Notes and Mentions
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Serena: Hey Everyone, I?m Serena.
Tina: And I?m Tina and we are the Mental Health Mamas.
Serena: Welcome to No Need to Explain, we are so glad you?re here.
Tina: First, as always, a quick disclaimer.
Serena: We come to you NOT as mental health professionals or experts in the field, but rather as parents with lived experience who are on a mission to normalize the conversation around mental health.
Tina: If you or someone you love is experiencing a mental health crisis, please seek professional support. You?ll find a variety of resources in our show notes and on our website, NoNeedToExplainPodcast.com.
Tina: Whole body wellness is a concept that I currently embrace but like many of us growing up in the 70s, (maybe not Lauren, I don?t know how old she is) in the US, I was very steeped in traditional western medicine when it came to taking care of my body. And while Jane Fonda?s workout tapes were in our house, I didn?t really think about taking care of my whole being, body, mind and spirit. What about you Serena?
Serena: I can definitely relate to that, the workout tapes and all. Really, I feel like I?m learning so much more about this as I get older.
Tina: I don?t think that I thought much about it until my child started struggling with health issues and we were exposed to all kinds of ?alternative? whole body therapies from acupuncture to yoga to mindfulness...lots of different things.
Serena: Today?s guest is of special interest to us. Lauren Fonvielle is a whole body practitioner who believes that healing happens from the inside out. She is an accredited EFT practitioner, a trauma informed yoga teacher, and certified Reiki practitioner. As she says on her website Healing from the Inside Out, these practices have changed everything for her. Lauren, welcome to the podcast.
Lauren: Yay! Thank you for having me! I?m so excited to have this conversation with both of you.
Tina: So Lauren, tell us a little bit of your story and perhaps how you have come to really be deeply into these practices.
Lauren: Yeah. So I grew up as, you know, an anxious kid and it was always just something that I was able to, I guess, deal with. It was a normal part of life. And then I got married in my early twenties and my husband is in the military. After we had kids, he at that point had gone into the reserves and we got word that he was going to have to go on a third deployment. And while we had done deployments before, this was the first one since having kids. As a reservist it came out of left field. I did not know that he was going to have to deploy so really it was a shock, a surprise to me. I was fully overwhelmed and extremely anxious. I started having panic attacks. And it was at that time that I knew that I needed to?I need to do something because I knew I was gonna have to be taking care of these kids and I needed to figure out how I could feel better so that I could show up as a better mom for them.
My first instinct was to go to the doctor. The doctor prescribed some meds and I didn?t like how they made me feel. And so I decided that I was going to try a holistic way of dealing with this and that if I wasn?t feeling any sort of different within a month, I was gonna go back to the doctor. And so that?s what I did and it started off with me going to a yoga class which then, that day, I saw a poster for yoga teacher training and I signed up on the spot because something deep within me was pushing me to do that. And it was such a great decision because it then opened the door to so many other modalities. I was introduced to meditation and then sound healing and Reiki and then EFT. And I was in a space of really just exploring all of these different things. Seeing what worked best for me and I really fell in love with all of them but particularly EFT Tapping. And I decided to go down the route of getting certified so that I could help other people in the way that these modalities helped me.
Serena: Yeah. Thanks. I love that natural progression of, you know?it sounds like it was meant to be, for sure. So let?s break down these practices that we referred to in the intro. Most of us know about yoga and what it might do for us. We are intrigued by the trauma informed part. We?ve talked a little bit about trauma informed practice on our podcast before but I wonder if you could talk about anything specific about trauma informed yoga?
Lauren: Sure. So after I got my 200 hour yoga certification, I went on to take a few other courses. One was adaptable yoga so you could make yoga available to all bodies, right? I think there?s a lot of?there?s a lot of misconception around yoga and what yoga looks like. People associate it with these skinny little blondes that you see on Instagram and that?s what yoga looks like and that?s just not the case. Learning how to teach to everyone. Yoga is for everyone. It?s for every body. It?s important to me. I did that first and then I took training through Warriors at Ease, being that my husband?s in the military, working with?seeing the work that was being done with vets and people who had lost limbs and being able to use yoga as part of their healing process. I thought that was so cool. I signed up for training with them.
