Auricular and Bioenergetic Medicine and Mushrooms Aid in Autoimmune Conditions with Dr. Kate Hunter
Ep 11

Auricular and Bioenergetic Medicine and Mushrooms Aid in Autoimmune Conditions with Dr. Kate Hunter

Auricular and Bioenergetic Medicine and Mushrooms Aid in Autoimmune Conditions with Dr. Kate Hunter

Episode Summary: 

In my conversation with Dr. Kate Hunter, we talk about healing from autoimmune conditions through alternative medicine. 

Show Notes:

Dr. Kate Hunter is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Toronto and Creemore, ON, since 2012.


She is the founder and owner of The Toronto Apothecary and The Creemore Apothecary, two full spectrum wellness clinics and boutiques. Her realized vision with the two locations is a place for exceptional wellness services and complimentary wellness through the program that she created, The Community Wellness Program, which offers free and sliding scale Naturopathy to folks that are systematically excluded from systems of health. 


In her practice, Dr. Hunter uses Auricular & Bioenergetic Medicine to test the body to determine which systems are out of balance and then re-establishes the body’s ability to self-heal and auto-regulate. Auricular and Bioenergetic Medicine is a very unique combination of natural empathy, medical intuition, and acupuncture.  In her free time, Kate is happiest enjoying the outdoors with her husband and two kids. She is an avid runner, yoga student and skier.


Dr. Hunter was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and is now in long-term remission. She credits mushrooms and auricular medicine for communicating what her body actually needs to function properly. 

In Crohn’s disease, the immune system attacks the gastrointestinal system. Stress is a precursor and often the root cause. The good news is the gut is very quick at healing itself in just a few days. But how do we find out what works with our specific body? Every body and its systems are different and a part of Dr. Kate Hunter’s practice is pinpointing the energy your body receives through different functions and what it doesn’t. She can look at the body as a whole through its organs and organ systems instead of treating only its symptoms.

Taking it one step further, Dr. Kate Hunter encourages adding mushrooms to your diet. Join me on today’s episode as we learn how our body is much like the forest with mushrooms allowing our bodies the opportunity to heal and properly connect with all of its organ systems.  

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

Topics Covered:

  • Emotional and physical health and healing both spiritually 
  • Crohn’s disease and how it presents itself in the body
  • Treating organs and organ systems, and how those systems affect each other
  • The practice of auricular medicine
  • Connection between the nervous system and immune system
  • Stress blocks our ability to heal
  • Mushrooms are deep connectors, in the forest and in our bodies
  • Health and wellness is a myriad of different things going on, not just symptoms

Resources Mentioned:

Guest Info:

Dr. Kate Hunter is a licensed naturopathic doctor practicing in Toronto and Creemore, Ontario. She specializes in auricular and bioenergetic medicine, which is a very unique combination of natural empathy, medical intuition, and acupuncture.

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Show Transcript




Tonya Papanikolov  00:00

Hi, welcome to the Rainbo podcast. I'm your host, Tonya Papanikolov. Rainbo and I are on a mission to upgrade humanity with fungi and expand the collective consciousness. This podcast builds a virtual mycelial network of bold, open minded thinkers and seekers. I chat with experts, thought leaders, healers, scientists, entrepreneurs, spiritual teachers, activists, and dreamers. These are stories of healing, human potential and expansion, tune in root in expand and journey with us. Hi, everybody, I'm excited to introduce you to today's episode guest, who is Dr. Kate Hunter, who's a licensed naturopathic doctor practicing in Toronto and Creemore, Ontario. And Dr. Kate specializes in auricular and bioenergetic medicine, which is this very unique combination of natural empathy, medical intuition and acupuncture. And the podcast is really focused around autoimmune diseases and conditions. And it's really expansive because she tells us about her journey healing from Crohn's, and how that led her into the field of naturopathy. And that's really expensive to me, because oftentimes, these you know, autoimmune conditions are thought of as life sentences, as is the case for Crohn's. And it's really not the case. And we speak to the body's brilliance and intelligence, and that it's just too smart to ever stay in one static place, the body knows how to heal. And we really just need to clear the way for it and support it, and be patient and trust it. So it's really expensive in that sense. And we talk a lot about the gut immune system connection, because of course, we now know 70% of our immune system is stored in our gut. We talk about the role of mushrooms for autoimmune conditions, their immune harmonizing benefits, their mucilaginous effects. And she tells us about how she is has been personally dealing with her anxiety with the help of mushrooms, we talk about really just root causes the stress, mind body connection, we talk about some really cool kind of personality traits that you know, are typical for autoimmune conditions or gut conditions. And yeah, she just shares with us a lot of great tips on how to approach auto immune healing. And I think you're really going to find this episode expansive. And if you know anybody going through any of these conditions, please send them this episode, to expand them and help them remember that the body is brilliant and knows how to heal. And it's really just about the right thing at the right time, balancing stress and a big, big breath of trust and love and support for our brilliant physical bodies. So here's to remembering that whatever journey we're on whatever physical symptoms have expressed, are manifested in our bodies, and in our lives, that that is for the highest and best evolution of our souls. And that perhaps that's part of the journey that we came here to experience and to grow from. And when I came to view my health in this way, and stopped victimizing myself, but really decided that, hey, I get to claim my power back and tell this story in the way that it makes sense to me. And in a way that empowers me to heal my present my past my future, my cells, my DNA for me, for now for future for my ancestors. And we've really spoken to some of that intergenerational trauma and cellular health on this podcast before and we touched on it briefly in this podcast as well. But just a reminder, and an invitation that health and healing is so much more than the physical expression of our symptoms. And it gets so juicy when we approach it spiritually and mentally and, and physically and, you know, with the subtle bodies, and it's empowering, and that is really the intention of this whole podcast and everything that we do is that I choose to claim back my power from my past my future and invest it all in this present moment. And choose now. So let's dive in. Hello, good morning. Good morning. I have Dr. Kate hunter with us today. And we're gonna be talking a lot about a lot of things immunity, autoimmunity, gut health, and I'm so grateful to have you on with us. And yeah, you're also you've been a longtime user of Rainbo and giving it to your patients. So thank you so much for being here. And why don't we start with maybe you could tell us a little bit about yourself how you got into this line of work and do doing what you're doing? Yeah,


Dr. Kate Hunter  05:01

so I am a naturopathic doctor. I am the founder and the owner of the Toronto apothecary and the creamer apothecary, which are two full spectrum wellness boutiques and wellness clinics. So we offer a variety of different alternative modalities like naturopathy, and registered massage therapy and psychotherapy and all the amazing therapies. And yeah, we have a wellness boutique attached to both of them. So in those spaces, we sell supplements and tinctures and teas and powders and functional mushrooms. And yeah, just amazing things for the body. So that's how I got to know you and Rainbo was the storage space. But I got into naturopathy. I graduated about 12 years ago from school. And I got into natural beauty because I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease when I was 23, maybe 22. And I did the typical western medical route. And that specifically for me, personally made me even more ill. And I just thought like there has to have just has to be another way there has to be a greater knowledge and a greater power. So I went to see a naturopath and that changed my life forever. And yeah, I quit my bank job.


Tonya Papanikolov  06:14

Wow, did you have to go back and get like a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences.


Dr. Kate Hunter  06:19

I did. So I already had a degree in psychology. Okay, so I had quite a few the sciences, but I didn't have the like Organic Chem and biochem and that kind of stuff. So I had to go back and update all my courses. And then I went to naturopathic college. And then I did a specialization for a year after that in auricular and bioenergetic. Medicine. So my practice is a little. Yeah, it's a little which year than the typical natural empathy. So yeah, I use. So I use the pulse of the energetic field to test and see objectively what my patients need.


Tonya Papanikolov  06:52

Wow. And I'm so grateful that my sister has found her way to you. Yeah,


Dr. Kate Hunter  06:59

I'm not really supposed to say yes. Okay. Sorry. But yes, it's amazing.


Tonya Papanikolov  07:05

Well, I shared a little bit about your story to, to her. And I think it's just, it's so inspiring. And I have quite a few people around me actually, that have Crohn's. And so I'm really excited to dive into that further. Because from my perspective, it's kind of like this midway point of autoimmunity and also a digestive disorder. Is that right? Is it fall into one more than the other?


Dr. Kate Hunter  07:30

I think it's classified or my perspective, it's classified as not only a disease, but it presents as a GI disorder. Okay, so autoimmune diseases can be like, varying symptomology. But the main sort of underlying thread or the main commonality, and all of them is sort of this concept that the body starts attacking itself. So the body sort of turns against itself and does destructive measures and in different ways, and it comes out in different symptomatic pictures. So Crohn's specifically, is the system sort of reacting to itself and the gastrointestinal track.


Tonya Papanikolov  08:04

I have so many questions. I have so many questions. Oh, four. Okay, well, I first also just wanted to, I wanted to start this episode by just landing into presence with each other and sharing a moment of gratitude. So I would like to backtrack a little bit to ask you, what are you? What is something you're grateful for in this moment?


Dr. Kate Hunter  08:24

Nice question, the nice way to start things, thank you for that. I'm really grateful for this sort of new beginning of 2023. I feel like there's just a bit of, I'm grateful for the pace. I feel like as an entrepreneur, and somebody who's very Crohn's typed, yeah, I can get super busy and sort of let my ambition run me ragged. And I feel like this is one of like, the first starts to a year where I'm just like pacing things really slow, and really trying to watch my breath and not over committing myself and just starting things slower, where normally I would start things with, like, 25 resolutions list and I'm not doing that this year. And it actually just feels really deeply


Tonya Papanikolov  09:11

different. So glad. I'm Yeah, that's amazing to hear. Thank you. I'll also share and I'll echo parts of that as well. I had a really challenging fall more actually, you know, more anxiety and challenge than I've had in years, like many, many, many years, so that was really hard. And I kind of turned a corner with it in December. And you know, when like a challenge is like so present for you. And you're so in it and you know that there's like, you know that there's the other side of the mountain. I feel like 2023 has been just like the other side. I've come out on the other side. And so like I can recognize that anxiety and be like, yeah, that was that was true for that moment. And, you know, I was able to recognize it. It would pass, but it was just so in it. And now it just feels like this kind of new wave. And I haven't brought that into this year. And it just feels so good. I feel like I have a bit more of like, the wisdom that you gain going through a challenge to reflect and say, yeah, it's okay. Like, it reminds me that like, in those moments, because we all go through challenging moments, in those moments, it's just so important to have the perspective to say, This too shall pass. And, and that and that when you get to the other side, there's clarity. And you're like, Oh, I wish I just kinda like saw, like, saw that a little bit in that turmoil ish moment. Right. So


Dr. Kate Hunter  10:39

it's so hard, isn't it? Like I, I choose shared a very sort of stress invoking high anxiety 2022. And it's so hard, like when you're when you're in it, it's like the truth or coming out of it is nowhere near? Yeah. Yeah, no, totally. I have very much relied on mushrooms to help me with my anxiety. So we could also talk about that.


Tonya Papanikolov  11:03

Okay, well, yeah, we have, we have a long list. And I'm also grateful for your beautiful mushroom sweater that you're wearing right now.


Dr. Kate Hunter  11:11

For you.


Tonya Papanikolov  11:13

Is it purple or Periwinkle?


Dr. Kate Hunter  11:16

It's, it's a straight up Periwinkle.


Tonya Papanikolov  11:18

Okay, I love it. I love it so much. It's very, like it's very Rainbo. That's it. Those are our colors.


Dr. Kate Hunter  11:24

Because it was one of those Instagram swipes that I was like, I need it.


Tonya Papanikolov  11:28

Oh my gosh, that's awesome. Okay, everyone. Thank you. So diving back into our conversation, is there a central kind of philosophy that you follow within your practice?


