22 episodes

"Wellness for Vets" Podcast is a place to share information and experiences to help overcome whatever injuries or ailments we may have sustained through the course of our service.

Wellness for Vets Podcast with James Conner, USMC (Ret.‪)‬ James Conner

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

"Wellness for Vets" Podcast is a place to share information and experiences to help overcome whatever injuries or ailments we may have sustained through the course of our service.

    Episode #22: Electric Muscle Stimulation with Kalyn Steranko from Amped Advantage in Calgary, Canada

    Episode #22: Electric Muscle Stimulation with Kalyn Steranko from Amped Advantage in Calgary, Canada

    Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS) is mostly known as a tool used in physical therapy or some form of recovery.  In this episode Kalyn Steranko of Amped Advantage joins me from Calgary, Canada to explain and discuss how how EMS is used in achieving physical fitness as well as overall health and well being.

    I tried EMS for six weeks when I was living in Romania and now, two years after that experience I get to dive into what EMS is, how it works, what its used for, and what are some of its potential uses.

    In this episode we discuss the difference between therapeutic EMS and full body EMS, Training to become an EMS provider and how to find a provider in your area, and Success stories from EMS.

    5:00 After a bit of an introduction, Kalyn explains some of the training her and her providers went through to become XBody EMS providers.

    7:59 We talked briefly about how EMS is still a bit unknown to the greater population so Kalyn offers some guidance on how to locate a provider in your area (XBody or otherwise as sometimes providers go by a name other than EMS).

    8:46 We get into the meat and potatoes of what is EMS and how it works.

    11:43 Here we Kalyn lays out the difference between therapeutic EMS (what you may receive going to physical therapy) vs full body EMS for health, wellness, and fitness

    1410: At this point in the show we get into some special uses for EMS such as working with clients who may have mobility issues or some form of neuromuscular disconnect.

    1755: Here we take a deeper look at the actual EMS suit and how it functions.

    53:12 I start talking to Kalyn about people such as veterans who may have been sedentary or stagnant for a while and decide to get back into working out, and the role EMS can play in helping to facilitate that lifestyle change.

    56:50 Towards the end of the show we encountered a little bit of an echo, but it clears up in time for Kalyn to share some anecdotes of using EMS when working firefighters, police, and military personnel.

    After listening to this show a few times during the editing process I heard something new each time and this episode is full of great information regarding the use of electric muscle stimulation.







    • 1 hr 8 min
    Episode #21: Trauma Release Exercise (TRE) with Leckey Harrison

    Episode #21: Trauma Release Exercise (TRE) with Leckey Harrison

    Leckey is a 16 year veteran firefighter who joins us to discuss the benefits of practicing TRE.

    In this episode Leckey explains how he was introduced to TRE, what happens to the body during when it is stuck in a cycle of being in a high alert status, the benefits of, and differences in lifting weights vs. TRE for decompression.

    Leckey was great during this interview and his fun and zany way of explaining TRE kept my attention by keeping me entertained.  To learn more about TRE, see some videos, or connect with Leckey, you can find more here:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2_RAeHJO78  (Subscribe to Leckey's YouTube channel).


    https://www.amazon.com/Revolutionary-Trauma-Release-Process-Transcend/dp/1897238401/  (David Berceli's Book)

    https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/142956.Peter_A_Levine  (Books by Peter Levine)

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Episode #20: Ron Millward of Balanced Veterans talks Cannabis, Medical Marijuana, Alternative Therapies

    Episode #20: Ron Millward of Balanced Veterans talks Cannabis, Medical Marijuana, Alternative Therapies

    Ron Millward is a 7.5 year Air Force veteran.  In this episode Ron discusses his handling of his own traumatic experiences, being placed on a cocktail of prescription drugs, a suicide attempt, and eventually a breakthrough using cannabis which lead him to path of emotional healing and an exploration with other mind-body therapies.

    6:20 Ron and I highlight the trauma or anxiety that comes from transitioning from the regimented life in the military to going out into the world of the unknown.

    10:00 We discuss what goes on when a unit "leaves the wire," even if there was no enemy contact but the stress of operating in a high alert status.  Eventually Ron did make contact and received a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  This conversation then roles right into discussing the amount of veterans who have committed suicide at home.  

    14:00 Ron shares his own post-military experiences which involved some "reckless behavior" that led to being placed on prescription medications and a suicide attempt.

    16:40 Ron is introduced to the idea of using cannabis/marijuana to address his mental health.  From here Ron talks about entering the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program and becomes an advocate for medical marijuana and education on marijuana, and the establishment of Balanced Veterans which promotes not only medical marijuana, but also alternative therapies and the use of mind-body practices for healing from trauma.

    When we discuss the use of marijuana, Ron is very candid on the pro's and con's of its use, the different ways it can be used or consumed.

    34:00 Ron shares his experiences with educating veterans and working with the VA.

    39:10 We begin to wrap up the show and talk about the idea of a "wellness concierge" and Ron talks about his experience with acupuncture, yoga, and how to explain alternative forms of treatment and de-mystify the more lesser known about therapies.




    • 44 min
    Episode #19: Inflammation with Aimee Dordevic from Monash University

    Episode #19: Inflammation with Aimee Dordevic from Monash University

    Dr Aimee Dordevic is a Registered Nutritionist with both the Nutrition Society of Australia and the Association for Nutrition (UK). She works in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics & Food, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University as a Nutrition Science Lecturer and Researcher.

    Aimee's PhD titled the 'Investigation of the acute nutrigenomic response of adipose tissue' examined the effect of macronutrients on inflammatory and metabolic signalling in human serum and adipose tissue. The project involved treatment of cultured cells with different types of fatty acids as well as collection and subsequent molecular analysis of human tissue samples in the hours immediately following meals that varied in macronutrient composition.

    Currently Aimee is involved in several projects within the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics using molecular biology techniques to study how nutrients, lifestyle and disease states are linked through nutrigenomic interactions.

    Research Interests: Aimee's research interests include the role of diet in inflammation and immunity and the analysis of inflammation and metabolism of humans in response to food.

    Research Expertise: Human clinical trial co-ordination, human tissue protein and gene expression analysis, acute feeding trials, cell culture, adipose tissue biology, nutritional immunology, immunohistochemistry, anthropometry, phlebotomy and dietary analysis.

    In honor of my guest from Australia the show opens with the 1ST Marine Division Band performing "Waltzing Matilda" followed by a brief history lesson of the US Marines and Australia.

    In the introduction I discuss Monash University's massive open online course (MOOC) series Food As Medicine.

    At minute 13 Aimee breaks down what inflammation is including signs, symptoms, and the role of the immune system.

    23:30 We start discussing some of the more popular nutrients pertaining to anti-inflammation: curcumin and ginger.

    36:25 The conversation turns to antioxidants - what they are, what they do, and where we get them from.

    42:10 Bring on the Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids!  Here we really get into the Omega's - sources, roles, seafood based EPA and DHA vs. plant and nut based sources of Omega 3's.

    1:04:10 We get into the role of sleep on inflammation and Amiee shares some of the research she's currently involved in regarding this topic.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Episode #18: Ranjana Pomar Part 2 - Using Tantric Practice in Recovery from Sexual Trauma.

    Episode #18: Ranjana Pomar Part 2 - Using Tantric Practice in Recovery from Sexual Trauma.

    In this episode, Ranjana and I pick up our conversation about tantra after a short break, and turn the focus to recovering from sexual trauma.  Ranjana shares how she would assist someone through a progression of being a victim, to recovery, to becoming empowered and taking back control of their life again.  Recognizing the psychological effects sexual trauma can have on people, Ranja explains how tantric meditation practices and her own role as the medicine woman can help previous victims progress toward trusting again and work towards establishing relations with potential partners.

    • 33 min
    Episode #17: Ranjana Pomar from Tantra Shamanic Essence - Using Tantric Meditation Practices to Heal Troubled relationships and Recover from Sexual Trauma.

    Episode #17: Ranjana Pomar from Tantra Shamanic Essence - Using Tantric Meditation Practices to Heal Troubled relationships and Recover from Sexual Trauma.



    Ranjana works as a psychotherapist, and Tantra counselor and facilitator in self-development for individuals and groups. From an early age, she felt a longing to experience life in all its dimensions, where everything is included as ONE, instead of split off from experience. In 1988, she learned about Osho's Active Meditations and began practicing them. Meditation transformed her life, bringing in greater sensitivity, expansion and love. At this time, Ranjana also began neo-shamanism training in the Andes Mountains where she experienced a deep connection with nature. Ranjana has also been living The Tantra Path since 2010, in which she has found unity and sacredness.

    After experiencing these paths for more than 25 years, she has brought together Asian traditions, Tantra, meditation and the indigenous cosmos-vision where life, love, death, and cycles of nature are living as one into the Great Spirit. Ranjana's workshops aim to integrate them into the way we live our daily lives, even in urban environments.

    In this episode Ranjana talks growing up in the Andes, shamanism (or as she likes to call herself, the medicine woman), and the use of tantric practices to heal relationships that have been shaken due to the demands of life in the military or as a civil servant, and using her blend of tantric practices, meditation, and other aspects of spiritual journeys to heal and recover from sexual trauma.

    When the episode opens up, around the 7:40 mark Ranjana treats us to some songs accompanied by drums to honor the male and female polarities or more commonly known as energies.

    At the 10:20 mark through 21:30 we spend some time discussing her journey to becoming a medicine woman and how that path led her to Tantra. 

    From 21:30 there we get into the Tantra talk.  In this segment we discussed the demands of military life and life of a civil servant and the stress those jobs can have on a relationship, and how Tantric Mediatiation and workshops like the ones Ranja leads can help couples come back to a place of love, trust, and comfort.

    Around the 1:06:00 mark we discuss how people who have may have become paralyzed or and amputee can still experience the feelings of physical love without actually being physical.

    We close out this first of a two part episode discussing Ranjana's workshops, particularly the Sweat Lodge. 

    • 1 hr 28 min

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