The Natural Evolution Podcast

Season 2

Episode 11

S2E11 – The 4 Pillars of Conquering Chronic Health Problems and Pain with Christopher Blakeslee, Part 2

After suffering from intense autoimmune diseases for 34 years, and being disabled for 15 of those, Christopher Blakeslee took his health into his own hands. He searched for cures across a wide spectrum of medical resources and eventually created an integrative view of mind and body, finally being able to say his conditions are in remission. 

From his studies, Christopher Blakeslee found the four pillars of wellness, leading him back to resilient health time and time again. He became an ADAPT-Certified Functional Health Coach and a National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach to help others who are struggling with chronic health problems. Like he was, many of his patients are tired of taking pills to get through the day and have tried numerous conventional and natural remedies for chronic pain with no success. Christopher is ready to help you reclaim your life.

In this 2-part series we discuss the integrated approach that led to his recovery by walking through the four pillars of wellness, how he applied the four pillars in different stages of his recovery, and the most important changes in diet & lifestyle he made.

To hear more about Christopher’s story pre-recovery, check out Episodes 13 & 14 of Season 1.  Did you miss Part 1 of this episode? Click here to listen!

To book a free 90-minute consultation call with Christopher Blakeslee visit https://balancehealthcoach.com/work-with-me/ 

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.

Listen to Episode #11

Part 2: Christopher Blakeslee dives into explaining the 4 Pillars approach with Michael. He introduces us to the integrative approach that led to his recovery, how he applied them in different stages of recovery, and the most important lifestyle changes he made that lead him to where he is today.
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About our Guest

Christopher is a conqueror of autoimmunity and an ADAPT-Certified Functional Health Coach who helps people with chronic illnesses and chronic pain. He lived with autoimmune diseases for thirty-five years.

For fifteen of those years, the symptoms and excruciating neuropathic pain from them disabled him. Now he is completely healthy and on a mission to help others with chronic health problems to achieve their best health. Christopher is currently writing a book with former Mayo Clinic doctor Jim Lemons about how lifestyle changes, mindset work, pain neuroscience, and Functional Medicine form the best approach for dealing with chronic health problems.

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Podcast Transcript

Christopher Blakeslee: This is remission state that we’re going to now. And now I can do an 80/20 paleo diet. And like I said, only pepper and onions seem like the only things that give me any trouble, not bell peppers, I love those. I eat those all the time, but I can do that. I can have these off diet days and I notice to that I can go nonorganic on some of the produce. I do it via the ones that are the clean 15 and such on the Environmental Working Groups website.

And I don’t notice any problems and I can go non grass fed on some meats and it seems like that doesn’t cause problems. There was a time where I noticed a big difference and I think I just got so resilient that I could handle that. And I actually noticed with the extended fasting this year, that they started making me feel a little bit worse, doing the monthly. That I’d feel so good that they actually bring me down now. I got to where I was like, “All right, quarterly.” And now it’s been almost, let’s see, it’ll be six months at the end of this month. I’m going to do one then and give that a try and see, because I just frankly don’t need all that side of things anymore.

Michael Roesslein:

What lengths will you do at the end of the month?

Christopher Blakeslee:

I’ll do five again.

Michael Roesslein:

Five days.

Christopher Blakeslee:

I for five days. It seems to me that for my research, it looks like the autophagy ramps up where it’s going in there and it’s cleaning up your cells or killing your cells and using it for raw material. That’s kicking it, you’re getting some of that with intermittent fasting even, but it seems like it really ramps up after 72 hours without food. And then the stem cells… every single time I got to day four, of one of those fast, I knew it. My pain was down every single time, even on the fast recently that didn’t make me feel as well. Every single time I noticed that. And that’s whenever I got my first pain free days, was whenever I was doing that. Now, I’m getting it without the fast, which is just mind boggling.

Michael Roesslein:

I just want to throw in a disclaimer. Five day water fast, it might be something you need to work your way up to.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

We’re not just saying everybody should just stop eating food for five days if you have severe blood sugar regulation issues-

Christopher Blakeslee:

Right.

