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Interview with Nathan Bales: Long-time Member and Bodyworker

Interview with Nathan Bales: Long-time Member and Bodyworker

Since the very beginning, Nathan Bales has continually kept in touch via email. Sometimes to make requests, sometimes to flatter Teri for her good work, and sometimes just to say hello – but each signed with the following quote:

The Buddha teaches this triple truth to all:
“A generous heart, kind speech and a life
of service and compassion are the things
which renew humanity.”
Siddhartha Gautama

Clearly Nathan has a big heart, so we wanted to know more. We called him up for a chat, and it turns out Nathan is quite the bodyworker and strict vegetarian.

Don’t think he was always so, however; he had many years of fighting a toxic system, chronic back pain, and suffering the effects of a “South Texas” diet. Here is his story.

Q: How did you become interested in health?

A: My dad died at 53 from a massive heart attack, and his oldest son of the same fate at 54. I woke up as a teenager and decided to be in good health. I started lifting weights, had my own lawn business, and was pretty active.

After high school I joined the Navy construction battalion (the Sea Bees) and became a welder. Once I was out of the Navy, I continued on as a welder, and by the time I hit 35, I already had big health problems.

Growing up in South Texas, I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to eat meat and dairy three times a day. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to drink coke and coffee all day instead of water!

Working construction, I tore the muscles and ligaments in my back lifting some heavy pipes that a colleague dropped, putting all the weight on my side. I was forced into 8 weeks of rehab. But that was just the beginning. I then had 7 years of chronic back pain.

I found a chiropractor who was a third-year med student. We did hair and nail analyses, and they showed I was full of toxins from so many years in welding.

The first thing he did was get me off red meat, coffee, and coke. He got me drinking 64 ounces of water daily, and let me tell you, when you’re not used to drinking water at all, 64 ounces seems like you’re going to drown!

When I first saw him, I couldn’t walk around the block. But slowly he got me into drinking water, taking antioxidants (lots of ester C, vitamin E, and beta carotene), and eating greens, and by the end of 6 weeks I was jogging 3 miles.

I had more energy, my bowel problems were gone, and the strep throat I was getting at least two times a year disappeared.

My chiropractor had me doing basic back stretches a couple times daily, and he promised that if I followed the whole regimen, my back would never go out again. This was amazing to me.

I enjoyed real improvements and continued to eat chicken, fish and fried foods. My doctor told me I should consider being a vegetarian. I balked, saying, ‘Listen doc, I’m from South Texas, don’t push your luck!’

Little did I know I would become the strictest of vegetarians.

Q: How did you get into massage therapy / bodywork?

A: I’ve always worked with my hands. It wasn’t too long after I started getting a handle on my own health that I moved to Sedona, AZ. I started my own home repair business. However, between the heat, the hard work, and not doing my stretching consistently, I got injured occasionally.

One night while I was having dinner with some friends in Phoenix – my whole crowd was vegetarian by this time, mind you – I was introduced to Scott Beck. He was told I had back trouble, and before I knew it, he said, “Lie down on the table and let me see what I can do.”

So, as my friends were sitting around and talking, I had this incredibly profound experience through his energetic work. Shortly after, he moved to Sedona and I became a regular client.

I remember once just lying face down on the table and hearing him come into the room and begin rubbing his hands together. Even though he was at least 6 feet away from the table I could feel this huge wave of energy rush over me. I thought “Holy cow, this is amazing, I want to learn more!”

I decided to learn Reiki, a kind of energy healing practice, and I began taking some courses while I worked as an Apple computer consultant, doing upgrades, repairs and teaching people how to use their computers.

Soon after that, I moved from Sedona to Austin and added a Massage Therapy License to my repertoire. The rest is sort of history. I went into business right out of school and have been full time for 12 years.

When I left Austin, I had about 200 clients. My youngest was an 8 year-old boy, my oldest a 93 year-old woman, who drove to see me twice a week for 2 years.

I’ve moved to Wilmington, NC, and I am just getting my massage practice up and running out here. It took me a year and a half to get my NC license, but I love it here, so it was worth it.

Q: What’s your philosophy when it comes to keeping healthy?

A: The problem with allopathic medicine is you can only “fix” one thing at a time. If you have a problem with your knee, you can fix your knee. If you have an emergency it’s good for some ailments, but the problem is the body is one single unit – if you have a headache or if you stub your toe, it affects your whole body.

At first, I lost some clients because I wanted to “fix” them. What I learned is that I can only educate people and allow them to make their own choices. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to be healthy, but you’re not going to be healthy without fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.

You just can’t get healthy on a meat and dairy diet with no fiber. The body needs fiber and lots of water to function, there’s no way of getting around it.

With new clients, I start off with an extensive intake form and an interview that lasts about 15 minutes. I stress the importance of diet, water, and exercise, and request them to commit to stretching regularly. This is so important. Stretching is particularly important after 40 years of age.

I try to schedule clients for consistent hour-long full body massages. Regulars want at least an hour and a half, though. Because I’m not a licensed dietician or nutritionist, I don’t charge for nutritional consults.

Q: How did you get here and what are your favorite products?

A: I found Cell Nutritionals back when it was the Generic Co-op, and I’ve been with you ever since! I have recommended hundreds of people over the years.

As for products, your Beta Sitosterol and Saw Palmetto products are clearly the best on the market. Some places have them cheaper, it’s true, but you can’t get better quality or service than through you guys. When it comes to service, I just love Teri too.

As for favorites, your Sam’s Advanced Antioxidant Plus D3 and Liquid Calcium are up there, along with the B-Trio, which is really good for those who struggle with stress. Just pop one of those under your tongue and you are good to go for the afternoon.

I thought your B-100s were too high of a dosage, until I learned that one capsule is the equivalent of a B-50, so that makes your B-100s a new favorite of mine (good value too). Let’s see, I take your Melatonin — and I think everyone over 40 should consider taking melatonin.

Oh, and I can’t leave out your shelf-stable Probiotics 16. I don’t know how you do such a good job, but this is a terrific product.