Dr Tessa Jones

Role at Karanga: 
M.B. ChB, Dip Obst, M.A.C.A.M., F.A.C.N.E.M., F.R.N.Z.C.G.P, FABAARM

I graduated from Otago medical school in 1974. I am grateful for this training and the privileges conferred on me by it. I believe, however, that there was too strong an emphasis on the use of pharmaceuticals. During the first 3 years of study we learnt the workings of the body. The next years should have taught more about how to apply this knowledge using methods which are safe and natural to our biochemistry. Pharmaceuticals carry risks and can be less effective than neutraceuticals.

I began my postgraduate exploration in the 70s with reading the books of Adele Davis, a popular nutritionist of the time. What we eat was a good place to start. From there I developed an interest in the quality of our food and organics. I was fortunate to be invited to live and study on an organic farm in Kaikoura owned by Archie Hislop. Archie was a keen proponent of “Nature Cure”. He had a room full of interesting books plus 20 years experience in organics. He kept bees and had a mill producing stone-ground organic flour. We ate well from the organic garden and I realized the importance of healthy soil. I soon noticed an improvement in my own feeling of well-being, even though I had not considered myself to be unhealthy.

With the advent of my children, I became intensely interested in natural childbirth and was part of the early homebirth movement in New Zealand.

I also took a particular interest in women’s health and was a founder of the first women’s health centre in Ponsonby Rd, Auckland.

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

In the mid 80s with a young family, I worked at Wellington Women’s Hospital as a registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology for 3 years. I was awarded a diploma and intended to specialize but chose to prioritize family requirements. I am nevertheless pleased with the knowledge and hospital experience I acquired during those years.

The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners

In 1988 I began practicing obstetrics as a GP in Newtown. I became a fellow of the college, a body which ensures general practitioners maintain the required standards and undergo ongoing education.

The American College for Advancement in Medicine

I attended my first conference with these like-minded doctors in 1993 in Los Angeles. It was here that John Lee launched his first book on Natural Progesterone. I brought a copy back to New Zealand and began lending it to my patients. They wanted to try progesterone cream so I imported it from the Women’s International Pharmacy for them, because it was not available in New Zealand at that time. I also did the course in EDTA chelation therapy at that conference and sat the membership exam. Chelation Therapy is an important tool used by medically trained practitioners to detoxify the body by removing heavy metals such as mercury and lead, common environmental toxins. I began to realize the enormous problem we have in New Zealand because of over-zealous school dental clinics in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Since then I have attended 2 further conferences with ACAM. They have speakers who specialize in treating our various health problems from a holistic point of view. The conferences are all taped so I have kept informed of the latest international thinking by purchasing the tapes and listening to them as I exercise or travel. They also publish a journal, which is sent automatically to members.

The Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine
(www.acnem.org )

I am a fellow of this college, which means I have attended courses with them and passed their highest examinations. They are another source of ongoing updated information. This group offers courses every 6 months in Australia and has had a considerable impact on general practice over there. It has also offered courses in New Zealand and I have been honoured to lecture for them, most recently in Auckland, December 2009 when I spoke about the use of bio-identical hormones  .

Fellowship in Anti-aging and Regenerative Medicine
(www.faafm.com) (www.functionalmedicine.org)

2005-2007 found me doing another fellowship. This time with the American Academy of Anti-aging and Regenerative Medicine a group of doctors dedicated to the application of science to the early detection, prevention and treatment of age related illness. The Institute of Functional Medicine also had input to this fellowship. I traveled to the US many times to attend courses, be mentored and pass exams. I am passionate about this area of medicine because I realize that we have the potential to be healthy in our old age. This has enormous benefits, not only for the individual, but also for the country as a whole, when the wisdom of age is available for use, as opposed to being wasted in nursing homes and enforcing high taxes on the younger working population.


I have recently lectured for

The Australasian Academy of Anti-aging Medicine. I am on the Professional Standards Committee and serve as an examiner of other doctors wishing to attain the fellowship with this organisation. 

The Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine

The Australasian Integrative Medical Association

In December 2007, I was honored to lecture at the 1st Intercontinental Congress on Anti-aging Medicine in Shanghai. This is a meeting of Eastern and Western Doctors interested in this rapidly growing field.