Episode 354 | January 23, 2024

Healing Chronic Illness and Transforming Pain and Emotional Suffering Through Brain Retraining with Dr. Cathleen King

A Personal Note From Orion

Welcome stellar listeners! I’m thrilled to bring you my newest episode –- a profound, practical conversation with Dr. Cathleen King on how to heal chronic illness and transform pain and emotional suffering through brain retraining.

Dr. Cathleen King, DPT, is a physical therapist and a true pioneer in neuroscience-based mind-body practices. A specialist in chronic illness and trauma healing, she serves as the CEO and founder of the Primal Trust™ Academy & Community. This rapidly growing platform spans the globe, and guides people to unlock their self-healing potential. Dr. King’s online program seamlessly blends brain retraining, vagus nerve toning, somatics, and trauma-informed practices for a holistic approach to wellness.

In this episode, Dr. King shares her incredible personal story. She used mind-body techniques to heal from over a decade of severe chronic illness after other treatments were ineffective. Dr. King provides science-based yet soul-nourishing guidance on how to reprogram your nervous system, shift your brain’s perceptions, release trauma and past hurt, and stimulate radical self-healing. I am uplifted and empowered by her wisdom.

This conversation is a must-listen for anyone struggling with autoimmune disorders, Lyme disease, chronic fatigue, emotional trauma, anxiety and more. Dr. King equips you with daily practices and rituals to tap into your body’s innate capacity to heal. If you or a loved one have been suffering, this episode will give you renewed hope and a toolkit for true transformation.

Come with an open heart and be willing to hear a message that will touch your soul. As always, don’t forget to share what resonates with you. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the show!

In This Episode

  • [02:41] – Dr. Cathleen King, a physical therapist and neuroscience-based mind-body practitioner, discusses reprogramming the mind to heal and self-regulate the nervous system.
  • [11:59] – Dr. Cathleen explains vagus nerve regulation and how visualization exercises, such as memory recall and future visualization, can help regulate the limbic system and shift one’s biochemistry.
  • [18:57] – Dr. Cathleen discusses how reprogramming old memories through brain training can open up the memory center that leads to healing.
  • [21:08] – Dr. Cathleen emphasizes reprogramming one’s sense of reality and self-regulating biology to address chronic illness epidemics.
  • [24:05] – Orion reflects on their growth as a parent, acknowledging how her child helped her heal her past wounds and become a better person.
  • [30:47] – Dr. Cathleen shares client stories of healing from Lyme disease and autoimmune disorders through mindset shift and self-regulation.
  • [34:39] – Dr. Cathleen gives an overview of Primal Trust and how it helps individuals regulate their nervous system and heal from trauma.
  • [36:45] – Dr. Cathleen provides three tips for living a stellar life.

Jump to Links and Resources

About Today’s Show

Hey, Cathleen, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for being here.

Thank you. I’m so excited to have this conversation with you. 

Me, too. We had a pre-conversation that was so cool. I love everything you’re about, and I like how you combine both sides of your left brain and right brain where you’re unapologetically you, and yet you give this sciencey, really important information for the people you work with. It’s awesome.

Thank you. It’s been quite a juggle to meet both sides of me and to be true to me, but it also speaks the medical, scientific jargon that people need to buy into a self-healing program. 

I feel like a lot of people are afraid of the word healing. They’re afraid they will go to some cuckoo person and will have to start burning sage. What’s your take on healing?

From a very scientific viewpoint, we have self-healing capacity.

Exactly. Unfortunately, we’ve been programmed that the word ‘healer’ means you’re seeing some type of shamanic, witchy, sagey burning thing, but the truth is, from a very scientific viewpoint, we have self-healing capacity. 

Healing is simply restoring our natural state. That’s what it is. Our natural state is a body that self-heals. It’s not witchcraft, shamanism, or woo-woo. It’s just a state of connection and safety, which we are meant to find here. That’s what heals. 

