"My ultimate goal, beyond healing bodies, is to guide and help clients to recognize their own individual nature, and learn to access and interpret what their body is saying without judgment or self criticism.
The body is a font of knowledge, and each and every symptom experienced is a teacher, communicating something of great importance to you.
Traditional medicine recognizes this wisdom as life force: the body knows what to do if it has the appropriate tools at its command. This realization is the most important change one can make and will lead to effortless, long term, sustainable results."
Loni McCollin MH CHHC NP
Master Herbalist Clinical Botanical Medicine
Functional Health Practitioner
Certified Health Coach
Drawn to plant medicine at an early age, I always knew that my path was one of healing within nature. My first foray into health care was in pursuing a Dietetics education. I soon realized that there was little room in my chosen field for anything other than conventional scientific theories. I knew that there was more to our health than calories in, calories out. I was sure that many of our current western plagues were symptoms of a larger disconnect in our healthcare system and ultimately symbolic of our larger disconnect from the natural world and the world of our own bodies. So I left that path and returned to the love of my youth, plant medicine.
I had always believed that our bodies and minds are intimately connected. My grandmother, my mother and my uncle were the first to introduce me herbs and gardening in the waking world but my first education began in the world of my dreams, where my Aunts and mothers taught me how to see and seek always for the connection of spirit and where it needs support. That too has been a lifetime in learning, and my teachers have come to include beautiful spirits, herbalists I trust.
Knowing that the foods we use to nourish our bodies and the medicines we use to heal our bodies all have profound and distinct effects on our internal eco-systems and wanting to understand the science of it, I dived head first into Clinical Herbalism. My new studies delved deep into pharmacognosy, the therapeutic aspects of botanical medicine and so much more. I devoted myself to the study and application of traditional naturopathic philosophy. I took it a step further when I enrolled in and completed a program in advanced nutritional theory at one of the best integrative nutrition programs on the east coast, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition the only nutrition school integrating all the different dietary theories—combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index.
Through study, apprenticeship, internship and practice my understanding of the deeper connections and functioning of our bodies grew to a whole new level. I learned how to help others make firm visceral connections to themselves. I learned how to listen and how to help you to listen to yourself. Simple yet so elusive in today's assembly line method of medicine.
My life took a lot of twists and turns, I became a whole foods chef, was diagnosed with celiac disease and taught myself gluten free patisserie, started a personal care company. I'd had children, I'd seen death, I'd touched spirit, and my eyes were open to a way of thinking that was flexible and yet firmly rooted in knowledge and a solid understanding about how food, lifestyle and spiritual well-being intersect.
Speaking of intersection, as a queer woman of color I stand at the hub of a few. Everyone should be able to access respectful and compassionate alternative healthcare. I work to create spaces where people of all ages, gender identities, from all walks-of-life, backgrounds and educational status can feel comfortable being themselves. My belief is that by pushing for intersectional awareness and education amongst health practitioners we can bridge the gaps that divide us as people while still valuing and respecting each others unique perspectives and individuality.
To this day I continue my education. Staying abreast of changes and studies in natural and conventional health is a daily activity. Combining modern science with traditional healing practices makes me a better practitioner and reinforces my core belief that just as the body and mind must be in sympathy to gain true health and wellness so must our medicine be integrative to provide the best tools to that end.