We are delighted to welcome Cicely Everson to UrbanNaturale’s Natural Speaking Interview series.
Cicely is a Master Herbalist, Functional Medicine practitioner, Reiki practitioner, Shaman and founder of Tao Holistics.
We are experiencing a dramatic increase in chronic disease, much of which is preventable and treatable with holistic measures. Cicely Everson, Tao Holistics
A Little About Cicely, Her Background and Tao Holistics
Q. Tell us a little about yourself.
A. My name is Cicely Everson and I’m a wife and mom of two. I work as a Master Herbalist, Functional Medicine practitioner, Reiki practitioner, and Shaman. I created my current practice, Tao Holistics after becoming obsessed with natural living and healing throughout my 20s. After encountering several skin care clients as an esthetician, I realized they were dealing with what seemed like symptoms of hormone imbalance. Even the usual signs of PMS or menopause showed in my clients’ skin and I wanted to know how to identify and address these problems. Eventually, my skin care business morphed into the practice I have today. Within the last year, I became deeply interested in studying more spiritual or energetic modalities for healing, and recently added Reiki and Shaman to my medicine bag.
Q. What is your professional mission/vision? What are you hoping to achieve?
A. My vision is to help raise the health consciousness on the planet. More than ever, we are experiencing a dramatic increase in chronic disease, much of which is preventable and treatable with holistic measures. Through my interactions with clients, students and fans over social media, I hope to increase awareness and education around herbal and functional medicine, mind-body practices and other methods of natural healing. I help clients feel empowered to advocate for themselves and to add an alternative type of practitioner to their medical team, whether that person is me or not.
I hope to increase awareness and education around herbal and functional medicine, mind-body practices and other methods of natural healing.
Q. Tell us about your own wellness journey? Who or what inspired you?
A. My journey to amazing health began much like many others – on accident. I don’t really believe things happen by accident, but what I mean is that my own personal health crisis, including my swift recovery, quickly showed me what I put on this planet to do – to help others heal. I had learned what my personal mission was, albeit through discomfort and confusion at times. Growing up I was healthy by most definitions, but by age 18, I developed eczema that became annoying and irritating. It would come and go without any real understanding of why it was happening. At that time I was doing some modeling, acting and dancing and became used to heavily covering up my flare ups with makeup on a regular basis.
This was the constant for me until my late 20s when strange symptoms started to appear. We were three years married and had just relocated across the country with a toddler in tow. This major change coupled with financial stressors and unknown food sensitivities led to a host of symptoms, like: mood swings, depression, chronic hives, lack of “direction”, and fatigue. These continued for a few months before I was forced to leave my job (a middle school teacher at the time), because I was losing the ability to be productive at work and at home.
I then reached out to a prior customer of mine who was a holistic practitioner. She worked with me to test my hormones, liver function, and helped assess my symptoms for deeper-rooted causes. This guidance from someone who understood my body was comforting. And literally, within days of being on a personalized protocol of herbs, foods and supplements, I began to feel better. It took several months for my body to heal, but every day I was feeling better and watching symptoms subside. This was the start of a new way of living and a new life path.
Q. What motivated you to become an herbalist and holistic healer? Was it a quick switch or a gradual transition?
A. What felt like a “miraculous” turn of events with my health was the icing on the cake. I had female clients navigating changes in their hormones and wanting to learn more, and I knew I could not stop. Somehow, I was crazy enough to think I could change the world by immersing myself in every aspect of natural healing until I met a niche that felt like “the one.” In 2014, I wanted to take a deep dive into medicinal plants and knew there was yet another course to be taken!
I had this same feeling when desiring to study functional medicine and couldn’t wait to add this approach to my practice. What I didn’t realize is that the study of herbalism cannot be contained to a short or long program. It is a lifelong unfolding of the love of herbs. Additionally, studying the human body and ways to encourage its healing naturally is always a learning process. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to formally learn how to return to nature and learn modalities my ancestors intuitively practiced without any “mainstream” training.
Q. Tell us about Tao Holistics and the range of the health and wellness services you offer — as well as their benefits?
A. To date, Tao Holistics offers a variety of 1:1 consultations/sessions, a 30-day health reset program, holistic health monthly membership (The Well Haus), and my in-house line of herbal formulations. The herbal formulas are available for purchase on our website. I also have an external online dispensary where I carry and recommend other professional brands to round out the shopping experience. All of our services are available virtually, although we do see clients in person one day a week. The benefits of personal consulting are incredible. Studies have shown for a long time that those who receive continuous support and accountability have more success than those who go it alone. The do-it-yourself approach works and is often a labor of love full of learning along the way, but at some point, those who want deeper results typically wind up working with me one-on-one.
Q. How do you work with clients? What is your philosophy? What is your basic approach?
A. My overarching philosophy is to meet clients where they are. No matter what their goals are, there has to be a level of readiness in order for them to take action. My basic approach involves clearly outlining the process based on the service or products they have chosen. The other really important part about getting started with me is that I teach clients my 6-level framework, called the Health Hierarchy of Needs (available when you subscribe to my mailing list). This was the culmination of recognizing which past clients were having major success, who wasn’t and evaluating where they were on this hierarchy, around things like mindset, readiness, diet, and more.
My 30-day healthy living program, the Health Reset helps to rewire the mindset and body around what, when and how to eat.
Q. Tell us about your 30-day Health Reset program.
A. One of my most popular ways to get clients started on their health and wellness journey is with my 30-day healthy living program, the Health Reset. It helps to rewire the mindset and body around what, when and how to eat. It teaches foundational concepts that are either never fully learned or forgotten over the years as we sometimes learn and exercise poor habits over a period of time. For this program, I love using the Arbonne nutrition product line, although I can further customize items to maintain the personal experience.
Q. Tell us about your herbal medicine training program where you teach aspiring herbalists to become certified in the field?
A. When it comes to professional training, I offer a professional certification course in Herbal Medicine. I launched Herbalism I in March 2020 and began getting rave reviews. I feel so honored to be able to pass along many generations’ teachings along with the lifelong commitment to research by scientists and herbal hobbyists alike. Having taken my personal learning experience into consideration, I finally decided it was necessary for me to fuse the functional medicine approach to health and herbalism for the ultimate learning experience and Herbalism I was born. Aspiring herbalists can now register for Herbalism I and II, both courses of which offer professional certificates of completion. These courses are offered locally in-person and in our hybrid format, which includes online instruction and live virtual teachings. Enrollment for our online program is fluid, so students can register whenever they are ready.
Q. What tips or advice do you have for people who want to transition to a detox lifestyle, who are worried that it will be difficult to give up their favorite foods?
A. My first piece of advice is to ask yourself which is worse – to go through what you already know may be a learning curve but will eventually yield great results, or to give up on your goals and be in the same place 10 years from now! Regardless of how “ready” you feel, I think you know the answer!
Secondly, the easiest place to start food wise, is to make a list of the foods you LOVE to eat now. You know you will have to make some changes, but if you start by “healthifying” your current favorite meals, you know these are taste profiles you will automatically enjoy (even with food substitutions). This is probably the most user-friendly way to ease into upgrading your diet. You can look at this as a nutritional detox. As far as deep detox methods go, I advise using specific herbs to cleanse each organ, including the bloodstream, if you’re never done it before. I advise working with me or another qualified practitioner to guide you through. Here’s the thing – we take in toxins every day from food, air, water, chemicals, etc., so we need to have a reliable way of gently, yet effectively removing these toxins from the body before their accumulation manifests as dis-ease!
One important thing to note… detoxification comes with healing symptoms. As the toxins are released, you may experience headaches, skin rashes, or even cold and flu symptoms. Yes, these don’t sound attractive, but again, what is worse? Pushing through a short (usually around a week) period of discomfort, or allowing toxins to continue to build in your body? Understanding this very important note gives you the advantage in knowing what to possibly expect so you don’t quit before seeing and feeling results.
We take in toxins every day from food, air, water, chemicals, etc., so we need to have a reliable way of gently, yet effectively removing these toxins from the body before their accumulation manifests as dis-ease!
Tips for a Healthy, Immune-Boosting Lifestyle
Q. How are you protecting your health and boosting your immune system during this COVID 19 health crisis?
A. Sheesh, we are all being silently asked to step up our game when it comes to caring for ourselves. There is definitely a new normal in town. I learned early on to enjoy being at home even more. I wound up busier than ever, so I had to be mindful about keeping up with my herbs and supplements. I listened to my body more. If I didn’t feel great, I thought about what I ate and tried to feed my body what I intuitively felt like it needed, not just what would taste good – especially since most of our immune system resides in our gut. One of the best ways to keep the immune system strong is to get good quality sleep. For me, I’ll admit that this was and still is an EPIC FAIL LOL. I am a night owl by nature, so I have work extra hard to be sure I’m treating myself kindly at night. Take an intentional shower or bath, (quickly) pamper myself, and ease comfortably into bed (even if it was 1am!).
Q. What foods, essential oils, herbs or supplements do you recommend for a healthy, immune boosting lifestyle, and why?
A. Ahh, there are so many. Some of my personal favorites are:
Foods – Any foods that support digestion – fresh fruits and veggies, leafy greens; fewer constipating foods like heavy starches and refined foods. I am gluten-free for this reason. Although I’ve tried to convince it many times, my body just doesn’t appreciate the way it feels after eating gluten (dairy comes in second place).
Food is fuel. It will either fuel health or dis-ease, period. I’m nowhere near perfect and I don’t forbid myself – I just listen to, and am reminded by, my body when I consume something that doesn’t make me feel the best. When you fall, get up and have your do-over.
- Herbs & Supplements – Vitamin D, 5,000 to 10,000 IU daily; adaptogenic herbs like Rehmmania, Ashwaganda and Maca roots; Omega 3s; CBD; and 2 of my favorite supplements – MSM powder and Buffered Vitamin C powder
- Vit D is actually more like a hormone than vitamin. It helps modulate the immune system which makes it balancing, not just boosting. Too much boosting of the immune system can trigger or worsen autoimmunity.
