I have worked as a public school educator for 30+ years. I have a B. A. degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology from NYU and a M. Ed. Degree in counseling from UWG. My interest in the healing arts was spurred by a desire to live a healthy, joyous, pain free life. Through explorations, readings, and practices, I realized that this is possible for me and others. Through TRE practice, I came to see that TRE is an effective self-help tool for this purpose. In addition to TRE, I use Tai Chi and Qi Gong to complement TRE as it provides tension release through meditative, gentle strengthening movement. I combine other grounding techniques in my practice as well. I have level 1 Reiki certification and am an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Provider. My goal in working with clients is to improve quality of life and to enable them to have the best life possible through stress relief, grounding, balance, increased body awareness, and the gentle release of blockages.
Fourteen years ago, my pain was so constant that I had developed a daily habit of over the counter pain relievers. I often took the maximum dosage per day to soften the sharp, needle-like sensations in my back and joints. The little relief the pain pills provided, cost me an increasingly burning digestive tract. I felt trapped in a body of painful irritation. Things were out of balance, and, I was miserable. Something had to change.
How did I get into this condition?
My pain was caused by a genetic disorder called ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory condition of the spine, and it was compounded by my daily stress. The merry-go-round of pain started when I was in my early twenties. I would experience an intense burning sensation in my lower back that traveled down one, or both, legs. Doctors, Chiropractors, and Specialists were dumbfounded. One doctor prescribed valium and muscle relaxants, and told me I would be confined to a wheel chair as I advanced in age. I trashed the pills and carried on, determined to find a better way.
At the age of 27, martial arts came to the rescue. I started an intense practice of TaeKwonDo, and within about six months I was pain free. I continued my practice for three years, earning black belt status and experiencing pain only when an occasional kick or punch from an opponent made contact.
At the age of 30, I got married, and, as my family grew, so did my list of responsibilities. As my wife, pregnant with our second child, began college studies, I picked up the financial slack. In addition to teaching high school full-time, I started working two to three part-time jobs. My schedule was so full that I stopped any structured exercise. Gradually my body stiffened up, and the nagging pain returned.
Twelve years later, our third child was born. I had stopped working the part time jobs. but I still neglected a regular exercise routine. Annoying joint pain became chronic once again. I began daily doses of ibuprofen and acetominophen to take the edge off, and I developed acid indigestion. I was back on the painful merry-go-round.
My wife, noticing my suffering, signed our family up at the local YMCA. There, I started taking Tai Chi classes one hour a week. In just two weeks, things began to change. The sharpness of the pain softened without the use of ibuprofen. I was less stressed out. My coworkers noticed that my shoulders were no longer carried up toward my ears. I felt calmer and experienced hope that life could be better. This was a major turning point in my life.
Feeling freer in my body, I continued Tai Chi classes once a week for six months. Hungry for more, I started reading books and watching videos for self-training and practice. Later that year, I met Master Chen, a Doaist priest from China. After attending some of Chen’s workshops, I began taking classes with Michael Issa, one of Chen’s most accomplished students at Michael’s studio, KaiKudo Martial Arts Academy in the Atlanta area.
Since then, I have continued my education with Michael, while also attending workshops in Tai Chi and Chi Gong with Master Chen. I now teach Tai Chi part-time at Michael’s KaiKudo center. I’ve substituted Tai Chi for pain medication, and I am now more flexible, stronger, and completely off the meds.
Now in my early 60’s, I incorporate the life lessons I’ve learned about exercise and joyful, pain free living on a daily basis. Tai Chi’s profound affect on my body enlivened my curiosity, starting me on a journey of healing.
I called up my health coach cousin Steven Munn, and spent the Summer of 2013 at his wellness center, The Clearpoint Center, in Stafford Springs Connecticut. While there, Steven taught me about the Emotional Freedom Technique, also called Meridian Tapping. This made an indelible impact on me, as I felt its immediate stress relieving effects.
Seeing my desire to learn even more, Steven invited me to the Kripalu Institute for a training with Dr. David Bercelli in Tension/Trauma Release Exercises. On the second day of David’s workshop, Jay Gleason, David’s assistant instructor, asked if he could touch my abdomen during the exercises. I agreed, and as he pressed into my right side, I felt an immense release of energy through my right arm and leg. The same thing happened as he pressed into my left side. As he pressed into my abdomen just below the rib cage, I began a tremendous surge of sobbing and wailing with a massive flow of tears. This was dramatic. He asked if I was ok. I said I was. My body was doing this, and yet I had no feelings of sadness or discomfort. I allowed myself to belly cry for a few minutes. It had been over three years since last allowing myself to cry. This experience opened me up and changed my life’s direction. I felt compelled to share my new-found freedom with others. I became certified as a TRE facilitator through David Berceli’s organization in May of 2014. I have recently completed the TRE Global Certification Program in July of 2015 and am a Certified Provider of Trauma Releasing Exercises.
Combining Tai Chi, Tapping, and TRE worked to increase my range of motion and emotion. I experienced a freedom in my body that I had not felt since childhood. I now feel softer, grounded, and more connected with myself. It is my greatest hope, that sharing these tools with others will help them live more abundant, hopeful, and happy lives.
It is with much gratitude that I acknowledge Master Chen, Michael Issa, Steven Munn, Dr. David Berceli, Jay Gleason, my Editor in Chief and Health and Wellness consultant/daughter, Parvati, and my wife, Gale, for their help along this path to wellness and emotional freedom.
B.A. New York University – Major: Biology, Minors: Chemistry and Psychology
M.Ed West Georgia State University – K-12 Counseling
Reiki Therapist Level 1
Tension/Trauma Release Exercises Certified Provider
Emotional Freedom Technique/Meridian Tapping Facilitator
Tai Chi, Chi Gong Instructor
Math Coach/Teacher/School Counselor(35 years)
Married 34 years and have 3 children.