Interview with Jesse Hanson & Philip Jacobs on What She Said Radio

Jesse Hanson and Philip Allen Jacobs bring music to the “What She Said” studio and explain the difference Helix Healthcare Group can make in your life with Somatic Therapy. Listen to the interview or read the transcript below.

Well good morning, I mean listening to that music, Sharon, you wouldn’t think you could feel any stress. But people feel stress all the time and it’s one of the biggest complaints in our society.

Yes, we do live in a high stress society.

High stress — and we just don’t know how to get rid of it without pills or a bottle of wine.


And yoga.

I fit that in.

You fit that in right?


We have two professionals here and they are going to talk to us about how people are able to reduce their stress, and there are always new techniques. So first of all let’s introduce you to Jesse Hanson.

Yes hello.

Wave Jesse. There’s Jesse and Philip Allen Jacobs. And so, stress is big business. It is and you know, one thing I think I want to say right off the bat is that I’m calling for a paradigm shift around it, and that we always think of the cars, the kids, the whatever it is out there stressing us. And this paradigm shift can help people have a new approach to it. Stress is not something that is outside of us, it’s something that we actually consciously or unconsciously create from within us and how we relate to stress sores.

I’ve often said that when we approach our day, and we are saying, “I am so stressed, I am so stressed,” are we not reinforcing the stress that’s within ourselves? Absolutely. And even more than that, I mean you can take someone, for example, that is a more active yoga meditation practitioner, they are much less likely to say ‘I’m so stressed out, I’m so stressed out all the time’. Part of it is our own practices or our own ability to harness it.

Yah, you default to the breathing and everything else. I think it depends though. I think everybody’s different.

If you mention meditation to me, my stress level goes up. I don’t want to sit and do nothing, it makes me crazy. Like I really feel aggressively that I want to get out of here. I don’t like it at all. I don’t want to meditate on any level. I would rather get on a treadmill, that for me would be… Your form of meditation.

Well, I don’t know, I’m just saying that it must be tailor made for people, or do you find that there is a catchall? I believe it is tailor made, whatever resonates with you to bring your stress levels down and to deal with your stresses, that’s what’s important. What you find that’s going to make you feel comfortable, your perception and what you’re relating to in your external environment.

So you guys are pros and that’s what you deal with a lot of the time. So do you find that stress levels, or perceived stress levels, seem to be rising because everyone seems to be talking about it? How to reduce it, how to manage it, how to keep it out of your life, that we’ve become a little desensitized, so the forms of treating it need to change? Yes, completely agree. And even just to take your example there, you’re not alone, the anxiety coming up at the word meditation or the actual trying of it. This is again a little of a paradigm shift is that meditation is really not just sitting all properly and quietly, meditation could be the treadmill meditation, could be taking a walk with your dog, it’s really about the art of meditation, and just learning how to track our thoughts rather than become obsessed with them. And we can do that through movement, we can do that through stillness, through martial arts, through a lot of things. It’s really about the old school perception meditation is the pictures of the yogi sitting there cross-legged and hmmm-ing.

I know, my reaction is just kill me now. What if a picture of meditation was actually how you pay attention to how your feet are hitting the ground on the treadmill or walking the dog, or the breathing patterns? It’s really that we can bring the meditation into just about any activity if we shift what we think of it or how we look at it.

“I believe it is tailor made, whatever resonates with you to bring your stress levels down and to deal with your stresses, that’s what’s important.”

But is that really meditation. I mean when I’m walking, I’m not able to do anything else, I cannot go and organize my fridge or make the phone calls I’m supposed to make or all that list over there, it has to be on hold because I’m doing this. Then I feel this freedom for my mind to wander wherever. So is that your definition of meditation, or what is your definition? I would say the cleanest definition for meditation is the practice of learning to be aware of our thoughts. Even the Dalai Lama, admits that when he meditates his mind wanders. I think there’s also a misconception that meditation is no mind, just purely quiet mind, that’s maybe some small moments in meditation practice and yes the more we practice the more we can find those gaps between thoughts. But I would argue that if you are walking and you’re consciously saying that I’m not going to try and figure out my day, or have my smart phone there, and just pay attention to how you’re walking – and if your mind wanders, it wanders – that fits into my parameters of meditation. To backup what Philip was saying, in that I don’t really care if a person calls it meditation or not, what I care about is that people are starting to realize that we have a lot more control and influence over our thoughts and our emotions than I witness a lot of people perceiving, “oh I don’t know, it’s just happening, the thoughts are coming from nowhere.” There is a way that when you look at the neuroscience of it, there’s a way that it is happening from a place inside of us, it’s originating from within not something that’s hitting us from the out.

Now from the stress we live with day to day, maybe we just think of it as a mental thing, but what are other ways that stress can manifest itself in a person. It can be anything from aches and pains in the body, headaches, fibromyalgia, arthritis, any sort of autoimmune disease. Auto immune disease is a big issue now a day, when we are dealing with stressed, because we are perceiving an external attack on ourselves, but it’s something that we are manifesting in ourselves, and our immune system actually follows where our mind goes and where our stress goes and how it’s manifesting. So physical manifestations of any sort of stress response and how we are perceiving that.

So, it is never too late to start to arrest the stress situation in our lives. I guess it’s something that as a parent perhaps you want to start teaching the younger generation earlier, like a lot of people in my generation are just coming around to figuring out that we can utilize techniques to manage our stress, but we should be teaching our kids to do that too. Thank you so much for bringing that up. That’s such a valuable point, and it’s something that we are starting to see, but it’s also something that at Helix, where Philip and I work, we’re getting more and more people under the age of 19 that are just so inundated with stress. The parents have no idea what to do or how to deal with it, and these kids want these extra tools. I think it’s becoming more recognized, there’s a value to that. I know as a kid, and I was a kid once, I’d much rather learn about stress management and mindfulness than trigonometry.

Ha-ha, true. Or something like that that got prioritized when I was in school. You know you need to learn this but don’t worry about learning how to breathe or learning how to deal with stress.

Does stress equal pressure. I mean people who are at work, they’re on a deadline, they’re always on a deadline, they’re always watching for the next young thing that’s going to come and take their job or their promotion. Or you know that feeling of always being over programmed? I mean children go to school, and they’re being taught everything else, and then they’re having to go outside for math, outside for English because they’re getting all kinds of other things that they didn’t used to, because the parents aren’t home and can’t, and the parents are being told, “they need physical exercise or they’re going to be obese.” So then they’re involved in lord knows what else and they’re running all day long. So the pressure we experience as adults in our corporate jobs or whatever the job is, is being transferred onto the children in whatever forms you just named, and Dr. Gabor Mate, is an amazing doctor who’s writing a book right now called, “Toxic Culture.” And it’s about the ideas of about, it’s not just an individual problem, it’s really about how our culture is promoting this and pushing it in terms of what you just described.

Now I don’t know whether you’re able to talk about this but I know people who’ve travelled or come back, who’ve gone to Europe let’s say and they’ve spent two years in Italy and come back and said, “you know, they work to live as opposed to living to work.” And that’s their first takeaway from a 2 week timeframe somewhere, so this isn’t globally an issue, is this more North American? North America. Yah, the Westernized. The developed countries. If we were to look at the nervous systems in terms of North Americans vs. Europeans or of Africans, or whatever it is, I strongly imagine that we would see a hyperactive nervous system trend in North America. If we were to drop into other places, especially developing countries, it’s just not going to be the same level of stress activation. When I was 19, I traveled to India, had the same exact experience, I was like wow I just left my college roommate who live in Washington DC and got a ton of money, he was all stressed and upset because a rock hit the windshield of his BMW and then I went to India and I saw people that didn’t have food and were making mud cakes to build a house and they were so happy.

Well in the middle of New Deli, they’re putting a blanket down, the whole family lays down and goes to bed. We need to talk more about that and what people should do, how can we change that cultural bias about being pressured. And we want to talk about sound therapy. You brought some pretty cool things in and we’re going to have a listen of them while we’re on the radio and want to talk a little about that too. Very interesting and exciting things to talk about so don’t go anywhere. This is, “What She Said,” on serious XM, 167 Canada Talks.