And really, trauma informed yoga is about being thoughtful in the words that you?re using. For example, let?s say we?re doing meditation. You wouldn?t want to do, let?s say, well for me, I think going to the beach is relaxing and it?s something I like to visualize but maybe there?s somebody in the class who had a near drowning experience. And so you wouldn?t want to be talking about water because that could be triggering to someone. So part of it is being very mindful of the words that you use so as to not trigger someone who has had some severe trauma.
Tina: Hmm. Yeah that makes total sense and again, we?ve talked a lot about trauma informed and it really is just trying to be neutral and consider?be curious about what you don?t know about other people, right? Yeah and let?s switch over and talk about Reiki for a bit. I have experienced a little bit of Reiki after I had some difficult experiences this summer. So share a little bit with our podcast listeners who might not know about Reiki. What is that practice and what is it like?
Lauren: Reiki is a form of Japanese energy healing and it?s a process of basically being a conduit for the energy, channeling the energy and then sending it to the person that is being worked on. I know that that can be kind of an odd concept for some people if it?s not something that you?ve experienced but it helps with unblocking chakras. So chakras are the energy centers in the body and I like to?I?m a pretty visual person so the way I like to describe it is if you think, like, at the crown of your head,the third eye, the throat, the heart, right above the belly button and then below the belly button at the root, right? So if you think of all of those spaces on your body as glowing balls of light and when you?re in a state of health and well-being, those balls are all turning. And you can imagine that there is light coming down through the crown of the head and then it can easily pass through all of these chakras, these energy centers, all the way down to the root of the body. However, when there is a blockage, so for example, maybe you had a recent loss and there?s some real heartbreak. So now that energy center that?s at the heart space isn?t turning as much or maybe it?s completely not moving. So now if you think of the light coming down through the crown of the head, it gets stuck at the heart and it can?t make its way through the body. And so Reiki is a way to help move energy to try and get those chakras moving and in a more balanced state so that you feel better in your body.
Serena: So can you?I like your description and I know Tina has some experience but what does that look like in practice? What might somebody expect if they, you know, signed up to do that?
Lauren: Yeah. So it can be done in person or it can be done virtually. If it?s done in person, the person is typically laying fully clothed on a massage table. And the practitioner is either going to gently touch you or they can be using their hands just above your body. You don?t have to be physically touched to do this. And if it?s done virtually, it?s the same kind of thing. You?re in a comfortable space. You can just be laying in a chair or you could lay on your bed. The main thing is that you?re in a comfortable position and the practitioner is able to basically tap into your energy field, to tune into your energy field. You know, different practitioners work in different ways.
For me, a lot of the time, because I?m such a visual person I will get these visions that come to me during the practice and I do share those as I work with someone. And sometimes it makes sense right away, right, to the person. Sometimes the things that I see don?t make sense to me so I can be hesitant in sharing some of it or I used to be hesitant in sharing some of it because it didn?t make sense to me. And I?m like, oh, will these people think I?m crazy? But what I have found is that the more that I just share and let it flow through, the more that it typically does make sense to the person. Even if it doesn?t make sense right in the moment, I often have people come back and say, oh, now I get it. I understand what that meant days and weeks after a session.
So I can give an example. One time I was working on a woman and typically I start at the crown and I work my way down the body and I got to her hips and I felt myself moving, kind of in a circular motion. And I was kind of talking to her as I was doing this and I said, well, I?m feeling like maybe I?m dancing. No, I?m not dancing. Oh! I feel like I?m hula-hooping and I really like it. I don?t know what that means. So I try to think, like, what could that possibly mean? What does that mean to me? So my first thought was that?s something you would do as a child and that was fun and maybe your body, I feel like your body is telling you that you need to do more fun, more fun things, right? And she stopped me. She?s like, actually I love to hula hoop. I have a weighted hula hoop in my garage and I haven?t done it in a really long time. I was like, oh, OK, your body is literally screaming for you to go out there. So that was a pretty validating experience for me of feeling that and then her being like, oh yeah! That?s what I do and I have so much fun. Yeah, well your body needs more fun. That?s kind of how it works for me when I work with clients.
