The beloved Crystal Bricker joins us to answer some questions about her life, yoga, and of course...Hemp oil.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I've been in the alternative healthcare field since 1999 as a massage therapist, yoga instructor, Rolfer TM, Birth Doula, and the Creator of Yoga Integration®, a therapeutic approach to yoga and self-care. As my family has grown I have shifted my efforts towards hosting International Yoga Integration® Retreats and growing my home based Hemp Oil business.
I've lived all over the world while working, pursuing training's and having my babies and I am so glad to be settled now in the mountains of Southern New Mexico, preparing to welcome our fifth child.
First, when and how did you discover yoga?
When I was living in Florida in my early twenties my health overhaul began with a focus on weight loss. I was doing typical cardio work outs and watching my diet closely. I was loosing weight but not gaining much muscle tone. I read somewhere to try 'sculpting' and picked up a Yoga Sculpting DVD. Liked it for sure and tried a couple of other DVDs.
But my love affair with Yoga began when I developed a repetitive stress injury from doing far too much massage. A colleague recommended I seek therapy from an MT and RYT. He was amazing. Totally based in the therapeutic benefits of yoga and the mind-body connection. Despite my year of Power Yoga & Yoga Sculpting practice in my living room I went back to beginner level and focused on the importance of form, breath, and mindfulness. I was hooked.
How did you come across the growing CBD industry? What was happening in your life at the time that made you seek out this natural cure-all?
As I was preparing for my fourth baby I was once again faced with the impeding maternity leave and loss of income. Not to mention the time at home that always lead to becoming stir crazy and me missing work! I truly love being in the field and helping people and always start to get the itch to go back around 3 months, even though my baby and body want more time at home.
However this time I had consciously decided not to go back to seeing clients in my bodywork practice or teaching a regular weekly yoga class. With a large family it just wasn't adding up financially or energetically to be committed to many hours outside of the home. I didn't know *what* I was going to do, but trusted I would find a solution.
And then like a gift from the universe, my friend Jess reached out when my babe was about 3 months old and told me about this new company she had gotten involved with. She thought it would be a good fit for me. It was an elite formula of Full Spectrum Hemp Oil high in CBD, with 100% bioavailability.
What I saw after just a little bit of digging was a product that was helping people with literally more than 250 different issues, including the anxious feelings and restlessness I was experiencing post-partum. Plus the research done on heavy health conditions people I loved were experiencing like MS, Diabetes, addiction and seizure disorders was also really encouraging! I also learned that this particular formulation makes the CBD the most highly absorbed possible by your body next to IV administering. I was impressed, hopeful, and instantly saw an opportunity to help people without having to commit outside the home again.
Describe your first “ah-ha!” moment when you realized this stuff actually works?
I started taking my hemp oil the day it arrived and kept good tabs on my experience. By day 3 I had an overwhelming experience. I was driving my kids from here to there and had to pull my car over to check myself. I felt SO GOOD it was reminiscent of the the euphoric state of being high on marijuana. I was driving my kids and had to seriously evaluate what I was feeling! Was I high?!?!
Definitely not. Zero impairment. Zero brain fog. In fact I had incredible mental clarity. But I was calm, relaxed and dare I say...HAPPY! I started to cry. I realized what a high level of stress and anxiety I had learned to operate under and come to believe was normal. It was NOT normal, but was definitely what I had adapted to with my lifestyle and coping skills. The relief was palpable.
Before long I had to reduce my coffee consumption and was no longer craving alcohol to take the edge off either. I was a believer!!
How has CBD changed your life at home with four kids, and a fifth on the way?
Not a month after starting my Hemp Oil regiment and new business venture my kids practitioner recommended I get my boy genius evaluated for autism. I was surprised for sure. But thought, well, a four year old doing multiplication is definitely unique so it wouldn't hurt to learn more about how his brain functions. When his evaluation placed him on the spectrum I was FLOORED. And immediately changed his diet and added Hemp Oil into his daily routine with noticeable improvements in his behavior and attention.
Then asked my husband to start taking it hoping it would help him with his attention issues. It did. It also significantly improved his mood as he attended full time university with significant learning challenges. For the first time since he enrolled we did not have a traumatic finals week! He stayed positive and managed his stress at an entirely new level.
