Is My Self-Esteem Low Enough to Date you?

Admittedly, this sounds arrogant. So let me explain.2013-09-17-The-Adventures-of-Self-Esteem-Girl

Today, as I flipped through the radio stations I heard some guy saying he just goes up to girls in bars and briefly chats them up and ask if he can give them a night they never will forget. This apparently works well for him. I, of course, make smart ass comments in my head about STDs causing the lasting memory. However, as I continued to listen, guys call in making comments about how all those girls must be “trolls.” It started me thinking. I thought about all my fabulous friends and myself, if we would go home with this guy. How many times have we said yes to a date or have given our number out to people (this goes for men, women, straight, gay, and bi) that were just not in our highest interest. Many amazing humans have dated the worst humans, the meanest girls, the bad boy, or the dead beat leach, etc. It may not even be that drastic, we just  date people that were are not a good fit for us. Why? We need to feel connection, love, or something other than hurt.

Life can be hard. When someone comes up to you and is interested in you (or even just interested in getting into your pants) it can be just the ego boost you need. I admit it, I had months of meeting guys that every time I said I was a doctor, they physically took a step back! To go from open body posture, leaning in to a step back and arms folding…sucked. My med school friends and I joked about our degrees being the ultimate “cock block.” Yes, we do realize that we don’t want to date guys that were too insecure to date a doctor, but it still hurt. After a while the bar drops, the self esteem drops, you think things like “Hey, at least he bathes somewhat regularly!”  This can happen to anyone, any profession, and any age group. It does not take much. It could be a bad relationship where a partner repeatedly criticizes you. That slow tearing down can drastically lower your self esteem to the point where one nice comment can get you to hop into a another not so great relationship. At one point in my life, my desire to be wanted grew, it did cloud my judgement. As a naturopathic doctor, I am into health, yet I somehow dated an alcoholic, overweight, fracking supporting narcissist,  (yep, not a bright spot in my life) but he seemed like a nice guy at first. Yep, he asked me out and made a genuine effort, that is it.

How can we stop this crazy behavior? We need to learn healthy self love (I am not talking masterbation but that too is healthy) and to raise your own & each others self esteems. As a society we tear each other down easily and seem to forget how to build each other up. Practice positive self talk, say nice things to your self rather than critical. Practice giving complement out, sadly, at first it is a little awkward. Fears about giving complements include: fear of people thinking you are being fake (like a used car salesman), weird or you are hitting on them. I soon learned how easy it is to give genuine complements without it feeling odd or fear that people would think it is a come on. Learn to accept complements. Yes, just soak them in and say thank you! If you brush them off like you are not worthy of them you are denying the giver and missing out on an amazing gift. Just imaging handing someone a gift and they say “keep it, I am not worthy.” Kinda sucks for both of you.

Building people up. “Bless that which you want” is a Huna Philosophy. Many times that we tear others down it is because we are jealous in a way or that we see an aspect of ourselves in that person that we don’t like. When we see that guy with the sports car and think “midlife crisis car” or “compensation,” what are we doing? We may not want that car but we may just want the extra cash to do something that we value. So why not just think “good for him!” Any time you find yourself thinking or saying something negative things, try blessing it. It can be as easy as saying to your friends “I wish I had the ovaries to wear that!” or telling someone they look amazing to their face.

Next time that person you know is not good for your wellbeing is chatting you up, smile, thank them for the flattering remarks and walk away knowing you love yourself and that is perfect. Maybe the right person will come along, maybe not but you will never know if you don’t raise the bar for yourself.

Self-esteem song:


Health & Joy,

Dr. Susan Lundgren

image from

Release Anxiety by Getting a Set of Balls

One of the top selling pharmaceutical categories in the US is anxiety medicine. Not only do doctors prescribe anxiety meds, the US population seeks help with anxiety via botanical, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, lifestyle changes, and various supplements. To help my patients and the greater public, I am designing programs to help with anxiety (plus other common issues) which shall be available online shortly. For instant gratification, I will provide helpful tips via my blog and website now!

On to the part you really want … I humbly suggest that we get a set of balls…not the type you are thinking! Aromatherapy balls!

1. Buy a piece of foam or a natural sponge about the size of a tennis ball.

Step one materials 2. Tie a soft piece of cloth around the foam. I suggest fleece, velvet, or something super wonderful to touch. We should enjoy playing with our balls.

Wrap 3. Put a few drops of Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Bergamot, or Melissa essential oil onto the ball.

4. When you become anxious, stressed or frustrated; whip out your balls and apply 1-2 fresh drops of you chosen oil and squeeze the ball rhythmically while you take deep breaths. Take a 4 count inhale and a 6 count exhale as the heat of your hand releases the aroma from the balls. The smoother these breaths, the better for your brain and heart.

Studies have found Chamomile quite effective at reducing anxiety.Add oil
If you would like to add extra power to help the anxiety melt away, say a positive affirmation such as “I am calm and in complete control of my emotions.”

Visit for more helpful hints and downloads.

Health & Joy,

Dr. Susan Lundgren


Why I wholly believe that Hypnotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming can heal on a physical level by healing our emotional state, and the science that backs me up! ~Melissa Reese

Guest Blog by Melissa Reese246926_187760041274736_1923448_n

Has there ever been a time that someone said something in front of other people that embarrassed you so much that you actually turned red and/or starting physically sweating? Only words were spoken, but for some reason you had an emotional response that affected you physically. For some they do everything in their power to hold those emotions back as an attempt to also hide the physical response. The only thing is itʼs already too late; as soon as those words even started to come out of that personʼs mouth your body was already in mid process of releasing chemicals, and as much as we try to counteract that happening, our conscious mind is too slow. *See we actually process information from outside of us first, getting a signal and info to the heart, that then gets processed by all the receptor sites in our gut and then like a chemist our brain instantaneously tells our system which chemicals to release depending on how we filter the information. See our perception on the information is also critical because how we perceive what one is saying is what perpetuates our emotional response. By the time we start to “critically” think about the information in our conscious thought process, everything else is already done and on itʼs way through our entire system. That emotional response is stored in our cellular memory and in our mind. So, we can simply think about that past occurrence, remember it, and boom, we are physically reacting in either the same or very similar way, as if it was occurring right then and there, even though it was weeks, months, or years ago.* The only way to not react to that situation in the same way is to “let it go” or think of it in a different way. To translate, “letting it go” is a form of forgiveness, and thinking about something in a different way is simply re-framing it, changing our perception therefore our feeling, and our emotional response to that thought, that memory. So, how do we just do this? Well, the powerful decision making ability to decide these differences lies within us! Thatʼs right, we all have the innate power to re-decide, to think and believe differently; and sometimes we can only do this by letting it go/forgiveness, looking at the situation in a different way and maybe being able to laugh about it. Either way a different emotional response then overrides the previous one with more positive chemicals and thus changing how your body responds to that memory, thought, or belief. Have you ever learned information about someone or something that made you look at it/them in a way you never have before, either good or bad, and notice how instantaneously you change your mind? In a split second, now armed with this “new” information, it or they is completely different to you. Sometimes this new information can bring angst, anger, stress, or anxiety; however, on the flip side, have you ever noticed once you think about something differently, you are able to laugh at it or just let it go, and you feel lighter, freer, or just better?

Our body knows how to heal itself, just like when we cut ourselves and our cells automatically know how to form a scab, or how our body allows bruises to simply disappear as if they were never there. Sometimes we get in the way of our own healing, picking the scab or continuing to bump into that same bruise and creating a scar and more soreness. The same goes for when we choose not to let go of something, allow something to “eat us up”, and choose to never look at things in a different way. Maybe itʼs because weʼre stubborn, maybe itʼs because we donʼt know how or even where to start, either way itʼs nice to have someone else help us get out of our own way so we can heal the way we were meant to. Thatʼs where a Hypnotherapist/NLP practitioner or Coach comes into play. See, traditional counseling uses only discussion or talk therapy; whereby you are constantly bringing up the past, talking about hurtful things, and your body is then constantly having that same past reaction, therefore strengthening the negative physical response over and over again. In Hypnotherapy/NLP we work to help the client “let it go”, see it differently, and create a different emotional response; therefore giving our body permission to heal, getting out of our own way.
For the skeptics I recommend reading Dr. Candace Pertʼs book “Molecules of Emotion” as well as Dr. Bruce Liptonʼs book “The Biology of Belief”. These books are the science behind Hypnotherapy and NLP.
*This article includes information learned from “The Living Matrix”, “The Cure Is”, Dr. Candace Pert, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Dr. Linda Bennett, and Dr. Matt James.

More from Melissa Reese.

Laughter is best…especially with shameless promotion

My mother thinks I should be a serious doctor and tell everyone about the diseases I treat and how great a job I do treating these diseases. She might be right, she tends to be, especially when I least want her to be. So possibly in the future, I will give it a try. However, that is what the majority of doctors (at least 1 in 5)do- it is so very predictable and hackney. Most of all, it is just not my style.
My passion for health, education, and empowering people to make positive health choices should be exemplified in my practice, my writing, how I treat my patients, and my volunteer work. So that frees me up to create silly promotions.
Laughter is truly the best medicine.
Enjoy and feel free to giggle.

Dr. Susan Lundgren

Unplugged! Can being “connected” dammage your Brain?


Sometimes I just crave a slower pace of life, like I crave a warm beach with personal masseuse.

Today, I thought about how we all create our own realities…so what the hell was I thinking when I created this day?!  I had text messages to answer, phone calls, emails, I felt I could not get away to get a breath. Now, I can to my senses and realized the world was not going to fall to pieces if I sat in a coffee shop drinking a cup of tea for a wee bit.

So here I sit, with my phone turned off, my email tab closed, and a lovely cup of herbal tea. AAAAHHHHH. I thought of writing this in my notebook but I would just have to re-type this later, and that would just be more work.

All this technology is great but it is damaging if you do not take control. We need to disconnect, turn off phones, and all those things that distract us from being “in the moment.”

I ask the question is being assessable, plugged in, causing damage?

As I am prone to do…I researched it. YES! Being connected does alter our brain waves. It causes brain confusion- basically it makes us a little ADD.  Some studies relate this to added stress. Some studies examine the effects of electromagnetic fields on our own electronic nerve impulses and neuron conduction, and other studies just hurt my brain read them.

Being connected adds to our stress, it distracts our brains, it clutters our thoughts, it interrupts our lives like a small, bored child.  We end up having a stress response to emails, phone calls, text messages, etc. This in turn causes a release of cortisol; when cortisol levels rises we produce more insulin and store more fat, we don’t sleep as well (cortisol levels are connect to sleep cycles). Stress also causes us to produce more free radicals, we become more acidic and much more. This is not even mentioning the electromagnetic fields we are being exposed to with our “connected” lifestyle. In other words too much technology- when technology controls us, it is bad. When we control and utilize it well, it is very, very good.

Now is the time to take control, take out your phones and flip the switch for a couple of hours each night and go for a walk, play a game, make something, or just chill. It is so good for your brain.

“Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage.”

Before I even question the relevance of silly studies, I want to discuss if researchers really have lives. It has become apparent that many researches have a) too much spare time b) slightly odd grants/ funding c) experimented with mind altering chemicals during there misspent youth or d) spent much too much time alone with single cell organisms. If you do not believe me, check out some of these studies: “The Effects of Country Music on Suicide;”  “Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans;””Safe and Painless Manipulation of Penile Zipper Entrapment” (this study followed a night of studying Does Semen Have Antidepressant Properties?–well, I will not go any further here) You get the idea. Scientist have active minds and time to experiment. (check out the Ig Nobel awards for more)

"Impact of Wet Underwear on Thermoregulatory Responses and Thermal Comfort in the Cold"

Maybe it is the long hours with single cell organisms, or just human nature, but many studies focus on love and sex. As humans, we write about love, sing about love, ponder love in philosophical discussions, and we scientifically study love. A modern day anthropologist was once asked by a Hopi Native American, ‘why most songs were about love?’ In his culture they mostly sang about rain, because this is what they needed most and desired greatly. It seems he answered his own question without realizing it. This brings me to the real reason for this blog. Is love as easy as a chemical reaction or something much bigger?

A recent study breaks love down to a biochemical process, of oxytocin and vasopressin manipulating our poor helpless brains: “Scientists are finding that love is down to a chemical addiction between people.” The study of prairie voles’ sex life exemplified the effects of oxytocin and vasopressin by blocking the hormones.

for the love of voles

“When prairie voles have sex, two hormones called oxytocin and vasopressin are released. If the release of these hormones is blocked, prairie-voles’ sex becomes a fleeting affair, like that normally enjoyed by their rakish montane cousins. Conversely, if prairie voles are given an injection of the hormones, but prevented from having sex, they will still form a preference for their chosen partner. In other words, researchers can make prairie voles fall in love — or whatever the vole equivalent of this is — with an injection.”….”Sex stimulates the release of vasopressin and oxytocin in people, as well as voles, though the role of these hormones in the human brain is not yet well understood.”

“Helen Fisher, a researcher at Rutgers University, and the author of a new book on love, suggests it comes in three flavors: lust, romantic love and long-term attachment.” Despite Dr Fisher’s reservations, might drugs also help people to fall in love, or perhaps fix broken relationships? Probably not. Dr Pfaus says that drugs may enhance portions of the ‘love experience’ but fall short of doing the whole job because of their specificity. And if a couple fall out of love, drugs are unlikely to help either. Dr Fisher does not believe that the brain could overlook distaste for someone — even if a couple in trouble could inject themselves with huge amounts of dopamine.

However, she does think that administering serotonin can help someone get over a bad love affair faster. She also suggests it is possible to trick the brain into feeling romantic love in a long-term relationship by doing novel things with your partner. Any arousing activity drives up the level of dopamine and can therefore trigger feelings of romance as a side effect.  Romantics, of course, have always known that love is a special sort of chemistry. Scientists are now beginning to show how true this is.”

I argue there is so much more to love than hormones and chemical reactions. As humans we tend to analyze and over think situations, especially love. People discuss the conflict between their heart and their head. So I counter the studies, saying love is far more than a simple chemical reaction, even if they do play a role.  In my research aka odd dating life, I found love in anything but predictable. Throughout history love is described as multidimensional, messy, complicated, and in other more colorful ways. Love is in our hearts, soul, mind, spirit, kidneys….Well, we are discovering love is stored in many cells throughout our bodies– some cells that have no receptors for oxytocin or other chemicals, so it can not be only a chemical addiction.

Note: Studies  attempt to explain emotions and memories stored at a cellular level in our bodies. A few of these studies arose from organ transplant patients that developed a few personality traits of the donors such as food cravings, artistic ability, increased libido, etc.

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