Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Bloodgood.
Kelly, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Several years ago, I became so ill that I had to quit working and devote my time and the little energy I had left to finding out what was going on with my health. Strange symptoms started to present themselves around 2012. It started as an overall sense of weakness. I was having a difficult time opening jars that had already been opened. I would have to grab the pots and pans off the stove with two hands. I even had trouble opening my car door as well as the front door to my house. As time went on, the weakness turned into muscle aches and joint pain. The pain eventually became constant and excruciating. Brushing my teeth, showering, and other daily activities became next to impossible. The exhaustion was like nothing I had ever experienced. I could barely stay awake long enough to drive myself to my doctor appointments. I couldn’t read or even think without getting horrific migraines. The brain fog left me feeling as though I was losing my mind. All of my senses were heightened to a point that even the taste of my toothpaste left me nauseous. I could no longer go see live music because it felt like they were playing inside my skull. Day to day living became difficult and terrifying. Many years, many doctors and many misdiagnoses later, I was finally diagnosed with Chronic Lyme disease. After the shock wore off, I knew that I had to figure out how to get myself healthy and I knew that modern medicine was only going to take me so far. I had already spent about 18 months in bed and I just wanted my old life back.
A year or so into my treatment, which consisted of eight months of three different heavy duty antibiotics, IV’s, self-injections, 30 +supplements, stem-cell replacement, various experimental treatments, and thousands and thousands of dollars later, I realized that I needed to find alternative therapies to treat my symptoms. I started to research online, watched many documentaries, read every book recommended to me, and consulted integrative medical experts. Over and over the research led me to the same treatments. I found that different types of light therapy as well as Pressotherapy were beneficial for people suffering from Lyme disease as well as many other health-related issues. These treatments aid in detoxifying the body, reducing inflammation and improving the immune system so I decided to give them a try. Not only did I enjoy them because they honestly leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, but they truly work. I immediately began to feel less joint and muscle pain. My immune system was up and running again. I haven’t caught so much as a cold in the last three years. I joke that I am the healthiest sick person I know. These are the things I need in order to keep my Lyme symptoms at bay.
I grew up in San Jose, CA. I have five brothers. My father is a retired high school Chemistry teacher and football coach. We would take long road trips up to Montana and Wyoming nearly every summer to visit family and we would usually stay a month or even more. Those were some of my favorite childhood memories. We went camping, fishing, boating, rafting, water skiing, swimming, hiking, etc… We were an outdoor family. Unfortunately, it was during one of those summers that I was bitten by a tick that caused my Lyme disease. I remember being about ten years old when I found a tick on my stomach. I don’t remember how long it had been there or which State we were in, I just remember panicking and yelling for help. My dad burned it out with a match (which is not the way you want to get rid of a tick fyi). Before the age of 18, I had only been in the Pacific Northwest so the tick came from one of those States. I was bitten in 1977 give or take a year or two. Lyme disease was discovered in Old Lyme County Connecticut in 1975. So I am, along with hundreds of thousands of other people, proof that Lyme isn’t just an “East Coast disease” like we have all been led to believe for decades.
I came down to Southern California for college. I attended Loyola Marymount University and graduated in 1989 with a degree in English Literature and Writing. I went on to teach high school English for about ten years. My last few years of teaching, I taught 8th grade English at Hermosa Valley School. I have lived in the South Bay for the past 30+ years and have had the privilege of raising my three kids here: Will (18), Jack (17), and Jane (14).
In 1998 I dealt with infertility issues and after all the test the doctors were stumped as to why I wasn’t getting pregnant. They thought maybe it was stress. So after a couple of years trying, I took a leave of absence from teaching and got pregnant within the year. Will was born two months early and spent a month in the hospital. My son Jack was born less than a year later, also two months early. With Jack, I was on bed rest starting at 23 weeks. My doctors didn’t know why I had delivered early, but now we know. My body could only handle so much. Both of my boys will be tested for Lyme because it can be passed from mother to fetus, most unfortunately. It will break my heart if I have given this to either or both of them. I don’t want this life for them. My two premature deliveries are the reason my husband and I decided to adopt our 3rd child and I am forever grateful that Lyme led us to our amazing daughter, Jane. She is one of the three blessings Lyme has given to me. The other two are connecting with others who are dealing with their own trauma from health-related issues and directing me to my next chapter in the Wellness community.
When I started to research places that had Red Light Therapy, Infrared Sauna and Pressotherapy, I found that the majority of businesses were in Santa Monica, Brentwood, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles and not all under one roof. Most days, I couldn’t get out of bed let alone make the trek to these various cities. I could not believe that none of this existed in my own backyard. At some point, during my wellness journey, I decided that the South Bay needed a place where people could come to get healthy and to maintain their health. I had always wanted to own my own business. After my divorce in 2012, I began working in the Medical Spa field and loved it. My dream of owning my own MedSpa took a turn when I became ill which is for the best as there are plenty of them in the area. Instead, I wanted to fill a void. I believe we need to start focusing on what’s on the inside, not just our physical appearance. It doesn’t matter how good you look if you don’t feel well or are not able to perform basic daily functions or worse. Thus the inception of WELL+GOOD Health Studio. These are treatments that I will need to do for the rest of my life and I want everyone to have access to them in a warm and welcoming environment at affordable prices in the South Bay.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been a difficult road to say the least. As I previously stated, my physical health or lack thereof is what lead me to open WELL+GOOD Health Studio. However, the physical struggle was not the most challenging part of it all. The emotional toll that comes with a chronic disease has tested me in ways that I never knew were possible. It’s a heavy topic and one that many don’t want to discuss, but for me the depression, fear, anxiety, sadness, sense of loss and despair, isolation, loneliness, etc… have been the most painful. I believe the emotional impact Lyme has had on my life is the most important aspect of my Wellness Journey.
I no longer felt that I had purpose. I was surviving, not living. I lied in bed day in and day out for a year and a half never knowing if or when I was going to get better and if I did, I had no idea what my new normal would look like. For all I knew, being bedridden was my new normal. I missed so many soccer games, birthdays, recitals, school events, vacations, holidays, etc… for and with my three kids. At the height of my illness, my boys had just started high school and now they are Seniors and I feel cheated and I feel that my illness cheated them all out of a mom for so many years. The guilt, shame and sadness of that is a heavy burden to carry. It is time and shared experiences that I will never get back. And as you are lying in bed day in and day out with the TV as your only company for a year and half never knowing if you are going to ever get better or if you do, not knowing what that life will look like weighs on you. Life became frightening and I would have done anything to regain my past but that was not meant to be.
I also had to deal with many people, friends and family included, questioning the validity of my disease. When I did make it out of the house and ran into people and let them know what was going on in my life, I was often met with…You don’t look sick or Is that a real disease? People could not see my illness and therefore had a hard time accepting it.
There have been moments where I wished that I no longer existed. The depth of despair, loneliness, and hopelessness was often more than I could handle. I have gone through quite a lot in my life but this disease has brought me into the bowels of despondence and I had no idea how to get myself out of it. It took a lot of self-introspection, prayer, changing my mindset, my kids and family as well as sheer stubbornness to turn things around. I truly believe it was the moment that I stopped viewing myself as a victim that my life in the midst of this horrific disease changed for the better. I knew there were somethings that I could not control or change, but there were many aspects that I could and so I did. I had to resign myself to the fact that I had to do it. No one else was able to do it for me. It was a hard lesson to learn because being the victim who just wanted someone to take care of me was easier. But what wonderful and amazing things have ever come from taking the easy way out? Not much. So I decided to fight for my life and I am happy that I did.
Daily life is still a struggle. I never know how I am going to feel minute to minute and I still spend at least one day a week in bed, but other than that I am functioning, making it to most of my kids’ events and running a business. I am very content and feel grateful for my new life, especially the small things that I use to take for granted. The other day it was absolutely beautiful outside so I decided to take a break and go for a walk along the Strand. I was so thankful to be able to take a walk in the sunshine along the ocean that tears began to well up behind my sunglasses. A year ago, that was not possible. Gratitude is my new mantra.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Well+Good Health Studio – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
WELL+GOOD is a place for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are an elite athlete, chronically ill or somewhere in between. Everyone can benefit from these types of therapies. Most major athletic teams, celebrities and even Astronauts use these treatments. Light therapy has been around for as long as the sun has been shining. Red Light and Infrared are the ‘good’ light on the light spectrum.