Dr. Kate Hunter  11:40

Yeah, so with auricular and bioenergetic. Medicine, I feel like it's a really beautiful way for me to explore organs and organ systems, and to also look at how those are integrated and how they affect each other I sort of, I don't want to like, talk negative about Western medicine or talk negatively about natural apathy. But I do sometimes feel it's very symptom focused. And I think this is why probably in practice calling a lot of autoimmune diseases, because I think the combination of autoimmune disease and the symptomology of it is really a combination of varying systems. So the nervous system, I think, being the number one, cause, quote, unquote, cause for an autoimmune disease, and then the system that's being affected by this symptom picture. So I look at the body as a whole, and then try to treat organs and organ systems, and how those systems affect each other.


Tonya Papanikolov  12:38

Really cool. And for anybody who doesn't know about auricular medicine, tell us a little bit about that.


Dr. Kate Hunter  12:44

Yeah, it's witchy. So it's basically using a series of different organ filters, and a three phase filter so that I don't introduce my charge into the patient's field. And it's measuring the pulse under different organ filters and seeing what happens to the pulse of the energetic field. So, for instance, if a Crohn's patient, for instance, they're likely their colon, or intestine or small intestine, those filters would be out of balance. So then the political bound, and their field will come out from their body. And then my job is to test different supplements and different ideas to see what resonates with their body the best. And so when something matches when they're going to utilize a frequency, within a supplement or a remedy, their pulse totally dissipates. And their field comes all the way into their body.


Tonya Papanikolov  13:32

Wow. And are you measuring that with some sort of machinery device?


Dr. Kate Hunter  13:38

Yeah, so I do it a little bit old school, there's some similar to Applied Kinetics. So some practitioners will, will make you hold like two fingers together, and they'll try to push them apart. And they'll measure sort of the frequency of a frequency against sort of your arm. And if you can hold that grip together, that it's something that you can utilize quite well, if you lose your grip, than it's the frequency that your body's not going to use. Yeah,


Tonya Papanikolov  14:00

I've done a handful of that. I've actually one of my main practitioners utilized this practice. And it was so interesting, just to share a little anecdote, because I think as practitioners, you know, that there are a handful of herbs or nutraceuticals, or supplements that can help. And unless you have some of that feedback from the body itself, you're kind of guessing it's a bit of a guessing game. But what I found so interesting about it was that, like, my practitioner would put something I had, like, you know, a little pouch on my body, she would put something on my body what she thought, and you know, it would break like, instantly. And it was just so cool. Like, just that seed back of what got me feeling so strong.


Dr. Kate Hunter  14:46

Yeah. And it's like, it's true. Like, this is where like, I think, like medical professionals or practitioners, it's like, yes, we have the knowledge and yes, we've gone to school, but like, really, our patient's body knows the most about their healing journey. and knows the most about their healing potential. So, yes, I can I can suggest all these things and I can suggest all these, you know, recommended daily allowances and dosages, but truly it's up to the patient's body, how it's going to heal, and everybody should be totally different. So, specifically with autoimmune diseases, like for me, I always see this consistency with the nervous system being out of whack. Yeah, but a lot of times in traditions, sorry, Western medicine and traditional naturopathy. It's like, okay, you know, if there's a symptom picture of say, like, loose stools, diarrhea, bleeding, it's like, let's stop that. I think it always really wants to go that extra step of, of why is that being caused, so what other systems out of whack? What systems are not working symbiotically anymore, to create that, that pattern, so fascinating,


Tonya Papanikolov  15:48

the body's the coolest, the coolest. And it's also really empowering for the patient, because they become such an active participant in trusting their body and seeing like, really firsthand seeing how like to say, you know, it's not about what you are, I think, let's use the body's intelligence to create this protocol for what it needs for what you need.


Dr. Kate Hunter  16:12

Absolutely. And the cool, the cool thing about auricular feels so nerded out on is that you can test you can test systems off the body, so you can test like soul body one and soul body two. And those are filters of filters that are off the body that aren't necessarily physical, but have physical manifestations. So basically, like if your mental emotional well being is out of whack. Yeah, it's gonna affect you physically. Yeah, there's ways to test that.


Tonya Papanikolov  16:38

It's so neat. I've always had such a such a sensitive nervous system. And I was having this conversation this week with somebody who, or maybe I was listening to something I can't quite remember. But it just like landed. And it really made a lot of sense to me, which is that as you go through your day, and like, as you're starting to develop more body awareness, you can have the ability to know when something some person some meeting, anything has activated your nervous system, because it feels turned on and you're like, oh my gosh, like, what is that? I'm, I'm sweating, or I'm, like, holding tension in my body, or I feel like, I just loved that. And I was and I was just thinking like, yeah, it could it really is that easy. Because we know when we get triggered, it's just like slowing down throughout our days to really, like, start to notice that awareness of the body and then just say, like, okay, um, I just need a five minute walk I need, I need a deep breath. And you just take a step away from my computer or away from the situation.


Dr. Kate Hunter  17:38

Yes, totally. And I think like, unfortunately, we're in this societal Whirlpool where it's, you know, rewarded or looked upon very positively to be busy. I think a lot of busyness is the cause of a lot of diseases and symptom pictures. And yeah, kind of our societal structure right now, which is not, not great.


Tonya Papanikolov  17:59

Totally. Yeah. And one thing that you had touched on a little bit earlier was believe you called it, I basically, is there, is there like a personality type kind of feeding off of that busy personality? Is there are there commonalities that you see within patient pictures of you know, whether it's like a, like a pathology


Dr. Kate Hunter  18:16

type sort of thing? Exactly. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. So there's an amazing book called when the body says no, by Dr. Gabor Mattei, and he sort of like types diseases into characteristics. And I just, I found that so fascinating. And I was so bang on for the IBD, the Crohn's picture. And so what I see in practice a lot that I think is connection between sort of all autoimmune diseases, is this sort of nervous system hyper vigilance. I always find it's sort of those people that are hyper aware, incredible. multitaskers like really have like an astute read of like the barometer of the room and sort of everyone else's feelings like their disgust shivers. Yeah, yeah. They're usually they're usually like deep feelers, quite intuitive, but almost intuitive to a fault wherever this hyper vigilance is sort of like the resting state, and their nervous system is always in this activation state of basically, you know, thinking it's running away from a bear. Yep. And trying to always make it to safety. And if that is the resting state, in my belief, that has to go somewhere physically, like that's too much for the nervous system to take on. And I sort of view the nervous system, almost like a, like a French braid. And so if you've slept on your hair, and it's all kind of PC and fuzzy it's got is a nervous system that's going to send signals and send messages to the rest of the body that isn't necessarily correct. And I think that's where the autoimmune piece really comes in. Is the body also being related to this hyper vigilance gets these signals of, we're not safe, we're not safe. And then this, this pattern, unrolls, and then the symptom picture really, really shows itself.


