A Little About Me
Haere mai, my name is Cat Neale and I am the face behind THE MEDICINE WOMAN.
I have always been drawn to nature and had an ability to communicate with this realm in my own special unique way. As a child I loved hanging out in the crown of the large willow at the bottom of my grandparents garden, helping my grandmother in her plant nursery and picking the african violets from the violet bank.
My connection with the nature kingdom faded when I left school and went to university. I qualified with an honours degree in Regional Planning and worked for a number of years as a town planner at a local council. Travel then beckoned and at the end of a three year stint overseas I made my way home via eastern Africa. This turned out to be one of those significant moments in ones life. I was drawn to independent travel and so cycled solo off the beaten track for three months. I really fell in love with Africa. Being on my bike allowed me to exist at a pace I could really appreciate the smells, sights and sounds of the landscape and people. I was invited to stay in the homes of many of the locals and was deeply touched by the generosity of these people who had ‘nothing’ in western terms. They were rich in a different way, happy and healthy with a strong connection to their community and with the land.
Once home I returned to my planning career. After about three years into the job I recognised that my energy levels were too low for me and a friend suggested I visit a local naturopath. It wasn’t long after this introduction to naturopathy that I literally woke up one morning knowing what I was here to do. Not everyone understood my choice to change careers but I knew that I had to live my life and not someone else's. My thoughts travelled back to Africa and the connection I had experienced there. The fact was my heart was no longer in my job and besides, I knew that I hadn’t suddenly chosen to become a naturopath and healer, it instead had chosen me.
Over the years I have had many extraordinary teaching and healing experiences with the plant kingdom. One experience was when my dog Charlie developed septicaemia as a result of a skin staph infection. The vet's drugs were not working and in a moment of inspiration (preceded by desperation!) I turned to a common ‘weed’ in the garden, plantago lanceolata (ribwort). I put the leaves through the juicer and applied the liquid directly to his skin. He looked pretty funny covered in green but it was immediately obvious he found it soothing. That was the turning point in Charlie's recovery and ribwort continues to be revered in our household for all sorts of issues to this day.
I have been working as a naturopath-herbalist and modern day medicine woman for over 17 years now. It has been a wonderful period of my life and a pleasure and privilege to share the journey of others. What I have come to know without doubt over the years is that no matter your health condition, whether you simply feel a bit lost or you wish to live your life purpose, we are never given a challenge or inspiration that we are unable to rise to in one way or another.
THE MEDICINE WOMAN is very much a co-creation between myself and Mother Nature whom I continue to expand my relationship with. I am deeply convinced of the increasing need for her wise medicines to heal body, mind and spirit for when taken astutely and with respect, mountains truly can move.
Diploma of Naturopathy, Diploma of Native Plant Essences of New Zealand.
Certificates of Healers Studies; EMF Balancing Technique®; Shamanic Studies; Holistic Iridology; Sclerology.
Registered Natural Medicines Practitioner, NHPNZ