Why are we so resistant?

Angelica spp. In flower with the sun shining in the background

You find it difficult to change. A problem to carry through an action with volition and intent. For every block there is blame. Often this is external. Why are we as living beings so resistant to engaging with things that heal us?

Often humans will always gravitate towards the safest option in terms of addressing health problems. For many this is the world of food. How many people have started to change their life by first changing their diet? We often do this because it is quite difficult to refute that what foods we consume are in no way connected to our health. I mean even the NHS agrees with that one! 

Food is consumed at multiple points of the day, it is craved by us constantly. So of course it makes sense to see food as medicine. 

But what about herbal medicine, psycotherapy or homeopathy? Far too often I meet people who proceed to tell me their life story and how nothing in the NHS has worked. It is clear these people could benefit from herbal medicine. You give them your details and leave a compassionate conclusion to the conversation by saying concessions can be given if needed. 

But they never get in touch. Obviously there could be a multitude of reasons and people have autonomy to decide for themselves. What I want to touch upon is resistance to change. Those people who have the time, money and need to engage in a different therapy yet don't engage. 

Whether it is fear, loss of ones behaviours, or a sense of losing personality and charm it is clear the psychology of our state of mind is what governs a humans interaction with medicine. Not the disease itself. Why do we do this?

For it is at this moment that we realise that part of our psyche will always want to protect us. To keep us free from harm in any way shape or form. Humans have inbuilt mechanisms to learn repetitive behaviour as part of our survival instincts. If we didn't we wouldn't have made it this far. But when it comes to healing this same mechanism which keeps us from harm can also hinder us. Telling us stories that we don't understand what the therapy is, or it won't work, or that if it did work the NHS would use it.... etc. 

Some of my greatest healing moments have been when i have entered a therapeutic space with that voice screaming inside of me that i shouldn't be there or i won't enjoy this. At these moments i take a step back and breath. I ask myself some simple questions:

  • Am i physically at risk of assault or harm?
  • Will i be made to do something that is deeply against any ethical or moral belief i have?
  • Will somebody else be harmed by me taking part in this activity?

More often than not the answer will always be no to every question. It is at this moment i realise the power and grip on my body a part of my psyche has and i let go. I give in to the space or therapy and constantly get reminded at how strong and resistant my mind can be at wanting to engage with a therapy that will throw up challenging feelings. For it is this that is the issue. 

Therapy is about engaging with challenging, difficult parts of you that will be holding you back. It isn't all that fun to start to have to understand your anger, jealousy, rage or prejudices. But this is healing, this is therapy, this is what self-development is all about. Understand your 'self' in a way not previously known. 

Herbal medicine and the consultation process will focus on what difficult feelings or emotions you have and many of us find that far too challenging to engage with. Rather accepting our inner stories that nothing can be done and it won't work. 

Notice this resistance and access your given talent for bringing forth a momentum or courage and bravery at the unknown. Men and women all have an inner warrior that we can access in times of need. Sometimes picking up the phone and asking for help is the most courageous thing you can do. So don't hesitate, herbal medicine offers a completely different approach to anything pharmaceutical.

Convallaria majalis (Lily of the valley) In flower

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists MNIMH

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness
Clinics in Sheffield and Manchester

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Jonny's Apothecary is going to BOOM festival 2018

Friends of the world. I have just received confirmation that I will be taking the dispensary to BOOM festival in Portugal. Offering consultations on a donation basis during the event. 

This is a dream come true for me. BOOM has been a part of my life for a few years now and bringing herbal medicine to participants from all over the world will do amazing things for increasing awareness of herbal medicine. 

I am unsure of my working hours at the moment but I believe that I will be working approximately 30-40 hours during the week. Patients will be offered 50 minute consultations and medicine will be prescribed during that time. 

Come and find me in the healing fields or contact me through email/phone whilst you are there.

Exciting times for herbal medicine!

