How to Heal the Brain First So You Can Heal the Body with Sandie Gascon on The Healers Café with Manon Bolliger

In this episode of The Healers Café, Manon Bolliger (facilitator and retired naturopath with 30+ years of practice) with Sandie Gascon a Certified Integrative Healing Practitioner.



Highlights from today’s episode include:

Sandie Gascon 03:46

Epigenetics is everything, we can definitely turn off, turn on and off genes to with our environment with the amount of stress we’re going through. But what I found with people who have health issues, a lot of those genes are turned on. So, when we run our genetics, and we see different mutations, then we can really develop a plan with supplements.

Sandie Gascon 11:33

So, if you think about it, it can take a long time to heal your gut. A long time some people can take them one to two years to do work for the first time. Why would we not balance the brain right away if we’re able to? Right. I can do it very, very quickly, and then the person will feel so much better. And if you do it the other way, it’s very hard to heal the gut if your brain isn’t balanced.

– – – – –

Sandie Gascon 14:59

So, can we detox heavy metals? Yes. Can we support the body and help it turn off autoimmune responses? Yes. Are we going to be able to fix everything that’s happened? No, I don’t think so. But we can definitely give the body a fighting chance as much as possible.  


After suffering severe side effects from medications during her twenty-year battle with chronic migraines, when she was diagnosed with Lupus she committed herself to healing naturally. Through her experiences, she developed a whole body, mind, and spirit approach that addresses the person in a truly holistic manner. She takes the guess work out of the equation by running functional lab work to see what the body needs. She healed herself of migraines, depression, lupus, interstitial cystitis, and cystic acne. Her purpose is to help educate others on the importance of shifting focus to rebuilding and rebalancing the body and removing internal and external stress so the body can heal itself.

Sandie lives in Ontario, Canada, for the summer and spends the winters in central Florida with her husband Eric and son Kaiden. She has a passion for riding horses and spends much of her free time at the barn with her horses Bee, Jack and Vala. She loves playing with Kaiden, spending time with family and friends and hiking with her dogs.

Core purpose/passion: My core purpose and mission is to help educate others on the importance of shifting focus to rebuilding and rebalancing the body and removing internal and external stress so the body can heal itself.

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About Manon Bolliger

As a recently De-Registered board-certified naturopathic physician & in practice since 1992, I’ve seen an average of 150 patients per week and have helped people ranging from rural farmers in Nova Scotia to stressed out CEOs in Toronto to tri-athletes here in Vancouver.

My resolve to educate, empower and engage people to take charge of their own health is evident in my best-selling books:  ‘What Patients Don’t Say if Doctors Don’t Ask: The Mindful Patient-Doctor Relationship’ and ‘A Healer in Every Household: Simple Solutions for Stress’.  I also teach BowenFirst™ Therapy through Bowen College and hold transformational workshops to achieve these goals.

So, when I share with you that LISTENING to Your body is a game changer in the healing process, I am speaking from expertise and direct experience”.

Mission: A Healer in Every Household!

For more great information to go to her weekly blog:

For tips on health & healing go to:



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About The Healers Café:

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.

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Welcome to the Healers Café. Conversations on health and healing with Manon Bolliger. A retired and deregistered naturopathic physician with 30 plus years of experience. Here, you will discover engaging and informative conversations between experienced healers, covering all aspects of healing, the personal journey, the journey of the practitioner, and the amazing possibilities for our own body, and spirit.

Manon Bolliger 00:08

So welcome to the Healers Cafe. And today I’m with Sandie Gascon. She’s the founder of the Integrative Healing Academy. She’s also the pioneer who is shaping health care and helping guide 1000s of people from over 25 countries on their healing journey. And I just went through her website, and reading really inspiring testimonials, which we’re not allowed to put on our website for some crazy reason. But it’s really nice to see it because as humans, it’s understanding somebody else’s story. And the transformation really does give us hope. So anyway, I’m really thrilled to find out in many of your testimonials they’ve gone everywhere, including they’ve seen naturopaths and functional medicine people. And somehow you found the solution. So, let me ask you this, first of all, welcome.


Sandie Gascon 00:42

Thanks for having me.


Manon Bolliger 00:45

What started your journey?


Sandie Gascon 00:47

Oh, it was really just my own health issues. I started having migraines when I was seven, insomnia, diagnosed with bipolar depression, the migraines just kept getting worse. I ended up having a severe food poisoning that led to a Lupus diagnosis. And luckily, I had been really disenchanted from the pharmaceutical industry. So, I walked away from those medications that were prescribed to me, but it definitely was just a my own journey going through all of these health issues. I really feel that I had them for a reason, every struggle that I’ve went through, has helped me find a solution for somebody else. And I really had to think outside the box and develop this really holistic program to heal myself. And from that, working with all these people, and helping them find solutions has really taken shape and created the Heal Yourself Program, which is so holistic, and it’s just a different approach. We work on the body as a whole. We’re not automatically trying to kill things or detox things. We’re really focusing on rebuilding and rebalancing, repairing detox pathways, and using tests to see …


what’s going on. And the difference between myself and a lot of practitioners, I have a really huge focus on genetics and how certain genes surgeon’s enzymes require certain supplements and what’s right for one person isn’t always right for the other person.


Manon Bolliger 03:28

Hmm, okay, well, why don’t we dive right into that actually, and to people who, you know, who have the understanding that genes, you know, that’s part of what we have. But epigenetics is everything and…?


Sandie Gascon 03:46

Yeah, yeah, definitely. Epigenetics is everything, we can definitely turn off, turn on and off genes to with our environment with the amount of stress we’re going through. But what I found with people who have health issues, a lot of those genes are turned on. So, when we run our genetics, and we see different mutations, then we can really develop a plan with supplements. And with my program, I really focus on the genes for neurotransmitters and the genes of detoxification. So that’s, too me, two of the biggest things, so many people focus on the on the gut, but there needs to be a really huge focus on the brain and our detoxification pathways. If the brain is not in balanced, nothing’s going to be in balanced. And so many of our symptoms are actually due to a dysfunction in our detox pathways. It affects every aspect of our body. So, when we’re looking at our genes, we can really balance our neurotransmitters and we can really get supplements on board for detox pathways. And for example, I just had a client start with me and there’s a big hawk, a big hype a big folk Based on methyl donors, so methyl folate, methyl b 12, and people are taking them in very large quantities. And they’re really not meant for everyone. And some people have CLMT mutations, which is how our body breaks down dopamine. And if you have one or two mutations there, it’s going to make you really sensitive to methyl donors. So, when you find out you’re low on B 12, or, you know, you hear about MTHFR, and I’m going to take some methyl B 12, and some MTHFR. And you start loading that in high doses, you can develop a lot of mental health issues like anxiety, mania, and two extremes, we can see some severe, almost schizophrenic like symptoms, when people are just thriving their dopamine levels really, really high, taking something that they’re not meant to. And I did the same thing, before I understood my genetics, I was taking methyl donors every day. And if it wasn’t for my mindset work that I had been doing to really take a step outside my body, I probably would have went insane. So, I’m still on T plus plus and my dopamine levels are very high on their own, I don’t need any, any help with those methyl donors. So that’s just one instance where you can be taking a supplement that you think is really good for you, and it’s actually causing issues.


Manon Bolliger 06:23

I mean, it makes sense, right? We can’t, you know, top load something that is functioning and then not give something that is not functioning, and then how else? I mean, you can find out what’s going on by symptoms. To an extent, right, but if you want to be precise, you it’s worth testing. So, what do you use to get the genetic testing.


Sandie Gascon 06:49

So, for the genetics, there’s so many options. Right now, I normally still run 23 and me only because the ease of affordability, it’s one of the much cheaper options, and it has a lot of the genes that I want to look at. There are other tests out there, I really like Max Gen also. But some of the genes are missing. I’ve started working with the founder of Max Gen to try to get some more of those genes that I like to look at on the test. But it’s a process, it doesn’t happen overnight. So, when the 23andme, the one that it does, doesn’t have as the monoamine oxidase anymore, which is how you break down your serotonin. The max Gen does have that. So, there’s benefits to running both of them. You know, there’s pros and cons to both tests. I started with genetics and organic acids test, and a full blood panel. And that really gives me a picture of neurotransmitters, and detox pathways, nutrient deficiencies. And it’s a super great foundation, those are my three foundation tests. After that, I run a Dutch I like to give the body a good few months with the supplements from those labs on board, because more often than not, the sex hormones and the adrenals will start to adjust based on nutrition changes, mindset work, and those foundation supplements. So, it means less supplements in the long run versus running the Dutch and working on hormones and adrenals right away.


Manon Bolliger 08:17

Which is actually typically I can’t speak for, you know, in naturopathy, but that is typically the first way and the gut, right?


Sandie Gascon 08:27

Yes, I leave the gut to the last. I find that so many people when they start off with the gut, that they end up not handling the dieoff the body is not strong enough. So, I do all this foundation work really work on repairing the detox pathways, because gut work is hard. And if you’re addressing biofilm, it’s really tough. So, you want to give the body the best chance to get through a protocol. I found that especially protozoa can be super resistant, and they’re hard little buggers to kill. And they really…we really don’t want them there. So, if somebody is going to be able to handle the protocol and not be incapacitated by it, we want them to still be able to function. We want them to be able to work or do whatever it is that they’re doing, then we need to put in enough work, and I actually have checkpoints before I will give a client to gut protocol. And if they’re not meeting it, like their homocysteine needs to be an optimal range. You know, we have to see really good function in the body before I’m gonna I’m gonna say yeah, you’re ready. Your body can handle this.


Manon Bolliger 09:35

I mean, it makes sense how you’re approaching it. I mean, my personal approach wasn’t any of these specific things because I used homeopathy and I also used Bowen therapy. Yeah, more than nervous system rebounds and the understanding that the body has a way of finding balance, but it needs It’s substrates to do it, then, you know, that’s always the missing piece, right?


Sandie Gascon 10:05

Definitely 100%. And there’s, there’s lots of different ways up the mountain, right? There’s lots of different paths up the mountain. I’ve just over the years created a really holistic path, so that we’re addressing all these areas. And definitely when we can use these complementary modalities like Bowen therapy, that’s perfect, the more that you can get on board, especially when you’re also working on your mindset working on emotional traumas, spiritual growth, like it’s more than just taking supplements.


Manon Bolliger 10:36

Oh, yeah. And I think that is the problem with a lot of the ways supplements are being given out, or you can even walk to health food store, and they’ll tell you what to take, based on the same allopathic modeling.


Sandie Gascon 10:50



Manon Bolliger 10:51

You know, as this does that this is the functional or, you know, physiological impact of this and that, and it has no history on whether that’s actually what you need, you know. But so, tell me this. what’s in my understanding, anyways, is that a good amount of the neurotransmitters are made in our gut, right? So, if you need, you don’t need gut health to, like, if you’re working with neurotransmitters, you’re actually giving the aspects that are needed.


Sandie Gascon 11:27

Right. So, we’re bypassing that.


Manon Bolliger 11:29

You’re bypassing, okay. Yeah. Okay. Great.


Sandie Gascon 11:33

So, if you think about it, it can take a long time to heal your gut. A long time some people can take them one to two years to do work for the first time. Why would we not balance the brain right away if we’re able to? Right. I can do it very, very quickly, and then the person will feel so much better. And if you do it the other way, it’s very hard to heal the gut if your brain isn’t balanced.


