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Holistic health coach shares personal stories of battling addiction


Kristi Porter Carrico

Kristi Porter Carrico



Slim Smith



Kristi Porter Carrico has done her research, obtained certifications, read volumes and learned from some of the pioneers of holistic medicine. 


Yet, by far, the best evidence she has in support of holistic medicine, she found in her own home, treating first herself, then a son. 


Carrico, a holistic health coach, shared her story Thursday at the Columbus Exchange Club. 


Carrico believes we are, as a people, over-medicated and mis-medicated. For her, natural supplements -- including high dose niacin (Vitamin B-3) and Vitamin C -- along with dealing with emotional stress through what she calls an emotional stress reduction technique are often far better ways to treat a range of issues, including addiction. 


"This is something that's very dear to my heart," Carrico said. "It's something that I've lived." 




For her family 


Today, Carrico is a certified health coach in integrative nutrition. But her journey began about 15 years ago, when she living in St. Louis, raising her two sons. 


"I was in my 40s, when I started having some health issues," she said. "I couldn't stay awake. I was tired all the time. I was bloated. I had brain fog and my emotions were a roller-coaster. I just thought, 'You've gotta get a grip,' but I couldn't. I finally said to God, 'You made this body. I need some answers.'" 


Slowly, she said the answers arrived. 


She enrolled in nutrition classes, changed her diet and began using the stress relief method Emotional Freedom Technique. 


"It was such a simple thing, which is often the case," she said. "It began to clear out the emotional issues of the past and the day-to-day things that creep up on us and weigh us down. So I said to myself, 'Cool. I need to share this.'" 


She earned two certifications and began to provide stress relief therapy to clients. 


The scope of her work would soon change, again as a response to a crisis in her family. 


One of her sons had developed an alcohol problem which reached a climax when he was serving in the Air Force. The Air Force sent him to a rehabilitation center for treatment. 


"He was in recovery for 30 days to recover (from the alcohol abuse) then another 30 days to take him off the medication they were giving him," she said. 


Things only got worse. Eventually, the Air Force sent him to a state mental hospital where he continued to be medicated. He was even given shock therapy.  


"They released him to us basically as a zombie," she said. "But I knew from my own experience that the body can heal itself. I knew there was an answer for my son out there." 




A solution 


That answer came one day as she was watching the movie "Food Matters." She heard Dr. Andrew Saul state that he and Dr. Abram Hoffer had done pioneering work with bipolar and schizophrenic patients using high doses of Niacin. 


Abram Hoffer had already been using high-dose niacin to treat alcoholism. The doctors co-authored a book titled "Niacin: The Real Story." 


Carrico thought the doctors' approach might be the answer her son was looking for. 


"First, I tried it on myself," she said. "I started taking what they recommended -- working up to 3,000 milligrams of niacin and 3,000 milligrams of Vitamin C. I started feeling really good." 


Encouraged, she started her son on the same routine. 


The results have been astounding. 


"He's going to college. He's working. He's happy, doing really well," she said. "He's not 100 percent out of the woods yet. He knows he needs to stay the course. But he'll get there. I believe in him and what we are doing." 


Carrico, who moved to Columbus two years ago, is now leading a Sunday evening recovery group at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. She is also teaching a Life Enrichment Program class on nutrition and healthy living at Mississippi University for Women. 


She is also treating clients on a one-on-one basis. Anyone interested can call her at 636-627-7973 or email her at [email protected] 


"You've all heard the saying, 'If you want something done right, do it yourself,'" Carrico said. "I think that applies to our health, too. Yes, we need doctors, and I firmly believe your great health lies in your own hands. It's what you choose to put in your body and what you choose to do with your body."


Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is [email protected]



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