How To Address Pain by Addressing Your Environment with Tonya Joyce 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) speaks with Tonya Joyce, about You are your own healer! Your mind is more powerful than you give yourself credit for! You don’t always need a pill; you just need a purpose!


Highlights from today’s episode include:

Tonya Joyce

in life, I call it like the feather, the brick, the semi, if you’re on the wrong path, the universe will give you a little nudge and you don’t listen, it’ll give you a brick, and you don’t listen, then it’ll then it’ll throw a semi at you or something really big in your life changes, and you’re forced to listen to that message.

Tonya Joyce 09:54

And when we show up for ourselves, and really get into the heart of why I am feeling this way and feed our mind and our bodies with things that are meaningful, and declutter our lives, great things show up for us

Tonya Joyce

So, what I will say is that learning about how pain presents in your body is so important. Having a toolbox for your pain is so important. And my message is you don’t always need a pill, you need a purpose. So that is my message. Because you can tune down your pain by addressing your environment.


My name is Tonya Joyce and I am a Motivational Speaker, Pain Educator, Crisis Interventionist, Robbins-Madnes Life Coach, Business Owner and so much more!

Core purpose/passion: My core purpose and mission are to show others that nothing is impossible when you never give up, become fearless in the face of adversity, and surround yourself with amazing people who believe in you until you can believe in yourself?

–  Website | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube|


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:

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About The Healers Café:

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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 00:43

So welcome to the Healers Cafe. And today I have with me, Tonya Joyce. She’s a motivational speaker, a pain educator, a crisis interventionist. She’s also a life coach with a Robin Madness Method, and a business owner. And well, I think we’re gonna find out quite a bit more here, so I’m not going to go into too many details here. I’m going to ask you the question I always ask, what gets people into wellness or into this healing journey, and I read your story, I’ve listened to you, but you know, only…I feel that the story is always best told by the person who experienced it. And we rewrite the meaning of our stories many times, right? So, if we just take a moment and you know, thinking of all the people listening, there’s some of them are already into health are already health professionals, they’re wanting to maybe shift what they’re doing. Maybe expand their horizons, maybe look at things that they…yeah, that they may not have looked at before, you know, so we’re in a time period of a lot of possibility. So, I invite you within that context to tell us what happened to you.


Tonya Joyce 02:09

Thank you so much. And thank you for that beautiful intro. I am all of that and much more as I like to say we’re all multi potential lights. And when we step into our power, we can grow exponentially. So initially, I was going to be a lawyer. I come from a social science background, I’m a criminologist. And in life, I call it like the feather, the brick, the semi, if you’re on the wrong path, the universe will give you a little nudge and you don’t listen, it’ll give you a brick, and you don’t listen, then it’ll then it’ll throw a semi at you or something really big in your life changes, and you’re forced to listen to that message. So, in my case, I was struck by a drunk driver. And my life changed. I died in an instant in the physical body, not in the spiritual body. So, I changed because I was forced to rest. I was go, go, go, go, go. And when you do that, the body goes into dis-ease. injury or illness can change us. So, what do you do in that moment? When that happened, I was in a wheelchair, instantly. The doctor said I wouldn’t walk, talk, go back to volunteering, go back to work, go back to school…your life changes. So, this is how I stepped into wellness. I said, I’m not going to accept that diagnosis. You don’t know me? I’m so resilient. I’m so strong. I’m Norwegian. I’m a Viking. You don’t know who you’re messing with. Well, the universe said, you’re going to do it on my time, not your time. So, I had to seek out all these different modalities that I was unfamiliar with.


Manon Bolliger 04:04



Tonya Joyce 04:05

They put me on pharmaceuticals. I was on opioids. I had never taken opioids before. sleep medication, muscle relaxants, nerve blockers, 90 pills a day, I was a walking zombie. No wonder I wasn’t getting better. I couldn’t physically do anything without pharmaceuticals. I couldn’t be present in my children’s life. I went from being their parent to being their patient. You know, and my children were young. So, to break free from this cycle of…not I wouldn’t …


say traditional medicine anymore. I would say the medical system that they put you into you become a script. You become 15 minutes of them being your primary caregiver when they are not your primary focus. You have to become your own primary caregiver and your own advocate to get better. But what that takes is resilience. You have to say, no more. So, the way I did that was finding a circle of people around me that could believe in me till I believed in myself. So, what we do I know we have 30 minutes, but I went from a wheelchair to a walker to walking in heels by finding people who did it before me. And that made the impossible possible.


Manon Bolliger 05:45

So, but how did you first know that you needed people that sort of were not necessarily mentors in your case, they were more like, support people who believed in you. How did you…how did you know to that that was an important part?


Tonya Joyce 06:09

I’ve always been spiritual. I have always meditated. I’ve always been a reader. I’m a mother, I am…I’ve always looked to meditation to help me debrief. I’ve been a survivor since I was young. So, the traumas that I faced at a younger age, and the ways that I sought to heal those traumas, really gave me the strength to get through this next trauma.


Manon Bolliger 06:42



Tonya Joyce 06:43

So, I think lending to those trauma, like, leaning on those traumas, and the strategies that I use to heal from those traumas, really helped me deal with this one.


Manon Bolliger 06:55



Tonya Joyce 06:55

It gave me that resilient strength within. And then when you stop and sit in the presence of now, really tapped into that. And then you have to get to a point where I’m going to listen to my body, what is my body trying to tell me? And when you start listening to your body, things start showing up in your life. And I think that’s what we really should do as a society. Start listening.


Manon Bolliger 07:31

Absolutely. It’s funny, I have a program called Listen to your body.


Tonya Joyce 07:38



Manon Bolliger 07:39

I think we’re on the same track, you know, and actually your story. Yeah, it’s interesting. I mean, it’s, it reminds me really of mine, too, you know, because we don’t live isolated in our experience, you know, so, I had a rather I guess, horrific is a good word for it, experience, you know, not at a very, very young age, but at 16. And, you know, it was, it was very, it could have been a death sentence what happened, but I got through this, and when I got diagnosed many years later with cancer, it was actually that experience, which felt like a lead experience, I basically got out of an entrapped rape situation. And when I was able to realize that I got out, I realized that I’m being led, there’s something going on here bigger than me. And I knew at that time, this is not my time. So, when I was on the oncology bed, and they’re like, oh, you know, statistics about you or whatever, and I’m just the number you know, basically, I signed a program I did this, I did that. And I was actually a lawyer too so signing away stuff that you know, you should read before you sign anyway. But it’s like I woke up and I went, no, wait a minute here this is not my time. Removing a cancerous organism isn’t gonna remove the situation I’m in that I recreated in that kind of way or created in the, in that current reality. And so, yeah, anyway, I just had to share it because it’s so parallel.


Tonya Joyce 09:45

No, thank you. And that’s the message we need to send to other women. Yeah. What is my body trying to tell me?


Manon Bolliger 09:53



Tonya Joyce 09:54

And when we show up for ourselves, and really get into the heart of why I am feeling this way and feed our mind and our bodies with things that are meaningful, and declutter our lives, great things show up for us. You know, where am I supposed to be? It’s no chance that we’re meeting today. Because…right! Because our lives really parallel. Yeah, do you know and the more we tell our stories, women know that they’re not alone. And the message reaches them at the right time that it’s supposed to meet them. You know, we all face traumas, whether big or small, and no trauma is greater than the other. It’s all our story. And when we sit and share with inspiration, we all heal together. And that’s the beauty of it. You know, whether you’re facing crisis, I’m a crisis interventionist during the day. And it’s, I feel passion when I come to work, because women can share their stories. And they know where to go to get help when they’re facing domestic violence. They know where to get help if they’re in postpartum depression. And it’s like, we’re here to support one another. Because the more we deal with it together, that dis-ease is prevented in our bodies. You know, it’s okay to eat what you want, but eat it lovingly, and don’t beat yourself up about it. You know, eat the damn cheesecake. Love your body while you’re eating it. Enjoy the friendship that you’re eating with it. Have good conversation with your loved ones. But we need to stop saying to ourselves, oh my gosh, I’m gonna step on the scale, and this is going to make me gain fat. Love your fat. I’m a size sexy. Do you know? Like, I’ve had five children I earned my butt. Do you know, like, by whose standards by whose belief systems am I not enough? You know what we tell ourselves matters. I used to roll down the street now I’m walking in heels. I’m rocking the heels. I earned the heels. And I also earned the slippers. I’m looking good for me. You know,


Manon Bolliger 12:21

This is such an important message, you know that. And, and I would say a lot in the young generation too, or young, you know, I would say 30 years or so there’s, you know, there’s a lot of fear around body image. You know, and, for that matter, like what, you know, pregnancy you’ve had five, I’ve had three and I’m done just to be clear.


