Therapeutic Massage, Reiki, and Stress Busting Techniques [Interview][Transcript]

Dr_Kathy_Gruver_Phd_Therapeutic_MassageGuest: Dr. Kathy Gruver, Phd
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Kathy Gruver, PhD is an award-winning author and the host of the national TV show based on her first book, The Alternative Medicine Cabinet. She has earned her PhD in Natural Health and has authored five books, including Conquer Your Stress, and her latest book, Journey of Healing has already won three awards. She has studied mind/body medicine at the famed Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard Medical School and has been featured as an expert in numerous publications.

Segment overview: Dr. Kathy Gruver, Phd, talks about therapeutic massage, Reiki, and stress busting techniques.


Health Professional Radio – Therapeutic Massage

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio, thank you so much for joining us today. I’m your host Neal Howard and I’m in studio today with Dr. Kathy Gruver, she’s an award winning author and the host of her national television show based on her first book – by the way she’s written five, her latest book we’ll talk about here in just a moment – her first book The Alternative Medicine Cabinet, national television show based on that book. She’s earned her PHD in Natural Health and has authored as I said five books including Conquer Your Stress, and her latest work Journey of Healing, it’s already won some awards. She’s studied mind and body medicine at the famed Benson- Henry Institute for mind-body medicine at Harvard Medical School. And has been featured as an expert on numerous publications including Glamour, Time Wall Street Journal. She’s been on CNN, WebMD, Prevention and now here again with us here on Health Professional Radio. Kathy it’s good to hear from you again. How are you doing?

Dr. Kathy Gruver: I’m doing great. How are you?

N: I’m doing well. You’ve got a new book out, talk about your book Journey of Healing: one woman’s path to healing self and others.

G: Yeah, absolutely. I’m so proud of this one. So many people were starting to be more interested in not just what I do, but how I do what I do. Until I give up personal stories of how I got there and how I view some of these modalities. So it basically kind a start from day one and traces my experience with things like massage and reiki and homeopathics and herbs and some of my failings with those things and as well successes. It’s how one place at about really screwing up at herbal formula and making myself incredibly sick which I don’t recommend. But it was ignorance then.

N: Because you only have to do it once.

G: No I stupid enough to try it at the following week. (Laughing)

N: Ah okay, well then there’s that. (Laughing)

G: It wasn’t my finest moment, but its natural right so it can’t hurt me yeah, no. But I want this to help people that are sick, because people look at my, as someone said the other day you’re such a pedigree, I don’t know if it’s good or bad. But there’s plusses and minuses, there’s successes and failures. And I went through it and now I can laugh at it and I want people to learn from it. So that’s why I put this book together it’s a lot of really great health information but also some really phenomenal stories that have great lesson to them. So I’m really happy to share it with everyone.

N: Yeah, speaking of lessons. One of the main things well the main theme of this book is basically to go for it. What are you telling your readers to do that you haven’t really focused on in your past works?

G: Because there’s so many of my own personal stories in this, I start the whole book with story about losing my mom. She died when I was 18 years old and the irony of that right as I speak to you is I just had my 46 birthday, well my mom died right before her 46th birthday. So not to be morbid, but I thought so much about that because I’m so young and I’ve got so much energy and I’ve got so much life ahead of me.

N: Yeah.

G: And my mom didn’t. And I hear people have this elusive bucket list where they’re not living. They’re checking, they’re writing things and they’re shoving in it in their drawer, they’re saving the good china, they’re not pulling out the lingerie except for that special occasion. But when is that coming? And just the whole book is not only how you can live with physical health and emotional health but also it’s just how can you live?

N: Instead of just surviving.

G: Exactly, live a fuller life and I have a friend who consistently recently has been talking about “I always want to do a hot air balloon ride.” Okay well then go do it. It’s not a trip around the world that’s gonna cost you thousands and thousands of dollars. Take a morning and go book that trip, because you never know when something’s gonna happen that you’re not gonna get the chance to do that. So for something you want to do, go for it man, live your life try new things and live fully.

N: Well you went for it. You are doing trapeze now?

G: Yeah, I love it. I loved it.

N: How did that happen? Is that a stress busting technique or that’s something that you just wanted to do?

G: No well it started out just as something I wanted to do because I was actually telling a client about how I don’t really believe in a bucket list and I’ve done things like planking and repelling and zip lining and paragliding and parasailing and I went race car driving and my husband and I went to swim with sharks, and he said ‘Oh my God what’s left?’ And I said ‘I’ve always want to try flying trapeze’ and as the words came out to my mouth I thought, ‘Uh oh I better get on it.’ And so literally she is changing her clothes after her massage and I’m googling where I could go do flying trapeze. And a couple weeks later I ended up at the rig and I was completely hooked. And now I realize it’s a great stress buster for me, it’s a phenomenal exercise. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in at 46 and it’s a blast and I’ve got a collection of socks and leggings now, that are just not to be… Yeah I dress like an idiot, my husband loves it.

N: Flash dance.

G: Yeah, we could do that as a theme. Oh I’ve got wonder woman socks, little capes coming out from the back and oh yeah it’s crazy. I dress like an insane person when I do it.

N: Well you’ve talked about the trapeze being at least part of the stress relief mechanism. How is stress affecting all of us? And you focused quite a bit on stress, talk about how you address stress and how you tell others to address stress. I know one stress relieving technique and doesn’t fit all. So how do you go about relieving the stress that we can’t even seem to avoid?

G: Right, well that’s the key is stress isn’t the problem and it’s so funny I’ve written two books on stress, I do lectures all over the world on stress. Stress is not the issue, (Laugh) because we can’t control the stress, we can’t control the traffic, we can’t control the government, we can’t control the caucuses, we can’t control all of these things that are outside of ourselves. So what we can control is our response to those things. And we control our own thoughts about situations and about what we’re thinking about. So that’s the key right there is only trying to control those things we have control over. Stress is pervasive, it’s all around us. One of the very well-known stress researchers… said the only way to avoid stress is to be dead, that’s not the option I want to go with right now. So I’m goanna try,

N: Permanent solution, yeah.

G: It is a permanent, yeah (Laugh). So I’m gonna try to my response to that and some people are really into meditation, some people do visualization, affirmations, I do all of them because you’re right not one size fits all and I hear people all the time say to me “Oh I suppose I should be doing yoga.” To which is say “Why?” And they look at me like I’m nuts. Well like well of course I should be doing yoga, because your aunt said it because you saw it on TV, it doesn’t fair to me. I don’t like yoga actually, it doesn’t work for my body. So customize what works for you, that’s the great thing about natural medicine is there’s always another option, it’s not one size fits all. I’m not a great meditator because I’m very type A, so to sit on the pillow and still my brain and quite my body – I’m a dancer, I want to go on a trapeze I don’t want to sit still. There’s a great technique I love called a “mini-meditation” and I learned this with Herbert Benson at Harvard and you simply concentrate on your breath, and on the inhales you think “I am” and on the exhale you think “at peace,” and you just repeat that. You could do that anywhere, you go sit on the pillow, you can do it anywhere you want.

N: Anytime?

G: Yeah, in line in the post office, in the car please don’t close your eyes that causes a whole another set of the problems. But I started doing that years ago, and it’s kind of become the gateway drug for me, so that now I can sit on the pillow and meditate. And I just got from a 3 day silent retreat where we did hours and hours of meditation and I did it. My back wasn’t really happy with it, but my mind sure was so it’s amazing.

N: I know how important that travel is. You do quite a bit of it, a couple of your stories have to do with experiences to England, you were in Egypt recently is that right?

G: Yeah, I was there actually a year ago kind of right now. Man, it was an amazing trip. And what was interesting to me about the Jordan and Egypt trip I was asked to speak on conference at Jordan and then thought “I’m so close, I’ve got to go see the pyramids.” And I rode a camel and saw the Sphinx and I went into a bunch of the pyramids and tombs and oh it was just incredible. But the amount of fear that people had surrounding me taking this trip, everybody from my husband who loves me more than anything, so of course he was concerned just me traveling anywhere myself, but let alone in the Middle East and my father’s reaction and some of my clients and it goes right back to the whole go for it thing. I’ve told so many people I said “I’m on private tours with private driver. I’m going to well-known areas. I’m not getting in a jeep in a red white and blue bikini and driving into the desert singing the star-spangled banner, I’m not an idiot.”

N: Yeah.

G: We want to take calculated risks, but we can either sit at home afraid of everything or we can go out and go for it and that’s what these trips have been for me. They’ve been life changing and just really expanding, soul expanding. And but it’s been interesting to see others, people’s reaction to some of the things I do.

N: Let’s talk about your website, what we can we expect to find there?

G: Yeah it’s The Alternative Medicine Cabinet and every so often every month or so I update all the media that’s on there. So this podcast will be on there and the other ones I do with you, and any of the TV and radio articles that I wrote. There’s a whole page there with all that. So there’s great resources there. I talk about so much stuff that I love to share with everyone and my books are there, you can sign up for my newsletter which is free and you can super-secret health video if you do so. And just lots of free resources, I’ve made it really user friendly and I want to share info, I mean that’s why I do what I do, so that’s what’s all there.

N: Kathy it’s been great having you here with us today on Health Professional Radio.

G: Thanks for having me back, I appreciate it.

N: Thank you. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. And we’ve been in studio with Dr. Kathy Gruver, PhD, and talking about well mindfulness and how to actually get the most out of life by simply going for it, the thing that runs throughout her latest work “Journey of Healing: One woman’s path to healing self and others,” published July of last year, award winning award. And hopefully Kathy will come back and speak with us again, is that something we could look forward too?

G: Sounds good to me.

N: Transcript and audio of this program are available at and also at and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

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