From Dave- Chronic neck and low back issues

Monday June 17, 2019

In June of 2010 I had my first neck surgery to fuse C4-C5. This surgery lasted almost 5 years before experiencing neck and arm pain again. This time the pain was significantly worse. After months of pain and therapy it was decided that surgery was the only option left to help alleviate some of the pain. Doctors said that there was a chance that surgery wouldn’t 100% solve the problem, but it most likely will reduce the pain level. Had the surgery to fuse and clean up scar tissue and spurs on C4-C6. Recovery and therapy went fine until 6 or 7 months had passed and I was back in the doctor’s office with significant pain again. Being quite frustrated that they pain was not only back, but it was worse. After multiple scans, both MRI and CT scans it was discovered that they problem was further up the spine in C1-C3. After several months of excruciating pain, therapy, acupuncture and mediation it was decided to once again try surgery. This time they fused C1-C3. Ok here’s where I thought for sure there would be no pain and no more options to fix the problem. Less than a year later, I was experiencing the worst arm, neck and back pain that no human should have to live with. I just knew that I was going to have to live in pain the rest of my life. After months of depression and anxiety from this pain, I had no other options than to seek the advice of an expert neurosurgeon that specializes in this type of chronic pain and failed attempts to correct or minimize the problem. After careful analysis of ALL my surgeries and another round of scans, there was one possible solution. I went in for a Spinal Laminectomy in January of 2018. At this time they removed C3-C7 lamina from my spinal column. After surgery the surgeon prefaced his discussion of surgery with me by saying, “I think you will have a better life now, there are no more surgeries that can be performed on your neck, we are out of options now, but you must remember there will be some form of pain and discomfort for the rest of your life.” He then explained what he had discovered while operating on me that day, saying only, “you have one of the worst necks that I have had the privilege of working on, it made my top 3.” Then began to tell me all the things I would not be able to do. Instead of thinking of all the things I couldn’t do, I tried to convince myself that there a lot of things I CAN do. Surgery went well, recovery went fairly well, but by this time, after having 3 major neck operations in 18 months I was addicted to pain medication. Now, this landed me in treatment for addiction of opiates. This was worse than the pain that originally got me into all the surgeries in the first place. Once out of treatment I had the privilege to meet some people who ultimately helped me in the realignment of managing chronic pain and staying clean and sober for the rest of my life. Without Mitch and Suzi Shellhammers expertise of managing these types of issues I’m not so sure I would be where I am today. They have certainly changed my path for the good. They introduced me to the Theraplate, laser treatment and yoga. This combination has kept me relatively pain free and I am more flexible and stronger that prior to surgery. I was skeptical at the beginning of this, thinking this is much to simple to fix me, but I gave it a shot and have stayed persistent with my mediation, stretching, breathing, laser and theraplate treatments. Now, that I have the mechanical failures of my neck solved, it is the treatments that I receive from Mitch and Suzi that keep me in a “happy” place without the use of drugs or alcohol. I don’t honestly understand the science behind the theraplate and laser treatments, but I can testify that IT WORKS and I will continue to practice these treatments paired with breathing, stretching, mediation and attending my addiction recovery meeting to maintain my “happy” place. With the love and compassion of my wife, family, co-workers and friends like Mitch and Suzi I am confident that I will live a long and happy life, free of drugs and alcohol.

Dave E

From Dr D – 5/2019

Suzi and Mitch-

I want to Try to put into words my sincere gratitude for both of you and your support and hospitality while I stayed at your place/ B&B/ retreat/ healing Center. You both definitely helped me in my healing process not only physically but also my soul and especially spiritually.

As a conventionally trained physician I came to realize how limited conventional medicine can be for many, but this time as a “patient “. But, to have the opportunity and blessings to experience true healing versus typical medical “Band-Aids” while staying with you was wonderful! And to do yoga for the first time ever! I still do some of the exercises daily and continue to benefit.

