Ep. 53: Elena Bensonoff – Awakening Your Inner Healer for Incredible Recovery

Healing from within means looking at the whole picture.

That doesn’t mean that healing with external help can’t do the same – but it often misses things, and looks at symptoms and specific body parts or organs, rather than the whole body-mind-spirit being that we are.

So the best healing with external help will actually mean helping you get to the point where you can heal from within.

That’s what Elena Bensonoff, the founder of Wholistic, Inc. does for her clients. Equipped with the knowledge she first gained when healing her own chronic issues, she now blends conventional medicine with holistic techniques to guide them to true and complete healing.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • What energy healing is and why it’s crucial to your recovery.
  • The true connection between thoughts, emotions and the physical body, and how these affect your healing.
  • About the importance of taking control and self-responsibility in your healing.
  • Why having a healthy gut is so important for the recovery and how to balance your microbiome.

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Show notes & links

The show notes are written in chronological order.

00:00 – excerpt from the episode
00:44 – intro (listen to discover a little more about your host. Martin will tell you a new lesser-known fact about Dr. Maya)

01:20
Dr. Maya Novak:
When we talk about healing from within it means that we need to look at the whole picture. And that doesn’t mean that healing with external help can’t do the same. But the problem is that it often misses things, and looks at symptoms and specific body parts or organs, rather than the whole body-mind-spirit being that we are. So the best healing with external help will actually mean helping you get to the point where you can heal from within.
I first met Elena Bensonoff in 2020 and she joined me on my second summit. This is the conversation we had back then and if you’re curious and want to hear what else she has to share, after finishing this episode, head over to episode 9 for even more. Enjoy.

02:12
Dr. Maya Novak:
In this interview, I’m joined Elena Bensonoff, who is a published author, teacher, and pioneer in the field of functional, regenerative and energy medicine. She founded Wholistic Inc. to help people all over the world achieve balance by guiding them to awaken the healer within. Her revolutionary methods are a blend of western medicine and ancient healing modalities. Elena, thank you so much for being here.

02:38
Elena Bensonoff:
Thank you, Maya, so much for inviting me to be a part of your Summit.

02:41
Dr. Maya Novak:
I’m very excited about our interview. We’ve talked so much, and I know your work, and I know that participants are going to so benefit from your knowledge. So, before we go into the juicy part of healing, can you tell a bit about yourself and how did you become involved in energy medicine?

03:02
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes, thank you for asking. I think my whole life somehow, I’ve felt that there’s something much greater than what we perceived. And I think as a child, being connected to our own imagination and not having the filters of what others tell us we should and shouldn’t feel it was much easier for me to be so connected to that part. And then, of course, as I grew up and we moved around quite a bit, of course, I wanted to pursue medicine because I always felt that that was the only way that I could stay connected and create healing on many different levels. So, I decided I didn’t want to into studying traditional – I mean very traditional medicine like physicians, right, because I was so afraid of blood. I didn’t want to deal with that. In fact, my grandmother was a dentist and she was trying to talk me into dentistry, and I decided to go the safe route, which was pharmacy. So, I went to pharmacy school and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t easy, but I enjoyed it because it kind of opened up my view on what I thought I wanted to do. And then, of course, years later I recognized that was absolutely not what I wanted to do! When I first graduated and I began to work as a pharmacist, and I had my first son and we moved to Florida from Connecticut, I became very sick. I had actually had severe asthma and allergies, and my lungs were functioning at less than 25 percent. And at that point, I didn’t really have a doctor so I had to find someone where I lived. My son was suffering from severe eczema from head to toe. He had scaly skin, he was crying a lot, and I thought, okay, what can I do, because the traditional medicine really wasn’t working. Well, anyway, I found a pulmonologist and he told me – he had me sign a waiver saying that – well, first he said that I had to go to the hospital, and I said I didn’t want to go to the hospital. So then, he had me sign a waiver that I refused the treatment that he was suggesting because he thought my lungs were going to collapse, and he prescribed six different types of medications. And he said that in the beginning, I needed to come to his office every week so he could monitor my lung capacity and how I was breathing, I had all of these machines. And that was really the first time that I began to look at a deeper level of what makes us sick because in pharmacy school – and I would say this goes across the board, nursing, doctors – no one actually learns the connection between the diet, the emotions, and what happens physically to us. So, as I began to research I recognized that actually, my diet played a huge role in me being sick. I used to eat a lot of dairy and gluten, which was also part of my culture growing up, right. We had – I grew up in the former Soviet Union, so dairy and bread was like a big part of our culture and fruit. So, I had to take it out of my diet and I noticed a big shift. And then I said okay, well, there’s something else. And then I found out my house actually had mold. So, in a few years, we had to move out of the house. Anyway, I got myself off of the meds. Of course, changing my son’s diet, his skin cleared up as well. And then after I had my fourth child – this happened with my first son – my daughter had severe allergies as well, to the point where I remember breastfeeding her and she would have, as an infant, blood in her diaper from her stood. The pediatrician at that time said what are you eating? Perhaps you need to start journaling. So that was also a huge kind of wakeup call for me, that not only was I impacting my health, I was actually impacting my child’s health because everything passes through the breastmilk, right, and I was breastfeeding at that time. So, a friend of mine approached me and said how would you like to join the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and do this Master’s program? And I said, okay, I have four kids, I don’t know if I want to go back to school! And at that time, I was working in a very traditional pharmacy setting. She was like, well, just come to one of the modules and see how you like it. I remember – I would say this was my biggest awakening because I remember going into that class and a cardiologist, it was a group of around 300 people, he had us get up in the room, and he said we’re going to take a break and we’re going to practice Qigong. I looked at my girlfriend and said what is he talking about, right? So, this is like – again, I come from a very traditional narrow-minded kind of view of what makes a human being a human being, right, what makes us who we are. And I remember having this feeling in between my hands, Qigong is a practice of breath work and harnessing your energy, and I remember at that moment so vividly that I actually could feel the energy flow between my hands, and it was so strong. And I looked at my girlfriend and I said do you feel this? She was like, no. I’m like how could you not feel this? This is so obvious, right? So then, I came back home and we actually – I organized like a little group, there were three of us, two of my friends who were physicians and I, and every Friday we would practice Qigong. This, to me, was a major wake-up call to realizing and recognizing that there is something much greater to who we are than our physical being, right, because we’re all energy beings is something that I learned later on. I started learning all kinds of different healing modalities from around the world and recognizing how everything is so connected. And also, recognizing how over-medicated we are. At that time, I worked in a diabetes clinic also, where an average person was taking between 12 and 17 medications per day. And I remember asking – because I would have to get on a call to do follow-up calls with a lot of these patients, and I would say has anyone ever talked to you about diet? And they said, oh, my doctor said it wasn’t related. And they were having COPD, they couldn’t breathe, they were in pain. They had oxygen tanks, high blood pressure, diabetes – I mean everything you can imagine, right. And it was like a pill after a pill after pill, and a lot of those pills were actually masking the symptoms to what was causing the illness to begin with. So, it was chaos and I thought this is definitely the world I want to be a part of but I need to understand it so I can educate people on how to get to the root cause of what is really creating their illness to begin with.

10:01
Dr. Maya Novak:
This is extremely important, and our stories are a bit similar. I was studying vet medicine and then I decided not to pursue that. I was working with doctors and pharmacists, so I know exactly. Sometimes I was watching people going out with bags of medicine because that’s how many they were prescribed. So, I can completely connect with that part. Can you share a bit on what is actually energy medicine? We know traditional medicine is…

10:40
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes.

10:41
Dr. Maya Novak:
… and this – when you are injured, you have access to or you go to a doctor who is trained in traditional medicine. And especially with some serious injuries, that there needs to be a surgery is extremely important. But can you talk a bit about what energy medicine actually is?

11:00
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes. So first, I want to also distinguish the difference acute conditions and chronic because we all need medicine. Thank god that traditional medicine exists because let’s say you do get injured or you need surgery, it’s really a miracle, right? Today we’re talking, I believe, about chronic conditions and how to prevent chronic conditions. So, because my nature I’m an investigator, I want to get to the root cause, to the truth, this path the last 20 years has led me into recognizing that everything actually – quantum physics talks about this – that 99.999 percent of everything is energy. So that means the chair you’re sitting on is energy. You are an energy being. Everything around us is energy. It’s more about how fast the molecules, the atoms; the photons are spinning, right, so it creates a density. So, we are the dense expression of this energy, right. We are energy. So, we are an expression of the energy field itself, right. And I didn’t begin to truly recognize it until I began to put pieces together. For example, what makes someone sic, right? What makes someone – let’s give an example of having a fungal infection, so diet is related to it. But I’ll give you an example, for instance, a lot of women suffer from fungal infections and I’m not talking about yeast, I’m talking about sinuses, bronchial issues, skin – eczema also can be related to that, gut issues. So, I began to dig deeper because I wanted to understand why is that some people can clear it faster, which is very rare, and others keep getting recurrent symptoms. What I found out, that it was actually linked. So candida overpopulation, and everyone has candida in their gut, is linked to anger and rage. So, this became – as an awareness – again, every person that I have worked with has been my teacher in making me understand the depth of what makes us sick. So, it wasn’t until a person became aware of what emotion they were blocking in their body because emotions manifest. Emotions are like sort of – they’re energies. Our thoughts are energies, and the denser they become, the more anchored – we anchor them into our physical being and then the expression becomes more dense, which is physical symptoms. So, therefore, this is just one example of, of course, millions of examples but the root cause of every illness begins in the event and situation, which gets settled in our field of information, and then the emotions get triggered and those emotions also get imprinted our field energetically. And the more we ignore them, the more – I call it we park them in the parking garage, which is our meridian systems, our bones, our tissues, right – it settles as memory, every cell in our body has a brain, it has a memory. In fact, you can pull the DNA from your hair sample, from the cell, and it will give the full expression, full example of who you are as a being, every little part of you. So, it’s understanding how our emotions and our thoughts can manifest into our physical symptoms and into our physicality, and then recognizing that we truly manifest and create everything with our thoughts, whether it’s conscious or unconscious. And most people are creating very unconsciously because we are bombarded with programming, whether it’s from the moment that we’ve been in our mother’s room, ancestral programming that has been passed on to us through our DNA, as well as social media, television. Things that are so unconscious but they’re coming into our field and, again, it’s all energy, and it’s been expressed. Sometimes we don’t know why we’re having anxiety, why we’re angry. Why are we restless? It is because we’re constantly bombarded with energy and this energy has to go somewhere, and usually, it goes into our body – unless you become conscious of how to clear it out of your system.

15:45
Dr. Maya Novak:
You brought up such an important topic because with injuries, and especially with serious injuries, there is a lot of anxiety, sadness, and frustration and everything, and many times – this is my experience – many times this is not really connected to this particular situation, but it goes way back. Another thing that you mentioned and I just want to make things clear, you were mentioning here manifesting sort of diseases. If one of our listeners is injured they might be like, yeah, but I did not manifest my injury. So, can we talk a bit about how it is with healing from injuries and how this actually connected?

16:34
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes. This is such an important topic. It’s so great you’re asking me this. This is the difference actually between cure and healing mindset. I want to talk about this because we’ve been programmed for centuries or perhaps, I don’t know, the last couple of hundred years to believe that there’s something outside of ourselves that is going to cure us. So that means my doctor is going to cure me. That pill is going to cure me. Something outside of me is going to cure me because whatever that is that’s outside of myself is causing it, okay. So, that is taking the victim mentality and not taking any responsibility for what is happening within. And this is something I had to learn for myself and also teach others now in my practice that I’ve been working with, gosh for almost 20 years, that we have to make the switch. And this is the most important switch first that’s on our minds, are you creating the victim mentality, that it’s something outside of yourself that created it for you, and now that it’s something outside of yourself that’s going to have to fix you. So, this is number one. Number two, which is most important, healing is an ongoing process. It is not something that is miraculously just going to be wiped off of you, you don’t have to be conscious, and you don’t have to be aware. It is not something that’s going to be outside of yourself. The reason I say healing is an ongoing process is life – being alive means to be healing, okay. That means always be connected to whatever is happening in your life. Life is not like this, right – it’s not constant, everything is great. We all go through waves of up and down. It’s in those moments when we go down, when we think they’re down it’s actually where our greatest growth happens. It takes courage for us. It takes awareness of understanding why it’s happening because it’s happening for us – for us to grow, number one. Number two is becoming courageous to embrace it and say what is it that you’re here to teach me, right. So, I would say any illness that you might be suffering with at the moment, take it as your greatest teacher, and embrace with the most love that you can because this love actually is meant for you. I’m going to give you the biggest example, and it actually is my mom. My mom was diagnosed – she passed away two years ago. She was in her early sixties. She was diagnosed with – misdiagnosed with a type of cancer, it was a stomach cancer. And she was the type of person that worked a lot, okay. She worked 60-80 hours a week. She kept saying when I retire then I will do this, right. And we were immigrants, so we came to this country and she had the mentality of survival, right, I’m going to make it. And she made it to the top level. I mean she ran one of the biggest corporations in the United States. But what happened was she completely forgot about who she was, which is she was an artist, she was a poet, she loved music. She disconnected from that aspect of her core being. It wasn’t until the very end, and this was a huge lesson for me as well, that she said actually none of it matters. And she recognized that these things – this cancer was a stomach cancer, right – that happened to her, I would say it was a greatest gift because it awakened her to what is truly important, right. It’s not about always having a career and making the most money, but it’s about listening to yourself, honoring yourself, and giving the time to truly love you. Because if you can’t love yourself, you’re really not alive. And I’m not talking about selfish love. I’m talking about where you’re honoring and being connected and centered with you. So, she was able to embrace excruciating pain. She was in excruciating pain. In fact, morphine wasn’t even helping her. But it was at the end she kept saying, you know, I found this place inside of me, and that is the most sacred place where if I go in and I focus, all the pain goes away. So I hope this inspires people to take yourself out of the victim mode. Why is this happening to me? And be courageous enough to ask yourself what is this teaching me and what is it that I have not looked at within myself deep inside.

21:22
Dr. Maya Novak:
Wow, thank you so much for sharing this.

21:25
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes.

21:26
Dr. Maya Novak:
I so agree, and I love this story of your mom and how she found that part of her, this place in herself, and what you described – how I usually describe to my clients it’s also a bit of playing with pain so that you are actually surrendering to it…

21:46
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes.

21:46
Dr. Maya Novak:
… and also uncovering what is happening inside. So, thank you for this information. So, if we talk here about taking responsibility and being in a victim mode or mentality, I see many times that women, and also men, don’t take that as, yes, I’m going to be a victim, but because of how also the medical system is created, it’s like well, this is how it is, you know. I go to the doctor and then I wait and hope. How do we actually take responsibility for our healing?

22:27
Elena Bensonoff:
That’s a great question. So, it’s about being a proactive person, right. So, being a healer is about being self-responsible. Of course, there’s many ways you can prepare. I would say if you can find a practitioner, a doctor perhaps if you’re in a situation where you do need surgery. Find somebody who, of course, is the best in their area. And then somebody who’s also open-minded to understanding that you’re sacred, that there’s much more to you. You’re not a mechanical being. You’re not just the physical body. So, just like if you go for a job interview, they’re searching for the best candidate for that position. The doctor who is going to operate on you, perhaps, or treat you, you should interview them the same way because you are sacred. So, every person that is going to touch you, to work with you, should go through that vigorous interview process. Why would you want to give yourself to somebody that doesn’t care or doesn’t have the same belief system? So, that’s step number one. They actually have to interview for you because you’re hiring them and you’re paying them. Step number two is, let’s say you’re going into surgery and surgery is a must, right. I would say that make sure that your immune system is clear or is strong - that your detoxification organs, right, which is your liver, your kidneys, your lymph, your skin - everything is flowing. This is important, right. You are going to prepare your body, and get rid of as many toxins as possible. So diet plays a crucial role in your recovery. If you’re eating inflammatory foods, it is much harder for your body to heal after surgery and to recover. Also, get several opinions. I think that’s important when you interview. The other thing I want people to know is diagnosis is not the prognosis. That means if somebody tells you this is what is in front of us, you don’t know if that’s really your – it’s going to be your reality because there’s so many people that have healings that occur without surgeries. Or perhaps they have amazing results after doing certain treatments. So, do your research. Understand that your body is your vehicle. It’s a powerful vehicle for you to live this earthly life. It’s given to you. It’s not like a car that you can trade-in, you know. So, imagine you bought a car, well in a few years you decide you want to change your car. Well, your body is given to you for this lifetime so you can’t change. So, you have to, therefore, pay attention to all the red flags, all the symptoms, all the subtle communication things that are happening. So, I would say tune in. Interview your physician or your practitioners, that’s very important. And prepare your body in the best way possible so you’re able to recover fast. Also, I didn’t talk about adrenals. It’s important to support your adrenals. So, manage your stress level and you’re anxiety level. That is going to be crucial in your recovery as well.

25:46
Dr. Maya Novak:
Oh my goodness, I have so many follow-up questions with that!

25:49
Elena Bensonoff:
Yeah!

25:49
Dr. Maya Novak:
I so agree with that, and it’s so important because injuries are stressful. So, there is a lot going on with it because it’s not like just a type of flue, so you’re okay in a week or two weeks. Sometimes it takes weeks months, or sometimes even years to get as close to 100 percent as possible, or 100 percent. Now, in regards ... now, I forgot because I had so many questions!

26:24
Elena Bensonoff:
Well, you said that it might take time. The one thing – and I want to say this has nothing to do with this – I remember when I gave birth to my kids, I would ask the doctor well, how long is it going to take for my body to go back to normal, right. And they used to say, well, it took you nine months to get here, so it’s going to take time. So, the reason I’m bringing this up, this analogy, is because to get to the point where you’re injured – I want you to take yourself back to when was the last time you felt peaceful and happy. And perhaps for some people, it could be when they were two years old, right. So, maybe since you were a child you don’t remember ever feeling that. So, if it took you 20 years to get to your injury, I want you to honor that and understand that this is the process of many years you’ve been imprinting your body, your cells, your field with this kind of information. So, it’s going to require effort and absolute awareness of your thought patterns for the last 20 years or however many years it’s taken for you to be at that point. And I would say that your injury is your greatest gift because it is your wakeup call to understand what it is that you are blocking - what kind of trauma or what kind of conversations you’ve been having with yourself all along. So perhaps find the point of where you were your most peaceful and then from that point on, go through maybe year-by-year of different events, traumatic events, and situations that have occurred. And again, what is considered traumatic for one person might not be traumatic for another. So, don’t be hard on judging yourself and saying, oh, this is not trauma, this is just a little issue that I created or I blocked or I imagined, well, perhaps not.

28:19
Dr. Maya Novak:
Oh, this is so important. What you just described is a very similar process to what I do with my private clients as well. It’s so important to look beyond just this situation here, this injury, but just also going back. Because when we change this – and this is how I see it, but please share your experience. When we change what is actually happening inside of us, we are changing this energetic field and this is also how our healing can then occur and be better than what was perhaps predicted for us from someone from the outside, so traditional doctors.

29:05
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes, absolutely. This is correct. So here’s what I do in my practice and I’ll briefly share it.

29:13
Dr. Maya Novak:
We'll continue in just a moment. I wanted to quickly jump in for two things. First, thank you for tuning in. And second, I’m sure you have at least one friend, colleague, or family member who would very much appreciate this episode. So share it with them and help us spread the word. Now let’s continue…

29:34
Elena Bensonoff:
I read the human energy field, which is every event, situation, anything from your cells, to your organs, to your DNA – it’s all there, right. So I look at it and let’s say you’ve had events and situations and you have limiting beliefs, you have thoughts that have been blocked for years, that have been parked somewhere in your tissues, in your bones, right, they’re like unconscious in your DNA somewhere. So, I say this, once I open your field and realign the flow – that means the flow from your meridian systems, between your chakras, before it flows into your tissues and organs, right. Because our DNA is sort like a little antenna that gets activated by the information that’s coming in, right. And then it sends signals all over the body of what to do, right. It sends messages. When the energy begins to realign it’s sort of like opening the floodgates. So, let’s say I find out that a limiting belief for a person could be I’m not worthy, okay. And they’ve been keeping it since they were a child. There was something, maybe a friend in school, in elementary school told them they were not good enough, they were not worthy, and this is the belief system that they’ve carried their whole life in them. And this happens quite often actually in my practice and most people are not conscious of it. So, what I will say then to the person is I can open the floodgates. I can open the flow but I cannot process your emotions for you. So this is where the healer comes in – and I’m not the healer. The person is going to the healing that’s seeking the healing because they’re the ones that have to courageously face that and consciously remove it from their field, from their physicality, and that’s where their healing takes place.

31:38
Dr. Maya Novak:
It’s so true.

31:39
Elena Bensonoff:
Otherwise, if we’re not facing it, we’re just oh, yeah, yeah, I know about it but I don’t have time for it, I’m going to just kind of keep on the shelf, or I’ll park it in this long-term parking garage and I just don’t want to get to it, right. Well, you’re body’s going to give you a lot of symptoms. You’re going to have more injuries and more physical issues. Again, it’s embracing what’s happening in your body as your greatest gift, and then understanding what is the emotion? Maybe it’s one, maybe it’s two, maybe it’s events and situations that have triggered those emotions to be stored, but it’s clearing it. When you clear it out of your body, you heal yourself, and that’s really – it’s as simple as that.

32:20
Dr. Maya Novak:
Oh, this is so juicy, and so extremely agree with you. I mean, how many situations I’ve had with my clients, and sometimes it was just the awareness of something being there and just slowly starting to do steps towards resolving brought a great change in their physical body. So, this is so, so good. Now, can we talk a bit about, in your experience, what are some features or characteristics of people who are successful when it comes to healing and those who are not? I mean, we touched a bit on the victim mentality and then taking that power back. Is there any something else?

33:08
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes. So, of course, being in charge of your life, number one. Eating a balanced diet. Moving your body absolutely is crucial. Being outside. Having joy. Surrounding yourself with – I would say honoring your space. So, that means creating boundaries in your life because that’s one of the hardest things. I know for me, it took me years to understand that. So, again, your diet, how you think, how you process. And having enough tools to say okay today is not such a great day, but I have so many tools in my toolbox I’m going to pull this out, and I’m going to do this breath exercise, for example, today. Or today I need to honor my space and perhaps just tune in and meditate. Or today I need to go for a walk. Everyone has slip-ups. Here’s the deal, there is no one perfect person, situation because this is what life is. Life is a journey. So, it’s just how many tools do you have in your toolbox, and how to you use it. And actually using them, not waiting. So, I would say the most successful people have the tools, honor their space, meditate, eat healthy, and just have love in their life – love and joy.

34:32
Dr. Maya Novak:
Mm, I so agree. I would ask one more because I know that so many, especially women, struggle with that – and this is being okay about asking for help. Because we are so into giving and taking care of others, and when something happens to us, we’re like yeah, but now I cannot – or it’s very uncomfortable to ask for help, and also then receive it.

34:58
Elena Bensonoff:
Absolutely. I would say it’s women, but actually what I’ve found it’s many men as well.

35:03
Dr. Maya Novak:
Mhm.

35:03
Elena Bensonoff:
People who are in service positions, so that includes doctors, practitioners, people in the leading roles usually never ask for help. Mothers who have children, right, take care of their families. They don’t ever ask. So, yes, it’s knowing to ask but I would say most importantly knowing the boundaries, and that has to do with boundaries as well.

35:27
Dr. Maya Novak:
When it comes to healing from injuries, it happens that things flow pretty much okay, or there are some challenges, but in some situations, some people really start losing hope about their healing. What would you advise someone who is losing hope about their recovery?

35:48
Elena Bensonoff:
Well, okay. I’ll share a little story about me. So, I used to have severe back pain and it was so bad to the point that I actually had to go to a chiropractor three times a week. That’s how bad it was. I wasn’t taking any medications because at that time, I wasn’t really wanting to and I thought it was related to my pregnancies. And everywhere I went, it was different stories, right, everybody had their own kind of advice to give me. And actually, the root cause for me what I found out – and this is years later – is I was in a wrong relationship that I didn’t want to admit. Because the lower back problems have to do with your life force energy and, of course, it’s your bones, right, so that’s your security, stability, survival. And it’s really when I said I was ready to leave that, it’s amazing. My back pain went away. This one of the most difficult decisions of my life, but it was one of the best decisions of my life. And by the way, there’s no issues between me and my ex-husband, we’re fine and we’re co-parenting our kids. It was a 21-year marriage. So, for me, it was that. So, I would say this and again, I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter I couldn’t even make it across the hall. I was in excruciating pain. So, every situation is different. I would say perhaps you could have a friend that brings that light to you, that makes you see the world from a different angle. Because you need someone that is going to help you see things from a different perspective. I actually didn’t have that. It took me many years to get there, to realize it. And I didn’t realize it until I made the decision inside of me, and then I said wow that was linked to that, right. And then I started seeing a pattern in people I was working with – the same pattern. So, I would say if you have someone that can lift you up, that can perhaps help you see a different perspective, that is huge. Embrace your pain because it’s there to teach you, to help you, to guide you. And I know it’s – for those of you that are suffering at the moment, it’s probably the last thing that you want to hear. Perhaps you can do visualization exercises. I know they help too. Where you visualize white light, where you bring that light into the pain, where you’re feeling the pain. And let this light kind of melt the pain away. It’s always about going in and working on it yourself because you can do it. So, that’s just my advice on your question.

38:50
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, and here again, we come back to taking responsibility for healing and not just be there and not being proactive. Because like mentioned, many times it’s not just going to the doctor’s office or to a PT’s office and then that’s it. It’s so much more. It’s so beyond just the physical thing, that knee, or that ankle, or that hip or whatever it is.

39:19
Elena Bensonoff:
That’s right. My son – one of my kids, he’s extremely physical, active, he’s into sports – he’s 18 years old. He had a torn meniscus and, of course, the number one thing they tell you is surgery, and I said we’re not going to have the surgery. And he was like what do you mean, mom, I can’t walk. I mean his leg was like swollen and he was in excruciating pain. And I said no. I said here’s what I’m going to help you with, which is energetic and we’re going to realign the flow. And it happened right before he had to go to college, six months before. And I said to him your knees have to do with moving forward, are you afraid? And he said, huh, it’s interesting you bring this up, but I’m excited to go explore the world but at the time, I’m hesitant because I’m going miss home, right. So, I said so let me bring this into awareness for you, right, so it makes sense, so we talked about it. And I said and now I need you to take responsibility. I want you to actually print out a picture, an image of what makes your knee – like the whole anatomy, and I want you to visualize a healthy knee every single day. So, that’s going to be your meditation, working on it your mind, right, and replacing the injured knee with that image. I said whether it’s on your phone or you print out a picture, whatever it is that you do, this is going to be crucial to your recovery, right. And I said I want you to use the light, bring this into the light, and then bring back into your knee. And he was doing that and, of course, with what I’d been doing, he’s fine. He didn’t have surgery. He needed it. He had a fully torn meniscus, so.

41:02
Dr. Maya Novak:
I have goosebumps…

41:06
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes.

41:06
Dr. Maya Novak:
… because this so reminded me also of a story of a gentleman that I helped years ago – I mean – I helped, I was there just bringing the knowledge. He was the one who was doing the work, so I wasn’t the healer.

41:20
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes.

41:20
Dr. Maya Novak:
And he started developing avascular necrosis and usually the end result is needing the surgery.

41:30
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes.

41:30
Dr. Maya Novak:
So, on the second appointment to his doctor after four weeks of doing exactly what you also described here and what I shared with him back then, his avascular necrosis actually disappeared.

41:45
Elena Bensonoff:
Mm.

41:45
Dr. Maya Novak:
And the doctor could not believe it because he’d never seen this in his 30 years of practice. So, we are so extremely powerful and that’s the reason why I’m so passionate and so grateful for you to be here and to share this because it’s so important for people to understand how powerful they actually are.

42:07
Elena Bensonoff:
I would say every human being, it’s a fact, is divine. We are god essence in us – whether you want to call it god universe or whatever that is – because we truly create, as well as we destroy, but we can create. So, you can recreate your organs. This is the work that’s actually – they call it the nocebo effect – the placebo-nocebo effect. So, with your mind, just like you can have destructive thought patterns, you actually can have opposite patterns that rebuild, regenerate, and recreate. And this, to me, the future of where we’re moving, is where every human being becomes self-responsible and recognizing their own divine healing essence that they have. The essence is within. It’s not outside. So, therefore, practitioners like you, and many others that we know of, are there to support this awakening of humanity, to understand the potential that exists within each and every human being.

43:14
Dr. Maya Novak:
It’s so true. Before, you mentioned a couple of times that it’s so important to take care of the diet and the gut and everything. Can we slightly touch on something, and that is gut microbiome because with injuries and serious injuries there comes also pain medication and many times not just for a couple of days, but it can be also for months. Now, can we talk a bit about how to take care, and why it’s also so important to take care of the gut microbiome when it comes to healing?

43:51
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes, that’s a great question. First of all, the gut is where I would say the majority of our immune system resides. We have, of course, different types of bacteria, all kinds of microorganisms that reside within us, there’s actually more of them than of us. And therefore we have to learn to live in harmony with those microorganisms, and they’re actually there as our alarm system. So, when your gut is on fire it sends inflammation to your entire system, to everything, to your brain, to your organ systems. Keeping microorganisms in harmony is crucial. So, what can create imbalance in those microorganisms? Or what can create leaky gut or gut dysbiosis is another term for it. Of course, diet plays a huge role in it. If you eat a diet that is high in sugars, high in fruit, like lots of fruit – and I’m talking about some people just consume unimaginable amounts of fruit. If you are eating a lot of processed foods, meats, a lot of heavy meats, bread, pastas – all those things. Of course, things that are not necessarily organic, right, and loaded with pesticides. Then we have environmental factors such as our house, our mold, and the products that we use to clean – cleaning products, right. Our personal care and hygiene products, those will bombard your system and create a dysbiosis. And you might say, well, what does my personal care product have to do with my gut? Well, it has to do with everything because your skin is the largest organ and it absorbs more than 90 percent of what you apply topically. The key with skin, it bypasses. So, if you were to eat something, it actually has to go through the breakdown of digestion and then goes into the bloodstream, and then organs. When you apply something topically, it bypasses your digestion. So what does that mean? Your stomach doesn’t have to digest it. It goes directly into your bloodstream and the organs. So, therefore everything that you use topically is crucial in your health. Of course, there’s many medications. I would say the majority of medications that create gut dysbiosis like antibiotics, painkillers, right. They create inflammation in your body. So, even though there is inflammatory kind of medications that you can take, but overall they create leaky gut in your system. Things like antacids, a lot of people will antacids if they’re on pain management. It’s the worst thing for you. Actually, a lot of the package inserts will say you’re not supposed to take it more than a certain amount of time, and some people think it’s for a lifetime, that they can take it for months, two, three, four, or five. But actually, you’re decreasing, and you’re creating a more acidic environment and you’re creating and breeding an imbalance in your system. So, if you want to stay healthy. If you want for your body to heal, you have to understand that popping the pills ‘just because’ is not going to create the healing for you. So you’re feeding the vicious cycle. You have to look at your diet. You have to look at your emotional and mental wellbeing, as well as what is in your environment. What are you applying, what are you cleaning with and things like that.

47:29
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, such a great topic. When someone gets off of pain medication, for example, do you suggest them to also start using some probiotics? Or how do we go into healing gut microbiome?

47:45
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes, absolutely. So, of course, probiotics are very important. It’s important to know what your gut flora looks like. So, let’s say maybe you have a fungal overpopulation or maybe you have candida overgrowth. Those things have to be treated. It may be you have bacteria. Maybe you have parasites. All of that has to be looked at. In fact, I will briefly talk about fungus, candida, and parasites because they actually create more inflammation in the body, and sometimes they create severe pain in the body. So people who think they’re suffering from injuries can actually be suffering from the other things that just talked about because your body is in constant fight or flight, it’s inflamed and you’re in pain, you’re in discomfort. You have brain fog. All of it is related. If you have brain fog, you’re actually more likely to trip, fall and to have injuries. Some of the other things to look are, of course, to heal your GI by – besides probiotics treating the gut flora, eliminating some of the things that we talked about. Of course, eliminating the foods that you’re sensitive too because it’s not just the foods that you’re allergic too, but it’s important to look at the sensitivities. They cause inflammation as well, so things have to be taken out, and of course, introducing digestive enzymes. And again, this is not forever. We’re talking about temporarily, right, until things balance because you have to allow your body – first, you have to introduce these things, then you have to give your body a chance to catch up, to heal, and then perhaps you can get off of these things. [inaudible] And then, of course, to heal your gut lining, there’s things like slippery elm, aloe vera, there’s combinations - all support healing of leaky gut. So, it’s a multi-step process that’s involved.

49:38
Dr. Maya Novak:
Well, this also a great start for exploration of what actually needs to happen after, for example, a surgery and when a person is on pain medication or any type of medication. It’s not just, okay, now my bones are mended and I’m completely okay. The body really needs to be recovered in wholeness, not just that particular part that was injured, right.

50:07
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes, and I forgot to mention the liver. The liver is crucial because most people that are taking medications have their liver absolutely congested. Even the ones that are not on medications that have leaky gut have liver issues. I want people to keep that in mind. The liver is also the organ that not only detoxifies toxins - it detoxifies emotions. So, if you’re not clearing your emotions your liver is congested. Therefore, the liver needs some support. And then, of course, lymphatics – so, if you’re laying down in you’re in pain, it’s crucial that you figure out a way to sweat or to somehow perhaps move, whether it’s sitting down and doing some kind of exercises or laying down and moving your body. But it’s crucial that your lymph is moving because it’s also part of your detoxification process.

50:56
Dr. Maya Novak:
And here probably it can also be self-massage if you absolutely cannot…

51:02
Elena Bensonoff:
[inaudible]

51:02
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes.

51:02
Elena Bensonoff:
Absolutely. I know people that could not even move their legs. There’s things that you can put on that will squeeze your legs for you. So, whatever it is, be creative. Ask your practitioner what they can recommend. Ask around. I’m sure you can post in different groups and ask these questions. This is important for those that cannot move. There’s other ways that you can move your lymphatics.

51:29
Dr. Maya Novak:
So, what is your number one advice that you would give some who is recovering from an injury?

51:38
Elena Bensonoff:
Ask as many questions as possible, be curious, and embrace what is happening to you.

51:49
Dr. Maya Novak:
The last part is many times the toughest …

51:54
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes.

51:54
Dr. Maya Novak:
… because you are in this stressful situation and many times we just want to run away from pain and being in a difficult situation. So, I love that you mentioned this.

52:04
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes.

52:05
Dr. Maya Novak:
Elena, I could talk to you for hours, and talk about so many other things. I do have one last question that I ask every speaker, and it’s a different kind of question. This is imagine that you’ve been injured and you know that the recovery is going to take you a while, and you know it could be even more than a year, and it’s not always going to be easy. Now, imagine that you could choose one of two gifts going through this recovery. Gift number one is that you go through your recovery and do all the necessary work that will help you to heal in the best possible way. And when you are done, you will have the gift of preventing any future injuries. Or gift number two is that you go back in time, prevent the accident that caused this injury but then, of course, you also take your chances. So, perhaps you might get lucky and never injured again, or you might have an even more serious injury the very next day. Which gift would you choose and why?

53:24
Elena Bensonoff:
So, it’s sort of like asking – I will compare it to life. If you live your life and you perhaps make mistakes sometimes, or you think they’re mistakes, once in a while, you trip but that’s a part of life, it’s a journey. And you look back and say, well, I’ve no regrets, I’ve done it all. Versus, okay, let me rewind, go back, and start over. I would say that life is a journey. It’s not a destination. So, therefore, I would take the injury and the process together because that’s what makes life worth living.

54:06
Dr. Maya Novak:
Beautifully put, beautifully put. Elena, thank you so much for being here. For those who would love to know more about and your work, where can people find this information?

54:18
Elena Bensonoff:
Yes, wholistic.com. And, of course, social media, you can connect with me on social media as well.

54:28
Dr. Maya Novak:
Elena, thank you so much for being here and for sharing your knowledge.

54:33
Elena Bensonoff:
Thank you.

54:39
Dr. Maya Novak:
Thank you for tuning into today’s episode with Elena Bensonoff. If you haven’t done it yet, subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you’re using to tune in. Of course, also remember to share this episode with your loved ones and help them out. To access show notes, links, and transcript of today’s talk go to mayanovak.com/podcast. To learn more about The Mindful Injury Recovery Method visit my website mayanovak.com and find my book Heal Beyond Expectations on Amazon. Until next time – keep evolving, blooming, and healing.

Love and gratitude xx
Dr. Maya

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