Jan 122018


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!



There is no credible way to completely separate mental wellbeing from physical health, and carefully selected herbs are often one of the most helpful and least harmful means of addressing both.  There have always been traumatic experiences in everyday life, but never has there been such “radioactive times” (as teacher Angie True describes them), a deadly cartoonish epoch of science denial, marginalization, increasing classism, systems of oppression, and yes – downright depressing polarization and violence – like never before.

Herbalists and other natural, self empowered herbalists have a role to play in helping individuals and the community at large manage the effects of the ever more intense and daunting trauma, chronic pain, and depression intruding on our lives and distracting us from the good work. To help inform and equip you, we are pleased to present in May, 2018:

A minimum of 9 purposed classes on these subjects, 18 hours of presentations, taught by 8 or more deep feeling herbalists ceremonialists, and therapists including:
Alanna Whitney, CoreyPine Shane, Rae Swersey, Angie True, Jenny Mansell, Sheri Hupfer, Sarah Baldwin, and Anja Robinson.

For More Information about this event and its teachers, or to purchase Advance Discount Tickets, click on:
Good Medicine Confluence Website: www.PlantHealer.org/intro.html


Goldenrod & Gloom: A Personal Journey With Depression
Jenny Mansell (1.5 hrs)

The inspiration for this class began with a dream, a dream of glowing plant material in a jar with golden light radiating from it which would ultimately pierce the gloom of my depression in everyday life. I have walked with depression and anxiety since I was 11 years old. Over the years I’ve tried many herbs and practices to help me find peace, joy, and functionality. Some experiments have failed dismally and others have filled me with awe and gratitude for their healing. At this point in my life I manage depression and anxiety with herbs, diet, and practices such as meditation and nature connection. I have come to appreciate the teaching which depression has brought to my life, harsh instructor though it is at times. In this class I strip down to the raw essence of my deepest struggles and share both my vulnerability and triumph. I offer to you what has worked for me and what hasn’t, in the hope you will take something away which may help you in your own struggles or to assist your loved ones or clients. After I share my story, I will offer tips on preparation and dosage for specific herbs. We will try several preparations from flower essences to elixirs. The class will close with a group meditation. To quote my mentor, Jackie Dill, “A gift isn’t a gift unless it’s shared.” The plants and the good earth have given me so much and I offer it to you from an open heart.

Trauma Awareness For The Herbal Clinician
CoreyPine Shane (1.5 hrs)

As a culture, we are only just realizing the extent of unresolved trauma. These experiences are far more common than is usually acknowledged, and are minimized by society and often even by the one who has experienced it. It is vital to our clients’ health and well-being for us to be able to recognize, understand, and respond to the effects of trauma. This understanding can also help us see how emotional, mental, and physical trauma can get stored in our body and cause physical problems.

Hungry With Leaf Scars:
A Radical Community Herbalist’s Approach to Chronic Pain
Rae Swersey (1.5 hrs)

People who live with pain are hungry. We are searching. We are invisible survivors. We are starkly seen. We are resilient. We are ghosts of our former selves. Our hearts ache to know relief. We are owl screeches at midnight. The plants in your garden know. They bend towards our bedroom windows. It is our job as herbalists to direct the call.

In this class we will use a disability justice framework when working with chronic pain. We will address this from a radical clinical community herbalist perspective. As a facilitator, I am both a practitioner and a person living with chronic pain. I come to you from a merged perspective. We will cover a radical clinical community herbalist perspective on chronic pain. We will go over a multi-faceted approach and disability justice framework including topical, internal, nutritional, and supplemental changes. We will go over how using plant medicine is essential in the dismantling of larger systems of oppression and their hold on our mind/body/souls. By looking at how the herbal medicine community has internalized ideas of what “healthy bodies” are from mainstream culture, we can begin to unravel the threads that keep ourselves and our clients from sustaining pain relief.

There will be a strong focus on what I have learned in my personal practice and from getting to know the plants. I am not including the multitude of fabulous information already out there, but rather tips that have informed my practice that are less talked about in books and schooling. Included in this thorough talk, will be herb differentiation, flower essence formulation, anecdotal experience from clinical practice, common obstacles, and specific plants as allies in the fight for our lives.

Botanicals & Other Strategies For Stability During Radioactive Times
Angie True (1.5 hrs)

Feeling traumatized and/or numb by trying to normalize this age of constant threat and stress?

We have always lived on top of a literal nuclear reactor. A core of elemental instability powers both planet and – metaphorically – the inner core of the self. Chaos, disruption and decay drive every facet of our lives, yet we experience our time on the earth’s surface as somewhat stable. Is there anything in this contradiction that holds medicine for times of increased intensity? Might there also be ways to subtly shape the enormous energy being released during this radioactive epoch? Join us for an ecopsychological depth tour to sharpen and expand upon soul-level stability-creation skills, including meaningful self-care techniques, suggestions for perspective-shifting, emergency psychic strategies, using specific, lesser-known plants and direct action that can increase a sense of empowerment and even joy. We will engage in a warrior divination ritual and leave with samples of powerful wildcrafted elixirs formulated especially for overwhelming cultural fluctuations.After all, these are the moments we have been training for all our lives.

On Survival & Showing Up: Vulnerability, Empathy, & Trauma in Clinical Work
Alanna Whitney (1.5 hrs)

The world we occupy as herbalists – whether clinicians or folk herbalists – is an in-between space. As clinicians, we are confidantes, investigators, guides, cheerleaders, and teachers. While we undergo training in pathophysiology, anatomy, herbal actions, extraction methods, medicine making and plant constituents, not many of us have training in how to show up and be present with those among us who have survived trauma. As herbalists, we practice as ungoverned ministers naturae (that is, ministers to the vital force), occupying a liminal space somewhere between the licensed and regulated fields of medicine and psychotherapy.

