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.

www.nicolemacdonald.com

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: www.newearthherbals.com

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: www.goatberryhill.com

markdieveMy path towards herbalism began via a long and winding road as a small child in 1970s Ann Arbor, Michigan. This international-college-town microcosm of diversity, hope and idealism would form the roots of my worldview that I have relied on as my touchstone throughout the decades. In my 20s, I moved to New York City to live a corporate ethic of work hard/play hard. This brought on the collapse of my health and a radical shift in how I chose to live my life and health, literally overnight.

This experience made so apparent to me was how easily we disconnect our true selves from our projected selves, most often resulting in degenerative health. My family and I have now committed ourselves to demystifying and eliminating confusion from the world around us by rolling back various aspects of our household to tried-and-true times, re-approaching each product/task with the benefit of hindsight to learn from our modern mistakes. Our main goals are to eliminate toxins, waste, and health imbalances; and to keep our child as unpolluted as possible from the epidemics of 'moderinitis.'

My approach to herbalism has been to absorb as many traditions/lessons as possible (Western, Native American, Ayurveda, TCM, etc.) as a humble student of the dynamic relationships of organisms as 'phenomena' and their essence. I don't believe these lessons would even be possible without the techniques of systemic thinking to help identify the components, forces, and relationships that exist, constructing a more holistic picture.

I've been in the East West School's herbal program for the past couple years, as well as in graduate school to attain my MBA in Sustainable Enterprise, and I had my first child, all at the same time. These past three years have been intensive as a student for continual improvement, in so many respects. I also signed on to East West alumna Candis Cantin's Ayurveda course, which I just completed in February 2011. There are so many elders I respect as well and whose books I cherish.

To build on my experiences and successes, using herbalism to heal conditions from a modern lifestyle, in my family and my community, my wife and I are launching a site. It will be more than just a shingle on the door, and we hope to grow it into a source of information and education to help advocate complementary and alternative medicine policy in the home, community, and beyond.

Jerry and Nancy Angelini are brother and sister students of the East West Herb Course. Jerry just became our new office manager at the East West Acupuncture Clinic, while his sister Nancy is the East Coast sales trainer for Planetary Formulas. What a dynamic duo!

 

NangeliniNancy Angelini

As a very popular and sought-after educator in the natural products industry, Nancy captivates audiences nationwide with her informative, science-based seminars and trainings. Nancy is well known and highly respected for her ability to convey the comprehensive science behind the health concerns and products she speaks about. She comes by this ability quite naturally, being the daughter of a Ph.D working as an analytical food chemist in research and development, who raised her from an early age to 'read the studies and find out for yourself.' Nancy has demonstrated this ability time and again in over 1,500 educational lectures, both large and small, during her 14 years as an educator for some of the industry's most respected brands.

After joining Source Naturals and Planetary Herbals as a national science educator in 2010, Nancy was introduced to the East West School of Planetary Herbology by Thomas Dadant, long-time student and friend of Michael Tierra, O.M.D. She decided that it would be absolutely critical to digest and practice herbalism in the style of Michael and Lesley Tierra. As a former student of Rosemary Gladstar and a perennial student of natural health and healing, Nancy finds students and teachers alike to be her long lost kindred spirits.

So taken with the East West School's students, syllabus, classes, website and text books, Nancy entreated her brother Jerry to be a part of this family. Nancy's hobbies, aspirations, goals and interest all revolve around the love of plants, foods and nutraceuticals as a safer and more natural path to wellness.

jangeliniJerry Angelini

The fourth of eight children (and the only boy), I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts outside of Boston. My childhood was spent working on our small family-owned and operated produce farm. We grew and continue to grow raspberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and other vegetables. We are currently in the process of introducing elderberry trees and other perennials to the farm to shift the land toward organic herb harvesting and medicinal preparations.

I graduated from undergraduate and graduate programs at Boston University and continue my education in various aspects of health and wellness to this day.

