With love and respect for her surroundings, Tiarni Emery lives each day to its fullest. The qualified naturopath is realising her dreams with Soul Harmony Naturopathy on the beaches of beautiful Western Australia, but will never forget her roots, right here on the Limestone Coast. The Kingston country girl credits her upbringing, passion and strong connection with nature and natural living to her lifestyle on the farm and living by the sea. After graduating from a Bachelor of Health Science Degree Naturopathy in Adelaide and Melbourne, and studying full-time before that at the Endeavour College of Natural Health, Tiarni returned to her hometown of Kingston to launch her own business. Designing a business plan during her studies came in handy and the foundation for her business was already laid, and so she became Kingston’s first naturopath.
Soul Harmony Naturopathy was inspired by Tiarni’s belief that “health and happiness is a holistic matter that starts within, incorporating mind, body and soul and for true health to be obtained, all systems must be working in balance and harmony”. Naturopathy has always been something Tiarni has been interested in, but it wasn’t until a slight push onto that path from one of her college teachers that set her career on track. “I think my respect for what the Earth has provided us, and my awareness of the fact so many people are unnecessarily medicated at the detriment to their own underlying health status is what drove me to become a qualified naturopath,” she said. “That kind of sparked my curiosity and pushed me to understand why the majority of us are so medicated and ignoring the underlying cause of health ailments.”
Tiarni has always had a strong love and interest in nature and the connection we have to the earth, as well as the body’s ability to heal itself. “As a kid my mum would always seek to find alternate therapies to treat us with as opposed to marching us off to the doctor,” she said. “I suffered with reoccurring migraines through my teenage years and I successfully treated them through different forms of natural medicine, lifestyle and dietary changes.” Tiarni knew there would be some challenges in opening her clinic in the country, as the popularity of “alternative” treatments has only really started to take off. “It was always going to be hard task practicing naturopathy in a small country town as we just aren’t anywhere near as resourced as the city,” she said. “We can’t just pop into a health food store to grab a particular product or health food and we have to travel a long way for any referred testing. “I think it made me a more practical and resourceful practitioner as I had to be able to make realistic treatment plans for clients.” Tiarni says she is so grateful for her time practicing in Kingston; it helped her to understand that those in the country don’t have everything at their fingertips. “There were many people in Kingston and surrounding areas that really did embrace having a naturopath locally,” she said. “For that I am truly thankful; when you are a young person starting out you can’t forget those that have supported you from the start.”
For naturopaths it is important to concentrate on and treat the cause of the health issue, rather than just the issue itself. Tiarni works to get the best for her clients by working in conjunction with doctors and other practitioners. “I do find it hard to fathom that the cause of the issue is so commonly ignored,” she said. “There isn’t much sustainable with a ‘Band-Aid’ treatment, so I feel working towards the cause of the issue is where our biggest strengths lie as a naturopath. “We really work on the individual, spending hours with each client helping build up a lifestyle that supports their health and wellbeing.” It is important to understand that when it comes to health and well-being there really is no “quick-fix”, and this is the biggest challenge Tiarni faces as a naturopath. “Long term changes have to be made, but it’s these changes that ensure long term results and not a life time of symptom control,” she said. “Natural medicine aims to bring the body back into balance so individuals can reach optimal health without the continual reliance on medication.” Tiarni believes one of the biggest differences between a doctor and a naturopath, is the time spent with the client. “Spending a lot of time with each client helps them to become really self-aware and to learn to listen to their own body,” she says. “Naturopaths also look at all health conditions from a very holistic perspective and have an understanding of how each body system is working with and affecting another. “For example your gut health will have a huge impact on your mental health.” Tiarni believes fixing the underlying issues which are resulting in a physical illness can have a huge impact on the overall health of a person. For naturopaths it is about recognising what your body is saying and treating the cause rather than just the symptoms.
Naturopathy is often referred to as alternative medicine, but for Tiarni this couldn’t be further from the truth. “It is just plain common sense,” she says. “If you want your health to improve you need to get to the root cause of your symptoms, you need to start treating your body as a whole, you need to think about what you are putting inside yourself and you need to make changes to ensure you are supporting your health and healing.” Tiarni adds that more and more people are seeking out naturopaths these days due to a more “self-awareness” surrounding their health. Being more educated on what is important to keep yourself both physically and mentally healthy has also seen a real boost in the need and want for naturopaths. “I think it is becoming evident to people that we need nutrients to nourish our bodily functions and herbal medicine is just the natural ‘whole’ form of the isolated and concentrated medication they receive in a pill,” said Tiarni. “Nature has provided us with all the ingredients we need to maintain and restore balance. I think people have just been disconnected to what should be common sense and natural instinct for a long time but that is definitely changing and we are seeing more and more scientific evidence to back it up which I think is playing a big part in the shift toward natural medicine.” But don’t get her wrong, though she feels it’s “fantastic” that people are taking more control with their health and seeking out a more natural healing method, she still believes there is also a place for traditional and modern medicine.
So what’s the key to living a happy and healthy lifestyle? Balance!! It’s one of those things that we all read about and want to be better at, right? “Too much of one thing is never good, whether it be with your diet or in life,” says Tiarni. “You can practice yoga in the morning, nourish your body with good nutrition throughout the day, and then go out for a wine with the girls at night. “If you become too restrictive and place too much pressure on being perfect the harder it will be to sustain a healthy lifestyle and more importantly, it will affect your happiness.” Tiarni’s advice to everyone wanting to live a more happy and healthy lifestyle is really to just enjoy the things you love, but don’t over- do it. She believes that too many people are putting pressure on themselves to give their diet a label or live like those they follow through social media. “There is a lot of pressure through social media these days to lead the ‘perfect’ lifestyle,” said Tiarni. “We have epic holiday destinations, model fitness figures, beautiful clothing and the most outstanding diets imaginable shoved in our faces 24/7. I’m finding, particularly with my young female clients, that this is causing a lot of stress and angst to try and live up to these personalities on social media and the unrealistic lifestyles they portray. Women in particular have a hard time not comparing themselves to the hundreds of Instagram and Facebook posts they see, but Tiarni says “comparison is the thief of joy”. “Know that you are on your own unique journey, your life will have ups and downs and that is completely natural,” she said. “Listen to your body and don’t follow the crowds. “And simply just get outside – it’s completely crazy that we spend so much time inside, it’s not natural and I think it has a lot to answer for in terms of our physical and mental health.”
With the dream in mind of moving to Western Australia now a reality, Tiarni said goodbye to her beloved Kingston for the next adventure. Drawn to Margaret River’s natural beauty and ‘surfy’ alternative and health conscious feel, Tiarni set up Soul Harmony Naturopathy on the west coast. “It has been an amazing experience for me and opened up a lot of opportunities that I just unfortunately wouldn’t be able to have in a small country town,” she said. “I have access to equipment such as an Iridology camera through the clinic I work from, I have been able to collaborate with other businesses such as a cold pressed juice company Livity, that provides juice cleanses for my clients and I also work casually at the health food store which has given me even more experience in the industry. “It has been a great move and Soul Harmony Naturopathy has been well embraced.” For more about Soul Harmony’s “juicy collaboration” with Livity check out Tiarni’s website, details below.
Besides the outdoors and helping people find a happier, healthier self, Tiarni has a passion for making art and creating healthy alternatives in the kitchen. The chocolate mug-cakes are to die for!! Tiarni says diet and how well we resource our body nutritionally is the back bone to our overall health, so by creating recipes for people allows Tiarni to have an even bigger impact on her clients and followers. “I can definitely relate to those that are lazy in the kitchen, I am literally the most impatient person when it comes to food,” she says. “I find that it is human nature to take the most convenient option, which is unfortunately often processed, packaged junk. “This is why I really strive to promote quick and simple recipes that aren’t going to have you slaving over a saucepan for two hours using ingredients you have never heard of. “I think if you are having trouble committing to a healthy diet you really need to take it back to basics and understand that you don’t need a million fancy ingredients and two hours prepping time, all you need is whole food ingredients that your body can recognise and benefit from, just keep it simple.” Tiarni believes that by dedicating a small part of the day, once a week to make up snacks and even bulk meals to put in the freezer can be such a stress reliever. This way no one has the excuse they couldn’t create a healthier option. “It is never going to be as easy as pulling out a chocolate bar or a packet of chips and that’s because those foods aren’t natural,” she said. “We created those foods, it’s important to stay connected to what nature has provided us, whole fresh foods. “That is what our body needs and that is what is going to make you feel amazing.” Currently Soul Harmony has a range of quick and easy treats online from Green Eggs and Bacon Muffins, to Rough Coconut and Carob Slice – check them out!!
Apart from the amazing recipes, Tiarni gives loads of informative advice to her followers through blog posts. From detoxing to anxiety, and even how to boost your immunity. It’s through her online presence that she has recently become a brand ambassador for Girlspo. The Adelaide based company is all about helping girls and young women with their mental well-being, through researched programs and resources which focus on promoting a positive mindset. “For me, being an ambassador is about promoting something that I believe will be highly beneficial for my clients and followers,” said Tiarni. “It’s also about creating a supportive community of girls supporting girls.” Tiarni helps to promote health and wellness on a daily basis, and now with the added focus on the Girlspo Guides 30 Day Challenge, she is adding another positive element to Soul Harmony. “I found out about Girlspo via Instagram, and because I work with a lot of young females struggling to create a healthy mindset and healthy habits I have been able to network with others working within the same field,” she said. “This then lead me to the 30 day challenge. “I think the challenge provides an amazing wealth of information for girls and equips them to deal with a lot of challenges that typically affect girls.” Tiarni says “compromised” mental wellbeing is the cause of many physical health issues and habits. “The program gives us the tools to deal with life’s challenges and build a stronger mental resilience which is so important.”
For more information on Soul Harmony Naturopathy visit www.soulharmonynaturopathy.com. You can also stay in touch and up to date on Instagram @soulharmonynaturopathy or Facebook.