Looking back, I have always had a kinship for all things natural.
This is possibly a by-product of growing up in the bush and
being surrounded by an abundance of nature.
My teenage years saw me creating my own natural “beauty
products from the fridge or pantry items. I was aware of the food
and choosing what I perceived or what was thought to be
healthier but often these choices had more to do with body
image than with being healthy.
As I reached my early 20 all of this had gone out the window.
I was living life and life was good. Drinking, smoking constant
bad food choices – who cares life is fun and meant for living!
2005 was my year! The corporate job with lots of room to grow job. I got married and had a house. Life should have been sweet. Right? But, with any good story, there is always a twist. I was miserable!
Work had me so stressed out! Deadlines, budgets, KPI’s – it’s enough even now to make me want to crawl into the foetal position.
I remember thinking (I may have even said it out loud) – “I just need a break!” And December 2005 I got my break. Yep, the 5th metatarsal on my left foot! The universe has a very twisted sense of humour - as they say, be careful what you wish for!
Shortly after this I also found out I was pregnant with my first child. (Some think it may be related to the foot injury, but I’ll let you decide that for yourself 😉).
While my pregnancy was “normal”, our little bundle of joy decided to grace us with his presence 2 months early. This to say the least was an emotional and stressful period of our perhaps is a massive understatement.
So,to recap, in less than 12 months I had got married, quit smoking, broken my foot, and had my first child!
Not surprisingly all of this left me with a whopping dose of post-natal depression!
After several months of struggling through, I finally went to see my GP. He got the prescription pad out and popped me on anti-depressants. I will say within 2-3 days of taking them I was like “WOW” I haven’t felt like this in a long time!
So, life chugged along “normally” for a while. I was learning how to be a mum (and still am). Hubby and I decided that we didn’t need two incomes. Rock, paper, scissors decided who got to quit their jobs. I won. I think!
All was good until I approached my GP about coming off the meds. He assured me that all was OK and just stay on them. “You’re doing better”, he said. So, I decided to come off them by myself – please don’t do this! The side effects were “interesting” and dangerous (massive dizzy spells when driving are not a good thing). I pressed the issue with my GP (again) and was given a reduced dose – just to see how I go.
In 2009 I was pregnant with my second child. I was assured by my GP that the dose I was on was safe and I didn’t need to come off the meds. I accepted this opinion, even though my gut was telling me the very opposite and it was after a conversation with another mum I was inspired to look into it myself.
This was like a massive light bulb moment – of course, I can look into it we have the power of the internet so look out google here I come.
While on my quest for answers about the safety of my medication during pregnancy, I came across a whole wealth of research relating to non-pharmaceutical ways to treat depression. While the literature and studies I was reading indicated that the low dose of medication I was taking was “most likely: safe for my unborn child, I felt it was a risk I didn’t want to take. The good news was that with all the research I had done I had also encountered natural ways to help treat depression. As it turned out, by going to the gym and cleaning up my diet (a side effect of gym-going) all of which I had been doing.
Little did I know that my journey to healing my post-depression had sparked a massive fire inside of me. I had reconnected with my love for all things natural which led me to start making my soaps, body scrubs and creams and it was that Christmas I was given a book on herbs and their uses for culinary purposes as well as medicinal uses.
And that was that! I knew I wanted to be a naturopath!
Fast forward several years. Through many hours of study, blood, sweat tears and tantrums, I am proud to say I now hold formal qualifications in Naturopathy and Nutritional and Western Herbal Medicine.
During the course of my studies, I met some amazing people not only students but also other practitioners who were welcoming and wanted to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for natural therapies. There is no greater person who stands out in this time than Vanessa Wilson a.k.a Ness the Naturopath.
After completing my studies Ness and I shared a clinic in the Astarte Studios where I was able to practice all the things I had learnt in a beautiful supporting environment, surrounded with like like-minded women.
In 2019 suburban living became overwhelming! Constant noise and development of what were our favourite green spaces and just a little too many people made us realise that we needed a change. Looking for space, hubby and I took a deep breath, our two kids and the cat relocating to Mudgee in Mid Western, NSW.
Surround by amazing wineries (yes, I still enjoy a drop or four), we have submersed ourselves into a new community and a new lifestyle taking on a 25-acre property on the outskits of town where we farm two kids and a border collie and enjoy the peace of green space.
I have also commenced a solo clinic in Mudgee seeing clients in person or via telehealth. Being a small-town Naturopath puts my skills to the test seeing clients with a wide variety of conditions some more unusual than others. This helps keep my research skills honed and has allowed me to develop a network of trusted practitioners including Vanessa.
Life is sweet. Really sweet!!