Is there a connection between adverse childhood experiences and suffering from an eating disorder in adulthood? What is an adverse childhood experience? Can it be healed? In this podcast, Dr. Castagnini speaks with Dani Williamson about how childhood trauma can affect you and your eating.


Dani owns Integrative Family Medicine in Franklin, TN; focusing on gut, autoimmune thyroid (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is her passion), hormone, and adrenal health with her patients. Her approach embodies a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual process to healing. A graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Nurse-Midwifery and Family Nurse Practitioner program. She is on the board of the Middle Tennessee chapter of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention and believes strongly in addressing issues of adverse childhood trauma and its relation to overall long-term health conditions. Her first book Wild & Well Dani’s 6 Commonsense Steps to Radical Healing is being released November 9, 2021, by Morgan James Publishing
Visit her website. Connect on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and join her private Facebook group. Subscribe to her YouTube channel.


  • Adverse childhood experiences and eating disorders
  • You can get through it
  • Dani’s 6 commonsense steps

Adverse childhood experience and eating disorders

Research has shown that there is often a correlation between people developing eating disorders and having had experienced childhood trauma, especially trauma that has been repressed or has not yet been resolved in adulthood. Adverse childhood experiences can have an impact on how people relate to food, how often or little they eat, what they eat, and what their eating habits are. Since adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are often unconscious, repressed or unresolved in adulthood, they operate under the radar and can cause many adults to form unhelpful or damaging habits as they age. For example, people with ACEs that struggle from eating disorders may binge eat or purge their food when they are feeling emotionally vulnerable.
When people are binge eating, they are soothing anxiety, their fears … depression … all of that is caused by having a high number of ACEs and they’re all linked … I’ve always talked to people [and asked] the whys: why are you turning to food to cope? Why are you turning to food for things other than fuel and nutrition? (Dr. Cristina Castagnini)
If a person who suffers from an eating disorder has a high number of ACEs, it is important and necessary to explore that link, because many people may be suffering unnecessarily and could have their eating disorders healed through working through their trauma.

You can get through it

You’ve come out of it and you have created this wonderful life for yourself and you are helping other people through things, and that’s amazing! I hope that’s inspiring for other people and I hope that other people can hear this and say “wow, she did this and got through whatever she’s been through, I can also get through my pain, my trauma and come out to a place in my life where it’s not going to rule the rest of my life. (Dr. Cristina Castagnini)
It is entirely possible for you to get to a better place in your life and move through the bad spots that hold you back. Releasing old trauma is tough, sometimes ironically, but it is important to do to make space for your future self. Have you considered that your eating disorder may be linked to your childhood trauma? If that is the case, can you release that trauma and work on healing those old emotional wounds to encourage your body to change and heal as well?
Something else is going to come along because it always does, so we’ve got to get prepared now and start working on this body now and healing ourselves literally from the inside out. (Dani Williamson)

Dani's 6 commonsense steps

  • Eat well,
  • Sleep well,
  • Move well,
  • Poop well,
  • Decrease stress, and
  • Cultivate community.
These are Dani’s practical steps in order to help people heal their bodies from the inside out. All the information is available in her upcoming book. DOWNLOAD THE ACE ASSESSMENT HERE!

