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Episode 565
The Doctor's Farmacy

How To Move From Toxic Relationships And Sex To Healing Relationships And Sex

Open the Podcasts app and search for The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you’re viewing this site on your phone, you can just tap on the

Tap the subscribe button and new shows will be added to your library.

If you’re using a different device, our show is available on the following platforms.

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Relationships can feel complicated. We often go into them looking for others to fulfill whatever we refuse to give ourselves. We want our unmet needs to be met by this other person, without doing the inner work to help ourselves. 

Owning our needs actually makes it easier for other people to meet our needs. This sounds counterintuitive, but it’s one of those breakthroughs that can really turn toxic relationship patterns around. 

Today I’m excited to share a conversation with my good friend Angelika Alana, all about tuning into our bodies, our physical and emotional needs, and healing our connection to ourselves and others. 

When it comes to failed relationships and sexual challenges, we can be pretty hard on ourselves. But these are two major areas of life we are never really taught how to succeed in. Angelika is an amazing resource for doing the tough work that allows us to learn what we need, what we want, and how to communicate that to others in a safe and effective way. 

Sex is a hard topic for many people to talk about, whether it’s due to trauma, physical issues like pain, lack of pleasure, or any number of reasons. Angelika and I dig into how somatic therapy can help break down the walls we’ve put up around sex. She explains what somatic therapy entails and what some of the steps she takes with clients look like, as well as some inspiring success stories. 

Nervous system dysregulation is a common issue in negative relationship patterns, sexual dysfunction, and an overall feeling of unhappiness or anxiety. When we get comfortable being in our bodies and honoring our feelings, we can improve all of these issues and more. That’s the goal of somatic therapy.

 

This episode is brought to you by Gut Food, BiOptimizers, InsideTracker, and Pendulum.

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I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

Here are more details from our interview (audio version / Apple Subscriber version):

  1. Angelika’s journey into somatic and sexual healing work
    (6:38)
  2. Getting out of your head and into your body
    (10:59)
  3. Creating space from our emotions to safely integrate pain
    (16:43)
  4. How to locate your wounds
    (21:15)
  5. Client stories from Angelika’s work
    (24:41)
  6. What happens in a typical somatic healing session?
    (34:12)
  7. Moving out of a toxic relationship framework
    (38:24)
  8. How to know if you’re in a toxic relationship or healing relationship
    (42:29)
  9. Learning new skills to succeed in sex and relationships
    (49:32)
  10. Holding more complexity with care
    (54:02)

Guest

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 
Angelika Alana

Angelika Alana is the founder and CEO of the Somatic Healing Institute. She has been featured in Vanity Fair, Well+Good, and Modern Luxury. She certifies coaches and facilitators in her transformational body-based healing method. She has traveled and studied extensively in Indonesia, Brazil, Australia, and the UK, and is a massive foodie with her husband Patrick Drake, co-founder of Hello Fresh.

Learn more about Angelika’s work at angelikaalana.com. Access her Somatic Self Care, Level 1 Training at angelikaalana.com/selfcare and information about her upcoming retreat at angelikaalana.com/retreats.

Transcript

Introduction:

Coming up on this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy.

Angelika Alana:

It’s not about perfection. It’s about self-awareness, self-awareness of your mess, self-awareness of your pain, self-awareness of who you are when you’re triggered so that you can move into what I would describe as a healing relationship.

Lauren:

Hi, this is Lauren, one of the producers of The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast. Just a quick note before we dive into today’s episode that this conversation includes some mature language and topics. Listener discretion is advised.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Welcome to The Doctor’s Farmacy. I’m Dr. Mark Hyman, and that’s farmacy with an F, a place for conversations that matter, and if you’ve ever wondered about how sex can be a tool for healing, you should listen up because we’re going to talk about that today on this podcast, and many other things about relationship, love, and healing with a really extraordinary woman, Angelika Alana, who’s a friend of mine who I call Angel, and she’s a founder and CEO of the Somatic Healing Institute. She’s been featured in Vanity Fair, Well+Good, Modern Luxury, and she certifies coaches and facilitators in her transformational body-based healing method which you’re learn about. She’s also traveled and studied extensively in Indonesia, Brazil, Australia, and the UK, and is a massive foodie, and with her husband, who’s also a good friend, Patrick Drake is a co-founder of Hello Fresh. So, welcome.

Angelika Alana:

Thanks for having me, my love. I’m so grateful to be here.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

So, the truth is we’ve known each other mostly as friends and hanging out and doing fun stuff together all over the place, but your work is so important that I wanted to share it with my community because most of us through our lives have a fairly easy time talking about things that improve our lives, like, oh, we should eat better, we should exercise, we maybe need more sleep, okay, let’s meditate. But do we talk about sex? No.

Angelika Alana:

Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Do we talk about sexual health? Not really. Maybe in the context of not getting a venereal disease, but not really-

Angelika Alana:

Important, but not all that we need. There’s more.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

That was pretty much all I learned about when I learned about sexual health in medical school was STIs. Right?

Angelika Alana:

Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

That is not the only thing to talk about. You’ve been trained in a lot of really ancient modalities and techniques that help people deal with one of the most taboo subjects in society, and yet one of the things that sort of underlies so much trauma, stress, dysfunction, unhappiness, disconnection for so many people, and I know, I’m 62, but I’m still feel like I’m a beginner, and I’m still kind of learning, and I think your work is so important to help people understand it. So, why don’t you tell us first how you got into this, what’s your story, and why did you kind of gravitate toward this work around somatic healing and sexual healing?

Angelika Alana:

Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for prefacing that. You’re so right, and it’s this really taboo, taboo topic, and it takes so much psychic energy to repress. It takes a lot of internal, mental, emotional energy to hold our primal, very natural instincts down. So, when we start to do this work and liberate a lot of that energy, the transformation is really across the board and interesting. So, how I got into this work, I was a very sensitive kid which you wouldn’t think I was sensitive because I was also loud and extroverted, and normally those two things don’t go together, but in this instance they did. And so, I came about yoga when I was 15 as a way to kind of cope with that sensitivity and to learn how to relax and how to be in my body, and my body and these kind of more body-based healing arts, as I call them, were always very attractive to me. They always really help me.

Angelika Alana:

I was a singer my whole life. It’s actually my background. I have a bachelor in music. So, this kind of embodied mindfulness started very early for me. I recognized that using my voice when I sang, when I was really sad, in a lot of pain, wow, I would feel better when I would move my body, and I would do yoga, oh my gosh, I could feel better. I could integrate some really painful, traumatic experiences. It was really helping me. And then, so I went on, eventually my yoga teachers asked me to teach. They said, “The way to take your practice to the next level is to become a teacher.” And at the time I was like, “I’m going to be a singer. I’m not going to do this. I don’t want to teach,” but I did the training anyway.

