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.
Learn from Great Graduate, Laura Hightower
Laura Hightower was told about Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) when she expressed interest in wanting to learn more about herbalism to someone she knew. That led her to enroll and graduate from the Associates in Holistic Health Care with concentrations in Western Herbalism and Holistic Nutrition, 300-Hour Clinical Hypnotherapy and 100-Hour Transformational Reiki programs.
Herbalism was an interest of Laura’s ever since she walked into an herb shop at age 16. “I just found a natural connection to using herbs in order to heal naturally.” Reiki was something she had been doing since she was 9 and the attunements she received in her program helped amplify that. “I love how pain and excess energy just seems to effortlessly flow out of the body.” Pain is simply trapped energy and Reiki was the vehicle she learned to move it out. She had been interested in hypnotherapy ever since she went to a hypnotherapist when she was 20. She was guided by an ex-classmate who told her that her guides said she needed to take the nutrition program and learn a lot of valuable skills. It was that experience that led Laura back to school again for her Associates Degree.
After graduating, Laura created her business, Magickal Heart. Its focus is on inspiring others to grow and move past the things they have long-held onto so they can be empowered to change their lives to a whole, new level. She currently travels the Valley and beyond to see clients throughout Arizona.
Mary Ernsberger truly believes that she was Divinely guided to Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA). She had been in administrative work for over 25 years and was struggling with health issues. She wanted to do something that would allow her some freedom, as well as give her the ability to serve others. Mary recalls that Massage Therapy was ‘really big’ when she walked through the doors at SWIHA, however, she couldn’t see herself giving people massages all day, especially since her health issues involved weakness in her wrists. “I was already a Reiki practitioner, so when I discovered I could utilize my prior training as part of a new career, I was excited. There is something about the energy at SWIHA; you can feel it the minute you walk in. I knew this was the place for me, so I enrolled in the AOS degree program in Mind-Body Transformational Psychology.” After earning that diploma, she then re-enrolled and graduated with a second AOS degree in Western Herbalism.
Past Life Regressions,
Over-drugging of America's Youth,
After retiring from the Air Force and moving back to Arizona, Tom Kreienbrink found the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) through a Facebook friend. Throughout the duration of his Air Force career, Tom was in Graphic Arts and Multimedia, and for the last 10 years he was in leadership and management positions. “I worked in a design position for FEMA in Washington D.C. for a few years after retiring from the Air Force. Bottom line – I was ready to get out of the 'rat race,' and when I found SWIHA it was the second career I’d been waiting for.”
Tom shared how he’s always had a passion for learning about natural healing methods, nutrition, energy, and spirituality. “When I started studying at SWIHA, I found it was a school that offered practical holistic modalities and techniques that I could take out into the world and help people in my community and beyond.”
Tom graduated with his Associates of Occupational Studies Degree in Holistic Health Care – with a concentration in Mind-Body Transformational Psychology. The programs he completed with his degree included the 750-hour massage program, a Certificates of Excellences in Myofascial Energetic Massage, Transformational Reiki, Cranial Unwinding, Reflexology, and Hypnotherapy.
Tom went on to share how he uses all of the combined wisdom from each of his areas of specialization in his sessions. “Of the classes and programs I’ve taken, I love them all. I use them all. Even some of the required classes like Ayurveda, Western Herbalism – Foundations of American Herbal Studies, Life Coaching, and even Public Speaking offer me a lot to draw from when working with clients.”
Southwest Institute of Healing Arts,
mind body spirit,
Certified Massage Therapist,