Born in Urbana, Illinois, Salena grew up with two sisters on a small farm in central Illinois. Salena learned the qualities and skills needed to become a good health detective long before her career in the health and wellness community. Her parents embraced and nourished her inquisitive nature. She was taught the importance of compassion, discernment, critical thinking and to approach challenges with an open mind.
She spent much of her academic years pursuing math and science. Outside of school her time was spent with horses. Following high school she attended Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois majoring in pre-veterinary medicine. She put that on hold to pursue her love with horses and went to work on a Thoroughbred farm in southeastern Connecticut. This led to meeting her new love and now husband of 23 years, Eric. Since then she has spent most of those years growing a family.
She experienced many years of infertility challenges and lost four children prematurely. In 2005 she and her husband welcomed their now oldest child into the world. What was a blessing then has brought her full circle to her passions as a child, and as she puts it “is becoming a blessing to others”. In 2014 her eldest son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes following DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis). During that hospitalization Salena became overly aware of the limitations of the conventional medicine model. While it excelled at helping her son recover quickly from DKA, it was lacking in providing a long-term resolution to her child’s adverse health. As a response Salena delved back into her previous passion and became consumed with studying biochemical pathways, immune responses and holistic oriented methods along with herbs and supplements which are known to support and improve health.
With support and nurturing from family, friends and her local family physician, Salena graduated from Functional Medicine University, a nationally recognized leader in functional medicine education for health care professionals and CEUs and certificates of completion provided by Southern California University of Health Sciences. She also received certification as a Certified Health Coach upon completing Dr. Sears Wellness Institute Program. She has completed advanced courses in nutrigenomics, nutrition, and functional medicine.
Asking the question “Why” is at the heart of her ‘detective’ work to identify the underlying cause, for not only her son but, clients whose health systems are suffering distress. When faced with the conventional model of symptom management she explores ‘why’ the body is responding in a way that results in adverse health. Doing so in a way which empowers her clients through sharing, her so they, too, can take charge of their health.
She resides with her husband, two children and their family dog, Chocolate, in the Deep Piney Woods of East Texas.