Student J Wagner

Growing up in Austria, I was surrounded by herbs and, more importantly, people who knew how to use them. We never saw a doctor except for compulsory school check-ups; instead, we were treated naturally – with herbs, items from the kitchen and the occasional use of homoeopathy.

That’s very much how I have been raising my three children for the past 20 years. We’ve seen everything from scarlet fever and chicken pox to whooping cough and impetigo… even the swine flu. We lived in London for 12 years and it was there I was asked to conduct workshops for mothers on how to treat children simply and naturally when everybody around them was popping antibiotics like they were M&Ms. I loved the enthusiasm parents showed for the likes of the “onion sock,” the “curd wrap” (around the chest, not for lunch!) and the “sea salt and eucalyptus tipi” – much more fun than Paracetamol!

So I decided to leave my days in advertising behind and formalise my education in alternative medicine. After reading Biomedicine at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London, I did a diploma in Naturopathy and the Professional Diploma in Ear Acupuncture. I had a small, but successful mobile practice which focused on pregnancy, childbirth and children and continued teaching people to overcome minor ailments “despite their doctor.”

In 2010, we relocated to Singapore and I had to look elsewhere to continue my education. I enrolled in the East West course in January 2011 and am planning to graduate next May with the most amazing bunch of fellow students!

After that I plan to continue my work with women and children. I am hoping to train as a doula and apply my knowledge of herbs and acupuncture that way. As we like living in and experiencing other cultures and will continue our Nomadic lifestyle, I am faced with varying degrees of acceptance of the practice of alternative medicine. I will have to be very creative about how I apply my knowledge and passion!

My other passion in life is food. I share the recipes I concoct in my own kitchen on and have been a contributing writer for cookbooks or magazines like National Geographic around the world.


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