Taking the road less travelled
When people ask me how long I’ve been practicing as a naturopathic doctor, I often want to say, since I was a kid. I had two great inspirations growing up – Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and my own family doctor – that lead to many hours of play as a doctor, fixing all “ailments” that my stuffed animals had. What I admired in these two role models was the fact that they spent time treating the person and not the condition in which the person had. Their role as doctor extended past that of healer to one of teacher and even friend. I believed I could be that kind of doctor one day and so I made that my mission.
I came to a crossroads in university as I was completing my pre-medical sciences: do I take the easy road or the road less traveled? When I say the ‘easy’ road, I only mean to say, the one that less people would question. (I have great respect for the hard work that it takes to become an MD and I am in no way suggesting it is ‘easy’). In other words, should I become a conventional medical doctor or should I become a naturopathic doctor where I could fully realize my potential as a healer and guide? Obviously, I chose the latter. I was (and am) fascinated by the use of natural therapies to help facilitate healing as well as building a strong foundation with healthy and sustainable nutrition and lifestyle practices.
The choice to become a naturopathic doctor meant packing my bags (and my husband’s) and moving to Toronto to attend the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, one of two accredited naturopathic colleges in Canada. This is where I immersed myself in the study of naturopathic medicine for 4 years. My final year was spent as a naturopathic medical intern and my passion for working with women and children flourished.
Shortly after graduating and finishing my licensing exams, I gave birth to my own little boy who has brought so much joy and light into my life and has made me even more passionate about helping others raise happy, healthy children and becoming happy, healthy women.
The wounded healer
We all have our own stories to tell that describe how we got to where we are and I certainly have mine. I don’t want to go too in- depth here but thought you might like to get to know my wounded side a little better (maybe one day, I’ll tell you more, maybe over a cup of tea).
I was about 21 when my health started to take a bit of a nose-dive. I was about to be married and was experiencing horrible digestive issues. There were some days that I would think to myself, “I’m so glad I’m engaged because I don’t think anyone could fall in love with what is seriously rotten in my gut”.
I also started the oral contraceptive pill, which did not agree with me. I became irritable and depressed and wasn’t sure if I was just becoming a monster or if something had high-jacked my emotional and hormonal control centres (the answer to that was “yes indeed, my hormonal system had been high-jacked”. And it was the not-so-innocent birth control pill that was to blame). I finally decided to discontinue the pill but soon found out that my hormones would not return to normal all by themselves and I ended up with post-pill syndrome which looked an awful lot like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).
To make a long story short, I have used a combination of naturopathic medicine and conventional medicine to help heal over the years. I will say that I am still on a healing journey and continue to work on new challenges and struggles that come up such as hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, and post-partum depression. But I’ll save those stories for another time, maybe tea time.
Hobbies and Passions
My first passion is my family, of course and second to that is my work as a naturopathic doctor. Outside of that, I enjoy reading (medical books, spiritual, cookbooks, fiction, non-fiction, you name it), yoga, walking in nature, watching movies, making (and eating) good food and gardening. Ok, I added gardening but I’ve never had a garden in my life but I want to so I’m putting the intention out there.
- Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
Bachelor of Arts, Canadian Mennonite University (with pre-medical studies done at the University of Winnipeg and Manitoba)
Registrant of the Manitoba Naturopathic Association
Registrant of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors
Additional training and certification
Healthcare Provider CPR (updated October, 2016)
IV certification and emergency procedure training (Calgary, 2015)
Naturopathic doula training (January, 2012)
The Revolutionary Practice of Mind-Body Medicine intensive at the Harvard University Benson-Henry Institute of Mind-Body Medicine (Boston, 2011)