Do not look now, but there is a Traditional Naturopath and Medicinal Herbalist in Warren that you have not met yet. But fear not, because you can meet her now, over an imaginary coffee. Pull up a chair and let us begin.
My first impression was of a Flower Childe, transplanted into Warren, sparks of Mother Nature's Power snapping in the air like sun motes all around her. Flowing clothes, soft hues, sparkling eyes, and an ancient Blessing of Wisdom poured off this woman, and made the space feel more like a woodland glen than a coffee shop.
But do not be deceived, this is no frail flower, more like a primal force. She is a founding board member of the American Naturopaths Association http://americannaturopathsassociation.org/, graduate of The Naturopathic School of the Healing Arts http://www.naturopathicschoolofannarbor.net/, a corporate professional, and a Mother.
As we say around the grasslands of where the Three Rivers Meet, do not let the smooth taste fool you. This savvy lady is one Wise Woman, and the Touch of She Who Changes Everything is all around her.
"What led you to this? How long have you been wanting to do this?"
"I have long felt a deep connection with Mother Nature, in fact, I often (half jokingly) tell stories to my children that I am a child of the Earth and was raised by the trees. The pivotal part of my own healing journey, the one that propelled me into the realm of natural health and wellness, began right around the time I conceived my first child. Growing a baby is a grand responsibility and one I did not want to take lightly. I wanted to do everything in my power to nurture and nourish this life blossoming within, and so began my quest to seek a more holistic approach to caring for this little one about to be born. After his arrival earth-side, I felt this instinctive urge to protect him from anything and everything that I could. This included everything from the products I used on his delicate skin, to the diet I ate which would nourish his growing body through breastfeeding, to the comfort and care provided during times of illness . I guess you could say that his birth deepened my sense of conviction and opened a portal to conscious awareness of how everything we ate, everything we thought, everything we did, affected our state of overall health and well-being. With this new found sense of awe and awareness, I decided to begin a lifelong journey into the realm of natural healing and enrolled in a 3 year experiential program to obtain my Naturopathic Diploma. This program was not only transforming, but life-altering. I am ever grateful for my experience and for the time spent within those sacred walls."
"What do you want to accomplish?"
" I think the east side is in dire need of a transformation and re-birth. After my son was born, it really discouraged me that when I was looking for more “holistic” minded practitioners for my family, there really were none to be found in this area. I am here to shake things up a bit and offer the community another choice for a wellness practitioner. Although, to be fair, there really aren’t too many people that I have met (in general) that actually know what a Traditional Naturopath is or what such a person would have to offer. I would like to be a catalyst for change in that dynamic, and work to shift the mentality of what health CARE truly means by taking a hands-on approach, and being actively engaged within my community as both an educator and a healer. It is my wish to help empower others to take charge of their health, while offering support and encouragement along the way."
"Who is your target clientele?"
"Right now most of my client base has been women and children, and I personally feel very drawn to work within this demographic – especially women’s health. With that being said, however, my target audience is really anyone who is interested in taking an active role in their health by using natural healing modalities. If you’re tired of being sick and tired, if you are interested in a path to wellness that supports vitality vs. one that suppresses symptoms, if you are willing to be a co-creative force in your healing journey – let’s chat!! Making the choice to live a Life Of Vibrant Energy is powerful and it is a path that is open to all!"
"Where do you see yourself in five years?"
"I see myself continuing to learn, to grow, to shine my light and to share the immense value that these healing traditions have to offer in our fast-paced, modern world. I also envision a healing center, perhaps a house of healing, that would incorporate many healing modalities and offer a sacred space for people to find refuge. A place to quiet the mind, nourish the body, and uplift the spirit through healing diets, bodywork, hydrotherapy, energy work, herbal therapeutics, rest, and much, much more. If you can dream it – you can do it…and I’m dreaming BIG!"
"Thoughts on Susan Weed?"
"I am vaguely familiar with Susun Weed. I do know that she has a very strong following (primarily female). Some of the stuff she has written really resonates with me, while other things do not jive well with my own philosophies. That’s the beauty of the natural healing tradition – there are so many talented herbalists and healers to learn from!! In my library I have works by a variety of well-known authors of herbal wisdom including: Dr. Christopher, Rosemary Gladstar, David Hoffman, Farida Sharan, Juliette de Bairacli Levy, Matthew Wood, and Margi Flint (to name a few)! I love them all!! Each of these herbalists offer their own unique look into the magical world of plant medicine, and it is a great honor to be able to draw from the vast array of experiences and wisdom that they so graciously share."
"Thoughts on Jim McDonald?"
I was first introduced to his teachings while I was a student of Mary light’s at the Naturopathic School of the Healing Arts. A classmate and dear friend of mine invited me to take a class of his with her on respiratory health, and that was my first introduction to his style of teaching. I was really blown away by the depth and volume of information that he shared in a way that was very accessible. I also found him to be down to earth and extremely approachable. After my friend and I graduated from the NSHA, she asked me if I wanted to take this Four Season Herbal Intensive that he offers. At first I was hesitant because I had just gone through this intensive three year program where I was away from my family for an entire weekend each month. I thought I could really use a break and some time to focus on being a mama to two littles, but there was this little voice within, this intuition that said you NEED to take this course of Jim’s. I just had this strong feeling that it would be beneficial to my herbal training and that I would learn so much in going through it. So, needless to say I am just finishing up his four season herbal intensive program that began in March of this year and I have absolutely no regrets. I am really excited to be a part of this class and, as suspected, I HAVE learned so much throughout this adventure and have also met some really amazing up and coming herbalists from in and around the Great Lakes region. If you ever get the chance to study under Jim, do not hesitate to do so. He really is a phenomenal teacher, he is like Pan…a very strong connection to the plants that can be felt through his passion for them."
One feels like time stands still when you meet a Holy Person. Holy in Pagan Faiths is recognized in the way it is supposed to be, Blessed and Favored and Committed to a Path. Time stood still in that coffee shop for a little while. The commitment to Healing is a Calling. She has answered it.
While speaking with her, we shared a Healing/Teaching moment that sent me in search of the Wisdom behind one of my creatures with whom I share a phobic relationship. Sorry, not revealing it here. But in that mission was discovery.
Mama Nature's Apothecary http://www.mamanaturesapothecary.com/about-me.html is located in Warren, but as she is an old school Traditionalist, she does house calls as needed. Traveling the highways and byways is quite the mission, but she is up to it.
To reach her, call her at (586) 879-7444. She offers many services, products, healings, and classes.
Her friends call her Mama Nature. Truer words were never spoken.
If you do not know who Pan is, go to http://www.patheos.com/blogs/panmankey/2013/02/pan-the-god-of-all/ and read some of the fine writings of Jason Mankey, a beloved favorite at ConVocation http://convocation.org/.