Maria LiPuma is a Health & Wellness Practitioner who teaches heart-centered Modern Stress Management techniques here in Ashland. She specializes in helping people who are struggling with addictive behaviors, weight and negative body image, chronic stress and anxiety. Now in her eighth year in private practice and her third here in the Rogue Valley, Maria teaches a variety of tools that help remove common blocks to success, health, and happiness. The techniques she uses energize clients with the power and inspiration needed to live with freedom and personal fulfillment.
After years of suffering from many of the issues she now treats, Maria brings decades of professional experience as well as gentle compassion towards helping her clients make significant changes to live healthier, happier lives. We spoke with Maria recently to learn more about her business, Noble Being, and about the support she offers to those wanting to find another way.
Thanks for talking with us Maria.
Thank you! I’m so happy to be a part of the Ashland community and Locals Guide is such an integral part of how Ashland supports local entrepreneurs. My husband and I moved here a little over two years ago. In addition to living close to my daughter, son-in-law and three beautiful grandchildren, we have met some lovely people and enjoy the rich culture and arts available here. I’m so pleased to have a practice here in Ashland.
For years I struggled with low self-esteem, relationship problems, food, weight and body image, resulting in addictive behaviors. I grew up in a fairly large Italian family. Although I do have some fond memories of my childhood, there also were enormous challenges. I began to use food at an early age to anesthetize the pain I experienced, became overweight as a child, and by 12 years old I had already begun dieting. Diets made me lose weight, only to gain it back again, soon exacerbating the ongoing struggle with myself and my body. In my early 20s I was severely restricting my food intake, compulsively exercising to maintain my weight and relying on other addictive behaviors, like cigarettes, caffeine and diet pills. The alienation from my body and emotions intensified.
At some point I realized that these preoccupations were controlling my life, and I wanted a healthy relationship with food, my body and myself. I worked hard to heal and eventually, in the process, I began facilitating aftercare groups at a treatment center for addictive behaviors. As a yoga instructor I started to coach some of my students who were struggling with stress, relationship problems and addiction. Over the years, I continued to pursue certification in various holistic health modalities.
In your work you address addictive behaviors as coping mechanisms for dealing with stress. Please talk more about this.
We have so much addiction in our society; it is heart-breaking to see human beings suffer so much. Whether it is food, dieting, drugs, alcohol, sex, work, shopping or … addiction, it is usually motivated by the need to tranquilize anxiety caused by underlying emotions stemming from core issues and negative beliefs. Even though addiction has many adverse effects on the addict and anyone involved with them, it is a coping mechanism that on some level is helping. The wisdom of our body is that it is always striving to find balance. When stress becomes too much to handle the body looks for ways to adjust. We turn to substances and behaviors to medicate emotional and often physical pain. This doesn’t mean that we should just surrender to the addiction and allow it to take over. Healing begins when we get honest with ourselves and admit that we can no longer control the addiction.
We have to learn to approach ourselves, particularly the aspects of us that are acting out, with compassion and curiosity. My experience tells me that deep inside there is fear and trauma which need to be addressed and released in order to truly heal. Coming down harder and stronger doesn’t heal the inner wounds that are keeping the addict running for comfort. I am not suggesting that a person who is driven by addictive behavior doesn’t need to be accountable for their actions; however, there is a big difference in disciplining with curiosity and compassion verses harsh and punitive measures.
My business is called Noble Being because my understanding of our true nature and our place in the world has been shaped by the spiritual truth that God (Spirit, All That Is…) has created us as Noble Beings. This belief has been essential to my personal healing journey, and has guided the work that I do to help people experience freedom from addictive behaviors, and live a life filled with joy, peace, and happiness. As we align with our divinity, we are capable of realizing our nobility.
For many of us, stress is just a part of everyday life. How do you know when it is too much or when it is leading to negative results?
I believe that so many of us have gotten used to living with excessive stress.
I was chatting with a client recently and she related to me that since our work together she is now much more aware of how much stress she had been holding in her body. She was so used to tightness and tension that it felt normal to her. She couldn’t sleep through the night, tossing and turning and with some luck eventually dozing off for a short time. She always got up in the morning feeling exhausted, thus creating more stress. As we’ve been working together, most nights now she is sleeping soundly and frequently waking up feeling rested and energized.
Modern Stress Management addresses emotional stress. It recognizes that our emotions are feedback from our energy body. They are physical feelings in the body. Stress occurs when the flow of energy is blocked or low. We know we are stressed when we are consistently feeling sad, miserable, helpless, powerless, alone, unlovable, excessively angry, anxious, unstable. We feel low energy, unmotivated, reactive to life, low self-esteem, and lack of confidence. We may have difficulty sleeping, frequent headaches; feel irritable, think illogical, obsessive thoughts and such.
The methods that I teach allow a person to experience their own true sense of health and wellbeing. In addition to teaching how to apply these powerful tools, I hold a safe, gentle and nurturing space to enable clients to address energy body injuries that show up as extreme stress.
