“Because I have lived it. Using integrative medicine, I kept myself off dialysis, saved a kidney scheduled for removal, cleared my toddler’s heart of iron, and helped her grow and thrive despite a rare and life-threatening blood disorder.
At West Point, I was educated as a research scientist. After graduating, I served 5 years on active duty in the US Army. It was during my military service that my father was diagnosed with Stage IV Liver/Colon Cancer. He used a truly integrative approach to his health, and is still alive and cancer-free today. It was my first exposure to the idea that natural and energy medicine might be real.
One of the therapies my father used frequently in his recovery was Reiki. When I first found out about it, I was very skeptical. I was worried he had somehow stumbled into a cult! So, I checked into it. The treatment surprised me and the Teacher impressed me. I decided to learn Reiki, and eventually also became a Traditional Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master and Teacher. For years, I offered Reiki energy healing to people struggling with cancer, pain, anxiety, and depression. I witnessed remarkable recoveries. Many times it took just one session. I felt lucky and blessed, and I developed a close connection with a God I had been introduced to as a child raised Catholic, but had grown up to find only in Nature. Reiki was the door that led me to several awakenings. I began to see where science, religion, and spirituality merged.
But then, while pregnant with my first and only daughter, I became very ill. After her birth, my health worsened. We soon discovered she was very sick, too. She was eventually diagnosed with DBA, an extremely rare blood disorder where the baby does not make enough red blood cells to survive. Our illnesses were mysterious and devastating.
At first, I thought I could heal us both with Reiki.
In three years, I underwent six
surgical procedures. I tried numerous natural and alternative
therapies and treatments in an attempt to avoid them. My daughter
began receiving monthly blood transfusions. Nothing seemed able to heal us. I
felt hurt, confused, and forsaken by the God I had come to love and
trust. I had helped so many people, why not my daughter or myself?
Yet, even in our darkest moments, I could see from a integrative medical
and systems perspective that our apparently “not connected” health
problems were indeed related. Though our lives fell to pieces, I
refused to give up.
I would meet with physicians of diverse perspectives — conventional, natural, homeopathic, chiropractic, spiritual… you name it. They were all confident that their medicines would be “the one.” But none of their medicines — by themselves — were effective enough.
At one point, I went into renal failure. I was told I would need to come in to talk about dialysis. I used natural and East Asian herbal medicine and brought myself out of renal failure. When surgery was scheduled to remove my non-functional right kidney, I resuscitated that kidney with electro-acupuncture, and the surgeons agreed to operate to save it instead of remove it. When my daughter’s heart accumulated iron from having received so many blood transfusions, I was able to clear the iron from her heart in just 6 months by combining an ancient Japanese moxibustion technique with her prescribed pharmaceutical medicine. When herbal and dietary approaches failed to shift our health, I developed my own diet, (derived from a careful study and combination of many diets) and combined it with a unique integrative herbal approach, based on a theory developed by my Chinese herbalist mentor. My 3.5 year old daughter, who had been at the 50th percentile in weight-for-height since birth, jumped to the 85th percentile in just 3 months. I am still working to cure her of DBA. And we will cure her; I know it is possible.”
important thing about this story is that no one medicine can claim
victory. By itself, neither the electro-acupuncture nor the surgery
would have saved my kidneys. By itself, the pharmaceutical medicine
would have taken at least 3-5 years to
clear my daughter’s heart of iron, and it might not have worked at all.
But, combined with an ancient Japanese technique, its efficacy was exponentially magnified.
When I analyze our case history, this message — the importance of coming together in mutual curiosity and respect, of allowing diverse medical traditions equal footing to speak their wisdom, knowledge, and experience — comes up again and again.
medical perspectives are valid. All plant and pharmaceutical medicines
are valuable — and so are their theories. Ancient medicines are just as
true as scientific medicines — and vice versa. No one perspective can alone hold the entire truth.
When we open our minds to seeing through another’s eyes, when we honor different perspectives, we gain new and valuable insights.
The reason I still have both kidneys and my young daughter is thriving is because I blended (and still blend) modern medical science and ancient energetic medicines in wise and respectful ways. Integrative medicine is the reason I am here to play with her and teach her. It is why I am able to hike up the side of a mountain with her, to climb playgrounds with her, and to show her the swallows that swoop over the Rocky Mountain cliffs.
All of these aspects of who we are interconnect and inform each other in fascinating ways. I have believed this to be true for years. Now, after experiencing it first-hand the hard way, I KNOW it to be true. Moreover, I now know the steps to re-building integrative health.
I examine health from both Eastern and Western philosophies and treatment approaches. I develop a map of everything going on for the person, including current and past medical conditions, traumas, relationships, conflicts, stories, and so on. As I do so, it becomes an “aha!” experience for the patient and myself. Suddenly, everything makes sense. Literally — the entire person. As far as I know, I am the only health care provider in the United States who provides patients this level of comprehensive detail on the interconnections in their health. I have insights into why some of our best functional and natural medicine practitioners still have trouble treating certain patients (such as complex cases of autoimmunity).
The IHA empowers you to make your own health decisions. It gives you the illumination and confidence you need to steer your own course. If you want, you can take it with you to your acupuncturist, functional medicine doctor, or even your psychotherapist as a tool to inform their treatments. Or, you can simply keep it close to your heart and mind, and use the wisdom it provides you to heal your wounds.
For patients who are seeking treatment (not just information) from me, I offer individualized reiki, acupuncture, nutrition guidance, herbal medicine, homeopathic medicine, and other therapies to restore health. Sometimes, as before, healing requires just one session or medicine. Others need a more comprehensive, integrative approach. Either way, I believe that solutions exist. We just need to find them.
I am so grateful to still be here, for every day I get to share with my daughter, and to share this message of hope with the world. I know that at any moment God could have chosen to heal us. But He refrained. I have to do it the hard way so that I could become an advocate for a new age in medicine and the wise use of all our gifts. In the process, I have learned invaluable information, short-cuts, and vital healing facts.
I am thrilled to help usher in a true Integrative Medicine: one where we stop competing, and start collaborating. I am excited to help you heal in profound and ‘unbelievable’ ways. I am so honored to work with you (and your other health providers) as you realize your own incredible story of truth, miracles, and power.”
Erika Fayina Marie, LAc is a Licensed Acupuncturist in Colorado and Oregon, a Traditional Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master, and a leading advocate for a Higher Form of Integrative Medicine. She became a Usui Reiki Master in the Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Tradition in 2008. In 2012, she graduated with a Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) and Certificate in Shiatsu from the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM). She is certified as a Diplomat in Acupuncture (Dipl. Ac) with the NCCAOM (2012) and holds Clean Needle Certification with CCAOM (2011). She is also a current member of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado (AAC) and of primaldocs.com. Erika’s acupuncture style is informed by Classical Chinese Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tan-Style Acupuncture, Japanese Acupuncture, and Five-Element Acupuncture traditions.
Erika earned her undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 2002, she graduated as a Master Fitness Trainer and was commissioned as an officer in the US Army, with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Engineering Psychology (Human Factors Engineering), and a F.O.S. (Field of Study) in Systems Engineering. Her education required her to design, conduct, and analyze multiple randomized-controlled research trials, and she won an award from the American Psychological Association for one of her research paper presentations. From 2002-2007, Erika served as an active duty personnel officer. She served stateside in TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command) and did not deploy overseas.