Trauma and Healing Your Past, with Urban Monk Pedram Shojai

According to Pedram Shojai, The Urban Monk, “the problem with the world we live in is we’re all at each other’s throats, because we’re all overflowing with trauma. We are basically swallowing our pride. We are taking micro cuts. We’re having little T traumas, big T traumas, and trauma has added up to the point where people are going to explode.” So what can we do about it?

Transcript

Pedram Shojai: Question is, how can we shift the sophistication of our culture, our medical models, our psychological models to be like, Hey, let’s just pull these rocks out as we go so that we can live the fullest expression of our lives? Be the mom, the wife, the superhero that you’re destined to be versus the person who’s getting by and feels okay and just doesn’t have the energy to look back because that pain feels yucky. I don’t really want to go there – and you really want to go there and eventually there catches up with us.

Dr. Bill: Okay, so welcome to the Quacks and Hypochondriacs Podcast.

I’m your host, Dr. Bill Ferro. I started my career as a chiropractor in health clubs, turned into a gut health expert. So, if you want to call me a quack, you would not be the first to do so on this podcast. We’ll give you the inside scoop on the so-called quacks of the world.

Quackery claims who you should and shouldn’t listen to, and why sometimes hypochondriacs have every right to be paranoid about their health. Today with me as always with some illustrious, beautiful sunglasses and a cool camo hat is my co-host Erin O’Hearn. According to her Instagram, she’s a mother of three amazing kids, married to a handsome guy with incredibly beautiful hair.

She’s a yoga lover, new puppy owner, and a journalist at ABC news in Philadelphia. Erin, with the sunglasses. How’s it going? 

Erin: That’s great. Next time we have a podcast. I’m going to look 32. 

Dr. Bill: Awesome. Perfect. 

Erin: Now I just look like I got into a boxing ring fight. 

Dr. Bill: You totally did  well today, Erin, I have an amazing surprise for you because normally I’m the person you turn to for all your hypochondriac needs, but we have an amazing doctor that is very well traveled and well-versed in all different areas top to bottom of health and fitness and wellness and mindfulness. So today we’re going to be talking to Dr. Pedram Shojai The Urban Monk about his new book Trauma: Healing Your Past to Find Freedom Now and even cooler or equally as cool, the TV documentary series on Whole.tv.

A whole nine part series on trauma. So we’re going to discuss how trauma affects every part of your life. And then the stories of how these tragedies can turn to triumph hopes and survival. And so before we get into that, we’ll just get into our kind of quick quack tail segment. 

Erin: I can’t wait. I’m really excited.

Dr. Bill: Yeah. So each week we’re going to go into a specific miracle cure that in the past that turned out to be misinformation, a hoax or a methodical get rich quick scheme. And so a couple of things here is the Newsweek article is in the first world war. They started using treatment therapy, they call shell shock treatment.

And I’m curious to bring doc on and see what he has to say about that. You know, the shell shocking part of it and using shock treatment therapy, you be more specific because I’ve been shell-shocked before and it’s done some pretty amazing things for me. And explain how, what, in what way was it amazing?

Erin: That’s what I’m asking. When you say shell shocked, I don’t, it’s an expression. It’s an expression, right? So, yeah, but then these people have these hysterical attacks and then they started using shock therapy to help them. Well wasn’t that a scene in Requiem for a Dream… She was addicted to painkillers or diet pills or something, and they gave her shock therapy cause she went nutty.

Dr. Bill: Yeah. And actually I forgot about that movie. I gotta put that back up on the list. 

Erin: That’s a movie that every parent should show to their children when they’re at the appropriate age, because they will never touch drugs after seeing that movie. 

Dr. Bill: Totally agree. Or if you’re unloading Last Vegas, that was another one that you might want to watch if you’re trying to get kids out.

But it’s interesting because you went to the shock therapy then in the fifties when you got that kind of explosion of pharmaceutical companies coming in and trying to alter things that way. And then the next one is like, all right, well, I think we listened to I think Gweneth Paltrow, kind of made it.

Top of mind for this kind of micro dosing and tripping to help with anti-psychotic episodes. So maybe what we’ll find is that it wasn’t so quackery after all, maybe it was just the application of it and the way they were going about it, then. 

Erin: Wait, can you back up? What do you mean? The micro-dosing? I didn’t, I don’t like her, so I don’t pay attention.

Dr. Bill: Why don’t you like her? 

Erin: There’s so many reasons, and I know we’re on limited time, so let’s just move on. But can you just explain 

Dr. Bill:Like using LSD? Yeah. Small amounts of LSD and MDMA and ketamines and things like that.

Erin: I couldn’t do it. 

Dr. Bill:  That’s cause you do it recreationally. You just don’t like it. That it’s in a medical setting.

Erin: I did not.  I have never taken a real hard drug in my life because I’m  such a hypochondriac that I feel as though I would die the first time that I would take it.

 

Dr. Bill: Well, I’ll get you some better ones cause you can’t look. That’s stupid. I need you some good gear out there. All right. So we want to get to Dr.  here in a second, but before that, we have to talk about our sponsor, what an amazing sponsor this is. 

Erin: You know what I love about our sponsor? What’s the greatest, because actually I should say about the sponsor segment.

Yeah. The variety just keeps you coming back. Great episode. You wonder who is the sponsor this week? 

Dr. Bill: The mystery of the show. That is the mystery. Well, if you’re a hypochondriac and you’re worried that we’re going to change it on you, we are not, don’t worry. You don’t have to stress about this. 

Erin:  Yeah.

If you are free to be consistent, this is the podcast for you. 

Dr. Bill: Absolutely. So brought to you by our sponsor, BetrHealth.com because the owner and founder, the CEO doesn’t know how to spell. He spelled it. Betr health.com, a gut first food as medicine approach to whole person health. You know, there’s someone who thought that better health was a bit of quackery there, Erin back in the day.

But now, look at us now with over 25,000 members, strong, better health is a proven method to restore your microbiome control inflammation and quickly dial in what seemingly healthy foods. That’s a good one. Fiber contracts. What healthy foods may be holding you back right now. So through a delicious food protocol, coaching community, you’ll quickly gain insight and the empowerment to live a happier and healthier life starting from the inside out.

And not only that. But better health is trusted by over 40 different health plans CDC recognized to prevent or to delay type two diabetes. Truthfully, I’m super proud of that. So if you’re ready to break up with dieting points, fads and countless medications, and instead you’re ready to explore the power within to heal yourself.

Then go to BetrHealth.com and we’ll show you how to unlock your full health potential in just a few short weeks. It’s risk-free and guaranteed to make you a raving fan. Erin, you will be raving about it. Raving. Yes, you will be shell shocked. We’ll be so impressed by her dose after going through better health, just to go from the beautiful, delicious trauma that it is.

All right. So let’s get into our guest. I’m super honored. I consider him, in just a short period of time that we have met speaks to me or, and I hear him know how, like you would hear me when you were back in your dating days. Like I’d like, no, that’s not a good guy for you. He’s now somehow made his way into my head.

I hear him speaking to me all the time. I’ve been, I didn’t know there was any room left of all the voices with the nose. I always have that compartment up here that I can bring some matter down. It always makes sense. Face with this nose I have here. He is the author originally of The Urban Monk.

Pedram. Welcome to the show. My friend has to be here. 

Pedram: Hello.

Erin:  Hi. Nice to meet you. 

Dr. Bill:Or just listened to his voice a second. 

Erin: That’s why my voice changed after I heard him. 

Dr. Bill: I know. Yeah. Am I annoying? Ah, ha. And then he brings it up. Down and bring us all level. He was on clubhouse the other day and it’s like, I could hear myself speaking and then I heard him speak into my life.

I need to just shut up because people are probably like it sounds like your name says Dr. Bill. And I see a picture as a man, but you literally sound like a Jewish grandmother that smoked cigarettes for 40 years. 

Erin: That’s how I felt when I was dating.

Dr. Bill: 

So welcome to the show and the work you’re doing with trauma. Tell us about it. Tell us why you wrote it and what led to the series. 

Pedram: Yeah, because he said the recalls just cause a microdose every day

You should try it. 

I got a ton of friends that do that. Actually. I don’t because I don’t have the bandwidth for it, but I got a ton of friends who do that stuff regularly. And I agree Gweneth should not take credit for bringing it top of mind. I think there’s a lot of people that were the forefathers of this movement here in the States, through the sixties, Timothy, Larry, you know, Terence, McKenna, all these guys Gweneth just makes things cute and popular, but you know, God bless her. She’s helping a lot of people. 

Erin: So I wouldn’t go that far, you know? It’s okay. I get your point. I know. I just have a real thing against her, but it’s okay. 

Pedram:  Yeah, here’s the problem with the world we live in is we’re all at each other’s throats, because we’re all overflowing with trauma.

We are basically swallowing our pride. We are taking micro cuts. We’re having little T traumas, big T traumas, and trauma has added up to the point where people are going to explode. And to your point, doc, the reason I got into this mess was because I would, you know, I try to be a good doctor and someone would come in and we’d, you know, run a bunch of tests and diagnose and figure out what the hell is wrong with them and be like, great, good news.

We figured it out. It’s X, Y, and Z. And all you gotta do is one, two and three. And in a couple months you’re going to be a new man or, you know, you’re going to lose that weight or whatever it is. And. Then they wouldn’t do it. They wouldn’t do it. And you’re like, what the hell? I just, I took all this brainpower and all these labs and all this stuff that I put together.

When you asked me for help, I brought you your answer. What, why didn’t you show up? And nine times out of 10, there would be some form of underlying trauma, some cycle motional, crap. That was just under the surface that would get them to either self sabotage, to doubt themselves to not take action. And so, you know, you just came over here, you dropped X amount of dollars.

Over here with Dr. Smurf, we told you what to do and you didn’t do it. What the hell? Right. And so I became innately intrigued by this. Silent epidemic of trauma and the harboring of trauma about a decade ago in my practice. And then I, you know, I start writing books and doing films and doing all this stuff that I do.

And we did a lot of films on health and wellness and food and environment. And, you know, just all the stuff that, that, that there is to cover. But really the elephant in the room has always been. Trauma, because if you don’t feel well, if you feel like you’re exploding, if you don’t feel worthy, you don’t feel like you deserve to feel well.

You deserve to be thin. You deserve to have healthy skin and all these things. That’s not something kale is going to fix, man. Right. And so we decided to commission, but it’s been two years during a pandemic doing a 10 part series and writing a book on a subject matter that has become front and center for everybody, because thank you, COVID 19 now we’re all traumatized even further. Right. And so it’s been a hell of a journey looking at the different origins the emotional. Psychological societal forms of trauma and seeing how they show up and manifest in people’s lives, how it gets us to draw battle lines and have self-worth versus other, you know, so you know, that red team sucks.

Blue team sucks. They’re eating babies. They’re, you know, Killing immigrants and all this stuff that’s happened the last four years. There’s so much underlying trauma that we’ve all swallowed. That’s allowed us to become polarized as a society that myself and Nick , who’s one of the other founders of hold TV decided this was the next thing.

Right. And, and it’s a rough one, man. You should see some of the comments that kind of series comes out tomorrow and you should see the raging battles people are having about trauma. Like just a chat thread and stuff. I mean, people just are erupting with dis-ease when it comes to this type of subject matter.

It’s been fascinating for me to see.

Dr. Bill: I would say that what I wanted to start this episode with is to anyone who’s listening is every human being, including our children. Need to learn about the effects of trauma, because traditionally we’re waiting till trauma happens to try to deal with it. Versus what I, when I was going through the book, I realized that this is as much preventative, like this being aware of this before this happens, knowing that trauma is going to happen and is happening in our lives right now.

This is hygiene that we, we do not even think about. We think about teaching kids on brushing your teeth and taking showers and fitness exercises and some eating. Right. But we do not give them, equip them to handle the trauma. And it’s just, if you’re listening to this podcast, this is for everybody, because I think some people feel guilty of saying, well, I don’t have trauma because everyone has that to various degrees, like why wasn’t I Iraq? And I didn’t have this happen to me. And I wasn’t punched in the face and robbed. So I feel like everybody needs to center to the point that this is a hygienic need and I commend you for taking it on because I used to think taking on the microbiome and getting people healthy from the inside was the heart was a hard route, but I know it works.

It’s easier for me. I can do this. It happens quickly. I get my Pat on the back. How quickly when someone is starting to, you know, you’ve interviewed all these. Experts in, and you’ve put it into a methodology essentially where people can actually start to put these things into life. Action, how quickly you’re seeing people recover and taking these tragedies and traumas and tournament triumphs, like what is the pathway and the course to where they start to see something tangible?

