Manon Bolliger (Deregistered with 30 years of experience in health)
How Biology Affects Healing from Trauma with Dr. Aimie Apigian on The Healers Café with Manon Bolliger
In this episode of The Healers Café, Manon Bolliger (Deregistered naturopath with 30+ years of experience in health) speaks with Dr Aimie Apigian regarding Trauma Healing Accelerated.
Highlights from today’s episode include:
Dr. Aimie Apigian
And to bring that point home, I really also like to emphasize the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, because that shows in real life, how something that happened in our childhood, became our biology, so that we’re getting diagnosed with diseases when we are an adult decades later. That’s not psychological. Yes, there is a psychological component because they have, you know, belief systems and self-criticism and judgment and shame and all of that. And yet there’s such strong implications for it being biology, that it is driving disease.
Dr. Aimie Apigian
what I found is that there’s so much that we can do, and this is where I get super excited, because there’s so many tools that we can bring in, that will help either get a person unstuck in their therapy process or their healing journey, or even be able to accelerate the healing journey
Dr. Aimie Apigian
It’s always presenting an opportunity for healing. It’s always presenting for us that invitation to just take the next best step towards our healing self, and away from our trauma self, always. Life is always giving us that and it’s whether we recognize it, or if you’re like me, who needs to hit a rock bottom low with your health until you’re willing to stop and listen to the message that your body is giving you
ABOUT DR. AIMIE APIGIAN
Dr. Aimie is a Double Board-Certified Medical Physician in both Preventive and Addiction Medicine and holds Double Masters Degrees in Biochemistry and in Public Health. She is the leading medical expert on addressing stored trauma in the body through her signature model and methodology, The Biology of Trauma™: a new lens that courageously uplevels the old methods of trauma work and medicine by reverse-engineering trauma&#39;s effects on the nervous system and body on a cellular level. Dr. Aimie specializes in trauma, attachment and addictions after having personal experience in foster parenting, adopting and then having her own health issues that were a result of childhood and life experiences. In addition to her medical studies that have included Functional Medicine Certification, she has sought out trauma therapy training since 2015.
Core purpose/passion: Fueled by how my life has been affected by attachment trauma starting with my father and then my son and then needing to address my own insecure attachment patterns, my mission is to share what I have learned to accelerate the healing journey of attachment trauma of others. Understanding attachment, trauma and the nervous system is just the beginning, and science and the experience of others are now confirming that even the most difficult of situations can improve without requiring years of therapy.
About Manon BolligerAs 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: http://bowencollege.com/blog. For tips on health & healing go to: https://www.drmanonbolliger.com/tips SOCIAL MEDIA: – Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube | Twitter | Linktr.ee
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. Follow us on social media! https://www.facebook.com/thehealerscafe
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 00:43
So welcome to the Healers Cafe. And today I have with me Dr. Aimie Apigian. And she’s a double board certified medical physician in both preventative and addiction medicine, and holds double master degrees and biochemistry and in public health. She’s the leading medical expert on addressing stored trauma in the body through her signature model and methodology, the biology of trauma. And let me see, I think I’m gonna leave it for the intro. There’s plenty more, but I would rather just welcome you and maybe say a few words of anything I’ve missed on that. But what an honor to have you here.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 01:33
Thank you, Dr. M. I’m really looking forward to our conversation and giving hope and tools for people.
Manon Bolliger 01:39
Yes, I think that’s really what it’s about. Because it’s easy, you know…we’re always on both sides of the equation.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 01:48
Manon Bolliger 01:53
But, you know, what we look for are, if this doesn’t work, is there more? Is there another approach? Is there something else that could help now? I was I thought I’d go right into it and ask you. You know, Peter Levine, which I’m sure you’ve heard well about. He writes, human responses to treat are primarily instinctive and biological. This is in treating trauma, and secondarily psychological and cognitive. That’s his approach to trauma, his vision of how he sees that. Are we on the same page? Is there more? Anything different?
