My Journey to Naturopathic Medicine
When I was a chemist working in Wheaton, IL, I found my daily routine of pouring solutions and checking numbers to be boring and, to be honest, quite depressing.
Around this same time of wanting to escape the daily grind, I was having this strange sensation in my abdomen. It felt like a bubble that needed to be popped. I went to several doctors including my primary care physician, a gastroenterologist, and a gynecologist. I was finally scheduled for exploratory surgery because it was thought maybe I had a mild form of appendicitis. Feeling like I had no other options, I decided to go through with the surgery. This was even after being told that taking out the appendix did not guarantee the sensation would disappear. I thought this was the natural progression of health. After weeks of difficulty standing, using the bathroom, and getting sick on the pain medications, which I stopped taking early on, I was hopeful the strange sensation was gone. To find out that was not the case, frustrated me and put me on a quest to find other options.
I was referred by a family friend to see a naturopathic doctor in Chicago. I loved how much time she spent with me discussing and problem solving my issues. I had two qualms about seeing her: living in the suburbs made it quite a drive for me and all the supplements she wanted to put me on seemed incredibly overwhelming and expensive. I decided to go to a friend of my mom's that was a chiropractor. She worked out of her home and practiced applied kinesiology. This was all new to me and I became fascinated. She asked me detailed questions of this strange bubbly sensation I was having and told me that it was my ileocecal valve (the junction of the small and large intestines). She did a manual adjustment of the area, something I never thought possible. While she didn't eliminate the sensation, she brought new perspective for me.
Meanwhile, I'm still stuck in this career that is causing so much unhappiness. This affected all my relationships. My friend even sat me down and told me how negative I've become. It was time for a change. I felt I had so much more to offer, but yet was not using my potential. I found myself daydreaming of other careers or hoping that maybe this one would somehow fulfill this void I was feeling. This started the journey that was going to radically change me as a human being right down to my core.
Thinking about all the options I had for a career change it was evident I needed more schooling regardless to get out of the industry I was currently in. So, I racked my brain to search what interested me most. It ranged from food chemistry to being a physicians assistant working in the emergency room. Food chemistry seemed like it would be the same routine every day exactly the type of thing I wanted to avoid. Being a PA seemed to have the same idea: giving the same things to each patient. Something I experience as a veterinary assistant in my undergrad experience. Then I had remembered seeing a naturopathic doctor and loved how much time she took to help problem solve the issue. I looked for schools I could attend and prerequisites. I felt it was meant to be, not only did I meet the prerequisites there were only seven accredited schools and one being only 20 minutes from where I lived.
It was my intuition that led me to attended National University of Health Sciences. It was my perseverance and hard work that I somehow graduated as salutatorian with honors all while getting married and starting my own family. I remember sitting in my first class talking about naturopathic philosophy. It just made sense and it felt right! Not only did it align with my thought process it aligned with my spiritual beliefs as well. I had this sense that this was where I was meant to be. It was almost like I had done this before. I soaked up as much as I could through my time at school and continued to learn more outside of the curriculum.
During my time in medical school, I was able to experience more than just academics. I worked for a Chiropractor in Elgin, IL doing mainly soft tissue and Traditional Chinese cupping and studying his acupuncture and chiropractic practices. I studied under a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Ameet Aggarwal, located in Kenya that focused mainly on homeopathy. I attended several seminars, including an ILANP conference and a naturopathic student only conference. I volunteered at a variety of events such as Cooking up Wellness (at the wellness house in Hinsdale, IL) and racing events through the local park districts.
In my internship, I saw a variety of conditions including women's health, men's health, GI disturbances, and many more, with mental/emotional health being one of my favorites. Homeopathy quickly became a favorite modality during this time. I grew in appreciation for the minimally invasive therapies.
I'm confident that with problem solving and the correct support, wellness can be achieved. I strive to educate and help heal, empowering people to be their best selves. My intuition has helped guide me on this journey and I allow it to guide me with each and every client.