I'm excited to share this week's (So)(Co) Sit Down with you! I met Heidi Gerber when I was in high school. She's a massage therapist, then expanded her practice to acupuncture. She played a integral role in my life before and after my surgery in 2012. I quickly learned the benefits of acupuncture needles, strong hands and how they could both heal me - physically and mentally. When I was hospitalized in November 2013, she came to treat me and even brought me Second Avenue Deli. I continue to see Heidi for a massage or acupuncture here and there but not as often as I should. I'm so grateful for her and cherish our chats, laughs and her understanding of the body and how powerful needles and a massage can be.
JOIN ME ON THIS JOURNEY OF SHARING STORIES AND INSPIRING ONE ANOTHER TO BE THE BEST VERSION OF OURSELVES IN OUR EVERYDAY LIVES.
READ ON TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HEIDI GERBER.
How do you spend your days?
3-4 days a week I wake up at 5am to get to Urban Jungle in Woodside, NY for an incredible 6am CrossFit class. It gives me the strength to get through the rest of my day. As a private acupuncturist and massage therapist, I travel to my patients homes throughout Manhattan. On a given day I can be on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Midtown East, Chelsea and gramercy Park. When I can, I run home to make dinner for my husband. I love to cook and we generally eat a healthy diet. I say generally, because I cannot cook every meal due to my schedule.
What are three things you are grateful for?
Family, friends, nature.
Explain your lifestyle in 5 words or less.
Exercise, food, work, family.
If you were to attend a potluck dinner, what would you bring?
It depends on what the host asks me to bring (always ask the host so there are not multiple dishes of the same kind!) Appetizer: Chopped liver Main: Roasted poblano stuffed with kale and mushrooms Dessert: I make a killer cheesecake.
If you could gift everyone you meet with one book, what would it be and why?
Blindness by Jose Saramago. They made a movie out of the book a few years ago and it was awful! They didn't quite capture the depth of the plot. In my opinion, the story was about the breakdown of government and society when an outbreak of blindness hits the city. the book follows a man and his wife through their experience and the family that they make. This family from different sociological and economical backgrounds join together to survive against societies fear and hatred. They escaped their confinement and prove that we all get blinded at times in our lives. It teaches us to have an open mind and spirit, not to judge a book by it's cover, and not to be afraid of those less fortunate than you or have physical handicaps.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Turn off my alarm!
If you could change one thing in your daily routine, what would it be? What would it take for you to make that change?
My daily routine would include 20 minutes outside in quiet reflection. I used to have a garden where I would sit and drink my morning coffee, I moved a few years ago and miss my garden more than anything. I'm currently in the process of finding a new home with a garden.
What does being healthy mean to you?
Healthy is feeling your best. Having the energy physically and mentally to get through the day always smiling because you are happy.
Have you ever been faced with health concerns that pushed you to change your lifestyle?
Where to begin? Being diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis at eight years old was my biggest health challenge at the time. Mostly, I was embarrassed that I needed to take a daily medication. My mother and I started looking towards Homeopathy for all of my health concerns. Once I started Synthroid I grew nine inches which caused knee problems and at 15, doctors wanted to replace my knee. I went to physical therapy for years, through high school and college yet never had the total knee replacement. However, I have had two arthroscopic surgeries. My knee problems affected my sports though and I had to deny a tennis scholarship. Giving up my childhood sports of tennis and skiing brought me to tears at 21 years old. I was too young for my aging body. I still wanted to be athletic, so I took up yoga and golf. Life was good until nine years ago when I was hit by an 18-wheeler and was faced with a myriad of health concerns including partial and temporary paralysis. Three surgeries later, including cervical fusion, I am strong and healthy. I am fully aware of my bodily limitations and although I push myself, I wouldn't change a thing. My health concerns have challenged me throughout my life, but they have made me who I am today.
What song can immediately change you mood in the best way possible?
Anything by Jack Johnson. Better Together makes whatever I'm feeling alright.
What is one piece of advice someone has given you that sifted your way of thinking?
While walking with my professor senior year of college to be interviewed by NBC (I was once of three students and the only female nominated), I insinuated that I should have taken better advantage of the sports management program. He stopped walking, looked at me and said, "Did you have fun?" "Of course I did," I replied. "Then you took out of your education exactly what you needed. You do not have the best grades in the class, however, you are the one that I trust to represent me." He taught me about balance: that you will learn what you need for success and do not stress about what you have not learned. You were not meant to use that information. Live your life in balance, enjoy yourself and love what you do.
What article of clothing/outfit do you feel most empowered wearing?
My workout clothes and for that brief moment in time, my wedding dress!
Complete this sentence: "In order to be happy, I need to..."
Be with nature
What do you have going on in your life that you'd like to share with the (So)(Co) Community? (business, upcoming event, book launch, new product, etc.)?
I have recently been made the director of the Live Well Program at Tournesol Wellness. I am a personal health advocate designing a custom healing plan to achieve a total wellbeing. I guide clients through a comprehensive holistic health assessment taking into account health history, current needs and future goals, combining the best of Eastern and Western medical practices. We have 30 integrative treatments on site to chose from. I pair the client with therapies, in the most beneficial order that help them achieve their health goals. They learn strategies and guidelines to follow at home for nutrition, exercise and stress-reduction. Their progress is tracked which ensures the highest level of care and attention for their success.
Heidi Gerber - Sports, health and healing have always been my life. As an athlete with a myriad of health issues, I have been searching for optimum health. This search continues as I enlighten myself with a vast knowledge of alternative therapies. My intuitive nature has been enhanced throughout the years with trust, wisdom, compassion and patience. Fortunately, I have designed a career with my love of health, sports, alternative medicine, bodywork and nutrition. I draw upon a deep reservoir of compassion and an innate desire to help my patients achieve balance and health. I have an MS in Acupuncture, AOS in Occupational Therapy, and a BS in Sports Management. NYS Licenses in Acupuncture and Massage Therapy and Certifications in Lymphatic Drainage Therapy, Myofascial Release Technique, Craniosacral Therapy and Shiatsu, Clinical Training through Systemic Formulas.