BOOM festival advertisement listing the date (22nd Jul-29th July) and location (Portugal)

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists MNIMH

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness
Clinics in Sheffield and Manchester

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

New Sheffield clinic now running

Jonny's Apothecary is pleased to announce that all further face-to-face to consultations will be conducted at a therapy centre on Abbeydale road in the west of the city. This will be an appointment only service so please get in touch to arrange a time that suits us both. 

The clinic is open 7 days a week but requires me to book the room in advance so it is highly unlikely I will be able to offer same day appointments. 

I am taking bookings as of now so please get in touch or let you loved ones know this service is now available. 

Medicine will not be dispensed on site so there will be an option for medicine to be posted to you or for it to be collected from Nether Edge Herbarium. The shop is open Monday to Saturday (10-1730). 

Salvia spp. Sage in bloom

 

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists MNIMH

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness
Clinics in Sheffield and Manchester

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Patient Testimonial: Help for Addictions, Stress and Mood related problems

"When I went to see Jonny I was so lost in life. However I didn’t even realise it. I thought things were okay, I was full of confidence and had a successful business.

Working with Jonny has been utterly life changing. With the amazing powers of herbs we have explored how my mind and body are linked, helping me see how my actions influence my health. After 6 months of working with Jonny and his herbs I now realise I didn’t know myself at all. What I saw as extreme (fun) behaviours were chronic addictions and harmful coping mechanisms.

I was miserable, on anti-depressants, skipping all social invites, getting high and being consumed by many addictive tendencies. My addictions have massively reduced with the help of herbs and Jonny referring me to a local psychotherapist he trusts. I foresee a time in the future when I can truly leave all of my addictive coping mechanisms behind. The progress I have made so far is fantastic but I still have work to do with Jonny and my psychotherapist.

It’s amazing how he checks on your physical ailments and links them to mental ones. With each consultation he gives you a prescription of herbs, each herb has a specific task specific to your need, be it physical, mental or both. Each time he ‘steps up’ your medicine, opening more ‘boxes’ of trauma or emotions and taking you further on a journey. He can do things your doctor could only dream of. I will only go to a doctor now if I break a bone. The rest I see Jonny. However I’m convinced with his medicine I won’t be developing any physical ailments till the day I die an old man. I have recommended him to everyone, 5 people have followed it up and all 5 are delighted they did. They all still have regular consultations and watching their transformation is a joy. Call Jonny and start your journey of healing.

Jonny and his herbs will be with me forever, he’s truly saved my life and I believe with every prescription he gives me I feel healthier, happier and stronger.

Thanks Jonny."

Tom Greatorex

 

This patient has continuously worked very hard to understand more about why he has developed so many addictive coping mechanisms over the years. Exploration of emotions has been key as well as supporting the body with herbs in dealing with stress. He has made great progress in a short space of time and is now engaging with men's work and men's support groups to develop himself even more. 

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

My 10 Day Vipassana Silent Meditation Retreat

Greetings for 2018.....

Whilst you may have been celebrating the tide of leaving 2017 and welcoming the new year with a party or celebration i was curled up in bed spending time living what could only be described as the life of a buddhist monk. 

I heard about Dhamma Dipa 10 day vipassana retreats approximately 4/5 years ago and never forgot the clarity and wisdom in the words shared with me about how it had changed this person's life who was communicating what it meant to them. It stayed with me ever since that day. Having completed the herbal medicine degree in 2017 i knew that now more than ever i wanted to go. 

The organisation is non-profit and takes their buddhist teachings of vipassana from a lineage of monks. The course is run on 'pay what you feel' donations so no money was exchanged beforehand. 

On the first day you are greeted by the welcome team and all electronic equipment is handed over for safekeeping. Men and women are split to different quarters and i ended up sharing a room with 4 other men. From day 1 you agree to abide by a strict set of rules:

  • No verbal or non-verbal communication of any kind

  • No sexual misconduct (Celibacy)

  • Only 1 small breakfast at 630am, 1 hot lunch at 11am and fruit at 5pm. Vegetarian/vegan.

