Meet Marissa Castello, a personal wellness coach, mother, former boutique owner and self-described "learning machine," who started her studies in Bastyr's Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program during summer quarter 2011. Although Castello has been on campus for just a short while, she has plenty of thoughts into what future students can expect.
I love the environment. I love the herb gardens. I love the healthy food in the dining commons — it's like brain food. I love that there are so many like-minded people, yet with such diverse backgrounds — Peace Corps volunteers, ethnobotanists, people from Africa and Puerto Rico and all over the place. You make friends immediately and hang out outside of class quite frequently. It's wonderful to make these connections so fast.
I have a hunger for knowledge. My husband teases me because there are always five different books at my bedside, and I'm reading all of them at once. It's just a real zest for learning and for life. I love that, in my first classes here, I'm delving into the scientific side of the body. But there's also this other side of spiritually oriented learning, plant medicine and different traditions. There are different ways to balance the rigorous science part.
I initially studied biology in college, but I didn't see myself as an MD, which is what the advisors told me was the main route from there. So I switched to business and owned a boutique for young women. Then I discovered a macrobiotic culinary school in Austin, Texas, and studied nutrition pretty extensively for four years. Later I was working the front desk of a chiropractor's office, basically a dead-end job, and a colleague told me about naturopathic medicine.
I think we discover our life in steps, further and further, and I knew that becoming a naturopathic doctor was the next step for me.
I'm looking forward to getting to know the rest of our class. I think there are about 100 more people, which is huge. And just connecting with like-minded people and forming relationships. These are going to be lifelong professional colleagues.
When I was meeting everyone at the beginning of summer quarter, I remember saying a lot of, "Wow, you were a nurse for four years," "You have a biology or psychology background," "You have this and that." It's kind of intimidating.
Then I realized that most naturopaths have to be small-business owners, too. And my background is going to serve me really well. I can learn about biology and the body and pathologies and all these things — and I have a head start on the business part. So I know I can do this.
Are you struggling to eat organic because the price tag leaves a big hole in your wallet? Fortunately, some fruits and vegetables contain less pesticide than others. Save your money next time you are out grocery shopping by going conventional on these 8 foods.
Some of the best and simplest ways to stave off male reproductive dysfunction involve everyday diet and lifestyle habits.
There are ways to help treat IBS using safe, natural products, and life-style intervention.
ND student Erin Arney co-authored a textbook, Eliminating Race-Based Mental Health Disparities.
In this Q&A, faculty member Debrah Harding, ND, FABNO discusses the strength of integrative oncology, the latest trends in naturopathic medicine for breast cancer patients, and how naturopathic medicine can be incorporated into breast cancer treatment.
Bastyr University California MSN student talks about five ways to start practicing intuitive eating