I have worked in a number of areas of health and wellness. I began as a psychotherapist and integrated bodywork into my practice. This grew to include diet, nutrition, Western herbs and aromatherapy as modalities to support a holistic approach to regaining balance and health. Energetic techniques including Reiki, channel massage, Jin Shin Jyutsu and more recently, Thai massage and medical Qi Gong address the subtle and sometimes not so subtle interaction of the Holographic Universe and our relationship to it. In addition to these, the study of spiritual practices including Native American pipe ceremony, sweat lodge and other shamanic practices, Buddhist meditation and Vedic mantra and astrology have interwoven themselves at various times to support the daily shift of my and my clients' connection to and movement through the world. 

I think that each herbal tradition has a rich language of assessment and treatment. Since I started in June 2010, this course has been providing me with a more intimate understanding of the Western, Chinese and Ayurvedic terminology associated with them. So much of our American approach to health restricts the layperson from taking responsibility for and owning their personal wisdom and path toward health. I believe this has led to current epidemics including cancer, obesity, emotional dysfunction and the general state of stress and dis-ease rampant in our culture. In learning a language that allows us to intuitively recognize how we are feeling physically, emotionally and spiritually, we can then take basic and more complicated steps towards the rectification of our interaction with ourselves and our environment.

suzannerobertsonI was born in Winnemucca, Nevada, to young parents. For many years I lived with my grandparents in a wonderful country home. My grandmother was a farm girl so she baked, canned, sewed, embroidered and crocheted. I was lucky to learn these at a young age. My grandfather was Italian and he grew the biggest red onions and tomatoes that I still haven't seen equaled. In the summer I would hike up the mountain, barefoot and carefree, even becoming lost at times but always finding my way home. (I would never let my children or grandchildren do that today!)

As I grew up and then had children of my own, I carried all these memories and crafts I had learned with me though they slowly became lost with life and kids and work. I had five children and 21 grandchildren by the time I found my way to Pacific Botanicals where I have worked for five years now. Here is where I started on my path to learning about herbs and ended up learning more about myself. I have taken Paul Bergner's distance learning class and attended the great weekend seminars at Sheryl Tilgner's farm and Herb Pharm. When I decided to take a course to become a herbalist I chose East West after looking at many other courses. This also led me to Lesley Tierra's Radiance Quest that has been the springboard to finding my strengths and overcoming my weaknesses.

Last year I decided to start my own business making student herb kits and starting a website. There have been many starts and stops but plan to have all together in February. I would like to eventually expand to other schools creating different kits for their needs.

My greatest wish is to bring the wonderful world of herbs and a greater self-understanding to my family and others and becoming the most wonderful grandmother to a whole new generation of little herbies.

http://herbalawakening.web.officelive.com/default.aspx

rachelhull2I grew up in Perth in Western Australia, where the countryside is very dry. As a child I did not feel connected to the earth there as I didn't relate to it and it seemed very harsh. When I moved to the eastern side of Australia, I felt much more of a connection with the land, possibly because it was a lot greener and more sub-tropical. 

After leaving Australian 51/2 years ago, my husband and I lived in Shanghai, China for 16 months, and then moved here to Bali, Indonesia. I have one son who is 23 years old, and still living in Australia.

We contracted land here and have planted 300 types of medicinal herbs. As most of them are from Indonesia, my next challenge is to become familiar with them and learn what they are used for, and get my language skills stronger so I can seek out local herbal wisdom. We also plan to build a house on our land next year, followed by a yoga studio later.

I am a yoga teacher by profession, and run yoga trainings and retreats. Next year I am excited to organise a yoga and herbal medicine retreat here in Bali, where I am bringing over an herbalist from Australia (western and Ayurvedic). In this way I can study more as well as create an event that I am passionate about that I hope will be lots of fun. 

Ten years ago, I studied Ayurveda for two years with an Ayurvedic doctor and I really want to become a practicing herbalist.  It has been a bit challenging because I have been feeling '˜between countries' and not sure where to start, but I decided to just start studying, put the plants in the ground and see where it all leads.

I officially started with East West Herb Course two years ago, but I really started working on the lessons over the past year.

Herbal medicine and making products seems to be my most enjoyable hobby right now. I also love reading and being around interesting people from all over the world.

My website is: www.shaktispirit.com.

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