Tonya Joyce 12:50

Yeah, me too.


Manon Bolliger 12:50

I love them. But you know, I’m not doing two more anyways, I don’t think it’s possible.


Tonya Joyce 12:57

Well, I took a pregnancy test just yesterday, and I’m 53. No, I’m, kidding.


Manon Bolliger 13:12

And, you know, again, the whole approach of you know, of our bodies, like even the whole idea of giving birth and the fear and I was overhearing conversations, you know, amongst, young girls and say, oh, I’m definitely doing an epidural. I’m definitely doing this I’m; you know, I’m not taking the pain and, you know, then because you also specialize in pain. So, I’d love to have your take on, you know, on what is it? Or how can…I mean, I have my story about I’m sure you have your spot times five. But how do you how do you deal with pain? Because the easy they escape is that oh, well, you’re tough. You deal with pain, but you know, I’m not and therefore somehow, I need drugs or whatever. Right?


Tonya Joyce 14:09

So, pain is education. So, thank you for asking that. Pain is not…people deal with pain period. Women, more importantly than men. So, I will say this, I’m not bashing men on this. But pain studies are generally done on men. But women generally feel pain more than men. We have pain in our uterus. We have pelvic floor pain; we have monthly pain. We have intramatrial pain and we have many different types of complex pain, which is often ignored by the medical system. There’s many books on it. It’s under studied in women and over are studied in men, heart attacks present differently in women than they do in men. And they’ve only recently done studies that highlight women and pain. Whereas it was largely ignored previously as hysteria. So, where that’s concerned is that your environment contributes to your pain greatly. So, what I will say is that learning about how pain presents in your body is so important. Having a toolbox for your pain is so important. And my message is you don’t always need a pill, you need a purpose. So that is my message. Because you can tune down your pain by addressing your environment. So how you deal with pain in your environment is…is your relationship toxic? Is your nutrition efficient? Is your environment cluttered? What in your environment is contributing to your pain? So, if you look at it from a bio psychosocial perspective, that is how you tune down your pain, to listening to your body, like we were talking about initially. What is my body trying to tell me when it’s in pain? Don’t always look to the pill. Don’t always look to the surgery. You know? Yes, talk to your doctor. Yes, talk to your surgeon. Once you’ve explored those avenues, if you are not in acute pain, which is the first three months of illness or injury, and also if it’s cancer or something like that, it’s a different it presents in a different way. But if you are looking at the issues of illness or injury, a broken bone will heal. Typically, in the first three months, muscles will heal, you can get physio you can get massage therapy. First acute phase of injuries is that’s when you need those things to prevent shock. Those are what pain medication is intended for. The opioid crisis that we have is prescribing prolonged pain medications in the long term.


Manon Bolliger 17:30

Manon Bolliger here and I want to thank you for taking actionable steps towards engaging your healing journey, and helping others discover their path by watching, sharing, subscribing, and reviewing these podcasts. Every review and share helps spread the word these different perspectives and choices and options for healing. And to thank you, I’d like to invite you to sign up to my free seven sequence email tips on health and healing for everyday life. You can go to tips, thanks so much.


Tonya Joyce 18:13

Are you taking care of your body in a way that is conducive with reducing your pain, movement to change pain, mindfulness to change pain, meditation to change pain, nutrition to change pain. So, all of these aspects, will reduce your pain. If you’re being mindful, you wouldn’t drive your car across the country with no gas in it. Right? You wouldn’t all of these things. So, educate yourself. And so, yeah, go ahead. Sorry.


Manon Bolliger 18:50

So when you’re, you know, you’re thinking about birth, which is not, it’s not an acute injury. It’s not chronic disease. It’s a passage, right? And yes, I you know, when you bring up purpose, I found that, I really relate to that, you know, it’s like, what is all of this energy that your body is producing, which is somewhat overwhelming, because, you know, contractions are contractions, but the purpose is to bring out this life, you know. And I feel like, then you can go with the pain more easily because it’s not coming at you. It’s not against you, you know, and I feel like if you’re not fighting pain, at least, when I was in practice, you know, a lot of my patients had a bad attitude towards their body, you know, so it’s like, oh, my darn hip, you know, and they would bang their hip and, it’s like creating this division as if the hip was a separate entity that’s attacking you. And that’s because we live in this world where we separate body parts and have specialists for every single part and etc, etc. So, it’s not uncommon to sort of isolate separate, and then fight against, right. So that’s how we’re, you know, but birth is that process where it’s all together now. You really have to go with, and I find that that’s probably the strongest thing that helps women make, you know, and I agree with you educate to like, you know, find out what’s in these epidurals? What are the risks, you know, and why run this through your baby, you know like do you really need it just because it’s convenient for them? What about the risks that after that you might need oxytocin or you might need something to actually, help push out the baby. And then what if, you know, you’re interfering with a natural cycle, which you don’t start the interference? You only interfere if the natural cycle somehow gets frozen and doesn’t work great. You know.


