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Heal Chronic Pain With Your Breath & Brain

Is chronic pain normal as we age? No way! It's time to take control and feel better with today's episode.

On today's episode, we'll be talking with Jane Hogan, a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, Certified Yoga Teacher, and wellness educator who specializes in helping people heal chronic pain with breathwork and mindfulness. She'll be sharing her story of overcoming chronic pain and giving us some tips on how we can do the same.

About Jane Hogan:

Jane Hogan, "The Wellness Engineer," blends science and spirituality to help people release chronic pain using the mind, body, and breath, so they can become empowered creators of their health.

Her personal experience of reversing crippling rheumatoid arthritis using natural solutions inspired her to leave a 30-year engineering career and become a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, Certified Yoga Teacher, and wellness educator.

Combining ancient wisdom with leading-edge science, Janes Wellness by Design Blueprint has helped hundreds of people release chronic pain naturally. She is the host of the Wellness by Design podcast and her empowering message has been featured on numerous podcasts and summits.

In this episode, you'll learn:

-Mind-body techniques to release chronic pain

-How to use your breath to heal your body

-Lifestyle changes that can help alleviate chronic pain

-And more!

If you're ready to start feeling better and take control of your chronic pain, this episode is for you. Tune in now!

(00:00): "Every day is a mini version of our life. How you start your day is important." Jane Hogan.

(00:06): So the big question is, how do women over 40 like us keep weight off, have great energy, balance our hormones and our moods, feel sexy and confident and master midlife? If you're like most of us, you are not getting the answers you need and remain confused and pretty hopeless to ever feel like yourself again. As an o B gyn, I had to discover for myself the truth about what creates a rock solid metabolism, lasting weight loss, and supercharged energy after 40, in order to lose a hundred pounds and fix my fatigue. Now I'm on a mission. This podcast is designed to share the natural tools you need for impactful results and to give you clarity on the answers to your midlife metabolism challenges. Join me for tangible, natural strategies to crush the hormone imbalances you are facing and help you get unstuck from the sidelines of life. My name is Dr. Kyrin Dunston. Welcome to the Hormone Prescription Podcast.

(01:00): Hi, and welcome back to the Hormone Prescription with Dr. Kyrin. Thank you so much for joining me today. You're gonna enjoy the episode today because we're talking about two very important things, breath and brain and how you can harness the power of these two, heal yourself of chronic pain and many health conditions. The science is very clear that your breath and your brain function are super important foundational manifestors of the physical health that you're experiencing. So why not take advantage of every tool that you can use or, I'm gonna dive deep today with my guest Jane Hogan, and she's going to teach you all about that. She's very passionate about it. She's done a lot of work in education in this area. Jane is the wellness engineer. She blends science and spirituality to help people release chronic pain using the mind, body and breath, so they can become empowered creators of their own health.

(02:01): Her personal experience of reversing crippling rheumatoid arthritis using natural solutions inspired her to leave a 30-year engineering career and become a functional medicine certified health coach, certified yoga teacher and wellness educator. Combining ancient wisdom with leading edge science, Jane's Wellness by Design Blueprint, has helped hundreds of people release chronic pain naturally. She's the host of the Wellness by Design podcast and her empowering message has been featured on numerous podcasts and summits. Welcome Jane to the podcast. Thank you so much for having me here. I'm really thrilled to be on your podcast. Glad to have you. Anytime we get to talk about quantum physics, energy medicine and all the woo things that most people think aren't things and I know are really the missing key to their overall health regimen and what's stopping them from healing. A lot of times I am in, and I know that that's something you love talking about. You're very passionate about it. It, and I've helped a lot of people with it. So can you tell everyone how did you become so passionate about the power of the mind and how it can heal the body and impact pain?

(03:10): Mm, really through my own health journey, I was an engineer, civil engineer, structural design. My little joke is I was a structural design engineer until my own structure started to fail. I turned 50 and I was like, 50 is fabulous. But then within about three weeks after that I developed severe joint pain. I had just come through this really stressful year, emotionally stressful. My mother had died suddenly, and I had a lot to deal with. I had to deal with the home and their collections and siblings, and it had been very stressful. I hadn't been sleeping very well, and so I was sort of on the tail end of that getting the house ready for sale and I just, my joints just got really my shoulders first it started, but it was so bad, had to go in a sling and then the next day it was the other shoulder and it kind of went around.

(04:03): It was my knees, my feet, I got orthotics. I thought, okay, I'm just at that age and my jaw, my hands started to hurt. I thought, okay, I just need the house sold and then everything's gonna be fine. I'll take it a little vacation, I'll be fine. But I got worse to the point where I could hardly walk, I could hardly like turn door handles. I was getting stuck in rooms cuz I couldn't turn the door handle. I, I couldn't squeeze shampoo outta the bottle. I was like almost getting to the point where I couldn't look after myself and really didn't know what it was. Nothing was really showing up in my blood work. Luckily I had my family doctor was kind of unusual because she suggested that food might help and that there were some foods that caused inflammation. So she mentioned gluten, dairy and sugar were really common.

(04:52): So I just cut them out of cold Turkey and I had like a significant reduction pain in just five days, which you know, if you know anything and I know you do about the gut microbiome and how quickly it heals, then that makes total sense. And so I kind of went on this whole journey. I learned about functional medicine. Eventually I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, but I saw a rheumatologist and I said, I'm kind of trying these other things and so I don't really wanna take the meds right now. I was a little scared of the side effects. So I continued on and I started looking at lifestyle and I thought, okay, it's food and lifestyle, then I'm gonna be fine. And so I kept on trying all these things and graphing them and charting them and seeing how I was doing. And I would get a little bit better and then I would plateau and then I would try something else, get a little bit better and then plateau.

(05:40): And I was like at least a year into the journey when I started actually I, I trained, I decided I wanted to learn more about functional medicine. So I signed up to be a, a health coach training for, to become a health coach. Not that I knew if I was gonna be a health coach, but I just wanted to learn more about it, and I could do it online. And I learned so much in that about the power of the mind and every month we had a mind body medicine component and then I realized that's what I was missing. And then I dived in further into the mind and then also looking at childhood trauma. I had to treat trauma like most people do. And anyway, the mind in addressing the mind and really understanding all of that and how it affects us energetically really took my healing then to the next level so that, that's not a short story but there you go. <Laugh>.

(06:34): Yeah, thank you so much for sharing that. I know there are a lot of people listening who are are gonna identify because it seems like whether you're 40, 50, 60 for women, a lot of times it just happens pretty quickly, and we hit this wall. But I'm sad that this happened to you, but I love how you described how you couldn't even get out of a room cuz you couldn't turn the doorknob and there might be somebody listening who's dealing with that right now. And Jane shared a few quotes with me before we started recording that I love and I think that they really speak to this situation that you've just described Jane, and probably will speak to some of you out there. Everything is happening for you, not to you. And I love that because a lot of times when it comes to our health, when we get these negative symptoms, you know, we're midlife, we're gaining weight, our hairs falling out, we can't digest our food, we can't sleep, you name it, you guys know what I'm talking about and we think it's happening to us and it's something that's harming us. But really it's, I call the body her. She's trying to tell you what's wrong and she's, these are signposts to where the problems are so that you can fix them. And so you came in contact with this information that the mind has the power to heal the body. So what did that look like for you and your, your healing journey from rheumatoid arthritis? How did you utilize mine techniques to help you,

(08:00): First of all re that reframing that quote that you said there? Everything is happening for me, not to me. I think it's Byron Katie, I'm gonna give her credit for that anyway. Yeah, that it's just such a reframe that this was not, because in the beginning I felt like why is this happening to me? My life is outta control. This shouldn't be happening. I've been a good eater all my life. I've been athletic. Why is this happening? It's not fair. You know, all those kinds of thoughts and really afraid for my future. But to reframe it as this is happening for me, there's something for me to learn because what I kind of always knew and believe was that our bodies really are self-healing. They are, if we're having this breakdown or dis-ease or whatever's happening, these negative symptoms, then it's really our body calling for our help. And so it then, it really is happening for us because it's calling our attention to become a version of ourselves that's different than the version who created this illness or dis disease in the body. So it's waking us up, it's waking us up. So now, I mean I see this whole beautiful path that I've had to get me right here to be talking to you right now and I wouldn't have changed it. I know it was all happening for

(09:17): Me. To me, what you're saying makes perfect sense cuz I've been down the same path. But to a lot of people they're like, they have no idea what you're talking about Jane. So you say it's calling us to become a version of us that's greater, I'm paraphrasing than the woman who got rheumatoid arthritis or something like that. Some people are sitting there scratching their heads saying, I have no idea what she means. Mm. Can you explain that?

(09:43): Okay, so I'm gonna go down a little lesson in quantum science. I'll keep it really simple cuz I'm not an expert in quantum science. But I'll tell you a little bit about what I learned and then you'll understand why I said what I said. So quantum science tells us first of all that everything's energy including us, right? We are actually electromagnetic energy systems that are expressing through a physical human nervous system and a physical human body. So that might be like a lot for people to take in <laugh>, just that statement. But that's what quantum science tells us. Quantum science also says that we are constantly creating the reality. So basically, and this epigenetics tells us this too, that the environment that we're creating is the environment that our cells are all reproducing in. So if we've got a, an environment of stress and stress can be thoughts, right?

(10:39): Stress is it it, I'm, I'm calling it negative energy. So it can be thoughts, it can be toxins, it can be foods that aren't healthy for us and so on. So we create this in, we are the ones creating that environment that's manifested in these cells reproducing this disease in the body. So going back to that, then if we've created it with the thoughts that we've had with the foods that we've been eating with the toxins we've been exposed to, then we can be the ones that can change that. So the version of ourselves that created the disease, I mean we didn't do it consciously. Obviously none of us have really been taught this, which is why I'm so passionate about speaking about it. So the version of us that it created, if we continue the same way, then we're gonna create more of that. So if we wanna change it, we gotta become a different person. You know, we've gotta create different energy so that we now create a a physical body that manifesting of the energy in a physical body that's going to be different. One that's gonna be creating health and wellness, not creating disease.

(11:50): Okay. So that's well said cuz I tell people that all the time, like the you that you are, you know, whatever it is that you're wanting to heal from, you know, irritable bowel depression, you know, hot flashes and can't sleep, perimenopausal sin, whatever they are, is not the same woman who can exist in this world and not have those symptoms. Like you have to be someone different.

(12:14): Yes.

(12:14): And when I say this to people, they look at me like I have three heads. They don't understand what I'm saying. And I didn't get it cuz people said this to me too back at the beginning of my journey and I didn't get it either. But now I get that the pain was calling me through the path to healing, to the purpose and to becoming who I needed to be so I could, you know, get off the five psychoactive medications and not need them, so I could regrow my hair and have a sex drive and do all the things. But I didn't understand that at the time. And, and in fact it scared me because I thought, well what are you saying? Like I can't be married. I was married at the time, married to the man I married to, I can't be a mom, I can't deliver babies, I can't do the things. So what do you say to those people who are thinking, what do you mean I have to change Jane,

(13:01): When we do get this disease in our body, and we're, you know, we're faced with this, it feels very powerless, right? You feel like a victim. And that's exactly how I felt. And we're also kind of taught in this culture that we aren't powerful. Like we have to go find, know the medications or whatever to take care of this. But really we are powerful when you think we're, we've like, the fact that we've created the pain or disease or whatever it is, shows us how powerful we are because we created it, right? So really I feel like this puts us in an empowered position and maybe that is a little scary for some people. In fact, there's a quote by Maryanne Williamson that I don't have totally, and it wasn't one of the quotes I mentioned to you earlier, but it's something like our biggest fear is not that we aren't powerful, it's that we're powerful beyond measure.

(13:51): And really that is where we are. But we, we also have to be careful with those thoughts too. Ki ki and that is that we can't sort of go into blame, say, wow, like why did I do this to myself? It's not that because those are negative thoughts that are creating negative energy, which are, you know, again, ourselves are gonna be bathed in it. So we wanna make sure that we're having the thoughts of empowerment that are so that we are going to manifest this, this healthier version of ourselves in this physical body. I hope that helps your audience understand that really it's coming from a position of power and it's putting you in a more powerful place.

(14:31): Yeah. So when, this was all a part of my journey too, and I didn't get it at first, but as I said, I, I leaned into the question and then that's when the answers and the understanding came and I realized that I couldn't be the person who said that I didn't, you know, have a sugar problem and continue to eat sugar, right? I couldn't be the person who just basically didn't love and nurture and care for myself the way that I deserved to and heal. And so those are a lot of things that I've changed. So let's talk about though, particularly when it comes to pain, do you think there's a special relationship between your mind, your thoughts that you think and pain in particular? Or is it any health problem?

(15:17): I probably say any health problem really. But sort of talking about pain in particular, I just hosted this some as I interviewed like 50 experts in who help people get outta pain naturally. And it was really co that there's kind of two broad categories of what causes pain and actually chronic conditions of any kind is what a lot of them said. And that is stress is one bucket and toxins are another bucket. And you could even kind of put them all in one bucket because toxins create stress in the body. But let's just talk about the stress for a moment. So the stress can come from our thoughts, can come from even thoughts that we're not aware of. In fact, a lot of it can come from thoughts that we're not aware of. I interviewed Dr. Bruce Lipton and he talked about subconscious thoughts and how that can lead to, you know, fit manifestation of physical problems in the body.

