CNM’S Deep Dive Interview Series:
Seven Questions with Bobby Qureshi.
“Although my first love was osteopathy, my real love is naturopathy.”
BOBBY QURESHI ND M.Ost mANP rGNC
CNM’s Education Director has a passion for helping people. From volunteering excursions around the world, going the extra mile for his students and colleagues, overseeing all courses at CNM, teaching, running his own practice all whilst being a new father – there’s not much he can’t do. But do you know where it all started? Do you want to learn Bobby’s top tips for practitioners? Or what he does when it all gets a bit much? (even for Bobby!). Read on to find out.
Background: Bobby Qureshi is a naturopath and osteopath. He graduated from the British School of Osteopathy in 2013 and also taught postgraduate osteopathy. Keen to gain a deeper understanding of the root causes of illness, Bobby pursued further education in naturopathy at CNM, where he now teaches biomedicine, naturopathy and nutrition. Bobby’s passion for teaching is evident, but his favourite subject? Biomedicine. He loves getting students excited about learning how the human body works.
Why did you train as an osteopath and naturopath? What has made it worthwhile to continue?
“Most of the burden on the NHS is chronic disease and what we are best at in natural medicine is dealing with chronic disease.”
I was on route to studying medicine, but at the same time involved in family health issues. Rather than investigating the root causes of their problems (such as my mother’s back pain), the health service prescribed medications which only masked their problems. I wanted to understand why they got sick, and that’s when I knew conventional medicine was just not going to satisfy me nor was it the approach I wanted to take.
Then my mother’s back pain got relieved by an osteopath. So, I took the plunge to embark upon a career in natural therapies. But it was naturopathy that really revealed to me the power of natural medicine. For the first time, I could understand the underlying causes of ill health.
Why do I continue…?
I want to help as many people as possible, and natural medicine can help me to achieve this. It’s a shame there can’t be more integration between holistic medicine and conventional medicine. Every day, I see such amazing results, I really feel that we are not shouting loud enough to get the word out there!
Why do you think so many people are turning to natural therapies — where do you see the future of this?
“Most people are not getting the answers they need in conventional medicine… (and) there’s a movement towards understanding how to optimise your health as an individual.”
Conventional medicine doesn’t give people answers. There is an importance for mainstream medicine but it’s a reductionist approach (especially with chronic disease). By treating an individual’s symptoms as separate issues, one misses the real picture of a presenting problem. Naturopaths treat people as whole beings interconnected by their systems and this is part of what we teach at CNM.
Since COVID, people are more interested in learning how to improve their health so that their body works for them, rather than against them. One can only begin to do this by understanding the basic principles of natural health. I think the future is full of potential especially for more interaction between conventional and natural medicine. If we worked together in a more integrated way, I know that much of the burden on the NHS could be relieved.
What do you find most rewarding about teaching at CNM?
“At CNM the students that come through have a deep-seated passion.”
Teaching at CNM doesn’t feel like work, I just enjoy doing it. I love that our college has this naturopathic focus to its courses. It’s unique, and in doing so, it allows one to explore areas in natural healing that other colleges don’t teach. There’s also an open atmosphere for students to talk without being judged, and in this environment, passionate people blossom.
Teaching at CNM is also my way of positively influencing the lives of as many people as possible. By providing our students with an outstanding level of education, I know that our graduates, the future natural therapists in this world, are equipped with the knowledge and skills to improve the health of their patients. The students that I am fortunate to teach inspire and motivate me to keep sharing my own knowledge and experience. Whilst I am the teacher, I also learn each and every day from my students, just like I do from my patients. Being an educator and practitioner in natural medicine does truly involve lifelong learning, and whilst that might sound daunting, it is so beautiful and enriching to keep learning each and every day of your professional life. Our future graduates have the power to change the world, one person at a time. To be a part of their story and to help them achieve their own goals is something I will never take for granted. I am in an exceptionally privileged position and my passion for teaching has never been so strong.
What advice or tips would you give to a CNM graduate about to start practising? Is there any advice to ignore?
“CNM has just launched its business course for all the diploma course students.”
I would encourage students to start thinking about their business before they graduate. This isn’t essential but it’s helpful to have an idea of what one’s business looks like and how to launch it. That’s where our business course comes in; we look at building a name for the practitioner, establishing business relationships and online presence. By working on building their business, students are often very successful. I don’t even advertise my clinic now!
CNM is known for its quality in teaching and is the UK’s No 1 training provider of natural medicine. However, it’s not just about learning how to diagnose and treat illnesses with natural therapies; students also get all the tools required to start their own healthcare business. This specially-developed module proves that there are many ways you can go after your goal — whether this means becoming an entrepreneur, making money through online courses or running your own practice.
Advice to ignore…
I am not a big fan of taking time out after training. Whilst it’s fresh, start exposing yourself — it can be daunting working with people without supervision but start as soon as possible.
What’s one piece of advice you would give someone to help them live a healthier life?
“If we eat a bad diet, then the harmful components of that food will be integrated into every cell of our body.”
If I have to pick, I’m going to say diet. Health’s very foundation is food, and the “we are what we eat” saying couldn’t be more accurate. So, to live a healthier life get your diet right… and there’s so much misinformation about diet.
This is why I’m an advocate for the naturopathic approach to nutrition taught at CNM. A naturopathic nutritionist understands the fundamentals of an optimal diet and how it can be tailored to an individual’s unique needs and physiology. Naturopathic nutritionists combine the foundational principles of a healthy diet (such as eating whole, unprocessed foods), with an advanced understanding of how the foods an individual eats can affect their vitality. Naturopaths understand the importance of supporting detoxification pathways, digestion and combining food correctly.
CNM teaches students to look at the energetic profile of the individual they are working with. This is an incredibly powerful layer to adapting nutritional advice because it factors in deeper imbalances in that person and considers what we call the ‘constitution’. This is effectively the dominant type of energetic status in an individual. For example, we might have someone feeling hot all the time, sweating profusely, suffering with inflamed joints, hot flushes and feeling irritable. We would say that this person needs a cooling energetic approach, in order to create an energetic balance. This can be applied in various ways and is covered in great detail in our courses. In our teaching of this subject, we actually draw upon various energetic systems of medicine, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine.
For more information on this naturopathic approach to nutrition, interested readers may like to look at the CNM Naturopathic Diet, which provides some more insights into the topic!
Do you have a book or influence that has impacted you or your teaching?
The End of Alzheimer’s by Dale Bredesen. Reading this book was a massive eye-opener for me and showed me that we don’t have to just accept what I previously had thought of as just fate. I have recommended it many times to students!
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. Walker draws a lot of the information together on sleep and explains things in a clear way.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, even if it’s temporary, what do you do?
“If I really know that I’ve pushed it, I will probably go and soak in 1kg or so of Epsom salts for 30 minutes.”
I can’t say no sometimes. So, I have to take things one step at a time and prioritise the most urgent. If I really know that I’ve pushed it, I will go and soak in 1kg of Epsom salts for 30 minutes. Or I go and have some acupuncture (I tend to have it often — or I even just do some acupressure on myself). Also, we have a little dog at home so I go and take him out for a walk. I think the fresh air always helps to clear the mind.