Dana Frost is an experienced wellness practitioner and certified Master Life Coach and Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner. She specializes in HeartMath® facilitation, aromatherapy, transcutaneous acupuncture, and Kaiut Yoga instruction. With her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and certification as a Master Martha Beck Life Coach, Dana’s broad and diverse skill set and life experience living abroad for ten years and adopting two children provides a strong foundation for her individualized approach to working with clients. Her extensive knowledge in both emotional and health-wellness fields allows her to guide clients towards optimal physical and mental health and improved emotional well-being so they can fulfill their mission in life and enjoy the people they love. MysticMag has the privilege of chatting with Dana.
How did you first become interested in pursuing a career as a life coach and wellness expert?
In 2005, I was living in Brazil and had been living in South America for 10 years. During that time, my family and I had just adopted two children. In 2003, I was in the process of all of this and really needed support to get me through the transition. A friend of mine had become a life coach in the US, and she suggested I hire her after listening to me and what I was going through. I hired her, and it turned out to be a very transformational experience. It really gave me the support that I needed.
Before we left the US, I had started a Master’s in theological counseling, but after my experience with coaching, I realized coaching was the avenue for me. In 2005, I came back to the US for life coach training and started coaching right away while living in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I quickly realized that people make big decisions based on the coaching model because it really gets to the heart of the issues. Therefore, I decided to do my master coach training based to be fully equipped for my clients.
Can you describe your approach to coaching and how you incorporate your personal experiences into your work with clients?
At this point in my coaching journey, I approach it very multidimensionally. While I use the same coaching tools for every client, each person is unique, so I apply the tools in different ways. My approach helps the client tap into their wise inner teacher, where the answers to everything they need to know reside.
I use my coaching tools as an opportunity for the person to understand how their body and emotions communicate with them, giving them clues about what’s happening in their life. This understanding allows them to fine-tune and be in alignment with their own mind, body, and soul.
What inspired you to become a certified aromatherapist and transcutaneous acupuncturist, and how do you incorporate these modalities into your coaching practice?
When I first started coaching, I became interested in aromatherapy. I learned that tapping into your sense of smell can activate your limbic brain system, which is responsible for your memories, motivation, and behavior. As someone who had experienced a major life transition, using scents from nature or aromatherapy as a support mechanism was a powerful and easy way for people to tap into their own inner wisdom and knowledge. Applying scents to your skin, diffusing them in your home, or adding them to wool balls in your laundry is effortless.
Later, in 2012, I became interested in transcutaneous acupuncture, which involves applying essential oils to specific points on the body and traveling the meridians to create biological shifts. I learned about it through the work of Dr. Norm Shealy, whom I was introduced to by a colleague who worked closely with him.
Dr. Shealy is a pioneer of holistic medicine in the US, having added traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture to his practice after realizing that invasive surgeries for pain were not providing long-term results for his patients. He created the first pain clinic in the US and has since developed various technologies for healing that work from an electrical perspective. Learning about his work made me appreciate the value of combining aromatherapy and acupuncture, and it made sense for me to pursue transcutaneous acupuncture certification as a certified aromatherapist.
How do you help clients navigate the emotional and mental challenges that often come with making lifestyle changes and improving their overall health and wellness?
The framework that I use for emotional mapping comes from HeartMath®. One of their tools is called the Depletion to Renewal Grid, which used to be called the Emotional Compass. The grid is divided into four quadrants, with the bottom half representing the parasympathetic state and the top half representing the sympathetic state. The horizontal axis is divided into emotions that are depleting and those that are fueling.
By mapping out emotional experiences on the grid, You can see where you spend the majority of your time, parasympathetic or sympathetic dominant. This provides you with insight and understanding of what’s going on emotionally. Emotions signal which chemicals are released in the body. The vagus nerve travels from the brain through the organs to the stomach, sending the collected information back to the brain. This is the nervous system’s information highway. Heart Rate Variability picks up on emotions and responds accordingly through shifts in the HRV. These are the signaling mechanisms. The chemicals that are released are either depleting or fueling the body.
The essence of HeartMath is the power of heart rate variability, and the breathing techniques have been scientifically researched to modulate this pattern. Using the Heart Math breathing techniques, you tap into the energy and electrical current that flows to and from your heart. HRV is reflective of coherence or incoherence. By understanding what thoughts are causing emotional experiences and how life events impact coherence and the nervous system, the data can be used to deepen self-understanding and motivation for change.
You mention your own experiences with serious health challenges – can you speak more to how this has influenced your approach to working with clients who may be facing their own health struggles?
In 2011, I experienced a serious health crisis. I accidentally stabbed my finger while pitting an avocado and ended up in the emergency room. During my visit, doctors discovered that I had an arrhythmia, which was unusual for someone my age. They couldn’t identify the cause, and it turned out to be a burned-out electrical conduction of the heart. Even after a pacemaker was implanted, I still felt tired and disillusioned. Other conventional doctors suggested that it was all in my head and that I was experiencing depression. But I knew something was happening in my body that wasn’t related to my mental health.
As I researched my symptoms, I came across HeartMath, which helped me understand the connection between stress and my physical health. I eventually found an integrative internist who diagnosed me with dysbiosis, parasites, H. pylori, and other perimenopause and adrenal fatigue issues. We started repairing my body through traditional Chinese medicine, which included acupuncture and Chinese herbs. By treating the dysbiosis in my gut and focusing on my electrical system, I slowly began to feel better, and my energy levels returned.
My health journey lasted for two years, during which I had to make changes to my diet and seek alternative treatments. It was a lonely journey, and I wished I had someone to hold my hand and validate my experiences. That’s why I decided to study functional nutrition and help others who are struggling with their health. I understand how it feels to go through a crisis, whether it’s physical or emotional, and I have the empathy and knowledge to help others move through it.
If you would like to find out more about Dana Frost, visit https://danafrost.com/