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The Wellness Doctors

The Wellness Doctors

By Ananta well-being
Two medical doctors with a holistic approach to healing get together and talk about all things to do with wellness, health, nutrition, lifestyle, disease prevention, functional medicine and alternative therapies.
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Episode 21: Training and human performance with Ian MacLeod

The Wellness Doctors

Episode 21: Training and human performance with Ian MacLeod

The Wellness Doctors

Episode 44: Another Three Things with Charles Lankester
We had a lovely time with Charles who interviewed us for his show on the Three Things, so we each came up with one thing and between the three of us made up the numbers! We talked about what is the one thing we learned so far from our time on this earth, James Bond movies, how to lose weight (and it has nothing to do with diet or exercise!), our best home-cooked dishes, telling a tiger mum the truth, swhat we would be doing if we were not doctors, and what to look forward to in 2022. You can find Charles on his Twitter and podcast Three Things
November 24, 2021
Episode 43: Vanessa’s “Three Things” with Charles Lankester
In this episode Vanessa was interviewed by Charles on the podcast “What are your Three Things” - what are the three things you would say to your 21 year old self? We explored mental health issues particularly how COVID has impacted us, farty chairs, how to be kind to oneself, open-mindedness, her passion of 2021, and what she cannot live without. This episode was originally aired on Three Things and was kindly allowed to be reproduced here. Check out Three Things on your favourite podcast platform!
September 05, 2021
Episode 42: Talking about Mental Health with Eric Kussin
Today we took a deep dive (hence slightly longer) discussion with Eric Kussin, the founder of #SameHere Global Mental Health Movement. Eric talked about how he went from being a seemingly regular guy to being pumped with 50 different combinations of psychotropic medications and lying on his bed wasted. After two and a half years he saw an integrative psychiatrist and thus started his own journey to mental health recovery. - How do we stop the stigma of mental health by storytelling to normalise mental health - What're the pros and cons of "celebrity sharing" - We're all a little "crazy" - Adverse childhood events, trauma and life (and why Eric doesn't like the phrase "It's OK to be Not OK") - STARR exercises, Sudarshan Kriya breathing and the Art of Living, "mental" hygiene, and "prescribing" other modalities of healing for mental health  You can find Eric at SameHereGlobal and the podcast We're All a little Crazy 
July 25, 2021
Episode 41: Executive coach Siobhan Barnes and what is "The Perfect Woman Imperative"
Laurena interviews a long-time friend Siobhan (pronounced Shiv-on). She is a mother, lover, writer and a soulful executive coach. She works with women who desire to do meaningful work and who desire to live, love and lead in ways that are sustainable, soul-aligned and liberating. You can connect with her 1:1 or through her workshops at 
July 19, 2021
Episode 40: The Science of Hypnotherapy with Christine Deschemin
Christine was an aeronautical engineer, then went into finance after an MBA from Harvard, and eventusally found her way to hypnotherapy - super interesting career path! She applies the same rigorous standards of science and risk management to her application of hypnotherapy, and we covered some fascinating areas of hypnosis! - medical hypnotherapy for surgeries in France; use in pre-surgical anxiety and post-surgical pain - hypnotherapy as a state of "focussed awareness", it's not sleep, not losing control and it's not placebo - using fMRI vs EEG to look at the brain's response to hypnotherapy - what is the subconscious mind? Time distortion and flow state - use of hypnotherapy for enhancing sports or peak performance - why is hypnotherapy not more mainstream!? - what is a typical hypnotherapy session like with Christine? - who is it safe for, and who shouldn't use it unless recommended by physician Mayo clinic on hypnosis  Singer who sang through surgery under hypnosis   You can find Christine at Rewed Edge or her hypnosis app UpNow
June 11, 2021
Episode 39: Healing with Reiki master Dr. Nicolette Ray
Today's guest is Dr. Nicolette Ray, a UK-trained family medicine doctor who is now teaching at the medical faculty, The University of Hong Kong. Nicolette shared her own journey of healing from Grave's disease, from nutrition, stress management, lifestyle changes, and of course- Reiki! What is Reiki? How does it "work"? Is it some kind of woo-woo energy thing? How Nicolette used Reiki on herself, on her father's heart surgery recovery, and how energy can be "sent" across the globe to help others heal from a distance Vanessa shares her experience of Reiki with Nicolette after her cervical spinal disc replacement surgery Laurena shares her experience in cardiology with using heart rate variability to help manage stress All three doctors discuss medical humanities, how to be a "healer" and not just a "doctor", and having compassion and empathy for those we help, and what a privilege it is to be able to do so.
May 07, 2021
Episode 38: Hacking quarantine, breath work and meditation with Dino Hira
Today we have a reality TV star with us! Dino is a meditation teacher, hypnotherapist, Reiki master, author of A Miner Who Wins Inner Peace, founder of The Modern Yogi Co, and the “spiritual guru” in Married At First Sight Australia Season 6!  Dino just did his quarantine in Perth so we asked him what he did to prepare for it, and hacks for staying physically, mentally and emotionally well.  We were also curious to hear about his experience in MAFS and how he dealt with the drama.  We explored different kinds of breath work and the science behind it.  We discussed Past Life Regression and what it is useful for, and what conditions and people are suitable for it (warning - this is not medical advice, speak to your healthcare professional first).  He spoke about meditation and how it literally saved his life, and we all shared our personal meditative practices that works for us. You can find Dino on Instagram as Dino_Hira or on his website
March 15, 2021
Episode 37: Self care for professionals with Alvina Foo
Alvina's journey of self care, how she uses visualisation to be kind to onself, her matcha tea ceremony, morning routines. Compassion for self and others - The Skill of Being: acceptance, observing without judging, not taking self too seriously, and we don't have to be perfect! Personalised nutrition and health, Alvina's bioindividual nutrition course and Laurena's PH360 course How coaching can help clients achieve their goals, information doesn't necessary mean behavioural changes will come about! Setting boundaries as part of self care  You can find Alvina at or IG:
March 06, 2021
Episode 36: Hashimoto's thyroiditis and nutrition with Amy Lamotte
Laurena and Vanessa interviews Amy, a clinical nutritionist and nutritional researcher, and the managing director of Vallotte Nutrigenomics Limited in Hong Kong. She also has a law degree and is a mother of 3!  Amy talks about her own health journey with her thyroid condition, which set her path to becoming a nutritionist to use food as her medicine and reverse her own autoimmune condition.  We talked about the blood test markers for hypothyroidism and what autoimmunity means  The 5R framework - Remove, Replace, Re-innoculate, Repair, Rebalance  How gut health, thyroid health and food are related in autoimmunity  Common foods to remove during the first 3 weeks of elimination diet, and how to personalise it for different people  How to improve Immune tolerance to food, toxins and other allergens  Why Amy finds stool testing useful in making a nutritional plan for her clients  What functional foods and nutrients Amy finds helpful for gut and thyroid health  Lifestyle changes that support recovery in thyroid conditions  Peptides that may be promising adjuncts in the management of thyroid conditions  You can find Amy here and you can see her a client through her virtual practice
January 01, 2021
Episode 35: Music and recovery with Paul Pellinger
Paul is an addiction counsellor and is the co-founder of Recovery Unplugged, a recovery centre which he started in 2013 and now has several locations in the US. He also started the Face the Music Foundation - a non-profit organization that helps individuals with limited means access addiction treatment, and increase support for substance abuse prevention and aftercare through music-based programs. To top it off, he is the author of : Music is Our Medicine: The Story of Recovery Unplugged. We talked about the relationship of music and drug use, how humans are unique in using music to create and connect; the rhythm, the vibrations and the lyrics all play a part in the role of helping people overcome their addiction.  Paul shared some of his personal experiences of using music to help him overcome withdrawal. He also admitted to being star-struck - don't blame him with big names like Steven Tyler, Keith Urban, and Richie Supa! How a song can anchor memory; how the lyrics give you words to process the difficult emotions; how music is a catalyst to engage everyone on the same path; and how Paul uses music to break the ice with a new client, or bring two people from the opposite sides to "bob in unison" to a song! The NOVA Southeastern university in Florida is studying Paul's method to look at the science behind it and how to create an evidence-based program for recovery. Recovery Unplugged has some impressive statistics of success behind it, so something must be working! Paul shares a tip on how to use music in your everyday life to help yourself or someone in need - gift a song!  Find out more about Paul at Recovery Unplugged and Face the Music, his book, his YouTube channel, and various mainstream media.
December 22, 2020
Episode 34: Integrative approach to psychiatry - Dr. Vanessa's interview at The INL Podcast
Now it's Vanessa's turn to be interviewed by Philip Watkins, ND and Director of Education at The INL Podcast. Philip has a background working in a mental health clinic back in Melbourne, and we delved into different topics from what is an integrative approach to understanding anxiety, how to make sense of research findings and apply that in a clinical setting, what are the laboratory testing that can be useful, how do we educate physicians and patients on the evolving treatments of mental health illnesses, how to be culturally sensitive towards patients' needs, and what Vanessa will put on her billboard. Grateful for Philip and The INL Podcast to allow us to post the episode here. Check out the INL Podcast as well on your favourite platform!
December 11, 2020
Episode 33: Holistic approach to skin health - Dr Laurena's interview at The INL Podcast
Today's podcast, Laurena was interviewed by Philip Watkins N.D. from The INL Podcast. Laurena spoke about how she went from conventional cosmetic practice to embracing a more holistic approach to skincare. Laurena's first tool in her toolbox - a very comprehensive questionnaire! Stokes and Pillsbury coined the term gut-skin axis in 2011 How food impacts our gut diversity and the health of our intestinal barrier, which then impacts on neuroinflammation and the relevance of Substance P in skin health Observational studies on acne & sugar; eczema & dairy; psoriasis & gluten; rosacea & spicy food, but there's also a lot of individuality in response, hence it's important to review all your symptoms comprehensively Why sleep, minimising sugary foods and drinks (including artificial sweeteners), drinking water and regular bowel movement are important for skin health. Then the geeky part - different kinds of microorganisms that can affect skin health; clinical signs and symptoms related to skin conditions; immune-modulating therapies and various peptides for skin conditions. And finally, Dr. Laurena's best tips for great skin (hint: they're free!) Grateful for Philip and The INL Podcast to allow us to post the episode here. Check out the INL Podcast as well on your favourite platform!
December 02, 2020
Episode 32: QEEG and Neurofeedback with Dr. Freddy Starr
Vanessa was "Starr"-struck to have Freddy Starr M.D. on the podcast to talk about brain training with neurofeedback. Dr. Starr began his career in Brain Computer Interface Technology and was trained as a psychiatrist, until he made the jump to be a "neuropractor" and was board certified in QEEG and Neurofeedback in 2007. He has been recognized as one of the "Pioneers of Neurofeedback in the past fifty years" by a group of his peers in a book entitled: Neurofeedback: The First Fifty Years. His company Myneurva has recently received a patent for using AI to analyse brain maps to improve our understanding in this field.  If you're new to this topic, this will be a great 101 podcast to get you started with the basics. (Apologies for the patchy audio, Dr. Starr's in Costa Rica where they are having biblical rainstorms) What's a brainwave? What types of brainwaves are there? How do we measure it (EEG) and what's the difference with QEEG? What does the brain map tell us when someone presents with symptoms such as anxiety or flashbacks? What's the difference between classical vs operant conditioning, and which type is neurofeedback based on Are there any side effects from neurofeedback? Can it make symptoms worse?   To find out more please go to or see Dr. Starr's bio on LinkedIn 
November 13, 2020
Episode 31: Stress, neuroplasticity and changing your mindset
In this episode, Dr. Vanessa was interviewed by Andrew Cox from Joint Dynamics, for the Joint Dynamics Intelligent Movement podcast. Andrew has kindly agreed to let us share the content on our podcast as well, thank you! We talked about the acronym N.U.T.S. for stress, the Goldilocks rule about stress and performance, how we manage our "stress bucket", how to use neuroplasticity to change the way we perceive stress, and how calm vs stressful eating can turn our genes on and off - a great example of epigenetic changes, and what general dietary guidelines would be beneficial to mental health. You can find out more on Joint Dynamics on their website
November 02, 2020
Episode 30: COVID, eating disorders and holistic care, with Dr. Jeremy Alford
Today we get to interview Dr. Jeremy Alford, a clinical psychologist based in Bali. Laurena and I met Jeremy at a health networking event in Bali, and we were impressed by Jeremy's wealth of knowledge and broad experience. So to reflect this, we have tried to cover several topics that are dear and near to us all - COVID-19, eating disorders, trauma, and healing 1) Tell us more about Choices Retreat, how it all started, how it’s different to other retreats (wellness, medical, rehab etc.) 2) How the world situation is affecting our mental health and lives 3) What can we do to help restore some balance - creating new habits, having a sense of direction and control, and keeping a hopeful, positive mindset for introspection and self-improvement 4) Jeremy's experience with eating disorders, why he founded MEEDA, how social media has affected people with eating disorders and how to adapt to technology to send the right message 5) Jeremy's experience of Ananta Well-being's consultation You can learn more about Dr Jeremy at his website, his Choices Retreat in Bali, do some guided meditations with him, or find out more about the Middle East Eating Disorders Association MEEDA
October 27, 2020
Episode 29: Optimal blood markers with Dr. Dicken Weatherby
We get to interview the rock star Dr. Dicken Weatherby, CEO and founder of Optimal DX, a training program and software for analysing blood markers with functional and optimal ranges in mind.  1) Dr. DW's background and how he came to look at functional lab ranges as his life's work, and he explains the problems with regular lab ranges (which even differ between labs) and how functional lab ranges gives us an insight into your past, present and future health 2) Where the evidence for functional lab ranges come from, and there is really no "normal" range - it all depends on which population you are looking at! Even athletes can have "sub-optimal" liver function! 3) Using a systems approach to identify areas of health issues to further drill deeper, e.g. if a patient complains of fatigue, the most relevant systems would be in adrenal health and blood sugar regulation 4) What should I do if my markers are not "optimal" but I'm not "sick enough yet" to get medicine for treatment? Well, Dr. DW wants to ask you, what does medicine mean to you? Is it a pill, or something else? 5) COVID-19 has made people more aware of co-morbidities such as obesity, cardiovascular and respiratory issues, and the immune system, and has brought nutrients into the limelight, such as vitamin D, zinc and IV vitamin C. The point is to assess you NOW to optimise your biological functioning, so we can maximise your chance of dealing with it as well as possible when you do get it You can find Dr. Weatherby at, Optimal - The Podcast, and his books Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis: Clinical Laboratory Testing from a Functional Perspective and Signs and Symptoms Analysis from a Functional Perspective
October 23, 2020
Episode 28: Financial health with integrity - Emily Chung
Laurena talks to Emily about financial health (yes, this is also part of well-being!). Different cultures have different approaches to financial planning, and Emily shared what brought her to Hong Kong and why she felt aligned with her values of integrity, with purpose and meaning, when helping others work on their financial goals. 1) Having someone with your best interest at heart and compliments your needs. It may be daunting at first and uncomfortable to share sensitive details with a stranger, so find someone you trust. 2) Building a sustainable relationship, and advice on legacy planning 3) The Five Step Action Plan: start early and build good habits; review your insurance coverage; plan for the unexpected; speak to family about goals and aspirations; make plans to pass on the wealth 4) So how much do I need to retire?! Your journey from A to B 5) How to teach and encourage children to learn good financial habits and understanding the value of costs and budgeting 6) Financial health also includes care and responsibility towards our home and our environment, which affects our health and emotional well-being 7) How Emily uses a lifeline to help clients visualise and make financial planning more tangible. You can find more about Emily at St. James' Place and her email is
October 05, 2020
Episode 27: How to become a health coach with Simon Matthews
Laurena and Vanessa finally reunited in this podcast! We warmly welcome Simon Matthews, a psychologist by training and also the CEO of WellCoaches Australia, a health coach certification program that is accredited by the NBHWC. 1) What is a health coach? Simon describes health coaching as the "engine room of lifestyle medicine". Content isn't sufficient to convince people to change their behaviour, but by being convinced that their personal values come to life when they engage in certain behaviours. 2) Skills of health coaching that are evidence-based, such as skilful conversation, motivational interviewing, appreciative enquiry 3) People make changes only when it has a personal meaning to them; also, a habit serves a purpose, so even if it appears to be "bad", we need to find another way to help them resolve the underlying reason for this habit and adopt more beneficial, healthier and sustainable options. 4) What are the pathways to becoming a health coach? Having some guidelines gives consumers confidence what they are getting, and also standardises the quality of health coaches that come from different backgrounds. 5) How to bring coaching into a clinical practice in a patient-centred approach, which is also a practitioner-rewarding approach! 6) What are the current challenges of bringing health coaching into our current healthcare system? We need to see a reform of how things are done now, to a model that encourages people to engage in healthier lifestyle choices. 7) Laurena's experience of running shared medical appointments on stress management in her clinic. 8) What people are suitable to become health coaches? Those with allied health background are in a great position if they want to be NBHWC certified later on, but those who are interested in health coaching (engineers, actors!) are also able to take these courses. 9) The million-dollar question - how do we make this financially viable for all parties involved? The user, the provider, the insurance etc.  All big journeys start with small steps! To find out more about Simon, please visit his website WellCoaches Australia , and to learn more about health coaching certification, please visit NBHWC
August 10, 2020
Episode 26: Health coaching with Stefanie
Today we interviewed Laurena’s health coach Stefanie! This is what she has to say about health coaching:  1. What is a health coach  2. What skills do you need to be an effective health coach  3. How are you different to a customer service or clinical assistant  4. What are some challenges that you face as a health coach  5. Share some of your experiences of different clients and working with different practitioners. To find out more about how to become a certified health coach, please visit  We hope you'll join in this movement towards optimal well-being!