Angelika Alana:

And actually, while I was at the training, I was in the jungles of Bali, I also met a Costa Rican shaman, and he started to introduce me to tantric practices. Now, tantric practices, yes, can be sexual and they’re extremely powerful, that was the first kind of experiences of that nature that I’d had, but essentially, it’s a technology, and a lot of tantra has nothing to do with sex. More, it’s a philosophy around embracing acceptance, all sides of ourselves, the full spectrum of reality, this essence of acceptance and embracing. Now, as part of that lineage, some of the lineages, there are these practices that build up to utilizing sexual energy connection. So, that is part of the technology, and so that interest sparked in me then, and then I just also failed at sex and relationship the hardest.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

What do you mean you failed?

Angelika Alana:

Well, failure, right, let’s redefine that. I struggled, and so therefore I learned the most. Sex and love was my spiritual dojo. That’s where I had to do the most work to heal and to develop as a human being, and of course, as I often say to my clients and my students, the key’s in the mud. So, the mud for me was really my sexuality and relationships. So, as I developed from a yoga teacher, very quickly developed a one-to-one client base, they wanted more than just the physical postures.

Angelika Alana:

So, I kind of transitioned into teaching this yoga way of life into life coaching, and my natural inclinations of trying to solve my own problems had me then start to study under teachers around sex and relationships as this really fundamental piece to our healing because what I was noticing in my own life is that I could put all these practices and do all this mindfulness, but then I have an argument with my boyfriend and whoa, who is that person, or I feel my ego so strongly in sex, it hurts me so much when my partner turns me down. This space is just so ripe for personal development and growth.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

When you sort of took the step from being a yoga teacher to do more somatic therapy, what did that look like? What are the things that you experienced? What did you learn about your own journey and the things that were holding you back that kind of helped you get clear about what’s needed for most people?

Angelika Alana:

Yeah. So, I often say yoga saved my life because I really do believe that it did, and I often joke that yoga is the gateway drug and that’s because-

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Me too. I was a yoga teacher before I was a doctor. It saved me to medical school, for sure.

Angelika Alana:

Right. So, why is that? What did I learn about that? It’s about this body awareness and this moving mindfulness. So, yes, we know that awareness is really important and mindfulness is really important, but what I love about the body-based healing arts, so beyond just yoga, yoga’s still a part of what I do, movement is still a part of what I do, I started to discover, okay, what would happen if, and this is part of the tantric teachings as well, if I just let my body move rather than following the guided movements. If I just let my sound come out, what would happen in my system? And what I realized is, and what science now shows us, is that it regulates our nervous system. Our voices, shaking, this kind of free movement is directly connected to the aspects of our systems that help to regulate our nervous system to calm us down, to create relaxation, and what I also think is that it creates this, like we talk a lot about authenticity.

Angelika Alana:

And so, what I started to discover is the more experimental I became in my own personal practice and the more fringe styles that I was studying, healing modalities, this kind of more free movement, free sound, the more healing I experienced. And so, I started to weave it into my coaching practice, starting with just somatic mindfulness, getting people to be aware of their bodies. We hear people say all the time, “Get out of your head and get into your body,” particularly in relationship to sex. Right? A lot of people listening might think, “Oh, I can’t get out of my head in sex.” What does that actually mean? Well, okay, I’m stuck in my thoughts. Okay, well, what can I actually do about that?

Angelika Alana:

And so, in sex, a really powerful tool that I’ll often give clients that everyone listening can utilize today, it’s very simple, not always easy, is to focus on the sensations in your body. Start to meditate, what am I feeling to reconnect. They call it proprioception, our ability to feel and sense. For many of us, our bodies may not have been or felt like a safe place. So, we’ve learned to disconnect or disassociate. And so, for me, the somatic work is about reconnecting to our bodies, reestablishing that it’s a safe environment, it’s a safe place to be, my body, and then reconnecting to the signals, the language of our body which is sensation.

Angelika Alana:

What’s also really interesting about this, Mark, is that so much of the healing work or personal development work, if you want to call it that, growing beyond who we are now is about healing our wounds. Right? But most of our wounds or our traumas or our pain, we’ve spent an entire lifetime crafting an identity around our pain, protecting it, avoiding it again. We’ve crafted entire lives around protecting our pain, but we’re so good at protecting it that we protect it even from ourselves. Most people that come and see me, they don’t know what their wounds are. Right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yeah.

Angelika Alana:

So, if it was in our conscious mind, we could just talk about it, but often, it’s not in the conscious mind, and science shows us that actually the unconscious, our subconscious mind is connected to our sensations, and there in lies the power that connecting to those sensations can bring up when it comes to healing and personal development.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yeah, it’s so true. So much of it’s suppressed, and I think as a doctor, I see people with a lot of struggles with physical issues, autoimmunity, obesity, cancer, and when you dig into people’s stories, there’s often layers and layers of trauma there. There’s a whole field that’s now developed that looks at adverse childhood events. We actually have a questionnaire we have patients fill out on our practice called the ACE questionnaire. It’s available online. It’s free. It talks about what are the adverse childhood events that happened to you, whether it was just neglect or actual sexual abuse or physical abuse, and you can kind of get a score and see, gee, where’s my score, and the scores are dramatically predictive. I mean, I think if you have a really high score, you have 20 year less life expectancy, for example, higher risk of addiction, of cancer, of autoimmune disease.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

And so, these things are not trivial, and I know personally. I was a victim of sexual abuse when I was young, and I hadn’t really talked about it ever. I mean, this may be the first time in a public form that I’ve actually said it out loud, but it’s something that I’ve been really bringing up to myself lately to look at how did that affect me, how did that inform my views, where is there shame in it, have I buried things that kept me from being fully embodied in my own personal life and my relationships sexually. And so, there’s just so much there that most of us never have a opportunity to think about, deal with. It’s not safe to talk about in our culture. The traditional forms of therapy don’t really seem to get at it very well. How does your work in the somatic work and the work around sexuality, how do you help people navigate toward those wounds? How do you help them metabolize them, understand them, and heal them?

