Most of our autoimmune conditions stem from unaddressed childhood trauma. I’m joined by Dr. Keesha Ewers to talk about how she healed her Rheumatoid Arthritis and breast cancer by working through past traumas, and how she helps guide her patients through their own healing journeys.
Listen to the Episode
The Four P’s That All People with Autoimmune Disease Have:
- People Pleasing
- Holding on to the Poison of Past Pain
- Having a Pitta Ayurvedic type
About Dr. Keesha Ewers
Dr. Keesha Ewers is an integrative medicine expert, a Doctor of Sexology, a family ARNP, a Psychotherapist, is board certified in Functional Medicine, and holds an advanced certification in Ayurvedic medicine. She is also the founder and medical director of the Academy for Integrative Medicine Health Coach Certification Program. Dr. Keesha has been in the medical field for over 30 years.
After a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis —an incurable disease according to Western medicine—she discovered how to reverse autoimmunity using her Freedom Framework Method, which she has now used with thousands of her own patients and teaches to her health coach students in her online certification program.
She is also the founder of a branch of medicine now called Functional Sexology. Dr. Keesha is a popular speaker, including at Harvard and from the TEDx stage, and the best-selling author of Solving the Autoimmune Puzzle: The Woman’s Guide to Reclaiming Emotional Freedom and Vibrant Health and Your Libido Story: A workbook for women who want to find, fix, and free their sexual desire. You can listen to her Mystic Medicine Radio Show and find her programs on her website.
How Our Bodies Hold Onto Trauma
Dr. Keesha joins me to share her incredibly personal, painful story of autoimmune disease, healing from past trauma, and now living a full and healthy life. When Keesha received a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis, her doctor basically told her that was it – she had this forever.
Keesha knew there had to be more out there besides Western medicine diagnoses, so she set out on a quest for alternative medicine. Through this search, she discovered yoga and then Ayurvedic medicine (essentially the Eastern version of Functional Medicine).
Through her journey into learning more about Ayurveda, Keesha learned how our bodies can hold onto past traumas. These traumas and our body’s response to them can actually cause our autoimmune conditions!
So while there are definite benefits to, for example, cutting sugar from your diet, amongst other changes, Keesha found that it was working through and healing these traumas that had the most profound impact on her.
In fact, not only did she reverse her Rheumatoid Arthritis, but she also cured a later diagnosis of breast cancer.
Don’t Give These Traumas Extra Energy
Dr. Keesha gets into the specifics of how our brains and bodies actually hold onto traumatic childhood events, especially when they’re reoccurring. And honestly, traumatic experiences in your childhood don’t have to be on the scale of abuse; Keesha explains how even feeling like you can’t complete, for example, running the mile in gym class can contribute to your traumas.
When you start to work through these traumas, you’ll learn exactly how much energy you and your body are consciously or unconsciously giving to them. And giving that much energy to something is exhausting! When you really think about it, is there any wonder some of us respond to these events with chronic health conditions?
We’re never taught how to navigate and heal. Emotional healing is essential for our physical bodies to also heal.
Dr. Keesha urges you to learn how to communicate with your body. To learn what language it speaks, understand what it’s saying, and giving your soul’s vessel what it needs to thrive.
Do you have an autoimmune condition? What steps have you taken to heal your past traumas? Let me know in the comments below!
“Things were being answered in the paradigm of Ayurveda that Western medicine couldn’t answer.” [8:40]
“The fact of the matter is, Rheumatoid Arthritis is not curable, indeed Western medicine correct. But it is reversible. And that’s the beautiful part.” [15:08]
“This isn’t about the trauma. It’s about your response to the trauma. The meaning you make up for the trauma, the behavior you adapt. It becomes a maladaptive response.” [28:38]
“If you look beyond the straight lines out to nature, it’s chaos! There’s so much beauty in that chaos and it’s in cycles. There’s death and then there is rebirth and there are all these renewals. The stuff that needs to die, needs to die.” [32:18]
“It wasn’t about crushing or conquering cancer, it was about learning to love myself. It was learning to forgive myself.” [39:55]
“The toxicity we create from ourselves is so much more potent than what we have to filter from outside.” [41:19]
In This Episode
- Why different people have unique reactions to the same drugs in Western medicine [9:30]
- How past traumas can manifest as chronic illness [13:00]
- Why you should reduce sugar in your regular diet [15:00]
- How you can start looking at your past traumas so you can heal your current health problems [22:00]
- How your brain processes and holds onto trauma from your childhood [26:30]
- How much energy you might be spending to hold on to past hurts and traumas [44:00]
- Why you should start talking to and listening to what your body is trying to tell you [53:00]
Links & Resources
Use code breasthealth for 15% off DIM and Iodine this month!
Dr. Keesha Ewers 0:04
With so much resentment and shame and guilt, it's more toxic than any amount of pollution a corporate industry can actually generate into our plan to make us sick, the toxicity we create from ourselves so much more potent than what we have to filter from outside.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:27
Welcome to the longevity blueprint podcast, I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from Dr. Keyshia Ewers, her story is truly incredible. I've had many functional medicine providers on this podcast before but none like Dr. Keisha today she is not only going to share her personal story of healing from rheumatoid arthritis and breast cancer, but he's also going to share with you how she did that using her freedom framework and how you too can explore if past trauma is a source of disease in your current body. Let's get started.
Welcome to another episode of the longevity blueprint podcast. Today I have guest Dr. Keisha Ewers. She's an integrative medicine expert, a doctor of sexology, a family advanced registered nurse practitioner, a psychotherapist and is board certified in functional medicine, and holds an advanced certification in IR medic medicine. She's also the founder and medical director of the academy for integrative medicine health coach certification program. Dr. Keisha has been in the medical field for over 30 years and after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and incurable disease according to Western medicine, she discovered how to reverse autoimmunity using her freedom framework method, which she has now used with thousands of her own patients and teaches to her health coach students in her online certification program. She is also the founder of a branch of medicine now called functional sexology. Dr. Kesha is a popular speaker, including at Harvard and from the TEDx stage, and a best selling author of the solving the autoimmune puzzle, the woman's guide to reclaiming emotional freedom and vibrant health and your lomita libido story, a workbook for women who want to find, fix and free their sexual desire. You can listen to her mystic medicine radio show and find her programs at Dr. Keisha calm. So welcome to the show. Dr. Keisha.
Dr. Keesha Ewers 2:23
Thank you, it's really an honor to be here.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 2:27
So I first heard part of your story when you interviewed me for one of your autoimmune summits. And I as I was sharing with you, before we started our recording today, every time I hear from you, I just hear more and more about what you've been through. And that's also what you've then created to help your patients really get to the root cause of their problems. So I'm just going to start asking you your story, how you got into functional medicine, how it's helped you, and what you've now created to help patients.
Dr. Keesha Ewers 2:56
Sorry, you know, it's interesting, because I haven't met a personal medicine provider who doesn't have their own story. And it's a compelling story that gets us to do what we do. Because when we're sort of raised in our culture, the western medical paradigm is our underpinning. Right? But that's exactly how I started I was a registered nurse by the age of 19. And was in you know, work to close quickly into a high intensity, Intensive Care Unit. lifeflight, you know, balloon pump, the ICU kind of world and I was I loved it. I thrived on this adrenaline junkie, and embarrassing. And then, you know, I ran marathons, I was raising four children, pretty, I thought happy in my life. But I was very, very hard on myself as a perfectionist and drove myself like nothing I've ever seen. And very productivity oriented. And then one day and this is what my patients always say to you know, they say all of a sudden, I'm sick. That's exactly how I experienced it. I woke up one morning we're preparing to go to Disneyworld his family, and the morning that we woke up that that we were supposed to go I had gained 10 pounds of happiness overnight. And all of my joints were red, inflamed and swollen. And my friends used to call me the Energizer Bunny. And it was like someone had taken the batteries out of the Energizer Bunny, right. I just couldn't move as planned.
So I got in to see somebody and in the course of the history taking process, she asked me if I had autoimmune disease in my family, and I said then think my grandfather had rheumatoid arthritis and was in a wheelchair for a time he actually died before I was born. And she said, Okay, well, that's an event, right? And I was like what, you know, gave me two prescriptions. One was for methotrexate, and one was for a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug. And I said, Wait a second, you know, and she said, Well, you have already And you know, and she said, Take these and when you get worse, come back and it wasn't like an if you get worse it was a when you get worse. And I just remember kind of trying to negotiate with her before she left the room like, Wait a second, wait a second, I'm very disciplined I make my own food, I'll do anything, you know, what is what else is there besides these meds which I use, I book that profile on. And so this is I'm just afraid you have joined, you know, the ranks of people that have the short end of the genetic straw here, you know, and, and it was just like this final. That's it. And so I remember on my way home thinking, there must be a different way of thinking about this, and really not wanting to go on these medications. And just, you know, kind of reflecting on the mother that my children used to having and the mother that I was going to rapidly become like, see, if I were to just kind of succumb to that idea that this is not curable, there's nothing you could do, you can manage it until it gets worse, and then come back.
And then we're going to change your meds. And I knew that kind of cycle, right? I'd witnessed it. And so when I got home, I started looking on the internet. And of course, Disneyworld was off for me, and, and started really looking for what, what else is there and I found in PubMed, where we keep our medical research and research article on yoga and autoimmune disease. Now we have to remember like, I'm 55 now, in fact, my grandfather dealt with Ray died at this age in winter. And, you know, I think about that all the time, when I go hiking in the morning with my dogs, you know, it's just like, wow, this isn't, you know, so different of a reality than what he had with that diagnosis.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 6:46
And how old were you when you were given that diagnosis, I was 30.
Dr. Keesha Ewers 6:50
So 25 years ago, and Utah, which is where I lived, there was not a yoga studio, next to a Starbucks on every corner, yoga was very, very rare in the area where I lived and, and I was barely heard of it, right. So I remember reading, like, nobody's good for autoimmune disease and calling up my my running partners and saying, I can't do anything today. And something's going on with my body and come to yoga class. And this is how conservative I was. I said, I'm really worried I've ever hang out with people that chant before like, conservative, right? And just really didn't have a clue. I always tell people, if an urban bitten me in the butt, I wouldn't have known what it was like I just was not in that world at all. So went to my first yoga class. And the teacher actually said enough about this word I your beta to pique my interest. And I went home and obviously I had run all the way to the other city which way and then run five miles back after a 90 minute yoga class that was like a power yoga for my first one. I mean, I was so hard on this body.
And so I got home, I went straight to the internet, which was dial up modem, right? And started looking at this word AI or VEDA and I what I discovered was is this five to 10,000 year old depending on what you read, sister science of yoga, that's the medical arm of it. And I as I investigated it, all of these answers that two questions that I had over the years started getting answered, like, why was the 35 year old male in the ICU better than had a heart attack in the Ico and he was also a marathon runner. And we had spent a lot of time comparing notes and he didn't smoke didn't drink was really, really healthy. And yet he hadn't my age 35 you know, things like that were being answered in the paradigm of Ayurveda, that couldn't be answered in western medicine, because what we said was, it's idiopathic, would you say to me like, well, that means we're idiots, and we don't know. And it was because we're always trying to match pill to symptom and not really getting underneath the root cause. And so as I'm reading about your VEDA is talking about this idea that was so revolutionary to me at the time, that we are all different. Oh, my gosh, we're all different. You know, this is why a nap scene when someone's nauseated and you give it IV in the ICU to somebody, some will call out and be tired and others, they'll start to feel like they just need to get up and go, because they're so hyper, right? We have these different ways of reacting to everything in our environment. And in western medicine, we try to ignore that fact. You know, we're just like, no, this is the action that we expect from this drug. But then here's this long list of side effects that can happen, right? And we don't we don't seem to get it that Oh, we're all different people. And so therefore, we can't expect standardized elephant which is actually a term instruments, standardized evidence based outcomes. So as I'm reading my jaws getting like, Oh, this makes so much sense. And one of the things that it taught me was that
The autoimmune diseases and digested anger, hmm. And I just remember kind of looking at the screen going, I'm not an angry person, I mean, oh, and, and then realizing that's probably part of the problem, that I didn't even permit anger, and that I didn't really get angry. And so Oh, that might be an issue. I kept going to yoga and learning how to meditate. And one day as I was learning how to meditate, this word automatic kept floating in front of plainclothes division. And I remember trying to swat it away, because as a new meditator and thought, Oh, well, you're not supposed to have any thoughts, right? Like new meditators thing. And, and then I started thinking, Oh, she's coming, maybe I should look at this. So I started examining the word auto immune. And I realized, oh, that means I'm attacking mean, Otto. Oh, I need to quit looking outside for what's happening and start investigating inside. And, and I thought, auto immune means I'm killing myself, I'm actually committing suicide in a slightly acceptable manner is kind of what came to me. Oh, my goodness. So why do I want to die? Because I don't right now. And when did that ever happen, where I really did want to die. And so I started following this little breadcrumb trail back I call it of memories.
And I landed in this, this place of my 10 year old self, here was being sexually abused by the vice principal of my elementary school. And I saw her sitting out on a balcony in Key West Florida in the Navy housing complex that we live in under a palm tree, just like in the corner of his balcony by herself, really wanting to die, and going, Oh, you wanted to die that you wanted out? Because she didn't have I was raised very sheltered, no television, and we lived all over the world. And so, you know, we didn't live very long in one place at a time. And I don't even think at the age of 10, I knew the word sex or even, like abuse or molest like, I don't think I knew these words. Because when I tried to tell people what was going on, and I did try to tell them, my dad was out to see but I tried to tell my mom and I would cry before going to school because, and be sick to my stomach. And which was highly unusual. Like I, I mean, I graduated valedictorian from college and high school, I loved school. So the idea that I wouldn't want to go to school is foreign. And so, you know, just this idea that I tried to tell people, but then the vice principals telling me it was my fault. I was like, one of two white girls in an all black school. So it was like your white trash. And you know, this is what this is what your reality is, right? And there was actually nothing I could do about it. And so when, when I went back to the soul kid, I went, oh, whoa, you did want to die. This has to have something to do with this autoimmune disease that I have right now. And it turns out that it does. And it's interesting because I conducted a study called the healing unresolved trauma study, and then the aces study, we can talk about the adverse childhood experiences study, the aces study actually points to the fact that the higher your number of adverse childhood experiences, then the more risk you have all the chronic illnesses in adulthood that we have today in our culture, including rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer, which 10 years later, I also got breast cancer.
So you know, being able to kind of track that go backwards and say, Oh, this has to have something to do with it, let's get on it. And so I really hadn't ever done any therapy around this, in fact, ignored it by overachieving in my life. And so, you know, within six months, my rings gone, gone, never to be seen again. Now, what I tell people, Stephanie is like, I could get it back. It's in my genetics, like I do genetic testing on all my patients, and I have genetics for RNA. And I could definitely turn those back on. And, you know, if I, if I went back to the way that I did not process emotion, to try being this poor little body, the way that I drove it into the ground view, though, it's an all in the name of health thinking to me, right. And if I were to do all of that become another, you know, another version of me that was the earlier 1.0 version, who was a complete sugar addict, you know, ran long miles in order to keep her weight maintained, so that she could have five brownies the night before, if it was a stressful day at work, or in the family. You know, all of those very unconscious patterns of behaving that were attached to the meanings I had made up about my life and the world and myself in it. If I went back to that I could have ra again easily. So the fact of the matter is I always say rheumatoid arthritis is indeed Western medicine, his practice is not curable. But it is reversible. Right. And that's the beautiful part. And I think in our society, the the missing piece of the puzzle in functional medicine, too, is really what to do about these these early right meanings and beliefs and sabotaging behaviors that we create and, you know, as a result of those meanings and beliefs, right, and someone to get off of sugar if you don't understand like, what is it their child cell said sugar was supposed to be for that.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 15:48
You may have heard me mentioned the nutrient dim on several episodes, and I want to take a moment to describe exactly what that is. When I was in graduate school, my doctorate focused on estrogen metabolism. Now, you're probably wondering what that even means and why it matters to your health. Well, research has shown that our risks for fibroids cysts and breast ovarian, uterine, prostate and colon cancer can all be linked back to estrogen. But it's not the levels of estrogens that can increase our risk. Instead, it's the way our bodies handle that estrogen that matters. We can run individual lab tests for this, which I often recommend to my patients, that's called estrogen metabolism testing, which has to be done in the urine. Even without the test, however, it is safe to take a supplement an extract of cruciferous vegetables to improve your estrogen metabolism. That's basically like taking in six pounds of those veggies per day in a capsule form without the gaps. That supplement is called dem, dm. You can also use methylated B vitamins as well as specific targeted antioxidants like resveratrol to help improve your estrogen metabolism and help protect you from that cancer risk. Of course, also make sure you have your practitioner run a comprehensive genetic analysis to see from another perspective, if you are at increased risk and help you learn what you can do to lower that. If you're interested in learning more about dim, read chapter six of my book, Your longevity blueprint and check out our product info sheet at your longevity blueprint.com Ford slash product Ford slash dem to get 10% off demo alone or 15% off our estrogen detox bundle with dem methylated B vitamins and antioxidant support. Just use the code estrogen detox when checking out at your longevity blueprint.com. Now let's get back to the show.
I've heard you in other interviews, talk about history of perfectionism, and that that was a behavior as a result of what happened to you. Do you want to expand on that a little bit kind of putting the putting those pieces together better than I could?
Dr. Keesha Ewers 17:47
Yeah. So in 2013, I conducted the study called the healing unresolved trauma study, it was my doctoral research. And the reason I did it was because you know, people always say a PhD in psychology. I'm like, Yes. PhD ever and I am I am motherfucker. Did you ever meet the hawkers? Oh, yes. I am like a little scaled back version. But I am here right now and like, and I was so conservative, you know. So it's just funny to see this like, wow. Oh, and I went back to school to do this doctoral research because I kept having women come into my practice who were asking for hormones. And I would I know I prescribe bioidentical hormone therapy all the time. And but one of the things that I was interested in is how come people would come in instantly saying, I have hormone imbalance, this is what I need. Because you prescribed this to my sister, mother, daughter, friend, you know, and they're fabulous. And I want some of that, then I start asking questions like, Well, why do you think hormones? And oftentimes, I will hear these stories that you know, of, like, I can't sleep, I can't remember words. I don't have any energy. I gained a bunch of weight, but I haven't changed my diet, and I'm exercising the same, but I'm gaining weight.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 19:11
And I hear that all the time.
Dr. Keesha Ewers 19:12
Yeah. In my practice, right. And, and I don't have a libido. And so then when I would start asking questions that would take them deeper, right, like, so do you like your sex partner? Yeah, yeah. My husband is great. I love him. Poor guy. I feel so bad for him. He's so patient with me. Right? And so then I would say, Well, once last time, you had a libido level that you were happy with. And then I would often get people crying, you know, like, well, I never have and my husband's been so patient, right. And I would say, Well, you know, if you've never had a libido level, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, you know, they're not magic. They're not going to you that you've never had, right? Or they would say no, I don't really like my partner.
And again, I would say hormones are gonna help Let's talk about that right. And so I started realizing there were so many stories. And people had this, you know, much like the western model of, let's have a magic wand, you know, hormones were supposed to act like the magic wand for them. And I was hearing a lot of story that included a lot of hurt, and that hormones were being expected to fit. So when I went back to school, it was because when I went into PubMed, again, looking for research, I couldn't find anything that actually tied to what I was seeing with low libido. And so I did the study, and I was asking women about this very thing. So you know, if, if you have if your partner pushes a button that is from an old hurt, does your libido go down? And for the most part, the answer was, yes. Kind of like resoundingly, yes. Which makes sense to me, because what happens with me, right? And so I'm not okay, well, why isn't this anywhere in the science? And then then I looked at, you know, okay, so what would help that instead of giving hormones, what if I taught somebody a practice for forgiveness, and really worked with them on their trauma.
So as I had already gone back to school a long time before that, to get certified in several trauma modalities, because I found that as I was working with people that would come in to me with gastroesophageal, reflux disease, you know, I, our standard of care is to give them something for acid reflux, but then when I would ask them questions, I would find they were just wrong out with anxiety. And I would say, I can't give you a prescription for this, like knowing full well, that's not the problem, right? You're not deficient in pylos. That, right, you know, you're actually having a problem with anxiety. So I went back to school for therapy for that reason to help people to really have tools. And so as I was working with us, I thought, No, this is bad, this, people are falling through the cracks. And so this hurt model came out of that study. And the hurt model says, first, you have an event, an adverse childhood events of some kind, and everyone has trauma. So that's another things like, capital T, trauma is the stuff that we think of when we think of trauma, sexual abuse, domestic violence, you know, physical, psychological, and it at the end, and men neglect having a parent or a caregiver that's mentally ill incarcerated, dead, divorced, right? neglect, and all of these things that we can think of as trauma. Like, they're also these little t traumas, right, which are experiences of rejection, or betrayal, or places where you haven't felt like you're good enough, fast enough. Beautiful enough, smart enough, right? So when you go up to that first event in childhood, you have this place where it's like, oh, maybe you couldn't get to the top of the rope and the presidential challenge, right, and PE, and it was in front of everybody. And so at that point, watching the kids in the line, do the rope. And you know, every year this thing sucks. And you're like, here we go, again, is the early mortification process, right.
And so what's going to happen is the same exact thing that happened to me when I got called into the vice principal's office, right in the heart rate starts going you start sweating with anxiety, about not showing up at the way that you want to in front of your peers, because we're actually wired that if the peers reject you, right, you're in caveman times, and that the fire light circle and the community pushes you outside the firelight circle, the saber toothed Tiger can eat you. So you're wired to really understand that rejection is dangerous. Okay? So here we are, we're just dealing with the ropin pe, or missing a word in the spelling bee in front of everybody, or tripping and falling down the stairs in school, like whatever, you know, childhood is a jumble of trauma. So you don't have to think about it in capital T trauma terms. You can think about it in the sense that some of this stuff like I'm writing a book on healing trauma right now. And one of the stories I'm telling is a woman that came to see me whose big trauma and it was huge, was she was the third girl. And she never got anything new. She was crying, saying like even socks, they were handing down. And so what happens is we have this event, right, this thing that happens. And then like in her case, every time she opened up a president at Christmas, and it was a hand me down. She would go into a space of hurt and sadness. And then that would trigger a physical response but freeze, right? sympathetic nervous system fight flight freeze. Usually in children, it's freeze. I mean, it was for me, I'm not being a vice principal. Right? And so it's freeze.
And then right in that moment, we are meaning making people or what To make the meaning about this, and because children are Narcissus, they were supposed to be where, you know, we're little beings trying to be big beings, we're actually very self centered because we're trying to figure out how to survive in a world run by adults. So we make up the meaning about ourselves. So it's going to be I write, and so the meaning that this woman created was, I'm invisible, I'm not important. So in my sexual abuse story, I always tell it like, here we are in Florida, in a fifth grade classroom. And I don't know if you guys had this in your schooling, but an intercom in the corner of the classroom with grappled life every morning. And we would get up and say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, and then the secretary would do announcements. And then sometimes I get called to the office. And that was infrequent. But every single morning, and throughout the day, every time that in your column with crackles alive, I would go into panic rabbit, right? Frozen, I would get sweaty, I was shake, right? So that response system triggers a meaning I'm going to make up and I made it the same meaning as the woman who only got me down. And our response was the same. Mine was not important enough to protect.
Right, she comes up with I'm not important, because she got hand me downs, never abuse. And I got the same meaning from that experience. And so then you have a belief that gets created. Notice yourself a belief that what do you believe about yourself, right, or not important enough to protect was mine. And so then a behavior will be adopted as an adaptation response to that belief. Everybody does this, like constantly when we're children, my my behavior, the adaptive behavior response of the mind of the child of 10. Now remember that the brain and the child was not fully developed, I was 26 years old. So and then we're not self centric anymore, usually at the age of 26. So now we have some opportunity to shift our perspective, the way that we see the world in ourselves in it, but the age of 10 is so self centric, right? And the adaptive behavior response was, I have to be perfect.
Because he's telling me this is my fault. And so perfectionism became my adaptive behavior. Now, I have not met anyone with autoimmune disease that is not infectious. So it's kind of I call it the one of the four P's I usually will talk about three P's or four P's that all people with autoimmune disease have, and one is people pleasing, another's perfectionism, another is holding on to the poison of past pain. And then the other one is in the Ayurvedic medicine paradigm. So sometimes I'll leave it off if we haven't talked about iron beta, and that is your, your doshisha type, they call it which is like, remember, I said everyone's different? Well, they categorize this as three different metabolic types, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. And Pitta type has more fire in them. So they actually are prone to inflammation. And they also are very driven and usually perfectionist, and that's the pitocin. So it's like the fourth P. And so that was me to an age of 30, when I was diagnosed with RA, that was my opportunity to finally have, you know, as I learned to meditate and witness what I was doing to myself, because this isn't about the trauma, it's about your response to the trauma and the meaning you make up to the trauma and either you adapt, that becomes a maladaptive response. So in the hurt model, the way it goes is, now you get some challenge in life and adulthood, whether it's you keep getting fired from jobs, or you can't call a happy relationship, or you get a disease process, whatever it is, right?
Something's happening, that's actually a challenge that you feel like you can't meet Joseph Campbell's hero's journey, right? You get a challenge. And then if you you know, in the Joseph Campbell's phase of the hero's journey, if you decide to say, Okay, I accept the challenge, then you know, you don't have the skills for it. So you have to go find a mentor. So for me, it was iron beta, and then eventually functional medicine was iron beta, but in English, and, you know, mentors along the way, and then then you learn how to integrate all of that, and you get this opportunity to start it. Self inquiry, right. So on the hurt model, you say that from the first hurt, emotional hurt Lou, there's a bifurcation. And one side is you keep doing the same thing you've always done which is maladaptive
memory processing. You keep doing it the same way you do. As a child, the Wise mind of the child, right, they did the best they could as skillfully as they possibly could. But now you're more skillful and more developed, right then through some developmental stages. And you can actually go back and say, okay, every time I'm unhappy, I'm the common denominator, every time something's going wrong in my life I'm present. Today, I have something to do with it, that then triggers you to come over to the other side where the bifurcation is. And this one says, oh, if you're willing to actually curiously and compassionately self confidence, then you might find that there is an outmoded way of being maybe an outmoded belief or up here that you created in childhood in response to some event or another, that's then created a behavioral model for yourself, that's not working anymore. And so it gives you a series of things to do to heal that so that you can actually then according to Joseph Campbell, hero's journey, right, then you evolve, and you expand your consciousness, and you actually master new skills. And with that self mastery, you can come back to your community. And now you can teach that you're the Oracle, you can actually answer what other people that are still struggling, but you can provide answers for them.
You and I are both in that face. The thing that really makes people angry, though, and I've seen this over and over again, that we use words in our culture that I find a little offensive, like, I'm gonna crush it, I'm gonna feed it, I'm gonna fight it, right. And I was like, so so you know, they come back, and I'm like, I crushed it, I bought it, I conquered it, right. And then when life which is supposed to happen, this is actually the promise that life brings us when life delivers another challenge. Yeah, to start all over again, and do it again. And it keeps us evolving, it keeps us growing and expanding your consciousness. And so you know, if you can sort of live in a space of accepting that that's what life promises and behind these like, glorious, glorious window nature, right? Nature has no straight lines, you can see behind me, there are straight lines that are man made, we keep trying to put things in order, like, okay, now I know what to do. Now I've got the formula, right. But if you look beyond the straight lines out to nature, chaos, you know, and there's so much beauty in that chaos, and since cycles, and there's death, and then there's a rebirth and always renewal, you know, but the stuff that needs to die needs to die. And so that includes our own processes and our own ego structures and life as a way of giving us all that beautiful, bountiful blessings to be able to do that. So after my my RA, I went 10 years learning all of this, and then I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And you had asked me about that story. And the story is that my I have four children, as I said, and one of them was my second son was home from college, and 18. And somehow have shocked you. And I said, Wait a second serious and, and he said, It is to be sat actually down at this very dining room table that I'm sitting at right now. And I was sitting right where I am and excited cross for me. And he said, I just need to let you know that when we were in the text as older brother, and like, three and five, then the boy down the street that used to sometimes babies sexually molested us. And I went bonkers. And it was the most devastating news I could possibly receive, obviously, except for that my kids were dead. Right. And it was the thing of course, that the the little girl part of me the teenage part of me, the adult young mother part of me that you know, had always torn away protect my children from and I remember with having, you know, having my, my baby in my arms and looking at my other three kids jumping on the trampoline down in the yard with a neighbor boy. And
we are friends with their family and and calling out there. You know, he was 12 if you want to watch them, I have to go to the grocery store and I'll pay you you guys are having a good time. Right? Just like that. So so right friends and family never would have even thought. And so when he told me that it was like somebody reached in, you know, with this giant Fist of shame and guilt and heartache and despair and just crushed my heart. And I just I remember Collin saying to me, I said How come you haven't told me this before. And, and he said, Because of this, I do not want my child defined by this event. I did not want you to have to bear this, right. And I just went and of course, and of course, that's even worse because my checking me, right? And so not too long after that I actually tracked down, the now young man facilitated this amazing forgiveness exercise between all of them got my kids in counseling right away. Like, just really, it was amazing. It was incredible. Yeah, it was so beautiful. And when I caught him, he said, This is yours. I've been waiting for this call for 15 years, you know, like he won't. Yeah, he had also been sort of like, stewing in it, you know. And so it was this remarkable, beautiful unfolding of what, and then after it was done, then of course, it's never done. But when the crisis management, no, and all of us had been kind of put, it was about a, I don't know, three month period, maybe four. I went into the biggest rage against my parents, because what I saw was what was possible, if you actually listen to your children, right? And I thought, tell us, you know, therapy would have been nice to have somebody that would track down the perpetrator and actually create, you know, facilitate a dialogue.
