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janekuntzI grew up in the Yorkshire Dales of England. In my late teens I developed a love of travel - not surface travel, like a tourist, but a sinking into and admiration of other cultures. I did Peace Corps, experiencing memorable summers in Scotland, Ireland, Morocco, Italy and Greece. I trained as a teacher/social worker, teaching a variety of ages, and working with troubled teens. A second degree, in theology, led me to church social work in Scotland.

But I always had a passion for health and healing. As a child I rescued stray cats and kept them in boxes in the hedgerow, feeding them scraps from the fish and chip shop.  This passion attracted me to the Seventh-day Adventist church, where I have learned much about preventive lifestyle and natural remedies. I worked at a natural healing center in Norway, before heading for America, where I met my husband, Rick.

My passion took a back seat as we raised our children. But when our youngest went to college, I decided to take the plunge. Mom had just passed to her rest, and there was a small legacy. What better way to honor my dear mother than to learn the plants she had taught me to love? 

After a six-month apprenticeship with a local herbalist, there was no turning back. I tore the brush and briars off a neglected bank, and planted an herb garden. I enrolled with the late Clayton College, intending to complete their Master Herbalist Certificate, and earned their Consulting Herbalist Certificate, but I knew I needed more.

I looked into different schools and was drawn to East West. For me personally, it was a blessing that Clayton closed, or I would not have discovered East West. I love the course itself, and all the extra-curricular opportunities. I can enjoy logging into the online classroom forum and the Wednesday Night Chat with Susan Kramer is a jewel chest.

I would like to complete the 36 lessons, take part in the May seminar, and possibly seek mentorship. My goal is to teach herbal healing in the community and to develop a small home practice, offering consultations, and selling homegrown and wildcrafted remedies. Currently I work alongside Rick in pastoral work, teach a monthly herbal class, and give free consultations when asked. My hobbies are my herb garden; walking with our dog, Wolfy; feeding backyard birds; exploring Maine islands; and horse-riding, cycling and kayaking when opportunity presents. I still love to travel - our family goes each Christmas to bless the children at an orphanage in Honduras. I am developing a medicinal herb garden for them too, and have become by default their "on call" herbal consultant!

hollyhuttonThe Herbal Tarot Deck was my gateway into the East West Course. I am an artist and am working on a tarot deck. I pulled out my Herbal Tarot Deck as an inspiration and started wondering who the creator was. Thanks to the Internet, I discovered Michael Tierra and The East West program. I had been looking at herbal programs for some time and when I found Michael and Lesley's course, I saw it as a sign and enrolled. So here I am three years later, excited about my future, and I am closing in on my last months of the professional herbalist course. I intend to plow ahead and work towards my certified herbalist degree as soon as I complete all 36 lessons. I have been mentoring with K.P. Khalsa for the past year, and will continue until I become a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild.

As a Gemini, I always seem to have two distinct focuses. I have a two Master degrees, one in art and one in counseling. For the past 25 years I have worked in social services, most recently as a deputy director for a large non-profit helping people out of poverty. A few years ago, I realized that I was spinning my wheels. I quit my job last year with the goal of teaching people how they could heal themselves. Currently, I formulate herbal products that I market through stores, fairs, etc. I teach herbal courses through our community college, senior center and retirement centers, etc. Most recently I got a job as a community garden coordinator for Central Oregon, with a focus on obesity prevention. I am an avid gardener and specialize in growing medicinal herbs.

When not working, I ski, hike, camp, go to Burning Man and otherwise dream of traveling to far away places. The East West program has been everything that I could ask for. The weekly chats with Susan Kramer are invaluable, the seminar is exhausting and stimulating, but most importantly, Lesley and Michael have paved the way for those of us who aspire to become clinical herbalists to achieve our dreams.

lloydIn 1974 I bought a copy of the Barefoot Doctor's Manual and it changed my life. After graduating I built an Investment Consulting Practice in Atlanta and the TCM diagnostic process became the foundation of my client intake. The concepts I learned from TCM helped me create a successful practice which I sold in 2000. I continued teaching the intake process, called the "Relationship Conversation," as a keynote speaker and executive coach.

In 2003 I met my wife, Pamela, giving a workshop in Calgary. We share a love of travel and creative pursuits. We both went through the UCLA screenwriting program and I currently have a play and novel in draft. We spent the last three years touring around North America in a Prevost bus which we detailed in our travel blog and my creative interest website I sculpt, practice Aikido, Tai Chi, Chinese tea ceremony, djembe, and am slowly working on a personal translation of the Yijing. 

We moved to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, in 2004 and I became a Canadian resident. I love the people, the wind, the music, and the community that is now my home. After five years of eating a vegetarian diet, I realized I was showing signs of insulin resistance. I contacted a local herbalist and started to take my health seriously. She recommended I read Green Pharmacy by Barbara Griggs. 

