in this episode we hear a nutritional counselor’s perspective on healthcare from Eva Vennari. She joined Rob Oliver on the Perspectives on Healthcare Podcast from her home in Los Angeles, California. Eva is a member of Generation X.
Here are 3 things that stood out from a nutritional counselor’s perspective on healthcare with Eva Vennari:
· Burnout is something that people face in all walks of life
· If you give the body the building blocks it needs, it can heal itself
· You are your own advocate and you are the only person that lives inside your skin to know what’s going on
You can learn more about Eva Vennari through her website or follow her on social media.
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Here is the transcript of Eva Vennari: A Nutritional Counselor’s Perspective on Healthcare
Rob Oliver: Thank you. And I appreciate you being with us today to hear a new perspective on healthcare today’s perspective comes from Eva Vennari. She is a nutritional counselor. She is a member of Generation X. She is from Los Angeles, California. Eva, welcome to the podcast.
Eva Vennari: Thanks for having me. I’m excited.
Rob Oliver: You bet. I’m glad that you’re here. So we’ll start right at the beginning. Tell me a little bit about yourself and your role in health care.
Eva Vennari: Well, my role in health care came from this need to fix what was going on with me. And at a very young age, I had developed a number of chronic illnesses for which the responses from my family were Eva. You’re too young to have these problems. Yes, thank you. But that’s not helpful.
Rob Oliver: Okay. Tell me a little bit about it. Do you mind sharing a little bit more of your story? Tell me what was going on. And then how did that kind of lead you to where you are today? If you don’t mind.
Eva Vennari: I don’t mind. Yeah. So I’ve been a person, an entrepreneur in many different fields of business. Started out in information technology and then moved on into from the tech age to the stone Age. I started working in construction, and I did that for 16 years, raising two children on my own and burning myself out in the process. So this was a story of burnout, which occurred at the time when burnout was not in the medical reference books. Right. And so I was one of those. You’re welcome four runners to Pave. The way to say, I’m tired. Fix me. I don’t know what’s wrong. And the doctors, really, it was one after another. And I think over the course of 16 years, I fired ten different doctors, and I’m not talking about the specialist you go to when you go down a rabbit hole of all this could be Endocrinology or this could be chiropractic. Or this could be all these different things. And I’m, like none of them are getting me 100% better. They’re getting me 50% of the way there. But then I still have the recommendation of here’s a medication prescription for pain medication or. And here’s one for depression. That’s why I’m in pain. But I’m certainly not depressed. And, oh, but you will be. We anticipate. You’re going to end up in a wheelchair by the age of 35. And this is when I was 30. I was told you got osteoarthritis and L four or five. And I did have regular arthritis in my joints. And I had heart palpitation and chronic fatigue anxiety and found you. The list goes on. I have 30 different symptoms and diagnoses that I was chasing down. I’ll call it the Hunt and kill method of health care, and nothing really gave me full release until finally, I just became really stubborn. So I’m going to find something that’s natural, but it may not be one pill. It may be a combination of things. I’m open to that. But if you give your body what it means, it should heal itself. This was my mantra, and it wasn’t until I really held onto that and use stubbornness as a tool and said, I’m going to find the answer no matter what it takes. And that’s when I found the nutritional counseling that I now offer.
Rob Oliver: Okay, so you and I have a lot in common for this reason. When I was ten, I was experiencing a lot of muscle weakness, and I went and the doctors diagnosed me that I had muscular dystrophy and that I would end up in a wheelchair by the time that I was in my 20s. Now, what was odd is the fact that the diagnosis was incorrect. But when I was 21, I had a paralyzing body surfing injury, so ended up in a wheelchair anyway, which is neither here nor there. But the interesting thing that I heard you say in there is that if you give the body the components, the tools, the building blocks, that it can heal itself, can you talk to me just a little bit more about that?
Eva Vennari: Yeah, I have come to know and understand now, after eleven years of offering this healing practice that the body is built in with this beautiful design, it’s entirely different thing when you are hit by a car and a traumatic event, like in your case. But if you’re talking about a chronic condition of using your body and somebody saying, Well, due to overuse, you now have to be in a wheelchair. I’m thinking what that doesn’t add up. So I believe that we are built in with the system that allows us to automatically override our own. It really is a sense of arrogance, and I don’t want to sound negative. It really is. If we think that we know what’s perfect for our body at any one time, I believe that if we’re giving the body what it means, not just what Dr. Oz says. No disrespect. It’s just like you can’t just do things based on hearsay or what our sister in law says we should take. I can’t tell you how much I hear that. My sister in law says I should take there’s time for things to take. And there are good things for the body in times when it’s right for it. But that same thing that is good for it. Now, at a different metabolism, your body may not need it and therefore can put you in a place of degeneration instead of regeneration. And that’s the difference.
Rob Oliver: Got it. What does quality health care mean to you?
Eva Vennari: I think it’s a really good reflection of what I just described in that. If you have your values and they match anywhere in your mind, I don’t think it has to be exactly like mine to be considered valuable. I think it has to be, you know what your values are for me. I don’t want to take medication long term. I don’t mind taking them short term for necessary things, but I don’t find high blood pressure medication for life. I don’t think that’s necessary ongoing. I think you can do something short term. But then if you fix the problem at an environmental level in the body, then it should be able to resolve itself. And oftentimes it very much does. And I get to be a witness of it. So if you don’t want to take drugs, if you want to tap into the body’s natural ability to heal, if you’re looking for a doctor to listen to you and not just do what the doctor says to do, you want to be a part of your own health care and have that self advocacy really present. I think that is for me, that’s quality health care. I would never find myself in a doctor’s office where they said, Well, you have to do X, Y and Z because he said so. It’s not just a matter of me disagreeing with authority. It’s more like does that align with my values as a human being? Am I doing the right thing by my body? And that’s what’s important for me.
Rob Oliver: Yeah. I hear what you’re saying. Of course, when I was growing up, everybody had, like, pins and buttons on their lapel. And there was the one that said, Question authority. And my friend really got the message from that. And his button said, who said, Question authority. Right. So I think he understood it in the real practical way. But what you’re talking about is something that resonates with me anyway, that the process for health care needs to be collaborative. It can’t be a one way street in which you go in. You kind of share what’s going on. You share your symptoms and what have you. And then the doctor says, okay, having heard everything, I now know how to proceed. And this is the path that you must take, because I know everything there is to know. And I realized that is a drastic overcharacterization. But sometimes in years gone by. That was how it was. You went to the doctor looking for the doctor to tell you exactly what you were supposed to do and to move forward from there. And these days, we’re moving towards collaboration. I agree. And you’ve kind of done this a little bit. But can you give me an example of quality health care? What does that look like in shoe leather, so to speak?
Eva Vennari: I’ll give you two stories. One is a story of what quality health care is not. And that’s a reflection of my now deceased ex husband, who has been ten years. He passed away of a heart attack at the age of 45, and I found out after he died, he was on 17 medications, and there was a time period where he could have asked for help and could have could have gotten off of the medications. But he didn’t question his doctors, right? So that’s one that is the example of not quality health care. What I can see as a quality health care example is just recently I received an email back from one of my clients who said, Eva, I have been searching for an answer to high blood pressure for ten years. My doctors have pushed me and pressured me to take medication. And I’ve now been working with you for a month, and this sounds more like a testimonial. It is also, but it’s the story. The idea is to get this point across is that she didn’t want to take the drugs and she wanted to find something natural. And we had that conversation and she started to implement the recommendations and her own practices for reducing stress. And she said for the first time in ten years, I measured my blood pressure this morning and my blood pressure and my heartbeat were within normal range for her, that’s the ideal when you’re heard and when you get the results. And you’re not just covering up a symptom with a drug or anything else because we cover up symptoms with coffee, wines, TV shows, really fast music. It’s all kinds of things you can do to pump yourself up and feel better. But what’s really getting at the root of the problem and that, I think, is the quality health care you’re talking about.
Rob Oliver: What you just said is incredibly powerful. I believe that it’s not just medication that we use to cover up symptoms, but so many times we deal with the surface issue and not the root issue. And by taking a look at that root issue, that’s what ultimately is going to allow us to resolve the problem. And resolving the root issue takes care of the surface issue, takes care of handling the whole thing very powerful message. What do you wish people understood about your role in health care?
Eva Vennari: Oh, I’m just a conduit. I’m the messenger. Don’t kill the messenger type thing. And so I often say I speak the truth an awful lot. And I’m not the most popular person in the room for that reason. People don’t always want to hear it. But you’re your own advocate, and you’re the only person who lives inside the skin of your body, in your shell. And you’re the only one who has the experience. And I’m here to say that that has value and your opinion about your health care matters.
Rob Oliver: Can you talk a little bit about how you empower your clients, how you empower the people that work with you, to really share their own viewpoint, to speak with their own voice and to give them a place at the table when it comes to their own health care.
