In December of 1998, in intensive meditation, I had a startling healing experience in which energy started coursing through my body. I began to recover from the severe chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, food sensitivities, electromagnetic sensitivities, and fibromyalgia that had started to develop 12 years before at age 25, and which had eventually kept me homebound and then bedbound.
A healer helped me see my experience as an initiation into healing work, and he told me I would need to learn many methods to heal myself and help others. I began by writing about health and spirituality topics for newspapers and magazines while I apprenticed with flower essence practitioners. Flower essences are subtle vibrational remedies that address emotional, spiritual, and mind-body issues, and I believed that giving myself flower essences had been key in my initial breakthrough. When I met the right energy work practitioner and had a great leap forward, I apprenticed with her and began helping others with this modality as well.
My first healing mentor told me that a person doesn't wait until they are completely well to help others, but instead helps the people they are able to help. I have worked continuously with clients on a part-time basis since 2000 while I continued to peel off many layers in my own healing process. I vacillated between 60 to 80 percent well for years until I started the Gupta Programme. At age 53 I could once again consistently work a full day, exercise daily, and have a social life all at the same time! Once I saw that the results were holding I inquired about coaching for the programme.
The Gupta Programme was developed by Ashok Gupta in London as he healed from chronic fatigue. The idea is that after the initial viral infection, the body got stuck in a feedback loop, reacting to lingering symptoms as if that meant there was still an infection, revving up an adrenaline fight or flight response, which caused more symptoms. The brain is retrained to not be reactive to what is simply an adrenaline cycle. It has also been used successfully to retrain the brain to not overreact to chemicals, or to lingering pain signals in fibromyalgia, or to anxiety responses that are not appropriate to the current situation.
Before becoming ill, I earned a BS in Biology. I developed chronic fatigue while in graduate school and earned an MA in Educational Psychology. I completed two years of a PhD program in Social Psychology focused on the social psychology of motivation, as a National Science Foundation Fellow at Brandeis University. So I appreciate research as well as stories. People who have been trained in the Gupta Programme showed “statistically significant improvements in scores for physical health, energy, pain, symptom distress, and fatigue in patients who received the amygdala retraining compared with standard care.” (Toussaint, Whipple, Abboud, Vincent, and Wahner-Roedler, 2012 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22385563)
I continue to find flower essences and energy work extremely helpful in addressing blocks to healing. People may choose to work with me for coaching in the Gupta Programme, for general health coaching, for energy work and flower essences, or any combination of modalities they are drawn to.
I am a member of the Associated Body Work Professionals, and earned a certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
I also worked as a manager at a food co-op while in graduate school. I enjoy working in teams, and have taken part-time management work in various aspects of integrative health. I have also volunteered at two nonprofit clinics and served on the board of Clinica Amistad. These experiences inform my work with clients, who include a wide range of health care practitioners and business owners as well as people seeking healing for diverse conditions.
I enjoy leading workshops focused on aspects of healing and have taught personal development workshops at a wide range of organizations including the Arizona Cancer Center, Casa de la Luz Hospice, Handmaker Jewish Services for The Aging, Tucson Medical Center Senior Services, and professional development workshops through the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and Casa de los Niños.
Most of my workshops include writing exercises. In my own writing, I primarily explore health and spirituality and cross-cultural topics. My journalism writing has appeared in Spirituality & Health, the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson Lifestyle, the Arizona Jewish Post, and the Tucson Weekly, and my poetry and personal narrative has appeared in a wide variety of publications including Poets & Writers Magazine, Friends Journal, and Sin Fronteras.
Articles by others about my work
City Week: “Art Works,” Tucson Weekly, Oct. 12, 2006, p. 27: My Healing Through Art workshops were featured as a pick of the week.
“Power from the desert,” Natural Awakenings, Tucson edition, Sept. 2006, p. 6. Features my flower essences, with an emphasis on using them to facilitate creative expression. “Crafting mezuzot brings meaning and joy to local artists,” Arizona Jewish Post, Sept. 5, 2003. featuring me and another local mezuzah maker.
Many orders are shipped in reused boxes with reused packaging. When we need new packaging materials, we get those that are as environmentally friendly as possible, such as the mailers by Caremail that are made with recycled materials. Rather than buying bubblewrap, we use Caremail's Greenwrap. We also use their zero-VOC packing tape.
We use recycled paper for printing, and you may notice our pastel-colored post-it notes made of recycled paper. We use paper towels and toilet paper that contain recycled paper.
Dishes and glassware are washed in an environmentally-friendly detergent. Cleaning is done with environmentally-friendly products. We use zero-VOC paints for maintenance, and environmentally-friendly art supplies at workshops.
We remove weeds manually or with an electric weed whacker. We ask bugs and rodents to stay outside, and when we need to remove them, we do so with a humane trap or manually.
Our landscaping consists of low-water use native plants watered with grey water as needed, and also plants grown for food use that are watered with water harvested from the roof.
The roll-up for our Sacred Space Kit™ is made with an organic cotton/hemp exterior, and an interior of reused fabric.
Operating in central Tucson allows us to take packages to ship via bicycle. When we need to use the car to purchase supplies or to take materials to events, we combine errands as much as possible.
We offer a clean air discount to people who ride their bike, walk, take the bus, or carpool to sessions and workshops. Our location is readily accessible by public transportation.
We use environmentally friendly detergent for washing the sheets and pillowcases for sessions. We use an energy-efficient front-loading washer. Weather permitting, sheets and pillowcases are air-dried, and the electric dryer is energy efficient.
Our environmental practices (see above) increase our accessibility to people with environmental sensitivities.
When meeting in other locations, we work with building services to increase access for people with disabilities. When leading events or creating art installations, we work with the space to increase access for people with mobility disabilities. Our educational materials speak from an orientation of providing options for people of varying abilities and disabilities.
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