How to Heal Your Body, Mind, & Spirit Naturally
with Dr. Christina Bjorndal on The Healers Café with Dr. Manon Bolliger, ND
In this episode of The Healers Café, Dr. Manon Bolliger, ND, chats with Dr. Christina Bjorndal who is a Naturopathic Doctor, who is an authority in the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and eating disorders.
Highlights from today’s episode include:
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 08:47
Yeah, so the first step we want to understand is that there are four aspects to us as people. We have the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, and a holistic approach. We want to be investigating all four of those areas. But just speaking strictly on that physical side, understand that there are three macro systems in your body essentially. You have your neurotransmitters, you have your neuroendocrine or hormonal system, and then your organs of detoxification and immune system. And imbalances can lie in any one of those three areas.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 11:36
I guess the main message I really like to leave people with is there’s an explanation for your suffering. We just have to investigate it. And it naturally could be for sure on that physical level, but let’s not forget the mental, emotional, spiritual sides of health too. I think that’s the big problem with our system is it’s focused solely on that physical level, unless you’re seeing a psychologist, right.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 13:35
Yeah, so the big thing is when I’m working with people, I talk about those four aspects, and then the three macro systems in a way to support ourselves are the foundation of health is diet, sleep, exercise, and then managing stress. So this managing stress piece involves looking at our thoughts and our emotions and how we behave and react in the world. And ultimately, the other two steps that I think are important is the environment and then wrapping everything up in love and compassion and this idea of spirituality, so to speak.
About Dr Christina Bjorndal:
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 a gifted speaker and writer who loves to share her philosophy of wellness in interviews with icons like Jenny McCarthy and many more. She 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 a created two courses a 10-week online course for individuals and 2) a Clinician’s Integrative Mental Health 10 week online course.
Core purpose/passion: I feel more core purpose and mission is the help others see that there is another way to navigate the mental health challenges they may be experiencing and that you can actually heal/cure/manage conditions like bipolar disorder without having to take pharmaceutical after pharmaceutical.
About Dr. Manon Bolliger, ND:
Dr. Manon is a Naturopathic Doctor, the Founder of Bowen College, an International Speaker with an upcoming TEDx talk in Jan 2021, and the author of the Amazon best-selling books “What Patient’s Don’t Say if Doctors Don’t Ask” and “A Healer in Every Household”.
About The Healers Café:
Dr. Manon’s show is the #1 show for medical practitioners and holistic healers to have heart to heart conversations about their day to day lives.
Follow us on social media! https://www.facebook.com/thehealerscafe
Welcome to the Healers Cafe. Conversations of health and healing with Dr. Manon.
Manon Bolliger 00:25
So welcome to the Healers Cafe. Today I have with me Dr. Christina Bjorndal, and she’s a naturopathic medical doctor. She’s an authority in the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and eating disorders. Having overcome many mental challenges herself, Dr. Chris is a gifted speaker and writer who loves to share her philosophy of wellness in interviews with icons like Jenny McCarthy and many more. She is recognized as one of the top MDS to follow by two independent organizations, and Dr. Chris has helped many patients achieve physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being. She has written four books on mental health, as well as created two courses. So it’s really a pleasure to have you here because now more than ever, there’s definitely a rise in mental illness because of isolation, because of people not understanding some of the crazy things that are happening out there. So let’s start just what was your…what brought you, first of all, to become a naturopath, but to really specialize in mental health? Yeah,
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 02:03
It really is that one of the principles of our medicine as you know, Doctor, is teacher, and so it’s been really through my own journey and struggles with my mental health. So, I haven’t always been a naturopathic doctor and I have had a lot of struggles with anxiety and an eating disorder, depression, suicide attempts, and then also this sort of big label that was hard for me to accept of bipolar disorder. And so it really has been through my own searching to find solutions, that I ended up ultimately becoming a naturopathic doctor myself,
Manon Bolliger 02:43
So I mean, it’s giving others pills. All kinds of pills out there.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 02:49
Yes. A pill for every ill right?
