The Mind-Body Connection: Find Pain, Stress & Anxiety Relief | Dr Amy Novotny

Experiencing chronic pain or anxiety? The answer to relief could be held in your body.

There's no question that our minds and bodies are connected, but did you know that our bodies have a direct connection to our spirit as well? In fact, some have said that the body is actually the soul's subconscious.

On today’s show, we aim to answer burning questions like how exactly is it that our bodies can affect our minds, and our minds affect our bodies….which ultimately end up affecting our soul...and we provide some tips to help you fix those challenges you're experiencing, once and for all!

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We learn:
1. How stress and worry can cause physical pain without any detectable medical issues.

2. How movement and posture can be used to relax and reduce pain.

3. How to transition from fight-or-flight mode to relaxation mode through mindful techniques and awareness.

And a whole lot more!

"When you have stress, I mean, there's hormonal changes, there's gut issues. But one of the least talked about areas is how your body physically changes in response to whatever stress or you have, whether it's mental, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and the body starts to change physically. So it's more than saying, hey, Will, you need to relax, chill, man. You can't just do that to someone and expect them to know how to do that." – Dr. Amy Novotny

Dr Amy Novotny learned that physical and mental stress can lead to physical changes in the body, and that the muscles can contract without our awareness. She works with clients to help them understand how to relax and how to position their body to reduce pain. She also encourages them to stabilize their new relaxed position to become comfortable with it so that the muscles don't revert back to the old habits. Through her teachings, her clients learn how to reduce pain and create a new, relaxed positions for their bodies.

Dr. Amy Novotny is the founder of the PABR Institute, an organization dedicated to providing naturalistic treatments for pain, stress, and anxiety relief. With 13 years of experience treating a wide range of patient populations in various settings, she has helped countless people reduce and even eliminate pain, stress, anxiety, orthopedic surgeries, sleep issues, and the need for medications.

Dr Amy Novotny’s Books

Other episodes you'll enjoy:
Vibrational Frequencies of Emotions

Medical Astrology and other Metaphysical Medicine

The Healing Power of Pleasure

Dr. Amy Novotny founded the PABR® Institute with the mission to provide pain, stress and anxiety relief to those who seek a naturalistic form of treatment when other treatment methods have fallen short. Her unique approach comes from her experience treating in a variety of settings and with a wide range of patient populations over the past 13 years.

Her background in orthopedics, sports, geriatrics, balance disorders, nerve injuries, and most recently, chronic pain; and influences from coursework at the Postural Restoration Institute gave her the foundation to develop this treatment method to address a wide variety of painful and restrictive conditions. Her methods have helped countless people reduce and eliminate pain, stress, anxiety, orthopedic surgeries, sleep issues and the need for medications.

She co-authored two Amazon #1 Best-Selling books Don’t Quit: Stories of Persistence, Courage and Faith and Success Habits of Super Achievers, which share her journey on how and why she developed the PABR® Method.

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Amy Novotny

Will: [00:00:00] Karen? Yes. Wouldn't it be nice to live pain free? Oh my gosh, that would be so nice. So nice, right? Like so nice. I don't even know what that's like anymore. . Sadly that is the case. So sorry. Pain or less pain. Oh yeah. Well you know, there there's been a lot of talk about the mind body connection. Mm-hmm. , right.

Some people even say that we're a three body being like mind, body, soul. Mm-hmm. . And intellectually it's really easy to understand that. Sure. Have you ever really stopped to think about what that means? Actually, I

Karen: have . You have? See I'm in this podcast. We talk about

Will: this stuff. . Oh, thank God for you, . Well, I, it's only been very recently that I started thinking like, how, how is it that this stuff is connected?

Right. For example, like how, the fact that I think that I have pain somewhere actually, B, that have pain there, even though there's really no scientific explanation, right? You've had these random pains all of a sudden somewhere. You don't know where it's why it's [00:01:00] from. Mm-hmm. . Right? And then how does our nervous system actually play a part in adding to our stress or an anxiety even causing insomnia? Good question. Right. These are all great questions, and on today's show, we are gonna answer all those burning questions that you, Karen, have had for so long . Yes. Yep. Now, by the time the episode is over, you'll know exactly how it is that our bodies can affect our minds, and our minds can affect our bodies, which ultimately, Affecting our soul, but will I be able to

Karen: be paying free?

Will: Yes, you will if you follow our guest's methods and we'll talk more about that. But for now, welcome to another episode of The Skeptic Meta Physicians.



Will: Have you ever thought how much your words might affect other people? Well, if you've thought about that like I have in the past, then this story might be right up your alley. It's about a group of frogs, and as they were traveling through the woods, two of them fell into a deep pit. Well, when the other frogs crowded around the pit and saw how deep it was, they told the two frogs.

There was no hope left for them. They were garners for sure. However, the two frogs decided to ignore what the others were saying and proceeded to try and jump out of the pit regardless. Well, despite their efforts, the group of frogs at the [00:03:00] top of the pit were still saying, you just give up. They'd never make it out.

There's no way, no possible way that they could ever jump out of that pit. .

one of the frogs finally listened to what the others were saying. gave up, falling down to his death, but the other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Again, the crowd of frogs yelled at top of their lungs to stop the pain and just allow himself to go.

Well, he jumped even harder and harder until finally he made it. When he got out, the other frogs rushed to him and say, Hey. Oh, did you not hear? Did you, didn't you hear what we said? Well, the frog looked at them strangely and said, I'm sorry. I don't know what you're saying. I'm deaf. I just thought that you were encouraging me the entire time.

Well, as you can imagine, the moral of the story is that people's words can't have a huge effect on others'. [00:04:00] So before you say something that you think might affect someone else's life, maybe you should think about it before it comes outta your mouth


Will: .

Okay, Karen. It's the part of the show that everybody's been waiting for. the part where we stop talking so much.

Karen: I was just gonna say where you stop talking , but I was trying to be nice

Will: where have to be me, where we, we stop talking so much. We get to listen, to and learn from someone who's so much more brilliant than us.

Today we have Dr. Amy Nav. I hope I didn't just butcher her name, but she founded the P A B R Institute. What that is, we'll go into shortly, but if you're not familiar, it's an astounding place with the mission to provide pains, stress, and anxiety relief to those who are looking for naturalistic form of treatment when other treatment methods have failed.

Sounds fantastic. Yeah. Now she's got a background in orthopedics, sports, geriatrics, balanced disorders, nerve injuries, [00:05:00] and most recently, Karen Chronic. Her unique approach comes from her experience treating in a variety of settings and with a wide range of patient populations over the past 13 years, and they've helped. Countless people reduce and even eliminate pain, stress, anxiety, orthopedic surgeries, sleep issues, even the need for medications.

Wow. And she's done this all over the world. Oh my gosh. Well, let's welcome Amy Nivan to the show. Amy, thank you so much for coming on and sharing of your expertise with us.

Dr. Novotny: Thanks for having me on. Will and Karen. It's a pleasure to be here. Nice

Will: foremost, I, well, I gotta ask you, did I butcher your.

Dr. Novotny: No, you got the last name right? Nav is correct.

Will: Yes.

Dr. Novotny: rare. So good job.

Will: finally got one, right? Karen Well, the,

Karen: you gotta work on Amy though. .

Will: Yeah,

Dr. Novotny: That's a hard one.

Will: That's my next on my list. the first question that comes right to mind, I said it in the introduction, what is the [00:06:00] P A B R method?

Dr. Novotny: Sure. So it's, so P A B R stands for pain awareness, breathing relief. What we're doing is we're working to get someone out of their pain, whether it's physical, mental, emotional, body, whatever it is, into relief by first working on awareness. Awareness of how the nervous system is behaving, awareness of how the body is positioned using breathing. Mechanic changes. So not really breath work, but how your mechanics are working and those two set the stage for giving you relief. So it's a lot of nervous system work is what we're truly doing to get someone to feel how they can control getting out of fight or flight mode, into relaxation mode to release whatever needs to be released out of the body.

Will: you hear a lot about the fact that people hold under stress and their stress actually causes a lot of physical maladies that [00:07:00] come, come about. Mm-hmm. , is that kind of what you're trying to get to? Or you're trying to relax the body enough so that you don't manifest these types of ailments?

Dr. Novotny: Yes. So when people have various aches and pains and illnesses, there is a huge component of stress that's involved in it. It, it sets off a cascade of reactions throughout the body when you have stress. I mean, there's hormonal changes, there's gut issues, but one of the least talked about areas is how your body physically changes in response to whatever stressor you have, whether it's mental, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical.

and the body starts to change physically. So it's more than saying, Hey, will you need to relax, chill, man. Like you can't just do that to someone and expect them to know how to do that.

Will: mean, you're not wrong, but you know,

Dr. Novotny: Yeah, and obviously it would be great if we could just snap our fingers and say, woo, okay, I'm completely relaxed. But the problem is when we have those stressful [00:08:00] events, the muscles change their behavior. when they change their behavior, they start to change and shift your body and shift the position of your body. And this is all happening without your awareness. That's why awareness is so. Critical as part of this process because your body's slightly changing every single day without your awareness. And then one day you're like, okay, I really need to chill. I need to relax. And you can't because you don't know how to, because your body is now in a position where you are not physically capable of relaxing and letting go and releasing whatever stress or emotional trauma was stored in your body.

And that's when people get. And that's also when they get annoyed. When someone tells 'em, well just relax. And they're like, I can't

Will: I'm sorry Karen. I'm sorry. I won't do it again.

Dr. Novotny: yes.