Manon Bolliger 12:00

Yeah. Yeah. And then as far as the detox pathways, so you’re looking at it again, from a biochemical kind of perspective, what is missing that does not allow the lymphatic system to do what it’s got to do, or the different organs to do what they’ve got to do. Yeah.


Sandie Gascon 12:20

Yeah, exactly. Instead of, it’s all about just giving the body tools to heal. So, when we’re looking at the detox pathways, we’re looking at phase one, phase two, and phase three. Phase one is all about the CYP mutations. Phase two has seven different pathways in itself, it’s quite complex. Methylation is one of them. That’s the one that most people talk about. And then phase three is just the elimination through bile through skin through our kidneys, and urine. So, getting all of that supported when we do get to gut work, and we start to kill toxins, kill pathogens, all that toxins that’s going to be released and absorbed into the body needs to have an outlet. And if there’s already a backlog of toxins in the body, we definitely don’t want to liberate more, we want to work on the backlog. And it’s really trusting that the body can do it when the pathways are functioning.


Manon Bolliger 13:10

Right, when they’re functionally


Sandie Gascon 13:12

When they’re functioning. So, we have to restore the function first.


Manon Bolliger 13:14

Yeah. Oh, very interesting. And so have you come across people in the last couple of years, that may have done things that some wish they hadn’t put it this way, and their finding themselves, you know, with all kinds of symptoms, you know. You know, that are, you know, whether it’s a type of chronic fatigue or they’re exacerbated in their autoimmune issues, or they have brain fog or etc, etc. Have you found that an approach like this has been helpful to them?


Commercial Break 13:14

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Sandie Gascon 14:39

Definitely, definitely we can make a lot of headway. There are some that are more severe and it’s taking longer. I don’t think we can completely repair the effects of what’s been happening over the past couple of years, and you know, we really can’t change our DNA back. Our mRNA is not going to buy I don’t see how we can rewrite that as now they have a little bit more advanced technology than we do. So, can we detox heavy metals? Yes. Can we support the body and help it turn off autoimmune responses? Yes. Are we going to be able to fix everything that’s happened? No, I don’t think so. But we can definitely give the body a fighting chance as much as possible. And I do, I just did a testimonial with somebody. And he has had really great success with the program afterwards and getting back to function and feeling very amazing. So, it’s definitely there and doable. And I actually find people who have done…who haven’t done a lot prior to getting it actually do better. Because it’s like, their body’s like, wow, we’ve never seen these nutrients before. This is amazing. Right? So, it’s a lot, a lot less of a actually more of a shock to their body to all of a sudden have these nutrients. So yeah, we’re seeing so much. I still find that the amplitude of autoimmune illness right now is just is through the roof can be directly related to when somebody has been vaccinated. I have kids, it’s very sad that they are vaccinated, and within a week or two, they’ve lost all their hair, and adults, the same thing happening. So, it’s very shocking. I’ve seen everything from autoimmune issues to people having just severe severe mental health issues. So, it’s not just we’re hearing so much of strokes and clots, but it’s affecting all aspects. It’s very, very sad.


Manon Bolliger 16:55

Seems to also be accelerating almost like blatant predispositions as well. And I think that’s probably why you’re finding if you give the right nutrients that the body needs based on the gene, then it kind of makes sense that okay, we’re actually, you know, getting everything wired to fire as it should.


Sandie Gascon 17:21

Exactly, yeah and restore the function.


Manon Bolliger 17:24

And restore the function. Exactly, yeah. Yeah, I have, I still have hope. You know, and, I mean, I guess, part of being in practice for 30 years is, you start and there’s some things you don’t know. You don’t know if you can help this person, you don’t know, you just, you do the best you can with what you’ve got. And seeing just the capacity of people to heal, you know, has really made me much more open to understanding that maybe the technology exists, and I don’t know it yet, you know, or, or maybe like just learning about the work you’re doing. That’s a huge like, Ah, okay, I can think of people that this makes absolute sense for, you know, and that could be a missing piece. And maybe, you know, I interviewed somebody who does scalar energy, and I’m like, there’s something about frequency that I just know, is true, but I know nothing like I mean, you know.


