Welcome to this week’s episode of Thyroid Strong where Nancy Crowell, a trained doctor of oriental medicine, functional medicine, and a transformational mindset coach, instructs us how to level with ourselves in a fight or flight response and rewire our neuropathways to be resilient in fighting our inflamed state.
Nancy Crowell guides us through how to reclaim our mind and body through self-talk and rewiring our neuropathways to get back to our parasympathetic state of rest and digestion. Mold is everywhere and we will never have control of every situation, but what we do have in our control is our reactions and how we respond to situations. We have the potential to commit to our wellness instead of our illness.
About Nancy Crowell
Nancy Crowell is a trained doctor of oriental medicine, functional medicine, and a transformational mindset coach. She's a creator of the Resonance Program, a proven 12-month process specializing in helping clients with hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue, bloating, stress, and anxiety to be set free for a unique approach that uncovers the thoughts and emotions at the core of any disease.
Mold Exposure and How Our Body Reacts To It
Nancy discovered her exposure to mold in hindsight. Often in areas like the Pacific Northwest, there is consistent exposure to mold due to the weather. Symptoms of feeling foggy, seasonal depression, and never really feeling awake, could all be because of mold exposure. The difference in most is toxicity versus sensitivity. Some can detox from mold easily, but for others, their detox pathways need some extra attention to clear mold from their system.
Reclaiming Your Mind and Body & Building Resilience
If you are already in detox from mold, you’re doing all of the right things, but you still find yourself in uncontrollable circumstances that lead to a fight, flight, or freeze state. Nancy illustrates how to pause, identify what you’re feeling, and then start the process of reversing your habitual thinking. Instead of following the spiral into a fearful state, we begin by building our resilience and how we are stronger than our circumstances.
In This Episode
Nancy Crowell’s history with mold and her overall environment [3:18]
How our body processes mold [8:12]
Difference between toxicity and sensitivity [11:44]
Breakdown of the limbic system [13:06]
Vagal theory and the parasympathetic state [15:47]
Reclaiming your mind and body through resilience and self-talk [18:51]
Why narratives are so important in situations you cannot control [23:03
What building resilience means [27:02]
Things to do in the sympathetic state of fight, flight, or freeze [34:03]
Honoring yourself and “fake it til you make it” are one in the same [37:45]
“You can't be committed to your health without being an environmentalist.” [9:15]
“We have to also start to evaluate, what are we committed to? Are we committed to our illness? Or are we committed to our wellness?” [17:07]
“I think this mental aspect is the big missing piece to creating that resiliency: realizing you do have so much control over the inflammation your body is having on the day-to-day, moment to moment level.” [25:58]
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When you walk into your house and your kids habit a mess, where there's all of these normal life situations that we might not be regulating our nervous system to that are just adding to that inflammatory state. So those are a lot of things that you do have control over. So starting to really break down and see okay, I don't have control over my house right now, but I can keep it really ventilated. I can have this air purifier, I can reduce my toxic burden, and I have a lot of control over how I react and respond to things that is going to really helped me come back into a healing state and I don't think that's for nothing. I think that's a better choice and is moving you more towards the direction that you want to go.Emily Kiberd:
What's up lovely ladies, Dr. Emily Kiberd. Here with thyroid strong podcast. I am a chiropractor, a mama to Elvis and Brooklyn and I have Hashimotos what is currently in remission. On this podcast I share simple, actionable steps with a little bit of tough love on how to lose that stubborn weight, get your energy and your life back and finally learn how to work out without burning out living with Hashimotos. Dr. Nancy Crowell is a trained doctor of oriental medicine, functional medicine and a transformational mindset coach. She's passionate about sustainability practices. She's a traveler at heart and is currently enjoying living in Santa Fe, New Mexico and a partially off the grid dwelling and large garden with her beautiful son sage and adorable rescue shitzu Bodhi. She's a creator of the resonance program a proven 12 month process. It specializes in helping clients with hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue, gas bloating stress and anxiety to be set free for unique approach uncovers the thoughts and emotions at the core of any disease. And then incorporates this inner healing along with client specific protocols for nutrition and well being this approach creates optimal success for her clients to reverse symptoms and live a highly energized, healthy life. We talk all about this inside thyroid strong podcast Dr. Nancy Crowell, welcome to thyroid strong podcast. We have known each other for many years, even pre pandemic years. And I always love the messaging that you share on Instagram, this holistic integrative approach which can sometimes get overused, you really take it to the next level. And you and I were going back and forth on both of our mold journeys. And I wanted to bring you on because I find myself stuck in a sympathetic state, especially when it comes to mold. I would love for you just to share like a little tidbit about your background. First of all, because you've experienced molds, and listeners have heard different mold episodes here. But I really want to share yours coming from this not mental aspect, not mind over matter. But a little bit of that.Nancy Crowell:
Thank you for having me, Emily, I'm really excited about being here. So it's interesting when I think about my own mold journey, it's in hindsight. So I didn't realize I had a mold journey until I was so far down on my functional medicine journey that I was like, Oh, I think I had mold issues. Because I didn't come until functional medicine until probably about six years ago, my health journey started in my early 20s. I didn't have access to that well financially, and just even information wise during that time. So most of it has been like, oh, that's why I had such a bad Epstein Barr Virus. That's why I had all of these I went to university in the Pacific Northwest. And so I lived in all the homes unknowingly. It wasn't actually something I was ever looking for, especially when you're a college student, you're not really noticing small details of your homes. But I did have a lot of health symptoms that were a result of that. So I started resolving my mold issues, just through the other protocols that I was doing for my gut microbiome and detoxing other things and then more recently have targeted mold. And then it's just become more and more on my mind as I lived the last two years in the Yucatan in the Caribbean of Mexico where it's just very hot and humid. I was on my mind not wanting to backslide in my house but also been very aware that I had some symptoms arise while I was there, which I don't think that I have mold sensitivity like some people have. It was more foggy thinking and some were generalized symptoms that could have been anything but it's just been on my mind. So that's where I am but I work with a lot of people that have sensitivity to mold who have chronic health conditions. And what I've realized, in that, in the functional medicine world, we get very caught up. So those of you listening, I'm sure she'll read my bio, but I'm a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. And I've studied functional medicine. So my primary lens is actually through an Eastern perspective, I take functional medicine through a different lens than, say, an MD that studied functional medicine, I think that really does impact how you take in that information. What I've recognized is that functional medicine still, on many ways can become very mechanistic and very allopathic, where they're breaking down all of these body systems and finding the root cause. But then it's still very tit for tat, like I'm doing this protocol for that. And it's still kind of salami cutting the human, and not recognizing that there's a holistic human there. And that's body, mind and spirit. And so the work that I really like to focus on is addressing the physical health by reducing toxic load. But then also really focusing, Emily mentioned on the psycho emotional aspect, which I believe is underlooked, or undervalued a lot of times, but it really does impact even science wise on the physical healthEmily Kiberd:
you share. Because I also went to grad school in the Pacific Northwest in Portland. Yeah. And I just remember before I went there, I was like, This is it, it's on paper, there's hiking, there's biking, and then I got there, and it is so wet. And at the time, I didn't know it. And I didn't even think about mold. But I just remember, I felt like for those four years that I was there studying, I never felt awake. I felt like I was like pounding coffee. And I just attributed it to being in school, being in class many hours and then going home and studying burning the candle at both ends. And not till after this retrospective look like you did. Oh, like Portland's really moldy? Maybe that was an aspect of it of like never feeling like I was awake. I was always in this fog.Nancy Crowell:
I would say that's true. I suffered from a lot of depression. And so you might say, Oh, maybe it's seasonal depression, because literally they get two months of sunlight. You don't see the sun for the month of February at all, like not even a break in the clouds. But it probably also didn't help that would I would say those were my wild and party years. So it was compounded with a lot of other unhealthy choices. So it's really hard for me to discern what was purely mold and what was unhealthy choices that I was making. Yeah, looking back, there's just the amount of anxiety that I had panic attacks. I had Epstein Barr Virus. So I had mono, but most people have Epstein Barr Virus. So when we look at why someone gets so sick with epstein barr, it's typically something else as attributing to their immune system issue. I think it was the mold for me, because after that my immune system was so tanked for years after that, anytime I got a cold, it turned into walking pneumonia or bronchitis. I ended up getting almost like PTSD around my immune system for a good five or six years because I got so sick anytime I did get sick. And I really think that was due to again, the mold exposures that I had,Emily Kiberd:
especially when you work with your clients and your patients. Yeah. You say we can't heal our bodies without radical environmentalism. Is this what you're talking about?Nancy Crowell:
Yeah, I think it could go many directions, literally our environment of our homes. But even on a bigger scale. Why is it that mold is so much of an issue for us now than it was 100 years ago is because of the level of toxic burden that our bodies have. So if we think about how our body processes mold, some of you listeners might have heard 75% of the population can detox mold pretty easily through creating antibodies and getting it out. The other 20 side percent doesn't have that capacity, that genetic component. So they're relying on their detox pathways, which are primarily your liver in this case, to get those toxins out those bio toxins. And if you already have stagnant detox pathways, or a burden liver, which is going to be impacted by our environment, I'm thinking like car pollution, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and literally just modern life that's already burden, which for most of us, it is because of modern life, you're not going to be able to detox mold out of the body. And you can't be committed to your health without being an environmentalist. I really believe that once you start to commit to your health, and you start to see the impacts and realizing that you cannot actually fully heal while you're living in this toxic environment, then you actually start to make some bigger choices of okay, how can I be a contributor to positive environmental changes on a global scale? Sometimes I even feel guilty about the amount of plastic bottles that I take with my supplements right? Why aren't people using biodegradable packaging yet for these are so there's all of these layers, but I think that the more of us that wake up to it realize, oh, well, I'm taking all these supplements to help my liver detox but at the same time I'm creating microplastics that are affected by flipper by the Plastic bottles that I'm purchasing to help my liver. It's like the cyclical pattern. So I think at some point, we wake up and realize, okay, if we really want things to change, we all get to be environmentalists on some level, and start to make choices that impact everyone positively.Emily Kiberd:
So for the women who are listening who do know they have a mold sensitivity, how do you start to approach it, I'll use myself as an example, because this was where the conversation started is. I know that when I'm in a moldy space, I get brain fog, I get a histamine reaction, like my tongue starts to hurt. And I also go into this fight or flight state. And I literally go into a space. And I'll look up at the ceiling. It's like the first thing I do, if I go into a bodega, go into a new workspace go into the grocery store, I'm like, looking to see those like brown patches where there's water damage. And maybe I am literally creating a trigger cycle. But I know my reaction. So I'm wondering how you work with clients who maybe know they have a mold sensitivity, they've been on detox protocols in the past, they've supported their detox pathways, they try to avoid mold. But sometimes I feel like, I used to literally lay in bed in dream of a metal container in a desert. And I was like, we're probably fry, but I will be having mold symptoms. And I like at three in the morning. And I was like, wow, I gotta get over this. And I know that you have done some neural retraining, and things like that to help people.Nancy Crowell:
Again, this is keeping in mind, the person that you're talking about, including yourself has already started the detox process, when we're looking at any chronic health symptom, whether it's mold, or any chemical sensitivity, or any of those things. There's always two parts, there's the toxic part. And then there's sensitivity. And typically, those there have a crossover between the two of them. So you're talking about an individual that's already addressing the toxicity aspects. So this is where the cell has a toxic burden, and that you're supporting that. People don't realize that these are two different things, toxicity and sensitivity sensitivity is more how the nervous system is actually responding. And that's something that has to be addressed simultaneously, otherwise, you end up still having these loop reactions. So a lot of my work, and I will just be really clear that I am not a scientist, I learned from a lot of really amazing people. And then I put it together in a way that I feel like it's digestible, and people can assimilate. So I just want to note that a lot of my studies are from Dr. Neil Nathan, and he hopr, Dr. Dutchies crazy and and Dr. Perry Nicholson, and I've compiled all of their amazing work and utilize it with my clients with amazing success, I always like to note people that have done a lot of research and put a lot of work into this. So what you're talking about a lot with, when you're going into a room and you're seeing stuff, you're seeing the mold, this has to do with our limbic system. So our limbic system is how our brain takes in information, and then processes it in order to determine whether or not it's safe or not. For those of you listening, I'm just gonna break down the limbic system so that you can understand it. And then I'm going to give you some things that you can actually do, so that you're not walking away from this. Oh, great. That was more information. But now what I do so the limbic system is made from the amygdala. So the amygdala, basically what codes emotional memories, our fear center, it basically will take in information and then determine whether or not we are emotionally threatened. This could be internal. So it could be bacteria, it could be mold, it could be viruses, it basically registers a pathogen, and then goes into a trauma response. Okay, so this is what's considered the limbic system response. The next part of the limbic system is the hippocampus. So this processes and stores and assigns value and meaning stress causes them to decrease in size and number of neurons. So again, so every time we get stressed, this part of our brain starts to shrink. Then there's the hypothalamus, which actually it's been proven that mold negatively impacts the hypothalamus specifically, but the hypothalamus links the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary grip plant. So it's managing all of the health systems. And then there's the cingulate