52: Connecting Hearts with Nurse Coaching- Kim Karraker, RN, NC-BC

About Kim Karraker

Kim Karraker, RN, NC-BC

Kim Karraker has been a RN since 2002 with an extensive background in Critical Care working in CCU/ICU/PICU/Trauma for over 15 years with a transitional shift over the past 7 years to Ambulatory Care, Community and Home Health and Case Management. 
Kim graduated from the INCA program in 10/2021 and became Board-Certified Nurse Coach in June of 2022. Kim is a HeartMath Certified Practitioner and will also be a Certified Functional Medicine Nutrition Counselor in September 2023. In August 2022, Kim opened a small business called Kardia Healing House, LLC in Frederick, Co. 
Kim continues to work per diem in conventional medicine as a RN in General Surgery and Case Management, while running her business as an Integrative Nurse Coach. 
 
Kardia Healing House was created to hold space for those looking for body, mind and spiritual healing.  Kardia is the Greek word for heart found in the bible. Heart is the center of spiritual and physical life of all things. Heart is where healing begins. Kardia Healing House offers 1:1 coaching and group coaching to those looking to find healing, self-love, self-transformation, peace and confidence through Integrative Nurse Coaching, mindfulness, meditation, and nutrition counseling. 
 
Kim grew up in a small town, Cortez, in southwestern Co. She and her husband have been gratefully married for 25 yrs and have twin daughters and a son who keep them very busy! Kim enjoys almost anything outdoors like walking/running, gardening, snowboarding, hiking, camping, biking, hanging at the beach and even dirt biking with the family. Kim loves to meditate, read about self development, and spiritual devotion books, and soak in a good podcast about Functional Medicine and Nutrition. 
 
Kim aims to create a life balance that prioritizes her clients’ well-being by treating the body, mind and spirit to celebrate all aspects of their true self.  Through a Functional Medicine approach with lifestyle and diet modifications, we will get to the root cause of their symptoms and how they affect all systems in their body.  Kim collaborates with Functional Medicine Physicians and other Integrative Medicine Practitioners. 

Kim supports her clients find optimal wellness by helping them develop deeper understandings of their habits and lifestyle choices so they can change and create achievable goals.  

Kim  has personal experience living with chronic disease and has learned to resonate with this dance and love life no matter what! It’s time to start nurturing your body and soul again.

Contact

kimkarraker@kardiahealinghouse.com

52: Connecting Hearts with Nurse Coaching- Kim Karraker, RN, NC-BC Highlights

Ah-Has

“We need to teach our Nurses how to find this peace within during stressful times, and it’s really just breathing, it’s breath work. It’s getting our heart electrical rhythm under control, our heart rate variability, and in sync with our emotions which come from the mind.

I know for me, in the critical care world, I definitely didn’t stop to breathe during my stressful times. But learning to take a moment and work on breathing and breathing into the emotions of the heart, which are appreciation, caring, love, whatever those good emotions are, finding those and breathing into that emotion.”  ~Kim Karracker RN, NC-BC

  • Experiencing what it’s like to live with a chronic disease becomes a very authentic way to connect to the needs and desires of patients and clients experiencing something similar
  • HeartMath is an easy and powerful tool to use to help clients connect to their own wisdom
  • Food is one element of whole-body healing, and Nurse Coaches are using food to help their clients find health
  • All Nurses should take Nurse Coach training to help support them in their stressful jobs
  • Nurse Coaching tools and skills will help support Nurses of all specialties prevent burnout and reduce turnover

Resources and Links

HARMONY Method

HeartMath

Integrative Nurse Coach Certificate Program Info here!

Kardia Healing House website

Functional Medicine for Nurses™ Specialty Course

*****

Thank you for listening. We LOVE Nurses!

 

52: Connecting Hearts with Nurse Coaching- Kim Karraker, RN, NC-BC Transcript

Nicole Vienneau  00:00

Welcome, everyone, to the Integrative Nurse Coaches in ACTION! podcast. My name is Nicole Vienneau. I am your host and I’m also a Board Certified Integrative Nurse Coach. And today we are welcoming Kim Karraker all the way from Thornton, Colorado.

She is a Board Certified Integrative Nurse Coach, Heart Math Certified Practitioner, and soon to be Certified Functional Medicine Nutritionist. She is also the owner and founder of Kardia Healing House. So, we welcome Kim.

