This was my first introduction to herbal medicine, taught through the disciplines of Native American, Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
After making an exodus from the pill mill approach to health care in Philadelphia, I was seeking a community that led a healthier lifestyle, so I figured…Western Mountain Town!
This brought me to Jackson Hole Wy, where I ran a pharmacy for the better part of a decade.
The truth is, the poly pharmacy I was running from out east, caught up to me in Jackson Hole. None the less, I continued my quest for a better path of healing, continued my studies in herbal medicine as well as energy medicine.
I became certified in Level I and Level II reiki, while at the same time, learned firsthand the power of mind-body medicine, in regard to my own health.
Long story short, January 1998, I went in for lower back surgery, and I was back on my snowboard within 6 weeks, sooner than my surgeon advised, although we were having a really great snow season- I didn’t want to miss out any more.
And…it was awesome, aside from a little stiffness from muscles not being used as much, no back pain- I was doing great.
Then, as the spring thaw approached, headed down to Costa Rica for 2 weeks of more back torment; surfing, trekking, hours of driving on their roads around potholes, and not a wince of pain, not an ounce of stiffness.
Then, it happened.
After vacation, just as soon as I stepped into the pharmacy which I let run on auto piolet for 2 weeks, WHAM!!!!
Sciatica down my leg, dropped me right to the floor.
It’s then that I realized…there is a mental / emotional element to health and wellbeing- there was an element of stress/judgement/control that I came face to face with and just at that moment it manifested into my physical.
My career and life then took a turn, where pharmacy was my means to living in a cool place and fun travel, it gained more meaning, I found my why, I knew somewhere there was a seed growing, my story unfolding, that bringing together elements of the mind-body, natural, allopathic medicine and everything in between.
What would eventually be known as Functional Pharmacy.
I felt like a lone wolf in the realm of pharmacy. Suddenly I could see dots being connected to actually getting people off of medicine and getting to the root cause, instead of bandaging symptoms, and keeping them on their pills.
Fast forward a decade or so, found myself in Michigan, running my own Integrative and Functional Pharmacy. Where I compounded and saw patients on nutritional consults. I went through compounding training, became certified in auricular acupuncture, became a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, and most importantly, learned through honing my craft…in the daily practice.
I mentioned lone wolf.
Many of you might feel the same way, now, or at another time in your life- where you didn’t really fit into any tribe, maybe you were the oddball in the group that you were in. There is power in community and connectivity, and I believe that is what we are starting to experience in the evolution of pharmacy.
My first inkling of this, when I really didn’t know I was missing ‘a tribe’ was when I was introduced to Premier Research Laboratories, whole food supplements and Quantum Reflex Analysis.
“OMG, I found my hippy far out thinking, practice implementation and nutritional line” I thought.
What this really taught me was firsthand – systems theory health. How no part of our body is isolated, and it all affects one another.
Now I spend my time educating other pharmacists and technicians on the ways and means of functional pharmacy and I love it, while still working one-on-one with clients and in group settings.
I am so grateful that I broke a pact that I made to myself in 1995 when I left everything behind and headed out West. I swore I would be out of the practice of pharmacy by the year 2000.
Where many of us might not have yet found our path in pharmacy- or ‘that’ thing that turns it into meaningful career- trust me…pharmacy is the perfect career to build off of, the foundation- if medicine and healing is core to your path.
I look forward to sharing more information with you as we collectively move forward, and feel free to reach out to me to share your story, I would love to hear it,
In Health, Happiness and Gratitude,