I’m fascinated by success stories, and the general lives of holistic healers. I often meet them in my line of work, and it’s always interesting to get their opinion on things. My subject today is a wonderful woman called Or Gross, who happens to be a trained nurse, as well as the owner of her own health food & herb store.
Being part of the medical and holistic worlds, Or Gross has seen both sides of the healing spectrum, and this is what most intrigued me about her.
What’s the biggest issue you see with the treatment process in the medical world?
“The medical world only treats the symptoms, yet often fails to really look for the underlying cause of the problems. It can sometimes take so long until they come up with a holistic solution, or the right drug to cure the disease.”
How would you change that process?
“I think the medical world is a necessary part of disease detection and elimination, but if they could open their minds to the effectiveness of traditional medicines which have been used for thousands of years, in combination with their amazing medical advances, well, we’d all be so much better off.”
What’s the most common problem people come to you with?
“Digestive problems, respiratory issues, urinary complications and skin troubles. Often, the people that come to me are suffering from chronic diseases which modern medical practice has failed to cure them of. They turn to holistic or alternative medicine to try and improve their quality of life, and that’s where I come in.”
When did you first start becoming interested in holistic healing and the benefits of plants?
“I was always interested in plants and the healing capabilities of nature, from as far back as I can remember. I was fourteen when I bought my first herbal medicine book.”
How has this path of herbalism changed your life?
“It gave me the opportunity to improve my knowledge and to help people, and help myself.”
How did you come to have your own shop?
“I looked for an activity where I would be able to share my knowledge with my patients, show them what could help them and give them the opportunity to access it. The rest is history.”
What’s your most popular selling product and why?
“That depends entirely on the season. During Spring and Autumn for instance, the most popular products are allergy-related. During summer, natural cosmetics, vitamin supplements and suncreams are the most re-stocked. In winter, people need help with their respiratory systems and natural defences. Products containing pollen, propolis and honey are in great demand.”
Many people deal with insomnia and don’t want to depend on sleeping pills. What would you recommend for them?
“The most important thing is to get your mind and body in a relaxed state. You won’t sleep if you can’t relax. Trying hot baths, breathing exercises and meditation before going to sleep are all great ideas. Assuring you have had enough physical stimulation throughout the day is important too. The body should naturally want to shut down for the night, after a full day. It’s the mind that needs the most help in that regard.
Once the mind is on board, the body soon follows. Natural sleep-aids can also help dramatically, relaxing plants such as valerian root, plasifora, azahar, tila or melatonine have proved to be effective.”
What’s the biggest struggle you face with your profession?
“Trying to educate people in holistic, healthy living and getting them to adopt the right habits to improve their quality of life.”
What advice would you give to people wanting to pursue your profession?
“With holistic and medical practice it’s more about listening than anything else. Have patience and listen. Really listen. To what is said and what is not said. Discover the root of the customers / clients / patients problem so that you can give them the best remedy.”
Lastly, I’m obsessed with essential oils and am always curious as to how other people use them. How do you incorporate them into your life and which are your favourites?
“Yes! Essential oils are so great, I use tea tree for it’s anti fungal properties, rose hip for skin regeneration and apricot as a skin serum. Eucalyptus is a must-have when dealing with respiratory problems. And lavender of course, to relax, especially in the bath.”
Or’s Shop, called Ecolife Herbolario, is located in Southern Spain on the Mijas Coast. The delightful space has been described by the local newspaper, Sur in English, as an “Aladdin’s cave of treasures for those keen on a more natural way of life.” The shop sells dietary supplements, ecological products, gluten free foods, a range of natural cosmetics and more. Pretty much everything you could ever want to possibly find in a health shop. To find out more, visit her website.
Interested in a career in holistic health?
Opening a health food shop is just one of the many career option’s for a holistic therapist. The School of Natural Health Sciences is passionate about an education in holistic health. Our goal was to create a learning facility which would give people easy access to affordable holistic health education, and that’s exactly what we’ve accomplished. Our range of 57 accredited holistic health courses offer insight into Herbalism, Flower Remedies, Nutrition, Philosophy, Stress Management, Reiki, Massage Therapy and so much more. To see our full range of courses browse our A-Z listing of holistic health therapies.
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