A new health center is coming to Chester city centre

Dry goods are for sale at Songbird Wellness. Photography by Paula Benson

Chester, Vermont – Amber Hamm, a licensed massage practitioner (LMP) and new owner of Songbird Wellness in Chester, Vt., lived in Santa Rosa, California, before moving to the East Coast. Hamm first settled on Long Island, until she began to suffer from some serious health problems that forced her to leave her home. She learned she had contracted Lyme disease, and was also having a severe reaction to mold in the house she was living in at the time.

After Hamm came out, she began educating herself to regain her health, strength, and energy. That’s when she took a “deep dive” into the healing qualities of plants and plant extracts, in a relentless effort to feel better.

Hamm lived in her campervan while working as a massage therapist at luxury spas in the Hamptons, New York. She tried different tinctures, and describes that period of time as “a daily commitment for over a year” to learn about and practice the treatment. herbal medicine. Through this constant self-care, Hamm was able to slowly get to a place where she no longer felt overwhelmed and in constant pain.

The sign outside Songbird Wellness in Chester, Vt. Photography by Paula Benson

“I would call it remission,” Hamm said, referring to her current good health. “I know he’s still out there, hiding in my cells.”

The “ham” refers to Lyme disease. Ham speaks respectfully about Lyme disease, explaining how the tick-borne disease is intelligent, quick to adapt to its environment, and has learned to hide inside cells or change shape so our immune systems can’t defeat it, making it a difficult disease to beat. Treats.

The practice of treating diseases with herbs dates back to the Middle Ages. It’s a broad course of study, and Hamm said she continues to learn, even as she lectures and holds workshops on the subject. She plans to start hosting “gatherings” in the store soon, calling them assemblies rather than classes, because “we all learn from each other, right?” Additionally, the Springfield Library reached out to Hamm to schedule a series of talks with her at the library.

Hamm has been practicing LMP for 23 years. Her initial training was completed at the National Holistic Institute in the Northern California Bay Area. She is also a functional nutritional therapy practitioner, trained and certified to help clients balance their body chemistry to achieve optimal health.

Songbird sells a large number of herbal products. Photography by Paula Benson

In addition to the bulk herbal apothecary, Songbird Wellness stocks soaps, oils, balms, tinctures and miscellaneous wellness-related items, such as massage tools, yoga accessories, neti pots and mushroom grow kits. Ham’s massage table was placed in the next room. The space, located just off Chester Green, next to Fischer Arts on the corner, offers a relaxed, professional but not serious vibe, which is 100% intentional on an important level.

“I made this place for people,” Hamm said. “I wanted to create a safe space where people could come and feel empowered by learning ways to balance their health imbalances. Where they could facilitate their own healing process, rather than outsourcing it. I think there’s a little bit of magic in doing some of these things yourself,” And relearn ancestral knowledge to feel more complete.

Before leasing the storefront on School Street, Hamm said she made regular tours of Stowe, Woodstock and other areas of southern Vermont. She admitted that Chester seemed like the right place, and she was grateful to be part of the Green Zone’s expanding retail community.

Songbird Wellness will host a grand opening this weekend, during the Chester Festival. Hamm said she will set up a tent in front of the store, with samples of herbal elixirs and snacks. Hamm is looking forward to meeting more Chester residents, and people from the surrounding areas, introducing more people to her practice, and sharing the many benefits of natural therapies.

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