Books mentioned in this episode:

Dani Williamson - Wild & Well: Dani’s Six Commonsense Steps to Radical Healing Nadine Burke Harris – The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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Podcast Transcription

[CHRISTINA CASTAGNINI] Behind The Bite podcast is part of a network of podcasts that are good for the world. Check out podcasts like the Full of Shift podcast, After the First Marriage podcast and Eating Recovery Academy over at Welcome to Behind The Bite podcast. This podcast is about the real life struggles women face with food, body image and weight. We're here to help you inspire and create better healthier lives. Welcome. [CHRISTINA] Well, hello everyone. As a psychologist, when I first have an intake with a patient, I gather all sorts of background information about them. Some of what I want to know is in relation to their families, their childhood and significant events in their life. And there is a reason for this. It's because it helps me gain understanding about who they are and what could possibly be contributing factors to what's bringing them in to see me. We somehow all came to be the people we are today because of our past. The way we think feel and behave all influenced by what we've experienced and the people with whom we've come to contact. More specifically when I'm working with someone who has an eaten disorder, the causes are due to a complex interplay of genetics, cultural, psychological, and environmental factors. So gaining an understanding about an individual's past can give me some clarity about why someone is struggling, but it also helps me to form an individualized treatment plan. So for instance, if I have two patients that I'm treating for binge eating disorder, my overall treatment plans for their eating disorder will be similar, but also different. If one patient has a long history of childhood physical abuse while the other patient doesn't. So it got me thinking it really is important to discuss how our past more specifically our childhood can affect us, ot only psychologically, but in so many ways, ways, many of us may not even think about or be aware of. So our guest today is here to delve deeper into this topic with me, and I'm just thrilled she's here. Dani Williamson owns Integrative Family Medicine in Franklin, Tennessee. She focuses on gut autoimmune, thyroid, hormone and adrenal health for her patients. Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is her passion, but her approach embodies a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual process to healing. As a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Nurse-Midwifery and Family Nurse Practitioner program, she is currently on the board of middle Tennessee chapter of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention and believes strongly in addressing issues of adverse childhood trauma and its relation to overall long-term health conditions. [CHRISTINA] All right, Dani, welcome to the show. [DANI WILLIAMSON] Thank you. What an honor to be here today? I'm excited about this. [CHRISTINA] Well, I am too. I have patients that I work with and I know they're going to be thrilled to listen to what you have to say today. And I know there's probably lot of other listeners who are going to very much relate to lots of things we're going to talk about, but I know you personally have a story that probably relates to a lot of why we're going to be discussing the topic today. So I'm wondering, would you mind sharing your story? [DANI] Absolutely. Well quite frankly, I grew up in a shithole of chaos for the first 18 years of my life. My grandfather had died by suicide, my mother attempted suicide multiple times, I had chronic diarrhea for 18 years, basically from all the trust. I had my first colonoscopy at age 20. And that's how I started off my life. And 15 years later at 35, I was married. I was in a horrible marriage, I now had lupus, I was itching chronically, and I remember the very morning that I decide "Okay, it's time for me to die by suicide." And it was a spring morning and I was going to drive off the foot of Broadway into the river, the Ohio River in Paducah, Kentucky. And I knew exactly what I was going to do. Nobody could help me and my children right then, "Mama, mama," came running in the room, both kids five and six Jackson and Ella, and jumped on that bed and were ready to eat. And they were hungry. Let's get up, get up. And I mean, at the second I looked at their eyes I knew that there was no way that I was going to leave those kids with my husband, now ex-husband. I got up and I fed them breakfast and a year later I am a single mom. I'm on food stamps. I am on a medical card and I applied to nursing school and I have a graduate degree in fashion design by the way. So I actually owned a maternity store at the time. I was standing on the front porch one morning and opened up two letters. The first letter said, "Congratulations, you've been accepted to Vanderbilt School of Nurse Practitioner program." I was 40 years old. Second letter said, "You qualify for 56 more dollars this month in food stamps." So there we go. I took off, I let for school, three years later, I'm $196,000 in debt to Vanderbilt. I'm still itching. I still have lupus. I'm depressed. You know, I mean, all the things. I still have chronic irritable bowel syndrome. I was working for a doctor and he looked at me one day and he said, "Dani, what are you eating?" I said, "Well, what do you mean?" He said, "Don't you know your diet controls your symptoms? And do you take enzymes and probiotics?" I said, "Well, no." "And do you know your foods sensitivities?" "No." S. So