In the quantum universe, your mind, body, emotions and spirit aren’t separate. Why should your therapist, bodyworker and meditation teacher be?
Camilla Griggers, PhD blogs as The Healist, is author of several wellness books on functional self-care, and is a critical theorist of the bodymind paradigm.
Bridging the body/mind divide, Camilla is a proponent of systemic and integrative approaches to health and learning. As a result, she is an educator who teaches the body and mind without separation. A bodyworker who helps people process their emotions and observe their thoughts. A meditation instructor who teaches liver/colon detox and gutbrain health. And a therapist who talks to the mind and touches the embodied emotions simultaneously. She’s also a cultural critic who advocates for mindbody integration in education, therapy and the healing arts.
Camilla brings bodymind integration methods to schools, workplaces and private clients. Her mission is to help people reduce their risk of chronic illness, mental imbalance, and emotional distress. To this purpose, she leverages somatic-emotional integration methods and psychophysical education techniques to help people change unhealthy bodymindsets about health and wellbeing from within the Self.
You can read her writings on somatic-emotional intelligence and mindbody integration in Semiotica, Somatics, and The Handbook of Body Psychotherapy and Somatic Psychology. She is author of Becoming-Woman and co-director of the film Memories of a Forgotten War. As The Healist, she's written books on wellness topics ranging from bodymind detox to mouthbody care to body psychology. Her latest book is Change Your Bodymindset: The Body Psychology of Chronic Illness.
In her writings, hands-on healing sessions, and teaching, Camilla invites people to become healists—people who transform habitual thoughts, emotions and behaviors that cause chronic illness and distress into healthy bodymindsets that are personally and collectively sustainable.
When we take personal responsibility to heal, we transform from being patients to being healists—people who practice self-care to heal mindbody imbalances and prevent chronic illness and unhappiness.
When in my thirties teaching feminist cultural and media studies at Carnegie Mellon University, I tripped down a rabbit hole into ill health when a conventional dentist drilled a cracked mercury amalgam filling, exposing me to toxic mercury vapor. I had no idea at that moment how much my life had just changed.
Enormous changes at the last minute.
Falling in a downward spiral, for a moment in time I thought I might be crazy. Eventually, I landed in the hospital with an ovarian tumor, and finally realized I wasn't crazy at all, I was physically ill. Over the next few years, I discovered I had hypothyroid, adrenal exhaustion, metabolic inflammation, irritable bowel, congested toxic liver and kidneys, blood sugar dysregulation, weakened immunity, not to mention brain fog and a mercury toxicity score almost off the chart of a heavy metal test.
Survival instinct kicked in. Like Ulysses sailing far away from home, I ventured beyond the world of the university to embark on a decade-long search for a more holistic education I seemed to be missing—one that integrated mind, body, emotions and spirit equally. I trained as a bodyworker to learn the basics about my own physical anatomy. I walked the healing path with mindbody pioneer Ilana Rubenfeld, inventor of the Rubenfeld Synergy Method®, a hands-on method of somatic-emotional therapy and education. I trained in Vedic Meditation and Ayurveda with Dr. Deepak Chopra. I learned mercury detox with chemist Dr. Christopher Shade, and body electronics with Dr. Doug Morrison. I dove deep into West LA power yoga with Bryan Kest, and journeyed on sacred plant medicine with a community of urban shaman. And on my journey, the feminist cultural critic in me was busy connecting the dots around the social causes of our collective dis-ease and lack of wellbeing.
I believe that chronic illnesses can be prevented, that self-care is the first and best health care, and that self-care literacy can be taught as easily as computer literacy. I also believe healing starts with the awareness that something needs to change, and that the change we need can only come from within. I also believe we need a lot more emotional honesty and critical thinking about the social causes of our chronic illnesses.