Spotlight on Alumni…Joan Prentice

Joan Prentice graduated from Delta College with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing and went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.  She says that her life dream was to help others live a healthy lifestyle.  However, she found that nursing was not the way for her to live her dream.  As a nurse, she saw the focus of healthcare change from prevention to concern for the bottom dollar.  Her opportunities at the bedside of patients for teaching steadily declined, and she spent the last 20 years of her nursing career in management on Medical/Surgical, Surgical and Infection Prevention.  (She shares that this was her training for having her own business.)“He got my attention!”Joan’s interest in natural health began in the early 1990’s when her family began seeing a chiropractor who used muscle   response testing and nutritional supplements to address health concerns.  As a  result of visiting this chiropractor, her youngest daughter’s recurrent ear infections completely resolved.  Then, Joan, herself, had success when she experienced relief from severe PMS.  While visiting the chiropractor, they would watch natural health videos that were   playing in his office.  Joan says, “He got my attention!”  Having since passed, Joan relays that she truly misses him.However, from that point on, Joan read and watched as much material as she could  relating to natural health and became a Light Healing Touch Practitioner and a Reiki Master/Teacher.  One day, while waiting to see her new chiropractor, she was reading the Natural Awakenings magazine and found the advertisement for the Naturopathic Institute of Therapies and Education.  On her way home from a nursing conference, she stopped, on a whim, to visit the school.  Joan says she felt welcomed even though she had stopped in without an appointment.  Her search was over.  After reviewing the program and  considering her learning style, she felt like she was where she should be.Joan graduated from NITE as a Certified Naturopath and Board Certified               Naturopathic Doctor in 2010.  By then, she had already started her own business seeing   clients, and her goal was to reach Manager level with Nature’s Sunshine by the time of graduation so that she could move the   business out of her home.Successfully reaching her goal, Joan opened an office in Alpena.  She says that in the beginning, she saw a need to carry certain items that she liked to recommend that weren’t available in the area.Slowly, her store grew from carrying Black Cherry Juice Concentrate and Organic Pineapple Juice to full shelves of Nature’s Sunshine products, Bach and North American Flower Essences, Homeopathics, Cell Salts, Young Living Essential Oils, Organic Maple Syrup, and her own Raw Honey, Sprouting Seeds, and more.Joan currently sees clients three days a week and works her retail store during her lunches and all day on Friday.  She feels blessed to have six clients that have been with her from the beginning of her natural health training that started in 2006.Following graduation, Joan asked herself, “Okay, now what area am I to focus on?”  In her practice, she works with diet changes,  essential oils, flower essences, herbs, multiple forms of energy work, and looks at the emotional side of health. Her client’s issues have included the loss of a significant other or spouse from death or divorce, addictions, stress and anxiety, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress, and depression. Joan finds it ironic that most dis-ease is based on unresolved or suppressed emotions and the food we consume, because it takes her back to her original goal when she became a nurse: prevention.When asked how her life had changed by becoming a naturopath, Joan’s response was “how had it not changed?”  She feels her life has forever changed emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  She says that she came into the first year program carrying the weight of world, emotionally broken, and afraid of her ability to succeed.  She has “learned it’s okay to have duality in feelings, to speak up for myself and accept myself and others for who and where they are.  I have a wealth of  knowledge from my life experiences to share with those ready to learn.”  Joan welcomes current and future students to the world of natural health:  “Your life will be forever changed, maybe not in the same ways as mine, but changed nonetheless.  God bless and keep each of you.”Joan L. Prentice, RN, ND, CMT, Reiki Master/TeacherHealth Connection 200 E. Chisholm St. Alpena, MI  49744www.healthconnection1.com dr.joan@healthconnection1.com dr.joan@healthconnection1.com