that day turned the entire trajectory of my life around. I was able to completely reverse 24 years of chronic lifestyle diseases by basically healing my gut and building up my immune system. And that my story, that's what I do for a living. I've helped thousands of women and men through the last, over a decade, heal their gut and start a journey on living the life that we were designed to live. But I spent 24 years in stress. And if we're talking about adverse child experiences, my score is a six, not was a six, but I never knew any of this until I was in my fifties, learning about adverse childhood experiences. So that's my story. That's what I do and that's how I turned my life around. And my mission in life is to share that with as many people as possible throughout the world that we're not broken, we were never broken. If you weren't born with it, then you can turn it around. And I am living proof of that. It's not easy, but you can do it [CHRISTINA] Well, thank you. And that's, we have a lot to unpack here. So as people are listening are probably going, "Okay, what's going on here?" So you talked about this horrible childhood and you brought up the terms adverse childhood experiences and the score of six. So maybe we could just even spend some time on that. When you say adverse childhood experiences, maybe we could just spend some time for people to, cause most people are going, "What is that? What's an adverse childhood experience or how would I even know what a six means or what's Dani talking about with this traumatic childhood she had? What is this?" [DANI] Yes. So adverse childhood experiences are basically what they are or what happens to you? How do you go from being a newborn baby, a happy baby to basically homeless on the street with a sign? What happens to you in between there? What happens to you before the age of 18 that can set you up for a lifetime of disease? I mean, the list goes on and on and on; cancer, heart disease. What are adverse childhood experiences? Well, adverse childhood experiences, we didn't have this term before the nineties. Actually, it was in the late eighties, early nineties when Dr. Faletti, the doctor who created this questionnaire was leading a, do you know the history of this? He was a weight loss clinic in San Diego. He had a huge weight loss clinic that, I mean, literally thousands and thousands of people. And they were losing weight here, but he had a 50% dropout rate in this clinic. 50% couldn't figure it out they were losing weight. And this was after they had lost weight. So he started digging and he started interviewing. He pulled in a hundred, several hundred charts of people who had lost a lot of weight and he made an act. He accidentally asked a woman. His exact question was, "How old were you when you were first sexually active?" He meant to ask, how old were you when you were first sexually active? He accidentally said, "How much did you weigh when you were first sexually active?" And she said 40 pounds. He thought he misunderstood. He asked the question again. She said 40 pounds. It was when I was 40-years-old, Dr. Faletti. It was my father. He was dumbfounded because he thought that he had only known of one other incest case in his life as a doctor, as a medical doctor. So he started asking, so we went on and he started asking more and more, and he got up to a hundred people. And it was almost as if every other person he was talking to, they had some sort of sexual childhood trauma. So he brought five other colleagues in and said, "I need you to interview the next couple of hundred people because something is wrong. I'm doing something wrong. I'm leading them." They came to find out of the 268 people that they interviewed most had been sexually abused as children. And there was a woman when he was ending these interviews that he interviewed, she was thanking him at the end and her comment to him was, this is a quote, "over what is overlooked. And that's the way I need to be." What he discovered is when they were losing all of this weight in this clinic, they were noticed again, and it brought back all the trauma in their life. So they rapidly regained the weight. And what he learned during this was that these women were, not just women, these men and women were normal weight when they were raped or molested or whatever the sexual trauma was. So that led to adverse childhood experiences, the questionnaire, which talks about sexual abuse, physical abuse, alcohol abuse, neglect. Has your parent gone to prison? I mean, there's 10 question specifically. What happened to you before the age of 18? The American Academy of Pediatrics says that this right here, adverse childhood experiences are the single largest public health crisis we have in the United States and we've ignored it. [CHRISTINA] Some very interesting background to that. You know, I don't think even most people who know even about the ACE assessment know the background to that alone. And just as, maybe we could even go through the 10 because people are probably going, oh my gosh, what are they. So, I mean, you you've brought up emotional abuse, physical abuse, you've brought up the sexual abuse, emotional neglect and people are probably, well, what is that in comparison to emotional abuse. The question actually is, did you often or very often feel that no one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? [DANI] Yes. [CHRISTINA] Or the other question to that is your family didn't look out for each other, feel close to each other or often support each other. So if you look at what emotional neglect is, that's the question. [DANI] That's right, just not even being there. You feeling that