Michael Roesslein:

… or your thyroid issues-

Christopher Blakeslee:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

… or you adrenals or your high stress right now.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Or even really high pain.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah, that’s-

Christopher Blakeslee:

If you have high stress anywhere, definitely you should have a healthcare practitioner on board with it and make sure that you have enough weight that you can lose.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah, too. A lot of chronically ill people are too thin to do that.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Right, because I could lose 12 to 15 pounds in five. Days drinking water, 16, 20 cups, some days. Still, I’m losing all that.

Michael Roesslein:

It’s really powerful stuff and it does amazing things to the immune system and the autophagy and all that. I just wanted to throw that in there to not have people go run and stop eating and then email me angrily in a day and say they feel terrible and “I’m crashed and what’s wrong with you.”

Christopher Blakeslee:

I know. And we should talk a little bit about how I got there.

Michael Roesslein:

Sure.

Christopher Blakeslee:

It took me three months to be able to do the first one because I went from, “Okay, I’m going without food for about 14 hours.” And then try and add an hour and doing that slowly at a time to where then I was doing just one meal a day, so it was a 24 hour thing and it would be a huge meal. And that’s where my research is pointed to me that was pretty much the same to do multi-day and the symptoms are definitely different, multi-day for me. My nerve pain always went up. Those first two days were, Ugh, it was worse. And it took a lot of perseverance and trust that I want to see what the stem cells are like to push through this. And I’ve learned my lessons. I’m curious now because I do a keto diet now, to lean out.

I’m curious because I was never doing keto before to see am I more fat adapted now, will it be easier? But I had to take-

Michael Roesslein:

In my experience, it is.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Okay. And I had to take exogenous keytones and I used Cobionic supplement, as needed or else I got keto flu. I just tightened up like I’d never had in my life and it was miserable. I was doing that each day of the five days, and I was having a pinch of salt three times a day and at least 12 cups of water a day, I would always do. I think that’s at least the bare minimum. That was hard for me at first, because it would set off my interstitial cystitis, bladder stuff. But the trade off was worth it in time. There’s so many curious things you have to do to get better, make yourself worse in order to get better, it seems.

But interestingly, I was still, and I think this is a reflection of how bad off I was. I was 80 to 90% of my usual self through the first 12 fasts I did. And that’s whenever it started shifting where I was like, “Aah, I’m 60%.” Because I’d feel so much better normally that I didn’t have as far to fall. And I could still easily walk 8,000 steps a day and I would do that, but I was getting weak, for sure. And I would do the sauna during it too, but that’s another thing that changed. After that 12th fast, I noticed that I would just get drained and feel like I was giving myself keto flu and I need to go to bed if I used the sauna or I was so drained. That was just a bit too much stress for me.

And I mentioned decreasing the frequency of it. And the other important thing with it was, I had to stick with it. Because the first time I did it, I got one day of pain relief, but that one day was something and I held onto that and thought, “Well, the science is behind this I’m going to try again.” And next month I got three days. I kept at it. And then the third time it was amazing. I got seven days and then it didn’t quite keep increasing that fast, but eventually I got the whole month. And like I said now, I don’t really need it. I’m still going to try it and see, because I haven’t fully gotten rid of all the nerve pain. And that’s another reason I’m doing the keto, to see if that works, but that’s my exhaustive bit on fasting there and how to do it the most safely.

That was the diet, the thing for here in the last year and such. Supplements, I’m kind of a minimalist with that stuff now. I only take two, I’m down to two now because my lab values look amazing. I need to do another deeper dive with the functional stuff now just to make sure the conventional stuff though looks fantastic. I’m weaning myself off that sleep formula that I mentioned, I can finally go to sleep pretty easily. It usually was the neuropathy in the back of my head would take an hour of total drowsiness before I could lay my head on a pillow and sleep. Now, I can be gone in five minutes. That’s when I knew it’s time, time to back it down. Hopefully going to be off of that one before too long.

