Jan 172018
 

GENERATIVE/REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH & HERBS

Classes for Herbalists, Healers, & Culture Shifters – at the upcoming 2018 Good Medicine Confluence 

For the first many years of Plant Healer’s annual international gatherings, our characteristically beautiful rural event sites had too few buildings of us to expand the number of classes to accommodate topics beyond essential foundational folk herbalism.  Fortunately, since moving our Good Medicine Confluence to its new mountain-top site in Durango, Colorado, we have been able to procure sufficient spaces to expand our topics to include additional modalities, and means for a wildly healthy and deeply meaningful life.

In May, 2018, we will be presenting 5 days and nights of classes and entertainment for the same prices as most conferences charge for only 3: over 70 inspiring teachers presenting over 140 unique classes that have never been taught anywhere before, exploring the depths and frontiers of empowered healing in all its many forms from botanical medicine to healthy foods, nature therapy, cannabis and entheogens, and the radical remaking of the current cultural paradigm! 

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Many of you reading this post will know that we experienced a successful home birth, here in one of the most remote mountain regions of the entire country.  In spite of the amount of energy that we have given to the pregnancy and now to our precocious little wildling, we assure you we did not do anything to seek out or schedule women’s health and pregnancy related class topics!  We swear! And yet somehow Kiva still attracted many dozens of such proposals for the coming 2018 event, including from teachers who had no idea about our baby making adventure.  We scheduled a bunch of great sounding ones, but then still had turn a bunch of others down in oder to make sure we don’t start looking like a gender exclusive event instead of the wildly diverse mixed-gender gathering that it is!  We nonetheless ended up with an unprecedented….

13 compelling classes from reproductive rights, to breast health, herbs in pregnancy Cannabis and breastfeeding, pregnancy prevention, PMS, and post-partum healing, taught by 9 midwives and herbalists:

Juanita Nelson, Phyllis Light, Ash Sierra, Emily Stock, Tiffany Freeman, Leslie Lekos, Astrid Grove, Adrie Rose, and Anja Robinson.  The combined 40 hours of instruction should do much to advance generative/reproductive wellness, for (to paraphrase teacher Astrid) “when women are healthy, all thrive best.”

For More Information or Advance Discount Tickets:

Good Medicine Confluence Website: www.PlantHealer.org/intro.html

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Beyond Red Raspberry: Herbs in Pregnancy& Birth

Juanita Nelson (1.5 hrs)

Pregnancy and birth represent a unique time in a woman’s life.  We’ve all heard that statement and yet using herbs during this time for many is terrifying and taboo.   Many simply exclude her from accessing the allies of the plant kingdom for fear of damaging the unborn baby or stimulating miscarriage. The minute someone sees “contra-indicated in pregnancy” they assume that an herb is never used or dangerous.  Just like the modern birth culture is fear-based and medicalized, using herbs in pregnancy and birth is feared and restricted. This class is designed to take the practitioner from fear to empowerment.  My goal is to help folks support women in treating common and not-so-common ailments, imbalances, or complaints.  The unique physiology of pregnancy and birth is a perfect time to embrace our herbal allies-that physiology can enhance the action of herbs potentially making the woman much more responsive to the results. We used to think that the placenta acted as a barrier to most substances but we have learned that the symbiotic relationship between mom and baby via the placenta is much more complicated-and interesting!

We will discuss the physiological changes that happen in pregnancy and how they affect dosage and delivery.   What I hope people will take away from this class is the ability to understand the potential impact of herbs and how you can adjust accordingly. 

Herbs For Women’s Health

Phyllis Light (2 hrs)

Puberty, Fertility, Pregnancy, Menopause….How can you best support your body through the stages of life? Phyllis D. Light will share her passion in empowering women to learn about their bodies and cycles, and in teaching about the powerful herbs that can help alleviate the most common women’s health conditions. In this class, you will learn about the common health issues which affect women throughout their lifespan. What’s the best approach for recurring urinary tract infections? Is there help for ovarian cysts or fibroids? Hot flashes? Endometriosis? Recurring yeast infections? Bacterial vaginosis? Vaginal dryness? Uterine or bladder prolapse? How can fertility be improved? How to have a healthy pregnancy? 

Phyllis will discuss all these topics and more. We’ll dance, we’ll sing, and we’ll learn how to help heal the body. Join us for a fun and informative workshop learning about women’s health and herbal medicine from this renowned teacher, author, and herbalist. Hopefully, you will come away from the workshop feeling more self-empowered in supporting your own health needs.

Women’s Health in Apocalyptic Times

Astrid Grove (2 hrs)

Many fear the end of the world as we know it. I know as a community we have been gathering the skills to support the masses for the better part of our lives… right?!  When thinking about the possibility of a time when we don’t have access to modern medicine like we do now, I see the value in having more knowledge on how to keep women healthy.  It is my understanding that if women are healthy, then all beings will thrive.  This class is grounded in this understanding and will cover self care practices stemming from traditions all over the world.  When self care is present, there is less illness.  We will also review some common illnesses specific to women and remedies we can use.  The focus will be herbal medicine, with some hands on healing practices as well.

PMS as Gift: Listening, Supporting, & Herbal Allies

Adrie Rose (1.5 hrs)

Pre-menstrual sensitivity, vulnerability, and openness can manifest as a wide variety of symptoms that can be painful, confusing, frustrating, and frightening.  We will discuss the different ways PMS can manifest in the three constitutions (Vata/Pitta/Kapha), and the importance of understanding these energetics before diving in to treating symptoms.  We will discuss herbal, lifestyle, and yoga supports for common PMS imbalances. Above all, we will explore the ways that PMS is not a curse or aberration to banish as fast as possible, but a gift that offers us rich, meaningful information.  PMS shows us what we are not dealing with in our lives, where our boundaries are broken, what callings we are ignoring, and more – it is like a mini monthly visit from the Crone, a preview of the wisdom of menopause.  We will share ways to honor this time, and listen to what our bodies are telling us.  We will include working with flower essences as part of our toolkit, and discuss herbal allies including rose, skullcap, licorice, St Joan’s wort, blue vervain, violet, burdock, dandelion, yellow dock, cinnamon, ginger, lavender, nettles, and milky oats/oatstraw.

Rivers of Life: A Deep Dive Into Ayurvedic Breast Health
Anja Robinson (1.5 hrs)

In this class, we will explore Lymphatic Breast Health though the lens of Ayurvedic self-care & massage. We will dive into our inner landscape and begin to understand the importance the lymphatic system plays in self-care and immunity as well as learn some tools to help support lymph flow & blood circulation. We will discuss anatomy and physiology, common health concerns for women as well as life style factors that contribute to our breast health. We will discover how to map the terrain of our breast tissue and the lymphatic system so we can decipher what is “normal” and walk away with the knowledge of how to massage, check and care for our own breasts for health and vitality. We will explore the interconnectedness of mind & body to deeply understand how we hold our emotions in our tissues and how to support ourselves in releasing grief, trauma and processing our emotions through this work. Together we will come up with creative solutions to our blockages around self- care as well as mind-body medicine techniques to infuse into our daily practice so that we may receive deep nourishment and support our healthy flow. This will be an exciting and inspiring journey into Ayurvedic self-care and Women’s Health!

Women & The Affinity For Plants During Pregnancy & Birth

Juanita Nelson (2 hrs)

Women have been using plants to heal and support during pregnancy and birth forever. There is a unique and specific affinity for plants that happens for women during this time that is directly connected to the co-evolution of plants, mammals, and humans.

Geographically, women used the plants that were local to her specific location. She relied on the traditional women of her culture to educate her or relied on her innate genetic memory to guide her to the specific plants she needed. Re-establishing this direct connection to the plant world during this time is both natural and essential.

When we disconnect women from the innate strength and knowledge of their bodies to grow, nurture, and give birth to our babies we teach them to fear.  We teach them fear of their abilities, fear of the possible outcome, fear of themselves. We teach them dependency on a culture that is rooted in disease and imbalance and that seeks to control the process of birth.  When we empower women to have faith in the process of growing a baby and birthing that baby naturally and easily we teach them to trust. They learn to trust themselves and their ability to connect with the natural world.

The world we live in today is focused on the microcosm of scientific understanding. This has opened up new knowledge and insights into how things work and we are learning so much.  However, what we’re forgetting is the empirical knowledge of the natural world that was learned and passed on through millennia of observation and experimentation.

The simple ceremony of making a cup of tea during pregnancy can connect women to their deep connection to the rhythm of the natural world. Wise women traditions have been present in every culture in the world and are the direct link to using plants during pregnancy, birth, and beyond. We can empower women by sharing our knowledge with them and encouraging them to listen to their own deep plant intuition.

Mothering The Mother – Labor & Birth Support

Emily Stock (1.5 hrs)

This is a crash-course for herbalists on being a doula. As herbalists, we are often poised to provide a safe place for our community members to inquire about natural and supportive ways of caring for ourselves. Having a doula, even in a typical medical setting, can provide the physical and emotional support needed when a family is growing. As a transitional point in life, positive birthing experiences have the radical possibility to change the foundations of our culture for every mother and child entering the world.

We will address the history of birth and how the patriarchy has taken hold of it, the scope of the doula, and the necessity of caring labor support and advocacy. We will discuss simple and safe herbal support throughout pregnancy and post-partum, and postural yoga to support pregnancy. We will learn the practicalities of how to guide a family through the trials of labor, including comfort measures, techniques and positions for various stages in labor, along with ways to get the labor process going naturally. Often the efficacy of the doula can depend on their relationship with the primary care providers and their assistants. We will address ways to work with other birthing professionals while maintaining advocacy for the client.

The process of birth is a winding road. Even for a person desiring an intervention-free process, there are many decisions about prenatal care, tests, and interventions during labor that are unique to each individual. We will address some of these interventions and provide information and resources that can help to guide your clients, friends and family through these decisions. You will leave this class prepared to begin your journey into providing labor and birth support.

Discussion: Ending Pregnancy at Home

Astrid Grove (1.5 hrs)

The information I will share in this class stems from close to 20 years of experience supporting people who have arrived at a clear “no” when realizing they are pregnant.  We will discuss the fertility cycle and when it is best to end a pregnancy at home.  We will learn effective ways to prevent a pregnancy with herbs, and less successful ways that one should avoid!  I will delve into several herbal abortifacients that I have used successfully at home and herbs to support before, during and after an herbal home release.  I will also provide information on ways some women use to end a pregnancy manually at home.  I understand this class is controversial in general and especially in the herbal community.  Please join me if you are ready to receive the wisdom I share.

Empowered Reproductive Rights & Fertility Awareness

Ash Sierra (1.5 hrs)

With today’s growing threat to reproductive rights, one of the most vital options we can take is becoming informed and empowered with our own cycles of fertility and options that are readily available. This class will focus on fertility in the uterus-bearing body; how it works and ways to track key days to help one conceive or not conceive. Methods for charting and a variety of physical and emotional patterns to look for will be discussed which can help reveal insights into wellness and establish personal awareness patterns. We’ll also touch on a few herbs for health, healing and balance as well as self-care tips. This class is open to all genders!

Breastfeeding, Herbs, & Cannabis Use in Pregnancy

Juanita Nelson (1.5 hrs)

There are specific considerations that can affect plant use in breastfeed moms and their babies.  Because of the unique ability of the breasts to transfer any substance through the milk it is a great opportunity to treat both mom and baby. In many ways it is opposite from what happens in pregnancy and what works in one does not necessarily work in the breastfeeding period.

We are learning amazing facts everyday about breast milk and it’s unique ability to adapt to the needs of each individual baby.  It can change immediately from one chemical composition to another in direct response to babies’ needs.  Herbs can enhance or interfere with that process and create a direct tool for facility or disruption.  As a delivery system is it unique.  We will explore the unique circumstances of treatment during breastfeeding.  Breast infections and the treatment of them will also be discussed.

Women have used cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding for a variety of reasons ranging from easing the nausea of early pregnancy to encouraging milk letdown. How and why this can affect both Mom and baby will be discussed. Colorado deems it legal to use cannabis for recreational use but it’s use during pregnancy and breastfeeding is controversial and can lead to the involvement of social services and legal action again.

