Nikki Kenward and Ashley James
- What CranioSacral Therapy is
- What dance therapy is
- What the enteric nervous system is
- Gut and brain relationship
- Listening with your hands
In this episode, Nikki Kenward tells us how CranioSacral Therapy helps people with their gut problems as well as help with emotional issues. She shares what dance therapy is. Lastly, she shares how do we listen with our hands.
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[0:00:34] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley team. This is episode 415. I am so excited for today’s guest. We’re going to have a fantastic show today. Nikki Kenward has such an amazing story and such wonderful heartfelt lessons to teach us today. Nikki, welcome to the show.
[0:01:02] Nikki Kenward: Thank you, Ashley. It’s a real delight to be here and talk to you.
[0:01:07] Ashley James: Absolutely. I really love the work that you do. Nikki has been an Upledger Craniosacral Therapist for over 25 years, and her focus is on mental health and the gut. We’ve covered those topics several times separately. The mental health is over here; the gut is over here. We don’t ever really talk about that there is a direct link between mental health and gut health. Also, so many people feel ashamed to talk about their mental health and also ashamed to talk about their gut health. There’s some kind of stigma in today’s society about having gastrointestinal distress and symptoms and as well having mental and emotional health symptoms.
The fact that you help people to heal their gut and heal their emotional mental state and come back into a place of balance is so beautiful. I’m excited for us to learn from you today, Nikki.
[0:02:09] Nikki Kenward: Great. Yes.
[0:02:12] Ashley James: Absolutely. Now Nikki’s website is nikkikenward.com. Of course, the links to everything that Nikki does is going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast at learntruehealth.com. I want to start by diving into your story because I feel that there’s a really interesting story that led you to become the expert that you are today and the healer that you are today.
[0:02:32] Nikki Kenward: Where would you like me to start?
[0:02:36] Ashley James: Well, what happened in your youth that made you go in this direction?
[0:02:42] Nikki Kenward: I went in the direction of CranioSacral Therapy, actually quite late in life. I was around 39-40 at the time because I’d been a dancer, dance therapist and needed to get another string to my bow and was really fascinated by it and fell in love with that. I soon realized as I got deeper into CranioSacral Therapy and especially the smarter emotional release work that we do with the Upledger work, that the body process work was so important looking at our emotional history that was held in our body. Supporting that experience, the experience people have on the couch when you’ve got your hands on to help them move forward and integrate these experiences.
For myself, I had some incredible support during my craniosacral training especially the advanced classes where I got to deal with all kinds of trauma from my childhood in a way that really transformed my life. It’s all about the emotional history being written in the body.
[0:04:05] Ashley James: When you said you’re a dance therapist, what is that? Is that like a physical therapist or is that an emotional therapist?
[0:04:12] Nikki Kenward: Well, a dance therapist will dance with people so it’s really about the emotions, expression of the emotions but through the body so not really that big a step away from the work I do as a CranioSacral Therapist.
[0:04:28] Ashley James: I’m fascinated. I’ve never heard of dance therapy. If I were to go to a dance therapist it would be like we’d be doing the waltz or the tango while talking about my emotions? How does that work?
[0:04:41] Nikki Kenward: Well, it would be more. They were to help you explore through movements that felt authentic to you how you were feeling in your body. So it’s about helping you connect to that emotional history in your body and express it in whatever way is helpful to you and they would support that.
[0:04:59] Ashley James: I can see how I could be really helpful especially because we have so much body shame.
[0:05:04] Nikki Kenward: Exactly. Yeah, we do.
[0:05:07] Ashley James: Very interesting. You started to use CranioSacral Therapy in conjunction with dance therapy. What happened? Did you have some aha moments? What happened when you’re first integrating CranioSacral Therapy with your clients?
[0:05:25] Nikki Kenward: I think there were some—can you have a gradual aha moment?
[0:05:30] Ashley James: Sure.
[0:05:32] Nikki Kenward: I think I had a gradual aha moment quite early on that it wasn’t so much about what you were doing with your hands or your body, it was more about the space between you and the person on the couch and creating a safe space so that person is able to do and express and experience what they need to on the couch that day. That’s helpful to their process.
[0:05:59] Ashley James: For those who’ve never heard of CranioSacral Therapy, could you explain what it is? Now, I know you are very well-versed in it. You have like a higher understanding of what it does and I think it affects the body on many levels, but for those who’ve never heard of it, just walk us through. What is CranioSacral Therapy? Who is it good for? Why should we go and experience CranioSacral Therapy as a client?
[0:06:24] Nikki Kenward: Sure. CranioSacral Therapy works from the cranium, the head down to the sacrum, the bottom end of the spine between your hips. These bones, of course, contain our central nervous system: the brain, spinal cord, all the fluids in that system. That’s the core system in the body that impacts on every single part of the body, all the fascia all the organs coming from the central nervous system. What CranioSacral Therapy does is listen really carefully to that system with a gentle pair of skillful hands to look for and release any restrictions around the system. It’s hands-on but it’s gentle, it’s listening, it’s without agenda. It can work on a very physical basis so somebody might come with a stiff neck or concussion or migraines after a spinal surgery perhaps. You can really help get things more functional, you can free things up for the migraine headache sufferer, you can work with the jaw.
It doesn’t have to be on anything other than a physical level but it very often seems to go deeper than that. It takes people in into a very deep state of rest in their system, which really allows them to start healing and processing whatever might be helpful to them. Then while you’re working, there is memory of an event or an emotion might come up into their awareness. We don’t analyze it, we’re not psychotherapists, but we support their experience of it through the dialoguing guided imagery. As a result of them going into that piece of their emotional history in that part of the body where we have our hands, we are able to get release of emotion from the tissue. The tissue would then release much more fully than if it hadn’t gone to a deeper level, if that makes sense.
[0:08:35] Ashley James: Absolutely. I studied CranioSacral Therapy in the 90s.
[0:08:42] Nikki Kenward: Did you?
[0:08:43] Ashley James: I did. I went to the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy. I chose to take courses in it to augment what I was learning and what I was doing. I was really blown away. I love the first book. I can’t remember the name of it, the very first book they have you read and the stories, Dr. Upledger’s stories when he was first doing it. Maybe you could share some of those stories like the man who had had bombs. He was a soldier and he had bombs go off. He had post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and extreme anger and he was in constant pain. Wasn’t there like a child who couldn’t walk?
[0:09:36] Nikki Kenward: Yes. There are many wonderful stories. I think the great joy and beauty of this work is that it’s a very respectful, listening, passive pair of hands in a safe space which really activates the body’s self-healing mechanisms.
[0:09:59] Ashley James: Would you be able to just fill in those stories that I mentioned and tell the stories for listeners who’ve never heard of them so they have an understanding of the depths of CranioSacral Therapy?
[0:10:12] Nikki Kenward: Yes. I was really lucky and I did some studying with Dr. John. I’ve also worked at intensive therapy programs in the Institute in West Palm Beach with military veterans. Of course, they had often horrific post-traumatic stress disorder from the bombs, maybe some injuries that they had sustained. They were given lots of medication and maybe some talking therapy, but often, it was very hard for them to move forward from a place of fear, anxiety, hopelessness, depression and there were many suicides. Dr. John was really an innovator in that he created these intensive programs where there would be a small group of military veterans, and I’ve worked on these, that would be at the Institute for a week all-day every day for a week. They would be in the same room. There would be a lead therapist and two, three, or four assistant therapists for every person on the table.
They would then be able, in that really safe consistent space, to really explore their experiences, release some of that fear, begin to rebalance some of the autonomic nervous system, find hope, lift the depression, recover better from injuries. The results were phenomenal.
[0:11:45] Ashley James: I love it. I love it. Right. I just remember crying reading that book because of the amount of healing. The one soldiery he talks about who was able to recover from the anger and the pain. That Dr. Upledger as he was very gently, only putting about four ounces of pressure but very gently felt the joints of the skull release from that pressure. Then the flow of the cerebral spinal fluid could finally flow, which of course affects the brain. Yes, there’s an emotional healing. There’s also a very real physical healing and that he was able to heal on an emotional and physical level. I remember just being so happy reading that book because hearing about that, I think it was a child that couldn’t walk and then the child grew up and then came back to John. It was like, “Hey, remember me?”
[0:12:51] Nikki Kenward: Yes. Absolutely. Of course, the emotional and physical healing are one thing. So the emotions that the emotional process is held in the tissues that are tight. It’s a mind-body experience always. The two things are done simultaneously are one healing process.
[0:13:15] Ashley James: It’s such a light touch that it’s sometimes we discredit it, its validity in our mind. “You’re touching me so lightly, how could that have made any difference?” How do you address that?
[0:13:29] Nikki Kenward: Well, people often say that to me. They say, “Oh, I feel very relaxed but you didn’t do anything,” especially their first session. I say, “No, that’s fine.” They look a bit guilty saying that. I do explain it. I say, “Well, what we’re working with are the nerves, the cerebral spinal fluid flow, and the fascia, the membranes that surround the brain and the spinal cord. All of these tissues only respond and relax with a very gentle touch. So that’s part of their anatomy. So if you were to push really hard on them, they would just either do nothing or they would get more tight and resist.”
Then I suggest to people they might like to mix up some cornflour and water in a bowl when they get home.
[0:14:24] Ashley James: Some what?
[0:14:25] Nikki Kenward: If you mix up corn flour, like a very fine flour and water in a bowl and if you stir it around, if you prod it hard with your finger it feels like wood or concrete.
[0:14:38] Ashley James: Right. I remember that we did this as kids. You take two cups of cornflour and maybe a cup and a half of water and then you mix it together. That’s right. It acts solid if you pound on it, but if you just gently put your finger on it it’s like quicksand.
[0:14:54] Nikki Kenward: It flows. Well, the collagen in the makes fascia behave like that. So that’s why we need a gentle touch. Nerve fibers are 50%-70% fascia. If you’re working with the nervous system with the dura membrane in the skull and in the spine and the fluid flow, you need to be gentle or nothing’s going to happen. I say, “Well, if you go and see a chiropractor they’ll do what they do to line up the bones of your spine and that’s great. You go into your massage therapist, very often they’ll be aiming to lengthen and massage knots out of your muscles so they need often more pressure. But if you come and see me, I’m not working on either of those systems, I’m working with your craniosacral system and that requires that I have a gentle touch in order for it to release.”
[0:15:56] Ashley James: Your intention as you worked with your clients for dance therapy and CranioSacral Therapy was to help them on an emotional level and then also help the more physical level in the nervous system and the spinal fluid. Understanding that there’s obviously a connection between our brain health and our emotional mental health. As you began to work with clients and helping them to release and helping them to heal on both physical and emotional levels, when did you start to see a connection to gut health?
[0:16:34] Nikki Kenward: Well, that was probably about four or five years ago I began to see it because there suddenly was a whole raft of books about gut health beginning to come out at that time. There were lots of people talking about the microbiome, the gut bacteria. There were people talking about the gut-brain access between the gut, the brain and the gut, the brain and the head. I got very interested in all of this and began reading a lot. I was particularly interested because lots of my clients coming to me had what I would call post-traumatic gut. They’d had difficult experiences. They had a lot of emotional history buried in their gut.
I didn’t really know how to properly help them. I was in the same situation as them. I had post-traumatic stress disorder arrived in my life about 15 years ago, but the worst part of it was the gut. That was what I’ve struggled with since then. I always felt for all the therapy I’d had: CST, talking therapy, you name it I’ve probably done it. There was a missing piece, there was something I couldn’t quite get to in my gut. I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on. I felt disconnected and disassociated from it.
That was also a big motivation besides my curiosity in the research coming out. As a result of all that, I thought, “Right. I need to make some new kind of training for myself and my colleagues so we can work with the enteric nervous system in the gut,” which of course talks do and is part of our central nervous system, our autonomic nervous system because it’s just as important.
That was the time at which I approached the International Association of Healthcare Educators, for whom I’d been a certified educator for many years already. I rather sheepishly said to them, “How do you fancy writing a class on the gut and the enteric nervous system?” They were interested. So the next stage I had to do a presentation about it at the Beyond the Dura Conference in Palm Beach a few years ago. People responded well so I was invited to write an outline of the class, which I did. That was sent around to the international faculty for comment. I then wrote the whole four-day class and the rest, as they say, is history. I’ve been teaching that internationally for about two years now. It was during that process that I was approached, in fact in the same week, by two publishers to write the book.
[0:19:42] Ashley James: Very cool. What is the enteric nervous system?
[0:19:46] Nikki Kenward: The enteric nervous system is the nervous system that is embedded in the whole of the gut. So, if we think of the gut as a long tube going from the mouth down your esophagus through the stomach wriggling around the small intestine colon and out through the rectum and anal canal, anus. That long tube is our gut, it’s nine meters long. There is a network of our enteric nervous system stretching up to the esophagus and all the way down to the anal canal. It’s complex, it’s like a modern data processing center. It talks to the brain in our head all the time. It also makes its own decisions a lot of the time without referring to the brain in the head. So that’s our enteric nervous system. It’s massive. It has as many neurons in it as our spinal cord.
[0:20:47] Ashley James: Amazing. How do we feel our enteric nervous system? Could you maybe give some examples of when we’re experiencing it?
[0:21:02] Nikki Kenward: Yeah, sure. Well, a couple of things really easily come to mind. If we’re feeling very anxious sometimes it’s difficult to swallow. That would be one thing. When we’re eating it can make it really difficult very anxious. If we’re scared maybe we’re going on stage or we’re meeting a new person or going into a situation where we feel really out of our comfort zone, we’ll get butterflies in our stomach. That’s our enteric nervous system. If we eat something that’s poisonous or doesn’t shoot our particular digestive system our gut will get all those horrible cramps and nausea. All of those things. Sometimes much more subtle than those very obvious things. We talk don’t we about having a gut feeling about something. We meet somebody or somebody says something. We just get that kind of feeling in our gut but not sure about this. Often, it’s very definite it’s a yes or a no and we feel it in the gut. We really need to pay attention to that.
[0:22:18] Ashley James: I just saw an article this morning that said, “Children won’t tell you they have anxiety. They’ll tell you they have a tummy ache.”
[0:22:25] Nikki Kenward: Absolutely. Because they feel that anxiety in their gut as I would do and a lot of adults do but they don’t know what it is. All they know is that they’ve got cramps or nausea or tummy ache, some sort.
[0:22:46] Ashley James: Right. Now that we understand what the enteric nervous system is, how could we use this relationship to focus on healing our gut and being more connected with our body so that we can work on healing our emotions? Because I think a lot of times we—let’s say we have anxiety or depression or we have these different things come up. Maybe we have trauma from our past and a lot of times we self-medicate with food, alcohol, with street drugs or even we get a prescription in order to cope.
I think a lot of people walk around coping with symptoms and not healing from them. Then feeling so ashamed that they have this problem because they feel broken. They’ve had a decision somewhere along the way that they’re not whole complete and perfect and they’re broken. They have emotional things that they’re sort of shutting down, pushing to the side, or numbing and it’s manifesting in the physical body like you said around the gut through the enteric nervous system. So there’s the real definite emotional mental connection to our physical health. I love that you’re addressing that we have to heal our emotional state and our gut at the same time because even long-term trauma can cause gut imbalance. Could we talk a little bit about that?
[0:24:27] Nikki Kenward: Absolutely. You may well have heard of the adverse childhood experience study. That was done in the States over 17,000 people. It was begun in about 1995, done over a long term. There had been a couple of brilliant books that have come out of it, one is Childhood Disrupted and one is the Deepest Well. Now, what that found, one of its big findings was that early traumatic experience were adverse experience in the early years has a negative impact on the gut bacteria.
[0:25:05] Ashley James: It’s just fascinating.
[0:25:08] Nikki Kenward: So, even at that stage and there are other studies which show us the impact on the developing brain. So if we have early adverse childhood experience that has an impact almost our entire life. It predisposes us to post-traumatic stress disorder. For example, for a man going to war of we have any other kind of trauma which we know there are many different kinds.
[0:25:36] Ashley James: Talk about how when we have trauma that it can negatively affect good health.
[0:25:41] Nikki Kenward: Absolutely. Yes. So right from the beginning of our life, our gut health is impacted by our experiences especially how safe we feel, how nurtured we feel. A lot of those emotional experiences become embedded or held in the tissues of the gut. It’s often a place where if we have a trauma we pile those emotions into our gut and we disconnect from it. A lot of people whose mental health is such that they dissociate find it very difficult to be present to make relationships in their life. Everything is stuffed down into the gut tissues and then they’ve like switched off from it. I did that as well. So then it’s really hard to reach that emotional history in the physical tissues. I think it’s interesting also that the actual diagnosis of PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, was created by psychologists who didn’t really think about the gut as part of PTSD. Yet, all the many people I have worked with, including myself, with PTSD always have a gut problem.
[0:27:07] Ashley James: It makes so much sense. I’m thinking about everyone I know with PTSD and yet it’s right. It’s true. They all do have a gut work that they’ve been working on healing. Is it that that adverse childhood events or trauma from our past disrupts the gut so much that it causes gut problems or is it that gut problems—I mean it is that gut problems cause emotional problems, is that it starts on the emotional level and then manifests in the physical. Is that correct?
[0:27:44] Nikki Kenward: I think that’s right, Ashley. I think it starts with the difficult events. It manifests in the gut, but of course, then it’s going to create a kind of vicious loop. For example, if you’ve got a problem with the gut barrier, if you’ve got a not a very healthy gut bacteria, maybe not diverse enough, maybe not the right ones, if you’ve got a slightly dysfunctional enteric nervous system from all these things that have happened in your life, then you’re going to have low serotonin. That will also increase your anxiety. You’re going to have the possibility of undigested food proteins and bacterium virus getting into your systemic and circulation and going up to your brain, further enhancing your anxiety and depression again and maybe causing information in your central nervous system. There’s a huge correlation now between stuff from the gut going to the brain, creating inflammation and that inflammation being correlated with depression. I think it starts with the experience, but it then loops all the way back. Then things get kind of entrenched in a horrible circle.
[0:29:01] Ashley James: Another thing the gut does, a healthy gut and a healthy gut biome, converts 25% of our T3, our T3 thyroid hormone. So someone with a perfectly healthy thyroid could show up in blood work with low T3 and be put on medication when it actually wasn’t the thyroid itself, it was their gut dysbiosis. We have, like you said, the serotonin. The feel-good happy neurochemicals of the brain are made in the gut. We also have that—there’s a nerve, the vagal nerve?
[0:29:41] Nikki Kenward: Yes, vagus nerve.
[0:29:42] Ashley James: The vagus nerve that travels as a cranial nerve that travels all the way from the brain down into the gut.
[0:29:51] Nikki Kenward: That’s right.
[0:29:52] Ashley James: Is that part of the enteric nervous system or is that affected? How does that a play a role in all this?
[0:30:00] Nikki Kenward: So, the vagus nerve is often called the superhighway between the gut and the brain and back again. It’s also the biggest part of our parasympathetic nervous system, which allows us to rest and digest. It’s connected to the gut. There are more messages that go from our gut to the nervous system up to the brain then go from the brain downwards to the gut. We have to remember that as well as that vagal superhighway, which is really important, people talk a lot about vagal tone. When we got good vagal tone and a good functioning vagus nerve, we can heal ourselves really well. When we haven’t, we can’t. Of course with PTSD, we don’t usually have that.
However, it’s more complex because we have the fact that the enteric nervous system can make its own decisions without talking to the brain in the head via the vagus nerve. You have this massive communication superhighway really important. You also have the autonomous aspect of the enteric nervous system. You also have the gut microbiome that’s talking via the vagus nerve and to the autonomous aspect. You’ve got so much complexity. It makes my brain hurt to be able to touch base. I figured the only way we can possibly work is to have a truly holistic approach to people because it’s too complicated to be able to work out what’s happening with any particular individual. You have to go on a journey with them and explore and see.
[0:31:53] Ashley James: We want to take, like you said, the holistic approach. Because if we went in the allopathic medical system, which is the traditional, I don’t say they were traditional, it is the modern go to a hospital, go to an MD. Most of these, most hospitals practice allopathic medicine, which is reductionistic. Reductionistic meaning it’s going to look at symptoms and systems of the body. I think because it’s compartmentalize, this is probably the reason why it’s taken us so long to acknowledge in medicine that there’s a direct link, an integrated link between mental health and the gut health because allopathic medicine treats people reductionisticaliy and also is segmented.
So you go to one doctor for your gut, you go to a separate doctor in a separate building for mental health. The two don’t normally meet each other or talk to each other or really respect each other. The gastroenterologist is going to want to use drugs and surgery and they might suggest diet if they’ve taken courses outside of extracurriculars they’ve taken some courses. Maybe they’ve understood that there actually is a relationship between food and gut health, but it’s not mandatory to be in a gastroenterologist. Not mandatory to actually study nutrition. That’s their wheelhouse. Then separately is mental health. It’s it’s considered totally separate. That’s one of the problems with modern medicine is that it’s reductionistic. That, “We’re going to only look at your pancreas or we’re going to only look at your stomach. Then we’re going to give you some drugs for your stomach because you have GERD. You have diarrhea? Okay, we’re going do colonoscopy. We’re just going to look at the colon. Then we’re just going to look at this and then we’re going to give you some drugs for this.”
They’re never going to see the big picture. They’re never going to see the root cause that way. They’re simply going to keep treating symptoms. That’s probably why a lot of listeners are listening now because they’ve been given the runaround, they’ve been on drug after drug or therapy after therapy or even holistic therapy after a realistic therapy. They feel like they’re chasing their tail or as I have often felt like playing darts blindfolded. I guess I’m going to try this therapy. Maybe I’ll get it, maybe I won’t. But what’s the root cause? We really have to get that 30,000 view approach. We have to really back out kind of like Google Earth where you back out and you see the whole planet. Look at the whole body and look at your whole life. I like that you’re going all the way back to adverse childhood events because that’s where it starts. It could start all the way at birth being a cesarean section baby. Being born cesarean affects the microbiome. Having been put on antibiotics as a child. So it can compound if we have poor gut health for a long time and maybe some adverse childhood events or some trauma.
Then, like you said, it probably starts with emotional health. Then it just snowballs from there. If we had a weakened gut because many people have been on antibiotics or eat a diet that isn’t supportive of their body unknowingly or been born cesarean. However, we’ve had we have a weakened gut to begin with and then couple that with some with some trauma from our past and we’re just trying to survive day-to-day. We’re just getting up, getting our coffee, and going to work, and just try to keep a roof over our head. We’re kind of treading water. We don’t really feel like we even have the luxury to stop and process a lifetime’s worth of trauma and stuff from our past because we’re afraid it might consume us. So for those who really do want to heal and they really feel like they’re chasing their tail but they’re kind of overwhelmed by it all, by all the therapies and everything, and of course, the overwhelm harms the enteric nervous system. It harms the gut more, right? We need to get ourselves back into a state of calm so we can. What are some steps we can take? So we’ve been chasing our tail, we’re stressed out, we got bills to pay.
[0:36:44] Nikki Kenward: Yeah, sure. Absolutely. Just to preface that, which I’ll come to, it’s so interesting because when I started to talk about it, the thing that really was frustrating and drove me into my day-to-day struggle on my own was people would say things like, “If only you take the probiotic I take you’d be fine,” or “if only you’d put lavender oil on your pillow you’d sleep,” or “go and see my hypnotherapist. She’ll sort you out in one session.” There was such a lack of understanding out there and compassion that I was in that very isolated state. I think that what I’ve come to realize, the biggest steps we can take it’s how we live our life, it’s really all about that. How we live our life. So, as far as the gut goes, I used to see my gut really as the enemy. It’s like, “Oh, no. Not again. How am I going to cope with this?” I’ve got diarrhea. I’ve got to go to work. I’m going to have to take some Imodium, whatever it is or I’d be up in the night feeling horrible with anxiety and my palpitations and nausea and all of that.
So I would get very frustrated and cross with my gut, which wasn’t particularly helpful but quite human. I’m sure lots of other people listening are in that state. So my first thing was to take the big step of finding compassion for myself and my gut and begin to befriend it, connect and listen. Even if it’s just sitting with your hands on for a while with the intention of understanding of listening not judging befriending connecting and breeding is also helpful. Then how we live our lives, that’s one thing. So finding time to do things that help you to relax and get into that calm state, whether it’s going for a walk at lunchtime from your job somewhere. Maybe you’ve got a park or somewhere you can go for a walk or just sitting down somewhere peacefully and breathing meditating for a few minutes. Maybe it’s singing, maybe it’s yoga, maybe it’s tai chi, maybe it’s a social dance. Whatever it is, playing tennis. All these things add up together. There’s not one big thing. I think there’s a lot of little things looking at how you live your life with your gut in a compassionate way for yourself.
Part of that breathing and physical activity in those things matters. So your gut bacteria love being taken for a walk. I know I can tell. I have this image of mine all on the little leech and I’m taking a walk like lots of very tiny dogs. They love it. It helps get strong and healthy and grow the good ones.
[0:40:01] Ashley James: I love that analogy. I have a friend, she has two Mastiff dogs if you know them. She doesn’t have children, she has dogs. So Mastiffs are the size of adults, they’re huge. She will spend more on her dogs. They get dental work, they go to the vet, they go to the dog park twice a day, they get home handmade treats, and she’ll spend more time, energy, and money on her dogs than she would on her own health. It’s pretty funny and it’s very common for dog owners to put their animals first. I mean you know as parents we put our kids first. I love this analogy because often we won’t take care of ourselves but we would take our dog for a walk or we’d take our child in the pram for a walk. We won’t take ourselves for a walk. It’s like you know what, you have this gut health it’s a bit between three and six pounds of bacteria. So it’s like a little cat or a Shih Tzu. We imagine we have like an internal pet some animal.
[0:41:25] Nikki Kenward: I like that.
[0:41:41] Ashley James: How we treat it is how it treats us. So if we ignore it and feed it McDonald’s and whatever then it’s a very angry Chihuahua that we don’t like.
[0:41:41] Nikki Kenward: Definitely. If we shout to it and hit it.
[0:41:44] Ashley James: It wakes us up in the middle of the night, it gives us horrible indigestion, it gives us all kinds of nasty feelings start the day; but if we take it for a walk and we feed it good food and water and we spend some time rubbing it, putting our hands on our belly. We’re nurturing that little inner pet, whatever we want it, whatever we identify, whatever animal: little kangaroo. I don’t know. Whatever we wanted to be, little panda. I love it.
[0:42:14] Nikki Kenward: I love that. I’ve come to a whole new expansive idea now, Ashley, thanks to you. I think I like the idea of having an inner panda.
[0:42:25] Ashley James: Because bacteria, it’s kind of hard to emotionally connect with. What’s really interesting about our gut biome, and I’m sure you know this, it’s really interesting and there are studies. I actually have a few of them printed out on my desk somewhere. There are studies now that show that the gut biome creates chemical signals to the brain to feed us more of what it needs. So if we have a disrupted gut biome, we’ve got a really bad gut biome, we’ve got the Chihuahua of gut biomes; then it actually causes us to crave bad foods for us that feed it. So if we’re craving sugar like refined sugar and we’re craving caffeine and refined sugar and all kinds of junk food and fast food, it’s actually not us. It’s our brains being hijacked by the parasites.
[0:43:22] Nikki Kenward: Definitely. Because if we eat lots of sugar we’ll grow many more bacteria that eat that, that’s their diet. So when they’re hungry they send the messages up saying, “Give me sugar now.”
[0:43:35] Ashley James: It just hijacks our brain and then we feel, “Oh, I guess my body needs this,” but it’s not us. We’re being hijacked by the six pounds of angry Chihuahua inside us. What’s really interesting though is I never particularly liked kale until I started to eat a lot of raw kale. Because of course raw organic fresh vegetables and fruit is how you can populate the gut with those bacteria. I learned that when I studied to become a health coach at IIN. I was blown away by this lecture on the microbiome of gardening and how a bacteria that live, they’re alive on your strawberries. Even if you wash the strawberry the bacteria is still there and you eat the strawberry raw, of course, then the bacteria on strawberries that digest strawberries—if you just leave the strawberry and it’s sort of like molds and decomposes anyways, but you eat it before that happens, that same bacteria that digests strawberries populates in your gut and helps you to not only digest the strawberry but helps you to assimilate the vitamins and the nutrients from that strawberry. So the more strawberries you eat the better you get at digesting strawberries. So the more kale I ate the more I began to crave it. Then I really knew that my little panda gut biome was taking control of my brain because I began to have a Pavlovian response to kale. I’d start to salivate, get really excited for, and even crave kale.
So we can retrain our gut to make us want to eat healthy.
[0:45:19] Nikki Kenward: Definitely. We can retrain our little pets. The other interesting thing about the pet is that it’s constantly talking to all the parts of our enteric nervous system. So it’s talking to the enteric neurons all the time and the immune system and the hormones in the gut. So nothing happens on its own. The gut bacteria do not act on their own nor does the enteric nervous system nor does the immune system nor does the endocrine system in the gut. They’re all talking to each other the whole time. Decisions are being made on the basis of those conversations. So everything needs to work.
[0:46:12] Ashley James: How does the enteric nervous system affect our emotional health?
[0:46:16] Nikki Kenward: So the enteric nervous system affects our emotional health because if it’s not functioning well we will have low serotonin, low dopamine. Also, if we have emotional difficulties, trauma, whatever it might be that will impact and create tension strain patterns through the nerve fibers, the different layers of the intestine and colon, which wound and make it very difficult for the enteric nervous system to work properly.
[0:46:50] Ashley James: So as you begin to explore these, last four or five years, you began to really dive into gut health. You’ve been really into for a very long time like you’ve been doing therapy with people for a really long time. So you’ve been into the healing emotional health. You’ve been into CranioSacral for 25 years so helping people in that way. But in the last, like you said, four or five years, your focus has been on gut health. As you began to make these connections, what changes did you see in your own health?
[0:47:24] Nikki Kenward: So I began to understand—well, the first thing that changed was I found some compassion for my gut health. I began to understand better all the many messages it was giving me and where they were coming from in terms of my emotional history. So that awareness and understanding is itself very empowering. I began to realize I needed to look at that stuff and to take some pressure off myself in my life and the way I lived it in order to give it time to heal properly. I’ve also worked with a nutritional therapist to give it the other stuff that it needed to heal. I’m not a nutritionist but I think, as we’ve said in this conversation, that’s a really important part of gut health and of gut healing.
So those nutritional aspects I’ve addressed, looking at how I live my life now, I’m looking at the emotional history and my gut. So the changes are coming fast and furious now for me. Interestingly in my clients, I’ll have a client who’s done everything, tried everything, eaten everything, not eaten everything, has had constipation for decades, had a couple of cranial gut sessions so to speak, and now goes every day. It was an emotional event that she been holding on to was disconnected from in her gut for such a long time.
[0:49:07] Ashley James: So she was chronically constipated and after having an emotional healing event she now goes regularly?
[0:49:14] Nikki Kenward: Yes.
[0:49:14] Ashley James: Wow. What about the opposite? What about people who are inflamed and have diarrhea?
[0:49:22] Nikki Kenward: Absolutely similar. So I’m getting some really encouraging results from people who come with chronic long-term gut problems that they can’t seem to resolve. I work with my hands just as I would with my other cranial work very light and gently on the gut going where the gut needs me through all the different layers of the intestine, the colon palpating with intention into the places where I can feel strain patterns and tension. Just staying there giving it an opportunity to release if it’s appropriate and often the emotional stuff will come up.
[0:50:05] Ashley James: As the emotional stuff comes up, do they talk to you? Do they cry? Do they just breathe? How do they process it?
[0:50:12] Nikki Kenward: So sometimes all of those three or maybe one of those three. It may just be some tears. There may be, “Oh, so this is it. I remember and I was….” And there’d be a story. Sometimes they’ll just breathe deeply there may be a few tears they don’t need to talk that’s absolutely fine. So it can express itself in many different ways, but there’s usually a bit of an aha about where that came from. It softens something that they had wouldn’t have been able to get to in a kind of rational, “I’m trying to work it out way.” It comes from a deeper place because it’s coming from the tissues of the body.
[0:50:55] Ashley James: So you’ve taken Dr. Upledger’s CranioSacral Therapy and applied it, taking it away from the traditional working on basically around the spine and you’re working on the gut but on a very, very light, gentle, slow because you’re not trying to work on muscles like you said like a massage therapist. You’re working on the fascia and the nerves.
[0:51:22] Nikki Kenward: Exactly. That’s exactly what I’m doing. So I’m applying the cranial techniques and the cranial approach, which is obviously meeting someone where they are without an agenda with a light listening touch, creating a safe space between you and the person on the table, non-judgment. I’m doing all of those things. I’m doing it with the tissues of the gut.
[0:51:48] Ashley James: Now, since you created this type of therapy, I mean you expanded upon Dr. Upledger’s work, but you really did pioneer this specific technique. Have you had therapists do your technique on you?
[0:52:06] Nikki Kenward: Definitely, yes. A bit more now because at first there was only me, but yes I have. It’s been wonderful. I’m very fortunate now. I travel and teach it to lots of other therapists. So I get messages from all over the place now saying how helpful it is in clinical practice.
[0:52:33] Ashley James: If someone wanted to get a session, how would they find a CranioSacral therapist who has your certification?
[0:52:41] Nikki Kenward: Well, they would look at the list of therapists on the—let me see—it be the website of the International Association of Healthcare Educators. They would look for somebody who’s done my class amongst the other classes they’ve done, which will be by their name. So my training is called CST and Listening to the Second Brain. So the acronym for my class is CLSB. That would appear. They might have done the basic training. They might have done a brain class and the immune course. You’ll also see CLSB and you know they’ll have done my training.
[0:53:33] Ashley James: Excellent. Can you share any stories of what’s come about as you’ve been traveling and teaching this? Any really brilliant stories as practitioners have learned in the class or have had like aha moments while they’re learning from you?
[0:53:52] Nikki Kenward: Absolutely. So many really. There’s one class I was teaching in—where was I think I must have been in—it was either Boston or Denver. There were a lot of equine therapists there. They had light bulbs going off all the time because apparently, horses have—I’m not a horse person so I didn’t know this, I’m more of a panda person. They’ll have baby horses in their guts. Anyway, so the equine therapists we’re going, “Oh my god, this is going to be amazing for our horses.” So they went away and applied these techniques to their horses. I’ve had messages saying how it’s really helped horses with their irritable bowel or the equine equivalent of that.
[0:54:49] Ashley James: Oh my gosh, that’s really neat. I got to tell you. I’ll tell you a story. I’ve had Eric Thornton on the show several times. He is a spiritual healer, a very practical down-to-earth. I live in a part of a Washington state near Woodinville where there’s a lot of horses. It’s a horse area. English style riding, not cowboys. So it’s actually kind of the uniform of people and Woodinville to walk around in English riding gear minus the helmet basically and the crop. Even if you don’t own a horse you just walk around in boots and the riding pants. It’s quite funny. That’s our area for you, lots of horses.
So he works with humans and with animals. He’s been doing it for a long time. He shared a story in one of our interviews that really blew my mind. A horse had been having miscarriages. This horse also acted as though it was depressed. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. They had the vet come and do everything they could do. The rider was about 12 or 13-year-old girl. So Eric comes up to the horse. They explained what the problem was and he basically talked to the horse. The horse shared with him what was going on. He turned to the girl and said, “Your horse is so depressed, so sad, has so much grief. She has so much grief because she has lost her babies.” No one could ride her. She was just really very unmotivated as a horse. Eric said to her, “Just go into the stall with her and sit with her and feel the grief with her and be present to her. Just imagine what it would feel like having lost your baby.” This young girl is about 13 but she so she hasn’t had that experience, but she could be empathetic show.
So the girl just sat with her horse in her stall and felt the grief with her. The next day the horse was fine. Then she went on to conceive. So it was just very interesting that we can help process emotions with our animals. That animals can hold onto trauma just like we can. I thought that was really interesting. So the fact that you can use CranioSacral Therapy with animals is really cool, but then that you can also help them on an emotional level is really neat as well.
When our son was born we used craniosacral there be with him and it made a really big difference in making it a very gentle experience. I love CranioSacral Therapy. I love that you’re incorporating it for gut health. I think that’s really cool. Do you have any more stories that come to mind that you’d love to share with us?
[0:57:57] Nikki Kenward: Some of the stories involve people’s emotional stories, which I’m not sure I could talk about. Obviously, they’re very personal. For example, people with eating disorders. There was a lady who’d had an eating disorder for many, many, many years. As I’m sure you appreciate it, something that’s really, really difficult to overcome. As I was working on the layers of her small intestine she connected back, just came into her awareness hidden in this really massive tension I was feeling in this particular layer. It was the basement membrane, which is one of the many layers in the small intestine, of experience she’d had when she was tiny and being weaned by her parents, by her mother, which was a really difficult and traumatic experience for her. That had completely colored her attitude to food and from then her ability to eat in a healthy happy way and digest her food. It started right back then. She hadn’t really thought about that and only barely remembered it in the past, but because we were right there in the part of her intestine where the tension was held it came up into her awareness. She realized. We talked about it. Just open questions on my part allowing her to tell her story. As she did that the tissue released and released and released. She felt very relaxed. Then the next time I saw her she said it was like you just flipped a switch. She said, “My body is now able to process my food so much more easily.”
So obviously, she didn’t go immediately into, “Oh, yeah. I can eat anything and I’m fine,” but it made a huge change. It was just that place, that membrane, and that part of her intestine that was holding that trauma from when she was less than a year old.
[1:00:29] Ashley James: So sometimes we don’t even know consciously what we need to work on.
[1:00:35] Nikki Kenward: Exactly. I think very often we don’t in my experience. We try and work it out rationally and usually that doesn’t get us very far. We have to go deeper than that.
[1:00:52] Ashley James: Well, I can see your tool, your technique being a great tool for therapists, for many different kinds of therapists. For holistic health providers, if they can help the person to release and also the person to become conscious of what’s going on, then it could save them years of work to try to find that root cause. So how can someone take your class? You’ve piqued their interests, now they really want to learn this technique for themselves and for others, how can they take your class?
[1:01:33] Nikki Kenward: So at the moment, my class is for Upledger CranioSacral Therapists. So they will know about the class they can take it. So I’ve been asked quite a few times recently to develop training for other therapists, which I haven’t done it yet. The other way in which other therapists could use it as a tool is to read the book because a lot of this is in the book. It’s actually written for therapists or laypeople to give people strategies, to give them the understanding of the anatomy of the layers. So even a layperson could put the hands on their own gut and start to connect in and discover these places. Lots of people have bought my book, have been my clients, but also other therapists doing other kinds of bodywork. So that would be at the moment the best way for people to access some of these ideas and techniques.
[1:02:35] Ashley James: Is there any lesson from the book that you’d like to teach us today?
[1:02:40] Nikki Kenward: Yes. Okay, there’s so many. Let’s choose one that’s a nice simple one to start with. We talked about it being a long tube from the mouth down to the anus. If we think about the long tube as being the outside world really coming inside us, so everything in the long tube is in the outside world until we absorb any of it into our body. Does that make sense? That idea was first mooted by Michael Gershon in the Second Brain many years ago. One thing you can always do is put your hands one on your belly maybe one on your chest thinking about the esophagus or one on your belly one on your stomach. Wherever feels right at that moment. Just allow yourself to connect into your long tube with your intention and maybe visualizing it, your breath. Just ask yourself the question how does my long tube feel? How am I responding to the outside world coming in? Am I very relaxed and embracing the things that come in? Am I more guarded or maybe I have some tension or more fearful? How does it feel? How am I responding to that outside world?
Really, it’s one of the main places we respond to our lives. We can just sit quietly, hands-on say belly, stomach, esophagus, breathe connecting to our long tube and just ask ourselves that question, how does it feel? How is it responding? How am I responding to the outside world? See what happens.
[1:04:39] Ashley James: Just slow deep breaths and close your eyes and just become aware.
[1:04:46] Nikki Kenward: Yeah. Just go inside, become aware, listen with your hands. If the answer to that question is, it feels like there’s tension like it’s guarded then maybe just acknowledge that, send the breath there, listen to that. Sometimes the body loves being listened to. That can be enough for things to start to release. You might feel the tension and become aware of an event or an emotion. It’s really a journey of exploration.
[1:05:29] Ashley James: What does listen with your hands mean?
[1:05:32] Nikki Kenward: So you’re listening to the body to feel if there’s tension there. Does it feel relaxed or tense? Does it feel warm or cold? What can I feel in there? What’s my felt sense of my inner world? We’re just really palpating touching with an intention to notice, to feel what’s going on under the surface.
[1:06:03] Ashley James: Beautiful. How long should we do this for?
[1:06:08] Nikki Kenward: Well, you could just do it for 5 minutes or 10 minutes or as long as you have. Even just doing that, say for five minutes or so, 10 minutes a day, we can gradually become more connected. We can find some compassion. We can befriend that part of us a little bit. What I would say is I’d really encourage you just to sit with it, to not worry if you think, “I don’t if I can feel anything,” because it can take a little bit of time. Just have that intention each time you sit and gradually things would change and you’ll notice things.
[1:06:53] Ashley James: I think this would be good to do right before we eat.
[1:06:55] Nikki Kenward: Yeah, definitely.
[1:06:57] Ashley James: Take the time. Prayer before a meal is a common practice, but we could also take the time to close our eyes and breathe and go within, which would help to put us out of stress response and into rest and digest response.
[1:07:16] Nikki Kenward: That’s a brilliant idea.
[1:07:18] Ashley James: Listen to the gut. I think a lot of times we’ll eat in front of the TV or standing by the sink or we’ll eat in front of the computer. We’re not true truly aware of what’s going on, what the signals of our body. I remember as a child, my mom would talk about that we have an internal thermostat. It’s not the thermostats broken but it’s like the wires are cut. We eat far more than we need but we’re not even digesting it correctly because we’re out of rest and digest mode or the sympathetic nervous system response of fight or flight. Our resources are shunted away from the gut or we have lower stomach acid. Really, we’re not fully digesting. Then we have a lot of gas and bloating because we’re not digesting we’re fermenting. Then we’re not really absorbing. What we are absorbing is kind of fermented and partially digested, it’s leaky gut.
I was just talking to a colon hydrotherapist over the weekend and she said when you have really smelly farts. You just smell horrible, especially those that might be allergic to dairy and not realize it. So you just smell something and it smells putrid like something’s rotting in your gut. She said, “Your colon absorbs most of your water. If the water in your gut smells that way, smells basically this putrid. It’s like a swamp. Your body is actually absorbing putrid swamp water. What do you think you that’s going to all your organs?” The pristine water you drink has been contaminated by the dysbiosis. Maybe you know maybe you’re in stress mode so you’re not really digesting so you’re fermenting. Basically, by the time your water gets the colon, it’s now putrid swamp water. We wonder why we have brain fog and we can’t sleep and our energies zapped. We wonder why we feel so gross. It’s a vicious cycle, but we have to break it somewhere.
[1:09:35] Nikki Kenward: We have to break it.
[1:09:37] Ashley James: Yeah. We have to break the vicious cycle. Before we eat for five minutes at every meal right before we eat, if we could just do some slow deep breathing into our belly, put our hands on our belly in our heart, get connected, check-in. I love the imagery of checking in with the tube from our mouth to our anus just checking it with that tube and relaxing the belly and letting the belly just fall out of the pelvic floor. Just let it all fall out because I think sometimes yeah suck it all in and it’s all hard. Let the belly soften then just connect. Connect with the inner panda.
[1:10:20] Nikki Kenward: It’s a great idea. Connect with our inner panda. That’s such a good idea before we eat. It’s so interesting what you were saying there because our Western idea of the belly as it should be taut, flat, and hard. It shouldn’t look like what it is because we don’t want to think about poo going through a tube. If we look at Eastern tradition, the gut, the lower Dan Tien, the lower navel is the center of emotional and spiritual growth. How did we get to where we are? What you were saying about the prayer and the meditation before eating and allowing it to soften is beautiful. That’s exactly what we can do.
[1:11:12] Ashley James: For the last 100 years or so—I mean if you look at history, there’s been a concerted effort throughout all of history to try to suppress us and control the masses. If you look at the way in which they’ve used all religions throughout the world and the way in which they’ve enforced or created wars. “My religion is better than your religion. We’re going to kill you.” or “You have to convert.” If you look at the history of government, for example, why are all the Christian holidays on top of pagan holidays? It’s very interesting how the history of the last 5000 years. Look at human history and look at how governments and religions have worked at controlling people. None of them have wanted us to be in our own power. We’re very dangerous when we are empowered, when we are in the seat of our own power connected to source, connected to our creator, connected to our heart, connected to our soul, and have health.
When we are at full health and in full power we are a danger to those who want to control us. We need to be read to examine our belief system and examine who instilled these beliefs about our bodies like what the ideal body looks like? Where does that come from? Because really, there’s so many layers to what we have been taught and hat we have unconsciously accepted as truth. What you think is beautiful or what your belief system around beauty about being, like you said, that the heart and flat tummy, that might be part of the mechanism of keeping us distracted so we don’t connect with. Look at it as being unnatural. If we’re so focused on getting a boob job and getting a nose job, if we’re so focused on what we wear, if we’re so focused on this external look of something we are not and we want to be something we’re not. We have this like, “If only I had more money. If only I had more time. If only had more energy.”
They keep us wanting and wanting and wanting then we cannot focus on being in our own power. I think to get back into our own empowerment, we have to take it into our own hands. No one’s going to give it to us. I love that your technique doing it right before each meal three times a day: sit, breathe for five minutes, pray, meditate, connect with yourself again with the intention to come back into your power, to heal yourself. Because the powers that be don’t want us to be empowered and fully healed. We just have to reexamine our belief system around what is beautiful and why do I want that? What is health? Why am I doing what I’m doing? Why am I desiring what I’m desiring? Is it my authentic self or is it been something that’s been imposed upon me? Because society is designed that way to keep us all sheeple. I love that. I love right.
[1:14:53] Nikki Kenward: It’s so true. It’s so true.
[1:14:55] Ashley James: Your technique is helping us come into our own power and listen to ourselves and connect with ourselves again because the mainstream media and the mainstream collectiveness does not want us to know that we can get in touch their intuition. That we can get in touch with our body and our body could speak to us. That we can actually heal. These are radical, radical ideas that you’re throwing out here. I love it. We have to kind of be radical. We have to swim upstream. We have to go be like salmon, totally going against the norm. We don’t want to live like a statistic. The number one killer is heart disease. One in three people will have a cancer diagnosis. One in three people have pre-diabetes or obese. The statistics are horrible. If we want to be a statistic, do what everyone else is doing. If we don’t want to be a statistic, we have to be the salmon and be willing to challenge the norm and go upstream. I love what you’re doing because you are helping people get empowered.
[1:15:57] Nikki Kenward: That’s what Dr. John Upledger taught me. He said that our job is to empower people to give them choices. That’s always been my focus because I completely agree with everything you’re saying. The only thing is if we’re a salmon can we have an inner panda? I’m not sure about that. By the way, laughing is very good for our vagal health.
[1:16:30] Ashley James: One of my one of the homework I give my clients is on their lunch breaks—I’ve get a lot of busy clients, “I don’t have time to do this. I don’t have time to get to that.” I get them to, on their lunch break, go on YouTube and look up Comedy Central or whatever and watch 5, 10, or 15-minute comedy act and just laugh. Go for walks. Get out of the office, go for a walk, listen to comedy, laugh, walk, and breathe. We have to actually schedule time throughout the day to help our enteric nervous system and help our autonomic nervous system to go back into healing mode and come out of stress mode.
[1:17:18] Nikki Kenward: Definitely. It’s really important.
[1:17:21] Ashley James: Brilliant. Nicky, is there anything else you’d like to make sure that you teach us today before we wrap up today’s interview?
[1:17:29] Nikki Kenward: I think just the only other thing is to say that anybody there who is listening to this who has felt isolated with these issues, ashamed, secret, unable to talk, I’m talking about my issues. I talk about mental health and bowel movements with my clients all the time. I just encourage you to talk about it. We all need to talk about it. It doesn’t make you any less. It doesn’t make you less functional, less competent. It makes you a human being.
[1:18:03] Ashley James: Talk about it with the right people.
[1:18:06] Nikki Kenward: With the right people, yes.
[1:18:08] Ashley James: The people who are receptive who will hold a loving space for you.
[1:18:13] Nikki Kenward: Yes, absolutely. Because the Japanese if they crack a pot, say it breaks a piece of pottery, they will put it together with some gold-colored glue because they say that pot is more precious than the one that hasn’t been broken.
[1:18:32] Ashley James: Exactly. I’ve looked at every part of my life when I felt broken and I look back and I just see that that forged me into an even more beautiful person. When we’re at our depths when we’re at our lowest know that in five-ten years you’ll look back and be grateful for the tragedy and the sorrow you have now. To keep going and use it as a tool to slingshot you into your healing. Nikki Kenward, thank you so much for coming on the show today. Listeners can go to nikkikenward.com to access your information. Is that the best place to go to buy your book as well?
[1:19:13] Nikki Kenward: I have another link for my book which is nikkikenward.store.
[1:19:20] Ashley James: Okay. Excellent.
[1:19:21] Nikki Kenward: If they’re in America though, they might do better to go on to the International Association of Healthcare Educators website where their products are because it will be cheaper to get it from there in America.
[1:19:38] Ashley James: Okay. We’ll make sure those links are all in the show notes of today’s podcast. Excellent. Nikki, thank you so much for coming on the show.
[1:19:45] Nikki Kenward: You’re welcome. It’s been an absolute pleasure. Thank you very much for having me, Ashley.
[1:19:51] Outro: For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to takeyoursupplements.com and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price.