By Dani Williamson
I am thrilled to be the new health contributor for Your Williamson. My goals for this new column are to speak to the residents of Williamson County on a practical, approachable level while teaching them something new. I am a firm believer that our bodies are designed to heal themselves and that we must give the body what it needs to heal. I hope to relay the message that no one is broken. Together, we can work hard to get them the life back that they deserve to be living. I hope to empower, educate and encourage our readers to take control of their health and once and for all choose not to settle for less than optimal.
I was born on a navy base in 1966. Immediately after graduating college at Western Kentucky University, I sold what little I had and left for New York City with a one-way plane ticket, $500 and a degree in fashion merchandising. I moved into the salvation army and quickly got a job as a fit model for a large design house. I lived in New York for three years before returning to Kentucky to work in my father’s hamburger restaurant. During that time, I got married and opened Mum’s the Word Maternity Shop in downtown Paducah.
I was married for eleven years, and after that divorce, I knew that I needed to do something more secure to take care of myself and my children. I found myself in the food stamp/medical card office applying for state aid. That day was the most humiliating day of my life. Ultimately, I was on food stamps and a medical card for myself and my children. I was embarrassed every time I had to go to the grocery or renew benefits every six months. I will never forget the day in January 2006 when I was standing at the mailbox in Paducah and opened a letter from the state of Kentucky telling me that the kids and I would be receiving $56 more a month in food stamps. I was thrilled. The very next letter I opened was from Vanderbilt School
Being on food stamps, unemployed and in school full time raising two children away from my hometown were the hardest days of my life. I was told the first semester at school by one of my professors that, “this program is not for single parents, I suggest you go part time or drop out.” I chose neither of those options, since I had sold everything we owned to move to Nashville alone and determined to make it through. I found a way...and the rest is history.
After graduating nurse practitioner school with $200,000 in student loan debt, I was fired from my very first job. But as it turned out, being fired from that job was the best thing that has ever happened to me professionally. I was devastated and humiliated, but was soon hired at Cool Springs Family Medicine and began the journey of truly practicing medicine.
I am now the proud owner of Integrative Family Medicine in Franklin. I focus on gut, thyroid, hormone and adrenal health with my patients. My approach embodies a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual process to healing. I believe that God designed our bodies to heal themselves, we simply must give our bodies what they need.
I truly feel like my story of health and healing my own body through my life experiences and struggling with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Lupus, has been a constant source of inspiration and hope for every patient that walks through the door of my business, and now I hope to share it with you too!
We have a growing health community on Facebook that I started five years ago. My public page, Dani Williamson Wellness, is where I hold a weekly Facebook Live on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. CST called Sunday Night Service. We have various guests and health topics ranging from sexual dysfunction to the best ways to detox your body. My YouTube channel and Instagram are under the same name and are both loaded with all kinds of health topics and education.