Erica Winterhaler, Ph.D.
Self-Love & Spirit Medicine
I serve as a guide, teacher and example, uplifting others to practice Self-Love and plug back into the natural rhythm of Spirit to heal, embody all that they are and live true. It is my passion to help others stop running from themselves, redirecting them into loving intimate union with themselves. My heart-centered approach is empowered by extensive training in metaphysics, yoga and the use of essential oils and herbal medicine to stimulate each being’s natural healing capabilities. Guiding one through long-held energetic patterns of trauma, addiction and self-limiting beliefs, I assist one’s being in gently releasing dis-ease and suffering. The result is freedom from fear and radical Self-empowerment, creating a change in one’s perception and experience of life.
Restoring our connection to the natural world and its ways inspires all that I do.
I honor Cosmic Creation as my teacher and guide and open my heart wide each day to embrace the magical expression of all that is.
I earned my doctoral degree in Metaphysics and I am certified as a Spiritual Counselor and Metaphysical Holistic Life Coach. I am certified in Breathwork, Hypnosis Therapy, Emotional Release Therapy, Crystal Therapy, Raindrop Therapy, Reiki and Hatha & Kundalini Yoga and Meditation.
Ellen Whealton, MA, MT-BC
Guided Imagery & Music Therapy
I completed my Masters in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, with and emphasis in Music Therapy in 2000 from Naropa University in Boulder Colorado. However, my approach stems from a life-changing head injury and subsequent near-death experience that occurred when I was a child. This spiritual event gave me first-hand knowledge of the immense web of love and support that is available to us at all times. I believe that you are your best guide. Somewhere, in between the unconscious mind and connection to something greater, is the truth you’ve all been searching for. I’d love to help you tap in to that through an approach that I’ve developed combining transpersonal counseling & music therapy techniques, meditation, crystal singing bowls, essential oils, journeying through music, guided imagery and intuition. My goal is to help you connect with something greater, recognize your untapped potential, and discover how to lead an inspired, content and harmonious life.
I studied Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in Beijing, China in 2000 for 3 years and then transferred to SCUHS in Whittier, California to get my Masters in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, along with my Doctorate of Chiropractic. Having also received a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry from UCLA in 1998, I have a well-rounded knowledge of the human body. The body and mind are amazing in the way each organ works individually, as well as holistically. I became particularly interested in Addiction as I worked with more and more patients in the field. I found that alcohol and drug use were symptoms of a much deeper infliction. Acupuncture helps with the depression, anger, anxiety that are at the root of addiction – and without side effects. It also helps with any physical or emotional withdrawal symptoms that can be experienced. When we treat the body as a whole with acupuncture, the nervous system and the brain begin to balance out into our natural state of equilibrium and we can then function the way we were born to. Health is not just the absence of disease or infirmity but the expression of life itself- being that of optimal physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. My goal is to help the patient overcome obstacles within their body and life to regain or maintain confidence through healthy living.
Massage Therapy caught my interest after college when I researched its positive effects: alleviating depressive symptoms, reducing stress, enhancing attentiveness, reducing pain, and improving immune function. I moved to Colorado and studied massage and neuromuscular therapy. For over 16 years, I have loved helping others experience such benefits through massage and other beautiful modalities that have crossed my path. In 2000 I was introduced to craniosacral therapy during a workshop and I was fascinated by this form of working with the nervous system that was not yet well known. Four years later I began receiving sessions when I was pregnant with my daughter and I was amazed by it’s gentle, and yet deeply powerful effects. Never before had I experienced bodywork so profound and I knew this was a modality I wanted to study extensively. I enrolled in a 2 year Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy program where I healed, processed, and learned about the physiological and somato-emotional intricacies of the craniosacral system and how it relates to our whole being. I have worked at several centers for health and wellbeing, spas including The Four Seasons, and The Chopra Center where I was trained in Ayurvedic treatments and meditation, but I found that I best use my gifts working in a treatment center where clients are wanting to shift and transform their lives. I provided craniosacral therapy and massage at Casa Palmera Treatment Center to over a thousand patients confronting addiction, trauma, eating disorders, anxiety, and/or depression. I love witnessing others’ capacity to heal and I am excited to be a part of the team at Villa Kali Ma.
Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Natural Foods Chef, Ho’oponopono Practitioner
Due to my own “dark night of the soul” experience, I awoke to something deeper, not based in the concepts of the mind. I experienced an emotional and psychological death so profound that for 2 weeks I felt as if I was not on earth. In the words of author Eckhart Tolle, this is the space in which “Nothing makes sense anymore, there’s no purpose to anything… and the meaning that you had given your life, your activities, your achievements, where you are going, what is considered important, for some reason collapses.”
I know the emotional, psychological and physical pain patterns that underlie addictive behaviors and the desire to escape reality. I know the roller coaster of hope and failure, the feeling of life being sucked right out of you, guilt, fear and meaninglessness. But most importantly, beyond these patterns, I know that “impossible” truly means, I’m possible.
