Michelle Choi

Episode 44: Book Club: Dying to Be Me, with Oriana Gliessman

In this episode, Oriana Gliessman and I hold our first book club meeting!  We discuss Anita Moorjani’s memoir, Dying to Be Me.  It’s the book I most recommended to my patients to read, as a doctor working in primary care.  What if we can all take a more active role in choosing our authentic life experiences, without experiencing a near-death experience to get there!?!  Dying to Be Me is about Anita’s near-death experience and how she has chosen to live differently, having almost died.  Anita also brings up her spontaneous remission from stage 4 lymphoma. When I first read her book, I was truly impacted by how she was going to live, having almost died, and, well, it shook me.  I started to wonder why I was wasting precious time, how we can all choose to live differently, if we are less afraid.   I also pondered the fact that there are some things the practice of medicine cannot explain. Although spontaneous remissions are rare, there exist documented cases that have been published in medical journals throughout the world.  I’m not sure how they can happen.  For Anita, her getting sick and healing from her illness was very much a part of her spiritual journey, weaving the tapestry of her life, and, in turn, affecting all of ours. Join us in this fun discussion as we talk about this fascinating book!

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Episode 43: Mindful Eating with Kathy Nuss

On today’s episode, I speak with Kathy Nuss, who is an Occupational Therapist in Pacific Grove, Monterey, and we talk about mindful eating. Considering the fact that the rate of obesity has been consistently rising in the U.S., have we forgotten what comprises a healthy diet? The U.S. weight loss market is huge, selling “quick and easy” weight loss programs which are ineffective in the long run. Oftentimes we target the individual, but there are environmental triggers everywhere. We have become a culture that loves fat, sugar, and salt. How do we make the healthy choice when our environment doesn’t necessarily support this? How do we develop a healthier relationship with food? On today’s episode we begin to talk about honoring our hunger, making peace with food, challenging the food police, discovering satisfaction, feeling our fullness, and ultimately, respecting our body. You can find Kathy at wellnessfromwithinpg.com

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Episode 42: Addiction is a Family Disease with Josie Teresi

On today’s episode, we have Josie Teresi back on the show, and she talks about her son’s addiction.  When a family member becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, not only do they face significant challenges, but it also impacts the rest of the family.  It affects not only the individual with the “problem,” but also causes sickness within the entire family unit.  The effects hardly go unnoticed: they can include broken trust, communication issues, financial problems, childhood trauma, PTSD, fear and anxiety, shame and guilt, lost relationships, and estrangement.  Drug addiction causes the entire family unit to adapt to the chaos of addiction, negating their own health and well-being, creating new negative patterns to deal with loving someone suffering from the disease of addiction.  All lives become interrupted and rattled.  There is no doubt that addiction is a family disease.  You can find Josie at josieteresi.com.

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Episode 41: The Place of Now with Nisha Sidhu

Meditation is a simple practice that everyone can do- which can reduce stress, invite calmness and clarity into our lives, and promote happiness.  Even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.  It can often be described as healing from within.  True meditation occurs in the Now and it involves paying close attention to the present moment – especially our thoughts, emotions, and sensations.  Ekhart Tolle says, “You cannot be in your body without being intensely in the present moment,” suggesting that meditation is a simple way to stop some of the confusing commentary in our lives, and get back to the truth of the present moment.  What more can you experience and do in your life if you reconnect with the power that has always been within you?  On today’s show, I speak with Nisha Sidhu.  She is a Mindful Life Coach who loves to empower others to be their best self with compassion, non-judgement, and authenticity.  She is a meditation teacher and life coach, and you can find her on myndtreat.com

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Episode 40: The Fourth Trimester with Hannelore Kieser-Deguara

Just in case you didn’t know, there is a newly described fourth trimester.  We know that there are three trimesters of pregnancy.  The fourth trimester is the time between birth and 12 weeks postpartum, and perhaps this is the period where I wonder if women are most neglected, as a mother. On today’s show, we have Hannelore Kieser-Deguara, and she is a Postpartum doula. The postpartum period can be incredibly challenging- whether you are a first time mother or have had other children. And even though there is more awareness, there is still minimal support provided during the fourth trimester. It’s healthful and helpful to raise awareness about the demands of motherhood and the risk of postpartum depression and anxiety. While having a baby is beautiful, the process of acclimating, learning, and functioning during this period can be very difficult and overwhelming. It’s not easy to care for someone new when you feel totally depleted. And you are not alone! Join Us!

