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File 1 - Article 9 Previous Index Next
Author: Lyanne Mitchell
Title: An Ex-patient's Perspective

I first started attending Alec Milne's Nature Cure Practice, Renfrew Street, Glasgow in 2000, following the recommendations of two elderly friends who had benefitted from his advice over a number of years.

I was at an all time low - severely overweight, menopausal, suffering recurring chest infections (occasional pleurisy) and preparing to undergo two separate surgeries. Although semi-retired, he agreed to become my NC Mentor and encouraged me to make significant changes to my life-style. His healing style was somewhat provocative and challenging on a number of levels. He began by harnessing my imagination and visualisation skills ...( using his famous 'horse analogy' ) He also acted as a mirror...reflecting and reminding me of my younger, fitter self.....this in turn, boosted my self esteem and I began to believe that I really could recover my lost health and well-being. Through patience, active listening and an unfailing caring attitude, the mentoring relationship gently supported me through many emotional ups and downs towards not only a healthier lifestyle.....but also a kind of re-awakening.

The daily 'cold splash' quickly became second nature and I learned about the 'Healing Crisis'. I gradually shed weight and became much fitter from daily walking. I bought myself a bike and returned to a previous love in my younger life - cycling. I am still heavier than I would wish, but my general health is much improved and I am considerably fitter. Nowadays, I am much happier to be in my own skin, or as the French would say :-' Bien dans la peau.'

I turned a significant corner when I began to realise that only one of my 'hungers' stomach hunger, could be fed and satisfied by food and that I had to find more appropriate ways to 'feed' emotional and other hungers. As a result, I developed a Nature Cure Course called 'Diets are Dead' which explored the various hungers of the human condition, raised awareness of how to recognise each one and explored various ways in which to deal with them appropriately.

The whole issue of over eating was explored at quite a deep level. The course was offered as an Evening Class at the Further Education college where I work as a part-time lecturer - but sadly, it never got off the starting blocks owing to lack of numbers. The course demanded a high level of involvement from would-be students - and a fair bit of honest self-analysis. It seems most overweight people are more comfortable with a prescriptive, short-term solution such as is offered by umpteen diet plans, or organisations like 'Weight Watchers' and numerous other group support clubs.

By far, my biggest learning curve from an knowledge of Nature Cure is the importance of taking personal responsibility for one's own health - by not only being pro-active about life-style choices and habits but also retaining the right to choose whether or not to accept conventional medical advice / treatment.

Even more recently, I have taken on the role of Co-ordinator / Designer for this new NC File, in collaboration with the ISRN Publications Committee. I hope you approve of the new NC we designers say, here is the rationale :-
the image of an apple - universal symbol of health.....(and forbidden knowledge?) is merged with a finger print (individual identity) - this aims to graphically express the concept of taking personal and individual responsibility for one's health, covering all aspects of healthy living.

I look forward to learning from you all. I have already been impressed and influenced by some of the contributions within this first issue. I do hope you will all promptly send off your subscriptions and join this new Network. Whether practitioners, patients or just interested parties - we can all learn from one another and hopefully spread the NC story far and wide!

As to the future of Nature Cure?....Sadly, until the NHS, GPs, and even 'alternative therapists' free themselves from the power and financial clout of the drugs industry, I fear NC will remain very much a minority movement, attracting those who refuse to 'run with the pack' and delight in the freedom of individual choice and independence of mind.

The following two poems were written during my 'recovery stage' . In different ways, they both express some of the 'growing pains' I experienced, as new life and awareness were rekindled. 'Hunger' explores some of the issues I hoped to include within the 'Diets are Dead' NC Course. My journey with NC was anything but comfortable....but it was certainly creative!


Being alive
Brings awakenings
Not only in the mornings.
Being alive
Brings learnings from
Reflections, signals, warnings.

Being alive
Involves mistakes...
Naive misunderstandings.
Being alive
Involves heartaches
And sudden, bumpy landings.

Being alive
Is choosing
To be honoured or abused.
Being alive
Is energy
To be channelled or diffused.

Being alive
Grows hungry hearts
For fresh, creative living.
Being alive
Grows open hearts
For tenderly forgiving.

Being alive
Needs clarity
To realise the ideal.
Being alive
Needs courage
To idealise the real.

L Mitchell - Oct 2001

Body feels - 'I'm needy !
Hungry, but for what?
Ask me, search me, check me out,
investigate, explore
...........................Identify this need

Stomach shouts - 'I'm empty!
Hungry to digest.
Fill me up with energy,
Salad, protein, fruit,
..................Feed me now with food.'

Limbs complain - 'We're sluggish!
Hungry to extend.
Stretch us, use us, set us free
Make our muscles move
......................Feed us with a walk

Mind mutters - 'I'm bored!
Hungry to explore.
Give me wisdom, stories, tales,
Empower me with facts
..................Feed me now with truth

Sensuality sings - 'I'm yearning!
Hungry to unite.
Allow the flow of sweet desire,
Surrender to my needs
..................Feed me now with sex

Imagination calls - 'I'm idle!
Hungry to create.
Let me loose to do my thing,
Release me, let me work
......................Feed me with ideas

Heart whispers - 'I'm aching!
Hungry to express.
I'm more than just a bloody pump,
Feel my open warmth
..................Feed me now with love

Spirit speaks - 'I'm dying!
Hungry to evolve.
Energise me back to life,
Inspire, revitalise
...................Feed me now with awe

L Mitchell - Jan 2002

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