Tonya Joyce 21:17

What I will say to that is, number one, a good book that I can recommend is called pain and prejudice. It’s a beautiful book, I don’t have it in front of me or I’d give you the author. Okay, yeah, that’s one that I’ve read. It’s so beautiful, describing about women’s pain, I had my five children naturally with no epidural. So, I think going with the pain, and thinking about the purpose, because and this is before I gained the skills of knowing how pain presents, how your body is working, and working with your body. And this is where a doula really comes into play in delivering our children naturally. And so, it’s, its unfortunately, women used to be burned at the stake for being a doula or being, you know, a natural healer in the world. Another good book about that I’m a real nerd, in defense of witches by Mona Chalet. She is an author that still writes for Charlie Hebdo in France. Really good book there. Because it’s all about women’s empowerment, and how if we were outspoken, or if our womb was barren, you know, you can be a mother figure to someone without giving birth. And we’re not women should not be defined by our womb, and giving birth, it’s a blessing to be a mother, but some mothers don’t, some women don’t want to be mothers. And that’s okay, you can be a great and wonderful aunt to a child as well. You can be a mother figure without carrying a child in your womb. You don’t need to go to fruition to be a mother, because, you know, women are defined by many things in your identity. So, it’s and that book really describes that in a beautiful way. The title is a little off putting, but it’s, you know it for some women, but maybe for a lot of women, but at the same time, it’s a beautifully written novel about the status of women. And so, what I will say is that, for pain itself, look at the purpose of the pain. What is my body trying to tell me? It’s trying to get this little human out, that’s the size of a watermelon out of something this big, got to spread and love your body. The process will go much smoother. If you say thank you body for showing up for me. Thank you hips for spreading and giving me my loving baby out of my hips. If you talk to your body through the pain, the pain pass is much smoother. Even if you’re having back injury or illness or a headache. You know, okay, I’m having a headache. Thank you body for telling me I’m in pain, tapping into your nervous system through Emotional Freedom Techniques, or there’s a lot of things we can use and seek out the information if you don’t, you don’t know what you don’t know. You do know what you do know. And once you know it, you can’t unlearn it. So, seek a naturopath right, peppermint oil works for headaches. Dim lights work for headaches, cool cloth works for headaches. You don’t always need a pill. You know there’s lots of things in on what did they do before pharmaceutical pills. Did humans die? No, they still procreated we’ve got 7 billion people on the planet. There must be an alternative. Still procreated humans were still born, you know, and not stillborn. But still. Sorry for trigger warning.


Manon Bolliger 25:24

Don’t get me started on this subject, oh my god. But I just, I like to education, education, education. Because once we know, we know. And so, as a pain educator, and crisis interventionist, I will say that, that, yes, we’re going to face traumas in our life. Yes, we’re going to get pain. 80% of the population experience pain at one point of time, another in their life. Well, I would say 100%. Because if you’ve stubbed your toe, you’ve been in pain. But that old cartoon where the toe is this big, pulsing, but then once you look at it, it’s not really pulsing this big. Soon as you pay attention to it, pain declines. Because all pain is saying is pay attention to me something might be wrong. But as soon as you pay attention, you’ve assessed it. Your body’s saying, pay attention to me. And then as soon as you say, okay, body, I’m paying attention to you. You assess what’s wrong, I need a Band-Aid. I need to lift my feet, your body calms down. It’s just a nervous system reaction sending a pain signal. It’s like a baby. You know hello change my diaper.


Tonya Joyce 26:56

Yeah, absolutely. That’s, that is a great analogy. Its crying is crying is crying. Okay, you burped. I can go back to typing now I can go back to reading my book now.