Manon Bolliger 02:53
That’s it, just one naturopath talking to another.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 03:00
There is also a nutraceutical for every ill and hurt.
Manon Bolliger 03:04
I think now, there’s almost one condition for every pill. Or is it that they…anyway, let’s not go down that path. No. My question to you though is why look for natural solutions. Like why did you go down that road? As opposed to what seems like this simpler road? Just taking drugs and you know.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 03:32
Yeah, here’s the thing, I was on that road for 15 years, and taking five psychotropic medications at one time, and still depressed. And so I had a suicide attempt that left me in a coma with kidney failure, and I was on dialysis. I was told I would need a kidney transplant, and I’m also an overachiever, recovering overachiever, people-pleaser type-A type. So that suicide attempt, I know we’re not in a space to make light of it, but at this point in my life, I feel that sometimes it’s helpful to make light of difficult situations. And that suicide attempt, honestly, should have worked, and even the nephrologist said, “I can’t believe you’re alive”. So I was at the bottom. And I can tell you when I opened my eyes and came out of that coma…
I certainly wasn’t happy. I was still here on the planet, with everybody. And I needed to figure out another way to navigate this journey that we call life. And the way I was doing it, with pharmaceutical after pharmaceutical after pharmaceutical, wasn’t cutting it. So a friend gave me a book to read by Marianne Williamson called ‘A Return To Love’. And I read that while I was recovering, and there was a quote in this book about surrendering and it just basically goes along these lines, that surrender is not about breaking out of anything. It’s just about melting into who we really are. So we take off our mask, and I was wearing this mask all the time that ‘hey, you know what, I’m okay on the outside, but I’m not doing very good on the inside’. And then she said that that’s really all God, this quote is continuous, this is all God needs is one sincere surrendered moment when love matters more than anything and nothing else matters at all. And it was that word love that really struck me. So, you know, I had my sort of moment of surrender, if you will, my kidneys made a recovery. And it dawned on me that well, I didn’t like myself. I had been at war with myself since getting that label of bipolar disorder type one. And I honestly did not like that.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 05:53
And I didn’t want to have anything to do with that condition. But you know, meanwhile, I’m struggling with depression and anxiety and the eating piece of the puzzle. So this same friend said, you know, why don’t you see a naturopathic doctor Chris? She’s a nutritionist and she’s like, nutrition matters. So, I started on that path, and then I carried the supplements that the doctor person, the naturopathic doctor, prescribed. Actually, it was an orthomolecular psychiatrist who I went to see initially, Dr. Abraham Hoffer, and I carried his protocol along with the natural or the, sorry the pharmaceutical protocol. And then I had my first year where I felt free from a lot of the troubles that plagued me which I hadn’t felt despite being on those pharmaceuticals. And so, I mean, I’m not anti-medication, but I’m certainly minimum dose for maximum benefit for the shortest duration of time. And like Dr. Hoffer said to me, “You know what Chris, you need to use antidepressants kind of like a cast. If you’ve broken your leg, you’re not going to wear a cast for the rest of your life. So sometimes when people are 10 out of 10, depressed and having suicidal ideations, let’s face it, that’s not a fun place to be. But let’s get you feeling better, whether you can use pharmaceutical or we use a nutraceutical. And then, let’s get you on some solid ground so that we can put into place some of these pieces of the puzzle that really support your mental well being. And so that’s why I turned to our approach because that other approach wasn’t working for me.
Manon Bolliger 07:45
So your journey, like with the nutraceutical, so that was partly, the idea there is to nourish your body with the proper substrate so that your body then can start creating, all the…
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 08:07
Manon Bolliger 08:10
Yeah, so do you want to a little bit explain that? Because there are some people who are like, “Oh, no, it’s all in the head. It’s a chemical imbalance, and these drugs were just being in play with this.” Which, I mean, it’s interesting, but that’s still out there as a vision of how this works. Can you give me a little bit from your experience now and after becoming a naturopathic doctor and doing this work? What is it? What is it that you can do for people who are suffering from depression and anxiety?
