A few extremely lucky MegaFood team members had the privilege of spending a weekend with Tieraona Low Dog, M.D. at her home and Medicine Lodge in the Santa-Fe National Forest, New Mexico. Dr. Low Dog teaches herbal classes a few times a year for groups of about 20 students. Each team member has shared their unique and amazing experience with us… We hope you enjoy it!
Sarah-Marie, Marketing and Communications Manager
I started the trip by reading Tieraona’s book Life is your Best Medicine on the flight to New Mexico. I was inspired by her openness of telling her story of a life filled with a fierce drive, an amazing journey through education, and her everyday honesty about being human … and a woman… and a mother! I wasn’t sure what to expect once we arrived in New Mexico, so when we met up with the group of students at a small abandoned church early in the morning of our first class session I was beyond excited to go on an adventure. Tieraona’s beautiful daughter, Kiara, guided us (caravan style) up a huge mountain; hairpin turns, boulders, and all! I immediately felt the magic and the power of nature as we pulled into Tieraona’s driveway. From there we spent two days at Tieraona’s home… in an amazing medicine lodge that her husband Jim built for her, hiking on her property, learning about the healing power of herbs and plants, and hanging out with her gang of German Shepard’s, Horses, Chickens… and with a group of other passionate people – all interested in learning more about the wonder that nature gives us.
Kayti Capell, Territory Manager Pacific Northwest
I learned so much about herbal medicine from the most knowledgeable professional there is! What really appealed to me was Dr. Low Dog’s ability to explain not only the plant’s function, but specifically it’s historical use and who it is best for. I left with with a newfound passion and currently carry two tinctures everywhere with me!
When we were preparing to go into the woods and identify medicinal plants, we were given a Native American blessing with sage and it was the coolest experience ever! Definitely one of my many highlights. And sharing the time with three MegaFood sisters whom I truly enjoy was icing on the cake.
Heather Moser, Planning and Innovation Manager
Where to begin… In some ways I feel as though my participation in the Medicine Lodge retreat has changed me, it feels so personal, almost sacred, that part of me doesn’t want share it. The unique way Tieraona intertwines the use of stories, hands-on learning to teach the deep dive into the biology of our stress & immune systems, and then layers in the herbal facts creates an environment where you not only remember the specifics, you feel them. It really was a magical experience.
My heightened awareness of the plants around me has ignited a childlike curiosity to know every single plant I encounter. From walking through the farmers market to around my neighborhood, I am now identifying various herbs and their uses, and sharing that knowledge with everyone I meet. I am beyond grateful to have had this opportunity to participate with my lovely co-workers in this amazing experience.
Ann Allworth, Territory Manager Greater Washington DC (She is also a PHD in Cell Biology the little smarty pants in the group!)
My visit to the Medicine Lodge was incredibly inspirational and educationally priceless! I loved Tieraona’s review of the HPA axis relative to acute and chronic stress, how all the different body systems are affected and how the allostatic load can alter homeostasis and our ability to deal with stressors. Learning how and where in all this, various herbs have an impact was enlightening. The positive energy within the lodge was palpable and it was wonderful to be among a group of people who by and large were on the same page. I loved the experiential aspects of the visit, these represented a change from the typical learning environment: walking through the forest, touching, smelling and hearing about herbs growing wild; as well as smelling, drinking and describing several different herbal teas. I feel extraordinarily lucky to have had this time with a one of a kind teacher, who through her words and actions, helped me get close to being one with nature.