Jan 27

Is Back Pain, Or Other Pain Symptoms Controlling Your Life?

By Celeste DeCamps | Self Improvement

We all experience aches and pains from exercising, dancing all night or playing sports, especially after turning 50. That’s natural. What’s not easily explained is the sudden onset of pain in our backs, knees, hips, shoulders or migraines. We decide it’s because we overdid an activity or slept in a funny position. Our minds convince us that we did something to cause this discomfort. What happens when we can’t seem to find relief? For some, seeking medical attention is obvious. They want to know what the extent of structural damage has been done. What kind of medication will they need to take, or worse, is surgery involved? For others, they will seek the help of a more holistic approach: Acupuncture or a good chiropractor.

What would think if I told you that you may not need any of the above? What would you think if I told you to check your emotions first? Maybe your family life plus pressures from work are making you feel powerless. Do you feel the need to be perfect? Are you taking care of everyone before you ever consider making yourself a priority? Does the idea of being resentful for all that you have to do, make you feel guilty, even angry? Did you have to overcome a tough childhood? Are you in a bad relationship? What is going on in your life that is keeping you from being happy? Believe it or not, our brain tries to help us with these overpowering emotions. Our unconscious mind holds our memories, but it doesn’t relate to time. Events in our past, stay with us as if it just happened. If we have unresolved anger our bodies hold onto it. Repression helps us to function so we can get on with our lives.  If we don’t come to terms about past or present trauma, our brain makes the decision to keep us from thinking about it.

Dr. John E. Sarno has written a few books explaining how the connection between our minds and our bodies work together to keep us from feeling overwhelmed. He calls this condition TMS: Tension Myositis Syndrome  He explains that the aches we feel are very real. When we are repressing anger, our mind decides that a distraction is needed. The brain causes a mild oxygen deprivation to certain muscles and the result is pain. When we seek a cure, such as medication or an adjustment, the ache may subside for a little while. If the anger is still there, the pain will move to another body part. What started in the back, is now in the shoulder. Dr. Sarno calls this The Symptom Imperative. It means the mind will move the pain around to keep you distracted. Many people have found relief just by reading Dr. Sarno’s books or attending his lectures. They identify with the different personality traits that are presented and find a way to confront their repressed emotions. It sounds too good to be true, yet it has helped thousands of people, including me, to be free of pain.  For some patients, professional therapy may be the answer.

Many patients insist, that after being x-rayed, their doctor’s have told them that they have structural damage. For example a herniated disk, a torn rotator cuff, or cracks in their back. Dr. Sarno explains, that is all normal wear and tear on the body. Many people will have the same results on an X-ray or MRI and live pain-free. Dr. Sarno always gives a complete physical to rule out infection or disease.

“Many years ago I concluded that the structural abnormality was not the true cause of symptoms in most cases, because I found no correlation between the location of the pain and muscle weakness if such existed, and the structural aberration. It is remarkable that practitioners can undertake a serious treatment like surgery in light of such blatant clinical inconsistencies. One of the dirty little secrets of the medical community is that clinical medicine is clearly not always as scientific as many would like to think. Of the thousands of patients with disc pathology that we have seen over the last thirty-two years, not one has ever developed “permanent nerve damage” after refusing surgery and following treatment for TMS.” -Dr. John E. Sarno-The Divided Mind

The program 20/20 did a report on Dr. Sarno. Please watch the video below:

To find out more please read these books by Dr. John E. Sarno:

Mind Over Back Pain: A Radically New Approach to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Back Pain

The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain

Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection


Jan 14

Green Smoothie

By Celeste DeCamps | Recipes

Nutri Bullet has changed my life. I never thought I would enjoy drinking kale, but I do. This high speed blender makes the best smoothies.

Today I put in the blender:

A big handful of kale

1/2 an avocado ( it gives a creamy texture to the drink)

6 baby carrots

1/2 a banana

1/2 cup of mixed frozen fruit

A few slices of fresh ginger

Some mint leaves

1 tbs Flax seed oil

And water

The only thing I can taste is the banana, ginger and mint. It’s wonderful and filling.

Jan 14


By Celeste DeCamps | Self Improvement


Picture yourself in a room full of your friends. This room should be full of love. If it’s not, you need new friends. This is the room you don’t feel judged. This is where you can truly be yourself, because the people in this room, get you, like no other. You share common ideas and interests. They can give you constructive criticism, without being insulting. They help guide you, support you and encourage you to have a great life. They will listen to you as you go over a sad disappointment. They will listen to it a million times if need be. As women, we need to run a subject into the ground until it’s out of our system. Men don’t understand that. That’s why it’s so important to have great girl friends. Yes, we can be friends with men, but it’s not the same. Women have wonderful empathy as well as compassion. That’s why we give so much of ourselves to each other. We understand the need to talk thru our anxiety and know we are being heard. The same goes for happy events. We want people in our corner cheering us on, when we achieve a goal. We don’t want to be around people who feel the need to take us down a notch because they feel threatened or jealous of our success.