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 08:47
Yeah, so the first step we want to understand is that there are four aspects to us as people. We have the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, and a holistic approach. We want to be investigating all four of those areas. But just speaking strictly on that physical side, understand that there are three macro systems in your body essentially. You have your neurotransmitters, you have your neuroendocrine or hormonal system, and then your organs of detoxification and immune system. And imbalances can lie in any one of those three areas. Traditionally, the focus is on the neurotransmitters and people are quite familiar with the classification of medications called the SSRI medications. But what people don’t realize is serotonin, which is the medication, or sorry, the neurotransmitter that is often considered to be deficient and needs to be supported, is derived from an essential amino acid nutritionally. So what that means is you don’t have the ability to make serotonin yourself within your body. You need to have the nutritional building blocks to do so. And it was super interesting. In my case, when I went to naturopathic school, one of the assignments we had to do in nutrition was to analyze our diets. And when I analyzed mine, the only essential amino acid I was deficient in was tryptophan. Well, for me, it was like this huge, like, wow, holy moly moment, because it was like, not one doctor, even though the naturopathic doctor had put into place the supplements and the support, there still wasn’t…we didn’t really crack the code on my nutrition. My nutrition was still pretty bad. And you can’t supplement yourself completely. I mean, you can supplement yourself and support yourself, for sure. But we always want to, in naturopathic medicine, we want to get those foundations right. And diet is a really important piece of this puzzle. And the other thing I want to mention about those macro systems, is it’s really important to know to ask the question, “What’s going on in your life?”, or “What and how old are you when this first started?” Because in my case, from a root cause perspective, which is what we are about in our profession, I had taken antibiotics for six months or so in the year prior to developing the eating disorder, and then subsequently anxiety and depression, and then the bipolar piece. So I was using these antibiotics to treat acne. But that’s not, we know, now, there’s a big relationship between the gut and the brain and this idea of a microbiome.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 11:36
I guess the main message I really like to leave people with is there’s an explanation for your suffering. We just have to investigate it. And it naturally could be for sure on that physical level, but let’s not forget the mental, emotional, spiritual sides of health too. I think that’s the big problem with our system is it’s focused solely on that physical level, unless you’re seeing a psychologist, right. So and then the hormones right, like, gosh, if you start experiencing mental health symptoms, when you’re starting your menstrual cycle for the first time, at the age of 12, 13, 14, 15, chances are it’s the hormones that we need to take a look at. Every single hormone in your body, if it’s out of balance, can result in symptoms from a mental health perspective.
Manon Bolliger 12:32
I like how you’re making it very clear. Of course, I’m in agreement, how there’s the physical part, which is really the only from my understanding, the only level that which drugs deal with and also nutraceuticals. It’s one piece of the puzzle, obviously, I would prefer doing it naturally and looking at foods because that makes much more lifestyle change. It’s something that you can, know what triggers you more, or what you need to remove, or what you need to add, or what you’re deficient in. But when you say there’s a mental level, or another emotional level, and then spiritual level as well. So can you go into a little bit of what you have found because so many people see all mental health as all one thing? And it’s just this balance business. So what have you found as factors?
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 13:35
Yeah, so the big thing is when I’m working with people, I talk about those four aspects, and then the three macro systems in a way to support ourselves are the foundation of health is diet, sleep, exercise, and then managing stress. So this managing stress piece involves looking at our thoughts and our emotions and how we behave and react in the world. And ultimately, the other two steps that I think are important is the environment and then wrapping everything up in love and compassion and this idea of spirituality, so to speak. So for me, I got so far just on that physical level with like I said, starting with supplements, changing my diet, you know, start making sure exercise was happening on a regular basis. A side quote, I’ll just mention with respect to exercise, they say the most over-utilized prescription for depression and anxiety is pharmaceuticals. And the most underutilized is exercise. So a very powerful piece of the puzzle as well. But anyway, so for myself, I ended up then doing well for quite some time, but then I bumped up against myself. And by that, I mean this voice in my head that was the inner critic. And, I’m a recovering perfectionist, so there’s always this voice that’s telling me that I’m not cutting the mustard. I’m not good enough, right? I’m not…I’m just not enough, basically. And you know, that then spirals on itself. And so that’s what I mean by the mental and the emotional side. Because what would what we have to look at is what is the conversation that’s happening silently between these two ears? And what is the stage in the head? Is it the inner critic, or is it an inner cheerleader? And so for people who are listening, what’s the balance there? And if it’s 100%, inner critic and 0% inner cheerleader, that’s not very healthy.