Will: so it's, it's fortuitous that you're here today because both Karen and I have some of these things that we would [00:09:00] love to talk to you about because we've been dealing with them for such a long time. But the que, before we get into it, the question that I would have, How?

How is it possible that our minds can actually make our bodies alter themselves?

Dr. Novotny: Mm-hmm. . So when we think about, okay, let's say we have a stressor. Let's say you're gonna miss a plane. Okay? All of a sudden that kicks off cortisol and adrenaline. But what happens really as well is your body is triggered to go into a fight or flight mode, and the muscles start to tighten up around your body, your ribcage lifts. your breathing mechanics now go into a fight or flight mode. Now you are put on edge throughout your body. Now the mental stressor is perceived at a greater danger and there's, there's this whole process that happens. There's more to it, but those are like kinda the basic steps [00:10:00] and this truly becomes then, a problem for your physical body.

And if your body was not already, not in like a neutral, free flowing position and you have this change that's happening, that's when muscles pull your joints and tissues outta position and you start to develop pain. So you could literally just be having I'm, oh my gosh, I'm gonna miss my flight and develop back.

It could be simply, simply as you are thinking about that you're racing through the airport, you're back physically, nothing's happening to it, but you develop pain because of this phenomenon happening.

Will: Wow.

Karen: See, and that happens so often. I mean, you think, you know, someone hits you in the face, you're gonna react to that and you'll have that fight or flight mode, but, even, you know, sitting the day before a meeting at work that you know is just gonna suck. You know, you have to fire someone or you might get fired or something like that, that triggers so much anxiety.

You know, you end up with a stomach ache, a headache, you're not sleeping. I mean, all of that stuff. Hmm. [00:11:00] And that's just from sitting there thinking,

Will: and, and I've even heard of cases where you're that stressed, you're that anxious that you actually. I mean, I hate to say this cause it's super controversial, but could you possibly give yourself something like cancer for example, because your body's, whether it's dis, dis-ease.

Dr. Novotny: there's a lot of evidence out there pointing towards that, that the amount of stress you have and the worry you have creates the situation Our brain follows. a lot of our tasks. And just like Karen, your example right there, thinking about a meeting that's gonna happen the next day, your brain doesn't often know what is true reality right now and what is the future.

So if you are thinking about something in the future, but you're worried about it, you're. Your body responds as if that's your reality now. So it starts to set the stage for that. So there, that's why there's a lot of studies now looking at this whole idea of, okay, you're worried about cancer, you're worried about.

[00:12:00] Another health condition and all of a sudden it pops up and it stays there and it's, it's a lot more common than we would like to think. But, and it's also why there's this huge push right now is to work on your mindset, work on your beliefs, what is truly reality in your thoughts, and it's. extremely important.

I just was working with a client and she was talking about how she's always hypervigilant and she examines the facial expressions of anyone in the room with her. So she's walking through the airport, she's wa looking at all the people. And she's examining the face. She's like, oh, okay. That person's gonna be nice to me.

That person's not gonna like me. And we had to walk through her being able to stop creating these scenarios because her body was responding to these scenarios of people not liking her. And she didn't even realize, she doesn't even know what's going on in their head. They could be thinking about something [00:13:00] else.

Will: Hmm.

Dr. Novotny: But this happens and, and I'm using that an example, but it happens to us all the time. Every single one of us.

Karen: Yeah. And I like how you phrased it that you know, it could be, it's something in the future, but your body doesn't realize that and it puts it in its, its present. I mean, you don't know. The meeting could be fine. You might be getting a promotion not getting fired, but you just. , plant this seed in yourself and it tears you up.

Right. And

Will: we've already talked a lot about the, the reality of manifestation and things like that. So I can only imagine when you're living in that vibrational rate, you cause a lot of these things to actually happen. So it's, uh, it's a lose lose situation. Mm-hmm. . So then when I'm hearing you say, doc, is that.

Karen's awful back. Pain is caused because she lives with me. The stress of having to live with me every day, , that's what I'm hearing. Loud and clear, right?

Dr. Novotny: Highly possible,

Will: Oh, no, that was not the answer. I was gonna,

Karen: I lived with you for about 10 years before it happened, so I blame it on Covid. Oh, I, you know, we, it, [00:14:00] it's, I just became very sedentary for those two years.

My daughter and I have a blood thing, so we were super careful. We barely left the house, especially for that first year when nobody knew what was going.

Dr. Novotny: Yeah,

Karen: sitting working on the laptop, on the couch, , you know, for days on end. It's just, it's messed up my back, I think. But I'm not really doing that as much anymore, so it should be getting a little better.

Dr. Novotny: that's good. There's also, during Covid, there's some habits you probably, um, developed as well in how you.

Will: of ice cream a day. Oh, that's just me. Sorry. Oh.

Dr. Novotny: Yes. But when you were in that position, sitting or doing whatever you were during the year that you were kind of locked up, there were some habits that developed and your body highly likely doesn't know how to get out of them.

