Getting off track is not something uncommon for us. In fact, it’s an everyday part of our human experience. The question is, how do you notice when this happens and then how do you reorient? More importantly, how do you navigate when in unfamiliar territory? And likewise with your clinical work, how do you deal with the new and the unknown when it comes to treating patients?

In this conversation with Heather Becker-Brungard, we discuss some ways of approaching our work, as well as how we interact with the body. Much like the ancient navigators who mastered navigating by listening and sensing the water, weather, tides, currents, and wind. In clinical work practice and repetition make you better at what you do. And as we learn to work and interact with nature, our senses become refined and open up opportunities for new discoveries.

Listen into this discussion on healing and why it isn’t linear. And navigating the passage of illness to heal, and how you can be a trustworthy navigator to your patients in the clinic.

In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Approaching work and interacting with the body like the Polynesians approached navigating the open waters of their world
  • The analogy between sailing and bodywork
  • Consciousness is different in fluid than it is not in fluid
  • Rhythms of happiness and sadness
  • Striving for perfection in health and why it’s not ideal
  • The idea of pendulation, of how yin and yang rhythmically transform into each other
  • Why healing is not a linear progression
  • Seeing  symptoms as your friend
  • Letting go of mental tensions
  • Polynesian navigation and its similarities with clinical work
  • Quieting the internal in order to quiet the external
  • Combining acupuncture and bodywork and the beauty of it
  • The term “passage”, how it relates to healing and how it fits into clinical work
  • The analogy between being a good navigator and treating your patients
  • The importance of the body feeling that it's safe

Let’s do whatever it takes to always keep ourselves full and overflowing, for then we can give indefinitely. The more we go inwards and cultivate ourselves, the deeper we will journey with our patients. The more we follow our hearts and fully live our lives — and do the unexpected and the extraordinary — the more we will encourage our patients to do the same.​

I am an acupuncturist and naturopathic doctor, and love weaving together the best of Eastern and Western medicine. I am island born and raised, spending most of my childhood (and much of my adult life) sailing through and living on many islands of the Pacific. This upbringing has given me a unique view on life, which I carry with me daily.

The ocean and island life taught me how to appreciate the simple things in life (such as precious fresh water), how to trust in the unknown, and how to listen to the spaces in between. I have been exposed to many different cultures and ways of living, and know what it is like to live with the realization that life and death are intimately intertwined.

I feel that these lessons helped guide me into the field of natural medicine, and help me relate with what patients are going through as they navigate life changes and health challenges.


Links and Resources

Visit Heather on her website.


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