Trauma is Stored in Our Bodies: Healing the Mind-Body Connection

Trauma is Stored in Our Bodies: Healing the Mind-Body Connection

How to heal the body and mind from autoimmune disease.

Today we have a very special guest, Dr. Keesha Ewers. She reversed her rheumatoid arthritis within a year of diagnosis and now helps women reverse their autoimmune disease, heal their childhood trauma, and make friends with the woman they see in the mirror. We discuss:

  • How trauma impacts health
  • The 3 Ps of autoimmune disease: People pleasing, perfection, and past pain
  • Why healing takes daily practice
  • Causes of low libido

Autoimmune disease is undigested anger. -Dr. Keesha Ewers

She believes healing doesn’t happen from just nutrition or just detoxing, but a whole look at physical, mental and emotional health. 

Tune in to find out how to optimize your health by giving attention not only to healing any specific ailments you might have, but also to your mental state, your diet, your physical activity, your life purpose and more.

Sign up free for Keesha's 21 Day Quickstart program.

Guest Bio:
Dr. Keesha Ewers is an integrative medicine expert, Doctor of Sexology, Family Practice ARNP, Psychotherapist, herbalist, is board certified in functional medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, and is the founder and medical director of the Academy for Integrative Medicine Health Coach Certification Program.

Dr. Keesha has been in the medical field for over 30 years. After conducting the HURT Study in 2013 (Healing Un-Resolved Trauma), she developed the HURT Model for understanding how past childhood trauma impacts adult health. This led to the creation of the You Unbroken online program for patients to heal their own trauma and the Mystic Medicine deep immersion healing retreats she leads at her home on San Juan Island, WA.

Dr. Keesha is a popular speaker, including at Harvard and from the TEDx stage, and the best-selling author of Solving the Autoimmune Puzzle: The Woman’s Guide to Reclaiming Emotional Freedom and Vibrant Health, The Quick and Easy Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook: Anti-Inflammatory Recipes with 7 Ingredients or Less for Busy People, and Your Libido Story: A workbook for women who want to find, fix, and free their sexual desire. You can listen to her Mystic Medicine Radio Show and find her programs at www.DrKeesha.com.

Full Episode Transcript:

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

A hypervigilant mind creates a hypervigilant immune system. My immune system is my defense system. So, of course if I'm on the lookout for being hurt emotionally, then I'm going to have the same reactivity inside my body. And another thing I love about Ayurveda is it says, "We are the microcosm of the macrocosm of the universe." I really took that to heart, and I started thinking about that like, "Okay, my cells have the same consciousness and intelligence that I do. So, let's look at what my consciousness is, intelligence is actually creating here." So, if I'm looking for her, I'm going to find it and then I'm going to have this defensive structure that happens inside my body that's wired that way. My immune system, right? So, I started realizing these were connected.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

So really when I studied this oh, cortisol, that's released when I perceive myself as being in danger, is breaking down my gut wall. It's affecting my genetic expression, right? And so, then when the gut wall's broken down, then these lovely little bugs that are living inside of me, because I had Lyme and I had Epstein-Barr. And everyone always says nowadays like "Epstein-Barr is the cause of everything, or Lyme is the cause of everything." Well no, you have to be a hospitable environment for that to happen. And I realized I was creating apartment complexes for everything to come and live in with a big sign that said "Vacancy".

Jacquelyn Loera:

Hi there, Neurohacker Community. Welcome to Episode Number 59 of our podcast. On our show today, we have Dr. Keesha Ewers. She has been in the medical field for over 30 years and developed the HURT Model, which stands for Healing Un-Resolved Trauma for understanding how past childhood trauma impacts adult health. She has an online program for patients to heal their own trauma and host deep immersion healing retreats. She joins us today to share how her own experience with an autoimmune disease led to her understanding of what it truly takes to heal. Stay tuned to learn more. I want to take a moment to thank all of our listeners who have supported Neurohacker in our current week under campaign.

Jacquelyn Loera:

Your support makes this podcast and our products possible. If you're interested in co-owning Neurohacker, then now is your chance to join the other 800 plus Wefunder investors, who have invested more than 1.5 million in Neurohacker. This is a limited time opportunity and we're nearly capped, so go to wefunder.com/neurohacker to become a co-owner. Without further ado, let's jump into the show. Here's Heather and Keesha.

Heather Sandison, ND:

Welcome to the show. My name is Dr. Heather Sandison and I am so thrilled to be joined today by Dr. Keesha Ewers. Keesha, thank you so much for being on the show to talk to us today about a lot about trauma and how we heal from trauma and the way that influences our health or sex lives and all of the important things in life. Thank you for being here.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Oh, I'm so delighted to be here. Thank you for having me.

Heather Sandison, ND:

So, Daniel Schmachtenberger, who works here at Neurohacker Collective. He had emailed me the link to your Ted talk months and months ago. And I was blown away by some of the things that you were saying because as a clinician you are articulating the things that I had sort of seen in practice but had never put words to. So, tell us a little bit about the work that you do. It's so important because nobody else was talking about it. I think that's what I want to say first.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Well, necessity is the mother of invention, right? That saying is there for a reason, and I was strictly in the Western medicine paradigm. I was a nurse at the age of 19 and continued working my way. Basically, I worked in the intensive care unit and hospice for the first 10 years of my career and then I got sick. And I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. And I wound up having to really confront this model of medicine I've been trained in and worked in having no answers. Zero answers for me.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And so from that space, I started really investigating the research and looking for a different way to manage autoimmunity and perhaps even reverse it other than the methotrexate prescription I was being handed and the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the admonition from my rheumatologists that "When you get worse, come back, not if you get worst." And so, I just thought, "There's got to be something. And I went into the research and I found yoga, which was interesting. That was sort of my little first step on my path. And I went to my first yoga class the very next day and the yoga teacher actually mentioned this word 'Ayurveda'.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And from there, I went back and researched at home and I found that this 10,000-year-old framework of medicine, that's the sister science of yoga, actually had some answers for me, which is A, we're not all the same. That was huge. Very revolutionary for me. We're not all the same and B, that actually autoimmune disease is undigested anger. Now, that was another really interesting, like if you think about that sentence, autoimmune disease is undigested anger. First of all, we have no conceptualization of digesting feelings and emotions in our culture. None. And then to be told I'm an angry person, that's why I'm sick, right? And I remember kind of talking back to the computer screen, like "I'm not an angry person."

