Well Connected In All The Ways


After a morning with entrepreneurs and advocates of holistic wellbeing, I am happy to report that the mind/body connection is a real and valid thing, a shift – albeit slow and long overdue – to functional medicine continues to gain momentum, and recovery is of the utmost importance.

The group of 12 assembled for this Well Connected gathering shared knowledge from their focus areas of nutrigenomics, biohacking, hyper wellness and cryotherapy, thermic bathing (sauna), mind/body training approaches for professional, college and high school athletes, wellbeing in the workplace and core-focused extreme training. Here’s just a bit of what we all learned from everyone in the room.

The Mind/Body Connection

The undeniable powerful connection between mind and body was of heightened awareness within this group. As more science and data backs up the things wellness-minded people have been paying attention to and anecdotally sharing for years, the importance of the connection is becoming more mainstream.

There are more practices like meditation and experiences like sauna that physically and mentally ask and require us to release control, thus reducing stress and moving our minds and bodies into healthier states. Take sauna, for example. The heat commands your attention and all else falls away. Your body and mind hit reset, essentially creating a ripple effect that positively impacts your health, how you show up in the world and manage daily life and challenges. (See the Mayo study on sauna and Alzheimer’s disease; John Pederson, Stokeyard Outfitters).

We’re also really, really ready to do more to bring wellbeing into the workplace. Corporate wellness and fitness-based incentive programs fall short on addressing the whole self. Reminder, you do not check your personal self and life at the door when you punch in for work. Mental, physical and emotional health are indeed connected. Let’s acknowledge that! (Holly O’Hanlon, Live Well Lead Well and Intrust Wellness)


Functional Medicine

Functional medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual. And by the way only 5-10% of your genetic make up is predetermined when it comes to health factors. This means our behaviors and lifestyle, including what we put in and on our bodies, is within our control and can greatly impact health outcomes. (Naomi Bleecker Damask, Oh My Word)

For people who suffer from trauma, chronic pain, addictions and diseases, Western medicine and prescriptions can feel limiting as a solution. Biofeedback, the technique of controlling things in your body (such as heartbeats or brain waves) with your conscious mind, can be extremely helpful with chronic pain. Don’t believe it? We heard some compelling examples that Missy shared from her practice that allows her to help people all over the world by understanding vibrations and accessing and channeling energy. (Missy Iten, biofeedback expert)



Recovery for the body when it comes to pro, college and high school athletes is serious business. It’s more than taking a few Advil and rest days. The team at Restore can measure an individual’s heart rate see where they’re leaning to -– the parasympathetic or sympathetic nervous system – prior to any treatment or workout and use that info to info the best course of action.

Others agreed that when working with a client for a personal training session, they assess them on the spot to train and are readily able to switch the session up to help that person in the most effective way.  They might need some starter exercises to bring them to a level starting point or the session might need to be more recovery focused.

Not everyone, especially not competitive athletes, like to hear that the workout they were planning needs to be shifted to recovery mode. If these signs are ignored, the pain comes too late to take quick, effective corrective action. In other words, by the time you throw out your back reaching over to load the dishwasher, you’ve most likely ignored so many of the signals your body and mind were giving you all along to prevent the injury. Been there! (Paul Pribyl, Lifestyle Management)

Recovery and preventative action go hand in hand. That’s where core work comes in.  By incorporating instability training into your routine, you will improve strength, flexibility, balance and endurance. We might just all have to take the ZeSa Challenge that incorporates the ZeSa Activators designed with a rotating platform for this unique type of full body workout! (Cindy Vavra, ZeSa Fitness

It was also suggested that we can never really over train, we just under recover. If this is indeed the case, I want all of the recovery things. From Restore Hyper Wellness + Cryotherapy’s hyperbaric oxygen therapy to the compression therapy; and from Enerkinetix’s neuromuscular stretching to the neu-recovery current. (Damarius Travis, Kofi DeSousa, Rumeal Harris and Dustin Osdoba, Restore Hyper Wellness + Cryotherapy and Enerkinetix).


The Backstory on the Event

Well Connected: a gathering to bring together their network of MSP leaders in wellbeing to meet each other and create meaningful connections in a donut-free safe space.

The first Well Connected event was a bit of an experiment that originated in a conversation over coffee between two connector-type people, Christine Portillo and Jen Gilhoi. Rather than make a long list of email introductions, they decided to host a smaller-scale event that would bring like-minded people across a wide-range of wellbeing practices and backgrounds together.

Each attendee could share their story and their current interest/ask of others just once with the entire group. It’s a more intentional networking model. And if you’ve ever attended an event, randomly met four people then left, this format allows you to rest assured that you connected top-level with everyone there and can choose your follow-up.

We have to work smarter and connect and collaborate more as entrepreneurs who do it all. We have to avoid burnout, delegate when possible and be hyper efficient with our time. By bringing this group together, we may have planted seeds for new collaborations and growth.

We’ll have our eye on this group and the events they host and experiences they create. If you want to support these entrepreneurs, check out their website for offerings and follow them on social media — @stokeyard @livewellleadwell.co @intrustwellness @ndamask @missyiten @zesafitness @LSMFitness @fitnesspassionextractor @_ayotravieee @kofi.desouza @enerkinetix @christine_portillo @sparktracker @jengilhoi