Pleasure Medicine: It's my honest belief.
It's my honest belief from my own life path that we learn the most through sensory experience, and we create the most when we are tapped into our divine fertility.
By offering you both tangible herbals and supportive content, I truly feel you will access a very special way of connecting to your own health, your inner voice, your physical cues, and nature through the herbs we work with. I also know that people's healing most often comes through experience that balances meaningful challenge with deep pleasure.
In the sticky heat of the summer, 2002, I went to my first Women’s Herbal Conference. An event I’d long awaited, my children were finally old enough for me to venture out and be with my people for a weekend of learning and soul-unfurling. As I diligently scrambled to write notes for every symptom, case study, energetic, botanical name, and dosages for each ailment, it was a welcome relief what came next. I sat under a tent anxiously waiting for this class to begin as it was the one I most anticipated.
As the tent filled with listeners, the fragrance of fresh roses seemed to become stronger. The air turned to sweetness; a syrupy, feminine richness I can’t quite explain.
Ms. Diana DeLuca began to speak. She told stories of the woman’s body and of traveling far into exotic lands where the spices and libido are both hot. She wove tales of Moroccan foods, and of honeys mixed with orange and cardamom. I was in heaven. Speaking before me was a woman who was in love with herself! A woman who bore recipes sacred to Aphrodite, painted oils of healing onto her body, and reveled in her natural sensuality.
But the one single thing that stuck with me from her workshop on ‘Botanica Erotica’ like an anthem in my soul, was a simple, powerful phrase. “Pleasure Heals”. Her emphasis so carefully injected into each of those words, was cast upon the crowd in a magic spell, bound and indelible.
I was high after that talk. Perhaps it was the Rose and Damiana Cordial she passed around, but more likely than that was the feeling that I had reconnected with a core and primal fundamental truth of my being. Finally! Someone who confirms that feeling good is not negative self-indulgent behavior, but healthy. That desire and satiation can be inclusive, integrative, and all in all incredibly nourishing! She cited nourishing herbs for aphrodisiacs, like nettles, oats, and red clover. She encouraged us to get to know our orgasmic wish potential; to make good wishes during orgasm because they are sent to the creator quickly this way!
Pleasure does heal. When I feel good, I feel good! I regain desire for life and for growth. My confidence and self-worth are strengthened. My ability to communicate sharpens, and I accomplish more things, more authentically. My immune system functions at its best. I follow my bliss. I take better care of myself as well as those around me. As a woman most akin to the Wise Woman Ways of herbalism and life, I see it as a natural extension of Susun Weed’s Seven Rivers of Healing. While there are the tangible medicines of herbs and foods and yoga, she includes more forgotten medicines that have great power, like Story Medicine.
In my view, Pleasure Medicine taps into the very veins of life and sustenance which keep us living a life that is deeply satisfying. When we love our pleasures, the channels of abundance and healing open.
What is pleasure? To me, pleasure is something wonderful before, during, and definitely after. If you regret it, or feel terrible after, that may be a signal that it’s not a true form of pleasure for you. If it contains an amount of struggle as in exercise or a challenging business pursuit, we might include this as ‘growth pleasure’ because we know of its great rewards. However, if it has ramifications of pain, hurt, or self depreciation, as in the case of overly self-medicating oneself on alcohol, unhealthy foods, or mistreating our bodies, we can safely say this is merely anesthetic or illusion type pleasure, resulting in a loss of nourishment or wholeness.
Look at the whole circle of your pleasure choices:
Does it empower you? Does it nourish, fuel, and energize you? Stimulate your senses and strengthen your sense of self? Does it excite your whole being or ignite your imagination?
What can you do today, that would energize and heal you by way of pleasure? Ask yourself these questions. Make time to feel good. Make sure the people around you know that your feeling good is important to you.
Many cultures breed self deprivation. Either by way of foods, sensuality, words or expression, even thought. Some cultures seem to want spirituality so badly that they forget to be human. BE human. Feel, sense, play, act and react, allow yourself to be a sensate, living organism of our Mother Earth.