Welcome to this installment of The Wellness Universe’s ‘A Conversation With …’ interview series! Each week, we will feature interviews from some of our amazing WU World Changers so you can learn about who they are as a person, their profession, mission, and their why!’
Welcome to A Conversation with Lina Landess –
Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, and Trauma Release Facilitator.
The Wellness Universe directory is a resource and community filled with Change-Makers, we call WU World-Changers (Wellness Universe World-Changers). Today we want to introduce you to our member, Lina Landess, Holistic Health and Wellness Coach.
Hello Lina, will you please tell us about yourself?
Hi. I suppose one way to start describing myself is that, according to the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test, I’m more introverted than extroverted. For much of my life, this appeared in my choice of work. I was always a support staff, whether as a clerk or a secretary, until I was given an opportunity to work as an employment recruiter in a small manufacturing firm. From there, I became a Recruiter (affectionately known as a Headhunter) in a small agency that focused on finding engineering professionals for companies in Northern California’s Silicon Valley.
I had moved to the Bay Area as a newlywed and loved living there. Little did I know how much California would change me! Life was good — until it wasn’t. We divorced after about five and a half years and my life began to open up.
Although I loved my work, the weather, my friends and the California lifestyle, something important was missing. As fate would have it, I was introduced to the concept of non-duality, or Oneness; the recognition that in spite of all appearances, in spite of what our minds tell us, who I am and who you are, what everything is, is one and the same spirit or essence.
Living that truth has been my major focus ever since. So, while others were focused on their careers, I was living in ashrams, studying Eastern thought. I met my second husband in one of those ashrams. And after our marriage ended, a challenging event in that relationship became the catalyst for me to write and self-publish my spiritual memoir titled, Heart Breaking Open.
Lina, what is it that inspires you?
While I’m inspired by the natural world, beautiful music, art, intimate conversations with friends and strangers, I’m inspired most by the notion of possibility. I love seeing people show up for healing because they’ve gotten fed up with the painful patterns in their lives, but haven’t given up. They seek assistance because of hope, the possibility of changing, of doing things differently, and experiencing life differently. Every day we wake up in a world of possibility. From that perspective, life is juicy, alive, and exciting. Love and joy are always possible. Can you feel that?
Will you please tell us what you call yourself and explain what it is that you do?
I call myself a Holistic Health & Wellness Coach, and Trauma Release Facilitator. I’m also a Reiki Master and teach Mindfulness Meditation for Weight Loss, as well as regular Mindfulness. I haven’t found a way to include all that in my title yet!
My major concentration is Trauma Release. I work with an incredible modality called EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or Tapping. My main focus has been helping women release negative and trauma-based thoughts and feelings, including stress and anxiety, that underlie their unhealthy relationship with food so that they can learn how to nourish their bodies, lose weight and transform their lives. But because EFT is so effective for releasing trauma, it’s helpful for everyone.
Many people have heard of EFT/Tapping, but for those who haven’t, it’s often described as emotional acupuncture since we literally tap with our fingers on some of the same meridians or points on the face, head and upper body where acupuncturists place needles. The underlying premise of EFT is that the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the energy system.
When we experience a trauma, be it life-threatening or simply effecting our sense of self-worth, our energy system (aka prana or chi) can be disrupted.
Trauma has three defining aspects:
- It was unexpected.
- The person was unprepared.
- They could do nothing to stop it.
Given that definition, there is a strong likelihood that everyone experiences trauma at some point in their lives, but not everyone is traumatized.
There are obvious traumas, of course; sexual or physical abuse, accidents and other shocks to the system, including the death of a parent, divorce, bullying and other events, but I think the potential impact of emotional abuse, of feeling frightened by a parent or other adult’s words or demeanor is not fully appreciated.
Along with the memories of traumatic events, these subtler traumas are held in the subconscious; that part of the mind that controls about 95% of our choices. We generally discover them after we recognize repeating patterns. It’s at that point that they are retrievable, and their negative effects can be relieved or eliminated through Tapping.
How exactly does that help someone?
One of the most effective ways to relieve anxiety, stress or the harmful effects of trauma is through our emotions. When we recall a traumatic or upsetting event while tapping on the meridians, the tension or ‘charge’ surrounding the experience is instantly reduced. With the charge around the event eliminated or nearly so, clients experience a shift in perspective and come out of an EFT session feeling fresh, lighter, freer.
Why are you so passionate about helping people in this way?
I suppose the underlying reason why I do this work has to do with my spiritual perspective. Or simply being in touch with my humanity. I believe that we are here for a reason and that that reason, ultimately, is to help each other.
To paraphrase a Ram Das’ saying, “we’re all just walking each other home.” From the perspective that there is no ‘other,’ when I help ‘another,’ I am really helping myself. I am humbled by the fact that I’ve been invited to do this work. When a client thanks me for helping transform their life, I know that I’m doing what I’m here to do.
Did any specific life experience prompt you to follow this path?
As I look back, I see a line of seeming coincidences, mainly having to do with people whose paths have crossed mine. Most of them seemed incidental but turned out to be profound. I’ve always trusted the Universe for guidance and when I listen deeply, I find that it’s always right.
How long have you been doing this?
I have been an EFT/Trauma Release Coach for the past 16 years.
Will you share a story of how you have made a difference in someone’s life?
One of the most profound experiences I’ve had happened with a woman with a diagnosis of Polymyalgia Rheumatica, an inflammatory disease that affects the muscles. The disease was so pronounced in her upper arms and thighs that she could barely touch them.
When I shared with her the statistic that 80-95% of physical illness has an emotional cause, she nodded, saying that her symptoms had begun two years earlier, four years after learning that her brother had been murdered.
As she recalled the pain of hearing the news of her brother’s death, I led her in the tapping protocol. After about 15-30 seconds of tapping, I invited her to touch her upper arms. She approached them gingerly, applying only slight pressure. She slowly increased the amount of pressure and before I knew it, she was squeezing her arms quite tightly. I remember the look on her face as her eyes (and mine) filled with tears. “That’s it?” she said. I worked with her for a couple more months on that and other issues, and by the end of our sessions, she was able to get off the steroids prescribed to manage her pain. I heard from her a month or so later when she called to tell me that she had had her first massage in two years!
What’s next on the horizon for you?
I’m excited about the future of Holistic approaches to healing trauma and want to focus more on that. As more and more women come forward about their experience of sexual abuse and its impact on their lives, I see such great potential for healing. My heart ached as I listened to Dr. Blasey-Ford’s testimony before Congress last year. It was obvious that all these years later she still carries the painful effects of the trauma she experienced in high school.
Although I haven’t really gone beyond dipping my toe into the online world of healing, I am on the brink of doing that now, thanks to forums like the Wellness Universe. I look forward to offering programs and packages that can offer hope and healing to the many women (and men) whose only choice up until now has been to suffer or self-medicate with food and addictive substances and practices.
Thank you so much for sharing today, Lina! Do you have any final thoughts?
I really just want to say thank you to the founders of The Wellness Universe for creating this platform where people can access the kind of support, advice, and healing that our world so greatly needs. WU is a sign of a future where people come to collaborate and contribute to this healing while honoring the Oneness I spoke of earlier. We’re all in this together, and together, we can create the kind of world we all want to live in; a world wherein everyone is honored and celebrated simply for being themselves.