The Legal Drug Dealer

The Legal Drug Dealer Podcast

Getting Pharmacy as a profession Closer to The Patient

June 23, 2020

#26 Holistic approach to women’s stress and anxiety

With Michele Rae, RPh & Marilena Grittani, RPh

You are in for a treat if you are a female currently dealing with stress and anxiety, no matter what your age is! 

On this episode Michele gave us a ton of information about ourselves, and how to improve the negative ones. Among others we discussed:

  • We must learn what is it that triggers us to get stressed.
  • Recommendations on how to handle it
  • What to use to replace this stressful thoughts.
  • How to start controlling them
  • What to do to prevent them 
  • And much more!
Michele Rae, RPh. Transformational Coach

"What we're finding as people become the expert and own their self accountability to their own health and the well being of them, not only themselves but their families, like who they're cooking for, right how much their family moves."

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And don’t forget that, if you are subscribed to our mailing list, you got the informational sheet that I have prepared for you. In this occasion is about 5 Professional tips about Non-Prescription Medications as an attachment to our weekly email, but if you are not subscribed, make sure you subscribe to it, and you will get immediate access to it, and you will be up-to-date for future episodes.

Michele is not only a great clinician and a leader, but she is also an instructor for future leaders as well as a transformational coach

Look for her website link a bit further down, with all the episode links.

Let me know what you think about our conversation and if you have any questions!!!

"What we're seeing is as lifestyle choices change, medications often can be de-prescribed, they can get off their blood pressure or decrease their blood pressure or, you know, type two diabetes, all of these diseases that have an underlying cause of inflammation "

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"Toxins and the Body, from what we're eating what's in our environment. Our own stress dumps toxins into our body for God sakes."

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" You need to own your health is you because it's about you, and nobody should care about your health, more than you do. "

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Episode Transcripts

Marilena Grittani, RPh  0:12  

Hello, and welcome to The Legal Drug Dealer podcast. My name is Marilena Grittani, I’m a registered pharmacist and also your host.

Today’s the first day that I’m uncomfortable recording my podcast, because I have to admit that I failed in something that I offered in terms of time. So, as you know, I was organizing a summit for a while. And unfortunately for technical reasons and other reasons that are 100% my responsibility. The summit wasn’t was not ready on time. So I decided to delay it. And that’s basically what I need to say today. I apologize for all the expectation that I create Created and for not delivering to you, which is my focus you guys are my focus and what I’m doing or what I’m doing.That’s why I’m working so hard to get stuff done for you. 

A little bit of extra information. I just want you to know that I had issues with the video editor, even though the person that was editing showed me excellent quality couldn’t deliver for the rest of the videos that I recorded with experts for the summit. So that was a big issue. And since each video is about an hour, it would have taken me a lot of time, as you know I am not a video editor, I am a proud drug dealer!

That was one of the reasons and the other main reason and maybe you can notice differences is my computer, my beautiful MacBook Pro that it’s been with me for three years decided to die. She was giving me some hints that she was sick. She wasn’t doing that well, but because I was in such a crunched time for the summit, I kind of hoped that she would hang on for me until the summit was ready. But she decided that, not she wasn’t. So the same week that I received the news from the editor, my computer died. Please know that everything that was ready for the summit, was in that computer. And I couldn’t even turn it on. So it was impossible for me to complete the summit in less than two weeks, which was the period of time that I had from the moment that the computer died, so I couldn’t do it. 

Plus, I have to admit that the timeframe that I decided to dedicate for this project was not quite appropriate. I never done this before. I am a good pharmacist, I know all my information, but I don’t know, all the technology that had to go with it. And it took me way longer for me to learn than I thought. And, well, you know, I kind of push myself to do it faster, but it didn’t work. The last thing that I want to do is to present something that was not 100% of quality that I wanted to present for the experts that are the speakers of this summit, but also for you, you deserve the best that I can do. And unfortunately at that point, that wasn’t what I had.

So I decided to delay it. I still don’t know the date that I’m going to get this done is going to be this year, but I don’t have the date quite yet. But I will let you know as soon as I do. Now, meanwhile, because I offer this and I don’t want to disappoint you, I created a group of Facebook private group that is called taking control of my own health private group, where I am going to be developing training specifically with the same mentality of the summit. And it’s going to be easy for you to as my podcast is very easy to understand and with very plain terminology. And I also will have some of the experts that are going to come over and help me out with some presentations as well. We’re planning to do it live. So you guys can ask questions, get the information that you need. So I would appreciate if you all go to Facebook and look up the private group that is called taking control of my own health, private group, or go to the show notes here on wherever you listen to this podcast or on my website, The Legal Drug 

So in a few words, what I wanted to say is, I apologize for not delivering what I was set to deliver. But I want you to know that I am responsible 100%, for what happened, I’m going to do my best to present this to you as soon as possible at the best quality that I can. Meanwhile, as I said, we’re going to be working together on the Facebook private group. And I want you to all go there and start listening to specific trainings that we have, and even some live training with the experts that we’re going to happen to summit and of course, you can create Any questions that you might have specific there, so we can work on that as well. So that is what it was. I really wanted to make it clear for everybody. So there is no questions, there is no doubt and there is no misunderstanding about this situation.

