FULL MEMBER INTERVIEW – Mandy Owen (continued)

What motivated you to become a naturopath?
I actually discovered Naturopathy by accident. A friend had a handbook from a different college on her coffee table, and I was intrigued by the multi-modality practice of Naturopathy. I called the ACNM for a prospectus when I got home. I was excited to discover a course of study that had so many of my interests wrapped in one package, as well as opening my eyes and experience to an alternative approach to health, wellbeing and disease prevention.

Is this still the same nowadays as compared to when you first began?
Probably more so now. The interests of nearly twenty years ago have become more of a belief system and a philosophical way of life. Since 2014, I’ve had to be quite involved with professionals in the public health system and aged care, many of whom were caring and compassionate but for me, the system only reinforced the dichotomy between healthcare ideologies. My ideal is to help people find a way they can feel healthy and prevent dis-ease with healthy lifestyle choices.

What modalities do you use in your practice? Have they changed over time?
Lifestyle education mainly. I’m passionate about nutritional and herbal medicine and I also use iridology. Ultimately, empowering the individual to lead a healthier lifestyle is the goal. I used to do a lot of massage and believe tactile therapies can be of great benefit.

Do you have a vision for Naturopathy in Australia?
I don’t know about a vision, but I do have a hope that one day there will be a greater acceptance of Naturopathy as a profession and an understanding of how beneficial a holistic approach to health and disease prevention can be. I think there is often a general lack of understanding, misperception and confusion about what naturopaths have to offer. I suppose my vision is for qualified professionals to be recognised as contributors to an overall healthier society.

What are your interests besides Naturopathy?
Family, cooking, reading and getting away from the hustle and bustle. I love to visit my sister at her weekend rural property. That way, I get to be the ‘awesome aunt’; cook local produce; read a book on the deck or by the fire and take my border collie, Buddy, for long walks.

What words of wisdom would you share with a new graduate naturopath?
Listen and learn from the individuals who come to see you. You’ve got the tools and foundations to build a career that helps people. Believe in your knowledge and yourself, and do it!