Welcome to my new website everyone! Please take a moment to look around, tell me what you think, and connect with me on social media. I look forward to hearing from you.
This month represents many new beginnings: A new year in my life, the beginning of the Chinese “Year of the Ram”, Daylight Saving time, and the melting of snow, which in Washington, D.C. means that the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom soon. During this time of rebirth in the world I decided to start THE HEALTHY DIVA BLOG as part of my new website. I lived in Beijing, China a few years back, and upon returning to the US I became deathly ill. I went to the ER several times in one week and doctors kept sending me home telling me I was fine and that it was just in my head. They refused to acknowledge I was suffering with pain and told me I just needed anti-depressants and should go home and sleep it off. I was so frustrated, angry, overwhelmed and sick that I didn’t know which way to turn. Luckily a friend who saw how pale and sick I was made an emergency call to his colleague, a holistic physician. That doctor saw me immediately and diagnosed me with Lyme disease.
That doctor gave me a protocol of herbs, which had me feeling a million times better within the first hour. I remember sitting in his chair, while receiving an IV bag of hydrogen peroxide to up my immune system, and crying as I was so grateful someone finally took the time to not only help me but acknowledge my pain. It appears I had been infected with Lyme disease nearly 20 years before I was diagnosed, so this was not going to be an overnight recovery.
For almost 2 years I was sleeping 16+ hours a day, my body ached and felt like I had the flu everyday, as the Lyme spirochetes died off. It’s a very painful process, which made me feel depressed, and caused me to slow down for the first time in my life. In the beginning I was frustrated, yet I had little energy outside of practicing or performing. It takes an incredible amount of energy to travel, rehearse, and perform week after week. Being a performer with the work ethic “the show must go on”, I had always been one to cure ailments and sickness the fastest way possible, which in the past would have meant taking any medical drug to treat my symptoms but not face the root of the problem. Lyme disease made me slow down and discover how to regain my health and energy to sing and perform in a more natural holistic way, since there was NO quick fix this time. I learned about natural healing, experimented with Qigong, Meditation, Yoga, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Reiki and spent all my free time between concerts and rehearsals reading Mind-Body Health books, which all helped me realize the power of mind over matter to heal.
Three years later, I am in a very different place. I can now see that getting sick was the best thing that ever happened to me because of this process. As singers, but really for anyone, our breath is supported by our health. Our bodies are constantly communicating to us through symptoms, telling us what is going on deep down inside. We can choose to respond to these symptoms superficially or we can dig deeper and face the root of the problem. Facing the root of my Lyme disease and making the changes I did in my life made me more sensitive as a singer to my instrument and how to treat it kindly and to not just plow through life ignoring the red flags along the way. I came out of this experience a stronger performer and smarter singer. I am hoping this blog will help singers and non-singers alike navigate the world of performing while trying to stay balanced and healthy at the same time. Hopefully you will learn something new from me along the way...