Is it one day, two days a week months, what are you traditionally saying?

Pedram:You know, it’s this kind of quantum leap that happens where once you recognize and you retroverted, you turn back on things that happen very quickly.  And the decision happens in an instant. The healing could take five, 10 years. I mean, listen, we have people in the series who were raped by their dad and brothers for years.

I mean, Man, those are wounds that, you know, need a little bit more needed a little more time. Right. But to your point, the thing about the microbiome, and obviously, you know, that’s how you and I met, I did a 10 part series on the microbiome and it’s like, Holy crap, this is so fascinating. And it’ll change everything.

The reason why it’s easier is because the primary question people are asking, not necessarily because they want to be healthy, but because they want to be thin and get laid is what do I eat? Right. And so what do I eat has a foot in a door that’s already kind of swung open because everyone knows diet also has to do with, you know, a lot of things, right.

Obviously how you look and how attractive you are to the other sex, but also, or same-sex, but also how much energy you have, you know, how, how less crappy you feel. When it comes to inflammation and brain fog and all the things that you know are derailing people in their lives. And so everyone’s listening and you’re just talking about food and hopefully you’re, you know, replacing some bad food advice with some good food advice and it helps.

Right. Everyone’s thin, when you’re talking about trauma. I mean, yeah. I mean, like, look, if you’re a guy that, you know, had got shell shocked because a bomb went off in your barracks, it’s kind of obvious that you’re, you know, they rung your bell. Right. But most of us are like, nah, You know, my parents were fine, they fought a little, right.

And then we never really stopped to look back to see what it is that’s holding us back. And a big part of that has to do with, and this is, this could actually come full circle into psychedelics later, but a big part of that has to do with the way our culture is oriented. All around the aversion of pain.

I don’t want to feel pain. I want it to go away. Give me two Advil, give me a bottle of mine. Give me whatever it is to make this pain go away because I don’t like it. And what that does is it gets us to constantly drive further and further away from any little micro cut. Bigger small that has impacted part of our personality or our storefront, because we are pretending to be the person we think we need to be, to feel safe and 10 years ago.

And you know, I’m a hard kicking, you know, pretty rough and tumble martial arts guy, you know, 10, 12 years ago, you’d have these conversations with me and I’d be like bad, soft, right. And the more I got into it and the more I started to see the effects. Like the, the cancer, like effects of this repression of, you know, feelings.

The more I start to see all these things coming out, rattling out either whether it’s auto-immunity, whether it’s headaches, whether it’s addictive personalities, whether it’s just being a jerk in the lives of pretty much everyone I look at and then you have to become acutely aware of your microtraumas.

Like my dad didn’t beat me. Right. But as an immigrant you know, losing everything and coming over here, I’d get yelled at for not doing homework when I was done with my homework. And so it led to me pretending to be busy. Right. It led to me never being able to relax even as a monk. Right. I had all this training study with the Dalai Lama.

Here’s how you relax. But then I have a program in my head saying, you can’t relax, you loser. Right. And unless you get to the bottom of that crap, you’re always fighting yourself. And you’re spending all this energy, creating inflammation and setting yourself onto this path of turmoil. And self-destruction because you have these viral memes or mental programs that have been booted up usually by yourself to protect you against the traumas that you born when you were six or seven, that now dictate who you are and how you roll and how you present yourself to the world.

Right. And man, it’s, it’s become the, the kind of the, the monster behind every diagnosis I’ve seen clinically, right? It’s like, Holy crap. You know? Yeah. I mean, you get hit by a bus, you get hit by a bus that’s so that’s an acute trauma. And you go in and you mend your bones and you gotta fix that.

But you know, mom said this or the, you know, the cool girls didn’t want me to sit at their table and all that little stuff. Still there, man, unless you turn around and you deal with it. And I didn’t realize how important that was. Until I started doing a much deeper dive into the subject. 

Dr. Bill: Agreed. I feel like I took a thing called the landmark forum.

Are you familiar with landmarks? Yeah, but it really helped me quite a bit. And you’ll hear me say the expression to a lot of people, you know, you’re whole and complete with berries, that expression. So you can let yourself off the hook. And when I went and did that, one of the things that I came to grips with is that I was the guy that anytime you were out with me, I had to pay, you know, I just had to pay, I always had to pay.

And I’m like, of course, I’m like, well, then I’m a good guy, right? I’m just the guy that covers everybody and takes care of everybody. And my best friend Ryan once said, I’d said, he’s like, Yeah, but you never let me pay. So I never get to experience that, you know? And, and what is it about you that you feel you have to do that?

And that was like, What, why do I don’t have to do that? I just do it. And they’re like, no, I have to, there was something in me that whether it was my upbringing in New York, it was always about like, what are you going to do? Get ahead as fast as you can forget life. And you said in your book, and I thought about it, the bridge to happiness like your bridge, we’re bridging over the present.

And when I reached this, when I get a one chiropractic office successful, I’ll be happy. No, when I get four, when it gets seven and I had 35 and then. I lost it all. It went belly up on a Friday night. I got a call, Jim sh I was in these gyms. Right. And the gyms all closed overnight. And then I blame the universe for two years.

And then I took power back and said, no, this is my fault. I grew too fast. I had to be X. I had to be extra, extra good businessmen, extra this. And so I, I got present to that fact and it, I felt like that was the part you said it happened in an instant, there was a shift in an instant that I said, all right, I can just be present to that and know that that’s there and work to just be present to it.

And just being present to that of who I am. I’m curious, Erin, in your life, when you look back, the name of the podcast is quacks and hypochondriacs and yeah. We joke because Erin, you know, was like my little sister and she’s constantly calling me and saying, Hey, I got this bump on my arm or am I dying?

And what do you think, what kind of traumas lead up to that type of thought process? You’d have you looked into that Erin or thought about,

Erin: Well, yeah,  I mean, yeah, I’ve gone over this a lot. Not probably in a diligent enough way to understand it completely, but I definitely have, you know, reflected on childhood and my parents and things that have happened to me again, I don’t think anything that would call for a capital T, but I actually I’ll tell you what I think. And then I actually have a question, but, you know, I probably the biggest catalyst to my hypochondria was when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, because there, which happened when I was around 21.

Not that I’ve been very lucky with it. I mean, I don’t have any, I haven’t had symptoms in, I guess, more than 10 years close to 12 years, but for two years I was sick. Like I kept getting these episodes of being sick. And on the one hand I kept getting misdiagnosed because I was in college. So I would just go to the emergency room. And they would say, you know, you have an ulcer or you had a virus and it’s causing you to get sick. And they would just give me antibiotics and then send me home. And a couple of days later I would feel better. So I would try not to think about it, but then the next year I would have another episode and, you know, three months down the road.

And then when, the episodes kept getting closer and closer. I was in a lot of pain and I don’t think my, I honestly don’t think my parents believed me, like right away. Like they, they kept saying, stop making yourself sick. Now, this also had to do with the fact that my grandmother had been sick for a long time and they thought it was psychological.

I mean, I don’t really know. I haven’t died. I haven’t done the appropriate diving into it, but I knew there was something wrong. Cause I knew that wasn’t at 19 or 20, that’s not how you’re meant to felt like you’re not curled up on a couch, but it was almost like, you know, I had had like about with an eating disorder and I think that they probably tied those things together and then thought, okay, well stomach, this is her issue.

So, but then finally, when I was diagnosed, I guess I just started becoming afraid of the fact that my body wasn’t functioning the right way. And if I could have this I could have anything. And so I mean, listen, I’ve gotten a lot better. I think. I mean 

Dr. Bill:  You just called me like two minutes before the show started.

Erin:  That wasn’t a question about my health. It was a question about medication. 

Dr. Bill: Oh, got it. Okay. 

Erin: I’ll ask you about it, and I thought that both of you would be well equipped to answer the question, because I don’t think I need to be on it. 

Dr. Bill: Well, okay, well, we’ll just turn this into a tele-health session then.

Erin: Well, whenever you ask me to save it for the podcast forget it. I’m never calling you again. The point is

Dr. Bill: Take the sunglasses off, let’s talk about this. Take the sunglasses off, take your sunglasses off.  

 

Erin: Okay. Andlisten, if this has to do with some sort of trauma, if my childhood, why I did this, I already did it.

So please don’t tell me that it’s going to be detrimental in the future because then I will become really worried about it.  It looks worse than it is, but it’s gotten a lot better. So I had surgery two weeks ago and I had it, I got to put this back on.

Dr. Bill:  Tell us why you had it. 

Well, because all right.

So, because I was unhappy with the underneath my eyes because I was all 43 and I was all hollow and had all this extra skin from like, I think some of it’s genetics and some of it is a lot of running and cardio is what the doctors told me. So I, instead of doing right, you know, filler, because I’ve started hearing all these horrible things about filler.

Then I did the fat grafting underneath and it’s all bruised.

Dr. Bill: It’s going to get better. 

Pedram: Yeah. That’ll heal. 

Dr. Bill: I thought something, I thought he did something else. So that actually makes me feel much, much better. 

Pedram:  I was hoping to hear about a bar fight, this is boring. 

Erin: Oh no, no, no, no, no. I mean, listen, it was surgery, like it’s cosmetic surgery and I don’t, I’m not afraid to talk about it.

Like I feel better and I. Yes. I don’t like the bruising, but that’s going to go away. What I was afraid of is that you are both going to tell me, let’s dive deep into why you feel that you needed to have that surgery, which I’m sure as a whole other. Part of my life that I have to revisit at some point, but some of it’s just like, I, you know, I’m on TV and I feel like I wanted to look better, but I didn’t want to change the way I look.

Pedram: And there’s nothing wrong intrinsically with doing cosmetic work and, you know, looking better and feeling more beautiful. And, you know, frankly, if you’re on TV, that’s the asset, right. That people are looking at. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that. So long as it’s not tomorrow, I’m going to do this to my nose and next I’m going to do this to my eyebrows and constantly going and not feeling beautiful because of some voice that’s chirping, that’s saying you’re never good enough.

Right. And so that’s, you know, look, it’s, it’s all freaking trauma. So the question is how deep does it dig and how much does it lead to aberrant behavior and things that don’t serve you? Right. Intrinsically, I mean, look, we all. You know, I shaved my face. Right. Like there’s reasons to look okay. Right. For what we’re doing.

I actually have a different question. I’m sure you guys have jumped into this because of Dr. Ferro’s background, but did you grow up with a lot of hand sanitizer? Were your parents germaphobes? Did you have honey nut Cheerios? Like, you know what led to the ecology that led to crones and has that been teased out?

Erin:  No, I think, you know, food wise for the time, my family was actually pretty healthy. Like we never had a ton of processed foods. 

Pedram: Everyone else did.

Dr. Bill: Same here. I got enough. 

Erin: Yeah. Like  all my friends would get Doritos and like little Debbie Apple pies and be like, why can’t I get that? Like, I would get carrots and like a peanut butter sandwich.

I mean, the worst, the worst part of the diet was probably, you know, there was processed meat. Like, you know, we did cold cuts and I remember eating like liverwurst and stuff, but we weren’t, both my parents were fit. My dad exercised all the time. And my mom did too, not as intense, but she was always very, I mean, she was always very thin.

I will tell you that. And I’ve asked my doctor who originally diagnosed me about this. And he said they looked into it, but I don’t, I don’t believe that they looked into it fully. Apparently, you know, I went to an Catholic elementary school for three years. And then I went into a public school, but within that, my class or within like two of the three grades in that Catholic school, five girls all were diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when they were in their late teens, early twenties.

And so I asked if there was anything and listen, we’re not. I’m from upstate New York. So we weren’t far from Troy New York, which is, you know, that was a huge industrial area. And the Hudson River was… Is obviously what it is. So I asked for a while, has there been any environmental studies done? 

Pedram:  No, one’s going to look at that.

No, no one, no one wants to get sued. Those are things that they just look away from. Right. So it’s a very valid, very valid question. 

Dr. Bill: Probably the trauma of the Catholic school I’d imagine more. 

Pedram: Yeah.  Well, I mean, listen, I just heard a story about this.  You know, we’ve been tracking these stories and, you know, a number of girls, same kind of era, and it turned out there was one guy molesting them. All right. And that’s not what I’m insinuating here, but there are also very specific dark cycle, emotional triggers that can do that to a generation of girls or boys that have this noxious agent in the form of, in this case, a priest also doing things that set people off cycle emotionally, right?

So there could be, you know, arsenic in the water. There could be, you know, a psycho-emotional trigger that is, you know, obviously Averitt and disgusting and you know, any one of these traumas can set, see traumas, trauma in a lot of ways, the body will increase cortisol. It will increase inflammatory cascades.

It will move blood away from the prefrontal cortex. So then post-trauma, you’re not able to make rational decisions, higher moral decisions, have a harder time having a negation of impulses to say no to the cheesecake or no to the wrong guy and all that stuff. And then also just retaining weight, staying inflamed joints hurting makes it harder to exercise.

It makes it harder to do things because the brain is also inflamed. And so all of these mechanisms are the body. It kind of registers it in the same way. And so you’ll start elevating cortisol and you’ll start being in a, in a stress response. And that will rattle out either into Crohn’s disease or migraines or, you know, arthritis or, you know, GI upset.

And so the thing about trauma is it’s like all roads lead to Rome and whether it’s a physiological, you know, sexual predator or dad being a jerk, the body tends to respond in a very similar way. And you will start to see the, the chink in the armor where the diagnosis lands. But the underlying root of it is this kind of inflammatory thing of the body, not feeling safe in the body being in fight flight or freeze.

It’s freaking fascinating. It’s fascinating. You know, like I never learned this in med school, you know, and it’s going to point to a whole new type of medicine in the years to come because, you know, it’s like, ah, I go see a shrink. No, it is front and center. Part of a comprehensive therapeutic workup to figure out what psycho emotional, spiritual, or physical triggers are leading to the cytokine storms and these inflammatory cascades that yeah, we can do all these things to modulator, but how about taking, you know, the nail out of the foot, right.

And, and the nail out of foot is the trauma. The band aid is medicine. 

Erin: So I have a two part question. The the first one is I, when you were asking Dr. Bill about when you were talking about the difference between gut health and having a program that gets people to, you know, make different food choices, because obviously there’s a physical appearance, you know, part of this that it makes it easier to just have a lifestyle choice change, you know, there’s sort of one solution.

I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m just saying that it’s very. Like micro-focus on that I would think. And this, I guess is my fear about going into, you know, what happened to me in childhood or young adulthood? Is that the, when you talked about the pain and averting pain, like I can imagine that it’s very painful to revisit and find out what happened exactly.

Or a series of events that happened because. And this, this is me talking, but I’m sure this applies to other people. Like, I don’t really know if I want to find out that people who I really love in my life were somewhat in some way, responsible or triggered that trauma. Like there are certain things that I know about.

My family, friends that were not how I would want my kids treated, but at this point in my life, I’m kind of like, I don’t feel unhappy. I, you know, I have three kids. Is everything perfect? No, but do I really, at 43, want to look at my, you know, 70 something year old parents who’ve been through their own trauma and you know, I’ve had sickness.

My dad had had cancer. Like, do I really want to revisit that so that I have to now? Yeah. Come to terms of talking to them and knowing, and having that information available. That’s my right.

Pedram:  Yea, this is everybody’s right. So I appreciate you saying this. This is everybody’s. And so the question is, you know,  do I need to know the answer is yes.

And I’ll explain, why do I need to have some sort of come to Jesus? Like let’s punch dad for being a jerk and probably not, but maybe right. But you know, the real question is when that math starts to shift is when. You start to feel tired and finally go, huh? Maybe I should look in this backpack and see if there’s anything I can ballast.

And you realize that there’s, you know, 43 years with the rocks in there, that you are strong enough to carry. So you did, but then, you know, you turned your knee, you stubbed your toe, you know, it’s getting dark out and all of a sudden you’re like, shit, I’m tired of carrying this stuff. And you realize that once you start doing that, you realize that you’ve been carrying this weight.

And where could you be in, where could your life be? Where could your health be? Where can everything be? Had you not been carrying this backpack full of rocks and crap, and B what does the future look like now that you know, you’ve got all this weight on your back and how is the pain of staying the same greater or less than the pain of changing.

Right. And for most people it’s like, okay, Erin, we’re going to have an intervention. Turns out you’re an alcoholic. All your friends and family are here. It’s time. Right? You’ve got to change. And so, there’ll be an external intervention for some people where people are like, you know, in your life for like, you’re not doing this.

Right, right. Or you pick up an addiction problem, you pick up a weight problem. You pick up X, Y, Z problems. And that’s when it usually comes to light. And that’s when you know, that’s what the emergency room is for. It’s like when people are already bleeding out, your question is. How can we shift the sophistication of our culture, our medical models or psychological models to be like, Hey, let’s just pull these rocks out as we go so that we could live the fullest expression of our lives.

Be the mom, the wife, the news anchor, the, the, you know, superhero that you’re destined to be versus the person who’s getting by and feels okay. And just doesn’t have the energy. To look back because that pain feels yucky. I don’t want to, I don’t, I don’t really want to go there. I don’t really want to go there.

And eventually they catch up with us, right? The allegory is the guy who’s terrified of his shadow and just runs and runs in the faster he runs the, you know, the faster, the shadows in pursuit. And eventually he collapses under the shade of a tree and the shadow disappears and he realizes, you know, he’s been running from a shadow the whole time.

That’s allegory reality is we’re all just carrying these rocks around. And at a certain point, we got to put the damn thing down and be like, yo, I’m tired of dragging this. I’m tired of this. 

Dr. Bill:  And you had said in your book, the definition of trauma is unresolved pain, right? 

Pedram: For the most part. Yeah. I mean, there’s several definitions, but yeah,unresolved pain and, you know, undigested, emotional, spiritual, mental content that we have allowed to be there because we’re like, whatever, you know, the show must go on.

And eventually the show comes to a screeching halt because the weight of that outweighs. The momentum you have carrying yourself forward. Now, you know, you’re young, you’re healthy, you run, you do all these things at 43, you’re fine. Maybe at 53, that calculus changes. And you know, when do you start to see all this is when people’s vitality diminishes people’s energy output, their energy economics, their mitochondrial health, the toxic load versus microbiome, you know, LPs and all the things that start to flip the script.

And lead to inflammation winning then start manifesting his disease. And then the doctor shows up and starts throwing pills at you. And then, you know, 20 years later, you’re on five or six more pills and you know, other things start to rattle loose and break. And then all of a sudden you’re in your seventies and they put you in a home.

