Taking Charge of Your Health

[Music]>>K.P. KHALSA: Welcome, everyone. I’m K.P. Khalsa, principal instructor of the professional herbalist training program at Portland Community College. I’ve been a health practitioner for 40 years; been very involved in this renaissance
of natural healing that we’re experiencing these days. I’m an herbalist, dietician,
nutritionist, body worker, and I wear many other hats
in the area of natural healing. I’m the National President of the
American Herbalists Guild, which is the professional association
for practicing herbalists that sets standards, establishes credentials, and is our association for improving our profession and delivering our services. These days I function largely
as an industry scientist. I have a long history in
the product development area. Probably you couldn’t walk
into a health food store in the United States and not find a product that I’ve developed being marketed
by somebody there. I’m a long term educator. I’ve written or edited 30 books
and a number of DVD series. I’ve written over 3,000 articles for publication in health food magazines, that sort of thing. For 30 years I was the senior research scientist and medical formulator of Yogi Tea. My recent book, The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs, is an introduction to that
healing system, Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, and its system of herbal medicine that serves today over a billion people. Ten years ago I founded Seattle’s first multi-disciplinary
holistic healing clinic, an idea that sounded great at the time, probably a little ahead of its time, but was the forerunner of the multi-party
healing clinics that you see today that have become
quite the rage to put holistic healing practitioners together. Many of our students have now
found themselves slotted into one of those programs, and they work alongside naturopathic physicians, medical doctors, acupuncturists, message therapists, and a wide range of healers of every stripe, helping people get one stop shopping
in the world of natural healing. Who is it that should take this course? Well, we’ve designed this course for
a wide range of people. No experience is necessary, although any experience that you do have will contribute to the class. So: established professionals,
physicians, acupuncturists, massage therapists, anatomists, even gardeners and botanists would be welcome to bring their particular area of expertise. Herbalism is about helping herbs,
healing herbs, get into people, but it uses a
wide range of skills, from gardening to marketing. So, just about anybody with any kind of experience has something to gain, and we especially would like to have
established professionals, people who have a career, join the class. Maybe you have a successful practice and you’d like to add the tool of herbalism
to your toolkit? We would welcome you in this class. Maybe you’re just out of school, or you’re looking to change a career, and you want to start a new career: health care is one of the burgeoning new areas of employment for the next generation. Alternative medicine is getting
increasingly popular, especially as the baby boomer age. So, this would be a great time
to start a career on the ground floor. Herbalism is going to do nothing
but advance as a profession; we know that. The whole situation is getting more organized, and we expect that people who train today will be able to establish
a formal career in herbalism sometime in the near future. Maybe you’re not looking to treat other people; you want to develop the tools
to enhance your own wellness, to get well and stay well. Many people in the class are in that position. They want to help themselves
and their families stay well. They’re not intending to work in the industry, but they’re fascinated by the subject. C’mon and join us in the class,
and we’d love to have you. How about people who care
for their extended family? How about being the grandma of the clan,
the herbal grandma? People who help their children, their siblings, everyone in the neighborhood. Great training for that kind of
level of herbal knowledge. We teach you about herbalism where
the rubber meets the road: how to actually use herbs to treat real people
in the real world. We back that up with good, solid theory, but we’re focused on actually how this works
for real people, how to get that as they need it. Alright, so
the professional herbalist program itself. What could you do with such a credential. The careers are many
and varied that people have used this credential to go into as a trained professional. Many people think that
they would like to go into some sort of wellness,
one by one counseling practice and probably half the people in the course are aimed in that direction. That field is becoming more and more viable as the generations go by, and people are getting interested
in herbal medicine as a natural healing system. You might be interested in being an educator. The demand for education
is expanding more rapidly than there are people to fill it. As the baby boomers are aging, they’re looking to find out
more about herbal medicine, and their children who have been raised
with natural medicine are looking to participate
more in natural healing. So, there’s plenty of opportunity for people
to teach at every level, from basic consumer level classes,
adult education classes, private classes, all the way up to
professional level training; all of those are possibly ahead of you. You may decide to get this credential to work
in public education. Maybe you’d work for a parks department,
a recreation department. You’d be the resident
wild plant identification person. Maybe you’d work in gardening,
but teaching people from the general public about
the healing benefits of plants, whether wild or cultivated,
and using herbal medicine in food and in their daily lives. How about educational events, being the person who’s called upon to help learn
simple medicine making for people. Make a cough syrup at a, at a fair,
that sort of thing. Many opportunities for educated,
well organized people to present herbal medicine at its best at
these kinds of events. Well, retail is an area that always has jobs, and people are going to be well qualified
in this course to be able to be the herbal expert at
a health food store, let’s say. People ask you about their conditions,
you help them understand which herb is effective
and which herb can be used. Maybe you’d work behind the scenes
at the retail store, managing ordering of the herbal section. Managing the display of the herbal section. So, herbal medicine is more complicated than
some areas of retail, and it really takes an expert to do well there. You would be that expert. You’d be certified as having taken a course to give you competency. Store managers are looking for
these sorts of people. How about the technical expert, a person that knows what these herbs
look like, tastes like, how they act, how they should be processed
in the field, taking things into the, into the plant
for a manufacturer… all kinds of opportunities
to be the technical expert. Knowing how the chemistry works, knowing how to operate the lab machinery. All the behind the scenes details
that are necessary to get herbs on the shelf
to actually treat real people. Industry is looking for herbal experts. Industry…herbal medicine is a big trend
in wellness in general, from food products, to supplements,
to dietary advice, to people who are putting out
educational materials. Industry needs people who know
what they’re doing. Many times they, industry, knows how to put
a product on the shelf, but they don’t know the details of
how to be able to create that product.
That’s where you come in. Regulatory compliance is
getting increasingly complex and necessary in our modern world as herbal medicine goes more mainstream. So, we need people that
understand government regulation, how to communicate with government bodies, how to put together in-house documents, create proper legal labels, that sort of thing. Tremendous employment opportunities for people to go into that area. We’ll teach you those kinds of
details in this course. Regulation at a company level,
or an industry level, or even a government level, is equally important, and you’ll need…you’ll learn
about herbal safety, herb actions and interactions,
that sort of thing, from the practical point of view of should we be scared about herbs, should we use herbs effectively,
all the way through to how to use herbs properly, and how to communicate about herbs in
a legal and effective way. Quality control is always a big area. Companies need people that know how to evaluate the herbal manufacturing process: tasting, smelling, feeling herbs as they come
off the dock, as they come out of a truck, as they’re unpacked
in your manufacturing facility. Tests doing…tests on batches of herbs
that are being, that are being produced.
Running laboratory equipment. That quality control part is very important, and needed by every company. You’ll be a qualified expert to understand
how these herbs work, and have the basic education to be able to apply that in the real world. Well, the world’s always looking
for more products, and so in order to, to start
a product you have to do the basic research. Tumeric, a very healing herbal medicine that we’ll teach you about, is the hot, hottest topic in scientific research today, and that means people that know about how it works in the real world,
and that’s you. So, you may decide to go
into the research arm of these sorts of things. And then of course there wouldn’t be a product if the product wasn’t actually developed. So, a very fruitful area for you to look at if you’re interested in the behind the scenes, development part of herbal medicine; how to take your knowledge,
make it into a product that people actually will consume for their
own well being. Import/export is an area that always has
a lot of opportunities. I was just talking to someone from Japan who says that American style natural healing has become much more popular in Japan, and they’re interested in anything holistic
from North America. So, there’s an opportunity for you right there: work on shipping things to Japan,
go work in Japan. But how about the things that we import? Most the herbs that we’ll talk to you about
in the course are from out of the country. They have to be imported somehow; you’re the person who can work for the company to help facilitate that whole process, and we’ll train you with that in mind. The course itself,
the professional herbalism program, is designed to train you to be able
to practice after one year, to give you a basic level of competence
to be able to practice with people within your
scope of knowledge that want to get well and stay well using herbal medicine. Our curriculum is closely tied to the standards of the American Herbalists Guild, and we would like to train you in a way that will allow to go right out there and use this knowledge with real people,
in the real world; seriously backed up by theory, but oriented toward the actual practice
of herbal medicine with real people. The American Herbalists Guild,
of which I’m the President, grants a credential called “Registered Herbalist.” Our class is tightly aligned with that program, and we intend that if you should choose
to pursue that credential, our course would supply significant hours that you could use to apply
in your professional pathway to your application for that credential. And we would expect that with the additional
education required, you’d be successful in getting this
registered herbalist credential so that you could join
the ranks of practicing herbalists that have that distinguished credential. We expect that herbal medicine will become much more formalized in the future, and that your education
in this area will be based on having such a credential. So, we encourage you to get
on this pathway now, grab this professional recognition, and use that as things become more formalized. This course is structured in a modular format, which means that you need to take three modules to graduate from the program. You can start this program with
any of the three modules. They don’t have to be taken in order, and continue through wherever
in the academic year that you are. So, we’ll have people joining us
each of the academic terms or modules, and people who are finished
during that time. So, your classmates will rotate through . You’ll have a different group of classmates
that you’ll be joining, from all over the globe, in an online format. We hope to see you at this course. We’d love to have you, and let’s together and learn about the joys of herbal medicine and build you a new career. Thank you.

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