The Nocturnal Therapist 0:10
Hello, hello, hello. Welcome to another episode of season three of his dad. So today we have a very special guests. I first met this kindred spirit on the When Harry Met Daphne podcast. And of course I said Kindred, because I had to invite on the is that social, if she is that tuned in, and so she's gonna drop some jewels. And we're gonna talk about some real authentic stuff like we do, because you already know my mission statement is to assist others and developing the audacity to live unapologetically authentic.
The Nocturnal Therapist 0:43
So Miss Renee Bergman, I want you all to understand that she is a Functional Diagnostic practitioner, and you can check her out at megaphone functional health.com. But that's just that's scratching the surface right here. We're about to get real deep with it. So understand that the theme of this season is about facing your shadows and being liberated from those shadows, those shadows being those areas of your of your mind that you are fearful of facing because they usually contain these traumatic memories, or it's attached, that usually shame is attached to these traumatic memories as well. So we tend to run from these memories, but again, wherever we go, that you all you can't run from yourself. And that's why mind body medicine and integration is so important. I see it all the time in the West, we've been treating the mind and body as if they're separate. But you'll never find any hitless people going to the pharmacy, you'll never find anybody lists people going to the pharmacy, the body cannot exist without the mind and vice versa. So it's important that we understand that we are an entire being and this is just a human experience.
The Nocturnal Therapist 1:56
Underneath this, the this flesh and bones is really all what gives life to this flesh and bones rather, is the immortal spirit that each and every last one of us are, we are energetic beings. And so what you see as the merger of mind body medicine as mind body medicine, and the the truth, the the ancient truth, as well as the new technologies that are being revealed the research that's being exposed through looking at mind body medicine, you see that our energetic body contains multiple layers. And there are multiple, multiple components to who you are when you ask this question, Who am I and it's integral to understand every single facet of who you are. Because ignorance and freedom cannot coexist.
The Nocturnal Therapist 2:45
Knowledge is power. And what that self knowledge does, is gives you the power to move from the passenger seat, where you feel like life is driving you to the driver's seat of your destiny. That's an authentic life. That's what it means to live authentically. It means to live in your truth, and you can't live in your truth unless you know what your truth is. So I'm excited to have my guest on again, this is not my first introduction to this wonderful being but I'm gonna bite on the stage and we're gonna get into it. Some real talk Miss Renee Birdman, y'all Renee Birdman. Hello, welcome to the stage welcome to the stage is such a pleasure to have you. I'm excited to get into it. I mean, please introduce yourself to my tribe, the outlier tribe and just let them know what your passions are real quick before we dive deep.
Renee Bergmen 3:35
Absolutely. So I'm a functional health practitioner, my long title as Functional Diagnostic practitioner. And basically what that means is I'm a health detective and so people come to me feeling totally overwhelmed with I don't know why I feel so bad, my body is just completely out of whack. And so I do all the investigating to get to the root causes of why things have gone awry. And that includes the mind, the body and the soul. So we a lot of people come to me because of the physical side. But like you said, Harry, you cannot divorce those from one another. And so we end up diving a lot into the mind and the soul and how those really just have a thread that cannot be unconnected from the physical happenings of our body. Hmm.
The Nocturnal Therapist 4:22
Okay, so in layman's terms. What are we seeing here? Why Why would somebody come and see a Functional Diagnostic practitioner?
Renee Bergmen 4:32
Yeah, people come to me because their gut is out of whack. So they might say I have a lot of reflux or I can't go to the bathroom. I'm struggling with feeling like I'm bloated all the time. Sometimes people come and say my hormones are just a mess. A lot of women. My hormones never went back to normal after I had children and I just feel like I'm a raging monster because my hormones are so crazy. I'll have men come to me because they feel like their testosterone is just tanked. They're tired all the time, they can't gain muscle. Things just feel totally out of whack. And then sometimes I have the extreme of people coming to me that they've been diagnosed with cancer. And they're saying, hey, I want to get to the root of why did this happen? Why did I get this? I have people with autoimmune diseases that come along and say, I've done all the things that I'm supposed to be doing in, in knowing what my diagnosis is. I've tried the medication, but it's still just feel really terrible.
Renee Bergmen 5:27
And I want to try and get to the root causes of why these things are going on and what happened. And so we really work together to look at functional labs, we look at the gut, which is a stool test, we look at their urine, which gives us all the insight into their hormones, we look at their minerals, which we take from a hair sample, and your minerals are what make you feel like you can get up and go. Throughout the day we look at mineral deficient or vitamin deficiencies. So we'll look at your neurotransmitters. That's where that brain gut access comes into huge play your neurotransmitters your dopamine and your serotonin are so key in how you feel. And so we look at those are those totally depleted? Why are they depleted? How can we boost them? How can they get them get them firing again, so that maybe depression and anxiety can lift we look at hormone stuff to make sure you can sleep? Okay, have enough? All of it
The Nocturnal Therapist 6:20
you made you definitely made your point, you definitely made your point right that appointment immediately. But with a Functional Diagnostic practitioner, because you're doing a lot, you're doing a lot. So I guess my outlier tribe, those who tune in weekly to the podcast, they know that I'm being the nocturnal therapist, my pseudonym, again, not providing any therapy advice here, but I deal with I'm a trench worker, right, I deal with the hard stuff. I'm in my actual practice. I'm a psychotherapist.
The Nocturnal Therapist 6:52
So the difference between a psychotherapist and I know you know this, but just put out like who don't know, this psychotherapist versus therapist psychotherapy, that's when we get into the adverse childhood experiences, we go into the entire human experience that the individual has, as it had been through. Because those first years of one through seven, were pretty much were these little alien beings trying to understand the world. And so we're most suggestible during those years. And that's when a lot of these deep algorithms are formed that then manifest and carry out different schemas or different ways of operating in life throughout the lifespan of an individual. If you have not heard about adverse childhood experiences, all you have to do is look up ace, A, C, E, but something that I give all of my clients in my practice, because it's so important, just answering this 10 Questions tells me so much about an individual, they don't have to say anything else, I don't need to know the name or anything else.
The Nocturnal Therapist 7:51
All I need is see if they score a four or higher, it may be in a specializing in trauma, it's pretty, I know what go comes along with that typically, the only thing that changes is people's resiliency. So depending on a resiliency factors, certain things may not manifest, but all in all, we all going through the same thing. So the human mind is more like a CPU. And so let me just back up for a second. Yeah. And say, now for the outlier tribe. Why? How or why please explain to that Live Tribe. Why would I invite on a diagnostic practitioner? Yeah. Talk to them about facing shadows.
Renee Bergmen 8:30
Absolutely. Man, you just you can imagine the amount of my clients that have extreme trauma, I would say it's about 95%. And I know that because of my own story, so my own story was I hit 34 and my whole body began to shut down. I hit a massive wall, where I was just not okay, physically. I woke up one day, my face was gigantic, super swollen. My whole body was shutting down. They're saying I had early onset lymphoma. I saw every doctor imaginable because everything was super confusing. And guess what my ACE score was, when you bring up a score
The Nocturnal Therapist 9:13
of a 10. You scored a 10 on Asus. I did. Wow. Okay. Okay. Well, please tell us more about that.
Renee Bergmen 9:24
Yeah, I know a lot about the ACE score. I know a lot about its impact. I know a lot about how psychotherapy really goes to those childhood core wounds and things that have just really mapped your whole brain. And I experienced a lot of abuse as a child I experienced not intentional neglect, but neglect out of having a single mom that was totally overwhelmed and had been left and had never worked before in her life. She was a stay at home mom when my parents divorced and I was pretty young. And she didn't have even have a high school diploma so she didn't know how to care for three kids.
Renee Bergmen 10:00
So, financially, and that led to some really dark things in my childhood. And it is not without it's not lost on me as I went through my own healing journey, and I began to figure out what was happening in my body that that childhood trauma was so interconnected. And I had to go through the work to do all the deep dive digging, it was painful, it was hard, I had to name that I had been abused. I had to name who my abusers were, I had to name neglect, I had to really just go all the way down.
The Nocturnal Therapist 10:39
This list let's talk a little bit more about that. The Allah crowd this is a lot of people don't have the some people wouldn't even be able to listen to what the some of the things that we talked about here, but I like wow, this is why they show up. Because we understand that diamond only becomes a diamond when it undergoes tons, millions of tons of pressure. And so you see some of the brightest stars come out of the darkest nights. And so this is so important. So what how for my people, how does your childhood How did you make that connection? Why did this happen when you think of your childhood? Because most people say that happened way back when there's no reason to think about it. It's overnight, it held the person's did at least one of my dad is there's no point in, I'm growing. Now. Why would I look back at that?
Renee Bergmen 11:26
Yeah, the brain is such a complicated part of our body. And to be honest, even the most studied portions of the brain, we maybe understand, like 50% of how it works. And so I think it's important to understand that because it's important to understand there are pieces of what our brain does, that we have no idea how it interacts with the rest of our body. But the parts that we do know is we know that we have neural pathways, and neural pathways are these grooves that form in your brain that have everything to do with things that you learn as a kid or learn in your environment.
Renee Bergmen 12:04
Typically, like you said, between ages zero to seven, where your parent is really guiding you and leading you. And so your brain forms these grooves of how it's supposed to interact, how it's supposed to react when there's fear how it's supposed to react when it feels like it needs nourishment, how it's supposed to react when it needs love. So if during that childhood time, you have these neural pathways that have been formed these grooves in your brain that you weren't loved that you weren't cared for that you your body was used in ways that a child's body is not supposed to be used. If you have not been provided for in the basic necessities of what you need, your brain is telling your body that it needs to disconnect in many ways.
Renee Bergmen 12:51
And so what happens a lot of times in trauma is a lot of people have this like disconnection from what they feel, right? So it starts with disconnection of their feelings. Well, your emotions and your feelings are your first center of telling you something's wrong, right? If a bear comes out, me, my emotions should tell me to run. Well, if I've been trained that it's okay to let that bear attack me, then I'm not going to have that reaction. Well, that's bad, right? So then it's going to hurt my physical body. So that's a really like, extreme example of it. Well, that happens internally to us as a child and into our adult life where if we experienced these things, and neural pathways weren't formed in the correct ways. All of a sudden, our body our emotions have decided, You know what, our emotions didn't do anything for us. They didn't protect us, because the adult was supposed to protect us, right. So when we had emotion the adult was supposed to step in, they didn't step in.
Renee Bergmen 13:48
So all of a sudden, your emotions have become something that your body can't trust. So then what happens to that, that's where the physical body comes in. So then the body physically begins to react to that we have hormones that release based off of our emotions, and the way that our brain releases, different neurotransmitters and different hormones. So all of a sudden, the body that different parts of the body begin to shut down and begin to not function the way that they should. you've ever heard about having a stomachache? Because you've seen something really horrific? Or maybe even you have an actual visceral reaction of vomiting upon seeing like something really terrible, or experiencing something really terrible?
