I understand living with an invisible chronic illness, and putting self-care last on the list. As a teenager, I had severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had all kinds of support and braces on the outside of my body and drugs on the inside, and at the age of nineteen I walked with a cane. The RA was severe for ten years, despite conventional western medical treatment. In my mid-twenties, I went rogue. I knew I could be healthier, and I knew I needed to adopt a new way for being in the world. I chose a path away from the medicine I grew up with and started meditating, studying movement therapy, thinking, reading, wondering.
I lived with pain for fifteen years. And now I don’t.
I spent a lot of years trying different methods and practices, I spent time sitting at the bedside in hospice, apprenticed with Darlene Cohen, a Zen priest who focused on working with pain, and eventually went back to graduate school to receive a Masters in Holistic Health Education. A few years after completing my degree, I began specific study in a five-year program in Classical Ayurveda Clinical Medicine at Vedika Global College of Ayurveda in Emeryville, CA where I became adjunct faculty. I currently work with a Functional Medicine team at Abundant Living Wellness Center, as well as my private practice.
It would have been a far more direct path to health, had I learned about Ayurveda sooner.
Ayurveda is my medical toolbox, my kaleidoscope for seeing the world, my map for understanding myself and finding the way back to being healthy. Ayurveda, Yoga Philosophy, and Vedanta taught me about my connection with myself and the world: what makes me well, what makes me sick. And when I understood that, then the fun happened: I began to re-establish the natural rhythms of my body and mind, recover my voice, my faith, and my health. I learned to consciously use my environment, my senses, the spices in my kitchen, my movement routines to support my being fully, healthily, wholly me.