Are You Ready for Change?
Welcome to Feminist Wellness!
You’re ready to feel better, starting now. And I know that that’s possible with the right tools and the right guide. Maybe you’ve gone to a dozen doctors and therapists and you still haven’t gotten to the root cause of what’s keeping you feeling less than amazing.
You’re done with just talking about your digestive symptoms, your fatigue, depression, anxiety, and not feeling heard. You’re ready to make real change for your mental and physical health, starting now. You want to learn how to stop rolling around in resentment, frustration, anger, or fear. You want to figure out your life’s purpose, to set goals, and get things done.
You want the psychology, the science, a touch of magic, and a lot of practical, actionable, easy tools you can use starting now to help you get unstuck. If this sounds like you, you’re in the right place.
My Approach to Wellness
Let me tell you a little bit about how my approach is different. First, and perhaps most importantly, I have the experience of having been the patient. I’m never going to talk down to you. Instead, I’m here to lift you up, to teach you, to empower you. Also, I’m uniquely trained to address both your physical and mental health needs, and I’ll do so by helping you to create a daily practice of wellness for your mind, body, and spirit.
I came to this work because I was sick my whole life. In my 20s, after years of living with chronic belly pain, indigestion, gas, bloating, depression and anxiety, I got sick of being sick and took my health, both physical and mental, into my own hands.
In the 20 years since starting my healing journey, I’ve helped thousands of people, especially women who’ve suffered from the same emotional and physical stagnation that I’ve felt. I’ve reclaimed and restored my physical and mental health and I’m proud to say that I’m thriving now more than ever!
The two things I did that changed my life
My life changed dramatically when I did two things. First, I learned to reclaim my power and trust myself both emotionally and spiritually. And second, I restored my health by getting to the root causes of what was ailing me and uncovering the connection between mind and body. I know that my life’s purpose is to help you do these same things.
My approach is probably different than the approach of most folks you’ve worked with. I like to mix healthy doses of science, psychology, medicine, and a little bit of magic, to help folks live their best lives on their own terms. I know that our minds, bodies, and spirits are inextricably linked and that none of us can achieve our best health, wellness, or purpose in this world without all three being balanced.
The tenants of living a healthy and full life
There is no physical health without emotional, spiritual health and vice versa. While Western medical tradition has historically taught us that these things, mind and body, can be treated in isolation, there is a vast and ever-growing body of evidence-based research reflecting what so many of us have known for so long; mind and body are deeply linked. Tending to one must mean tending to the other if we are to get to our truest health.
We are absolutely capable of healing our own bodies and minds. We just need the right tools and the right support to get there. I’m living proof. Our bodies are magical, mystical, amazing machines. We must fuel and tend to them properly in order to allow them to do what they’re fully capable of doing; healing us and keeping us well.
We cannot be healed and we cannot be well without owning and knowing our full power in the world, without loving ourselves unconditionally, even when we have hard days, and without developing the tools necessary to relate to others in our lives using healthy honest communication-based in our own self-love.
How the socialization of women affects our health
So many of us, especially those of us socialized as women, have been systematically disempowered and belittled our whole lives. We’ve internalized these stories of giving but not asking for more, of allowing others to treat us poorly or in ways that don’t really work for us, of taking care of the whole world first without first taking care of ourselves.
In order to heal, in order to be well, we need to reclaim our power and our absolute knowledge that we are worthy, we are loved, and we are deserving of everything we desire in this one beautiful human lifetime. I’ve spent years learning and proving these lessons for myself and with my clients and patients.
Sharing what I’ve learned
I’ve studied it all: The Western medical system, science and the deep dark ways of looking at cells, herbal medicine, nutrition, meditation, Buddhism, psychology, life coaching. I tried everything I could to heal myself; every diet, every herb. I went to countless doctors and specialists and had every test they knew about.
And time after time, I heard the last words any chronically sick person in the midst of their suffering wants to hear, which was, “All your tests came back negative. You’re fine, it’s all in your head. You should learn to relax.” I heard it all so many times. I was so frustrated and exhausted.
It wasn’t until I absorbed these new lessons, until I got proper medical care from integrative providers like myself who cared about the root cause of my illness, until I learned the cognitive-behavioral tools that I use every single day that help me get out of my own resentment, frustration, and feelings of powerlessness over my life that I truly healed. And it was the integration of all of these that has me feeling my absolute best as I’m coming up on 40.
