Unstoppable: How Khristee Rich Has Redefined Success While Navigating Society With 15-year Illness

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Mind over matter is incredibly powerful. Our mind is more powerful than we realize. We can overcome illnesses by believing that we can, but of course, if we believe that we can’t, we are also right. So, it’s important to choose wisely. Choose to overcome your illness. Believe that you can.

As a part of our “Unstoppable” series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Khristee Rich.

Khristee Rich is a holistic health expert, healer, speaker, and writer who advocates for women’s health and wellness. With over twenty years as a researcher and seventeen years as a holistic expert, she empowers women to heal their chronic conditions and trauma using a holistic approach, her powerful energy work, and the natural medicine of the Earth, so that they become vibrant, joyful women and make the impact they desire in their lives. www.thedancingcurtain.com

Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is really an honor. Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Absolutely. I had a chronic illness for fifteen years. Before my illness, I didn’t know anything about holistic health and wellness. I knew to go to the doctor if you were unwell.

I had been very healthy up until my illness, so it came as a surprise when I got sick and I couldn’t get well. I had so many tests done, but the blood didn’t show anything was wrong.

My first doctor labeled me as depressed and that didn’t feel right. I was a very optimistic person. He wanted to put me on antidepressants and not do any further testing. I refused the antidepressants. I knew my body and I knew that there was something physically wrong with me. Plus, I didn’t do well with medication.

When he wouldn’t do further testing, for the first time in my life, I sought out alternative health and wellness. I went to an acupuncturist. I had heard a lot of good things about acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I was so curious to hear what he would say, how he would explain my illness, and what I should do to remedy it. But, instead of enlightening me, he told me that I was simply stressed with the pressures of the real world. He told me to simply have more fun. This didn’t feel like the answer either.

For years, I went to doctor after doctor asking them to do further testing. I tried every alternative treatment possible. I felt like I had tried everything to no avail!

I even studied Russian shamanism as a way to try to heal myself. This is how I became a healer. I was trying everything to make myself feel better and little did I know, I was gaining talents and experience so that I could help my clients later.

To make a long story short, because I went to the doctor so often and was always asking for further testing, doctors labeled me as a hypochondriac. They stopped making eye contact with me during my appointments and would rush out of the room afterwards as if I had wasted their time. But still, I kept going. There had to be a reason why a girl who was healthy all of her life suddenly became ill and couldn’t recover.

After a long time, one doctor concluded that I had fibromyalgia since I had the symptoms and he had been able to rule out other pain conditions. He told me that he had tried everything and that since there was no cure, I would have to accept my fate. I would be in pain for the rest of my life. Basically, he had given up on me and was implying that I should give up on ever feeling better and just accept it.

I did not accept this.

Finally, at the end of fifteen years, I found a doctor who believed that I was sick and that there had to be a reason. At the appointment, I brought notes of my escalation of symptoms, all the tests I had, and everything I had done to try to remedy it. He was impressed with my thoroughness and ordered more tests.

I was so grateful that he did. The reports discovered why I was so sick. I had extremely high levels of heavy metals in my blood: both lead and mercury. They were the highest my doctor had ever seen with any patient. He said with such high levels I should have been paralyzed or suffered brain damage and that it was a miracle that I hadn’t.

He told me that I would have to meet with a toxicologist in New York City and have weekly chelation therapy for a year or longer.

Finally, someone believed me. I had the root cause! He knew the treatment and he knew the kind of specialist I should go to.

But, how did this happen to me? How did I get such high levels of heavy metals in my blood?

I never found out.

And if I was so sick, how come doctors never thought to look for heavy metals for fifteen years?

It didn’t matter. I had the answer and I was so excited to do research on what would restore my health. I went home and started researching heavy metal toxicity and chelation therapy.

I learned that chelation therapy is inserted into your arm like an IV. The substances chelate or draw the heavy metals out of the blood. But, it has the ability to pass between the blood/brain barrier which can result in devastating results. It can cause paralysis, brain damage, even death. These symptoms were much worse than I was currently experiencing.

I wasn’t going to remove the heavy metals only to die from the treatment. Instead, I told myself that I was a healer and that I would heal myself in one month, naturally.

I searched on Google and found natural food and supplements that could draw the heavy metals out of my body without any side effects. I took them daily. Plus, I meditated twice a day for twenty minutes every day. This was the first time I had ever meditated. Also, I exercised by going for a short walk down my street. Each day, I filled myself with positivity. I told myself daily that in one month I would be well. It was important to keep myself positive.

Because my levels were so high, they were taking my blood every three to four days to see if the levels were going up. But instead of going up, the levels were going down. At the end of the month, they tested my blood and it was down to zero. I had my life back.

Do you feel comfortable sharing with us what mental shift you made to not let your illness “stop you”?

That’s a great question. I remember lying in bed one night in terrible pain. I was crying from the pain. This had been a pattern. I was often in terrible pain and the only thing I could do was to go to bed and hope that sleep would remedy it. But being in bed also seemed to amplify it because I had no other distractions, except to feel the pain that I could do nothing for.

No one understood what I was going through. I had terrible migraines; the back of my head throbbed constantly; I was dizzy… It was a long list of symptoms. I was upset that I was in so much pain and that no one understood. No one could relate.

Something shifted in me that night where I stopped seeing myself with an illness. I saw myself as having a spirit and that I was unlimited. I didn’t struggle against the illness; I connected with my spirit that was limitless strength. As spirit, I saw that my body was with an illness, but I did not “have” an illness; I was not my illness. I did not “possess” an illness. I think we have to be very careful of the words we use.

I started to say sentences over and over in my head like a mantra.

“I am not my illness. I am spirit and I am limitless. I am not this illness. I am spirit and I am stronger than this.”

This helped me. It calmed me emotionally and it gave me strength. It helped me to detach from the illness.

Also, I remembered that Oprah said that we need to be our own best advocates. This really resonated with me because during my illness I felt very alone. I felt that I wanted everyone advocating for me so that I could get better and instead most people didn’t empathize or support me. I took Oprah’s words to heart to become my own health advocate and that is when things changed. I was going to keep fighting for my health no matter what because it was my health.

Can you tell our readers about the accomplishments you have made during or after you conquered your illness?

So many! Well, actually, it was during my illness that I became an entrepreneur. That was a leap of faith. I had never planned to become an entrepreneur, but strangely it felt like it was my calling. So even though, I was still sick, although better at the time, I became an LLC. I wanted to help others to feel joyful. I even did standup comedy to make them laugh.

After I healed myself, I moved to San Francisco and lived there for many years and I lived in Los Angeles for a while too. I did some acting, comedy, and modeling. I even had my own comedy show in Hollywood at Second City for a while. It was wonderful to feel free to follow my passions again and to travel.

The greatest accomplishments have been all the people I have been able to help with their health and wellness. I have helped so many people with so many health conditions, illnesses, and even trauma. It has been a joy to see them transform and return to joy.

In 2019, my healing journey was featured in the Amazon bestseller, Food Heals, by Allison Melody. It was an honor to be included in her book.

Also, I have loved how magazines, podcasts, and blogs have been so receptive to my stories.

What advice would you give to other people who are struggling with a chronic illness?

To not identify yourself through a label or diagnosis. Doctors give out labels, but once someone adopts their label, they also adopt the present understanding of the illness which is often limited. Doctors diagnose so that they can put you in a category. Under that diagnosis, they can prescribe medication.

Many doctors say that there is no “cure.” I dislike this terminology. Health is not about magic. It is not about a quick fix. We must understand that health and wellness is based on lifestyle, mindset, diet, and consistent actions — not about taking a pill consistently. When a doctor says there is no cure, what he or she is really saying is there is no pill for that.

“There is no pill I can give you or even if I gave you pills, you would still have the symptoms.”

This often means that researchers have not done enough research on this ailment to understand what causes it. It doesn’t mean that it can’t be overcome.

Truth be told, does medicine cure? Once one goes off a medication, the symptoms usually return. To me, that means that they were not cured, but that the symptoms were minimized or suppressed for a time, but that the medication did not heal the body.

I want you to know you are not your illness. You are spirit having a human experience. We forget that our spirit is limitless. Don’t let a label define you. Don’t let a label tell you what you can or cannot do in your life or how long you will live.

One of the reasons, I believe, I overcame my illness was because I didn’t give into the labels. I was told that I was depressed, stressed, even that I had fibromyalgia and that there was no cure. I was told that I would have to accept a life of pain and that I wouldn’t be able to work, but I didn’t accept this. I knew there had to be a reason why I became sick and I was determined to uncover it, even if many of my doctors had given up on my recovery.

And that’s what I did, I didn’t stop asking for tests until they discovered the reason why I was sick.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

My dad was always my biggest supporter. He found doctors for me to go to that his friends recommended. He always told me that I was a fighter and that he believed in me. He told me that everything happened for a reason… that it always happened for the best. This may seem cliché, but it rang true for me.

My illness was a gift. It gave me the empathy to understand what it is like to have a chronic illness. No one knows what it’s like to live with a chronic illness daily who has never had a chronic illness. It gave me the tools and experience so that I could help others and the confidence to know that the actions I was recommending to my clients were steps that I had personally tried and worked. It is a gift that I am able to speak from personal experience about overcoming an illness to inspire and help others to do the same.

Of course, this wasn’t something that I realized right away. I definitely didn’t see my illness as a gift while I was in it. I definitely didn’t see the reason why it was happening until I overcame it and started helping others. But hearing my Dad’s loving advice made me look for a reason, to be open to it, and to have faith in a higher power guiding me instead of just receiving bad luck. This calmed me and allowed me to trust and know that everything would make sense in time.

Now, I know that my illness was for the best. If I had never become ill, I would never have gone into the health and wellness arena. I would never have become a healer, holistic health expert or a speaker. I would never have helped other people with chronic conditions and trauma. My life was going in a completely different trajectory. I wanted to be an actress. If I had never gotten sick, I would probably still be pursuing acting and while I would have entertained many, the impact to personally transform people’s lives for the better would not be the same.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

In the beginning of my business, I created comedy shows to uplift people. Over the years, there has been so much goodness through my services: dance workshops, one-on-one healings, group healings, talks…

Being an entrepreneur, has allowed me to teach so much of what I have learned. Now, I am writing a three-book series on childbirth through a holistic perspective to bring an understanding of holistic health and wellness to moms.

By writing this book series, I am able to inspire and empower women and teach women how holistic health and wellness pertains to childbirth. I interviewed over seventy moms and childbirth experts around the world. I will share their stories and interviews and share my perspective from a holistic point of view to give a deeper understanding. Doctors do not teach women from a holistic point of view so this will be eye-opening.

I am so excited about my book empowering moms around the world.

Can you share “5 things I wish people understood or knew about chronic illnesses” and why?

  1. I wish people understood that when you have a chronic illness that you have it every single day. You have some days that are better than others, but you never have a day that you feel well, like you used to. You never get a break or vacation from it; you deal with it daily. Most people are used to overcoming their illness when they are sick so they cannot imagine getting sick and not recovering. Please have empathy for those with chronic illness. Please don’t sympathize for them. This is disempowering. We don’t need sympathy, but we appreciate empathy and compassion.
  2. Every chronic illness has a root cause, a reason why it happened, and if you understand the root cause, you can overcome it. This is empowering. This helps us to keep looking instead of giving up. This helps us to not become a victim. Doctors may not have this holistic point of view, so you may have to become your best health advocate to get the answers.
  3. Once you know the root cause, you can treat it naturally. The body has the ability to heal itself if given the right tools. Many people think that natural medicine is not strong enough for chronic illness, but this is not true if you are given the correct remedy. Plus, natural remedies do not have side effects like prescription medication which can continue the cycle of symptoms. Natural healing is the best way to go.
  4. In order to overcome a chronic illness, we need to heal our mind, body, and spirit, not just the body, but all three. If we only focus on one, we will not have a full healing. This I believe is why many people do not overcome a chronic illness because they are only focusing on the physical body or maybe the physical and mental, but not the spiritual.
  5. Mind over matter is incredibly powerful. Our mind is more powerful than we realize. We can overcome illnesses by believing that we can, but of course, if we believe that we can’t, we are also right. So, it’s important to choose wisely. Choose to overcome your illness. Believe that you can.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

I love Rumi’s quote. “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” Our greatest pain often transforms us. Through our pain, we become enlightened.

I also love Hippocrates’ quote. “Let food be thy medicine.” Hippocrates was so wise and his advice was so simple. Let food be our medicine. So many of us have forgotten to allow food to be our medicine.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂

I would love to have a conversation with Dr. Bruce Lipton. I admire his research and understanding about science and health and wellness. He is a fantastic researcher, scientist, and educator. We share the same beliefs that we are not victims of destiny; we can choose to be co-creators with the Universe, and through our actions, beliefs, and intentions we can improve our health and wellness and our lives for the better. Of course, when we prioritize our health, it enhances the lives of others too.

Thank you so much for the time you spent doing this interview. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success.

Unstoppable: How Khristee Rich Has Redefined Success While Navigating Society With 15-year Illness was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.