My YouTube Interview with Mika:
Mika, 39, shares her full recovery story from CFS, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), Mast Cell (MCAS), POTS, and more.
In her early 20’s, Mika was was an NYC it girl with a big job and a TV show, seemingly on top of the world. Then a chemical injury at work caused her health to come crashing down. Mika spent multiple years with debilitating chronic illnesses, the last year of which was spent mostly crawling around her house in solitude with her cats.
Before finding her way out, she spent lots and lots of money trying every functional medicine treatment under the sun. While some treatments were supportive, she took things way too far, and her world became smaller and smaller.
Mika was one of the first pioneers to apply brain retraining (aka neural retraining / limbic system retraining) to heal chronic illnesses. She healed all her physical symptoms this way rather quickly. However, then the panic attacks (which she never had before) began and her life started to fall apart. She eventually found a new modality, and found the connection it provided to be very healing for her childhood attachment wounds. You can reach Mika at meadowhealing.com.
[00:00] Liz: Hi, I’m Liz and I healed from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And I’ve come back to share my story and the stories of others who have healed. Nothing on this channel is medical advice nor meant to contradict what you yourself have discovered to be true. I hope by sharing our stories, we can inspire you on your journey.
Liz: All right. I‘m so excited today to be chatting with Mika. Ten years ago she healed herself from a long list of debilitating chronic illnesses. I’m so glad you’re here today chatting with me.
[00:38] Mika: Hi Liz, I’m excited to be here and a little nervous. And this is [shows her cat] Coquette’s here, too.
[00:44] Liz: Oh, hello, Coquette.
Click on the toggles below to expand each section. Nothing shared is medical advice.
Liz: All right. So I always ask my guests what your purpose is for sharing your story.
[00:59] Mika: First of all, you. I saw somebody sent me one of your videos, and I’ve never done anything like this before I’ve been invited to but have declined. But the way that your channel was and the way that you entered, it just was so inspiring, I guess.
And so I thought, you know, I’ve got to jump into this conversation because it felt like the right time. And of course, because I want more people to heal because I, I understand what it’s like to be there and to be scared and desperate and to feel really alone and to be looking for answers.
[01:42] Liz: Wow. And I feel so honored, Mika. I really do. So thank you. I really do.
Liz: So would you like to share a little bit about your life before becoming chronically ill?
[01:57] Mika: Yeah, sure. I was always a little bit sickly, even as a kid compared to my brother, but nothing that ever held me back. Like I was a really kind of imaginative and expansive person.
I had tons of big dreams and wanted to do them all. And I remember though, even prior to getting sick, I would describe myself to people. Sometimes I would say, I feel like. I’m a bird that has nowhere to land, like I can never stop flying.
And I didn’t have… I’m like 21 or something at the time and living in New York City, I didn’t, there wasn’t the awareness of attachment or trauma or anything for me to understand that through any kind of lens, other than that, this was my visceral kind of embodied feeling.
And it was exhausting. I remember just feeling like I wish I could just land somewhere.
[02:59] Liz: And you went to NYU, and then you had a really intense job in finance, was it?
[03:06] Mika: Yeah. Well, I was as a child, like a very daydreamy creative type with very little interest in conforming to any kind of social norms. So I went to NYU to study poetry, and I was also acting. But my dad and I had a really close relationship. He really wanted me to be like a lawyer or a doctor. He’s an immigrant. And I…I did so well in school that maybe that was, and I was good at science and math, and that was a little bit of an expectation. So I was always trying to do both, like the things he wanted me to do and the things that I wanted to do.
And it would result in, you know, four or five hours of sleep a night and a lot of caffeine to kind of get through. So I, at that time that I got sick, I was heading up a creative department for a FinTech company. And I was also still acting and producing art exhibitions in New York City.
And so I was basically just working non-stop and I had a TV show that had gotten picked up that I’d signed the contract when I was still in undergrad.
And then it got picked up when I was working, and I happened to have a house fire at the same time.
This is it for like [most people], I think you’ve probably noticed this.
Everybody has their perfect storm, right? But yeah, everything went crazy.
[04:36] Liz: Yeah. And I think wanting to please your parents because that immigrant mindset. My parents weren’t immigrants, but you know, they worked from meager means. And so it was instilled upon me, you can be a doctor, you can be a lawyer, [or a business executive].
[04:54] Mika: These are your choices!
[04:55] Liz: Yeah. I do want to ask, was there any certain trigger, like a virus or maybe a chemical exposure or anything biological that was like a final straw, you think?
[05:09] Mika: Yeah, the final straw was a chemical injury. Our company had to move offices because our central hub in New York City was growing really quickly. And so I actually chose this beautiful, like 12,000 square foot loft overlooking Union Square. It was Andy Warhol’s, um, it was like a historical site because it was one of his buildings.
And we were going to do a whole build out and for some reason, I remember like, I wanted to go look at the space, you know, with an architect or something that is bringing and the management of the building was like, “Oh, you can’t the floors are wet.” And I was like, “What do you mean the floors are like, why would you redo?”
Because it had these beautiful hardwood floors and they had sealed them with polyurethane with a finish that had polyurethane. And I didn’t really know what that was at the time. And then I started working out of the office and it was funny because the fumes were bothering, like people were getting migraines.
There were a lot of asthmatics that were like coughing and things like that.
And I was fine. Until I wasn’t.
One of the last gala’s Mika went to before her health fully collapsed:
Photograph ©Patrick McMullan
I remember it being the dead of winter and opening all the windows just to try to get the fumes out. But I think it was maybe like two weeks and everyone else was fine. They were like, “Oh, they’re dried.” And I was like, “No, they’re not. I can still smell them.”
And it was just this. This really toxic smell that I could still smell even six months later there. But that was when I finally decided, I talked to my boss about working from home and we agreed to that for two weeks. I started to develop really bad carpal tunnel and was wearing like braces and had neuropathy and was dropping things all the time.
And I had taken two weeks off thinking the floors would dry and I’d work from home. And then the day that I went back, was going to go back to the office, I had had some kind of neurological episode and my assistant, I think I had texted her.
I was in a store, and I woke up in the hospital.