Tonya Papanikolov  20:10

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, I've had IBS. Yeah. Or most of my life so that yeah, actually, I'm curious what you think, is this something that is genetic? Is it a symptom of, you know, this larger collective societal move that the West has made into that hyper productivity? Like Dominator culture of you know, doing what we do? Or is there? Is there a hereditary aspect to it?


Dr. Kate Hunter  20:37

So I think it's both like, I think having hereditary factors are almost like light switches, like we all possess these light switches. It depends on the environment you're in if you flick them on, or keep them off. Yeah. So I think the super sensitive souls, and like the deep empaths, I think, or misfortune, because I think a lot of their light switches get flipped on because it's easy to be triggered in this society of overproduction and busyness. So I think there is a hereditary factor. And I deeply believe that we come in with a cellular energy, whether it's like from your past life, or whether from your ancestors, but this sort of cellular trauma, I deeply believe, yeah, it gets passed down. And I think this hyper vigilance in this nervous system dysregulation can also be passed down as a frequency.


Tonya Papanikolov  21:25

Yeah, absolutely. I totally see that fantastic, split that within my own family systems. And I also think the beauty of that the positive side to all of it as as empaths is that I believe, we're here to change the world, like, I really do believe it is challenging in that we have to swim upstream. And we have to constantly remind ourselves that we're here to experience it differently and show people a different way to work. But it's hard, right? Because it's there's constant infiltration to grow, and you know, all these things and keep ourselves busy and be distracted and whatnot. But I really think that being an empath is a gift. And it took me a while to realize that of course. But yes, that piece, I was just


Dr. Kate Hunter  22:11

gonna say such a gift. And I think because of the sensitivity, I think there's sometimes a more physical presentation of the emotional sensitivity.


Tonya Papanikolov  22:20

One other thing I was gonna say was the subject, the intergenerational trauma piece is that I think the impasse can also be this, like, I like to think about my ancestors having prayed for me, right, like Braid, that someone down the lineage would change things or, you know, whatever the prayer was similar to how we're thinking about our collective and like our whole human race. 50 100 years from now, like, we are infusing prayer and intention into like ourselves and ourselves. And that gets carried on through offspring and generations and collective consciousness and things. And I just like I had, I've been like diving really deep into some ancestral stuff, and healing and having really big releases, and feeling the sense of like, I'm healing backwards and forwards and the invitation to go there. It's like, it's such an uncovering, and just taking little baby steps towards it. And I'm sure there's so much more for me for everybody. But we can take those little baby steps to create that liberation in us for our past our ancestors and like, into thanking us and they're like, we've been waiting for this. We've been waiting for you. And it is it's a beautiful way to to heal, heal. Yeah. Okay, so I guess one other question is, I wanted to chat through as the role that stress, which I know is likely very, very large, with autoimmune conditions, I know that oftentimes they can be triggered when I guess any kind of any, any immune like, whether it's a viral issue or anything else, can be triggered from a highly stressful traumatic experience loss of a job loss of a loved one, what is that that happens in the body?


Dr. Kate Hunter  24:05

Absolutely. So because our body is this very deeply connected, sort of symbiotic machine, I believe that like when one system is out of whack, it affects all the other systems. So stress sends hormones and signals and cytokines to the rest of the body saying we're in danger. And so whether your body interprets, you know, like a deep stressor, like a loss of a job, or even just going to work to your job every day, the body doesn't really know how to differentiate that. And so, this again, is like hyperbolic vigilance of the nervous system, a stressor represents, you know, historically, the need to try to make yourself safe or try to find safety. And so, when that happens, we turn on our sympathetic nervous system instead of our parasympathetic nervous system. And our sympathetic nervous system is sort of that tunnel vision that you know racing heart rate that trying to make it a safety net If the system and if that is activated by turning off our parasympathetic nervous system, which is rest, relaxation, digestion and sexual function, cognition, if those get turned off, in a stressful situation, you usually see a symptom picture, they will bring things in the cells, it will on Earth things. And because we're not functioning with those organ systems as the dominant part of our body, they're going to be turned off and show different symptom pictures that that are that are not great. So stress has a huge part to play with it. And I think that's a really important part with autoimmune diseases and remission or cure, or however we want to use the term is really making sure that the nervous system understands safety, and understands on a daily when it is safe, how it is safe, and it only reacts in those huge situations or big stressors. Right. And I think that's that's the true dysfunction of an autoimmune disease is that that nervous system is on all the time. And that dysfunction happens at a quiet whisper sometimes or a really loud go.


Tonya Papanikolov  26:05

Yeah, and I guess Same goes for any chronic disease, right? stresses, stresses, like at this at the root of so many, like every condition exacerbating most Yeah,


Dr. Kate Hunter  26:16

and because Because stress really blocks our ability to heal, it blocks the way that our immune system functions properly, blocks, you know, the way that our white blood cells react. And so with that, without stress hormone with cortisol being higher than it needs to be it really dictates to the immune system. Its capacity to respond


Tonya Papanikolov  26:38

to us much like laboratory work, labs or testing in your practice.


Dr. Kate Hunter  26:45

Yeah, I do order I do work quite a bit of lab work. There's, you know, some I love when when patients we have a baseline numbers, and then we can we can measure against that the auricular, though it does, a lot of the times, the lab work won't necessarily change my treatment protocol, or what I suggest, because in the experience of doing irregular will sort of the patient and I will sort of find what they need. And then it will it will obviously make sense and reflect back to the lab work. Yeah, but yeah, I do. I do order quite a quite a few labs.


