Jeff Hush, Founder
Rachel Hedrick, Founder
Steven A. Macri, Director of Communications
Jeff Hush, Founder
At age 15 in 1973, I learned how to meditate (TM). This helped me through the drama and trauma of high school. As a boy I had always been very competitive and athletic, but, when I injured my knees running in 1978, I began dancing seriously (ballet and modern dance) at Wesleyan University. Through this lengthening and strengthening practice, I was able to heal my own knees without surgery or medication. This was the beginning of my realization that health care is personal and self-driven—often outside the standard medical system.
In 1980 I learned tai chi from a master in SF’s Chinatown. I have continued this practice all the years since. When I learned Power Yoga and Pilates in Prague (2005-2010), I rediscovered the power and balance I had found in dance in the 1980s. These disciplines have built my health.
I have been a teacher my whole life (in Europe and America). My biggest challenge as a teacher was my first—at age 22 in San Francisco I founded a small pre-school, which I ran alone for two years. I offered vegetarian-only food, which made my school very popular and unique in the city then. After reading Diet for a Small Planet, I had become a vegetarian in 1979 (now I lean towards vegan cooking). I wanted to share this food discipline with the next generation.
Books have been very important to me, often helping to redirect my life. As a PhD candidate in English literature at UC Berkeley (1985-91), I became fascinated by the bubonic plague and its influence on Shakespeare. This led me to specialize in “Medical History” on my PhD oral exam. Later when I taught literature and history at the University of Chicago (1991-94), I continued studying the development of modern Western medicine. (In 1989 I even gave a lecture on my research at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in London). It is this decade of work as a medical historian (at the highest academic level—my dissertation advisor was Stephen Greenblatt) that I call upon now when designing the health care protocols in food and movement that we recommend at www.famtusa.org. I also draw upon my 16 years of teaching in Prague, where many of my students were professional statisticians (at the Czech Statistical Office and at IDC), who taught me their science—and how it can be manipulated for marketing purposes through interpretation and through time constraints on the data.
I combine in my work lifelong experience with movement traditions like tai chi and yoga, food discipline (vegetarian and vegan), and the intellectual rigor of a medical researcher. I am independent from all institutions and make my money teaching individuals, so I can speak my mind. Because I teach from a place of respect and tranquility (as a meditator), people from all ages can hear my message and learn to improve their habits. Enrich, inspire, serve and learn.
Rachel Hedrick, Founder and Nutritarian Chef
Rachel Hedrick @ Standing Rock
I was raised as a vegetarian. I’ve always liked to cook, so in the early 1990s I got a degree at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). While I learned a tremendous amount there, something in their approach turned me off. I moved away from restaurant work because I wanted my life to be about healing.
When I moved to Austin, Texas in 1996, I decided to get trained as a massage therapist. This was a very rewarding life for a decade as I worked with physical therapists and chiropractors. Dr. Clinton, a chiropractor, introduced me to Norm, who had a severely constricted shoulder. Although otherwise healthy, Norm was unable to use his arm. Doctors couldn’t find out what was wrong and had recommended surgery. Norm was scared and depressed. I looked at his structure and decided he had “frozen shoulder” (when the subscapularis muscle is chronically shortened). My diagnosis proved correct so I worked with Norm to lengthen several muscles (the subscap, pectoralis minor and major); full function and range of motion returned to his arm without surgery. Norm went back to a normal life, crying tears of joy.
My own healing journey began after a series of bike accidents, which affected my lower back. I began regularly attending yoga classes, later finding Ashtanga. This was the most effective remedy yet for my injuries. Massage had taught me the importance of muscle tissue quality. And now I was seeing the same, or even better, muscle tissue improvement through doing yoga.
But food drew me back in. Luckily there was a macrobiotic restaurant in Austin that excited me a lot: Casa de Luz. I became a chef there (2004-2009) and was finally able to combine my healing work with food. I continued, of course, doing yoga and some massage therapy.
Ahimsa, the yogic principle of “do no harm,” was alive and well at Casa de Luz. Our patrons cared a lot about their health and about their impact on the earth. In 2006, T. Colin Campbell’s revolutionary book, The China Study, came out, and everyone at the restaurant was talking about it. Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., the famous doctor at the Cleveland Clinic who “reversed” heart disease using a plant-based diet, ate at our restaurant (mentioning it in his book), and his son Rip, a fireman who wrote a vegan cookbook, was our regular customer.
Yoga is the final step in my education as a healer. Because what you eat has a profound effect on your ability to stretch and move, it is natural that eating clean and yoga reinforce each other. Doing yoga makes you want to eat clean and vice versa. I pass on this information every day to my yoga students.
Steven A. Macri, Director of Communications
In 2016 my whole life changed. I began my journey of self exploration with my ultimate goal set on being the healthiest version of myself. I’ve always been active with hiking; it was my outlet. But hiking by itself wasn’t enough. It took a deeper, more profound understanding of my body and its movements to gain a better understanding of who I am. In 2016 I began a journey of movement through Yoga. Famtusa (Food & Movement Therapy) was the missing link that helped me obtain a happier and healthier life.
Soon after implementing yoga into my daily routine, I decided that what I was putting into my body had a direct effect on what I could put out. So with the help of Rachel Hedrick and Jeff Hush I switched my diet solely to plants, cutting out all animal products and focusing on plant-based proteins and plant-based nutrition that my body could more easily process. I found myself infected with an urge to do better for my body.
I’ve since trained my self to take care of my body like I never thought possible. Yoga everyday coupled with hiking and fueling my body correctly helped me realize the infinite possibilities food and movement had provided. I began to want to help people see what I truly believe is a life-changing movement. So, with that attitude, I began to teach various forms of movement through Yoga–to try and help other people achieve a healthier and happier lifestyle.
I currently teach two very different yoga classes. The first class I teach is a group of mentally challenged teenagers, who have never studied yoga before. I feel privileged to be their first yoga teacher. Prior to my work with these students, I had already spent six years coaching movement for mentally disabled children and adults through the Special Olympics Tri-town Track and Field team. My other yoga class is at Club 24, where I work with clients of many ages and levels. I teach a Power Yoga class that is easily formatted so all students feel catered to and welcome.