Caroline Shannon-Karasik’s AfterGlo

Tapping into healthy energy

By: Caroline Shannon-Karasik

A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to try a BioEnergetic Assessment analysis.

I know: A Bio-whooza-whatsa?

It’s not as Frankenstein as it sounds, although I will admit I had my doubts about whether or not the test could deliver the results I was seeking. That being said, the BioEnergetic Assessment tool is a system designed to identify a specific and wide range of energetic imbalances, including food intolerances. I visited the office of a Pittsburgh-based practitioner, Emily Levenson ( – who specializes in diagnosing food intolerances – and we got to work.

Let’s rewind a bit before I tell you all about what I learned from the assessment, starting with why I decided to explore this practice.

As most of you know, I have celiac disease. I was diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago after years spent in digestive hell. Something else you probably know: Eliminating gluten from my diet changed my life. Not only did it begin my digestive healing, but it boosted my energy and immunity, significantly reduced my migraines, helped ease depression and wiped out joint pain. Essentially, it made me the “me” I had been missing for so many of the years where my symptoms were at their peak. I said goodbye to gluten and haven’t spent a minute looking back.

But even during all of this healing, there were some things that still didn’t sit well with me. As a health coach and writer, I hear it all the time: “As soon as I stopped eating ___________, I noticed I also have an issue with ___________.” Still, I persevered, thinking maybe I was being too sensitive or, perhaps, I still had to give my digestive system some time.

So, I wrote a book, added tons of new writing projects to my plate, stayed up too late, pushed myself through bouts of sickness, continued building this site, ignored my mental well-being, ate irregular meals – and did every other thing I would tell you not to do.

Where that left me was sitting in Emily’s office, completely out of sorts.

I was tired, breaking out, high strung, not sleeping and feeling digestive pains I could no longer ignore. You know what I realized? Even the best of us – even the ones who know better – need a little help from our oh-so-smart health professional friends sometimes.

That’s what landed me on Emily’s couch. I wasn’t quite sure how this machine – which is built to read the energies in our bodies and how they respond to various foods, chemicals and even treatments like meditation – was going to help me. Yet, I had always been receptive to holistic practices and, quite frankly, preferred them, so I figured, “Why not?”

What I got from the assessment was something I never expected. Emily’s vast knowledge of how the body is affected by various foods, paired with the machine’s ability to zero in on specific issues, confirmed things about what makes this gal’s body tick – and sick – I had been noticing, and often ignoring, for quite some time.

Much like acupuncture taps into the body’s meridians to release healing energy, the computer reads the energetic impulses of points, primarily on the hand, to help people better assess their specific imbalances. A few of the food intolerances I was expecting (e.g. gluten, dairy, corn and sulfates), while others surprised me (e.g. spinach, quinoa, teff and yams).

I know: Spinach? Yams? How could they be bad?!

Well, what Emily and I discussed – and I firmly believe – is what is good for one person, is not necessarily good for another. That means while spinach might be one person’s manna, it might be one of the culprits behind my unruly digestive tract.

Of course, my food isn’t totally to blame. As many of you might know and believe, our wellbeing is not only determined by the foods we put into our bodies, but also by the decisions we make on a daily basis. Some of them are obvious (smoking, excessive drinking, etc.), while others are masked as good behaviors that are wreaking havoc on our health.

For me, it was – and often is – my tendency to never use my “off” button. I push and push because I want to pursue my goals, ignoring warning signs, like sleeplessness, migraines and exhaustion.

So, what that meant was I needed to get back to some of my healthier rituals, like shutting down social media and computers before bed, or resuming my yoga practice, which so deeply helps balance my Type-A personality. It also meant incorporating a few new habits, like meditation.

This is a tough one for me, because I fear the inability to shut down my brain. But Emily assured me I would have thoughts unrelated to meditation and instead of following through with the thought I should, “Simply have the thought, then let is pass by.”

The other solid point she made? “You don’t have to meditate for 30 minutes.” Emily reassured me in fact five minutes a day would do me much more good than I might realize.

So, where does that leave me? Well, I have cut out the foods that make my body unhappy. I’ve also started meditating and powering off more often. It’s not always easy because the bulk of my work is done at a computer, but I’m trying to remind myself all of those things will still be around for me to conquer in the morning. I will be updating you on my progress in a future column.

Interested in learning more about what Emily does? Visit for information about the in-person and distance testing she offers.


Caroline Shannon-Karasik is the author of The Gluten-Free Revolution and a certified health coach. She is also the author of the popular gluten-free blog, Her writing and recipe development has been featured in several publications, including, VegNews, Kiwi and REDBOOK magazines. Caroline lives with her husband Dan and four adopted cats in Pittsburgh, Penn. Caroline can be reached at

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