Welcome to Our Healing Roots, a blog exploring natural medicine that returns us to the roots of health and wellbeing. Our Healing Roots, LLC, is a private natural healthcare practice and experiential learning center that advocates the safe use of integrated, natural medicine. Many healing ways have gone by the wayside with the advent of conventional medicine. While it is important to receive professional medical advice for serious conditions, there are many things we can do at home to prevent disease and maintain our health. The Latin word for doctor is docere, which means to be a teacher. Our Healing Roots wholehearted embraces the importance of teaching in healthcare, so that people feel empowered about their health and wellbeing. More information about this business can be found at www.ourhealingroots.net.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The "G" Word

One of the most difficult topics to discuss in our culture is the "G" word--grief. We are so inadequately prepared to deal with this emotion and given too little time. Grief is like a roller coaster. We may feel better for several days only to take a dive down again at the most unexpected moments. It is not neat. It doesn't fit inside our boxes very well. Although the saying goes "time heals," we can carry grief for many years deep in our hearts.

Grief can certainly arise as a result of death of a loved or not-so-loved one, but grief can also be secondary to many other losses as well. Other causes of grief include loss of trust, loss of relationship/divorce, moving, loss of a job, loss of wealth, loss of a beloved pet, loss of mobility, diagnosis of a disease and this list goes on and on.  

Last Tuesday, I began a 12 week course about grief.  In my life, all four of my grandparents, many friends, several patients and beloved pets have died. However, the grief that I was not expecting to emerge reached far back into my childhood. By the time I was 16, I had lived in nine different places. Moving so often, I changed schools and left best friends. That old grief welled up deeply after my first class this past Tuesday. That is the oldest grief I remember and I'm amazed by how profoundly it still affects me today, over 20 years later.  This is not a grief that has just simply healed with time. At the time, I used the tools that I had as a child to patch that grief, but I am now ready to gently and compassionately revisit this grief with more effective techniques that I am learning as an adult. 

Why does this matter? Why even bother processing old grief? Many emerging scientific studies are showing that unresolved grief is correlated with many chronic diseases. I am taking a grief course for my health and so I can be a better doctor for the people for whom I care. It is my hope that working through this old grief, I will have stronger, healthier and more deeply authentic relationships in my life.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Looking forward to Lemon Balm & Spring

Today is the first day of spring!  There are wonderful herb walks, moments to be in the garden, a great Tulsa conference just around the corner.

I will be at Grogg's Green Barn this Saturday from 1-2 p.m. discussing the many healing aspects of the garden. Two weeks later on Saturday, April 5th, from 1-2 p.m. I will be at The Garden Trug doing a medicinal plant walk.  These are great opportunities to learn about the many healing aspects of the plants we can grow.

One of the plants I'll be discussing this year is Lemon Balm (also called Melissa). Lemon balm is a cooling and sour member of the mint family. It is a wonderful plant to have on hand for anxiousness, mild depression, attention problems, insomnia, nervous stomach, and herpes outbreaks. It is considered to be calming for the heart. It can be prepared and used in many ways ranging from a simple tea to a topical ointment. This plant works well when prepared from fresh leaves. It makes a refreshing summer tea and tastes great mixed in with salads. Consider adding it as an important member of your garden this year. Learn about this plant and many others on these upcoming herb walks.

I especially invite you to the Mindful Living Conference on April 12 & 13th. Attend for a half day or the full weekend. Registration includes a light, local lunch from Three Fruits and a Veggie Farm. This conference will focus on all wellness & mindful living throughout all phases of life...

Saturday morning--Conception & Birth
Saturday afternoon--Children
Sunday morning--Adulthood
Sunday afternoon--Aging and End-of-Life

Learn more & register by visiting  www.306phoenixhouse.com. I hope you and your friends will come celebrate with us!

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Vital Force

One of the tenants that distinguishes naturopathic medicine is called the vis medicatrix naturae, or the healing power of nature. It is also called the vital force. We believe that our bodies have the ability to heal. The job of the naturopathic doctor is to aid people in removing any obstacles to health and to support the vital force. Obstacles to good health include excessive and prolonged stress, lack of sleep, poor digestion, dehydration and lack of exercise to just name a few. We support the vital force with techniques such as hydrotherapy, homeopathy, and  teaching nutritional and lifestyle information.  Instead of going in with the intent to fix a person, we support the natural healing ability of each person. In other words, we believe the healing comes from within each person and our job is to support and nurture...not fix. It is a paradigm that works well in many cases. 

I work with many people diagnosed with cancer. In most instances, I am providing integrative care, in that people are receiving both naturopathic and conventional care for their cancer. In this case, the naturopathic paradigm comes together with the paradigm of conventional medicine. Cancer may be at an advanced stage that needs an immediate fix, but naturopathic medicine can also be used to help support the vital force of the person in healing. As I continue to learn and grow within my profession, I continue to learn there is no one right path for everyone. Sometimes it is in bringing together different paradigms and using different ways of looking at health that the people we are trying to help truly win.