Dr Emily O'Dea MBBS Integrative Health Coach

Hello, I’m Emily and I’d like to share my personal journey with you.

I always wanted to be a doctor and as a child I was always playing with bandages and slings in the St John’s Cadets - when I wasn’t mucking out stables or riding ponies! I fulfilled my ambition and qualified as a doctor in 1997 at St George’s Hospital in London, and went on to complete my GP speciality training in Bangor, North Wales.

The next few years brought many changes – marriage, two children, separation, a stint of single parenting, a house move, a new partner, training as a breastfeeding counsellor, a period working in community paediatrics, and then a third child!

By this point, I was clearly exhausted. My own health was suffering; I was tired and stressed and had developed some really unhelpful eating and sleeping habits. I had plenty of information on what a healthy lifestyle should look like but had no time or energy to implement it. How could I heal others if I could not heal myself?

I realised that I wanted to approach health in a different way. I needed more time to connect with my patients and I couldn’t do that within the confines of a ten-minute appointment. Rather than seeing only surface symptoms, I wanted to understand and get to the root of a patient’s problem in a wider context, forming relationships and making long-lasting changes to their health.

So I trained as an Integrative Health Coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I focused on improving my own health first, and then learnt the tools to help others. I’m particularly interested in the mind-body connection and the effects of stress on health. I also volunteer as a breastfeeding counsellor, supporting both new mums and mums-to-be.

I’m so much happier and fulfilled in this role. When I’m not seeing clients, I love spending time with my three daughters, partner and two retired ponies. We’re trying to live ‘The Good Life’ in our new home – there are even plans for an organic vegetable garden and orchard. Watch this space!