Bec Winkler, Naturopath

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10 years ago, I was a very green, nervous new graduate of naturopathy on the Melbourne streets of Fitzroy, with a million ideas and no idea where on earth to start. Excited but somewhat battle weary after my 4 year degree in Naturopathy, it was finally time to live my dream of being an actual, real life naturopath!

In my final year of study, I began working in pharmacy just to make ends meet. What I didn’t expect was to love it! The next 3 years began by jumping straight into the deep end of the pool, learning products, consulting, and immersing myself in the fast paced world of acute medicine. I managed a wellness clinic inside a huge, busy Camberwell pharmacy with a Medical clinic, 9 GP’s strong. It is here that I began to learn the fine art of communicating, liaising with and referring with medical practitioners. This environment also exposed me to the big wide world of mIMG_0216medication, over the counter and prescription. This exposure allowed me to work alongside patient’s medications safely and confidently, and I continue to do so until this day.

The lure of love brought me back to my home turf down on the surf coast! After 3 wonderful years it was time for a new challenge.

I then spent the next 6 years busily running private practise within 2 of the most renowned Geelong Natural Medicine Clinics, one in particular focussing solely on fertility and IVF support. This was a wonderful, beautiful and inspiring environment to work and only fuelled my passion further. More recently, I studied for my biggest and hardest degree, motherhood! I have 2 beautiful boys, Sterling and Murphy, born in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Those beauties are a whole other chapter. Since 2012 I have also taken a role at The School of Medicine at Deakin University Waurn Ponds. This position is essentially facilitation of 1st and 2nd year medicine tutorials, undertaking blocks in Cardio-respiratory, human biology, gastro-renal, endocrine and life cycle, brain and behaviour and musculo-skeletal. It is a privilege to be part of the Medical faculty and an amazing experience dipping my toes into the medical world. Although at times I’m sure I am going to bite my tongue right off mid tute, the experience has been invaluable, even managing to win over a few medicos with my naturopathic knowledge along the way.

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My beautiful family. My 2 boys Sterling and Murphy and my amazing husband Matt x

My own reproductive struggles and eventual success was the sole reason I found myself stumbling into the big, scary world of fertility. It was the 1 area of natural medicine that particularly interested me, and drove me to study further and research, read and learn as much as I could about the important role a Naturopath can play in preconception care, fertility and reproductive medicine. Ultimately, the field of reproductive medicine is a rewarding, inspiring and fulfilling specialty, however one that inevitably comes with its share of difficulty and emotionality. In 2012 I took part in an inaugural Fertility Master-class in Sydney run by world renowned naturopaths Leah Hectman and Angela Hyewood. This was the icing atop my hormone cake!

Although much of my practise is devoted to assisting couples to conceive either naturally, or as an adjunctive therapy to assisted IVF techniques, I also adore treating babies and children from newborn and beyond. I also love the variety that being a general practitioner in a natural sense brings. Diversity, challenges and variety.

In addition to helping couples and singles navigate the fertility world, a huge and growing portion of my clinic is devoted to helping patients improve their gut health to optimise their overall general health.  I completed my GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) training in 2015 and have integrated the amazing principles into many families struggling with digestive issues, autoimmune disease, mood and behavioural disorders and general health.

A very wise Naturopath once said, “When in doubt, treat the gut”. This rings true for many.

You could say my style of practise is a fusion of east and west! My roots are firmly on naturopathic terra firma, however, I like the diagnostic aspect that orthodox medicine brings. I like to have solid direction and know that I am barking up the right tree. I find purpose in identifying problems medically then utilising all of my wonderful tools from nature’s apothecary including herbal constituents, nutritional medicines and of course, nature’s pantry, FOOD! There’s no use having a fancy roof if your foundation is wonky. Food is the foundation to all good long term health outcomes. Despite having medical parameters and test results to light my way, I firmly believe in treating the person, not the condition.

No 2 people with the same condition are alike, and thus, a treatment protocol should reflect the patient’s individuality, genetic predisposition, medical and family history and one’s diet, exercise and environmental exposure. It is this combination of factors that ultimately determines your health and either its abundance or lack thereof.

SO whether you are seeking help and assistance reproductively or something completely unrelated my door and my ears are open.

 

 

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