I am a Northern Californian, born in Oakland, California where I currently reside. I grew up in Berkeley, California, but also in the woods of the Pacific Northwest and on the rocky beaches of California’s northern coast.
As a teenager, I developed a sense that people came to me with their injuries and ailments for a reason, and there lay a path for me to walk. I traveled on freight trains and hitch-hiked all over North and Central America and Europe, always carrying a small selection of medicines in my pack. To this day, I have a love of crude medicines and folk healing, having been served so well by it for so long. My own roots as a healer and herbalist are there, on the road, though there is a taproot of healing work that goes back much further in my family’s history.
At home, I had many grandmothers’ wings spread over me, putting me to work in their gardens and giving me glimpses of the times and places they had come from. Herbal medicine has been a part of my family for generations. My Great-grandmother, a Chinese-American, would use a rooty-smelling liniment she made to soothe the aches and bruises we kids would accrue, and it is that first remedy that has pulled me over the years to work with the plants. The formula was as Planetary as you would ever like. Chinese railroad workers, toiling through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, far from their homelands, turned to the local American Indian tribes to learn the flora of the area. A glass gallon jug of the liniment is my only material inheritance from her, a priceless heirloom.
The way of the Barefoot Doctor is where I’ve heard my calling, and finding the East West school has been an important part of my development into the role. Using Five Element theory to guide me and a number of modalities in my toolkit, including shiatsu, acupressure, cupping, moxibustion, auricular therapy, gua sha, and herbs, I am able to share in the healing processes of my community. My learning journey continues always, and I have been blessed with many wonderful teachers. In addition to my studies at East West, I am embarking on a training in the Art of Death Midwifery as well, with aspirations to study as a Birth Doula in the future. It is my hope to be able to play a role in all the phases of a person’s life: birth, life and death as well.
There is nothing more satisfying for me than to be of help to others (though I find great joy also in playing music and working in clay). Living a life of harmonious reciprocity and gratitude toward my fellow human people, as well as the animal and plant peoples of this living Earth is my sole directive. I am so pleased to say that I feel this in common with my community here at the East West School of Planetary Herbology. I am humbled by this opportunity to be called Student of the Month. Many Thanks.