L.Ac., ARTT, Cl. Hyp.
Oriens Living, New York
Overcoming a health or emotional issue doesn’t have to take a long time.
You’re here today because a problem is stealing your life.
There’s a good chance you’ve been to a lot of doctors, healers and experts who all have different opinions, or whose plans partly worked. Or maybe you’ve been told that your situation is just what it is, and you have to live with it.
I understand this, because I’ve been there as a patient myself, and know how frustrating, scary and lonely it is. I can propose a solution to you, but it may be one that you haven’t considered.
Because I grew up in a family of surgeons and lawyers,
I was definitely someone who’d drunk the medical Kool-Aid: Your health is like a hand of cards you've been dealt, and so you are at the mercy of genetics and events.
Given my background, it made sense I would go to law school. But that’s not what happened. When I went to college, I wanted to guarantee I would get at least one “A” that first semester. So I enrolled in Advanced Ballet, having been touring and performing since age 9.
Little did I know that decision would change the trajectory of my life.
By the end of the second semester, they’d offered me a teaching position. And by the time I graduated I had offers to dance in New York and I knew one thing: I’d only be young once, it was now or never.
Law school would have to wait.
I was dancing professionally in San Francisco when one day, out of the blue, I had this knife-sharp searing pain in my knees. I couldn’t bend them, at all.
If you’re not familiar with the world of dance, for every dancer working there’s a thousand plus in line behind, just waiting for their job! So I was in a panic to get my knees healed.
I went straight to the orthopedic surgeon, who told me I had chondromalacia patella – i.e. my knee caps had deteriorated and they’d have to operate.
This was the 80’s. Arthroscopic surgery was just getting popular. I remember the surgeon excitedly sharing that Tom Seaver, pitcher for the Mets, was having it on his shoulder. I also remember him saying 6 months rehab to walking, running maybe after that, better look for a new career.
I was freaking out, and, believing that doctors are always right, I scheduled the surgery.
I was only 26 years old, in my prime, living my dream and this could not be happening. It was completely unfair. I was angry and powerless.
Then a dancer colleague told me to go see her acupuncturist. I recall spraying a mouthful of coca-cola, I laughed so hard.
Given my family background, the idea of trusting my knees to hocus pocus folk medicine was utterly ridiculous in my biomedically biased and naïve, small mind.
But with everything to lose, and the rationale that there was nothing an acupuncturist could do to me that surgery wouldn’t override, I made the appointment.
I remember the acupuncturist’s response to my story, “I don’t believe that diagnosis. You’re young. You haven’t had an accident. And there wasn’t any lead up. . . Let’s prove them wrong.”
When I got up from her acupuncture table my mind was blown.
I was 50% out of pain and could do a demi plié. That’s ballet speak for bend my knees just to the point your heels would come off the ground.
I asked if I could come back tomorrow.
After the second treatment, I could do a grand plié (full knee bend to the ground and back up), jump, land, and pirouette (trying all this out in her treatment room) . . . all without pain. It was as if I’d never had a problem.
I canceled the surgery.
I went back to rehearsal (and danced professionally for 10 more years)!
I remember thinking, “there’s so much wrong with me. If she can do this maybe she can help me with all this other stuff.” When I asked, she said, “Absolutely.”
And so the complete healing of my [insert laundry list of gastrointestinal, immune, gynecologic and chronic fatigue] issues began!
My whole view on medicine was getting turned upside-down.
I had never been in a doctor’s office where the doctor-patient relationship wasn’t “I’m the authority and you’re the problem-ridden [maybe I should be ashamed?] patient” affair.
When I think back now to how unwell and ignorant I was, I can’t even believe I had the career I had.
To me, my life can be broken into before and since that pivotal injury. Because what happened to me, for me, within me, in this healer’s treatment rooms wasn’t just very skillful herb and acupuncture strategy, or spot on dietary advice and instruction on how to take care of my body.
What happened, was “her.” We all have people who are game changers in our lives. And she certainly was for me.
Her practice was a container where I laid it all out – my health problems, my emotional jams, my fear, my aspirations - and we had “real” conversations that changed my inner game.
Every bit the expert, she wielded medicine skillfully. She brought the deep insights and wisdom from Chinese medicine along with modern biomedical information. She had so many knowledge and skillsets to draw from to help me.
And, very importantly, she was herself. Straight talk. She shared her own challenge stories, other patient stories, empowered me, educated me. She was the real deal. Our conversations were deep, easy, non-judgmental.
I became powerfully aware that it wasn’t just my health that was changing. It was everything – my moods, my perspective, my values, my heart.
I went through what I now call “a massive consciousness upgrade.”
My western mind opened to the East, to meditation, to the spiritual mysteries of life, and especially to Chinese medicine’s profound teaching that “The heart holds the mind and rules the body.”
