An Interview with Dr. Jen Newell, ND, Natural Skin Doctor
- How did you get into your current career/what made you decide to pursue this career?
A: I fell into Naturopathic Medicine. During my undergrad I became really sick and saw a number of doctors that couldn’t fully figure out what was going on. Finally I saw a Naturopath who had the sense to test me for celiac disease. This test came back positive and my life changed quite literally overnight. Within a few days of properly eliminating gluten from my diet I began to feel like myself again. Even though my health was transformed, I didn’t consider a possible career as a Naturopath at that time. When I graduated and was trying to figure out what to do with my life, my boyfriend at the time had a brochure for acupuncture school that caught my eye and then next thing I knew I was googling careers in holistic medicine and had booked a visit to the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine during one of their open houses. I attended the open house with my mom and about 10 minutes into being at the school, she looked at me and said “this is what you are supposed to do”. I am pretty sure the career picked me rather than the other way around.
- Do you have a special focus/specialization in your practice? Is there a reason why you have this focus in your practice?
A: I have a special focus in holistic dermatology, digestion and hormones in my clinical practice. I focus on these because I have suffered with issues related to these concerns and don’t want anyone to have to go through the same thing without proper support. Interestingly enough, all three are very interconnected and a concern in one often reveals imbalances or sub-optimal functioning of the others. My passion is dermatology because I believe that feeling good about yourself (including how you look) is critical for good health.
- What is your #1 health tip?
A: It sounds so simple but it’s “Have fun!”. Play, fun and laughter are all important to health both physical and psychological. With most health concerns stemming from various types of stress, play is more important than ever for the prevention of disease. In our hectic, modern lives, many of us focus so heavily on work and family commitments that we never seem to have time for pure fun. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we’ve stopped playing. When we do carve out some leisure time, we’re more likely to zone out in front of the TV or computer than engage in fun, rejuvenating play like we did as children. But just because we’re adults, that doesn’t mean we have to take ourselves so seriously and make life all about work. We all need to play.
- What is your favourite thing about your practice?
A: I often tell people that I am so privileged to be able to do what I do every day and to get paid to do it. My favourite thing about my practice is the people I get to meet, inspire and motivate. My patients are really amazing people and helping them live their life to the fullest is really a humbling experience.
- What do you like to do for fun (any hobbies, activities etc.)? Why do you enjoy these things?
A: Fun is my favourite!!! I love arts and crafts that involve glitter, stand up paddle boarding, traveling, working out, spending time with friends over good wine and food, and getting outside with my dog, Edison.
- What do you value most in your life? Why?
A: I value the people in my life (and Edison) because I have an amazing support network full of people who lift me up and make me want to achieve more. My family, friends and colleagues are an amazing group of individuals who are eager to join in the fun and help keep me from taking myself too seriously.
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
A: Somewhere warm and sunny near the water! I live for the sunshine and its reflection off the water. I was in Hawaii last year for work and completely fell in love….so I think I could definitely live the life I want in Hawaii. I also want the type of lifestyle where I don’t have to wear socks and where I can swim and surf when I am not working.