This week on The Rhonda Swan Show Rhonda had the opportunity to sit with multifaceted woman Kara Nance. Kara Nance MD is a physician, entrepreneur, business owner, podcaster, writer, teacher, and single mother of four children ages 14-22 and she is passionate about helping people access their highest potential.
Kara is double board certified in both Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine. After over a decade of simply observing her children, family, patients, and colleagues, Kara then embarked on her own journey of self-discovery using the Enneagram, Nonviolent Communication, Resonant Healing, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.
With a minor in neuroscience from Princeton University, Kara has also spent the last decade collaborating with Dr. Judson Brewer, a craving and addiction psychiatrist at Brown University’s Center for Mindfulness. She participated in the development of the digital applications Eat Right Now, Unwinding Anxiety, and Craving To Quit and now works as an advisor and facilitator of these programs.
Rhonda Swan: Kara, given the work that you do with medicine and mindfulness, what would you say are the links that have you been able to bring out between our ability to be mindful as individuals and actually linking it to our eating habits? And how do we start linking these two together?
Kara Nance: I started practicing medicine in 2003, in the suburbs of Chicago. And it was really surprising to see that all of this training that I had, and everything that I was recommending to patients didn’t necessarily translate into true behavioral change.
A lot of people who came to see me needed to lose weight, exercise, quit certain substances, whatever it was that they needed to do.
I went and got a second board certification in obesity medicine. And I ended up starting my own medical practice in 2011. The goal was to not practice sort of conveyor belt medicine, but really to work with patients in a more holistic way, where I could really understand some of the root causes and the behaviors that I was seeing really impact their health.
I knew how to prescribe medications, use a variety of nutritional strategies, exercise science, and I could really do all of these things with patients but, it wasn’t that they didn’t know this or that they lacked the knowledge – they lacked the information about how the mind works.
They would often find themselves stuck in executing their deepest desires.
So, this sent me on a journey to learn about mindfulness based eating awareness, where I happened to meditate for the very first time.
Now I am including nonviolent communication, Enneagram, resonant healing and Jungian psychology in my work – it really helps my patients change the habits that are keeping them stuck in patterns of illness and disease.
Rhonda Swan: Can you tell us more about your modality of getting to that core root?
Kara Nance: When I meet a patient, I really get curious about what their pain point is, what is it that they want to change? What is it that they want to be different? In that moment, I really like to get curious about what other factors are going on in their lives that may be leading to the manifestation of that disease process. This is one of the reasons why I love Enneagram as well as Jungian psychology, because you’re likely to know a lot about the forces that are driving them. I also spend a lot of time focusing on instinctual drives.
Rhonda Swan: Would you say that the moment people realize that we can actually do healing within ourselves, and that we have the support and the power, the actual healing begins?
Kara Nance: Yes, also simply by giving somebody some space, to be heard with some empathy, to be able to reflect, to be able to offer some resonance around what they’re experiencing.
Rhonda Swan: What do you think the effects of Covid were on mental health, and how do we start helping alleviate this?
Kara Nance: The global pandemic showed how interconnected we really are as humans – it affected everyone across the globe. We saw that we’re really not trained on how to navigate self-care, on how to make connections, on how to have resilience for what life is going to throw our way. My belief is that the long version of COVID was actually just a cumulative stress that got to the point that the human body just couldn’t tolerate, and we really came in touch with a lot more of the suffering that was going on underneath the surface before we faced the pandemic.
Rhonda Swan: I’d love to share with everyone that you’re going to be one of the authors in the Women Gone Wild book “Intuition.” Can you share a little bit about why you said yes?
Kara Nance: I think one of the best ways to learn is to hear from those that are brave enough to talk about what didn’t work, and how we’ve gotten back into a place where we can feel much more connected and much more in flow. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to write a chapter where we talk about listening to that voice that lives inside of us that and knows how to heal ourselves. I believe that instinctual intelligence is the ultimate form of Preventative Medicine. And that’s where I’d really like to see healthcare going in general.
We’re living with all of this low level of loneliness, and this feeling of disconnection, even though we’re living at a time when we’re more connected than we’ve ever been. So that little breath of connection is often where the healing begins for many I work with these days.
This is the beginning of getting unstuck…
To learn more about Kara’s perspective on healing and connection, check this week’s episode of The Rhonda Swan Show here: