Pursuing Uncomfortable with Melissa Ebken

Pursuing Mother Nature for Health with Amy Stein

June 28, 2023 Melissa Ebken Season 8 Episode 2
Pursuing Mother Nature for Health with Amy Stein
Pursuing Uncomfortable with Melissa Ebken
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Pursuing Uncomfortable with Melissa Ebken
Pursuing Mother Nature for Health with Amy Stein
Jun 28, 2023 Season 8 Episode 2
Melissa Ebken

In this episode of Pursuing Uncomfortable, host Melissa and guest Amy Stein share their insights on how to use Mother Nature to improve your physical and emotional health. They discuss how many people are disconnected from themselves and from nature, leading to chronic illness and pain. Amy shares her personal journey of struggling with undiagnosed health issues and how she found relief through alternative healing methods, such as somatic healing and energy medicine. They also delve into the idea that talk therapy may not work for everyone and how listening to your body's signals can lead to discovering the root of your health issues. If you're struggling with chronic pain or seeking alternative healing methods, this episode is a must-watch. Join Melissa and Amy as they explore the intersection of nature and health and provide valuable insights to help you pursue uncomfortable but transformative healing.

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Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Pursuing Uncomfortable, host Melissa and guest Amy Stein share their insights on how to use Mother Nature to improve your physical and emotional health. They discuss how many people are disconnected from themselves and from nature, leading to chronic illness and pain. Amy shares her personal journey of struggling with undiagnosed health issues and how she found relief through alternative healing methods, such as somatic healing and energy medicine. They also delve into the idea that talk therapy may not work for everyone and how listening to your body's signals can lead to discovering the root of your health issues. If you're struggling with chronic pain or seeking alternative healing methods, this episode is a must-watch. Join Melissa and Amy as they explore the intersection of nature and health and provide valuable insights to help you pursue uncomfortable but transformative healing.

Free Gift

Follow Amy:
Website
Facebook
YouTube
LinkedIn

Support the Show.

More From Melissa and Pursuing Uncomfortable:
Resources
fiLLLed Life Newsletter
YouTube
Leave a review
Pursuing Uncomfortable Book

🎶 Podcast Intro: Welcome to the pursuing uncomfortable podcast, where we give you the encouragement you need to lean into the uncomfortable stuff life puts in front of you, so you can love your life. If you are ready to overcome all the yuck that keeps you up at night, you're in the right place. I am your host, Melissa Ebken let's get going. 🎶

🎶 Episode Intro:  Amy hurt. She didn't feel well. And she was barely functioning. But the more doctors she saw and the more tests she had run, the worse she felt. It was only after finding her own path through her own journey with Mother Nature and the healing, herbs and plants that Mother Nature provides was she able to feel better.  Join us, as she tells about her journey to recover her health and vitality.  🎶

Episode:  
Melissa Ebken  0:01 
Amy, welcome to the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast. How are you today?

Amy Stein  0:06 
Thanks, Melissa. I'm excited to be here. I'm good. How are you?

Melissa Ebken  0:10 
I'm doing well. So far, so good anyway. Amy tell us a little bit about where you're from and what you do.

Amy Stein  0:19 
I live in New York. And I use the power of mother nature to connect back to ourselves and also to connect back to something bigger than us, because I find a lot of people are disconnected from themselves and from Mother Nature. And so I use her intelligence to connect back to the intelligence that lives within us. We all have it, we just have to be open to it.

Melissa Ebken  0:39 
that sounds pretty cool. Thank you. Yeah, I love it, the more connected we are in our bodies to the creation that is all around us, only good things can come from that. Right?

Amy Stein  0:52 
Exactly. We just have to be open to it.

Melissa Ebken  0:55 
So how did you get to this point, what was your life like, before this journey began?

