I've been on an intense healing journey since my early 30's. I was in constant pain and often felt like I had the flu. I was getting in trouble at work because I was inexplicably sick, confused, and overwhelmed much of the time.
In 2000, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It was a shock and also a relief. I had an answer. I had resources. I wasn't crazy and I kept my job.
When my medical treatments became too intense, a friend recommended that I try Reiki. It quite literally changed my life. For the first time I understood how life stress and trauma played itself out in my body.
I became obsessed with the mechanism between my body and my psyche. Today, we know that childhood trauma, as well as other traumas, have a direct affect on our physical health.
I studied Chinese medicine firstly because it brought ease to my many symptoms. It worked beautifully with the Western medicine protocols I followed. I loved how this ancient and beautiful medicine always brought me back to a more whole sense of myself.
Half way through the clinical acupuncture program, I read Gabor Matés, When the Body says No, 2003. It validated all that I had experienced. I switched from Chinese medicine to Jungian somatic psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. I also completed training in Somatic Experiencing™, which brought great relief to my symptoms of C-PTSD.
In my dissertation study, I danced Gaga in the Negev, took yoga for multiple sclerosis with Eric Smalls in Beverly Hills, danced 5Rhythms with many amazing teachers up and down the west coast. I've studied Authentic Movement with Patrizia Pallaro and Tina Stromsted. I took all of this and led a preliminary study, then a final study, with women who had multiple sclerosis like me. I wanted to find out how movement and meditation helped them.
My study participants showed me that being with the body in ways that feel safe and gentle can bring relief and healing. When done in community, healing is witnessed and validated, bringing us deeper and longer lasting results.
I continue writing, speaking, and advocating for those with chronic illness and trauma.
It means the world to me to help you name your pain, build resiliency, and discover your own powerful medicine.
Photo from "The Emotional Body" by Teagan Rose, 2021
Here is a link to my most recent article in the International Body Psychotherapy Journal.
Here is an article from the NYT about Somatic Experiencing™