That would have been nice, right in thinking about what could have happened like what probably happened to other little girls in that school, because nobody actually listened to me write me on so many different levels, just rage that I had never, ever witnessed for allowed myself to have before rage. I wrote, my parents have a bridge burning letter, like, I did not care if I ever saw them again. And I was I had a hiking partner, my best friend, and I told her about it. And she actually thank goodness for her. She called my dad and said, You guys need to expect something. They were prepared for the bridge burning letter. And Ashley showed up in this beautiful way my father called me and I don't like I always tell my patients, you need to not need this because I was prepared on it. You know, like, because sometimes the rage you feel is with people that are already dead. Like, I'm not ever going to have this happen with him. The whole process that I do with people that you don't need the person there. So my dad did show up. And my mom for the very first time in her entire life, told me that she was sorry, you know, and he flew out. And I said, Well, you know, you don't I'm going off into the backwoods. And I was planning it, that I'm a hiker, I love to go.
And so I was like I'm taking off for four days out into the backcountry where no one can, you know, like, there's nothing. So if you come, you have to prepare for the 75 pound pack on your back and follow your own stuff out there. And then you have to be prepared for whatever I have to say to you. Whether I'm screaming crying, raging, howling at the moon kinging laughing like you have to be prepared for whatever's going to move certainly, because I've done a lot happening right now that's been released, right? It's up and I need to get out of here. And so he said, I'm there. So I packed him a packet when you arrived, put it on him. And we hiked back in, you know, and you did, he sat and he listened while I did all of the processing I needed to process with him. It was remarkable. And then in again, like you can't expect that for most people. So that and then going to coming back and then going in for my my physical and finding a lump in my breast. It was like, Yeah,
I went in and I had an ultrasound of it. And there was like this beautiful blood supply to this tumor. It was right over my heart, right in my left breast that you find beautiful, flow brilliantly beautiful, like it was so alive and so well fed and just just proceeding with life, right? I looked at it and I was like, and I said, I know where that came from. And I said give me a month, you know, I need to do some work. So I went back into therapy and like heavy duty heavy duty, like I realized I'd forgiven everybody, but not myself for allowing my children to be abuse. And so I had to do that. And that was the hardest thing I've ever done in my entire life. It was harder than anything I've done. And it wasn't about crushing cancer or conquering cancer. It was about learning to love myself. Because I forgive myself, you know, the, the 3839 40 year old version, you know, who wasn't their hoarder children but in the in the way that she would have expected herself to be who couldn't write like she had to do that work.
And a month later, I went back in for a follow up ultrasound and all of those, that vasculature that said that tumor was just hanging there. And there was just dead space, there was no more tumor. Wow, it was completely done in a month. And, you know, I also tell my patients, please, like, every single person has their own journey. Cancer shows up from rhit reasons. And when I looked at my genetics, I do not process estrogen at all, you know, and there's breast cancer in my family. So again, like I happened to know, right, then in that moment, exactly what was going on with my body, like it was filled with so much resentment and shame and guilt it was, it's more toxic than any amount of pollution a corporate industry can actually generate into our plant, right? To make us sick. Then the toxicity we create from ourselves, so much more potent than what we have to filter from outside. And that that really is what I learned from all this is so no mole. Yeah. Okay, there's mold everywhere. I live in the Pacific Northwest. There plastics is BPA. I mean, there's, you know, there's everything right. But the resentment, guilt, shame stuff that I had circulating in my system that I manufactured right here, that was far more toxic than anything. And I had to actually clean that up. And when I did, my health, does beautiful. No problems, right?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 42:00
You are a beautiful storyteller. Thank you for sharing all of that. And, Mike, am I correct in saying that the freedom framework that you, you've created that, and that's what you use with your patients to help facilitate that forgiveness? Is
Dr. Keesha Ewers 42:14
that correct? And I always say, and it shows up on the hurt model, that forgiveness is the last, you know, the last step First, you have to do a bunch of other things like you have to get in touch with what are the meanings that you created in response to different events, you don't have to go back and relive trauma. That's the things people are afraid of doing this kind of work, because they think they're going to have to open up cans that they have sealed and put on the shelf and don't want to ever see again, problem is is those cans a week. And, you know, that was what I became acutely aware of and that meditation that day, when I realized, Oh, this has to have something to do with my rheumatoid arthritis 20 years later. Sure,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 42:58
you know, and so is that something that you help patients, kind of see what they have attached, and you work with clients to do that?
