Off-Grid Rejuvenation, Naturally

“All photographs in this article were taken at Skookum Adventures (www.wildskook.com) and are © Allyson McQuinn”

Jeff and I were exhausted. We’d traveled by car from Quebec City to Kimberley, BC in about three weeks, stopping to serve patients three or four days each week. We love our digital nomad life, but we’d overextended ourselves and needed a break. We had a four day weekend coming up, but everything in the way of campgrounds and cabins were booked to the teeth, and folks at the information kiosks were shrugging their shoulders at us … a lot!

Jeff got onto Airbnb and found us a remote, off-grid, solar powered, Thoreau-like cabin with a wood stove and candles. I teared up when he told me, as I imagined a rest like none other. We packed up the car early Friday morning with our suitcases, charged iPads to be able to both read and write, along with our four boxes of whole foods and drove the thirty minutes north to Skookumchuck, BC.

It’s my dream to eventually build on our two acre property in New Brunswick so this was not only going to be four days of rest, but also a living research opportunity and I was really excited. Our host Adam, and his wife Laurie, run Skookum Adventures and will take you river rafting and also show you where the free natural hot springs are nearby if you like, but I wanted to mostly explore their off-grid paradise and what went into its design.

We got a tour of the natural swimming pond, artesian well, full of mineralized water bubbling out of the ground, the heirloom fruit and vegetable garden, the outdoor shower, and the bus converted kitchen where a woman had formerly raised her three kids by travelling around the interior of BC. The ten minute walk to the creek yielded a waterfall and natural beach where I experienced brain freeze just from wading in up to my hips.

We chatted loudly on the way there and back as the Elk, Moose and Bear scat (both Black Bears and Grizzlies!) liberally peppered the trail. I was not used to seeing the bones of such big game littered at our feet and I picked up the rib bone of what may have been a large deer and pretended to pick my teeth with it. The balsam smell in that forest was so potent, I felt like I was being air-soaked in the essential oil. It was primal, overwhelming and Divine!

I grew up in the suburbs of Montreal and Ottawa in homes that were constructed by large corporations. The melamine kitchens of the 60’s and 70’s with off-gassing particle board and fiberglass pink insulation was the thing of the day. Efficiency was key to house all these baby boomers born in the forties now raising their families en masse in neighborhoods salted with primary, elementary and a high schools all within walking distance.

It was a pre-fab 2 X 4 world, the Tupperware generation where the milk man and his glass bottles of whole milk with the cream on top was politely discontinued in favor of Instant Carnation skimmed milk, Sheriff Instant Mash Potatoes, Jello and anything Kraft suggested to help out a busy stenographer, teacher or stay at home mom. Avon and coffee parties were popular with women hosting afternoon gatherings with strange fits of giggles when the sherry made it out of the liquor cabinet in the middle of the afternoon. The men were all ensconced in their post-industrial offices making more pre-fab stuff for us all to consume. It was all Andy of Mayberry and “Leave It to Beaver” until “Bewitched” came along.

In the 90’s I jumped right on the band-wagon, emulating my parents by buying a house in the suburbs and shopping at the local grocery store without a thought about what I was creating. I’d pushed the default button on my karmic pursuits, mimicking their pensioned employment, abandoning both my home and kids during the day to work in airless cubicles to put in my thirty years of service. Somehow it felt demoralizing, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what to do about it.

Until … my son started spiraling into the autism spectrum after the pre-fab MMR shots and my own health started to plummet fiercely as I tried to save him. The guilt I suffered from having caused him harm, just about took me out with a tumor in my left breast larger than a PGA circuit golf ball. What I didn’t realize is that my allopathic, one size fits all life, was coming to a conscious end. False authority does not individualize its dose OR its potency.

When I came to Heilkunst principles to solve my son’s and my own ills, it was the first time that I was treated as an individual. The system of medicine was qualified to me and our specific issues. I recall wondering if I deserved to be treated in such a way as the medicines were tailor made to our individual physical symptoms and mental sufferings. Also, it was totally natural, systematic, principled and couldn’t cause us an ounce of harm. At first, I thought it was all too good to be true as Jordan started making eye contact, using the toilet and speaking in sentences for the first time at four and a half years of age. He began to thrive and so did I.

