I was born in Germany in 1966 and have a varied and colourful background which starts with studies in Psychology at the Paris University Sorbonne V and ends with positions in Corporate Finance and Private Equity teams in London. I speak English, German, French and Italian.
I did not come to Naturopathy & Nutrition until my late 30s when my father was diagnosed with a chronic severe illness which did not match the standard diagnostic criteria. As a result he struggled to obtain medical treatment. Having always enjoyed digging deeply into any new subject matter, I began to look into potential aspects that might help my father’s health using a variety of research methods, ranging from grade A research via medical search engine PubMed or WebMD to scrutinising self-help blogs of sufferers who presented with a similar pattern of symptoms.
Having seen the difference which complementary methods made to my father’s condition, I went on to formally train in Naturopathic Nutrition at the College of Naturopathic Medicine where I was fortunate to be taught and supervised by some excellent practitioners, some of whom were forerunners in their respective fields of expertise. I was also taught the importance of research and how to tell high grade research from low quality or biased research. And I learned to have a healthy scepticism for anything that is being held as an unshakeable truth.
I have always believed in the validity of standard Western medicine, and I still hold that same if not greater faith in allopathic medicine today. But I also learned how much more knowledge is ‘out there’ which is not (or not yet) part of the recognised medical canon of treatments. It can take anything up to 20 years or more for a protocol that has shown promise to be available from your GP or specialist. If you are unwell, you won’t want to wait that long.
Like a great many of my colleagues, I firmly believe that it is necessary to look at the togetherness of signs and symptoms in a person, their life history, their environment, every possible aspect of their life, to gain an understanding of how my patient’s present situation came about. I am meticulous and my patients often marvel at the detail to which my consultations will go. I look at everything, every little detail, because experience has taught me that no detail is too small to potentially be significant.
I am diligent and careful in my patient work. I have a great many patients with cancer and autoimmune disease, who usually present with complex patterns of symptoms and conditions, and where we have to work within existing drug protocols and treatment schedules. I use the highest grade available research to clear my recommendations for interaction with a patients’ existing drug and treatment protocols and where necessary communicate and clear my recommendations with the patient’s medical team.
I believe in researching in great detail and using the internet to exhaust the amazing breadth of information and knowledge available to us, from grade A medical research all the way to the personal experiences of people write about having gone through similar experiences before you. A great many times, improvements come from protocols for which there was no high-grade medical trial: personally I believe that protocols can be validated by patients’ experiences, even if no commercial sponsor has seen fit to invest 10 million dollar into a medical trial for it. It is a fact that there has to be some commercial incentive, a good chance of a return, for an investor to finance a trial. And it is another fact that there are a great many natural protocols which cannot be patented and which for this reason do not offer a chance of a return on such an investment.
I am an optimist and I believe that it is never too late to make a difference, a change for the better. That does not mean that I discount prognoses – but years of work with severe chronic illness patients have taught me that prognoses are usually based on a worst case scenario: a prognosis tries to predict what would happen if the patient continued exactly as before, without making any changes. These years have also taught me that it is possible to make a positive change at any stage of illness. I also believe that illness is to some extent a very personal gift – a message that tells you which combination of factors led to the point at which your condition came about. In this respect, illness allows us to stop and take a look at our life; it offers an opportunity for change – and if we change the input, we will change the outcome. If we keep doing the same thing we will keep getting the same result. So in a nutshell, I see my job as helping you identify and apply the most direct, most effective way of implementing change. I will be your ‘consultant of change’!