As spoken to Emma Lodge | August 2018
Emigrating from Germany in 2011, Christiane Wagner is an Orthomolecular Med. Therapist, Nurse, Massage Therapist, Balneo Therapist, Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist, Rehabilitation Trainer and Dr Hauschka Skin Therapist, just to name a few of her many talents! As a nurse, she believes it’s more important than ever to take an integrated approach to health care addressing the “whole” person, including physical, mental, and emotional health to find a balanced healthy lifestyle.
Emma: I’ve been reading up about orthomolecular medicine, it’s so interesting and really drives home the importance of food as medicine.
Christiane: Yes it’s really interesting but what is sad is that it is still quite unknown, and perhaps a bit controversial, but this is a proven therapy since 1968. The father of Orthomolecular Medicine was Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling; he won the Noble Prize twice and had a lot of amazing knowledge. He was the one who inspired others in how to correct DNA, without him it wouldn’t have been found until much later.
Emma: Interesting that it’s controversial, as really it’s just getting back to the basics of the essential nutrients that we need for every day function.
Christiane: Orthomolecular medicine focuses on the individual nutritional needs of a person and uses both diet and nutrient supplements such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids to restore and maintain the correct nutritional balance. What makes orthomolecular medicine so controversial is that in some cases vitamins are used in megadoses as treatment for certain conditions in mainstream medicine. In my opinion orthomolecular medicine should be the absolute basic health platform, and from there we build on all the other things which are necessary for good health.
Emma: How did you discover orthomolecular medicine?
Christiane: Well I got into orthomolecular medicine more by coincidence without knowing it.
“My daughter was born in 1991 without a bladder. At the time I was an intensive care nurse and knew she was in a really serious condition. She had lost a kidney, was living on antibiotics and her health was deteriorating rapidly. I knew I had to change something if I wanted to keep her alive”
So I started researching with my own nursing textbooks and reading as much as I could. That’s when I realised she must have a strong immune system to turn her health around. I became aware of the importance of body pH, vitamins, minerals, hormones, enzymes and overall gut health and started her on Vitamin C, B and other supplements. Gradually her health started to improve and she grew up totally strong and healthy, much more than my son, so that was really surprising!
Emma: Wow just shows how a powerful a good foundation of vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients can be.
Christiane: Yes and looking back I realise that in my first pregnancy I was vomiting a lot and I never filled my areas of deficiency so I was really struggling. I was then vomiting again with my second pregnancy but I hadn’t fully replenished myself from my first pregnancy, so this had a huge impact on my daughter’s growth and development. I also had my own accident and broke my seventh vertebrae with two discs moving and was paralysed for one and a half days. Everyone said I should have surgery, but when my feelings came back I decided to try a different recovery program because I had seen many of my patients come out sometimes worse than beforehand. I was just turning thirty with so much of my life ahead of me, I didn’t want to become like them. In the beginning people laughed, commenting on the expense of vitamins, they didn’t believe it would work. It took me three years to recover fully. I then went back into free climbing, riding, sports and working full time and that was the point when they became really interested and started asking “what did you do? You look healthier than ever before and your daughter looks great”.
Emma: Few people are aware of the connection between nutrition and depression. Do you think our food choices and in particular a deficiency of vitamins, minerals and omega 3’s are contributing to depression?
Christiane: Well I would say every client or every second client I have is ticking the box of anxiety or depression and this is proven to come from deficiencies in very simple things. For example, without vitamin B6 and essential amino acids, amongst others, you’re not able to build the happy hormone Serotonin. Getting out in the sun is really important too. Most people wear sunglasses, which yes is very good, but you should also be aware that sunlight is needed in your eyes because that triggers the production of serotonin. Shift work is a nightmare and even worse if you work during the night as your whole body clock is then upside down and you don’t get sunlight for your vitamin D or for your serotonin so you’re unable to produce melatonin. Vitamin D is actually a big protector of skin cancer, so when we don’t have much of this we’re already in much more danger. Yes we should avoid getting sunburn, but we need to use the sun in a healthy way. Eating pre-packaged food brings you down too. We’ve lost our connection with food because we buy so much processed food instead of making from scratch. On top of that conventional farming has totally depleted minerals in our soil.
Emma: So we’re not getting the nutritional value that we used to and processed packaged food doesn’t contain life force energy from the sun.
Christiane: And that’s when you have to look at what do I need to change and it definitely starts with nutrition. It’s proven that when we had the war so many people should have been depressed because there was reason to be anxious and depressed, but they weren’t depressed they could go the distance because there was no processed food.
“They were really nourished with simple unprocessed foods that contained essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids. That’s what the body needs and that’s why the body could cope better”
Emma: It really does come back to basics and what’s on our plate then.
Christiane: And if you need to heal then your body needs even more quality. There’s no quick fix, it really is a journey and that means looking at the whole picture, it’s never one deficiency.