Kelly Nembhard, NBC-HWC, CPMC, ACM Owner, My Wealth in Health
Usui/Holy Fire® Karuna Reiki® Master Teacher Advanced Crystal Master® National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach Certified Pain Management Coach Aromatherapist
My Career Path
Growing up, I wanted to be either a veterinarian or a medical doctor so I could use biology to help others. However, in college, I realized that I wanted to not only help others but also satisfy my investigative drive, and my investigative drive pushed me to become a developmental biologist.
During my time as a developmental biologist at Duke University studying birth defects of the heart, I realized that my values of objective analysis, responsibility, and concern-for-others are greatly tied to feeling fulfilled in my job and career. After 12 years of laboratory research, I felt unfulfilled because my value of concern- for-others was not being attended to, and that need to be of service led me to clinical research.
As a clinical research professional, I worked in multiple therapeutic areas with pharmaceutical companies and investigative clinical sites to ensure first-time quality of clinical trial data presented to the FDA. In reviewing the data, I became aware of many factors that can benefit or harm a patient, one of which is a patient’s commitment to their health care. That awareness kicked my concern for others into high gear and led me to reflect on my health experiences in understanding what affects a patient’s commitment to their health care. As a result, I am now happy to be of service to others as a national board-certified health & wellness coach trained by Duke Integrative Medicine, a certified pain management coach trained by Take Courage Coaching, a Reiki Master Teacher trained by the One Light Center and A Reiki Place, and a Advanced Crystal Master® trained by the Hibiscus Moon Crystal Academy.
My Health Journey
At 30 years old, I began experiencing persistent pain in both knees that worsened over the next 4 years. Eventually, walking down a flight of stairs was excruciating. I researched the highest ranking orthopedic doctors in my area, comparing their patient reviews, awards, and publications. During my appointment with the doctor I selected, he reviewed my knee MRI scans conducted 4 years prior, watched me walk across the room, and felt my kneecaps. He then recommended knee realignment surgery, which involved cutting a wedge of bone from my leg! I was raised to see doctors as being “next to God” and, therefore, should never be questioned. However, cutting bone out of my leg seemed drastic for someone who is still able to walk.
When I asked the doctor if we could perform and review more recent MRI scans before choosing surgery, he responded, “They will be done if you choose surgery.” This dismissal without explanation was a huge red flag for me; time for a second opinion. A colleague recommended a different orthopedic doctor who performed new MRI scans, X-rays, and a more thorough physical examination. She recommended an arthroscopic surgery that did not require cutting into bone, ligament, cartilage, or tendon; she simply removed connective tissue I did not need. Not only did I walk out of the hospital the day of the surgery, I was able to run up and down a flight of stairs with no pain 3 months later!
What if I adhered to the cultural norm of not questioning the proposed healthcare plan and underwent the extensive surgery that was previously recommended? It would have been very expensive, required significant recovery time, and would ultimately still not have addressed the actual cause of the knee pain. Unfortunately, in discussing this situation with friends and family as well as considering the many patient cases I reviewed as a clinical research professional, most patients would have proceeded with the realignment surgery, even if they had doubts.
Most people do not feel empowered to play a central role in the planning and execution of their health care, because they either are not aware of their choices in creating a health plan, do not understand what their health plan entails, or are demotivated by what it entails. With that in mind, I am now driven to be of service to patients as a certified integrative health coach. Through this role, I can leverage my personal and professional experience and education to be a support for patients by informing them of their health care options – including conventional and complementary therapy, helping them make sense of their current health plan, and motivating them to stay on course with their plan toward improving their overall well-being.
Why My Wealth in Health
My personal experience with various health issues has led me to adopt an integrative health lifestyle that has helped me significantly. In addition to the conventional health care I receive, I also reap the benefits of:
Reiki essential oils deep tissue massage lymphatic drainage massage mindfulness practice acupressure journaling Qigong sound healing
I am most interested in helping patients become aware of the conventional and complementary approaches available to them for creating a healthy lifestyle as well as motivating them to sustain that lifestyle. By having that knowledge and the additional support of a certified health & wellness coach, my hope is clients will be more empowered to play an active role in working with their doctor to create a well-rounded health plan that meets their needs.