How to Decrease Stress Through Nervous System Regulation

Polyvagal Theory is a term thrown around quite a bit in the world of counseling and functional medicine, but how does it play a role in our stress responses in the day-to-day? That’s what this episode focuses on. This is a deep dive into understanding what it means to be in a state of “fight, flight, or freeze,” and how to support your body in healing so that you can become more stress resilient!

Carly Stagg is a former nutritional therapist turned family nurse practitioner specializing in functional medicine. Her professional practice focuses on autoimmunity, hormone balance, and thyroid care, as well as complex chronic conditions such as mold, Lyme, PANS and PANDAS with a nurturing, gentle approach. She is passionate about the innate self-healing capacity of the body and especially practicing medicine in a way that supports the body in regaining balance rather than competing with its natural state. She currently sees patients via telehealth at Ritual Functional Medicine. She has partnered with Chelsea Blackbird in creating the upcoming School of Christian Health and Nutrition, a 9-month training program focused on empowering and equipping those who feel called to work in the field of health and nutrition.

Download and listen to this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts.

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How to Heal Depression, Anxiety, and Bipolar Disorder

I remember when I was first diagnosed with all my mental illness labels, and how I was told I would struggle for the rest of my life. I felt isolated and insecure, believing I was the only person to struggle from something as heavy-sounding as “manic-depressive illness.”

Today, with mental illness labels becoming ubiquitous features to our modern society, we are becoming more accepting that mental health is something we need to support. But to heal? To reverse symptoms? THAT sounds like a foreign concept.

Survivors exist. Those of us who have gone through the labeling, the medicating, and the treatment and have come out on the other side with new tools that work long-term… we exist too. That is why I was so excited to invite fellow survivor Dr. Christina Bjorndal on the show.

Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND is an authority in the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and eating disorders.  Having overcome many mental health challenges, Dr. Chris is recognized as one of the top NDs to follow by two independent organizations. Dr. Chris has helped many patients achieve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. She has written four books on mental health as well as created two courses – a 10-week course for individuals and a Clinician’s Integrative Mental Health 10 week course.

Download this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts.

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Overcoming Cancer, Crohn’s, and Other Autoimmune Disease

Struggling with a chronic illness can feel defeating, and struggling with multiple chronic illnesses can feel debilitating. This episode is for anyone who suffers from autoimmune disease or any other limiting label.

Amber Satterfield is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and the Founder of Feel Good Nourishment, where she specializes in helping people who suffer from gut health issues and autoimmune diseases. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2008, followed by rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and cancer in the subsequent years. It wasn’t until she found functional medicine that she says her life & health changed forever. After her own journey, Amber became passionate about helping others do the same in their own bodies. Amber is now sharing her personal healing story in her new book, “Thriving with Autoimmune Diseases”, coming out later this year.

Download and listen to this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts.

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Keys to Creating Immune Resilience

Have you heard the phrase psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology? Well, you have now!

In this recent episode, I pick Dr. Aaron Hartman’s brain on the topic of long Covid and why creating a healthy immune system impacts everything else in our bodies! We discuss the unique interconnectedness in our bodies and the latest and greatest in health research.

Dr. Aaron Hartman is the founder of Richmond Integrative and Functional Medicine in Richmond, Virginia. He helps his patients identify leverage points in key areas of their lifestyle & health that harness their body’s remarkable power to heal and begin living the vibrant life they deserve. He has participated in over 60 clinical studies and has become the ‘go to’ doctor for difficult and hard cases in central Virginia – positively impacting his own daughter’s MS with his unique, integrative approach to health.

Download and listen here or find wherever you get podcasts!

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Identifying Root Causes of Bipolar Disorder

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (what they then called “manic depressive illness”) in 1999. While the diagnosis matched the symptoms I was experiencing, the treatment I received never seemed to make things better… and they never treated the root of why I was struggling.

While I have shared about my personal experience with bipolar disorder, PTSD, and depression and I have interviewed many different experts who share ways to treat the root of chronic disease, I have never devoted the majority of an episode to bipolar disorder and its root causes.

Ellen Vora, MD received her B.A. from Yale University and attended Columbia University medical school. She’s a board-certified psychiatrist, medical acupuncturist, and yoga teacher. Dr. Vora takes a functional medicine approach to mental health—considering the whole person and addressing imbalance at the root, rather than reflexively prescribing medication. Dr. Vora’s book, The Anatomy of Anxiety, comes out in March 2022.

Recording this episode was personal for me. It helped me put together the puzzle pieces of my health even further. Download here or listen wherever you get podcasts.

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A Functional Medicine Approach to Restoring Mental Health

Amy Spindel is a functional holistic nutritionist with a mission: to help moms and kids feel happier, calmer, and more energetic so that they can enjoy their best life. She applies a multidisciplinary approach, exploring and supporting mind, body, and spirit, to determine and then provide support around the root causes of why someone does not feel their best.

She received her masters in holistic nutrition from Hawthorn University with additional training from the School of Applied Functional Medicine, and also holds a masters in social work from Columbia University. She is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition, Applied Functional Medicine Certified, a Certified Gluten-Free Practitioner, and trained in culinary arts. Amy owns Food With Thought Nutrition, a functional nutrition and health coaching practice in Plano, TX.

Download here or listen wherever you get podcasts.

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Five Common Myths About Mental Health

As we continue to suffer from a growing epidemic of mental illness in this country, and creating awareness is trending, we must take time to re-evaluate the way we handle this mental health conversation. As renowned psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen often says, mental health outcomes haven’t changed since the 1950s. Treatment options appear to be limited, because while we have plenty of medications, cases are skyrocketing.

However, there are new discussions happening, and a growing number of practitioners are seeking to support mental health with tools that were previously brushed aside. In order to move forward in our thinking about mental health, we need to dispel the myths that are often perpetuated by antiquated mentality on the topic.

Warning: some of these will be tough pills to swallow (pun intended), but they are all backed by the latest research. Please drop me a line if anything is questionable to you or you need further clarification. I’d love to have a longer discussion on the topic.

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What’s the Big Deal About Inflammation?

Inflammation is a word getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. Many health experts consider it a major cause for chronic illness, and it is threatening all of our health right now. Understanding inflammation, how to manage it, and addressing root causes is more important than ever!

Dr. Mark Sherwood is an ex-professional baseball player and 24-year retired veteran of the Tulsa Police Department who now is a Naturopathic Doctor on a mission to help others achieve wellness. He and his wife, Dr. Michele L. Neil-Sherwood, have a successful medical practice, the Functional Medical Institute, along with a number of books and a television and radio program.

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How Environmental Toxins Mess With Our Health

Mystery symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, and frequent headaches? Unable to lose weight no matter what you try? Skin issues? Bathroom problems? You might be struggling from toxic overload!

Diana Edwards is the founder and CEO of Optimally You and co-owner of Revolution Health and Wellness and Against the Grain Podcast with her husband, Dr. Chad Edwards. She is an expert on environmental toxins and their impact on our health.

In this episode, we learn about all the sneaky toxins we encounter day to day that impact our mental functioning, hormones, and so much more!

Key Topics:

  • headshotDiana’s health journey, how every traditional treatment failed her until she learned how to treat the root
  • Common household/environmental toxins and their effect
  • How these toxins overload our body
  • The danger of commonly used cleaning supplies
  • Simple ways we can reduce our toxic load in cost effective ways
  • How to support detoxification pathways, especially if you have the MTHFR gene mutation
  • Why some people have a harder time detoxing than others
  • How you know if you are struggling with toxicity

To learn more about Diana, head to her website here.

This episode is sponsored by Forager Project, a company with 100% organic plant-based products like kefir, milk, yogurt, and sour cream. To learn more about Forager, head to: http://www.foragerproject.com/vote

How Food is Mood – Interview with Ali Miller, RD

Ali Miller is a registered dietitian, integrative functional medicine practitioner, and author of Naturally Nourished, The Anti-Anxiety Diet, and The Anti-Anxiety Diet Cookbook.

In this episode we discuss the concept of food as mood, how neurotransmitters play a role in gut health, and how your stress response affects your overall health – from mental wellness to reproductive function to immune health.

She explains the 6 approaches she takes to restoring our bodies to their rightful state, how to biohack our bodies and create metabolic flexibility – and simple tools to reducing panic and anxiety during times of stress.

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Key topics covered in this episode:

  • Blood sugar regulation is key to balancing mood.
  • The imbalance of our stress response in the HPA axis and how “the body has to feel safe to do well.”
  • Reduce inflammation, reset the microbiome, repair the gut lining, restore micronutrients, rebound the adrenal glands, and rebalance neurotransmitters.
  • What excessive screen time does for our dopamine.
  • How 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut and why probiotics can be nature’s Prozac.
  • Breath is the most powerful way to harness the HPA axis and how to use mantras.
  • How she uses a strategic ketogenic approach with her clients and the reasons it has been beneficial for so many of them.

To download and listen to the full episode, click here. For the link to iTunes, click here.

To learn more about Ali and her work, head to http://www.alimillerrd.com or check out her podcast at http://www.naturallynourishedrd.com.