Learning to Stand Strong with Tina Brandau At 40 years old Tina was struck in the head by a falling tree while training for a marathon and was given a rare second chance at life that few ever receive. She talks about what it was like to see the world through the eyes...
Ep74 Transcript: Interview with Dr Edward, the Healing Vet
Andrea Vahl: Has an illness sidelined your career? Tune into today’s episode where I talk to Dr. Edward, the Healing Vet, and we talk about his pivot from veterinarian to an online course called The Whole Energy Body Balance Method for cats, dogs, and other animals. He was forced to make a change after having an illness.
And now he has a thriving online course. We’ll talk about what he did and how he does it.
Hello Dreamers. Welcome to the Late Starters Club, giving you the inspiration mindset and tools you need to start something midlife and beyond. Remember, it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
Hello, Late Starters. It’s your host, Andrea Vahl, and I am joined today by Dr. Edward, the Healing Vet, and I am going to pronounce his last name a little bit later when I get a little more confidence.
Dr. Edward: Not the easiest name in the world to pronounce, that’s for sure!
Andrea Vahl: So welcome to the show, Dr. Edward. We’ll just call you that for now!
Dr. Edward: Yes, you can just call me Ed or Edward.
Andrea Vahl: Yes, of course. So I am super excited to have you on the show because I think you have such a great story and we’ve worked together – it feels like longer, but we’ve been working together for four years.
I’ve been helping Dr. Edward with his Facebook ads as he has taken his vet business virtual and online. I don’t know if it’s all virtual, but a really great component of it is online, which you wouldn’t think you’d be able to do with a vet business.
Dr. Edward: Yeah. Well, it’s not precisely the holistic, integrative intuitive veterinary work that is the online business. The online business is my second brand, which is Whole Energy Body Balance Method, which is a profoundly healing modality for working with pets, with people, and with horses. There’s a very strong component of somatic awareness and connection to natural energy flows through the body.
There are two real pillars of what we do. Number one is neuro fascial body work for helping find and relieve hidden soft tissue pain, anxiety and trauma. And the second one is high level development of intuitive perception and energy.
Andrea Vahl: That’s awesome. And I know you have helped so many pet owners help their pets get out of this pain that they don’t even know exists. Right? That’s your whole mission, to relieve this pain in pets.
Dr. Edward: Absolutely. Silent pain or chronic soft tissue pain is often present in animals and they often show no sign that the humans can see of it.
So about every second animal I see is in that category. We’ve had over 3,500 people join our online training so far and we’re looking to basically get the whole veterinary industry to wake up to this problem that they’re completely blind to as well.
Andrea Vahl: And that, I love that because I think that people aren’t always in tune with those alternative medicines and healing techniques that are out there.
And it’s great that you’re bringing such awareness to that.
I know it’s got to be hundreds of thousands of people who have been through your webinars and your training, your online training because I’ve watched you with all those people on your webinars as we’ve helped drive the ads to them
Dr. Edward: Y es. I think we just did our 90th webinar. I think we’ve had probably a thousand or more people register for just about every one. Of course you don’t get quite so many people actually turn up and watch it. But maybe 400 or 500 multiplied by 90 who’ve probably watched that, which is quite a lot.
Andrea Vahl: That’s awesome. Well, I’m so glad you’re getting the word out there and I want to dive a little bit into your journey. How did you go from vet to the work you’re doing now, and then just decide you wanted to take that online?
Dr. Edward: Well , it’s a good question and it’s a bit of a long story, so I’ll keep it nice and snappy because I know it’s not the longest podcast. So I grew up on a cattle property, or a ranch for all Americans listening, in the north of Australia, so I was working with animals from a very early age.
Now, unfortunately, animals weren’t treated terribly well in terms of how they were trained. There was a lot of force, fear-based stuff going on, which initially I just did because that’s what I was taught. Then I came across the work of Monty Roberts and his book, the Man Who Listens to Horses and I suddenly realized that I could learn how to communicate with animals, so they want work with me without having to be mean to them.
So that was probably the first big step out of that conservative, old school way of thinking and into the more holistic way of looking at things… animals as living, thinking, feeling beings, and building relationships with them.
And about a year and a half after I graduated, I ran across a horse vet who worked on horses necks. He would take horses that had lameness that they could not find a reason for and he would work on their necks them and the lameness would go away. So it’s from nerve root compression. Now, this was fascinating to me because they’d never taught me anything about that at university.
So then I immediately thought, well, what about dogs and cats? They’ve got necks and backs, and I started exploring more deeply with my palpation into their bodies and very quickly found a whole lot of pain, tension, and dysfunction. . Before I went looking for it. I didn’t know I was there.
Now, there were no modalities available then to training for hands-on work with animals. So I just started playing around with using pressure and movement to see if I could unlock the pain tension, and pretty quickly started seeing animals show beautiful responses. Now I’ve been doing that for 26 years.
Just trying things, seeing what works. If it works, I’ll try it again. Then I’ll formulate it into a skill that I can teach. A couple of years after I first started working hands-on with animals, I became really unwell with what I thought was chronic fatigue syndrome. And what I didn’t realize, until about seven years ago, it was Lyme disease as well, which meant that I couldn’t work at all for a number of years.
And I had 15 plus years after that where I was significantly handicapped, running at maybe 60% of what a healthy person would do. And in my healing journey, that’s where I explored energy healing because it was one of the few things that gave me relief. Western medicine ran out of answers awfully quick.
If they say a syndrome, it means they don’t know what’s going on, pretty much. So that’s where I explored energy healing. And I also had a lot of people work with me hands on because I had a lot of pain tension in my body and I learned a tremendous amount from having really skilled practitioners work with me.
Andrea Vahl: I want to talk a little bit about how at age 41 you took this all online, teaching and training for people to help their own animals and pets .
It’s been amazing to watch you. You’re so dedicated to really learning, diving in, getting it done. I remember when we first connected, I said you should do a webinar, and you’re like…
Dr. Edward: “Oh, never done that before. Let’s schedule the first one!”
We did a webinar!
Andrea Vahl: And you just got in and did it. You had never done a webinar before. You didn’t know really what, to do. And we started out with, I think it was Zoom webinars was where we started.
Dr. Edward: You gave me a little bit of advice about how to do a webinar and it worked straight out of the box. Back in the good old days when Facebook advertising was easy, we were getting ROI of five or six out of the box, it was really exciting. We don’t seem to get that ROI these days.
Andrea Vahl: It’s a little more challenging thse days. Well, you’ve also scaled your business up to a huge amount, which is amazing and wonderful as well. I think that’s what happens is you scale, you d on’t necessarily get quite the same levels, but we were getting pretty cheap webinar leads at that point, back in the day.
Dr. Edward: We started off getting leads at a dollar 50.
Andrea Vahl: I think it was, which for a webinar is pretty amazing. But we’re not too far off now, but we’re still not better than that.
I love that you dove in and the other thing that’s amazing to me is your dedication to continuing to learn. I know you’ve done some different courses on how to improve your sales techniques.
Dr. Edward: So, I’ve made, at a couple of points in my business, really scarily large investments that have got bigger as my business has grown. Now one of the first biggest scary investments was paying for ads with you. I have never spent that much money before and I was terrified. Then a few years later, I did a year long intensive business mentoring program with Rachel and Dart Grubba and again, it was scary to spend that much money on something.
But when I did, it made me 10 times as much as I invested. And right now I’m working with Peaceful Profits to write a whole new book funnel which hopefully is going to scale our business to two or three or five or ten times what we’re doing now over the next year.
Andrea Vahl: And that’s the other thing that I think that’s been amazing with you as well, is that not only have you been super consistent with doing your webinars, you’re doing them live every two weeks typically you take some time off here and there, but you’re doing them really, really consistently and learning really consistently and making these improvements that improve your bottom line. But you’re also putting yourself out there in bigger ways. You had the TEDx talk recently.
You’re writing a book and you’re thinking of new ways to reach new people, and I think that’s awesome.
Dr. Edward: Yeah. I’m really committed to excellence in everything that I do and I’m also kind of aspy. In fact, I’m extremely aspy and I don’t seem to be terribly aspy or on the spectrum these days because I’ve learned a whole lot of ways to interact with normal people.
So that gives me a kind of an intensity and focus and a whole lot of healthy obsessions. I think that helps. But the Japanese concept of Kaizen, which is continual, incremental improvement in everything you do and having your whole team on board to do that, I think is really good.
And one of the things that I do is that I have a morning practice five mornings a week where my alarm goes off at half past five or six. I spend an hour in bed with a timer going off every five minutes to stop me going back to sleep, and I do meditative and energy practices with myself.
Then I get up, have a shower, I go out and I do some resistance exercise. I either do pushups and chin-ups and dips some days, or I’ve got kettle bells. When I started off I was flat out doing five pushups and I had to stand on a stool to do one chin up.
Now I can do sets of between 50 and 60 pushups and up to 10 chin ups. I think another thing is to just start doing stuff. Do it to the best of your ability, and then slowly stretch your ability over time. This morning practice, I think has been the foundation of 90% of the reason for my success and growth in my life and business because it makes me strong.
After I’ve done the resistance exercise, I do Qigong practices for another half an hour, an hour, depending on the day.
Andrea Vahl: That’s awesome. That sounds like a great way to start your day.
Dr. Edward: I don’t enjoy it. I hate getting out of bed.
But I have another philosophy in my life that’s “Hard now, easy later.” You do the hard things now and you get rewards, but often you don’t get the rewards for months or longer.
So you’ve got to get through that, what they call the value of despair. You start a new habit and you think you should get a nice 45 degree straight line improvement.
But what happens is you get a long lead time, then it curves up. So you’ve got to get through the value of despair with a lot of these things.
Andrea Vahl: I love that. Hard now, easy later. That’s so cool. I haven’t heard that before, but I love it. That’s why I love these interviews because I find these things that people know that I don’t know, that are amazing. And then I see it everywhere.
Dr. Edward: But you too, I mean I see you on your socials and I see that you’ve got quite a strength practice.
And I think you’ve got to do it. Otherwise you’ve got nothing to work with in your life.
Andrea Vahl: It’s huge, and I think it’s huge for energy. People don’t realize how much energy it actually gives you instead of takes away. People think, “Oh, I can’t, I’m too tired to work out.” No, that’s exactly when you need to work out.
Dr. Edward: If you haven’t worked out, I’ve got to tell you, you’re in for a week or a month of pain.
Andrea Vahl: There’s a long valley of despair there!
Dr. Edward: But you’ll get through it and then you’ll start going, “Wow, I feel vital and strong!”
All that also then shows up in your relationships and your boundaries, how you show up in business, in confidence and on screen and on stage and all that sort of stuff.
Andrea Vahl: Yes, for sure. It affects everything.
So along the way, along this journey of – and I definitely also want to circle back to your music as well – but along the way of launching this thing out into the metaverse, whatever we’re calling it , into the ethers, what obstacles have you come up against and how did you push through some of these
Dr. Edward: obstacles?
Okay, so, ,
I had a number of obstacles. I had some addictions that I had to overcome which were in response to early childhood trauma. My mum, bless her and my grandma, I experienced some fairly narcissistic kind of patterns of behavior. Boarding school was really, really tough for me.
Being half the size of everyone in the year below me, highly intelligent and absolutely useless at playing any kind of sport. It’s not really good. Good luck when you go to boarding school like that.
I think the whole chronic fatigue, Lyme Disease thing has been one of the huge challenges in my life, but it’s also been fertile ground that’s led to the creation of most of what I teach.
So, is it good? Is it bad? I don’t know. Unhealthy entitlement has been a barrier for me in the past, because I was the eldest son on a generational cattle property farm. I would’ve been the fifth or sixth generation, so I was kind of like the golden child. And that comes with a whole lot of stuff that’s less than healthy.
But I found too that you can flip that into healthy entitlement. We just started teaching the whole energy balance for humans last year, and we’ve gone through our second cycle of live sessions for that this year. My partner and I were doing an intensive relational online live session with some people.
And on the second session I was sitting there and I had extreme discomfort throughout all of my physical and energy systems. I was getting triggered to here and there and back again. So I just started playing around with doing a thing called a positional release over the energy centers in my body.
And I thought, “Wow, that feels great!” So I created a whole new energy-healing process. The next day I ran through it and practiced it with my partner. Then the next week I taught it. Now, most people would think that is insane, but if I’ve got something, teach it, get it out there. Learn how to do it by teaching it.
If you are sitting on something or thinking about doing a training or a thing, set a date. Put it on Facebook, get some people to come along and then you’ve got to do it.
And, this is something that you’ve said about me, that I just do stuff and if it doesn’t work, I’ll do it again until it does.
Andrea Vahl: And that’s like with anything, obviously that first webinar you did way back four years ago wasn’t perfect by any means, but my whole philosophy is ‘done is better than perfect’.
With teaching, I think sometimes we get it into our heads that we have to be the expert or we have to know everything, and that’s absolutely not true. What we have to have is something that we’re excited about sharing and that we can teach about it to help people. And you just have to have done it once, apparently twice, maybe!
Dr. Edward: That also came from 20 years of intense experience in this field. I think having deep lived experience is incredibly valuable, but there’s a lot of people with deep and lived experience who think, “Oh, I just have to do this other course and I have to get this qualification. And when I’ve got that one, I need to do another one as well, because I can’t do it until I’ve done 500 things.”
And that’s where having some healthy entitlement, “Guess what? I’m amazing. I’m going to go out there and do good stuff.” But not in an arrogant way… sharing what works for you, for me is how I teach.
Andrea Vahl: I think enthusiasm and excitement is a huge part of it. You’re excited about sharing it and want to get that message out.
So I do want to get back to your music now. You have also come back to performing and recording and writing music, among all the other things you’re doing, and you’re going to get an album out there, right?
Dr. Edward: Yes, the studio has been booked for the 25th and 26th of March. We’re going into an all analog. We’re going to be live in there, a little group of four of us. Me, Alex Burkoy, who’s just a multi-instrumental wizard who I’ve been playing with for quite a number years. And we’re working with a producer and a bass player and a kit player.
It’s exciting and terrifying. Music’s been a huge part of my life. When I was at school, I sang in the choir. I was in the school band, played trombone, and when I was 21 I bought myself a guitar and I’ve been singing, writing, and performing for 20 years plus.
The chronic fatigue put me out of action. I didn’t sing at all for maybe two or three years. I had to totally rebuild my voice. Six or seven years ago when I first started working with Judy Rodman, who’s an amazing vocal coach from Nashville in the States, and man, I hardly had a voice, and if I did perform and sing four or five songs it had just about put me in bed for two or three days.
Andrea Vahl: Well that’s amazing that you’re coming back to it. And we’ll have links to your music in the show notes. And I look forward to your album coming out. Are you going to tour? What are your plans for that?
Dr. Edward: It would be nice to tour it. I’m just so incredibly beautifully busy. I can’t see how that’s going to happen, but if I just leave it up to the universe, it probably will happen one way or another.
And I’m going to be integrating my music and singing more into my teaching too, as it interludes to help people change state and learn better.
Andrea Vahl: I love that. And you don’t have to know the whole road, just know the next step and what you want to do with that.
I don’t know where my standup comedy’s going to lead, but I just keep doing it.
Dr. Edward: It’s a beautiful challenge to have some sort of creative endeavor. With singing, even if you just join a choir, you can sing and have this expression of joy and life with a whole group of other people.
And it’s all kinds of fun. Now, not all choirs are created equal, and you might need to try two or three out before you find one you like. But it’s a real growing thing in the world. There are lots and lots of choirs around. Make some creative art, make a practice of it in your life and be crap at it for a while, and then you’ll get better and better.
Andrea Vahl: It’s awesome. So, in both of these things, how have you felt that being older has helped you or been a hindrance in either case? Have you felt in starting something new, like either of these things have been made more challenging or made easier?
Dr. Edward: Well, I think having a whole lot of experience has helped. Before I finally , went into online business in 2019, for at least 10 years before that, I’d been buying products about how to do online stuff and maybe actually consuming a third of them if I was lucky. But I’d had the thought process about doing this many years before I finally managed to take the leap. And the other thing too is that I think it’s important to just be honest that I’ve had an incredible amount of privilege and support along the way that has helped me succeed so much and so quickly in terms of growing up in a wealthy family and having incredible financial support from my parents and things like that, that a lot of people don’t.
And that’s part of the reason why with our online trainings, we offer part and full scholarships for anyone and everyone who’s in financial distress. And we give away a lot of them every month because even though I’ve had that privilege, I’ve also had a time when I had two or three years with chronic fatigue where I couldn’t work at all and I had no income, had no money.
When I went to try and do the welfare thing, they gave me a stack of paperwork and I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the capacity. So my mom and dad supported me, but I didn’t have any income for a while, so I know what that feels like too.
Andrea Vahl: I think it’s good to, for people to know what’s possible, and also I think that you have grown this business really smartly. When we started , you were really focused on keeping to a budget and making sure that you were getting the return out of the ad spend we had.
And you were really diligent about keeping track of that. And I think the other thing that you alluded to was making investments, bigger investments as you grow. I know it’s scary making a big investment, but I don’t think you went beyond where you could financially go with, with those investments. And I think you had a really good plan. And you implemented everything along the way.
Dr. Edward: The way that I run my business is I like to have a cash surplus and work from that and I’m not going into debt. And work to invest or increase the cash surplus to invest in for example, this investment in this marketing funnel with Peaceful Profits is a huge, huge amount of money.
It’s a ridiculously terrifying amount of money for where I’m at at the moment. But at the same time, they’ve done this with a lot of different companies.
My web guy has a client who went through their process and we talked to him and he said, “Yeah, look, they didn’t get quite what they said the best outcomes were, but we’d do it again.” So you’ve got to do your due diligence.
I looked at another company that does more SEO stuff. And it was a big investment, but it just didn’t feel so good on the calls and they weren’t giving us really clear information when we asked for it. So we didn’t go with that.
You’ve got to be intelligent and know your capacity so that you don’t overextend and maybe break yourself financially. That’s super important.
Andrea Vahl: For sure. So, one of the things I like to ask every guest is a quote or inspirational saying, and I know you’ve got a good one.
So I want to take a couple of minutes to dive into that and what that has meant for you.
Dr. Edward: So the quote I want to share is one that has come from, me, and it came out of my work with animals. A large part of my energy body balance work has been a healing response to the traumatic and violent things that I saw done to animals when I was growing up.
So the quote is “True power requires no force”.
Andrea Vahl: That is awesome. And I love how that can apply to animals, to humans, to anything.
Dr. Edward: Right. The best leaders lead by inspiration and people want to work with them, right? There’s no force. They’re not micromanaging, they’re not putting pressure on people to perform better.
They’re thinking, “How can I care for this person in a way that’s going to help them bring out their best?”
Andrea Vahl: And that’s the same with animals as well, right? You’re trying to bring out the best in the animals.
Dr. Edward: Absolutely. And I still one day a week do clinical work and hands-on work so that I have an ongoing practice of that. And I get some clients that when they turn into my street, their dog goes, “Oh, it’s time for body work with Dr. Edward!” They start jumping around the backseat and barking and carrying on like pork chop because they know they’re coming.
Andrea Vahl: That’s so cute. I love that!
Dr. Edward: That’s what I want. Not just with animals I work with, but the people I work with too.
Andrea Vahl: That is so great. Well, do you have any parting advice for people who are considering doing something like this, maybe starting an online course or taking their in-person practice into an online practice?
Anything you’d like to advise from your experience?
Dr. Edward: Look, I’d say, number one, keep honing your craft. Whatever your craft is, or your art, or your practice or your theme, your thing, go deeper, go wider, become more refined and more subtle and more expansive, and increase your mastery over whatever thing it is that you do.
And then, get out there, start offering some free classes which can be a way to get you started. You learn a lot about how things work and whether what you teach engages with people or not. But, I think the other thing in today’s world is you’ve got to be active in expressing your story into the world on social media and on multiple channels.
You’ve got to get good at telling a story in a way that is engaging. So, if you’ re crap at public speaking, go and join Toastmasters and do that for a year or two or five. If you’re afraid of getting on stage when you’re going to start doing your stand up classes, Andrea… do stuff that is terrifying but healthy.
I think that’s a really good way because business is not easy, right? business takes a continual dedication to growth, , and to embracing healthy discomfort. So I suppose that’s probably the one thing that’s changed in my life since my second marriage, which was seven years with a covert narcissist which left me broken, with post-traumatic stress and a whole lot of stuff.
Learning how to embrace healthy discomfort is going to take you further in this life than anything else will.
Andrea Vahl: That’s gold right there. That is mic drop gold. Well, Dr. Edward, thank you so much for your time and sharing your message with us. We’ll have links to where you can connect with Dr. Edward, to his webinar, his music, etc. And so thank you so much for the work you’re doing.
Dr. Edward: You’re welcome. Thanks for having me. It’s been so much fun hanging out with you here on the podcast.
Andrea Vahl: Awesome. All right, bye everyone.
Hope that was helpful and make sure you grab the free guide, top Tools for Late Starters on the website at latestartersclub.com and let’s turn dreaming into doing.
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