When you see a practitioner have you ever wondered what their working day and week is like? We are all different but here I share with you how it is for me.
Life as a Natural Health Practitioner in Sussex
An Evolving Natural Health Practice
Since qualifying back in 2002 the way I practice has evolved. My days and weeks now are different to when I started out. In truth that is one of the things I love about being a natural health practitioner. I have been able to pursue a career helping people. And with each year I have been able to build upon my skills and undertake additional training to develop further.
For me no other professional field has come close to this level of fulfilment. Having a fascination for what it is to be human, working with such a lovely range of people and being able to help is so rewarding. You can read more about my background in About Lynne Russell.
Offering a Range of Therapies!
One of the things that can puzzle people is how I combine the different therapies I offer in practice. To me it has always felt very straightforward. In essence my role is to get to know what it is like to be you, and to really understand what you would like some support with. And then to work out a therapeutic strategy to help.
That might be using homeopathic constitutional remedies or a talking therapy approach using hypnotherapy, NLP or coaching, or a blend. And that is decided by the person I am working with. Often people have contacted me because I offer that range. On occasions people are drawn to a particular element of my practice and so we will focus on that. But for each person, I am aiming to see what the core of the issue is, and look to what needs to be supported or worked through. It is just a matter of how to work to have the best chance of helping.
I also find that having trained in these allied therapeutic fields, they complement each other. Not just in my practice but also in adding to my overall understanding and knowledge as a practitioner. When you work in the arena of supporting natural health and emotional well-being you never stop learning.
How This Works in Practice
My days vary but to give you an idea of the kinds of people I see and the areas I tend to see most.
General Health Support
For people who have benefited from homeopathy, perhaps for years, it becomes a wonderful resource in our lives. The support of having your constitutional remedy with the aim of supporting your overall health. And being able to home in on specific areas such as using homeopathic remedies for colds and flu, or coughs. So I may well be seeing people looking for support in a wide range of situations.
Many will already have seen their GP and will be looking to further supplement their self-care with remedies and lifestyle changes. In some instances they might not be on medication and be looking to make changes to improve their health ahead of seeing the GP again. Supporting people to lower their blood pressure is really common and a good example of this. And, happily, an area that often responds positively.
Homeopaths often see people with digestive, respiratory and skin complaints. Both short term and chronic. And because of how homeopathic remedies are prepared they are usually safe to take alongside pharmaceutical medications. But part of what we do in a consultation is to take a thorough history and to keep up to date so that we can check suitability of remedies.
People are often surprised how analytical the process is. I find it really interesting seeing how the timelines of our lives unfold. Making connections about the timings of things. Very often when we stop and think about it, we see that things do not always come out of the blue. There was a pathway. As well as the practical support, I really enjoy helping people make those connections about their lives and their health.
Specialising in Menopause
Years back when I specialised in menopause support there were only a few of my colleagues who had decided to specialise in particular areas of homeopathic practice. It is more common now to see homeopaths with special areas of interest, which I think is great as you gather more knowledge and experience through specialising. And the talking therapies I offer also provide valuable support. Every woman is different so it is really helpful to have an array of resources to draw upon.
Menopause has always fascinated me as a time of massive change and potential for women. And one that by and large was not, and it seems to me is still not terribly well understood or supported. So in estate agents parlance this area offered “unrivalled scope for improvement” as we have so much to offer.
Roll the clock forward a couple of decades and I am in the zone myself. It is wonderful to be able to add to my understanding and navigate these years using the natural health support that can make such a difference.
I think you could say I have two kinds of consultation with talking therapies. For some it is a more specific process-driven session. This will tend to be around issues like fear of flying, public speaking, sports performance, etc. Usually I will see someone over a few sessions using a selection of NLP (neuro linguistic programming), Hypnotherapy and Self-Hypnosis, as well as Coaching. I don’t use formulas or scripts, the start point is always the person sat in front of me and then we work out which approach or blend will be best for them.
The second type of consultation would be where someone has come to see me with a more complex issue that could be entrenched or they have reached a point of crisis. The people I work with are very able and self-aware but life can throw any of us a curve ball.
Frequently I work with people who are struggling with anxiety, insomnia, trauma, stress, sense of self, issues around food, relationship or work challenges. This kind of work tends to take place over a longer timeframe. Evolving as we go but with an eye to moving forwards rather than staying stuck in the realm of the problem.
Practising in Clinics & via Skype
I really enjoy seeing patients at both clinics as they are both lovely settings. The Cliffe Clinic is in the lower part of Cliffe High Street in Lewes. On the rare occasions I might have a gap in between patients I will go for a potter round. We are lucky as we have two super health food and grocery stores near the clinic – Lansdown Health Store and the newly opened Seasons Organic Grocery Store. Both full of lots of useful and tempting goodies!
And Hollytree Healing Centre in Barns Green is in the heart of the West Sussex countryside near Billingshurst. On a sunny day it is wonderful to sit and enjoy the birdsong whilst I eat my lunch. When my gaps coincide with the sun making an appearance!
Confession time: I resisted doing Skype Consultations for longer than I should have! I imagined that the connection would always be better in person. But as my practice grew and people approached me from further afield I decided to give it a go. And to my delight realised that it actually works the same as in clinic. If there is a good connection between me and that person then that works well in clinic but also equally well on Skype. Now I work with lovely people from all over the world – the USA, Australia, Europe and for those in the UK not within reach of Sussex.
Thank goodness for the World Clock app on my phone. Although I do think I might make a note to ask Father Christmas for a World Time Zone Wall Clock just to help keep track! The flexibility of Skype consultations is a perfect complement to my clinic days.
Two Kinds of Days for this Natural Health Practitioner
The days spent in clinic start with juggling urgent admin. Responding to people’s queries, new patient enquiries, casework and preparation. And then off to clinic, usually until late as it is helpful to offer evening appointments for those working office hours unable to come in the daytime.
The days where I work with patients via Skype can be very full too. When there are spaces I catch up on the behind-the-scenes work that make a practice happen. The time in front of patients is really the tip of the iceberg. People are often quite surprised at how much ongoing background study, preparation and analysis goes into this kind of work.
And then there’s more!
Many of you will know I offer workshops. I find these a super complement to my practice in that they offer a way to share even more information about menopause, self-hypnosis or being your own life coach, etc. I enjoy preparing them and the days themselves. We have a lovely time and I often meet some smashing people who might not have come to see me in practice.
This year I am also working on a workshop about effective and harmonious communication. One of my NLP clients suggested this working title: “How to speak your mind and keep your job!” Watch this space!
Ongoing learning and personal development is a wonderful part of being a natural health practitioner. At intervals I arrange training days for colleagues on a range of topics. These are a great way to update and expand our knowledge and to share best practice.
Given how busy I am now I teach less often than I used to. But I am sometimes invited to be a guest speaker on menopause, which can be great fun and a wonderful chance to share knowledge and information with colleagues. I also love teaching at the College of Visionary Homeopathy about the profound and elegant system that is homeopathy.
Walking the Talk!
Working in this area is a constant demonstration and reminder of how important it is to look after ourselves. To pay attention to our health on every level. Self-care is not selfish, it is actually the opposite. It helps us keep our show on the road so that we can continue to support others.
As my practice grew I have found that time for exercise has been getting tighter, as had some of my clothes! So over the last six months I have been walking, and Zumba’ing, my talk! You can have a chuckle about my journey from “sofa to spandex” in How to Make Good Habits Stick. So now a number of my days start or end with some exercise.
The Life of a Natural Health Practitioner
I feel very lucky and grateful to have discovered what I am meant to be doing with my life. Many thanks to all the lovely people I work with and who come to my workshops and events. It is a privilege to walk alongside and offer support for my patients as they navigate their path. It is a very fulfilling calling that keeps me incredibly and happily busy.
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I practise in Lewes, East Sussex and near Horsham and Billingshurst in West Sussex. If you are not within reach of these clinics I also offer appointments via Skype. Please do contact me if you would like a free mini-appointment to see if my approach to supporting health, well-being and personal development might suit you – thank you.