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341. A Modern Approach to Ayurvedic Wellness with Tessa Arnold

the daily helping podcast Dec 25, 2023

Tessa Arnold, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Snapback Energy, is redefining the landscape of health and wellness. Transitioning from a career in commercial banking to becoming a renowned Ayurvedic health and wellness lifestyle coach, Arnold's journey is nothing short of transformative. Her story, rooted in personal challenges and a quest for deeper fulfillment, resonates with those seeking a more meaningful approach to health.

Arnold's story is one of introspection and courage. Faced with her own life's discontents and her husband's health challenges, she embarked on a path that led her to Ayurveda, an ancient holistic science. Her experience is a testament to the power of self-care and finding one’s personal rhythm. Arnold's journey was not just about changing careers; it was a profound journey of self-discovery and healing, a reminder of the resilience and adaptability inherent in all of us.

What sets Arnold apart is her pragmatic yet passionate approach to Ayurveda. She demystifies this ancient science, making it accessible and relevant to modern lifestyles. She emphasizes the six pillars of health - movement, sleep, breathing exercises, nutrition, emotional well-being, and meditation - as the cornerstone of holistic living. Her approach is not about one-size-fits-all solutions but understanding individual needs and constitutions. Arnold advocates for a personalized wellness plan, grounded in the understanding of one's body and mind, paving the way for sustainable health and well-being.

Tessa Arnold’s insights offer more than just health tips; they are an invitation to embrace a life of balance and harmony. Her journey encourages us to seek wellness practices that resonate personally, reminding us that the path to health is as unique as our individual stories.


The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

“When you love your body, it's going to love you back. The six pillars are health are nothing that you need to go out and buy. There are things you already have at hand. It's a beautiful gift when you step back and look at your life and realize that you have agency over it.”




Thank you for joining us on The Daily Helping with Dr. Shuster. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Google Podcasts to download more food for the brain, knowledge from the experts, and tools to win at life.




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Download Transcript Here


Tessa Arnold:

It's a beautiful gift when you step back and really look at your life and realize that you have agency over it.


Dr. Richard Shuster:

Hello and welcome to The Daily Helping with Dr. Richard Shuster, food for the brain, knowledge from the experts, tools to win at life. I'm your host, Dr. Richard. Whoever you are, wherever you're from, and whatever you do, this is the show that is going to help you become the best version of yourself. Each episode you will hear from some of the most amazing, talented, and successful people on the planet who followed their passions and strived to help others. Join our movement to get a million people each day to commit acts of kindness for others. Together, we're going to make the world a better place. Are you ready? Because it's time for your Daily Helping.


Thanks for tuning into this episode of The Daily Helping Podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Richard. And our guest today is so cool. I've been talking to her for 20 minutes and I cannot wait to share her with you. Her name is Tessa Arnold. She's the Co-Founder and COO of SnapBack Energy. She leverages her 12 year background in global banking to drive positive change. There's a piece of her story I'm going to omit here intentionally because I'm going to let her tell it to you. But she founded SnapBack Energy delving into the mind-body connection, which you know is so important. As an Ayurvedic health and wellness lifestyle coach, she radiates support using podcasts to spark conversations to explore neuroplasticity, which is awesome, Ayurveda, and holistic wellness. Her mission is to empower listeners sparking transformative conversations that shift perspectives and empower individuals to navigate life's challenges. She's been in some of the biggest media outlets. You are clearly the chocolate to my peanut butter. Tessa Arnold, welcome to The Daily Helping. It is awesome to have you with us today.

Tessa Arnold:

Thank you so much, Dr. Richard. I am so excited to be here and talk about all the things. I mean, in looking into you and everything that you're doing and the audience, I'm thrilled. I'm thrilled to have this conversation and share.


Dr. Richard Shuster:

Well, let's start it the right way. Let's hop in the Tessa Arnold time machine. Let's go back. And I want to talk about this journey that you're on. Tell us about these pivotal moments in your life that put you on the path you're on today.


