An Interview with Fiona Enklemann

 

As an Integrative General Practitioner, Dr Fiona Enkelmann’s approach instils hope and courage, motivating her patients to achieve a healthy, joy-filled and soul driven life. Fiona has completed a Masters of Public Health with Distinction, training in Environmental and Nutritional medicine and has worked in a variety of settings including Africa, Nepal and Australian Indigenous communities. She incorporates this experience with her skills as a meditation teacher and Ignite Your Spirit therapist to safely, effectively and holistically treat the cause of her patients’ illness. Fiona is also the founder of The Healing Forum, a community focused on creating connection and collaboration between patients and conventional and complementary therapists to inspire and empower people on their healing journey. Fiona works alongside the team at The Urban Alchemist, 357 Nicholson St, Carlton North, Melbourne. www.drfionaenkelmann.com.au

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The best part of my job is…

Witnessing my patients’ ah-ha moments! I get to help them put all the pieces of the puzzle together so they can feel better — and even feel amazing. I love the process of exploring all the potential causes of my patients’ symptoms. I love seeing a new patient’s demeanor shift during the consultation, when they realise I’m genuinely interested in their story. Even better, is when they leave filled with hope and excitement about the management plan we created together.

 

I chose to enter this field of work because…

My mother had a negative experience in our health system. I thought rather than complain about it, I’d be the change I want to see in the world.

 

The greatest challenge in my career has been…

Coping with the emotional trauma from volunteering as a Doctor in Africa. Whilst this was one of the most rewarding experiences, it was extremely difficult seeing children die. Caring for very unwell children in a setting that had limited medications or necessary resources was hard. Knowing that they died from preventable causes was even harder. On returning home, I realised I had very little tools to help deal with the shame, grief and guilt I was carrying. This, along with the pressures of working and studying full time in Emergency Medicine, lead me to burn out. At the time this was an awful experience. Yet, it led me to a place where I then opened the door to complementary therapies including Meditation and Ignite Your Spirit therapy. I am eternally grateful for this.

As Ram Das says, “Everything in your life is there as a vehicle for transformation. Use it!”

 

The funniest misconceptions about my industry/company/brand are….

“General Practitioners shouldn’t support patients in the use of complementary medicines and therapies.”

This is rubbish. As a doctor, I have the skills to help my patients determine the risk and benefits of any treatment, including conventional and complementary therapies! In my experience, some complementary therapies are phenomenal and can be used alone, or used to augment conventional medicine. Why allow a sweeping statement and limited view restrict what we can offer our patients — and more importantly — help them to recover from their illness.

Another misconception is this:

“As a holistic GP, you don’t prescribe conventional medicines because they aren’t ‘natural’”.

I laughed when I heard this and explained that I believe in prescribing the best medicine for that unique individual. No matter if it’s conventional or complementary medicines — sometimes both!

 

The most influential person in my career has been…

A patient who I treated whilst working in Royal Darwin Hospital.

I had just experienced my first Ignite Your Spirit therapy session, and was feeling blown away. It was a phenomenal experience helping me to realise that our emotions and experiences directly influence our physical health. This was not something I had fully understood before, even after 8 years of medical training and work.

My patient was in the Emergency Department as he was having a major heart attack. As I was trying to give him life-saving treatments, he was crying saying he was dying from a broken heart as his wife died only 12 months earlier. I believe he was right. I believe his grief, in some way, contributed to his heart attack. It had a profound effect on me and was instrumental in my decision to quit Critical Care training, study Ignite Your Spirit therapy and become a holistic General Practitioner.

 

If I could give one piece of advice to my 18-year-old self, it would be….

“Be yourself. There is no one better qualified” —Shakti Durga.

 

My greatest achievement has been…

Hitchhiking to Mt Kailash in remote Tibet to circumambulate the base of this holy mountain —and surviving! Trust me, travelling on the back of a truck filled with cabbages is in no way comfortable or safe. It was a journey worthy of mention by National Geographic.

 

The greatest personal challenge I have over come is…

An experience that created immense shame. And I mean the type of shame that makes you instinctually cringe or suddenly go bright red when it fleetingly comes to mind. At the time when I was feeling most anxious and self-critical, I was working as a Resident in the Intensive Care Unit. A patient deteriorated, needing immediate resuscitation and I completely decompensated. I became a trembling mess and was unable to help my team. I wanted a hole to open up and swallow me in.

Coping with this experience was extremely tricky. I felt like my world had collapsed around me. Everything that I had placed value on (such as what a good doctor looked like) was jeopardised. My self-esteem plummeted and I had no tools to help manage or heal the shame that resulted from this experience.

I managed to stuff it down, knowing that one day I would have to confront it. It took several years of intense personal self-development, training in Ignite Your Spirit therapy, and other spiritual work to get to a point where I could even think about it! Finally, not so long ago, I took a deep breath and ventured in — and came out the other side lighter, brighter and happier. It takes courage and a healthy dose of self-love to embark on such a journey.

 

I don’t understand why…

A lot of the time, and so I ask a lot of questions.

 

I try to relax by…

Being present and mindful when playing with my two-year-old son.

 

My biggest fear is…

Our health system continues to fail at seeing how important a holistic and integrated approach is to good health.

 

I can’t live without…

Sauerkraut.

 

I really wish I had…

My family living in Melbourne.

 

The greatest lesson I have learnt is….

Is that the lens I look through shapes my reality.

 

If I had one super power, it would be….

To have absolute mental mastery.

 

If I could invite four people to a dinner party, they’d be…

Shakti Amma, Babaji, Paramahamsa Yogananda and Shakti Durga.

 

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CONNECT WITH FIONA

Integrative General Practitioner; Founder of The Healing Forum http://www.drfionaenkelmann.com.au

OR if you’d like to explore one of Fiona’s fabulous Courses called Ignite Your Spirit, simply click below.

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