“I often tell people when they are experiencing sound therapy, it’s a practice in learning what vibrations and frequencies bring you up and lift you, vs. calm you, vs. annoy you.”

Sharon Caddy in studio with Cathleen Bentley and our guests Jesse Hansen and Philip Allen Jacobs and we’re talking about stress and more importantly, getting rid of some of it. And before the break we talked a little bit about, or mentioned sound therapy, which “sounds” good to me but what is it in essence? I’ll answer this one briefly; it’s to recognize that underneath the stories that we tell ourselves about the name and all these things in our world, that underneath all that, everything is vibration. If you look at neuroscience, quantum physics, it’s all the world of vibration, so if we want to help tune ourselves through sound we’ve selected different instruments here that are tuned to different parts of the body, different frequencies. I would say that 90% of people who experience it, instantly go into a sort of relaxed meditative state. There is a constituency of people that find it annoying or intrusive or oh my god I just don’t want to sit still as you’ve been expressing, and that is ok too. There’s no right or wrong, there’s so many ways to work with stress.

So is this in essence that same thing as some people, the sounds of the city makes them vibrant and excited or relaxed and other people the sound of the city drives them nuts and they can’t be anywhere near it?

Well said, and I often tell people when they are experiencing sound therapy, it’s a practice in learning what vibrations and frequencies bring you up and lift you, vs. calm you, vs. annoy you, vs. you fall in love with them, and all these instruments, we have many more back at Helix. But the ones we brought today, it’s a chance to notice, “wow that really deep resonant sound I love that, but the high pitch ones I hated that.” That’s not right or wrong, good or bad, it’s just giving ourselves scientific information about how our nervous system operates.

So if you have a client that expresses a like or a dislike for certain sounds, I’m assuming you run them through a range, does that tell you something about them? Very much so. You can listen to them and their response to the sounds and figure out where the imbalance is to help them find their balance.

And once you’ve found your balance for example, the sound that you’re going to, we’re going to hear this in a minute, it drives me crazy, I’m ready for a Tylenol, but love the sound, I love thunderstorms, I love the sound of the city, I don’t mind that ambient dogs barking, cars honking, and I love the sound of lapping water, I could do lapping water, sit on a beach and listen to the water lap, at a high volume for the rest of my life. If that was going to be eternity, that and the odd thunderstorm I’d be happy. I hear yah, and the thing to keep in mind about how we work is not just with sound therapy, it’s integrated with psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and so for example if we learned a certain frequency is preferred or un-preferred, or agitated a person, we can look at what does that relate to psychologically, what does that relate to in terms of their development? Why is it when one person loves the buzz of the city and yet another person doesn’t like it, the ultimate, and what I believe in, is being able to tolerate it and be with all the different sounds and vibrations that are out there from city streets to lapping water to sound therapy, that would symbolize a nervous system that is running very fluidly, that these sounds and vibrations aren’t getting stuck.

Ok, so lets say my situation there’s certain things I like, certain things that Sharon may like and certain things we don’t. So that to you signifies that we’re not totally balanced in that sense, and you would want to balance us. So how would you do that? Again we would integrate psychotherapy, hypnotherapy sound therapy, acupuncture, we would bring together about 15 different disciplines, not every single client of ours does every single one but we would work to look at underlying origins of where did that imprint get put into the nervous system that certain sounds mean something to someone. Right, different sounds mean something to someone else. Go ahead. For example, if you feel irritated by a certain sound we would look at cause and the root of irritation cause the sound is actually resonating, bringing out the irritation in us, we want to look at that psychologically of where that stems from. We want to work on that. Like you said, I just want to run out of here, has that ever happened before, have there been other moments in your life.

So explain what you’re about to show us. While Phil is about to play the quartz crystal bowls, quartz crystal is a conductor of electricity in just about every electronic device on the planet, conveniently it’s also what’s in our bones, that makes electricity move through our bones, it’s in our bone structure.

