Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) is a study developed by a physician and researcher, Vincent J. Felitti, MD, an internist for Kaiser Permanente Medical Program in San Diego and an epidemiologist from the CDC, Robert Anda, MD. ACE is a survey that uses a scoring system from 0 to 10 that indicates 10 types of childhood traumatic experiences. They are:

  1. Emotional Abuse

  2. Physical Abuse

  3. Sexual Abuse

  4. Mother Treated Violently

  5. Substance Abuse (drugs/alcohol)

  6. Mental Illness

  7. Parental Separation or Divorce

  8. Incarcerated Household Member

  9. Emotional Neglect

  10. Physical Neglect

According to the CDC, 61% of adults have experienced 1 or more ACE and 16% experienced at least 4 types of ACE (1 in 6 adults have a score of 4 or more). Another startling statistic is that at least 5 of the top 10 leading causes of death are associated with ACE. (CDC, 2019))

In the last couple of decades, science has been able to link chronic disease and cancers, among other health-related problems with ACEs. Traumatic experiences alter the body in many ways and when those experiences are not dealt with, they can manifest into physical and mental disease and these manifestations can alter every facet of your future, your life.  

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As a child, I experienced multiple forms of abuse and neglect within the home and school. I carried those experiences with me my entire childhood and long into my adulthood. These experiences affected my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being, which in turn, affected me as a wife, a mother, and a woman. My childhood was a mixture of loss, a failed court system that repeatedly placed me back with my abusers and bounced me from one foster home to another and I was a victim of school bullying and became a chronic runaway which placed my life in danger multiple times and landed me in shelters and a group home. All of this happened before I turned 18 years old. These experiences influenced my life by the choices I made as a woman, a wife and a mother. I had no guidance, no direction, no education, and no skills. I also suffered with prolonged and chronic digestive disorders which became worse as time went on. It seemed that no one had answers and no one knew what was wrong with me physically and mentally. I had no one to turn to. The only "solutions" provided to me were anti-depressants and therapy. All these "solutions" failed me in every way. Not one professional had the answers or even seemed to care. I was pretty much on my own and had to figure it all out on my own. 

 

After I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2015 at the age of 43 and was told I needed to be on medications for the rest of my life, I refused to accept that, so I decided to take control of my health by making diet and lifestyle changes. It took a lot of research, trial and error, and a strong desire to be truly healthy and today my ulcerative colitis is in complete remission going on 5 years and I am still learning new ways of living my healthiest life physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I never did take those prescribed medications that my doctor told me was my only option. 

My desire and success to heal physically led me to want to heal mentally, emotionally and spiritually, so I went to school and became a Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach. I learned many techniques and practices that are leading my path to whole-body healing, enhancing my spiritual health, improving my mental and emotional health, and bringing me closer to God. I am also in the process of writing my first book on my ACEs story and how I am healing and how you, too can heal from your trauma(s) with various proven practices and with the many gifts from God. 

 

I am here today to share my knowledge, expertise, and personal experience to help and inspire you to put your health in your own hands and discover just how healthy and balanced you can be when you truly start listening to your body and giving it what it needs to give you what you want.