Hi! I'm Michelle. I'm a Physician Assistant who specializes in treating pain and other chronic symptoms. Pain is a problem, not only for the individual, but also for our society. It is highly impactful to those experiencing it and to those who love those experiencing it.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to hear that pain can only be treated with medications, surgery, or other physical interventions. For those of us who are unwilling to use those approaches, or for those of us who have tried them, and they haven't worked, it can feel like there are no other options. I'm here, confidently telling you differently.
"I'm here, confidently telling you...we know how to treat pain."
Our understanding of pain has grown tremendously in recent years, but that knowledge has only just begun to reach our medical world. I can help you bridge that gap.
We know how to treat pain. You can change pain. I know because I see it in my patients and have also experienced it personally. Read more below to learn about my personal and professional journey with pain other chronic symptoms, and the power of mind body medicine to truly heal.
My Journey with Pain and Mind Body Medicine
I have been studying the human body since I was four years old (according to my parents, at least), when I was found studying my mother's "Grey's Anatomy" book hiding in our office closet. It was clear I was fascinated by the body, and that innate passion led me into the sciences, eventually pursuing a western medicine track of study. I followed a focused course through college and into my master's level education, obtaining a Master's in Physician Assistant.
My first fore into the magnificent world of mind body medicine was through the path of yoga. The mind body practices I fell in love with on the mat led me into a 200 hour training with Core Power Yoga in 2009, fueling my passion for the power of challenging asana matched to breath. As my practice deepened, I found myself increasingly interested in the ways in which yoga affected the subtle bodies. I acquired additional training in yin yoga and yoga nidra and began a personal journey with Bhakti Yoga.
Beginning in 2016, I became intensely interested in experiences of physical and emotional healing, especially in the realm of pain, I'd had during my personal practice and was fueled into a period of deep exploration into the mind body connection. My journey began with a training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, studying body based psychotherapy for those who have experienced trauma. The training introduced me to the Polyvagal Theory as a foundation for understanding the threat response in humans, which, to this day, continues to be the foundation of my work. Many of the practices I learned in that training resembled yoga, and within the year, I found myself studying the philosophy of yoga and its integrated approach to healing through an 800 hour yoga therapy certification program with Inner Peace Yoga Therapy.
My training in yoga therapy opened my eyes to the amazingly holistic healing capabilities of yoga and also opened doors to many other arenas of study previously unknown to me in western medicine. It spurred a deeper understanding of how the polyvagal theory informs understanding changes in physiology in response to threat (stress) that can lead to pain and other chronic symptoms, in addition to the neurobiology of stress (and resiliency) which offers us a path to healing. My yoga training also opened be further to concepts such as heart rate variability, vagal toning, interoception, meditation, and compassion, all as modalities that lead to wellness of the body mind. Being strongly founded in physical medicine, I was also in awe of how these approaches facilitate physical healing, not only emotional and psychological.
Integrating these approaches in what we consider modern medicine is my passion. I believe in western medicine, and I believe in mind body healing. All routes are valuable and should be honored. Wellness is something we cultivate. I am here to help.
My current offerings are centered around support in understanding diagnoses and the origin of chronic symptoms, somatic coaching and mind body coaching to improve persistent pain and other chronic symptoms, including, but not limited to, symptoms related to fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, fatigue, IBS, headaches and migraines, and lyme disease. I also am co-founder of Pain Care Collective, an online yoga therapy studio created specifically for those experiencing persistent pain, offering live and on demand classes to heal pain through the path of yoga.
2004 BA Exercise Physiology University of Colorado Boulder
2008 MS Physician Assistant, RFUMS
2009 RYT-200 hr, Core Power Yoga
2010 Yin Yoga Certification, Core Power Yoga
2015 Level I Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
2016-17 Inner Peace Yoga Therapy Level 1 & 2
2018 Inner Peace Yoga Therapy Electives and Mentorships
2019 Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy
2019 Pain Care Yoga Therapy
2022 Somatic Experiencing Training (3 yr certification in progress)
2009-current Physician Assistant
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 2009-2022
Orthopedic Surgery 2019-current
Mind Body Medicine 2021-current
2009-current Yoga Therapist
Yoga For Breast Cancer
Mind Body Medicine
Body Based Approaches to Healing Pain
Pain Science 5 week course
Healing the Nervous System
Returning to Movement
WHAT IS EMBODIED HEALTH?
Advances in neuroscience and the neurobiology of the stress response have changed how we think about physical health, highlighting the power of both body and mind in returning to wellness. Our body has an innate wisdom to maintain wellness through a beautifully complex web of physiologic responses that are sensitive to all aspects of our being; body, mind, emotions, and beliefs. By coming into awareness of these contributors, we support ourselves better in allowing our system to do what it knows best, be well.