S3 Ep 4 – When to Take the Bird’s Eye View for Your Health: Barbara Speaks with Ramey about Health Strategy at Third Opinion MD

Sep 26, 2023 | Podcast

In Episode 4, Ramey is at a crossroads with her health, and she is ready to learn about the Health Strategy program at Third Opinion MD. What’s motivating Ramey to take this giant step now more than before?

Listen to our conversation on how you can achieve so much more when you move beyond a linear and passive way to address your health.

The Bird’s Eye View


Part of forming a Health Strategy involves taking a step back to get the broad view of what’s going on with you, health wise, and exploring the best options based on your ability and the existing options in the system.

But there are two major issues with healthcare today. One you already know about is that the healthcare system is fractured, and it still operates with competing and potentially wrong goals for you individually. This situation can’t be “fixed” by one person or organization. Unfortunately, most healthcare organizations still operate in a linear and restricted way.

The other healthcare “elephant in the room” is you. In order for any system to function well, it has to serve the lowest denominator. But, in order for you to be served well by the system, you must serve yourself first. Remember, you are a system, too! If you don’t serve the parts of you best – your organs, your emotions, your unique window to remain balanced – the larger systems like insurance, clinics, and pharma can’t help you best.


The Path Forward


In order to improve the healthcare system, it must always start with your self-cultivation. I’m calling on you to start listening, ask questions, and take action to be in charge of your health again. No one else will do this for you.

This doesn’t mean abandoning the healthcare system and going out on your own. The more you learn health strategy, the more you will be empowered and knowledgeable to benefit from the existing system as well as becoming self-reliant.

Healthy individuals build healthier communities. And healthier communities help to heal the world around you.


Follow Ramey’s Health Journey in Season 3


My client, Ramey, took one of my classes to learn about eye health qigong, and she reached a point where she wanted to go deeper than that with the Health Strategy Consult program. Season 3 is about pulling the curtain back so you can learn the process with Ramey on how to form a unique health strategy.

Join my client, Ramey, in episode 4 to learn about the power and wisdom that qigong has to offer in your health journey.




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Barbara: You’re listening to Third Opinion MD.

We think in such a linear way. It really is the thing that I’m… it’s hard to break people out of. To give you an example, my sister is a head of a school.

Ramey: Mm-hmm.

Barbara: And she took kids to Europe this summer and they were at an event. And the American kids compared to the European kids were quick to pop a pill.

Ramey: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Barbara: We take a pill for anything, period pain or, or earache or headache. And then when they were in Germany, the other teacher was just kind of noting, hmm, we usually tell them to wait a few days.

Ramey: Drink some water. Yeah.

Barbara: And it’s just so funny that our culture is like that.

I’m your host, Barbara de la Torre, and welcome to season three.

You are going to meet my client, Ramey, who has started taking classes with me and is now in this episode four, she’s going to explore her health strategy. Ramey is at a crossroads at her health. What’s motivating Ramey to take that giant step more now than before? Why now?

What is your goal in working with me? What would you, where would you like to be in terms of this health strategy consult? What would be the things you’d like to accomplish?

I think it’s just more of that being more in control of it. I got things coming health wise from genetics, type 2 diabetes, weight. Making sure I’m maintaining that. I feel like when I was the healthiest, I was doing this kind of work, not as intensely as this, but the acupuncture and herbs and things like that.

So, when I was more focused on the more lifestyle changes is when I was healthier than when I would, you know, here’s the pill, here’s what you could do kind of thing. Or like, here’s the diet, you know, fast for two days a month, those types of things. I feel like with that will help me deal with all the head stuff that goes with my health too.

So then you have your family, what they have going on. You feel like, well, this happened to my family. This is just what happens to us. It feels like this is just the natural progression of everything, that I have to go this way, the other way. It didn’t ever work for anybody in my family.

I’m looking now at, kind of familiarize myself with when I first saw you, even just at the clinic, you were telling me about some issues and I see here.

Which you’re interested in. Lots of things.

Ramey: Lots of things. I know it’s what I expected.

Barbara: I love it. Studying qigong, understanding. Okay. You’re starting to do acupuncture.

Ramey: I’ve had, I wanna say I’ve had almost four sessions with her now.

Barbara: Okay.

Ramey: We’re now down to, um, I just had one on Saturday and then we’re gonna do it once a month now. So, she kind of did her like every other week or every week assessment and then

Barbara: And then now going to monthly, okay.

Ramey: Yeah.

Barbara: Okay, and what did she told you so far of what’s going on?