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Just realizing as I was thinking that thorough that yes, I wasn't and that was probably a big problem. And that I didn't have any model or any kind of pathway or structure that had ever been presented to me about how to digest anger. So, I started learning to meditate and I went backwards one day because this word autoimmune kept coming up in front of me. And I was looking at it and I was thinking, "Gosh, that means I'm killing myself. Auto, this is actually me committing suicide." And I thought there must be some point in my life that I wanted to die because I certainly don't right now.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

I started really going backwards with this mission in my head that I must have informed myself, given them a message at some juncture in my life, right? So, I went backward, backward, backward, backward. And I landed on this 10-year-old little girl version of myself who was being sexually molested by the vice principal of my elementary school. And I remember thinking like, "Oh yeah, ah, she really wanted to die." She had no language for this. She didn't understand what was going on. This part of me really did want to die. And the research is telling me that it takes anywhere from 10 to 30 years for an autoimmune disease to fully develop. This was actually basically 20 years later from that event. And I thought, it’s like I have this little turkey timer in me. Ping, you're done.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And I thought, this trauma has to have something to do with what's going on in my life right now. Even though I can't see it, I can't feel it, I can't quantify it. This has to have a relationship. So, I started diving into the science and I learned in the process to digest my anger. I started going into trauma healing therapy and really learning how to do this. And reframing a lot of what I had taken from my childhood to be true, right? These truths, these beliefs that we swallow when we're kids that bite us in adulthood. That's how I phrase it now. And I learned how to actually take those truths that I had bitten and swallowed and digest them properly. So that I could create new ones, right?

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And so, this is really something that, again, our culture doesn't give us a framework for understanding for, like you said, articulating, verbalizing. And so, this was like clouds parted, angel singing moment for me when I saw this. Oh, and then I was able to reverse my autoimmune disease within six months.

Heather Sandison, ND:

Wow.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

I mean that's just powerful.

Heather Sandison, ND:

Yeah, I do know, because I see so many patients who suffer with autoimmune disease and you're absolutely right. The story that they're told is that this is irreversible. Get on the methotrexate, get on the immunologics, get on the next drug. Because it is not a question of if you will progress, it is just an absolute assumption that you will. And there isn't really any other way around it. And we-

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And then in functional medicine we say diet. And we kind of land in diet or we stay in diet, right?

Heather Sandison, ND:

Well and I tell my-

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And it is part of it.

Heather Sandison, ND:

Yeah. And I tell my patients-

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

That it's not the full story.

Heather Sandison, ND:

Certainly, diet is a part of it. We get so many toxins and we add more and more perturbations and more important salt basically to the body if we're eating crappy food. But what I tell my patients, and I don't know if you agree with this, but is that if you are limiting your foods further then it means you're less resilient and less healthy. You should be resilient and be able to eat a variety of foods. And if you can't, that tells me that there's another why. There's another thing that is making your body not healthy, not resilient. And so, we're not going in the right directions by further limiting you. And we're not getting to the why.

Heather Sandison, ND:

So, when I was in school, I went to Bastyr up in Seattle near you. And I remember hearing in a counseling psychology class that one in four children is sexually assaulted or sexually abused. And I was just like, "No, there's no way. Like that cannot be true."

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Heather Sandison, ND:

And then I did further counseling work and started counseling students, other Bastyr students and then outside of that as well. And sure enough I was like "Uh-huh (affirmative), that's right." And that actually might be low. It might be closer to one in three. Obviously it is heartbreaking to think about that and to think that these children, I don't want to say helpless children, but these very vulnerable beings are suffering to that degree. And then it's also in the context of the society that refuses to discuss it, right?

Heather Sandison, ND:

So, there's no light shed on it. So, the solutions are so limited because people like me go, "No, no, no, that can't be true." That statistic cannot be true, but I see it every day in my practice that the people who come in and suffer for years with autoimmune disease, with hypertoxicity and multiple chemical sensitivities and anxiety and depression, there's usually a history. Nine out of 10 times, there is a history of trauma, of childhood trauma. And sexual trauma is certainly the majority of that. And so here you are, I get to see you giving your talk on the Ted stage, speaking exactly to this. And for me, it was one of those moments that you described where I was like, "Of course, of course, they have something to do with each other."

Heather Sandison, ND:

So, tell me, how did you reverse it? What did you do in those six months? This is so courageous that you went towards it. This scary, horrifying thing that happened to you as a 10-year-old. Instead of running away from it, you went towards it and dealt with it. Can you tell me about that process?

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Yes. It's so interesting because I wrote a book called Solving the Autoimmune Puzzle. And in it, I give this ratio that I created in my head called the misery to motivation ratio. And I say that unfortunately, this is human nature, right? The more miserable you are, the more motivated you are to actually make changes. Well, when you're handed a diagnosis where they say there's no cure and you're not going to do anything except take meds that have horrific side effects, right? My misery level was very high, so I was very motivated. That was also high. I have four small children that were used to a certain kind of mother, and I was not... The way that I found out I had RA; I was just flattened.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

I could hardly get out of bed. And it felt like it was all of a sudden, which is what my patients say too. All of a sudden, I'm sick, right? It was just completely inaccurate. So, what I did was I found my why, which is what I always tell my patients to do. Find a reason why you're going to be motivated to make the changes you have to make. And then the second thing that I did was I started looking at what I now call the four corners of everybody's puzzle. So, everybody with a chronic illness has the same... We're all unique. We all are a puzzle. But when we think about solving a puzzle, there are these four corners. And I started looking at digestive health. Ayurvedic medicine, really, really, like most ancient forms of science, say all health and disease start in the digestive tract, right?

