My journey into the world of natural health began in the mid-1980s and continued through the 1990s, as I watched both of my parents, members of my extended family, and their circle of friends and acquaintances begin to sicken and die from a variety of illnesses. With the level of knowledge I possessed in then, I tended to look at each of the circumstances surrounding my parents’ and their friends’ demises as individual occurrences, causally separate from one another. Not knowing any better, I assumed this was normal, and that everyone lived like that.
But it took the death of my mother in 1987 (from congestive heart failure brought on by morbid obesity) and father in 1996 (from recurrent prostate cancer caused in part by lifelong smoking) to really focus my attention on this issue. I clearly saw the limitations of conventional medicine, essentially powerless to help either one survive, much less thrive. Like any child confronting the loss of one’s parents, I grieved, but I also resolved to NOT personally repeat their experience.
My introduction to the field of what is now known as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) was fueled by the typical desire of any young, athletic male: to be bigger, stronger and faster. Perhaps the most enduring legacy I inherited from my father was an appreciation of the benefits of both strength and cardiovascular fitness training; he was instrumental in reinforcing my fitness habit patterns, originally shaped by a desire to better compete in interscholastic football. However, it became quickly obvious to me that these activities had inherent value beyond sports conditioning; as such, I embarked on an enthusiastic pursuit of personal physical fitness maintenance that has not ceased in over 45 years.
At the same time, I was naturally attracted to any means which could assist my goal of increased fitness, especially after my graduation from the Air Force Academy and entry onto active duty as a military pilot. Making a regular paycheck for the first time, I started my quest for better health where everyone usually did at that time: the local drug store. However, as my knowledge base expanded, I saw that there were other, more effective means of achieving my goals. I learned early on that just as with any other food product, quality matters when you select and consume nutritional supplements. My never ceasing search for better quality led me to both better supplements and an increased knowledge base.
Although I attempted to share my newfound knowledge with my family, like most people in similar situations at that time I was initially branded the family “health nut.” However, as I saw my family continue to shrink almost yearly throughout the 80s and 90s, my quest took on a new urgency. I resolved to learn as much about STAYING healthy as I could, so as not to relearn the lessons I saw my loved ones learning too late.
That, in turn, led me to the discovery of natural health modalities and an eventual complementary career as a “traditional naturopath.” What exactly do I mean by that term? Traditional naturopaths specialize in wellness. We teach our clients to employ natural lifestyle approaches which can facilitate the body’s own, innate healing and health maintenance mechanisms. We do not attempt to diagnose or treat disease, but rather recognize that any sub par health condition has its root in underlying cumulative and destructive processes.
Once we discover that root cause, then we address it and give the body the tools to help it heal itself. This approach just made so much sense to me; therefore, I pursued education as a traditional naturopath. As my knowledge further expanded and my quest to know more continued to grow, I more clearly understood the absolutely critical importance of the body’s stress response on a whole host of health concerns, and the factors which impact our ability to stay healthy (or not) in today’s society.
I offer an indepth stress management consulting/coaching program based on the principles included in my book. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.