Coach Chana Studley had a personal and difficult experience with chronic pain after three violent muggings. She used all kinds of modalities to manage and try to control the pain but continued to suffer. Then a friend introduced her to the Three Principles, which explore the role thought plays in our experience of life. That understanding cleared up Chana’s pain and now she helps others with all kinds of health issues to look in the same direction.
Chana Studley has spent the last 30 years helping others recover from trauma, addictions, and working with all kinds of clients; adults, children and organizations. She has spent the last 5 years helping people with physical issues including chronic pain, allergies, migraines, skin problems and IBS etc., and more recently hormone problems and Long Covid.
You can find Chana Studley at ChanaStudley.com.
- How we don’t actually need to do anything about our thinking
- Why slowed-down thinking helped with pain relief
- How all illness has a common source: Thought
- How we torture ourselves with our thinking (without realizing we’re doing so)
- Why pain is a signal
- The difference between acute pain and chronic pain
- How focusing on symptoms is another form of obsessive thinking
- How society and insecurity can fuel our symptoms
Transcript of Interview with Chana Studley
Alexandra: Chana Studley, welcome to Unbroken.
Chana: Hi, thank you. So nice to be here.
Alexandra: Great to have you here.
Why don’t you tell us how a little bit about your background and how you came across the three principles or how they came across you?
Chana: My background is I grew up in England. And I’ve had two careers. One was in the entertainment business where I did props and costumes and special effects. I started out in the theater in London, then ended up in California doing big Hollywood movies. And alongside that, I worked as a coach or counselor, to me, it’s all the same thing. It’s all a conversation.
I’ve been coaching people for about 30 years, in between projects, and it’s been my main, I guess, full time job for the last eight years. So yeah, that’s how I came. That’s my background.
And then the principles showed up in my life about eight years ago, I think. And you’re right. It’s like, I remember thinking, how come I never found this before? Because I’ve been coaching people for 30 years, I’ve been in the personal transformation, self-help world for a very long time. And I got stuck in the self-help aisle at the bookstore many times. I was a Enneagram life coach, and I did A Course in Miracles and all these kinds of different things. So it’s really weird to me that I never heard of it until I did.
It was a friend of mine. She and I were school teachers together. In between leaving Hollywood and coaching I was a school teacher for five years. And she was the music teacher, and I was the art teacher. So we put on the best school plays you could imagine. I live in Jerusalem. Now I’m in Israel, and her daughter lives here. So every time she would come visit her family, we’d meet up for lunch. And we’ve had these really long chats. I remember this one time, we were chatting for about, I don’t know, two hours catching up. And then we went for coffee somewhere else.
She said, Chana I went to this workshop yesterday, and I think you’d really like it. And I said, Oh yeah, what’s that? And she goes, Well, it was so funny. She’d been talking for two hours, and then suddenly, she was stumped. And she didn’t. I said, Well, how great was it? If you can’t even tell me what it was? She goes, Well, um, so I thought I’d help her out, because I had no clue what it was. I said, it’s a diet. And she goes, No. I said, is it an exercise program? She was No. I said, is it philosophy she was .
She grabbed a napkin and she wrote Sydney Banks, mind, thought and consciousness on this napkin and pushed it across the table to me. I wish I’d kept that because I’d have it in a frame now. So I came home, and I sat right here, I put on my computer, and I put in Sydney Banks into YouTube. And I was sold.
I had known for a long time the problem was in my thinking, I just thought I had to do something about my thinking. I had all these tools and techniques, I knew the problem wasn’t out there. I got the outside in part. I already realized that things on the outside aren’t creating my happiness or my misery. So therefore, it must be my thinking. And therefore, I was really good at thought hygiene.
I knew how to keep my thought hygiene really good. And it was exhausting. So my first big insight was just understanding that we don’t have to do anything. That was such a relief. It was so amazing.
Alexandra: I love that distinction.
You have a journey, I guess we could say, about pain. Tell us how that folded into this experience.
Chana: Yeah. So in my early 20s, I was mugged three times. Once is bad enough, but three times.
