Over 15 years ago, when my now teenaged son Simon was just two months old, he broke out in a severe rash that his doctors diagnosed as eczema. He was prescribed a hydrocortizone steroid cream, the standard line of treatment. Driving from the doctor's office to the drugstore, something inside of me warned against filling that prescription.

In the next few days I dedicated myself wholeheartedly to researching Simon's condition. My very kind boss called her sister who was a nurse and placed some inquiries on my behalf, and I soon found out that the cream prescribed for my 2 month old son was 1000 times stronger than the over the counter creams. It also had serious side effects the doctor had not informed me of. So I threw out the prescription & threw myself into a passionate fact finding mission - making phone calls and reading herbals as well as pouring over information on acupuncture, nutrition and other 'alternative' healing modalities. We tried everything : herb tinctures, over the counter homepathic ointments, herbal baths, anti-allergen diets, you name it we tried it.

It was overwhelming to say the least. My confusion was compounded by deep concern for my newborn's health and the fact that all the 'experts' seemed to have strong differing opinions and vastly different recommendations. One lady with no medical qualifications whatsoever even yelled at me for getting Simon his immunizations and told me I should never have done that. At any rate I did not have time to figure out who was right and who was wrong - my baby was sick now. He was itching the weeping sores on his face constantly and his condition was interfering with his development - the clock was ticking.

Ultimately Simon did get better, with time. We visited a homeopath, and used both external and internal homeopathic and herbal remedies. The panic and helpless feeling in those days as a brand new young mom floundering in a sea of information and frightened of making the wrong decision for my child left a deep impression on me. It was also an expensive endevour, with none of the treatments I was trying covered my medical insurance.

And this is how my journey into holistic healing began. This incident was in 1998 and I was only 24 years old, learning to care for my firstborn and my new little family of three. I spent much of the first years of Simon's life in continual research, attending any and all classes on holistic health I could get to and reporting on them for my local newspaper.

Most of all this experience taught me how important it is to empower ourselves with information & be prepared for emergencies like these. Best to be informed of our health care options beforehand, rather than leaving our fates in the hands of the 'experts'- whether the condition in question is physical, mental, neurological, spiritual, emotional or otherwise. It was a tough lesson but I am grateful, because it was a good lesson for someone who would spend the next few years of her life raising 3 children with autism to learn - but that is another blog for another day.

Now I would be very interested in hearing & learning the stories of other blog readers & healer's guild members - How did your journey into the realms of natural healing begin? What have you learned and how have you grown along your path?

Gretchen M.
Adirondack Aromatherapist

How did your journey begin?  Post a comment-we'd love to hear your story too!