I’m in a Family Circle article
on chronic pain relief

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Holistic Pain Relief, Kick Pain in the Kitchen, Wellness | 0 comments

Big excitement over here in my world!

Barbara in Family CircleI’m honored to be included this April in a wonderful article by Rachel Rabkin Peachman  about pain management. More importantly, the article tells inspiring stories of four different women’s journey from pain (fibromyalgia, migraines, scoliosis and arthritis) to pain relief. You can find it in the April 2015 issue of Family Circle – on the stands now. (I’ll add a link when it’s available online.)

Rachel does a great job of capturing my story of living with chronic pain and arthritis, but there are always more details to tell. Here’s a bit more about me:

When I decided to get certified as a massage therapist, I wanted to leave the stressful world of advertising behind. I thought my favorite clients would be people who “just wanted to relax.” It wasn’t long before I learned that what really connected me to my clients was the chronic physical pain I’d experienced. Because they asked for my help relieving their pain, they were glad to know I understood how it felt to hurt.

It wasn’t long before I realized that helping people relieve chronic pain was my true career thrill. Holistic pain relief coaching combines three elements:

  • My own experience
  • Working with clients as a massage therapist
  • Health and nutrition knowledge and certification

Last year I decided to capture all this stuff and move it from my brain (and my heart) to a book. That’s Kick Pain in the Kitchen: Holistic Pain Relief You Can Eat, published last October.

I hope you’ll also take advantage of my free offer. It’s a report on my favorite 17 ways to start relieving your pain TODAY! It’s a lot of small, easy changes you can make that will start adding up to gains in pain relief. Did I say it’s free? Just fill in the form in the upper right corner of this page.

If you’re finding me because of the Family Circle article, why not look over some of these blog posts to start understanding my coaching approach?

7 holistic changes that improve pain relief

nutrients for holistic pain relief: a 3-part series

3 skills you can learn from 
living with chronic pain

anti-inflammatory diet for holistic pain relief

three reasons why resolving chronic pain is challenging

relieving chronic, systemic inflammation (a 4-part series)

using recovery days to help relieve chronic pain

Welcome to our community – please comment and join in the conversation!


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!

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2014: my favorite books on chronic pain

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in Holistic Pain Relief, Kick Pain in the Kitchen, Wellness | 0 comments

Books about Chronic PainAbout this time of year, I start thinking about my favorite books of the last twelve months. For me, each of the books I’m sharing with you today has a connection to chronic pain, and more importantly to holistic pain relief. Last year I also shared my list with you, and here’s my 2014 list.

What I look for in a great book:

  • Did I learn a lot about a topic that matters to me?
  • I don’t always find non-fiction easy to read (too dry or clinical sometimes), so did it keep me engaged?
  • Did I find myself talking to clients and friends about what I’d learned?

Gluten Freedom by Alessio Fasano, MD 

Dr. Fasano is a world-renowned physician, specializing in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. While he’s a gastroenterologist, he discusses much more than just the gastro-type symptoms of gluten-related conditions. This book is a great blend of scientific information and reality-based advice.

The author’s knowledge is credible and deeply detailed, and he conveys this in a way regular folks can read and learn. He uses patient stories, recipes, and even their own words to illustrate how integrating gluten-free choices in life are possible and even pleasant. Whether you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, this is a reference book you’ll read over and over.

Life Disrupted by Laurie Edwards

Whether you live with chronic pain or chronic illness, Laurie Edwards’ story will draw you in. The author writes from the perspective of a 20-something, but her insights are valid for all of us. She clearly has an analytical approach to the real-life situations she shares, including but not limited to her own experiences. On the other hand, this isn’t all black & white, dry science. It’s about the realities of living with chronic illness, and Edwards strikes just the right balance between witty and wise.

I’d also suggest sharing this (or some of the ideas contained inside) with your family and friends if they don’t entirely understand what you’re going through.

The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo 

This is the best “book of days” I’ve ever read, and I’ve read many over the years. Author Mark Nepo is a poet, which makes his ability to turn a phrase magical. He’s a philosopher, which makes the reader ponder deeply. And yet, the book isn’t all heavy thinking. It makes me smile many mornings. A true pleasure to start my day with awakening.

It’s also important in the context of holistic pain relief to mention that Nepo is a cancer survivor. So when he talks about pain and healing, it’s from the depths of his experience and his heart. From the book:

“This is a magnificent key to health: that, despite our resistance to accept that what we’ve lost is behind us, despite our need at times to stitch our wounds closed by reliving them, and despite our heroic efforts to preserve whatever is precious, despite all our attempts to stop the flow of life, the heart knows better. It knows that the only way to truly remember or stay whole is to take the best and worst into its tissue.”

“Living is a conversation with no end, a dance with no steps, a song with no words, a reason too big for any mind.”

As you know, I proudly joined together this year with a group of Integrative Nutrition Health Coach authors. Here are a couple of books from friends that I think you’ll enjoy.

Forget Fitting In: Your Path to Health and Happiness by Fitting Out by Jen Viano 

I love the author’s writing style. She really knows how to turn a phrase. This is a page turner! Jen introduces and helps people with some new concepts in a way that isn’t preachy or forceful. A must-read for anyone who wants to take a deep dive into ditching the poor health and unhappiness that comes from fitting in and not following what you really want to do with your life.

From Pain to Peace with Endo: Lessons Learned on the Road to Healing Endometriosis by Aubree Deimler

This is Aubree’s story, and endometriosis the story of many women I know. Aubree not only shares her journey, but the wisdom she’s gained along the way. If you know a woman with pelvic pain, please consider giving her this as a gift.

Lastly, another book I am deeply passionate about: my own.

Kick Pain in the Kitchen: Holistic Pain Relief You Can Eat


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!

Read More

my 3 favorite 2013 books about chronic pain

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Ask the Coach, Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness | 2 comments

Books about Chronic PainThe world of chronic pain, holistic pain relief, and wellness is a place of vast information. It can be overwhelming even … there are so many options that it’s hard to know where to start. Since I’m a voracious and consistent reader, I wanted to share my favorite 2013 books on these pain relief topics.

And as a person living with chronic pain, I am so grateful for e-readers and electronic books. Why? Because they are MUCH lighter to hold than regular books! And when I’m away from home, I can carry quite a few digital books with me. It wouldn’t be easy to do that if they were paperback or hardback. 😉

The Battle for Grace

This wonderful memoir by Cynthia Toussaint is both excruciating and inspiring. If you’ve lived with chronic pain, or know someone who does – this is a must read. It’s brutally honest and detailed. I couldn’t put it down. I had the pleasure of meeting Cynthia in September, and you’d never know she’s been through a life like this. Her experiences with chronic pain and slow diagnosis / treatment will make you think twice about your own situation. It made me remember (again!) how important it is to advocate for myself. And it also gave me tremendous hope!

In the Kingdom of the Sick: A Social History of Chronic Illness in America

Both memoir and scholarly work, this book reads like a novel and packs a tremendous information punch. While it’s primarily about chronic illness, the author Laurie Edwards spends quite a bit of time discussing the role of chronic pain in our society. She is both a journalist, a professor, and a woman living with chronic illness. She shows the reader the connections between the consciousness and social movements of the time with the concurrent medical innovations and approaches. I found the whole thing fascinating!

The Last Best Cure: My Quest to Awaken the Healing Parts of My Brain and Get Back My Body, My Joy, and My Life

When I was first diagnosed with RA, one of the first books I read (and loved!) was by Donna Jackson Nakazawa—The Autoimmune Epidemic. So I think when her 2013 book arrived, I was anticipating great things. And she delivers! Not only did I spend the whole book rooting for the author to rediscover her health, I enjoyed every bit of science and detail she infused into this very readable book. I was reading this book just at the time I was discovering my own path to holistic pain relief coaching. And it was inspiring to know that there are scientific studies being done that connect meditation, yoga and acupuncture with healing and relief. I loved this so much I bought  copies for the acupuncturist and yoga teachers I know!

I hope you’ll read all three books in 2014, and let me know what you think! They are 100% worth your time and effort. And won’t you please let me know the books that inspired you in 2013?


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!

Read More
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