Angelika Alana:

Yeah. Well, firstly, I just want to say thank you for sharing that and for being so courageous in sharing that because I think as you said, the shame that we feel around these things can keep us silent, and if we’re all silent, we can’t grow, we can’t ask for support, and we’re carrying around all of this unintegrated pain. So, I just want to deeply thank you for sharing that because I imagine so many people listening feel less alone, and also look at you, admire you, and think, “Wow, okay. If he can do this, if he can own this, if he can heal, then I can too,” and that’s what speaking out does. So, thank you for that.

Angelika Alana:

I think that this unintegrated pain that most of us are walking around with, and I do believe trauma is a spectrum, and this kind of unintegrated pain, every person carries to some degree. Some people have trauma with a capital T, for sure, and other people have traumas that they might not even realize deserve their attention or pains. There’s this spectrum that we’re all living with. For anyone listening, who might think, “Oh, I don’t have any childhood wounds,” it’s like, well, we all have unintegrated pain. I think Brené Brown said we’re living in the most in debt, obese, addicted, medicated, adult cohort in human history.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yes.

Angelika Alana:

Right. I don’t think, and this is the crossover between our work, I think, is that I don’t believe that it’s because we necessarily have more pain than our ancestors. What I do think is that we have an unhealthy perspective on how we’re supposed to cope with that pain. And so, to answer your question on how I help people with the wounds, I kind of want to share a little tidbit and we’re going to loop it back around. There’s a philosopher called Ken Wilber, an incredible-

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yes.

Angelika Alana:

You’ve heard of him.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Of course, yeah.

Angelika Alana:

Yeah. So, he talks about this idea that we’ve kind of flattened our reality, that we are as a society, as a culture now very obsessed with empirical objective. If we can’t see it and measure it, then it doesn’t exist or it’s not valuable. Now, there are problems with that, but let’s first celebrate the advances of that because previously, we lived in a time where church and religion and state and justice and creation and art and science were all blended together, and that wasn’t good either. We had to unblend those things. So, we did that. We’ve unblended, and now we’ve kind of swung hard in the other direction where we’re in a society that’s very obsessed with the objective surface level what can be measured.

Angelika Alana:

That has a price, I think, and as an individual, when we look at our mental health, our psyches, what that means is most of us are stuck in those two states. We’re either unblended, undifferentiated which means we don’t have enough awareness or space to be able to recognize what we’re feeling, and that might look like I am depressed versus I feel depressed. There’s no differentiation. We’re totally blended. We’re hijacked by what we feel. We don’t want that. Right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:

No.

Angelika Alana:

But then we swing hard to the other side and we disassociate, and actually, our society kind of rewards us for that. Disassociate, disconnect, be a productive little worker bee until it leaks out sideways in a heart attack or a nervous breakdown. Right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yeah.

Angelika Alana:

So, what’s the middle path, as Buddhist say, what’s the middle road, and I think that this is what my work is about, the root of it is finding the middle way which looks like differentiation. That’s what the somatic work is so helpful about. Feeling the emotions, the anger, the sadness, the grief as a physical sensation in the body gives you enough space to realize, hang on a minute, my grief is just a feeling. It’s a sensation and energy in my body. I can withstand that, and if I allow myself to experience in my body, that grief, that pain, that thing that I think I can’t withstand or survive feeling, it actually passes. When I disconnect or disassociate from the sensation, I loop and ruminate in my head, and that is actually what keeps us stuck.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

For sure.

Angelika Alana:

Yeah. So, that’s really the core of it. The somatic helps us to get enough space to undifferentiate, and then it’s integrate. We hear that word thrown out around a lot. Right? Like, integrate integration. What does that actually mean? For me, that means to unblend and to embrace, to say, “Okay, I have this grief. Whoa, I’m going to feel it. I’m going to be guided by…” I train and certify facilitators in this work as well. So, it’s I’m going to be guided by my coach, and there are many different modalities that use somatic work as well, many different styles of this work. Amazing teachers and facilitators bring this forward. So, I’m going to be guided perhaps by a coach, a therapist, a facilitator to experience in a safe place, to notice if I’m regulated enough, to touch this grief, to touch this anger in a safe way.

Angelika Alana:

We learn when we do that, wow, I have space, I get undifferentiated from it, and then I integrate because I change my relationship to that feeling. All of a sudden, it’s not that I have to stop feeling sad. Sadness is human, or that I have to stop feeling anger. It’s about can I change my relationship to that feeling, have enough space from it, unblend from it such that I can change my experience of it, such that that ripples out and changes who I am in the world, how I respond to things, how I can take care of myself. But most people don’t know themselves well enough to love themselves well, and that is the work of locating these wounds, seeing them unblending, and integrating them so that we can actually know who we really are.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

So, how do people begin to find those in themselves?

Angelika Alana:

Right. And so, this is why I think the somatic works comes in really, really well. But I think the first key is look at your life and look at all the things in your life that you say you really don’t want and that keep reappearing. So, we can’t take responsibility for everything. We don’t want to take over responsibility of like, “Oh my god, I got a flat tire. I must be doing something wrong.” Maybe, you might have driven over a nail because you weren’t paying attention, or maybe it just happened. But if you have something repeating in your life, for example, I had a woman come to me at the beginning of this year, and she was constantly in relationships with unavailable men. Every man she was in a relationship with, they’d be evasive, they’d be lying, they’d be avoidant, they wouldn’t want to commit. And so, what I helped her to see, or what I asked her the tough question is how are you contributing to this pattern to choosing this person in your life. There is an empowered stance, right, because you are choosing these people.

Angelika Alana:

And so, it’s the difficult work of finding the things that are continually repeating in your life that you say you don’t want. That’s usually a wound because there’s the desire, which is conscious, I want an available partner, right, which she had, but then her subconscious wounding was working against her. She didn’t feel safe in partnership with an available man because her father and previous experiences stitched her association with love to someone being unavailable, someone lying. So, you get to kind of see what it is you do want, desire, and then the things in your life that keep repeating that you say you don’t want, and now you say, “Oh, here’s a conflict.” That’s most of the chaos we experience in our life. Okay, now we can work, and the somatic work helps us reveal, okay, what’s there.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Powerful. So, maybe you can share some stories of some people who’ve come in with some challenges around their own connection to their trauma sexually, how you’ve helped them, what are the tools and techniques practically that you use as part of your work because you have enormous array of tools and information available, and I think people can find out more by going to angelikaalana.com/selfcare which you have your somatic self-care level 1 training, a retreat coming up in Mexico in November which is going to be amazing. So, I think I’d love to sort of guide people through what would be sort of a expectation of the kind of things you discovered, the work you’ve done with people, and how’s that helped them.

