Herb Month 2020 Was Too Much Fun! | achs.edu

This May, we all came together to celebrate Herb Month at ACHS, and it was amazing! In honor of Herb Day on May 2, we held four online live webinars to highlight the power of herbs and their role in everyday health. We were excited to see that they were a bit hit, and we are compiling all of the recordings here for anyone who may have missed out on the fun.

from ACHS Holistic Health and Wellness Blog https://info.achs.edu/blog/herb-month-recap

How Antibiotics Are Making Bacteria Resistant


Do you line up every winter to get your flu shot? Some people feel better getting their vaccinations and taking antibiotics while others have their reservations. There’s merit to both sides, as antibiotics could be causing bacteria to get stronger and more drug-resistant.

The Point of Antibiotics

The human body contains white blood cells, which work to keep our immunity high and fight against pathogens, such as viruses and infections. However, there are instances in which white blood cells can become overwhelmed. They need backup, and that’s where antibiotics come in. Antibiotics assist white blood cells in fighting off pathogens and boosting our body’s natural defenses. They defend us against harmful bacteria that may otherwise make us much sicker. That being said, antibiotics aren’t surefire solutions against viruses. 

Building up a Resistance

Viruses are living organisms, and, therefore, they can build up a resistance to antibiotics. The more doctors and physicians use antibiotics to treat their patients; the more likely certain bacteria are bound to build up a tolerance to these medications. In fact, it is recommended that doctors refrain from giving their patients antibiotics for things such as the common cold, flu, and sore throat. Using these medications when they’re not necessary can result in a more rapid spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

In addition, there are viruses that can adapt to the presence of antibiotics, helping them develop a gene mutation that can resist the medication. Other forms of bacteria have been able to produce new proteins that can counteract the effects of antibiotics.

Fighting Back Against Antibiotic Resistance

Researchers are trying to find ways to prevent bacteria from sharing or producing new genes. New strains of antibiotics will have to disrupt those cellular processes before bacteria has a chance to act. This is still a work in progress, but science is getting closer to a solution every day.

from Nicholas Sasson, MD | Science https://nicholassassonmd.org/how-antibiotics-are-making-bacteria-resistant/

Alumni Highlight: Shannon Mesneak | achs.edu

Shannon Mesneak is an ACHS AAS in CAM graduate who owns an herbal apothecary store in Longview, Washington. She graduated from ACHS in 2017, then went on to complete two internships: One in Hill, Texas with Dr. Lorie Rose, and one in Battleground, Washington with Dr. Jillian Stansbury. 

Let’s Be Holistic

Shannon opened Let’s Be Holistic in 2019. “The main thing that I do is sell bulk loose herbs and tea. The main part of the shop is a huge herb wall. I think I have about seventy loose herbs,” she says. Her bulk loose leaf herbs can be bought by the ounce. Shannon says, “If you really want to get an obscure herb that isn’t that easy to find unless you order it online, I probably have it!”

Shannon was inspired to open her apothecary because there are no similar stores in the area. When she wanted to purchase bulk loose herbs Shannon would have to drive all the way to Portland.  “I thought there’s got to be a lot of people who need this, and it’s not available where we live. I took the chance, and there are people!” she says.

In addition to herbs, Let’s Be Holistic also carries a selection of essential oils, tea accessories, Herb Pharm and Oregon’s Wild Harvest products, and a tincture bar where you can buy an ounce of any single tincture herb.

Helping People Live Healthy

Shannon does coaching sessions that include nutrition and health coaching and herbal remedies as needed.

Before I even see a client, I send them a pretty lengthy intake form. I tell clients, the more information you give me, the more knowledge I’ll have to better specifically find what I’m looking for to help you as far as an herb or supplement and what lifestyle changes we need to make,” Shannon says. She also sends them a wellness wheel so they can rate which areas of their life they want to work on and what areas they already feel proficient in.

Then, before the appointment, Shannon thinks about what goal setting and herbal remedies might help the client based on their intake form. “That can quickly change when you sit down and talk to somebody and everything you thought can go out the window. They might come in because they’re having digestive issues, and it comes out they’re in a very stressful work environment,” she says. “So it’s not so much what they’re eating, but that we have to do something to help support the anxiety and stress and encourage them to look for a different job. That’s the cool thing about meeting with people one on one is that it’s always a surprise. I love it.”

