Austin town woman cultivates a love of herbs and reflexology

Austin town woman cultivates a love of herbs and reflexology
Austin town woman cultivates a love of herbs and reflexology

Staff Photo / JT Whitehouse Holborn Herb Growers Guild member Bobbie Spaulding sweeps the gardens of a doctor’s office in the historic Western Reserve Village of Canfield Fairgounds as she prepares to plant medicinal herbs.

AUSTINTOWN – Bobbie Spaulding herbalists know and practice reflexology – a form of massage therapy – as a way to keep people healthy.

Her knowledge comes from her years working abroad and how different cultures care for their people.

“You need a combination of physical, spiritual and social health to live to be 100,” she said.

Spaulding grew up in the Austintown-Youngstown area and graduated from Ursuline High School in 1960. She said she went to Mount Mercy School for Girls (now Carlow University) and got his first job in biochemistry. In 1970, she married Eugene Spaulding, who was working at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in New Mexico.

While in New Mexico, Spaulding attended the Institute of Mining and Technology for his Master of Science degree. This degree led her to enroll in teaching at San Miguel Parish School in Socorro, New Mexico. She taught science, mathematics, reading, and religion.

She did all of this while helping to run the family’s sheep farm in San Antonio.

After a seemingly short teaching stint, Spaulding and her husband divorced, leaving her to search for another opportunity. A friend mentioned using his teaching degree for government work.

“I applied to the Dependent Schools Program at the Department of Defense,” she said. “It has included teaching on military bases outside the United States to ensure that (students) return to the states at the appropriate level of education.”

She said her job is to make sure a third or fourth grader returns to life in the United States and goes straight to their classroom without being left behind. She also has children of parents who serve in the local embassy as well as any other embassy students who wish to pursue an international education. She said she had children from Greece, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, Israel and Slovenia in her ranks.

to live abroad

When she went abroad, she brought along her son, Jeremy Spaulding, who eventually graduated from high school in Turkey in 1993. She studied at military bases in Turkey, Seoul, South Korea, Heidelberg, Germany, and Egypt.

One thing Spaulding has noticed in every country is the common use of weed.

“In the 1980s and 1990s I was in Turkey and noticed that people had their own herbs for everything from stomach issues to headaches,” Spaulding said. We showed the Turkish people about herbs in the market that cured coughs. Since using herbs in food preparation was a natural thing to do, it was also great to learn how to use them in healthcare. »

You’re starting to see herbs used as a first-line treatment for flu viruses. And I learned that elderberries can be dried and used to make tea. Taking this tea at first acted like Tamiflu. She added that this prevented the virus from multiplying, which led to a quick recovery.

“I remember having stomachaches and my turkey making me drink a mixture of hops that looked like dirty dish water,” Spaulding said. “I drank it and have not had any stomach pain, diarrhea or discomfort since. I swore that if I could keep it that way after my retirement, I would.

I started paying more attention to the Turkish bazaars, the big shopping areas where people can buy all kinds of goods and things. In a special area called “Spice Bazaar”, beans, rice and all kinds of spices can be bought. All were served in barrels and sold by the gram.

“I bought a quantity, picked it up and put it in a bag,” she said of how fresh the stuff was.

Another health-related field that Spaulding has heard of is resilience.

“I learned it in Germany,” she said. “I had a foot problem and went to see a flexologist, and it worked.”

Flexion is like acupuncture — just without the needles, she said.


Spaulding returned to Austin Town in 2007 after nearly two decades of teaching and learning abroad. Because of her great admiration for reflexology, she joined a school in the Nile for training.

Using his new skills, Spaulding began working at Hor Spa in Austintown. I compiled a list of clients who felt reflexology helped them live a better life. She also decided to return the favor by providing for and educating seniors at the Austintown Senior Center.

Spaulding also began volunteering at the Canfield Fairgrounds in the Arts and Crafts Building during the fair. From this post, she saw the floral building and began to display herbs and flowers. She begins to win the ribbons, which is noticed by another volunteer, Mary Alice Bradshaw.

“She invited me to join a group she belonged to, the Holborn Herb Growers Guild,” Spaulding said.

She joined the union in 2017 and has established herself since then. Today, she joins union member Donna Wack from Canfield in tending medicinal gardens in the historic Old Fairground Village.

“I researched herbs and what they do,” she says. “There was a time when it wasn’t Walgreens or CVS. Doctors prescribe herbs and often have their own herb garden to distribute to patients. When you look at the nutritional training doctors receive, that’s the equivalent of a week to a month of training. These doctors have been training for years on medicines.

She spends two to three days a week tending the medicinal gardens at the fairgrounds and helping out at Boardman Park.

She still offers physiological treatments and classes at the Austintown Senior Center, but her regular work at the Hour Spa was discontinued when the business was closed due to the pandemic.

Spaulding will help with the annual Holborn Herb Growers Guild plant sale on May 20 at the fairgrounds, and will also be at the fair to help.

She will also participate in the big sale in July at the Church of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, where she attends and is an active member.

To suggest a Saturday profile, contact Editor-in-Chief Burton Cole at [email protected] Or Metro Editor-in-Chief Marly Reichert at [email protected].

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