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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.Chronic pain and illnesses are becoming increasingly common. While having a chronic illness can seem like the end of the world due to so many drastic life changes that come with it, your life doesn't have to be so terrible. This podcast takes a positive approach to chronic illnesses, discussing ways to live an amazing life despite your health circumstances.All information on this show is health education/psychoeducation and should not be considered medical advice. Please always consult with your healthcare professionals.Kelsey Harris, MA, RCC is a psychotherapist/clinical counsellor and a person with lived chronic illness experience.
69 Episodes
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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: https://facebook.com/releasemuscletherapyFollow Sam on Instagram: https://instagram.com/releasemuscletherapyCheck out Sam's YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/samvisnicDon'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: mandyp.com 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: https://layerorigin.com/Follow Layer Origin on Instagram: layer_originSupport the show on Patreon.Follow me on Instagram: @chronically.living_
This week my guest, Melanie Weller, shares with us how she as a physical therapist treats the vagus nerve to give her patients both physical and emotional pain relief. This episode contains an experiential segment, to help get you started on this journey.In this episode we discuss:what the vagus nerve is how the vagus nerve affects autoimmune disease and chronic painstorytelling to treat the vagus nervephysical exercises to treat the vagus nerveTrigger Warning: mentions of suicidal ideation.Guest Bio:Melanie Weller is a Medical Visionary with a paradigm-shifting process to access genius, health, and flow in your body and business using the vagus nerve as a portal to health, growth, and success. Melanie brings over 25 years of experience to her leading-edge systems where she leverages vagus nerve principles for visionary development, performance enhancement, and fine-tuning genius. Melanie is a Physical Therapist, Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Certified Athletic Trainer, and Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults, and co-authored a sleep course for continuing education credits for the American Physical Therapy Association. Website: melanieweller.comInstagram & Twitter: @embodyyourstarFollow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_ Support the show on Patreon for bonus perks, including a portion of this interview only available to Patrons!
Externalizing language is a concept often used in narrative therapy, and is a way of creating distance between ourselves and our illness(es). There is a lot of research that supports how we think and talk about our illnesses affects our perceived ability to control them, and our overall quality of life and wellbeing.In this episode we discuss:mental health and chronic illnesswhat externalizing language ishow language affects ushow to use externalizing languageTag me on Instagram @chronically.living_ with your thoughts and takeaways from this week's episode.Support the show by following this Patreon link.Sign up for Instacart by following this link.
Craniofacial pain includes TMJ disorders, migraines, headaches, neck pain, trigeminal neuralgia, and more and is quite common. TMJ disorders alone affect 5-12% of the population. But how can we treat them? This week, Dr. Dave Shirazi shares his expertise in this area, with a holistic approach to dentistry and craniofacial pain.In this episode we talk about:the different craniofacial pain disorderstraditional treatment methodsholistic approaches to treatmentusing the observer self or meta position to look at our own painSupport the show:Guest Bio:Dr. Shirazi graduated from Howard University College of Dentistry, in Washington D.C. in 2000 and earned a Masters degree in Oriental Medicine from SAMRA University in 2006 and is also a board licensed Acupuncturist.  He has completed over 2000 hours of continuing education in TMD and facial pain, craniomandibular orthopedics, and sleep disordered breathing.  He has also completed a hospital mini-residency in oriental medicine at the China Beijing International Acupuncture Training Centre which is the only organization the World Health Organization (WHO) has authorized to teach internationally on acupuncture and herbology, and another at Kyung Hee University and Medical Center, the top medical hospital and medical research school in Korea. In 2011 through 2016, he became a board licensed RPSGT, the first and so far only, dual degreed dentist and RPSGT.  He is the founder of the Bite, Breathe and Balance study group, dedicated to the multidisciplinary approach to treating craniofacial pain and sleep disorders. Dr. Shirazi is the director of state of the art private practices, The TMJ and Sleep Therapy Centre of Conejo Valley and Los Angeles, that is limited to the treatment of TMD, craniofacial pain, Sleep breathing disorders, and craniomandibular orthopedics.  His practice is part of the TMJ and Sleep Therapy Centre international family, one of over 60 Centres throughout the world, and is located in the beautiful hills of Thousand Oaks, Brentwood CA.  Personally, Dr. Shirazi enjoys hiking and camping in the state parks, traveling, and speaking.  He is married to the love of his life Kimberly Shirazi, and have welcomed their first born, Maximus. They live in the Santa Monica Mountains, where all are very close to nature.http://www.sleepconejo.com/index/index.phphttps://tmjtherapycentre.com/
Season 2 kicks off with my guest, performing artist, Sarah Luby, and our discussion about what it's like to have an invisible illness. Sarah has not one, but two invisible illnesses and yet that is not stopping her from living her dream, instead it inspired her to help others through the power of song. In this episode we discuss:what it's like to have an invisible illnesswhy Sarah decided to advocate for the community through songwhat Sarah has found to be most helpful in dealing with her illnesses on a daily basishow Sarah looks to the futureGuest Bio:An award-winning vocalist, Sarah Luby is known for her work in both theatre and film. She is a graduate of the Desautels Faculty of Music with a BMus in Vocal Performance. In May of 2021, Sarah completed RMTC’s Inaugural National Mentorship with David Connolly (Associate Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment) with a focus on Disability Representation in the Arts. Sarah has appeared on stages such as RB Stage, WSO, MB Opera, and can be seen as Tracy Bennet on Lifetime’s “Let’s Meet Again on Christmas Eve” and Natalie Cross on CBC’s “Burden of Truth”. Sarah is an Ambassador for the Invisible Disabilities Association, bringing awareness, education and visibility to Invisible Disabilities. You can hear her debut single “INVISIBLE”, out now!Follow Sarah on Instagram @sarah_luby14Check out her website: www.sarahvluby.comAnd don't forget to download Invisible.Follow the show on Instagram @chronically.living_Support the show on Patreon. Spoonie and Warrior Tier members will get an extended version of the song Invisible to listen to as well as additional commentary on the episode.Sign up for the exclusive Instacart offer by following this link.Original music by Nicole Skura.Original artwork by Charity Williams.
In this Flash from the Past episode, a between seasons re-release of Episode 3, my friend Katie James shares her journey with psoriatic arthritis, and how she got to a place where she's living an amazing life, despite flare-ups from her illness. In this episode we talk about:Her diagnostic journeyhow it's affected her health and mental healthwhat she's doing now to live an amazing lifehow determination, and a passion for creativity have helped her.Follow Katie's artwork on Instagram @iamkatiejamesTo sign up for Discover Somatics in 30 Days from Move Deeply Wellness (and get 20% off the course) visit www.movedeeply.com/discover and use the promo code: HEALNew episodes of Chronically Living will return June 28.
My guest this week is Tania Clarke, the founder of Move Deeply Wellness, who is here to share with us the benefits that movement can have for everyone, including those of us with chronic illness. In this episode we talk about:clinical somaticsMove Deeply Wellnessdifferent reflexeshow movement can help youGuest Bio:Tania Clarke's personal journey through years of chronic shoulder pain brought her to restorative movement education. She is dedicated to helping her clients tune into their bodies and unravel their persistent tension and pain, through gentle, methodical movement.Tania is a Level 2 Certified Somatic Exercise Instructor. She has trained as a yoga, fitness and Pilates instructor and is always experimenting with movement. She believes a diverse movement practice is one of the best routes to a long, happy life, and is here to help others find their own passion for movement.Her online business, Move Deeply Wellness, is committed to creating restorative movement education accessible online, with accountability tools and regular inspiration to help students stick with their practice and make it a life-long habit.Check out here website: Move Deeply WellnessFollow her on Instagram @MoveDeeplyWellnessand on FaceBook: Move Deeply
We're diving a little deeper into the mind-body connection, how it helps with chronic illness and chronic pain, and what are some things we can do to improve all aspects of our health!In this episode we talk about:what the mind-body connection isresearch into the brain and brain regionsmind-body interventions for chronic pain and chronic illnesstreating all parts of yourself, not just your physical illnessFollow me on Instagram @janeversuspain, on Twitter @janevspain, on Facebook @janeversuspain.My YouTube Channel: Kelsey L Harris MeditationsBlog: janeversupain.com
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