My Journey to Becoming a Healer
When they find out what I do for a living, many people are curious about how I got into my line of work. Since I’ve never really shared the road that led me here, I thought it made sense to share a bit about my history. In the simplest terms, I do what I do because I love it. There is no greater joy than helping someone heal and regain health, especially if that person hasn’t been able to find help elsewhere. Have you heard the old saying about never working a day in your life if you love what you do? I’m living that dream. I’m incredibly, wonderfully grateful to have been given a gift that allows me to help others. For more information about my philosophy, read my post, How I’m Different from Other Practitioners.
The involved answer takes a bit of telling. I got into this field after being so ill for over 15 years that getting out of bed was a challenge. During that time, getting up and taking a shower exhausted me for the rest of the day. I had some wonderful doctors and some horrible doctors, but none of them could figure out what was wrong with me. I saw every specialist under the sun, including multiple oncologists, hematologists, endocrinologists, infectious disease specialists, nephrologists, neurologists and multiple internists. I had bone marrow biopsies, liver biopsies, a multitude of CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds, even more blood tests, and many other invasive procedures, yet none identified the cause of my exhaustion or severe neurological symptoms. Instead, my doctors diagnosed me with chronic fatigue syndrome, with cancer incorrectly once, and with multiple sclerosis incorrectly three times. They patted me on my head while shaking theirs, tried to prescribe Prozac, and sent me on my way. Their hope was that I’d “accept” my illness (or stop imagining it) and they’d never see me again. More than one recommended I seek psychological counseling. The rationale appeared to be that anyone they couldn’t heal obviously wasn’t sick. One infectious disease specialist diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, told me there was nothing he could do to help, and prescribed Prozac. He expressed his reason for prescribing Prozac by saying: “You’re not depressed, but the Prozac will make you not care that you don’t feel well.” He was wrong.
The bottom line was that it was completely up to me to determine the cause of my symptoms and figure out how to eliminate them. Trust me when I say that much prayer went into my research and many prayers for healing were uttered. My desire to reverse my symptoms necessitated that my hobby of studying herbalism and natural remedies become a dedicated passion. I not only studied alternative healing but also studied many of the same courses MDs take. I soon became more knowledgeable about endocrine disorders than many of my MDs. I progressed from doing self-directed research and study to taking formal classes. Over time I received multiple natural health certifications. In the midst of my research, I began to identify and eliminate the causes of my symptoms. By God’s grace, most of my symptoms disappeared. For the first time in a very long time, I was able to function normally. The fact my healing came from very simply identifying what my body lacked and replacing it was a huge confirmation of everything I had studied.
During this time, others began asking for my advice related to their own healing. While still working in the corporate world, I realized one day that I had spent more time providing health advice than I had doing my real job. I also realized that providing health advice and coaching others brought me far more joy than managing IT projects did. Shortly thereafter, my company lost a government contract and many people were downsized. I was given the option of being downsized or joining another department. I gratefully accepted the offer to be downsized. I think I was the only person in the downsized group who was excited about losing my job. God had sent me enough “burning bushes” that I knew it was time for a change.
On a short term basis, I used my knowledge of herbs, physiology and toxicity to launch a natural skincare company while I evaluated what I wanted to do long term. (Please check out my book on natural skin care, Skin Care from the Ground Up.) I also began speaking and teaching as often as I could. After closing my skincare business, I began working as a consultant in a health food store and began pursuing more involved formal studies. Throughout this phase of my life, I continued studying and receiving additional certifications. I also continued having health challenges, which only served to help me learn more. I can honestly say I’m thankful for all the health challenges I’ve had, because each one taught me much and provided insight into what my clients are experiencing. Being able to honestly say, “I’ve been there, but I found my way back” is often very encouraging to those I work with.
I am currently completing a doctoral program in Naturopathic Medicine with added certifications as a Master Herbalist, Clinical Nutritionist (my third nutritionist certification) and a few other minor certifications. I hope to be done soon. Please feel free to click through this website to find information about scheduling a consultation, a list of my current classes, and information on how to schedule me to speak.
I still love what I do and take every possible opportunity to learn more. I’m currently evaluating what my next move will be after I become “Dr. Reilly.” I’m considering medical school or becoming a Physician’s Assistant because I firmly believe every new educational opportunity will help me help others more.
I guess the best answer for why I do what I do is, quite simply, because it’s what God has called me to do. To not use this gift and share it with others would be wrong.