I 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.
I 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.
I grew up in Sacramento, California. I've always loved nature, and spent most of my childhood outside, sitting in trees and reading. I lived for many years in the Bay Area, and now live with my husband on 50 acres in the Sierra Nevada foothills. We have two daughters in college.
I am fascinated by science, and earned a BS in Biochemistry from UC Davis and an MA in Cell and Molecular Biology from San Francisco State. During my career in the biomedical field, I did research on a range of diseases including cancer, HIV, and hepatitis. Following that, I taught middle school physical and earth science, as well as other subjects.
I am strongly drawn to herbal medicine, and have been using healing herbs for various ailments for a long time. Desiring to deepen my knowledge of herbalism, I enrolled in the East West course in June 2008. Last year I took an 8-month herbal intensive course at the Sierra Institute of Herbal Studies, which was invaluable for learning about the medicinal plants that are literally growing in my backyard.
Roy Upton's class on good manufacturing practices (GMPs) at the 2010 East West Herbal Seminar struck a chord in me. He spoke about writing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for herbal preparations; I had written countless SOPs during my career in medical research. I liked working at the bench, and I love making things with herbs. This led me to the idea of starting a company making herbal products, which I have just launched in early October. It is called Mountain Balm Herbals, and the website is still under construction.
Another of my great loves is writing, and I feel that it is a good vehicle to share my knowledge about herbalism with a wider audience who may not be familiar with many of the benefits of healing herbs. I write online articles about various aspects of herbal medicine, and I particularly love it when I get comments that say, 'I never heard of this before; I'm going to try it!'
Some of my other interests include traveling, hiking, camping, quilting, and writing fiction. I've had a few short stories published and I am working on a novel.
My experience as an East West student has given me the opportunity to meet many
remarkable, inspiring people, and has really opened me up to the different facets of herbalism.
I don't know where my herbal journey will lead me, but I am definitely enjoying the experience!
Cuban by birth, Guyanese by descent, living in Trinidad and Tobago, I am a simple, down to earth person who loves life. My hobbies include travelling, cooking, reading, listening to music and dancing. I love all types of music and to dance. Married and a mother of five (three stepsons and two daughters), my life is anything but boring! I have always wanted to be a doctor, to be able to alleviate suffering when possible. I have a BSc in Biology (University of Western Ontario) and Medical Degree ISCMH, Havana, Cuba.
I was always very attached to my grandparents; my grandmother always believed in Chinese medicine and we also grew up in the country and were exposed to a lot of our ancestral remedies (bush medicine). While studying in Cuba I realized that being a doctor meant more than dispensing drugs; it meant connecting to patients on a spiritual level and colloquial level, to determine what was indeed right for their healing. I felt as though I needed to find out more about the complementary branch of medicine, the herbal aspect, so with a lot of coaxing from my husband I did a laborious internet search for an herbal medicine school, I put questions out there, and most answers pointed me into the direction of East West. Then I called Jill at the school, and as they say, the rest was history: I signed up in 2007. I am currently in the advanced track of the East West course, and if I can finish all the coursework I will be at the herbal seminar next year, which is really a lovely intense retreat/treat.
I am a medical doctor by profession but decided that my patients would benefit a lot more from the combination of the two branches of medicine East and West. I just recently opened my practice and have been combining the two with a lot of success. The journey is enjoyable. My goal is to help patients with chronic ailments return to a happy, healthy lifestyle combining the Eastern and Western branches of medicine, at the same time empowering them to take charge of their health and to achieve that balance of body, mind and soul '“ HEALTH.
For my first nine years, I lived just outside Xenia, a small town in southwestern Ohio where my brother and I roamed freely through yards, pastures and weed fields with only our imaginations to entertain us. My mother baked bread and made us eat lots of vegetables. Our doctor made house calls with his "little black bag" - and always looked at our tongues. Family vacations were always camping back when bath houses were a novelty in the national parks.
In the early '˜60s we moved to the Florida 'Space Coast' where the beaches were still pristine and the only recreation! It was an exciting place and time, being part of the community on the frontier of space exploration. My high school had an outstanding science program which exposed me to some of the cutting edge research in molecular biology of the day. That exposure showed me how little was truly understood about how the body functions, and together with the '˜60s philosophy of questioning the status quo, formed my distrust of western medicine.
I moved to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University, ended up with a degree in Finance, and settled into life here. I developed a passion for Dressage, that most elegant of horse sports, requiring thousands of hours of dedicated, hard sweaty work to master. Today, my horses are in my pasture out my back door for the comfort being close to them brings and for the day I will take up riding again. In addition to the horses, I live with my partner Earl, daughter Jennifer, three dogs and two cats.
My herbal journey began when I became really sick in Jan 2007. It was some viral thing but I did not fully recover and fell ill again (a new experience for me). Listening to my intuition, I called a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner recommended by a friend. She recommended herbs to me, first to support my recovery and then tonics to treat deficiencies, but tea pills had little effect so I moved to decoctions. I was fascinated. My TCM practitioner remarked one day that I had an intuitive feel for the herbs. I began to look into ways to learn more and found the East West School. It was the program which spoke most strongly to my heart.
Previously, I had set the intent to find something to supplement my income which could generate positive energy when I become eligible to retire from my present job in a few years. I believe that intention has been given direction. My aspiration is to complete the Professional Herbalist Course, open a practice and see what comes next. I am humbled, excited and grateful for all the love, guidance, support and direction I have received here at East West from all the instructors and my fellow classmates; and for the vistas this course has opened in my life.
I was born Arvella Louise Harris in
I desired to be a doctor since childhood but never got there '“ which is good because I couldn't practice a system devoid of Spirit. I began training at North American Institute of Medical Herbalism in May of 2008 as a reward for being smoke-free for over one year. That July I enrolled at East West as the next step to a certificate, but didn't start the coursework until finishing my NAIMH course in October 2008. I also completed hpathy.org's Intro Homeopathic Course last year.
