I personally found Naturopathic Medicine through a soul calling, one of those things that I was destined to find. Having a name that calls for respect by society and healing the whole person was something I knew was necessary. And, I knew from the first day of classes, that this education was not the only key to the deeper healing necessary to get to the root.
As I explored more into these areas: Yoga, Botanical Medicine, Plant Spirit Medicine, I kept running into a wall that was making me sicker than I was before: Appropriation. Today’s image of health is the hot girl in Scorpion in the Jungle while sipping a green juice and wearing some sort of war paint with a caption of “Wild Women never could be tamed.”
These images and certifications that are very misleading can kill us if we compare our personal standards of health to “that” image. Especially, if you are a recovering perfectionist like I used to be.
I choose to discuss the stumbles of mistakes I made in hopes it will keep you from going down that same hamster wheel 😉 And I do have a loose formula for the activities to get you closer to health!
I wish I had one of those articles: 6 Steps to Freedom for the Warrior Women, but that is a lie. It is misleading. What I do have to offer is the fact that we have to find our own path and this takes a myriad of healing modalities.
How did Appropriation move us to becoming sicker?
The journey to perfection kills your adrenals and eventually puts you at ill, in dis-ease. There are the misleads on our path to healing. The tricks, the hooks. Don’t grab the hook!
I am almost afraid to define what appropriation means to me, as this is a hot topic. Here it is, for me: Appropriation is a broadly used term used to identify & call out all the New Agey folk taking bits and pieces from the knowledge and medicine keepers then capitalizing and com-modifying on those statements of health, knowledge, fashion, etc. Generally, these people that are responsible for appropriating a culture have given no reverence to the original knowledge carriers. Also many people use themselves in order to represent as a spokesperson for an oppressed group, yet the intention is to bring the attention to themselves rather than for greater good for everyone.
Appropriation of Yoga
What initially sparked my Yoga journey was the beauty of Yoga, Yolk of life. The downloads of Patanjali Sutras to the future self to allow us to continue on our path as humans when we lose our way home, our true calling.
Then came the appropriation of Yoga. There is nothing wrong with the fab women and men doing Asana in their booty shorts; but, what is wrong is that this is associated with Yoga to people like me that are still in exploration of comforts in our own bodies.
These images and videos made me simply want to be more strong, more flexible, more thin. They did at some point serve me to go to a daily practice, but not necessarily for my health. They drove me to become harder on myself and pick up more while I was already in a taxing program.
Luckily, my Yoga Teacher Training was well rounded on mindset living, and intention setting and less focused on Asana bootcamps. Who knows where I would have gone if I had not received big picture healing at that moment. Also, my first Yoga teacher was of great holism and beauty and less focused on the perfection of a posture or shape and I embarked into Yoga from there and Near East Yoga had singing and studies on the reg in Portland.
Appropriation of Health
Then came the appropriation of health. My idea of health shifted as I came across ads. There was the girl sipping green juice or laughing as if her salad told her a joke, looking fab with her tan and possible photo shop contoured body, possible not. Either way, she was beautiful. Then came my issue again….that not enoughness.
I must not be running enough, I must not be eating the right things, I must be eating too much to get there. It was once again, issues with my own image in comparison to others that veered my path to health off the road to health and actually moved me closer to disease.
The Appropriation of Botanical / Plant Medicine
Then came the appropriation of plant medicine. Someone tried to tell me it was the white girl in feathers or the young man sitting egotistically on his $400 throne. Nah, its the old medicine woman carrying the knowledge from the hills. I never went down this road, it just felt disrespectful to plants and the old teachings. Maybe I had learned from the past subconsciously or maybe I had come closer to my path to healing that I couldn’t veer from this one so far. Or maybe I stumbled into the right teacher before it got there. Divine timing is real. And I am still a student of plants and will be for the rest of my life before I feel as if I am ready to pass that knowledge. As the people in nature study in immersive observation, they live their medicine as opposed to a weekend course or even a year long immersion. It is a daily practice that is very difficult to live in daily lives while we are making money & scrubbing the toilets and cooking and cleaning, etc.
The Appropriation of Natural Medicine
Being trained in both allopathic or Standard American Medicine along with natural medicine modalities, I cannot help but eye roll when I see the industry shifts. It’s beautiful to see more money and attention be brought to the field. And as anything gains popularity, it loses integrity. Yet, there is beauty in the fact that natural medicine is more readily available to the public than ever. Just know that as the health coaches, technology, and supplement industry grow, there are options to natural healing that integrate many methods. And that the one that fits best for you just where you are at will come to you and meet you on the bridge to health. Interview your Doctor, as you are investing time and money into your health. Never settle for less, for your health is your only wealth.
Where is the Formula to Health?
Well, you are as unique as a snowflake and only you can answer your own formulas. And I do have a few tips!
Nutrition & Movement go hand in hand:
Find the movement that pushes you to sculpt your body and test your strength & flexibility. Personally, a good mixture of Yoga, weights, and HIIT have worked for me. Today’s food is so nutrient deficient, it takes 6 apples a day to keep the Doctor away. And healthy food keeps you fueled to move.
Clean up your Environment
Pollutants are amping up autoimmune disease in women.
- Toss (well, recylce) the plastics you use.
- Refill your Mason Jars at the bulk section of the grocery store.
- Drink out of glass & stainless steel.
- All of these are easy ways to discontinue the rampant use of materials that cause hormones to go haywire.
Independent of religion, tap in. That something bigger than you is what pulls you through during the tough times. Whether it’s to a Tree, God, Creator… it gives you a moment to set your own agenda aside and realize there is something out there much bigger than you. Nature is begging us to become a participant in our lives instead of treating it like a spectator sport. Get in there and have a good go!
Doctors / Teachers
Give up the control, refer out to the professionals that can help identify obstacles to cure and guide you on your path to amp up your health game!
This is a key for me and they come in all forms. Herbalists, Body Workers, My best friends.
Any ancient medicines revere the plants as teachers, as carriers of health. They are here for a reason. To be our allies, holler at your Doc to find the perfect plant to align you closer to health.