How did you become interested in herbal medicine?
I was fortunate to have grown up in a home with Andrew Weil’s books strewn about, an organic garden that supplied us with much of our year’s food, and a goat in the backyard, which was bought solely because my sister had recurrent tonsillitis when drinking cow’s milk. I think it was ingrained in me from birth that the answers to healing are all around us. My interest in herbs was piqued after the birth of my first child when I was plagued with recurrent bouts of mastitis. I remember how soothing a cabbage leaf was on the inflamed tissue. But it was more than just the cooling of the inflammation that I felt. The fact that it was a leaf made it feel like real healing to me, or it gave me hope that true healing would occur. It resonated on a very deep level. As my children grew, I continued to search for information that would help when any illness would occur. I used herbs to become symptom-free from my own autoimmune diagnosis. Impressed and excited by the results of the herbs, it was then that I decided to study herbal medicine formally and practice professionally.
When did you study with David?
I was a student of David Winston’s 2-year herbalist training program from 2012-2014. I also completed the 1-year Therapeutics class in 2015. I was a practicing Chinese herbalist prior to enrolling in David’s program. Once I completed his 2-year course I was introduced to approximately 200 more herbs. I was able to combine these with the herbs I was currently using and make my formulas even more specific, and I started having even better results with clients. I feel like I paint a very specific herbal picture for each client now when I write formulas. It’s very exciting!
A distinct benefit to David’s program was that we were taught the science behind each herb. Upon the completion of the program I became completely confident using herbs with clients who are on pharmaceuticals, a demographic I had only used dietary modifications with in the past.
Tell us about your practice.
My home office is in the Lehigh Valley, PA. I also have an office in NYC and I practice remotely via phone/skype with clients all over the country. Each client who comes to me gets a specific healing program designed for them with consideration to their current condition, constitution and lifestyle. Their program includes dietary changes, herbs, and bodywork—if they are local. (I am a polarity and cranial sacral therapist also).
I am not normally the first practitioner my clients see. Most of my clients have been searching for answers for a long time, seeing many doctors in an allopathic system to no avail. By the time they see me they are normally very frustrated and sometimes fairly hopeless that they will ever achieve healing. My average client has done a lot of reading, experimenting and exploring on their own behalf so it is natural that they want me to explain my strategies and ideas to them. I have an extensive library at my office that interested clients can read even more if they please.
After education, most clients understand how herbal medicine has the ability to get to the root cause of their issues. It makes sense to them, and I’m sure my enthusiasm rubs off as well. I normally explain the function of each of the herb tastes. So, instead of being repulsed by a particular taste they become excited, knowing its function and what organ system it is targeting and how that relates to their healing. It helps with client compliance to prescribed protocols if they know what the “bitter tasting herb is doing” in their herbal formula. Clients tell me that knowing this has actually led to them craving their herbs.