they're not there for you they are actually not there for you. Yes, alcoholism or drugs in the home, loss of a parent, depression or mental illness in the home, mother treated violently, an imprisoned household member. And you can get the questionnaire online for free. All you have to do is type in adverse childhood experiences and it pops up, for free. [CHRISTINA] And actually I will, given we're talking about this, I will actually have this in the show notes. So anybody who's interested, I'll just have that there for you on the website afterwards. [DANI] So when I was researching about adverse childhood experiences and eating disorders, I was curious is there a link to this? And there is a significant link to it. I know you've got research articles, I've got research articles on it. And what I found is that numerous studies indicate that patients with eating disorder definitely report a history of childhood trauma more frequently than the general population. [CHRISTINA] And to your point there's been many studies, but studies say that history of sexual abuse is common with people who exhibit eating disorders. And again, if anyone is interested they can email me and I can give them the actual studies. So to your point, just as you were discussing the history of this assessment and what brought about actually having the assessment and the fact that it's something we look at in relation to eating disorders, we really need to, as an eating disorder specialist really take into account how much trauma is there in someone's history, if they have an eating disorder and how does that play a part in treatment and how does that play a part in, for me as a clinician, especially like, what do I need to keep in mind when I'm working with somebody, but for too is in your work; how does, how does using the ACE assessment help you in working with the patients you're working with? [DANI] Well, it helps me tremendously. I don't have a large population of eating disorder patients, but I have, as we're talking earlier a tremendous amount of autoimmune patients. And it gives me a whole new window into their world and what I'm working with here and how I maybe shift things around with them. It's been really eye opening for me and I don't always refer people to therapy or to treatment, but boy, let me tell you, just giving the questionnaire to them and now every new patient has this questionnaire, every single patient gets given this that has opened up a whole world of emotion office that I did not have before. And I'm talking tears. Well, my last patient today his father had gone to prison and that was, I had no idea and that opened up a whole lot about him. And then there were other adverse childhood experiences as well, but it's really helped me really know where to focus on, on treatment and testing and do the therapy and all the other modalities that we use in the office. It's been a game changer for me and I've given it to a lot of patients to give to their children as well. A lot of patients that I have, who I know are in tough marriages and at home, I've seen it with them and they've had eye opening experiences as well with their children. [CHRISTINA] As you and I, we were talking a little bit before we went on today and much to your point, I think a lot of medical providers aren't really given a lot of information or training on eating disorders. So just even you coming across this for yourself and realizing that there is such a link between these kind of adverse childhood experiences and the eating disorders, I'm wondering if that has helped you to now have a different lens and going, "Hmm. Maybe someone might have an eating disorder if they have all of these and--- [DANI] Oh, you bet." [CHRISTINA] And who you refer to. [DANI] Well, let me tell you, you bet, because what I do in my practice and what turns my entire world around for me can be very triggering for someone with an eating disorder. And of course they oftentimes don't put that on their intake. I do a tremendous amount of food sensitivity and food allergy testing in my office, which can be triggering. I have now learned, to eating disorder patients when you have a list of foods that their body's reacting to that in a perfect world, you need to eliminate. So I've learned a lot. I have learned a tremendous amount and I have to be real careful not to trigger someone. You know, kudos to you for this being your specialty. We need more people like you because I'm not real sure about the verbiage oftentimes to use. And I almost walk on eggshells. I mean, I have to be real careful not to trigger something with someone because I'm so used to "Okay, look, you've got a gluten sensitivity and a dairy sensitivity and egg sensitivity. We need to eliminate these." Well, it has really opened my eyes when I see this and I see them and I ask do you feel like you have an unhealthy relationship with food? And again, I don't know the exact words to use, but I think I'm working through it. I think I'm doing well and my patients are doing well, but it has really opened my eyes to verbiage. The way I say things I listen to your podcast on what not to say to people. I learned a lot from you on that and I've been implementing that the past couple of weeks, by the way as well. [CHRISTINA] I appreciate that too, because I think a lot of professionals don't really take into account what they're actually saying to patients. And just because there's not a lot of training in eating disorders, there's not a lot of even thought, like maybe somebody does have an eating disorder, maybe what I'm saying might trigger something. So I really appreciate that you're trying, and that you're sensitive to