Plant Spirit Medicine
I graduated my coursework and clinical exams in 1998, and now practice in Olympia, Seattle, and Victoria, B.C. As a member of the Plant Spirit Medicine Association, I complete regular continuing education coursework.
The Shaman's Way with Plants
Plant Spirit Medicine (PSM) recognizes that plants have spirits, and that spirit is the strongest medicine. PSM draws upon the shaman's way of working with plant spirits, which goes beyond the Western use of herbs for their chemical composition.
Utilizing local plants brings about the greatest healing. Centuries ago, most illnesses were brought about by the environment: cold, dampness, poor hygiene, a lack of clean water, or a lack of food. Today's Western societies typically have all these "basic needs" filled; now, our illnesses often stem from "cold relationships," poor "emotional hygiene," or a lack of "spiritual food".
When to seek PSM treatment
My practice seeks to balance the individual before serious illness occurs. Clients who exhibit symptoms of emotional tension, wariness, stress, irritability, sadness or other "common" complaints are actually in the first stages of developing potentially more serious problems. Many of my clients tell me that PSM treatments have affected changes in their emotional and spiritual lives, thus creating wellness as a way of life.
Candidates for PSM are people who cannot find direction, have little joy, cannot ascertain value in life, have a fear to act, or cannot nourish or be nourished. Their symptoms can include back pain, skin rashes, digestive problems, exhaustion, and inability to keep a job or a relationship, drug or alcohol abuse, numbness in limbs or similar complaints.
about Eliot Cowan, Plant Spirit Medicine Visionary
Eliot Cowan brought the modern practice of PSM together. He was first trained in the Classical Chinese Five Element Acupuncture system of “causality.” As he began to spend time learning from shamans in Mexico, he applied his knowledge of the Five Elements' Causative Factors to his growing knowledge of plant spirits. The result was a system of healing that blends two powerful, ancient arts into an effective modality for healing.
The core of the practice is over 5,000 years old. It is Classical Chinese Five Elements Acupuncture. While acupuncture in its strictest forms requires the use of carefully placed needles to activate energy points along a client's meridians, it is the stimulation or balancing of the meridians that is important, not the use of needles themselves. When practicing PSM, it is the plant spirits themselves who assist to free blocks and balance the meridians.
The Five Elements System does not treat symptomsymptoms are seen as messengers for the real problem. Instead, this ancient system of healing uses an array of measures to determine the client's "Causative Factor"- the root Element of either Fire, Wood, Water, Metal or Earth (or usually, some combination of Elements). Treating the Causative Factor and bringing it into balance is the heart of my practice.
Certified flower essence practitioner and have been a member of the Flower Essence Society since 1997.
Flower Essences are the blossoms of plants prepared from a sun infusion in a crystal bowl of water, further diluted, potentized, and then preserved with brandy. These preparations embody the distinct imprint, or energetic pattern of each flower species
The use of Flower Essences "meets you where you are.”
“The action of flower essences can be compared to the effects we experience from hearing a particularly moving piece of music, or seeing an inspirational work of art. The light or sound waves, which reach our senses, may evoke profound feelings in our soul, which indirectly affect our breathing pulse rate, and other physical states. These patterns do not impact us by direct physical or chemical intervention in our bodies'. Rather, it is the contour and arrangement of the light or sound, which awakens an experience within our own soul similar to that, which arose within the soul of the creator of the musical or art form. This is the phenomenon or resonance, as when a guitar string sounds when a matching note is sung. In a similar way, the specific structure and shape of the life forces conveyed by each flower essence resonate with, and awaken, particular qualities within the human soul." Flower Essence Repertory.
In my practice, I have found that using essences amplify the effects of my Reflexology treatments. By applying the appropriate essence to "trigger" points on the feet or hands, I can further assist the client's release of energy blocks.
I also use essences to augment my practice of Plant Spirit Medicine. While PSM is primarily a spiritual/emotional treatment, the use of essences provides a complimentary vibrational tool to assist self-healing.