Angelika Alana:

Yeah. So, let’s give a few examples, I guess, could be interesting. Oftentimes people come to me, the catalyst is around love and sex, and my hidden agenda is to help them integrate their unintegrated pain, and then that helps them have the love and the sex that they desire. Right? This kind of wounds and desires, that’s the undercurrent of what I do. But the overcurrent is how do I get the love that I want, how do I have the sex that I want, or it’s coaches. I also work with mentoring coaches, how do I step onto the stage of doing this work, claim my worth, develop my capacities as a coach. So, there’s lots of different subsets of people. For example, I’ve had two women come to me in the last six months seeking their orgasms. A lot of people come because they’re in a sexless relationship or sometimes there’s many, many, many different things that people come to me for, but seeking orgasm does come up. And so, a lot of the time-

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Women who haven’t been able to experience it, wanting to experience it.

Angelika Alana:

Yeah. They’re curious, and I think the issue is a lot of the time we pathologize these things. And so, sure, sometimes there might be some kind of health problem or dysfunction, but that’s very rare actually. It’s usually a mental and emotional block. And so, the issue with this is as a culture, there’s so much shame because sex should apparently just be natural. Right? It’s just this thing that should just be easy. We should just know how to do it, and if we don’t, then there must be something wrong with me, or there must be something wrong with my partner or partners, or there must be something wrong with the relationships I’m having. Something’s broken which is this fixed mindset, this kind of collective delusion that we’re under.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yeah.

Angelika Alana:

Yeah, so it’s like that breeds silence because if you think you ought to know right, then you should just shut up if you don’t know, or projection, something wrong with you, blaming our partner or lovers or whomever, it’s all them, or it’s just sort of this lack of growth mindset because we’re not able to talk about it and say, “Well, actually, I don’t know what I’m doing, or I haven’t learned how to do this, or I don’t feel safe in my body, or I don’t know how to please a man or a woman or a person” As you were saying earlier, your sexual education was really, it’s like sexual health which that’s important, but we don’t have a pleasure education. It’s like how do I turn myself on, how do I turn my partner on.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

No, no, no.

Angelika Alana:

So, that’s important. Right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:

True, yeah.

Angelika Alana:

If you don’t know how to do maths, that doesn’t make you broken. It makes you in need of a teacher. You’ve never learned. And so, a lot of people come to me, and I’ll often say to clients, “Once the hormones and novelty of the honeymoon fade,” which they will, anyone who’s been in a longer term partnership of any configuration can tell you, you need skill and devotion. The doorway changes, and most of us don’t have the skillset, we’re not talking about it, that there’s actually a level of devotion needed, a level of patience, grace with yourself and your partner, willingness to kind of fumble through who are you sexually and intimately with the person who smelled your farts. That’s a different kettle of fish. That’s truly intimate.

Angelika Alana:

So, I’ll give an example of one of the women earlier this year who came to me seeking her orgasm. She was under this belief that she was broken because she’d ingested that from a society that said sex is easy, normal, and this kind of pornographic, patriarchal, performative sexuality that we see because if we don’t give our kids, our adolescents, our humans pleasure education, most of us get it from porn, and although there are some producers who are doing very ethical, pleasure-centric, diverse porn, most of it is not that. And so, that can kind of reinforce this idea, particularly for women or people with pussies, and the reason I say that word as some people might cringe at it is it’s the one of two only words that I’m aware of, if you guys are aware of others, that describe the entire female genitalia, and the other word is the most, possibly the most offensive word in the human language. Let’s just think about that for a moment. So, when I say people with pussies, not everyone with a pussy identifies as a woman.

Angelika Alana:

So, for most people with pussies or women, we can kind of ingest this idea that if I’m not just squirting and having five orgasms from penetration and no foreplay, then I must be broken or something’s wrong with me. I mean, even romance films. Do you ever see foreplay on romcoms or romance films? No, that’s just not how a pussy operates usually. Sometimes, but usually not. Right? She had all these inherited, ingested ideas about who she should be, who she’s not, how broken she is. And so, she was describing, which can be very common, a disconnection, a numbness down there to her genitals, and I think the other misconception that can be very common is that, well, I don’t feel much down there. Right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yeah.

Angelika Alana:

Right. This numbness, but what I helped her to see and what was actually true for her, it’s not always true for everyone, each case is unique is that it wasn’t that she felt not enough. It was actually that she felt too much. So, she had learned she didn’t feel safe-

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Really?

Angelika Alana:

Yes, she didn’t feel safe in feeling down there. So, she learned how to shut it off, to disassociate, to disconnect. I don’t feel safe in feeling so much, and so there’s an unconscious response or a choice that might trace back to being, I don’t know, seven years old, running naked through the sprinkler in the backyard or 10 years old, 11 years old, and having your parents come out from a place of protection, but not realizing how it impacts you and say, “Put some clothes on, we have neighbors,” and you think… This hot rod of shame shoots through you and you think, “Oh my god, I’ve done something wrong. I shouldn’t be naked. I shouldn’t be free. I shouldn’t be in pleasure,” or a really common story, your self-pleasuring. An adult or a caregiver comes in the room and gets mad at you and yells at you and shuts you down. So, we inherit these kind of blocks which is never again. We might make a silent vow.

Angelika Alana:

So, for this client who I won’t use her real name to protect her confidentiality, and whenever I share client stories, I always change and leave out any identifying details, but for her, she’d had that experience of being walked in on while self-pleasuring. And so, what we discovered through the somatic work is what was the vow that she made. What was the vow that she made? Never again will I let myself feel that good because it ends in disconnection, rejection, and shame, and there is the wound. And so, then we could help her work with that to start to feel safe in her pleasure again, that it’s okay, connected, all of these things.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

How did that translate from the insight that that was the source of her disconnection with her body to healing that disconnection in a practical way? Were there exercises? Was there practices?

Angelika Alana:

Yeah. So, some of the integration happens in the somatic session. So, we’re in the body, we’re feeling around, we’re working with this block or this I can’t feel, and then we’re starting to poke around in sensations, and as you do that work, what will start to arise are memories and associations that she’s speaking that out loud. So, she’s sharing that memory with me, and we’re going “Okay, interesting,” and from her adult present moment perspective, she’s able to actually look at that memory a little differently, and actually maybe even speak to the seven or eight-year-old part that felt shamed, and rewrite the narrative, what do you want to tell that part of you about what you actually think about self-pleasure or what is truer for you now about pleasure. So, there’s that kind of in-the-moment integration that starts to happen that’s extremely powerful that once you have that experience, once you see the wound, you meet it differently, that nothing and no one can take that from you.

