By the age of twenty, I was smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, and had for six years. That may sound like a lot, but I came by my habit honestly; my mother had a 35-year, three pack-a-day habit. Hey, it was the early 80s, when you could still smoke in a movie theater, or at the back of an airplane. I was even allowed to smoke in my college dorm room!
In 1987, my mom attended a group hypnosis session and she quit--overnight. It was quite a revelation to see this woman, whom I'd watched for years struggle with cigarettes, just walk away from them, without any fuss or drama. So I decided to give it a try. She booked an appointment for me with a hypnotherapist in Toronto and I remember him explaining to me that smoking was a habit that was deeply grooved in my subconscious mind, and that I could either do battle with it--probably unsuccessfully--for the rest of my life, or enter my subconscious mind through hypnosis and undo the habit, thereby ending the struggle. He said that I had to really want to bust out of my nicotine prison--this wasn't magic--but if I did, he would give me the hypnotic tools to do it. We did the hypnosis, and I left his office that day completely blissed out, with a tape of the session I could listen to whenever I felt the urge.
I haven't smoked since, nor have I wanted to.
In 1999, I decided to become a hypnotherapist and studied with a wonderful teacher, Gerry Kein of DeLand, Florida. He was a real master at childhood regression, trauma release and just generally accessing the positive energy within all of us. After my training, I was certified by The National Guild of Hypnotists and started my practice in Portland, Maine.
I also trained with the late Marie Mongan, creator of HypnoBirthing, and began to work with pregnant women and their partners. Between 1999 and 2009, I helped hundreds of couples to prepare for labor, and attended over 50 births. I also had the opportunity to train medical professionals in the HypnoBirthing techniques throughout the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., and I was the first practitioner to teach nurses, doulas and obstetricians in South Africa, which was an amazing experience. In 2004, I was given The Director's Award by the HypnoBirthing Institute for my work in spreading peaceful birthing throughout the world, and I developed a unique technique to help mother's release trauma from difficult birthing experiences; it works every time.
In 2006, I created Self-Hypnosis for Actors, a course designed to help actors with audition nerves, memorization and character work. I've taught the course in Los Angeles, New York and Miami, and it now exists online at hypnosis4actors.com.
One more thing: I'm also a whole foods chef and have written two books, The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics and The MILF Diet. I've also had the opportunity to help a number of celebrities with their diet and lifestyle books.