Since “Leigh” works in law-enforcement, she’s sharing her story under an assumed name. She’s happy to answer questions indirectly through the contact portion of the website.
My life has been a constant rollercoaster of health challenges. I have rarely known a day without pain. When I was 18 months old, I was hospitalized for a staph infection and underwent five surgeries, including removal of my appendix. It was the early 60s when hospital staff tied kids to the bed to keep them from taking out their IVs and doctors were not sure what the appropriate amount of anesthesia was to give children.
I have been ill most of my life - mononucleosis, intestinal issues, migraines and broken bones. Up into my late 40s I had serious acne which was, of course, treated with antibiotics.
I never felt comfortable staying still for very long, so sports was a good outlet. I ran track and played softball and soccer through college and continued to be active in sports until my late 40s. Because of various illnesses and infections I took strong antibiotics during most of my early childhood until my late teens. At the time, I did not know that antibiotics gravely compromise the liver. I had such severe migraines that sometimes I would pass out from the pain. At 12, I started having intense pain in my knees. The doctors could find nothing wrong and put me on a regime of strengthening my quadriceps muscles…..this resulted in creating an imbalance of muscle strength in my thighs and by age 17 both my knees often dislocated. I was playing softball for the local Junior College, and I was having so much trouble with my knees the trainer benched me until I had surgery to repair the ligaments. The surgeon cut into the muscles too deeply, both my legs had massive internal bleeding, and I had to learn to walk again. Two years later, I had to have another surgery on my knees to repair the damage the first surgeon had done. At 20, the constant pain in my knees led me to try acupuncture. I found that I responded well to Chinese medicine. It was the beginning of my realization that Western medicine was not always best and that I should listen to my body.
During my years as a police officer I dealt with a lot of trauma. First Responders witness and experience trauma on a daily basis. It is often so overwhelming that in order to manage this we compartmentalize the effects of these events - fragment it – keep a tight lid on it. We tell ourselves to, "suck it up and keep moving".
I was infected with TB (tuberculosis) from an inmate I was transporting. I was put on a 6 month chemotherapy program of very strong antibiotics. After less than three weeks, the medication caused my immune system to shut down. I developed mononucleosis and shingles. Because it was a Worker’s Comp case my employer denied me sick leave, and I was forced to continue working.
At age 40, I broke my neck in a fight during an arrest. At the time I did not realize how serious my injury was. The doctor diagnosed minor muscle inflammation in my arm, so I continued to work. As the months passed the pain in my arm and neck became so unbearable that I was having migraines. The only relief I got was from my acupuncturist who suspected all along that I had a neck injury. A friend referred me to a chiropractor who also correctly diagnosed me as having a neck injury. After examining me he told me I had a bad liver – most likely weakened from years of antibiotics, diet and stress. He explained that the liver and ligaments are connected and had I had a healthy liver I probably would not have broken my neck or had problems with my knees. I made an appointment with a medical doctor (outside my work system) who took the time to properly examine me. He immediately told me to stop working until I could have surgery to fuse my vertebrae. He explained that I had broken my neck and that the nerve was caught between the vertebrae - had I gotten into another fight or hit my head I could have severed the nerve and become a quadriplegic. The neck surgery lead to my retirement from law enforcement.
After my neck fusion I continued to have pain throughout my body - the migraines were increasingly debilitating and I had difficulty sleeping. I have traveled the world in search of holistic and eastern medicine healers who could find the source of my pain and sickness and bring me relief. A friend referred me to Thea. She told me Thea had a program, Brain State Balance, that helped people with physical pain and emotional trauma. I knew I had PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) but I never really addressed it. I was eager to meet Thea and see if she really could address both the physical and emotional pain.
What’s great about Thea is that she doesn’t judge anyone; she has a wonderful sense of humor, and she is straight forward. If she takes you on as a patient, she examines the situation from every angle to find the best treatment plan. Besides her years of training she has an intuitive sense of what her patients need. During my evaluation, she told me my scan showed that I had significant frontal brain damage. I was stunned. It made sense though – the injuries at work and 35 years of soccer had to have caused head trauma. Many of the symptoms I was experiencing; memory loss, insomnia, bursts of anger were similar to what the NFL football players who suffered from brain damage have recently made public. I thought I was a total basket case but Thea reassured me my brain could be re-balanced. Thea’s confidence was very calming, and I began to feel hopeful that I was finally going to be able to get back in control of my life, my body, the pain.
My husband is a retired police officer. Two cops married to each other is a challenge few people understand because we bring all kinds of physical and emotional issues into our relationships….and, as most cops do, we try to stuff all that into a drawer and pretend it’s not there. Eventually, it always catches up. Both of us have strong personalities. Often emotions flare and sometimes we aren’t even sure what triggered a fight. My husband agreed to try out Brain State Balance. He loved it. He liked how Thea explained the process and how she never pushed him to do more than he was comfortable doing. He would sit in the chair, Thea would hook him up with sensors, turn out the lights and within minutes he would fall asleep. I have never been comfortable sitting still so luckily Thea said it was ok for me to bring my tablet to read or play solitaire.
Brain State Balance is a very subtle process. Neither my husband not I could describe initially the improvement we felt – I felt slightly calmer, and was starting to sleep more than a few minutes per night. It wasn’t until after our third session that we saw a tangible difference. My husband and I began to argue but after only a few minutes we stopped – the anger just wasn’t there; the issue didn’t seem worth arguing about. We were amazed at how effortlessly the anger had dissolved. It was our first glimpse of seeing how our brains were starting to re-balance…. we were felling less like we had to constantly be on alert for potential danger and less like we had to always control every situation.
During one session I was calmly playing solitaire when all of a sudden I began to cry….deep sobs. I had not cried like that in years. There’s no crying in law enforcement! I did not feel uncomfortable. I did not feel pain or trauma or sorrow but I had tears pouring down my face. I asked Thea, “What part of the brain are we working on?” Her answer, “The part that deals with childhood trauma.”
I grew up in a very dysfunctional family with constant abuse. I thought I had dealt with that years ago through counseling. My mind might have tried to pretend all was well but the body remembers. Thea’s work helped bring the trauma to the surface without having to talk about it or relive it. It takes a lot of energy to hold it all in so releasing the trauma opened up a lot of space for me. It felt like an energetic spring cleaning.
When I try to explain to people what Brain State does I say it’s as if your brain computer gets “defragged”, gets rid of malware, deletes corrupt files and eliminates blocks that prevent both sides of your brain from communicating efficiently. It’s such a relief to know you can regain control and balance in your life.
After I retired from law enforcement I was hired to train First Responders and Military personnel. First Responders tend to put other peoples needs first – we rush into the fire when civilians rush away from it. It feels weak to ask for help and it’s very difficult to talk about our experiences so most don’t. I encourage First Responders to see Thea. The sessions are private, you don’t have to talk or relive the trauma and the results are amazing.
Over the years I have come to Thea for help with a variety of health issues. It seems that as one illness improves my body brings to the surface another issue – either physical or emotional. As I get healthier and stronger, it’s like peeling off layers of an onion. Recently, I realized my body didn't know how to be well. I have been so used to pain and illness I have no idea what healthy feels like. Along with Brain State Balance, Thea works with a variety of modalities which I have responded well too. She suggested some herbs and teas to boost my autoimmune system. It is very comforting to know that when and if I have a health or emotional concern, Thea is there to help.
I have worked with healers all over the world and I can honestly say that Thea's abilities are powerful and unmatched!
Herb teas for relaxation and digestion from Dr. Chang's Forgotten Foods Herbal Solutions
Vitamins / Minerals