I had given up. I got to the edge. The redemption that I've experienced from that hopelessness fuels my passion for this medicine, and it's why I want to help you.
When my mom called to tell me she had breast cancer, I was on my way to the bathroom to throw up…again. For 8 years up until that moment, my secret bulimia had erased any strong emotions that came up. My shame about it drove my secret deeper and deeper until I was deadened and numbed on the inside. On the outside, I projected an image of someone fun-loving, together, and intelligent, someone I thought was more worthy of love than my real self. In reality, my authentic self decayed along with my bones, my teeth, and my digestive tract. I thought I was beyond help. I figured it would kill me before I could give it up.
We all have habits we know aren’t good for us. How do you numb? Negative self-talk, overworking, overeating, obsessive compulsions, overstressing, toxic relationship patterns, sugar, drinking, smoking, drugs? These subtle, often socially-acceptable, self-destructive patterns and tendencies give us a false sense of control over the hidden fears, stresses, and threats of daily life that haunt us. But you can’t selectively escape emotions. Emotional whack-a-mole breeds addictions, compulsions, and band-aid fixes that deaden the full potential of your gift of life.
The shock of learning that my mom might die stopped me in my addicted, habitual tracks where years of therapy, medication, and conventional nutritional therapy had failed. As I struggled to find reassuring words for my mom, a long-dampened, unfamiliar feeling of terror rose from deep inside me, but so did a swelling, overwhelmingly strong ache of love and compassion in my heart. My first source of nourishment as a human being on this planet, my mother’s breast, had transformed into something that might kill her. Her breast cancer became a mirror for my own self-destructive relationship with nourishment. It shocked me into my center, igniting the long-deadened circuit of connection between my mind, body and spirit. As she recovered from breast cancer, my own healing journey truly began.
I had stopped vomiting, but I discovered a complex mess of digestive problems, chronic pain, and hormonal imbalances that my eating disorder had left behind. My regular doctors had answers that only created bigger problems: synthetic hormones for my absent periods, antibiotics for my acne and digestive issues, and spinal fusion for a back injury. I had to discover a very different, more complete kind of medicine to heal from the inside-out. First, I worked on my relationship with food. I plunged into learning about nourishing traditional diets. I developed a healthy obsession with cooking and preparing delicious, nutrient-dense real foods, and I cultivated a reverent relationship with the feeling of fullness and satiety in my body. The farmers market became my church, and I turned into a real "kitchen mystic," fermenting and sprouting and extracting the most potent nutritional value from local, seasonal foods. I completed a Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine, applying my experiential knowledge of deep mind-body healing to my practical knowledge of how to use the medicine to help others. I also began studying the functional medicine approach, a revolutionary Western medical paradigm that treats the root causes of illness and incorporates the most cutting-edge, evidence-based scientific research on genomics, nutrition, and lifestyle practices.
Today, I am vibrantly well. Back then, I longed to feel this wholeness and self-possession in my body, heart and mind, but I truly thought it was impossible. I had given up. I got to the edge. The redemption that I've experienced from that hopelessness fuels my passion for this medicine, and it's why I want to help you.
The journey to your healing center begins with a single point. For me, it was an emotional shock that reconnected me to my own centered, nurturing earth-mother force within. But a change of heart doesn't need to be a shock. It can be a simple decision to commit to your own best life, and to ask for the right help to get there. Your single point might just be an acupuncture needle.
Your body wants to heal. The riddle is finding how to balance at your center.