Dr. Keesha Ewers 43:07
This whole process is, and it's not a one and done, it's not an overnight process, you know, but once you get started on it, it's exciting. Like, there does come a time when actually you find it fun. And I know that sounds weird, but it's like, oh, wow, I had no idea how much energy I was spending to keep the world from witnessing this part that I don't want to even see in myself, right. And when those energy will start to drop as you start to become more and more authentic, and you start to let this stuff be seen by the light inside of yourself to yourself. So I call it I do mystic medicine, because it's this it comes from the word mystery, which is the mystery is that you're actually hiding the answers to your problems from yourself. They're not being hidden from you, you're hiding them from you, yourself. And so what we're doing is we're allowing safety, so that she can slowly slowly slowly start to see that right start to witness for yourself. And so it's very empowering. And once you start to see like, Oh, this doesn't hurt, oh, I have so much energy now. Because I didn't even realize how much energy was going towards this energy wall of protection that I have held up unconsciously, because I think people can't be trusted or the world's not safe or they're gonna see that I'm not smarter or that I'm not good enough or whatever it is. I'm not worthy. I'm not deserving those those energy walls.
Once you let them down, you get that energy to live your life with a meaning of meaning and purpose. Like you actually get to live and instead of having protection all the time, it's beautiful. So it's it's really amazing, the work that is done and you know, sometimes people will be like I'm afraid you're gonna judge me and I'm like, I cry all the time in my appointments. I mean, it's ridiculous. I like I know, I'm not a professional. I'm so sorry. Like, you've seen my tears in my eyes. They just come, right. My heart is so open. And I'll just say no. On the contrary, I never judged what I do is I feel inspired. But courage, you know. And it's just like these courageous people that show up to do this work. And once you start that process, it's so freeing, which is why I felt freedom free money. And it's just like, Oh, I can actually just be me. And it's me. I never knew existed, which is the one that's actually part of the Divine. Right? That's, that's part of the CO creation of the world that I live in. And it's so so inspiring.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 45:53
I think that's the best suited name, you could have picked a freedom framework. Yeah, do you also offer a retreat for individuals?
Dr. Keesha Ewers 46:00
I do. So back, we have one coming up. In first week of August, I do them quarterly. And they are limited to eight people. And they're going really deep. I call him mystic medicine, deep immersion retreats, and they come to my place on San Juan Island. And we just dive deeply for about three and a half days doing this, rather than an hour at a time on zoom, or you know, or in therapy, which does eventually take things away. But once when you can have like concentrated, you know, that's that's actually how I got rid of my cancer. I went into a four day retreat. That's that's exactly how I got rid of it. And it's like, you're there's no break, right? And it's just being loved and being and being held and supported and safety. So you can really, really, really dive in sales and get it done.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 46:53
Awesome. I love functional medicine. I love what I do. But this is a whole nother level. This is what I feel is oftentimes missed. And obviously it's highly needed. And now you've created a way for patients to heal. From the hurt from the trauma. This is This is amazing. I have to point out that you're also a chef, are you? Are you a chef? I am not. Oh, you have a cookbook though. I know you always made clean, you know, home cooked meals for your children. You are well trained in the kitchen. I'll say that.
Dr. Keesha Ewers 47:24
Yeah, yes. And we're all very good kegs. But I have not been in like someone that's gone to school for it. So yes, I have a kickback. And what I did was called the quick and easy autoimmune paleo cookbook. I wrote it because then autoimmune paleo sort of diet came out right, which I'm not here to say is wrong. But I am here to say that there's no one diet for everyone with autoimmunity, as well as there's no one diet for everybody, you know, for anyone, it's just not the case. And so what I did is I wrote this, this cookbook with templates. And because people always want like the straight lines behind me in the windows, right being the one things to make sense, the left brain wants order wants to be able to analyze things. And like I pointed out earlier is not usually the way nature works. And so what will be assumed and it's what rheumatologists try to convey to they always want things to make sense and be orderly, but I'm immunities messy. And so it's, it's not a disease of the organ that your your body's attacking, right. So hashimotos is not a thyroid disorder, as much as it is an immune disorder of the thyroid being the target, right? rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus renos. eczema psoriasis, like, there are now up to 200, autoimmune diseases, right? The way that I in solving the autoimmune puzzle, I put a graphic in there, and it's all of them in one bucket, and said, You don't really have to know the diagnosis as much as you need to understand that your immune system has gone rogue, you know, this is actually a bucket that's labeled inflammation, and you have a hyper vigilant over reactive immune system. And that can happen in a couple of different ways. And functional medicine always wants to tease it out known as th one th two you know it, but the thing of it is, is if you get down to the very basics of it,
your immune system is fighting you. And so when you start thinking about that way, which I don't like the words like, you know, phrases, crush it, conquer it, you know, I like oh, that's actually auto immunity. It means that that's that's what you're engaged in as a combative relationship with yourself. So, with all that being said, the way that I think about it is you have to get into a collaborative relationship with you. And, and so, blueberries can actually be triggered in your immune system. You know, and there is no removing blueberries, you know from the autoimmune paleo protocol. And so when I wrote this cookbook, I did it in this template format. And I said, here's what you need to know about your immune system. So half of the book is information and education. And there's a freedom framework food plan that has some basic rules and guidelines. And then the templates are recipes. Like, when I take people off of gluten and dairy and soy and coffee and alcohol and corn, you know, I'm, I'm actually, I don't leave it there. Because people get very despondent and despair about that. And feel very deprived, right, call it the DS. And so what you want to replace it with is stuff that's actually you've asked your body and said, Oh, you don't like this. So instead of going into, Oh, I can't have their form to five, this isn't fair. It's like, well, you, you're not even checking with your body, you've got to ask this beautiful, amazing, amazing blessing. A body that you have that carries you around in this lifetime, with no things I always tell people. We're like the most entitled species on the planet.
