My name is Barbara Scavotto, and I’ve lived in Northern Connecticut my entire life. My mother is an avid gardener and taught me how to grow flowers from a very young age. I remember the wonder of watching my sunflowers grow from seedlings to over 7 feet tall. My interest in herbs as medicine started when I worked at a veterinary clinic that focused on acupuncture and chiropractic, and also used TCM formulas. I was fascinated by the formulas and how they worked. Several years later, our local herbalist offered a year-long course on Western herbs, which my husband surprised me with as a gift. That fueled my interest and passion in herbs. After completing a second Western herbal course, I knew I wanted to be a clinical herbalist. I spent several months researching programs that would provide the quality of education, which led me to East West. I signed up in November 2015 and the course has been exactly what I wanted and needed. I have been immersed ever since. I will attend my first seminar in April and will pursue my East West Herbalist certification, bringing me closer to my goal of opening my own practice as a clinical herbalist.
Last summer, my husband and I bought a new home that had beautiful but overgrown gardens. We have been bringing those gardens back to life, adding vegetables, nurturing native herbs, and adding some hardy Chinese herbs. I have learned so much about each plant by watching them grow throughout each season. Along with gardening, I love to hike –anything that brings me outside! I also love to bake, spend time with our rescued rabbit, Cinna, and make herbal and body care products for my business, AutumnTide Herbals.
I grew up in the boreal forest of northern Alberta, Canada. My love of the natural world was cultivated at a young age by numerous days of fishing,> camping, and foraging for berries and mushrooms in the woods. I was always fascinated with how the world worked and loved my science classes in high school. After graduation I got my diploma in Chemical Technology and set out for a career as a lab tech. It didn’t take long for me to realize that a career in chemistry was not what I wanted to do long term. For the next several years I bounced around from job to job. My favorite one was working at a tree nursery for a summer. I loved being around the plants and began to think about what type of career I could have that would allow me to work with plants more. Shortly after, my mom got really sick from a medication that her doctor prescribed and she began seeing a naturopath. She told me all about the new things she was learning. I had never had any exposure to alternative medicine before and I found it fascinating. My husband, seeing my new found passion, suggested that I make a career out of it and become an herbalist. I spent months researching herbal courses online and signed up for the East West program in 2009, around the same time that my husband and I started building our off-grid farm. I began reading the course books but didn’t do much with the program for the next five years. In 2014 I decided it was time to hit the books for real! I attended my first seminar in 2015 and Intermediate track this year. The teachers at the seminars do such a wonderful job of bringing the course material to life and really motivated me to work even harder on my studies. Once I finish the course I plan to open an herbal practice in my community and would like to do some local teaching and retreats here on our farm. I am also considering continuing my education and getting my acupuncture license. When I’m not playing with herbs I can be found helping my husband with our farm critters, crafting handmade bath and body products for my company Roots of the Earth Wellness, walking in the woods with my dogs, or curled up by the wood stove with a mug of tea.
My name is Hanni Heller-Ram I was born and raised in Israel. My mother is German and raised us on Dr. Schuessler’s bio cell salts and chamomile tea. We had a garden with over 400 species of fruit trees, vegetables and flowers and she installed in me the love for plants. My husband and I arrived in Connecticut in pursuit of our college education; here I studied and practiced architecture and raised my two boys. Healing was always in the background, often helping family and friends with simple herbal suggestions, Reiki and aromatherapy. About 10 years ago, while looking for ways to better myself and my architecture, I got introduced to Feng Shui. This started my quest into Chinese philosophy and several years later, I emerged as an acupuncturist.
I love acupuncture! I have my own practice for almost five years now, and in addition I am an adjunct professor at the acupuncture clinic at UBIA, and a volunteer at a local AIDS project.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, at the time I went to acupuncture school, my program did not offer the herbal part, but I knew that I would get back to it one day. My problem was that I could not connect and relate to the Chinese herbs as commonly taught in the local Chinese medicine schools. I wanted to study through my hands, touching, feeling and gathering like in my mother’s garden, hoping to find a way to integrate both. Last year, I signed up for a CEU class with Michael Tierra through PCOM and I know right away that I found my match. The Planetary philosophy and Michael’s warm and down-to-earth approach were what I was looking for. I joined the East West family in December 2015.
My goal is to slowly but fully integrate herbology into my practice. I would like to be able to offer my patients the full spectrum of Chinese medicine. Furthermore, this is still my personal quest, and maybe one day I will be able to get my OMD or PhD.
Hi! My name is Megan Deely. I am currently residing in the outskirts of good old Cleveland, Ohio. I’ve been here for ten years now and although I am only 24, I feel as if I have lived through quite a few mini-lifetimes since I’ve been here – little awakenings, if you will, leading me to where I am now.
I have been completely immersed in the world of holistic healing since I enrolled with the East West School about four years ago. Learning about the energetics of herbal medicines and how they synergize with each other and with the human body has been the most eye-opening and rewarding aspect of my studies so far. After plant energetics was brought to my awareness, it led me to study other aspects of energy medicine. I am a practitioner of various energetic body works, including Reiki and Polarity Therapy, and have been working toward receiving my Holistic Health Practitioner diploma through the Wellness Forum for the past two years.
I feel so strongly about wanting people to know that they can take control of building their health. Helping to bring ease into the process for people, and helping them to realize that they are indeed in control, is what is important to me. I am really interested in the power of thought and how it affects things physiologically – something I hope to learn more about in the future!
I plan to attend the upcoming East West Seminar to finish the Advanced Track, and to eventually become an East West Certified Herbalist. I’m finding that the farther along I get in my studies, the more I want to learn. I intend to go back to university and finish up my bachelor’s in molecular and cellular biology, with a concentration in plant sciences. I feel passionately about making a bridge over the gap that there seems to be between the science-oriented and etheric world that I have dipped into over the past few years. They are both so important.
In addition to loving plants and being more or less just enthralled in the world of energy medicine and the people who are involved in it, I love live music and the community that comes with it, continually reading and learning, and movement medicine: dancing, yoga, and wandering around in the woods, mostly.
I am so grateful to East West for the beautiful sense of community that has been provided for me, and also for rekindling my passion for learning. It feels like I have found a light that will not go out!
One of the main reasons I got into holistic health, and learning about herbal medicine, nutrition, iridology, self-empowerment, etc., is because I was upset that there has always been such a cloak of mystery around illness. There is an idea that disease just ‘happens’ to a person, and the ‘only’ plausible solution is to take medications, have surgery, or die.
When I was able to experience for myself the difference between being healthy (experiencing crippling pain around periods and mood swings that debilitated my relationships with people around me, headaches, fatigue along with other ‘everyday’ healthy people issues) and HEALTH (no pain at periods, balance in my relationships, enhanced self-esteem, an ability to wake up before 10 am),…. The message was loud and clear: herbs, a healthy diet, are BIG key players in health.
I have been rooted in the holistic community since May 2009, and have been passionately exploring and advocating a different way to live. I studied Holistic Nutrition under the tutelage of many inspiring teachers at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. I have a practice in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where I help people become informed consumers, whole food fanatics, and energized citizens. Nutrition, herbal medicine and iridology are the tools and resources I use to get people back to health.
One of my most inspiring teachers was Darko Prce, M.Sc. CNP, RNCP, ROHP, who had the conviction and compassion to create in me the strength to pursue a career in holistic health. He knew that miracles are within the hands of a practitioner equipped with heart, the knowledge of plants and nutrients, and the patience to continue the path of understanding and sharing!
I enrolled at the East West School of Planetary Herbology in October 2013.
My professional goal is to be able to support my Hamilton community in helping for health to not be such a mystery. My way of achieving this goal is to continue to host workshops that educate people, build up my Youtube channel to reach the people who need these messages most, and continue to involve myself in my city. Visit me at jillianwisborg.com.
My name is Nathan Shannon. I was born in Meeker, Colorado, which is in the northwest part of the state. I moved to central Wisconsin before I started school and lived there until I was 21 at which time I moved to Phoenix, Arizona, which is where I still live. In 2003 I began studying Asian Bodywork at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe. The styles of Asian Bodywork I initially studied were Acupressure, Tui Na and Zen Shiatsu. After receiving my initial diploma I began seeing clients full time and I continued on with my Asian Bodywork studies, specifically Tui Na and Acupressure within the Chinese martial arts community in Arizona. I also studied and began practicing Craniosacral therapy and different forms of Specialized Kinesiology. I found it helpful and effective to integrate both Asian and American bodywork modalities.
My involvement in Chinese martial arts exposed me to Chinese herbal medicine both as a patient and a student. I quickly realized that Chinese herbalism was very effective and efficient however I have always preferred to work with plants that I knew from my local environment…If only there was a way to utilize them along with classic Chinese formulas while keeping to Chinese medical principles and theory! After learning that this is precisely what the East West Herb Course teaches, I knew that it was the school for me.
I began the East West program in 2012 and just finished all of my course work and all three East West seminars this April. I will now be working to obtain professional membership in the American Herbalists Guild. I have a full time practice in which I practice Planetary Herbalism in conjunction with Asian Bodywork and Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique (a healing technique which utilizes a form of acupressure and energy psychology/ neuro-emotional therapy).
I intend to continue building my herbal medicine practice, and begin teaching community classes in herbal medicine. At some point I will be working to collaborate with other local herbalists to offer herbal medicine to veterans in need of care in a free clinic setting.
When I’m not working I enjoy spending time with my family, gardening, wild crafting herbs, camping, hiking/walking my dog, practicing martial arts (Xing I Quan) and practicing things related to my animistic spiritual beliefs.