Sandie Gascon 18:39

Exactly, yeah, like, you know, there’s so many different modalities out there. And I think what we’ve really been learning is that humans are very resilient. Because they’re trying their darndest to knock us off. We just won’t die. So, it’s, some of us do, but the majority of us we’re just going right, we just keep on going.


Manon Bolliger 19:04

Yeah, it’s greater consciousness.


Sandie Gascon 19:07

With greater consciousness and awareness of hey, no, no, no, not today. Like we were just working on installing our water filter in our house. And it’s we’re just working clean water, clean air, clean food, you know, as hard as we can to give her body those tools and then run our labs to see what our body needs because what’s happening is our food is so depleted, and the toxin load is so high. We are needing the supplements. It’s sad but like we live in Florida right now, and we finally got water that doesn’t taste like sulfur.


Manon Bolliger 19:42

Yeah. Yeah, that’s it’s It’s shocking. And that’s at least you can taste it were as so many of the poisons you can’t really taste.


Sandie Gascon 19:50

No exactly. And so, we’re constantly working to clean up the environment.


Manon Bolliger 19:57

Yeah. And you know, the thing too, is it’s there’s also a bit of a balance on, you know, how neurotic one is.


Sandie Gascon 20:05

Yes, yeah. No, I used to be so neurotic, and I am much, much, much less neurotic we enjoy treat meals, we still go out for dinner. We try to eat as clean as possible 90% of the time and work on things. But yeah, we still live our life and function because I do believe we came here to enjoy. Not to just sit here in a neurotic state being afraid of all these things, but for the most part I do especially for my son like I want to provide that clean environment as much as possible. But yes, we did go out enjoy a beautiful carrot cake last night. Lakeside in Florida was stunning. We live in paradise.


Manon Bolliger 20:48

Oh, yeah. Well, you know, it’s, it’s a lot more than…we are a lot more than the sum total of all or parts.


Sandie Gascon 20:55



Manon Bolliger 20:56

You know, including our genes. But um, my I like it. I like your approach that what has I was reading in your background…so you have like, a biochemical approach but you also were or are a massage therapist.


Sandie Gascon 21:13

What I was for five years yeah…no, yeah, I was I was a massage therapist. For two years I retired because of the lupus diagnosis I wasn’t able to work. And then I got my license back and I was a massage therapist for another three years. And then as you know, motivated to heal started to grow I retired which was a perfect timing because I’d blown both of my shoulders. I used to get very very deep tissue massage and left shoulder went and I was just using right and then writing went to and so now I’ve got two shoulders compound that with multiple writing injuries. And, you know, that’s just part of life. So, it was really good timing to jump into motivated to heal. And we’ve rebranded as SG Integrative Healing. But yes, I still do love that aspect. I get regular massages. I love alternative complementary therapies when it comes to healing and stress relief. And it’s just so so amazing for the body.


Manon Bolliger 22:18

So, what do you think it does? Like as a complement to what you do, whether you’re the one doing it, or you’re referring out or whatever? What massage therapy or Bowen therapy or these type? Well, how do you see it fitting into what you’re doing?


Sandie Gascon 22:40

Well, and a lot of what people are experiencing, if they’re like, I have people who will be like, Oh my gosh, I have tingling in my foot, and I think I have MS and I’m gonna die. And it’s really their piriformis is tight, right? So, there’s so much of the symptoms that we’re experienced in our body, whether it’s pain, numbness, tingling, that is coming because of poor posture and incorrect alignment with our muscles and muscle tension. So, we do need to address that too. Especially as we are more active, then our muscles need help and support, you know, seeing physiotherapist to help get proper exercise, when there’s dysfunction there, working on our posture. That’s, that’s all very, very important. And then there’s the whole energetic aspect of it. There is an aspect of toxin release, when we’re moving the toxins out of the muscles, we have a lot of mitochondrial dysfunctions, which we have a lot of mitochondria in our in our muscle tissue. So, we can release a lot of toxins that way, when we’re looking at the buildup of toxins, when we have the mitochondrial dysfunction, we can help move that out. So, there’s many different aspects of why it’s so beneficial.


Manon Bolliger 23:56

Yeah, I’m just curious, because everyone has their, you know, way of seeing how things fit together. And, and when they do and, you know, what do you do at first, like, you know, that some people will say, like, chiropractors, that structure governs function. And then, you know, is it true? I mean, it sounds true, and it couldn’t be true. And it is true. If you believe it and you follow.


Sandie Gascon 24:22

It is true, or you believe, and you follow it. You got it. You got it. Right. Right. We also believe that we run labs and there’s that whole mindset aspect. I’m not there because last year I stopped taking my supplements for like three months being like, Yeah, I’m there. I’m at this place. I can mindset my way out of it. And yeah, it didn’t work out very well.


Manon Bolliger 24:44

But I think resilient is one piece, but the other part is I think, you know, we’re creatures of habit and we have to align with things that we have to train ourselves to do things that we are resisting. If they’re working for us, you know, but we also have to be flexible. And maybe, you know, shift a bit and see, you know, doing something different works better, you know, so if you, you know, happy with what they’re doing, you can keep it or you can say oh, well, let’s try something different.


Sandie Gascon 25:20

Being very fluid that is important? Yes, yes, that’s been my word of the year to just kind of and go with whatever is put in front of me and not get so I’m so much about planner and times we can’t plan anymore. We don’t know what’s coming, there’s no consistency. So, there’s trying to be to be fluid and be present as much as possible.


Manon Bolliger 25:48

Okay, one more question before I leave you with the last words. But so, with this genetic testing with either company or whatever. This is then interpreted by you, right? Like you, you know how to read the…


Sandie Gascon 26:05



Manon Bolliger 26:05

It’s not because I have actually done that. Now, I kind of regretted because I’ve learned a little bit like who owns that genetic information. And I’m a bit more…


Sandie Gascon 26:16

Well, the way around that you can do it is and what most of my clients do is you just use like, fake name, fake, fake all the things so they can’t really tie it to you. And I don’t know how much they really care. If they wanted our genetic information, they could probably get it.


Manon Bolliger 26:33

They could get it other ways anyway.


Sandie Gascon 26:34

Yeah, but I do analyze my client’s genetics and test results I do have my book Heal Yourself, which in the appendix it actually really goes and dives deep into how to analyze your own genetics and how to understand your detox pathways. It goes over the Dutch test it goes over the organic acids test. So, the appendix is for those who really want to learn about this stuff and understand it then you can actually just read about it in my book Heal Yourself. Now it’s available on Amazon and Audible and people can get a free copy at get And you can learn to do it yourself. And that’s why I even created the Integrative Healing Academy is I’m teaching people and training people how to interpret these labs, and anybody can do it. You don’t have to have a science background you can you are graduate that graduated in the shortest amount of time had no science background. So, it’s you can learn this if you have a real passion for it. The information is definitely out there. And it is really amazing to see the results that people get when you have this information for them.


Manon Bolliger 27:46

Oh, well so I’ll definitely get your book. Anyway, so well thank you very much Sandie for sharing all this information and yeah, and good luck with the next stages of your professional life and your personal life.


Sandie Gascon 28:07

And I appreciate you having me on it was awesome.


Manon Bolliger 28:11

Thank you.


ENDING: 41:33

Thank you for joining us at the Healers Café with Manon Bolliger. Continue your healing journey by visiting and her website and discover how to listen to your body and reboot optimal health or


* De-Registered, revoked & retired naturopathic physician, after 30 years of practice in healthcare. Now resourceful & resolved to share with you all the tools to take care of your health & vitality!