Nat Kringoudis is a doctor of Chinese medicine, an acupuncturist, author, speaker and natural fertility expert – and she is one busy woman.

In between jetting (or driving) off for regional stops of her Wellness Collective Tour, she runs the online Wellness Collective community, has recently launched a line of nut mixes (cheekily titled Yo’ Nuts) and has also brought out a collection of inspirational cards.

That’s also while she runs her acupuncture clinic The Pagoda Tree.

It’s a wonder she had time to sit down to chat with me, but I’m very grateful she did!

I’ve been a fan of Nat’s for a few years and have previously had some treatments at her clinic.

I love how she tells it like it is and is about empowering women to give them as much information as possible so they can make their own decisions on their health, particularly when it comes to fertility and hormones.

“I felt women had pieces of the puzzle when it came to their health… they might have known they had PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), fertility problems. There’s a couple of things they need to do but haven’t figured out why that’s happening,” she said

“The issues I was seeing from a (gynaecological/obstetrics) point of view were new and not anything that was being taught in tertiary-level education. So I decided it was time to do more research.”

Our upstairs waiting room is begging for you to chill in it. Such a haven right here in Albert Park. 🌿💚🌿

A post shared by The Pagoda Tree (@thepagodatree) on

Nat founded The Pagoda Tree clinic in Albert Park a decade ago and has since helped thousands of women with fertility and hormone problems.

“Chinese medicine is a form of medicine the same way modern medicine works, it influences the body to behave in a certain way, but if the back end isn’t there… none of its going to work,” she said.

“Women are looking for answers outside of the regular. Nobody has all the answers, but the fundamentals don’t really change – how do we get your body to behave in the best way we know with the information we have at the moment?”

She has looked to use Chinese alongside modern medicine, saying she tries to move away from “alternative” to “complementary” medicine.

“I think the idea of complementary medicine is that sits alongside other things, what we’re advocating for, it’s proven,” she said.

Nat encourages women to get a “cheer squad” of practitioners to help them on a path to health but said there was no “magic bullet”.

“You can’t expect your body to do amazing things if it’s not functioning in the right way,” she said.

“It’s really unfortunate that we’ve adopted the attitude of ‘there’s a pill for that’, when there’s not.”

Nat’s tips for hormone health:

  • get your gut in working order – probiotics are a great start
  • manage stress – exercise and meditation can be helpful
  • look after your liver – drinking more water and eating green, leafy vegetables can help with the detoxification process

And she said people labelling themselves was also not helpful.

“You might have endometriosis, but you’re not endometriosis. It’s about detaching from labels, about trying to break down the barriers and advocate for our own bodies,” she said.

“Women aren’t taught how their bodies work properly. I had no correlation with ovulation and pregnancy, and the amount of women that we see that still don’t know that… I think this is really important information we don’t necessarily get a chance to learn.”

Her latest venture, the Wellness Collective, is an online community where subscribers get access to the latest research in women’s health, to Nat directly.

“I was getting a lot of emails and private messages from women who were at their wits’ end, heartbroken (about their health)…. and I couldn’t answer that in a email,” she said.

“I created the Wellness Collective so women could get new information, talk with me, talk with each other and try and create that community where women  could solve problems because most women aren’t alone, someone else has similar experiences.”

Nat’s non-negotiables?

EXERCISE: “I recognise for me stress is a factor so I do short, sharp bursts of exercise. I need to do that for my body and mental health, almost every day.”

SLEEP: “I also love to, every night, just sit and write down three things I’m grateful for, and three things on my mind, and any other ideas. I find that really powerful. A lot of research about going to bed after looking at things you have rather than things you don’t has a profound affect on sleep. I try and get eight hours’ sleep. Routines can create unnecessary pressure but I like to have a shower and read for a bit to wind down before bed.”

NUTRITION: “You cannot skimp on that. People do try and get away it but it fuels every cell in your body and it matters so much. Food is medicine – it’s either benefit or deficit, nothing in between. It creates unnecessary stress when fixated on it, so how can we adapt an 80/20 approach that’s achievable?”

She is also taking the Wellness Collective tour around Australia, heading up speaking events that put women in touch with local services.

She’s recently been in Mildura, Warrnambool and Adelaide, and is continuing around Australia before a big Melbourne event mid-year.

And it all started because someone asked her to visit Bendigo to give a talk.

“The feedback has been amazing,” Nat said.

“Women are just happy that someone’s taken the time to go to their area and educate.”

If that’s not enough, she’s just brought out a line of nut and seed mixes, Yo’ Nuts, with blends designed to help women – a hormone loving mix, one “for the love of  hair”, a balancing cleanse shake, and a seed cycling mix.

“I had wanted to make up this cleansing shake, and people were asking me about what they could do for their hair,  and I was sick of telling people to mix ingredients, so then one day we put it together,” Nat said.

The products will roll out in shops around Australia.

Nat has also created a collection of cards with her favourite quotes and musings – aptly named Cards of Change – with 20 per cent of proceeds going to charity.

And there’s more on the horizon, including two new books.

One will help men and women understand the menstrual cycle: “It will go through the cycle, and moods, and how you can nurture someone.”

And another, a young women’s guide to hormones, “but good for all women”.

“There will be a section to track the menstual cycle, because while apps are great, there’s something in writing it down and looking at it, especially if you’re learning about it or if you haven’t ever had to understand it before,” Nat said.

“Like my other books, there will be recipes, but I really want it to be a guide that any women, especially young women, can pick up and learn about themselves.”

For more details, go to natkringoudis.com.au

Main picture credit: Valeriu Campan/News Corp

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