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.
During her time at SWIHA, Mary made some very strong connections. “Family has nothing to do with blood. Even all these years later, I am still in contact with some of my SWIHA family, and I follow their daily lives as they follow mine.”
When Mary enrolled in the Mind-Body program, she totally expected to complete her Reiki training along with the Spiritual Studies training. Then she had her first hypnosis class and she was hooked. “Suddenly new ideas flooded my brain. My youngest son was really struggling in school and had been diagnosed with ADHD. I knew that hypnosis could help him and other kids like him.” Once she graduated from the Transformational Psychology program, she began seeing clients – other parents like her and children like her son. These parents expressed the same questions she had regarding the medications used to treat their child’s disorder. They wanted to know if there were any alternatives. “Since I had no answers for them or for myself in that area, I re-enrolled at SWIHA in the Western Herbalism program. Finding the herbs and their natural counterparts was definitely the missing piece of the puzzle when it came to treating this disorder.” Mary’s passion really bloomed when she saw how these therapies improved her son’s life and the lives of the children she worked with, as well as helping other parents whose only real desire was to find the safest way to help their child.
Nature’s Simple Remedies – Drug-free Alternatives for Health & Wellness is the name of Mary’s business. “I utilize my education and experience as a clinical herbalist and hypnotherapist to remove labels, restore self-esteem, and empower my clients to achieve their highest potential. I have created my own line of herbal and essential oil products that offer both clients and customers non-pharmaceutical options to restore balance in the mind and body. I am also the author of several books, the latest being:
As of April 22, 2016, Mary’s business is located at 801 Jonesborough Road, Erwin, TN 37650. Even though she has been a practitioner for over 10 years, this is the first time she has had a real, physical location. Mary admits that her business has developed and changed over the years, yet at the heart of it all is her desire to offer drug-free alternatives, especially for children. “We, as a society, are always telling and teaching our kids that ‘drugs are bad’, but at the first sign of an imbalance we reach for the little pill bottle. No time is spent attempting to identify the actual cause of the imbalance. This has to change and I want to be part of that change.”
Mary sees clients at her physical office and she also offers services online via Skype or by phone. Some of her services and products include:
- ADHD Coaching & Hypnosis Program
- Family & Individual Coaching
- Hypnosis Packages including Past Life Regressions
- Herbal Evaluations, Supplement Evaluation
- Complementary formulations for those currently under a doctor’s care
- Custom Flower Essence Blends for emotional balance
- A product line of herbal tinctures, teas, and balms
- Essential oil massage and spritzer blends
- Spiritual Coaching including toe reading and channeling w/Ezekiel
- Wellness garden design
- Herbal classes
- Speaking engagements on a variety of topics including the ‘Over-drugging of America’s Youth’
She also offers a free ADHD support group on Wednesday evenings for both children and parents.
When a client schedules an appointment, they will have Mary’s undivided attention, as well as full access to all the resources she can offer to meet their needs. “I can assure them of complete confidentiality, including my young clients – which is one way I am able to build rapport. The only exception, and I make sure they understand this, is if I feel they are a danger to themselves or to someone else. My clients will always know they have been heard. Clients of all ages will be helped to accept full responsibility for their lives and the choices they make. When a customer walks into my shop, they can be assured that I will only offer them a remedy if I feel it can truly help them. I will refer them to another practitioner or even turn them away if I am unable to provide an honest service to meet their needs.”
The ‘perfect’ client in Mary’s mind is an individual looking to make permanent changes in their life through the use of alternative therapies. This individual understands that there are no quick fixes, plus change takes time and commitment – and this applies to her youngest clients and their parents. This applies to her customers too although for many, the unwillingness to make necessary lifestyle changes often keeps them from coming back.
The parents of children with emotional, behavioral, and learning disorders come to Mary because they know she can relate to their situation because she has been there. “My customers come initially through word-of-mouth referrals knowing that I will offer them the remedy that I feel will best serve their needs. They return because I am totally honest with them and because they like being held accountable for their decisions; they appreciate the time and effort I put into their service, and they know that while they are there, they are my #1 priority.