Amy Stein  1:00 
It was a very long journey to get to this point. So this is like 15 years in the making of where I am right now versus where I was. So I battled with health issues, basically my whole life, but I didn't have a name for it. And so as a child, I could sense things that were around me that, you know, you couldn't see. So when I would tell my parents or teachers or caregivers about it, it was I was making things up to get attention like this isn't real, you can't feel that you can't see that, right? Because we're taught in our society, that if you can't see, it's not real, it doesn't exist. But I could sense all the things because everything is energy. But I didn't understand that as a little kid, I didn't understand that I didn't want to be around certain people, I didn't want to go certain places, I didn't want to wear certain foods or you know, eat certain foods or wear certain clothing. So it was a very confusing experience for me as a child to because no one else was saying that they were experiencing these things. So I was labeled as being difficult. I was too sensitive, I was different. And nobody wants to be that as a little kid, you want to fit in, you want to have friends, you want everybody to like you. So I learned from a very young age to ignore that part of myself. To push it down and just pretend that it wasn't there. And that was really hard because my body was trying to help me, but I thought it was trying to hurt me. And so I found that I was struggling a bit. And so in order for me to survive, I would just do things to fit in that everybody else was doing. But it actually caused a lot of disconnection between my physical body, mental body and my emotional body. And it caused a lot of physical symptoms to manifest. So I had headaches and stomach aches and body pains I had, you know, I just didn't feel well as a kid, I was always really tired. And I wanted to go to bed at 830. I mean, as a 40 year old woman, I go to bed at 8:30 Because that's what my body needs. And so I didn't understand why that was. And I just wanted to be like everybody else. And it really came to a pinnacle when I was working as a medical researcher with chronic pain patients. They were geriatrics, and I was in my mid to late 20s. And I began to resemble them. And I couldn't understand what was going on. It was really scary. And I felt like I had no control over my body, no control over my life. And it was, again, a lot of these invisible energies were at play, I had purchased a house that was a sick home, it was filled with mold. I was sensitive to mold in the workplace that I was in. And I always knew that I had this issue, but I didn't realize it was it was actually making me really, really sick. And it was causing a lot of issues along with other things that we can't see, these invisible toxins. And because I am highly sensitive, I'm the type of person who picks up these things before the general population. So EMS, 5G, radiation, radio frequencies, all of that, you know, working in a hospital, you're bombarded with that 24/7. And so it began to really destroy me where I couldn't get out of bed. My symptoms all exasperated as far as stomach aches and migraines. They were daily, I had vertigo, I was blacking out again, which had happened when I was in high school. And so it was really something that I didn't understand what it meant. I was raised that if there's something wrong, you go to the doctor, they fix you. And I had been going to the doctor since I was a kid and they weren't fixing me and they weren't believing what I was saying. And so this was a theme that was coming up again, when I was seeing the same doctors that I had been working with for years to the other patients. And they were not listening to what I was saying they were not believing what I was saying. And it felt really disempowering, really frustrated and I felt very alone.

Melissa Ebken  4:41 
Yeah, I can't imagine that you know what you're experiencing and it's like you're being punked or something when people just don't acknowledge your experience.

Amy Stein  4:52 
Yeah, it's very hard and unfortunately, my story is not unique. A lot of people who have these invisible illnesses, autoimmune disease chronic pain, chronic disease conditions get lost, their western medicine does not actually help them, they fall between the cracks, they get lost. And a lot of the people who experience these things from a young age, have the treat like I do, you know, highly sensitive person where they are the canaries in the coal mines. And so it's not talked about. It's being discussed now, but it wasn't really discussed. You know, I'm a child of the 80s. This was not discussed in the 80s and certainly not discussed in the 90s. Dr. Erin Alene, Erin is the one who coined the term in the late 90s. But she saw research really didn't come mainstream probably till the last five to 10 years where people have really been talking about being a highly sensitive person. And at that point, no one was talking about trauma, no one was talking about the connection of childhood disease and trauma, no was talking about these different frequencies that you can't see and causing illness like role, electromagnetic frequencies, radiations, you know, when you get sick at first, they just test the crap out of you. So you're just going for massive amounts of MRIs, massive amounts of X rays. And I didn't realize because you know, the doctors tell you it's safe, right? Oh, it's safe. But when you're getting X rays, and MRIs, monthly, it's not safe, and your body is actually suffering because of it. And we live in an increasingly toxic world that is just getting more toxic. And the body was not designed to handle all these toxins. So the body is designed to heal. But it's not designed to heal in the environment that we live in. And so it's always giving you out messages to let you know that something's not right. But we just are so used to our bodies falling apart. We're used to having aches and pains. We're used to not feeling well in our body. So we accept it as normal, but it's actually not.

Melissa Ebken  6:41 
So what was the turning point for you? What was that moment? Or what was the situation like when it clicked for you that there was something different, and there was a different path available?

