Interview with Will
Q: You’ve been credited as “Australia's most well known Naturopath and Iridologist”, that’s quite the accolade...
A: That’s quite the compliment. My father Eli Shamon, was always the busiest Naturopath in the country. He could speak 7 languages. I grew up in the generation of Denis Stewart, Dr Sandra Cabot, and my mother did Naturopathy. They were all legends in the field. The generation that really fought for the acceptance of natural medicine in this country.
Q: What is naturopathy and what can it help / be good for (incl example or 2 of causes and solutions for issues such as fertility, eczema, arthritis, acne would be great too)?
A: Naturopathy is good for everything. It would be over simplistic to reduce it down to one dimension. We believe any condition can be healed and there is a plant out there for everything. There are creams for all skin conditions, acne, arthritis, eczema.
With fertility people have an infinite number of options with herbs like vitex, wild yam, or even dietary changes such as the removal of animal products, and the minimisation of hormones. Then you obviously have natural fertility methods such as the rhythm method, taking basal temperature, observing mucous changes etc
Q: When/where was your first exposure to naturopathy?
A: Both my parents did this. I grew up with it. You could say it was in my blood. I grew up from sitting in the lectures by Denis Stewart as a child, to now being able to work along side and learn from some of the legends in the industry. Some of these people were my heroes growing up.
I look to people I think are the greats in any field. Plant based medicine is a thousand year old science. Chemical medicine is still in it’s infancy.
Q: When did you realise it was something you were passionate and that you’d like to pursue professionally?
A: I worked with my father for many years then I realised it was something I had to persue. I was busy, I was well known, and I was getting results, and I was passionate about the cause. It seemed something logical to stay with.
Q: How did you become qualified, what’s the journey / process been?
A: I hold a University degree as well as a number of other qualifications both traditional and non traditional. You can’t learn it all in a book.
You need hands on experience in any craft to refine your trade. You need a bunch of clinical experience. You can only add to your repotoire as a practitioner whose seen tens and tens of thousands of people. You see about a hundred thousand people and you say “woah they don’t teach that in the books.” There's an element of self confidence that comes from having done something many, many times. Or you see a herb that’s meant to be do one thing and you discover it’s good for another.
Q: How has the naturopathic and alternative medicine discoveries and industry in Australia progresses in your time?
A: Natural medicine has exploded. Nobody accepted it in Australia at one time. Now it’s accepted every where. It’s trendy to have coconut juice, super greens and super foods. When I was young it was a point of embarrassment to go to the health store. You had to hide your head in the corner in shame. Now it’s almost trendy.
I see a lot of poor quality practitioners and I hope the laws tighten to ensure we have a high as standard of natural therapists as we do GP training. It shouldn’t be easy to think you know what you’re doing. Plant based remedies should be available to the public, but you shouldn’t read a blog and think you can substitute someone whose spent their whole life training in that area. But it doesn’t harm people to take an informed interest.
Q:How do you see the industry progressing in Australia in the coming years?
A: It will get more regulated. Mark my word. Something has to give. We can’t have so many companies peddling products from multi-level marketing to others saying their product is the next best thing. I mean, how many different types of fish oil can there be? The founding fathers of natural medicine never endorsed animal products. Now we have calamari oil. What will be the next big thing?
Q:What’s the greatest learning you’ve discovered through studying and practicing naturopathy that can make the biggest impact on ones life?
A: The study of breath is the most important study one can take. Oxygen, water and chlorophyll are the foundation of human nutrition I believe at this stage of my life. With plant based oils. Most people also forget the importance of elimination. I also think there is no substitute for practise. Learn to speak people’s language. Communicate with them in their tongue. Understand their needs and values.
Q: As founder of BioMediK Companies and you work with the World Health Care Council, you’ve assisted people in the 2nd and 3rd world obtain access to life saving care. Talk to us about the success of these initiatives, through the use of natural therapies.
What’s been your most memorable and moving experience as part of these projects, and what does this project mean to you?
