Donna has been a Functional Medicine Nurse Practitioner for 19 years and a Registered Nurse for 35 years. Donna helps people who go to the doctor and get a clean bill of health and yet still don't feel well. She uses functional medicine labs to identify different types of imbalances in the immune and endocrine systems, as they relate to energy levels, and brain and hormonal function. She intuitively is able to connect with clients and help them restore their best and healthiest version of themselves. This may occur through diet, hydration, vitamin supplements, prayer, meditation, essential oils, energy work, music, muscle testing and so much more. She provides hope and considers herself a Health Warrior; there is always something we can do to correct our life to heal and feel better.
Hello, and welcome to STL Active St Louis's premier health and wellness podcast. STL Active aims to give listeners in the St. Louis area the information they need to succeed and progress with their health and fitness. This podcast is brought to you by stlouispt.com and hosted by Doctor of Physical Therapy, Greg, Judice.
Hey everyone, it's Dr. Greg, owner and physical therapist here at Judice Sports and Rehab. On this episode of the show, I'm interviewing Donna Naumann and nurse practitioner in private practice here in St. Louis. She has been a functional medicine practitioner for 19 years and a registered nurse for 35 years. She helps people who go to the doctor and get a clean bill of health and yet don't feel good. She is intuitively able to connect with clients and help them restore their best and healthiest versions of themselves. This may occur through diet, meditation, energy work, and much much more. You are the guide and she is the facilitator. Without further ado, let's get into the interview with Donna Norman. Alright, welcome to the show, Donna Naumann, so happy to have you here. Thank you. I'm so happy to be here. Awesome. So I want you to kind of introduce yourself to the audience. So tell us who you are, what you do, what's your background, I'm a nurse practitioner, I have studied immensely in functional medicine. And I have started a practice where I'm using functional medicine skills, which is a root cause looking at patients from a different perspective, instead of patchworking. I'm looking at helping patients resolve some of their medical issues, using all different kinds of modalities. I have been a nurse practitioner for 19 years, and I've been a nurse since 1986. So I have seen all kinds of things as far as medicine goes, what's been going on with medicine. And I've decided that I'm really interested in helping people that one want to get better. And two people that have done to the doctor, and don't their tests all come out normal, but they don't necessarily feel good.
Interesting. So you are on your own now? Yep, you have your own business. Yep. Okay. What were you doing before? Because we're going to talk about your business and definitely want to hear about you what you're currently doing. But what was your previous position? Where were you doing so
I owned a family practice and Florissant for seven years. And I was at that same practice for a total of 18 years. And I ran that practice and started using functional medicine there, which included some vitamin supplements, some group visits, where we had patients come together for specific disease processes, doing teaching and education so that we were helping people learn about their body and their health and how to begin to heal
of it. So why the change?
Well, in to 2020, my collaborative passed away. And at that time, the practice needed a lot of things. And I was unsure of my direction. As far as the healthcare industry right now, it has become a paper trail. And I'm a people person. And doing that paper trail was beginning to be more of a stress and a burden, then the part of the job that I love, which is taking care of people, and being a primary care provider, meant that I was spending hours and hours every day doing more paperwork and less one on one with patients. And I just felt like the stress level of that was starting to affect my health. And I had to make a decision about who am I going to be the next five or 10 years? Am I going to practice what I preach? Or am I going to live in the clutches or the crutches of stress every day? And I had to make a hard decision.
Gotcha. So you'd been there, or owned that practice for seven years. And so when you use the word collaborative, does that mean the physician that you were with or is that a partner? How does what does that term mean? So
in Missouri, a nurse practitioner can own a practice, but she always has to have has to have a collaborative physician to to sign under her to use like it's we have to use it for billing, we have to use it for our DEA. And that's kind of mandatory by Missouri.
Gotcha. Okay. So once that person had passed away, you were kind of
looking for another actor, right? Well, I was looking for another doctor and I had been doing that for about five months, okay. And I really just didn't find another physician that was on the page of this health path that I am. And I just didn't want to sacrifice that. I that was really close to my heart and I was not willing to.
Yeah, got it. So I gotta I gotta go a little bit. Okay, yeah. So what was it about staying where you were, that was unacceptable to you.
It was getting there at eight and leaving there at nine. It was I have hundreds but
I 13 hours. Yeah,
I had hundreds of charts on my desk, hundreds. And they were all labs, all testing, all mammograms, all paps all, everything that we do in the practice colonoscopies, we might get 100 pages from the emergency room that I had to look at. And I didn't feel like it was, there was not anybody else in the practice that could look at those things and be able to say that they're normal, abnormal, and interpret them. So that was my job. And I was also doing the doctor's paperwork, because she only worked there one day a week. So I was doing all this paperwork. And it's sometimes you just sit there and cry. Like, this is not like how medicine is supposed to be, I'm not supposed to be getting 100 pages from the emergency room, I'm supposed to get a synopsis. And, um, should be able to fairly easily go through that. And what I was finding was, there would be things in there that patients didn't know about, like sometimes bad things, and patients like nobody ever told me that. So like, if I didn't go through every single one of those, I felt like I could miss something. And that's, that's a big deal.
Absolutely. So you were dedicated to your patients. Obviously, you wanted to give them the time and attention they needed. Yep. But it's hard to do that when you're working 13 hours a day. Yeah, consistently for seven years. Yeah, I get it that can be a burden. So what was the was that kind of the, the decision making point, right? You You couldn't find the person that fit. Yeah, you wanted to do. And you were kind of overwhelmed as it was. And so for your own health, as well as the quality of care you wanted to provide, you had to go somewhere else is that kind of how that worked?
Yeah. So I actually ended up merging with another company, they were going to come in and add in the EMR and add in some of the other things. And then I was going to go down to two days a week. And I was going to start doing more group visits. And I was going to start doing more of the health advocacy part of it. And probably, you know, five months into that, I realized that that was not going to be how it was going to go. I mean, many people out there have lived through mergers of companies and see how those things unfold. It's never that real, pretty picture that's, you know, painted in the beginning. I mean, I hope for the best, but it just didn't work out didn't work.
