My areas of interest
We so often hear now, both in popular culture and from our health practitioners, that stress and disease are linked. And so focusing on dealing with our stress seems a good place to start. But stress is such a broad and subjective term; the way it manifests for you is completely different from the next person. Being told to ‘deal with our stress’ because it is at the ‘root of our illness’ leaves us with few clues of how exactly to achieve this daunting task.
In my botanical practice I put an emphasis on listening carefully to my patients’ experience of the world, what is hard and what makes them flourish. In the smallest of details, I try to gain perspective on what it feels like to be them in the world, rather than just using labels like ‘stress’, ‘anxiety’ and ‘depression’, which I find to be of limited use. I aim to meet the patient where they are at, rather than imposing preconceived ideas of what it means to be healthy. Based on this, I use plants to offer medicines that affect mood, emotions and experience.
Because our emotional and physical well-being are so deeply intertwined, introducing the plants at this level enables the body to harness its natural healing process. New research in the field of pyschoneuroimmunolgy shows that our immune system and nervous system are linked to our psychology, something that has long been known in traditional medicine.
This is not to say that all disease has an emotional root, and in all my sessions I ensure I am checking in on both the physical and emotional levels. However, harnessing mind-body medicine, in my experience, can be beneficial to almost every condition.
My work has several influences. I draw upon Rogerian psychotherapy practices (person centered counseling), as well as traditional herbalism, ayurvedic medicine and a range of meditation techniques. Most of my training has been under Sean Donahue, who has taught me the special relationship we humans can have with plants. I blend these influences with my biomedical knowledge and understanding of psychneuroimmunology to treat body and mind as a whole.