I now see that knee injury as the Universe’s way of getting me to this great healer so I could re-track my whole life for my next chapter.
I not only became a powerful creator of my own health and life, I felt called to do for others what she had done for me.
When I retired, having danced every major stage on most continents, I went straight to Chinese Medicine school.
But that was just the beginning. Over the last 20 years, ever thirsty for knowledge, and dedicated to helping others in the comprehensive, deep, insightful and non-judgmental way I was helped all those years ago, my education is never-ending. (See Training below.)
Given all my experience, I thought I had things covered until a brilliant high functioning middle-aged lawyer (with everything going for her personally and professionally) came to me for migraines and depression. Already on meds for both, she was drowning in the whirlpool of her own mind.
Progress, revert, repeat. No combination of the proven effective tools or strategies I used before would break the pattern.
My research for new ways to help her turned out to be another one of those “change the trajectory of my life” moments.
It introduced me to Marisa Peer, world-renowned hypnotherapist and founder of RTT, Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT).
I had been layering approaches - counseling, physical medicine (nutrition, acupuncture, herbs, Bowen, etc.) and mind-body tools (meditation, HeartMath, etc.) with phenomenal results. In weeks or months, people’s long-term problems would transform.
But here was a method (RTT) that could do that even more quickly, sometimes immediately.
I couldn’t get myself into that training fast enough.
It never fails to amaze and touch me, person by person, how the body’s problems so often are mapping our heart’s pains; and how healing the heart frees the body.
When we get underneath what’s really going on with us, the body commonly raises its hand again to say, “You got my message! Thanks for that, I’m ready to be well again.”
Looking back now, it seems odd that I hadn’t yet put 2+2 together:
It’s the subconscious mind Chinese medicine is talking about when it teaches,
“The heart holds the mind and rules the body.”
Thousands of patients, and decades of life myself, have taught me that painful beliefs are at the core of most of our illnesses, emotional quagmires and behavioral sabotage patterns. Getting leverage on those means breakthrough.
Back to the depression patient. We did 3 RTT sessions on 3 different issues.
Her migraines resolved through the first session.
Her depression lifted through the second.
And she got control over emotional eating and self-sabotage in the last.
RTT is now a centerpiece of the practice. For those ready for big change, and to get into their power seat quickly, we start with RTT.
Chinese medicine, physical medicine, prescriptions, and mind-body tools and techniques are tremendously effective, especially when the person’s conscious goals and subconscious beliefs are in sync with one another.
Working with so many people has taught me we all want the same things – to know we’re OK, to feel significant, in control, loved, able to achieve our goals, to name a few.
My mission is, and has always been, to empower patients and clients to pivot from being victims of genes and circumstances, to powerful creators of their health and lives. This was my own journey. And it is my life’s work.
Change is yours for the claiming.
To get started, use the button below to schedule a complimentary Introductory Consult Call.
Bachelor of Arts, Oberlin College
Masters of Science, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
NCCAOM Diplomat (boarded), Acupuncture & Herbology
Certified Hypnotherapist, Rapid Transformational Therapy, Marisa Peer School
Certified Practitioner of Bowen Therapy, National Bowen Academy of Australia
Qualified HeartMath® Instructor, The HeartMath® Institute
Personal Resilience Mentor, The HeartMath® Institute
Certified Harmonyum Healing Practitioner, Naam Yoga Therapies
Other Advanced Training: Functional Nutrition, Cold Laser Therapy, Meditation, Medical Qi Gong
Elizabeth has served on the faculties of Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Oberlin College, the University of California at Sonoma, the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and Touro University.
She has helped train and supervise hundreds of acupuncturists and develop curriculum at the Master's level.
Working closely with Dr. Randine Lewis (author, The Infertility Cure), Elizabeth has taught at Dr. Lewis' Fertile Soul™ retreats and is a founding member of Dr. Lewis' infertility integrative medicine specialist association, Clinical Excellence in Fertility Professionals (CEFP).
Elizabeth serves on the boards of and is a member of several professional organizations.
She has been an advisor to the Acupuncture Society of New York, the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the New York State Acupuncture Coalition, and the Manhattan Holistic Chamber of Commerce.
She is a consultant on integrative medicine and the topic of how biomedicine and complementary medicine can co-treat to serve the patient best.
She was part of the roundtable that developed Haelth (Old English for "Health"), an integrative medicine model adopted by several hospitals, using research in practice to bridge the gap between mainstream and alternative medicine.
International Association of Counselors & Therapists
American Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine
Acupuncture Society of New York
National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine
Elizabeth is a featured speaker and presenter for both small and large organizations. Please visit the Speaking page for more detail.