On this episode of AIM In Practice, host Jess Reynolds interviews Andrea Hejtmanek, a renowned wellness practitioner. They delve into the most vital aspects of life that impact overall health and wellbeing, including sleep, movement, relationships, and meaning/purpose. The conversation covers a range of topics, from finding inspiration to incorporating wellness practices into real life, to making choices in the wellness world. The speaker talks about how they got into acupuncture and the importance of building deep relationships with patients. They also discuss the challenges of finding an environment that motivates one to exercise and the impact of a healthy lifestyle on one's health. The speaker shares tips on how to transition from "good" to "optimal" health and emphasizes the need for an all-in commitment to see results. Tune in to get actionable advice for a busy schedule and learn how to cultivate a balance between physical exercise, meditation, and nature.
Andrea Hejtmanek graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor‚Äôs Degree in Religious Studies in 2003, thereafter she enrolled in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture at the Calgary College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, where she completed the Doctor of TCM program in 2009.
Dr. Hejtmanek is the owner of Nourishing Life Health Care where she specializes in anti-aging medicine, facial rejuvenation, digestive disorders and stress relief. Her practice emphasizes applying principles as taught in Classical Chinese medical literature with an integrated eastern/whole foods approach to dietary therapy.
Welcome to Aiming Practice, a podcast where we talk about life as wellness practitioners. We talk about health, what it actually means to practice. My name is Jess Reynolds, and I'll be your host. So today I'm going to be chatting with Andrea Haymannick. And Andy and I have known each other for many years. In fact, she was one of my teachers when I was going through acupuncture school, and we even worked together at that same college years later. And we've been very close friends ever since. And the reason I wanted to talk with Andy is because of all the people I know, I'm pretty sure she has the most amount of experience when it comes to playing around with different types of wellness routines. And if anybody's going to have done it more than I have, it's certainly going to be her. So she has this huge wealth of knowledge, basically covering anything regarding health. So I wanted to dig in today and talk to her about what her practice really looks like and what it means to practice these different wellness things. So in our conversation, we cover a lot of ground. We're all over the map from nutrition to exercise to meaning purpose. We really do talk about a lot of different topics. But I suppose the moral of our conversation really is how does one incorporate all of these different things into real life? We discuss the fact that for some people in the wellness industry, both of us included, we've got a lot of freedom in our schedule to play around with different techniques and really dedicate a significant amount of time to these wellness practices. But what about people who don't what about individuals who don't have the freedom in their schedule? Or maybe they're ill and sick and they don't have the energy? So enjoy the episode. And I would like to welcome Andrea. Welcome, Andy.
Thank you for having me.
I'm happy you're here. So to start with, why don't we just begin with your story? Why don't you tell us how you got to where you are today? I mean, I'm sure it's a long story, but take your time and go through whatever seems relevant.
Okay. So I went to university wanting to get a degree in psychology. And I ended up really quickly within the first year after taking my first religious studies course, changed my degree to Religious studies. It was instant fall in love. And so I did that and was always interested in I grew up in a family that was secular, right? So at a very young age, I was always interested in God. And so I got the degree in Religious Studies, and it gave me kind of like a total 183, 60 kind of shift, and it's always still shifting to this day. And my parents were like, well, what are you going to do with this degree in Religious Studies? And I'm like it's true. What am I going to do with it. And I was going to go into social work and was looking into a master's degree or an undergrad in social work. And it didn't pan out. I didn't get accepted to either program. And it was interesting because this is one of those off things. But I went with a friend to see a psychic and she pulled the cards and she's like, well, and I was really interested in school. I really wanted to get in and do this master's program or even the undergrad in social work. And it came up that there's another option. I'm like, no, there isn't. But there was and it was interesting, is my partner at the time had severe low back issues and I worked at a restaurant where there was an acupuncturist that would come in for lunch. And so I started asking her about acupuncture and you get to know your regulars and she recommended my partner at the time to come in for acupuncture. So I bought them three sessions. And back in the day, it was like ridiculous 150 or $200, which is what it is now, but that was about 2025 years, about 2020 years ago now. And so he went and he luckily was open to it. He went and it helped him tremendously. And so I was still in school. Well, I was finishing school, I was still working as a waitress, and there was the acupuncture. And I started looking online. So what's my next career path? What am I going to do next? And I was really interested in ayurveda and I looked into government Alberta site and it wasn't regulated. And I'm like, well, I don't know what to think about this. I'm really into ayurveda read a lot of books on it. What's this acupuncture thing came back up again, so oh, okay. They make about this is the range of what they make. It's regulated. Okay, this looks good. And I took out a book from the library. I googled acupuncture from the public library and I read an autobiography of an acupuncturist out of red deer. And it was autobiography. It was called the needle game. I can't believe I remembered that. And I forget his name now. I'm sorry, I want to say it's a Richard, but we can find all that out later. You can't find it at the library now, unfortunately. And I love the fact that it was an autobiography of acupuncture of a man that practiced in a red deer. And so I'm like, okay, acupuncture schools, Calgary. I think it was like two weeks before. No, I think there was more time. I think there was maybe a month, month and a half. And saw the closest to acupuncture school, right? There was three in Calgary. So I went to the first one, had an interview with Dr. Dew and met Dr. Dew. And of course it was instant, right? Like, everybody who meets Dr. Dew and I had never had acupuncture before, and I was so excited to be there. And I walked into that room that first day of school, and I knew exactly that this was the place I was supposed to be. So in a kind of like a roundabout way, right? But it was kind of like always in the cards.
I like that.
That was the card. So I guess that's how I began my story of getting into acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine.
I like how academic it was, almost. It's like you were researching it and looking at the options and the financials behind it all. Knowing you now, it's like, yeah, you're very academic, but you tend to be a little bit more or less incorrect here. Go with the gut and kind of see where things go. So it's pretty funny how it started.
It actually is funny. I was like, oh, look at me. I've got credits for actually doing my research because normally I would go with the flow. Normally I'd be like, I'm into the Ayurveda. I'm going to do this. It's great. Now that I'm like, I can dabble in the Ayurveda. I've got the degree, I've got the designations. I have the ability to go anywhere I want to with what I have now. But if I didn't, but who knows? I mean, it would have been a different story. But I'm really glad that I did a little bit of that intellectual exploring.
Yeah, I think it's pretty cool, and I don't think many people are aware of just what the scope of practice of acupuncture is. I mean, that's something that continues to surprise me, is the fact I say we can do pretty much anything and everything and treat any condition. We just can't call them the same names. But our scope of practice is massive, and like you said, it allows us to go in so many different directions. It doesn't matter if you're interested in nutrition or longevity, as you are with both of those, or pain. It doesn't matter. It's all within scope. Even if it's like psychology based stuff, we can do it. It's really cool.
It's been a huge opening of many doors. I remember in school with my cohorts, I was into every single magazine, like, all the natural magazines, and I was googling everything, and I was started a database, and they're like, andy, why are you learning about gerds gastroestifestrial reflux disorder? I'm like, because I'm going to be treating this.
And it wasn't about me. I've been very blessed in terms of my health and my wellness. I was anemic at one point, but I didn't know that until later. But for health, I've been very blessed. But I realized it wasn't about solving me. And I know a lot of people go into the medicine to help themselves, to help their family, and that's a noble cause for me. I just was like, okay, let's save the not save the world. But I was like that with COVID I'm saving the world. Wait, I'm just an acupuncturist. I don't know anything about plasma and platelets. Just wait a little bit. Sorry. But it's true. You go in and you can treat anything. And like you said, because you do a lot of the psychoemotional aspect of things. And I think that that's a huge part of acupuncture. And you know that teaching.
Yeah. I remember one of the classes I was preparing for. I can't remember how I ended up going down this rabbit trail. But you know how it is when you're teaching something, next thing you know, you're like ten topics away. But I got curious about the causes of disease in Chinese medicine. So I really dug deep into basically anything I could get my hands on. And I started to list out not only the ones that were listed, the causes of disease, but how often they were mentioned and the number of times they are the primary cause of disease. And in TCM, it turns out number one cause of disease, external pathogenic factors. Like, no surprise there, considering it was developed in a time where everybody I'm surprised about it. I just think back to that's when it was developed, right. Everybody was getting sick all the time. Now, this is excluding injury, like in your head or breaking your arm. This is excluding snake bikes and such. So external pathogenic factors number two was emotions. That one surprised me. I figure it would be like nutrition or digestive things or something like that. Now, depends on where you actually stop that research. Number three is possession. But the funny thing is, when you read possession in Chinese medicine, it's psychological stuff. It's anxiety and depression and worry, things.
Like that being eaten from within.
Yeah. So I found that fascinating. It's so intertwined into overall health and well being. And I think that's something that we can all attest to in our practice, but certainly something I've been interested in.
So you got interested, you went to acupuncture school, you finished the program and then started teaching.
Yeah, I was one of the lucky ones. Well, it was interesting. My foundation's teacher, she and this she was a very interesting, lovely woman, melanie, if I remember correctly. And she came from the Nelson School and we think Nelson's so cool, and she was so cool. And I remember her saying, if you want to know anything, teach at Stock. And I remember I took a dietary therapy course with the college and I was really deep into nutrition at that time. Like, I was working at a restaurant, a very nice restaurant, and I met my husband and he was into like, kale and tofu and he was kind of like groovy and very groovy. And I realized and I had high lipids, I had high cholesterol at the age of like 25 or something, 24. And the doctors don't just like, oh, you've got high cholesterol. I'm like, okay, whatever. I'm just going to eat at Wendy's Stall. And the food that I ate and I got really interested because he's older and he was into health, and so I really got onto that health bandwagon. It was the first year of being in Acupuncture school, and I was going outside and grabbing a slurpee at lunch. And nutrition just never was anything that was in my profile. It wasn't even in my radar. And I realized that I was anemic, so it kept on. I used to work at Canadian Blood Services. I tried to donate blood, and they never let me because I was always deficient in blood. And I realized that I needed to start taking care of myself, and especially if I was going to start taking care of other people.