The doctors, they admitted me and were doing MRIs, and I was severely dehydrated. I remember the nurse and the doctor saying they had never seen someone suck up so many IV bags at once, but I was just really confused. I was seeing like weird lights everywhere. And then I remember thinking… Well, my insurance dropped me while I was in the hospital, because this was before that was illegal.
And then I just remember being like, this is going to be a huge bill. Like I have to get out of here. And so I checked myself out against medical recommendation, thinking like, I just need to do some yoga. I need to meditate more. I need to eat. I was already eating so healthy, but this was what I was, you know [thinking], and that I would be better.
But I never did. It just got worse from there over the course of many years.
[08:33] Liz: Oh no. So were you able to even do any work or did you have to give up your seemingly dream job of yours?
[08:43] Mika: I had to quit the TV show that I was filming because we were filming when it happened also. So they replaced me. And then I also tried to work from home, but I didn’t have any use of my hands at that point and was just fainting constantly.
And I remember it being really scary because I was living alone and was having like very severe blood sugar episodes. Or I’d kind of shake and then I’d eat something and I’d feel better. But no, I ended up quitting that job, too. And again, like, I was… I think I was around 25 years old, maybe, so I didn’t have any awareness about like that.
I could have filed for financial support, but there’s steps I could have taken that I didn’t take and just ended up in like this mountain of debt from the hospital stay and from having to back out of all of the work I was doing.
[09:35] Liz: Oh wow. So how did this impact any relationships you had? Did you have anyone helping you?
And I mean, being in the prime of your life with everything seemingly going your way and then it all crashing down.
[09:53] Mika: I haven’t thought about this in so long. It’s like making me a little bit teary eyed for that girl. My partner, we had just gotten a condo together in Williamsburg and Brooklyn, and he had had to Go to India because his father had just passed away and then he wasn’t able to come back Even though he was in the States on an H-1B and we worked at the same company. We met at work.
So I was alone at the time and we were trying to do long distance I wasn’t the type and and this is also even well after I healed from all the illness stuff has been part of my work and part of my growth. I wasn’t the type to really tell anybody how bad it was, or even to myself, I would think, “Oh, like, it’s going to be fine. It’s going to be fine.”
And so when the idea… I remember, like if anyone would ever suggest that there was some kind of psychosomatic element, it was like, “No, it can’t be” because I always would tell myself, “It’s fine. It’s not a big deal.” You know, I’m like, [recalling an incident in college] I had gone into a hypoglycemic coma, but I remember like going to class the next day, the next morning to take a French test. Everything was downplayed with me.
And so I don’t know that many people knew how unwell I was.
I think that though, because I developed very extreme chemical sensitivity, and that was that’s the hardest part in terms of impacting and making relationships really difficult. Was that part of your journey?
[11:31] Liz: That was more of a minor symptom for me.
Mine was more of the extreme fatigue, but I think you also had extreme fatigue as well.
[11:39] Mika: Yeah. And pain like fibromyalgia type pain, too. I guess that that could be something that I didn’t have to talk about, no matter how much pain or how fatigued I was, I could kind of muscle through it and smile through it. [Note: There were days Mika could only mostly sleep, and she had to drag herself to feed her cats.]
[11:53] Mika: But with the MCS, I started avoiding my friends, and I think that it was probably because I didn’t feel like I could say “Your perfume is making me sick for days or I can’t even be coherent when I spend time with you because I can’t function through what’s happening to me.”
Mika was wearing masks before they were a thing.
I did have some friends that were amazing, like I was really blessed to have some that just went through every hoop that they could for me. The ones that I was comfortable with asking. And I know that that’s really fortunate because I have some clients where it’s not the case.
But at some point, nothing was enough. I could smell if somebody had been to the dentist’s office earlier.
And it would send my health into a spiral because I could smell the dentist’s office on them, even though they weren’t wearing perfume or deodorant or their hair and special stuff for me.
So the last year I was really, really isolated. I remember there being like a year point where I was like, I don’t think I’ve had a hug in a year.
A Christmas spent without family, because her chemical sensitivities and other health issues made plane travel impossible.
[13:11] Liz: Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry you went through that, but you’re now such a shining light.
Liz: And yeah, so yeah, you alluded to something you said. And this relates to me too, I also initially brushed off any psychosomatic type of suggestion.
I, like you, was the person who always said, “Oh, it’s going to be fine. It’s great. I’m fine.”
[13:40] Mika: Part of our delusional optimism.
[13:42] Liz: Yeah. So did you ever get from any mainstream doctor, “Oh, you’re just anxious?”
[13:49] Mika: Well, I didn’t have a history of it, and I didn’t feel anxious. I was still quite like a fearless person at that time.
For me, everything was physical and it wasn’t like I was even seeing doctors before that. I know I’m very young at the time, but I had found a GP, and I went and all my lab work came back abnormal.
I think there was one doctor that sat me down and suggested that it was in my head, and I got really angry, but most of the doctors could see, like, something’s going on, and they’d order more testing, and just nothing was really leading to any answers.
[14:29] Liz: Okay, so you had abnormal labs, but they couldn’t find what was at the root? Did you end up going to any specialty clinics and finding, like, any pathogens or anything like that?
[14:41] Mika: Yeah. Eventually you go, one of my typical things was that my white blood cell counts would be like abysmal. Sometimes they wouldn’t even clock.
I remember the first doctor I went to, he was like, “Your lab work looks like you just ran a marathon.”
It was something to do with like muscle breakdown and inflammation. And I was like, I can’t even get out of bed. I’m not running marathons. You know, um, and then eventually I saw endocrinologists and I was borderline hypothyroid, but didn’t have Hashimoto’s, so they didn’t put me on medication.
And then I ended up moving back to Los Angeles thinking that maybe that would be good for me that I would have more support there, you know, and at that point started seeing a lot of functional doctors I was diagnosed with literally everything at some point.
And I remember with each diagnosis, I would think, “Oh, this is the answer. I’ll get treatment for This. And then I’ll be better!”
I was finally put on thyroid medication, which actually did help. That was one thing that I did notice helped a lot. And then I was diagnosed with EDS and Mast Cell and Lyme disease and, by my rheumatologist in LA, fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Mika tried to keep a sense of humor and live her life the best she could, despite her debilitating symptoms of extreme fatigue, pain, sensitivities, and more. On a mini trip to Malibu, where she mostly slept, her ex placed some oranges that he picked on her head and took this picture.