(16:12): And so many other experts too talking about like childhood trauma that we may not even have realized we were carrying these subconscious thoughts all the time. And how do you know that you're carrying you, it's kind of because we create these adaptive behaviors to make up for these things that hap may have happened to us or things that we interpreted as being fearful when we were little. I mean we don't even remember it, we don't have to remember it, but you'll see evidence because you'll have behaviors like perfectionism, people pleasing, always having to do, do, do go, go, go. So those kinds, feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, being critical of other people are critical of yourself or not being able to take criticism, you know, being ultrasensitive. So these are all just really behavioral adaptations that we created to manage the fear situations we were in when we were really little.

(17:09): But the problem is that that creates, you know, like an environment of fear in our body. So our cells are kind of bathed in this, you know, underlying things aren't safe and when things aren't safe, when the body thinks that things aren't safe, as you know, we're not going to be in that rest digest, parasympathetic state. We're gonna be more in the sympathetic state, which is when things don't run really well. And it's kind of like a, if you think about like an automobile is not, if it's not getting proper maintenance and you know, you don't put the right kind of gas in it and all that kind of stuff, it's going to start to break down obviously. And it's kind of like our, our bodies are the same way. So we got, could have this underlying stress that's keeping our, our system in that state where we're not optimally functioning and then that has a downward cascade effect of coming out as physical things in the body, you know, so that's what we're seeing. It might come out of pain, it might come out as hair loss. You mentioned it could come out as eczema, it could be anxiety, you know, all these different things.

(18:16): Yeah, yeah, a lot of the things you mentioned increase inflammatory markers in the body, increase inflammation, which then is, you know, negative feedback with cortisol plus the unconscious thoughts spikes the sympathetic nervous system. Everybody listening will remember. Keesha, yours has been on the podcast as well as on the summit talking about little T trauma and I love Bruce Lipton. I'll put a plug in for his book, The Biology of Belief. Yeah,

(18:41): And

(18:41): This is, this is one of my favorite topics because it is the emerging science. You're not gonna hear this at all at a regular doctor's office and it absolutely will stop you from achieving the health that you deserve from achieving the Pain-FREE state that you deserve from achieving the peaceful mind that you deserve. What would you say to those people who say, cuz I know what we'll get into, let's start with this. What are some of the steps that people can take to really start working with, I know you talk about mind or brain, breath and body. So what are the components of starting to work with these, the, the mind to help to heal your pain? I'll come back to my question

(19:30): Later. I think one thing that really works in the beginning is maybe because people are listening to a podcast like this is having hope. So having hope and belief that things can change because you know, if I just searched rheumatoid arthritis basically on the, I'm just gonna find a lot of bad stuff and nasty little pictures of gnl hands and things like that, right? So it's finding these different stories, seeking out these other stories of people that have gotten lost. So having hope is really important because that's, you know, that's kind of starting with our beliefs. I also, well I love talking about breath work too, because we need to calm ourselves down. We're going, most of us are going around in a constant state of stress and you mentioned we're creating the hormones of stress in our body, which then every single cell Bruce Lipton talked about, you know, are the antenna basically on the surface of every cell that's picking up on that environment, sending the information to the DNA to, you know, how to replicate what's going on out here?

(20:31): Well, it's a little bit dangerous, so like, let's make sure we're, we're setting up and, and putting up defense physiology, not not health physiology. And so yeah, so doing everything you can to create calm. So I love breath work because it's free, it's totally portable and it's the fastest way to get the body and mind and body into that parasympathetic state, right? To just kind of calm that nervous system right away. As soon as we start talking about breath work, a lot of times I find people just automatically, you know, they'll breathe through their nose and slow it down and notice, and right in that moment you're not ruminating over the past or worrying about the future if you can just like listen to the sound of your breath or feel your belly moving in and out and hopefully it's the belly and not the chest because the chest, again, if we breathe into our chest, which a lot of people are doing, that's, that's activating the sympathetic state. Whereas when we breathe into the belly area, so the belly is kind of moving in and out because the diaphragm is coming up, up and down, then we're activating the vagus nerve, which is the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system. So breath is a great place to start.

(21:45): Yes, I love that. I have a friend who says, if your mind is in the future with anxiety or the past with regret, you are on the present. And I love that. Yeah,

(21:54): I look on their present. Like, why would

(21:56): We do that <laugh>? But so many of us are not in the present. And if you start to pay attention to that, you really start to notice that you're not, you know, you might be eating a piece of toast, but are you really tasting the toast? Are you really being present with the people that you're with? Or are you worrying about what's gonna happen to or rehashing something that happened last week? And the nervous system really can only heal in that parasympathetic state that is in the present. A lot of people say to me, Well how does breathing help your nervous system? Can you help them understand

(22:32): That there's so much science behind this? And so we know this to be true, that when we slow down the breath, especially the exhale on pain, for sure it helps lower it. So when we slow down the breath, and there's plenty of studies on like mindfulness and how it helps with, with stress, anxiety, with pain. So even people with like fibromyalgia, people with cancer, it helps create that com. So it, when we do that, the body can like start to heal. And so when we're healing then our immune system for example, is gonna come back online, our digestive system is going to come back online, our endocrine system, our musculoskeletal system, our circulatory system, everything's gonna start working more optimally. And of course in that environment we're going to start to feel better. But even in the moment, just in that moment, we can just very, very quickly get ourselves into that parasympathetic state.

(23:34): And the faster you do that, the better. Keesha, yours told me this actually, that when we create cortisol, it takes 12 hours to dissipate it out of the body. The longer we keep ourselves in a stress state, the longer that's going to take. So it's just so important to try to stop it as soon as you can. Breath is a great way to do it. There's other ways, but you've always got the breath with you when you do that, you can just kind of create that calm state. So that's, that's why I love the breath so much. But there's other things people can do, whatever, whatever makes you feel good and gets you at the moment. So it takes a little bit of awareness too. So we want to be able to catch ourselves when we are having negative thoughts. So we are so lucky as human beings that we have this ability to be aware that we are thinking we can be aware of our thoughts. Now, if you're not used to it, it does take a little bit of practice, but that is something you can practice and that can help. What am I thinking of right now? And if you notice that you're ruminating over the pa or you're on your, your present, then you can go reset, reset. Bring myself back to, okay, just focus on the breath in this, this one I love is in this moment, I'm safe in this moment. Everything's okay. And that can just calm you right down immediately.

(24:56): Yeah, we're the only species that has metacognition. We can think about what we're thinking about and how we think, but a lot of us don't. We think the same, you know, 70,000 thoughts a day today that we thought yesterday. And so a really empowered use of your mind is to think about what you're thinking about, think about the things that you think about repetitively, the patterns and habits. And I really think this whole childhood trauma really unpacking that because I think it's estimated gab or Monte estimates that 97% of us have had trauma in our lives and that just means overwhelming feelings that we couldn't handle that's programmed our nervous system and our cortisol hpa access to be on overdrive, right? So let's dive into a few solutions. I know you've got a podcast we're definitely gonna share with everyone. Wellness by design that has a lot of resources. But let's dive into so some simple deep belly breasts. It's all about increasing your vaal tone, calming your sympathetic, increasing your parasympathetic, which is that heel and repair part of your nervous system. What are some other things that people could do, activities they could start doing today to start calming their mind and healing their body?

(26:12): A lot of people think that right away, I, I've gotta change what I'm eating and not that food isn't important because obviously we gotta give our our body the building blocks, right? For good health and hopefully not be bombarding it with toxins which take a lot of energy to deal with and can build up in the tissues. But even starting with feeling calm while you're eating. So when you're preparing food, like feeling good about it, being grateful with the food that you have, the ability to do this, sitting down with people that you love, having good conversations or if you're by yourself, just even just loving on yourself and feeling good while you're eating. Taking the time to eat slowly. So I love to say start with how you eat rather than what you eat. It's a great starting point because then you'll even, you'll be able to digest your food better and when you digest your food better, well then it can help calm the nervous system or the immune system down.

(27:14): So then you stop having this inflammatory response. So it's kind of two things, right? It's the, it's the mind i digestion kind of begins in the mind. So starting with feeling calm while you're eating and appreciating and feeling gratitude, just feeling good about what you're eating. In fact, there's I've heard that, you know, the Mediterranean diet has always been touted as being such a healthy diet. The people there, you know, eat, they eat all this food and they have longevity. But one thing they do a lot over there is they really linger over their meals, their family times. People are talking and laughing. And so I think that plays a a big part in it as well. So that's a great place to start. Start with how you're eating <