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'But When it Comes to Cancer, There Really Could Be Another Way...'
'But When it Comes to Cancer, There Really Could Be Another Way....’
The words in this title come from the website of a most refreshingly passionate doctor by the name of Kate James. I have to say; when I first spoke to this charming lady it immediately struck me that I was talking to someone very special. Indeed, I have always believed that true ‘healing’ is as much about the ‘healer’ as it is the treatments offered. With Kate, that healing journey undoubtedly begins with the first conversation!
Qualifying as a medical doctor in 2002, Kate has always been a holistic thinker. She describes herself as ‘a deep thinker, not scared to think out of the box, not scared to try something different.’ Underpinning her approach is a very spiritual quality. Kate very much draws on this and believes that working with a belief system is very important in how she approaches each patient, each of whom brings their own beliefs, wisdom, fears and intuition. Kate is therefore able to bridge the gap between science and intuition with a truly patient centred therapy.
What makes Kate both special and unique is her own remarkable journey into the cancer world. First of all, while expecting her daughter Grace, her mum was diagnosed with an aggressive Breast Cancer which had already spread to the lymphatic system and was given a poor prognosis. Kate was already frantically researching ways to help and support her mum through her conventional treatment, when the unthinkable happened...... her daughter Grace was also diagnosed with cancer at only 10 tender months old! Grace had a rare form of leukaemia..... I have to say, just thinking about that makes my heart skip a beat! Although initially overwhelmed, Kate eventually began to focus on what she ‘could do’ and threw herself into more research. Kate had to act quickly as the prognosis for Grace was initially poor with only a 30% chance of survival. Grace started a pretty aggressive and lengthy programme of chemotherapy, but she also started a programme of supplements and dietary change which had exactly the healing effect that her mum was hoping and praying for. Grace’s oncology team were surprised (to say the least!) that she coped so well with what was the very highest dose of chemotherapy possible and did not have anywhere near the number of hospital stays they were anticipating! I’m delighted to say that Grace is now 10 years old and a strong, bright, athletic little girl enjoying all that life has to offer. Kate sees an inner strength in Grace which she believes to be as a result of her experience as a very poorly baby. Kate’s mum is also fit and well and when you consider that her own prognosis was also poor, coupled with the fact that she also knew about and was healing alongside a very poorly grandchild, this is all the more remarkable and wonderful!
Kate’s research and personal experience very much inform her approach to integrative medicine. She can remember feeling a sense of hope and a ‘deep sense of trust that Grace and her mum would get better’ as she saw first- hand the heart-warming changes that happened each day. Kate brings this sense of hope and trust to her professional work. Previously working in A&E, Kate now runs an Integrative Medical Practice in Northumberland, a path she may never have followed were it not for her own family’s experience. Although, most of her patients are also following conventional NHS treatment, Kate is happy to work with those who prefer a solely naturopathic approach. Ultimately, each treatment is tailored to suit each patient’s very individual needs. However, some of the key strategies incorporated into Kate’s approach include cleaning up the diet with a more organic, primarily vegan (but with some good quality grass fed/ organic meat protein for those patients who need extra protein), dairy free, lots of juicing and sprouting, blue green algae, CoQ10, IP6 and alkalizing green powders.
One of the most exciting treatments Kate has been able to offer is through the use of Medicinal mushrooms which she has been researching with leading expert Martin Powell. (book in the making!) Medicinal mushrooms are quite remarkable in their ability to modulate the immune system and have an inherent intelligence that allows them to work in an adaptogenic way in response to the body’s needs. In addition, Kate encourages other holistic treatments such as EFT (Emotional Freedom technique), acupuncture, reflexology and she also has a passion for all things Eastern, including yoga, Chinese Herbs and Eastern philosophies.
Kate is currently Clinical Lead of Integrative Medicine at the University of Newcastle-Upon Tyne Medical School and offers courses in using Food as Medicine, and Medicine and Spirituality as options to Medical students. As a Nutritional Therapist myself, it’s so exciting to hear about mainstream Medical practitioners who are moving towards a more naturopathic and Holistic approach to Medical care. There is a huge movement globally towards realizing the benefits of Food as Medicine in both disease prevention and reversing chronic ill health. I believe that over the next twenty years we will see a steady increase in the number of Integrative Practitioners thanks to the work of inspired leaders such as Kate who are paving the way for an integrative model to become the norm!
Kate James is a doctor, a pioneer, a teacher, a mum of four, a wife and a daughter. But most of all, she is a human being who has certainly been face to face with all that this word means at the deepest level of human understanding. Her work and her absolute love for what she does, just radiate from her. Kate is an enormous blessing to her patients and their families and a bright light to her medical students who I hope will incorporate some of that energy and light into their work long into the future. If ever there was a story of a positive coming out of a negative, then this is surely one of those that tops the list!
Kate can be contacted through her website: drkatejames.com
Skype appointments are available and Kate has patients all over the world.