Tessa Arnold:

Absolutely. So, I'll say it's interesting, we all start out, as we do, from infancy to toddler years, growing up with what we're intended to do and what we're told to do. And I always found that I was a little bit of a rebel where people, you know, "What do you want to do? What do you want to do with your life?" And I come up with a few different things because it interests me to the point where I even got in college and they're like, "You need to declare a major." I was like, "I don't know. There's so much out there. There's so much that I want to do. I need to go explore and I need to adventure."


But I ended up doing that and I found myself in the commercial banking realm and loved it. I was working my way up the corporate ladder and doing all the things, married, having children. And from the outside looking in, I think it probably looked pretty, pretty great. Everything's shirt up. Everything's teed up. I'm continuing on with my career. I have a trajection. It is stable. It is secure. The money is coming in. I can forecast. I can do all the things.


But I would wake up and I would think to myself there's something missing. Something isn't fitting. There's a puzzle piece that's missing. I enjoyed going to work. I enjoyed the connections that I made. I was very good at it, but it didn't set my soul on fire. And conceptually, I would not have been able to say that phrase even five years ago or six years ago. I didn't understand that that was the piece that was missing.

But I would say to anybody listening to this, you probably know or can resonate if you get in your car and you have to take a breath, or you have to take a breath before you walk into the office, or you're sitting in the office and you feel that there's just something, and maybe that's the ignition of your passion or your path or your flow, or maybe it's just everything's going fine with work but there's something within your life that you just feel is missing slightly. And I would ask you to sit back and think about what you have in your life that's fulfilling you as an individual. Because from all perspectives, I had the children, I was the mother, I was the sister, I was the daughter, I was the wife, but I found I had lost myself along the way.


And when things in my personal life started to fall apart and get heavy, I almost have that breakdown for a breakthrough. I really took a look within and I think it was the first time that I had done that in a long time. And I started to do some heavy work trying to determine is this what I want my life to look like? Is this fulfilling to me? Am I taking care of myself? And why does that feel selfish because it's not? I'm an individual too. I'm a human. What I put out into the world is just as important as all the people that I'm supporting.


So, that's sort of where the journey started. Everything started to fall apart a little bit because I stopped and I took a really hard look at all the things in my life, and I said, Is this the direction that I want to go in? And for that to happen, I sort of had to go into a little bit of crisis mode. My husband's health, he wasn't doing well. Things were going on with our marriage. We ended up getting separated and then I was supporting him there. He's trying to launch a business and all the things. And you're juggling all the balls in the air. And I'm like, wait, wait, wait, this just isn't working.


I have to say, Dr. Richard, I was looking in the mirror, there were times I didn't recognize myself. And it wasn't bad, good, or anything. It was almost like, Where are you in there? Where's that essence? You become buried in life and that's when I started to kind of dig my way out and set everything on fire and start to pivot to make changes and it was terrifying. And it has most definitely been a journey and will forever be one, but I have never regretted it one day.


Dr. Richard Shuster:

How did you dig yourself up?


Tessa Arnold:

Yeah, definitely. So, it was small steps. I think the first thing, Deepak Chopra has a beautiful quote and it says, we're all sleepwalking through life, and it is. And I opened my eyes and I started to take accountability of what I have in my life, what's most important to me, prioritizing the things and really looking at step one, Am I taking care of myself? What do I have within my life that's truly fulfilling just for me on an individual level? Is it my movement? Is it something I do for exercise? Is it a meditation practice? Is it my health and wellbeing? Am I prioritizing that? 


And I started to take accountability for myself so I could show up better for the people around me. I made myself strong, so I was strong enough to catch the people around me. And when I started to make that shift, it was uncomfortable for a lot of people, because it's like, "Wait. What are you doing? You mean, you're saying no to this because you have something else you need to do?" You're using the word no, which no is a complete sentence. 


Setting this beautiful boundaries, so I was making time for myself. And it's a slow process, but it's choosing to incorporate one thing a day. When you get up, you're setting aside that 15 minutes for your reading, your journal, you walk outside, you have the coffee, you have the time, you have the space to yourself, and you really start to go within a little bit, whether that's through meditation or just stillness, and you really start to identify with yourself again as a human being, but also as your essence. And then, you really start to take additional steps in whatever feels good for you and that's what I walk through with now, my Ayurvedic practice, which I stumbled into through this journey, with the six pillars of help, and I helped myself and I guide my clients to really uncovering the purest essence of themselves, the purest expression of themselves.


So, I'd say there's definitely small steps. It looks a little bit different for everyone. But I think it's always a great place to start and say, what I'm doing in my life, is it truly fulfilling me? Is it exactly what I want to be doing? Am I doing this for somebody else? Am I doing it for me? Am I doing it because it just feels comfortable? Complacency is where dreams go to die, so I'd say let's start to have those conversations and take stock of what life looks like. And are you excited to wake up to your life? So, that's where we start the conversation and those are the steps that we take.


Dr. Richard Shuster:

So, I want to shift gears a little bit and I've loved everything you've been saying. Let's talk about Ayurveda because a lot of people might have heard the term or maybe Ayurvedic medicine, they don't really know what it means, where it comes from. So, give us Ayurveda 101.


Tessa Arnold:

I'd love to. It is a beautiful 5,000 year old body of knowledge from the Vedas. So, that's just the oldest body of knowledge before modern science, before modern medicine. It is a beautiful gift that has been translated over time coming from India. And what it is, Ayurveda is the science of life. Perfect. It's just a simple little term, the science of life. As I like to call it and share, it's the science of being human in a beautiful balanced way.


So, with the science of being human, you have the six pillars of health. And, truly, it's not anything different than we do on a day-to-day basis. It's the movement. It's the sleep. It's the breathing exercises. It's the nutrition. It's the emotional wellbeing. So, it's going to be all of those beautiful things that you go into as well as the meditation practices, which is obviously fantastic for you. And I know meditation can be scary for a lot of people, "I can't meditate. It's too difficult." Please, I'll tell you right now that can look very different for everyone. And I walk through different ways that we can set up a meditation practice, whether that's active or in stillness or it's a gradual progression, that looks different for everybody. And it's a beautiful gift that you can give yourself.


But through those pillars of health, we really just talk about all the things that you're doing today, but we go deeper into them and allow you the tools and equipped you with the tools to help balance life for you. So, life can be very challenging, as you well know and as our listeners well know. And those difficulties look different for everyone, but we're all connected through them. So, as we go through the Ayurveda practice, we really determine your personal constitution and the things that help balance you from a day-to-day practice. Things that are so quick that something happens in your day, you get cut off, you missed the bus, something that's really just brought you from homeostasis to a very flight, fight, freeze. So, a sympathetic nervous system, so anything that's going to agitate your nervous system and set you off into that higher nervous system where you're feeling just that anxiousness.


We can pop into a very quick minute, two-minute breathing exercise that you can do on your own and automatically bring your nervous system from sympathetic to parasympathetic homeostasis, which is such a gift because you're calming yourself so quickly, you're not taking anything, you're not having to go anywhere and do anything. All you're doing is breathing, which we're all doing every minute of every day. But what we find is the majority of us do shallow breathing, so it's just into the lungs versus all the way down into the diaphragm. So, it's simple techniques like that, which I'm telling you, they're incredible. They really are.


As a human being and as a mom to two small kids, I know I show up in a better way when something happens. And before I go and react, I can take a moment, I can regulate myself, and then I can show up in a way that I feel really comfortable with, and my kids can really connect with. And I'm not perfect. We all have our moments, but it does feel good to have those tools.


Dr. Richard Shuster:

I like that you said that, you know, meditation can be a stillness practice. It could be something else. You know, there's some people that the way their brains are wired, it's just hard for them to cross their legs and close their eyes and get into this deep meditative state. But maybe they get into that state through an activity that they really enjoy. It could be gardening. It could be cooking. It could be anything. So, I'm glad that you called attention to the fact that meditation doesn't just have to be meditation as it's traditionally thought.


Tessa Arnold:

Exactly. It's so true. And I'll tell everybody, I mean, I have a pretty strong meditation practice, and it's a practice. I'd even share with everybody, being a human being is a practice too. It's tricky. We're evolving. We're constantly evolving and growing. While I know there's many studies that say that the brain really takes in and does the most growth of those early years of infancy all the way up to seven, and then it can go to 14, too, still, through neuroplasticity and neuron changes and practices, we can do so much more of evolving and change, really, the way that we think, we feel, and we operate in the world.


But it's a practice, so I tell everybody that you're not going to sit down automatically crossed leg in your pose in complete stillness for 45 minutes. And if you do, bravo to you, because that's still difficult to me. But I started with a yoga practice, which was very active, which allowed me to focus on the asanas, the movements and the poses in themselves, that would allow me to get out of that head space and really fall into the gaps between thoughts. Because as we both know and many others know, you're never going to eliminate the processing and the sharing of thoughts within your mind. That's not the intention of meditation. That's not what happens. 


What happens is that between thoughts, there's a space, as I like to call a gap between each thoughts. And if there weren't, we'd have one long really confusing chaotic thought and we wouldn't be able to make sense of it. So, what you find is the beautiful gap in between and you fall into that. Think about swimming in a beautiful pond or whatever that image looks like to you and you fall into that and it's such peacefulness and bliss. That as you well know, Dr. Richard, you sort of crave in a sense. When the world's going a little bit crazy around you, you know that you have this tool to step into to really delve into that beautiful fountain of peace within all of us, and you find that within these beautiful gaps. And like you said, they can be done in so many different ways. Your practice of meditation will continue to evolve and it's the most beautiful gift you can give yourself.


Dr. Richard Shuster:

I hope everybody listening to this is going to try to do some deep breathing, is going to try, even if it's five minutes, to do some kind of a meditative thing. Because it's so amazing how doing something like that, particularly during the day because we get in the day and we have all of our emails and we're doing whatever we need to do, to just shut that down just for a few minutes and recent ourselves can be so transformative in itself. It's almost striking how peaceful you can feel after the fact.


So, I'm digging this science of life. I'm loving hearing about these six pillars of health. Let's go deeper. Let's go deeper. So, for our listeners who are hearing this, they're nodding their heads, they're buying into like, "Yeah. This all sounds good." What's the next level of this to really have that degree of success that so many people want to have?


Tessa Arnold:

Yes, absolutely. So, within the Ayurvedic lifestyle and practice, we go through what's called the doshas, which are your constitution makeup. So, everybody is constitutionally made up of what's called the three doshas. And the doshas, you can think about the elements as they relate to the elements within the world. You have the earth, you have the air, you have the space, you have the fire, you have the water.


There's a beautiful movie out right now, Elemental, that comes out and it's a children's movie. I watched it with my kids. And I was watching it as an Ayurvedic health coach. I was like, this is exactly what I do, you know, you have fire elements, you have earth, you have water, you have air. And those are all a part of us. We are so in tunely connected with nature all around us, but we forget that our body is made up of water, our digestive system which is the fire, the air and the space within our bodies to our muscles which are the mass, the earth.


So, what we do from an Ayurvedic practitioner perspective is that we sit with our clients. We give them the quiz so they can determine their full doshic composition, so that's very personalized. We go through and we then provide the recommendations based on your doshic composition, whatever your primary is. And it's not unfound that you would have a very high bidosha, so you would have a Kapha - the three doshas, by the way, are Kapha, Vata, and Pitta. And it's not unusual that you couldn't be a combination of the two, because we're made up of all three, but one's going to stand out typically above the rest.


And by understanding that composition, almost like understanding your DNA and your genetics passed down from family, this was at your conception that you were sort of made up into this doshic composition, we can really determine what works for you, what makes you feel good down to the simplest things like music, colors, foods, smells. And we equip you with all those tools and resources so if you were to walk into a room and have an incense of orange and cinnamon or vanilla, you know that's automatically going to calm you based on your dosha composition.


Dr. Richard Shuster:

It's fascinating. So, I'd like to know this, can you get that knowledge outside of this quiz? How can I find out what foods or things are good for me or not good for me? So, talk to us about that.


Tessa Arnold: 

Yeah, absolutely. So, my company - and there's others out there - it's the So, you'd go on, you take your dosha quiz. You send me those results or an Ayurvedic practitioner, health coach, or guide, and we'd walk through that with you to provide you what's your primary dosha. If you're bidosha, we'll give you both of those. And then, we would give you pretty much a one sheet, if you will, just with the basic overview of what that means.


So, it goes into detail as far as characteristics. From a Pitta perspective, you're that fiery water. So, when you go into that, and if you have heartburn, suffer from heartburn, it's because you have that fiery digestive system. We'll go so down into the detail where we'll start going through this. And my clients are like, "Yeah. How did you know? How did you know? How did you know these things?" This makes too much sense for me not to continue to dive a little bit deeper. And then, we go into the full shopping list. Here's some recommendations as far as teas, meals, breakfast, eating time a day. And then, we get into the circadian rhythms, so sleep patterns, which is also such a beautiful gift.


And I know this is coming up a lot lately, Andrew Huberman just had a podcast where he was talking about the circadian rhythms and how incredible is when you start to realize what they are, and how you're waking up, and how you're going to sleep at night, and how you can really regulate your body to get into that peacefulness and those rhythms through the seasons, and allow yourself to fall asleep in a beautiful way where you're pretty much shutting down gradually and waking up with the sun versus an alarm clock.


I mean, it's the constitution of us, but it's also the correlation between nature. So, you would work with a coach or a guide and they'd walk you through all of those six pillars of life that I mentioned based on your dosha constitution and specialize it for you, and you walk away and it's immediate. So, these breathing exercises, like I discussed, in a world where instant gratification is one of the things that a lot of people crave, we have everything on our phones and our devices now and things come pretty quickly, this isn't a six month trial, this isn't a 30 day trial. I'll give you the tools and I give you the resources and you go back, and as you mentioned earlier, you do a breathing exercise in a minute or two to feel that calmness over you, specifically for you, it's a beautiful gift. And to start to feel good a week later, because maybe you adjusted a few things in your diet that weren't necessarily working for your constitution, your digestive system. It's great. The feedback that we get is phenomenal.


Dr. Richard Shuster:

I find this fascinating for a number of reasons, Tessa. But one of the things that I've been thinking about is you're telling me this that you take this quiz and it determines your constitution. I've done these kind of things involving deep DNA analysis where it can tell me what time to work out, what I should eat, what I shouldn't eat, my temperament, all these things. And as I read over those results, they were pretty spot on.


But then I'm hearing this, this dosha, and I conceptually get that we have these different signs. But this sounds like astrology in a lot of ways to me. And so, what is the science behind the concept of these doshas?


Tessa Arnold:

Yeah. So, the science actually relates to the doshas based on where they're held within the body through the organs. So, it's going to be based on where the organs are operating and how they're going. So, when you talk about Pitta and the fiery and the water, and you talk about the digestive system, and you talk about the stomach, and you talk about everything that's going on there and the seat of where all that digestion is happening, that's where the correlation really comes in with the science of it. And the science of it per se, it's not mystical and it's not holistic.

It is really the fundamentals on how your body is digesting, taking in information through sensory. So, that's where the science really becomes involved.


Because when you start to talk about sensory, you're talking about what you see, what you hear, what you taste, what you touch. And then, we talk about taking it a step further from the outer body to the subtle body going all the way deep down. So, how is that being processed as you continue to move into the body? So, it's really just pieces of information, nutrition, and how you're loving your body versus going and finding out your horoscope based on signs. So, we're doing a profile of you based on a digestion, all of the sensories, so all of the intakes of the senses versus just birthday, place of birth, I think that's some of the information.


Dr. Richard Shuster:

Sure. Well, it's interesting because I know with things like acupuncture, for example, that for many, many, many years was looked down upon by practitioners of western medicine and deemed to be Chinese, new age-y. Well, it's not really new age. It's 3,000 years old. But nonsense, right? And then, medical research started showing us that there is some efficacy to acupuncture. So, I suspect there's been medical research conducted as it relates to Ayurvedic medicine. So, what does that research show?


Tessa Arnold:

Yes, absolutely. And I have a lot of those journals and articles that I've put on the site to that point exactly that I wanted to be able to share and correlate those results and those studies with it. So, it's interesting, because we really break down the six pillars of health and what the studies show when you get into the meditative aspects of it, the nutritional aspects of it, the emotional regulation, and the breathing aspects of it, and how meditative studies have shown that meditation will have some of the same incredible effects on the brain and the release of chemicals, happy chemicals within the brain that you would have when you leave the first day on vacation. So, those studies have been shown and through the changes that can occur within the brain itself.


Also, the studies within the breathing, the Pranayama, which I discussed, the breathing exercises. And there's some beautiful breathing exercises and techniques that I also share as well that show how you actually are regulating your nervous system through the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system. Your body has no other way to do it. So, when you focus on your breath and you start to regulate that, your body has to and will relax because of how you're moving the breath, how you're holding the breath and extending that release, the exhale. So, those studies are beautiful and that's all the body of knowledge within Ayurvedic practices.


Dr. Richard Shuster:

I love it. I love it.


Tessa Arnold:

It's beautiful. And I'll tell you one more piece, too - and I say this with sensitivity too - Ayurveda is not to take the place of a medical practice or seeing a therapist. We always recommend those as well. It's supplemental to that. So, you can have a complete understanding of what's going on, on the outside, what's going in the mind, body, soul connection, and have that complete picture and being tapped into your body. Love your body and it will love you back. But I will say from an Ayurvedic perspective, we are not necessarily interested in the symptom. We want to hear about the symptom, which is going to allow us to get down to the root cause. That's where we treat.


Dr. Richard Shuster:

Beautiful. This has been very interesting. Our time together has flown by. I suspected that it would. As you know, Tessa, I like to wrap up every episode by asking my guests a single question and that is, what is your biggest helping? That one most important piece of information you'd like somebody to walk away with after hearing our chat today?


Tessa Arnold:

Oh, absolutely. There's so much. I would say from an Ayurvedic practice, if any of this really resonates with you, has piqued an interest, please do look into it. I know my information will be shared, but there's other areas too. And it's a beautiful gift because that statement I just said, when you love your body, it's going to love you back. The six pillars of health are nothing that you need to go out and buy. We're going to walk through, we're going to coach, we're going to talk about it. They're things you already have at hand. And then, I would also ask everybody that it's a beautiful gift when you step back and really look at your life and realize that you have agency over it.

Dr. Richard Shuster: 

Nicely said. Tessa, that last point in particular was, I think, so important and everybody really zoning on that because we all have control over our lives. And when we know that and we believe that, it makes life so much easier. So, thank you for sharing that. And thank you for coming on with us today. Tell us where people can learn more about you online, Tessa.


Tessa Arnold:

Absolutely. So, please visit me, I've got my supplement company, SnapBack Energy, which is great. It's a full body and liver support company. Also, you can find me at And then, @tess_elizabeth1 on Instagram, Tessa Arnold on LinkedIn and Facebook and all the things. And I'd love to connect, so after you hear this, if you have questions or just want to say hi, I love all the feedback and love speaking with you all, so thank you.


Dr. Richard Shuster:

You can find everything Tessa Arnold in the show notes at Well, this was great, Tessa. Thank you so much for coming on The Daily Helping. I loved our conversation.


Tessa Arnold:

Yes. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. And I appreciate you. Thank you.


Dr. Richard Shuster:

Absolutely. I appreciate your kind words. And I also appreciate each and every one of you. If you like what you heard, if you're inspired, if you can go do a couple minutes of breathing right now when you turn this episode off, go give us a follow and a five star review on your podcast app of choice because that's what helps other people find this show. But most importantly, go out there today and do something nice for somebody else, even if you don't know who they are, and post it in your social media feeds using the hashtag #MyDailyHelping, because the happiest people are those that help others.


There is incredible potential that lies within each and every one of us to create positive change in our lives (and the lives of others) while achieving our dreams.

This is the Power of You!