It doesn’t need to be extreme. Although it can be fun to go down those rabbit holes of healing as well, I try to speak to people that healing has a very scientific basis to it, down to the cellular level. When you restore safety, the cells absorb nutrients and detoxify, the immune system comes online, and we heal from many things. 

Even if you look at a sage, you can look at it and say, “This silly person is burning that smelly smoke around themselves.” But I know that sage was also proven to have some antibacterial properties when you sage around the body. 

On another level, if our brain learns a lot and reacts to symbols more than words if a sage symbolizes healing and you sage yourself, you send the message to your brain, “Hello, we’re going through healing and cleansing.” It just helps you even put the intention on that.  

How did you start working with people? What’s your origin story? What brought you to this point?

I was very, very sick for many, many years—well over a decade. It started with my childhood trauma history, and then I became a go-getter, type A workaholic. Then it crashed, and I started developing things. I got a parasite infection in South America, and that wouldn’t go away. Then, digestive issues that wouldn’t go away. Then, chronic fatigue, and that won’t go away. Then, Lyme disease, mold toxicity, and all sorts of hormonal dysregulation. 

I couldn’t work. I was mostly bed-bound for over a decade and had to have full-time care for my kids. I went to all the types of doctors, Western medicine, and shamans and did the whole thing. I was like a little better, a little worse, a little better, a little worse.

I was trained as a physical therapist, and I used to work with a lot of mind-body issues with chronic pain before I got super sick. I understood the relationship between the mind and the body as it relates to pain, but I didn’t know how to relate it to Lyme disease, mold toxicity, parasites, viruses, and things that I was being diagnosed with. They seemed like they were real infections and real toxins. 

I lost my power at that time. I was looking for a practitioner or energy worker to save me. It was an external focus for years because I didn’t know about the power of our own brain and body. 

A good decade later, nothing worked, and I was so frustrated at the universe. I felt cursed. I’m like, “Why?” I just got this real sense that nothing outside of me would fix me. That wasn’t my path. It was really frustrating. 

But I remembered my original understanding of mind-body connection and chronic pain, that the brain regulates pain. I thought, “Well, what else does the right brain regulate? What else does the nervous system regulate? Does it regulate infections like Lyme disease, mold toxicity, and other things?”

This brain-body, brain retraining, nervous system regulation, and vagus nerve toning is what I started doing, and I started getting better.

I researched and found that other people were self-healing and doing brain-body regulation practices, so I started doing that. My symptoms started falling away. I wasn’t treating. We were broke; I couldn’t treat them. 

This brain-body, brain retraining, nervous system regulation, and vagus nerve toning is what I started doing, and I started getting better. Then, doctors that I knew started sending people to me because they were like, “Oh, what are you doing? Start working with my patients.” 

I started coaching one at a time, and then I started coaching groups over a couple of years. I created courses and mentorship, and now I have a big online worldwide platform with thousands of people I help. I teach them how to self-heal.

That’s beautiful. When you hit rock bottom, don’t have the stamina, are sick, and don’t even have the money to heal, what was the first thing you did when you realized, “okay, it’s on me?” 

This is a good story. First of all, you’re filled with hopelessness and grief because the fight of the old way has to die. You have to go through hopeless grief to shift directions when you’ve got a drive like, “No one’s going to save me. This isn’t working. I’ve seen the top doctors in the US. They didn’t help me.” 

What did the top doctors tell you? 

They’re like, “Lyme disease is incurable. You’ve got all these genetic issues. It’s going to make it hard. We can manage symptoms.”

But I couldn’t even tolerate their treatments. I was so sensitive. I couldn’t tolerate homeopathy very well. I reacted to everything. I couldn’t even do their protocols. They didn’t know how to help me because I was that hypersensitive, basically chronic trauma body. Everything was too much. In that dark space of surrender, I had these two little kids.

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They were three and five at that time.

Wow, that’s such an intense age. Mine is four.

It’s hard. I had somebody else taking care of them full-time. I felt so much guilt on top of it all, and I was a mess. I was not psychologically stable during this time.