Renee Bergmen 14:30
That is because your physical body is so interlinked to the brain and to the emotions. Those weren't connected correctly. Guess what later in life, your physical body is just going to take on all the stress that experiences not listen to the emotions, not deal with things, do what we call stuffing, right stuff everything down, push it down. That's not just a gentle term that is a terrible term that basically tells the body and the emotions to be ignored. and eventually you're gonna have gut dysfunction, your hormones are gonna go awry, you're gonna have depression, anxiety, confusion on why you feel foggy in your brain, because all of those pathways are all inner twisted, and they're not, they're not firing the way that they're supposed to. So sure someone, your abuser dies, it that doesn't matter that actually can cause even further damage, because you never got to resolve what happened in your childhood and your brain is confused. Your brain doesn't know what to do with it. And when
The Nocturnal Therapist 15:33
confusion when confusion is there, and again, mixed beliefs create confusion with the brain ties and code. So that confusion is shame. And the shame is it points at you, and says, You're the reason for this shame. And then that's where we hide all of these unresolved traumatic memories and experiences. In the shadows attached to shame, the shame, shame is the one emotion that repulses every last one of us, when we think about our shame, it makes our skin crawl, yes. And that it becomes it's, that's the reason why it has such a strong gravitational force, is because it's a space of disbelief and shock there, I can't believe I experienced or I did this to survive, or whatever it was, it's a misunderstanding of oneself.
The Nocturnal Therapist 16:22
And this is where I say, again, ignorance and freedom can't coexist. When you go down there, you'll be in awareness, bringing your your awareness down there being that light, when you see your truth and understand yourself. Now the brain can begin to resolve these these unresolved traumatic experiences with more information from a more mature mind, and then form new neural pathways. And that's and that's really how you allow that trapped energy when you push it down, because the Body Keeps the Score. That's how you allow that trapped energy to begin to be released.
The Nocturnal Therapist 16:53
And I don't want to I don't want to I don't want to go on too much. Because I'm just so excited. Like, I love having you on here and your knowledge base. And I just love it polyvagal theory when you were talking about disconnection, and so one of the things I teach my people is that there's three stories according to the polyvagal theory, which gives us a basically an understanding of how the autonomic nervous system or the automatic part of us, how it perceives and responds helps us to respond and form a story.
The Nocturnal Therapist 17:24
So it's three parts of that vagus nerve, the ventral vagal, the sympathetic system, the ventral vagal is a parasympathetic system, that's when we want to engage with people, the right and the need that the sympathetic which is the fight or flight. That's, that's when we want to protect. And then underneath that the oldest part which evolved 500 million years ago, is the dorsal Vegas system, which is the free system. This is the immobilization this is when we play play possum as it were. And so for people who have been assaulted, I have to explain to them if because there's a rational guilt, of course, always around our shame is irrational guilt. And so I have to explain oftentimes, that when you when a person says I should have fought harder, I have to explain that No, when you have a bear, or a person, that's 234 times larger than you, the moment that you say it to yourself, your thinking mind said, I cannot escape, the autonomic nervous system received that message from the thinking mind and said, It's time to go into the dorsal vagal system, it's time to immobilize, it's time to conserve energy, because that's our best way to survive this attack.
The Nocturnal Therapist 18:34
The same thing that is supposed to do naturally when a bear whenever you can't escape from a bear. It's fight flight, that don't work. We go down to freeze, when that's what it is. And so we have to understand how we operate energetically so that we can be liberated from these false notions of who we are. We've attached so many things. Let me just pause. Let me to pause let me pause because I get excited. I get excited. So please, continue continue on your journey. I want to fast forward maybe a little bit in and let's talk about and I know you're already you already alluded to it, but you said in your 30s this is this is something that you've spoken about before not on the show yet, but yeah, 30s you hit a wall and and this wall I would love for you to elaborate if it's okay. On what this thing that you call a wall was What do you mean by you hit a wall in your 30s Yeah,
Renee Bergmen 19:27
I I really believe that all things sort of collided at once. So I'd had a lot of trauma. In my childhood. I had a very traumatic event I lost a child in in birth during birthing and almost lost my own life. So had a very traumatic experience. And then think that my body just that I lived in that fight flight or freeze place for so long. And I really had not done I had done some of the work in my childhood trauma, but I hadn't done all of it. And when I had traumas that came on top of them that were really intense. And so I really believe that I became this perfect host. I talk a lot with my clients of like, why is your body receiving what it's receiving? Why are you the perfect host for whatever this parasite is or hormone dysfunction?
Renee Bergmen 20:20
What had what has gone a ride that's allowing your body to receive that, right and oftentimes, not oftentimes, it's always stress, it's stress of some kind. And so for me, personally, my body finally just went, I can't handle this stress anymore. And so I had massive infections that ravaged my body. And it's because I had been stressed for so long that my cortisol levels were so out of whack. It totally affected the way that my gut was functioning, it left open gaps for my gut to receive in parasitical activity. Parasites can do a number on your body, I mean, they can just wreak havoc, they can cause your liver to go into failure, I was having really high liver enzymes where my liver was not functioning.
Renee Bergmen 21:05
And really, every every system was sort of screaming out physically for me. So it was hard as I was trying to push through, I was a mom, I had two small children, I was married, I had a very busy life. And eventually my body just said, we can't do this anymore. You have to deal with it. And so I approached it from all ways I ended up seeing a functional practitioner, that we actually went to a clinic here in Phoenix that treats cancer naturally, an autoimmune diseases in Lyme disease from a very functional approach, because they look beyond just the diagnosis, they go deeper. And one of the things that kept coming up is you have got to deal on a deeper level with trauma. And so I started out doing EMDR, I did EMDR for the trauma of the loss of my son and I continued to do work around a lot of the abuse I had incurred, I finally told my one of my parents about the abuse that had happened, which was very freeing very painful, there wasn't like a lot of resolve in it, but that it was really good to name it and be able to be to state my truth of what had happened to me that was wrong. And and release that person of the allowing that wrongdoing to happen to me to extend forgiveness, to work through a lot of the shame that I had, oh gosh, when you talk about shame, you just shame it just piles on top of you, when you've experienced massive trauma.
Renee Bergmen 22:33
And when you've experienced abuse, your body just feels like you've all you're always doing something wrong. I just felt like I was constantly in a state of I'm not doing enough, I'm not good enough mom, not a good enough wife. I'm not a good enough friend. I'm not good at my job. I'm not good at being fun. And I'm like the most fun person there is. I'm a seven on the Enneagram but she will do that it will it'll morph you into this person that you don't want to be that you're afraid of being that you actually become. And so I had to deep dive I started seeing a therapist on a consistent basis. That was like you said more diving into trauma and was a psychotherapist really getting to those dark shadows, working a lot on my own personal just ego and how I felt about myself and having confidence, learning to do things for myself and not just get lost in in my kids. Because that was an easy escape to well, I'll just let my kids be the show of my life.
Renee Bergmen 23:39
And you can't do that you've got to have your own passions and excitements and so it was amazing to watch as I heal the physical it did all the stuff in the physical but as I heal the emotional and the spiritual, seeking out my own spirituality of who is God in my life and who do I believe he is and how that impacts me and everybody has their own spiritual journey but that was a key component for me to deep dive into all those places. And it's amazing. It's like boulders just came off my back
The Nocturnal Therapist 24:10
so much You said so much. Okay,
Renee Bergmen 24:12
I know. I know. I'm sorry. And like you I just get all rambling and keep going.
The Nocturnal Therapist 24:15
No, no, no, no, everything you said was beautiful. No you but it's so rich. Everything that you said. If you're seeking a life coach, nocturnal therapist is the name and mental alchemy is the game. If you want to understand how to transmute, transform and transcend these challenges in these challenging emotions, buy me at the School of outliers at become an outlier.com/links. Again, that's become an outlier.com/links stay lit and agape. The last part that you said how did how did it would you prefer to term spirituality or religious beliefs?
