Well Connected Twin Cities is kicking off 2023 with a celebration of all things holistic and integrative health.
Specifically, we are celebrating the foundations of health. The tiny actions we do every day that has a massive impact on our wellbeing.
Choose to listen in on engaging discussions, participate in group experiences, take a small group class or perhaps just browse the local marketplace.
Our classes explore different topics around holistic health to help you understand the options you have, because we believe that YOU should be centered and empowered in your health.
[00:00:00] Cynthia Shockley: Hello everyone. It’s Cynthia, your host for the Well Connected Twin Cities podcast, and today we’ve got a bonus episode with owner, founder. Bad mama. Amazing fearless leader. Alex Stalberger
[00:00:16] Alex Stalberger: Woo. The crown goes wild.
No, just, it’s great to be, it’s great to be on the podcast again. It’s been a while since we’ve recorded, um, a dual episode, a conversation episode. Um, but you know, you and I were talking about just how much there. To like fill in the gaps, like what we’re talking about is so important and there’s so much that just doesn’t necessarily always get addressed when we’re bringing on guests.
And, um, so to be able to speak directly to some of these like juicy topics around integrative health, like I’m really excited that we get to just as coaches, uh, in the integrative health and wellness space, sit down and say, gosh, you know, Why is this important? You know, why is some of the way we talk about or name or, um, what are we seeing changing?
Because there’s so much, there’s so much going on. Everybody listening, guys, there’s so much happening. , there’s so much happening in this space. The practitioners are feeling it. We as consumers are feeling it. The insurance space is feeling it and changing and shifting all so very slowly. It’s painful. But it’s really important.
And so, um, I guess, I guess I’m really excited today because I know we are talking about the upcoming January 14th celebration of integrative health that is, that well connected Twin Cities is putting on. Um, we’re inviting all of you to come and, um, I think it’s really important that we, we look at, you know, what’s coming up in this year, why are we celebrating?
Um, and maybe clear up some of the questions that naturally come up when we’re navigating this. Space of intentional healthcare, like intentional care for yourself and your family. It’s kind of a big topic.
[00:02:02] Cynthia Shockley: Well, because honestly, I mean, if you’re listening to this podcast, it’s probably because you have at least the awareness of there being other options, right?
You’re, it’s not just that you have to go to the doctor. What they say goes, but maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re just dabbling and you’re like, what is, what is this podcast? What’s going on with integrative care? What is integrative care? So we wanted to take some time and just talk about our personal, a little bit of our personal journey into integrative care.
Uh, also our definition of what is integrative healthcare. You know, I’m sure you’ve heard of. Ways of saying it, you know, complimentary care. There’s, there’s just been an evolution in the field of healthcare that kind of flies under the radar, uh, often unless you’re digging. So we’re here to kind of show you what we’ve dug up so far and, uh, just.
I think this event on January 14th, uh, is gonna be a really wonderful platform to show what our whole Twin Cities community has dug up together and separately cuz there are so many people doing the work of. Changing the script, right? It’s not that there’s only one way to take care of something, but there’s so many avenues and so the more you know and the more you’re empowered to speak up for what you believe in, then the better care you’re gonna get, the better results you’re
[00:03:31] Alex Stalberger: gonna get.
Yeah. It’s that the development of the discernment that, um, Is one of the more challenging aspects that I see. So, you know, Cynthia, I, I think it’s important just to take a step back and, um, like, why are we even the ones talking about this? Um, for, for me, uh, I got my start as. As a health coach, I went through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
So right off the bat, this idea of like, what is integrative like that word was just kind of central to that work that I began when I was doing, um, just, this was an addition to the behavior change, uh, that I was. Already doing behavior change training, doing life skills development. Um, but once I got a taste for what coaching could be, what really ended up exploding, um, my interest was that there were so many different choices and this i, this idea that this word integrative could mean that you had the.
you were making the choice that was best for you. And that was the theme throughout all of my training. Um, that’s been the theme throughout all of my coaching. It always comes back to people are, are needing support in understanding what their values are and what’s most important for them, and that’s a hard skill to learn when our society, especially healthcare, typically has told us there is an expert for that.
You go to an expert for that and they tell you what you. Um, so this is a real big, like mindset shift, but that’s where like I’m coming from this conversation from that coach perspective. Cynthia, I know you also have a similar perspective, but what’s the, what was your journey to this word integrative?
[00:05:09] Cynthia Shockley: so I was fully on board with Western medicine as the only medicine. I wanted to be a doctor. I was pre-med forever. And you know, even at a young age, I, whether it was, you know, incepted into me and like, you’re gonna be a doctor because, you know, Asian American family and immigrant family. And I was like, okay, yeah, totally.
I’m gonna be a doctor. And um, I just had this idea. And I was told right doctors, they know everything. They are the best. You have to strive to be the best. And so I studied my, took us off and was really started to build this ego sense of, I’m gonna learn everything so I can be a doctor and I could tell people what to do and I could be, I could be like pinnacle of knowledge and information and along that journey, you know, The western mentality of healthcare just ended up not serving my own personal family.
My dad got sick and you know, a lot of doctors said they didn’t know why, what the cause was. Uh, he got a brain virus. Um, that’s very rare for someone his age and you know, I started doing my own kind of digging and uh, started learning about meditation, yoga, um, and also about stress. Cuz no one talks about stress, but stress is such a terrible thing that everyone deals with, that everyone copes with in their own ways.
But it wrecks our entire system. And so I had no idea how stressed my dad was, how. Messed up his immune system. And so I started learning about the mind body connection. Uh, and when I, I took a break from college and when I went back I was very gung ho about, I need to learn not just what the world says is the top knowledge, best knowledge, but I need to learn.
What is like underground or like, you know, complimentary. I started learning about complimentary medicine, which was kind of the original phrase for things like yoga, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic. They were complimentary because the idea was that western medicine is the medicine. But you can compliment it with this in that like, yeah, sure you can, you can borrow a little bit of that and it could support you.
Uh, but over the years with more research and development, what we’ve found, Now this phrase, integrative medicine about bringing in all lenses and recognizing the value of Eastern medicine, recognizing the value. Like, gosh, Eastern Medicine’s been around way longer than Western Medicine has, and it’s because it works and it, it’s been what’s been passed down.
It just hasn’t been researched through the Western lens nearly as much. And so therefore it’s easy to say, oh, there’s no data to support that. There’s a lot of observational data. There’s a lot of case studies. So anyway, I, I digress, but I ended up really getting into like, okay, what are these other perspectives and how can we use that to help the individual find.
A path that’s ripe for them. And so I start, I got my training in yoga teacher training and then I got my master’s in Integrative health and wellbeing coaching. And once I did that master’s program at the University of Minnesota, I was just, I was, I was like, Uhuh, I’m not gonna be a doctor .
[00:08:37] Alex Stalberger: I’m so glad I knew you then because I feel like I got half a Master’s,
Cause any book you were coming get, I’m like, oh look. Book, I’ll just give that one. And all the conversations we were having, I feel like I learned so much, um, and was exposed to so many different frames and models of thought through you going through that program. Um, yeah, so great. Grateful you did that.
Thank you . Yeah, I know,
[00:09:05] Cynthia Shockley: that’s so funny cuz when we met, I remember you were getting your, you were starting your certification prog program for integrative nutrition coaching or health coaching. And then I. Was pre-med and saying, I’m gonna be a doctor so I can advocate for integrative care. And it was just very backwards and you know, so it was interesting that you were there kind of through my transition of embracing like, oh, I can advocate for integrative care.
Just as I am too. .
[00:09:35] Alex Stalberger: Great. Just as a human, like, oh, we all can do this. Can’t wait. Like, oh, it’s amazing, . I mean, but it’s nice to get the cr, the credentials, and it’s nice to develop a career and a profession in it. Oh, yes. It’s so nice to see that that is popping up in, in clinics that you would just walk into.
I would, I, I wrestle with this. us saying like, oh, Western medicine, because like Western to who, like, it depends, I guess, of where we are in the globe. But I, I guess what we, what we’re talking about is, um, like your average, your average clinic right now, typically trends American with this like American model of, um, healthcare that is like steeped in, um, addressing a symptom, right?
Um, typically with a pharmaceutical and a lot of like band-aid care versus root cause care. So I just like, I don’t know, naming is so interesting and, and. I don’t, I think I cut you off. I’m sorry. Did you? No, no, no, no, no, no. You didn’t cut me off. Look fired. I’m like, I’m fire already because I’m thinking about the trajectory that I went through before I landed on integrative, because there was a, there was a serious point of rejection for, I was angry with the system when I discovered that.
Uh, like for example, I got my introduction to all of this through food. I’m very, I, I, I love home cooking. I love to eat. Who doesn? I don’t know, maybe you don’t, but I, I love to eat. Um, so to be able to like cook really great food was really motivating. But to learn about the healthcare system through the food industry was, it may be so angry.
Um, and there’s a lot of similarities, between the food ag system and the healthcare system. So there was just a matter of like rejecting it. And going from like, oh, our standard American diet to being like, I’m only eating whole Foods and I’m growing everything and I’m only eating organic and natural, and like, that’s what I’m doing now.
And I kind of feel like. That massive like anger and rejection. That’s how I felt about healthcare too. I was like, mm-hmm. , we’re only doing natural holistic, right? What, what I would consider if we say holistic medicine, like we’re thinking like strictly, strictly, um, like natural, your body can heal itself.
Like give your body what it needs, which is an important concept, like, don’t get me wrong, um, it’s just like when you break your leg, there’s an additional support that you might need. that you may not be able to provide yourself without some additional, you know, support from, uh, a doctor that’s trained in, you know, body trauma.
Um, so it’s like I had to go through that stage of massive anger, rejection of this system I grew up with, and then come to realize that. There is this integrative piece that allows us to sustainably live. Like we have to decide what is sustainable for us. Um, like I decided to have a family growing. All of my food is not a choice that I have made for myself.
With also growing this business that is sustainable for me. I will explode, um, for some reason have done it and good for you. I, that is not sustainable for me. Um, and I just think that like, that is also mirrored in healthcare. You know, there are times where pharmaceuticals are a really great option as like a bridge or, but like to decide that for yourself.
Um, that to me, I guess is where. The integrative model comes in, like you alone are making that call. You can gather information, but like you have to make that call for yourself. Um, and nobody’s really teaching that. Mm-hmm. . So I like health coaches, I guess, like they’re, they’re health coaches, integrative health coaches, integrative health coaches, like integrated creative care providers, like they’re in, like supporting that.
Um, but they’re also doing other things too, so, mm-hmm. , because it’s removing
[00:13:26] Cynthia Shockley: the. Yes, the, the black and white, the demonizing one over the other, you know, putting any shame on, oh, you’re, you’re doing this for your healthcare. Like, no, no, no, no, no. Like we need integrative care is about leveling the playing field and just saying, okay, these are all equally viable, important options that I need to consider, and I also need to know my own values and understand.
Why that’s important to me, why I wanna make this choice, and then I believe in my choice. And I don’t know, it’s, it’s liberating, I feel, but the process is definitely, Not easy cuz it does require some time to learn, to process, to connect with people, to really get that experience to, which is why I think this upcoming event is such a unique and amazing opportunity because we’ve got like 20 plus, 25 plus local wellness practitioners from all different fields, uh, coming together.
And it’s a place where you can discover, you can dabble, you can try, you can listen. There’s gonna be conversations and panels, but there’s also gonna be immersive experiences. So I just, I feel like this is such a cool, like sampler experience. Mm-hmm.
[00:14:47] Alex Stalberger: it is. It’s like going to the restaurant and ordering the appetizer sampler, and you’re like, I couldn’t.
Thank goodness this exists because now I get a little bit of everything, some of the things I know I’m gonna love. Like those cheese curds are gonna be divine. We know that , and then you have the thing that you’re like, I don’t even know what that is. . But I guess we’ll see when it comes out. We’ll see if I like it.
Um, maybe everything is related to food for me. Maybe that could be true. Um, , but that’s like, that’s exactly how we designed this. So this is not the first event that we’ve run in this manner. So Well Connected has put on, um, This is the third of its name. So we have called these re the Reimagine series. So this is all about reimagining, um, how things could be.
So if earlier this was it this spring, like I think so. Time is, yeah, I think it was, but I’m like time is crazy. Time more. April, I think we did reimagine mental health. Um, so re reimagining what me mental healthcare can look like. Um, this one in the, on the 14th is all about the foundations of healthcare.
And we’ve called that reimagine routine. Um, because often we don’t think about, you know, when we think of healthcare, we think about who we go and see at the, at the clinic, at the doctor’s office. And while, yeah, that’s important. The first, like the foundation you’re setting for yourself are the things that you’re doing every single day.
And, um, I think that’s sometimes, I know for myself that’s really hard to look in the eye. It’s really hard to look in the mirror and be. Alex, how are you? How are you doing on your routine? What’s that routine doing for you? Like , and that’s not exactly like the most fun thing to do, but we’re doing that in community and we’re celebrating the power that our routines have instead of.
Kind of, um, saying all the things we should be doing within our routine. This is really about a frame of what could our, what could our routines be doing for us? So one of my favorite parts, um, of this event are our experiences. So you get to choose, right? So you’re imagine you’re the attendee, right? You get to choose between like sitting and listening or trying something.
Totally go at whatever you’re comfortable with, right? But there’s gonna be a passive listening and learning, but then there’s gonna be like a hands-on experience going at the same time around a similar topic. And, um, This first session that we’re running, we’re talking a lot about managing your energy.
Um, especially morning energy, right? Like, how can, what do, what can we do that influences energy? And the experience that we’re talking about is about, you know, transitions when you’re transitioning from home life to work life. Um, For me, that’s changed a lot cuz I no longer go anywhere. I’m still in my home.
I’m still in the same clothes that I wore when I brought my children to daycare and now I’ve gotta go take a call. Um, there are like physical postures, there are breath techniques that reset your nervous system when you’re getting out of a hard meeting. Right? And you have to like move into a creative task.
What are some routines we can actually physically do, practically tangibly do that are going to reset us, get us into a different mind mental space, mind space, body space, maybe physical space. Maybe it’s moving your environment, but those are tiny, tiny tweaks that have a massive impact on our mind body connection that we have control over if we knew it existed.
So I’m so excited about like that opportunity. You as an attendee, you get to try that on and you get to see like, oh my gosh, did you know that you can reset your nervous system by taking this posture, doing this breath, and moving your eyes a certain way? Like that brain stem can, I mean, that is not my area of excellence.
We have people whose era of excellence is the nervous system. They will be teaching you these things, but I’m just here as a cheerleader. I just think that’s great. . Oh, it’s just amazing what’s possible. And then to apply it, you’re right, like we’re not talking about going to the chiropractor every week.
Maybe that’s your shtick. Maybe that’s your deal. Maybe that really supports you and suits you great. Awesome. Like, but there are also things that they can teach us, we can do every day when we need it. And I feel like that is really what I. To underline with this event is like, here are some practical tools.
If they support you, be empowered to use them. Know that they exist. Try a man. I’m excited. I think I’m gonna learn quite a bit. I’ve already learned quite a bit, putting it together.
[00:19:18] Cynthia Shockley: Yes. No, that’s the thing too, is no matter where you are in your health journey, your integrative health exploration, I think there’s always gonna be something more to learn or something to reaffirm and be like, yeah, I do.
I do believe that. And I hear other people who believe that too. And it’s just always inspiring to be around these people who are thinking outside the box, who are passionately pursuing. A path for you to learn more, to be empowered. Um, and so yes, there’s the immersive experiences, the hands-on experience, and then the panel which I’ll be hosting.
And so I’m excited that no matter what you choose, there’s going to be some practical application that you can learn and walk away with. So even with the panels, you know, we’re gonna close each one by asking, you know, what are some of those very tactic, like actual things, right? The, the physical. Mental, emotional things that people can walk away with and.
You get to learn in a format that best suits you, which is, I think, very aligned with the integrative approach that, you know, think about you yourself. Are you someone who likes to sit back and absorb, listen in, uh, kind of like a podcast? Or are you someone who prefers to be in a physical space with other people?
Um, learning together, being hands on. And then you get to choose your adventure based on what you know about yourself and what’s gonna best suit you.
[00:20:46] Alex Stalberger: I think I just wanna take a moment to, to talk about the, the different session topics because I think they might be surprising. Um, because they’re, they’re so simple, but they hold so much power.
So we talked about morning one is gonna be like managing morning energy, a little bit of transitions when we talk about meal times, which I don’t think we can, I don’t think we can talk about health without talking about. Food, nutrition, how you feed yourself . Anyway, so a bit of like intentionality around mealtimes and the power that that has.
Mind, body, digestion, the whole thing. Mm-hmm. , we’re also talking about types of rest, so not just sleep cuz we think rest, we think sleep and not just vegging on the couch either. Like there are certain types of rests that have an impact on our body when we think. Anyway, that’s gonna be a really fascinating topic cuz I’ve only considered if I’m resting.
I’m sleeping. I’m vegging on the couch. I am. But no, it’s more than that. It’s about getting into your state of flow. What, um, you know, what do you, what do you love to do that gives your mind a sense of ease and rest, and what does that have to do with the rest of your system? That’s really cool. And then we’re talking about play.
And I think that is kind of an underrated topic that’s getting slightly more buzzed lately of like, how as adults are we integrating play into our lives, into our daily routines? If we think about that, like, that puts me on the spot. How am I, how am I gonna play today? Um, but w what’s the science behind that?
What’s the science of play? , what, what is it doing to my brain? What is it doing to my body? What is it doing to our stress response? Right? Like you talked about. Um, and those are the things, they seem really simple and thank goodness they seem so simple because otherwise I don’t think we’d do them. .
[00:22:32] Cynthia Shockley: Yes. So it’s not like intimidating topics that are super heavy.
It’s, it’s things that you can very simply integrate into your day. And I think. That’s just such a wonderful foundation so that you can have more clarity, more ease, more peace, more alignment just day to day and the healing power that has in the long run, like, gosh, saving years of. Your life potentially just because of these small routines if you integrate them in
[00:23:05] Alex Stalberger: consistently.
Yes. Yes. That’s what it’s all about though, right? Tiny, powerful things and thank goodness. I mean, yeah. Okay. There are big things when we talk about healthcare. Yes, there are gonna be people that specialize in very big things, um, but the foundations of health can be really simple and accessible, and that’s what we’re celebrating.
So there’s gonna be a beautiful and fun marketplace. So if you’re one to like to. Touch and feel and smell and look like. There’ll be plenty of that. Um, all in a space where you can absorb the panel discussion going on too. Um, it is family friendly. This is the first like family friendly event that we have structured and put on.
So kids under 15 are free. Which I’m really excited about and also I’m thinking like, okay, I’m telling all my vendors like this is family friendly. So maybe think about what you put where , just in case we have tiny hands. Um, your tiny hands are welcome. Please bring them. I mean, this is a whole family experience.
When we take care of ourselves, I mean, We know that from other podcasts that you’ve been, you’ve been recently putting on. Right. When we’re able to, when we’re able to prioritize ourselves, we’re taking care of our families differently. And we also know that when we have a family, we think about taking care of ourselves a little bit differently.
So we’re really excited to invite everybody into like that discovery space. Um, and I’m just, I don’t know, there’s a piece of me that feels like I want. Invite everybody who’s considering to come, considering coming to practice that curiosity, cuz there’s going to be things that you’re like, why is that here?
You know, I think about the one-on-one, uh, onsite services that we’ll have. You know, there there are going to be typical things you might expect, like massage or cranial sacral therapy. There’ll be cupping. Um, and there’s also gonna be tarot reading there. And, um, and there, uh, one of the small group experiences is a shaman journey, and that’s a deep meditative experience, um, that is guided.
and you might like see those things and think like why? Like what do they have to do with the rest response and resetting my nervous system. And, um, there are really beautifully surprising connections between all of those things. Um, and so if that’s not familiar to you, like let that be okay. This is, um, an exploratory space.
Ask questions, get curious because there are. Many ways to support our whole person’s wellbeing. Um, and those are just a few. Mm-hmm. , you take what serves you, leave the rest, you know, but, uh, each piece is gonna serve somebody uniquely. So, yeah, I’m really excited about that.
[00:25:50] Cynthia Shockley: I do also appreciate that while connected really tries to promote evidence-based support, right?
So, uh, yes, there you might be curious like, why is this here? And I guarantee you there is science out there backing why it is there , you know? And, uh, I really appreciate my education at the U because we did, I actually took an intro to Shamanism course and we actually did the reading and the research behind.
What we know, and it’s, it’s really cool to, to recognize that there’s all these new research studies coming out that are trying to validate all these longstanding traditions of care that didn’t have that Western quote unquote research before and now, . There are enough people who are on board, they’re like, okay, well I’m getting my PhD.
I might as well do some research on this. And and just rock people’s world a
[00:26:47] Alex Stalberger: bit. . Yes. Well, I know we could fill like a whole season of Bo bonus episodes with, you know what, what all constitutes this Whole Person care and what are all of the different. I don’t know, what would you call them? I, there’s so many different ways that people have come to describe and define the different areas of Whole Person Care.
I actually think that would be a great bonus episode. We should do that sometime, um, just to talk about, Hey, here are the different frameworks that you may have heard from, and like, what are the similarities, like these frameworks. They’re all talking about the same big thing. Um, you may have heard different words, but they’re all talking about the same idea.
Um, because there’s so much of that. And instead of being overwhelmed by that, it is really cool to take on this hat of curiosity and be like, oh, these are all the different ways that us as humans have tried to describe the importance of this aspect of our health and our care, and are caring for ourselves in the way that we need to live a most vibrant life.
Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Cause it is, um, I guess a piece that. I’m excited to teach more on personally and share more about is this idea of like that illness, wellness continuum we have been brought up. Right. You know, this brought off to think about, like, I go to the doctor. when I am below this neutral point. But that neutral point’s in the center of this like continuum.
So if we’re only thinking about healthcare below this neutral point where we start to have a symptom, we’re missing 50% of the possibility, we’re missing 50% of the vitality. And that like in the enriching experience, we’re only seeing half the picture. Um, so through this lens of integrative health, it’s really cool to begin to experience some of the.
Capacity our human bodies and minds have for a living. Hmm. And see mic drop. I’ll leave. I’ll just leave it at that. . .
[00:28:41] Cynthia Shockley: And the link for tickets are gonna be in the show notes. And, um, yeah. Is there any, anything else people need to know about just accessing this?
[00:28:53] Alex Stalberger: Let me think. I think there are just the last thing I’ll say about the event and how it’s structured.
First and foremost, plan to stay for the whole day. It is 10 to four. Um, we do have a ticket option that includes lunch Heal. Minneapolis is a wonderful plant-based restaurant that is providing plant-based and gluten-free options for us. They’re gonna be delicious. So plan to stay the day, plan to get lunch.
Um, purchase the ticket option. That does include lunch because you, you won’t regret that decision. If you are somebody who wants a deep dive and wants more experie, , there’s an option for you. We’re calling it the Unlocked experience. We have small group sessions that are run by practitioners to give you more of that in-depth experience.
So the sha um, the Shamanic journey we talked about, like that is in one of our small group experiences. So if you, if you know you’re a person that really enjoys feeling something, trying something new, consider that unlocked experience cuz that’ll be. The access to all of the small groups, um, and all of the experiences we’ll have to offer.
Um, but if you’re one that just like is ready to dabble, general and mission is is right for you. So I can’t wait to see you. Um, and it’s ha happen in an uptown. The wilderness fitness and co-working space is such a cool space for this. Um, you’ll love it. Yeah. Can’t wait. Bring a friend, bring, bring your.
Yes, bring, bring everyone. It’s bring everyone. We’re celebrating . Yeah. Perfect. Cheers to integrative health.
[00:30:23] Cynthia Shockley: Yes. Cheers to that.