Dr Holly Fourchalk, practiced as a psychologist for over 20 years utilizing a variety of tools from EMDR – OEI – hypnotherapy, etc and then incorporated into her practice. She is a Dr. of Natural Medicine, has a PhD in Nutrition, achieved her MA in Herbal Medicine, utilizes the REBA & ASYRA devices in homeopathy, and harnesses the power of reflexology and laser therapy. She is truly, in every sense of the word, a complete holistic practitioner. When she is not working with cutting edge science she is busy flying around the world teaches and spreading this noble wisdom. Having already published 11 books on varied subjects, she has penned three more that will be published shortly.
As one of the most “diversely exposed” medical practitioners in CureJoy’s expert panel, Dr.Holly, expresses her absolute belief about why mankind must reestablish the connection with Nature and everything natural.
Q1: Dr. Holly, you have been exposed to many varied radical and natural approaches to looking at health holistically. How do you combine these when inducing the right approach for every individual?
Good question. When I did my first doctoral thesis I asked if I could study the “Placebo Effect”. It seemed very apparent to me that if the Placebo was so strong, that we needed to account for it when doing statistical analysis then, especially as psychologists, we should be researching it. My proposal was denied and my doctoral thesis became: Psychoneuralendocrinology. Now this too, is important, because, the point was how interactive the different systems were. Interestingly enough, even though it depicted significant results, the thesis was not well received at the time. Why? It crossed too many fields!
Both issues contribute to how I work with a client today:
- I determine a given protocol based on their belief systems. The mind is powerful – make it work for you.
- Note how the physical systems in the body are incredibly interlinked, but so are the mind/body/energy systems.
In addition, I don’t believe that there is ever a “right” approach but rather, just as the body can go out of balance in an incredible number of ways…likewise there are an incredible number of ways to bring the body back into balance.
Thus, in order to determine the “best” approach for a given client I need to understand what all the contributing variables might be to causing their imbalance AND what their mindset might be.
Q2: Most ancient medical practices are based on the premise of spiritual and mental wellness being the precursor to a healthy body. Having experienced most practices yourself, what are your views on this?
Actually, when you look way back in most ancient “scientific” practices, a lot came from:
- The different ancient healing practices that identified and located mind and spirituality differently than we do today.
- For instance, in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) – each of the major 5 systems is responsible for a different component, of what we identify as “cognition”, and in Western philosophy it is attributed to the brain.
- In Ayurvedic philosophy, the whole personality/physical/cognitive continuum is understood in terms of the “energetics” or the “doshas” or the “constitution of the individual”.
For myself, what your spiritual beliefs are; your underlying life themes; your coping mechanisms; your value systems; etc all impact on the well-being of your body. They can be as much a benefit to the physiology as they can be a detriment.
But it is equally important to realize how the health of the body impacts on the how the brain and/or mind functions.
Q3: Depression and Anxiety has always been thought to be the triggers for imbalances in the body. Tell us about the manifestations of these triggers and how you approach this in your treatment?
Somewhat like the prior answer, I believe it is important to recognize that there is a 2-way communication between the mind and body – it is NOT merely one directional. For instance, it is now recognized that the microbiota in your gut can have a huge impact on the thoughts, emotions and behaviors of the individual. Likewise, the thought and emotions can have a huge impact on the physiology. Again, it is an incredible two way connection.
Q4: How much do you end up treating your patients psychologically and spiritually as against treating their physical symptoms?
This is an interesting question. It really depends on the individual. It is usually easier to explain to someone that their “psychological” issues have a physiological cause then it is to tell someone that their physical issues have a strong “psychological” base. Now, that doesn’t mean that the issues are “all in the head”, but rather, the stress that is caused by how they interpret and respond to the world, is actually a strong contributing factor to the current disorder.
On the other hand, which ever may be the underlying cause, the two usually end up being interwoven. So I guess it really depends on how receptive a given individual may be.
Q5: What plagues society today? Is it ignorance, or a detachment with everything natural, or a skewed view of life, or a symptomatic mindset?
What plaques society today is a combination of: toxicities, lack of nutrients, stressful/toxic relationships at home, at work; the need to keep up with the Jonses’ at cost to the self and family; a disconnect with the inner self, with family and friends, and with nature; the false belief that man can do better than nature (when it is becoming more and more evident that the more man gets involved, the more detrimental the product is, whether it be food or medicine or whatever).
In addition, in North America, there is a strong belief that people should promote themselves as experts, gurus, etc when they just got out of a program and have no experience. Or that someone with 6 months or a year’s training is somehow equivalent to someone who has 5 – 8 – 10 years training and/or experience. This ends up creating a society that is arrogantly ignorant.
Finally, the way we live is very disconnected with what our mind/bodies require. For instance, not only are the magnetics of the earth greatly depleted, BUT, we walk with rubber soles, on concrete; move around on rubber tires; live way above the earth; surrounded by manmade electromagnetics; in the midst of constant lights and sounds; and out of the sun. How does this manner of living allow us to be connected to the natural electromagnetic frequencies of the earth; experience truly productive and restorative sleep; create the nutrients that our bodies create when exposed to the sun; and allow our bodies to function in a healthy balance and harmony.
In sum, virtually all aspects of our lives are contributing to the chaos, disease and disorder society is currently experiencing.
Q6: Where would you want everyone to start looking and what should they look for?
This is a huge question. If we identified everything we need to be looking for and taking care of – it would be far too overwhelming. We don’t have enough time, money and knowledge to do all that. However, there is hope. Connect with one thing that needs to shift in your life. Focus on it for a good month and then add in another component. Working steadily, integrating one issue at a time is far more effective for most.
Now having said that, there is a small segment of the population that are more effective making a huge shift at one given time.
So what might you start with?
- Eliminate one of the following: processed foods; fast foods; microwaved foods; pasteurized foods, sugars
- Add in one of the following: whole foods, green foods, colorful foods, raw foods.
- Engage in one of the following: walking at lunch; doing pilates before work; going to Yoga after work; biking or hiking on days off; dancing Friday or Saturday nights with your partner (I mean actually dancing not sitting and watching everyone else dance).