Updated: Apr 1, 2019

How is the "direction" of anything determined? Currently , and loosely presented, the herbal community wants to be seen as moving into a more holistic direction overall. The thing is, in many pockets of practice, it already IS. And in some, there is mostly a "treatment of symptoms" , which some herbalists are saying is "allopathic"- but- IMO- frankly, we are still going to do well treating symptoms. Particulary given that we can also "treat" them with different intentions and outcomes, which many of us do, as part of an overall holistic plan.

For brevity I am going to send readers to the main page of this website, which offers a PDF detailing a super effective, based on facts, model of Holistic training, holistic assessment, and holistic follow up. I like that it is based on facts and not upon subjective concepts .

A peek at this - Within our training, we draw upon the EIGHT PILLARS OF NATURAL HEALING, which are presented in other blog posts here, and add additional structure for Practitioner guidance such as our PEMS model. I credit Machaelle Small Write for putting this concept of PEMS into an acronym, however, it is a fairly straightforward model that many other disciplines have used for many years- PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL , MENTAL, SPIRITUAL.


- Traditional Naturopathy is DIFFERENT from "medical school naturopathy". Us traditional naturopaths do not put into play the biomedical model. And yes, we exist. There are actually quite a number of schools, although much fewer in the Hands On format. We train and practice differently from those medical schools, (which unfortunately have come to dominate herbal conferences). We have our own useful models. Our models are not based on trying to figure out whether a person and a plant "match" in "energies".

Our methods are based on observable, measurable criteria, obtained through intakes, vital signs, and physical assessment methods. Innovation and intuitive factors may well platform from that, but those two concepts are different from subjective whimsy.

There is no credible shortcut to being a better clinical herbalist, if it bypasses essential study and implementation of herbal actions upon body systems. The " 8 Pillars /PEMS" helps us assess and follow up better.

And this- this lack of awareness as to the field of Traditional Naturopathy, is currently a confusion among the herbal community that I am going to make sure I clear up in the year or two ahead, and indefinitely. Traditional Naturopath training has ALWAYS integrated and relied upon these 8 aspects, (pillars, as I call them, and as I have further developed them for ten years), so it is nothing new springing from the forehead of Zeus.

We Assess and Evaluate our clients, in part, through this wonderful helpful grid: simply put - PEMS as juxtaposed with EIGHT PILLARS. And yes, plants can also be chosen and evaluated through this grid. For example, there are plants well known throughout the ages for healing body tissues and orthopedic issues. The success in this healing is due to their nutritive and botanical constituencies- their ACTIONS. We learn about these herbs through study of herbal actions, and hands on applications of self and others in a supervised clinical setting As we continue to study herbs THROUGH THE LENS OF Traditional Naturopathy, we learn that many fine teachers before us have contributed so much to the field: Dr Shook, Dr Christopher, LIndlahr, Dr Jensen, the herbalist /naturopath Richard Schultze, and others.

"Energies" are always present. They also always can and do change. People who have practiced and studied energy work already know this. My acupuncturists have known this. The 8 Pillars are based on FACTS. Traditional Naturopathy, and herbal practice influenced and derived from it, is based on facts- from the laws of physics, the laws of thermodynamics, the laws of natural sciences. Donlt let anyone tell you that natural medicine in a holistic paradigm is separated from science, because it is utterly founded upon the natural sciences. All of us creatures and plants, GROW within these laws. We are hearing from folks who have a need for other evaluation and treatment concepts and systems. Different approaches resonate with different people, and we are excited to offer our philosophies, which are holistic and do result in effective healing.

Join us this summer or fall in any class, to sit in and find out more, with our awesome and woke group of 2019 students!


     Call 734-769-7794  Our studio is at 3684 W. Liberty, just west of Wagner Road, Ann Arbor 48103.  At the Liberty Office Center.  All visits by Appointment or enrollment.