Looking back, I’d say that my relationship with natural healing began during my childhood. I was raised with natural medicine in the house. My mum was very into homeopathy and herbal medicine. We were not vaccinated, never had antibiotics, and we were treated with homeopathy from a young age. When I was 3, my father became very ill with kidney failure. Unfortunately, he only had one kidney, and when that one failed, he was at the mercy of allopathic medicine. His medical condition led to years of hospital visits, surgeries, in-home dialysis, multiple transplants, and ultimately death at the age of 44. I was 12 years old when he died. As a child, I watched as everything medical being done was to prolong his life, but nothing seemed to help his quality of life. I watched him live with constant suffering. After five years of the allopathic approach and a failed transplant, my mother and father went to see a Naturopathic MD called Dr. Kilsby.
Dr. Kilsby was probably the first doctor to actively work on giving my father back a quality of life. What impacted me as a small child was watching my father improve and regain energy and vitality. I remember him taking copious nutritional supplements, drinking liver-cleansing teas, and drinking freshly prepared raw juices. I was away at boarding school for months at a time, and I remember being delighted to see my father’s improvement with each visit home while he was seeing Dr. Kilsby. I saw his quality of life improve in front of my eyes. As I reflect on this challenging and traumatic circumstance of my childhood, I now know that it ultimately led me to become a Naturopathic Physician.
I enrolled in the National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM) in Portland, Oregon, in 1994. Early on in my training, I discovered that at NCNM, there was a vast reparatory of information on Natural Medicine. Still, I found myself frustrated by the lack of naturopathically-oriented training manuals, reference manuals, and tools to use in my training. At this point, I began to write study guides and manuals for my use. These manuals and guides eventually became the books that I have published to help others on their Functional Medicine path. As a student at NCNM, I also saw that despite the vast knowledge on treatments, the diagnostic tools we were using to find out what to treat was still very much based on the allopathic model of pathology.
In 1995 I went to my first training in Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis, and it blew my circuits. Finally, I saw a way to be able to identify what was going on in the body before it manifested as pathology. If my father had had this type of testing done in his early 30’s, he might still be alive today. Early diagnosis of “Kidney Dysfunction” might have forced him to adopt some changes that would have prevented the inevitable journey to “Kidney Disease” and the loss of his kidney. It was then that I knew I’d found my calling in Natural medicine. As my training progressed, it was clear that one of my gifts was taking the compiled information I was learning and synthesizing it into easy to understand, easy to implement forms for other practitioners to use.
First and foremost, I was doing this for myself as a student and recent graduate to streamline systems so that I was saving time, not reinventing the wheel each time a patient came through the door. Ultimately, the results were efficient and effective, and I realized that I could share these processes with my colleagues. As my path as a Naturopath unfolded, I realized that teaching, writing, and creating training materials and then ultimately my Blood Chem Software, was the way I could broadly and positively affect change in my profession and the world at large. My experiences as a young man, as challenging as they were, have led to a rewarding career of helping others and their loved ones achieve optimal health.