August 03, 2020
Episode 25: EFT with Caroline Rhodes
How Caroline and Laurena met 1) What is Emotion Freedom Technique, what is tapping, and how Caroline came to use it first for herself, then family and friends, then her clients 2) Caroline runs a female-specific EFT workshop, and Laurena shares her experience of joining the workshop 3) Topics covered: trauma, sexuality, self-exploration, body image and self-awareness of our bodies, women communicating their needs 4) Caroline is going to run an online workshop to create a space for women to heal 5) Ageing vs anti-ageing hormones - how to stay youthful without injections, blades, lotions and potions! 6) Self-love and dating in this modern age Remember, it's never too late to have a happy life! ~Caroline You can find more about Caroline at the BodyGroup 
July 13, 2020
Episode 24: Mind coaching with Olivier Courret
How Vanessa and Olivier met through open water swimming in Hong Kong 1) Olivier's journey from being a triathlete, working with top level athletes, and what he learnt from these world class performers 2) 95% of what we do and how we behave is determined by our subconscious mind, so if we have 70,000 thoughts a day, how many of these thoughts are we fully aware of? 3) So where do these subconscious thoughts and beliefs come from?! How these autopilot programs can either help or limit us 4) The 6 steps to unlock your subconscious mind: self-awareness, purpose through clarify, understanding aligned, rewiring beliefs, permanence through habits, and gain momentum 5) Some techniques that Olivier use: hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming, visualisation and other meditation methods 6) Who would benefit from a mental coach - if you train your body with a personal trainer, why not train your mind with a mental coach?! You can find Olivier on Facebook or his website  And the Iron Mind documentary 
June 22, 2020
Episode 23: Interview with Alen Liaw - MD with TCM/acupuncture
Laurena and I interview a colleague Dr. Alen who's trained in both Western medicine and Chinese medicine. Truly East meets West! 1) What is Qi? It's a frequency/vibrational energy and how it is reflected in meridian points 2) In addition to yin and yang, Dr. Alen uses the Five Elements model he learnt from Nora Franglen from the UK: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water 3) The five elements relate to the four seasons, and how they support or counteract each other to create balance. When things are out of balance, this can manifest as symptoms from burnout to mania 4) Laurena's ruling element is Earth: nurturing in nature, lots of sympathy, needs to feel grounded/rooted, and has lovely voice! 5) How drinking warm instead of cold water can help with the digestive system or the "spleen"; why ruminations and over thinking depleted her spleen qi; and why deep tissue massage can unleash anger! 6) Vanessa's ruling element is (maybe?) Wood: needs to be on the move, likes to take action, can get angry when out of balance as fire will burn wood, and feels calm and nourished when there is water element (open water swimming!); prone to tendon and ligament injuries; and how to focus on supporting the liver which is the wood organ 7) Dr. Alen shares some of his experience when treating his patients using the Five Elements, from bladder cancer to grief, and how to identify someone who has Water as their ruling element just by listening to the way they speak with their voice Learn more about Dr. Alen at LifeClinic
June 08, 2020
Episode 22: Swimming with Simon Holliday
Really fascinating talk with Simon Holliday - long-distance swimmer, Splash co-founder, and corporate wellness guy.  1. Simon recalls his childhood memories of swimming, both good and bad 2. How he prepared for the English Channel swim, both mentally and physically (not the healthiest! But necessary) 3. Why Simon decided to swim from Hong Kong to Macau and the people behind this amazing feat (shout out to Doug Woodring and Shu Pu)  4. He's the SECOND official person (a respective nod to Linda McGill being the first) to swim around Hong Kong Island - how to overcome mental challenges such as feeling stuck at the same spot 5.  He co-founded Splash Foundation with Libby Alexander, a charitable organisation dedicated to helping adults and children from low income communities learn to swim. Simon talks about the importance of learning to swim for self confidence, as a life-saving skill, and the gateway sport to other water sports. 6.  We then discuss the physical and mental benefits of swimming, what specific health benefits there are to cold water swimming, and why Simon feels it's different to other sports 7.  Simon talks about his recent experience in a floatation tank - both scary and liberating 9.  How Simon relates to his day job in corporate wellness 10.  Simon combines his love of history with his passion for swimming - a sneak preview into what he's planning on swimming next year! Here are the links to Simon's amazing swims and the Splash Foundation: The Clean Cross: HK to Macau HK360: Swimming around HK Island Simon Holliday and Splash Foundation
May 30, 2020
Episode 21: Training and human performance with Ian MacLeod
Vanessa interviews Ian Mcleod - co-owner of Nirvana Strength in Canggu, Bali. 1) How Covid-19 is changing the way we exercise and train - even personal trainers are struggling with finding the motivation! 2) What makes our lives easier is also making us less strong physically, and the types of injuries we are seeing these days. 3) The philosophy of training behind Nirvana Strength - pre-hab, post-hab and structural balance 4) Training smarter - it's quality not quantity! 5) What can I get out of a Nirvana Strength Retreat? 6) Why Ian decided to do a health coaching course, and how to find a reputable course if you're interested as well 7) The Nirvana Strength Online Intensive - a 3-day online live stream summit where you can learn to optimist every aspect of your health Learn more about Ian and Nirvana Strength
April 30, 2020
Episode 20: Using Chronobiology to optimise your health
