There is a gift in every wound—if you’re willing to see it that way. One of the big wounds in my life occurred shortly after college, in the form of a six-car collision on Hwy 101 in California. Needless to say, the hospital’s advice to “rest on the couch and take painkillers” didn’t do much to alleviate the short-term memory loss or full-body whiplash that resulted from the pile-up. Nor did it hold any promise of feeling whole again. So I took matters into my own hands and realigned myself using a variety of wellness resources from dance to nutrition to bodywork (and because everything has its place, I even took meds now-and-again).

In taking responsibility for my health, I accessed the gift: I realized how fundamental total health—inclusive of body, emotions, mind and spirit—is for everyone, and how I could not only teach it but also inspire others to live it.

So despite my best-laid plans at the time, I engaged in life with a renewed appreciation and purpose for who I was and what I was here to do. And marched straight into medical school.

Fast-forward to the present.

I’ve always had a knack for understanding the body and its connection to the rest of our lives, like thoughts (mind), feelings (emotions) and intuitions (spirit). So I merged that knowledge with my medical training to help create a system for total health, so that every aspect of who you are is cared for and not just one or the other (e.g., body or mind). Take for instance, knee pain. The knee, which is the largest synovial joint in the body, functions as a bony hinge that walks, runs and otherwise moves you through your day. But how do your knees move you? Hurriedly? Gracefully? How they move you biomechanically may indicate how the rest of you moves as well…’cause if your knees are rushing you around town, chances are that the rest of you is rushed, too. It’s hard to maintain a calm state of mind or balanced emotions when darting between appointments, perpetually 5-minutes late.

Increasingly, the field of epigenetics is finding that whether we are rushed or relaxed, eat ketchup or kale, hang out with folks who are good to us or not…all influence the story played out by our DNA. In other words: your body tells your life story.

What does your i.m.body say today? i.m.radiant? i.m.rushed? i.m.___?

It doesn’t have to remain a mystery. You can learn the wisdom of your body and use its wisdom for greater wellbeing. After all, alignment doesn’t just show up in your posture—it’s an expression of your full health (and self) that you may achieve inside and out. If you choose to.

I look forward to helping you learn the wisdom of your body.

Stephanie Marango, MD, RYT is a physician, educator, and founder of i.m.body. Her work connects your tangible energy (e.g. physical) to your intangible energy (e.g. mental, emotional, spiritual), and applies it in a practical way.

A Stanford University graduate, Dr. Stephanie also graduated with a distinction in research from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, where she developed and taught wellness-related curriculum (called living anatoMe) while still a student. She later trained in Psychiatry at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Throughout her time in the medical system, she was a certified yoga instructor, a course of study she completed after living at the Sivananda Ashram in the mountains of upstate New York.

Dr. Stephanie has been referenced for her expertise throughout media, including popular magazines (e.g. Fitness, Well + Good), academic journals (e.g. International Journal of Yoga Therapy, Anatomical Sciences Education), and radio shows (e.g. WABC, SiriusXM). She also lectures regularly to health practitioners and students nationwide, from local yoga studios to large medical systems. Her publications include The Wisdom Of Your Body: What It Is & How To Decipher It and Your Body and the Stars: The Zodiac as Your Wellness Guide, along with a functional anatomy app series.