Hi, I’m Sue. Following is a comprehensive insight into my background, philosophy about health, and how I work with clients to help them to regain vitality.
Naturopathy has been a remarkable journey that continues to be more exciting as my knowledge, experience and understanding continues to grow from consulting with more than 15,000 individual clients over the past 27 years (as of 2019).
While naturopathy is my profession, ‘vitality’ is my product. My objective is to help my clients heal and regain vitality as soon as possible.
As you can see in the Case Studies my expertise is getting results for clients with complex health problems. I am considered an authority on therapeutic diets, as well as a health condition called pyrrole (or pyroluria) which has become more prevalent over the last decade.
Prior to becoming a naturopath and nutritionist, I worked in pathology, forensic medicine and scientific research on various projects. My interest and knowledge about science, in combo with naturopathy, has benefitted many clients.
After graduating as a naturopath and nutritionist, I worked for other naturopaths, then in 1993, became the owner of Ballina Naturopathics for 14 years, which developed a reputation as a leading detoxification centre. I also ran health retreats at Byron Bay for four years, wrote articles, and was a guest lecturer for naturopathy students at Southern Cross University, apart from other speaking engagements at various events.
In 2009 I set up True Vitality, a busy, successful health clinic on the Gold Coast. Then after six years I moved to the Sunshine Coast and worked for almost four years full-time on a project I am passionate about – a comprehensive series of therapeutic diets for numerous health conditions (to be published soon).
In late 2019, I opened a clinic in Mooloolaba about 450 metres to the beach, and closer to my growing extended family, and I love it here!
My approach is to thoroughly investigate the cause of the problem, rather than just look at the condition in isolation. What caused the problem in the first place?
I call this the domino effect, finding the Number 1 domino to knock out the rest. Once we get to the source and treat the true cause, then issues and symptoms often fall away. But it’s not just about the body, diet or lifestyle.
True healing comes from looking beyond the physical.
Over time, I constantly observed the relationship between my clients’ health and their emotions. The association was too powerful to ignore. I also noticed that many of my clients experienced remarkable results with their health, while others made little progress or improvement. I asked myself why this was so.
The result has been fascinating exploration and research that has taken me ‘behind the scenes’ into the relatively unknown areas that link the extraordinary influences that our minds, emotions and energy systems have on our health and well-being.
Consequently, the results for many of my clients have been remarkable. Apart from the physical conditions that were healed, many reported they felt more emotionally balanced and in-tune with their bodies to make the right choices for vitality.
Whether it’s face to face in the clinic or a Skype or phone consultation, my initial aim is to find out as much as possible about you – your health history, lifestyle, diet, family health history, and any problems that could affect your well-being.
Your client questionnaire is the starting point and the faster you can get it to me after you make an appointment, the better. I take a lot of time evaluating your questionnaire and I need it at least 24 hours before the appointment.
Just completing the questionnaire can be a healing as it brings your awareness to you.
The consultation provides the opportunity for us to have a good chat. I’m somewhat of a ‘Sherlock Holmes’ as I unravel clues to understand what is going on.
I’m considered by many clients to be very intuitive, which comes from my ability to be very present in-session, extensive knowledge about health and my previous experience of consulting with thousands of clients. Here’s an example about the power of conscious presence for a client in my Gut and Back Issues Case Study.
During consultations, we often arrange for tests to be done. A 2-hour clinic session may include tests for Live Blood Screening, Sclerology, Iridology and Urinalysis. For online or phone consults, external tests can be arranged. This also applies to my international clients.
I also don’t see naturopathy in isolation and often refer clients to doctors, specialists or other practitioners when I feel it is necessary.
Consultations and tests present a comprehensive overview to unravel core issues. Recommendations may include supplements, a therapeutic diet or lifestyle changes to allow your body to heal.
Generally, there is a cause for everything. Things don’t just go wrong without a reason. On one level I may consider lifestyle habits that have contributed to a problem, such as inappropriate diet or stress.
On another level, an emotional imbalance may be causing the problem. For example, clients who choose to eat the wrong foods to ‘feed’ certain emotional needs, or those who ‘attract’ types of people into their lives who have a negative influence, or those who keep repeating self-sabotaging patterns of behaviour.
For those that do not wish to ‘go there’ I respect that, and still treat the physical ailment or imbalance which is very important. I very much support this side of the story.
When I treat clients purely on a physical level, invariably the condition returns because they re-create the same scenario that manifested the problem in the first place.
Clients often tell me they know what they should be eating or doing in their life, but they don’t do it. They need someone else to tell them. This can work for a while, particularly if they have a motivating factor such as a serious illness.
The worse people feel, the higher their motivation. But once the pain or problem subsides, the sense of urgency disappears, and people often revert to their comfort zone. I understand as I have been through it.
Yet if people are genuinely ready to completely heal, it requires working on all levels – physical, mental and emotional.
