At 23 years of age, Virginia M. Harper was terminally ill and given little chance of surviving. She had been diagnosed with two rare and clinically incurable diseases, Crohn’s disease and Takayasu Ateritis. After suffering a stroke and being prescribed further surgery and steroids for both of her conditions, she was told she would not live past 30 and was advised not to have children; she was depressed and bedridden yet held out hope for options to her bleak prognosis.
In a desperate search, she learned about a nutritional plan called Macrobiotics. After adopting an eating program of whole foods and learning to change her lifestyle to accommodate her body’s specific needs, Virginia was symptom-free within months. This relief came after seven years of suffering the painful symptoms of digestive inflammation that required several stays in the hospital. The healing experience taught her the vital connection between food and health. She noticed that her body became flexible as her health was restored, and she maintained a healthy weight. Her recovery not only gave her complete relief from her illnesses but also the benefit of a life full of energy and vitality.
During 35 years of glowing health, she has shared her knowledge of healing practices that sustain lifelong health. For the last 20 years, she has consulted with clients worldwide. Her focus is educating people – young and old – on all aspects of Intestinal Bowel Disease. Her expertise is in facilitating the healing of the digestive tract at any stage of disability. The macrobiotic principles she uses complement medical treatment and are compatible with all religions, cultures, and programs.
Virginia is recognized as one of the leading macrobiotic counselors. She is also the author of Controlling Crohn’s Disease: the Natural Way, now in its fifth edition. Her focus on Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis is motivated by her history and the epidemic rise of IBD in the developed world today.
Currently, Virginia is the founder and director of You Can Heal You, which teaches people through an individualized outpatient program or during a 10-day residential intensive how they can heal themselves from IBD and other inflammatory illnesses. YCHY also provides ongoing personal coaching to help people integrate new skills into their everyday lives. In the residential venue, people are taught, one -one-on-one, how to replace detrimental lifestyle habits with health-promoting foods and behaviors that enable them to reclaim their health.
Due to the staggering number of young people affected by digestive disease, she founded Kids Healing Crohns & Colitis, a non-profit foundation as an educational support for parents and children. Virginia resides in Franklin, Tennessee. She frequently presents to various groups in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Additionally, in 2021, Virginia was awarded the Michio Kushi Peace Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Health, Peace, and Sustainability.
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