Barbara Searles, HHC, AADP, LMT, NCTMB

Barbara Searles, HHC, AADP, LMT, BCTMB

People ask me, “How did you get to be a Pain Relief Expert?” To answer this question, it’s probably best that I share with you a defining moment and resulting “compelling story” that brought me to where I am today, coaching people like you on exactly what to do to minimize your pain and get confident in your body.

In 2002 when I started transitioning from my corporate career to a solopreneur massage therapy practice, I began to understand that caring for my hands and my body was essential to my business success. So you can imagine what it felt like when my hands started experiencing pain and swelling 6 years later. It scared me because my hands are my tools—I can’t do my job if they don’t work properly! I began by trying to solve the pain and swelling on my own, using massage techniques. However, my typical solutions didn’t help and I progressed to getting medical advice and blood tests a few months later.

And then 3 days before my 45th birthday I was officially diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Not long after this, I was entirely freaked out because anti-inflammatory medications just weren’t making any difference. My brain works overtime, especially when I need to solve problems. And this chronic, inflammatory pain situation was sending my brain to one place over and over again—would I still be able to be a massage therapist and run my thriving solo practice? My business was busy—I had a full schedule giving about 25 massages each week. I was incredibly afraid to lose it all to the effects of a disease.

In a critical step towards my wellness I found a new rheumatologist who was a better fit for my personality. I will never forget that moment during our hour-long first appointment when I asked him, “Does having RA mean that I’ll need to give up this profession and business that I love?” And he looked back at me and said with great sincerity, “Absolutely not—that would mean giving up something that means too much to you and makes you who you are.” What a priceless gift of stress relief that one statement was!

Just 18 months later my rheumatologist declared my RA in remission. He’s not used to patients coming in with high heels on … he’s not used to people who thrive with the smallest medicine doses possible … he and I are both thrilled that I haven’t had to cut back on massage therapy clients. My rheumatologist supports my integrative approach because he sees results—he says to me, “Whatever you’re doing is working, just keep on doing it!”

So what is it that I do to thrive with RA? I do take medication—the lowest doses possible and no NSAIDs, prednisone or biologics. I also eat primarily whole, non-processed, home cooked foods. I initially minimized wheat and now am completely gluten free. I do yoga and water exercise at least 2-3 days each week. I make sure to get plenty of sleep and relaxation time. And I am very intentional about how I describe RA and autoimmunity in my body.

Rheumatoid arthritis has also brought me to a new place in my career and entrepreneurial life. During the diagnosis process, I decided to pursue my longstanding interest in wellness & nutrition by getting certified as a Holistic Health Coach. Naturally, I also wanted to use that education to have more resources and information at my disposal. Health coaching people who, like me, are both entrepreneurs and have chronic pain is now my mission.

I want you to have all the information and ideas I have gathered over the last several years, so that you can minimize your pain and feel confident in your energy!


Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!