Eva Vennari: I think oftentimes you touched on it a little bit earlier, as we’ve been trained to be a certain way about our health care. And we hear a symptom in our body. Whether that’s a headache of pain in the joint or upset stomach or the list goes on. And as long as it’s not an emergency that requires surgery, we’re looking for a way to squash it. It’s the Hunt and kill method of health care. Instead, I think that the biggest factor here is to learn that your body is communicating with you, and a symptom is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just information. There’s no good or bad. It’s just information and what we do with it. So the best way that I can convey how a person learns to be their best advocate is to learn how to translate what their body is saying to them so that they can understand what to give it. That’s probably the best thing right there. It’s like not to dismiss it and go, oh, that’s bad. That’s painful. It hurts for me. I don’t want to experience that anymore. Shove it down, shove it out, take pills, rid of it, and instead go, oh, gosh. Having if I’m upset stomach, maybe I’m not eating a food that my body wants or can deal with. Right now. A lot of people, if they eat meat and it feels like they’ve just swallowed a stone, for example, they think is bad. I’m like, no, your digestive juices just aren’t strong enough right now in order to handle meat. And that’s a way different experience than I must go vegan. You know what I mean? It’s just entirely different.
Rob Oliver: Right. In some ways. Let me see if this analogy makes sense to you when we have those symptoms. In some ways, I feel like it’s the check engine light on the car. And what you can do is you can have somebody take the light bulb out of the check engine light, and it will go out. Okay. And you’ve dealt with the pesky problem of the check engine light. The problem is you haven’t fixed the reason why it’s on. And so in that way, if you are taking things that are masking the symptoms, then you are taking the bulb out of the light. Does that make sense to you?
Eva Vennari: That’s perfect sense. And I use a lot of car analogies because I think that as humans, we design mechanisms that reflect our own way of performing. And the car is the perfect example. And I use that for people who take bioidentical hormones. So look, if you’re going to take progesterone cream or even men that take testosterone, it reminds me of getting behind your car when it’s out of gas and pushing it from destination to destination rather than taking it to the gas station and filling your tank with gasoline. It really is the same thing. And great analogy. Perfect.
Rob Oliver: Thank you. What excites you about the future of health care?
Eva Vennari: I think we’re circling back to a place where and I have to tell a story. Before I answer this on my podcast, I talk about how the different places in the world. We don’t separate the complementary alternative medicine from medicine. And here we do here in the United States, here in Canada and Canada is so close, I would call it here England. Many of the traditional medicines that we are calling traditional. It’s only been around for the last 120 years or so. They exclude the holistic medicine practices. But when you look outside of those areas in the world and you ask a person, what kind of medicine do you use? Are you holistic or they look at you. Funny. What are you talking about? All medicine, including what you’re talking about, is holistic is medicine. And I’m like, yes, it is. Hallelujah. Hello. That makes sense to me. And I think that equalization of coming back into a place of balance where we’re recognizing we’re not talking about snake oil vendors, we’re not talking about voodoo, we’re not talking about witchcraft. We’re talking about real holistic medicine. It’s been around longer than our American Medical Association, et cetera. That field of study where if it’s not learned in science, if we don’t give them medication and it’s not medicine, no, there’s a broad spectrum understanding of it. And I think we’re coming back to that. People want it because they realize that medication is not the only answer. It is just part of the journey if you so choose.
Rob Oliver: Okay. What is one thing medical professionals can start doing today to improve the quality of health care?
Eva Vennari: I feel this little moment here rather than judging and being so quick to come to a place of labeling a person’s condition, be serious about it and ask more questions and spend more time with their client. And in my case, I have to say, clients, if you’re a practitioner with an MD behind your name, then it’s more like patient. Right. So it’s about spending time and being less concerned about what is going to be covered under the insurance and more concerned about what a patient can do and making sure that your patients are in alignment with your values as a doctor practitioner, because those who want a pill should go to the doctor who wants to prescribe it. And I believe there’s a role for that. And the opposite, it needs to be true, too.
Rob Oliver: Okay. It’s so interesting to hear you say that because the old adage is that when you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And sometimes I am concerned that in the medical field, whatever your specialty is and this isn’t always true. But whatever your specialty is, that feels like the remedy for most everything. And listen, you can pick on surgeons, right? And not every surgeon is like this. But sometimes I feel like when you take a problem to a surgeon, sometimes the answer is, well, we can do surgery on that. And it’s kind of like there are many surgeons that I have worked with who are like, we don’t want to do surgery on you. That’s our last resort. Let’s figure out some other way to do it. So that’s an unfair characteristic of it’s. A broad brush stroke. That is not true of everyone. So please, if you’re a surgeon, I’m not saying that. That’s how you approach things. I’m saying that there are possibly some people in your field who might be like that, and maybe you’ve met one or two of them. Yes. Good. Eva Vennari, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate you sharing your perspective on health care.
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed by guests on the Perspectives on Healthcare Podcast are solely the opinion of the guest. They are not to be misconstrued as medical diagnoses or medical advice. Please consult with a licensed medical professional before attempting any of the treatments suggested.