Sincerely Carolina

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my bioenergetic assessment experience

by caroline

For those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you might recall one of my posts a couple of weeks ago where I mentioned this guy:

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Like I said then, what you’re seeing above is a BioEnergetic Assessment tool, a system designed to identify a specific and wide range of energetic imbalances, including food intolerances. The woman behind this particular machine? Emily Levenson.

emily-levensonEmily is a holistic health coach who specializes in food sensitivities and conducts the testing at Pittsburgh’s Wellspring Whole Health. Not only does she help others address their specific issues, but she is outspoken about her own issues with food and how they caused digestive upset and migraines, as well as how they were rooted in her struggles with fertility. (She’s currently pregnant –– YAY!) She is also a writer and the co-founder of Propelle. PLUS, she’s a Pittsburgh gal — like me!

Before I get into what I learned from this assessment (so much!), let me first tell you a bit about why I decided to explore this practice.

As you all know, I have celiac disease. I was diagnosed 3-1/2 years ago (my, how time flies) after years spent in digestive hell. Something else you probably know: Eliminating gluten from my diet CHANGED MY LIFE. Not only did it begin my digestive healing, but it boosted my energy and immunity, significantly reduced my migraines, helped ease depression and wiped out joint pain. Essentially, it made me the “me” I had been missing for so many of the years where my symptoms were at their peak. I said goodbye to gluten and haven’t spent a minute looking back.

But even during all of this healing, there were some things that still didn’t sit well with me. As a health coach and writer, I hear it all the time: “As soon as I stopped eating ___________, I noticed I also have an issue with ___________.” Still, I persevered, thinking that maybe I was being too sensitive or, perhaps, I still had to give my digestive system some time.

You think I would have learned after all of the gluten shenanigans, but … hey, I’m a stubborn Irish girl. What can I say?

So, I wrote a book, added tons of new writing projects to my plate, stayed up too late, pushed myself through bouts of sickness, continued building this site, ignored my mental well-being, ate irregular meals … and did every other thing I would tell you not to do.

Where that left me was sitting in Emily’s office. Where it left me was completely out of sorts.

I was tired, breaking out, high strung, not sleeping and feeling digestive pains that I could no longer ignore. And you know what I realized? Even the best of us –– even the ones who know better –– need a little help from our oh-so-smart health professional friends sometimes.

And, so that’s what landed me on Emily’s couch talking about my issues and learning more about the BioEnergetic Assessment tool. I’m not going to lie: I was completely skeptical. I wasn’t sure how this machine –– which is built to read the energies in our bodies and how they respond to various foods, chemicals and even treatments, like meditation and deep breathing exercises -– was going to help me. But, I’ve always been receptive to holistic treatments and, quite frankly, prefer them, so I figured, “Why not?”

What I got from the assessment was something I never expected. Emily’s vast knowledge of how the body is affected by various foods paired with the machine’s ability to zero in on specific issues confirmed things about things about what makes this gal’s body tick (and sick) that I had been noticing (and often ignoring) for quite some time.

Much like acupuncture taps into the body’s meridians to release healing energy the computer reads the energetic impulses of points, primarily on the hand and foot, to help people better assess their specific imbalances. A few food intolerances I was expecting:

(1) Gluten in all its forms (DUH!)
(2) Dairy (most likely the root of my breakouts)
(3) Corn
(4) Sulfates
(5) Yeast

And some that surprised me …

(6) Spinach
(7) Quinoa
(8) Teff (a gluten-free grain)
(9) Yams
(10) Red Wine Vinegar

I know: WHAAAAT?! Spinach? Yams? How could they be bad?!


Well, that’s where I will stop you. What Emily and I discussed (and you know I have believed since I started this blog), is that what is good for one person, is not necessarily good for another. That means that while spinach might be one person’s manna, it might in fact be one of the culprits behind my unruly digestive tract.

Of course, my food isn’t totally to blame. Before I tell you more about my game plan, let me explain to you another aspect of what Emily and I discussed: My mind-body practice.

As many of you might know and believe, our well-being is not simply determined by the foods we put into our bodies, but also by the decisions we make on a daily basis. Some of them are obvious (smoking, excessive drinking, skipping exercise, etc.), while others are masked as good behaviors that are wreaking havoc on our overall wellness.

For me, it was –– and often is –– my tendency to never use my “off” button. I push, and push, and push because I want to be successful, I want to make each one of you happy, I want to pursue my goals … and so forth. But while that overachiever mentality has resulted in wonderful things, it can also cause me to ignore warning signs, like sleeplessness, migraines and exhaustion.

Hey, I’m only human, right?

So what that meant for my conversation with Emily was that I needed to get back to some of my healthier rituals, like shutting down social media and computers before bed, or resuming my yoga practice, which so deeply helps balance my Type-A personality. It also meant incorporating a few new habits, like meditation.


It’s something that I know I SHOULD do, I know I WANT to do and have even TRIED to do. But, I’ve been horrible about releasing myself to it. What I explained to Emily was that I am just not someone who can shut down my brain. I fear that meditation will lead to me feeling like a failure because I will sit down with the intention of being quiet and start thinking about everything I have to do today.

What Emily explained to me was that I was making the practice of mediation a much bigger deal than it really is. She assured me that I would have thoughts unrelated to meditation and that instead of following through with the thought I should, “Simply have the thought, then let is pass by,” she said, making a whooshing motion with her hand that indicated the thought had moved on and it was time to refocus on meditation.

The other solid point she made? “You don’t have to meditate for 30 minutes.” Emily reassured me that in fact five minutes a day would do me much more good than I might realize.

So, where does that leave me? Well, I have cut dairy, corn, yeast, sulfates, spinach, red wine vinegar, quinoa, and teff from my diet. I have also severely limited my intake of yams –– Emily assured me that it was low on my list and I didn’t have to go crazy town on that one -– and opted for some of my other favorite potatoes instead. I am also focusing on some of the milder trigger foods that came up during my scanning (e.g. sweet fruits, like pineapple, and papaya) and taking note of whether or not they cause a reaction.

I’ve also started MEDITATING. Say what now?! Yes, I’ve started mediating five minutes a day at the same time every day, using a wonderful iTunes podcast/app called Meditation Oasis (recommended by Emily). And I’ve started to power off more often. I have been working on taking more time where I’m not looking at my phone and glued to a computer screen. It’s not always easy because those places are, as they say, where the (work) magic happens for this gal, but I’m trying to remind myself that all of those things will still be around for me to conquer in the morning.

My plan is to update you in a month and let you know how things are going on my end. I’m hoping to become a more centered, less digestively-icky, breakout-free version of myself.

In the meantime, you want to connect with Emily, right? Hop to it because she’s going to be taking a pregnancy leave from the office soon. Her last day for testing is April 11th and then she will return at the end of June/early July (once she’s all settled into being a new momma). Of course, there will be another practitioner, Vanessa, taking over for her at Wellspring, so you can always schedule a meeting with her as well.

Then again, if you aren’t local, then you can connect with Emily and learn more about the distance testing she offers for people who can’t make it into the office. She’s also awesome at answering questions on Twitter, so you can always touch base there too. Her deets:


I’m looking forward to seeing what the next month or so brings and how these changes will affect my overall well-being. I am consistently fascinated by the human body and its many facets, so this will be a new experience for me and it’s one I am excited to share with each of you.

Happy Wednesday, cupcakes!