You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 262. I’m talking about with my friend Rita all about energy. And I have to insert a thought here. Rita drops some amazing nuggets of wisdom. This turned out to be one of my all-time favorite interviews. So stay tuned.
Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast.
Hey, welcome back to Vibrant Happy Women. I’m Dr. Jen Riday, your host, your friend, your cheerleader in the corner. I’m so glad you’re here. Now, if you haven’t left a review for the podcast click pause, press it or whatever you do with it, touch the pause button and go leave a review, jenriday.com/review. These help us to grow and to reach more people and it’s a way to say thanks and I appreciate it.
Now, today I’m going to be talking to my friend Rita Panuccio. How do I know Rita? Here’s the beautiful thing. I feel like the universe, God brings amazing people into our lives just when we need them. Rita’s one of those people for me. Rita is one of the students in the Vibrant Happy Coach Certification. She is also a kinesiologist. She has done kinesiology for a while which is an Australian form of energy work/chiropractic. It’s a fun combination that they have there but we don’t exactly have here yet in the full definition of the term.
Well, Rita wanted to improve her coaching aspect of her business, her ability to ask those open-ended questions to help people discover the source of limiting beliefs, the source of why they’re feeling the way they’re feeling etc. And she joined the Vibrant Happy Coach Certification. Well, I immediately was attracted to her energy. She is so cool. I am so happy that she agreed to be a guest.
We’re going to be talking today about energy. Rita shared, for me, three really mind blowing things. I’m not going to tell you what they are but I will give you a hint, listen for when she talks about grief. And listen to the part when she talks about losing something. And also when we talk about depression in this episode, it’s fascinating. So I’m not going to say anymore, I’m going to let you discover Rita’s brilliance. Let’s dive in.
Jen: Hi everyone. I am talking to my friend, Rita Panuccio, who’s the Director or Radiant Healing and Wellness in Australia. She’s an integrative complementary medicine therapist, a holistic kinesiologist and a mind body medicine practitioner, one of the first 50 in Australia. She has a passion for transforming stuck and overwhelmed people to live a life of clarity, confidence and self-love. Recently Rita has focused on supporting women with forming women’s groups and retreats. She’s from Sydney. She lives with her husband and three kids. She loves being outdoors.
She and I have yoga in common and I’m so glad you’re here Rita, welcome to the show.
Rita: Hi Jen. Thanks for having me. It’s so exciting.
Jen: I am super excited too, so why don’t you tell everyone how we even know each other.
Rita: Well, I found you on your podcast and through that and signing up to everything I received an email one day saying you were offering a coaching certification program and basically jumped on it. I didn’t even think twice and signed up and here we are. So for the last 14, 15 weeks I think it’s been, we’ve been on a journey with you undertaking the life certification course which has been absolutely amazing.
Jen: And what I love about you Rita is you’re a natural coach. I guess all of your work with kinesiology clients comes through. So I thought it would be interesting and I wanted to have you on the show today to talk more about kinesiology because you and I had a conversation around this. And I realized kinesiology in the US means something very different from what it means in Australia. So tell us more about what you do and how it ties in with coaching and helping women to become their best selves.
Rita: So holistic kinesiology in Australia, yeah, you’re right, is completely different to kinesiology in the States. We basically use muscle testing to tap into the body’s subconscious system and identify where we’re holding stress into the body. And we have a really unique tool in that the muscles respond to stress in a particular way. So when we are strong or positive about something, or something feels good to us, a muscle will respond with strength. So that kind of gives us an indication that what we’re talking about is not very stressful to the person.
But when there is a stress in the system or a thought that may be causing a stress, by activating that the muscle will kind of respond with weakness. And from then on we know, okay, hang on a minute, let’s look into this a little bit deeper because this could be a subconscious emotion or stress that is being stored in the body causing disharmony. So kinesiology is really based – it’s an east meets west modality. So we use a lot of modern medicine techniques, mainly based from chiropractic. And that combined with traditional Chinese medicine gives us a really unique tool.
Jen: It’s awesome sounding. And I’m wondering when it’s coming to the States. I’m sure it’s here in various forms.
Rita: I’m sure it’s there, yeah, in different forms.