Cause you’re just a mumbling person who doesn’t really contribute to society. And can’t really think clearly and judges your grandchildren right. Welcome to, you know, America. So it’s something that we, you know, it’s like, Hey, listen, Advil and golf. Don’t worry about it. It’s not a model that’s going to continue to work.

Everything’s breaking. And so, you know, we’re right on the kind of the beach where all those, you know, realities are splashing up against each other in this conversation. 

Dr. Bill:  Yeah. I think that, I think Erin, to what you said is I think a lot of people probably feel that way. Like I know it’s there. I know this was an issue that maybe my mom or dad brought to the table or an aunt or an uncle there.

Erin: And do I really want to open it up and villainize them and then worry about how that’s going to affect my children. The way I always looked at it was here’s the bumping into each other that happens. And then there’s looking up and looking how everybody’s bumping into each other. And so rather than place blame on, you know, maybe the way my dad was early on, he was, you know, it was just very short tempered and not that he was physical, but it was very short tempered.

Dr. Bill:  You also grew up in a  Catholic household of eight brothers and sisters that were constantly fighting for attention and who’s going to be the funniest and had his own issues with his parents. 

So I just forgive everybody for the environment they find themselves in, but that doesn’t mean I put blinders to it either.

And then if I find that some of the things that they haven’t have gone unresolved, I still don’t let them spill over to me. So I have my own rules about how I engage with them, but I also, and I’m, but I’m also not that it’s not my job to put it in their face and say, you know, look what you did.

Right.

Erin: I think I’m to that point, I mean, I’m fairly self-aware of what, of what happened and how I was brought up. And some of the things that I’m really, really careful with that I don’t pass those traits parenting traits or styles onto my kids, or, you know, my friendships or marriage, but I guess there is a common, and this probably goes back to this is America kind of thing.

You know, one of the things that my parents have said to me and that, and this is probably a generational mantra as well, but, well, I guess you could say. Sit there and blame everybody for everything that you’ve become, or, but you’re an adult now and you can’t sit there and, you know, look at your childhood and use that as an excuse for why you’re an addict, why you’re broke, why you don’t have a job, why you’re fat.

And so. To me. I’ve always tried to say, yeah, yeah, that happened. It’s my responsibility to sort of like to move on. And I think, you know, Dr. Bill has known me for long enough that it probably all went into being like to excelling it’s things like to being 

Dr. Bill:  Extra you’re the best. No, this is the best I double dog dare you. That’s how you get injured. 

Erin: That’s how I got a concussion. My husband’s devil dare me to flip off the diving board.

Dr. Bill:  One dare. She shows her intelligence. She goes, absolutely not. I’m not falling for that dare thing again. Double dare what?

Erin: I have a special place for Mark Summers in my head. My heart. So, anyway, I don’t remember I was going with this, but I mean, I’m interested in learning more, I guess, just like you said, like change is scary. And I actually do have a question because I heard this from someone who is a psychologist, like a legal psychologist.

And she said to me, that changing your opinion or your view on something or your perspective on life or who somebody is or what kind of person they are like that kind of change has been shown to be physically painful for people. Do you believe that like I’ve told that to some people they’re like, I don’t think so.

Pedram: For some, I mean, you know, what else is physically painful? Surgery under your eyes hitting your head on a diving board, right? That’s it, that’s the thing we forget is that right. Life is already painful and we do a bunch of painful things and we inflict a bunch of pain on ourselves and hopefully not our kids and work.

Uh, you know, we’re just a hot mess. Stumbling forward trying to make the best of a situation. And so, and we do all of that in our aversion to an original pain that happened when we were five, six, eight, or whatever. And so here’s the dirty. Secret of all of it though, is the reason why it feels so painful to dig back and look at the past is because let’s just say here’s this event that happened in the past, back in the timeline.

And every time we think about it, we’re like, Oh, I don’t want that. So we project the opposite, the negative polarity of that energy, and we keep moving further and further away from it. We’re. Constantly putting more energy into the negative polarity of the original event, almost creating like a dynamo of energy.

So that by the time we’re in our forties and we look back, it’s just, it looks, it feels like a nuclear power plant of pain. Whereas the original event was just, some kid took your freaking ice cream, right. Or whatever it was, but we moved away and we’ve created so much energy around the bully thing that it is this huge balloon.

That feels like it’s going to explode when we pop. And when we turn back and look at it, it’s actually. It’s a lot more relief than pain. It just feels like pain psychologically. And so we avert it. And so, you know, and that’s why the reason I set out to do this series and write the book and do all the stuff that we did around this is because we are, it’s an epidemic because no one wants that.

Right. Erin doesn’t want that. Erin’s like, fuck it. I’m moving on. Like I got a family. I’m a pretty girl. I’m on TV. I’m done. Right. Like I could just keep going forward. And so. We went and asked the experts all around the world, what works and what has been working and what is actually healing. This I’m turning people into fully embodied, happy individuated people who are not being driven by their trauma.

And the answer is there’s a lot. There’s a lot. That’s com there’s EMDR, there’s psychedelic psychotherapy. There’s somatic therapies. Like it’s not, it used to be go sit there on some fricking couch and talk about your life for, you know, an hour and walk away 200 bucks less paid, and do that for eight years and make a little bit of progress, but basically just go and put salt on the wound.

The models have changed dramatically. It’s much more about building resilience and protective factors. Much more about bigging you up and giving you the energy so that the next time something comes, it just rolls off you instead of hitting you on the chin and then giving you enough vitality and momentum to face it and be like, damn, I’ve been holding on to this for 35 years.

And it’s gone now. Right. And so it’s just, the models have changed dramatically. The healing and the modalities around it have changed dramatically, except, you know, we just it’s like, it’s like going to the dentist, it used to be, they would just like, hold you down and shoot some crap in your face and yank out the tooth.

And it was incredibly traumatizing. And you go fast, forward 20 years. My wife’s a dentist. You look at dentistry now and you know, they anesthetize much better. Their tools are much better. It’s not nearly as traumatic. It just registers as trauma. So everyone is terrified of the dentist, right? And so things have changed, but our perception of those things have not changed.

And that’s also something that, you know, I’m trying to bring to light here is, you know, Dealing with trauma isn’t just sitting there and being like, okay, I’m going to go blame my past and be this like, you know, sucky person who’s blaming, you know, all of my issues on my past. So therefore I’m just going to sit here and collect a welfare check.