And the other, one’s just a probiotic. I’m still taking the ProBiota HistaminX. I’m thinking about switching over to either Seed or Mega spore, depending on what a gut analysis shows me. That’s that on the supplements.

And now the stress mindset stuff. It helped again, more value stuff, having an in-person friend group, because I finally got out of the house here. Graduated the coaching program. Now I got the two certification starting the business, and now doing things like talking on here, that makes me the happiest I’ve ever been. And that makes such a difference for my health that I continually… I was thinking about getting ready for this yesterday, what all I was going to say, and I just had this total endorphin rush and felt my pain drop a little bit while I was jogging, thinking about, “Ah, I can’t wait to try and give more information, try and help people out there.”

Just getting in touch and with what I feel like is my central purpose that I thought back in 2010, what do I want my life to be around? When I was a fiction writer, I thought I want to inspire people to be their best because I want to live in that kind of world where it is. And now my purpose is just a little broader than the writing. The writing’s the retirement years project for me now. And now I realize I can do something in health to help people be their best. But getting in touch with that, I know it’s critical to my recovery and finding that and having a job you love. It definitely helps. That was huge and it feeds me. And then we talked about the biochemistry already, and I feel like I have effortless self care, too now. I don’t have to think about, Ooh, all sorts of things and I can be so flexible now, it’s wonderful to be healthy.

I don’t have to say, “At this time of day, I must go for my walk or my pain’s going to rise.’ No, or “I have to breathe now.” No, I can schedule a day however I want now. And as long as I fit in my core things that are still so many of the things I make sure I breathe, Ooh, deeply, at least once a day. That one’s so important and make sure my diet doesn’t ever get crazy and such. And I’m having fun with the key tones. I love the science and seeing now on my breath and how many I’ve got, it’s fun. Things like that. I make it some way, how can I make it fun for me? I think that’s how it’s effortless. And I just keep a look out to try what can I add now?

This year I figured out how to lean out and get my body fat down. I know I’m on the right track. I see it dropping off of me. That’s another thing that’s just… I feel like health can be so easy whenever you have the right skillset and you just stop doing bad things to the body. What were you going to say?

Michael Roesslein:

Nothing. No.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Okay.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah, go ahead.

Christopher Blakeslee:

But the other thing is I only ever feel like I have acute stress now. I never feel like I have chronic anymore. And that’s something that I only realized here in the last few months is that there’s never something bubbling, that I have made so sure after having all sorts of bad ideas floating in my head. I try and address anything bad that I see starting in, like a habit. I try, once a week, to look for just write, “What are you doing in your habits that might have changed?” Just to do a quick, and I can do that in like a few minutes, three, five minutes, no problem, and make sure nothing bad gets started because I know where that goes. I don’t want to go back there.

That’s the real keys to the mindset stuff here lately. And then exercise is lifting three times a week. Finally, figured that out with the ice bath thing, to calm the nerve pain for me. And I’ve been doing high intensity interval training. It’s still weird to me that after I lift on a day that I go put on my… I go rocking basically, with a 26 pound weighted vest and I run 30 second sprints. I do that and that’s, oh man, it’s wild to be able to do that. And now I only stand 50% of the time now, that’s changed where I found my muscles getting tight from standing too much. It was one of those things where I took that, welcomed it for the lack of IC symptoms.

And once I got the interstitial cystitis into remission, then I could be a little more normal and sit a bit more. I find it fascinating how everything has changed in so many ways for me, throughout all this. Well, five years, I guess, is a long time. And this year too, the big thing on exercise is figuring out what over training is, because I did not know that. And I’m figuring out now that you don’t always just… I’ve gotten so used to pushing through discomfort with exercise, that I realize you don’t have to do that when you don’t have pain. That’s a new one for me, to realize that I was making things a little bit worse by just, “I got to go. I got to exercise. Push, push, push.” No, a couple days off a week is a very good thing for the body.

And then the last couple of things here is for the sleep and sunshine. I already talked about that actually. Weaning off of the supplement and now I get outside about 90 minutes a day and often more. That’s one thing I love about just being able to get out. Whenever I’m in Austin, Texas, I cannot stop being outside. I love it so much. The sun on me in that heat now, I think of it as life entering me, which is funny, considering what it used to feel like.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. At one point it probably would’ve been horrific.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Yeah. I couldn’t have done it. And I should have mentioned, I could only do about an hour even, in that stage two of the sunshine, it was still, Ugh, it did a little something to the nerves and I still had trouble with wearing socks or a belt back then. No problems, I can wear whatever I want. It doesn’t have pressure or heat problems now.

And then the infections and environmental toxins. This is when I finally went into the gut stuff. I thought, “Okay, I’m going to do this.” I did a parasite protocol. I knew enough to do it on my own and had the tests run to see that I got de-wormed. I had a really bad infectious worm problem, that was causing a lot of the histamine problems and hallelujah they’re gone, but I did micro formulas. They have such good products for that sort of thing. And I’m surprised how some of my nighttime symptoms really did die down. And I think that’s part of why I was having trouble going to sleep. I think the bugs might have been kicking awake whenever I was going to sleep. The only other stuff I did is little stuff. I use activated charcoal toothpaste and get an air filter, an IQ air filter for the house. And Black Friday is just my chance to try and try out all the new stuff I haven’t tried.

And then the medication side of things I actually got off of the other two medications, but I added them back. And this is one thing where it’s too often I see people that are in the paleo community where they throw out the science and they throw out the pharmaceuticals. Where my life is a little bit better with these two, in my life. Because it still helps with getting to sleep. I still plan on getting off of them, but I was worse whenever I was off of them. And the amitriptyline thing, I can tell that I’m not needing the ice baths as much after working out. And I had gotten off of the amitriptyline and I went back on to help with the exercising. And I don’t think I could have got into lifting without being on that. It’s been my temporary bandaid that I plan on getting rid of. I still think I’ll get medication free. It’s that naive fellow, way at the beginning, thought he was going to do that. Get rid of all of them in a year.

Michael Roesslein:

You’re about 95% of the way there.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Yeah, truly. Just in summary, I gave all these examples to show how complex and how it takes such a long term commitment to get the results in some cases, it’s not always. But it seems like if it’s got complex and chronic, it’s at least quite a few months before anything’s really changing all that much. And it’s always important to realize that this process is individual. What’s your buyer chemistry, what are your genes? Where are you from? What have you been through in life? What are your traumas? What’s your gut micro flora? There’s so much to this that needs to be personalized. And I think that’s why my methods so successful in myself and everybody that I’ve worked with, that has been for any long term time that we’ve been working together is that it’s personalized to them.

I think I mentioned this to you last time. I always start out with a free 90 minute call with people because I want to hear the whole story. Where are you at? I want to hear this from them. What I just did, to try and figure out where they’re at, to try and help them find out what behavioral things might be in the way and whatnot. And then if they want to work with me, I have that longer consultation that I charge 500 for that, but I spend up to 10 hours researching because I need to make sure that I know that I’m recommending the right sort of lifestyle things for them. And I always give a pain neuroscience education. We need to get a few words in on that, I know people are going to be itching for that.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah, the pain neuroscience stuff is a big part of your own journey.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Absolutely.

Michael Roesslein:

Which doesn’t fit every disease model, every condition or symptoms or disease, but…

Christopher Blakeslee:

Right. And it is wider than I expected, at first. Because I’m seeing success, huge success with people with fatigue even. It’s not even the pain side of things. That’s making me think a little bit broader about this. And I think I may have mentioned that last time, too. I want to mention the three most used…

PART 3 OF 4 ENDS [01:09:04]

Christopher Blakeslee:

… that last time too. So I want to mention the three most useful pain neuroscience techniques that I used in my recovery, and these are still part of my every day, I just don’t have to think about them anymore. And I’ll just say them first, and then we’ll talk about what each one of them is.

