In January, 2014 I was badly injured in a workplace accident and wound up in the Worker’s Comp system. I was given a botched neck fusion surgery and then treated to the worst follow-up care imaginable. I spent an entire year in bed on so many pills that I nearly overdosed many times. I didn’t sleep for weeks on end. I blew up to 320lbs of complete sludge. I didn’t know it at the time, but I would wind up staying in bed for a whole year from January until December of 2014.
It didn’t take long before the pills didn’t work and the neck had not healed.
The pain quickly rolled me. Pain and pills day and night.
Pain controlled me. Soon the pills would too.
I found a doctor who gave me the best care I had never imagined possible. That doctor introduced me to a whole new way of fighting pain. Most importantly, she taught me some simple breathing exercises.
Her pain fighting method involved equal parts basic cellular biology, what turned out to be principles of quantum physics, some ancient indigenous healing wisdom and the use of state-of-the-art biotech. Using her method, under her guidance, I clawed my way in fits and starts, slowly but surely back from the dead.
I purchased some of my current biohacking equipment from her clinic either ahead of or at the same time as thought leaders Dave Asprey and Ben Greenfield among others and I’m here to tell you that what works for the one percenters of the world, works for 320lb casualties of the lack of care in our system.
I learned everything I could about the mechanism of oxygen in the human cell. Then I immersed myself in teaching myself mindfulness practice, yoga and the field of Epigenetics. I studied the human brain and body. I studied quantum field theory, electro-magnetism and their possible effect on human cell replication and function.
I found the inventors of the technology I was using and I developed relationships with them. I became fluent enough to converse intelligently with them in their field of expertise. I learned everything I could about the science behind the products and applied it to my life.
I got off almost every single pill in spite of the fact that there was 3mm of ‘travel’ in my C5/C6 neckbones punching my spinal column in the face. I did cross-fit and hot yoga for 3 years without pain medication using my breath to control the overwhelming sensation.
Most importantly, I changed my view of the blinding discomfort in my body and began to use it as motivation. I wrote tens of blogs, [archived here] made 50+ YouTube videos with free tips and tricks [archived here] and recorded an album of music for people in pain. Pain was no longer my master. Pain was now sensation driving me with my breath towards a solution for the larger pain epidemic around me.
I finally found a highly recommended surgeon who said that even my best efforts wouldn’t fix the faulty implant and failed former surgery in my neck. He repaired my neck in record time and I was back in the game. I recovered from the surgery with mind blowing real and phantom discomfort but only used 15 pain pills in the 2 months I had to stay relatively still and patient in my recovery once again.
I’d filmed a mini documentary leading up to and just after the surgery and was using my own Pneumanta breathing method for the world to see as proof that breath and brain can do anything.
I was about to launch my creative pain management method and resource rich website Pneumanta.com to the world as a solution to the pain crisis driving our opioid crisis when the worst thing happened.
I was an extremely delicate case and the nurse practitioner for the nation’s top Integrative doctor didn’t do her job. She broke her own protocol and had me shooting peptides up my nose without checking my blood levels or pancreas first.
I wound up in the hospital with a pancreatic lipase level of 2400 feeling like I was going to die. I spent 3.5 hours in an MRI that couldn’t even detect my breath or heartrate and kept shutting down. My heart rate plummeted to 28bpm and I was on 4-6mg of IV morphine and 1mg of Ativan every 2-4 hours for weeks. ME. THE NATIONAL PAIN WITHOUT DRUGS GUY!
First I lost my mind. Then I lost my media business. Then I lost many of the friends I’d just made or reconnected with. My world imploded overnight and I was in for the fight of my life.
This pain was unlike anything I’d ever experienced and I had to start my own system from the ground up in a real-world, live fire drill. I had the most acute of pancreatitis symptoms but that wasn’t all. I had been plunged into sympathetic overload—a nervous system condition affecting my brain and my gut via that super-highway of information the Vagus Nerve. It’s like overtaxing your home electrical panel until all the circuits shut off and the place goes dark.
I lay in the hospital bed breathing for weeks. One minute in. One minute out. Repeat.
Laying in what amounted to a virtual coma, I connected to my soul at a level I never thought possible. I gut checked my spiritual condition and decided to make another attempt at staying alive.
I returned to the doctor who had saved and then trained me 4 years earlier. We detoxed me off of my new opioid habit and learned what few foods I could eat. I spent the rest of 2018 learning to eat anything without opioids.
The sensation in my pancreas twenty-four hours a day was like the moment of impact between a mule hoof and my gut. Repeatedly. Without a break. It’s hard to breathe when you’re being kicked by an internal mule.
I signed up for a practitioner training program under the world’s foremost breath master Dan Brule. I learned a whole new way of unpacking trauma from my nervous system using my breath. I learned how to spot the same things in others’ breathing patterns almost immediately and help them release thoughts and feelings that are trapped in their body causing them chronic discomfort. I just completed 21 days straight in Baja, and another week in Annapolis, MD training daily with my teacher and relying on only my breath as a substitute for my high-tech pain solutions and my pain medication.
Today I’m off my pain meds and I manage my ongoing pancreatic discomfort with the power of my breath and my brain. I’ve refined my system and I’m generating as many ways to share what I’ve learned as I can creatively imagine.
From consulting with doctors and first responders on the front lines of the opioid epidemic to creating corporate wellness programs to hone team dynamics and improve performance, I’m creatively leveraging my past and my pain to help as many people in pain as possible.
I’m also working on a live stage show and slowly finishing my short film. I’ve released a record of music I wrote in my head while in the hospital for weeks just breathing, and I’m creating courses to teach you how to manage your mental, physical and emotional discomfort using your breath. . .
. . . And I’m doing it all while working on healing myself. Join me and breathe the relief you crave!