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Anna's story

Sports Journalist & Retired Olympic Freestyle Skier, age 27, Auckland, New Zealand

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I come from a family of athletes. My dad was a 3 x World Champion sailor who is now one of New Zealand’s top Olympic coaches - his team claimed the gold at the Rio Olympic Games. My brother represented New Zealand at the 2016 Summer Olympics in sailing, and has now been selected to compete at the Tokyo Olympics. Competing is well and truly in my blood.

I started skiing as a child and quickly developed a real ability and passion for it. I grew up in Auckland which is far away from the mountains, but I still had an immense passion for skiing. I came into the sport late and only began freestyle skiing at the age of 18. My passion and strong competitive mindset meant I threw myself into the sport, and managed to win myself a place the world tour. Just 3 years after I picked up the sport I qualified for the Sochi Winter Olympics, and was ranked 7th in the world. I was living the dream.

But as an Olympic freestyle skier I suffered countless injuries, particularly to my head and neck. After a string of concussions and a two broken wings off my vertebrae, I had to make the heart-breaking decision to retire from skiing. It was the hardest decision of my life but my body couldn’t take those injuries anymore.While travelling through Europe after my decision to retire, I was hit by a bike from behind in the dark. I was frustrated that this had happened to me, after quitting my dream and the associated risks.To make matters worse, years after retirement, I began to get chronic migraines, with a possible link to my past concussions and head injuries.

I was getting migraines 6 days a week and spending thousands of dollars on treatments. I went to see multiple neurologists and migraine specialists. I became desperate. I went down the medication root, the naturopath root and the physio root. Nothing worked. Then I was introduced to Diane. Diane asked me a lot of questions, some which I’d been asked before by health professionals but some I’d never been asked. Based on my answers, Diane simply recommended certain foods to add to my diet but took nothing out. Her recommendations were really simple and completely affordable. My migraines finally eased a few weeks after eating the functional foods Diane recommended. It gave my body a break from the full time pain, and now they have almost completely eased off. I am very grateful to have found Diane.

As we worked together, she realised that the very first onset of my migraines dated prior to skiing, when I was 5 years old. According to scientific papers, that makes me part of the “lucky” 5% whose DNA is very migraine-prone and whose brain rings on the alarm bell upon any imbalance! We have decided to work together for a longer period of time. She is not replacing my doctor, but is having me track my brain so that we can learn together how it communicates, how I can correct imbalances with food, and how I can live a balanced life avoiding migraines all together. I am told that if I manage my life well, I will also age more slowly - for me that is a great source of motivation!

Are those migraines a blessing or a curse? I am determined to make the most of them!

DISCLAIMER: Information on this website is provided as general information only about our service and approach to migraine management. It isn’t intended as medical advice or diagnosis, and shouldn’t be relied on as a substitute for medical advice from a health professional.

Any recommendations of functional foods and teas and quantities are also for general information only. Some functional foods and teas mentioned on the website have contraindications and should only be consumed following advice from a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner.

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