Fitness Career Spotlight on Fiona Gilbert, Mistress Voodoo, Movement Therapist, Exercise Physiologist, Amino Neurofrequency Therapy, Master Trainer
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA, RD on SEPTEMBER 1, 2017
Meet Fiona Gilbert, PhD, ACSM EP-C, ANF, who truly is a Mistress of Voodoo. Her extraordinary practice of amino neurofrequency therapy has changed people’s lives for the better. People who previously suffered from physical pain, depression, and many other ailments have felt relief and alleviation of the symptoms after getting treatment. In addition, Fiona’s passion for helping people shines through to each and every one of her clients. Read on to learn how caring for humanity can grow both your practice and your abundance. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of fitness and exercise?
I entered the movement industry through desperation and need. I had demyelination that affected every part of my body and I did not like the conventional options available to me. I did not want to get use to life in a wheelchair. So I went back to school and learned physiology and anatomy and then started playing with different neurological movement protocols.
Your Job Title:
Mistress Voodoo/CEO/Movement Therapist/Exercise Physiologist/Holistic Therapist Amino Neurofrequency Therapy/Master Trainer
Company you are with now:
When I started, I picked my company name to be as easy as possible – Fiona Gilbert, Inc. Now that it is grown into its own brand, I some days have to remember Fiona Gilbert the person and Fiona Gilbert the company are two very different things.
– Twitter: fi_gilbert
– Instagram: fi_gilbert
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fiona.gilbert.wellness.concierge/
A typical (or not so typical) day in the work-life for you:
I have not had a typical day in the past few years. I might not know what to do with myself if I had a normal day! It is hard to believe I was so ill in April this year that I was planning to close my practice!
If I am home (SF Bay Area), my normal day starts at 6:30/7am. I take 30 mins to mobilize and check in with my body – what does it need from me today? Power Plate, ViPR, kettlebell, Indian clubs, even foam rollers and cupping. Then I struggle with the concept of breakfast; I’m not a breakfast person but my body and brain needs it to get through the morning. I usually sit outside (the joys of living in California) and have my coffee. Check my emails, social media, calendar for the day (I am no longer allowed to manage my own calendar because I keep messing it up!).
Then I head off to see clients/patients either at my clinic/movement space in downtown Redwood City or at their homes. I always have at least three sets of clothes with me – are you a movement based client/patient where I need my Lycras? Or an ANF holistic patient where I can wear my “grown up” clothes? Or are we going to need to get into a swimsuit so that we can do water based rehabilitation?
My assistant always makes sure I have a hard stop at lunch, so that I can get out of my physical space and head space. Technically lunch is at 12:30pm but the reality is more 1:30pm.
I try to get out of clinic before traffic gets stupid but that never works, so the plan now is to stay past traffic. I’ll let you know how that goes!
I love food, so I always try to cook something from scratch for dinner. It’s been an interesting transition since my practice has become so much more hectic because I need to figure out some time saving meal prep ideas that can blend with my concept of how my food should taste.
When I’m traveling (and I can travel up to 75% of the month), I usually catch the morning flight so that I can deal with any delays or dramas with some time buffer wherever it is that I land. My service dog, Koda, and I are pros at the TSA line. I travel to see clients, run pop-up clinics for movement and ANF, teach for some companies and consult for others wanting to move into the medical fitness space. Those days are definitely unpredictable and so much fun. I am so blessed to have this international village who take care of me and welcome me with open arms.
I try to stay at hotels with a pool; swimming first thing in the morning gives me zen. The quiet of the water combined with movement is just bliss. I can’t do flotation tanks but being the only person in the pool; bliss!
How did you get your current job in fitness and exercise?
My practice has been an evolution; not just as a practitioner but also as a patient and a human. When I finished my degree in Adaptive Fitness Therapy, I accepted a job in a clinical setting – 3 hours a day, 3 days per week. It was amazing. For me, it forced me to get out of the house for a few hours a day (those of you living with a chronic condition know what I mean) and I learned so much from my patients as well as my colleagues and supervisors.
Then I started receiving requests for people who wanted a private practitioner to help them with neurological rehabilitation since they saw how I was improving.
I have spent the past 10+ years developing my own movement/neurological protocols and have just added tools in my toolbox. I am an extremely conservative practitioner who practices on the cutting edge of medical technology; I understand the oxymoronic nature of that statement. I am also a Luddite who can barely pick up her phone or use Uber.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I think I was born with a high level of empathy. However, I have had to learn not to take on everyone else’s energy and worries. This has been a long journey and a hard skill to learn but I am a better practitioner, mother, wife, human for it.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Care. Care more than anyone else. You do need a business structure but that is always second to caring for your clients.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
Luxury travel to UNESCO world heritage sites. I am a travel and history junkie.