For the month of May, we are honoring two students of the month: Pamela Gould and Linda Vaughan!
Pam first became interested in alternative ways of maintaining good health while reading Andrew Weil's book, Spontaneous Healing, while stranded in La Guardia Airport over 15 years ago. After that, she dabbled with herbs on her own but never studied them in depth. Then, a couple of years ago she became a client of East West graduate Susan Kramer for treatment of a serious health issue, which has since been completely resolved.
"It was at that moment that a light bulb went on and I realized I wanted to wholeheartedly devote myself as much as possible to learning the ways of plant medicine," Pam says. "I realized I wanted to understand how and why the herbs worked much more than Susan had time to explain during our consultations." So, for the past two and a half years, without any prior plant or gardening knowledge, body work or alternative medicine experience, Pam dedicated herself to the study of herbal healing, joining the East West School in February of 2007.
For 12 years, Pam worked as a trainer and training developer for a big corporation. She was glad to leave the business world and is currently producing seasonal tonics and teas under the business name of "Earth Mama Remedies" based on several local requests from friends and small businesses.
One of Pam's biggest goals is to teach people that there are other alternatives to self care beyond the traditional medical options they already know, and that with a little education, they are free to take the responsibility of improving their health into their own hands.
"Here in the South (especially in the Southern Appalachian mountains), I have met some amazing older women who know all about plant medicine but whose grown children shun their ideas about plant healing," Pam says. "These older women have aged with grace and good health with the help of their surrounding plant allies. I hope to teach and spread a new southern gospel of the amazing powers of plant medicine."
Pam has been married for 15 years to her husband Mark, "a wonderful, sarcastic Englishman who has taught me the joys of true love, support and partnership." They have two children, Ethan and Daisy. "They have been my inspiration and my first line of experimentation through my studies," Pam says. The Gould family lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Linda has worked and studied in the health field for 36 years. She started her career as a fitness trainer with Jack La Lanne in the '70s.
"Jack was one of the most influential people I have met and his enthusiasm for helping others lit my fire," Linda reminisces. "I became much healthier and developed the desire to help others find vibrant health too."
Linda studied nutrition with La Lanne's personal nutritionist, Brian Keith, in San Diego. She went on to earn a Masters and Doctorate in her field, and had her own private nutritional practice for two years until she had her daughter 22 years ago. Her son was born two and a half years later, and she home-schooled both of them from kindergarten through 12th grade -- a total of 15 years! This allowed her the time to share her love of nature with them.
"I have loved and been attracted to plants ever since I can remember," Linda says. Her grandfather taught her to garden organically, a practice she has maintained for over 50 years. She loves wild places and has spent many days in the back country of Yosemite, Idaho, Wyoming, Mendocino County and many days in the desert near 29 Palms and on the Caribbean island of Anguila. "It was in these places I gathered wisdom from and connected to plants in a deep way," Linda says.
Linda studied herbs on her own through the years, but started formal study in 2003 with Jeanine Pollock for a year, then completed the curriculum at the American School of Herbalism under the tutelage of Ben Zappin and Darren Huckle. Then she started the East West School of Herbology course in the Fall of 2006. She will complete the course at the seminar this May.
"This is my 3rd year of attending the wonderful East West seminar where exposure to so many great herbalist teachers and enthusiastic students is truly an inspiring, bonding adventure," Linda says.
Linda's extensive studies also include energy healing and yoga. She lives in Santa Cruz, Calif.
"My dream is to teach herbalism classes, make as much of my own medicine as I can from plants I grow or wildcraft, and see more people in my clinical practice," Linda says of the future. "I want to get people out with the plants and help them to connect with the energy of the Earth where the real healing begins. I can see this coming into clear focus now at last. Herbalism has been a sacred part of my spiritual journey to Peace and I want to share what I've learned along life's way. It is time to give back!"