Learn True Health with Ashley James

On Learn True Health, Ashley James interviews today's most successful natural healers each week. Learn True Health was created for YOU, the health enthusiast. If you are passionate about organic living or struggling with health issues and are looking to gain your health naturally, our holistic podcast is what you have been looking for! Ashley James interviews Naturopathic Doctors and expert holistic health care practitioners to bring you key holistic health information, results based advice and new natural steps you can take to achieve true health, starting NOW! If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, if you are fed up with prescription drug side effects, if you want to live in optimal health but you don't know where to start, this podcast is for you! If you are looking for ACTIONABLE advice from holistic doctors to get you on your path to healing, you will enjoy the wisdom each episode brings. Each practitioner will leave you with a challenge, something that you can do now, and each day, to measurably improve your health, energy, and vitality. Learn about new healing diet strategies, how to boost your immune system, balance your hormones, increase your energy, what supplements to take and why and how to experience your health and stamina in a new way. Ashley James from Learn True Health interviews doctors like Dr. Joel Wallach, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Oz, Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Molly Niedermeyer on Naturopathic Medicine, Homeopathy, Supplements, Meditation, Holistic Health and Alternative Health Strategies for Gaining Optimal Health.
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Learn True Health with Ashley James




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Now displaying: 2019
Sep 19, 2019 and use coupon code LTH for 20% off!

Listen to all past episodes with Eric Thorton:

Sep 16, 2019

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Sep 11, 2019

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Dr. Kelly Brogan's Sites: - new book


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Heal Mental, Emotional, And Physical Ailments Without Drugs


  • Food as someone’s medicine as someone’s drug and how it affects the brain. How to manage physical and emotional and mental health.
  • How to support the body in restoring itself to optimal health. Mentally, emotionally, physically.
  • Bodily sovereignty – accurately refers to this process of resolving childlike programs and impulses so that we can finally identify the locust of control within us.
  • Explore the role of mindset, belief and really a kind of metaphysical orientation towards reality experience of illness and our relationship to the nature of healing.


Did you know that you could have full control of your body? Your mental, emotional and physical state are so important that you have to have the knowledge on how you can be able to take hold of the power to control all of these to achieve your healthiest state of being. Find out on today’s podcast how-to’s as Dr. Kelly Brogan talks about her new book.


[00:00] Ashley James: Hello, True Health seekers and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. I’m really excited for you to hear today’s interview. Dr. Kelly Brogan blew my mind. You’re going to love listening to her story of healing. She was an MD who was used to prescribing drugs to every single patient knowing that she was doing a lot of really good into their lives until she had Hashimoto’s. She became sick and she thought to herself, “I don’t want to be on drugs for the rest of my life.” This is what stared her journey over 10 years ago and then working with natural medicine she healed her body and has gone on to help her patients do the same thing. She goes on through her story and she teaches us some wonderful principles today. Emotional, mental, spiritual, excellent lessons that we can all learn. As I was interviewing her I’m like, “Oh my gosh, that’s a writer downer.” I’m so glad we transcribe these episodes now so you can go to in a week or two when we have these up on the site totally transcribed. Because you’re probably going to want to read through some things she say. The things that she says are so profound. So I know you’re going to really enjoy today’s interview but before we got started, I definitely want  to take a minute to introduce you to one of my nearest and dearest friends, I just want to say Dr. Jennifer Saltzman. That’s so funny I always do that.



[01:26] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: What’s it going to be until I find another way. [Laughter]



[01:3] Ashley James: Right. Exactly. Well, so Jen Saltzman. I’ve had her on the show twice before. Sort of. Because you interviewed me and I interviewed you. Two episodes. Listener’s definitely want to go back and listen. What numbers were that?



[01:44] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: 179 and 180 is my interviewing of you and then gosh, I’m going to say, 33 was one you did with me on maybe, supplement confusion?



[01:54] Ashley James: Way back in the day.



[01:55] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: Early like 19 for you where you interviewed me in two episodes but I can’t remember the night off the top of my head, I can’t remember the numbers.



[02:02] Ashley James: Cool. We’ll make sure that we’ll link. You’ve been on the show more – why didn’t I think twice? Gees, you’ve been in the show like a bunch.



[02:08] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: Because you forgot about ancient history when you first started.



[02:11] Ashley James: Right. Exactly, the early days. Well, so most of the episodes are on iTunes but the last 80 or so episodes have been bummed off because iTunes have a max of 300 and of course, this is episode 378. Listeners can go to and check out the earlier episodes, which are there. I’m going to make sure they’re on the show notes of today’s podcast. All the episodes where Jen was with me on the show is linked. She’s taught Pilates for over 20 years. Was a dancer and in the last 10 years or so, has been an expert on health coaching and supplementation. Jen and I were close together. She is the driving force behind You guys keep hearing me talk about it. When you go to and you put in your name, email address and phone number, the person you hear from about within 24hours is Jennifer Saltzman. I wanted to introduce you guys. She’s amazing. She’s so loving, so compassionate and she will talk to you and help you to figure out exactly what supplements are right for you and help you to dial in exactly what you need within your budget but Jen, I just wanted to introduce to all the listeners. All the new ones who don’t know who you are because they should know how amazing you are so if you just want to say hi with them and let them know what it’s like working with you at


[03:33] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: Sure. Hi everybody out there! I’m just so incredibly grateful that I know all of you because I talk to many of you. Absolutely adore Ashley’s podcast, I get so much amazing feedback. It’s such a blessing to have this forum where the information is getting out there and I know how grateful you all are to have this. It’s such an honor to be together with Ashley and her wonderful husband Duffy here in the studio. I just wanted to say that when I work with people with the supplement program. We have the need for certain basic nutrition that we absolutely have to have. If we don’t have it I kind of equate it with drinking water and eating good food and things like that. It’s never going to be like you have  do this. We work really individually with folks to figure out what their budget is, what’s going on with their health profile and we have lots of great options. I just want to take a moment and say that when I work with people, it’s a very supportive, nurturing kind of a post process together. We figure out what’s going on with people, we do a brief free health evaluation and we move forward in what seems to be – I give my two cents as well but it’s partnership that I work with people together to I achieve their goals and to work with what kind of budget they’ve got going on. Anyway, I just adore having this relationship with Ashley and being a part of this podcast in some small way that I am. I know both she and I have amazing health recovery with the supplements that we work with and so it’s such a blessing. Anyway, it’s an honor to be here.


[05:15] Ashley James: And if you’re interested in taking some high quality supplements that are affordable prices or if you’re a health coach, and you’re looking to incorporate supplements into your business, Jen can actually mentor you as well in that.


[05:30] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman:  Right. Yes. I’ll just say a brief moment a word about that. A lot of the people that I do work with they’re very passionate in this mission as well and they’ve of course been avid listeners to the podcast. I would say at least a third of the people that I talked to expressed an interest of wanting to help other people with this information. Maybe they’re already sharing the podcast, I’m sure they are and doing a lot of other things. We also train people in a very simple fashion. It doesn’t take years or anything, it’s just as simple we train people and coach them to be able to help their friends and family or their sphere of influence with this knowledge of the essentialness of certain nutrition. I do a monthly training. There’s lots of different training that I do. Anyway, there’s a lot of opportunity to get involved in a small level or large level. Whether it’s just a passion to help others or whether somebody’s looking to change what they’re doing with their time and energy. Figuring out how to generate income in a different kind of way. There’s lots of opportunities to basically be a part of a bigger mission. It’s the way I’d like to look at it.


[06:33] Ashley James: Well, yes since about 20% of my listeners are holistic health experts and many of them are health coaches or work on that kind of level. I know that they are very interested of having that tool in that tool belt. You give away so much of your resources of your time and training and you are so passionate to continue to spread this information and help people on that level. I love the liquid minerals. It’s probably my favorite thing. The liquid minerals are so bio available. For listeners who don’t know my story, these supplements helped me reverse polycystic ovarian syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and chronic adrenal fatigue. I was told I’d never have kids and I was infertile. Of course, through the diet changes and through the supplements, I was able to reverse that and conceive my very healthy 4 and a half year old boy who’s 4 and a half going on 40. Yes, thank you so much, Jen for coming here. Jen’s been staying over. She lives in the middle of nowhere Washington. The state of gorgeous Washington but in the moment she came over to stay here for a few days and since I was recording a podcast, I said jump on the mic and say hi to everyone. Thanks, Jen for saying hi.


[07:47] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: My pleasure. Yes.


[07:47] Ashley James:  It’s been great having you here. She just got out of the sunlighten sauna. Did you like that?


[07:51] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: Yes, I did. I just got out the sunlighten sauna. I had the fabulous Ashley James magic stew. I’m drinking the liquid mineral magic.


[08:01] Ashley James: Right now, you’ve soaked in magnesium. I’m going to get you to do a platinum –


[08:05] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: I’m taking some energy bits –


[08:08] Ashley James:  Yes, I’ve got energy bits on the dust. Right? You’re going to do a platinum energy system foot detox soak later. This is like a spa day.


[08:15] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman:  Right. I’m at the Ashley James spa. [Laughter]


[08:21] Ashley James: Awesome. Well, thank you again Jen. Guys, I know you’re just going to love today’s interview. Thank you so much for being listener. Thank you so much for sharing this podcast with all those you care about. Today’s one of those episodes you’re going to want to share especially with all the mom friends out there because she says, Dr. Kelly says some things that just touched my heart and just made me want to get everyone to listen to this episode too. I know you’ll feel the same way. Excellent. Thank you so much and have yourself a fantastic rest of the day. Enjoy today’s episode.


[08:56] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 378. I am so excited to have Dr. Kelly Brogan on the show today. Her website is She has wonderful books and a great book coming out, Own Yourself. Kelly, it is such a pleasure to have you here today. I love the work that you do. We here at Learn True Health are about empowering the listeners and you have an amazing ability to help women, and men and children because you’ve written a children’s book. Help all of us to be able to learn how to merge the spiritual with our physical health and our metal and emotional health. How to take care of ourselves on those levels. We’re not taught that in school. We’re not taught that in society. We really need to step it up and advocate for ourselves. You are going to help us do that today. Welcome to the show.


[10:01] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  Thank you so much. What a beautiful introduction. I appreciate it. I’m grateful to be here.                                                                                                                                                   


[10:06] Ashley James: Absolutely. Now, you wrote a book with your daughter, Sophia. A Time For Rain. That sounds amazing. What’s that book about?



[10:17] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  Yes. We were just sitting around one afternoon and it was super rainy out. This is when I lived in the northeast before I got out of jail and made it out to Miami. She always as a child loved to write books. She wrote a book called The Power of Me. I think she was three. Anyway, she used to love to write books. We put together this story. Honestly, it was one of those experiences where it just came through. I ended up self-publishing it because I couldn’t get a book deal with any of the major publishers. It’s essentially about the power of seemingly negative emotions and their role in the greater web of existence. The connection of all beings. I know that for me, the most powerful application of work in my life is in my role as a mother. Walking the walk of my work, in my role as a mother requires me to grow myself big enough to hold emotions that scare me. In this way as I grow that capacity I am able to show up to my daughter’s through love rather than needing to control their behavior so that it conforms to my very narrow band of comfort. Emotionally and so it’s really I think in service of helping parents to create that culture in the household.


[11:59] Ashley James: Everything you just said, I could spend an entire week on doing these on just like unpacking what you just said. Oh my gosh, it so resonates with me as a parent and needed to put my ego aside and what I think the world should look like and go, “Do I really need to force him, our son into this mold? Or can he be his own? Is that okay?” I had to constantly ask myself, “Am I disciplining him because this is what healthy for him to do? Or is this what I think am I stein fulling him?” I’m walking that line with you. I totally get it. Is A Time for Rain, children’s book or a book written for anyone?


[12:45] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  It’s actually a picture book. It’s like an eastern parable. Has that kind of a flavor. It’s obviously fictional. I’ve been told that by many people who read it it’s actually probably the most accessible story for adults that delivers home the message of the work we’ll talk about today. So I guess it’s for adults and children but it is a picture book. The illustrations are extraordinary. We partnered with his incredible artist. It’s very beautiful.


[13:19] Ashley James:  Very cool. How old is your daughter when she wrote it with you?


[13:23] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  She was eight.


[13:25] Ashley James: Oh my gosh, I have to get this book for my son who’s four and a half on going on 30. He’s already telling me how he’s going to have wife and raise his kids. It’s so funny. Telling me –


[13:36] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  Take care of you. I love it.


[13:37] Ashley James: Yes, exactly. Well, he didn’t mentioned that. He said I’m not going to live with him. He’s four and a half.


[13:42] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  He’s habituating. You have to support that.


[13:45] Ashley James: [Laughter] Already? Yes. Now your next book was, or the book that you wrote on your own not with the help of your daughter was, A Mind of Your Own. Tell us a bit about that book.


[13:58] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  It’s interesting because we’ll talk about how I have a second book coming out now. The energetic signature of these books is so different. Even though one is essentially a sequel to the other. I wrote A Mind of Your Own in the years following my – I guess my intellectual physical, and physic awakening. So to speak. That was really triggered when I was diagnosed with Hashimosto’s thyroiditis, post-partum my first daughter. At that time, I was specialized as a psychiatrist in prescribing to pregnant and breastfeeding women. I was in this very niche specialty. Obviously, such a diehard believer in the pharmaceutical management model that I endeavored to prescribe to this very vulnerable population. You know, thought I was helping. Of course, right? The way we do. When we just follow directives without questioning them. I think this is very common experience probably many of your listeners have had this experience where you’re trained in the conventional fold. We really only question the foundation of our education when we bump up against the glass ceiling ourselves of what that paradigm has to offer. When I was diagnosed, this voice just kind of came up to me and I said, “I don’t want to take Synthroid for the rest of my life.” Meanwhile, I’ve been writhing prescriptions for years at that point and suddenly it wasn’t acceptable to me for me. So I ended up going to a naturopath which was so unlike me, so out of character at that point. That’s when you have to believe that there are moments that you’re guided beyond your executive functioning.

 I went to a naturopath. I saw on paper my antibodies go from the high 2,000s and a TSH of 20 into the normal range in black and white and all I had done was adjust some of my lifestyle choices. Because of my temperament, I didn’t say, “Oh that’s lovely.” and just keep on. I was enraged. I was enraged. I said, “How is it, I studied my ass of. I spent every Saturday for so many years on PubMed. I read every primary paper. I’m comfortable with statistics. How was it that I have never been taught that it’s possible to put an autoimmune condition into remission. I had one hour of nutrition education in my entire Ivy League training.” I was pretty pissed. At that time as the universe would have it, a colleague gave me a book called Anatomy of an Epidemic, which had come out around that time, by Robert Whitaker investigative journalist. I read it because I was already feeling dissonance around the body of knowledge that I had worked so hard to acquire so I was open to it. When I read it, it’s so condemned. Again, through non-industry published literature. So condemned my practice of psychiatry, as I had known it up until that point that I never started a patient on a prescription ever again to this day. That was almost 10 years ago. 


[17:28] Ashley James: Wow.


[17:30] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  Yes. It had that level of impact. It was life changing obviously not only for me but for many who I’ve been able to support since then. I wrote A Mind of your Own from that righteous energy and I said, “I’m a believer in informed consent. Here’s what I’ve learned about not only psychiatric medications but actually many sacred cows in the pharmaceutical kind of warehouse. Whether it’s birth control of anti-biotic or acid blockers or statins. Over the counter painkillers or vaccines. I spent endless hours. Actually I calculated something over 10,000 hours just nearly obsessively researching everything I hadn’t been told with this fire in my gut about how it could be possible that I put this much into my training and just only learned a key hole version of the scientific reality that was available to me. I thought when folks read this book, no one’s ever going to touch your mediation again right because the information is there. How could they? Of course, I matured to recognize that that’s not actually how life works. That we actually don’t change our minds through information access. What I began to see was wow, this book and the testimonials that we are getting back from the book could also not be explained through information transmission alone. I couldn’t possibly reconcile some of the disease defying, medication eliminating outcomes that we were hearing about first hand from individual simply read that book. Something more to be going on here and that’s when I began to explore the role of mindset, belief and really a kind of metaphysical orientation towards reality that I believe under pins are experience of illness and our relationship to the nature of healing.


[19:37] Ashley James: I love it. So now, your book that’s coming out so soon that most listeners listening to this will be able to buy it. It’s written now on pre order but it’s coming out in the next a few days, listeners could just go buy it right now. Own Yourself is that empowerment tool out of your 10 years’ experience kind of on the other side, right? From allopathic medicine. I want to just go back to that moment when you realized you would never prescribe another drug again. Did you feel naked as a doctor? All of a sudden, your tool belt was taken away.


[20:15] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  That’s why I feel very spiritual supported and guided on my path because had I read that, had I just been an intellectually curious individual, I’ve always been a bibliophile. I’ve always loved books. Let’s say I read it but I hadn’t had about a year of my own healing journey under my belt, you better believe I would’ve immediately dismissed that information. The way that we do when we encounter information even through the rubric of science, that is inconvenient. It’s our natural tendency to dismiss it but I didn’t and I aligned with it because I had already seen that there was more to the story than I’ve been exposed to. I felt that. I felt that in my body. Anything from when I changed my diet, in an effort to heal my Hashimoto’s. I could feel, it wasn’t just about the numbers on the paper although it did helped instill this belief system in me but I could feel the difference in my body. I didn’t even know how much was off. I didn’t know that it wasn’t normal like poop once a week. These kinds of things had never occurred to me because I didn’t have any relationship to health or wellness. I only knew about disease and I knew I didn’t have any of them so, why do I care what I eat? Or that exercising, I’ve always been naturally thin so I had no motivation to do that. Meditating, that never occurred to me. I didn’t even think I even heard the word. The concept of perhaps there being risks associated with dying my hair black for so many years or using Secret deodorant or whatever might have been. I would’ve easily dismissed the relevance on each of those concerns as being vanishingly small but it was because I had a felt experience of how these lifestyle choices, my day to day selection of foods, how they can empower me to have an experience of my health that wasn’t even offered to me by the allopathic model. I believe that that simple kind of lived experience has the capacity to disrupt an entire paradigmatic mindset and invite you into one that is fundamentally more aligned with your truth.


[22:46] Ashley James: Absolutely. There you were, you’ve changed your diet. You’ve changed some lifestyle. Over how many months did it take you to work with a naturopath to go from full on Hashimoto’s to full on remission?


[23:01] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  About 8 months.


[23:04] Ashley James: Okay. So in 8 months, you’re feeling better. Every month you’re starting to feel better. Almost on a daily basis, you’re noticing that the clouds are lifting.


[23:11] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  It happened within weeks. Clinically I felt better within weeks.


[23:17] Ashley James:  You really got the impact and it probably kept hitting you like, “I can’t believe it. I spent –“ however many years, you went to some major schools, you went to NYU Medical Center, MIT, Cornell. You have the best education and yet like you said, one hour of nutritional training and you didn’t know that pooping once a week isn’t normal because we give our bodies and give over our power to our primary care physician because we feel helpless. We believed that they know everything or our pediatricians. They know best for our child or our doctor knows best what’s for our body and their education is lacking. I mean their education is full of information but it’s not full of information to help us become the healthiest versions of ourselves.


[24:17] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  And you what? That’s okay. Right? I like to say you wouldn’t go into a butcher to learn about veganism. It’s absolutely okay that allopathic medicine is offering what it is from the belief system and mindset that it is. Right? Because the doctors live in this mindset. The doctors live in this mindset. In some way, everyone is served. The challenge arises when other paradigms are not allowed to co-exist.


[24:51] Ashley James: Thank you. Yes.


[24:53] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  Right? That when we get to the totalitarianism and even fascism of the dominant medical orthodoxy.


[25:02] Ashley James: That’s really well put. Because our rights are being challenged state by state when it comes to our choice. Some children are being medically kidnapped because parents want to choose a different treatment. I mean it’s really scary. We need to advocate that we need to have freedom. We need to have medical freedom to be able to choose the right course for us. I don’t believe any government should impose a medicine on someone who doesn’t want it. That’s really scary when we get into that. You’re here though to teach us about self-empowerment because you went through this 10 year journey. I would have freaked out if I had gone through your education and spent years helping people with prescriptions and having this experience and realizing that my tool belt is gone. The prescriptions are not really helping. What did you do to end up helping your patients? How did you shift your education? You shifted your mindset but how did you shift your tool box to be able to then help them?


[26:12] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  So it was an iterative process because I first decided that I was going to offer all of my patients based on the scientific literature, I’ve been exposed to Robert Whitaker’s work to the opportunity to taper of their medication. I’ve never been taught how to do this arguably there is not a psychiatrist on the planet today who has been taught how to do this. Right? If any psychiatrist or other prescribing clinicians are offering this service to their patients it’s because they taught themselves how to do it or they were taught as I was, by grassroots activists and patients themselves who have endeavored in this territory before I applied it to my practice. I offered my patients that opportunity and that’s when I learned and began to take a deeper dive into the – I Iearned about the dependency of inducing nature of psychiatric medications. I was essentially running an outpatient rehab center. My patients were becoming medically disabled at a rate that had me filling out disability forms beyond my capacity my pager was going off all the time. My entire quality of life shifted. This was before 2014 when it appeared in the medical literature that psychotropic medications when they are prescribed for longer than about 2 months have a capacity to induce some withdrawal phenomenon that can be protracted and complex. This is not just the Benzodiazepines or barbiturates, this is the anti-depressants, this is the so called mood stabilizers. This is the so-called anti-psychotics, right? It’s actually all of the categories, the stimulants. I had several years of witnessing that.

It wasn’t until I foregrounded the basic lifestyle changes that through the scientific research I had done, I began to understand more ways to send the autonomic nervous system a profound and comprehensive 360 degree signal of safety. It wasn’t until I said, “No, this month comes first before we touch your medication.” That I began to have really robust outcomes. Then later in my process, I had the great privilege of working with the now late, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez. Who, for those who aren’t familiar with his very important work, he’s one of the only clinicians in the world over who have 27 years of experience putting terminal cancers and degenerative illness into long term multi decade remission through a diet and detox based protocol. I was the only MD he ever mentored and the last year of his life, I had his eyes on my work and on my protocol. He offered me in addition to contextualizing the dietary approach that I take in about 12 different dietary options that are available, he helped me to understand that context but he also offered me the now and notorious coffee enemas which I have operationalized to extraordinary ends in my practice and online program but on my reset. It was because of him that I add that to the protocol and then I saw that medication tapers that are taking multi-year time frames dismissed to multi-month because of that single intervention in the way that he applied it, yes.


[30:08] Ashley James: He helped train you to then pass on the information to your patients about how to do healthy detoxes like using coffee enemas but also you mentioned 12 different dietary protocols. He helped you tweak those diets for detoxification?


[30:31] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  Well, he used 12 different diets. Based on a system that was refined from his mentor William Kelly that derived from Weston Price and Pottinger and others that essentially based on leverages this understanding that we developed in such concept with the natural world that our nervous system adapt to the ecology. The temperature, the kinds of foods that are available. Now we are all on this big melting pot but then if you look at the eskimos versus the Amazonians vs the Incans vs the Swiss sheep hoarders, they all thrive on very different diets. There are people who are of these lineages not only ethnically but in terms of their also autonomic dominance, he would call it. He actually helped me understand why these very basic ancestral template that it had used in my own healing but that also worked in a little bit of a different way with my patients, why it worked and most confounding was how is it that the patients that I was working with were getting better with red meat inclusive diet. This was a bit before the paleo craze. I didn’t have the comfort of that labeling to fall back on necessarily but I did understand that the patients that I worked with in clinical practice and now see at scale in my online program that these are people who are uniquely suited on a nervous system level to heal on that kind of diet. He healed me to see that’s because they are most likely by enlarged what he called para sympathetic dominance. I go into this a little bit more in Own Yourself but simply it’s that these individuals have certain characteristics on a physical level like they’re susceptible to certain kind of cancers like liquid tumors, lymphoma or leukemia. They have a highly enervative pancreas so they are vulnerable to reactive hypoglycemia, those ups and downs of blood sugars throughout the day where they get hangry if they don’t eat within 4-6 hours but they wake up not hungry and they might wake up during the night, have sleep interruption because of that. They also have easy weight gain. He would say they look at the piece of toast and gain 5 pounds.

That they have certain disease labels that come their way. Hypothyroidism, multiple chemical sensitivity, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety. These were the folks who were often diagnosed with ADHD, allergies, asthmas and autoimmunity although obviously that becomes so ubiquitous I imagine he would say today that this spreads across the entire chart autoimmunity. That these folks character logically have things in common, that they tend to be night people, they tend to be free thinkers and artists like he would tell me that Picasso was undoubtedly one. They have tremendous capacity for new ones and outside of the box thinking relative to the sympathetic dominance who are more rigid lines and believers kinds of people. Like everything is kind of like, “Tell me the rules and I’m going to stay within them.” It helped me to see. Wow, that describes just about every patient I had ever seen. It helps me to understand why they would light up like a Christmas tree when I would say that they can eat red meat on this diet. I think some of them would come in thinking I was going to ask them to do a juice fast or a water fast or something and they would learn to the contrary, Nick would always say, “Patients would want to eat the diet that’s going to heal them. They desire it.”

It has been my experience that we’re so clouded by so many addictive relationships to food and beverages that we don’t have a clear channel to our intuitive preferences. So my adaptation of his very nuance approach is to really start with a scalable template that controls obviously not only for inflammatory foods, including processed sugars etcetera and amplifies nutrient density but also allows you to experience addictive free eating so that you can really clear that channel and begin to understand your preferences. I remember when I engaged in this dietary change there were whole months where I would eat 15 radishes a day for like months or carry a cucumber everywhere I went. I mean this even now 10 years later I’ve been a broccoli robbed face where I eat probably eat 2 bushels of them a day. You start to get to and understanding that what you prefer is what you need. What you want is what you need. Well, you know within the parameters of whole foods. It’s actually super liberating.


[35:56] Ashley James: Yes. My first time doing a sugar fast like removing sugar totally from the diet. I could not believe that reset that happened. That sugar is in everything. It’s in everything. I couldn’t believe it. Then now, I’m whole foods plant-based and so I’ve been healing my relationship with food and on the show I’ve had lots of people on about over eating and emotional eating. There’s definitely an emotional component but there’s definitely physiological component too because when we start to eat hyper palatable foods with salt, sugar, and oil. anything that’s in fast food for example, it’s designed, they have scientists figuring out how to make the food more hyper palatable to excite the neuro toxins to excited the sorry, neuro chemicals to like excited the brain and the brain lights up like a Christmas tree like you’re on cocaine so that you enjoy it and you want more. It’s like going to a theme park for your mouth and your brain. It’s destroying the body in the process. When I went wholefoods plant-based it’s like going in a very small one percent experience like going off of heroin because I had to get off of the salt, sugar, oil, flour, hyper palatable foods. Foods that I wanted to over eat and foods that no matter how much I ate, like Chinese food for example. I could finish all the Chinese food and still want more. There’s no more left and I still want more. There’s no amount that would make me feel satisfied and do that’s enough times I got –it’s not, my body like it’s not healthy, my body isn’t actually thrive on this. There’s something if there’s a food that no matter what I can’t get enough of it, no matter what I eat it then I know that’s not healing food for me but like when I eat I made this vegetable stew I posted it on our Learn True Health Facebook group. I can’t believe how quickly It fills me up and satisfies me. Then I’m done. There’s no cravings. My body feels so it’s like buzzing with energy but not a bad buzz like a good buzz. My body feels calm. It totally turns in the parasympathetic for me it just gets me into that calm state. I’m not thinking about food. I’m not panicking about food. For me, I’m hearing what you’re saying because when we eat foods that our body loves like you said, two bushels of broccoli raw a day, like you probably feel full and comfortable and your body feels well. You’re not craving anymore, right?


[38:42] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  Exactly. It part of the reclamation process. We just put out a quiz where you get your empowered. You can find out in a minute. There’s so many places in our lives where we have perhaps unconsciously given permission to an external entity or agent or person to hold the power that is ours to reclaim. I used the same example I remember when I used to live in Manhattan. I was in my training. I used to go to this pizza place on the corner as you do when you live in Manhattan. I would get two slices of pepperoni pizza put chili flakes I remember I could taste it in my mouth now. I would take one bite and I would literally be overcome by this feeling that I could eat 12,000 of those pieces of pizza. It’s actually a terrible feeling state to cope with because it’s you at war with you and there’s no winning. That’s why it was no surprise when I dove into the literature and I found okay, one method of quieting neuro inflammations to eliminate gluten and dairy. Is to eliminate the proteins gliadin and casein from your diet because they literally plug into opioid receptors in your brain. If you can detox which take sometimes about 10 days of almost going through something like a flu like experience depending on how much of those foods you were eating, I was eating all day 5 times a day probably bread and cheese. Once you’re through that window, it’s like you’re free. Now when I eat food it’s because I’m hungry ad I eat it, it tastes good, and the I move on with my life.


[40:40] Ashley James: Yes. It’s the freedom it’s given you. I had an interview on how addictive dairy is. It’s designed, nature’s intelligent. God, nature, universe is the intelligence is that we want the calf or the baby to suckle so milk from any mammal is addictive but milk from a cow is supposed to turn into a 60 pound calf into a 4 pound cow. So Why are we drinking something that’s supposed to make us balloon and become as a big as a cow which is think is hilarious. Yes, it’s addictive so people really fight about giving up their cheese. Cheese is just concentrated milk addiction. That was like the last thing for people to give up. I remember sitting on the weekends with my husband eating an entire brick of Tillamook cheese back in the day. We went gluten free and dairy free and it’s made world of difference and then we went on whole foods plant-based and it allowed clarity in my body. Like you said, it calms down that nervous system. It calms down that stress response and it’s amazing how much clarity I could work through emotions around food so much easier now that I have eliminated the foods that were keeping me in that excited state. I love that it’s part of your program.


[42:04] Dr. Kelly Brogan: I couldn’t agree more. It’s interesting because I’m often asked, I have a bit of let’s say a strict it’s probably how mystically you’ll put it but a strict approach to this month long protocol. It’s a very yang energy that I bring to it. Words like, “Go big or go home.” Really OD it. Commit to it. Every single choice is consistent with your commitment. It’s one month of your life. You’re never going to do it again but do it right. So many people are like, “This can’t be appropriate with people who have eating disorders because they’re struggling with restriction often. This concept of deprivation being very triggering to them.” I sort of  marvel over the fact that about I would say about a 3rd of the women I’ve worked over the years have identified as having eating disorder previous to our work together. As you know, the convectional model when it comes to disordered eating is to basically inure the patient to processed foods meaning that this marker of success for eating disorder treatment is that you can eat a donut and not have to purge it. If you’re restricting that you can eat a piece of pizza and not feel terrible about having eating it or not feel out of control. It’s like you’re being forced to eat junk food. It’s amazing. I don’t know how many people are familiar with conventional treatment of eating disorders. It’s quite amazing like the way in conventional psychiatrist approach it’s considered a marker of success if you eat junk food and you’re okay with it. If you don’t know the science behind the ways these processed foods interact with the nervous and inflammatory systems, what a herculean task that is of a patient. It’s quite different healing modeled to set the conditions for eating to become simply about nourishment. Then whatever else it might be is something that you can cultivate when there’s consciousness around and self-compassionate around and curiosity. How interesting that when we finish this interview I might make myself a matcha feeling like I did my job and now I can relax. How interesting that is? Right? You begin to watch the ways we can infuse even healthy foods with a certain kind of energy around like the ways we self-domesticate. We keep ourselves in line and in order we give ourselves little treats and rewards but it’s something you can look at once that foundation is underfoot. 


[44:56] Ashley James: Yes. Exactly because the foundation is get the body to a place where it’s nutrified and the nervous system isn’t hyper excited from those foods that are designed to really mess with the brain. As you are talking, I was just imagining someone like going into a rehab clinic because they’ve been addicted to meth and part of the rehab is, “We’re going to give you small amounts of meth. You’re going to only take one hit off that meth pipe or however people do meth.” Or I don’t know. I don’t even know how people do meth. Basically, “Take one small hit and then you have to stop and not binge in that meth. That’s your rehab.” And it’s just like, “Really? It doesn’t make sense.” What we really want to do is come to that place where like you said, where the mindset is, we’re looking at nutrifying the body. We’re looking at what foods because everything that we put in our mouth build us up or tears us down. We’re either in anabolic state or catabolic state. You’re looking at food as someone’s medicine as someone’s drug. How it affects the brain and you’re the perfect doctor to do it. Having people manage their physical and emotional and mental health for so many years. Do you do 12 different diets depending on their circumstance? Can you explain that a little bit?



[46:23] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  Sure. I have one template which is the only template I’ve ever used for 10 years. I have decent amount of experience with it. What I found because when my mentor died, it was one of the greater spiritual crisis of my life. I thought, “Well, how am I supposed to proceed?” You know without his guidance and mentorship there’s so much more I could’ve learned and “How am I going to help my patients know which of the 12 diets is theirs?” I believed that the era of master-student even the doctor-patient is fast fading. That were coming into as I guessed around self–healing and self-authority, which is obviously the spirit of my new book. I have been shown that it really works. Right? It really works to take that approach. The template is meant to put you in touch with your own innate preferences. Then from there, you figure it out. I have guidelines obviously for how to do that but for the most part, it’s something that you figure out. No longer are you working within Kelly Brogan’s template, right now it’s your show. I found that the 30 days of very strict adherence and compliance work as something of a portal to that place of self-authority over nutrition and food. I will say that there – because I give permission around animal foods most of the folks who were helped by my protocol do prefer that. That can be an important indicator. I’m not saying for ethically because that’s a very complex variable here that I’m in no position to address. It’s not what I’m here to talk about. On a very kind of gut level, they do want to eat a steak. Whether they eat red meat twice a day or after the protocol they go on to eat to once a month or maybe never, is something that they determine in this self-tailoring process. Because there are other elements of the protocol that involve obviously detox and contemplative process or stress response healing. That also, I think co-conspire to create the conditions for you to be able to relate to your own body and dialogue with your body in a way that wasn’t available to you when you have brain fog and bloating, insomnia, your hair is falling out, your knee is hurting. All of the ways that our body says, “Hey, remember me? Can we please talk?” Those symptoms once they quiet down which often happens very quickly it just becomes so much easier to hear.


[49:29] Ashley James: This template, this guide, that’s in your book? The one that’s coming out, Own Yourself?


[49:36] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  Yes. It’s in the A Mind of Your Own as well. That was the I guess one of the earlier iterations of it before we had scaled it in our online program which is I basically chug when I’m doing clinical practice. I put it online and thousands of people had tried it out. The outcomes that we have from there make it look like I’m doing something working in my private practice. It was actually very humbling on an ego level. For me to see like, “Okay, so the less contact that an individual has with me with the same instructions, the better?” literally, we’re just constantly in the publishing process. We just published remission of Graves’ disease through lifestyle choice in a per view index journal. We’re constantly writing up these cases because they’re so extraordinary. The case of that one paper it’s never been reported in the medical literature that’s just because nobody’s bothered to write it up obviously. It’s a pretty profound. What I’ve now taken input back into this book, Own Yourself, is the refined protocol and was finding out what’s my partner was saying the other night. He was reading the book and he was like, “Wow, you’re really giving away the goods in this book, huh?” You know, our program is a thousand dollar program. It’s for very special people I think. Who are called to heal the seemingly incurable. That’s the kind of person who’s attracted to the program. It’s a very important investment and it seems to work as designed. However, I also know that people can use this program and do it on their own because they did it with A Mind of Your Own and it was less refined then. So yes, I’ve decided to put the whole thing into the book and the copy odd being that I am a big believer that if you’re tapering off psych meds, you require community. Again, because I have done this one on one. I actually have just needed my one on one tapering practice after all these years to shift into a group model. That’s how much I know that it’s the proper way to do it. That there is a kind of existential isolation that can attend to the dark night of the soul which is what characterizes the tapering process. It’s a kind of painful awakening and the yield is extraordinary. These individuals I call them the canaries in the coal mine. They’re exquisitely sensitive people who’ve been capture by psychiatry and medicated and labeled. Learning how to work with that power, it’s like an initiation process. It’s not easy but what comes out the other side, now there’s so many of this individuals they work in this mission. They heal other people. They establish non-profit. It’s just extraordinary. I feel very strongly that that work is meant to be in community and so, the coffee enemas is really for that population in my application of the protocol and so that is reserved for the communities that we have but outside of that the entire rest of it is in there, yes


[52:59] Ashley James: Got it. Coffee enemas are not in the book?


[53:02] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  The Nick Gonzalez’ instructions are not in the book. To me that’s a very sacred offering. I’m the only person who’s ever been given that information aside from his associate, Linda Isaacs who practices still the protocol. For me, that’s for people who are up the level of dedication and I think it’s also because nobody’s coming to my protocol to treat their cancer. I don’t think. It’s really for people who are in the pharmaceutical detox realm. I don’t think they should be doing this on their own. I don’t think they need a doctor necessarily. I’m not suggesting that. It’s not that tagline like, “Please consult your medical professional.” It’s not that. I do believe that they must do it in a like-minded community honestly mine is one of the only one in the world. There are tons of other options.


[53:53] Ashley James: That’s wonderful. Anyone can get your book and benefit from it? Those who are on pharmaceutical medication for mental, emotional and want to detox off of it in the healthiest way possible and support the body and restoring itself to optimal health. Mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually and energetically. Do your online program because then they have that community, they get the full detox protocol. They have the ongoing support through you. Anyone can start with the book and then those who are called to, can do your online approach?


[54:34] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  Yes. If that feels right. My last third of the book is really about navigating the awakening process. What I found is, I haven’t taken psychiatric medication myself but then my primary credential in writing this book is that I myself have encountered the dark night of the soul several times. Several turns around the spiral of my process. It looks the same. It looks the same as it does for these patients. These book obviously well, I like to think of myself as really being in the corner of those who are looking to reclaim themselves from chronic disease labels. I also know that there is an archetypal journey that those of us who are interested in healing our being called towards. I think it has more to do with adultification. This concept of I think some of us are just feeling like, “God, I’ve got to get stronger. I’ve got to level up. I’ve got to get it together.” We think that that means applying more control and force to our current circumstances but it can also mean and perhaps more accurately refers to this process of resolving childlike programs and impulses so that we can finally identify the locust of control within us. That’s where this idea we brought up earlier around bodily sovereignty. There’s a reason some people don’t believe in bodily sovereignty. There’s a reason that some people that the state for example should have control over whether medications are injected into our bodies against our will and it’s because they still believe that there is an external authority that is infallible. That knows best. That sounds a whole lot like the parent we never had, right?

We parentify these institutions. We need them to be as good as we say they are because otherwise, our entire worldview falls apart and everything gets really scary. What I hope to create is a path to navigating this adultification process that helps to mitigate the emotional wreckage that can lead you running back up into the uterus from the birth canal. Right? It’s because we all go through the same stuff as our worldview crumbles and we encounter its deficiencies and its bankruptcy it’s terrifying. It’s absolutely terrifying. If we can grow our ability to be okay with not being okay, then we will whether it with grace and we’ll come out the other side living in a world where things are meaningful inherently. Nothing is fundamentally bad. Everything is interesting and we can bring curiosity where once there was only fear. It’s just a more beautiful way to live to be honest.


[57:52] Ashley James: So well put. I could listen to you all day. You’re so poetic. You get right to the point and you paint this picture that’s so beautiful. I bet your book is amazing to read. [Crosstalk] If it’s anything how like you talk it’s wonderful.


[58:09] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  Well, it should be because is wrote it.


[58:10] Ashley James: There you go. I know you have to go really soon because you’re going to pick your kids up from school but I wanted to ask if you could give us some homework. You said before we hit record that there’s this world changing power of self-care and that’s part of the message that you teach. Can you give us some self-care homework?


[58:33] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  Sure. Yes. Thank you for bringing that up because I imagine that some of the people listening either had encounters with psychiatry or know people that they love who have. In keeping with this identification as of those individuals as being fundamentally very sensitive to powerful emotional states and energies then odds are that they also feel very concerned about what’s going on with this planet. There’s so many potential points of advocacy. There’s so many things that feel out of alignment. That feel wrong. So many ways that we can contribute to different causes and it can induce somehow this paralysis that is very disconnecting. It feels like you’re then disconnected from others. You’re disconnected from your community, you’re disconnected from yourself. The resolution to that in these individuals I have found is as the Zen say, to simply chop wood, carry water. To make a sacred ritual out of caring for yourself, and putting yourself as your number one priority every day. I don’t necessarily mean as some like narcissistic exercise of getting what you want all the time. I mean as if you were your own baby, how would you care for this newborn baby? How would you look at her adoringly? How would you bathe her? How would you feed her? How would you create conditions for her relaxation? How would you give her experiences of pleasure and joy? This is what a radical act self-care can represent. The way that I institute apply and recommend self-care is about two and a half hours of your day. We’re going to be focused simply in caring for the organism that is you. It also involves other practices related to tending to our emotional selves. I can give maybe one example of each.

In terms of self-care practice that gives a physical foundation. One of the very practical tools that I recommend is one that’s operationalized in my programs that we get love letters about everyday all day which is just changing your breakfast. I have a 30-day diet protocol. It’s deep dive. It’s no cheating all this but you can also just start your day with a mindful loving intention to what you’re eating for breakfast and it can change your experience of your entire day. My most popular recommendation is this smoothie. Recipe that I made up that tastes like chocolate milk basically. It’s not even a green smoothie or anything that you would typically expect. Probably part of the reason why it feels good is because it has a lot of natural fat in it and so many of the individuals who are attracted to this work have that reactive hypoglycemia. Self-care can look like that instead of grabbing a bar from your cabinet and running to your commute. It can also look like changing the way in which you reflectively respond to your own inner turmoil.