Angelika Alana:

And then there’s things called pleasure practices which is utilizing your self-pleasure at home. You can do guided practices often. So, it’s like a yoga class. I’m guiding someone step by step in a different way of how to utilize their pleasure, let’s say, for example, to feel more comfortable experiencing shame, or how to experience their pleasure as a nourishing fuel rather than some performative thing. So, we kind of take people through a guided practice to reexperience and reassociate their pleasure with safety, being for them, all of these types of things. So, it’s like the transformative experience happens in the somatic healing session. You remember the memory, you meet it differently, and then it’s like, well, you integrate it through having consistent practices of pleasure and integration sessions so that you can kind of draw down from that expanded state and actually sustain it in your everyday life.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

So, yeah, it’s really helpful, Angel, but I think many people listening might not really connect or understand what somatic healing is. I mean, soma is the body, obviously healing the body, but we know what psychotherapy is. You talk to your therapist. What is actually somatic healing? Are you touching your clients? Are they by themselves? Take us through the practicality of it because I think it sounds exciting and new and different for a lot of people as a way of actually healing because I think a lot of us have realized that the particularly brain-based, insight-based therapies just don’t seem to get to the trouble most of the time.

Angelika Alana:

Yeah. Thank you for pointing that out. Sometimes when your face is pressed against the painting, because you’re so in it, you can’t see it. Let me take a step back from the painting. So, typical session, whether I’m training or certifying coaches in how to hold or set up these sessions, or whether I’m having a session with a client myself, they’re online. I do most of my work online. You could do it in person. You’re not physically touching your client at all. They’re really in their own experience. They’re sitting. Oftentimes you’ll close your eyes. So, what closing the eyes does… If it feels safe enough. For every client, they don’t feel safe enough closing their eyes, that’s okay. They can soften their gaze… But you close the eyes so that you can start to feel the sensations in the body more than stay stuck in looking around your environment, scanning, thinking.

Angelika Alana:

And so the first step is just to help people drop. First, we’ll decide what we’re going to work on. So, let’s say, for example, in this instance, it was the woman feeling blocked around orgasm, feeling like she’s broken, and that she can’t. She comes in with that. That’s what she knows she wants to fix. There’s the desire. There’s that thing that keeps happening that she doesn’t want. Like I said earlier, there’s the clue. So, we go, “Okay, let’s work with that in the body.” We close eyes, and we just start with somatic mindfulness.

Angelika Alana:

So, I actually have a free guided somatic mindfulness practice. If people want to try this out, they can just go to angelikaalana.com/podcast, and they can try this out. But essentially it’s a process of guiding people to come back into reconnection with their felt sense. What is the sensations arising inside of their body. Not just the thoughts, what am I feeling sensation wise, and then perhaps exploring what are the associated emotions with those sensations, maybe even memories, symbols. It doesn’t have to make sense to the rational mind. That’s what I’m always encouraging people. And some people, it takes a few sessions just to practice that. We think, “Oh, I know what sensations are in my body, and I know how to feel that.” Well, do you, people listening? It can actually be a skill.

Angelika Alana:

So, we start there, and then we start to explore the associated emotions and associations. It’s kind of like a bottom-up approach. Then we bring up what we find in that realm of the memories, the associations with the feelings. We also do free movement and sound, helping people to process what they’re feeling in their body in the moment, and then we kind of bring that information up. So it’s the bottom, the body, the feelings, the emotions. Not rational. You’re feeling. You’re sensing. And then we start to lift that up out into a more awareness.

Angelika Alana:

I’ll often do parts work, helping people see, well, how old is feeling, this sensation feel, or how old were you in that memory. Okay, now we’re bring bringing it up, up, up, up. Okay, well, how do you feel in present moment? So, now we’re bringing up, up, up, and then when we end the somatic component of the session, we look at, okay, what did we learn here, what did we learn about what might have hurt you in the past, the unintegrated pain you’re carrying around and what is the strategy, here’s the big one, what’s the strategy that you chose to never again feel that way?

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Feel that. Yeah, yeah, exactly. That’s so powerful. So, in a way you take people through a journey to these locked rooms inside themselves that they haven’t been willing or able to open, or maybe never even knew existed until you start to probe and figure out what the origins are of their dysfunctional patterns and love and life and sexuality, and it sort of gives them opportunity to heal all those old buried stories and feelings and experiences which is so incredible.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

I want to sort of shift now to it kind of the other side of the conversation which is you’re talking about healing trauma and using somatic work to deal with some of these deep wounds that we experience as children or the stories we tell ourselves that don’t work anymore, but the other side of it is really the entry into a reimagination of love and relationship, and to move from toxic relationships which is sort of the norm, unfortunately, where we’re both kind of in relationships, partners are often just reenacting their childhood wounds with each other, and harming each other more and not healing each other.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

So, how do we move from that toxic framework relationship to a healing framework? How do we sort of identify what those patterns are, and how do we actually use sexuality and intimacy and connection to create healing? Because as a doctor, for me, I know very clearly that people’s mental health drives their physical health.

Angelika Alana:

Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

And mental health also comprises your sexual health. So, it’s all connected. Right? So, can you kind of walk us through how we move from the transition from where we are, of all the things you just talked about, to a different framework of love and relationship, and how do we get there?

Angelika Alana:

Yeah. Thank you for asking that question. I really, at the basis of what I do is this deep belief that true love exists, but I think that we kind of have to redefine what is true love. And for me, true love is not just held for a romantic partner. It’s the ability to truly love authentically in a connected and intimate way, love the people we love through knowing ourselves well enough to love ourselves well and thus teach others how to do the same. And so, I think it starts with what we’ve been talking about. If we want to move from a toxic style of relating, we have to see the wounds that we are carrying, the unintegrated pain that we, unless you’ve done a lot of this work, that we all have, and to say, “Okay, how have I constructed my entire life, potentially, my entire identity, and who I am in love, how much I let people love me, how much I let people see before I shut down or push them away or sabotage my relationships?”

Angelika Alana:

It’s so connected to this unintegrated pain, and so until we start to do this work, get support to do this work, to integrate some of that, learn more about who we are, and our shadows, as they say, the unconscious parts of us, right, it’s very difficult, I think, to move from toxic styles of relating, as you said, where we’re just slinging our past childhood wounding at each other, projecting all over each other, into first, self-responsibility, which I think was the answer that you actually gave when I do rapid fire at the end of my podcasts. I have a podcast called Awakened Love. We just did an episode with Mark that was on last week.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yes, I was on it, yes.

Angelika Alana:

Yeah, and that was your answer which I loved, and I was like, “Yes, Mark.” When I said what do you think are the most important things for success relationship, I believe you said cop-to-it-ness.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Cop-to-it-ivness, cop-to-it-ivness.

Angelika Alana:

Yeah, and I was like, “what does that mean?” You’re like “Essentially, self-responsibility,” and I was like, “Yes.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yes, cop to it. When you screw up or when you did something out of integrity or unconsciously or unintentionally, just cop to it. Just own it.

Angelika Alana:

Yes, yes, which easier said than done. Right? We have to have a pretty good relationship with vulnerability, intimacy, and self-awareness to say, “Okay, wow. I made a mistake, and/or I have this habituated way of being, I have this wound, and I protect it in this way.” You have to know yourself well enough to love yourself well, and then to start to allow or let others see you. You don’t have to be perfect. It’s not about perfection. It’s about self-awareness. That’s the opposite. Right? Self-awareness of your mess, self-awareness of your pain, self-awareness of who you are when you’re triggered, so that you can take that self-responsibility, which is step one, so that you can move into what I would describe as a healing relationship.

Angelika Alana:

So, what’s the difference? How do we know if we’re in a toxic relationship versus a healing relationship? Well, step one is you’re in projection, you’re not aware of your own integrated pain or your partner’s pain, and you’re just, you’re blaming one another essentially, and trying to have that person meet your needs and refusing to meet your own needs, which is a big one. I want you to say all the things. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yeah. Well, I think that’s the first fallacy of relationship that our partner’s job is to meet our needs. That is not their job.

Angelika Alana:

Ding, ding, ding.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

That’s our job. That’s our job.

Angelika Alana:

Yes, yes, and that points to which is very useful information. So, when we see that in ourselves, we don’t have to shame ourselves. We can look at that and go, “Okay.” So, for example, me, I had this unmet need in my childhood. So, my greatest unmet need from my perspective as a child was that I just needed a safe and stable place. So, before I did this healing work, I was running around looking for a man to give me a safe and stable place, but refusing to give it to myself, and that was my inner 10-year-old running my love life and sex life, and most of us who haven’t done any relational healing work have a 10-year-old or 12-year-old or seven-year-old running our love life and our sex life, yeah, which is I didn’t get this need met, and I’m going to find someone who reminds me of the person who didn’t meet the need, and I’m going to play out my unfinished business with my parents with them and hope that they meet the need, even though I’m refusing to meet it myself.

Angelika Alana:

So, yes, step one, owning your needs, which by the way, actually makes it easier for other people to meet your needs. That’s the kind of mind-bending part of that. When you come to someone and you’re not saying, “I need you to do this or else,” and you say, “You know, I recognize it’s my responsibility to create a safe and stable place for me, and I will always be the one to do that for myself. I’ll always come back to at least aiming to do that for myself. I know it’s my responsibility, but can you help me?” different energy. Right? And so, moving into a healing relationship is taking ownership of your own work.

Angelika Alana:

And then who are the people in your life, whether it’s romantic partners, friends, family members, who empower you to do your own work? They can’t do it for you, but they can love, support, encourage, and empower you to do your own personal development work, to, as the cliche, become a better person through them loving you, supporting you, and you doing your own work. A toxic relationship is one in which you feel consistently disempowered from doing your healing work.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yeah. You know, it’s interesting. I found a new framework that’s really helped me in my current relationship which has really been extraordinary, and that is there’s me, there’s her, there’s us, and then there’s this third entity which is the stuff that we bring into the relationship. The traumas, the triggers, the fears that aren’t really who we truly are, but are things that we’ve brought in, and instead of being obstacles, they’re opportunities to actually together hold them outside of the container of the relationship and look at them and be curious about them and explore them without judgment, without fear, or without having to have a certain outcome, but just in an honest, clear, and curious way go, “Hmm, gee, this is coming up for me,” and instead of me going, “Oh, that means you don’t like me, or that means blah, blah, blah,” it’s like, “Oh, okay. This is interesting. Where is that from? What’s that about? How am I showing up that’s creating that, or where is that a place where we can learn about what’s driving us, and how do we become free from it?” It’s a very different framework, you know?

Angelika Alana:

Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Because I often see people sort of in being really sort of dug in. You’re not meeting my needs. You’re not meeting my needs. It’s like I’m not going to do what you want me to do until you do what I want to do, and it’s like this crazy, weird dynamic that this doesn’t get anywhere. It’s like if you look at love as a container for creating your own spiritual evolution, then it becomes a very different perspective on how to actually be in the relationship. It’s not about them fixing you or you fixing them. It’s about being curious together about how to evolve together and individually.

Angelika Alana:

Yes, and what you just described so beautifully is what we touched on earlier which is this idea of undifferentiating, unblending from your reaction, but still looking at it and sharing about it curiously. One of my good friends, Sah D’Simone is an amazing Buddhist teacher, and he says, “The quality of your curiosity is the quality of your liberation,” and I love that. It’s what you’re saying. It’s can I create enough space to look at what I’m feeling, not disassociate from it, not disconnect, not shove it down, no, have it leak sideways, but can I just have enough space where we can be curious about what’s here and learn how to grow from it, and shift from when I win, you lose, or vice versa, this win-lose power struggle, yep, into how do we compassionately and creatively get both of our needs met. It takes creativity.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yeah, how do we actually realize that our happiness isn’t really about the other person meeting our needs, but us becoming whole human beings and meeting each other as two whole human beings in the context of love. It’s something we don’t really have a model for. I certainly did not have that model for me as a boy.

Angelika Alana:

Gosh, no.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

It certainly isn’t modeled in our culture. It’s certainly modeled in books and movies and TV, and so we’re kind of flying blind a little bit, and what’s really exciting is that there’s sort of this emerging conscious around love and sexuality and redefine what love is that kind of is exploring it, totally different way of thinking about it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

I read a book called All About Love by bell hooks who’s recently died, a woman who was really insightful, talking about the nature of love. It kind of was great because it kind of taught me that a lot of the ideas, the concepts, the beliefs, the conditioning, the norms are kind of fabricated, and what would love look like if we kind of shed those and we ask ourselves what do we want, how do we create a different way of being with someone, and to use all those opportunities, whether they’re triggers or things that cause us to kind of have some physical sensation or body of fear or disconnect, as a gift, as an opportunity to look at ourselves and to look at what’s happening and to be able to transmute that into a really different way of relating to somebody.