The majority of Mary’s marketing is through word-of-mouth and social media. She has business accounts set up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, & Pinterest. “I attempted to create an ad using Google adwords, but they refused to approve it because I had a paper I wrote on the use of Cannabis for Childhood Seizure Disorders on my website.” She mainly markets herself as the practitioner who can provide clients with drug-free alternatives to support their optimum health & wellness. She also markets herself as an ADHD coach by letting them know that she has been where they are. “I had a child diagnosed with this disorder and I found drug-free alternatives that allowed me to take him off the medications, and I can help them find the safest option for their child.”
The most challenging part of starting a business, Mary admits, is the fear of failure. She felt that this is even more intense when you are responsible for others. “In my case, I was raising my three children on my own with no family support. I felt I had to have that 40-hour a week pay check to ensure I could keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs.” The easiest part of starting her business was talking to others about her passion. “I feel so strongly about the over-drugging of America’s youth that I am willing to stand up anywhere and share my knowledge, my experience, and my opinions.” Mary took on the challenging parts, trusted her passion, and created a successful business.
Mary is truly treating the whole person or child when it comes to her work. She shared that it isn’t just medications and labels that can harm the way a child feels about him/herself. Mary went on to explain that sometimes, even when a parent has the best intent, their controlling nature can leave a child feeling helpless, hopeless, and totally out of control. These feelings can lead to any number of dis-orders, fears, phobias, or physical imbalances. “One young lady, age 11, came into the office very withdrawn. At first, she would not make eye contact and her mother did all the talking. For the first session, I allowed the mother to sit in during the hypnosis session, guiding the key words to feelings of safety. On the 2nd session, the young lady agreed to speak with me alone and was able to explain her feelings. She said she felt unable to have friends come over and spend the night or go to their houses and enjoy sleepovers like so many of her friends because of an incontinence problem. The 2nd session was guided to enhance feelings of control, making decisions for herself, and accepting responsibility for those choices. I also spoke with the mom after the 2nd session and she agreed to do her best to be less controlling and allow her daughter to make many of her own decisions. Following the 3rd session, the young lady was able to regain her feeling of control which in turn, eliminated the incontinence problem. I received a phone call from her mother about a week later and she said the young lady had spent her first night at her friend’s house for a birthday sleepover, and it was a great night without any incontinence issues.”
Applying the knowledge Mary learned at SWIHA in her sessions or client interactions creates a really good feeling, Mary explained. “Being able to share what I have learned allows me to feel that I am being of service. I would love to have the financial freedom to never have to charge for my services, especially those that allow me to teach what I have learned.”
After her training and education at SWIHA, Mary went on to complete her BS in Health & Wellness which provided her with an allopathic perspective on disease which allows her to share information in greater depth than the original doctor that handed out the diagnosis. In addition, she also completed a master’s in Education, specializing in Curriculum & Instruction because she wanted to develop a deeper understanding of ways she can help her young clients succeed in school. And this year, she completed a master’s in Complementary Alternative Medicine which really expanded on what she had learned at SWIHA. “The foundation SWIHA provided for me has allowed me to build my practice and skills in the highest and best way.”
SWIHA was responsible for a total change in the way Mary saw herself. “I had literally created two halves to my whole. I had the personal side which was hidden from the majority of people, and there was the professional side which always demonstrated confidence and knowledge. SWIHA provided me the tools to merge these two halves into one, whole person – a person I can honestly say I love, respect, and honor.”
For those that might consider following in Mary’s footsteps, she has a message for you:
“Follow your passion. Sometimes the road is a bit bumpy and sometimes you have gone around so many bends and curves, you’ll question whether you have gotten off course. Rest easy; the Universe will always bring you back to where you can be of the greatest service, if you allow yourself to move in that direction.”
Get in touch with Mary online:
ADHD: A Better Way to Health & Wellness
Thursday, July 21, 2016 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM (PDT)
About the Author, Kerry Burki
~ SWIHA Success Center Blogger
Kerry Burki is Editor of the newly launched KERRY Magazine ~ a magazine that uses real women as models, supports small businesses, encourages you to feel beautiful as you are right now, and even has a printable worksheet to help you go after your dreams! She has been teaching yoga since 2004 and currently teaches yoga + meditation at a local assisted-living facility near her home in Scottsdale, Arizona. Kerry has written two ebooks about self-care (one for every day and one for creatives), and she has just joined the SWIHA Success Center Team, part-time, as a blogger, consultant, and creator!