  • No intoxicants or substance abuse

  • No exercise other than light walking during rest periods

  • No reading of books or literature

  • No electronic equipment to be used of any kind, Ipods, phones, laptops, music etc.

  • Wake up at 4am.....lights out at 930pm

The day contains 10 hours of meditation where you are given a mat and cushion designated for your use throughout the stay in the meditation hall. This is the only time you share space with the opposite sex. But even then, men were kept to the left and women kept to the right. Even in the food hall men and women do not get to see or speak to each other. 

On day 1 you are given a very basic breathing technique which as the course develops everyday you are given another step towards the end goal.... total silent, purposeful and clear vipassana. So each day there are group sittings which you are obliged to attend, but other meditations you are allowed to go to your shared room and meditate there. But only in complete silence. 

Within the first day i started to feel that very familiar tension i get whenever i put myself through something challenging that in my heart i know will be good for me. Just straight away on day 1, having done only a few hours meditation, and silence for half a day i was feeling this growing feeling i didn't want to be there. My frustrations only grew as i could feel all the men around me drop into a lower vibration, our faces were clearly not very happy. 

So it begins, the inevitable process of craving and aversion. What the course teaches you is that for every moment there are sensations all throughout the body. Some of these sensations will develop words or stories attached to them. An out of control mind can fester stories for hours or days after an event. They also teach you that you and only you are the perpetrator of your own state of being. Whether or not people say or perform negative actions towards you, it is your ability to respond or react wisely or appropriately to such actions. Hence the reason why 5 people who are harmed by the actions of 1 person can all suffer variable consequences or states of mind. It is your own internal processes that are ultimately responsible for your craving, anger, aversion, hatred or stories that get created in your mind.

The vipassana technique is unveiled to you day by day as you drop deeper into your unconscious mind like a surgical operation. Each new day whenever the next vipassana stage was shared i would sometimes feel a huge expansive sense of joy or elation at what felt like a completely altered state of mind. This would sometimes be the complete opposite though and feelings of anxiety, stress or paranoia would arise. It was clear to me that each day there was a sense of awareness and focus on my mind and body that was developing through the technique.

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Within the first 5 days i noticed that everyday i began to crave and crave more and more. It was literally eating my mind and body alive. It was easy to see how whenever i have painful experiences i tend to crave something to squash or pander to that feeling instead of actually dealing with the original feeling. The process of stripping away all ability to distract oneself makes sense when all you are now left with is breathing, silence, your mind and body. After 5 days of craving everything from food, to music, to exercise, to walking i finally gave way and spoke to the teacher. I complained at how my cravings were making me feel like i was going to explode. She gave me some simple advice about focusing my breath on a particular point on my body. Then all hell broke loose in my mind as i switched to an incredible rage that rippled through me that night. I became painfully angry at everything and everyone around me. I desperately wanted to leave but i knew deep down this was good for me. 

My reasons for attending the course were bound in my sense of helplessness i have felt at certain addictions i have struggled with over the years. Why do i have them? Where do they come from? Why are some easier than others to drop? It felt like the answer was staring in me in the face on day 7/8 when upon walking in a little woodland around noon during rest period i found a holly tree. 

Upon finding the holly tree i had a moment of feeling somebodies presence around me. It was the leader of my men's group in Manchester. I recognised his smile in my mind and stared helplessly at the holly tree as i realised how much i use holly as a flower remedy for repressed, unresolved anger. The presence of this dear brother was a revelation as i remembered all the times i have seen him guide the mens group through intense rituals and ceremonial offerings. His humility, humbleness and wisdom is deeply inspiring to me. I realised at that moment i had to find a fallen holly branch to make offerings at the side of my bed every day. With the holly branch in hand i walked back to bedroom and began the same ritual every morning and night. Folding everything neatly and placing this holly branch on top of my clothes and bag. It was a reminder that for all of my addictions the driving force has been an unrepenting, burning fire of anger inside me that i have never known how to deal with other than using substances or other addictive cravings. 

