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Registered Nurse Proves Naysayers Wrong

"For me, natural health is the only way"

When the hospital board told Shelva Christian to choose between her 30-year medical career and her growing interest in natural health, her choice was surprisingly easy.

Shelva, who had begun her career as a radiological technologist in 1958 and earned a nursing degree in 1965, had entered medicine to help others. Natural supplements, as she learned in 1992, magnified that ability.

"I was not unhappy about leaving the hospital," said Shelva, who was vice president of nursing and patient-care services. "I realize now I wasn't supposed to stay in medicine. Every step in my education and background has been orchestrated by God to bring me to where I can benefit people's health and wellness through natural means. It's really God's medicine, and for me it's the only way."

For years, Shelva had found little relief from a variety of ailments. She contracted polio when she was 16, later developed thyroid problems and serious sinusitis. In 1982 she underwent radioactive iodine therapy for two large tumors and a goiter in her thyroid gland. Surgeons eventually removed half her thyroid and put her on medication.

When she was introduced to natural supplements and Nature's Sunshine Products in 1992, her outlook began to change.

"When I got into this field and studied, I realized I could wash out the radioactive iodine in the thyroid tissue with kelp and Siberian ginseng, and nourish my thyroid, which I did. I went on herbs. I'm still rebuilding my immune system, but today I'm doing great."

Hospital staff soon noticed Shelva's improved health. Some wanted to know more, including the intensive care unit's head nurse. "We saw results within eight months," Shelva said of helping the nurse with herbal supplements. "She's a thousand times healthier. Because of my getting into natural health, I feel she is healthier today."

Others at the hospital didn't like what they heard. The hospital board and some staff told Shelva that herbal supplementation conflicted with nursing. So, armed with years of teaching and practicing nursing, and degrees in nursing, radiology, psychology counseling and health administration, Shelva resigned her hospital post and opened her own natural health shop in Henderson, N.C.

Shelva's husband, Bill, was somewhat incredulous. "He couldn't believe I had given up my job. 'Can you really do this?' he asked me. 'Do you really think you can sell that many herbs?'"

Shelva was confident. "I had no doubts that I would succeed. When I opened my doors, I had people waiting for me. If I went through a financial struggle, I never saw it."

She dedicated herself to learning about natural health, soon adding "naturopath" to her already impressive credentials. "My medical education and experience gave me a solid background for understanding how herbs work"--and to increasing her ability to help others with their health.

Since last year, Shelva has been caring for her sick 89-year-old father. "When I took him back to his physician last August, the doctor said, 'When I get sick, I want to come see you.' People come into my business and say, 'Because of your background, I believe in you.' That's a good feeling."

The believers include Shelva's husband. Two years ago, after experiencing the benefits of herbal supplementation for himself, Bill quit his full-time job to help Shelva run her business.

As an Area Manager, Shelva is busy with her business, a weekly radio show, traveling, teaching and sharing. Although she still meets a lot of skeptics, she knows they'll eventually come around if they give natural health a chance.

"I understand totally when they doubt," she said. "I did the same thing. We have to use our own health as an example and not push natural health on anyone who doesn't believe or understand it. Let it prove itself."  Have a Healthy Life!

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Reference: Sunshine HORIZONS Vol. 23 No. 5  May 1998.