THE PATH TO STONE MAD
Born and raised in a richly diverse holistic community in South West Ireland, as a young child Niamh had an insatiable curiosity and passion for nature, food, and natural health. Her mother always said that by the age of two, she already knew the name of every wildflower and plant in the surrounding countryside, and every bird by it's song. Her father worked with wood, so it was natural that she be drawn to trees and grow a deep appreciation for them also.
Throughout her early childhood she already displayed a deep love of the wild, spending hours drawing out in the fields behind their family home, observing the insects, flora, and fauna in her immediate environment and making herself known to them. One could say the seeds of what she now does were already sown back in her formative years.
Growing up on a half acre homestead, garden to table meals and wild foods were the norm. Her mother was training to become a homeopath and acupuncturist, so making ointments and home remedies became second nature to her. It was not surprising then that by her early teens she was already making her own natural body products, exploring food as medicine, and creating her own herbal remedies. For her it was quite simple really, all was born out of necessity - if you need something, then learn how to make it, and make it with what you have around you. This is an ethos she carries with her to this present day, in all areas of her work and life.
On starting secondary school she continued to explore art, however her English teacher encouraged her to develop her writing further, a move that was instrumental in her decision to study journalism instead of fine art. Following secondary school she moved to the city to attend university, studying journalism and media production, and quickly began working in local radio. By nineteen, she was in Dublin working in national radio and television, heading up in house publicity for a well known concert venue, had set up her own public relations and radio production company, and began studying public relations and marketing by night at University College Dublin (UCD).
Living and working in the inner city started taking its toll, and as an empath she was completely overstimulated. She grew a little garden on the balcony of her city center apartment and focused on developing a better coping mechanism. She wasn’t one for classes or ‘spiritual’ books, instead she found peace in ‘small things’ like baking bread, the smell of her tomato plants, walks in the park, and explored this further. She was reminded that to lose herself in something primordial each day was not an act of escapism, for letting our bodies self-soothe our minds is ancient medicine. What she discovered was that this form of slow self healing is an act of rebellion in the modern world, an act of peaceful resistance. Soon she began taking bus trips out to the Dublin mountains to forage, and what she gathered she brought home and prepared meditatively. Her career took off and she continued to work in the music and media industry internationally. Parallel to this she furthered her natural health studies, and in an effort to better understand the complexities of her mothers addictions, Niamh began studying clinical psychology at UCD. She went on to study Jungian Psychology at Princeton University, followed by several specialisations in the treatment of complex post traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD), grief counselling, somatic psychotherapy, and intergenerational trauma.
In her mid twenties, Niamh sustained a back injury in a car crash and had to take a sabbatical from her career. She decided to leave city life and found a nest to commute from in the mountains. In an effort to better understand what was going on with her body, she began a double diploma in anatomy, physiology and sports injuries in London. During this time she was diagnosed with scoliosis, making her highly susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder. She decided to study optimum nutrition so that she could expertly work with food both as a preventative and cure. At thirty years of age, she was diagnosed with a genetically inherited condition that affects the spine. She once again dove into research and worked with holistic nutrition and energetic modalities to manage the condition while she furthered her research, this time focusing on genetics and molecular reprogramming. She deepened her exploration of technical crystal application, body chemistry, and natural compounds, using a homeopathic approach to treatment. While the condition itself is uncurable, she successfully reversed the symptoms she was experiencing and hasn't experienced any worsening of the disorder since April 2014.