And yes, I am in deep gratitude for this incredible journey, as it continues to unfold. I have dedicated my life to unconditional love, and to sharing powerful practical tools like Ho’oponopono, to awaken the true radiance that is the Essence of each Being. To compliment this soul journey, I became a certified holistic nutritionist, natural food chef, and detox expert. I guide clients to nourish them selves by creating an intuitive internal dialog with food. I joke that “Scales are for fish, not humans” and I don’t count calories or pounds, but I see real change happening, one conscious bite at a time.
“Your relationship with food is a metaphor for Life, how you nurture yourself is a window to your Soul.” ~ Elli
Y12SR Yoga Teacher, Yoga Therapist, Alumni Program Coordinator
I started practicing yoga well over 25 years ago in hopes I could feel something again, anything! It wasn’t until I got sober and stayed sober over 6 years ago that yoga truly had meaning. I’ve been a teacher of yoga for almost 13 years. I completed my 500 hr teacher training and have now received my 1000 hr Yoga Therapy License. I found Yoga Of Recovery and knew right away this is what I want to dedicate my life too. Yoga Of Recovery combines movement, mindfulness, breath work and meditation with the tools of 12step recovery. Frankly it saved my life. I began to feel again! I began to release old “stories” that were causing me serious pain. The rooms of AA, my sober community and Yoga Of Recovery are my life lines. I love this style of yoga because I recover with you. Yes, I am a teacher, but I feel more importantly that I too am in Recovery. I am grateful always to share what is given to me. I am so blessed to be a part of Villa Kali Ma and all the amazing, inspiring, truly real women who pour their hearts out to help heal us women who are courageous enough to seek a better way of living. I thank you for taking the time to read this and I truly hope to meet you soon.
Sustainable Living Program
My name is Erik Hjermstad, and I am a Gardener, Permaculture Designer, and lifelong resident of North County San Diego. A health crisis in my teens has encouraged a life path of deep exploration of what it means to be healthy, and how we may best achieve health in our lives. I have discovered that the connection with nature and the abundance of our garden are our true sources of health and happiness. I have now dedicated my life to designing and developing healthy garden ecosystems, from the backyard scale to farm scale and beyond. I am grateful to invest my time and energy into this ultimately important task, and grateful for the many community collaborations in support of this work.
Josh Avritt, “The Love Chef”, MS, RRT, EMT-P
Nutritionist / Chef
My name is Josh Avritt, but my friends and customers know me better as “The Love Chef”. I spent ten years working in the conventional medical and research fields as a paramedic, respiratory therapist, science researcher, and university instructor at Loma Linda University, CA. It was during this time that I realized that the key not only to living a long, disease-free life, but also the best treatment for every human ailment is through nutrition and lifestyle medicine. I am now a PhD student at Saybrook University, and I am studying Mind Body Medicine with a focus on Integrative and Functional Nutrition. Recently, I moved my six-year-old daughter and I down to a beautiful nineteen-acre organic farm in San Diego. It is from this farm that I am currently working to open up my own nutritional meals delivery service and am expanding my work as a community health and wellness educator.
In my kitchen, I focus on using the fresh foods grown at our farm and combining them with the healthiest herbs and spices from dishes around the world to create delicious and highly nutritious meals. I go above and beyond to prepare the freshest and healthiest food possible infused with love! I also specialize in utilizing “superfoods” in my dishes, which are foods that contain a higher density of vitamins, minerals, and health-promoting nutrients than most other foods.
My mission and passion are to create medicinal food that is filled with love and inspiration to warm your soul because I believe that each bite of food is an experience that nourishes your heart and enlivens your spirit!
Love, Light, and all things bright!
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, I found my passion for healing while working for two years as a physical therapist assistant in an orthopedic rehabilitation center. Wanting to expand my horizons, I moved to San Diego, California in 2014 and graduated as a Massage Therapist and Holistic Health Practitioner from Healing Hands School. Soon after, I completed my 200 hr Yoga teacher training at the Soul of Yoga, noticing how interconnected massage and yoga are.
I believe we all have the innate capability to heal ourselves once we honor where we’re at in the moment, physically and energetically, without any judgement. I use an intuitive approach to create the ideal safe environment for your bodies (energetic, emotional, physical) to unwind. I strive to make each session on my table a meaningful experience by listening to the body and applying modalities such as deep tissue, Lomi-Lomi, Tui-Na, Swedish, Myofascial Pain-Relief, Reiki, and more, according to your specific needs, in order to guide you toward peace and equanimity
"I don't believe it to be an exaggeration to say that Villa Kali Ma saved my life. I couldn't have asked for a better environment to heal and redirect onto a path towards true living."Kristen B.
"This place completely changed my life. I needed a drastic change from the typical recovery environment in order to stay sober long term. Villa Kali Ma was more than able to provide a safe healing environment for me to cultivate a strong spiritual connection through yoga, meditation, and an organic lifestyle. I can honestly say that I love who I am today and I am forever grateful for Villa Kali Ma!"Cynthia B.
"I am so grateful I found Villa Kali Ma, it has truly changed my life. Kay is awesome and the entire team who works there is absolutely amazing. I was introduced to many different types of therapy, healing and recovery options. I was able to choose what works for me and continue them outside of treatment once I went home. VKM is truly a tranquil place to start healing. If you are looking for treatment I would highly recommend making this the start to your recovery."Suzie H.