Okay. So now that you've left that company, yep. What are you doing now?
Well, now I'm in love with what I do. Now, I help patients who don't feel good, feel better. Love it, help people find real, real issues that are causing disease and making them feel bad. So lots of people come in, they have energy issues, fatigue issues, and they don't understand why they go to the doctor, everything looks great. But they still don't feel good. I had a lady that came in last week, 15 years of that. And we just kind of went through everything. hour and a half I spent with her kind of digging into that history, digging into her life digging into hormones, and recurrent immunity, gi diet, exercise, all of those things, and then combining those together and coming up with a plan of care, which is so amazing. It's such a better way to do health.
So I want to kind of go back for a second. You. I asked what do you do now? And you said I love what I do. You didn't you didn't even say anything else. Initially, I love what I do. If that doesn't tell you that you're the type of person that people should want to work with. You know what I'm saying? Like, I hear so many of my colleagues that are like,yah I am a PT, right? It's or I'm a doctor. Do you actually enjoy what you do is what I usually ask another practitioner.
Oh, I love what you do. I love what I do. I love what I did at chambers. I love that job. I didn't like the paperwork. I didn't like the collaborative and I didn't like some of the the you know, working with staff and having to do all that kind of business stuff. But the patients love it. always loved it. Love them. miss them. Yeah.
So what is it about the the actual patient care that's different between what you were doing before and what you're doing now?
I don't think a lot I think I'm spending more time with patients now than I was. I was spending a pretty good amount of time with patients. As a provider in the office, I was usually doing 30 to 45 minute visits. Usually now like when the pack practice was merged. They wanted me to do 10 minute visits. I'm like, No, I'm not ever going to do that. And because of that, that's why I left it that's not how you're going to take care of people. I mean, that's writing a prescription and sending people on their way and I'm not interested in that.
Love it. So it's interesting. I've had other practitioners on and they've typically worked for a larger company where they're, you know, used to seeing 510 minutes a point moments. And so when they switch to their, you know, whatever you want to call it, the concierge model or the direct primary care, personalized care, there's plenty of names for it. But that's such a drastic difference from them going from 5-10 minutes to 50 to 60 minutes. Right? For you, you were already doing that you own to the practice before, but there had to be a change. So that's it's kind of a unique situation here. We've not not heard of folks that are in the insurance model, doing 3045 minute appointments. So that's kind of interesting, was, yeah. Which is why you were there for 13 hours a day. Yeah. Which I think that's that's kind of the difference that patients may not recognize is we can treat all day. But in certain models, we get to go home at the end of the day, in certain models, you got to work for another three, four hours to document everything you did, right. And it's not that documenting is a bad thing is that they make it so difficult on purpose to bog you down hoping that you won't submit it, that they don't have to pay it. And it's just a game. And it's a you know, cat and mouse game, basically where you got to avoid as much as you can that bogs you down, or you leave the model altogether. Yeah, yeah. So tell me a bit more about what is functional medicine. I know, we were kind of getting started there. So I want you to kind of go a little bit more in depth than what is functional medicine.
I wandered into functional medicine, probably somewhere around 2015, I think. And the very first meeting that I went to was a week long, and I had never been anywhere a week long. And by myself for a whole week at a conference. When I left there, I left there changed. I left there a different provider than the girl that showed up. I learned about food as medicine, I learned about how to meditate. I learned about spirit work, I learned about how traumas get stuck in the body and cause disease years and years later, I learned about sleep issues and metabolic issues and vitamin supplementing and different kinds of bloodwork testing that we don't do in western medicine. I mean, it was it was I left they're so on fire, like I could not wait to like do that the office and then like it get to the office and you're like already to do it. And people are used to this model of Western medicine. And I'm I can't but these Cleveland heart labs, like they'll tell you like preventively. Like if you're going to have a blood clot or if you're going to have heart disease or strokes and they'll tell you about your fish oils and your omega is in your if you're going to if you're insulin sensitive and how that all plays into your heart. And people like looking at me like hmm, but for me, like if we gave Yeah, you save somebody from have a heart attack by adding fish oil and getting their blood sugar's under control before they've been diagnosed as a diabetic, or you already know that they have gut inflammation. My first time in functional medicine, the first things I heard was all disease starts in the gut first 80% of our immunity starts in our gut, it stores our serotonin, it's it stores our thyroid. And so if our gut isn't healthy, we're not healthy. And there's a lot of people running around with unhealthy, unhealthy bodies simply because of the dietary and stress levels that we're under on a constant day constant basis.
So you use the term getting to the source or there and so that's basically what that is, is instead of just treating the symptoms, you're treating the cause whether that's through food or through supplementation or lifestyle change, or all of the above. Is that is that basically the gist. Oh, yeah, it's so awesome. It's so different. Right? Okay, I love it. So another thing that you had mentioned before we met here is NLP. maybe explain what those letters mean, first of all, all right, and then what is NLP? What? How would you use it in practice? How would it benefit people?
