How to be Your Own Shaman

Living In Total Health requires that you integrate your wholeness and your individuality into any health regimen. Inherent in this process is taking responsibility for your health—your choices and the consequent outcomes.

Your choices include, but are not limited to, what you eat and drink, your activity level, your mindset, your relationships, how you respond to challenges and difficulties, how you promote sleep, your utilization of health care, and how you personalize your own path to health.

“When you give your body the right tools, it knows how to be well.”
–Jane Barlow Christensen, Master Herbalist, Author of Be Your Own Shaman

Herbs and Natural Healing

Be aware that your choices also include credible alternative health care in addition to traditional medicine. One very credible alternative medicine practice is natural healing via herbal remedies. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, humans have used herbs to treat diseases and maintain health for thousands of years. And MountSinai.org says that when “used correctly, herbs can help treat a variety of conditions, and in some cases, may have fewer side effects than some conventional medications.”

Please note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate herbs and supplements. Therefore, products are not allowed to claim to treat specific conditions.

Recommendations for Using Herbs

As for herbs, I believe that nature’s remedies work when administered properly and that you can Be Your Own Shaman

Below are my recommendations for using herbs to enhance your total health.

1) Do your own research. Check out the product quality and the integrity of the company that produces the herb. Not all products are created equal and some companies don’t care much about the quality of their product. While it’s okay to attend to the opinion of ‘experts’, it’s even more impactful to learn the information for yourself. This is my recommendation for all areas of health because there is NO one-size-fits-all approach to any level of health.

2) Follow the product instructions or consult an herbal professional. While your individuality matters in total health, altering the instructions right off the bat without knowing how the herbs effect you may do more harm than good. So if you want to personalize any herbal remedy, then please consult a professional herbalist.

3) Listen to your body. The human body is wise and communicates regularly about what works for it and what does not work for it. Understanding what your body is communicating requires you to be present to your experience. So if you experience nausea, dizziness, rash, headache, upset stomach, sneezing, watery eyes, or other negative symptoms after consuming the herbs, then stop taking it and consult with a health care professional.

4) Make the appropriate lifestyle changes. Many chronic diseases like diabetes, IBS, chronic pain, and hypertension are impacted by diet, activity level, stress, and mindset. Herbs alone, just like medication alone, will not ‘fix’ some physical issues that most hope for because lifestyle issues are in play. Neither medication nor herbs will fix any condition that is created by and/or reinforced by lifestyle factors.


Herbal remedies can work for you to improve and maintain your health as a viable alternative to traditional medicine. Yet, your active participation is crucial to how herbs benefit you and your overall health. To that end, you control many variables in your own health. By doing your research, following product instructions, consulting an herbal professional, listening to your body, and making the lifestyle choices to promote health, you can Be Your Own Shaman.

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