So, Most people have some type of back pain because the ribcage changes position in as a result of stressors that cause the muscles to pull on them in an abnormal [00:15:00] way. Sometimes we position ourselves in a way too that creates more back pain, and this is often very controversial. The next thing I'm gonna say,

Will: Ooh, I like those

Dr. Novotny: So we are taught to stand chest out, shoulders back, suck up your gut like Superman or a military posture that often blocks us up and creates more back pain.

It does because when you lift up the front of your ribs and you can feel this, if you try to sit in that perfect posture, your chest goes forward and up your pull your shoulders back, you stuck up your gut. You can feel how your back muscles start to kick. What they do is then they lock up your vertebrae and if they aren't given permission to let go, then you have problems When you go sit in a chair or you go do, or you go to bend forward, the vertebrae are not allowed to slide like they naturally are supposed to do.

Can lead to herniated discs, slip disc, pinched nerves, [00:16:00] back pain, hip pain, you name it, pain. And so it's okay to learn how to. Super upright, but you shouldn't exist there. That's a fight or flight position, so you shouldn't exist there all the time.

Will: So now what I'm hearing you say is that my mom was wrong all these years saying, seen them straight

Dr. Novotny: Yeah. Well, the problem is when she was saying that we all wanna do a great job and so we stand up straight, but we stand up beyond straight. We stand up and we go to the other extreme. And you see this in weightlifters. You see this in models. You see this in just even other people who want to feel like they have great posture.

They take it to the extreme and then their back becomes the most dominant aspect of their body. And the problem is the fight or flight nervous system lies along the spine. So the more those back muscles are contracting 24 7, the more you are being put in fight or flight. Not good for your body, and that's when you lose [00:17:00] flexibility.

Mobility, you lose the ability to calm yourself. You start to be in more a mental state of high alert, which decreases executive functions, decreases performance, energy, all these different things.

Karen: Wow. Wow. So the opposite of what they teach you when you're like in, was it elementary school or something? When they're, you know, always fixing your back and they, they come in, they measure, do you remember that? Did I do that to you? Well, like they measure

Will: you, uh, no. They check your spine to make sure you don't allow, no, just you scoliosis.

That was just you. No, no, I think it just, you didn't, no. be like, yeah, he doesn't have to be, yeah.

Dr. Novotny: yeah.

Will: Right. Well then another aspect of this is, sometimes you go to a doctor and you've got this pain in your body. You know, this guy got this pain and you're like, doc, you gotta fix this for me. You go to the doctor to do all kinds of tests and they go, sorry, psychosomatic.

It's all in your head. In our pre-interview you said that, our pain is real physically, even if someone says it's all in our head.

Dr. Novotny: Yeah.

Will: How is that possible?[00:18:00]

Dr. Novotny: It happens, kind of what I was talking a little bit earlier. I'm gonna tie it together. It happens because when you have that stressor and usually someone who has that scenario you're describing, there's other stressors going on in the life. The body starts to change. The muscle starts to contract without the awareness that pulls the bones out of position. Tissues start to butt up against each other. It's called impingement, and that leads to their pain. It's not gonna show up on x-ray, it's not gonna show up on MRI or CAT scan. It's going, it's not going to show up on any blood work or anything else. And so the doctor says, you're fine. Your bones are fine, your ligaments are fine.

Your joints are fine, because it's so subtle. that no one can detect it. But now if you were to go to that person and just very touch them gently where their pain is, and if you, if you're used to feeling what muscles should feel [00:19:00] like, you'll be able to feel a difference. And it's exactly where they have pain.

Or it may be somewhere that's related to. Where their pain is. So like a lot of our foot muscles start in our calf, so it might be a problem in the calf that's causing the foot pain. That's very common. Same thing with the for and the hand. very, very common. So the doctor's gonna say they're malingering, or it's psychosomatic, or they're making it up.

They'll send them to someone and say, you know, help this person. But it's not really, there's nothing there. And I've never met someone where it's not really there. It's, it's there.

Will: Don't you love that, that, that help this person, but there's nothing really there. , how are you gonna help this person if there's nothing really there?

Karen: right.

Dr. Novotny: I know, I

Karen: Will, you've had your chance to ask your questions. I have to ask my question. Oh my gosh. How can you help

Dr. Novotny: Yeah, let's go. Let's go to the meet and.

Will: Yeah, but you know what? That's a great question. [00:20:00] Before you answer that doc, we've gotta take a quick break. This is a perfect opportunity for us to keep the audience in suspense when we come back. Dr. Amy Nivan is going to go into the P A B R method and kind of give us an idea of how to get ourselves to no longer live with pain.

We will be right back.





Will: and we are back to the skeptic meta physicians. We are with Dr. Amy Navani. She is the founder of the P A B R Institute, and we're talking all about the mind body connection. We've talked about how our, minds affect our bodies, how they, they physically, they change by the, the, the thoughts that we have.

And Karen, you asked a fabulous question right before the the break, so why don't you ask that again? It was a very complicated question. It was, so that's why I don't you ask it again,

Karen: the pleading in my face that most of you won't be able to see, but I want to know, um, Dr. How can you help?

Dr. Novotny: Sure.

Karen: can you do to make this go away?

Dr. Novotny: Yeah. So are you okay if we use your, your back pain as a,

Will: Yes. Not only are, is she okay with it? She is imploring you to use her back pain,

Dr. Novotny: [00:22:00] Yes. Okay. Those eyes are, you know, please chat Yeah. So the first thing we have to do, and there's a, there's a process to this. And this is not to be patronizing at all. First we have to teach you how to relax, okay? And what I mean by that is we have to get you in a position that feels extremely comfortable, where your muscles are not being used in your back.

So let's give you an example F for instance, you might feel comfortable sitting, some people with back pain only feel comfortable lying down. Let's say you're comfortable sitting. We have to put you in a position that supports you relaxing your back. That means sitting back in the chair. Letting your low back lay up against the back of the chair.

No lumbar support to shove on it forward. Let it relax. Let your tailbone tuck under a little bit. Then with your feet flat on the ground, you need to look at your [00:23:00] knees and make sure they're the height of your hip crease or higher. And you have to do this looking from the side. So at some point have will.

Look at you from the side, like get down at your hip level and see are your knees at the level of your hips? Most people are at least two to three inches below their hip level, and when you put some books under your feet and you bring those knees up, all of a sudden you can feel the back muscles start relaxing and stop being overactive just to hold you in a chair.

Will: Wow. Hm.

Dr. Novotny: Sometimes you can lower the chair to achieve this. Most chairs won't go as low as people need them to go. Um, chairs are typically built for someone who's like six five. So most people, and, and I'm serious about this, I do this with men as well, so you have to either lower the chair, which also may not be possible if your desk is higher.

So often people just put [00:24:00] some books or a wood plank or some kind of step still under their feet, so their feet are flat and their knees get higher than that hip crease, or at least the level of their hip crease That gives your back permission to stop overwork. Okay, then w that's just position alone to turn you off, fight or flight mode just by your position alone.

Will: Wow, that's amazing. Now, can you have your knees higher than your hips, or you really wanna make sure that they're level.

Dr. Novotny: You can have 'em slightly higher. The, I wouldn't be in a position really a long time if, let's say your knees are six to eight inches higher than your hips that I use at times to help a person achieve and sense something, but not for a long period of time. So if you're sitting doing some work for an hour, Have your knees at the level of your hips, or maybe like an inch or two above, and you'll feel your tailbones start to curl under a little bit, and you can feel that gives your back permission to relax and let go.


Will: too. You know, a a as I'm sitting here right now, I'm literally the chairs for sure not level. My knees are not level, they're, they're definitely lower. And I'm feeling the, the tension in my back, even though I'm trying to relax it, no matter how relaxed I get that lower back, I ain't getting relaxed at all.

Dr. Novotny: Yeah, and try this for me will let go up on your tiptoes so that you lift your heels up so your knees get higher, see if it gets at least at the height of your hip crease and see if you can turn your back tension off.

Will: immediately, it happened immediately. It was an. Now my caps are on fire.

Dr. Novotny: yeah.

Will: to exercise . But, but yes. No, that does that, that is incredible how much that helps.

Karen: So the, the back of the chair, like this one leans back. Should it be straight?

Dr. Novotny: So no, you don't want it to be vertical. That's, that's gonna put you in a very rigid position. It should have a slight tilt back. You don't want it where it's a springboard and you go back really far because then that puts you further on guard. [00:26:00] But there should be at least a slight tilt back.

and then your chair, Karen, might spring back a little far cuz I can see you. Yeah, your yours goes too far. , because your back's not gonna be able to relax in that chair.

Will: Yeah, she's slept in that chair before. I know probably have

Dr. Novotny: you found her Um, so, so will with the calf issue. That's why I say put books under your feet and just. That emergency calf raise type thing, only in like social situations, but I carry a backpack around with me all the time instead of a purse, just so I can push, shove it under my feet. Literally.

Will: such a smart idea. How do we not think about these things? This is why we have these guests. This is why. Yeah, this is why I'd be of the show. I said, this is going to change your life. If I didn't say that, I should have,

Karen: oh, you've said it,

Dr. Novotny: Yeah, so what we just went over that was just tiny part of step one. So we got you in a position that would [00:27:00] allow you to relax. Okay? You might feel like a little bit of relaxation once we fix your chair. But then we have to now work on changing the position of your ribs and your breathing mechanics so that your body can now accept the relaxation and you feel your whole body relaxed down.

So the work now becomes learning to drop your breast bone in and drop your ribs down towards your pelvis. So the back muscles truly let go, not just step one of letting go when you're in a good position, but nervous system let go, meaning the nervous system stops telling them to overact that that's a process of changing your breathing mechanics.

It's not hunching over. It's not trying to throw your chest forward or shoulders forward. It's a process of learning to change the way you breathe. So your breast bone goes in, your ribs, go down, your back releases, and then here's the next part. If you [00:28:00] do only that, your nervous system is going to kick back in with full vengeance and you're going to go back to your old habits the next day.

Karen: The next day, . I'm sorry. I'm like,

Will: what?

Dr. Novotny: So it may even be later that day too, depending on how ingrained they are. So we have to change and have you stabilize in that new relaxed position. This is how people can truly release stuff out of their bodies, whether it's trauma, stress, emotions, pain is once you relax. . Then you have to stabilize and learn how to use your body differently because you're not gonna be used to using your arms and legs in this new position and in the background, your nervous system's like, okay, wait, wait, wait, wait.

You've been doing this for 40 years. I wanna keep doing it this other way. So there's this process to learning how to get yourself back into this position that stops causing the [00:29:00] pain because tissues are pinching together.

Will: Wow. Now, how long does that process typically take? Is it something that, that it's gonna be years before you are back to normal, or could it be faster?

Dr. Novotny: Oh, it can be faster. Most people are faster than that. Um, so when I work with someone, I'm expecting them to change and feel at least some differences every time we work together. But because it's a process, I'm expecting them to feel changes. Okay? I need you to feel your full body relaxed now. I need you to feel what it feels like to use your legs to stabilize.

In this relaxed position, then how to use your arms to stabilize you in this relaxed position. Then how do we do it standing then? How do we integrate it into your life? So at minimum, I work with people as successions. That typically goes longer than that, but we're going through this step by step and they're practicing each step of the process so they can start to feel their body [00:30:00] change.

Will: Hmm.

Karen: Now, do you have to be with them to do this and kind of like physically guide them or can you do this remotely?

Dr. Novotny: Oh, it all is remote. So it's all remote. . So

Will: all remote.

Dr. Novotny: it's all remote? Yep. Yep. So, um, we do it through Zoom. We record the sessions. If someone is willing, it's all remote, and then I give 'em the recording so they can practice because this isn't going to work unless they get it. And the whole purpose. I'm teaching you something.

I'm just guiding you to feel something in your body that you own and control, because at the end of the day, you can go through those recordings and you can keep up with it. No one can take it away from you.

Will: Right, right. So can this type of thing, this relaxation is finding your center with your body so that your, your muscles are relaxed. Is that something that could help me? For example, my, my challenge is that I. Sleep [00:31:00] awfully. I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. I put my head in a pillow and I'm asleep before my head hits the pillow.

No problem. But either I wake up a thousand times a night or when I wake up, I feel like I haven't slept a wink. In fact, I, I feel even more tired than when I went to bed. could this relaxation stuff affect it that much?

Dr. Novotny: Absolutely. And here's why. When you go throughout your day and if your body is in a fight or flight mode, whether or not you can perceive it, if you kind of feel on edge, you're ramped up, your body and nervous system is getting this signal that you need to be on high alert and hypervigilant. When you go to bed at night, you are probably closing your eyeballs and falling asleep right away cuz you're so exhausted. but it's like someone's like yanking your string and saying, Uhuh, you're in fight or flight mode. Remember your body's on edge, so then you wake back up

Karen: Huh? Yeah, I can see one eye open. Yeah. What's

Dr. Novotny: yeah. Or it's like this [00:32:00] constant battle where your body is working throughout the night so you don't feel rested in the morning.

Will: That's astounding. I. So excited that we got a chance to talk to you,

Dr. Novotny: Yeah.

Will: six weeks typically to start off with and then usually goes longer, but within a matter of what, 12 weeks do you think that someone could be perfectly cured, for lack of a better word?

Dr. Novotny: it, it honestly, and, and I say this because I wanna be honest, it really depends on the condition. I will say if someone has a very simple case, where it's one thing that they're dealing with, then yes, six to 12 visits are like done. But I will be honest, at most people, by the time that they find me, they've exhausted all their other options and they usually have 10 different body pains, trauma, um, insomnia.

They have gut issues, and so that will take longer. I will be honest, that will take longer than 12 sessions.

Will: And I assume that this is also could affect the [00:33:00] quality of your, of your meditation, bringing it back to the metaphysics and spirituality. Right. I had, something happened a few months ago. My, my dad had some health issues and it caused quite a stir. inside me, and since then I'm having an awful time.

People who listen to the show know I, I meditate every day, but my meditations have been terrible as of late. I cannot get myself to alpha even or much less data. I can't get myself to where I need to be to really have a productive meditation. So I assume something like this would actually help with that as.

Dr. Novotny: Absolutely. I tell people to practice the two things separately because as we're going through this process of what I teach, it takes a lot of focus and concentration, and if you're working on meditation while you're doing the breathing stuff and positioning stuff that I'm teaching, you won't be able to get the full benefit of it.

Now [00:34:00] I say, as people learn this what we're teaching, and it becomes ingrained in them. And once it becomes a habit, then they can apply it to the meditation and because now they've shifted and transformed their nervous system, it works very well with the meditation.

Will: I can imagine.

Karen: Yeah. And even just for the, the pain thing, like today I was having a hard time meditating cuz it just, it hurt the way I was sitting. I couldn't get myself to not have this kind of back and neck pain.

Dr. Novotny: Yeah. And that's actually a very critical factor too, Karen. So when, this is also gonna be a little bit like nails on the chalkboard, , but when we're taught to meditate, we're taught to sit up straight. You tilt your pelvis forward and sit cross-legged.

You're putting your body in a fight or flight mode, and then you're trying to tell your brain to calm. So your brain and body are basically butting heads. One is you're trying [00:35:00] to control your brain. Let go and free up your racing thoughts, but you're telling your body, Uhuh, you have to be in fight or flight mode ready to go. And your brain's a lot of times responding to that. And people often wonder why they can't stop their racing brain.

Well, your body is sane. Be in fight or flight mode. Mine because I'm in fight or flight mode. So you should be that way too. So get. Think about all those worries. So that's something to watch for. That's why everything we do, we have to look at the position. Are you in a position of relaxation? If you're not, then don't try to do something and force yourself to relax because it's incongruent.

Karen: Yeah. So how do you. Train your body to change because you get so used to being in a certain position that, that I think just you feel like that's comfortable or as comfortable as you can be

Dr. Novotny: part of it. Yeah. Part of it is me pointing out a lot of things to people and saying, [00:36:00] okay, do this. Put the books under your, under your feet. Let's get a chair that doesn't fall backwards on you, and I want you to sit there and you're gonna practice this process for about five minutes. And you see, see how your body responds.

If you feel after a few minutes you're becoming sleepy and you feel your body releasing and calming down, you know you're on the right path. Now, let's say you feel more ramped up, so that means that position. Was not working correctly for your body at that point in time that you need to switch to a slightly different position, whether it's lying down on your side and that's part of the puzzle of your body and based on your history, income, spiritual stuff, trauma stuff, intellectual stuff.

So all of those. Guide you and your body into what is a good starting position for you to be comfortable so you can start to feel your body. [00:37:00] let go and you can sense the nervous system changing. And then once you can start sensing it, then you're like, oh, that's what I'm supposed to feel like. I don't think I felt that for maybe a few decades. And that's when you're, you're hooked and you're like, okay, I can feel it in this position. And now intellectually, you know, you should be able to do that in any position doing any activity. And it's a matter of that process to get you to be able to do that all the.

Will: once we release this episode, I'm gonna have this on autoplay again and again because , we're, we're, we're doing this Theater of the Mind thing, right? We're trying to figure out like, is this position? Is this position? But you said so many great little things that will help. In, in an instant that I'm really, I wanna make sure I go back to it and, and actually take notes and, and really do it in a mirror or something like that.

But, um, if, if someone wants to work with you, uh, what's the best way for someone to reach out?

Dr. Novotny: Absolutely is [00:38:00] going to the website. So the website is p, p b r On the website, there's a place where they can sign up for a discovery call. So I only work with people after we've had a conversation. Just because I wanna make sure they know what to expect, that there's no false expectations.

They know what they're in for, it's the right fit. And sometimes people don't need what I have to offer, so I, I don't wanna waste their time, and I just wanna make sure that we're really getting them the help that they need. And so that's a 15 minute call and we start from there. And then we decide, okay, is it, is it something that this person needs and that they're ready to do?

And if so, we get started. We set up the next.

Will: Very cool. And is it typically weekly calls? Or could,

Dr. Novotny: Mm-hmm.

Will: it different?

Dr. Novotny: it's typically weekly to start out. Um, we want to change the nervous system a little bit. Give them time to practice over the course of a week. [00:39:00] Then see what happens at the next session. We wanna see how the body is presenting and then where we go from. And so we want to, at least once a week is always great because I don't wanna let too much time go by cuz they may develop some other, you know, other little quirks and other things that we just wanna like, whoop. Okay. Let's change that a little bit.

Will: Being, you're back over this.

Karen: Right. So then once they get started, about how long are the sessions after that first 15 minute consultation?

Dr. Novotny: So the first session, the initial one for the package of six would be an hour and a half. So we take some time to go through mental, emotional, spiritual, intellectual history, all of that and what plays into that person, as well as I want to have them move so I can watch what the nervous system's doing.

I'll explain the science that pertains to them and their body specifically, and then we get started on them learning some stuff to. right away. So that first one is a little bit long, but [00:40:00] it's very comprehensive. So they have some stuff to practice cause I don't wanna leave them hanging. And then follow ups are an hour?

