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Pull-Ups and Cacao: Heart Openers and Back Strengtheners for Transformation

Updated: Jan 3, 2022

One, two, three, four, fivvve, sixxxxxxxx. My feet drop to the floor as I breathe heavily with a proud chest and pumping heart. Collar bones wide, shoulder blades laying flat on my back with my lats engaged supporting my upright 5'2" stature. 6 pull-ups in a row. I am on top of the world. Come at me bro!

I used to dread doing pull-ups, mostly because I couldn’t do them. I don’t like doing things I am not good at. I will myself to do them because the adrenaline full body rush of Goddess strength is worth the temporary discomfort. In fact, it is the temporary discomforts that allow us to pass through our current state to transform.

Engage your lats, feel your rhomboids between your shoulders, core hugging your spine and your biceps coming in for the final assist. This synergistic movement not only activates your physical body, but stimulates your inner confidence and boosts your mood thanks to endorphins and the accompanying dopamine and serotonin rush. After a good set up pull-ups, your cognition is clearer, you are more optimistic and focused because of these biochemical processes. We all know exercise boosts our mood but did you know you can get the same mood boosting heart pumping top of the world feelings from Cacao?

Cacao is the Pull-up of Plant Medicines

Cacao comes from the tree Theobroma Cacao. Cacao is optimally grown 20 degrees from the equator in humid tropical environments. The Cacao Ceremony tradition is deeply rooted in the Aztec and Mayan cultures of Central and South America. Cacao used to be given to the Mayan warriors because it is said they would have the energy and power to survive a day of battle just on cacao alone.

“The divine drink which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink permits a man to walk for a whole day without food.” Hernando Cortes, 1519

This is not the same as eating chocolate- a processed derivative of cacao. Not only does cacao benefit your physical body but her medicine infuses your heart and reveals your inner strength. When cacao is consumed with the ceremonial ritual and intention, the medicinal benefits are amplified. Your heart is bursting with love and acceptance.

Endorphins, Dopamine and Serotonin In a Cup

Endorphins are our natural opioids or pain killers. They are mainly released from the pituitary gland in the brain during exercise, sex, when you twist your ankle and when sipping a cup of cacao. When we focus on our hearts and listen to what it is communicating to us through cacao’s assist, plus the chemical cascade of events in the body, we get the double whammy self esteem booster.

Concurrently, dopamine is released activating our reward and motivation center in the brain. Now you are laser focused on your goals, feeling optimistic and ready to take on the world through a blissful lens. More dopamine is produced in the body while drinking cacao. Cacao contains tyrosine, which is one of the building blocks to make dopamine. While in ceremony, these elevated sensations allow you to go deeper into your self exploration and discover a strength that you may have not yet witnessed before.

The serotonin boost in the medicine of cacao combats depression and anxiety. This is what makes that smile naturally crack on your face as the smooth Earthy liquid dances throughout your bloodstream. Cacao releases the amino acid tryptophan to allow even more serotonin to be made and blocks the re uptake of serotonin acting like an anti-depressant drug. Serotonin now floats longer in your synapses as you continue your journey within.

Cacao is a medicine and when utilized in respect to the indigenous culture and plant, this mood boosting, reward center pump along with increased cerebral blood flow is a lovely recipe for self love and acceptance. It is that falling in love for the first time internal tickle and post pull-up pump. From this place we can transform and grow into the person we truly are. Pick one method or both to get your brain firing, heart open and soul strengthened. New to pull-ups or cacao? Read below to start your transformation

Where to Begin the Pull-Up

My favorite way to build proper strength for a pull-up is practice scapular pull-ups:

1. Using a pull-up bar or something safe to hang from, clasp your hands palms facing away a bit wider than shoulder width apart and hang like you are getting ready to do a pull-up (shoulders shrugged)

2, Engage your core and pull the shoulder blades down and away from your ears keeping your elbows straight as your head and chest rises towards the bar. Hold for one second.

3. Release controlled as your shoulders ride up towards your ears to reset and repeat. It is a very tiny movement.

4. Aim for 3 sets of 10 with proper rest between sets. It is a tiny movement and will become easier with practice.

Want to dive deep into your own practice one on one? We can create a workout plan to transform your life one pull-up at a time. Contact me at to set up a FREE consultation to see if we are a good fit to work together.

Where to Meet Cacao

Cacao is easily accessible and I absolutely love introducing her to others from around the world. Cacao has also been a seamless addition with my clients as part of Breathe. Move. Recover. to enhance and individualize each session. I have served cacao in Bali, Costa Rica and the United States in communities, at birthday parties, for families and private sessions.

I hold weekly Cacao Ceremonies at the Jersey Shore in NJ for private groups and communities, and do private session online and in- person as well. If you would like to schedule a session or join the weekly community click here to sign up.

If you would like to buy high quality fair trade ceremonial grade cacao and sit with her on your own, I recommend Love Cacao. Use code CASEY for a $2 discount by clicking here:

Please reach out with any questions or comments you may have about building back strength and/or Cacao. I look forward to connecting with you here and in the quantum field.



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