धर्म My Dharma
"The True You is the Well You."
Experience & Learning:
Hello and welcome, my name is Heather Van Dam of True Self Health in Westerly, Rhode Island. True Self Health developed over the years from a deep mission and dharma that the “true you is the well you.” This dharma (my duty) was a deep seated passion to help others feel and be their very best so that they, in turn, could fulfill their Dharma. Being a guide and support for others in their sustainable transformation of the body and mind is what gets me excited every morning and has me planning and charged during my day. My path has taken both an academic and practical course of study. I received both my Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor and Ayurvedic Practitioner credentials from Kerala Ayurvedic Academy, including an internship in India. I am a certified ACSM group exercise instructor, NAFC Personal trainer, Lakshmi VoelkerChair Yoga Instructor® and L3 Essentrics® Fitness Instructor. I have worked in the field of prevention and public health as well as in for-profit and non-profit wellness companies. I hold a bachelor’s degree in sociology and master’s degree in community studies.
My Personal Experience with Ayurveda and Functional Fitness:
Being well is an active and changing state of being. This is an important part of my story and how I approach wellness for all my clients. My introduction to Ayurveda was a serendipitous day 25 years ago at a book store where I was drawn to Dr. Robert E. Svoboda’s book Prakruti, Your Ayurvedic Constitution. I found myself reading half the book at the café and made the purchase to own what felt like a glimpse into a fascinating world of health and healing. A couple years later, I found myself on a plane to India to study abroad. Somehow, during that flight, I injured my back and landed in Mysore, India grappling with sharp back pain that radiated through to my collarbone. As fate would have it, after an unsuccessful visit with an allopathic doctor who prescribed me pain killers, it was suggested that I visit a local Ayurvedic doctor at his center. I did so and was reabsorbed into Ayurveda in a much more comprehensive way through a process called Pancha Karma. After the two weeks of treatment, my back continued to improve and I spent the remainder of my months in India with none of the original pain I arrived in. The universe continued to provide me with real world training as I had a series of genetic surprises that led me on a decade long journey of understanding and discovery of the rebalancing of my own body. I saw many doctors, surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists, energy healers, acupuncturists, massage therapists and numerous other modalities of healing. With patience and persistence I not only found true health for myself; I continued to work to help others do the same. It was trial by fire and although it was not fun in the moment, the teachings were invaluable. With the timeless principles of Ayurveda, Yoga, Meditation, Pranayama (breath work) and the strengthening and stretching of Essentrics ® I found the sweet spot and am able to live life to the fullest of my potential. Over the last two decades, I have counseled women in the areas of hormone balance, weight management, stress management and other health challenges. I currently work with both men and women who seek better physical alignment through fitness and dietary choice. My great joy is to have the privilege of helping you to find the right balance of Ayurvedic lifestyle concepts and functional fitness techniques to optimize your True Self Health!