Why I became a Naturopathic Doctor
Holly Lucille, ND, RN
I grew up in the Midwest, the daughter of two pharmacists, and was very well versed in the Western medical approach: “You don’t feel well? Here, take this pill.” Even at a very young age I was troubled by this approach to health and always wanted to know more and as well, “WHY?” I would ask question after question hoping things would make more sense to me. Is there anything I could eat that would help? Is there anything more natural? What will this do to me? Are there any side effects?
I think I literally drove my parents crazy, leading them to hypothesize they had taken the wrong baby home from the hospital. However, my ability to question and my desire to know more did not stop there. My professional journey began more than two decades ago when I decided to become a bachelor degreed nurse because I simply wanted to help people. The inspiration came during a class for volunteers at a local hospital. In that class I learned that when people become ill or needed to be hospitalized, they give up some of their personal rights, rights such as the right to privacy, the right to choose, and the right to be informed and understand all of what was going on.
Incensed, I thought, “I have to get into this system and help.” But becoming a nurse didn’t subdue the query of a reductionist approach or my desire to help. Soon, I was disillusioned with the simple directive of carrying out doctors’ orders. I continued to yearn for more rationale behind some of the decisions being made and craved a more active and effective role in caring for people. In my quest to find a satisfying place for myself in healthcare, I joined the American Holistic Nursing Association.
Completing a post-graduate program in holistic nursing provided me with an environment in which I was guided by instruction and a philosophy that supported and treated people, not just their diagnoses, symptoms, or lab tests. This felt perfect! After seven years in nursing, becoming a Naturopathic Doctor seemed like the next natural step. My father, being in the pharmaceutical industry told me repeatedly that he could help get me into any conventional medical school I wanted, but I didn’t want it. Yes, I wanted to practice medicine and have the education to do so, however I also wanted to treat the whole person, look at root causes of a clinical condition, use my education and experience to teach and empower patients, respect the healing power of nature, practice prevention and use the least invasive methods to diagnose and treat. Those ideologies made sense to me if people were really going to get well. I ended up calling what I do as an ND “comprehensive, common-sense medicine”.
Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN, is a nationally recognized and licensed naturopathic doctor, educator, natural products consultant, and television and radio host. She is also the author of several books including Creating and Maintaining Balance: A Women’s Guide to Safe, Natural, Hormone Health and The Healing Power of Trauma Comfrey.
An acclaimed expert in the field of integrative medicine, Dr. Lucille lectures on a variety of natural health topics. Her appearances include national media programs and networks such as Dr. Oz and The Doctors. She is regularly quoted in both consumer and peer journals, and was listed in Time magazine’s “Alt List” as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People.” In 2012 she launched her own talk show, “Myth-Defying with Dr. Holly and is now the host of the podcast “Mindful Medicine” on RadioMD and ITunes as well as the chair of the Institute for Natural Medicine.
Dr. Lucille believes in the science, art and mystery of healing and has a heartfelt passion for the individual wellness of all people. Her private practice in Los Angeles, focuses on comprehensive naturopathic medicine and individualized care