Ramey: So, for a lot of what she said, is, like, right away. She did, like, the birth chart and kind of did kind of, kind of the way you did where you sort of started at the beginning in a sense, and pulled out a lot of, like, the earth, like, being more grounded.

So she, she kind of did that, like, what earth and wood would be where she’s kind of focuses when she does her different energy work and kind of grounding work, I guess, with me and we just do a lot of clearing because it just feel, you know, like, like digestion stuff. That’s kind of where I’m impacted the most and then around the time of my cycle, too.

And we’ve been doing seed cycling, doing flax seed, and then rotating with primrose capsule, the oil with, I guess, the moon cycles, just to see which one helps. And let’s see what else.

Yeah, just that just I mean, it’s always my liver. It’s always, you know, when she does, you know, when they do, like, okay, tell me where it’s tender and it’s always those points.

I mean…

Barbara: Did she tell you which element you were most depleted of?

Ramey: Earth.

Barbara: Oh, okay.

Which is weird because I live under trees and I feel like I spend so much time outside, but she was …

But that’s why it’s your lucky element because you’re lucky element. So, you know, there’s five elements you learned?

Ramey: Yeah. Yeah.

Barbara: Five elements can be explained for lots and lots of things. It’s used and adapted at the time you were born, where you were born and where most likely you may have elements of depletion and abundance.

It’s the goal is to have a balance of them. And so you can help yourself. You’ve already intuitively done that where you’re like, I love being outside and around, you know, the garden and whatever. That means that you’re lucky. The more you add that to your life better. And, so, you’ve already kind of figured that out in a way.

Ramey: Or like my whole life, I’ve been trying to, to balance it. It seems, even as a kid, I just outside all the time needed to be outside.

Barbara: Yeah. And that’s very important for liver too. So, anything you can do for like green and plants, wood and that you can work on even in your home as well. We can take a deeper dive in just depending on where the focus could be.

And where I start with clients is I start with a Health Strategy Consult. The goal of it is to sort of help give you some decision making and power at the end. What is your goal in working with me? What would you, where would you like to be in terms of this Health Strategy Consult? What would be the things you’d like to accomplish?

I think it’s just more of that being more in control of it. I got things coming health wise from genetics, type 2 diabetes, weight, making sure I’m maintaining that. I feel like when I was the healthiest, I was doing this kind of work, not as intensely as this, but the acupuncture and herbs and things like that.

So when I was more focused on the more lifestyle changes is when I was healthier than when I would, you know, here’s the pill. Here’s what you could do kind of thing. Or like, here’s the diet, fast for 2 days a month. Those types of things don’t always work that well. I feel like with that, it will help me deal with all the head stuff that goes with my health, too.

Then you have your family, what they have going on. So you feel like, well, this happened to my family. This is just what happens to us, you know, kind of thing, sort of…

What are called the family motto or the way of being. There is such a thing. What happens here stays here, or we are the perfect family.

There’s a lot of scenarios that people sort of live by, and you realize, oh my gosh, we’ve been living under this motto for a long time. I will be asking questions like that of you.

Ramey: Slowly, I feel like my life has led here. I’ve been doing that in different ways with my family along, you know, the way, and just, it feels like this is just the natural progression of everything that I have to go this way. The other way isn’t where it never worked for anybody in my family.

Barbara: So, yeah. And you, are you an only child or do you…

Ramey: I’m an only child, but I have a lot of half siblings. Very blended, but I’m the only child.

I was talking to my husband about this yesterday. Like as far as like health, I can’t like genealogy, we were talking about that. I have no one else to compare it to because I’m the only child. So it is a little bit unique in that. So, I take just my parents stuff, but I also have siblings who have, who are part of this too.

So like my sister…

Barbara: relationships are not just biological, right? Family is someone who is somehow in your life. And with the high possibility of continuing to be in your life in the future, that is defined as family.

Ramey: And I, you know, my family has always been the people around me, not necessarily, my family hasn’t necessarily been the best for that.

I have a lot of friends that I’ve kept for years, you know, those, so I feel like I do have a lot of family outside of my.

Barbara: Mm hmm.

Ramey: Biological.

Barbara: Yeah.

Now, I’m going to take a moment to explain to you a little bit about systems. What do I mean by that? If you’re going to have a working, functional, effective, complex system, which is anything from you, your body, your family system. An institutional system, a country’s system, even nature has a system.

In every system, you have elements. And these elements have to interact with one another in order to achieve some purpose or goal. That’s the definition of a system. And one of the things I’m going to talk about with Ramey now is about something called a genogram, which is a family system map.

Building the genogram for example, it’s a really interesting process and I can show you what that looks like, what a genogram is. Are you familiar with that?

Ramey: I’ve never heard of that. No.

Barbara: The genogram was developed by a family therapist, and it’s like a genealogy chart.

Like you see like, you know, the squares and the circles, your dad and your mom, you know, like a pedigree chart, but it’s way more than that. Because if you imagine a system, it’s one thing to explain, my father was an alcoholic, my mother was this, this. It’s linear thinking. That’s just saying, this is this, this is this.

The Genogram is a systems approach to your family and it’s one page, three generations.

Ramey: Wow.

Barbara: And you can see relationships, not just what diseases they had, but whether you had a fused relationship or a hostile relationship or a close relationship.

Ramey: Okay.

Barbara: These patterns pop up just like they do with Five Elements, and it is such a pivotal starting point to understand who you are in the context of your family system.

Because your family of origin builds who you are. It is extremely influential, and it’s not a permanent ink. It is meant to be a guide.

Ramey: It’s important for me to remember. It’s not permanent just because it happened or the patterns keep coming up.

Barbara: The patterns will keep coming up every generation. That’s what you see with these three generations on this one page.

Here’s the beauty of the genogram. The genogram doesn’t highlight the problem with you. The genogram highlights the resilience and the strengths in you. And that is why I love it.

For the 6-to-8-week program. My reports are a 20-page report. Yeah.

Ramey: Yeah. It’s a lot. It’s a lot. It’s a lot.

Barbara: And so I really try to take a deep dive into the work.

Ramey: You may want to charge me that once you get into my…

Barbara: I have a feeling your Genogram is going to play a really big role more than others, like a client I’m going to work with tomorrow. He doesn’t need that. the genogram so much. It’s more to do with one particular issue and just to get some insight on how to move forward. But, for you, I think that genogram is a huge component of who you are, and where you can go. I’ll show you this during an orientation of what this involves, worksheets that you’ll be working on. They’ll be assigned to you, like you just did this one here.

There’s vertical, that’s your family through the generations. And then there’s the horizontal, that’s friends and social circles. And some of us are better at that than others.

I’m telling you, if you saw any famous person’s genogram, you will see just how dysfunctional things are within every single family.

Ramey: Yeah.

Barbara: Consider yourself normal.

Ramey: Okay.

Barbara: It’s like, once you realize that you’re just like, “Wow!” All perspective, my friend. I mean, it is seriously a very good exercise because, when you talk in linear ways, it’s a real downer.

Ramey: It is.

Barbara: You don’t get the sense of the accomplishment and you’re only moving in this one direction. When you get the bird’s eye view, it just, oh, it just puts things in perspective.

That’s Chinese medicine. That’s why I think it goes well with Western medical systems concepts. If you’re comfortable journaling. It gives so much insight, not just for you, but to help me sort of compose a really good summary that’s tailored for your needs at the moment.

Ramey: Yeah.

Barbara: If I’ve got more questions. I may add another worksheet.

That’s the reason why this is a higher tier service is that it is not just, “here’s your questions” and I’m going to spit out an AI answer. I really take the time with everybody and it changes. I have been molding this service from client to client and seeing like what works best for you. Honestly, it’s a blast because this is the kind of medicine I think we need to be doing.

Barbara: I’m going to take just a minute here to give you a little sneak preview into next week’s episode, episode five, where we start with the orientation for Ramey into the health strategy consult. It is so hard to explain to you in one sentence what I do because your health is about an experience. It’s about a bird’s eye view, looking at things in a holistic way, in a systems way.

The more aware you are of how Chinese medicine, like when you know the fundamentals of it, you can care for yourself in the way of a superior doctor would. So the idea is not to be passive. The goal, ultimately, is for you to be the superior doctor. And my goal, as a superior doctor, is to teach you how to be one.

And that, at least that’s my mission. And if I can do that, then, it’s not too late. You’ve had two detachments, but you still have another eye.

Ramey: I still have another eye! I know. I need to keep it. Okay?

Barbara: Okay. And so, part of, part of the reason why you and I are working together to start off with the Health Strategy Consult program is to really get a sense of where your health was, where you are now, and where you can go for the best prevention and tapping into the systems that you have available, whether it’s Western or Eastern.

Have you gone to therapy before?

Ramey: I’ve done therapy my, almost my entire life, almost in a negative way when I was younger. And then it was just something my parents always were like, “Well, you’re the crazy one. So, you need to go to therapy.” That kind of thing.

Barbara: Yeah, it can be damaging, and it can be an amazing process.

