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Trauma Informed Herbal & Holistic Medicine Virtual Series 

with Michelle Rigling, PhD & Special Guests

July 7, 14, 21, 2022
7:00pm-9:00pm ET

$35.00 each class
or $85.00 for series*
*Recordings are included in series purchase

This learning series is for herbalists, healers, holistic practitioners, health coaches, naturopathic doctors, doulas and midwives, yoga instructors, massage therapists, and any other wellness professional who wants to ensure their services are trauma-sensitive and learn ways to respond to trauma-related symptoms that emerge during the scope of treatment or consultation. Statistics tell us that over 50% of people have experienced trauma or adversity that impacts their functioning and sense of wellbeing as an adult ( This means that regardless of whether your services are intended to "treat" trauma or not, you will likely encounter clients who are struggling with the effects of trauma, or whose ability to heal and recover is compromised by trauma's lasting effects. Being both trauma-aware and trauma-informed is important for all practitioners and healers.

In this series 3-week series, we will explore the effects of trauma, adverse experiences, and chronic stress on the brain and body as well as learn ways to recognize when unresolved trauma may be interfering with the services being offered to a client. We will go beyond the basics to also cover topics such as the fawn response, understanding psychosomatic symptoms, and collective trauma. 

We will consider how trauma can impact the functioning of our digestive and nervous systems as well as share ways that herbs and plants can offer physical, emotional, and spiritual support during the recovery journey. Nervine herbs, stimulants, adaptogens, and digestive supports will also be discussed.

See description for each class below.

Session Descriptions

July 7, 2022

Trauma Informed Herbal & Holistic Medicine

Michelle Rigling, PhD, M.Sc.

Our series will build upon information presented in this workshop. 

Our first session will cover how trauma effects the brain and body as well as how trauma often effects the wellbeing and health of adults, regardless of whether trauma was experienced in childhood or adulthood. We will go beyond the basics to talk about special interest topics within the herbal and holistic medicine community including:
  *Psychosomatic Symptoms

  *The 5 Layers of Trauma

  *Ancestral Trauma
  *The Fawn Response

  *Trauma-Sensitive Business Practices
*Trauma-Sensitive Office Spaces


Regardless of whether your services are intended to "treat" trauma or not, you will likely encounter clients who are struggling with the effects of trauma, or whose ability to heal and recover is compromised by trauma's lasting effects. Being both trauma-aware and trauma-informed is important for all practitioners and healers.

July 14, 2022

Plant Allies for Co-regulation and Trauma Informed Mindfulness

Heather Holloway, Herbalist, & Nature-Based Ritualist

Stephanie Chance, M.S., NCPT, Mindfulness & Yoga Instructor

We can only help others to the extent to which we are calm (regulated) and self-aware (mindful). This workshop focuses on cultivating these self-reliance skills with the support of plants as allies.

"Polyvagal Theory, Stephen Porges' groundbreaking work in the world of trauma recovery and nervous system regulation, shows we are not only emotionally tied to each other, but physiologically wired to help soothe each others’ nervous systems. Our need for connection is rooted in the very anatomy and physiology of our bodies. Coregulating with another human being who we feel safe with is the fastest way to come back to ourselves and reclaim a sense of safety and resourcefulness. Expanding our capacity to feel and maintain a sense of calm and stability is incredibly restorative for our nervous systems." -Dara del Rio

In our second session we will first focus on self-regulation strategies and ways to work with plants and herbs to bring ourselves back into balance. We will also discuss trauma-informed strategies and rituals that increase a felt sense of safety when engaging in plant-spirit medicine practices. This will enable learners to weave trauma-informed practices into their own work when they sense a client, student, or patient is experiencing stress, high anxiety, or dysregulation that may be impacting their ability to communicate or integrate new information into their lives.

July 21, 2022

Herbal Support for Trauma Recovery & Resilience

Leanne Holcomb, Clinical Herbalist

We know that trauma greatly impacts the human nervous system, however trauma can also impact gut health, cognitive abilities, adrenal functioning, and more. In this workshop, we will look at some of these impacts through a physiological lens and then discuss herbs, foods, and health practices known for helping with:
  *Managing overwhelm
  *Addressing inflammation
  *Supporting gut health
  *Promoting "flow" 

  *Becoming "unstuck"
  *Enabling restful sleep
  *Cultivating self-care and setting boundaries


In addition to discussing both nervine herbs and adaptogens, Leanne will go beyond the basics to help us understand why "all nervines are NOT created equal" when it comes to trauma-informed recovery and resiliency.

Leanne Holcomb has over 20 years of experience and education in herbal medicine and holistic health, including training in Psychological First Aid at John’s Hopkins University. She is a both a Community Herbalist and an Herbal Practitioner graduate of The Appalachian Center for Natural Health.

About our Host: Michelle Rigling, PhD, M.Sc., MBA
Michelle has a professional background in trauma-informed social work and over 15 years of experience in mental health and wellness services. She has a doctorate in Transpersonal Counseling as well as extensive training in holistic medicine, trauma-informed care, and integrative recovery. Michelle is a two-time presenter at the New Orleans Trauma Conference, has coordinated 3 trauma-informed Foster Parenting Conferences, and has been supervised by a Child Trauma Academy Fellow for several years. Her doctoral thesis focused on the application of trauma-informed and trauma-responsive techniques in holistic medicine practices, and she has consulted with several wellness organizations who want to ensure their services, treatment rooms, and healing practices are trauma-sensitive. Michelle is the director of The Midsouth Women's Herbal Conference and the founder of The Cavewoman Way, her private practice in Chattanooga, TN where she offers counseling, groups, and plant-spirit ceremonies.

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