By Tom Kernaghan
Kate Shivers is an allergy-reaction detective. And the offenders are the stressors that cause all manner of challenges in our bodies and our lives. Her mission is to identify these culprits and then exile them. Like any good detective, she knows it’s about evidence in the story, so she works holistically with clients to decode and interpret what the body is saying to see how a person’s history has led to the development of allergy reactions. How she does this is quite amazing.
Shivers is armed with a bachelor of science in dietetics and a bachelor of education, and she is a registered bioenergetics practitioner and INFORM coach. Drawing on her years of expertise and using state-of-the-art technology, she is able to test for possible stressors. Once she has identified these, she then uses bioenergetics to neutralize and desensitize them, along with detoxifying herbal remedies and nutrition. The goal in desensitization is to prevent future reactions. That goes for pollen-reaction sufferers, too!
Shivers has presented and explained her work at Balance Well-Being events, where she engaged people’s curiosity and inspired them to look at their health in a new way. So we were thrilled that she offered us some more insights into what she does.
Learning about your work this past year, I was amazed at how little I knew about allergies and physiological responses, and what they say about our well-being. In your experience, what is throwing our health off balance? What have we been missing about ourselves and our environment?
In my experience, dealing with allergies and inflammation is a keystone of well-being. When people think of the word allergy, they usually think of sneezing when they are around their nana’s cat. However, allergies or allergy reactions go much deeper than that and affect people in a variety of ways, and over a lifetime. The allergy reactions I work with reveal themselves as redness in the skin, itchiness, sinus congestion, snoring, digestive upset, pain, arthritis, mood swings, acne and more. People often miss these symptoms as being important to the overall health of the body. They miss the importance of which foods work and which ones don’t. They are missing key nutrition that they need to detox from an internal yeast overgrowth, parasites or environmental toxin.
Your work involves a unique two-pronged approach: bioenergetics and nutritional planning. Briefly explain these treatments and how they can work together for long-lasting health.
The testing with the ZYTO Elite, a sophisticated scanning system, reveals a lot of information that the person can use immediately. Knowing what is causing reactions in your body is the key to reducing inflammation. Long-term inflammation is a major problem as it’s the root cause of all disease. Wouldn’t you want to know if potatoes, for example, cause inflammation for you? What if certain foods are contributing to your arthritis, and you could do something about it?
I make dietary recommendations that will make a difference for the person based on the results of their test, not simply random suggestions. I recommend regular (monthly) testing and bioenergetics treatments as the body changes, shifts and corrects itself. For long-lasting health it is important to know the foods and environmental stressors that are affecting your body. I liken it to a cup filling with water. The stressors are the water filling your cup or body. When your cup overflows, you get reactions. Bioenergetics drains your cup. So if pollen and dairy products are your stressors, the combination of both fills the cup faster. With that knowledge, nutritional planning and bioenergetics treatments, you can enjoy pollen season and a latte without reactions.
What drew you to this specific area of holistic health? Was is the result of years of professional observation, or was there also a specific event that inspired you?
My BSc degree opened my eyes to the world of nutrition and to the importance of having a nutrition plan, or health plan, for getting older. I have had my own health challenges with allergies and have benefited from BIE. Now I share the benefits and pay it forward. My inspiration is seeing people get their lives back. It is helping colicky babies to not be so reactive to their mom’s milk or formula. It is seeing people who have pollen reactions sail through pollen season without taking drugs that have undesirable side effects. It is helping people who have migraines, hormone problems, sinus or digestive problems out of the place where they are reacting and out of the place that is the warning zone for chronic problems and disease.
It strikes me that education would be a fundamental part of the work you do. How important is it to teach young people about this area of health? And what would suggest as a key starting point for anyone seeking to learn more?
I love this question! Yes, I love helping kids and moms. I love teaching, which is why I also got my BEd degree. When I can educate a child about why they have tummy aches, for example, and that it can be helped, that makes me feel great. I also love working with parents, helping them understand the cause of their children’s poor health and reassuring them that it likely won’t last much longer. I love helping with meal planning, recipes, resources and ideas. A key starting point is to understand that reactions are a symptom of inflammation, that inflammation is the real problem, and that learning about what is causing your reactions is as important as getting a regular eye exam or dental visit, because preventing inflammation is fundamental to health.
We like to finish our profiles with a personal insight—a habit or tendency—which people may or may not know about the member. Would you be willing to share a little fun fact about yourself?
A fun fact about me… I met my two best friends in weird but wonderful ways—in motion. I met one while rowing in North Vancouver and the other while running in the woods in West Kelowna!
This column was submitted as part of BWB Well-Being Wednesdays.
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