Yeah, hugely important.
Hugely. And so something clicked in in that second year of school, and I walked into Planet Organic, and I said, I need to work here. I said, who's the manager? I just came in, Andy, and I'm like, Hi, can I speak to the manager, please? And she came, and I'm like, Hi, her name was Pat. And I'm like, Pat, I need to work here. She's like, okay, let's go in and get you an interview. I'm like, great, and where do you want to work? I'm like, I don't care. I don't care. I want to work in natural living, but that's okay because that's where all the herbs were, right? And all that. But I got put into produce, and what a blessing that was because I got to hang out with organic produce all day, and I got paid $10 an hour, and I had to still keep my waitressing job, so I was waitressing on the side. I was working at Planet Organic five days a week, going to school full time. And it was amazing the amount of information and being around like minded people, right? So this is where I started to dabble with nutrition. I became a raw vegan, and not as long as Dave, asprey he did the two week thing or whatever was it, six weeks? Sorry, Dave, we know that story so well. But did the raw vegan thing, did the vegetarian thing for two years, and then I realized, wait, and this is going into nutrition, it's not the same for everybody.
What a huge insight that must have been. I mean, I recall a similar one in my experience. But what was that like, that moment when as a practitioner at the time, because you were a third year by then? Yes. You're seeing clients, right. To have that realization that, wow, even food isn't universal. Something that you learn in kindergarten, the food pyramid, everybody should eat like this, that moment when it's like, wow, if what we eat is different for every single person, what does that mean? What are the implications?
Right? It's even more so now today, going down that rabbit hole of what do I eat? Right. What do others eat? And so, yeah, that was part of that development process. I was able to and it took me two years it took me two years to reverse my anemia, to get my gut working. And I believe that you're starting an eight week program here, and one of your questions was what is it that impairs you from signing up to an eight week program?
And what were some of the answers? Do you want to share it? Yeah.
They're the two most common by far. Number one, price. Number two, time. Yeah, those were the two big ones. But other than that, the more nuanced answers were motivation. Not knowing who to trust was a big one.
Sure. Having the answer. I can see that. Yeah.
Because there's so much information out there, and I think those were actually the majority of them. It was time, money, not knowing where to go and not knowing who to trust.
So distilling. That interesting. Excuse me. Where was I going to go with that?
You were going through your two year journey to heal yourself.
Yeah. And all the different ways that I did that. And then it came back to the eight week program. And what was interesting about that is I feel like I've been on an eight week program ever since I've yeah. Ever since I went to the journey of hell.
Yeah. I can 100% relate to that. Starting, I think, with nutrition when I was in school. Right. So you taught me nutrition. Right. We had to do this project where I think it was like a two month thing or something. I can't even remember the details, but it's like, David, pick a dieter, pick a nutrition plan and do it for a couple of months. Right. And I did it. And afterwards, I'm like, oh, my, this is interesting because I felt profoundly different. Not necessarily for the better, just different. So I'm pretty sure for must have been at least six or seven years, every six months, I would scrap my entire diet nutrition plan and start from scratch very deliberately, just like, let's try all these different things out and experiment. And I think the only person that I know who's done that more than myself is you. Right.
I think we're pretty close. I think we're almost tied there.
And it's so interesting that first I was doing these huge shifts, like going from vegetarian to purely paleo, like doing opposite sides of them.
That's it. Yeah.
But then eventually it got to the fact where it's like, well, I know that this will not work for me, so I'm not even going to entertain that. And then getting more and more nuanced until eventually I figured out this exact right diet for me. And then in my practice, I'm like, okay, this is it. Now, that point I personally hadn't queued into everybody's different. It's like, this is the one. And I started prescribing it and I mean, how many books are out there and how many health gurus are like, this is the one. I get it. Been there. Yeah. Give it to some clients or patients, they do it and they're like, I feel like crap. I feel worse. Thank you very much. As a practitioner, you're like, oh, no, what have I done?
Well, that's the part with nutrition. Like, I don't even touch it anymore with my clients unless they're really willing to go there. Then I'll give them the basics. Stay away from the whites and try to do elimination diet. But you tell somebody to do an elimination diet, and they're just going to go into shock.
Yeah, I hear you.
Yeah. And I think that that's where continuously working on yourself, working on your this is what's coming up next relationships right.
Now, what do you mean by relationships? Because there's a lot to that.
There's a lot of relationships that one has. Right. And so I found that the greatest thing. I mean, yeah, of course. Work on yourself. Figure out what works for you at play. I feel, I feel like play is the most important thing in terms of playing with yourself, playing with the foods like you have and like I have and what works for you, what doesn't work for you. It's not going to be the same for everyone else, but working on the relationships of those that you love and care for the most and that are in your closest circle. Because without that, you're not going to be able to manage stress, you're not going to be able to thrive. You'll be triggered a lot by those relationships, by those closest relationships. And so that's been kind of a profound and that's something that I'm, of course, continually working on, is my relationships. And that could be with food, right? I mean, that can be with your job, with what you're doing for fun and what are you doing for creativity, all the relationships in terms of that, but also with the physical relationships that you have with your loved ones.
Hugely important. When I was making this new program, I was kind of thinking, like, I narrowed it down to what areas of life could a person focus on? Because there's so many different areas, right? Could a person focus on to really have the greatest impact on their overall health and well being? And I tried to organize it and like, what's the most important thing you could do to the least important thing you could do? And I realized it's like, no, you can't, because there's so many things that are like, the most important. So I kind of structured it as I bookended it with you need to do these two things first and foremost, and if you don't do these two things, literally nothing else matters. And then on the other end of the sort of list or the elements. It's like two other things where it's like, now, these two other things are also really important. And if you don't do these two other things, then you'll still be healthy. You'll be overall vital if you do all the other things. But you'll notice there is an extreme lack of zest to life. Right. So the first two that I decided were, first off, sleep. Next off, movement, which nutrition doesn't come till after that because I think you don't have those two. But then the last two, it's relationships and meaning purpose. So the fact that you bring up relationships and I really appreciate how you included it's not just relationships to your significant other or whoever it might be. It's like your relationship to food, your relationship to your body, your relationship to sleep. And if we view these, I guess, ideas as relationships, I think it really helps foster a healthy, I guess, relationship or healthy practice with those aspects.
Absolutely. Yeah. Realizing that they're vital. Truly.
Yeah. So now on that, you said you don't really do nutrition anymore with your clients. And you know what? I don't either. The only way I'll do nutrition is if somebody hires me. As a health coach, you commit to a minimum eight weeks of working together. Let's talk. But unless that's the case, no bueno. Right. So tell me then, what's your practice like? So patient books in to come and see you? How do they find you? Right. Do you do referrals? Do people, like, Google you? And then once once they come in, what's your practice really like?
Okay, that's a good question. And I think my practice has evolved tremendously. When I first started, I was in a clinic with another acupuncturist, and he only wanted me to do facial rejuvenation acupuncture, and I was very lucky. I was promoted by the receptionist there who was kind of like the next in order of the pecking order, and she was amazing and got all these beautiful women to sign up for this practice, for the facial rejuvenation. That's all I did. And it was great. I learned a lot about facial rejuvenation, antiaging, that kind of stuff. And needless to say, that it wasn't a relationship that worked well for me. It was too many people, and it was not the environment that I wanted to work in.
And I always kind of knew that I was going to be working from home. I've got the space for it. I love being at home. And so I kind of transitioned my practice into a home practice, and I was, at that point, doing everything, anything that came through the doors. I was just kind of getting established. But it seemed that facial rejuvenation was what I was known for, so people would start to, oh, I remember seeing Andrea at that clinic once. Where is she now? And I was very lucky in that when I first started, I think that waitressing really helped. I already had a big pool of people that supported me and came to me, and so I kind of went out that way. And so my practices evolved tremendously where I don't advertise anymore. I actually got rid of my website, which in hindsight was not a good idea. And the reason why I got rid of my website is because I had the old Iweb, yeah, I made my website 20 years or it's 13 years ago when I started, and I couldn't update it anymore and the computer wouldn't update anymore. I said, okay, well, I don't need a website anymore, right? And that was this honestly, like six months ago. And it's been interesting. And I got rid of social media as well. I didn't get rid of it, just didn't go on it. And I realized it was a mistake in that it is important to be there for people when they want to ask you questions. And I kind of fell out and they're like, hey, Andy, where are you? And you don't have a website, and how am I supposed to refer clients to you when they can't find you? And I was like, Well, I don't need it because I'm referral based now. Wrong. How am I able to serve more people? How am I able to get out my message? And so that's kind of what was going through my mind last night because I was preparing for this. And you're like, Give me your social media. Give me all your things. And I'm like, oh, man, I really let that lag. And I don't feel good about it because what I did is I just kind of put it to the corner and said, I'm good. I don't need to try anymore, right? I'm done. I've gotten referral based. It's great. I don't have to do that anymore. And it's not a matter of not doing it. It's like, actually, no, you can go further. You can do more, you can reach more. It's not a matter of seeing people and getting them into my practice. My practice is full. It's beautiful, but it's a matter of being able to maybe put my light out a little bit more, maybe be able to influence some more. And so I'm at the point now, so sorry, just kind of backtracking into the social media.
That's a really good point, because what came to mind when you said that is, like, when you first started and you were like, researching Gerd in first year. It's like, to me, that story really insinuated that you have this massive well of compassion for people. Like anybody who's dealing with an illness, you just want to have the resources and the capacity to help them, right? And then kind of rediscovering that, like, wait a second. By not being present in these variety of ways, I'm not doing that right? Does that ring true at all.
Yeah, I had a huge moment yesterday where I was like, wow, I picked the Possibilities card Osho deck, and it said, don't remain small. And I was like, you know, other friend of ours, mutual friend, who, you know, is in the practice as well, and she's like, Andy, when are you going to write your next book? Andy, what's next? And I'm like Andy's. Good. I'm good, I'm happy, I'm good. Exactly where I'm at. And I wrote that for a little while and then I realized, no, you can do more. You can be more, you can still be better. You can still influence your clients in a different way and raising vibrations. And so that's what I do now. Nice. When people come in to see me, I have a very lengthy intake form. I have the between a Heaven and Earth, the five elements, and it's a self assessment, which is great.
I know the one. I love it.
I love it. And so my clients get to fill that out and so they get to learn a little bit about the medicine as well, and then they get to know about their archetype. So even before they've met me, they're kind of already engaged.
Yeah, they're in it.
They're cool. Yeah. As opposed to just filling out the regular, like, what's your name, phone number, what are your signs and symptoms, blah, blah, blah, blah blah. And I have one of those. Yeah, but that self assessment form, it's like, oh, this is what a cheat efficiency is.
I don't even know what a cheat stagnation is, but I've got a few of those. I'm going to tick those off. And then I've got that elemental kind of what comes in and that changes as you know it changes in the seasons. I used to be a total wood. I'm a super fire now over the years. And you've changed.
You were a metal still, mostly, but a lot more water in me.
Yes, more water.
You change, you change.
And so that's something what's cool about when my clients come in too, I'm like, okay, this is kind of like your archetype right now, and I know how to support that archetype and I feel like that's really important. So if they're a wood type person, a born leader can be very flowy, can get angry, irritable all the liver signs and symptoms. Then am I going to tell them that they need to go on an elimination diet?
And I mean, you know that immediately, right? Before they even sit down and ask you or tell you the answers to their questions or you do the inquiry. What I find interesting about this is it comes down to a relationship, right? It's like there's many different ways to practice. I do massage as well, and I've got a lot of massage students, and very few people build strong relationships with their massage therapists.
Most people build one, right? Like, the relationship a person has with their massage therapist is like, this is my massage therapist. You're spending an hour alone in a room with somebody. Right? So you build that type of relationship, but in different forms of medicine, like with acupuncture, it's like we have an opportunity to build a profoundly deep relationship with our clients. And I've found that a lot of mine, they're really interested in my life and not my personal life, like, not what Brian and I are doing on a Friday night. It's like, what am I actually doing in my world to stay healthy? Because they come and see me and I'm, like, do this and this and this and this and this and this and this. And I don't think they're skeptical whether or not I do it, but I think knowing and having a way to access that part of my world, it's so helpful for them. It's potentially inspiring. Right. So again, it's that relationship thing. And again, it sounds like that you're finding new ways to foster those relationships or different ways. Right. So starting with personality, which that's what, five elements, in my opinion, largely is, right. So they fill out this lengthy assessment, and I know that assessment well, and it's introspective. It's not just like, I'm here for sore back, I'm feeling a little bit seasonally depressed. No, it's like it's in depth. So they come to you. They've already been through this pretty seriously introspective experience, filling out the intake form, and then what happens? They walk in the room.
Yeah. Well, another thing is what's nice about this is that they already know me, essentially, because I was referred. So there's that trust. And so I find that it's easier for me because I don't have to sell like I trust in myself. But when you've got somebody who's coming off the street, for example, and I had to be there, too, where I was getting people in, and they'd ask me questions about what I do, and that's a different way of relating with somebody. Right. Whereas with me and maybe you can speak to that. Trying to figure out I mean, I'm sure you're mostly referral based now too, but maybe that's something that you can talk to about somebody else who sees a lot of people in a multidisciplinary clinic and is always constantly meeting new people. But I'm not, so I'm referral based. So that's part of that dynamic already. There's trust, and it's like people are.
Coming to you for a time. I certainly get one of a referral, and the relationship doesn't match.
But more often than not, when you're referral based, it's like people are coming to see you because they're in it. They have some sort of long term interaction. They're intending. Is that the case for you?
Absolutely, yeah. And their personality matches. Right? I mean, there's going to be some people where it's just like, no matter what, it's not going to work.
Right. So it is hugely important, and I can tell pretty quickly whether it's going to work or whether it's not. And that person is well and just like, hey, it's not going to work. They're like, yeah, totally. You send them off to whoever is going to be best for them, which is usually you.
We're not measuring them, like, hey, listen.
Well, that's like exactly. You're my referral too, but I'm lucky in that. So there's already that trust. I already know that they're going to know what I'm doing. And pretty much every it's it's pretty much the same for everybody. Now, minus the acupuncture points or minus the herbs I'm planning on giving them, that's going to be very individual. But in terms of the I call it the pamper session now.
And that's what people need.
Yeah, it really is.
I don't need to solve anything for them. I don't need to, you know, spend nights researching, and that's what I did. And I think that that's what you do. This is like a rite of passage as a practitioner.
You stay up late, you research the heck out of every single thing that your clients are inquiring about what they're going through, what their dog is going through.
Like, all of everything. And you do that because it's interesting. Like, you and I were both very like, okay, give me something to think about. And that's what's fun. And you've got that database, and now I'm at that time where it's been 13 years, and I've done a lot of research, and I'm now very comfortable in just treating. And it's nice that I get to just kind of go into my flow as a practitioner, as opposed to like, oh, what am I going to do for this client? Oh, what points am I going to do? Do I need to Google these points?
Do I need to look up these points?
Do I need to look up a technique? Where is that point? I now know most of that right. Just being in practice. And so as opposed to my brain taking over. You see this in the students, and it's great because they're still learning.
Yeah. Like when you're doing the student clinic yeah. It's an interesting experience as a seasoned practitioner to be exposed to these people who are still in school. It's like, was I like that?
Of course we were. Of course we were. And then you were worried about that client afterwards. Like, are they okay? Did I leave a needle in them? Did I, you know, all the things that as a student or as a new practitioner, you worry about, or the energy sucks that you feel like you're getting, or did I say the right thing? Did I do the right diagnosis, the questioning? And I think that as you're starting out, sure, of course. But I feel like and that's not to say that I know everything. Of course not. But I'm a lot more comfortable with where I am because of one that I teach. And so I have to be they will call you out.
Oh, and so uncomfortable when they do.
I love it. I'm like, I actually don't know.
Yeah, when I first started teaching, it was kind of like this string of like stuttering and stammering. But then you get to the point.
Where you're like, I don't even understand your question. That's how little I know about I actually have no idea. But you know what? Let's go home and let's do some research on that and let's talk about this next week. Because I don't like not having an answer for you. I don't have one for you, and I don't want to screw you up because that was my least favorite thing as a student, was asking a question and then having some bullshit answer thrown back at you, and then it would mess you up the rest of the time.
And then you'd always like, I thought yin and yang were actually reversed. Right?
I went an entire year thinking that yin was young. How did you pass anything? I did just fine because we hit it by the second year. But I thought they were different anyways. So there's all these learning curves and all these things, and you see the students and they don't trust themselves. And that's what I'm seeing in clinic is I'm like, what happens when you drop into out of this? And this is important, but what happens when you drop into here and you practice from here, right?
Yeah, totally. Different experience. Yeah, I completely agree. And that's a conversation I have with a lot of students and practitioners. It's like, how do you like, you want to level up, you want to be a better practitioner, spend a lot of time up here, study, research, learn it all. But then as soon as possible get out of there, just drop down into the heart. For me. It's a lot of gut stuff too, right? Like, when I'm either doing some hands on stuff or I'm needling it's, two things happen when I know I've got it is I get this little itty bitty, almost imperceptible stir. So if I'm not ultra in tune with my own experience, I miss it because it's so subtle. But another thing that happens is I get this little clench in my jaw just when I'm on the spot. So it's not here anymore. After they've told me their story, I'm just like, lie down. I have no idea what points I'm going to use. No idea. I'm just like it's almost like a compass, right? Like, well, witching, you're just kind of walking along, moving along with the noodle. You're like, yeah, that's the smile. I'm going to do that one. What point? I remember teaching and students were like, hey, what's the point? Location of dotted dot DA. And I'm like it's on the arm.
I'm still going back. I'm like, no, no, you guys know your points better than I do.
Because you're right. I think that's kind of like, what it means maybe to be a practitioner, to practice something means to consistently over a long period of time, dedicate significant time, energy and effort to it. And I think it's cool because as a practitioner, there is no end to it. Right.
I'll tell you my tell.
I have no I feel it in my heart. It's funny. I learned how to back in the day in Czech Republic. My uncle, he had a book on Reiki. Of course I read it, and I was practicing Reiki in Czech Republic, and whenever I kind of, like, would start to kind of feel the energy field, you'd hear the creaking in my it creaks.
My heart creaks. Yeah. So it's interesting how everybody has their own, and I tell this to the student. I'm like, you'll probably have some kind of tell when you can feel, like when something is there. So you've got a gut and you've got a jaw.
Gut and jaw.
Yeah. And then you've also got just like you're already in. Yeah.
An embodied thing.
Embodied thing, yeah. For me, it's the heart. It'll creak. Yeah, that's really funny, actually. I know I'm in when the heart I'm like I don't have to get my heart checked out or anything. I don't think there's anything physically wrong with my heart. Okay, go back to that question. Sorry.
Right. I want to keep going on this because I got one more thing to say, but when I was first practicing, particularly the hands on part, what a huge experience for me, going from acupuncture to massage, because most people do it the other way around. And as an acupuncturist, I'm like, no, I don't massage.
I use needles. Not to my head. Right. But once I actually had to through Job and everything, like, wow, what an experience to drop into that sense of touch. And when I was massaging people, it's almost like the mirror neurons in my brain were operating on hyperdrive because I've massaged somebody's back, and I'm like, I feel that I know I'm in this spot because I'm like, oh, that's it. That's the spot.
I have the exact same thing.
There's a deep sense of interrelated experience, this feeling felt and all of that. That's super cool. I think that's also part of a flow state, right? Like, when you're in it, as we know, with flow state default, no network offline, and you're one with the experience, surfing, climbing, treating a patient. Right. It's like there's no separation, and it sounds a little weird until you experience it. And then you're like, yeah, that's it.
And that's where it's very important to it's very intimate. It's very intimate. And so it's going to be really important in that field to make sure that I've been very lucky again, that it's ever gone into going past that field. And I've never felt that from a client or for myself. But it's a very intimate experience when you are sharing a lot of information with one another and that can come just into going into the pulse. So, again, back to being tactile, right? Acupuncturist yes. I cannot imagine my practice without massaging or touching my clients. That's where I gather the information. I know where the energy is blocked. I can sense it. I can feel it. Like you said, I'm like, Is there something wrong with your left hip? Yeah, that's where I usually feel my pain, and I feel it in my own body at a lesser but there's a little twinge wherever my clients are feeling, they're like, how do you know where my pain is? My husband's always like, oh, well, you just know that because you've been doing it for so long. He's very easy to just kind of like, oh, well, no, you've been doing it for so long, so obviously it's not magic.
Andrea I mean, that's partly true.
Of course it's true.
But in that experience of doing it for a long time, I think there comes a sense of what's actually happening. The longer you are a painting, the better you get at differentiating colors. And yes, you become a better artist, but part of that artistry is because you can fine tune your color choices and you understand perspective. So that time is important, but I think it's like, what's happening in that time beyond learning a new skill? What's all of the little stuff that adds up in your implicit memory and your internal experience that you can't explain that's just not like riding a bike, right? You can't explain how to ride a bike. And in fact, I think that's one of the best ways of explaining the experience of getting into the practitioner state is it is intuitive and not necessarily the woo woo intuitive, which can be sure, no problem with that. Sure. But I think it is that, so carry on and sorry to interrupt. No, I love that time is an.
Important part of it and that you are the artist.
Yeah, I would 100% agree with that. Creativity comes out in the treatment room a lot.
Yeah. My mom asks me, what are you doing for creativity these days? Because it's a huge thing in our family to be creative. Right. I don't know. I saw like six patients this week, like six to 7 hours of creativity. I thought that was pretty.
It's true. I never thought of it that way, actually, because it is a canvas and then they're interacting their colors with your colors, and we're interacting our vibrations with one another as well, if we're going to go a little woo woo. And that's what I tell a lot of my clients, a lot of my clients are coming in, and regardless of what their complaints are, there's always going to be not always. There's often going to be like a musculoskeletal component. Right, okay. Yeah, that's easy. I don't even think about that. I'm like, oh, yeah, that's easy. Whatever we'll do that with the cups, whatever, throw a needle in or whatever it may be. I don't tend to like to throw the needles in for MSK, though. I tend to like to do them more of an energetic. So for me, it's kind of like, well, I'm going to open up a couple of extraordinary meridians. That's kind of my game, right? So open up a couple of those so that I get the energetics of it. And then I like to kind of go into the musculoskeletal stuff more with the massage, more with the cups, that kind of thing, because I don't want to mess around with the brain too much. Deactivating activating different things processes with that. And so back to what a typical treatment is. They fill out that lengthy form, they come in, they love my house. That's nice, too. Just the energy of the space. So that's important.
Oh, it's huge. As a homebase practitioner, my space matters.
This is my first time here. And so just coming up and seeing the beautiful wood and the pine cones on the deck and the little bit of decoration, it's like, this feels really nice, right? So creating that space, that welcoming space, it's funny. Friends of mine, they had been to my house once before, and then they were looking for it again and they're like, they went to the wrong address and they're like, this isn't Andy's house. There's no magic here. That's awesome, right? Oh, what a compliment. They're like, Where are the birds? Where's the magic? And it's true. So that's part of the thing, too, is like, you know, I you know, it's clean. The the front porch is a reflection of me and my mother because, you know, she's there for half the year, which is beautiful because we're so beautifully intertwined in terms of our energies, but it's a very welcoming space. People come in and oftentimes the first thing is they're like, wow, what a beautiful home, or I love your and back in the day used to be with my dog, right? My dog would come and greet them, and I kid you not, that was the reason why people felt better was like, the dog leashka would come and like, hi, and they would pat Lishka, and I'm like, oh, that's the end of the treatment. Like, you really don't need anymore. You're good. You can go now.
I think Brandon and I were actually just talking about this yesterday on a chat we were having, and she's doing this really cool experiment right now, right, where she's trying to figure out how much she charge, right? And based on that, she's going to a whole bunch of different therapists and how much do they charge and what do I actually get for that? And very quickly, what? She determined, and you basically just said the same story, but it's like she gets back from a massage, and I'm like, how was it? And she lists five or six, seven things, and then she's like, all right, the treatment the treatment was good too, right? Interesting. So it's like, what actually happens on the table as far as, like, I had this type of therapy or these points were done, it matters. But the whole experience, I think, makes such a profound difference on the overall treatment. Everything from how they book, like, how does somebody book with you if they're coming to see you, to what's it like coming into your home, or if you're working in a clinic, how does reception, all of these things add up to this overall healing effect? Huge. Yeah.
If you're like, having a trouble booking in with somebody. And that's something as well.
So I tried to reply, and I do this with my students too. I said 12 hours minimum. I tried to get back to you within that same day, within a few hours. But when you're back to back with well, I'm never back to back with clients. Right. I have half an hour between each client. So that's something as well, like the spacing between clients. Does it feel like your practitioner is being rushed? Right?
Yeah. Not a good feeling.
Not a good feeling. And so that's something that I do in my practice as well, is like, I have half an hour between each client because some are running late, some are running early, some like to chitchat, and I like to chitchat too. Hey, let's sit down and talk. And that's something that I do. At the end of the treatment, what came up for you? Did anything come up for you with that treatment? Do you have any questions for me? Sit down and have some tea. So it's not like they're out of the room right away.
And that matters, particularly if you're working on a lot of the either psychoemotional stuff or digestive stuff, even when you are working on musculoskeletal, because quite frankly, it's the same. It's all the same. But you finish a session, you're like, okay, time's up. Flip the table, off you go. Right? I think what you do with your home practice and how you've explained this entire experience, I think that adds to the overall efficacy of the treatments. Of course it does.
Yeah, it's all part of it. So the whole experience up to booking, so being accessible right. Getting that person to come to, making sure that I know it's Calgary, and I know we've got crappy roads, but there was especially a bad time this month or last month, and I'm like, hey, I know it's Calgary, but it's going to be really slippy in my clothes. Just be really careful of that. So giving them the heads up on that, they're there. Where should they park? Like, a lot of people don't know where they should be parking, right. So that makes them nervous, too. It makes people nervous if they're going to be late. Right. And I'm like it's. Okay. You've got plenty of time. It's okay. Come on in. So that's what happens, is they come in, we have tea. So I give my client tea. I usually will, whatever I happen to feel like they should be drinking, I'll make them tea. And so they come in, and they come into the treatment space. Lishka will still love them from afar in her realm, in her rainbow world, and they come into the treatment space, which is right on the main floor. So and they come, and, you know, the music is playing. The room is ready. It's perfect. You know, it's the right temperature. So I've got the ambiance happening, and they are greeted with a cup of steaming tea, which I do 15 minutes before they come so that it's not too hot. It's all down to a science.
And what I'll do is they've got the forms filled out, and I don't even look at them before they come. I don't want to know anything before they come in. I want to be blank slate, meet them. And so I ask them to hi, welcome. Have a seat. How are you? Good. Okay. How are you? Right. You have to do the second how are you?
Because we just I get you.
Yeah. How are you? And then we go into, please have some tea and tell me why you're here. What can I do for you? Why are you here? And so they'll go into their story or whatever that they want to do to share. And I don't look at their paperwork. I am just there, present. Yeah, right.
Totally. I remember when I stopped bringing my paper or laptop. I just walk in, we sit down, and we have a chat.
Yeah. And this is what's important. You're listening. You're not already like oh, I see. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and look at all this shit that we're going to work on, because that gets overwhelming right away, right. When you're just oh, I see that. Okay. So there was the trauma of this, but when they're relating the story to you outside of the piece of paper, they're connecting, and they're already trusting, and you're developing that rapport with them, and then you can actually listen and be present, and they tell you, don't cry. As a practitioner. Well, good luck there.
Yeah. What a strange thing, that emotional distance, the practitioner distance. It just doesn't work, in my experience. How do you build a strong relationship when somebody's sitting there crying and you're like, you got three minutes left? No, it just doesn't work.
But, I mean, the fact that you can empathize maybe as I get older, I'll be able to still be able to hold space and not cry with them.
I think that's a great way of saying it. Right? Because holding space means, in my experience, you're there with them. Right. And you're not getting drawn into their emotional experience, but you're certainly understanding it, and you're creating a space in which that's completely acceptable and being available for whatever they need emotionally to a certain extent, without any crossing boundaries or anything like that or transference.
Yeah. So, I mean, within that realm, I think that's what that holding space is. It's not like, oh, somebody's telling a story about somebody dying in their family, and you're like, me too. Yeah, totally different.
So the holding space, the ability to be able to actually be there for your client, fully aware, fully listening, and just seeing what comes up between the two of you. So I think that that's really important. And then I do go, I'm like, okay, well, let's just look through the paperwork really quickly. Right? Yeah. I think that you do this too, but you're doing Tarot and Oracle cards rarely.