Jordan came out of the spectrum and I began writing poetry, prose and stories for magazines. I was also asked to speak at homeopathic conferences with hundreds of people. I was beginning to embrace a life that spoke to deep inner goals and desires that I never even knew I had. My creativity burbled up from a fountain that was self-sustaining and rejuvenating. I began to paint and also take pictures with the heart of an artist. Instead of pouring my exhausted body into bed at night, I was staying up late full of enthusiasm editing pictures or writing into the night.

Fast forward to the present and I realize that my health and well-being can’t do an ounce of pre-fab. I want to grow my own heritage vegetables year-round that I plan to start in my own greenhouse dug down two feet below the frost line. I want to design my own home with mortise and tenon joints with breathable, natural walls. I want to learn to build it myself. I imagine the windows so deep that I can sit for hours surrounded by light with a desk that lives on my lap so I can lounge while also researching and writing. I want to bathe under the stars, with the fresh air on my skin, in a tub that is fired by natural wood. I want to heat my home naturally with solar, wind and wood.

Jeff and I slept twelve hours that first night in that reclaimed “Warden’s Cabin” with the dying embers of the wood stove blinking red through the crevice of the cast iron door. I cried myself to sleep out of gratitude. The next morning I awoke to the scent of someone cooking bacon in the common kitchen across the field. I grabbed my bathing suit to head for the natural pond for a late morning swim and to listen to the birds calling in the Tamarack Pines as the osprey dove and ducked on the up and downdrafts in our temporary rented valley.

I heard a loon call off in the distance on a neighboring lake which caused me to smile with my whole body. I had a busy day ahead, sitting in a comfy lawn chair in the sun, reading after some local lamb sausage and eggs for breakfast with a side of blueberries with clotted Devonshire cream. Rather than just sustain myself, I’m on a right rippin’ trajectory of nothing but rejuvenation from here on in. A custom tailored kind of natural life with those I love intimately in my midst to help stoke the fire of my creativity. Eventually, I’ll be homeward bound full of custom-made ideas!

Images below from our four day sojourn taken by me:

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Sunflowers at the honor system ranch where you could pick out your own veggies and put the money owed in a big tool box.

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Taken with my iPhone right next to our cabin

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Bees have hairy wee bottoms in these parts … who knew?!

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When I’m this well rested, I can capture the antenna on a moth without shaking my foot-long macro lens

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Little white spider on a zucchini bloom

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Sun worshipers like me!

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More toothpicks!

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Shades of On Walden’s Pond

Below: The gravity fed outdoor shower that if you went too early, would have you screeching before the water warmed up.

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Paddleboard anyone … if you don’t mind the weeds, you can swim in the natural pond or rent the teepee for $20 per night Canadian.

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 Bus conversion to common kitchen with a bed in the back for weary travellers

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Sandwiched between The Rockies shown here and The Purcell Mountains. Heaven!

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Our Warden’s Cabin for four days with horse hair between the chinks. It was bought for $75 off Craigslist! Are you kidding me?!

The Physician’s Home Pharmacy

Over the time that you’re in Heilkunst Treatment, you’ll no doubt hear me speak of one healative natural remedy or another when acute issues flare up.  I decided to go through my home pharmacy and itemize all of its content for you so that you can ascertain what might be of benefit to you and your family.

As you no doubt know, these supplements aren’t going to cure your chronic illnesses, but will help to support your healing power while you’re en route to a deeper cure through your Heilkunst treatment.

While I’ve included images of the types of products we use in our own home, it is only a suggestion, as your local health food store may carry different brands.  The principle behind the supplement is more important than the brand that you use.  For a more comprehensive First Aid Homeopathy course, see our Webinar here.

  • Solé Brine –  is a miracle remedy derived from Himalayan Rock Salt that you prepare yourself.  Taken internally, it washes away infectious matter, keeps the body’s pH level at a healthy alkaline, and if bathed in, can eradicate skin issues.  See more details here.  

 

  • Vitamin D3 Liquid Drops – If you can sunbathe for 20 minutes per day year round, chances are you won’t need a Vitamin D supplement.  However, for us, the winter months in Canada are dark and we need about 2,000 I/U a day to get our Vitamin D, in order to keep our immune function high and maintain healthy bones and teeth.

  • Vitamin C – helps regenerate healthy tissues and is high in antioxidants for promoting optimum immune function, prenatal, cardio, skin and ocular health.  Every morning, our smoothies contain a teaspoon of Vitamin C powder.

  • Kindervital:  This is an awesome supplement that I suggest for both children and the elderly.  Due to the fact that it comes in a liquid, it is naturally more easily absorbed into the system promoting health in those that may have a greater challenge deriving it from whole, raw organic foods.  

  • Homeopathic Tissue Salts – Schusseler’s Cell Salts are a homeopathic mineral supplement, in low dose, that helps to build healthy bones and tissues in children.  They can help with teething simply by the breast-feeding mom taking them or dissolving one in water, or crushing one tablet into whatever your child is eating.

  • Probiotics – are stellar at keeping the gut flora at a healthy level in order to be able to fight off any flu bug or infection that may seek you out as a host.  If I’ve eaten or drank something that doesn’t wholly agree with me, I’ll double up on my probiotic intake for that day and I feel much better knowing that I can combat any adversary that tries to take up residence in my gut.

 

  • Iodine – The body no longer produces its own iodine, but it still requires it for healthy thyroid function.  Foods like dried seaweed and fish and seafood, particularly cod, contain high amounts of iodine and will help with fatigue and when weight loss is difficult.  To ascertain if your iodine level is sufficient or not, paint a 1 inch patch on the inside of your arm before bed with external use iodine.  If the patch is totally gone by morning, you may need to supplement with Lugol’s to bring your levels up to their normal function.  Ask your Heilkunst Practitioner more about this at your next session. Also, selenium is a necessary co-factor to assimilate iodine, which you can get from a couple of Brazil nuts daily.

 

  • Zinc – is vital for healthy vision, hair, nails, skin, smell, appetite, healthy enzymatic activity and immune function.   Zinc is the “happy” element that helps to calm and promote healthy levels of serotonin that keeps you feeling youthful.  Zinc promotes wound healing, protein synthesis, blood sugar control, weight loss and protection against yeast infections.  It also promotes mental alertness as well as sleep.  Zinc is not stored by the body and is depleted by alcohol, sugar consumption or sweating with working out.   You can easily test for zinc shortage by taking “The Zinc Challenge;” if the liquid tastes like water, you need zinc, if it tastes awful/medicinal, your levels are fine.  Supplementation should be considered with no taste or somewhere in between.

  • Fermented Foods – Personally, I’m crazy about fermented foods, thinking of them as regular supplements and pure pleasure.  I make our own raw goat’s milk kefir that goes into our shakes every day.  I also make Kombucha which is fermented black tea and raw cane sugar, which get’s completely consumed by the resident “Scoby”,  rendering a fizzy probiotic drink that easily replaces soda pop any day.  I also make kosher salt fermented dill pickles which we all love.  All raw fermented foods are considered “super-foods”,  supplying high levels of orgone energy (the stuff of life), cultured nutrition and gut healthy flora.

 

  • Coconut Oil – The health benefits of coconut oil include stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, diabetes, HIV, cancer, dental care, and bone strength due to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.

 

  • Calendula Cream with Neem – Calendula is a homeopathic remedy derived from pot marigold (calendula officinalis) and is a premier healative for cuts, diaper rashes and eczema.  Neem is derived from the crushed seed of the Neem Tree and is high in Vitamin E and is also anti-microbial to promote healing.  Rhus tox. derived from Poison Oak is also the homeopathic remedy we use for rashes or eczema where there is much itching.

