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Student Experiences

CNM Graduate - Liadh Fitzgerald

CNM Graduate Liadh FitzgeraldProspective students and general interested members of the public often ask what draws people to study with the CNM and what life is like as a student. What better way to answer these questions than by asking CNM Graduate Liadh Fitzgerald ND, Dip.Ac, MANP, who makes it clear that these questions are easily answered… .

Five years ago Liadh was disillusioned with her career choices since leaving University. “I had travelled, worked in Greece and London and now found myself back in Ireland realising that I had never followed my true desires, which were to work with the general public in a health care capacity”. Liadh had spent the first part of her life in and out of hospitals and because of this had vowed to find an alternative to conventional medicines and drugs.

“For the next eighteen months I scoured colleges trying to find a health care course that appealed to me. This had to include superb training, a wide variety of heath care choices from which clients could choose from and, it had to educate me in ways of natural medicines. This course, to my dismay, seemed an impossibilty to find - until I came across the CNM.”

Within days of gathering all the information she could find about the CNM, Liadh had signed up as a student and was well on her way to becoming a Naturopathic Practitioner and Acupuncturist.

At the CNM “study” is the operative word. The College encourages students at every stage of their training, helping them with study plans and exam preparations. Liadh says, “I have never studied in a college that is so student and exam focused. If the general public knew how well trained CNM students are they would have peace of mind knowing that their health is in very good hands”.

As a practitioner I can now offer clients Naturopathy, diet and lifestlye advice, and either Acupuncture, Homeopathy or Herbal Medicine as a speciality treatment. What other health care practitioners offer such a diverse and holistic range of treatments to their clients?”

For anyone wondering how to deal with their own illnesses; exchanging conventional medicines for safe, effective and natural alternatives, maintain well-being and obtain optimal health, then Naturopathy is the way forward. Furthermore, if you want to understand why you are ill or why you have symptoms of disease, then consult your Naturopath who is concerned with finding the root causes. It is always important to remember that orthodox medicine treats the symptoms of disease and is vital in life and death situations whereas Naturopathic Medicine treats the underlying causes of disease and hence, from this, the symptoms. Fundamentally Naturopathy lays emphasis on the “internal terrain” and when this is nourished and flourishing well, disease states can be well managed or eradicated.

Finally Liadh would like to pass on a message to anyone considering studying with the CNM, “to all fellow graduates and new or existing CNM students I wish you well and hope you all realise what a fantastic career you have ahead of you”.

CNM Grad Sarah Rahman on UKTV Style’s Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses

Sarah Rahman is a Naturopath and Medical Herbalist who works with the UKTV Style “Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses” detox team managing spa retreats in the UK, Turkey and Spain. She appears on the show practising cupping, a therapy called Baunscheidt, and dispensing advice on the use of medicinal herbs.

Having always been interested in natural medicine, she grew increasingly dissatisfied with the established response to general health issues. Sarah’s quest for knowledge and her own instinct lead her to the field of natural health. She gained professional qualifications in the field of Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine at The College of Naturopathic Medicine.

Sarah runs her own practice in South Manchester, dispensing her own herbal formulas for patients with a wide range of illnesses from asthma to infertility, providing in-home services to patients in Manchester and London, and managing detox weeks as part of the Life Detox team (The Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses - UKTV Style), both in the UK and abroad.

Sarah lectures, and writes articles for newspapers and magazines. Her professional and personal experiences have established her at the forefront of her field in Natural medicine.

Contact Sarah

07957 631 466

CNM Student Claire Lewis Creates Her Own Web Business

Claire Lewis of LoveLulaIn April 2005, CNM student Claire Lewis launched her web site - - selling only pure and natural beauty products, free of harmful chemical additives. The idea came some years earlier during a CNM Naturopathy lecture on detoxification.

“In class, the effects of chemicals used in shampoos and tooth pastes and other very harmful chemicals that have been found in breast tumours were discussed. I then began to realise how little information there was for consumers about the health impacts of cosmetic products. Another factor was how hard it was to source health supporting products once you were informed!”