It's part of every treatment.
Yeah, I used to do it a lot more, but I'll ask telling questions, like, every once in a while, ask a question that's like, a total non sequitur, way out of the blue, has nothing to do with anything, like, what's your favorite color? What's your favorite color? Okay. Or, like, what did you dream last night? Or, Tell me about your favorite snack? And I'll typically ask these questions when we're on a very clear, defined track, like, when we're moving in one direction, and the next question that come would be like, well, tell me more about that. I'll like, full stop, totally different direction, and then cycle back. And I've personally found that when I do that, these sort of, like, the answers look at me.
Just you explaining it.
Yeah. What are you talking about? Yeah, it's just like this total stop in the story and then go to something else. And the questions, they're non sequiturs, but they're symbolic in nature. So I will ask a question that requires them to kind of dip into some sort of, like, symbolic inner experience. Color is incredibly important. Dreams are massively important. Your favorite food also important. Right. So while I don't use Tarot cards, I think there's something similar as far as I rely heavily on symbolism that comes up in the session.
Interesting, right? Yeah. And I'm using the Tarot Oracle card as kind of finding what that symbolism is. I like using them because I'm like, okay, well, let's see what universe has to say. And it's kind of like, that's the next segue. So they've told me the story. They're comfortable. I tell them actually, before that, I tell them what I do. So I go through the all like, this is what you can expect from a session, right. And I tell them I'm not like a typical acupuncturist. There's many things that I do and I love doing them all. And so I do my little spiel of what I do and what to expect if it's acupuncture for their first time. What I'll let them know is that before I put a needle in that I will just gently hold on to the spot that I'm about to put the needle in. And I doubted that with all of my clients, even the ones that are used to getting acupuncture, is I will gently go in and just touch the spot briefly. And with that, I can kind of see what's going on in the point.
It's that tactile stuff again, right?
I'm never giving energy or taking it. I'm just very neutral in that. But I'm always like, I guess, kind of going in with the spidey sense and just kind of feeling around it, just sense it.
Right? It's like, what direction is the wind blowing? Lick your fingers, stick it up in the wind. It's like you're not trying to change the direction of the wind, you're just sensing its direction, getting a feel for it. Right?
So one thing I wanted to hear from you is I mentioned a little bit about my definition of it, but I'm very curious. What do you think it means to be a practitioner? What's involved? Because what a weird thing, right, to say, I practice medicine or I'm a practitioner, combined with the fact that practice has a very clear meaning and definition. So for you, what does it actually mean to be a practitioner? What does that mean?
That's a good question. Well, like you said, practice.
And what does that look like for you? How do you practice your medicine? Not with your clients, because that's clear. But like, for yourself, how do you practice?
Well, of course I'm working on myself and how do I do that?
That's what you want to know? What am I doing? It's funny, I really love being regimented, but I also love to have a lot of flow and play yin and yang. Yeah. And I've realized that my ideal world is waking up at six, getting in the sauna, doing my meditation, going for exercise, maybe working on some spiritual stuff, maybe writing down my dreams, doing a lot of that dream interpretation. This is ideal. And then I don't do breakfast. Right? I skip breakfast. It's cool. Now I intermittent fast, and it took me a long time to get to that point. Right. So for everybody, it's different. But I don't tend to have hunger until I'm two. So I have a coffee, I usually do the brain octane and a bunch of mushrooms and whatever I feel I need for that day, taking the supplements of whatever I feel that day. But again, I'm like I'm kind of going off course here that I'm talking about ideal. Day. And that doesn't happen.
Yeah. And I actually love that that doesn't happen because I am going to do whatever feels right for me for that day. And yes. Do I have a regiment? Yeah. I mean, I'm pretty good. I'm pretty consistent. I know what I'm going to do for that day. Do I need to write it down? It helps. The things that I want to make sure that I do, like, if I'm going to pay for my credit card, is it written in my calendar and when I'm supposed to pay for it? Absolutely. But in terms of what do I do for myself so that I can practice? Yeah, because I feel like a lot of people are like I always feel like, especially with the students, I'm finding that they're like, I feel really drained. Is that normal? And I'm like, no, it's not normal. And you should be able to give and give and give and give and give without ever feeling drained. I feel that I do. I don't feel like I have a finite amount of energy that I can give. And it's not a matter of me giving. Right. It's a matter of me being right.
I think that's an important distinction.
It is. Yeah. And I feel like a lot of students going in is like, I'm giving, I'm giving, I'm giving, I'm giving. Or maybe I've heard this before from other practitioners. It's like, well, if you feel really energized afterwards, then that means you're being a vampire, an energy vampire from the others. And I'm like, that's bullshit. I find that any of that, when anybody says, well, this is that and that is that, I call bullshit on that right away. I don't like that. And so for me, it's cultivating who I need to be, what fulfills me, what makes me happy. And that's the ultimate goal. Right. What fills up my cup so that I can give to others. And I feel like when I'm in a treatment space, I'm a conduit. Right. The energy flows through me. I'm not giving nor receiving. Right. Necessarily. I'm just a conduit of it. And I have access to as much as I possibly could ever need. Right. So I'm never working at a deficit. And the reason why I'm never working at a deficit is because I sleep. I take care of myself. Right. You might have an off night where you didn't sleep well for whatever reason, but I love those opportunities of when I can't sleep to wake up and do my meditation practice or I take a bath. So if I can't sleep, then I am doing something that honors myself. Right. Or that's usually when I want to nerd out anyway. So then I end up creating some master chart that took me 56 hours to do. And I love that. So taking an opportunity for all those times where I feel like maybe I'm not in flow, maybe taking the opportunity to acknowledge that, hey, you're waking up at 03:00 a.m. In the morning and you can't fall back asleep. Well, take that as an opportunity to go into your space and meditate or give yourself a treatment or whatever it is that's coming through at that time. To me, that means, like, my body is asking for something else or my spiritual side. So I feel like I cultivate all three of those. And I do this with my clients, right. The physical exercise, the things that I love to do, I realize in meditation. And when I was at the ashram, I was at the ashram for a week in the summer. And thing that really came up for me was, I need to be in nature every day. Right?
Yes, I hear you. That's element five in my element.
I haven't looked at your element thing yet. I can't wait. But that, to me, was kind of like it's almost a non negotiable. And when I had the dog easy, I was outside for ten walks every single day, and two of those were in Fish Creek. Right. And for me to just go for a walk in the neighborhood, it's okay. But for me, I need to be in the woods. And I realize that that's not accessible to everybody, right? But for me, it's five minutes away from my home. I get to be in the woods. And that's something that was incredibly important for me. And whether that's even just 20 minutes or that hour or whatever that I can get in. So exercise that movement, like you were saying, this is number one on yours, is sleep and movement.
Sleep is one movements, too. So with those things, we're dancing into the realm of optimal. And that's such an important question, because having done this for so long and having gone as deep and nerd it out as much as you have, I mean, I know you know the Optimals, right? It's like you should be moving your body for a minimum of 60 minutes per day, and it should be X amount of anaerobic cardiovascular, x amount of aerobic. Right? Like, there's these huge lists of this is ideal, this is optimal, that's movement. We could do the same thing for food. We could do the same thing for meditation. Right? So I know you know all of these Optimals and shoulds, but I'm curious, what does it actually look like? What do you do to actually do these things in your real life, knowing full well I should be lifting some heavy weight every single day. How do you balance the shoulds and the really knowing the shoulds with the dos in the reality?
This goes back to being in eight week programs all the time, where the shoulds become less and the dues become more. If I don't do them, I don't feel as good.
And so there's repercussions when I don't do my due. And I notice that. Right? So that's where there is always a time and place where, hey, you're on vacation and I don't go to the gym for two weeks. Do I sweat it? I don't. There's always going to be and I guess that may be that frame of mind for me, is like, for most of the time, I'm doing the things because they're part of me now, though, right. They're not.
It took a long time.
It's like cultivating anything, relationships. Right. You don't just jump into them. You jump into them, but then you need to cultivate them and you figure out what works for you. Like I hate running. Hate it. Tried I've tried doing the jogging thing. It's not going to happen for me. Right. So what's the thing that I love to do? And I think that that's really important. So do the movement that you love to do.
First and foremost.
Yeah, I see this all the time. A lot of people equate jogging with exercise. There's just so many different things that you can do. For me, it's swimming.
I swim, and sometimes I'll just go into the pool. And it's funny. This was my yoga teacher back in the day, a long time ago, and I was younger then. And I find that this has been really interesting, too, as getting older is the things that came easier for me are a little harder as I've gotten older and I'm more aware of them. And what's interesting about that is that I would go to yoga class and my yoga instructor would be like, okay, the hardest part is done. You're here, you made it. And I'm like, yeah, I'm here. The hard part is about to happen now, right. Like, we're going to do yoga now. And it's like, we're doing Ashtanga yoga now. And now I realize I'm like, oh, shoot. It is. It's actually difficult for me to get out of my comfort zone. Right. And that's part of the psyche. So I've noticed as I've gotten older that I have more anxiety, which I'm hoping to nip with having no vices. It's been helpful. Tremendously. So that component of anxiety is very well taken care of. I'm aware that there is anxiety, that I am more comfortable just being at home, not going places. But now that I've kind of focused on that anxiety and realized, like, no, I used to love doing these things, and it wouldn't be difficult for me to go to these things because I would want to do them. And it wasn't about showing up. And now as I've gotten older, because you have your routines, you're a little.
Bit more like the home is so nice.
So nice. So good.