We offer Infrared Sauna Pods which are different than traditional Finnish sauna’s which simply heat the air around you vs. infrared which works on a cellular level and heats your core body temperature from the inside out. They are much more comfortable than the wood sauna booths because your head is not in the heat as well as you get to lie down in our pods and listen to music, podcast, or guided mediation or just take a nap… We also offer Pressotherapy which is a pneumatic compression device that uses air pressure to alternate between compression and decompression to effectively stimulate the lymphatic system. We have a Red-Light Therapy Crystal bed as well. And we can’t forget Skin Care! Right now, we offer Dermalinfusion which I believe is the only facial anyone ever needs.
Infrared & Red Light benefits are: improves skin complexion by building collagen and diminishing fine lines/wrinkles/pigmentation, sleep optimization, full-body detoxification, reduces inflammation, boots test promotes wound healing, improves hair growth, aids in relief of joint and muscle pain, reduces psoriasis lesions, reduces the side effects of cancer treatments, has been known to kill certain cancer cells, boots testosterone levels, improves bone health, aids with cognitive functions, boosts immune system, elevates mood, reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, prevents recurring cold sores, diminishes scars and signs of sun damage, improve the appearance of cellulite, stress and fatigue reduction, aids in weight loss/management, burn calories, boost metabolism, etc…
Pressotherapy benefits: helps to increase and improve lymphatic system and blood circulation, relieves edema, reduces muscles tension, stress reduction, relief of joint and muscle pain, helps shape and tone legs, glutes, and abdomen, reduces the appearance of cellulite, full-body detoxification, boots immune system and metabolism, assists in healthy heart, kidney and skin function, improves muscle tone, etc…
Dermalinfusion is a patentend, non-invasive, 3-in-1 dermatological treatment that simultaneously exfoliates, extracts, and infuses skin with condition-specific serums for an all-inclusive treatment in one step. It is the first and only critically-timed exfoliation-to-serum treatment technology with optimal-depth delivery for immediate and long-lasting results on all skin types with no downtime. It’s a great solution for hyperpigmentation, sun damage, aging skin, sallow skin, dehydration, enlarged pores, rough skin texture, fine lines and sagging around the lip and eye areas as well.
We will be adding other Medical Wellness treatments like IV therapy in the next few months. I am really excited to become an even more comprehensive wellness center.
As you can see, anyone with a pulse can benefit from these therapies. Just the other day, I received a call from a woman who had been in and she thanked me over and over again because she slept 9 hours uninterrupted for the first time in about 20 years. She did one Infrared Sauna treatment and one Pressotherapy. Another customer, thanked me because he is putting his MRI for his shoulder on hold because he can finally use his right arm without any pain. He did 3 Infrared Sauna sessions in the span of 2 weeks. He just bought a membership! These types of stories fill my heart with joy. I love hearing that people are feeling good because of these treatments. No truer words have ever been spoken… If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Besides adding more wellness treatments to our menu, I am in the process of expanding WELL+GOOD beyond machine-based treatments. This week is the first of our Be Well + Feel Good monthly series. With my background in education, it seems like the natural progression to provide an educational series for my clients. This week we are featuring a talented young woman who is a Medical Intuitive, Healer & Spiritual Guide. She uses her psychic abilities to identify and treat root imbalances of various illnesses. She is known to help alleviate symptoms, eliminate emotional stress & clear adversarial beliefs to create lasting change. I had a full scan by Madison the other week and I was left speechless. She is the real deal and has already positively impacted my life in a single session. Next month we will have an expert coming in to help us clear our chakras. These are the types of experts and practitioners that will be featured in our monthly series. I want to help bring these effective healers to the forefront of wellness and help them become more mainstream. Western medicine is not the only answer. I have healed myself with the help of my doctor and medication, but the real changes have come from alternative therapies and I want to share that with the world.
I will also be developing the Be Well+ Feel Good blog and podcast and hope to open up more WELL+GOOD locations by 2021.
- Introductory Pricing for 30 minute Infrared Sauna Pod – $49
- Introductory Pricing for 30 minute Pressotherapy – $49
- Introductory Pricing for 20 minute Red Light Therapy Crystal Bed – $20
- Address: 1310 Pacific Coast Highway Suite 250
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
We are located upstairs next to LYFE Yoga
- Website: www.wellandgoodhealthstudio.com
- Phone: 424.452.6195
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @wellandgoodhealthstudio
- Facebook: wellandgoodhealthstudio
Ericka Kruetz Photography