Sometimes it is Important to get Sick by Julie Foster, Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon




I had felt something coming on the week before I left. I was not on track with listening to myself and getting my remedies in. The day I left should have been a day in or slowly paced. Instead I woke at 3am against natural rhythms. After arriving in Denver, Colorado I had agreed to wait for colleagues. The day ended up extending even longer when we had to pick another colleague up on the way and missed turn-offs more than once. I was though filled with contentment for seeing friends.

I was able to avoid altitude sickness. Having both would have been fretful.

I looked to this time of gathering to reset. Although ill I was grateful for it.

I soon became humble to exhibit this vulnerability in front of others. I could not conceal it. I was embarrassed though it would be the last thing I would have thought to judge another who was ill. This stems from my upbringing where being sick was not allowed partially because my parents could not take off work and the attitude was ‘get up you will feel better.’ When my father was sick my mother would be angry. It is not to say I was not addressed during illness but this was a gesture I took forward for my life.

I softened this attitude with my partner and children but these subconscious beliefs take up house once in awhile. I think if you interviewed my children they would tell you of the elaborate nursing care and remedies I would administer. I harbored guilt when most times I left for work and had others care for them with these instructions.

I was well aware I had some virus and didn’t sense any imminent danger. I have been taught Illness comes when something about you and your life seeks Balance, a reckoning. I thought of my patients with chronic illness and wondered how best can we face these states of being?

Over 3 days I I felt an inability to connect with others fully, I was fuzzy with a less defined border. I was dropping and bumping into things.

To be in Crestone, Colorado with my colleagues was deeply meaningful and I think it is why I was able to transform in 3 vs. 7-10 days.

Here is a list each of them offered:

Tiffany- Asked to rub my neck and back. She checked on me, offered Berberis/Prunus and Cuprum /Kali Aceticum. She Suggested I sit in the sun Silent on the deck.

David- offered me Sambuchol, hoped I could create a fever, offered lemons, and described why Chelidonium Curcuma would be beneficial as my lower pole was surging to my upper pole.

Daci- Bought 3 different kinds of tea for me-Tulsi Rose, Valerian, and Gypsy Cold Care

Glenda- I showed up to Eurhythmy each morning and we worked with the idea of guardian hierarchies and later she offered me Echinadoron.

Jennifer S- checked on me and asked about the stressors in my life.

Jennifer T- made such delicious healing food and said ‘you should tell Philip’ Then Philip gave me Infludo, Ferrum Phosphoricum, and Levisticum and said ‘this is good to see what wants to work through you’

Bob- My sickmate shared a resting room at breaks with me.

Debra- shared her knowledge of sweet insights.

Carmen- Said ‘I missed you’ when I turned the corner from Illness to recovery.

All my colleagues were much like having me for a caretaker. I allowed myself to welcome it.
They held such an amazing space to heal through.

I, myself took much care drinking water, minerals, tea, yoga, meditation and ultimately SURRENDER!!

Being perimenophsal while taking initially my usual remedies of warming herbs was very discomforting. I was coughing every time I was overheated. I had to stop them. The Anthroposophic remedies were gentle and supportive helping to shorten the illness.

During the illness I was not allowed to ponder ‘why?’ I could just slow down. I touched a place I see in my dying patients of release and acceptance. Illness does require you die a part of yourself in order to cleanse and make new.

Compassion upgraded through personal suffering.

How do you manage and reflect on the times you face illness in your life?

At Pohala we take the time to understand you and how your health can be care for through illness.

Tobacco: A New Perspective by Julie Foster Family Nurse Practitioner


This is a Tobacco plant dated from 700 year old seeds found in a burial cave near the islands off of Washington. I was gifted 1 plant about 4 years ago.

In my time and experiences with indigenous ceremonies I have come from despising this plant (my upbringing and medical training taught me how bad it is) to earning a greater respect to the actual being of the plant.

I don’t believe it is the Tobacco that has harmed the people. I think it is what they did to the Tobacco out of greed and ignorance that does.

I was instructed to get to know the plant. The natives taught it is a gift for the people to be used in Ceremony as a way to pray and find one’s place in the tribe for instance. The word Tobacco can also mean a general term for various plants that can be used to pray with.

Tobacco contains nicotinic acid which is also a neurotransmitter in our brain. It helps us to relax at first and then creates an anxiety for motivation to get going. Think about when it is over used, day in and day out? That is overkill and sets up a disconnect with the real purpose. It is not to say that the 100+ toxins added to keep people addicted is a tragedy.

This plant being has sticky thick leaves, shoots up towards the sun ☀️. It then concentrates it forces to clusters of small cupped shaped yellow flowers. When it goes to seed the seeds are the size of a pinpoint and grossly abundant.

The natives have coveted this plant for hundreds of years for a good and sacred reason.

I think it is important to look past the usual knowledge of our times. Your life or situation may not be exactly what you think it is. Step back and give it a chance to teach you something more.
This is what Tobacco has taught me.

I am in a much better relationship with it now and this plant being deserves my awakening to its true nature.

What a 🎁 gifting!!!!

Food and the Sacred by Julie Foster, Nurse Practitioner at Pohala Clinic


🍎FOOD and the SACRED🍑


The HUMAN of the future will approach plants that are of use to them consciously; not as now when one reflects on what yields the best substances for one’s body; one will then have a vital relationship to every plant, for they will know what it is has absorbed, and what passes from food to them. Eating will not be to one as a means occupation, but an act consummated with SOUL and SPIRIT for one will know that everything they eat is the external form of something SPIRITUAL 💮

In our immediate age, when HUMANS know little about the vital inward relations between themselves and the world, all kinds of substitutes are made use of. Why have the Initiates of all ages urged people to say grace before eating? The grace should be a token of the recognition that, together with the food, something SPIRITUAL enters into HUMAN.

Rudolf Steiner – GA 105 –Universe, Earth and Man – Lecture III – Stuttgart, 6th August 1908

(I changed  the gender pronoun MAN to HUMAN- as Steiner meant this with his original use of the word man.)