Kim Karraker  00:36

Thank you for having me. Hello!

Nicole Vienneau  00:39

Hello! We’re so glad you’re here!

Kim Karraker  00:42

Yes, this is very exciting. I’m so happy!

Nicole Vienneau  00:45

Yay! Me too. I’m so happy you’re here, too. I know our listeners are happy you’re here. We love to go down history lane. We love to know why our guests became Nurses. So we’d love to know your story, Kim. What drew you into Nursing?

Kim Karraker  01:01

Well, I grew up with a father who was a mortician, firefighter and coroner in our small town. Cortez, Colorado. I loved going on calls with my dad, I would actually have him wake me up in the middle of the night. I’m not sure this is fully… I should be telling everyone, but I did sit and go with him on some of these calls. And just learn and hear his stories.

And yeah, I just absolutely fell in love with the medical field just watching what he did, and how he took care of people. And then I also had a grandmother who was a candy striper, growing up. And, I mean, while she was raising her children, and me, growing up, listening to her stories, you know.

She would always refer to herself as a Nurse, and how she would be in the OR with the doctors, and the ER, and I’m sure she did it all back in the day. So, just really excited about, you know, the medical field back when I was a kid. And so that’s really what led me to Nursing school early.

I graduated my senior year early and became a CNA, and worked in a Nursing home my second half of my senior year and loved it. And so, went right into Nursing school from there. And that’s how I ended up in Nursing school. I graduated in 2002. So gosh, this is 22 years as a Nurse.

Nicole Vienneau  02:26

Wooo!

Kim Karraker  02:27

I know! It’s crazy. I just don’t know how… it’s just gone by so fast. But yeah, that’s really how I ended up in Nursing school, was very determined to become a Nurse, especially while working in the field during school.

I worked in critical care my freshman year in college, and just worked critical care the entire time. So I knew that I wanted to be an ICU Nurse from the get go. And you know, wanted to be a flight Nurse, and do it all. So yeah, it’s been a journey for the last 22 years.

Nicole Vienneau  03:02

What an amazing journey. I’m imagining you as a little girl, a young girl going with your dad. “Dad, wake me up if you get a call!”

Kim Karraker  03:10

I did. Like My Girl. Yeah, I’m like, “Let’s go! What’s gonna happen next?” Yeah, just so many cool things that… just kind of watching him. And yeah, I learned a lot. And that was just a completely different field, really. But the medical field in general is… it was just so fascinating to me.

I remember being a fifth grader and in science class, dissecting lungs. And you know, with the straw blowing into the lung, the bronchioles and the alveoli are opening and closing. And it was just so fascinating to me to see this, you know, this functioning lung.

And I was like, Yeah, I definitely have to go into this. I knew it from a very young age. And Nursing, I mean, for me, Nursing was the way to go. I definitely didn’t want to become a physician. I just have such an artistic background, and so that was just the way to go for me, is Nursing.

Nicole Vienneau  04:03

Yeah. Tell us a little bit more about that. The artistic side of you?

Kim Karraker  04:07

Yeah. Well, I was a dancer. I started dancing at, like, age eight. That really was my passion growing up, very artistic. And, you know, just, I think that dancing was so… it was so easy to me, you know, being able to just flow with the music. And I don’t know, just with the expression of life really, I think through dance.

And so for me, science was really interesting, but I think I liked the artistic side of things, too. And so chemistry was just not my thing. So yeah, as I was in school, I’m like, I’m definitely going in the Nursing… I’m going down the Nursing path, for sure.

Nicole Vienneau  04:51

Yeah. Yes, it’s interesting that you brought up this artistic side, because we often talk about the art of Nursing.

Kim Karraker  04:58

Yes, I know. I think that for me, I think that’s what, you know, I really love about Nurse Coaching is I think we really get to practice the art of Nursing through coaching, you know, especially with, for me, meditation is like a dance in your mind.

And you really get to connect with the harmonious music and you know, just all of that. There’s so much, I think, with Nurse Coaching and art, and Nursing in general, right? I mean, we bring so much to the table at the bedside, too.