Tina: So I can attest to the virtual because I?ve only had virtual Reiki and my person did it with a pillow and it really? So, it was after my car accident and I could feel things? It was a very different experience for me. I have never experienced anything like that.
Lauren: Yeah, it can be very interesting for people. I had a woman who came to me and I didn?t even know. She came to me after?I thought it was just for anxiety and stress which was what she originally said but then the day of our session, apparently, she had been having really bad pain in her feet because she had been packing up boxes and going up and down the stairs. And she was all upset. She didn?t think she was going to be able to get done everything she needed to get done that day. But we did this Reiki session and I got to her feet, not knowing that she had been in pain and I just felt like, there is just so much energy coming off your feet right now. And this was a virtual session too. And then she shared with me afterwards that her feet felt so much better that there wasn?t the pain there and she was able to go the rest of her day and finish everything that she needed to do and she wasn?t in pain. So I feel like sometimes the energy just needs a little guidance in releasing and moving out of the body.
Tina: Yeah. Maybe the right person to help it do that, for sure. Yeah.
Serena: OK. So now let?s go to? You have so many, you know, so many different tools that you use with people and we want to talk about the EFT Tapping part of your credentials. So, I guess, I?ve watched some videos and people may not know what Tapping is so I guess maybe a quick description and then maybe a little bit of what the science is behind it.
Lauren: Sure. So EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique and it is interchangeable with the word ?tapping?. The reason why we call it tapping is because it is this process of gently tapping on certain points of the body. And when I describe it, I compare it to acupuncture because people are more familiar with acupuncture. So when you go to an acupuncturist, they take those tiny little needles and they put them in at certain points of the body. And instead with tapping, what we?re doing is applying light pressure, so acupressure, to some of these same points. And the other difference is that when you?re tapping, you?re also speaking out loud and acknowledging the emotions that you?re feeling. So you?re making statements as you?re tapping. So if you?re dealing with a lot of anxiety or if you?re feeling really sad, you can just use a simple phrase like, ?I?m feeling really sad. I?m feeling really sad? and you tap on the points saying that and you really are tuning in to how you?re feeling. The emotions that are coming up as well as the physical sensations in the body. Because a lot of the time when we?re talking about pain, there are emotional contributors to physical pain and this is work that can help to identify some of that and when you have awareness around some of these things that might be currently at a subconscious level, you can physically begin to feel better.
And so some of the science behind it? There's been lots of studies behind it so I always tell people, if you?re skeptical of this idea of tapping on yourself to feel better, I totally understand that because when I was first introduced to it, I was incredibly skeptical. I thought it was ridiculous but then I tried it and felt better and I was like, what the heck is happening, right? So if you?re skeptical, it?s cool. You can still be skeptical and it can still work for you. And what?s happening internally is that as you?re tapping on some of these points, it?s sending a message to the amygdala in the brain, the amygdala?s the part of the brain that controls fight or flight and it?s also the part that sends cortisol out into your body. So when you?re in a situation where you are?you need to fight back or you need to run away or you need to play dead, right, you need to protect yourself, that?s when the amygdala is supposed to fire and send that cortisol into your body so that you can protect yourself. However, in this day and age, we?re dealing with so much anxiety, so much stress,so much overwhelm, that the amygdala can start firing constantly, right, so you?re in this heightened state of fight or flight on a regular basis and that is not healthy. And so as you?re tapping on these points and saying these phrases, it?s sending a message to the amygdala and telling the amygdala, hey, you don?t need to be in fight or flight right now and you don?t need to be sending all that cortisol into the body. And it?s been shown to reduce the amount of cortisol pumping through the body by up to 43 percent. I mean, that?s a huge number.
