Finding Your Inner Wellness with Nasrin Parsian

Nasrin “Nas” Parsian has spent years researching chronic health conditions, specifically DM Type I, and how spirituality and inner wellness can affect the outcome of those disease processes. She now teaches others how to best help our ourselves, and our patients, live healthier lives by utilizing a holistic approach. Join your host Beth Quaas in this episode as she has a delightful conversation with Nas.

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Finding Your Inner Wellness with Dr. Nasrin “Nas” Parsian

On today’s show, Beth is joined by Dr. Nasrin “Nas” Parsian. Nas is a Holistic health professional, Academic Nurse and Emotional health Consultant, Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Hypnosis Trainer. She has 25 years of experience in a wide range of health and wellness paradigms as well as an evidence-based practice with a focus on significance of self-transformation in management of chronic illnesses and mental health. She has undertaken her PhD research project on Spirituality and Chronic health conditions focusing on Diabetes Type I.

Her latest and most powerful interest is Heart Intelligence and inner wellness.

Focusing on her passion, Heart Intelligence, Nas believes the heart is at the center of transformation and inner wellness. Nas offers coaching, consulting and hypnosis training. She also educates our new nurses and encourages them to be self-confident and true advocates for our patients.

Learn more about supporting the Don’t Eat Your Young Podcast with a membership — visit Don’t Eat Your Young’s membership page!


Episode Transcript

Speaker 1: Welcome to Don’t Eat Your Young: A Nursing Podcast, with your host, Beth Quass. Before we get started, we have a few quick notes. Don’t Eat Your Young is a listener-supported podcast. To learn more about becoming a member and the perks available to you for becoming a patron yourself, visit patreon.com/donteatyouryoung. You can learn more about the show, share your story to join Beth as a guest, or connect with our wonderful community in our Facebook group. You can find all those links and more at donteatyouryoung.com. And now, on with the show.

Beth Quaas: Today, I have Nas Parsian. She’s coming to us from Melbourne, Australia. She’s been in nursing for quite a while. She also has a PhD in spirituality and wellness, and I’m excited to have her here today. She has a great message to share with us. Welcome, Nas. How are you?

Nasrin Parsian: Hello, Beth. Thank you. How are you? Thank you for having me.

Beth Quaas: Absolutely. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Nasrin Parsian: Okay, so I am a nurse for so many years, more than 25 years. I’ve been a researcher, an educator, I’m still an educator as a nurse academic, I’m lecturer. And also I’m a founder of Dr. Nas Inner Wellness business for three years now because previously it was another business. And my focus is on holistic health. And I have actually a massive journey. If I want to just talk to you about my journey, it’s huge. The reason that I am here as an emotional and mental health consultant and educator in my business, Dr. Nas Inner Wellness, the main reason is my whole journey through both my professional life in nursing and also my personal life.

Beth Quaas: Yeah, we talked a little bit about your professional life and how now not all disciplines can see the person as a whole. And I’d love to hear more about that because I think that is something we, as nurses, really do. We do look at the whole patient. So can you tell us a little bit about that?

Nasrin Parsian: Yes, that is actually my favorite topic and the main reason that I am here for inner wellness because I certainly believe that wellness is an inner job and this is not something that easily came up to me. I just paid a lot of time, cost, and so much experiences to come to that stage. And a lot of the stories can support this particular result and outcome about my business and what I’m doing, my practice now, Inner Wellness. Can I just share with you a couple of examples?

Beth Quaas: Please!

Nasrin Parsian: So, I remember the very first time I felt there is something else… there is something else, which is massive and needs to be considered in our health and wellness… is a story that I experienced when I was quite young nurse and was working as hemodialysis nurse. And I had a patient who just came to our ward as an acute patient for the first time dialysis. She was really, really unwell. During the hemodialysis, unfortunately she experienced a cardiac arrest. And we called the code blue and everything was unfortunately unsuccessful. And we couldn’t do anything in the golden time, and it was announced that yeah, the person is dead.

Nasrin Parsian: I don’t know, for some reasons I felt that I want to continue. We usually use [inaudible 00:04:22]. And the patient was intubated. I actually continued giving oxygen through the intubated pathway. And it was quite silly because my colleagues said, "What are you doing? She’s dead. So, what are you doing? It’s just useless." And I just said, "I don’t know, I just want to continue. This is just the feeling." And I was, I think only 20 year-old, 21 year-old girl. And I continued, Beth, for 20 minutes and, after 20 minutes… I still actually feel goosebumps when I’m sharing this story. After 20 minutes, I saw the chest is moving. And I just screamed and said, "The chest is moving! Just call the code blue again!" And people said, "Ah no, that’s you!" I just said, "No, my hand’s off! It’s not me!" And I felt the breath. "Yes, she’s breathing!" And we just called the code blue back and, oh my God. She came back to life after about half an hour.

Beth Quaas: That is quite a story.

Nasrin Parsian: That was, yeah. And at that time I just said, "Okay, it’s not that easy that we can actually put everyone in a box." Human’s health is massive. It’s complex! I was quite young at that age, so I couldn’t actually do something because I was inside of the system and I could follow the system, but that was actually something in my deep inside until the time that I found opportunity to do some research. So, when I went to the area of research in diabetes management, I did a lot of research about quality of life, the psychosocial aspects of health, psychosocial aspects of chronic illnesses. Then I did for my master’s thesis quality of life in people under hemodialysis and the psychosocial aspect of their chronic illness management in youth. So yeah, it was a journey until 2005? Yes, 2005. I have started my PhD project on spirituality and chronic illnesses. And I just said, "Yes! This is exactly what I want to do!"

Nasrin Parsian: And at that time, it wasn’t actually well-supported, to be honest, by the university. But eventually yes, in the middle of my project, everyone got so interested when they heard about what I’m going to offer. And then results absolutely were received really well in quite a few international scientific conferences including IDF, International Federation of Diabetes. And it was so exciting for me when I was talking about self-transformation and diabetes management scientifically, evidently in the front of big endocrinologists and specialists in the world. And it was so exciting when they came after my speech, when they came up to me and said, "This is so interesting topic!" and, "Did you really come with these results?" And I just said, "Yes! Yes, absolutely!"

Nasrin Parsian: People who were self-empowered, people who were more the master of their own diabetes management, of their own health, and they were more spiritual in terms of the self-mastery and self-transformation, meaning connection, all those amazing stuff, they were able to manage their diabetes.

Beth Quaas: Really?

Nasrin Parsian: Much better, much better. We know the criteria of diabetes management. HbA1c is a specific criteria that can show the sustainable good diabetes management. And it was amazing that after followup, their HbA1c level was improved. And yeah, so my project was both quantitative and qualitative. So it wasn’t only qualitative, it was actually statistical results with p-value, significant association between x and y. It was absolutely scientific for people who are more in the area of these stats and quantitative. Yes, it was. It was supported with stats, with numbers. And also it was supported by some qualitative information.

Beth Quaas: That is fantastic work because we know as nurses that if your patients can have a lowered A1c, hopefully they’re not going to get all of the other things that come along with diabetes with the neuropathies and things like that, cardiovascular disease. So, how long ago did you do this research and how well are you able to get that information out there?

Nasrin Parsian: Yeah, so my whole PhD project took about four years. The whole data collection, and our data analysis for the results, took about two, two-and-a-half years with the followup everything. Yes, and actually the next plan was just developing specific guidelines or framework for health professionals to use in their practice. But unfortunately, I couldn’t go for that plan because research needs fund. And, unfortunately, I couldn’t get any fund after that to continue, which is sad, which is something, to be honest, that I’m not a hundred percent happy with the system because we don’t get enough support for these things while they are super, super important. Yes, so I applied a couple of times for grants but wasn’t successful. And then I gave up and I just said, "Okay, so what can I do as one single person with the system?"