Angelika Alana:

Yes, yes. And we need skills. It’s about upskilling. Right? I didn’t know about conscious communication. Right? I didn’t know about regulating my nervous system. I didn’t know about being hijacked by my emotions, my reactions, and my triggers, or how to get space from that. My aim is to upskill my clients, right, not just the somatic healing work, but also to give them and upskill them in relationships, in sex. What are the skills we actually need to succeed? Because, and also, this healing relationship, it’s not about perfection, but you do want, as you are sharing, what is the vision and intention for your relationship. It might look totally different.

Angelika Alana:

Is it that you want to spiritually evolve together? Is it that you want to create a safe space to do your own healing, such that your relationship becomes a healing presence for your kids, for your family, for your community? What is the intention of even being with one another? Why are you together, so that when you forget, because Lord knows you will, hopefully one of you can remain in your mature adult and can help to empower the other to remember why are we here, to remember what is the style of communication we’ve agreed on. We don’t use name calling. We don’t use raised voices. I love you, but I won’t allow that. That’s not within our framework. We have different skills. We have a different intention, and learning how to repair after rupture because even if you have all the best intentions, me and my husband have. I still act like a petulant child sometimes, and I think, “Off, wow, still got work to do,” but I have the skills now to repair.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I think that’s right. I think a lot of us, it’s almost like we wouldn’t imagine getting in a car where everything was unpredictable, where the car was swerve right, would swerve left, the brakes would slam, on the gas would go forward, it would flip round backwards. I mean, we’d be terrified, but that’s exactly how we navigate emotionally in relationships. It’s like some crazy person driving the car.

Angelika Alana:

Right, and blaming the other person in the passenger seat for how it’s driving.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Exactly. And so, learning how to kind of get ahold of the control. Our control switch is on our amygdala which is our ancient, we call it our fight or flight response, but in medicine we learned, they were the four Fs, the feeding, which is our behavior around food, fight or flight, and reproduction. That was the fourth F.

Angelika Alana:

I thought you were going to say forn, flight, freeze, flight, forn, but no. I like that. The fourth F, yes, very important.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

And so, our behavior really is often triggered by these ancient survival mechanisms that aren’t really serving us anymore, and I’m sort of curious about a lot of these ancient techniques around embodied sexuality and there’s more and more talk about it. There’s more courses that people can take. There’s things that actually help people discover that. I’m super curious about it and exploring it myself, and I think that it’s sort of almost criminal that we don’t have a cultural narrative of how to get through these challenging aspects of love, relationship, and sexuality, and that’s why your work is so important. It sort of gives people a roadmap to figure things out which really, we don’t have a language for, we don’t have a framework for, and yet it exists.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

I mean, it’s been there throughout historical cultures, whether it’s tantra or other ways of thinking about love, relationship, healing the mind, perception, Buddhism, all of it. I think, a friend of mine, Susan Piver, wrote The Four Noble Truths of Love. It’s all about how do we get out of this sort of projection of our conditioning, our trauma, our lineages, bring that into relationship and actually start to heal that. That’s really what seems like the work that we have to do because right now we’re in such a divisive society. There’s so much conflict, not just in relationship, in love relationships and family relationships, but in society as a whole. I mean, it’s just sort of staggering to me the amount of conflict. I mean, there always was, I guess, throughout history, but it just seems to be ramped up and polarized more than I’ve ever known. I mean, America didn’t seem to be two Americas before, and now it seems to be completely two Americas which is so tragic.

Angelika Alana:

Mm-hmm. Yeah, I mean, Ken Wilber, who I mentioned earlier, describes expansion of consciousness as the ability to expand what we’re aware of and care for. So, to both be aware of and caring of, and I think that, for me, that looks like and what I see people learn how to do through the somatic healing work is hold more complexity with care, that I can make a mistake, I can hurt myself or someone else, and I can still be a good human being. I’m still worthy of love. I can have a really period of low, of depression, and be overcome with sadness, and I’m still valuable. I still have value. There’s this complexity, this ability to hold more with more care, and I think if we each were able to do that on an individual level, we’d be able to hold more complex human beings in front of us, that people can say something you don’t like and still be worthy of love and belonging. People can have a different opinion to you and still be worthy of your time and connection, you know?

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yeah, it’s so true. I mean, I deal with all sorts of people as a doctor. I can’t choose who comes in my office. I can’t choose what they believe, what their religious beliefs are, their political beliefs, and at the end of the day, everybody’s a human being, and that’s where I start. I remember one day my office had a Muslim, a Christian, a rabbi, I had a top Republican, a top Democrat. It was like the united nations of medicine or something. I was like, “You know what? This is all so crazy.” We’re all just struggling with the same things. We all care about the same things. We all want to be happy. We all want our families to be good. We all want to live in a better world.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

I mean, we all have different views of how to get there, for sure, but I think that our common humanity has been forgotten, and that just really breaks my heart, and it seems to me that your work is really about getting connected to your own humanity and your own center of the universe where you’re actually an embodied human that’s looked at yourself carefully, that’s healed the things that need to be healed, that’s learned how to love yourself and others in a more integrated way. It’s the most important work we have to do. I remember reading a quote, I can’t remember the exact one from Dalai Lama, but essentially it’s like we want to heal the world, we have to start with ourselves, you know?

Angelika Alana:

Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

And I think it may seem like a narcissistic pursuit, but it really isn’t. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t be there in the world to show up for others, you know?

Angelika Alana:

No.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

And I think that’s what it’s all about.

Angelika Alana:

Yeah, and the body doesn’t discriminate. Your body, whatever mistakes you make, your body’s just striving. Even when we’re sick, the body’s always striving to try and deal with the toxins and the stress and everything to try and create a homeostasis. It’s like our body doesn’t discriminate, and what’s so beautiful about the body is it’s always right here, right now. Your body is never anywhere else, but right here, right now, and that’s what I really love about this powerful path of body-based healing, and I think that when we get in touch with our body, we do become more present, and when we’re connected to our body, I believe we’re connected to the gift of getting to be alive, of you, this moment, this body, this life exactly as it is right now. And that’s for me has been the most profound pathway or gateway into better sex, and liberation, and truly allowing myself to be seen by my husband which I found excruciatingly vulnerable. Right?

