My Journey.. Becoming A Naturopathic Herbalist
We sat down with Sophie Barrett, a Naturopath & Herbalist and asked her on her journey from being a Press guru to embarking a different life journey; becoming a naturopathic herbalist.
How did you end up studying Herbal Medicine?
Studying Herbal Medicine has for me, always been a lifestyle change not just a career change. Having come into contact with all types of healing modalities and alternative medicine as well as mainstream practitioners, I realised that I wanted to change careers aged 30 (having worked in the fashion industry up until this point). At that time a lot of people were retraining as Nutritionists; I had already done a course in nutrition years earlier and felt I really wanted to learn another healing practice all together. I moved out of London and took a job in Thailand working at a wellness sanctuary in Koh Samui and here I was able to remove myself from a typically Western way of thinking, living day to day immersed in nature. It wasn’t until I returned from Asia two years later that I started a diploma in Herbal Medicine at The College of Naturopathic Medicine in London.
What change do you wish to embody with your company?
My intention with Herbal Medicine is to help educate and inspire people to live in harmony with nature and navigate their way back to optimum health through the healing power of plants alongside naturopathic lifestyle advice.
I would like to take the fear out of a scary diagnosis, and help people realise anything is possible in terms of healing - the sky really is the limit. I would like to inspire people to make small steps to improve their health and tread more lightly on this earth. Helping people connect with the right practitioner for them – having witnessed so many different styles of practitioner I realise there is an art not only to healing but also to finding the right practitioner who will sensitively support you on your healing journey. I would like to be a safe trusted voice in the wellness industry which can often be an overwhelming place.
Who has been your inspiration during this process of becoming an Herbal Practitioner?
From a young age my parents would take me to have acupuncture when I felt out of balance and our acupuncturists (husband and wife team) played an important role in my development introducing me to the concept of “chi” and energy healing. Both my grandmothers also influenced me beyond belief – my dad’s mother always cooked amazing meals with an abundance of herbs and spices and introduced me to supplements; while my Mum’s Mum was a fantastic listener and advice giver (she in fact studied Social Sciences at LSE). You really cannot underestimate the power of listening; as a practitioner to hold space in the appropriate way is an integral part of the healing process as is knowing when to ask the right questions.
Beyond my family influence my herbal colleague - the other half of @sharingplantwisdom Marie Cotel (@herbclinicldn) inspires me every day with her work ethic and pharmaceutical knowledge and when I worked at Kamalaya (www.kamalaya.com) in Koh Samui I met some wonderful people who have certainly shaped my world – the Founders John and Karina Stewart reminded me of the importance of service and humility and Nicky Kassapian (www.nickykassapian.com) and Bernie Schulte both standout practitioners who have in many ways become my mentors.
And how could I forget Nature itself – the best teacher, constantly evolving, adapting, growing and reminding me to honour the change in seasons, bloom when it is appropriate and hibernate and rest as required.
What does an Herbal consultation with you involve?
Presently you would see me as a student practitioner at CNM (www.naturopathy-uk.com) where we hold an initial consultation lasting one and a half hours – we go through your full medical history, your family medical history, the medications you might currently be taking and we ask questions about every system in the body (digestion, urinary, nervous, reproductive etc.) we then do diagnostics so we feel your pulse, check your nails, tongue, look at your iris and eyes. After the consultation we prescribe the appropriate herbs and lifestyle advice. We usually book a follow-up for 2-4 weeks later which is a shorter consultation.
What advice would you give someone going through a healing crisis?
This is very much dependent on the individual but I believe less is more, hydration is key, earthing and reconnecting with nature is always underestimated and try to let the symptoms arise in other words don’t suppress them. Become more aware of your body and trust your body. Try and stay true to you – there is no wrong or right way of healing; your body given the right support knows how to heal itself but the mind can often hinder this so work on the relationships you have with people too (emotions can often trigger stagnation and imbalances so look at boundary setting and try and let go of the toxic relationships or pattens you might be experiencing or creating). I also think it is incredibly important what you put in and on your body and an organic approach is paramount which is why I started working with www.organics.com a year ago who are a trusted marketplace connecting sellers of organic and natural produce with an engaged audience who believe in leaving a smaller footprint on this Earth….
To book an Herbal Medicine consultation with Sophie or Marie or arrange a “Sharing Plant Wisdom” Event please e-mail: email@example.com