Really? ­­Very fascinating. I say the bowls are singing to your bones and if there are holdings and tensions in the muscles around the bones that’s what the agitations are, that’s what you are physically experiencing is the bowls are trying to send electricity through your body and your body is saying, “No! I don’t want that.” For some reason, and there’s no judgment on it, it’s like a scientist doing an experiment, let’s be curious, I’m going to be playing the didgeridoo and the Hum Drum, which the didgeridoo is more like the rumble of a subway, you may enjoy that one, but it’s very much considered an Earth instrument, or a sort of grounding instrument, where the bowls and the hum are lifting up.

So while you get prepared to play this stuff for us, I’m going to mention you’re listing to, “What She Said,” on Serious XM, 167 Canada Talks and we are chatting with our guest Jesse Hanson and Philip Allen Jacobs, we’re talking about stress reduction and right at this moment we’re talking about sound therapy. Now if you want to see what they’re doing we’re also currently broadcasting on Periscope, so if you go to our Periscope on What She Said, 167 you can sort of see for yourself, and actually if you don’t follow us on Periscope or you’re finding this later on YouTube you’ll be able to check it out too. So ok guys, let’s have a listen.

(Instruments play)

Ok, and the Didgeridoo.

(Instruments play)

So Christine, what did that do for you?

Um, I’m not sure, I mean I’m fairly relaxed; I’m not sure, like how would that work? Would you listen to five minutes of it or an hour of it? The way we normally do is that someone would have already have gone through a Psychotherapy process.

What is a Psychotherapeutic process? Psychotherapy is a way of looking at why for example do I love the sound of subways and not like the sounds of crystal bowls, or what those other things are. They’re coming into a session with Philip often with already an opening inside, they’re already in a vulnerable place and they may have just spent time learning how to interact with a wounded part inside that is maybe driving stress, or driving addictions, or whatever. And so normally the sessions are about fifty minutes and it’s also combined with acupuncture if people are ok with that. Not always, but it is available. And it’s really a form of just being there and listening and often times our clients will have visions or awareness around that psychological material.

So let me put you on the spot here and ask you a question. Can you think of a client who came in, your best case scenario, in a very wounded place and was healed and how long that took? Yah, I would love a case scenario, if you’re going to allow me to go to one of the best case scenarios, I’m thinking of a woman that came to us after about fifteen years of going to a traditional talk therapy. The main trauma was a car wreck from about twenty years ago and it just kept eating her up inside, and within two visits, two hours each — one was a therapy session and followed by Philip’s work — her symptoms were gone. Her symptoms were sleeplessness, to headaches, to fear of being in a car to fear of being abandoned by her husband to, it just amplified all these phobias, and her symptoms were gone. She continued to come and get stronger and stronger, but within two visits, because of the type of work we do. It’s called somatic therapy, which Carmen had talked to you about last year.

So you know we tend to think when we have those kinds of symptoms that there’s something wrong with our body and what we’re really finding out here today is that very often that often has nothing to do with the body, the body is merely expressing symptoms from the brain. So are you essentially breaking the connection and reconnecting the thought process? The clinical term is called neuroplasticity. It’s the process of reprogramming the brain and interrupting the old destructive painful neurocircuitry, for this woman and the phobias, and reinstalling it with something healthy and positive.

So let me ask you, and this sounds leading edge to me. Very cutting edge, yah, I actually moved here from California years ago, so it’s very West Coast if you will, ironically UofT just did a study to show the effectiveness of sound therapy, and now it’s starting to be used in Hospitals in Canada. It’s been in Hospitals in California for a while, but now they’re using it pre and post operatively in hospitals and UofT just did a study.

So where would people who are interesting in finding out more, what website would they go to? and Those are our two main sites that go and we have a video on sound therapy that goes into a pretty good definition and explanation in about 2 minutes, as well as everything else we do, so

Well thanks guys for coming in and sharing with us, and as we say goodbye to our friends on Periscope we go to a break and when we come back, Business and office efficiencies, and how to implement some rules that add up to big productivity changes, that and a whole lot more, Christine and I have some things to chat about. That’s all coming up when we come back on, “What She Said,” Canada Talks, Channel 167.

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