My mother passed away last year and I never believed the doctors ever understood her case. I decided then to help myself and others take ownership of our own well-being. I began the East West Professional Herbalist course in July of 2011 after comparing several different schools. I was attracted to East West because of their synthesis of TCM, Ayurvedic, and Western herbalism. By taking the best from each tradition I believed the diagnostic process would be more accurate, treatment would be shortened, and clients would recover balance in their lives faster. I wanted to work with the holistic practitioners in my community to give others the tools to break the bonds of chronic discomfort, find peace in a cup of tea, and enjoy each day to the fullest. Thank you fellow students and faculty for helping me encourage others. My practice website is

mflynnMy path with plants began in York, PA, where as a child, I had the good fortune of being encouraged to, "go out and play" in the woods surrounding my house. I learned to love nature and had the opportunity to learn about many plants, whose medicinal uses I am inspired to now be learning.

I grew up, and had some ambivalence about my "career", so I did some traveling and hiking. Soon after, I met my husband and we decided to start a family. I am now a stay-at-home mom to two lovely daughters, and am currently expecting a third (don't know if it's a boy or girl) in late December. I have always loved the outdoors and the magical world of plants; however, it wasn't until I became a parent that my path as an herbalist became clear. I found it frightening and disempowering to rely solely on doctors to take care of my children when they started to have health issues such as food sensitivities, eczema, and the flu. Doctors constantly wanted to prescribe medications that I knew, even as a young mom, were not going to be healthy for my kids. It was at that point that I realized I had to take responsibility for my health and my family's health. I have learned so much in the past three years, since starting my journey at East West. I have found a deep sense of empowerment through my studies.

In the future, I intend to have a little house with a big garden to grow my own herbs. I would also like to have my own small community clinic where I can collaborate with other herbalists in a collective manner. I may even consider midwifery somewhere down the road. My overall goal is to help people empower themselves through their own healing, and to encourage people to reconnect with the Earth. It has been such a blessing to be a part of this school and to have the chance to meet and know the other wonderful students and teachers.

kevinI'm a home dad in Japan, but I grew up in northeast Ohio before the Internet age. I was the little kid who tried to revive baby birds that fell from their nests. It never worked, but I tried anyway. I spent my free time reading nature books, fishing, daydreaming about living in the wilderness, and making primitive tools and weapons. I made potions from plants I couldn't identify, transplanted mint around my yard, and won a gardening trophy in elementary school. My career goal at five was to be a lumberjack -- because lumberjacks hang around in the woods with axes. A few years later I began to study martial arts, and I still do.

I excelled at school when I applied myself, but I was disinterested in academics or responsibility. My plan after graduation was to attend the Olympics. I started college instead, paying my way as a restaurant cook. Somehow I got accepted to law school, but didn't actually want to be a lawyer. I ran away to Japan rather than finish my degree and became a barman in Tokyo. Eventually I got a job on a U.S. military base, met my dear wife, and joined the Army. On active duty I finished a Liberal Arts degree.

I excelled in the military, but gradually realized the path I was following didn't lead in the direction I wanted to go -- so I resigned my commission. I prefer a vocation to a job, and I want to help people without causing harm. While struggling to meet those conditions, I felt called to become an herbalist. I don't know how else to describe it. I began self study and a correspondence course, and then heard about the East West course on Herb Mentor Radio. I started the professional course in December 2010, and attended the seminar in May. This is an excellent course, with excellent faculty, and wonderful people all around. I'm grateful to have fallen in with such good company. My goals here are to learn diligently, practice skillfully, and be of healing service to others. Thank you very much!

colemcdonaldMy connection to plants began early in life when I started work in a flower shop. I learned floral design and managed different flower shops through high school and college. I was always excited for our weekly flower and plant delivery to see something new.

Studying psychology and anthropology in college, I was fascinated by the contrast between American culture and other modern and ancient cultures. Learning how different groups adapt to their environments and the types of healing traditions they each employed revealed universal human truths: That we all want to be connected to other people and something greater than ourselves, and that we strive to survive -- to remove obstacles (heal) so we can achieve our goals. I knew I wanted to facilitate these needs for others, and vicariously for myself!

I obtained my BA in Cultural Anthropology and Holistic Health, studied Shiatsu, Swedish massage, Reiki, and meditation. I later received a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I worked as a holistic psychotherapist, and began the East West course in 2003, just graduating this past May 2011.

I found herbal medicine to be the perfect counterpart to counseling work. People are able to quickly and thoroughly resolve mental and emotional barriers with the healing guidance of herbs. Merging my life passions at last, I have established a holistic counseling and herbal therapy practice, The Neighborhood Herbalist, in San Carlos, CA. I am currently working to fulfill requirements for the American Herbalists Guild.

Newest on my list of endeavors is the launching of the Community Herbal Wellness Clinic. My intention is to educate people and support wellness in my local community. Having grown up here in the Bay Area, it is very fulfilling to provide this type of support to my neighbors. Creating deep connections with my friends and clients is the underlying motivation for my work. Sharing in their healing process is thrilling. It fills me with JOY.

