Dr. Nicole Paquin
Everyone has their own “aha!” moments in life and Nicole feels very fortunate to have had one of hers happen in Biology class at The Naturopathic Institute. She knew she wanted to do something with health and helping people, but only knew the options of conventional arenas such as physical/occupation therapy, counseling/psychology, medical doctor etc. In the late 80’s and 90’s it seemed natural health was still on the fringe, well at least in Nicole’s world it was. She didn’t grow up with natural health and can now laugh (since thankfully she has ways to counter the negative affects 🙂 when she remembers her parents switching from whole milk to 2% to skim and butter got replaced with margarine for “health” reasons. Looking back at what was done to the public and thus many Americans in the name of “health” has helped shape how Nicole relates to her own family, clients, and students. Nicole too had to start from “ground zero” on her journey into naturopathy.
She completed her BA from Western Michigan University with a major in psychology and a focus on sociology. Life was in a bit of limbo and she then seemed to flounder from there. However, hindsight is 20/20 and Nicole can now see that she was exactly where she was supposed to be – working in an automotive sales position with her mother as her boss no less. Being here led her to meeting three very influential people in her life. First, she met her wonderful husband of 24 years and he was instrumental in helping her take the leap into the naturopathic world. She also met a wonderful woman who mentored and started opening up her eyes to the many wonderful ways of nature. Nicole remembers so vividly how her mentor friend excitedly told her she met someone who Nicole “had to meet and study with”. Nicole called to speak to this woman and found out that “classes are offered once a year and she was just in time to start the next rotation”. This woman was very professional and passionate about Nicole starting the classes (can you guess who this passionate woman was?… Dr. Baker, the owner and founder of the Institute). This is where Nicole’s husband was so instrumental in the journey – you see Nicole was a ‘think things through’ (those were pre-parenting days!) kind of woman not the ‘spur of the moment’ woman she is now. She made that call on a Monday and the class was that weekend and she didn’t know much about the school or much of anything about natural health or where she would stay and and and….and her husband said “just jump into it and see what happens”. So, she did and oh what a wonderful, exciting, mind blowing, self-changing, life changing journey it has been! Thankfully, her husband is glad for giving that advice and encouragement even after all these years 🙂
So off Nicole went into the unknown world of naturopathy. She got to put a face to that professional and passionate woman who encouraged her to come to classes and met the wonderful Dr. Bessheen Baker. Looking back, Nicole remembers being more than a little surprised to find out the founder of the Institute, the Director of Education AND the go to person behind this amazing organization was a beautiful, inspirational, soon to be mother of two young women. Dr. Baker was and continues to be a great inspiration in Nicole’s life. She is forever grateful for Bessheen’s courage, tenacity and vision to have found such an incredible educational facility.
Nicole’s “aha” moment came when biology was taught from a naturopathic perspective. Now this made sense to her. She had taken biology and other science classes before, but none came close to organizing and putting the pieces together like this. The human body, biological functions, the chemistry of things all viewed from a naturopathic mode made light bulbs come on and it was off to the races. You know when you have the feeling that “there has to be more than this?” Well naturopathy was Nicole’s more. She remembers one of her classmates saying when you come to class you think you are opening a door to a room but you are really opening a door to another universe. That is exactly how she felt, this was a whole new universe for Nicole. All the modalities of naturopathy left her with a sense of peace and thankfulness that is hard to describe.
Nicole soaked up the schooling at the Institute and feverishly started reading and researching natural health topics. So many modalities and so many rabbit holes to explore! She gladly and gratefully incorporated naturopathy into her life in every possible way. It was such a blessing to Nicole and (mostly) to her family to have this new avenue to support all levels of health with life’s ups and downs, illnesses, stresses, and joys. Nicole has grown so much (thanks again to naturopathy :), that looking back she realizes she may have been a little over zealous in her ways and is very grateful to her husband, parents, family and friends for rolling with the changes and supporting her during this time! Naturopathy was so new to Nicole (we know naturopathy is the oldest and best form of healing but at that point to Nicole it was new 🙂 and she just wanted to share with everyone – whether they wanted it or not :). Fortunately, teaching became one of her passions and that has helped keep her focused. The students at the Institute are so inspiring and it is a great pleasure to be one of the instructors at NITE.
Life has taken some unexpected and windy roads – Nicole and her family have lived in many places in Michigan, Mexico, Tennessee, and South Carolina but through all that the Institute has remained a permanent fixture in her life both as a student and instructor. Compassion in today’s world is so important as is the ability to help others find solutions to their own unique individual needs. Naturopathy is one of the greatest tools someone can have for both their own wellbeing and in helping others establish theirs. An understanding of the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God is vital to all human beings and naturopathy is a wonderful way to understand this essential component. Nicole is so grateful that her path has led her on this amazing journey and it is with great honor that she share it with all those at the Naturopathic Institute of Therapies and Education.