I was so sick with Lyme, so there was a lot of guilt, but I realized it’s coming down to me, and I’m going to have to learn how to live with this and somehow live the best life I can. I don’t know how to get out of this, so I need to stop fighting and just start living.

I started to think about what my values are. “What do I love?” I love nature, so I said, “Well, what could I do with my kids? I can go outside, lay in the grass, and look for four-leaf clovers.” It was like a life dream to find a four-leaf clover.

I found my first four-leaf clover, which opened up this world, so I started doing that every day. I found hundreds of four-leaf clovers over the summer because I could lay on the ground, focus on something outside of me, be with my kids while they played around me, and be in nature. It was the only way I could start to live, but I needed to be flatline because that’s where I was. I started to have a joy that would come back. 

How did the relationship with your kids change at that time?

I just started living the way I was and doing more of this brain-body regulation piece simultaneously, and things started to shift.

They saw their mother redirect their focus on being with them and doing what I could. We’d go camping, and I’d just lay there. My husband at the time would take them around while I just lay on the ground by the campfire. But we were camping, or we’d go places. I just started to live the way I was and started doing more of this brain-body regulation piece simultaneously. Things started to shift, but I had to surrender the external path to find this internal path.

Right. You surrendered the external path. You said some vagus nerve regulation. What is that?

Your vagus nerve basically runs from your brain to all these organs in your body. It’s a huge nerve. It’s kind of considered the master nerve regulator for your nervous system. 

Vagus nerve exercises would look like breathing, humming, and singing exercises. Then, I do another group of exercises called functional neurology exercises, which work with your eyes. That also helps to stimulate your vagus nerve. 

You can do many things—cold exposure, sunlight—so that’s one of the things I started doing. But I spent most of my time early on doing brain retraining, where you target the limbic system of your brain, which is your fight and flight. 


Your limbic system is the emotional center of your brain, so it’s constantly making associations, “Is this safe? Is this not safe?” 

A part of your limbic system is called your amygdala, your big fight-and-flight part. You can biohack that center of your brain with visualization, specifically two visualization types. One where you focus on your memories because part of your limbic system houses your hippocampus. Your hippocampus houses your memory center. It’s constantly letting you say, “Oh, this was like that time in the past, and it’s safe, or it’s not safe.”

Your vagus nerve is considered the master nerve regulator for your nervous system.

If you start to visualize your past but in a positive way and look for what was good, your limbic system starts getting a lot of messages of, “The past was safe, the past was good, the past was fun, I did well, I was happy,” or whatever it is, and it starts sending messages to the brain of positivity. That calms down the limbic system, which calms down all the stress hormone production in your body and regulates your immune system, hormones, and detoxification system. It’s a direct way to shift your biochemistry. 

Then, the second piece is visualizing your future, where you’re attuning your subconscious to be a magnetic attractor field for what you want to bring into your life. You’re visualizing the health you want, the relationship you want, and how you will feel.

How you’re going to feel is critical. That feeling state changes your body’s electromagnetic field, but it programs your subconscious to look for what you’re feeling. If you’re feeling like crap, your subconscious is going to look for all the reasons why you’re feeling crappy. If you start practicing feeling how you want to feel in the future, your subconscious will find opportunities and magnetically draw those realities to you. 

This gets a little quantum, but it’s very scientific. It’s very scientific that you shift your biochemistry, and your subconscious is running everything and navigating you to have experiences that match that biochemistry. You’re not only calming down your body’s stress hormones, which help you self-heal, but you’re also opening up portals of new possibilities for your future.

So, it activates your reticular activating system. It’s like when you’re looking for a new car model, you’ll see it everywhere on the road. Or a specific color. You look for blue cars and see blue cars everywhere because your mind is focused on blue.

Or four-leaf clovers.

Yes. The previous thing that you mentioned was working with eye movement like EMDR.