Jen: It just has a different name perhaps. So tell us more, for those who don’t understand, tell us more of what you know about energy and how it gets stuck in the body because science, a mainstream doctor for example would never talk about this. Yet you and I both know this is a real thing, Chinese medicine, 2,000 years of Chinese doctors know about this. So tell us more about how this all works.
Rita: Well yeah, it’s basically based on the premise that we have chi that’s flowing through the body. And it’s kind of an energy circuit that’s flowing through various channels in the body. And when something gets stored or stuck, or what we call stagnation, that causes stress. And through muscle testing we’re able to identify what that stress is. So we can pretty much get down to a root cause in identifying what the stress is in the body.
And yet energy is something that we all sense, it’s there, it’s real. When you’re walking into a room when there’s a lot of tension, you actually feel it in the body. But I guess we as a society haven’t really tapped into the power of that. And kinesiology really does, it taps into the body’s energy field. But also combine that with some mind and body perspective, so it’s a very holistic approach. But we do work very closely with a person’s energy basically.
Jen: Awesome. So I know you have had a lot of clients that share stories while they’re on your table. And that’s where you do your energy work. And it’s kind of an interesting combination between energy work and therapy. You’re coaching in a way. So confidentially speaking, we’re not sharing names, do you have any stories you can share to give us an example of how people are talking and releasing these blocks through your work?
Rita: Yeah. So, recently I combined the coaching techniques that I’ve been learning in the certification course which has been great and it’s giving me a much clearer concise way to get to what the thoughts are that may be driving the stress in the body. One example is a client that I had actually recently, she was a mom of two children, got quite depressed in her life, kind of self-sacrificing, not really putting herself first or meeting any of her needs. And we’d been working for two to three months to try and identify her needs and help her recognize how important her needs were.
And she’d been, by clearing that energy and working with that mindset, she’d been progressing very nicely. But she came in recently and was quite concerned that she would regress and go back to how she was. So she really wanted to work on solidifying all the great work she’d done. She’s going to the gym, putting herself first now, doing all these amazing things. But had this thought or this concern that she may go back and didn’t want to go back to feeling the way she was because basically her marriage was on the line as a result.
So we worked on that and through the coaching we identified she had, I guess, a limiting belief or a block around prioritizing herself. We got to that point through the coaching and when we got her on the table the body actually took us back to an age of 23. And when we explored that age she’d remembered a time where she basically – there was a group of girls where they were at school together and sort of that typical sort of time where there’s groups and cliques. And this particular girl wasn’t so pleasant in the group.
So the whole group decided to pull away from her, including this client of mine. And so she thought in her heart felt that it wasn’t the right thing to do but she just went with the group. Anyway fast forward a couple of years this woman actually committed suicide. My client held onto the belief that doing what you want is selfish. So it was a really deep session where we identified that her belief was that if I put myself first or I do what I want, I am selfish.
And it really was one of those mind blowing sessions where she had that deep realization that at that time she was just still a child in a way. And not really – and basically since then had been beating herself up for the decision she made. So that was a really powerful session. And the body can be very precise in going back to times where these beliefs were formed.
Jen: So memories get stored in the body, we’ve all heard this. But how does that really work?
Rita: It gets stored in the body at a cellular level. So even though we may consciously not think that we are holding onto these traumas and these memories, if we haven’t done the work around, I guess, clearing it, reframing it, seeing the benefit of any experience and growing from it. It does get stuck in the cells and in the energy field in particular. And that’s how it ends up, you know, when things get stuck in the energy field they end up manifesting into the body and into a physical tangible level, which is what we identify as disease.
Jen: Wow, that’s so cool. So you get to do what you’re passionate about, plus you’re bringing in coaching. I think it’s amazing what you’re doing.
Rita: A kinesiology session kind of is made up of really three components. And initially a client will come in; we’ll have a bit of a chat. And then we work on the table to bring up the stress and identify what the stress is. And then we spend probably the last part of the session doing a healing or a treatment of some sort.
But my counseling or coaching aspect wasn’t really spot on. I felt like I could improve. And that was the only bit of my job that I guess I wanted to really, really work on. And hence why I came looking for a coaching certification course. And when I saw yours it just jumped at me, intuitively I knew I had to do it.
