Integrated Healing within a systems view of life.

We teach Integrated Herbalism within Living Systems and the systems practice of healing including Western herbalism, Ayurveda, Process Oriented Healing, Shamanism, the Seasons, Bach flower remedies and more. Integrated Herbalism includes the four dimensions, biological cognitive, social, and ecological.

Integrated systems consist of networks within networks. The four dimensions are all important and they also interact with each other. For example, if the social dimension is stressed by an unhealthy relationship like excessive unkind criticism, then that will negatively impact the cognitive (psyche), which will impact the biological (soma). There is always a psychic somatic connection.

In the biological dimension we have two views, the biomedical and the integrative. The biomedical is based on the Cartesian model and looks at the mechanism of disease. Medical herbalists tend to focus on the biomedical model. For example, using Willow bark instead of aspirin. This is fine for 25% of conditions that humans experience. In an integrative model we also include the biomedical model within the other four dimensions.

So I  teach and practice an integrated system that does not put so much pressure on my plants, the herbs. I treat my herbs as friends and allies. We also speak to their function in all four dimensions, not just the biological. Integrative healing also relies on holistic Traditional Systems like Ayurveda to help identify imbalances and to apply corrective measures in all four dimensions.

Humans are open non-linear systems that function far from equilibrium. We are also complex systems and often need complex solutions. Since we are open systems always in need of food, water and air and I believe relationship and purpose, let us begin our studies with some herbs to consider knowing and see how all of this fits into a systems view of healing.

From Seed to Plant: A Plant-Attunement Experiment

From Seed to Plant: A Plant-Attunement Experiment

Some of the most amazing things I have done studying herbalism, motivated through Don´s teachings, are the plant attunements. Connecting with plants on a spiritual level is something that touches me deeply and it encourages a deeper learning. Combining this direct experience with the traditional learning about the agents and effects of a plant is perfect to get an idea about the plant`s actual strength and it´s personality as a helper in healing.

Life Direction, Process Work & The Bach Flower Remedies

You wake up in the morning. You probably have a number of issues or problems that want your attention but today is Monday morning and the big issue in your life is life direction relative to your career or work. Some part of you, which we are calling little u, is restless and unhappy and wants a career change. That pressure to make a change we will call x. So let’s write out the formula and begin an exercise to see if we can create some kind of shift.

If you want to learn herbs, find a mentor, and receive individual guidance

The one thing I wish I had done earlier in my career was to find a reliable, knowledgeable mentor at the very start of my herbal studies, almost 50 years ago. They could have saved me thousands of dollars and vast amounts of time.

Nettle Root and Pine Pollen for Male Health by Don Ollsin, M.A.

In the Pacific Northwest we are blessed to have both of these herbs readily available to us. In the Fall I am able to harvest nettle root. In the spring I am able to collect pine pollen. I made both into tinctures.