 In today’s vernacular, we’re calling it triggering. To begin to learn about the emotional and physical signature of your trigger. For me, when I am triggered meaning that somebody sets me off, either an email I get or a look I get across the room or something that my partner says or my daughter wanting to say something to me at a time when I’m working or whatever it is. I get this tightness in my chest, my heart might start to race a little bit and then I have this urgent feeling like I need to communicate my own defense. I need to engage my intellect to persuade whomever it is that I am right. I think it’s a pretty common signature but now when I have that feeling, that picture arises in my life, instead of just reflectively engaging in the other person as being the source of my problem, which is of course, natural right? We engage warfare. I have cultivate a practice and I have many examples of what that practice can look like in the book but I cultivated a practice of turning towards myself. It’s not necessarily to fix myself or to make myself feel better, it’s just to be with myself. Not abandon myself emotionally in those moments. It can look like anything from putting your arms around your waist and just sitting quietly for 30 seconds or it can look like a visualization exercise like one I had these for my patients for many years where you personify that feeling and that emotion that you’re having as being felt and experienced by a small same gendered child.

You show up to that child who’s having this experience with very simple languaging. You say something like, “oh gosh so hard what you’re feeling, I’m so sorry. It’s totally okay.” And you say that kind of stuff to yourself and it sounds ridiculous and it sounds like, “How could that help? Who has the time for that? Whatever.” Trust me I have brought literally dozens of patients from the brink of suicide with this kind of a practice. It’s at once very self-compassionate and self-forgiving but moreover it’s a powerful way to cultivate what’s often called witness consciousness. Which it is that adult consciousness that allows you to watch what’s happening rather than getting sucked up into a childlike story about the good guy and the bad guy. The cultivation of this witness consciousness is the superpower. It’s ultimately what defines I think adult psychology which has the capacity to hold the good and the bad in every single scenario in every single person. The more individuals that we have entering into this state of consciousness the closer we will come to an experience of peace on this planet. I literally believe that. It starts with self-care.


[01:05:37] Ashley James: This is the path to peace on the planet. We can take 30 seconds when we’re triggered and practice self-compassion, self-forgiveness and have that witness consciousness to soothe that child inside us that just wants to wage war. Can you imagine if politicians did this?


[01:05:58] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  I know. They don’t have to because if enough of us do, the shift will happen. I really believe that and it doesn’t mean we would be writing our legislators and everything else but it’s resonant. It’s a resonant phenomenon. Again, remember I have a big mouth and I like to think that I’m right. I like to exercise that I’m on an intellectual level go out on all my studies and all this. I didn’t have the potential impact that I might have today, simply taking care of myself. Every time I get sucked up into an issue and I feel like, “This can’t be. This is wrong.” Whatever it is. I now know. “No Kelly, chop wood. Carry water. Did you go to dance class today? Did you eat breakfast? Maybe a different meditation this morning.” It’s literally on that level that I have the confidence that I will begin to attract others to this way of being. I do think we all have to be this way in order to create this more beautiful world experience that we can all inhabit.


[01:07:08] Ashley James: Kelly, you are so congruent and compassionate. I love that you are the example that we can learn from. That you have that compassion because you’ve also like you said you’ve had the dark night of the soul and you’re invulnerable in sharing and then teaching us an helping us. I’d love for all of us to be you when we grow up. [Laughter]


[01:07:35] Dr. Kelly Brogan:  Please. I don’t know about that. That might not lead us to peace in the world.


[01:07:42] Ashley James: Well, we’d carry a big stick that’s for sure. It’s been such a pleasure having you on the show. Please come back on the show again. Teach us more. We’d love to have you back. It’s been wonderful. Listeners can go to Of course, all the links that Kelly has, everything that Kelly does is on the show notes of today’s podcast at Dr. Kelly Brogan, it’s been such a pleasure having you on the show today. Thank you so much.


[01:08:09] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Thank you so much for your beautiful energy. I really appreciate it. I appreciate this conversation.


[01:08:15] Ashley James: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition and how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity? Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business, support people in their success? Do you love helping people? You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health-coaching sort of vacation program and it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over a hundred dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition but from the standpoint on how we can help people to shift their life, to shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health. I definitely recommend you check them out. You can google Institute for Integrated Nutrition or IIN, or give them a call or you can go to and you can receive a free module of their training. So check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name, Ashley James and the Learn True Health podcast because I made a deal with them that they would give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information. We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctor’s offices, you can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help with your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them and their success and their health goals. There’s so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach. So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. Mention my name. Get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month, so you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. If you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.

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Get Connected With Dr. Kelly Brogan





Books by Dr. Kelly Brogan

Own Your Self

A Mind Of Your Own

A Time For Rain


Recommended Reading by Dr. Kelly Brogan

Anatomy Of An Epidemic by Robert Whitaker


Sep 5, 2019

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Healing Degenerative Disease Using Functional Medicine



  • Greg Eckel’s backstory
  • ADHD spectrum
  • How oxidative stress affects our brain health
  • Heavy metal toxicity and how we can detoxify our body
  • Greg Eckel’s FAN-C approach to brain health
  • Healthy habits to promote brain health



0:00 Intro: Hello, true health seekers and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. You’re going to love today’s interview with Dr. Greg Eckel. He is a Naturopathic physician that specializes in helping people heal and support neurological conditions. We’re going to talk about Parkinson’s, ADHD, and how to support the body if someone’s experiencing any of these issues, or if you want to prevent, because prevention is the most important thing we can do. He goes through his functional program, and the things that you can start doing today to support your body’s ability to be the healthiest it can possibly be. Now, he mentions a few things. And I really want to make sure that you know about the things that I love that he sees great results working with his clients. So there’s three quick things I want to mention.



0:58 Ashley James: One, he talks about the impact and importance of using saunas, if you have heavy metal toxicity, because you can sweat in a sauna to help the body remove fat soluble toxins instead of having to tax your liver and that can have a host of problems for people, especially if they already are bombarded with toxins. So, we have an environment that has created heavy metal toxicity in many people, and if you have any neurological conditions such as ADHD, depression, any kind of imbalance, or if you know that genetically in your family, a lot of people are predisposed to developing Parkinson’s or MS, you want to support a healthy brain by doing gentle detox through sauna therapy. You can go to my website, type in sauna. Listen to some of my interviews that we’ve done specifically around how to use sauna therapy and how to sweat to release these toxins in a gentle way.

I got a Sunlighten Sauna almost two years ago and I have absolutely loved it. It’s played a big role in my personal healing journey. I really feel a difference. And using it has made such an impact on my life that I keep telling people about it. Sunlighten has given us a great deal. Give them a call and say that you are a listener of the Learn True Health podcast with Ashley James. And they always have a special for us, they give us free shipping and sometimes the shipping is $500, if you buy one of the wind saunas.

Now, they do have a personal sauna that’s portable, that you can tuck away into your closet. We’re not using it and it is non toxic and ultra low EMF and you get results with it. So, you don’t have to worry about having enough space. I interviewed Dr. Mark Hyman on the show and he said that he lives in a small condo, he doesn’t have enough space for a big wooden sauna. And so he has their solo system and it works wonderfully. I do have the wooden one because we did have the space and I love the three in one sauna, which gives you all three frequencies. Many saunas only do far infrared, theirs does near and mid which gives you anti aging benefits as well, and pain and inflammation reducing benefits as well.

So, check out Sunlighten Saunas, give them a call. Tell them you’re a listener of the Learn True Health podcast with Ashley James and ask about their specials on top of the free shipping. They usually have some kind of great deal in addition to that that they give us. I like it when they give $100 off their accessories because I love the non toxic bamboo pad for the wooden sauna that’s really comfortable. Excellent. So that was the first thing because he talks about the results he’s getting in his clinic with his patients using sauna therapy.

The second one is Medterra CBD, I really recommend checking out Medterra CBD, they give the listeners a great discount as well use coupon code LTH. I interviewed the founder of Medterra CBD, there’s so many CBD companies out there and there’s only a handful that are organic that will publish their tests to prove that there’s no heavy metals, that their CBD is clean. And I’ve personally used many different types of CBDs and theirs I feel in terms of a tincture, in terms of that concentrated extract, I get the best results. So that’s Medterra CBD, use the coupon code LTH because they do give us a great discount. And you can go to, type in CBD to listen to that interview to learn more about their farming practices and how they make it, knowing that it is a very clean form of CBD. And it’s also guaranteed that there’s no THC. So if you do drug testing, you can know that and he does talk about that in our interview.

And the third thing is the magnesium soak. And he also talks today, Dr. Eckel talks today about how important magnesium is for brain health. And know that you can soak in magnesium and gain the benefits without needing to take a supplement orally. Because many people have adverse reactions to taking an oral magnesium supplement. But when you soak in it, you can absorb grams of magnesium and get all the benefits in a very gentle way. So, listen to my interview with Kristen Bowen. I’ve done a few interviews with her, she was 78 pounds I believe and having 30 seizures a day. And soaking and magnesium was one of the most important things she did to get her health back. So, it absolutely helps with neurological conditions because the brain needs magnesium. Just like many other nutrients that Dr. Eckel talks about today. You can go to, that is the magnesium soak website,, click on the magnesium soak jug picture when it first comes up and then use the coupon code LTH as in Learn True Health. LTH gives you a discount, and then you can get that jug of magnesium.

Come into the Learn True Health Facebook group. We’d love to see you there ,you can ask questions of the other listeners who have Sunlighten saunas, who’ve tried Medterra CBD or who use the magnesium soak. Many listeners are using all three and getting some great results. And Dr. Eckel shares that and many other suggestions today. So enjoy today’s show. Thank you so much for being a listener and have yourself a fantastic rest of your day.



6:46 Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn true health podcast. I’m your host Ashley James. This is Episode 377.

We are back from this summer. Labor Day just happened. I am super stoked to get back into interviewing. Listeners who are in our Facebook group were telling me that they’ve been jonesing, they missed the show and I took a little vacation for about a week and hung out with my son and my husband and we went swimming and got lots of sun and it was wonderful. But I couldn’t wait to come back and interview Dr. Greg Eckel who’s a Naturopathic physician in Portland, Oregon, he specializes in neurology. You are going to love today’s interview. I’m so excited to have Dr. Eckel here to share with us how we can prevent and reverse and support people who are experiencing Parkinson’s, MS and other neurological conditions like migraines, traumatic brain injuries, headaches, and even post stroke recovery. This is going to be exciting. Welcome to the show.



7:56 Dr. Greg Eckel: Thank you.



7:57 Ashley James: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I love dive in to learn a bit more about the doctor before the doctor starts teaching us about how we can better heal our bodies. Because understanding what happened in your life that led you to become the physician and the healer that you are allows us to understand the philosophy and the lens at which you look through life and in order to help us. So what happened in your life that made you want to become a Naturopathic physician?



8:28 Dr. Greg Eckel: Well, in the early 90s in Portland, Oregon, I was a preschool teacher. And I was watching at that point, I was in the Montessori education system.



8:39 Ashley James: Nice.



8:40 Dr. Greg Eckel: And it was the beginning of the attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, you know, onslaught and big pharma had discovered, “Hey, there’s this untapped market called children, let’s drug them.” And it was really disheartening. You know, I was an assistant in a classroom. I had my poster child was this boy, Michael, and he was definitely, he was rambunctious, I like to say, included others in his learning. And, you know, he was definitely wild guy out on the playground, in the classroom, you know, in the Montessori classroom you can choose your own material and bring it back to your desk. So Michael was always kind of in at other people’s tables. The head teacher advocated to the parents, “Hey, I think Michael has some attentional issues, I think you should go get them checked out.”

They took them to the pediatrician. Lo and behold, they diagnosed him with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and then they medicated him with Ritalin. And the first day that he got back in the classroom, you know, definitely he’s slumped over in his chair. He definitely stayed put, he was in his chair and at his table, but that little light that shines shine in the eye was gone. And I just thought there’s got to be a better way to help these kids. And at that time, I also was a junk food vegetarian. And I wasn’t feeling very healthy. And a bunch of paths led me to the Naturopathic school where these people, these physicians, they treated my diet. And boy, it was it was like a light bulb went on. Like, “Wow, actually, if I went back to school, I wanted to be in service to people.”

And so many different paths led me into Naturopathic medicine. So, not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for the for the experience. And I just thought I really got into helping kids with attentional issues when I started, but that’s really what took me there was that picture of Michael just being really just drugged and slumped over and saw the sparkle gone out of his eye.


10:57 Ashley James: So what happened to Michael, do they just keep dragging him? Or did they try…



11:02 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah. They just basically, you know, it would be great to follow up. I got into medical school, he was my poster child and motivation for going through, in addition to family members and other people with health issues. But what I discovered, I got into neurofeedback, and that’s kind of what led me into neurology and studying the brain at that point. So that was 1996. I got my license in 2001. But we really, you look at the stats on these medications now, you know, I talked to counselors too, in the high schools, and over half the kids are on some type of attentional medication, and it’s almost like the kids have to be on them to keep up with the workload and demands. You know, these are drugs that get traded at parties to keep people awake. And I mean, it’s interesting how ubiquitous nowadays in the culture, for just having those attentional issues.



12:06 Ashley James: That’s really sad. I’ve done a few interviews with people who shared about their childhood experiences. I remember off the top of my head, with guests who shared their experiences with being put on these drugs when they were kids, and that’s what led them to want to become Holistic Health practitioners, because of the adverse side effects, and the horrible nightmares and suicidal thoughts. I mean, don’t, if a drug is going to make your teenager want to kill themselves, you know, because that’s the side effect.

I mean, there’s something serously wrong here. And then we’ll continue to let them eat Cheetos, and  whatever junk food, we’ll keep them on the standard American American diet ,or standard Canadian diet, standard Australian diet, wherever we are, it’s pretty much the standardized flour, sugar oil, hyper palatable foods that are horrible for the nervous system and just jack up the brain. And then we drug them down. It’s kind of like taking uppers and downers, the uppers are the food, the downers are the drugs. And it’s a perfect system that the big pharma gets to profit from.

But when a child like Michael, and we put them on a whole foods plant based diet and remove the flour, remove the sugar, remove the hyper palatable foods, the spark is back in their eyes, and they feel so much more grounded in their own body. I recently interviewed an expert on nootropics, and he had adult ADHD. And getting on Ritalin was life changing for him. He loved it, he was so happy to be on it. But then his body became resistant to it. And then all of a sudden his thyroid just went completely through the floor and he got dementia, because he had such low thyroid. And it turns out it was a side effect of being on Ritalin for so many years. Have you ever heard that, about that Ritalin, being on these drugs can really drastically affect our hormone system?



14:15 Dr. Greg Eckel: Well, sure, yah. You know, the medications are always counter intuitive. Like we’re giving legalize speed to kids that have hyperactivity issues. And really, when it works, it works for 5% of the population. And you know, so that gentleman that you interviewed is probably one in the 5%. I mean, the medications really do help you hyper focus, but what it’s doing is it’s waking up your prefrontal cortex. And that’s what the hyperactivity is a symptom of is, the child or the person is trying to wake themselves up because they have a low functioning cortical brainwaves. And so the medication wakes that up and is turning it back on. That’s why it helps with your focus. So you’re just taking legalized speed. So that’s speeding up of your metabolism.

So then your hypothalamus has to balance that out, kind of the switchboard operator there in the middle, which is maintaining homeostasis, kind of coordinating your nervous system and your hormones. And so that’s kind of the link of where that would come together for the individual that then kind of have thyroid issues was out of the hypothalamus level of trying to balance out because they’re getting this speed, which is ramping up the nervous system. And so the counterbalance is in the hormone realm.



15:39 Ashley James: Right, because the hypothalamus to stimulate the pituitary to create the thyroid…



15:49 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah.



15:50 Ashley James: Basically, the hypothalamus is all the way at the top going, “Okay, thyroid, make your stuff. Okay, adrenal is make your stuff. Okay. You know, gonads make your stuff.” And so if you’re taking the ADD medication, it’s affecting the part of your brain that controls all your hormones.



16:09 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah.



16:11 Ashley James: That can be very dangerous down the road. But if you go to an MD, and this is me on my soapbox, if you go to an MD, they’re treating symptoms. So we’re going to treat five different symptoms of five drugs then you’ve got lots of side effects from those when it actually is a hypothalamus issue. Because of that, it was a side effect originally of the ADD medication. And so you might end up with problems with the ability to produce your hormones, sex hormones later in life, your steroidal hormones later in life, your thyroid hormone. You might end up with all these different conditions all resulting from the ADD medication of long term use, which we don’t want. And then everyone that’s listening wants to do things naturally and support the body coming back into balance. So when someone feels like they have ADD, what they need to do is wake up the frontal cortex. What can we do to stimulate healthfully naturally the frontal cortex?



17:11 Dr. Greg Eckel: Well, that’s one piece of it, right? So attentional issues, there’s about nine different facets to attention and so when you look at it, the medication is only working for a small subset. And when you look at what the outcomes research shows is, it doesn’t change IQ, it doesn’t actually change outcomes in schooling. You know, so it is totally placating symptoms, people feel more in tune or maybe more flow and those are the folks that have that hypo functioning prefrontal cortex. So that’s a small subset of folks, but you look at what can you do naturally? Of course, eating a whole foods diet, getting the processed foods out, decreasing your sugar content, you know, the the non sexy, but vital components, which is, food is your best medicine. So looking at that, exercise, right? You get the blood flow. Well, what travels in the blood is the healing properties of the body. So you inform what’s in the blood, but then you get the circulation going as well.

One of the things that I got in on one a little bit bigger with, you know, if your child is having significant issues in the classroom, you can get into neurofeedback, so I did that in the clinic here at Nature Cures for six years, which is hooking electrodes up, you get feedback visually from a computer screen, and you are basically training certain wave frequencies, so it’s waking your brain up, and naturally you’re just doing it via a biofeedback or neurofeedback loop.



18:55 Ashley James: I love that. I did an interview, I feel like about two years ago with a man that created a biofeedback company. And he said it was like the kids are playing video games with their brain. They hook it up to their brain, and they stare at a monitor. And they’re watching, like what they do with their brain moves the things on the screen, so it feels like a video game. And then they get amazing results. And he had actually, he started it because he’s working with nonverbal children on the spectrum of autism, and doing the biofeedback, they were able to help them improve to the point of like, being able to feed themselves, clothe themselves, talk, I mean, it was amazing. The kind of results. Yeah, he was working with, I think something like big university study, and then that motivated him to go out and start his own company. And now anyone can go and do it. But it’s really fun, what we’re seeing with the brain, and with neurofeedback. And so you started doing that, it also reminds me of a Pediatric Occupational therapist I’m friends with who told me that on the playgrounds, you know, when we were kids, there are swings, and then there’s the tire swing that goes around, right?

Now, she says it’s a crime that a lot of schools are taking swings away, because she said that the children will self regulate. And you’ve probably seen children do this, where they’ll spin around in a circle, they just no to spin around till they get dizzy. Or they’ll ask you to spin them around, or they’ll get on that tire swing, or they’ll get on the you know, that merry go round that some places still have, some park still have. And they’ll just spin and spin and spin. And she says, neurologically, when they need their brain to kind of be ramped up, they know to spin themselves, and children who like to get on the swing, and just gently go back and forth. They need to calm down their nervous system. It’s funny because that’s totally me, I always went on the swing, I just needed to be calmed and brought down. And she said that children would go in recess and they would sort of self regulate their nervous system, whether they need to be ramped up or ramped down. And now they’re cutting recess times, they’re taking these things out of the playgrounds, and so children are unable to self regulate as well.



21:24 Dr. Greg Eckel: Oh, yeah, totally. That makes total sense. Or even them cutting PE class, physical education so that’s not occurring anymore, right? And then the kids get more ramped up, they’re not able to self correct. And then there’s more medication prescribed, right? Like, oh, what a catch 22 here.



21:44 Ashley James: Right. Right. So, you were mentioning the non sexy ways that children can better help themselves by eating a good diet. And you know, getting enough sleep, not allowing your children to drink caffeine, caffeinated, beverages or sugar, making sure they go to bed on time, I would say also, decreasing screen time as well is a big one, because that does really ramp up their nervous system. And then the biofeedback, can you give us a few more things that you have seen work really well for children with ADHD before we move on to talk about Parkinson’s?



22:23 Dr. Greg Eckel: Sure. Well, I want to really reiterate on the screen time as well. I mean, there was a big summit that I participated in called the Digital Dementia Summit, there’s research coming out of France showing kids gray matter of their brain is shrinking similar to dementia, with screen time greater than seven hours a day, and some kids are on screens greater than seven hours a day. And we’re seeing on imaging, on brain imaging that their brains are looking as if they have dementia of a 65 year old. So this is a significant component, of course, coming from the Naturopathic physician is getting out in nature, let them get their hands and feet dirty, have them run around without shoes, as long as that’s a safe thing to do.

You know, and really get out and actually, for the adults to go out and play with them. I think just fostering more play, more imaginative, more imagination as well, just outside in the natural world. These are big things. And we live in the northwest of the United States where it rains for a good portion of the year. But as my kids say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. And so you should be able to get out in any climate and get out into nature. You know, it’s really important.



23:53 Ashley James: I interviewed a man who’s lost, I believe 200 pounds now, it’s more than 200 pounds. I just interviewed him a few months ago. And I think he was like close to 500 pounds three years ago. And he lives in Canada, in Alberta, where they get crazy weather. And he started walking every day no matter what, no matter the weather. And at first I mean, he was so uncomfortable being you know, 500 pounds, right? And he just did it, he’s got out and walked in negative 30 degrees, in blizzard or raining or super hot hundred degree weather. He just did it every day as much as he could. And then that end, stopping eating sugar and flour for lots of vegetables. And yeah, he just he’s so healthy now. He says he’ll never ever miss a day of walking again.

And that really inspired me, that I realized how many excuses I bring up whenever I want to go outside. I see one cloud, “Oh no, it’s too cloudy. I’m not going to go outside.” So I need to like you know, suck it up and get out there. Just this morning right before the interview I took my son to a You Pick Farm and we met some friends and we picked zucchini, and kale and corn and potatoes and all kinds of great stuff that we basically bought a week’s worth of vegetables for $30, all organic and it’s fresh out of the ground. And my son picked bugs and ate kale right off the plant. And yeah, that is unbelievable. So great. I definitely recommend people check out farmers markets and You Pick Farms and take your kids with you because it is it’s fun, and they can run around. And it’s so much better than TV. And we brought kids that never eat vegetables and they were eating vegetables. When kids can actually touch them growing out of the ground, they’ll eat them. So we had a lot of fun doing that. And it’s really allowed me to have a great appreciate for the farmers that grow our food, because it takes a lot of work to pull it out of the ground. Any other advice around ADHD for children before we move on?



26:11 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah, sure. A big one on brain nutrient, this will touch base with the neurologic discussion later, is our omega three fatty acids and in particular DHA. They’re lacking in all of our diets and DHA is that active constituent of those omega threes that feed the brain and children respond beautifully to those. They’re anti inflammatory, they soothe the brain, they hit the satiety center, they help with energy and focus. And they’re just major brain food, so that that would be a biggie to look at, investigate your diet.



26:50 Ashley James: Yeah, what’s the best way to get it in our diet? Because you know, everyone says fish oil, I’m not opposed to fish oil, it’s just, you know, there’s so many low quality fish oils out there. And since the fish get their EFAs from algae, we could just skip the murdering fish and go straight to the algae. So, I don’t know what is the best way to get DHA?



27:13 Dr. Greg Eckel: Well, the algae oil is a great way to do it. But the DHA these, the DHA and EPA are the active constituents. And so you know, as a past vegetarian for over half my life as well. You know, flax oil, etc. These are hard, they’re higher omega threes, but we’re only converting a certain percentage of those into DHA and EPA. So it’s about a 1% to 5% of total omega threes from plant based sources, 1% to 5% go into DHA, and about 5% to 15% go into EPA. And those are the ones that we have the most research on. Now I’m a whole plant practitioner, I love the whole plant. So definitely getting it that way, flax seeds, chia seeds, these have omega three fatty acids in them, it just you know, you would have to be consuming so much of those plants to get an adequate dose of EPA and DHA in particular for the brain. So I definitely, I do recommend supplementing those.

You want to know your source, a lot of companies do a really good job of screening for heavy metal toxicity, pesticides, etc. Because these fish do bio accumulate toxins and fat. So you definitely want to know your source. You know, one of the better ones out on the market, at least in the states is Nordic Naturals, I have no affiliation with the company. I just like their product. But you want to know your source for sure. So, it’s not like go to the bulk discount supplement store and and get those because, you know, you really don’t know what you’re getting. And you could do more harm than good with that.



29:06 Ashley James: There’s only a handful of companies that will make their fish oil supplements in a nitrogen chamber, which prevents the oil from oxidizing and that’s one of the companies that I get my EFAs from, does that and so that’s my big recommendation for quality is to find out if your company does it, produces the EFA in a nitrogen chamber to prevent the oxygen from oxidizing the oil. So you’re saying if children have ADHD, the best way to get DHA into them for their brain health is through fish oil, because they would have to consume so much flax and chia?



29:45 Dr. Greg Eckel: Correct. Yeah, it would be really hard for them to get adequate levels to actually make a difference there. Yeah.



29:52 Ashley James: I eat plant based and my husband’s vegan, but we’re not dogmatic. You know what I mean?



30:00 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah. Sometimes it’s a medicinal quality and that’s kind of the distinction we made in my household as well. If it’s a medicinal quality item, it might be something that you want to look at, because that’s a big, that’s a showstopper, you know, they’re called essential as essentially, we can’t make them in our bodies, we can only get them from our food. And so that’s one aspect that you want to look at.



30:29 Ashley James: And why is DHA and EPA so important? Is it because 70% of the brain is made from these healthy fats? I’ve heard that like, I think 70% of the white matter of the brain is made from cholesterol. So it’s like a major part of the brain is made from these fats. Is it because the brain is made from it, so we’re just building healthy brain? Or does it play a different role in protecting it?



30:51 Dr. Greg Eckel: We really could call each other fat heads, and it is a fat storage, and we need these really beneficial fats to help with as building blocks for more fat. So these are essential in a lot of different processes. It’s not that DHA is the substance that the brain is made of, but it is definitely the brain food of choice. Yeah.



31:15 Ashley James: Awesome. So, you must have some really great experiences helping children recover from this, like, YouTube dementia and ADHD.



31:30 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah.



31:32 Ashley James: But you’ve also have great, great experience helping adults recover from Parkinson’s and MS, and other neurological conditions. Let’s talk about that.



31:45 Dr. Greg Eckel: Sure. Well, this is more recent, so I’ve been in practice since 2001. So, I still have a very eclectic practice here at Nature Cures Clinic in Portland. And you kind of fast forward through about 15, 16 years of clinical practice. And lo and behold, my wife gets a very rare neurological condition called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease which is a preonic activity of the brain, very rare one in a million people about 300 cases a year in North America. And you know, as loving husband and physician, trying to swing for the fence of like, well, there’s no known cure for this. The diagnosis is basically wait until she dies and then we’ll do a brain autopsy and will confirm the diagnosis. It was just crazy and you know, she did pass last year.



32:54 Ashley James: I’m so sorry to hear that.



32:56  Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah, thank you. You know, it’s been, you know, life is full contact. And I think things happen for reasons and I just definitely lifted the veil for me on the illusion of our world and kind of reinstated my faith, you know, big things, like it was a big process that I’ve gone through, and what I’ve got, as a result, definitely a lot of heartfelt gratitude for this world, and our plane of existence and the physicality of our bodies and the planet and our universe. And I’d like to say as I lecture and speak, we have this illusion of separateness, and we really are all one, just pretending to be separate in this current time. And this process, this process that I went through really solidified that for me, and I’ve wound up with a bunch of gifts, what I’m calling Soraya’s gifts, that’s her name. It was her name, Soraya, and, you know, what do you say, I mean, life happens, I’m not the first person to lose the love of their life, but it definitely is humbling when it happens to you. And I’ve got just newfound energy, purpose, passion, focused to help more people, it really solidified my purpose and service to others and share what I’ve learned along the way, and so on as a practitioner, and as a being on the planet, definitely.

Sometimes I feel like I’m an ambassador for grief. You know, we don’t do grief very well as a culture and I guess I’m more comfortable with it. So as it arises, I’m fine sharing and showing and just being with it. And so I think definitely has informed me as a practitioner with more empathy for others and what they are going through. And just as a being on the planet, having a loss, and, you know, grief touches on grief for a lot of people. So it’s interesting to see what surfaces for others when you bring up a loss like this. And I went looking for solutions and remedies and it really didn’t have, there’s no known cure, and you look at chronic neurodegeneration, and there’s no known cure across the board.

We’re talking Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease  which is mad cow syndrome, and people, it’s scrappy, and goats. It’s Chronic Wasting Disease and dear. So these preonic activities, which are misfolded proteins in central nervous system and brain matter. Well, you get in on the preonic diseases textbook, which I have the second edition of that. And you realize, oh, all of these neurodegenerative states; dementia, Alzheimer’s anxiety can be categorized in here as well, can be related to preonic activity, which are misfolded proteins. And we don’t have great solutions for that, which you know, is evidence for Parkinson’s.

I started with Parkinson’s, I have a book coming out called Shake It Off: An Integrative Approach To Parkinson’s Syndrome, or Parkinson’s Solutions. And with that, we look at what can we do for these folks, and I put it in on my clinic, the different things that I was learning for Soraya. And lo and behold, we’re getting results for folks. I’m not saying I’m curing Parkinson’s, but we are showing improvement of quality of life, we’re showing reversal, stability, halting symptom development, reversal of symptom development, and improvement of functioning. And so these are very encouraging things.

We’ve got some time to put in on really perfecting the protocol, but I did develop, it’s called a FAN-C approach to Parkinson’s, capital FAN-C so FAN-C, we can talk about that in a moment. But it all comes out of my personal trials and tribulations of helping, looking for solutions and a chronic disease that doesn’t have any answers. So, I was talking to the world’s experts on preonic activities, got in touch with Case Western here in the United States, where they have the Preonic Surveillance Center of North America, didn’t even know one existed in their study, it’s an observational study. They have had 22 people enrolled in their study.

So, you know, we don’t really have a lot of great information or data and I got to live with that condition for two years. You know, it’s a rapidly progressing dementia, in two months time, Soraya, she was a certified nurse, midwife, nurse practitioner here in the clinic, and, you know, radical women’s health care provider, you know, just had such joy and love for people. And never had in a million years would you think a woman would come out of her annual exam kind of dancing and singing and laughing. And it’s like, wow, like, what a gift Soraya had for people. So, she was this sharp, sharp practitioner, and all of a sudden started having memory issues, and we wound up in the clinic staying later and she had been in practice for five years at that point. Like, “Hey, honey, what what is up?” Like, never have we stayed, you know, like, I get it, you’re being meticulous with your notes, but what is going on?

So, we started looking at maybe some perimenopause hormone changes, or maybe mold issues. You look at things that could be creating memory issues for folks, and you kind of go down these rabbit holes of most prominent issues. And after about a month of that I started taking her, it’s like, “Gosh, this is beyond what I can do here.” It’s not these things, it’s not hormone imbalance, it’s not mold toxicity. You know, it’s not a level of toxicity. So, you know, go out into Western approach just to get some ideas, and they’re all saying it’s a psychotic break, and it’s like, this is not a psychotic break. This woman was top of her game just a month ago. And so, it kind of went through that process and then the differential starts getting more ominous and ominous of like, oh, it could be autoimmune encephalitis or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

So during this time, Soraya’s in rapid decline, and then basically in two months time, she’s not able to talk like she’s gone into total dementia. And, you know, it’s like, wow, we’re nonverbal. We can’t communicate now. It’s like, what in the world is going on? So, it was really a tough, tough go and we surrounded her with lots of love and I did a little swing for the fences, a baseball analogy of, you know, let me dig deep here and see what I can come up with and the trail I’ve got this component of Soraya’s gifts of I think we can help a lot of people with chronic neurodegeneration as a result of this. Unfortunately, it didn’t help her out. But, we’ve got, you know, maybe trying to turn my personal tragedy into this gift for the world. And so that’s what we’re putting forth.



41:26 Ashley James: Now, I always thought mad cow disease or mad cow syndrome was transmissible, meaning it could be passed on from one person to another, from one animal to another. Is this something she caught?



41:41 Dr. Greg Eckel: Well, so that’s the million dollar question. And when you read about preons, they always put this infectious prion before this adjective. And I think it’s incorrect to think of it as an infectious agent. Now, I say that it’s total theory on my part, but it’s a theory on their part as well. So Stanley Prusiner out of a lab in California, he got the Nobel Prize in 1987 in medicine for the discovery of these prion. And he was really uniquely positioned to be one of the only people on the planet to be able to figure this out. He was a bench biochemist. And at the time, they thought prions were a virus like a retrovirus. And he had spent 20, 30 years in the lab studying viruses and bacteria. And he said, “You know, these are not behaving like that.” And so he stuck to his guns, but two decades of ridicule and the scientific community for him, thankfully he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for that. But, you know, he put this infectious adjective there.

So when you read any literature on it, you know, it was it’s also called “Kuru” in Papua New Guinea, there was a tradition where the grandmothers, mothers and girls would eat the brains of the ancestors that passed in honoring and in commemoration and honoring of those that passed. And I think they’ve stopped that tradition, because in the brains were these prions. And so it was a very rapid transmission of prionic activity by ingesting those brains. If it was transmissible from cow to human, in the 80s there were about 3 million pounds of tainted beef that were released in Europe. And there was a slight uptick of Creutzfeldt-Jakob but not to the level that you would expect if these were infectious agents as in something to catch.

Now, there are those scientists that still think that they are infectious, like a virus that they can spread like that. But I think it’s a little bit more complex. And these are not new proteins, I think these are archaic protein structures that have been on the planet since we began. And the reason why I say that is they are so uniquely, what they do is they misfold, these proteins misfold. And when you look at tau proteins and amyloid plaques, and [Inaudible 44:33] nucleon, these are other proteins that are misfolded disorders that are also in dementia and Alzheimer’s and ALS, Parkinson’s. So they’re found in these other conditions of misfolding. Well, what happens is, they get misconfigured and then they start signaling other proteins to start to do that. And that’s I think why they call them “infectious.” And that there’s a signaling unit that happens once they get misfolded. Now, we don’t know. And that’s the issue with these disorders and diagnosis is, is that we don’t know what the causative agent of misfolding is.



45:17 Ashley James: It’s like a domino effect.



45:19  Dr. Greg Eckel: Exactly.



45:20  Ashley James: It’s kind of like cancer. If the body can’t clear it out, well one cancer cell normally… I mean, every day our body clears cancer out. But if we don’t, that one little harmless cancer cell can become a whole tumor very quickly. So the domino effect is that one misfolded protein could trigger others to start misfolding. But why, why isn’t the body clearing them out?



45:45 Dr. Greg Eckel: Right. And they’re not unable to kill, you know, you can’t kill them really, either. So that’s the unique property of these prions is, you know, heat, autoclaving. You know, the traditional ways of denaturing proteins don’t work for these.



46:08 Ashley James: So it sounds like we’re just sort of at the beginning, the Pioneer days of understanding this. Now, you found out… I mean, your wife had a rapid decline, and you found out very deep into her diagnosis what it was. Did you any therapies to prolong her life or ease her symptoms? Did you find anything in time that helped her that you noticed that helped?



46:42 Dr. Greg Eckel: Well, not. No, no. So not in her condition. So, what I put together is a process called the FAN-C approach. So this is for all neurologic conditions, but F stands for functional, so treating whole people, not disease processes. And this is also a very profound difference between Naturopathic medicine and maybe Functional or Integrative practitioners that come from a Western training. In the Naturopathic principles is the body can heal itself, given the right information. And at the point that we’ve got this discovered with Soraya, I just feel like the process, it was so rapid and moving so quickly, that there wasn’t a way to pull it back. You know, really, I went super esoteric to very biochemical.

So, every level of treatment that you could think of, we’ve really put in just two decades in the field, definitely very eclectic practitioner. So, on that functional approach, it’s really kind of a mindset change of, I think one of the issue is, is that everybody’s focused at end stage product or disease. And if you’re only focusing at that, like for Parkinson’s, just focusing on dopamine receptors and the dopamine molecule, it’s far too late. Like we’ve really have to go upstream. And one way of doing that is looking at the assessment. So the A in FAN-C stands for assessment. And this is looking at molecular mimicry, like what else could be causing the symptoms in the body? So I look at viruses; cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, epstein barr virus, these things can mimic these protein misfolding disorders.

We look at hormone balance, because the hormones as we were talking about with attention deficit disorder and stimulating the prefrontal cortex, you know, that comes with into the hypothalamus. Well, that balances the hormones and nervous system there. So hormones, you definitely want to have optimally balanced out for people. Heavy metal toxicity is another one, right? We store toxins in our fat. So we want to look at what gets stored in the fat. So you have to look at, I find cadmium, mercury, arsenic and lead are the top four that I find in my patients, especially with neuro degenerative states. So you gotta get out the proverbial lead, so to speak.



49:32 Ashley James: I have a quick question, if sure cadmium, lead, arsenic, and mercury are stored in the fat tissue of the body, how do you do accurate heavy metal testing? Because I know you can do hair analysis, which really only reflects the last three months. And blood and urine wouldn’t really do it, if it’s stored in the fat. Do you have to do a biopsy of fat?



49:57 Dr. Greg Eckel: You do a chelating agent. Yeah, so one of the things with hair analysis, also, there’s a lot of folks that have issues with metal toxicity, aren’t able to secrete them in the hair follicle, so they’re not able to get them out. And I see that a lot with kids on the autistic spectrum disorder. You know, a lot of practitioners are only doing hair analysis. Well, it doesn’t correlate well. And like you’re saying it’s only three months. And also there’s a genetic component where you’re not able to actually excrete those through the hair follicle or eliminate them yourself. And so they get trapped in the body. And that adds to the issue of the condition.

So what we do, we do a pre and post test, there are different oral chelating agents like DMSA or IV therapy with EDTA, which is the kind of a toxicology route of the agreed upon test to do, which is like a big magnet that goes into the blood that pulls metals, but it also pulls essential minerals as well. So, you know, you have to be very cautious and do that correctly. It has been around, chelation has been around for 50 years, plus done with a trained practitioner is very safe and it is super effective as well.



51:22 Ashley James: I would agree with you, we should absolutely go to a Naturopathic physician if we want to do chelation because it’s kind of like using a nuclear bomb on the body to release the heavy metal. And then you’re going to have to get a nice mineral and trace mineral supplement to help put back in what we took out. So I really agree with you there. I interviewed Dr. Klinghardt who’s local to me, and he works with a lot of children on spectrum come from all over the world to see him. And he gets children that are having very poor health problems to be able to within a year go to school, like just a huge transformation. And he says it’s almost always heavy metals, like it’s just unbelievable. Their body cannot detox the heavy metals. You know, they were probably given vaccines and you know, it’s controversial whether vaccines cause autism or not, depending on who you talk to. There’s lots of information depending on who you talk to.

But what we do know for a fact is that there’s heavy metals in vaccines, and that autistic children have a problem with detoxing. And so they have an accumulation of heavy metals in their neurology, and what Dr. Klinghardt brings up is, what we’re seeing now, one in 40 children are on the spectrum, whereas when you and I were kids, it was one in 10,000. And we’re wondering, is it actually autism? Or are we miss diagnosing a large percentage of the population? Because what they actually have is all the same symptoms of autism, but it’s their brain is full of heavy metals. And if we remove the heavy metals, they no longer are on the spectrum.


53:11 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah, and it’s not, I wouldn’t put it as a blanket statement for all children, or people on the spectrum have heavy metal toxicity. But there is a good portion of folks that that is the case. So I have seen folks on the spectrum that they don’t have metals in their system, because we’re tracking for that. But I have seen, you know, I’ve had moms calling me from the grocery store saying, you know, “Johnny just sang and looked in his sister’s eyes, first time ever in his life that he’s ever had any interaction, and he was vocal and verbal.” It was like, you know, true miracles like that. And for him, we were chelating him with a an oral DMPS or sorry, a topical cream that we were doing some chelation therapy with. So you know, it is definitely, you got to rule it in or rule it out.

Really the take home message is anytime you’re dealing with neurological issues, we store toxins in our fat, we can call each other fat heads because there’s so much fat in our head, you know, our brain is fat, and we store toxins there. So we definitely have to look at that. So that’s on the assessment front. There’s more on the assessment front as well and each of these are such, we can unpack each one as well. But I run an Alcat testing looking at food sensitivities, so not allergens, but sensitivity. So that’s white blood cells that get exposed to different foods, food additives, molds, etc. And we see how the body is responding to these items. And then we also run a gut microbiome test, GI maps to look at the health of the gut. Because the gut is the second brain, we manufacture all of our neurotransmitters for brain health in the gut, our digestion is so important to that.

And we’re looking at the whole microbiome and even there’s some theories around glyphosate from roundup and pesticide use, you know, killing certain gut bugs that were responsible for creating dopamine and other nutrients for our brain – neurotransmitters. So, you know, there’s more and more information coming out that way. So we got to look at the gut too. So those are the four main areas that I look at for brain health, for really all of my patients coming in with these diagnoses. And so that assessment, I just feel like people are not getting a proper assessment, because it leaves a lot of options out there rather than treating symptoms, like you were saying, you know, going Western approach and you’re gonna get put on a bunch of different medications to treat a symptom. This is one way that I found, it really trace it down to the root imbalances and address at a very deep, profound level.



56:12 Ashley James: Absolutely. I want to know why. I mean, obviously, it’s very important to check the gut flora. We wanted a healthy microbiome. When someone has a microbiome that’s out of balance, maybe they had an antibiotic in the last year and they know they’ve got really out of balanced gut flora, or maybe they have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or candida, why does that affect brain health?



56:41 Dr. Greg Eckel: So on that level, so we have the vagus nerve that comes down, it’s a cranial nerve, cranial nerve 10 that comes down innervates the gut. And there’s a lot of different theories on this, Ployvagal theory, Stephen Porges has a component around the vagus nerve, and it’s important to our health and around PTSD and anxiety and depression states. So that’s one aspect, but the vagus nerve, cranial nerve 10 comes down innervates the gut. And so there are certain things that get transmitted up and down that nerve, in addition to just the nervous system, you know, different nutrients; manganese, iron, these things get deposited in the brain, and so there’s a connection there. And then also you look at, well, there are certain probiotics, so gut bugs, that their secretion is the end product that our brains need for proper functioning. So it’s so fascinating. The research on probiotics is getting so sophisticated to look at this. And you know, I actually did a lecture to providers, I’m part of this go wellness affiliated network of about 40 clinics right now, its regenerative medicine clinics. And I gave these docs and providers the notes on, there’s research on specific neurotransmitters being produced by the gut bugs.



58:19 Ashley James: I love it.



58:20 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah.



58:21 Ashley James: So cool. I love that we need these other living beings, this amazing symbiotic relationship. And just thinking of mitochondria, the mitochondria are not us, like we had a guest talk about that they have different DNA, but they’re part of us. But it’s like, you have to think of mitochondria, it’s like a different being joined us and all the gut flora, and then all the healthy bacteria on our skin, and we just keep finding as science marches on that there’s even more importance, the rule that these healthy bacteria plays. So it’s kinda like a garden. You know, it’s amazing garden where all the healthy bugs are keeping everything in balance, but it’s in our body and on our body. And so we’ve got to think that we need to foster this healthy garden that comes back to how Naturopaths consider the whole body and the terrain of the body. We want to fertilize and balance the whole body. It’s so cool that our neurotransmitters that so many of them are made in the gut by the healthy gut bugs.



59:33 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah.



59:33 Ashley James: I love it.



59:34 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah. Yeah, it’s a little bit gross, too, right? If you took all the aerobic and anaerobic gut bugs out depending on the individual, about four to seven pounds of material. And, you know, it’s just like, wow, that’s a whole ecosystem unto itself. Yeah.



59:55 Ashley James: I love it. I love my gut bugs. We get along.



59:56 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah. I do too.



1:00:00 Ashley James: I have a friend, Dr. Megan Saunders and she’s been on the show many times. She used to be addicted to kombucha back when she was in the Naturopathic school. She was known as the kombucha lady and she says that it takes over your brain. She really believes that, that when you start drinking things or eating fermented foods that the gut bugs start making you crave that food more because they want more of that environment in itself.



1:00:26 Dr. Greg Eckel: Oh yeah. They secrete right into the bloodstream that goes up to your brain saying, “Feed us.”



1:00:31 Ashley James: Yeah. And so you start craving the kombucha. For me it’s the, I love the sauerkraut at Costco. They’ve got great organic sauerkraut and my Costco and my gut just craves it.



1:00:43 Dr. Greg Eckel: That’s awesome. That’s a good craving.



1:00:45 Ashley James: Yeah. Awesome. So we’ve got functional which is looking at the whole person, meaning looking at their emotional state, their sleep, their lifestyle, then looking at the assessment of all the things inside the person that could be off; heavy metals, viruses, bacteria, mold, all the stuff inside their body, their gut flora being off, what’s the N stand for?



1:01:11 Dr. Greg Eckel: N is for nerve health. So you’re looking at specific nutrients for nerve health. And you know, the most famous is B12. But you’ve got glutathione there. The DHA that we talked about EPA, there are certain nutrients that are renowned for brain health. So, we put that in making sure that you have that in your diet. Glutathione is one of those things for your mitochondria. There’s NAD as well, treatments for mitochondrial health and energy, but also nutrients for nerves. So we look at that aspect to make sure you’ve got your bases covered there.



1:01:57 Ashley James: What’s NAD?



1:01:57 Dr. Greg Eckel: NAD is derivative of vitamin B3, niacin. Yeah, and NAD is big in the longevity movement right now for energy production. It’s a specific food into the mitochondria.



1:02:20 Ashley James: Oh, got it. Because I know what NAC is. So I was like, oh what’s NAD? So that’s different. So it’s a derivative of the B vitamin that supports the mitochondria?



1:02:30 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah.



1:02:30 Ashley James: Hmm, awesome. Can we get it from whole foods or do we need to buy it as a supplement?



1:02:35 Dr. Greg Eckel: That one is tough. You know, there are some supplements with dubious claims. And you know that one, I do it via IV is the way that I get that one into the body.



1:02:57 Ashley James: When someone starts taking the NAD IV, what kind of effects do they notice?



1:03:03 Dr. Greg Eckel: They’ll notice decreased brain fog, more energy, clear thinking. Along those lines.



1:03:10 Ashley James: Whoo, sign me up. That sounds great. When you do an IV, do you normally do like a cocktail? Like a Myers push where it’s a bunch of vitamins?



1:03:21 Dr. Greg Eckel: With the NAD, it’s pretty much straight up NAD. You can include those other items in there. Before or after but the NAD goes by itself.



1:03:32 Ashley James: Got it. Very cool. Now, we’ll definitely make sure the links to everything you do is in the show notes of today’s podcast,



1:03:42 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yes.



1:03:42 Ashley James: The listeners can go. Now, you do take clients all around the world through phone or Skype. But for them to be able to do the IV they’d have to come to the beautiful city of Portland Oregon.



1:03:54 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yes. Yeah, and Ido have people traveling from around the globe. They come to Camp Nature Cures, but there is a lot of stuff that we can do remotely. I do via Zoom, some of those telemedicine things, but you know, to get some of these therapies, I haven’t figured out how to deliver it over the internet yet.



1:04:16 Ashley James: I’m still waiting for like, smell-o-vision. Watch the TV and be able to smell it. Yeah. Very cool. Okay, so those nootropics are the N.



1:04:28 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah, exactly.



1:04:30  Ashley James: And then what’s the C?



1:04:32 Dr. Greg Eckel: C is for cellular regeneration. And so we’re living at a really interesting time, where we can do regenerative medicine with stem cells and exosomes, and these therapies to help the body create new brain tissue.



1:04:51 Ashley James: I love it. I love it. So you’re using stem cell therapy for the brain?



1:04:57 Dr. Greg Eckel: Correct.



1:04:58 Ashley James: And what kind of results are you seeing?



1:05:01 Dr. Greg Eckel: You know, we are getting folks with Parkinson’s, we’re having folks’ tremors halt and reverse. We’re having their gait, they’re walking become more stable, more fluid, we’re having their speech improve as well. So there are some big, some reversal of symptoms. Again, I’m not claiming that for everybody. But we have seen it, we’ve got clinical evidence of it, and we’re looking to improve those results for a lot of people. But, you know, my patients got sick of just being serially monitored, they’d go in to the specialist, the Neurologist and be run through a battery of tests. And then basically not even told what was going on, just see you next year. And when they would ask the doc would say, well, you’re getting worse. And they’re thinking, well, I could have told you that before I came in here. And, you know, we’re just looking to provide some options, alternatives, some hope that there are people working on it. Like, for instance, on the NAD. There’s a researcher down at Scripps University at University of Florida. And she’s doing research on NAD IVs and prionic disorders. And so, it’s too early for primetime use but I’m saying, you know, look, if we’ve got this research, we know this is a safe therapy in humans, my folks that have these diagnosis is they don’t have 30 to 40 years to wait for the definitive research to come out. It’s like you know, let’s use it now and see what we can do.



1:06:49 Ashley James: I love it. Absolutely. I have seen and heard of actually because I’ve interviewed some people about this. People with Parkinson’s getting great results using medical marijuana or CBD and hemp that when they use the CBD drops that then their shaking goes away.



1:07:10 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah.



1:07:11 Ashley James: Have you also seen that some people with Parkinson’s have great improvement?



1:07:15 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yes. So on that nerve health, CBD, cannabidiol is definitely one of those nerve health supplements. And, you know, when I went to medical school, we did not know about the endocannabinoid system. I did a lecture three years ago at American Academy of Environmental Medicine for cannabidiol for the treatment of anxiety.

And you look at Professor Mechoulam out of Israel. He’s the scientist that discovered the endocannabinoid system. And there are more receptors in the central nervous system, they’re called CB1, cannabidiol one. There are more receptors for that molecule, than all of the other neurotransmitters put together, which is just, I mean, it’s almost overwhelming to think about, like we didn’t even know about that system when I went to medical school. And now there’s discovered more receptors for that molecule than all of the other neurotransmitters put together.

So that is definitely, that endocannabinoid system, it needs toned. You know, eating endocannabinoid rich foods that feed that system. And then you know, taking CBD is definitely one of those things, again, source matters there, you want to make sure you’ve got its medical grade, it’s tested. One of the things that the hemp plant does, it will rehab toxic land, so it will pull up toxins out of the soil. So you want to just make sure you’ve got a really good source, if you are using that. Again, source matters. So for all of these items, yeah.



1:08:58 Ashley James: Yeah, same with chlorella and spirulina, they’ll just suck up. I mean, it’s great to use chlorella, spirulina to clean up waterways. And to use the hemp plant to clean soil, right? That’s good to clean up areas, but not to consume. So we have to make sure that the soil is clean and the water is clean. If we’re going to consume these crops. I thought it was really interesting that if we’re deficient in our essential fatty acids, we can’t produce enough of the… basically our body’s own CBD. And so then we’re CBD deficient, so that if someone takes CBD and gets a really great result, it’s because they were deficient in it. And if someone takes CBD, and it’s really good quality, it’s tested, we know that there’s actually CBD in it. And they don’t feel any difference, then maybe they weren’t as deficient. But the people who are really deficient, who obviously have neurological symptoms, they’ll see the biggest shift because their body was deficient. And that also then points to the fact that they are deficient in their essential fatty acids because their body can’t produce enough of their own cannabinoids.



1:10:16  Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah, yeah, that’s it. And you know, and that makes a great point in that. I haven’t found one thing to be the be all end all in any really condition. And so, you know, I think our want is like, just give me the one thing, doc. And if there’s this when you’re talking about neuro degeneration, it’s so multifactorial. You know, when we talk about possible causative agents, definitely levels of toxicity, play a role in Parkinson’s, that’s clearly defined in the literature from pesticides, metals, sometimes infections also can be triggering events for folks. And so, you got to do the multi pronged approach. But more is not better. More is more.

So oftentimes, I’ll see people come in with the laundry list of supplements or research and saying, I’m taking all of these things, there is this concept that I want to make sure I share with your listeners is that it’s called Zhang of the formula or direction. And in Chinese medicine, herbs, there’s an emperor or empress, then there’s generals, and then assistants, and everybody lines up. So imagine, the emperor or empress is at the very tip, if it was like an Arrowhead and it’s cutting through and moving in a direction. And so whatever plan or program that you get on, you want to make sure you have a direction, and that there’s a leading herb or a leading therapy, and everything else lines up behind and helps with that motion in a direction. Because otherwise, we kind of get into the shotgun approach a more is better. And I’ll see people with like, grocery bags full of supplements, like, “Ugh. You have to one, digest all of that. Two, process at all, absorb it all.” And then it’s pulling your vital force, your vitality in all of these different directions.

So the body and its inherent wisdom doesn’t really know which way to go with all of that information coming in. So, you know, sometimes we’ll break those up for folks and have them like cycle through by month or it really is on, are we getting a result or not. And then the other thing that comes off of that, when talking about the Zhang of the formula or direction, or assembling a program or protocol for an individual, you know, we all have our unique genetic platforms. And that’s when you asked about,  how does the prions get transmitted? Are they contagious? Can you “catch” them? You know, why I think we didn’t see this huge outbreak of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in Europe in the 80s was, well, maybe the genetic platform wasn’t susceptible to that. People ate tainted beef, there were 3 million pounds of beef that got released.

Now, a lot of that got recalled, but a lot of that got consumed. And we would have expected to see a bigger outbreak. Now some say, “Well, okay, it’s like a smoking gun, maybe then you’ve got these prions in there, they haven’t been totally activated, maybe traumas, maybe level of toxicity.” And then I would say those definitely influenced expression, but also then on top of a more susceptible genetic platform, which then even goes one step further is looking at, okay, well, I got even into looking at ancestral traumas turning on genes that then express today. So some of the conditions that we see in modern era aren’t even the individual’s issue, right? It was their great grandmother’s trauma that set them up for that. And it has definitely made my job as a physician so much harder, to be able to have the time to spend with somebody talking about all of these levels of care, and possible root imbalances.

So, I definitely wind up talking to my patients about their family lineage, family trees, but not just in a purely genetic sense, but in an energetic sense of getting back into communication with your lineage and your ancestors. Like, that’s why you’re here today, they were here, right? That DNA, that information got passed down through time, through your great grandparents and grandparents and parents, and now to you, and then maybe to your offspring. And so, one aspect is really giving thanks, or gratitude, being grateful for it, but then, you know, also acknowledging and letting your ancestors know, like, Hey, we’re going to stop, I’m not taking the family burden further. Like, I’m letting that down, and you know, consciously saying it, because it makes an imprint in your limbic system and amygdala and your cells, and your body is so responsive, and to be able to acknowledge and give thanks.

And then also, say, I’m not taking this burden any further. I welcome the energy and intuition, and inspiration. Like, you know, bring all of that to me ancestors, but we’re going to leave the family traumas, the burdens, you know, whatever got set up in the past, we’re going to leave that now. Like, we don’t need to carry that forward anymore. Because it does get past, it just dawned on me, like, wow, that’s where that curse of seven generations, where that comes from, it’s like, we can actually trace out 13 generations now from a trauma that occurred 13 generations ago, expressing through a family’s lineage. So, it’s doing techniques of grounding yourself and deep breathing, and I love playing with the voice and kind of frequencies and singing, all of these accessing all of the different healing modalities, and really putting those in, depending on what your specific issue is. But, you know, you can really find folks that are tying these things together, and designing a program specific to you as an individual.



1:16:49 Ashley James: You would love timeline therapy, it’s one of the techniques I’ve been using since 2005. And that’s actually the technique that I’m going to teach on your show. Dr. Eckel has a great podcast called What The Health, What The Health! So listeners are going to check out your your podcast, because they’ll love it.

And I have a technique to reverse, to eliminate, to end anxiety, to completely cut it off at the root. And it’s a timeline therapy technique. But in timeline therapy, we go back to the root cause, the beginning of the Gestalt, the chain of stored emotions in the body that are unresolved. And so the root cause of anger, sadness, fear, hurt and guilt. And we go back to generations and we’ve had so many accounts where people will go back, and it’s light state of trance. So you’re conscious of your unconscious mind, that’s the coolest part because people are a little afraid of going under hypnosis.

It’s not hypnosis, but you become aware of your unconscious. And anyone who wants to learn more about how neurology stores memories, there’s two books I love, The Heart’s Code by Paul Piersol and The Holographic Universe, I forget the author’s name. The Holographic Universe, and The Hearts Code are amazing. And they both prove that we store memories basically in our cells, holographically through the whole body. It’s not just in our brain. And we can absolutely pass down memories, that there have been numerous accounts where people have had heart transplants, and they are able to have memories of the person’s murder to the point where they were able to tell the police what the murderer looked like. And they were able to find them and put them in prison. And so when we have memories from organ transplants, I mean, it’s just amazing that the body, there’s definitely the esoteric, you know, we have to just like expand our minds, right?



1:18:59 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah.



1:19:00 Ashley James: You know, because we’re all sort of like thinking that leeches, like, you know, a hundred years ago, or 500 years ago, like, oh, everyone just needs to do bloodletting, right? I mean, just imagine, that’s kind of where we are. We’re all thinking like, memories are just stored in the brain. Right? But that’s common knowledge. But it’s not true, memories are stored holographically throughout the whole body. And in timeline therapy, when we go to release and learn from and heal the negative emotions in the body, people will have memories from their grandmother. And if the grandmother is still alive, they’ll be able to go and confirm them, or memories from their mother, and their healing stuff.  Before they were even born that they’ve never been told about that they never knew. And they’re able to go and confirm with their family members, after we do the timeline therapy that those events actually happened. So they’re stored, we store memories from our ancestors in our body. And of course, we’re storing that trauma.

So that’s like that emotional, mental, a little bit esoteric, part of healing. And then on the totally like lab science part of healing. I was fascinated to hear about this study with mice where they took these beautiful white fuzzy mice, you’ve probably heard this study, and they expose them to the levels of BPA, Bisphenol A, that we are normally exposed to on a daily basis every time we touch receipts and drink from plastic bottles with BPA. And what happened is their genes transformed, they be genetically shifted, they no longer grew beautiful soft white fur, they grew gnarly yellow fur, they became obese. And then they stopped giving them the BPA, I think it was just water, the BPA was put in their water, they stopped giving it to them. But that this genetic expression lasted I believe, three generations. So they had basically gnarly yellow mice that were obese for three generations.

So just think about the chemicals that your grandparents were exposed to, and that change their neurology, or sorry, changed their biochemistry, because it turned on these different expressions epigenetically, and you’re experiencing the result. And now we’re seeing that all the toxins that we’ve been exposed to, and our children be exposed to, like, look at now that over 70% of the population is overweight, because of all these obesogens. And all the exposure to Bisphenol A, just one of the many toxins, but that it changes our genes. So even if we completely cleaned up our environment, our genes for the next few generations might pass on, these characteristics. And that’s why we have to be extra careful and extra diligent to be clean, and also advocate for a cleaner environment. But then, like you said, do the emotional mental work as well, because we are seeing a link between decreasing stress, healing emotions, working on releasing ancestral trauma, and how our genes actually express in the now. So, it’s so cool that our body will respond to emotional healing on a physical level.



1:22:22 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah, so profound. And oftentimes, like you’re saying, does not get addressed at all.



1:22:30 Ashley James: Because there’s no profit, they can’t make a drug, right? The pharmaceutical company can’t pay someone to do research to make a drug to heal your trauma from the past, otherwise, they would have made it. So we have to go out and advocate and listen to you and your podcast and listen to the experts who are willing to teach us about how we can heal our body on a whole level; emotional, mental, spiritual and energetic and physical. Because we’re not going to get it from the mainstream media.



1:23:01 Dr. Greg Eckel: Right.



1:23:03 Ashley James: Yeah. So I love your FAN-C. I think that’s a great system.



1:23:08 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yes.



1:23:09 Ashley James: I studied with a Naturopathic physician who’s like, he’s in his 80s now and he was a Veterinarian, physician and Pathologist, and he was a Research Scientist before he became a Naturopath. And he says that most Parkinson’s and MS and ALS are a combination of too much oxidative damage to the brain. So eating fried food, standard American diet, and too much oxidative damage and oxidative stress to the brain, and not enough of the essential nutrients the body needs to heal the brain. So it’s sort of like too much fire in the body and not enough nutrients to put out the fire. And that he’s seen great results and met a woman who went on his sort of basically… his program is stop eating stuff that causes the damage and start eating the stuff that helps the body heal and take the supplements that you mentioned. And I met a woman who was in a wheelchair one month and the next month was walking, and she couldn’t believe it. So people are getting great results from avoiding the oxidative stress. How much has that played a role when you look into this research when you work with your clients? Are you seeing getting people off of fried food getting people off of, even consuming oil in a bottle? Because that is consuming oxidative stress, right? So, what can we do to prevent oxidative stress in the body so we can help heal the brain?



1:24:43 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah. Well, one component, when the symptoms have progressed to the point of tremor, I love hyperbaric oxygen, so I’ve to hyperbaric oxygen chambers here. So when it has progressed, so as a preventative component, which we all should be working towards preventative, is detoxing the body reducing oxidative stress, getting the antioxidants in there to repair from oxidative stress.

You know, we’re exposed to 80,000 chemicals a week in the United States. And so there are levels of toxicity out there. So that we’ve got to just go on the offensive of just assume this is occurring. So what do I need to do to address it, and then reverse it? And so definitely not cooking with high heat, if you ever see the oil smoking in the pan, that means you’ve oxidized it. So, you know, kind of toss that out, start over, cook a little bit lower heat, quality of your oils that you’re using, what you’re cooking in. These things really do matter.

Of course, the biggest lever is if you’re a smoker, stop smoking. If you grew up with smokers, you know if your parents smoked, like mine in the 70s. And you know, riding in the car with the windows up with mom smoking in the car, it’s like, “Oh, geez, what are we doing here?” That’s where the cadmium comes from, right? That’s where a lot of metal toxicity comes from, is that inhaled smoke. So you know, it’s really knowing where you grew up what you got exposed to, and then how to detox that? Infrared saunas, salt baths, grounding activity, deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, all of these things do play a role there when you’re talking about oxidative stress.

You know, in Environmental Medicine, the first thing you learn, the first six items are, the first three are remove, remove, remove, and then it says magnesium, magnesium, magnesium. So when you’re talking about environmental causative agents, you first have to stop the damage. So if there’s anything that you’re consuming, or around that’s creating oxidative stress or damage, which we know just in general life living, we’re getting exposed to stuff. So we’ve got to address that. And then we’ve got to make sure we’ve got all of the nutrients for our body to detox and magnesium is a big cofactor. There are a lot of other nutrients in there. But you know, you look at the cytochrome P450 cycle, and that’s in liver detoxification, major filter for the body.

So getting the nutrients to keep those doors open is the way that I like to talk about that. B vitamins, magnesium are the big players there to keep the phase one and phase two route of elimination, open in the liver, sweating, motion activity, getting your circulation going, those things count, and then really your proper nutrition. That’s the setup for healthy living and longevity or the health span that I see working for a lot of people. Yeah.



1:28:05 Ashley James: I love it. I had a problem for many years. So I don’t know if you know my story. But in my 20s was very, very sick. I had uncontrolled type two diabetes, chronic adrenal fatigue, chronic monthly infections, which I was on almost constant antibiotics for, and I was a mess. I had infertility, and I had polycystic ovarian syndrome, I was told I’d never have kids by an Endocrinologist. So I was just a mess. And the MDs want to put me on lots of drugs. And my 30s I spent building my body backup, I’m almost 40. Now at 39 and a half, I’m sort of like accepting my fate. I’m going to be 40 soon I know, I’ve psychologically had to like start preparing myself for the transition into my awesome 40s.

And so I was able to with Natural Medicine, had a Naturopath mentor me. And so the last seven years of actually work with clients, you know, working with these Naturopaths and doing this health coaching. But it all started about 10 years ago, shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, only buying organic, you know, cutting out sugar and flour, going gluten free, dairy free, going on a whole food plant based diet. So you know, stopping eating at McDonald’s basically. I think I haven’t eaten McDonalds in eight or 10 years. But I basically went from the standard American diet to a really good diet and taking these supplements, you know, changing, doing emotional healing and mindset, everything, everything. And I was able to reverse all these problems. But every time I went to lose weight, I’d wake up in the morning, I taste metal and I would smell putrid. And it was like burning rubber. I would smell burning rubber and I would taste heavy metal, I would taste like metal in my mouth. And my liver would get super inflamed. Like all my liver enzymes were like super elevated, my liver was just pissed off. And I went for ultrasounds and they’re like, yep, that’s a really big liver, it was very inflamed. And so I’d stop weight loss. And then everything would go back to normal. That was really frustrating. And I would do it again and again, I went to lose a bit more weight. After about 20 pounds it all come up, come back and I’d have to stop weight loss.

And it finally clicked, it finally dawned on me that it was the whatever junk like heavy metals was in my adipose tissue, my fat cells that when my body started releasing the fat, my liver just couldn’t handle it. And whether I mean, I have MTHFR like 25% on each end. So you know, there’s a little bit of gunk there, where my body needs a bit of help with methylation. But there was something definitely going on. And so I looked into how do I detox these heavy metals? How do I support my liver? I got a Sunlighten Sauna. It’s been just over a year. And I started sweating almost every day. Then I found a magnesium soak where your body actually absorbs grams of magnesium. And you can watch, like if you do the magnesium RBC blood test, you can watch it go up through soaking. And those two things shifted my whole world. It was amazing.

So definitely, I attest to the fact that magnesium and sweating and an infrared sauna play a huge role in detoxification. I’ve done a bunch of other stuff as well that I’ve noticed changes, but those are probably the two biggest ones for me that I saw huge, huge changes. And now when I lose weight, I don’t have that liver problem, which is really exciting. It took me a whole year of getting in the sauna and soaking in magnesium and doing all all like I said, all the other kinds of stuff. But now I don’t have that problem. So you know, we have to advocate for ourselves. We have to educate ourselves, we have to listen to our body and get really curious like what’s going on? Why is my body doing this? And then go to a wonderful doctor like you that’ll help us decipher the language our bodies trying to speak.



1:32:18 Dr. Greg Eckel: Perfect.



1:32:19 Ashley James: Yeah, awesome. So on your website, you have a summit that people can access if they have Parkinson’s or if they have neurological issues that they really want to learn more about how they can support themselves and they can go to Tell us a bit about your website, and what kind of resources are available on it?



1:32:44 Dr. Greg Eckel: Well, I have two handouts on there. One is four signs of cognitive decline, and that’s the one that you can access through, you’ll get some more information around the Parkinson’s summit that I’m holding, interviewed seven experts in different facets of care for neurodegeneration and have had some really great feedback from folks and appreciation and just assembling this information for them. And then the other guide that I have is on pain and pain management. So the part of the Regenerative Medicine and regenerative stem cell therapies is it’s really renowned for regrowing joints; knees and hips and backs and brains and so I’ve got a guide on there as well, if you’ve got anybody that’s listening with pain or pain patterns, that is up on the site as well.



1:33:38 Ashley James: Very cool. Awesome and then people can work with you as well, But if they want to come to you in Portland, tell us a bit about, what was this camp you have?



1:33:49 Dr. Greg Eckel: Oh, yeah. So I call it Camp Nature Cures. And so, I do have people fly in from around the globe. You know Portland is a destination city now for food and culture, it’s a really fun place to be. So, it’s kind of on the radar, but then we also have our Nature Cares Clinic. We’re right downtown at 10th and Taylor right next to the library and centrally located and we plug people into great restaurants and the arts etc. But you know, you come out for intensive, so I’ve had folks fly in from as far away as New Zealand at this point. And we’ll set people up with brain regenerative program. It’s a 10 day program, people come in for a battery of tests and treatments we’re doing stem cell regenerative therapies, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, we get them in the hyperbaric chamber twice a day.

So three hours a day of hyperbarics, we’re doing the IVs that help heal the body, they deal with that oxidative stress that you were talking about with the brain and you know really help the body. We give the body all of the information it needs to heal itself. So folks come in and coming into Camp Nature Cures because these therapies we can’t deliver them online energetically, yet. We’re looking for that thought, quantum physics and that increased curve that’s happening. But for now, we deliver them in person here at the clinic. Yeah.



1:35:32  Ashley James: I love Portland for the food scene as well. But I’m looking for the vegan and raw vegan. I get so excited. Like, yeah, let’s go to a raw vegan restaurant. And I have a raw vegan friend that used to live in Portland and he’d brag about the raw vegan scene and I’m pretty jazzed about all the healthy food that’s available  at Portland, but they do have bacon doughnuts that aren’t vegan.



1:36:00 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yes.



1:36:00 Ashley James: Yeah, they do have a lot of other kinds of foods in Portland. Well, very cool. I’m super excited that we were able to bring this information today and you’re welcome back on the show anytime because you can teach about allergies and asthma and orthopedics. I’d love to have you back on the show to dive into those topics as well.



1:36:23 Dr. Greg Eckel: Oh, that would be awesome. Thank you so much.



1:36:25 Ashley James: Yeah, absolutely. Very cool. Is there anything left unsaid that you want to make sure that you convey before wrapping up today’s interview?



1:36:34 Dr. Greg Eckel: Yeah. You know, one of the big things that is a message of mine and just what I’ve been through is, it’s about love and you know, just if you haven’t, we want to spread more love and tell those around that you love them and give them big hugs and you know really look in their eyes, because we don’t know how long we’re on the planet together and it’s such a special time to have and kind of a sacred time. So, just the message of I would love to see more love out there, and so it starts with us and just go hug some people, your loved ones and make sure they know that you love them.



1:37:16 Ashley James: That’s beautiful. Thank you so much Dr. Greg Eckel. It has been such a pleasure having you here today. listeners can go to your website Of course that link will be in the show notes for today’s podcast at and they can check out all those freebie, wonderful information that you’re giving away. Absolutely. They should sign up on your website to get more information from you. They should come visit Camp Nature Cures and some awesome fun treatments. And of course they can call you up and have a Zoom call with you over the internet. It’s been great having you here. Can’t wait to have you back on the show.



1:37:56 Dr. Greg Eckel: Thank you so much, Ashley.






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Book by Dr. Greg Eckel

Shake It Off: A FAN-C Approach to Parkinson’s Disease

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Aug 23, 2019

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Video Link:


Functional Lab Testing And Holistic Lifestyle Medicine


  • What is functional diagnostic nutrition?
  • Getting information, identifying the key phrase and healing opportunities
  • Focus on is underlying causes and conditions
  • Catabolic and anabolic stress and how you can do lab testing to find out if you have it
  • HIDDEN stressors and dysfunctions in the body
  • Running lab tests to discover healing opportunities
  • Investigating and looking at these critical markers for balance in your body
  • looking for the hidden contributors to metabolic chaos and to the degree that the root causes are discoverable to work on it 


They say “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” but we all know that it’s not just an apple that we have to get in order to have a healthy body. Diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction and supplements can play a big role too. Listen to today’s podcast and listen to what Reed Davis has to say about things that you should know about to help you to optimize your health and your way to functional nutrition.


[0:00] Ashley James: Hello, True Health seekers and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. I’m very excited for you to hear our interview today with Reed Davis, the founder of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition.  A few months ago, I interviewed one of his graduates who practice as a health coach with this unique ability to do functional lab testing and then help their clients to find those healing opportunities that the labs present. It’s a different philosophy. A different lens that these health coaches look through to see how they can best serve their clients to finally resolve the metabolic chaos that’s been going on. We often treat symptoms and our medical system even someone has a thyroid condition for example and they think that that’s the root cause and so they’re treating the thyroid but thyroid dysfunction covers from something else. What causes the thyroid to have a dysfunction? And there are dozens of root causes. Functional Diagnostic Nutrition looks to solve that. Today we’re going to dive into what is Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and how can it help you to achieve the best health possible. Those who are already health coaches or in the holistic health field you’re going to love learning about Reed’s program. He has a wonderful online certification program where he teaches you how to do these labs. How to interpret them and how to then help the clients to get the results we’re looking for through lifestyle, diet and when needed, supplementation. If you’re not in the holistic health space and you’re not interested in making a career in helping people like becoming a health coach, you will still enjoy today’s interview because he does teach a lot of wonderful things. He’s told me that some people even take his course just to learn these tools for themselves which I thought was very valuable. After interviewing him, I enrolled in his program and I jumped in and I’m already in module two and I’m loving it. I’m absolutely loving it. I’m learning so much. What I really like about his program is it’s all “rubber hits the road.” There’s no fluff. You jump straight in and you begin learning. I’ve been studying with Naturopaths and doctors and reading tons of books and going to health lectures and obviously doing 300 interviews with doctors and in my first few days of being in his course I have learned stuff I have never heard off before. It’s really exciting. If you’re a health coach I hugely recommend checking out his course because as you know I’m a health coach, I’ve been doing this for several years. I’ve always felt that there’s a piece missing. This piece of looking at things objectively through the lens of proper labs. Reed talks about this today in the show. You’re going to really like the kinds of labs that he does. It’s not the kind of labs that you’re ever used to going to your doctor. These are totally different and it allows us to see where the metabolic chaos is. In some cases, actually, let us find the root cause but regardless of whether we find the root cause or not, they will allow us to see what we need to see in order to make the appropriate changes to support the body in coming back into balance. That’s very exciting. Enjoy today’s interview and please, check out the link.  As in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. That’s Excellent. Enjoy today’s interview.



[04:01] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 376. I’m very excited for today’s guest, we have with us, Reed Davis. He’s the founder of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. An amazing company that helps people to become certified in functional nutrition. I definitely want to dive into that because we have a lot of health coaches that listen and this is a wonderful adjunct to those who are in the holistic health space or for people who want to get into the holistic health space, it’s a wonderful course that they can take. For those who aren’t, who just want to get their own health back and that’s why they’re listening. This episode is also perfect for you because we’re going to be talking about lab testing and the things that you should know about to help you to optimize your health. The things that going to a mainstream medical doctor, practitioner they just wouldn’t know to provide you and so Reed’s going to enlighten us today. Reed, welcome to the show.


[05:09] Reed Davis: Welcome. Thanks so much for having me here Ashley. It’s a real pleasure. Looking forward to trying to help some people.


[05:16] Ashley James:  Before we get started, you were telling me a bit about where you live which is a paradise up in the mountains. You’re living off a grid and you’re using a satellite phone. So far the connection’s been wonderful and every time we hear a little bit of a delay on the line we’ll just remember that you’re living in absolute paradise on a lake in the mountains. Totally off the grid and we so appreciate that you’re taking the time to educate us today.


[05:45] Reed Davis: Thanks again. I’m happy to answer anything I can. Tell you the history. It’s about helping people and trying to walk the talk. I’m here for you and your pleasure.


[05:57] Ashley James: Absolutely. I’d love to start by hearing your story. You are a certified nutritional therapist. You’re a holistic health practitioner. You founded this wonderful company that helps people to learn how they can do these lab tests for themselves and for their clients. Then what to do once they have the lab results, which I think the most important thing about. Right? It’s good to have the lab testing but then what do we do? Okay, so now I see that my liver enzymes are high but what do we do? You have wonderful course that helps people to learn functional nutrition. How did you start? What happened in your life that lead you to want to do this?


[06:41] Reed Davis: Yes. Thanks so much. It’s an amazing course in lab work and natural protocols to fix what you find. But it was a long time coming. Back in the 90s, I was doing environmental law. I came out of a law program at the University of San Diego. Went right to work saving the planet, birds, bees, air, water, trees. What can we do to clean up the planet and it’s very rewarding work. Frankly, I made millions of dollars for the owners but not for myself. As I increase therapist, my income didn’t grow up that much and southern California’s a very expensive place to live. So I was looking around for a way where I could be my own boss, work for myself but also continue the work. I turned my attention from saving the planet to people like what’s this environment if it’s killing off the bird and bees and air and water and trees and things. What’s it doing to people including myself? What’s it doing to me? I’m getting older too right? Back then I was probably in my 40s but I was again working hard and I went to work, changed jobs. I went to work at a clinic. It’s a wellness clinic or a wellness center in Southern California in San Diego area. It’s beautiful. People were lovely. I was really hired to run the business and help expand the business. But the owner who was a chiropractor. She allowed me to go with her kind of as an assistant. She was getting a diploma in nutrition for her chiropractic work. And said, “Hey, you can come along and you can get certified too.” Not a physician but I did that. This was remarkable, Ashley. You’ll love this. She let me work in her patients in between classes. I’d go into a lesson. Let’s say in detoxification come back and I had access to her patients to talk to them about their health and find out what’s going on and see if I can help them with this training that I was getting. I’ve had many other trainings since was you mentioned. Kind of been a certificate collector of sorts. I think everyone listening probably will see this in a way a learn freak. Just never satisfied with what you know. I know there’s a deeper layer. There’s something else I can learn. I was like that too but also, in the clinic, this is remarkable. Again, I had the ability to help clients and I fell in love with that side of it. I turn my attention instead of just running the clinic and helping to grow and things like that but I still had to do that but I fell in love with the clinical side that means working face to face with people. One of the things I noticed right away was that almost everybody walking to the door for their pain or whatever it was, they had multiple complaints and they’ve been to multiple practitioners trying to get some resolution or solutions to their problem. Some of them 10 doctors already. That just blew my mind. Even though I was neophyte that was 20 years ago, I said to myself and to them even ”Look, I’m going to be the last person you need to see. We’re going to figure this out.” I’ve been very good that the legal research and writing and I could understand fairly complex things and try to make it easy for people. That was another part of my job at that time we’ll just call it patient educator. I got to look at very complex things break it down and try to explain it people so that they could go out and do the things that took to get well.

I could just again, very fortunate with the stars lined up or whatever you want to put it. I met doctors who are running alternative lab work. Back then, 20 years ago, there was just standard medicine and alternative also known as quackery. Some of these doctors, I’ve learned from were not very low respected at that time. They were pioneering doing really important work especially with some of the labs that were coming out. The saliva testing, the urine testing, the stool testing. Things I would say above and beyond normal blood chemistry. Some of these people come in and they’re really sick. They just feel lousy all that time. Things about the way they look and the way they feel that they’re not happy with. Their physicians were saying, “Your bloodwork looks normal. Everything looks fine. You’re just getting old.” Or you’ve heard that before, right?


[11:28] Ashley James: Right. We’ll definitely get into this. Like what is normal? because they’re waiting until you’re in a disease state so they can give you a drug. If you’re unhealthy but you’re not yet sick enough not to be put on a drug to manage the disease, then they’re going to tell you that you’re fine. That’s if you go to a mainstream medical doctor.


[11:54] Reed Davis: Right. You’re considered by them to be sub-clinical. You haven’t reached that point where your bloodwork looks so out of whack that they can diagnose you. This is another the beauty of our work. I’ve been doing this for 20 years, Ashley. There is no medical diagnosis or treatment for that specific thing. Just for feeling lousy and you’re overweight and you’re tired or maybe there’s stuff going on with your sinuses, allergies, moodiness, irritability, digestive problem and all these things but you’re not at that point where you need to be referred to a gastroenterologist there’s something in a way standard measure. Back to the story, I’m seeing people in the office now, I started going into the public and recruiting. I bought a bone density testing machine. I started doing that two days a week. Clinic was open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and I work very hard. I do 12-14 hours a day easily or to a lot of weekends. A couple of days a week. I would go out and for 5 years, I’m going to go twice a week to these grocery stores. Some small chain about 30 stores. I would just go from one to the next, test people for their bone density and this is mostly women between I’d say 40 and 60 because that’s who gets checked and they’re getting early checks. I’d get certified in that part to use that machine kind of radiology limited tech certificate and I was doing this testing and then I was helping those women with that problem like they had low bone density and I got into the hormones and the immune systems and digest and detoxification. I learned how to run the labs. Again, I was very fortunate to be working with some physicians who let me run labs under their license as their protégé is you will. Actually as their alter ego because their licensure restricted them from what they could do let’s say for a person. This is still happening today that it- yes, you’re laughing but even just last week I was [Inaudible 13:58] I was at Medfit tour at the Washington athletic club in Seattle. I was speaking to a group up there about a hundred personal trainers and some physicians and one physician said, “I feel like my medical license are handcuffs. I’m just about ready to give up my license because I want to do what’s really right for people.” 20 years ago, it was worse. Doctors were just tied up to these model of diagnose-treat-diagnose-treat. Very small specific thing. It’s almost always it’s writing a prescription. I was actually like an alter ego.

I got to say to these people anything. Forget the diagnosis, what’s really wrong. Again the saliva testing, urine testing, stool testing, looking at hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy production, and autonomic balance. The sympathetic para-sympathetic. I ran thousands of those labs on thousands of people. Mostly women because that seem most interested but then when we got some good results and actually some miracle cases early on. Just unbelievable things happened that told me I was on the right track. Then they would refer, they bring in their husbands, they bring in their kids. If you want I could tell you a quick story about an early case that gave me tremendous faith and hope and belief in what I was doing. A lady comes into the chiropractic office and you know, I would walk the patients back to the treatment room. I was also trained, took a course in Myo-fascia release. I could do a specialized trigger point therapy on their necks and upper shoulders and things before they got their chiropractic adjustment. One day I was taken aback and I could just tell she as not feeling right, she was depressed and I asked what’s wrong.  She said, “Reed, it’s this weight. This 40 pounds and I’m really depressed about it.” “What are you doing?” “Well, I can’t do anything because I’m on this medication for the hives. It was a steroid that makes me fat. So I talked to my doctor yesterday” and she said, “he said, Lady, you have your choice. you’re going to be overweight or you’re going to have the hives. Take your pick.” So yes, you can imagine. She’s just distraught. She said, “And I told him that was really depressing and he offered me to write a prescription for anti-depressants.”


[16:27] Ashley James:  Oh, of course!


[16:29] Reed Davis: Yes. So check this out. Again, this is a long time ago. I didn’t know really exactly I was doing. I was learning but I didn’t know I was doing but I was doing awfully a lot too. I said, “Susan, did anyone ever try to find out why you get the hives?” Her neck just about snapped, her head just about snapped out of her neck. You know she was, “Well, what do you mean”?” I said, “There’s a test you can find out. Are you sensitive to something? Is there something in your environment? There’s all kind of ways to investigate that. That’s what I do. I’m like a health detective.” She goes, ”No. No one’s ever mentioned that.” Anyway, to get to the chase, we get her take home some test kits. Found out that some things she was very sensitive to, got her off of those things. Mostly dietary and within two weeks, she was off her medication and she told her doctor, “I’m never going back on it again”. I found what the problem is and I’m avoiding it. Then 2 weeks after that she was off her medication. She was doing two things that she hadn’t done in a couple of years. One was take a hot shower because even on the meds she got the hives. The other is working out to the point of perspiration because even on the meds she got the hives. It completely changed her life. She became a happy person. She started losing weight. She started feeling like her old self. Now I have to add that there’s some other labs and the hormones and immune and digestion. There a lot of things you could tune up on a person. That just told me then that I was on the right track. So many stories like that where early on I did not know at all but I was figuring out a system of investigation. Where to look for these underlying causes and conditions instead of, “Here’s something for the hives and the depressants because you’ve gained 40 pounds. Here’s something for the depression.” It’s such a contrast as you will know.


[18:36] Ashley James: I love it. That was your early on experience which got you so excited about helping people that you were shocked to find out that when people go to their mainstream doctor, they wait until they’re sick, put them on a drug and then when they have a side effect. They put them on another drug for the side effect and so on and so forth. Instead of trying to figure out how to solve it. If we look back at the history of allopathic medicine, about a 150 years ago and start to look back to the beginning of what is now MD medicine. Right? If we look at the history we see that. This is not conspiracy theory. This is fact. We see that a large, a person, it was Carnegie who owned a pharmaceutical company is that one that invested in making sure that the education, he invested in all the universities that taught medical doctors to only teach basically how to prescribe drugs. To this day, the education of doctors is largely manipulated by the pharmaceutical companies. They don’t want doctors to learn how to get to the root cause of chronic illness. I love allopathic medicine for emergencies, for some surgeries, when it’s necessary especially emergency medicine. For some infections, that’s where they shine but take a chronic illness to an MD their wheelhouse, their toolset is drugs that manage symptoms not most of them not getting to the root cause especially when it comes to more sensitive tests like you said. Things like food sensitivities or understanding genetics, understanding diet and nutrition. They don’t have an education around that. Unfortunately, they have a hubris, not all of them but some of them have a hubris to assume that they know everything about health because they paid so much for their education, right? I have had a few MDs on the show who said to me, “I really thought I know everything.” And they really do. They think they know everything so when you come to them with hives, they don’t question what’s causing the hives. They just assume, “Okay, you have hives. You’re just going to have for the rest of your life, here’s a drug,” Same with my type II diabetes. I had polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility all the problems I had all that. All the MDs told me was that we can manage it with drugs and I would be that way for the rest of my life and I will never have kids. I told you before we hit record because you asked me about my personal story but it was because I veered off and started to look for holistic solutions that I was able to resolve all of them. All of the things that the MDs said were my life sentences basically. I love that early on, you saw that there’s a huge need for functional diagnostic nutrition. What happened next? You were having these aha moments. Moments when you’re working with the clients in the clinic. What lead you to want to start functional diagnostic nutrition?


[21:11] Reed Davis: Yes, sure. You know I want to just follow up a bit on what you said first. The fact that allopathic physicians, they’re the best at what they do. They want to help it. They save lives every single day. If you get off of a plane from West Africa and your temperature is 106 and you’re bleeding out of your eyeballs or something. You don’t call your nutritionist, you go for the best standard care you possibly can find. The hospitals and doctors are full of people who could really help you at that point. Same thing if you have a car accident and your bone is sticking out of your arm bleeding. You don’t call your health coach and have it fixed, it’s so fantastic at that right? Really keep those things in mind. The next thing for me was just the sheer grind. I was just grinding for years? I didn’t stop to think about what kind of a big movement I could start or something like that. I was really enjoying myself. Earning a very good living. Building one of the busiest, we’ll call it a nutrition practice in the country, in the US. Again at San Diego. I was just doing my thing. Working in the office, really helping all the patients that were coming in. Learning how to teach them, how to educate them in plain English on the things that they could do. Which really in the big concept in the chiropractic office and wellness center. We had other doctors. Acupuncturist, we even had an osteopath but it’s not what you do in the office, its what you do at home in between office visits. That’s when I because an expert at. At least a guy with a plan, a guy with a system because it was all based on observation. If you run thousands of labs on thousands of people, you’re going to learn a few things. What I learned is where the alternative practitioners of the day we’re leaving planks.

There are this gaps in person with a health problem. There are gaps. It’s called the cycle of trial and error actually. You go to a physician he says, “All your bloodwork looks normal” or even if he says, “It looks abnormal” the answer’s just a prescription to treat the paper in most. Thyroids a perfect example. “You have a cluster of symptom sounds like thyroid.” so they run a thyroid test. Yep, pat myself in the back. “You have hyperthyroid. Here’s your medication.” It traces the paper definitely, they can adjust the doses to get the numbers on the paper that look like what they want. That doesn’t make the person any better. It’s treating the test results and the symptoms, not the person. The best blessing I had was not being able to write a prescription. Not being a doctor. You know at first I thought, I should be a doctor so I can help these people. No. Grinding it out for years and years in the office, running to labs to figure out what’s really wrong and then how to fix it. What does that person need to go home and do in between doctors’ visits? I came up with that DRESS for health success system. The D-R-E-S-S. We can get it into that what that is, that’s the lifestyle medicine that there’s now band-aid about by lots of pundits. People who might have come and got training in something. Even people that take my course, they’re much better educated once they’re done but grinning it out being on the discovery levels was happy days. Just working hard. You asked, how to finally turn that into FDN. I was out lecturing not only doing my screenings with the bone density machines. I invented other screening just to get people and get them doing some lab work. Get them running some saliva and urine testing which is easy to take home. It’s not expensive and everyone can do it, so anyone can run these labs. Getting information, identifying, this is the key phrase. Healing opportunities like what’s really wrong.

Again if you’re hormone balance, if you’re not breaking down assimilating food very well if your liver is congested, you won’t be detoxifying your body and on and on. If the immune system is overactive or underactive. These are not medical diagnosis they’re just identifying healing opportunities, things that a person can fix. Of course, it isn’t but one of the trainings I took taught us to substitute drugs with supplements. I tried that for a while and that didn’t work. It’s much more than just a naturopathic medicine should be much more than just “Here’s the test, here’s the wrong in the paper, here’s some supplements that can fix it.” versus “Here’s some drugs that’ll fix it.” That’s not what would work for me. Again, the whole entire lifestyle medicine thing. I started figuring out how do I know what is the right diet for everybody. Everyone has to eat. You’re made of food. I used to weigh 8 pounds when I was born now I weigh 198 pounds pretty big guy. Where that extra weight come from?  It came from food. You ate food and it built the body. So that’s really important. Then also, rest or sleep but rest, knowing how to really get good deep non-realm rest is critical to having a healthy body. Then the exercise, I became a personal fitness trainer and all of that learning about the physical body. Then, of course, another letter is – so that’s Diet, Rest, Exercise, D-R-E-S-S, it spells DRESS for health success. Diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction and then, of course, the supplements. I put supplements last. They’re what people want to start with but I don’t really believe that. They’re important but it’s really the D, the R and the E and the first S, stress reduction. You’ve heard that word stress before, right? You probably don’t have any but there’s so many different kinds. I learned about stress.

A matter fact I read in 2001, in an article in a naturopathic medicine that that was responsible for 50% of office visits and up to 80% of chronic degenerative disease. Some form of stress. I looked into different types of stress. Mental, emotional, physical trauma and of course, what I specialize in, is the environmental and the biological biochemical stressors, chemical stressors. It’s really a holistic lifestyle program that was developed over years of working with people, finding out what works how do you customize it. Based upon the actual healing opportunities that I discovered with the labs. If you run thousands of labs in thousands of people and you pay attention, I made observations on who got better and who didn’t. It should be no surprise to anyone listening, those people who worked closest to the underlying cause were the ones who got better but it was not so intuitive. This is where it kind of takes the twist where you really have to be observant is people with the exact same set of symptoms can have them for completely different upstream dysfunction. One person with the thyroid disorder where they’re hypothyroid, whereas their thyroids not making enough T4 or is making T4 but was not converting into T3 properly. Those are basics. Why? Instead of just giving them medication, we want to know why. What I’ve discovered in 10 people, you might find 10 different reasons why. That’s the not so intuitive part that helped me developed functional diagnostic nutrition, the entire program. Which is the investigation, which labs were on? Which observations can be capitalized on. We’re going to make some observations about healing opportunities as long as we’re given time, we can capitalize on those. Again, if you have a temperature of a 106 and you’re bleeding out of all references, don’t call me. Go get checked out first. If you have a big, blood’s on your forehead like some tumor growing. That needs a more attendant care,  emergency care. You go get that handled but then what? You come back and we do a program for you. This holistic functional diagnostic nutrition and the Dress For Health success program. That took a lot of years.


[31:27] Ashley James: Very cool. As you developed this, did you see when you applied DRESS, the Dress For Health success to everyone that you got even better results?


[31:42] Reed Davis: Well, yes. Today, 11 years ago I was asked to teach the system. It wasn’t good enough for one guy in California to be using it. How many people could I actually serve? Again, I had one of the busiest practices in the country. I was told that by my vendors. The people that I did business with especially a couple of the laboratories. They said, “Who the hell are you? No one does this much lab work.” If this was on the doctor’s office and there’s five doctors working there, “Who are you again? You’re a nutritionist? You’re doing all these lab work?” Well yes, I did it actually because I didn’t know you can’t do it. [Laughter] Like, “You can’t do that. Who are you? You can’t do that.” and I just would explain how hard I’d like to work and the number of people and the system I was developing. Finally, it’s became time to start chasing it to other practitioners. I started deputizing with just about anyone at first. There’s a lot of they didn’t call them health coaches back then now there’s a lot medical health coaches, I think we’re pioneer in that area because they’re allied practitioner we’re not medical doctors for the most part. We have personal trainers and people who do raki and nutrition and dietitians and nurses and physical therapist and you just name it, chiropractors, acupuncture. Basically not MDs. What they want to focus on is underlying causes and conditions. Ashley, really quickly we’re talking about the history. It’s really important. In 1903, Thomas Edison said a very famous quote from the great inventor who was right about a lot of things but he was wrong about this and I see people using this quote all over the place it says, “The doctor of the future would give no medicine. But will interest his patients instead in care of the human frame in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” What is wrong? Doctors are still giving medicine. It’s 113 years later? When is the future? If it’s not now, when is it? If physicians are still giving medicine, who then is going to interest the person in the care of the human frame in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease? It’s health coaches and allied practitioners. We’re the ones. We’re the army if you will saying, give the care of disease to physicians. We freely grant them full monopoly. We don’t care about disease, you’re the experts. You studied disease. You studied symptoms that might kill someone. That’s a good thing. They can do stuff that I can’t do. I can’t order a CT scan to see if you have tumors and other great things that they can do. Although some of that is a big waste of money. I had client once who, I mentioned to her she was going to take that supplement. There’s possibility of that you might get a little bit of vasodilator headache. You might get some headaches if you take too much of this stuff. So back off you go back down to the original dosage and things like that. About 3 weeks later, I’m talking to her and she goes, “I’m going in for a brain scan from my headaches.” I go, “what?” she goes, ”I called my doctor and I told him I’ve been having headaches for three weeks, she wants to give me a brain scan.” I said, “Well okay, if three weeks, how long have you been taking that supplement that I suggested to take?” she said, “About 3 weeks.” Doctors look for brain tumors or things and we work in different ways. I think you get the point I’m trying to make. It’s good to get your brain scan I guess. I can’t order that test but it’s good to have a doctor around who’s licensed to do that but we look for things in a different way. What are the healing opportunities, it’s a different set of labs.


[36:11] Ashley James:  It’s a different philosophy. You’re looking at that through a different lens right? Looking for the healing opportunities and doctors are looking for what drugs can I prescribe. That’s their toolset. It’s a different philosophy.


[36:25] Reed Davis: It’s totally different. Again, back to this idea that there’s gaps. People are caught in a cycle of trial and error. There isn’t enough health coaches and allied practitioners around. The purpose and the fact that the populations getting more unhealthy. Drug uses getting more rampant. We have people being advertised to and television. Going to the doctors and saying, “Hey, I want to try these medication for whatever.” The doctor is they’re kind of market followers. “Well like, okay.” They’re trying to meet the demand. They wouldn’t just indiscriminately do it but you get the point I’m trying to make. We see the health of people getting worse. A doctor I was talking to, a good guy, he said to me, ”Reed, you know we’re ranked 38.” He goes, “In terms of health, United States had ranked second from the bottom of 48 civilized countries or whatever. Like that.” We’re ranked second from the bottom. Why is that?


[37:42] Ashley James: But we spent the most as a country, we spend the most on, they call it health care but it’s disease management. Yet we are basically getting the word results. If it was a country, if we looked at each country like a company, like a business. Like Amazon as a business. If Amazon was spending the most amount of money, and getting the second to last worst results like in terms of sales retention whatever. They would fire the CEO immediately and completely restructure their business or they’d go out of business. But because it is a for-profit business, there’s no sense. They don’t want to change it because they’re profiting. They’ll say, you’ll see that statistic like if you’re a type I diabetic or if you’re an insulin-dependent type II diabetic, they’ll say the cost to be a diabetic is $12,500 on average per person per year. They make it sound like it’s a cost to the country. Its cost but in fact, it’s profit. A diabetic is profiting the industry that doesn’t serve us that is not getting results. Why would they want to change? They’re profiting? Right? But we are the people as individual we are the ones getting screwed over because we’re getting the second to least results compared to all the other countries but we could go to a different country, spend less on health but you know that would go costly to fly or drive to a different country depending on where you live. Here we are. We’re stuck. But we have to do something different, right? We don’t want to leave the country we’re in for health care although some people do called medical tourism. So here we are. We have to understand that the system we have gets the second to worst results yet we pay the most for it. We have to understand that we’re stuck with that system but we’re not stuck with needing to go to an MD for absolutely everything. We have to understand like you pointed out, wonderful people to go to for certain things and for healing opportunities go to an allied practitioner like a health coach or naturopathic chiropractor. I don’t know about calling a Naturopath an allied practitioner because they’re legitimate doctors but they see it through a different lens.

Going to someone other than a doctor that’s just going to prescribe drugs. We need to take our health into our own hands. That’s why the listeners listening right now. So they can become educated and they can be highly informed and advocate for their own health. I will say one final thing on this, I say it often but we have new listeners all the time. As I’ve done all these interviews which I’ve done over 370 interviews for the last few years, it dawned on me somewhere along the line that if you want to be a statistic, do what everyone else is doing. The statistics right now, I believe it’s 1 of 3 people would get a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. One in 3 people are obese. Or you know, overweight in an unhealthy way. One in 3 people have diabetes or pre-diabetic. And then you look at heart disease. My dad died of heart disease. My mom died of cancer so both two topics close to my heart. That we can help the listeners prevent it. Heart diseases is 100% reversible and preventable. I interviewed Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn a cardiologist who’s in his 80s who still practices today helping people reverse heart disease with diet. The point in this is that we could take action but we have to remember that we need to be summoned swimming upstream if we do what everyone else is doing, we’re going to be statistic. We have to be a little bit controversial. Right? Go get some lab tests done that a regular doctor would scoff at maybe. Change your diet, change your lifestyle. Look at that stress. Look at exercise. Look at all the things that the average person doesn’t in order to live along healthy life without disease. I’m so glad you’re going to outline some great actionable steps we can take today, you created the DRESS for success system to help people see that there are pillars of health that they could take into their own hands every day. To build their health and then using the abs, you look for healing opportunities to target what the body is saying it needs to focus on.


[43:23] Reed Davis: Exactly. That was a mouthful and very good. You were a change maker. Someone’s going to help change this system. Let’s just say the two systems can both exist. Again, it’s not like a wave to eliminated allopathic medicine we just can let that team have control over everything and us because they will just make us consume. We’re just going to be consumers of their stuff. The province of Ontario, we’re both from Ontario right? in Canada. I heard statics recently in the last couple of years, by 2020 60% of the entire Ontario government’s budget. 60% of the budget will go to healthcare. By 2025 or somewhere in there, another 10 years, maybe 20 30 even it will be 80% of the entire government’s budget will just go towards healthcare. Now everybody’s going to be on a the medical dole if you will. Just for all the money’s going to go. It’s a system where you’re right, there is greed and a lot of profit motivation for this. The people who are in the receiving end of the check, like government’s writing the check, who’s getting the check? Who’s getting paid? We want to change people’s thinking. I also just want to throw in that what we do is for profit also. I learned to make a living helping people. It’s an honest living though. It’s doing work, it’s very rewarding that does some good in the world. It will be a legacy, it will be passed on. You and I are of the same elk we’re working together to affect those kind of change and you don’t do it by going along with the pack. You do it by doing somewhat controversial. At least, can’t I ask some questions? Like if you go to a physician, he says, “Yes. I found your problem. You’re hypothyroid that why you’re tired and constipated and gaining weight and can’t lose it, your hairs falling out and you feel sad. It’s hypothyroid. Here’s your medication.” If you say that, “Doctor, why is my thyroid underactive?” We don’t know it’s idiopathic.

When you hear that word, idiopathic means, it means they’re not looking for the answer. It really means, “We don’t know but it means we’re not looking because that’s not how they operate. It isn’t by the way just the drug companies, it’s insurance companies play a huge part in it. That goes back to original comments Ashley about physicians feel like they’re wearing handcuffs. They can’t say anything else. They get reprimanded by their board. If they’re selling supplements, their office are doing some of these things, alternative stuff insurance doesn’t pay for it. They can get a letter to cease and desist or we’ll take your license away. How many are brave enough to say, “Go ahead. Take it. I’m going to do some good in the world and you can keep it.” They’re not just brave at this point. There’s got to be another system not to replace it but to operate side by side that can end up being a bigger system. The one that the people choose when the people go to. I’ve been a working-class here all my whole life. I’ve always admired them anyway. I actually do right to Harley Davidson through the mountains of California at least three times a week and try to do some good in the world and enjoy the lives that walk the talk. I can’t say profits are a bad things I’m just saying you can make an honest living helping people if you want to. That’s a big part of my course is showing other people to of this as a profession. Most people would sign up to their own health and their families. They just want to learn, it’s very affordable. I do this post-grad interviews and I always ask every single graduate in my program I personally interview and I have for 11 years. I have done thousands of interviews that’s “Why did you take the FDN course? What did it meant to you?” Way more than half would say, 75% say, “My own personal health challenges have been completely resolved, partially resolved. I’m working on it. I’m on my journey I felt so much better. I can’t wait to share it with others. I’m going to go out there and now I’m going to do this for a living.” Or we’ve had people start their business, augment their business or shift from whatever they were doing for living to doing this for a living. It’s okay to make money, as long as you’re doing some good in the world in my opinion. 


[48:22] Ashley James: It is not evil. I want every single one of my listeners to live a life that they absolutely love and be well taken care of. To have the means to have the amount of money that provides them with the ability to live their dreams. Money is not evil, it’s what you do with it. You have to give your money, I just paid my bills today so I just paid our health insurance and we don’t buy the most expensive but we don’t buy the most cheap. I always buy the one that covers holistic medicine but we’re nowhere reaching our deductible because we obviously use it a bunch but we do go to our Naturopath, to our chiropractor, acupuncture. That kind of thing. It’s $1,500 a month for the three of us for our family. Last year it was a different plan, it was $1,800. I’m like every time I pay it, I just feel resentment. I feel frustrated. I think to myself why don’t I just not have health insurance and then just save some money or put aside then there’s all these diff options and I’m so obviously like I do the podcast and I’m a very hard worker and I get this podcast to help as many people as possible. That’s a huge percentage of our income goes towards medical expenses for a system that is broken. For a system that isn’t getting results. Right? If this system was designed, if every practitioner had your course, every practitioner in the entire world, even every MD knew what you taught and they practice what you taught, our medical bills would be so small it would save us so much money. Every time I pay it I feel resentful because I’m paying a system that doesn’t work. Now I absolutely have id be overjoyed to pay a functional medicine practitioner and I want them to profit because they get results.

It’s about results. It’s evil when you have to give something or a company you have to pay some money to something that gets very poor results and you feel like you’re ripped off. It’s more about feeling ripped off whereas with functional diagnostic nutrition, I know it gets results. Just like seeing a Naturopath I know I’m going to get significantly better results than seeing an MD for certain issues. You want to go the right practitioner from the results you want. I think that’s just really important to understand that there are these allied practitioners out there. I’ve had listeners contact me that said, “I never knew that Naturopaths existed until I listen to your show.” They just didn’t know. Because that’s not part of the mainstream I guess, Hollywood right? And TV and media. The media we consume growing up is all about ER and Grey’s Anatomy and there’s no show following acupuncturists around. I think that’ll be hilarious. I definitely want to get into understanding a bit about the tests. That if you could give us some examples of lab tests that people when they take your course that they learn to order both for themselves and also for their clients and to just give us a contrast compared to like what someone would get when they go to an MD versus when they’re going to a functional diagnostic nutritionist?


[52:09] Reed Davis: Fantastic. The place to start the labs is how do you think about it? It’s really a state of mind or we call it FDN a methodology. Methodology is a method with a way of thinking attached to it. There’s a philosophy or a state of mind that’s required. Since for non-physician, we can’t diagnose and treat conditions. That would be practicing medicine without license. We don’t want to. We want to just get the underlying causes or conditions. They’re not always identifiable the so called root cause. You hear people talking about this. You may never find the root cause. It could be really well hidden or there just isn’t enough test. There’s no test that’s for sure. It’s not that this blood work that they’re running. We might be 50 or hundred years away to a blood test that tells you everything if it ever happens. We’re definitely not in a land of Star Trek where I don’t know if you remember Dr. Macoy had that little thing and he would wave it over the patient’s chest and then “Oh, it’s this or that here’s your shot of whatever” and that was really allopathic even though it was supposed to be way in the future. Those things don’t exist. The root cause may be very hard to determine but you can still have an effect upon it. That’s the thinking that you can have an effect upon the root if you can just get close to it. People are coming again on that second they’ve been told by their physician that there’s nothing wrong with you or you’ve got this or that and here’s your pills. Let’s treat the paper. They’re in a cycle of trial and error. Those people where they do? They go online. They’re going to get a million hits on any condition they put in. You type in diabetes or thyroid or digestion disorder. Whatever it is. You’re going to get a million of things to look at. Or you go in your neighborhood and you find there’s a guy down the street doing even Naturopaths and so they do a diet program, they’d do an exercise program, they do a supplement therapy. They do some other therapy with some gizmo and they’re making a ton of money kind of praying on people’s discomfort. People are stuck in the cycle and they get pretty desperate.

They just want someone that can help them. They’re spending a ton of money, people are making a ton of money but it’s really not filing the needs and the way we know that is people still walking around with all other problems. If something besides what we do and we’re just catching on really work then all these other people would be out of business. That would be part of my objective is to get more people doing what really works. Anyway, so you got this way of thinking that there’s an underlying cause or condition and how close can we get to it. We can’t give them medical diagnosis and we don’t want to. I have one diagnosis and you might have heard this I call it metabolic chaos. There’s just things wrong going the body. Everyone has different weak links in metabolism. There are thousands and thousands of metabolic processes going on in the body 24hrs a day. Most of them under control of the autonomic nervous system. Your sympathetic and parasympathetic balance of course and all these other things going on. There’s this idea that if symptoms incurred somewhere downstream that’s just another problem is showing up. Upstream from that is dysfunctional and misprocesses and above that is just what I call is metabolic chaos. Things are not working the way they designed it to work. The design is perfect you don’t have to teach these cells what their job is certainly. You don’t have to teach any tissue what kind of tissue it is. It knows if it’s a brain tissue or adrenal tissue or muscle tissue whatever. All the cells, tissues, organs and systems, the what their job is it’s just being interfered in some way and not supported in some way. Everyone’s so different that the opportunity for voids in that system for weak links is just really abundant. There are just millions of things that could be going on. Some of them all at once. We have one diagnosis. It’s metabolic chaos. There’s stuff going on. Our way of looking at it. This is just the discoveries that I’ve made.

Ashley, I’m answering your question now. I ran five labs in every person. And it’s because all the people I try to help, we start with a lady who had low bone density and then what helps with bone density, the hormones, we start testing hormones. What I found out just by working with people, sheer numbers. The people who had low bone density when we worked at their hormones, not only could we help them with their boned density but they felt better. They got more energy, their brain fog went away, their sex drive came back, their weight normalized, their immune system improved but still it wasn’t quite whether something else – I learned to check for hormones in every person using saliva testing and we checked the immune system. You can use saliva testing for that. Which I found out that when I ran another test, we call the metabolic assessment profile which is a urine test. We checked digestion to make sure they’re actually breaking down and absorbing food properly and that leads into dysbiosis and things going on in the gut that just aren’t right. Also detoxification. Is the liver clearing the blood that we’re supposed to? Three pints of blood a minute go through the liver. Three pints a minute? That’s a lot of blood flowing through your liver and most of that blood is supplied off of the digestive tract. There is some blood coming in the rest of the body to the liver through an artery but the rest of it comes it sort of drained off the digestive system. You got all these things going on. Again, you can make observations. You can collect saliva, you can collect urine, you can collect stool and you can collect blood of course. And start making observations.

This happened over a long period of time. I ran a ton of labs and I narrowed it down to what would give me the most healing opportunities for the money. People are going to invest, they have to pay me my professional fees and they have to pay for the lab work. It sounds like where am I going to get a lot of people who do that? they’re everywhere because people are sick. They’re sick and tired of being on it, the cycle of trial and error that they’re in and will spend out of their pocket. Last year you said you’re spending over $20,000 a year on what’s so called health care like insurance and it doesn’t even cover the kind of health care that you want. It really covers like emergencies that’s not a bad thing. Maybe you should buy insurance that only covers emergencies for $5,000 a year. That’d be reasonable. The rest of the money you spend it where you want. On care of the human frame or on diet and the causes and prevention of disease. You could spend it a little better and execute everything cover that you want for your 20 grand. That more than some people make by the way. Some families of three or four people. At least in this country. You got this mindset. It’s a methodology, it’s a step by step process. I ran those five labs in everyone. Hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, healing opportunities, energy production, and nervous autonomic balance. Sympathetic and parasympathetic have to be balanced for your body to function, right? We look for these opportunities. Now some person we might find 10 things to work on, another person five someone else, 15. It just depends on the person. Everyone is different. Everyone has this vital voids or weak links in metabolism. Again, we’re not diagnosing or treating some specific disease look here’s what’s wrong with your body. If you fix those things, then downstream what you see in your doctor for hyperthyroidism, irritable bowel or chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia or brain fog, cloudy thinking all these things. That stuff should go away if we fix everything upstream.

As a matter of fact you can remember it like this the word hidden. I call them the hidden stressors and dysfunctions. Hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification, energy production, and nervous system balance. H-I-D-D-E-N. Easy to remember right? Yes. H-I-D-D-E-N, the hidden stressors, and dysfunctions. You ran some small handful of labs, they’re not that expensive you can get them done and you have a professional. I’ve trained almost 3,000 people. I’ve trained those for you because everyone’s an individual and it matters whose test results are these. That’s another down side to allopathic medicine is everyone’s the same. All of their studies are on what’s called a cohort. No one person that it applies to it. On a group of 50,000 people approved lifespan by 20% with this drug. Of course, 18 of those people died from the drug and another 19 are permanently braindead or something damaged. You get the point? So we don’t work with cohorts. We work with individuals. That’s the other part of the methodology. It’s a method step by step it’s a way of thinking about the human body in each person individually.

We look for this healing opportunities in the HIDDEN stressors and dysfunctions that I just determine overrunning of thousands of labs on thousands of people will get you the best results. Will get you back to sleeping well. Get up feet on the floor running. You got lost of energy to get through. If you eat your breakfast, you know you’re going to have energy to get through to lunch get a lot of stuff done. Same thing between lunch and dinner and then you’re still going to have energy and clear thinking to enjoy your kids and all the stuff that we all want to do. It’s all high-quality life. Also preventative. My theory in anti-aging using that system, you should feel 40 until you’re 80. Anti-aging isn’t, you don’t wait until you’re 65. Look I’m 66 years old, think honest 20 years ago when I was pretty much abusing my body without knowing. I call it a well-used body. I’ve done some bad things to it but I was trying to fit in this methodology and also approach as an anti-aging tool. It will get you over the things that you’re dealing with that you don’t like about the way you look or feel. Without going to physician getting medical diagnosis and treating that specific thing with drugs or worse surgery. So once you do this assessment and it will include a very careful history taking of your complaints or the main ones you want to go away. How often those things bother you, how long has it been going on, what things you tried first, what’s your motivation running your life, you have to be motivated client for us to take you on. We would run those labs and then we would individualize the protocol, design a d-r-e-s-s program. Be very happy to go into the more details on the labs if you want. Like what hormones we’ll look at or what markers or we could go towards the DRESS program. How does that work? What are the specific questions?


[01:04:41] Ashley James: This is good. Let’s start with because I know my listeners are probably on the edges of the seat going, “Yes, tell us more of these labs.” We have a Facebook group. The Learn True Health Facebook group and so many times people are asking about labs by we have to have the right philosophy and mindset when looking at labs. We can’t be reductionist which is like allopathic medicine just looking at one thing like I’m going to look at the liver and that’s very reductionist just to look at one organ only. We need to look at the whole system because every organ affects the other. Every hormone affects, everything affects everything right? We need to look at everything as a whole. When you’re looking at thyroid and you’re looking at cortisol and liver and digestion and energy and sleep and all these. What I’d love to know if you could give some examples of labs or what are the absolute must labs that you always run with people. Of course it’s individualized because one person comes to you and their health history is all about digestion the other comes to you and it’s all about headaches and maybe nervous system stuff. doesn’t seem related but you dive in deeper and absolutely could be related because again, everything affect everything in the body. Please explain more about these labs that people learn to run in the functional diagnostic nutrition course and learn to run on themselves and their clients.


[01:06:16] Reed Davis: Again, back to the early days of doing the bone density testing. One I was finding is that I should look at hormones at every person. I was doing it just specific to the bones but I realized after a while testing enough people, that “Wow. This is critical for all kinds of reason not just how it affects the body.” Just what you just said, it affects everything. We run a saliva test. We take a morning, noon, afternoon, nighttime saliva sample. We look at cortisol and DHEA. Cortisol is your stress hormone. You could look at the pattern of cortisol and DHEA which is a counter regularity to your stress hormone. You have stress hormones which are catabolic and it breaks your body down. You’re under stress and then you have the anabolic beginning with DHEA, that’s the parent of your sex hormones, so that’s your anabolic. You need catabolic and anabolic balance. The bodybuilding up and the body breaking down. There’s a normal amount of each. Does that makes sense? Let’s look at catabolism. We find people that are overly catabolic. They’re cortisol dominant. Their bodies are breaking down. It’s not like you’re going to treat the paper like “Oh, here’s something for the other side.

We’re not just going to prescribe or recommend. There’s supplements that can do that. You can treat the paper even in naturopathic medicine. We start obviously what? Looking for the stressors. Why are you in this catabolic state? Is it just mental-emotional? When I say they were stressed? What do people think? They hate their boss, their kids, god I don’t know. They have mental-emotional stress but there’s also physical trauma and things like pain. Walking around in pain is very stressful. The body responds the same to either thing if your neck hurts its response is catabolism. Cortisol dominance. If you are in a  fight with your spouse all the time it responds the same way. Also the same thing with internal hidden stressors that dysfunctions in your bodies that occur over time or parasites, bacteria, funguses, viruses or food sensitivities, and things. Environment influences, new draperies can cause hell in the household because the outgassing of chemicals and fire and other things. What we do is we look at that to assess the cortisol DHEA ratio as a marker for catabolic anabolic balance. We need to get this in balance or nothing else matters. Why treat one little thing downstream when we can go upstream to a major factor like that. Oh, by the way instead on a pathway of investigating the stressors and some of that again, requires the investigation, the intake, careful history taking and things. A person might have a hobby that’s actually hurting them.

They’re spray painting little figurines in their garage sucking up paint spray, that’s not a good thing. Anyway, you get the point, there’s investigation involved including the lab work. We can look for food sensitivities, parasites, bacteria, fungus, viruses and things that they don’t even know is there and physicians are looking for the most part. We look at a major thing like hormone balance. The catabolic anabolic hormones and also while you’re doing that. As long as you’re collecting saliva, one I look at the sex hormones because estrogen need to be in balance with progesterone in women testosterone needs to be balanced and we can even look at melatonin. That’s not a sex hormone but that’s hormone that’s important we can get that from the night time sample. We can do a morning, noon, and nighttime evening – morning noon, afternoon and night time saliva sample. Get a lot of information and frankly again, standard physicians don’t recommend tests they’re not looking for that. They’re looking for disease. They’re looking for a way, cholesterol or whatever it is that they’re looking for deepening on your complaint. That’s some pretty important test. Saliva test to cover those things. Again this was just one of the first tests I started running because I was looking for a specific thing like bone density but I found out the ramifications of it by running thousands of it and giving those same people things to do. To look at the stressors, let’s run some more labs and narrow it down to these five labs. That’s one. It’s a hypothalamic pituitary adrenal stress indicator type test. We’ll also run by the way saliva’s easy to collect at home and send in at your convenience and it’s not really expensive so it’s a good investment as is this urine testing that we do.

Again easy collecting at home. We look at that digestive marker. Are you breaking down protein? By what you collect in the urine. You can see how well a person’s breaking down protein. If you’re not breaking down protein, I see amino acids. Amino acids turn into neurotransmitters. Think of all the ramifications of having neurotransmitters are out of balance. Your moodiness, your irritability and all the other things that are going on in your body that require good neurotransmitters. The other things that amino acids are good for like they’re the building blocks of all the enzyme and tissues in your body. Things like that. It’s remarkable how important breaking down protein is. That same marker, if you’re not breaking down protein, how well do you think you’re breaking down your carbohydrates and your fats? There’s other ways to look at that but it’s a great test and on the same lab, the same urine sample, again we’re trying to get the most bang form the book. We can look at oxidative stress. What’s another indicator of excessive stress at some form toxins or something in your environment. You could be over-exercising, you could be smoking, you could be exposed to other toxins or you could get internal toxic producing organisms or processes. So we look at oxidative stress. Basically if you cut open an apple, it turns brown, right? That’s oxidative stress. Oxygen, free radicals, and excess of that is a bad sign. It’s great marker as an overall assessment of health. Something again physicians just aren’t looking at because it’s an insidious long term contributor to chronic degenerative disease.


[01:12:59] Ashley James:  I did not know that you could do urine testing to see your oxidative stress. That’s amazing. Just thinking about oxidative stress, one of the Naturopaths that mentored me he described, he’s a pathologist before he became a Naturopath, he says that cholesterol, the bad cholesterol is oxidized cholesterol, it’s oxidized fat. It’s not, it doesn’t cause disease in and of itself. It’s like saying, look over there there’s smoke. It’s the effect of oxidation. If you take someone who eats fries everyday like fried and deep-fried, that contributes hugely to oxidative stress to the body. Eating anything with oil and fried food. So that person would then have that. Have high levels of oxidative stress but also people are low in selenium for example because selenium recycles the body’s own glutathione which is our antioxidant and so I can see where your starting to put the puzzle pieces together because you’re looking at their diet and their lifestyle. If you see that their melatonin is low and that saliva test and that you see that their protein is low in that urine test you’re like, there you go because their melatonin’s low because they’re not getting the amino acids to the body needs to make the melatonin so you’re starting be that detective. Am I on to something there? Is that how it works?


[01:14:29] Reed Davis: Yes. I’m impressed with your knowledge of oxidative stress. It’s another form of stress that creates an imbalance between the free radicals and the body’s ability to counteract them. That’s why we take anti-oxidants and we include anti-oxidants in our diet. We need the vitamin C, D, and E and these things from food hopefully but if not, you can take some if you take excessive oxidative stress you want to increase the anti-oxidants but you also want to go, that started the immediate care idea. Again, we don’t want to just treat the paper or use the paper to sell supplements or supplement program. That’s another unfortunate occurrence but we want to find out why again it could be over-exercise, smoking or something else hidden. We would just use it with the detective mentality. Like here it is, here’s the problem, your oxidative versus anti-oxidative balance is off. You have an imbalance, let’s correct it. That’s a pillar as you mentioned that can be corrected with our lifestyle program.

 The diet and supplements especially the right kind of exercise, getting the right amount of sleep all these things are critical. So far, we’ve looked at saliva testing, all the hormone, anabolic and catabolic balance, the balance between the sex hormone, getting a peek at melatonin which is I could fill in the blanks in there more, that’s a great anti-oxidant by the way. Most of us made in the gut, people aren’t aware of that. They think it’s just from the penile glands at night time, not true. You do this saliva test, you do this urine test, we said we can look at how well you can breaking down protein which is reflective of how you’re breaking down other things. It’s also reflective of the dysbiotic condition we find in people’s guts. Not enough good flora vs the bad flora. That’s where a lot of your protein that comes from. It’s the bacterial breakdown. We’re looking at that for a saliva, form a urine test on the same urine test, let’s look at the oxidative stress. From the same urine test, we’re going to look at liver function. It’s not the enzymes and things that physicians look at to see if you have a disease it’s just that it congest it. If you’re spilling this it violates and sulfates over into the urine, they collected by kidneys and excreted and we can measure them. If you have a congested liver like before the recording started, we talked a little bit about this scenario that you might want to work on. We see people are overweight there’s so much fatty liver around, it’s unbelievable. Liver it does a lot of things. A couple hundred different operations but if you just look at it as a vacuum cleaner bag collecting toxins and unwanted particles off the digestive track and wherever you’ve got to change your vacuum cleaner bag don’t you?

If you ever changed a bag in a vacuum cleaner the old ones that used to have bags you know that it runs a good vacuum cleaner when you changed that bag when it gets too stuff it’s not working, you put a bag in it, you get a brand new vacuum cleaner. The liver can be assessed that way. That what’s included in this urine test. We’ve only run two tests, we haven’t spent much money but we’ve discovered a lot of healing opportunities. The catabolic anabolic imbalances, the sex hormone imbalances, the low melatonin could be real problem point to figure out, gut dysfunction and things, we’ve looked at dysbiosis and protein and other food breakdown. We’ve looked at the oxidative stress, we’ve looked at liver congestion. That’s a lot of bang for the book and we haven’t given any medical diagnosis. I’m not playing doctor. We’re just being detectives trying to help people or ourselves figure out what’s really wrong. Where can I clean myself up in these upstream functions so that downstream I have to just feel better? I have more energy and I lose the weight. I have a better ability to build muscle, sex life, whatever it is to you that is not right about. The thing about the look or feel that you want to change. That’s only two tests. Another really important one I’d run just about everybody, depending on how they come to us and people come with all these metabolic chaos, they’ve got multiple complaints hardly anyone says it’s just my hangnail, if I had a little more energy I’d be better. They’ve got multiple complaints. Some of them walk around these things for years and years and years, they’ve seen 10 people already and everyone kind of picks and chooses. Try my therapy, try my little machine or my whatever they’re doing. Individual therapies and modalities. When that doesn’t work, you’ve got to start looking upstream and that’s what my entire system is abided on. I would look at gut function a little deeper. I like running an intestinal permeability test just to make sure that your villi and microvilli are in good shape. That you don’t have excessive permeability at the gut, things like that because it’s a healing opportunity. You can call it it’s all kinds of problems for a person. Just unbelievable amount of problems. Include eventually autoimmune conditions and serious stuff. That, by the way, is another urine test do it at home. Doesn’t cost a lot and you can get these markers and start doing the things that takes to repair the damage. There’s two of more tests as a matter of fact if you just ran those three you’ve got a hell of an assessment. “Wow, look at all the stuff that I can fix. Finally, someone has figured out what’s really wrong with me. How do I fix it?” Well, there’s a couple more tests critical in that process. Now we’re ready for the DRESS program but the easy way to shortcut like diet, for instance, is to run a food sensitivity test. We can get into the DRESS program now but the story hidden stressor is the parasites, bacteria, fungus. Those are all easily detectable on stool testing. There’s different ones, there’s microscopy, there’s microscope. There’s culturing you can put the stool in Petri dishes and see what kind of pus grows on it for bacteria or even yeast. You can also run DNA testing. There’s ways to look at the stool that are very informative. More healing opportunities like if you have bugs. You’ve got to get rid of them. You can go to doctor for that or people mostly are choosing to self-treat using age-old botanical treatments. More that are less toxic less harmful to the good bacteria and things. How do you like them apples so far? 


[01:21:51] Ashley James: I like it. I like that its sounds really non-invasive. Saliva and urine test and stool test. All things you can do at home and mail in. There are mold and parasites, a huge problem that people aren’t aware of. Most people aren’t aware that they could live in several different states and they can actually take mold with them in their belongings and many houses in different states even out in the desert where you think, “It’s like humid here.” Absolutely, you can have mold in the dessert living in Las Vegas for example or living in the mountains. Mold is huge and it is a big problem for our health. I’ve had several experts on the show talk about it and it can cause so many different symptoms but obviously immune problems like if someone goes, “Man, I just catch every single flu and every single cold that comes around. I just feel like I’m always sick.” Something’s going on that your immune system is so taxed right now. What is going on? Parasites we think just because we have clean water and we wash our hands, we don’t live among filth like we did thousand years ago. That there is someone immune to parasites right because we live indoors where there is no mosquitoes biting us every day so we don’t think that insects, you know parasites are kind of like parasites if you think about it. Could bug us and you go outside and you can’t and you start to become aware that we are just animals.

We are animals that are a little bit more sophisticated but we are not impervious to parasites and all animals can get parasitic infections like we can get a bacterial infection. I’d love for you to just explain a little bit more about mold and parasites because even if someone had some health issues that are like persistent, it’ll be great to rule out. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they discover that the root cause was mold? Or the root cause was a chronic parasitic infection? Wouldn’t that be wonderful because it’s so easy to manage versus everything’s’ out of whack, where do I start? Of course do the DRESS. Do the diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction and supplements to fill in the gaps. Obviously a 100 % of the population would benefit from that formula but wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone suffering and it’s an easy fix, right? To dress mold and parasite rather than years of dialing stuff in and still suffering. If you could tell us a bit more about the parasite and mold testing that would be wonderful. 


