By ELIZABETH BINNING
Dr Richard Gorringe was working as an "ordinary" GP until his family were struck with an illness no one seemed able to cure.
Desperate to find out what was wrong, the Hamilton doctor turned to alternative remedies for help, and began a 13-year career in alternative medicine.
This week the 59-year-old was found guilty of professional misconduct and disgraceful conduct following his treatment of two patients.
Though the decision could end his career as a GP, he vows it will not stop him from treating people with prayer and homeopathy.
"Dr Ricky" opened his Hamilton Clinic in 1990, five years after his family were stuck down with arsenate poisoning. Doctors were at a loss to explain, let along cure, his family's illness.
"How could I continue practising only traditional medicine once I had become aware of its shortcomings and had other modalities and treatments to offer?" he asked the Weekend Herald.
Since opening the clinic, Dr Gorringe said, he had treated 12,000 patients with a combination of mainstream and complementary medicine.
The mainstream medicine included reviewing medical history and taking bloods. Complementary treatments included an alternative muscle testing technique, in which he used a patient's muscle reaction to dozens of small vials - filled with body tissues, chemicals, toxins and pathogens - to make a diagnosis.
Two women involved in the disciplinary hearing criticised the use of that technique, saying they felt conned and exploited.
The tribunal agreed, saying Dr Gorringe relied unduly on alternative methods and failed to obtain consent before doing so.
But other patients Dr Gorringe has treated disagreed.
One man described how he was just days away from having his leg amputated when Dr Gorringe cured his long-standing infection.
Others said they accepted prayer as a treatment and were amazed to find that it worked.
Dr Gorringe said: "If I get them better, when traditional medicine hasn't, then it stands to any degree of logic that Peak Muscle Testing, far from being of no use, is obviously producing some results that work."
He has vowed to continue working.