Herbs For Women’s Health

Phyllis Light (2 hrs)

Puberty, Fertility, Pregnancy, Menopause….How can you best support your body through the stages of life? Phyllis D. Light will share her passion in empowering women to learn about their bodies and cycles, and in teaching about the powerful herbs that can help alleviate the most common women’s health conditions. In this class, you will learn about the common health issues which affect women throughout their lifespan. What’s the best approach for recurring urinary tract infections? Is there help for ovarian cysts or fibroids? Hot flashes? Endometriosis? Recurring yeast infections? Bacterial vaginosis? Vaginal dryness? Uterine or bladder prolapse? How can fertility be improved? How to have a healthy pregnancy? 

Phyllis will discuss all these topics and more. We’ll dance, we’ll sing, and we’ll learn how to help heal the body. Join us for a fun and informative workshop learning about women’s health and herbal medicine from this renowned teacher, author, and herbalist. Hopefully, you will come away from the workshop feeling more self-empowered in supporting your own health needs.

Nourishing The Blood: An Herbal Approach to Post Partum & Post C-Section Healing 

Tiffany Freeman (1.5 hrs)

With the C-section rates in the USA and Canada being in the top 10 highest out of all the countries in the world, with rates of 30-40% of all births delivered by Cesarean, womyn are not often being treated for the tremendous amount of blood loss that occurs by this means of childbirth.  Blood loss and its serious effects upon a womyn’s health are often overlooked, mis or undiagnosed and in most cases due to lack of postpartum health care. Blood deficiency has been linked to areas such as post-partum depression, anxiety, panic attacks, migraines, breast feeding difficulties, fatigue and exhaustion, blood pressure issues and so many more health conditions according to traditional medicine. The stigma of birth by caesarean also enhances the stress on the blood and conditions of blood deficiency. For many womyn, birth by this mean is a necessary procedure to save the life of their child, for many it is a road that a pregnant mother gets on without even knowing what is at the end of it, regardless of why, the major loss of blood still goes untreated. Many modern day techniques, tests and interventions set the stage for an increase in induction rates and therefore an increase in the rates of birth by c-section. In this discussion we will look at the interventions that may set you on the road for c-section and increased blood loss, we will discuss traditional techniques that are used to move babies that are breach, we will discuss the effects of stressors and dis-ease on pregnancy, the role of blood in breast milk production, and herbal, nutritive and traditional hands on healing work to aid in nourishing the blood after loss. Working to treat the blood after childbirth no matter which way a chid is brought into this world is an important area to address and an area where we can help support mothers through the amazing journey of parenthood.

The 4th Trimester: Herbs for Post-Partum Wellbeing

Leslie Lekos (1.5 hrs)

It goes without saying, that the time of post-partum, after the birth of a baby, is a time of great transition in a woman’s life.  It can be a time of great joy and also a time of high demands and stress.  For many it can be a vulnerable time, without adequate care systems, leaving women underserved and feeling unsupported. Our conventional care systems do not provide adequate support for many families after the birth of their babies.  The official post-partum time period in the United States medical model is 6 weeks. At this time, and prior to it, many women are going back to work.  Most women are still physically healing from their deliveries and all families with newborns are not sleeping enough. It is not uncommon for mental health issues to arise from these unrealistic cultural expectations imposed upon us. It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control that 1 in 9 American mothers experience post-partum depression.  Symptoms can range considerably from what is termed as “baby blues” to feelings of suicide.

In helping post-partum women it can be vital to help women connect to resources in their areas. Herbs can also be of support to women during this time.  We, as herbalists, can support women through education about nutrition, offer ideas about herbs to aid in the physical healing after birth and pain management the days and weeks after delivery.  There are a wide array of galatagogue herbs that stimulate the production of milk with specific indicators differentiating their uses.  Conversely, there are herbs that stop the flow of milk for women choosing not to breast-feed.  In this class, we will also discuss a wide array of nervines, anxiolytics and herbs to aid in sleep that are deemed safe for women that are breast-feeding.  We will also discuss categories of herbs to avoid while breast-feeding.

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For More Information or Advance Discount Tickets:

Good Medicine Confluence Website: www.PlantHealer.org/intro.html

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