Trilium sparkling in the forest

My Healing Journey with Plant Spirit Medicine

My healing journey with Plant Spirit Medicine began in 1999, while I was living in Arcata, California.

Things had been rough for me since college. I was living on my own for the first time, far away from my family and friends. My health was declining, and no one knew what was wrong. I was shy and insecure, struggling to find my way in life.

Searching for healing for myself, I found myself drawn to study herbal medicine, though I’d never studied healing or plants before. I learned about the many benefits of herbs and wild foods. I made herbal medicines to treat coughs, sore throats and heal wounds. I went wildcrafting for plants like nettle, chickweed and dandelion. For the first time I had a garden and grew chamomile, rosemary and sage. I loved working with the plants! And a calling to help others stirred within me.

But the real turning point came when my herbal studies teacher recommended the book Plant Spirit Medicine by Eliot Cowan.

It’s a beautiful book of stories about the human spirit and our relationship with nature. I discovered that plants have more to offer than food and herbal medicine. Instead of using the physical plant to treat physical symptoms, Plant Spirit Medicine calls on the spirits of plants to heal the spirits of people.

The plant spirits bring the joy and sparkle back to life by reconnecting us to the dream of nature. They restore balance within us which is reflected in our outer lives. This can often result in profound healing of many kinds. Plant Spirit Medicine healers ask the spirits of the plants to come through their hands to help their client and bring healing.

Reading the book was like being touched by the spirits of the plants. It touched me deeply and gave me hope. I felt a strong feeling of connection that I was desperately longing for. In that moment I knew I was called to work with the plant spirits. It was clear that this was how I wanted to help people. But how would this ever happen? No one practiced where I lived and traveling to the East Coast to study with Eliot seemed impossible.

I read the book every year for five years keeping my dream alive that someday I would receive the transformation and deep connection brought by the plant spirits. It’s amazing how life makes things happen.

After those five years I moved to Asheville, North Carolina. Over those five years my health had continued to get worse, leaving me with debilitating chronic fatigue and body-wide chronic pain. The first thing I did when I got to Asheville was to look for a holistic medical doctor to help me. I felt so lucky to find a great holistic M.D. whose office was even within walking distance of my new home.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read her brochure, “Dr. Lisa Lichtig practices Plant Spirit Medicine and trained with Eliot Cowan.” It was my dream come true. I signed up to see Lisa for plant spirit medicine treatments, and my life has never been the same.

Little by little I came back to life.

At first the changes were so subtle I hardly noticed, but something sparked inside me that kept me going back. As time went on, I could see that the changes in me were profound. It’s like when you look back in time at the transformation of a tiny sprout into a blooming flower.

I started to feel alive and whole again in the face of tremendous physical health challenges. My lifelong issues with being painfully shy and having low self-esteem were healing in a way that therapy was never able to reach. I felt a new sense of confidence and inspiration for life. My relationships improved and communicating with others wasn’t such a struggle anymore. I joined the flow of life again and things started to happen.

I discovered that Asheville was a hub of plant spirit medicine healers trained by Eliot Cowan. Treatments with Lisa led to treatments with Eliot, who has been a huge support in my life ever since. A year after I started receiving Plant Spirit Medicine treatments, I moved back to California, where my heart had always been. But this time I moved to Santa Cruz, my true home. 

A mysterious “coincidence” occurred just after I moved to Santa Cruz: Eliot started a Plant Spirit Medicine Healer training just 45 minutes from my home. This was the last time it would be offered on the West Coast for over 10 years. At last the spirits were making it easy for me to fulfill my dream of becoming a Plant Spirit Medicine Healer. 

Over time, all of the blessings and healing wisdom I’ve received from the plant spirits continues to deepen in many remarkable ways. Deep gratitude to the plant spirits!

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