That’s bullshit. What it means is I’m going to digest and metabolize my past so that I can be the. Incredibly human that I’m destined to be, and I’m going to stop getting in my own way and I’m going to continue to grow. And I’m going to be an example of this for my children and the generations to come, because I want to be the grandmother.

Who’s skiing with them when I’m 95. Right. And so there’s a whole perspective change that needs to come in. How we look at all this as well. 

Dr. Bill:So the listeners  come through this, I’m trying to, I want to give them a pathway when they get to your information, when they get to your docu-series and your book that they’re ready to receive.

And so. As you know, my line of work, I’m always like, I can just start with the physiology first. I can start giving them food and water and I get the internal physiology in a state of disease. And although there also takes some psychology to get them to start that process. Usually I harnessed what you said earlier is the fact that one day they looked in the mirror and said, all right, I’m just tired of being fat.

Or I’m just tired of feeling unattractive. There’s a motivation to get them to start what I do or the other motivator is, as you said, avoid pain. Like, wait, you’re going to have to start going on insulin and jabbing yourself. So I kind of use those to get them to start. Then I give them the step-by-step, give them the coaching and the resources to get the physiology straight.

Then I have this great 30 days, they lose all this weight. They feel really good, but I know those other traumas that unresolved pain and trauma creeps back in and when stress happens and that’s what pulls them off every single time. So from a physiology perspective or practice perspective what is the first couple of practices that they can do on top of the easy, which is the physiology and the nutrition part. Is it meditation? What would you put into practice so that they’re ready to receive and actually utilize the knowledge you give them to, you know, uncover all this. 

Pedram: Yeah. I mean, one is to just look at some of these stories, to these horrific stories that these people share and look at the person who’s sharing it and see the transformation and be like, Holy crap.

If they could do it. I can do it right. One of the things that to me has become Holy grail level medicine has been this discovery of the NF-kappa B pathways and how mind body practices, QiGong, Tai Chi, meditation, yoga, all these things suppress these genetic pathways. Basically, if they invented a drug that did this, it would be the blockbuster drug because it suppresses cytokine expression at the highest level.

Physiologically, which basically is the root of all chronic disease. Right. But we can’t put her in a pill maybe, maybe. So maybe in a decade we can, but we absolutely know without a doubt what works and the problem is, Oh man, I got to do something. Yeah. It’s the mind body practices all suppressed. This NF-kappa B pathway.

They suppress cytokine expression and they help the body reduce inflammation. Meditation yoga mind, body practice, all of those things, which also nip at the bud, the pathway that leads to the trauma and the memories of trauma and emotional trauma escalating through them and keeping you out of your prefrontal cortex.

So if you’re not doing that kind of stuff, it’s like. You’re not flossing. If you’re not flossing, you’re going to get cavities. Sorry. We’ve proven this. Right. So you just have to have a mental, spiritual hygiene practice that helps suppress that pathway. And then, you know, the, the other pathways that get triggered are, you know, the H you know, the ACE two pathways, and there’s other things that will happen with these types of practices, NRI pathways, which will help increase Glutathione synthesis, detoxification pathways and help your body just get the boost it needs in this toxic world. We know that mind, body practices just do that, but everyone’s like, Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I heard about that. You know, what can I eat? What can I take? Right. And, and we’ve been subjugated to this external stimulus model of something from outside having to fix me.

And we have relegated the internal nexus of control to realize that we can be the master of our own destiny. By understanding our mind is what’s causing this problem. Right? And so that to me is like a fundamental flaw in the operating system of our society. Not understanding that. And advertisers don’t want you to understand that because then you can just keep buying their stuff for the big pharma.

I mean, look, look at the stock market. Right. And so. That right there is, you know, the dirty laundry behind the whole damn health and wellness industry is, you know, here take this thing to fix you, whereas it’s about changing your mind and healing yourself and turning in words and becoming good with yourself.

So I think that’s a big part of it. And, you know, there are other external motivating factors. We start talking about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It’s like, Hey, I want to, you know, I want to feel safe. And then I want to feel attractive. I want to attract a mate. I want to procreate like just the animal stuff.

Right? And most advertising in 90% of society lives on that level of feel safe, get laid, right. Feel safe, get laid. And that’s where, you know, diets and all that kind of stuff come in. And it talks to that part of the brain. And if we’re not evolving past that part of the brain. Then that’s all we care about.

And then we just get stuck in these loops of like, Oh my God, I’m five years older. And I got a wrinkle here and you know, it’s just, it keeps you in this vicious cycle of being a deteriorating depreciating asset. Right. Whereas I want to be a grandpa with smile wrinkles. Right. I want to be a great grandpa, with more smile wrinkles. And I want to be that guy as a patriarch for my children’s children’s children that, you know, holds down wisdom and shares love and ages beautifully. And that has a lot less to do with Maslow’s hierarchy and more with the human things of letting go of trauma and metabolizing life’s experiences and becoming a more loving, compassionate person who’s, you know, dedicated to service and family. So there are operating system issues that we need to face because our medical model is basically a mash unit that throws Quaaludes at unhappiness and throws steroids, that inflammation, hello, healthcare crisis. We understand this. 

Dr. Bill: Yeah.

And of all your practice. So now you did this doctor series and wrote the book. It sounds like you’re actually incredibly excited with the fact that you watched some people with some really heavy, heavy traumas actually makes some astounding results. So for the rest of us, Doing a little bit of this could have some really dramatic and quick effects.

And if all of the practices that you do on a daily basis, if you had, if you were forced to give them up, give up all, but one, what would be that one practice that would just you’d say, there’s no way this is an alley able, this is a, you know, I know all of them mean something to you, but what would be that one practice that you would say start here or at least master this and for you as most important?

Pedram: Yeah, for me it would be QiGong, it’s just how I’m wired. It’s the coordination of eyes, mind, body, and breath. And it’s an easier form of meditation for me because I’m still doing something. But what I’m doing is watching what I’m doing. And it becomes like a feedback loop that calms my mind down. I was an ADD kid, you know what I mean?

And now I can sit and meditate for hours, but I couldn’t do that before. Right. And so I learned how to do that through practices that have taught how to do that for 6,000 years stuff works, right. This stuff works. And so QiGong is my path. Right, but I just, I wanna make a point about, you know, the, the last point real quick is I have a girlfriend who wanted to be interviewed for this series.

Nice girl, you know, well to do here in Deer Valley knows all the high mocha mocha, billionaires. And, you know, as part of the social scene, just a nice person. I’m like you. And she’s like, yeah, I have a story I want to share. Right. And I mean, this poor girl was just repeatedly raped by her dad and her brothers.

And it was suppressed by the Mormon church. And just like, after hearing the stories, it’s just like, there’s not a dry eye in the room and everyone’s just like, Holy crap, what atrocities, but then it’s just like, wait a minute. How are you? Happy. Right? Right. Like how are you such an amazing, delightful, glowing human being now that I know about all this crap you’ve been through.

And that to me is like the alchemical elixir of this trauma formula is when you could learn to see it, feel it, heal it and transmute it and transform it. She’s now living this amazingly big life of service and helping girls around the world. It is just a light. In the darkness she turned her pain into, you know, this unbelievable life of service and joy and, and just gratitude and all sorts of things where it’s like, I see stories like that.

And I’m just like, yeah. You know, I, okay. Okay. And listening, right. Like, you know, tell me what you did. Right. And she did. And you know, I’m not, I don’t want to spoil this series or anything, but there are ways to heal. And they’re not as hard as living the life that you’re living right now is really the moral of the story.

Dr. Bill: Awesome. Well, I signed up. I hope I get my text tomorrow cause tomorrow launches the series. 

Pedram: Tomorrow 9:00 PM. Eastern episode one goes live. And then what we do for our series and our kind of give back thing is, you know, I spend a couple of million making these things, but because we want to share them humanitarian wise, you know, far and wide is we screen them for free for the whole nine days.

First thing is, you have 24 hours to see every single one of them for free, share them with your friends, help people, help people. And then enough people end up subscribing and buying our stuff, which keeps us in business. We can keep doing what we do, but you know, we’ll have hundreds of thousands of people watching this and sharing it and helping friends with it.

And you know, to me, that, that feels good. 

 

Dr. Bill: You’ve done some amazing docu-series. I mean, it’s like for me, it’s geeked them. I’m just constantly, you know, all the people you’ve interviewed. One of my friends, Pat Contempo is here. I honestly feel like there’s going to be your best work ever, just because of the overall impact and obviously timing and whatnot.

So, Erin, I’m going to let you close this out here, cause I just, first of all, want to say thank you so much for giving us your time, your wisdom and, and just, you’re an amazing man and very blessed that you came into my life and thank you, Erin. I’ll let you take off your sunglasses and close us out.

Erin:  No, I’m not going to take off my sunglasses, but yeah, thank you. Because I think what’s so great about the TV series and how you’ve managed to make it accessible to so many people is I can imagine that there’s a certain amount of the population that thinks meditation that mind, body connection, healing yourself from acknowledging trauma in the past is very much a privileged exercise because there are so many people who have had trauma in the past and continue.

To have trauma now. And you know, it shouldn’t be something that is a result of privilege. It should be something for everyone. So I think that if. We like the, both of you said, treat it as hygiene. It shouldn’t just be people who have a job and live in a nice neighborhood who can brush their teeth. It should be everybody.

And so I think we have to get out of the mindset and maybe I’ll have to revisit my feelings. I’m Gwenyth Paltrow, but one of the reasons I take issue with her sometimes as I feel as though her practices and what she says are just very elitist and out of touch, let them eat kale. Yeah, I just, and anyway, I think what you’re saying, and your message is just relevant to everyone.

And I hope that everyone has the opportunity to watch the series, to read your book and to understand that they’re deserving of happiness regardless of what’s happened to them in the past. 

Dr. Bill: And remember that these modalities came from ancient people with no means it’s the irony of the whole thing, right.

Pedram: It costs nothing to breathe. And so, you know, and listen, Gweneth is trying to serve a subset of the population that he can hear her and needs it. And God bless her for doing it. And, you know, we also have people that are teaching this stuff in prisons and we have there, there are different people speaking to different avatars.

The moral story is this shouldn’t be a privilege thing. This should be every human thing. And. One of the things that we’re seeing is that it’s much more of an epidemic in the lower socioeconomic classes because they don’t have access to any tools and they are, you know, hurt people, hurt people. And so they’re inflicting a lot more trauma within their own ranks and on the populations.

And you see it kind of ripple into the, so I’m dealing with people who are teaching this stuff in prisons, I’m teaching you know, I’m dealing with people who are teaching this in Indian villages. There are too many places to look, you know, for where trauma is being inflicted and perpetuated, but it all starts with us becoming aware and trauma informed and then realizing where, you know, the buck stops here.

And whether, you know, I’m coming from my trauma, whether I’m inflicting further trauma, it’s a personal responsibility thing to not overflow. And infect others with these traumatic demons or, you know, viruses that have been, you know, put into us, it’s on us to heal it so that the buck stops. 

Dr. Bill: Absolutely.

Well, thank you so much, doc. We really appreciate you and we can’t wait to see the series and thank you so much. 

Erin:  Thank you. 

Pedram: Thank you, both .

Dr. Bill:Erin my dear. 

Erin: Yes. 

Dr. Bill: Okay. So I just want the podcast world to realize that I, in no way reflect the same feelings, for Gwenyth as Erin O’Hearn. I love you Gwenyth.

Erin: I feel like I’m going to get a call from her saying, why don’t you come on my podcast and tell me to my face… Why do you hate you so much? I don’t hate her. I just, you know, it’s more of, it’s more injust 

Dr. Bill:Yeah. So thanks for joining us today, Pedram and again, everyone listening, go get his book. It’s available on Amazon. Also go check out the Whole.tv. So first series on trauma. Erin. I know we learned a tremendous amount today.

So if everybody liked the show, please be sure to rate us review or subscribe, all the things that help us find you the shows on the next episode comes out and don’t forget to visit BetrHealth, B E T R health.com. This episode was edited and produced by Earfluence with Erin O’hearn, Dr. Bill Ferro. We’ll see you next time on Quacks and Hypochondriacs podcast.

Full Episode Transcript

Check out Pedram’s new series Trauma on Whole.TV.

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Quacks and Hypochondriacs is hosted by Dr Bill Ferro and Erin O’Hearn, and is produced by Earfluence.

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