Manon Bolliger 15:40
Yeah. And that doesn’t change with drugs
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 15:43
Does not change, yeah. I don’t think, I’m just trying to think back as it’s been so long since I’ve been on an SSRI. But I think it might lift it a little, perhaps. But if the minute you go off, that it’s, it’s right back there. It’s right back. It doesn’t solve the problem, no.
Manon Bolliger 16:04
Yeah. I mean, I remember when I was in practice because I did have patients who had bipolar disorder and other kinds of disorders, they would say it’s like, sort of a numbing. But the actual internal conflict, the fight within was still the same fight with him. And their beliefs, and their thoughts about their circumstances. They’re in the conflict they perceive in their life, doesn’t go away with the manipulation of those neurotransmitters, there is more to it. And could you speak a little bit when you say spirit, from cases, or from yourself, it doesn’t matter, what do you mean by that?
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 16:55
Yeah. You know, the difference between me and you, and a cadaver, is this concept of life flow. It’s energy. It’s this idea of this word, spirit, that a lot of people…you know it’s kind of a loaded word for a lot of people because again, they attach it to this concept of religion. And so really, for me, that’s partly what I mean is this gift that you’ve been given of life, at which comes through the breath. Like the Latin derivation of the word, inspiration means to breathe in spirit. So when I talk about spirituality, I’m really referring to ultimately, your relationship with yourself. Is it a compassionate one? Is it a graceful one? Is it a kind one? And then what are you extending to the rest of the world, in terms of your capacity to love, and then it’s really about understanding. So for my own self, I do believe that there is a force, a universal energy, if you will, God, creator, creatrix, mother, whatever word floats your boat, and I don’t want to get hung up on that word. Because again, a lot of people come from different backgrounds. So it’s really about understanding that there is this divine order and having a connection with that. And whether you have that connection through…it can be as simple as a gratitude practice. A breath practice, prayer, whether you’re just tuning in and walking in nature, appreciating the beauty and the miracle of life. I mean, there are many ways to enter the conversation. But I think it’s important to talk about it because we don’t really have a great way to talk about it. We talk about the word, but we don’t really teach a methodology to work with it. And so for me, it’s the presence of peace in your life. How much conflict are you dealing with? Forgiveness? All of these are pieces of the spiritual puzzle to me.
Manon Bolliger 17:32
So, if we can talk about the current situation, because with the isolation that we’ve been forced into, what have you seen in your practice? I mean, that is your area of specialty. and have you noticed any changes on that level?
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 19:50
Yeah, I think what I’ve noticed, so I’m already immersed in mental health prior to this pandemic that we’re in, but what I’m seeing is now, the patients that I had seen that weren’t mental health cases like say someone was seeing me for their IBS, or their constipation, or their fertility…they’ve never expressed or experience challenges prior. Now I’m seeing it. I’m seeing it showing up as anxiety, a lot of fear, depression. And prior to this…this is one of my big beefs is, prior to this, the suicide rate in this country is 11 people per day. So, that’s a lot of people. And there’s no conversation going on about that. We’re not shutting down, we’re not starting a national campaign to, a door-knocking campaign to knock on your neighbor’s door and get them to come out with you for a walk. We’re not doing anything about that. But so mental health issues have always, are always a problem, have always been a problem. And now they’re even worse because of this. So that’s what I’m seeing, and I’m run off my feet supporting people, helping people. So, I just find that this pandemic is really a virus of the mind.