The first time I was still in college was in Manchester in the north of England. And it was the early 80s. It was all about music. I was in a nightclub, a band was playing and this guy pushed me into a concrete pillar and fractured my skull. I was unconscious just for a few seconds, but I lost my eyesight for a day, which was terrifying. Thank God it was only a day but when it’s happening, you don’t know. Am I blind? We’ve got mental brain damage. I recovered from that one pretty quickly.
And then two or three years later, I was mugged by three men who came out of the dark, it was only six o’clock in the evening, I was walking there, my home, and they slammed me on the ground and beat the living daylights out of me. I have three herniated discs from where they did that.
Then I moved down to London where I started working in the theater. And by 10 o’clock one evening, I was riding my bike home from the theater and a young 16 year old boy threw a bike at my head. So I was riding home fast this way. So it was like bam. That impact broke two bones in my neck. So my neck was thank God, not the spinal cord, but the C two and C three, and my bones just below your skull were fractured.
PTSD was only just being recognized as a diagnosis at the time. So my treatment was have a cup of tea, go home, and walk it off. And so I had this PTSD, I mean, I see that’s what it was now, which to me, I’m not a big fan of labels, but I just was reliving and reliving the trauma in my head for a good 10 years afterwards.
Then around the time that started getting better, I started getting chronic pain. I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time, I just would get terrible flare ups in my back where I’d be bent sideways and bent forward. I had a walking stick by the time I was 27. I would get these flare ups where I’d be paralyzed and rushed off to the emergency room. And sciatica pain shooting down my leg. I was in agony, quite often not every day, but it would flare up like every few weeks.
Whenever I would go to the chiropractor or the osteopath, or doctors, they would always take a medical history. And when I tell them about all these injuries that go, oh, well, that’s why your arm is numb, because the nerves from your arm come out of your neck or your neck was damaged. Or you’ve got three herniated discs and that’s why you’re bent sideways and bent forward. I also had IBS, I had chronic allergies and asthma. I had all kinds of other what I now see as mind-body illnesses, but just conditions I guess. I learned how to cope with this stuff.
And I actually had a chiropractic appointment every month for 25 years, I was told, if I didn’t have that crunching and cracking, then my spine would sieze up and I’d be permanently bent over and, that’s a story I carried around with me that my spine is weak. And if I don’t take care of it one day, it’s not going to straighten up. And one day, I’m not going to get the feeling back.
I see now that was a really heavy story to carry around. And then when I came across the three principles, my pain went away. It was absolutely unbelievable. It’s funny, now when I work with people with chronic pain, they will say to me, so what did you do to make your pain go away? Like how long did it take them? I don’t know because I didn’t go into this thinking I got to get rid of my pain. I thought that was just the way I was. And I’d have to just cope and deal with it.
So the principles were not like a pain relief thing for me. But what I think happened is, as my thinking slowed down, my body got the message that I was safe because my brain I think all those years was on like hyper vigilance, that’s one of the symptoms of PTSD is hyper vigilance. We’re always weary of noises and surroundings. And even though I felt safe, I think my thinking was probably more anxious than I realized.
I think my body was screaming at me to slow down. And because I didn’t understand that I was running off to specialists and chiropractors and stuff thinking the symptoms were what was in, what I had to deal with. But now I see that that was just the, I guess you could say, the wisdom of my body trying to get my attention. And the back pain, the neck pain, the IBS, all those things, eczema, they all went away. My allergies took a little bit longer, but they’ve pretty much gone as well now. So yeah, it’s been absolutely miraculous. I got very excited about this and wanted to share that with other people.
Alexandra: You’ve written a book, called Painless. How soon did that idea start to form?
Chana: I’ve actually written three books. Painless is the second one. The first book, I actually written the book many many, many years ago, but looking back it was very preachy and teaching and so I think that was like my old thinking. You have to do this and you have to do that. I’m very preaching and teaching, and I left it alone.
Then I turned it into a novel, which is an idea that came to me after I came across the principles. And I found the novel format to be very useful. People liked the idea of reading a story. There’s plenty of self-help books out there so by having characters who do the suffering and the falling down, and the searching and the discovering, and the happy ending people identify with the different characters and go along on that journey.