[01:24:50] Reed Davis: Okay, sure. In context with what I was saying the investigation, looking at these critical markers for balance in your body. Moving on to than what more specifically is part of the stress takes you this metabolic chaos going on in my body and the things that you can do like some of the testing to determine. Stool testing for parasites, bacteria, and fungus is common. I mean we test everyone for that, now you find things but there’s the issue I have with it people think, “Oh, I found your problem.” there’s people who caught on to that there’s parasites for instance or bacteria like H. pylori and these different things and fungi and things. They’re thinking that they found the problem. Take you back on the whole vitalistic theory. You were already sick for the most part before your symptoms occur. Your immune system would have to be pretty compromised before some of these very common bugs, by the way, if you look at some of the literature, they’re not even considered a problem, they’re considered commercial or sort of normal to have some bacteria and parasite.

You can make a mistake easily by saying, “Oh, your problem sounds like parasites.” See some digestive issues and things like that, pain in the gut or whatever. Diarrhea and things, it sounds like a parasite then you check and you pat yourself on the back “Yes, I found your problem, it’s parasite. We’ll get rid of it and you’ll be fine.” No, you have to heal the whole person. You have to heal their entire digestive tract and bring their immune system back to balance and order. It’s not as simplistic as, “Oh I found this parasite now I’m all better.” You might feel better initially but you’re going to get the next bug that come along if you don’t really repair the whole person. Mold is a little different because – by the way you can run a test it’s called H-E-R-M-I. The hermi test for mold in your house. That’s the sort of best test for finding out if you got the kind of mold that will make you sick and there’s no good molds for us has been exposed to especially when it turns into something you can inhale. If it turns that can be inhaled that’s a bad deal for anybody. We recommend certain people with certain conditions. If you want to learn a lot about mold, I would go to Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker is probably the world’s leading expert in that area of research. He’s really specialized in water-damaged buildings and the molds and the long term chronic effects and how to remediate the building mostly you just want to get out, get ways from it. Then what happens to the body, unfortunately, what happens to the body can be really kind of diluted and the testing can be more expensive and hard to get for what it does to your immune system and inflammatory processes in your body. It really wakes up some complementary pathways and it can be really hard to detoxify molds. It’s very insistent. It loves to just re-circulate. It’s a very hard to bind to get out of the body. Because they’re mold toxins, it’s not the mold itself they’re just toxins from the mold. There is what’s called the micro toxin test, you can measure for that. but it’s not our first-line test. I don’t just run a micro toxin test to people. We have to clean them up first.

The FDN program looking at the hormone, immune, digestive, detox so on is a grounding program to get yourself cleaned up where you should be better. You should be a whole lot better. I’m talking about just three months of doing our DRESS program. Doing our customized for your test results and your history. If you do that customized DRESS program, the diet, the rest, the exercise, the stress reduction, the supplementation. 90 days you should really turn the corner or made it a few steps up the ladder so to speak. Yes, I feel a lot better. Then we start getting into more insidious things that could be in your environment. We don’t chase the mentality we still just being good health detectives. I’m not a person automatically would just pick a test like a mold test. I have some good screenings for it. There’s a nasal swab you could do for more things that’s pretty cheap. But I wouldn’t just run as a first-line. I just hate this idea, Ashley, it’s never worked for me anyway to put it that way. To try to guess what the problem is based on symptoms, remember we’re trying to get ways from that. Because people, walk-in from regular doctor, regular Naturopath you know I’ve got this traditionally reliable cluster of symptoms that sound like thyroid. Or traditionally reliable that sounds like chronic fatigue you known whatever it might be, “Oh, let’s run a test for that.” unfortunately, they find something that they say I’d the answer to your problem. It’s hyperthyroidism and the doctor would write a prescription, Naturopath would sell supplements, helping to get the test results in range. You might even get the symptoms to a bit but something there is going to come back or new set of symptoms occurs because you haven’t really sorted out the chaos upstream. When the chaos or new set of symptoms appear if you just say, “Now, it sounds like low testosterone, run that test and yes, so now you have a person, yes, it’s your low testosterone. Now you’re on your thyroid medicine and your testosterone, what’s next?” It’s a new cycle of trial and error. Unfortunately, a lot of people do with mold, they focus on that one things. They don’t really address the entire person. Including all the stressors. The mental-emotional, the physical trauma, bodies that are all banged up. That hidden I would call that a major contributor to metabolic chaos. Mold really sucks. That’s my medical diagnosis.


[01:31:57] Ashley James: Very technical.


[01:32:00] Reed Davis: Yes. We’re speaking big terms here.


[01:32:02] Ashley James: I heard that parasite testing could be a bit more complicated because parasites can hide in the body. How do you account for that?


[01:32:12] Reed Davis: Well, they do. It’s not just parasite, it’s bacteria they like to hang out together. If you go back to what I said about it, even if you find a bug if you think you’re just going to take something and kill that bug and return to normal it’s unlikely. There are called biofilms which is where they hang out together there’s what’s called comsensing. The bugs know that the other bugs are there and they start hanging out together. They start not interbreeding but that becomes fertile ground for them to replicate to grow and even to mutate like fungus mutates. You can get so called would be called normal spores and things but once it take hold it can become very invasive. Punch holes in your intestines for instance. It can get really bad. What we do generally again, this depends on the initial intake like it’s really important to take the history. We have our own intake forms of things we use. Make sure that our clients are filling out a good number of forms. It sounds like a lot of work but probably isn’t going to take more than 15 minutes per from each form, each form that we have. People threw out three or four forms. It’s a good investment in helping us to number one, take stock of where you are today. As a practitioner that’s very important. we don’t want them changing their mind about what their problem was 3 months down the road. Like, “Hey, we’ve been working on your migraines and now you said you’re complaining about your toenail are swollen.”  You’ve got to get a good history and make people stop and think where they’re at. You can grade those things too. We do that, that will have us then running labs and get people on the DRESS program and their problem start to fade away. We actually have a point system for those intake forms. Some might have 300 points or 90 days or 180 days, 6 months down the road. They’re down to like not very many points but everyone has some points in there what. So you got that which is both objective and subjective.

You got the lab work which is all objective. Periodly objective, it’s what’s really going on inside your body. Then you have progress being made. Let’s make a point here that no one sat at the top of the hill. I don’t know anyone with perfect health. I know everyone’s on a stairway towards it but I don’t know too many people that – I’ve arrived here I am on the top of the mountain but we’re all – some of us have more stairs to climb than others. We look up to the people who are sort of able to help us and guide us and we look down and we help those what more steps up we help people up. Like I personally, 66 years old. I’ve a very banged up body from sports, motorcycles and just surfing. Just things that I wrecked. Muscular skeletal mostly. Also during my 20s and 30s was exposed in a lot of chemicals in different profession. Different job I was in. I don’t know what exactly what did that to my liver. I’m always watching. I’m always working. Again, I have less stairs to climb than most of my clients and my students come along and same thing. We’re all just on a continuum of improving. I don’t know anyone at the top so just with that mentality, let’s look at what are the healing opportunities and what are the things that I can do and just I can answer more questions about the testing but I want to talk a little bit more about the DRESS program.


[01:36:12] Ashley James: Yes. We’ll definitely get into that. Absolutely. Before we do, I have one last question about labs and that lab companies. I’ve heard stories about how it can vary results can vary from lab to lab. Do you have one company you work with? Or do you have handful companies like Doctors Data for example? Or Great Plains labs? Do you have handful that you’re like, I really find that these labs are the best in terms of results or do you have one specific lab that is just the best? I’d love for you to shed a bit of light on that.


[01:36:49] Reed Davis: The answer is it depends on what you’re testing for. There’s no lab that’s a specialist in every kind of testing or for everything. They are companies all they do is genetic testing. That’s all they do. You can even just run the 23 in me and then do what’s that cheap and then you can run it through various software. There’s one called Prometheus that I like but there’s other. The hard thing about my job is that no stuff coming out all the time. It’s hard to be on top of every new discovery and research and things that are going on and half of them could be junk because there’s no end to the amount of money being spent in this industry. So I do my best to vet out things and there’s a company called Bio Health Laboratories. I’ve been using them for20 years because I think they do the best saliva testing for that HPA access stress profile. I think they’re the best. I mean the quality and the quality assurance. I’ve been working with them for 20 years and I’m actually clinical advisor on their clinical advisor team. Great Plains you mentioned them, they’re a great lab. I use them for the micro toxin testing. They also have a finger stick test for food sensitivities. It’s not the best food sensitivity test but there’s nothing else around it can be shipped anywhere in the world. You prick finger and you put drops of blood on the blotter and you send it in the company. It doesn’t have to be frozen or anything like that. It’s stable for a week in the mail would be okay. You get a rough idea of the foods you’re sensitive to, it helps fine-tune your diet. You mentioned Doctor’s Data. They’re a good lab. By the way, this bio laboratories does an excellent stool test for pathology. Is there other stuff you could run the stool test for? Yes. Bio health doesn’t run those other parts of the test. There’s DSL which is a good test. They do DNA testing on stool. So to answer your questions, it’s various labs depending on what you’re looking for.


[01:39:04] Ashley James: You’d want DNA lab testing on stool because you’re DNA testing not for human DNA? Your DNA testing for parasites? is that correct?


[01:39:11] Reed Davis: The bugs, yes.


[01:39:12] Ashley James: Okay.


[01:39:13] Reed Davis: Yes but the mere presence of their DNA this is why I like some other testing isn’t telling you really have virulent it is. When you run a stool test and you culture, they take the stool and they shake it up real good and they mix it with a couple of things and it becomes a puree and then they are able to put it in these Petri dishes. They could grow eight different dishes with different mediums or EGAR in each dish, put it in an incubator for a few days and see what grows. Depending on the medium, you get growing different pusses. If there’s little bit of pus or a lot of pus that could make it a difference in your individual assessment of that person and what they need to do next. Also microscopy. There’s sometimes just looking through these high-powered microscope just having a really good lab rat. That’s his or her job and she just sits there and looks for bugs or bug parts and that will fit. Sometimes a human being involved it’s very important. There’s various types of stool testing and DNA is branded about as the ultimate best because it’s looking for non-human material and by the way you can look for that same test looks for other markers that could be reflecting how well you’re digesting things, how much pancreatic enzymes you have. There’s a lot to skin the cat. Once you’re trained in the basics and you can start to look in the finer details and individualized the labs you choose for each individual person. Again, it’s never about the test results, really it’s whose test results are these. That’s part of the methodology and mentality. Yes, I’ve compared a lot of labs like oxford biomedical for food sensitivity testing, they run what’s called the mediator release test. Unfortunately, it’s not covered by insurance and most of this isn’t because even though that test has been used for 25 years. It’s still called experimental by insurance companies. Why? Why because they don’t want to pay for it. Remember I told you about the miracle case Susan about depression and she’s got the hives for 2 years and she has been on this anti-inflammatory that made her gain 40pounds. That’s the test I ran and found her problem. Now I ran it on every person. Do I always hit home runs out of the park by running that test? No, because people are going to have food sensitivities and it’s the major factor in their problems like migraines. I’ve seen migraines gone but no other people the food sensitivities aren’t that big of contributor to the metabolic chaos. They’re minor contributor to the metabolic chaos that is producing the symptoms downstream.

For one little boy I’ve got to tell you, this is way back in the day. A lady was in for chiropractic and we’re talking your own health says, “I just wonder if you could help my boy, Billy. He’s 9 or 10 he’s always in trouble at school. They want to put them on drugs for ADD.” They have teachers diagnosing in the classroom. They want to put him on drugs for ADD because instead of paying attention to the teacher, he’s paying attention to the gardeners working outside or something. It’s telling something with this little boy. Anyway, we just did that test on that boy, got him off certain foods. Some of them are obvious. The highly colored and sugared cereals and all that stuff. Guess what, in two weeks, the principal of the school tracked me down and said, “What did you put Billy on?” “Listen, I didn’t put him on anything.” I ran a test got him off crap and now he’s a better-behaved kid. Things like that to you and I Ashely, that’s just common sense but it’s not always common practiced. That’s why I love labs. They just get into the degree that finding is contributing to metabolic chaos is to a degree to choose full in reversing the metabolic chaos and creating order especially in that hormone, immune, digest, and detoxification and so on and those areas.


[01:43:50] Ashley James:  I love it. I’d love to know you mentioned earlier sometimes we’ll never find the root cause but we’ll be able to help the person. For example, my son who was having asthma, he’s so healthy and he eats so healthy and I’m thinking, “What’s going on?” We changed pediatricians. We went form, of course, naturopathic pediatricians. We changed pediatricians and the one we went to, the new one goes her first after being hospitalized twice for asthma. She goes, “Why don’t we do food testing?” That’s her first response like, “We should be testing him for allergies.” I’m like, “Wow. Thank you.” I brought it up with the first pediatrician and she was like, “Well, you know that’s down the road.” I’m like, “What is going on?” she started telling me that it’s normal for kids to be sick and to have asthma and it’s just like weird. It’s what some doctors will say and sure enough he’s allergic to 7 foods, garlic, fish, almost every single kind of fish like it will set him off. Eggs, avocado, things that we would eat every day. Like he would eat avocado, ate it every day, garlics and everything. A handful of other foods. Things that we also would avoid like Wheat, dairy and oats. He was allergic to and if he had any exposure to these food, he’d have asthma and dust mites. Dust mites are easy to manage but these like garlic is really hard. All of his food is made at home, cooked from scratch or I totally have to be diligent with looking at the ingredients but I’m wondering so now he doesn’t have any asthma by the way but if has any exposure, he starts to get a little wheezy and then we go, “Okay. Now we got to be diligent.” But that’s if there’s an early warning system. His body lets us know, he starts coughing he does a little bit of wheezing. We really make sure we vacuum twice a day. That kind of thing. Make sure that his food is 100% clean in case he accidentally ate something contaminated with eggs or with garlic. I’d love to know, what causes people to have these food allergies? Like you said, we may not ever get to that level of root cause but in your testing, do you see something that says like do you see that “Oh, here’s leaky gut, and that’s what causes.” Do you see that there is evidence for something even deeper than food sensitivities that causes them?


[01:46:25] Reed Davis: Yes. Again, there are inborn errors in metabolism. Their weak links in metabolism much of them are acquired but some are inborn and there’s this, you just have to use the word milieu of factors. That why I use the phrase metabolic chaos and the root cause exactly may not be known or discoverable. It’s too far upstream. There’s not a test. The test sometimes is getting off of food and seeing if you feel better. That’s a really good one.


[01:47:04] Ashley James: Yes, because there’s no side effects.


[01:47:07] Reed Davis: Yes and there’s no diagnosis in the food sensitivity. I coached football for 15 years. Youth football. And I can remember this is again, early on which made me so proud and know that I was hitting in the right direction. I didn’t have it all figured out. Same test, I have a kid, the mom always come up the boy “He can’t practice today on Wednesday.” I said, “Well, he’s not going to play Saturday then. You know if he doesn’t practice he won’t know the play. He had to sit out Saturday.” and she’s like, “Oh but he’s got asthma.” I said, “Well, what are you doing about that?” “Oh, he has an inhaler and he takes his inhaler.” “But we don’t allow those on the football field.” and I just “Did you ran him tested for food sensitivities or anything like that? This kid within a very short period of time never had asthma again. I still see that kid around time sometimes. Now he’s a big strapping grown man with no asthma. It was so miraculous she had her other kids tested. Like, “I want to test my whole family.” “Oh, yes. Maybe That’s a good idea.” There’s this ways to be it’s a mentality that I think we’ve covered pretty well here. Always looking for the hidden contributor to metabolic chaos and to the degree that the root causes are discoverable we can work on it. If it’s not discoverable if it’s just too hidden, we can still have an effect upon it, by getting what are the healing opportunities? What healing opportunities can we identify and my systems based on just years and years and years of observations. If you checked the hormones, immune system, digestion, detoxification pathways, energy production, which is I tell you about in a minute when we go to diet. Then of course again, this idea of autonomic balance. These six things that hidden stressors and dysfunctions are answering almost every case that comes in. Again, there are additional work to be done. Sometimes but they’re a little less common. So most people, all the common things that people complain about today that generally considered chronic degenerative diseases or conditions that’s our wheelhouse.


[01:49:39] Ashley James: I love that. And it’s such a big wheelhouse. Oh my gosh, pretty much the whole population can come see you and get results.


[01:49:49] Reed Davis: A guy’s called me up and he wanted to know if he should take the course. He’s a practitioner and he goes “I don’t know if I’ll find enough people to work on? Will it be enough people to work on? “ I said, “Where do you live?” He goes, “New Jersey.” I said. “No, there’s not enough sick people in New Jersey.” What a joke. There’s just you never going to ran out of customers. They’re going to pass by the way we have FDN practitioners spent the least amount in marketing because we get results and we all have referral-based practices. Too much long to talk at least about the D in the DRESS program and anything else you want. But diet is really one of the biggest questions. How many diets are there out there? A Hundred? A thousand? I don’t know. There’s no one of them that is right for every person. I guarantee you that there’s no one diet that’s right for everybody. What in the hell do you do?

By the way, this was something I spent a long time trying to overcome this question because I knew people had to go, you’re made of food how do I get people to eat right? I started off. It just happened to be the diet of the day in 1999 when I started this was Atkins diet. Everybody was on Atkins diet. Well, it’s making other people sick. Why is that? I want to know. This person does the Atkins and oh man, losing weight, feeling more energy and doing great. Another person’s like, “I got sick. I had no energy. I didn’t lose a single pound matter of fact, my skin flared up and I felt worse.” Why is that? Well, it’s because we’re all unique individuals with different, I’ll use this phrase here metabolic types. A metabolic type is simply, meeting your genetic requirements. We’re all from somewhere and if we all could go back, 500 generations which is a long time ago, you probably find your correct metabolic type and diet that goes along with it. If you’re Mediterranean, it makes sense. If you’re people today having the paleo diet which they think means eating more meat. Well, if you’re from the Anglo-Saxon, heritage eastern Europe and this kind of places where 500 generations ago, there was lots of hunting and gathering on and your people lived on deer and rabbits and muskox, mammoth or whatever. That’s just all about all they ate along with some local flora. Seasonal plant material and you ate just that and that was your heritage wasn’t mixed with any other heritage you probably would do pretty good from that. What if you’re from the island of Borneo. That diet would be horrible for you. There isn’t just one diet that is right for everyone but there is a way to discover it. There’s some principles involved in that way to eat that are really, really critical that I earned. I think it’s really important since I have the opportunity to share. There are things you need to know. You have macronutrients, protein, fats and carbohydrates. They’re the fuel that your cells burn for energy so that cell can do his job. The cells don’t have to be taught anything. They know what to do, they have innate intelligence, the same intelligence by the way that keeps the earth in alignment with the sun and the sun in alignment with the rest of the universe and everything like that. There is an innate intelligence that hangs everything together everything happening all at one time and you yourselves know that stuff. They know if their brain cells, muscle cell, adrenal gland cell of whatever. If you can fuel them properly which requires the right mixture of the macronutrients, the protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

You’ve heard of protein types and you’ve heard of Carb types and there are such things that people want to know, they’re called mix types. It had to do with the oxidative rate. The rate at which rate in quality and quantity of energy being produced on a cellular level. Energy is produced on a cellular level and it’s mostly dictated by the fat, carb and protein ratios. You can dial it in almost perfectly. There’d be some variations based on the time of the month. For women, seasonal variations for some people. Otherwise you can really dial in the correct fuel mixture for you because if it was just simple as either way your ancestors did 500 years ago, that was not available and guess what, people 12,000 years ago started roaming the world and we’re all just really interbred. These very few pure of this that or anything except of native tribes and they’ve been studied. A really big thing is protein, carb and fat ratios. Do you kind of fill me on that? 


[01:55:23] Ashley James: Yes, absolutely. I’ve looked at that in terms of how to get better results for people and you would change the ratios if someone was an athlete and wanted to get a different performance versus a woman who wants to lose weight that’s less active for example. You can adjust and play with those ratios, the gram of carbohydrates, fats, and protein to make the fuel mixture that your body wants. If you’re a sports car or a little minivan. Your metabolic needs are you were saying and your genitive pre-disposition but also the quality of a carbohydrates matter. Quality of protein, whether the protein is from something highly processed like whey or meat versus a protein broccoli. Just different quality of proteins and all of the nutrients that come with that food. We need to take into account as well. We need to know the highest quality of the fuel right? And the ratios are really important. But I love that you’re talking about getting those ratios in a healthy mixture for the body and not being extremist with this 80% or 90% fat diet sort of 100% meat diets where the ratios are way out of balance. Maybe in a short term someone could get good results. Anyone can lose 10 pounds changing their diets. It kind of shock the body, shock the metabolism but it’s what you see in the long-term, and I like that you’re looking at subjective and objective by looking in at how the person is feeling in their own skin. And the labs. Because over time you’re going to track a diet and see if you’re getting the results you want or not.


[01:57:22] Reed Davis: Well, that’s really well put. Let’s take little bit step further with this energy produced in a cellular level based on the carb, fat, protein ratios. We’re going to assume automatically that you’re eating really good high-quality food. That your beef or whatever your meat is organic. That your fruits and vegetables are organic as you can get. Not that they have so much extra nutrition in those fruits and vegetables but at least you’re not getting the herbicide, pesticide, and rodenticides all the different. You want to keep poisons to a minimum. This is what people start to write down in terms of “how do I know if that’s the right fuel mixture for me?” Number one, you’re going to be satiated. You’re going to feel satisfied. Your meal will feel like the right kind of the meal. You can start with breakfast, you can start with lunch, any day of the week you want. Just try to measure about an hour and a half or even two hours later, if you had a reasonably sized meal. What is your satiation? It is the principle of satiety.

If you’re not fully satisfied, if something’s missing, if you’re craving something then we would want to adjust ratios a little bit. No, I’m not feeling satisfied, it’s missing something. That’s not satiation. Satiation becomes a really important factor. Again, every breakfast and hour and a half, 90 minutes later, check three things. One the satiety, satiation versus cravings and hunger or something. Assuming you had a real meal in that. The next thing is energy. You need really good high-quality strong energy from your food. If it’s fuel for the cells and they’re producing energy to do their job you should feel energized and energetic. You should have enough energy to do the work or play that you plan to do until the next meal comes along. Which in case, by the way, should you feel a little bit hungry before the next meal, your blood sugar could be checked and things like that. Satiation is one, should feel satisfied. An hour and a half, two hours later you should still feel good energy. I’m not talking about the kind that you get from coffee where you feel kind of nervous to even do something but you feel tired underneath. Not that kind of energy really strong solid good energy, the third thing, these are worth writing down if you’re going to try to adjust your carb protein and fat ratios. The next one is sense of well-being. Believe it or not. You should feel good. If you feel really grumpy for not reasons that a sign that your meal may need some tweaking in terms of protein. If you’re grumpy and someone just cut you off at traffic or got fight at work, that’s kind of okay but if everything’s going wrong why do I feel grumpy or irritated or one of these negative emotions. Lack of sense of well-being in anyway, those three things are really critical and that requires you a bit of self-aware and pay attention and maybe make some notes so the next day you can adjust the ratio. There’s a lot more to diet but that’s some really critical factors. Again, assuming your food is high quality you’re not eating crap out of bags or boxes all the time. You want to eat real food. There’s stuff that’s on the outside the grocery store. I mean on the edges. Stay out of the aisles.


[02:00:04] Ashley James: Right. Stay out of the aisles. Go shop around the perimeter of the grocery store absolutely. I love it. Very cool. There’s so much to this but you make it simple and it’s a delight learning from you and I’d love to have you back on the show. Because we just really scratched the surface, I’d love to have you back to dive in. I know my listeners are going to love today’s interview. I know they’ll love to have you back. I want to make sure that people know more about your course. I’m going to take your course. I’m really interested and I know my listeners are right there with me. For those who want to check out the course, they can go to like as in functional diagnostic nutrition. So Of course, that link is going to be on the show notes of today’s podcast at Tell us a bit about your course. I believe when they go to that link they’ll get a discount to your program. That’s what it says and I’d love for people to know a bit about the program. It’s self-paced. It’s my understanding. Because we’re all busy. It’s online it’s self-paced. Can you tell us a little bit about it?


[02:02:18] Reed Davis: Oh sure. It’s quite a robust course as I mentioned earlier in the program. I’ve interviewed every person that ever took it. It started as a 2-day workshop and that was 11 years ago July so long time ago. I’ve just expanded and expanded what more can I do? What can I do to make it better? And every person gets asked and I’ve had a lot of honest people who told me “What if you did this? What if you did that?” I take all of their advice and I reiterated the course. Now it’s a full-blown course and first of all obviously the labs, all the investigative processes. The hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification. I teached them the anatomy physiology and biochemistry. For those who already know some of those stuff. It’s a great review. For those who doesn’t know anything I speak in very plain language and teach you what you need to know. There’s no fluff or frills or fill in this course. It’s all practical stuff. I’ve been told by people with masters programs and program said this is the most practical thing I’ve ever done ever. Because it’s just nitty-gritty stuff, all the physiology and stuff for around the lab work. You truly understand what you are testing, what are the hormones and other markers and how to interpret them based on an individual where we focused is on the case studies and how this is an individual test results. It’s not to treat the paper. That’d be easy to teach. I can teach you that in 10 minutes.

This is again, a robust course to take so it’s about 6 months or more to get through. I’ve had people do it in less but they must’ve had nothing else to do. It’s all that. Then, of course, it’s going to be case studies and interpretation. Working with individuals and yourself. You’re going to run those labs on yourself. I pay for two of them and as part of the course, I’m paying your way some of that internal investigation on you. You could take it just for your own health if you want to. That alone would be worth the price of admission. I’ll teach you all that and then I teach you all the protocols. The D-R-E-S-S program. We just ran into diet a fraction of what you might want to know. It’s how to get the right diet for each individual and the rest program and I teach a lot about sleep that’s really important and about the exercise. You just said some people are like drag racers others were like Volkswagens. The same there is no one exercise program that works perfect for everybody. You’ve got to know some things.

You might not be a personal trainer actually put them through these things. You actually teach your client or yourself the right way to figure it out. The diet, the rest, the exercise, the stress reductions is one of the biggest modules because there’s so much varieties and the types of stressors were affected by. Some of then I go back to my early days of the environmental work I used to do and what’s in the environment, other parts where food sensitivities other part that showed the things around your house. As a matter of fact, for people who just want to taste of how to deal with that area in their life, go to It might be .org, environmentalworkinggroup. We get a lot of stuff about the environmental toxins and pollutants for them. So it’s diet, rest, exercise, stress, reduction. How to asses an individual in various stressors and there of course supplements. I don’t own my own line which I think is to my credit because I know I’m leaving a lot of money on the table not having my own line but I just have avoided that but in all about supplements I teach you what you need to know to support the body, to stimulate the immune system, to substitute what’s missing from food. For god’s sake. These antioxidants and essential fatty acids that we talked about the vitamins and minerals. That’s really important stuff. It’s now all the lab work and assessment and how to work with individuals and yourself. It all the DRESS protocol. What fixes everything? How do you fix every cell tissue system in the body at once? That’s the DRESS modules and then, of course, there’s the business modules like how to do this for a living. How to work with people? How to intake? How to make sure you’re working with a client is going to be successful? Guess what? Don’t let them hire you. I teach you actually how to select people who are going to be successful and make a good living doing this, doing the good in the world that all of us want to do.


[02:07:03] Ashley James: I love it. It sounds amazing. I took the IIN course. I really appreciate it because its focus is on the emotional mental health of doing health coaching. Of course, you learn the dietary theories of a hundred different diets but you don’t learn labs you don’t learn supplements you don’t learn nutrition. I’ve been mentored by Naturopaths for the last 8 years. so I’ve learned a great big deal about nutrition and supplements but what I loved about IIN’s course is a lot of it is the emotional mental work. I see that someone who’s graduated from IIN as a health coach would love to take your program because like you said there’s no fluff it’s a hundred percent everything you want to learn to then go out and work with clients. People who have never worked with clients could take your course and do a great job and people who do currently work with clients like IIN graduates. It would complement their continued education so well. I think it’s a wonderful complement. I’m very excited to take your program. Thinking about the cost of your program and thinking about the cost of seeing a functional medicine practitioner, for example, it’s about the same.

To see someone for six months or a year to work on a problem I could pay someone else. I could find local practitioner maybe graduate for your course and I could pay them and do the testing and pay them to look at it and asses me and help me figure out what I want to do. Or I could pay to take your course to learn it myself to do the work on me and be about the same amount of money but I would have that skill set for the rest of myself to continue helping myself for the rest of my life. You know some people are just at a point where maybe they don’t have mental clarity. I remember when I was very sick with chronic adrenal fatigue. I did not have the capacity to take a course. I was just at that point, where I just wanted someone to help me and maybe people they just want to find a practitioner that’s taking your course and go and work with them. For those who want to sort of be taught how to fish instead of just be given a fish, they have that skill set for the rest of their life then taking your courses is absolutely amazing because in the long run it’s going to save them so much money years to come they can apply these lessons then their selves and their family and loved ones. Then have that background potentially doing that as a career and adding that to their repertoire. Wonderful. I love it. Is it audio? Video? Tell us a little bit about the format of experiencing your course?


[02:09:55] Reed Davis: Well, it’s online for the most part but here are quite a number of head to heads, one on ones with mentors. Some of my best students that’s how I’m grown by the way from the original two-day workshop at 19 people, we now have close to 3,000 that we’ve trained. The course reiterated over and over again. The latest in relation is quite remarkable if I do say so myself. So you’re going to watch the lessons, you can download them to your computer though so you don’t have to be online. You could watch them on a bus or on a plane as long as you’re on your computer. There’s turnouts I have a I think a 180 different forms I give you including the legal documents and onboarding things. Ways to complete the assessment, develop the DRESS program and apply it to a person. The coaching method. You mentioned IIN which is a good school and just every other health coaching program or institute whatever it might be out there. There’s tons of now. I remember there was two or three so we’re one of the earliest been around the longest but there’s some good ones out there but I would consider them to be if they were a bachelor’s program, we would be the master’s program. We are the next level but I break it down in such a way and again I said there’s such a thorough for those who did know a few things it will be a great review for others who hadn’t been exposed you’d be good for everybody.

The only prerequisites are that you want to help yourself and others. You’re willing to walk the talk. If you want to help people and you want to walk the talk set an example, it’s an amazing opportunity to learn. If you only work for yourself and your family, it’ll be worth the price of admission. The fact that you could turn around and recoup your investment in a very, very short period of time if you follow my business model, it’s pretty remarkable and last but not the least, it’s a community now. It took on a life of its own years ago. Even the first-class there’s some alumni that still are they’re still doing things. The alumni group which I formed, officially we have an official alumni group we started two and half years ago. There’s hundreds of members. These are people who do this seriously for a living. Like we have convention every year now where we hang out and share. It’s really remarkable. I’ve been told by some of my mastermind people don’t start a tribe and not lead it. I’m here for the rest of my life to lead the charge. In my way just like Ashley is in her way, we all know what the goal is. It’s for health and wellness and happiness of the planet. If you go back to that quote from Thomas Edison, doctors aren’t getting there. They’re not evolving. As a matter of fact, many are getting more interested than just diagnose treat model. We have to present something to go side by side with that. The people really want that really get somewhere they want to go.


[02:13:10] Ashley James: I love it. I’m so excited. My listeners love reaching out to me and telling me how it goes for them especially when they become a health coach. Several have become health coaches as a result of listening to my show and hearing my journey through IIN. I’ve had three people email me saying that they were going to become MDs and they quit med school and they became Naturopaths instead. Because of my shows, they found their true calling. Which is so cool that people are finding their true calling through listening. I’m really looking forward to hearing in the coming weeks and months from my listeners who take your program. Go to and take your program and then have an amazing experience and then they’ll reach out to me and say, “This is how it affect my life. Thank you.” I love that they let me know how it went for them. I’m really looking forward to hearing the stories because your program is results-based and it’s all about results. It’s why you do all the labs. So that you could move the needle. So you can get results. It’s not just so you can prescribe a drug. Right?


[02:14:25] Reed Davis: Exactly. Yes, and the community is amazing it is what made us what we would call today group sourced. If your feedback from people is, “Well, that was great. What if you do this, what if you do that.” You actually have people listening including me. Where else can we take this? There’s new technology come on board all the time too. There’re new labs, new parts, new things that we can play with like the big thing today is wearables. The wrist bands and the rings and different things. There’s always something new that fits right in that I can’t be the eyes and the all-seeing. It takes a group to do something like this. To make it a true movement. I hope we get some great feedback even great ideas. That’s even better.


[02:15:16] Ashley James: I love it. Wonderful. My listeners have always been so impressed by them that they are a people that take action. They’re action-oriented people so I’m looking forward to you hearing the wonderful feedback as am I. definitely listeners go to to look into it. See more information and see if it’s right for you. I’m really excited to take your course as well and you know, wouldn’t it be wonderful if a hundred percent of the population knew this information? Could you imagine a world where everyone knew the labs that they could take to better themselves? If everyone knew like, “Wow. I have this symptom maybe I need to look at this direction” How self-sufficient would we be? It’s a big threat to the companies that don’t want us to be self-sufficient.


[02:16:17] Reed Davis: Yes, I think it’s called empowerment but it comes with self-awareness first and having a space in your own head or being to be at peace. You’ve got to know what that looks like and set goals for yourself. That’s what health coaches supported to do but it has to being with us. Again, the pre-requisites are you want to help others and you be willing to walk the talk. We are pretty self regroup, pretty high level of consciousness among most. We make money but we’re not in it for the money. It’s just so rewarding.


[02:16:58] Ashley James: Wonderful. Excellent. Thank you so much for coming into the show. Please come back. I’d love to dive deeper. There’s so many topics that you have to teach and I’d love to dive deeper. It’s been wonderful having you on the show.


[02:17:09] Reed Davis: Perfect. Thanks, Ashley. Happy to be here. Glad to come back anytime.


Get Connected With Reed Davis!

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Spiritual Healing In The Real World



  • Properly letting go of the physicalness of a soul.
  • Ashley shares her healing session with Eric.
  • Possession and exorcisms in the real world.
  • Negative thought forms and energies.
  • The addiction to oil and meat


In this episode, Eric Thorton talks about how the remains of our departed loved ones affect our overall health, and how to properly dispose their physical memories. He will also discuss negative thought forms, possession, and exorcism. Ashley also describes her amazing healing session with Eric and how she overcomes her “self-talk” that’s fighting her will to be on a healthy track.



Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. You’re in for a big treat. Eric Thornton is coming back on the show today. I’ve interviewed him several times, if you want to listen to the interviews I did with him before, you can go to and search Eric Thorton in the search bar for the past episodes. He is a spiritual healer. And when I set out to start the podcast Learn True Health I knew that health was not just physical, that it was emotional, mental, spiritual, and energetic. So we have to address all aspects of life. Now, I thought when I first started interviewing Eric, that it might be too out there, like I might turn people off because it was, you know, we’re talking about stuff that’s not in the mainstream. We’re talking about spirituality and energy healing and stuff that some people might… I don’t know, I was afraid that it wouldn’t land well, and boy, did I have nothing to worry about. I have had a flood of listeners tell me that their favorite interviews of all 300 plus interviews has been the ones with Eric Thorton. I’ve had listeners right in our Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group to tell me that Eric Thorton’s interviews change their life, completely shifted their entire world, has helped them to understand their life and the problems that they’re facing in a whole new way. So as I kept getting this wonderful feedback from you, I was encouraged to keep having Eric on the show. And I’m really glad that he’s being well received. Because what I’ve learned from him has made a big difference in my life. And today in this interview, you’re going to hear my experience of my first session working with him in which he helped me to resolve a major life issue that I had since I was nine that it was running my life. And so you get to hear about my session.



[2:16] Ashley James: I am very thankful that I have this platform. I built this platform to share this with you, to provide a way for you to have access to healers, like Eric. So in one episode, you’re going to hear from a doctor on how to reverse diabetes. And in another episode, you’ll hear about how to balance hormones and another you might hear about how to lower stress or increase sleep. And then in this one you’re going to hear about how to protect yourself energetically, how to rid yourself of energies that are unwanted, what to do with the remains of loved ones, and why we should do certain things with ashes or with burials to support our overall health; emotionally, mentally and spiritually. So we get into some pretty interesting topics today. And we also get into some physical healing around diet and nutrition. And so it’s all just great stories. Just know that you’re going to get a variety of topics when you listen to the Learn True Health podcast. I urge you to join the Facebook group. If you haven’t already, please come and join the Learn True Health Facebook group just search Learn True Health in Facebook. Because every week we’re doing giveaways, we’re answering health questions, listeners love communicating with each other in the community. And it’s been such a positive experience to hear from all the listeners and sharing their stories and their healing journeys, and asking questions and learning from each other. So come learn from the entire Learn True Health community by joining the Learn True Health Facebook group. As I was editing today’s show to post it, I got a little hungry, and I snapped on my favorite snack. And I want to tell you that if you haven’t tried EnergyBits yet, you’re missing out and you’ve got to get some. I interviewed Catharine Arnston several times, I believe it’s four times I’ve had her on the show now. She’s an expert in algae. And it’s amazing. It’s a crop. So you can’t really call it a supplement. But it’s these little M&M sized tablets that you chew. And actually it does taste quite good. Other brands don’t taste good. But her brand does taste good. And I chewed and as I was chewing on them, I thought I gotta make sure that you guys know, if you haven’t already listened to the interviews with Catharine Arnston or learned about Energy Bits, you definitely need to know about them, you can go to and use the coupon code LTH to get 20% off. Buy a bag of EnergyBits, they deliver an amazing amount of pure protein that your body readily absorbs. So within minutes of chewing them and swallowing, you get a boost of energy and there’s no caffeine, it’s just you’re getting an energy source, it’s pure. So get some Energy Bits, which are the spirulina or the Recovery Bits, which are the chlorella and Recovery Bits are the ones that will actually detox the body in heavy metals. So listen to the episodes with Catharine Arnston and go to, type in algae in the search bar, or you can type in EnergyBits in the search bar. And listen to those past interviews if you haven’t already, and try some Energy Bits and some Recovery Bits for yourself. Because they’re amazing. I eat them every day. Listeners in the Facebook group are posting, if you follow in our Facebook group, you’ll see listeners say “I love them and I eat them every day.” And it makes such a big difference. So many people are saying that in the Facebook group, I thought you know, if you haven’t joined the Facebook group yet, you might not have seen that our community is saying how much they just love EnergyBits and the Recovery Bits, and that they do notice a difference. So give them a try. They’re fantastic snack that will totally take away your hunger and increase your energy and also provide you with minerals and vitamins and detox your body. So many good things. And when you go to, be sure to use the listener coupon code LTH that gives you 20% off and you can use it every time you place an order. That’s LTH coupon code for 20% off at Excellent. Well, thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing this information with your friends and family. Please come join the Learn True Health Facebook group and be part of our community. I can’t wait to meet you there. Have yourself a fantastic rest your day and enjoy today’s interview.


[7:07] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health Podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 375.


We’re back here with Eric Thorton and not much time has passed for the listeners. Because I just recently published our last interview. But for me, a lot of things have happened because I had my session with you.



[7:37] Eric Thorton: It was good.



[7:39 ] Ashley James: And we’re going to talk a bit about that. And we’re going to talk about a few other really interesting topics. So for those who’ve never heard Eric, I definitely encourage you to go back and listen to the other episodes where we were discussing karma and spiritual health and how that all of this cultivating spiritual health cascades into developing physical health and mental health and emotional health. And so we’ve covered that over a period of several interviews. And I’ve gotten great feedback from a lot of listeners saying they love learning from you. I’ve had a few listeners say it’s been a life changing, hearing what you’ve said, really helped make their lives make sense. And so we’re just going to continue to have Eric on as we dive deeper into the spiritual topics. And hopefully everyone can find more clarity and the answers that they’re looking for. Because as we go to heal our body physically, many listeners have physical ailments, we need to look at emotional health, mental health, spiritual health, energetic health, and how every aspect of our life contributes to either physically being ill, or physically being well, and building ourselves back up. And so that’s what we do with Eric, when we come and learn more about the spiritual realm. So welcome back.



[9:03] Eric Thorton: Thank you. The spiritual realm, well I’m happy to do this, because my purpose in life is to teach people about the soul and how it affects us energetically, mentally, physically, etc. And that’s my goal in life. So whatever people can gain from it maybe can offer a little bit of non biased, maybe a little bit of non bias because I’m not against religion, but I don’t promote it. I’m not against the New Age, but I don’t promote it. I’m stuck and I’m caught in a bridge between the two. And it’s very grounding. And we try to make it logic, we try to make it understandable instead of a mystery in the work we do. And that’s why people, it often change their life, because it’s like, “Oh, that’s what that means.” So if you’re a religious person, we can actually help you, if you love that, help you have a better walk with your religion. And if you’re not, we hope you have a better life, a better walk has non religious. So there’s no judgment here in that respect. So everything we do, everything I say to people is to help explain who they are, what they are, why they’re here, how it’s affecting their body, what that’s all for. And we look at everything that happens to the body, to the soul, everything to look as the learning experience. Because the education of the soul is the purpose of life, the soul bears repeating, the soul can’t taste a strawberry, it can’t be male or female. Yeah, those are animal things. And it comes here to experience, it comes to the human – ours type sold us to a human body to experience these things. And to gain that compassion from having to have to go through the processes that we as our animal goes through, over time it gives you a god like compassion and love for all species. It’s like you got an older soul person, they’re going to love animals, they may not own a half a lot of them, they still love them, or someone who’s younger, so they can eat them, you know, and abuse them on the way. Someone that’s in between maybe wants them taken care of better before they eat them. It’s not wrong to eat them. It’s just how we deal with it, that’s wrong. But anyway, the purpose why I’m doing this is just to help people get a different perspective, that maybe make sense for them. And then the healing sessions are to help people heal such as yourself, of things that drive us in a way that we don’t understand, because the medicine men and women are not part of our lives anymore. So like with your healing session, you know, things changed for you. And they of course let you talk about that. But this is common. Things change at this different level and it relieves stress. And just by relieving stress changes how the body deals with life. And if a person is being compelled by something, causing them a tremendous amount of stress, their body can’t cleanse itself. Their body can’t repair itself well, it changes your immune system, it changes your biochemical function. And if you can just relieve the stressor, things start to change all on their own. So as you’ll see my website it says I’m an exorcist. I am. Exorcist means energy removal. It implies all these drama from TV and movies. But there can be a little drama. But most the time it’s not, if you do it with full sight, full hearing and full knowledge. Because then there’s no argument, there’s no guessing. It’s just there you see it, you experience it, you can remove it. So anyway, that’s why I like doing this, is to help get that out. So tell me about your experience.



