We had the good fortune of connecting with Johnnie Heider-Kuhn and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Johnnie, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
Heart Alchemy Integrative Wellness was born on a road trip back from Salt Lake City with my close friend and business partner, Makaela Bamonti. We had just completed an incredibly difficult training program to learn how to safely work with the South American shamanic folk medicine, Kambo. During this week, a deep bond was formed, and we uncovered new and exciting ways to add texture to our work with clients. Once we realized that our complimentary healing arts practices shared a common theme – to help people feel more vital, more resilient, and more heart-centered while achieving their wellness goals – it made a lot of sense for us to start a healing practice together.

We now have this opportunity to support each other through our individual work with clients (herbalism, nutrition, yoga, breathwork, psychedelic integration, therapy, kambo), while collaborating to offer dynamic healing events and retreats in Colorado for small groups. The name “Heart Alchemy” came about the more we realized that during our clients’ healing experiences, we consistently witness an opening of the energetic heart, which stimulates transformation in multiple areas of their lives. When the heart is open we suddenly gain the fortitude to hold space for complex emotions, release traumas, reprogram destructive narratives, relate to the world with compassion and strong boundaries, develop empathy, while deepening our relationship with Nature. You could say we help our clients become alchemists to transform their health.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
After receiving my BA in Psychology in 2010, I had a spiritually transformative experience that changed my life course. Clinical Psychology no longer appealed to me, but a series of events lead me to pursue education in clinical herbalism and nutrition. I wasn’t really sure how I would apply it, but I knew two things to be true – I love plants, and I love people.

So how could I continue to be a bridge between both worlds? The World Health Organization estimates 80% of the global population relay on so-called “alternative” health practices to enrich their lives. And people continue to wake up more fully to plant medicine, mindfulness, entheogens, breathwork, and yoga, they just sometimes don’t know where to start. Enter the herbalist!

Shortly after starting my studies, I began to work for botanical supplement companies (which continues to be my primary source of income). Suddenly, I find myself living behind the scenes of the products I had been buying at local herb shops for years. While I enjoy working within the global botanical trade, I love working 1:1 with clients even more. I am just getting started with my private practice, and look forward to the day when it will be my full time thing. The biggest lesson I have learned so far is to go slow, take my time, and really nurture this into a platform to share my gifts while building strong relationships within my community.

Many times, folks call an herbalist when they have exhausted other conventional options, namely for matters related to chronic stress, inflammation, hormonal balance, auto immune conditions, and gut dysbiosis, to name a few. So in my practice, I pride myself in offering a unique perspective to health and wellness while taking the guesswork out of herbal and nutritional interventions. Plus, I have an urban farming background, so I can also help people turn their black thumbs green, which also impacts their overall wellness.

I cannot diagnose, treat, or cure disease, but I do assess symptom patterns, explore health histories, and observe the energetic constitutions of my clients in order to advise them on herbs, supplements, and diet. I like to say I’m a relationship coach – between my client and Mama Nature. I just want people to know that when we take an active role in our health, when we participate with Nature and find the correct plant allies, it’s possible to feel better!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
You cannot have the Denver-Metro experience without at least one outdoor concert. So that means we have a home-cooked picnic sourced from Union Station Farmer’s Market with a show at the Levitt Pavilion in Denver. Or perhaps spending the day in Morrison to hike, followed by a show at Red Rocks Amphitheater. We would have dinner at Fruition, lunch at Watercourse, and of course of tour of local taco trucks. If it’s First Friday, we’ll hit the Art Walk on Santa Fe, and view the murals throughout RiNo. I live in Boulder County, so we will be exploring the Flat Irons, having dinner at Leaf, and ending the week with a sunset walk at Golden Ponds in Longmont.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am grateful to Lisa Ganora, Kat Mackinnon, Josh Paquette, and the other amazing faculty at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism (CSCH) for opening the door wider to my plant path during my time studying Western Herbalism there. Shoutout to my husband, Nelson, for supporting my herbalism career and pushing me to share my gifts with people, plus teaching me how to grow medicinal plants, all while pursuing his own passions in soil and crop science at CSU. And a huge shoutout to my business partner, Makaela for being my role model in staying curious, continuously learning, and showing up with heart even when life feels unbearable.

Website: www.heartalchemywellness.com

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