Then in November 2004, my life was about to change dramatically! For 10 years, I had been working in the field of wellness. I felt so blessed to work in a career I actually loved, successfully providing services to individuals, communities and healthcare professionals promoting, improving, and maintaining healthy lifestyles. I understood and fostered the whole person approach to wellness, or at least I thought!
While I was deeply caring for others, I did not honor my own self-care needs. I neglected the profound negative effects of ongoing unmanaged stress, poor nutritional habits, and lack of physical activity, and I continued to assume more responsibilities that depleted my energy. My life became out of balance, consequently my health began to deteriorate slowly.
Then, one beautiful Autumn morning I began the day as any other. However, this day would be different because my life drastically changed.
It was the day before my 32nd birthday; I was diagnosed with Guillian Barre Syndrome, a condition wherein the body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system. The disorder included varying degrees of weakness and pain which increased in intensity until it was difficult for me to walk. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, merely noted as “a virus”. However, the “cause” I later learned, was the disruption of energy flow caused by negative energy blocks associated with chronic stress and an unbalanced lifestyle. In this way, the chronic unbalanced state I was living eventually manifested into my physical illness or “dis-ease”.
I remember sitting across from the doctor as he explained the prognosis. As a nurse, I anticipated his explanation and treatment options provided. What I didn't anticipate was my desire to embrace holistic therapies to complement the medical treatments. Although I was familiar with holism and knew about the positive affects of its therapies, I had never utilized them personally. That changed on this day. Without hesitation, my first response was to integrate a holistic healing process. To my delight,my medical team was supportive of my decision.
Once perceived as the worst time in my life, I now embrace my diagnosis of GBS as a gift. Because it was so profound in its life lessons, this became a transforming experience! I was blessed to have an aunt who was a Reiki Master and Healing Touch Practitioner, so I had access to powerful holistic healing techniques. She also encouraged me to become a student of holism to harness my own intrinsic healing abilities. Pain and recovery impelled me towards becoming a Reiki Practitioner. Now I had the tools to restore myself! I began to give myself daily Reiki treatments. Although the healing did not occur in a single therapy session, the process was definitely tangible. After each session I felt different. My pain threshold decreased, my ability to walk increased and so did my energy level. I felt a sense of calmness and hope. But more importantly, I gained a sense of control over my body and health!
But another challenge arose. Urinary output was less than desirable. I was familiar with Reflexology, feet reflex body systems, and the potential benefits by working with "energy pathways". After discussing this with my healthcare team, I "put my nursing assessment hat on" and allowed two weeks to "experiment" in order to see improvement. Reflexlogy sessions emphasized what is known as the "kidney reflex" and "the urinary system". I had reflexology for an hour each day, and as you may anticipate what I'm about to profess...YES my urinary function was back to normal! Some may say that it's a coincidence, I say it was my turning point! For me, my therapies complemented my treatment plan and helped facilitate a quicker healing process!Type your paragraph here.
I had a wonderful medical team and knew the treatment plan was appropriate for the diagnosis. However, GBS had an unknown etiology as well as an undetermined recovery period. This "unknown" was frustrating and my pain threshold intense, I needed to seek additional resources to facilitate my healing process.
For all of its challenges, GBS was a life-transforming experience because it convinced me that the body has an energetic system and pathways that are real! Though terrifying and profoundly painful, GBS became my teacher because it put me on a journey. That journey allowed me to experience first hand how holistic therapies like Reiki, Healing Touch, and Reflexology uses the body's energetic process helping me to harness my own body's intrinsic healing ability! Just as importantly, I was ready to go beyond conventional western medicine and be open-minded to a new way of healing...An integrative way!
I now viewed GBS as a gift, because it put me on a journey that allowed me to explore enhanced wellness methodologies to overcome it! It offered me the opportunity to learn first hand how holistic therapies complemented my conventional medical treatment plan. Although they claimed to be "optimistic skeptics" even my conventional healthcare team were impressed with how my integrative approach cut down my recovery time!
To enhance my knowledge base beyond my personal experience, I pursued a Masters in Nursing specializing in Integrative Healthcare. During this time I learned about the nursing pioneers and frameworks used to bridge the gap between our modern medical advances and our ancient healing modalities. I explored the scientific studies of quantum physics and our body's natural potential to heal. By 2008 I had graduated with my Masters in Nursing and knew I had to follow my passion. I was meant to serve others without the barriers brought on by healthcare administrators. I got off the career ladder I've been climbing for years, leaving a very well paying nursing position, to begin my next journey into private practice.
To further expand my skills and expertise, I studied specific holistic therapies. I am trained in healing touch and reiki therapies, I am certified as a Reiki Master/Teacher. As a certified Reflexologist, I completed 200 hours of extensive training through the New York Open Center, Vital Energy Source, LLC and Omega Holistic Institute. It was during my time at the Omega Holistic Institute in 2008 that I envisioned opening my practice Intrinsic Health Source.
In 2009 I began introducing Intrinsic Health Source to the community. It would be one year later on April 10, 2010 that I would officially open the doors to my office located in Monroe, CT. I continued to expand my skills. In 2011 I began 160+ hours of Manual Lymphatic Drainage training through the Dr. Vodder School International, became certified May 2012 as a Certified Lymphatic Therapist.
