At the age of 18, I was just about to finish high school and still had no idea what I wanted to do. Nothing on offer from the universities was sparking any interest. Around this time, I was at a friend’s house and she had a brochure for nutritional medicine studies at Endeavour College of Natural Health. I hadn’t heard of naturopathy before and was unfamiliar with the college but something about this degree stood out to me.
During my final years of school, I studied science which I had always been interested in, as well as subjects related to food technology, cooking and hospitality and I found these very enjoyable. So, something that combined biology, chemistry and food as medicine, among others, really caught my eye.
On my next trip to Melbourne, I had a meeting with a course coordinator at Endeavour College to see which course would be best suited to my interests. Naturopathy resonated with me most and I left the meeting feeling really excited about studying in this field.
While my entry into naturopathy didn’t come about through personal or family issues with illness, or a ‘I’ve always wanted to be a naturopath’ story, I do feel as though I was in the right place at the right time and that it found me. And once it did, I fell in love with the practice!
Here’s why I love being a naturopath.
- Naturopathy allows me to know myself and my health more deeply. A strong thread running throughout the course is checking in with self and any symptoms that are arising. This is a large component of working through what is going on with clients.
- It looks at the body holistically. I never felt that the problem was resolved when consulting a general practitioner. Naturopathy gave me real answers and inspires you to look after and love your whole body. It provides the reason behind the symptoms rather than putting a band aid over the issues. For health reasons, I had to consult a specialist (always booked three months in advance and costing $300+) and always left with no answers and nowhere to go. I love that as naturopaths we are open to the idea that we are not the only answer but can work collaboratively with other practitioners to provide the help people in need.
- The practice is based on ancient wisdom. Modern naturopathy is rooted in science, with the entirety of our practice based on studied methods. However, when it comes to the foods and herbs we use and love, much of this knowledge stems from traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and other ancient practices and has been passed down over centuries.
- It supports the environment. A lot of what I do is not only for my own health and that of others but also for the health of the planet. For example, I hadn’t considered the impact of eating seasonally prior to studying naturopathy but this is now something that is important to me. (Season eating has a significant benefit for the planet by taking less resources to transport and store food.) Being environmentally conscious is now a part of the way I live.
Regardless of whether I ended up practicing as a naturopathy (although I’m so glad I did!), I felt incredibly grateful for everything I learnt during my studies. I find it very refreshing that we have the option of utilising natural ways of treatment for relief from many health concerns and are able to look at things from a different perspective. This knowledge has not only helped me with my health issues but my friends and family as well – and, of course, all my wonderful clients. As science and the world of health is ever evolving, I am continually learning and so lucky to be able to share my knowledge with others.
Are you ready to try natural health and healing? Give naturopathy a go by making a booking with one of our naturopaths today!
Written by Ally Stuart BHSc