Ramey: Yeah, as a kid, it taught me how to be very manipulative because I could go into therapy and go, “Oh, everything’s great and fine. And nothing’s wrong. And kind of, you know, that kind of thing. And then I did have to do some intensive EMDR a couple times in my life, say early 2000s. And then again, in about 2015 here, I did a year of EMDR because some family stuff went down and I needed, I need to process this immediately or I’m going to lose it, you know, it was kind of…

Barbara: Yeah.

Ramey: …so much.

Barbara: Did you ever do anything called tapping? That’s one where you do it with a therapist, the EMDR, but the tapping, I teach you to do it yourself.

Ramey: Oh, awesome. Okay.

Barbara: That’s a more independent process of desensitizing from emotional responses to certain thoughts or memories. And it also taps into Chinese medicine because you’re tapping on acupuncture points. If you want, I can add that to the service. We can talk about what that will look like because that’s just, it’s a little bit extra because I need to take a couple of sessions to show you.

I give you handouts, we record the session. It’s a multi-step process, but it’s quite simple once you learn it. Each aspect, or problem or thought, is a tree in the forest. And when you clear those, you’re clearing others. And they can be permanent. The idea is to dial it down to zero. And so eventually, you’re watching the movie rather than being in the movie.

And it’s one of the reasons, as someone who not only, you know, studied psychiatry, but… Honestly, if I saw a Western doctor, if I did this, because my mom was protective as an integrative physician…

Ramey: Oh, that’s right.

Barbara: I would have probably been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder with panic attack.

Ramey: Yeah. Yeah.

Barbara: Yeah. I honestly, yeah. And depression and the whole bit. I would have all of those diagnoses because, as someone with liver issues, we can go down very tunnel ways of getting treatment. But with this, we had different paths. I was very protected, and was able to learn other ways.

I know what it feels like to have a panic attack. I know what it feels like to have anxiety. I know what it feels like to have depression. Awful, awful, awful.

Ramey: Yeah.

Barbara: I also know how amazing it can work. And so I hope that helps a little bit. That it’s not just telling you, “You do this and you’ll be fine.”

Ramey: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Barbara: No, I’ve done this and it does feel good and it helps patients and it helps clients.

Ramey: I would love to try tapping. I, just because EMDR was amazing, but it’s, you know, it’s not sustainable.

Barbara: It’s not sustainable. That’s what I found, too.

Ramey: I worked through what I needed to work through at that time. And I could possibly probably go back and do more, but it was just more of like, I, I got to that. I hit the wall.

Barbara: It also doesn’t put you in charge. My philosophy is the world is sorely depleted of enough access to mental health tools that we need to be tapping into our inner doctor now. I mean, we’re reaching a point, I think, in the next 2 or 3 years where it’s going to get even worse.

By becoming more independent, you’re on the road to blazing through what’s going to be happening in the healthcare system and tapping into what you can use.

Ramey: Yes. My dog must like your voice. He’s sitting right by me.

Barbara: Which dog is it?

Ramey: It’s a little Lhasa. We got him when he was about 7. So he’s a little rescue and that’s what they say. He was, but he was a tough one.

He was only supposed to be here for a couple of days. And then…

Barbara: He’s here.

Ramey: I couldn’t bring him back. So it’s, it’s like a little grandpa. That we have, he’s 14 now.

Barbara: What’s his name now?

Ramey: Tiger. He came with that name.

Barbara: Tiger?

Ramey: Yeah, he’s very standoffish. He’s exactly what a Lhasa should be. He’s just a little guard dog. You know, that’s how they’re, they’re made, I guess, but he’s not a, a cuddler kind of dog. So that’s been kind of tough, but that’s okay. You know, sometimes we’re, we’re the teachers for our pets rather than the other way around.

Barbara: We’ll set up an appointment for the orientation and the orientation counts as the kickoff day for the 6 weeks. I just like to give a little time limit so that it keeps us from sort of putting things off and keeps both of us on task. And that’s 1 of the reasons why I do that.

Ramey: Yeah, I like that.

Barbara: Questions about that so far?

Ramey: No, not at all. I actually don’t have I’ve been writing stuff down and I don’t nothing has come up.

Barbara: Okay.

With meditation, the reason why I teach Qigong is because it is a way to help focus the mind into one thought. And then, oh, you’ve had a chance to practice, too that was the other thing.

Ramey: Yeah, yeah, that is going really well. I know. I’m probably forgetting. So what I’ve I did it. I was like a guided with your notes next to me. And then I sort of put that away. And now I’ve been trying to do it without any notes to see what I remember.

Barbara: And once you sign on, I’m going to give you access to an audio that I did. The setup preparation and separate files, so you could just listen to it and do it for a little bit and try that.

Ramey: I really like it. It’s just a nice way to start my day. And [00:18:00] it’s just been very nice. Some people use like a music and I don’t find that I need it.

I can really focus. Do people benefit from any audio other than the guided meditation part?

Barbara: Generally, not. For example, people talk about running with music. I recommend not doing that.

Ramey: Yeah.

Barbara: For many reasons. One, everyone is out to kill you on the road right now. So, First thing. Second is that you’re not in the moment.

I stopped running with music years ago when I started to do more meditation and it is meditative on its own. Like to do any kind of exercise or walking, I actually try not to walk with music either.

Ramey: I was surprised at what I didn’t need in that. But I do, I definitely need no people around. I’ve noticed that when my family comes waltzing in that is a …

Barbara: You definitely want a space where it’s, you know, especially in the beginning. I mean, it depends also, some things are more distracting. Like for some people, a crowded room is totally fine if it’s not your family. If it’s people you don’t recognize, or you can’t quite make their conversations, that kind of ambient noise is fine, you’re going to find what works best for you, but something consistent, usually anchoring it in some way. That’s why this is such a great anchor. Always when I do this, it’s like, oh…

Ramey: This is what I’m, yeah, this is where I am.

This is the time. I’m really trying to get it in the same time of day, too, in the morning, in the process of my getting ready in the morning, that same time frame.

Barbara: You could even keep a log of that, of what your experience is. I would be very curious because you just started doing it and you can say this, I started on this day and then you can even just have Jade Leaves practice and just in your journaling, just to say like, “better concentration,” or “the colors are more vivid,” or it could be a very interesting tool to kind of see where you are now, because you won’t remember that three months from now. That’s what happens even with tapping, too. It’s called that generalization effect where, Oh, it must’ve not been that bad.

Ramey: Yeah, that’s what I did with EMDR. Oh, I guess that didn’t affect me very much.

Barbara: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Once it’s separated like that.

What do you think would work best for you? We’re about to kind of delve into things, right?

Ramey: Yeah.

Barbara: Stuff.

Ramey: Ugh.

Barbara: What would be a place where you feel like, okay, not get interrupted too much for the tapping?

What would be the day for you?

Ramey: This time of day, morning, Mondays I would say Mondays.

Barbara: We could do a 10 or 1030.

Ramey: Okay. Yeah. Okay.

Barbara: So, that’s orientation, and I’m going to assign the worksheet to you.

Ramey: Okay.

Barbara: During that time, and it’s going to drip content.

Ramey: Okay.

Barbara: Okay. We won’t set up the tapping right away because I want to get a sense of what’s going on.

So these questionnaires are, I kind of base it on what I see and then I will give you another one. It’s going to be Western and also Eastern. And you’ve already had an introduction to some Eastern medicine, so that you don’t need to work on as much of that.

Ramey: Exciting.

Barbara: Yeah. Any last thoughts before we move forward?

Ramey: No, I’m really excited to get started. Something I’ve never done before, but I feel like it’s definitely something that I need to do especially, and it’s nice. I’ve talked to my son a little bit about it. So, we’ve been having conversations about, you know, you did the, the window analogy.

Barbara: Yeah, baby window.

Ramey: I wanted to talk to him about alcohol early in his life of like, this is what our alcohol window is just so he’s aware of.

Barbara: Yeah.

Ramey: As early as possible.

Barbara: Gosh, I’m excited.

Ramey: Me, too. I know. I’m excited. You’ve got your work cut out for you though. No, I’m kidding.

Barbara: Bring it. It’ll be okay.

Ramey: Okay. Okay.

Barbara: In this episode, you get to learn what it’s like to have a complimentary call with me, whether it’s wanting to go over general preventive care, learn about potential impact on drug interactions. study Qigong or take a deeper dive into what Chinese medicine can do for you. If you’re at that crossroads where you’re not sure where to turn, what direction to take, how much effort to put into something, let’s talk.

I would love to hear from you. You can reach me through the contact page on thirdopinionmd.org, where you can schedule a complimentary consult, and we can talk about your situation and see if this is the right time for you to start working on your own Health Strategy. Be sure to follow or subscribe to this podcast and submit a rating on your favorite podcast player.

Third Opinion MD podcast is produced by me, Barbara de La Torre. Music is licensed through AudioJungle. Any comments made by the host or guest on Third Opinion MD reflect opinions about healthcare and self-care. Please consult with your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.

Thank you for listening.

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