Ellen Letten founded Inner Lotus Holistic Health to use her own experiences with ill health and conventional medicine to help her clients. Her mission is to empower others to stay healthy and take ownership of their health before symptoms appear.
In addition to educating her clients about self-healing, she supports over 50 independent holistic practitioners and educators through her offices, Tribe and The Healing Room in Chicago. She is passionate about helping other practitioners to build a successful private practice, so that more people can have access to holistic medicine.
As Ellen explains, “our current healthcare paradigm focuses on the removal or suppression of symptoms and relies on an external influence to do so. A holistic approach to health places equal importance on the well-being of the mind, the body, and the spirit, and requires us to take responsibility for the effect of our choices on our health. With this approach, we can move beyond just an absence of symptoms, and achieve optimal health.”
"I have more energy and less pain now than I did in my teens and twenties. I used to suffer from anxiety, gut issues, bad skin and debilitating menstrual pain caused by endometriosis. I thought nothing of popping a pill to get rid of my symptoms so that I could get on with my day. I barely exercised, rarely drank water, ate a terrible diet, drank alcohol excessively and hated my job.
At times I would experience such excruciating menstrual pain for 24 hours that I couldn't stand up straight. The pain would begin in my low back wrap around my abdomen and go down to my knees. The pills I took to try and manage the pain would take the edge off, but aggravate my intestines and cause my abdomen to feel like a giant bruise the following day.
My treatment options were to continue the pain meds, remove the cyst, or take a drug called Lupron. I felt like I was stuck in a maze with no way out. The pain medication path wasn't working, surgery was not guaranteed to fix the problem and the side effects of Lupron looked terrifying.
Not happy with my conventional medicine options, I sought out a second opinion from an Integrative MD. We discussed all my symptoms and it felt like someone finally really listened, empathized and had a solution for all of my health issues. Then at the end of the consultation, she announced the treatment plan: cut out caffeine, sugar, alcohol, dairy, wheat, corn and soy and come back in 6 weeks. There was a stunned silence. At that time in my life, those were staples in my diet. I walked out of the office feeling like I had stumbled into another dead end. How could I possibly make all those lifestyle changes on my own overnight? I didn't go back.
Feeling completely at a loss, I decided to take matters into my own hands and started to research natural healing methods, which began what turned out to be a decade-long journey of self-healing.
During that time, I discovered that my symptoms were my body's cry for help that I had been ignoring. I realized how quickly small, simple changes to diet and lifestyle could have a huge impact on my health. I learned how little training doctors are given in nutrition, and how much influence drug companies have over medical schools and government health policy; that doctors are overworked and not equipped to deal with the emotional needs of every patient. And most importantly, I learned that we have to be an active participant in our own healthcare.
When I look back at 20's me, I sometimes don't recognize that person. The transformation didn't happen overnight. I was able to change my habits slowly, incrementally and consistently to take back my health. There are still bad habits I indulge in from time to time, but I no longer let them run my life. It feels great to be in the driving seat.
I continue to study ancient healing philosophies, stress management tools and the importance of not only what not to put in our bodies, but of providing the right nutrition, so we can self-heal. Over the last 15 years I have been honored to work with, and learn from, some of Chicago’s best healers and holistic health educators. In creating Inner Lotus Holistic Health I hope to be able to share their collective wisdom, through my programs and bodywork, and through the resources shared on this site. My goal is to help others enjoy a full, healthy, vibrant life, free of stress and living with purpose."
That's me on the right, the week after I left a stressful, unfulfilling job, after realizing life is too short to be miserable. I make it my goal to be as happy as I was the week this photo was taken.
My 'workwife' & I, proud of our accomplishment in creating Tribe!
How I feel when I'm working now, haha!