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Whole-System Healing: Reconnecting Health Care with Social and Ecological Justice with Jessica Marais
Pacific Rim College
229-560 Johnson Street
Victoria, BC v8w3c6
250-483-2119 (phone)
Event Start Date: 03-16-2019
Event End Date: 03-17-2019

Event Start Time: 9:00 AM
Event Duration: 15 hours

Event Topic: About Acupuncture
Organization: Pacific Rim College
Instructor: Jessica Marais

Event Description

Course Information

This workshop will establish a profoundly holistic context for contemporary healing professions by investigating the linked phenomena of ecological and social unravelling and how they worsen or heal in relation to our health-care systems and choices. Through a focus on the interconnections between ecosystems, social determinants, cultural contexts and the individual experience of health, we will explore opportunities for community-level action with a view towards broad, systemic change. Participants will leave informed, inspired and equipped with practical resources for advancing their own initiatives or creating new ones together.

Saturday: Health care and the earth body
Our morning session will explore health care for humans with the entire web of life in mind. We will unpack the ecological implications of different conceptions of and approaches to health care by looking at:

  • ecological literacy – our understanding of the natural systems that make life on earth possible;
  • potential ecological impacts and downstream health effects of the production and use of both petrochemical- and plant-based medicines; and
  • climate change and the future of health care.

Our afternoon session will focus on reimagining health care as healing not only the individual but also the ecological community. Through case studies and shared participant experiences we will explore systems-based approaches that sustain and restore people by sustaining and restoring places.

Sunday: Health care and the social body
Our morning session will explore the complex factors that have impacted traditional healing systems and given rise to persistent inequities in health outcomes. We will explore:

  • principles of social justice and decolonization, and the importance of understanding our own positionality as practitioners;
  • the social determinants of health;
  • the cultural contexts of health; and
  • community engagement and dialogue for healing.

Our final session will explore (re)emerging models of health care that aspire to address and heal the wounds in our collective social body. In discussions and group sessions, participants will have a chance to share their current initiatives or dreams for the future in order to seek support or opportunities for collaboration with others.

Course Instructor

Jessica Marais is an ethnobotanist, second-generation herbalist and writer living in the Sutton Mountains of Quebec’s Eastern Townships, the traditional territory of the Abenaki Nation. She holds a BA in English and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria, and an MSc in Earth Science from Schumacher College, University of Plymouth. Fascinated by relationships of reciprocity between people and plants, she has focused much of her academic and personal research on the practice of honourable wild-harvesting and its restorative/therapeutic value for both humans and landscapes. In addition to offering workshops on nature connection, wild-harvesting and organic agriculture, she works as a freelance editor for the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. Visit her at

Course Dates

Saturday and Sunday, March 16-17, 2019, 9:00am- 5:00pm

Course Tuition

Regular – $300 (Early Bird – $285, until February 1)
Students* – $275 (Early Bird – $250, until February 1)
PRC Alumni – $285 (Early Bird – $265, until February 1)
*PRC diploma students will receive 1 WHS academic credit for this workshop.

Course Registration

Please register via this link

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