Location: Santa Rosa, California
I stumbled across Christina’s work in a desperate attempt to keep my body alive. Like her, doctors and specialists across the nation continued to write me off as one of their most complicated “mystery cases.” What started as minor bloating and fatigue in 2nd grade had progressed into a complex soup of diagnoses: Lyme and co-infections, EBV, parasites (including dog tapeworms), early onset ovarian failure, SIBO, a C. difficile infection, osteoporosis, heavy metal toxicity, toxic mold exposure, methylation mutations, muscle wasting and malabsorption, leaky gut, food sensitivities to literally everything, an anxiety disorder, a sleep disorder, hormone imbalances, hypothyroidism, POTS, mast-cell activation syndrome…The more experts I visited and the more programs I tried, the sicker I became, resulting in spending most of my day in bed, on the floor, or in the bathtub, manually emptying my colon of undigested paleo “superfoods” because it had lost the ability to do so on its own. My weight had dropped to 79 pounds, my gut seemed unable to process and expel foods, and it felt like I had tried every pharmaceutical, elimination diet, supplement, breathing technique, protocol, essential oil, therapy, and bodywork treatment out there, with no lasting improvement.
One day, while laying on the floor in a thick fog of fatigue and fear with my swollen belly distracting my attention, I decided to google “hydrogen sulfide SIBO NTP.” I found an interview on Mind Pump Media interviewing Christina, curious to hear more about someone who had an eerily similar story. Her story hooked me instantly. I started scrolling through her website and in astonishment, could not believe how much we had in common and most importantly, that she had found a way through the darkness. In the time between reaching out and our first appointment, I dove into a strict carnivore diet, as what felt like my last attempt to keep my body functioning. Her post on eating carnivore gave me the inspiration to try it, despite initial disgust of the idea of eating only meat. I can confidently say that carnivore combined with Christina Rice’s support provided the framework that saved my life and gave me the strength to keep going. If I didn’t die from organ failure, the heaviness of my spirit from being so sick for so long was enough to make suicide feel like the final and most appropriate option. Christina turned all of that around.
Beyond carnivore nutrition and some basic supplements, she found a way to infuse hope, confidence, and trust back into my life. For the first time, I started to BELIEVE and visualize a healthy Theresa, smiling, strong, and vital. She reminded me of my own power, encouraging me to develop hobbies and passions outside of just researching the next treatment step, to remind the brain and all of my cells that health is possible. She reminded me of the power of my own thoughts, language, and stories, and how brain rewiring could lay a new foundation for true healing to take place. Her reiki sessions allowed my body to slow down enough to actually rest, a feeling that had become foreign and almost strange to my chronically stressed system.
While working with her, I was able to gain 20% of my bodyweight back, a feat requiring her support, humor, and firm but gentle real-talk. Thanks to Christina, I started living again, laughing again, drawing, dancing, climbing, and even volunteering and reaching out to friends I hadn’t spoken to in years. I started blogging (www.theresapiela.com)! I started relaxing and just watching the crows. I started crafting my life with a sense of abundance and getting more excited as I reflected on how quickly things were improving. I started to remember how excited I was to be alive and how eager I felt to create, connect, and use my experiences as a way to support others. Fueled by meat, (and bones and organs), I was learning to be a human, capable of joy and thinking past my then current limitations.
About 9 months later, I am feeling more vital, determined, and inspired than ever before. I am preparing to open my own colon hydrotherapy business, a feat that was previously impossible given my physical and mental limitations at the time. Christina Rice reminded me that healing was and is possible, that there is always something to try, and that the beauty and joy of life is always there if we slow down enough to pay attention to it. Sometimes, it’s about removing all the gunk and supplements and yes, plants, and letting the body stabilize so that it can start to shift out of its own tangles.
On top of Christina’s blog posts and podcast episodes, I found her one-on-one support to be the most helpful. I’d leave sessions with her feeling re-inspired and determined, with a sense of lightness and possibility buoying my spirit. She was not afraid to be real with me and call me out when I was thinking or acting ridiculously, which is exactly the kind of healer I now know I work well with. She reminded me and taught me how to take healing back into my own hands, tuning in to understand what my body needed and how it responded, no longer requiring an expert to figure it out for me. She taught me how to experiment and then act accordingly, with confidence. As a previous skeptic of Reiki, I fell in love with the calm she magically conjured up for me. Even my partner could sense a difference in the texture of my mood after an appointment with Christina! As someone that shares an almost identical healing journey, I am honored and inspired to have her support and guidance along the path.