Lifestyle and Wellness Products to Nourish Body, Mind + Soul

 

BY SHALEEN DESTEFANO

Did Dr. Christine Cannon have Ernest Hemingway in mind when she opened The Contemporary Herbalist? When you walk through the front door you are welcomed by a clean, well-lit place with entrancing aromas. The aesthetics of the space is only matched by the wealth of knowledge that Dr. Cannon brings to the table. As a female business owner, I was eager to learn more about her journey.

Tell us how Contemporary Herbalist came to be.

I started The Contemporary Herbalist in early 2015, after many years of mixing and experimenting with different organic essential oil skin care blends, and making herbal tinctures to support health and wellness. Up until then, I made these blends and tinctures mostly for me and my husband, a few patients, and close friends. I had never planned for a self-care and skin care brand to be born out of this, however, as more people began using the blends and asking for more, we realized there was a community of like-minded folks seeking simple, high quality, transparent, and trusted skin care and self-care products and information.

Today, our message and promise to our community is that our plant-derived products and blends are 100% clean, pure, and lovingly created to make wellness, skin care, and self-care less complicated, more transparent, empowering and fun.

I truly love what I do. While I still have a small practice and I teach acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in Hawaii and here in Denver, I love helping people choose natural and organic skin care products and guiding them to prioritize their own self-care and healthy living. 

The Contemporary Herbalist is a wellness brand committed to empowering people to live healthier, happier and more conscious lives.

Dr. Cannon when did you realize this was the path you’d take in life?

A long time ago! Haha! When I was in my twenties, I was in the computer field in Australia where I’m from, and sold some of the first PC’s available. It was then that I was given the opportunity to get 150 PC’s into the World Expo site in Brisbane, Australia. Big job! During that time in my life, I experienced really bad allergies – my eyes would swell, I experienced chronic sinusitis and fatigue. Working those long days, going out at night with clients, and eating and drinking pretty much whatever I wanted certainly wasn’t helping support my health. I had always been interested in different eating regimens, herbs and essential oils, so when a work colleague of mine suggested I see a naturopath, who also did acupuncture, I was in. 

And that’s when it happened. By following the dietary recommendations, receiving weekly acupuncture and taking herbs, I quickly experienced a profound change in my overall health and energy. I was sold on acupuncture and I began looking at programs. 

It took a couple of years…. I had to get some wanderlust out of my system! Ultimately I quit my job and traveled, ending up in Breckenridge where I fulfilled a lifelong desire to learn to ski. And ski I did, as much as I could for two seasons, and then I was done. It was time to enroll in school and move into the next phase of my life. My interest was very much focused on herbal medicine and diet and I first applied to a naturopathic college. But as fate would have it, a friend of mine in Breckenridge suggested I talk with a colleague of his in Denver, who was opening an acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine school. I enrolled, and started the program about 3 months later, and now here we are!

What do you wish more people understood about Chinese herbal medicine?

Chinese herbal medicine is a phenomenal healthcare system. It can address most disorders that are seen in clinical practice. Anything from digestive, gynecological, neurologic, musculoskeletal pain, sleep – you name it, and according to Chinese medicine there is an effective treatment. 

The second point I would make is that it is a very complex system, and this is why it is so effective. When we evaluate a person for any condition we ask a series of questions, not only about the pressing issue, but also about seemingly unrelated signs or symptoms – it is a very holistic method of viewing the body. Once we have gathered this information, we can then formulate the best treatment approach for that person. 

 

CBD seems to be everywhere right now. What guidance can you give the novice consumer?

Yes, the market seems to be flooded right now, and CBD is being touted as the next best cure-all. The best advice I can give is, read the label of any product you buy very carefully. And, if the person who is selling you the CBD can’t fully explain what the information on the label means, don’t buy. Also, if you buy a CBD product from a dispensary, it will contain higher levels of THC, which may or may not be something you want.

Are there any myths you’d like to bust about CBD while we’re on the subject?

The CBD market would like everyone to believe that CBD can improve just about any health issue. Being a clinician, I know this is not possible and I have already seen this with clients and people who stop by the store. For some people, any amount of THC creates and aggravates anxiety. And CBD will increase dreams and create restless sleep for some folks, while others sleep better with CBD. Essentially, it is not a “one size fits all” paradigm, and I highly recommend getting guidance from a healthcare professional who is familiar and knowledgeable about CBD. So, please stop by and ask me your CBD questions.

Wash Park seems to be the perfect location for you. Are you settling in?

Yes, we love it! Being next door to the Grateful Dogg, we get to see a parade of pampered pups every day, which we love. And now that the weather is warming up, we’re getting a lot more drop-in’s as people are out walking more.

Tell us about the courses you offer.

My online courses are designed for practitioners who wish to increase their clinical knowledge on the use of Chinese herbal medicine. I also have a gynecology course for acupuncturists, who wish to specialize in women’s health.

What are your best sellers?

Our CBD oil tincture, our medicinal tinctures, and our face oils.

What does the future hold for TCH?

I’m in the process of formulating two new skincare products – a body butter, and face serum. My latest self-care creation includes a tincture called Hot and Bothered, and it works like a dream for hot flashes and night sweats.

Contact Dr. Christine Cannon directly with questions or to set an acupuncture appointment at ccannon@thecontemporaryherbalist.com or stop by The Contemporary Herbalist’s Wash Park shop and clinic to speak with her at 533 E. Ohio Ave. Mention this interview and receive 25% off all products, and all acupuncture and massage treatments.

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