Ayurveda & Holistic Medicine
Heather Vaughan is an Ayurvedic Practitioner with ten years of clinical experience in a variety of settings including family medical practice (Unity Medicine with Dr. Eric Grasser), Lead Practitioner in an integrative pharmacy (Pharmaca), and in private practice. She draws from a wide range of modalities including traditional Ayurvedic diet, herbal pharmacology, lifestyle and bodywork, craniosacral therapy, supplement therapeutics, natural skin-care, yoga, awareness and meditation techniques, breath work, emotional patterning work, and more.
She is a graduate of Dr. Vasant Lad’s renowned Ayurvedic Institute, completed advanced clinical studies in Pune, India, and studied Clinical Herbalism at UNM with Sonia Masocco. She is also a student of Etienne Piersman’s beautiful expression of Cranio Sacral Therapy. These are Heather’s most influential teachers.
Endless Possibilities: My Perspective
At age 14, I began to experience pain in my neck and hips. However unreasonable for a seemingly healthy, athletic teenager, once in a while I would awaken with my neck in a full lock, unable to turn my head. Pain in my left hip increased to the point that I had to leave my cross country and track teams a year later. At age 19, I was diagnosed with the Western medical condition, Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is an auto-inflammatory condition of the spine, which is sometimes, as in my case, hereditary. This debilitating disease leaves people, including my own father, ragged and suffering. The progression of AS for me was fast. At 22, I removed myself from NSAIDs because I realized I needed to keep increasing the dose in order for them to keep working. By 23, I walked with a limp on my best days. On the worst days, I had no choice but to stay in bed. When offered no long-term solution by conventional doctors that wasn’t laden with equally or more frightening side effects than the condition itself, I sought a different way out. It took me four more years to hunt down what ultimately worked.
What I found was a whole new life.
The solution has been a combination of therapeutics, facilitated by compassionate wisdom from practitioners, many of whom became my teachers. No one modality has had a greater impact on my current ability to live a free, unlimited life than Ayurveda.
I am compelled by overwhelming gratitude and a strong sense of duty to share this beautiful medicine, the medicine of possibilities, with as many people as I can. Ayurveda begins with a practitioner and blooms with you. As a system of medicine that works through daily practice, your healing is where it should be- gently in your own, capable hands.
At the beginning, your hands may feel completely incapable. Mine definitely did. My role is to help you claim your strength, to empower your body-mind-spirit to ignite its own incredible capacity to heal through the elegant practice of Ayurveda.
To consciously address one’s disease is to take agency in your life in an entirely new way. The unraveling of illness, the commitment to loving and caring for one’s self in an honest, conscious, attentive, gentle way can change your whole life.
Writing & Teaching
Heather is a writer and periodically publishes with a variety of health publications. She is currently honored to be editing Etienne Piersman’s second book on Cranio Sacral Therapy.
Heather also teaches classes and workshops on Ayurveda in a wide range of venues, from yoga studios to medical clinics to herb schools.