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Chronically Living and how to make the most of it
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Chronically Living and how to make the most of it

Author: Kelsey

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The goal of the show is to provide tangible ways to improve the well-being of chronic illness warriors.Do you have a chronic illness or chronic pain and you are open to trying new ways to improving your life? If you answered yes, then this show can help you explore new ways to do this. Kelsey Harris has a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Clinical Counsellor in Canada. She is also a person with lived experience with diagnoses of UCTD, fibromyalgia, and gluacoma, who has and continues to explore ways to improve her own well-being, and that for the rest of the Spoonie community. There are many ways to heal, and to improve well-being and quality of life, and some of the ways guest healthcare professionals, guests with lived experience, and Kelsey as she presents mental health coping skills, may work well for you. We want your subjective well-being and quality of life to be better! The show has two formats: first is solo episodes, where Kelsey presents coping skills and psychoeducation for mental health as it relates to chronic illness and chronic pain. The second is guest interviews with healthcare professionals and fellow chronic illness warriors who give alternative models to well-being. Episodes are released weekly.
76 Episodes
This week we're figuring out what our values are, particularly our values concerning health. Why? Because it can actually improve our well-being. How? That's a question with a longer answer, and so, this is part one of a two-part episode (part two is coming out December 27). It's helpful (though not required) to review the episodes on Creative Hopelessness, Contacting the Present Moment, Distancing Ourselves from Our Thoughts, and Acceptance of Pain before listening to this episode.In this episode we talk about:values vs. goalswhy values can help with our health and well-beinghow to figure out what our values areFollow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_ and on Twitter @janevspain.To sign up for Instacart, follow this link: support the show on Patreon for bonus content (this week it's more values exercises), follow this link:
This week we explore what inflammation actually does in our body, and how what we eat can affect it. But this isn't a follow this specific diet episode. Elizabeth Yarnell, ND, helps us understand how individually tailoring what we eat to ourselves can usually do the trick.In this episode we discuss:what inflammation isthree-step process to testing for inflammationhow to figure out what we can and can't eathow all of this can impact our overall healthGuest Bio:Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 30, Elizabeth Yarnell has spent the past 20 years studying how to manage autoimmunity naturally as a traditional naturopath. She’s worked with hundreds of MS and other autoimmune sufferers in her nationwide clinic using unique, personalized natural therapies to help them slow or even reverse the course of their disease. She’s a TEDx speaker, award-winning author whose cookbook has sold more than 60,000 copies, a patented inventor, and has been featured on CBS, NBC, ABC, and PBS as well as in Good Housekeeping, Health, Martha Stewart Living Radio, and many other outlets.You can find Elizabeth @ elizabethyarnell.comCheck out her MS diet website: multiplesclerosisdiet.comFind her cookbook @ gloriousonepotmeals.comFollow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_Support the show on Patreon:
Merriam Webster defines resilience as: "the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens." When you have a chronic illness, resilience is what helps you get through it so that you can actually live a fulfilling, values-based life. My guest this week is Lindsay Miller, a strength and resiliency coach who happens to have Hashimoto's.In this episode we talk about:Lindsay's health journeywhat resilience is and ways to cultivate itwhat we can learn from the resiliency of natureGuest BioLindsay Miller, is the host of the the Stress Nanny Podcast and founder of  She has a degree in Child Development as well as Mindfulness, Yoga and Health Coaching Certifications.  Lindsay helps women and children recover from stressful experiences and build resilience for the future.  In her podcast and courses, she shares tools to help clients uncover their strengths, develop healthy habits, and improve their self-talk. By creating a safe space to work through stressful situations like family conflict, divorce, illness, infertility and loss, Lindsay supports clients as they unlock their potential to live meaningfully and intentionally in any situation.Check out Lindsay's website: www.thestressnanny.comFollow Lindsay on Instagram @thestressnannyFollow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_Support the show on Patreon and get access to bonus content (this week it is how Lindsay meal plans around the holidays). 
Pain - both physical and emotional - is part of the human experience, but it's also a part that most of us don't like. However, in order to truly live fulfilled lives, we need to be able to accept it. This is especially true for chronic illness warriors.In this episode we talk about:what acceptance is and isn'twhy acceptance is importantdifferent types of acceptancean acceptance practice to get you startedCheck out the following acceptance practices:Urge SurfingThe Kind HandObserve-Breathe-Expand-AllowSign up for Instacart using this link.Support the show on Patreon and get  bonus content every week!Follow me on Instagram @chronically.living_
This week we're exploring a chronic illness that we haven't before, and yet is extremely common - cancer. The lessons from this episode, can easily be applied to any chronic illness though. And we all know or have known someone with cancer. My guest this week is Em Veach who shares her story and what has helped her.In this episode we talk about:metastatic breast cancerways to improve your well-being after a cancer diagnosisa new product for cancer patients from Em's startup, Casual RecoveryGuest Bio:Em Veach is COO of Casual Recovery, a medical device startup. We invented a wearable surgical recovery garment out of necessity. The company founder, Aisha McCain, invented and patented the garment with the support of her plastic surgeon. Now, we are building an all-star team and raising funds to deliver our products to people who need them. Ms. Veach, who is also a cancer survivor, is passionate about helping people and funding research for more effective, less toxic treatments for cancer and other diseases. She is a graduate of Indiana University and trained at the Knight New Media Center as well as the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Project LEAD advocacy program. To purchase from Casual Recovery go to: casualrecovery.comFor Em's podcast and website go to: tenthwind.comFollow Em on Instagram @gertrudeemilyPurchase from The Balm Box at: the show on Instagram @chronically.living_Support the show on Patreon:
TW: mentions of suicideWe're usually told by our doctors that the causes of our chronic pain are related to joints. This is often verified by the use of an MRI. But for some people, nothing shows up on an MRI. And for others, what shows up has nothing to do with their symptoms. My guest Dr. Mitchell Yass introduces us to his Yass Method for diagnosing and treating pain.In this episode we talk about:causes of  paindiagnosing painthe Yass MethodGuest Bio:Dr. Mitchell Yass is a physical therapist and the developer of the Yass Method. This method interprets the body’s presentation of symptoms to identify the tissue in distress eliciting those very symptoms. Chronic pain affects 130 million Americans and roughly 1,000,000,000 people worldwide. The primary cause of chronic pain is misdiagnosis. This is directly associated with the baseless use of the MRI. He can provide theoretical, clinical and scientific evidence to substantiate my position. I have treated thousands of people resolving their pain even after surgery failed.Check out his YouTube Channel: Dr.  Mitchell YassFollow him on Facebook @The Yass MethodFollow him on Instagram @live_without_painsCheck out his website: livewithoutpains.comEmail him: drmitch@drmitchellyass.comFollow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_Follow the show on Facebook @chronically livingFollow the show on Twitter @janevspainSupport the show on Patreon.
We're continuing our journey through the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy hexaflex this week by taking a look at defusion - or rather, creating distance between ourselves and our thoughts. When our thoughts are too close to us, they tend to interfere with our lives, leading us to behaviour that is the opposite of what we want (we want mindful, values-based living).In this episode we talk about:common chronic illness thoughtshands as thoughts and feelings metaphor to explain defusionsome techniques you can use to create that distanceThe meditation music in this episode was "Deep Into Nature" composed by Music of Wisdom - licensed from link to my YouTube channel for the full Leaves on a Stream meditation is: the show on Instagram @chronically.living_ and on Twitter @janevspainSupport the show on Patreon.Sign up for Instacart using this link.
Connections, community, networking. These are important for our well-being. We need support, but also we need to just engage with others as social creatures. Lifelong chronic illness warrior Amy Sinha joins me on the show to talk about where to find these connections and how to make them.In this episode we talk about:why connection and community is important for well-beingwhere to make new connections onlinedifferent types of connections to makehow to go about making connectionsGuest Bio:Amy Sinha is a British Asian vocalist, songwriter, present, voice over artist and entrepreneur from Wales, UK. She was submerged in music from an early age, performing in her first talent contest at age 6. She studied classical piano and singing, but developed a intimate love affair with jazz in her teens. She experienced some rare medical conditions in her early years, being declared as being one out of only 5 children like her in the UK at the time. She went on to graduate from Leeds College of Music with a BA (Hons) degree in music specialising in jazz. She released her debut album in 2012 called 'A Sin With Love,' then 3 more singles after that. She released 2 singles with a New York record label. She has a YouTube channel where she has interviewed musicians such as Ronnie Scott's Saxophonist, Derek Nash, Rat Pack Legend, Buddy Greco, and Clint Eastwood's son, Kyle Eastwood.Check out Amy's website: www.amysinha.comFollow Amy on Instagram and Facebook: @amysinhaFollow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_ and on Twitter @janevspainSupport the show on Patreon and get exclusive bonus content for each episode.Sign up for Instacart using this link.
This week we're exploring what sounds like the weird world of hypnotherapy, but in fact, it is nothing like you think it is.  This week Sam Visnic joins us to tell us he uses hypnotherapy in his practice, and how it helps people with chronic pain.In this episode we talk about:what hypnotherapy ishow hypnotherapy can help chronic painwho makes a good candidate for hypnotherapyGuest Bio:Sam Visnic has spent his life studying the fundamental aspects of human health with a focus on movement and clinical massage therapy. In a world of specialists, surgical procedures, drugs and quick fix remedies, he’s committed to finding and developing strategies that help people stuck at the “gap”. Sam has studied dozens of systems and methodologies for uncovering the root cause of aches and pains, along with postural and movement issues. Pain science, the art and science of hands-on soft tissue massage techniques, myofascial release, and coaching movement is essential in his practice. Integrating different methods but above all deciphering WHEN to use different techniques with different people and situations, along with integration of movements that people want to be able to do again is the key to long term success with Sam’s incredible track record with his personal clients. Understanding the various elements that contribute to conditions and the power of communication and education makes his Release Muscle Therapy program unique from other hands-on therapy approaches. For a free copy of his digital book + other resources found at the bottom of the homepage: https://releasemuscletherapy.comFollow Sam on Facebook: Sam on Instagram: out Sam's YouTube channel:'t forget to follow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_Support the show on Patreon!
One of the 6 Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) processes is Contacting the Present Moment. And guess what?! ACT has a huge evidence base for helping people with chronic pain and chronic illness, as well as mental health. But how do we do this (in a way that isn't formal meditation)? That's what we're exploring this week.In this episode we talk about:the 6 processes in ACT"mindfulness" for chronic pain and illnesswhy we need to drop the struggledropping anchor (experiential)The recommended self-help reading is "The Happiness Trap" by Russ Harris.Click the link for a guided version of Dropping Anchor.Follow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_  and on Twitter @janevspain and on Facebook @ Chronically Living.Support the show on Patreon!
Weight gain is common in people with chronic illness and can happen for a variety of reasons. I often see people asking how to lose weight or better manage it, which is a great question. And so Dr. Franchell Hamilton is sharing with us both Western approaches and holistic approaches to this question.In this episode we talk about:holistic approaches to weight loss4 pillars of transformation4 transformational stepsthe app Fresh TriGuest Bio:Dr. Franchell Hamilton has several years of training not only in medicine but chemistry and psychology which she obtained all over the world. After completing her medical degree, Dr. Hamilton went to work helping patients struggling with their weight. She founded A Better Weigh Center providing a wide range of wellness services without judgement. As her practice grew many patients had the same recurring issue, weight regain with return of their other medical conditions. Dr. Hamilton wanted permanent solutions. Thus the 4 Pillars of Transformation was founded, this weight loss and wellness system reaches communities where they are and has changed the practice of medicine. This program can better provide a treatment plan for each patient that not only addresses their disease but also the root cause and methods to prevent it from recurring. She uses her book, Transformation is a mindset as a guide to help all struggling with unhealthy strongholds in their life find the root and overcome.Follow her on Instagram @drfhamilton.Follow her on LinkedIn and Facebook @drfranchellhamiltonCheck out her website: www.drfhamilton.comFollow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_ and on Facebook @chronicallyliving.Check out the companion blog: www.chronically-living.comIf you like the  show, please support it on Patreon.
Feeling that sense of accomplishment is linked to well-being, but many Spoonies struggle to feel that because they are limited in their daily activities. If this sounds like you, then in tune in because APS and Lupus Warrior, Darren Radke shares how he manages to feel a sense of accomplishment often, despite having two chronic illnesses.In this episode we talk about:two coping skills: music and exercisewhat gives Darren feelings of accomplishmenthow having fun is important for the well-being of chronic illness warriorsDarren's new book, Deceived From WithinGuest BioDarren Radke is a 49 year old male, from Marshall, Wisconsin. Proud Husband and a Father of two. He has an Associates Degree in Business Management. Loves to exercise when his body allows, study history, music enthusiast and a huge Green Bay Packers fan. First time Author with hopes to help others living with Invisible Chronic Illnesses.Check out Darren's website: www.deceivedfromwithin.comFollow Darren on Instagram @deeradke_apsandlupusFollow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_Check out the companion blog: www.chronically-living.comSupport the show on Patreon.
This week we're exploring the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy process of Creative Hopelessness to see if we can get ourselves to a place where we are open to trying something new and different when dealing with our physical and emotional pain. If nothing you're trying is working, and you feel hopeless about your situation, then this is definitely an episode for you to check out.In this episode we talk about:what creative hopelessness ishow to figure out if your emotional control strategies are helping youwhat to do with the emotional control strategies that aren't workingTW: mentions of substance use and self-harmIf you're enjoying the show, please support it on Patreon.Follow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_ and on Twitter @janevspain.Sign up for Instacart using this link.
Whether you've been listening to this podcast for awhile or it's your first time here, we have an emphasis on integrating Western and Eastern medicines to improve our well-being and quality of life with chronic illnesses and chronic pain. But the question is often, where do I even start when it comes to doing this? My guest this week, Dr. Richard Harris, is here to help answer that question.In this episode we talk about:benefits of Western medicine and Eastern medicinewhere to start when it comes to integrating holistic medicine into our livesthree things we can do that cost $0 and have 0 negative side effectsGuest BioDr. Richard Harris is a board-certified internal medicine physician and pharmacist. Dr. Harris attended the University of Texas at Austin for pharmacy school then pursued medical education at the McGovern School of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Harris is a lifelong learner and completed his MBA at the University of Houston. Dr. Harris has a client-centric view of focusing on building relationships and trust through a comprehensive lifestyle medicine system. He currently hosts the Strive for Great Health Podcast, has several online wellness courses, and consults for several companies. He is an avid reader, weight lifter, video game enthusiast, and author in his spare time. Dr. Harris also enjoys sports, traveling, philanthropy, church, and keto donuts.Follow Dr. Harris on all social media channels @drharrismdIf you like the show, don't forget to support it on Patreon, for exclusive perks as well.Follow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_ and on Twitter @janevspain.
MS Warrior Edie Sohigian joins me this week to share how she's used the power of humour and laughter to improve her well-being with chronic illness, as well as some tips as to how you can do it too!In this episode we talk about:why humour is helpfultips to integrate humour into your lifepersonal growth and lifestyle balanceGuest BioEdie Sohigian was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis on Easter Sunday in 2015. Four days before that she checked herself into the hospital because she was numb from her neck to her toes. A neurologist told her that was the only way she was going to get diagnosed.She says that her MS diagnosis saved her life. She was in a spiral of unhealthy behaviors from stress to sleep, diet, and movement. She has changed many aspects of her life since being diagnosed, but the most important is her mindset.She is still a work in progress, but the guests on her podcast, Thriving Over Surviving, are inspiring her to live a more healthy and balanced lifestyle. She encourages everyone to keep thriving.Edie launched her podcast, Thriving Over Surviving, on July 12, 2021. She chats with MS warriors who are living their best lives. Having a positive mindset is essential when managing an autoimmune disease.There is a lot of shame and stigma associated with disability. It is her intention to break down those barriers, dispel the myths, and bring awareness to others. It is her mission to find what brings people the most joy and spread it like wildfire.Her core values are growth and humor. It is her intent to learn from each other while growing community and enjoying the process. Laughter is contagious so she does as much of it as possible.Also, you can find the show, Thriving Over Surviving, wherever you listen to podcasts. Join her as she chats it up on another episode.Follow Edie on Instagram: @thrivingoversurvivingpodcast and @ediesohigianFollow Edie on Facebook: @thrivingoversurvivingpodcast and @ediesohigianWebsite: thrivingoversurviving.godaddysites.comFollow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_ and on Twitter @janevspain.Support the show on Patreon!Sign up for Instacart using this link.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the U.K. put out a list of recommendations in April 2021, for the treatment of chronic pain, based on a meta-analysis of research in the area. In this episode we talk about the recommendations and what it could mean for the well-being of Chronic Pain Warriors.In this episode we discuss:5 evidence-based treatment for chronic painwhat was not included as a recommendation and whywhat we should do with this informationRemember that this podcast is for psychoeducation/health education only, and you should always consult with your healthcare team before making any lifestyle changes.Here's the link to the full report by NICE.Support the show on Patreon and get access to extra weekly content only for Patrons.Follow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_ and on Twitter @janevspainSign up for Instacart by following this link.