The first one is teasing pain. And I know I mentioned this last time, but I want to go into it more because it’s really important. And the second one is just deep breathing. I throw it in with the pain neuroscience thing, because it is you are re-regulating your nervous system whenever you’re breathing, and there’s no better way to tell your body you’re safe than to breathe deeply in a situation. That frees every thing up, and it’s the one thing that I think that even healthy people need, that they’re probably not doing. Everybody thinks Health’s diet and exercise. I would say if you’re going to include one more thing, it’s deep breathing.

And then the third thing, there’s been examples of this throughout what I’ve said, and this is where a lot of people think neuroscience is just positive thinking, and it’s so much more than that. It’s value based thinking plus movement and the breathing on top of it, but it’s psychologically reframing your situations and the threats that you’re dealing with. So just a little bit on each one of those, to try and help people see that they’re is a way to apply these things. When there’s chronic pain… Okay, I should say with teasing pain.

When you have chronic pain, there is a floor, just rating. Let’s just arbitrarily say it’s a three out of 10. It’s of constant something, it’s constant pain. There’s something always there, and then there’s a line that didn’t used to be there, before you had the chronic pain, that will cause a flare up. And it fluctuates daily, depending on what your biochemistry is, what kind of mood are you in, all sorts of things. It fluctuates a little bit, but it’s generally in the same sort of place. And the trap, almost everybody, and I’m the poster child for, is that every time you hit a flare up, the nervous system says, “Time out. I’m going to rewire myself to try and convince you to stop doing what’s going on so we can survive. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to raise the floor on your symptoms, your pain’s going to be a little bit higher, and the ceiling’s going to get a little bit narrower too.” It’s going to lower on you because the nervous system doesn’t want you in a flare up line, and I’m talking like it’s a person. It’s not a person, but just for the sake of analogy here.

And people continually hit this over this overdue line, and it’s, what’s called in the neuroscience circles, overdue collapse, and they get squashed in this narrowing gap of… and the terror comes with this, where you see you get pinned into something like I was, where you can barely even move. So how do you get out of this cycle when you always hurt?

Well, the answer is by teasing the pain. So teasing pain means that if you manage to engage in activity that causes pain or some kind of symptoms, even. I’ve retrained some symptoms this way too. But if the pain or symptoms don’t last for several hours in excess after the fact, because you’re going to get some kind increase, more than likely. But if it doesn’t last more than a few hours, then the nervous system doesn’t consider it as hitting this flare up line, and then the nervous system learns that, “Well, we can do this.” And it’s not a dire threat, so the ceiling raises and it can be so small. And the floor lowers too, and how much you can play within the lines depends on the nature of the damage in your body, of what you’ve gone through and whatnot, your age, how many stem cells you have, but changing this is possible through this sort of behavioral approach.

And the thing everybody thinks about it, and it is like movement, which is great, because that’s what I did every single step of the way. I was teasing my symptoms, because it was so hard. I would only walk to the next obstacle, whenever I started out, or add 30 seconds to whenever I was walking to make sure I didn’t hit this line. And the important corollary to this is that if you hit a flare up, it’s not the end of the world. You’re going to have some, no matter what, and some you can’t control. Some of these, it’s like I think we just don’t know enough about what’s going on, there’s some fluctuations, or maybe a detox reaction causing something. But it’s not the end of the world. As long as you’re having decreasing flares compared to what you used to, that’s still another principle of anything in the right direction is better.

And this is retraining your nervous system, and it helps, as I said, with all these sorts of other things that you can do. One of the other things I want to put in here is if you’re in so much pain… I wish I’d known this at the beginning with myself, that all moving hurts. Due to the mind-body connection, simply imagining a movement will start engaging part of the brain to think about doing it pain-free, versus actually having the stimulus where ow, it actually hurts. So something as simple as that can help start stepping out of these. It’s called a pain neurotag, where the neurons in the brain all get interrelated to this pain experience, and they start going. They start firing like crazy, and stepping outside of that is what you want to do, and imagining can do that. That’s one way that you can get outside of it. And you, of course, need to be very careful about knowing your limits, and you’re going to learn by trial and error on how much you can do at the beginning. There’s going to be flare ups when you start anything out. So it depends on context, but I’ve also seen… This is how I trained up the sauna sessions and such, and how you’re thinking about going into these things matters a lot.

