The FAQs About
Healing Journey Intuitively

Why do I need to complete an initial consultation before other services?
 
This is the time where you and I will discuss what you need me for. Think of this as an approval process. Because I offer many support services and all operate energy-based. Out of respect for the seriousness of my work you have to be approved beyond this consultation appointment before any additional service is accepted and completed.
What does spirituality have to do with holistic healthcare, I'm not a spiritual person?
You actually do not need to be spiritual or religious-based to received support in your health and wellness. Here is what I look at:  
 
3 major areas: mortality, coping, and recovery.
Mortality
 
A commitment may improve stress control by offering better coping mechanisms, richer social support, and the strength of personal values and worldview. From a practitioner's standpoint, understanding clients' spirituality is quite valuable:
Spirituality may be a dynamic in the client's understanding of the disease.
Religious convictions may affect health care decision-making.
Spirituality may be a client need and may be important in client coping.
An understanding of the client's spirituality is integral to whole-person care.

ASPECTS OF SPIRITUAL CARE

What is involved in serving clients and providing compassionate care? I like to begin with the following:

  • Practicing compassionate presence—i.e., being fully present and attentive to my clients and being supportive to them in all of their suffering: physical, emotional, and spiritual

  • Listening to clients' fears, hopes, pain, and dreams

  • Obtaining a spiritual history

  • Being attentive to all dimensions of clients and their families: body, mind, and spirit

  • Incorporating spiritual practices as appropriate

  • Involving chaplains or their spiritual advisors (if any) as members of the interdisciplinary health and wellness journey.

 

Throughout these activities, it is important to understand my professional boundaries also. In-depth spiritual counseling should occur under the direction of yourself or your own spiritual leaders, as they are rooted in their experience. With permission from my client in all cases, I may lead a prayer or meditation, that involves specific experience many medical/ conventional physicians do not have. Furthermore, as your practitioner and guide, I will not lead any client away from their tradition, I allow them to lead. It could be offensive or inappropriate for the clients to feel pressured or in a space to change or having to choose out of their norm.  My client's spiritual history is their center, and proselytizing and ridiculing patients' beliefs are not acceptable in any work that I do.

I remain respectful and understand the spiritual dimension in clients' lives. Many come to me in vulnerable times. Not at any time will I ever suggests a certain religion/spiritual belief or ridicules a client's belief, the client might adopt that my own belief or lack of belief out of fear of disagreeing with such perceived authority. Therefore, it is critical that when discussing spiritual issues with my clients, I will always listen and support.

This helps recognize when cases need to be referred to additional support beyond me. It opens the door to conversation about values and beliefs, uncovers coping mechanisms and support systems, reveals positive and negative spiritual coping, and provides an opportunity for compassionate care.

Coping

Clients who are spiritual may utilize their beliefs in coping with illness, pain, and life stresses. Some studies indicate that those who are spiritual tend to have a more positive outlook and a better quality of life. For example, clients with advanced cancer who found comfort from their religious and spiritual beliefs were more satisfied with their lives, were happier, and had less pain. Spirituality is an essential part of the “existential domain” measured in quality-of-life scores. Positive reports on those measures—a meaningful personal existence, fulfillment of life goals, and a feeling that life to that point had been worthwhile— correlated with a good quality of life for clients with advanced disease.

Spiritual well-being is related to the ability to enjoy life even in the midst of symptoms, including pain. Spiritual beliefs can help clients cope with the disease and face transitioning (death). Finding companionship and spiritual comfort—chosen over such things as advance directives, economic/financial concerns, and social concerns. Those who were surveyed cited several spiritual reassurances that would give them comfort. Some of the most common spiritual reassurances of my clients were beliefs that they would be in the loving presence of God or a higher power, that death was not the end but a passage, and that they would live on through their children and descendants.

Bereavement is one of life's greatest stresses. Parents had a better physiologic and emotional adjustment. As a bereaved parent and doula strengthening ones' own religious/spiritual commitment help with coping support.

I have found that people who are challenged by something like a serious illness or loss, frequently they will turn to spiritual values to help them cope with or understand their illness or loss.

 

Recovery

Spiritual commitment tends to enhance recovery from illness to surgery to any part of health and wellness. For example, a study of heart transplant clients showed that those who participated in religious activities and said their beliefs were important complied better with follow-up treatment, had improved physical functioning at the 12-month follow-up visit, had higher levels of self-esteem, and had less anxiety and fewer health worries. In general, people who don't worry as much tend to have better health outcomes. Maybe spirituality enables people to worry less, to let go and live in the present moment.

Related to spirituality is the power of hope and positive thinking. I teach the relaxation response to many of my clients, and I have found it particularly useful for many with chronic pain, high blood pressure, headaches, and irritable bowel syndrome. It takes only a few minutes to describe the meditation and to practice it with my clients. I encourage my clients to practice the technique at home. I usually suggest people follow up with me more frequently initially as they are learning the technique. After a few semimonthly visits, I will switch to monthly visits, which can then be tapered. Some of my clients follow up with me by phone if virtual is difficult.