So I started again, this journey when I bought the practice became this journey of learning over the last last 10 years and one of the things I learned about was neuro linguistic programming. neuro linguistic programming is a way that we connect with patients one on one. So when I use neural linguistic programming, I am following patient clues like what they're doing and behavior as we're sitting together in an appointment. I'm trying to find things that helps me connect with them. Because one, once I can connect with the patient, we get a buy in and we get better and we're working together and we have a have a relationship together. So interesting things, how people sit like if their legs are crossed, you cross your legs. If they move and they have their their arms are crossed, you might think about moving your hands closer together. So that People feel like you are like them. Because when people feel like you were like them, they like you. So part of building up that practice for me as a nurse practitioner, because you know, in 2013, like everybody wanted the doctor, they didn't want a nurse practitioner. But when they would come to see me, I was connecting on every visit with purpose. And, and because I wanted to, I mean, it wasn't just doing that to like, win them over. I was doing that because I wanted them to understand that I care. So it's about blinking, it's about eye contact, it's about our voices when we go really, really fast and really, really slow. Those tell us different things. And OPI is also useful for understanding our people seeing what you're talking about hearing what you're talking about feeling what you're talking about, which really helps me devise a plan. So if you are a consultant, like let's say you're a visual person, and you're and how would I know that you would say, Well, I just don't see things like that I don't see, my I don't see my numbers are looking very good. Using the word See, lets me know that you're more of a visual of visual. So when you're in the office, we're writing things down, are you're writing them down, so you are visually able to see what's going on. Some people have to have things taught to them, like they need to do the glucometer themselves, they need to stick their self because they're they're more of a touchy feely type personality. You might hear people say things like I can hear I hear what you're saying, but I just don't want to do it. So then you know, you're talking to somebody, you're using your words in a powerful way. So like words like you believe and imagine, those are the three very powerful words that draw people in to the things that you're discussing. So I just study all kinds of different things to help people understand that I'm here to help them. That's awesome.
So it's kind of a combination of just attention to detail. Yeah. Which I think is a big part of it, right? Being able to see. See what words. Apparently, that was good, classified me into a category. But anyway, being able to determine what kind of words they use within their normal vocabulary. Yep. But it's also mirroring what they do. Yes. And sometimes the psychology of connecting with people can be kind of manipulative, but you're using it more as gaining trust. Yeah, I
want people to open up and tell me what's going on. I can't get that if we're not connected.
Right. And that's huge. So once you begin to build this trust with people, what, what's next? what's what's next with NLP?
Well, I use the NLP mostly for connecting. I use the NLP, for drawing people in figuring out what's kind of life's what, what kind of way they're going to connect and learn. Because this is about them learning how to take care of their health. And if I'm using NLP, to describe it, or to show it or make pictures that people can understand it, they'll be able to take it home and implement those things at home. So that's what it's really that's what I use it for. I'm not like, I'm certified in the very beginner class. I don't have like the big NLP things. I'm using it mostly because I want to build a rapport with with people. Every time I meet somebody, I want to build rapport.
So what is it about building rapport, that's important to
you. I love people. And I love talking, I love finding out who you are and what you do, and what makes you tick. And then I like offering you up the advice of how to in a healthy way how to make things better, because there is way more things that can make people better than what we're doing in medicine. I can give you Metformin for diabetes, I'm good at that. Or I can teach you through NLP different kinds of things with diet movement, vitamins, different kinds of supplements, how to reduce your stress, which reduces the blood sugars, how to eat differently, so your gut begins to heal and your insulin levels start to drop and how the weight starts to go with it. Like all of a sudden, this gets to be like a huge big thing.
Okay, so things can kind of spiral. Yeah. But if you can't get them to open up about it, then you'll never really figure out what's going on.
Yeah, so I guess like an example would be somebody that is not taking their medication. And we're having a discussion about, well, why aren't you? Well, that's not going to get a good answer. Because it puts somebody on guard, why are you not taking your medicine? Instead, you say, what do you do on a daily basis that helps you be successful at that, and you find out what they're doing to be successful, and then you mirror that into the days that they're not successful. So you begin to change the report. And that's what motivational interviewing is to. It's changed. It's changing the rapport with patients. So that now you're pulling out the facts that you need, so that you can help the patient be their own advocate for health.
Interesting. So let's get into motivational interviewing a little bit. So my understanding of it is that I am trying to trying to learn kind of what their goals are is kind of how I would motivationally interview someone, right? They tell me that, you know, my shoulder hurts. So I'm here because I don't want my shoulder to hurt. Yeah, that's surface level, right? That's not really while they're there, right? They're there, because they have grandkids, and they want to be able to throw the ball with their, you know, eight year old grandkid who's starting to pitch and they used to be a pitcher in college, right? That's the real, why that's the real story. So like, going next level with the questioning to get to their true goals. It's kind of how I use the motivational interviewing, but it seems like you're kind of using it for that, but also some other things. So have you maybe describe it a little bit more thoroughly? I use it and then what is it?
Yeah, so the motivational interviewing, it's a way of, again, it's this, how do we connect with patients. And I had learned about this long, long time ago, but really never used it. And I had a drug rep come in, and they were they sent in a diabetic educator, and she came in and taught all of the staff how to do motivational interviewing, including myself, and it was a game changer. Because now we're like, tell me about what's going on. Tell me about the things that work, you're using different kinds of questioning with patients. So they're, it's called ORS. It's like open ended questions, so that patients are, it's not a yes or no question like or open ending so that people are actually talking to you. And then you're reviewing what they're saying. So that you're asking, you tell patients what you think you heard. And then you're kind of summarizing at the end of how, how did we get to the visit today? How what I heard as a provider and what you heard as a patient, and then we're deciding if that's what our goals are going forward?
I like that, because it forces them to say it out loud, teach themselves. And I mean, anytime, anytime you're talking about learning, and what's the most effective type of learning? Right? You can read it? Yeah, you can write it. But can you teach it right? The teaching is kind of the most important. So they're basically teaching themselves with that last review in summary, bit,
right, and an auditory person would need to hear that. Okay. Love it. Yeah.
I lost my train there. Luis, sorry.