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

So, I started looking at that. I started looking at toxins because that was another one, I was seeing in the literature, right? So, I was looking at that, but I didn't limit it to toxins that we tend to think about, like chemicals and pesticides and all of the molds and bacteria and viruses. I also thought about the toxins I was creating in my own mind, like my toxic thoughts and beliefs, right? And then the third corner puzzle of corner piece of the puzzle for me is always genetics. And my grandfather had had RA, and this is why my rheumatologists said, "Well I'm sorry, you basically drew the short end of the genetic lotto." Right? And that was the case close. And then that last one was stress and trauma.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And so, I started looking at all four of them and how they interrelate with each other. So, I realized that every time that my biochemical soup is set off and I have a flare inflammation is because I have perceived something as being dangerous. And I realized that I had learned at a very young age to be in a state of fight or flight or freeze. Mine was actually more freeze, right? A 10-year-old kid being called to the vice principal's office was instant freeze. So, my nervous system had gotten into this patterning and I realized that that habituated nervous system pattern had to be dealt with. And that I was really hyper vigilant. And I always say now like "A hypervigilant mind creates a hypervigilant immune system." My immune system is my defense system.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

So, of course if I'm on the lookout for being hurt emotionally, then I'm going to have the same reactivity inside my body. And another thing I love about Ayurveda is it says, "We are the microcosm of the macrocosm of the universe." I really took that to heart, and I started thinking about that like, "Okay, my cells have the same consciousness and intelligence that I do. So, let's look at what my consciousness is, intelligence is actually creating here." So, if I'm looking for her, I'm going to find it and then I'm going to have this defensive structure that happens inside my body that's wired that way. My immune system, right? So, I started realizing these were connected.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

So really when I studied this oh, cortisol, that's released when I perceive myself as being in danger, is breaking down my gut wall. It's affecting my genetic expression, right? And so, then when the gut wall's broken down, then these lovely little bugs that are living inside of me, because I had Lyme and I had Epstein-Barr. And everyone always says nowadays like "Epstein-Barr is the cause of everything, or Lyme is the cause of everything." Well no, you have to be a hospitable environment for that to happen. And I realized I was creating apartment complexes for everything to come and live in with a big sign that said "Vacancy". So-

Heather Sandison, ND:

Come on in.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Come on in, let's set up this shop and we can live together, because I have this great acidic pathway happening. And it all starts between my ears. And so, then I started realizing that, "Oh, everything starts with what my neuroception is, my perception about myself and my perception of that self in the environment, in this universe, in this life." Me feeling betrayed by my body was actually setting up a whole new... That's what autoimmune disease is. You're in a combative relationship with yourself. There's no winner in that. When I got that and I went, "Okay." Like I don't need to be scurrying around searching for answers in the research literature or with any other kind of provider or practitioner. I need to sit down, and I need to actually start peace talks between my heart, my mind, my body, and my spirit.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And we're not getting up until we have a truth. I really went into it and stay. And so, I started working at it from that. I mean, honestly, I think at the two most important English language words for this kind of healing, the first one is willingness to really go in. And you say it's courageous; I say it was necessary. And yes, it takes a lot of courage. I definitely don't want to discount that because people, we get our patterns and our motivations for behaving the way we do. We ingrain our personalities and our ego structures because we learned at a young age that this was the way we could feel protected and loved. But when you get to be an adult and you realize that, "Oh, that's not working." Then it's just really being willing to take the time and the willingness to sit down and do this.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And then the second word is integration. That once you get the insights, because you can go to so many different retreats, workshops, read books, go to a doctor's appointment, come back with insight. But if you don't practice it with the same diligence that a piano maestro practice with these clunky cords when you first start out, sounds terrible and it's horrible to try and get your fingers to move in that way. But once you sit and you practice, then you start to get really good and it sounds wonderful and pleasing. And that's actually how you have to approach this. People want a one-and-done. It's the "match the pill to ill" thing that we have going on. So really when people ask me how I did it, there's a way that I conceptualize will. And will is your attention to your intention and those two have to be equal.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

You can't lose sight of your intention and you have to actually keep your attention on it at all times. And then it happens. You could think about these five keys to creating your reality. Will is actually the third. The first one is awareness. That's your direct experience of your life. So, you're experiencing life, right? And it's just your direct experience and you could be 10 years old having sexual molestation. That's your direct experience of life. The second is your consciousness, which is actually the meaning you put to that experience. It's the shaping you do with your own imagination. Now, when you are only 10 years old, six years old, an infant, you don't have a prefrontal cortex that's built yet. You are in the child brain and that brain actually doesn't have adult executive function.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

So, you're going to be making up... You're also in a developmental state that's very self-centered. So, the imagination that you use to shape and put meaning to your direct experience of reality is going to be with a child's brain, a child mind. And it will make sense to that child. It will be self-centered, and it will be based on survival because you're... The adjective of helpless children is actually pretty accurate. They are powerless, right? They're trying to figure out how to be humans in a world dominated by big humans and they're trying to learn all of it, right? So, it's like how do I fit into this world? So those meanings that you create, your consciousness, you then carry forward into adulthood. And it's the gift of illness to actually make you sit down and reevaluate those with an adult brain.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

So, then you get your will, right? The will is attention and intention is the musculature that you have to actually keep with this reshaping every reality. The fourth one is your intention. So, you can keep going back to that like, "Okay, what is my intention here? What do I want? Do I want help? Do I really want to help? If I really want to help, I'm not going to keep with this victimization, right? Meaning that I have. I'm not going to keep looking for danger. I'm not going to keep setting off with my own imagination." The biochemical soup that actually breaks down my gut wall expresses my genetics in a way that I don't want them expressed and keeps my trauma alive. And then the last one, the fifth one, which is so interesting, you can actually master all four of the ones I just talked about.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

You can master them, and you have to if you're going to get better. It's a skillset, but the last one is called the intent of the world. Now this is a really interesting line because this is other people. It's God, it's the world, it's the government. It's the experiences that Mother Nature provides. It's everything that you have no control of. In other words, it's everything. And intent, you cannot master because it's a mystery. So, it's like this deep surrender to what you cannot control. And that mystery is that ability to actually be without an attachment to an outcome. So, can you do all of this without an expectation that your body is going to behave differently? I was able to do that like, "Okay.", and then there's the mystery, right?

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And I give it all over because this may be what I'm supposed to have for the rest of my life and there's some lesson in it and okay. So not having an attachment to outcome, I believe actually helped it switch off faster than it would have if I had been saying, "Okay, I'm going to do this, so that I don't have joint pain anymore. I'm going to do this, so that my fingers will stop getting deformed. I'm going to do this, so I'll have energy. And I can get my body back." I always hear that from my patients. "I want my body back." And so, with the mystery part of it, that too is a skill to be mastered, of being able to just surrender to the unknown. And to know that all of it's being done for you and not to you.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And that is really fascinating because if you understand it's being done for you, not to you, and that this is a catalyst for the expansion of your own consciousness, then you can just rest in that quietly, right? Without sending all of the fight or flight or freeze chemicals down to the body, your body begins to understand it is safe. Your mind and your body begin to speak together. Your heart's involved as a big part of the team. And you understand that actually this body is just a vehicle to carry your spirit around. And you're not going to spend every waking moment waxing your car and making sure there are no scratches on it, right? You're going to go, "Okay, I got to get on with my life purpose here." Right? That's how I did it.

Heather Sandison, ND:

And I wonder if that surrender piece allows you to open to all the potential that you didn't know existed, right? If you're attached to just not having joint pain, then there's all this stuff that you don't know that's a potential that you kind of close yourself off from. This is where it's really great to have your book in front of us, but can we just review those? So, awareness, meaning banking, will, remind me of the fourth one before surrendering to the mystery.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Intention.

Heather Sandison, ND:

Intention and then surrendering to the mystery. That's beautiful.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Intent.

Heather Sandison, ND:

Intent.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

That's the intent of the world, right?

Heather Sandison, ND:

Intent of the world.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And everything in it that actually you cannot control how it's going to behave. I always say that people with autoimmune disease have 3P's, people pleasing, perfectionism and poison from past pain that they're holding onto. So, if people pleasing is in place, then what you're going to do with your strategy and this is me, I'm only saying this because I've done this. I did caregiving, right? Taking care of everybody else. And that's part of what we learn when we're traumatized as children is, "Okay, I'll be a good little girl. I'll do this for you. If I do this, will you actually pay attention to me? Will you keep me safe?" Right?

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

So then when you're this over caregiver in adulthood and then you find that people are not giving you what your desired outcome is. Then there's going to be some bitterness and resentment that happens. And that resentment is actually I think the most powerful toxin that you can have in the four corner pieces over Epstein-Barr, over Lyme, over every other bacteria and virus we share this planet with because it's a self-induced one. There's no antidote for that. That you can get outside of you. Resentment has to be an inside care. And so, I always say like "You have to take the bitterness bathtub and take the plug out of it. And let the resentment drain out."

Heather Sandison, ND:

That's great.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

"Stop bathing in it."

Heather Sandison, ND:

That's great.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Drinking kale juices in the morning and taking detox baths at night. And if you're doing it with this bed of resentment that it's all going to, then it's just not going to work. It is not going to work.

Heather Sandison, ND:

Well, and we see this, you've talked about Ayurveda as a 10,000-year-old medicine? It's more than that, but as this approach to health and how we interact with our bodies. One of the conserved, sort of things that you see pop up all over the world in these ancient medicine sort of paradigms, is forgiveness. So, in Hawaii it's called Ho'oponopono and at 40 years of Zen or also the Biocybernaut place. It's actually also [inaudible] in the Pacific Northwest. The idea is that what Zen masters did and the value that they get from sitting and meditating is that they get to forgiveness, right?

Heather Sandison, ND:

So, you see that over and over again in these systems. And is that sort of what you're referring to when you talk about this bitterness bath? Like that if we hang onto that anger and we can't forgive, then really, we're hurting ourselves still.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

It's interesting because forgiveness is such a loaded word and, and I do talk a lot about this because my doctoral research was about it. What I was looking at was held onto hurt. I was seeing it in my office day in and day out. I went to the medical literature. I couldn't find anything that matched what I was seeing in my practice. And so, I went back to school and I got a PhD in Sexology and people are like "Sexology? I didn't even know that was a thing!" And I say "Yes, it was because I was having all these people come in asking me for hormone saying they have low libido." But when I start inquiring what was going on, there was resentment in their relationships. And I was like, "You know hormones aren't going to fix this, right?" This is the content of my Ted talk.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And so, when I started really examining this, I looked at and I created this HURT model from my research. And what I found is there's this initial hurt when you're a kid, everybody has it. We started off the conversation with one in three to four people are abused when they're children, right? Sexual abuse being very high. And so, people will automatically tune out of the conversation when they hear that. And they'll say, "Oh, I haven't had trauma." But actually, I start the conversation by saying every single person has had trauma because you can think of... When I started mapping brains for my research and looking at fMRI scans, I was looking at the impact that PTSD had on the brain.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

There's a shrinkage in your adult brain, your executive function, the one that actually makes decisions about who you hang out with, how you spend your money, what you're going to put on the end of your fork and in your cup. Like all of that is adult function. And if that shrinks and your amygdala grows, that's the part that's like the fight, flight, looking for danger, freeze. Right? If that is growing in volume and the adult part is shrinking, then we're in trouble. And so, I started looking at that and going, "Oh." But then I found this researcher that was finding the same exact brain changes for people that were reporting themselves as being chronically overwhelmed and stressed, overscheduled, busy. That they were actually having the same brain changes-

Heather Sandison, ND:

I don't know anyone like that.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Every single person, right?

Heather Sandison, ND:

Almost. Yeah.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And so, I went, "Oh my gosh." If you're actually perceiving yourself as overscheduled, overstressed and overburdened all the time, then you two have the same exact brain damage as PTSD. So, I want to start with that as our premise because otherwise people really check out and tune out, okay. So, any-

Heather Sandison, ND:

Well, then you put yourself in the camps of like, I was sexually molested, and I wasn't. And so now you have others, right.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And we have comparison too, right? Which is also crazy because I started realizing as I was doing therapy with people that... I just remember a woman being so traumatized because she was the third girl in a family and she always got hand me downs. And I remember she was reacting in the same way she had this autoimmune disease in the same way as someone that had been sexually abused. And I thought, "Oh, you actually can't compare because your highest level of trauma is your bar." And that is going to be the same as somebody that's watched their family get raped in a war-torn country and their house burned. And I know it sounds weird that that's the case, but actually that's your highest level if it's what it is, right?

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And I can come back to that about why that is, but when you think about as early humans sitting around the campfire and tribal days. If we were put outside the fire light circle, then we knew our survival was threatened. The saber tooth tiger could eat us. And so, any experience of rejection is actually experienced as trauma and who has not been rejected in childhood? And so that's what I want to bring our conversation to that place where we are a collective and instead of a group of separate entities of with comparables of trauma. Let's put us all in the same place of this is the human experience. This isn't bad and it's not good. It just is.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And so when you start there and you think about like okay, so in the HURT model, there's this initial hurt and it can be you actually messed up a spelling word in the spelling bee in front of a whole bunch of people in public shame, right? It can be that and it can be anything else. And then from that place, you're going to make up a meaning, right? So, this is the place where we shaped our imagination, right? So, we're going to make up a meaning about it, and then we're going to actually create an adaptive behavior that goes with that meaning. And this is really interesting. So, when you think about it, first you have your hurt, whatever it is. And then your nervous system responds, because you get a feeling in your body that then we start with their nervous system response. That's actually going to get hardwired now.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Now you have a habit if that button keeps getting pushed. And it's going to be the button of the meaning you create. So, if we go back to me, and I always use myself as an example because it's easy to see it. I'm sitting in a fifth-grade classroom. I get called to the vice principal's office; the Intercom goes off in the corner of the classroom to say the Pledge of Allegiance. And I go straight into the nervous system response, because who knows after that thing starts to get crackly, what's going to happen next? Right? And so, I keep doing this pattern, right? And the meaning that I created was that I have to actually be perfect to survive because the vice principal is telling me it was because I was bad kid and stupid. And so, my adaptive behavior was to become a perfectionist and to really be smart.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And so, none of this stuff is bad. This is the stuff that just occurs, right? No emotional tie into it at all. This will be your meaning, your behavior. Now in adulthood you're going to have something that calls you to reexamine these old belief patterns. And so, on the HURT model, there's one branch that comes off that says maladaptive memory processing loop. That maladaptive is you stay in that same pattern. People come along, they push your button of not being good enough or whatever it is, and then you're going to go off into your nervous system hijacking of every other system in your body and then you're eventually going to have disease. That's the way it goes.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And you're not going to have any libido as a sidebar because the zebra being chased by the lion knows it's not safe to stop and have sex right now. Right? So, there goes your libido. Now on the other side of it, there's a different way you can do things. This is the place where it takes some willingness, and this is a willingness to self-confront and create an adaptive memory processing loop. Now, from that place, you're going to look at it and you're going to say, "Gosh, this has happened many times in my life before I'd like to get rid of it." This nervous system response that I have, I can tell it's making me sick, right? And so, then you're going to go into this ability to self-confront.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Now, forgiveness, when I put this into my research and I did a review of literature on it, I saw that there were wildly different definitions of forgiveness. People get confabulate forgiveness and reconciliation all the time. Forgiveness is not reconciling, okay? You can forgive somebody and I'm going to show you the process to do this. It's not easy. It is not lip service. It's not, "Oh, I forgive you." You can't be sitting in a pew in church and hear a sermon about forgiveness and just do it in your heart and that's it, it's done. It's not a one-and-done thing. Reconciliation, it only happens if it's a relationship that is important and has been demonstrated as safe. In other words, the person that hurt you, if they show contrition, they understand what they've done and have made steps towards changing that.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Then you have an opportunity to reconcile if you desire it. Otherwise, you can forgive and have really great boundaries. Okay. And you don't have to forgive, call the other person up. Like I didn't call my vice principal up and say, "Hey, let's go get coffee." Right? I just understood and I'm going to show you how I did it.

Heather Sandison, ND:

Well wait, but what did happen to him? Because he was probably doing this to other little girls too.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

I don't know.

Heather Sandison, ND:

You don't, okay.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

I know.

Heather Sandison, ND:

I had to ask-

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Because it was 20 years later that I started making these discoveries, right? And at that point, he wasn't in the school system anymore. So, this is the unfortunate thing. And as a child, I did try to tell people it was happening, but I didn't use the right words. And that's a really interesting thing to listen to children, because I didn't actually know the word sex at the age of 10. I was raised with no TV and it was a different era. It was the 1970s. I know it sounds like peace, love, rock and roll, but we had just moved from Japan. I was a Navy brat, like didn't even know what sex was.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

So, it's just really fascinating. I didn't know the word molestation. I didn't know the word abuse. And so, I didn't know how to express what was happening. I tried to tell the teachers and they just, like it was just not... I didn't have the right words. And plus, probably, I felt somewhat like it was my fault because I was being told it was. So, I would only venture out from my little shell a little tiny bit to say something and then I'd retract as soon as I was shut down. Kids don't, they are powerless. So when you go to forgiveness then, and I'll use him then since he's on the table as an example, I looked at him when I started learning how to properly forgive and this is an exercise that takes a lot of courage.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And I make it last in when I'm working with people. I say, "Please do not jump to forgiveness yet because there are a few steps." First you have to do this reflection process and then this mirroring work. And the mirroring work is actually looking at the person that's hurt you in the mirror, seeing them as you, okay, another form of you. And you list all of the ego traits or personality characteristics that are bothering you about them. So, I'll use like for him, I came up with cruel, egomaniacal and without integrity, right? And so, we'll just use those. So, what I did was I said, "Okay, so how do I do those three things?" Now I don't sexually abused children, haven't. And so, it's really hard because people will get hung up on the behavior. I'm talking about the ego.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

We all have the same personality characteristics, by the way. It's just that whichever ones we feed the most to grow the strongest and we'll do them differently. So, we look different from each other, but we're all cruel. We're all loving, we're all kind, we're all fearful, but we do them in different variations. And so, it makes us think we're all different. So, when I started looking for cruel, I'm a mother of four children. Like that was so fast. I went, "Oh." I mean, come on, I'm a parent.

