We are excited to sit down with Andrea Beaman, an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, thyroid expert, and herbalist. Andrea is dedicated to educating others about alternative healing and sustainable eating and living through her online courses, books, guest teaching, blog, and weekly radio show, Healthy View Radio. Named one of the top Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts in 2012 by Greatist, she has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers since 1999.
Tell us about yourself and what influenced your decision to become a Health Coach and Natural Foods Chef.
Andrea: Like most folks, getting diagnosed with a disease can be a wake up call. At 28 years old, I was medically diagnosed with hyperthyroid and a large goiter. My doctor recommended radioactive iodine (RAI) to destroy my thyroid and then be on medication (thyroid hormone) for the rest of my life. Instead of taking the RAI, I altered my diet, lifestyle, and consciousness. I shifted my body out of disease and into a better state of health. My journey into health began with macrobiotics and studying food as medicine for a few years at macrobiotic conferences. My body started changing from the inside out. It was amazing to experience that type of transformation.
After I healed my condition, I was hooked on health! I wanted to shout it from the rooftops that there are better ways to heal the body than to suffer with surgery or a lifetime of costly medications. So, after my own healing journey, it made perfect sense that I became a health coach.
I studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 1999. When I graduated, I wanted to further my education at the Kushi Institute. It was there that I learned the art of visual diagnosis and shiatsu. Shiatsu taught me how to understand the energy flow in the human body and the various foods and flavors that affect each of the organ systems. I love the human body. I think it’s an amazing creation, and when we give it what we need it works really well.
What’s the importance of continuing education, and how did you begin incorporating new modalities into your practice?
Andrea: I am a huge advocate for natural healing and for continuing your education. If it wasn’t for my curiosity about ancient medicine and delving into the many different healing modalities, I would have stayed stuck in one way of thinking. I probably would have gotten sick again and again. I see this all too often in the health and wellness communities.
Natural healing called to me, and I got excited to learn about the body from a deeper perspective. I studied Japanese medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, shiatsu, meditation, breath-work, energy healing, herbal medicine, chakra healing, and wilderness survival. Recently, I graduated from Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism. The learning never stops! I know that everything I learn will help me to better help my clients and students.
I’ve been in this business for 20 years, and guess what? I’m still studying! I love learning new and exciting ways to work with the body on the physical, emotional, energetic, and spiritual levels.
Who inspires you and why?
Andrea: My gosh! So many people inspire me: Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Jesus Christ (the man, not the myth), Lao Tzu, Emerson, Thoreau, Julia Cameron, my mom and dad (Mona and Richard Beaman), my nephews, myself (yup, sometimes I inspire myself). It’s funny, I get inspired a LOT! That little spark inside me is fed by my daily activities, work, love, and life.
What are the different components of your business and what has been the most effective in generating revenue?
Andrea: I don’t think I could’ve made this business as successful as it is if I didn’t branch out to create multiple income streams. Thankfully, I learned that lesson very early in my career! When I quit my job at MTV Networks I had to figure out how to make enough money to cover my bills, pay my NYC rent, and live a life I enjoy doing the things that I love.
The thought of sitting with multiple clients per day, every day, day after day, did not spark my interest at all. Doing a wide variety of work activities that I enjoyed was much more appealing. So, I set out to do speaking engagements at local health and wellness centers, write blogs and recipes (that I eventually turned into books), work one-on-one with clients a few days per week, and I set up monthly cooking classes in my apartment. I still do the monthly classes, only now I teach them virtually to a much larger audience from around the world.
"I don’t think I could’ve made this business as successful as it is if I didn’t branch out to create multiple income streams."
How is technology changing the way health educators and coaches practice, and how has it helped grow your business?
Andrea: Technology can be an amazing way to reach a larger audience.
For example, I give monthly webinars about various health-related topics that I find exciting, to between 300-500 people. I co-host an online radio show (HealthyViewRadio.com) that live-streams to Facebook. It’s also uploaded to iTunes as a podcast and YouTube as a video.
As I mentioned, I teach monthly cooking classes online, direct from my kitchen to your computer via LearnitLive. I also work with clients from around the world via telehealth. I can see their face, tongue, eyes, and get a good look at which of their organ systems may be out of balance (using the art of Visual Diagnosis and Organ Assessment). If it wasn’t for the technology of the web, I would be limited in my ability to reach more people.
How have you seen the health industry change over the years, and where do you see it going?
Andrea: Yes, yes, yes! For the past couple of decades the audiences that I’ve spoken to at conferences and wellness centers have mostly been filled with people that are seeking alternative healing practices because they have given up on modern medicine and the constant barrage of prescription medication and surgeries.
But, over the past few years, I have seen a shift in audience attendees. Nurse practitioners and doctors are now seeking alternative healing techniques as well. This past year, for the first time in my career, a hospital (not a health conference or health and wellness center), asked me to be the keynote speaker for their yearly conference. The topic they wanted me to talk about was “Healing the Whole Body: Physically, Emotionally, Energetically and Spiritually.” This is a major step in a healing direction for the medical industry.
What they asked me to speak about is nothing that they are taught in medical school. It was alternative health to the core. And, this was considered “quackery” by the majority of medical professionals. They are making the connection that the system they have been educated and indoctrinated into may not be the best system for healing. Prevention and healing is the health care of the future. This is what I teach my students in the New Healers Master Coaching Program.
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