Because we just wake up every morning, expect the body to do behave in a certain way. And when we're born, there is no contract that comes out with us that says, you're going to live this many years, your body's supposed to do it this way. There's no one that ever promised us. You, your children are supposed to outlive you, like all these things that we think are supposed to happen. And we expect our entitlements, like we were just still entitled to this stuff. Like, it doesn't make any sense to me, I think about it, and I go, gosh, you know, and I opened my eyes in the morning, and I can see what I can see, I can see your gorgeous face, I can witness this amazing technology that puts us in two different states to be able to have this conversation and then also be able to be in front of people that possibly have a message they need to have, I can go outside with my dogs to that, like, wow, right? That is sometimes it brings me to tears, how overwhelming I am in my joy, you know, and, and my blessings. So to be mad at your body, because it doesn't weigh a certain amount or it doesn't move in a certain way or you have pain somewhere. The pain that your body's experiencing is it really messaged you and saying, like, help me, you know, and you wouldn't look at your toddler and smack it and say, you know, go away, stop bothering me. Hopefully. Hopefully you don't do that. You listen, you go, oh, what's going on sweetheart? Right? And that's actually like, this poor body never gets that from us. Oh, what's going on sweetheart? You know that love and that care. And that attention, attunement. That's what has to happen for us to be healthy.
Because our body has a consciousness of the own of its own. And it's so and so it'll say no, that that doesn't work for me, right? So I do kind of try and put like my toddlers in space, like if I put my toddler in a car seat, and and then they would scream. I wouldn't just ignore them. I would go Oh, what's going on? Like what's happened here? Oh, the metal on the car seat too hot in the sun. Or they're being pinched? Or oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. Right? And so but we don't do that for our body was screaming at us and going I'm in pain. We don't do that, you know. So this cookbook is like a way of allowing you to drop into this beautiful relationship of asking, how are you? What do you need from me. And then providing it you can you can have muffins and pancakes and cookies and energy balls and all these beautiful desserts. I have a cake recipe in there. You can celebrate birthdays, and New Year's and Christmas and all the holidays and the beautiful way that I'm I'm like one of those. I don't know, one of the busiest people I know. And so people will say, Well, I don't have time to cook like Danielle Walker, who is amazing, right? Her cookbooks just amazing. I have all of them, and I cook for them in the holidays. But my day to day I don't have time to do what Danielle does. And so I wrote this book for people that it's like things that have seven ingredients or less, that you could rock your kitchen, be in and out and still live in this beautiful collaborative relationship with your body, asking it questions, getting getting into this beautiful space with it instead of driving it into a place that you want it to be, believe me, I love that it doesn't work.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 54:49
Awesome. Well, I want to I will post a link actually to your book, of course in the show notes and then I want to circle back around to libido for a moment. So everything that you mentioned going back and looking at childhood trauma I mean this applies even to libido and so you actually have a course correct on it healthy
Dr. Keesha Ewers 55:10
libido. Your Vedic medicine calls our lifeforce vitality like the energy that infuses everything, this the Sanskrit word called coaches, and they say once your odious is done you die. libido is the word that I use in English for that. So if your passion for your life is gone, right, if you don't have any energy, if you're just like, lethargic and less listened to press and anxious, like all those things, you're not going to have libido Usually, it's not just sexual, it's actually your passion for your life. What What do you get up excited about if it's nothing anymore, nice to your libido is gone, right? And so the libido care. Another book I'm reading right now is is this too is, is like this is really getting into the root causes of that finding and fixing the blockages like being in the energetic flow of life. And having life carry you rather than you always feeling like you're fighting against it.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 56:07
Love that love that. I will post a link to your libido cure course as well. And lastly, you do have a free gift for our listeners, do you want to share them?
Dr. Keesha Ewers 56:16
Please was so I always play a lot with F words installing auto in puzzle, I have this whole section on playing with F words. And so I did this little book called from fatigue to fix fabulous and it is like you can fill in some of the rest of it. But the teacher fabulous is looking at different swathes of people do grieve when you know they have a certain way of being like I remember the cinnamon rolls I used to make I still grieve them sometimes because I haven't been able to quite figure them out without the whole gluten sugar thing. Sure, I made some good ones, but they're just not the same. Right. And so it gives swats for ways that I've learned in my kitchen, and in my life, it's not just the physical cooking part. But it's also like swaps for beliefs and swap for assumptions in life and looking at expectations and all of that. So it's it goes through your, your physical body, energetic body, emotional and mental bodies. So that you can actually have this kind of spiritual freedom, it's an essence is what it is, and not feel deprived, right, and have that energy I was talking about.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 57:29
So that's a book from 15 to fabulous. So we you're gifting that to the listeners, which is very generous. So thank you. We'll also post that in the show notes. I'm sure listeners just already haven't gotten enough of you. So tell us where they can follow you where they can find you and learn more from you.
Dr. Keesha Ewers 57:46
And Dr. Kesha calm actually Easiest Way, Dr. e. Sh. And the best way to kind of drop into the freedom framework. And what I do is reading solving an autoimmune puzzle, I wrote it to pre educate people. So
Dr. Stephanie Gray 58:01
perfect, great start highly recommended. I need to read it myself. So thank you so much for all of your time today for sharing, just being vulnerable and sharing everything that you've been through, really to the benefit of others. And again, I I just I speak with so many other wonderful colleagues who are functional medicine practitioners, but not many are driving home the importance of healing from trauma. And that's clearly a huge piece of the puzzle. So thank you for providing that piece and I hope listeners connect with you soon. Thank you for being on the show today.
Dr. Keesha Ewers 58:31
Dr. Stephanie Gray 58:34
Wow, wow, wow. I'm sitting here and all of her healing and her attitude of total gratitude for her surroundings and ultimately her life that she has gained back. What a fabulous journey she shared which incorporated lots of therapy and forgiveness of herself. I've heard Dr. Keisha before tell her patients to not think that there is a destination called done. healing and keeping diseases like rheumatoid arthritis at bay is an ongoing process as it is for us all. This this episode did air after her August retreat. You can find the data for upcoming retreats at Dr. kesha.com and a link to her free book from fatigue fantastic for cookbook and her libido cure course, will be posted in the show notes. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck, you can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time, not only is the course 50% off, but you also get your first consult with me for free. Check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. And leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics, guests or how you're applying what you've learned on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. A podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative As always, thanks so much for listening and remember wellness is waiting
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.