Alumni Spotlight - Ellen Edgerton '13

Alumni Spotlight – Ellen Edgerton ‘13

Ellen Edgerton is a 2013 VMS graduate. She is currently in her fourth year as a Naturopathic Student at Bastyr University of Washington. Here is a short excerpt from a recent interview with Ellen.
Tell us about what you are doing currently?

With my passion for understanding lifestyle medicine to optimize overall health, fitness, and longevity, I pursued my naturopathic medical degree after I finished college. I was driven to continue my education because I saw our current medical system as dysfunctional towards preventing and managing the chronic diseases that are manifesting in the majority of American population, especially as individual's age. I didn't understand how our high schools and medical schools were not being taught about how nutrition encompasses the biochemicals that build each of our cells, and it is up to us to choose what type of "fuel" we are putting in it. I didn't understand how our systems emphasized and encouraged "hard work" and long hours, to the point that individuals' stress levels got so high it leads to stomach ulcers, heart attacks, and countless diagnoses of anxiety. I wanted to better understand and learn from the people who aged well, found true joy in their daily lives, and a found meaningful sustainable lifestyle. Thus, I am in my 4th year of Naturopathic School at Bastyr University of Washington and currently doing an internship in Santa Rosa California. I'm working at a water-only fasting clinic where I have seen hypertension, high blood pressure, be reversed in 10 days, unlike any other medication, seen cancer tumors stop growth, and type 2 diabetics come off of all medications. It is important to note that this comes from a complete lifestyle change focusing on nutrition, mindset, exercise, and the body's ability to heal itself through a few days of water only
How did VMS prepare you for what you are doing now?
VMS prepared me through its holistic curriculum and diverse mentorship. Having the ability to learn to appreciate not only the standard rigorous academic classes but also the arts, athletics, and community service projects, opened up my eyes to what type of work and activities are important for me to prioritize in my life. It taught me how to have a balance between school, friends, sports, and free time. The diversity of passions and interest from my teachers and peers also shaped me into being open- minded and really listening to everyone's individual story. I will also always have gratitude for the harkness tables, for it taught me how to discuss difficult topics with the teacher and students, free of distractions of technology, all learning from one another in an equal circle.
What are your memories of VMS?

When I try to narrow it down, my favorite memories from VMS come from the cross-age activities (seeing caterpillars go through metamorphosis with my 3rd grade partner, spending time with our book buddies, attending 50s day event, heading to the hill for all school ski days). I will also never forget the lessons I learned from volleyball games and telemark skiing competitions.