This article is based on episode #22 of A Bridge To Wholeness podcast. You can listen to the episode on iTunes, Stitcher, and on our website.
Jennifer Crisp: Dr. Le Blanc has a very unique treatment approach that blends the best of Western and energy medicine. And so she includes traditional Chinese medicine, Reiki, reflexology, meditation, massage, and counseling strategies. She’s trained with leaders in the field of traditional pain management, as well as within the field of energy medicine. Because she’s equipped with this specialized knowledge she’s established herself as an expert at maximizing quality of life, and minimizing pain of the most complex nature.
Dr. Le Blanc graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her residency training in physiatry at Columbia and Cornell university hospitals. She served as the director of cancer rehabilitation at University of Pennsylvania, and she’s a highly awarded and sought after physician. She is an author and motivational speaker, and has bene featured in magazines, television, and radio shows. I am so excited that you are here today because you obviously have a grasp on what true integrative medicine and healing is about.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Thank you Jen. I think that’s what attracted me so much to you, that we have such a similar vision and idea of how care should be provided.
Jennifer Crisp: So tell me what led you to this after you graduated from medical school and became a doctor. Tell us a little bit about your background and your story how you got here.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: So when I decided to go into medicine i went into rehab medicine, also known as physiatry. The unique thing about physiatry, it’s not a field of medicine that many people know about, and it doesn’t own one specific organ. It’s not like cardiology where they take care of the heart. Instead, this field of medicine is really focused on improving quality of life and function. And so we take care of any disease, or illness that affects muscles, joints, nerves, anything that would effect anyone’s function. So my goal, I always say to my patients is that I want to to get them back to doing the things that they loved before illness interrupted, and so that’s always my focus when I work with a patient. And where we go with that could be so many different ways. It could be managing their bowel and bladder issues, it can be managing their pain. It could be improving their strength and ability to walk, or just having them be more independent so they don’t have to depend on their family as much to be able to care for themselves.
But we work together with the patient in terms of figuring out what their number one goal is, and work towards that. Because a lot of times as providers what we think is most important oftentimes isn’t actually the main goal of the patient. And so by having that dialogue it really gives me a lot of insight on what’s really important for the patient, and where to focus my efforts.
Jennifer Crisp: I’m really glad you said that because I know that you have your own private practice correct?
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Yes.
Jennifer Crisp: Yes. And so you’re kind of a little off the beaten path with the way you run your practice. Can you talk about that a little bit more?
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: I do. So there’s three things about me. So I’m a rehab doc, so I look at the whole person. I’m a relationship coach, and I’m an energy healer. So I don’t think there’s anybody else quite like me.
Jennifer Crisp: I don’t think so either. I mean I think there are some of these docs around, they’re just hiding a little bit. So I’m really glad that you came-
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: More and more are coming out.
Jennifer Crisp: Yeah, yeah. Because I think what you said though is you’re looking at the whole person.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Yeah. And you know I’ve always been that touchy feely person, not touchy feely, but TLC doctor. My patients always feel loved when they leave my office. I always give them hugs, I always listen to them. That’s always been me. And I kind of had a reputation on campus, anybody who needs extra care send them to Dr. Le Blanc. But really my journey into this other side … So I was already a little bit different from most docs, but things actually really took a major turn when I started having marriage issues a couple years ago. I sought out a relationship coach and actually became a relationship coach to help other women in similar situations.
And what I realized was, not only did I heal my marriage and help other women with their marriages, but as I was sitting in the room with my patients, what I realized was that self love was the big elephant in the room.
The only reason that I could call it out was because I had to first call it out within myself. If you were to ask me like do you love yourself? Are you confident? Of course I’d be like, “Yes, yes, yes,” and on the surface everything looks perfect. But when I looked at the situation that I was in, I realized I wouldn’t be in this situation if self love wasn’t an issue. I wouldn’t be a critical, judgemental person if self love wasn’t an issue. And when I really got honest with myself, and really looked in the mirror and saw what was really there, and worked to change it. A big part of that was creating a daily self care, or I like to call it a self love ritual where I make sure that I take really good care of myself and make my needs a priority. And even feel into my emotions and my needs, because I was emotionally numb. When people used to ask me, “How are you feeling? How is your day?” I would get real awkward and confused because I’m like, “I don’t know. It’s another day.”
Jennifer Crisp: I did a tele-summit a couple years ago and the title of it was Your Self Care is Your Healthcare. And I always say to people, “Our self care is what really helps us to stay focused.” And taking care of yourself is not selfish, it’s selfless. Because if we don’t love ourselves, and we don’t take care of ourselves, and we don’t do that care routine, we can’t be there for other people.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: We can’t. It needs to be the non-negotiable. And I was starting to have health issues. I was starting to get panic attacks, like the writing was on the wall. And so when I was able to really work on that within myself, then every patient who I was seeing in my office for chronic pain and chronic issues, I was just able to call it out in other people so much more clearly.
Jennifer Crisp: And this is what doctors, I think a lot of doctors they don’t have the time in their practice to go there, and we know that that’s a real issue. And I can tell you from past experience, I’ve had a couple of docs walk in the room, and I’m waiting for them, and they rush in, and they just look like if they could just hide in a corner for 15 or 20 minutes and breathe. And I have literally said to them, “You know it seems like you might need a little breather. Would you like to just sit in here quietly for an extra few minutes and I won’t say anything to anybody.” They get this look like, do I look so flustered? And I’m like, yeah you really do look flustered. Because doctors are so busy.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Yeah. And we hold so much on our shoulders. I mean we’re literally caring for people’s lives. What a lot of times patients don’t realize when we’re running behind, or we look crazy like that is we may have just come from another room saving someone’s life.
Jennifer Crisp: Exactly. Exactly. I do want everybody to know out there, I have a real … I just want doctors to understand that that self love and self care is also really important for them because it really is. But when you have a patient who comes in to see you, say with some chronic pain, how do you normally start addressing that?
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: So I ask them about what’s going on at home. Because a lot of time when you ask them, “When did it start?” They can very easily pinpoint a time period when it started. And then I start digging around and ask, “Well what was going on at home during that time?” Or, “What was happening at work?” And usually something major comes up, maybe it was the passing of a loved one, maybe they started having issues in their marriage, or they started going through a divorce, maybe one of their children was getting into trouble. Or maybe the got a new boss at work that totally changed work dynamics and stress. Or maybe the moved and now they have an hour long commute, or something that changed the way that they were emotionally processing things.
And this is really the key because a lot of times people look at it, well you’re a relationship coach and a doctor, and an energy … Like how does that even all fit together? What does one have anything to do with the other? This is how they’re connected, because if you’re not happy at home, if your intimate relationships are not well nurtured, and you’re unhappy, then you’re not happy anywhere else. You’re not going to be happy at work, you’re not going to be happy personally. And most importantly, your health is going to show it.
Jennifer Crisp: So when you address these then and somebody is, you know maybe they have had some type of major life change, or a move, or a death, or a separation, or a multitude of things that we all deal with all the time. Do they come in specifically looking for an immediate solution, or do most people are amazed that you’re actually addressing these things? Like have they even thought about this type of medicine, this love is medicine, and the energy part of this?
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Most people haven’t. Most of them have never put the two pieces together, and most of them have never met another doctor like me. So for the most part most of them embrace it, and they love the fact that I’m talking to them, like I’m actually talking to them.
Jennifer Crisp: Because you take the time, you have the time to do that.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Right. A lot of times they’ll even say, “Can I start coming to you for my counseling instead?”
Because I definitely make sure that I give them something to do, it’s not just talk. It’s okay this is what we talked about, but let’s consider incorporating these-
Jennifer Crisp: So they get a little homework from you?
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Absolutely. Because there’s only so much you can do in the office. Really the real work happens at home right. Building a self care practice is really every day the person making themself a priority, choosing to love themself first. That doesn’t happen in the 30, or hour time period that they’re in my office. They can make a decision, but they actually have to do the work at home.
Jennifer Crisp: So what are some things that you might recommend to somebody who comes in and they’ve got a chronic pain issue, but you’ve done the digging and you’ve both been dialoguing and you realize this person has … You know, there’s something major that has happened in their life, is it, “Okay here’s something for the pain, go home and take care of yourself,” or how do you guide them through that?
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: The first thing I tell them to do is to brainstorm, and just make a list of all the things that make them fell loved in the moment. And it’s great.
Jennifer Crisp: Oh boy. I thought you were going to say make a list of all those things that stress you out, but wow that is just opposite of what we’ve all been taught right.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: We want to focus on the positivity, because energy is going to flow there so we want to make sure that we’re focused on positivity, on love, on gratitude. We don’t want to focus on the problems. The problems will get fixed if we actually focused on the positive side. So I have them create a list. I tell them, “Even get your girlfriends or friends and you guys can all create a list. Try to get to at least 25 things.” And if you have a group of people you can steal things off of other people’s list, it’s lot easier to get to 25. Because if you were like me and you were emotionally numb for so long, asking them, “Well that makes you happy?” That may not be an easy response. And coming up with 25 things can be challenging. So if you have somebody that you could do it with, a spouse, that can be helpful.
Jennifer Crisp: Somebody inside your community that really cares about you.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Absolutely. That would be ideal. And the great things is, if you are able to do it with family members, you can start the enrollment process. Because for a lot of women who are nurturers, we’ve just sacrificed, and just give, give, given, given, given, to nurture everyone around us. And so when we say, “Hey I need to take back some of my power, some of my energy, some of my time, to focus on me,” you may get a little bit of push back.
But certainly if you start by introducing this activity and have them think of, well what makes them feel good, and everyone’s doing the activity, it’s just one step to start enrolling them in the process. Because if they realize, wow I feel really good when I do this stuff, then they’ll be more understanding. Well when mom does those things it makes her feel really good, and I want her to feel good too.
Jennifer Crisp: When they get homework like this what’s their reaction?
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: A lot of them are excited. Because no one has ever asked them to do anything like that. It’s just something different, and new. I encourage them to, once they create the list, they want to to schedule on their calendar for the next couple of weeks, it’s 21 days ideally, where you schedule out a handful of things that you’re going to do each day that make you feel really good.
Jennifer Crisp: And that’s different for everybody, whatever that is.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Absolutely. And not only is it different for everybody, it can change from moment to moment. And so I give this example that when I first started, the easy thing was, well I love white chocolate, I like a nice glass of wine, et cetera, et cetera, I like seafood. These are great things, and you know you put them on your list and then after a while you’re like, “You know what, I don’t like the way that I look and feel.” Like this no longer feels good.
Jennifer Crisp: Right, that’s a temporary fix, right. That’s just a Band-Aid right?
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: And so I was able to shift it, it was just saying, “You know what, this did make me feel good in the past, but it doesn’t make me feel good right now.” And it’s okay to change and find other things. I picked up swimming of all things, I never used to swim. I used to like, “I don’t want to get my hair messed up.” It wasn’t anything I ever had an interest in, but even giving myself the freedom to try different things, and explore. I mean I came to fall in love with swimming.
And of course there are other things that I do like meditation, and qi gong, these are just few things. You know, getting your nails done, getting a massage, having a nice cup of coffee alone without interruption. Maybe reading a book or a magazine. Maybe reading funny memes, or watching a funny movie. I mean these are all just examples, but … And also giving yourself the leeway that it doesn’t have to be perfect. So it’s not that you have to devote two hours to watching an entire movie, like funny movie or something, but if you just have five or 15 minutes, saying, “You know what I’m just going to watch the funniest part of my favorite movie.” And just watch that funny party, laugh, truly enjoy it in the moment, and then be done with it. And you’re like, “Okay, I did it and I enjoyed it.” Rather than making all these qualifiers to make it count.
Jennifer Crisp: Yes. Yeah. And I think it’s interesting because I myself have gone through a lot of this, and shifting and changing things. And for me I get really involved in my work with A Bridge to Wholeness, and what I do with bringing the conventional and the alternative therapists together. But, if I get to bogged down I have to go into my sewing room. And if I go in there, even if I don’t sew or make anything, the fact that I’m in there, and I even turned the machine on, or I sit down and maybe I just doodle with my machine for a little bit because I free motion quilt, I don’t have to even produce anything it’s just the fact that I took that 10 or 15 minutes to just kind of clear my head and move in a different direction. To me that’s part of maintaining my self care.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Absolutely. And that’s a beautiful example.