So the first book was really, I thought it was going to be the only book I’d ever write because I can’t spell. I failed my English language exam in English High School four times. I tried. I had this idea in my head that I’m not an academic person. I had other skills with my hands, making stuff, but I didn’t know that I could write. And there was only about, I think, after my second book came out, and I caught myself saying, I’m not a writer. And I thought, I have to stop saying that, because it’s not true. I suddenly saw as another story I’d been carrying around for a long time, that I’m not academic, I don’t do that stuff.
Painless came out of all the experiences I had working with people with chronic pain issues. And it is a fictional book, but the characters are all drawn from real people I’ve known, either clients or colleagues and doctors that I’ve met and worked with. It just came about. And that was my second book. And then a third one came out a few months ago, about four months.
Alexandra: If you didn’t feel very academic, or that that was one of your strengths, it seems to me, it must have taken a lot of courage to even start to write down things in in book format. Is that true?
Chana: Yeah. That’s very perceptive of you. I hadn’t written anything since I was in high school. My first book I was in my early 50s, I guess when I when I started it. And I didn’t tell anybody I was doing it. Because I thought something might never come up it. It’s going to be really embarrassing. So I just wrote, and it just even started in the middle of this start filling things in.
This is going to sound pompous. But you know, that story about Michelangelo, with the statue of David. He says how like the statue was in there, and he just had to take off the, it feels like that when I’m writing. It’s like the story, I feel like the story already exists, I just have to be a catalyst and it just comes out. That’s why I don’t really worry about endings anymore. Because I know that I just needed to quieten down enough for them to like end up on the paper.
I remember when I first wrote that number one book, I have a friend actually, she’s the daughter of the woman who told me about the principles. She’s a book developer, and an editor and I reached out to her and I said I’ve written this thing and I was wondering if you could have a look at it. And I said, if it’s a load of rubbish, be nice to me. Let me down gently. It’s okay. I tell you, it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done pressing send. Because I say I hadn’t written anything since high school.
I sent it to her. And she knows about the principles and so she wrote, she went to the first three chapters, I think, and she wrote back to me, and she said, it’s good. It needs work, but it’s good. Keep going. Let’s do this. I was like, okay, all right. So she showed gave me some pointers of how to make the writing a little bit better.
And then I wanted someone who I respected in terms of the three principles to read it as a as a novel. I had a friend here, who used to live here in Jerusalem. Her father was Shaul Rosenblatt. I don’t know if you know that name. He’s the one of the organizers of the London conference. So she has grown up with the three principles. So I printed it out and put it in an envelope and took it to her house. And I just asked her if she would read it over.
The next morning, I woke up and I had ideas for like three or four or five more books. It was almost painful. It was weird. The moment I let go of the story that “I Can’t do it”. Like the fact that the floodgates opened and like all these other stories and ideas came up and characters and I was like, wow, I could write about this. And I could write about that. And it was it was really quite an amazing experience.
I think the common thread through the books is that I’ve like picked situations where people are struggling. And there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and then pointing people to the three principles as has been, it’s been good so far away that the last book was Amazon number one best seller for a few days. It’s been a really great journey. I love it. Now. I love writing.
Alexandra: And when you continue, are there more on the way?
Chana: Yes, I have at least three more stories, three books in my head that I can write about. The next one is half written, it’s about like ADHD and overdiagnosis. That one’s going to be a bit of a crime thriller. And then I’ve got one I want to do on addictions, and then another one on trauma. So that those are, and I’m also writing a textbook right now. This is a major project right now.
I had this insight about a year ago now that there are so many people in the three principles community who have recovered from some mental health diagnosis. I thought wouldn’t be amazing to collect all those stories together, what a great resource that would be. I’ve now collected 40 stories from Michael Neill and Amy Johnson, Linda Quoring who’s one of Syd Banks’, his first client, she was his neighbor. She gave me her story. Joe Bailey. Lots of names, you would know.
Because lots of people from the principles community, clients of mine who stories from psychosis to OCD to bulimia you name it, people have recovered from it. So the book is going to be like an introduction to the principles like how psychology has got it misunderstood the work of Sydney Banks, these stories, and I’m currently interviewing people like Dicken Bettinger and Judy Sedgman, and people who are mental health professionals, to get their take on these different labels and diagnoses. I’m putting it all together into a textbook type style book. So I think it’s going to be a great resource for people.