I would recommend your healing place to any of my patients and anyone else who needs care beyond what medicine can offer. You are truly great friends and extraordinary human beings with a gift that can help many.

Abundant God blessings on you both and much love.

Dr. Doede in Hawaii

Shawnna Murphy to Serenity Wellness Retreat

As a Holistic Health Practitioner I love that I now have THE perfect place to connect and consult with my Big Horn Basin clientele. Every one of my clients felt so cozy in the Alder cabin that they, like I, want one for themselves. I do a lot of consulting outside my hometown, and it just doesn’t get any better than this cabin, and certainly doesn’t get any better than Suzi and Mitch for hosting. I’ve done a lot of U.S. and international travel, and /t/hey are truly THE greatest hosts in the world.


I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love, friendship and hospitality. What wonderful examples of “Yogis” you truly are.

Your friend always,



(also see Emmy’s journaling of her trip in the Labyrinth)

These reviews are from just a few of our great Air BnB  guests.

From MJ October 2015

Suzy and Mitch’s AirBnb was more like a retreat than a room to rent. My dog had a professional clean kennel, and I enjoyed healthy eating, yoga class and extremely comfortable bed. Their welcoming, gracious style was so welcoming! I’ll definitely be back!

From Atlanta, GA ·

Sept 2015. Lindsey M. Wrote:

What a great stay! The property and home were beautiful and the basement apartment was HUGE! There were lots of great animals to play with too. Suzi and Mitch were fantastic hosts and gave us everything we needed and more! I wish we had more time to relax there!

August 2015. Maria T. Tickled us with her review.

Suzi and Mitch were the most gracious of hosts! Suzi’s beautiful paintings liven up the walls, and their genuine hospitality is an art form itself! I was tired from lots of driving, had an earache from the high winds that day, and was working through a head cold. No sooner had I walked in the door than Suzi was treating me to the massage plate, essential oils, tea, and the sauna. The bed was amazingly comfortable, and I slept better than I had in months after all that. On top of that, I had discovered a stupid packrat had stowed away in my car when I was in Yellowstone, so Suzi had one of her dogs sniff the sucker out, then laid poison out for our unfortunate friend. Breakfast was light, healthy, and delicious, and I felt like I was chatting with family as we shared stories and experiences. This was my first AirBnB experience, and I’m afraid I’m pretty spoiled after it!

July 2015, Josh wrote:

This was a wonderful stop on our trip. Suzi and Mitch were very flexible about our late arrival time and we’re kind enough to have breakfast for us in the morning. There were so many neat things about the house and property and we only wish we had more time to check them out. Though we were only able to talk for a little in the morning Suzi was an extremely kind and friendly host. Would absolutely recommend.

July 2015 From lovely Kari:

Suzi and Mitch were both very kind and gracious hosts. We had been on the road for a couple days and just needed to relax, and they gave us the space to do so. They gave us a tour and invited us to use their massage table and sauna if we wanted to. They even provided us with space for us to keep our food cool in the fridge near our rooms. We felt very welcomed and were grateful to have a beautiful, peaceful country setting to relax in. They set out breakfast for us in the morning, and made eggs for me when I wasn’t able to eat their prepared meal due to food allergies. It was nice to get to know them a bit as well while we ate breakfast. Very generous people.

 What Kari loved about your listing: 
Natural health and food intolerance considerations were a big plus for me. I appreciated the Kangen water, their breakfast offerings, and the separate bedrooms for my dad and I—I didn’t realize there were separate rooms, and that was a nice surprise.

 What Kari thought you could improve about the experience: 
We had a wonderful experience. Thanks!

From a now new friend thanks to air BnB

What an amazing couple and home in a terrific, relaxed setting! They are each so interesting in their own right and I couldn’t get enough conversation with them. Absolutely delightful! Their home is spotless and beautiful. The downstairs guest quarters are extremely comfortable and I had everything I could possibly need. I truly wish I had had an entire week to stay there! A great experience.