There will be different people entering and exiting your life at different times. They will serve their purpose in helping us grow and learn. Some will stay forever, and some will need to leave. Life is a process and decisions on who we are with is very important. As we change, and yes we should be changing for the better, so do the people around us. Girlfriends are so important!! They are the best support group we have, as long as they are real friends. By that, I mean, they will listen to you and not pass judgment. We all need people we can confide in, that will hear our problems and have compassion for us. We all should have people in our lives that love us unconditionally. Everyone has work to do in their lifetime to be the best that we can be. It is our friends that become great guides to that betterment. They will point out our bad decisions or lack of action to fix a mistake. It’s okay, because we do the same for them. Our friends form our social graces, our attitudes and our moral compass. That is why, picking good friends is so important. We don’t need people around us that are constantly undermining our confidence so that we never succeed. Those are not friends.

That is the Crab Effect: Picture a bucket of crabs. One is trying to escape up the side, but the rest of the crabs keep pulling him back. They don’t see a way out, and they don’t want to be left behind, so no one is allowed to try and leave.

Be aware of the “friend” who wants you there for her, but is not available when you need advice or encouragement. That is someone taking advantage of your good nature, while sucking the very life from you. Look at yourself and make sure you are a good friend. Make sure you are there for others as they are there for you. There’s no reason to feel alone in your journey. We are all in this together. Let’s help each other be our very best.


Jan 10

Strength in Numbers

By Celeste DeCamps | Self Improvement

Belly dancers come in all shapes and sizes. I have been backstage with other dancers as they bemoan their body parts. Yet, when they go onstage, an amazing transformation will happen. They are suddenly beautiful and in control. They believe in their dance and their confidence shows thru. They come offstage, breathless, but empowered. That high of performing, being applauded, being appreciated, took away all the angst they had just moments before. Why can’t we hold onto that? It’s there for all of us. It’s a mindset we don’t allow ourselves to have. When we do, it’s for very short periods of time. For some of us, it never happens. We can’t move gracefully, we can’t be sexy, why? Is it because if we don’t look like a super model, we’re not allowed to feel and be beautiful?  Is that our reality? Who determines that? Society, our family, our friends, or is it us? We control our feelings and our attitudes. We control our thought process. If we give up that control and give it to someone else, who’s at fault? We have more power than we know. Just a shift in attitude can change a situation on a dime.

So many women I speak to have disconnected themselves from their body. We are employees, a mother, a wife, but not a woman anymore.When did we lose our femininity? We take care of our jobs, our family, our home, but not ourselves. When do we dance and play? When do we feel sexy, and comfortable with our bodies? When do we stop comparing ourselves to everyone else? Why are we in competition with each other? Where did the sisterhood go? Why is working with other women so miserable? I’ve heard women say that they would rather work with a man than a woman. How sad is that? We can’t make ourselves the enemy. We need to support and encourage each other. To be in competition with each other is counter productive.

I worked for a number of years in the wine and spirit industry as a distributor. I sold wine and spirits to restaurants in Manhattan. I was quite fortunate to work with a group of women that were in their own right, strong, smart, talented and successful. Our manager was a woman as well. We had one man on our team. He was amazing. We were constantly at the top of our division in terms of volume and distribution. Many times beating out the other all male teams. We worked well together and encouraged each other. We proved over and over again how combining our strengths made us a stronger team. We were not being men, we were being women. We had compassion for each other as we dealt with the stress and pressure of work and family. We were supportive instead of combative. It made a huge difference in the workplace and it showed with our success.

Women are a powerful force in this world. We have to recognize that in each other and see it in ourselves. Let’s bring the sisterhood back.



Jan 07

Fun with Veggies

By Celeste DeCamps | Recipes

I love making salads.  Today, I created a masterpiece.

A mix of baby spinach and arugula

Sliced cucumbers

Sliced baby carrots

Sliced orange, yellow and red peppers

Plum tomatos

1/2 of an avocado

Feta Cheese

Dried Cranberries

Topped with Flax Seed Oil

Delicious and Nutritious

Jan 05

Beauty Within

By Celeste DeCamps | Self Improvement

I struggled for years with low self-esteem. I had a horrible and annoying voice that lived inside my head. It constantly under minded my confidence. It was exhausting and I desperately wanted to change the opinion I had of myself. When I decided to get on the road to self-discovery, three things happened to help me finally kick that useless voice to the curb.

1: I realized the culture I live in contributed to my belittling.

2: It took a water experiment conducted by a Japanese scientist to see how my thought patterns were hurting me and

3: I began to learn about my true self worth.

My hope is that my experiences will help you hear a more encouraging and supportive voice in your head.

Why isn’t my hair longer, fuller and shinier? Why isn’t my complexion flawless?  Why can’t I lose 10 pounds?

That was a small sample of the inner dialogue I’ve had with myself since I was a teenager. Magazine articles and talk show hosts will tell us ad naseum that the biggest attribute a woman has is her confidence.  How do I imbue confidence when I just raked myself over the coals before having my first cup of coffee?

Do I want to look like a Victoria Secret model? Yes, yes I do. Do I really believe it will make my life perfect? No, but it doesn’t stop me for wanting to be beautiful. I’m not alone.