And MCS and electromagnetic sensitivities, and also this whole time I have like no use of my hands because this really is a carpal tunnel. I can’t even remember now what all I was diagnosed with. JAK2 mutation, which was really scary because that was one of the things that even typical allopathic medicine takes very seriously.
So yeah, there was a lot.
Toward the end I had complete gastroparesis, dysautonomia, POTS. I couldn’t really eat anymore.
Mika also experienced worsening of skin issues, and the blood vessels in her eye would easily pop.
Yeah, so, but I think I saw all the doctors in functional medicine.
[16:35] Liz: Did you have any wins in these doctor’s offices? Did any of the treatments help?
[16:42] Mika: I remember I started going to this doctor a few times a week in Santa Monica and she was so loving. And kind and supportive and would just she took that time to just be with us and she ran like a very busy IV room where I made tons of friends. Um, and I would feel better with IV electrolytes, as of course we know when we’re most of us in this kind of limbic malfunction will both not absorb and also lose a lot of electrolytes.
So that did help, and glutathione IVs.
Pictures of some of Mika’s treatments.
Also would make me feel better and there were times when I was seeing her a lot that I would think that I was getting better.
In retrospect, I think it was the environment of support that she offered.
So that was amazing. And she also managed my thyroid meds and that helped. But as far as seeing like the Lyme disease specialist, the environmental toxicologist, I really got worse through doing this in a lot of ways.
One of my Lyme doctors, I used to kind of listen to him religiously. I would read everything, every study he would reference. I would read, cause you know, you’re just like desperate to get better. And here’s someone saying you have the answers. The problem with that is, is not only am I not safe around all these smells and chemicals and perceiving that as danger, but also I’m told that when it rains, you have to close all the windows because there’s aluminum in the rain.
So now. I’m nervous about the rain. Um, I’m told that I’m not never going to heal if I don’t get rid of my cats who are like my family. When you’re told that from a doctor, that’s, you know, highly reputable. It’s hard, you know, every time my cats will come and like cuddle on my face. You know, you love it.
But there would be like this thing in the back of my head that would be like, oh no, this is making me sick. Or you know, they were big into chem trails and all, you know, like all the things. And my world just got smaller and smaller. And that was toward the end when I had like no connection and was very isolated.
[18:58] Liz: Your cats were your best friends and they’re saying, be afraid of your cats. So did they specify anything about the cat that, what was it about the cat that they said. I don’t want to scare anyone.
[19:09] Mika: Is it toxoplasmosis? I don’t remember if he said this to me in person, or if it was like a talk that I’d listen to, but I remember it like wired in me.
And actually there was a doctor that worked under him that was like, “Mika, don’t get rid of your cats. It’s fine. It’s fine. They give you so much love.” She was really sweet.
Mika kept her cats.
[19:26] Liz: So it sounds like you were already, your body was already, afraid of these chemicals, and now you’re afraid of the cats, and you’re afraid of your own body because of maybe what they told you about Lyme and things like that.
[19:43] Mika: Right. You think that you’re full of pathogens. And maybe we are, maybe we aren’t. I mean, the body is an ecosystem. But to have that kind of running in the background throughout the day. Um, was a lot. Yeah.
[19:57] Liz: Yeah. And it’s interesting because these doctors are very validating, too, and we want them to have the answer to fix us.
I mean, there is some truth into that. There are, are biomes and viromes, and fungomes.
[20:14] Mika: Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of very valid, high quality research about this, right? It just wasn’t what healed me.
Yeah. And I also want to say, like, These were people with very good intentions. You know, they were willing to try to help people that no one else was willing to try to help.
[20:35] Liz: Thank you for saying that. Yeah, I think we should acknowledge that. And it’s easy to, to be like, “Oh, these are good people. These are bad.” There’s a lot of that online. So thanks for being honest that, yeah, that wasn’t what healed you, but maybe these people did have good intentions. And after all, they were willing to help this population that kind of had been overlooked.
[20:59] Mika: And it probably kept me alive. When I needed all that support, because when you can’t eat and my immune system wasn’t functioning. So I’m really grateful that it was there. I just went way too far down that rabbit hole.
[21:14] Liz: Ooh. Yes. That’s so interesting that you said that because I did post something myself.
You probably didn’t see it, about how far I went down the rabbit hole thinking that was the answer. And of course, a little down the rabbit hole is okay. But it sounds like you went really far down the rabbit hole and probably lost a lot of money too as well.
[21:36] Mika: Lots and lots and lots of money. Yeah, lots of money.
I mean, you’ll pay anything when you think that this is what the answer is going to be to get you your life back.
[21:48] Liz: Yeah. So I do want to ask now. So when did you start to say, “Okay, I’ve gone so far down the rabbit hole, but I’m afraid of life now.” When did you start to think, “Okay, there could be another way?”
Did you have any epiphanies or what led you to the route that you ultimately found?
[22:10] Mika: These are good questions. I don’t get asked these very often. Um, there was a big epiphany that came I had had to move out of my home in LA because, you know, like the people would come and work on my yard and like the fumes from the leaf[blowers], but like, I just couldn’t live in LA anymore.
[Liz shakes head and says ‘leaf blowers…’ Liz note: I had my own leaf blower bad experiences during my recovery journey, as my window faced a community dog park which didn’t even have any leaves, but the leaf blowers were in full force.]
And so I moved up into the Hollywood Hills where the air was fresher with a friend that also had MCS. And really got into it at that point.
She had like an ozone pool and an infrared sauna in her house.
And, you know, we had all the bone broths and all the perfect things and she had had it longer than me. [A cleanse she did, pictured below.]
And I remember her telling me that she had had to rip out all of her rose bushes. And I was like, but, but roses aren’t chemicals, so it’s a natural smell. And because I only reacted to chemicals at that time. And she, I don’t remember what her answer was for that, but that was what happened and she was sad about it because she loved roses.
I eventually could no longer live in LA at all and had to move back home with my parents. And that was so devastating. I remember like I couldn’t fly because of the EMFs and all the sensitivities, and so I drove with my cat. I still remember them being in like this wicker laundry basket in my backseat.
And my parents house was the only place that I could find where I could be. And this is a problem for a lot of people with really extreme environmental sensitivities is housing. I remember I couldn’t, on the way up, I had to sleep in my car cause there wasn’t a hotel that I could stay at.
Anyway, so back at my parents house. My mom grows a lot of flowers and one day she had put a bunch of irises in a vase in the foyer. And I kind of like walk in and they had been having an ant problem. And my mom had been saying that she needed to, you know, someone needed to come spray. And I was trying to convince them to use like cinnamon and cough, whatever, you know, diatomaceous earth.
And I walked in and it was the… you know, irises are very fragrant, but I thought that someone had come to spray for the ants.
Pesticide is what it smelled like to me. And I remember just like being so angry.
Like I rarely would get angry. And I was like, you know, just why would she do this to me? And then I look up and I see the flowers and there was like this…
And I remember just like walking out of the room because I had to and, you know, trying to cope from that incident and realizing at that time, like, “Maybe I am crazy, like everyone thinks.”
And that was a big aha moment for me.
And it was also like, um, I love flowers. I also do flower design. So it was also just devastating for me that I might lose flowers like my friend had, too.
Mika: Because it [flowers] was one of the last things I had, like I can’t horseback ride anymore. I can’t work anymore. I can’t see friends anymore. I can’t go out to dinner, you know, like people maybe understand more now because of the pandemic.
But… and I think it was very shortly after that, I had read Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton.
Have you read it?
[25:50] Liz: No, but I’ve heard him speak on different apps and things.
[25:55] Mika: And I remember where I was sitting, and it was more because of my JAK2 mutation, it’s a genetic disease. And he’s talking about how epigenetics and that our gene expressions can change based on our environment.
And I remember him saying something about like “Imagine of yourselves were like a community like what thoughts are you telling them,” and it just felt true.
It just felt true, like the truest thing that I had read.
Prior to that I was beginning to look into steps to end my life. And I remember like I wanted to write notes to my family, especially my dad, he was the one that I was closest to and
I remember writing like, “I’m so sorry I’m doing this, but I’ve…I’ve tried everything.” Because I did. I was one of those patients that did everything perfectly.
And, you know, I was able to bankroll it, so I did everything.
And so for anyone listening that’s like I don’t have the money to do, I promise you, it probably, it probably won’t make a difference if this is what you need. So it, and I had this thought in the back of my mind at that time. Because I remember seeing the DNRS website maybe a little bit prior, just from like a Google rabbit hole I was on, but back at that time, it didn’t even look like a legitimate website.
Like it was like before it became big, and it just kind of looked… like this seems um. So I remember that popping into my head.
[27:36] Liz: It’s so funny you said that because I did it [DNRS] in 2018 and it was still pretty like 90s vibes.
Liz: She’s hopping around in her living room. But I, that’s what I loved about it.
[27:51] Mika: Well, it would be very in now with the young kids.
[27:53] Liz: Oh yeah, but I think she actually, they just did a 2.0 version, and I’m like, “No, I kind of missed the charm,” but so you had seen the DNRS maybe on a Google search.
You had read the Bruce Lipton book on the power of epigenetics, how our environments and our beliefs can actually change our gene expression. So what’s the next step from there?
Liz: So what was the next step from there?
[28:21] Mika: Obsessive hyper focused research. It just, I have ADHD, so my hyper- focus involves reading. I read voraciously. So I just went into that full research mode.
I remember like, I didn’t buy DNRS, because it still looked, it still didn’t look like a real thing at that time. And I felt like I had spent so much of my parents money that I didn’t want to ask for another thing unless I felt quite certain that it was… Going to work like I was like ashamed to ask so I just started reading everything I could on on psychoneuroimmunology back at that time.
There wasn’t the same availability and like pop culture that there is now but there were there was Candace Pert and there was Caroline Leaf And, um, I was reading a lot of that, and also they’ll reference scientific studies, so I’d pop over and buy those and read those. There was some really promising research on carpal tunnel that excited me.
So I think I dove into that for about two months. And I was watching all these Joe Dispenza [videos] and reading all of his books, too. I remember at the time. Thinking that that sounded crazy as well.
And no offense, until you not just witnessed it, but experienced it yourself, it does sound very far fetched.
Like it sounds very woo woo. But I started trying the Joe Dispenza meditations. And I think one of my first successes was that I did one of his meditations. And I had had eczema my whole life. Like my hands would be covered and it was very dependent on like what I would eat. But toward the end, it was just always kind of there.
And I did the one 30 minute meditation and it was like, my hands didn’t itch afterward. And I remember thinking that that was Probably in my head and then it just healed and never came back.
Liz: Oh my.
Mika: So that was my, I think my first like, there’s… I don’t care if it’s in my head. You know, there’s something to this, and it felt very magical.
And I remember reading his books and kind of like glossing over all of the manifestation type stuff, as far as like you could manifest money or a partner. I was very focused on being able to change your health. That made more sense to me at the time, that we would have some kind of reign over our system.
And I tried to keep doing those, but they ended up throwing me into a pretty extreme dissociative episode where I couldn’t. Even after the meditation, I couldn’t direct my body, like I couldn’t move, and it passed eventually, but it was really scary.
[31:19] Liz: Yeah, so you were like watching yourself, kind of, or just not even there?
[31:25] Mika: That one was more like, um, sleep paralysis.
Liz: Oh, okay.
Mika: Like I couldn’t, just couldn’t direct, like my mind would be like, stand up, and I couldn’t. And it was, pretty scary, and then after that had happened I lingered in kind of that depersonalized state for a couple weeks and eventually came out of it and then I started trying tons of neurofeedback but would have the same kind of response.
And then eventually I ordered Phil Parker’s book, who is the Lightning Process founder. And he outlines what we now know as the Pattern Interrupt, the steps, the holy grail of neural retraining, the steps. And implemented those, thinking they looked ridiculous. And I don’t think he had… I had kind of pieced together on my own, like, I’m going to use sense to try to do this and just begin at that point to heal miraculously.
