In another series of our Thrive Food Journey’s we meet Angela MacRitchie who went from walking with crutches, to doing a triathlon. Angela studied Nutrition, Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine at CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine).
Angela shares her food journey with us…
I was a county gymnast but at the age of 19 my knee swelled up and I could only walk with the help of crutches. Over the next twenty years I had six operations, took heavy pain-killers and was often bed-ridden with the pain.
After the sixth operation my consultant said ‘No more operations, I’m referring you to the Rheumatology clinic’. I was prescribed a cocktail of powerful anti-inflammatory drugs, which, despite making me feel very unwell for the first three months, ultimately brought down the swelling dramatically and meant that I could dispense with the crutches, though I was still in pain.
I was told that I was likely to have to take the anti-inflammatory drugs for life, but I began to investigate other, natural methods. When on a subsequent appointment I told the Rheumatologist that I was no longer taking the drugs, and instead I was detoxing and rebalancing my body the natural way, he was unimpressed. I shared with him which herbs I was taking and what other changes I was making to my diet and lifestyle. I told him that I had challenged myself to do a triathlon in two years’ time, to which he replied that there was ‘No chance’.
But, it felt like my body was beginning to wake up again and to respond to all the changes
I had been making. I found ‘open water swimming’ in cold water to be extremely helpful to me and I still do it regularly. Two years later, at the age of 46 I successfully completed my first triathlon“I was told that I was likely to have to take the anti-inflammatory drugs for life, but I began to investigate other, natural methods
“I told the Rheumatologist that I had challenged myself to do a triathlon in two years’ time, to which he replied ‘No chance’.”
I’m aged 48 now. It’s been four years since I’ve taken any kind of medication and my knee is fine. I’m pain free, and enjoy more mobility than I’ve had since I was a teenager. The only reason I haven’t done more triathlons so far is because I’ve been so busy at CNM, where I’ve been studying for three Diplomas:
Nutrition, Naturopathy, and Herbal Medicine. It’s been a tough call studying for three Diplomas and working full time too, but everyone at CNM helped me with the challenges.
I was determined to study because having done so much investigating on my personal health journey I not only wanted to help myself, but I wanted to switch careers to pursue something meaningful and help people improve their health. I learnt such amazing information at CNM, which has really helped my own health.
When I think back to my 19 year old self, I think that my immune system was in overdrive
and everything was running hay-wire, which certainly could have contributed to my knee problem. As a Naturopath, I know that the body is always trying to return to balance, and I now know the importance of giving it the help it needs for healing.
Now I’m able to offer my clients a complete package for wellbeing, and it’s wonderful being able to inspire people to make positive changes.
Article supplied and published in collaboration with CNM Collage.
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