So, having said that, I want to present today’s episode that is about holistic approach to women’s stress and anxiety. This episode is wonderful. Ms. Michelle Ray. She is a pharmacist and she’s a coach. She gave us so much information and don’t miss the last part of the episode because she’s going to talk about how she can help you personally if you are one of the woman that needs to handle stress and anxiety and does not want to take medications. So here’s Michelle, right.

So why don’t you give us about a little background about you as a professional. I know you’re a pharmacist, but how long have you been practicing pharmacy what type of pharmacy job something you’ve done before

Michele Rae, RPh  6:00  

I graduated from pharmacy school in 1984. So a long time ago, and I spent some time in the hospital being a hospital pharmacist and then I did some community pharmacy for small business owners. And then I worked for a hospital chain in the hospital here in Minnesota where I live in the clinic pharmacies. And during that time, I got introduced to home infusion therapy, as well as being a leader in that community pharmacy. And the last full time job I had in pharmacy. I worked for 10 years for a national company, as a home infusion therapy leader. And I had four branches. I manage the branch we had a pharmacy and nurse leader in Minnesota, in Chicago, in Milwaukee in Kansas City. And now I do some part time on call community pharmacy again, as I’ve embarked, as we’ll talk about into this full time Holistic Health venture

Marilena Grittani, RPh  6:59  

okay. So you’ve done it a little bit, you know a little bit about pharmacy and drugs and and what we’re going to be talking about. Okay, well, good. So now the question that I have for you is what do you do right now?

Michele Rae, RPh  7:12  

Right now I’ve combined all of my interests in leadership and medications and health and well being and I’m a holistic transformational coach. So I do a number of things. I work in the university system I teach at the College of Pharmacy, health coaching for pharmacists course, I teach at in a health coaching master’s program at the Center for spirituality and healing in mind, body science. So kind of, again, this holistic approach as well as a business course. And I teach a four I teach leaders about how to be emotionally intelligent and mindful at the Humphrey Institute. And then through the center within my organization. I see clients, patients one on one, and we talk about their their entire well being including their medications, and how To align their inner and outer, you know, inner passions and preferences and desires, with their choices in through coaching. So they create what we call SMART goals, to be able to be compliant with their medications to be compliant with their lifestyle choices and kind of the full scope of mind body spirit alignment.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  8:25  

So why did you turn this way? Because turn I mean to that side because we pharmacists are known for being nerds, scientists, we used to check boxes, we don’t think about emotional intelligence and I would venture to say that most of us do not have any or if we do is just a sample of it. It doesn’t go that that far. So So why is all this what is the reason what is the passion that brought you to that?

Michele Rae, RPh  8:58  

You know, the passion for me is optimal well being. And so as a pharmacy student, even I won a national contest in patient counseling. And when I got out into the pharmacy world, I realized that there were so many factors that influenced people’s health, including their medications, the right drugs, right being compliant, but it was part of their health and well being holistic way of being in the world. So what they did for lifestyle for instance, how’s your sleep, how’s their stress, how’s their nutrition, how’s their moving, that impacted the way the medications worked in their body, and then as we talked about briefly with the emotional piece, I was fascinated that some patients came in with a nearly same diagnosis and same prognosis and same medication regimen. And some got better and some did not. And a lot of that had to even do with deeper internal like belief systems and how they how they love themselves. What they But they were worth and so I kept the pharmacy has always remained a core. And my clients and patients we, we talk about that piece of it, but we talk about it in the context of all of their health and well being. So for me, it just kept growing.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  10:17  

So specifically, what does holistic mean in your side of business? What do you when somebody hears the word holistic is like, Is it just herbs and essential oils? What is it because it is very distant from drugs?

Michele Rae, RPh  10:35  

So here’s one thing around holistic coaching. In that model, the patient is the locus of the wisdom. So here we are as an expert, as a pharmacist or as a health coach or transformational coach, and I bring that to our conversation. But the well being wheel that I just mentioned to you has all these different aspects right, their social well being their emotional A well being their financial, their environmental, their relationships, their physical health, their mental health, right. And so we talked about all of this holistic health, but we talk about it with them as the center of the wisdom, so they know what they’re willing to do for their next steps. And so for me in the coaching process or the counseling even in a at the counter in the pharmacy, I will ask them questions. What else are you doing to promote sleep? Now, how else do you manage your stress in addition to the medication, so that they become the invited leader advocate for themselves, rather than have this old model where I’m the expert pharmacist, and I’m going to tell you what to do, and you need to do what I tell you, and then come back and report in we need to offer expertise, but it has to be in order to be received and For people to be internally motivated to their own towards their own health and making those choices, they need to be part of the conversation needs to be a dialogue instead of just a monologue.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  12:13  

I like that very much to the point that, as you know, I have a summit that I organized precisely with that intention. The name of the summit is taking control of my own health summit. And and my motivation to do that is that I’ve seen unfortunately, what you just said that a bunch of patients of mine believe that they’re doing stuff for me or for the physician for their health, and they’re responsible for person for this situation is the health care provider and the patient, for example, you have diabetes, and this is the diet that you need to follow this are the medications that you need to do and this is the exercises that you need to make sure you complete and then they go home and they talk to their family and they said that’s doctors Crazy, I’m gonna do all that for her, I’m not gonna do it, this is not for me, she, whenever I go back to the doctor’s appointment, I will tell her that I did it and it will be fine. And then when they come back and you have blood tests, and you have, you know, monitoring weight and performance in general, the person obviously didn’t make any changes, and there is worsening of their situation. And they think that we are the ones that lose, but in this case is 100% of patient, and that occurs with every single disease or every single problem that you might have. And I want that the change and I believe and that’s my fear is that this comes from like 60 years ago, 80 years ago, when the doctor in town was the only knowledgeable person and everybody that wanted to do something because he was the owner or she was the only the went to the University and had a lot of information that would just go to this person to know. And everybody else was working in their little stuff and they did Know that much, but these days is completely different. There’s access of information everywhere. The doctors are very specialized in certain areas that are not general anymore. And if you have a general physician that or a PA or an or a nurse practitioner, which is also what is happening this day, they have very limited information. So when they said everything is good, and then four years later, you have stage four cancer, that is a problem. And that is precisely what I’m working towards. It is not for me, this summit is not what you think it is anymore. You need to own your health is you because it’s about you, and nobody should care about your health more than you do.

Michele Rae, RPh  14:43  

You’re absolutely right, and how do we teach and invite the conversation for our patients to gain that intrinsic motivation that you’re talking about? You know, and another great point that you’re making about this 60 or 80 year old model is that During those days, most of the visits were for acute issues, right and infection, a broken leg. And now 80 plus percent of the reasons we go into our healthcare system, take medications are for chronic diseases. And those are totally supported and improved by medications and health and lifestyle choices. And so what we’re finding as people become the expert and own their self accountability to their own health and the well being of them, not only themselves but their families, like who they’re cooking for, right how much their family moves, what we’re seeing is as lifestyle choices change, medications often can be de-prescribed, they can get off their blood pressure or decrease their blood pressure or, you know, type two diabetes as you were talking about all of these diseases that have an underlying cause of inflammation, you know,

Marilena Grittani, RPh  16:07  

Right? Tell me about it. Yes, and we actually talked to one of our colleagues, her name is Teresa Morrow, which happens to be one of our first podcast episodes with her. She talks specifically about pre diabetes. And she explains that a big goal is for you to reverse it to the point that you don’t need anything. When you are in a pre diabetes. Part of the progression of the disease, you still have time to go back you can the goal will be to do that but at the mall at the worst case scenario stay as a pre diabetic and not to develop the whole the whole disease. So she teaches how to do that and how to manage that. And that is ideal. I mean, you have something that you have not being taken care of. You might have family members that might have that and have given that to you as a genetical Crescent, and then you have to deal with that. But then whenever you get the diagnosis that is a pre whatever, then you get to say, okay, no, I’m not going to let this develop, I’m going to take over, and I will fix whatever I can fix or or change whatever I need to change to make this happen for me. So I think that what you’re doing is is wonderful because it includes several areas of the treatment. It’s not just the medication, it’s just not the mindset. It’s not just understanding that simple things like I’m not working outside of my house for three months because we got Coronavirus, and that is affecting me in so many areas will have consequences in your health. So seeing it from a holistic way, which is including everything and having the patient as the center not being treated as an average which by the way, nobody’s average is like you are The point and the focus of everything. So everything that is given to you, everything that is recommended to you, is based on what you are open to do what you need based on your labs or whatever circumstances you are. And most importantly, is what you are compromising. To get done for yourself.

Michele Rae, RPh  18:19  

You make such a great point about the having things handed down to us, you know, the genetic component and our genetic predisposition of diseases. Whether it’s Alzheimer’s disease, or diabetes, we used to science our science and medical science used to think that we had a predestined disposition and our genetic coding determined 80% of what disease we were likely to get. And what we have learned through the study of epigenetics is that is the opposite is true. 20% were handed to us 80% of the environment in our cells. We get together aside, based on our choices of stress, sleep, moving our body, what we give ourselves as nutrition, right? And so the cell health actually turns on and off genomes that are healthier or not healthy, that determine disease states. And so pre diabetic isn’t such a great example of because we have so much research that if we follow this holistic approach, we literally reverse the disease, right there and good cell health level and medications are a part of that, but not the only part.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  19:40  

Yes, and that’s what I wanted to make sure is clear. I am a pharmacist and I understand how drugs work and how good it could do to people and their basic but that is not the only thing or the mentality that unfortunately, we have in this past two generations is that Oh, there is a pill for that I don’t need to do anything, I just take a pill. And that’s it. And that is not necessarily what it is. And actually, as a pharmacist, I don’t take pills at all I try my best not to. And as soon as I do want to go through whatever acute phase of this situation, then I went myself out because I don’t really need it. I don’t want to be inserting chemicals in my body that I don’t really need. And if I can change it with lifestyle modifications, that’s the goal. That’s what we should all do. And then Okay, so let’s just talk about special circumstances. And the area that you are going to talk to us specifically today. Like when these days in this era, didn’t happen 100 years ago, are stepping in right now. You have a female that is about 28 years of age and she has so many changes. She just got married or she’s getting ready to. She has a profession that she’s very focused on that because they That’s what matters. And then she might have a cater or waiting for one or expecting one rather. And then the family dynamics like their mom, they’re in those. Everybody gets into that mix under their head. And then their lifestyle is affected by it, because there’s so much stuff on it. So they develop a lot of stress and anxiety. And is that at that age that I’ve seen, I don’t know what you have. That is when it gets the worse

Michele Rae, RPh  21:30  

so that they cannot control it anymore. So what do you have to say about that? And why is that happening? Well, we’ll start with what we’ve touched on already is, are there this is a question for everyone. Are there underlying beliefs about you needing to deplete yourself to serve others is self care associated with being self ish? Because if that is so I would highly recommend reading Thinking that underlying belief, the other so where we where I start when I work with patients is to say, what are your stress triggers and you just listed a whole bunch of them and they’re great. So people, clients, patients, understanding what the triggers are is the number one in the process. Number two, what are your stress responses when you start to have that chronic stress that we’re talking about, not just the one stress where your child stubs his toe and needs a hug, right? Oh my gosh, chronic, everyday stress. Notice your symptoms. Here’s what you can pay attention to, physically what happens to you? Because, as you’ve already said, it’s different for each person. Do you start clenching your jaw? Do you start to get a stomachache? Does your throat start to get sore? Your shoulders start to ache, right? headaches. It’s different for each person physically. How about emotionally Do you get short fused? Do you withdraw? Are you a fight or flight person? Right? What happens when you get stressed? How about your behaviors? Do you sleep more? Do you sleep less? Do you eat more if you eat less, right? So we want to really get in touch with what are the triggers? How do we notice them? Then, and only then we can have a pause to say, okay, right now, I’m over aroused. I’m in my fight and flight my hind brain is hijacked, right? I’m on an amygdala hijack, we call it information comes in, it sets off our protected defend mode. And unfortunately, it closes down access literally, to our prefrontal cortex to that neocortex where we can reason and pick up subtle cues. So here we’re in fight and flight and then we notice and now we take a pause and now we have a choice. We can literally start being relaxation response to be activated to counteract the stress response. And that is the key. I think that mindfulness that paying attention on purpose in the present moment without judgment, that is the key to living a self empowered life. Right among all the stressors because life stressors aren’t going to change. They might shift in what they are. But life being stressful, we’ll be done with COVID-19 at some point, right? We’ll be done having toddlers at some point. And they’ll just be replaced by other stressors. So learning your body, learning your triggers, learning how to relax is a lifelong gift you can give yourself and everyone around you.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  24:48  

Absolutely. I remember, my I’m Latina. I don’t know if you have noticed for my little accent. And my dad was Italian. So I have Latina and Italian and my blood so I am feisty. Yes I am. So I remember when I moved originally to the US, oh, over 20 years ago, and I was fighting for everything. Everything was a fight. And it wasn’t only because that’s the way that my mother was. And that’s what I learned from her when she raised me. But it was also the way that we people from Venezuela are in general terms. Now I come to the US when everything is organized and there’s not where everybody has their place. We didn’t do that there either. Where respect actually exists, we don’t care about that word. There’s no bullying, there’s not not you know, insults and there is everyday so much that is the joke. So literally a joke. Then, I just had to come to my senses and say Hold on, this is not appropriate here anymore. I it’s not that they are a problem, which is what I originally thought Because I am who I am, and you guys are different. If I need to, I needed to adapt myself to the way that it is here. Now, it took me time because it’s not immediately right? It is so tained the way that I am now that when I go home or I visit my family, like What’s wrong with you? Are you taking medication or something? I’m like, Well, I guess I did good. So it is a matter of perception is a matter of where you are. And also to have the mindfulness of saying, this is the problem. This could not continue the way that it is because it’s not benefiting anybody. So that’s how you I think you should start. At least that’s how I did it. So what is the way that they can get to that point to start getting their body under control? That is not only you know that you’re getting upset because you are running late, you have a very important meeting and you know you have barely the time to make it through travel. To drop off the kid to daycare, and then she poops all over you on her. So that is going to happen. So that is going to cause a rise of blood pressure is going to make us scream is going to make me make you cry and you’re going to ruin your makeup, which is not what you need right now. Plus everything else and it’s gonna make you drive like you’re not whenever you’re done or sprint your kit. So all this stuff, how do we control that? The beginning of it to avoid all that?

Michele Rae, RPh  27:28  

I really appreciate your reminder for everyone about how the stress response happens because that’s exactly what happens. We literally go on fight and flight because we, if we’re in danger for running from a burning house, right, we want all those things to happen. We want our blood pressure to go up and our digestive system to completely shut down and our pupils to dilate, right. That’s the natural, amazing, fabulous stress response. It’s protective and in right relationship is perfect. And to your point When it’s the circumstance does not we’re not running from a burning house, we’re just having a mini crisis or a chronic crisis, right? Once we notice, and we make the pause, what can we do? That’s 50% of it. Because what happens is if it takes over, and we’re in it with no pause, we’re just going to have to write it out. If we can make the pause, if we can take a deep breath in through our nose, and out through our mouth, and that’s this five seconds, we start to activate what we call the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the brakes, which is the relaxation response, versus this overall sympathetic nervous system. So in that moment, you can take a deep breath. In that moment, you can lower your voice, slow down. In that moment, you can look at your child and give them a kiss on the cheek. whatever you can do to bring your five senses into the moment, take a moment. And what are you hearing? What are you seeing? What are you smelling? Like get back in your body, right? And this then settles down that fight and flight, reopens your access to your executive functioning and your ability to reason and make good choices. And then even if it’s 10 seconds, you can move forward, being able to make empowered choices versus disempowered choices. And that’s what you had. So brilliantly talked about when you first came to this country, that it feels disempowering. We feel kind of like a victim, right? It’s like the world’s giving it to us and, and Doggone it, if that whole world would stop X, Y, and Z, you know, all over us, and that’s a very disempowered sensation. So what can we do to activate our stress response? calm ourselves down our body, our minds, right, our emotions, come back into the present moment and deal with it. And I really appreciated you’re bringing in the cultural piece to this because when it doesn’t have us, right when we’re living from our center, we are in a place of power, it can look like anything. I mean, in a certain circumstance, like you just mentioned, and you get puked all over. I mean, kicking it into high gear and being I don’t know what the right word is very active, right? And very responsive is empowering. But it comes from a place of deep centeredness versus this over hyper reactivity. Right. So we want to be able to move into action make quick choices, sometimes it’s, I know in the workplace to or in our home, it can be, you know, blowing a whistle and making everybody breathe in and out for 10 seconds. Going on to command and control right. It doesn’t always look like Calm and all that kind of stuff. But it does look like empowered choices. What is the best choice in that moment. And the other thing that’s worth saying is that you can cultivate your resilience in stressful moments, by cultivating this inner calm and strength, when you’re not in over, over hyper arousal. So what do you do in your life? that builds resilience that builds this inner sense of calm and, and empowerment? Maybe it’s moving, maybe it’s yoga, breathing, ci Gong being in nature, right? Maybe it’s stretching, maybe it’s meditating or having a mindfulness practice or listening to guided imagery. Maybe it’s calling a friend or having a great social network, right? Maybe it’s being in silence. Maybe it’s listening to music, right? I don’t know about you. But when I clean the house, right, there’s one kind of music and when I’m wanting to relax and get my card, I need to decompress. It’s a different kind of music right? So know what it is, like I say have a deep toolbox. Once you catch yourself on over arousal in a way that’s not useful. How do you bring yourself back to center? And if you can practice doing that when you’re already relaxed and moving even deeper into relaxation, it’s so incredibly builds that muscle of mindful living. And the

Marilena Grittani, RPh  32:24  

more you do it, the better you get at it, right? Like exercise.

Michele Rae, RPh  32:27  

Practice exactly right.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  32:30  

One thing that motivated me and I am saying this, not just to show you how bad it was, but for you to have as an example, because there might be something that you could do is that I understood that every time that I got so mad and so livid by whatever the situation was, nothing went right. Everything was complicated, everything got worse. I had a horrible rest of my day. I got issues with people that I needed to deal with later because It still needed to be resolved. And my attitude was bad. So nothing went good after reacting like that. Then when I decided to say, Okay, this is not good, it’s not giving me any positive things. I need to make changes. And I started noticing the changes. I’m like, Okay, this is working. This is where I’m going to go. And before for me, my brain was going to or this is happening in Venezuela. This is what we do. And I went right there. But then when I started noticing the changes, and I liked them, I said, that is my new reference point. That’s where I’m going to go to ask my brain What do we do under the circumstances, and I’m going to tell you something really cute and it still works today. I started dating this super handsome guy that I love, like I never loved anybody before. He has the most beautiful blue eyes in the whole world to me. When I get stressed, I just look at his eyes. I think Close my eyes and look at his and everything relaxes my blood pressure goes down my anxiety goes down my relaxed my stress goes down to the point that if I need to do like an MRI or the CT scan that they get you in that tube and then I get I’m not claustrophobic, right? I close my eyes and I just look at his eyes and I just think about that and I can take the bat at that boom we’ll move on our at no problems. So find out what it is that relaxes you find out what it is that works for you because for me, it’s my other half beautiful life. But for you as you said maybe a mistake might be I know eating something or cooking. I like to cook when I’m stressed. It works for me everybody works differently, but find what it is not only the triggers that make you go to that place, but what is it that you can use to help you out and to have a new reference point in your mind To whenever this happens, this is what I do instead of this is what I used to do. That wasn’t that good. It worked for me.

Michele Rae, RPh  35:07  

I appreciate the encouragement about literally building a new habit. I used to have this sensation and I went this way, which further escalated, it made me more disempowered. And as you said, everything else goes bad and wrong because you don’t even have the brain turned on right? choices. And we build these habits and in your it’s such a beautiful heart.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  35:34  

 I know romantic!

Michele Rae, RPh  35:38  

But what a great image. I know one of the common images when I teach about this is think of your favorite place on vacation, or the favorite place you’d like to be in nature. And just take a few minutes to imagine right in that moment. And to your point. I would recommend practicing it when you’re in the shower, let’s say when you’re already relaxed. Bring the five senses in what do you smell? Right? Imagine that those eyes imagine that place that sacred and safe place and amazing place where you can just feel the relaxation. As you have that memory kick in, you kick in that parasympathetic nervous system. If you practice when you’re already relaxed, it builds the muscle exactly, as you said. So when you are stressed, and you maybe have that image, or maybe you take that deep breath, your body’s already cued to say, Oh, yeah, I know it’s time to relax. And over time, that muscle of this mindful living begins to become your new normal and it is so much smoother and, and also it opens up all this creativity and all this innovation, right? We’re not just surviving. We’re moving to thriving and that’s one thing as pharmacists, we don’t want to have help. You have medications get you through the day. I mean, that might be the case in some initial crisis or acute issue. But we really want you to live a life that’s your thriving, that you aren’t in pain that your blood pressure’s under control that you don’t feel yucky all the time, so that you can live this life of realizing your full potential. So we as pharmacists have our care plan for you is much bigger than just taking your medicine.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  37:27  

Yeah, people think that is not the case because they think we might make money with what we sell like a commission sell. But that is not true. We don’t do that. And we don’t want that. So don’t believe that the least I see you here the pharmacy picking up medications, the better I will feel about you come over and say hi, that would be great, but don’t calm because you’re sick of your new drugs. But now talking about pills, the mentality, the mindset of but there’s a bill for that. Hold on, my friend takes a bill for it. And now Don’t have to go through all this trying to find their five senses and do it in the shower and take months for it to work. Give me the pill. Why is that not the best solution?

