In light of International Women's Day, we interviewed some of the most influential and inspirational women working in the wellness industry - and we were spoilt for choice! Registered Nutritional Therapist and Functional Medicine practitioner, Sandra Greenbank specialises in fertility. In this article, Sandra shares her biggest inspirations and why good education is key in the health industry...
What does working in the wellness industry mean to you?
I started my nutrition studies 14 years ago, so the wellness industry is looking very different now to what it looked like back then. There’s an increased awareness about the power of diet and lifestyle changes now, which is fantastic and very exciting. It’s wonderful to see people transform their lives, and it’s such a privilege to be able to share these journeys with my clients. I feel so incredibly lucky to call this work, as it brings me so much joy.
Who are you inspired by & why?
I’m inspired by so many other practitioners and educators in the field of nutritional therapy and functional medicine. One person that springs to mind is Amelia Freer. She studied at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition, which is where I also studied, and she has gone on to do some fantastic work with her books, blog and other projects. I am so grateful for all the work she has done in raising awareness for our industry, and she’s done it with such grace too. I’m also a big admirer of Kelly Brogan MD, a bold and empowering holistic psychiatrist and author.
What tips would you give other women wanting to get into your business?
Pick a course that gives you a good education in nutritional therapy. As a profession we are regulated by BANT, so on the BANT website you can find a list of all the training providers that meet the high standards required for registration.
Do consider that you’re also going to have to become quite business savvy, as most of us are self employed. It’s fun and rewarding running your own business but it’s also hard work.
What are your three top tips?
Look after your gut health. The rest of your body won’t be able to function at its best without a well-functioning gut. It’s responsible for the digestion, production and absorption of nutrients, our immune system is largely situated there, and it’s also the major exit route for the toxins we come into contact with every day.
Put yourself first. You need to look after your own health and wellbeing, in order to have the energy and strength to look after everything else – whether it’s work, family, or anything else. As women, we are notoriously great at looking after everyone else while forgetting to look after ourselves.
When looking for a practitioner to work with, check their training and registrations. There are many people out there selling services such as lifestyle medicine, dietary advice etc. but they don’t all have the right qualifications. For example, I would not claim to be able to teach you yoga, but I’ve noticed that there are several yoga teachers who sell personalised dietary advice. I believe this puts their clients at risk, just as it would do if I started running yoga classes.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
For me, it’s about remembering those who so bravely fought for our rights and it also signifies unity and reminds us to celebrate our strength as women. The day is also about friendships and female cooperation. I surround myself with inspiring women as together we can lift each other up and I truly believe that together we are stronger.