ve since written about natural health, wellbeing and parenting for Huffington Post, What Doctors Don’t Tell You, Natural Health, The Green Parent, The Natural Parent, Top Sante, Scary Mommy and more. I became the youngest ever trustee of Homeopathy UK, patient spokesperson for the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine and parliamentary ambassador for paediatric autoimmune diseases, hosting parliamentary events to make complementary therapies more accessible.
In 2020 I launched my podcast, Reconditioned with Lauren Vaknine, which has since had over 35,000 downloads and has had guests such as Jay Shetty, Jon Gordon, Shaman Durek, Olivia Wayne, Brandon Lucero & Kate Northrup.
For all my wellbeing-related brand recommendations, click here.
There were days – years, actually – when my life seemed like it may as well be over. How could it have got any worse? But then I did all the things you've just read about.
Because rock bottoms … they are MAGIC. Rock bottoms give us the clarity we need to make the sort of changes that will propel us from existing to LIVING our best life.
If I can do it, you can do it too, and I’m here to help you do just that. I’m here to transform you into the magnificent person you know you can be. And if you’re reading this while you’re navigating a rock bottom…even better!
I offer coaching that integrates the four aspects of self – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – to help you reach your health and happiness goals.
Let’s do it together.
Lauren’s coaching framework has transformed my life in ways I wasn’t even able to conceive of before working with her. It took me from being in a state of “not unhappy” to realising my full potential. - Abby, 34, London