From suffering in bed for 10+ years to living her soul’s purpose
Dr. Cathleen King was living mostly in a dark room in bed with Chronic Lyme, severe ME/CFS, orthostatic intolerance, environmental sensitivities (CIRS), and many more related conditions and debilitating downstream symptoms that left her unable to take care of her kids.
When she ran out of money trying to fix herself after 10 years, she had to take a new approach.
Video interview with Dr. Cat (transcript below)
I made closed captions and put timestamps in the description for easy viewing.
This interview provides powerful clues for people who feel like there is something to be unlocked (vs. fixed). I loved her call to revolutionize the chronic illness industry at the end.
Disclaimer: As a friendly reminder, there is no right way or wrong way to heal, and I encourage you to chose what resonates with you. Nothing on my site or channels are medical advice.
Full transcript of our interview:
Dr. Cat: Good to see you.
Liz: How was your weekend?
Dr. Cat: Great. I was outside a lot. We’ve got this really amazing glacier-fed river here, and we did a lot of swimming, cold water plunging. It was really great.
Liz: Wow. I’m so glad we could do this.
Dr. Cathleen King is a neuroscientist and a somatic healer known for helping others transform their lives. But what’s most powerful is her own story. She healed herself after a decade of chronic illness, including Chronic Lyme, mold sensitivity, parasites, and severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).
Dr. Cat, I am so glad we connected via Ashley’s Rewiring Your Wellness community, and I’m just honored to interview you today.
Dr. Cat: Thank you. I’m so glad to be here. This is great. Thanks for having me.
Liz: So let’s just dive right into it. Why do some people have strong reactions to mold or unable to clear infections like Lyme parasites or viruses, while others don’t seem to have this issue?
Such a great question. Yeah.
You’ll find some interesting research out there will they’ll test people. I read a study a long time ago when I was really sick where they tested like a hundred lumberjacks in Switzerland or something.
And so many of them had Lyme disease and no symptoms.
And that was one of my first indicators. Like what the heck? So it’s not that I have these bugs in my system. What’s going on?
And it’s because some of us have a setup where our regulation system of our immune system, our detoxification system, our hormone system, all of that is just dysregulated.
And that has to do with the nervous system that is dysregulated.
So some of us have a predisposition to have these chronic issues because of a lack of nervous system flexibility to handle stress, to handle a threat, to handle toxins.
And often in my opinion, there’s an unconscious mirroring of how we handle life, people, emotions, that mirrors our ability to handle pathogens, toxins, foods.
So it’s the inner world meets the outer world game.
Liz: So I’m going to take things back to how it began. So most people who get chronically ill have a Perfect Storm of stressors that happen. And you actually had a couple perfect storms.
Liz: Can you tell us about that?
So really my whole chronic illness story was much longer than a decade. It was most of my life, but things got really tough about 20 years ago.
I’d say the storm started childhood, very traumatic circumstances. Then I became that go-getter, superstar to compensate.
But it did develop an underlying anxiety pattern and an underlying unable to like really be in my body.
I needed to move. I was an athlete. Move, move, move, go, go, go.
So mental health challenges started early on first physical health challenge started in my early twenties. I was in South America was traveling, had a relationship breakup, ended up alone, parasite filled, hospitalized, you know, fear of death thing that knocked my physical system offline, you know, that’s when I first got POTS, the postural hypotension stuff and all that kind of stuff has started.
And then, you know, because I was young and vibrant and go-getter, I kind of bounced back.
But then I just had the chronic like digestive stuff and then a little parasite, but I worked for a long time, and I worked as a physical therapist. I worked with chronic pain, I worked with Chronic Lyme disease. I worked with all of it, worked with the brain.
Didn’t know I was preparing myself for my own journey, but you know, I was functioning well enough with the underlying tension strategy, the structure, that I’d had my whole life. Not feeling okay. Not feeling good about myself.
Needing to fix myself. Something’s always wrong. It was there, but it manifested in healthy ways by being an achiever still and a go-getter.
And then I got myself, usually I see a lot of these perfect storms happen in relationship settings, relationships that go astray. So I had another relationship where I was really out of my alignment, choosing things that were against my truth and going against our true nature.
And I think the combination of workaholic, push, push, push, relationship fracturing, nervous system fracturing, being in mold.
And I had been bit by ticks many times. I don’t know which tick was it, but you know, that finally taken over the parasite history, the mental health stuff. Um, I cracked and collapsed. And that would have been in my late twenties, and now I’m 43.
And then I just slowly over the years kind of got bedridden and tried fighting everything that I could, the Lyme. the CIRS, the CFS, parasites, thyroid, detox issues, POTS, allergies, EMF sensitivity, benzo addiction, insomnia, chronic PTSD, the whole thing. I’ve had the whole thing.
And I spent well over a decade, it wasn’t just a couple years, well over a decade very, very sick trying every strategy I could.
And that took me into the dark night of the soul. So I’ll stop there, see if you have any questions.
Liz: Yeah. So what are some things you did try and did they have…?
Dr. Cat: Yeah. So as most of you know, when you start to try something new, that seems to work our unconscious bias relaxes, and we’ll get a temporary remission or are even like a bump up.
So it looked like this over 10 years actually (does a roller coaster gesture with her hand). Tried something, but then the unconscious that has its strategy. Which is, “You’re not okay. Something’s wrong.”
That’s the underlying problem that was not addressed.
It was just things to address the Lyme, that parasites, and viral infection that this, the that, but I still was just doing this (does the roller coaster gesture), you know, bed-bound to like, “Oh, I can go to the store,” bed-bound, “Maybe I can walk to the park.” You know, so this was the thing.
And I did a lot of stuff. I did all the herbal, the rife, the shamanic, the energy medicine, the homeopathics.
Thousands and thousands of dollars on supplements and doctors. I mean, I probably spent over $100,000 in that 10 years and got nowhere in the end.
And that’s what was the best thing ever because my beautiful higher self would not let me fix myself out of it because that wasn’t my soul’s journey. Wasn’t about fixing myself and thankfully it didn’t let me win that strategy.
And so eventually I had to give up on fixing myself because I realized I was out of money.
It was 10 years later. I had two little kids that didn’t have a mother, basically for the first several years of their life.
And I was in a bed in a dark room in bed, unable to care for my kids, unable to care for myself. And I realized this mind of mine as brilliant as it is, cannot fix this.
And I needed to find a different strategy, which at that point was just surrender, surrendering into, maybe I could enjoy my life from my bed.
Maybe I could be happy with the apparent oppression all around me, which was the anecdote to the original Perfect Storm, which was being in a home with a tremendous amount of things around me that I didn’t like. Tremendous amount of sense that “I’m not going to be okay unless something changes.”
And I realized that my only strategy was maybe I’d have to learn how to love my life as it is.
And that was the penetrating bomb into the original, uh, insult in my nervous system and the ego didn’t like it. Like, “No, you’ve got to fix this. You can’t be happy and be bedbound.”
So I tell them my classes that I teach, my original turnaround moment was I was outside laying on the grass, looking for four leaf clovers and making my whole day about could I find a four leaf clover and in celebrating that.
And I found many four-leaf clovers.
Liz: You did? I’ve never found one. That’s so powerful Dr. Cat.
So, yeah, you said you had a mentor and did some timeline therapy kind of work. Can you talk about that?
Yeah, so I had a mentor and that was separate then timeline work that sort of came later. I had a mentor who was a friend who the whole time for years, she’s like acceptances your way through, and I said, “Nah.”
Um, she’s still a dear friend and mentor.
She helped me to see that my core issue was just a growing up lack of acceptance.
And that was very powerful.
So then eventually I started to work on the inner world and at the same time, some tools came into my life to help me visualize acceptance.
Dynamic Neural Retraining System was that first tool where I got to revisualize the past visualizing being back in that childhood place and loving it, giving myself a new impression of the past.
That would be the timeline work that I started with, which was brain retraining. I also started doing a little bit of functional neurology practices and somatic presencing practices.
So the physical therapist in me, uh, was working on those from a different point of view. And then eventually I developed my process called the brain rewiring attunement, which has a lot of memory reconsolidation practices, which is remodeling our memory structures from the past to exchange information with the present moment and to see things differently.
Liz: I love that it’s almost kind of reparenting yourself, but reliving some aspects of childhood and being a creator, too.
Liz: So I want to go back a little and talk about DNRS. So you had done the mind body and somatic techniques in your physical therapy practice, but then was DNRS the first thing that made you think, oh, this can help my immune system?
So, yes, DNRS, now, remember I had gotten to the place where why I was using my tools started to shift. It wasn’t about fixing the illness. It was about accepting my past and discovering my true self. So I use my tools a lot differently than a lot of people that go into the brain retraining world.
This is something really critical that I teach in my mentorship.
Why are you using this tool? Is it to fix the symptom? Cause if it is, stop it. That’s not the way it’s not the way through.
So I had already had kind of a reorientation when I started DNRS. And so I was able to apply that tool in a way that gave me a lot more traction because I was working on the original, underlying, unconscious patterning.
Um, wait, was the next part of your question?
Liz: Yeah, no, that’s so good. I definitely feel the same. I didn’t do maybe as much as you, but I did read books by Abraham Hicks and things like that about…a lot of those books. And that really helped me before going into DNRS. So I wasn’t in that just fix the symptom, bop the symptom mode.
And you talk about, what do you call it? An energy field. You use a certain term.
Well, I talk about creating, well, a primal trust frequency is one thing I talk about, which is a state of being in your nervous system.
That even though you’re uncomfortable, you’ve got this brain state that also feels inherently okay at the same time.
And I also talk about how that unlocks an energy flow in your nervous system, where your Chakras open up and they’re able to move things through, but it happens throughout this primal trust frequency that allows energy to flow through our body, allows our mechanisms, our self healing mechanisms, to turn on. And it’s through just a general nervous system state of safety and regulation.
A lot of polyvagal therapists would call that the ventral vagal safety.
And the trick is how do you find that when you’ve been dysregulated your whole life?
And that’s really what I’m really gifted at being able to help people to cultivate and create in our nervous system, despite their past timeline, because I had to create it from scratch.
I never had it.
Liz: Yeah. I watched your video and you’re like, “Yeah, I’m a physical therapist. I know the importance of the mind-body,” but it was hard for you at first. And so all that you teach comes from your own struggle with that. And then learning how to do that. Yeah.
I work with people to help them understand their unconscious habits of how they respond to life. That seemed to have common patterning with the chronic fatigue, chronic infection, chronic mold toxicity.
The patterns can be different, but generally there’s this deep sense of “I’m not okay.”
There’s a sense of, “I need to hide who I really am to be accepted by the tribe.”
There’s a lot of inauthenticity, a lot of protection and a lot of incapable young wounded child, brain state patternings that keep us stuck.
And over time, you know, at first maybe we’re not having health issues, but we’re having life issues. On the flip side, I had sort of that overcompensation, I had the “crappy childhood” that became the perfectionist superstar.
And so I looked healthy, but it was a compensation strategy to get away from that deep ick that was inside of me. I had a very divided mind and eventually that compensation strategy failed.
Whereas other people might have not had that compensation strategy, but they just had a life where they’re just reacting and over-sensitized and inauthentic. The whole “I’m not okay” thing. And eventually the pathogens and toxins add up and they’re trapped in that.
Done a lot of research with chronic trauma, chronic illness. And what is the missing brain state? And it’s this lack of a healthy, present moment adult concept of I can handle it, but also that I can take time and be in my body.
There’s often a lack of somatic presence, the ability to be with uncomfortable feelings and still feel okay at the same time.
And there’s often a lack of internal compass of who am I? What do I love? And living that authentic self.
Liz: So in another one of your videos, you talk about why people doing DNRS can sometimes struggle. And one of the reasons you observe is because their visualizations are just a bunch of random things.
Just to provide some context, DNRS includes an hour of past and future visualizations. You making them come alive in your mind and body. So yeah. What do you suggest instead of just a bunch of random visualizations?
Yeah. This is such a good question. So you are trying to create and carve a brain state. That is a personality and identity structure that doesn’t feel like they’re sick or that there’s something wrong.
And so we know that neuroplasticity works by repetition. And so if you aren’t clear of what it is you’re trying to create, and you don’t have a consistent algorithm for your brain state, and it’s just random this, random that. Don’t really know what I like. Don’t really know what I want. Oh, they like this, so I’ll do that visual. I heard this one. So I’ll do that visual. And it’s not true for you. It’s not your brain state.
You’re just lighting up moments of relaxation with a heightened elevation of emotion, which is great. And it does temporarily calm down the limbic response. And over time as you string them together, that’s great as well.
But what I see is a lot of people try to go out in the world, and they can’t do it because they actually haven’t developed an identity structure of them. They’ve developed a lot of coping tools to be able to shift out of a stress response, which is wonderful.
But if you did not have a healthy adult brain firing pattern to begin with, you didn’t have a sense of your true certain self to begin with, you’ll be left with still like, “I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what I want to do.”
And your unconscious will still resist you getting out in the world because it doesn’t have a clear message of what you want and what you want to do.
Now some people who do brain retraining had a pretty healthy adult concept before they got sick.
They brain retrain. They shut off that limbic response and they’re back out in the world. That’s not who I’m talking about. I’m talking about the ones that had, uh, kind of a fracturing in their identity system, identity structure in the first place, they have no idea who they really are. They have no idea what they really want.
They don’t have a healthy self concept and they need to create that.
They need to get clear on their values, their purpose, what they love.
And that’s one of the things that I see can help your brain retraining practice be much more effective and much more efficient in your overall recovery time.
Liz: I think that’s so important. And you talk about being a creator of your life, and that’s so important because when we heal, it’s like, what do we want our lives to be like? And it has to be, yeah, more than just no more symptoms.
Liz: I have a more specific question. So you’re a mom with two kids, and a lot of times from parents, usually moms, telling me I don’t have time to do DNRS or to do these things because I have kids who need me.
Do you have any insights on that?
Yep. That’s called the martyr complex. And that’s a part of you that learned that your strategy. And I’m saying these things bluntly, because we need to hear this. This is the hard truth. That’s what I’m known for.
There’s a part of you that hasn’t developed self-love and self-responsibility.
If you really want to show up for your kids, you can’t afford to not create a brain state that can be present with them and love them and give them a whole different energy pattern, because they are linked to you that you want them to be healthy.
You need to be healthy. So truly loving them is doing whatever you have to do for that hour.
My kids had a show for an hour. I sometimes got up earlier than I wanted to maybe half hour in the morning earlier half hour in the afternoon. That would be the victim that says I can’t do it. Victims are great at finding excuses and very valid excuses. Why I’m a busy mom of two, five kids, whatever.
Well, you can’t afford to not give this to them.
Liz: That’s so powerfully stated Dr. Cat, thank you. That’s going to help a lot of people and I appreciate you being blunt. I know it’s going to reach people. Yeah.
They’ll be mad at first, but they’ll hear me.
Liz: So do you believe healing happens in stages and would you have been ready for your own course in year one of your illness?
Dr. Cat: Healing, which I call transformation now, happens in stages. And yes, I think that I would have been ready to in year one to receive what I was ready to receive.
So I tell people that the map that I create for people, it’s a map they’re going to take themselves through again and again, and again, I go through my own primal trust mentorship, every single mentorship, and it’s always deeper every single time.
It’s the map of the Hero’s Journey. And in my own way, my own interpretation specific to limbic system impairment, chronic illness, and trauma.
So the hero’s journey is a cyclical thing that we repeat in our life. And yeah, there’s kind of a general theme that I’m still taking that journey in a new way. So it’s possible if you’re willing now, the deal is in my course, you have to be willing to not be in victim consciousness.
You have to be willing to own, “I’ve got some victim in me that I want to untether from.” If you can’t, if you want to just make excuses and you’re still stuck in the stage of, “I need to blame others, I need to be upset.”
And that’s a stage we all go through, we all go through it.
Um, then you might not be ready for the course, but if you really are ready to untether from that unconscious programming and untether from what’s really kept you stuck in the predisposition for getting sick in the first place.
Cause that’s really what my stuff is for is why did you end up here in the first place?
And what I also call this course is for people that I believe are ancestral chain breakers that are meant to break up the programming. And find that willingness to do this instead of like, “Oh no, I have to do this because I had this bad thing happened to me.”
Like, no. My soul chose to come down here and liberate my consciousness and my family’s from the patterning of the past.
And so therefore, you know, the journey it’s for several it’s for different stages. And of course, if someone doesn’t want to feel what’s in there and be willing to be present, which you’re going to have to feel what’s in there at some point, then it’s not time for you.
And maybe you need to practice just getting used to doing other tools until you realize like, “okay, there is no through but through.” [00:20:00] And, um, and when you’re at that stage, I’m there to guide you through.
Liz: That’s so powerful. Yeah.
Liz: All right. Okay, Dr. Cat, so mold was one of my triggers, something I had to overcome.
Do you have any recommendations for doing DNRS and your own practice about overcoming mold sensitivity. And do you recommend getting rid of everything and extreme avoidance at any point, or what’s best way to do it for someone who’s just realizing they have it?
I know for me to hindsight’s 20/20.
Yeah. So remember with mold, we are in a chronic habitual resistance to our environment.
Now that resistance to our environment is often cross-wired to the people in our environment, our general emotional state, while we’re in that environment. So you have to, first of all, recognize that mold is not the enemy. It’s a by-product of an underlying resistance pattern. It’s really important because otherwise you end up blaming mold as the perpetrator.
Just like you blame your spouse or your mom or whatever, it’s the same pattern. So don’t do that and to see like, oh, I just crossed wired to the substance that humans have lived with for eons. We’ve always lived with mold. So mold can’t be the problem. It may have gone cross wired with an energy pattern.
Your body is this tube that sends toxins down through, and if you’re in a state of resistance, it squeezes your tube, and you can’t detoxify.
So I do a lot of somatic awareness of like opening up my tube of light and I call that pillar of love and light. So you’re going to open that up and that means that you’re also staying heart open with others.
That’s how you keep your tube opened up or that hose unkinked. Acceptance is a big thing with mold. That’s why I was so sick. Cause I said earlier, I didn’t accept anything. Acceptance. So you’re going to start, not just accepting that there’s mold. So that would be stage one, like before you’re like, “Oh no, I need to leave this whole place.”
Can you change your energy pattern that caused the issue in the first place? Can you work on the emotional patterns? First of all, now it’s some things that can help with that. If you’re not able to leave your house. And you’re also not able to fully handle being in the house, sometimes just rearranging the house has an effect on the scanning system that it’s different. So rearranging it, obviously cleaning it, and saying I’m cleaning off the rest of the stuff, trying to make your house as best as possible.
Say that I’m going to learn to live with imperfection. The imperfection of my spouse, of my child, of my job, of this. I’m going to learn to live with imperfection.
I’m going to open that up. Now, some people might find that, well, I just can’t do that. Those are the people that I tend to see that need to leave. Because they’re just not able to open up their own heart field, their own energy field in that environment. And so that might be a moment of like deep self-honesty.
Now, what I’m saying is it would be cheaper and much better long-term to learn how to open up in the environment, clean the environment the best you can, obviously getting air filters, things like that to help. Of course I did that, but I had to retrain in mold. I didn’t get to leave my house.
Liz: Wow. Yeah, I didn’t know that.
And I live in this rainy Northwest, and I moved into another house that’s older and moldier.
Did I feel better when I was like, I’d go visit my friend who lives in the desert. Of course I felt better. Do I still notice mold? I can notice, but I also know that like, let’s say a year or so ago, I had a funk with my personal life, and it closed. I reacted more. It’s a barometer.
I know, heart’s closed, hearts open. So mold partners with me. So what does the line to teach me? How open my field is? How loving, how accepting am I being?
So it’s an agent of consciousness expansion, you can see it that way.
Liz: And I think I’m now kind of getting at that point myself. I almost am like, “Thank you mold for being the catalyst for this journey.”
Yeah. It’s similar with Lyme, you know, I would say that when I got to that point, because I had so many diagnoses. I didn’t just have Lyme, you guys, I had the whole list wanting to go into all of it. I remember my doctor and I was doing DNRs at the time and she’s like, well, no, you’re doing this. Look at all of this stuff in your blood work.
And I looked at her and I’m like, you make me feel like crap. Looking at that scares the heck out of me. And I walk out of the office and I’m like:
I’m so tired of being scared to death with all this proof of these attacking evil things inside of me.
Feeling just that whole thing that we go down when we have chronic Lyme.
And it was like, here I am trying to visualize safety where there’s like all of these monsters inside of me. Well, you know what? It was an energy match to my childhood. In a lot of ways, I realized. The sense of danger all the time. It was an interesting match, and I just sat and I, you know, kind of like set a prayer, “Higher self, what is the strategy?”
And I just heard, “Your only infection, dear, is fear.”
And everything else is that behavior around the fear. I saw a vision opened up in my mind of all of these microbes that because of fear, they were getting signaling of attack defend. And I saw this inflammation happening in my body and my immune system and all this battle.
And then I saw a different opportunity. What if your state of being was peace and harmony and coexistence with these microbes? Letting them be there, what would happen? And then I remembered some of those studies, I read where some people have Lyme and they have no symptoms. And I was like, ah, it’s all a behavior.
And it’s my own behavior. Am I in attack mode, resistance, blame, or am I in acceptance and harmony?
And then I decided from that point forward, I was never going to test myself again for anything, for Lyme and all that, never have had a test since. I don’t know if I have Lyme disease. I don’t care. And I was going to be an ecosystem that coexists with viruses, parasites, bacteria, because we’re bugs.
We are bugs, and we can exist with them. That’s the whole conscious thing we’re trying to do right now is learn how to co-exist right.
So that was my decision, but it had to be a very strong decision made by what I call the adult main personality said, “My only infection is fear.”
I’m going to let go of this battle and thinking there’s something wrong and let them do what they do. And because of that, I just got off the whole Lyme train, and I don’t identify with that. And therefore it doesn’t take me down.
Liz: Oh, wow. Okay. I’m like tearing up. I love what you say about existing in harmony and harmonizing.
Yeah. We are not taught that we could exist in harmony with our microbiome.
It is one of the biggest lies out there that there are good bugs and bad bugs. There’s actually just levels of them.
We have trillions, we have so many bugs in us, okay guys. It’s a level thing.
And when we are in nonresistance our own body, our own ecosystem learns how to cohabitate, just like we could learn in our society if we let ourselves.
And this goes into epigenetics and, you know, I did read a lot in the microbiome myself because I originally thought if I just took a bunch of probiotics, but if your body is in a disease resistant state, no matter what you take, there’s like cross gene transfer. If you don’t want to have that harmonizing energy, it’s gonna turn one way. Yeah. So I think research may be starting to catch up with this. There is the gut-brain access, but yeah, on that deeper, energetic level with our microbiomes.
Right. And the gut-brain access is regulated by our polyvagal system, which is regulated by our inherent sense of ventral vagal connection and safety, which is how are we responding?
Are we willing to be co-creators and accept each other and accept what’s going on or in resistance and fight?
It all comes back together.
Liz: Yeah. So I want to talk about the difference between acceptance and harmony versus suppressing your needs and feelings. Can you explain a difference between accepting and suppressing?
Yeah, this is really good. So I teach a lot with something called the divided mind state, our conscious mind and our unconscious mind, people that are chronic suppressors, they consciously choose to accept and be kind and please, and all that. But their unconscious mind has a completely different opinion, and they are split from that.
They are actually not accepting. They’re actually pleasing in order to be safe.
We’ve got the narcissist codependent. There’s just one other side of the same coin. It’s not true acceptance because your unconscious is like, “I don’t want to do this.” So you actually, haven’t created solidarity inside of you of acceptance.
Now, true acceptance would be, “I don’t like this. I don’t want to do this.” And if that’s your truth, you’re speaking, “You know what? I don’t want to do this, but I accept that you have this opinion and it’s different.” Or you get into that unconscious, and you question, and it says, “I don’t want to do this. I don’t like this.”
And then that adult main personality that I teach about in the consciousness hears that and feels then it says, “You know what? I hear that this part of me doesn’t like it.”
“I can hear it and feel it, but that’s really, that’s coming from a younger part of me and it’s not a big deal, and I actually want to do this, and that ‘I’ is stronger.”
It’s heard the unconscious and it’s chosen in a place of solidarity rather than split suppression.
So it’s about healing the divided mind state to be able to have true acceptance and be in your truth that way.
Liz: Yeah. Well said, so you mentioned polyvagal theory. Can you talk more about that?
Yeah. Polyvagal is how our autonomic nervous system is regulating ourselves.
Polyvagal means there’s poly or more than one vagal pathway. We have our dorsal vagal, which is our back, um, like shutdown response, freeze response, but also the dorsal vagal, in a healthy state, is our rest and digest. We’ve got our ventral vagal upfront, which is our prefrontal safety connection. And then we have a middle response called the sympathetic chain, which is how having proper vagal tone will regulate are you in fight flight, anxiety, or calm?
And so polyvagal is just our nervous system regulation. Um, lots of fancy terms that basically mean, are you vigilant? Are you shut down or are you connected? And we’re always… our nervous system is constantly trying to regulate what state we’re in.
And so polyvagal regulation is teaching, helping your nervous system to learn how to regulate, how to handle going…
It’s not about not getting stressed because we’re going to get stressed, but it’s about teaching the nervous system, the muscles, to come back down into safety – to not go up into stress and just get stuck there or not go to freeze-and-shut-down and get stuck there.
It’s like a muscle we have to develop in our nervous system to go in and out of the different states.
And they’re all very normal states to be in. There isn’t a bad or good. We move in and out of them all the time.
One of the things that I like to point out is that a lot of people that are in healing that say that they’ve been in dorsal-vagal freeze-and=shut down.
Their body’s shut down, they’ve not been detoxifying. They’re just chronic fatigue. When they start improving, they will shift from a polyvagal state of dorsal-vagal freeze, often into the sympathetic fight flight stage before they get into ventral vagal safety. Now, the problem is, is that the sympathetic stage doesn’t feel good.
It feels like anxiety. It feels like restlessness insomnia, like, oh no, this isn’t working. This is bad. And they’ll freak out and go right back into freeze.
Understanding the polyvagal pathway they’d understand, “Oh, I’m just riding the wave back into safety. And it feels like a ride right now, but I got to ride it out.”
Instead, they’ll start to ride the wave. They freak out and they end up back in dorsal, vagal shutdown. So understanding the polyvagal pathway is a really important part of healing because your mind understands what you’re going through and you can ride that wave a little easier back in the day.
Liz: I love that. So the painting right behind me, it actually says “ride the wave” on it.
There you go. Now you know what that means. 🙂
Liz: Love it.
Liz: Yeah. That’s great. So I know you’re helping so many people, Dr. Cat, your testimonials are just so awesome. And you’re really helping people transform their life.
So you do have the two programs, the Creating Calm, and then the Primal Trust Mentorship. Who are the right types of people who benefit most from each of your programs?
Great. So think of Creating Calm as a tool. Brain retraining, polyvagal regulation, somatics, energy medicine, someone who’s needing the basic tools to just start learning how to regulate. I’m actually in the process of creating a whole new version of that that’s going to be geared for medical professionals and trauma therapists.
That’s really an entry point. Okay. I have a very simplified algorithm for brain retraining based on researching a ton of different neural plasticity programs and coming up with something that’s a little more digestible than the Dynamic Neural Retraining System.
I love DNRS though. I love Gupta. I love a lot of these other programs. They’re great. It’s a simplified. And to me, it’s a little more on point with what matters. So it has brain retraining, but it has just lots of different tools, which is a great place to start.
And just getting an overall understanding of like, “what the heck is going on in my somatic system, my brain, my polyvagal system, my energy system, how does it all work together?”
So I weave it all together. So people get a holistic understanding. And so that’s your toolkit.
Primal Trust is for those that are like, “All right, I’ve got nervous system regulation issues. I understand that.” And there is a wiring that was never quite put into place in the first place. I didn’t get a sense of I’m inherently okay.
I also did develop a healthy adult concept of who am I really and what do I love? And so that’s where I take people through the hero’s journey. And I think of myself as a midwife, guiding people through their hero’s journey.
That’s what I was born to do. That’s what I’m passionate about and helping people sift their true self out of that muck and get to the point where they’re not plagued again by all of that stuff.
You’re not going to need to keep learning new programs and new tools because you’re going to understand the unconscious drive behind it all. And it’s where I really bring in a lot of my brain rewiring attunements, which is this super conscious way of doing memory re-consolidation is my really my secret sauce.
So resolving unconscious resistance, hijacking parts, and unlocking your vital force. The Primal Trust is a map. It’s an algorithm all through the hero’s journey that we take over and over again in our life. And once you understand that map, you’re going to know which tool to use when, and what’s your strategy.
You’re going to understand that the process of being a human and awakening out of a wounded ego consciousness, because that’s really the underlying thing.
Liz: That wounded ego consciousness. Can be the victim mentality. Yeah. That pain from childhood. Yeah.
So it’s a three-month program. And then from there I have something called the Living Alchemy community, which is really a long-term support system for people that see themselves as there as the ancestral chain breakers, the transformational people that are often getting back out in the world, wanting to coach wanting to do whatever.
And it’s the support, the, um, you know, I need and they need, I have other mentors they’re co-creating so it’s really great. Yeah. So those are my main offerings right now.
Liz: That’s so wonderful.
Liz: Dr. Cat, I’m so honored to share your powerful story. I know you’re helping a lot of people who’ve done DNRS, but maybe struggled, but also people who are really ready for a new approach versus just the old fixing ourselves.
Yeah, I’m so thankful that we got to chat.
Yeah. Thank you. I’m really, it’s been amazing to be on the other side because when I was so sick all those years, you know, I was like, someday I am going to help shift the consciousness out of the whole sick fix it mentality.
And so really my approach isn’t about like another tool. It’s about lifting the entire consciousness of what got us sick in the first place.
So it’s not about making your practice more exciting or anything like that. It is like, up and out of it.
Let’s get out in the world, and your tools and your practices are just to get more clarity on your purpose.
There’s not a problem. And when you can sift the ego out of body identification, you are free, you are free. And that’s really what I’m after is the revolutionizing. This entire chronic illness, chronic trauma platform. And yes, every one of these tools are amazing. The coaches are amazing. Just want to put that message out there.
They’re all needed. They’re all part of the foundation of what I teach. You know, I want people to keep working with their great coaches and using their great tools, but I teach you how to use them in a different way. So you’re not using them from the mind point of an ego that’s focused on body consciousness fixing, a whole different standard.
Liz: Yeah, like I’m having this struggle. Can you fix this for me? That’s so powerful. Wow. I love what you say too about revolutionizing the chronic illness industry platform. And I’m just so honored to witness that and get to share your story with more people.
Yeah. Thank you. I see these people that are called through the hero’s journey of chronic illness and chronic trauma.
They are the most amazing people on this planet. They have faced the dark stuff of the unconscious mind that most people aren’t aware of. They are the alchemists.
They are the chain breakers. They are heroes and heroines and helping them to see that. That’s what really this is all about. The whole journey becomes exciting and beautiful and transformative.
Instead of this thing, you have to like get through.
Liz: Amazingly stated. Yeah, this was so good, Dr. Cat. Oh my gosh. I learned so much, and I’m just truly inspired this. This was great.
Yay. Well, I love sharing, I love sharing.
I didn’t speak a lot for a while, you know, I was nervous about having kind of a different mindset than a lot of the programs and coaches and, you know, just kind of talked about it privately with my clients.
And finally, I was like, what am I doing? This is… I’ve got to speak and I’ve got to get this out there.
And so, you know, the whole primal trust thing was really what I realized needed to come out into this community. And so I’m excited.
Liz: Yeah, and I feel like the times are changing. I feel there’s a new shift that’s happening and you’re definitely part of that, that new consciousness, awakening and people who are chronically ill.
There’s a new movement going on for sure.
Dr. Cat: Yeah. Totally.
Liz: Awesome. This is so good. Thank you so much, Dr. Cat, have a good…
Dr. Cat: Thank you so much.
Liz: And I know you have a class right now?
Dr. Cat: Yes.
Liz: Okay (laughs).
Dr. Cat: So good to meet you, let’s talk again soon. I’d love that.
Liz: Take care! Bye-bye.
Dr. Cat: Bye, Liz.