I went from having to crawl to feed my cat for the last year of my illness to, I think it was within two months, dancing at my college roommate’s wedding in New York.
It was really fast and really, really miraculous [see our video for dancing footage].
[32:39] Liz: Oh, wow. So this was when you were like 28, 29?
[32:42] Mika: I had just turned 30.
[32:44] Liz: Oh, you just turned 30?
[32:46] Mika: Yeah, I think so.
[32:48] Liz: Yeah, that’s amazing. So, did you actually do the Lightning Process yourself, or did he just have the book at that time, or?
[32:57] Mika: So, you know, they have these seminars that you can go to, they weren’t at that time geared to like the chemical sensitivity or that kind of thing.
I just.. he had given the steps out in this book that he wrote, and I started working with a Lightning Process coach, but I never did the [official Lightning Process] seminar. I had thought about it, and I also eventually bought DNRS in case I was like, “well, maybe I’m missing something. “And then I bought Gupta thinking, “maybe I’m missing something.”
But at that point, it was more that I was just worried that it was going to come back. I was fine.
Mika: And it happened quickly for me, but not linearly. You know, I landed myself in the hospital two times. I was just trying to figure it out as I went, um, and I’ve seen Gupta’s program more recently and it’s pretty great, you know, now, but with pacing, I just wasn’t, I remember going to Home Depot and sniffing paint and trying to like go in the back and do the pattern interrupt and it was, I just took it too far at times.
[34:05] Liz: Oh, okay. You didn’t necessarily do incremental. You dove in and went to the paint.
[34:10] Mika: You know, people can have these really big backslides sometimes. And it’s scary because you think that all this progress you’ve made is perhaps lost, but it never is.
The pathways that I was building were still there and the weakening of the pathways that I was weakening had held.
It was just a slip, you know, I didn’t roll all the way down the mountain. And I just. Tripped a little, maybe rolled a little bit.
[34:36] Liz: That’s very reassuring. And thanks for sharing that.
Liz: Yeah. So I know your full story and your continued transformation. And I know that it also involves healing attachment wounds.
And you had said something really powerful when we spoke earlier, it was about our beliefs about our place in the world. So when did you start exploring that on your healing journey?
[35:04] Mika: So after I had healed, so I think it was about at the three month mark, I ended up having my first panic ever. And it lasted a solid two weeks.
It was triggered by…I accidentally, I meant to try a little bit of marijuana chocolate. And I guess you were just supposed to have one piece, but I ate the whole bar thinking that that was one. And I had seen these, even while going through neural retraining, I would get these hits of… dread is the best way that I could call it.
Intrusive visions, intrusive thoughts, and I would just be like, “I just need to retrain them.” I don’t know what’s happening.
Now I know that so much of those symptoms, for many people, when you begin to get to the root, there’s pure fear.
And that had happened, it lasted like two weeks, it was very scary, and then I really struggled for about two months, and then it went away.
And life was… you feel like you have this new lease on life, I went and traveled and did all the things.
Eventually, I ended up getting engaged to my best friend. I think I was like maybe 33, maybe 32, I don’t know, and when we got engaged, I kind of lost my mind.
When I moved in, when we moved in together, and I didn’t know it at the time, but these were severe attachment wounds being triggered. I had also started seeing his doctor instead of mine, who, or no, that’s… For some reason, I had gone off my thyroid meds, and so it was a combination of these things. I thought that since I did neural ray training and I was so healthy, I didn’t need the thyroid meds anymore.
And so this kind of speaks to where medicine [can help]. I have so many clients that have healed their hypothyroidism. I was not one of them. And I still take it, you know, I’ve been able to very slowly lower it over the years. But so the attachment stuff in combination with my thyroid medication being lowered, I ended up just in a pure state of panic and derealization and depersonalization for like a solid eight months.
And then he abandoned me, just before our wedding.
And it was then, I remember at that time, just kind of feeling like my entire belief system had shattered.
And you know, like I said, like a very optimistic, very romantic, I believed that people love each other forever and you choose somebody every day and that, that I had a very like growth kind of mindset and very idealistic, and I didn’t see it coming.
But at that point, you know, I had been doing somatic experiencing and working with the foremost attachment therapist even prior to that. But it was at that time, I ended up getting run over by a car in Santa Monica. And at that time I was just so broken. And I, I had a sense of this when I went through neural retraining too, but we do what we can at the time.
And I didn’t want to go deeper at that time. I just wanted to be a normal 30 year old. I wanted to have my life back. So it became really apparent then that there was a lot more work to do. And that was when I got really into trying to figure out how to heal the traumas and the attachment system. And so It was through these really hard things happening that that became my next focus.
[39:07] Liz: So you’re now kind of at a new rock bottom, but it’s more mentally, you’re physically okay, but you’re mentally struggling?
[39:17] Mika: Well, I had been run over by a car, so I wasn’t, I actually wasn’t physically, but I didn’t have any of the chronic illness stuff. Oh, okay. Miraculously, [those symptoms] never came back.
[39:26] Liz: Okay, okay.
Sorry I’m laughing about your car accident.
[39:28] Mika: No, it’s, you have, what else can you do at this point? Like, who does that happen to?
[39:32] Liz: You’re like, left by your best friend. That’s so sad, but it’s like, yeah. I guess looking back now, it can more make sense because you’re describing that you were dissociative during that eight months.
So maybe he picked up on that? I don’t know. Yeah.
[39:50] Mika: I mean, he definitely knew. I was doing like three therapy sessions a week throughout that whole time to try to come back. I actually came back [out of her derealization state] when I went back on my old thyroid medicine. However, I think that sometimes our neurochemistry, like whether we’re bolstered with estrogen which raises serotonin or progesterone which raises GABA, can cushion us into places where we adapt well, where there’s good resilience, where our outlook is generally well, because these hormones, these neurotransmitters affect so much of what we think, believe, how we perceive the world and ourself.
However, when the thyroid medication was lowered, it was kind of like lifting a veil on some of these deep subconscious beliefs that I held and that were incredibly painful and destructive.
I just couldn’t see it when my hormones and all the neurotransmitters were in a good place. So it kind of allowed me to look at some of these underlying beliefs and patterns and my attachment wounds.
Cause nothing exists in a vacuum.
Mika: But yes, so I’m at this new rock bottom. And that was when I found Pscyh-K from Bruce Lipton, the first book that I had read. He’s a big, big proponent of it. And he talks about how if he had never done Psych-K, Biology of Belief wouldn’t exist, that he had a lot of blocks around putting the book out there.
And he did some Psych-K sessions and then wrote the book, and put it out there and it…that book has changed my life.
I’m sure it’s changed so many others.
[41:36] Liz: So it’s interesting the full circle because that’s not the part you were…you were reading about how can I get my cells in harmony and heal my health. But it was there all along and you rediscovered that part. Interesting.
[41:52] Mika: I know. I remember being like, “Why didn’t I start it at that time along with the neural retraining and heal all the things at once?”
So I didn’t end up at this new rock bottom or, you know, whatever the universe is trying to teach me, but yeah, it was [how things happened].
And I also at that time, especially, but even still, it’s really hard to find much information on Psych-K online. And I’m one of those people that I want to know what I’m getting into, and I’ll like research it.
And there just wasn’t. But after the car accident, I had no ability, because I also had a traumatic brain injury, to neural retrain on my own. The things I was doing in therapy weren’t helping. I was doing somatic experiencing and EMDR and working with my attachment therapist and nothing was really helping.
I had extreme PTSD from the car accident and was just terrified to leave the house or be around cars and, you know, obviously my physical body was very injured as well. And at that point was the first time because I had done, bear in mind, all of that healing prior, the neural retraining, I did it on my own, in isolation.
This was the first time that I remember just being like, I really need help because all of that therapy that I was doing was more my ex’s idea. I still was more comfortable doing the stuff on my own than in connection.
And, yeah, so I did my first Psych-K session, and the PTSD from the car accident was gone.
I had had my spine had locked up after the car accident to where I like just didn’t really have a movement in it, and I was, you know, doing all the PT (physical therapy) and everything. And after the PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) from the car accident was gone, so after my first session. Actually, no, I did two that led to this. My spine also unlocked and was fine.
And I used to feel like this fire moving through it and completely gone. And so after that, I was like, “What is this magic?”
[44:01] Liz: So you were already doing a lot of different, both top down and bottom up nervous system practices. You were doing the somatic experiencing. You said you had an attachment therapist.
So how is Psych-K different? What was the difference here?
[44:18] Mika: Yeah, you know, it combines a lot of things. There’s like hypnotic states, bilateral stimulation, energy work. It’s really like this endless kind of thing. Also, we connect when you’re working. The nervous systems connect. So you’re healing, you’re going through some of these transitions or shifts in connection with somebody, which in and of itself was huge for me to feel safe in deep connection with another nervous system.
I’ve asked myself this question a million times. Why did the tons of EMDR and somatic experiencing not do it? They helped a little, but not… And I don’t, the answer is, I don’t know, you know, it just works. There’s also like, we have processes in Psych-K where we can install beliefs and uproot old beliefs that aren’t serving us and things like that.
But, you know, tapping involves some of that, too, Faster EFT. And, and I’ve done tons of that and never had the same results. And so the moment I was healed enough to go, I got on a plane and did my first Psych-K training.
[45:30] Liz: That’s so wonderful.
A photo of Mika after healing.
Liz: And I think different people respond to different things.
Yeah, and different combinations, too. And we also don’t have to get it right because we’re just talking about like, “Did we do things in the perfect order? No.” It’s just the order that it ended up working out. We…it probably could have happened a little bit faster, and we would have figured it out [sooner].
[45:50] Mika: But you’re changing that.
I mean, obviously everybody’s different, but with this YouTube channel, people get to hear other people’s journeys of healing and see what resonates with them, and what they might have in common with somebody. And maybe, I mean, if I would have had a blueprint like that or other people to sit there and say that I could see their face and hear them say, “I healed from this.”
It just to hear them say, it’s possible would have been everything to me. I just lit up when I saw your channel because I had envisioned it when I had first done neural retraining.
I was on Instagram and just like telling everyone “you need to do this!” and a lot of the people with these big programs, either we’ve worked together or they first heard about neural retraining because I was just like shouting from the rooftops.
[Liz note: Mika was an early pioneer spreading the word about neural retraining and helping others. She used to have a very large Instagram account, but is currently not active on social media.]
I was like, “Do DNRS, do Gupta” and they’d be like, “did you do it?”
And I’d be like, “Well, no, but there’s this program. So you should do it. And it works.”
[Liz note: DNRS and Gupta are unique programs, but the have a similar premise to the Lightning Process and the steps shared in the book Mika read.]
And back at that time, people would get mad at you for, like, I can’t tell you.
[46:51] Liz: People still get mad. People really get mad.
[Liz note: It’s thankfully changed a lot for the better in the last few years. The tide is really turning.]
And that’s one of the things I’ve had to work through myself. And that it comes from, you know, childhood wanting to prove myself as a good person.
And it can feel like when someone attacks you and no one else speaks up, that can be very triggering, but just having other people share their light and just hearing people, “Oh, this has really helped me.” I know this chat is going to help many people watching.
[47:23] Mika: I hope so. You can’t deny it when you hear somebody and you see somebody say it.
Well, people did. I remember my friends from the IV rooms, you know, I was hosting free workshops. Like I just wanted everyone to heal. And some of them, like, I remember one of my good girlfriends didn’t want to come in.
She was like, “Well, what did you really do to heal?” And I was like, “I’m not lying to you. This is what I did.”
And she was like, “no, it can’t, it must be some supplement or did you start a new treatment at the same time?” And it was so like, cause I knew because you feel, you can feel the shifts right after. You do the work and they can be quite, yeah. So it was, um, and then I lost friends. I lost some of my, um, friends from that community during that time because of this, but I feel like these days because of people like you and some of the people who have created big programs that are big on social media, that it’s just out there, you know, in a new way.
[48:23] Liz: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I’m just so honored that I can share your story and your wisdom. Yeah, and you had said something to me when we were chatting. You were like, some people said the illness was in my head, and now some people are saying the healing was in my head.
[48:39] Mika: Oh my gosh, yes! Oh yeah, I said:
The allopathic medicine doctors would say the illness is in your head. Then some of my functional medicine doctors thought the healing was in my head.
And then I remember one of my functional medicine doctors, you know, him being like, “Oh, no, it’s not really that.” And, then he did my, you know, whatever monthly lab work. And my CD57 shot up. My hormones shot up because, you know, many people, the immune system kind of turns off the hormone production system turns off. And everything just shot up within that first month and my white blood cell counts came up like everything, you know. And then because you can’t detox when you’re in fight or flight, you can’t cellular repair, all of these things: Absorption, nutrient breakdown, you can’t do.
And then suddenly my body just knew how to do on its own, and I didn’t need all of that supportive treatment anymore.
My body learned how to sweat on its own. There were all these funny little, I remember, side effects that were like, when I was going through neural training, that were kind of funny.
[49:49] Liz: Oh, wow. Yeah, I really too. I got my labs taken, and then I was like, wow, like it works because like a bunch of my numbers [went back to good].
Like viral stuff. That was always an issue for me. I took so many antivirals and was eating like 10 cloves of garlic a day. I was doing everything, and it would still come back, and then the nervous system work, and it was the only thing that put it down for good, and my numbers were good.
[50:15] Mika: Yeah, because your immune system can finally convert into the IgGs from the IgMs, which are kind of perpetuating the viral symptoms.
[50:24] Liz: Yeah, yeah, I had acute IgM relapses multiple, like seven times (4 times on medical record) before it went fully into dormancy.
[50:33] Mika: Same.
[50:34] Liz: But yeah, but a lot of people might not necessarily have the lab proof, but just hearing people’s stories. We know we were there!
[Liz note: I didn’t really need to go back for tests after I healed from nervous system work. I was just curious. I knew things were good, I felt completely better, and the lab results were just there reflecting it. If you go to my FAQ’s you can find a full list of the health issues I healed from.]
Mika fully recovered her health and is a beacon of hope for others. Here she is with her cat Coquette by her side, on the other side.
Liz: So we know that chemicals can impact the limbic system, but you were sharing with me that It’s these subconscious beliefs and the way we view the world and attachment wounds that can have some of the biggest impacts on our limbic system.
So can you talk a little more about that?
[51:06] Mika: For sure. So My first years of coaching, I would notice A, first of all, my clients are like my favorite people. They’re all amazing because they’re like me and you learn because we’re all kind of similar. We’re sensitive. We’re oftentimes creative. We’re oftentimes very smart.
There’s oftentimes a combination of being highly emotional and also highly intellectual.
And those two things, sometimes firing, perhaps not coherently in our internal system and in our lives. But I remember like that really teaching me to love myself, like listening to my clients speak and these things that I was ashamed of in myself or didn’t like, and just seeing my clients speak and just being like, you are so loved.
How do you not know how lovable you are? Like, and anyway, but apart from these personality characteristics, also high empaths. It’s a lot of us, lots of INFJs, INFPs, ENFJs, ENFPs, there’s a lot of commonly adverse childhood experiences. So whether it’s because the person was more sensitive and maybe a more benign experience felt more distressing for their nervous system or, you know, things that were legitimately really hard and traumatic.
I had a lot that I had swept under the rug. You know, I tried other things for them, but I couldn’t say that I noticed much of a difference. And then it was kind of the same with my clients.
I could hold space for them and love them through some of the hardest stories of their lives.
There’s a lot of dysregulated attachment systems and I mean in the world right today, but in this community. So if you think about like, for instance, somebody who has disorganized attachment. If your nervous system doesn’t feel regulated and safe alone. Because you’re lonely and you feel neglected and it also doesn’t feel safe and regulated and connection. When is your nervous system ever regulated? So when you think about like that perfect storm that most people that end up with limbic overdrive experience.
I think that it’s like our nervous systems had reached a filling point earlier than some other people’s because there was no way to process or release some of the experiences that we’ve had. It’s also, and then kind of that perfect storm happens and then the nervous system snaps. And you’ll also see really common beliefs.
And people end up with this and certainly was one of mine of like, “there’s something wrong with me. I’m somehow different in this really flawed way, but I don’t know what it is.” I had this since I was a kid. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something wrong with me and I need to figure it out so that I can.
Have permission to live in this world how other people do and then you look at like what chronic illness is and it’s like there’s something wrong with me, but I can’t figure it out, but I need to to go back to my life and to be free to live. So, you know, there can be deep beliefs around like one that we’ll install often is like “it’s safe for me to live.”
“I’m free to live.” There can often be beliefs around like I’m not allowed to even live based on childhood experiences and sometimes if something very traumatic happens as an adult.
[54:33] Liz: Are there sometimes people who come to you who they are like, “I didn’t have a trauma,” or do they all come with traumas because everyone had to have these big traumas, or do you also see like “little t” traumas, which add up, are those people helped by this as well? People maybe just there was never one big trauma. It was just a lot of little ones.
[54:56] Mika: Yes, definitely. For the big traumas, we’ll see really quick shifts because it’s oftentimes just one session for like acute PTSD.
But most of us, it’s more of those micro things, you know, also like when somebody is highly empathetic.
Your nervous system can also interpret other people’s trauma as your trauma. So like you’re feeling your max point just hit sooner. And one thing like I love beginning to transition and this was a big lesson for myself and being able to be in the world because I’m highly empathetic and especially doing this work was that learning that difference between empathy and compassion.
To where it’s like empathy is like I’m taking on someone else’s pain and compassion is like I’m loving somebody through their pain. I’m supporting them. I’m seeing them, which I think at the end of the day is a lot more helpful for the other person too. I remember at one point thinking, like, my client’s pain is not about me.
It’s not about me. I don’t need to protect myself from it. But yeah, we all have beliefs that are sabotaging and unhelpful. I’ve just come to believe that the limbic system malfunction happens at a breaking point, usually caused by some kind of nervous system stressor, whether it be, you know, physical, viral, brain injury, chemical, whatever it is, but that the system that allows that to happen is usually an attachment system that’s never really got a chance to fully develop even.
The system that allows that to happen is usually an attachment system that’s never really got a chance to fully develop.
So I love polyvagal work because it begins to build up your ventral vagal system, that part that wants to connect and feel safe in connection.