Three years as a health educator had passed and still my passion for wellness continued to intensify. Working full time as a health educator, I embarked on a three year commitment in the hospital's nursing program. The training was intense and having to maintain full time work was stressful. Yet I loved it. As as registered nurse, wellness and prevention remained my passion. Now armed with clinical training, my skills and experience led me towards Women's Health - specifically breast health management.
I soon became Manager of the hospital's Wellness Department. I was involved in developing and facilitating a variety of programs such as nutrition, diabetes, oncology, cardiac, and prevention services. But it was my solid wellness background and nursing experience that fostered the development of a multifaceted breast health program, which included mobile mammography, community education and coordination of care for those managing through breast cancer diagnosis. I became part of an oncology integrative healthcare team. Initially, integrative meant surgeons, radiologists, health educators, nurses and nutritionists working collaboratively. However, in time, the hospital integrated holistic therapies as complementary services to augment care plans. Holistic services were offered to support the often overlooked family members. My interests were ignited!
I became the liaison for holistic therapists and collaborated with hospital and outpatient healthcare teams to integrate wellness and holistic therapies into patient services. I was privileged to have the opportunity to hear patient's positive responses to these therapies. I was not only reading about holistic therapies, I had actual anecdotal information. As a nurse who enjoys research, I was inspired! Relaxed and energized feelings were feedback descriptions by the patients. This intrigued me! Therapies appeared to support and facilitate the body's ability to heal. However, I had yet to fully understand how much. Although subjective information was compelling, I had yet to embrace holistic therapies as a “necessity” in facilitating the healing process and achieving wellness.
My journey began in 1993 as an assistant dietitian. While in college I worked in the food and nutrition department of a local hospital, aiding registered dietitians in planning and supervising nutrition programs. Ensuring patients dietary needs, monitoring eating habits, and recommending changes in behavior were general responsibilities. My passion was overall wellness and health promotion. I made a shift to broaden my skills beyond inpatient needs.
I received my bachelors in Public Health specializing in health promotion and nutrition in 1994. As a certified health educator my responsibilities were geared toward improving the quality of health assessing, coordinating, educating and evaluating programs to help individuals and communities adopt healthier behaviors. I enjoyed teaching prevention strategies but knew it was my destiny to offer more.
In May 2014 I was inspired by the many positive outcomes and feedback of my clients that I wanted to do more for them. Pondering on what I should do for them and the practice, I would often meditate, waiting for that answer. I believe in "synchronistic moments" and while away at my re-certification training as a Vodder Lymphatic Therapist, I spoke with someone who was a nurse as well as massage therapist. This unique opportunity to blend both professions was just the answer I was looking for to further serve my clients. The synchronicity continued when I received a promotional email from the Connecticut School of Massage Therapy informing me of an open house. By July 2014 I began my classes and 16 months later on November 5, 2015, I passed my boards to become a licensed massage therapist for the state of Connecticut! In August 2017 I had the opportunity to train with John F. Barnes, PT, in his Myofascial Release Approach. His approach is considered to be the ultimate mind/body therapy that is safe, gentle and consistently effective in producing results that last.
In my healing practice, I combine the best resources of conventional medicine and holistic healing approaches to wellness. My focus is to help clients find relief from acute or chronic health issues that are causing pain or dysfunction. Physical, emotional, spiritual and environmental influences affect a person's health. I offer clients a nurturing and relaxing environment to address and facilitate a whole body healing experience.
I believe the most effective approach to healing is through the combination of multiple disciplines. To be sure I am providing the highest level of care, I maintain best practices by regularly studying with top level instructors and keeping abreast of the latest information in nursing, massage and integrative medicine.
If you are looking to reduce pain, recover from surgery, rehabilitate from injury, regain movement or flexibility; if you want to feel less stressed, more energetic, relaxed, calm and empowered, then allow me to serve you by sharing the lessons of my professional and personal experience.
I am honored and excited to work with you and support you along your journey!
In the Fall of 2017 a client of mine was discussing all the Medical Spas opening up in the area. Our conversation spanned topics from facials to botox, products, peels and facelifts. I made it a point to discuss skin care beyond beauty and explained that the skin was our body's largest organ and how vital it's function was to our our overall health. By the end of her session, my client was encouraging me to "learn to do facials". That evening I found myself researching schools to become an esthetician. I was now on a crusade to bring skin care services to Intrinsic Health Source. Providing facials became exciting to me. My new passion! My vision quickly expanded beyond offering facials for relaxation purposes. I wanted to become a skin care specialist and address their all skin health concerns. As a massage therapist and nurse I have provided post surgical care, with a primary focus on releasing adhesions from scar tissue. This is important to prevent range of motion issues and managing pain. As a skin care therapist I would be able to address restoring the skin of the scar. I saw the unique opportunity to integrate my nursing and massage background to assess variables that contribute to skin problems. So there it was....thanks to my client I took my next step in my journey...I enrolled, I studied, I practiced all my new skills on my wonderfully loyal clients who volunteered to be my "homework". On September 10, 2018 I was proud to announce that I am officially a licensed esthetician and ready to add this new service to my clients.