New Year Wellness with Carolyn
Wellness for the New Year
I’m a writer, acupuncturist, and Physician of East Asian Medicine who merges mythology and medicine to bring the mysteries of the body alive for my patients. I practice holistic primary care guided by the poetry of nature, using the five elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water to explore nature’s intelligence as it manifests within you. My work is for those who long to end the corporate co-optation of the body, know and embrace their unique inner ecosystem, and re-wild medicine for function, flow, and full aliveness. My practice is called Botanarchy Herbs + Acupuncture, and it’s located in a hidden, vintage Hollywood bungalow that I designed to look like an old temple. I also publish a seasonal newsletter called The Botanarchy Times.
Acupuncture is not just pain relief. It is part of an elegant medical system rooted in the philosophy of Taoism, which seeks to restore harmony between human beings and the environment. The power of acupuncture lies in treating each body as a unique ecosystem, influenced by the forces of nature and an embodiment of nature’s cycles and patterns. Health comes from finding balance in the ecosystem within, as well as living in harmony with the ecosystem throughout. The placement of acupuncture needles is not about sticking a needle in a sore muscle, the treatment plans and needle placement are an emanation of this philosophy first and foremost.
After I finish a day of seeing patients, I lay down on the BioMat in my treatment room, put on Brian Eno, and sink into the table. It helps me ground and re-center after a day of holding space for people in crisis. My morning meditation is taking care of the coterie of birds and bunnies that live in my yard. Feeding them, watching them, and changing the water in their birdbaths delays the morning grind and roots my day in purpose, connecting me to the slower rhythms of nature & the animate world. Participating in my local ecosystem and helping all of its creatures grow and flourish is my meditation practice. Also, window-gazing is a highly underrated pastime!
This has been a big year for upper respiratory infections, and it feels like they keep coming. Since pandemic began, I have taken immune support daily that includes Turkey Tail mushroom. In Chinese, Turkey Tail is called Cloud Fungus, and like a cloud it ensconces us in tendrils of protective magic. Turkey Tail stimulates the body’s immune system to target and attack "oncoviruses”, which are virus’ that when left unchecked can make the body more susceptible to cancer. I use Turkey Tail in my practice to prevent infection, assist in balancing the microbiome, and to support my cancer patients, as Turkey Tail helps mitigate the pernicious side effects of chemo and radiation whilst sporting anti-tumoral properties. You can get gorgeous dried Turkey Tail to make an herbal decoction from my favorite purveyor, Far West Fungi. Just bring it to a boil, simmer for an hour and half, strain, and drink! If ease is more your thang, you can take it daily in a product called Epimune, which is part of the antiviral protocol I use at Botanarchy. It’s been my go-to for years!
What advice would you give to someone lookin got start their own business within the wellness industry?
Wellness is being marketed as a sexy hot commodity, when it really shouldn’t be. Anyone who is coming into this industry looking to be a guru, make a lot of money, expand exponentially, and get Instagram famous, is not putting their patients first and is ultimately a house of cards destined to collapse. When I started Botanarchy, I sought the wise counsel of plants. I applied their ethos of authenticity, adaptability, resilience, and renewal to a healthcare model that respects the flow of the natural world. Keep it real. As long as you come from a place of integrity, root your work in service, and allow yourself to be cyclical (not churning out content 24/7), your work will flourish and grow.
What's coming down the pipeline for you and Botanarchy?
I’ve been working on publishing a Botanarchy Seasonal Almanac for some time now. Until then, more issues of The Botanarchy Times and a new, interactive website that helps you understand and work with the Five Elements in your life.
What is your favorite Just Black Denim Style and why?
I love a cropped sailor pant like the Nautical Wide Leg. I wear mostly vintage tops from the 60’s & 70’s, and it allows me to live out my Marianne Faithful fantasy whilst keeping it functional for long days at the clinic.
Photographed by: Emily Wagner
Don't forget to check out Carolyn's poetry & teachings: