Heal Yourself with Bodywork, Brain Rewiring, Moxibustion, Chinese Acupuncture & Other Alternative Treatments

  |   EP152   |   55 mins.

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Episode Highlights

Your worst experiences lead you to your greatest gifts Share on XChanging the way you think and speak rewires your brain Share on XDiaphragmatic breathing prevents you from 25,000 unnecessary muscle contractions per day Share on XReleasing trigger points create harmony in the body Share on XYou create positive space in your body by doing practices that you love and feel good. Share on X

About Key Reteff

Key Reteff, a resilient healer, overcame childhood adversity and military injury to embrace holistic wellness. Transitioning from sports & psychedelics, he pursued sobriety at 25, delving into healing arts.

Despite battling pain, his dedication to healing led to mastery in therapeutic modalities acquiring diplomas & certifications in massage therapy, holistic nutrition, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, & several specialized healing techniques. Now globally sought-after, Key’s journey from hardship to healing inspires many.

Key Reteff

Top Things You’ll Learn From Key Reteff

[8:40] Rewiring your brain

  • What rewires your brain
  • How to rewire your brain
  • How words shape & change your life
  • Remove your limiting beliefs by changing this one phrase
  • The benefit of gentleness to your nervous system
  • Tap into your subconscious mind with Psych-K

[19:03] Alternative health treatments for self-healing

  • Why stress affects breathing & muscular function
  • The key to a balanced life
  • What is food type-ing & how it works
  • Why you should be open to different medicine & healing treatments
  • Modern science vs ancient systems
  • How Moxibustion is used for healing
  • 3 benefits of Acupuncture for your body

[27:24] Tools & processes for longevity

  • Uses of Contrast therapy, its benefits & origin
  • Sauna and ice baths for healing
  • Nature’s best form of therapy
  • How sound bath sessions changes lives
  • The no. 1 self-care tool
  • The right way to use a foam roller

[36:57] Why dealing with trigger points leads to healing

  • What are trigger points & why do they matter
  • How to release trigger points at home
  • Why breath is fundamental to inner healing
  • Positive effects of diaphragmatic breathing for your body
  • How to let go of trauma with holistic medicine
  • The role of massage & bodywork for better health
  • Why feelings are the highest form of communication

Resources Mentioned

  • Program: Holistic University
  • Course: Outliyr Longevity Challenge
  • Teacher: Lao Tzu
  • Teacher: Rob Williams
  • Book: Biology of Belief

Episode Transcript

Click here

Nick Urban [00:00:05]:
What is the single most important self care tool? Now? If you had asked me that not too long ago, I would have said resistance bands or a swiss ball or who knows? What do you think it is? Well, our guest this week is a body worker with background in all kinds of different modalities, from clinical massage therapy to holistic nutrition to acupuncture to chinese medicine to reiki yoga and beyond. His answer was a foam roller and silence. And in this episode, he’ll break down exactly why this is such a high impact, important tool everyone should be using. Daily. We talk about how he chose the different disciplines that he specializes in now to study how he combines those different disciplines, different forms of therapeutic bodywork and the benefits beyond pleasure and feeling good. The opportunities afforded to him when he hit rock bottom. What he views as some of the most underrated modalities and tools and biohacks such as moxibustion, the power of our language, our words, and how to use reframes to rewire our beliefs on the deepest level and create lasting change. All that and much more with he retief.

Nick Urban [00:01:29]:
He’s a renowned healer with expertise in massage therapy, holistic nutrition, acupuncture and chinese medicine. He has earned significant credentials, including diplomas from Sutherland Chan and the Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as certifications and key healing practices like reiki and yoga. Known for his holistic approach, he attracts clients globally because the results clients get from his transformative healing treatments speak for themselves. You can find the links to everything we discuss, his work websites and socials, and a whole lot more in the show notes for this episode, which are@mindbodypeak.com 152. By the way, if you hear the mooing in the background, that’s because I’m in a small rural village in India. I have a lot of good things to say about India for my trip so far, but quiet background noise isn’t necessarily one of them. This episode is brought to you by the outlier longevity challenge after seeing thousands of people aging prematurely, suffering from low energy, high stress, and just living below their potential. I’ve written extensively about all of the latest longevity supplements and ingredients.

Nick Urban [00:02:48]:
And here’s the thing. While many of them are promising, they don’t outweigh the benefits and transformative power of following a well structured, intelligently designed program. The fanciest longevity designer molecules, whether it’s rapamycin, metformin, urolithin a, these are all great, but on a magnitude scale. If they are about a two or three, then the highest impact things are going to be an eight or nine, and the high impact things have fewer side effects, more benefits, really spillover benefits. They’re oftentimes fairly simple and sometimes even free. So if you feel confused by the world of longevity, you see some of the influencers out there spending hundreds of thousands on their protocols, or in certain cases, such as with Brian Johnson, up to $2 million on his longevity routine, know that there’s a better way. So I created a short 14 day longevity challenge where I lay out in each day one of the highest impact fundamentals you can work on, and I give you more actionable things to do without consuming your whole day. Just a few minutes per day can make a difference and less on the theory side, although I have plenty of that if you’re interested as well.

Nick Urban [00:04:09]:
Some of the longevity courses I’ve been through and also seen cost thousands of dollars. And this is not that, since longevity shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg or your entire savings. So I’ve actually taken 60% off the course for the launch and the first 500 sales. So if you click the link down below, you’ll automatically unlock 60% off and qualify for a free one on one. Consult with me if you happen to be watching this after the first 500. No problem. You’ll still experience an incredible transformation if you follow through on the action items in the program. The beta testers so far have shown some impressive improvements to their blood biomarkers and their biological age tests.

Nick Urban [00:04:55]:
So check it out, and if you have any questions, reach out to me on the outlier website@outlier.com, contact all right, ladies and gentlemen, sit back, relax, and enjoy this conversation with key Kee. Welcome to the podcast.

