Reflecting on a decade, and taking a new direction to heal

Uncategorized Dec 31, 2019

Happy (almost) New Year (Decade)! As we approach the end of 2019, and I have just finished my last clinical day for the time being, I am reflecting on this last decade. I’ve just seen a post about the benefits of reflective thinking followed by another friend sharing his top highlights of this last 10 years...and now I’m feeling inspired to do the same :)

Cultivating this healing space has been a major outpouring of love, and an honor to create. A friend recently pointed out that its present dissolution is a poignant metaphor as a true chrysalis dissolves to make way for the next stage in evolution.

2010: After 10 years of chronic pain and mysterious progressive neurological symptoms, found out my brain was herniated into my neck (likely a result of many head traumas). Declined surgery, and began the process of innovating a noninvasive solution for greater healing than I was ever told to expect. Also graduated as a Doctor of Chiropractic!

2011: ...

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The danger of unresolved trauma

Uncategorized Dec 12, 2019

Resilience is defined not by resistance, but rather by the ability to flow through all of life’s inevitable stressors - everything from mis-calculating the height of a sidewalk curb to staying up all night with your crying baby to getting rear-ended by a texting teenager to losing your job.

When we can’t figure out how to flow, how to roll with the crazy rollercoaster of life, we freeze. We splint. It’s a built-in resource, an intelligent instinctual reaction we unconsciously use. It’s meant to buy us time to figure out how to respond. When we freeze in place, we can deal with the ‘known’ rather than the ‘unknown’ of flowing in response to whatever is thrown our way.

This bracing happens on both a physical and energetic level (largely through fascia, but that is a conversation for another day). It can be in response to an emotional or energetic overwhelm, or in response to a physical overwhelm, or both.

But what happens when...

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How pushing myself to "be okay" in social situations perpetuates past trauma, and how to heal

Uncategorized Dec 03, 2019

Trigger Warning: sexual abuse

Lately a lot of people have been asking me, 'How are you feeling?' and I often give a cursory answer because, really, it's too much to dive into most of the time. But the other day when at dinner with one of my best friends, I fell to pieces. As I recounted a stressful recent visit with family, I found myself in the middle of a powerful AHA moment.

Flying is a major struggle, even with all this sensory protective gear. But I love to travel!

This moment parallels with conversations I've had multiples times today with clients as well...the theme revolves around feeling that we push so hard to do all the things and pick up all the pieces and just BE OKAY in social and business situations that we end up feeling that others don't understand the amount of duress we're experiencing (and treat us as if we are simply being picky or like a 'princess' when we actually do fall apart, set boundaries, or ask for consideration).

For me, this looks like...

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My cancer solution: part II

Uncategorized Nov 29, 2019

This is a continuation of a previous post. Click here to read Part I, which was about reducing stressors. Today we dive into my favorite topic: increasing adaptability to stress (because nobody can live in a magical stress-free bubble, amiright?)

Resilience is not about a resistance to stress, but rather the ability to roll with it - to have a response and then return to center unharmed. It's all about shifting from REACTIVE mode to RESPONSIVE mode. This is where we find true adaptability to life's unavoidable stressors. In the previous analogy of treading water with a backpack full of rocks (stressors), adaptability and resilience are about how strong your legs can swim to keep you afloat.

When we have more rocks in that backpack than our legs can keep afloat, the body succumbs to illness (like cancer).


So how can we increase adaptability to stress? I can think of 3 primary ways:

  • Downshift fight-or-flight aka survival mode in the brain

  • Make sure brain-body...

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My cancer solution: part I

Uncategorized Nov 18, 2019

Last week I shared the three main causes of stress overload (which is how I'm thinking about cancer development: as a local and systemic overload of stress):

  1. too many stressors and/or insufficient adaptability leading to central processing dysfunction

  2. brain-body communication problem

  3. resource insufficiency


Today I will dive into the first thing: too many stressors.

The total accumulation of stressors in our lives is referred to as allostatic load. You can think of it like a backpack full of rocks when you're trying to tread water. All the different kinds of stress are like rocks in that backpack, making it increasingly difficult to stay afloat. Usually when we think about stress, we go straight to 'emotional stress' but there are actually many more dimensions to consider in total allostatic load...


If part of the problem is too many stressors, of course my first question is...what are all the potential sources of stress where I could look? Here's the...

