The Natural Evolution Podcast

Season 1

Episode 16

S1E16 – Finding Your New Normal with Dr. Natasha Fallahi

Dr. Natasha Fallahi is The Sensitive Doctor. She is a MindBody health expert, functional medicine practitioner, and Certified Autoimmune Coach specializing in an intuitive approach to living and healing.

She helps sensitive people connect with their intuition, overcome trauma, and heal so that they can harness their own magic, tap into their superpowers, experience true wellness and finally feel at home in this world.  Her approach is especially effective for people experiencing anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, vague pain, brain fog, food intolerance, chemical sensitivities, Hashimoto’s, and autoimmunity.

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Head over to https://rebelhealthtribe.com/kit to get a free download of our loaded quick start guide to help you along your healing journey.  If you like us, subscribe, review, and share us with your friends, and come join our Rebel Health Tribe group on Facebook.

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Dr. Natasha Fallahi

Dr. Natasha Fallahi

About our Guest

Dr. Natasha Fallahi is The Sensitive Doctor. She is a MindBody Health Expert, Functional Medicine Practitioner, Energy Therapist, Certified Autoimmune Coach, Multimedia Artist, and founder of Club Sensitive.

She helps sensitive people connect with their intuition, overcome trauma, and heal so that they can harness their own magic, tap into their superpowers, experience true wellness and finally feel at home in this world. Her approach is especially effective for people experiencing anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, vague pain, brain fog, food intolerance, chemical sensitivities, Hashimoto’s, and autoimmunity.

Visit her website for more information!

Subscribe to The Natural Evolution Podcast

S01E016: Finding Your New Normal with Dr. Natasha Fallahi

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Podcast Transcript

Michael: Hello and welcome to The Natural Evolution produced by Rebel Health Tribe, a radio show focused on providing you with inspiration, education, and tools for true healing and transformation. I’m Michael and I’ll be your guide on this adventure as together we explore the very nature of the healing journey. We are live with this episode with Dr. Natasha Fallahi. Dr. Fallahi, thank you for being here.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Thank you for having me. It’s always a pleasure chatting with you, Michael.

Michael:

Yeah, this is going to be fun. This is a long awaited follow-up from the first time we recorded together as part of our autoimmune masterclass a couple of years ago with your presentation Flare Care, which I loved and made a mental note, have her back and talk more. So here we are. For those who don’t know you, you were my neighbor here recently. Actually you guys loved… Didn’t you move like the week we moved here to Berkeley?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

I think it was we just crossed paths.

Michael:

In the month? It was October last year.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah, I was there for over a decade, and then took off when you arrived.

Michael:

It’s like, oh, I’m going to see Titus and Natasha, and then I get here and I’m like, “Hey, do you want to have dinner?” He’s like, “We live in Sacramento now.” What? There was a couple other people too who moved here when we got here. I think we chased you out of town. You’re in the Sacramento area now, right?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yup. Still Northern California, still go to Berkeley a lot, but just moving a little more North.

Michael:

If you don’t know about Dr. Fallahi, she is known as The Sensitive Doctor. She’s a mind, body health expert, functional medicine practitioner, and certified autoimmune coach specializing in an intuitive approach to living and healing. She helps sensitive people suffering from chronic illness and trauma connect with their intuition and inborn gifts so they can feel at home in this world.

Her approach is especially effective for people experiencing depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, vague pain, never heard that term and it’s very fitting, brain fog, food intolerance, chemical sensitivities, Hashimoto’s, and other autoimmune conditions. Covered all the bases there.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

That’s pretty much the list of things I dealt with and had to find my way out of.

Michael:

Is that how you determined your specialty?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Pretty much, yeah. I mean, it was being in the shoes of the person who’s experiencing that and then finding the other side of how to address that. The people that I work best with are the people who are going through this journey with me.

Michael:

Great. Did you grow up in Cincinnati, Ohio, which I learned before we went on air? Shout out to Cincinnati. Did you grow up wanting to be a doctor?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Not at all. It’s kind of ironic because being the first generation daughter of Persian immigrants, it was kind of my like my life path to be a doctor or a lawyer, an architect and I really resisted that my whole life. I was always getting involved in more creative and arts related things. I actually set out to be an artist and a graphic designer and that’s what my undergraduate studies were. I did all of that, multimedia studies.

I was loving it, but really the reason I became a doctor is because my health and my life fell apart and I couldn’t function. I couldn’t even do anything. Not just the things I loved, but I couldn’t really even get up and take care of myself. That began my journey looking for answers just to feel well again. In that process, I learned a lot. I saw the dark side of healthcare.

I saw some amazing things that I had never been exposed to growing up in the Midwest of the United States in alternative and holistic medicine. I just became so fascinated with it and curious and would always ask my doctors and practitioners and therapists all these questions about the behind the scenes stuff. Both through my own healing experiencing it and transforming that way, but also just asking why, why is this stuff working when I had always been told that it was just like, you had a symptom.

You get a pill. You squash symptom and then that’s what health is. It became really interesting for me to see other perspectives of what health means and how to achieve that. I never set out to be a doctor, but through that process of just seeing how my health and life were transformed and I really reached my highest potential, the life that I wanted to live, and the fact that there was just all these fascinating things that I didn’t feel like were well-exposed.

They were hidden gems in my opinion. I went and made a huge life and career change and went to study and became a doctor of chiropractic, a functional medicine practitioner. I studied energy medicine, homeopathy. I did all of these things because they’re the things that really changed my life. I just wanted to incorporate them and teach more people about them.

Michael:

I can definitely relate to that. Everything that I teach now is stuff that I’ve been through. I’ve tried to teach stuff that I’ve learned and haven’t been through, like book learned and then tried to teach it. It never works the same.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah. I think there’s a lot of people who are incredibly skilled with that, but the fact that I started out as a really intuitive sensitive person, I can just get deeper into that experience and get much better results and a much more pleasant journey when I can connect with a person personally and empathetically and really know what they’re going through. There’s the book smart, but then there’s that embodied knowledge, that wisdom that we have.

I definitely think that wisdom has another level of power in terms of being able to help yourself or help other people.

Michael:

For sure. I think it’s been lost a lot in conventional modern medicine quite a bit. There’s the wall between the doctor and the patient a lot of times. Same thing in the therapy world. There’s a wall between the therapist and the client or the doctor and the patient. I think the most effective relationships there take place when that wall is more of a screen. There’s a connection there, because they can feel that you understand.

Before I forget, your graphic design and art background has served you well, and that you always have the prettiest slides in the slide shows. It’s funny because I try to do design stuff. I’m on Canva and I think of you and I get bitter. I’m just like, why don’t I have a training in this? The little commercials, it’s like, oh, everybody can make the most beautiful little thing ever. And then I get it and it’s like a stick man and a letter.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah. Actually that’s something that took me a while to really love and embrace about my life and myself because I always felt like… I was always having to divide my life between this creative world or kind of understanding health and sciences and things like that. It really took me a while for all those pieces to come together and appreciate every experience that I had in my life.

That point in actually understanding that every experience you go through is an opportunity to go deeper, kind of see where you are perceiving and experiencing things in the world, and transform and bring it all together in a way that it’s uniquely you. I think that’s actually a huge part of the healing journey that, I don’t know, we can say conventional medicine or healthcare leaves out.

That’s why when I talk to anybody or even through my own journey, a lot of it is really diving into your own story and your story about yourself, your story about the world around you, about what’s possible, and understanding that every piece of your story has contributed to where you are today and also wise the nuggets of wisdom that can help you find the path for you. Because I don’t think health comes from one end all, be all solution for everyone.

Like everybody needs to get on this diet, or everybody should be doing this type of exercise or having these certain lab markers look this way. It’s really about how your entire being, your mind, body, spirit, all of that connects and integrates with everything you do in your life and finding balance in all of that.

Michael:

I definitely agree. I love the approach. That encompasses so much. And actually looking at the individual, I often shy often people away from doctors who have their protocol, like just go in and get the protocol. They’re like a protocol factory and just pumping people through it. Here’s your protocol, go. Here’s your protocol, go. And it’s the same protocol. I just have never seen that be very successful.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah. I think there’s a certain art to healthcare. I mean, there’s the science of it, but there’s the art, the application of how you actually apply those concepts. And then there’s another factor of just the philosophy of healthcare and what people really believe is possible and how things function. When somebody is kind of stuck in one model of what health looks like, they get really limited maybe not in the sciences.

You can go read another book about it, but you get really limited in the art and application of it and even the philosophy of understanding what is possible. That’s a big thing that was life changing and mind expanding for me through this process. I really try to bring a lot of openness and understanding to people, where they’re at when I meet them and also ushering people into a space of greater understanding or consciousness about their own health and their own possibilities.

Michael:

You were in school when you started to not feel well, or did you finish your art and graphic design work? Where did that come up?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

I really go back to the beginning of where this all started for me. I really put the pieces together in hindsight, but it started from forever ago. Being a child growing up, I was always just kind of sick all the time. I had a lot of allergies. I missed a lot of school. I see now I was like a little moody or irritable as a toddler or a child, but that’s because now I understand I had imbalances. I had inflammation. I had food sensitivities.

I grew up just thinking of myself as sort of a weak or unhealthy or sick child, like a frail child. Because if, for example, my sister caught a cold, I would catch that cold much harder. It would last much longer. The whole experience for me was always much more stressful. I see now that really it was all the way from the beginning. I was always sensitive. I always experienced things in a heightened manner. It just seemed kind of like, oh, well, that’s her personality or that’s her mood.

She’s just a little more moody child. And then it progressed. When I got into middle school, high school where you start having some sense of identity, I thought it was the fact that I was the emo artsy type, right? It was like, oh, I’m supposed to experience a little bit of depression and a little bit of anxiety. Oh, I have lots of skin issues and acne, but that’s just puberty. It was like those issues were always there now that I look back on it.

The energy issues, the chronic fatigue, the gut issues, they were always lingering there. But it reached a breaking point when I was an undergrad, so probably 20 years old or something, where it just… I talk a lot about our resilience, like this cup… Our buffer in stress resilience. As we have stressors, that cup keeps getting more and more fuller. That bucket gets more full. And the more stressors we have over long periods of time, that bucket will just overflow.

That’s where someone might have a mental breakdown or they’ll have a disease that pop up or get diagnosed with something because that buffer of stress has taken on too much and they haven’t found ways to offload it. That happened to me around 20. I fell apart. I was undergrad. I was always an excellent student, like straight A student. Got scholarships. It just got to a point where I couldn’t function. I was having what I came to understand were anxiety attacks. I had severe depression.

My hair was falling out in chunks. My skin was bad. It was always bad, just really bad acne, eczema, hives, those sort of things. But overall, I felt off. I felt weird and different and didn’t understand what was wrong with me. My mind went to worst case scenario. I thought there’s something majorly wrong. I started then seeking answers from doctors. I would go to a GP and they’d be like, “Uh, you look fine. There’s nothing wrong with you. This is in your head. You’re making it up. Just go back and enjoy your college years.”

And then I was like, okay, that guy didn’t know anything or that lady didn’t know anything, so I’m going to go to a specialist. I went to neurologists. I went to gastros. I went to all these different doctors and they just kind of looked at me and thought, “Well, this isn’t anything that’s obvious. You’re like a 20 something year old young women who looks fine.” There’s nothing really obvious going on, so they really put it on me. The word hypochondriac came up a lot.

I got a lot of suspicion or questions about, do you do this a lot? Do you go to doctors a lot? Do you track things a lot? In that whole process, nobody at that point thought to run a lab test on me or get any information around why I was experiencing these kind of vague symptoms that couldn’t be pinpointed. That all kind of reached a dead end and I thought, well, I know there’s something wrong. That’s where I started seeking alternative healthcare practitioners.

I was really at a breaking point that my GP was like, “If you go any further, it’s going to be really hard to come back.” They sent me home with some anti-depressants, anti-anxiety pills. I started for a week taking them and things for me got so much worst. It amplified my anxiety attacks. Thankfully, that same week with the prescription, they recommended that I go to a therapist, a talk therapist.

But the nurse practitioner in that office, she was kind of hip to this alternative stuff and she’s like, “This therapist, she does some things that are a little bit more out there, but just trust me. Go check her out.” When I got to her office, I realized she was doing things not just talk therapy, we talk about stuff that was up for me, but then we started doing chakra work and energy medicine in her office. I had no idea what chakras were at that time.

I didn’t really know that there were these energy fields or understand how I was actually experiencing them and feeling them my whole life, but I didn’t have a vocabulary for it. As soon as I got introduced to that, it just felt amazing to me. It almost felt like, oh my gosh, this is the magic that I always hoped existed in the world. And being able to have a guide and a mentor to teach me about my intuition, my wisdom, and my own body was really where I started to head down a completely different trajectory in my life.

Because now I knew there was people and there was actually ideas and systems that I had never been exposed to growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Midwestern United States in the 1990s. Thankfully, now a lot of that stuff is a lot more out there and mainstream and people have a lot more access to these ideas. But it jus became so fascinating. That same week, I started seeing a holistic chiropractor and she also did energy techniques.

She looked at me and assessed from like a mind, body, biochemical perspective. She looked at all those aspects and really started to connect the pieces for me, that we are holistic beings and something that goes imbalanced in our body can have an impact in our mind. An emotional experience we have can manifest as some physical symptoms like a rash or things like that.

That’s a summary of the long story, but it was always there an issue for me, but it wasn’t until I was exposed to understanding how my illness and my sensitivities were showing up and then that there were routes to channel that. Just to sum it up, years and years later, I found all of that was the effects of misdiagnosed. It was just completely missed autoimmunity. I ended up being an autoimmune person who had autoimmunity to my thyroid, to my guts, to actually a lot of tissue in my body.

I had multiple autoimmune sensitivity antibodies. But Hashimoto’s and celiac and all these things were a part of the picture. I never had a name for it, but it’s just very clear those were the symptoms that I was experiencing. But I didn’t start with that diagnosis. I just started with the experiences I was having and then the holistic approach started to unwind that and reverse it.

In hindsight, I realized that the power of these alternative practices or what we talked about the inside of healing, how potent they can be for legit disorders or diseases or things like that. They’re not just for people how are experiencing emotional pain or things like that. They actually also impact these very intense pathologies that happen.

Michael:

The therapist was kind of your gateway then.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

It was simultaneously the same week, the therapist and the chiropractor I was seeing, they were kind of…

Michael:

It was really quick. You saw them both?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah, because the… I mentioned this nurse practitioner who…

Michael:

Yeah. she sent you also you to the…

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah. She referred me and was like, “Here’s the prescriptions. I don’t want you to get in a deeper hole than you’re in now, but also start exploring this.” I started exploring that somatic approach and the mental, emotion, and energetic approach all at the same time. It was just incredibly transformative.

Michael:

Are you still touch with any of those people?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

I’m not in touch with them because they were all in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Michael:

Oh okay. I’m wondering if that therapist knows what you do now.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

I’ve reached out to them in the past. I’ve sent them books I’ve written, and I always thank them and cite them when I’m talking about my journey. But yeah, I was an undergrad in Boston and I actually just dropped out and I quit life for that period and moved back in with my parents in Cincinnati. That’s really where my journey started.

Michael:

Interesting. Wow. Okay. You didn’t have an onset like, oh, I was fine yesterday. I feel bad now. It was learning to adapt to life as the sensitive, vulnerable, more likely to be sick kid that became the sensitive, vulnerable, more likely to be sick young adult, but then it got a little more crashy. You were just exhausted, couldn’t really keep up with schoolwork. You probably had a lot of pressure.

You mentioned at the beginning that as a child of Persian immigrants, I was going to be a lawyer or a doctor or something. I’m guessing, and I might be just totally projecting this, that there might have been a little bit of concern when you were starting to realize you couldn’t keep up with your schoolwork, even though you were already in school to be art, right?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah, I was doing graphic design multimedia. But yeah, you’re spot on. I think that that’s a really interesting…

Michael:

Art still needs straight A’s, right?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah.

Michael:

There’s probably some fear there of, I can’t keep up with this.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah. Yeah. It’s also that idea we have about ourselves. What I found that was a big part of my understanding of my healing, my health, my illness, and also the people that I work with is a lot of times when people have chronic illness or autoimmune development, there’s a lot of these character traits that I noticed that we could say it’s the chicken or the egg, whether one started. But this is why I’m fascinated with mind, body medicine and psychoneuroimmunology.

Because when I look at my client base and my audience, which is like tens of thousands of people that I interact with on a regular basis, they’re all Hashimoto’s or autoimmune or just identify as sensitive empaths, highly sensitive people. But there is a really strong consensus and correlation to these people having personality traits. For example, perfectionism, which is something I identified with. Always wanting things to be done really well.

Also kind of being a little bit I don’t want to say pessimistic in that you don’t experience joy and you’re not happy, but you kind of are really critical, critical of yourself, critical of the quality of things or the way other people perform stuff. Often it comes from a place of wanting the best for yourself and others, but it turns into hypercriticism. A lot of times I see a common personality trait of trust issues, like not really trusting…

It really starts with not trusting yourself, which was my experience, because I go to sick so often and I was weak child, I had this unconscious mistrust of my body. That created a disconnect. I’ve worked with some energetic or spiritual practitioners who have described me in that my body and my soul, my spirit is literally outside of my physical body and tethered to it in the sense that it was so painful to exist in my body that I disconnected at a very young age.

That experience of disconnect, I was very loving and emotional and had a lot of intense emotional experiences. I don’t mean disconnected and just numb.

Michael:

You’ve built a backdoor into your system. There’s a whole line in psychology of survival patterns and character styles and those type of things. And one of them is the leaving pattern or it’s called schizoid. It’s the same, what described as the definition to a T. It’s early life experiences that are too painful, but lead the person to just…

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

I really doubted all of this in my own healing journey because I think there’s a lot of understanding of how blatant trauma or abuse or these sort of blatant experiences can cause that disconnect in a person. I didn’t have any of those experiences. I had nuclear family and I was always really supported and loved by my parents and did well in school. But it was more about that internal experience that I was having where I was just having chronic pain. It was like stuff hurt.

The tags of my clothes irritated me because my skin and my nervous system were so inflamed. Even as a kid, I was weird with textures and always having gut issues. As a kid, as soon as I was starting to potty train, I had severe constipation issues. A week would go without using the restroom or having a bowel movement. That created this traumatic experience that isn’t necessarily identified as a blatant trauma when we look at our history, right?  But that’s where sometimes people…

If they don’t necessarily have a trauma that they can identify, they haven’t necessarily looked at this spectrum of what trauma can look like. I talk a lot about that. I actually have this whole thing within Flare Care and my programs where I talk about the Trauma Quadrant, Where sometimes something can happen all of a sudden or it can happen really slowly over time, like insidious comments or behaviors that you experience. But then there’s also those objective traumas, which I think are…

Michael:

Like the big T traumas.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Big T, exactly. But then there’s subjective ones too, where it’s like to some people, a crowded music festival is really awesome and exciting and invigorating. And for somebody sensitive like me, that’s really overwhelming and can be traumatic in those situations. When I look at it that way, that’s a big part of what I explore with people too is their past traumas and redefining what it meant for them and their story to experience their life. Those traits, I see those commonalities.

They tend to have been very perfectionistic. They carried a lot of responsibility or weight or just worried about things a lot. Were highly attuned to people around them. Maybe you picked up on your parent’s stress, like financial stress or whatever, as a kid when you didn’t even know what it was. You just picked up on it and had no tools to even understand or manage it. I see these qualities where people… They’re highly critical. They’re really perfectionistic.

They have a hart time asking for help. They have a hard setting up loving boundaries. It often leads to these chronic illnesses. In order to address and reverse and heal from these chronic illnesses, yes, we need to sometimes look at diet and infections and anything like gut health, adrenal stress, those sort of things that are more in the functional medicine realm.

But if you do all that and you don’t address the way that you process chronic stress or a trauma that you had in the past, there’s no way you can achieve that level of vitality or wellness when you have these patterns running in your subconscious.

Michael:

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I have found that to be true as well, and that’s where I’m actually studying now and focusing all my energy and effort is on that side of things because I have seen… I wasn’t a quick believer. I didn’t flip like this like you did when you were in that office and you’re like, “Oh my god, this is the greatest thing.” I tossed in the water for a long time of, “Well, I don’t know.” Now eventually I made my way over there.

When you started feeling different or better, it seems like it was pretty quick with the two things that you introduced, the therapist and the chiropractor. There was definitely a noticeable shift a little bit. When you started feeling well in your early 20s, when you started this alternative weird stuff, you started feeling well, that was pretty much the first time you’ve ever felt well.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah. This is crazy. I think I showed you this…

Michael:

Because it’s different than a normal arc.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah.

Michael:

Yours is more like bottom line and then like, oh, there’s this. Oh, you can feel like this.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah. In my Flare Care presentation that I did in the autoimmune masterclass, I had the visual of this. I have this visual on my blog and I show it a lot. But I came up with this chart system where it was like really this chronic illness experience that I see over and over for myself and others goes through these four phases, where the first phase I call it mystery symptoms. This is where people are experiencing what I experienced for the first 20 years of my life.

It’s like, oh, I don’t know. Sometimes I get diarrhea, or sometimes I have breakouts, or sometimes I’m knocked out and I don’t want to wake up for days on end. Those are just these back and forth symptoms as your body is kind of experiencing these imbalances and they’re just building upon it. The second phase is what I call rock bottom and every single person that I’ve talked to or worked with knows exactly what that rock bottom is for them. They can describe it.

They don’t even want to think about it or go back to it. But usually rock bottom is that crisis point where people are like, “I need to do something about this because there’s no two ways about it.”

Michael:

Pretty similar to addicts. It’s very similar. There’s a moment where it’s like, okay, this has to change.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah, exactly. That’s usually where people, usually, they’ll get a diagnosis, because they’re starting to go see doctors and run tests or just ask what’s going on. Usually that’s the point that somebody will get a diagnosis. I didn’t get a diagnosis at that point, but I think it was because I was young and healthy looking that they didn’t think to diagnosis me with anything. But that’s usually when someone will get a diagnosis. If they stay in the conventional medicine model, often they will just start to do symptom relief.

They’ll take a pill, or they’ll do something to just manage the pain and they just have ups and downs, ups and downs. But what happens is if that point when somebody’s at rock bottom and they start to enter into what I call phase three of root cause healing, this is where they can start to have that upward trajectory of understanding what the root cause was. Was it functional medicine related thing?

Was it an infection that sent them to rock bottom or mold toxicity or whatever, or was it a build up of sensitivity and chronic pain and trauma like it was for me? Looking at where those triggers were for you and how they manifested as your unique symptoms, you can start to unwind it. That is where people start experiencing better days, and then they slowly over time just start feeling overall better and better. And so they reach the fourth phase, which I call new normal.

New normal, if you’re looking at this on a chart of feeling great up high and feeling really crappy down low, you’re just like upward trending. In new normal, this is where you have a new baseline of operating. Your normal day is actually usually so much more vital and vibrant than your normal starting out in phase one when you were just like feeling “normal.”

Michael:

Before your symptoms even kind of got out of control.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

That to me is the coolest thing and that was something that I… It took me a while to actually change my idea about myself. Because when I was in new normal and I hit new normal and I was in it for a while, I started to go, you know what? I’m not actually the weak sick person that I always thought I was. Other people are catching colds and I’m around them and I didn’t catch any cold this year, or oh my gosh, my hay fever and seasonal allergies didn’t show up at all this year and I see other people having allergies.

And all of a sudden, me, the sick child who was knocked out with asthma and allergies, I don’t have a single symptom. It was really kind of just shocking actually because I had this belief system of myself being like, I have to be uber careful. I’m still weak even though I’m doing all this healthy lifestyle stuff. In that new normal, part of that was reframing and reshifting kind of my own understanding of what’s possible for me and understanding that I actually transformed.

I was in a cocoon, a little butterfly, and I came out as a more expanded version of myself. I didn’t turn into a different person. I’m still essentially who I always was, but now I have this greater capacity to make choices or to function in ways that I never thought were possible for me. I never thought I could be an early morning person, wake up, have energy throughout the day without any crashes, without needing to take long naps.

And then cook meals for myself. Feel energized all day and then get to the end of the night and still feel well. That was not something that I thought was within the possibility of my life experience. I was like, I’m just the frail weak person and I’m going to be that my whole life. Going through that autoimmune journey or health healing journey that I call phase one, two, three, and four, getting to new normal is to me the goal. It never ends.

But when you’re there, that’s when you really understand on a deep level how you’re interacting with yourself and the world around you.

Michael:

I want people to understand too because we talk about this in the other presentation. It’s not like now all of a sudden everything is rainbows and unicorns. You still take care of yourself. There are still times where you over extend, and then all of a sudden… because your presentation was Flare Care because you have flares or you have. It’s when you get overextended, when there’s a stressful period, when there’s this type of thing that you don’t deal with it, or whatever it is and you pile too much of that on your cup.

It’s still being mindful. The new normal does involve a different way of living than you were living before also. It’s not just the I feel awesome. It’s the I feel awesome because I’ve been living in this way, which I’m guessing becomes easier to stick to when you’re feeling really well.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

It definitely does. When you have more energy, you have more capacity in your own life, it’s easier to make decisions that you know you’ll feel good. You won’t reach for a sugar high just because you want that dopamine hit. It’s easier to make the choices, but you also have a little bit more buffer, little more leeway. In that if I travel… Prior to travel restrictions, my husband and I would like to take some international trips every year and visit different cultures.

When I’m in Europe, for example, I will eat things that I don’t in my normal lifestyle. I might have a flare up because of it. I’ll eat some bread and cheese in France and enjoy and really not feel guilty about it. But it’s because I spend the regular days of my life just creating a bigger buffer. So that when I have a stressful event, whether it’s an unexpected emotional experience or I choose to indulge in something that I know is going to cause a little reaction in my body, I’m not going to fall apart.

I’m just going to have a little dip in my new normal line. I know, I’ve learned over the years the things that I can do to make those choices wisely and get myself back where I need. For me, that’s getting body work and getting a chiropractor adjustment immediately. If I’m feeling flared up, doing an infrared sauna. I’m sweating it out. Doing things that are very somatic ways of getting energy work as well and getting back to antiinflammatory diet.

Do bone broths and taking some supplements like turmeric and vitamin D and these sorts of things, fish oils, to get me back to that baseline of my new normal, because I learned those. I learned those in phase three of root cause healing. That’s what I think true health journey is. It’s an education process of learning about yourself and your unique response, that bio individuality, because your symptoms, your weak links are going to show up differently than someone else’s.

For me, it’s skin stuff. It’s like my gums start getting weird if I’m having a flare up. For other people, it’s like brain fog.

Michael:

You notice things more subtly too. Because you mentioned somatic work a little bit that you’re doing body work, the more in touch we get with that connection, you can feel things when they aren’t quite right, where before when the baseline is like in the mud. For something to get your attention, it has to be a pretty severe thing, which is already a pretty far progression down the road. Now it’s like a little thing is off and you notice it, and then it’s like, oh, what did I do?

Oh, I was up until 1:00 AM last night and that’s why I feel this way. I worked in the service industry for 10 years, so I was a bartender and a server. I barely remember what it’s like to be hungover because it’s been so long since I did those things, but now all I have to do is stay up until midnight once. And then the next day, I’m like typing words wrong. I’m sending emails to the wrong people. I didn’t have a single drink. I was just up late at night.

It’s incredible, because I used to stay up that late every night, literally every night, so then I would be like that all the time and I would be notice it. And now one day and it’s like shot.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

I think that’s a big part of that reconnection process. When I talked about disconnects, I mean, really that’s what happens with any stressful or traumatic experience is that people start to disconnect, whether it’s what I described earlier where your entire spirit disconnects and tethers to your physical body, or it can actually be these compartmentalized disconnects within your body, like little areas where you have a stressful event and you store it in your shoulder or your liver.

I think these are really amazing concepts that some traditional medicine has really eloquently put into practice, like traditional Chinese medicine. When there’s stress or deficiency in your lungs, it has to do with grief, that’s where you store it, or your liver is anger. Even in Ayurvedic medicine or traditional Persian medicine, there’s these ideas that our emotions aren’t just up here in our brain or our minds. They are experienced through our whole body.

If we want to look at that from I guess some more Western perspective, there’s a lot of research most in the psychoneuroimmunology field where they’re looking at when you have a thought, when you have a feeling, when you have an experience, you’re sending off a whole cascade of chemical events in your body like hormones, cytokines, like pro-inflammatory cytokines, just from a negative thought.

They’re starting to both from an Eastern or a traditional medicine perspective, but also from a Western perspective really start to put some reasoning behind how these things are connected. You can store stuff and disconnect compartmentally throughout your body for lots of reasons. That’s one of the main reasons why I love somatic work to release and unwind these traumas. I really love talk therapy. I know some people don’t or sometimes people are like, “Oh, that doesn’t really get you anywhere.”

I think it’s wonderful and lovely, but I also think that sometimes you don’t need to talk about it. You don’t need to reexperience it. You can just lay on a table, for example, and get some energy work done. Get a chiropractic adjustment. Have energetic releases where your actually reconnecting your body, right? You are building somatic maps in your brain, in your parietal lobe, in areas that are having that interoception, that proprioceptive ability for you to experience stuff physically and sensation wise.

Body work is really powerful in actually transforming the way that our brain perceives our body and the world around us. That’s actually what you start to notice. What you described, Michael, is that when you start doing this healing, you become more in tune with your own body, your own wisdom, and you kind of get the spidey sense. You’ve got superpowers to be able to pick up on things.

An example people might relate to is that if they’ve ever gone through healing diet work or done elimination diet or these sort of things, they might have had experiences where prior to that, they were just eating all kinds of stuff and then sometimes getting gloated, sometimes having diarrhea. Not really showing, just being like, “Uh, I must have eaten something bad.” But when people really start to understand how different groups of foods are affecting them, they can almost sense before they take a bit of it.

Or at the first bite being like, “Oop, actually I’m not going to have anymore tomatoes tonight, or I’m not going to have shellfish because I can sense that this is giving me that icky feeling,” but much faster than waiting for it to actually get all the way through their system. That’s to me the best outcome of that phase three root cause healing is you dive in and you immerse yourself and you start to really learn things in an embodied fashion.

Not just from your head, but it’s this wisdom in your body that goes, oh, I know this feeling and I know how to unwind this feeling. It’s just really awesome to me. That to me is the ultimate goal is not just to like “reverse” a disease or put out autoimmunity into remission or run a lab test and have perfect numbers. It’s to give somebody that empowered experience of knowing how they’re interacting with themselves in the world and allowing them to make those decisions.

Michael:

That’s beautiful. I don’t have a single thing I can add to that. Well, I think that pretty much covers your story from what I understand. The functional medicine ends. You saw these people. You started doing some things. You started feeling better. You got your new normal and you were feeling good. And then why’d you choose chiropractic school out of all the options of where to go?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

I think of my experiences in healing and the things that just transformed me. The chiropractic adjustments were hands down the most powerful. When I would get an adjustment, I would actually immediately feel physical relief. The pain would go away. It actually was the thing that I credit with reversing my depression and my anxiety. Within a couple months, I started experiencing a blip of joy again. It was really those adjustments.

I understand now that I’ve studied it more the impact that an adjustment and body work has on my immunology, in my brain, in my nervous system and reconnecting me. It makes sense. I’m not saying it is the best school for everyone, but…

Michael:

But it was impact for you, so that was your first step. Did you learn about functional medicine when you were in chiropractic school or was that after?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah, no, it was my first course. I didn’t know anything about functional medicine before.

Michael:

Is it taught in chiropractic programs now?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Some of them. Some of them teach bits and pieces of it, but it was adjunct. I was doing it on the weekends. It was more seminars and certifications I was doing on the weekends.

Michael:

Through IFM?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah, just a lot. Dr. Korosian was a huge influence and mentor in terms of understanding these. Dr. Rashani, like all these people, even Dr. Tom O’Bryan and Dr. Kalish. All of them were really impactful in terms of introducing me to functional medicine.

Michael:

I just recorded with Dan for the first time. He was one that was always on my list and I never got in touch with him. That’s Dr. Kalish for those… He’s like the sweetest man that’s so genuine and so just wanting to help everybody. It was really a treat.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

I didn’t know about any of that. When I was healing and I actually achieved my new normal before every knowing I had autoimmunity. It was just through chiropractic and chakra energy work, but chiropractic was the thing I did at that point. At my rock bottom, I was doing it three times a week. When I thought I had totally healed, I was like, well, I’m all better. I went to school and I was like, this is so cool. I want to learn how to do this for other people.

It’s magic combined with science and I want to do it all. It was my first quarter in school that people were like, “You got to go to this lecture. It’s all about the thyroid.” I literally thought to myself, the thyroid? Why would anybody spend three days talking about the thyroid? How random? I’ve never even thought twice about that organ. Lo and behold, that first weekend I went I learned about the thyroid.

I was like cool. This sounds interesting. Let me run this lab on myself and see what a normal person looks like. I ran that lab on myself and that was my first symptom.

Michael:

DPOs of 400.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Oh yeah. My antibodies were through the roof. We had partner palpation during the seminar, and, of course, my partner thought he felt a nodule. I was like, “What? Are you serious?” Lo and behold, there was a nodule. I mean, this is crazy to me.

Michael:

Good thing you went to that class.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah, exactly. I mean, that’s the crazy thing that I had gone through all of this and it took me going to my doctorate program, going to an adjunctive seminar, and then deciding to run it on myself to even screen for Hashimoto’s. I’m such an advocate for people just screening, especially women, sensitive women who have cold hands and feet, who have any fatigue issues, who have any gut issues. Just screen and just run your thyroid antibodies, because that set me on a new trajectory.

I was still doing the body work, the energy medicine, the chakra stuff, but that point I started to introduce what I call the yang medicine, right? It’s the more masculine energy of investigation and data and all of that. I started running labs on myself and changing my diet, doing protocols. I mean, what that did for me was take my new normal baseline and shoot it through the roof, right? It just made me feel even better.

The fact that I was able to reach new normal just from somatic body work and energy medicine and talk therapy to me spoke to the power of it, because I know…

Michael:

Yeah, because you hadn’t even learned the Hashimoto’s yet. You hadn’t even learned the autoimmune, the functional medicine, any of that.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

I was still eating gluten and dairy and loading up on that stuff on a daily basis, even though I was incredibly sensitive to it, and I was still functioning at a higher baseline than I ever was in my life. I credit the body work and the energy medicine for keeping my system in balance. But when I introduced the functional medicine, I made diet changes. I went gluten-free and dairy-free. I felt like a superhero. I was like, oh my gosh, I can feel even better?

Anything that I still had lingering, I was so much more highly functional than I had ever even thought I could experience. We talked about this before we went on air, but were talking about that yin approach to healthcare, which what I love. It’s where I came in the door to medicine, but it really has to do with stuff that’s more traditionally feminine energy. I don’t mean that in terms of like men/women, but just that idea of being more intuitive, tapping into wisdom, nurturing, surrendering.

That was what body work was for me. That’s what energy medicine is, trauma work, mindset, thoughts and emotions. All of that is really about showing up, being vulnerable, receiving care, and experiencing things that way. That was my approach. Then when I felt amazing through that, I shifted to this yang approach where I was like really doing diet and protocols and supplements and stuff. But I never let go of that yin side, and then I brought it back and integrated the two.

I think that really for big picture healing, it’s important for people to experience both. A lot of times if people feel stuck, then maybe they want to try that other side of stuff. Even though they might be resistant, like you mentioned, resistant to… It took me a while to really think this was a having an impact.

But if somebody is a very data-oriented, evidence-based science, the kind of “I’m going to fix this” type of person, which is the yang side, and they want lab tests, they want the exercise program and they want to say, “I can do this in six months,” sometimes that might be what’s holding them back because that polarity, that imbalance of energy towards one side is going to be a stressor. You need balance.

Sometimes those people are the ones that most need to just lay down and get a massage or a Reiki session and they will start to see the shifts that they had been working so hard for. And vice versa. If somebody has really done, like myself, just done all of the yin stuff… Even if you’re feeling great, it’s really beneficial to just give it a go and try some of that yang.

Run some lab test if you’ve only ever seen energy medicine practitioners or people who haven’t really looked at the physiology and the data and just bring it all together. That to me is what mind-body integration is and that’s how I think of myself. The Sensitive Doctor approach is figuring out… I think you really head this too, Michael, is figuring out where a person is and what matches best to them in order to move the needle without just throwing every possible wellness…

Michael:

It’s overwhelming. I mean, we’ve gone through it with Mera with her autoimmune flares. There’s so much it could be that’s trying to trigger this, that’s trying to do this. I’ve been the one that goes down the rabbit holes and I’m chasing 27,000 leads at the same time and trying to figure out all the things. Sometimes it’s a really simple shift that moves the needle. We tend to I think in our society value complexity over simplicity as a general rule.

They want the complex protocols and the lab tests and things like that more than the simple like, why don’t you try turning your lights and your screens off by 8:30? Little things or journal. Write how you’re feeling or share how you’re feeling with somebody, instead of having to isolate themselves.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Anybody who’s listening, it doesn’t mean that you have to just spend thousands of dollars on massages and therapists and labs and all of that just to achieve that. Like you’re saying, there’s simple things. Simple things in that yang approach are exactly what you described. Get on a good circadian rhythm and turn off your lights when the sun…

Michael:

It’ll be incredible what happens.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Exactly. When the sun starts to go down, turn off any artificial lights. Don’t look at your screens. Just set boundaries in those very structured ways. Even if you don’t move much, just walk. You don’t need to join a fancy gym. Just take a 30 minute walk everyday and see if it changes anything for you. On the flip side, the yin stuff, there’s a lot of free stuff you can do for a very long-

Michael:

Go sit in the forest.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah, forest bathing. You can just sleep more. That’s an amazing yin therapy. Honestly, your body uses the time during your sleep to detox and to regenerate cells. If you need extra regeneration and healing and detoxing, don’t feel guilty about sleeping more, because it’ll only be for a period of time and then you won’t need it. Epsom salt baths, that’s a great yin thing. Set up some candles. Journal. All of this stuff.

Michael:

Very cheap stuff.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah.

Michael:

Epsom salt’s like three bucks. When she’s coming out of her flares, even now still, she’s been pretty much out of this one for five months or so, but it’s 10 or 11 hours of sleep. It’s not seven or eight. She can get by now on eight or nine, but it was 10 or 11 hours of sleep became what was just needed when you’re coming out of a flare or in a flare. To give that to yourself without feeling guilty about it, your body will thank you. It’s free.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

I think that’s a really important factor too is to never really bring kind of that negative or guilt or shame energy to anything you’re doing. If you’re going to enjoy a piece of cake for your birthday or sleep longer or whatever, don’t reprimand yourself for it because…

Michael:

I hate those things that say guilt-free cookies, and I’m like all cookies are guilt-free.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Because that’s what triggers that psychoneuroimmunology.

Michael:

And if you think the cookie’s bad.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah, exactly.

Michael:

It’ll have a different effect on your body, right?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Absolutely. Having that mindset, that experience of being like I’m really coming from a place of abundance and joy and I’m making this choice willingly, will have different outcomes than somebody’s like, “I got to go do my exercise protocol now, or I have to eat this. This is what my doctor told me I have to eat.” Really coming to a place where you’re making these choices from your true intention is actually going to have better outcomes than if you feel you have to do it or you’re forced to do it.

If you need to sleep more, just be graceful with yourself about that and know that nothing is forever. If you feel like, oh, I’m not getting enough done or whatever, it’s really maybe just for this period time. When I made diet changes, I used to eat very carb. Just pretty much bread and cheese all day every day. When I started to make diet changes and I was doing more of a Paleo Blueprint, I was eating an insane amount of meat, but I think it’s…

This idea that my body was so deficient in proteins and amino acids that I was like, this is crazy that I’m eating big steaks and chicken and fish and everything like a football every night. Years down the line, as my gut healed, as my nutrient status improved, I eat probably 80% whole veggies now and I have a little serving of meat and I feel super great. You need to remove judgment from your experiences in that healing journey to really be open and understand that everything is dynamic and shifting all the time.

Bringing shame to it is only going to counteract anything you’re trying to do to improve your health.

Michael:

I couldn’t agree more. I think that that’s a perfect stopping point for us. We’re at about a little over an hour I think or right around an hour. Thank you for sharing all that. Your journey mixed in with what you’ve learned also as a practitioner and what you’ve seen with your clients, because yes, we’re all different and in a lot ways we’re the same. There’s foundational principles that apply across the board and then how to fit those into the individual’s pegs or holes, pegs go in holes, is the nuance to it.

But when people develop this level of body awareness and just self-awareness, the puzzle doesn’t have to remain so complex to figure out and the cues become stronger and more audible and more visible and more noticeable. We’ll have all the links right below in the show notes and right below this. If there’s one you want to share, we’ll have everything you gave us, everything that they can find you at will be below. But if they want to go right now, where would be the best place to go?

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Just check out my website drnatashaf.com. I’m on Instagram. I’m on social, so people can find me there.

Michael:

You can check out the design skills too.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah. I mean, if you email me, sign up for my newsletter, I legitimately personally write people back. I don’t have a robot or a computer. I love to connect with kindred spirits. I’m not doing this because I think it’s like a cool career or whatever. I had some idea about wanting to be doing this with my life. I only do it because it was transformative for me. I maybe really bright and vibrant and smiley right now, but there were years where I was in the darkest pits of depression and difficulty.

If that’s where you are too, understand that there are people who know that feeling and there really is so many options for you to start to slowly experience really that inner potential that you have. Sometimes it’s really hard to look at people and think, oh, well, I’m not even like them. I’m never this bright. I don’t have that much energy, and you can’t imagine it for yourself. But I just want to remind people that where am I now is something that I’ve never imagined or thought was possible for my life.

It’s taken me over a decade, decade and a half to even get to this place of understanding, and it was all baby steps. Be gentle. Reach out for help. If I didn’t have my team of chiropractors and energy workers, I couldn’t have done it myself.

Michael:

Yeah, there’s no shame in that either. I have a ton of support right now with all this stuff that we’re doing. If I didn’t have it, I would be a mess. It’s what they’re there for. That’s why they do what they do. Thank you for sharing all of this and for the work that you’re doing. I always enjoy connecting. I hope you guys found this one valuable. I think there’s a ton of nuggets in here that you can take and use in your own journey and really relate to…

If you’re the person out there who like, “That’s me. I have always felt like crap, and I can’t feel like that,” well, it’s definitely possible that you can. Maybe it’s time to reimagine what’s possible for you in the future. Thank you for offering that perspective.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Yeah. Thanks so much for having me, Michael. It’s always a pleasure to chat with you about this stuff. I know we really see eye to eye on a lot of this.

Michael:

Yeah, yeah. Thank you. We’ll do another presentation soon. I got another masterclass later this year that we haven’t announced that you’ll fit right in for.

Dr. Natasha Fallahi:

Awesome.

Michael:

And this brings us to the end of today’s episode. Head on over to rebelhealthtribe.com/kit to access the RHT quick start guide, which includes four full length presentations from our RHT masterclasses, two downloadable PDF guides, and a 15% off coupon which you can use in our retail shop. If you’re on Facebook, come join our Rebel Health Tribe group over there. And finally, if you liked the show, please subscribe, leave a review, and share with your friends. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you again soon.