“When I was a little girl,” recalls Prevention advisor Tieraona Low Dog, MD, “my grandma Joâ€”my greatest inspirationâ€”took me to a powwow at Medicine Lodge in Kansas.” Jo was one-quarter Comanche, and these gatherings were powerful for her. They were transformative for Dr. Low Dog as well.
Jo would say, “Baby”â€”that’s what she called her granddaughter when she was youngâ€””when you are born into the world, you are set upon a path, and that path is your medicine road. The way you think, the way you treat other people, the way you feed yourself, the way you move in the world will determine your health and well-being.”â€”Excerpt from ‘Meet the Real Medicine Woman‘
I felt a tap, tap, tap on the right side of my shoulder as I sat waiting for Dr. Low Dog to start her afternoon seminar. I turned to see who had summoned my attention. The woman behind me rummaged through her purse with focused urgency, and my inquisitive, Did you want something?Â stare caused her to stare back blankly at me. Okay, it wasnâ€™t her. Just then I felt the whoosh of air as someone walked by in the aisle. I glanced up to see Dr. Tieraona Low Dog snickering. â€œYou fell for it! It works every time.â€
Now you would think a woman as accomplished as Tieraona might be uppity. The womanâ€™s resume is about an inch thick, and Iâ€™m talking international fame. If you donâ€™t believe me take a look at her ‘about‘ page.
In addition to her work as a medical doctor, teacher, herbalist, television appearances, speaking engagements, and her writing, she runs Medicine Lodge Ranch in New Mexico with her husband, Jim. She has two adult children who are out in the world and good, good, people. She has dogs, horses, a grumpy cat (at least she did two years ago), and chickens she lovingly refers to as â€œthe girls.â€ Uppity? Nope.
I donâ€™t even remember the first time I went to one of Tieraonaâ€™s seminars. It was years ago, probably in Chicago, through a dental convention. She was so engaging, informed, and impressive that I began signing up every time I knew I could catch her speaking. Years passed.
About three years ago I heard she would be giving a hands-on herbal class in North Carolina. I desperately wanted to go. However, the timing was such that it didnâ€™t work out. The following spring I read she was offering an herbal class at her ranch. No more waiting! I talked my husband into joining me for the adventure, and an adventure it was. We soaked up Tieraona and Jimâ€™s hospitality and wisdom. We were able to have fabulous chats with their daughter, Kiara. Later, Tieraona graciously allowed me to interview her for the book Iâ€™m working on about women and creativity. So when we knew Tieraona was once again giving an all-day lecture at the Minnesota Star of the North Dental Convention, my husband and I signed up immediately.
Time with Dr. Low Dog
I wondered if she would remember us. Two years had passed since the last time weâ€™d talked, and the woman has a lot on her plate! In fact, sheâ€™s just released a new book on vitamins and supplements through National Geographic called Fortify Your Life.
To my delight as soon as we made eye contact she said, â€œ I know you two!â€ She instantly walked over and gave the best hugs. Genuine. Warm. Jim came over and shook our hands. I was blown away by their kindness and memory. Tieraona and I joked about our shared favorite song, and she complimented me on my photography and silk scarves. Wow.
The day flew by in a flash. Tieraonaâ€™s talk kept the room riveted. She shared the latest research on supplements and vitamins. She wove in stories about her personal and professional life. She had us laughing and got us a little teary too.
At the end of the day, my husband and I wandered over to say goodbye. When she embraced my husband she closed her eyes and whispered, â€œYou dear, dear, man.â€ What I saw, and what I heard, was the voice and action of a woman who lives in the moment and emotes her beliefs. She then hugged me and kissed me and wished me well. Grandma Jo, you raised a heck of a fine human being. Time with Dr. Low Dog? The best part of my day.