Special Events ~ Online & Live

2016 Special Events

Restoring Adaptation and Building Resilience

bee on lavender

bee on lavender

June 4th-11th, 2016, Drome Provencal, Southern France

in partnership with Cathy Skipper and Ecole Lyonnaise de Plantes Médicinales

Deepen your connection with nature and plants, while working with herbs, essential oils, hydrosols, and flower essences as core resources in reducing stress and building resilience.

We’ll explore the ways in which plants can help in the restoration of goodness, adaptation and resilience, for herbal students of all skill levels.

The week will include field trips to local essential oil producers (during the beginning of lavender season!), hands-on distillation opportunities, experiences to deepen our relationships with plants and nature, and exploration of the latest science on stress and adaptation. Our goal will be to recognize mal-adaptive patterns in practice, and to feel confident in selecting plants and crafting formulas for complex individual presentations. Everyone will come away with new interventions to support themselves and others in modulating stress, increasing mental wellness and restoring resilience.

This is an opportunity for practitioners to deepen their skill set in a beautiful retreat-like setting, while students of all skill-levels will gain new tools and broaden their knowledge-base regarding stress, a pivotal concern of clients, as well as family and friends.

For more information and to register, visit the website for this event.


2015 Special Events

Herbal Support for Emotional Resilience and Mental Wellness

blue vervain ~ excellent addition to any mental health tool kit

blue vervain ~ excellent addition to any mental health tool kit

March 27th-29th, White Lake, Michigan

Hosted by jim mcdonald

Herbs can be important allies in working with common mental health concerns such as anxiety, panic, depression, grief and daily stress. Trauma and the long-term stress often associated with systemic and chronic illness also responds well to herbal intereventions. In order to differentiate among the crowd of nervous system remedies and adaptogens (and add plants we might not usually consider for these conditions), we’ll examine the many elements of the complex mind-body balancing act that underlies our emotional wellness and mood stability. These factors include neurobiological function and diversity, genetics and epigenetics, gut flora, inflammation, numerous environmental factors, beliefs and behaviors, constitution and more. The practical goal of the weekend will be for participants to understand how these factors relate to traditional energetic patterns relevant to mental health, to recognize these patterns in practice, and to feel confident in selecting plants and crafting formulas for complex individual presentations.

Along the way, we’ll grapple with the larger cultural and philosophical contexts from which our ideas about mental health arise and consider the collective dis-eases (and potential remedies) which are at play. We’ll also consider the role of the herbalist as a therapeutic presence and how best to accompany others on what is ultimately a unique and personal journey.

Our discussions will be rooted in Western herbal medicine, psychoneuroendocrinology and other integrative models of pathophysiology, plant pharmacology, and a bio-psycho-social perspective on mental health. Significant threads that will also surface repeatedly include traditional Chinese medicine; mind-body and somatic techniques; social and environmental justice concerns; mythology and personal narrative; and the successful integration of herbs with conventional care.

This weekend will offer something for folks looking for self-care information, beginning herbalists and experienced practitioners alike.

For more information and to register, visit jim’s site, here.


East West School of Planetary Herbology ~ Seminar Special Guest

April 24 ~ 26th,  Ben Lamond, California

I’m honored to be featured at this year’s Seminar for both students and practitioner-graduates of Michael and Lesley Tierra’s East West program.

I’ll be teaching all day on Saturday, joining a practitioner panel on Saturday evening and then doing a Sunday morning hands-on class.

Here are some details:

Herbalist as Emissary: Planetary Practice from a Western Herbalist’s Perspective

American herbalists are continuously called upon to bridge seemingly divergent worlds: contemporary and traditional practices, science and spirit, pharmacology and energetics, clinic and field, mind and body. Frequently, we draw concepts and plants from disparate traditional medical systems, as well. Our clients often require that we travel nimbly between these worlds, as they are ever more curious about global systems; increasingly savvy about their bodies; and interested in the latest exotic plants, as well as the weeds in their back yards. In addition to learning the foundations of our craft, we must extend ourselves as emissaries and diplomats–translators of many ways of seeing and being in the world. With this perspective in mind, we will focus on finding common language and concepts in Western herbal practice and Chinese Medicine, with special focus on practical energetics, actions and chemistry, and protocol development. We will examine key plants from each materia medica and explore local and European plants in relation to Chinese formulas, all with an eye towards developing practices grounded in our local ecologies and responsive to our clients’ needs.

Medicine-Craft: Potency and Beauty in Equal Measure

This session will expand participants’ toolkits to include innovative applications of plants in practice, especially those that are local and readily available. We’ll discuss the art of (delicious) tea-making; the use of honey and vinegar in electuaries and oxymels; tasty vehicles for powders; oils, poultices and compresses for use alone or in tandem with somatic therapies; and engaging the spiritual nature of plants through flower essences. Weather permitting, we’ll include the use of fresh plants in many of the above, in tandem with direct practice of gratitude and intention-setting as we craft our medicine, from harvest to administration.

For more information about registration, visit the East West School’s site, here.