that. [DANI] Thank you. I am. And I was today with this patient, but what he said, it's what I eat in the car. It's what I eat behind closed doors. Like it's that. So I was real cognizant of something's going on here and I really focused on all the incredible things that they could eat, all the one ingredient God made food that, all the great things out there, but now you, it really has helped me with patients and see that this is way deeper than what's at the end of their fork. [CHRISTINA] And if you're looking at, you know I've looked at the studies too, and I know you have, I know we've talked about that. We both have a knowledge of all of this and I think a lot of people think anorexia is the most common eating disorder. It's actually not binge eating disorders. [DANI] Binge eating. Yes. [CHRISTINA] It's actually directly linked to ACEs and --- [DANI] Yes, we're reading the same studies over. [CHRISTINA] It's fascinating. So when you're binge eating people are soothing anxiety, their fears, depression. And all of that's caused by having a high, a number of ACEs and they're all linked. So if you look at that, I've always talked to people, it's like the whys. Why are you turning to food, to Coke? Why are you turning to food for things other than fuel and nutrition? And this could be one of the whys. I mean, there's many whys, but if somebody has a number, a high number, that could be one of the why's and it needs to be really looked at. [DANI] We have to address that, don't we, before we can really nail down. Yes, it's eye-opening. And my colleagues that I went to school with, they know that this has been a real eye-opening experience for me, which makes me angry, number one, that I didn't know about it, angry that my children, I have two children, they're 23 and 25, their pediatricians never once asked about adverse childhood experiences. And I was a single mom and had all kinds of things, a daughter with true disordered eating and it's maddening to me. But when you know better, you must do better. And I have made a mission of telling all my colleagues we need to give this questionnaire to everyone. I've got patients who, I mean, not patients, colleagues who work in mini clinics, urgent care. Well, you can do this as part of their paperwork, for sure. You know, again, they treat 'em and treat 'em in urgent care. But it's definitely coming to the forefront. And what really scares me is this pandemic, 2020, we have a mental health pandemic on the verge. I am on the board for the America foundation for Suicide Prevention and we've got a mental health crisis. So what's happening, adverse childhood experiences, what happened in 2020, phone calls to suicide crisis lines went up 800% while phone calls to domestic violence lines went down almost that much. Well, the victim was stuck in the home with the abuser for an entire year. They couldn't call. Think about those children in there and their adverse childhood experiences of 2020 that happened when they're living with an abuser. So all of that being said, it's got to be put on the radar. We need more public health announcements out there about this, and about how to treat adverse childhood experiences. I mean, if you have an adverse childhood experience score of more than four, you drastically increase your risk of seven of the 10 top leading causes of death in the United States, of four or more. If you have four or more ACEs, you are 12.2 times more likely to attempt suicide than the average population, 10.3 times more likely to use injection drugs, 7.4 times more likely to be an alcoholic. And my scores is six. It's really, well, why does that happen? Well, adverse childhood experiences, a lot of people say, "Well, I don't understand. Why would I be more suicidal?" It's just like a bully at school, is how I tell patients, you know, every time you go through that school in the morning, your cortisol levels rise. And it's that whole HPA access dysfunction where you never get the opportunity to rest and relax. You have a child abuser at home, or you have, a your dad starts drinking at four o'clock every day. I mean, you never get, you know it, at five o'clock, he comes in, a raging lunatic. You never get the opportunity for those cortisol levels to go down. And as you live with those cortisol levels elevated year after year after year, you start to turn on all of these chronic lifestyle diseases that we weren't born with; diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anxiety, depression, all that. So you're never getting away from the bear actually is what happens. [CHRISTINA] So now, do you educate people you're working with on this, if they have high scores, like this could be a part of what's going on? Like you need some help in maybe some therapy with your trauma. This can help with all of this too. It's not just medical treatment, per se, if someone has diabetes or one of the chronic illnesses you just mentioned. [DANI] You bet. Absolutely. I do and I have a huge toolbox of providers in my toolbox that I refer people to. And I think that's the beauty of a provider needs to know what they don't know, what to do. And I have a lot of therapists, I have a lot of acupuncturists. I'm a big believer in acupuncture, yoga, all the things. And the majority of my patients are women. I probably have 10% men, women are 50% more likely to have an adverse childhood experience score of greater than five. I believe that yes, women, 50, in fact, I know that's true. Women are 50% more likely than men to have a score of five or more than men. So that's something. [CHRISTINA] So would, I mean, it would make sense you're seeing more women if that's actually the case, right? [DANI] Yes, absolutely. So I see a lot of women with anxiety, a lot of women with depression. I see a lot of teenagers. And I live in, so, and there may be a question, we did not address this. This questionnaire was 17,000 middle class to upper middle class patients in San Diego, in the Kaiser Permente healthcare system. The average age was 56. So these were middle class, upper middle class, upper class. 