As more and more research shows the interconnectedness of our heart wounds, our spiritual wellness, and the relative resilience and strength of our bodies (facts long obvious to we herbalists), we have an unprecedented opportunity to support the wellness journeys of survivors. Some of the most powerful healing for survivors comes simply from being able to attune to other people in a safe, contained, and connected way, so even just the process of intake & bearing witness to someone’s story can be a powerful step in their healing journey We can support our clients and communities not only through herbal medicine, which is of course a powerful tool in working with many aspects of trauma. We also have this incredible opportunity to practice connection – to show up with empathy and authenticity by cultivating our own vulnerability. How we sit with clients, what language we use, and how we attune to them can either encourage safety or perpetuate feelings of disempowerment. But how do we show up for survivors? How do we be vulnerable and professional? What if big feelings come up in a session? How do we manage our own feelings and trauma histories while holding space for others? How do we prioritize our treatment and protocols? What can herbs really do? How do we define our role as guides through the in-between places?

We will talk about the neurology of trauma, which is crucial for understanding and unpacking the lived experience of trauma, as well as working with any of our own judgment that may arise. This class will delve into some herbal & nutritional therapeutics for survivors and acute traumatic recall, with a special eye to accessibility and resources for those folks without many financial resources. We will also talk about the special magic of herbal medicine that makes it so well suited to supporting the hearts and bodies of survivors – the way that simple aromatics can support nervous system function and increase HRV, the way that herbs can be used to support vagal tone, and the role of relaxants and adaptogens.

What The Hell is The HPA Axis?: Holistically Managing Stress in These Crazy Times
Anja Robinson (1.5 hrs)

In this class we will take a deep dive into the mechanisms of the stress response system and the mismatch occurring in our modern environment. We will break down the components of the nervous system that make up our stress response such as the adrenals, neurotransmitters, hormones as well as something known as the HPA Axis. We will explore healthy cortisol rhythms and how our modern world is playing a role in disrupting our bodies natural flow. We will discuss signs and symptoms of adrenal dysregulation as well as many common health concerns we are seeing in our current culture as a result. As a class we will explore creative solutions for dietary, herbal, lifestyle shifts as well as body/mind techniques to help us come back into balance, support our nervous systems and holistically manage our stress in our modern world.

Surviving A World That Doesn’t Want You:
A Radical Community Herbalist’s Approach to Suicide & Suicidal Ideation
Rae Swersey (1.5 hrs)

If we are to be community healers, we will see life and death in our practices. We will also see people with suicidal ideation and those effected by losing someone to suicide. There is a deep silence around working with this struggle. It is crucial that we do, and as herbalists we have the tools. Plant medicine has so much to offer mental health relief. In this class, we are going to begin to dismantle shame, silence, systemic oppression, and grief. We will talk about using herbal medicine in our path of resilience and the fight for our lives. This workshop will contain useful skills and tools, with the goal to empower participants to use this knowledge in a practical way. There will be a focus on respect and cultural competency when approaching friends, loved ones, communities and clients. We will touch what is underneath trauma and oppression to the core of who we are and what our mind/body/soul is fighting for. We will talk about how I approach my formulas in my personal practice and take an in depth at social justice herbalism frameworks. You can expect case studies, clinical skills including intakes and safe suicide assessment tools, a handful of herbs-mainly going into their mental health uses and differentiation, and how to address accessibility and practicality. There will be a strong clinical practice focus. It is imperative, during this time, we build up our resources and armory against hopelessness and tyranny. Through exploring resilience and where it lives in the body we can address mental health and it’s stigmas from a deep perspective. In deep gratitude for the plants and humble respect for those who survive daily. Let’s talk about plant medicine and what it means to be alive.

Herbs For Heartache & Breakups
Sarah Baldwin (1.5 hrs)

Throughout the ages, romantic love has been a bearer of both soaring joy and bottomless sorrow, exquisite pleasure and unbearable pain. When the sweetness of love turns sour or is cut short, we often experience heartache, heartbreak, grief, sadness, anger, and perhaps even a dark night of the soul. This class will focus on herbal allies that can help us navigate the complicated web of breakups, separations, and troubling relationship scenarios. Of course, there is no cure for a broken heart, but there are plants that can help us get through the experience with greater ease. We’ll explore plant allies that can help ease the acute grief we feel in the emotional and physical heart, as well as plants that assist in releasing chronic or stagnant grief in the lungs. We will also look at plants that can help us attain the strength to cut energetic cords, reclaim our own identity, and gain emotional distance from relationships that are toxic, unhealthy, or simply no longer serve our highest good. We’ll also explore plants that support conflict resolution and ease emotional turmoil for times when we have to deal with external things like dividing possessions and changing our place of residence. We will also spend some time covering deep issues that relationships stir up within us, like guilt, resentment, and crisis of identity. Above all, this class will honor and celebrate the strength and tenacity of the human spirit when going through experiences that cut us to the core and challenge us deeply.

The Underworld Above: Black Cohosh, Ocotillo, & Sacred Datura
Sheri Hupfer (1.5 hrs)

In this class, we will explore the unraveling of all that we have been carrying in the precious place of the pelvic trap door so that we may begin to re-write old stories, remove stagnancy, and surrender to the healing potential of allowing life to flow through areas that have been blocked, guarded, or wounded, with the support of three very powerful plant allies.


For More Information about this event and its teachers, or to purchase Advance Discount Tickets, click on:
Good Medicine Confluence Website: www.PlantHealer.org/intro.html

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