Dr. Aimie Apigian 02:42
Yes, yes, and, or maybe no and. However, you want to look at that. So, Dr. Peter Levine has been someone who’s changed my life personally, I have so much respect for him and what he has brought to the field of trauma therapy. And I remember when I was at my lowest, my lowest I had just been coming out of my time with my son, who I adopted when he was five got him as a foster child when he was four. And everything that I just knew would help him was not doing anything to help him Dr. M we were, we were stuck. And we were at a real all-time low. And then I went into my own health crash. And so, when you talk about, you know, us being patients as well, yes, I have been there. And I have had to figure out what to do when…
what I had as resources were not working. And so, one of those pieces that came to me was Peter Levine and I…when I was at a place then when I was coming out of general surgery residency, and I knew that I wanted to dedicate my career towards attachment and trauma and addictions and really finding more solutions for people. Then he was one of the first places that I landed, and his view and understanding of the biology was refreshing for me as a medical physician. Right? Because that I can work with. And from what I could see with my experience with my son, but then also myself, I could see that it was biological. To me that was clear. And what are the tools? Right, because when we’re told that it’s psychological, the tool is we’ll go see a therapist and talk about it. And so, when the problem is biological, it still left me then with okay, what do I do about that though? And to bring that point home, I really also like to emphasize the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, because that shows in real life, how something that happened in our childhood, became our biology, so that we’re getting diagnosed with diseases when we are an adult decades later. That’s not psychological. Yes, there is a psychological component because they have, you know, belief systems and self-criticism and judgment and shame and all of that. And yet there’s such strong implications for it being biology, that it is driving disease. But still, what do we do about it? Right Dr. M, like, what do we do about that? Like, how can we change that because otherwise, people are taking their ACE score, taking that ACE study and giving themselves a score and being like, well, I’m predestined to all of these diseases, then as an adult, and I come at it from the angle of how can I get off that path, because that’s the path that I was on. That was my health crash, were all of those conditions, symptoms, diagnoses that are associated with the ACE study. So, this idea that Peter brought to the trauma field of its biological, I could not agree more with. And his process of working with the body has been a beautiful one, which is why I’ve been trained with him. So, I started attending every talk that he did. And now I’ve gone through a lot of the somatic experiencing training myself, and just got back from a wonderful week with him in Arizona, and his process of working with the biotic…the body is beautiful, it’s amazing to see that happen in real time. And where I started experiencing something that took, for me that it kind of took that and then I’m looking at the next level for that is, how can I leverage our biology to increase the capacity of the body to be available for therapy to be available for healing. And what I found is that there’s so much that we can do, and this is where I get super excited, because there’s so many tools that we can bring in, that will help either get a person unstuck in their therapy process or their healing journey, or even be able to accelerate the healing journey. So, I don’t know about you, but I am a person who would prefer to not spend their whole life in therapy.
Manon Bolliger 07:11
Absolutely and that’s a little bit, you know, in my practice too. I, you know, there’s nothing like getting out there and starting and seeing that there’s patterns.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 07:26
Yes, the patterns
Manon Bolliger 07:28
And it’s like wait a minute here, this can’t work, talk therapy can’t be the only thing on the planet here because, you know, these patients who are coming back and almost addicted to the, the same thing that they were doing and not getting better. And then I would just put my hands on them, and things shifted. And it’s like, why, you know, because I didn’t know why at the time. But it’s like, there’s got to be more so anyway, I appreciate the…also the one the wonderer not wandering, but the wonder of, you know, how life presents itself to us. Always.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 08:10
Yes, and I love I love that you say it in that way, because it is presenting things to us. It’s always presenting an opportunity for healing. It’s always presenting for us that invitation to just take the next best step towards our healing self, and away from our trauma self, always. Life is always giving us that and it’s whether we recognize it, or if you’re like me, who needs to hit a rock bottom low with your health until you’re willing to stop and listen to the message that your body is giving you. Either way, right like life will take you there in order to present that opportunity to you. And as I started working with my own system, through my Somatic Experiencing training, I recognize that I…talking about patterns that you just mentioned Dr. M. I kept going into the pattern of the freeze response. In the middle of trainings. I’m here with Somatic Experiencing people, I’m doing the training, and I’m going into the freeze response while I’m in the