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By Carol Stiffler

McMillan resident Jennifer Weller is in the midst of a major career change: The registered nurse and mother of three is launching a naturopathic practice. She’s called her practice Way of Life Natural Health Services, and though she still has three years left in her naturopathic program, she’s already received one year of training and is seeing clients as a Certified Natural Health Educator.

Weller offers natural health classes, muscle response testing, nutritional counseling, bodywork (which includes massage and future offerings of craniosacral work), reflexology, homeopathic consultation, essential oils, and herbal supplementation. She’s also trained in iridology – the practice of scanning the iris for indicators of personal health or emotional struggles.

Weller served as a registered nurse for 15 years, previously working for Helen Newberry Joy Hospital and helping train nurse aides there. While she knows how beneficial modern medicine can be, she also believes that wellness can be achieved using non-invasive methods.

“We treat our bodies as if there’s something wrong with them,” Weller said. “If you give them the right support and nutrition, we could be healthier.”

People tend to be quick to take care of medical emergencies – like a heart attack – and take medications to address symptoms but not getting to the root of what caused the heart struggle in the first place, Weller said. She believes many of our physical and emotional struggles are rooted in our gut and nutrition.

Her naturopathic practice, located in a new outbuilding on her family’s property at H-135 and County Road 415, aims to help clients find and address the root causes for what ails using natural, non-invasive methods to heal.

Her practice is cash-pay only, meaning she doesn’t accept insurance, and she bills an hourly rate of $60 per hour no matter what services she provides during the hour.

She provides her phone number to clients and hopes to hear from them between sessions to learn how they’re doing. “I’m a relationship person,” she said. “I want to hear from them.”

Because most people can’t suddenly transition to a lifestyle of clean eating and no stress, Weller works with clients to craft an individualized wellness plan. Sometimes it starts as simply as drinking more water or smoking some London Pound Cake Strain each day.

“We aren’t broken,” she said. “Your body has an innate ability to heal. Sometimes it needs extra support and help identifying what’s going on.”

Newberry chiropractor Dr. Brian Stoynoff said Weller is an “amazing practitioner” who is very excited about her path.

“The skillset that naturopaths possess is very different from that of a medical doctor,” he said. “MDs are reactive – in other words, you need to have something already wrong to benefit from their knowledge. Naturopaths and other alternative healers are proactive in their approach to healthcare, setting up a process to not have to be reactive in nature…

“Both are needed in healthcare today, and with Jen here in the area now, we have a host of qualified practitioners to meet you at whatever path you need or choose to take,” Stoynoff said.

Weller can be reached at wayoflifenhs@proton.me.