So let's jump back into functional medicine a little bit. I want our listeners to learn something new today. So I know you've kind of mentioned a couple of things between diabetes and you know, when do they take their medication? That kind of thing? Yep. But maybe just go through maybe your top one or two things that you see most frequently? And what can we do about those, whether it's a problem that you see, or if it's a problem with healthcare in general. So this is kind of 510 minutes of you teaching us some stuff,
the most common thing that I see his stress and anxiety. And I guess, you know, when I'm looking at my own life, I was paralleling that while I was owning the practice, I mean, anybody that's owned a business in their life understands that. There's a lot of stress that goes on with owning a business, being in the business running a business. And so during that time, I had also been introduced to all these new and wonderful things that are outside the box and medicine. And I began doing them myself, like I meditate every day, 30 minutes to an hour, that saved my life. It literally saved my life, being able to learn how to control my brain better. I started, I've always been an exerciser. And so I teach patients that exercise is like taking Prozac every day. So if we're not exercising, we're not giving our body natural Prozac. So when I'm talking to people from a functional medicine approach, like where that stress comes from, you look at a timeline. So a timeline is over a period of time from before you were born. Up until today, we go through a history and we mark in the increments of when to the symptoms start. What kind of things occurred in your life where you bottle fed, where you breastfed, where you vaginal birth where you not, and all of those things guess gives us a clue to what your health life is going to be like. So like a vaginal infection, you gain all the natural antibodies from the mother, as you're coming out the womb when we have a Syrian section. You don't get that unless the doctors does a swipe of the mother's vaginal vault and then puts it in the baby's mouth. That's one way of the baby to get those immune system but back in the day, nobody knew knew anything about this. We're just doing, you know, C sections. Now we do know and then You know, battle over breastfed changes our immunity, how many times we've had ear infections, how many times you had strep infections. So all of those things really stress the body. So stress isn't just that natural feeling of a panic attack, or just feeling like we're not coping with our everyday things. Sometimes the stress is rooted way, way back. And let's just say, you know, in western medicine, nobody's really asking about, like, how did you grow up? Was there an alcoholic in the family? Was there abuse in the family, and I tried to go there, because it always resurfaces sometime in your life. Yes, you'd like to think that you're over it. And it's, you know, you've dealt with it, you've been to therapy, and all that kind of stuff. But unfortunately, if we hold anger inside, anger is like one of the root causes of cancer. And there's lots of people that do research on that. So really, getting to look at this timeline, gives us a better idea of what we could expect for your life and health going forward. So even if you weren't having health problems, and you came to see me and we did some preventive things, we could kind of work through what that's going to look like going forward. So I think it's very interesting. One of the coolest things that happened right after I became a functional medicine nurse practitioner, is I one of our family members had had like a long history of constipation, long history pretty much all their life. And I had just learned how to do all the labs. And I'm like, so excited, like come in, and let's do some of these things. And so we did. And we looked at all the labs, and there was a gluten allergy and a dairy allergy, which were two foods that they ate all the time. And then when I saw that gluten allergy, gluten and thyroid are connected, so people that have hashimotos disease also typically have some kind of gluten sensitivity or a gluten. They're, they're allergic to it. Anyway. So then I went on to test the thyroid, and the thyroid came back abnormal to, so that the thyroid was connected to this gluten. And this gluten had been going on for 20 years, which was the thyroid was causing the constipation, and the gluten was causing the constipation. But nobody ever looked, they had been to a GI doctor three different times, and nobody ever, ever looked. And so like that's just a great example of like, that was just an aha moment for me, like we can make changes in our life that can impact our future. So like if we can get rid of the gluten and we can get rid of the dairy, and reverse some of this fatigue issues with the thyroid, and we reverse this autoimmune thing that's going on. And autoimmune isn't just the thyroid, it's, you know, diabetics have autoimmune. We have rheumatoid arthritis, we have like, almost everything, somehow, you could hook it into some kind of immune issue. But anyway, that's like a really great story with a great outcome, because we were able to change some things. And I think like it was such an eye opener for me, as a provider, not knowing
anything about functional medicine Before that, we wouldn't have been checking for those things. So it was a lot of fun kind of investigating it. And I think that's, that's what's really fun about functional medicine is kind of like investigating, and you've got your cap on, and you're looking at all the things in their life, and you're scratching your head going, Okay, which thing is really causing which thing, and then really trying to get that down. Because all our food goes to the GI tract. And if you have those allergens to food, and many of us do, because there's so many chemicals in our food. And a lot of the food doesn't have any nutrient, as many as much nutrient value today as it did, you know, 60 or 70 years ago. So really looking as food as medicine becomes super important too.
So obviously, that's a great result from a crappy situation that she was. I got a couple of questions with that. Yeah. How does that get missed for 20 years by the GI guy?
Well, they never looked for food allergies, ever.
They were is that not just like, first things I Well, I've got a friend that deals with these chronic food allergies, and she's seen a dozen people. Yeah, and, you know, sometimes it's one thing that happens to work for a while. And then sometimes she loses 20 pounds because she can't eat anything for a while. And it's like this up and down thing. It's very frustrating for her, obviously, but it's just like how how can there still be no answers? Yeah. And that's, you know,
well, I think it's interesting because first off, like in medicine, everything we do in western medicine is based on studies and a lot of studies. There isn't anybody that's selling food that makes gluten that's going to do a study about gluten and how it affects the body. I mean, there are some studies Don't get me wrong, but what I'm saying is like in medicine, we You're looking at studies, we're looking at proof, we're looking at science. And yes, these these food allergies do have science behind them. But when you're when you're in medicine Lake for that person, they were getting medication for that, to help them move their bowels, which that like the, you know, that was not, it was oh yeah, so it was helping to constipation, but it didn't do anything for what the root problem was why nobody looked. I don't know, there was three gi appointments and all of that. And so I'm sure somebody else out there probably goes, yep, that happened to me,
goodness. So, next thought I had was, so say someone is bottle fed and has a house that has an alcoholic in it. And they have these traumas and stressors as a child. They can't change that. So how do they change what they become as an adult.
So I had those things in my life. I had an alcoholic father, and he was not in the home. So that was, you know, probably beneficial for me. But I was also at gunpoint twice at a 16 year old. So I experienced some traumas. And so like when I was going through all this at the practice, and the stress levels were going up and up and up and up, that was triggering these old memories, even though they weren't currently happening to me at that moment. But the body doesn't know the difference between what is real and unreal, it just knows that it's seeing something that is scary. And it just it acts accordingly. And so the body goes into this fight or flight. And so what I do with that is I started doing more spiritual work, I started really going into meditation. When you look at brain scans of people who've had medical meditation, it comes down the whole brain, and it doesn't matter. If you're in the middle of meditation, your brain is still kind of moving around. And it's saying things, it doesn't matter. Because at the moment that you're in meditation, you are calming yourself. So I started to learn all these different kinds of calming techniques. I use breath work, I use Breath of Fire, I use heart math, heart, math has a ton of really good research. It's actually a national company now. And they're using the science that brings meditation, breath work, and heartfelt meditations that are actually helping change people's lives. And they're showing this connection between like you and I sitting here that our energies are actually connected together. And if we're in fear, we're afraid our energy begins to decline, and our energy fields change. So when patients come in, and they're having a lot of anxiety, they're, they're in their own little energy world. And so it's so interesting, like, you can look up the heart mass stuff, it's it's such great work. And basically, they teach you how to do breath, work, and really just focus on something that you love. And while your eyes are closed, and you're breathing, you're focusing on love. And there's only two emotions, there's fear and love. And so learning all these different things, helps me calm my brain. And then I'm able to teach these other people. And so I do group visits for clients at the office. And those group visits entail teaching people. So maybe one day we're doing the healing bowls, because the healing bowl frequencies I have are the heart frequency, and the third eye frequency. And for people that don't know that it has to do with our, it has to do with our energy centers. And so each each bowl, and even music have their own frequencies. So like the frequency of healing is 444. It's like if you're looking for a meditation, you look for a meditation that has a healing frequency of 444. And so your brain gets into this place where it can calm itself down. And I think if we, you know, 80 to 90% of the things that come in the doctor's office is stress related. So if we could start working down these stress units one by one, that's not gonna happen overnight. But you start doing some of these things on more regular, regular basis and you practice them, you're going to begin to get feel lighter and feel happier.
So that's interesting. I, I see there's a huge kind of overlap between mental health, physical health, overall health, right, emotional health is in there too. And I don't know if you're watching the Olympics as much as I have been for the first few days here. But between the Simone Biles situation with her dropping out of one of the events and between Michael Phelps in his history of mental health concerns, it's kind of becoming more of a widespread conversation in mainstream media for mental health. So I guess maybe tell me a bit more about how, how you differ from just like a regular mental health practitioner, because that sounds like a lot of the spiritual work and a lot of the meditation work that you're doing has that component
so encourage anybody that's having stress and anxiety to go to counseling, I think that's the number one treatment, along with if you know it's a person needs bond medication, there's nothing wrong with medication for depression and anxiety. As a matter of fact, it works. I am interested in helping people come to that space where they begin to connect with love inside themselves. And that love inside themselves is where they begin to do some of this healing healing work. And so how I differ in that is I'm using different modalities. I have a really rich background in spiritual work, I've worked with a spiritual coach, on and off for the last five years. And she's taught me a lot about abundance and our thought process and changing our negative thoughts into positive and how that energy changes the things that we get in our life. And so using that, and I use those when I do guided meditations, like all the things that I've learned about I use those when I'm doing the patient education things. I think even for therapists, it's hard for them to be able to teach people how to do meditation, how to do, there's different energy movements, there's different breath work, and all of those things are so awesome for people to learn, and then be able to calm yourself down.
Interesting. And that's, I'm glad to hear that you are proponent of the counselors. Oh, absolutely. listeners, because, I mean, one thing that's kind of a frustrating thing for me, as a PT is hearing other practitioners that think they can fix everything. And I know you're not saying that, and I'm just I wanted to kind of clarify that. And it's good to hear. So let's go into the spiritual side of things. So I don't I don't necessarily incorporate that into my practice. So I'm not sure exactly how that even looks how that works. Is it religious? What is spiritual versus religious? I'm gonna let you kind of take the reins here, because this is an area I don't have a whole lot of knowledge about.
So our beliefs are all different. Every person has a different belief system in, in. I mean, we think about in the world, we have Catholic, we have Lutheran, we have nondenominational. We have Baptists, but all of those people believe in God, all of them. So they're really not so different. After all, they all have the same thing, the same, that same faith, that there's something greater in life. When I started doing spiritual work, I really didn't necessarily understand all these things I've been I was Lutheran, and then I converted to a Catholic. And I love what the Catholics do. I love that peacefulness at Mass. And I think it's beautiful. But also do a non non denominational and it's music and it's alive. And it's a different vibration. And so when I'm speaking of spirit, I'm always I like to start with prayer. And I'm praying just for God to be with both of us and, and to bring divine light while we're doing anything that we're doing. Because I want to be guided to do what's best for you. Like, I don't want to give you my stuff. So part of doing that helps me become grounded before I'm working with patients, or people like I'm trying to, like really be present for, for what you need. And so in that way, spiritual for me, is just believing that we were brought together for a reason and for a purpose, and that we're getting in each other's paths to help each other. Because not only like today, you're helping me, and I'm helping you. And so Spirit brings people together, it brings the commonality of healing.
I love it. So what was it about? How did you even get started with that? How did you incorporate it into your practice? Like I now understand a bit more about what it is, but like, what was it that inspired you to say, I like this, I need to incorporate this
while growing up. I'm coming come from kind of a broken family, and then having a stepfather and being bullied at school. Naturally, when I was growing up, my mom took us to church every Sunday, like that's a thing. Like that's what we did. And then after she got remarried, we she kind of dropped off from church and I started going with my girlfriend to her church was with the Catholic Church. And I always just felt connected to that. Then when I started seeing patients at the office, I always noticed they would bring their Bibles with them at the office. Like if I go to the doctor's office, I'm usually bringing a book or something to read, but they're bringing their Bibles and so then sometimes they would ask if they could pray for me. I'd be like, yeah, that's awesome. And then it turned into Let me pray for you. And that's kind of how the whole thing unfolded. It was I had a really awesome. I had many patients that I had were spiritual leaders, preachers, and they would always pray over me and I just thought how beautiful that is. And then when people would come in, I would tell them they have cancer or something, it would become that moment. Like, could we pray together? And then it was beautiful, and not so sad. And it helped bring kind of peace to a bad situation. Sure.
And I think that's how a lot of people use their spirituality and religion or whatever it might be, is for meaning and to find hope in the world. That seems kind of crappy sometimes. So that's a, that's really cool. I like that.
Yeah, very good.
So it's kind of changing directions here a little bit. We were talking earlier, and you mentioned the words follow the trail, I'm assuming that has to do with kind of finding that that main thing, the main cause? So how do you? How can you determine whether it's a symptom that's just kind of a, you know, the thing that's distracting you? Or if it's actually the cause? How can you determine that with the way that you treat?
So people that are coming to see me have primary care, doctors, and by the time they're third coming to see me, usually they've had test run, like a lady that I'm working with right now she has a GI doctor, or she has a regular doctor, she has a gynecologist, and they've kind of done all the workup. And there really is don't find anything. So then you begin this trail, like, you'll start to look at things differently. And you start drawing out, I'm very intuitive, because I've been doing medicine since 1986. I mean, some things like you don't know how, you know, it just, it just comes to you. Because you've been doing that same thing for so many years. And over those years, I was always educating, I was always going to the next job. So I, I was a dialysis nurse, I was a surgery nurse, I was a homecare nurse, I was an ER nurse, I was like, every I was I did hospice, like I did so many different kinds of of nursing, that when somebody comes to see me, I'm just able to like, pull all that stuff together, look at their history forms that they fill out, and then begin to write out that timeline, so that we can kind of figure out where it goes. And it's interesting. Like, I'll just ask a question, and people will cry. And like when I was at the office, that was kind of a funny thing at the office, like, you don't want to see Donna because she's gonna make you cry. But it's, you know, asking those hard questions that providers don't have time to ask, because that's a whole story. You know, like, I had a patient whose son had had been killed. And she was having chest pain, she had seen the cardiologist she had stress test, she had like all this stuff done. But nobody was addressing, like, what was really, so then the trail kind of tells you what's going on. And you begin to understand that we are emotional, we are spiritual, we are physical. And yes, those physical symptoms look like chest pain looks like a heart attack. And maybe it is it is in some cases, and then sometimes it's not. And it's a matter of kind of looking for that.
And I think that even goes back to your point on motivational interviewing, right? If you are able to really talk to someone figure out what's really going on, they'll tell you. And I think that's the big difference in Unfortunately, the difference between the medical model that you and I use versus the typical medical model, right, if you're looking at 510 minutes with the client, and I'm not saying that's what your old practice was like, but if you've only got five or 10 minutes with a client, it's Hey, how's it going? That's all you got time for? Yeah, there's not as much time to really figure out the true cause. So I think that's super important is the root cause. mindset is very appealing about functional medicine. And I
would like to also say, like, speaking to all of the listeners, like you have to be an advocate for your care, you have to begin to learn that there are lots of different ways to illness and disease. There's more than just one answer. There's always more things going on than we know. And as an advocate, you study like you look things up so that you go to the doctor prepared with your questions, you go to the doctor prepared with what you think you need, so that you become an important and intricate part of the healing process. Because as a provider, you can only do so much if you only have so much time. If you come in and you're a patient or a client, and you kind of have things written out and you have all the reasons why you're here. All the symptoms that you're having, and all the questions that you have and you have it kind of ready then you're advocating for yourself. Most people, nobody shows up the office like that. You'll say, Well, where's the pain? Well, I don't know. Does it hurt when you move? I can't remember. So like, you know, it's really important for people to really listen to their own body, and be able to answer some of those questions and become an advocate. Because it's bigger than just coming to somebody and saying, fix me,
right. I love it when people pull out their phone or pull out the notebook. And they're like, here's what's going on. Thank you. Yes, it makes it much easier, because sometimes the questioning gets just so frustrating, because and they're frustrated, too. Oh, yeah. Like, I don't know, I didn't notice. I can't remember why I'm here and wants you to figure it out. Yeah, you know, it's a little harder than just not knowing what the heck's going on. So that's, that's neat. I like that. You mentioned the words, living in abundance. What does that mean to you?
So today, I had like a really big abundance day. And living in abundance means that I can choose joy, or I can choose fear. How do I want to look at that, my son had a job offer and the company ended up laying off a bunch of people, and then all the people that they had offered jobs to, they ended up not giving them a job. And an abundance mindset, it is you're lucky you didn't go to work there. Because something really good is about to happen. victim mentality is I can't believe it. Like they knew they're gonna lay people off. Why did they have all of us waiting, and not their, their start date was in August, so none of them had been looking for jobs. So it's really like how we look at things in life. And we begin to understand that things are happening for us, not to us, like it isn't happening to him that he didn't get that job, it's happening for him, we don't understand why. But if we look at things from this, this alternative perspective, then we begin to bring in more positive thoughts, and begin to block out those thoughts that are negative or fear based. And then we try to live like the Bible says, to live in joy and happiness. And our job is to try to find that in so few of us have that, because we're so into the materialistic and the busyness of life. And so abundance is about taking time out to love yourself, and to be loving.
So does that is that part of where the meditation comes in to kind of find the right mindset of? Because I feel like it's so easy to just get bogged down in the day to day, right? where, you know, I go to work, I go home, I watch a little TV, you have dinner? Yeah. And I go to bed, right? And you do that again for the next 30 years. And then what did you enjoy life
like it reminds me of the movie groundhog, like every day getting up and doing the same thing over and over? I use a system. I found a couple books at the library maybe 10 years ago, and it said A Course in Miracles. And I thought, Gosh, I could use some miracles in my life. So I purchased them I was at Goodwill, I purchased I just a couple dollars. And I put them on my shelf. And they stayed there for a long time. And then one day I heard Marianne Williamson speak, and she was speaking about the Course of Miracles. And I kept thinking, I think I, I might have those books, I don't know. So I went looked in there, they were on my shelf, and I brought him brought him up and I started really kind of studying them. And it's really about becoming really more centered in joy, and finding that the things that we do, and the choices that we make are kind of up to us. And the Course of Miracles is like I could see this differently. I could see that I'm a light, I could see that I'm not, but I could see that I am. And so it's about changing our thoughts. And it does have a meditative process with it, which is really cool. And then you all day you might be repeating, I could see this differently. I could see the weather differently. I could see, you know, the spill of the coffee all over the place differently. I could see the weight and traffic differently. And so you begin to apply those things in your life and then your life begins to change. It's about practice. It's about practice of positivity.
Because I feel like there's a lot of folks that think they're either an optimistic person or a pessimistic person, but it sounds like those can be changed with practice or application of certain mindsets. Yeah. Interesting. I like that. I have a question for you after we stop recording. Tell me more about this hope acronym that you used. When we were talking earlier,
I used to be a Toastmaster and during Toastmaster I, it's a speech where you write speeches and then you speak to the members of the group and you learn how to be a better speaker. And so one of my speeches was on hope helping other people everywhere. And it just became something that really sticks with me because I think in medicine I really want to provide people hope that they can get better that they can do some things that are going to change the way they feel, or change the way they think, or change some of their routines that would better serve them. I mean, there's people that get cancer and you hear that word, and it's like, that's it. And you run into chemo, and then you run into depression, and then you run into, you know, all the things that happen with that. And there are other modalities that can also help during that time, and giving people hope that not you know, you are going through that we cannot deny that you cannot deny that that's bad. But you can also give them hope, like ways of how do you cope with the nausea? How do you keep your vitamin C levels up? What about IV, vitamin C, when you have cancer or pro prolozone or PRP? So there's, or what about learning the meditations where you're closing your eyes, and you're watching your body, like eat up and kick out the cancer, but about doing things that provide a little bit of hope? In a situation that sometimes doesn't seem so hopeful?
So, where did that come from? Like, where did that acronym come from? I just made it up. You made it up. All right, that's even better. Yeah, I was thinking you're gonna say, Oh, I heard from such and such. Yeah,
I made it when I was doing the speech. So like, very cool. Yeah. So yeah, each Yeah. Oh, ackermans helped me remember what I'm talking about when I'm speaking. Got it?
Kind of going way back here to the very beginning. What, what about being a nurse practitioner was appealing, like, obviously, you like to help people? Why do you like to help people?
Well, it's interesting, when I was a little girl, my great grandmother was pretty sick. And my aunt Ada came over, gave her a bath, turned her fed her. And I just watched the relationship that the two of them had. And then, so I was probably anywhere between nine and 12, at that time. And then when I got into high school, I was offered a job at the visiting nurse Association, which was a company that provided health care services for patients at home. And it just kept unfolding and unfolding and unfolding. And that ability, I've always had ability to connect with people. It's just part of who I am. That's my god given gift. That's very
cool. So obviously, you care about your people. You've got a new business, new ish, right? Yeah, you're so. So tell us about your business. And what it is that you're doing right now just kind of promote yourself a little bit here.
Okay, so I am inviting people into the practice who want to think outside the box of medicine, if you're on medications, and you want to figure out if there's other ways to help promote wellness, that's what I'm interested in. I'm not interested in taking off your medicines, I'm not interested in putting you on medicines, I'm really interested in being kind of your advocate and helping you decide what your health is going to look like going forward. When patients come in. That's a pretty tedious amount of paperwork, because the paperwork really helps me guide what the care is going to be. So like that whole intake is about getting that whole timeline all figured out. And then looking at some of the emotional and the metabolic in the GI. And so all of the questionnaires kind of really helped bring everything together. In the practice, I may do energy work with somebody, which means that I can do Reiki or pranic. And maybe I have some meditative music. And we're doing a little bit of that. Maybe we're doing labs that nobody's ever done like the Nutri eval has over 133 different kinds of labs on it. And they include things like the amino acids, they look at heavy metals, they look at all your nutrients, your vitamins, your minerals, your trace minerals, and it's a super great panel, it looks at mthfr, which is like all these different markers that help you decide like is there another reason why somebody might be having problems. We also have gi stools, we have adrenal testing. So cortisol car, it's called car cortisol awakening response that you can do. A lot of times, though, I find that once we start working together and doing some of these self care things, people just begin to heal, and they begin to feel better. I do weight loss, I do a program called shape reclaim. I put patients on the shape reclaim and then I help them do some of the healing things that go along with weight. Why do you have a weight issue to begin with? weight has a lot to do with emotions. It's our way of a barrier between us and someone else. Maybe there's some trauma, whatever that is. Like I'm looking for that I'm not just putting you on a weight loss program, I'm looking at everything that could be possibly causing that weight to be an issue. I send a lot of people to a gynecologist for hormonal things. I had a lady that just came in she has been tired for 15 years. And she went through menopause at 40. And I think she's 65 she's never been on any hormone, she has osteopenia. So his her bones are starting to develop issues. And she walked into the gynecologist and she put her on hormones that day. So like I was an advocate for that. She's been going to a gynecologist. This isn't the first gynecologist that she saw in the last 1520 years. So, but my knowledge got her there, I got her set up to do a sleep study, because she's never had one done. And when you look at her mouth, you can tell she has sleep apnea. And so they like kind of just, like advocated all these things. For her. It was a lot like her first visit. We're doing all these things. So maybe we don't do any labs today. Maybe we're just getting you kind of settled in to the things that you need. But I am thinking like all the time about what's going on, what's the puzzle pieces here? How does this all go together? How am I going to help this person get to the next level? And because of the functional medicine training, and I've been trained in hormones, and thyroid and brain and immune and toxins. I really look at all things. I had a really cute lady came in and she had really bad light. Her legs were bad. They were weeping. And when she pulled her pants up, Her skin was just falling all over the floor. It was so awful. And I'm like, have you seen a dirty dermatologist? Yes, I have psoriasis. And I'm like, I just don't know. Well, after we did some investigation, she had mold. She was lit she was working in a factory. And all of the machines had mold. Every single machine had mold. And she was going there every day. And she hated going there. And her body was probably telling her she shouldn't be going there. Anyway, so she got on a mold protocol, and got off the prednisone and all the antibiotics. And it was it was a nightmare for her. And to come to find out like she'd been doing that for years and years and years. Yeah, it was pretty cool. That's crazy.