Dr. Manon Commericial Break 21:23
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Manon Bolliger 22:09
Yeah, love the mind it. It’s interesting because it’s the mind whether you fear the virus, or you fear the reaction to the virus.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 22:26
Or the ramifications of government.
Manon Bolliger 22:28
Yes. Well, that’s what I mean by the reaction to and what bureaucrats can make this mean? And the misuse of science, the suppression of information.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 22:43
Like our profession?
Manon Bolliger 22:45
Yes, like our professions, you know it’s true. I got a little calling there because I dared to talk about our immune system. I thought that 30 years of practice would have kind of allowed me to. What I was doing, and this was actually March 18.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 23:13
So, quite a while ago.
Manon Bolliger 23:15
Yeah, quite a while ago, and according to our profession, mistakenly misled people to believe that their own bodies could be…it could matter, the state of their own bodies. And, if you think about it that way, it’s a kind of a crazy situation, because we didn’t know at that time what this virus is. So I had no claim that there was a solution to it. But I have seen in 30 years that it doesn’t matter what virus or bacteria, or all of this, our own gut, our internal Flora, our peace of mind, or spirit is what allows us to be more resilient to whatever. So I was like, yes, let’s reboot our immune system and let’s lower our stress levels because we’ll be better off. So I wasn’t prescribing anything, except for what I thought is common sense, so I was really I was quite surprised that I wasn’t able to speak about that. But if I look at what’s happening in our profession, but also everywhere, when people are sharing information, reports that are not part of the whatever you want to call it, the main narrative…all of that being is being suppressed. It’s shocking to intelligent questioning people. Which I was saying, in other interviews, as a doctor, we need to have informed consent. We need our patients to know what they’re choosing and know that if we’re offering it, and they’re going to ask our opinion. How can we give an educated opinion if we’re not allowed to share our opinion? How can we actually do no harm? And I was just like, how is that possible? How can we really position ourselves, and I know not every province or every place were responsible to vaccinate, but it’s an interesting question. You know, for me, all of that. I don’t know if you’ve given that thought.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 25:54
Oh, yeah, it’s huge right now right. Yeah. And I think, just to speak to what you were saying earlier, the best…first of all, I don’t feel that we can outrun nature. So we want to learn, and this anti approach that we generally take from a western medicine perspective isn’t working. All that’s created is metal resistant staph aureus, right? So the bacteria and the viruses and the organisms, they probably were there, they’re here first. They’re here, we need to live with them. And it’s not always easy. And they’re outsmarting us, they’re a step ahead of us. We think we’re a step ahead of them, but actually, they’re a step ahead of us. And so the best defense is a good offense, in my opinion. By that, I mean, like you were saying, support yourself. The reason our clinic is called natural terrain, because it’s all about the terrain of the body. So think of a garden analogy, you’re not going to, but if you want to grow vegetables in a garden, you have to have healthy soil. You can’t throw a seed into a toxic waste plant, or landfill and expect a corn plant to grow, it’s not going to happen. So the body is the same way we have to nurture the terrain, the environment. And there are many factors that come into play. I mean, you mentioned the gut microbiome, that to me…gosh, prior to 2020, that’s all you heard about in the media. You heard about that. Actually, you know what, we got it wrong. Don’t let your kids be too clean, let play in the dirt, don’t over sanitize. And we’ve totally swung the other way. It’s just, I’m sure we’re going to be talking about this for the next 100 years. So it’s really something and I agree with you that the informed consent around rushing through a vaccine is…anyway, I guess for me, what I find frustrating is we’re nine months into this or approximately, and then we just have so much to offer. Right? So much, the list is very long. And while I feel for the medical professionals, and I commend the medical doctors and people who are on the front lines, but I also feel like ‘hey, you’ve got over 2000 naturopathic doctors in this country, We’re ready to help you, but you refuse to take our hand.’ And I find that frustrating. We want to help and we have things I think to help.