Amy Stein  6:55 
So unfortunately, it took a few years because I again, thought that I'll go to the doctor, and they'll figure it out. I live in New York, so I don't, you know you could throw a rock, you hit a doctor. And I saw the specialists in Manhattan. I saw the top of the top of the fields. We went to Johns Hopkins to the Autoimmune Premier Institute, right. So like we got into all these places. But the issue was that when you're in that seat, you're still giving everything away, right? You're still looking for somebody else to fix you, you're still looking for someone else to give you the answer. You walk around with that briefcase of labs and medical notes, right that either you've taken or from other doctors that you've seen before and hoping that someone's going to put the puzzle pieces together. So you're still always looking for someone else to fix it. And so I didn't understand because that's what we're taught, right? We're taught like, oh, you go to the doctor, they have all the answers, they went to medical school, they know better than you. And so it was that merry go round of seeing all the specialists. For about three years I was on it. It got to the point where I said, I'm not going to do this anymore. The last doctor I had seen basically wanted to give me chemotherapy, kill my entire immune system and hope it grows back. That's what he said to me. And I looked to my mother, because at that point, my mom was taking me to all my appointments. I could not drive, I could not leave the house, my husband had to work. And I said I'm not I'm not doing this anymore. This is not, this is not the way that this was gonna go. And if I'm going to die, like I've resigned myself to it, that does not scare me. The idea of dying doesn't scare me like I've made peace with that. But this is not a way to live, because I have no quality of life. And at that point, my grandma had passed and my parents were going through some of her books. And she had this book about plant medicine. And my dad had said to me, Hey, do you want this book? And I kind of thought there's something telling me I should take this book. And not kind of what started me down a completely different path is I started you know, I say that when you take this step, the higher power will follow if if whoever you believe in, right so for me, it's mother nature, the universe, source, Spirit, God, Allah, YAHWAH, whatever it is that you aspire to, to connect with, they will give you the next step. So I I was sent like some it's about herbalism. I was sent herbalism trainings, I got books from the library because it was affordable, and I could get them for free. And so I just read a lot of books, I started to play with the weeds that were growing in my backyard because it was fascinating to me, every single plant that was already in my backyard, whether I had planted it or not had a medicinal quality to it. And that's the thing that we forget because we live so disconnected from Mother Nature and from ourselves. And that this is not taught anymore. It's becoming more mainstream, but it's still not really taught across the board. Like people don't know where their food comes from. If you ask kids today, they don't understand that you can grow food like they're like it comes from a grocery store. And so when I began to understand that these plants that I did not put there that Mother Nature had put there that we were poisoning that you know we called weeds actually were more medicinally potent than anything I could actually grow. So I began to learn how to forage, I got a bunch of foraging books out for the Northeast, again, because I live in New York. And I took a bunch of classes and whatever I could do to learn to empower myself, that's what I began to do. Because I began to realize that I had the answers. I was when I was living my body, not the doctors, not my parents, not my husband, if anything was, if anyone was going to fix it, I had to do it. And so I began to study about plant medicine, that led me to study about energy medicine, again, like everything is energy around us whether or not we see it or not, it's still energy. And you can change the energy to flow differently in your body. So when we have a lot of childhood trauma, when we have a lot of activating moments, and we don't feel our feelings, you don't feel our sensations, because we're taught in our society not to do that it creates trapped energy in the body, this leads to pain, this leads to disease, this leads to chronic illness. And so when you can unfree that, and, and allow the body to do what it was designed to do, which is to heal, you can begin to release some of that trapped energy, you can begin to work with your body to have the energy flow in a healing way. And so Donna Eden was one of the first energy medicine practitioners I studied with and she has this 10 minute routine, I began doing that. I was already doing Qi Gong, it was something she turned into with my patients before to do it with them. But I wasn't able to do a physical yoga practice, I couldn't get on and off the floor. So I had to do things that were standing or I could sit in a chair. And it had to be feel good in my body. And no one can tell you what that feels like only you know if it feels good. But at that point, I was still doing a lot of it in my head. I call it manic healing, right, we think we can just do it all in our head. We'll rewire our brain we'll, you know, we'll change our mindset will change our thoughts. But that's it doesn't work fully. It will get you so far. But it's not just mindset, like you have to be in the physical body to heal. And that was something that I didn't realize there was a lot of lessons throughout this decade plus journey that I've been on, no one tells you about, you have to kind of realize your own. So I began to write a book about it. And I was like, This is something people need to know, because no one talks about this. And so I've included an ebook below for the guests to listen to that has the you know the seven discoveries I need that no one talks about on your healing journey, right. And they're not just things if you're sick, it's things overall, for anyone. And, and we live in a sick society, whether or not you're taking medication or not, you're not living a healthy lifestyle. Because we revere technology, we're disconnected from Mother Earth, we don't eat real food, we're surrounded by Wi Fi and 5g and all these radio radiation frequencies, and the body is screaming, but we're not paying attention to it, we just think it's normal to feel like this. And it's not, you can feel so much better. It's just being aware of what you're doing, right, being aware of what you're putting in and on your body. Being aware of what you're using to clean your house, being aware of your spraying chemicals in your backyard, being aware of how clean your water is, how clean the air is that you're breathing, right. So it's, it's a whole multi dimensional approach. And if you do it in not the right order, you can actually make yourself suffer sicker. So a lot of times I was trying to detox mold out of my body, but my lymph system wasn't operating fully. So I was just creating more poison in my body where it had nowhere to go. And so a lot of these ideas are not talked about, they're certainly not talked about in western medicine. But even if you see a functional practitioner who looks at the body as a whole and looks for the root cause they're not all trained in every single different modality. They're not all trained in every step of you know, every single different disease and condition. And again, I was that person that even with a functional doctor, I didn't respond to the protocols that other people had responded to that quote unquote, had the same conditions that I was dealing with, because we are all different. And so again, no one can tell you what to do. Like, I can't sit here and say these are the 1001 things I did you should do them in this order and do these 1001 things, it won't, it won't work. Because what works for me isn't going to necessarily work for you. And there's beauty in because that means that you get to uncover what your body needs. Just like I'm uncovering what my body needs, and it changes all the time. There are suggestions I can make across the board about certain things that I think everyone should do. But I can't do the work for you. You have to choose to show up to do it for yourself. And it sounds simple, but it's not nearly.