[13:16] Ashley James: Well, yeah. Before I do, I want clarification for you. You said newer souls will just eat meat and might abuse animals, medium souls start to think what is humane treatment for animals and then old souls, souls that have had more experience in incarnations – they want to become vegetarian or vegan, they want animals treated properly, and they don’t want to kill them for sustenance. But then you said it’s not wrong to eat animals. Can you elaborate on that? I know we talked about this in a different context, but this idea of creating that wrongness or that guilt, right? To have people feel a sense of wrongness or guilt. Can you just explain why and I know you’re a vegetarian yourself, but can you explain why it isn’t negative to eat animals as you were pointing out?



[14:21] Eric Thorton: Well, energetically, it’s not negative to eat the animal, if everything has a proper balance. So if we’re going out, and let’s say a hunter wants to get some meat. If he goes out, and he or she goes out and kills an animal properly, doesn’t use a bow and arrow where they run around for 10 hours or two or three days dying, they shoot them, they’d shoot them properly. The animal is biochemically in better condition for eating because it doesn’t have all that adrenaline and all that other stuff going on. But you’ve honored the animal by taking its life swiftly. And animals are a lower species and all lower species on every planet in the universe are subject to being used by the higher species in many different ways. You know, we unfortunately use elephants for example for many different purposes. I don’t know if people eat them or not. But I would expect if they were desperate enough. So we use them in many ways. And it’s fine if you’re honoring the animal. If you’re abusing the animal in any way shape or form, it changes them biochemically. But it also changes the way you digest them, the way you use them. Now meat itself, as we get older, our bodies can’t tolerate it because it acidifies the body. Not going to go into that whole thing right now. But it does as everybody knows, when your body gets acid, you can grow things that you don’t want to grow, called cancer. And if you keep your pH higher, you will not grow as many cancers. And I’m sure you’ve had people on talking about pH because that’s a very important part of physical health. And so as we age, we can’t tolerate meat well because of that factor takes a long time to digest, and it puts acid in our system. That being said, if you have an abused animal, it tastes different. It digests completely different. My family are a bunch of sensitive. So I mentioned in this episode we had with chicken that we got that was organic from Whole Foods. I bought two chickens. And we were eating meat then. And some of my kids telling me and I don’t have a problem with it. It’s just not okay for me anymore because of my age. But these chickens were organic, free range, everything you can possibly do to be the most natural it can be from a supermarket. And I just cooked it up their favorite way and served it. And literally, the kids were pushing it around the plate. And they always love to eat it before. They were just kind of pushing it around the plate. And then I took a leg and the leg was broken. So I looked at the other leg, the leg was broken. So that my kids were picking up on that abuse. And I had not blessed the animal for giving it life. Its life for our sustenance, I hadn’t taken away in the prayer is supposed to, in your intention with an animal in your intention or prayer, you thank it, by thanking it you’re removing the drama, the drama and the trauma. And so it comes in more neutrally. Most people don’t even think of doing that. And so I thought well, this is a good experiment, because I had another chicken from the same batch. So we literally threw away the chicken, we couldn’t eat it. One bite my stomach’s turned because we’re sensitive to that type of abuse. And so in the garbage it went two weeks later, I took out the other chicken that had been frozen, so it wasn’t as good. As far as you know, when you freeze me it’s not as good as when it’s fresh. And I cooked it up the exact same way. Blessed it remove the trauma and the drama. They ate it like they didn’t even think about it and both legs were still broken. So the circumstance of the death of the animal is huge in the way we process it and digest it. Whether we’re sensitive to it or not, it still is happening. It’s all energy. So if you have all that negativity, you know, you watch the Cowspiracy, why do they even do this to the animals? You know, I’m watching them lock the tail off of an animal before it goes in to get shot. It has to stand there while they lock the tail off and it screams, you’re getting in all of that from the food. And plants, don’t get me wrong plants have life. But they don’t have suffering. That’s a mammal, an animal thing. Plants – they die, yes, but they don’t have suffering. So people say, well I eat plants because well there’s no soul. No, there are souls in plants, but they don’t have the nerves and the suffering. And so when you pick a plant, the soul leaves. It’s like if I cut down a tree, I asked the soul to leave before we cut down the tree and it goes okay, and it goes into seedling or something, the energy of that life force. It doesn’t have a problem. And so when you’re eating a plant, you don’t have the drama and the trauma period. It’s not there. And while you eat the animal it can. And that is a problem for the human body. So it damaged me. So now I don’t eat it. But I’m not a vegan extremist. It’s what a body needs. And ultimately, as we age, we all need to alkaline our bodies, period. And that’s the best way to do it, is to eliminate your meat.


[20:45] Ashley James: Can you see souls like when you said you cut down a tree or you pick the plants, can you see the soul leave or if you’ve watched an animal die, or a human dies, you see souls leave?



[20:57 ] Eric Thorton: Yes, I do. For example, when you talk to trees, you hear people talking to trees, you’re talking to their monad – the sum total of all their knowledge, of all of that species of knowledge. So when it leaves it’s quite dramatic. When that soul leaves I see it, there’s a tint change. And the tree will sit there and start to look unhealthy immediately. And like when you pick a flower, it takes so long for it to wither. Well, trees are the same thing. And it still has the evaporation happening pulling water from the earth, evaporation happening in the leaves. So you get the, I forgot what it’s called.



[21:45] Ashley James: The photosynthesis?



[21:49] Eric Thorton: No. Photosynthesis is the end result. But there’s a pull, the water evaporates from the leaf, it pulls the water from the ground. So that’s still going on. But there’s no life force to create photosynthesis. So it immediately gets a slightly dull look to it, to me, because I see that that life force is gone. The spark is gone. And then within a few weeks, it starts looking [Inaudible 22:12] anybody can see. Yeah, we see the souls of trees and everything else. So it’s like I have fish tanks in my office with the fish tank. And when the fish die, if I’m around, I see the soul from the fish go running around my house, I go up to the fish dead zone and one of the tanks, I have to go fish it out.



[22:37] Ashley James: You’ve seen a soul of one of your fish swimming around your house. And that’s what prompts you to go find the floating fish in one of your tanks?



[22:46] Eric Thorton: If I was home when it died, I would see that before it left. You know a fish soul isn’t to come back and visit like a dog, but a fish it’ll just whirl around the house for a while and off it goes. So if I’m home, I will see it, a little light that I see floating around the house. And it’s like, oh, when I go which tank is it to the guides and this one now sure enough, I go find the dead fish. But if I’m not home, because it’s not a soul that repeats that visit, I don’t know. And then I have to find the dead fish like anybody else. There it is. There it is. There it is floating. You know.



[23:27] Ashley James: I think conceptually always believes in a soul until I held my mother’s hand when she died. And then I got to actually experience her soul move through me and fill the room. And that was like, that was just there’s no there’s no question in my mind. Because I felt it. It was very real.



[23:53] Eric Thorton: It is very real. It’s like they proved there’s the whole song about it and the stuff that there’s actually weight to a soul. They proved it back in the 30s or 20s or something like that. But it’s amazing how science doesn’t want to repeat that experiment.



[24:09] Ashley James: It could be someone while they die.



[24:12] Eric Thorton: Well, it’s easy to do. But now we got better skills than they have in 1920. So they could actually get that it’s 1/200th of an ounce or something like that to change and you think they would get heavier when you die. Because the centrifugal force of the blood being pushed around your body would give a little bit lighter lift with each heartbeat. But they don’t. And it’s so much of a percent of an ounce or whatever it is to get lighter. They get wider. Yeah because it’s measurable. And nobody wants to do the experiment now. Because, well, I don’t know why. I actually don’t. I think it’d be very interesting to prove that there is something that leaves, but science doesn’t believe that. I guess that’s why they don’t do it.



[24:57] Ashley James: Well, they can’t make a drug, so why would they be putting all that money into that kind of research? There’s not there’s not a drug they can patent.



[25:04] Eric Thorton: Yeah, but not a lot of money in that. But science eventually, always proves out spiritual healing and spirituality. It’s like Einstein, he theorized that the earth is in a time wave. I forget the exact words right now. Well, they proved it two years ago. You know, they have such sensitive experiences now that they put this little box that picks up, I read about it, you can read about it online, in the NASA journals, but I forget what it’s all called. But there’s this box that can measure magnetic pole. And they put it up on one of the satellites and it measured magnetic pole around the earth in all these different places. And they showed that we were in a time warp. That’s what Einstein call it. And it proved that we’re in a time warp. And that’s what time does, science proves out these things. You can’t see it, but it’s still there. So science needs to go on, in my opinion. Well, there is a soul there, it keeps us alive. Well, let’s learn to work with that. But no, they go, “Nope, don’t want to go there.” And they have to go eventually. Because that’s what science is.



[26:24] Ashley James: You reminded me of a study that I read recently that blew my mind; the power of prayer, and those who are atheists or not. I mean everyone who listens to the show all come from different backgrounds. So for some people the idea of prayer is very foreign. Our four year old the other day I talked to him about prayer. And he goes, “I don’t know how.” Well, it’s something we learn how to do. But prayer doesn’t have to be religious, it can be spiritual. But they did these experiments where they had a group of people praying for and, again not a religious, one specific religion, but just the idea of closing your eyes and sending an intention and asking for goodness to happen to someone. And they did this for people in a hospital. And they found that those who were prayed for got better faster, and had a higher survival rate than those who weren’t prayed for. And that’s like you said.



[27:26] Eric Thorton: And it is very consistent. It’s absolutely consistent. I mean it’s 100% of the people that would be experimented with, they may not build a measure at all on every person, but something will be changing them. Biblically, if you’re using the Bible, it’s called the gift of petition. And some people have a little more of it than others. But that means when you ask, it will be considered. It’s not the gift of command, but the gift of petition, it’s called. It’s amazing what our intentions do. It slips right into one of the subjects we’re talking about today – ashes.



[28:13] Ashley James: I definitely want to get into that. Do you want to talk about that first, then we’ll talk about my experience working with you?



[28:19] Eric Thorton: Okay. So the intention, when the power of petition works all the way to the point of death, and after death. It’s not just when you’re alive. So you have someone who’s, let’s just talk about death for a moment. It’s kind of the first starting of that. When you die, the soul that can be weighed leaves the body, it’s a freeing that occurs. People, if they’re aware of spiritual growth, they actually celebrate when they leave the body. Because it’s like a huge relief of pressure on the soul. That being said, when you’re dying, people can hold you back. You hear all these stories about people dying in the hospital when everyone goes and gets a cup of coffee? Because their intention, “Oh, poor. Oh, no. We don’t want him to die. No, and we have to be here for them.” You’re holding on to that soul with that intention. And so everybody leaves, gets distracted by the sniff of coffee and then they escape. Well, it doesn’t end there. We have these things, we have to dispose of the body. And throughout history, if you look at all the cultures, the cultures cremate, bury, things like that. They all have developed celebrations of death at some point to let them go. Well, today we have the technology to keep them. We keep the ashes, we want to do the right thing with them, we want this, that and the other. But when you leave the body correctly, the soul doesn’t care anymore, what happens with the ashes. It’s our ego that wants to hang on to them because we love our loved ones, we we adore them, we don’t want to let their memory go. But when you hold on to the ashes, you’re actually preventing – what I have noticed it’s been my experience, is you’re preventing the astral body, which is partly ego from fading, and the etheric body moving on between the into the life between lives. So when I touch somebody’s ashes, someone brings them to me. It’s as if the person that has died is standing right in front of me. And they’re still based on their thought process, if you will, is still based on ego. So they’re still concerned about family and the specifics. And like money, health, on and on and on where if we move forward correctly and the astral body has died, or faded, and the etheric bodies in the life between lives, we call those the ancestors. And they’re here to wish you good will, love, all the experience possible so you can grow spiritually, little care about your body’s pain and suffering anymore. But the astral body still does. And so when someone I’ve noticed, and it’s happened hundreds of times, to me, is it’s not just a one time incident, when I touch the ashes or the container, it’s like there they are as if they’d never died. And they know they’re dead, but they’re still hooked on the ego, because they haven’t been able to be let go of yet. So the act of burying the ashes, scattering the ashes, you are mentally letting go of that contract with your loved ones. And that includes pets. And when you do that, it is the end of that connection to the physicalness of that person. And it enhances the connection to the soul of that person. The etheric body is a much more delightful thing to have around us. Our ancestors are grand, and have the best intention for us. But they can’t get there unless we let go. And so I’ve shared that with a lot of people. And when they have let go of them, they feel better. They feel it’s complete. And that’s why throughout the world, we have all societies who never talk to each other at all do these burial rites, some like this, some bury, some mummify, but they put it in another place and they let go of it. Because that’s a universal knowing of all people feel that. It’s like when your mom died, you felt her soul leaving. Well, if you’re holding on to it, that still can’t leave all the way. So then when you finally do it, let go and it’s like you feel clean. So I don’t agree with saving ashes for any length of time. You know, if you take a month, or two, or three or five, or whatever to do what you want to do with the ashes to fulfill the person last wishes, terrific. And then we’ve got to move on. And then it helps the whole family because they become ancestors position to everybody in the family. And that includes people we don’t even know, part of the extended family that we don’t even know that they get to help. So it helps heal. You might look at it in a small way, it helps heal the planet when we bury people or dispersed them and let go of them correctly. But I highly recommend it to everybody.



[33:43] Ashley James: Well, the reason why we bring this up is that I have my parents’ ashes and the ashes of my second cat who lived to be 20. So we have those. Yeah, Muffins was awesome. And then we talked a little bit about that before I read your article on your website, And I thought it’d be really interesting to talk about this, because so many people save the ashes, their loved ones ashes as I have. And also now they do things like make jewelry out of them, there’s companies that turn ashes into diamonds, you know, like a diamond looking objects, turn them into jewelry to wear, put the ashes in some kind of glass and you can wear the ashes. And so by holding on, you’re saying there’s something going on with your physical energy that’s being affected, and your loved ones soul can’t go move on completely, because you’re holding them here.



[34:54] Eric Thorton: Right.



[34:55] Ashley James: So what kind of physical ailments had your clients resolve by letting go of ashes?



[35:05] Eric Thorton: It’s stress and freedom. When someone passes properly, we are sad that they’ve passed. But there’s also if they’ve passed properly and moved over, there’s a freedom now that exists that people almost feel guilty about. We don’t have mom’s requirements anymore, or grandpa’s requirements anymore. When you hold on to that, you’re actually holding on to those requirements energetically. And so you can’t develop who you were supposed to be after they have passed. There’s that we become orphans, it’s normal. And then the rules aren’t there anymore. We get to fully develop our own. So that alone changes your life. And it relieves stress, because you don’t have their requirements. Everybody, we all have narcissism. So we set these requirements up for our children to learn how to be adults. And they feel that all the way through adulthood just like I do I hear my inner parental voice and when they die, that changes. When my father died, my father wasn’t a good man. He was a bully, not going to get into all that. But when he died it was a relief. When his father died, who was a very good man, lovely father to me, it was also a relief. different type of relief, but it still occurred. Because again, the requirements that I had to have for those people, related to those people is now gone. But you hang on to those ashes, you’re going to keep mourning those requirements. You’re going to keep thinking about it. You’re going to keep engaging those requirements. And yes, when we let go, we miss a part of them. But it also frees us physically and energetically. I have a kind of an anecdotal about this, it was an animal. I was working with another practitioner, we were doubling up on clients for a couple years. And her name was Laura Smith, I think she’s in Montana now. This lady comes in and she is completely distraught. Her animals have been dying, and her life was just miserable. And we both got into her energy, started doing the energy work. We kept hearing, it’s cold, it’s dark, and I can’t get out. And we’re like going… We both hearing this second hearing. It’s cold, it’s dark, I can’t get out, it’s cold, it’s dark, I can’t get out, and it kept repeating to us. And we’re looking at each other because we’re know we’re reading the same thing. And we’re like, what is cold and dark and can’t get out. And the lady goes, “Oh, I put my dog in the freezer, I want you to bring them back to life.” The soul was stuck in the freezer.



[38:26] Ashley James: I’m gobsmacked right now.



[38:29] Eric Thorton: We were totally like, you know, just totally use your word gobsmacked. It took us a minute to recover. It was like, she put… But that’s the truth. She was hanging on to that. And because she was in a very abusive situation, etc. Many extenuating circumstances so she really clung to our animals for support. And that soul was not going anywhere. And it was this. It’s cold, it’s dark, I can’t get out. You know, it had no idea what a freezer was, because it was an animal. But it was cold and dark and couldn’t get out. So we encouraged her to bury the animal that we assured her we couldn’t bring her back to life because we were trying to appeal to herself and she was having psychotic problems. We said because you had frostbite. It’s like, “Okay, so we need to bury this, and we need to let this animal go.” And when she went through that she felt better.



[39:34] Ashley James: I can see that.



[39:35] Eric Thorton: That was a poignant moment for me in understanding about hanging on, and about ashes hanging on to any of these things. And that’s why all these rituals have been created throughout the planet independently. Because we’ve got to let go to let the soul go.



[39:56] Ashley James: One thing, I can’t remember whether you said it while we were recording, but you said it to me earlier about, because you’ve touched vessels that are holding ashes about many times, and you’ve never met a soul who was like, “I’m totally content and happy here. And I want to stay attached to the plane.” You’re saying, every time you touch a vessel, like an urn that’s holding someone’s ashes, the soul pops right in front of you and they’re agitated about their situation, because they’re being held here.



[40:31] Eric Thorton: Yes. And that includes anything made out of them. I was watching on Antiques Roadshow, Queen Victoria gave special gifts of little boxes with bits of her hair in it while she was alive. Well, they’re floating around you know, it’s a prize to have something like this from Queen Victoria. It’s like, well, I could connect to her instantly, if I touch that hair, or touch the locket that it was in. And it’s because energetically, you have the most familiar object in the last life that person live. You have the molecules of that, which is burnt or pieces of the body. And so it’s a direct connection to that soul. And if you’re hanging on, which is for holding on to the ashes and things like that, that soul is stuck, it can’t move on. That’s been my experience, and it’s been consistent for all the years of my whole life doing this. And I mean I don’t know everything, but it is consistent and it is current information. There was one guy who brought me the ashes of his wife. He had a little vials of them and he did give them to people.



[41:53] Ashley James: Oh my gosh.



[41:54] Eric Thorton: And I’m like going, “Can you get those back?” Because he put it in my hand and it’s like, she’s right there going, “Well, you need to date people. You need to do this, you need to get you know, you’re not bouncing your bank account, right.” And he had to do this and this and this. And she’s telling me about his day to day routine of his life. And I’m like, “Well, that’s true.” He’s like, explained to me that everything she’s saying is exactly right. And he hasn’t moved on, he haven’t start dating. He had married her when she had cancer, and took care of her until she died, which is nice and honorable. And she lived for quite a while. But there was a full awareness that she was gonna probably pass before him. And she wanted him to have a get married again and have a girlfriend and things like that. And so she knew he wasn’t. So I’m sitting and he’s looking at me like, “Okay.” But he brought the ashes in several times, because he wanted to get more information and before we finally let her go. But it was always one time it was about her dad. I mean, his dad, the information he had about some medical issues that were going on with him. And of course, she was absolutely correct. But which is convenient, except you’re holding the ashes back. And I could have tapped into the ancestor and maybe found out the dad was having a medical problem, or the ancestor could have come forward during the session. And they do that and tell us there’s something going on, they’re not supposed to have this happening. And we can intervene or prolong the life because of the information they’re giving us. But it needs to come from the ancestral place, not from the place of them being stuck on the earthly planes. So the motivation is very different when we have passed over correctly. So anyway, so yeah, we gotta write that.



[43:55] Ashley James: Well, my experience working with you, everyone I’ve told my friends that I’ve been told I start with this was life changing. But that is so cliche to say that, and I even had a friend go, “Isn’t every healing session that you ever get, like, life changing until you get the next one?” Right? And I’m like, okay, it’s so it doesn’t describe what I went through with you. In our very first interview we were talking about, it was probably in our first. It was either a first or second interview after you told your story. And for listeners who haven’t heard it, you gotta go back to the first interview, because your story is amazing. During one of our first two interviews, you talk about and teach about possessions, and you start describing them. And it’s really funny, because you know what, it was our second interview because I was sitting here, our first interview was over Skype. And I was sitting here and you were describing the possessions. And I just laughed that I said, I think I have that. And you know half jokingly, but the more I learned for you, the more I started examining my motivations and behaviors. And I started diving in deeper and questioning myself where things come from. Because I’ve been on a lifelong healing journey around my relationship with food and my body, and my self confidence and working on myself for many years, I feel like I’ve done a lot of personal growth, and I’ve still have stuff I’m working on. And what I really got in the last few months, is that I would set a goal, let’s say, a new health thing I’m doing is not eating after 6pm. You know, sort of like intermittent fasting, I have a good dinner at six, and I don’t have to eat the next day till like 10. And then I go to bed on an empty stomach. Definitely, there’s lots of benefits to it. And I was excited. So I started doing that. And at 6:01 a little voice in my head would start arguing with me and would not shut up until my head hit the pillow, and my head hit the pillow and it would still try to get me to go to the kitchen. And I’m like going to sleep at you know, 10 at night. And that little voice in my head would be trying every which way to get me to break this goal, right? And I’ve had it for as long as I could remember. And so I really thought that that’s just part of me, or in some spiritual circles they call it the devil archetype where it’s like we always test our own resolve? Right? And so there’s this inner conflict that I was dealing with thinking it’s just me, but also I started to get kind of pissed off. Why? You know, I understand the science behind it. I believe in it. I want to do this one thing, right? Like this intermittent fasting. Why would there be another part of me fighting it? What’s going on? What’s the payoff? Right? And the more and more I listened and argued with this voice that would get more and more persistent, I realized, and it took me a while but I realized it wasn’t my voice. And I’m like, okay, who am I arguing with?



[47:17] Eric Thorton: It can be a big problem.



[47:19] Ashley James: Right. And then I hadn’t gotten too far into, but I started to see this voice in other areas of my life. Because I’d have to distinguish this voice from and I’ve actually had experts on the show talk about sort of like, the different aspects of self talk, right? You know, some self talk can be really positive. And then there’s the self talk that is really negative. And where does that come from? And what’s that designed to do? And I had one expert on the show, talk about how this negative self talk comes from wanting us to learn, but it’s kind of like so negative, you know, so if you’re near a hot stove, it’ll it might say something like, “Oh, you’re such an idiot? Why would you burn yourself?” You know it’s like that very, very negative, almost like a bully, right?



[48:08] Eric Thorton: It’s a form of self preservation. Right, but in a very negative way. I mean it could have said it very positively like, “Oh, good job not burning yourself near the stove.” Or whatever, right? But I would notice that the voice or voices, or just these aspects of myself talk, my inner dialogue would be negative, and I would catch myself going, okay, Is this true? Wait a second, this isn’t true. Like, I’d be with a friend and all of a sudden, that voice would say, you know, “She doesn’t really like you, do notice that she just rolled her eyes?” And it would start to corrupt my thinking. Right? So now now I’m doubting myself feeling very negative about myself. And always the inner dialogue would at every which way have me questioning myself. So there’s a lot of inner conflict because I use a lot of tools from NLP, neuro linguistic programming, and hypnotherapy and all the personal growth I’ve done, I’ve taken all the landmark classes and all the personal growth work, I’d have to very consciously catch myself, and redirect, but I would always be fighting these other belief systems that were inside me. And so I’m like, okay, so I was very conscious of the fact that I was having to catch myself and redirect and stay positive and not give in to the thoughts. Because I saw you recently was it two weeks ago?



[49:47] Ashley James: Yeah. Very, very recently. The weekend before I saw you, I had our son, my husband’s the one holding the microphone. So I’m looking at him. So my husband stayed at home and I took our son out, we were going to the park or something. And the voice in my head said, “Let’s go to McDonald’s.” And everyone that listens knows how healthy I eat. Right? And so that little voice was just really audacious to say that, because I haven’t had McDonald’s in eight years or nine years, nine years. And then it started to say, “Well, you know, you can have the fries.” And I’m like, I know I’m not gonna eat those fries. And I started arguing with that voice and I realized this voice is not me. There’s not one part, there’s not one molecule in my body that wants McDonald’s, like ever. I am very congruent about the fact that I do not want to eat that garbage. And this little voice goes, Well, let’s have the chicken McNuggets. They’re so good.” And it starts describing them and giving me images in my mind. And I’m like, no. And so I had to physically drive around to Monroe and around because I was going to go up Highway 9 where there’s McDonalds, I’m like, I am driving around this McDonald’s, I was going to Everett to meet up with a friend and go to a park. And so I had to drive make sure I wasn’t near a McDonald’s because this voice was hell bent on us having McDonald’s and it was really cool how it happened. In the past I might have given in, and I have often given into this voice thinking it’s just a part of me or, “Oh, it must be what my body needs because this is what a craving is.” And no, a craving does not have a voice, it does not have a consciousness. A craving is just a sensation in your body. If there’s an argument in my in my head, if there’s words that come with the craving, that’s not a craving that’s actually like an entity or consciousness, but a craving is just a physical feeling. But my entire life’s always been a craving followed by a thought process trying to talk me into it.



[49:47] Eric Thorton: Yeah. Right. The craving for McDonald’s, you’re not thinking about, you’re driving along. You go by McDonald’s, because you’ve been conditioned by commerciality, your mouth starts to water and you get a craving. You’re not thinking you have to go to McDonalds, this chicken, it’s a good one. Chicken Nuggets look special. It’s not telling you describing the objects and etc. You’re driving along thinking about nothing you drive to McDonald’s, oh, yeah, you know, Golden Arches to all beef base special sauce, etc. And then you get a craving. That’s a different thing.



[52:35] Ashley James: Right. And for me, I’d have maybe a craving for something, and I tried to resist it. But then I’d have this voice talking me into it. Or something little would happen in my life and this voice would start talking to me and I always thought it was just part of myself talk that I had to fight. And so when you describe possessions, and I burst out, it was interview number two, and I burst out and said, I think I have those right. And I think your reply was, well, those are kind of nasty. So hopefully, you know, but what was great was right before our session, I became very clear that there’s something that [Inaudible 53:14] my efforts that I feel like I’m always fighting, like Sisyphus, I feel like I’m always pushing the rock up the hill only to have it roll down again. I get so far with my health regimen and then I felt like I couldn’t fight the inner conflict anymore. It would just keep fighting. And so you know, I would take great measures like we don’t bring any junk food into the house. And we’ve been sugar free we eat as vegetarians.



[53:10] Eric Thorton: We put a lock on the inside so we can’t escape to go to McDonald’s?



[53:49] Ashley James: Yeah, we live out in the middle of nowhere. So it’s not like we can go to a 7/11 down the street or anything like that. My body has even gone so far thank goodness to have developed allergies to things like dairy. So it makes it really easy to not eat junk food when I’m allergic to it and I had violent reactions. But still, I’ve taken a lot of measures and yet that voice would always be driving me crazy having to fight it. So it became clear that it wasn’t a part of me. Well, if it isn’t a part of me, what is it? I’m not schizophrenic right? And I don’t have these kind of mental health issues. I know that about myself. So what is it? What’s going on? I arrived at our session, and we sit and talk for about 90 minutes, and I explained.



[54:35] Eric Thorton: It’s all about the dream.



[54:36] Ashley James: Okay, I’ll get there. I explained to Eric this is what I want to work on – this voice, I really feel like I have an inner conflict. And it isn’t me and I really get that it’s not in alignment with my values, my beliefs, my goals, anything. So let’s get rid of it. And Eric’s like, okay, well, let’s have you lay down on a table and see what your guides and angel’s saying, right? And the table, by the way, is very comfortable. Because I spent like five hours on it. But what happened a few weeks before, I had a very vivid dream that Eric was trying to kill me in my dream. And I woke up telling my husband, I’m like, “I don’t know if I can trust him.” I mean, that’s such a vivid dream. And I tried to analyze it over a few days. And I realized that it wasn’t true that you weren’t going to actually try to kill me, but it kind of it stuck in my mind. It’s like there’s this little threat. And then when I was here with you, you told me about how some people, I think because you were you were happy to see that I found your house okay, and I had no problems getting here. And you said a lot of people, if they have possessions, will try to prevent them from actually coming to the house. And I imagine that happens with other healers as well. Sort of like a parasite, when you start doing a parasite cleanse, if you don’t do it correctly, the parasites become agitated, and it makes the person even sicker. And so it’s like an energetic parasite is going to feel threatened. And you’ve had people not been able to find your house, even though it’s very easy to find. The car breaks down, they get injured right before coming. And you had one man, as you described, heard a voice in his head saying…



[56:24] Eric Thorton: Continually saying, “Eric Thorton is going to kill you, Eric Thorton is going to kill you. You can’t go there, and he’s going to kill you.” And it repeated all the way here and the weeks before. So some people get this even before they meet me. They get my name in dreams saying, “Don’t go to Eric Thorton, he’s gonna kill you.” And I just sit there and crack up. Because I’m like going, I don’t want dead bodies hanging around my house. They start to stink after a while, you know. But our job is to bring life. But their job is to bring grist. So you look at all this that’s happened to you, which you’ll finish your story in a few minutes. But it’s also helped you. So I’ll let you finish your story.



[57:10] Ashley James: What happened when the guy who was having this repeating in your head? Is that what you described to me as he got up to your front door and shook your hand and the moment he shook your hand the voice disappeared? And he’s like, “Okay, this is real.” Like, yeah, Eric’s the real deal. But that was his possession. trying to prevent him from coming to see you. And so I wonder how many people have had that experience where they’ve wanted to go see a healer and their possession has prevented them from getting that work?



[57:47] Eric Thorton: Well, it can prevent them. But most healers aren’t exorcist. So sometimes, not every time. But sometimes the healer can actually promote the possession being stuck there longer. Because they’re not able to see that it’s a possession. And they teach the individual how to compensate or teach their body how to compensate. So this thing can work even better in the background. Because now this person has learned to compensate. So the compensation is with the education. So all these years you’ve had this. It taught you to search. It taught you to be inquisitive. Why? Why am I feeling this way? Why is this happening to me? You had no context because the medicine men women aren’t around. But it literally got you to think beyond the box, subconsciously, at first, and then consciously, and then when you connected to someone that could help, It went “No.” But the other people, it didn’t do that, you didn’t have the realization because the practitioner wasn’t a threat to it. So I would say if 60% of the people coming to me have big enough possessions that they hear that voice. It also makes them doubt themselves and anything that can happen. Because it’s compelling them in ways subconsciously and consciously. Yours was compelling you both, some people’s is only subconscious. And it all is to teach us to grow into search. So anyone has done that and we have to find the value with it. You’re here today, because of that possession. You’re inquisitive, you’re doing the blogs, you’ve been involved in health, for how many years? I don’t even know. Because of that possession. What was it? Did it make you feel comfortable? No. Did it make you feel better? No. Did it caused medical problems? Yes. But it also stretched your brain, so that you could bring goodness to the planet, which is the motivation that it had to stop you from doing it, to provide that opposite – pull back, make her sick, make your unable to do this, that or the other, and she’ll have less effect, you’re an old soul, you’ll have less effect on the planet. So that’s its motivation. And for you, it actually backfires for it because it teaches you to search, and you’ve become who you are because of that possession. So it’s not wrong, is it uncomfortable for the body? You bet. But when we actually find someone that can remove it, it’s going to resist, because it’s been there for so long. And it’s worked well. If you hadn’t had the possession ever, you may not have been inquisitive, you may have just become very depressed with the problems that it gave you. I’ve had people in a similar situation, who it hasn’t compelled yet to make them, so they were younger. And they were just depressed and miserable. Because they couldn’t get out from under its oppression, they hadn’t turned it into something positive yet, the threat to it, I mean, the purpose of it is to turn it into positivity, which you’ve done. And now because that is gone, your reach will even be farther, it’ll just simply grow. And that’s consistent with everybody.


[1:01:35] Ashley James: I like how you’ve you’ve talked a bit deeper in the past interviews, you’ve described how these possessions, although are very negative experiences when they can help us grow because they give us a set of circumstances that can find us, that has us look for solutions like I have, right? And so if I hadn’t had any of this turmoil in my life, it wouldn’t have forged me or at least I chose to forge myself. And you say some people just stay miserable, and they don’t go look to better themselves, but some do. And so the hope is that we can use this negative thing to create growth and experience.



[1:02:24] Eric Thorton: To find God in your own way. The very thing that resists God, whatever that is, is the thing that compels us to find it. That’s the purpose of what we call dark energy. It’s not dark, but we call it dark because our bodies don’t like it. And but that is the purpose of that energy, is to project you into searching and growing, or it’s the underlying purpose of it. The Godly purpose of it. Its purpose is to prevent you. So you resist the prevention and you sling forward. It’s like a slingshot, you pull back, pull back, pull back, pull back, you finally let go and that rock slings forward. Well, the possession would be the slingshot, giving you the resistance from launching. But then it actually propels when it is removed properly, remove fully, and the person learns what it is. So when we work with people, we tell people, this is your first time session, there’s going to be more if you want to continue this, because like yourself, this was influencing your physical brain the whole time. So we remove the extra impetus, you might call it, you still have all the constructs in the brain, the neural pathways, so we have to start working on softening those. So giving them more neural plasticity, so that you can change it. By now you’re not being compelled, I should let you finish telling your story, which you should go do that.



[1:04:07] Ashley James: Well, so that’s one thing I did notice right away after our session is that that voice was gone. And I think it was more than one voice. But it was basically the inner conflict that wasn’t me, is no longer here. And it’s been a week since our appointment. The experience for me is like you said, the neural pathways, the habits are still there, but they’re empty. Like, I’m like a craving for food late at night, when I’m not really hungry and it’s more about just wanting to eat out of boredom like that voice would really, you know, “Let’s have this, let’s go, let’s eat that. Come on.” You know, “It doesn’t matter.” “You don’t need to be hungry to eat. It’s fun, let’s go.” Like that constant consciousness pushing me is gone. And the habit is there, but it’s empty. So I can just say, “No, I’m not going to do them. I’m not gonna do this, or I’m going to do this instead.” And then there’s no one arguing with me in my head.



[1:05:09] Eric Thorton: You can distract it. Duffy can give you back rub, and you’re not thinking about anymore. Or you drive by McDonalds, and pretty soon you’re paying attention to this headlight ahead of you, instead of thinking about McDonald’s. You drove by spurned all the commercial stuff, you’re done with it, you’re on to the next thing, instead of that consciousness as you put it, because it is. It’s alive. And the compelling and telling you what it needs. Possessions work on the brain. And it controls your body, they control your body through your brain. They can put voices in your head, they can lift your arm, they can make you, you know, you get shocked like if you get shocked by AC, you jump. Well possession can do the same thing, it can pull your legs to throw you across the room. Some of the bigger possessions can actually physically throw someone across the room. But most the time it’s activating your nerves in all parts of your brain. So it’s like drugs, you can hallucinate having drugs. Well, they stimulates the same part of the brain that causes hallucinations. And they can make you think someone’s saying something, someone’s talking to you, someone’s moving your body. Because it’s stimulating the nerves in your brain, you can feel pushed. And it’s actually your body giving you the motion, but it’s stimulating your brain so that you feel pushed. So they work through that brain mostly, like some can physically move you but most of it stimulating your brain to move you. But it’s in every form. It is the same part of the brain that you’re processing, sight, sound, thinking processes, etc. So the possessions can make you feel like it did with you that you’re hearing somebody or something intelligent is telling you, you gotta have it, it’s going to legitimize it, it’s gonna do everything it can to keep you down, keep you suffering, so that you can’t fulfill your role as your soul role. Because it’s a threat to possessions, by you interviewing me, it’s a threat to possessions all over the world. And it didn’t want that. So it’s going to try to stop you. So it can give you dreams, the one guy we described all the way up to the front door. The only reason he came in was because a priest recommended him to come in. So, “Father’s correct. Okay, gotta go see this guy.” So he just stayed with it. And then the voice was gone. And you know, it left neural pathways in his brain for certain behaviors. And he’s been working on that over the years, and they’ve gotten less. But while it was there, it was literally telling him how to do what to act, and it gets people to kill people. You know, you hear about people going insane. Sometimes they’re not insane. Someone’s got a possession. And it’s compelling them telling them, “God said to kill this person.” Well, they’re really feeling it. They’re really getting that information for years at times. And in our brain, how do you brainwash somebody? Repeat it. So possessions have a very powerful tool to use our brains.



[1:08:42] Ashley James: I was lying on the table. And that was actually a lot of fun. You were standing up by my head. And it was like listening to a one sided conversation, but you’re talking like you talk to someone on the phone. And you were talking to my angel, my guide. And it was it was very casual. It was intention. It was like you guys were at work kind of having a safety meeting. And you were just like, “Okay, do you want to work on this first? No, this how you want me to over here? Okay. Alright. Okay, you’re going to come in here and do that.” And it was just neat hearing this one sided conversation as you’re talking to them. And then you’d come over and you’d ask me a question. It’s like, “How do you know that?” You know, like you’d say something and it was so cool. Because I didn’t really give you a lot to run with. And you’d be like, “Okay, when you were this age, this happened.” And you describe the house? I’m like, “Yep. Yes. That happened. Yes. Okay.” And so then you were ready to remove one of three different possessions and you explain their energy and their purpose, you describe the three possessions. And at the very beginning, you did a prayer of protection over me from head to toe and you don’t ever touch me, your hands are sort of above me and you’re about to kind of come in and work around my heart chakra and then you pull your hands back because I could tell they told you something. I could see in your face you’re about to do something then you got interrupted, like someone grabbed your arm, I pulled you back and you’re like, “Okay, okay, do you feel that?” And I could tell that my guides or angels were saying, “Hold on a minute, slow down Eric, she’s got to feel this.”



[1:10:32] Eric Thorton: They wanted you to feel it because you’re an old enough so that you could feel these things. And it offers you legitimacy, if you can feel something that you know is not coming from me.



[1:10:43Ashley James: Right. But you never said that the entire time, it’s like five hours. You never said that. But I could tell. I could tell right away. And so what it felt like was like a sandworm from dune crawling under my chest, it was circling under my skin. And that’s what it felt like and because you’d brought your hand close to me like maybe a foot away from my chest. And then you pulled your hand back. And that’s when I started to feel it circling under my skin. And that’s what it felt like. The best way I could describe is kind of like a sand dune. And then and then you said, “Okay, do you feel that?” I’m like, “Yes.” My heart was racing at that point. And yes, I do feel that, okay, let’s get rid of this very uncomfortable feeling. And you pulled it or my angels pulled it or whatever it was. It was pulled by the angels and guides. It was pulled out of me and had it hovering over my body. But now it’s out. So it has no more threat. And you’re like, “Okay, take your hand and move your hand through it.” And it was really funny because it was like putting my hand in two liters of water that was floating above me in a bowl. I put my hand in it. And it felt like cold water. And it was a warm day, up to 70 something degrees, the windows were open, there’s no fan moving through. It was a good…



[1:12:14] Eric Thorton: I had you feel the ambient hair too. Because so many people will do this trick. Well, they have the ambient air moving, which I like movement anyway. But when they have me do this, I said okay, feel the movement, basically feel the ambient air. So you feel what’s going on around you. Now put your hand over here then compare.



[1:12:37] Ashley James: Right. And you didn’t tell me what to feel. You were just like, “Okay, put your hand here.” So I put my hand out away from my body, like towards the window. “Okay, now move your hand inwards, what do you feel?” And and I did it repeatedly. And every time I did it, I felt like this ball of water basically over me. And so that was the first one. So then you put it off to the side and you pull it the second one. And you say, “Okay, move your hand around and say what you feel.” And it felt like moving my fingers through really thick fur. I felt just totally different. And then the third one felt like static electricity. And then you describe their personalities. And it’s exactly what I felt with each one. I thought that was really interesting. And then there was some other stuff you pulled out. And you didn’t tell me much about it. But you’re like, “Okay, just move your arm to your side, off to your side.” And as I did, I felt four columns of hot air that  hadn’t been there before. And you said, “They actually like that it kind of tickles them.” And so I move my hands back and forth. And I felt them and then you had them go. And then I put my hand there again, it wasn’t there. But each time you didn’t tell me what to feel, you didn’t implant sort of hypnotic suggestion, and you just said feel what you feel. And there was one point that you had me put my hand somewhere to feel something. And I screamed, I think I did twice because I was so freaked out because it was so clear to me that I was feeling something. I mean, not a scream, I was more surprised, not afraid, I was more like, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I can’t believe it, oh my gosh.” I could really feel the things because I think you  worked on 12 different things with me. I tried to count and it was a lot, it was not just like one or two. I mean there’s a lot of different things.