Manon Bolliger 28:53
Yeah. I totally agree. And this could have been the opportunity to really step into that role because this is exactly our specialty. This would have really been a way to lead and to really explain everything, and instead, it’s the fear approach. And the, play up to, what are we playing up to? There are people suffering and dying that don’t need to and possibly from COVID, though the test doesn’t seem to be very accurate, and apparently, in Portugal, they threw it out because the false positives were too high, way too high. And so all the facts will eventually surface but common sense, right? Common Sense. Like we know this, we know who’s getting sick, we know they have other conditions. Well, let’s help them sure. And let’s make sure that all the elderly people and the people that are more susceptible, let’s do extra help. I mean, in some nursing homes, I don’t think they even know what vitamin D is.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 30:20
Well, that’s such an important point. Because most people, a lot of elderly are in nursing homes and are they getting much outside time? Are they really having the ability to make vitamin D naturally? Which you can do, but you need to be outside, and you need to have the sun in your eyes, you can’t be wearing sunglasses. And I saw something recently, they said, wouldn’t it be great if we actually tested people’s vitamin D levels? Right, instead of forcing everyone into a mandatory vaccination schedule? And, I agree, people don’t understand that there’s an optimal range for vitamin D and that optimal range is actually quite large, it’s 80 to 200. I’m using a reference range that is put out by the Alberta government. So if you’re at 32, your way too low, WAY too low. And, I just think it’s super important.
Manon Bolliger 31:31
Yes, studying studies, after studies. It’s not like the science is missing. And at the beginning, it was missing for this particular virus. Sure. But it wasn’t missing in general. But now, it’s established.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 31:50
You know, even that narrative, “Oh, we don’t know this virus.” Well, we know viruses.
Manon Bolliger 31:59
Exactly. And again, it’s the war against the body and the war against the outside. It’s that whole military complex way of looking at medicine. Anyway, but I think the statistic you shared with mental illnesses is significant, because why aren’t we talking out this? Like I know, we can’t prescribe because every individual is different. And you need to get their blood work, get everything done. But do you have thoughts on how to decrease that level of depression? I’m looking at it like, PTSD is rising crazily right now. I mean, I have an understanding of why that would be the case, and I’m just curious. Do you have suggestions that we’re allowed to do? Because I don’t want to break any rules.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 33:12
Yeah, I think the first thing is, what’s particularly, challenging in the younger children, 20 and under in that age group, is this understanding. Because again, they’re not as impacted by the virus, but they’re having to not do their sports, not do their activities, not see their friends, not go to school. It’s very challenging, I think, for that age group. And so I would just be encouraging that group to definitely still go outside. You can still get the exercise piece. You just have to do the best that you can, but the nutrition piece is also really, really important. And that goes for everybody across the board, no matter what age group we are. So really understanding the concept of tryptophan and not only tryptophan but the cofactors that are required to convert. So foods that are rich in magnesium and vitamin C, and zinc and iron, and B five, these are all nutrients that are required for the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. And I have something on my website that people can access. It’s under Resources, patient handouts, and it’s called ‘The Naturopathic Guidelines to Mental Health’. And so I list all the foods in there so people can get that. And looking at the diet is, I think, a big piece right now is that’s something you can do. But you have to understand that there is a lot of things that are out of your control. We can’t control the government. We can’t control the weather. We can’t get people’s responses to the virus. But what you can control is what you think. And what you put into your body. And sort of how you conduct yourself. Right? So that’s in your control. So I would say, I’ve been prescribing news fasts to everybody, you know, it’s important to be informed, but at the same time, do you really need to be that informed?
Manon Bolliger 35:27
No exactly, and to recognize that it becomes addictive. And, if you have lived trauma at all in your life, you’re actually addicted to the chemicals of fear. And, so that’s the people that just love to hear bad news. Even if they don’t really…they wouldn’t admit it quite that way. But it becomes addictive. And if that’s what the news has been told to share continually, despite the facts, and despite the science, you’re basically living in an addicted state.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 36:11
Yeah, no, I get you. Yeah.