Nasrin Parsian: So then I decided to start my own practice and my own private practice and just establish my business to carry my message onto other health professionals, other people in this way because I feel every day more and more that there is something big, something really big missing in our healthcare system, especially for chronic illnesses and for mental health. So these two areas sadly are missing areas, and they are not really being addressed holistically. We talk about holistic health a lot, Beth. During my teaching, my education, we all the time talking about holistic practice, holistic health. And all the models we use in our teaching, success, clinical reasoning cycle, all the models we teach for nursing students, they are holistic, yes. But the question is, how is that practical in real environment, in real situation?

Beth Quaas: Right.

Nasrin Parsian: That’s the question.

Beth Quaas: And I think maybe a younger nurse just starting out is certainly going to think holistic care means something different than someone with many years of experience and even just life experience. I’m sure that how we treat our patients with holistic care is different throughout our careers.

Nasrin Parsian: Yeah, exactly. And I think nurses… Actually I have a specific message for nurses here because I certainly believe that nurses are the powerhouse in the healthcare system.

Beth Quaas: Yes.

Nasrin Parsian: They are. All they need is just to believe themselves. That’s it. Because there were a lot of situations, a lot of… I’m not going actually to go through, I’m not going to go deep down the rabbit hole. But a lot of things are around us as nurses who might be disempowering. And my message to all nurses is you are, you have everything inside and you have everything in your education, in your practice, because you are the one who is closest to the patients, to the actual person. And you are the one who has, in their education, most of the other disciplines about person-centered care.

Nasrin Parsian: In every single unit, in every single subject in university, we teach about person-centered care. And I don’t think that other disciplines are doing that much about person-centered care. So all we need is just believe what we learn, believe in deeply, and then apply it, and then just get empowered to use that education. Person-centered care is not something only in words. It’s just about seeing a person as a person, not as a patient, not as the condition. Seeing a person as a whole. And the whole is a whole, it’s not the separate parts of psychology, biology. Okay, you go to see your GP for that physical problem. Okay, I have stomach pain. I need to go and see my GP. I have anxiety. I need to go and see the psychologist.

Nasrin Parsian: Yeah. That’s fine that I have different disciplines, but they are not separate. And as soon as we see the psychology who only see their mind as my mind that is defined in psychology, and you see the GP who only sees your body as separate from whatever else, it’s not right. We fail. We fail, if we separate these. The whole is whole. The whole doesn’t mean that the collection of the parts. The whole means one. And this is something that nurses learn about it. And nurses are so lucky that they have this significant education in their curriculum. But I think perhaps one reason that they don’t follow it in the real practical environment is they feel possibly not enough empowered and they just get melted in the system after a while.

Beth Quaas: Confidence comes with experience as well. How do you incorporate that into your education when you’re teaching young nurses?

Nasrin Parsian: Oh, yes. I definitely incorporate confidence in every single part of my teaching and education, and I constantly remind my students that you are the game-changers. Don’t underestimate yourself. You are the center of the healthcare system. So if you see is something is wrong, just speak up. Just voice up. Just say, "This is wrong because of that" because you learned about evidence-based. If you have evidence, okay I have evidence, and… The evidence actually is on the move. We don’t actually say that evidence is always a hundred percent fixed fact, it’s always on the move. But what I have until now, the up-to-date evidence saying this, and for that reason, this is not right.

Nasrin Parsian: Or if I learn about ethical principles, for example, in health, we definitely need to make sure that we stick to them in our practice, yeah? If we learn about people, they’re to be considered as a person, not as a condition. We need to apply it. We need to apply it in the practice. And when we see the patient, a person who is coming to us as a patient, we should just talk to them, build a rapport with them, and then ask them what is happening in their life in general, yeah?

Beth Quaas: You had a very powerful story that you told as a new nurse when you had to confront a physician about a medication dosage.

