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Dr. Mustafa Abboud, MD

Dr Mustafa Abboud, originally from Clare, NS, is currently practicing as a family physician. His main interest in his practice as a physician and in his everyday life is understanding the complexity of the mind-body connection. He did his MD at Sherbrooke University in Quebec. After his medical training he was passionate about surgery and pursued a residency training in ENT. During his residency he found it hard to keep up with the high-pace and intense surgical environment. Through grit and intellect, he pushed through, determined to attain the self-image that he had created for himself. In his final year of residency, after several emotional highs and lows, he went through a burnout, and finally decided to start taking care of himself. He took time off, and during this time he started to meditate more and do introspective inquiry. He read several spiritual and scientific texts on emotions and healing in order to heal himself. Through his meditative practice, he discovered the body’s innate ability to heal itself, and started understanding how to let that happen. This whole context initiated an intense process of emotional upheaval and healing that is known to the spiritual community as a Kundalini awakening. Although most of the literature on this subject is found in spiritual texts, he chooses to look at it in a physiological sense. He did not need see himself as being spiritual for this to occur, and to call it spiritual may turn off patients to see this possibility of self-healing in themselves. This type of emotional awakening isn’t required of anyone to heal, although it showed him the very strong link between bodily symptoms and emotional repression.

He saw all sorts of symptoms in himself that were present at times throughout his life that intensified and disappeared as he was able to witness the parts of himself that were in pain, and unburden these emotions. To name a few: abdominal cramping, pains in diverse parts of the body, palpitations, Eustachian tube dysfunction, vertigo, migraine headaches, skin rashes, trembling and several neurological symptoms, etc. He felt more rested than he had felt for years, symptoms of burnout, depression and anxiety subsided, and he regained a feeling of lightness, that reminded him of what it felt like to be a child. He felt more alive. He concluded, however, that a lot of this knowledge of the mind-body connection was lacking in western medicine, although in recent years, more and more research is demonstrating its significance. He saw the importance of balancing nutrition, sports, and relationships in order to balance the process that he was going through (without becoming compulsive). Because this whole process was challenging and destabilizing, even for himself who understood human anatomy and physiology, he found a renewed purpose of helping others heal. He therefore decided to pursue family medicine. In the meantime, he also did a mindfulness-based chronic pain management course, and worked one week with Patch Adams, doing compassionate clowning in Ecuador. He will soon be completing trainings in psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, and EMDR.

He has currently been working in emergencies and clinics throughout Nova Scotia, but felt limited by the time constraints in regular public practice. To pursue what is meaningful and important to him, he decided to shift to the private sector in order to take the time with patients who need it. In his practice, he blends Western medicine with a wholistic approach, which is centred around mind-body unity and wellness. Most disorders have at least some contribution of mental health limiting healing. While some disorders have a very strong psychophysiological component, such as chronic pain, IBS, fibromyalgia, migraines, interstitial cystitis, hypertension, others have a less clear causal effect. However, research has demonstrated that stress and trauma (even minor) may be involved with conditions such as auto-immune disease, asthma, and skin conditions such as eczema. Therefore, Dr Abboud is open to helping patients with any condition and exploring treatment options, including mental health disorders, and organic disorders affecting the body. He also is motivated to help patients going through any spiritual crises as well as just looking to increase their emotional awareness and resilience, as well as using mindfulness in sports and other aspects of their lives. He will also offer 1:1 mind-body support, as well as group meditations.

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