Come along on an intimate journey with Halina Kowalski – Thompson of the Pacific Northwest in America, as she shares and weaves personal story vignettes from her history that form a tapestry of a life that has been intimately and lovingly led and guided by connection to nature and divine spirit. Through story, song, and poem, Halina invites us all to consider those pivotal and meaningful interactions that we all have experienced in our lives that serve to remind us of our primal, birthrighted belonging to nature – a vital medicine that Earth’s community must remember in order to bring forth a future of symbiosis and congruence with Mother Earth and all her life forms.
Halina Kowalski-Thompson is a licensed professional mental health therapist and Saunapreneur. She has served for 15 years as a clinical-researcher in the Portland Veterans Administration Hospital studying and applying novel treatments for PTSD and cognitive disorders including animal-assisted therapies. She is also a trauma-focused equine-assisted psychotherapy expert and serves as the Military Services Director for the International nonprofit, the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (Eagala), where she writes, procures and manages large scale Federal grants that provide equine therapy services free to charge to Veterans/warriors across the United States. Halina is a lifelong student of the healing arts with a passion for studying the ways in which our ancestors have healed throughout time.
This passion is what ultimately led her on a quest to discover and resurrect her Baltic heritage and her deep love and appreciation for the thousands of years old tradition and wellness practice of authentic pirts/sauna. In 2019, Halina created a Pacific Northwest-based sauna business called “Gather Sauna House” that pays homage to this heritage and tradition and seeks to share it with her community and beyond. To that end, in 2020-21 with the Forest Pirts team, Halina co-wrote and helped translate the first ever English Pirts ritual beginner’s manual, which was a project devoted to introducing this cultural treasure to a wider audience.
Halina is a firm believer that traditional sauna is essential for addressing the main issues of our time – from detoxing environmental toxins, boosting immunity and balancing the traumatized nervous system to reconnecting humans in an intimate way with their primal birthrighted belonging to nature – sauna is the medicine we need in this age and Halina is honored to help steward forward this very rich wellness tradition outside of its birthplaces to be shared with her community.