FINDING A CURE

Lorena Puica, tech entrepreneur The founder and CEO of digital preventative health doctor, iamYiam, on finding wellness I wake up at 5.30am, meditate in bed for 30minutes to set my focus for the day, then dostretches and handstands to get my bloodflowing. After a swim and sauna in the gymof my building, I head home to get ready for work,and eat porridge and seeds to balance my nervoussystem. I then focus on things that need a lot ofthought, such as writing an important email to aninvestor, before going to my office for 9am. I fit lotsof calming activities into my morning routinebecause once I start work – a typical day includesfive to seven meetings with corporate partners,investors and journalists – there’s little time for me.The goal of iamYiam (iamYiam.com) – pronounced‘I am why I am’ – is to enhance the health andwellbeing of one billion people by 2025, andwhen I get there, I’ll be so thrilled.

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FINDING A CURE

‘I left home in Romania for universitywhen I was 17, gaining five degreesin subjects including economics andfinance. After five years working instrategic consulting in Germany,I worked another five in investmentmanagement in London, getting fast tracked inevery role I had. But in rushing to get to the top,I messed up my health along the way. At 24, I wasdiagnosed with an underactive thyroid and spent thenext five years on hormone therapy. After years offeeling so poorly – and insisting on more in-depthanalysis on my condition – doctors recommendedI had my thyroid removed at 28. I refused, and threwmyself at every kind of alternativetherapy from acupuncture andosteopathy to yoga and meditation.After two years of research andpractice, and getting tested alongthe way to see if genetics played apart in my condition (it didn’t),I had completely healed myself simply by changingmy lifestyle, and was given a clean bill of health.‘Shortly afterwards, in February 2015, I took part ina charity challenge, to run seven marathons on sevencontinents in seven consecutive days, which wefinished in 10 days due to weather conditions. Thisgave me the frame of mind to think about how I coulduse my journey to health to help others who are keento engage in therapies to improve their wellness, butfeel confused by the lack of substantiated academicand scientific researchout there to support the practiceof alternative therapies.’

A NEW FUTURE

‘Four months later, I resigned frommy job. Starting with a team of threethat’s now grown to 21, I set out tocreate a digitalplatform that wouldease people’s journeysto wellness, with afocus on preventionrather than cure. Thefirst step for iamYiamis to find out how an individual isdesigned physically, by collectingtheir genetic data through a salivatest. The person then completes alifestyle questionnaire that helps usmap the eight dimensions ofwellbeing – including sleep, stress,anxiety and weight – then wecombine this data using scientificresearch to translate it into simplified, digestible information that peoplecan take action on and set appropriatehealth goals with personalised activity andnutrition plans. We also provide a platformof handpicked practitioners to take theguesswork out of finding a therapist.Since launching in the UK in February2016, we’re now launching in Dubai, andNew York is next on the list.‘After a busy day where I often only gettime to grab lunch from Pret, Itsu orWholefoods, I love to unwind by going outfor dinner around three nights a week, but I’llbe home by 10pm to decompress in a bathfilled with Dead Sea salts, then meditate tolet go of everything that’s happened in theday and fall asleep by 11.30pm.’

LORENA’S WELLBEING TIPS

Take two minutes to breathe deeplythree times a day. It’s so simple, buta great way to destress and refocus.

Find one thing you love, such aswalking or meditation, and do itconsistently. Five minutes every day isbetter than one long session once aweek if you want to feel the benefits.

If you’re clear about what isimportant to you in life, and what thefocus of your day is, achieving goalswill come more naturally.

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