Sea-faring naturopath’s goal to help Mackay battle the bulge
ABOUT 15 years ago, father of four, David Kemp, was working as a state manager for a couple of large Japanese electronic and white goods companies out of Brisbane when he had a nervous breakdown.
Desperate for help, Mr Kemp reached out to his doctor, who put him on a variety of medications which he noticed quickly turned his "outgoing and happy-go-lucky" persona into someone his family didn't recognise.
"I became withdrawn and almost reclusive, and there were side affects, and changes in my demeanour," he said.
"My father, who was alive at that time, directed me to a naturopath in Nambour and the rest is history."
After making the switch from pharmaceutical medication to natural therapies, Mr Kemp noticed the drastic change in his mental and physical health. He was himself again.
A couple of years later, he was working on a farm in Kingaroy when he decided to take the leap and learn more about naturopathy.
While studying an Associate Diploma of Naturopathy, he learnt enough to help his friends with their own health problems, which included dietary and lifestyle changes.
It wasn't long before their health was improving too.
"I have a gift of trying to help people," he said.
After graduating with honours, Mr Kemp, a former Australian naval officer, bought a yacht and began travelling up the Queensland coast before settling in Airlie Beach three years ago.
It was there that he set up his practice, The Nautical Naturopath, followed by an office at Mackay 18 months ago.
He treats clients across the region, and helps them to improve their health and shed unwanted kilos.
According to Mr Kemp, the amount of people struggling with obesity or dietary and lifestyle health issues has continued to grow in Mackay.
"They come to see me and I review their lifestyle, their general dietary habits and a raft of other things which can lead to suggest they are suffering from pre-diabetes," he said.
"It is growing exponentially due to a consumption of certain foods like takeaway or high-sugar foods, inactivity and sedentary lifestyles.
"You just have to walk down the street to see there are a lot of people who are excessively overweight and it's right across all age groups."
Mr Kemp said mental health was also a contributing factor to poor health choices, and that "band-aid fixes" were not suitable for getting to the core of problems.
"Mackay seems to be very much a welfare town … and it seems people are going through the same cycle where they get depressed, and then eat or drink themselves into happiness," he said.
"I encourage people to look at healthy choices that are tasty and that people get enjoyment out of eating."
During a 90-minute consultation, Mr Kemp said he asked people what they wanted to achieve and what they were willing to do, rather than "setting them up to fail" with unrealistic and strict rules.
"I draw up an action plan for them, menus, recipes, guidelines, indications on what foods are more beneficial, try to ween them off the bad things they do, offer any supplements or medication needed to relieve symptoms and do a post consultative report," he said.
Signs of poor diet/nutrients include:
• Feeling a little frayed at the edges
• Being more tired that usual
• Maybe having an increase heart/pulse rate
• Needing to drink more fluids
• Having a fatigued period during the day
• Urinating more than usual
The Nautical Naturopath is at Fitness Venue Cannonvale or Connectology Mackay (on selected days)
For more information, visit thenauticalnaturopath.com.au.