56.1 was the average age white people. So this was just in white people, mainly. It was 17,000, but it was a narrow, we weren't talking lower socioeconomic class here. Just imagine if it real population, a diverse, how about that, a diverse population? I think it would be higher. I think that the stats would be a lot higher. I was listening to Dr. Faletti give an interview and he said, there's been a lot of, this is just what his study was, but there's been a lot of other smaller studies done in different populations. And the numbers are equally as high, if not more. So it crosses all genres. [CHRISTINA] Well, it sounds like you've done a lot of research in your own. You have a lot of interest in this yourself, and I'm wondering if you found that now that you have looked at your own ACE number, have you sought out your own, I guess, help in like treating your own traumas and resolving those. And I mean, if you don't mind my asking, like, has it helped your symptoms and has it helped your physical wellbeing and health? [DANI] You bet it, yes. And I spent a week at Onsite. I don't know if you're familiar with Onsite. It's the world, renowned for mental health programs. I spent a week there three Christmases ago with about 10 hours a day of experiential therapy. People come from all over the world to Onsite. I've done a tremendous amount of EMDR around and things, I was molested as a grade schooler by the first stepfather. The second stepfather beat the crap out of me my senior year. So I barely hit that one right before, it was right before I turned 19, but I was 18. [CHRISTINA] So sorry. [DANI] My mother was, like I said, she had a tremendous amount of mental health issues. I'm an only child. My mother is an only child. Her father died by suicide in the driveway of their house. I was born six years later to the day. My birthday is on the day he died by suicide. My mother and I never had a relationship. She now has Alzheimer's and guess who her only caregiver is; it's me. It's been an interesting full circle. And I don't have an eating disorder, but I have all these things, lupus, an irritable bowel and depression, and I itch and, oh my gosh, anxiety, itch. It's been full circle for me as I have gone through treatment or therapy and treatment and all kinds of mental health excursions for me that has absolutely, it's been it's, I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but it has really helped me become a better provider, and to really look into people's eyes and say, I understand. And I never say, oh, somebody had it worse than me. I know somebody's had it worse than me, and somebody's had it better than me, but it's, I really have become a better provider once I worked through the kinks and the trauma. But it was never addressed. Just like everyone, most other people who are sexually abused, it was never brought up again in my home. My mother's never said, I'm 55 years old, and when I was 13 years old, she looked at me and said, "You caused me to lose the only man I ever loved." Those were her words to me. Isn't that something? And I did not bring it up to her until I was in my thirties. She swept it under the rug again. And I said something to her about it last year. So I understand adverse childhood experience. I didn't know that's what they were called? And I didn't know that it could have set me up for a lifetime of chronic disease, but I also know the power of reversal and the power of getting great mental health like you, having someone like you and my life that has helped me turn this around. And I am living proof that what you turn on, you can turn off or dial back greatly. That's the message out there that I tell to my patients every day, "You're not broken. You are not born broken. You are perfect in every way, exactly the way you are right now. Let's do what we need to do to get you through." Sometimes it's one day at a time. You know that. [CHRISTINA] What an amazing message? And I love that because that's part of why I do this podcast too, is to let people know you're not broken. You can get through things and you can get to a place where you are recovered, whether it's your eating disorder or past trauma, because if you don't have that hope or even hear other people like yourself who have gotten through all of what you've been through, I mean, gosh, your trauma is just so much, and you're here now speaking your truth and sharing this story that it's a lot. And you've come out of it and you've created this wonderful life for yourself and you're helping other people through things. And that's amazing and I hope that's inspiring for other people and maybe other people who are hearing this can say, "Wow, you know what, if she did this and got through whatever she's been through, I can also get through my pain, my trauma, and come out to a place in my life where it's not going to rule the rest of my life or keep me held back," or you know, you can get to a better place absolutely. [CHRISTINA] That's right. And they may not even realize though, because they haven't been asked before, they may not realize that much of this may stem from childhood trauma. They may not have ever put it together. I didn't. I had no idea what was going on or why things were going on in my life. And then when I started putting the