Sharon is a graduate of the Master of Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine (currently our MS in Integrative Health Studies) program with ACHS. Sharon shares lineage from her family in Germany, where holistic health is embraced. Sharon has always been immersed in homeopathic remedies and holistic health. She felt compelled to obtain formal education and share this knowledge with others, which led her to pursue her path in holistic health.
Sharon has many years of experience as a medical professional. She was a Registered Medical Assistant for 25 years and has worked in various roles within the medical field. Through her professional experience, she noticed a need for holistic health, coaching, and alternatives for patients in allopathic care. The combination of experiences inspired her to incorporate integrative health into her professional toolbox. Her current employer, a research hospital in Portland, OR, welcomed her to integrate holistic health, wellness, and coaching into her role at the hospital to create work-life balance and stress reduction for providers.
Path to Holistic Health
Once Sharon was inspired to follow her goals, she started looking for a well-rounded program to apply immediately to her career path. She felt connected to the program at ACHS and knew that her program matched up well with her authenticity and goals. Sharon was in her Master's degree program when she was diagnosed with the connective tissue disorder Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. She wanted to make a difference in the lives of others impacted by this disorder and gleaned education that she could apply to her health and wellness journey.
Sharon has a background in dance and learned through her educational and practical experience how wellness coaching is truly a dance between the client and the coach, sharing ideas and engaging in open communication. Sharon says that any of the required wellness coaching textbooks in her program at ACHS reflect this concept: she loves that coaching allows consciousness to open up, bringing out wisdom that the client already has within themselves but gets cluttered by things that get in the way.
ACHS offered all of the classes and disciplines she was looking for. The classroom structure and flexible environment allowed her to continue working while studying and completing her degree. Sharon says the most impactful class she completed within her program was the Wellness Coaching and Communications Skills course because the topics resonated with her goals of taking a holistic approach with her clients. She loved Professor Amanda Lattin's Aromatherapy classes because they combined chemistry and the practical benefits of using Aromatherapy.
Impact on her community
Sharon cares deeply about improving the lives of others and wants to make a difference both with the work that she is doing with Ehlers-Danlos (EDS/HSD) clients and within the medical community, where her coaching can help improve patient care. She started her wellness coaching business, Thirteen Zebras in 2021 with the goal in mind to spread awareness and advocate for individuals that have, or think they may have, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders. Sharon’s business name was inspired by Zebras and the number 13 because Zebras represent the thirteen recognized subtypes of EDS. No two disorders look exactly the same, but zebras come together as a “dazzle” to support each other. Sharon is also a sponsored resource for the Ehlers-Danlos Society. Her business's significant focus is community education about this rare disorder.
Sharon attributes her education at ACHS to becoming an Integrative Health and Wellness Coach. Her business provides wellness resources and coaching for individuals with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders. As someone who has experienced living with Ehlers-Danlos (EDS/HSD), Sharon understands the condition's impact on physical and mental well-being. Her business provides holistic health education programs and an online support community through social media platforms to support others living with EDS /HSD. Sharon says she "provides personalized support and guidance to help her clients create a healthier lifestyle and achieve a better quality of life.”
A unique offering in her business is supplying zebra “Wellness Boxes” to her clients and the community. The Zebra Wellness boxes apply the traditional Chinese Medicine principles of Yin and Yang through the use of Pink Zebra Jasper stones. Using Pink Zebra Jasper in these handmade bracelets are considered to be grounding. Since Zebras (individuals with EDS/HSD) tend to lack balance, this symbolizes the benefit of healing from a holistic lens. Every bracelet she sells supports Ehlers-Danlos research.
Her Advice to ACHS students
Sharon has used her experience and passion to carve out a specific niche in the health and wellness field. She is also passionate about her peers' success, as she knows the need is prominent in the community to have educated practitioners in health and wellness modalities. Her advice to ACHS students and alums with an entrepreneurial goal is to have patience with yourself as you grow your business. It takes time to set up the different sections of your business and add your flare to it. She advises not to be afraid to network and put yourself out there once you put the pieces together. We wish Sharon continued success in her business endeavors.
About ACHS Alumni Sharon Harrasser
Program Complete at ACHS by Sharon Harrasser
- Master of Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine (currently our MS in Integrative Health Studies)
Sharon Harrasser’s Areas of Focus
- Has a career as an Integrative Health and Wellness Coach
- Started her wellness coaching business, Thirteen Zebras in 2021 offering holistic health education programs and online community platforms to support others living with EDS /HSD
- Offers Wellness Boxes that apply traditional and Chinese medicine principals