Updated: Dec 10, 2021
While stress is a fact of life, it doesn’t mean we just need to live with its effects on our mental health. There are a lot of tools we can use to improve our mental state, including hypnosis, which this episode’s guest discusses. Hayley Foster brings in wellness entrepreneur and coach, Jennifer Thoma, CEO of Neuroredeem, to tell us more. Jennifer discusses how she pivoted away from corporate America and her decision to start a business that aims to help others improve their mental health. Hungry for more? Tune in and learn from Jennifer’s story.
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Your Mental Health And You: The Benefits Of Hypnosis With Jennifer Thoma
I’m super excited to be here with my friend, Jennifer Thoma. She is a wellness entrepreneur and coach. She focuses on taking the stress out of everything and narrowing down overwhelm without overreacting. Thank you for being here. I appreciate your time.
Thank you for having me. I'm excited.
I'm all about helping people get over the overwhelm. We're going to jump right in and I would love for you first to tell me how you got started in this business. I believe you are a new entrepreneur so let's talk about that. I love this pandemic. It brought so many more amazing women entrepreneurs into the world.
I'm a fairly new full-time entrepreneur, but I've had a side hustle for a few years. What happened is a few years ago, my husband decided to make a major life change, gave up both of our careers, moved to a different town so he could go back to school. Eventually, we would have the vision of working together on some business of our own. He became a functional medicine physician. We were going to move away from St. Louis, which is where we went to school and I got a great corporate job.
Every time we decided it was time to move, they would promote me and give me accolades or more money to stay. Unfortunately, that corporate job was full of stress and overwhelm, all the things that come with being a mom of young kids who is doing a lot of traveling and arguing with people all day long.
One of the things my husband did to help me with my stress was hypnosis. He learned how to do hypnosis and treated me with that. He created a patent-pending process for self-hypnotizing people and that's where this whole business came from. NeuroRedeem is a process for using self-hypnosis to reduce your stress and overwhelm.
As a side hustle, I started running that business. When we were doing some strategic planning in December of 2019, we said, “The best thing that could happen is a voluntary buyout from my corporate job.” They approached us in June of 2020 and said, “Do you want to voluntary buyout?” I said, “No, it's a pandemic. The business has been closed for two months. I don't think that's a good idea.” We were too far down the road. We jumped in and took advantage of it. So far, it’s been one of the best decisions I've ever made, focusing on the business full-time since August 2021. It's pretty exciting.
How are you putting it out there? How do people find out about NeuroRedeem? You're active on social media. For the people who are reading, how do they find you to get their hand on this?
It's on our website in NeuroRedeem.com. I am all over social media as @NeuroRedeem or @JennThoma. Primarily, our business has come from my husband's clinic and the patients he sees in and out who have pretty severe health concerns that they can't figure out. In the end, he points them to the fact that it's the stress that's causing them and often, it's surprising. It takes a lot of convincing. People don't realize that their stress is having such a negative impact on their health. They're coming primarily through the clinic, but we're getting ready to do another launch. We're excited about getting it to more people.
Can you talk a little bit about the process in terms of how that works?
It includes self-hypnosis but also a few other modalities like tapping, binary tones, fractionation, all of these neurological terms that help. As quickly as possible, your brain gets overstimulated because once your brain is overstimulated, it is believed to be true the next thing you tell. If you think of somebody in a PTSD situation, they get overstimulated with an explosion and then what happens next, which is destruction is what they expect as the new normal.
What we do in our program is positively overstimulate you using neurology and the way that the brain neuropathways go back and forth across your brain to overstimulate it and tell you that it's okay to be calm and relaxed. It reset and reprogram those beliefs that you have that you need to be in a constant state of stress.
Are you mostly focused on clients coming in that have stress or a PTSD type of situation?
Our primary focus is general stress because, honestly, every person is dealing with stress, and this pandemic has magnified it. Thankfully, there's a big focus on mental health. People are trying to get it under control. My primary target is corporate women who are struggling with getting ahead in their job. They are balancing all the different aspects, not yelling at their kids when they get home because they're too tired and overwhelmed by what happened during the day and not crying at work because they didn't get enough sleep. We can help with all of those things to reset your stress threshold and lower the constant state of stress you have to handle difficult things more easily.
Do you think there's a stigma behind the word hypnosis? When I think of hypnosis, I think like I'm laying on a couch, somebody is waving a little tic talky clock over my face and putting me into a state that they have to take me out of. When you say self-hypnosis, to be honest, there's a fear for me being like, “What happens if I can't get out of that state of hypnosis?”
We started into the hypnosis area because my husband, who's constantly going back to school, was like, “I'm going to go back for psychology.” I said, “I'm not paying for another degree. You have four.” He figured out a different way. He had read somewhere that an hour of hypnosis does more to help somebody change their behavior than years of therapy with a psychiatrist or psychologist.
People don't realize that their stress is having such a negative impact on their health.
He began to study it and began to use it with his patients and me. I was the same way. I have this like, “I’m a total control freak. You are not putting me under because I don't know what you're going to say.” What you learn is that you have your full faculties when you're under hypnosis. You can wake up at any time. You don't have to do what they say if you don't want to. You're listening and remembering what's happened. That's a stigma.
I'm a certified hypnotist as well, but for the first few months that we've started to sell this program online, get to know people and talk about it, I stayed away from the word hypnosis for that exact reason. It's hard to explain how it works without saying hypnosis. It's a little bit better to educate people that hypnosis helps your brain to work so much quicker because you bypass all that crap that you're thinking, get right to the heart of the matter and resolve it quickly.
With self-hypnosis, you're listening to an audio program. Part of our program is you have to listen to it with headphones in because it goes in and out of one ear at a time to make it work. You're not hopefully getting that fear of, “Someone’s going to make me do something I don’t want to.” You can listen to it and go, “This isn't so bad. I can do this.” It's a good twelve minutes of relaxing, meditating and taking care of yourself.
Is it similar to meditation?
It is similar, but the difference is that with most meditation, we would say, “Calm your mind and body.” In this case, we're asking you to do some tapping on your legs to keep that stimulation going. We're talking to you constantly the whole time in a hypnotic language that's helping to change those patterns. On your part as the user, you're relaxed and listening to something very calming. We're doing all the work through the audio programs.
You sell the audio program and people do it on their own.
It's a five-week program and you start at one level. For those five weeks, you've listened to different programs that teach you how to do it when you're not listening to it. When you're out in, for example, the corporate world, if you're in a board meeting, you can find yourself tapping your finger on the counter and immediately getting relaxed to that state without having the headphones on and us tell you to do that.
How long have you been educated in that?
I got my Hypnosis Gnosis Certification in 2020 because I was going to focus on building the business and I felt like that's something I needed to understand. I don't hypnotize people clinically. I just wanted to understand. Years ago, in my corporate job, there had been major layoffs and HR issues because people were losing their jobs and stuff. I went through a ton of stress and started to have some serious health problems. I was getting very sick and gaining a lot of weight very quickly. I couldn't sleep. I had headaches all the time. He created this program for me. I've been using it for years.
Once you use it, you've learned it and you don't have to keep going back to it, but if a pandemic strikes, you can bring it back out and refresh yourself a little bit. It is what keeps me stable. I used to be so high-strung and high drama. Now, it's a much more relaxed and stable person, still type A, trying to get things done and build a few businesses but not the same pressure and stuff I had before.
I don't think that men pivot as much as females pivot in their careers and lives. Maybe it's because we're more flexible. Do you see that?
When men pivot, they go in a different direction and completely sideways. We start turning in a different direction and spend some time finding what we want. I do find, the older I get, the more I want to have a different way of looking at the world. More certain things matter and other things don't matter. I always laughed at people when they told you after your term to 40 that that would happen, but it did. My perspective in life changed. You realized you don't want to be mad and stressed out all the time.
At 40, I chose happiness. I got divorced. It was the best decision I ever made for myself and my children. I found fairytale love the second time around. It was a matter of making that conscious decision that I needed a change in my life. I wanted to be happy and that was it. At the same time, I got out of a lot of relationships of friendships that also weren't fulfilling. I decided it's not about the quantity. It's about the quality. Forty is a big turning point when we women realize that.
They tell me another one will happen when we turn 50. I'm excited to see that.
I will let you know if I get there first, what happens at 50, but on another show. We’re talking about how do I keep my body, mind and everything about me at 48? I can grow another year older, but I want all of this to stay the same. I'm happy with the shape I'm in, where I'm mentally at, the whole thing as we were talking about longevity when you add in what you are doing in terms of the brain. The brain is so powerful. I'm curious. What did he have to study to do this?
