Author Archives: Stephanie

How To Master Pain

ately, I’ve been tackling something way harder than forearm stands–fear, anxiety, and pain. When I notice myself doing things like surfing social media for hours, reaching for sugar, carbs and alcohol, finding ANYTHING to do except the next thing on my task list, that’s a red flag. I’m suppressing feelings that I don’t like having.

Permission to Wallow

  Even if you haven’t said anything, I see you. Even if you don’t want to bother anyone, because it’s more of the same, and people’s patience is bound to give out. Even if depression is a cliche, even if it’s seasonal, even if you have damn good reason. Your brain, evolutionarily speaking, DOES have damn good reason for balking, […]

The Biochemistry of Rage

CW: sexual assault When I was in my early twenties, a friend of mine started having neurological problems. Intermittent, acute idiopathic pain, fatigue, and intermittent paralysis. Doctors could not find a cause. Some accused them of making it up to get attention. At the same time, this friend started having flashbacks. Memories, long buried, of repeated sexual abuse by a […]

Satirical Aerobics

For years I have had a dream. It strikes me that most exercise videos are excessively earnest. Perky! Sincere! Cheerleader-esque! There seemed to be few, if any, home workout routines for people with a healthy sense of irony, and a taste for the absurd. My people. For too long I lacked the time, the equipment, and the chutzpah to make […]

Lazy, Self-Indulgent Workaholics

I’m signed up for a lot of Inspirational Mailing Lists. My inbox is inundated with a symphony of earnest healers and coaches, all urging me to “Slow down to speed up! Take some time for reflection! Don’t be busy for the sake of it!” If they only knew. Sometimes I think the systems I’ve created in order to structure my […]

Doing Voodoo On Your Spine (Not)

In the fifteen years since integrating Reiki with my bodywork sessions, I’ve only had one client get creeped out by it. Oddly, she was a craniosacral therapist, and thus (I thought), should have known better. Craniosacral therapy, like other forms of “energy work,” is..subtle, and attracts attention from Quackwatch. The practitioner puts her hands on your head with surpassing gentleness […]

On The Bleeding Edge of Science

  Twenty years ago, a friend of mine stopped being able to walk. It happened intermittently. She’d be fine for a few weeks or months, then collapse. She had intense pelvic pain that doctors couldn’t find a reason for. Some thought she was faking it and sent her to the psych ward, or gave her a catheter without anesthetic “to […]

A Pansy Grows in Philadelphia

When I was struggling with a partner who was chronically unemployed, Kate Jesuele put me in boxing gloves, turned up the boom box, and told me, “Leave it all on the bag.” Two weeks later I kicked him out. When I was having panic attacks after separating from my partner, Terrie Lewine of Back to Life Wellness Center said, “Come […]

The Trash Heap of the Soul

Ten weeks ago, our new back yard was a weed-choked wasteland. We moved in late April; it took a couple of weeks to unpack. By the time we tackled the yard, it was already late in the season. We turned over some beds, threw down some seeds, bunged in a few starters (“bunged’ is a word. P.G. Wodehouse uses it […]