My lifelong love of nature studies plus a passion for learning and using natural health practices has led here. Like many, I was drawn to the environmental, self-reliance, and health movements during the 60’s and 70’s. Being from a community that had one of the first health food stores in the country, a co-op bulk food store, and a now famous herbal tea entrepreneur in the making, I was exposed at an early age to the interest in living a health-promoting lifestyle. Later, I found the advise of hometown Hanna Kroeger to be the most effective, simple, and gentle care when my precious newborn daughter’s sickness didn’t improve with the pharmaceutical syrup prescribed by our well-meaning physician. I bought my first herbal and started to apply what I was learning. Self-directed study gave me much satisfaction and practical use for many years and eventually prompted me to enroll in a natural health college for direction and advanced study. After three years of naturopathy studies, I transferred to the American College of Healthcare Sciences where I received Certification in Wellness Consulting. I continue to study natural healing arts, as well as current research and health issues. As a member of the National Center for Homeopathy I participate in the local study group and ongoing educational opportunities. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Zoology (cum laude) from Ohio University and my commitment to the environment and conservation biology is incorporated into my vision of health for all of Earth’s inhabitants.
Being driven by and following my interests throughout my working career has created a patchwork of learning experiences. I’ve gained valuable insights and skills from working with small and large domestic and wild animals while assisting several veterinarians. My interest and knowledge of medicinal plants was greatly expanded by the opportunity to cultivate hundreds of species of herbs and research their world uses while employed at a herb specialty greenhouse. I developed multiple communication skills while serving as a science instructor for groups of all ages, learning styles and abilities, and as an educational aide or tutor for individual students. As a health food store employee, I spoke with numbers of people who were seeking improved health. Throughout the years, friends, family, and others have continued to approach me with questions regarding health. The variety of life’s experiences combined with an ever-present fascination with natural health shaped me into what finally became clear to me in an “A-ha” moment – my mission and passion is to provide education and supportive assistance to others who are also striving for health and wellness using the art and science of the natural healing arts.
I am lucky to have been raised by a mother who drew from her upbringing to pass along simple home remedies for common ailments and injuries of childhood. More than a few times I had heated flannel wrapped around my neck to soothe a sore throat, vinegar daubed on insect bites or a mild sunburn, or a foot soaking in a basin of hot Epsom salts water to draw a splinter or insect venom. Such care instilled an invaluable awareness of self-reliance and the benefit of simple care for many of the daily upsets that we encounter during a lifetime. Tending health and well-being by practicing conscious self-care is a continued goal – and one I wish to share with you. This is a powerful wellness tool to carry and I am forever grateful for these gifts that were so lovingly given.
I value quiet patience and open-minded receptiveness thanks to the wisdom and humility of my father. In order to comprehend the big picture, one must often pause, step back, and remain still in order to see all parts as the whole. Viewing nature in this way can lead to discoveries with lasting impressions. I’ve watched as animals that are injured or ill instinctively know which plants or soils to go to for medicine, or stop eating altogether to sleep for long periods until they regain health. This “time out” surely reduced complications and convalescence time while their bodies healed. Our own bodies give us cues for self-care needs and when we pause to listen, observe, and take appropriate actions we frequently halt or limit repercussions of ill-health. How often do we push ourselves when our body is signaling for rest and care?
This point of view also applies to our role in nature. Personal health isn’t separate from the health of our environment – what affects one affects the other; each of us is part of the whole. Approaching personal health through practices that complement the health of Earth promotes health of all life. The tenets of health through naturopathy follow this path: purified water, fresh air, sunlight, proper diet, rest, and exercise. Striving for harmony of mind, body, and spirit promotes a holistic health. Peaceful thoughts, nurturing relationships, and a sense of humor add a lightness that transcends dis-ease. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
I believe it is everyone’s birthright to achieve their highest state of health and well-being. Life is about being open to experiences, loving and laughing, learning and practicing skills, adapting to changes, and growing to evolve. As we each work for personal wellness, we’re not only better prepared to live a higher quality of life but one that spreads to all around us.
Are you ready to work for your best health?
Ruth Riddlebarger, BS, CWC
Well By Choice, LLC
Medical Disclaimer: Information on this site is for educational purposes and is not intended as substitution for the care of a licensed healthcare provider. I do not diagnose, prescribe, or treat disease. Rather, I encourage you to take responsibility for your health and well-being through the conscious practice of self-care. I acknowledge the body’s remarkable ability to respond positively when provided with patience, compassion, and appropriate care and feeding.