I think it might be the same for you. But you work at the college, right? So you get to leave the house. But everything I do works from home. My studio is from the home. My office is in the home. I treat patients from the home. So it's like I am so comfortable in my home. That getting that motivation in the morning to leave particularly when it's -30 and go to breaking out of that comfort. And it's not that metaphorical comfort zone about do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. It's like, literally, I feel comfortable right now.
So you don't have your at home gym yet, then?
Oh, yes, you do. That's for the days where it's like, I actually don't have the time or I really just don't want to go to the gym. I'm still going to move my body. I'm still going to go downstairs into the home gym. I'm going to do a quick yoga session. I'm going to lift some weight. Yeah. So it's there. But I personally find the gym. It's the environment, right? Just like us talking right now. It's Like You set up the environment for The Intentional activity you're about to do. And if you have an environment that suits the activity, you're so much more inclined to do it.
So with part of that is I do a restorative practice. Yoga. Right. So Sundays I'm going there is no way that I'm going to be in Tree Pose for 20 minutes on my own in my own house. It's not going to happen. No, it's not going to happen. So Knowing that I Am better served if I actually go to this yoga class because I Already know it's not going to happen in my House, I'm Not going To Have be Able To live because It's The Environment, right? So I'm in this beautiful warm there's candles everywhere. I'm led. The music is there. It's the perfect environment. And so I can go and hang out in tree pose for 20 minutes and am I going to realign my spine? Yeah. Am I going to do that at home? No. So finding that right. Environment, right? So the first thing we're talking about exercise and sleep, right? So those are your two pillars. And so again, what is it that's going to motivate you to do it? Well, I feel freaking amazing every time I do something right. Every time I do go my weights. It's just something that's almost non negotiable. And at the gym it's 4% of your day. And I love when they do that. They're like it's. 4% I'm like, oh, yeah, it's only 4%. And I realize that time can be an issue for somebody. For sure. For a lot of people, time is but like you said, no matter what, you can go. Still do some movement in your home, right? I mean, I've got the fitbit, App. I mean, I don't take this thing off of me, right? This thing has not come off of me for, like, I don't know, however long fitbit has been made. And I like It because It Is A Great source of What's Going On in my body and might not be exactly accurate, but I know if I've had a glass of wine and it's 08:00 and I'm going to bed at ten, is that going to affect my sleep hundred percent?
I've actually hacked it that I know it's only two and a half hours that I can have my last glass of wine, but I'm using the technology to be able to figure out what I can get away with.
That's so important.
Because you're going to do it. That's the thing. I'm so curious and I want to talk with as many people who have this persona of healthy, fit and vital as I do. Right. Like my public persona is that of being healthy and fit, but oh man, I am far from it. And I do a lot of cheats. Right. But like you, it's like, what can I get away with without actually reversing my health? And that is very different for everybody. And I think the quantified self right. Like being able to track it, that's so helpful. And the fact that you do know you can have your last glass of wine an hour and a half before bed, that doesn't mean that you can't have wine. No, because, you know, for your body, this is for somebody else's body. Like for mine, I have a glass of wine at 02:00 in the afternoon. I'm a furnace all night. It's just not happening for me. So I think that's another super important thing to know about performing these health practices. It's like, it's so different for every individual person and it takes a lot of time and a lot of commitment to figure it out.
So then it comes back to awareness.
And so trying to get your clients to take time to figure out what are the things that are impacting their health totally. And this is one thing that I usually will, and a lot of people don't like this, but I feel like a lot of people also know why they're coming to see me for something that they're coming to see me for when they actually sit down and think about it. And there are some people, like, I have no idea why I now have IBS. Right, okay, fair enough. Fair enough. But I'm like, okay.
But I don't know if they've ever been asked that question too. It's like, why don't you spend some time with it and figure out why?
Yeah. And it's such an interesting question, isn't it? What can I help you with? Why are you here? I'm here for IBS. Well, what brings it on? What makes it worse? And they get the sheepish look half the time it's like it's when I do this. So you know exactly what's causing or not causing, but certainly contributing to it. It's an interesting thing, isn't it?
Yeah. Well, I know that we've had this discussion before back to nutrition, where we don't even go there with our clients, and we're always stymied. All you have to do is give up cheese. That's all you have to do. And you're not willing to do that for your health. And that was I think, part of being a practitioner is when you know what might help. And for me, for the longest time, I would get upset, what's the point of me knowing everything about nutrition? What's the point? What's the point? It's exacerbating. And I becoming credulous about it because what's the point of me researching every single day, getting all these pings in my inbox about the newest things in nutrition when no one's going to listen?
100% agree. It's exhausting, but I do it. For me, that's it. And I think that goes back into you being a practitioner, right. Like a lot of what you were describing as far as you being a practitioner, it's like you being in the best possible state you can be to offer the client the care that they need. And I'm careful with that word, like the care that they need, not the care that you want to give them. Because they usually don't want what you know to be best. Right. Or at least think to be best.
What do they need? Yeah, maybe it would be best if they completely overhaul their diet and actually move their body once in a while, sleep appropriately, get us a blah blah, blah, blah. But the fact is, what they really need in this moment is they need somebody to put a hand on their back and be like, I'm here for you. Let's just take a few minutes and rest. It's okay to do that.
I love that you said that, because this is where I feel like we can shift them. Not we. You know what I mean?
Facilitate a shift.
Yes, facilitate the I say I'm the cheerleader in the background. Right. I don't do anything. It's them that they do the work.
And if they don't do the work, it's not going to happen. Right. So I'm the one that's there to hold space to witness the shift, maybe plant the seed. The way that we interact with our clients also being a beacon of light and energy.
And an example.
An example is huge. I do I practice what I preach, right. For the most part. And I'm very true about where my deficiencies are. I'm like, yeah, I do enjoy having a cigarette every now and again. I love having a glass of wine. Right. And sometimes I know this is the nights that I do this, and this is when I do that so that they know that you're human as well.
Right. Whatever it is. These are little things that I still allow to have, in my experience, because there's something about those experiences for me that matter.
Yeah. I think the unhealthy activities, which are unhealthy. Unquestionably.
But in certain cases, they can have an additive effect to life. They can improve the experience of being human.
Is it something you want to do every day? No, but vice is not necessarily a bad thing. If it's within moderation, that's totally fine, I believe. Right. So this idea of perfect wellness routine, perfect plant, perfect nutrition, I think it's nonsense and it's harmful.
It's funny because I was thinking about you, and I'm like, what's Jess doing? We don't want to know what his what are you know, he's probably waking up at six and, you know, doing his right. Well, whatever it is, you know, and doing his cold shower and is, you know, doing this sauna and doing all these things and and I know I I know you. I know you're regimented. And that's something that I've always been trying to work on, is like, okay, who are my role models? What are they doing? I love what Gynes Paltrow is doing. Right. I think that she's a great role model. She has a cigarette once a week. It's tangible, and I don't get upset with myself when that doesn't happen. And that's okay. Like this morning, I'm like, I was just going to hang out in bed a little bit longer and have coffee in bed, and that's totally great, too. Whatever comes up for me in that moment. So I was talking about being regimented. Yeah. That's something that I would like to do. But as you also know me, that's going to be a little bit difficult for me. Yes, I have a lot of metal in me as well, but I also have a lot of fire, and so I'm able to have that playfulness with it when that doesn't happen. Right. So making space for that, that room for playfulness and not being because what's all play yeah.
Makes Johnny a doll boy. I mean, I certainly take it to the opposite end and I'd say I'm back into a phase where I'm mostly metal. For a long time, there was water, but this metal mentality, it's just like hyper focus play. You're speaking a different language, and it's such an important thing to remember when you are on these my experience would be when I go on these hyper focused, I guess, plans that I'm working on, like, I'm really focused on this aspect of my health and wellness or this project. Not leaving room for that play and not leaving room for that vice or leaving room for doing the bad thing in air quotes that's worse for your health than I'm not sure how to articulate this, but if you're like moving forward 100 steps in your health. Sometimes those things you are doing by being too focused and not having play take you back 101 steps. So it's always been okay with the unexpected and saving time for play.
Yeah. It's like you almost lose focus because you're just too driven. It's too one pointed right and you need to make sure that there's everything around you there to support you in that no balance. Exactly.
And as we're talking about this, I feel like perhaps you and I are taking for granted exactly what we know, right? Because we have been in this for so long, it's like, yeah, I can relax and take a load off and not have to think about it. But I see some patients and I'm like, so what? Tell me, tell me. Let's go back to food just because it's low hanging fruit, easy to talk about, like, tell me about your breakfast. And they're like, I have, like, corn based was that cornflakes?
Or something like that?
It's like end. And they're like, what? And then I have a sandwich. You have a sandwich. What I mean to say is, in this little bubble of wellness that I certainly exist in, I take for granted the fact that everybody knows these things aren't healthy for you. Everybody knows you should do this. But no, not everybody knows that. And I think a lot of my patients and I'm sure a lot of people who are listening would struggle with that, is knowing, like, okay, but how do I know what vice is okay and how much is okay?
How do you navigate that?
Navigate it? And I think it's unfortunate because so much of this information is behind this wall of perfection that when people approach nutrition, it's like, well, shit, if I'm not doing it perfect. If I don't have 100% gluten free, sugar free, everything free diet, I'm failing. Why am I even going to bother, right, if I'm not doing this for exercise? And that's something that frustrates me a lot about our industry, is how when an outsider tries to get in, it's like, let's just put on a little, like, get a grocery bag and climb Mount Everest. It's what a daunting feeling.
I think it's super important to bring the reality back or bring it back down to Earth. It's like, yes, there's a lot to it, and it does take time, but it doesn't have to be this huge undertaking. It should be just like one simple thing that you can do today.
Baby steps. Yeah.
