In this insightful interview, we are happy to feature Liga Rymer, a naturopathic doctor whose path to holistic medicine was forged through a challenging personal experience. Liga’s journey into naturopathy began amidst a desperate search for solutions when her son faced severe health issues, including respiratory problems, chronic ear infections, and eventual hearing loss, despite conventional medical treatments.
Liga shares her transformative experience of turning to holistic methods when traditional medicine seemed to offer no respite. Her exploration into body support programs, dietary changes, and natural immune-boosting techniques not only led to significant improvements in her son’s health but also restored his hearing. This remarkable turnaround ignited Liga’s passion for naturopathy and her commitment to helping others discover the power of holistic healing.
Join us as Liga Rymer recounts her journey from a concerned mother to a dedicated naturopathic doctor, driven by a desire to support and guide others, especially mothers, through the potential of natural and holistic health approaches.
1. Could you share a bit about your journey into naturopathy/nutrition? What inspired you to pursue this field?
The beginning of my journey into the holistic world and naturopathy started at a time when my son was very ill. He suffered constant respiratory problems for three years which developed into a deep mid-ear infection with constant inflammation and pain. The solution given to us at the time was lots of antibiotics, hormonal medications, this came from both private and state doctors, at times resulting in home emergences, as we had often very high temperatures and on one occasion my child was having trouble breathing.
Three years of struggling ended with my child losing his hearing. At the age of 6, he was beginning to struggle to hear me and teachers were refusing to work with him as he was not able to hear properly.
At this point of desperation, I started looking for any possible solution, I started to read, learn and study. I found a holistic body support program, body cleansing, importance of everyday diet, drinking habits and the use of our guts as a source of immunity. I was so desperate and decided to give it a try. To my surprise in the first month of immunity support, dietary change and body cleansing, my son’s inflammation visibly reduced and his hearing gradually came back. I was shocked with results and improvement.
This was the beginning of my journey and the beginning of my ‘Why?’ I have chosen this path as I want to help and encourage mothers and other people to try this path.
2. How do you approach treatment plans for your patients? What role do you believe natural supplements play in these plans?
To help clients and to understand them it is important to know them better, to understand where they are standing now and are they ready and willing to change their habits and lifestyle.
I work using a specific step by step system, so people do not feel overwhelmed.
The first step is Hydration- how much we drink, when we should drink and how we can help absorption. Step 2 gut cleansing and Step 3 cellular nutrition.
Natural supplementation plays an important role in every step. The elements of mindset, dietary adjustments, balanced nervous system, meditations, activities and natural supplements aiding body cleansing, are like pieces of a jigsaw, in order to form the whole picture none of the pieces can be missed. With a missing piece, we’ll never get the whole picture
3. In your view, how important is a holistic approach to health and wellness, and how do you integrate this into your practice?
To understand the importance of the holistic approach better – it is first needed to understand the main task of holistic health, which is primarily based in preventative care. The main task with the holistic approach is to educate people and give them understanding about the everyday care necessary to live a long and healthy life.
For example – if people would understand the importance of starting every day with warm water and reducing the high consumption of soft drinks and stimulants, understanding that the body needs water in order to function properly, then medical care givers would have less blood pressure issues in their practice. Or understanding the importance of diet, related to body sugar levels would help a prevent a percentage of people ever developing diabetes.
I remember one particular episode with an older gentleman who was complaining that his joints hurt, he had tried many things but seemed that nothing worked. Knowing that synovial fluid, the fluid which lubricates joints and reduces friction depends on our diet, hydration, nutrition and, especially at older age might require hyaluronic acid treatment, the first question for him was about his hydration. His response was that he almost never drinks plain water. He starts the morning with tea and other drinks throughout the day, but never water, not even a glass a day. He was recommended to start his day with a glass of warm water, slowly and gradually to increase the amount to 500ml. To my own surprise he reported back to me that in 2 weeks his knee pains ceased and went happy with his new habit. I was very surprised about the result from just plain water. But happy for the customer. This is one of unusual cases.
4. What are some common health issues you encounter in your practice? How do you address these with natural therapies?
I deal with a wide range of issues in my practice but the recurring themes are: – low/week immunity, psoriasis, eczema, weight management, fatigue, anemia, migraines, joint pains and gut problems such as bloating, flatulence or constipation.
Every person and their issues are different; therefore, I use a comprehensive health questionnaire with clients, in order to understand what is beneath the surface, in some cases blood tests are also required.
For example, if I had a lady with excessive weight – I would not start her with strict diet recommendations and excessive physical activities, but instead discover through dialogue what could be the cause of this weight. In many cases it is the nervous system or hormonal imbalances in the body.
A strict diet and exercise schedule will only increase the stress for a person and the results will be short-term creating a yo-yo effect with the possibility of depression developing due to lack of result. Here I would advise to initially work with breathing techniques, meditation and therapies if needed, together with complimenting supplements – such as griffonia for example (well know herbal anti-depressant, which helps the body increase production of the happy hormone, serotonin). Working together we also monitor and analyze changes.
5. How do you perceive the connection between gut health and overall wellness? Could you share your insights on this?
The health of your gut plays a crucial role in your overall well-being, influencing various aspects of health, including digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. In my practice I place a great emphasis on the need for a healthy gut and actively promote the need to regularly deep clean this organ, in conjunction with a diet rich in fiber, fermented foods, and probiotics, alongside stress management and getting adequate sleep, this essential sequence promotes not only digestive health but also your holistic well-being.
The gut and the brain are in constant communication through the gut-brain axis, which is why the gut is often referred to as the ‘second brain’, impacting mood, stress levels, and even cognitive function. Issues with the gut microbiome have also been linked to a range of health issues, including gastrointestinal problems, autoimmune diseases, and mental health disorders. Therefore, fostering a healthy gut has to be one of the priorities for overall wellness.
6. What general dietary and nutrition advice do you often find yourself giving to your patients?
The first one always is water. At home our shelves are filled with all possible beverages – many exclusive teas, coffees (we had it in our home), sparkling drinks, alcohol, that the humble water has no room. However only water is the source of life on the planet, for every living being, and so it is the primary source for our body systems to function properly.
The following steps are very varied and personal, depending on each individual clients: health status, dietary preferences, physical activity level, allergies and intolerances, weight status, nutrient deficiencies and realistic goals. The requirement here is regular monitoring and potential collaboration with other health professionals.
7. When introducing supplements into a patient’s regimen, what key factors do you consider?
The key factors before introducing supplements into a client’s regimen are as follows: nutritional assessments, to identify deficiencies using dietary analysis, blood tests, health status and medical history, individualized needs depending on the person’s lifestyle, activity levels, age, gender, food consumption (as food is the primary source of nutrients). I also look into purity, quality of supplements, bioavailability, looking into scientific research, appropriate dosage and timing.
8. Without disclosing personal details, could you share a memorable success story from your practice involving natural treatments?
One case very close to my heart was about an 8-year-old child, who’s mother one cold winter day stopped me on the street and asked me if there is something we can do as she heard me helping other people with natural treatments. Her daughter had been struggling with eczema for 3 years and none of the various ointments and hormonal treatments were giving any results. We never can guarantee a result but we tried. We worked together through her everyday diet and medical history. We took out as much processed food as we could, alongside drinks with sugar and foods with white flower. We introduced water to her diet, adjusted the diet and used phytoextracts in an anti-parasite form, together with plant-based enzymes to aid digestive system and reduced inflammatory processes.
I have to give praise this wonderful girl’s mother, as is not easy to change routine and habits, but we managed to achieve exactly this. After only a month we started seeing significant improvement. The improvements and results are what give me the deepest sense of value. I was in tears when I heard from the girl’s mother, that her daughter is now not afraid to go to school, she is happy to stand in front of her mirror and look at herself. These client stories are ones that give me fuel to be better, to study more, to listen more and help more.
9. What are some challenges you face in the field of naturopathy/nutrition, and how do you overcome them?
The naturopathy field nowadays is facing plenty of challenges and working with a large amount of people I face them as well. For example, in the eyes of a lot of people naturopathy and holistic health is seen as unprofessional, supplements or phytoextracts are absolutely regarded as something from the supermarket, with no attention paid to the specific values of them. I know the majority of these misconceptions is down to people not having enough proper information or education with regards to balance throughout the body, not only in their plate of food.
I also see a huge gap in understanding – the practice of naturopathy is preventative care – not the diagnosis and cure of illnesses. It is the everyday practice of taking care of oneself – similar to washing your hands or brushing your teeth. Therefore, in an effort to reach and educate more people I organize online and offline health lectures about the impact that our lifestyle, habits and diet has on our bodies.
One of the most effective tools we have at our disposal is communication and collaboration, for the client to understand that there is no ‘magic pill’ and for health professionals to understand that the main aim is to improve a person’s wellbeing.
10. Where do you see the future of naturopathy and functional medicine heading?
Nowadays I see public perception of naturopathy and nutrition changing. More and more people are waking up and understanding that there is something I can do to live a healthier life, there are small steps and choices I can make every day towards my wellbeing.
There is the part of society which understands the choices of thoughts, of what I put in my mouth, how I live, how much I move, etc. Once I was a person who did not take much notice of what I ate, my stress levels, vitamin deficiencies, or how much movement I implemented in my life. I was taught, to wait until illness and diagnosis arrive and only then seek help from a health professional for a magic solution. But thanks to my son’s illness, it made me look at our body and lifestyle from a different perspective. I am grateful to every health professional, but I also know that the first person responsible for my own body, wellbeing and healthy life is me, and my everyday choices, no matter how small make the big picture.
11. What personal wellness practices or routines do you follow to maintain your own health?
My personal wellness routines are numerous: every morning starts with warm clean water; my mental wellbeing is part of it too – so my meditation and breathing techniques are important. We have chosen to live in a mountainous countryside area of Spain – so fresh air (less pollution), ability to climb mountains, ride a bike, play tennis and golf is wonderful, also seasonal, grown vegetables and fruit are important and always present on our table. A good routine of 8 hours of sleep is a must have – especially now I’m in my 47th year, to feel young, energetic and recovered every night is important.
Apart from these daily habits – three times a year I undertake body cleaning, gut and lymphatic system cleansing practices using herbal phytoextracts. These programs are quite often combined with 3 or 4 fasting days allowing me to restart my stem cell regeneration processes, this is then followed with cellular nutrition.
These practices are not ‘do it yourself’ programs and should only be undertaken with a proper health specialist or guidance.
As you see it is not one particular thing – everything is important. The balance is the key.
12. Finally, what advice would you give to individuals aspiring to enter the field of naturopathy or nutrition?
If you know your ‘’why’’- you are half way there. Your ‘’why’’, why do you want to help people, why do you want to be dedicated to helping others achieve optimal health?
To be passionate, committed, client-centered and develop communication skills, because you will need to effectively convey information to clients, collaborate with other professionals, and educate the public about naturopathy and nutrition.
Solid educational foundation, accredited programs and institutions that provide comprehensive training in naturopathy or nutrition is a good base for your start. As you progress – you can subscribe to reputable journals, attend conferences, and engage in continuous learning to enhance your knowledge base.
Remember that naturopathy and nutrition are evolving fields, and success comes not only from knowledge and skills but also from a commitment to ethical practice and continuous improvement.
Connect with Liga Rymer ND
To learn more about Liga Rymer’s work and to stay updated with her latest insights and offerings, we invite you to visit her website and follow her on social media:
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CanXida. The content provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Readers are encouraged to consult their healthcare provider for any health-related questions or concerns.