Lauren: And when your body is calmer, then you can think more clearly, right? Like that mind/body connection. It?s also a practice that can really help with trauma. There was a study that was done with veterans who had PTSD and they tapped with these veterans once a week for six weeks. And at the end of that study, 90 percent of the veterans in that group had a reduction in PTSD symptoms. And then three months later they checked back in with them. There was still the reduction in the symptoms. Six months later they checked back in?same thing. And some of them the reduction was so great that they weren?t even considered to have PTSD any more which is crazy. Huge. That?s amazing. And the way that that works is that, you know, when we have a traumatic experience in our life like a car accident and you have all the cellular memories in your body of what happened, the racing heart and maybe you were crying. The fear of all of it, right? And then, you know, time goes on, maybe you recover physically but then maybe you hear a loud screech and all of a sudden it brings you back in time. Or maybe you see the color of a car that reminds you of the car that you got into the accident with. You know, the trigger could be anything. But what happens is that it brings you back in time as if it?s happening now and you?re physically experiencing something of that same sensation in your body. And what tapping does is that it helps to create this space between the traumatic incident and the physical sensation in your body so that you don?t have to feel that same way when you?re exposed to the trigger. And that?s pretty powerful.
Tina: Yeah, that?s very powerful, for sure. And I would say Reiki helped to do that for me. You know, I remember describing this to Serena that when I told people about my accident or they asked me about it and I had to talk about it, I would get really light headed and really, you know, be, I think, fight, flight, freeze, right? And once I had done the therapy and Reiki I really didn?t feel like that. I could talk about it and not be there. So I can imagine if I had taken some EFT as well?I don?t know. I?m still intrigued. So let?s just transition a bit to you being a mama, right? You are an awesome practitioner. You are busy, I can imagine. You are a mom and I?m curious what else you do. What are, kind of, your other favorite go-tos for filling your own cup?
Lauren: Yeah. So I do have a meditation and tapping practice that I do on a daily basis. And journaling is also a big part of my practice too. I also really like to escape and take a nice, hot bubble bath. That always fills my cup. And yoga. I love yoga and yoga helps me feel better in my body and get some of the kinks out. Yeah. I think it?s just taking the time each day to really ask myself, how am I feeling? And being honest. So I think tapping really helps you with that. It really meets you with where you are and allowing you to hold space for whatever is coming up and we don?t do that enough as humans, as moms. You know, we?re always so worried about everybody else but when we take care of ourselves and put ourselves first it?s like that whole thing when you?re on a plane and you gotta put the oxygen mask on yourself before putting it on everyone else. You need to do these things for yourself so that you can show up as your best self for those that you love the most.
Serena: Yeah. So for our listeners who might like to connect with you and learn more, what?s the best way to do that?
Lauren: Yeah. So, I have a free masterclass about tapping on my website so if people are interested in that, you can go to mindshiftwithlauren.com/masterclass. And so my regular website is just mindshiftwithlauren and all of my social media links are on there and if people are interested, I do offer free consultations so if anybody is like, oh ok, this sounds really weird, I want to see if this can actually help me, you can just set up a time to chat on my calendar link which is talkwithlauren.com.
Tina: Awesome. And that?s also on your website I imagine, yes?
Tina: Alright. Awesome. And so before we let you go today, is there anything else you want to put out to the world?
Lauren: Yeah. I mean I guess I would just say that I truly believe that we all have the answers within. Our bodies want to be in a state of health and wellbeing and at ease and we all deserve to feel good. I think sometimes it?s easy to forget that but we all deserve that and if this is intriguing to you, if any of the modalities that we talked about are piquing your interest I would just say that that?s happening for a reason. You?re listening to this for a reason and you owe it to yourself to explore that, whether that?s Googling it a little more or signing up for a class somewhere. You know, just listening to what your body is telling you is a big part of this work so tune in and listen because the answers are all there.
Serena: Mmm. Yeah. Lauren, thank you so much for joining us today. Gosh, I learned a lot certainly in this episode and what I really appreciate about you is that you are practicing the things that help you and so you are literally practicing what you preach.
Lauren: Yeah. Yeah. I try.
Serena: Yeah, so thank you. Thank you for joining us.
Lauren: Thank you so much for having me!
Tina: Of course! And so podcast friends, we are, as always, grateful for all of you listening and supporting us. You can help us out by visiting Apple podcasts, leaving us a review, subscribing and please share with others. You will find lots more content on our website NoNeedtoExplainPodcast.com. You will also find us on all the socials, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and you can connect with us there as well.
Serena: And this is your gentle reminder to take good care of yourself while you are also taking care of your people.
Tina: Thanks for listening!