training. And I’m realizing oh wait a second, like there is my biology is already so close to overwhelm, that it doesn’t take much to just top it over. And so that’s where I really started looking at what are the biology things that I can have, that I can influence in order to help myself through this experience so that I can even attend the trainings and not be fighting my freeze response is much. And one of the things that has come out of that is what I call the biology of trauma. And so, this is now a training that I offer providers and practitioners so they can learn the not only the biology that is a downstream effect of trauma, but then how we can use biology to make the body more available. And when we look at that freeze response specifically, and I’m going to assume that your audience knows that terminology. Yeah, more or less. Yeah. Yeah. So overwhelmed trauma, trauma response, the freeze response. And when I realized that the trauma that freeze and trauma response is an energy problem, if the body had more energy, it wouldn’t go into the freeze response, it’d be able to stay in the sympathetic response, and have an active response to the threat. And then I started thinking, well, what are the things that are draining my energy in my body? Oh, well, I’ve got inflammation. I’ve got…I did some lab testing, and I’ve got high copper to zinc ratio, that’s actually a neurotoxin. If I have a neurotoxin, my nervous system is already on edge, it has a lower capacity for stress, which means what I call just like a higher pull towards that freeze response. Almost feel as if you know, like it does, it feels heavy when you go into the freeze response. So, I always feel like it says, like, rope that’s like pulling me into the freeze response. And it’s like, wait a second, I can identify some of these neurotoxins, some of these things that are draining the energy of my nervous system. And by addressing those, I now have more capacity to stay present for something. Then what it would otherwise have done and has done my whole life of continue the pattern of just oh, that’s too much for me, I need to check out. Oh, that’s too much for me, and there, I go into my freeze response, oh, that’s too much for me, I’m gonna stay here physically with you, but in my mind, I am somewhere else. I’m not even hearing this conversation. And so, by being able to, to now teach this to other practitioners in my training course of there is this biology of trauma. And this is actually like, not just the somatic experiencing exercises, though, those are essential, and I incorporate those into the work that I do. But it’s also how can we identify the biology that is almost predisposing someone to ongoing stress and to the freeze response. And just with that, like, the difference in my life of what I’ve been able to accomplish, and my own system, is, has been literally life changing for me, because everything before, felt like it was so much, and it was too much. And so, for me to now be able to navigate life’s problems, because life doesn’t stop giving us challenges. I don’t know about you, Dr. M, but life keeps bringing us challenges, I now have the ability to change that pattern that I’ve always had to just go into the freeze response and be like, this is too much for me, because I’ve been able to work with my biology.
Manon Bolliger 13:12
Yeah, well, I’m pleasantly surprised. To hear you’re just because, you know, the way education is not the not the journey of an individual physician, that is completely, you know, up, in a sense up to them. But you know, when there’s almost no nutrition taught in medical schools, you know, then it’s like, how do you come up with that? How do you even entertain anasatil cysteine, or magnesium or the role of, you know, it’s like it…where did you pick that up? And it’s like, yeah, that’s, that’s exciting. Because I do think there is, I agree with you, there is that piece, and then we can also work with the parasympathetic system, and, you know, the multitude of ways that we can change the body’s ability to calm the autonomic nervous system. If you missing substrates, or you’re in a toxic condition, like copper as you mentioned, it’s, yeah, you’re limited.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 14:24
Very limited. And I think that we’ve really done a disservice to people by teaching them that your emotions are up here and over here, and we even want to say you know, mental health or your psychology or just call it your emotions and separate that from your physiology from your biology, because every emotion, every emotion is actually a specific biology. It’s just that’s how it presents itself. That’s your experience of your biology. And so yeah, when you have the deficiencies when you have brain inflammation neuro inflammation when you have any of those things right? Like how can you expect to have your nervous system and thus your emotional state in a good place? It’s going to be in an either stressed out or in that overwhelmed state, because of how long it’s needed to be maintaining that danger response.
Manon Bolliger 15:19
Yeah. And you know, the other thing too, like neurotransmitters are in the gut, like if we don’t know the first thing about the gut, then the you have like they say, and then inflamed? Or what’s that called? What’s the cool word that everyone uses?
Dr. Aimie Apigian 15:37
The leaky gut, leaky gut, the intestinal permeability?
Manon Bolliger 15:42
It’s like, you’re not going to build what you need.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 15:46
No, not at all.
Manon Bolliger 15:47
It’s like, so much of the approach available is oh well, we’ll just play more chemicals with your brain based on what?
