A lifetime of Naturopathic Living

For the last 44 years of my life I have followed the nature cure philosophy, starting when I was 16 years of age; this has been through regular visits to two Registered Naturopaths in York [The spiritual side of my life has been directed by a living relationship with the sovereign God Who created Heaven and earth.]

Now at the age of 59 years of age, and as a senior National Health Service Consultant in a large district hospital, I can testify that my life has been very hectic, working long hours each day. When I inform patients that I hope to retire in the next seven months, when I shall be 60, they are amazed. The usual comment they make is that I do not look old enough to retire because I seem to work more like a younger man providing treatment for patients who have facially and orally handicapping disabilities. These patients require skilled and advanced modern treatments. I hope to work on during my 60’s, trusting in the principle of nature cure and the living God of course.

At this stage you must be thinking that I am built like a carthorse with unusual strength and that I find both mental and physical work easy. In fact, I am a 10 stone, 5’9”, thin chap with a 34” waist whose physical energy comes from food and drink recommended by Registered Naturopaths. I have to testify that if I stray away from natural live organic foods and fruit juices, and take refined over-cooked and over-flavoured foods, my energy and health fails and I am unable to fulfill my busy daily and weekend schedules.

Life was not always like this because up to the age of 16 I was a sickly lad. Each winter my NHS doctor would prescribe a course of antibiotics for either a skin or ear abscess. I always succumbed to colds and the winter infections, culminating in bronchopneumonia at the age of 15, requiring a few weeks off school.

It was at this same time that my father’s poor health deteriorated, requiring a consultation with a specialist physician, who advised him to put his life in order because he estimated that he had two years of active life remaining. My father had a leaking mitral heart valve and a progressive general toxaemia which followed osteomyelitis in one of his legs. The deep-seated infection in the leg bone required bone surgery, and bed rest for many weeks and a long course of penicillin. His diet of fish and chips, meat pies, fatty beef stews and boiled vegetables did not provide the building blocks for recovery, despite the fact that he was in his early/mid-50’s. Although he did not drink tea, his staple drinks were coffee and lemonade, with a regular glass of whiskey or brandy. In the rear pocket of his trousers he always carried a flask of brandy to bolster up his energy.

You may say “what about your mother” as a wise diagnostician and observer; as you would expect, at the same time, with a similar diet, she was experiencing constant bowel problems with a duodenal ulcer and ulcerative colitis. She also had a large uterine tumour which, bleeding persistently, caused weakness and ill health. She was only in her late thirties, being 16 years younger than my father.

Because my mother was a good letter writer she had been receiving news from a childhood friend whose sister was now in amazing good health, despite kidney failure form a previous disease. However this good health was because she was now receiving treatment from a Registered Naturopath in the City of York, England. Therefore my father made an appointment to see him and within a few weeks my grey/yellow businessman father had a new healthy look, which impressed all his colleagues. I remember listening to many conversations with visiting business and family friends where my father would proudly say that his initial diet was raw cabbage leaves and fresh soured milk to establish healthy bowel function by replacement of the lost commensal gut organisms. As his health improved, the Naturopath recommended the full range of living organic foods now that he could absorb a full nature-cure diet. Another business colleague also arranged to see this Naturopath but would not give up his smoking or his life as a baker, preferring his white bread and cakes produced in his shop. This colleague died in his early 50’s, whereas my father died a healthy 85 year of age, still caring for a large prolific vegetable garden maintained by his compost heap. Although he retired at 63 years of age, this was not due to ill health but because he was made a good offer for his precision engineering business.

My mother also commenced treatment with the same practitioner health; her health also improved very quickly, with complete resolution of her bowel problems, but unfortunately, due to a high fat diet as a child and young woman and a personal tragedy in her 50’s she experienced a coronary thrombosis which damaged her heart at the age of 60. However, she is now a bright 81 year old with barely a grey hair and still does not require glasses. Her hearing is also excellent, and many people believe she is not yet 70 years of age.

When I was introduced to nature-cure at the age of 16, my health also improved and I applied to Leeds University to engage upon a 4½ year course to be a Dental Surgeon.

Following graduation, and as a young House Surgeon, my Consultants insisted that I should follow a training programme to become a hospital specialist because they considered I was a bright young fellow. However, having studied for ‘O’ Levels and ‘A’ Levels at schools, and then a 4½ year dental degree, I wanted to move away from a Yorkshire city to the north eastern coastline to enjoy walking and gardening and also be involved with a busy Church life.

To fulfil the latter desires, I became a Community Dental Officer in a small seaside town but my local visiting hospital Consultant also insisted that I should train to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and then embark upon a course to become a Consultant. Behind my back, he put my name forward to Newcastle Dental School as a postgraduate trainee to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons which would lead on to becoming a hospital specialist, and I was given a date to start my course.

Living by the sea, walking everywhere together with running my organic garden had set me upto enjoy a rigorous course of advanced study in advanced medical and surgical subjects. My healthy mind and body was able to cope with a hectic life. This was most stimulating and has remained so for the last 35 years.

To be a hospital specialist necessitates becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and so I had to away from the coast back to a University Dental School in a large city to prepare for the examinations set by the Royal College Of Surgeons. Only 15% of examination candidates pass these exams and I am pleased to say that I passed first time. Many colleagues getting their energy from tea or coffee and frequent glasses of alcohol, unfortunately fell by the wayside.

At the age of 39, I was offered my present Consultant appointment. Leading up to that appointment while training as a hospital Registrar and later Senior Registrar in my speciality, not only was I spending the evenings studying, but also I was on call for dental and facial injuries during evenings and the weekends. I also rewired a six bed-roomed house and fitted my own General Dental Practice to earn extra money to support my young family. Commuting around the city was healthily pursued on a light-weight motor cycle which was also used to cross the Pennines regularly to see my wife’s elderly relations. Yes, there were times when I became over-tired and succumbed to various bodily ailments, but rigorously following my Naturopath’s advice, time off work was usually only five days. Since then when I have needed time off work sick it has been five days, sometimes two weeks, and possibly on two occasions nearly three weeks. Recently, this was due to a back injury as a result of an assault by a youth, partially displacing an inter-vertebral disc. My Consultant NHS colleagues recommended a laminectomy during a spinal operation, but by attending my York Osteopath, who is also trained in osteopathy through careful manipulation allowed me to go back to work in three weeks of hobbling on two walking sticks following the injury. With much consternation of my surgical colleagues in the hospital, I only experience occasional numbness in my right leg as a result of intermittent pressure from the healing inter-vertebral disc. With the wise manipulation from the Osteopath who was able to work on healthy tissues, enabled the natural wisdom of human tissues to heal with only limited permanent scarring or damage. Fresh air, regular exercise and the use of hydrotherapy techniques with regulated starving during body crises, helps to keep one healthy, wealthy and wise.

I thank my earthly parents for being wise enough to seek help from a Registered Naturopath in the early 1950’s. I thank also my Heavenly Father for the tremendous wisdom with which he has given our human tissues to survive the stresses and strains of a hectic life on this planet earth.

Not only would I like to thank my two Naturopath friends, both of whom still live in York, but also other Naturopaths, both living and dead, in other localities in the UK and the World who have painstakingly and faithfully sought to teach nature’s wisdom, to a modern highly-strung scientific, world. This world which seeks quick results with little effort often involving the use of chemicals or drugs. This has and is no doubt producing damage not only to our human tissues but to land, sea and sky. Sadly this unwise use of chemicals is often driven by great financial and selfish gain for the manufactures.

John; Senior Consultant; A large Yorkshire District General Hospital