My Journey as a Headache Healer
I think that headaches chose me forty-eight years ago, and they have kept my attention ever since.
In 1970, quite by accident, I discovered I could stop a headache or migraine with my hands. I got lots of practice because wherever I went, someone would exclaim they had a headache. Eager to try my method, I offered to help and then relieved the surprised sufferer’s headache on-the-spot. I also learned to stop my own migraines.
In 1992, I formalized my method and became a certified massage therapist, so I’d have a license to touch. I decoded into step-by-step instructions what I’d been experiencing on the head and in my hands and realized that: 1) I could feel, and was working with, the sensations of the headache itself, and 2) those sensations had a cycle, which when complete signaled a shift in the pain and other accompanying symptoms.
I tested the instructions on longtime migraineurs, and they worked. My informal test subjects were able to keep their migraines from becoming full-blown or stop an impending one from starting. I began collecting research and worked with UCLA bio medical statistics department to refine my questionnaires.
After an extensive headache and migraine review of consumer, professional, and research literature, I was surprised at the huge toll headaches take on individuals, families, businesses, and in the workplace. People suffer for years even when taking medications. Yet, I thought, I can stop one with my hands? This propelled me onward.
At the same time I had been going through a stressful time personally, and my migraines began increasing in frequency and intensity. I was a forty-year-old peri-menopausal, divorced mom of three kids, who had just moved back to California after fifteen years of country living. (See my journey in the documentary American Commune.)
As my path and curiosity led me to train in energy work, breath work, and body-centered therapy and coaching for my clients and my own development; and my diet, sleep, and exercise habits improved, my stress decreased, and so did my migraines. Thus I developed the Mundo Program for relief and prevention, which focuses on creating life balance with mind-body self-care practices that address the whole person.
Over the next thirteen years, I trained extensively in energy work, intuitive development, and body-centered therapies and coaching. I was certified as a Body-Centered and Conscious Relationship Therapist (Hendricks Institute) and Master Somatic Coach and Bodyworker (Strozzi Institute); and attended post-grad seminars and a year-long training in Somatics and Trauma (Generation5). Somatic coaching and bodywork help people transform in body, mind, emotions, and spirit as they explore and unwind their embodied history and old patterns, which is useful in solving difficult headache mysteries.
I taught the Mundo Program to patients through wellness programs at medical centers, including Kaiser Permanente and Hill Physicians Medical Group, to faculty and staff at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and UCSF, and at corporations, including Apple and LinkedIn. I currently offer in-person and video cam sessions to individuals and groups — and professional training programs. Read my CV here.
A retrospective study of seventy-eight migraine patients, who took my class through health education programs, was published in the peer-reviewed international medical journal Cephalalgia (May 2001, Abstracts) and presented in poster session at the 2001 International Headache Congress.
As a result of my journey in helping others overcome lifetimes of headaches, migraines, and suffering, my healing philosophy is based in self-empowerment and each individual’s capacity to build and claim resilience. Everything — that you do, think, and are — contributes to the state of your health. It is possible to overcome a lifetime of pain, without medication and side effects, by doing things differently.
I hope you find this site and my writing a source of information and inspiration for your health, healing, and well being. Thanks for visiting!