How to Avoid Overwhelm: From Western Medicine to Woo-Woo

We live in a busy, hyper-connected world.

How do we maintain balance for a healthy, happy life?

In this interview with Light Your Fire Summit Host Melissa Wolf, we talk about how you can create a toolbox for yourself that you can reach into (hopefully on a daily basis) to help you manage “overwhelm” and find peace, ease, and joy.

What kinds of items might you find in a toolbox to allow you to avoid burnout? I like to think about options on a spectrum, and a fun way to describe that spectrum is in terms of “western medicine” to “woo woo”.

Western medicine is the treatment of symptoms and diseases using techniques that are typically empirically-based (supported by research) and usually involving double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies. Practitioners of western medicine include doctors, nurses, therapists, and other clinically-based professionals. I grew up in a family that championed western medicine, with my father being a Chairman at a Medical School and involved in decades of grant-funded research.

“Woo-woo” is what I'll affectionately refer to when talking about things like mindfulness, meditation, positive psychology and more.  Back when I wrote my first book in 2015, my editor didn't even know what “woo-woo” meant. She suggested that we include a definition in the book at the phrase's first mention, and what we settled on was “anything that might be considered alternative or complementary science and medicine.”

What I think is interesting is that the lines between western medicine and woo-woo are getting more and more blurred each day. Acupuncture, which was used by only the most “adventurous” western-health seekers as recently as a decade ago, is now becoming more widely studied and proven as a healing modality. There are tons of studies on mindfulness, meditation, and positive psychology.  Woo Woo is NOT weird.

I personally have a strong foot in each of the western medicine and woo-woo worlds, as I'm currently in the process of getting my Masters in Counseling (to become a Licensed Professional Counselor), yet I'm also pursuing a Ph.D. in Natural Medicine where my coursework includes classes on NLP, Hypnotherapy, and Biofeedback.

In my interview with Melissa, I discuss CBT, Brainspotting, nervous-system management, EFT, breathwork, and mind-body language. Enjoy!

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