It’s sort of like EMDR, but it’s different. It’s training your eyes to have a stable gaze. One of the exercises is simply putting your thumb in front of you, staring at your thumbnail, and slowly moving your head from left to right. This is called eye gaze stabilization. It works on something known as your vestibular ocular reflex

What happens is your left and right brain have to focus. Focusing on your left and right brain calms down your stress response because when we’re stressed, we’re actually darting around with our eyes to look for predators. When we’re slowly staring and going back and forth, our eyes are connected to our brainstem or upper cervical vertebrae. It causes communication between the left and right hemispheres, improves how your brain communicates, stabilizes your upper cervical, and sends safety feedback to your limbic system. 

There’s all this stuff that happens with simple eye exercises, so it’s a great way to help stabilize your mood when you’re stressed.

There’s much more from there, but I love functional neurology. One of the things that we find with people with chronic illness is they often have a pretty unstable upper cervical spine because of the way stress impacts our muscles up here and the way that our brain stem works. You’re stabilizing a part of your spine. That’s a massive feedback loop into the body. There are multiple reasons for doing it.

If you start practicing feeling how you want to feel in the future, your subconscious will find opportunities and magnetically draw those realities to you.

We always talk about visualization, and we think about the future. Going back to the past and reprogramming the past sounds amazing.

I had a traumatic upbringing. There are years in my life that have completely been deleted. I don’t remember what happened. I had some vague memories. People tell me about their childhood, and I’m like, “Wow, that’s awesome. You can remember all that. I wish I could.”

I did 40 Years of Zen with Dave Asprey in Seattle. The promise is that within a week, your brain will be so great. It’s like 40 years of being on a mountain and meditating.

I didn’t get quite that, but I got some breakthroughs where, after doing the exercises, good memories from my past flooded in, memories I didn’t even know existed. If there were a bad memory, I would make it different.

The stories we tell ourselves are important because our brains cannot distinguish between a story and something that happened. It’s why people remember events in different ways. You can have ten people in the same place, and they all remember different things because they all have a different story in their brains. That’s why if you tell a lie often, you will eventually believe that lie. Why not tell a really good lie? Tell a good story, and your brain will follow.

What do you do to go and reprogram old memories? We don’t want to erase them. It’s a part of our past, but we can make them work for us.

I love how you shared that as you did brain retraining. Basically, with Dave Asprey’s program, you started to remember good memories. That’s what happens. Your hippocampus is like a file cabinet. There are a few structures with memory, but as we start to get to a state of safety in our brain, our memory center will open up and say, “Oh, let’s look at other things that have happened.”

The way that we do this is by looking for memories you can find that are happy. It might just be yesterday, but you’re still opening up your memory file and looking for what was good yesterday or 30 years ago, whatever those moments were. They could just be brief. I remember tasting an ice cream cone when I was six, and it was really good. 

Visualize the future, health, relationships, and feelings you desire.

It can be super simple, but what you’re doing is you’re opening up that memory center. You’re looking in and saying, “I’m going to look for safety, I’m going to look for good, and I’m going to look for this.” As you start to do that, your memory center’s almost like, oh, let’s start showing her more because she wants to know what happened. We want to look for the good instead of the bad. 

Your brain is just a computer. It’s a servant. If you start saying, “I want to look for the good,” it will start to show you the good. Then, what happens is you start looking for the good and getting a different perspective of your path, a more balanced perspective. It wasn’t all bad. “Oh, yeah, I had this, I went to this birthday party, I had that park I’d go to.” Things start to open up.

Then, the things that happened that were traumatic, those memories will often open up a little bit as well, but you’ll start to see them from a different angle. You start noticing different perspectives because you’re expanding your awareness of your past. That’s what can be healing, like, “Oh, I never saw this from the perspective of my mom or dad and what they were going through or from this other person.” That’s where compassion starts to fall in, and that’s where healing happens.

It seems like your program is not only good for people with chronic illnesses. It’s good for people, everyone. We all need that.

Your limbic system is the emotional center of your brain.

I agree. We do. If I remarket it, I would love to have entrepreneurs or everyone in there to have these skills that we should have been taught in kindergarten. But typically, people need to suffer to do these practices because they’re tedious. “Who wants to sit there, get off their phone, and start visualizing?” Usually, it’s somebody who’s really suffering. By the time they get to my program, they feel like they’ve got a gun to their head because they’re just so sick. They’ve been everywhere; they’ll do anything to heal, including all these exercises that seem crazy. 

But the truth is that we all need to reprogram our sense of reality. We all need to learn to self-regulate our biology, so 100%. These exercises are still great if you’re listening and not chronically ill.

It’s also important because I think we have had a chronic illness epidemic in the last 30 years where the previous generations didn’t have so many peanut allergies. People can debate on the cause—I have my own opinion—but definitely, it’s an epidemic. You can see it in young kids.

Here’s a theme for you that came to my mind. One is the entrepreneur primal acceleration blueprint, how to 10X your business in three months or something like that, and then the primal kid warrior. If you simplify them, all these exercises can be amazing for kids with chronic illnesses to regulate and help them.

I only see this expanding and becoming more beautiful in helping more people, especially younger ones. They seem like they need more help. They are exposed to 5G radiation, toxins, and TikTok. Everything is so fast-paced and creates ADD. Most of us have difficulty focusing because life accelerates at a humongous speed. 

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Now, with AI, a decade from now, life will be very different from how they’re being taught in school. I’m sure that all the souls that came into this world came with the ability to adjust to the change more than we do because they came prepared, and yet we can also assist them on this physical plane and help them with all that you are teaching.

I agree. Here’s what I say when people bring up the kid. The number one thing to regulate your child is you, the adult. Looking them in the eye, slowing down, putting down your phone, breathing, and getting into your own heart coherence. We are the ones who calibrate them. 

For kids with chronic illness, parents, take this program and learn to self-regulate your own biology. Your kids are in your electromagnetic field, and you directly impact them.

I went to a billion seminars, seriously. I have more self-development seminars under my belt than 99.9% of the population. There’s been a lot. Especially with my husband, we’ve been seminar junkies. We’d do two or three a month—intense ones—for a long time.

All this development I did—going to seminars, the big hurrah, and feeling like I’m really evolving—none of it compared to what being a mom taught me and how much I grew in the last four years as a person because of my child and because I had to be there for him. 

The first thing to regulate your child is you, the adult. We are the ones who calibrate them.

Having your own child brings up your own childhood. If somebody had a messy childhood like most of us, it can bring out a lot. Either you’re dealing with it, or you put it in a box aside and not dealing with it. If you’re dealing with it, how are you dealing with it?

I totally agree. I learned that when I’m good, my child is good, and my family is good. I can help everybody on a grander scale. I’m not saying I’m perfect. Not at all. I’m still on the journey forever. It’s just that I’m better now than I used to be.

One exercise I give from time to time for brain retraining is to imagine yourself as a child and imagine your mother in the room as happy and vibrant as you can ever imagine her being. What does that do to your body? Without fail, people are like, “That was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in my body, seeing my mother happy, regulated, and centered in her essence.” There is something that just calms a child down, like, “Mom’s okay.”

Part of our work is to heal these wounds with our children and find that radiance within us so they can see that we’re alive, happy, and healthy despite our imperfections. It’s so healing for our kids.

I’m still working on that myself. My hardest journey has been mothering. But if anyone asks what gets to my heart and what’s the hardest thing for me, it’s the times I feel like I’m failing as a mother. The triggers come up from the past, or I’ve let them down or messed them up. It is the heart of what hits me still.

The biggest emotions I developed as a mom one is extreme fear and the other one is extreme guilt: fear and guilt.

Bingo. Ditto.

“I’m not doing enough. I should have been doing that. I shouldn’t have yelled at him.” But sometimes, we have to give ourselves some break because we’re humans. We don’t live in a bubble, and we don’t live without emotions. 

Our nervous systems and fears keep us from achieving our hopes and dreams.

When my child sees me angry or frustrated, that’s okay because he will be angry and frustrated, and he needs to know it’s okay. If I do something bad, but after that, I come and say, “Hey, I made a mistake, I’m sorry, and please forgive me.” It doesn’t matter if he’s two, three, or four. He learns good behavior.

One of my favorite sentences to tell him—because he’s a Virgo and likes everything very orderly and everything to go his way—is, “Is it okay to make mistakes?” We keep saying it all the time. “Is it okay to make mistakes? Yeah, it’s okay to make mistakes.”

When I make it, I’m like, “I made a mistake. Is it okay to make a mistake? Yes, it’s okay as long as we try again and again.”

That’s so beautiful. I’m still working on that, letting them see that I think it’s okay that I made that mistake because I can go down that guilt pathway like, “Oh my gosh, I lost my temper.” They don’t see me let myself off the hook. That’s what I’m still working on as well. Let them see me forgive myself and let myself off the hook so that they are more willing to let themselves off the hook, too, as they grow. Acknowledge what you did and take ownership. “I lost my temper. I was out of line here. I still love myself, and it’s okay to make mistakes.”

One of the things that comforts me as a mom is knowing that their soul chose to come to our family, so they already knew all my flaws, and they still chose to come. They come for their own soul correction. We come together as souls to elevate each other, learn from our mistakes, and grow together. As long as we have love and good intentions and we don’t harm our kids physically. Sometimes, we do emotionally, but it’s also a part of it. 

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I’m sure my child is going to go to a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or an AI in the future and be like, “My mom is like this, and like this, and because of this, I’m like this.” He’ll have to imagine me happy and beautiful and have that comfort. It’s interesting.

I used to make a list of all the things I did when they were really little so that they could take it to their therapist. You don’t have to go to a therapist. “Here’s what happened. I did this and this.” I really was like, “I’m going to save them all the therapy and all the figuring out what happened. Here’s what I did.”

Sometimes, the things that we do that we see as grandiose, they don’t even take it in. And sometimes the little things that we’re like, “I didn’t say anything,” for them, it will be life-shattering, so I don’t think the list is relevant, sorry.

I know. It’s my own story.

But that’s beautiful. Maybe you can take that list,  have a forgiveness exercise, and see yourself.

It’s my list. It’s for forgiving me.

Remember what you valued and loved as a child.

Epigenetically, we don’t influence our kids, so when you look at that list and heal that in yourself, they won’t need that therapy.

I love that. Thank you for that.

Please share a little bit about client stories and how they healed themselves.

We just see so many crazy, awesome things. First of all, one of the things that we are doing, the most remarkable turnarounds, is with Lyme disease. Our statistics are that after an average of three months, people have a 51% gain of function from Lyme disease just doing brain retraining and nervous system work. We’re not treating them. We’re regulating their immune system. Infection, Lyme, parasites, viruses, etc., it’s all the same. You regulate your nervous system. Your body has an innate immune system, so there’s some hope there.

Just recently, one of my favorites, I just put this video on YouTube. A gal named Marla was supposed to have 80% of her colon taken out because she had six or seven autoimmune disorders. Her colon was shut down. She had all of these issues. Her doctor said, “Well, there’s one more thing you can try before we surgically remove this.” It’s Primal Trust, our program. She did it, and within a handful of months off all of her medication, all of her autoimmune stuff was gone. Her colon is totally healed. She’s fine.

It just shows you the radical turnaround, but she was somebody who shifted her mindset. Her victim mentality is gone. She was like, “I need to get rid of this. I’m desperate. I’m a mom. I’ve got to do the work.”

She did the work. She changed her perspective on herself. She said she developed a loving, compassionate relationship with herself because she had that gun to her head of, “You do this, or you’ve got to have the surgery, and you’re going downhill.” She went for it. She believed in her own body’s capacity to self-heal. She let people off the hook, including herself, and she healed.

As you reflect on your past, cultivate your awareness and embrace new perspectives on old memories.

That is the general archetype of what I see. You have to shift how your brain perceives reality and your biochemistry. We often do that through deep forgiveness work for ourselves and others and focusing on how we want to feel instead of how we don’t want to feel, and the body will follow.

That’s incredible. How does it make you feel? How does it affect how you see your journey when you get stories like that? I’m sure you have hundreds of stories like that, if not thousands.

The truth is that she taught me. When she told me this, I was like, “Wow, I still have to let myself off the hook for some things with my kids that I haven’t.” I may have come a long way, but this woman exceeded me, in my opinion, and she became my teacher. 

All these people that are healing are still teaching me. They’re reinforcing that we’re all on a healing journey. It may not be physical anymore, but still emotional or spiritual. It inspires me of what’s possible when the human mind seeks something greater than what we’ve been entrained. 

It shows me that the possibilities are endless and that my suffering has a purpose. All those years where I felt cursed by the universe, I did. It’s helping thousands of people heal because of what I’ve learned. It’s like you just never know why you’re going through that suffering. “How is this suffering for me? What am I learning? How is this getting me to a point where I give up my fight for the old way, give up my old stories, and let go of these family patterns?” It forced me to be an ancestral chain breaker. It forced me to do deep constellation work. That’s how it’s impacting me.

Develop a self-regulation tool so that as life stressors hit you, you have a go-to, whether you like breathwork, brain retraining, meditation, yoga, tai chi, or Qigong.

Incredible. Please share a bit about Primal Trust, how the program works, and how long people need to be in it to get results. Is it very individual? Probably individual, depending on the person.

Good question. Primal Trust is created as a membership platform. It’s just a monthly membership. You pay and can cancel anytime. Within it, there’s an academy with all the courses to teach you all the tools. And there’s a community. The community has live classes that you can attend daily to learn how to regulate. There are study groups and all sorts of support. Some people want to come in, do it themselves, and learn the academy. That’s fine. Some people are like, “I want a community. I want to learn together.” We have both options.

How long it takes? Our first program has three levels—level one, level two, and level three. Level one is all the tools we’ve been talking about. You plan about two or four months if you need to work through slowly. Right there alone, people have many symptoms that fall away, and some feel great. They go back out into the world. They don’t even do level two and level three.

Level two is if you’ve had trauma. You learn self-regulation tools in level one, but in level two, you’re doing deeper work like parts work, true self-discovery, and working past deep unconscious resistance, where you need your tools to regulate as you start facing some things. That’s what we do on level two.

Level three is more like you’ve got tools and have done a lot of deep work. However, it’s the ongoing stuff, the stuff that I’m still working on—relationships, mothering, going back to work, and finding your mission—all while using self-regulation tools to be able to do these things because that’s what limits us. Our own nervous system and fears are what limit us from doing what we want to do or working on our intimacy or things like that. That’s available for those who still want to do that in the community, academy, and live classes. Some people are in for a couple of years because they love the community and learning together. I think our average length is between six and eight months, during which people are in the program and working through things. But some people find great results in just a couple of months. It just depends on how sick you are, what’s going on, and things like that.

Amazing. What are your three top tips for living a stellar life?

When our brains feel safe, we become open to a flood of good, happy memories. Click To Tweet

Number one is finding and remembering what you valued and loved as a child and finding a way every day when you go to bed, “How did I live my values today?” Whether it’s nature, adventure, or connection, what you value and doing that every day so that when you go to sleep, you feel like “I lived today.” 

For me, one of my values was nature. When I was looking for four-leaf clovers in the grass because that’s all I could do, I lived my values that day. There’s something there about just feeling like you’re giving yourself what you love that is so precious when you do that.

Secondly, develop some type of self-regulation tool so that as life stressors hit you, you have a go-to, whether you like breathwork, brain retraining, meditation, yoga, tai chi, or Qigong. Have something that you can just pick up on an instant when you’re feeling like you’re getting stressed to just calm down that limbic system and regulate your biochemistry.

Spend each day looking at the people you love eye to eye.

The third thing would be spending each day looking at the people you love eye to eye, being present with them, putting your phone down, connecting with them, and being present with them. 

