Up Close and Personal with Local Businesses

Up Close and Personal with Local Businesses

I would like for you to get to know each of the amazing local businesses that are currently involved with the Healthy Waterloo Region.

Dear Readers,

In the next few posts, I would like for you to get to know each of the amazing local businesses that are currently involved with the Healthy Waterloo Region. Whether they provide an important service or whether they aim to inspire, uplift and motivate, they have a common goal -your wellbeing. Wouldn’t you like to know why they chose their current career paths? These talented and compassionate people are more than just a business. They have a story. Below is another in a series of biographies on each of these businesses. I’m a huge advocate for supporting our local businesses. Will you join me in supporting them too?

Warmest Regards,



Most people in their early forties just buy a sports car to appease themselves. I went back to school. At 45 years of age, a quick assessment of my life had left unanswered questions and I felt naturopathic medicine was a good place to get answers.

With two science degrees already under my belt and another 15 years of experience in pharmaceutical research and big pharma new business development, some say I was courageous to start yet another four years of post-secondary education in naturopathic medicine. My peers in the drug industry were shocked that I would consider such an “about change” and wondered out loud if they correctly understood what exactly naturopathy was. After all, with a solid background in the medical sciences

there must be something more tantalizing than just learning about vitamins and mineral supplements. They were right. There is so much more.

I was lucky in finding my passion for naturopathic medicine. Maybe it was just a matter of time as my comfort zone has always included relating to others quickly and problem solving. The human spirit is so vital yet so vulnerable. This job is perfect if you marvel at the subtle ways life events can alter one’s paradigms – and ultimately health. You have to look at the whole picture, the whole person. Like sniffing a good cognac, you have to be open and not only diagnose the physical complaints but also

understand how they originated because everyone is unique. In finding the root cause, you can really heal the person and maybe even break the chain of chronic prescription drugs or supplements.

And this is where it gets exciting because if you understand another person’s wholeness inclusive of their emotional outlook, their genetics, their physical body, their day to day environment – only then do you begin to see why they are presenting the way they are. This is what I do every day – and helping others to clearly see “their tapestry” or the common threads entwined through their emotional and physical body is invigorating. Finding solutions that make sense as to the how and why one presents with specific imbalances.

One thing about being a naturopathic physician, it teaches you to take care of yourself. Not just physical health and nutrition but to be conscious of your emotional health. To take time to practice your passions – what really excites your spirit; to feed your “soul” or what naturopaths call your healing spirit. Too many times, I listen to patients who give and give 24 hours a day to others – leaving nothing for themselves! Ironically, they wonder why their emotions are flat, why their body is plagued with chronic inflammation from poor lifestyle choices. Take a little time for you and your soul – besides having a healthier body, it means you will also have a higher quality of life.

Personally, besides interacting with my patients, I also enjoy fresh cut flowers, reading on my veranda with either a morning coffee or a chilled glass of white wine. I love working out, I really love to dance and I actually enjoy talking to audiences! I walk to my clinic everyday taking in nature along the way. I always avoid the busy intersections as this does nothing to embrace my passions. Walking to work, is my way to find 15 minutes each way to enjoy just me - to fill my own cup so that I may give back the next day.

I love to learn new things and the best part is learning from my patients. Everyone can teach me something and if I can help people maximize their health in return then it is a good partnership. I definitely don’t have all the answers. My patients figure themselves out – my job is the medicine but the solutions aren’t found without incorporating patient insights on themselves. In fact, these treatment plans are the most successful.

I am so lucky I made the switch back in 2005. Never looked back.

Susan graduated with honours from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto receiving the Governor’s Award in Academic Excellence. Her decision to study naturopathic medicine in 2005 followed a fifteen year career in pharmaceuticals research and development. Prior to her education at CCNM, Susan obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Waterloo (1982) and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Pharmacology from the University of Toronto in 1985.

Susan presently works with her daughter, Dr. Victoria Strickler ND at Mahaya Cambridge Naturopathic Clinic in historic Galt.