Return to London – and Cancer
My final schooling was in Guildford just south of London. I subsequently did two degrees at Imperial, (with an intermediate one in New Zealand) and so I had lived for six years in South Kensington. My family consisted of my beloved Aunt whom I met when I started at Imperial. Throughout my studies, she had lived on the edge of Sloane Square. So, when I returned to London from the Southern Hemisphere, it was inevitable that I would return to this part of London. I came back primarily to be able to spend more time with Aunt, by then aged eighty-three. As an added plus, for a few years, I had been commuting back to spend time with her, first once, and later twice a year, and had come to realize how much I loved London. It was almost inevitable, then, that Sloane Square was where I would base, and that I would spend a week or more each month “back on the family estate” with her in Co, Kildare.
Back in Sydney, I had a busy practice and also headed up the nutrition and biochemistry departments of two naturopathic colleges. Additionally, I wrote monthly commissions for several magazines and gave a regular series of post-graduate seminars. As state president of the Australian Natural Therapies Association, I made frequent appearances on television in answer to whatever health topic was the talk of the day, to say nothing of a small but precious circle of friends. All of this had, of course, grown organically over time. Starting over in London would be a challenge.
Time Life had asked me to write two books, bought outright from the start, for a series they had planned, and my agent was pursuing publishers for other books for which I had ideas. Two London colleges had asked me to lecture in both biochemistry and nutrition. My next challenge, though not an urgent one, was to establish my London practice. I loved this three-component balance to my professional life and did not want to do without the pleasure of meeting, talking with and helping clients.
Starting out in London turned out to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated. In Australia during the 1980’s, being a naturopath, chiropractor or osteopath was nearly the equivalent of being a medical GP. In 1996-97, people in the UK did not seem to know what a naturopath was, or what they could do. Nonetheless, I took rooms in Harley Street, then made the more convenient move to rooms just off Sloane Square, and saw clients one day per week.
Book commissions came along, and I enjoyed the process of researching and writing them. However, it was different at the two colleges. I had automatically assumed that the standard required would be similar to the level att which I had taught in Australia and had seen, many times, in my trips and visits to clinics and conferences each time I crossed America. Unfortunately, this was not the case. After the first year, they both told me, in different ways, that they would be grateful if I made the courses very much more basic and simple. The professional challenge and interest in that were not there, and I declined.
About a year later I took stock. Writing books was an ongoing pleasure. But Lecturing in the UK, in the late nineteen-nineties was not fulfilling, nor was a practice based solely on fatigue or weight loss. I wanted something more interesting. I love to study, almost anything, but especially the natural therapies and more specifically, anything with a sound biochemical basis. I wanted a new challenge. I decided I would focus on researching and studying the biochemical basis of cancer and what has since become known as the Metabolic Theory of cancer. As a naturopath, I was more interested in restoring health through homeostasis rather than eliminating symptoms with toxic drugs. So, in addition to a small practice and the writing commissions, I focused on learning all I could about restoring health in people with cancer in a way that did not involve chemotherapy or harmful radiation. This research was based on a secure scientific basis and not merely on traditional practices that “had worked” but with no scientific foundation.
At first, this was a purely intellectual and academic study. As I learned more over the next few years, I became ever more aware of just what could be accomplished by non-toxic means. I had expected to learn, but I was amazed and excited to discover just how much I could learn, and how much technical research existed into the natural means of dealing with this disease.
Gradually, the practice evolved and grew. Three books on cancer followed, based either on supporting people with this disease, or those who were keen to prevent it. Colleges developed over the years and eventually I was able to lecture each year on the Metabolic approach to cancer. As a result of the growing interest of the students from various colleges, I designed and formatted the ‘CanSurvive Advanced Cancer Care Course.’ This is open to final year students at or from multiple colleges with courses in the natural therapies, and to practitioners, all of whom want to specialize in cancer support. This gives me the most significant opportunity for ongoing research, interest, and challenge of them all, with the added pleasure that this, of course, also feeds on to the various ways I can help people who come to the practice.
In addition to seeing clients and teaching the advanced courses, I also offer free study group sessions for students twice per month, free open house evenings for clients once per month and one-day client support seminars. I also continue to research and write to further develop the Advanced Courses that I hope will equip the next generation of practitioners with the tools they need to support people with cancer.