Healer finds reward in restoring health

Heather Fischbuch’s varied medicine bag includes needles, scented plants and more

Heather Fischbuch cares for everyone from newborn babies to those in hospice beds using the holistic health practices for which she developed an appreciation as a young child.

“My French grandma would smear stuff on us whenever we had colds – and I as a kid was kind of a sickly kid having had bronchitis and pneumonia – and her remedies seemed to do a lot of good for me. And then my German grandma would make us teas and tinctures and whatever the French grandma’s smearing didn’t cure, the German grandma’s teas and tinctures addressed and raised me up to be a pretty strong and resilient-health adult,” she said.

As an acupuncturist, rehabilitator, herbalist, aromatherapist, massage therapist and reflexologist who uses traditional Chinese medicine and diet therapy, Ms. Fischbuch employs a variety of methods to help her clients.

Ms. Fischbuch became a registered acupuncturist earlier this year and added the tiny needles, which are about as thick as a strand of hair – to her medicine bag after giving too many massages and developing tendonitis and arthritis.

“In our busy summers you would do a year’s worth of massages in three months,” she said. “I wore my own hands out, and acupuncture gave me a lot of relief so it was just sort of a natural fit to go and pursue that and now offer it to my clients.”

She said acupuncture can help with 140 conditions and ones you wouldn’t expect.

“Acupuncture not only treats external issues like arthritis and strains and backaches and things, but it also treats internal issues,” she said, listing off Crohn’s, Irritable Bowl Syndrome, fertility issues and menopause challenges as just a few examples.

“It’s not always arthritis. Sometimes it’s insomnia, sometimes it’s anxiety, sometimes it’s digestion or sciatica or you name it.”

The needles themselves are optional – acupressure or aromatherapy could suffice – but she said the pokes aren’t as bad as phobics might think, adding that they’re nothing like immunization needles and only cause the slightest sensation.

How slight? Sometimes her human pincushions fall asleep on her table during their sessions.

“Not only do we treat the issue, we really have to address the underlying cause that got it to that place. So is it overuse – as it was in my case – or is it something in their diet that has impacted either their fertility or their digestion?” she asked. “We look at the whole picture of what’s brought them to this place of unbalance that causes the majority of diseases.”

Ms. Fischbuch also offers medicine walks and aromatherapy workshops through the College of the Rockies.

Aromatherapy is “very concentrated herbal medicine, and it’s not just for smelling pretty and scenting up a room,” she said. “By putting it on the body, you’re getting a therapeutic dose of those plants’ chemistry.”

Ms. Fischbuch is available to see clients on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings and on Wednesdays and Fridays during the day. To find out more or to schedule a date with some needles or scents, book an appointment at www.flourishinghealth.ca.

“I can’t think of a more rewarding career than being able to help restore someone’s health,” she said.

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