[1:14:28] Eric Thorton: When the energy system breaks down because of the the main possessions, you get one and it opens the door for others. They aren’t the main one. But they still open the door and bring in different things to control you in different ways to again render you less effective than if they hadn’t been there. For that whole projection thing because your soul knows what it has to do. So it’s gonna struggle towards it. So but yeah, there were a number of things that came out. I call them ramifications of the original possession. So then we had to remove them from your house, the cars every place you’ve been, your son, any possible residue with people you’ve worked with over the years, etc. Because it opens the door for all of these people. It can damage the energy system of anyone that comes in contact with. So that’s why we have to take care of all these little details. Even biblically, it says when you’re an exorcist, you have to do it right. Otherwise, you pull back many hundreds more. So you have to go through it to be able to see here and be a part of with the guides and the angels be the part that’s in our space. That’s why they use people, because they use healers in our space, because this is where we operate the best. They’re in another space, you might call it, so they’re in the other room. So it’s be like them, using the surgeon’s hands to do the operation while you were getting instructions from the other room while the surgeon was giving instructions, because the surgeon’s actually there with the physicalness that you and I have, that there are more effective tool. They can do it without us, but it’s not as effective. And there’s not the lessons involved. So they don’t do it. People ask, “Well, why don’t my guides just remove it?” Well, there’s no lesson involved then. They’ve removed the purpose of all this pain and suffering you’ve had, with you not having those realizations, that this is real, that it’s life changing, and that you can then feel it. It’s not letting you off the hook, you still have responsibility for getting your health better so it is more effective. And every practitioner that helps you is more effective. That’s why our work is so inclusive. When you remove that energy or you remove constructs from people at these levels, everyone else’s work works including Western medicine and Naturopathic medicines, all the practitioners; Reiki works better, acupuncture. If you remove that, no one could help you. All these years, you’ve had all these people trying to help you. And you’ve learned a lot and it’s helped you with your work. That’s the possession that provided that, the platform. But they haven’t been able to get down to the bottom line of that conscious compelling that we get inside of us. That’s not our consciousness. So I love that you use that word consciousness, because that’s what I described to people. These things are alive. These are not thought forms from people, these are alive. And they have a job to do, to provide resistance. So that it compels you forward. And some people, it breaks.


[1:18:06] Ashley James: Yeah, we talked about my cousin who had received the same possessions at the same time when we were nine. And she now has schizophrenia. She developed it much later in life. Normally schizophrenia shows up when hormones kind of kick in during teenagers. And hers showed up in her… she was almost 30. I’m just thinking of it now. And it really kicked in when she was almost 30. But she had received the same possessions at the same time. And it makes total sense now looking at her life and seeing the turmoil that she went through are the same conflict, but because we’re different, obviously different people, and I can see how someone who’s maybe not I don’t know, as stubborn as I am. You know, I’m just saying. But someone who’s not as stubborn as I am, would have given into the voices and been driven insane.



[1:19:09] Eric Thorton: Exactly. Now, the driving insane isn’t wrong, we are all going to have a life like that, or several lives, because there is experience and learning and compassion develops for people who have those problems. So I’ve been through life like that. And so I have a tremendous compassion for people that have mental problems, because I also know what compels them. Now with your cousin, the mental problems were second, they weren’t first. So it was caused by a possession. So then your cousin, if she was so compelled, which he may not be the type that can, we could remove the possession, and then any medications and stuff that she’s taking to control it will work far more effectively, perfectly usually. And then the brain can rest. And they slowly back out of schizophrenia. If the possession I mean, if the schizophrenia comes first, you still have to remove the possession so that the medicine can work better. And then they’ll require much more therapy to get it under control. Where like your cousin, it could probably come under control fairly quickly, over several months. And were someone who had it beginning, it would take much longer, we’d have to do much more healing with them to get their brain to stabilize. We have success with both ways.



[1:20:32] Ashley James: So a friend of ours went through a pretty nasty divorce and the wife’s side of the family… And he loves his wife, by the way. It was really messed up, what took place and he wanted to be with her but she wanted to change him to the point that he wouldn’t have been himself anymore. And there was no resolving it, it was two totally opposing forces. Her whole side of the family is Orthodox Russian Catholic. And there’s about 200 of her family members sending him hate energy, hate thought forms wanting him to suffer because they’re all angry that he was the one that initiated the divorce. He just sent the papers. She’s the one that basically did everything to say we’re done. And he’s just the one that helped complete it. So there’s 200 people every day praying for his demise. And he feels, he told me he’s been dealing with health issues that don’t make any sense. He’s had tachycardia where his heart is racing so bad. He’s basically having a heart attack. He’s been in the hospital for the last few years. And he’s even had cardiologist open his heart up to try to find what’s causing tachycardia, they say you have the healthiest heart have ever seen. We cannot explain it. Now he goes to all kinds of healers, chiropractors and acupuncture and he takes herbs and eats healthy and everything under the sun. And he still has these issues, he’ll just breakout, he’ll have these attacks where his entire body will be inflamed, and he’ll be covered head to toe in inflammation and scales and hives and I’ve told him like, “Okay, we need to eat anti inflammatory diet, and you need to rest.” And he’s tried everything and when it comes down to it, he really feels like the thought form of these people or this energy from these people are harming him. The reason why I’m telling the story is that you’ve talked about sort of possessions and thought forms and that they are different. Is this an example of a thought form where it’s many people sending a negative thought to him, or can you maybe just go into, the reason why I’m illustrating all this is that my husband wants to know, and that was one of his questions, is how can we protect ourselves from these negative energies? And I know it’s a little difficult to protect yourself from a possession but thought form is something else. So can you teach us what are ways that we can protect ourselves from either negative energies, thought forms, that kind of thing?



[1:23:28] Eric Thorton: Well, this was a friend, okay. With him, he’s got these people giving prayers of petition for his ill health and demise. Well, what’s compelling those people? So they’re sending these thought forms. But what’s compelling these people? Those thought forms are like opening a road to these people’s possessions. If people didn’t have the possession, and they were Christian people, they would never think of doing something like that. You’re not supposed to judge if you’re Christian. You’re not supposed to, you’re supposed to be accepting. What’s complaint them not to be? So they have all these thought forms, they open up because they’re throwing it all to this guy, he starts to feel ill from the thought forms, then he’s opened up to all of their possessions. And any ones that might be in his energy field, it just opens him right up. So the best defense is positivity, the best defense is not finding those vibrations. So some people say, well, you know, the best defense to not have voodoo happen is you don’t believe in it. Well, there’s some truth to that, like energy comes together. So if you fall prey to someone’s opinion, you are now vibrating at their level. So their energy can then or energy like whatever they’re having, can come to you. So it’s like if you accept someone’s opinion or not. If you accept their opinion, their beliefs, you are now having their frequency. So anything that affects them can easily similar or the same can affect you. So people ask me all the time, how do you protect yourself by becoming a vibration that’s so foreign to these lower frequencies, you might call them, that they can’t even find you. So my frequency if I’m in a bad mood, or if I’m in a place that you may call it, you know, depression or pity or just a human emotion thing going on hormonal, or whatever, I’ll call and cancel appointments. Because I could get damaged. I’m having that frequency because of my hormones, or my life going on. And I’m not able to separate at that moment. So then if the client comes in with something similar, I am vulnerable. So then I’m doing damage to them too. So it’s completely out of integrity. So the way I stay clear is by not by being what some people would call enlightened, and conscious. So that I’m just simply not that frequency. It’s not science. You know, when we sit here, there’s thoughts out there that you have to surround yourself with purple light or white light, and have this defense system against all this stuff. Well, fine, you know, that works, until someone throws your curveball. And it makes it right by your defense system. Or guess what you thinking about, you know, the possession in you got you thinking about McDonald’s, instead of holding up that white light. Well, the white light goes away, because the intention goes away, because you’re now thinking about McDonald’s, and you’re thinking that waiting can pop right in at that moment. Where if you are in your soul’s personality, and realize life is human life, and it’s okay, and all of its foibles, and everything else, and yes problems are going to come to you, but you don’t. You learn to move through them quickly. You’re not entertaining those frequencies. So you’re not vulnerable. Remember, the purpose of a possession is to get you basically to find God. If you found that, truly, there’s no more reason for the possession. It’s done. It can’t be in your energy field. And so that’s what we use – frequency. The word frequency for that, we call the things that bother us a lower frequency, and the things that help us is a higher frequency. That’s an opinion. They all have similar, not similar, they all have different frequencies, equally different. And there’s not lower or higher ones, there’s just the ones that are drawn to this type of energy, a magnet that is for this versus a magnet that’s for this. So how do you stay clear? Realizing that human life is really good in all of its problems. And realizing that after you’ve gotten there, truly gotten to that enlightened place where you accept the problems of your life, and you don’t dwell on them, you move through them, then you start becoming what we call conscious. You’re conscious, no one really explains what that is, you got to get consciousness, Deepak got to have consciousness. What is that? Consciousness is awareness of who you are on a soul level. You are aware of the soul’s personality. And when you’re in that personality, when you’re operating from those frequencies, versus when you’re operating from your animal personality. Those are based on fear, because we’re we’re all going to die. The soul’s personalities based on beautiful, everything’s fine, it’s all good. And when you are in that, when I’m working, I’m in that, and then I am able to pick up on all those frequencies really well. When I’m having my human drama, you know, people go, “Well, how do you turn it off?” I go, “Well, I’m not in that frequency anymore.” I’m having my human drama with my wife, or my kids or the lawn or whatever it is. And so then I am in my human, this. And when the second I’m clicking into helping people or meditating or the guides are calling on me for something, I’m aware that I can’t reach that from the human body, I have to reach that from the soul. And so here, I get the same problems in the human body, I get the same problems you do. I can get a possession. I’m very aware of it, though. Really quickly. Sometimes it’s a little too quick. The guys go calm down. I go, okay. One time I come into the house, and we went to dinner or something as a family. I come to the house and I was going, “What the heck did say that?” I said something else. And everyone goes, “What?” And I go, “Something’s up.” And I just started to expand to look at my space. And the guides go, “No, bam! And they throw me back into my body.” And they go, “Just let it be.” And I go, “We’re invaded. I gotta work on people. This can’t happen.” They go, “Let it be will take care of it.” And I’m going, “Okay, I guess.” So I’m looking for this change. And it was down in our washroom. And what we call a negative vortex was sitting in my washroom. And it was causing this negative feeling in the house and drawing in all these ghosts and poltergeists into my home. So I came in, and it was like, “What the heck is going on?” I’m seeing all this stuff, and smelling the classic things, cologne, cigarettes, cigars, all this stuff, the second I got in here, and then I’m looking around, and the house is full of all these energies. And you know, something’s broke here. Found it, they said, leave it alone. Because what happened was, there was a process they were showing me that took took a two week period that they had to mitigate. Remember, these possessions are beings, they have a job to do, but they’re alive, and they affect all kinds of things. And without spending two hours explaining all that, it had affected because of a client coming in, in a few weeks, certain things had to happen here to make it, so we could get rid of this major possession that this guy had. He was one of the people that caused problems in my house when we removed the possession. But if we hadn’t gone through the process, my house probably would have burned down.


[1:32:27] Ashley James: What happened when you removed the possession from him?



[1:32:30] Eric Thorton: This was the one where I told the story last time. When the possession came out, the guides were getting rid of it. And it was a very powerful possession. And it was one when the person experienced… I’m trying to remember their experience, but the whole house got frost on the walls. And I told you a little bit about it. That came out and when the frost disappeared, because the whole house temperature dropped like 50 degrees instantly. And then it came upstairs on the way out is stamped on the ceiling of the rec room and caused the screws actually to back out. And my son was watching TV in the rec room at the time. And I just hear him go, because he was downstairs working obviously with clients. And I just hear him go, “Dad.” And we left those screws are still out. We left them there, only to remind them that this is real stuff. But it was one of those possessions that it had to be dealt with over a period of a couple weeks to get it to make it so when that person came in, they could do it because they knew it was going to be a struggle. And they had to make it easy for me. So they did and then they taught my son a lesson too.



[1:33:52] Ashley James: You told me about how one woman who came to see you, the possession had to do with her mother and as it left blew out circuits in your house and did like $1200 in damages?



[1:34:06] Eric Thorton: It blew out, it came out she could feel it released like you’ve kind of felt it released. And it the guides were bringing out and it was pissed. It was middle of winter, so my heater was running. So its frequency made electronics burn out. So when it came out, it just ran by my heater, and the heater was running. And Forster, he could hear it running. And also there was a pop and the heater goes… Looks like I just went damn. The person goes, “Was that my mom?” I said, “Well, no. But it was with your mom.” And she goes, “Thank God. I’ll pay for that.” And I go, “Thank God.” Because it was 1200 bucks for a new circuit board for my heater. So I had to run around and plug in heaters, electric heaters, and then order the parts for that and have it put in. But yeah, they are different frequencies and can cause different problems. Prior to that, which I didn’t get into, this possession was at her house too. And they had problems with their cars,  it’s too hot at their sink. You know, you turn the water and you got boiling water? They kept burning out every week, they have someone come and put a new one in, burn out. Put another one, all under warranty. They were doing this work for free and it was a possession. And they think they went through five Insta Hots before we got rid of the possession completely. So its frequency was just one that blew electronics. I run into all kinds of interesting processes with possessions. With yours, you were able to able to feel it and etc. and all the things that guides wanted you to do, which is perfect. And it shows your gifts. Most people cannot feel that energy. And your guides want to do it that’s why they stopped me. And they go, “No, this is part of her process. She needs to feel this.”



[1:36:11] Ashley James: Yeah.



[1:36:12] Eric Thorton: In her body and outside of her body. You know, I can’t ask people that aren’t gifted to do that. That’s why wait for guidance from the guides, because they know if the person can feel it or not. And I don’t want to make them feel bad if they can’t.



[1:36:26] Ashley James: Right.



[1:36:26] Eric Thorton: Because then they also doubt themselves more too. So I wait for guidance.


[1:36:33] Ashley James: At the end of Duffy’s session, we talked about that in the last interview, you gave him a whole list of, I guess his guides gave you to give to him a whole list of foods to stop eating currently, one of them being broccoli. Because his gut dysbiosis needed to be corrected. And you were given clear instructions for Duffy; do this, don’t do that, we got to heal your gut, it was very physical. And then at the end of my session with you, like you say something like your guides told me don’t tell her what to eat. Yeah, my guides would say that don’t tell her what to eat, she knows what to eat, you don’t need to tell her what to eat



[1:37:15] Eric Thorton: Your system removing those, because they’ve specifically worked with that. Your system needs to resettle and recalculate. The guides are big on letting the body find its new setting. Once you remove some influence, the body’s got to find that and everything with your health or anybody else’s that has it at these levels that are affecting your health. Every single one of them, they say back off, let the body settle, because what affects your health before that possession is removed, and after are very different things. So you’re allergic reactions, your cravings, all those things that are happening, including all these other physical ailments that are happening in there, they’re irrelevant, because they were caused by a possession. So the body goes through all this stuff, settles out, four to six weeks, then we start to look at, okay, then we can look at your Flora prior that the Flora is not going to be right, because the possession is going to control that. And you can put all the right stuff in there, eat all the right things, to get that Flora back or not eat some things to get it back. It won’t work. So we have to respect the body’s process. Now, that frustrates people, because we all want it now. You know, I was telling you earlier I have this client who was in their second visit. And she’s a little disappointed. She emails me and she goes, “Well, I feel different. Basically, my life’s different. But I this and this and this and this and this, and this practitioner said this and this and this.” Tearing apart the work we have already done. So my response to her was, let it work, stop listening to other practitioners that you’ve listened to before our sessions, because they didn’t realize this was a problem. And I said just let it be for a while longer, then we’ll take another look. And that’s what another session would be about.



[1:39:27] Ashley James: Yeah.



[1:39:27] Eric Thorton: So we have to allow the body, the brain, everything to settle out.



[1:39:34] Ashley James: And you and I had been talking about that story. Because so many people will come to you in their second session and go, “Well, this is better. And this is better. But what about this, and I want this and I want this.” And I think that’s what we often do in life, is look for the next carrot instead of spending some time in the now with gratitude and acknowledging what has healed, what has changed, like spend some time and let the body catch up, let the neurology catch up. And honor your body by going well, this worked, this is different, this is good. Like after having a cold, you don’t start running marathons and pulling all nighters like you need to give your body, even though you don’t have the symptoms anymore of a cold, you need to give your body two to three weeks to come back and to gain its strength back. And so we can be happy that we have discovered a new level of health. And we need to stand in that gratitude. And then work on our sort of list of complaints, right? But what I’m getting from you is that when we come from the list of complaints that’s kind of coming from that drama, that ends up attracting more thought forms and more negative energy. When we’re in drama, we become susceptible to negative energy, into possessions.



[1:40:56] Eric Thorton: Exactly. That’s what I’m talking about of enlightenment. If this lady was in enlightenment, she would be appreciating what had been done, and letting her body revel in that and get all those positive hormones correcting a whole lot of these ailments she’s already wanting fix right now. And it’s like no, backup. It took her 50 years to get where she was at. Yes, she’s seen a lot of practitioners that couldn’t help her prior to it that maybe could now because her possessions were gone. But she spent a lot of money, I get all that. But this is a new day. With each person I work with, they’ve never worked with someone like this. And you’ve got to give it that time. And as you put it, the carrot, throw it away. Learn to be in the moment. Yes, like your health issues, they have the possibility of switching now. You realizing all this was there, and you give yourself the body time and honor this amazing thing we have, these bodies to survive this stuff are phenomenal. These bodies have these chemical reactions, these RDA, the DNA, the RNA. All these things, processes going on that’s phenomenal, that is energetic, that gets disrupted by these other influences. You got the body, give it a few weeks, been 50 years or 30 years or whatever doing the other thing. Give it a few weeks. It’s amazing what will happen. But humans aren’t innately dissatisfied. And when you’re not enlightened, you don’t learn to roll and love the positive. The things to be in gratitude for, the grace that is giving you every day of your life. We bypass it. And I understand it, because I’m the same way. I want my peanut butter and jam sandwich when I would, and not when someone was to give it to me. And so I get it. I try to explain this to people, to give it the time. But of course, people hear what they want to hear, their filters. It’s amazing how I tell people, very similar things, different conversations, of course, but there’s a certain process like discussing this with the client. And they don’t even hear it. Because they’re so involved with their negative dialogue. So that’s one of the things that over time, we change, we provide the platform, real platform for them to really start taking a look at that, and finding that place of enlightenment. So it’s kind of a challenge to me, when people come in with that agenda. I look at it as, I kind of smile when they write to me, I don’t take it as negative, I take it as, “Well, they’re in their learning process.” And it’s like, “Okay, so we got lots to teach them. I wonder if they’ll stick with it? We’ll see.” But it’s also used to bother me. Because it’s like, well, does it reflect on me and my work? You see, that was ego. And the guides go, “Think about that, Eric.” and I go, “Oh, yeah, right.” And the New Age calls it onion skins. Well, it’s not really onion skins, but it’s just how fast our body can do this. And our bodies can’t change overnight, it will kill us. And so they have to honor that. Yeah, they can provide miracles, you know, cancer can disappear. Well, that’s not going to kill you when the cancer disappears. But if they release all the toxins in your body, so they can get out of your body at the same time, that can kill you. So they have to provide the platform for your body to start functioning correctly, and start getting rid of these toxins or things like that, or parasites and such, so that it starts happening, then they can work with it a little faster. Because the body’s already doing it. So it’s not going to go into shock. So I can say over the years, I’ve learned to take it as kind of a giggle, instead of a criticism. Well, they’ll get it, because I’ve watched people get it. And all of a sudden, their life just changes, that little bit of grace offered. And all of a sudden they become quite positive. And they get the twinkle in their eye, you know. And it’s just, it’s lovely to watch that,  that’s why I keep doing this, even though it’s very difficult to see the depravity of the human condition. But it’s why I forget sessions, and then we call the gift of forgiving, because if I remembered all that stuff, I would be haunted by it. And I’d start manifesting it. So I forget sessions, I even forget a lot of your session, and that was just a couple of weeks ago. What’s important for me is to remain in that enlightened place, and to be aware of my soul’s personality and that keeps me protected, and helping people.


[1:46:14] Ashley James: There’s this medical intuitive who’s become quite famous for telling the entire population of the world that everyone would benefit from drinking celery juice, he has single-handedly doubled the price of celery in the last year. You cannot find really nice the organic celery. Really nice. I mean, it’s all bear pickens now because there’s a whole New Age movement of people juicing celery in the morning, and I’ve heard some really interesting results. It helps the body to create better stomach acid and alkalizes the body at the same time. So it’s the building blocks for helping make good strong stomach acid which of course corrects the digestive tract, and also is going to help, any kind of juice really helps the body to become alkaline. But his thing is 100% of the population should drink celery juice in his opinion. So what I’d like to know, have you ever received advice from the guides or angels, that is like a blanket, 100% of the population would benefit from X?



[1:47:32] Eric Thorton: Yes. Often, but it ain’t going to happen. It’s like the guy recommending celery juice. Well, if we all drink tons of celery juice, one, there’d be no celery left. But two, if you have too much celery juice, there’s problems from that too. A certain amount of It’s good. It’s like eating papaya, amazing for your flora in your intestine, phenomenal. But people don’t like papaya, they get sick of celery juice. Celery juice is an energy. You can also bring in that same energy. My doctor knows me, he goes, “Eric, you can either do this, you can take this pill, or you can touch the pill. Or you can hold on to the bottle. Or you can just think about it if you want.” Because he knows that that medicine is a frequency that might help me. And I can actually refine that frequency. That’s how Homeopaths work. That’s how the placebo effects work. Because you think it’s the sugar pill is a certain frequency. You pull it in, you get better. Because the pill would actually, if it was a real pill, it would be a certain frequency. So the celery juice, yeah, it’s providing a certain frequency. It’s like in Japan, they go through this thing where everyone goes walking through the forests, it’s the frequency of the forest, we can do it here too. It makes you feel better, it can make everything work better. It does, so does celery juice. Only, do you need to drink celery juice every day? Wouldn’t hurt you if you didn’t drink too much. And for those whose bodies are not clear, whose bodies are having problems with the digestion, if they get cleared, like you’ve got cleared, that thing was bothering your digestion, celery juice might help for a while. But after a while, your body figured it out and can grow its own thing that was influenced the celery juice influenced. So your body can literally start doing it by itself. So that’s why these fads come and go. Celery juice is something that went through, it went through about 10 years ago. And then I remember when I was a teen, it was all about celery. And they come and go because the next generation hasn’t heard it yet. So the previous generation that heard it needs to be reminded. And so yeah, I’ve heard the celery juice story and it’s true. But do we need it all, all the time? No, we don’t. Would a lot of people benefit from it currently? You bet.



[1:50:19] Ashley James: Is there anything similar to the celery juice that people would largely benefit from?



[1:50:24] Eric Thorton: Yes. We recommend when the guide say too, the whole food plant based diet. That is the best. And it is the only scientifically proven diet with proponents as evidence. All the massive studies done at Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, paid for by nonprofits, not for profit; for a Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization. So there’s no commercial influence in the biases of the studies, we all have is cognitive bias. So if Bear is paying for a study on sugar, they’re going to want certain information from that study. So the study isn’t neutral on sugar, they’re only going to look at what they want.



[1:51:12 ] Ashley James: Like, there are companies that make food like Nestle or Kellogg or, you know, these major food companies that pay for studies, health studies on sugar, and diet. And you’ve got to imagine that there’s definitely an influence there. They want to prove that there’s a certain amount of sugar that’s safe.



[1:51:35] Eric Thorton: Right. And the World Health Organization has determined there’s no amount of sugar that is safe. And sugar does give you benefit. It raises your blood sugar really quickly. And so the Nestle’s will go on that, how did it do that? So emphasize that, but we’ll forget that when your blood sugar goes up really fast, it causes terrible growth in your body, causes insulin resistance, etc, etc. and changes your pH so cancer can grow and things like that. They’ll ignore that part of the study, because all their studies are based on the studies from whole food plant base, from that group. And that is ultimately what is best for every human being. Does every human being have to eat that way to live a long life? No. There are 10% in their studies that show that eating a non whole food plant based diet, those 10% of the people will not get heart disease from eating the standard American diet, we call it. But they will still develop all the other problems, bad knees, bad hips, you know, diabetes, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome issues, and then all the hundred and 80 different diseases, including various cancers that eating this standard American causes. So like sometimes they say, well, this person isn’t going to change. So let’s see if we can say okay, you can eat meat, but just a smaller amount, and up the antioxidants by eating vegetables and fruits. And then see if we can get them to reduce their sugar and things like that. And they will get healthier, and they might live to be 94 and 95 with a good heart. But they’ll have all these other problems too. But it keeps them going. But ultimately, when I ran into that, years ago, the guides went, that is what the human body needs. Period. With that said, People don’t follow it. Oreo cookies, they’re not whole food plant based but they are vegan. And they are vegetarian, and they will kill you. Or they’ll develop their diet with “Well, this person said this is okay. And this one said this is okay.” And they’re back to the commercialism. And they slowly change it back to and they say see my diet failed.



[1:54:08] Ashley James: Right. Oh, I have even done that before. But I’ve seen people do that where we can justify. Like Dr. Mark Hyman who I’ve had on the show, says meat is fine as long as we use like a condiment, and even Joel Fuhrman who himself does not eat meat, but he says if you could at least make less than 10% of your caloric intake be meat. And that really does help and so, Joel Fuhrman chooses not to eat meat, Dr. Mark Hyman, both of them have been on the show before. Mark says, you know, yeah, okay, just sprinkle a little bit of meat on something, like sprinkle it on a vegetarian taco or whatever. And his thing is, just don’t make a whole meal around the meat like most people do. And so if you pick and choose, you’re like, Okay, over here is the Mediterranean diet. So I’m going to eat some fish, then overhears the Atkins Oh, well, so I’m going to avoid some bread, and then over here, and you just kind of pick and choose. And then you’re messing everything up, you need to find something that is grounded in science. And they’re saying that the whole food plant based diet is healthy for 100% of the population. They need to make sure they’re actually doing it.



[1:55:19] Eric Thorton: Right. They sit here, it’s like the lady who called, she was doing this because she had heart problems. And she’s going, you know, I’m talking to her six weeks later, nothing’s happening. She’s doing oil pulling. So she’s putting oil in her mouth for an hour a day, to pull toxins out of our system. Well, it’s going down her throat. And oil is one of the things you can’t eat, nobody should eating oil. The pseudoscience say you get all these benefits from the oil. Well, it’s what’s in the oil that’s giving you the benefit. It’s like your omegas, those are chemicals. They’re not oil, you need the Omegas, but they’re chemicals, they happen to come out of the plants, or some animal has a few omegas in them, in the oil easiest. So then they sell you the oil.



[1:56:07] Ashley James: Well like EFAs or just basically juiced fish, right?



[1:56:13] Eric Thorton: They’re in broccoli.



[1:56:14] Ashley James: Right. Well and that’s how sardines and how salmon get to have so many Omegas in their flesh. They eat algae. So we can skip the middleman and just…



[1:56:26 ] Ashley James: Or they eat fish that had eaten algae. Exactly, or other green. Algae is generally green or brown, and it has the Omegas in it. So we can get all the you know, EFAs, DHAS, CoQ10, all these oils – I mean all these chemicals, without the oil. That’s what’s good for us. But because it’s easier for commercialism to get it in the oil, it takes a whole huge step process to pull it out of the oil. So it’s far cheaper. So feed them the oil, and keep telling them to have the oil because it’s easiest to get it into. But the oil scientifically shows its mother’s the bacteria in your intestine. And then you can’t digest grains, or the meat very well. The oil smothers the probiotics in your intestines that need air in order to live. It coats them so they can’t pull the air in. That’s the reason you can’t have oil. Because how many billion dollar industry is the probiotic industry and the vitamin industry? If you can’t get the nutrition because you don’t have the probiotics to get it, just take another pill, just buy this from us. No, you can’t get it from those things, you have to get it, you got to get the probiotics right by not eating the darn oil. And one of the reasons meat is so bad because even boneless skinless chicken is 30% fat, which is oil. That’s one of the reasons you can’t eat meat, it’s so bad for us. Sprinkled on things, like the way Asians used to eat, for the whole family, they use six ounces of meat. If you do that from birth, you don’t develop the problems as much, you still will develop a little bit, but not nearly as much. They call those the Blue Zones, the areas where people eat more primitive. When you get more affluent, you start wanting the things that are richer. So the diets of people that are poor, are actually better than the diets of the rich people, because the rich people want the creams, the things that put on fat, because our body wants to have a big bank account. And it’s like you put on that oil and you hold the oil in these oil cells. There are several things that go on with this. The fat cells, you can read about this in the book China Study, this is all scientifically shown. The fat cells, our bodies produce the fat cell, but it cannot fill it up. So this hasn’t been on Good Morning America talking about this. When you cut into a person, you’re cutting those fat cells. And it’s rancid oil, and they stink.



[1:59:42] Ashley James: That’s what surgeons say.



[1:59:42] Eric Thorton: Right. That’s what surgeons say, it’s this rancid oil. So your body once it gets it in there, it gets rancid and the body doesn’t wanna let go of it. Because it’s actually rancid, it’s poisonous. That’s why we have such a hard time losing weight and easy time gaining it. So if you eliminate the oil from your diet, it will use the oil slowly in your system so that you will have enough oil. Our bodies cannot fill those fat cells up with something that is human. And so eating all this oil also literally fills up those cells. And if you stop eating it, your cells deflate. And eventually the cell itself will go away. Or you have liposuction and get them removed or whatever. But it is a problem. Now the other thing that happens is we are also the only mammal on the planet that doesn’t produce our own antioxidants. Antioxidants are what kill the major part of your immune system. They kill viruses, bacteria, they keep systemic diseases under control. And when you don’t eat those fruits and veggies, you are susceptible to major diseases and illness.


[2:01:01] Ashley James: You’re talking about vitamin C. Animals produce their own vitamin C, but humans can’t.



[2:01:05] Eric Thorton: Correct. That’s exactly right. And so we have to eat them. And that’s the premise and let me backup a little bit. When you eat the food as a whole product, your body can use the whole thing and use everything, we talked about it a little bit, last time we talked about how an apple, you get 50 milligrams of vitamin C out of an average apple. And if you extract that, you get a 50 milligram raise in your vitamin C level in your blood. But if you eat the whole apple, you get a 1500 milligram raise of vitamin C levels in your blood, because your body uses the whole apple just like photosynthesis does. It’s photosynthesis taking place. And it’s growing all these chemicals inside the apple making the apple. Where your body will utilize all that produce till the right digestive enzymes to put in to get the body to make more vitamin C out of the chemicals in an apple. Just like the photosynthesis did, or similar. Can’t say just like, we don’t have light shining on us like that. And we’re not green, unless we’re really sick. But it does a similar thing. And that’s why it’s called whole food. They don’t want you taking supplements unless there’s a major reason for it. Because it’s away from the whole food. That’s why this diet is the one that is good for every human being. Yes, you can throw in a little if you’re not sick. In other words, if you’re young. So my daughter has chosen to do this on her own, no parental influence. And then we can prove it because our son still eat some meat and she decided to do this. And it changed the way she feels, the speed of which she runs, the way she can build muscle and everything because she’s getting enough antioxidants. Her body’s alkaline now, and so it can function properly. And she can have because she’s young, she doesn’t have any illnesses. So like when she went to Ireland, she tried their sausages. You know, when she’s out, she doesn’t have to panic about oil. She try to order things without oil. But if there’s oil, if that’s all there is, she’ll eat it. But she’s young and doesn’t have heart disease, or deteriorated joints yet, metabolic syndrome yet. So she’s continuous like that. She will probably never get any of these major diseases until she’s 95. That’s terrific. And that’s what Fuhrman’s talking about, if you can do it from early on, didn’t hurt you so much.



[2:03:52] Ashley James: I had Dr. Esselstyn on the show, really great interview. He is great. I’ve had three cardiologists on the show, all have sort of very different different takes on how to heal the hurt, all of them get results, but Dr. Esselstyn gets the most results. Anyone listening who has any problems with a heart health or any friends with heart health or family, definitely share, listen to and share the Dr. Esselstyn interview that I did. And by the way, if you don’t know how to find it, you can go to and type in cardiologist and use the search bar or type in Dr. Esselstyn, use the search bar to find the episode. He did the world’s longest study. I believe it was over 12 years old or it’s still going on. I think he wrote it up after 12 years. But yeah, he took a bunch of people who had end stage heart disease four clogs in their heart, you know, absolutely end stage. And he got them on this diet, whole foods plant based, no salt, sugar, oil. And by whole food, I mean, you can make really delicious food out of it, it’s just whole ingredient. Here’s a whole broccoli, here’s a whole asparagus, you know, and you’re not cooking with oil or fat, you’re cooking with broth that  doesn’t have salt in it or water. And you can actually saute something as though it had butter or oil in it using a little bit of water. And so he has these cooking techniques. But in his diet, he has been able to reverse clogs in the arteries and completely reverse hardening of the arteries, the narrowing of the arteries, he’s been able to get people off of the heart transplant list and off of medications using this diet. And they follow people for years to prove that, that it sustains the results.



[2:05:52] Eric Thorton: Right. Exactly. I’m one of those patients. I don’t know if he took down the statistics because this was six years ago. Now that was when I talked to him was four years ago. And I’ve talked to him number of times since. I was what he called the walking dead. I was scheduled for literally two days when I talked to him for open heart surgery, I already had a massive heart attack. And the guides corrected it. I had no signs of the heart attack, but I still developed the coronary artery disease. I was vegetarian. I still had coconut oil, little bit, one teaspoon. I had egg whites in the morning for breakfast, when I put the coconut oil in the pan. And I had an occasional piece of cheese like once every two weeks, and maybe a little bit of lunch meat once a week. That was it. As far as anything else. Everything else was healthy vegetarian. Not crap vegetarian, I still developed more coronary artery disease. So on the way to see a whole food plant based cardiologist, we had called, and my wife had called, and he called back right literally in the lobby going to the cardiologist place. And he goes, “I know that guy, he’s good.” And he goes, “What are you doing?” I said, “Well, we switched to whole food plant base, because of pump head because of all the problems of this open heart surgery.” And I was ready for it. And he goes, “Okay, he goes, you’re doing that. Now I want you to add to it.” So he says, “My latest book is going to have this in it. It’s out now, I don’t know the name of it. But it has this part in it too.” He had me ate six cups of green steamed vegetables packed after they were steamed a day on top of my regular vegan diet or whole food plant based diet.



[2:07:47] Ashley James: And did he have you sprinkle balsamic on it?



[2:07:50] Eric Thorton: Yes, yeah. He explains that in our interview. He has people eat every two hours as they made a whole bowl of steamed greens. He has like 12 greens choose from and you rotate them. And every T is basically a full time job, every two hours, you get to eat this big bowl of greens, and then you sprinkle it with balsamic. And I never liked balsamic until he explained why that there’s an acid in balsamic that heals the inner lining of our circulatory system is healed by this acid from the balsamic. And he’s found that, that is even more effective for immediately helping to clear up the arteries. Right. So I did exactly that, and within three days the angina went away. Within three months, 90 days, 90 days, right? I was off of five medications that were serious medication for heart disease. I was completely off off of them. The doctor goes, “Stop.” I’d cut reduce my blood pressure medication, and reduce and cut in half and cut because the blood pressure was getting too low. And finally I go in, I’m taking a quarter of the dose and he goes, “Stop it, you’re killing yourself.” The veins had opened up that fast.



[2:09:12] Ashley James: The doctor wanted to stop the drugs or stop the diet?



[2:09:14] Eric Thorton: The doctors stopped the drugs. They told me stop taking them. You’re getting too healthy. I’m sitting there going, “Yes!” But that’s, you know, for me, that is a big thing for me. So I can stick to the diet or stick to the lifestyle quite easily. Because I think, well if I eat that oil, is it going to give me a heart attack? Now I know it won’t, at this point because my arteries are cleared up. And I’ve now proven had gone through the tests. The arteries are cleared up. But I’m susceptible to it. I have those genes. So and I know it and I know the effect. I’ve experienced the effect. It’s hard for people who haven’t experienced a major illness to define the motivation to do this. I get it. That’s not a problem for me. But if you can do it like even Dr. Esselstyn says Dr. Lyle and Dr. McDougall, if you can do it 70% of the time, you’re 70% better off. If you can do it 80, 80%, 90, 90%. You know Dr. Esselstyn, and it was hilarious. He goes, “My only draw, my only real weakness is every New Year’s Eve I ate peanut butter cups.” I just cracked, I go, “Really it’s peanut butter cups? He goes, “Yes. I just love peanut butter cups.” “Are they Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups? Because those are the ones that I like.” And he goes, “No, they’re Reese’s.” And I go, “Good for Reese’s.” But he even admits it, basically. It’s hard. And his family, his parents died really young from a dairy farm they used to have, you know, and it’s like, “Aw.” You know? And so, you know, he’s terrific.



[2:11:00] Ashley James: Yeah.



[2:11:01] Eric Thorton: And he does return phone calls.



[2:11:03] Ashley James: Yeah, he does. Actually, I’ve heard that from a few people. I met Rip, his son. Rip Esselstyn, who has a whole line of food at Whole Foods.



[2:11:14] Eric Thorton: Engine 2.



[2:11:14] Ashley James: Engine 2, that’s right.  A book, a very interesting book. And I met him at a talk he gave in Redmond at Whole Foods. The first thing you said is and there’s maybe about 50 people, “Who here has talked on the phone with my dad?” And like half of them put up their hand and he goes, “Yeah, you call him, he’ll talk to anyone.” And he still works as a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, teaching people and he’s in his late 90s, or in his 80s.



[2:11:42] Eric Thorton: I think he’s 84 or 86 now.



[2:11:44] Ashley James: He talks about going skiing in the Alps or something. I mean that’s the diet, it keeps you healthy. So I have a listener, and if he’s listening, hello! I have a listener who is a career military man and he was going to be honorably discharged because his cardiac numbers were so bad. I mean, he looks physically fit, like a marine or Green Beret or something. But his cholesterol was so high that they were going to dismiss him and other numbers were so high, unresponsive to medication so high, and he would have lost his career in the military. And he heard my interview with Dr. Esselstyn, he got on the diet one month later, his numbers were normal.



[2:12:30] Eric Thorton: Yes, exactly. That’s what happens. They do the 21 day challenge. In 21 days, if you eat strict, they actually take people and they feed them, house them and everything for 21 days, take their blood before and after 21 days, it has dropped so dramatically. All these numbers, that they just sit there and go, “Oh, my God.” And guess what? They weren’t hungry, and they had great food. So, you know, it’s you do have to learn a new way of cooking. People go, “I can’t do it. I said, “Baloney. You learn these recipes. So you’re just learning more recipes.” You just stop cooking these recipes and you cook these ones. That’s all it is. It’s not hard. The hard part is like even Esselstyn will say or Fuhrman is the addiction to the oil and the meat.



[2:13:23] Ashley James: And if your addiction has a voice behind it, then come see Eric.



[2:13:27] Eric Thorton: Yes, because it is. It affects that. Because again, the predatory energy was to prevent you from continuing with your process. Well, it had me two feet in the grave, fortunately, I was still standing. Because it wanted to stop me from bringing my knowledge to the world. And I almost didn’t make it.



[2:13:57] Ashley James: But now looking back, I mean, you could either and this is the lesson for all of us, we can either give into the drama of what was me, this thing happened to me or is happening to, or has happened to me and my family, which creates an energy that brings in like energy, right? So it brings in thought forms and entities of other energy to kind of compound and exacerbate that drama. Or you can do what you’re doing and say that you’re grateful for the experience that you went through. Because now I mean, if you hadn’t had those heart issues, would you have found this diet? Would you have, you know, been this way that you’ve now helped your family and now you help your clients this way. So it’s a ripple effect. But you’re looking at the ripple effect with gratitude and seeing that. What’s the positive outcome? Tony Robbins, and I love him for this. He says what’s good about this? When things start to have drama, ask what’s good about this? And keep asking yourself, what’s good about this until you find the positive meaning behind that experience.



[2:15:05] Eric Thorton: Well, that was a major thing that happened to me when I had the heart attack. And I’m standing there and I went pale as a piece of paper. Because I have a connection to the guides, because I went totally pale. I mean, literally, all life drained right out of me. And I go, “Am I having a heart attack?” And they go, “Yup.” And I literally go, “Damn.” And then I called my daughter to get me some aspirin and I wasn’t upset about it. I didn’t allow myself to get upset. I knew what happened. I have the privilege. And I know it’s a privilege. I fully acknowledge it. I know, it’s okay, when you don’t have a body. And I know this is a tool. And I’m very grateful for this tool. But it’s not a problem for me not having that tool anymore. And so I’m laying there in the hospital room, and I could go to anxiety and worry and raise my blood pressure and raise my heart rate when I’m down to a 7% ejection rate on the left side of my heart. And that would just simply kill me. So I decided to honor the body and its process and what I knew I was going to be learning. And I was lying there in bed dying. I got congestive heart failure and double pneumonia, called the nurse and to give me some oxygen because I didn’t have enough oxygen anymore. I’m lying there dying, I’m whistling. And my wife goes, “That was arrogant.” I go, “Well, no. It wasn’t.” That wasn’t arrogant at all. That’s who I am. And I really felt that way. I didn’t even think about it. It was just like, “Oh, this is what I’m going through now. I wonder what I’m going to be learning later, this is going to be interesting.” And I thought you know, it’s a better attitude for the body. So I don’t stress it. And like, well, it all works good. And I lived. And then the guides had a chance to correct the heart. And which they did,  fortunately. We have great success with heart disease in the work we do. But anyway, I have learned so much from that is unbelievable to help my clients. I have learned things I would never have learned if I wasn’t forced into it from the heart attack. And they protected me during the whole process. And that’s what we have to turn these negativity immediately into the positivity. Like you were taught in that class with Tony and probably other people too, what’s the benefit. And that keeps you in, keeps you out of the drama, the human drama, and into the moment. You know, I wasn’t thinking about, I thought you know, I really don’t want to die yet. But I told everybody, I’ll be back to haunt you. And you’ll notice me because there’ll be a sense of humor. And they go, “Okay.” You know my daughter goes, “Oh, when you die? It’s gonna be hilarious.” I go, “You betcha.” Because I will make darn sure every painting is tipped, the TV flips out, the doors open and close. I’ll make sure that when you, because one of my favorite things is strawberries and blueberries. I’ll make sure you dump them on the floor. Just to let you know give some to dad. Because it is, it’s a natural thing for us to do. We do it all, we do it with every life. It’s just we’re taught not to. And we’re talking about Esselstyn and how the gift he’s giving the world in realizing that our cardiological system is designed to keep ill.