“My journey to Naturopathy began in 2000 when my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Although my mother was given surgery, it was natural methods of healing that nurtured her back to wellness following her operation. As I read more and more about the different healing modalities available, I came across the CNM and enrolled in 2001. With the methods taught in class I learned to cure my own IBS and chronic fatigue.”

“There has been no looking back. Prior to studying at the CNM and launching LoveLula, I worked as an accountant in the City.”

“My studies have opened the door to a career I wake up to with enthusiasm each day. I love that I am using what the CNM has taught me about natural health to help other people through my business.”

“Real health and vitality are the greatest gifts in life, and being able to support people in achieving that, by helping them make informed choices about their toiletries, is incredibly rewarding.”

CNM Graduate - Liz Levelle

In 1999 Liz Levelle came across an advertisement for the CNM in her local newspaper.

“I remember the advert vividly - ‘Why don’t you train in Naturopathy? Even if it’s just to extend your knowledge and treat your family?’ I knew that was the course for me, so I went along to a CNM open evening and enrolled that night”.

Health and alternative medicine had always been an interest of Liz’s ever since her son had teething problems and she discovered Chamomilla teething granules at her local health food shop, which worked miraculously. This was only the beginning and Liz soon had plans to run an organic herb farm in Devon to supply medicinal herbs and wanted to get some experience under her belt. In order to do this she spent much of her time working on a farm in Berkshire, planting and harvesting organic herbs and also at the Royal Horticultural Society’s herb garden in Wisley, Surrey.

“On my first day at the CNM I was pretty nervous and wondered what on earth I had let myself in for”, says Liz. “We were a small group of students as it was only the CNM’s second year in operation, but our lecturers were (and still are) brilliant and I found the whole course fascinating.” Liz decided to specialise in Homeopathy and graduated in 2002 with distinction. Despite this she still found the thought of practicing as a Naturopath in a clinic daunting and so started off by taking the cases of her friends. Her break came when an ex-CNM student friend asked if she would like to practice in the clinic that she was setting up. “I was so thrilled (and a bit terrified!), but it was the perfect start to a new career.”

Gaining confidence in her ability as a Naturopathic practitioner, Liz started to add a few more strings to her bow. “I learnt Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), an invaluable and simple therapy, which empowers the patient to take responsibility for themselves and practice the technique whenever they need to. Following that I also studied Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET), which I incorporate in nearly all my cases (I can’t recommend this highly enough) and Jaffe Mellor Technique (JMT).”

To keep up to date with the times and reinforce her knowledge, Liz continuously strives to learn and attends many CNM workshops and seminars. She now works in two different clinics, The Vitality Centre and Results Health and Fitness , both situated in Southwest London. Liz says, “Studying at the CNM taught me so much about the body and therapies and I have made so many good friends… it is one of the best things I have ever done in my life”.

CNM Graduate - RM

“I can only speak of my own personal experience. I was offered several positions as soon as I graduated from CNM London and am currently specialising in nutritional support with the chronically sick, in addition to general practice. I have just spent a week in Somerset with complementary therapists from several different fields, and from the conversations we’ve had the CNM was well-known and regarded most highly by everyone. At one point we discussed other nutrition courses, and the reports were not good.”

“CNM may not be the least expensive college - but in order to maximise your potential earnings in the future you need a good and well-recognised training course. In my opinion the CNM is both.”

CNM Graduate - Catherine Nash

Catherine NashCatherine Nash sat in a traffic jam as she rushed between work appointments - and burst into tears. As a computer consultant she had a fantastic job and salary, but she’d never felt so depressed in her life.

“I’d spent my twenties striving to get my career going. But as I started to become successful, I realised I just wasn’t happy,” says 32-year-old Catherine, from Kent. “I’d spend long hours driving all over the country for work and I was stressed constantly. I couldn’t spend time with my friends and family.”

But as well as raising her stress levels, Catherine’s job was also adding to her health problems. Before her career took off she’d always tried to be healthy and to exercise, but there was no chance for that now. “My lifestyle had become so unhealthy - I’d eat at motorway service stations and I didn’t have time for exercise,” she says.

