When I decided to study I had many friends who said they admired me for studying now (At the advanced age of 40!) and that they could not do it. Admittedly I used to think the same thing until my health led me to the decision that I had no other choice but to figure it out for myself.
I was extremely daunted by my first day on campus. There I was in a class with 30 other students eager to learn the ways of all things natural. I sat there as eager as the others that in that very first class I was going to have a huge epiphany about my health and it would all be figured out by the end of the week!! Well, it didn’t quite go that way – surprising I know!
Firstly, I felt extremely intimidated and found myself sitting at the back of the class and not saying a word so I didn’t bring attention to myself. I was probably the largest student in the class (that was my perception anyway) and a fair majority of the others were young and extremely healthy looking which made me even more self-conscious. You know the type, athletic, enthusiastic, bubbly and oozing health. As the term went by, I found myself counting less and less students each week, and by over halfway through I started to figure out why.
Studying natural therapies and natural medicine essentially starts the same way as if you were studying to be a doctor. You need to know all of the systems in the body, the cells, the tissues, the bones, the muscles, how it all works together and so on. As a naturopath, we do not diagnose, but we need to know how to spot any danger signs where the patient needs to be in front of a medical doctor before they get our help with the other stuff. Biomedical science is certainly not the easiest subject and coming from someone whose Science teacher in high school wrote on my report card “The day I can turn science into poetry is the day Kylie will understand it” I didn’t have high hopes for myself!
The difference was that I now needed to figure out my health. So this was the way forward. I guess a lot of the young, healthy students did not have that “absolute need” that I did and therefore dropped out after realizing that it was not going to be all yoga and health drinks. And yes, by the end of the term I found my voice and realized it didn’t matter what others thought of me! I was there for me and the million other women out there just like me…
Not a class went by that I did not learn or cover something about somebody I knew or a member of the family. As the years went by I learned something very unexpected…..I learned how I learn the best!! I discovered that apps on your iPad that quiz you on body parts are fantastic for all those basic things, and podcasts and lectures played in the car whilst driving endless hours to college or doing the airport runs for my husband drilled more information into me than I could have done by just reading it. The other way is to explain a process to someone who knows nothing about it – once you can do that and they understand you, you know you have it nailed – my husband to this day dreads the words “Did you know…..”
As I write this I am about to graduate and have chosen to continue my studies to broaden my knowledge base. It has been an interesting ride so far and it has certainly taught me in a roundabout way how to take control of my health. I did it in a rather extreme way but you don’t have to go that far. You have the amazing internet at your fingertips. So my advice to you is to never stop searching and understanding whatever it is that is going on with you. My husband is right – nobody else will ever be as interested in the outcome as you are.