Chronically Living and how to make the most of it

Chronically Living and how to make the most of it

The goal of the show is to provide tangible ways to improve the well-being of chronic illness warriors.Do you have a chronic illness or chronic pain and you are open to trying new ways to improving your life? If you answered yes, then this show can help you explore new ways to do this. Kelsey Harris has a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Clinical Counsellor in Canada. She is also a person with lived experience with diagnoses of UCTD, fibromyalgia, and gluacoma, who has and continues to explore ways to improve her own well-being, and that for the rest of the Spoonie community. There are many ways to heal, and to improve well-being and quality of life, and some of the ways guest healthcare professionals, guests with lived experience, and Kelsey as she presents mental health coping skills, may work well for you. We want your subjective well-being and quality of life to be better! The show has two formats: first is solo episodes, where Kelsey presents coping skills and psychoeducation for mental health as it relates to chronic illness and chronic pain. The second is guest interviews with healthcare professionals and fellow chronic illness warriors who give alternative models to well-being. Episodes are released weekly.

Episodes

October 24, 2021 24 min

We're continuing our journey through the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy hexaflex this week by taking a look at defusion - or rather, creating distance between ourselves and our thoughts. When our thoughts are too close to us, they tend to interfere with our lives, leading us to behaviour that is the opposite of what we want (we want mindful, values-based living).
In this episode we talk about:

  • common chronic illness thoughts
  • ha...
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    Connections, community, networking. These are important for our well-being. We need support, but also we need to just engage with others as social creatures. Lifelong chronic illness warrior Amy Sinha joins me on the show to talk about where to find these connections and how to make them.
    In this episode we talk about:

  • why connection and community is important for well-being
  • where to make new connections online
  • different types of conne...
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    This week we're exploring what sounds like the weird world of hypnotherapy, but in fact, it is nothing like you think it is.  This week Sam Visnic joins us to tell us he uses hypnotherapy in his practice, and how it helps people with chronic pain.
    In this episode we talk about:

  • what hypnotherapy is
  • how hypnotherapy can help chronic pain
  • who makes a good candidate for hypnotherapy
  • Guest Bio:
    Sam Visnic has spent his life studying the ...

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    One of the 6 Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) processes is Contacting the Present Moment. And guess what?! ACT has a huge evidence base for helping people with chronic pain and chronic illness, as well as mental health. But how do we do this (in a way that isn't formal meditation)? That's what we're exploring this week.
    In this episode we talk about:

  • the 6 processes in ACT
  • "mindfulness" for chronic pain and ...
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    Weight gain is common in people with chronic illness and can happen for a variety of reasons. I often see people asking how to lose weight or better manage it, which is a great question. And so Dr. Franchell Hamilton is sharing with us both Western approaches and holistic approaches to this question.
    In this episode we talk about:

  • holistic approaches to weight loss
  • 4 pillars of transformation
  • 4 transformational steps
  • the app Fresh Tri
  • Gu...

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    Feeling that sense of accomplishment is linked to well-being, but many Spoonies struggle to feel that because they are limited in their daily activities. If this sounds like you, then in tune in because APS and Lupus Warrior, Darren Radke shares how he manages to feel a sense of accomplishment often, despite having two chronic illnesses.
    In this episode we talk about:

  • two coping skills: music and exercise
  • what gives Darren feelings of...
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    This week we're exploring the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy process of Creative Hopelessness to see if we can get ourselves to a place where we are open to trying something new and different when dealing with our physical and emotional pain. If nothing you're trying is working, and you feel hopeless about your situation, then this is definitely an episode for you to check out.
    In this episode we talk about:

  • what creative ...
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    Whether you've been listening to this podcast for awhile or it's your first time here, we have an emphasis on integrating Western and Eastern medicines to improve our well-being and quality of life with chronic illnesses and chronic pain. But the question is often, where do I even start when it comes to doing this? My guest this week, Dr. Richard Harris, is here to help answer that question.
    In this episode we talk about:

  • ben...
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    MS Warrior Edie Sohigian joins me this week to share how she's used the power of humour and laughter to improve her well-being with chronic illness, as well as some tips as to how you can do it too!
    In this episode we talk about:

  • why humour is helpful
  • tips to integrate humour into your life
  • personal growth and lifestyle balance
  • Guest Bio
    Edie Sohigian was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis on Easter Sunday in 2015. Four days before th...

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    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the U.K. put out a list of recommendations in April 2021, for the treatment of chronic pain, based on a meta-analysis of research in the area. In this episode we talk about the recommendations and what it could mean for the well-being of Chronic Pain Warriors.
    In this episode we discuss:

  • 5 evidence-based treatment for chronic pain
  • what was not included as a recommendation and wh...
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    Improving well-being and quality of life when you have a chronic illness takes a lot of work. Connecting with your authentic self can be helpful in improving your day-to-day life, even though it's not going to make your illness go away. My guest this week is Amber Gilkerson, chronic illness warrior and health coach, who is sharing how reconnecting with her authenticity has helped her improve her well-being.
    In this episode we ta...

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    As Chronic Illness Warriors we often hear about all these diets that are supposed to be super helpful, but do they actually work? And who do they work for? My guest, Mandy Podlesny, shares her experience not only as a health coach but as a person with ankylosing spondylitis and how the ketogenic diet in particular has been helpful for her symptoms.
    In this episode we discuss:

  • what the ketogenic diet is
  • what ketosis can help with (hint...
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    I will admit that I am a self-proclaimed self-care guru. Why? Because self-care has been so important for my physical and mental health with a chronic illness. And to be honest, self-care is important for everyone. I even did a seminar presentation to my fellow therapists-in-training about the need for therapist self-care. However, we know that Spoonies sometimes encounter problems getting self-care done.
    In this episode we talk abo...

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    We've heard a lot about gut health the past several years and how it's an important factor in the onset and maintenance of chronic illness. This week I have Beau Berman, the marketing director for Layer Origin, a company that specializes in prebiotic supplements, to share some ways we can potentially improve our gut health.
    In this episode we talk about:

  • Why gut health is important
  • Prebiotics vs. Probiotics
  • A type of prebiotic ...
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    This week my guest, Melanie Weller, shares with us how she as a physical therapist treats the vagus nerve to give her patients both physical and emotional pain relief. This episode contains an experiential segment, to help get you started on this journey.
    In this episode we discuss:

  • what the vagus nerve is 
  • how the vagus nerve affects autoimmune disease and chronic pain
  • storytelling to treat the vagus nerve
  • physical exercises to treat t...
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    July 11, 2021 12 min

    Externalizing language is a concept often used in narrative therapy, and is a way of creating distance between ourselves and our illness(es). There is a lot of research that supports how we think and talk about our illnesses affects our perceived ability to control them, and our overall quality of life and wellbeing.
    In this episode we discuss:

  • mental health and chronic illness
  • what externalizing language is
  • how language affects us
  • how ...
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    Craniofacial pain includes TMJ disorders, migraines, headaches, neck pain, trigeminal neuralgia, and more and is quite common. TMJ disorders alone affect 5-12% of the population. But how can we treat them? This week, Dr. Dave Shirazi shares his expertise in this area, with a holistic approach to dentistry and craniofacial pain.
    In this episode we talk about:

  • the different craniofacial pain disorders
  • traditional treatment methods
  • holist...
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    Season 2 kicks off with my guest, performing artist, Sarah Luby, and our discussion about what it's like to have an invisible illness. Sarah has not one, but two invisible illnesses and yet that is not stopping her from living her dream, instead it inspired her to help others through the power of song. 
    In this episode we discuss:

  • what it's like to have an invisible illness
  • why Sarah decided to advocate for the community throu...
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    June 20, 2021 1 min

    This season is going to feel like a whole new show, but in a really good way.
    On Chronically Living and how to make the most of it, we are:

  • giving tangible takeaways to improve quality of life for Spoonies
  • by looking at holistic approaches to go along with traditional medicine
  • Season starts June 28, 2021

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    In this re-release of episode 5, in this season break I'm calling Flash From the Past, Queenie Wu shares with us all the amazing things pelvic floor physio can do, and gives us ideas for what we can do at home to improve our pelvic floors and overall health, if we can't get to a physiotherapist right away.
    In this episode we talk about:

  • what pelvic floor physio is
  • what conditions can benefit (hint: menstrual cramps, pregnancy,...
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