Letting The Plants Guide You

“I subscribe very much to the idea that plants talk to people,” Shannon says. For example, if a client comes in asking for herbs to help with stress or anxiety, she directs them to the area of herbs on her herb wall that can help with the nervous system. 

“I tell them, take your time and think about it. Whatever one they grab first, that’s the one that they need. I guide them and tell them this is the direction you need to go in, but it’s pretty amazing to just see people drawn to a certain herb,” she says. “That gives me goosebumps. I love that part of it.”

  • She also says that not all herbs work for everyone the same way: “When I give people something I always tell them that not every herb works for everybody and so you may take this and it may not give us what we want, so don’t be discouraged. I’ve done that with a couple people who weren’t getting what they needed so we switched to a different one and it was the one they needed.”

Selling In The Time Of COVID

Like many businesses, Let’s Be Holistic has had to adjust to operating in a different way during the COVID pandemic. “It’s weird right now not being down there every day,” Shannon says.

Having been open for a year and a half, Shannon says she has been able to establish a solid base of customers and has a 40% returning customer base. Her customers are able to pick up what they need by messaging her on social media or her website. Then, Shannon packages up the order and they are able to pay for it over the phone or quickly pay in person when they pick it up. 

In addition, all of her herbs are for sale on her website with a 4oz purchase minimum. 

Plans For The Future

In the future, Shannon hopes to pay it forward by having her own interns at Let’s Be Holistic. Her goal is to go back to school to get her bachelor’s degree once she is able to have interns running the shop. She is also working on a line of spirituality based teas that she plans to release in the future.

Are you interested in being interviewed for the blog?

We would love to highlight more ACHS students and graduates! An article on our blog is a great way to share your holistic health story, show off what you’ve accomplished, or spread the news about your new wellness practice. Please fill out this form and our Social Media Coordinator, Gillian Wilson, will be in touch with you to schedule a phone interview. 

from ACHS Holistic Health and Wellness Blog https://info.achs.edu/blog/alumni-highlight-shannon-mesneak

Alumni Highlight: Shanna Bynes | achs.edu

Shanna Bynes is an Aromatherapist, Licensed Medical Aesthetician, Natural Nail Specialist, and Professional Makeup artist who completed a Diploma in Aromatherapy from ACHS in 2019. She is the CEO of Grow Out Oils and also provides custom formulations  for physicians and high end luxury spas.

Discovering essential oils

Shanna’s interest in essential oils began with an unlikely personal situation. She and her husband moved into what looked like a perfectly clean apartment. She says, “Even though everything in there looked absolutely amazing, we never thought that when the restoration company came and started knocking the walls down that it was going to be full of mold.” 

Both Shanna and her husband were impacted by the mold, and she went to the doctor for a full year while they tried to figure out what was wrong. “I had inhalers, I had steroid medication, creams, just too much stuff. I’m not the type of person that takes medicine like that. I started doing some research and said to myself ‘it has to be something that maybe my doctors just don’t know,’” Shanna says.

“I talked to a blood pathologist because my hair was falling out. I don’t think I’m that stressed, but it was falling out really bad,” Shanna says. The pathologist explained that mold can actually cause hair loss. Because of the effect of the mold on her health, Shanna took the opportunity to work on herself. She says, “I changed my eating habits and I was doing all this detoxification and I didn’t like the fact that my hair was falling out, so I was looking at all these different oils and how you can blend them together to create something that will help with hair growth.” This is how her interest in essential oils started.

Grow Out Oils

Shanna talks about her previous experience as a Medical Aesthetician that prepared her to formulate her products for Grow Out Oils: “I worked for a physician for five years that had a foundation in Germany. Over in the states, he formulated products. While I was working for him I did clinical trial studies, classes on using chemical peels and how to physically put them on the skin. Learning how ingredients actually are absorbed into the skin helped me put together the products for Grow Out Oils.”

Grow Out Oils are “100% Organic All Natural Essential Oils formulated for the hair, scalp, and all parts of the body.” Shanna talked about her Nail Reinvigorate Oil Complex, one of the products available in her online store. It’s main ingredient is Ceylon Cinnamon Bark essential oil. It can be used on the nails and skin to target skin concerns such as hyperpigmentation, dark spots, fungus, and breakouts. She also says it makes a great mosquito repellent if you’re going to be outside and want to keep the bugs away.

The Nail Reinvigorate Oil Complex and more are available here: https://growoutoils.com/shop

Shanna also created a Pink Lemonade Lip Exfoliating Scrub that isn’t available in her store yet. She says, “It doesn’t have any dyes so it’s not going to irritate your lips. It puts hydration back in and has organic sugar in it. You almost just want to mix it in with some water and drink it.”

In addition to her Grow Out oIls line of products, Shanna also provides custom formulations for physicians and high end luxury spas. Grow Out Oils created a line of Hydrosol sprays for Dr. Shino Bay, one of which is pictured below. She says that Dr. Bay is “passionate about the health and wellness of his clients who are looking for a more holistic approach to beauty and wellness.”

Changes from COVID-19

When essential supplies started selling out in grocery stores, Grow Out Oils tried to find a solution.”We partnered with a couple suppliers in the local area and bumped up our inventory to sell some a la carte items that we wouldn’t normally have in stock like gloves, toilet paper, and face masks,” Shanna says. “There were a lot of people that didn’t have access to it, even in retail spaces. Everything was completely sold out. We started reaching out to people letting them know that there was free shipping and no price gouging.”

Shanna has also been working on a line of hydrosol sprays that she recently launched. “We have one that is antiviral that customers have been using to clean fruits and vegetables,” she says. “Our business has been consistent and I think the fact that we offer products that are tailored to what’s going on right now makes people feel a lot better about using them. It’s good to be able to have some products that will bring a little peace of mind to people.”

Experience at ACHS

“I’m so glad that I decided to go to ACHS because all of my professors were absolutely amazing,” Shanna says. She says that many people only have a general knowledge of essential oils, but that gaining a deeper knowledge and learning how they interact in the body was a great help. She says, “I’m very intrigued when it comes to essential oils. It makes me feel really good to have gone to a school that has very high accolades.”

Are you interested in being interviewed for the blog?

We would love to highlight more ACHS students and graduates! An article on our blog is a great way to share your holistic health story, show off what you’ve accomplished, or spread the news about your new wellness practice. Please fill out this form and our Social Media Coordinator, Gillian Wilson, will be in touch with you to schedule a phone interview. 

from ACHS Holistic Health and Wellness Blog https://info.achs.edu/blog/alumni-highlight-shanna-bynes

The Reality of the Use of AI in Healthcare

Healthcare And Ai

Most of us think of artificial intelligence, or AI, in terms of technology and entertainment. Yet, AI has transcended all kinds of industries; these days, its advancements can be seen in the healthcare field. Here are some ways that AI is making its way into hospitals, clinics, and more.

Easier Readings and Screenings

One of the ways that AI is assisting doctors and medical technicians is through screenings and scan readings. Today, many healthcare institutions are using CNNs, or convolutional neural networks, which help them recognize patterns in things such as pathology slides and electrocardiograms. This type of computerized learning and assessment reduces the margin of error and provides faster, more accurate results. It could eventually lead to better patient care and improved outcomes.

AI Nursing Assistants

You might have experienced the service of AI nursing assistants yourself through a patient portal, a sign-in platform at the clinic, or a healthcare app designed for post-operative patients. Artificial intelligence helps hospitals and other medical institutions address more individuals and provide recommendations and referrals. On the flip side, AI can help nurses and hospital receptionists feel less stressed since they can use more technological assistance when speaking with clients. Finding a balance of empathy and service is going to be vital in improving the AI approach in upcoming years.

The Limitations of AI

As one might expect, a computer or machine can’t match the kind of attention that a human being can give to an individual. Especially in the healthcare field, people need that kind of empathy and support. AI can be great for processing information and determining the results of scans and tests, but it can’t do everything. Right now, a blend of human and computer interaction is being studied. More experimentation is needed in order to produce AI that matches the expertise and skills of a trained clinician.

from Nicholas Sasson, MD | Healthcare https://nicholassassonmd.com/the-reality-of-the-use-of-ai-in-healthcare/

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