Angelika Alana:

I knew how to do the fourth F, but did I know how to make love, how to be seen? No, that took me learning and developing and better relationships, learning how to love my darkness and still say, “Wow, okay, that was not kind, or I lost my temper there, and I’m still worthy of love and belonging,” to take responsibility for, and then that allows me to do it with other people. I look, okay, wow, that person lost their temper. They didn’t feel good. Okay, they’re still worthy. Can we repair? So, it’s like all of this work internally that does bleed outward and that is really tangible. That’s what I love about the body too is you have an experience of it. It’s not just ideology. It’s not just concept. You feel it in your own way, through your own lens, whether it’s spiritual or religious or secular, and then you have that experience, and no one or nothing can take it from you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

It’s so true. Our body is really the doorway to understanding so much about us, whether it’s our physical health, our mental health. I think for me, I recently went, I talked a little bit about it on different podcasts, but recently last year went through a real deep process of uncovering my own childhood traumas that I’d really buried. Oh, I had a pretty good childhood. It wasn’t that bad. It’s like kind of dismissive. What’s a little sexual abuse? Oh, my stepfather was this and that, or my mother did this. I just kind of minimized it, and I intellectually knew the stories. I could recount it here, but I didn’t actually integrate it in a way that allowed me to be free of it. So, it was still driving my operating system.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

The thing that really helped me was to kind of get connected to the physiological sensations that were coming up as I began to let myself feel them, and ended up sort of on the floor for days and days in a cathartic puddle, unable to do anything else, just overwhelmed by that, and it kind of moved through me, and when I came out of it, I just felt completely different. It was like I had a reboot where an antivirus software kind of went in and just cleaned up all the corrupted software in my head. I was shocked because I was like, “Wow.” I know these stories for decades, but I haven’t been able to actually move through them and let it release and be free of it. Now, I wouldn’t say that I’m probably completely free. I think there’s still things that come up, but now it’s more like a faint echo or I’m like some annoying cousin that kind of comes around and bothers you from time to time. It’s not like the central narrative in my life.

Angelika Alana:

Yes. Well, I’d love to work with you more on this, and it sounds like you released the kind of stored physical tension which you didn’t know how to do or didn’t allow your body to do at the time to process that. The body knows how to heal. It knows what to do, how to cry, how to shake, how to run, how to do what it needs to do to complete the uncomplete or incomplete stress cycles hanging out in your system. And then, as you describe so beautifully, we often time have these echos, these associations left over, things that remind us of that thing, and so then that comes up to be digested again bit by bit. And so, yeah, really beautiful that you were able to allow your body, that you’d come to a place of trust with yourself and your body that you could go there.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yeah. I mean, it took a lot.

Angelika Alana:

I bet.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

I joke, I say it took months of foreplay. I literally just did so much work, journaling, writing, thinking, exploring. It was just unpacking, unpacking, unpacking, and then finally, it just kind of the dam broke, and it was really powerful.

Angelika Alana:

Yeah, you got to heal at your own pace as you just expressed. It took you the time that you needed to do the work mentally to get comfortable with the idea perhaps of going to the body, and I think that’s a really important point you bring up is got to heal at our own pace.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Yeah. So, it’s so good, and I think what’s so great about you is you’ve created a work program, a training program that allows people to navigate this. It’s called Somatic Self-care. Could you take us through what it is, why you created it, what people can expect, why people should care about maybe doing it?

Angelika Alana:

Yeah, for sure. So, the Somatic Healing Institute is a space that I use to train and certify coaches and facilitators, but level 1, there’s level 1, level 2, level 3, and then we have a professional coaching certification, level 1 is what’s open for enrollments. I’m not sure when this podcast will be released, but I believe enrollments will be open and you can apply. Level 1 is not just for coaches or facilitators. So, level 1 of the somatic training is somatic self-care. So, this is just about learning the fundamental principles of somatic self-care, about somatic mindfulness, how to use your breath, your sound, your movement, and to touch into your felt sense to heal, to move towards greater states of wellbeing.

Angelika Alana:

So, you don’t have to have any experience. It’s a 12-hour training. It’s all done online. You can do it from anywhere in the world. There’ll be live sessions, but you can also catch the recordings. There’ll be practices you can do and keep for the rest of your life so that you can kind of integrate this as a fundamental practice of self-care. So, you might have tried meditation before, and that more still, quiet method might not have worked for you, and oftentimes, a more somatic mindfulness approach helps.

Angelika Alana:

So, if people are curious in taking the training, what I would say is go to angelikaalana.com/podcast and get the free guided somatic mindfulness practice, and then get a taste of it, and if you’re like, “Okay, wow, that felt really good. I want to learn how to do this more, how to kind of really understand this,” then you could move into the training, level 1 training, and we’re also doing a retreat in November, untamed, reclaim your voice, rewild your body, and remember who you are.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

That sounds good. How do I sign up?

Angelika Alana:

Well, this one is for ladies only.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Oh, shoot. Okay, fine.

Angelika Alana:

But maybe next year we’ll do a co-ed, but it’s going to be in the beautiful beach of Tulum. Yeah, it’s going to be all about embodiment. If you’re curious about this kind of living as a sensual woman and about sexual vibrancy and wholeness and somatic self-care, all of these things. It’s going to be reclaiming your voice, rewilding your body. And then next year we have a leadership retreat in Q1 in Bali which will be for anyone who runs a service-based or wants to run a service-based soulful business, and that will be in Bali. So, all of the information is on my website. If you go to angelikaalana.com/podcast, you get the free meditation, and then you’ll find all the info for everything else should you want to.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

Oh, thank you. Thank you so much for what you do, Angel. It’s really been great getting to know you as a friend and to know your work, and to see you growing and emerging into such a great teacher and leader in the space of healing things that no one else is really doing a good job at. I mean, there are people, for sure, but I just think it’s one of those tough subjects that most people are shy away from. So, good for you for taking it on and creating an invitation for people to look at themselves and heal in ways that they hadn’t imagined possible.

Angelika Alana:

The key is in the mud. Thank you for having me.

Dr. Mark Hyman:

The key is in the mud. I love that. Great. Well, thanks for joining the podcast. Thank you all for listening. If you love this podcast, please share with your friends and family on social media. I’m sure we all have something to learn from this. Leave a comment how have you helped heal toxic relationships, heal your own trauma, dealt with your sexual challenges, we’d love to know. And of course, subscribe wherever you get your podcast, and we’ll see you next time on The Doctor’s Farmacy.

Lauren:

Hi, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. Just a reminder that this podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. If you’re looking for help in your journey, seek out a qualified medical practitioner. If you’re looking for a functional medicine practitioner, you can visit ifm.org and search their find a practitioner database. It’s important that you have someone in your corner who’s trained, who’s a licensed healthcare practitioner and can help you make changes, especially when it comes to your health.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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