We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Shannon Bennett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Shannon, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Personally, going into private practice was never on my radar. I always wanted to find a way to get the most amount of information into peoples hands, to help them help themselves. It was very clear to me, even before school, that seeing 1 patient at a time limits the impact and amount of people who can heal. The beauty of being in the Naturopathic Medical field, is that there is an endless amount of options in how you can impact in the world. My goal is to bring hope, education and options to bridge the gap between mental health and natural healing. Through my own experience of healing a traumatic brain injury, post-concussion syndrome, PCOS and other brain related diagnoses, hormones and brain health became a very clear path to addressing mental health concerns. Now I see patient 1-on-1 and guide others through online education towards their own self healing.
Please tell us more about your business. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I grew up in Kansas City, where the standard American lifestyle and BBQ are king. Carrying out that lifestyle, with the help of genetics and a myriad of prescriptions, I found myself in very poor health once I hit college. I was so ill I had to come back home and try to recover my health and my grades. In the time I was home I started focusing on my diet to heal, I read Dr. Mark Hyman’s The UltraMind Solution and learned all about the impact of nutrients on the brain, I started sleeping better, my attention improved, I was happier, and all of my symptoms resolved. I became an athlete and was obsessed with learning about the body healing itself. After months of healing, I returned to my prescribing doctor to hear him say, “Of course, if you take care of your body, the rest will follow.” I was heartbroken. Completely devastated, I had been struggling for over a decade with my health and this seemingly simple answer was never offered to me as a first option. Frontline treatment was prescriptions that left me with side effects and more prescriptions. At that point, I was on a mission to spread the gospel of hope.
I wanted every person to know that the body can heal, even if the only thing you’re being told is, “There’s nothing wrong, this is just how you are.” I deep-dived into self learning, went all “Bennett Brain” on the literature and switched my degrees to support this mission. Through a family friend who had spent years in New Zealand learning under naturopathic doctors, I was introduced to the profession. After working for a prominent integrative doctor in Kansas City, soaking up what integrative truly meant, she told me to go for my dream and apply to Naturopathic Medical school.
Throughout school I had two main areas of focus: mental health and helping the underserved populations. I spent time in Haiti, Mexico, and Thailand helping natives remember the wisdom that was right at their fingertips that their ancestors had taught us. It was powerful to see the body heal itself, given the right environment and support.
I think there’s a few ingredients that lead to where I am today: stubborn determination, being a bold dreamer that constantly asks, “why not me?”, staying coachable in every way, and blessings that were outside of my control. I’m very excited to announce online educational courses to help more people get access to the naturopathic principles of health. In addition I am in the midst of launching a nonprofit helping brain injury survivors gain access to naturopathic medicine for their healing.
After school, through a litany of unfortunate events, I found myself with a traumatic brain injury that went undiagnosed for several months. Through this incredibly difficult journey of healing over the past 2 years, I have had to face the thing that always seemed to creep up on my path. We all have something: a thought, a belief or an event that keeps us playing small. I struggled to truly trust myself. In all the ways that could come up, it did. But going through a brain injury, where your brain is hijacked, you feel like you’re losing your mind, you lose who you’ve always been while you’re in it — I had to learn to trust myself. I had to say, “This is not me, I will heal,” and believe it. The one thing I want people to understand when they walk into my office, is that hope is always an option. There’s healing waiting for them, even when they’ve felt lost for years and are told this is just part of who they are now. It’s the greatest honor to be the one to hear my patient’s voice lift, with a smile and a side of cautious excitement say, “I can’t believe it, but maybe I’m going to feel like myself again.”
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have an explorers heart, be it people, food, art, culture or landscapes – I want to see and do it all. But one of the best ways to explore Arizona is to get outside. This state is one of the best kept secrets, in my opinion. Never ending summer, watering holes spread all over like a scavenger hunt and mountains within minutes. Another thing I love is that there are so many local healthy foodie spots. I’m definitely a fan of shopping, dining and supporting local.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would credit every bit of my achievements and overcoming obstacles to my community. It truly takes a village. From my parents that raised me to be stubborn as hell and never give up, to the friends and family that supported me and carried the load during the harder times in life, and those who celebrated every step of the way with me. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, you weren’t meant to do this life alone.
Other: Interested in working together? Set up a free 15 minute call to see if we’re a good fit! 480-426-8040
Elizabeth Marie Photography