Melissa Ebken  14:48 
Sure. And then the the deal with most good things in life. They're very simple wisdom is usually very simple. But don't confuse simple with easy. I on your website, I love on the very first page just scrolling down a little bit there are, there's a list under the heading, what can mind body spirit breath sessions help with. And a couple of my favorites in this list is releasing past trauma without having to name it. So you know, you don't necessarily I'm can, you know correct me if I'm mistaken here, but I don't have to spend 12 years in therapy. I can engage my body and engage Mother Nature and spirit and release it. Is that what you're saying?

Amy Stein  15:38 
Absolutely. We. So I don't want to offend people but so I did talk therapy for years. And I never felt better. If anything, it re-traumatized me. And there was a lot of things that were hidden that my body knew were not safe for me to talk about, like my childhood trauma that I never spoke to a therapist about, because my body wasn't letting me remember it, because I didn't have the skills to deal with it. And so the body is designed to heal, but it's also designed to keep you safe. So if you're trying to change habits, if you're trying to you know, go into therapy for five years, and you feel like you're just spinning your wheels, it's because again, you're still in the mind, you're not in the body, but with somatic healing, there's no agenda. We don't have to go back to what happened to age five, we don't have to name it, we don't have to go back to you know, the the nitty gritty things, if you don't want to talk about it, you don't have to talk about it. The body will do the work without you talking about it because the body knows what is safe to be released. It knows what has been healed and can be Trent, you know, Trent moves on out. And so when people asked me like, how does this work, I really can't explain it because the body's intelligence is far more exceeds what modern sciences can say. Because ancient traditional healing goes back 5000 years plus, right, so traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, energy medicine, indigenous medicine, I Ching, herbalism. All that's been around for 5000 years. And modern day science is only just now catching up to it. And so it doesn't all have to be logical. And that's that's why people think it's woowoo and it's weird, because it doesn't seem logical. But it is, it's just it, we think it's so simple that it can't be right, because we want to complicate everything. And so it is really simple. But you have to show up to do it. And that's the scary part.

Melissa Ebken  17:30 
And one of the things you've been highlighting again, and again, and again, as you've spoken is that we are all different and our bodies have different needs and different experiences. For many, they will find relief going to traditional medicine. For many they will find a release going to talk therapy, but for those who haven't and for those who are still getting sicker or have symptoms that no one can pin down, or name, there are other options. And your website, I would say is the first place to go to start uncovering your unique body and your unique needs.

Amy Stein  18:10 
Yeah, that's a great plac, thanks, Melissa. So if they grab the free ebook, you know, there's a lot of information in there that just sheds light on again, like I said, ideas that people aren't really talking about. And it was something that I had to figure out for myself. And it was hard, right. So the reason I do these interviews is to save other people from having to struggle as much as I did, right. So if you don't want to read the journal articles, if you don't want to read all the books, if you don't want to, you know, make your own medicine. You know, I made my own tinctures I made my own fermented foods, I made my own infused oils that I turned into medicinal bombs. And now I open an Etsy shop, right, but it's been 10 years in the making. You don't have to do all those things. But you can find those people that can be part of your team that you can trust that provide a safe space for you. Because if you don't feel safe, you can't heal. If you're not supported, you're not going to heal. So you need to feel supported, you need to feel safe. And so for me, being trauma informed, is about safety. It's about putting the client first but also making sure that I feel safe. So because if I don't feel safe, I can't open up myself to hold space for the other person. So I continue to have my own somatic healer. And I every three weeks I have sessions with her because if I'm not doing my own work, how can I support myself and do somebody else right. And so I think it's really important to understand that this is a lifelong process. That healing is not linear. It does not go A to Z. It looks like a drawing that a three year old did with crayon. There are lines all over the place. And I think it's important to understand that there's a lot of times that things will come up and you won't know what to do. And that's normal, like I'm 15 years in and, you know, I'm kind of in a flare right now. And I'm doing the things that would normally work and they're really not working So typically in our society, we would blame, we would have expectations and judgments, and we'd be really hard on ourselves. But that's not really helpful. So instead, it's about being curious. Right? So rather than assigning blame and judgment and being negative about it, that curiosity allows us to look at it from a different perspective, right? So what can my body be telling me? My body's like, listen, you're doing too much, you need to take more breaks, right? I'm trying to do everything in my garden, I'm trying to do podcast interviews, I'm trying to build my business, I'm trying to do the Etsy shop, and my body's like, not having it. And so it shuts you down. And we try to get through that by eating sugar, or drinking coffee or, you know, numbing out and dissociating in ways that are not really helpful to the body and not helpful to the body as a whole, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and energetically. And so when we can come back to the body as a whole, and, and not unconsciously do those behaviors, but be conscious and aware of like, okay, I'm choosing to numb out right now I'm gonna go read that book that's mindless, because I really don't have the brain width to do anything today. And so that's what I'm gonna do. And it's not that I'm quitting, or I'm giving you up. It's that I'm listening to my body. And I'm respecting that it has an intelligence that is smarter than my mind. And science hasn't gotten there yet. And I'm okay with that. And I've experienced it in a different way than most people. So for me, it's not always easy to remember to do that. It's not always easy to trust my body. But nine times out of 10. When I don't listen to my body, and I go with my mind, it does not work out so well. Lesson learned, but I'm human. So I have to keep going through it.

Melissa Ebken  21:45 
You know, I, I find so much hope. In your words. I have seen people that have unexplained symptoms that just live with chronic pain, and difficulties in their bodies, they get to the doctors all the time, and they just live with so much stuff that they shouldn't have to live with. And that's such a hopeful word that you're bringing today that, and I'm going to pardon me for getting really technical here. But sometimes we get out of whack. I think that's a really precise, specific term, but if you're out of whack, and nobody can help you get back in whack, whatever in whack means then maybe it's time to look inward, and to seek a different path. And I love that there is something else out there. And I appreciate that you're bringing that to light for us. And you're giving us a place to start on this journey and helping us to shortcut some of the difficult work that you've already done. So thank you for the work that you do and the hope that you're bringing to people.

Amy Stein  22:53 
Thanks, Melissa. Different doesn't need to be bad. It's just different that's all.

Melissa Ebken  22:59 
There's that. Absolutely. So Amy, as we close out today, what last words would you like to share with folks that are listening?

Amy Stein  23:10 
So if something isn't working, have the courage to make the change? Right, in small steps. Just take the next small step. And it can be a really tiny step, and you celebrate that tiny step. It's not about the big leaps. It's not about the big jumps, right, when you can achieve a lot of things just with small steps adding up. To just have the courage to take that small step.

Melissa Ebken  23:31 
And one other question. For those who have, are parents that have highly sensitive kids, or to the highly sensitive teenager that might be listening to this podcast. What would you what wisdom would you leave with them?

Amy Stein  23:49 
There's nothing wrong with you. You're not broken. For 1000s of years, you were revered. You were the medicine woman, the shaman, the people that kept the tribe safe. The trait that we exhibit now in modern day society, people look at them as there's something wrong with you. But if you can be curious and change that around and be open to the perspective, that these are gifts, these are things that can actually enhance my empathy, enhance my compassion, enhance my generosity for other people without taxing yourselves, then you're already ahead of the curve.

Beautiful. Thank you, Amy.

Thanks, Melissa.

🎶 Episode Outro: Thank you so much for tuning into today's episode. If this encouraged you, please consider subscribing to our show and leaving a rating and review so we can encourage even more people just like yourself. We drop a new episode every Wednesday so I hope you continue to drop in and be encouraged to lean into and overcome all the uncomfortable stuff life brings your way. 🎶