For centuries women have tried all kinds of beauty treatments to enhance what we have or to fake what we don’t. Media induced beauty, and all it entails. From pictures of 20yr old models, selling wrinkle cream, to talk shows that promote the latest in weight loss. It’s a feeding frenzy on my insecurities in hopes of selling me a cure. The question I have is: How can I stop this cycle of mental put-downs?

A few years ago, I read an interesting experiment that impacted my belief system. It forever changed my inner dialogue.

Dr. Masaru Emoto decided to study water molecules. The water samples were subjected to various degrees of emotion: One jar of water was subjected to messages of Love, one jar of water was given soft words of appreciation; One jar was yelled at with messages of anger and one jar was spoken to with messages of hate. After a month of this, he took pictures of the frozen water. He then produced several slides showing different crystal formations. Love and appreciation are beautiful pictures while the anger and hate are nasty. Think about this: We are made up of 60% water. I needed to change my thought patterns about myself.  I didn’t want to make myself ugly.

You can see a video about this experiment below:

How do you change a rock solid foundation of insecurity into an anchor of self-assurance? I decided to replace that abusive voice inside me with one that was full of love and self-respect. Like everything else, it took practice. When a negative thought would push it’s way in, I countered it with something positive. “Wrinkles are multiplying overnight”. “No, those are laugh lines, because my love is full of joy.” I decided to feel grateful that I was healthy, and strong. I meditated and visualized a light inside me that energized and reinforced my belief in my true beauty.

The best example I have of knowing true beauty is this:

Have you ever seen a good looking person and after a 5 minute conversation wonder why you found him/her to be pretty? I’m not talking about when the lights suddenly come on and it’s last call. Their thoughts were rude and obnoxious. The same goes for someone that may not be particularly nice looking, and yet after speaking with him or her, and connecting on the same wavelength, they suddenly become quite attractive. Our inner beauty will always shine through.

I think we are all naturally vain. I think it’s a part of the ego that will keep us evolving into something greater. I’m not opposed to that. I’m opposed to trying for an ideal that was media made.

Marilyn Monroe, the icon of beauty was not happy. Even though she was considered the most beautiful woman, in the world, she never felt loved. All of her wealth and fame never got her what she most wanted.

Don’t misunderstand me: There’s a part of me that wants to age gracefully and another part that wants to go kicking and screaming. I will always enjoy putting makeup on and looking and feeling my best. I just refuse to put myself under a microscope and pick myself apart.

Today, I can honestly say, that the crystal formations inside me are beautiful. They reflect how I perceive myself on the inside as well as the outside. My self-discovery taught me to be grateful for what I have and see other people’s inner beauty as well.

My inner voice now sounds like this: I am perfect, I am strong, I am healthy, I am beautiful inside and out and more important, I am loved.

Jan 05

Scared Stiff

By Celeste DeCamps | Featured Articles

I was a professional belly dancer for many years. Occasionally, I would give classes for fund raising events, or for groups of women that wanted to try something new for their “girls’ night out”.  What I realized was, they didn’t necessarily want to learn how to belly dance, as much as they wanted to regain their femininity. They forgot what it felt like to be sexy: They were busy being wives, mothers, and employees. Belly Dancing was a way to feel exotic, to be free to let loose and to feel like a woman again. It wasn’t easy for many of these women. They looked at my hip movements and decided that their hips did not move. The dance lessons would turn into a kind of therapy session. Each woman had a reason why her hips didn’t move easily. I explained that belly dancing is the oldest dance form in history. Yes, there are techniques that can be learned thru practice, but the core movements are based on women’s natural abilities.  I reminded the women that when they were little girls, they danced. There was no judgment then, and there wasn’t any judgment now. When I broke the movements down, little by little the mental block started to move away. They started to have a better understanding of how easy their bodies would flow thru the exercise when they relaxed and stopped worrying about being perfect. The transformations always amazed me. Suddenly, these women were dancing and laughing. They would tell me later, that they were surprised at how good they feel. The awkwardness disappeared and they felt a lot better about themselves.

All women come in different shapes and sizes. That’s why belly dancing will always look different on different women. There is no wrong way to dance. I find dancing is the quickest way to connect ourselves with our bodies. Moving slowly and gracefully with the music, in the privacy of home, is like it’s own meditation. It immediately reminds us that we are beautiful and fun. I tell women to put on music that makes them feel happy. You can’t feel bad or sad when you are dancing.

I have been backstage at belly dance conventions, waiting for my turn to dance, with other belly dancers. Each one will ask me, “How do I look?” “Is my hair alright?” “How’s my makeup?” “I am trying to lose weight, does my costume look tight?’ The moment they get on stage, a wonderful thing happens. They are smiling, they are confident, they do a great show and they are perfect. All of their insecurities disappear. I want to tell them to hold onto that feeling and don’t let it go. We all possess the ability to feel positive about ourselves. It may take practice, but it’s worth it.

Jan 02

Welcome to my brand new website!

By Celeste DeCamps | General

If you’re looking for a professional speaker, or are simply looking for more info on boosting self-esteem, getting more energy, and having a happier life, you have come to the right place!

My site is new, but check back soon because I’ll be making frequent updates.


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