“I’d always suffered with really bad period pain that felt like someone was sticking knives into my stomach. At 29 I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis - this meant tissue that usually lined my womb was stuck to organs in my abdomen. I had it on my bowel and - worse still - my Fallopian tubes. This meant my fertility had been reduced by 50 per cent.”

Although worried, Catherine was hopeful that something could be done for her. But despite attempts to ‘burn off’ the endometriosis with a laser, nothing seemed to work. “The laser treatment helped for a while, but soon it was back to the same painful nightmare,” she recalls. “I’d really lost faith in conventional medicine, as it took 10 years of agony before my endometriosis was discovered. So I looked into natural cures and decided to try colonic irrigation. I’d read lots about this and thought it might help me. You have a tube inserted into the anus and water flushes out the large intestine. The first time I had it done it felt very strange and slightly uncomfortable, but there was no pain and my stomach felt less bloated afterwards. As well as this I started taking herbal supplements and changed my diet - cutting out wheat, dairy products, meat, and reducing my sugar intake.”

Catherine was amazed by the results. She continued to follow this routine, and then tried a three-day cleansing programme - her next period was pain-free.

“I felt like I’d been given a new lease of life - but I was still depressed about my career,” explains Catherine. My own experience with natural medicine had fascinated me and the idea of learning how to heal people naturally really appealed to me.”

“I knew that I would love to train as a naturopath, but I was terrified of leaving my job. I’d have to take a huge cut in salary and was worried about people’s reactions. It took weeks of deliberation before I made my mind up - but I finally resigned by e-mail. As I pushed the ’send’ button I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders.”

Catherine is now training as a naturopath - which includes homeopathy, acupuncture and herbal medicine - and is hoping to set up her own practice specialising in treating women’s, and colonic irrigation. She now finds her life a lot less stressful. “I feel 100 percent better and don’t regret my decision for a second,” she says. “At first my family and friends thought I was mad, but they all came round when they could see how happy and healthy I am.”

Psychotherapist Gael Lindenfield believes that being stuck in a rut can be bad for your health as well as your mental wellbeing. “If your lifestyle is making you stressed or depressed, your immune system becomes weakened so you’re more likely to get colds and headaches, and you take longer to get over illness. You also become susceptible to stress-related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.”

But the good news is that anyone can change their life for the better if they want to.

“Every woman should have the life they want - whether it’s a new career, getting out of a bad relationship, or taking control of your health,” says Gael. “Saying ‘I can’t change because of X, Y, and Z’ is an excuse. If you want something badly enough there’s always a way.”

“New Year is the perfect time to change your life - it symbolises a new start. So grab the opportunity and start the year as you mean to go on.

- Jodie Owen, Goodlife Magazine

Catherine has since graduated from the CNM and runs her successful business, Thyme to Heal.

CNM Graduate - Lia deLancey

Lia deLanceyOne of the qualities that makes the CNM so unique is the ongoing support that it offers to its students and graduates. Read CNM Graduate Lia de Lancey’s amazing account of her travels to Costa Rica.

By my final year of Naturopathic Nutrition with CNM, I started to hear the word ‘internship’ all around me. I don’t think I really knew what it meant at that stage. All I had was a vague image of student doctors subjected to menial tasks and drudgery! It wasn’t an idea that seemed particularly desirable, yet several of my respected lecturers had ‘done their time’, so I began to wonder if I should look into it further. Little did I know the opportunity that lay in wait for me.

Around that time, a close friend and long term raw vegan attended the Fresh Festival in England, and returned full of enthusiasm after meeting a particular raw food leader. She had been disappointed by the most renowned raw gurus, with their technical language, flashy presentations and non-stop marketing. Then, at the end of the day, came a sharp contrast. A down-to-earth guy talking common sense and no endless product range. It turned out to be Dr Doug Graham, former CNM lecturer. My friend started telling me about his internship program, six weeks at a fasting retreat in Costa Rica. Before I knew it, I found myself encouraging her to seize this fantastic opportunity, while inside feelings of jealousy began to arise. When she asked me to go too, I immediately dismissed the idea as silly - I had commitments… job, rent, college fees…I couldn’t just disappear for six weeks! Nevertheless, a couple of months later, thanks to Hermann Keppler and Avril Ivory’s goodwill in allowing me leave from work, I found myself on the way to Costa Rica!

