My journey began in Community Pharmacy. It then led me into a number of other roles in the industry over several years, before I found myself right back where I began - in Community Pharmacy.
Despite this intervening period, I found that the only things that had changed were the brand names, the influence of Pharmac, and the range of vitamins in the shop. Since I’m not the type of person that can sell products without knowing all about them first, and because “Natural Health” is hardly taught at all at Pharmacy school, I decided to do a few courses to learn all there was to know about vitamins.
The more I learned, the more I realised that this was an enormous field, and that it would be a life-long process to become an expert. I eventually enrolled in formal postgraduate studies at RMIT University. And what I learned there was life-changing for me.
For example, one of the light-bulb moments was how inflammation disrupts the health of the body. In fact, inflammation is thought to be an underlying cause of arthritis, eczema, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, hormone imbalances, mental illness, bowel disorders and even some forms of cancer. The balance of nutrients in a modern diet means the body is more likely to go into an inflammatory state. This may explain the increasing rate of many of these diseases in modern times. The good news is that with some simple tweaks to the diet, we can get the body back into a state of equilibrium and many of these disease simply disappear. Simple changes can have powerful health benefits! That was certainly the case for my arthritis.
So when I was about a third of the way through my studies, I realised that I needed to share the life-changing information that I was learning - which had already taken my own health status from disastrous to very good. So I started up the Nutrition Medicine Clinic at my pharmacy and began to see patients on a one-on-one consultation basis.
This was actually quite a big leap for a pharmacist: to start dividing my time between consultations and the shop floor. While it was very professionally rewarding, it was also extremely time consuming, and there was a limit to how many people I could help.
This was in large part because the people coming to me for help were actually very sick. These were people who had been to multiple practitioners (GPs, specialists and alternative health practitioners) without getting any better. I found I was spending
about 90 minutes with each patient in an initial consultation, and since I still had a business to run, I could only see two or three patients each day.
I started to think about some of the patients in my pharmacy. I noticed how some just did not thrive on their medications. Sometimes I saw complete families that had “bad luck” with their health. It was at that stage that the light bulb went on for me.
What if I intervened to help these patients before they became the really sick people I see in my clinic? And this was the beginning of Nutrition Medicine.
From that point to this one, decades later, we have continually developed, refined, improved, and redeveloped our Nutrition Medicine processes, systems and advice. Everything we have done has been in aid of getting the programme to the stage that it is at now - where we can provide reliable, researched, tested, life-changing advice across many therapeutic areas, customised to an individual’s personal needs.
"We have tried many different approaches, keeping the ideas that worked and discarding the ones that didn’t. We have researched the metabolic processes that are compromised in a range of health conditions.
The result is a system that incorporates the best of both medicine worlds - conventional and complementary - and offers real health and wellness support for pretty much everyone we come across."