BURRILLVILLE – Shanley Swain’s grandfather was a homeopath and osteopathic doctor, and she is following the family tradition, but with a 21st century twist.
Swain is an affiliate of marketing company mydailychoice.com that sells CBD and other wellness products.
CBD is used for pain, anxiety, insomnia and other health problems, and is short for cannabidiod, active ingredient in cannabis derived from the hemp plant.
Like her ancestor, “I’m really into holistic health,” says Burrillville-based entrepreneur Swain.
Holistic health is far from new medicine in Rhode Island. From the later 19th century and into the 20th, the state had several homeopathic hospitals such as Roger Williams, and Cranston General, where Swain’s grandfather Dr. Gil Chisolm was on staff.
“Grassroots,” is how Swain describes her health business. She, and “thousands of people like me,” she says, are affiliated with the successful Las Vegas, Nevada-based company, owned by Josh Zwagil of MyDailyChoice combined with Jenna Zwagil founder of HempWorx.
Swain conducts business by promoting it on social media and by word-of-mouth.
“A lot of customers are in town,” she said.
In business six years, she says, “I hear someone has health problems, I listen.”
In addition to managing her business, Swain is a certified holistic health coach, “giving people information, to guide [them] through their holistic health journey from diet to mindset.”
She says she strives, “to get people out of the hamster wheel.”
Before embarking on her current career and healthful lifestyle, Swain ran bars and restaurants for decades – and she smoked and sometimes had a drink.
Then she quit, and started learning about foods and genetically-modified organisms and glyphosate or herbicide weed killer.
She grew concerned about poisons in food, water, and air, and warns against consuming particular foods such as GMOs, saying choose, “organic as much as you can.”
Swain also suggests using hemp-derived products that rid the body of toxins.
“People can heal, taking health into their own hands,” Swain said.
Human beings have the ability to heal their inner world, their ‘microbiome,’ Swain explained.
“There’s so many organisms inside your belly you don’t even need to take an aspirin,” she said.
For her, it’s “very important people are aware of alternatives to pharmaceuticals. People heal themselves.”
For example, she notes that a lot of people have inflammation. And CBD helps the body heal, such by reducing inflammation. She said it’s unfortunate that people often take unnecessary drugs such as antibiotics, needed only in extreme situations, which kill both bad and good bacteria.
In today’s culture, in which conditions such as congestion, IBS, and chronic arthritis are common, the usual solution to the problem, “is to take a pill,” says Swain, and adds: the pill masks the problem, then the person needs more pills.
About a decade ago Swain started researching health issues when her child developed celiac disease at a young age, which is somewhat unusual for that health problem.
She got interested in studying hemp, and explains that people and animals have a cannabinoid system, “that is incredibly receptive to the CBD in hemp.”
Swains says that the hemp plant is healing, nutritious, and even found in mother’s milk – but the plant was made illegal in the 1970s under the Nixon administration.
Decades passed, studies were conducted, and under the Trump administration hemp became available again.
“Companies started popping up,” said Swain.
It seems old things have become new again, as the change has enabled Swain to follow the tradition of her holistic physician grandfather.