gyrus, this is where the brain and emotions meet. It mediates the response to a doc nauseous stimuli. So where we focus our attention matters. So if we're focusing on something, and it's basically going to keep us in a loop, so when you go in, and you see that mold, you are literally creating a loop there because your body, especially if you smell mold, too. So this is the other thing that we want to take in the limbic system is all about our orifices. So it's our ears, our eyes, our nose, our mouth or skin. It's all of our sense organs. So it's taking in all of this information and then creating these loop patterns. And our brain is really lazy. Once we have this cross wiring in our brain, and our brain is similar, like has associated now, Emily associates mold with threat, she asserts mold with fear, probably, or whatever these things are these emotions, because as you heard, all these parts of the brain also have emotional associations to them. So as soon as she takes in that information or the individual takes in information, and that cross wiring happens, then this whole cascade of actual symptoms happen as well. So there's that aspect of it is the limbic system. And then basically, when we go into the stress response, that's how the body is taking in information, and then we go into a stress response. So then now we're moving into the vagal theory and into the vagal brake. So if you guys are not familiar with vagal theory, we have essentially three different places that we can go, which is the parasympathetic nervous system, which is our rest and digest, this is healing. It's actually an anti inflammatory state. This is where we want to be most of the time. And then we have the sympathetic nervous system state. And this is where our HPA access our hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal axis is activated, it's our fight or flight. And then we actually have something called dorsal vagal, which is a shutdown state. So typically, with a mold person, we're seeing a lot of that hyper arousal, Emily, you were saying, you go into a hyper aroused state, this is a flight or fight state, in that state, we're actually in an inflammatory state, when we're thinking about how do we change this? It's like, Alright, so now we understand what's happening. But how do we change this? It's gonna sound crazy. But basically, we have to become very careful what we're thinking. Because whatever we're thinking is essentially creating deeper grooves in our neuroplasticity, it is creating its wiring over and over those same patterns. And so in order to disrupt it, we have to disrupt it in all ways, including our thoughts, how we react our emotions to it. And we have to also just start to evaluate, what are we committed to? Are we committed to our illness? Or are we committed to our wellness, and it can be hard because it's very real, like your tongue going numb or tingling is real, like your reactions that you have, like the histamine reactions are very real. And so sometimes when I see these things that can feel like not bypassing in some way, and I don't want anyone to think that this is bypassing the actual responses that your body is having. But assuming that you are on a detox protocol, assuming that you are doing all the things that you're supposed to be doing in order to, like, physically macat, like mechanistically, cellular level, hold those toxins out of your body, then this is like the deeper inner work that has to happen in order for your body to stop that cross wiring. And if you have ever heard or ever listening to Annie Hopper, she had a severe chemical sensitivity so much that she had to camp. She became homeless due to her chemical sensitivity. And she was able to heal herself through this limbic system work and rewiring her brain. And so it's really important that people realize that the stress that we feel, and we also hear people like Dispenza on Joe Dispenza Yeah, not yet. Dr. Joe Dispenza, you hear all of these amazing miracles were like, Oh, and this Person healed and this Person healed, why are they healing, because they're moving out, they're actually taking their minds, they're actually reclaiming their minds, their repatterning. And what they're thinking and believing, and then they're also taking themselves out of a sympathetic dominant state. So when he said, I've heard him repeat this over and over, whatever it is, whatever that trigger is not worth it. So for you, Emily, like the thing that I would say is, you are living a healthy lifestyle, you are aware, you are reducing your load. And so it's like, in those moments of, I'm going to trust my body, I trust, my body is resilient, I trust my body can handle whatever that is not to say that we go and we live in a moldy home after that, but it's actually starting to act to reclaim the mind and not continually think that Oh, my God, this is going to happen. And this is going to happen. And this is going to happen. And the ways that we can really start to do that is through Olympic system retraining. And if you guys aren't familiar with that, it's basically a disruption in the thought pattern. So it's actually becoming aware of the thought pattern loops when they're about start start. You disrupt it in ways that are both physical, emotional and mental. So an example of this would be you walk into a room you see the bowl and you start to feel unsafe, you would literally go start like out loud, stop and do a physical motion with your body and then smile so then you start to bring a different emotion And I'm shortening this wrote this process because it's a little bit more in depth, but then you would like smile and bring a bed, like a different emotion and start telling yourself a different story, my body is completely safe and doing all the things if you start to look for the positive