I have my 10 year old daughter take a few pumps before piano lessons or when she feels anxious.
I even rub in on my teething babies gums (and it is like MAGIC) and give a little to my dog when her hips seem sore.
To have a gift like this readily available as a mama who doesn't love our Western medical system is invaluable.
Describe to us the experience you had when you first practiced CBD infused yoga on your own with your personal practice? Did you notice any immediate benefits during, and after your practice?
I have noticed most dramatically the impact Hemp Oil has had on my meditation practice. If you can call it that. It's never really been my strong suit. Something I could find after an hour of yoga asana and pranayama, yes. Not something I could drop into immediately in a 20 minute effort by itself though. So what I've begun, because I know that value of meditation, even for 5 minutes, is setting a timer for 5 minutes when I take my morning dose of oil. I will sit quietly while holding the oil under my tongue and breathe. And try to quiet my mind while I sit. And I can drop in QUICKLY. Like in a minute or two I'm feeling the deepened awareness and focus. The general sense of well being flooding through my body as my mind works to stay still. It's fabulous.
When I get on my mat after taking a dose I notice much less avoidance of the postures that challenge me and a patience to stay with the poses that are unraveling my pattern. I love it. It is a perfect practice companion because it gets us out of fight or flight mode and turns on that rest & restore / feed & breed mode.
How is CBD enhanced yoga different from traditional yoga? What is happening in our bodies when we have taken CBD internally?
CBD infused yoga can in one way be compared to hot yoga for the mind. In hot yoga the warm room does some of the work to loosen up the muscles. The CBD does some of the work to hone in your focus and broaden your awareness. It may help students to "drop in" quicker. And for those with chronic muscle pain or inflamed joints infusing their practice with super fast acting nano-enhanced hemp oil can make their practice smoother in a physical sense as well! I have had students show up to class with a cranky back and take a couple of pumps of oil before class. They remarked that early on in the practice their nagging discomfort diminished and they were able to get the most out of class as a result.
When we take CBD we are nourishing our Endo(internal)Cannibanoid System, which has receptors in the brain, muscles, bones, heart, nerves, uterus, most everywhere. It's you body's "mother" system. It takes care of the rest. So if the ECS is depleted, it isn't aligned to support the rest of your body. When it is nourished, it aligns to help your body heal itself. Your body was designed to self regulate! But it needs to be well nourished in order to do so.
Another aspect to what's happening on an internal level when we consume CBD, is that it activates Anandamide, or, the bliss molecule. How cool is that?! An endogenous cannabinoid that was named after BLISS(!), Anandamide is essentially our bodies homemade anti-depressant. In fact, the runners high effect is also produced by the endocannabinoid system.
Lastly, where do you think the CBD industry is headed to next? What does this mean for the future of yoga studios, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, etc.?
Forbes projects the CBD industry will grow by 700% by the year 2020. The private market is already so rapidly expanding with a wide array of product options as well as quality offered. At the same time we are seeing big pharma staking its claim in the market, having actually Trademarked the term CBD and also producing a synthetic CBD for pharmaceutical sale.
My hope is that the private market can operate with enough integrity and self regulation so as to not jeopardize nutritional supplement classification of industrial hemp based CBD products, keeping them widely available for use in every appropriate arena. I forsee CBD doses offered before minor surgery and MRI's, massage sessions and yoga classes, at juice bars and tattoo shops, and in a perfect world, recommended by allopathic doctors for cancer patients along side pharmaceutical treatments.
Studies show that when used together, CBD and chemo are 3 times more effective.
The company I work with has enormous integrity and produces an oil of pharmaceutical grade without any regulatory requirements to do so. Our independent affiliates are also held to a high standard of compliance. We never claim that Hemp Oil cures or treats any disease. Nutritional supplements don't do that. It simply aligns your body so it may heal itself.
And, there you have it folks! Thanks for this fun, and informative interview, Crystal. We still have several spots left for the Hemp Oil Infused Yin Yoga Workshop happening this Sunday - September 9th from 3-5pm.
To reserve your spot, please visit: www.cloud9yoganm.com/events