Power Life Balance -        Bodywork & Nourishment for Your Whole Life
My Story



I was born and raised in the Bronx and have lived in New York City for most of my life.  As a graduate of Oberlin College (B.A.) and Hunter College (M.A.), I worked for many years as a writer and media producer.  My interest in health & healing began in my late twenties, after a series of horseback riding and auto accidents left me in chronic pain.  Bodywork and acupuncture introduced me to a fuller experience of wellness—body, mind and spirit—than I had ever known.  It was the start of a fascinating and ever-unfolding journey that continues every day.
 

Training & Experience

In 1999 I received my massage degree from the Swedish Institute of Massage Therapy in NYC.  I first learned Process Acupressure (now called Soul Lightening Acupressure) from its originator, Aminah Raheem, in 1999 and have made this powerful work central to my bodywork practice ever since.  I am certified to teach the Seva Stress Release, an acupressure formula for stress relief derived from Process Acupressure.  I have trained in Craniosacral Therapy, Zero Balancing, and Kinesthetic Anatomy, as well as energetic healing for animals.  I have worked with dogs, cats, and horses and am developing a Seva Stress Release protocol for animals along with a training for their human companions. 
 
I am a certified teacher of Pan Gu Shengong, a medical qigong practice developed by Master Ou Wen Wei that has been a key tool in my own healing and self-care.  I have also practiced the Yang-style short form of Tai Chi Chuan since 1997, and have studied traditional medical qigong with Lisa Van Ostrand. 

My experience includes energy field work, Authentic Movement, Alexander Technique, and therapeutic riding.  I have been a runner, cyclist, swimmer, and swing dancer.  I am also a writer and visual artist, currently working on a cartoon novel.

And now, the twist:
 
In 2007, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.  After always taking my generally robust health for granted, facing a chronic and potentially disabling auto-immune condition shocked me to the core and, frankly, terrified me.  A lifetime of medications with known toxic side effects did not make sense to me, so I began a new phase of my healing journey to explore other options and heal from the core. 

It has been a challenging path, but a transformative one. I now have a deeper understanding of illness, authentic wellness and the healing process, as well as a commitment to sharing the possibility and tools of healing and lifelong well-being with others.  And yes, I'm doing well! A holistic and functional medicine approach—including bodywork, diet changes, nutritional supplements, exercise & qigong, stress management and lifestyle changes—allows me to manage my symptoms and remain medication free.  So I'm here to say, it IS possible!  
 
Buoyed by a new passion for "gut healing and gut feeling", in 2009, I trained at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York and became a holistic health coach, certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.  Among my specialties are auto-immune conditions, weight loss, food sensitivities, and anti-inflammatory/gluten-free cooking. I teach groups and offer corporate workshops on a broad range of nutrition and health-related topics as well as stress management.  I am also a consultant for NutraMetrix nutraceuticals, implementing wellness programs for health professionals and individuals.

Here is what I've learned:

There's no one way to eat, or live well, or heal body, mind and spirit.  You may have to experiment, try new things, and sometimes stumble, or even fail.  It may get messy!  Sometimes healing, or any kind of change, feels like the hardest work in the world.   Sometimes it can be fun, miraculous, swift, and surprising. 

You get to be (and you actually need to be) compassionate and kind with yourself--always!  You also get to set high standards for your well-being and quality of life, and hold yourself accountable for heading in that direction.  You deserve thoughtful care and attention from healthcare practitioners, and nobody has permission to tell you that your possibilities are limited.  You get to ask for help where you need it, and demand that others stay hopeful for you and with you.

You are not your diagnosis, and your health condition does not define who you are.  Healing is a process of remembering who you really are and allowing yourself to shine.  It is a continuous shifting toward balance and integrity on all levels of your being.  We are all in this process all the time, no matter what our current state of health.  

You may need to get fierce about it.  I did.  I still do.  I think of it as ferocious living for gentle people.  You are more powerful than you may think.  You can do it.  

I look forward to connecting with you!

~Donna