Editor's Note: Emily A. Francis joined us on The Best Ever You Show in March 2020. Free audio replay.
Please meet author and well-being expert, Emily A. Francis.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Emily A. Francis and I am the host of the weekly radio show All About Healing on Healthy Life Radio (HealthyLife.net). I am also the author of Stretch Therapy, The Body Heals Itself, the new book Whole Body Healing. I am also under contract for a book to release next year Healing Ourselves Whole. I am a clinical massage therapist who specializes in manual lymphatic drainage and combined decongestive therapy. What does that mean? It means that I work specifically with something called lymphedema which usually occurs after cancer treatment and it can result in a chronic swelling issue affecting an arm or leg (or more with cases of primary lymphedema, other random areas of the body).
How did you get to be where you are today?
From my years of working on people’s bodies, it began my long journey of studying why we carry pain where we do, and what information our muscles hold in terms of memory with emotion. We all know muscles have memory, but we missed a crucial part of this information that it stores life experiences within the tissues much the same way that the mind does, but requires different approaches in its release and recovery. My passion is learning all I can about our bodies, the opportunities to heal and as many healing modalities that the world has to show us.
Have you ever been fired?
I have never been fired from any job I’ve ever had, thankfully. I do not think I would take that very well!
What are your real passions?
My passions include anything and everything involving my children (two little girls) and my husband and my pets (three dogs and a cat…and two fish).
If you won the lottery, what would you do?
I think about what I would do if I won the lottery possibly more than anyone should. I watch My Lottery Dream Home on HGTV every Friday night and I can’t wait to meet David when I finally get to be a guest on the show as he helps me buy our forever home in Hawaii somewhere! I would love a lot of land where I could grow my own food year-round. I would also open an animal rescue for dogs and I have it down to a small science exactly how I would do it. And yes, I do buy lottery tickets all the time.
What do you like to do in your personal life?
I currently volunteer with Angels Among Us animal rescue and work with a few others including a small shelter in Georgia where the advocates are the best I’ve seen.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
What I hope to accomplish in the future is the same things I’m working on today. To study and find every opportunity that healing can be found. I have a calling and that is to research far and wide on what is available to us and then present it to the world without attachment to what anyone chooses as their way of choosing to heal. I learned some time ago that it is not about me, and that makes everything I do so much simpler.
What do I do to help others be their best?
I support them. I am a wonderful cheerleader and I understand that anyone’s success does not in any way negate my own. This goes for myself as well. I am my greatest cheerleader. Only I know how difficult something was to achieve. In the end… it is supposed to look like it was easy.
What is a book or two that you recommend?
I have a few favorite books that I often recommend to people. First is my all-time favorite called Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality by Anthony DeMello. He’s my fave. He was a Jesuit Catholic, Indian Yogi, Psychotherapist and I love the way he saw the world. The other book I love and recommend it on the audio version because then it feels like you are out to tea with your very best friend is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s the only book I’ve listened to more than ten times. I also recommend the Netflix special with Brene Brown- you will feel empowered after you watch it. Brene Brown is my super dream to collaborate on actual research with for both the body and the social aspects that she researches. She talks about how the body holds the stories, but so far there has not been a body worker who is also a lab researcher. I CAN be both and I WANT to be both. So, Brene, if you are reading this…I really want to collaborate and research with you just once while I work on the body and you study the reactions. I think we could do really great things with your mind and my hands!
Please give us one or two shameless plugs.
My director of Exercise Physiology from my undergrad as well as my graduate program came out of retirement to be my partner and we applied for a grant that we did not get. I really would love to be part of the information that is waiting to be found and confirmed. That, for me, is the ultimate goal. To be published by the scholarly journals for research that I was actually a part of. Add Brene into that mix and we’d surely get the scholarship and resources we’d need!
As for me, I write what I know- the body and the messages that I believe our bodies wish we knew more of. Something happens when my hands are on the muscles. The body speaks to me, and I have chosen to listen and to share all that I have learned. That is probably my favorite thing about my own work is that I put everything I’ve got into them, nothing left hanging so you have to keep buying. My job is to keep learning more and to continue to share what I learn. It’s not to string people along and keep anyone guessing. I find so many in body work who make it a point to never give away all they know. As if somehow that keeps them above someone else because they still have their special knowledge that they hoard. I despise that. There is nothing I keep to myself in that way. When I teach classes as a guest teacher at massage schools, I pull out all my tricks and hand them over to these newbies. What a gift to learn what has taken me so many years to pick up and figure out and they still get it while they are in school.
That is the point of it all anyway, isn’t it? To help the next generation of any learners gain even more than we had? I want everyone to be their best self and what that looks like is entirely up to each person to choose.
I say in my book, Whole Body Healing, that the big questions to constantly ask yourself is:
1) Who are you? Meaning who you are you…really. What are you about.
2) What do you want?
3) What are you willing to do to get it?
Once you are clear with those, the path ahead becomes lit for you. Keep going back to those questions and you will always find your way. Lastly, my goals are to be able to sleep well at night knowing that I made a difference in the lives of my family and beyond.
For more on me you can find me at EmilyAFrancisBooks.com and I look forward to hearing from you!