Heather Sandison, ND:

That was my next big question is like, has this influenced your parenting style?

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Oh, for sure. That's the whole point of this forgiveness process. Then you get to see it in yourself and go, "Oh, I'm going to go ahead now and use this as the teacher." Like he was a great teacher for me, bow to him and say, "Thank you for being my teacher." And now I'm going to watch for these things and how I do them in my own life, which is different than how he does them. And not judging him now because I'm saying, "Oh, you've reflected this in myself." Right? And so, I had guilt tripped my son when I first got this, download on this in just that morning. So, I went back to my oldest son and I said, "Hey Cameron, did you experience this interaction we had this morning at breakfast as guilt tripping." And he said, "Yeah." And I said, "Okay."

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

That is actually really out of line and out of integrity for me in the way that my values are for parenting. And I said, "I'm going to ask your help with me really watching this." And I said, 'That's so dysfunctional and if you notice it again, will you please point it out to me?" And he said, "Sure, mom." And I said, "Okay.", and I really apologize for using that method.

Heather Sandison, ND:

How old is he at this point?

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

He's, he's about 10 years old, 11 or 12, yeah.

Heather Sandison, ND:

Okay, so about the same age you were.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Yes, yes. And so, he said, "Yeah mom." And so, we became accountability partners, right? And I really watched it because I knew that I was using that, because I had seen myself do it because I was looking for cruelty in myself. Then I used egomaniacal and I thought, "Oh yeah, my way or the highway. Of course, like I'm a parent." And so, I really started creating this platform of having these democratic discussions around the table where I get less say, but everyone gets their voice heard. Like I really re-established how we did things.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

So, he became the most amazing teacher for me, and I was then able to see us on equal footing, not me up here with self-righteous indignation about "How could you ever hurt a child?" Right? And then I could bow to him and forgive him, then I did not reconcile. That's what I want you to understand. So, forgiveness is actually taking the resentment out of yourself. It's giving you not just that, but it's also giving you a self-reflective ability that you cannot see for yourself.

Heather Sandison, ND:

Like this superpower-

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Yeah, exactly. When someone hurts you, they do something that makes you sit back on your heels. And if you take the opportunity and are willing to self-confront, you can find yourself in them. And then you can understand why it was so hurtful, right? So, again, doesn't mean that you're a doormat, right? It means you're willing to use everything in this life as a teacher.

Heather Sandison, ND:

No, it's this incredible invitation to go in the direction of growth. Personal growth, yeah.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Yes, yes.

Heather Sandison, ND:

Wow. Okay. So, the HURT model, a lot of that starts in childhood. So you talked a little bit about how going through this personally affected how you parent, but do you think about your children's experience kind of generally, not just with you, but with their dad, within their school, and their sports activities. Do you think about their entire experience differently with your new insights?

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Yes, but let me give you the really obvious thing that happened for me that won't be obvious because it's just so fascinating. I did this 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat and I came back, there were a series of things that happened where during the course of not speaking and having just time with me, myself and I. No cell phone, no journal, no yoga, no anything to distract me, right? No reading, you're not allowed to do any of this stuff. It was just me, myself and I. And so, I started having all these nightmares that each of my children was getting picked off. Like they were dying in the most horrific ways in my dreams at night. And I was just really agonized. So, I tell this story on myself because it's really very eliminating when you go back to the egomaniacal thing with my vice-principal.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

So, I went to the front desk where they take your cell phone away from you, right? And I said, "I need to call my house. I need to call home." And she said, "So okay, why?" And I said, "I think something's wrong. I think something's wrong and going terribly bad." And she said, "Why do you think that?" And I said, "Well, I mean, I'm kind of intuitive and I'm getting..." This is the arrogance. "I'm getting all these hints that's something's wrong." And she looked at me and she said, "So did you leave the number here for... Is there anyone that would watching your children?" And I said, "Yeah, there was their dad." And she said, "Is he safe?" And I said, "Yeah, of course." And she said, "And you left the number?" And I said, "Yes." "Would you think he'll call you if something was going on?"

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And I stared at her and I said, "Got it." And what I really understood is that this was all my attachments coming up. That actually I'd created this family that I was also using to keep my own emotional equilibrium and my happiness. And I was creating this magic life for them. And really like just, I was a supermom and I created magic everywhere for my kids. And I realized this wasn't for my kids, and that I was attached to them in that most unhealthy way. And so, I went, and I sat down on my meditation cushion and then I let them all die. Every single thing, like my youngest was being eaten by a shark. I watched the whole thing and I let it happen. My son got swallowed up in a volcano, I let it happen. I watched his body disappear under the lava, and like every single thing, it was awful.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And then I just rested with that and I started feeling like, "Oh." And then other people that I knew in love died in horrific ways. And so, I was all alone and I realized there's the root fear. All alone with nobody I know, nobody that love me that I loved. And I was all alone, okay? Existential angst right there. And so, I saw it and I went, "Oh." And I said, "So now I'm at the root." Right? Here it is. And so, I thought I have a choice. I can kill myself. And I thought of all these different ways I could actually go out and meet them and then leave this world that was so desolately empty without them. Or I could go heal and actually get this reshape my identity as not mom, not wife, not friend, not caregiver, not nurse practitioner, PhD. Not all of the stuff, right? I let it all go.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And so, what I ultimately did in my imagination, I was shaping my reality here, right? Is I went and I spent six months with Thich Nhat Hanh in Plum Village in France in silence. And then came back out and decided to just be of service to the world. And I had so much peace. And so, when I went back home, I told my kids about this and I said, "So things are going to change around here. It is not my responsibility to make you happy." It was like this big epiphany. It is my responsibility to give you the tools to make yourself happy, to meet the challenges life is going to give you, and to be able to have resilience in the midst of it, in the face of it. And I just changed my parenting from that moment forward and it was remarkable.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

I have these four grown children now, they're all in their 20s. The oldest is 30 and they're the most remarkable people. Like that was a pivotal moment in my parenting of "Oh, I am not here to make you happy. And in fact, when I try to, I am debilitating you. And I'm doing it for my own self-serving purposes that I didn't even see."

Heather Sandison, ND:

That is profound. That is really powerful. So, like can you give examples of how that shifted instead of going to Disneyland like were they mowing lawns? Like what happened? What was that like?

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

I didn't start a Gulag, no. Instead, I remember I was in graduate school and I used to throw this party that was almost bigger than Christmas in our household. It was called Mad Maples. It was at Halloween and it was this huge thing where I was an archetype of like the shadow queen and I would become Mad Maple. And we would have this mixed up dinner. It was a big deal. And it took me probably two weeks to get ready for it. And all of the neighborhood kids would come over and they'd have this menu of like chopped out pirates’ tongues and cockroaches and all like all this stuff, right, that they had to choose from. And then I was like the shrieking crazy person and it was really fun.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Well, I was in the middle of graduate school and it turns out the finals week was right at Halloween and I said, "We're not going to Mad Maples this year, guys. I can't do it." Like I've realized I can't do both. And they had a fit. They had a fit. And I remember getting very, very depressed and going to bed and just really, kind of what I call it, potato bug, wanting to roll up in this potato bug. And then I thought to myself, "Gosh, they're acting like bratty. Can't they see that I can't do everything." And then I realized, "Oh, you created these monsters. You're the one that did this." Right? So, I got up and I said, "So we're not having Mad Maples and let me give you some tools for dealing with your disappointment."

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And so, I was able to actually go through and give them these tools for dealing with disappointment. So, things like that. It wasn't like this all of a sudden. I was me realizing as I reacted to their reactions, "Oh, this is part of that old paradigm." Right?

Heather Sandison, ND:

Right. And this is-

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Here's what we need to do.

Heather Sandison, ND:

... kind of where you started the conversation too is in like actually putting it into practice every single day, right? So, you can go to spend time with Thich Nhat Hanh, or you can go to the Vipassana retreat and have these insights, but then putting them into practices where the rubber meets the road, right? This is where it gets really challenging.

Heather Sandison, ND:

You have to get creative and sit with that truth. And it's uncomfortable, right? Your kids are upset.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Right. And we live in a generation... Is interesting because there's a lot of research out there right now that tells us that we're in a culture of narcissism. And basically, all of us are narcissists because we're sort of steeped in this tea bag of our culture. And it's getting worse, like narcissistic personality disorders on the rise as a diagnostic ICD-10 or DSM-5, like here are the criteria. People are falling in these criteria more and more. Gone to like 6% to 16% to it's just-

Heather Sandison, ND:

And I was under the impression that we're talking about like even taking it out of the DSM because it was so common that it isn't abnormal anymore.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Yes. Right, which is frightening. And so, I'm watching those rates go up and also anxiety; and depression in millennials and suicide attempts are going up; and autoimmune disease is on the rise. And I'm saying, "Oh my gosh, we're in a predatory culture." A culture that actually creates people that are the autoimmune disease. We are the autoimmune disease in our culture now where we're predatory in the way that we are attacking the planet that serves us, that gives us life. And we're predatory against each other about trying to be the best in the... And so, I started looking at the research and there are reasons for this. There are like four root causes to this and one of them is self-esteem curriculum in our elementary, middle school, and high school that our narcissism has got up as that has been more and more implemented.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And instead of self-esteem, we need self-compassion. And we need to actually teach our children how to have compassion for others and self-compassion, instead of self-esteem. And so, the other three are the kind of obsessive stuff that we have around fame. Everyone wants to be a YouTube star apparently now, coming out of school. And then the third one is the easy credit that we had. Like everyone could live like the biggest and largest life that they could conceive of. And that was a problem. And then social media. So, all the selfie stuff, like all of this is creating this culture of narcissism, which is actually creating a lot of problem with disease processes and mood disorders. And so, I'm really looking at now like what's the answer to that?

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And I'm starting to talk about like the missing rites of passage, which is a whole another podcast we can talk about. But I'm putting together a study right now to look at what if we put rites of passage back into our culture? What would that do? Because that actually creates a council of elders that seeing you through this next stage of where you are and says, "Here's how to think of the collective instead of just yourself." And so, think about that, like how powerful. We just don't have it. And there are so many rites of passage throughout our lifespan. I mean, I was sitting up on top of a mountain in Colorado with the Lakota doing a vision quest in the Lakota way of four days with no food and no water for the second time. But I realized as I was sitting up there this time in June, "Oh, I had self-selected."

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

This is when I started thinking about it, to be in a vision quest at my time of menopause, like I'm now transitioning. And I knew I needed to get out and do this and get input from these other places to get me through this next stage. And I thought, Oh, people really need this, and we don't have it." And to me it's the antidote for the narcissism. And I believe that a lot of our illnesses being on the rise are actually a direct correlative to this. And I'm going to see what I can do about making some correlation scientific. So that we can really look at it. I'm right now trying to conceptualize it and build the study and design it, so that it's actually quantifiable. But it's pretty fascinating when you think about what's going around our country right now.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

As we have millennials that are conceiving of new models of being in the world in an economic way that's different and in a community way that's different. But none of them are really bringing rites of passage along. And if we look at history, we can see, we can look at the Maoist Revolution in China, we can look at the Communism that happened inside of Russia. Right? And we can see that things got kind of bleak as everybody was getting into this sameness, because we removed ritual, we removed color, we removed texture, like the rights of passage got removed along with all the other stuff. Right?

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And so how can we build that for a culture that doesn't have it? How can we place that? And that's what I'm looking at right now as really part of this healing of trauma. Because our culture is trauma. We're in it. It's traumatic.

Heather Sandison, ND:

You can't avoid it. That's fascinating.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

You can't.

Heather Sandison, ND:

So yeah, you've had a lot of roles: mother, and nurse practitioner, and researcher. So, is the bulk of the work you're doing now in research or? I know you have retreats that you offer. You write a significant amount. So, what is your current work other than that research project?

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

All of those things.

