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Introducing Dr. Kat
Introducing Dr. Kat
This fall I’m teaming up with Dr. Kat Bodden, ND to offer Let’s Rest, an immersive course dedicated to resiliency and wellbeing through rest. Below is a conversation we recently had about health and rest.
Ashley Dahl (AD): I’m really looking forward to collaborating with you on, Let’s Rest. Before diving into the topic of rest though I thought we could first back up for those who don’t yet know you. You’re a naturopathic doctor, can you share what drew you to that field?
Dr. Kat Bodden (KB): I grew up in a family of healthcare providers and always knew that I would work in medicine. I began my healthcare journey working as an Emergency Room technician, studying for the MCAT thinking I would go into western medicine. While I certainly learned a TON working in a level 1 trauma center, I also grew disheartened. The ER is a fantastic place to go if you are facing a life-threatening injury, but most of my patients were there for chronic conditions– conditions that could be prevented! The ER was all damage-control, and there was no time for patient education. I discovered the world of naturopathic medicine and was immediately drawn to its whole-person, preventative approach.
AD: Time for education, can you elaborate on that?
KB: So many of my clients were previously stuck – they only had 5 minutes of face time with their care provider, and so were told that their symptoms were “just something they have to live with.” I love the opportunity to offer another path. With space for conversation and education, rather than giving medications to reduce symptoms, I can identify and treat the root cause of their health issues. Healing this root cause allows for a sea change – a profound and notable transformation in health. I’m so grateful to have a career I love, and so inspired by my amazing clients who have prioritized their health and changed their lives!
AD: Love! And this gets into our inspiration for Let’s Rest. We’re both passionate about going beyond mitigating adverse health impacts of things like chronic stress, to explore accessible practices that directly improve wellbeing. And for both of us, that includes rest.
Rest though can often be easier said than done, especially when life feels busy. What challenges have you faced in making space for rest and relaxation?
KB: I’m originally from Connecticut with a very fast-paced, type-A, goal-driven upbringing. While I’m a good sleeper, rest doesn’t come easy for me. When I first started meditating, I could sit quietly for 5-10 minutes, but was really just “checking the box” of meditation on my daily to-do list. I could sit there, I could be still, I could breathe deeply– while concurrently planning my grocery shopping list, drafting an email in my head, etc. It wasn’t until about 6 months into my daily practice that I started to really notice a difference between sitting on a cushion and actually meditating.
I’ve found that doing some deep breathing exercises at the start of my meditation practice allows me to get out of my head and more into my body, facilitating a deeper rest. Deep belly breathing activates our vagus nerve and can help shift our nervous system out of “fight or flight” (sympathetic) and into “rest and digest” (parasympathetic).
AD: Right– most of us can’t instantly relax, and are also fluent in multi-tasking. Finding supportive transitional practices, like deep breathing, can be key.
One more question, what is one of your favorite rest rituals?
KB: My daily earthing practice is one of my all-time favorite restful and grounding rituals. Earthing (or grounding) is the practice of physically connecting with the bare earth – grass, dirt, sand, mud, etc. In modern society, we have lost this physical connection to the planet. We wear rubber-soled shoes, walk on pavement, and drive in cars. The research behind a daily earthing practice has shown that individuals experience less anxiety, improved quality of sleep, and decreased pain.
AD: Being contactful with the natural world can be profoundly replenishing and healing. Thank you so much Kat! I look forward to continuing our conversation and exploration about rest.
About Dr. Kat
As a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Kat acts as a mentor and a guide to support her clients along their healing journey as they reach their health goals. She creates customized wellness programs based on her 5 pillars of health: nourishment; detoxification; gut health; movement & mindfulness; and mentoring. Head HERE to learn more about Dr. Kat.
You can register for Let’s Rest HERE.
Save $20 if you register by 9/20 using the coupon code “EARLYBIRD.”
Want to promote wellbeing at your place of work? I invite you to check these programs for organizations. I also offer weekly Yoga Nidra (guided relaxation) classes.
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