I loved the intrigue and magic in Naturopathy.
I loved the mystery. Earth Medicine....
But the very 1st seminar I attended for Natural Health students & professionals flawed me - I walked dreamily into a pseudo-pharmaceuticalised boardroom and not into the arms of the Goddess Gaia. There were no raw herbal preparations; tinctures; or elixirs. Flower remedies were as meaningful as a daisy-chain on a hippie's head.
There was no talk of traditional witchcraft. We spoke evidence based medicine, manufacturing, preparation, scientific reviews, handbooks, business protocols and 4 hours of pre-prepared packaged product.
Presenters wore corporate suits. They used technology. And spoke medical jargon......
A fellow student shared a few drops of Rose Geranium, it was like smelling salts. Sweet earthy fragrance against stale conference carpet. It saved me. This was an alter-reality. Where were the healers? The juggernauts of herbal wisdom? I didn't speak the whole drive home.....
I stared long and hard at the dried herbs in my kitchen - long tendrils of sage and oregano collected from my garden. I'd been studying for 2 years and only then I asked the scary question "What am I doing?" It was a form of ontological shock. I was 'out-of-touch' and had to re-learn quickly. I was ill-prepared for the health industry that was shifting below the sands of tradition. My knowledge had came from repertories, almanacs, healers, memoirs and practice - not company protocols. I wasn't winning merits or profits for monthly sales. I was doing it because I believed in magic - Earth magic. And not just that, I was intrigued by it, and yearned to learn more. I also deeply trusted the wisdom of the body. I didn't see these things as separate. I still don't.
Just today I walked into the local Chemist Warehouse with it's fluorescent lighting and profusely packed shelves of plastic, packaging and pharmacy warfare. It was a bustle of activity and pink-ticket savings and I felt utter despair - people don't be fooled, your healing will not come from here. You might save some dollars on flaxseed meal but health is an experience of reconnecting, rebirthing and rebuilding all the parts of you that are broken, and that needs - help, warmth, sunshine. The whole is everything and Gaia will not be compartmentalised into over-crowded shopping aisles.
Vitality is not the Holy Grail of our existence. It's our biological birth-right and within the hands of everyone who's heart is beating. Even the most dreadful terminal illnesses can be a catalyst for great change and growth when the patient is willing to .....well, listen and then transform. And I am not brandishing a Neo-Natzi Flag of Medical Anarchy, I see Western Medicine as an important adjunct to saving lives. Its scientific model is progressive, useful unto itself and I bear no grudge for the technologies it has produced. I do not however believe nor want to see the traditions and lineages of Western and Shamanic Healing fit within the same model. I loathe to contemplate my industry mimicking the same pill-popping mentality that has served to distract people from their health journey. No pill, supplement nor powder will heal your grief, or sorrow. No detox program will open a passage to your heart for you to heal the pain that is there. And it's always there, we just got busy scrolling through Facebook.
Supplements are sometimes needed to affect a cause, an A to B result. Some metabolic disorders rely on adequate doses of vitamins difficult to obtain from diet (for various reasons). There's a major discrepancy in quality, effectiveness and application of these tablet regimes, at large by both the pharmaceutical and natural health industries (many are owned by large Pharma anyway). Have a look at your medicine drawer, what's in there? What have you collected over the years and for what reasons? What are taking and are they working? Many people who take supplements, feel no better but keep taking them anyway. Some people are supplement hoppers and continually seek out an answer to their grief, pain, health, and heart in a box. They're on a roller-coaster of expenditure for little return, and the supplement hunt arguably becomes a distraction from the real problem. The very thing they are trying to fix.
This is the great divide in therapy. Medicine is not an absolute. It doesn't answer questions it only ameliorates symptoms, even natural supplements can be guilty of this. Being the Hero of Your Story is a transformative process, and sometimes - quite simply, tablets get in the way.
I can't mend the fractured traditions of my ancient herbalist ancestors but I do carry their song. I won't deny the prescription of supplementation, but I can promise you that your Heart will be seen first. And to see your heart is seeing You. That matters. This is the gift of the lineage of all healers, shamans and witches that came before me, and will continue to. It took me years to pull my head out of the waters of business / company protocols, and I fear for the fledglings new to the industry who have only been trained in this corporate way. My roots and my return are from thousands of years ago, with deep wisdom in the heart of Gaia.
Melanie Lock ND BHSc
Naturopath @ The Hollow | Food as Medicine | Ignite 2015 | Nurture Magazine | Wise Women Gathering 2017 | Naturopath | Herbalist | Iridologist | Holistic & Nutritional Counseling | Mother | Realist | Speaker | Writer.......