The Awakening Community, Lisa G. McFarland
By Barbara Lynn Silberg
Lisa’s G. McFarland, L.M.T., C.S.T., founded the Center for Health and Wellness in 2006. The center, framed with windows on three sides, looks out on Bellaire trees and serves as a community resource with classrooms and workshop space, as well as Lisa’s workspace where she pursues her passion for healing.
Barbara: How would you describe what you do?
Lisa : I do Integrated Intuitive Massage and Bodywork Therapy, seeking to understand the mind-body connection and use that understanding to help each individual. I use Somatic Therapy, CranioSacral Therapy, the Bowen Technique and N.S.T. Neuro-Structural Integration Technique–as needed–for patients with past trauma, chronic pain, or who are in health crisis and/or experiencing pain.
Barbara: How did you get started?
Lisa: Seems I’ve always been interested in the body-mind connection. My dad was a prominent psychiatrist and I started meditation when I was thirteen. At fifteen, I had a near-death experience, and that changed how I viewed the body-mind and led to an interest in psycho-neuro immunology.
In the ’80s, I worked for Dr. John Baldwin, a dentist who specialized in treating TMJ (Temporo-mandibular Joint Syndrome), head and neck pain. He exposed me to the work of Osteopath, Dr.Michael Samuels; Dr. Barry R. Gillispie, DDS (author of Healing your Child), and later worked with John Barnes, PT, leading authority on Myofascial Release). I trained with Dr. John Upledger, the originator of CranioSacral Therapy, in 1986.
Barbara: What are your short- and long-term goals?
Lisa: Short-term: to have a center that’s a community resource–to have it serve as a focus for networking and mind-body workshops and classes. Long term: I’d like to do a book on celiac disease–something along the lines of Celiac For Dummies –with my sister in Anchorage.
Personally, short-term, helping my mother live a healthy and independent life. Long-term, maybe to write a book called, Mom’s Journey Back that would serve as a handbook on how to deal with being an advocate for your parent.
Barbara: Who are your heroes?
Lisa: Ida Rolf (who developed Rolfing); Henry Morrow of Transitions Unlimited (a Hakomi Coach, who focuses on body-centered psychotherapy) and his wife Lynn Sellers; and Rosa Glenn Riley of Spectrum Center (an advocate for caregivers as well as an amazing community leader), Caroline Myss and Dr. Norm Shealy who broke down barriers on alternative therapy.
Barbara: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Lisa: That I sing, play guitar, and twice performed in the Kerrville Folk Festivals New Folk songwriter’s competition.
Barbara: How would you sum up your philosophy?
Lisa: Carolyn Pert said it best. “There’s a mind in the body and a body in the mind.” To connect the two–not change them–is the essence of healing.
Barbara: What is most important to you?