Just like our nervous system runs every system in our body, our soul appropriates all the different emotions when we are in pain. Elizabeth Cappellitti’s practice, the Mind Body Wellness Center, believes that if there is no balance between the mind and the body, then there is no balance in health. We can go to mental health experts and ask for council, but as long as we feel a continuing physical pain there will be no improvement. There is a need to manage the two properly and this is where Blair Chiropractic works the best. Elizabeth shares her stories of how Dr. Hoefer helped her and her family feel the balance of mind body wellness.
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Whole Mind Body Wellness with Elizabeth Cappellitti
Welcoming my guest back Elizabeth Cappelletti for part two of our podcast. I just want to remind you that she’s an incredible marriage and family counselor who likes to look at her practice from a holistic standpoint, understanding that the mind, the body and the spirit are intertwined in an integral way. Without further ado, I’d like to welcome you back to the show, Elizabeth. The first part, we covered about your personal testimony with Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic and your low back pain. Now, I want my audience to understand from a professional standpoint with what you do with your therapy work and also your personal life with your children and your husband. How does the Blair Chiropractic method fit into all of that? Let’s start with your work because obviously that’s what you do 40 hours a week. What you said in your first interview is that you’re a healer and you choose to use this method to help people heal with their lives.
My practice is actually called the Mind-Body Wellness Center. I chose that name because I feel like we can’t be balanced and healthy and successful unless we’re healthy and balanced in all areas, including our body. When I have somebody that comes in to me that’s in pain, that is going to affect their mental health. I see that left and right, and I also know from my own experience. Even though it was horrible that I went through that pain, it was also, I feel in some ways, a blessing because it’s helped me to understand what other people go through. It’s also great because when I encourage my clients to come to you, I have my own personal experience. To tell them and they trust me and to say, “This is somebody who changed my life, who I wouldn’t be sitting here in front of you had I not gone through this and was able to be healed from it.” It’s convincing to them because they know that I wouldn’t send them anywhere that I didn’t fully 100% believe in and tried myself.
I have people that come in and are dealing with all kinds of stuff. Because even if it’s a sleep issue or they’re having headaches or they’re having pain in their hand, especially because of my experience being a massage therapist, if you were having those pins and needles that would be coming up from your neck. Anytime I have anybody that has any type of pain or issue, even I’ve had clients that I’ve encouraged to come to you that they have a pain in their chest that feels like it’s coming from their heart and they’ve had all kinds of tests. Even stuff like that, because it’s dramatically affecting their lives. We can do all this work on the mental health area and stress management and all this stuff but if they’re having a physical pain that’s continuing to afflict them, it can affect their mental health. It’s really huge. I have an acupuncturist that works with me as well and she can do a great deal, but the work that you do is something entirely different. It’s a huge part of my practice that I work with individuals and I really strongly encourage and like I said before, you know how many people I’ve sent your way.
When I show up to work, my priority is to make sure that your spine is in alignment, your nervous system is intact and your head is on straight. Getting to know my patients, we talk about what they do for a living and because I know what you do, I likewise refer back to you. I have a patient that I take care of that I’ve encouraged several times to give you a call, dealing with just having a hard time leaving the house because of anxiety. Referencing to Elizabeth’s first interview with me, structure dictates function. If your physical body is in alignment, your nervous system is intact, then everything else can be worked on. You often cannot get to the root of the mental malady, if you will, because there’s physical pain that’s blocking that. People can’t think about making better life choices and how to eat better or not be grouchy with their kids if they’re constantly in pain.
There is a whole other piece that I never knew about until you shared your story with me about the mental health aspect in regards to disease that was going on within. You shared your story, your mental health issue that you were dealing with. Also, sometimes I have clients that aren’t getting better because they have depression or maybe a bipolar disorder is coming up or whatever. I even have a client who I really feel has schizophrenia. Now, whether or not they come in is a different story, but when you shared about how much that changed things for you, it was just so profound. Now, on this other area, it’s not just the physical pain that you can help with, but also the mental health. Obviously, the two go hand-in-hand. When people are having pain, it can cause mental health issues. From what I understand from you too, mental health issues can be caused by a structural misalignment. In fact, I never thought we were going to get into this, but I came in here with my daughter having night terrors. If any of you have kids and have had that, it’s extremely terrifying to have your kids wake up in the middle of the night. They’re screaming and crying, looking at you, almost don’t even know who you are and it’s like they’re awake but they’re not really awake. She was doing this weird thing with her jaw, too and I came in and told you like, “She’s probably out on her atlas.”Like, “No problem. I know what this is.”I’m like, “What?” Then sure enough she was out. Since then, she hasn’t had any more, which is profound.
I think the reason that she got knocked out in the first place was soccer. It’s neat that you recognize from a professional standpoint how important this is from the mental, the physical, the emotional component. That’s awesome that you have the Mind-Body Wellness Center because it literally is your life. You have a nervous system that you filter your life through, but that has to come through your body. You have a soul that has to appropriate all these different things and that’s where you have your mind and your emotions and your will. All of that has to work synergistically together. If it doesn’t, if one piece is off, you’re going to be messed up.
It’s really interesting, especially here in our culture, we’ve separated the two so much, our mind and body, like somehow one doesn’t influence or impact the other. Even think about painkillers, we even take these painkillers. I have a client who, unfortunately, was shot in the whole Vegas thing that happened and she was sharing with me about how she’s starting to feel a lot more anxious now, but it’s also because she’s tapered off the drugs that she was taking for the physical pain. There’s this whole tie-in that goes in with that. Even some of you out there might be in pain and you’re taking these painkillers and they might take that edge off, but also one thing you’ve told me before, you take those painkillers and then you’re going to push yourself to do something that’s going to mess you up even more. How does that affect your mental health? You’re numbing out from things and that becomes a whole addictive thing, too.
I tell people when you take a muscle relaxant to relax that spasm in your low back, it’s not just relaxing that specific muscle. It isn’t like that drug is tied to that multifidi muscle at L4. It’s relaxing all of your muscles and it’s relaxing everything. It definitely has a psychosomatic component to it because it’s numbing you out. Pain is an indication. There’s no good or bad associated with it. It’s just information. You can choose to say, “I’m in pain. My life is over,” or, “I’m in pain. I should probably look into this.”Obviously, those are two very huge extremes, but somewhere in the middle is where you’re actually going to be able to make decisions about what’s going on and then figure it out and get to the bottom of it. It’s important to understand that.
That reminds me so much of the way that I do my work, too. I’m not looking to just get rid of the symptom. Not just put a Band-Aid on something or just take an Advil. I’m really trying to help my clients look for the source of the problem. I can’t tell you how many clients have come into me that say, “I’m having panic attacks and I have no idea where they came from. There’s no reason why.”After we start to talk about it, there’s this laundry list like, “Somebody close to me died and this happened. I’m having a fight.” I’m going, “You’re telling me this, my heart is starting to palpitate.” Just being so disconnected from that and really working on the source. I think that’s another reason besides the fact that you help me so much. It’s like a miracle. It’s really finding the source and treating the source. Not to knock any other chiropractic care, but for me personally, I felt it was just a Band-Aid. It will help you for today and then you’re going to come back in in a couple of days because you’re going to need another Advil basically. Also, I never went when it got to the point where I couldn’t walk. It was like, “Forget it. I’m dealing with it.” I feel like the work that you do here is really going to the source that’s so in line with the work that I do, too.
I just love it that we are in completely different fields, but the way that we look at helping people feel better, you do it through getting them to recognize patterns and self-evaluation, the family history and psychological evaluation. I do it by looking at the structure of their spine. It’s interesting because I also do an intake. We spend about an hour and a half with our patients on their first visit and most of the time is spent on trauma history. That’s physical trauma, mental trauma and chemical trauma. When people start telling me that they almost drowned when they were ten because they got sucked into the ocean by waves, or their father was an alcoholic and they lived in shame their entire life because they were embarrassed of their dad and his behavior, or their mother left them, you name the thing, I’ve heard it and obviously that stuff has an impact.
When I was a massage therapist, this did indeed happen to myself and other people that I worked with, is that you could be working on somebody’s body and then all of a sudden, they just start crying and burst out into tears. It had happened to me before too. I’m like, “What the hell is going on?” Because your body holds the stress and that’s often actually something too. A great thing that I have this experience as a massage therapist is sometimes people are so unaware of what they’re feeling. I’ll say, “Check in with your body. What does it feel like in your shoulders and your neck?”That’s where you carry your stress. I had clients that I would work with on a regular basis and I could tell the status of what their week was like based on as soon as I put my hands on them, I could feel it in their shoulders. “What happened?” I was really doing therapy. I’m sure you do too.
I feel like I am a therapist on most of my follow-ups and I love it. I’m not a trained therapist in any stretch, but I’ve had enough therapy in my life to feel like I could use some of my experience to move forward. Without tests, you can’t have a testimony and without a mess, you cannot have a message. Everything that you might be experiencing right now from mental anguish to physical pain, to feeling anxiety, all that stuff, it totally can be fixed. You just have to find the right person. If it isn’t me, then it’s somebody else. You can’t quit trying to find the help, but I can assure you that at least get your nervous system intact and structure in alignment. That’s a very phenomenal starting place.
Let’s go back to your kids because you’re a mom and this is something you’ve wanted since you were a young woman. Before you had your back pain, you dreamed of having a family. You got that horrible back pain. At 23 years old, you’re like, “I’m not ready to have kids now, but what if I can never do it because of this?” You got the healing from the chiropractic adjustment and now you’re a mom to two and getting them and keeping them has been an incredible journey. Because we talked about the night terrors that your older daughter had, give me an example of how you know your kids are out of alignment or what made you even think to bring them to the chiropractor in the first place. Because people are so freaking scared of chiropractic as an adult, and then to think they’re going to do the same thing to their kid, their precious little baby.
My husband was a little bit like, “What?” I’m like, “Yes, it’s fine.”It’s been so long. I’ve been coming here since I was 23 and I’m 37 now. I know that I brought my youngest one, Violet, in because she was doing this pigeon-toed walk thing. She’s amazingly balanced on her feet, that kid. She can run, like running down the hill and it’s just unbelievable. My husband, there’s a lot of sports in his family so both of them are really sporty. All of a sudden she was walking really pigeon-toed and she was tripping over her feet and stuff. I was really nervous about that, talking to other moms and things you read.”It’s normal. It happens.”I don’t really go in line necessarily with that. It doesn’t feel right to me. Especially, once again with the history that I have and the body mechanics and all of that, I’m thinking to myself, “If she is starting to walk like this, she’s going to continue to have these patterns and this going to become her way of walking.” I bring her in and you’re like, “No problem.”I’m like, “Okay.”Then you just do a couple little things with her and it was amazing. We immediately saw a difference. Also, especially since she’s got an older sister, she wants to do everything her sister does. Standing up on the couch, she’s falling over the couch. She hit her head so many times. I’m like, “Can I put a bubble all around her now?”
Because I also have a four-year old daughter and an eight-year old, I vividly remember them learning how to walk and watching them tumble and fall and twist and jump and just be fearless, so I ask these questions now like, “When you were a kid, do you remember your mom ever telling you that you crushed your head on the coffee table or you flipped backwards over the bed or whatever?” because I have seen it myself with my own kids. Thankfully, within minutes I can get them checked. Obviously, not everybody is a chiropractor. The fact that your older daughter, she’ll have played soccer and split out and you’ll be like, “Should I bring her out? She’s having this.””Yes, bring her in.”Sometimes she’s not out, sometimes she is. Let’s talk about that night terror thing. What had happened?
Honestly, I don’t even remember the timeline. I don’t remember specifically anything happening right before I brought her in, but she had been having more nightmares, too. Then it went into the whole night terror thing. Of course as a mom and especially as a therapist, I’m like, “What happened? Did something traumatic emotionally happen to her?” You just go through all this stuff. Then I’m reading online, “It’s normal. It doesn’t mean anything traumatic happened.” When I brought her in to you, it was very clear to you that something physically traumatic probably happened. Yes, indeed, running around and actually at some point, a couple of days before, she had this big scratch on her back and I think she had fallen off the couch or done something. I’m giving her a shower and I’m like, “What the heck happened to your back?””I don’t know.” She’s really sensitive so I’m sure whatever happened at the time involved screaming. My husband said, “She fell off the couch or something happened.” We have a house that’s set up for our kids. In the living room, we’ve got the two couches and she likes to jump from one to the other and I don’t even know what the heck she did. I don’t know if along the line something like that happened or let’s be real, she’s running around all the time. She could have bonked herself off.
For her, it immediately manifested in these night terrors and then we adjusted her. She’s going to be six and I think she’s had three upper cervical corrections since I’ve been taking care of her. She was just a baby when she started. That’s pretty incredible considering all the things that kids get into. Just so you know, you’re not getting an upper cervical adjustment every single time you come. The whole point is to get you to hold that thing so that you heal, but when things happen, we get you back into alignment.
Sometimes I’m lucky enough that I can come by myself, but other times they’ll come with me and she climbs up and is ready like, “It’s my turn.”
It’s so fun when kids come in and they know the drill and they are so excited because they know. Even though they can’t articulate it with their words, they know that their body feels better and they just want to lie on the table and get fixed.
Another thing that I think of to bring her sometimes too is if she is getting sick. There’s stuff that you’re able to do that I don’t know how it all works, how the magic works. It’s phenomenal. I don’t know if just doing that helps your nervous system be in the right place to be able to fight off whatever.
Your nervous system runs every system in your body. If you are starting to deal with a virus from a cold or bacteria from whatever, you come in, you get checked, we do some body work and support the correction if they’re not out. Your immune system is essentially boosted and there’s neurological explanation that would take me fourteen years to talk about and I’d rather let Dan Murphy, DC actually do all that because he’s brilliant. The immune system is enhanced because your nervous system is intact. If we can do some things to support that, then you’re able to fight disease better, if you will.
I have a little one in here because her system has been running really slow. She’s been really constipated and it’s been painful for her and it’s reached the point where she is afraid to go to the bathroom. I want that to be fixed. Immediately, I thought, “What if I try to massage her stomach?” I’m trying to adjust her diet and all this stuff, but also I know that there could be something structurally going on that could cause that.
This has been really fun. I’m so excited. You take your kids and you obviously have convinced your husband to come in and get care. That’s been good because there’s been a noticeable difference with his life and the things that he’s gone through. I’m so grateful for you and for your passion for balance and wellbeing, mentally understanding that it’s a structural issue. I’m thankful that you’re an ally. Tell me the name of your business and how we can find you because people are going to want to find you.
The easiest way is to go to ElizabethCappelletti.com. It’s the Mind-Body Wellness Center in San Juan Capistrano.
Thank you so much for being here with me for these last two segments and I’m really grateful. I know everyone is going to be so stoked to learn about all the different things that you have understood and the promise of having your head on straight. Thanks for being here and we are so grateful. I will look forward to talking to you soon.
About Elizabeth Cappelletti
Elizabeth Cappelletti, MA, LMFT, is a Marriage and Family Therapist, Life Coach, Author and Mental Health Expert. She is also a Certified Massage Therapist, and while she is no longer a practicing clinician of massage, her many years of experience have proven to be invaluable to the work that she currently does. She created the Mind-Body Wellness Center because wellness cannot exist if we are out of balance in either our mind or body. Many times it is our body that gives us the first clue that something is wrong with us emotionally. In fact, she has had several clients over the years that have been referred to her by their medical doctor after discovering that their health issue may be related to stress. This may come in the form of stomach aches, chest pain, headaches, body pain, etc. The list can go on and on. It is also true that stress can make a pre-existing health issue worse. Unfortunately our culture has taught us to bypass our emotions and to push on with-out acknowledging what we authentically feel. This creates great dis-ease in the body and the mind. Our body has amazing ways of communicating pain to us- so if you don’t acknowledge the emotional pain you will end up feeling it physically one way or another!
She uses the term “holistic” to describe the type of work that she does because the therapy and life coaching that she provides encompasses the thoughts, feelings, and emotions as well as physical health, nutrition and interpersonal relationships of everyone that I work with. I also use many different psychological theories, tools and techniques to meet my clients where they are because there is no “one-size fits all” method to therapy. She is always growing and seeking to learn more both in her personal and professional life. Elizabeth feels that life is a journey and it is important for us to continually be growing and learning more, for ourselves and others.