CAM Practitioners at the Ready for Humanitarian Relief Aid Efforts


CAM Practitioners at the Ready for Humanitarian Relief Aid Efforts

A report by Myra Nissen, edited by Jann Garitty

In photo above, left to right:
Wanda Smith-Schick, CCH  (President, Homeopathic Institute of the Pacific)
Myra Nissen, CCH, RSHom(NA) (Board Member, North American Society of Homeopaths)
Iting Jiang, L.AC
Cristina Garelli, CCH, RSHom(NA), (Clinical Director, Homeopathic Institute of the Pacific)
Kathleen Scheible, CCH (President, California Homeopathic Medical Society)
Jennifer Harrow, MA (Co-Founder, Integrative Healers Action Network)

Editor’s note: The Integrative Healers Action Network (IHAN) was approved by the Red Cross in Chico, CA to provide CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) services to 300 evacuees of the Camp Fire that were still residing in December 2018 at one of the shelters there.

Myra Nissen and a team of homeopaths also were approved by the Red Cross, in addition to the other licensed/certified IHAN practitioners with malpractice insurance, to set up and provide their services as well. According to Red Cross protocol, all practitioners were required to go through background checks. Myra, who is well-familiar with flower essences, contacted FES, who subsequently donated Five-Flower Formula and Yarrow Environmental Solution for the healing efforts. 

The Holiday Integrative Health Clinic for Evacuees took place December 18 – 21, 2018.

According to Myra, IHAN had done preliminary background work to be able to bring CAM practitioners to the shelter hosting evacuees of the Camp Fire. In the aftermath of a prior northern California fire, IHAN went to a Red Cross evacuation center in Santa Rosa, and the local Red Cross personnel familiar with the value of CAM modalities, allowed them to help people. When the International Red Cross personnel arrived nine days later (they had been dealing with hurricane issues in other states), they said that not normally would this have been allowed. However, the exit polls regarding the CAM providers showed that the outcomes with people were highly positive. IHAN was allowed to continue CAM clinics. It is reported that IHAN is working on a memorandum of understanding with the Red Cross to establish an ongoing relationship to bring CAM practitioners to Red Cross shelters to help evacuees from natural disasters.

The Mission of IHAN: Our mission is to provide acute and long-term care to communities impacted by emergency situations by providing integrative healing modalities through systems that bridge medicines and organizations.

If interested in signing up to volunteer with IHAN, please visit this link.

Myra Nissen reporting on her experiences at the Clinic
serving evacuees of the Camp Fire

Five-Flower Formula and Yarrow Environmental Solution: first line of response

I thought that the two formulas—Five-Flower Formula and Yarrow Environmental Solution—would be the best for the situation, not that I’d ever been in this type of situation before. We went to the clinic with the idea that we would not be dispensing on site, as that would not have been allowed. The ¼ oz bottles were very suitable for giving to those in need. I made labels to put on 3 x 5 cards and wrote two ways of instructing people how to use them—either directly from the bottle or putting it in water and sipping it. I put an “x” next to the one I recommended for each individual. I simply knew which of the two essences would be of help to them. People were very responsive and grateful; they didn’t even question what it was, as happens sometimes with people who are introduced for the first time to flower essences.

In my experience, the Yarrow Environmental Solution greatly helps people with environmental sensitivities, especially EMF sensitivities and food sensitivities—it acts amazingly well. Some people with whom I work have a long list of things to which they can’t be exposed; they live very limited lives—there are so many things that they can’t do, etc. I had good experience with the YES formula after the Napa, CA fires for people who continued to have breathing problems.

The Five-Flower Formula, of course, is excellent for addressing shock and trauma.

The Holiday Integrative Health Clinic for Evacuees

The Clinic was presented as a relaxing spa for the holidays, so it wasn’t considered medical. We were there for 5 days.

People who had other resources had already left the shelter. The people remaining were either already on the margin, homeless already prior to the fire, or people such as a woman who was recovering from a stroke, and there was a man with cancer. They didn’t have the resources to help themselves. Also, there were people who were still in shock and couldn’t yet figure out what to do.

The homeopaths were situated at a long row of tables in the back corner of the women’s dorm where we worked—like a panel, seated on one side—the people would sit in front of us, hence there was not much privacy (nor time) for in-depth consultations.

I worked with several people who actually had jobs in Chico. They were living in the shelter and going to work every day, coming back to the shelter afterwards. They couldn’t figure out yet how to be able to leave the shelter.

There were people who came to sit and talk with us, and they would burst into tears—they had lost everything and didn’t have insurance. They had bought everything with cash and didn’t know how they could recoup as they couldn’t prove anything, as they had no receipts, etc.

Some people were lamenting about their jewelry, other people, their pets. The grief came out in many different forms.

If people talked about the toxins, their lungs, their eyes, that they were still having problems, and how difficult it would be to go back because of the toxins, those were the people to whom I gave the YES formula.

If the talk was just in general about money and other concerns such as how they would get another home, etc., I tended to give them the Five-Flower Formula.

Though it’s difficult to follow up with people in these types of situations, there were two people who came back during the time I was there. One had had a bad cough and cold. When she came back, she said her cough was gone and she was sleeping better.

Another person with whom I worked, had to blow his nose constantly and kept asking for hand sanitizer, talking and wondering about how he would ever recover. This was one of the people who had a job in Chico and came to the shelter after work. I asked how he was feeling and he said, “It didn’t work.” But—he wasn’t sniffing, he didn’t once use a tissue and he wasn’t on the verge of tears. He was telling everyone that we all looked too serious and that we all should laugh. I took that as a win.

One of the Red Cross volunteers who had previously been given a remedy and flower essences was overheard during an acupuncture treatment saying, “I feel better, but I think it’s all in my head.” I take that as a win as well.

For some people, that’s their experience using flower essences and homepathics: they can’t believe that they feel different, because they don’t feel like they actually took anything.

About Myra Nissen

In 2006, Myra Nissen earned her Homeopathic Certification from the Pacific Academy of Homeopathy, San Francisco, one of the most established homeopathic training programs in North America. She was awarded the title CCH, (Certification in Classical Homeopathy), from the Council for Homeopathic Certification in recognition of meeting and exceeding a standard of excellence held by the homeopathic profession in North America. Having this status allowed her to became a Registered Member of the North American Society of Homeopaths and use the prestigious title RSHom(NA). Myra is a board member for the North American Society of Homeopaths. In her practice, she utilizes other natural tools, including flower essences, that are compatible with homeopathy. Myra also wrote an article regarding IHAN for The American Homeopath, Vol. 25, 2019, "Integrative Healers Action Network: A Working Model for Disaster Relief." Visit Myra's website for more information about her.


Integrative Healers Action Network (IHAN)

Council for Homeopathic Certification

CA Homeopathic Society

HIP – Homeopathy Institute of the Pacific

North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH)

"Flower Remedies" is one of the modalities listed for insurance offered by this company

Related article:

Community Herbalists Assist Evacuees of the Camp Fire in Paradise, CA


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