Jen: Cool, that’s awesome. So what made you jump for the Vibrant Happy Coach Certification over other ones? Or what do you think, why do you like it? Why did you choose it?
Rita: Just listening to you Jen and the podcast for many, many years. And knowing how I felt, it was, your podcast was genuinely one of my go to’s when I was having a day that wasn’t so great. And it would pick me up and I felt uplifted and vibrant after listening to it. And basically everything you stand for is kind of everything I want to stand for and continue to stand for in my business. And that I want to continue supporting women. And I also support their children, so their families cannot be so stressed and overwhelmed and live the best life that they can.
And just everything you stand for you kind of supported what I stand for and what I believe. And so that’s why I went for your coaching course in particular.
Jen: So Rita, I’ve been thinking about you. She doesn’t know I’m asking this, everyone. So my oldest son he’s 19, I’m trying to think am I not revealing anything? He said I could share things. So he struggles with severe depression so much so that he sometimes considers doing shock therapy and going for the big, big treatments. What would you do with someone like him? Because he is not yet open to alternative therapies, but thinking back to depressed people that you have tried to help, what’s going on when people are experiencing severe depression or what’s the range?
Obviously I need to give a caveat here, depression is not just in the head, it’s not something, you know, sometimes medications are definitely warranted and it’s real. I’m not trying to discount depression, everyone. However we know there is a mind body connection. So I’d love to hear your thoughts on depression, Rita.
Rita: Yeah. So depression, I mean the way we approach depression is a state of stagnation. So it’s a state of really stuck energy in the body. And often energy gets stuck because of the intensity of the mind. And we’re kind of living from neck up and nothing’s really flowing anywhere else. So the way we approach depression is to really start working with the body. And really get them connected from neck down. And we do that using various techniques.
But when someone’s in a deep state of depression it’s very hard to do the cognitive work initially because they’re also stuck in a way that is not flowing and not allowing them to move through life. So not to simplify depression at all, however it is a state of stuck-ness. So the way we would approach it is also to recommend movement and get people moving, even if it’s a five minute walk a day. That can simply start moving the chi and just start moving the mind out of its state of stuck-ness, so the energy can start flowing out of the mind and that intensity and into the body.
We do that using various acupressure techniques, handling of the body so they get used to that connection again and that touch. But initially we probably wouldn’t do much cognitive work, if that makes any sense, or coaching until we kind of get them out of that state of stuck-ness and get them flowing a little bit more so they can start processing the mind stuff. So that’s probably how I would approach it. I mean with kinesiology too, it taps into the biochemical side of things.
So if a stress around the gut healing system comes up, which we usually find in mental health, there may be a gut imbalance going on. That will also be identified. If there’s any stress around maybe the food that is then eaten causing inflammation in the body that could show up as well. So yeah, it is a very holistic approach. But with someone in depression we would definitely start with the body work.
Jen: That’s so good. And I can imagine lots of people are out there thinking I need that. So you’re in Australia, Rita, what is the closest field in the US, in the States that would match what you do?
Rita: I’m not really sure Jen. But I would recommend that you follow Darren Weissman. His model and the way he works is very similar to what kinesiology is. In fact it is kinesiology. I haven’t actually worked with him. But is the way that I look at it and the way that emotions get trapped in the body and using various techniques, and statements, and affirmations to help move through energy in the body. So he’s definitely one I would go to if you wanted something similar in the States.
Jen: Darren Weissman, W.e.i.s.s.m.a.n. everyone, we’ll put a link in the show notes as well. Awesome. And you could just move to the US and start it here. I’m rooting for that Rita.
Rita: I’m not ruling that out. No, I’m going to come and visit one day, Jen, that’s for sure.
Jen: Yeah. Well, move in and be my neighbor, yeah.
Rita: You can have a kinesiology session when I get there.
Jen: Oh my goodness, that would be great. Well, so Rita, tell us your story. I mean like all humans on the planet you’ve had moments of trauma where you’ve had to move emotions through. Tell us your story.