Michele Rae, RPh  38:13  

It might be part of the best solution, but it’s, in my personal opinion, it’s never the entire solution. So if you could change your underlying health, improve your underlying health, your baseline of stress, your baseline of sleep, your baseline of clarity, right by eating good foods, your baseline with your blood pressure, your weight, right? What habits do you have that add to your dis ease, right smoking too much alcohol, a lot of sugar. The goal here is to feel great, and medication can be a part of that regimen. But it’s not the only part of that regimen. And as you said earlier, it’s really giving Your power away, right to the pill to your pharmacists to your provider. And you want to be in charge of living an amazing life of making small choices day in and day out, that support your optimal living your optimal health and well being, including being compliant on your medications, managing your stress, activating the stress response when you’re over aroused. And as you talked about, in your example earlier, it’s not that much fun. I mean, it’s just not a pleasant, optimal life when you are surviving one hit of something out there to another out when you get in that mode of living. It’s like both your happiness and your suffering gets caused from the outside. And it I don’t know in my personal professional opinion, it kind of sucks. Anyway, wear something out there is in charge of your health and well being including a pill.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  40:03  

Yeah. And the problem with pills, as a pharmacist I’m going to make this comment is that you cannot take a pill every time that something like that happens, because you might have it during the day seven times, does that mean that you’re going to be drugged all day? Or if it happens every day? Are you going to take this every day because this medications that are handled for crisis for a short period of time are only for that not meant for you to take it for a long period? Worse, even worse is that this medications create habits. And then your brain is so used to it that you cannot literally function without the drug. So who wants to get addicted or tied to leave their lives to a medication that is absolutely giving control of your life to appeal to a tablet to a medication, which is not what we’re talking about. We’re actually trying to do exactly the opposite. Take control. Do it for yourself. Do what you need to do in order to have control of your life. Don’t let a physician dominate a pharmacist Don’t let them kill, tell you how and when to do what? That’s what I think is the goal from every pharmacist in general. And I think that is part of your practice objective as well.

Michele Rae, RPh  41:18  

Absolutely. We want to be part of your team, we want you to be the center. And we all want to be spokes on your wheel us your healthcare team. And we want you to minimize the medications that you need. And especially as you’re talking about, with the chronic conditions, you know, if you have you’re taking a medication that stops the acid being secreted into your gut, right, because you have a tear, or you have a reflux happening that’s caused some injury. Let’s get that healed up. Let’s figure out the right diet that prevents that from happening again. Right. anxiety, depression, stress, Are there lifestyle choices? Are there mental health practices that you can engage that are empowering that you have with you? 24 seven, like your breath like reframing right, like paying attention to your thoughts and recognizing when you’re ruminating and you’re out of the present moment, you’ve brought this up beautifully. Our physiological response, our stress response happens, whether we’re actually having the experience in the moment, or we’re reliving it from the past. Or we’re what iffing from the future. And if you can catch yourself, that hasn’t even happened yet. And if it does, I’m ready for it. And I need to put this to rest, clean up whatever is in the past that’s bugging you. So in this present moment, yes, you have stress chemicals dumped into your body that are toxic, that help you in a short term, but you don’t need that dump. If it’s something that you can clean up in your own worry for instance. So you don’t need that anti anxiety pill seven times a day, maybe twice a week. Now I really appreciate your example. I couldn’t agree more question

Marilena Grittani, RPh  43:11  

Would this apply also for people more close to my age which has parry or menopausal that are getting close to the menopause age would that because that’s another time of your life where a lot of triggers develop that are new, not been like retiring from work, not having the kids at home anymore because they left you have you’re an empty nester and that creates a lot of anxiety. If you need a new job is harder to find because there’s a lot of younger people referred than you and so many other aspects and maybe some chronic diseases that may be developing. So that is a nother level of atomic triggers to cause this kind of anxiety. So perimenopause is all people that are getting into the menopause phase and people that are ready menopause. during menopause, would they benefit from all these that we’ve been talking about for younger? Female?

Michele Rae, RPh  44:06  

I happen to think from age three on until we pass from this body. mindful living is not only teachable and learnable, but is incredibly positively impactful. And I have worked with menopausal and perimenopausal women looking at again, the lifestyle medicine things if you have alcohol in the evening does it activate your hot flashes? Right? So getting in touch with the stressors, the lifestyle medicine pieces. The other really great point that you brought up that I like to see and invite everyone to do is to take a little bit of time maybe annually, but in particular in transitions to really take a step back and look at what causes the most pleasure joy in your life. What is the meaning what is the purpose? What are the The values that you have. And they’re different when you’re 28, and 68. And so give ourselves that gift of mindful reflection. As you move forward in your children leave home, take some time to really do this inner reflection with a coach with a neighbor, with, with your spouse with yourself. Write a journal, write get an app, what is it that really brings you joy? What is it that you’ve been doing out of obligation and duty, for instance? And that’s no longer required? Can you let it go? What are things that you’ve put off that you know, you’d love to expand into? Is there a course you want to take? Is there a relationship you want to build is there right a workout program that you want to get started now that you have more flexibility and time so to take that time to look at meaning value and purpose as you co create your life again, this very big sense of empowerment And as we are talking here right now, in this COVID-19, shelter and home plays, right? It’s a great time to be having this conversation. I certainly in my coaching clients, and in my pharmacy clients, which often are both, I am seeing a much deeper conversation about, oh my goodness, I was on the fast track, I was on this automatic, totally unaware not even considering the price I was paying for something I don’t even like but I’m in the habit of it or I just didn’t even take the time to be mindful to stop and pause. So when especially in transitions, if you’re lucky once a day, like some of my peers and colleagues and clients will do a gratitude journal. And even if you don’t do a gratitude journal at night, take a few minutes in the evening to say what am i grateful for? Again, it changes our neural chemistry, but it also gives us a chance to feel Figure out what it is that brings us joy and to have more of it. Another tip on that on gratitude is what we focus on grows. There’s all kinds of great research on that. Not only what part of our brain grows like literally, neuroplasticity and neural connections, yes, plasticity and forget neurogenesis. That’s my two words. neuroplasticity is that new connections and neurogenesis is where we’re literally growing new brain cells. They happen on what we focus on. So if you take a few minutes to linger at the time of something that’s deeply satisfying, or you’re grateful for it, literally neuro chemically begins to add those endorphins, right? Those oxytocin, those feel good chemicals, and grow that part of your brain. That’s the most highly functioning. So that’s another piece around what you’re talking about with perimenopause and menopause, to take it as a time of empowerment. Yes, there’s a grieving about what we’re losing. Maybe it’s some function in our Maybe we can’t do what we used to do. Maybe it’s being a mother in this particular way. But what are you gaining? What do you want to expand? What do you want to co create in this next phase of your life can be again on that whole wellness wheel, you know, enhance well being in every aspect of our life.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  48:21  

So, let’s say that we have a couple of listeners. And this situation they’re like, sounds like me, I have that issue, I get angry and then everything goes bad I need to change I know I need to make a change. Or we have a 60 year old person that is like I just had menopause and I also had a hysterectomy and this is changing my life in so many aspects that is affecting me terribly. I need to change. So that is the first step I believe so but after that, how do they do it? How do is that a checklist is that a this is the first step that you need to do afterwards or how did they get because wanting to do it doesn’t mean that they know what needs to be done. So what do you think they should start with?

Michele Rae, RPh  49:12  

I think that you should start with sitting down and writing a list of all the things that help you relax. And very fortunate for our listeners, we’ve probably given them about 56 ideas here, right? But I would really sit down and say, first of all, what is it that activates my relaxation response that I enjoy? What do I want to do when it comes to quiet time? What do I want to do when it comes to a group time? My relationship time being in nature, pets, eating all the different things we’ve talked about? Write it down, then what are you willing to commit to give yourself some goals that are specific and measurable, right, these smart goals willing, I want to join a yoga class on Tuesday mornings, I want to talk to my sister at least once a week, right? When I get stressed. So that’s kind of how I want to build this resilience. The second is what’s in your toolbox. For when you get stressed? Do I think about my husband’s blue eyes? Take a deep breath. Right? Can I take a walk in nature? Do I stretch? Do I imagine a place on vacation? What’s my where am I going to reroute this automatic habit is conditioned reactivity. I’m going to notice I’m going to pause and then I’m going to do a practice that brings me back to the present moment and break the pattern break the cycle, so that that trigger no longer automatically without any stop without any thought, gets me riled up into anger. And if and when it Don’t catch yourself and you getting a full fledged, fight and flight. Give yourself a hug. Right? So Wow. Missed on that one. Be compassionate with yourself. Give yourself some grace here. Take a look back at it when you’re not in the reactive states. How did that slip by me? How did I go from zero to 100? And so pissed off at that driver, right that cut me off. Oh, yeah, it’s because I was so pissed off about the conversation I had with my husband and the news. I learned last week that my thyroid medicine has to go up and right and so then it’s like, Okay, again, mindful. Bring your attention to what’s actually happening inside of you and then work to resolve, release, repair…

Marilena Grittani, RPh  51:47  

And Improve!

Michele Rae, RPh  51:48  


Marilena Grittani, RPh  51:51  

And you take control, because that’s what we’re doing. We’re taking control of our own health and it’s not just one thing, one aspect, its own. It’s a holistic way we knew the center of it. I love that we already learned a lot of stuff in general, how it works and how it happened. We already understood that we are in that position, and we learn from you, what should we do to prevent it? And what are the steps to take, but I don’t think I can do it by myself. Can you help us? Is there a way that you can be there for those people that need the support and the help to do this? humongous change?

Michele Rae, RPh  52:31  

Absolutely, I am such I have the best job in my coaching world that I get to walk alongside with my clients and patients and encourage them so you can reach me and we can set up one on one coaching sessions where we check in, you know, at your distance apart. What’s the plan? Here’s what you know, I can help you dig deeper. Ask some good questions. Do some reinforcement be an accountability partner so You can make the changes to be at a new baseline. I also have group coaching around the country, I use zoom, that can happen where a small group of people that are also committed to, let’s say, living a more holistically healthy life, get together for a short period of time, maybe a couple times a week for a month or two or three. So I have a variety of different classes and coaching opportunities I offer online. I also have a list of teachable courses that are already pre recorded on a variety of topics. And so those are available. All this information is on my website, the one on one coaching that group classes that I offer, as well as the online courses that are already available.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  53:47  

Okay, so all these links are going to be posted in their website on the episode that it’s going to be The Legal Drug forward slash number 26 because this is Episode 26 or Those links are going to be there available for you. And you can reach Michelle directly because I’m telling you just talking to her, my adrenalin and all the levels of stress that I had were continue to go down and I just feel like okay, I just need a tea maybe and hang out in the back porch. I have a lot to do. So I can’t, but I would love to do that. So thank you for doing that for me, for them. And thank you for giving us a path to follow. First of all, that is doable. Secondly, that we have tools that are available therefore, and most importantly, that we have somebody that if we forget if we don’t remember if we need accountability or support, you will be there for us. So thank you for that. I truly appreciate your time. Your advice, and I think I’m going to join one of the group people because I need that as well. So would that be okay?

Michele Rae, RPh  54:58  

That would be awesome. That was be wonderful and I will offer one more resource. I wrote a book about all this stuff called Living from the center within co creating who you are becoming. And every chapter there’s 13 chapters, talks about skills, gives a guided meditation suggestion talks about exactly some of the more the science behind this, some of the research behind it the mind body connection, as well as offer some reflection questions. So if you’re looking for a self study guide, that’s another option for you to get a jumpstart on these concepts and embodying them and bringing them into your own behavior in your own life. And the other cool thing is you and I both know and probably everyone listening to this, especially for us as women, when we make a change that’s healthier, it ripples out, right, and impacts everyone in our household. Everyone we come into contact with, both personally and professionally. So it’s not just you that I encourage you to To be healthier in mind, body and spirit. It’s the health and well being of your families, your communities, and everyone you touch on. When people see the changes in you, they will ask you, how did you do it? What What did you do? And I would say, Well, I met Michelle, right? This is what it is you need to go there with her. And this is that the word say that you need to go. And then you will be as happy as I am right now and less stressed and less anxiety, even though I’m through menopause right now. So thank you for that. Thank you so very much for being here. I am so happy that we finally did this. And I appreciate you dedicated your time to the people that need to tell because we might not even be aware of meeting this. And now after listening to you, we do and we know what to do. And then we have a path of Thank you so very much. Appreciate the invitation and delighted to be a part of this podcast and a part of this amazing series. Have podcasts that you have put together. Thank you so much.

Marilena Grittani, RPh  57:04  

Well, thank you for being here. And go ahead and enjoy the rest of your day and have fun and do your favorite thing. And I will go to my husband and look at his eyes just because Thank you so much, Michelle. So there you go. That was a wonderful episode. And I hope that you all got the positive energy that Michelle brings to every conversation. And also I would love for you to take all the recommendations to help you not to be stressed or have anxiety rather than thinking about taking a pill to solve this problem. 

This is what I’m gonna do from now on, and I want to do it because well, I think that I owe you I’m feeling so uncomfortable about this summit being delayed that I’m going to start doing this for you. So I have a trivia contest. And the question for the trivia contest is what is what I do When I’m super stressed and I need to calm down, what is it that I see in my head to calm myself down? The first three people that email me to pillow at The Legal Drug Dealer calm, we’ll get a $25 gift card for Starbucks. If you are in the US, and if you are not in the US, you’re going to get a $25 Amazon card. So again, the question is, what do I think about when I am stressed and I need to relax? I said it several times. So romantic By the way, that’s a hint. Remember the first three people that email me to the first three people that email me to will get a $25 Starbucks and if you  are within the US if you’re out of the country, you will get a $25 amazon gift card. So don’t miss it. Go quickly and go write it down and send me that email. And also tell me what you think about the podcast and what would you add? And what would you take? And what is it that you have learned so far with me?

So that’s it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening. Please subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. Reviews are very important, please do it for me, because if not, we’re not going to continue growing. And if you have any questions, send it to me to I will respond to you directly, or I would include your question in one of our future episodes. Also, please visit The Legal Drug and look around and see what we have there for you. And any of the show notes that I mentioned today are going to be at in the middle of the page. If you scroll down, you will see links for this episode. Right there. You’re going to have all the links that I mentioned including the private group for the training I’m going to be doing and that private Facebook group and also all the information from Michelle, that she have given you so much that you guys shouldn’t miss it. Also, make sure you follow us on Instagram and Facebook, all the links are there as well.

For next week, I just want you to know that we’re gonna have Marian Hayes again, my pharmacy technician, and we’re going to be talking about all what you need to know about your medication, health insurance coverage, everything that is related to that it’s going to be discussing a scenario, a low long episode, but it’s gonna have everything that you need to know so you cannot miss it. 

So with that I’m done. But before I go, and just in case no one has told you today, I wanted to take a minute to remind you of how awesome you are, and how lucky are those that have you in their lives. Thank you for being the awesome you that you are. 

Have a wonderful rest of your day. 

This is Marilena Grittani, The Legal Drug Dealer. 

Bye for now.