Nicole Vienneau  05:31

I agree with all of this art side of things and, you know, recognizing that we each have our own specialty, as humans, you know, and then we can bring pieces of our selves into the Nursing career and our Nursing career. And that’s so unique and so beautiful. And especially in Nurse Coaching in this reconnecting to the art of Nursing.

Kim Karraker  05:57

Yes. For sure.

Nicole Vienneau  05:59

Yeah. Yeah. So we have to know how you discovered Nurse Coaching so that we get that little background too.

Kim Karraker  06:06

Yes. So, Nurse Coaching… so after I was an ICU Nurse for about 15 years, probably ended up a bit burnt out at the end, like most ICU Nurses. I loved what I did. It was a great career in critical care. But I would say like the last two to three years, I felt like something was missing.

I really connected with death and dying patients and families, and I really just felt drawn to those people. And, you know, I think I started looking up holistic Nursing back at that time, you know, I think the Holistic Nurses Association was out there. And I was just so interested in all the things that they were doing.

And anyways, moved on, I completely changed and I went into pediatric ICU. And at that time, that was probably the most stressful job I’ve ever had in my Nursing career. Because it was heartbreaking. I had three children, and I was taking care of kids the same age as my kids. And, you know, it was a lot to take in.

And I ended up getting very sick, I actually ended up with a chronic illness that year, I had a cold and it never went away. We won’t get into all my health issues, but I did get very sick. This was about 11 years ago. And at that point, I realized I need to take care of myself better. I need to step away from critical care and I need to do something different so that I can focus on myself and my body.

And I ended up going into ambulatory care. And you know, worked for various different departments— neurosurgery, general surgery, you name it— just a completely different side of Nursing, completely, and, you know, more preventative medicine. And but still felt something was missing.

I just… I somehow ran into Nurse Coaching on the internet, looking for, you know, health coaching or something, there’s got to be something out there. And I’ve always had kind of an entrepreneurial heart, to do something on my own, as most of my family members have done. And I found INCA online.

I remember going on a hike with one of my good friends Suzanne Greiner, she went through the program with me. And she and I…I was like, we have to do this, we have to do this, this would be amazing, this holistic Nurse Coaching.

I think this is the way to go, you know, for our career, she was also a critical care Nurse. Anyway, so that’s how I ran into Nurse Coaching. And she was like, we have to sign up. Let’s do it. We signed up very quickly, which I probably would have held off a little bit longer. And she was she was like, nope, let’s do this. And so we did. And I am so grateful that I went through the program. It’s life changing.

Nicole Vienneau  08:59

So first of all, I have to go back and talk about Suzanne because how cool that you both did the program together.

Kim Karraker  09:08

Yeah. It was awesome to do it together. It’s always good to have a buddy, you know, kind of push you. I pushed her. We both kind of, you know, went together and we were like, let’s do this. And you learn together. Yeah. And we ended up in the same group, too, which was really exciting.

Nicole Vienneau  09:26

Yeah. And you say it was life changing.

Kim Karraker  09:33

Yes.

Nicole Vienneau  09:34

Tell us more about that.

Kim Karraker  09:36

Well, I think that the beauty with Nurse Coaching is, you know, we learned so much about our own self growth, development and transformation. And you literally go through that during the program. Because I think it’s really hard to take other people through something you haven’t gone through yourself.

And we all definitely, I think, went through our own stages of transformation. And for me, I had already, you know, I had been on a very long health journey prior to Nurse Coaching, was already into functional medicine, nutrition, lifestyle changes, stress management, all the things to heal my body, my mind and my soul.

You know, even just finding peace, just like, you know, making that time for yourself, especially as a busy Nurse and a mom. It is something that I think all Nurses need to learn, we need to learn how to do these things, so that we can.. we’re better examples to our patients, to our families, to the community.

And really, it’s… we need it, to be a caregiver and carry all that we carry with our patients. And, you know, it can be exhausting, we have to find time to rest and time for ourselves. And really just connecting with that inner self and intuition and inner wisdom, all the things that you learn in Nurse Coaching, is such a great experience, for sure.

Nicole Vienneau  11:00

And now you mentioned when you were in the critical care unit, and that you had experienced burnout. I too experienced burnout as a critical care Nurse. And this was this, you know, these holistic modalities, this mind body spirit that you mentioned, now, when you were in that environment, were you practicing any kinds of self-care things during that time?

Kim Karraker  11:27

I definitely took care of… I mean, I worked out a lot, I definitely exercised on my days off. Some of the days that I worked, it was harder to do. I would say that I took better care of my body than I did my mind and my spirit. I’ve always been a highly spiritual person. And you know, we definitely take care of that area, and we all do in different ways.

For me, I, you know, God is definitely a place where I can go and I know that I have a lot of peace, and I can let go of a lot of things. But in a different way, I think that going through Nurse Coaching, I felt… I feel like I learned how to provide set time for all of these things and actually like schedule it in.

As a critical care Nurse, you don’t have time to do that on those, you know, during your 12 hour shift. There really wasn’t time to, you know, unload, and really sit back and think about what happened during those stressful 12 hours. And then you just do another 12 the next day, and the next day, maybe even the next day.

And then by the end of your, whatever, four days in a row, three days in a row, I think that… I know, for me, I was exhausted. And I was raising three children at the same time. So yeah, I don’t think that we have good self-care practices in place for hospital Nurses, specifically.

I think in the clinic, I definitely have a better work life balance, and you know, I’m able to take better care of myself. We actually have an hour lunch break. But you know, in the hospital, you’re lucky to get 30 minutes to eat. So yeah, I would say no, I wasn’t taking good care of myself during that time.

Nicole Vienneau  13:12

Now knowing what you know today, what kinds of things do you think you would like to do? Like if you were… if you had to work in that environment again? Or what could you recommend for Nurses who are working in those environments?

Kim Karraker  13:27

I think acknowledging that we have a highly stressful job. Nurses in critical care— we’re adrenaline junkies in some ways. We just…  I mean, really, the sicker, the better. And you kind of forget about how stressful it all is, really. I think that you become callous to the stress. It’s like it just is normal to work in that environment. Your fight or flight is constantly stimulated.

And so then, you know, you end up with maybe a bit of adrenal fatigue down the road. And I think that there’s just no acknowledgement that this is stressful. And this is, you know, heartbreaking in some ways, and there’s a lot of feelings and emotions that I think that we need to hold space for.

So maybe… my last year as an ICU Nurse, we did have a room where we would… we could take our breaks and it was created and started by one of our Nurses who is also into holistic health. And it was a great space. So you could go into this room and put your feet up in a recliner.

We had kind of like you know, just background music and aromatherapy, good lighting, just a peaceful place to sit and get away from the unit for your 30 minute break out of 12 hours. I think we need to have more breaks for Nurses. I think they need to be able to go outside and you know, get some vitamin D and fresh air and go on a walk.

And it’s not that you can’t do that, I did do that at times. But I think that we’re so worried about our patients, that we don’t leave, we don’t leave. You’re worried about, you know, leaving your fellow Nurses with a very sick patient. And there’s just a lot of guilt going on too, I think, in that field of taking care of yourself.

So, yeah, there’s so many things. If I were to go back now, as a Nurse Coach with this training, I think that I would definitely function differently. Even in my current job— I work in general surgery— and I treat people differently, my patients have more space with me, and my time is spent differently.

Nicole Vienneau  15:33

So for any of our listeners, we might have new listeners who aren’t sure what this space means. So can you tell us a little bit more about what you mean by that, giving them more space?

Kim Karraker  15:44

Nurse Coaching space?

Nicole Vienneau  15:45

Yeah.

Kim Karraker  15:47

So this is just a time of reflection. And I think you quiet your mind and you open your heart, and we really just need time to just relax, really, rejuvenate. And I think that in, you know, a busy workplace like the critical care unit, or the hospital in general, we need to be able to have some time to sit back and relax, and really just take all of it in.

And I think also connecting with others, connecting with your Nurses, and we do a pretty good job about, I think, talking with each other and connecting. But I think that it’s really just having that sacred space of healing. And there could be… there are cases that really affect you, and you just go home to your family and turn it off and move on.

So just allowing that space to talk, to be able to, I guess, give ourselves permission to allow our feelings to be let out, to connect with other Nurses, and really just connect with yourself again. And knowing that what you did is great work, amazing work, and you did enough.

And that’s really what matters. I think we care so much for our patients. And I think sometimes we tell ourselves we didn’t do enough. Just acknowledging and giving ourselves permission to hold that space.

Nicole Vienneau  17:10

Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah, there was one comment that you said earlier, and you spoke about calloused. So last week, I had the pleasure of going into an intensive care unit and providing them with some self-care strategies, where I was trying to… I’m trying to normalize taking a break.

Kim Karraker  17:12

That’s good. Normalize.

Nicole Vienneau  17:34

Yes, I offer Reiki, a Reiki session, and neck massage, aromatherapy, just sitting with them, talking with them, and in the safe space in the sacred space, like you mentioned, as Nurse Coach, Nurse to Nurse, sharing time with each other, and connecting in that way.

And one of the conversations I had was with an ICU Nurse who was saying to a newer grad Nurse, oh, I’m so callous. I mean, I’m not callous, I am callussed. And that really struck me. It struck me because we almost are normalizing the whole impact that witnessing death and suffering and pain…

Kim Karraker  18:30

100%

Nicole Vienneau  18:31

And agony, and sometimes anger and frustration, that all of that is normalized, that that’s okay that we witness that every day. And we will just put a layer over that. And then another layer over that, and another layer until we become callussed. We’re not callous.

Like you say, Kim, we care so much about our patients. And yet we have this protection mechanism that has to happen like a callus would happen to protect our skin, to protect that part on our foot that keeps getting rubbed and rubbed and rubbed.

But it really, it just really stuck with me because we’re normalizing this and that it’s okay to not show our real true emotion. And it’s okay to hold everything inside and not acknowledge and give space to, like you were saying, these emotions that we really do feel. And yet we’re squashing them down. Squashing, squashing.

Kim Karraker  19:34

100% Yeah, I think that we, I almost… I hate to say this, but I feel like it’s learned behavior possibly. It’s kind of how you get through your day. There are so many patients coming in and so much going on, that you don’t have time to acknowledge those feelings. And I think that’s how that callus builds, is that you are just getting through.

And it’s not that you don’t care, because we care so much, sometimes too much. And I think that if you, you know, we can’t become soft, we have so much to do, we have to keep going. And we have to be able to take the next trauma coming in, or, you know, whatever, the death and dying that’s happening next door at the same time as A, B or C.

So it really is almost just like building resiliency, but not in a good way. And so I think that… I mean, how beautiful would it be to have time to really sit and reflect with each other as Nurses, but also with our patients. I found myself, you know, rushed, and not able to spend that time with the death and dying patient that needed my time, which I always seem to find that time, right?

We all did. But it’s just like, deep down, I think there’s this feeling of what’s coming next? And then you just kind of get through. And not one Nurse that I’ve worked with has that heart, they just are trying to make it through their week, their day.

If we allowed this time for people to, I think that’s awesome. Reiki in the middle of your day on your lunch break. You know, a space where you can go and pray, maybe do some meditation, deep breathing, learning some Heart Math breathing, during your shift, would be huge. I think that it would really shift the burnout that’s going on.

Nicole Vienneau  19:38

Yeah, yes. And recognizing that we really do need to take a break.

Kim Karraker  21:12

We have to. It is a non-negotiable. I do not miss my lunch break, I actually post a lot on my lunch break, because that is my sacred space. I love just connecting and I go outside. My peace is outside with nature. And I think maybe it was because I didn’t get to do that for so many years.

I mean, I think I would go outside and eat lunch quickly, and then go back in. But now I have an hour. And you know, on my days that I’m working my business, I can do whatever I want. So it’s just… it’s huge. I think that it’s beautiful. And we need time to do that for ourselves and for our wellbeing, we do this to our clients, to our patients.

Nicole Vienneau  22:20

Yes. And I think if any healthcare leadership listening, or even our consumers who are listening, please, please speak to to your hospitals… your…

Kim Karraker  22:35

Leadership, leadership management. They need to know. This is how you’re gonna keep your Nurses.

Nicole Vienneau  22:41

Absolutely, that Nurses do need to take a break and it is okay to take a break. And somehow fitting that in to make it so, we have to make it so, because it’s not happening now. So leadership can have an impact in making that happen.

Kim Karraker  23:00

Yes, absolutely. I think that another factor with that is maybe just short staffing too. You know, not having the time to have somebody who can watch those patients so that you can have your break and go on a walk or whatever it is that you need. But yeah, this is really important, I think, for longevity in Nursing.

Nicole Vienneau  23:20

Yes, longevity in Nursing. We’re seeing such high turnover right now with so many Nurses leaving the bedside, leaving the profession completely, that any small act of kindness towards our Nurses will be very beneficial.

Kim Karraker  23:34

Yes, I agree.

Nicole Vienneau  23:35

Yes. Okay, now you’ve mentioned… I’m going to switch gears, because you’ve mentioned Heart Math.

Kim Karraker  23:41

Yeah, Heart Math. Yeah, this is an amazing practice. This is connecting our mind with our heart and really getting our emotions regulated, and our stress and anxiety under control by, you know, changing the physiology of what’s going on inside. Deep breathing. This deep breathing is a huge transformation for me.

Before I went through INCA, I had already, you know, fallen in love with meditation, and it’s really one of the tools that I use to sleep. But I think that, you know, learning Heart Math is a pretty amazing thing. And it’s just going viral, everybody’s doing this, this is something that’s going on in so many different organizations, but not enough.

We need to teach our Nurses how to find this peace within and you know, during stressful times, and it’s really just breathing, it’s breath work. And it’s getting our heart electrical rhythm under control, our heart rate variability, and in sync with our emotions which come from the mind.

And we easily just want to… those neural pathways are already built, you know, for us, most of us are… I know for me, in the critical care world, I definitely didn’t stop to breathe during my stressful times.

But learning to take a moment and, you know, work on breathing and breathing into the emotions of the heart, which is, you know, like appreciation, caring, love, whatever those good emotions are, finding those and breathing into that emotion.

Nicole Vienneau  25:17

It seems like something as simple as that doesn’t take much time.

Kim Karraker  25:22

No. It could take two to three minutes to develop heart brain coherence, which is a decreased heart rate, heart rhythm, right? Everything’s going to go down, you’re kind of tapping into that parasympathetic nervous system instead of your sympathetic nervous system.

You know, it’s pretty amazing to see on the EMWave Pro, where you can see the heart rate variability in sync, and this beautiful pattern and harmonious pattern of, you know, peace while breathing. And it’s like, this is really powerful stuff if we just practice it.

It’s a practice. And again, you know, it’s also something we have to learn. Some physicians are teaching this in their office, a lot of functional medicine doctors are teaching this in their offices as well. And it’s just, it’s huge for, I think, stress management.

Nicole Vienneau  26:13

And so how are you using HeartMath within your Nurse Coaching world?

Kim Karraker  26:18

So, I have a program that I created, it’s called Harmony Method. And so really, I think that, you know, the H is heart healing. And that is really just teaching my clients how to do the few different techniques that we teach. There’s a couple of different protocols that we can teach with Heart Math, and it depends on the client, it depends on their stress level and if they’re willing.

As you know, Nurse Coaching is very fluid, and it really is up to the client and what they want to work on. But that is one thing that I think is important to incorporate in your overall healing, and that’s just that heart connection, and to learn how to breathe and to learn how to do meditation, basically.

And you know, there’s a protocol for Heart Math that is very specific. But yeah, I do that with almost every client, just teaching them the basics. And then we have, you know, quite a bit of content through Heart Math, the program at the Heart Math Institute, if you go through the class. And they really do provide a ton of content and information that you can give your clients.

Nicole Vienneau  27:28

The name of your business is Kardia Healing House, so tell us some more about that.

Kim Karraker  27:34

Yeah. So it’s a funny story. So my husband is also artistic. And we were like, we have to come up with a really great name. And you know, we’re thinking Karraker something, KAR something. Also, I know what it is that I want to focus on, and I do believe that the heart is where I think healing starts.

We can really focus on the body and the mind, but if your spirit and heart is not healed— quote, unquote, healed, that is so different for everyone depending on your life timeline— I think that that is the core to healing, and it was for me.

So anyways, so Kardia is… it means heart in the Bible, which really is the center of physical and spiritual life. So I really felt like that kind of connected body, mind and spirit, and it also has the KAR, which is like Karraker, but it’s Kardia. Yeah.

Nicole Vienneau  28:28

I love it. I love that. Beautiful. And you know, earlier on in the podcast, you had mentioned that you’re living with a chronic illness, and that your people that you are wanting to work with and that you’re working with are also some of those people who have chronic illness. So would you like to share a little bit about that?

Kim Karraker  28:51

Yeah. So that’s kind of how I ended up here. I would never choose to start a business just out of the blue. And it really is not an easy thing to do. But I have… I do feel led to help others and I want people to find healing as I did. I definitely went down a path of not knowing what was wrong with me.

I was very young, and ended up with a terrible cold and that cold did not get better. This is while I was working in the PICU. And I went to I cannot tell you how many physicians, I can’t count them on my hands. I had so many doctors and tests and antibiotics and steroids and so many things and we really didn’t have an answer as to why I was so sick.

It was about three years that it took to find harmony in my body, I could actually breathe. I ended up with aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease, and an undetermined autoimmune disease. That’s still up in the air. I did end up going to rheumatology.

I was on Plaquenil, I was on Prednisone, all the drugs, all the things that we normally do. And I’m not saying that it doesn’t… we don’t need this, because we do for some people, I was just determined to find healing naturally. And I would do anything, you know, anything to be back to my normal self.

So I did read every book under the sun in regards to functional medicine, learning how to heal the body from a diet and lifestyle modification approach. Ended up going to a functional medicine doctor. I have completely changed my diet, I meditate all the time, I really take good care of myself. I try to. I mean, there are days we’re not perfect, right?

But I found so much healing through all of that, and through the path that I went down. And, you know, we just don’t talk about this enough in conventional medicine, we don’t talk about changing your diet, and really looking at nutrition as medicine.

And that is really just one of my biggest mission. That’s what I want to do, is to help people find healing while living with whatever it is that they have, through functional medicine and Nurse Coaching.

Nicole Vienneau  31:11

So when you say diet changes, I know our listeners are like, ooh, what do we need to do?

Kim Karraker  31:16

Well, that’s a good question. And none of us are the same, so I can’t really tell you what to do. But from a functional medicine, nutrition standpoint, we’re all— this is, quote, unquote, from Andrea Nakayama— we are all unique, everything is connected, and everything matters. And I think that, you know, the body is not… it’s not divided up.

You know, we have cardiologists, we have urologists, we have oncologists, we have all these different ologists, but we do have this whole body. And so everybody has a different body, and nobody can be on the same diet. But for me, no gluten, no dairy, no sugar.

I do try to eat mostly organic foods. I do cheat, I am not perfect. But I really pay for it if I deviate from, you know, this diet, for the most part. So it really helped me, I went through the whole 30 elimination diet, autoimmune protocol diet, you name it. There are so many different elimination diets out there.

But I do believe that it’s really important to find out what works for you, and what you’re sensitive to. And really, it just… there’s so much to look at. It’s just such a big assessment when it comes to nutrition. But we can definitely heal our bodies through what we eat.

Nicole Vienneau  32:39

Yes. And for our listeners here, Kim is obtaining her certification in functional nutrition. Right?

Nicole Vienneau  32:48

Yes. So she’d be a great person, if you have thoughts on how food can impact your health and wellbeing, Kim is a great resource and would be happy to partner with you.

Kim Karraker  32:48

Yeah.

Kim Karraker  33:02

Yes. I’m excited. That is one of my passions. I literally listen to functional medicine podcasts on my spare time, about nutrition. It’s so interesting. Especially as a Nurse, you know, this is stuff that we do not learn in Nursing school.

Nicole Vienneau  33:18

Right, and you spoke to this earlier about more natural ways of healing, instead of just taking a pill, which is just really covering up symptomology.

Kim Karraker  33:29

It is. It’s a bandaid.

Nicole Vienneau  33:31

We need medicine, we need all of that, and we can also explore more natural ways to heal ourselves too.

Kim Karraker  33:40

100%. Yes. I think that it’s important. I don’t think we’ll ever get better if we don’t. I mean, our bodies will always be inflamed. So, yeah.

Nicole Vienneau  33:49

Yes. And this is the beauty of Nurse Coaching, is we are specialists in different areas, and as we partner with different people needing different things, we work in partnership, we never tell people you must do it like this.

Kim Karraker  33:50

Yeah. Never. It is very natural. And I think that’s what I love about it, is you just never know how your sessions are going to go. You know, I think that’s where the inner wisdom comes in.

Nicole Vienneau  34:22

Yes, it’s a beautiful thing. Ah, okay, now within our last few minutes, I’d love to ask a question. And the question is what is on your heart that you would love to share with our listeners right now?

Kim Karraker  34:39

I would love for people to believe that there is hope and that there is healing out there, and that you are enough. And that I think that the healing always starts from the heart. Always kind of look within and find out what it is that is truly the essence of what’s going on. And don’t be afraid to really look deep within first, when you’re looking for healing. I think that’s just very important to start the journey of healing.

Nicole Vienneau  35:08

Look deep within.

Kim Karraker  35:09

I have a really favorite quote of mine, which is on my website. I’ll have to just share this with you guys. I love it. “Start over, my darling. Be brave enough to find the life you want and courageous enough to chase it. Then start over and love yourself the way you were always meant to.” – Madalyn Beck

Nicole Vienneau  35:28

Beautiful. Yeah, it’s okay to start over.

Kim Karraker  35:34

Yeah, it is.

Nicole Vienneau  35:36

Alright, before we leave, I have some interesting questions to ask you.

Kim Karraker  35:39

Okay.

Nicole Vienneau  35:41

These are the questions that you can’t think hard about you just have to answer.

Kim Karraker  35:44

Okay.

Nicole Vienneau  35:45

Okay. You ready?

Kim Karraker  35:46

Sure.

Nicole Vienneau  35:46

Apple or orange?

Kim Karraker  35:48

Orange.

Nicole Vienneau  35:49

Why?

Kim Karraker  35:50

Because I love vitamin C and the pulp and the color. And the sweetness of oranges.

Nicole Vienneau  36:03

Not saying that you don’t like apples. You’re just preferring oranges over apples.

Kim Karraker  36:06

Yeah, I prefer oranges over apples. Yeah, definitely.

Nicole Vienneau  36:11

I love it. So, Integrative Nurse Coaches in ACTION! stands for… ACTION! stands for something. Stands for its letters. Okay, here goes, I want to say them all. Authentic. Curious. Truthful. Inspiring. Open. Nurturing.

Kim Karraker  36:31

Oh, I love that.

Nicole Vienneau  36:33

So as a Nurse Coach, which word stands out for you the most? Authentic. Curious. Truthful. Inspiring. Open. Nurturing.

Kim Karraker  36:42

Nurturing.

Nicole Vienneau  36:44

And tell us more.

Kim Karraker  36:45

I think that Nurse Coaches are just nurturing souls. I think that we are just very eager to hold space— I say that a lot— for people,  and you know, to really just allow time to not only help nurture those people, but they need to nurture themselves. I don’t know, I like that word.

Nicole Vienneau  37:08

I love that. Yes. That’s what we do. And then I also want to tap into that, too, like, we’re learning how to nurture ourselves too.

Kim Karraker  37:16

Yes, definitely. It starts there, has to start there.

Nicole Vienneau  37:20

Yeah, yes.

Kim Karraker  37:22

And continue. And continue, that’s the key. Yeah, stay on track.

Nicole Vienneau  37:30

Yes. And when you notice that you’re not nurturing, that’s when you reach out.

Kim Karraker  37:33

Yes, definitely.

Nicole Vienneau  37:35

Say hey, Kim, I need to talk to you.

Kim Karraker  37:37

I need to go to the room. I need to unload. Yes.

Nicole Vienneau  37:40

That’s right. So Kim, how can we find you?

Kim Karraker  37:44

So I have a website. It’s kardiahealinghouse.com. I’m on Instagram and Facebook, soon to be YouTube. Eventually,  that’ll happen. Yeah, I really love being on camera. No. But it’s very important. I’m excited to, again, just share, you know, all of this information I’m learning.

I’m still new to some of this but I’m so eager to share. There’s so much to learn. My Instagram is @nursecoachkk, and Facebook is Kardia Healing House LLC.

Nicole Vienneau  38:21

Lovely. Yes. And we’re going to share the links so listeners can find you and connect with you and reach out. And please do. We love to receive messages. So please feel free to do that. And Kim, I just want to thank you, and our listeners want to thank you, send you lots of love. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and all these little bits of nuggets of goodness that we can take away with us.

Kim Karraker  38:43

Thank you for having me. I love hearing all the different people that you interview and all that you’re sharing. It’s amazing. Thank you so much.

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