And knowing that everything's fluid, that things are changing all the time, and we get new information all the time, especially in nutrition, right? That's part of it, too, is being flexible, right? Having that flexibility to be like, okay, having a certain kind of protocol for eating, or you are going to become a vegetarian or a vegan or something like that. And if you're not feeling well on that, then maybe you should look into that and not holding on to it because it's now become part of your identity. And you see that a lot on social media, and you see this in a lot of people who've published books and are figures for maybe the raw movement or a certain kind of lifestyle, and when they don't feel well and they continue to do that, that becomes a problem. And so knowing that, hey, there's going to be different bloatblocks and there's going to be different things and different ways to experiment with your health and wellness. And so I think that you always have to be open minded, and this is where it comes into polarities. And obviously that showed up a lot with our recent pandemic, right, how polarized things could be. And it was incredibly unhealthy. And what I noticed the most was the people that were able to thrive the best were the ones that were able to go with the flow and to not be polarized.
It makes me think of Taiji. Like yinyang. The medicine we practice is we say there's this balance, right, and great. But for myself, when I get this image of balance in my head, it's like static, right? It's just like someone on either end of the seesaw, and it's like this precarious can't shift too much weight this way or that way. I don't like the word balance because it's not fluid, it's not changing, right? And as we know, within within the Tai G symbol is it's supposed to be constantly moving and shifting and Yin turning into yang, yang turning into yin, right? And I think that's an important part of it is going with the flow. It's like, you can be in this camp, you can have this idea. Like, I so strongly believe that probiotics were the answer.
Oh, gosh, yeah.
Well, they weren't, right? No, because the evidence at the time was saying, yeah, they're really good, but then they're not anymore. And then it goes with all sorts of things. It's just like that's some of the best advice I could say to anybody interested in improving their wellness. It's like, do not get attached to anything I heard before. Is strong beliefs loosely held.
Yeah, peter Adio, that came up for me quite a bit, actually thinking about this is like, we can get so righteous in what we think is right. And I feel like it must be, I don't know, maybe the younger ones. It's easier for them because they're used to discerning information and their bullshit meters are really high.
That's the thing.
It is. I'm a decade older than you, and this was still very new, this medicine, right? Like, it was very fringe. And now acupuncture. Everybody's had acupuncture at this point. It's not scary anymore. I don't even have to baby my clients anymore when they're coming in for acupuncture, if it's their first time. I'm like, okay, I'll let you know when angel is about to come in. I don't baby them. Whereas before I had to be very cautious, and it's all very new. I feel like with nutrition and with maybe acupuncture and with everything that we were learning in the health field, everything was kind of like, well, it's this. Right? And then if you don't do that, then you're not going to find perfect health. And so you need to do these things. And part of those components from TCM is acupuncture and Twina and guaca and cupping and herbology and dietary therapy and regulating your emotions and not having too much sex or whatever that means, making sure as a woman that your periods are regular. And all of these it's kind of overwhelming at first. It's a mountain of shoulds.
So where do you begin?
I think, well, it's case by case. What is a person going to do? And that's part of what this idea behind this new program I'm coming up with. It's like, here's the things we can do. Let's talk about you now. Which one of these things do you have an issue with? When I say how's your sleep? When I say how's your movement? Like, all of these basic seven things, which one of them in an individual is like, yeah, let's talk about that one. Like, go with that inclination and begin there. Maybe you start with just spending five minutes a day outside because nature is the thing that's most important. I don't think there is a this is the starting point.
I think, like we've talked about many times, it's it's so case by case.
Yeah. It's like you've got this big round circle and there's all these little things within it and outside of it and depends on where you want to begin. And it doesn't matter where you begin, it's just so that you begin.
Yeah. I used to call them entry points into the woo woo. And this largely came up with yoga. Like, when I was teaching yoga teachers, I was saying, lots of people go to yoga and they're not there for anything other than the physical practice. Right. So what I say is, like, there's these entry points. People can get into this world of wellness and it's which one works best.
For some people, it is yoga.
For other, that's a form of movement. For other people, it's meditation. And I think there's a lot of entry points that people are unaware of. It's like you can enter into this point by having a great conversation, just relating with somebody relationship. It's an entry point into the world of wellness. So, again, that's a long answer.
Just find this area that speaks to you, that gives you that good warm feeling, and then pursue that until more doors open.
Yeah. And you are right. We maybe do take things for granted. And maybe we are. And I try not to make assumptions because it's one of the four laws. Right. But try not to make assumptions and realizing that maybe some people just don't know where that starting point is. And maybe they didn't know that gluten might be a problem or things that we do take for granted. And so kind of figuring out. Where someone can take their health next, or you have the people that have tried everything, and that's sometimes daunting, too. How do you help the person that has tried everything, and then you're like, well, have you done the well, okay, but have you done the elimination diet? I did it. Did you do this? Did you do that? And then you're, like, kind of left stumped boy. Yeah. And it happens a fair amount because I feel like a lot of people that I'm attracting into my practice have done a lot of work on themselves, right. They're quite aware, and there's a few more hurdles that they have, and no matter what they've tried, it's just not working. What do you do there?
Wow. I've got a lot of those as well. That's largely what I'm focusing my practice on, is people who are going from I'm good to I want to be optimal. I realized long ago I don't want to work with sick people anymore. And it sounds bad, but it's the truth. And I spent so much of my career working with really sick people. Highly informative, very grateful for the experience. Anyways, to answer your question, usually I'm pretty hard with those people, and it's like accountability. Yeah, accountability. It's like, okay, you've done the elimination diet. I'm calling bullshit. Tell me about every single step you did in that. And part of what actually got me into this is, like, when I was healing from my ankle injury, I'm like, I've tried everything. What have you tried? I tried acupuncture, blank, blank. So it's like when somebody says, I've tried everything, usually I've tried something really hard, but I haven't tried everything. So when I get these people who are like, I've done it all, I'm like, you haven't. You haven't done it all. I can say I know a lot about this wellness world, and I still only know a fraction of this wellness world. You haven't tried it all. So there's a lot of challenge there. It's like, you haven't. So first off, let's take off that mentality of you've tried it all and you're defeated it's. Like, no, there's still a lot to try, so let's try something next. Let's try it hard. Like, let's make this your life. And I've pushed away a lot of clients by having this conversation, because by the time they come to me and I used to say, I'll have a plaque over my door that says, you're my last hope, because I've had so many people come to me being like, I've tried everything. Well, it's like, okay, well, if we're going to work together, listen, we're doing it. I need a commitment from you that this is going to be everything. Because if you really want to get well, I'm telling you, if you're sick, you really want to get well, it has to be your life next level. If you're doing okay and you want to hit optimal, look at the optimal people out there. It's their life. It's all they do. So it's some pretty hard conversations when people who have tried everything want to get better. Right now, on the other hand, you get somebody who has that chronic IBS or like an actual legitimate illness. I've got one client who was just devastatingly ill and there was no diagnosis. It wasn't even like, you've got chronic fatigue. It's like we got no idea. And together we tried everything I could think of and then referred him out. And then like, this series of trying everything and still sick until one day he moved. That was it, he just moved.
He didn't need to be in a different place.
Being a different place yeah. Felt phenomenal afterwards. Right. So it's like sometimes as a practitioner, you just have no idea what you need to do. You try everything, they try everything. But the important thing from that story is there's a solution. I have yet to come across a case in my practice or in the research I've done, with the exception of terminal illness, of course. But there are solutions out there and then I know I'm a bit rambling here, but the last point is going into something that's so important in our medicine, which is the difference between restorative medicine and transformative medicine. So many people come in and they're like, I want to feel like I did two years ago. Like, I want to turn back the clock. I want to restore myself to this former state of health. That's another hard conversation. It's like, listen, there's no going back. We need to transform. We need to move into what's next. And for some people, what's next is the Phoenix. Right? Like, it's a better version of them, but for some people, it's just a different version. I'm never going to run a marathon again. Well, I shouldn't say never, but if I do, it's probably going to cause me pain prior to my ankle injury.
I could do that.
So it's like, let's have a discussion of what it looks like to be healthy now, because your digestive system is, in some cases, irreparable. Like, you've got kidney damage and we're not turning back that clock. So let's talk about this new version of you and get you to there and see what that's like. Yeah.
In the parameters that you're given, it's kind of like hypothyroid. I mean, we're seeing that a lot. And so what? The stats are one in four, and then half of those are hashimoto's hypothyroidism. And what if there is irreparable damage.
To the thyroid, which in my experience happens often.
Often. I agree. And so then we're actually dealing with irreparable damage.
No going back.
There's no going back. And so, yeah, you're right, it's that transformative, and there's something to that. You have to work in what you have been given, and if they're willing to go into that transformative phase where, okay, I'm going to let go of what I used to be because I know that that's not something that I can do anymore because there are actual limitations. And until I have like, maybe all my stem cells are completely whatever. What's interesting is I'm really interested in and excited about what's happening in the medical field now, right? There's a lot of technologies that are coming through potentially cancer treatments like that work that are not invasive, alzheimer's, dementia, all these kinds of things. And this is where I want to kind of go back into too, in terms of me as a practitioner of how I'm trying to transform myself. It's interesting since I was 40, so that was five years ago, I was telling people that I am happier and healthier than I've ever been in my entire life. And every single year that I get older, I'm saying I'm happier and healthier than I've ever been in my entire life. Yeah, I'm turning 45 this year. Well, at the end of this month. And everything that I've done, all those little things, all those little tiny transformative things that I started doing, sort of doing regularly, and having the energy to do so right, is key. So of course, what I eat, how I sleep, when I exercise, all those things are going to help me become a better version of who I am. Because I'm not planning on being in a wheelchair with dementia, I have no one to take care of me, right? And that's something also, right? Like I have no one to take care of me, nor should I ever think that anybody should take care of me, right? And so I have parents who are in their seventy s now, my husband's 60, so I'm trying to do as much as I possibly can so that they are going to have a long, beautiful life without having to be on medications. God forbid they need to be on medications, so be it. But so far the members of my family that are most immediate to me are not on medications. I wouldn't say they're the thriving, I wouldn't, but they're from a different mindset, right? And so it's very difficult to be able to shift that in them. But if I can throw some creatine into their food every day or research well know, these little few little things that I can do, but what am I going to do for myself? And so I'm not going to get dementia, not going to get Alzheimer's, I'm not going to fall off a toilet and break my hip and have surgery and die, which is what, 50%, I think, over the age of 70? I'm not going to have a uterus that falls out of me. 50% of women, right? So like the prolapse, I can't be in charge of whether I'm going to get cancer or not, or if some chronic disease or I get into a car accident or I shatter an ankle, for example. There are all these variables. But I am actively working on myself, and I have been working on myself since my 30s, since 25, on my health and wellness and knowing that everything that I do is going to have a repercussion.
It's the long game thing. It's a long game, like, incredibly long game. And I think perhaps that's an issue with our culture and society, right? It's the quick fix. Everybody's looking for it. But something that should be encouraged to anybody who's getting a wellness, it's like, this is the long game. When I talk to people recovering, even from a shoulder injury, they're like, when am I going to feel better? I'm like, two years from now. And they're like, what? My physio said I'll be back to work in six weeks. And I'm like, yeah, we'll be back to work in six weeks. But the body takes time. It's remarkably resilient. So when I really appreciate what you're saying, because it's like, if you can look, what if I have it written down, your Prt, what does he call it? He calls it back casting.
To put yourself imagine yourself as a 100 year old. What do you have to do as 100 year old to stay healthy? What does it look like as a hundred year old? And then figure out all the things you need to do today to make that a reality. But the thing I appreciate most of what you said is, and you repeated it, is it's tiny things? It's nothing big. It's tiny things over a long period of time. I mean, compound interest. Anybody who's looked into finance knows that's probably the most powerful force we have is compound interest. So it's the same thing, tiny little investments every single day. So challenging question for you. Let's say you had to give a time amount of time per day. That let's go with minimum, minimum amount of time per day. You think a person should invest in their own wellness in order to have these long term repercussions. What do you think that would take?
Yeah, I like that because I would say it's about the same five minutes.
Because all you need is that shift of five minutes of changing the way that you think and then that you have access to all that potential.
Right. I never actually thought about it that way. That's interesting, because those five minutes, unless I'm misunderstanding you, you make that mental shift in those five minutes, then you're going to do all the other healthy things throughout the day, and you're not going to think of it as a time commitment.
Wow, that's a brilliant way of thinking about it.
Well, we had a discussion on time a long time ago, and you got me to read, I don't know, a book somewhere.
Book on time, probably, as usual.
And I used to have a hard time with time, and I realized that how do I schedule all the things in that I want to do? Well, I just scheduled them in. I just made them happen. And whether that meant five minutes of my meditation as opposed to the 45 minutes or the hour that I crave or that day, it was just not going to happen. But that's part of it, too. People are so busy, and I don't feel like I'm that busy. Like, I have a lot of time to play, that matters, and to experiment. And it's a choice. Right. Where do I put my energy? I have the blessing of time. I'm my own boss, right? I have my own schedule. I work for a college that also has been like, do whatever you want. And so I have been blessed in that respect that I have a lot of time, and I do. I pamper myself a lot. And that means almost every single day I'm doing something for myself. Whether it's cooking, because I love cooking with a glass of wine or whatever it may be, but like, I'm cooking. I'm in the sauna, I'm taking a hot bath, I'm going to the pool, and even if I don't swim, I'm going to go float in that tank, and I'm just going to float because I like, floating, right. And going in that steam room, in that sauna or just getting there. So I feel like that's part of it, too, is making time for yourself. Because if you don't have time for yourself, how can you take care of anyone? It's that basic. It is, but I have a lot of time for myself, and it is. It's a blessing. It's also knowing how to use that time wisely.
Yeah, I think that's a super important part. Right. And by wisely, my first sort of mental translation for that was efficiency. But very quickly, I'm like, no, those are very different things, using time wisely versus using time efficiently. Right.
Efficiency is important.
It's important, sure.
Not when you're taking your bath.
What's the word outsize effect? Right. I listen to Huberman and what is the activities one can do that has an outsize effect? Meaning small amount of input, huge amount of output. And that's part of using it wisely. What can you do with the time that you have per day? Maybe it is five minutes. What can you do with those five minutes that ultimately is going to take you one step closer? It's also choice. It's like, I can guarantee you, most people are spending five minutes a day looking on social media. Like, what if you were to just set that phone number?
That's my cap, actually. Five minutes a day.
Five minutes a day. Nice.
Yeah. No more than that.
No more. I don't think it's necessary.
I don't even think you need I just check my messages and that's it. Now that I'm back on social media, because I did take a break since August of last year, but it's like.
How much time do we put into these other activities? And another thing I hear a lot is just like, I'm so tired. So people are busy. Right? I get it. And then because they're busy, they get home at the end of the day, or they finish their work, and it's like, I'm exhausted. All I want to do is veg out. Fine. But still there's there's this little tiny window that you can just take for yourself. You can create it to do something, to take that little baby step forward. Right.
Well, it's also what are you cultivating? What are you bringing into your sphere? Are you gonna so it's one thing, you know, watching Limitless, right? Doing Chris, chris Hemsworth, doing, you know, crazy shit and being inspired.
You know? Or are you going to watch something that is a bit tawdry and maybe doesn't serve you? So I guess it depends on what your filters are, and I think that's important, too. Right? So what are you bringing into? What are you looking on social media? Is it something that's going to make you feel better about yourself and that might cultivate some change? Like, I'm watching Guacaw videos on women doing Guaca on their face. Is that great? Absolutely. I'm getting new tricks and tips on how to take care of other people's skin and my own skin. Right. But am I going to watch something that triggers me? Which is also good, because then you figure out what's the trigger? And then you work on that. But what are you bringing into your inner sphere? And you are completely, 100% in control of that. I'd say 95% if somebody's, like, on your ass when you're driving. But then you can puffy cloud them and be like, it's okay, but there's a lot of things that you can control.
Yeah, as you were saying that, and I was kind of just tuning in because I felt something happened in my body. Right? I was tuning in, and I got this sense of, like, my breath wasn't fully working. And I'm like, what? What happened there? Like, you were just explaining something that is completely reasonable. What happened with with my breath? And it was a sense of overwhelm. Like, I had this immediate moment of, like, wow, we've talked about a lot of things in this last couple of hours, right? And the last thing we just talked about, it's another thing, and that's this feeling of, God, it's like, yeah, you know what? You're right. It's a choice, and it's everything choice, and, oh, my God, every day we're making all these choice, and I felt pretty overwhelmed. And I'd be curious, like, how many other people looking at this and scoping into that wellness world feel that? And their threshold is a lot before this, how many people have made it this far through our discussion? They're like, I tap out. This is too much. Right. I think I would like to bring our conversation back around to that. It's like, let's bring it back down to earth and say, like, well, what about the person who doesn't have control over their schedule, like you and I have, and a lot of people in the wellness world right. That are behind that wall of wellness. It's like their life is wellness. Sure, it's been a choice to build a life that way, right. But what about the person who's got kids and has to work? How do we help them? That's the vast majority of people, and we're preaching to the choir, talking to people who've got the freedom to do these, but what about our clients and our patients who are sick and are tired or are fine, but busy and legitimately? So what do they do? How can we allow that breath that some people might be holding to expand and be like, okay, what would you say, Andy? What would be your actionable? Just, here's what I say. Do this thing and it will help. I know it's like, summarizing, and it's a hard question, but what would you do? What would you tell working in the restaurant, 20 something? Andy?
That's a hard question. Yeah, I think it just comes just that five minutes to breathe. You have that. You always have five minutes to breathe. Like, I'm thinking about the mother with four children and taking them to hockey practice and soccer practice and swimming and then cooking dinner, and then all the relationships that they have. And that's the majority of our client. I feel like it's a lot of our clients. Right. Grace.
That's a beautiful one. I would second that for sure.
Yeah. Finding grace. Finding where just, like, almost teary.
Right. Feeling it, the gratitude. So many other things to have to be blessed with. Right? Yeah. You have this beautiful family, and there's a lot of things that come with that and a lot of responsibilities, but being able to see the beauty and then having that grace and appreciation and just to be alive, I guess, having that opportunity.
I really appreciate your answer, and I think it kind of gets to the core of wellness. Yes, it's the decisions you make and the actions you make every single day, but there's this one step before that that's missing, and it's grace and it's self love, and it's just this, like I think that maybe that might be the catalyst to the transformation. It's like not trying to figure out what you need to do to be healthy. It's just grace. That's a great word for it. Yeah, I think that's a pretty amazing place to tie our conversation up.
I really appreciate you, Andy.
I appreciate you.
It was a great conversation, and I think we should probably do it again sometime.
I'm sure we'll do it again.
It was a lot of fun.
Well, thank you very much. And would you like to tell anybody how they could get a hold of you?
I think that'll all be in the show notes. Show notes? Yeah.
Okay. Thanks so much.
Dr. Jess Reynolds
Dr. Jess Reynolds is a seasoned wellness practitioner with over a decade of experience in the field. He is the founder of AIM Online Education, a continuing education company for health and wellness practitioners. Dr. Reynolds is also the host of the AIM In Practice podcast, where she interviews practitioners, authors, and influencers from a variety of disciplines to explore the meaning of wellness and the art of practice. Her passion for wellness is evident in her work, and she is dedicated to helping others live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.