Susan Collins' world dramatically changed at the age of 29.
Successful in the corporate world as a visual artist and graphic designer, she moved on to developing publishing applications for prototype Internet systems.
All of that came crashing to a halt five years later for the young mother of two when muscle pain was diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis.
The search was a painful one, as her hands became crippled with a disease neither medical professionals nor practitioners of alternative medicine could figure out.
There were no traces of rheumatoid arthritis in her family, leaving no clues as to what could be happening to her.
The illness forced her to quit her job and, with two toddlers at the time, she became overwhelmed.
"I was afraid that my kids would remember me as the woman who lay on the couch all day through their childhood," she said, recalling more stressful times.
Ms Collins also developed certain food intolerances after her illness.
"My whole immune system was shot," she explained.
Now, 22 years later, Ms Collins is mobile and functional.
The King Township resident attributes her recovery to something some might find bizarre.
Frustrated because she couldn't get help from medical sources, she hit the library.
"If the medical community can't help you and the alternative community can't help you, what do you do?" she asked.
At the library she found a book on dowsing, an intuitive method of acquiring information and guidance.
Dowsers get in to a relaxed state, ready to focus on their questions and tune in to the answers.
Some dowsers, such as Ms Collins, use pendulums to help amplify and understand their body's response to a question.
Once Ms Collins started reading up on dowsing, she started to observe her reactions to her surroundings.
She noticed if she would lie outside in a certain place, she would feel worse than if she went to lie down somewhere in the house.
Calling it taking charge of her health, Ms Collins now observes everything around her from the food she eats to the energy in her own home.
"It's working with energy, just being aware of Earth energies," she explained, noting everything has its own natural energy and dowsing is simply being more aware of those energies.
With a steady hand, Ms Collins swings a pendulum over a bowl of bright red strawberries to see if they are good for her.
The pendulum swings to signal no.
Despite loving strawberries, the King City resident will not eat them.
Dowsers can use their skills to tap in to a variety of things from detecting or dealing with detrimental energies in homes and workplaces to deciding what furniture to buy and how best to arrange it.
Ms Collins is under no illusion dowsing can be a tough sell for some.
"A lot of it is belief system. If you believe you can do it, then you will," she said, adding Christians tend not to agree with dowsing because it goes against the Bible. "Dowsing has nothing to do with religion. Dowsing is just another way to access energy."
Although she credits dowsing with overcoming her illness, she acknowledges dowsing tends to become an option when the situation becomes desperate.
Obviously, people suffering from emotional or health problems are more prone to turn to medical professionals first.
Despite that, she said dowsing is becoming more popular as a potential solution to people's problems.
The strategy worked so well for her, she started teaching others how to dowse and is currently president of the Canadian Society of Dowsers.
Her family understands her beliefs in dowsing but only her 14-year-old son, Harrison Dahme, has expressed an interest in learning to dowse.
As for her future, Ms Collins isn't afraid she will have another relapse to the state she was in at 29.
"Fear is a very destructive emotion. If you fear something like cancer, you might just manifest it," she said. "I'm at the point now where there is no fear."
Describing overcoming her illness as one of the challenges of life, Ms Collins insists she is no different than others who overcome hardships in life.
"I'm not a superwoman. As human beings, we all face challenges and we need to meet those challenges," she said.
Ms Collins doesn't believe in using her knowledge to only help herself, so she shares it with others through lectures and workshops.
Ms Collins compares dowsing to playing a musical instrument.
"(It's akin) to violin playing. You don't pick it up and play," she said, stressing dowsing is always a learning process.
Being as in tune with Earth energy the way Ms Collins is, takes practise and time.
"It takes years. We continue to be students," she explained.
Dowsing isn't always about all things serious, however, as sometimes she will use her intuitiveness for something as trivial as finding a parking space at the mall.
Ms Collins offers lectures teaching the basics of tapping in to your intuition.
Her most advanced class is an introductory course that teaches dowsing to access the traditional wisdom of Kabbalah.