Alexandra: Lovely. Wow, that’s fantastic. I love hearing that.
Do you see a common thread when you hear those stories? Is there anything you notice that’s common among them? In terms of what people understand what they see anything like that?
Chana: In terms of the mental health diagnosis, the main focus of the book is showing that there’s one cause. And there’s a Sydney Banks quote, it’s in the Enlightened Gardener Revisited book, where he says, there is just one generic mental illness. It’s the misunderstanding of thought. And, as you read all the stories that are from around the world, from Argentina, to New Zealand, to Glasgow to South Africa, all kinds of people with all kinds of backgrounds and education and cultures.
The common theme is this misunderstanding of how thought works, and how people are frightened in themselves, with their own experience and their own thinking. And they may have gone off in different directions, like either they’re eating or not eating, or whether they’re creating ultimate realities in their heads and talking to themselves, or they’re trying to control everything, like compulsively or cutting themselves.
I’ve got one story from a girl who was cutting herself so badly, she needed stitches. And she’s doing so amazing now and helping other people. So, all of them, you see that they almost were torturing themselves with their own thinking, the misunderstanding, and then that’s compounded by doctors and therapists who are telling them that they’re broken, and there’s something wrong with them.
I asked most people were you told you had a chemical imbalance? And they all say yes, and yet, so psychiatrists are saying, no, no, no, we always knew it was a myth. We never said that was true. And I’m like, Oh my gosh. I mean, you can look in the textbooks. Being told something wrong with your brain being told that you’re broken, and you’re going to have to spend the rest of your life on medication and treatments that compounds this feeling of broken and wrong and bad.
People suffer so terribly with that, that all of these stories, then when they come across this understanding, and they have these insights, and they see that there’s actually nothing wrong with them, they just misunderstood. And some people can articulate it. And some people just know when it’s just incredible, just listening to how their lives change. I often asked them, I say, what did your therapist think about this? Because I’m always curious, like, What did the doctors think when they see this patient who they’ve been treating them for years, they keep coming back with for them, your prescriptions keep coming back for more treatment, and then suddenly they get well, I’m always curious what the doctors think about that.
Invariably, that the people in my book, they tell me that the doctors just poopoo it, they just like, it’s just a fluke, it’s just they they’re not interested. And even the girl, the self-harming girl, she was actually one of my clients. And she’s amazing story. She had drunk her way out of high school, she didn’t have any qualifications. And long story short, she managed to get into university, and that they wouldn’t accept her because of her mental health status, because she had been in a mental hospital several times attempted suicide, and all the cutting and everything.
So I said, to go back to the hospital and ask the psychiatrist to write you a new letter. And she said, Oh, that’s a waste of time. They’re not going to do that. I said, Well, you can try. You’ve got into the University. We’ve got this far. Like come on. I remember she went to the hospital, and I felt like the hour that she was in that appointment, I felt like Houston waiting for this space rocket to go. I was like waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting for them to reconnect. And then she came and she phoned me and she said, she told us amazing story.
She said the psychiatrists had been in this hospital for 30 years, and had never written a healthy letter before. She said she didn’t know how to do it. Yeah, she didn’t know what the procedure was. And this what this my client had left that hospital with 10 diagnosis, borderline personality disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, bulimia, anorexia she had the more after years of being told there was something wrong with her.
She is now graduated with her master’s degree in physical education. And she is off helping people. She’s a three principles physical education coach. It is amazing. And, and the psychiatrists was blown away. She was like, well, that’s gone, that’s gone. That’s gone. From just understanding how the mind works.
Alexandra: Oh, that’s an amazing story. Thank you for sharing that. So on that subject, then and circling, back around to, to physical pain.
When you work with people who are having chronic pain, something physical going on in their bodies, is there a place where you can begin with them to show them the connection between their thinking and what’s going on physically?
Chana: I usually just talk about some of the basics of pain of what I’ve learned. And it was funny, when I started doing this, I started reading a lot of research and a lot of pain management books. And I remember I had this really powerful insight in the middle of it, because I felt like I was getting a look not obsessive, but like, I just wanted to learn and learn and learn. So I could know I could sound like I knew what I was talking about. I suddenly thought, hold on a minute, my pain went away when I didn’t know any of this stuff, right. So that I relaxed a little bit.
