Roann Monson re-defines 80!
After 30 years of working in the ASU library, Roann retired on a Friday evening and came to work in the SWIHA Bookstore the following Monday morning. She then enrolled in Western Herbalism, a two-year program that is one of the most comprehensive and rigorous herbalism programs in the country.
“People travel here from out of state to study herbalism here at SWIHA. I learned so much from the herbalism program. In fact, I drink rosemary tea every morning for memory,” reports Roann with great pride.
Also a graduate of SWIHA’s Spiritual Studies certificate, Roann is proud to say, “I was ordained as a minister in the very first class of students that KC Miller, the school founder, was able to ordain as ministers.”
national life coaching month,
The brain is such a complicated machine that we’ve barely scratched the surface of its mysteries. In the last five years, however, many researchers have focused heavily on how our minds are affected by things such as nutrition, environmental pollution, screen time and multi-tasking. They’re exploring beyond mental health and now observing brain health—the ways in which the organ is physically responding to our fast-changing lifestyle.
With every new study, science uncovers a facet of the relationship between our body and our body. Optimal brain health will be at the forefront of wellness in the upcoming years, so today we'll look at some ways that holistic healing can help support mind, body and spirit.
Are you looking to minimize exposure to environmental toxins, find effective alternatives to chemical-filled cleaners, and surround yourself with natural scents instead of synthetic fragrances? Essential oils will be, well...essential to your quest!
Essential oils are extracted from plants, capturing its scent and flavor or “essence”. These oils are obtained through various methods such as distillation or cold pressing, taking care to consider the chemical makeup of the plant and produce only a pure end-product.
According to ancient Chinese legend, Emperor Shen Nung was resting against a Camellia sinensis tree while waiting for his drinking water to boil. Suddenly, the wind picked up and caused the leaves of the tree to fall in to the steaming pot!
Instead of throwing out the water, Shen Nung decided to try the concoction. He described a warm feeling from the brew, as if the liquid was travelling to each part of his body, making a journey around his insides. He named the beverage ch’a, the Chinese character meaning “to investigate”. We now call it tea.
Before SWIHA, Carrie Guthrie-Gray was doing a job that would frighten most people to death: drawing blood. As a phlebotomist working for the same company for 15 years, she had great pay, great bonuses, and paid time off. Yet, despite the nobility of performing a service that is critical to the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions, Carrie found herself bored by performing the same task day-in and day-out with little variation.
“When working in the medical field, you are only allowed to spend a certain amount of time with each patient,” Carrie reflects. “It was like moving cattle. I was unable to connect with people, or if I did connect with someone, I had to usher them out of the room shortly after. When I worked in the oncology department, there were many occasions when I was the first person that the patient saw after being diagnosed with cancer, and they would literally start bawling in my chair. I wanted to spend more time with them. I wanted to listen and hold space for them, yet I wasn’t able to do it in that setting. It broke my heart. It was draining the life out of me to be so pulled to hold space, yet not allowed to do so.”
Yoga Teacher Training,
Heather Clore had always had a passion for herbalism and holistic nutrition, yet it was not until she became a mother that she realized she wanted to turn her approach to holistic living—and the approaches of her family and, eventually, her community—totally around.
“I knew when my son was born that I wanted to take an all-natural approach to raising him,” she explains. “I knew I wanted him to have a great, joyous, happy life and that herbalism and nutrition are both so important to that. I knew it would be best to raise him on nature and what the Divine gave us naturally.”
For Kris Vaughan, a career as an herbalist was born out of a mother’s worst nightmare: the illness of her youngest daughter, who had developed severe stomach issues at the age of seven, yet who could find no answers or relief from her pediatrician.
“We spent nine months putting her through every invasive test imaginable, only to be handed antacids and told, ‘Sorry, we don’t know what’s wrong,’” Kris recounts. A friend recommended some natural herbal remedies for the girl, and although Kris found herself questioning their validity, her daughter was miraculously pain-free within three days of taking them—and has remained so ever since. “It made me realize that I was missing something huge,” Kris says. “I needed to do some research as to why these herbs worked, and that research brought me to SWIHA and the Western Herbalism program.”
If you’ve watched television in the last 30 years, you’ve likely seen a popular commercial for Calgon bath products in which a woman’s chaotic home life proves to be more than she can handle. In the ad, the woman lunges to answer her ringing phone; meanwhile, her young daughter screams her lungs out as she cuts a frenzied path through the kitchen, the pet dog barks relentlessly, a tipped over houseplant sends soil scattering across the counter, and dinner starts to boil over on the stove.
Exhausted, the woman covers her ears, looks up to the heavens, and pleads, “Calgon, take me away!” The next scene reveals her relaxing in a hot bath, where she melts into a state of deep meditative bliss and leaves behind the domestic woes which had afflicted her mere seconds before. Brilliant marketing aside, the question remains: can a hot bath really soak away your stress and take you to an almost fantasy-like state of being?
Benefits of Aromatherapy,
Himalayan Sea Salts,
Ever have those times when everything seems to go wrong? Your computer crashes, you quarrel or argue with people in your life over small and nonsensical things, flights are delayed or cancelled, plans change without warning, and even Facebook seems to be against you? Chances are you are smack dab in the middle of a Mercury retrograde!
Our most recent retrograde started on August 12th–marking the third time Mercury has gone retrograde in 2017—and isn’t scheduled to end until Labor Day! So what exactly happens when Mercury goes retrograde? SWIHA Great Graduate Danielle Warford explains in one of her compelling blog posts on The Wild Feminine:
“It’s a time where the planet Mercury, for a three week period, appears to be moving backwards in the sky. Star-gazers have been watching this for millennia. The effects of a retrograde are universal, it seems, and if you begin to look at patterns of your life up against a calendar of retrogrades, you may find a pattern along with your frustrations.”
“Side effects” of this particular alignment—or misalignment—of the planets usually include glitches and misunderstandings in our communication and relationships that create a sense of unpredictability. In fact, even our electronic devices can have a tendency to go a bit haywire during this time!
highly sensitive person,
Kelly St. Claire was looking for something more in her life prior to becoming a Holistic Wellness Practitioner at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. Her story, her words:
I had wanted to raise the level of excellence in my life and finally break-through in my business. There were so many missing pieces that I needed to find and I was on a search. I was online in one of my discussion groups and someone mentioned SWIHA and becoming certified in different forms of coaching. I heard it, and filed that away. I eventually ended up searching online for continuing education in the areas I was passionate about, and SWIHA was one of the first results.
I was at a point in my life where nothing was working. Old things no longer fit the same way, and new things felt out of reach. I felt so stuck and stagnant in body and whole life, yet I do have the kind of spirit that will never give up... Most of the coaching and holistic nutrition certification programs were not in my budget at the time, however I decided to talk to admissions at SWIHA and was pleasantly surprised at how easy, accessible and smooth the process was. They also seemed invested in my success… Support… I’d been craving that kind of support.