Brooksley Williams, Ayurveda
Total years in practice: 5
Like many of us, I grew up eating a standard American diet–i.e. meat, vegetables, and starch- and although my mother has always been an excellent cook, I developed severe allergies and was always suffering from colds. I recognized that this had to do with what I was putting in my body, but I had no language or reference to explain why that was nor what to do differently. As a college student at Oberlin, I majored in psychology. I was already interested in the mind-body connection, and I wanted to learn more about the role environment and food played in how we felt. I received my Psychology degree in 1993, but rather than practice in that field or pursue an advanced degree, I began working as a sign language interpreter. I felt a strong affinity for the rigors of this work—listening closely and communicating as precisely as I could with my hands, body and facial expressions to try and dissolve a difficult barrier. Interpreting took me to many interesting places, especially medical appointments, where it was imperative my interpreting be on the money for both parties. In these medical sessions I learned much about the relationship between food and health. People suffered with invisible ailments such as poor digestion, joint or back pain, migraines, anxiety and depression, and other troubles that they often just endured because Western medicine, being able to treat what it can see, offered no solutions. I became even more interested in the relationship between mind, body and spirit—as well as the role that diet played in our ability to maintain balance. I moved to California and attended the California College of Ayurveda. I was initially drawn to Ayurveda as a modality because it is one of the oldest forms of medicine—an ancient science originating in India. While I apprenticed at a nearby clinic with an Ayurvedic doctor I also served on the board of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine and took advanced trainings in Ayurvedic bodywork and cleansing protocol, herbal preparations, and diagnostic strategies. Pursuing a deeper understanding of this venerable medicine took me to India, Kauai, and all over California. I attended the Rishikesh Ayurvedic College in Rishikesh, India for comprehensive instruction with Ayurvedic scholars and doctors from all over India. I had finally found my calling. I moved back East in 2002 and settled in the Pioneer Valley continuing to study and strive for greater knowledge and expertise. I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York in 2005 and soon after Valley Ayurveda was born! Since then, I have continued my education at the New World Ayurveda School in Gorham Maine, studying the deeper aspects of Jyotish (Ayurvedic Astrology), and Ayurvedic spiritual counseling. I feel blessed to be working every day doing something I love and knowing it benefits the people I treat and our greater community. I am in the Valley to stay, and live in Florence, MA with my husband, two kids (ages 9 and 7).