Nasrin Parsian: Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And that was from my own experience. Yeah. So yeah, it was actually really powerful and was a patient who got kidney transplantation. Fifteen days a kidney transplantation, she was still taking gentamycin antibiotic, which is considered toxic for a kidney if it’s prescribed for more than 10 days in a row. And the kidney was quite baby kidney, she just got the kidney transplantation and it got gentamycin for 15 days. And the doctor didn’t know that. So yeah, I just talked to doctor about it and he got so angry because yeah, so the big doctor doesn’t like to be criticized by a baby undergrad nurse. So yeah. And then he got so angry and said, "Just get out of the room!" and then straight away he changed the prescription.

Nasrin Parsian: But yeah, but I’m just actually teaching these things to my student. And actually I shared this story a lot with my students and they just laughing. And I just said, "Okay, actually I wasn’t mature enough, guys. So perhaps I should have chosen another way to just go, but I’ll teach you the best way is just go straight away to the in-charge, go straight away to the… And just report this in writing, report this in writing, this mistake. And then this is the formal way that you should approach. But don’t hide your perspective, your opinion. Don’t scare that, "Oh, I shouldn’t say that otherwise I’ll lose my job!" No. Just stay strong, stay empowered, and if you see something is really wrong… Because we are actually dealing with human’s life, and that is super important!

Beth Quaas: Yes, and I would say, "If you’re wrong, you learn something. But if you’re right, you very well may have saved someone’s life. And so, give up the ego and talk anyway and let someone know" because I think, either way, you learn or you really do something good. You teach someone else.

Nasrin Parsian: Absolutely. Yeah, and that is actually a very good point that you mentioned, Beth, because I’m just getting back again to my teaching experience, that a lot of time when the students ask me… Not a lot of time, but sometimes when a students ask me a question that I really don’t know, I’m really confident to say that I don’t know. And I’m just saying, always I’m saying to my students, "Okay, so if I’m in healthcare industry for 25 years and in teaching for 15 years, that doesn’t mean that I know everything."

Beth Quaas: Right.

Nasrin Parsian: I know what I know. And learning is always an ongoing and constant process. And a lot of time, actually, I learn a lot of things from my students.

Beth Quaas: Yes.

Nasrin Parsian: So this openness is very important. We definitely need to be always open to learning and learning.

Beth Quaas: I agree. I teach anesthesia students, and I learn from them all of the time. I haven’t worked in an ICU in a very long time, and I’m always asking them questions. There’s so much that has changed over the last 20-some years. And I love that going back and forth, me sharing my knowledge but also learning from them. It’s very powerful.

Nasrin Parsian: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yes.

Beth Quaas: Well, I would love to hear more about your Inner Wellness business and what you do with that and who you serve.

Nasrin Parsian: Yes, thank you. So the Inner Wellness business, as you can find from the name, is focusing on inner wellness. So I’m working mostly with people who are familiar with health and wellness in some aspects because my language is possibly more familiar with them; however, I have had clients in general as well, just to… In my one-on-one practice, I worked with people who were dealing with anxiety, stress, chronic stress because stress can be something good sometimes, but definitely not the chronic stress. Chronic distress is the cause of many illnesses. So yeah, I worked with stress healing and anxiety and emotional health in general. A few times I worked with clients who had issues with their relationships, but right now I’m more moving to online. So I have an online coaching program for inner wellness mastery, which is focusing on… six-week online coaching program, which is focusing on all about inner wellness and how we can cohere the mind and heart and body altogether to achieve an integrative wellness. It’s more focusing on stress healing as well.

Nasrin Parsian: I have another exciting news because I am an NLP trainer and also hypnosis trainer as well, because I have learned about these two modalities for quite a few years and best believe me, they are amazing modalities as alternative modalities for our holistic health. And I’m so much advocating using these modalities in our practice when we are going to change the old habits and just start a new healthy life.

Nasrin Parsian: So my exciting news is I have an upcoming certificate training course for heart-based NLP and hypnotherapy, both in one training, that I called it Heart-Centered Conscious Leadership Program. And it’s going to happen soon. The first one is going to happen in end of November. And I will give people who are really enthusiastic to help others in terms of inner wellness: coaches, nurses, nurse coaches, nutritionists, everyone who is involved with health and wellness. They welcome to explore more about heart-based NLP, which is something really new because I added heart intelligence on the top of traditional NLP and hypnotherapy practitioner certificate. And they will get the certificates and after graduation, they can use the certificate to practice and use these modalities.

Beth Quaas: That’s a great opportunity for people that want to learn something in this forum that you’re going to offer and be able to start using it right away.

Nasrin Parsian: Yes. That is actually… Beth, these modalities were, for myself, kind of life-changing. Especially hypnosis because you go to the deeper layers and you find out, okay, so what is there that I never ever knew about this? And you find awareness about a lot of things that you never thought about it because it’s not unconscious mind, it’s a subconscious. And with NLP, you can work on them when they come to the surface. It’s so interesting that you can combine these two modalities to make the massive changes in your life and in your health, and also to be able to help others, your clients, your patients, to make these changes.

Beth Quaas: And you’re seeing good results?

Nasrin Parsian: Absolutely. Absolutely, yes. So myself, actually I experienced really life-changing and my clients also. And I had clients who the whole situation in their life changed after learning about these things.

Nasrin Parsian: When I used, for example, hypnotherapy for a couple who actually were separated for two years and they very bad deciding to totally break up. And they came back to each other after that. It was so… And they just went to honeymoon again. And I just got so impressed and I just said, "Oh, that is so cute and lovely after two…" And yeah, because they were able to find the deeper side of themselves and find out what’s the problem. And yeah, it’s not just about the relationship, even about the physical health. You may just experience… Myself, I experienced for some years IBS, and it’s gone. I experienced migraine for about 20 years, and it’s gone.

Beth Quaas: That’s amazing.

Nasrin Parsian: Yeah. So, it’s so life-changing, to be honest, using these modalities. Absolutely not definitely holistically. So we need to integrate other things like, for example, nutrition, exercise, all aspects. But these modalities working more powerfully with beliefs, with mind, with connecting to your body intelligence and your heart for better decision-making. So, it’s so much empowering to do the things that… Because people might be, for example, on diet for so many years, but they couldn’t change their life because they may just go back to the loop again after because they didn’t work on their beliefs and they didn’t work on the deeper layers and what is installed in those deeper layers. When they start working on those things, and when they start using an NLP as well, when they start using NLP and heart-based NLP approach to connect to their nervous system, they will get surprised. They will get surprised about the results because our body is very much connected to our beliefs and our nervous system, even our genes.

Beth Quaas: Yes.

Nasrin Parsian: We are not going actually to go to the topic of epigenetic because that’s another big topic, but we know that even our genes’ expressions and behaviors can be affected by our beliefs and our emotions.

Beth Quaas: You are doing tremendous work. And I am so happy that you’re here to talk about it today. We’ll be sharing all of your links where people can find you in the show notes. So please check out Nas’ work and find her trainings where you can. What would you like to leave nurses with today before you go? What kind of tips and tricks would you like them to hear?

Nasrin Parsian: Connect to your heart. This is, I think, something powerful because a lot of time we disconnect to our emotions. We disconnect to our real, elevated, good emotions like love, compassion, empowerment, enthusiasm. And they are all emotions that are deeply located in our heart. So, connect to your heart and your heart shows the way.

Beth Quaas: I love that. Thank you so much, Nas, for coming on the show. We’re so lucky to have you. Again, check out Nas where you can find her, follow our show notes to her links. And I appreciate you taking the time to be here today. Thank you so much.

Nasrin Parsian: Thank you so much, Beth, for having me.

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Stories from the Incredible World of Nursing.

Welcome to Don’t Eat Your Young, the podcast that brings you stories from the trenches of the incredible, wonderful, exhausting, terrifying, joyous world of nursing with your host, Beth Quaas.