Ever since I was very young, I’ve had a fascination with the mind’s ability to heal or harm the body. Growing up in a highly athletic and competitive family, excelling at sports came naturally. It always seemed, however, that my older brother was always better than me and got all the attention. Even at the age of 8, I felt like I wasn’t good enough. The only time when I felt like I got attention without trying or had an excuse for my brother to stop picking on me was when I was sick.
In the beginning of 3rd grade, I decided to pretend to have pain precisely so that I could feel the affection I craved and felt I was missing. I created a role whereby I’d pretend to limp home from the bus stop or I’d complain of pain in my feet at my after-school sports classes. My mom took me to numerous doctors, all of whom told her I was in perfect health. I persisted. I wanted to have something visible that would show my parents that I really did have pain. Two and a half months later, during a class trip to a chocolate factory, my feet really did hurt and I couldn’t finish the tour. More pain and decreased range of motion followed until I was admitted to the hospital for tests and finally given the diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA).
Before studying psychology or learning the mind body healing techniques I now use in my practice, I developed my own way of resolving the pain. I became aware that I had a tendency to repress my emotions. As a result, instead of feeling anger, frustration, sadness or similar emotions, my body would feel the pain. I learned to journal about the events of the day and consider the people or situations that really bothered me. By doing so, I was able to consider and really feel the issues I didn’t immediately express and as a result, the pain would vanish.
Due to my personal experience with chronic pain, I first studied journalism and wrote health-related articles for a number of publications before pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology so that I could specialize and more fully understand how the mind creates health and illness and how relationships heal or harm the body. I also learned (and continue to study) advanced healing modalities to help people quickly and effectively restore their bodies and achieve the goals they truly desire.