Jonathan Hadas Edwards, MS, LAc.
Jonathan Hadas Edwards, MS, LAc. is a North Carolina based herbalist and state-licensed acupuncturist with over a decade's experience in Asian medicine. His Masters of Science comes from National University of Natural Medicine's School of Classical Chinese Medicine, where he studied under Dr Heiner Fruehauf. Versed in Ayurvedic as well as East Asian Medicine, Jonathan has pursued studies in both China and Southasia, including on a Fulbright fellowship to Nepal.
Having experienced the power of these traditions firsthand, he is passionate about making their profound benefits available to others.
Always fascinated by the mysteries of the universe, I was following a conventional path towards a career in physics until life threw me a couple curveballs. One was that my father, composer George Edwards, began slipping away much too soon due to dementia. Modern medicine had little to offer besides sedatives and suppressive therapy. I felt there had to be a better way of approaching healthcare, and through this deeply scarring experience I swore to find it.
The second curveball was the health struggles I began having not long afterward: digestive troubles that were linked in some mysterious way with mood and energy swings that undermined my confidence and left me confused and frustrated.
During a semester in India, I was exposed to ideas from Tibetan and Ayurvedic medicine; my interest was piqued. I wound up at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico for a year-long study program. The next year, 2008, I returned to South Asia on a Fulbright fellowship to Nepal. I thought I was going to study food culture and religious ritual. But I arrived already sick to my stomach after a stopover, so my first morning in Kathmandu I dragged myself to the bazaar and sought an Ayurvedic physician. The medicine I received helped immediately. It wasn't long before I switched my research topic to Ayurveda. Although at this point I was still coming from a purely scholarly angle, that changed when, near the end of my grant period, I met an elderly last-of-his-lineage Ayurvedic pharmacist-physician.
Where other practitioners had closed their doors, Keshab-ji welcomed me into his home and his heart. We spent several days together talking about all things herbal. He quizzed me, told stories and case studies, and showed me his impressive collection of handmade medicines. It was heartbreaking to learn that he had no one to carry on his tradition. I left feeling called to carry the torch as best I was able, if not for Keshab-ji's lineage then for others like it. I resolved to become an herbalist to bring these beautiful, potent medical arts to others like myself.
Back in the States my path led me to a masters program in Classical Chinese Medicine at NUNM in Portland, OR. Acupuncture was part of the curriculum, and I realized that this, too, was a beautiful way of applying the cosmology that resonated so strongly. While in Portland, I took the opportunity to delve into the adjacent fields of Western herbalism and plant spirit medicine as well as mantic arts. Finding myself in the midst of a challenging initiatory cycle, I learned that one does not become a healer through study alone. (Partly out of a desire to help others avoid the worst pitfalls of such tumultuous and transformative times, I've co-created a course through Heartward Sanctuary called Midwifing Metamorphosis.)
I've remained actively interested in the intersection between mantic and medical arts, disciplines that have traditionally gone hand in hand across many cultures.
From 2014-2017 I worked in a community clinic setting in Brooklyn and in private practice, while continuing to explore ritual and spiritual healing methods, training in 2016 in the Ancestral Lineage Healing method, through which I met my wonderful wife, Julia Hartsell. These days I'm based in beautiful Silk Hope, NC, where Heartward Sanctuary, forms a home for work and play. A sister organization, Heartward Health, houses my clinical work.
Jonathan H Edwards, LAc. on how he found his way to Traditional East Asian Medicine and what makes this approach powerfully relevant in the modern world
Peak experience: trekking in the Annapurna region, June 2009. Without Ayurvedic and Tibetan herbal medicine, I wouldn't have reached 17,600 feet