Tanya Paynter, ND
Mother, Wife, Doctor, and Ex-Migraineur
My story of pain started one dark and stormy night when I was 16. The rain was pouring down and I was driving home after work when suddenly, out of nowhere, the car in front of me jammed on his breaks to avoid hitting a jaywalker.
I slammed on my breaks to avoid a collision when WHAM! I was rear-ended by the car behind me who was following too closely.
Beginning that day, I started having headaches.
They started out a few times a week.
Over the next few months, they progressed to daily. Then it was all day, every day.
Then came the depression, fatigue, and brain fog that inevitably accompanies daily pain.
A couple years later, when I was in college at the University of Washington, I started getting joint and muscle pain every day (I’ve since been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and this was the start of it).
Then, at points over the next few years, the migraines came.
My first one was an ocular migraine.
I thought I was having a stroke.
Then I just had run of the mill, non-aura, head splitting, vomit inducing, unable to focus migraines.
They’re fun, aren’t they?
So I struggled through college before graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology and a minor in Inorganic Chemistry.
Then I struggled through my tenure as a Sheriff’s deputy (nearly 10 years on the road) before heading to medical school.
It was then that I discovered the beginning of what would become my healing journey.
Needless to say, the 15 years between the car accident and the start of my healing journey were hard. Very hard. I lost half of my teenage years and all of my twenties to pain.
I wish I had found someone way back then who could share what was going on and what I needed to do to skip the years of pain ahead.
So let me share the good part of my story. My healing journey (because it’s the part I’m most interested in sharing with YOU so you can start on your own healing journey).
When I was in med school, I started to understand just how important it was to dig deep to successfully treat any chronic health issue.
We were always taught to figure out what was causing the pain, the illness, the fatigue, and treat the source.
So as I went through the second half of medical school and started learning about ALL the things that can contribute to chronic pain (and headaches and migraines!), I started to apply treatments and protocols to myself.
It took me a good couple of years to cobble all this together but it started to work!
I started having headache free days. And stopped waking up feeling like an 80 year old in a 28 year old body.
I started remembering more and thinking more clearly.
I started having more energy and wanted to start doing things with friends!
It wasn’t an overnight change. And some of it was a struggle. But I continued to learn and try and tweak.
Then, in 2012 when I graduated from Bastyr University with my Naturopathic Medical Degree, I moved back to my hometown of Spokane, Washington and started treating patients at a local clinic. My favorite patients to treat were the chronically ill patients because I could understand what they were going through and the frustration of searching for years with no relief and no one to help them on the way.
I could be there for them.
And best of all, I had a plan for them that they could follow and would actually work to help them start healing from the inside out. Together, we could dig deep and figure out why they felt so much pain, so much of the time.
We could work as partners. It was wonderful to develop these relationships and see the improvements, not just inn their pain but in the quality of their lives.
It was this blend of schooling and clinical application that led me to discover the process I now use with all of my migraine clients.
I treated patients 1:1 in the standard clinical setting for almost a decade before feeling called by God to create a program to help women with chronic migraines across the country who had no other options and no specialists they could work closely with.
So I gave up my in-clinic practice and created Migraine Mastery and began implementing this process with women from across the nation.
It works just as well online as it did in person. Better, in fact. Because with modern technology (and apps!!) we can communicate daily and more effectively in a way that I was never able to do in the clinical setting.
I remain licensed in the state of Washington (you can see that here) but no longer practice medicine in the traditional sense. Instead, I focus my attention on helping other women understand that there are other approaches to treating migraines that can be even more effective than medications.
If you’re interested in learning more about my approach, watch my free training. You can find it here.
In the meantime, I’m glad you’re here. I hope my journey helps you put together some of the pieces on your own journey. And please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.
I know the guilt that can come with chronic pain. And no one should be made to feel a burden on those they love.