 

  • Aloe Plant – I have a couple of aloe plants in my kitchen window in case of burns or scalds.  Cantharis is also the homeopathic remedy for burns.

 

  • Nin Jiom Cough Syrup – On the rare occasion someone gets a cough or cold in our home, we’ve traditionally used Nin Jiom Cough Syrup and Ricola Natural Herb Cough Drops.  Eucalyptus essential oil (blended in a carrier oil) on the feet of your child can help,  as well as a vaporizer, with natural mint essential oil added near the steam vents, in their their room at night if the air if dry.

  • Essential Oils – I love my essential oils and while I have a whole shelf full of them, I’ll elucidate on a couple of my favorites here. I’ve already promoted the use of eucalyptus and mint when any one of us is suffering with cold-like symptoms, cough, or even just feeling kind of down that day.  I will put pure, natural mint oil in my water on my desk as it is a good pick-me up encouraging feelings of well-being in my clients.  I use lavender on my feet at night or on my pillow to help me transition easily into sleep. Rose is a great essential oil for anyone who is suffering a loss, sadness or disappointment.  Rubbed on the chest, it can do wonders.  Balsam is one of my personal favorites as it reminds me of camping in the forest with my Dad when I was a kid.  I find it so grounding, and calming and I will often rub it on my feet before settling into bed for the night. Keep in mind, most essential oils should be diluted into a carrier oil (olive oil is ideal) and not used full strength on the skin.

  • Bach Flower Remedy Kit (especially ‘Rescue Remedy’) – While we have access to hundreds of flower, tree, bush and sea essences world wide, ‘Rescue Remedy’ contains a few choice flower essences to help with shock or trauma in first aid situations by shifting the state of mind.

    • Impatiens: For those who act and think quickly, and have no patience for what they see as the slowness of others. They often prefer to work alone. Teaches empathy and understanding of and patience with others. We’ve found it very fast-acting in alleviating an impatient attitude and lowering stress.

    • Star of Bethlehem: For trauma and shock, whether experienced recently or in the past. Teaches the ability to recover from traumas and to integrate them into the present life.

    • Cherry Plum: For those who fear losing control of their thoughts and actions and doing things they know are bad for them or which they consider wrong. Teaches trust in one’s spontaneous wisdom and the courage to follow one’s path.

    • Rock Rose: For situations in which one experiences panic or terror.

    • Clematis: For those who find their lives unhappy and withdraw into fantasy worlds. They are ungrounded and indifferent to the details of everyday life. Teaches one to establish a bridge between the physical world and the world of ideas; may foster great creativity. Is also used to bring clarity and alertness to the present moment.*

*Description and image source here: http://www.bachflower.com/rescue-remedy-information/

 

  • Arnica and/or Traumeel Cream – is a great salve to use on contusions or just sore, bruised, tired muscles, ligament, tendon or joint pain.  Because it contains Arnica, never use where there is open skin such as cuts or abrasions as it will cause it to fester. Calendula cream is more suited for that.

  • Homeopathic Remedies – While we have over 4,000 remedies at our disposal just because we’re in the biz., you would do well to either purchase a small kit from Helios as pictured below or start to accumulate some remedies as you go.

  • Arnica Montana for bruises

  • Rhus Tox for itchy, flaky rashes and joint pain

  • Ruta Grav. for tendon pain

  • Belladonna for high fevers with quick onset and sun burns

  • Calendula for cuts and abrasions

  • Aconitum for shock and thoughts that the patient may die

  • Apis for bee stings and swelling

  • Urtica Urens for stinging nettle-like rashes

  • Drosera, Spongia, Hepar Sulph and Rumex for coughs

  • Chamomilla for fussy babies who may be teething

  • Sol and Glonium for sunstroke

  • Bryonia and Natrum Mur. for headaches over the eyes

  • Homeoventalin for asthmatic symptoms

  • Tensor Supports:  We are a family of athletes.  My daughter rides horses competitively and my son is a Parkour aficionado.  We have tensor supports for wrist, knee, ankle, and neck just for intermediary support in the face of strains.

