Dr. Martina Melzer, published: 03/22/2023
The US-American Rebecca Tolin is a TV news reporter. She travels abroad, to Asia. Then a traumatic event happens to her: a sexual assault. One year later she
travels to Asia again. She gets three viral infections – and crashes. Pretty quickly Rebecca gets the diagnosis ME/CFS. Other diagnoses, such
as fibromyalgia, follow. A 13 year long journey begins...
In the video-interview Rebecca explains what she tried to recover, what finally helped and why she became a mind-body-coach and runs a recovery program for people with chronic fatigue and chronic pain conditions as well as Long Covid:
Listen on Spotify or Anchor:
Key points from the video on recovery:
- Things like diets, supplements, antiviral medications, detoxes and vitamin infusions didn´t help.
- Meditation, gentle restorative yoga, being in nature, writing and reading poetry, surrendering to the illnesses and exploring the symptoms without resistance were the first helpful steps.
- In an online writing class Rebecca met a woman who had recovered from ME/CFS. She explained her path to recovery: a mind-body-approach by Dr. John Sarno an Dr. Howard Schubiner. She said to Rebecca: „You can recover from it“ and „You´re not sick“. That changed Rebecca´s life!
- She didn´t see herself as sick any longer, that was a paradigm shift for her.
- For nine to twelve months Rebecca worked with the mind-body-healing therapies created by Sarno and Schubiner – and made a full recovery after 13 years! The book „Unlearn your Pain“ by Howard Schubiner was very helpful for that. She also worked with Alan Gordon, who wrote the book „The Way Out“. She learned what Somatic Tracking is, a form of meditation where you track your symptoms without creating a danger signal in your brain and nervous system. That was a very helpful technique she still uses.
- She says „Self empowerment is very important“.
- Rebecca explains Dr. Sarno´s and Dr. Schubiner´s understanding of syndromes like ME/CFS and fibromyalgia: Life stressors trigger a danger signal in the brain and that leads to symptoms. Addressing the brain and nervous system are key factors for recovery – and becoming aware of your emotions.
- Another helpful approach was Polyvagal Theory by Dr. Stephen Porges, where she worked directly with the body and the nervous system. Rebecca explains Polyvagal Theory in a nutshell – the three states of your autonomic nervous system: social engagement, fight and flight, shutdown. She says: „Your nervous system wants to keep you safe.“
- She also used a Graded Exposure Therapy to loose the fear of activities that could trigger her symptoms.
- Rebecca is a co-author of a Harvard University study on Long Covid that has been published as a preprint (needs peer review by other scientists before getting published in a scientific journal):
- Her message to you: Do what your intuition is calling you. Find what lights you up, what gives you hope. Bring attention to your emotions on a daily basis and what gives you more energy.
I forgot to mention in all the excitement: Rebecca has played an important role in my recovery journey! I saw an interview with her on Liz Carlson's YouTube channel and contacted her afterwards. It was through Rebecca that I became aware of Sarno's and Schubiner's work and also started down this path to recovery. Thank you so much for everything, Rebecca!
Rebecca Tolin works as a mind-body-coach in San Diego, USA, and runs the recovery program „Be your own Medicine“, a live and online 10-weeks program which is going
to start at March 30th with a welcome module. Registration closes at April 4th. The first live class begins at April 6th.
How to find Rebecca Tolin:
Important: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for talking to your doctor or other therapist. The content reflects my personal experiences, research and findings that have helped me and that I therefore want to share. However, in your personal case, completely different things may play a role and other things may help. Please talk to your doctor or therapist before making any decisions that affect your physical or mental health. Also important: I don't want to convince anyone of anything here. Rather, I want to point out possible ways that shall help people to improve or overcome their ME/CFS or other syndromes.