It turned out that my friend couldn’t come, so as I sat alone on the plane, going to a new country to spend six weeks with a bunch of complete strangers, I wondered what exactly lay ahead. I hadn’t even had a chance to find out much about Dr Graham, but as I read the information I had downloaded from his website, I got interested. 27 year raw fooder, lifelong athlete, chiropractor, personal trainer, owner of a fasting retreat for ten years, on the board of the International Association of Professional Natural Hygienists, raw food advisor on, former teacher with the Hippocrates Institute, the list goes on! I was fascinated and even though we had been briefed via email, I still wasn’t really sure what to expect.

I arrived in San Jose airport to Carina’s smiling face. She found Dr Graham’s program last year and it transformed her health. Together with a select few others, we would be the interns taking care of ten ordinary people who had chosen to take on an extraordinary experience – a thirty day water fast. One by one we met the fasters at the airport and escorted them to the hotel. The following day we set off to our destination. The long bus ride up to the cloud forest that would be our home for the next six weeks was a treat – a chance to get to know the deep thinkers who would be my companions on this journey.

Our destination turned out to be a beautiful private resort secreted away in the mountains with dramatic rainforest views all around. There was lush green as far as the eye could see and not a manmade sound to be heard. We quickly settled in to our new routine.

Mornings started early with visits to the fasters, offering moral support, companionship and a friendly ear. As interns, we monitored the patients daily, checking a range of vital signs; weight, pulse, blood pressure, urinary frequency, face and tongue colour and mental clarity. We offered physical support, an arm to lean on and fetching and carrying.

Afternoons were communal time for fasters and interns alike – Dr Graham gave up to 3 hours of lectures daily on the topics of health and fitness, fasting, nutrition, natural hygiene, exercise, raw foods, the importance of sunlight, fresh air and clean water. We also spent time reading stories, poems and exchanging experiences. This was followed by instruction and practice in raw food preparation for dinner.

The first two weeks went smoothly and I was amazed at how easy the fasters were finding the experience. By week three emotions were coming to the surface and our moral support became more important. The first few broke their fasts at the end of the third week, and then our work as interns really began. The refeeding process is more important than the fast itself, and at this stage we were under strict guidelines as to how to cater for those beginning to eat. As more and more broke their fasts our duties turned from emotional support to dietary support in the form of food preparation. We also had great fun in daily exercise classes with Dr Graham to help the fasters regain their strength.

By the time we left we had formed close bonds and found new friends. Fasters and interns alike had shared an amazing experience on their personal journeys to health. Having daily access to a highly experienced health professional and truth seeker like Dr Graham challenged our concepts of health and encouraged us to explore new areas.

As an intern this program was an excellent introduction to hygienic fasting, raw foods and the whole area of health and fitness, including; what to expect during a fast; the importance of rest; how to create a safe environment for fasting; overcoming emotional issues on a fast; basic principles of refeeding and rebuilding the body; introduction to the Hygienic system; the laws of Nature; healing the body through natural methods; toxicity; disease states; a new concept of healthcare; the importance of exercise; raw food preparation.

On a personal level, this was my first ever introduction to raw and I couldn’t have found a more perfect environment to make the transition - in beautiful Costa Rica, with easy access to the freshest tropical organic produce. Within days I started to see stubborn health problems resolving. Overall an incredibly rewarding and highly recommended experience.

CNM Graduate - V.K.

Dear Mr. Keppler,

Thank you very much for remembering me. I know how busy you must be, but you still find some time for an individual at the college.

As I used to study at a similar college before I must admit that the quality and organisation of the courses at your college is absolutely fantastic.

I am delighted that you employ famous medical names, lecturers and practitioners. They are not only excellent practitioners themselves, but most human and supportive. Together with my previous knowledge and this course I already feel absolutely confident as a practitioner. I’d like to give thanks to all the staff for their kindness and support; especially you, Mr Berger and Mr Kippax.

I wish you and all at the CNM a very nice summer.

V.K., Acupuncture Student (CNM London)