Dr. Doni Wilson struggled for decades to solve her numerous health issues and heal her body. With focused determination, she healed herself and in doing so, discovered the Dr. Doni Stress Recovery Protocol ™. On this show, you’re going to hear from Doctors, nutritionists, and experts along with Dr. Doni who will give practical advice and wisdom to help you heal your body. This is How Humans Heal!
#188 How Psilocybin Microdosing can Reset our Nervous System with Aya Allison
In today’s episode, I’m speaking with coach and educator Aya Allison, who specializes in psilocybin microdosing. We’ll be talking in depth about microdosing—what it is, the science behind it, the latest research in this emerging area of psychedelic medicines, and practical guidance for those considering exploring it as an option.
I’m so excited to be digging into this conversation with Aya, who is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in guiding clients through psilocybin protocols safely and effectively. As a mindset coach and microdosing specialist, she is perfectly positioned to provide the public with much-needed education and support around integrating plant medicines into mental healthcare regimens.
Given the overwhelming crisis of anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric conditions we currently face—not to mention a general disconnection from our true selves and nature at large—I believe we need every tool at our disposal. Psilocybin and other entheogens clearly have tremendous potential for healing individuals and our society as a whole if used consciously. I’m thrilled we get to have this discussion today.
The Growing Interest in Psilocybin Microdosing
First I ask Aya to explain more about the growing interest and use of microdosing she's seen lately. She traces when folks started asking her about tiny doses of mushrooms back around 2014-2015, as underground chatter increased among plant medicine circles.
Lately more and more people struggling with mood problems have been learning about microdosing magic mushrooms to find relief because meds and therapy haven't helped them.
Instead of just getting diagnosed and taking meds with bad side effects, they want to try a natural route of using tiny doses of mushrooms to transform their inner world for the better. Many come to Aya first to learn about this approach and see if it's a fit before moving forward. They have worries about safety, laws, amount to take, and what results could realistically be.
Most of all, Aya stresses the importance of fighting ignorance by equipping these psychologically vulnerable yet curious folks with the best knowledge available, empathic support, and community belonging. Random experimenting without proper plans or watching could risk bad outcomes and waste this healing opportunity.
The Mental Health Emergency
Looking more at why people are considering this, we talk about the total failure of Big Pharma medicine to fix the worsening mental health epidemic with mood disorders, suicide risk, disability, and general disconnect from one's self. This is a crisis everywhere. In America alone,
1 in 5 adults now live with a diagnosable condition; youth depression/anxiety has climbed over 50% since 2020, signaling an alarming future trend if we don't respond effectively.
Yet standard treatments fail most people. Psych meds temporarily reduce symptoms at best before 80% relapse within a year, finding their illness even harder to treat after stopping/re-starting them multiple times. Talk therapy changes thinking patterns but doesn't fundamentally transform someone's core being.
Clearly a giant gap exists between where we stand today and people living fully whole, happy, peaceful lives no longer dependent on substances or counseling to feel sane, self-love, meaning, and fulfillment.
This is exactly the promise of plant medicine like magic mushrooms used wisely under care - to reconnect us with our natural power to heal and feel alive inside. Aya says it helps dissolve the make-believe walls that make us feel separate and sick - so we can remember we are naturally well and whole already.
Aya's Personal Journey with Psychedelics
When asked what called her to explore this view 7 years ago, she shares bravely about her past battles with heavy depression - planted by childhood trauma and running in her family - which regular medicine failed to fix.
Feeling skeptical yet desperate, as a last hope she courageously turned to
#187 How Gratitude Can Change Your Life with Dr. Doni
In this episode, I discuss the profound healing power of gratitude while providing practical, evidence-based guidance on how you can cultivate it daily, even in the these modern stressful times. I am a burnout expert and I can guide you to recover from stress while in that mix of stress, and that's one of the key differences about what I teach and what I help my patients to do when I help them to recover from whatever health issue they're experiencing.
Understanding Stress and Its Impact on Health
The various sources of stress we're exposed to—emotional, physical toxins as stresses, infections and injuries—cause the symptoms and health issues we experience. So the best way to reverse those health issues is to reverse the impact of stress.
To do that, we first need to understand how stress is affecting you uniquely. For this, we need to first fond out your stress type.
I developed a quiz called the Stress Type Quiz. I'll put the link so you can take that in case you haven't already discovered your stress type. By knowing your stress type, we can understand how stress is impacting your cortisol and adrenaline levels, which are the stress hormones made by the adrenal glands.
Understanding how stress has disrupted your cortisol and adrenaline, we have one key piece of the puzzle of solving the impact of stress on your system and how we can then optimize cortisol and adrenaline to get you recovered from stress even if you are still of course—most all of us are still in the midst of stress day in and day out because we're humans, and humans are exposed to stress constantly.
Stress is inevitable, but recovering from it is possible. It's not about avoiding all the stress; it's about helping us to recover from stress. But we have to individualize your approach to recovery from stress based on exactly how stress has caused imbalances in your body, mind, nervous system and so on. Understanding each person's unique stress response is key.
Stress causes imbalances in our cortisol levels. And when you have imbalanced cortisol, that's what ends up causing the health issues, and we know that when people have optimal cortisol levels they live longer because they have less health issues. So we all should be aiming for optimal cortisol levels.
The Healing Power of Gratitude
Where does gratitude come into play with this? The way I think about gratitude is it's one of the tools we can use to help us recover from stress and actually one of the cool things about gratitude is that it works for all the stress types. Gratitude is really a healing medicine. It literally is a medicine that you can access within yourself without having to swallow a pill, without
having to pay for anything. You can access it at any moment in time 24 hours a day and anywhere you're located. Gratitude is accessible, free, and available anytime.
There are so many studies showing over and over again that it can help us not just mentally and emotionally, and I'm gonna be talking about that in detail. It can help us on a physical level. Amazingly, there's quite a lot of research on it.
Gratitude helps in both emotional and physical ways. The research supporting gratitude is substantial.
The Science Behind Gratitude
Gratitude helps to stimulate dopamine levels, which gives us the ability to think and make decisions and enjoy. It's also connected with reward and pleasure so we want to have adequate dopamine. Dopamine is key for brain power, reward, pleasure and enjoyment.
· Gratitude also increases serotonin, one of our calming neurotransmitters.
· It increases oxytocin, which is what we usually think of as a bonding hormone or the love hormone.
· I think about oxytocin as one of our anti-stress hormones.
So gratitude boosts our bonding hormone oxytocin, an anti-stress hormone, as well as serotonin. So how wonderful that we can with practicing gratitude boost our anti-stress hormone oxytocin as well as endorphins in general, which are also anti-stress
#186 Transform Anxiety to Resilience with Dr. Traci Potterf
In this illuminating conversation, I had the pleasure of speaking with functional medicine practitioner Dr. Traci Potterf about the power of holistic healing for anxiety. She and I have both been helping people with anxiety and burnout in general for many years, so this was a perfect opportunity to see how our approaches align and overlap.
Dr. Traci Potterf holds a PhD in Medical Anthropology and is a functional medicine practitioner with extensive training in mind-body therapies. She describes herself as an "anxiety detective" helping clients get to the root causes of anxiety.
Dr. Traci teaches people to understand anxiety as the body's cry for help, not a personal failing or something you must accept lifelong. Her multifaceted, individualized programs help clients address anxiety through nutrition, lifestyle “makeovers”, stress resilience practices, and nervous system healing.
After healing her own health challenges, Dr. Traci was inspired to support others on their journey to wellness. She is passionate about illuminating the path to joy, meaning, and possibility by merging ancient wisdom, emerging science, and the magic inherent in every human.
Reframing Anxiety as a Health Messenger
Anxiety exists on a spectrum, ranging from tension and muscle tightness to full-blown panic attacks. At the physical level, symptoms may include jaw clenching, gut issues like constipation or loose stools, headaches, insomnia, hormone imbalances, heart palpitations, and more.
Mentally, anxiety manifests as excessive worry about hypothetical future scenarios, catastrophizing, ruminating on negative possibilities, and feelings of being completely overwhelmed.
Our conventional medical system has wrongly pathologized anxiety as a genetic brain defect requiring medication. But humans lived for thousands of years without widespread anxiety disorders. Anxiety is simply the body's smoke alarm signaling that something is out of balance in the inner or outer terrain. The nervous system is saying "ouch" in the only way it knows how.
Rather than immediately medicating to silence the nervous system's signals, we must approach anxiety as a teacher. It provides an opportunity to tune into the body's wisdom and discover what requires healing. Trying to ignore or override anxiety without addressing the root issues provoking it is like disabling a smoke detector while your house burns down.
How Modern Life Impacts Our Nervous System
With our epidemic of chronic stress and toxicity in the modern world, most people now live with some level of anxiety. Here are several contributing factors:
· Diet high in processed foods, sugars, chemicals and industrial seed oils provokes inflammation throughout the body and brain. This impairs cellular functioning, hormone regulation, detox processes, and neurotransmitter balance.
· Dehydration prevents optimal delivery of nutrients and removal of toxins. Lack of structured, energized water also reduces the voltage that powers energy flow.
· Toxins like heavy metals, mold, infections from pathogens like Lyme, and EMFs directly disrupt the nervous system. They derail neurotransmitters and damage tissues.
· Trapped emotions and unprocessed pain or trauma from the past remain stuck in the nervous system and bodily tissues if never addressed. This perpetual loop feeds anxiety.
· Sleep deprivation and constant overstimulation from electronics disrupt natural biorhythms needed for health like cleansing cycles. This stresses physiology.
· Negative thought patterns like excessive self-judgment keep us feeling unsafe and on high alert. The mind perceives threats everywhere.
· Social isolation and lack of community fails to meet our core human needs for belonging and intimate connection. Lack of oxytocin and bonding creates distress.
· Suppression of innate human needs for pleasure, joy, play, and meaning leads to loss of purpose. Without a felt sense of meaning, anxiety brews.
Even with genetic susceptib
#185 Beat Burnout and Recover Faster by Knowing Your Burnout Type with Dr. Doni
In this episode, I want to thoroughly cover the signs of burnout, the different types of burnout patterns, and most importantly, how you can recover based on your unique individual burnout type.
I'm passionate about this work because I've been through burnout myself multiple times and had to figure out how to recover. Stress is a part of life - but with the right tools you can feel energized and empowered instead of depleted.
Now I've made it my mission to guide others through the step-by-step process of overcoming burnout and coming back to vibrant health. It's deeply gratifying to help people get their lives back after years of merely surviving.
What Is Burnout?
Burnout is a condition defined as chronic stress leading to emotional, physical and mental exhaustion. The key signs of burnout include lack of energy, anxiety, poor sleep, trouble focusing, and various physical symptoms.
The term burnout has been loosely used for many years, but it has recently been officially defined as an occupational phenomenon by the World Health Organization. However, there is still a stigma attached to experiencing burnout or other mental health issues related to chronic stress.
I want to emphasize that burnout can happen to anyone, at any age, whether you have a job/career or not. All generations go through periods of burnout, but recent studies indicate that Gen Z (born 1997-2012) reports the highest rates of burnout at 91%, compared to other generations.
Why are Younger Adults More Susceptible to Burnout?
There are several potential reasons behind this:
· Going through the pandemic during critical developmental years
· Entering the workforce post-pandemic with less experience interacting in-person
· Fears over job stability and finances
· Tendency to overwork and not establish boundaries
· Less life experience coping with high stress
However, while burnout may be more prevalent among Gen Z currently, it's important to understand it can happen to anyone when stress is unmanaged over long periods without adequate recovery. The chronic stress response takes its toll on the body and mind.
That’s why recognizing the signs of burnout within yourself is so important.
5 Key Areas When Identifying Burnout
1. Energy Level - Do you feel like you have very low energy? Difficulty getting out of bed, needing naps, relying on caffeine to get through the day can indicate compromised energy due to burnout.
2. Mood - Is your overall mood lower? Are you unable to enjoy activities you used to find pleasurable? Do you feel unmotivated, apathetic, sad, or excessively worried? This can manifest as anxiety, depression or other mental health issues.
3. Sleep - Have you noticed your sleep is disrupted? Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, waking early, or insufficient sleep are common signs of burnout.
4. Focus - Are you unable to focus or concentrate like you used to? Do you experience brain fog, distracted thinking, or an inability to complete tasks? Focus and cognition are impaired.
5. Physical Symptoms - Look out for any of the following physical symptoms as potential signs of burnout: headaches, stomach upset, muscle aches, skin issues, hormonal imbalances, difficulty conceiving, susceptibility to illnesses (HPV positive, abnormal pap), or increased inflammation and pain.
How Chronic Stress Leads to Burnout
When we encounter any type of stressor (emotional, physical, or toxic), our body’s natural response is to release cortisol and adrenaline - our primary stress hormones. This stress response is very adaptive and helpful for short bursts of stress or dangerous situations.
However, when stress is constant, and/or traumatic, and we don’t get adequate recovery, our stress hormones can become depleted or imbalanced. Our adrenal glands that produce cortisol and adrenaline struggle to keep up with the high demand.
Sometimes this is referred to as “adrenal fatigue” or dysautonomia. I prefer to use the term “adrenal d
#184 Unlocking The Power of Quantum Healing with Dr. Catherine Clinton
In today's episode, I'm excited to be speaking with Dr. Catherine Clinton, a naturopathic doctor who has been practicing for over 15 years. She is an expert in quantum healing and quantum biology.
Dr. Clinton's Extensive Background in Natural Medicine
Dr. Clinton has always taken a holistic, natural approach in her practice. She focuses on helping patients understand how reconnecting with nature can support healing from a wide array of health conditions. These include autoimmunity, mental health issues, gastrointestinal disorders, hormone imbalances, infections, autoimmunity, anxiety, depression, migraines, and more.
Even from a young age, Dr. Clinton was drawn to natural medicine and fascinated by the body's innate capacity to heal itself. She decided to become a naturopathic doctor because she wanted to get to the root causes of health issues, not just treat superficial symptoms.
Throughout her career, Dr. Clinton has continued learning about new holistic modalities while also studying ancient healing systems like Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. She believes we need to honor the wisdom of indigenous cultures that understood the intimate relationship between humans and nature.
Dr. Clinton's clinical expertise combined with her passion for bridging ancient wisdom and modern science makes her perfectly suited to explain the emerging field of quantum biology. She has a gift for synthesizing complex concepts into accessible language for patients and students alike.
An Introduction to the Field of Quantum Biology
So what exactly is quantum biology? In essence, quantum biology examines biological processes through the lens of quantum physics. It looks at how quantum phenomena like entanglement, tunneling, and coherence affect living systems.
Quantum physics evolved out of remarkable discoveries in the early 20th century that revealed the strange, almost mystical world of subatomic particles. In this quantum realm, regular physics do not apply. Particles can exist in two places at once. They can also remain connected over long distances in ways that defy our normal understanding of space and time.
For a long time, quantum phenomena were only thought to occur under tightly controlled lab conditions at extremely cold temperatures. But quantum biology explores how life hijacks these bizarre quirks of the quantum world to enable its amazing feats.
Some key topics within the field of quantum biology include:
· The role of electron flow in facilitating biochemical reactions. Rather than simple games of chance, evidence suggests finely orchestrated energy exchanges.
· How water inside the body structures itself to support health. Certain molecular configurations of water provide an optimal "terrain" for cells.
· The impact of vibration, frequency, and resonance on biological functioning. Our cells and tissues tune into various frequencies that modulate their activities.
· The interconnected nature of physiological systems. The old mechanistic view of separated bodily systems is giving way to models of intertwined communication and feedback loops.
· The influence of our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs on our biology through mechanisms we are only beginning to grasp.
Researchers are discovering that living organisms exploit quantum effects to enable biological processes. Quantum biology reminds us that we are energy beings embedded in a web of energy. It reveals the constant interplay between our external terrain and internal terrain.
As pioneers in this emerging discipline, we must tread carefully to build on empirical science without veering into pseudoscience. Quantum biology holds great promise to expand the boundaries of health and healing for all of us.
The Critical Importance of Structured Water in the Body
One particular area of focus in quantum biology is structured water inside the body. Dr. Clinton has studied extensively the pioneering work of Dr. Gerald Pollock from the University of Washing
#183 Meditation: The Complete Guide to Unlocking Its Life-Changing Benefits with Dr. Doni
In today’s episode, we’re going to fully explore the profound practice of meditation. I’ll explain what meditation is, the vast scientific research validating its benefits, and provide an in-depth guide to incorporating meditation into your daily self-care routine.
Regular meditation practice has been shown to reduce stress, increase happiness, improve health, and transform one's life in countless positive ways. By learning to quiet the mind and be present, you can tap into this amazing mind-body medicine free of charge. So let’s dive deep into the what, why, and how of meditation!
What is Meditation?
Let’s start with the basics – what is meditation? Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention completely on the present moment in order to settle and calm the mind. It falls under the larger umbrella of mindfulness, which involves maintaining awareness of your experience in the here and now.
With meditation, the goal is to clear your mind from its usual frantic pace of thoughts about the past and future so you can be fully present. This creates mental space to process emotions, access deeper parts of yourself, and become more attuned with your mind and body.
On a biological level, meditation induces shifts in your brain waves from the activated beta waves of normal waking life to slower alpha and theta brain wave patterns. Alpha waves are the bridge between conscious focus and deep relaxation where you are awake but very calm and centered. Theta waves tap into the subconscious mind and are restorative for the nervous system.
Other brain frequencies like delta and gamma may also arise during deep meditation. Being able to move your brain waves between these different states gives you greater control over your state of consciousness.
The more you meditate, the easier it becomes to access a meditative state of mindfulness as you go about your day.
The Science Validating the Benefits of Meditation
Now that you understand the state of being meditation facilitates, let’s explore the vast scientific research revealing its profound benefits for both mental and physical health. Study after study continues to show that meditation dramatically improves wellbeing on multiple fronts.
First, meditation has been proven to enhance mental health in significant ways:
· It effectively reduces anxiety and lifts mood. Meditation calms the nervous system and has been shown to be as effective as medication and therapy for treating anxiety and depression.
· It substantially decreases stress levels by lowering inflammatory stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Meditation returns the nervous system to a balanced, relaxed parasympathetic state to counteract chronic stress.
· It elevates focus, concentration and attention span by producing increased alpha and theta brain waves that optimize cognitive function. Meditators often describe developing a “laser focus” from practice.
· It builds emotional intelligence by helping you observe emotions as transient events in the mind, increasing emotional regulation and EQ.
· It also enhances working memory and increases gray matter volume in brain areas related to cognitive function like the hippocampus and frontal cortex.
Additionally, research has revealed powerful benefits of meditation for physical health:
· It lowers blood pressure by dilating blood vessels through soothing the nervous system, enhancing healthy circulation.
· It reduces heart rate by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, improving heart rate variability and vagal tone.
· It decreases systemic inflammation by lowering inflammatory stress hormones and chemicals, helping resolve inflammatory conditions.
· It bolsters the immune system by increasing natural killer cells, neutrophils, T-cells, and anti-viral proteins that fight infections.
· It promotes deeper, more restorative sleep by facilitating falling asleep and staying asleep, and increasing regenerative slow wave
A new favorite
How Humans Heal has quickly become a new favorite show. Dr. Doni‘s exceptional wisdom, merged with that of her guests, brings one of the most informative natural health podcasts out there.
False and Inaccurate Information
Episode 171 was the first episode I listened to after a fellow friend with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome shared it with me. Either this doctor is newly diagnosed with EDS and doesn’t know enough yet or she’s jumping on the EDS bandwagon and trying to get more patients with EDS. Fellow EDS patients, this episode contains so many disturbing inaccuracies and use of outdated terms that someone who is really knowledgeable and actually has EDS would know better. Some of what she talks about is helpful but so many of the statistics are woefully inaccurate and outdated. She’s also out of touch with ordinary patients to suggest we need to weekly go to acupuncture, PT, dance/pilates. Maybe one of those things but unless you’re a wealthy doctor, most of us can’t afford doing all of those things and all the extra testing that comes from naturopathic medicine/functional medicine that are expensive for patients and only benefit providers. Take the information from this episode with a huge grain of salt.
Dr. Doni is amazing. Such a great listen. Wonderful information that is needed. Thank you Dr. Doni....I am grateful for your show.
-Dr. Betsy Greenleaf