A: I’ve worked with everyone from prime ministers to laymen. From ex prisoners to mums and children. People at the foundation I believe are insecure, proud and looking for answers. Humans are complex emotional creatures. But at the end of the day we understand health is a Universal human need and right. We should be tireless in ensuring everyone on the planet has access to this basic right. The earth is a gift you give back to the next generation. The people you love and who you spend time with, and what you do. It matters. Time is very finite.
I'm not a believer in the "your life is small stuff." I think that's a bunch of bs. Your life, your intimate relationship, where your kids go to school and who they spend time with. Your health. It matters.
These aren't small things. I'm not a believer in moderation either honestly. I believe your life should be built around longevity. I don't believe in balance. Your health is not a place you get to compromise. You don't get to reward yourself with red wine and mouldy cheese.
If I see a celebrity type client and they need to walk down the red carpet the next day I say "Sorry you're washing your eyes with these herbs, and you're taking animal products out for the next 24 hrs."
I believe in balance to the extent life is to be enjoyed, but not to the point it compromises your health on the long-term basis.
We all have limiting beliefs. The youth thinks he's too young, and the elder thinks she's too old. We all have a responsibility to give the gifts we have, follow our passions, and at the end of the day be tireless for our work for humanity, in whatever art or science is your gifting.
Q: How do you deal with all the competition now?
A: I see my industry as being like fashion honestly. People are always trying to jump on the latest trend like it's skinny jeans. Now, there's nothing wrong with skinny jeans. But let me tell you this: A poor quality practitioner gets so focused on the trend they lose focus on the timeless.
Acai, goji, fish oil. So many people in my industry get caught up focusing on only one thing. They all fly by night, but can your clients breath properly? Are they eliminating properly? Are they flushing more water down the toilet than they're drinking?
Q:What's the secret to being a good Naturopath?
A: I focus on results. I want my clients to get results quickly. Your clients need results in 24-48 hours max. Ideally they should feel different by the time they go home.
Don't be afraid to stop doing something if it's not working. My father and I used Echinacea for years and we were never happy with the results we were getting. It's a legendary herb, and it passed University testing but it wasn't getting the results we wanted in isolation. So we stopped. It might have been the batch, the season, the active constituents in the herb.
I revisited it years later. This was back in the day before the collapse of the great Pan-Am pharmaceuticals in 2003.
Innovate - once you've done something enough time you'll have something to offer your industry. It might just be a way nobodies looked at things before.
Q:Who do you admire?
A: I admire any male with work ethic.
I saw a chiropractor friend go through a divorce and he still got up and did his job to the best of his ability every day. Preperation is key. People don't care if you haven't slept. Or are going through a divorce. Your problems shouldn't be your clients problems.
I also have a deep admiration and respect for people like Dorothy Hall whose while some work has been superceded contributed greatly to the success of this field.
Q:How can the Australian Community get involved?
A: They can become a member of the Australian Complementary Medicine Association at www.acmaonline.com.au and share their voice for the future today.
Q:What are your top 10 practical natural therapies and remedies, that everyday people can incorporate into their daily life to promote general wellbeing (what are they and how can they help you)?
A: Eat greens, turmeric, olive fruit and leaf, avacados. STOP thinking they need to get these things out of a bottle. If you can’t afford Organic, the spice aisle of your supermarket is probably the greatest place to get basic components your family can even use on your food.
Make it fun. Don’t be a kill joy. And don’t push your values onto other people. Let other people be. Respect people’s culture. When treating people gene’s are important I believe. You can’t argue with thousands of years of evolution. Care for your organs of elimination. Your liver, and kidneys. Detoxify at least once a season. Juice fast – it might save your life.
Nothing changes until it's a lifestyle. Don't stop working with your clients til it's a habit, a ritual, a deep rooted sub conscious pattern.
If anyone wants to make an appointment with me I’m available at http://www.PinnacleClinic.com.au or http://www.WIllShannon.com
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