Robert Turchyn evolved from a career in the financial services sector to operating a wellness clinic, Kauai Island Health, in Hawaii. In addition to four years studying with David Winston, Robert has trained in aromatherapy and postural therapy. His goal is to educate clients to take ownership and effect their own healing.
What healing modalities do you practice and what training do you have in them?
Postural Therapy (The Egoscue Method®), Herbal Medicine, and Essential Oil Therapy. My certification for postural therapy is “Advanced Exercise Therapist” (AET) Egoscue postural therapy is a series of gentle stretches and exercises, specifically created for an individual client that brings the body back into alignment. It is a great alternative approach to musculoskeletal pain and joint range of motion issues that works without drugs or surgical interventions. Getting a client up and moving, engaged in physical activities is a key ingredient to the approach I take. Often I will start a client off with this therapy and see where it goes. I studied essential oil therapy at American College of Healthcare Sciences, where I graduated “with honors” from their Aromatherapy certification program. Subsequently I sat for the Aromatherapy Certification Councils (ARC) sponsored exam. From that I earned their certification “RA.” In herbal medicine I began by studying Chinese Medicine at “5 Elements of Chinese Medicine,” in Norwalk CT, then eventually went on to David Winston’s, Center where I completed 4 years of training. In August of 2015, I earned the “professional” certification from the American Herbalist Guild (RH).
What inspired you to formally study herbal medicine?
I was nearing the end of a career in the financial services sector. I had always been interested in health, reading authors like Dr. Robert Haas, Adele Davis and Andrew Weill. My Korean-American martial arts teacher was an herbal medicine enthusiast, and it just seemed like a natural next step for me.
How do you use your herbal training in your work?
I work one-on-one with clients to create a customized wellness plan. The consultation involves determining health goals, reviewing health history, and discussing overall wellness, diet, and lifestyle. I find that for many people this is their first opportunity to talk about health in such depth. It is powerful to take this time and a lot of healing seems to come from just the consultation itself. It is exciting to see the shift happen as people start to notice their own patterns. Listening as they reflect about their experience is an important part of my work. Based on the consultation, I create a wellness plan with guidance on dietary and lifestyle changes, information on supplements, and suggestions for personalized herbal formulas.
How do you see the use of herbs evolving?
I see herbs evolving in a couple different directions. The pharmaceutical paradigm where companies are trying to isolate the so-called “actives,” from the herbs and produce a commercial product that is patentable. I understand the impulse, and a precondition to having a variety of these healing products readily available, is that those who create them need to make money. There is a whole discussion to be had about how evolution has set us up to use whole food forms versus isolates, but besides that, perpetuating the notion that one herbal compound is the answer to a certain syndrome or pathology, panders to the notion disease is something we “get,” and it is just a matter of finding the right compound, molecule, or for that matter even single herb, and we will be “fixed.” No doubt many of the factors that affect our health we cannot control, but I believe health is more complicated than that, and much of what we are health wise, are choices we have made. The challenge is to get our clients/patients to understand that.