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Getting to the root cause of cancer

Uncategorized Nov 12, 2019

Growing up, my parents taught me that the body can heal itself. They pointed out that we went from a fertilized egg to trillions of cells that all know how to do their jobs without anyone telling them what to do - least of all, a doctor. So when faced with the discovery of not one, but two, quickly growing and painful tumors, I sat down with my dad (one of the smartest and most gifted healers I know) to make a plan.

We thought about all the things that could possibly allow cancer to grow in my body. This has to start with considering, what is cancer?

When cells reproduce in our bodies (constantly), sometimes there are mutated copies. Normally, the immune system identifies and eliminates those mutated cells. When we have lots of mutated cells that grow out of control, it's called cancer (this is obviously a very simplified version, but at the heart of cancer this is the process).

So what contributes to this overgrowth of unchecked mutation (or as I've taken to saying: ...

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Why I'm not interested in surviving

Uncategorized Nov 09, 2019

Since sharing that I have two tumors growing in my body, I have been bombarded with questions about how I plan to 'kill the cancer', 'fight cancer', and/or eliminate the tumors. I have been met with bewilderment when I share that I have no intention of letting someone cut me open to try and surgically remove these confused cells.

When faced with a health crisis, most doctors focus on how to help the patient survive. With cancer, traditional Western medicine (and even many holistic approaches) attempts to 'kill the cancer' or 'eliminate the tumor'. It's an emergency mode reaction that pays no attention to the processes that allowed this tumor (or tumors) to grow in the first place.

And honestly, I'm not here for that. I have no interest in chasing tumors and cancer cells - either with poisonous chemo or a surgeon's knife.

I also have no interest in simply "surviving". What kind of life is that?

Because this is about so much more than these confused cells growing and gnawing...

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My Personal Plan to Heal Cancer

Uncategorized Nov 04, 2019

Cancer. It’s like a curse word, I resist saying it. I have a tumor, I say. Two, now, actually. I had a teacher in chiropractic college who used to say, “Name your children and your pets - the ones you love and want to keep around, not your illnesses.” So I am careful not to say “I have cancer.” I don’t want it to become my identity.

But then I think of all the head injuries I’ve had (a ridiculous number). And the chronic infections, like Lyme, in my brain.

Sometimes I say that I won the brain lottery, having had not only brain infection but brain herniation outside the base of my skull - and countless concussions since then. And navigating the healing process through these indescribably difficult challenges HAS become my identity. My identity as a healer, as a sherpa of sorts for others navigating health crises.

But this. This feels like a failure. I have often cited the statistic that “1 in every 3 women in this country gets...

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How profanity helps me make decisions

Uncategorized Feb 09, 2018

We make hundreds or thousands of decisions every day. How can you make sure you’re making the right choice? There’s a rule I’ve been trying to live by, and maybe you’d like to try it on for size…

Years ago, I was clothing shopping with my best friend (and if you know me, you know this was a huge chore! I find shopping exhausting and overwhelming most of the time). But she taught me something that has stuck with me not only for fashion decisions, but for all decisions in general. 

She said, "when you wear an outfit, you either think HELL YES or the answer is 'no'."

HELL YES or nope.

And she was totally right! To this day, I'll only purchase an item if I really think ABSOF**INGLUTELY YES....otherwise, the answer is no.

And it's spilled over into the rest of my life, from what to eat for dinner to whether to stay in a relationship to deciding where to live. Because I want more of that expansive, amazing, THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER feeling...

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News got you stressed?

Uncategorized Jan 27, 2018

Watching the news can be brutal...try these simple tips to reclaim your resilience baseline!

Watching and reading the news can be a huge source of's full of tragedy and crime and upset...honestly, it would be strange if you DIDN'T feel depressed when watching or reading the news these days! 

Whenever I would visit my grandmother, she'd often have the news just running in the background in the kitchen (a central gathering place in her home). I know many people who are set up to get constant news alerts on their phones. But how much news is too much news? 

It's crucial that we stay informed and educated, yes absolutely. But by filling your consciousness with all the bad and depressing news out there, we can lose sight of all the good in the world too. And every time you're bombarded with news of how dangerous and horrible the world is, that triggers your brain into fight-or-flight reaction...and over time, this dramatically compromises the resilience...

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