How did I get here and where are we going?

This is the world I'm here to help create - a place where the wisdom of the natural world, alternative healing modalities, and medical knowledge come together to allow every individual who chooses to live a healthy life, with a community of support and resources that are available to all.

The current world often allows individuals to feel dependent on the knowledge and advice of our health care system. For me, I found something missing, even though I received well-administered health care when I found out I had a brain tumor in my forties. The focus was on my physical body, although it was clear that my emotional needs - the fear of what's next - was not going to come through my interaction with my neurosurgeon. It was a life-changing event, and sent me on a search for what my purpose was for living this life. It was more than physical, it was also emotional and spiritual. Our medical system is appropriate for addressing the physical aspects of our body, but our system is very limited. Mental and emotional health are secondary and our spiritual needs are considered something outside of the system of health.
The obstacles that exist to this vision are primarily education and access. We often fear what will happen if we don't follow the recommendations of the medical community. As a patient, maybe a slightly well-educated patient, I felt at a disadvantage when faced with discussions of medical treatment with a physician. Sometimes, we find that information that we trusted is later proven unreliable. But noncompliance seemed to be a path to doom and death at the time. Education includes an awareness of the many options that are available to us, including attention to our physical, emotional, and spiritual selves.

To create this world, people need to know what information and solutions are appropriate for their needs, and how they find access to what serves those needs. My belief is that much of what we need to be healthy and thrive is provided by the natural world around us. We often lack confidence in our own abilities to explore those things on our own. Those who have taken this path often feel that they are on a solo journey. Those that are successful are empowered by what they have learned and serve as a resource to allow others to join and expand a community of trust and empowerment that leads to healthier lives and a healthy environment.

To create this community, we must acknowledge that much of what we know about the world is limited by the lens that we use. The lens may create a bias against what we don't understand, or cause us to rely solely on the recommendation of our trusted professionals. Opening to the many solutions that exist may seem to make the world more complicated, rather than less, especially as an individual. The community exists to make information and solutions available and to be another resource that can be used on the journey to good health and longevity.

Prairie Star seeks to be a model of a community that exists to bring together the many options for healing, along with the knowledge to make suitable choices that fits an individual's needs. For our part, we offer herbal extracts that are made with care and precision to provide choice to both practitioners and individuals to craft a solution that is customized for individual needs. We see a community of many healing modalities - massage therapists, chiropractors, herbalists, healing touch, and physical therapists - working with medical practitioners to care for and craft a perfect solution for an individual's health needs. We greatly value our role as part of this community of education and access. Our model of growth is much like that of the prairie plants that surround us. We are deepening and strengthening our roots, making a strong foundation to support the growth of many branches, nourished by the fruit of new ideas, and spreading seeds that reach beyond our small community.

Photo: Shirlee Tourek

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