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Author: James W Johnson - Registered Naturopath
Title: My Nature Cure Story

As a third generation Naturopath I am pleased to be able to say that I have had an interesting, eventful and satisfying forty-eight years helping people of all ages to regain their health. It has not always been easy, particularly in the early days whilst building up a practice, but, if not financially, I have always found rewarding in other ways.

My Grandfather, William Johnson, married a doctor's daughter who, shortly after the wedding was struck down with a form of paralysis. After several months in Blackburn royal Infirmary she was sent home with the news that she would probably be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Grandfather was not happy at this prospect and having read books about hydrotherapy and the natural treatment of illness, decided to do something himself.

The first thing he did was to stop all the drugs given to her whilst in Blackburn Royal and then, although starting work in the mill at 6 am got up earlier every day to give her some massage, then repeated the massage in the evening. Gradually his wife began to get some feeling back into her limbs which assured him he was doing the right things. He was then persuaded by a friend to send his wife to Buxton Spa for treatment and convalescence. Finding her condition was improving the hospital there contacted Blackburn Royal to find out which drugs they had prescribed and immediately put her back on them only to discover she was soon paralysed again!

Grandfather brought her home to Blackburn and started his treatment all over again until finally she was able to walk. As a result of his success with his wife's treatment neighbours and friends began to ask him if he could help them. Before long he opened some Hot Air Baths in Blackburn, very close to the Royal Infirmary, where he ran his practice until he immigrated to Canada in 1910 with this wife, son (John - my father) and daughter Grace. Whilst in Canada the family took up farming but Grandfather still continued his healing work. As a born again Christian he was great believer in prayer and fasting and one interesting thing arising from this was, whenever he felt a patient would benefit from a fast he would fast along with him.

Although still farming, my father decided to do some training in Dietetics and Nature Cure which he did with a Dr Rebsburg. As my father was the only doctor of any description for many miles he had the opportunity to treat all kinds of conditions, including gun shot wounds and dental problems even to pulling teeth. Following my father's marriage, grandfather returned to England and opened a small residential Nature Cure Home in Blackburn. In the meantime, four children had arrived on the scene, my two older brothers, myself and my younger sister. In 1935 when my grandfather decided to retire my father returned to England with his family and for the next thirty years ran a Nature Cure practice from his home in Blackburn.

I was educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Blackburn, followed by my two years National Service as a Radiographer in a mobile x-ray unit. On my demob in 1952 I should have started a three year training at the British School of Osteopathy in London where my older brother had just completed his course. My father however was unhappy that the course was becoming more mechanistic in its approach to healing and beginning to distance itself from any connection to Nature Cure. As a result of this I changed my mind and instead, enrolled for five year course at The Edinburghh School of Natural Therapeutics (E.S.N.T.), a decision I have never regretted.

After graduating from the E.S.N.T. in 1957 my Naturopathic Practice began in St Annes-on-Sea then a year or two later started spending two days a week working with Bertram T Fraser MA BSc in Manchester. I learned much from the wealth of experience gained by Mr Fraser and my father over many years as Nature Cure Practitioners. I also benefited from my brother's experience as an Osteopath. I feel fortunate to have been brought up in a Nature Cure home and a Christian family environment as there is much in common with Nature Cure and Religion. They both have their fanatics who often do harm to the cause.

It has been a fascinating life working as a Naturopath with people from the whole spectrum of society, every age group and all types of conditions, many of which had not been helped by medical intervention. We have our failures but in my experience these have been few and far between. Times have changed over the past fifty years, this includes the attitude o many doctors towards healing. One of my earlier experiences which demonstrated the outlook of the medical profession of that time involved a patient with five small children who told her doctor she was seeing a Naturopath. He sent the whole family their medical cards and refused to have anything more to do with them. For some time after that I used to recommend my patients not to let their doctors know they were seeing me. Thankfully, over the years things have gradually changed, and now I even have some doctors sending patients. If doctors are prepared to change their attitudes to alternate therapies, I feel we should be prepared to, at least, modify our 'Holier than Thou' attitude to other branches of healing. Most, if not all, religious sects, Christian or otherwise, feel that they are the only ones who have the whole truth. I hope that we, as a Society will not fall into this way of thinking . We can alter our attitudes without lowering our standards.

Spending one's life trying to help people to regain their lost health or pointing them towards 'High Level Health' as James C Thomson once put it, is an extremely gratifying occupation. There are some things I would changed if I had my life over again but trying to help people with their health problems would not be one of them, Many people are influenced by the amount of money they would be capable of earning when choosing a career, but for me there is something far more important, and that is job satisfaction.

"Yesterday is history..

Tomorrow is a mystery...

Today is a GIFT...

That's why it's called the present."