By Carl Muir
“Most people in life are operating down here” Summer O’Brien passionately tells me, with her hand down near the ground “When really they should be up here” she says pointing to the sky.
On the day I sit down to talk with Summer at Manaia Cafe, she has just run her first half marathon. Most people might look a little tired after such a quest, but Summer is beaming. What’s more, running a half marathon is something she had only ever dreamed of. You see when she was a child,, Summer was in a car crash, that saw both her legs and her pelvis broken. She had never quite fully recovered and often struggled with long term pain. “One of my friends literally kept hounding me to try NIS, in the end I just gave in and gave it a go. I was blown away! After a while the pain was gone, my mobility was back. Not only that but I felt like a million bucks!”
At the time Summer had already been a practicing midwife for 3 years, and had originally studied and gained a Diploma in natural medicine, inspired by a friends battle with cancer. “I just couldn’t come to grips with how much medication she was on, there had to be a better, more natural way to fight it. I saw that to care for someone, you need a more holistic approach, and even long term we need to work on prevention, and taking better care of ourselves.”
After Summer was literally cured of her pain through her NIS treatment she decided quickly this was a path she wanted to take, to help treat other people and share the benefits of NIS. Summer travelled to Melbourne and the Gold Coast to study NIS, under Kiwi osteopath Dr Alan Philllips.
NIS stands for Neurological Integration System, and as Summer tells me “The brain governs everything we do. It is the centre of everything we do. Many of the symptoms I treat, whether that is infertility, anxiety and depression, hormonal imbalances, organ issues, asthma and eczema originate from the brain. I work with touch, and on a subconscious level to assist healing at a cellular level.”
Healing usually becomes evident after three treatments Summer tells me, and it is all about getting the body working at the optimum level. “The benefits are not just physical, but by getting to the source of the problem, my clients often end up with huge emotional benefits, including their confidence and drive.”
“I’m living proof of that. I would never have thought I would be doing what I do today. The system helps people in ways they would never have dreamed of.”
Summer now practices NIS at her Summer O’Brien Integrative Health clinics in Tairua, Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch. “I love Tairua, but I also love getting away to the cities from time to time and travelling, so I get the best of both worlds, and I get to help people at the same time!” Summer’s treatments have cured children with reading and writing problems, people with vision problems have had their sight returned and Summer boasts “everyone who has come to me trying to get pregnant has ended up getting pregnant!”.
“Tairua is the perfect environment for a business like this, it is my busiest clinic, and I think the process for finding clients is a lot more personal in this business. It is very much about Word of Mouth and trust. Someone will try NIS with me, and in a small community, the benefits become very visible to people, with that comes a lot of referral business.” Summer’s Tairua clinic is located in a cluster of like minded women’s health businesses, with friend Kirsty Law operating Tairua’s Health & Beauty in the same building.
Summer says she is very passionate about women’s health, and that is what motivates her to still practice midwifery alongside her NIS practice. “There is something very special about working with women at such a sacred time in their life.”
What else motivates Summer? “I think it is that I am always learning. This is my dream business. Even if I had all the money in the world and didn’t have to worry about paying the bills, I would still be doing what I am doing.”
Well, I’m sold! I’ve had a niggly knee and elbow for over a year that no-one has been able to sort out, and few other ailments that need sorting, so I’ve booked in to see Summer to see what magic she can work. I’ll let you know how that goes in Part 2 of this story!
If you’d like to get in touch with Summer you can find her here: