April 14, 2021
Breathing is often overlooked as something that automatically happens but Jen breaks down the real power our breath holds.
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Jen Broyles is a Holistic Health Coach who specializes in gut health, and chronic stress and anxiety. She is also a breathwork coach and emphasizes the relationship between breathing and stress and how one affects the other.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:00:00] Hi everyone. I'm Dr. Chloe Carmichael clinical psychologist, author of the book, nervous energy. And of course your host of the high-functioning hotspot podcast, where I like to interview and talk to high functioning, driven people and learn what they're up to and how they go through life. So today's guest is Jen Broyles
[00:00:21] She is a pharmaceutical sales rep who became kind of an Instagram sensation and teaches all kinds of really interesting Breathworks and essential oils techniques and things like that, that she used to solve her own. Digestive and gut health problems. So I'm really excited to speak with her. Not only just for the information that she's going to share, but because one of the marks of a high functioning person is that if they're having a problem and they can't figure out how to solve it, they're not afraid to get help and talk to other people, which is exactly what Jen did as she kind of became an expert on the subject so that she could figure out how to deal with the issue herself. So without further ado, here's Jen Broyles.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:00:00] Thanks so much for coming to the high functioning hotspot .
Jen Broyles: [00:00:03] Well thank you for having me.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:00:04] Yeah. So, you know, just to jump in, I was interested to speak with you because on this show, I like to talk to people that are high functioning themselves. And then in your case, it sounds like you also help other people to be able to increase their own functioning. So there's kind of a couple of different layers. That I was interested in, but just to start off a little bit, if you might just share a little bit about yourself and what it means to be a holistic health coach and how you came to be on that path, I'd love to know.
Jen Broyles: [00:00:39] Yeah, absolutely. So I think, you know, for so many of us that are practitioners in the natural health world, we get there through either our own health journey or that of a loved one.
And that was really the case for me. You know, is in my, in my twenties and early thirties and experiencing some [00:01:00] digestive issues and wasn't finding answers. In the conventional route and that's really all I knew and what I really believed in at the time I worked in pharmaceutical sales, I sold all the prescription drugs and and thought that was really the ultimate solution to healing.
But when that Avenue didn't work for me, I was kind of forced to look elsewhere. And so I started with nutrition cause I didn't really know a whole lot about true nutrition. And once I started reading books and doing research and. Finding answers outside of this conventional model that I was so familiar with.
It just opened my eyes to this new world and kind of sparked a passion within me. So once I started learning all of this information and implementing it myself I saw that there were so many. Natural ways to support the body and healing. And that's when I decided to go back to school and study integrative nutrition and become a holistic health coach.
And and through there, the journey has continued to evolve into bringing in other tools like essential oils and breath work to really support the mind and the body and, and, and healing. All, all levels of healing. .
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:02:15] That's great. So one of the things that I have noticed with high functioning people, and this happens though, is, you know, the area of therapy sometimes.
So I'm a clinical psychologist myself, obviously like, you know, I very good training and very good credentials, but I just think a lot of people who are coming to find a therapist, I often feel almost kind of bad for the general public, because your average person can just put. Whatever, almost random string of letters after their name.
That might mean that they've been to like a six week certificate course or whatever. And like the average person just doesn't know that much about it. And I found that in general, high functioning people, they tend to respect credentials and expertise. [00:03:00] And so sometimes they just see all these letters after a person's name and they're like, Oh, that must be an expert.
I'll go with them. And I'm just curious in your field. I wonder if there's some kind of a parallel how could the average person actually sort through the noise and make sure that they're seeing someone who actually really knows what they're doing?
Jen Broyles: [00:03:20] That is such a good question because you're right.
There's a lot out there. You know, now with the internet, we can find information in a split second and there's so much information that it can be overwhelming and the same goes with searching for the right. Practitioner. And I think what you have to do is it does take time. And that may be the, the good or the, or the bad thing, however you choose to see it.
But I think it's worth investing the time to follow a practitioner online. I mean, most practitioners now have an online presence you know, get on their newsletter, watch any videos that they have. Start to know them as best you can you know, online. And I feel like having that connection with somebody it's really important.
So if you feel like you really vibe with a practitioner, just from what you're seeing online and the stuff they're teaching seems to really make sense and resonate with you, and maybe they have their own healing story as well. I think that's really powerful. It's not necessary, but it's, it is powerful.
So I do feel like taking the time and doing your research because there's a level of responsibility that falls on the patient, right. Or the clients and taking the time to know that you are, you are worth investing in. And sometimes that means doing a little research upfront and, and following a few people on social media and on their website and their blog and watching YouTube videos and things like that, and really getting to know them
And see how it feels. I think learning to really trust that gut feeling is, is super important. And if what they're saying, if what they're teaching is really resonating with you, then that may be a good fit for you.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:05:03] Are there any, like, the reason I'm just curious about this too though, is because they feel like the same thing is true with therapy probably as with holistic health coaching in many ways that oftentimes the client is coming because they don't know a lot about this.
And if they just kind of go with their gut, like, you know, if, if whatever the person is seeing makes sense, that could almost be kind of dangerous for somebody that doesn't know. You know what I mean? Like there could be a really charismatic person that talks about, yeah, all you should eat as lettuce, you know, and all you need is packed with water and it is good for you.
And, you know, like it, they could vibe with that person and, and feel like they had a great connection with that person, but that person still might not actually really know what they were talking about. So I'm curious, like, are there any like particular, like what's the credentials or like letters after a person's name that people should look for?
Jen Broyles: [00:05:54] So in the health and nutrition world, there are a lot of different ones. You know, I am a holistic health [00:06:00] coach. I attended the instance Institute for integrative nutrition. There's nutritional therapy practitioners there's you know holistic nutritionist and clinical nutritionist. There's a lot of different credentials out there.
So it does, that gets tricky for sure. In terms of the letters behind a person's name. But also like for me, Similarly you know when I hear a practitioner that comes across very extreme, like their way is the only way, and you have to follow this protocol and buy, you know, all of their stuff and do all of this testing.
I started to question that, right. So I. Really resonate with like someone that has a more open view and is going to customize things to each individual and recognize the bio-individuality that we all have. And no one diet works for everyone and not everyone needs to be on this little bundle of supplements and all of that.
So those are some of the things that I look for is if someone is promoting like this one thing with all of this stuff, and this is the only way that's kind of where I start to question things
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:07:11] Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So I do want to also ask you about the breath work and the stomach breath work.
I know that's something that you have a lot to share about, but before I get to that, I just wanted to also, you know, take a little bit of a sidebar and just you, again, as a high functioning person, I know a lot of people want to go and, you know, become a holistic health coach or, you know, start their own business and all those things.
And. You know, not everyone is able to just do it. In fact, most of the people who, you know, try it, those types of endeavors are not initially successful. And it seems like you've done so well. You've built a, you know, a large social media following and you're doing really well. So I'm just curious, like on a business standpoint or a personal resilience level, can you talk about what makes you successful where others have not been.
Jen Broyles[00:08:05] Oh, wow. That's such a great question. I will tell you building something from scratch is not easy. You know, it's one of those things where you do have to have a lot of resilience and just keep going. Even on the days where you start to question yourself, you have a lot of doubt. You're frustrated things aren't working out according to your plan, right.
[00:08:27] And you just have to keep going and keep doing the things that. That are driving you and that, you know, will ultimately build a business. And so yeah, I think it does take a certain type of person. I, I mean, I have a lot of friends that have no interest in being an entrepreneur. Like they love. Going to a job and having that stable paycheck and all of this stuff, and that's fine.
[00:08:53] We're all wired differently. But, for you, if you're listening and you think like, yes, you want to be an entrepreneur and you want to be in the health field. I will tell you I had some very strong misconceptions when I first came into it. Cause I can't, like I said, I came out of pharmaceutical sales where I had.
[00:09:09] You know, a great paycheck every month. I had wonderful benefits, all these things like financially very secure and, and then basically started from scratch. And I literally, in my mind, for some reason, thought it was going to be pretty easy. Like I would just announce to the world in one email and one social media post that I'm now a health coach and I'd have clients lining up at my door, you know?
[00:09:32] So that was not the case. And it does it, it takes a lot. It. It takes a lot of collaboration with other people and it takes just a lot of time and energy on your part on getting your name out there. And whether it's starting a blog or starting a podcast or you know, sharing stuff on social media I find that offering up education.
[00:09:55]Is one of the best ways to do it instead of, you know, always [00:10:00] asking people to, you know, become your client or, you know, trying to sell something all the time you know, giving, giving first and then it starts to come back to you. So whether that's sharing your knowledge through a blog post, or sharing your knowledge through an Instagram post those are the things.
[00:10:16] If you're consistent with it and you're doing. Small steps every day, then things do start to grow. So it's just, it is, it's a total mindset shift because I feel like through this journey, I have grown so much personally because it is so much a change in your mindset and just a lot of personal growth through it all as well.
[00:10:38] Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:10:38] Yeah, definitely. You know, with therapists there's a lot of therapists are really. Kind of introverted and they love to just sit in their little office and have people come and talk to them. But, actually they put the clients in front of us in graduate school. So they did great in graduate school.
[00:10:52] But then when it comes time to like actually get their clients, you know, they have no idea how to do it. So I actually teach a course, like helping them. To do [00:11:00] that sometimes. And I think a lot of what you said would really resonate, probably not only with therapists or health coaches, but really with anybody that wants to put themselves out there and, you know, just elevate their profile.
[00:11:11]Yeah. So, but without that covered, I really was curious as a former yoga teacher. We're obviously also super into breath work and I still do a fair amount of breath work actually like even in workshops and things with corporate workshops and people that are interested in wellness and the psychology of how we feel when we breathe.
[00:11:31] And obviously like when people talk about the body mind connection, I'm just like the brain is in the body, you know, like there's almost really a distinction, you know? Anyway. So I'm curious if you can share a little bit about your experience with breathing and some of breathing I'm curious.
Jen Broyles: [00:11:48] Yeah, absolutely.
[00:11:49] So. I honestly had no idea how powerful our breath is. You know, our breath, as you know, it's, it's one function in [00:12:00] the body that is under this involuntary control. It's under the role and function of the autonomic nervous system. So it happens in the background. For those things we don't really think about, you know, we came into this world breathing.
[00:12:12] We didn't have to necessarily learn how to breathe. And, and it's the thing that keeps us alive then. So it just, it just happens on its own. But the problem here is that so often it gets hijacked by stress. And so when we are stressed out and we're living in chronic stress, our breath tends to take a toll and it gets out of sync and it becomes erratic and it becomes fast and shallow.
[00:12:37] And the whole way we're breathing starts to get messed up, which ultimately stimulates more stress and can contribute to illness and imbalances in the body. And so when I first discovered breath work and I've tried, I've done. All different types of breath work. I was just blown away about how, when I bring awareness to my breath, but not [00:13:00] just that, but actually consciously breathe, meaning that I start to control the way I'm breathing and breathe in a different pattern.
[00:13:08] It influences different effects. And that was just amazing to me, you know, the way that. Consciously breathing in a certain pattern can make me feel and how much lighter and freer I could feel, how much calmer and at peace I could feel how much more energized I could feel. It was really amazing. And so is Soma breath work.
[00:13:29] It is it's, it's rooted in pranayama and yoga and, and what we're doing for the most, for most of us Soma breath work session, we're doing this rhythmic diaphragmatic breathing. So we're breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth beats to music. So we're playing music throughout it all. So it's a really.
[00:13:47] Fun and kind of high energy experience. What we're doing is we're bringing that natural rhythm back. So we're designed to one do nostril breathing. So, so often we're breathing [00:14:00] in through our mouth which we should be breathing in through our nose. And oftentimes we may even find that we're holding our breath without realizing it.
[00:14:07] So what we want to do is bring that natural rhythm. Back to our breath where we're, we're breathing in and out at pretty equal rates and we're slowing our breath. So, so many of us are breathing really fast because again, we're living in this stressed out state. So once we start to slow our breath, it starts to calm the mind and calm the body.
[00:14:28] So with this rhythmic breathing and breathing and beats to music, we're really starting to. Calm the nervous system and bring balance to the nervous system. So getting out of that fight or flight that survival mode getting in more of that rest, relax, digest, state of being, and it helps us also bring back and harmonize the other rhythms in our body, you know, think about all the different rhythms that our body has that we need for proper functioning digestion, circadian rhythms, [00:15:00] heart rate, blood pressure.
[00:15:01] Starts to bring all these kinds of back into balance. And I mean, you notice immediately that your stress levels drop, you can think clear. You know, some of our, some of the breathwork sessions I do are really tailored to a rest and restore. So we may do them in the evening and it really helps us sleep others.
[00:15:19] We may do to help energize and focus and be more productive during your day. But you can do it with this. Sense of calm as well. So it's like an energized, calm, which is a really neat combination where you feel like you've got motivation to accomplish the things you want to accomplish. You've got clarity, but you don't feel super stressed out about it.
[00:15:41] Right. And so just tuning into our breath and breathing consciously in that way can really help us just live. In a much better state throughout our day. And it helps us fix our breathing too. So if we are breathing incorrectly, this can help fix our breathing, which is going to ultimately improve our health on [00:16:00] a number of different levels.
[00:16:01] Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:16:01] Hi. Is there any way that you could explain, like in like a minute or two, like suppose that somebody was like, I'll try it. I'll put on a song right now and try it with the music. Like what w what would a person do
[00:16:13]Jen Broyles: [00:16:13] Yeah, absolutely. So, we're breathing in different rhythms throughout a session. So typically we're breathing in for a count of four and out for a count of four.
[00:16:24] So if you do that to beats of music and we use special music that has breeding sounds and counting built into it, and it's just this really powerful, transformative music, but yeah, you can do it with any music that has a good beat. And so if you just breathe in for. A beat of four through the nose and out for a beat of four through the mouth
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:16:42] That's why I'm rocking. Yeah, that's really cool. That's really cool. And if somebody wanted to like find you online and, you know, try your classes online, I'm assuming, you know, how would they find you?
Jen Broyles: [00:16:55] Absolutely. My website is Jen Broyles.com. So it's my name. [00:17:00] And you can find all types of information there, but I have a free quiz you can take to find out if you are breathing correctly.
[00:17:08] So if you go to my homepage, you'll see it there, but also Jen broyles.com forward slash breath dash quiz. You can find that, take the quiz and then you'll also receive a few different breathing techniques from me as well.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:17:20] Okay, sounds good. So I'm just curious then, like kind of back to the business perspective, I know that for me, when I started my own business and, you know, I was like thrilled and surprised that I started to really buck up with clients faster than I'd imagined.
[00:17:36]And then like there came a point when I started hiring people. And that's been its own wild ride. And I'm just curious for you, if you can talk a little shop with us you know, are you hiring people? Are you thinking about that? What are your thoughts in that department?
Jen Broyles: [00:17:50] Yeah, that's a great question.
[00:17:51] So I have hired people in the past. I still do a lot of running the business myself. But I have in the past had [00:18:00] had someone help me with my blog. And I've also had someone help me with social media in the past. And now I do, I do those two on my own. Now I've just figured out ways to be more efficient with it and, and that sort of thing.
[00:18:13] So I feel like I can take that on. I do have someone that helps me with. PR. And, and so I haven't really had that in the past, so that's something new that I've brought on. So it's kinda been different people over the course of my business, but yeah, it is an interesting thing. Hiring people to help you do different things, because I've definitely hired, I've hired social media, people that have not panned out.
[00:18:38] And it's frustrating because you invest a lot of money and you're not seeing the return. And so. So I think the biggest thing that I had to learn there was like, I made the best decision in that moment. Like I tried to gather as much information as I could and get, you know, testimonials and hear other people's experiences from working with someone.
[00:18:59] And I made the [00:19:00] best decision in that moment because I've definitely had those times where I just kind of beat myself up over making a bad decision and I've learned that. You just can't that doesn't serve anybody. Like you just have to like say, okay, that I did the best I could at the time, but now I know, and I've learned something from it.
[00:19:18] I've learned, these are some other questions I can ask, and this is some other stuff that I can look for. So it is important to do your research when you hire somebody. And if you can get testimonials and other people's experiences, that's, that's always good. And then just know that at some point you have to make a decision.
[00:19:34] I heard a quote. Somewhere. I don't remember where, but I think they said gather like 40 to 70% of the information. You know, something like something in there. If you don't have, at least you feel like if you don't have like 40% of the information, then you're not ready to make a decision. If you've got more than 70%, then it's time to make a decision.
[00:19:56] And I was like, That's a really good way of putting it because you don't there. There's going to be some stuff you just don't know. And there is a level of risk, but
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:20:04] I liked what you're saying about, you know, I did the best I could with the information at the time, because I think with a lot of high-functioning people, part of the way that they do thrive.
[00:20:14] Is by being very willing, you know, to live in the mirror and say like, okay, what did I, how, how could I have done that better? Being the first person to be able to take some constructive criticism or even creative for yourself. But then there is a tipping point where it can become de-motivating. So I think it was a Buddhist teacher.
[00:20:32] I think that I came across once, but he said. Really that we need honesty and compassion to navigate, you know, growth. Like we have to be willing to say like, yep, that wasn't so great. And yet there were things that I could have done better. And then we also have to have the compassion side where we do kind of say like, okay, but I was doing the best I could.
[00:20:51] And here's where I went awry and creating the compassion enough that we're able to acknowledge the mistake. I think for people who are so hard on themselves about [00:21:00] mistakes, it actually becomes more difficult for them to give themselves permission to actually acknowledge and see their mistakes.
[00:21:06] So, yeah, there's definitely a sweet spot there in the middle, but what I didn't hear you mention when you talked about hiring people I didn't hear you mention hiring any other holistic health coaches. And I'm just curious if, if that means that, do you see yourself as just being the one woman show with some support staff?
Or would you, if you felt like there was demand, like, would you, would you hire someone just curious?
[00:21:31] Jen Broyles: [00:21:31] Yeah. If there was demand, if I felt like there was demand and it made, it made business sense, I absolutely would. I just haven't at this point. So, so yeah, so right now it's me. But if there's ever a time, like I am.
[00:21:45] Very open to expanding and bringing other people on when the time is. Right. So just haven't haven't gotten there yet. So yeah,
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:21:54] I'll just share with you. I mean, I have, I've hired so many therapists over the years and you know, interestingly, [00:22:00] I've actually had some of my best therapists come in as trainees because you know, sometimes they're.
[00:22:06] Just, you know, the most eager, the most willing they have the most energy they have the most desire. I find, you know, sometimes that can be true as well with people that are further along in their careers, but sometimes I've actually found, you know, that the people who are actually in a training program are, cause I guess at the end of the day, I'm also not really hiring a therapist just to be a therapist.
[00:22:29] I'm hiring them because. Somebody wants to see me, but due to reasons of schedule or budget, they can't. And so we're looking for someone that's going to be almost like a surrogate. Yeah. You know, if you were, since you mentioned like, you know, demands and expense, I mean like I'm sure the training programs, they would probably be glad to place somebody like in a festival program.
[00:22:52] Although, you know, for me, I've kind of gotten away from that more over the years. I'm like with my. Buck and, you know, [00:23:00] programs and other staff you know, speaking of energy, like I almost feel like a kid in a candy store sometimes, you know, you seem to have a lot of that natural passion and enthusiasm for what you do.
[00:23:10]And I think a lot of high-functioning people do is, you know, we, we tend to get into jobs, not just by accident. Like we get into them because we have a passion for them. And so, you know, for us, When it comes to setting limits with our, with our professional life it can actually be difficult, you know, to do that, which I think for people who are in jobs that they don't love might be difficult to understand that.
[00:23:32]But I can see just from, you know, everything that you're doing, that it's. It's a labor of love for you. So I was just curious, like when and how you would bump up against the limits of saying, Oh, I just, I want to, but there's only so many hours in the day.
Jen Broyles: [00:23:45] Yeah. And I, I think I'll know when I, when I get to that point I do, I feel like over the years, I've.
[00:23:54] I've become a lot better at setting boundaries. And you know, just [00:24:00] implementing self care ultimately and saying, these are my work hours. And outside of that, like I'm shutting off email. I'm not checking my phone, I'm putting it in airplane mode, all of these things and having those clear boundaries.
[00:24:13] And and that's been really helpful for me because you're right. Like, I love what I do. I think that's another thing that as entrepreneurs that keeps us going, even when. Some days are more difficult than others. We just, we love what we're doing. And we really believe in and, and, and sharing what we have to offer.
[00:24:31] And but at the same time, it is challenging to shut down work because it doesn't always feel like we're, it gets sometimes, you know, it's enjoyable. And so it's easy to start early and work late. But over the years, like I said, I've been a lot better at just kind of shutting that off and Leaving work in those, in those, you know, set hours as much as possible.
[00:24:53] There's always exceptions, but as much as possible. So I've got some. Got time to myself, got [00:25:00] time for self care. I got time with my family, all of those things that are important
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:25:04] as well. Yeah. I mean, I always like joke with people that like, if I didn't get paid to do therapy, I would actually probably pay money to do it just like I would actually pay to do it.
[00:25:16] I mean, in fact, when I think about the quarter million dollars of money I spent on education, I guess I kind of did pay like to do therapy, you know, but at the end of the day, at least not the balance has come out in the black for me. So that's good. That's good. Yeah. It seems like the same for you. And so I just really congratulate you.
[00:25:34] I just, I think that when people can, you know, have that magical ability in my opinion, to be able to do what we love and, you know, to be able to actually also create a livelihood out of it it's, it's a beautiful thing. And so I thank you for coming to share with me. Is there anything else that you wanted to share or bring up or if not, just go ahead and say one more time how people can reach you.
Jen Broyles: [00:25:57] Yeah, absolutely. Well, Dr. Chloe, first of all, thank you for having me on this has been a pleasure and it's so great to have this conversation with you and, and yeah, I mean, for any of you that are, you know, are in that place of trying to decide like next steps. In your career or your professional life, you know, if there's something you're passionate about and you can find a way to do it, I say, absolutely go for it.
[00:26:21] Even if it means, you know, starting it on the side and building it as much as you can in the time that you have. So, so yeah, so I think dreams are definitely possible. And you can find me firstname.lastname@example.org. And on all the social media platforms at the same name. So I'm excited to hopefully connect with all of you.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:26:43] Awesome. And that's J E N B R O Y L E S.com. We'll put it in the show notes too. Awesome. Well, thanks again for joining me. Have a good rest of the day. They help you too.
Jen Broyles: [00:26:53] Bye.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: But what a lovely conversation, I just have to say, I really enjoyed the chance to connect with Jen and just so inspired by the way that when she wasn't finding the answers that she needed you know, through the channels available, she kind of became the channel herself and she was able to do that and find fulfillment herself as well as professionally as well, that she was able to parlay that into a business.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: So. Go Jen. Thanks so much everybody for listening. I hope to see you at the next episode. Take care.