It’s nice to know the terminologies. But what I like to show people is that pain is not the problem. I hesitate to say that someone who’s in pain, and if there’s anybody listening right now who’s in pain that might sound very dismissive, but pain is a signal. It’s a message. And it’s often quite unreliable.
In fact, people often ask me, how did I go from working in Hollywood special effects in movies to coaching people? My cute answer is that the brain has a better special effects department than anything me or Steven Spielberg could come up with. Pain is one of those special effects, right? And you can start to see this in your own experience.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had a bruise and you didn’t know where it came from. I used to get them on my leg. A bruise is tissue damage. You could see the blood vessels. That’s what the purple and green are and how come I didn’t even know it’s happening. And yet you can have a paper cut. And it kills. Like, that really stings.
Pain is, is a an indicator. But it’s not often a reliable one because there are people walking around in terrible pain, who have nothing of any seriousness on their MRI or an x ray. And there are other people with terrible MRIs, and have no pain. Right? So there’s a difference what I had to learn.
First of all, there’s a difference between acute pain and chronic pain. So acute pain is like the paper cut, it’s you know, if you’ve had a surgery, if you’ve fractured an ankle or something that the nerves in the body that could detect damage. And then they send a message up to the brain and the brain decides whether or not to produce pain. So for example, you could be out walking your dog or playing with your grandkids, and you twist your ankle, it’s going to hurt, probably because your brain assesses that if you keep walking on that twisted ankle, it could cause more damage. So it’s like a favour it’s doing for you. Because now you limping, you’re taking your weight off the you go to the hospital, you get ice you take care of it.
Whereas if you’re a soldier in combat, you could get a quite a serious wound or an injury, and not feel any pain at all. Because the brain assesses to stop right now could be fatal. So there’s we’ve heard the stories of like a woman rescuing her kids out of a car, and there’s a bone sticking out of her arm or something, and she doesn’t feel the pain, because she’s in the moment of taking care of her kids, the brain can switch pain on and off.
Chronic pain is when that starts going wrong. What I learned was that all injuries heal. So all those injuries I had in my back of my neck had healed 25 years ago. So how come I was still experiencing chronic pain, years and years afterwards, a couple of decades afterwards? They started to understand that chronic pain doesn’t show up here where we’re paying regular attention. It shows up here in the front of your brain.
And they learned this through MRIs, but it for people with chronic pain where the injury is healed, and they’re still experiencing pain it shows up back here in the amygdala in the limbic system, which is the emotional part of the brain. Oh, I thought, emotional. Interesting, right? So the point was, together with the principles, understanding that we’re feeling our thinking.
If my thinking is in the toilet, if my thinking is miserable, and grumpy and anxious and hyper vigilant, then I started to see that the pain was actually a signal trying to get my attention. It wasn’t about the state of my body, it was about the state of my thinking.
Alexandra: Right. And that was what it was trying to get across to you.
Chana: I think so. Because as soon as I started to understand this, my pain went away. I actually stopped chiropractic. I actually stopped those treatments. Because I didn’t know even before I understood this. And so not only have I stopped the treatments, and my pain has gone away, which is ironic. But as I started to feel calmer, feel safer, I think my brain didn’t need to get my attention anymore.
I’ve seen that in a lot of other people now when they start to calm down and feel and understand what’s happening and like Syd Banks his most famous quote if only people could learn not to be afraid of our own experience, when because when you’re very jumpy or you’re very cautious or anxious, then your muscles tighten up. And our bodies weren’t designed to sustain that level of fight or flight you know, full of adrenaline and cortisol for long periods of time.
If you’re in constant state of anxiety and stress and you’re worried about this and that anything, then our bodies are going to start suffering and it is real. I want to assure people you’re not imagining the pain. The pain is as real as any other pain. I used to feel like my pelvis had been hit with a baseball bat. It was really painful. And you know and sometimes I’ve worked with people with eczema you can see the sores on the skin. People get nausea from migraines.