Rita: For me it’s been like everyone, it’s a journey. And probably started, I was an accountant in the past. And I was doing just general accounting work and feeling really lost, didn’t know who I was at that point. And kind of went looking for something to help me move my emotions and tried a few different therapies but nothing seemed to shift this kind of, you know, married very young. And I modeled a lot of my mothering from my mother and even my mother-in-law.
And 10 years into it I’m like, who am I? I didn’t even know who I was. So I went looking and I found kinesiology and wow, that was just the most mind blowing experience. Because in one or two sessions he had identified basically what was going on for me and helped me shift my mindset and my perspective. But then from there I decided to start studying kinesiology. But two years into it unfortunately life took a different turn I guess and I was pregnant. And yeah, found out my baby had Edward Syndrome.
Jen: What’s that?
Rita: So Edward Syndrome is basically a genetic disorder where gene number 18 expressed itself in triples rather than in pairs. So it’s Trisomy 18 basically. And so he was completely unwell and wasn’t going to – what they called incompatible with life. So went through a lot and made the decision for our family to end the pregnancy at 23 weeks which was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. And when we came to that I was really grateful to have all my tools and everything that I’d started learning as a kinesiologist to help my family through that.
But it was a time where I came back, it really at the same time forced me to come back to myself and really he was a gift that basically brought me back to me. Because to say the least, ending a pregnancy is not always one of the easiest decisions you make and quite controversial at times. So I really had to connect to my insides and go what’s right for me? And what’s right for this baby? And what’s right for my family? So yeah, Michael was born and he was a gift, I would say a turning point in my life where I really appreciated being a mother.
Not that I didn’t appreciate my children earlier but I just had, this experience just gave me that deep sense of love and appreciation for my family and children where prior to that I was probably a little bit resentful. So it was an amazing experience. And then from that experience I decided that I would never want any woman to feel, you know, not have anywhere to go at times like that. And that’s what forced me, or propelled me I guess, to continue studying kinesiology and then open up a practice.
So I would say that was probably the toughest time of my life but also a time where so many gifts came forward in terms of connecting to myself, and my own journey, and who I was as a woman, and what I wanted to be in this world.
Jen: Yeah. Wow. Say that again, he was a gift that what, brought you?
Rita: He brought me back to myself, yeah, as I said, I was just lost prior to that experience, just didn’t know who I was. I was completely disconnected. And then he, through that, I guess, that grief, it forces you to connect inward and decide at that point what do I want to stand for? What do I want this experience to mean for me and my family? And I made that choice not to allow that experience to be, you know, for his life to have a purpose in a sense.
Jen: Yeah, a meaning.
Rita: A meaning, yeah.
Jen: For me there are moments in 2020 where I just felt a deep, deep grief. And rather than run away and numb from it with Netflix or something. I allowed myself to just go there and feel it. And in that darkness, I discovered amazing things. And I’m just starting to understand the truth of what you said, that there’s wisdom that comes with our pain if we are willing to go there and be with our own grief.
Rita: Absolutely. And we sense grief as so painful that what I have come to understand grief, through my own experience and working with many people, is that grief is a loss but generally the loss of self. And when we identify the self that has been lost in relation to, you know, if we’re grieving a loved one or an experience, we can usually find a way through that grief. But in my experience it is a loss of self. And that really was highlighted for me. I was grieving my son but in the same time I was grieving, that experience really made me realize how valuable and precious life was.
And that I’d kind of let so much go, and what I really was grieving was myself. And so through that pain I was able to reconnect and rediscover, and remember, more importantly, who I am. And I’ve seen that time and time again, it’s always the loss of self in relation to the person that’s passed. Or if it’s a marriage, if someone’s grieving or anything, I mean grief shows up in so many ways, even as mothers we see grief in the times we need to transition from when you’re children are at home to growing into adults there’s a sense of grief.
It’s always in relation to what we were I guess in relation to that person. Does that make sense? Yeah.
Jen: That is so truly profound, Rita. Let me say it again, grieving is a loss of self in relation to the loss of another person, or a transition, or maybe even the state of the world that you thought it should be. Wow, that’s huge. So maybe that means we come to see grief has a purpose, everyone. We want to avoid it. We think it shouldn’t last too long. If someone dies, we should be up and back at it in two weeks. What if it’s all meant to bring you into a state of reflection so you can transition your way of showing up in the world in a beautiful way? Wow, that is amazing Rita, thank you.