Tonya Papanikolov  27:17

Yeah. Interesting. I've been doing some Dutch testing personally. So awesome. Like, it's a it's been interesting to see. Although, you know, I agree. I think that I think teaching body awareness is like we know when we feel really good. And it's really great to have some labs to look at as well. But it's been interesting to just like look at cortisol during different stressful times and DHA and DHEA.


Dr. Kate Hunter  27:43

Yeah. And how I think the coolest thing about lab work is how all the hormones affect each other. Oh, yeah. Right. So like how cortisol throws off our reproductive hormones, which throws off our thyroid hormones. But yeah, I mean, listen centered.


Tonya Papanikolov  27:58

It's so cool. Yeah, hormones are so fascinating. I teach I practice and teach Kundalini yoga. And it's a really specific type of yoga that is all glandular. Yeah, such a fascinating, fascinating yogic science. But so much of it is just keeping the glands young and healthy. And it's like a beautiful hormonal practice. And I just find I find it so interesting that even in 1000s of years ago, they had the knowledge to say like, yeah, it's basically so much of our life essence and, and use and just like vitality is stored in that nervous system and in the glandular system, the glandular


Dr. Kate Hunter  28:43

system. Yeah, it's so amazing, because it's, it's really like it all works in cascades, like, you know, one hormone will trigger the next and the next and the gland will release this. It's actually so, so intricate. So cool that our bodies can do this.


Tonya Papanikolov  28:57

Yeah, it is. It really is. And so how, yeah, tell us about mushrooms and autoimmune conditions and any successes you've had a want to hear but the anxiety piece as well.


Dr. Kate Hunter  29:11

So I am a big mushroom water. So I think you know that the understanding that we have now of mushrooms is just so cool of how there are these deep connectors, right? And they they work on the forest floor and they work to connect the forest and make it a healthy place. And with autoimmune disease, I find that's exactly what is needed because it's not just one system, right? It's not like the one tree in the forest. The one symptom like in Crohn's, it's not like the diarrhea. It's actually how the whole forest communicates and the fact that the mushrooms are inflammation connectors and sort of like the deep enablers of the whole forest being well, I use them I use them quite a bit in practice, and I find like mushrooms are just like the body Eat accepts them really easily, there aren't really any side effects. You can use them alongside Western medication, you can use them alongside herbs and gemo therapies, which is sort of the the realm I'm prescribing as these like bad remedies. Because when you use the bud, it's basically you have like all the consciousness of the whole plant. Yeah, from from the beginning, which is very cool. And there's like a different essence to it. Because when you use the bud, it's very Yin, it's very earth, it's very rooted, where if you're just using supplements, which are usually aerial parts of a plant, and then it's dried, it has this real Yang consistency to it, which, in some pathologies, you don't want to introduce more Yang to the body. So I love you these like really earthy rooted buds and herbs, but but mushrooms too, because I find the mushrooms, specifically in an auto immune case, they'll connect the nervous system with the digestive system, like they do that forest work to communicate to, and it's so beautiful. I've seen awesome results and great results in myself. And they're so powerful.


Tonya Papanikolov  31:04

Yeah, they're so powerful. That's such a beautiful analogy, as connectors and like acting as like the immune system. And this like, yeah, connectivity highway in nature, but also mirroring that in our bodies.


Dr. Kate Hunter  31:17

Absolutely. And they possess like in as sort of herbs like this deep knowledge, right. And I think we only know like the very skin on top of what the knowledge they possess. And when they're sort of utilized in a healing manner in the body, the body just gets it. It's like the forest just gets it after a fire, the forest knows how to rebuild. Yeah. And I think sometimes that the body and specifically an autoimmune diseases, it just needs that little inclination, or that little fire starter, to get it back on because the body's to the body's too smart, in my opinion, to attack itself. Something is going on, it's either a nervous system dysregulation and the body's compensating, or there's so much cellular debris, the body's actually so smart. The immune systems like that shouldn't be there. Yeah, right. Like, yeah, we've got to clean this out, we've got to get this out of the cell. And so the body's way of attacking is to try to deeply renew the system and clean the cells. And it gives us such a picture, which, unfortunately, I think Western medicine, it blocks like the, you know, it turns off the immune system with autoimmune diseases. And for sure, in some instances that needs to happen. Like if there's like a big flare, and it's a patient's like immobilized. There's a place for that. But I think the heal and the cure of it is to figure out what is your body trying to clear? And what is the nervous system? Not registering? That it's trying to clear?


Tonya Papanikolov  32:48

Are there ever any blocks that you will commonly see with, with patients like whether that's getting people to a place where they can really dive into emotional health or mental health? Do those become like big enough blocks that you can identify? At times?


Dr. Kate Hunter  33:08

Absolutely. So my team originally at the Toronto location in the creamer location was like naturopathy registered massage physio Cairo kind of like the typical cleaner picture. And I just found in practice so many patients and the need for mental health healing that I had to get a psychotherapist on our team because my I had so many referrals I basically refer, I'd say 85% of all my patients. Yeah. Wow. To a mental health professional because it's so intricately linked, like oh, yeah, ignore exactly like the mind body connection is so deep and so profound that sure I can work on the systems and I can you know, give a homeopathic remedy to try to shift an energetic state, but if people aren't working through their patterns, their boundaries, they're all the things that we have that Yeah, hang us up. If they're not conscious and working on those the body doesn't respond as well.


Tonya Papanikolov  34:01

Honestly. Yeah, like I see the mind as so powerful that it can basically like in some insane way even though it's all connected and that's like part of it can override what dictates Yeah, like it can it can just be like Nope, it's really wild and incredible and important for those two to like, be like okay, that's we're doing this we're doing this together. There's like the that coherence. Yeah,


Dr. Kate Hunter  34:27

exactly like and I think that treatment and healing has to work like that. And the what I see a lot in a lot of autoimmune diseases and autoimmune cases and myself included is a lot of times it's like a boundary issues with proper boundaries. And you can you can see that reflected in the immune system, the immune system doesn't register a boundary. It's going to try to clear or try to attack whatever your your term is. So in my healing from Crohn's disease, like really digging deep on the mental piece and boundaries and you know, the The type of person who has Crohn's disease is sort of this like traditional doormat. It says yes to everything like kind of like the martyr. And so the more work I did in that mental emotional realm, and specifically for myself with with boundaries and yeah, kindness to myself and healing has been a something that stuck.


