- What is Custom Calm?
You are the focus of Custom Calm
We have been a leader in Integrative Health industry since 1997. By developing simple, realistic techniques that empower you to reduce stress and pain, Custom Calm has helped thousands of people thrive while living with chronic stress, pain and illness.
Our professionals each have decades-long, first-hand experience with chronic pain, illness, caregiving, athletics and the corporate environment. We transmit a depth of understanding that deepens our connection to you and enhances your ability to benefit from our effective practices.
Our top priority is crafting a comprehensive, tailored program that we will bring to your doorstep. These practices include:
- Meditation and Centering
- Mindful Based Stress Reduction
- Adapted Yoga Poses
- Self Inquiry
- Movement and Body Awareness
- Meet Ellen Sichel
If you would have told me twenty years ago I would be helping people and companies lean how to deal with chronic illness, pain, caregiving responsibilities, and anxiety, I would have asked to have my hearing checked! How did I go from being in sales, an executive director, a yoga studio owner, to CEO of Custom Calm and an author?
In one word, I would have to say “life” intervened. I have had many twists and turns in my life, which has landed me loving and living my work. First, I need to tell you that one of my most endearing qualities is that I am quite the realist- I am fully aware that time is a rare commodity and stress is a fact of life, including mine. For me, my stress came in many forms: I developed lupus, TMJ, had chronic scoliosis pain, and was a real Type “A” personality. When life was going smoothly, I could manage pretty well, but when life gave me challenges, my symptoms worsened. Yes, my reaction to stressful situations had a tremendous impact on my wellbeing.
I knew there had to be a better way to live, so I explored many stress management modalities, including some yoga classes. I hated the yoga because the style I practiced was slow and I did not want “slow”. Yet, my body loved how I felt when I let go into a gentle pose, propped with blankets. It was definitely not “Type A” yoga! I decided to study yoga and as a good Type A, I went full force and became an advanced teacher, mentoring others. The problem I found was that although it was helpful, it was not practical. I could not sustain the calm I felt at the end of practice. The realist in me knew I needed a way to de-stress and deal with my pain and stress no matter where I was.
I am blessed to have a great husband, two awesome children, and a quirky rescue dog Kiddo, but with that blessing stressful situations will pop up, and that is exactly what happened. Years ago, my younger daughter developed a form of Muscular Dystrophy (she is great now) and that was a challenge even a dedicated yoga practice could not provide much solution. There had to be way to live calmly no matter what was happening, so once again I searched out more training.
These trainings were different. The focus was around techniques and perspectives that I found to be quite useful. The trainings included: Yoga for Awareness for Cancer at Duke University, Mindful-Based Stress Reduction with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Yoga for Depression, and Advanced Gentle Yoga for stress and pain.
I found however that most of the techniques took too long to practice, and being the practical person I am, I needed to keep it short and sweet, so I developed a program with a simple approach that works.
I know what is needed in a time of crisis, as I have lived it on every level. This is way I am passionate about helping caregivers, people with chronic pain or illness pain, and caregiving professionals, find simple ways to regain a sense of calm, control, and play in their daily lives. It can be done, because I did it. That is the foundation of Custom Calm techniques and concepts. Extensive training is one key, but what is needed in times of stress, pain, and illness, is someone who has a depth of understanding from the inside-to really know what is most needed. This is what makes my work tremendously impactful.
One aspect of my personality that got me through many challenges is my sense of humor. I couple that with my warmth and New York no-nonsense approach to provide a plan that works for everybody. We are all different, so I make sure that everything I offer is customized for a perfect fit for the individual client and large company.
Currently, I contract with the Cancer Support Community at Northside Hospital, Northside Hospital Infusion Center, and the Weinstein Center in Georgia. I offer programs for private clients and healthcare companies and professionals and provide them with everything they will need to ensure success. You will find me out and about at speaking at events to provide groups the opportunity to experience for themselves how quickly they can access calm. If I can do it, so can you! Hope to meet you soon.
- In the News
Custom Calm and its professionals have been featured in a variety of articles over the years. We have also spoken at many events, businesses, hospital-sponsored programs and spiritual retreats. We always engage our audience so the participants can experience first-hand the empowering results of our practices.
- Monthly Column: Atlanta Jewish Times., November 2011-Present
- Yoga: A Work-In, Not A Work-Out: New Life Journal, December-January, 2005
- Spirited Exercise: The Atlanta Journal- Constitution, Front Page of Living Section; July 3, 2003
- Yoga: Asian discipline Booming: The Atlanta Journal-constitution, AJC.com/ health; July 15, 2003
- Spring Cleaning: Chai Magazine of the Atlanta Jewish Times; April, 2003
- Mind & Body: Using Props, Yoga Ascends To A New Level Of Well-Being; Sandy Springs Neighbor, Front Page of People Section; January 2, 2002
- Ellen Sichel Finds New Way To Meet Life’s Challenges: The Atlanta Maccabiah Press; December 2001
Past Speaking Engagements
- Saint Joseph’s Cancer Survivors’ Network Sharing the Journey Conference: Breath & Centering: Unwind and Renew; March, 2010
- Northside Hospital Oncology Nursing Symposium: Breath & Centering; May, 2009
- Hadassah Southeastern Region Spring Conference: Centering Techniques; May 2008
- National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO): Getting to Zen: How to De-Stress, Stay Sharp, and Maintain Optimum Stamina; September, 2006
- Ravinnia Office Building: Yoga, a Work-In, Not a Work-Out; January, 2006
- Body, Mind Spirit Expo: Gentle Yoga; August 2003
- Lawyers Collaborative Conference: De-Stress and De-Compress, 2003
- Women Living A Life Of Dreams Fulfilled: Yoga and meditation, June, 2003
- Hadassah Health Professionals’ Council: Yoga and Health; March 2002