5 Healers On Discovering Wellness For Themselves


“Physician, heal thyself,” the old saying goes. Taken optimistically, it resembles another useful axiom: practice what you preach. And while medical professionals come from all walks of life and often follow intense career tracks, most of the people we’d more broadly classify as Healers experienced a lightbulb moment themselves before they set out to help others restore their bodies.

Maybe, from personal experience, they realized the human body is a precious thing. Maybe they looked around and saw the world was unfair in the ways it allows people to take care of themselves. Maybe they began questioning commonly held notions of medicine and ended up in alternative medical practices.

Today, we hear from five Healers about their journeys to promoting health — with their hands, with their storefronts and through the universal power of music.

Chett Mallett

Chiropractor Chett Mallett could have gone into traditional medicine. Looking back on it, he might even have gone into law. But it was a conversation and a clinic tour from a neighbor and practicing chiropractor that captured Mallett’s imagination. The idea of “functional medicine” — or looking at how lifestyle, diet and preventative care help the body heal and regulate itself — appeals to Mallett today as it did then.

“Sometimes what medicine calls a miracle, [chiropractors] call an everyday occurrence,” Mallett says, recounting stories of how herniated discs, nerve issues, and chronic pain mended themselves without drugs or surgery.

“Being a Healer, to me, is being able to make people be the best you can be and protect them from illnesses you may see coming at them.” —Chett Mallett

For the bigger picture, watch Mallett’s full video interview below.

Cheri Rae Russell

Professional figure skating has a reputation for being grueling on its often very young athletes. That was yoga instructor Cheri Rae Russell‘s experience. She badly injured her knee at age 17, a fateful moment in her young life for a couple of reasons. After a recommendation from her physical therapist, Russell took up a personal yoga practice and hasn’t looked back in the decades since.

Today, Russell operates out of Los Angeles’ Peace Yoga Gallery and focuses just as much on the spiritual as the physical in her yoga instruction. Learn more in the video below.

“My passion is people and how they feel.” —Cheri Rae Russell

Gunnar Lovelace

It’s one of the great inequalities in American society: bad food is cheap; healthy food costs extra. Thrive Market CEO Gunnar Lovelace first encountered this paradox at a young age, a young Angelino who wondered why processed foods, with all their extra chemicals and packaging, were more affordable than organic options. Lovelace’s company is founded on righting that wrong, offering organic foods at 25-50 percent less than most health food stores.

It’s a fascinating business model in addition to a worthy cause. To find out how Lovelace’s company makes the dollars and cents work out, check out the video interview below.

Sheela Mahdavi

When nutritionist Sheela Mahdavi was a teenager, she was diagnosed pre-diabetic. Like many people on this list, she shied away from a drug-based solution; instead, she began experimenting with her own nutrition. The future school nutritionist found that by simply changing her diet she could improve her health and her happiness through her own creative control.

Today, she teaches and lives the mantra “food heals” and shares her nutritional knowledge with the middle schoolers of the Beverly Hills Unified School District. Learn more in our video interview with Mahdavi here.

James Hopkins

We’ve already touched once in this blog on a traumatic injury changing the course of a Healer’s life. But sonic healer James Hopkins‘ struggle through physical ailments has shaped him in an almost mythical way.

The seeds of alternative medicine were planted in Hopkins’ life early: at 14, he suffered a traumatic motorcycle injury that left him virtually paralyzed down his left side. When a chiropractor began working on him, the teenager’s movement and sensation quickly returned. That’s when Hopkins knew he would pursue a similar career. To give mobility back to a body is quite the gift.

Then, when James discovered he had a rare form of arthritis that would preclude him from continuing as a practicing chiropractor, he turned to another of the five senses for its restorative properties.

Learn more in our interview with the sonic healer here.

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