Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee didn’t allow for much exposure to things like herbalism, just the vestiges of southern folk medicine mixed with the health food store accounts of rare radicals like myself. So, in 2006 I traveled to Yreka, California to study herbal medicine at The Blue Otter School of Energetic Herbalism. From there I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where I was fortunate enough to land a job working at Herbs, etc., the longstanding herbal supplier founded by Michael Moore a generation or two before I was born.
In order to serve our customers better I enrolled in the East West Herb Course so that when people asked me about the Chinese and Ayurvedic Herbs we offered I might be able to give them real answers. In 2010 (about a year into the East West program) I quit my job, left New Mexico, and effectively halted my herbal studies to pursue my other passion in life, music. After four years of learning to play the violin, I found that the dust gathering on my Herb Course Book 2 was getting unsettlingly thick. So, entrenched in a degree program at City College of San Francisco, I began doing the herb coursework again.
As the year readies to change to 2016 I am finding myself well into Book 3, one semester away from receiving an Associate’s Degree at CCSF, playing gigs regularly with my band, Ghost Note Ensemble, and beginning the registration process for a Tuina massage program next year. I’ve taken my time with my education. I began the East West Herb Course five years ago and it will have taken me four years to earn an A.A., but this time has been dense with gifts. The classes I’ve taken in music, herbal medicine, chinese medicine, environmental science, and sustainability have all refocused my vision. My goal for the present and future is to integrate Chinese medical theory, bioregional herbalism, bodywork and exercise science, and sustainability into a cohesive practice worthy of supplementing the health of people so that people can restore the health of the planet. I view human and planetary health as one dynamic force and hope to do whatever I can to encourage this vision in the world.
At the encouragement of Kristi Shapla of the East West School I recently started a blog where I have been posting my recent papers for public viewing: https://wakerobinblog.wordpress.com