You are not alone
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been struggling as I did. Maybe you’ve been told your fatigue, depression, digestion problems were all in your head, but when you tried therapy or went to your primary care doctor to get, “fixed,” nothing really changed. Maybe you’ve been to a whole bunch of doctors and specialists who either gave you a string of diagnoses that never got resolved or maybe told you they couldn’t find anything wrong with you.
Or maybe you’re just feeling stuck. You’re not sure who to trust and how to get the information you need. You feel stuck in frustration, resentment, powerlessness. Maybe you’re feeling skeptical because you’ve reached out for help so many times in the past and not gotten any better. If any of this resonates for you, keep reading; help is on the way.
A feminist approach
What also makes me different is my belief in empowerment as a central tenet of health, a feminist belief I hold dear. I have long loved the Audre Lorde quote, “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” I remember having this quote up in my college dorm room in the late 90s and feeling so empowered by this concept that I could take care of myself despite feeling fear. And self-care and acting in service of my vision to heal myself and others is to step truly and deeply into my power.
I believe that each of us has the ability and the tools we need to heal within ourselves. We just need someone to help guide us to put all that internal brilliance into action. Our bodies are remarkably resilient and have a great capacity to heal when we can get out of our own way.
I talk a lot about self-confidence, self-esteem, self-love, mindful communication, and healthy relationships. These things are a vital part of health. If you’re not making decisions for your wellness from a place of self- love, those changes are less likely to stick and to become true lasting change. If you believe that other people’s opinions about your food choices, your supplements, you’re taking the time to meditate or journal matter, then you may be swayed into eating that thing that you know upsets your digestion or makes you feel sad for days.
Equal parts science nerd and intuitive healer
Part of taking back my health has been educating myself deeply about the inner workings of my body and mind. The approach I’ll share with you is very nerdy and science-based. I am, in fact, equal parts science nerd and intuitive healer. I spent years studying medicine, epidemiology and public health. I stay up on the latest scientific literature and will bring cutting-edge research findings to you in language that feels accessible and easy to understand and apply to your life.
It’s also that training that lets me understand where Western medicine has failed us and where it’s led us to forget the ways that mind, body, and spirit are connected. The science of why your belly hurts is absolutely important, and we also need to attend to the mind and spirit to get centered and stay centered in self-love, which we’ll be doing here together.
It’s hard to go it alone. I understand that you are a complex human mammal with hopes and dreams and fears and limitless possibility. I have the tools you need to help you live your life to its fullest potential. I know because these tools and treatments have helped in dealing with my once daily anxiety, depression, and digestion issues.
The secret to your health
Now, I have control over these things. I know what to eat, when, and how, the supplements to take to keep my body working at its optimal level, and I know how to manage my mind to choose the thoughts that will help me feel my best in any situation. All of this work is rooted deeply in some core feminist principles as I live and understand them.
Trust yourself. Know and respect your body. Claim your power. Live in love and kindness. Communicate honestly and clearly.
So, finally, my love, I want to let you in on a little secret. In fact, it’s really the secret to your health, wellness, and happiness. And that little secret is that you, my love, are worthy right now of care, affection, kindness, love, and health. You don’t actually need to change or do anything to be worthy of this and more.
There may be things about yourself that you want to change, and I’m totally here to support you in making those changes. And again, the key to lasting sustainable change is to do it from a place of deep self-love and compassion, not from a place of beating yourself up because you think you aren’t worthy or perfect or good enough.
I know that you are perfect and worthy and good enough just as you are, and I can show you how to sink into that belief about yourself so that you can move and grow and change and heal from a place of deep self-love, a place from which deep transformation is possible.
When one of us heals, all of us heal.
Thank you for taking the time to read the first blog of Feminist Wellness. I’m excited to be here and to help you take back your health!
I know not everyone is into podcasts, so I wanted to provide digestible blogs to go along with the episodes! If you’re curious about the podcast and haven’t checked them out yet, click here.
Victoria Albina, NP, MPH is a licensed and board certified Family Nurse Practitioner, herbalist and life coach, with 20 years experience in health and wellness. She trained at the University of California, San Francisco, and holds a Masters in Public Health from Boston University and a bachelors from Oberlin College. She comes to this work having been a patient herself, and having healed from a lifetime of IBS, GERD, SIBO, fatigue, depression and anxiety.
She is passionate about her work, and loves supporting patients in a truly holistic way - body, mind, heart and spirit. A native of Mar del Plata, Argentina, she grew up in the great state of Rhode Island, and lives in NYC with her partner. A brown dog named Frankie Bacon has her heart, and she lives for steak and a good dark chocolate.
Change Your Thinking, Reclaim Your Health