Balanced Babes: Amy O'Brien, Doctor of Chinese Medicine
I know I say this pretty much every time I have a Balanced Babe here on the blog but I am SO excited to introduce you to Amy. As a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Amy played a huge role in supporting me on my 'post pill journey' and her magical herbs and acupuncture certainly fill me up with fabulous health.
I love that Amy is a Doctor that advocates health, not just the absence of ailment. Her approach incorporates the body, mind, and spirit, which I love because I believe (and experience) that a holistic approach is the path to true wellness.
Not just as a practitioner but as a person, Amy is a beautiful example of a woman who walks her talk and lives her passion, and she does it in her very own incredibly sweet, super passionate, and wholeheartedly authentic way. She changes lives every day by sharing her knowledge and love for Chinese herbs and her beautifully balanced and wise approach to health both in her Perth clinic and on her blog (which you will LOVE if you're healing your hormones).
So here she is to share her words on living with Fabulous Health.
Lets start with a bit of background – tell us a little about who you are and what you do.
My name is Amy. I am an organic veggie gardener, a beach walker, a meditator, a life lover, a tea drinker, a dark chocolate fiend and a curious soul.
As for my life’s work I am a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and I advocate for Fabulous Health. Fabulous Health is the concept that I created to express how I want to feel, and what I want to provide for others.
I spend my days in my lovely little clinic in West Perth mixing herbal formulas that were first carved into bamboo two thousand years ago, having deep conversations, giving acupuncture and allowing people to really sink into their own delicious health. And that’s pretty fun actually.
Describe what living a big, juicy, healthy life means to you.
Big and juicy health to me is the notion of fabulous health, which I touched on above. It really is at the core of the core of who I am, what I stand for and every decision I make.
Living this way is my absolute number one priority. With whole and juicy health on my side I feel free, flexible, clear and strong. I feel deep gratitude and happiness in every cell. I feel open and honest and full of life. It feels real.
In terms of my outlook, living this way also means finding the beauty in every situation, and lessons everywhere. It means breathing deeply into each moment and taking gentle steps towards my goals each and every day.
How did you get there? What made you chose to take the leap to follow your dreams?
Hunger. Drive. Passion. Curiosity. Passion. I know I said passion twice, but honestly, without passion, drive and hunger there is no way I would be where I am right now.
It never really felt like a leap of faith to be real with you. It only ever felt like just one step. And then another. And another - each step rewarding and fuelling the next. Everything has just grown and unfolded beautifully as the years have gone by.
And I know in my heart that life is too short to hold back – so we best get on with the business of doing, creating and being who and what we are here to be.
Can you share a great piece of advice you’ve been given and who gave it to you?
In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
Gandi’s words. Not to me personally, perhaps obviously, but I find them bouncing around inside of me at some point most day. I love it because it reminds me that you don’t need to be screaming and shouting to create change. Small things create big things that ripple the whole world around. And that is magic for us introverts!
When are you most inspired? What gets you bursting with excitement, leaping out of bed, and losing track of time?
So many things! I try to live my life with my eyes open and my heart full of gratitude – and since doing that I feel like I see wonder everywhere: in the leaves swirling on the pavement, in the silverbeet growing in my backyard, in the beauty and strength of these amazing bodies of ours.
I definatly jump out of bed to play with my puppy. And to go to the farmers market on a Saturday morning. And sometimes to eat dark chocolate.
I absolutely and completely loose track of time when I am studying Classical Chinese Herbal Medicine. There is just so much to learn and the beauty and simplicity of it is completely breathtaking to me. I have absolutely spent many hours, days and occasionally weeks at a time completely immersed in books and notes – all surfaces covered all through the house. When my partner and I watched A Beautiful Mind a while back, we both had to giggle when he said that’s exactly what I’m like sometimes!
What does your perfect day look like?
I proudly let go of perfection many years ago.
Perfection used to be a dangerous word for me.
Truthfully, my perfect day is my every day.
A day that I breathe deeply, feel present, walk on the grass. Feel the sunshine on my skin and move my body in whichever way it asks to be moved. It involves really enjoying nourishing meals I have created myself, eating veggies I have grown and sipping on delicious and healing herbal teas.
My everyday perfection is a day that I choose to feel the breadth of each emotion that comes my way. A day that I lean into my vulnerabilities and feel centred, connected and present.
A day I expand my brain around the amazing capabilities of our bodies, indulge my curious mind as I sit with beautiful people and help them towards their own fabulous health.
A day that involves dark chocolate and fresh flowers, my man, and my puppy dog.
How do you reinvigorate yourself when you’re feeling a little less sparkly and vibrant than normal? How do you get that pesky inner critic to pipe down?
Oh and this totally happens too. Often. Love this question!
I find that these moments of resistance are the very moments where the best growth and truths can be found.
I do my best to listen fully and understand the lesson the first time (after many many many years of ignoring what my body had to say to me until it would literally shut down on me).
Firstly, I get quiet and go ahead and ask my body what it needs to heal and thrive.
An early night, a day off, a meditation, silence, a giggle with friends are all popular answers. Then I go ahead and do that.
Often its simply getting in touch with the great outdoors for some valuable time away from “the To Do List”.
I also have a bag of tricks and techniques I have gathered over the years that work for me: subconscious writing streams, meditation, running, handstands, listening to Pharell and having a dance around.
Lastly, fresh perspective from my man, a sister or my gosh darn life changing counsellor are also top of my list for lingering and reoccurring themes.
I love soaking up the knowledge of the people around me - what is your favourite question to ask people and what kind of answers do you get?
Without a doubt: How do you feel?
Asked as a genuine question, in a calm and gentle space, it is often met with a silent contemplation, followed up raw and beautiful truth.
And it’s so powerful to own the way we feel. To let tears and fears flow.
A truthful answer to this question often surprises the speaker far more than it surprises myself.
Can you share some of your favourite health tips?
- Find what things work for you and allow you to thrive.
- Know that it wont be what works for your best friend or your sister, and that it will change and evolve with time.
- Trust what you body is telling you when it comes to what to eat and how much exercise to do. Let go of what you “should” be doing. All those things are just a phase. Ten years on in the health and wellness industry and I see that clear as day now.
- Focus on the beautiful basics.
- Sleep. Eat. Rest and Breathe. Move. Enjoy food.
- Listen to your body and respect what you hear enough to act upon it.
- I promise there is nothing an adaptogenic superfood from the Andes can offer you until you have mastered the beautiful basics of fabulous health.
Weirdest healthy food or practice you’ve tried?
I’m always cooking up sticks and twigs and bark (raw Chinese herbs), and it seems pretty normal to me now, but I appreciate that it’s a little outside of the norm for most!
Favourite travel destination?
My own home! For me having a well stocked pantry, my veggie garden, my puppy, homemade nut milk and my own little piece of this earth is heaven. I know that’s not as cool as saying somewhere exotic, but I embrace my homebody-ness.
Quote you love?
We rise by lifting others. Amazing.
What cracks you up?
My puppy dog, Barry the Airedale.
Who do you think deserves a big high 5?
Every single person who is doing the best with what they’ve got.
Awesome book to read?
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. That lady is all sorts of brilliant. Re-reading Dr Seuss as an adult is also pretty epic!
Wellness inspiration of the wisest and gentlest ilk, don't you think? For more beautiful words and to find your own version of fabulous health head to www.fabuloushealth.com.au. For pictures of those healing herbs and Barry the Airedale (so cute!), follow Amy on Instagram @amy_fabuloushealth. Stay up to date on Facebook on her page Fabulous Health with Amy O’Brien.
Lots of Love