Season 1, Episode 14

How to Unblock Stuck Energy with Dr. Yvonne Farrell

What does it mean to be fertile? When we look at it from the perspective of Chinese medicine, it’s more than just the ability to create a human life. 

Fertility is creativity, ideas, art, creation, and more. When we have unresolved emotions or traumas, our creative energy can become blocked, unable to move forward with the natural flow of life.

This week, I’m speaking with Dr. Yvonne Farrell, a Chinese medicine expert, acupuncturist, author, and international speaker, to teach us how becoming just a little more conscious in our everyday life opens us up to thriving instead of just surviving. She shares how she uses acupuncture in her practice to help people move blocked energy and emotions through the body to find healing and realign their minds, bodies, and spirits.

When we become just a little more conscious, heal trauma, and simply breathe, we open the door to the possibility of healing and allowing creative flow back into our lives.   

Key Topics/Takeaways: 

-The connection between fertility, creativity, and consciousness [1:51]

-How we experience trauma differently [8:32]

-Surviving is not thriving [16:28]

-Acupuncture as a way to move energy through the body [25:15]

-How you manage your heart, spirit, and emotions [28:00]

-How our emotions are our # 1 cause of the disease process [32:00]

-Opening the door to the possibility of change [36:53]

-How to unblock stuck energy [43:10]

-Getting your mind in a receptive place for change [49:28]

-Your mindset determines your healing journey [45:15]

 

Where To Find Yvonne:

 

https://healthyseminars.com/bio/yvonne-farrell

Buy Yvonne’s Books:

https://www.amazon.com/Psycho-Emotional-Pain-Eight-Extraordinary-Vessels/dp/1848192924

 

https://www.amazon.com/Acupuncture-Surviving-Adversity-Acts-Self-preservation/dp/1787753840

 

Dr. Farrell has been practicing and teaching Chinese Medicine and Channel Theory since 1996.

She directs her teaching towards the empowerment of students with the hope that they will embody the spiritual aspects of Chinese Medicine and make them their own. Dr. Farrell believes that self-cultivation, self-knowledge and critical thinking are essential in developing capacity as a practitioner of Chinese Medicine. To that end, she teaches dynamic, informative and thought-provoking live CEU courses and webinars through LA Herbs and Acupuncture and Healthy Seminars.

Yvonne earned her doctoral degree in 2007. Her first book, “Psycho-Emotional Pain and the Eight Extraordinary Vessels” was published by Singing Dragon in 2016.

Watch the Episode

Episode Transcript

Lorne Brown:

By listening to the Conscious Fertility Podcast, you agree to not use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician or healthcare provider for any medical issues that you may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guest or contributors to the podcast.

Welcome to Conscious Fertility, the show that listens to all of your fertility questions so that you can move from fear and suffering to peace of mind and joy. My name is Lorne Brown. I’m a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and a clinical hypnotherapist. I’m on a mission to explore all the paths to peak fertility and joyful living. It’s time to learn how to be and receive so that you can create life on purpose.

On the Conscious Fertility Podcast today, we have Dr. Yvonne Farrell. She has her doctor in Chinese medicine. And her expertise is working with emotional issues, emotional trauma. She’s written a book on surviving adversity. Acupuncture for Surviving Adversity actually is the title of your book, correct?

Yvonne Farrell:

Yes.

Lorne Brown:

And she’s written a couple of books, spoken internationally. And I wanted to have Yvonne on our podcast because Chinese medicine has a history of working with what we would call today consciousness. What we talk about today about killing trauma. Chinese medicine has always understood that it’s not mind and body, it’s mind-body. It’s bidirectional. We can’t actually separate it. We can’t just treat the physical. We’re always treating the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical.

And having read Yvonne’s books and having studied with Yvonne, I thought you’d be great to come on and talk about conscious fertility, consciousness in general and how Chinese medicine looks at this and acupuncture’s role. So, thanks for making the time to join me today.

Yvonne Farrell:

You’re welcome.

Lorne Brown:

So, I thought we could start back with just some basics. What do you think it means to be fertile then?

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. So, I am not a fertility specialist, although I do treat patients who are trying to get pregnant. It’s not the thing, the sole thing that I do. So, I sort of have a broader view of what fertility is. I don’t think of it as just the capacity to have a baby, to start a family. I think of it as the ability that every human being has to be creative to conceive of something, just state that thing for a period of time, labor over it, nourish it, feed it, give birth to it, and then support it until it can stand on its own.

So, absolutely, that’s baby, but that’s also a book. That’s also a garden. That’s also a vocation. That’s also a piece of art. And all of those things, the ability to do all of those things requires a certain state of consciousness. And so, I try to create fertility in all of my patients, not just the ones trying to have families.

Lorne Brown:

And do you see it then, because a lot of our listeners are wanting to grow their family, but whether somebody was wanting to write a book, look for love in their life, heal a disease, create abundance in their life, it’s then the same kind of energy than that you’re talking about. It’s just people have different desires with that energy, but it’s still a similar process?

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. It’s a similar process. When you’re challenged with something, if you’re challenged with fertility or you’re challenged with a relationship or you’re challenged with your job, then something isn’t circulating the way it’s supposed to. You can’t get your way out of that by thinking and doing the same things you’ve always done.

So, you have to sort of change your state of consciousness if you want the world around you and your life to change. You have to become more aware. And that is true, whether you’re trying to have a baby or create a book or a garden or raise four leggers, it doesn’t really matter. If you have struggles, then you are lacking in consciousness somewhere.

Lorne Brown:

And I like how you said you have to change your way of thinking. You have to change your way of being. You’re not going to think your way out of this. And it reminds me of the Einstein quote that I’ll paraphrase, that you can’t solve a problem with the same level of mind or thinking that you created with. And so, that is what you’re talking about here. It’s got to become more of an awareness.

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. It’s exactly what I’m talking about.

Lorne Brown:

And so, when we’re using the term “consciousness”, because it’s being used a lot, what’s the definition that you’re subscribing to when you’re thinking of consciousness? And then in Chinese medicine, can you talk about how we see consciousness or what its primary function is in Chinese medicine as well?

Yvonne Farrell:

I think when we’re talking about consciousness, that really what we’re talking about is a certain sort of quality or state of mind that is aware, alert, purposeful, that has the ability to focus on something, put attention on something, and intend for it to fulfill a purpose or to change or to become something else.

So, really what we’re talking about is the ability to sort of develop more awareness of that body-mind connection so that you have a choice. Consciousness implies that you have a choice. Because if you are unaware, you are victimized by your surroundings or circumstances. But if you are more aware, if you are more conscious, then you have a choice. You can participate more fully in your life. So, really that’s what we’re talking about becoming aware enough that you can participate more fully in your life. Nobody is 100% conscious all the time. It’s impossible.

Lorne Brown:

Yeah. Unless you’re enlightened and maybe them as well. So, you’re conscious and you go unconscious. And the goal is can we be more conscious than unconscious?

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. And sometimes just a little more consciousness makes a huge difference in your life. You don’t have to go sit on the mountaintop with the Dalai Lama and on for seven years to become conscious. You can get it in a moment and even just a small amount of it improves your life.

Lorne Brown:

It reminds me of how you said we have a choice and some people call it free will. It’s a Viktor Frankl quote and he’s a psychologist, a writer, and he’s a survivor of Auschwitz of concentration camp. And I’m paraphrasing again, this is not the exact quote, but how I kind of paraphrase it is he says that there’s a moment and in that moment, you either unconsciously habitually react or you can consciously choose to respond. And I think that’s what you’re talking about, right?

Yvonne Farrell:

Yes, yes.

Lorne Brown:

And so, if you’re unconsciously, habitually react, you’re at the effect of the environment. The environment is controlling how you feel and you’re getting triggered. And if you are conscious, then you can choose how you want to think and feel in that moment. Even though the external environment is a trigger, you can change that. That’s what we’re talking here.

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. It’s exactly what we’re talking about. I’d say for the most part, most of us are habituated or unconscious 75% of the time. And during the last two years, with the threat of the pandemic and the way the world is going, I think we’ve become more habituated in order to feel safe, in order to survive, in order to get through what has been happening.

And so, we’re less and less conscious, less and less making choices, and more and more reacting to what’s going on around us without thought, without saying, “Hey, let me just take a pause for a minute and let me think about what is actually happening here. Is this really a problem? If it is a problem, how do I want to respond to it? Is this remind me of something that happened to me as a kid and that’s why it feels so big right now?” We can be more aware and in being more aware, we have more choice about how we can respond.

Lorne Brown:

So, in your practice, and I’m aware that big part of your practice is on the emotional level, mental health is what you see in your practice, do you see then more now people’s trauma being activated? And do you kind of notice there’s different types of trauma, whether it’s from early childhood or is it coming through culturally generational? What are you seeing in your practice and how are you looking at this?

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah, I mean, so the truth is this, I see a lot of trauma in my practice. So, trying to define if there’s more now than there was two years ago in my little world is a little challenging because that’s what I attract. But what I will say is that even the patients that I’ve seen before for traumatic experiences or psycho-emotional suffering, have way more access to their trauma right now. They’re way more triggered right now.

I’ve never seen so many people who have trouble sleeping, trouble digesting, trouble with headaches, with IBS, with all the things that are related to stress. And so, maybe the current climate has put us into this triggered state a little more easily. And when you see that what you have to look at is you have to sort of separate the trauma out layers. There’s like the current trauma, which we might even just call stress. The stress of the economy, the stress of the pandemic, the stress of jobs, the stress in relationships where there’s conflict. That’s one thing that’s happening right now that is triggering.

But then we also are living our lives, many of us carrying the baggage of early childhood trauma. Things that happened to us early in our lives sort of set the tone for how we get triggered later in life. And as you were talking about Frankl, Viktor Frankl, as being a Holocaust survivor, we are also seeing people more activated by what we would call intergenerational trauma. So, trauma that’s passed down from one generation to the next.

In the United States, we’re talking a lot about in politics, the rise of fascism. That is going to be very triggering to people who have ancestors who were Holocaust survivors or people who live through World War II and World War I and never really process that trauma just past the imprinted, but down from one generation to the next. And so, we’re being triggered in all kinds of ways right now.

Lorne Brown:

And so, this is where I want to touch because many are saying, many as in the experts I’ve been interviewing, these old traumas and these triggers impact our receptivity, our flow, our health, and could interfere with many things. Not just writing a book or correcting love but also reproducing. And so, this is where we’re looking to create free flow.

So, kind of want to talk a little bit about, you talked about kind of three types of trauma, the current, so today’s stress. You talked about early childhood trauma and intergenerational trauma. So, the intergenerational, my understanding is that there’s now research, they’ve been studying Holocaust survivors that they can see these traumas passed down. It’s not a genetic mutation, something’s tagging the chromosomes. The good news is that although it can get tagged in one lifetime and passed down, you can do your process work then and heal it.

Yvonne Farrell:

You can stop it. Yeah.

Lorne Brown:

So, we’re going to talk about that. So, I want to put that in the parking lot. We’re going to talk about, I first want us to get to the point of where’s these traumas come from, how do they affect us? And then I want to talk about, okay, what can we do about it? So, we can get out of that victim mode when you talk about the current stress.

The other thing that’s been my clinical experience and talking to the other experts is these current stressors really still are triggering early childhood traumas. And so, you’re agreeing with these.

This early childhood traumas and I guess there’s something we’re understanding that until age, I don’t know, some say up to age eight or 12, but were so impressionable that another therapist, Dan Siegel says, “The environment creates the mind and then the mind creates the environment.” Meaning how you’re raised will create your subconscious programming and then you see and experience the world through the lens of your subconscious. So, that’s what that quote means.

Yvonne Farrell:

Absolutely agree with that.

Lorne Brown:

In your practice, are you seeing this then? Because some people, it also depends on the individual and we don’t know why, but some people come in really sensitive. So, some people could have had a terrible traumatic event and some people could have had something what would look like not very traumatic, but it has really made them feel not safe and created a program. So, is that something that you see in your practice?

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. I mean, everybody experiences trauma differently and everybody deals with trauma differently. And some of that is based on the intergenerational trauma you came in with that might make you more sensitive to certain things than others. And some of it is the early childhood trauma, how you’re raised, how you’re nurtured, how you come into the world. Birth trauma can have a huge impact on how your threshold of response is set.

So, if you come in in a very traumatic way with a lot of sensory input and a lot of chaos, maybe some pain and some suffering and maybe early, or you come in through an assisted birth techniques like forceps or something like that, then those things sort of set your nervous system at a certain threshold, in which case you may be really overreactive to some very small things that somebody else will just plow right through as if it’s no big deal. Or they’ll stop and think about it for a minute and let it go and move on. So, we have to sort take into mind the earlier traumas when we are dealing with the present ones.

Lorne Brown:

Because a lot of the women and men that are going through fertility treatments are trying to conceive, they’ve used the term that they have fertility trauma, so trauma from unsuccessful IBS, miscarriages.

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. Miscarriages.

Lorne Brown:

Still borns. Just lots. And so, they have the trauma and those are traumatic events. However, it appears that a lot of them are triggering early childhood traumas, which may not be so obvious. But in your practice, is that something that you’re seeing then?

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. It’s very hard for me to think of a patient that I’m treating that’s experiencing psychological or psychoemotional distress right now based on some kind of trauma that isn’t related to what happened in the first seven or eight years of their lives.

Lorne Brown:

And it reminds me of that quote or again, in the conscious world, all reaction or all overreaction is an age regression. And one of our experts that we had on recently, Gila Golub, talked about that a lot. And it’s that idea then, yes, something right now is triggering. You could be unfortunately a miscarriage or an unsuccessful IVF, it could be something what would look to others is not an issue. But regardless, that program gets activated and now it’s active.

And so, some of the people don’t think they have stress. But you’d said something I just want you to touch on, the body-mind connection, because you said there’s headaches. So, somebody will come in and they’ll say, “I don’t have any real stress in my life.”

Yvonne Farrell:

I don’t have stress.

Lorne Brown:

And then they tell you they have digestive issues like IBS or bloating or heartburn, they have headaches, they don’t sleep, they have skin rashes.

Yvonne Farrell:

They have muscle pain.

Lorne Brown:

Yeah. Neck tension. So, can you explain now start to move into the Chinese medicine model, if you have this trauma or these emotions that you don’t deal with, where do they go? Why do we have these symptoms in the body? Can Chinese medicine explain why we have these somatic, these physical symptoms?

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. I mean, the thing about Chinese medicine is we just say that everything is cheap. Everything is the energy. So, is consciousness. Everything is sort of energy or information. But when we are diagnosing a patient, we look at three different levels of functions of qi. And those three different levels of function go from the outside to the inside, to your superficial awareness, to your emotional awareness, to your sort of constitutional sense of self or authenticity.

And so, when you experience things coming from the outside, that first layer of qi sometimes called defensive qi, or wei qi, does its job to keep the bad stuff out. It’s worked really hard in the last two and a half years to keep COVID out of your body to not let it get in. But it also keeps toxic judgment out. It also keeps sensory input out when it becomes overwhelming or too much.

So, it blocks the bad things as much as possible or the things that will threaten your sense of survival as much as possible. But some things get in. And when they get in, now you have an emotional component to deal with it. And so, as that stuff moves into the inside, it’s now not just this shield protecting you, it’s affecting your circulation of blood.

And so, we start to see problems with cardiovascular health, with circulatory system stuff, with aches and pains when everything starts to get stuck. So, we see somatization of the emotion. What does anger look like when your circulation gets ahold of it? What does worry look like when your circulation gets ahold of it? And basically, what happens is when we’re overwhelmed by those emotional processes, the circulation stops. And because it stops, we have pain or we have dysfunction.

So, we get headaches. So, we get IBS with alternating constipation and diarrhea where we don’t know what’s going to happen next. And then if it gets past that and goes in even deeper, like really big traumas or intergenerational traumas, then we start to see your sense of self, your identity compromised.

This is a place where if the trauma affects you this deeply, you have forgotten who you are. You don’t know who you are anymore. You don’t know why you’re here. So, we see deeper forms of depression or deeper forms of existential anxiety here. And these kinds of processes begin to affect your health on a much bigger level.

So, you might see things like autoimmune diseases spring up or cancer or chronic degenerative kinds of things. You might go from a little IBS to inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn’s disease or something like that because it’s just much more serious. But there’s never a time when a physical symptom doesn’t have an emotional component to it and never a time when an emotional symptom doesn’t have a physical component to it. You can’t separate the two. There’s always a connection there.

Lorne Brown:

So, bidirectional.

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah.

Lorne Brown:

And from the Chinese medicine aspect and our acupuncture aspect, how do you help people process this? Because I know in your book and in the lectures you do, you talk about you have to process these traumas. You have to process these thoughts, emotions. We talked about choosing differently.

So, it’s one thing to say I want to choose differently, but if you’ve gone unconscious, which we do, you were generous, you said only 75% were going unconscious. Bruce Lipton says up to 95% of the time we’re in our programs. So, the reason we want to work on these subconscious programs is if you’re going to drift into them 95% of the time, you might as well want them congruent with your wishes and dreams. Because that conscious mind is your wishes and dreams, what you want. I want to have abundance, I want to be loved, understood. And your subconscious is saying you don’t deserve to have it all. You’re not worthy. You’re not loved for whatever reason.

Yvonne Farrell:

Even simpler than that, your subconscious is saying habituation is predictable and predictable is safe. This is how we’re going to survive. But survival isn’t thriving.

Lorne Brown:

Right. Surviving is not thriving. So, how do we use acupuncture and why is acupuncture one of the tools you like to use to help people go from suffering to surviving, to thriving?

Yvonne Farrell:

Well, there are lots of different systems and lots of different ways to approach acupuncture. But the most important thing it does is keep things moving. When you keep circulation going, it is easier to process your life, it is easier to figure out what is happening. But when it comes to this deeper stuff, I mean if we’re talking about fertility with any definition, whether it’s trying to have a family or write a book or do a job, whatever it is, then there is a particular set of vessels called the eight extraordinary vessels that are incredibly useful.

The first thing is, is that physically, they circulate the resources you need for growth, development and reproduction. So, that means they help you to become an adult, but they also help you to procreate. In addition to that, part of the development of these eight extras is psychoemotional development. It’s the development of consciousness. It’s about learning from life’s experience. It’s about pursuing a destiny that is do you from the moment you’re conceived. It’s about accessing the deeper resources of who you are as a human being and being more human, more authentic in the world, less habituated, less in that Bruce Lipton’s 90% thing and more in the 10% that might be left.

And in the right hands, these vessels can be very useful in engaging what I call the observer. And that is that part of you that is not experiencing the trauma, but it is that part of you that can see yourself experiencing the trauma. If you can engage the observer, then you have consciousness, then you have choice, and then you can do something different.

Even if it’s not the right thing that you do next, just doing something different stops the stasis, the stagnation and allows you to move forward. And then you can choose something different and then choose something different. So, once you get the ball rolling, the ability to step into that place of more awareness becomes easier. And these vessels are really profound at helping people do that.

Lorne Brown:

And I’m curious when researching your book, kind of the concepts that classical Chinese medicine has around consciousness. In that today now, it’s becoming much more popular. Maybe we’re even in a tipping point where people are talking about mindfulness, they’re talking about consciousness, they’re talking about that we have a materialistic view. So, that’s the Newtonian view, what we’re mostly used to with our typical medicine and lifestyle.

And now people are talking about the quantum level or being in the present moment. You talked about this observer. Just rather than saying, is this true or not, because so many of the experts are talking about you have this consciousness within you, this little Cs some call it, and then you have the big consciousness that you connect to. And in this present moment, there’s where potential, infinite potential. We have lots of podcasts on that.

What I’m curious about is this may be not so new. I know Buddhism talks a lot about this. And so, I’m curious what you found in the researching of your book acupuncture for surviving adversity. What have you found about our understanding of the subconscious, the conscious, and maybe going in a little bit into the five organ systems and how it looks at the spirit?

Yvonne Farrell:

So, I would say most of the background I have for understanding this comes from a Daoist perspective. And that’s because my primary teacher is a Daoist monk, Jeffrey Yuen. And in studying with him for the past nearly 30 years now, the thing that I have become more aware of is that we talk about this sort of foundation of Chinese medicine. I mean, we talk to people about Chinese medicine in terms of basic theory. They talk about yin and yang and five elements, but really the foundational piece of knowledge around Chinese medicine is qi, everything is qi, everything is function.

But the truth is, the step before that is the qi follows the mind. So, now we have to say what’s the mind? What is that? I mean, in a western sort of thought process, we used to think that the mind was the brain and certainly the brain has a part in this. But now we’re also realizing that a lot of those neurochemicals can be found in the gut. And so, now we hear people talking about the brain-gut connection. So, what is the mind and how do we access that?

So, in Chinese medicine, we have what are called the five spirits. And these spirits are not spirits like ghost spirits. Really what they are is mental faculties or energies that we can access for regulating our mental and emotional states. And each of the yin organs in the body, the heart, the lungs, the liver, the kidneys, and the spleen, and by the spleen, I don’t mean the spleen organ, I mean a system that governs digestion, each of those holds within them a particular mental faculty. And when all five of those mental faculties work together, we have a level of consciousness that allows us to be more human, more authentic.

We put the heart at the top of that. So, the heart contains a mental faculty called the mind, called the spirit. And its job is to coordinate all these other spirits together so that consciousness can be achieved. Part of that is how you manage your emotions. Part of that is how you manage your interaction with the outside world. Part of that is how you manage your mental capacity, your ability to remember things, your ability to store data. And part of it is also your ability to just summon up your will to move forward.

And so, each of these organs has a spirit that controls these things. And when they’re all working together, we are able as human beings to be more conscious in the moment, to be more present. And that is part of what the Daoist talk about when they talk about getting in the flow that health is achieved when we can get into the flow of life, when we can find balance, when we can find the middle way, when we’re not taken over by stress, when we’re not taken over by habituated behaviors.

I heard once somebody say that the Daoist believe that all disease begins with habit. They don’t say all disease begins with bad habit. They say all disease begins with habit. And why is that? Because habit is unconscious. If you do something enough that it becomes a habit, you’re not thinking about why you’re doing it anymore. So, even good habits can be a problem if you lose that mindful quality of consciousness when you’re doing them.

Lorne Brown:

You make me think then sometimes these uncomfortable habits or stress, it could be a different perception and it’s helping us stay awake, because if we weren’t unhappy, we wouldn’t be looking for ways to be happy.

Yvonne Farrell:

That’s right.

Lorne Brown:

So, it does serve a little bit of a purpose there and an uncomfortable one.

Yvonne Farrell:

It isn’t, like I was saying earlier, it’s not about being conscious 100% of the time. We have to survive. Survival is the prime directive. You can’t have meaning and purpose in your life if you’re not alive. So, survival is the prime directive, but survival isn’t enough to lead a fulfilled life. We need more than that. And so, we allow the body to take on what it needs in terms of habituation in order to survive. And we can then pursue a level of consciousness that permits us or engages us in a way that we can have more.

I mean, I used to say with students, and it sounds terrible to say this, but maybe this happens when you get to a certain age, you recognize that there are worse things than dying. That survival’s not the most important thing, even though it might be the prime directive. The worse things than dying. For instance, living a life as if you are dead is worse than dying.

So, if we just accept that we have these survival skills and they’re going to be useful to us, but then we begin to develop through practice some level of consciousness, some level of awareness, then we get to achieve the things in life that not just make us happy, but make us feel more fulfilled, more human, more purposeful, more engaged, more connected in the world.

So, it’s an important thing to get those five spirits all lined up and talking to each other in a way and supporting them through organ health, through physical health, through nutrition, through mindfulness practices, meditation, to get the best amount of balance we can get.

Lorne Brown:

And you use also acupuncture to help support those organ systems. And there’s the idea that our emotions, they can get trapped in the tissues. Hence, we talk about the disease process. I think that’s how the Chinese medicines, understanding how emotions are one of the number one cause of diseases.

If they’re not processed, we’re not saying we don’t get to be unhappy. And again, this is where the stages of Chinese medicine got this. But today, current, the gurus, the quantum physicists that are talking about consciousness are saying that it’s not the issue. It’s how you interpret the event. Or an event happens, and the key is do you get to process it.

So, if you have a miscarriage, that event at that point, it is actually human, it is healthy normal human to grieve more and sad, all those things. However, if you don’t do that process or your body doesn’t have the ability to process it because it’s out of balance, then it gets stuck in the tissues, correct?

Yvonne Farrell:

Yes, yes.

Lorne Brown:

Have you had this experience where you’re treating somebody and they’re not sharing a lot and you do your treatment and then out of nowhere they say, what’s going on here? All of a sudden, I have this incredible sadness or anger and they just cathartic cry on the table?

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. Happens all the time. Or all of a sudden halfway through a treatment, they’ll think about something that happened to them 15 years ago that they put away as if it didn’t matter. I’m not dealing with this. I’m just moving on. I’m not going to let it get to me. But they did let it get to them, because now 15 years later, it’s surfacing when you start to create movement. So, yeah, we store a lot of stuff for survival purposes.

Lorne Brown:

And so, that’s what the acupuncture in your mind is. It’s doing that. It’s moving it out of the tissue again back into consciousness.

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. I like to think of it as opening a door to the possibility for change.

Lorne Brown:

I want to hear that again. So, we have these trapped emotions. They’re kind of dormant. People come to you because they’re struggling. They know they’re suffering. That’s why they come to you. And it could be a physical symptom or emotional, usually both? And how do you describe this then? So, it’s opening a door to possibilities. Is that what I heard?

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. It’s opening the door to the possibility of change. And so, I mean, it is the classic, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. So, I can put needles in that will make things move. And making things move will make a person feel better for a period of time, but survival will push stuff back down again.

So, really what you need to do is not just circulate. You need to provide the information through those needles that allows the patient to see the possibility of change. So, you open a door and say, “Hey, you might want to go this way.” You can’t say, “You have to go this way to get better.” Because people will resist that.

But if you open a door and say, “There’s a possibility that things could be different for you, why don’t you have a look,” then that is a really powerful stimulus for change. Because it’s not threatening. It’s the patient’s choice and they can buy in or not. And when you do that and people buy in, then you get lasting change, not temporary change. I can put needles anywhere in the body and I can guarantee you afterwards people are going to feel better, because something moved. Movement is good, but coordinated movement with a specific intent or goal in mind can create change.

Lorne Brown:

And so, when you see your patients, do you have them set an attention and are you setting an attention?

Yvonne Farrell:

Sometimes I’ll have patients very specifically set an intention. Most of the time, I will take their chief complaint as their intention. This is why I’m here. I’m here because I have anxiety. So, your intention is to try to live your life without anxiety. I think from a practitioner’s point of view, the most powerful tool an acupuncturist or any healer has is intent.

So, I’m going to put a needle in you. That needle’s going to direct qi flow. But what did I say earlier? The qi follows the mind. So, if I put my mind on an intent, that information that goes in through the needle, when that needle activates the point is going to be much more specific than if I just activate the qi there.

Lorne Brown:

And I like the word information because we often use qi and energy and people are always looking to find the right definition, which we don’t have. And again, in the conscious world, people are asking what’s happening when healers are doing distance healing. They’re starting to say it’s information. We’re giving the body information and the body’s doing something with that information.

And that’s what your coordinated acupuncture treatments do. And you like to use the eight extraordinary vessels, which I enjoy from your classes in your book, use it in the practice. Can you explain a little bit then for our listeners, I know we have some practitioners that listen, but predominantly, we got the public listening to this. How do you describe this into patients? You’re going to open up a door of possibility or do you not go into any more detail if you’re going to choose the Chong Mai or the Ren Mai, these systems that you work with in your practice?

Yvonne Farrell:

It sort of depends on the patients. Some patients are already trauma informed and so it’s very easy to have a conversation with them about what it is you’re trying to accomplish. And some people just want you to fix their chronic knee pain and they don’t realize that stress is related to that. So, you’re going to have different conversations.

But when I’m using the eight extras, usually I’ll give them just a little tiny bit of foundational information about what I call the archetypal nature of that vessel. For instance, I mean we’re talking about fertility, so this is a perfect thing to talk about. One of the eight extras is called the Ren Mai. It’s usually translated as the conception vessel.

Lorne Brown:

So, very important that’s why we’re talking about fertility there?

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. So, this is a very important vessel in fertility treatment. But this is not just about trying to have a baby. It really is archetypally about the mother. It’s about giving birth to something, anything in your life. So, this vessel is particularly good of what I talked about earlier, the ability to conceive of something just stated labor over it, give birth to it, nourish it until it can stand on its own. So, archetypally, it represents the mother. It represents nourishment, giving of life. The archetypal nature of the Du Mai, which is the young pair for that organ is the father, the structure in life, the curiosity and engagement and action in life.

And so, each of those eight sort of has a little bit of an archetypal nature. And when people are stuck in trauma, you can see that they can’t access that nature to get out of it. A good example for the Ren Mai would be writer’s block. I can’t create. I can’t find the words. I can’t give birth to these thoughts.

So, if we regulate the Ren Mai, the archetype of the mother, you can give birth to those words again because your procreative energy is regulated. So, usually I’ll just tell them a little bit about what the vessel can do for them and that they already have that in them. We just have to unblock it.

Lorne Brown:

See, that’s really important. I love this and I love how you practice. And Chinese medicine idea is our patients have all the resources. We are not providing the resources. We are just supporting the body to do what it does when it’s in balance and health.

And so, I love that, that you are giving them access to their own resources. And this is the theme on consciousness, I keep hearing from all the experts, is we all have this potential and we’re always connected to it. We just don’t know we’re connected to it. And I take it from what you’re sharing, qi follows the mind. Where the mind goes, qi follows. What you focus on becomes your reality. And so, you are using acupuncture as one of your modalities and tools when you treat to help your client, help your patient access that resource.

Yvonne Farrell:

And that’s the thing about the eight extras. Because they are active from the moment conception takes place, they are the primary resources you have for living your whole life. So, they never go away. You always have them. It’s just a matter of whether or not you can access them and what is it that’s getting in the way of you accessing them. So, yeah, when you empower a patient to access their own resources, then they will regain their sovereignty, their agency, their autonomy, and they will choose. You’re not fixing them.

Lorne Brown:

You’re helping them find their balance again. And can you clarify, when you talk about balance and you talked about us, the adversity not being able to survive, what’s going on in life, you’re not talking work-life balance. You’re not talking about balancing the external environment. I’m going to only work this much or I’m only going to see this many people. You are talking about an internal balance and from that beingness, then you make conscious choices of how hard or how much you work.

Because somebody could be totally in balance working 50 plus hours in a week and being totally enjoying it, loving it, and it’s not an issue for a period of time. So, it’s an internal thing. It’s not an external thing that you’re balancing. You’re balancing inside of yourself.

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. You’re balancing those internal resources in a way that you can get into the flow of life, whatever that means. Because everyone’s life lessons or what I call curriculum is different. Some people have a job to pay their rent and give them the money to do the things they like to do. Other people have a job that is more like a vocation and they’re totally invested in that and that’s where their meaning and purpose comes from.

So, those people might work 60 or 70 hours a week and never feel tired, because they’re in alignment with who they are and what they’re supposed to be doing. They’ve found that balance. But it doesn’t matter because everyone’s curriculum is different. The goal is just to access your resources in a balanced way as mindfully as possible in the moment to pursue a more authentic expression of yourself.

Lorne Brown:

I keep hearing this theme, this authentic expression them self, tapping into this part. And it’s just so interesting how this is what from different professions, they’re all saying the same thing, which is really nice. They’re saying things a little differently, but they’re saying the same things. What are some of the things then for our listeners that want to tap into this consciousness, some of the things that they can do like breathing?

I know you use acupuncture as one of your modalities because you have that skill, but not everybody has access to an acupuncturist. So, tell me a little bit more about some of the other things that you share with people to help them get those internal resources going or unlock.

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. So, I mean you hit on it. So, the most important thing is breathing. And it’s not just breathing, it’s conscious breathing. We all breathe. We wouldn’t be upright and working in the world if we weren’t breathing. But the thing is, is that most of us are breathing very shallowly. We’re breathing enough to sustain life but not enough to be fully embodied.

If we can begin to focus on our breathing, even just in small ways, stopping two or three times a day whatever you’re doing, and just taking three or four really deep breaths can get you to a place where you’re more embodied. And if you’re more embodied, you can have more awareness. If you have more awareness, you can have more choice. So, breathing is the freest thing, the easiest thing and the most important thing that you could do. It’s like top of the list.

Lorne Brown:

And there’s no excuse. And I just want to share with my listeners because so many people are struggling. This is that tough love. I forget, no more forgetting, like breathe. It’s an easy thing to do. You don’t have an excuse. It’s free. If you don’t do it, you’re going to die. You’re doing it anyhow. Just there’s a different way to do it.

Yvonne Farrell:

Just do it better.

Lorne Brown:

Yeah. Do it consciously. And it’s simple, as you said, simple and easy. And can you talk a little bit about it then? Because the breath, I know in your book you mentioned how it puts us into that calm state, which feels good. It’s good for the nervous system. It puts us in a receptive state too though. And that’s important for reproduction.

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. There’s different kinds of breathing and there are people who do this that train people how to breathe and use different breathing techniques to create different brain states. But if you’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off or you are in fight or flight, or if you are really reactive to everything, that means there’s too much coming in more than you can process. And so, the breath for that is a shorter inhale and a longer exhale. So, you inhale to the count of four, you hold for four counts and then you exhale for eight.

The reason is, is because now you’re making room. You’re getting rid of stuff on the exhale to make room for what’s coming in. And that actually is set to downregulate the sympathetic nervous system and take you out of fight or flight.

That is different than deep belly breathing. Deep belly breathing is the breathing that makes you more receptive. So, when you lay down or sit down in a comfortable place to put your hands on your belly. And when you inhale, you feel the chest and the ribs expand and then you feel on the inhale your belly rise. And on the exhale, the belly collapses. That breathing says I am ready to receive.

But the truth is, is you can’t do any of that if you don’t know if you’re breathing or not. I literally have patients that I say to them right now, take your phone out. I need you to set an alarm for twice a day. You pick the times. And when that alarm goes off, I want you to stop whatever you’re doing and take three deep breaths. And they do that for a week and then they turn the alarms off and they breathe. They stop when they need to stop. They do it more than twice a day. They do it when they wake up. They do it when they go to bed. So, once you begin to feel what happens to you when you actually breathe, you will invest in that a little bit.

Lorne Brown:

Thank you for that. And again, we have no excuses. The breath is with us. It’s simple, it’s free, and we’re in a place where we just need more of us to be awake and conscious. And the idea behind the Conscious Fertility Podcast is people will come to this looking to optimize their fertility through conscious work.

And so, we have conscious fertility will lead to they become awake and aware to conscious conception, to conscious parenting. And then these children are raised by conscious parents, so more developmentalists than behaviorists. They get their attachment needs met and they can grow up resourced like we talked about.

And therefore, there’s no need for cutting, suicide, addiction. We don’t have to have suicides, all the psych meds. We don’t have to go to war with each other. We take care of our planet better. The idea I subscribe to is that if we are conscious, it’s harder to want to damage the planet that you’re connected to or to take something from somebody else because you’re all connected, which is will be different.

Yvonne Farrell:

Yes. That’s right. I often say that that idea of consciousness, the more you invest in that, the more human you become. The more human you become, the more you recognize that we’re all connected, that there’s no separation. If one of us is hungry, we’re all hungry. If one of us is suffering, we’re all suffering, including the planet.

Lorne Brown:

Yeah. And the planet suffering. And it seems like we have a collective trauma being activated in our world today. It seems like more and more people, it used to be that country or that minority or that belief system. And now, it seems like everybody’s being activated. So, we’re really starting to see that we’re all connected and when we all do our own.

So, I’m not saying, oh, this person has to do their work, that politician has to do their work. It really comes back to doing your own work. This is what this is about. We all have to heal our hearts and minds. You talked about the heart and in Chinese medicine, the xin, the heart. And it’s neat because in the west, they’re looking at the heart, the frequency it has, and they’re talking about heart-brain coherence. When the heart is activated, it has an impact on the mind. So, this makes me think about how you said where the mind goes, the qi follows. This is that intention.

Just to kind of in closing as we get close to inclosing, just to wrap up or summarize for people that are looking to build their families, that form of creativity. And as you said, this will work for somebody who wants to birth a book, birth a new career, birth a relationship, birth a healing for themselves, that creative aspect, can you just share a little bit then? It’s okay to repeat stuff, just summarize kind of how you view this and what’s available to them.

Yvonne Farrell:

Yeah. So, I’m sure some of the other people that you’ve talked to have talked about polyvagal theory, and that is not a Chinese medical theory, but basically, it’s a theory that talks about how your brain works in terms of seeking safety.

And so, what I would say is that if you want to be really, really receptive in order to become a parent, in order to conceive and have a family, then safety’s number one. So, you need to deal with the ever stressors that are going on around you that are making you feel unsafe. And you also need to look at your perception of what safety is. Because sometimes our perception of safety is skewed because of our early childhood experiences or intergenerational trauma. So, you start first with that, how can I feel more safe?

Both women giving birth and mammals giving birth have the capacity to stop labor when they don’t feel safe. So, how do they do that? They activate catecholamine in the brain. So, the brain recognizes, I’m unsafe. Let’s stop this right now. So, the same is true for conception. If your brain is firing in that stressful way in fight or flight, in tremendous amounts of stress or worry or anxiety, your brain is going to produce the chemicals that stop this from happening.

So, safety first. Once you can increase the level of safety that you feel in the world, I would say the next thing is resources. Internal resources that we’re talking about from like the eight extra point of view, qi, blood, body fluids, all of those things, nutrition, but also external resources. How well supported are you on the outside? You have to start to look at how you’ve made connections in the world. And then once you do that, the Daoist say that women who want to become pregnant, fathers who want to become fathers, potential fathers, have to petition the heavens for a child.

So, what does that mean? In some cultures, you might say, “Okay, you get down on your hands and knees and pray to god that you can have a baby.” But really what they’re saying is you have to open your mind, you have to open your consciousness to receive. You have to connect that little spirit, that little shen with the cosmic shen of the world in a way that says, “I am ready to be a vessel for this new life. I’m ready to do whatever it takes to be a vessel for this new life.”

And from my perspective, the vessels that are used, these eight extras actually do all of that. But then you also have things that you advise patients on. Every patient who’s come to any acupuncture for work on fertility has been talked to about diet, nutrition, about stress, emotions. All of that is part of it. But you have to get yourself and your mind in a receptive place.

Lorne Brown:

Yvonne, I want to thank you very much for making the time today. I’ve enjoyed what you’ve had to share. It’s really aligned with our tagline, receive life on purpose. For those that have enjoyed listening to Yvonne Farrell, hopefully you did as much as I have. She practices in Los Angeles. If you’re looking for this style of acupuncture, you can find her there.

Also, we have studied with Yvonne and use this style in our practice as well in Vancouver, BC at Acubalance Wellness Center. And for my colleagues, if you’re looking to study with Yvonne, she has so many courses and a mentorship program that’s available on healthyseminars.com. So, I direct you there if you’d like to learn more about the work and the teachings that Yvonne Farrell offers.

Thank you so much for tuning into another episode of Conscious Fertility, the show that helps you receive life on purpose. Please take a moment to subscribe to the show and join the community of women and men on their path to peak fertility and choosing to live consciously on purpose.

I would love to continue this conversation with you, so please direct message me on Instagram, @LorneBrownofficial. That’s Instagram, LorneBrownOfficial, or you can visit my website, lornebrown.com and acubalance.ca. Until the next episode, stay curious and for a few moments, bring your awareness to your heart center and breathe.

Hosts & Guests

Lorne Brown
Yvonne Farrell

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