Manon Bolliger 27:08

Yeah, and there’s no pains or, you know, I mean, acute pain, like you said, stubbing your toe actually doesn’t take that long, right? They’re not…it’s not a forever thing. Right? Like, the nervous system responds, yes, you know, etc. I had an experiment where there was no experiment. It was an experiment for the dentist, I saw, let’s put it that way. But I had to get my wisdom teeth out. And I don’t freeze. And so I thought, okay, well, and they were, you know, straight. They weren’t like, crooked, which causes other issues. So, you know, and so I had to find a dentist that was willing to do that. Because, you know, a lot of them don’t. It’s like, no, no, no, we, we’ve only seen it when you, we, you know, we inject you and freeze you and this and that. And, and so I tried to explain that I don’t freeze, there’s no point in numbifying me or whatever, or trying to do that, you know, I meditate, and I use acupuncture points. And, you know, and really, I can help you if you need something to calm down, so you can do your job. Anyway, just anyway, and he said, oh, my God, you know, his assistant wasn’t willing to be in the room at first because no, I am not. This is beyond my job. You know, I am not dealing with this kind of craziness and was like, okay, you know, it’s like, fine. And then she, of course, stayed, you know, but it was, it was very interesting. I said, just tell me exactly what you do, and how it’s going to be because that way I can stay extremely present to what’s happening. Because I know that the moment I am engaged, like, all these thoughts that can happen, like, oh, the tooth will crack and he’ll slip and, you know, and then it’s like, crunchy, and it’s disgusting. And, you know, and then it’s going to hurt whatever. I can go on to a story. So, I said, just stay extremely present with me. And you know, I put myself in a little bit of a hypnotic state, you know, simple stuff, like roll your eyeballs up and breathe a few times. Anyway, and he went in there he goes, Okay. Now I’m, I’m rolling the tubes. And I can see that rolling it there. And now I’m grabbing it and yanking it. That’s how long it took. And, you know, the final the rolling was a bit like, oh, you know, and the yanking was, like, done. Now. That was it? I had no pain afterwards, like just that moment, no swelling, no freezing stuff, no, nothing, I could eat normally. And it was just a state totally present, not allow the mind to build the story. You know, and that was really, you know, it was such a good I mean, such a good experience for the for the dentist that he was extremely grateful but, but it was a good experience, you know, for me to, to see that. You know, there’s so much we don’t fully understand about our incredible possibilities as humans, you know.


Tonya Joyce 30:43

Yes. And I think that when, when people ruminate, and they get stuck in the feedback loop of the story. Yes, that’s when they experience emotional pain, physical pain, and we’re our own worst enemy in that moment. What a beautiful story to share.


Manon Bolliger 31:07

I’m interviewing you, but I feel like we, we know each other, and I’ve just got to share something with you.


Tonya Joyce 31:14

I really appreciate that. You know, I, you know, when we’re when we’re engaging in these talks, I find that it’s such a beautiful exchange. So, thank you so much. That’s great. Thank you. Thanks.


Manon Bolliger 31:30

So, our time is kind of up. It’s ridiculous. I feel like we haven’t even begun. But um, so where can people like reach you to find out more about you? I’ll put all that in your, you know, on the website. But so, you work in a crisis center in the day?


Tonya Joyce 31:48

Yes, I’m with them. CHIMO community services in Richmond BC, which is a suburb of Vancouver, BC. And so, we are a crisis line. I’m a coordinator there. So, and we respond to crisis interventions. And that’s just not a suicide line. It’s for anyone in crisis or isolation. So, we have volunteers, that man the line volunteers are stars. And so, I’m the coordinator there during the day. And then at night and on weekends. I’m a public speaker. My website is So, you all my information is on there. Gives a little synopsis of my story. I’m a pain educator, and I do podcasts Plus, I’m open to doing keynote speaking interactions like this, if anyone would like to have a chat have a story. But yeah, so that’s what I do. And I’m also a professional singer on the side is fun. But yeah, so I do but I do those for fundraisers. So, a lot of the stuff I do is to promote wellness in our community. So, and educate people on pain education, but I do coaching for pain education to help people live their best life. So that is me.


Manon Bolliger 33:15

Great. Well, thank you so much for coming. And I’ve really enjoyed your conversation.


Tonya Joyce 33:20

Thank you so much. Nice to meet you today and chat with 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

This is the 2nd time that Tom has been on the Healers Cafe – if you would like to listen/watch/read his other episode, go here:


* 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!