I have been where you are.
Well…maybe not exactly, but there was a time when I too felt unwell and overwhelmed by that feeling that I did not have control over my own health.
When I was a University student – studying to be a nurse – there was a point when I was taking as many as 16 pharmaceutical pills a day to keep my digestive tract in check. As I was popping my pills out of one of those clear, snappy cases (I’m sure my grandmother had the same one,) I remember thinking, “but I don’t feel this sick!”
One day, immersed in my pharmacology textbook, I became intrigued and started looking up the medications I was taking. (Alarming that I hadn’t done this earlier, I know.) Lo and behold, some of my medications were lowering my immune system and putting me at risk for cancer down the road.
Now let me just say that I know for many, these medications are extremely necessary and that the potential risk can be very low compared to the consequences they would face without those meds. But for me, I thought: “there must be another way.”
Enter naturopathic medicine.
I met with a Naturopathic Doctor that introduced me to the power of the mind and body connection and the negative effect stress could have on my health. I discovered that most of my health troubles popped up around Christmas and summer vacations (right after stressful exam periods). I began practicing mindfulness and active relaxation. I followed an anti-inflammatory diet consisting of only whole foods. I was given homeopathic remedies that were specific to my needs and personality. Over the course of a month I began feeling better and stronger. Luckily for me, my GI specialist supported me during this process and he helped me safely taper off my medications. I knew he would be there for me again if I needed his help.
With time, I kept feeling better. This newfound natural lifestyle became a passion. I started reading about mindfulness, food, and clean living in my spare time. I began sharing the information I was learning with my friends and colleagues. It eventually got to the point where I thought: “if I am passionate about this method of medicine, why don’t I do it for a living?”
I wanted to help others as I had been helped. So I quit my nursing job, sold my car (to my very supportive parents), packed up my apartment, and moved to Toronto, ON, to become a Naturopathic Doctor.