And also that breaking point happens based on the beliefs that we have about ourselves and our role in the world. There’s definitely a reason why women are more susceptible to this than men. Women are far more likely to have trauma. And because of the way our culture is. To internalize some of these beliefs about what it is to be a woman in the world.
And so I had developed a brain retraining program years ago. It was never like a prerecorded one, but I would do it with my clients.
But these days most of my clients come to me and they’re already doing one of the pre-recorded ones, which can be great for financial reasons. And also if you have a lot of sensitivities and chronic fatigue, you can watch them at your own pace.
But I love working with the stuff that’s done in connection with somebody because we can’t do it all alone.
And neural retraining is amazing because we do need to learn tools and techniques to heal ourselves and to regulate ourselves. But I love just the aspect of healing that happens in connection, and I love the polyvagal work, too, but there’s so many free YouTube videos, that I’ll just have people go do those.
Psych-K has a really big energetic and spiritual element that for me, I resisted because I tend to like back away. I want everything I want to understand the science of everything. But for whatever reason, the container that’s held in the sessions begins to kind of heal the deeper roots that not just the illness was planted in, but also the other things in our lives. I mean, sometimes more fun stuff.
[58:40] Liz: And we did a session together, and I thought it was so wonderful.
So I just wanted to share that, that you kindly had offered and I accepted to do a Psych-K session with you and it was really beautiful and powerful. So thank you for that. And it just came at the right time.
[58:58] Mika: Oh, I’m so glad that you think about like, even without saying what you worked on that issue.
Imagine for people who are doing or retraining going into that and saying, “stop, stop, stop.” It just doesn’t feel right to me because there’s a part, there’s a little, there’s a person that needs to be seen and heard, not told, not negated, not told to stop. So I love the balance of the two, of one is like the rerouting, the tough love.
Yeah. And then the other one’s that…
[59:35] Liz: Yeah. And bringing in self compassion and things like that.
Liz: Oh my gosh. I’m so honored that you decided to share your story with me.
Liz: We were talking, we spoke before this interview. And we were talking about, you know, how we basically got PhDs and the microbiome and like, we were reading all this stuff.
And then if we would have maybe heard each other right in the beginning, we would have been like, “no, let me first try all these avenues.”
[1:00:05] Mika: Right. Yeah. It’s those are the trickiest clients. The ones that haven’t tried any of the medical interventions yet because they have a hard time committing to it.
[1:00:16] Liz: Thank you for saying that because I almost think people should go down and spend some money that way.
[1:00:23] Mika: Yeah, go down the rabbit hole.
Go down the rabbit hole (some).
[1:00:24] Liz: Go down the rabbit hole, because I got a YouTube commenter and she was like, “I actually didn’t do the diet yet.” It’s like most of us have done all that already before we get to the deeper work.
[Liz note: Friendly reminder that nothing we share is medical advice nor meant to be prescriptive. For me, a “perfect” diet and many supplements helped reduce my symptoms in the first couple years and may have bolstered my energy. But like many, I went too far. It became more of a stress, and by the end I was only eating 7 foods. While I think it’s very beneficial to eat a diet that supports one’s blood sugar stability and natural foods, I can now see how reading all the functional health blogs about what foods were safe/unsafe gave me lots of fears that weren’t helpful to my healing.]
[1:00:36] Mika: Those are the fastest healers. The ones that have done all this stuff already.
You know, I mean, I had one woman that was like 70, she fully healed in two weeks, two weeks was like a whole new life, her and a teenage girl.
And then, I don’t want [people to think it happens immediately for everyone]…some people it’s much longer than that. So, but you know, you’re usually seeing progress.
But for the woman that was in her seventies, she was just ready.
She had done everything. She had tried everything. You know yourself in a different way when you’re older.
Mika knows herself much more deeply now.
Mika: If I could say one thing, and I probably wrote about this on my website, but I think it’s different seeing someone say it, if these are your symptoms, the things that we’ve talked about here, and there’s other very, classic ones, too, you will heal.
I remember when I first started coaching, I would worry about people. And now I’m almost like…because everyone heals one way or another, some of them not with me and I’ll, you know, keep in touch with them over the years because there was very rarely some missing piece, but the healing happens and it’s not only possible, it is more than probable.
The healing happens and it’s not only possible, it is more than probable.
I have full confidence, and I don’t lose sleep over anyone anymore.
[1:01:53] Liz: That’s so amazing, and just thank you for giving hope to people, regardless of age, too. And I love what you say, people who are more senior, they also know themselves more. So, yeah!
[1:02:06] Mika: Oh my God, right?
My healing goes deeper now. I just see more.
The veil’s been lifted so many times. I see more. I have access to more of myself. And I think that every person, I always hear this, they’re like, “Oh, I know neural retraining worked for all those people, but I’m different. I’m the different. I’m sorry. I’m afraid it’s not going to work for me.”
There’s this special thing. And I did the same, you know, we all think we have this thing that makes, we’re going to be the outlier that doesn’t heal. Sometimes not everybody, but some people think [that]. But yeah, everybody. Everybody ends up healing.
[1:02:42] Liz: And you know what, like you had said, there might be some other component, too, but that this work can be helpful for so many people, the nervous system regulation.
And being witnessed, and just the powerful work that we’re talking about here, so, yeah.
[1:02:59] Mika: And it gets fun, because you can start to do like, with dreams you have, or goals that you have, the work gets fun.
And if somebody hasn’t ever been to that rock bottom, they would have no reason necessarily to be on this path.
Oh, I think it’s such a gift.
[1:03:18] Liz: Yeah. And that’s a beautiful way to end this. Like if we hadn’t gone through what we did, would life be as good? But yeah, you have so much wisdom. Yeah, you do. Thank you so much for sharing your life with me and helping me and. Being on my channel. So this was such an honor, Mika.
You’re just the best. So thank you.
[01:03:41] Mika: Thank you for being you.
Liz: There’s going to be so many good things and helping more people come from this.
Mika: I hope so.
Liz: Alright, Bye Mika.
Mika: I’ll talk to you soon. Have a good rest of your day.
Liz: Alright, you too!
Mika: Bye Liz.
Liz: Take care!
You can reach Mika at meadowhealing.com.