San Francisco County, CA
Infected: Sonoma 2013
Diagnosed: August 2017
Current health: “Not 100% but happy and functional.”
I hope to raise awareness of Lyme and offer access to a new tool I created that has helped me heal.–Shona C.
Shona C. lives in CA, where she has been teaching experiential anatomy for 20 years. She co-owns Hasti Pilates, in Hayes Valley. Shona is currently being treated for Lyme and has created a website containing original, healing meditations for others suffering from this debilitating, long term illness. Check out her site, Red Kite Meditations, here. She shares her story here. Also be sure to see Shona’s January 21 feature, “The Tick Took Me Out,” in Oakland Magazine.
“Lyme disease is spreading across California. Chronic Lyme is debilitating, difficult to diagnose, and and expensive to treat. No effective treatment is covered by health insurance as of yet. It is my hope that by sharing my story I can raise awareness of Lyme, and offer access to a new tool I created that has helped me heal.
“I was healthy and very active until about 2014. I danced professionally in my twenties, began teaching Pilates and experiential anatomy in 1998, and opened a Pilates studio focusing on experiential anatomy and rehabilitation work in 2010 (Hasti Pilates). But in 2014, I slowly developed symptoms of Lyme disease. I had been bitten by a tick in Sonoma County in 2013, but doctors assured me I did not have an infection, as I tested negative for the presence of antibodies. (This apparently happens a lot. I didn’t have a rash, either.)
” There was a moment when I was lying in bed, anxious and afraid, suffering from multiple symptoms without knowing the cause, when I began to visualize my pituitary gland. My body calmed and softened as I felt deep in to my own brain, warming and relaxing my pituitary with my attention. An hour later, when I got up, I felt so different. My anxiety was gone. My body was functional enough to go cook dinner for my family. At this moment, I knew I would help myself through this illness with meditations exploring the healing power in our physiology.
“Creating the meditations was a slow process. I spent about a year playing with imagery in my imagination, finding what worked for me, what eased my symptoms. Eventually I wrote the imagery down, and then recorded it on my phone, revising over and over.
“As any Lymie knows, sleep is a challenge. What I found was that listening to the meditations at night was a terrific way to reset my nervous system and fall back to sleep. On nights where I would have been up for good at 3 a.m., I could listen to a recording and fall back to sleep until 6. This was a game changer. These things really helped me!
“After three years of experimentation, I took a leap of faith and recorded the meditations professionally, in the hopes that other people in my situation could benefit as well. I created an album, The Cells’ Breath, with six guided visualizations. Each meditation centers on a different system crucial to healing, from liver detoxification to lymphatic flow. Working on this project made me feel that my illness had a purpose, that I could put it to use for other people suffering.
“Learning about brain plasticity and how to harness my brain’s self-healing power and going through the process of creating and recording these meditations has been such an education, and so healing for me. Over time, my meditation practice – as well as working with doctors who actually understand Lyme – has slowly brought me back toward wellness. (I highly recommend SF Preventive Medical Group.)
“It is my deepest hope that my meditations will help others like me on their own healing paths. Lyme takes a long time to treat. I truly believe these meditations can speed healing, and make the journey more comfortable.
“In hopes for a better future for all Lymies, Shona.”