Tonya Papanikolov  35:20

Yeah. And what kind of foods I know some people who had, you know, seen their Western doctors at the same time, who've literally been told food is not going to help your Crohn's. There's nothing you can do or eat that like crazy.


Dr. Kate Hunter  35:36

It's crazy. So I have quite a few Crohn's patients and was one of my Crohn's patients, they go in and get Remicade so which is like the the IV infusion of basically a Crohn's medication. And in the IV suite, they serve all the Crohn's patients are getting Remicade. They serve Fanta, and Doritos. Wow. Like I just You told me that I was like, what, like, I couldn't eat like there's nothing like even Apple. But even Apple. Yeah, you know what I mean? Like, it's just, it's sometimes feels so backwards. And it's just like, it's actually quite sad in those scenarios that alternative medicine and Western medicine aren't more enmeshed. And we can be a little bit more codependent. I know, that's not a great word. But yeah, like, you can't use something like Remicade, which might be immediately necessary for that patient, but then also offer supplement herbal support, as well as deeply nourishing food. Yeah,


Tonya Papanikolov  36:35

it's like truly unfathomable. I had to go to the hospital a few years ago, which I don't frequently go to thank God. And I took a walk through had to cross through the cafeteria. And I was, I was I was almost gonna, like, run through that place. And like, I was so blown away that, that they were serving what they were serving, like, fried foods, and just like all processed foods, and I was like, Wow,


Dr. Kate Hunter  37:04

that's crazy, right? Because when you think about when people are stressed out, when people are under stress, what do they want? They want those type of foods. Yeah. And so we're like perpetuating this, this like, you know, cycle of unhealthy unhealthiness. And it's really quite sad. So I very deeply believe that there is a massive connection with with food and healing, and that the nourishment we should get from our food will innately help us heal. And I think the way that we're sort of making foods like gluten, for example, in North America, this sort of like, mass production, 365 days a year, you know, everyone seems to have a gluten sensitivity. But when you go to Italy, nobody has a gluten sensitivity. Yeah. So I think like the manufacture of our food, the processing of our food, and you really lose that like deep, nourishing intention when it's there's such a mass production completely. Yeah, there's a frequency, there's a frequency everything we put in our body food included. So yeah, I think we need to be careful of that and choose foods that that are that are healing.


Tonya Papanikolov  38:08

And And what about the gut? I mean, I know that so much of the immune system is contained in the gut, but can you speak to just that connection, that deep connection, the immune system and the digestive tract, the gut, that whole microbiome microbiome?


Dr. Kate Hunter  38:25

Yeah, basically, the house of our immune system is in is in our gut. So the way that the the flora is in there and the bacterial makeup in there dictates how are how basically how good our immune system is. So the health of your gut is basically where where your immune system gets all its information to function. It's also where all your mucous membrane so you have the same mucous membranes in your, you know, your nasal passageways as you do in your gut. So healing the gut, is, I think, the most important piece to most pathologies, if not all pathologies, but really like the inside of our bodies are all the cells and the mucous membranes are all so similar. That it all really starts with the anti inflammatory and immune nature of our guts ability.


Tonya Papanikolov  39:15

Wow. And pretty cool because we're like, we're like mostly micro organism at that point like that. That information is coming from a lot of non human severals. Right?


Dr. Kate Hunter  39:27

It had it's so cool, and like human, you know, even cortisol like that hormone is it the stress hormone, it blunts the villi and the villi are like these like little hairs in your digestive tract, which are part of like the receiving of material and processing of materials. So if those are blunted, and materials going straight, straight against the mucous membrane, there's gonna be an inflammatory cascade. So like from a really like cellular almost like microbiology. Perspective. Yeah, stress. Totally effed up the whole system.


Tonya Papanikolov  39:59

Yeah. Wow. And that would be like similar for something like leaky gut syndrome.


Dr. Kate Hunter  40:04

Absolutely. Yeah. So leaky gut and leaky gut. And IBS are very sort of, yeah. Connected are one of the same thing. And yeah, it's this body's ability. That's sort of the guts ability that sort of lost the boundary. Again,


Tonya Papanikolov  40:18

totally. The boundary, exactly. The permeability boundary. Yeah.


Dr. Kate Hunter  40:24

So yeah, so there's this hyper permeability from the gut into the bloodstream. And then there's things in the bloodstream that shouldn't be there. So the immune system is like, yeah, who are these guys, we got to get these guys out of here. And so then this inflammatory cascade or this immune response happens to the issues in the blood. So my gut health is imperative for leaky gut, and then making sure that the inflammatory process doesn't take over other parts of the body.


Tonya Papanikolov  40:52

Right. And this leaky gut or any of that permeability, that could be a range of different triggers, like consistent antibiotic use, or like you were just saying that stress cortisol,


Dr. Kate Hunter  41:02

right, absolutely, yeah, it's the most important boundary for the way that our our body works. And it's the most affected, I feel by our mental emotional boundary.


Tonya Papanikolov  41:13

One thing I remember learning was that the gut can repair itself within days. Yeah, like that those cells turnover so quickly, that line, the intestines, the microvilli, and all those that it could technically heal within days, which is empowering, it's there's always, I mean, I think it's can be more complex than that, for sure. But it's also pretty exciting, because I do really think that there is the potential to cure and, and heal.


Dr. Kate Hunter  41:40

Absolutely, like our bodies are amazing. And you know, I think I think this is a really cool piece for mushrooms too, because they have this like really deep like mucilaginous effect. So that heals the gut by almost offering like this beautiful slime sort of thing. I think mushrooms are just have a wonderful place and gut health and a wonderful place in healing. And, you know, the liver is so important to with any sort of autoimmune disease or inflammatory process because it's the IT processes everything in the blood. So, you know, when there's so many wonderful mushrooms for liver health, like it just, yeah, I'm less


Tonya Papanikolov  42:17

and less. Yeah, I would, I would love to hear your take on this remission. Healing cure, like, I know that, is that possible to be cured of an autoimmune condition.


Dr. Kate Hunter  42:30

So I think it depends on the language, you want to choose for yourself, like I say that I have cured myself of Crohn's disease, and I know that that a lot of people might not necessarily believe that, or might consider that I've been in long remission, but going from past colonoscopy results of like, ulcerations everywhere, and now, you know, not having any whatsoever. To me, I consider that, that cure, like I could, you know, I try to eat very healthy and like, you know, when I put my body I'm very conscious of but like, I could also go have two glasses of wine and half a pizza, and not be sprinting to a bathroom. Or in deep pain. So for me, like, the cure pieces around like the quality of life, yeah, my quality of life is cured. Yeah. 100% from or like a full 360 From where I used to be, but, but I do think there's like this energetic imprint, that's never really going to leave me like the way that I show symptoms. It'll always go to usually always goes to my gut. So like, if I'm having a really stressful time, it's gonna go there. Yeah, and I don't think it means I'm not cured or that I'm out of permission or something. Is that like, the way that my mental emotional well being and spiritual well being it holds this certain pattern memory, and if I'm not always working on it, and if I'm not in therapy about it, your show itself, oh, my god,


Tonya Papanikolov  43:57

yeah, that really resonates. And I feel the same way. But it's also like our barometer to acts to like, tell us, like, okay, you've gone too far here. And it's just, it's so dynamic and has nuance to it, because you just know that as as you keep listening, because, you know, you wouldn't really want to probably go back to eating pizza every day. Like that wouldn't make you feel too good. So it's not I think it's the I think for the chrome like any digestive or autoimmune condition. I think so much of it is that that lifestyle piece and feeling a little bit more integrated and being able to, to just have this one glass of wine if I want, and that's so inspiring to hear. And if you don't even ask, how long did that take? So once you found that, nd I know that it's like never ended like to an extent, you know, you are where you are today because you've continually built and continued building on that foundation. But was there was there a timeframe that you were like, well,


Dr. Kate Hunter  44:57

yeah, my patients ask me this all the time because everyone wants to know what the expectation is. Yeah. But I think it's also like, the speed of your mental emotional healing too. So, like, I was diagnosed with Crohn's, like really young. So I was like, you know, 2223. And I wasn't totally in a place to do a lot of mental emotional work, because I didn't really know how much to do yet. I don't know, I got lost. But I think it really, compliance is a huge thing, how compliant you are. And then the diet was a huge piece for me. And then the mental emotional healing. So I think those three pieces for me personally, I'd say took like three full years to really feel like beyond no Western minds whatsoever, be on more of like a maintenance plan, natural puppy plan, and to not have that that fear of like, oh gosh, what if I do have that glass of wine? Am I going to be sprinting to the bathroom and you know, killed over in pain? Like I think it took probably three full years for me to be like, Oh, wow, I didn't even didn't even walk in that restaurant and wonder where the bathroom was? Wow. Yeah. So I probably took about three years. But again, it's like, it's kind of I feel like my life's work because because of that energetic imprint. And because of that predisposition to where my mental emotional state goes, it always goes to my gut. So if I'm not actively engaged in my own healing, then I get little coax about Yeah, pay attention.


Tonya Papanikolov  46:27

Wow. Such an inspiring story. And I can see how, yeah, your that has guided your your life's work to show people what's possible, because I think there's a lot of people who just think this is my life now, like, this is just how it is


Dr. Kate Hunter  46:42

my diagnosis. Yeah, well, and it's so interesting, right? Like, there's there seems to be more flexibility, sort of mental emotional diagnoses, like we've just spoke about, both of us having anxious anxiety and anxious times. And then us both really like feeling into the energy of the light at the end of the tunnel, or 2023, or new beginnings, whatever. And we're sort of over it. But it seems like in western medicine, or on a physical level, it's like those diagnoses are with you forever. Yeah. And like, of course, some people anxiety, depression, but we all sort of ebb in and out of those totally, and know when when we need to be supported or not. But it seems very odd to me that in the world of autoimmune disease, it's like you have it forever. Yeah. Right. And like, even even like with cancer, it's like people beat cancer, totally have it anymore. But for some reason, autoimmune diseases like no, it's like, a ticket on your forehead for the rest of your life.


Tonya Papanikolov  47:35

Yeah, that's a great analogy, too. It's absolutely true. And I don't I don't think it needs to be the body's too smart. The body and mind are too powerful, too. It's too smart. Yeah. Would you share with us some of your daily personal tips like how do you what do you do to take care of yourself today, and like to really support your nervous system and immune system and health.


Dr. Kate Hunter  47:58

So I feel quite open about saying this, but I feel like it was like secretive for a while. So I microdose with psilocybin. Awesome. So I use golden teacher and I dose one capsule, so 100 milligrams, every three days. And I have found this is just, like, revolutionized my life and my ability to stay centered and find calm in a very busy life. And again, I'm definitely that personality type and that characteristic type that gets super busy and loves to live in hyper vigilance, and is so good at living in hyper vigilance. Like, if there was a zombie apocalypse, everyone would grab my coattails I would get everybody out, right? And to like to live like that is not, it's not healthy. And it presented itself for me in it presented itself in Crohn's. So this micro dosing has just given me almost like a breath to respond instead of living in this like hypervigilant, hyperactive, reactive state all the time. And it's been really nice. And I think, I think there's a bit of a negative part of natural beauty that there's like, you know, all these supplements, you have to take them all the time and I think some people feel quite overwhelmed with that, but I just love that with golden teachers like one capsule every three days. It feels like so minimal, and it's not like you know, two capsules three times a day like it doesn't it just feels like a more chill energy. And I feel like it's it's really working and it's not working in a way that I think like your traditional Western medicine SSRI would work like, I don't feel numb. I feel like awake. Yeah. And more on the way. Yeah, yeah. And we're more connected and more able to just be, I don't know in myself. And so yeah, so I've been doing that which I find really amazing. So It's cool because I use it for this hyper vigilant sort of anxiety. And then my husband uses it for more like, lower moods and getting in funks. And it's amazing how like, one mushroom can balance these sort of two different pathologies if we want to call it those. Yeah. And I think that's cool, too. When you like, you live in a, an environment with somebody, you obviously work off each other, and you become, you know, two systems that are one system. So it's very cool that one thing can sort of provide humanize. Yeah, yeah, harmonized. Word.


