By Gofire Staff

This post is part of a special Q&A series about how athletes and other members of the Gofire community utilize plant medicine, the Gofire App and the Gofire Inhaler to enhance their health and fitness through precision dosing, consumption tracking and product discovery.

Name: Jennessa Lea

Hometown: North St. Paul, Minnesota

Age: 32

Occupation: Health and fitness advisor

Social: Follow Jennessa Lea on Instagram and Facebook

Tell us a little about your background.

I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a genetic connective tissue disorder that weakens my connective tissue, tendons and ligaments. I wasn’t diagnosed until adulthood, so I dealt with a lot of pain and disability growing up. Simple activities would cause my joints to dislocate. I had my daughter at age 20, and pregnancy exacerbated my joint problems. It became too dangerous for me to be out without a wheelchair because of my constant dislocations, injuries and pain.

I was prescribed several different narcotics, but my tolerance increased quickly. I experienced terrible withdrawal symptoms if I stopped taking the drugs, even though they had stopped working for my pain. I couldn’t do physical therapy and was largely bedridden. I was also experiencing EDS-related heart problems. When I found out that my daughter also had Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, I knew I had to find a way out of this cycle of pain and disability for both of us.

How did you discover plant medicine?

I started researching pain relief through alternative medicine, which led me to RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) and the success that some patients were having with it.

I started using plant medicine to manage my pain in 2014. With less pain, I was able to do physical therapy, which I needed to strengthen my connective tissue. The stronger and more stable my joints became, the more I could move and stay active, which helped my body hurt less. I was able to invest more time in good nutrition and strength training.

My internal medical issues and quality of life have improved immeasurably because of plant medicine. It allowed me to take control of my healing. Now I teach others how to implement plant medicine into their routines for better health. I give my clients education and tools to find their own healing and empowerment. They trust me, because they know that I know what it’s like to be in so much pain you’re waiting to die.

What is your training regimen like?

Because I’m a parent, I often work out in the evenings. Many people put pressure on themselves to get up first thing in the morning and exercise, but as I emphasize to my clients, everyone’s journey is unique.

Being in nature is so important. There was a period of time where I couldn’t really walk, but I kayaked—to keep moving and also stay connected to nature. I love to hike and paddleboard, which also got me outside. I do yoga, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and I weight train as well. I advise clients to find exercise that works for their bodies.

What do you like most about the Gofire App?

Scanning the DoseCode is so helpful for learning about products. I also like seeing the exact dose in medicating sessions; it allows you to repeat the dose and be consistent.  

Did you have preconceptions or misconceptions around plant medicine? If so, what changed them? I didn’t know at first it was truly medicinal! My life experience is a testament to the fact that plant medicine can help people heal.