We’re not saying that you’re making it up or exaggerating when we say it’s mind-body. You really are feeling it, but you’re feeling a signal a message from your mind telling you to slow down that you are safe you are Okay, because we have this innate well-being, and it’s always there underneath all that stinking thinking.
Alexandra: Have you experienced any temporary flare ups or recurrence of your pain?
Chana: Once or twice, yes. I hadn’t thought about this for a while. I remember, as I was reading all those pain books and pain research, there was one particular pain book was written by a man who had had an incredible story. Imagine my story plus three other people with similar tragic, terrible stories, all smushed into one person this guy had had. I mean, not only was he having terrible pain, his wife was paralyzed and their house was destroyed by a tornado, then his father died it was on and on and on. I was actually on holiday. I had two days to read this book was quite thick book, and I just sat in a very comfortable chair. And I started reading because he had a lot of really interesting medical insights, a lot of stuff I understand that came from books like his, and I could feel my back starting.
It would always start in the middle of my back, the muscles in my back would stay squeezed up. And then I could feel that my, I knew that when I stood up, my pelvis was going to be slanted and out of place, and then I could start feeling the soreness in my leg, and I knew it was going to be going down to my ankle. And I thought, that’s weird. Because I’m sitting in a comfortable chair, I’m on holiday, I’m reading a book I want to read. I haven’t damaged myself, I haven’t done anything. It has to be what I’m reading.
It occurred to me to put the book down and I thought, no, it’s a really good book. I want to know what he has to say. That night, it was actually quite painful. I’d forgotten how painful it is to try and sleep when your pelvis is in agony. Just turning over in bed you have to use your whole body to move. It’s really difficult.
But I knew that the moment I stopped reading the book, it would go away. And it did. The end of the second day, I finished the book, I put the book down stood up, I was straight up. Wow. Really weird.
Since then, I’ve had occasional little twinges. But I’ve learned not to be frightened by it anymore. Because I know it’s telling me I’ve got maybe got a little bit caught up in my thinking, or I’m going a little bit too fast. To slow down. I’ve learned to listen to that and then it doesn’t turn into anything. I’ve had a couple of times when it’s felt sore. But it’s a completely different experience. Now I’m not frightened by it. And then it does its thing it passes through and it’s gone. I know it’s going to go away.
Alexandra: That’s such a big part of it, isn’t it? It seems to me that not being as you say, Sydney Banks’ famous quote, not being afraid of whatever’s happening is such an important part of just letting that experience flow through.
You work with people around more than just pain: eczema, you’ve mentioned, migraines. I guess maybe for listeners, we should point out that because it all comes from the same source it’s not that you’re a jack of all trades. I don’t know what my question is in there. But maybe you could just comment on that.
It’s that upstream from that there’s this understanding about how our thinking affects everything that happens to us.
Chana: Yes, it’s a good point. I often get calls from people, from the pain management world, and they’ll say to me, they’ll want to know, have you worked with someone with plantar fasciitis? What’s that Google? Oh, it’s foot pain, right? That’s a fancy word for foot pain. And, or they’ll say, It’s like some weird and wonderful diagnosis or label.
I stopped looking it up or even answering that question anymore, because I know that’s not where the healing is. Doctors want to focus on the specifics, and they’ll want to find someone who’s did you have this and did you recover from this and like, I had a lot of things. I didn’t have that particular one. But that’s not what’s going to help you. Focusing on the symptoms is just another their version of obsessive thinking.
Other people, it might be their bank account they’re obsessing about or their angry teenagers or I do actually work with lots of different kinds of people. And it could be health anxiety, or it could be not health related at all. I’ve worked with people with businesses, I did a program for hospital staff in a UK oncology department, and we weren’t talking about pain. We were talking about stress at work.
What I’m pointing people to is that this, all of this, whether it’s insecurity, anxiety, whatever the source is, it’s coming to us via thoughts. And when we understand how thought works, then we can start to become less afraid of our experiences. And as you say, go further upstream.
Another thing I’ve found that’s really important, is helping people see that they’re taking care of your, Sydney Banks called it Mind, you can call it God, higher power doesn’t really matter what you call it, but there’s this universal loving intelligence is already making my heartbeat and the sun come up, and all those amazing things. I think a lot of people, particularly chronic pain, people, and people with anxiety, feel disconnected from that. And that society and insecurity is fueling the symptoms.
Some people are, don’t want to hear that. They want someone who’s going to specialize in getting rid of their pain, which is they’re trying to fix something that’s not broken. And they’re actually creating more stress. A lot of what I say to those people is there’s nothing wrong. So let’s put that over here. You don’t need to fix anything.
They go, Yeah, but you don’t understand how much pain I’m in. I’m like, No, I believe you. But try this, get curious about there. And see what happens. And some people are too scared to do that. They want to fix their pain. Other people do get curious. I’ve had people who knew nothing about the principles, they come to me for pain, and they fall in love with Sydney Banks, his work and they’ve probably read more books than I have, more tapes and more videos, because I just love, love it.
I never, never anticipated being such a catalyst or a vehicle for people discovering these amazing ideas, and watching their lives transform. It’s really amazing.
Alexandra: I love hearing that.
As we’re coming towards the end of our time together, is there anything we haven’t touched on today that you’d like to share?
Chana: I guess what you pointed out about when I say pain, it’s not just muscle pain. It can be migraines and dizziness, nausea, fertility problems, even. And then the latest book is about hormones.
This is something I found fascinating is that I was just going through menopause when I came across the principles and had horrific symptoms. My brain fog was so bad I could not think. It was like thinking through molasses. I was having hot flashes every 20 minutes, it was very hard to function. And that was my first question. I remember asking principals teacher I said, But what about hormones, like get out of that one? Because they’re inside of you. They’re making my mood go up and down. It’s not me. It’s the hormones.
That’s what I wrote the most recent book because the main character is a woman going through menopause. And she has two daughters. So between the three of them, that cover every hormonal experience, women go through from PMS, to postpartum to menopause. And the research I found shows, again, that your state of mind is going to affect how you experience the symptoms.
I’ve had people with really severe diagnosis, their symptoms have gotten better as a result of this understanding. My menopause symptoms pretty much went away. They’re very manageable and minor that now and again, as the mind starts recognizing that we’re safe, and our thinking slows down that all this physical stuff. It just doesn’t need to get loud and angry anymore. And the slightest thing gets my attention now and I couldn’t live without all those big flare ups. Thank God.
The main story is we’re not broken. You don’t need fixing. And innate well being is always there underneath all of it.
Alexandra: For the listeners, tell us the titles of your three books, just so people are aware.
Chana: Sure. The first one is called The Myth of Low Self-esteem. And like I said, I crammed everything in that one. So it’s basically about recovering from trauma. But there’s a lot of stuff in that my Hollywood stuff is all in there.
The second one is called Painless. That’s the chronic pain novel.
And the newest one is called Very Well. That’s the one about hormones, and they’re all on Amazon.
Alexandra: Okay. And tell us where we can find out more about you and your work.
Chana: I’m on Facebook, so you can reach out to me on Facebook. I have a website. It’s my name, ChanaStudley.com. And I recently opened a membership group for women.
I’m really excited. We offer for a monthly fee very, very low monthly fee. We get group coaching and a book club. We’re just finishing up Very Well right now and we’ll move on to probably want to Sydney Banks’s books.
And the young lady I was telling you about the the phys ed coach, she’s my physical health and fitness consultant now. She teaches a live Pilates class, because it’s good to move the body. It’s just about doing what you can. I say to women, you can switch your camera off, or I blur the background.
And it’s just a great example of how far I’ve come because I was so self-conscious about not so much about how I looked, but like doing it wrong. What if I made a mistake? I’ve never done a Pilates class before. What if I don’t do it perfectly? I would have just like not shown up, but now, because it’s my group I have to show up.
So I didn’t listen to that thinking put some shorts on a t shirt got on and did it and then it felt so good. She’s answering questions about health and fitness and nutrition and, and so it’s turning out to be a really nice group. I’m really enjoying. The details are on my website.
Alexandra: Great. Okay, I will put links in the show notes at unbrokenpodcast.com as ever. Well, thank you, Chana. This has been so lovely. So nice to connect with you.
Chana: Thank you so much. It’s been a real privilege talking with you.
Alexandra: Thank you. Take care.