Laurena has pink "coral" hair! 1) Ananta is a launching a brand-new health coaching programme that is based on health types and chronobiology 2) What is chronobiology? It's the importance of entraining (synching) all the organs and cells in your body to a circadian rhythm that works for your body type 3) There are broadly speaking 6 health types that are based on varying degrees of where you lie on the ectomorph, endomorph or mesomorph range 4) These body types are embryological development that are influenced by genetics and the environment = Epigenetics 5) By using an evidence-based coaching programme based on your health type, you get a personalised plan that works for you to improve your physical, mental and emotional health To learn more, sign up for our free e-book on personalised health that can be downloaded from 
April 20, 2020
Episode 19: Sexuality, femininity, sisterhood and woman empowerment with Linda Moana
Today we talk with Linda, a Holistic Love and Sexuality Coach, and her journey navigating working in the finance world, her own marriage, to find her own sexuality, and how she helps others do the same. 1) Men and women both have masculine and feminine power - the Yin and Yang, but in a relationship, we truly see how feminine energy brings power to a couple, our society and the world 2) Femininity is a different kind of power, it's about intuition, creativity, flow and spontaneity 3) Vulnerability in a relationship is also a strength, setting boundaries to feel safe 4) Doing the inner work to look at our triggers and the four phases of awareness. Working on this will bring an inner calm, which is then reflected to the external world and affects people and situations around us. 5) Vibrations and Vibes! Is it woo woo?! How we are all energetic beings and we can feel others positive or negative energy around us. 6) Women in sexless marriage, and what this means to their self-worth. Not "being enough", not feeling attractive - don't just work on the outside, also work on the inside feminine energy, which can be a lot of fun! 7) Sisterhood - a safe place to empower each other and connect to our sexuality 8) Self-love is about wholeness and loving every part of yourself completely 9) Finding the right language to talk about sexuality and debunking the myths and taboos about sex and what the "norm" is 10) Learning about the female body and what pleases you, then learning how to communicate your needs to your partner. 11) "Women are like water, men are like fire" How do we get into our feminine power? Slow down and be aware. Yoga, sexual practices, breathing and not being serious or perfectionist help with sexual embodiment. Do things for fun, that includes exploring sex for fun to keep long term relationships interesting. 12) How couples work is different to couples counselling. Couples work is more somatic, i.e. eye gazing, which generates oxytocin - the bonding hormone, or belly-to-belly breathing, as examples of connection practices 13) Being present with someone is more healing than "fixing" them Expressing not repressing your emotions, but in a controlled and directed way. 14) Start your own sisterhood! In this time of social distancing, you can have online meetings and celebrate life together! You can find Linda at her website  or email
April 13, 2020
Episode 18: The Functional Fitness Series Part 2 - sports recovery
1) How Laurena found her skills as a group fitness instructor translate over to her medical professional career  2) The "fitness magic" in group classes, and the power of community to hold the space for others to open up and feel supported to change  3) How a trusting relationship with someone that can support you to break through the fear  4) The role of a health coach and finding a purpose and personal meaning when making a lifestyle change  5) Why recovery is important - it's the other twin and where you reap the benefits of exercise  6) Using Heart Rate Variability to train smarter Important aspects of recovery: rest days, sleep, nutrition, mental recovery  7) Managing the Stress Bucket
April 06, 2020
Episode 17: The Functional Fitness Series Part 1 - types of exercise
1) How did Laurena and Vanessa get into exercising  2) Sports and mental strength - how physical pain can help build discipline, confidence and resilience  3) Functional movements and how to continue it into our later years  4) How to incorporate movement into your daily life  5) Different types of exercise and their benefits: aerobic, anaerobic, HIIT, zone 2, strength, core and flexibility  6) What does exercise mean to you?  7) Most importantly, do something you love and enjoy!
March 30, 2020
Episode 16: How to interpret blood test markers for optimal health
1) Laurena is relocating her practice - change can be challenging but also good to help us calibrate and focus on what is important  2) What Vanessa and Laurena are up to with their training routine and biohacking with an NAD patch!  3) What are optimal markers? It's how we interpret standard blood test results through the lens of functional and optimal ranges to tease out any underlying conditions, this way we catch any potential issues earlier and fix them! Inflammation - hsCRP, homocysteine, ferritin, fibrinogen  4) Gut health - urea/BUN, globulin, eosinophile and MEB Oxidative stress - uric acid, homocysteine, albumin and vitamin C, GGT  5) Acid Base balance and anion gap (this one was a little geeky!)  6) Adrenal stress - cortisol and aldosterone  7) Thyroid health - TSH, T4, T3, FT4, FT3, reverse T3  Remember - these markers are to give us clues as to what our body is trying to tell us, please do not diagnose yourself based on a number and seek medical advice when interpreting these blood tests.
March 23, 2020
Episode 15: Corporate wellness with Graham Barkus
We invited Graham Barkus from The Human Factor to talk to us about corporate wellness and why it’s more important than ever to start thinking about the health and longevity of a company outside of the $ sign 1) What are the 6 important ingredients to create a healthy and positive work space 2) What are the 3 R's in corporate wellness (and it's not Reading, wRiting, aRithmetics) 3) What can we do to help companies take up on this concept and turn it into a reality You can find out more about Graham at The Human Factor 
March 16, 2020
Episode 14: Interview with Philip Watkins N.D.
Philip from The INL Podcast interviews Laurena and Vanessa.  We talked about how we discovered integrative medicine, the good, the bad and the ugly of allopathic medicine and integrative medicine (we’re not taking sides!), and what we think will help to bridge that gap and move healthcare forward.  You can learn more about Philip at The INL Podcast.
March 08, 2020
Episode 13: Breathing
What have Laurena and Vanessa been up to? Swimming and running for fun!  1) How Laurena started to learn how to "breathe" and that it helped her feel calmer, sleep better, and relax her muscles more.  2) Breathing is much more than delivering oxygen to the lungs! Reasons why people breathe through their mouths; the importance of nitric oxide, the nasal passage, the vagal tone, and effects on the rest of the body.  3) Breathing and panic attacks; longer exhalation helps to improve parasympathetic tone.  4) Laurena talks about her personal experience with sudarshan kriya and ujjayi pranayama.  5) The effects of mouth breathing on children's facial structure and their mental health.  6) How to assess "functional breathing" with Dr. Rosalba Courtney; breath hold technique to teach children how to nose breath (Konstantin Buteyko method - breath holding time)  7) The health problems with mouth breathing in adults, and increased risk of chronic diseases.  8) How to learn abdominal "belly" breathing; using Heart Math Institute's Inner Balance for coherence training and improving heart rate variability; useful apps such as Breathing and Insight Timer for 4-6/7-8 breathing or box/square breathing (which helped Vanessa' patient reduce his ADHD meds!).  9) Mouth taping, nose strips, and assessment for breathing difficulties and obstructive sleep apnoea.  Useful links: Buteyko method, Dr. Rosalba Courtney, Sudarshan Kriya 
March 01, 2020
Episode 12: How to combat the flu
Given the current covid-19 situation gripping the world, we thought it would be helpful to discuss several things we can do to strengthen our immunity and combat the flu.  Things we discussed were reducing sugar in diet, high dose vitamin C, vitamin A & D, zinc, selenium, honey, echinacea, green tea; being in nature and restful sleep.
February 23, 2020
Episode 11: Common supplements and drug-nutrient interactions
Laurena and Vanessa in hot and cold places!  1) Common supplements that we see our patients taking - fish oil, multivitamins, B complex, melatonin, & calcium; pros and cons of taking these, and things to be aware of, such as high doses or not using them in conjunction with lifestyle changes   2) Common medications and nutrient depletion - antibiotics, steroids, oral contraceptive pills, statins, proton pump inhibitors, antidepressants, mood stabilisers and paracetamol  For more resources, go here or MyTavin 
February 17, 2020
Episode 10: Healthy pregnancy with Melanie McVean
Laurena went to a temple to make offerings, Vanessa and Melanie are skiing in Japan. Melanie is a midwife and entrepreneur of No Pong - all natural anti-odourant  1) Mel's philosophy of midwifery, and what male midwives are called (It's not mid-husband!)  2) The role of a midwife in pregnancy, and Mel's common sense approach to helping women throughout pregnancy  3) Working with women on different dietary patterns, cravings and nutrient repletion after pregnancy  4) Prenatal care in Tanzania and how being active makes a difference to labour; Asian cultures with postnatal care and lactation; Iron supplementation in East Timor and increased risk of spina bifida - folate supplementation should start 3 months BEFORE pregnancy  5) Preparing for pregnancy - nutrition, rest, stress management (stress increases cortisol, reduces oxytocin and progesterone), and ENJOY  6) Common misconceptions about sleeping on your back, coffee and alcohol - use common sense!  7) Unrealistic expectations and negative emotions around pregnancy - just trust your body  8) The partner's role in a pregnancy, and how the lifestyle of the man affects the health of the pregnancy  9) How No Pong was created, and how to navigate the chemicals in skincare products with EWG's Skin Deep database Endocrine disruptors and how to replace these products without stressing too much; useful tips for detoxification 
February 09, 2020
Episode 9: How to navigate a healthy vegan diet
Happy New Year/Chinese New Year! A year's gone by quickly!   1) The Game Changers on Netflix and the Joe Rogan podcasts with Chris Kresser, and then with Chris and James Wilks in a verbal MMA   2) Vegan diet in our context is a whole-foods, 100% plant-based diet, not alcohol, corn chips and refined sugar   3) The Standard American/Australian/Asian Diet, or the Standard Modern Diet   4) Plants are full of antioxidants, polyphenols and other goodies of Nature   5) Minerals in plants and how they can be better absorbed   6) Vitamin B3 or niacin in corn and the story of the vampires! (and Vanessa got the disease name wrong the first time)   7) Herbs, spices and hormesis - Vitamin B12, omega-3, iron, carnitine and choline; blood tests for checking B12 and iron levels   8) Personalised diet - the right diet/food pattern for you in a certain period of time in your life, for a certain health status - it's constantly changing!   Links: Joe Rogan with Chris Kresser and Joe, Chris and James Wilks 
February 03, 2020
Episode 8: Skin conditions and lifestyle management
Laurena is in Bali trying to talk over the thunderstorm! Vanessa just bagged a peak at Mount Koscuiszko, and also went kayaking where she burnt her legs - so is this a problem for skin cancer?!  1) Skin cancer - UVA, UVB, balancing how to get enough vitamin D vs protecting from harmful effects of the sun; what sunscreen to use, lifestyle changes to reducing risk of skin cancer    2) Acne - causes of acne such as bacteria, sebum accumulation, inflammation and nutritional deficiency; proper skin care routine and use of probiotics; how long term antibiotics and roaccutane may have adverse effects    3) Eczema - food intolerance such as dairy, soy, wheat, some nuts and seeds    4) Rosacea - different causes such as alcohol, SIBO, H. pylori infection; investigations to rule out underlying causes; conventional treatment with antibiotics, topical treatment and nutrient repletion of vitamin A, zinc, omega-3 and omega-6 (gamma linoleic acid)    5) General tips for healthy skin: a plate of colourful vegetables; a nutrient-dense diet with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and protein; oral collagen up-regulates pathways in the body to make more collagen in your skin, bones and cartilage; adding vitamin C increases absorption of collagen; use good quality sunscreen and hydrate well    6) "Freckles" in Asian skin are not always freckles, but naevus of Hori (or Hori's naevus) and can be genetic. Seek medical advice for accurate diagnosis and treatment  Link to the app D-minder 
January 26, 2020
Episode 7: Our first guest Alvina - the Integrative Pharmacist
1) How Laurena and Alvina met. Alvina's a mother, pharmacist, and bodybuilder! 2) Alvina is an integrative pharmacist, a national fitness model winner, a published author, a businesswoman and a mother of two! 3) What led Alvina to the Integrative path was her son and helping him with his eczema 4) Dairy and eczema 5) Gluten for kids? 6) Pain management with magnesium 7) Integrative consultation for polypharmacy and how a patient of Alvina's improved in four weeks with just one simple change 8) Oral contraceptive pills Where to find Alvina 
January 19, 2020
Episode 6: Healthcare vs Sickcare
Laurena's in Ubud Bali enjoying some healing downtime while Vanessa is at home painting her nails and eating chocolate 1) Why conventional medicine is not set up to help patients with sub-optimal health 2) Ways of leveraging the power of a team structure to reach more people and provide easier access to functional medicine: 3) We talk about Health coaching, Shared care appointments, and Corporate wellness 4) Ananta Well-being online consultation Happy Holidays and see you in 2020!!
January 06, 2020
Episode 5: Ketogenic diet
Milo goes to Christmas camp!! 1) What is a ketogenic diet and how is it different to a low carb diet 2) How does one measure ketones, and why urine ketostix can be less accurate over time 3) Use of exogenous ketones 4) Dr. Laurena's patient with thyroid and gut problems while on a ketogenic diet, and what was done to improve it 5) Pitfalls of a ketogenic diet: keto breath, keto flu, thyroid, inflammation, poor sleep, lack of nutrients such as polyphenols from plants 6) Keto-cycling and some benefits of a ketogenic diet
December 30, 2019
Episode 4: Low carb diet
Laurena going from an instructor to a participant of Body Attack class; Vanessa went swimming with Dave the Dolphin!  1) Definition of a low carb diet and benefits a lot of people see  2) Quality of carbs also matter  3) Ucan superstarch; allulose a a sweetener  4) Glycemic index and personal choices of sweeteners  5) Side effects of a low carb diet  6) Who would not be suitable for a low carb diet  7) Female cycles, perimenopause and carbs
December 23, 2019
Episode 3: IBS Part Two
What Vanessa has been up to on her travels Launching Ananta Well-being! The wellness consultation service we're offering, check us out at  IBS treatment: chewing and eating food properly, healing herbs, probiotics, prebiotics, rifaxamin and herbal anti-microbials, die-off reaction, binders, manual therapies, emotional states associated with IBS, and psychological treatment.
December 16, 2019
Episode 2: IBS Part One
Eating regular meals and losing weight, based on Laurena's ph360 recommendations Judgement about food, eating intuitively Diagnostic criteria of irritable bowel syndrome Risk factors for IBS, how to assess for IBS, blood test and breathe testing for SIBO
December 09, 2019
Episode 1: Introducing Drs Laurena and Vanessa
What happens when two medical doctors venture into the wellness space? You get a podcast that talks about all the unconventional "woo woo" things which your average doctor does not tell their patients about. In this podcast, we discuss who we are, why and how we started practising functional medicine.
December 02, 2019