ALOHA, I'M LIZ
the founder of the Primal Alchemy Method. I teach people somatic tools to help relieve anxiety, release trauma and initiate healing.
I believe in our innate capacity to heal and the potential to alchemize post-traumatic stress into post-traumatic growth.
When I was five years old, my family lost everything we owned in a flood. We had to flee our home in the middle of the night by boat. The trauma left an indelible impact on my developing nervous system, teaching me at an early age that I wasn’t safe in my own home. As an adult, this lack of safety was reinforced, albeit in a different form, when I ended up in several abusive relationships.
I struggled with symptoms of PTSD and was later diagnosed with panic disorder and agoraphobia. Out of necessity, I learned about trauma’s nerobiological impact on the body and mind and discovered somatic practices that allowed me to heal, prosper and thrive. I was able to break free from crippling anxiety, completely reverse my panic disorder diagnosis and take back control of my life.
Trauma is often described as anything that is "too much, too fast, or too soon" for our nervous system to metabolize.
Like many people who have experienced trauma, I had little awareness of the ways it was impacting my health and ability to thrive. Trauma is not the event itself, rather it’s the way our body responds to and holds onto the experience of what happened to us. Trauma is the psychological and physiological residue that is left behind.
Safety is an embodied experience
Our nervous system’s number one job is to keep us alive. When cues of danger outweigh cues of safety, our nervous system shifts into a state of defense. Addiction, avoidance, rage, overwhelm, emotional numbing and shutting down are some of the adaptive ways we may learn to survive in the aftermath of trauma.
When I learned that my rage, panic and self-sabotaging behaviors were all ways my body was trying to survive, it gave me permission to let go of the shame and pain I was holding and opened up the space for radical healing, connection, and transformation.
Healing starts with feeling.
My healing path started when I discovered yoga almost 20 years ago. I had the privilege of learning from Annie Carpenter, Jill Miller, Hala Khouri, Kyra Haglund, and Richard Miller among others. I completed multiple yoga and breathwork certifications and now use trauma-informed yoga, breathing techniques and mindfulness practices as the foundation for everything I teach.
Yoga through a trauma-informed lens, taught me to how to begin safely holding space for uncomfortable sensations inside myself without avoiding, bypassing, suppressing or numbing.
Awakening my Primal Power
Yoga led me to other modalities of mindful movement, including martial arts and primal movement patterns. I am a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Henry Akins and have trained in several other martial styles, including traditional Northern-style Kung Fu, Yang-style Tai Chi, and Self-Healing Qigong. I hold a Tai Chi Quan certification from Sifu Jonathan Wang from the Beijing Tai Chi and Kung Fu Academy and formerly competed in local and national Kung Fu and Tai Chi competitions.
In 2009, I created Primal Mvmnt® (formerly Primal Yoga®) to help people physically release stress and find empowerment through movement.
A Polyvagal Approach
While yoga and martial arts have been steadfast companions on my healing journey, the biggest transformation in my own nervous system happened when I discovered Dr. Stephen Porges and his groundbreaking work with the Polyvagal Theory.
I became certified in Dr. Porge’s Safe & Sound Protocol, which is a non-invasive acoustic vagal nerve stimulator that helps people access a physiological state of safety.
I also expanded my somatic trauma healing work to include TRE® (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises), an innovative series of exercises created by Dr. David Bercelli that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma.
Moving from surviving to thriving
I now approach healing through a polyvagal lens and use a combination of bottom-up approaches including trauma-informed yoga, TRE®, breathwork, and the Safe & Sound Protocol to support people in releasing trauma and reclaiming their lives.
In addition to my somatic education, I am also a certified Tiny Habits® coach, trained by Stanford Behavior scientist and New York Times best-selling author of Tiny Habits, Dr. BJ Fogg. Combining somatic work with the science of behavior change has allowed me to empower my clients with practical tools and evidence-based practices to take meaningful action toward their wellbeing and healing.
Today, I use somatic practices to help people release trauma and initiate healing.
Over the course of my career, I have had my work featured in national media outlets like Self Magazine, HuffPost, ABC News, The Dr. Drew Podcast, and eHealth radio; appeared on the covers of magazines including Yoga Journal, Om Yoga Magazine, Yoga Life Magazine, Yoga & Wellness Magazine, and LA Yoga; published my first book The Courage to Rise with HarperCollins in 2018; worked with top brands like Red Bull, Under Armour, and Manduka; and trained a wide range of clients including celebrities, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, domestic violence survivors, and resilient humans from all over the world.
It is my deepest joy and honor to share with you the transformative tools and practices that helped me finally break free from trauma, befriend my nervous system and alchemize my pain into my power.
EXPERIENCE & CERTIFICATIONS
of my background...
Certified Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher.
Certified TRE® Provider (Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises)
Certified Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) Provider
Certified Breathwork Coach
Certified Domestic Violence Counselor Advocate
Certified Tiny Habits Coach
West Coast Director of Purple Dot Yoga Project
Former Kung Fu & Tai Chi Quan Competitor and Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Mom to an awesome human and two pawsome dogs
IN THE NEWS
A few of the
I've been featured in...
INTERESTED IN WORKING TOGETHER?
1:1 Somatic Coaching
I offer private coaching sessions and packages to help you address and release stress, anxiety, and trauma that is stored in your body and support you in taking meaningful and empowered action toward your wellbeing and healing.TELL ME MORE ➡
15 Ways to Support Your Vagus Nerve
Feeling anxious or stressed out? Stimulating your vagus nerve may help. Grab my free guide to learn 15 natural ways to help reduce anxiety, increase your resilience to stress and improve your general feelings of wellbeing.