About Danielle Pashko
After losing her mother to breast cancer and having an absent father, Danielle Pashko was living as a teenager on her own in Manhattan. She worked as a model to support herself, although much of her free time was spent studying yoga, massage, holistic nutrition and healing modalities. While later working as the “go to” practitioner for everyone's health issues she, ironically, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Her strongly ingrained philosophy of restrictive eating and physical discipline had to be questioned. “Was drinking green juice, going gluten free, veganism and a daily yoga practice a cure all?” Danielle believes that we can take all the external measures in the world to achieve health and happiness, but there are never any guarantees. Smile At Your Challenges: It takes more than just going gluten-free, drinking green juice, and practicing yoga to solve your problems
is her personal story of overcoming unexpected obstacles (in all areas of life) and even having humor about it. We plan and God laughs, but there's always a reason behind our circumstance. Replete with anecdotes and observations about the human condition, this is a book that invites thoughtful consideration of our relationships with others, our relationship with a higher power and, most importantly, the ongoing relationship we nurture – or should be nurturing – with our own selves.
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02:48 Danielle’s Integrative Medicine Journey: When Danielle was a child, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. After trying the traditional treatment route, her mother turned to alternative treatments, meditation and affirmations. She died when Danielle was 13. This event precipitated her taking ownership of her own health. At 18 she studied with a healer, started doing body work, reiki, and polarity therapy. She received her massage therapy license and also began teaching yoga. She also earned her degree in nutrition. Her own health issues were caused by stress. This opened her eyes to the importance of managing our emotions rather than bottling them inside.
06:02 The Impact of Unreleased Emotion: Your body has 7 chakras. Each chakra is related to an emotion and an organ. Your energy should flow from the crown of your head to the base of the spine. If you are not communicating, the energy is not flowing there and we can experience illness. The body is in dis-ease. Danielle developed thyroid cancer and links it to her throat chakra, the focus of communication. Emotions are tied into our organs. Through psychoneuroimmunology, we can look at alternative methods through the quantifications of western science, connecting thoughts and the immune system, the metabolic system and endocrine system.
08:38 Processing Emotion: We are human and everyone has a place where they are locked, having challenges expressing and processing emotion. People assume that yoga or meditation instructors have it together, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Healthcare practitioners are exposed to many different negative emotions from ill people. It is important to listen to patients to assess their mental state, environment, job and relationships.
10:19 Smile at Your Challenges: Wayne Dyer said “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” When you are going through something difficult, it is so hard to say that it is for the growth of your soul. It makes a huge difference when you can. We have a common theme in our lives. When it occurs, you need to question what it is really about. It is not meant to be a punishment. It is good to look ahead. Imagine yourself working through it and see what the outcome might be and how it might change your life.
12:48 Strategies for Processing Challenges: Yoga and meditation are different. Some meditation occurs during yoga. Meditation and visualization are important for Danielle. She meditates at the end of the day. She visualizes what she wants to occur. She visualizes her body as being healthy and well.
15:49 The Importance of Perspective: Don’t made big deals out of small stuff. Obsessing over health and weight is unhealthy. Life should be enjoyable. Find ways to enjoy yourself.
16:20 Blue Zones: Dan Buettner discovered Blue Zones while doing research on the world’s longest lived people and how they were successful in living so long. Many of the areas where these people lived were in the Mediterranean and orient. They are called Blue Zones because he circled them in blue on a map. In these places, people ate whole organic non-GMO foods. They also had community, love in their lives and great relationships with their family, and faith. They exercised, but did so gently and did things that brought joy. It is close to the way our ancestor’s lived.
19:28 Positive People: Surround yourself with positive people. It is scary to pull away from people to improve your social connections. You have to think about how you feel when you are with them. Their limitations influence your belief system. Surround yourself with people who are going to push you and have achieved more than you. Stay away from people who bring you down. Where friends are concerned, it is about quality, not quantity.
22:02 Nutrition and Lifestyle Changes: Danielle and her partner, Oz Garcia, do a full medical diagnostic workup to see what is going on with their client. Take into consideration their blood type, hormones, deficiencies, and food allergies before recommending a diet for weight loss. Danielle also has clients who want a lifestyle change. New Yorkers have pressure filled, stressful lifestyles.
24:03 Travel Strategies: It is important to have healthy snacks with you, perhaps shakes and bars. You can get fish anywhere you go. Don’t let yourself go too many hours being hungry.
26:30 Sleep Strategies: It is all individual. L-thiamine, magnesium, 5-HTP, or phenbuterol can be effective. Some of us do well with supplemental melatonin. Meditation or HeartMath, bringing you into a parasympathetic state, helps as well. Avoid electronics at night. Set limits and boundaries.
22:36 Danielle’s Favorite Nutrient/Supplement: Probiotics are her favorite. They make her feel great. They regulate her digestion. Probiotics are good for our overall immune system and health.
34:25 Danielle’s Elevator Pitch: Be happy. Smile more.