She’s a Woman on Fire! Introducing…

Welcome back to our ongoing series to introduce you to each other.  She’s a Woman on Fire! member and we want you to know her.  Please say hello to…


Lara Ann Riggio

New York, New York

Women on Fire Member: #00146

Member since September 2012

Please tell us about YOU, your family and your work.

My hubby, Joe, and I live in New York City by Central Park with our puppy, Chulo. 🙂 We married a year and a half ago, late in life; we were both 40. We found each other at the perfect time. If we had met any sooner, we wouldn’t have made it past a first date.

My Dharma and his Greg wouldn’t have jived any sooner. (He’s a Catholic, Republican banker, and I am a spiritual but not religious, Democrat energy healer.) We each had life experiences a few months prior to meeting that opened us up and allowed our unlikely connection to grow.

It was divine timing. The same weekend I met my hubby, I set out to open my dream studio. I opened The Lara Touch Wellness Center in New York in October 2012. With our classes, videos and private sessions, we have helped tens of thousands of clients receive the healing benefits of energy-based therapies such as acupuncture without needles.

Our clients have overcome emotional stress and anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, pervasive negative beliefs, side effects from medications including chemotherapy, and muscle and joint pain.

What are you on fire about? 

I am on fire about being able to help my mom and my family through my mom’s cancer treatment. My family had read my blog and had heard about how energy work has helped my clients, and they had seen it help me conquer chronic fatigue.

Still, I always felt they were kind of skeptical about it because it’s not yet in the mainstream. But after seeing my mom become remarkably stronger after energy work, my brother and father asked me to show them how to do some exercises with her.

It warms my heart to not only be able to help my mom, but also to have my family really GET why I love what I do and to share in the magic!

How did you originally connect to Women on Fire?  

My good friend Terri Cole met Debbie randomly in a restaurant in New York. Terri invited me to a Women on Fire afternoon tea. I felt wrapped in the magic. I left that evening with new friends and a sense of love and support. I immediately signed up for the next tea. I was hooked!

What one thing are you the most proud of?

I am most proud of how far I have come with my business. As I was preparing for a Group Vision Day with Debbie and Rob this month, I remembered where I was before my last Vision Day with Rob in May 2012. I was in the process of looking for space in New York to open my center, and I was filled with fear about every aspect of opening a brick-and-mortar business in The Big Apple.

The first two years were rough. I was transitioning from the mindset of a sole practitioner to a business owner. The way I think and react in similar situations has changed so much from what it was then.

I often marvel about how things that used to bother me no longer do and how much my capacity has expanded. Having to do more in less time has taught me how to be more efficient. I’ve learned to not “sweat the small stuff” because there just isn’t time. Using my stress relief exercises really helps with this too.

What is your big dream?

My big dream is to expand my work with veterans nationally. Working with veterans with PTSD has been my biggest and most rewarding client challenge to date. My primary focus is helping them to overcome the symptoms of emotional stress.

I have been so inspired by teaching them how to notice their stress triggers and to calm themselves during those moments. Even everyday situations — sitting in a restaurant, walking down a crowded street, hearing a baby cry — can prove harrowing at times. Being stuck in traffic, for example, may be a stress trigger for someone whose jeep was ambushed in Iraq.

Bringing peace to these vets has been so fulfilling. I hope to create a nationally recognized, veteran-run program that supports veterans helping veterans with these methods.

As a child, what did you want to grow up to be?

I wanted to be on the show Fame with Debbie Allen! In some ways, that dream put me on my current career path. Back then, I didn’t know that the work I do now even existed.

When my sciatica — which had ended my dance career — was cured by a muscle therapy, I became a personal trainer and learned that technique. When my chronic fatigue was eliminated by energy medicine, I learned about it.

Being fascinated and inspired by everything that worked, I developed a toolbox that has enabled me to help so many people. I now do work that doesn’t feel like work. What’s that quote by Joseph Campbell? “Follow your bliss and the Universe will open doors where there were only walls.” It’s true!

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in God, love, nature, bike rides, music and my work.

What is your favorite time-management strategy?

