Just between us, I never set out to make a career of herbalism. Until a major health event changed my view of the world, culinary spices were the only herbs in my world. It never occurred to me that my kitchen spice rack might be chock full of healthy, natural medicine. That was before a July afternoon visit to the doctor changed everything.
In 2003, I was lying in an oncologist’s exam room, recovering from a needle biopsy. All I could think about was how unfair it was that I was only 40 and facing breast cancer. While I was on the phone crying to my girlfriend, she said, “Why don’t you go see my naturopathic doctor? He’s helped everyone in my family, and he might have some ideas for you.”
A few weeks after my first appointment, my chronic stomach pain and fibromyalgia symptoms were 80% better, a result of the natural supplements he gave me. I maintained my weight through the chemo treatments and never developed an infection or serious side effect.
A few months later, I started seeing a counselor to help me cope with the stress of chemotherapy and radiation. She made what seemed like a strange suggestion at the time – stop eating ‘white foods’. What she meant was eliminate grains that had all the fiber removed (aka processed food) and cut out sugary food as much as I could.
I wondered, “What does food have to do with feeling stressed?” But I followed her instructions anyway (which included a few simple supplements from the health food store), and I went from feeling exhausted nearly all day, every day to having a radically higher energy level in a short 2-3 weeks. I could finally sleep because pain wasn’t a constant part of my day and night anymore. I could say “yes” to ordinary activities that were once too strenuous and exhausting, like gardening and college classes.
Regaining my strength with herbs and diet changes had a profound impact on my choice to become a professional herbalist. I suspected there was something my physicians didn’t understand about health and healing, and it was time for me to find out. I read every book I could find and started looking for work that would let me immerse myself in holistic health knowledge on the job.
That’s how I ended up at a busy, Midwest herbal clinic where I built my practice over 15 years. With dual practices in Omaha and Des Moines, I’m able to serve the health needs of two communities and regularly travel between my two favorite cities.
I love working with my clients, and I’m excited about the opportunity to help you restore balance and find a happier, healthier you!