He already had a degree in Medical Technology and then with his Chiropractic degree and Functional Medicine degrees, he learned a lot about that and then Clinical Neurologist. He has a little bit of everything. I had an epiphany of the fact that I feel like I might be aging at 48 and getting older. The truth is I have probably that many years ahead of me too. If I'm going to live another 48 or 50 years, I want them to be good years. I want to have that vitality and longevity where I'm healthy, happy, enjoying life and able to get out.
You have your full faculties when you're under hypnosis. You can wake up at any time. You don't have to do what they say if you don't want to.
I had kids late, so I know that my grandkids will come late. When I'm going to be 75, I want to be able to hold my grandbaby and be happy playing with them on the floor. I don't know when. Maybe they won't have kids. I want to keep that vitality so that the next half of my life can be as great or, if not better, than the first half.
You need to connect with Betsy. We had the whole longevity discussion. She's in Jersey, which isn't too far. I'm in Long Island and I'm like, “How can I see you?” I love what you're all about. It's hard to find doctors that are understanding and practicing functional medicine. I will be honest, I can count on one hand how many times I've been to a chiropractor. Our chiropractor that we do go to is also a neurofeedback person.
She does neurofeedback. We tried it on my daughter at a young age and it helped. We saw the difference in the way her brain changed from beginning to end. I have been a believer in that. My husband and I are both all about longevity. You become a magnet to people that share the same vision as you like, “I want to surround myself with other people that don't look at me cross-eyed when I talk about, I want to live to 125 in the body of a 48-year-old.” Some of my friends are like, “Whatever.” “You grow old over there and I'm going to do everything I can.”
You said who you surround yourself with to and that's exactly right. You start to surround yourself with uplifting people, have positive energy, want to have a healthy and happy life. One of the things that have been a blessing since I left the corporate world is turning off all those people who were bringing me down somehow. I can find the people that I want to spend time with and meet amazing people like you, Dr. Betsy and whomever else in all the different places that add positive energy to your life instead of draining something from you. That's my favorite thing.
At 40, you pull out the drains and surround yourself with people that lift you. I find that on Clubhouse when I'm popping into rooms where there's that positive energy and positive mods on the stage. It's people that want to fill your cup as opposed to some of the rooms on there that are all about like, “Who can I talk over? Who can have the mic next?” There are 100 miles on safe. This is how we found each other in Clubhouse.
I'm fairly new to Clubhouse, but I'm loving it for exactly that. I found a few groups that have positive energy, women supporting women mostly and I love to be a part of that.
How can we support you? Tell me about what's going on. You have a challenge that is going on.
We have a five-day challenge called Leave The Overwhelm Behind. You sign up for the challenge. In the next five days, you'll get an email with a video, a lesson from me and some exercises to do yourself. It takes about fifteen minutes a day. You start to identify where your stress is coming from and the actions you can take to move it in the right direction.
Is that an evergreen like it's going all the time?
It’s evergreen and you can find it NeuroRedeem.com/challenge.
What else do you have going on? Are you full-time?
I am a full-time entrepreneur, but I'm helping my husband run his clinic and bringing in new patients for him. I'm running NeuroRedeem. We also have a nutritional supplement company called, PuraWell and we're developing a new product for that. He keeps me busy. He's the idea guy. He comes up with an idea, drops it on my desk and I take it from there. There is always something fun and exciting to do each day. You can find it at PuraWell.com.
Is it a supplement?
It’s nutritional supplements like magnesium, omega fatty acids, a lot of different things but your general nutritional supplements.
You guys were thinking about moving. Are you still moving or staying for now?
We decided to have a practice here in St. Louis. It's hard to walk away from something like that. We're staying with the practice for now but looking at other options and expanding our reach online with these two businesses, seeing how we can reach more people outside this area and see if maybe that might change where we head in the future.
Know who you want to serve, how you want to serve them, and then go deep with those people.
What's been one of the most challenging things for you on this journey?
My corporate career was in operations and I was a compliance officer. I told people what the rules were and made sure that they followed them. I was heavy. I was known as the wicked witch. A little bit, people would cringe when I walked into the room. I thought that running these businesses was going to be more of being a CEO. It has turned out to be more marketing and sales. That's not my expertise. I'm trying to figure out how I fit into all of that and learn new things, marketing, build websites and graphic design. I'm a team of me. I do all the things, but it's been fun to learn. In 2020, a day didn't go by where I haven't learned something new and I do love to learn. That's amazing.
There’s so much content out there. Not to make this a coaching or consulting call, but one of the things that I've learned over the years of having my business is if it's something that you don't enjoy and something that you feel like you're never going to get good at, that's when you should decide to outsource it.
