Do not judge the moment — accept what is. This doesn’t mean being a doormat. It means recognizing and accepting, without judgment, what is present for you at the moment, and then taking action from there.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Kipp.
Elizabeth Kipp is a Chronic Pain Specialist, Yoga-Informed Addiction Recovery Coach, Ancestral Clearing® Practitioner, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, and international best-selling author who is focused on helping people realize the power of their inherent healing. Elizabeth healed from over 50 years of chronic pain, including anxiety, panic attacks, and 32 years of addiction to prescribed opiate and benzodiazepine medication. She is the author of The Way Through Chronic Pain: Tools to Reclaim Your Healing Power.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I experienced 59 years of chronic pain and 32 years of addiction to prescribed opiates and benzodiazepines due to unresolved physical and emotional childhood trauma. The only answer the doctors had for my chronic pain was medication. This strategy did not address my pain. It exacerbated it. I became hypervigilant, suffered from hyperalgesia and frequent debilitating panic attacks. My health suffered greatly because this approach led to:
a) my pain getting worse and worse;
b) a compromised ability to breathe and digest food, so I was not able to take in nourishment; I was dying inch by inch, cell by cell; and
c) depression and hopelessness.
I finally found a doctor who understood the nature of the underlying causes of chronic pain. He taught me how to find my way through without medication. I healed and now live a thriving life.
I found peace and vitality. I never want anyone to go through what I experienced ever again. So I am here to share the tools I learned to heal from chronic pain — without pharmaceuticals. My mission to help others experience this transformation in their life — and my methods are based on my direct experience.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
I went to a retreat on a cruise ship to offer the group an experience of the Ancestral Clearing® process I facilitate. I met Anna Pereira, Founder of The Wellness Universe, on this cruise for the first time. Anna was in the front row on my left as I began the Ancestral Clearing® event. A few minutes into the event, the ship alarm went off, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Anna jump and freeze. I could tell she was in a full-on panic attack. I stopped the Ancestral Clearing® process and pivoted immediately to Anna and began the Bilateral EFT/Tapping process that I teach. Anna was able to look and me and copy what I was doing and saying — and calm down. Here is Anna’s description of what happened. She published this as part of her recommendation for me on LinkedIn.
“Elizabeth had a direct impact on my life as she facilitated me to calm within two minutes as I was having a complete breakdown triggered by PTSD from an emergency landing that I once experienced on a plane. She was in the middle of guiding a group I was in when an alarm went off, triggering me into a complete, utter panic. I freaked out, thinking that the ship we were on was going to sink. Elizabeth jumped into action! She came to me and guided me without hesitation of what to do. Here experience and grounded energy got me focused, relaxed, and calm within two minutes. Yes, everyone in the room had their mouths hanging open with the look on their face, “OMG! What just happened?” Elizabeth truly knows and embodies all her modalities and has the ability to effectively address a wide variety of stress reactions. It was nothing short of a miracle what Elizabeth did for me that day. I feel like she saved my life.”
The main lessons from this story are:
- Do not underestimate the power of the work you do;
- Stay aware and present;
- The stress-relieving modalities that I teach are powerful, and I am deeply grateful for them; and,
- You never know when someone will need help.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I was first starting, the biggest mistake I made was that I did not realize the impact of simply listening deeply to a chronic pain client and taking her through a quick Ancestral Clearing® session. Here is the story of my client Claire’s lived experience and the impact this had on her:
Claire: “I’ve looked everywhere. I’ve seen scores of doctors. I’ve taken the medicines. I’ve done what I was told. The medicine isn’t working. I am still in pain, and it’s getting worse. I’m losing hope. I feel like I am standing on the edge of a ledge and will fall any moment. Surely there is another way to live, one without this constant suffering from chronic pain. Tell me what to do. I’ll do it. Just help me, please. You have gone through chronic pain and come out the other side. Can you help me?”
Me: “Yes. I am not a doctor or a therapist. However, I have gone through decades of chronic pain and found help to heal my condition and a way to live a life without suffering. I am happy to teach you the tools that worked for me.”
I sat calmly with this chronic pain sufferer. First, I asked Claire just to breathe and drop any struggle with the pain. We talked for a short while, and I listened to Claire’s story. She had never been able to tell her story to anyone who truly seemed to hear her. The relief in Claire’s voice from finally being listened to was palpable. Next, I did an Ancestral Clearing® with her.
Claire felt a pronounced shift and release in her pain. She said: “Wow! I feel calm and at ease in my body. I wasn’t sure that this would ever be possible for me again in my life. For the first time in eleven years, I have hope.”
Since our reaction to the experience of chronic pain can lead to sheer hopelessness, believing that we will never get better, the example of Claire’s shift helped me craft an effective methodology to helping chronic pain sufferers find hope that healing is possible for them.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
After over 40 years of going to doctors all over the world looking for health and healing, Dr. Peter Przekop, D.O., Ph.D. was the first one who looked at my health situation with wholeness in mind, body, and spirit. He was a phenomenally gifted healer and a fierce force for love. He looked beyond the specific diagnosis and prognosis so many doctors had given me. He stared straight into me and saw who I truly was: a being trapped in the grip of chronic pain but who was waiting to emerge and experience the healing power that was locked inside me to fully blossom. He opened the door and then guided me into releasing the awesome, powerful potential to heal that lived inside me. He taught me and thousands of others how to live a life free of pain and suffering. One of the most profound things Dr. Przekop taught me was to accept what is. Peter was here on earth teaching us that “We don’t have to suffer” and showing us how to do that — not to suffer. For real.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Chronic pain is ANY pain — physical, emotional, spiritual — felt for 15 days out of 30 for three months or more. These all send the same signal: “It hurts.” Chronic pain changes the brain. To heal, we need to bring in modalities that address these changes. Pain medication does not achieve this. You can recover from chronic pain. I have done it. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 25% of everyone in North America suffers from chronic pain. The World Health Organization estimates that fully 1/5 of the world suffers from it. Chronic pain is a silent epidemic. Doctors said I would never heal from chronic pain. They were wrong. I am the proof. The work I do helps people suffering from chronic pain that there is hope and that they can heal. Chronic pain is not a life sentence.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
- Conscious breathing. There is nothing so powerfully and immediately soothing as a breath taken slowly, deeply, and consciously.
- Fall deeply in love with yourself — you are your life partner.
- Lead with kindness and compassion, and these will chart your path forward.
- Cease complaining. Be grateful for and in every moment.
- Do not judge the moment — accept what is. This doesn’t mean being a doormat. It means recognizing and accepting, without judgment, what is present for you at the moment, and then taking action from there.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I am passionate about people healing and stepping up and getting serious about it. I would start a ’12 Steps of Wellness Movement.’ Here they are:
- None of us were born to suffer.
- We all have the ability to heal.
- Love with all your heart.
- Get real about your healing.
- Commit to your healing.
- Do the work it takes to heal.
- Do the work every day.
- Get real about your healing (if you missed it the first time.)
- Never let anyone or anything get in the way of your healing.
- Love yourself fiercely and without reservation.
- Accept what is.
- Be grateful for all that comes your way, and more will be revealed.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- To stay laser-focused on the task at hand. There are so many things required to get a business up and running that it is easy to lose focus, and then nothing gets done.
- Self-care comes first. It was so easy for me to put the business first. I learned that my self-care comes first, and everything else flows naturally from that.
- Learn to use Google. It took me a while to realize that Google is a source for answering many technical (and other) questions.
- Remember to breathe consciously during the day; it’s an excellent de-stressor. With so many decisions to make and actions to take in my business every day, it was easy for me to get so busy that I forgot to pause. It helps my decision-making and ability to execute necessary tasks when I include regular conscious breathing into the day.
- Check out local vendors for support. I was surprised at how many local shop owners wanted to host live group events for me. Also, there are many stores besides bookstores that sell health and wellness books as part of their product offering. Make sure to investigate the shops in your area. Shop owners are always looking for new products to sell.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
The cause nearest and dearest to my heart is support and research for mental health, with an emphasis on childhood trauma and addiction. I grew up in a family where child abuse and addiction ruled the household. It runs through generations within my family. Two of my nieces died as young adults, resultant from addiction. From May 2019 — May 2020, more than 81,000 Americans died of an overdose. That is 222 people every day. Unhealed childhood trauma underlies both chronic pain and addiction. If we could focus on that, perhaps we might make some real progress with the other two.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
You can find me on LinkedIn
Thank you for these fantastic insights!