This is so healing for our families, for ourselves, and for our hearts, knowing that you went to bed, looked at your child, partner, or friend, and gave them your full, undivided attention, that they got to see your spirit and you saw there’s something that we are missing when we don’t do that. That’s how we ultimately heal. It’s like we’re doing right now, looking in your beautiful eyes.

Amazing. Where can people find you? 

We are at primaltrust.org. Also on Instagram and YouTube, @primaltrust_official. We have a lot of free content. In fact, I think we’ll have a free ebook underneath this video for your listeners. That’s a 100-page page guide on healing. We’ve got five tools on there. It’s coming out.

It’s called How Healing Happens. It’s the science of everything we’ve talked about, plus five tools to get you started. It’s kind of a mini program for those who might not even be able to afford my program or who need to understand the science and want to get as much information out there. You can download that, and I will make sure that it’s available for your listeners.

Perfect. Cathleen, thank you so, so much. It was such a pleasure having you on the show. It’s just wonderful. Thank you.

Thank you for having me.

Thank you, and thank you, listeners. Remember what you loved as a child and ask yourself, “How did I live my values today,” develop tools of self-regulation—whatever works for you—spend each time each day being present and connecting with the people you love eye to eye at least once a day, and have a stellar life. This is Orion, until next time.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

{✓} Restore your natural state through the body’s self-healing capacity. Start with overcoming misconceptions about the word “healing” and emphasize its scientific basis.

{✓} Spend time immersed in nature and doing the simple things you loved as a child. Immerse yourself in the joy of nature.

{✓} Explore the brain-body connection, especially in relation to chronic pain and illness. Investigate practices such as brain retraining, nervous system regulation, and vagus nerve toning to promote self-healing.

{✓} Practice five to ten minutes of vagus nerve stimulation through deep, diaphragmatic belly breathing, gentle humming that vibrates your chest, or singing your favorite uplifting song. This shifts you out of stress mode.

{✓} Implement brain retraining exercises each day. Close your eyes and visualize detailed, multisensory, childhood memories of unconditional love, feeling safe, and having fun experiences. This helps to reprogram your nervous system.

{✓} Shift from a hopeless mindset to a focus on living your best life. Redirect your focus on positive experiences, even in the face of chronic illness, to change your perspective.

{✓} Reflect on one to three core values you cherished as a child. Discover small, daily ways to honor these values. Keep a journal to record how you daily live out your values.

{✓} Learn from your mistakes. Grow through exercising the healing power of self-forgiveness and self-compassion. Start with imagining a happy and vibrant version of yourself.

{✓} Review your day’s thoughts and emotions before bed. Focus your body on feeling your ideal vision for the future. Experience freedom, joy, gratitude, and confidence. Embody these emotions to program your nervous system to attract this reality.

{✓} Carve out distraction-free time to truly see your loved ones and gaze into their eyes. This can help your souls deeply connect.

{✓} Connect with Primal Trust on their website to learn more about Dr. Cathleen King’s membership, explore free resources, and book a free discovery Zoom call. Follow her on her social media handles, Instagram and YouTube.

Links and Resources

Connect with Dr. Cathleen King

YouTube Videos

Previous Stellar Life Episodes


Further Resources

About Dr. Cathleen King

Dr. Cathleen King, DPT is a physical therapist and neuroscience-based mind-body practitioner. Her professional focus is on chronic illness and trauma healing. She is the CEO and founder of the Primal Trust™ Academy & Community, a rapidly growing worldwide platform helping others unlock their self-healing. Her online program combines brain retraining, vagus nerve toning, somatics, and trauma-informed practices.

Disclaimer: The medical, fitness, psychological, mindset, lifestyle, and nutritional information provided on this website and through any materials, downloads, videos, webinars, podcasts, or emails are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical/fitness/nutritional advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek the help of your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, certified trainer, or dietitian with any questions regarding starting any new programs or treatments or stopping any current programs or treatments. This website is for information purposes only, and the creators and editors, including Orion Talmay, accept no liability for any injury or illness arising out of the use of the material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this website and affiliated materials.


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