pieces together and learning, it turned my entire world around and it gave me hope, but I tell patients every day, hope is not a strategy. You know, we have to have a strategy over here. You know, we've got to have some planning, you got to do the hard work here. We have to go through it. There's no way around it, but through it. And I just, I find that people are so resilient and the body wants to write shit. It wants to be a hundred percent. You just give it a little bit of what it needs and your body starts to change and it starts to perk up and it starts to heal. And once you start that healing journey, emotionally, physically, mentally, sexually, spiritually, whatever it is, and I work more physical cause I'm working with physical while physical, you, you don't want to go back. And once you have a few good days, then you wake up one morning, you're like, "Man, this is a good day." You know, you want the next day to be like that. But I think people are so desperate. So they are, well, there's just dog paddling and they just are barely keeping their head above water and especially right now during season. But something else is going to come along because it always does. So we've got to get prepared now and start working on this body now and healing ourselves literally from the inside out. That's how I work and it works for me. And I'm so grateful that I learned about childhood experiences. And quite frankly it was from a patient I learned. I learned, and I know you do as well. You learn so much from your patients. He said something about it and I said, "What are you talking about?" And he said, "Go look it up." And I said, "What?" And he's sitting there and I'm Googling it online while I'm talking to him and I was like, "You got to be joking that this is this big." And again, I think we were talking about this before, the American Academy of Pediatrics called this, the number one public health crisis out there that is unaddressed. We have put the word out about covering your outlets. Don't let your kids get electrocuted. Don't put them on the back, prevent SIDS or, I mean, don't put them on their stomach. Cover up the swimming pool, cover up the doors, do all the things. But we say nothing about what's happening in the home. [CHRISTINA] Well said, good message. Lots of good messages today. [DANI] It's treatable, it's beatable. We can do this. [CHRISTINA] So you've said a lot. You've shared a lot of wonderful things. And I'm wondering if people do want to get a hold of you, get in touch with you, how can they find you? Where are you on social media? How can they get in touch with you? [DANI] All right. I'll tell you that, but first this book, do you have this book? Do you know this book, The Deepest Well? She's in San Francisco, Nadine Burke Harris. Dr. Harris is a pediatrician in San Francisco. This is the greatest book I've ever read on, well, pretty much the only book on adverse childhood experiences. She's in San Francisco at Bayview Hunters Point. I don't know where that is. She was recently named the surgeon general of California. This book, The Deepest Well is a game changer for people and I would highly recommend your people read it. She has a TED Talk that has had millions of views on ACEs. It's a 15 minute talk and it is the best I've ever seen. So I want to put that out there. Put this in your show notes. [CHRISTINA] I definitely will. Thank you so much for that. [DANI] I am Dani Williamson Wellness on most social media, Instagram, free info every day, I put out there, free health information. Facebook, Dani Williamson Wellness. I have a live health Facebook Live show on Facebook every Sunday night at 6:00 PM. I've talked about everything from ACEs to erectile dysfunction. I mean, I've talked about it to sex drive, to thyroids. YouTube, same thing, Dani Williamson Wellness. Our newsletter, you can go to my website, it's loaded with free information, All information on our book that's coming out in November. This book actually has the adverse childhood experience score in it, wild and well. It's available everywhere and it's on my sixth common sense steps to healing eat well, sleep well, move well, poop well decrease stress and cultivate community. It's a common sense practical book to heal in your body from the inside out. I'm a big believer that we need to give and teach as much as possible. And I give away as much education, free education as I can, because at heart I'm a teacher. I was on food stamps and a medical card for years and I know what it's like to not be able to afford functional medicine, which is what I do. So I try to make up for that and give away as much as possible education wise. I'm just a common country girl from Gilbertsville Kentucky that has just absolutely hit the gold mine in a career at 44 when I got out of school. And yes, I just want people to know that they are unbelievably unique and special and not broken and there's hope and there's people like you out there spreading the word every single week, which is phenomenal. [CHRISTINA] Well, and it's helpful to have you on the show, helping you with that. And I truly appreciate everything you've just shared and being on here, because like I said, very inspiring and I'm glad you shared all the resources you did and thank you for writing your books. So everything you just shared, all your contact information will be on the show notes as well, so sure people will be in touch with you. So thank you so very much for everything you're doing out there. [DANI] I appreciate it. Thank you. Keep up the hard work. [CHRISTINA] You too. Thank you. I will. [DANI] Thank you. [CHRISTINA] This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.