Dr. Lydia Zajackowski is a dear friend who I’ve known for about eight years and when she agreed to do a Q&A for Written Jewels, I couldn’t have been happier! She is well studied and has a passion to see women live pain free lives… especially during “THAT” time of the month.
She is a Chiropractor and Functional Medicine Practitioner based out of central Washington state. Growing up Lydia was always active playing softball, dance, and doing other outdoor activities. Movement was always an important part of her life. She graduated undergrad (with me!) with a B.S. of Kinesiology and fell in love with holistic health. From there she took a gap year to work and travel to Bali and New Zealand (which she HIGHLY recommends). She then started chiropractic school shortly after. During her time in chiropractic school, Lydia earned her CSCS, USAW, Precision Nutrition Certifications while also taking the opportunity to run her first 1/2 Marathon, and compete in an Olympic Weightlifting competition. She took an opportunity to dive deeper into her own health, discovering more about the body than what is mainstream.-Juliandra Jackson, Owner and Founder of Written Jewels
Q: Tell me a little bit about your chiropractic background—why did you choose this as a career path? In regards to my chiropractic path, I’ve been adjusted since I was 12 and it has allowed me to have such a high quality of life that it was a vehicle that I wanted to use to help others. I got into this field because my mother had severe scoliosis, and as a result she ended up getting a surgery when she was 15 that left her with a rod and 9 pins in her back. Prior to the surgery she was very active in gymnastics and cross country, and she was no longer able to do those activities afterward. Because of that she kept an eye on my spine, and I also ended up having scoliosis. We decided to treat that through chiropractic care and I’ve been able to continue doing all the things that I love while having a high quality of life.
Q: I see so many of your social media posts center on period pain and relief, what led you to choosing to help women in this way? Yes! How many women do you know, or have you known through your life who has complained about cramps, etc.? Probably most of the women you knew right? I was one of those women. My first experience with this was in high school, and it was so severe that it sent me to the ER. As a result of that I chose to go on birth control because that was the only solution I knew of, and it seemed like the cool thing to do that could also get rid of my acne, and give me regular periods so I would know exactly when it was coming. I’m a very driven individual, so I viewed having my period as a liability versus a sacred time.
Fast forward to undergrad, I attempted to come off of it, and was bed ridden for a morning due to a cyst bursting. (If you know, you know). I saw this event as a setback, didn’t know of other options, and it didn’t fit with the goals I wanted to reach so I went back on the pill. Fast forward to chiropractic school, I started to take my health seriously. I knew I had to get to the root cause of why my body was having this response while coming off the pill, and the cause of irregular periods and the signs and symptoms I was having in high school. Luckily, I had an extremely kind colleague who specialized in this area and helped guide me, holistically, so I wouldn’t have such severe reactions when I came off the pill. And the transition was seamless. However, I fell off the wagon in my self-care and ended up in a situation where my cramps were so bad I had to leave working with a patient to go throw up.
The disconnection from my mind and body was still present, and I felt I had to push my body into submission in regards to working harder. At that point I visited a naturopath, and had visited another practitioner, tried acupuncture, but I was still having symptoms. I realized that no one is going to figure this out, or care about it as much as I do. So, I chose to dive into the functional medicine world, got trained in it, healed myself, and help others do the same. There are millions of women out there who have gone through similar circumstances, and I knew that if I could help them avoid the pain I went through, it’s priceless. Women’s health has been neglected, and period problems are more prominent than ever. Having a bleed every month is a sacred and beautiful part of being a woman, and women do not have to accept that it has to be painful. God did not design women to suffer, there are other man-made factors that can cause suffering. The menstrual cycle is a 5th Vital Sign, and once we get to the root cause of what’s going on it opens the doors to better health, quality of life, vitality, and smoother transitions later down the road when it comes to menopause. The cycle is not meant to be forced into submission like how the pill works, but a God given tool that allows women to work smarter and not harder.
Q: What particularly interest me is dressing for your period. How did you come up with combing fashion and cycles of the month? During the month we have four different phases: Follicular, Ovulation, Luteal and Menstruation. Through each of those phases our hormones ebb and flow, and therefore we may feel a bit different. For example, ovulation is a great time to go on a date because our baby making hormones make us feel and look more vibrant and sexier. Then during menstruation, that’s a great time to reflect and nourish to cozy up in sweat pants or wearing comfy clothes may feel more in line with how you feel. So, it makes sense that you would dress a certain way for how you’re feeling or dependent on the events you’re doing. It’s really about reconnecting to your feminine energy, and feeding off of that to optimize your life!
Q: What would you say to encourage women to find wellness through a naturopathic route? Love this question! Whenever someone asks me how to find a practitioner, or recommendations, I like to have them reflect on how they want to feel when they go to a practitioner. There is no perfect practitioner for everyone, and you do not have to settle for a practitioner just because they are in network with your insurance. Some of the things a client may look for is that they want to be heard, they want to be cared about, and they want a high-quality service.
Now on a second note, if you’re tired of your provider pushing pills your way, it’s time to search out other providers. Allopathic medicine has its place, and it’s great for emergencies and certain situations, however, it is not wellness care, it is sick care. Allopathic medicine treats the signs and symptoms, not the root cause. When you go into a traditional doctor’s office, have you ever seen anyone happy to be there besides that kid who just got a sticker? Most of the time not. Plus, there are incentives from the pharmaceutical companies for the doctors to use their products and medications. Holistic medicine is about the whole person, not just the signs or symptoms. Particularly functional medicine dives into the reason why you’re experiencing those signs and symptoms, not just treating it. As a result, your entire health benefits.
A third note, you may be thinking well I don’t want to take meds, and I also don’t want to be taking a boatload of supplements every day. That is completely valid. However during the healing process of getting to the root cause, it may be more intense for a temporary period of time until the problem has resolved. And we are encountering more toxins than ever before that our body has to adapt to, and we aren’t getting as many nutrients as we have in the past. After that time period it’s a great idea to get most of your nutrients from food, and supplement with supplements (just as the name suggests) when you feel that you need to. This comes full circle back to reconnecting to your own body and intuition.
Q: Ending with a lighter question, what do you like to do outside of your practice? Outside of my practice I love to read, hit the gym, travel, hike, bike, paddle board, and hang out with my rescue dog.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add? Maybe you’ve skipped to the bottom, so if you have this is what I’ve covered: there are a lot of women just like you who are having the same experience, there is significant room for improvement in regards to holistic women’s health, you do not have to settle for a pill or pain, you can get to the root cause of your signs and symptoms, heal and have a high quality of life, reconnect to your body and God given intuition, if you’re ready to start your health journey a holistic practitioner may be right for you. If you’ve resonated with what I have said, you can follow me on Instagram and @synergy_by_drz and ask me questions, or I am currently accepting clients for functional medicine as well. God Bless!