Jennifer Crisp: Like you said, it’s not about perfection, and it’s not about having qualifiers to say, “Did I do this correctly?” It’s just about being in that present moment and recognizing maybe I need to turn this off and turn this piece back on.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Yes. That’s exactly what it is. It’s that moment of mindfulness, which is why it’s important to schedule it. Because what you realize is that there are many things that you do in a day that can be deemed enjoyable. Like we all have probably a cup of coffee, we all look at funny memes on our social media feeds, and maybe giggle or give a little smile. But like we’re doing things throughout the day, but when you can schedule it and say, “This is my self care time. This is the time I’m giving to myself.”
Jennifer Crisp: Yeah. Without all of the other interruptions and everything. So then you’ve got people coming back to you and they’re so amazed because they’re like, “You’ve got to Dr. Le Blanc because she’s just not like any other doctors that I’ve ever been to and she’s not ready to just give me five minutes of her time and send me out with a prescription and say okay go home, and rest, and get rid of your stress.” Because that doesn’t work.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Yeah. Get rid of your stress unfortunately does not work, although it is the advice that we as doctors routinely give our patients.
Jennifer Crisp: Yes. I mean because that’s what we’ve been taught. And we almost as a patient, we basically expect to hear it when we go in. That’s what we expect to hear because that’s what’s done. It’s what’s accepted, it’s what’s normal. But you’re moving so far beyond that. Tell me how you use maybe some energy medicine with your patients or clients.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: I use a lot of different modalities, acupressure, raki, chakra balancing, reflexology, to name a few. But really it’s really about tuning in to the patient and what their needs are. And so I’ll do a diagnostic energy read where I’ll look at the different chakras, and the meridians, and sort of see if there’s anything out of balance, any blockages. And we’ll address those issues. But again, that’s just a one time thing, we have to continue it to get the every day effectiveness.
Jennifer Crisp: But you start to peel back those layers.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Absolutely. And that’s where the deeper change happens, when we can really not just focus on the physical, but when we can effect people on a spiritual and emotional level, that’s when people really transform. And you see people who suffered in pain for so long, suddenly they’re able to do so much more without pain. Or I will work with people for weight loss. I had a patient lose like 100 pounds in six months, and it wasn’t with rigorous exercise instructions, or a restrictive diet. It was really about teaching the person how to love themselves, because when you teach someone how to do that then the person intuitively knows how to eat better, how to exercise, how to care for their body. And the weight falls off way more quicker than if you’re counting calories or counting minutes at the gym.
Jennifer Crisp: Well we even know, I just did some research on that yesterday about the counting calories, and they know that it does … Really, counting calories is not a way to address weight loss, it really has a lot … A lot of these experts are now saying it really leaves people feeling very deprived, and they get more stressed out because they have to count the calories, which I’m going to ask you this question, if you’re more stressed out because you have to count calories that’s going to raise your cortisol levels, which is going to help you to maintain that extra weight that you’re fighting to get off. Am I correct?
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Exactly. It’s a sickness fellowship.
Jennifer Crisp: So you’ve stressed yourself out trying to count the calories, and can’t figure out why you won’t lose the weight when you’re starving yourself. So absolutely, and I think a lot of this absolutely has to do with self care and self love because, like you say, if you don’t put yourself as a priority then you cannot possibly begin that process of healing. And I know myself, if I get really tense, like if I start to get anxious, the first place it goes is my shoulders. And my neck. I’m at the place in my life where I say, “Oh, duh, that’s stress. You’re not present really in what you’re doing. Your mind is elsewhere.” And it’s time to pop into the sewing room, or it’s time to go out for a walk, or sit down and have a cup of tea or the cup of coffee, and be able to recognize those signs. So the fact that you’re really working with these patients and teaching them these skillsets which we don’t learn as we’re growing up. We learn the opposite don’t we?
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Right. We learn to stuff it in, and we learn to shut down, and to not talk. And you bring up a really good point about the shoulder pain, that it clues you into the deeper emotional issue that’s happening. The problem is, is so many of us in our society, me included, you live such numbed out, emotionally and physically numbed out lives where we don’t even start to feel it until our bodies are practically screaming at us.
And so people come diagnosed with these huge masses, or huge issues and you’re like, “How did you now realize that there was something off?” And it’s like until it’s diagnosed, then they’re like, “Oh now I feel it.” It’s kind of interesting because we really can close ourselves off physically and emotionally to not feel. But once you teach a person how to feel into their emotions, and feel into their body, that in and of itself can heal a lot of pain. And like you said, people are able to take the pain indicators as a sensor that something else is going on.
And that’s something I even have my patients do sometimes, I’m just doing like a pain log. And on the days that they have the highest pain I ask them, “Well what was going on that day? How were you feeling?” There’s always a connection.
Jennifer Crisp: There’s always a connection. And it doesn’t mean we’re saying that if you have pain it’s not something that needs to be addressed, I don’t think that’s what you’re saying. But I think that what you’re telling people is, start looking inside, do some inner work, and see if these things are connected and what can you do to relieve some of that pain by doing some of this inner work so maybe the pain issue you’re dealing with we don’t have to address it with such strong medications. Maybe we can move in a different direction, and focus on it in a different way. Which I think is very, very important because I know that, like I said, when I get really tense it goes to the shoulders. And once it’s in the shoulders it goes to the neck, then it goes to the head. And then you’re like, oh. And your body is trying to tell you, “Hello. Stop. Stop.” Right? You need a break.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Right. Yeah. It’s like please give me a break. And you’re absolutely right, I’m absolutely believe that traditional Western medicine is very important, it’s very needed. My goal is not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, at all. It’s really about integrating the two together. And if you can make changes on an emotional level, on a spiritual level, like you said it just enhances anything else that you need to do from an absolute medical perspective.
Jennifer Crisp: Yeah. Wow. So I know our time is coming to a close, I can’t believe this. Because this is a really interesting look into what true integrative medicine, and functional medicine is about. It’s getting to the root cause of our health issues. And I would love to know how people can reach out to you, where do you practice? What are you’re in, and even if they’re out of the area can they at least E-mail you? Give us some of your information.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Absolutely. I see patients out of Nourishing Journey Wellness and Spa, it’s in Columbia. So they can feel free to call there and make an appointment. It’s also probably a lot easier to just visit me on my website, unleashthehealingwithin.com. Again, unleashthehealingwithin.com, where you can get lots of free guides, a self care guide on how to incorporate this into your life even if you feel like you have no time. There’s also a morning ritual, energy morning ritual that you can start incorporating to really increase your energy, your vitality, and just overall wellness. There’s podcast episodes on the website, and there’s a scheduling page as well. So you can access me from there, and contact me through my website, the phone number’s there. That would be the best way to contact me.
Jennifer Crisp: And so you are in Columbia, Maryland, for those of you who are in that area. Not Columbia in another state, because I think there’s Columbia’s in a couple of states.
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: There are.
Jennifer Crisp: Yes. That’s at Nourishing Journey Spa and Wellness Center in Columbia, Maryland, which also by the way is a fabulous place for health and wellness, and self care. It truly is. I just want to thank you so much for-
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Can I just say one last thing. While I am in Columbia, Maryland, I do a lot of virtual appointments as well. So even if I’m not in the state, don’t feel like you can’t access me. I actually do a ton of work virtually, telehealth and energy work, distance healing. So please reach out on the website.
Jennifer Crisp: So please, yes. And what is the website one more time?
Dr. Mously Le Blanc: Unleashthehealingwithin.com, and get your free self care guide. That’s definitely the one I want you guys to pick up, to get, so you can start incorporating self care in your life today, for healing. Like you said, Jen, self care is healthcare.
Jennifer Crisp: It is. I mean it truly, truly is. I’m just so honored to have you on as a guest today because I think this information that you’re giving us as a doctor is vitally, vitally important for our overall sustainable health as human beings here on this planet. With everything that we are inundated with, and live with, and deal with all of the time, because life is busy. But to have tools in the toolbox … And please step up and get that guide, because as you said that self guide can really start to move you in that direction. And don’t forget that Dr. Le Blanc also works virtually, so please check out that website again. And of course we’ll have that up in the graphic when the episode airs.
To listen to this episode on the podcast, find us on iTunes or Stitcher. You can also listen to it on our website by clicking here.