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Episode 39: Compassion and Palliative Care with Dr. Diane Meier, MD

There is a conversation that we are not having in medicine – and that is related to our dying.  Oftentimes when this conversation does happen, it is often too late for palliative care to do some good, to relieve suffering, to improve quality of life, during the time that we have left.  And because this conversation doesn’t happen, or doesn’t occur early enough, death has become painful.  Death is inevitable, it is a universal process that we all will go through one day, as we are living organisms.  I believe that we have lost our way in the practice of medicine.  We have forgotten the very foundation of medical practice, which is to relieve human suffering.  We sacrifice our human connections in the practice of medicine because health care is first and foremost a business.  We continue to treat patients even if the effort is futile, and sometimes we even offer harmful treatment, in the name of prolonging life- when it can be physically, emotionally, and spiritually damaging to our patients.  Join us in this eye-opening conversation about palliative care, as it is a field that still represents ‘the good and humane’ in medical practice.  Dr. Diane Meier, MD  is the founder and was the longtime director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, a national organization devoted to increasing access to quality health care in the U.S. for people living with a serious illness.  She has received numerous awards and was the 2008 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (aka the MacArthur Genius Award).

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Episode 38: The Biology of Belief with Dr. Bruce Lipton

We have Dr. Bruce Lipton on the show today!  He wrote The Biology of Belief, and he is here to talk about how our consciousness creates our life experiences.   Ultimately, we manifest our beliefs.  Our lives and our own health may be a manifestation of our belief system. Dr. Lipton is a stem cell biologist and is an internationally recognized authority in bridging science and spirit.  A cell biologist by training, he taught at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine, and later performed pioneering studies at Stanford University.  Biology’s Central Dogma has been that life is controlled by genes and it’s only in the past 50 years – as we have increased knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of gene expression – that we know that our behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way in which our genes work. If the possession of the gene doesn’t necessarily mean that you get the disease, but a life out of harmony can activate the gene that we don’t want to activate… what are you going to do about it? The power is in your hands!

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Episode 37: Chronic Inflammation with Dr. Monica Aggarwal, MD

When the body becomes imbalanced, it becomes irritated and inflamed. I believe most of us live our lives in the chronic inflammatory state. Stresses have many external sources – it could be the people in your life, your job, lack of sleep, lack of activity, the death of a loved one, chronic illness or injury, pollution, or even what we put into our mouths. While acute inflammation is good and life-saving, chronic inflammation is not. Your bodily resources are utilized to deal with inflammation. And if inflammation is never turned off, our bodies only have so much reserve and can become imbalanced. On today’s show, we have Dr. Monica Aggarwal, MD. She is a cardiologist, author, and athlete. Her book, Body on Fire, which she wrote with Dr. Jyothi Rao, is so relevant to our lives and health. And today we talk about how we can trigger inflammation in our bodies and how we can also calm the inflammation that can cause sickness. You can find her at drmonicaaggarwal.com.

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Episode 36: The Empath with Samantha Fey

Empaths are highly sensitive individuals who have the ability to understand the experiences and feelings of others. It can be like a super power, though without boundaries, it can also feel like a draining curse. These are some signs that indicate that you could be an empath: Have you ever noticed that you’re deeply tuned into the feelings of others around you? Do you get overwhelmed in big crowds? When you see something sad on TV, does it feel overpowering to you? Have you ever noticed that you may feel fine before you talk with someone, but then you talk with that someone, and it’s almost like you feel and absorb THEIR pain, stress, and anxiety?

On today’s show, Samantha Fey is here to talk about Empaths! She is the host of two podcasts- “Psychic Teachers” and “Enlightened Empaths.” Join us in this engrossing conversation as we talk about Empaths. It’s important to recognize that because Empaths are natural healers of the world, we naturally want to make things better. But when we are not aware of who we are and we don’t have firm boundaries – we take on other people’s problems, and it can literally affect our own health. You can find Samantha Fey at samanthafey.com.

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Episode 35: Celtic Spirituality: The Soul’s Friend

We live in a society where we focus on the external or only that which we can see. But what if we’re more than that? To be whole, our complexity requires acknowledgement. If we strive for balance in our lives, we need to consider not only the exterior but also the interior, the visible and the invisible, the known and unknown, the ancient and the new. On today’s show, we have Rowan Foxx Giles here to talk about Celtic Spirituality. She is an internationally acclaimed Intuitive Counselor. She is known worldwide for helping people to navigate their lives and achieve their goals through Anam Cara Soul Path Readings and Healings, and she is Celtic in heritage herself. The Anam Cara is a Celtic tradition of guidance and inner growth, as the literal translation of Anam Cara is “soul friend.” Join us as we talk about Celtic spirituality and life’s journey. You can find her at rowanfoxx.com.

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