Improving well-being and quality of life when you have a chronic illness takes a lot of work. Connecting with your authentic self can be helpful in improving your day-to-day life, even though it's not going to make your illness go away. My guest this week is Amber Gilkerson, chronic illness warrior and health coach, who is sharing how reconnecting with her authenticity has helped her improve her well-being.In this episode we talk about:what authenticity is4 steps to reconnecting with your authenticityhow authenticity can improve well-beingTrigger Warning: mentions of suicidal ideationGuest Bio:Amber Gilkerson is the owner and founder Overcoming Starting Over, Holistic Health & Embodiment Coaching. Her mission is to show fellow chronic illness warriors how to reconnect with a body they feel as betrayed them, so they can reclaim their power, and live in authentic alignment to the healthy lifestyle they have been dreaming about.Follow Amber on Instagram @ambergilkerson and on FaceBook @ A Home for Chronic Illness WarriorsAmber's Website: www.overcomingstartingover.comSupport the show on Patreon. Follow me on Instagram @chronically.living_ and on Twitter @janevspain.
As Chronic Illness Warriors we often hear about all these diets that are supposed to be super helpful, but do they actually work? And who do they work for? My guest, Mandy Podlesny, shares her experience not only as a health coach but as a person with ankylosing spondylitis and how the ketogenic diet in particular has been helpful for her symptoms.In this episode we discuss:what the ketogenic diet iswhat ketosis can help with (hint: inflammation)how to make a diet work for youwhere mindset comes into play in all of thisGuest Bio:Starting college, dating, and meeting new friends is what Mandy Podlesny had in mind for her coming of age story. Instead, she was spending time in between classes at doctors’ offices, taking medications, having surgery, or filing insurance claims. While medical professionals shrugged at her mysterious symptoms and told her “it's just something you'll have to live with”, Mandy constantly jumped at the chance to try the latest supplement and detox, even attempting several diet trends claiming to reduce inflammation. Still, something didn’t feel quite right, and Mandy’s life would never be the same as she began what turned out to be a 12-year uphill battle. Recovery isn’t always easy or pretty, but after undergoing five surgeries over the course of two years, she knew there had to be more to this life. Through rigorous exploration and bio-hacking, Mandy discovered the healing power of ketosis, shifts in her thinking, dietary choices, and lifestyle changes for chronic illness. With her health beginning to improve, she felt an intense desire to give back and help eliminate some of the guesswork. Since 2016, Mandy has helped others visualize their own roadmaps of success, whether they are Keto or Burrito, to drop the weight and fix their relationship with food--all while learning to love themselves, exactly as they are. When she isn’t busy showing others that optimal health doesn’t have to be complicated or out of reach, you can find Mandy practicing her backswing for the golf league she’s in! Mandy's website: and Keto Club: ketoclubwithmandy.comMandy's social: @moremandypSupport the show on Patreon for exclusive content from this episode!Sign up for Instacart here!Follow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_ and on Twitter @janevspain
I will admit that I am a self-proclaimed self-care guru. Why? Because self-care has been so important for my physical and mental health with a chronic illness. And to be honest, self-care is important for everyone. I even did a seminar presentation to my fellow therapists-in-training about the need for therapist self-care. However, we know that Spoonies sometimes encounter problems getting self-care done.In this episode we talk about:what self-care is and why we should do itbasics of self-careactivities of daily livingadvanced self-careTag me on Instagram @chronically.living_ with your takeaways from the episode, questions you may have, or topics you'd like discussed.Support the show on Patreon so I can keep bringing you more content!
We've heard a lot about gut health the past several years and how it's an important factor in the onset and maintenance of chronic illness. This week I have Beau Berman, the marketing director for Layer Origin, a company that specializes in prebiotic supplements, to share some ways we can potentially improve our gut health.In this episode we talk about:Why gut health is importantPrebiotics vs. ProbioticsA type of prebiotic called HMOGuest Bio:Beau Berman is a co-founder and marketing director of Layer Origin Nutrition in Ithaca, NY. Berman spent 11 years as an Emmy Award-winning television news anchor and reporter for CBS, FOX, and ABC news affiliates, before pivoting to media relations and marketing in 2019. He holds a Master of Arts in Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He lives in New York with his wife, their two dogs, and three goats. Check out the Layer Origin website: Layer Origin on Instagram: layer_originSupport the show on Patreon.Follow me on Instagram: @chronically.living_
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