More About Eileen Mercolino, CWP, RMT
My Story (so far.....)
Hi everyone and welcome to my practice! I am a professional health and wellness coach, passionate about wellness, health, nutrition and happiness. I focus on helping clients transform their lives by working through emotional blocks, learning to love exercise and movement, identifying food sensitivities, committing to self-care, and improving nutrition through meal plans, counseling, and advice.
I am a certified health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, a certified Yoga teacher with over 25 years experience, a Reiki Master in the Usui and Lightarian methods, an integrated Energy Therapy master- instructor and a certified Integrative Wellness practitioner. For the past 7 years, I have been focusing my healing practice on working with clients in the emotional and spiritual realm through energy healing and spiritual counsel. As the years went on, I noticed that the sessions became more about working on what was dysfunctional in the client's life - relationships, food, career, stress management, gut issues, depression, anxiety and family difficulties, instead of just facilitating energy healing. With our country in a health crisis, and more and more people falling ill with chronic fatigue and pain, stress related illnesses, obesity, and mood issues, I have slowly begun to reinvent my practice to focus on full person wellness - mind, body and spirit.
A lifelong student of wellness and fitness, I began as a runner in my teens and after a knee injury, turned to long distance bicycling, swimming and spin classes to keep the endorphin rush going and my moods stable. To release stress, and ease muscle pain, I tried yoga at age 19 and was hooked. This led to a lifelong practice and study of yoga and its principles, becoming a certified instructor in 2003. My teachers have included Maty Ezraty, Shiva Rea, Steve Ross, Saul David Raye, Max Strom, Paul Grilley, Tim Miller, Ganga White, Tracey Rich and countless others. As a Los Angeles native, I was introduced to healthy eating (literally!) from birth, and I have continued to hone and clean my diet and study wellness practices throughout my life.
Like any human, I have gone through tough times. At age 8, I was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis, which is the displacement of one vertebra compared to another. I had surgery on my spine that year to fuse two of my lumbar vertebrae and had to wear a body cast from just under my armpits to just above my pubic bone for seven months. Can you imagine??? With the support of my family I got through it and continued my life as an active kid.
Everything was somewhat ok for the next few decades (I was always careful with my back) but in 2011, everything changed. My husband and I separated and I left one stressful music industry job and went into another even more stressful one. I started having stomach issues - my belly would bloat like I was 6 months pregnant for no reason and it felt like everything I ate or drank irritated my gut. I began having terrible back spasms that would knock me out for a week. I tried everything - numerous doctors, holistic therapies, physical therapy, herbs, acupuncture, Pilates, massage. Even my beloved yoga was dangerous - some of the most painful spasm episodes came from a simple yoga pose.
It was during this period that I discovered Reiki and other energy healing modalities. I began a period of intense study and transformation, becoming a Reiki Master, and Integrated Energy Therapy Master instructor and an Integrative Wellness Practitioner. These spiritual practices led me inside myself, to understand how my lifelong emotional sensitivity and empathy could be used for good and for helping others. I marinated in the newfound connection with the Universe and understanding of Spirit, but was still suffering from extreme back pain and gut issues.
My husband and I got back together in late 2012 (to the absolute delight of our then 7 year old daughter - the light of my life!) and moved to a nicer home. I got a new job in entertainment which ended up being another stressful experience. Sitting at a desk all day and commuting an hour each way to work worsened by back pain. My stomach issues got worse. I was in too much pain to be intimate with my husband, which caused our relationship to crumble. My mom finally said ' “It’s time to address your health issues head on". I got myself into Cedars Sinai's GI Institute and Spine Health group. I finally found out through the wonderful GI Group (led by SIBO pioneer Dr. Mark Pimental) that I had SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) and began treatments (eventually, after numerous treatments with both pharmaceutical antibiotics and herbal antibiotics, I came to the realization that the condition kept coming back due to prolonged, chronic stress, more on that in my blog). I found an excellent Cedar’s spine surgeon, Dr. Gabriel Hunt, who declared that my original spinal fusion was gone and I needed to fuse that one plus two more in order to stabilize my lumbar spine.
In September of 2016 I went in for a 4 hour surgery to repair my spine and then began a yearlong recovery which included physical therapy, progressing to Reformer Pilates, lots of walking, a slow return to Spin class, and finally, to Yoga, I am happy to report that I am now PAIN FREE and can do vinyasa yoga, hike, spin, bike, swim, have sex, run around with my (now) 14 year old daughter without worrying I will be downed by a horrible spasm.
Unfortunately, during that time of healing, my hubby and I decided that we were better as good friends and co-parents than as husband and wife and are now going through the process of divorce. But I have found love again, with a wonderful man who has two boys ages 3 and 6. I am learning to be with little ones again and am living on my own, working through co-parenting schedules, budgeting, connecting with friends and family in new ways, and functioning as a single mom. It is all a journey, and each day has a new lesson.
My story is not a unique one. I have had numerous clients who have many similar experiences and we work together to resolve trauma, integrate healthier eating and exercise patterns, learn how to practice self care (yes – you deserve it!) and move forward in life with joy and vitality.
I look forward to meeting you, hearing your stories and helping you to (re) discover your joy!
Love and Light-