From Katelyn B., Amherst, NY
My path to homeopathy has been motivated by my personal life experiences with illness (chronic and acute), and my desire to find a better way to improve my mental, emotional and physical health. The ease of access to, and affordability of, western medicine has made the path a little longer and more challenging to discover, but thanks to the guiding hand of friends and colleagues, I was able to explore natural healing with remarkable success. The results of natural healing versus Western medicine have led my desire and ambition to become a homeopath.
My awareness of alternative forms of medicine first began when I experienced a traumatic event in my life. I fell into a deep depression, while attending graduate school, and began to decline both mentally and physically. I lost a significant amount of weight, couldn’t sleep and wasn’t able to focus, and felt nauseous all the time. Completing my Master’s degree became problematic, as a result. I began seeing a psychologist and went to my doctor, who prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping pills. During this time, while these remedies assisted in providing short-term relief to my physical symptoms, it became clear to me that they also masked what was really happening in my brain, which wasn’t what I needed to heal mentally.
Taking this into consideration, I went to a naturopath and received some support for my physical symptoms, as well as a better understanding of the impact that the stress was having on my body, which did help to give me more strength. The naturopath doctors used a wide variety of tools to support me, including homeopathic remedies. I loved the idea of healing using natural herbs and supplements, but I was overwhelmed with all of the remedies and really didn’t know what was working and what wasn’t. Shortly after, I found a support group and a Life Coach that were able to provide the comfort and support I needed to begin to heal mentally. I also found a new naturopath that only prescribed/ recommended a single supplement. I felt that that approach was much more manageable and I progressed immensely.
Once my mind and spirit were strengthened, I was able to again address the physical ailments. I moved back to my hometown, St. Catharines, and my Life Coach referred me to a new naturopathic doctor that was local, Edie, who has provided a tremendous amount of support to me. Her gentle nature and nurturing care helped to build my energy levels, resolve my recurring bladder infections and some of the other ailments I have experienced over the years. She began to look at my medical history and identified the impact that high doses of antibiotics, certain foods and even something as simple as the impact that my breathing had had on my system. No one had ever opened my eyes to these things before.
As I continued to feel better, I found a wonderful man with three children and was married three years later. After we were married, I moved to the United States to join my new family. When my husband and I decided we were ready to have another child, I realized just how invasive the medical system in the United States was. The motivations behind pharmaceuticals and visits to specialists were drastically different than even in Canada. We ended up needing to undergo fertility treatments. This took a toll on my body. I was injected with hormones and drugs and poked and prodded for months. I was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism and given medicine to address this condition.
With the birth of my daughter, Claire, my focus began to shift back to natural healing. I was tired of pharmaceuticals and I had an instinctive need to protect my daughter, but I kept getting sick and needing medical attention. Soon after, I started to develop a rash on my face. No medical doctor could figure it out. I was referred to a new naturopath in the States. She started to dig further into my medical past and identified potential food sensitivities and further problems with my thyroid. Her recommendations worked, but it also meant that I needed to take more pharmaceuticals for my thyroid. Through this experience, I also learned about different hormones and chemicals used in our foods that differed from those permitted in Canada. It was both scary and frustrating to me that Americans were not being protected from the pharmaceutical companies and the food industry.
A few months later, I started to experience chronic headaches and migraines. I again sought help from medical doctors to ensure that I didn’t have a serious illness. Every doctor prescribed pharmaceuticals and one even criticized me for continuing to breastfeed my daughter at 2 years old. This did not sit well with me. I had no interest in taking additional medications and “being a woman” was blamed for my headaches and migraines.
Seeking an alternative remedy to western medicine, I began to increase the frequency of visits to my chiropractor and to receive massages, which helped to relieve some of the symptoms, but did not altogether relieve my headaches. My chiropractor also began to talk to me about the harmful impact that pharmaceuticals may be having on my system, which triggered more concerns around what I was putting in my body.
Around this time, my daughter began to experience a very painful rash. When we visited her pediatrician, he suggested that it was just eczema, but I was convinced that it was more than “just eczema.” Through my research, I began to understand that the term eczema is used to describe a skin condition that no one knows the cause of. Through observation and my own experiences, I began to explore food allergies one category at a time. When I removed dairy from her diet and the rash went away. I thought to myself, ‘how could something so basic be missed?’ The Western system of medicine failed my daughter in this sense. They were looking to treat her rash with medical creams, instead of looking for the root cause.
This past Winter, I was eating really well and my energy levels started to increase, but then I was diagnosed with shingles. I felt deflated. I had worked so hard only to get another illness. I decided to go back to my naturopath in Canada, Edie, and she helped provide a new perspective. She suggested that the shingles was actually a cleansing of some of the congestion that had been creating the headaches and migraines and I believe she was right!
This perspective on physical symptoms is something that Western medicine overlooked, and I believe it is disruptive to the healing process. I was being conditioned to see my symptoms as a failing of my own system versus a process of healing. My naturopath also introduced me to, and helped me prepare, a “toolkit” to cure common ailments that my family or I might experience. I loved this idea. It meant that I could try to resolve ailments before there was a need for antibiotics or other pharmaceuticals. It felt empowering. It also inspired me to want to learn more and expand my “toolkit”.
Throughout this process, I have been looking for a program that aligns with my experiences and desire to heal others and be healed naturally and holistically. I love the in-depth focus on one type of medicine that homeopathy offers compared to naturopathy and western medicine. Becoming an expert in this particular type of healing appeals to me because I will be able to go beyond just a surface understanding of homeopathy. I am also drawn to an approach that focuses on assisting our own bodies’ natural system. I have invested in essential oils and enjoy learning about the healing power of plants and herbs, but have really only scratched the surface. It has become a part of my new routine, but it still needs further exploration and understanding. The holistic approach of homeopathy aligns withmy experiences where treating symptoms was not enough. As with my depression, I needed to understand the physiological and mental components as a whole. Western medicine was separating my body (physical symptoms) from my mind and, as a result, I was struggling to get better because the two are interconnected.
My educational background in communications and the natural environment have both afforded me skills and knowledge that align well with a career in homeopathy and will complement the knowledgebase I gain from this program. The communications aspect will be invaluable for promoting a new business and communicating with clients. My knowledge of the natural environment goes hand and hand with homeopathy and recognizes that healing is most successful when working with nature and natural processes, recognizing the inherent relationship between the health of our environment and humans, as opposed to fighting against them or ignoring them altogether.
My academic success includes numerous scholarships and awards and reflects my ability and desire to learn. Both my Master’s thesis and undergraduate thesis work showcase my ability to study independently and produce substantial research and products, which will be invaluable for the online nature of the program.
Drawing from my professional experiences, I have developed the skills needed to establish a new business and the day-to-day management that is required while working at StormFisher Biogas and at Electronic Product Stewardship Canada (EPSC). At both the Niagara Region and EPSC, I was able to gain an invaluable understanding of the diverse needs of stakeholders, which can translate into adapting to the needs of my patients. This experience has trained me to become a more active listener, and to take the time to better understand people and make connections, which is critically important when treating individuals in a holistic/ homeopathic approach.
Thank you for considering my application. I am excited to take this next opportunity to enhance my “toolkit” while engaging my journey to helping others heal and look forward to further discussions about how my experience, skills and interests align with CCHM.