 
 
What Is An Herb?

Medicinally, an herb is any plant part or plant used for its therapeutic value. Yet, many of the world’s herbal traditions also include mineral and animal substances as “herbal medicines”.

 

What Is Herbal Medicine?

Herbal medicine is the art and science of using herbs for promoting health and preventing and treating illness. It has persisted as the world’s primary form of medicine since the beginning of time. While the use of herbs in America has been overshadowed by dependence on modern medications for the last 100 years, 75% of the world’s population still rely primarily upon traditional healing practices, most of which is herbal medicine.

 

How Are Herbs Different From Pharmaceuticals?

Most pharmaceutical drugs are single chemical entities that are highly refined and purified and are often synthesized. In 1987 about 85% of modern drugs were originally derived from plants. Currently, only about 15% of drugs are derived from plants. In contrast, herbal medicines are prepared from living or dried plants and contain hundreds to thousands of interrelated compounds. Science is beginning to demonstrate that the safety and effectiveness of herbs are often related to the synergy of their many constituents.

How Is Herbal Medicine Different From Conventional Medicine?

The primary focus of a clinical herbalist is to support people as individuals irrespective of the disease or condition they have and to stimulate their innate healing power through the use of such interventions as herbs, diet, and lifestyle. The primary focus of conventional physicians is to attack diseases using strong chemicals that are difficult for the body to process, or through the removal of organs. Not only does this ignore the unique makeup of the individual, but many clients under conventional care suffer from side effects that are as bad as the condition being treated. The philosophical difference between herbalists and conventional physicians has profound significance.

What Is An Herbalist?

Herbalists are people who dedicate their lives to working with medicinal plants. They include native healers, scientists, naturopaths, holistic medical doctors, researchers, writers, herbal pharmacists, medicine makers, wildcrafters, harvesters, and herbal farmers to name a few. While herbalists are quite varied, the common love and respect for life, especially the relationship between plants and humans, unites them. Persons specializing in the therapeutic use of plants may be medical herbalists, traditional herbalists, acupuncturists, midwives, naturopathic physicians, or even one’s own grandmother.

I didn’t have the beauty of traditional training meaning, by a grandmother, handed down knowledge.

My curiosity about scientific studies and peer-reviewed papers about herbalism has been consistent, so technical vocabulary allows me to navigate confidently through scientific literature about botany, herbalism, and medicine. Additionally, I have an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology and other health concepts that allow me to dialogue easily with healthcare professionals like nurses and MDs.

I prefer a more technical style when educating my clients about general health and herbs as opposed to the more informal style chosen by a folk herbalist. Although I need to be comfortable with scientific terminology, as clinical herbalists also I am acutely aware of my own limitations and appropriate vocabulary so that I do not inadvertently cross my professional boundaries into practicing medicine without a license.

I work closely with people who are searching for ways to support their health and wellbeing with herbs. It’s a challenging, rewarding career path that requires a great deal of knowledge about herbalism as well as knowing my professional limits and boundaries: ethical, legal, and educational.

What Is An Herbal Consultation?

As a trained clinical herbalist and aromatherapist, I am able to answer questions you may have about herbs and essential oils, how they work, which ones are useful for what types of situations, and how to best use them.

You will always leave the consult with some kind of recommendation, whether it is a lifestyle, herbal, or a combination of things. Many times you will leave with a customized herbal formula and/or nutritional supplements that are right for your situation. If virtually assessed your product will be shipped or you may pick it up. 

 

The follow-up consultations are usually shorter, but this depends on the severity of your issues and your own personal needs. (these can be booked later)

 

True health is not a one-time fix.  It is something that must be worked on, especially when you are trying to change your life-long habits. Because of this, I like to see my clients several times so that I can make sure you are staying on the path you chart for yourself.

How will I know if an herb will work for me?
It depends on you and how much you are willing to work on your own healing.  Herbal remedies are extremely effective and naturally ease your body into a state of total holistic health and wellness, but they are not stand-alone fixes for chronic health issues.

Herbal medicine is an art, not just a science. No one can predict which herb will work best for every individual in all situations. This can only come with educated self-experimentation and experience or by seeking the assistance of those who are knowledgeable in clinical herbal medicine. The simpler the condition, the easier it is to find a solution. The more complicated the condition, the greater the need there is to seek expert advice.

 

How long does it take for herbs to be effective?

The success of herbal treatment always depends upon a variety of factors including how long the condition has existed, the severity of the condition, the dosage and mode of administration of the herb(s) and how diligently treatment plans are followed. It can be as short as 60 seconds when using a spoonful of herbal bitters for gas and bloating after a heavy meal; 20 minutes when soaking in a bath with rosemary tea for a headache; days when using tonics to build energy; or months to correct long-standing gynecological imbalances. Difficult chronic conditions can often take years to reverse.

How safe are herbs?

It depends on the herbs. Most herbs sold as dietary supplements are very safe. When used appropriately, the majority of herbs used by practitioners have no adverse side effects. A review of the traditional and scientific literature worldwide demonstrates that serious side effects from the use of herbal medicines are rare.

 

How do herbalists practice?

Herbalists can practice either as primary health care providers or adjunctive health care consultants. All my initial visits will begin with a consultation about your past and current health history, your dietary and lifestyle practices, or other factors related to your health issue. As the herbalist, with your involvement, we will develop an integrated herbal program that addresses your specific health needs and concerns. You should be treated as a whole person, not as a disease.

How can herbs and herbal medicine help me?

Herbs can offer you a wide range of safe and effective therapeutic agents that you can use as an integral part of your own health care program. They can be used in three essential ways:

  1. to prevent disease

  2. to treat disease

  3. to maximize one’s health potential.

Herbs are also used for the symptomatic relief of minor ailments.

What happens during an herbal consultation?


During your first consultation, I will build up a picture of you and your health. We will discuss the nature, onset, and progression of your complaint, as well as any investigations you have had to date.


I will look at:
-allergies
-medical history
-family history
-treatment history (including prescriptions and any over the counter products)
-social history (such as smoking, alcohol, exercise, and social life)
diet

What happens during an aromatherapy consultation?

You may be facing a health concern you’re trying to address and you’re wondering if clinical aromatherapy can be a complementary alternative medicine in addition to your healthcare support. Essential oils can play a role in your overall wellness routine. If you’re not sure what else to do in addition to diffusing, you may want to consider my support in clinical aromatherapy. As a certified aromatherapist, I can help you figure out other ways to incorporate essential oils in your life— and will do it in a way that is safe. Trained aromatherapists understand how to help clients navigate the multitude of information that’s on the Internet and shared at parties, including what's safe and not safe.
INCLUDES:
Health Assessment- I will record your medical history. It's important, to be honest with me about any health conditions you have and any medications you take. It is vital to know that some essential oils can react with meds or be contraindicated for certain health conditions. Be sure to note if you are pregnant (or trying to become) or nursing.


Identify Purpose- I will need to understand if you want to improve physical health? Mental health? Or are you more interested in beauty products? Mention any problems or conditions you would like to address. For example, is stress a problem? Or perhaps you would like a chemical-free natural perfume.


Primary Focus-  Once we’ve talked through all their concerns, I like to have my clients decide what is the most important item on their priority list and start there. Trying to address too many items at once muddles things up, and it’s hard to know what is helping what. When you’re working on one thing at a time, it becomes obvious if the aromatherapy protocol is effective.


Choosing a Protocol/Method of Use- I will present several possible essential oil options, and you choose what best resonates with you. Be an active part of your wellness plan! When you are invested, you are more likely to follow through on this plan.


Follow-Up
This is where I encourage you to be honest. Be sure to let me know any results you see from your protocol, good, bad, or indifferent. Generally, natural products take longer to work than medicines because they are working to help balance the body, although some things may have a quicker response. Once you have addressed your most important issue, we can then decide if you would like to tackle another area. 

What is complementary alternative medicine?

The use of health care approaches that are not typically part of conventional medical care or that may have origins outside of usual Western practice. When describing these approaches, people often use “alternative” and “complementary” interchangeably, but the two terms refer to different concepts:

  • If a non-mainstream practice is used together with conventional medicine, it’s considered “complementary.”

  • If a non-mainstream practice is used in place of conventional medicine, it’s considered an “alternative.”

Most people who use non-mainstream approaches also use conventional health care.

Types of Complementary Health Approaches

Complementary health approaches include natural products and mind and body practices.

 

Integrative Health

Integrative health care often brings conventional and complementary approaches together in a coordinated way. It emphasizes a holistic, patient-focused approach to health care and wellness—often including mental, emotional, functional, spiritual, social, and community aspects—and treating the whole person rather than, for example, one organ system. It aims for well-coordinated care between different providers and institutions.

The use of integrative approaches to health and wellness has grown within care settings across the world. 

Natural Products

This group includes a variety of products, such as herbs (also known as botanicals), vitamins and minerals, and probiotics.

Mind and Body Practices

Mind and body practices include a large and diverse group of procedures or techniques administered or taught by a trained practitioner or teacher. Yoga, chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation, and meditation are among the most popular mind and body practices used in CAM. 

Other Complementary Health Approaches

Some complementary approaches may not neatly fit into either of these groups—for example, the practices of traditional healers, Ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, and functional medicine.

If you don't see an answer here, feel free to send me an email at carissahunter15@gmail.com