Heather Sandison, ND:

All of those. All of them.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

I still have clinical practice. I see patients twice a week, on Mondays and Tuesdays. I see them remotely on Wednesdays from all over the world on Zoom. And then I write, and I teach. I have a health coach certification program, where I'm teaching people to do what I do and look at this emotional peace and look at the entirety. And help people to step through into hormone balance and GI balance through also fixing these early meanings and beliefs. And so, I train people to do that. And then I write and I'm now putting together this research project. So-

Heather Sandison, ND:

You do it all.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

... I love that. I mean, all my kids are gone now. They've flown the nest. And so, this is my time to devote myself to looking around and seeing what my grandchildren will to be born into. And trying to have some role in fixing what I broke. And this is the thing, I also see a lot of my generations sitting around just complaining and complaining and complaining about millennials. And I'm always saying, "Hey, we did this."

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

So, like we are the ones that went along with this whole, "This is my princess.", this self-esteem stuff and didn't teach our children how to actually live with disappointment. And we're the ones that gave everybody the trophy no matter what. And so now they can't handle it when challenges are really hard. And so, we need to be part of the solution instead of just sitting around and having a bitch fest about it, which is, anyway, sorry, I probably shouldn't have said that.

Heather Sandison, ND:

No, no, I appreciate that. I mean it kind of goes back to looking at the vice principal in the face, right? It's only a piece that's yours. And then again, it's that invitation to be part of the solution. It's an invitation for not only personal growth I think at this point, but applying it to society, applying it to certainly your family, like your community and the collective. And I think that's really beautiful and I will use the word courageous. I think it's very courageous that you are doing this. And I'm grateful that you're willing because certainly we need people like you.

Heather Sandison, ND:

I think I'll say this from my perspective as a younger doc and a newer mom, it's like we need these models of how to move forward, right? Like we can all add what we have to add at the time that we approach these different phases of our life, these different transitions. But it's so refreshing to see someone, 20 years ahead of me that is so dedicated to this and has put it into practice.

Heather Sandison, ND:

So, thank you for what you are offering. It's very inspiring for me and speaking, not on behalf of my patients exactly, but just having your insights. I send a lot of people to your Ted talk because I think it does it articulate this part of our society that we don't shine enough light on. And it sounds like that's what you're doing again. As we talk about millennials and this narcissism, it's really putting words to that and bringing solutions. So, I just am so grateful for you are doing and offering.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Well, I just want to say to you and your generation, I taught this interfaith youth organization when my kids were in high school for a lot of years and I was teaching them how to, from different spiritual traditions, engage in dialogue. I was hoping like then when they up they wouldn't be so eager to drop bombs on each other. All these kids that were part of this are amazing adults. Like that's exactly what happened. They're really engaged in the world and these very, very innovative and collaborative ways.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

So, what I used to say to adults when I was 30 and doing this with these kids was, "Don't not listen to this younger generation. They have something to teach us." But now that I'm 54 and I'm watching the younger generation kind of just like throw away the elders, because the elders are busy running around getting Botox and trying to look like they are 30, which is very discouraging obviously to me.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

I want to just say to your generation, please have patience and call people that are 50 and over to their position as elders to the council table because our society needs it. And what will happen is nature abhors a vacuum. And you can see what gets into government and power is going to be what's left over if you do not stand and call the elders to the table. Because they, I think, need to be yelled at right now, "Listen, we need you." Instead of, "I'm just going to ignore that generation. They really stirred up and they've left us with this fucked up world. And we don't want anything to do with them. And we're going to go over here and start a new game. And all these silos are popping up." And that's just not going to work.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And so, what I want to say is thank you for your gratitude and like stand together and call the elders to the table, because they do have a lot to teach. But I think a lot of millennials are turning their backs from them, us, because there is a lot of like dysfunctional behavior going on around trying to look like they're still 30 so. Let's create a space where it's okay to be an elder and actually it's welcomed and needed.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

And so that's another thing I've been trying to get my generation to be like, "Okay, put down the needle and the injections. And let's actually go over here and start like collaborating on what it looks like to be elders because all we have to do is look at our government and we can see what's put in place if we don't show up." And we can't complain about it. You cannot complain about it because this is just a default of you not showing up. So that's, yeah.

Heather Sandison, ND:

I work a lot with Alzheimer's patients. And that's a big part of my why is that we have people who are at the height of their wisdom and experience, who are taken out of society. And if we can come up with solutions to that, they also take a caregiver with them quite often and that's typically a partner or someone else of their generation. And they essentially leave their communities, they become a drain. They become more of a liability than an asset. And I really believe that the world could be a completely different place if there were, even if just even some of those people that have Alzheimer's diagnoses, could turn around because they have so much to contribute.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

That's so true. And I appreciate all you're doing for that because you're absolutely right. It's a brain drain and an age that is really needed to show up and be present. And it's frightening to watch your brain just drain away like that. So-

Heather Sandison, ND:

Oh my gosh, absolutely.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

... thank you for what you're doing.

Heather Sandison, ND:

Yeah, it's amazing. It's so fun to learn about people. I just absolutely love what I do here because I get to hear the stories of other people that are doing it and it's inspiring, it's hopeful and just really truly impressive. So, thank you for what you're up to. Thank you for sharing your time with us today and please keep us posted on the new study.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

Thank you. I would probably be asking for funding at some point when I get it all together. I figured if I'm doing this for the culture, the culture can contribute, right?

Heather Sandison, ND:

Without a doubt, yup, the reciprocity.

Keesha Ewers, Ph.D.:

That's right.

Jacquelyn Loera:

Thank you for being with us for this conversation with Dr. Keesha Ewers. If you have questions about this content, then please leave them on our site at neurohacker.com/podcast and we'll work to get those answered on a future episode. If you liked this episode, then please go leave us a five-star review on iTunes and share it with all of your friends. If you'd like to become a co-owner of Neurohacker, then go to wefunder.com/neurohacker. And make sure to subscribe to Collective Insights wherever you listen to podcasts. So, you don't miss an episode. See you next time.



2 Comments

  • Michael Ernst
    This is a great talk. I'm leaning a lot from Dr Keesha
  • Morgan Hall
    I'm not sure about this one. She seems to suggest not only that the trauma of seeing your family raped and murdered in a war-torn country vs. being the youngest of three daughters in a family and always having to wear hand-me-downs are both EXPERIENCED as traumatic, but that the effect on the brain would be the same. That's a rather dubious claim.
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