Happily married, I enjoy teaching our two young girls about plants and herbs in our garden at home. Spending time with my extended family and soaking up the sun is what keeps me happy.

kristishaplaI grew up exploring the inlets of South Florida. Swimming with river otters and manatee, diving for starfish, and trying to replant the mangroves kept me grounded in the natural world. This bond carried me through to adulthood, when I got a BS in biology, and a minor in ethnobotany.

In 2002, I traveled to India to study at Vandana Shiva's school in Dehradun. There, I took a two-week intensive in sustainable agriculture with Vandana Shiva, Masanobu Fukuoka (author of One Straw Revolution), and Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher (Ethiopian Minister of the Environment). The Dalai Lama sent a dozen Tibetan farmers in exile to this course as well. The Taoist wisdom of Masanobu Fukuoka has woven itself into my spirit, and I am grateful for this experience.

A few years later, My family and I moved closer to nature even still. We lived in a tipi in Tennessee and learned to forage, trap, and live without electricity and running water (well, except for the water that ran past in the creek). At one point, we had four people, 26 brooding chicks, and a dog all living in a single tipi!

I live in Eugene, Oregon now with my family (daughter, son, husband). Last year, I earned over 300 hours of classroom and clinical training at a local Western herbalism school.

I started the East West program in March, at the recommendation of Rosalee de la Foret. I also attended the seminar this Spring. I could never have anticipated the effect this seminar would have on me. It ignited a spark inside me which has led to a real determination to stay on this healer's path. Since the seminar, I have enrolled in a LMT program, and I plan to enroll in acupuncture next year. If you haven't attended a seminar yet, it was the most supportive, nourishing, challenging, and awakening educational experiences I have ever had.

My hobbies include beer making (my brew won a prize at the East West seminar!!), knitting, traditional archery, gardening, bicycling, Tai Ji, and horseplay. I'll be teaching children's classes at Rootstalk (a new herb festival in Oregon) this year, so if you will be there, please come by the Children's Peace Guild tent and see us!

kgervaisI was born in Newport, Rhode Island. At age six, my family moved to the suburbs near Chicago where I resided until 1974. There, I met new friends who taught that healthy eating habits and taking care of the body increased the likelihood of having a better quality of life. Their example was the evidence that inspired me to make some needed changes.

The year 1974 was a pivotal time. As I reached the age of 18, I began to acknowledge and accept there is a divine design in all of life. I soon became practiced in what became known as "Attunement," a non-touch or light touch energetic approach to aligning the body, mind, and heart with spirit. I learned that clearing patterns of disease is congruent with spiritual development.

I served honorably in the USAF from 1975-1979. Afterward, I deliberated on a career choice between becoming a chiropractor or a school teacher. For a variety of reasons, I chose teaching. In 1985, I earned my B.A. and teaching credential at Northeastern Illinois University. While looking for work, I moved to Oklahoma. There I earned a Masters of Education degree at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. In 1987, I began my teaching career in southern California.

As a special education teacher, I have taught and evaluated hundreds of children with learning disabilities, autism, ADD and ADHD. My experience proved that seeing beyond the disability while fully accepting each child, seemed to reduced stress levels which opened channels for healing and learning.

I enrolled in the East West School of Herbology in November 2008. From the start, I have been amazed at the amount and depth of knowledge that is provided by the facilitators of this course. I graduated in May 2011. The study of herbal medicine has provided a stepping stone to becoming a successful herbalist for which I am very grateful.

I've always had a natural interest in serving others. My hobbies include music and dance. As Thoreau alluded, I hear/feel "the beat of a different drummer." It's been a good life.

My website is in progress:

dodanielOriginally from Memphis, Tennessee, I grew up coast to coast and in between. Those experiences fed my wanderlust and set the stage for life on the move. In many ways it was fragmented, but, in retrospect, the education has been priceless.

I explored the performing arts for much of my young adult life, but eventually returned to school for a degree in nursing (UMass/Boston). I've practiced nursing for 20 years in the areas of HIV/AIDS, oncology, cardiology, elder care, and critical care and did some graduate study. After nearly 30 years of urban life, the last 15 in Miami, it was time for change. Over five years ago, I moved to a small farm in Northeast Tennessee (Appalachia) to nurture my lifelong interest in gardening and to provide a home for animals.

I've always had an interest in alternative health, but didn't pursue it. But then something happened as I studied organics and connected to the land. My life began to heal. Herbs came into the picture with the animals in my care. I looked for non-chemical wormers and from there, began to study herbs. As I read and took courses I found myself re-evaluating my take on health and healing. After much searching, and reading Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra, I enrolled in the East West School of Planetary Herbology in January 2011. It was an excellent decision. In this school I found a community and a system for understanding how to use herbs for more than symptom management or as a replacement for pharmaceuticals. I am new to the program and realize that I have only begun to scratch the surface on the way to understanding the practice of herbalism and the body's inherent ability to heal itself.

Life is becoming my hobby. I still play in the arts, but I am very busy most of the time with my old house, the farm, animals, a job in a small ER, my studies, and protecting my garden from marauders (without harming them). My goal is to create a more sustainable life including the healing arts and to provide services to that end.

My website is a work in progress:

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