In Episode #1, Dr. Jill Carnahan interviews Neurolinguistic expert, Dr. Olga Stevko about simple ways to create resilience and demonstrates some practical ways to relieve stress. Dr. Olga
Guest – Dr. Olga Stevko
Dr. Olga Stevko, MD (Russia) has helped thousands of people achieve life-changing transformations in many areas of their lives.
Neuroscience has shown that 95% of our life experiences are shaped by unconscious programs. Dr. Olga Stevko’s unique and powerful methodology allows her to identify and transform unconscious programs that are caused by childhood traumas and traumas passed down genetically. These programs affect nervous system responses that impact both body and mind. This phenomenon creates a wide variety of physiological, physical, mental, and emotional conditions—from insomnia and anxiety to health issues, premature aging and struggles with communication. Unconscious programs also influence how people perceive themselves, others, and the world around them.
Dr. Jill Carnahan is Your Functional Medicine Expert® dually board certified in Family Medicine for ten years and in Integrative Holistic Medicine since 2015. She is the Medical Director of Flatiron Functional Medicine, a widely sought-after practice with a broad range of clinical services including functional medical protocols, nutritional consultations, chiropractic therapy, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, and massage therapy. As a survivor of breast cancer, Crohn’s disease, and toxic mold illness she brings a unique perspective to treating patients in the midst of complex and chronic illness. Her clinic specializes in searching for the underlying triggers that contribute to illness through cutting-edge lab testing and tailoring the intervention to specific needs.
A popular inspirational speaker and prolific writer, she shares her knowledge of hope, health, and healing live on stage and through newsletters, articles, books, and social media posts! People relate to Dr. Jill’s science-backed opinions delivered with authenticity, love and humor. She is known for inspiring her audience to thrive even in the midst of difficulties.
Featured in Shape Magazine, Parade, Forbes, MindBodyGreen, First for Women, Townsend Newsletter, and The Huffington Post as well as seen on NBC News and Health segments with Joan Lunden, Dr. Jill is a media must-have. Her YouTube channel and podcast features live interviews with the healthcare world’s most respected names.
Dr. Jill 0:12
Well, good evening, everyone! Hopefully, you can join us, and if you can’t join us now, of course, you can watch the recording later. I am so delighted to be here tonight with a longtime friend and professional colleague, Dr. Olga Stevko. And I want to just introduce her briefly.
Dr. Olga Stevko 0:32
Dr. Jill 0:34
Yes, hello. Dr. Olga Stevko is an expert at helping people achieve rapid transformation for professional and personal growth. She’s a medical doctor from Russia. She’s used applied neuroscience methods to help her clients, including myself, have more skillful, fulfilled, joyful, and healthy lives. Her clients include over a thousand high-performance executives, entrepreneurs, celebrities, doctors, other professionals, and their family members. She can help you quickly identify and transform unconscious programs, beliefs, and internal conflicts that create issues, blocks, or limitations in various areas of your life, including business, relationships, and health. She’s also the creator of Belief Medicine™. So welcome tonight, Dr. Olga. I’m super excited to be here with you, my friend. And I’d love for you to tell a little about how we met and how we got to know each other.
Dr. Olga Stevko 1:23
First of all, Dr. Jill is one of the most amazing medical doctors I have ever met in my life, [both] in Russia and here. She’s an expert in functional medicine. And what’s special about Dr. Jill [is that] she’s so kind and compassionate, and she truly cares about people and getting the best results for them. We were introduced by a person we know together, and we met in person during the anti-aging medical conference A4M in Las Vegas. We had extensive, very interesting conversations about the mind, the body, [and] medicine. I truly enjoyed talking to you, Dr. Jill.
Dr. Jill 2:24
Me too. We just clicked. I was so excited to learn more about NLP, and I know we’ll talk about just bits and pieces of that tonight. One of the things we wanted to bring you is that there is so much anxiety and fear in the collective consciousness, which means you’re going to feel it when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed at night. And it’s really important to have tools—not only vitamin C to help your immune system, but the mind and body are so powerful. And many of you know, years ago when I was 25, I had breast cancer and one of the biggest things that I did to support my body and immune system was things to do with the mind. So we’ll go into some of those, [and] I’ll share everything that I can.
Dr. Jill 3:02
Tonight, Dr. Olga Stevko will share some tips. If you stay through, we’re going to have questions at the end. Dr. Olga is going to take us through some really unique exercises that will empower you, when you’re feeling the stress of the world right now, to have some tools so that you can actually come back to yourself and have power over your own immune system. We’re really building resilience. And if it’s okay, Dr. Olga, I wanted to share a little quick story and some pictures. I’m going to try to share my screen. Give me just one second. So let’s see here. Okay, here we go. We’ll try this and see if everybody can see. Yay! Okay, so I think you can see my screen. I’m going to leave it like this so I don’t lose the other screen.
Dr. Jill 3:44
Resilience. I just want to start. Resilience is what we’re building. It’s the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; it’s toughness. And you know, one of my core values; love, joy, faith, and the fourth one, resilience. I don’t always live this, but I want to embody it to the highest degree because, really, truly, resilience is such a measure of strength and ability to overcome, and we’re all in this. We’re all in this really difficult circumstance, right? All of us. None of us are unaffected. And if we can teach you how to build resilience, it’s: How do you recover quickly? How do you get through this, and how do you develop a toughness, a mindset? So that whether it’s a pandemic or you lose a friend or family member—God forbid—or you have a financial loss or all of these things, you know how to recover and how to use those difficulties to create strength in yourself so that you know you can overcome the next thing.
Dr. Jill 4:39
So I want to share—just two minutes, real quick—a little experience I had this fall that may shock you. So, this is me on the third flatiron. I have to tell you that most people who climb [something] really, really tall—a three-hour, thousands-of-feet climb—go to a climbing gym beforehand. My colleague who asked me to do this is a professional rock climbing guide, and he said, “You know what, Jill? I’d love to take you rock climbing. What do you think?” Well, I’m game for a new adventure. So, not having any idea what I got myself into, I said: “Sure, that sounds like a blast!”—until I got to the bottom and I looked up, and I literally lost it. And I’m tough; I’ve got resilience, right? This was the scariest thing I’d ever faced in my life. And I faced a lot! I faced cancer, I faced Crohn’s disease, [and] I faced many, many, many scary things in my life. And I remember looking up and thinking, “Oh, my gosh! I don’t know how I’m going to do this?” Zero training, zero experience—just faith and resilience. I did have faith, not only because I believe in God but also [inaudible].
Dr. Olga Stevko 6:02
Unfortunately, I see Dr. Jill got frozen—frozen screen. We will wait a little bit.
Dr. Jill 6:18
Hello, are you there, Dr. Olga?
Dr. Olga Stevko 6:20
You got a little bit frozen. I’m so sorry.
Dr. Jill 6:23
Yes, I know. I think we’re live again. Let me get back to the screen. Okay, so let’s go back to this. Okay. Oh, and they’re saying there’s no sound. So, I wonder if there’s a sound issue. Well, the good thing is we have the recording. Well, I’m going to go quickly through this. Anyway, on this climb… So it looks like we’re still live.
Dr. Olga Stevko 6:56
Is there sound?
Dr. Jill 6:58
Yes, let’s check our sound real quick and make sure that’s going. Okay. Oh, and they’re saying there’s no sound, so I wonder if there’s a sound. No, we’re on. Okay, it just, I think, froze. Okay, let’s go back to the story. So basically—and this happens all the time on Facebook Live, so no problem, we just keep going. All that to say, here I am, thousands of feet above the earth, on this climb with no experience. I remember, literally, just thinking, “Okay, there’s rock in front of me.” I am holding onto that rock, and there were times I was on there when I was so scared. First of all, I told myself, “I’m not going to look back because if I look back and see the big picture…” And you know, this is relevant to today because I think that one of the things that have helped me [to be] most optimistic is [that] I don’t watch the news. I get information from good sources like the CDC, the government, and the medical boards. But I don’t watch the news, guys. It’s okay to turn off your TV; you’re not going to miss anything. You’re going to get what you need to know from neighborhood alerts; there are other ways to do that. Honestly, it has kept my sanity because there’s so much pandering of fear. When you start to—for me, on the mountain, or for us, on the news—look back and look down, it makes you scared and it builds anxiety. So one of the best things you could do is turn off the news.
Dr. Jill 8:11
So what I did, literally, is [that] I actually, bit by bit, would sing songs to myself as I climbed up. You can see me climbing up here towards the top—almost to the top. This is the view from the top. And then I jumped off the top of that backward on this rope to get down to where I’m standing. So I’ll get rid of these photos. But I just wanted to share that with you because we can take [on] something we’ve never done before, like a pandemic or some [other] situation where we have no experience.
Dr. Jill 8:37
And I want to talk just really briefly about when we have stress. We’re going to talk a lot about the immune system and stress tonight. But let’s set the stage because there’s clear evidence that there are four things—I use the acronym NUTS—that predict a stress response. One of them is novelty. Guess what? We’re in a new situation; it’s novel for all of us. The next one is unpredictability. This is completely unpredictable. The way I’ve been talking about it is that we’re going moment by moment; we don’t know what the next moment is going to hold. Unpredictability is you. The threat to ego is the third one. This is a big threat because a lot of us are losing financially; [due to the] economy, people are without jobs. We might be sick. And the last one is a sense of control. We don’t have a lot of control over this virus. Literally, on all four of the major players of the stress response, it hits in a massive, massive way. So I’d love to hear if you have any comments, Dr. Olga—I just kept the stage here—[regarding your] thoughts on stress and resilience.
Dr. Olga Stevko 9:35
Your story is amazing—amazing! Climbing that mountain is thrilling. I’m surprised; how did you do it?
Dr. Jill 9:49
I am too, honestly, because I remember thinking at the time, “Oh, my goodness!” You know, the guide, he said: “The first quarter of the way, you could turn back. So if you think that you can’t do it, you need to tell me before we get up to this point because we can turn back. We lose a little equipment, but it’ll be okay.” But once you get past that point, there’s no turning back—none. There’s no way. I mean, you could, but it would be almost impossible. He basically gave me that criteria. So I got to that point, and I was so scared—I was so scared! But I thought, “If I don’t do this, I will always regret not trying.” So once I got past that point, I had no choice. Yes I had ropes but when you’re climbing—many of you climb know this, I’m a novice still—but when you’re climbing, those ropes aren’t holding you, they’re for emergency so that if you fall 100 feet it’ll catch you but there’s no guarantee. Also, you’re not pulled tight; you’re not being pulled up. It’s literally, you hanging on with your bare hands and feet to the rocks. But thank you for sharing. I think it’s so relevant to our situation, don’t you?
Dr. Olga Stevko 10:52
Yes. Also, it’s interesting listening to your story. I was thinking about [how] it can be a metaphor for life—for your life. [When] there are certain challenging things happening in your life, if you are resilient and strong, then there is no way back in anything, right? For example, you started to write a book. It’s challenging, and there is no way back. You would like to finish it now, right?
Dr. Jill 11:28
Absolutely. Yes, once I talked to the publisher a few weeks ago, I should have all the details soon, and hopefully, in 2021, my book will be out. But once I sign on the dotted line, there’s no turning back, and I’m going to have to produce what I said I could produce.
Dr. Olga Stevko 11:44
I cannot wait to read your book, Dr. Jill!
Dr. Jill 11:48
Oh, thank you.
Dr. Olga Stevko 11:49
Yes. And I have a question for you. On the different news channels, they said that some people who got infected with the COVID virus did not have any symptoms or recovered. Some of them had it and recovered very fast without any serious complications. Does it mean these people’s immune system was strong in your opinion?
Dr. Jill 12:22
I love this question. I’m seeing patients virtually. The very first day I started [seeing] virtual patients, I had 10 patients that day. Three of them, as I talked to them, clinically, what I’m calling it is presumptive COVID-19 because right now the tests are not available for people who aren’t high-risk. I don’t know if you know this or not, but if you’re not over 60 with a comorbid condition or significant distress or symptoms, you’re probably not going to get tested because there aren’t enough tests. Now, that could change moment by moment, week by week; tomorrow that could be different. But right now, the testing isn’t available for those who are low-risk. So when I talk to my patients, more of them than not are under 60 and a little bit lower risk. They tell me the symptoms, which are typically this chest heaviness, lung involvement, fever, body aches, the flu-like malaise—all of those symptoms. I can be pretty sure because of the lung involvement and based on what they’re telling me that they have the virus. So, on this particular day, [of the] 10 patients, 3 of the 10 had the virus. Either [they] had just gotten over it, had it currently, or were in the beginning stages.
Dr. Jill 13:27
Yesterday I talked to a patient in New York City that had just gotten over it. And what happens on day five or six [is that] there’s this little influx of cytokines in the lung tissue. I won’t go deep into detail because you’ve probably read or heard about it by now, but that’s where people can have more trouble breathing. However, what Dr. Olga was referring to are people with strong immune systems; they can take care of this before it divides and gets out of control and before it triggers that cytokine response. Many of the people that I’ve talked to so far that have had it have been extremely mild. I think that should be really encouraging for most of you listening because if you were to get it, which is still an “if,” it’s very likely to be mild in many cases. By saying that, I don’t want to take away from the fact that there is a high mortality [rate] in some populations and some risk, like we said, with diabetes, heart disease, underlying lung conditions, or age greater than 60. However, for a lot of people, they may not even notice that they get this, or the symptoms will be very mild.
Dr. Olga Stevko 14:29
Thank you. My next question is: What can compromise your immune system?
Dr. Jill 14:37
Yes, so this is interesting because one of the things that all of us are dealing with—it’s why we came on tonight to talk to you—is the stress that you’re feeling. Those of us who are empaths—I think Dr. Olga and I would both be in that category; it may not be those of you listening; some of you will relate to that—feel the world very deeply, and we are energetically sensitive to what’s going on in our environment. So those of you who may experience more stress, anxiety, or insomnia may be part of that population. In a good situation, you’re going to feel someone’s joy and happiness; you’re going to feel that with them. In a negative situation, you’re going to feel their anger, their sadness, and their fear. So right now, when the world is in chaos and the NUTS acronym is very alive and well for stress, there is a lot of fear and anxiety in the collective consciousness. And because that’s true, you’re going to feel some of that, and some of that isn’t yours. So, guess what? Sometimes [when] you wake up, you feel stressed or you can’t go to sleep; if you can even identify and separate and say, “Wait a second,” check in with yourself: “How am I doing? Well, I’m okay. I’m alive today. I have breath.” You can start with two or three things that you’re grateful for. I have a little journal over here that I pull out and write in every morning, and it helps me to get grounded. So even by just taking a breath and thinking about what you’re grateful for, you can separate yourself from that whole consciousness of anxiety and fear, which isn’t yours at all.
Dr. Olga Stevko 16:05
Thank you. And, Dr. Jill, what foods or drinks can compromise your immune system? I know that you studied clinical nutrition.
Dr. Jill 16:19
Yes. So I love this question because food is really important. I started to say last time, but what I don’t think I finished was that stress can compromise the immune system. So, you owe it to yourself because there is a lot of anxiety, right? But you owe it to yourself to do whatever you can to reduce stress. We’ll talk about methods that you can [use to] do that because if you let that stress get to you over time, it will compromise your immune system, which is the very thing you need most to protect you in this situation. So, foods. Foods that can protect you in this situation—you want to eat a diet full of phytonutrients, [such as] colorful fruits and vegetables and leafy greens. If you don’t have access to fresh foods, you can do juices or [use] frozen fruits and vegetables as well. You can make smoothies. I love to make smoothies with fresh kale, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, and coconut milk. Just in case I don’t have access to fresh food—which I do right now—I froze the Kale, spinach, and berries so that I could actually, without having fresh fruits and vegetables, still make some healthy nutritious things in a smoothie form. And it’s great to have a foundation of a good protein powder like collagen or something that gives you the protein.
Dr. Jill 17:31
Things that you want to avoid would be sugar, number one. There’s clear, clear evidence that sugar and high-glycemic foods will suppress the immune system. There are studies with mice [that show] that basically three to four hours after consumption of sugar, the immune system, the T cells, and the cells that help us fight infection went down. So lots of studies support that sugar is a huge culprit. Now, alcohol is another one. Right now is not the time to be consuming a lot of alcohol because that’s going to suppress your immune system. What it really does is pull away from the resources you need to detoxify, and detoxification is going to keep you in optimal shape. So, if you’re drinking alcohol, you’re basically shunting resources to take care of the detox of the alcohol that you could be using for detox for your body in general to prevent an infection.
Dr. Olga Stevko 18:21
It’s so interesting, Dr. Jill. Somebody told me recently that she was using alcohol, in her opinion, to reduce stress. She said pretty much [that] she does not drink as much, and all of this news about this virus has stressed her so much [that] she was drinking a bottle of wine every evening. In this case, she told me, “Oh, I feel so relaxed!” What you said just now is on the contrary; [it] suppresses your immune system.
Dr. Jill 19:00
Yes. I’m glad you brought that up because here’s what’s happening. I even brought a very short chapter in a book; I may share a couple of things with you. But let me frame it first. We think about addictions related to drugs and alcohol. I know even for me, most of my life I’m like, “I don’t drink alcohol, I’ve never used drugs so that’s not me.” But I found, in the last several years as I’ve done therapy and worked through issues and then NLP with Dr. Olga, some addictions are very subtle. They can be like shopping online on the internet or being addicted to social media, or they can be busyness. How many of you have trouble sitting still, like me? Or they can be adrenaline activities—hmm, amen. I drive a BMW motorcycle—it’s an adventure bike—and I’ve climbed mountains, having never climbed before. So this is a theme. And then there are things like busyness, like I said, and work. Work can be an addiction. The reason this is relevant to what we’re talking about with the COVID virus is that this virus has forced our entire nation—really, our entire world—to take a pause and to be more still. Some people are still working. I’m still busy seeing patients virtually, but all my travel has been put on hold. I would venture to say that none of us have not been affected by some form of stillness because we’re not going out as much and we’re not able to do as much. I would be surprised if any of us weren’t having a little bit more free time in certain areas because we don’t have all the activities on our schedules, right?
Dr. Jill 20:35
What happens in that stillness is if you haven’t done the work and if you haven’t really gotten still with yourself and been okay with being still, things will come up. So when we are busy or online shopping or drinking alcohol or doing drugs or working—and some of these things are good and productive, like work; they’re not all bad addictions—in the sense that addiction is covering up pain that we haven’t dealt with or old trauma, it’s a problem. So all of a sudden we’re all in this space of more stillness, forcing ourselves to be in a place that’s uncomfortable. And it’s no wonder that things percolate up, and so we go to something to try to numb that pain, and I just encourage you. A lot of my work in dealing with this—because I’m a workaholic, I love to be busy, [and] I don’t like to slow down—I’ve had to do a lot of work with being still. I’m so thankful I did some of it before the pandemic because now I can actually sit still and be fine. But I will tell you that when I first started being still, a lot of times I would be anxious, like: “Oh my gosh, I should be more productive. I should be doing something. I should be this” or “that,” or I would feel sadness come up, or I would feel anger, fear, or some [other] emotion that wasn’t okay. And I just encourage you, if you’re feeling some of those emotions come up, they’ll go through you like a wave, and you’ll survive. When it first comes up, it feels like it’s too much to handle, but as you get comfortable sitting with that and just tapping into yourself and understanding what’s happening, it’s really a beautiful opportunity for all of us to experience greater healing.
Dr. Jill 22:01
So to me, even though this is so difficult and there’s lots of uncertainty, it’s a great opportunity for you to say: “What’s working in my life? After this is over, what do I want to put back in and continue? “Walks with my dogs,” “trips to the movie theater,” “out to dinner,” whatever it is. But it’s also a way to say, what do I want to get rid of or eliminate? What distractions were there before that I don’t want anymore? For me, I love to travel and speak. But now that I’m not traveling and speaking, I like being home with my puppies. I’m going to think about that, and I may be traveling less in the future. So think about, for you, what are the things you want to incorporate more of? Maybe it’s family or your children—you’re spending more quality time with them—or your puppies. And maybe there are some things that you want to get rid of. So those are great opportunities to think about now.
Dr. Olga Stevko 22:53
Thank you, Dr. Jill. And it’s so interesting what you just said, all of that, because I had so many clients with similar experiences. They could not be still and peaceful in their mind. They had—I call it mental and physical restlessness—the need to constantly do many things. And in this case, it’s all unconscious. If they are forced to be still, it’s very uncomfortable, yes. I even had a client who needed to exercise three hours per day; she was so uncomfortable if she didn’t.
Dr. Jill 23:44
Yes. Wow. And so it’s no wonder. I want to have compassion for any of you who are using more alcohol. There’s no shame, because what you’re just trying to do is suppress that unconscious sense of “I’m feeling uncomfortable,” and we all have it. That’s the thing. None of us are unique. We all express it in different ways. I really believe if we broaden the definition of addictions just to cover up our pain, we all have ways we do that, right? We all have ways that we cover up our discomfort, so it’s a pretty big picture. I just want to make sure that you guys know that I’d love for you to share this video and ask questions because, at the end, we’ll come back and get your questions. But I just want to remind you that I am keeping an eye on that, so we’ll come back and try to get your questions on that.
Dr. Olga Stevko 24:23
So I would like to add what I experienced with my clients. This what we’re talking [about] was related to a kind of unconscious program, inability or no permission to relax and to have fun and enjoy yourself, constantly needing to do something. It was related to certain unresolved traumas, it was not safe in those memories to be still [inaudible]. And the next question is: I know that there is a lot of different research about sleep and the immune system. Can healthy sleep support your immune system? And how many hours do you recommend your patients sleep during the night?
Dr. Jill 25:19
Yes, this is a huge one because I feel like with healing, if I’m sitting with a patient and they’re not sleeping, that’s the very first thing I need to address because I know that’ll affect their immune system really dramatically. So sleep is absolutely essential here. I usually recommend seven to eight hours. Everybody’s different, though. I have an Oura ring that tracks my sleep, and it actually breaks it down into REM sleep, deep sleep, light sleep, and awake. And a lot of people have Fitbits and Apple Watches and all kinds of devices. If you don’t and you care about looking at things that affect your sleep, these are super helpful. I love devices that help me live better, heal, and be a better person. This is one of my favorite things that I own; it’s called Oura—Oura ring—and it’s amazing.
Dr. Jill 26:03
What I’ve seen for me is that as I’ve gotten healthier and healthier, I used to be one of those kids that had to have eight hours of sleep or I couldn’t function. Now that I’m healthy, I can get six and a half and feel really good. But what I see in the tracking device is that in the six and a half hours, I’m like 96% efficient on most nights, which means I fall asleep within two to five minutes. I get lots of REM and deep sleep, anywhere from one and a half to two and a half hours of each, and then I wake up refreshed. So if you can do that process efficiently, you can get six and a half hours [of sleep] and feel great and have adequate sleep. But it really depends because a lot of people wake up during the night, can’t get back to sleep for 20 or 30 minutes, don’t fall asleep quickly, or don’t get a lot of deep or REM sleep during the night. So if that happens, then you need seven, eight, or nine hours to get the same. So for me, in six and a half hours, I can get two and a half hours of deep [sleep] and one and a half hours of REM. That’s a great night’s sleep. Someone else might get two and a half hours of deep [sleep] and an hour of REM in nine hours. So that’s really how sleep works. You need that good sleep, which is why I love to track it. Things like alcohol will disrupt sleep, so you might feel sleepy or fall asleep. Benzodiazepines, the class—it’s like valium and those kinds of meds—the same thing. So they might help you fall asleep, but you actually can disrupt REM sleep, which is when we make new memories, when we process information, when we dream and our subconscious will sometimes tell us what might be coming up. Those are all the important things of REM. And that deep sleep is restful sleep where we can restore and regenerate tissues and cells.
Dr. Olga Stevko 27:34
And what things can you recommend to your patients and to our viewers to stay well during this period of time? And you mentioned something about melatonin, right?
Dr. Jill 27:50
Yes. So I wrote an article recently. If you haven’t read it, it’s information about potential treatments, and it’s on my website, which is just my name, JillCarnahan.com. I’m sure you’ve seen it. But [with] melatonin, we don’t know yet if it’s causation, but there’s a correlation because of the age and the function of melatonin that there may be an increase in the protectiveness of melatonin levels. Some doctors are recommending very high doses of melatonin to prevent the virus. Part of the data was showing that the very young are relatively unaffected by this virus compared to the elderly, and there’s a very, very clear curve in this virus related to age, which I’m sure by now you’ve all seen.
Dr. Olga Stevko 28:32
Thank you. You already mentioned that stress can suppress the immune system. And I’m curious: What helps you relieve stress?—because all of us have stressful situations. We do not live in a bubble around us. What helps you relieve stress?
Dr. Jill 28:53
I’m glad you asked because I think I have some props down here, and I think you might too. One I want to share is my little puppy, Robbie. This is Robbie.
Dr. Olga Stevko 29:02
Hello! I have here [inaudible]. Hello Robbie! Hello Robbie!
Dr. Jill 29:14
Aw, they want to say hi. And then I have another one, but I can’t carry him [at the same time].
Dr. Olga Stevko 29:16
She’s wagging her tail.
Dr. Jill 29:19
I love it. This is Mario. This is the other one. He’s an old man, 14 years old, so he’s got cataracts and he’s really slow. But aren’t they the best stress relievers ever, Dr. Olga?
Dr. Olga Stevko 29:32
They are the best. Truly, they are healers.
Dr. Jill 29:36
They’re amazing. And you know, there’s data that shows that puppies, children, and loved ones who are cuddling release oxytocin. And these guys, we don’t have to be six feet away from. So we cannot do social distancing with dogs. And I live alone, so these guys are so healing for me because I can snuggle with them and I can play with them. Whenever I get stressed, they remind me how to live life because every day is just joy. And it’s like, where’s the ball? And when am I going to eat? And what’s next? And oh, we’re going for a walk? I saw a friend post on Facebook the other day, and I laughed so hard. He said, “Now I know why dogs get so excited when we say, ‘let’s go for a walk,’ because all of us humans now, that’s the only thing we can do,” right?—”just go for a walk.” And I thought, “that is so funny,” because, yes, now you can see; they’re in the house all day long, and then we say, “Let’s go for a walk.”
Dr. Olga Stevko 30:32
Yes. Thank you so much for your expertise, your wisdom, and for sharing, Dr. Jill.
Dr. Jill 30:42
Yes. And I would love to have you share a little bit. You had told me before we got on that you have a couple of really great techniques that you can teach all of my fans and your fans and clients that they can practically do to help them. One reason I’m so excited to have Dr. Olga here, and you’ve heard her background in the bio, [is that] she’s really skilled at taking people through exercises, obviously in the NLP. But she’s going to show us tonight a couple of things that you can do to actually decrease stress and improve your immune system.
Dr. Olga Stevko 31:11
Yes. I would like to show you two very powerful techniques [that] will allow you to release stress pretty much—almost instantly—within one minute. I would like to guide you through one technique that can condition your immune system to be stronger. The first technique—I created this technique—is called the “Instant Relax Technique,” and we’re going to do it together, Dr. Jill. Yes. And other people, please do it with us. This technique is adapted from the work of Charles Strobel, a psychiatrist. He extensively studied stress and how it affects the body. He did find that a lot of stress is stored around the eyes and in the jaw. This technique is a chain reaction. What does it do? It will allow you to release stress at the beginning. What I would like you to do first of all [is] become aware of your face and allow your face, especially your jaw, and also the muscles around your eyes to relax. Just make your eyes kind of soft, and even twinkle with your eyes as if you are smiling internally. And allow your lips to relax. You can even slightly drop your jaw. Smile with your eyes. And it’s important to look not just straight [but] a little bit straight and up. Create for yourself one or two words that relax you the most. For example, for me, it will be ‘peaceful’ and ‘flow.’ For somebody else, it’s ‘calm’ and ‘relaxed,’ or ‘everything will be fine.’ What is it for you, Dr. Jill? What word or words would you choose?
Dr. Jill 33:47
I would choose ‘love’ and ‘joy.’
Dr. Olga Stevko 33:49
Love and joy. Also, imagine a color that would represent true relaxation and peacefulness for you. For example, it can be any color like blue, sky blue, green like trees or grass, or golden like the sun. For me, it’s blue like the ocean. How about for you?
Dr. Jill 34:14
Yellow like the sun.
Dr. Olga Stevko 34:16
Excellent. And what I would like you to do now, again, totally relax your face, smile with your eyes, look straight up. Say to yourself that you are the word or words [that you chose]. For example, for me, it’s ‘peaceful’ and ‘flow.’ Imagine this color—what you chose—in front of you. You are going to take a very slow, deep breath and imagine even breathing this color. When you exhale, you are going to imagine this energy in this color floating from the top of your head slowly down, relaxing everything on the way. Let’s do it. Again, let’s say our words. You can do it internally or out loud. Imagine your color—relax your face, look straight up, and smile with your eyes; deep breath in and exhale—and a peaceful wave of relaxing energy in this color floating through your entire body from the top of your head down to the bottom of your feet, relaxing every single tissue on the way. [inaudible] tissue. And you can repeat this. Two deep breaths. You can repeat. Let’s do it two more times. And one more time. And you can repeat all of these steps one or two more times. The beauty of this technique [is that] you can do it covertly. My clients even use it during business meetings, and people don’t know that they are doing this technique. It works when you know how to do it. Twenty seconds. [It’s] very fast. How do you feel, Dr. Jill?
Dr. Jill 36:37
Yes, I feel way more relaxed. I feel good.
Dr. Olga Stevko 36:40
Me too. I feel even more relaxed. The second technique is called “Eye Movement Integration.” It was created by Steve and Connirae Andreas. They are my colleagues in the neuro-linguistic programming field. Some psychologists or NLP practitioners use this technique as a powerful tool for therapy in their practice. It can be done even during an entire hour. There are different movements in this technique. This technique is very helpful for even post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety stress. I will teach you how to use this technique for yourself using only a couple of simple movements. When you feel stress or anxiety, you are going to focus on this feeling. You are going to use your thumb. Extend your thumb. Let’s do it. And you are going to look at the nail of your thumb. And please bring it to eye level. Not below eye level or not above. [Keep it at] eye level, and at the distance that is closer to you [while] still comfortable.
Dr. Olga Stevko 38:23
You are going to do smooth movements fast enough. I will show you the speed first. Too slow won’t create an effect. Too fast and you won’t be able to follow because you need to keep your head [relatively straight]. Only follow with your eyes. I will show you the speed of this technique. [It’s] something like this. Back and forth up to your distant peripheral vision, and follow with your eyes approximately from 6 to 10 times. Right, left, right, left; and follow with your eyes. And if you think about some stressful situation that you have in your life, think about that, Dr. Jill. On a scale from 0 to 10, how much do you feel the effect of that situation right now?
Dr. Jill 39:23
Dr. Olga Stevko 39:23
Let’s do this technique, and we will see the result. Let’s do it. Please bring [your] thumb—and again, not low [but] exact eye level—as close as you can. And let’s do movements back and forth and focus on this feeling—the sensation of stress. Let’s do it up to, like, six or 10 times. Okay, back and forth with a speed fast enough to be able to follow with your eyes. When you are done, stop. Now we are going to do a movement that looks like a round, horizontal eight or round infinity side, focusing on the same feeling. Again, it will be at eye level. I will show it to you. First round to the right, starting up and bringing it back to the middle—eye level. After[ward], round to the left. It will be continuous. I will show you the speed. Again, only follow with your eyes. You cannot move your head. Only [move your] eyes. And the speed needs to be like this, for example. Do three of these rounded eights. Focus on this feeling. Let’s do it. Focus on this uncomfortable feeling, and let’s do it. Three signs of rounded eights. When you are done, let me know. Think about the same situation. On a scale from 0 to 10, 10 being the greatest, how much do you feel that stress response now?
Dr. Jill 41:21
Dr. Olga Stevko 41:22
Isn’t it amazing how fast it works? [It’s] easy to do. And also, for some people, you need to repeat two or three more times these horizontal movements and this round horizontal eight. It works so fast, and it’s possible to explain how it works; only today we don’t have time. It’s a very profound, amazing technique. Again, some psychologists who are trained in eye movement integration and NLT practitioners use it in their practice to help people. What I showed you, you can do as a self-help tool. [It’s] very fast—sometimes it takes one minute.
Dr. Jill 42:14
What a practical tool!
Dr. Olga Stevko 42:17
Thank you. And for some people, it can happen [only] rarely; if you feel kind of dizzy, or disoriented, please stop doing this technique. There is something [that] can trigger [this]. Again, it’s very rare that that can happen.
Dr. Jill 42:37
Yes, wonderful. I love that.
Dr. Olga Stevko 42:40
Thank you. Do you have any questions so far?
Dr. Jill 42:45
No. That looks easy and simple to do. And I love that it is so practical; I can do it at home. We do have a few questions online, but we can wait. Did you have anything else?
Dr. Olga Stevko 42:54
I will guide you through a very powerful technique, everyone. I will explain it to you. Are you familiar with the field, Dr. Jill? It’s called psychoneuroimmunology.
Dr. Jill 43:09
Dr. Olga Stevko 43:11
Yes, it’s an amazing field. They explain how things from the environment that create stress or stressful situations affect first your nervous system, [then], through a biochemical reaction, your immune system, and even your endocrine system. That, also, like a circle, can affect your immune system.
Dr. Jill 43:40
Dr. Olga Stevko 43:43
There was research. In that research, in a procedure similar to [that] which Pavlov, a Russian scientist [and] physiologist did, he did an experiment on dogs and saliva. And similar to that research with guinea pigs, what did they do? They injected those guinea pigs with some substance that caused a reaction in the immune system—kind of an overreaction of the immune system. Also, at the same time, [they] introduced a peppermint smell. They did it in a short period of time. They did it a few times, each time introducing a peppermint smell. They measured the blood, and the blood showed an overreaction of the immune system to that substance. After that, they just stopped those injections and just introduced the peppermint smell by itself. And after measuring the blood, interestingly enough, the blood shows the immune system overreacting. How about that?
Dr. Jill 45:14
Yes, and you guys who are listening out there may have had this experience if you ever had food poisoning with a turkey sandwich. How long did you [wait to] eat a turkey sandwich again because you had that visceral reaction?—even though there was nothing bad there like the toxins. I remember when I had chemotherapy years ago, and the color of one of the drugs was bright red in a bag. And actually, for six months or so, I would see the color red, and I’d feel nauseous from that reaction. So those are correlative incidents that basically get stuck in our immune system and tagged so that we feel the same reaction or our immune system feels the same reaction. That’s why, right now, of all times, with everything going on, it’s so critical to reduce stress [and] really modulate it. Do what you can to get outside, because that stress can reduce your immune function and your ability to fight infections.
Dr. Olga Stevko 46:02
Yes, and also, are you familiar… ? There are some medical articles [that] showed [that] when people with multiple personality disorders and different health conditions—allergies, and even diabetes, and I believe even psoriasis—doctors noticed in certain personality phases, those people did not have symptoms.
Dr. Jill 46:34
Dr. Olga Stevko 46:37
And it shows because personality is a different identity—how we function through our identity. Identity is our belief system values, and also unconscious programs influence them. It’s also how we look at things because of that—how we react to everything around us. In this case, by changing that, it can change how your nervous system, first of all, and after [that] your immune system reacts. That’s why this technique is so powerful to condition your immune system to be stronger. This technique was created by my colleague in the field of neuro-linguistic programming, and a friend, Robert Dilts. Actually, first, this technique was created for allergies. This technique has helped so many people overcome different kinds of allergies. Robert Dilts adapted it also for the immune system. I will guide you through this technique now, everybody, and we can do it too, Dr. Jill. I need a sip of tea before [we get into it]. I would like you to first get a sense of how you feel now. How do you feel now? Get a sense of how—mentally, physically, emotionally—you feel. Just get a sense of that. You don’t need to know or feel every single thing. Just kind of overall. Now you can create a desired state. For that, you can even lean to the right or even move a little bit to the right, just a tiny bit, or just lean to the right. Think of how you would like to be: Maybe even more vital; [with] even the immune system being stronger, for example, [and] functioning even more efficiently; even to feel more energy—whatever you would like to feel. Please think about that now. I will give you just a moment. And I would like your body to remember certain resourceful feelings or states because we are going to gather more resourceful states from our memories.
Dr. Olga Stevko 50:05
I would like everyone to use your little finger on the hand you write with—the little finger with your thumb or ring finger. Bring it together in the state where you created your desired state to be. Bring together and hold it—your little finger or your ring finger with your thumb—and hold it now feeling this desired state. Now, still hold it. I will ask you when to release. I would like you to think of any time in your life when you were healthy for a longer period of time. If you cannot find it for a longer period of time, it can be even one week, when you felt vital, healthy. If some people have had a long-[term] health condition, in this case, we’ll choose a different state—just skip what I’m asking. Just think of any time, when for a longer period of time, for example, several days or more, you felt vibrant, vital and your immune system was strong. I would like you to go back to that time now. Flow down into your body, see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt, and get a sense—again, hold together those fingers. Get a sense of how your body and mind feel and how your immune system is functioning. Get a sense [of it] and hold your fingers. Get a sense [of it]. And now release your fingers—release for now.
Dr. Olga Stevko 52:21
Now think of any time, when for example, you just were getting some simple symptoms of a cold, or flu, but you overcame it fast, you did not get sick really. Think of any time you experienced such a case. For example, you got a cold or the flu, but you did not have severe symptoms; you were going through it and got well fast. Think about that time, if you had such a time. And flow down in your body, see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt at that time, and sense how you felt. Your immune system was strong, taking care of that flu or cold. And hold your fingers—hold. Excellent. And release, and think of any other time, for example, if you cut your finger and healed fast, or some other time [when] you had some condition and you healed very fast. Go back to that time. Flow down into your body, see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt, and get a sense of that. And when you feel it again, bring your fingers together and hold them together.
Dr. Olga Stevko 54:19
If somebody cannot find any memories like that, I would like you to release your fingers. Imagine yourself in front of you at a distance, and that you has a strong immune system that knows how to be strong and function efficiently. Imagine that you at a distance from you. Imagine it. Looking at yourself from a distance, that you can be healthy. The immune system of that you functions efficiently and is strong. Get a sense of how it would feel to be that you. And what I would like you to do is imagine that you are floating into your body, and your mind, your nervous system, and your immune system are learning from that new system how to be at optimum health and how to have a strong immune system. Bring together your fingers. Have a sense [of it], and also have other experiences and memories of when you healed fast [and] when you didn’t get severe symptoms. And now hold your fingers.
Dr. Olga Stevko 56:31
Now imagine yourself being around people, for example, who have the flu. And imagine [that] your immune system is strong, and continue holding your fingers. Imagine it. And now imagine that one week from now, your immune system is still strong, even if somebody around you is overcome [with the] flu. Hold. Imagine yourself—still holding your fingers—one month from now; your immune system is still functioning optimally and strong. And imagine [that] even if you are around people who have symptoms, your immune system knows how to take care of whatever it needs to take care of. Imagine yourself one year from now, still holding your fingers. And please now release. This process, even if you don’t understand how it works, I would like to tell you, it was very powerful in my practice for my clients. For allergies, you need to do it in a different way. I used it for allergies, and people didn’t experience allergies after[ward]. I used it even for some people who are sick often, and after that process, that was not the case. They were not having colds or flu as often. Even I had a few clients who had some viruses. After this process, the test showed there were no symptoms and a negative [result]. The virus was neutral. Do you have questions?
Dr. Jill 58:52
Wow. Yes, that’s a great technique to have. I’m not sure if we’re still on the live stream or not. It looks like we are here. I don’t see a whole lot of new questions coming in, but I did have one come in here that said the acronym of the stress response, and I wanted to repeat that. So that was novelty, unpredictability, threat to ego, and sense of control. So NUTS are the things that cause stress. And someone else, a dear patient of mine, asked about issues with: “What do I do when I need to go outside or be involved there?” So this is obviously an issue because we’re all nervous about going outside. Being in the outdoor air is a really wonderful thing, and I actually feel like we get more benefit by going outside as long as we’re keeping our social distancing. Grocery stores—that’s tricky. If you’re at high risk, I recommend getting someone to help deliver or hiring someone to deliver. And nowadays, we still have access to that. So hopefully, that will be a good option for you. So I think that’s all the questions that we have live. Thank you, guys all for joining us tonight. This has been so fun. We will hopefully look forward to doing it again. And Dr. Olga, thank you so much for coming and sharing your expertise and your really practical tips on how to reduce stress—things that people can do in their homes by themselves that are super easy. So thank you for taking us through that.
Dr. Olga Stevko 1:00:27
You’re welcome, and I thank you so, so much, Dr. Jill, for sharing your knowledge and expertise today. It was so helpful.
You’re welcome. Hopefully, we’ll do this again soon. Thank you all!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.