 

  • Experience Bowel Cleanser –  On occasion, it is prudent to cleanse the bowels with trusted herbal tinctures or to actually have a colonic with a trained professional, due to the fact that there can be 5-7 lbs of accumulated toxins in the colon that need to be cleansed from the body, especially if qualifying yourself for detox.  See here.

 

  • Clove Bud Oil – Over-the-counter teething gels are not FDA approved and can numb a baby’s gums and throat, potentially affecting breathing and swallowing.  Clove Bud Oil works just as well to numb the area.  See Mommypotamus’ full recipe here (do not use clove oil full strength on the gums).

 

 

Here’s the link to the book on Amazon that expands on these few remedies here:

 

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Mimulus : The Bach Flower Remedy for Specific, Known Fears

Of the 38 Bach Flower Remedies, there are a handful which address different types of fears. Mimulus is the one which is used to address specific, known fears, including phobias, or other general aversions such as for public speaking. It is particularly called for when someone is lacking courage for doing something that they know they need to do.

Mimulus is different from the essence of aspen, which is called for when there is a fear of unknown origin, and when the feeling overcomes the person, but they can’t tell you why they are feeling afraid or anxious. The origin of the fear or anxiety is always known when mimulus is called for.

I remember when I first started trying the Bach Flower Remedies, and I was using mimulus. I first started taking it when I was on a road trip, and apprehensive about some of what I would be doing at my destination. The interesting “side effect”, which really struck me, was that it also worked to remove my (then) characteristic shyness, and I spontaneously struck up conversations with strangers at the bus stop (which I never would have done before). The Bach Flower Remedies in general, and some of my first uses of them, including mimulus, were quite a vivid experience for me, and opened my mind to “energy medicine”, which later led me into studying homeopathy.

If you know anyone who is dealing with specific fears, such as phobias, public speaking anxiety, or other general performance anxiety issues, then they may get quite a bit of help from this remedy. I’m also thinking of all of the young men and women who will be headed to meet their boy/girlfriend’s parents for the first time during the holidays, which they may be quite nervous about. Tell them to start sipping on Mimulus before they get there, along with any other homeopathics specific to their state of mind.

A Heilkunst case study with the Bach Flower Remedies

I had a patient who had gone through an incredibly powerful and difficult time when she went through the third round of chronic miasms. As she put it, she felt “….devastated — like London after WWII.” She needed a break from this deeper form of curing, and a modality which would help her rebuild and heal from the inside out. She was looking for something more nurturing and feminine, as opposed to the destructive masculine energy of this high potency homeopathics. [Note : the action of the homeopathic remedy is gentle, but in the case of treating a very deep or old disease, the healing power of the body will be triggered to undergo a complete ground-up renovation to remove this disease, and this is the source of the tumult.]

This was a point in my Heilkunst practice when I hadn’t been focussing much on the Bach Flower Remedies, but in this case, in this moment, they came flooding back to me as the right modality for this patient. I started to talk to her about the emotions that she had at this point, to identify which Flower Remedies would be most useful to her.

There were a few that we identified and used over the next while, but the one that was the most memorable was Sweet Chestnut. The state of Sweet Chestnut is one of utter emotional desolation and inner chaos. It comes at the point when all endurance has been worn down, and it seems as if there’s nothing left. A state that demands nothing but complete surrender, as their seems to be no other way out.

 

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This remedy helped her very profoundly as she started to take it. She reported that “…it feels like I’m being held in the arms of a loving mother, being suckled gently back to health.” This phase of using the Bach Remedies not only helped her out of the dark space that she had come to, but also helped her to completely integrate the healing lessons that she had learned during this recent round of chronic miasms in her treatment, and she then felt ready to go ahead with the next steps in her homeopathic treatment.

[Note : in the years since this incident, the science of Heilkunst has developed to the point of being able to better manage the healing reactions from the deep treatment of the chronic miasms, through augmenting with gentler homeopathic potencies, such as in the LM scale. Between the LM homeopathics, flower essences, and other regimenal support, intense healing reactions are kept to much more of a minimum.]