Kari Jansen was born in Los Angeles but grew up in the Midwest, between Chicago and Michigan. She felt estranged to this area as she found herself wanting to spend all her time outside in nature under the sun, but was met with nine months of cold and overcast weather. She made the most of those exciting summer months, however, and spent as much time as she could deep in the forest behind her childhood home. The forest was where she began to develop an awe of the outdoors, and first noticed the wild potency of Mother Earth.
How did you get into wellness?
Intuitivity I knew that the foods I was eating and the products I was putting on my body were toxic from a young age. I hated the smell and always had a hard time finding foods I would eat. I would fight with my Mom to not put lotion or any makeup on. I knew I was out of place but couldn’t do anything about it. I often felt very trapped. Luckily my dad was a plant person so I would help him in the garden whenever I could. I remember him growing a crabapple tree and I loved eating them and that intuitively felt right. As soon as I graduated college, I headed west where I knew I would meet like-minded people.
What came first, herbalism, body work, or ayurveda?
I began with Bodywork over twenty years ago to learn the technical aspects and was the first school I went to after college. It gave me the initial skill set that allowed me to travel and explore the country and deepen my practice. I then moved into learning deeper levels of healing with Reiki in Sedona and Shiatsu in the Bay Area. I lived in Lake Tahoe and got my yoga certification which then lead me into Ayurveda. I resonated deeply with this tradition and choose to explore India and learn Ayurveda first hand. While in India I was in an herbal garden, and I said to a friend standing next to me “All I want to do is stay in this garden and learn from the plants.” She said go check out the California School of Herbal Studies and you can live your dream...so I did. Upon my return I enrolled in herbal school and began my life as an herbalist to tie everything together to offer a full spectrum of healing for people.
What a sweet journey.
Yes, it all came together very naturally. They all are part of an interwoven web and I just keep gathering more and more knowledge. Learning keeps me inspired and excited about life...this is an ongoing process.
When did all the other health modalites come into play? The infrared sauna, steam, the biomats, sound healing devices?
I’ve become more and more inspired with all the various healing modalities. I love the sound and frequency therapies like the amp coil, the bio mat and tuning forks. They are so fun and potent to play, heal, learn and experience with. The steam is a traditional modality of Ayurveda. I studied panchakarma which is a cleansing technique of India. A big piece of panchakarma is oil and steam. I infuse all the oils with plants just like they do in India. I just use plants that grow around me with similar properties of the herbs they grow in India. The infrared is a great detox and cleansing tool that is a big part of the overall healing process.
What are your goals with someone who comes in for a treatment? What’s the process? Is there a system to it?
I give each client tools, through an Ayurvedic lens, that can help bring them into their balance. My goal is to get them back into their body. To feel it and be aware of the signs and symptoms. So many people ignore what their body is telling you. My job is to put each person into the parasympathetic state in which the body can begin to heal itself. You simply can’t heal if your body is in a flammatory state.
“I just keep gathering more and more knowledge. Learning keeps me inspired and excited about life... this is an ongoing process.”
Being a hands on healer and health practitioner requires a lot of personal energy, and output, what do you have to do prior and post a session with someone?
Yes this is a big one. I make sure I set the day so I can only work on one person. I start my morning with a meditative tea ceremony and then I start setting the room which helps me drop in. I love picking flowers from the garden for their treatment and bath, and I do that barefoot so I can feel grounded on the earth before a treatment. After my treatment, I take a salt tub and burn sage. This is helpful in clearing my body, mind, and space.
You also create a line of healing tinctures, salves, and body care products called Poppy and Someday. What inspires you to create each formula? Is there a synergy between some of them?
I came up with the products based on what I use everyday or what I want to gift clients so they continue their own self care practices. I can only see so many people so I really want to inspire people to love, massage, and heal themselves.
I love the name, how did you come up with it?
The name comes from the California state flower which brings so much joy when you see them blooming along the hillsides. She is called a Cup of Joy.
How has being a single mother influenced your approach to business and healing?
I learned a lot about balance and time management. And to know how to turn off business mode and really be present for Rowan. They grow so fast. I want him to be influenced by my work as a woman entrepreneur and not look upon it negatively as a time I took from him. I want him to feel he can work and do what he loves and change the world and environment for the better.
For those that don’t have an opportunity to get a treatment and get a download from you, what are some self care practices you could share with people that you feel are pivotal for optimal health?
Abhyanga which is self massage with warm herbal oils. Then salt scrub and gua sha. Gua sha is the practice of using a smooth tool to apply pressure and scrape the skin to relieve pain and tension while stimulating and moving the lymphatic and circulatory system
How do you honor Mother Nature?
I plant seeds, compost and grow a garden. I wild harvest only when a plant is abundant. I use eco friendly packing materials for all my shipping. Each and every product I make is free from chemicals, toxins and fillers. The products and materials are always organic, hand crafted, herbal infused, and medicinal. And I love to celebrate the lunar cycles!
Follow Kari Jansen @poppyandsomeday