I have a list of what I will outsource in what order.
That's a good list to have because we can get so tied down. I'm doing this course where I'm launching this toolkit. The woman that built it is building it in Kartra and I was like, “I can either learn this whole platform, figure it out over weeks, months or however long it's going to take me or I could shell out the money and have someone that's been building this that knows how to build it right.” I threw in the towel and said, “This is the year of investing in things like that, not trying to wear all the hats and do it on my own.”
I jumped in and said, “I'm going for it and let her do it.” She's doing it. Thankfully, I've given myself a pretty tight deadline where I'm like, “Let's get it done by this day. This is our launch day.” I'm like, “It’s not even running on my side.” I've got to market it, get people in, launch it and I'm like, “I have a great idea.” I’m adding a whole other component to it because that's what I do to myself, but that's what makes it fun. I'm sure you can relate to going from corporate to going solo and the benefits behind doing that.
I decided to give myself the first full year full-time working on the business so I could know what I wanted to do before I started hiring people who might try to change my mind. We did hire somebody initially and they went, “You shouldn't use that website builder.” I'm like, “It's already built. Let's not answer that question. Let's focus on what we need to be done.” I'm giving myself 2021 to see how it all works and figure it all out but come August 2022, I am looking to bring on some help.
I'll keep that list of things that that person can help you with. I help a lot of people to convince them that they need a virtual assistant. Some people be like, “I need this person to do this. This person does this.” You could find a virtual assistant that specializes in this and they can do that for you.
That's the first on my list, a virtual assistant.
What's something that you would recommend to somebody that's considering making the pivot or taking a shift and going from corporate to entrepreneur?
I'm not sure. I'm at the point where I can make too many valid recommendations. With marketing, what's hard for me is to narrow down the messaging, keep niching down and find the right audience. I've been trying to find what that is for me. One of the things I would recommend is to know who you want to serve, how you want to serve them and then go deep with those people. I know that's not how I started. I've wavered with who I'm encountering or talking to at the moment. That has slowed me down a bit. I'm getting that messaging and niche narrowed in. It seems to be much more productive. It seems counterproductive to say, “I'm going to go to a narrow audience.” I'm learning that that's the right approach.
From experience when I first started, I can tell you, I’m like, “I’m a consultant to all women entrepreneurs. It doesn't matter what level you are.” I realized that the mompreneur and solopreneur are getting started and don't have the right tools. For me, it's focusing on the pinpoint for women and being able to say, “I know the pain you're going through. Here's what I have to give you for that pain. Here are all the pills in my jar.” Anything else that you want to share?
Thank you for letting me share my experience and get to know you a little bit better. I've enjoyed our conversation.
This has been fun.
After I worked in international banking for 25 years, I thought maybe semi-straight hair might be fun. I've been working hard to find a new identity and own it.
How does it feel?
It feels good. There were some growing pains of changing the way you talk and interact with people. It's so funny when I get in groups. I'm testing out some of my messaging and stuff. The number one feedback I get is it's too corporate. That's where I come from, what I know and who I'm speaking to. That's been interesting finding the right voices. It's constantly changing and developing as we grow older, try new things, discover who we are and who we want to be, but I feel like I'm coming into my own, so I'm pretty excited about that.
You seem to be exactly where you should be. I'm excited for you. Let me know how I can support you. Thank you for being here. This was great. Take care.
@NeuroRedeem - Instagram
@JennThoma - Instagram
Betsy - Past episode
About Jennifer Thoma
Jennifer Thoma is a health and wellness entrepreneur who traded in the hectic stressful life in corporate business to become the owner and operator of several business ventures focused on helping people improve their health and wellbeing.
After a several health issues, related to chronic stress and work pressure, she changed her entire focus from climbing the corporate ladder and pushing against the system, to find fulfillment and empowerment by helping other people build their own resilience to stress, and live life focused on their most important priorities.
Jennifer and her husband, Dr. Christopher Thoma, live in St Louis Missouri with their preteens, Casper and Sadie. Together they own three businesses in the health and wellness industry: NeuroRedeem provides programs and coaching designed to help people build stress resilience and overcome overwhelm. PuraWell provides nutritional supplements that support your health goals, and Total Health Correction is a wellness and chiropractic clinic focused on finding the root cause of your health concerns.
Jennifer firmly believes that key to a life of contentment and fulfillment begins with focusing on your physical and mental health and wellness, and she is prepared to help you every step of the way.