Karen: All right. And then, so they need to have a setup where you can like see their whole body or something, like see how they're sitting and all of that.

Dr. Novotny: Yeah, so basically I need to be able to see 'em, walk at least 10 feet, sit in a chair, lie down, be able to bend over, reach up, lift their leg. Just a VA variety of things that I'll do to check what their nervous system is doing for their basic daily habits. And I've done this in hotel rooms and you know, a little tiny office in cars like you name it, we've made it work.

Will: in the intro, I mentioned that your method has helped a lot of people to eliminate, obviously, pain and stress, anxiety and all that kind of stuff, but we also talked about the fact that you've also helped eliminate. and reduce even the need for orthopedic surgeries or even medications.

Can you talk to us a little bit about that?[00:41:00]

Dr. Novotny: Sure. So very commonly I'll see people that are scheduled for a joint replacement surgery, a hip surgery, uh, hip replacement, knee replacement, or even just a back neck surgery. And typically, , that person has led a life with high levels of stress, and the stress caused the muscles to misbehave The muscles pulled on the bones, pulled them out of position, and they've had rubbing of tissues together.

And over time, that wears down the cartilage. and they have wear and tear of the cartilage. So they're told that it's arthritis. And so what we do is we start to get them to calm the nervous system down, release the abnormal muscle pull, and when that happens, the bones start to go back into position. This is all without even touching them, bones go back into position.

They stop having the. The arthritis is still there. Cause arthritis is just a ge [00:42:00] degeneration of cartilage. But the pain's gone. They don't have the clicking, they don't have the catching, all of that stuff goes away, so they don't have to have surgery.

Will: Wow.

Dr. Novotny: and I've done this with people in their seventies too, so it's not like they're Earl younger, but people in their mid to late seventies and just canceled the surgery.

They didn't have to have them.

Will: Wow, doc. Holy cow. You and I are gonna have some conversations after

Karen: this. I think all of us now has like, acupuncture, chiropractic, dry needling. Oh, I,

Will: I've done the whole thing. So excited to have met you. Yeah, definitely. I appreciate. You are taking the time and talking to us about this stuff because I had no idea.

It is absolutely fascinating. And I also know that you've co-authored two books that are on Amazon. Uh, and we're gonna add links to your website and the books directly onto our show notes. So if you are interested in reaching out to Dr. Naval, you need to do is go to skeptic meta, go to her episode page, and you'll see those links lined in there directly there.

So it. [00:43:00] One click and you're there. Whether it's her books or her practice, you can find it Doc, thanks so much for your time, your expertise, and for giving us hope after all these years, Absolutely.

Dr. Novotny: Thank you both. I appreciate it.

Will: Well, thanks for coming along on this journey Discovery with us. We'd love to continue our conversation with you on our website at, or on Facebook and Instagram under Skeptic Meta Physician Podcast. If you know someone who would benefit from hearing the messages we're sharing on the show, do them and us a favor and share the show with them.

It will help get the word out about us, and it may just change someone's life for the better. And if you're listening to this on the radio and you missed something, well, not to worry. All of our shows, including this one, can be found at where you can also watch the videos or you can send us an email or voicemail directly from the site.

We absolutely love feedback and would appreciate [00:44:00] hearing from you. Well, I hope you've enjoyed this episode as much as we have. That's all for now. We'll see you on the next episode of The Skeptic Meta Physicians. Until then, take care.

Amy NovotnyProfile Photo

Amy Novotny

Entrepreneur, Doctor of PT, Breathing/Pain Specialist, Speaker, Author, Ultra Marathoner, Photographer

Dr. Amy Novotny founded the PABR® Institute with the mission to provide pain, stress and anxiety relief to those who seek a naturalistic form of treatment when other treatment methods have fallen short. Her unique approach comes from her experience treating in a variety of settings and with a wide range of patient populations over the past 13 years. Her background in orthopedics, sports, geriatrics, balance disorders, nerve injuries, and most recently, chronic pain; and influences from coursework at the Postural Restoration Institute gave her the foundation to develop this treatment method to address a wide variety of painful and restrictive conditions. Her methods have helped countless people reduce and eliminate pain, stress, anxiety, orthopedic surgeries, sleep issues and the need for medications. She co-authored two Amazon #1 Best-Selling books Don’t Quit: Stories of Persistence, Courage and Faith and Success Habits of Super Achievers, which share her journey on how and why she developed the PABR® Method. Her ability to speak French and Spanish has allowed her to communicate with and help various clients from all around the world, including France, Mexico, Central America and South America. She has a variety of interests including running 40+ marathons, running 10 ultra marathons (including two 100 milers), completing an Ironman triathlon, photographing wildlife and landscapes all over the world that has led to several of her images being chosen as Photos of the Day, most notably National Geographic Your Shot World Top Photo of the Day. Visit her photography portfolio at!