It was these final days everything clicked in and although i was drained, exhausted and had barely slept for 10 days i found a deep sense of peace, love and sweet compassion for myself. My heart exploded on day 10 as were given permission to talk to others. It was like a huge cloud had lifted among the group and my heart expanded with pride at how much i had learned about myself.

I feel more empowered than ever to understand the stories or cravings and aversions my mind creates whenever i am faced with something i don't like or don't want. This was a deeply humbling experience and although it hasn't 'cured' me of my minds craziness, or ups and downs, i now have an ability to stop my mind running away like never before. I also feel a love for myself and my heart that feels very healing. 

I would highly recommend this course to other therapists, healers and practitioners. It really is a sweet treasure to put yourself through something so difficult. This is by far the most challenging experience of my years of self development and one i hope to return to again next year to deepen the practice.

For more information on retreats which are open to anyone to apply for please visit: https://www.dhamma.org/en/

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists MNIMH

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness
Clinics in Sheffield and Manchester

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Happy 2018 to all....time for intentions

Dear patients, friends, family and readers. Happy 2018 from Jonny's Apothecary. Apologies for the gap in posting i have just come back from a 10 day Vipassana silent meditation retreat in the Lakes. More on that to follow!

It is around this time of year that i like to look inward and find what spark of intention i want to manifest for this year. Whatever theme i choose i will begin to embrace, explore, investigate, go on retreats/workshops/festivals, paint, read and ask questions about. This is usually something i feel needs deep emotional work to heal within myself. Last year was the year of discovering my 'inner man'. 2017 saw me start attending a monthly men's group in Manchester as well as attend psycotherapy for anger related issues. So many beautiful courageous warriors came into my life to gift me support or experience. It is hard to fathom how in one year so much was uncovered about my identity as a man and the male friends that now surround me. All of this started with one spark of curiosity, that moment of clarity when i realised how much i didn't know what being a man meant. Whilst this process will still continue it is time to embrace another theme for this year. 

This year 2018 i will focus on the heart. The centre of our second brain, that place we perceive love. Such a container of compassion, open hearted selflessness and yet so much darkness and pain to work through and heal. For me this year will focus on trying to understand what is within this heart of mine that wants to be heard, wants to be felt and ultimately changed so that my internal and external actions are more heart based. 

I am excited to see what doors open this year for me to understand myself more. It would be an appropriate assumption we could all do with some healthy, bold and exciting intention setting this time of the year. 

Heart blessings and happy intention setting to you all....................

pexels-photo-269583.jpeg

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists MNIMH

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness
Clinics in Sheffield and Manchester

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

New Manchester clinic now running

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I will now be running a regular clinic in Chorlton, Manchester. Space will be rented on an ad-hoc basis whilst i build up numbers. Hopefully working towards a more regular monthly/weekly schedule that will be easy to follow for patients. 

The Manchester Acupuncture & Holistic Clinic is found at:
583 Barlow Moor Road
Chorlton
Manchester M21 8AE

Unfortunately i will be unable to keep a dispensary at this clinic so medicine will have to be made from my dispensary in Sheffield and then posted back to the patient. Price of consultation and medicine will be the same. 

If you are interested in becoming a patient then please get in touch. The Manchester Acupuncture & Holistic Clinic has a wealth of experience in many fields of holistic therapy. It is exciting to be a part of the team and offer herbal medicine to the city i was born in. 

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists MNIMH

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness
Clinics in Sheffield and Manchester

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

 

10% off total bill at Jonny's Apothecary using Sheffield VCard

It is with great pleasure i can announce that as of today i accept the Sheffield VCard as a form of discount that can be applied to the total bill. I am offering cardholders 10% off the total bill. The total bill is the accumulation of the time and medicine costs (which vary upon each appointment). I am hoping that VCard holders can invest in their health using herbal medicine knowing that all the herbal products or medicines provided are vegan. 

Rest assured that your needs will be met at Jonny's Apothecary where most herbal medicine is organic, sustainably sourced and of course ...... Vegan!

The Sheffield VCard is a membership cardholder scheme that has been developed to link vegan's with Sheffield businesses that offer vegan products, food or therapies. 

"We want it to become as easy and fun as possible to be vegan and so not only will this membership keep you up to date with the vegan food and products available near by, but it will also reward you for choosing those vegan options via the fabulous deals available"

More information on the VCard and how to become a member can be found at: https://www.thevcard.club/

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Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists MNIMH

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

 

Patient Testimonial: Help for Ulcerative Colitis

"My treatment with Jonny Woodall has been ongoing for around the last 6 months and to outline the severity of my condition pre-treatment or should I say pre-herbal treatment I will give a brief history of my disease.

Ulcerative Colitis is an Inflammatory bowel disease similar to Crohns disease but focused purely in the colon. I have suffered from the condition for three years and am classed medically as an extreme case. Symptoms range from loss of all control of the bowels resulting in constant voiding of the bowels with little or no warning, this at it’s most extreme can be 25 plus times per day, constant loss of blood through the colon, loss of vitamins and mineral and the ability to process food leading to general malnutrition. These are just the physical effects of the disease it also has led me to severe feelings of anxiety and even depression as your loss of control of your lower bowels can severely limit your scope of activities and social life as any IBD sufferer can tell you.

My treatment program within in the NHS following a colonoscopy was extensive and I have been treated with the full range of auto immune suppressant drugs commonly used with this type of auto immune disease as well as the use of strong steroids. The side effects of the drugs I was given ranged from extreme weight gain to a suppressed immune system which rendered my body incapable of fighting off even common colds. My skin healed incredibly slowly.... think constant cracked lips, cold sores any minor infection lasting weeks! Needless to say it was a deeply unpleasant experience and finally after some moderate improvement in my gut symptoms all the drugs stopped working! Leaving me at the point where the Doctors and Surgeons only suggested option was the surgical removal of my lower bowel and it’s replacement with a colostomy bag. I refused this option in the middle of one of my worst flare ups where I was constantly bleeding and again making constant trips to the toilet again 25 plus times a day. After all modern medicine had failed me I was really on the verge of giving up hope. If you have suffered a disease yourself you can relate to the feeling of desperation just to feel ‘normal’ again I am sure!

It was at this point in time that a friend seeing my pain and desperation referred me to Jonny Woodall. Our initial consultation was far ranging and actually brought to light things affecting my health which should have been obvious but I just hadn’t thought of previously such as running two businesses and working over 80 hours per week and stress from personal issues both past and present as just two examples. The analysis of lifestyle and mindset before medical treatment seems so logical but it was the fist time anyone had ever said to me ‘maybe working 80 hours a week with little rest is affecting your health?’ but I was never told that at the hospital or even asked about my diet or lifestyle. Jonny reviews all these things and gives you a very informed and neutral external perspective which in my case was invaluable in treating my illness.

After the initial consultation I was given a preparation of herbs and powder. Remember I was off all medication at this point and in the middle of one of my most extreme flare ups so far as I previously mentioned. Now the usual treatment for these flare ups is a huge dose of steroids or Prednisone which caused awful side effects as anyone who has used them can testify and had in the past provided me some short term relief from symptoms. However the side effects for me were too extreme so at this point I would no longer accept them as a form of treatment. I began taking the powder and tincture provided and within 5-7 days I would say had experienced a 40% reduction in symptoms (think from 25 + toilet trips to 10) which is actually on a par the effects of Prednisone steroids and a huge increase in my feeling of well being and general energy levels.

I continued my treatment after this initial relief and have made serious improvement in the last 6 months. It has not been a straight forward path to wellness and I'm still healing. I have however with the use of herbal medicines been prescription drug free for the last 6 months, experienced ongoing reduction in symptoms and progressed to new levels in my social life, professionally and in terms of general health and fitness using the relief and healing benefits from the medicine to progress once again with my life in all areas. I once felt I would be stuck sick and chained to a toilet for the rest of my life so I can definitely say how good it feels to be on the right path and feeling free of so many problems my illness once plagued me with."

Anonymous

 

This client has made a fast recovery using tinctures, powders and a change in perspective on work and social life arrangements. Unfortunately their treatment within the NHS had left them discouraged and pessimistic at what life has to offer. So much of this work involved analysis of family dynamics, routines and addictive tendencies that were hiding emotions that had not been expressed. This client continues to impress me with their inquisitive nature and an ability to constantly push themselves into new areas of health and discovery. It has been an honour to see you grow and heal. There is still work to do but this person is unrecognisable from the person that initially came to see me. Well done!

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

7 signs you are not growing in ways that matter

Are you growing what matters in your life?

Are you growing what matters in your life?

Are you growing what matters? When was the last time you asked yourself this question?

If you are unsure about this question or connect with any of the 7 signs then maybe the time for change is calling you.

 

  • Soul dissatisfaction - You have an inherent knowing your life is dull, boring and stuck. You find everything tedious, difficult and profoundly disappointing. You know life could be different but a deep sense of dissatisfaction fills your reality. 

  • Lacking authenticity - You are noticeably different with a change in social group. With some friends you hide your personality in ways to fit in or not cause disruption in social cohesion. You hide truthful information away from people for fear of being misread or rejected. You notice that you have created layers of identity that are not really the real 'you'.

  • Loss of excellence - You lose hope in mastering certain arts, crafts or hobbies. You stop attending groups or workshops where you can learn about excelling in a certain tradition or skill. You effectively stop learning new things and find it difficult to start that process again.

  • Procrastination - You constantly create excuses for not finishing a certain difficult physical or emotional task. You avoid certain subjects in conversation to stop you feeling emotional and create different topics to not go into wounds or traumas. Your home-life is patterned with avoidance of difficult duties or responsibilities.

  • No vitality - You wake up every morning with a sense of fatigue. You struggle to feel a sense of pride in the wonder of life and need a coffee and/or a cigarette to get going. Your libido is low and social interactions drain you. Your sleep is disrupted and energy levels are low.

  • Self aggrandisement - You create a false persona in the hope of gaining power or a hold over people. You promote your importance and ego at every opportunity, maybe even using your material wealth as a tool for proving your worth, yet you are spiritually, morally and ethically bankrupt. You go home feeling lonely, lost and unimportant, constantly finding even more ways to show wealth. However that hole inside of you remains. 

  • Difficult emotional indicators - You are irritable, ungrateful, angry, impatient, lost, lacking purpose, chronically anxious and/or depressed, lack joy, struggle to become motivated. 

 

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Connecting with any or all of the above is a message calling you to change. To become a healthier, happier more whole person. Trust your intuition and feel the longing inside of you for a deep and meaningful growth in your soul.

Chronic disease is often connected to a loss of not growing what matters. Discover for yourself the journey that awaits when you make the symbolic act of deciding to work on your problems and watch your life change to a more positive, fulfilling existence.

If you feel touched by a call to change then search for a therapy that suits what you believe you need help for or contact me at Jonny's Apothecary.....Your new path awaits.

 

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
Bsc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Film Review: Storyville - The Work: Four days to redemption

Every now and then a documentary or film comes along that touches a wound within yourself. Months can roll by watching monotonous movies that often make you feel they have taken something from you rather than given you something in return. At the weekend this documentary was recommended to me and it didn't disappoint. 

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Four days to redemption shows the process of an American charity that takes men into prisons where they offer male convicts the opportunity to undergo a transformational four days of therapy focused on sharing circles, family constellation work, meditation, breathwork and trauma release. 

The men who are taken into the prisons from the outside are curious about who they are as men, feeling drawn to the process as a way of answering a call within themselves. 

What I witnessed was raw male wounds being opened bit by bit as I witnessed man after man break down into their hurt child and reveal truths about themselves that otherwise would be hidden by layers of violence, aggression and prowess at not revealing their vulnerabilities. So many of the convicts relive traumatic childhoods where they were beaten, assaulted, neglected and abandoned.

So many of these men have wounds so deep, so locked away, hidden from their consciousness and scarred by life that they have developed ways of surviving and living that have ended with them being locked up. They are repeating the same patterns of abuse and behavioural mindsets they learned as children. 

For the first time many of these men have a space to really be vulnerable and let out the pain of their traumatic experiences. We see some of the most violent men in America at a maximum security prison began to let out that pain among other men who facilitate a space where they can be heard, accepted and healed. 

As a regular committed participant of male sharing circles this documentary triggered my male wounds deeply as I couldn't help but connect with one of the participants. With my own healing journey into the masculine unfolding before me this documentary touched me emotionally.

The film finishes with a paragraph stating that every convict who has taken part in this therapy and gone on to be released has so far not re-offended. For those who don't know, most convicts will be locked up again after being released, constantly staying in a cycle of crime, poverty, addiction. 

This is a must watch for any man wanting to see how therapy can access his inner wounds when done in a space of experienced men who are there to facilitate healing and change. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09c1rch/storyville-the-work-four-days-to-redemption

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
Bsc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

 

Avena sativa (Oats)

Most of us have eaten Oats for breakfast. But did you know they are a potent medicine added to a Herbalist's repertoire? 

On Greenmedinfo (2017) Oats have 55 study abstracts showing they have therapeutic effects for hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, obesity and diabetes type II. 

Its main actions are:

Oat seeds blowing in the wind

Oat seeds blowing in the wind

·         Nervine (Used to calm the nerves)

·         Anti-depressant (Enhances mood)

·         Sedative (Promotes calm)

·         Nutritive (Nourishing to the body, tissues and organs)

Avena sativa is well known for effects on cholesterol but it also has value for patients with ADHD. By exhibiting a calming effect on hyperactivity in children it calms the nervous system. 

As a nutritive tonic it contains more than 20 polyphenols and avenanthramides which have all been shown to provide potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity in vivo and in vitro (Meydani, 2009). Oats are a wonderful addition to a herbal or nutritional protocol for elderly patients who struggle with sleep and mood related issues. 

The daily dose of Avena sativa seed is 1-2 teaspoons for a tea. In tincture form 1-2ml/day of a fluid extract or 1-5ml/day of 1:5 extract is normal (Bartram, 1995, 315).

Avena sativa appears to have no restriction on its long term use. Mills and Bone (2013, 276) state that long-term therapy with trophorestoratives is generally normal.

In clinical practice I find Avena sativa used as a tincture is fantastic for a burnt out nervous system. Patients who exhibit anxiety and depression attributed to drug abuse from prolonged exposure to stimulants such as MDMA and amphetamine respond very quickly to having Oats in their tincture. Thus proving how potent a medicine Oats really can be to somebodies nervous system. 

GranolaBars2.jpg

I often ask patients with diabetes II to include Oats at breakfast as a healthy start to the day. Keeping blood sugars from spiking is key alongside other herbal treatment for diabetes II. Oats provide a much healthier start to the day over a wheat based cereal. 

 

References

Bartram, T. (1995) Bartrams’s Encyclopaedia of Herbal Medicine, London, Robinson.

Greenmedinfo (2017) Oats [Online] Available at:http://www.greenmedinfo.com/substance/oats [Accessed 27th October 2017].

Meydani, M. (2009) Potential health benefits of avenanthramides of oats, Nutrition Reviews, Dec; Vol. 67(12): p. 731-735.

Mills, S. Bone, K. (2013) Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy Modern Herbal Medicine, 2nd Edition, London, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

 

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
Bsc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

A Medical Herbalist's Dispensary

A common question when asking about Herbal Medicine is 'in what format do i prescribe herbs?' 

Medicine can often be found growing all around us, even in the bottom of the your garden (Oak or Hawthorn) or that annoying weed you struggle to get rid of (Dandelion). 

My dispensary of teas and tinctures 

My dispensary of teas and tinctures 

Medical Herbalist's often use herbs that have been turned into different forms for extraction purposes and storage purposes. For this reason Herbalist's will most often tincture herbs. Tincturing involves using a chosen part of the plant, either the root, leaf, flower or fruit and placing it in alcohol for a number of weeks. The constituents filter into the alcohol before the matter is removed leaving a tincture that can be prescribed at a certain dose for a reflected medicinal aim. 

Flowers, leaves, fruits and roots can also be turned into powders for encapsulating or teas for drinking. 

Essential oils are made using a steam distillation process that involves manufacturing equipment often out of reach for most Herbalist's. For this reason most oils are purchased from a supplier. 

Many medicines are however made by your local Herbalist using their hands and experience. For all of the herbs not found or collected locally there are many suppliers who sell supplies to graduates. 

At Jonny's Apothecary i currently stock over 100 tinctures of herbs from all over the world, but the vast majority coming from the UK and Europe. I stock over 20 teas, 10 powders and various other products like essential oils, creams and pessaries for application to medical issues. 

Herbal Medicine is a process that involves a consultation before prescribing a custom made unique protocol for your health problem. I use my own stock and offer an ongoing service for treating your illness. 

 

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
Bsc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

 

Ginkgo biloba

Sitting on a shelf in my kitchen is probably one of oldest single living species of plants we know. The specimen i have is only a couple of years old, but a recent report has dated Ginkgo biloba as having been on this earth relatively unchanged for over 270 million years (Isah, 2015). 

In Japan it is planted in temples for its association with Confucianism. In Korea the tree is cultivated for its beauty and its edible, medicinal nuts. 

In herbal medicine It is most often recognised for its popular use in slowing the effects of ageing and is currently being reported as providing benefit to patients with dementia (Weinmann et al 2010).

My baby Ginkgo

My baby Ginkgo

Its main actions are:

·         Circulatory stimulant

·         Nootropic

·         Peripheral vasodilator

·         Neuroprotective

·         Antioxidant

·         Anti-PAF activity

Ginkgo biloba has such a reputation for brain ailments due to research showing how it can positively alter brain chemistry whilst offering neuroprotective effects against ischaemic damage (Raghavan and Shah, 2014). The herbs actions focus on improving cerebral blood flow whilst increasing antioxidant enzymes and protecting damaged neurons (Hu et al 2003). This action on cerebral blood flow is seen in its ability to inhibit vasospasm and thrombus formation whilst improving circulation to underperfused areas without moving attention away from other areas of the brain (Mills and Bone, 2013, 599). Improving blood flow to underperfused areas could explain why Ginkgo biloba is such a popular treatment in brain related conditions like ADHD.

I stock Ginkgo biloba and often use it for ADHD, memory loss, circulatory issues and erectile dysfunction.

It is not native to the UK but i have seen plenty growing in botanical gardens or even a friend's home. In the West we use the leaf for its medicinal actions. It is unsurprisingly a very hardy plant and can thrive in many different soils and conditions. But what would you expect from something that lived with and beyond the dinosaurs?

 

References

Hu, B. Sun, S.G. Mei, Y.W. (2003) [Protective effect of ginkgo biloba extract on cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats], Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi, Jun; Vol. 23(6): P. 436-440.

Isah, T. (2015) Rethinking Ginkgo biloba L.: Medicinal uses and conservation, Pharmacognosy Review, Jul-Dec; 9(18): p. 140–148.

Mills, S. Bone, K. (2013) Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy Modern Herbal Medicine, 2nd Edition, London, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

Raghavan, A. Shah, Z.A. (2014) Repair and regeneration properties of Ginkgo biloba after ischemic brain injury, Neural Regeneration research, Jun 1; Vol. 9(11): p. 1104–1107.

Weinmann, S. Roll, S. Schwarzbach, C. Vauth, C. Willich, S.N. (2010) Effects of Ginkgo biloba in dementia: systematic review and meta-analysis, BMC Geriatrics, Mar: 10; 14.

 

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
Bsc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary