The path that Joy Edwards took to become a naturopathic doctor has been anything but clear-cut. She started out as a nurse's aid in Ohio, then completed her nursing degree with plans to become a medical doctor. But after the birth of her fourth child, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and became depressed, started to gain weight, and suffered from fibroids. Edwards took medication and tried to live with her symptoms, but after taking a job in a surgical center that incorporated alternative techniques, she discovered firsthand the power of complementary medicine. A year of dietary changes and herbal supplements eliminated the fibroids, and, though she still struggled with her weight, she decided to learn more about other forms of health care. She went back to school and earned doctor of homeopathy and doctor of naturopathy degrees so she could share her knowledge with others. Edwards even found time in the years that followed to serve in the Navy and lose 30 pounds through exercise and better eating habits.
Dr. Joy now practices traditional naturopathy as a key player at The Holistic Approach Wellness Center, drawing upon ancient Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Native American medical wisdom. She and her team, which includes a licensed massage therapist, natural health-foods consultant, reflexologist, and physician, perform a variety of treatments to promote better health. They help patients shed pounds with holistic or HCG-based diet programs, and use bioidentical hormone therapy to treat symptoms of aging, such as stress, fatigue, or an ever-increasing collection of plaid pants.