Dr. Aimie Apigian 15:55
Right. And this is where I see many people who experienced a temporary relief when they’re doing a therapy, right? And whether that therapy is going to yoga, or they’re doing a daily meditation, or they’re going into a session with a therapist, and they may experience a temporary relief, but then they fall back into those same patterns, either an hour later, a day later, whatever it is. And it’s like, well, yeah, because your biology is not able to sustain that. And so, just as important as doing those things, I’m not saying that those things are not important. I’m just saying that if you really want to maintain the changes and the shifts in your nervous system, we have to…we have to it’s not it’s not an option, we have to be looking at your biology and how to maintain those shifts. And this is really the neuroplasticity of the nervous system. Right? Because a temporary shift is not a change in neuroplasticity. A change in neuroplasticity is something where a shift has happened that is still there a month from now, three months from now. That’s neuroplasticity. And so that’s what we want to be building in order to really truly come out and change the patterns, the bracing patterns, the guardian patterns, the reactivity patterns that we’ve likely had from for most of our life from our childhood.
Manon Bolliger 17:13
Hmm. Well, we’re definitely on the same page.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 17:16
Yes, we are. Yes, we are. And we’ll keep preaching it right.
Manon Bolliger 17:20
Yeah, but I also, in your images, see here, I wrote some notes that I wanted to make sure I asked you. What’s my, my page has frozen?
Dr. Aimie Apigian 17:35
No, your page went into the freeze response? Ah, I mean, that, you know, that’s been my freeze response to like, it just has the worst timing, and the most crucial conversations, right? Like, that’s when my freeze response will show up. It’s like, no, not now.
Manon Bolliger 17:54
So, you mentioned here that all aspects of biology of trauma, this part of the message you want to share, so anything about that, but I also want to specifically how to address the effects of stored trauma on the biology? Is there anything…and then you make note of the immune system, the mitochondria cortisol? Is there anything…so how do you approach that? Like, let’s say that I’m a traumatized patient coming to you.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 18:27
Like everyone else in the world right now.
Manon Bolliger 18:29
At this point.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 18:32
Yeah, sounds about right.
Manon Bolliger 18:35
I think absolutely. That’s the main thing right now.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 18:40
Yeah. And whether you want to call it traumatized, or whether you just want to recognize it as fear, right, fear and insecurity?
Manon Bolliger 18:48
Sure. But it’s also, I don’t know about you but for me, people who have experienced trauma in the past are being massively reprioritized. Yeah. And re traumatized now. Which is, you know, I mean, it makes total sense. But yeah, there’s a lot of it anyway, go on. I don’t mean to distract from the problem.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 19:11
No, this isn’t distracting at all. So, you know, probably what comes to mind. First of all, is the recent conversations that I’ve been having with Steven Porges. And he says over and over again, and thankfully his work has now been permeating the trauma space as well, where all therapy, all healing, all…all. No exceptions. All…is based on a false sense of safety.
Commercial Break 19:39
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Dr. Aimie Apigian 20:22
And this is where for me the biology of trauma really gets to come in and show how we can facilitate that. Because for most people, Dr. M, and you let me know if you think otherwise, I think that many people try to tell themselves that they are safe. But it is not a felt sense in their body.
Manon Bolliger 20:46
Dr. Aimie Apigian 20:46
They probably don’t even know what feels like in their body.
Manon Bolliger 20:51
Yeah, I completely agree. And because part of the work I do, I use a methodology that I’ve shifted, you know, made useful to me and really incorporated with the trauma work I do. But it’s based on a fellow named Tom Bowen. So, it’s called Bowen therapy like, like B O W E N, anyway, but one of the reasons I do this, it’s also good for pain for all kinds of other things. You don’t have to focus on trauma, you just focus on the feeling good of the entire body. And it’s amazing in that, like when I start with people, I can see that now they’re able to finally relax, maybe the first time they’re still, you know, wondering what’s going to happen. And this is the you know, it’s so gentle, but you’re in and out of the room. It’s not like heavy duty, you know, presence. But, that’s what that’s what the first key that I know I’m that they’re on the mend, is that they feel secure in their body. And then their connection to others changes. Right?
Dr. Aimie Apigian 22:17
Yeah, we can only connect with others when we feel safe and secure in our own body. Because otherwise, it’s our biology, we are designed to be on guard and be in survival mode, if we don’t feel that safety and security. And so literally, the focus is all on ourselves. There’s no way we can change that. We can, you know, people try to out think that, but that’s not something that you can out think like your nervous system does drive your life. And, so having that being able to shift that into that place of security and safety, like you’re saying is essential for us to even be able to notice other people, and what state they are in. And sometimes they’re in a state that would normally trigger us, right? If we see them lonely, if we see them sad if we see them grieving, if we see them angry, for some of us like, oh, that would normally be a trigger. And only can we let ourselves see that and not be triggered and pulled back into our trauma response if we are feeling safe and secure in our own bodies in that moment.
