Nadia is a Qi Gong therapist and posture specialist who hasn’t let two metal hip replacements or her age stop her from doing what she loves. Before having children, Nadia, who is half Belgian, trained as an interpreter until her firstborn was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Nadia said: “Both our babies were in a hurry as they were born prematurely. The next 21 years, I sought all types of therapies for our little one to improve his quality of life, first in Africa where we lived, then back in the UK, Hungary and Ukraine.”
During this period, she trained and worked as a health and fitness instructor, retiring in 1998. Since 1999, Nadia has been a Qi Gong (Chinese healing art through movement) practitioner - something which she continues to do today.
Nadia said: “Thanks to our son, I retrained into the healing arts, and to date, am a practising ‘energy cultivator’ and a holistic practitioner. I also founded the powerful self-healing art called ‘True to Our Roots Qi Gong’ and authored a book called ‘How Did I Get These?’, which is the story of how I had ended up with metal hips.
“This summer, my husband and I will celebrate 40 years of marriage and our son’s 39th year. Our youngest son would have been 37 years old this July had he lived after his first three days on Earth.”
Today, Nadia practises from her home clinic, running monthly Qi Gong sessions locally and workshops throughout the UK. Her advice to anyone fearing growing older is to ‘embrace it as we’re all in it together’.
Nadia said: “Take pride in who you are, take charge of your health, have fun and laugh a lot. Love yourself as though you were your own best friend. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that I was my own worst bully. I used to control this by working out through gruelling daily exercise regimes, until I became completely addicted to the endorphin rush, which kept me on a ‘high’.
“If I could not work out for a couple of days, I was a nightmare to live with! Now, as I’ve learned that to exercise is for fun, to feel good and because I want to and not as a punishment, whenever my body feels tired for a day or two, it’s all right to rest and re-energise.”
Nadia was also forced to stop her intense exercise routine due to a serious lumbar back and hip pain in 1998, which was diagnosed as osteoarthritis in her left hip.
“I lived in denial until 2005 when the osteoarthritis had become so severe that I could no longer run away from it. After loads of research, I found the best hip surgeon in Birmingham and had a metal resurfacing done. In 2011, the right hip underwent the same procedure. A year later, I danced salsa and now enjoy daily dancing and walking while continuing my Qi Gong practice.”
Qi Gong is when primordial movements are triggered by the autonomic nervous system, which helps to stimulate the production of internal fluids in the body that keep us young, supple and healthy. For more information on the practice and about Nadia’s story, visit her website.