Wunderlist!! It’s my favorite new app! It allows me to make and share lists on my phone. I can get my to-do list out of my head and pass tasks on to my assistants, who can keep track of my responsibilities all on one list. It saves me so much brain space!

What is your favorite go-to self-care strategy?

I love the Head Hold, a simple stress-relieving exercise where you place one hand on your forehead and the other on the back of your head. When you have a fight-or-flight response to everyday stress, extra blood rushes to your limbs to power your escape.

Holding these points sends a signal to bring blood back to your brain and reverses the stress response.  Doing this simple pose for three to five minutes after you get in bed calms your reactions to stress so you can have a more peaceful night’s sleep. Here is a video that demonstrates the technique.

How do you pick yourself up after a bad day?

Energy work! 🙂 Here’s a FREE link to my Daily Detox Rituals. I do these super-quick exercises all day long to let go of stress and to stay energized.

What is something that we might be surprised to learn about you?

Most energy workers are against Western medical practices. But I have seen the value of Western medicine first hand. My mom wouldn’t be alive without it. I find that by using the two in combination, one can reap the benefits of many Western medical approaches, while strengthening the body’s ability to handle any side effects.

Name another Woman on Fire who has inspired you and tell why.

I met Shannon McCaffery at my first tea, and we became good friends while at a Women on Fire Retreat. She is a marketing expert, and she has inspired me to put my business online.

She has made what once seemed impossible and daunting to me (marketing!) feel easy. She helped me get over my fears about sharing the elusive world of energy work online by helping me simply talk about how it benefits my clients.

Share a special Women on Fire moment or experience.

I will always fondly remember my first dinner date with Ms. Holly Getty, who I met at my first Women on Fire tea. We planned a night to go out and support each other flirting in New York City.

We had so much fun eating boiled peanuts and lamb burgers at the bar. We attracted the attention of several men, and we haven’t stopped giggling, sharing, loving or supporting each other since!

What is your favorite inspirational quote?

From Rumi: “Open your hands if you want to be held.”

When I visited John of God in Brazil, I had a palpable experience of the love and grace of God. In one moment, I realized that if I could connect to this love and grace regularly, I would always have enough to give. The challenge for me is taking the time and remembering to open my hands, to sit and to receive it.

Quick-Fire questions:

I couldn’t live without…

Energy work.

I always have room for…


I’m picky when it comes to….

Food and my clients’ experiences.

My favorite component of the Women on Fire membership is…

Access to the loving support of the community. 🙂

I dream of visiting…

My husband and my favorite spot — Capri — every year.

I’m getting better at…

Setting boundaries.

I still need to work on…

Setting boundaries! LOL!

I would love to have lunch with…

Oprah Winfrey.

I’m always up for…

A great meal/good food.

I have a serious soft spot for…

My hubby and my puppy.

My biggest guilty pleasure is…

Netflix and my Farm Saga Heroes game.

I’m still afraid of…

Looking stupid.

I could spend hours…

Bike riding.

I believe in…

The healing and motivating power of love.

I’m counting down the days until…

I work only three days a week.

I never forget to celebrate…

Good food and good friends.

I don’t leave the house without…

My iPhone and a credit card.

I never developed a taste for…

Sea urchin. My husband loves it. Yuck!

My biggest pet peeve is…

When people stop after walking up stairs with lots of people behind them.

The best thing I ever did was…

Marry my husband. He is nothing I ever expected and everything I always dreamed. Glad I waited. 🙂


More about Lara Riggio…
Lara Ann Riggio is the founder and owner of The Laura Touch Wellness Center in New York City, where she uses a combination of Eastern and Western healing modalities in classes and private sessions “to free your mind and energize your body.”

Lara graduated summa cum laude with a B.F.A. in dance and a minor in psychology from State University of New York, and she holds advanced certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the American Council of Exercise, Muscle Activation Technique (MAT), Eden Energy Medicine, Psych-K, EFT and Essential Oils.

She has been featured in The New York Daily News, Elle and Women’s Day, and has made appearances on FOX News and CW11’s Morning Show. Lara contributed to the exercise section of the book 100 Questions and Answers about Migraines by Katherine A. Henry, M.D., and Anthony P. Bossis, Ph.D.