Diploma in Naturopathy (Level 6)
Naturopathic College of New Zealand
When specialists advised Leanne that there was no cure for a chronically unwell family member, she refused to accept such an opinion. Instead, she enrolled to study naturopathy at NCNZ – and thanks to her passion and dedication, Leanne’s loved one is now living a life beyond anyone’s expectations.
Tell us more about the catalyst to enrolling at NCNZ.
I began studying naturopathy to try and find answers for a chronically unwell family member. Specialists had advised us there was nothing they could do, and a life of being bedbound on a cocktail of pain medication was the best they could offer. My studies taught me not to look at what the diagnosis is, but to search for a root cause and carefully consider the body as a whole. By making diet and holistic lifestyle changes this family member has gained back their quality of life. In fact, they’re now working part time in a managerial position – something that specialists and doctors said could not be achieved.
Why did you choose NCNZ over other training providers?
Due to my family commitments I was unable to travel to study, so being able to complete the course by distance learning was a big drawcard. It enabled me to care for my chronically ill family member, and I had family support to step into my caregiving role when I needed to attend workshops. NCNZ allows you to work at your own pace so I was also able to finish the course in four years instead of six.
What were some of the challenges?
In my final year of study, another family member became unwell and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, and a good friend was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. The last year is when the workload really increases and there’s a lot of exam preparation, so it was a difficult time. However, after communicating with NCNZ I was able to change my exam timetable. This highlights just how aware the college is of a mature woman’s role within her family and they are very accommodating of students’ unique situations.
When did you start your naturopathic practice?
I graduated in February 2017 and then I had a gap year where I got up to date with my garden and deep cleaning. During my gap year I went down further rabbit trails of study that interested me, especially autoimmune disease. I got my first paying client in February 2018.
How did your NCNZ course help prepare you for working as a naturopath?
I did not study at NCNZ with the goal of opening a business. I studied due to my frustration with the medical system, and my desire to help my family member. One of the assignments during my course was to set out a business plan. I initially found this unit frustrating as I had no intention of opening a business – but the further I got into the assignment, the more I enjoyed it. It sowed the seed! Once qualified, I was approached by a few people to see if I could help them with their health. Funnily enough my business plan assignment proved to be very useful in the end – the plan I submitted in that assignment is very similar to what I have based my current business on.
Are there any specific areas you specialise in?
My passion and areas of focus are preconception care, women’s health, and caring for those facing chronic illness. In my family alone, I have personal experience dealing with asthma, eczema, irritable bowel, ulcerative colitis, life threating food allergies, dyslexia, endometriosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, infertility, repeat miscarriages and hormone imbalances. My first-hand experience with these conditions brings a personal understanding, empathetic viewpoint and different dimension to helping my clients on their wellness path from chronic illness.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Typically, my clients have been very chronically unwell and tried just about everything. The medical system is just as frustrated and often cannot offer anything more. I work slowly with my clients so as not to overwhelm their body systems. Then we gently make diet and lifestyle changes supplementing with high quality practitioner supplements and herbs where needed. I have the heart of a teacher. I love educating clients to feel empowered and take an active role in their own healing. I enjoy my role as their naturopath to open doors, but it is up to the clients to be willing to step through the doors and do the tough work of making changes to heal themselves. I believe healing is not something that is done to you, but with you!