Student Rick Amsol

Growing up, I remember my parents frequently using herbs and traditional, European folk remedies. When I was about 5 years old, my mother had severe pneumonia and stayed in bed for a number of days. During her illness, she drank a strong-smelling herbal decoction and I recall watching another family member do traditional cupping over her whole back. Smelling the strong herbs and seeing the raised skin and dark, reddish-purple spots over her back, I felt fascination, fear and awe.  This experience and other similar encounters with traditional healing methods planted a seed for my future health care choices and practices.

As an adult, I was first exposed to the concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) while in massage school; I have been studying TCM ever since. Around that same time, I also met Misha, my current partner. Her knowledge and practical use of herbs rekindled my fascination with traditional healing and inspired me to learn herbs more in depth. After exploring medicinal herbs on my own for some time, I decided to formally begin my studies at East West School of Planetary Herbology in 2003.

I recently completed the East West course and earned the Planetary Herbalist certification. Now, I’m in process of working with a mentor and continuing to grow in my herbal practice. My goal is to earn the East West Clinical Herbalist degree and become registered with the American Herbalists Guild as a professional herbalist. My mission is to enrich, educate and empower those I serve to confidently use local herbs for their health and well-being.

Professionally, I have been practicing massage and bodywork in Chicago, IL, since 1999. In my private practice, I have specialized in craniosacral therapy, somatoemotional release, and integrative body therapy. During a seven year period, I also worked within several grant-funded, low-income clinics with HIV+/AIDS clients and for three years I worked within an outpatient pediatric pain clinic at a major children’s hospital. In addition to my clinical practice, I have been a massage instructor at three different massage programs. And, for five years, I served as the director of education for one of these schools. As I evolve my private practice, I am excited to bring the benefits of herbs into my work with both adults and children experiencing pain (physical, emotional and spiritual).

Currently, I live in Chicago with my wife and two, energetic children.

My private practice website:

In 2009, I published and released a massage DVD and e-book entitled, ‘Professional Full-Body Massage:  A Step-By-Step Video Guide and E-Book.’  To learn more, visit:

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