The more I learned, the more I realized the value of the information. In addition to being drawn to this traditional wisdom for its own sake, holistic healing has also become somewhat of a political calling. Just as David’s class empowered me with knowledge, I want to pass that information along to educate and empower others to take care of their own health.
Your herbal education looks to be primarily from David Winston. Why David? Can you describe how this training program impacted your career path?
When I took David’s class in ’94 – ’96, there wasn’t any long distance training, and the internet was not what it is today, so I had to find a school that offered classes at night that I could drive while still working a full-time job in the IT field. David’s school is only 30 minutes away from where I live so I was very fortunate to have someone of David’s caliber so close by.
What David’s class did for me was to empower me. It gave me the tools, knowledge, and courage to look to holistic choices for health care rather than relying on our current medical model. For that I am truly grateful. After David’s class, the urge to leave the IT field continue to grow until it would NOT be ignored, so in 2006, I left the computer field and started my own business. Without the herbal component, I don’t feel I could offer the broad spectrum of help that I offer my clients today.
After David’s class, I have continued my herbal education through symposiums, books, working with other herbalists and holistic-minded educators, listening to tapes/CD’s, being a member of Herbal Exchange and the Changewater Wellness Clinic, and learning from my clients.
Talk about the ‘Herbal Exchange’ program. How does it work and why are you involved in it?
The Herbal Exchange program meets on the third Wednesday of every month at Herbally Yours in Changewater, NJ. It is open to all graduates of David’s classes, or someone with similar herbal training. It is a fabulous way to connect with other herbalists. We often talk about cases, and ask others for recommendations, which is a great way to see someone else’s approach to clients, and also confirm or change your suggestions for clients. We also will pick a topic of interest, everyone will do some research, and then we will discuss various approaches to addressing that topic/illness. Even though I graduated from David’s school over 14 years ago, I still consider myself a ‘fledgling herbalist’, and love to get feedback from the other folks there on various approaches to dealing with issues. Also, what’s nice, we all seem to come from slightly different ‘walks of life’ so it adds to the diversity of the suggestions.
How do you use herbs in your practice?
I use herbs in many different ways in my practice – from spiritual ceremonies and protection to topical applications and internal use.
I love doing Spiritual Baths, and plants are a big part of my spiritual bathing practice. I also have plants that I have harvested and prayed over in my massage room. So, whether a client needs support through an emotional release, or I need protection for myself, I find the plants very helpful. I couldn’t do what I do without them!
Topical uses vary from vaginal steams, poultices, rubs, liniments, massage oils, salves, ointments, and suppositories.
When a client comes to me for a consultation, my first area of focus is improving their diet, digestion, absorption, and elimination. If I can help them address whatever issues they are facing nutritionally, that’s where I always try to go first. However, often that either isn’t enough, or the person is unwilling or unable to make the changes necessary, so other things are needed to support them. This is where herbs excel! My focus is to restore and support homeostasis and hemodynamics, for if we remove obstructions to healing, our bodies have amazing recuperative powers.