Manon Bolliger 36:13
So I love that the news fast.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 36:16
Yeah, I think the other big thing too, is kind of this can be a danger zone, right? For a lot of people. So maybe, it’s kind of like a bad neighborhood. So maybe, let’s work on getting out of that and more into the body and connecting, and that’s where I do a lot of the breathwork. Actually, another thing people can download is, it’s on the website, I think it’s the ‘Six Hours of Working With Problematic Thoughts’. I sort of take people through just as a way to kind of manage your mind so that you’re not at the mercy of that inner critic, or just these sort of negative thoughts. We can frame it that way. And staying more in the present moment, right? A lot of people right now with the anxiety piece, they’re worrying about everything. And you know, your nervous system has two branches, sympathetic and parasympathetic, think, stressed, or relaxed. And the more you move into negative ‘what if’ thinking about the future, the more you move into that sympathetic state, which then disrupts your hormones and more cortisol, and you kind of a vicious cycle.
Manon Bolliger 37:25
Yeah, I mean, in my practice, as you know, I do Bowen therapy, but that’s the first, it just connects people to the body. And it really allows the parasympathetic to exist, you know. I think anything that, and that’s where we heal, and it’s also how we preserve our health.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 37:45
That’s right, you can’t preserve your health or heal when you’re in a sympathetic state.
Manon Bolliger 37:49
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 37:51
So go get Bowen therapy.
Manon Bolliger 37:56
You can get it through…find it through me somewhere. There’s lots of it around. A lot of people are doing that. And also, I mean, we’ll put your resources there, so that if people can’t get out, because some people can’t actually get out so that they have all kinds of resources and can be in their body in the present moment.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 38:20
And I was just gonna say, to just to speak to the PTSD piece of the puzzle, so with that, as well. So with anxiety, a lot of times its people living in the future. And with PTSD, it’s a lot of times people living in the past. So a great therapy that I’ve recently completed is, I just finished a year’s training with Gabor Mati, who’s written several books, one called is called ‘When the Body Says No’, and he’s created this. It’s called ‘Compassionate Inquiry’. It’s a psychotherapeutic approach. But really, it’s about getting into the body, and dealing with some of these experiences that are not really at the forefront of our mind, but it’s just these past traumas. And I’ll just sort of share with you one of mine that I never really looked at as trauma on a conscious level, which is, I’m adopted, and I read recently that adoption is the only trauma where the person is expected to be grateful.
Manon Bolliger 39:28
Very interesting. That’s right.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 39:32
And Dr. Gabor Mati, he’s all about trauma. And he asked me, he said, “So Chris, in your journey with your mental health and all the struggles and the doctors that you’ve seen, did anybody ask you about trauma?” And I’m like, no. And he said because he believes and I start my book off actually with a quote from his book, which talks about the in utero experience. So for some of us again, it’s not conscious, but it’s in the shadow, it’s in the unconscious mind. And that’s kind of running the show for a lot of us.
Manon Bolliger 40:14
Yeah, absolutely. I would say, to me, PTSD has gone up too if you’re not even conscious of it. Things like, because people think, ‘oh, people are unreasonable, they should wear a mask’, whether you believe in it or not. But to some people being they’re deeply triggered by being either told what to do or that other people aren’t doing what they’re supposed to, or all of this is triggering our unconscious, if we’re not conscious of it, inner stuff. And, the way trauma works is it’ll cycle around, one trauma adds to the next to the max. And so you’re actually walking around traumatized without realizing it. Listen, we have to stop, but it’s been such a pleasure having this conversation with you.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 41:11
Yeah, thank you.
Manon Bolliger 41:13
Okay, well, let’s hope that next time we talk…
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 41:19
We’re not in a pandemic.
Manon Bolliger 41:23
Thanks very much.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal 41:25
Yes. Thank you so much.
Thank you for joining us for Healers Cafe with Dr. Manon. For more information go to drmanonbollinger.com
Thank you for joining us. For more information, go to DrManonBolliger.com.