Key Reteff [00:05:12]:
Thanks, brother. Thanks for having me on.

Nick Urban [00:05:15]:
I’ve been looking forward to this because a lot of people talk about holistic health, and they might do some lab testing and possibly use supplements or herbs, but it’s not like a true holistic picture of health. And when I was reviewing your work, I noticed that you have a thorough process and you integrate a lot of things from different disciplines and different medical systems. So I’m excited to dive into that with you today. Before we get started as a warm up, what are the unusual non negotiables you’ve done so far for your health, your performance, and your bioharmony today?

Key Reteff [00:05:56]:
For my health, probably, like I call them, healthy hobbies. And just like little practices that.

Nick Urban [00:06:07]:

Key Reteff [00:06:07]:
Me busy physically, mentally, emotionally, keep me out of trouble. It’s like I used to be a big partier and these healthy hobbies, like, say, slack lining or juggling or hand balancing, these things keep my body healthy, keep my mind sharp. Yeah. Keep me feeling good, make me happy, and, yeah, I mean, other practices, like stillness, meditation, really, really important. Just being able to calm the mind and slow down. And then just, like, eating things that make me feel good. So, like, I love eating food for the way it makes me feel and not for the taste. Of course, I want to make it taste good, too, but, like, I don’t know, like, eating.

Key Reteff [00:06:50]:
When I eat liver, it’s like a spiritual experience. I, like, feel it nourish my deficiencies, and it’s like, oh, and, I mean, I eat it with my hands, and I make it with half franks, half raw butter. It’s like a really nice sauce. Eat it with my hands and then. But, yeah, when I eat that, I really feel it nourish my soul. It’s like a spiritual experience. So, yeah, and just connecting with nature, trying to enjoy life, moving slow, just, like, trying to be chill, trying to be gentle on yourself. Yeah.

Key Reteff [00:07:20]:
Just trying to enjoy the experience that we’re blessed with.

Nick Urban [00:07:24]:
Yeah. And if you look@the.net. Pleasure gain from the food that you eat that’s clean and healthy and that you feel nourishing yourself, it might not have the same temporary spike. You may not get quite as much pleasure in the short term, and you might not, uh, enjoy it quite as much as some people enjoy their junk food. But if you look at, like, what happens after on the other end of that spike, the trough, the valley afterward of energy and brain fog and a bunch of different things like that, I think the better, more pleasurable even alternative is to eat clean. I see that you’re wearing a shirt that says longevity. What’s the significance of that?

Key Reteff [00:08:01]:
My friend gave it to me, but big fan of playing the long game. So I think life is a marathon, not a race. And I think, like, you know, I plan to be a centenarian, and I used to work so hard to get where I wanted to be and would just, like, run myself into burnout, and it’s just unnecessary. It makes life, you know, I was always, like, living in the future, like, rushing to get somewhere when really, like, the journey itself is the destination.

Nick Urban [00:08:36]:
Yeah. And that reminds me of what you were just saying before about your habits, that you have their practices that you now enjoy. How did you transition from partying into doing all these holistic things that people often consider a nuisance, such as meditating. Now it sounds like you look forward to it and it’s like an integral part of your day.

Key Reteff [00:08:55]:
Well, basically hitting the rock bottom, which is kind of a beautiful day because it’s the last time you’ll ever accept going that low. And really, it’s like, it’s really up to you because I believe good and bad is kind of like not really. It’s like your choice, your choice. And sometimes the worst things, the worst experiences lead you to your greatest gifts. So I just decided enough is enough. Like, I’m ready. So then I had this epiphany while I was lying in my bed on ketamine and yeah, I was like, okay, I just gotta stop doing drugs and partying and focus on fitness and I’ll never have to work another day in my life. I didn’t know what that meant, but I was like, okay.

Key Reteff [00:09:43]:
So then the next day I just booked a yoga teacher training and kind of just started like a health journey.

Nick Urban [00:09:49]:
Well, tell me more about your background. I mean, that’s how you got started. And where did that path take you?

Key Reteff [00:09:55]:
Yeah, so I used to be in the military and had a really bad back injury. Fell 14ft, almost died near death experience, which was really, really interesting. I was free falling from 14ft up, looking at the sky, being like, oh, this is it, I’m about to die. And crazy DMT release in the brain, hit the ground, didn’t die. So I was like, oh, sweet. Every day is a bonus now. Then I ended up getting really bad back pain, debilitating back pain so bad that I wanted to commit suicide. And this is after my yoga teacher training.

Key Reteff [00:10:30]:
I was already on the health journey, then ended up going to massage therapy school. Two year program in Canada. We have like the highest level of massage therapy in the world. It’s kind of like a master’s program. It’s quite hard. And I learned so much. It was really great. And like six months into that, found my purpose in life, to become a healer at an ayahuasca ceremony and then basically just like dedicated my life to being in service of humanity and helping others heal and learned how to heal myself after hitting another rock bottom of a different rock bottom of, okay, I’m in so much pain and I really don’t want to continue this life anymore and considering committing suicide, never did.

Key Reteff [00:11:17]:
And eventually realized how to heal myself and that it was me all along because I was spending tens of thousands of dollars on every kind of practitioner going to them being like, you know, I am like owning this injury and this pain because I would say like, I am in so much back pain. I have so much back pain. And just, like, you know, using these unconscious words of ownership. And eventually, like, after seeing all these people realizing that it was me all along and that it was in my power all along, but it didn’t help. Like, seeing one doctor and they’re telling me one thing, and then, like, you know, a physio’s telling me one thing, and a chiropractor is telling me the complete opposite thing. And so it’s like, wow, who do I listen to? And then eventually, I found some exercises that really helped and tapped into my own intuition and, you know, crazy journey, too, because trying every single diet, I was, like, not eating for ten days or vegan, vegetarian, carnivore. Like, tried everything and then eventually realized balance is, like, the most important thing.

Nick Urban [00:12:23]:
No, I think diet, exercise, sleep, those tend to be what get the most limelight, most attention and focus. But that was actually something that I wanted to double click into with you because I heard you earlier mention about the words you were using with yourself and presumably the story behind those words. So let’s explore that together. I’m curious to hear why, like, what that was like for you, what those words and thoughts and stuck emotions were and what they felt like and how you worked through that.

Key Reteff [00:12:58]:
Well, when I was in the military, when I got out, I. I was receiving. I was on disability for a while, and I would go to the doctor and, like, explain the pain that I was in, and I wasn’t lying, but also, at the same time, like, I didn’t want to lose the money I was getting. And so I would, like, I kept myself in this, like, low frequency because of that. And I would, like, keep explaining to the doctor, like, yeah, I have so much pain. Like, I’m in so much pain. And then I realized, like, this is a big problem with. With, like, the military folk and veterans and stuff because it really keeps you in this low vibrational state after, like, if you’re a veteran and you’re getting compensation from the military and, like, you’re getting free money, it’s like, oh, like, I don’t need to work.

Key Reteff [00:13:49]:
I’m okay. But then that, like, takes your life away from you. Like, it really, really causes huge problems in your life because, yes, like, you’re okay. You can live, like, an okay, comfortable life, but it’s not fulfilling. And when it’s not fulfilling, you’re empty inside. And when you’re empty inside, life isn’t that good. Your heart is empty, and you don’t feel. You’re just like, you’re numb to the world and you know deep down something’s missing and you cannot truly be happy when you’re in that state.

Nick Urban [00:14:27]:
I recorded a podcast a while back with the enlifted team, and we talked about the power that words have on literally shaping our story, which shapes our reality. What is the issue with saying I am about those type of disempowering things I am or I have? And what is the reframe that you started to use yourself?

Key Reteff [00:14:52]:
Whatever you say after I am, that creates your identification. You owning that, you become that. That’s why Jesus just said I am and then nothing after because he realized he was all things. And like, so whatever you say after that, it’s really dangerous. So if you’re a vegan, which I was, I was like, I’m vegan. I identified myself as a vegan, therefore I put myself in a box. I created limits in my life because I was like, okay, I’m only going to eat this. Even though, like, my body needed all kinds of vitamins and minerals and proteins that were outside of the diet that I was eating.

Key Reteff [00:15:28]:
I limited myself to that and created this identity around that. So the more identity that you give yourself, the less you can know who you truly are.

Nick Urban [00:15:39]:
So what did you do then to reframe that? Instead of saying, I am whatever it was when that thought came up or that those words are about to come out, what would you do instead?

Key Reteff [00:15:48]:
I mean, we all slip up like you were just saying, even when you know and practice it, like, still sometimes you say things and you’re like, oh, like, and you just try to catch yourself as much as you can or like, even rebuke something that you, that you put out in the universe that you didn’t want to say. It’s like, oh, man, like, and, and you can just, I don’t know, say something else. And basically it’s like there’s a tipping point. And whatever you say more and is, is really what’s going to manifest eventually. So you just want to be on the, the right side of things to where you want to be.

Nick Urban [00:16:24]:
Okay, so after you got your story straight and you worked on the words that you were telling yourself, because those are things that we, the words, the possibly negative thoughts come up all the time, every day, and they just like, affirm your current situation or whatever it is, the energy behind those words. So if you’re telling yourself that you’re a fake or you don’t deserve this or whatever, you’re telling yourself that from the first thing you do in the morning to the last thoughts at night, of course your life is going to mold and shape around those thoughts in a way you wouldn’t necessarily want. So after you worked on that, what did you do next?

Key Reteff [00:16:59]:
I think all of it is just, like a daily practice and trying to be consistent and just trying to be the best you can. So it’s like, wasn’t really like, what am I doing next? It’s like, just every day trying to do the best that I can and trying to enjoy life, like, not going overboard, not being excess and, you know, I guess it’s just rhythms and I’m just trying to enjoy the journey, man. That’s it. Like, I’m just. I’m just trying to help people while I’m helping myself at the same time and just, like, do the best I can given the cards I’ve been dealt, really, like, and having fun while I’m at it. So, you know, I guess, like, each, each year comes in waves. Like, I love, like, a theme for every year. So, like, for me, 2022 was sobriety, 2023 was consistency.

Key Reteff [00:17:53]:
And this year it’s like patience and, like, slowing down and stepping back, letting go kind of thing. So I’m just trying to, like, yeah, just. Just trying to be a little bit better every day. Like, that’s it. And being gentle, like, being nice to my nervous system because there’s just so much out there that’s just, like, so, like, the more I can just, like, do nothing and allow the nothingness to heal me because really, like, we have all the answers within and there’s just so much trying to take our attention, especially now with this crazy technology boom in this decade, that I’m just trying to, like, allow the things to happen and not, not get FOMO from missing out on all these opportunities that are happening with AI and all these things. And I’m trying to stay on top of the stuff, but at the same time just trying to be gentle and create the most enjoyable life I can while providing a beautiful service for humanity.

Nick Urban [00:19:03]:
How did the modalities that you now offer come into your life? Because you have a huge catalog of things that you use and do, and I’d assume that before you started offering them to clients, you started really practicing them and learning them on yourself.

Key Reteff [00:19:19]:
Yeah, so I guess they came through phases. Always loved working out movement and sports and stuff. So I first felt like I first found yoga, then I ended up going to massage school, and then during that, had a, had a spiritual awakening. And then, like, you know, massage can be really hard work doing bodywork for people, and it’s not something I really wanted to do as a career. So I decided to look into chinese medicine to practice acupuncture. It’s a little easier on the body. And then, like, I fell, absolutely fell in love with it and realized how powerful it is, and it’s like, my absolute favorite medicine. And I also went to India to study ayurveda.

Key Reteff [00:20:04]:
I met these guys who introduced me to sauna and ice baths and breathwork as well, and they hired me to host ceremonies with them. And really, all of my drug and party use as a child growing up and numbing my childhood and crazy experiences turned out to be training for me, being able to hold space for people and use these medicines in a therapeutic way. So these guys were hiring me to host ceremonies with them using psilocybin and ketamine. And then I started incorporating, like, movement, breath work, bodywork, sound, acupuncture into these ceremonies. So then people are having these, like, life changing experiences, and, yeah, I’ve been kind of working with that and just playing around with all these different modalities and combining them and because, like, I wanted to be the kind of person where, you know, like, sometimes you’d go to a doctor and they’re like, yeah, go see this person, or go see this person or, like, a medical doctor. I mean, you’re not going to get much other than four minutes in a prescription. So, like, I want, when someone comes to me, like, I want to truly help people, and I believe that, like, if someone is open, I can help them 100%, no matter what. And, like, and I didn’t want to have to send someone away.

Key Reteff [00:21:21]:
Like, I want to be able to help the person. So I also did a year of holistic nutrition, schooling for the dietary stuff, and actually learned more in my one east west diet class from chinese medicine school than I did in a full year of chinese medicine. I mean, a full year of holistic nutrition, because they talk about the constitution of foods, and I think it’s more important.

Nick Urban [00:21:48]:
Can you talk about that? I’ve talked about chinese medicine a little bit on the show and a little bit about ayurveda, but not much about the food typing.

Key Reteff [00:21:55]:
I think we just need to take the best parts of each medicine because there’s so many disagreements between all the medicines. So it’s like chinese medicine says we’re not supposed to take ice baths, but, I mean, if you’re into the new age healing stuff or you’ve tried one, you know, how incredible ice baths are truly are for so many reasons. And sauna and all. Like, so, yeah, I think it’s just take the best parts of all the things and just be open. Like, don’t, don’t close yourself off to something. And, like, a lot of people will go to, say, a chiropractor or a physio and they’re like, they’re one of those types that just go to work and they don’t are like, maybe not passionate or they’re just not good, or they don’t give a good treatment. And then someone will judge the whole modality of healing on one thing. Practitioner.

Key Reteff [00:22:46]:
So I’ve had that experience with myself, too, and then going to different schoolings, it’s like, out of the 60 people I graduated massage school with, there’s only three of them who I would actually pay for treatment and, like, feel good about it. And same with chinese medicine school. Like, a lot of the students are scared to needle. So then, like, they’re putting the fear into that needle inside the person, and it’s like, okay, like, so it’s, it’s not easy to find a good practitioner. Like, it’s not easy. So it takes consistency and repetition to actually find, like, the tools that you need to flip that switch and have that realization in your brain or, like, you know, maybe you’re lucky and you find someone that can truly help you right away. But, yeah, at the end of the day, it’s like, yes, people can help you, but the only person that can truly help us is ourselves, because we need to be open for the healing, and then we have to do the lifestyle choices to continue that path and to stay on the path, or else we’ll just fall back into the patterns. It’s like losing weight.

Key Reteff [00:23:49]:
Like, if you lose weight, if you lose something, then we look for it. We find it again. So the only way to truly, like, if you’re obese and to become skinny is you have to release the weight and change your identity and become a different person. Like, you have to see yourself as that skinny person or whatever person you want to be and become that person and do the habits, or else if you don’t, then you’re just going to find the weight that you lost again.

Nick Urban [00:24:14]:
How do you reconcile differences between the modern science and some of the ancient systems? Or even when the ancient systems clash and they have different perspectives on something, say, the ice bath? Do you do some practices to mitigate harm from a chinese perspective, or do you just discard their concern and say that it’s probably. Probably outdated. They didn’t have ice baths the same way that we do, and now we have better technologies.

Key Reteff [00:24:42]:
I just trust my feeling. I believe feeling is the highest form of communication, and I just trust that beliefs are dangerous, because, like, whatever you believe, you’re right, no matter what it is, because in your head, you’re right. So because we create our reality, and our perception of reality is what’s real and for us. So, yeah, it can be a blessing or a curse.

Nick Urban [00:25:06]:
It all depends on days that you don’t feel like ice bathing. I’m gonna assume there’s probably some of those. Do you know that it’s a feeling of resistance to something that might benefit you and feel good afterward? Like, how do you reconcile that difference in feeling? Because a lot of people, myself included, a lot of times the thought of ice bathing doesn’t feel good, but, like, it’s the feeling on the other end of it that does.

Key Reteff [00:25:31]:
For me, it’s apprehension. So I have apprehension before every single ice bath. I’ve never not had apprehension before an ice bath, and I’ve done probably close to a thousand of them, and I just don’t think I close my mind off. I love to do, like, a really hot sauna before, or, like, get super hot to the point where, like, I’m ready to pass out, and then just, like. And then I just go rinse off if I’m in, like, a communal, like, sauna, ice bath space or something, and then I don’t think. I just get it. I, like, just close the minds. Even.

Key Reteff [00:26:05]:
Even doing acupuncture on myself, because I love practicing acupuncture on myself. And, like, it hurts. Like, some of it hurts. And a lot of acupuncturists will say it doesn’t hurt, but I’m. I’m a very strong needler, and I’m a deep needler, and. And it hurts. And so I always have apprehension, but I just, like, try not to think about it and just do it, because I find, like, the apprehension is worse than the actual thing. And then, like, once we’re in it, like, it’s all good and we can breathe through anything.

Key Reteff [00:26:34]:
Like, pain is subjective, and. And, yeah, we can. We can breathe through anything.

Nick Urban [00:26:41]:
Yeah, it makes sense. There’s a lot of different ways. And I figure, like, most people have apprehension about going into really, really cold water, so that makes sense. And. Okay, and then sauna. Yeah, that’s a contrast therapy. Like, that, alternating between the hot and cold has a lot of benefits. I’m a big fan of that.

Nick Urban [00:26:57]:
I don’t know if there is an ancestral take on the idea of contrast therapy.