Rita: No, you’re welcome, thank you.
Jen: You’re full of wisdom, I love these nuggets. So everyone, the point is I think what Rita’s saying, grief can be an overwhelming movement of feeling. But if we don’t allow it, then it gets stuck. Do you see that, Rita?
Rita: Absolutely, it gets stuck in the body. And in Chinese medicine we see it in the lungs and the large intestine. But more so in the lungs, it’s what we call part of the whole metal element in the Chinese medicine theory which relates to these organs. So often you see people that are in grief having trouble breathing, their breath is short. And at this time we really want to be moving that grief through especially since there is so much grief with what’s going on in the world right now. We really don’t want to cause any disharmony in the meridians that relate to the lungs.
Jen: Wow, that’s beautiful. Well, what else? Any other stories from your life you want to share with us? We just love you. I love you. I think you’re great. Everyone, love Rita because I do.
Rita: I think the biggest thing I wanted to, you know, the other part of my life is my journey in self-acceptance I guess. And going through a phase also in that period of my life where I was just looking outward for approval and acceptance, especially from my husband and his family. And part of this process was reminding myself that I am worthy and I am not needing that approval from anyone really, and in my own right I’m a woman that’s worthy and great in her own way, I guess. But that’s been a long journey and that’s another part of this whole journey.
And really accepting myself, accepting the decisions I was making and standing in my own identity I guess and who I was.
Jen: So what helps you with that? I think we’re all on that journey of coming to know ourselves better. Who are we really? What are we meant to do here? What lives are we meant to touch and how? How do you make progress on answering those questions for yourself?
Rita: I think for me it’s about taking every experience that I’m given and discovering the opportunity. So I don’t take anything for granted. I don’t think anything is a coincidence.
I think everything that happens and is presenting itself to us happens for a reason to help us to find who we are and our purpose in this world. And I think that’s probably been my biggest realization is that everything is happening for me, not against me. And when I figured that out by going inwards, and there’s really no avoiding, there’s no way around this other than to go in and feel, and understand why you’re doing what you’re doing and why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling.
There’s no right or wrong and when we can get past the judgment, the judgment of self, the judgment of others in every life experience I think we can really start begin to define who we are and what our purpose is in the world. But when we’re – at the times I was stuck and projecting outwards and blaming, and looking to everyone else for why I was feeling the way that I was feeling. The more I did that the more I lost who I was.
And it wasn’t until I really took back that responsibility, took back that power I guess that I’d given to others to define who I was, to tell me who I should be as a mother, who I should be as a wife. And I took back that responsibility, it wasn’t really until then that I began to discover my purpose and what I was meant to do in this world.
Jen: So taking responsibility for how you feel?
Rita: Exactly, yeah.
Jen: That’s big. That’s a big transition that many people never make for as long as they live. Have you noticed that?
Rita: It’s a scary thing to have to take responsibility for what you’re feeling. I think people are scared. But we don’t realize that that’s where our power is. That’s exactly where we reclaim our life and how we reclaim our life because the moment we decide that no one else is responsible to make us happy, no one is responsible for our interpretation of their actions and how we are feeling. The moment we realize that is the moment we become free, we decide. But often people are really scared to look in and face, and decide to take that responsibility.
Jen: It’s so true. It’s so true, wow. Nuggets, gold nuggets you’re dropping here for us. I love this. Well, Rita, I love your Instagram channel. And I know people can follow you there or on Facebook. So where should they go to learn more about you?
Rita: On Facebook I’m Radiant Healing and the same on Instagram. So you can find me on both at Radiant Healing.
Jen: So as we wrap up, I’ve had some people ask questions about the Vibrant Happy Coach Certification. And I thought it would be helpful for you to offer your thoughts to them, what you have gotten out of the coach certification?