- Adaptogenic herbs are near and dear to my heart. I haven’t met a human who is not in need of a little adrenal support (for stress reduction and better hormone balance), so adaptogens are king. Even children can take them in a child’s dose. They experience stress in ways we forget about as big people or simply don’t hear because they can’t fully express their thoughts.
- Omega 3s are awesome for brain health, heart health, and I always sleep better! I often take mine with dinner, which happened as an accident – this is how I found I slept a little better.
- CBD is such a hot topic right now. What some people don’t know is that our body has its own system made just for receiving CBD into the body – it’s the Endocannabinoid system. Because there are so many brands flooding the market, I always advise clients find a reputable brand or shop in our dispensary. When I remember to take it, I definitely sleep more deeply!
- MSM is an organic form of sulfur (not to be confused with sulfa). It is so highly water soluble that it is often rinsed away from produce, so we end up deficient. I don’t have enough time in the day to tell you how much I love MSM, short for Methylsulfonylmethane. It is a natural supplement, bitter in taste, and available in capsule, tablet or powder. I take 1 tsp daily of the powder, sometimes twice daily and enjoy its full-body cleansing effects. It is so underrated that I could write an entire book on it. MSM has so many amazing benefits because it makes the cells permeable, which means that toxins can be let out of the cells, while nutrients can pass into the cells.
- Vitamin C powder is another unsung hero. The work of Linus Pauling is amazing. Buffered Vitamin C, also known as Ascorbic Acid can be used as maintenance to boost immunity, but can also be taken in larger doses to flush the gut. Because it is water soluble, we can only hold onto about 1000mg. A higher dose will be urinated out; however, because of its intestinal flushing action at, let’s say, a 4,000mg dose, this can still be beneficial to the gut by eliminating toxins, especially during times we are seeing now during COVID-19.
Establish a daily practice. Decide where you need to start and do small things daily to get closer to your goals.
Q. What top habits do you recommend for essential health and wellness?
- Become a Well Haus member. Most people are longing for the right information when it comes to health and wellness. Joining our membership program is a simple way to have your own virtual health oasis, increase your knowledge and learn at your own pace! Plans start at just $37/month.
- Establish a daily practice! Personal/spiritual development is a MUST. Spend 20 min a day reading, listening or watching someone who will help you develop and grow as a human. How would you look, act and feel at your perfect level of health? It’s impossible to get there being the same person you are today. Whether it is for productivity, spiritual development or for self-care, create a daily ritual for you and ONLY you. Will your daily ritual be in the morning upon waking, before bed or both?
- Decide where you need to start and do small things daily to get closer to your goals. Focusing on good gut health through detoxification and eating more cleanly are great places to start, no matter what you want to improve. Consider jumping into my 30-day Health Reset program. We all need to hit the reset button from time to time!
Q. What are your plans and hopes for the future?
A. In the near future, I plan to bring 2-3 health coaches on board so that I can focus on content creation, writing and further developing the physical presence of the business. My plan for the future is to see Tao Holistics in many locations as a health consulting practice and apothecary, and to continue raising the health consciousness, one person at a time. One of my ultimate, dreamy plans is to build a holistic retreat that spans acres and specializes in total healing for both adults and children. Basically, I see this as the personalized attention you get as a client, but on some serious steroids!
My prayer for humanity is that we discover a personal return to love. Many of us are still learning to love ourselves, to heal trauma, to judge less, and to actually enjoy life. A return to love transmutes fear and makes EVERYTHING possible.
My prayer for humanity is that we discover a personal return to love. Many of us are still learning to love ourselves, to heal trauma, to judge less, and to actually enjoy life.
Q. What else would you like our readers to know about you?
A. I love to cook, eat and entertain, love the beach and somewhere in my head I believe that I will someday teach myself to play the piano, the guitar and the drums! I love to connect with people who are constantly trying to be better people, especially in my adult years. Parenting and “spousing” takes up a lot of time and as adults, we need quality social time to stay young and engaged in our own individuality.
I am also an independent consultant with Arbonne, a holistic health and beauty company. Many people have a misunderstanding around building a network marketing business. You may be asking why I’ve chosen to build yet another business while already having one. For one thing, people want variety! Secondly, building a biz from the ground up is no joke! So, being able to lock arms with a company whose philosophy is congruent with mine is awesome (their products also avoid more than 2,000 toxins). Arbonne has helped many people have more time freedom and financial security. If you are interested in this opportunity, reach out to me. We are doing big things!
Q. How can our readers learn more about your information and services? How can they contact you?
16394 Samuel Paynter Blvd #201
Milton, DE 19968
(in-person appointments, retail, classes)
Tel. (302) 344-1789
Email address: email@example.com
Tao Holistics site – www.taoholistics.com
Booking calendar – www.tao-booking.as.me
Well Haus membership site – thewellhaus.co
Social media channels:
@taoholistics on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
I’d love to hear from you! I am here to serve and help you HEAL.
Thank you very much for sharing with us, Cicely!.
We appreciate it!
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