in it, and it's a lot of work, because these are loops that have been ingrained for a long time, but there's that part of it. And then another thing is learning how to actually tone and stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system state instead, when you go into a sympathetic state is learning how to come back into a parasympathetic state. And there's a lot of different ways that we can do that. gargling, gagging, cold showers, all of that, but one of the best techniques that I actually learned was a Kinesiology taping on the just in front of the sternocleidomastoid muscle is really powerful for doing that. So just because there's, that's where the ventral vagal nerve goes down. But there's just different ways that you have to learn that you can bring yourself back into your power, because it's basically giving your power to mold every single time you allow that narrative to send you out and realize the I get to be in charge of my thought patterns. I'm okay, I'm safe, really bringing in that. And I know that it can be challenging when we have physical health symptoms going on. But I think that sets with deeper inner work that I spend a lot of time doing with my clients, because it's not the easy stuff, taking a protocol can sometimes be quite easy. Sometimes it's not. But like, it's easy here than what I'm describing, because these patterns can be even present before the mold exposure. Some of these thought patterns and loops might even be from early traumas or those sorts of things. And then now they're just being replicated in different areas.Emily Kiberd:
Yeah. So I think, especially in the functional medicine world, there's this idea of like, you're talking about less toxic burden, that fills the cup and then the cup overflow with and then we could get triggered into an autoimmune flare up. And I think, and I know this for some of the women in thyroid strong that are living in mold, they might not have the funds to move, and they might not have the funds to currently remediate. So they're just in this limbo of not thriving, but just trying to survive. And I think in those moments of walking into those spaces, seeing water damage, which doesn't always mean mold, but could that Oh, my God, I've done so much work to decrease the toxic burden. And now here I am in a space, that's potentially increasing the toxic load. And so I think one of the techniques that I work on is just humming, to that long exhale, stimulating the palate just to get out of that sympathetic state. I think for those people who let's say they feel maybe stuck in a space that has mold, do you find that even using those techniques will start to help get out of that inflammatory, sympathetic state,Nancy Crowell:
I guess what matters is how inflamed they are, because I think it's going to help no matter what. So on some level, I think this is going to help. What came to me when you were talking that I do also want to note is I think it's very easy within the functional medicine world, if you're already a perfectionist, to become more so a perfectionist. And when you're in an environment that you cannot control, right? Oh, my gosh, I'm doing all this work. I've committed so much money to get better. And now, oh, my gosh, now I realize it's all for nothing, right? That can really start to spiral someone down and feel really defeated, because they've done all this work. And they don't have control over that. So I think that this is where new narratives come in, such as there's no such thing as perfect. I'm going at my own pace. And these are the things that I like to tell people that we're always going to different trajectory, we're either going towards disease or health, and sometimes our path towards health isn't going to be as fast as we'd like, yeah, it would be great if we all lived in a bubble, like a perfect bubble and eat perfect food. And we're exposed to nothing, we would be way over here. But that's just not life. And I think for myself, it's like how can we just start to create more and more resiliency. So I would say for those individuals, decreasing that sympathetic state is really important. So being aware of it, because you might be going into a sympathetic state, not even just because of the mold in your home. But because you react to negative emails that you're getting from your boss, or you might be going into a sympathetic state. When you walk into your house and your kids habit a mess, or there's all of these normal life situations that we might not be regulating our nervous system to that are just adding to that inflammatory state. So those are a lot of things that you do have control over. So starting to really break down and see okay, I don't have control over my house right now, but I can keep it really I've deleted, I can have this air purifier, I can reduce my toxic burden. And I have a lot of control over how I react and respond to things that is going to really help me come back into a healing state. And I don't think that's for nothing, I think that's a better choice, and is moving you more towards the direction that you want to go, then not doing that and being nervous system, emotional ping pong ball going up and down constantly, where you're going to be more inflamed, I do think it does make a difference. Obviously, we all want to live in our completely mold free environments. But the other thing that I want to know is, at the end of the day, all of this matters, because we want to have freedom. We want to have freedom to travel, we have one freedom to be with our families, we want to have freedom just to be ourselves. And part of that is resiliency, we're never going to have perfect, we're never going to have that perfect environment or the perfect home or all of those things. So I think this mental aspect is the big missing piece to creating that resiliency is realizing that you do have so much control over the inflammatory your body is having on the day to day moment to moment level.Emily Kiberd:
What does it mean resiliency, I think of it as at least for myself, having like a strong body, a clear mind, like being really open and present with my kids and the people I'm around. But at the same time, I think sometimes on our functional medicine journey, it can feel instead of freedom it can feel contracted, do I really want to travel to a developing country and have to get parasites and feel terrible and then have to kill like all those little things or explore an Airbnb where there might be mold. Sometimes on this journey. I'm trying to build my resiliency, and especially with an autoimmune population, it can feel sometimes like we're victims versus empowering. Yet sometimes the journey can feel contracting. So what does it mean to build that resiliency?Nancy Crowell:
So a client of mine comes to mind when I think about resiliency. And when she came to me, she had mold issues. So she was having regular rashes for mold her irate she wasn't pushy, but she was low thyroid function. She was impacting her thyroid. So she no longer working with me. She's a past client, but I was been watching her story. She just recently did a family trip to Italy. And she stayed at these beautiful Airbnbs she was able to have a little bit of a glass of wine. She had more flexibility in her diet, she still stayed stick to submit non negotiables which was no gluten, no dairy. But she had that freedom to be able to travel to me that is a sign of resiliency. Did she have some pushback from that when she went a little bit too far? Yeah, she started to have some pain in her body that was like her max of Okay, gotta pull it in, got to bring it back in. But to me, Emily, I love to travel. So for me, that is resiliency, if I want to be able to go see the world, and if it means that I need my edge, and then I'm able to come back and go backward and forwards without completely losing it or completely being floored. That to me is resiliency rather than just having to stay home and being one personality is different, but for me just staying home and never seen the world is not how I want to live my life. So I think the resiliency is understanding what your non negotiables are and sticking to those no matter where you are. But also in the beginning, I travel was an entire apothecary okay, no joke. Like I was ready for COVID I'm ready for parasites. I'm ready for Oh, right for all okay, I travel like that. I travel like that. Some people might seal victime around that I feel empowered, I feel happy about that. I feel amazing that I have the ability to help myself in those situations, rather than feel bad. So I think there's like a mindset shift that also gets to happen around it. Some people might feel victim II that they go to France and can't have a chocolate croissants. I don't because I've gone to France actually a couple of years ago and said screw it, I'm gonna have the chocolate croissant and then was like that was a pointless, that was a waste. It wasn't even as great and they have great gluten free bakeries now. So I think there's these areas where you just get to see kind of discern for yourself. These are the areas that are most important for me. And these are the ones where I am okay with it. Like just being the way it is. So I no longer feel victime around supplements or diets. Those are just now is the way that I'm living. And it feels like an empowered choice. And I also see, for those of you that are not in the health industry, Emily might be able to attest to this too, but I see the people that aren't committed in the way that we're committed and I see the repercussions that that has. They might not be showing it in their 30s. But they're going to be showing it in their 40s 50s 60s. And they're going to be on prescriptions versus on supplements. So it's just a choice that you're making. Neither one is good nor bad. It's just what direction do you want to go? So, I think resiliency is I think you do have to work with the nervous system to have some of that resiliency if you're really sensitive. But once you have that, once you've done the work, whether that's in your physical Protocol, or your mental emotional protocol, then you have more room and leeway because I'll tell you seven years ago, I was way more rigid with everything than I am now. So it's not to say that I was always loosey goosey. I did bike packing trips, Dubai's was dehydrated, paleo, autoimmune, Paleo keto foods, like I did that, like I made those foods for myself, a dehydrated them. So I could go on long bikepacking trips with my ex. But that's the level of commitment I had. And that's what we need at the beginning. And then as we approve, we should have more resiliency to To sum things up a little bit. How do you help womenEmily Kiberd:
or clients determine what those non negotiables are? And what the negotiables are? I call it for me, I call them like my sacred cows, I'm like, these are my sacred cows, you don't mess with them. I'm not gonna eat gluten, I know, I get a headache within 20 minutes. But how do you help women determine what those are for themselves.Nancy Crowell:
Typically, when they're working with me, they'll figure it out on their own, because I will put them on a protocol or I'll give them a suggested protocol. And more often than not, I'd say nine out of 10, people will go off of that at some point, and get really strong feedback from their body on their own. So I think that is actually the most powerful is when somebody actually realizes, Oh, I felt really good like this, and not so good over here. And then they start to realize what's working and what's not working for them, and where they could have more leeway and knots. But in general, across the board, as Gluten is a no for all my clients, I think I think just gluten is not healthy. It's highly sprayed with glyphosate. It's shown to cause leaky gut in everybody, not even just people that are gluten sensitive. It's just the degree to which it's impacting you. So it's just Do you really want to set yourself up for auto immunities if you don't have it? Or if you're playing a game of Risk there if you're playing around with that. So gluten is one of those that I suggest to all my clients to keep out no matter what, and then all of the other inflammatory foods are more individualized. But hopefully, in the process of working with me they have more resiliency in their diet as well. I'm big on strict diets being primarily used in a protocol situation, and then expanding afterwards. So not being on that strict diet for life. Exactly. By strict you guys. I'm talking about restricting huge, like food groups. Yeah, not necessarily included, butEmily Kiberd:
good is on a food day. Yeah. I'd likeNancy Crowell:
to everything's been fluid, right? Gluten chemical foods, processed foods, but I know that some people seemingly can handle gluten, okay. But we also have to keep in mind that the gluten that we have now and the way that we process our food is completely different. So it's just not even the same animal. If we ever think back to like, Jesus Christ days when he was talking about breaking bread, that bread was hard as a rock. Okay, that her bread, that bread was not gooey, gooey, like whatever we were imagining. Right?Emily Kiberd:
Like Chef's Table forNancy Crowell:
five. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So it's just everything's different. So we can't even look back and say we've been eating gluten for X amount of years. And that's a different monster. Now,Emily Kiberd:
if you were to choose two techniques, maybe one that is like physical and then one where you're using verbiage for someone who finds themselves in that fight flight, freeze sympathetic state, which two would you choose? Or could you share whenNancy Crowell:
I think about the physical practice? I think one thing that is important that I've had to learn because I realized that from early childhood trauma that I had a big disassociating pattern, which is basically when you lead your body, it's more of a shutdown state. A big thing for me when I'm in a hyper aroused state is actually to pause before I start to actually try to stimulate my vagus nerve is to actually pause and to feel my body like what is actually happening. What is the emotion that's coming up? Because I will very easily bypass that. So for me to stop and pause while I'm feeling scared. Okay, let me feel where I feel that in the body, okay, what is it that I need? Like actually coming to myself and mothering myself for a moment and actually noticing what they need? What is the fear? What am I making this mean? And actually allowing the emotion to have it? I'm feeling really scared. I feel like I'm gonna get sick again. What do I need right now? I need and a hug I like typically it's very primal, whatever that need is and seeing if I can actually source that need. Because for me, that's just been a big part of more of like embodiment work and being with myself and being with my nervous system. And then after that, then I can think about, okay, what can I do for my nervous system right now I feel shut down, or I feel hyper aroused. And in that moment, How can I calm myself down a really easy one, I think that everyone could do is just take a piece of ice, and start to rub your chest and your neck with a piece of ice. And that will bring you back into a ventral vagal state pretty quickly. But I think it is important that we don't bypass the emotional process of that as well. And then in terms of just the mindsets, I've been down this rabbit hole of the mind for a long time, not even just with the physical health, but even just our beliefs about this ourselves in the world. At some point, I was like, gosh, you just have to be frickin delusional sometimes to change your belief about something or yourself because some of these patterns are so deeply ingrained, I thought that they were just make believe the fake it till you make it, you're being delusional. But now that I can really see that there's actual science to back it with the neuroplasticity in their neural pathways, I think it's really just realizing that we need to think greater than how we feel. And when we have those things happen. Recognizing this is not me, it's my brain. Right. So taking a moment of just like really discerning, it's not me, it's my brain, and then looking for evidence and support, that the positive changes that you're making are working, rather than we can really start to harness Oh, my gosh, this is me, I'm talking about what I do. I'll easily spiral in. So it's all fully the part I go into this devastation mode, if I don't catch myself, and you have to, like really stop that, like you cannot even leave room for that, you know, you know that you're doing the right things for your health in your body. In that moment, you do the committed action, you remove yourself, you take a supplement or whatever those things are, you have to physically do and then you take control of that mental spiral before you create a bigger group. So I think fake it till you make it or being slightly delusional in this regard, as long as you're are in committed action for your health. I know it sounds a bit crazy, but that's what we have to do in order to change the neural pathways. HowEmily Kiberd:
can fake it till you make it not feel like how it sounds? So when I hear that, I think, okay, you're gonna go through this experience, you're going to put yourself take yourself out of that fear state the delusion, almost like a self betrayal, not honoring what the situation is potentially,Nancy Crowell:
that's what I'm saying you do have to discern? Are you honoring yourself? If you are, I don't think that, let's just use you as an example. Because I know that you honor yourself. Okay. And a lot of your listeners probably are as well, you are in committed action with your health, there's probably not much more you can be doing for your physical health. So in that moment, that is not any sort of self abandonment in that moment. This is you have to discern it's am I in committed action. Yeah. And then committed action. So I've got my bases covered on this physical sense, right, I'm doing those things. But now I'm in this mental, emotional state. And actually, I would say it's more of a self abandonment in that moment to allow yourself to spiral into fear. Because that's when you have to discern in that moment, this is not me, this is rain. This is Brady, this is my cross wiring here. I know this groove, I've been here a million times before I know where this is going, I can predict how I'm gonna feel. I can predict all of this, it's about to unfold here. And in that moment, actually having that inner strength, and I know the words delusional or fake it probably devalue it. But what's really happening in your brain is you're creating new neuroplasticity. So you're creating a new wiry, even in the brain. And it feels uncomfortable. Your brain feels lazy, your brain is going to be screaming at you, you're going to do it wrong. I don't know, like all of this stuff. It's gonna make it worse, or I don't all of this stuff that's just gonna come into your mind. And you have to be able to tell that part of you have no dude, I've been doing this for 10 years, or however long I've been doing that I've been down this path five years already over and over. We got it covered. We're taking the binders. We're doing the detox at like, air purifiers on. And I don't want to do that anymore. I'm done with that. I'm ready for something different. I'm ready to be resilient. And I know that it feels uncomfortable and it feels a little bit like this can't be it. This cannot be the thing that's going to help me but it's in that moment that you actually have some power over yourself. So you can actually do some physical things right so you can can go get the ice and you can start to trigger your parasympathetic. But putting ice on you while you're still spiraling mentally is not going to do very much. So you have to actually, you're putting ice on you and then also simultaneously starting to reach for some thoughts of how is this actually working with some evidence that this actually is working for me that I'm actually improving, that I'm actually becoming more resilient? How can I look for things that are moving me in the direction that I want to go versus where I don't want to go? And that kind of comes back to that thing that I said, Are we more committed to our illness or to our wellness, and I know, those of you that have been struggling with chronic illness for a long time, and maybe have been devalued or unheard from doctors that can be triggering, because it's I hadn't been heard for so long. And now you're telling me that what I'm saying isn't true. I'm not saying that I'm saying everything that you're experiencing is 100%. True, those symptoms are 100% True. And those symptoms are a cause of not just a physical thing. But this psycho emotional loop that's happening in your brain, right in this brain loop. And so if you want to get out of that, you have to support your physical health. And we have to rewire your brain so that when you smell mold, you no longer think I'm about to die. You smell mold, and you say, my body is resilient, I'm going to be able to handle that. And your brain is going to be lazy, because you've already thought, X amount of times that this is a danger. So it's gonna feel hard, and you're gonna feel weird thinking, I'm resilient. And now I can handle walking through this moldy post office for five minutes. And I'm going to be fine. Yeah. And it does feel strange. I feel like I've gotten to a place of resiliency, but even in my own self concept. So these practices can be replicated in any area of your life, that it's no longer serving you because we have lots of beliefs that we will outgrow at some point.Emily Kiberd:
I love that message. Where can people find you and your work?Nancy Crowell:
So my website is Dr. Nancy crawl or on Instagram. My handle is also at Dr. Nancy Crowell.Emily Kiberd:
You have a program you have multiple programs, but the main program isNancy Crowell:
Yes, I have a 12 month signature program. It's called resonance. So it includes the physical like what I've been talking about detoxing. So there's functional labs and we heal the gut microbiome and detox the body to optimize hormones, but then we do a lot of the internal work that I'm talking about. So limbic system retraining, vagal, nerve toning, and just understanding our emotional patterns, I think is really important. I take everyone through the lens of Dallas, the Dallas, five elements, that are the basis of Chinese medicine as a way of kind of understanding our emotions. So we do a lot of that which I think is really powerful for people because we have a lot of unexpressed emotions and are unaware of our emotions. And those patterns will show up physically as well. Yeah. And you also have a podcast. I do. I just launched a podcast and forgot about that. Oh, yeah, I do have a podcast. Yeah. Six weeks ago, I launched my podcast it's called disrupt the system. Yeah. And it's on all majorEmily Kiberd:
podcast platforms. Listen, yeah, podcast. Awesome. Thank you, man. Thank you so much.Nancy Crowell:
Yeah, thank you for having me.Emily Kiberd:
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