Manon Bolliger 23:30
Yeah, I totally agree with you.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 23:34
Awesome. So, with so with the biology of trauma, then and that feeling of safety. This is where we get to play around with a word that’s called interoception. And interoception refers to the vagus nerve, and the 80% of communication that happens in the vagus nerve that goes from the gut from your visceral, which is your organs in your tissues back up to your brain. So, more communication is going from your systems from your organs back up to your brain than is coming down to tell them what to do. And that is where we get our felt sense of everything. Our or felt sense of our environment our felt sense of our safety our security. And so, when we talk about a gut feeling like that’s a real thing. Our intuition is our gut feeling. And that gut feeling is oh, like my vagus nerve is sensing, you know, danger or bracing or something. And so, this is where kind of coming back to your point around the gut. Just looking at the gut. We’re not even looking at other aspects of your biology right now. But just looking at your gut, and all of the things that are there and how are they influencing the messaging and that felt sense of your gut and it communicating to your brain? For most people now. It’s always communicating a baseline of danger because of the things that we’re ingesting, and the inflammation that it causes, or the changes in the microbiome that it causes, the neuro hormones and how that’s going to change those expressions, the changes in the neurotransmitters that that’s going to change whether there’s inflammation or a change in the microbiome. So, all of this stuff that’s happening in the periphery of our body, is coming back up to our brain and informing us that regardless of our external environment, regardless of our external environment, our internal environment is one of danger. So how do you expect to have a felt sense of safety, if your biology is what’s communicating danger. And so, this is where it’s like, hey, you can do all the therapy you want, right? You can do all the therapy you want, but when you walk out of the therapist’s office, if you still have gut inflammation from the ice cream that you ate yesterday, because you were feeling lonely, right, like that’s going to be communicating a felt sense of danger. And your nervous system is going to go right back into those patterns of coming from a place of insecurity. And I don’t know if I’m going to be okay. I don’t know if you’re safe to trust. I don’t know. I don’t know. And so, with that, comes all of the guarding the bracing, all of those patterns that we work with in somatic experiencing. So, this is where the body work that you do, right, like the bodywork, and the biology, they have to go hand in hand for someone to experience the shifts and maintain them.
Manon Bolliger 26:39
Yeah, and I think, to me, they come first, you know, because it’s… I mean, a patient may want to talk about their negative thoughts, or the story that they believe to be true or reemphasized, or, you know, reconfigured to make sense of their life. And it’s very tempting to spend time there. But it’s like, you know, I often say, well, let’s see…let’s see how your body’s doing first. And then it’s incredible how many times they they’ll say, well, yeah, whatever. It’s up there. It’s like, it’s they don’t need this anymore. It doesn’t actually it’s not required anymore. It’s very interesting. Yeah
Dr. Aimie Apigian 27:33
Yes. Yes. And from the, from the work that you do, right, like you know, that the we have to go at the pace that the body is ready for?
Manon Bolliger 27:44
Absolutely, it won’t go any faster than when it’s ready.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 27:46
It won’t go any faster, no matter how much you push, and pull and poke and anything. We have to go at the pace that the body is ready, however, what if? What if we could come in and through the biology provide the support that it needed to be able to safely go faster?
Manon Bolliger 28:08
Well, you need the biology
Dr. Aimie Apigian 28:09
You have to have the biology.
Manon Bolliger 28:10
I totally agree. That’s yeah. So typically, then back to me coming to visit you, you would sort of see, like you would do a full testing of actually, what type of testing would you then do? Because there really isn’t anything in common medicine? What do you do?