Tonya Papanikolov  50:35

It is so brilliant.


Dr. Kate Hunter  50:36

It's so cool. Yeah. So yeah, so I'm doing that I do this healthy water in the morning, which is where I put my little mushrooms in vitamin D collagen. And I sort of think of that in the morning, like, I do that before anything, before I take anyone to the bathroom, I have two kids before I take you know anyone to the bathroom, or like, you know, start making their lunch or start making their breakfast, I have this healthy water. And I tried to really, almost like put my oxygen mask on first. And put these deeply nourishing items that I truly believe in, in my water in my body first, and then I sort of start my day. And then what I'm really trying to lengthen in 2023 Is this morning meditation, I was sort of just flying by the seat of my pants and doing like a 10 minute app. And I'm trying to really carve out 20 minutes to half an hour every day when I get to work. And again, like I super prone to getting caught up in this societal busyness where I was getting to work and like trying to do a peloton trying to do a half hour workout before my day started. And now I'm like, doing, like this year, I just want to be in my body and sometimes a scary place. And it's sometimes not where I want to go alone. But I'm trying to work at a different pace. And meditation is my sort of new frontier to get myself back in there.


Tonya Papanikolov  51:56

I love that. I love meditation so much. Yeah, so much. And


Dr. Kate Hunter  52:00

it's it's funny how I think we all convince ourselves, we don't have time for it. Yeah, I think I'd convince myself for


Tonya Papanikolov  52:06

a lot of people to that. I know, it's challenging for different mind types. But there are a lot of people that will say like, I just can't like I'm just not good at it. But I think we can I do think it's really so much of what we need. I was actually just chatting with one of my clients recently who needs a lot of kind of Yin and Yang is so gravitated towards Yang and like the high intensity the hit training, the you know, super hardcore. And she just kind of realized that it's just like an like, just, it's just an addictive pattern that feeds the energy type that we're most familiar with. And you know, and that she eventually like had, like was able to realize like, Oh, I think I like that didn't feel good. I think I just really need to focus on more en and restorative practices right now. I think there's just such a such a need for both and that both require a good balance but that as a society and culture at large. There's just so much more dullness and and yen that we could do with I literally woke up this morning thinking like, what if? Why don't we mandate that every human has to consume mushrooms like literally like that? Only do our collective like to have everybody in their hearts and experiencing connection experiencing a sense of unity? Like why haven't we done that?


Dr. Kate Hunter  53:30

It's great. It's like, we should just put it


Tonya Papanikolov  53:32

in the water. Like, just put it in the water.


Dr. Kate Hunter  53:35

Take the fluoride out of the 11 Unlimited.


Tonya Papanikolov  53:39

Honestly, just I'm so happy to hear that you have that relationship with mushrooms and that you and your family. Yeah, I put mushrooms


Dr. Kate Hunter  53:46

in my in my kids healthy water in the morning, too. It's like I think it's a real. Yeah, they're amazing. And like whether you know you're doing heroic psychedelic dosages, and that's showing you your urges, or you're doing micro doses or you're doing Reishi in your water. Like there's just such a range. And I think people are so scared of mushrooms. They think they're gonna get high.


Tonya Papanikolov  54:08

Yeah, totally, totally. And


Dr. Kate Hunter  54:10

they're just gonna show you who you are. We shouldn't be afraid of


Tonya Papanikolov  54:13

that. No, I think we can learn to be more comfortable with it and eventually come to like, really celebrate and honor it. And what you were saying too, it's like whether Yeah, that heroic or the micro or the functional, medicinal. They all have intelligence. And that intelligence comes into our body and resonates it and creates greater intelligence in harmony with us and our environment in nature. Absolutely.


Dr. Kate Hunter  54:37

And like their capabilities in nature on the forest floor. If they're that capable there. Why would they not be that capable in our bodies?


Tonya Papanikolov  54:45

Absolutely. Yeah. I love this chat so much. And I'm so grateful for you opening up and sharing your story and more about your practice. And I'm just honestly so grateful that you're doing this work. In providing this care and education to people who really need it, and who need to also see the expander, and the person who has come out on the other side of it is so expensive for me to hear and I know will be for others too.


Dr. Kate Hunter  55:15

Thank you. Thank you, I appreciate you and what you do and what you put out into the world. I think it's amazing, thank you. I'm happy to be a partner and a consumer. And


Tonya Papanikolov  55:25

like was, yeah, I'm so grateful for that. I end all episodes, just asking our guests to share an intention, a wish or a prayer with our audience.


Dr. Kate Hunter  55:35

Beautiful. I think like, yeah, an intention to wish and a prayer, I think all three can be wrapped in that I hope for people to look at their health and their wellness, as a myriad of different things that are going on, and not just symptoms and really looking at how mental emotional affects the physical, how the physical affects the mental emotional, how it affects the spiritual and really looking at ourselves as this symbiotic organism that doesn't just need one pill. It doesn't just need one pill forever, it needs this sort of conglomerate approach to the beautiful different systems that make us whole. And if we could view the body as the forest and all the different pieces and aspects of what makes a forest healthy and grow is what we also have. So the mental and the physical being the way to help.


Tonya Papanikolov  56:27

Yeah, body as an ecological system is so beautiful. Thank you. Thank you so much, Kate. Oh, nice to chat with you. Likewise, chat soon.


Dr. Kate Hunter  56:40

Okay, take care.


Tonya Papanikolov  56:44

With deep gratitude, thanks for tuning into this episode. If you liked it, hit subscribe and leave us a review that is always very appreciated. Mushrooms transformed my mind and body and if you're interested in bringing medicinal mushrooms into your life and health journey, check out for our meticulously sourced Canadian fruiting body mushroom tinctures. Until next time, peace in and peace out friends.



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