I believe that the body is our sub-conscious mind and it talks to us via signs and symptoms (symbols). Minor conditions are symbolic of an imbalance in its early stages. When we don’t listen to these symbols, our body (sub-conscious mind) will think ‘hmmm, not listening, so now let’s manifest a more serious symptom’. Then if the symptom is not addressed, it may turn into a diseased state.
Our body cannot lie. It is our marker of truth.
When I see a client with a set of symptoms, initially I address the physical. Then if I know that person is open to listening to what their body is trying to tell them, I share my interpretation of what this could mean on an emotional level.
These are often suggestions, key words or questions. Amazingly the process often unearths an unrealised emotional aspect that relates to the individual’s physical symptoms.
Once the connection has been established, then what? Everyone is different. Some may tell me that they have already worked on the emotional issue. But if the problem is still present, then obviously it has not been resolved.
Then we look at simple techniques or ways to help them clear the emotional hindrance. Here’s an example from the Case Studies about giving power away: Depression Case Study
I have seen amazing successes for clients who embraced a diet I recommended to help them to reclaim their vitality. I repeat – amazing successes!
We know there are foods that harm and foods that can heal, and this is particularly important with diets for various health conditions.
For example, broccoli and kale are considered very healthy, nutrient rich foods. Yet did you know the raw form, such as a kale smoothie, or broccoli in salad, can be quite detrimental for some thyroid conditions and hinder the healing process? Celery juice is a popular fad, reported to heal thyroid conditions, yet as many practitioners have observed, it can be the very undoing for many health conditions, such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
And I’m only talking about one health condition here. Foods can harm or heal depending on what your body needs.
My passion as a naturopath and nutritionist is to use the power of diet to expedite the healing process. Yet a therapeutic diet is not something to be feared or think it will deprive you. Some diets, such as a gut healing diet may only be necessary for four to six weeks, with outstanding results. Then it may be a matter of simply eating a healthy (delicious!) nutritious sustainable diet to maintain vitality.
Treating health conditions without the right diet is like sticking a band aid onto a dirty wound.
Typically, naturopaths and nutritionists hand out information about foods that are suitable or not suitable for specific health conditions (some also provide recipes on pages). But I found this approach can make implementation difficult for clients.
To make it easier, and because there is a lot of confusion about healthy and therapeutic diets, I spent almost four years researching, writing, compiling, cooking and photographing therapeutic diets for more than 70 health conditions along with diets for nutrient deficiencies.
It helps that I’m a great cook, which was needed to prepare hundreds of recipes. In my final year of High School, I topped the state of NSW in Home Science (now called Home Economics – that’s ‘cooking’ for the uninitiated).
Those diets will be published in 2020 and available at this site…all designed to make your journey to vitality much easier.
Healing has been part of my DNA for a long time.
As a kid from around 9 to 11 years old I had a special area in my dad’s garage with a bench and lots of shelves that became my ‘laboratory’. There I used to keeps sticks, leaves, insects and special potions in jars for my ‘experiments’.
I became engrossed with observing life through a microscope I received on my 10th birthday (which you can see in the photo, along with a much bigger microscope which I use today).
When aged 12, during an excursion to the local tip, I picked up a thick medical diagnostic book about 8cm thick and became totally involved and fascinated by the content. Science and home science were my favourite subjects at high school.
After leaving school I studied pathology and worked in various pathology laboratories; I loved being a junior scientist in the making.
I then moved into forensic medicine performing DNA tests, studying case files and piecing together evidence. This was emotionally challenging at times because of the nature of what we were dealing with, let alone the court appearances.
This was followed by travelling around Australia for 14 months and on my return to Sydney I worked in a couple of research labs.
I then moved to northern NSW where I worked in a haematology lab at a hospital doing blood cross matching, followed by some fascinating laboratory research for the Department of Agriculture.
Following a miscarriage in 1985 a colleague recommended I see a naturopath – something I had never heard of before.
My visit was a revelation. I thought I wanted to be a scientist, but when I realised naturopathy was about healing the body naturally, I intuitively knew I had discovered my true calling.
I immersed myself in studies for 4 years, during which time I had two lovely children. I was a sponge, soaking up as much information about health as possible from lectures, books and seminars (which I continue to do today).
The experiences in my life were not coincidental; they were constellations that led me on a path to become an outstanding healer.
I love my work.
Naturopathy is a wonderful complementary modality offering a natural approach to healing, particularly the nutritional aspects, to bring harmony and balance to the body. I love seeing how diet, natural supplements and lifestyle modifications can generate amazing outcomes for clients to help them to reclaim vitality.
Yet it’s important to realise that traditional medicine and naturopathy both play important roles and should not be seen in isolation.
My research never stops. I get immersed in it. A fun time is curling up in bed with a good health book, or articles about genetics, or understanding how microbiome affects our health, or scientific articles about pyrrole…the list goes on.
Why? Because the most exciting part of my job is success…success for my clients. The experience of working with more than 15,000 clients has been profound.
And that’s where my real education lies.