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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

The Slow Approach to Health and Happiness: Q&A with Robin Queen Finkelstein

Robin Queen Finkelstein

Guiding others on their unique journeys into wholeness, Robin Queen Finkelstein is a certified psycho-spiritual counselor, ordained minister and green living specialist who facilitates individual, couples’, family and group therapy sessions and workshops. Known as the Slow Medicine Therapist, Robin takes a whole-being, integrative approach to wellness. With her partner, Michael Finkelstein, M.D., Robin is co-director of the Slow Medicine Foundation and SunRaven: The Home of Slow Medicine, a converted barn living/work space on a farm in Bedford, New York.

You believe our wounds can, paradoxically, serve as fertile soil for awakening, transforming and blossoming. Can you elaborate on this?

Rumi says the wound is where the light enters us. A willingness to be with and explore our wounds opens us to the possibility of finding grace, strength and deep connection with ourselves. When we turn inward and examine the hurts, when we are able to listen closely to our deeper selves, healing is possible.

What’s the story behind the term Slow Medicine?

Slow Medicine is a way of living. It is choosing to take a holistic and integrative look at our lives in order to make conscious decisions that lead us back into a state of balance. Against the backdrop of our assembly-line model of medical care, where we receive cookie-cutter prescriptions for complex health matters, Slow Medicine provides a personalized look at the relevant questions for optimizing well-being and healing chronic illness. Slow Medicine recognizes that our bodies are the authority, and the “doctors” serve as guides—helping us to navigate the maze of conventional, complementary and alternative medicine options for our unique health needs.

Why is the term slow used in Slow Medicine Therapy?

Slow Medicine is not a “quick-fix solution” to health. Rather, it is a thoughtful approach to health challenges, food, relationships, and mental and spiritual well-being. We may schedule surgeries; we may cultivate deeper relationships; we may engage in artistic self-expression. Slow Medicine believes that balance is the greatest indicator of health, and there is a spectrum of lifestyle considerations we must have when striving to bring our being into a state of harmony. Move slowly into your healing.

How does your role as an ordained minister affect how you work with your clients?

I cultivated faith and connection while training to be an ordained minister. Both are pivotal in healing.

How does your plant-based diet play into your ability to heal yourself and help others find healing?

We receive nourishment from everything around us: the people, the air, the environment and our food. Having a diet that is closely connected to the earth, that honors the earth as our great mother and a deeply nourishing entity, fills us with light. It also allows us to connect more deeply to our true selves, and to one another as a result.

How does physical activity complement the mental and spiritual healing process?

The body, mind, spirit and emotions exist along a continuum. If we are looking to experience emotional healing, it’s important for us to be attentive to the whole self, including the body. Often people who are looking to heal from traumatic events in their life will only pay attention to one area or another. It is so important that we are able to look at the whole self in feeling where our growth and healing wish to take us.

You often use the term debt in describing a lack of something (whether that be faith, self-esteem, love or support). What is the first step each of us can take in realizing our debts and manifesting a life of abundance?

Looking inward is the path to self-discovery—finding places in our pasts and presents where we are disconnected from ourselves, where we have wounds or trauma, and gently examining our stories and limiting beliefs that keep us from experiencing a blessed life. The opportunity to grow starts with a willingness to look inward.

Robin Queen Finkelstein is a presenter on this year’s Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise, sailing from Feb. 15 to 25, 2018. To learn more about the cruise, call 800.496.0989, email [email protected] or visit For more information about Slow Medicine, visit or, or call 914.218.3113.