Rita: Wow, so much. I mean first of all so many tools and techniques to help us identify how our thoughts impact our behavior, and our feelings, and then the outcomes that we’re receiving in our life, so, many ways to help my clients and add value to what I do in terms of techniques to connect. The other thing I think I’ve gotten out of this certification is an amazing group of friends. We’ve formed an amazing group of support, and love, and go to whenever we need to download and to process something through our body.
We’re able to share and understand, and using all the tools and techniques we’ve got. But I think the biggest thing for me, is it’s just such an amazing simple practical tool, the life coach and a group of tools, I should say. The certification has really given me structure in my own life to really get clear in who I am and what I am about. But also to be able to provide that to my clients in the form of really understanding how powerful their thoughts are and how much it manifests into their life experience.
Jen: Awesome, thank you. And do you think it’s a program that can work for people who don’t see clients? Have you used it as a mom for example?
Rita: I use it every day. My thought tables I use every day. I mean even though I’m a practitioner, I have these thoughts where I get stuck and that will circle around and whirl and whirl around in my mind that don’t leave me feeling so great. And this is just giving me a practical tool, a practical go to, whether it be sitting down and writing these thoughts down, and identifying the feelings and behaviors that are going on with them and up-leveling them to something that’s actually going to benefit me.
Or even just now to the point, because I’ve been doing it so long is doing it quickly in the moment and in my mind where I can take a thought and go, “Yeah, that’s making me feel really sad. And this is giving me an outcome I’m not desiring. So okay, what’s a thought that will help me take that to a level that I want to be at versus being stuck in a spiraling loop?”
Jen: Yeah, a spiraling loop, as long as you’re spiraling up, that’s good.
Rita: Yeah, we want to spiral up, not down.
Jen: Awesome. Well, Rita, I really loved so many things you said. I wrote down at least three quotes I’m going to be sharing on my social media that you’re profound, amazing. So everyone go follow Rita, she’s so cool, Radiant Healing, right?
Rita: Yes, Radiant Healing.
Jen: Yeah, okay. Rita, it’s been so wonderful, thank you for being on the show.
Rita: Thank you Jen.
So as soon as Rita and I turned off our microphone we had a conversation and I said, “Rita, we talked about depression in the interview. I have this feeling I need to ask you what I should do for my son.” And she told me some ideas, some people I should reach out to, some Chinese medicine strategies. Of course she reminded me about acupuncture. And in a sense she gave me a direction to go in and it really felt like an answer to a prayer I had just spoken a few days ago.
So I just want to point out to you that there will be moments in your life where you come across people, you hear something on a podcast, you see a book or a magazine headline that just you see that thing and then you see it again, and then you see it again. And you’re like, yes, that’s it, that’s the direction I need to move in now. And we don’t always know if it’s going to be the solution. But maybe that one step, that one new direction, that pivot point gives you some information you need to solve a problem in your life.
So I just wanted to say publicly I’m so grateful that Rita joined the Vibrant Happy Coach Certification, which every week I get to be in class with her, I’ve gotten to feel her energy. And there are people on this planet, I’ll be honest, who have energy that I love. And I’m so grateful to get to interview people like her on this podcast. And I’m so grateful to imagine all of you out there listening, I feel your energy, I feel your goodness I feel your desire to improve and to be good moms and to show up as your best self. That’s why we are all here.
So if you ever hear anything that kind of nudges on your brain, take it as a sign from God, from the universe, from whatever you believe in that, hey, yes, this is what you need. This is what you need to solve this problem with your children or with your spouse. This is what you need to boost your own mood. This is what you need to take a step closer to your divine purpose. All those little nudges, those whispers are not just coincidence, I call them serendipity. I call them a divine wink.
Whatever words you use, listen to them, there is so much happiness, so much joy, so much vibrance and vitality available to you if you’re a seeker, if you’re willing to take the leap and grab those things that present themselves to you. That is my message for you today. I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Rita as much as I did. And know that you are loved by me, by something higher than yourself and by all the other women out there that truly are rooting for you.
This Vibrant Happy Women community, send each other some love right now, imagine everyone else out there, all the thousands of you, send each other some love. We’ve got each other’s backs. I’ve got your backs. Take care my friends. I love you. And I’ll see you again soon.
If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at jenriday.com/join.