Renee Bergmen 25:00
I think I would say spirituality because I think religious beliefs are something that you feel like you have that you have to do. And and I was raised in a Christian home, I was raised in a very religious belief system. And so as I sought my own healing, I had to discover what what do I believe spiritually about what is inside of me and what my experiences in the world and with a higher being, because the religious beliefs and the active doing of the things, there's beauty in that I actually really love religious practices, when when you're able to break free from them being a demand on you, when it's a demand. And when it's a call of there is nothing else for you to do, or there's any spiritual oppression, or forcing of that. It's not it doesn't help. It's just a law. Right? So like, law doesn't help you.
Renee Bergmen 25:56
But freedom brings this beautiful, amazing ability to interact with a religious belief system, maybe going to a church service and, and in being a part of communion, serving and experiencing that, where when you believe it in a spiritual sense that you have freedom in your spirituality, and you can interact and freely speak to your higher being for me, God, it changes the way you feel about it. It doesn't feel like this rote, painful thing. Many people have religious belief systems that were imposed upon them and that they feel very bound by. But spirituality has so much to do with freedom, and a breaking of bonds and getting to have your own journey in it. And so that's really what shaped and changed me and
Renee Bergmen 26:48
it's what I call a return. If you don't mind, describe it as such. And please, if you disagree, please jump on in. For me, it's a matter of what I call a return on what Marianne Williamson is, as coin has returned, or describes as a return to love, and that you are constantly shedding off what it is that you've inherited and returning to what is inherent to you. Whether you remember it or not, there was a point in your life and your existence where you were completely your authentic self. Yeah, came into being this like this. But again, the environment, my sister scored a 10 on the ace that says that she is in my opinion, based off of the fact that she is where she is right now speaking the way she is right now. As far as I'm concerned, she's a damn gangster.
The Nocturnal Therapist 27:35
She is I mean that in the most positive in the best Yeah, absolutely is a G out here because to score at 10. The algorithms that are formed with that level of trauma are I mean, they are so strong. And when you form an algorithm based off of fear, fear catches our attention like nothing else. This is why media uses red and other fear tactics to grab our attention, because that's fear is very predictable. That's the one emotion that is easy to predict how people are going to respond to. And that's because these waves these neural pathways that we found are so deep when it's tied to safety. But again, the healing happens when you move from your story of disconnection again, thinking about the vagus, the vagus nerve, the three stories, story of connection, parasympathetic, story of protection, sympathetic, and the story of disconnection the dorsal vagus.
The Nocturnal Therapist 28:32
And so story of protect story of of connection, protection or disconnection, when you experienced that level of trauma, you are in the story of disconnection, this is why you stuffed down your feelings. And people experience chronic numbness almost to the point where in adulthood, even though the trauma is over with, it's a state of emotional purgatory, where you can have some pretty deep lows. And you can have some highs, but the highs are never as high as they really could be. Because we've suppressed a lot of these emotions. And what we don't realize when we do that, when we say I don't want to experience this painful emotion over here, so I'm going to suppress it. At that same moment, you've made a decision to suppress all of your emotions, including your high emotions, like joy, happiness, fun, play all of that. We've been through a lot of trauma and you find it hard to have fun now or play. You're always in a state of paranoia.
The Nocturnal Therapist 29:25
It's because that's sympathetic, you're locking that sympathetic system, the PTSD, for example, that's when that sympathetic system that fight or flight that button stays on. If a bear if a bear comes after you, that interaction has gone in one of two ways and is going very quickly, within about 15 minutes or so. Yeah, when you spend 15 years or more locked in the same state, those neural pathways are now interstate highways. Yes, there are advanced they got blacktop on it. They have to State Troopers that are gone and making sure nobody's speed like it is a well developed area. And so when you start to do that trauma work, the reason why it's so challenging is because literally, you're charting a new course, you're developing new neural pathways with yourself. And that requires you need to go back to your center and understand who you are, by also understanding who you are not, which is your shame. Your Shame does not represent who you are, but who you are not. That's the reason why repulses you the things that represent who you are.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai