Heather Dunsford, CPT/NS
- Certified Fitness Trainer & Nutritional Specialist
- Certified Tye4® Instructor through the PhysicaMind Institute, NYC
- Certified Bone Up™ Osteoporosis Prevention Instructor through the PhysicalMind Institute, NYC
- Certified in Functional Aging through the Functional Aging Institute
- ACSM member
- INL Certified Natural Health Professional
- Paleo Expert
Hi! I’m Heather, and I’d like share my story with you:
I spent my younger years playing sports until I developed osteoarthritis in my knees. I also spent a lot of time in and out of doctors’ offices with sinus infections, bronchitis, eventually asthma and fatigue. By high school, I started getting tested on a regular basis for “Mono” due to consistent fatigue and overall body aches. I started to realize how much I loved the human body, its movement, and how it works. Since I couldn’t play the sports anymore, I joined the “Athletic Training” team. (They’re the ones you see at football games who run out onto the field when an athlete gets injured.) This allowed me to learn basic anatomy and more about body movements. I woke up to a sudden case of TMJ, while in 11th grade and couldn’t move my jaw. I had my first of 3 jaw surgeries at age 17 thanks to some torn ligaments.
In college, I studied as a full-time Classical Voice Performance Major, while working in the Athletic Training Room. Oddly enough those two go well together! However, in the middle of my Sophomore year, I did contract Mono. Seeing as I was usually fatigued, I didn’t realize it at first. I went back to school from Winter Break, and one morning I just couldn’t get out of bed. After my brother took me to the hospital, I was found to not only have Mono, but also Hepatitis! (Oops!) I had to leave school for the rest of the semester. Body aches and fatigue got a little better, but never went away.
Fast forward a couple years, I moved from PA to TN to pursue a career as a singer by transferring to another college. That didn’t work out like I’d hoped, so I changed my major in order to take anatomy and human body classes. A few years later, I met my husband, got married, had my first of 5 sinus surgeries, and was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I also developed Hypoglycemia, Insulin Resistance, and was categorized as pre-diabetic. I was put on all kinds of different blood sugar stabilizing drugs – some oral, some self-injectable, but all annoying! With all the medications, I put on a LOT of weight. My health also started declining to where I was sick all the time, and never felt good. I quit my high-paying corporate America job and went to work for a weight-loss company; hoping to help others, but really to help myself. Some weight came off…
Since I had some female “issues” I had an exploratory surgery that found PCOS, Endometriosis, and a fibroid (explains more pain). My last “job” was working for a hospital as a Monitor Technician. I learned even more about the human body! I spent 3 years watching patients’ heart beats and rhythms on Telemetry Monitors. During this time I was diagnosed with Symptomatic PVCs. (My heart would feel like it was leaping out of my chest!) I got serious with my own research, and finally decided to get certified as a Fitness Trainer/Nutritional Specialist. I needed it for myself!
Then I became pregnant. Already 15 pounds overweight, and having heart and blood sugar issues, it wasn’t pretty. I wound up on bed rest by week 20. Three months later, I delivered my baby boy 6 weeks early – as a 7lb, 11oz premie! My baby spent his first week of life in NICU, and I was miserable! I was nearly 300 lbs, and it hurt to move. I got mad. As soon as I could, I started putting my baby in the stroller and going for a walk. I thought I was going to die the first time I walked one quarter mile! But, every day I put him in the stroller and just walked. Then I started walking more. I didn’t realize I had taken myself on as a personal project! Walking turned to jogging with intervals, and 2 years later, I had lost 120 pounds! I managed to reverse the Hypoglycemia and Insulin Resistance, and started feeling better!
At 34, I had a 2 year old, and was hit by a spontaneous nerve disorder, Trigeminal Neuralgia. Excruciating facial pain/seizures – sometimes up to 60 a day! 8 months after diagnosis, I was at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, having NeuroSurgery to correct the problem. After this I was left with balance and stability issues, not to mention a thyroid problem caused by the medications! So, Fibromyalgia, Hypo-Thyroid, which quickly turned to Hashimoto’s, then Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, recovery from brain surgery… I also learned that I needed to keep my body moving in a gentle way that would not flair up symptoms. I learned about the PhysicalMind Institute, their revolutionary Tye4®, and Pilates. Everything changed!
Fast-forward to 2016, after being a stay-at-home-mom for 8 years, I was informed about this incredible new fitness concept that helped with Balance, Stability, and Osteoporosis – which all effected me, and asked whether I would be willing to use my fitness expertise to bring it to Middle Tennessee! I had no choice but to accept! This class not only helps everyone that takes it, but honestly, it helps ME to stay mobile as well! Now, in 2020 after a complete hysterectomy and now learning all the ups and downs of menopause, I even more fully understand pain, discomfort, fatigue, and I am so excited to bring OsteoUp to the world! I look forward to helping everyone I can to gain more Balance, Stability, Mobility, and overall Confidence to their lives!