Stress, The Wild Collective

Loneliness as a bigger risk factor for your health than smoking or obesity?

During initial visits, I always take my patients through what I call the Foundations of Health: diet & digestion (i.e. nutrition), stress management (cue: mindset), sleep, and movement. These build the foundations for a healthy gut, hormones, and beyond.

Nutritional supplementation, herbal medicine, and acupuncture can be wonderful to help the body re-establish health, but I am always clear that it is these foundations that we will be working to establish so that they do not need to rely so much on supplements to feel their best. 

You can not supplement your way out of a poor diet or lifestyle. These are the foundations that make or break your health. And one of the biggest pieces that was missing in what I could provide my patients in a 30 or 45 minute follow-up appointment was social determinants of health. 

This fits into the stress category. Social health: this includes our relationships and our sense of connection and community. 
Do you feel seen and heard as your true authentic self? 
Do you have safe space to communicate with others on a deeper level, especially other women? 
Maybe you are fortunate enough to have close girlfriends, but is there more you wish you’d chat about? 
Do you crave deeper connection?
Stress management and social health are about more than doing the exercise, the deep breathing or meditation, meeting friends for brunch, and checking in with your therapist. 

Did you know that loneliness may be a bigger risk factor for your health than smoking or obesity? My patients are often astonished by this. They may choose to avoid smoking, eat all the leafy greens, exercise, and go to bed early, but they may be neglecting their relationships and avoiding deep conversation and connection (I get it, it can feel scary).

Many of my patients express a feeling of loneliness, even if from the outside, their relationships and social life are abundant. Having healthy relationships doesn’t necessarily equate to feeling connected.

Connecting deeply with others doesn’t have to be scary, I promise. The safe space we create in this women’s circle can accelerate your personal growth and have positive offshoots in so many areas of your life, the point being to create more joy and fulfilment as you begin to show up in your life as more authentically you, going after your unique desires and purpose.

That brings me to my 2nd point of the program: education. I spend a lot of time in my visits with women educating them on their bodies. This empowers you to take control of your health and commit to important diet and lifestyle changes. I often joke with my patients that I am teaching them to not need me.

Thomas Edison famously said that “the doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” Well, I’d like to add to that: the doctor of the future is you, the patient. And community is the missing medicine.

This topic hits home for me personally. When I graduated from Naturopathic medical school, I moved from the small, close-knit town I grew up in, to a brand new province, and I hustled to build my practice. When I came up for air 3 years later, I felt I had neglected my social connections and the importance of community and connection for my health. 

This community program covers so much knowledge in ten areas of women health. There is absolutely no way I could deliver all this health information to you in a one-on-one visit without a large financial investment. I wanted to provide a more cost-effective way to access my care, provide you with the information you need to take charge of your health, and a community to support you along the way. Health care offered in a one-on-one fashion is essential for individualized care, however, lasting health transformation can be more easily achieved when we incorporate community (and it is a lot more fun). 

So many of the women I treat struggle with similar concerns. So many are tired, over-extended, and putting themselves last. We are living in our masculine energy most of the time, with busy-ness and productivity as a badge of honour, out of touch with our innate, inherent power that is our female intuition and inner wisdom, which honours rest, reflection and connection. When we don’t honour this part of ourselves, we feel stressed, unbalanced and unfulfilled.

You don’t have to go it alone. You were never meant to.

I know I need this medicine. I’m right there with you. Sisterhood facilitates transformation. Learn to stand in your power, trust your gut instincts and intuition, gain clarity on your purpose, and take bold action in your life. 

Will you join me next round?

- Dr. Willow

  1. […] Did you catch my article on the health impacts of loneliness? Did you know that loneliness may be a bigger risk factor for your health than smoking or obesity? […]

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I help women achieve optimal digestive and hormonal wellness through a root cause, individualized approach to medicine that utilizes functional lab testing, diet and lifestyle modification, nutritional and herbal medicine, and acupuncture to re-establish lasting health.


The Wild Collective: my women's ♀️ group health program

Gut health program coming soon, stay tuned 👀!




Between my wait listed practice, building my Wild Collective communities, and being Mom, I don't email often, but I'm working behind the scenes to bring you major value and I'd love to be able to tell you about it when it is ready (along with some more personal shares).