My education and professional background include a Master’s Degree in education, EFT Master Practitioner, Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner, advanced PSYCH-K® facilitator, Modern Stress Management Facilitator (MSM), Eating Disorder and Addictive Behavior Counselor, EmoTrance Practitioner, Food Psychology Coach, and a Kripalu Yoga Teacher. I am a licensed member of the Association for Meridian & Energy Therapies and a professional member of the Guild of Energists. In addition I have traveled an extensive path of healing and have lived a dedicated spiritual life. I bring a deep, compassionate understanding of the human condition to my practice, and have the knowledge and ability to support clients in uncovering their subconscious and blocking beliefs.
You mentioned that Modern Stress Management techniques are at the center of your work. Can you explain more about these methods?
The Modern Stress Management techniques that I utilize and teach include Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Matrix Reimprinting (MR), Emotrance and PSYCH-K.
EFT, also known as Tapping, is based on the ancient principles of acupressure. Originally created by Gary Craig, EFT applies gentle tapping on various meridian points on the head and upper body, while focusing thoughts on pain, uncomfortable emotions, memories, cravings or any other problem. Negative emotions are an expression of a disruption of the body’s energy flow. Tapping these points releases the blockage or imbalance and allows the energy to flow freely through the body. We are a powerful energy-system with the inherent ability to heal ourselves. EFT aids and facilitates this process of re-balancing and healing. EFT is powerful, well researched, easy to learn and amazingly effective.
EmoTrance, created by Silvia Hartman, is a simple natural process of transforming our emotional state. It works by paying attention to the physical sensations and feelings in the body using our intention to soften and flow. This releases the internal pressure of our blocked emotions such as anger fear guilt worry sadness heartache and restoring the flow of our new positive emotions, such as acceptance, relaxation, happiness, clarity, love and understanding. It is based on the understanding that ‘it’s all energy’ and simply a question of ‘is it flowing?’
Matrix Reimprinting, created by EFT Master Karl Dawson, is an energy psychology technique which combines the use of the body mind with quantum physics and new science, for rapid personal evolution. Simply put, MR connects people with their past traumas and core beliefs and elegantly enables them to transform them into supportive platforms for their lives.
PSYCH-K stands for Psychological Kinesiology. It is a self-help tool developed by Robert M. Williams that includes a set of principles and processes designed to change subconscious beliefs which limit the expression of a person’s full potential. The PSYCH-K process has been shown to help people change the way they feel, behave and interact in life.
Yes. Prior to moving to the Rogue Valley I lived in Crestone Colorado, a small rural town in the San Luis Valley. There, I had the opportunity to bring these techniques, particularly EFT, to a local charter school. I taught students and teachers in grades K-12 to manage stress, discipline, and learning disabilities. I presented my experiences and some of the current research at the Association of Experiential Education at Prescott College in Arizona. I find this to be exciting work. These simple techniques can aid and empower students and teachers to overcome difficulties in the classroom and at home. There are now a few progressive schools in the US and the UK that are using EFT. With my extensive experience with Modern Stress Management and my early experience teaching elementary school, I can offer a lot and I’m interested in partnering with local schools and offering my services.
How has your work changed the lives of your clients?
Just yesterday I met with a client who had been struggling with sugar addiction since she was a little girl. Now a grown woman, she previously was unable to go a day without sugar. Her addiction was affecting her health, her moods, her relationships, her self-esteem and the overall quality of her life. As of yesterday she is 19 days and counting without sugar. Needless to say, she is so happy that she is now empowered to say no to sugar.
The following testimonies are good examples of how the work I do and the processes I teach can change lives.
“Maria teaches gently, techniques that offer students hope of transcending unwanted habits, and the freedom to learn and grow in their own way. As a result of attending her group “Women, Body Image & Self Esteem” I am free of cravings, and can shop for groceries sensibly. I also began meditating for the first time in years, due to a new-found ability to focus. In addition, I have learned the importance of being gentle with myself and using my feelings as the guide for change. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I want everyone I meet to learn and enjoy the benefits of these techniques.”
“Maria’s work has gone deeper than I thought possible and transformed my inner and outer worlds for the better. She helped me to see thought patterns that held me back from my true happy and healthy self. Her work allowed me to see the unconscious thoughts I was telling myself. Once I became aware of these patterns and was given the tools to transform them I broke the negative cycle I’ve been in for years.” – Lyndsay Rose
“Maria offers a safe environment to work through deep issues. I always knew that it wasn’t just about what and when I eat and how much I exercised. There were deeper reasons why I held onto weight and why I put it on in the first place…….I had some major breakthroughs and we did deep work together…..I feel a freedom that is priceless.” -Amber Rae
The first step is to contact me by going to my website or calling me to make an appointment for a free consultation. When we talk, I get a better idea about your specific needs, the areas in your life that are most troubling you and what you would like to achieve. You will have the opportunity to meet me and get to know more about my approach, and how we will personalize the work to meet your needs.
In addition to working one-on-one and facilitating support groups, I run a weekly tapping circle here in Ashland.
My services are available in person, Skype, and telephone.
Modern Stress Management
295 East Main Street #9, Ashland
tel 541-201-8787 cell 516-993-6177