A new start
Catherine Nash had all the trappings of success – a great job as an IT consultant, a big salary and a classy company car – but she'd never been so unhappy in her life. "I was working very long hours, travelling around the country, grabbing snacks and coffees at motorway service stations," explains Catherine. "My diet was appalling, I felt very stressed – my health was plagued with bouts of irritable bowel syndrome and thrush."
But of greater concern to Catherine was her fertility. Since the age of 11 she had suffered from terrible period pains. "At 28 I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis – meaning tissue that usually lined my womb was stuck to organs in my abdomen. But the pains were getting so bad, I felt I was going to die." She was told by a consultant that her endometriosis meant she was unlikely to ever have children without the aid of hormone treatment and IVF. "I was devastated – I just had to do something about it."
Looking for an alternative
Catherine had been to see several doctors over the years but she found herself being prescribed more and more painkillers. Exasperated with conventional medicine she decided to look for an alternative. "Nothing seemed to be working for me, so I went to see a Naturopath that I had seen advertised in a health magazine," says Catherine.
"The Naturopath recommended I follow a course of colonic irrigation and a strict diet – no wheat, dairy or meat and reducing my sugar intake. I had kidney and liver cleansing drinks and hormone balancing herbs."
The results were dramatic. "I immediately felt the benefits. My tummy went flat and I had no more headaches and my IBS disappeared."
Now that Catherine had her health back, she began to look at the root causes of her illness. "I found that once I had cleared up my body, the mind started to clear as well. I realised that my lifestyle was perpetuating the problem. And I knew I needed to do something else," she says. "I decided I wanted to learn more about Naturopathy and enrolled on a weekend course with the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM). Because it was part time, it fitted in with my job."
It took Catherine four years to complete her qualifications at the CNM. "The course really appealed to me because it was flexible. I could do it at my own speed and at weekends. It gave me a foundation in terms of theory and practice and equipped me for practicing iridology, using herbs and iris analysis – and the qualification is well respected. It also brought us into contact with visiting lecturers who were top experts in their field – that was very inspiring."
"I really felt I wanted to pass on the information to other people – it was like I had been given a gift that I had to share. I had suffered so much and received so little support that I wanted to get the message across to other people that there was another way."
A new life
With her new qualifications, Catherine set up practice in an established clinic and now offers her clients Colonic Hydrotherapy, Naturopathy, Iridology and Herbal Medicine, focusing on women with fertility and gynaecological problems. "I started off with just a couple of clients but very quickly the client base built up." says Catherine.
Catherine also plans to open a residential cleansing retreat as well as specialising in advising couples on enhancing fertility using Natural Medicine. But that will have to wait a while, as Catherine's biggest achievement is due to arrive shortly. "The doctors told me my fertility was reduced by half, but I'm now 21 weeks pregnant," says Catherine. "I'm certain that if I'd stayed in my old job, I wouldn't be pregnant now and would still have the endometriosis."
"I think it's so important to believe in yourself – you just need to get out there and do it. You can start by just putting your toe in the water until you become more confident that you can make the change. It's not just about setting up as a practitioner; it can help so much on a personal level – you can start taking responsibility for you own health, and your life."