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Be Well

EXPLORING Naturopathy & Mind-Body Medicine

Exploring Naturopathy & Mind-Body Medicine

As a multidisciplinary healer herself, our founder Jen stays beautifully curious. Our team is forever asking questions, always looking for expanders, and never assuming we know it all. It’s about remaining open to learning something new, to experimenting, to rejecting or accepting theories, and to operating on an intuitive level about what it means to self-care.

Our latest expander is naturopathic doctor, Nadia Musavvir. She, like many on her path, came into this world because modern, Western medicine failed her, because she needed to intuit the best solutions to her problems, and because she became radiantly well after doing so.

Her practice is dynamic, it’s personal, and it’s loving — and she came to it from individual struggle.

“My personal health led me into this work,” Dr. Musavvir shares. “All my life until maybe the last 5-10 years, I suffered with GI issues, persistent nausea, poor sleep. Nothing was ever given a diagnosis, and as such, it was always dismissed. I distinctly remember a doctor offering me heartburn medication ‘just to see’ if it helped. I was so put off, and at that point, I would only go to acupuncturists or take home remedies from my mom and grandma.”

There are a painful number of stories like this: We are suffering, only to be met with an “I don’t know” from the expensive, high-paid professionals we are trained to trust. Or, even worse, given generic drugs with side effects that are only meant to mask symptoms or experimentally diagnose issues. So often we are given generic advice about fiber and hydration — nothing that our very first Google search or, ehem, common sense, couldn’t answer for us early on.

Eventually, Dr. Musavvir started studying Kinesiology for her Bachelor’s of Science, and was able to focus her degree on Sports Psychology and Nutrition. She is extremely passionate about both of those areas, and they influenced the trajectory of her career in becoming a naturopathic doctor with additional training in mind-body medicine.

Dr. Musavvir’s practice philosophy is one we deeply align with.

“The body speaks to us, and it has an innate ability to heal; my role is to help you tune in and find your way back to the equilibrium of energetic, biochemical, and physical to facilitate that healing. I provide you with the tools, but ultimately you do the work. You are your own medicine, and I can help you tap into that. I believe the physical reflects the inner condition, so I approach every case like peeling an onion, peeling those outer layers until we get to the core.”

Dr. Musavvir gets to know her clients on an individual level in order to inform her plan of action.

“The healing process starts with the initial consultation. It is 60-90 minutes in length, and there is also an in-depth intake form. During our time together, I make sure my patients feel that they are being heard, that they’re able to open up, that they know it’s a safe space to do so, and that I truly care. When it comes from a genuine place, I think it comes across and people respond to that. This is imperative to my process because I work on treating the whole person — and as such, I need them to be able to know they can trust me with their whole story.”

When we asked what role energy plays in Dr. Musavvir’s practice, we were met with kinetic delight.

“Everything is energy! This is huge; energy animates the physical. Cells have 3 planes: the energetic, chemical, and physical — and health exists when those 3 planes are in harmony. More and more, I have been recommending different ways to tune frequencies [think binaural beats, aka frequency music] to patients, and am incorporating bioenergetic testing as well. I truly believe that shifting energy is what allows for physical change and healing to be facilitated.”

Dr. Musavvir uses unique protocols for cultivating optimal gut health and promoting longevity while preventing premature aging.

“Most of my protocols are individualized to each patient, but general practices I recommend for cultivating gut health and preventing premature aging? Support microbiome diversity. This is key. In order to do this, the first thing is to make sure you are properly digesting the foods you are eating. Otherwise, even the ‘healthiest’ diet can be problematic and create inflammation, which is a big trigger for aging (hence the term ‘inflammaging’).

Best ways to do this:

Avoid large quantities of beverages 1 hr before/after meals so you’re not diluting stomach acid — definitely no alkaline water right before or after meals.

Implement mindfulness practices around eating. Think deep breaths, moments of silence, prayer, etc., because digestion begins before food even enters the mouth (as you smell and see it, different enzymes start being released). Support digestion further by having some fresh squeezed lemon in water before meals, or apple cider vinegar before meals, or even a digestive enzyme.

And once food is in the mouth, chew food slowly and thoroughly!

Include fiber-rich and prebiotic foods in the diet to fuel microbial diversity… i.e. asparagus, banana, dandelion greens, endive, honey, leeks, etc.

Rotate foods, because you want to avoid eating the same foods everyday. I usually recommend people go in the produce aisle, purchase a few different vegetables not normally eaten, then blend them together and have it as a shot in the mornings so you are introducing your body to different foods, fueling diversity. Think of it like taking a prebiotic. And blend, do not juice. The fibers are what feed the gut cells and this is lost in juicing.
Avoid alcohol, refined/fried foods, environmental toxins where possible (clean personal care products, clean household cleaning products, avoiding scented items in the home, filtered water).
Incorporate antioxidant rich foods in the diet, like berries, green tea, wild caught fatty fish, sweet potatoes.”

Because so many ailments and symptoms are long left unchecked by traditional Western medicine, we wanted to know which ones she finds that prevail.

“Mineral deficiencies, for certain,” Dr. Musavvir starts. And this is a big one. Many of us are not hydrating properly, not getting rough minerals from our food, and are abusing alcohol and other recreational substances that leach our bodies of these imperative minerals we can’t produce on our own.

“Toxicity. We are inundated with chemicals [daily], and yes, the body has innate detoxification capabilities. However, we are faced with chemicals on every front: in our personal care products, cookware, cleaning products, fragrances, exhausts, heavy metals. And then electrosmog! All the EMF [electromagnetic frequency] — which, yes, makes our lives convenient — is becoming a bigger issue, and again, why I think energy is such an important factor that cannot be ignored.

We are in isolation, especially since the pandemic — people are very connected to their devices and not each other. We were meant to live in community, and community is healing. And on the topic of devices, blue lights cause disruption of circadian rhythms.”

All of these forms of toxicity have become so normalized that we don’t know how to separate ourselves from it. We must start with “detoxes” of sorts, from our devices and tech, until it becomes habitual to take breaks.

So what does self-care look like to Dr. Musavvir?

“Do it often, and do it how you need it. Self-care looks different for everyone; social media has made it seem like it has to be this complex set of materialistic rituals, but it can be as simple as returning to your breath. I take care of myself by trying to tune in and live according to the rhythms of nature/biology:
  • Rest according to the circadian rhythms of the day by sleeping before midnight, waking early, and exposing my eyes to sunlight, eating most earlier in the day and less later in the day.
  • Exercise according to the menstrual cycle — adjusting my training and eating to where I am in my menstrual cycle. i.e., HIIT week 1, heavier weights week 2-3, barre/yoga week 4.
  • Making sure to sweat/move daily, aiming for most movement earlier in the day.
  • Qi gong, breathing exercises or meditation in the mornings.
  • Castor oil packs + herbal tea in the evenings.
  • Recognize when I can push and when I need to pull back.”

We hope this conversation with Dr. Nadia Musavvir leaves you as inspired as we are to continue tapping in, listening to our bodies, and trusting it to tell us what we need.