Dr. Aimie Apigian 28:32
What do you do? I hear you asking that Dr. M, right? All right, all right, you go to a hospital, a regular physician, they’re like, let’s take an x ray. Let’s do an MRI. Let’s do blood tests. It’s like, Wait a second. What do you do? How do you how do you find that stored trauma in the body? So, I start with a bunch of assessments. And I’m assessing people for their physical health, because there’s talking about patterns, right? There are specific patterns that show up in one’s physical health that tell me what their biology is underlying that. And I’m always looking for just what’s the next best step for us. I’m not necessarily looking for the whole path and the whole journey, I’m looking for what are those big boulders right now that are blocking us from being able to move faster, or even move it all, if a person has gotten stuck. And so many times Dr. M, and when we find those, I want to call them low hanging fruit, right when we find those big boulders and we’re able to move those out of the way. So many other things fall into place. And so, this is why I actually do not start with testing, with lab testing. Because if I were to test somebody, I would find almost everything wrong, right? And then it’s like, well, then where do you start and that’s what a lot of functional medicine practitioners do. They start with all of this testing costs you about 1000 or more dollars to do all of this testing everything from you know your blood to your urine to your poop everything hair sometimes too why don’t we throw that in, and then they come back, and they’re like this super long list of everything that they found was wrong. How overwhelming, how traumatizing
Manon Bolliger 30:22
Dr. Aimie Apigian 30:24
Very traumatizing, and then they put you on a supplement list that’s about two pages long too. And, and your digestive system can’t even handle it.
Manon Bolliger 30:32
Oh, I am so glad you are sharing that. That’s true. That’s the other extreme right? People in the know, like naturopathic doctors of which I was, or these functional medical doctors, it’s kind of this the same, that’s what it’s like, well, just because we know it’s related doesn’t mean you have to make a cocktail of it, you know.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 30:55
right. And what I have found is that, again, when I can find the big boulders, and I can move those out of the way, it just allows the body to have more space and energy to then fix itself with a lot of these other things. And so, a lot of those other things fall away. And we never even needed to address them. And so, I am doing the assessments to find those big boulders. And I’m looking at a couple different things, I’m looking at your immune system, because that can be a big boulder, right, and whether the immune system problems came first, it’s not usually the case. But in a rare case, it’s more often that the trauma caused the imbalances in the immune system. But now they are there and they’re keeping the nervous system stuck. The primed microglia is a big one, people who have had any kind of a head injury, even as small as a whiplash, they have this neuro inflammation that can get triggered with everything from emotional stress to food sensitivities to not getting enough sleep at night. And so all of a sudden, they’re back in brain fog and anxiety and depression and what feels like the freeze response. And it’s actually activated microglia. So that’s a big boulder that I’m looking at and assessing for is that a piece of the puzzle here. There are three most common biochemical imbalances, I have found that consistently across the board, everyone who’s challenged with stress, or overwhelm and burnout, or chronic fatigue, chronic pain, they’ve got at least one of these, I had all three of them. So, they are the most common ones. And so more often than not, I’m also making that be one of my first recommendations, and one of our first next best steps. But I’m not jumping there immediately. I’m getting…I’m doing assessments, because those have common traits and characteristics of people who have those common biochemical imbalances. I’m also looking at attachment and neurodevelopment.
Manon Bolliger 32:56
Dr. Aimie Apigian 32:57
And this is a piece that is not in medicine yet. But I have found essential and so I am doing assessments to find what not only…I’m not actually looking at what their attachment style is, I’m looking to see what are the core beliefs that they hold coming out of their childhood, that tell me whether they had a gap in neurodevelopment level either like zero to six months of life, or six to 18 months of life, because that would have affected their neuro development as well. And whether their neuro development issues happened, and that caused the insecure attachment or whether the insecure attachment causes the neurodevelopment issues. If at the end of the day, they’re both here. And so, we have we have work to do. And so, this is where I’m bringing in reorganization of that neurodevelopment. And so having them get on the floor, for example, get on their tummy, I have them take a video of them doing a tummy time crawl. And that just that Dr. M gives me so much information about their early neurodevelopment. And how that might be driving their stress, their trauma, their biology, and just by organizing that, that can be a huge piece for someone who had, I want to call them either an injury which would be like an abuse, or maybe they were adopted, or maybe they had, maybe they were born premature, and they had that clear separation and probably some medical procedures that would have really impacted their neurodevelopment and attachment or if their parents just follow the normal social practices that are actually traumatizing to infants. And for that reason, they miss some things in their neurodevelopment and so that’s an important piece to bring in for this biology piece. And so, doing all of those assessments and then kind of stepping back and looking at alright, where are the big boulders and all of this? Do we need to go for the immune system, or no does that seem to be…it’s a problem? But it’s not the biggest problem. And I think it’s actually the neurodevelopment. And maybe the this piraluria or the copper to zinc ratio that’s off. And that’s driving these problems in the immune system, as well as, of course, the problems within the nervous system and staying stuck in their stress or trauma responses. So that’s what I would do if you came to me.
Manon Bolliger 35:24
So, you’d have me crawl on my stomach.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 35:25
I would have you…if we were in person, I’d have you get on the floor. And yeah, figure out how you’re going to move your body on the floor without taking your belly button off the floor. And that right there would tell me so much information about your entire life. Because when that was your neurodevelopment, when that was how your nervous system organized, those are patterns, then that stick with you forever, and show up in all areas of your life.
Manon Bolliger 35:57
So, is this something that you’ve come up with? Or is this my ignorance, of not knowing about this?
Dr. Aimie Apigian 36:06
This is stuff that I have pieced together from all of my different trainings and life experiences. So, the neurodevelopment piece is something that I learned about when I had my son. And as I worked with more families who were adopting children, it became a huge piece, because we were working with some, like, I just I think about them, right? Like, I felt the heaviness in my heart, some children who were originally from China, or from Romania, or from Russia, and the conditions that they had as infants in those orphanages and the gross neglect that they had. And they did not get any neurodevelopment I mean, yes, their nervous system developed, because, you know, they’re breathing, but in terms of their sensory pathways, their ability to read emotional language, and body language, all of that was gone. And we had to rewire, literally rewire, or I want to say reorganize, because it never really was. It was it was wired for insecurity, gross insecurity from the very beginning of life. And so, from my work with those extreme cases, Dr. M, like, that’s where I, that’s where I learned, oh, this neurodevelopment piece is actually really big. And it’s not just those kids that were adopted from those countries and had those experiences. It was actually me, I did my own neuro development program. Once I realized, wait a second, I have my health issues, my health conditions directly come from gaps in the midbrain neurodevelopment. I need to be on the floor. I need to reorganize a lot of that in order to change my biology.
Manon Bolliger 37:52
Dr. Aimie Apigian 37:54
Fascinating. It is. It is yeah
Manon Bolliger 37:56
It is very exciting.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 37:58
It is really exciting. And for me, what it’s done for me, is it’s given me a true picture and vision of how the body really is all integrated and is one system. It’s not the mind and then the body. Right? Like it’s just the system.
Manon Bolliger 38:16
Dr. Aimie Apigian 38:17
It all interrelates
Manon Bolliger 38:19
It all makes sense to me you know, that’s of course where I stand for, but I find that your assessment tools like your actual journey to the French word comes déconnecter, but I can’t think of what it is like to separate out you know, to really understand is, is pretty exceptional is that’s incredible. Do you have a book out yet, or?
Dr. Aimie Apigian 38:44
it’s how it’s supposed to happen this year, Dr. M, I need to be able to slow down enough with my certification course and training other practitioners in these in these methods to be able to write the book, so it’ll happen
Manon Bolliger 38:56
But you…so you do currently teach I do practitioners. Okay, well, when we put your…this this interview out, if you’re up for it, we should put a link so people can actually find out more and learn this.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 39:14
Yeah, and would be very welcome to that like, again, like my whole thing is just bringing, bringing new tools and the hope that those new tools bring with it.
Manon Bolliger 39:26
Great. Well, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it this.
Dr. Aimie Apigian 39:31
Thank you. Appreciate the work that you’re doing.
Thank you for joining us at the Healers Café with Manon Bolliger. Continue your healing journey by visiting TheHealersCafe.com and her website and discover how to listen to your body and reboot optimal health or DrManonBolliger.com/tips.
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Manon is a newly retired Naturopathic Doctor, the Founder of Bowen College, an International Speaker, she did a TEDx talk “Your Body is Smarter Than You Think. Why Aren’t You Listening?” in Jan 2021, and is the author of 2 Amazon best-selling books “What Patient’s Don’t Say if Doctors Don’t Ask” & “A Healer in Every Household”.
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Manon Bolliger * Deregistered, revoked & retired naturopathic physician after 30 years of practice. Now resourceful & resolved to share with you all the tools to take care of your health & vitality!
Founder & CEO of BowenCollege.com, Educator, TEDx Speaker, Amazon Best Selling Author, International Speaker, Podcast Host