My professional goal is to have a small practice specializing in substance recovery and 'black water tea' therapy. I'm hoping to travel to the Orient for some training and look forward to learning shiatsu and reflexology as adjunct bodywork modalities because bringing comfort through the power of touch resonates with me. I have 16 clients and a little office in a modern, gated RV storage area, adjoining David's custom car shop '“ not ideal, but it does have the advantage of being clean, private, and less than a mile from home. It's right where I'm supposed to be at this point in time.
I extend warm 'thanks' all who have helped me cultivate this calling, or seed, that has dogged me forever to uncover and water. It is an honor to care for people in this capacity.
I'm a city girl who was raised by a 'health conscious' mother and that was extent of my familiarity with alternative health care until 2003. A brush with breast cancer and some very impressive complimentary health care detoured the direction of my life.
Two intense years of counseling, journaling, yoga, support groups, and radical diet and lifestyle changes led me to my life work and passion for natural healing. I met Nicholas "Spirit Bear" Schnell in 2005, who agreed to make me his first apprentice at the Four Winds Natural Healing Center in Omaha, NE. That work has exposed me to his lifelong study of Traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic, Western, Native American and European herbal therapeutics and led me to study with the East West program from August 2007 to May 2010.
Before Planetary Herbology found me, I earned a B.A. in Psychology from Creighton University and held jobs in phlebotomy, insurance marketing and third-party unemployment claims, professional recruiting and desktop publishing, and owned a small business, while raising three daughters. For fun, I resurrected an old interest in playing bassoon and joined the Nebraska Wind Symphony three years ago. Friends and family have stopped trying to guess my next move.
Practically speaking, I'm a 'city herbalist' with urban clients, so it makes sense to apply natural healing in the most accessible and simple ways, subtly educating my patients about how effective herbal healing can be. At the same time, I'm trying to bring the healing plants of Nebraska closer to my living and working environments.
Growing up, I remember my parents frequently using herbs and traditional, European folk remedies. When I was about 5 years old, my mother had severe pneumonia and stayed in bed for a number of days. During her illness, she drank a strong-smelling herbal decoction and I recall watching another family member do traditional cupping over her whole back. Smelling the strong herbs and seeing the raised skin and dark, reddish-purple spots over her back, I felt fascination, fear and awe. This experience and other similar encounters with traditional healing methods planted a seed for my future health care choices and practices.
As an adult, I was first exposed to the concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) while in massage school; I have been studying TCM ever since. Around that same time, I also met Misha, my current partner. Her knowledge and practical use of herbs rekindled my fascination with traditional healing and inspired me to learn herbs more in depth. After exploring medicinal herbs on my own for some time, I decided to formally begin my studies at East West School of Planetary Herbology in 2003.
I recently completed the East West course and earned the Planetary Herbalist certification. Now, I'm in process of working with a mentor and continuing to grow in my herbal practice. My goal is to earn the East West Certified Herbalist degree and become registered with the American Herbalists Guild as a professional herbalist. My mission is to enrich, educate and empower those I serve to confidently use local herbs for their health and well-being.
Professionally, I have been practicing massage and bodywork in Chicago, IL, since 1999. In my private practice, I have specialized in craniosacral therapy, somatoemotional release, and integrative body therapy. During a seven year period, I also worked within several grant-funded, low-income clinics with HIV+/AIDS clients and for three years I worked within an outpatient pediatric pain clinic at a major children's hospital. In addition to my clinical practice, I have been a massage instructor at three different massage programs. And, for five years, I served as the director of education for one of these schools. As I evolve my private practice, I am excited to bring the benefits of herbs into my work with both adults and children experiencing pain (physical, emotional and spiritual).
Currently, I live in Chicago with my wife and two, energetic children.
My private practice website: www.SolFulBodywork.com
In 2009, I published and released a massage DVD and e-book entitled, 'Professional Full-Body Massage: A Step-By-Step Video Guide and E-Book.' To learn more, visit: www.LearningMassageVideos.com
I was raised in the San Francisco bay area and currently live in Grass Valley, Calif., north of Sacramento. My father was a hunter and fisherman. During my childhood, he inspired my love of animals.
While living in Iceland with my husband and two children for a couple of years, I got to be known as the Cat Lady. All the hurt cats ended up at our house. I started medical training as a veterinary assistant in 1980 in Iceland, and continued when I got back to the States. In 1987 I passed the State test to be a nurse (RVT) for animals.
Also in 1987, I got introduced to herbs for animals. At that time I was able to see how well herbs worked but at the time I didn't believe in herbs. I think the reason I started to believe in herbs because animals can't think, "This will make me feel better" -- they just respond to the herbs. (But for humans, yes, it is very important to have a good mental attitude for getting better.)
In 1989 my mother was told she had cancer so I started studying herbs for humans as well. Those herbs did help my mom. In 2000 I was told I had cancer. I started looking up herbs again for cancer and learned what I could use during radiation and chemo. I was surprised that those herbs were able to help my body fight the disease.
In 2005 I started a class in acupressure and massage for animals. This is when I started to learn about Traditional Chinese Medicine and the five elements. That same year, my mother was told she had cancer again, and in 2006 she passed away. Besides of the normal feelings of her passing I felt bad because I didn't help her with the herbs this time and I decided I need to learn more.
I'm also a coordinator for the Disaster Response team for animals. What that means in short is we are the Red Cross for animals. I work mostly during fire season, but we have also worked floods.
I teach CPR for animals, anatomy, zoonotic diseases, and many other topics about animal health.
I am hoping to work more with people and some of the doctors in my area.