If you think, “Oh, this is going to hurt so much, well, your brain’s going to… you’re confirming the danger message in your brain. It’s going to turn it up a little bit louder whenever you trust that it’s going to be worse for you. So taking a let’s see approach is much more effective. So I think that’s a good little surface intro to the teasing pain thing.

So deep breathing, it’s pretty simple. Dr. Lemons’ system is really complex, that so much so that I couldn’t cover it here and it’s in the book. But having a practice going for that, and planning on keeping it going rest of your life is doing yourself a huge, huge favor. Because you’re getting endorphin release, you’re building new gray matter in your prefrontal cortex and stunting the amygdala, that’s the fear center, that can be driving all sorts of other neurochemistry that can be inflaming you and such. So that’s really all I’m going to say about that, but I find that deep breathing is one of the best ways to kind of deal with the modern lifestyle mismatch of how our bodies are used to, from a million years ago.

So that’s that, and I do want to say some things here about the reframing too, because it’s powerful, and it’s hard to do because it feels wrong to you whenever you start out. If you start… Because the natural thing is whenever you’ve got pain or symptoms, you’re going to think… If it’s gone on for any amount of time, you’re going to start thinking about how it’s going to shut down your life and your opportunities and what you can’t have anymore. That’s natural, because there’s no way out. So that’s going to be a trained response, and you’re going to have an emotional response that matches that that’s negative, whenever you have those thoughts. So if you try and start shifting that, you have a pattern. You’re not going to immediately feel good, you’re going to feel bad first, whenever you’re trying to tell yourself, instead of “Oh crap, the pain’s here,” well, if you’re going to stop and say, “I think I have a plan for this. There’s some ways of plugging all these holes in my body that are wrong. We’re going to address these root causes, and I now know ways of thinking, moving, and breathing to change things. Maybe there’s a way out of this, and I’ll see how much I can improve.”

That’s still not going to feel great at first. You’re going to have to practice that over and over, and it takes steadfast practice of that, and that’s one thing that we usually end up working and coaching in the longer term sorts of things, because it’s hard, and life throws you constant monkey wrenches of stress and such. And Michael, you mentioned this earlier, it’s the not thinking about the I can’t. Instead of, “I can’t run,” it’s, “I can walk for five minutes.” It’s things like that, and getting on this value based orientation. And this is another reason why my recovery’s taken so long, is I’ve been planting these seeds and on watch to try and catch this stuff, and it takes a long time to fix it and I’m still working on it. So there’s so much more to neuroscience than this, and I feel like there’s… I could easily go on for ages, but we do have to close at some point.

Michael Roesslein:

No, just starting there will get a lot of people a lot of places, just with the reframing and the breathing. I’ve been so impressed with… Breathwork can be really simple, it’s just simple as being mindful of your breath and taking deep breaths and making sure they’re going into your belly, and you’re not scrunching up and breathing through your nose versus your mouth. That’s basic breathing, but there’s ways to use the breath to manipulate the nervous system and the physiology that are more in depth than that, with practices. And I’ve been so pretty blown away with my experiences with various types of breath work that that’s actually… I currently have a ban on learning things right now.

I’m not allowed to be in a training or a class or a program, because I just finished two really intense programs that were two years, and I’m moving and I’m doing a lot of things right now, but when I lift my ban on trainings and learnings, I’m actually going to be studying with someone who’s a pretty advanced level breathwork master that teaches all different types, and basically teaches you to understand how the breath impacts the physiology, so you can customize breathwork for different needs, versus, “This style of breathing is the best.” Because there’s some breathwork out there that, if you check it out or follow it, they do the same thing all the time for everyone and say it’s awesome. And that’s because whoever created that style, it was awesome for them when they learned it and when they tried it. And it was like, “This is amazing, this is the best thing,” and it was for them, then.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Yeah. It’s kind of like how do people do a diet too.

Michael Roesslein:

It was perfect for them then. And I don’t believe there’s one perfect way to do anything, and so I want to study the breath in general as a tool, as a means, because there’s nothing that shifts the physiology faster or more effectively than the breath. And it doesn’t cost anything, and anyone can do it, and you can do it no matter what condition you’re in. And it’s accessible to everyone, and it can be customized for… Because you mentioned at one point doing certain types of breath increased your pain. But there’s excitatory breath work that probably wouldn’t be good for somebody who’s in a neuropathy situation, because it would drive that, where there’s ways to breathe that calm the system down.

And it’s really powerful stuff. If people want to go down a rabbit hole out there, I would encourage you to start looking into the breath and the pain.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Yeah, same here, and don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to really see any results too. And that whole nonsense of being able to empty your mind, it’s like, ah, you can’t actually do that. You’re still aware at all times. If you just have awareness on your body or on your lungs, like I like to do, that’s emptying your mind as much as possible without dying.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah, yeah, and it’s not even empty. You’re just focusing it on the breathing and on the breath. And there’s a reason that the oldest practices in the world that are still practiced today, that have been passed down lineages and things, a hundred percent of them all focus on the breath, and there’s a reason for that. So people figured it out a long, long, long, long, long time ago and we’ve kind of forgotten, and now it’s like in vogue, breathwork is this cool thing. And it’s like, “Oh, this new breathwork,” and I’m like, “New? These techniques are in the Vedas,” which are 4,000 year old texts.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Right. There were some really good things that people have lost touch with that can absolutely help. But yeah, I have seen it be, and I should mention just a one specific there. That I could tell within about six weeks that for sure that I was getting some pain relief from it, but I really didn’t know, hit the max, for nine to 12 months, of where it’s dropping me two numbers. And I think I mentioned that last time, but let’s get that in here too.

Michael Roesslein:

That’s great. All right. Well, I’m curious to see where your adventure goes from here, and if people want to… You mentioned you do a free consult for potential clients. If anybody listened to this and they feel compelled to reach out to you, we’ll put to link down right on the page where they can contact you to go to their website, but just let them know what happens when they get there.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Okay. So my website’s balancedhealthcoach.com. You’ll see me looking horrible on one spot and me looking not so horrible on another spot, and yeah, there’s… I actually have two options now of working with me on my Work With Me page, and the first one is, because I like getting all of the information so we’re not missing anything, is doing that, the freebie, and then if they want to work with me, do the paid call. And then I see it as often a stepping stone into longer term work because I’m such a fire hose. I feel almost sorry, even with how much I put in here, because I feel like I shared so much but so little at the same time. But there’s so much information there that it gives you the best sort of chance for foundation, but I also have worked with people where they just come straight to me as coaching. Where they have an idea where they want to go, where they already know the plan, but they’re just having trouble implementing it. Because I truly think that’s harder than figuring out the blueprint, is the day to day, the moment to moment, because what do you do when the symptoms come on, what do you do whenever your plan gets derailed? It happens a lot. So that’s the other option.

And I’ve got some articles on my site too that are definitely worth checking out. In the overcoming chronic pain section, there’s some good stuff about neuroscience on there too, so nice, good, free stuff.

Michael Roesslein:

Great. And I encourage everybody to check it out. I think it’s really… You went through, I don’t even know what to call it, but the ringer, and what came out the other side is a real gift, to be able to empathize with where people are at and understand where they are. And see them where they are and provide them… It’s got to be just a breath of… And you mentioned when you met Dr. Lemons your pain decreased.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

Almost right away, and that happened with Mira in her last flare. We started with this new doctor and we had this 90 minute conversation with him, and he was going to support her and taking some time off work and getting her a note to have some medical leave from work, and to do this and do… And he was going to go to bat for her, he was in her corner, and within two days her pain was less. And we hadn’t even started doing any of the things that he was going to have us do, it was just knowing that that was there, shifting the state of the body because there was less fear.

Christopher Blakeslee:

For sure, and I think that’s the objective side of how you can control the placebo effect, where it’s you’ve got yourself in line with something and you believe it now and you trust in it, and it opens a road for you. And I truly do see that in a couple of cases with some of people I’ve worked with, where it’s not just the difference between how quickly they get better when they work with me, but oh my gosh, were they going to get better at all? Because I have this long history now of being able to catch the behaviors and such, and say, “Wait, wait, wait, that’s contributing to what’s going on here,” is like, “Oh, I’m so dumb.” It’s like, “Wait,” and they’re like, “What?” “No, you’re not. You’re really smart.”

Michael Roesslein:

No, you’re not, you learned how to do something that helped you in the short term at one point. I’ve learned that a lot in the trainings I’ve been in the last couple years that are more in the mental, emotional, spiritual side, is that we tend to villainize these parts of our selves that learn these behaviors. Like you zoned out and watched TV, even though it made your pain worse, because your reality was unbearable. And there was a part of you that couldn’t take it and they wanted an out, and they were trying to protect you. Like that part was trying to, “Let’s get out of here. Let’s get us all out of here and let’s get out of here and let’s do that.”

And so a lot of these behaviors that we villainize or beat ourselves up for, say were dumb or we’re this or whatever, at one point that behavior served us. It did something. There was a reason why we saw started to do it, and it helped us feel better or it helped us not feel pain or it helped us something, and I found that honoring that and flipping it and looking at it that way makes it much easier to shift the behavior than if we just ride ourselves every time we do it. Because think about it, like that part of you that still wants to do that or is drawn to doing that, nobody makes changes because they’re told that they’re stupid. People make changes when they see there’s another way and when they’re encouraged and when they’re validated and when they’re understood, so I would just… And I know this stuff, I just wanted to reiterate it. I think it’s important for people to hear.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Right, it’s really important. It is.

Michael Roesslein:

Being kind to yourself when you do slip up is.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Yeah, that’s a large part of the beginning battle, for sure. Because almost everyone, like you said, they have basically villainized their character, and you have to have a good relationship with yourself to get to through this. I am to the point where I say that if you don’t fix your mindset, you won’t get better, to the full extent that you can. It’s just you’re working against yourself in so many ways, and there’s a lot of room that opens up to you whenever that can change.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. Well, we could go on about some of this stuff forever, so we’ll call this one a quits. We may even make this a two-parter, we’ll see.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Okay. That’d be shorter.

Michael Roesslein:

But it’s such great information, I’m not going to ever stop somebody while they’re sharing valuable things. And I highly recommend, if you’re dealing with a chronic pain condition or other chronic health issues, and even if you have a doctor that you’re working with, Christopher’s great to help you kind of navigate the confusion and the frustration and the day to day experiences of what you’re going through in a more hands on way than a lot of doctors will operate. Because, frankly, they just can’t. A lot of doctors, they don’t work that closely with the people to help them. It’s more of like here, go do this, and then you go do that, and then you come back. Where having regular check-ins and having somebody that’s more on your team than telling you what to do, it’s more somebody that’s on your team and helping you do the things and implement it who’s been there before. I highly recommend, click below, go to his site, try out a initial consultation, which is super generous of you to do those, and see where it goes.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Yeah, thanks for that, I really appreciate it. And yeah, people do, they can look forward to that, having that ally who’s there no matter what. Because I know anybody who’s coming to me is somebody that I deeply respect that they’re trying to be their best, and I want to do everything I can to try and help them get there.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. Yeah, it’s wonderful. And yeah, so-

Christopher Blakeslee:

Thanks a lot for this.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah, and I always appreciate, I love connecting. I always enjoy our conversations, and I’m happy to use our platform to help, help you reach more people and help more people find you. So I’m sure we’ll connect more in the future, and I’m glad that your steps ahead of where you were before, and look forward to see where you’re at next time we connect.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Yeah, me too. Yeah, thanks for the opportunity.

Michael Roesslein:

All right. Bye.

Christopher Blakeslee:

Bye.