Yeah. You can't hear how big my eyes got during that story. But it was just like, Oh my gosh, mold. Yeah, no, thanks.
Yeah, well, that and Lyme disease don't get a lot of attention. But they're very apparent. And then, you know, like more common than Yeah, knows. Yeah. And EPV to like a lot of people have had mano never had symptoms, but they have markers had lady came in with that last week. And we were kind of looking through that. But because we don't have it, we don't have medicine to treat, post EBV or post mano. But that gets stuck in there. Sometimes. Lots of people don't have any issues at all. And then sometimes people do. So
do you have an ideal client? Is there like a perfect fit for you? Is there a perfect age range or gender or mindset? Or is there any, like ideal person that you'd love to work
with? Yes, I love working with women. I love working with people that want to get better. I love people that have been through the system and are doing everything right, but don't feel good. And they want to get better. And they want to do the work. Because some of this stuff requires you to like I can't fix you. You are the healer. I'm not the healer. I'm here to advocate and be here for you. You're the guide and the guide. Yeah. And I think people forget that. And so I'm looking my my ideal person would be somebody that that is also spiritual, that is interested in learning more about that maybe they don't know a lot about how all this stuff works. And then they want to, maybe they want to experience those things. And they've never had them before. So I do a lot of that kind of work on my Facebook page where I teach people all these different kinds of things because you might not be able to get that on a visit when you're speaking for an hour and a half about your history. So there's a lots of different ways resourcefully to help people learn about different ways of healing. But I find like stress and weight are two things I'm super good at, at the practice, like I was known for this as weight loss there because I could I help so many people get the weight off. But what I found was that they would gain it back. And so now I'm more interested in helping people get the weight off and keeping it off long term. And I think learning some of these other modalities helps the brain you simmer the fire that goes along with cravings and irritations and traumas. And then people kind of start sliding into the space where Hey, I, I am in control here. And yes, the weight comes off with the shape program. But now we have also a program set up for you to go the long haul.
Very cool. So I think a lot of people think that if they've, if they've been through the system and they've tried it Other things that are the right way, and they haven't made any progress, then they're just kind of a lost cause. What would you say to those folks?
Oh, no, no, no, no, no. I, like if I was naming a company, it would be out of the box medicine. Because there are, I just don't think we ever give up. I wouldn't. If I had a diagnosis that I didn't like, I would never give up on searching a way to find a different way.
And I think that's one of the biggest goals that I have with people that are dealing with chronic pain is to encourage them that if, if what you have done so far hasn't worked, this is your next option. Yeah, if this doesn't work, there's plenty of other options. Right. And I think having some hope and other options is certainly a good thing. So I, I applaud you. That's very cool. And so I'm glad to hear that that's kind of the the good fit for you as the folks that have tried everything, except working with you.
Yeah, I am. Yeah, I love that part. And I love the newbies, the people that have never gone down this functional medicine path, because there's a certain group of people that have been doing functional medicine for a very, very long time. And to that, I would say, that may not be my ideal client, if you've been doing functional medicine for a long time, unless you're interested in doing more of the energy, spirit work and emotion work, because people that have been through the whole functional medicine, and they've had all the lab testing, and they're still not better, and they've done so now they've failed the western than they failed kind of the functional, you know, so then the hope would be that maybe it isn't any of those things. It's more of an emotional spiritual issue that we need to address. So that kind of changes things.
Very cool. Yeah. So I'd asked you before we get started, if there's anything that you wanted to promote, and you mentioned some group classes or group visits. So tell me a little bit more about that, and what your offer is for our listeners.
So I do group visits. And in those group visits, I'm teaching modalities that we've talked about today, whether it be meditation, the healing bowls, I'm also hypnotherapist. So sometimes I use some of the scripts from hypnotherapy. And then I teach people like, we do active stuff, like the group visits are not about sitting with a paper and a pen. They're about moving and learning, moving and learning. So each person is getting something out of that, when people come, they get a bottle of Dr. Box flower remedies. And those are very specific to each individual. So you have to fill out a piece of paper that tells me which kind of back remedy to make for you. But those back remedy flower remedies are really for emotional support. And so they'll get like a free bottle of that along with their appointment along with their group visit. So it's a really a lot of fun. People learn a lot in groups. And me, I'm facilitating, and you're talking and we're, you know, trying to figure all this out together. Cool. I love it. Yeah.
So how do people learn about your group visit timing, as well as how do they get in contact with you.
So I have a Facebook page. It's health and energy infusion. And most of the things that I post I post on there, and then I do email things. I have a cell number that people can text me if they have want more information. You can letter it. All right. 636-262-1645.
And your email if you want people to reach out to you,
Cool. And that's Naumann and in Yep, perfect. I nailed it. All right. Anything else you want to share before we fully jump off the microphones here outside
of being very grateful and thankful and thankful for the opportunity to be with you and to be with all your listeners I? I can't tell you enough like this is the kind of energy that we all need to be doing one, we need to be setting up podcast. We need to help each other. And as listeners we need to begin to believe in hope and spreading the word that there is such a thing. Absolutely.
I love it. Thank you so much for being on. Thank you. This has been STL Active.
Thank you for listening to the STL Active podcast from stlouispt.com. If you enjoyed the show, please spread the word. Thanks again and see you next time.