Key Reteff [00:27:02]:
Yeah, like, they’ve been using sauna for like, 2000 plus years, originating in Finland. And then, like, the ice baths have been used for healing for a long time as well, but not really taking off until, like, recently. And, yeah, definitely more research on saunas than ice baths.

Nick Urban [00:27:24]:
So since you have such a large repertoire of tools, I’m curious. Obviously, it’s very bio individual, but if I was to come to you, what would your process be? I know you obviously do some kind of diagnostics, and then you’d decide on where to go from there. Like, what would the a to z look like?

Key Reteff [00:27:40]:
I mean, it really depends why you come. But really, like, my normal session that I do for someone, like, if they just book a two hour session with me, I just. I will basically do a grind through their whole body, like a full body deep tissue treatment. I don’t think when I do it, I just allow my hands to do the thinking for me. I completely close off my mind and just allow intuition to take over. And, yeah, the desired outcome pretty much always happens. So I’ll just, like, basically, like, steamroll the body, move this skeletal system where it needs to go, release all the big trigger points, and the body just corrects itself and then put needles where I think they need to go and then do, like, a really deep sound bath. And, yeah, after that, like, the body, like, resets itself, the body will realign itself.

Key Reteff [00:28:43]:
A lot of things get released. Crazy things happen. Like, I’ve had, I don’t know, someone, like, six months post menopausal, like, started having their cycle again. That was their intention. I’ve had, like, someone who had, like, childhood trauma from being sexually abused, like, stored in their hips. I just released what was in the hip. And then all of a sudden, this girl was like, yeah, can you tell my friend to come in here? And after the session and, yeah, she told her friend about sexual abuse that she was holding onto since she was like a child and kind of knew not really or, like, I had, like, this other time, went to this party one time, and this girl, she was really high on MDMA. I was sober.

Key Reteff [00:29:32]:
And then she’s just like, hey, come talk to me. And she was like, she’s really high. And she put her hands on my laps and started asking me all these really deep personal questions. And I’m like, oh, cool, I love this. Whatever. I’m an open book. So I started answering all their questions, and then I eventually told her about the sexual abuse I experienced when I was a kid. And then when I did, she was like.

Key Reteff [00:29:54]:
And then it, like, triggered a memory of her getting sexually abused by her father when she was three years old and she had ovarian cancer two times. This girl’s in her thirties. And obviously that is blocked energy stuck from this emotion that was inside the body of being sexually abused as a kid. And the body never forgets. But the mind, when you experience these terrible things in childhood, the mind will block it out and push it away. So we don’t have a lot of conscious memory of these things, especially really traumatic events, unless something crazy happens. The use of medicines are really helpful for bringing memories up, which is why I really love working with them, because it helps people have really profound realizations in a faster amount of time, and it allows us to go deeper within the body. This memory triggered in this girl when I explained that I was sexually abused as a kid, and then she told me about this.

Key Reteff [00:30:54]:
So then I was like, okay, I’m at the party. And I had some acupuncture needles in my bag. I always have them in my bag. And I decided to give her a little bit of treatment. So I went into the room, started doing some abdominal work, energy work, and then, like, doing really deep massage directly on her ovaries. And then I, like, put a bunch of needles in her stomach, a treatment called the front wheel of life. And. And then just allowing her to cry and talk, and she was just going off talking and crying.

Key Reteff [00:31:24]:
And then, like, as I was doing some work on her ovary, all of a sudden we heard a, like, a little pop, and her ovary activated. And this girl was taking. She was taking birth control just to produce estrogen because her body couldn’t use it anymore. Her ovaries were not working. And then all of a sudden, her ovary just, like, it just activated all of a sudden, and it started working again. And, yeah, that was really cool. And it’s like that time I did have this intention of, like, okay, like, specifically sending love into this area and la dee da. But, like, I’m.

Key Reteff [00:31:59]:
When I’m working with people, I’m completely unattached to an outcome. I shut my brain off and just allow whatever needs to happen to happen, because I learned the hard way, when you’re trying really hard, you can open yourself up to taking on their energy. So this is where it’s dangerous for. It’s dangerous to be empathetic as a healer, because if you’re an empath and a healer, then you open yourself up to taking on someone else’s energy, because what’s the definition of empathetic? Literally feeling for somebody. So I just treat. And the secret to not taking it on is just good posture, good breathing, and just like an open, loving heart.

Nick Urban [00:32:40]:
I could also see if you were attached to an outcome, you might be overriding her body, her nervous system’s highest priority. It might be like this part down here, but if you’re insisting that you focus all your love and energy on this one part of the body, the energy will go there. And instead of healing what actually needed to be healed at the root, you might be healing something more superficial.

Key Reteff [00:33:03]:
Yeah, that’s a good point. I never thought of that.

Nick Urban [00:33:05]:
Tell me about the role of massage and bodywork, because I, for a while, had the opinion that it was just like a relaxation tool. But as you’ve described with your own experience and from my own experiences, going deeper within, using it more or receiving it more, I should say I’ve realized that there’s a lot to it. There’s, like, the lymphatics, there’s the. There’s acupressure from the massage itself. Not acupuncture, but acupressure. There’s, like, potential posture improvements and changes. There’s realignments. What are the reasons that people come into massage, aside from just feeling really nice?

Key Reteff [00:33:44]:
Well, I mean, you kind of said it yourself in the question. You’re like, you know, massage and then body work. Like, it’s work, and then, like. So there’s like a, you know, a relaxation massage. Someone goes and gets some oil rubbed on them, and that’s like a relaxation massage. That is not what I do. If someone comes to see me for a treatment, they’re going to experience pain, and they’re going to have to feel these things that are stuck in their body. Like, it’s not comfortable.

Key Reteff [00:34:11]:
We all have these spots where we hold stress. These are like buttons where emotions and things get stuck in the body. So, like, for instance, in the chest right here, our brachial plexus goes under the pec minor muscle and gets stuck. And a lot of people don’t know how to breathe. So every time you’re breathing, instead of using the diaphragm, you’re using this muscle, and it gets more and more stuck. So, like, just, like, releasing that area will release all the nerves, veins, and arteries to the arm. And if, like, that’s stuck, compressing the nerves, veins, and arteries, and it leads to numbness, tingling, even weakness. If a nerve is like, has compression on it.

Key Reteff [00:34:51]:
It leads to weakness because it’s the nerves that give the muscles the juice. So it’s like, if there’s like a kink in a hose, you’re not going to have enough flow at the end or corrosion in an electrical system, you’re not going to have the same wattage. So the same thing inside the body. The more things are compressed, the less circulation. And the less circulation, the less we’re not going to function as well. So it’s like all of our organs, everything, it doesn’t matter. So, like, one thing down here can affect the whole entire body. So, like, you find a button on the body that’s stuck and you press the button and release it.

Key Reteff [00:35:28]:
You’re removing a blockage and everything is going to function better and you don’t even know what’s going to happen. Like, you might press a button and release it and then get this crazy head rush and vertigo and like this, like, crazy experience. And it’s not bad. That’s healing, that is stuck energy in the body moving. It’s similar to yoga. Like, yoga is like created to open the body up, to prepare it for meditation so we can achieve these higher states. And then body work is same thing, opening up the body so we can achieve these higher states and these desired states. So it’s like, I kind of see it in a similar way as that.

Key Reteff [00:36:09]:
It’s just like creating space in the body so we can be our best selves. And touch is absolutely important. It is one of, it’s most people’s love language. It’s like it’s up there. It’s a necessary human need that we all have. And if we don’t have it for a long time, even if you don’t like touch because of some childhood trauma, deep down you need, like, deep down you need it. If you don’t have it, you’ll have lack.

Nick Urban [00:36:38]:

Key Reteff [00:36:38]:
And it’s also something that AI can never take away from us, which is really cool. So I believe everyone should learn how to give some good bodywork techniques and learn how to touch properly, like, well, therapeutically, and like, at least release trigger points.

Nick Urban [00:36:57]:
Talk about trigger points. What are those and why do they matter? I think everyone’s experienced them, but in case they haven’t, I mean, it’s just.

Key Reteff [00:37:05]:
Like bound up tissue that creates a blockage in the body and like the. And it can create local pain. It can create radiating pain somewhere else in the body, and it’s going to be there until it’s released. So it can, you know, they can be really bad. Like. Like a trigger point in the SEM can, like, create really bad headaches, vertigo, visual disturbances, even vomiting. So if you have these things stuck in the body, it’s not good. And especially if you see a physio, they believe everything is due to muscular imbalances.

Key Reteff [00:37:46]:
They want to strengthen the weak muscles, stretch the tight muscles, and release the trigger points. That’s how you create harmony in the body, then train the person how to breathe and give them the cues that they need to, you know, exhale and create space to breathe in these proper emotions. So, yeah, the breath is, like, foundational with this stuff.

Nick Urban [00:38:08]:
And it sounds like if you have a faulty breathing pattern, then after your session, you’re gonna be again exacerbating those issues and imbalances. So it sounds like breath is fundamental to not only get the most out of it, but then to maintain those benefits in the future as well.

Key Reteff [00:38:27]:
Most definitely the first thing I’ll teach everyone how to do when I see them is how to breathe. It’s the most important. Even people who believe they know how to breathe need help.

Nick Urban [00:38:36]:
Well, Keith, let’s do some basic breathing then.

Key Reteff [00:38:40]:
Basically, the first thing I’ll show someone is how to breathe using the diaphragm. So, like, putting a hand on the chest, put a hand on the belly, and then breathe into this hand without this hand moving at all.

Nick Urban [00:38:53]:
For those listening and can’t see the video, he’s referring to the lower hand, the one on his belly.

Key Reteff [00:38:59]:
Yeah. So breathing into the belly without the chest moving at all, in through the nose and out through the nose or mouth, using the least amount of effort as possible. Cause usually when I tell someone to breathe in, they’ll activate their neck muscles, they’ll activate their chest. And really, we just wanna use the diaphragm. The diaphragm is made to breathe. It is our primary breathing muscle. So we take about 25,000 breaths a day, and if we’re not using the diaphragm, then we’re using secondary breathing muscles in our neck, chest, and back and rib cage. So that’s like 25,000 extra contractions a day of these muscles that don’t need to happen.

Key Reteff [00:39:42]:
So that that causes a lot of stress inside the body and a lot of extra trigger points and muscle tightness and. Yeah, so, like, diaphragmatic breathing is just, like, vital.

Nick Urban [00:39:54]:
And I’d also imagine that for folks doing the bench press or other, like, chest exercises, since they’re so common, you’re just going to build up a layer of muscle and possibly exacerbate things there.

Key Reteff [00:40:05]:
Absolutely. And then even just, like, doing our daily activities, holding a phone, typing on a computer, everything we do is in front of us. So really big fan of just stretching the chest and neck. Doing nerve flossing is one of my favorite things to do. And, yeah, just opening that area because it just creates space to breathe. With the less effort and the less effort we use to breathe, the healthier we’re going to be.

Nick Urban [00:40:32]:
So what are some ways we can work on releasing these trigger points at home? Like, would foam rolling be a good option? Would just self myofascial release type thing? How would you recommend get started?

Key Reteff [00:40:44]:
Yeah, I mean, if you feel something tight, like, warm it up a little bit, jam your thumbs in it, and breathe, and try to exhale the tightness. Like, it’s the best way. Like, you’re probably not going to hurt yourself by doing. Trying to release muscles on yourself. And, like, maybe you might. You might hurt yourself a little bit if you’re, like, going too hard in a spot. But it’s like, we’re so resilient. Like, I post a lot of videos teaching people how to do body work, and some people are, like, scared to actually touch themselves.

Key Reteff [00:41:13]:
Like, actually scared to touch themselves in certain places. And, like, we’re so resilient. Like, you know, we do so much drugs and partying and lack of sleep, and, you know, we could probably live, like, to 250, but really, like. But we treat ourselves so bad. We’re so resilient. Like, we are just so resilient. So, yeah, just, like, I encourage you to just play and try to release things on your own to open yourselves up. But, yeah, I love the foam roller.

Key Reteff [00:41:43]:
I actually believe it’s one of the best self care tools. I believe it is the number one self care tool you can have, because as we age, our bones lose density, and the more gravitational force we put on our skeletal system, the denser it’s going to be. And the foam roller is really great at doing that. So, like, if someone goes into space, they lose, like, 2% bone density every six months, which is a significant amount. So someone has, like, fibromyalgia, which is, like, the degeneration of the bones. I make sure they get a foam roller, and especially rolling out the ribs, because there’s points that reach around the body and activate all the organs. So doing a full body foam rolling session is absolutely amazing. It releases a lot of trigger points and pain, and it strengthens our resilience.

Key Reteff [00:42:33]:
It strengthens our skeletal system reduces a lot of stress. So, yeah, I believe the foam roller is, like, the best self care tool we can have.

Nick Urban [00:42:41]:
Yeah. It strengthens not just those, but also, like, physical strength. Because what was striking to me when you were speaking earlier is, I totally forgot about this, but when you have that tension, the nerve is impinged or compressed a bit. The body’s safety mechanism is to reduce your potential output to keep you safe. So that’s why a lot of professional athletes, high level athletes, they do a lot of body work, because once you clear those blockages, then you’re able to output your full force. And what is your take on the importance of being gentle? Because I feel like there’s two different camps when it comes to bodywork. There’s the camp. It’s like the nervous system must accept these changes.

Nick Urban [00:43:20]:
So we’re going to be very soft and gentle and give it time, especially with, like, craniosacral therapy. And then there’s other camp that’s like, we need to go in there hard and fast and make these dramatic changes. And there’s, I’m sure, some nuance that I don’t yet understand.

Key Reteff [00:43:36]:
Yeah, so that’s a great question. Like, if you go see an osteopath, like, a lot of their techniques are very gentle, and, like, they’ll use these intelligent, thinking fingers. They have the best anatomy of anyone, by the way. They’re very smart, and they’ll allow the body to accept the. The pressure you’re putting in and, like, let the tissues melt away and go in. It’s very gentle and very subtle and allow the body to, like, realign itself as opposed to doing more physical, which is what I like to do, because I’m more of an extreme person. And I, like, feel the changes faster. And it’s just like getting in there and allowing the person to breathe through it.

Key Reteff [00:44:18]:
And you might have, like, it’s more like an intense workout, and then the next day you might be really sore or, like, the day of, and then all of a sudden, you have, like, this insane amount of energy. Now, this can happen with the dental treatment, too, but it really depends on the person and what their needs are, because some people cannot handle this kind of hard treatment. I work with, like, people that are ready to do the work, athletes like, stronger people, people with, like, a lot more muscle. And then sometimes we just need a gentle treatment. Sometimes it’s like, life is so intense. My nervous system is so shot. I just want to, like, just have a little gentle, loving treatment. So, like, we need both.

Key Reteff [00:45:09]:
But I love to just, you know, attack the problem head on. And, yeah, so it’s, we do need both. And there’s arguments for why one is better than the other, and there’s going to be arguments for why each medicine is the best medicine, too. Right? So it’s just being intuitive and finding what you need and what works best for you.

Nick Urban [00:45:32]:
You can also look at the older medicines, the ayurvedic and Chinese. You can look at their approach to things in general, such as foods or substances or practices that take our personal constitution further out of balance. And for me, I’m like the more of the fiery type. I like it hard and fast and strong and powerful. And so to me, like, that, that kind of body work, even though it doesn’t feel great in the moment, is the kind I would gravitate towards naturally. But then I’m wondering if I’m already under heavy stress, I’m probably going to want to reduce that, not add another intense thing onto there. And for me, initially, probably it’s going to be more effective to go low and slow and perhaps when some of the other stressors die down or I’m more in balance than to go with the stronger body work instead.

Key Reteff [00:46:27]:
Yeah, exactly. Just recognizing what you need.

Nick Urban [00:46:31]:
I know I saw on your website you do something called Psych K. What else are you incorporating into your bodywork and holistic health treatments?

Key Reteff [00:46:40]:
Yeah, so I do psyche in the ceremonies. Like, if someone books a ceremony with me, then it’s like they, they really want to have a life reset and really do the work. And psyche is an incredible modality on its own because it can allow you to do like, what can take you years and years seeing a psychologist or psychotherapist and change your limiting beliefs in minutes. And so it’s like, you know, you might believe you’re not good enough for your whole life because your parents are like, were so hard on you and they just like never praised you the way you need it to make you believe that what you did was enough. And you might have this belief your whole life. Then all of a sudden, with like one psych session in ten minutes, you test that belief, it tests weak. And then you bring yourself into a whole brain state, rewire that belief on the spot and then retest, and then boom, you just change your brain. You just believe that in minutes.

Key Reteff [00:47:47]:
You literally rewire that in minutes. So super, incredibly powerful modality because you can go from believing anything, the thing that’s holding you back the most in life, to rewiring that belief and believing the positive affirmation of that, and then all of a sudden, you’re a different person like that.

Nick Urban [00:48:06]:
I’ve never heard of that. Sounds like it would. It should be in more arsenals.

Key Reteff [00:48:11]:
Yeah, I don’t know. It’s not. It hasn’t blown up. I don’t know. Bruce Lipton really endorses it. If you know him. He wrote the biology of belief. He talks about it a lot.

Key Reteff [00:48:20]:
It was created by Rob Williams, who was a psychologist. And yeah, it’s taught around the world. It’s taught around the world, but I haven’t seen it. It just hasn’t blown up. And I’ve been using it. I think applied kinesiology is similar, and that’s kind of big, but, yeah, that’s cool.

Nick Urban [00:48:41]:
I’m going to have to look more into that. Are there any other techniques or protocols or modalities that you use that aren’t as mainstream as you think they should be?

Key Reteff [00:48:50]:
Moxibustion. So in China, they don’t say acupuncture. They say acupuncture, moxibustion. And that’s like, as one’s considered, not better than the other. They’re like equals. And moxibustion is burning this herb mugwort around or on the skin to get positive effects. And it puts something inside the body. So, like, acupuncture needle will bring awareness to a point and allow the body to heal itself.

Key Reteff [00:49:21]:
This actually puts something inside the body, and it’s like antiviral, fungal, antimicrobial. It warms the body, so it boosts the function of all the organs, and it helps us live longer. So the west does not know too much about it. I know a lot of people who haven’t heard of it, and I intend to bring it to the west. And I’m working on some things right now to make it bigger here, but I haven’t been pumping it out yet. Yeah, Moxa is amazing. Like, it’s just. It’s so powerful.

Key Reteff [00:49:55]:
And yeah, the west really does not know about it yet, so that’s really interesting.

Nick Urban [00:50:01]:
It has some parallels with an animal medicine called combo, where it’s being applied through a burn to the skin, and it has profound antiviral, antibacterial, antipathogen effects in the body.

Key Reteff [00:50:14]:
Yeah, that’s funny, because I actually made a whole, like a cambo wound for cambo with Moxa during a session. And I. That like, specific acupoints, like, so here at spleen six right here, it’s like the meeting point. Deliver spleen and kidney channel. And then I open this. I open this with Moxa and then burn some cambo.

Nick Urban [00:50:38]:
The possibilities of combining all these things are, are vast.

Key Reteff [00:50:42]:
Yeah. Yeah. So I just love combining the medicines and taking the good things from, from all the goods and exploring. So.

Nick Urban [00:50:49]:
Okay, Keith, we will start to wind down. Are there any places you’d like to send people who have made it this far, who want to work with you to check out your content, visit you on the web?

Key Reteff [00:50:59]:
Holistic University on Instagram.

Nick Urban [00:51:01]:
Perfect. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes for this episode as well as a link to your website. And if there was a worldwide burning of the books in all knowledge was lost. But you get to save the works of three teachers. Who would you choose and why?

Key Reteff [00:51:18]:
Lao Tzu. Rumi, like, the teachings from the Bible are good, but, like, I don’t know, like the Bhagavad Gita, like the, I don’t know, Buddha. Buddha’s teachings are pretty incredible. It’s a tough one. My favorite teacher is Lao Tzu. I love his works. Like, he wrote a book of 5000 words that say so much. And I’ve, I listened to the audiobook often.

Key Reteff [00:51:43]:
Stephen Mitchell translation and some verses are like, I’ve listened to like a hundred times, 100 plus times, and I don’t even understand it until, like, you know, the 111th time or something. And I’m like, oh, my God. Like, it just, like, sinks into my soul and I’m like, really? Like, wow. And it’s like. But yeah, the wisdom in that book is just, that’s my favorite, is I love the teachings of Lao Tzu.

Nick Urban [00:52:14]:
Amazing. I’ll have to check that out. And the translation makes a huge difference depending on which translation you read. It’s like the words are already hard enough to digest and assimilate. Take some time to let them percolate. But then the translation that you pick, that version of it, that interpretation of it is a whole other realm. Also, to go back to our previous thread, the most important self care tools, you’d say, are the foam roller. What else?

Key Reteff [00:52:42]:
I mean, as a physical tool, really, it’s your mind and being able to sit and let the dust settle.

Nick Urban [00:52:48]:
Very simple. Any other physical tools that you recommend?

Key Reteff [00:52:52]:
Find a movement practice that you love and play. Be able to play and explore your body and find out which movements that you need to create space inside your body. Because it’s all like, we get tight and closed and we want to be loose and open. So create space in your body by doing practices that feel good and that you love because that will give you more enjoyment in life. And the more you enjoy life, then the better the journey is going to be.

Nick Urban [00:53:25]:
Well key what is one thing that your tribe does not know about you?

Key Reteff [00:53:30]:
If you’ve ever heard of the trailer park boys. I grew up in that trailer park when I was a kid.

Nick Urban [00:53:36]:
Fun fact. Okay, well, how would you like to leave people if they’ve made it this far with us? Any parting wisdom or takeaways? Simple enough. Key thank you so much for joining me on the podcast.

Key Reteff [00:53:47]:
Yeah, thanks for having me, Nick.

Nick Urban [00:53:50]:
I hope that this has been helpful for you. If you enjoyed it, subscribe and hit the thumbs up. I love knowing who’s in the 1% committed to reaching their full potential. Comment 1% below so that I know who you are. For all the resources and links, meet me on my website@mindbodypeak.com I appreciate you and look forward to connecting with you. As a reminder only, please.

Connect with Key Reteff @ Holistic University

This Podcast Is Brought to You By

Nick Urban is a Biohacker, Data Scientist, Athlete, Founder of Outliyr, and the Host of the Mind Body Peak Performance Podcast. He is a Certified CHEK Practitioner, a Personal Trainer, and a Performance Health Coach. Nick is driven by curiosity which has led him to study ancient medical systems (Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hermetic Principles, German New Medicine, etc), and modern science.

Nick Urban

Music by Luke Hall

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1 thought on “Heal Yourself with Bodywork, Brain Rewiring, Moxibustion, Chinese Acupuncture & Other Alternative Treatments”

  1. Good episode Nick. Your interview style has developed very well. I think you bring out the key points and make a welcome environment for your guest to speak genuinely.

    Thanks for continuing to bring use thoughtful conversations on health and wellness. I use the code URBAN often.


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