by Amy Rothenberg ND, DHANP
When my husband Paul Herscu ND, and I drove from Nebraska, where we practiced our first few years after NCNM into Massachusetts, it was the western part of the state we wanted to make home. In the Pioneer Valley, nestled between the diminutive but beautiful Holyoke Mountains and Mt Tom, with wide-open skies above acres and acres of rolling meadows and the meandering Connecticut River, I knew we’d found a perfect place to raise our family. When we pulled into the gentrified college town of Northampton and the attendant at the gas station jokingly asked if we wanted gas— whole wheat or regular—I believed we had arrived. This was 1988 and back in Omaha it was indeed difficult to find whole-grain anything, or tofu, for that matter, or anyone to attend a home birth. We’d had our first child by then and wanted to be back near our family in the northeast. The area we settled in and have lived the past 25 years is welcoming and rural and offers many attributes of a city. In many ways this place defines the word “progressive.” We jumped into practice, and teaching and writing, and were blessed with 2 more children. We also jumped into the legislative effort to license naturopathic physicians in the state.
Never in a million years did I think it would take so long to get a law passed in the small but powerful state of Massachusetts. This whole state is defined by its progressiveness and liberalism, with regard to politics, economics, and caring for those in need.