[2:19:02] Ashley James: Oh, you mean the mainstream medical system?



[2:19:04] Eric Thorton: Correct. It’s designed to keep us patients. And it’s not bad doctors. It’s what the system is teaching. You know, my cardiologist I had before, after the heart attack, before the whole food plant based, he had knowledge. But he had to operate to keep his license within the rules of the American Medical Association as a cardiologist. So he couldn’t tell me certain things. So when I did show up needing bypass surgery, he was the one doing the work. He was my cardiologist. And we come out of surgery. He goes, you need to have bypass surgery. Here’s the doctor to do it. He’s the best in the State. He’s blah, blah, blah. He couldn’t, and he was the best doctor in the state. And so he connected me up really well. My wife said to him, “But couldn’t we change that with diet?” And he said, “Yes, but it would take three years.” It had been three years since the heart attack.



[2:20:06] Ashley James: And he could have told you three years ago, but he didn’t.



[2:20:09] Eric Thorton: He didn’t. He didn’t. Because if he did, I could sue him. Because the American Medical Association had not recommended yet whole food plant based. He knew it. But he couldn’t recommend it. They can now, American Medical Association now recommends whole food plant based for heart disease. So he can say it now, but he couldn’t then. And I never went back to him. Because he was a good man. He really was. I don’t have a problem with him. But he left that little things slip that he should have let slip three years before because he knew me. He knew I was willing to do anything. And I could stick with things. But he didn’t.



[2:21:01] Ashley James: Yeah, I want all my doctors to be renegades just enough to be okay with telling me the truth. Right and they damn the potential consequences. Tell me the truth.



[2:21:13] Eric Thorton: Right. Or at least look for it themselves. So these doctors are now exposed, like the rest of us are to the various ideas of food and nutrition. And yet they’ve only had 20 minutes of nutrition in their becoming doctors, according to Esselstyn is 20 minutes. And it may be a whole class. Okay, great. But it’s like, okay, but this is out there. So why the resistance to study in this? They sit there and they go with the whole food plant based. Well, Dr… What’s the name? Who started The China Study? Dr… I forgot his name right now, he’s a PhD. He’s not an MD. So all the research is flawed. That’s literally what they say. But he brought in, he was a PhD at Stanford, he brought in the doctors to do the studies. He was just the orchestrator. He did a magnificent job. And it’s the only sound science on nutrition on the planet. And it’s evidence based nutrition. And the evidence was gathered by long term scientific studies. And that the guides have gone. That’s what the human bodies need. They were very specific about it, though. We used to live short lives, it didn’t matter. Now, we’re trying to live these long lives for humans. We’re trying to live past 50. In 1900, the average American, the statistics show, lived to be 47 years old. You couldn’t get year round fruits and vegetables then, now you can. And that’s actually doing that. And sanitation is why we live longer, because we’re getting the antioxidants year round now. So don’t mess with Mexico. Sorry, that was an editorial.



[2:23:13] Ashley James: No. I just thought when the tariffs were being threatened, I was like, “You know what, all these people with their avocado obsession, what’s gonna happen?” Like, don’t take away my avocados.



[2:23:26] Eric Thorton: You know, you gotta have the strawberry, but it is, those are antioxidants. And avocados are very good for you. You take them away, you’re eliminating some of what we need for year round food. And that is what increased our longevity. People have recently in the last 15 years, started doing all these other diets. And now, the average lifespan has dropped three years, literally, because of all these other diets.



[2:23:52] Ashley James: Like Atkins and keto.



[2:23:54] Eric Thorton: Right. High meat diets. If you go online, and you look at a vial of blood, someone that’s on the high fat, high protein diet – half the blood, it separates out, half of it is the fat they ate. That is like taking sandpaper to the inside of your arteries. But we don’t care about that. I do. And people that are doing that much, their bodies care about it. They’re just not aware of it until they have an event. Not fully aware of it. Constipation does develop to be a problem on those diets. And they do, they shock your body into losing weight. There’s no question about that for a while. And then it starts, the antioxidants go down, the vitamins and minerals go down. And then you start getting unhealthy. So anyway, it’s a sad process. And I have learned tremendously from the gift of my heart attack and it was a gift. There’s no question about it.



[2:24:59] Ashley James: Today, we got to learn from the gift of your heart attack as well. So thank you, thank you for sitting with us and sharing so much wonderful information and stories. The takeaway being that, if we have loved ones ashes, let them go so that we become healthier and that the soul of our ancestors can move on into a better place for our benefit, for their benefit. All the way around. Good for everyone, that we need to focus on gaining the positive learnings and being grateful in the now so that we can vibrate at that frequency that attracts like. So the more evolved, less coming from ego, coming from a more soul stance or our soul’s purpose, right? So we need to focus on gaining all the positive learnings and not attaching to the drama.



[2:26:01] Eric Thorton: Focus on the grace of every event like these public speakers talk about, you focus on positivity, there’s a real truth to that. You can’t be there all the time. So don’t punish yourself for not being able to do it. But the more you stay in that, the more your frequency is that and you’re going to draw less predatory or lower frequency energy. That’s how you stay safe.



[2:26:28] Ashley James: And then the final message would be, do a 21 day challenge and try the whole food plant based diet, no salt, sugar or oil. I interviewed chef AJ on the show and she’s a delight. Definitely, listeners can go back and search Chef AJ in the search box at to find that episode. And then Dr. Goldhamer who I remember the number of that one, it’s Episode 230. I remember that because my husband’s joke is when’s the best time to go to the dentist? 230 your tooth 30 you know. My husband’s full of dad jokes. But yeah, so Episode 230 is Dr. Goldhamer and he teaches this but Chef AJ and there’s some great YouTube videos of the two of them Chef AJ and Dr. Goldhamer together, Chef AJ teaches, I think she says over 100 or more videos where she teaches from start to finish how to cook delicious lunches and snacks and breakfasts and dinners using this whole foods plant based diet, no salt, sugar, or oil, and she also adds no alcohol as well. Which is literally a poison. So while you do your 21 day challenge, cut out alcohol as well, because it is considered sugar and a toxin to the liver. But that together in 21 days, creates like a whole new body, a whole new experience.



[2:28:00] Eric Thorton: It’s phenomenal. I’ve met them both personally, because I went to True North and went through the process down there. So that’s where all these doctors congregate, share information, they have labs there, they have rooms, I did 21 day fast with a 14 day refeed. So I spent a lot of time and I got all those lectures and saw Chef AJ and listen to her and all the other things. And they’re fascinating people, and they have the best intentions. They do have the intention, that’s a good intention. If people don’t want to hear it, they’re not going to hear it. So why bother? And that’s the way the guides are too, you know, I told you if they’re not going to do it, let’s see if we can modify it a little bit and get a little bit healthier. But the people aren’t going to listen. That’s it.



[2:28:14] Ashley James: Right.



[2:28:53] Eric Thorton: And Goldhamer is big on that. And Chef AJ went through the 21 day fast, and she has to remain very strict in order to keep weight off. She was like, very, very heavy at one time. And her body cannot tolerate even oils in avocados and nuts and things like that. Otherwise, she’ll balloon up again and she does it right away. And I don’t know why because I’ve never worked on her. So she has to be very strict. So actually, her recipes are actually really good. Only because she can’t cheat. And so they are they’re very good recipes. I have one of her cookbooks. I think I have two. She did one with Ramsey, Chef Ramsay and her and then I have one of hers too. And they’re very good. So I’m a cook too. So I always spice things up and things like that. But I use all these recipe books for their basic recipe. And then I’ll fine tune it. But her recipes are good and sound the way they are. So, but again, I like to mess with things a little.



[2:30:07] Ashley James: Yeah, you got a gorgeous kitchen for that.



[2:30:09] Eric Thorton: Yeah, I do. We have a commercial kitchen that allows us to do that and get those flavors and things like that. So, but it is. She does the demonstrations on hot plates. She doesn’t do it on a big fancy stove. She’s got it right there and she’s got your coils that you plug into the wall, you know, and just regular electric hot plate. So anyone can do it. You can go buy a hot plate if you need to.



[2:30:37] Ashley James: She gives some great advice. She says make all your seasonings in advance like, she buys all her seasoning, let’s say sage and garlic and ground onion and all the different kinds of spices. And she will get them in bulk for example. And then take these containers and make her blends for the next week. Sort of like someone would take their 20 supplement bottles or their 10 prescription bottles and make up a little holder. You know, she does that with her seasoning. So she knows she’s going to make chili on Thursday, she just grabs her bottle of pre made chili seasoning and just throws it in. And I thought that was really smart to kind of make her make her own blends. So there’s no salt in it, there’s no sugar in it, there’s no oil in it, I can’t believe how many spices out there are filled with crap. So she makes her own. And then she doesn’t have to… it takes less time for her to cook because she just grabs one thing and pours, dumps the whole pile of spice right there on the food while she’s cooking it.


[2:31:43] Eric Thorton: She’s a professional cook. So she has that all worked out for a certain flavor. Most people can’t do that. They don’t plan ahead that far. And they can’t think of what they’re doing, until they actually do it. She happens to be able to do that which is really nice where she buys a lot of her spices, give them a plug it’s called Savory Spice. And they do have a lot of blends that have salt or sugar in or something but they also have a lot to do not. And they have some very, very interesting spices. And they recommend you at True North Health to go to Savory Spice, that’s about 10 blocks from that facility. And they have their own blend that Savory Spice makes for True Health. And that you have on your table to just put spice on your food, herbal blend, and it’s a nice one that doesn’t have to be cooked to flavor your food. And they have several of those and Savory Spice is the place that they get all these and they’re organic and they’re you know the whole works and so you go in and you say I want whole food plant based, no sugar, oil or salt like, “Okay, we got this this this this and this.” And there’s some really amazing blends, they have Japanese blends, they got Korean, they got Middle Eastern, and you know they got all kinds from all over the world that have no sugar, oil or salt.



[2:33:04] Ashley James: Oh I have to check them out. They probably sell them online.



[2:33:10] Eric Thorton: I was thinking they were in Santa Rosa where True North Health is. And so it’s like, I lost their phone number so look it up online there’s one at Alderwood Mall.



2:33:22] Ashley James: So they are a chain.



[2:33:23] Eric Thorton: They’re a chain. I’ve been sitting here ordering. It’s like I get the privilege of now walking in. Because you go in it’s like this place smells good. So anyway, I found that out I go, “Okay, why can’t you tell me that sooner, guys?”



[2:33:45] Ashley James: You give talks in Redmond. So local people are listening can check out your website and get on your newsletter at and come to your free lectures. I know the next one’s coming up in a few weeks.



[2:33:58] Eric Thorton: And I think you said you were going to record it, maybe?



[2:34:00] Ashley James: We’re going to do our best.



[2:34:01] Eric Thorton: Okay. So we might be able to put the whole lecture or discussion, I have a more open discussion. So it’s more interesting. I think lectures can get a little boring.



[2:34:14] Ashley James: Well, not you. I can’t imagine you being boring. But we’ll do our best to record it. Thank you so much for sitting with us.



[2:34:21] Eric Thorton: Thank you.



[2:34:21] Ashley James: And teaching, this has been a lot of fun. I love hearing how all the listeners have been reaching out to you and working with you and getting great results, and those who listen are enjoying our interviews.



[2:34:37] Eric Thorton: I’ve gotten quite a few calls, even long distance. Like I told you earlier had a guy today, the call from Saudi Arabia that’s doesn’t wanna get in trouble in Saudi Arabia. So he’s going to either the UK in August, so he wants an appointment in August and he listened to you. That was the latest podcast. So that was Sunday. So I think he listened Monday and he called yesterday. So I get quite a bit of that and it’s really fun to help your clients.



[2:35:04] Ashley James: Yeah, that’s what I’m all about. Let’s help all the listeners to get true health.



[2:35:10] Eric Thorton: Yeah. Happy to help.



[2:35:13] Ashley James: Awesome.





Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition and how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity? Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and to figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business, support people in their success? Do you love helping people?


You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.


I just spent the last year in their health coaching certification program and it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over a hundred dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition, but from a standpoint of how we can help people to shift their lives and shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health, I definitely recommend you check them out.


You can Google, Institute for Integrative Nutrition or IIN and give them a call or you can go to and you can receive a free module of their training to check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in.


Be sure to mention my name Ashley James and the Learn True Health Podcast because I made a deal with them that they will give you the best price possible.


I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program and I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information. We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are. getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic office, doctors can work in hospitals, you can work online through Skype and help people around the world. you can become an author. You can go into the school system and help your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. you can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them in their success and their health goals.


There’s so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach.


So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Mention my name, get the best deal. Give them a call and they;ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you.


Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month. So you’re gonna wanna call them now and check it out.


And if you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.



Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price?


For high quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price.




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Get Connected With Eric Thorton!

Official Website



Recommended Reading by Eric Thorton

Educating the Souls, Spiritual Healing and our Eternal Psychology


Recommended Links:

Episode 327 – Spiritual Healing

Episode 335 – Energetic Boundaries

Episode 336 – Energetic Boundaries (Part II)

Episode 359 – Lives Of Discovery

Aug 8, 2019

Get my favorite magnesium! Use coupon code LTH at

Get my favorite supplements:


How To Improve Brain Cognition With Nootropics



  • Preventing Alzheimer’s and Dementia is not a sure thing but there are certain things that you can do to really increase your chances of it not happening.
  • Free radicals and oxidative damage to the brain is by no means the only cause of cognitive problems and functional decline in your brain
  • With the help of certain nootropics or supplements, you can increase your chances.
  • Whole foods plant-based diets with healthy fats support brain health.
  • Taking the right nootropic supplements can optimize your brain health and protect you from cognitive decline well into the future.
  • It is never too late to start taking supplements.


Do you find yourself at times challenged at remembering the things you used to know and even used to really master at life? Memory loss? You would be shocked to discover that it is not a normal part of aging. Today’s podcast will help you understand why and how the decline in brain function starts and basically what to do when realizing that you’re not a sharp as you once were.


[00:00] Ashley James: Hello, True Health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. Today, wow you are going to love today’s interview. David Tomen comes back on the show to teach us how to reverse and prevent aging of the brain. Science has shown it actually starts in your 20’s and really starts to take hold in our 40’s. You’ve noticed that you don’t think as clearly as you used to or maybe math which is my thing isn’t coming as naturally or as quickly to you as it used to. You want to hear today’s interview with David Tomen because he teaches us exactly how to help heal the brain and to anti-aging on the brain. Also, how to prevent and reverse big issues like Parkinson’s, Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. I know you’re going to love hearing what he has to say. It’s very technical. There’s a lot of science in it and I know you’re probably going to want to take notes. But here’s the thing, we now transcribe all of our interviews. So you can go ahead and go to and read the transcript for this interview. It’s going to take us a little bit of time between posting it to all of the podcast directories and then getting up on our website but once it’s on our website you’ll be able to read this entire interview which is really exciting. Remember to go to and check that out because all of the recent episodes have been transcribed for you, which is so great. I know several listeners have told me that they listened to episodes two or three times to take notes. This has been very helpful for them. I want to let you know about two resources because we discussed supplements in this interview specifically magnesium and vitamins. I want to let you know about two of my favorite resources. David mentions in this interview that magnesium is very important for brain health. My favorite source of magnesium is not oral magnesium. It is soaking in magnesium. If you’re a new listener you may have not heard this but if you’ve been around for a while you’ve heard me talk about Kristen Bowen’s magnesium soak which has really been transformative for my life and for my family. Over 2,000 listeners have enjoyed soaking in Kristen’s magnesium and actually come back and told me about it. There’s several threads in our Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group where listeners have shared their positive experience with soaking in the magnesium soak. If you’d like to increase the magnesium in your body because most people are deficient. You’d like to do it without having to take an oral supplement that gives you diarrhea. Let’s be honest, most magnesium supplements do that. You can soak in the magnesium and your body will absorb grams of magnesium every time you soak in it. It’s very concentrated, it’s all-natural, it’s from the Zechstein Sea. You can listen to my interview with Kristen Bowen to learn more about that. You can go to and type in Kristen Bowen or type in magnesium in the search box and you’ll find those interviews. Go to and use coupon code LTH. That’s the listener coupon code to get your discount and buy a jug of her magnesium soak. It is really transformative. After we introduced it into the bath for our 4-year-old son, he was 3 at that time. He would always fight us every time it was bedtime. After we started adding it to his bath, he would be more relaxed and calm and want to go to sleep. That’s how we felt too. It just relaxes you, it calms you, and it increases sleep. It also increases energy because your body needs it for hundreds of enzymatic processes in the body. Since most people are deficient in magnesium and so many symptoms of magnesium deficiency that could mimic other diseases if you’re experiencing symptoms of anything, you should really try magnesium and try soaking in it. Kristen recommends you do a 30-day challenge. You’d buy one of the jugs and you soak in it every evening for 30 days. I soak in it while I’m in my sauna. You could soak in it while watching TV or when you’re sitting at your desk. Sometimes I do that. I soak while I’m sitting at my desk recording interviews. Just try it and see how you feel and come to the Facebook group. Learn True Health Facebook group and share your experience with soaking in the magnesium. Of course, everything that I’m talking right now is going to be on the show notes of today’s podcast of the So go to and use coupon code LTH to try the magnesium soak, which I highly recommend. My second resource for you is where I buy all my vitamins and minerals from, especially my minerals is Go to and fill out the form for a free consultation with a health coach that’ll help you buy the right supplements for you. They specialize in minerals. If you’re looking for a really good trace mineral if you’re looking for a really good selenium complex that is where I’d go. I absolutely highly recommend checking out for those supplements. Excellent. Enjoy today’s interview. I know you will and please share this interview with all of your friends and family who want to have a healthy brain.


[05:44] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 374. I’m very excited for today’s guest. We have back on the show with us Nootropics Expert David Tomen. He was here first in episode 362 where he taught us about how to heal the brain and balance dopamine and serotonin. Very fascinating story that you have David, where you were able to completely reverse your ADHD using natural substances and that it drove you to want to learn how to balance the brain, heal the brain and support the brain using herbs and supplements and food and just understanding more about the chemistry and science about the brain. Which is something that is not explored enough and you just think that we would just focus on the brain more since that is where we live. Right? I’m very excited to have you back in the show today. We’re going to cover some really interesting information that everyone can benefit from. Welcome back, David.


[06:57] David Tomen: Hi, Ashley. Thanks for having me back.


[07:00] Ashley James: Now, are you sipping your chai tea? We are talking about tea. I’ve got my green tea here I’m sipping. Do you have your organic chai tea you’re sipping right now?


[07:10] David Tomen:  I’ve got another kind of Tazo tea. I think it’s oolong.


[07:14] Ashley James: Nice. Okay, there’s oolong in mine too. So, cheers.


[07:16] David Tomen:  Excellent. Cheers.


[07:17] Ashley James: And we know that these teas have nice phytonutrients in it for the brain.


[07:23] David Tomen:  I think they do. [Laughter] They’ll keep us calm during the podcast and we’ll be able to think quicker and live longer.


[07:34] Ashley James: Hold on while I chug mine. [Laughter]


[07:38] David Tomen:  There, you just added two minutes to your life. [Laughter]


[07:41] Ashley James: Excellent. David, we were discussing a few days ago what we discussed today and you said, you mentioned, you rattled off some amazing topics all of which I want you to keep coming back on the show to teach but one of them really struck a chord for me and it was the aging brain and how to prevent. How to foresee the signs of it and how to prevent it. How to reverse it. You mentioned things like becoming forgetful or possibly like losing certain skills you used to have and that really struck a chord with me because in my 20s, I was a math whiz. You could throw math at me all day long. I was like a human calculator and now, I can barely add single digits. It’s just I have to like count on my fingers and it’s like, “What happened?” I feel like a part of my brain just shut down and I don’t have access to the same skills that I used to have and I’m approaching 40. I’m not a candidate for dementia hopefully. What’s going on? You have a great explanation so for those who might notice that they’re less sharp than they used to be or they have a bit more brain fog or possibly they’re concerned that they might end up with dementia. You’re here to teach us today how to take care of your brain so that we can reverse its age and become even healthier brain-wise.


[09:09] David Tomen: With a little bit of work you can get your math skills back. The thing is that we all know some people that have lived past 90 years old, right? They’ve enjoyed a really well functional brain until the very end so we know it’s possible to maintain a fully optimized brain right throughout our life. Most of us also know that people that have got Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or Dementia, I’ve got people of my own family. My father-in-law’s’ got Parkinson’s. But neurodegenerative disease affects not just one person either like close family members and your friends impact as well. It’s not just you if your brain feeling is effective it’s everybody in the circle around you. The thing is that the memory loss that you just described is not a normal part of aging. It really isn’t. Recent research in aging and brain function found that as we get older, individual brain molecule cells and cellular circulation and even the physical shape of your brain are affected in some way. Some of these changes are right around your 21stbirthday. If you’re young biohacker listening to this podcast, this podcast is just as much for you as it is for the aging baby boomer or the senior citizen. We know that the brain responds to the same types of insults that we throw at it with as the rest of your body. It gets attacked by stress, nutritional deficiency, poor diet, toxins, not enough exercise and sleep. These things all affect cognition but the human brain has an amazing ability to repair and maintain itself even up to old age. All we have to do is give it what it needs to survive and thrive. That’s kind of like our start. We can all just go through, when I was researching this, I divided it into segments so that it was easier to comprehend and understand. There’s five different segments and we’ll talk about each one of these in plain English so that anybody can understand what we’re talking about and some tips about how to take care of the particular thing.


[11:35] Ashley James: Sounds great.


[11:36] David Tomen:  Yes. The first thing that we have to deal with our free radicals and brain aging. Now we’ve got extensive research that shows oxidation of DNA proteins and lipids by free radicals are responsible for functional decline in your brain. As estimated, that 10,000-oxidated interaction between DNA and free radicals in each one of your brain cells occurs every day. But as you get older at least one out of every three proteins per cell is dysfunctional because of oxidative damage.


[12:14] Ashley James: Wow.


[12:16] David Tomen:  So free radicals and oxidative damage to the brain is by no means the only cause of cognitive problems but their rule of free radicals and [Inaudible 12:26] dysfunction is a really major issue and it’s fairly simple to take care of it.


[12:36] Ashley James: In terms of the free radical damage that happens to the brain. It’s kind of approaching it in all fronts because free radical damage harms the circulation to the brain and also the circulation away from the brain so bringing fresh nutrients to the brain and removing the waste away from the brain. The free radical damage would cause inflammation to all the vasculature that’s sort of one insult to the brain that’s happening every day but then you’re saying it’s also affecting the protein synthesis in the brain and it’s also affecting the DNA itself.


[13:15] David Tomen:  Yes, right down to the DNA. When you think about it, free radicals and oxidation are a normal part of how our brain works because when you are sending oxygen and nutrients into brain cells, into the mitochondria to use the skill, there’s a burning process that takes place. We’re talking about energy production but whenever there’s energy production there’s also waste because once the fatty acids, for example, are used up they’re oxidized fatty acids and we have a built-in immune system that helps flush the stuff out but it gets out of hand as we get older. Our body cannot cope with the free radical, the normal free radical process that’s going on in our system, we can’t cope with the onslaught and if you don’t do something about it, you just don’t catch up cells get damaged and they die. Let’s talk about a couple of things that you can do to help stop this and reverse it. Yes?


[14:23] Ashley James: Awesome. Let’s do it. Let’s jump in.


[14:25] David Tomen:  All right. Alpha lipoic acid is a naturally-occurring, sulfur-containing fatty acid that is very unique among antioxidants. Because it is both water and fat-soluble. It’s got a unique ability to neutralize free radicals in all cellular environments. This antioxidant can even reduce brain damage after a stroke.


[14:51] Ashley James: Wow. Very cool. Where does it come from? Alpha lipoic acid?


[14:54] David Tomen:  Well, lipoic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid in your body and what we do know is that lipoic acid helps boost the synthesis of acetylcholine that increases glucose uptake in brain cells. Lipoic acid is actually part of the synthesis of acetylcholine. If you don’t have lipoic acid you cannot synthesize acetylcholine so it’s part of that process. Lipoic acid regenerates other depleted anti-oxidants that are already in your system like vitamins C and E, glutathione and it recycles CoQ10. It reduces inflammation, it gets rid of heavy metals and boosts cellular energy and memory


[15:40] Ashley James: Very cool. I just pulled up Alpha lipoic acid is a vitamin-like chemical called an antioxidant. You can get it from yeast, liver, kidney, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes. They are all very good sources of it. You can have it also use it as a supplement. Even though if you eat lots of broccoli and spinach, I’d still, if you’re looking to heal the brain I would still use it as a supplement.


[16:05] David Tomen: Absolutely. 50 – 600 mg a day depending on what you’re trying to cure.


[16:13] Ashley James: Would you divide that up if someone decided to do the full dose like the full 600 mg a day? Would they divide that up?


[16:22] David Tomen: I would divide that up into three. For example, for diabetic neuropathy, it’s recommended to use 800 mg a day so you divide that into two doses. You’ll need 400 mg in the morning and 400 mg early afternoon.


[16:34] Ashley James: Is it best to take on an empty stomach or with food?


[16:37] David Tomen: This one on an empty stomach but it’s like it doesn’t really matter with lipoic acid because it’s both water and fat-soluble. I did make some notes when I was researching this that eating it with amino decreases its bioavailability. So taking it on an empty stomach is better but it’s not going to kill you if you happen to make a mistake and you eat it right after a meal.


[17:11] Ashley James: The benefits of supplements is you’re not going to have these large reactions if you took a drug the wrong way.


[17:19] David Tomen: Yes. It’s just going to work better if you take it on an empty stomach. The thing about alpha lipoic acid supplements they contain a mixture of RLA and SLA. RLA is the natural kind of lipoic acid that’s found in our system. S lipoic acid is the synthetic kind. The thing is that R lipoic acid is pretty unstable. They combine it 50-50 with synthetic lipoic acid just to maintain it’s stability so that they could put in the capsule so you could take it as a supplement.


[18:03] Ashley James: Do you find that even though half of it is synthetic, people still gain benefit from taking it?


[18:09] David Tomen:  Absolutely. There are a couple of R Lipoic acid versions that have been produced that are patented that would improve the stability of that particular as RSLA is a little bit more expensive but it’s possible to get plain RLA. You’re just going to pay more for it.


[18:26] Ashley James: I know one from Japan that was they claim it to be all-natural and stable.


[18:43] David Tomen:  Yes. That’s the one that they used in Performance Lab Energy’s got that and that’s the one that I use. Anyway, that is lipoic acid. Another one that you can do is CoQ10. This is a natural antioxidant synthesized in every single cell in your body and brain and it helps produce adenosine triphosphate which is your mitochondria source of energy. There’s two types of CoQ10. There’s one ubiquinone. It gets converted to ubiquinol your cells and then once ubiquinol gets converted back to ubiquinone. We find that people that are over 40, there’s some research that shows that if you supplement with ubiquinol you get more benefit. Then some other people say ubiquinone is better for them. They get as much benefit from ubiquinone as they do from ubiquinol. One is more expensive than the other.


[19:41] Ashley James: I know that you have some supplements brands that you specifically recommend. We’ll make sure that we include that in the information on the show notes because after we had you on the first time, several listeners have reached out to me and said, “What brand do I get? David didn’t tell us what brand.” I know you’ve looked into the quality and the –


[20:11] David Tomen:  I look deeply into the quality.


[20:11] Ashley James: Yes and I really want to make sure that we protect the listener that they make sure that they have access to the best quality.


[20:20] David Tomen: Okay. I know that alpha lipoic acid, the R lipoic acid that we’re talking about and Coenzyme Q10 are both available in Performance Lab Energy which is the one that I use.


[20:30] Ashley James:  Okay. Great.


[20:32] David Tomen: Creatine. Creatine is a non-essential amino acid that synthesized in your liver and your brain uses it to recharge adenosine triphosphate that fuels mitochondria. ATP is directly involved in producing packaging and secreting neurotransmitters, which obviously affects intelligence, improves memory, faster thinking, improves mood. Creatine fuels ATP, which boosts cellular metabolism. This is another way that you can energize your cells. Another natural one is Gingko Biloba. Gingko is one of the oldest species of trees on earth. Gingko increases nitric oxide levels, which dilate blood vessels which increases cerebral circulation which improves oxygen and glucose availability to neurons which improve memory recall, cognition, and learning. There was one interesting study with 31 stroke patients that look at the effects of gingko in stroke recovery. The patients were given with 1,500 mg of gingko per day and the researchers found that the stroke patients using gingko had lower oxidative stress, inflammation, and better anti-oxidant levels. Along with the greater decrease in C-reactive proteins and an increase in circulating antioxidants.


[22:05] Ashely James: I love it. This is where it’s buyer beware. There was a group decided to test how much gingko Biloba was on the shelf at Walmart or Target or whatever pharmacy you could just buy capsules of Gingko Biloba and they discovered that many of the over the counter gingko Biloba supplements contain 100% filler and zero gingko Biloba.


[22:37] David Tomen: That happened in New York. That was when New York attorney general sued and went after Target, CBS, Walmart, and Walgreens I think and a couple of other big retailers that are white labeling these supplements and that’s what exactly what happened. I actually spent quite a bit of time and I wrote a couple of posts on this on how to choose the best supplement. We can do a whole podcast on just this but generally what you’re looking for is stay away from department store brands and drugstore brands of supplements because they sell drugs. That’s not their business. Look for a company that that’s all they do is produces and sells supplements. The Vitamin Shoppe is a good example although they were guilty of putting out some crap in years past but have lightly changed the way they’re doing things and they test everything now but other big brands like Now foods, Doctor’s Best, Nature’s Way. These companies all test their stuff before it goes into production, during production then after encapsulation before they ship it and will actually send you a certificate of analysis proving that what’s in that batch of capsules is actually in there on request. They usually indicate this to their website. A company like the Bulk Supplements for example. I believe you can pull download a certificate of analysis right from their website.  A couple of companies do that but most of them you have to ask for it.


[24:31] Ashely James: Got it. I love it.


[24:34] David Tomen: Gingko, 40 mg three times a day.


[24:37] Ashely James: How much Creatine should we take?


[24:40] David Tomen: Creatine is kind of like up in the air grams. Creatine is a funny one because it’s sold as to the athletic world. There’s a bunch of different kinds of Creatine and from my research what I found is just that Creatine modified by a reputable supplement manufacturer works just as well as the other fancy ones. Up to five grams a day.


[25:19] Ashely James: Is that on empty stomach?


[25:22] David Tomen: Creatine probably better on an empty stomach otherwise it’s going to compete with stuff that’s going on because when you eat protein, for example, you’ve got transporters in your gut that help transport it to place in your body like your brain. When you take a supplement that is competing for the same transports one is going to win over the other one. Right? So it may work, it may not. It’s kind of like you’re not sure who’s going to win. Some things better to take on an empty stomach so it’s not competing with anything else.


[26:02] Ashely James: The CoQ10, I find it fascinating that those who are on Statin drugs need to take CoQ10 because statin drugs inhibit the body’s ability to produce CoQ10. We need CoQ10 for the heart to beat. It’s very, very important. Those on statin drugs will feel fatigued and exhausted as one of the side effects because the statin drugs are inhibiting the body’s ability to produce CoQ10 so their bodies just ran out of fuel so they have to supplement. But they’re told to supplement a very small amount. How much CoQ10 is optimal to take daily?


[26:41] David Tomen: 2 – 400 mg.


[26:44] Ashely James: Would you say that would be on empty stomach or with food?


[26:51] David Tomen: I’m not so sure that it makes a difference with CoQ10.


[26:56] Ashely James: There’s one thing about CoQ10 is we can take too much. Back when we lived in Las Vegas, I was supplementing with CoQ10 and a few other things. My husband had to go to work at 4 in the morning. I’d wake up and make him lunch and see him off. Sometimes I’d go back to bed. Sometimes I’d stay up. I woke up, I made him his lunch. I took my supplements, my 400 mg of CoQ10 and then I fell asleep on the couch. Woke up again, forgot I took my supplements, took another 400mg and I might have done it again later in the day forgetting I had taken my supplements but I ended up having a negative reaction. I thought I was going to die. My heart was just beating like crazy. No matter how much I breathe, I couldn’t get oxygen into my lungs. I felt like I was drowning. And I was lying there in the couch going, “That’s it. My husband’s going to come home and he’s going to find his wife dead.” Later upon looking this up and talking to a naturopath, I discovered that you can take if you take too much CoQ10 it can cause an adrenal dump. I was experiencing basically my adrenal is completely dumping and me going through that stress response not knowing what I was stressed about lying on the couch thinking I was going to die. It’s not lethal but it can be very uncomfortable to take too much CoQ10 which you have to really, really overdose but if you stay under the 400 mg a day you’re not going to experience what I experienced.


[28:46] David Tomen: I’ve got even more specific dosage recommendations than that on my CoQ10 dosage notes on the Nootropics Expert. For example, if you’re using it as an anti-oxidant, 60 – 150 mg per day, for muscle control problems 300 – 3,000 mg. For Alzheimer’s disease 400 mg. For heart attack recovery, 30 – 600 mg. Even I’ve got other ones too, male infertility and Peyronie’s disease, 30 – 300 mg. Diabetic nerve pain, 400 mg. Weight loss, 100 mg. The dosage recommendations were pretty specific on what you’re trying to do. If you’re just using it if you’re a reasonably healthy person and you just want to use it as help boost your anti-oxidant defenses 60 – 150 mg.



[29:40] Ashley James: Got it. Awesome. We’ve got the Alpha lipoic acid, the CoQ10, Creatine, Gingko Biloba. What’s next?


[29:51] David Tomen: N-acetyl L-Cysteine. This is naturally occurring amino acid. Well, it’s L-cysteine. There’s just an acetyl group added to it to increase its bioavailability and it works primarily by restoring glutathione.


[30:11] Ashley James: I’ve got some right here. NAC right?


[30:16] David Tomen: Yup. NAC. I think NAC is an amazing supplement because it not only does it helps glutathione I find that when I’m using NAC, when everybody else around me has got the flu or a cold, I don’t get it but it also helps restore dopamine receptors which is really important for me being adult ADD and using Ritalin. Right? 600 mg three times a day.


[30:43] Ashley James:  Oh, man. I’m taking 500 mg twice a day so you’re saying 600 mg three times a day?


[30:51] David Tomen:  500 mg twice a day is good. But you can take another one.


[30:58] Ashley James:  Did you say 600 three times a day?


[31:00] David Tomen: Yes.


[31:01] Ashley James: Okay, three times a day. What introduced me to NAC, my son before we figured out why he was having this constant runny nose, stuffy nose then occasional asthma and he’s so healthy, eats so clean, “What’s going on?” and we finally found our naturopathic pediatrician that he has allergies. To dust mites then he has about seven food allergies just odd foods like garlic which is in everything. It’s really hard to avoid garlic obviously he does a lot of meals at home of garlic, oats, dairy, and fish. Just pretty much all the fish he’s allergic to. If he’s exposed to garlic for example. He’ll have stuffy nose. If it’s garlic and then he goes and plays at a friend’s house and he’s exposed to more dust mites, it’s kind of a one-two punch his histamine goes through the roof and he can get into a bit of asthma or his nose becomes completely clogged and so our naturopath said for him to take NAC every day. That NAC in large doses causes mucus to become more fluid and so if you have a stuffy nose, then by taking it, it’ll drain the nose. At one point I had a head cold and I just took NAC all day long. I couldn’t believe it. It was so wonderful. It just drained the area and also the added benefit that it’s a wonderful support for our anti-oxidant system in the body. I have seen positive results from this supplement.


[32:43] David Tomen: It’s one of my favorite supplements. Anti-inflammatory as a free radical scavenger. It’s just NAC is good stuff. Get some.


[32:56] Ashley James: On your website, do you sell it? Do you have links to your favorite brand?


[33:03] David Tomen: For some, I started to do that. I don’t think that I did it for NAC. I use Doctor’s Best.


[33:15] Ashley James:  Okay, great. I just buy it straight from my naturopath. They branded themselves so I don’t know who makes it but I trust my naturopath but Doctor’s Best is a good brand.


[33:30] David Tomen: You’ll know that if it’s working if you’re getting results from it you know that it’s a good supplement.


[33:34] Ashley James: Yes, we’re getting results so I’m happy with it. If you don’t get any results from NAC then change brands.


[33:41] David Tomen: Exactly. [Laughter]


[33:34] Ashley James: Awesome.


[33:46] David Tomen: The next thing that we should talk about is synapses and brain aging.


[33:51] Ashley James:  Before we do, can you explain for those who don’t know the synapses? Can you give people the basic understating of why the synapses is important?

[34:03] David Tomen: I call it an empty space but it’s not really an empty space between neurons. When neurons fire they send electrical signals across the synaptic cleft to the neuron next door. It’s like the joint between neurons. The communication junction between neurons.

[34:28] Ashley James:  It’s like the cell tower between the two cellphones.


[34:32] David Tomen: Kind of like that, yes. Synapses they wear out. For example, when they did autopsies on Alzheimer’s patients, they found that there was a profound decrease in synapse numbers in brain regions involving learning and memory. Same thing with Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.  The reduction of number of synapses in your brain could be part of the cause for brain shrinkage as we get older as well. Now you seen these stories of how your brain shrinks as you get older. One of the reasons is you’re losing synapses. Our brain loses 5% of its weight per decade after the age 40, part of that is synapse loss. When you start losing synapses of they’re break and they don’t work, your brain signaling starts breaking down. That’s how our brain works. It’s by signaling between neurons and when it can’t signal anymore, you’re in big trouble. We know that we can increase the number of synapses it’s called synaptogenesis. The growth of new synapses by increasing brain-derived nootropic factor. I wrote a separate post on 13 different nootropics that I identified to boost BDNF or Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. One neuroscientist called it miracle growth for the brain.


[36:15] Ashley James: [Laughter] Sign me up.


[36:19] David Tomen: Right? You can boost BDNF with Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is been used before thousands of years but recent researches have shown that Ashwagandha helps regenerate axons and dendrites in synapses.


[36:39] Ashley James: Fascinating. I love Ashwagandha because it is so nice and tonifying for the adrenals. I know it from that angle. You know, from the brain angle.


[36:51] David Tomen:  It’s a very, very powerful supplement.


[36:54] Ashley James: Would you recommend it someone just to drink it as a tea all day long? Take it in a capsule form? How much Ashwagandha would be beneficial?


[37:05] David Tomen: 250 – 500 mg a day. Probably the easiest way to make sure that you’re getting the exact doses by taking capsules. But again, there is usually it’s typically Ashwagandha extract and the ayurvedic pharmacopeia of India recommends 3 – 6 g daily of standard ground Ashwagandha powder but we typically buy an extract that’s 45% with anilides. If it’s 45% with anilides, it depends what we want to do. For arthritis, 250 – 500 mg. For antioxidant production, 100 mg. For immunity, 100 – 200 mg. For sexual performance, 250 – 500 mg. It depends on what you want to use it for. If you’re going to take 500 mg you divide the dose up to 250 mg in the morning and then 250 mg in early afternoon.


[38:11] Ashley James: Is this something you take with food or without food?


[38:13] David Tomen:  It doesn’t matter with Ashwagandha.


[38:17] Ashley James: So you can’t take it with your food?


[38:21] David Tomen:  You can take it with your food. It’s better to find an extract from a reputable company because you know what’s on the labels is actually what’s on the capsule and preferably there’s no other ingredient listed on the label either and certified organic is even better.


[38:41] Ashley James: Right. Especially if it’s an extract since it’s like a concentrate you don’t want concentrated pesticides in your supplement.


[38:49] David Tomen: Or heavy metals or herbicides. Ashwagandha is good for restoring synapses. Artichoke extract is a natural PDE4 inhibitor that supports the secondary messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate or cAMP. cAMP helps stimulate the productions of CREB which stands for cAMP response element-binding protein. That CREB is a protein that’s needed for new neuron and synapse growth. I know that sounds a little complicated.


[39:29] Ashley James: No, like it. It sounds delicious. I love artichoke. Could I just eat artichokes all day or is this really strong concentrate?


[39:38] David Tomen: Artichoke extract is preferable. Artichoke extract because it increases CREB. It also enhances long-term potentiation. Long-term potentiation is what’s behind the encoding of long term memory. Recommended dosage is 400 mg a day, I’m sorry 900 mg a day.


[40:06] Ashley James: Do we divide that up? Or just?


[40:08] David Tomen: Preferably, yes. Most of these supplements, when you get into higher dosages like that it’s preferable to divide them up into two or three. Which is generally easy to do because you can get artichoke extract for example 300 mg taken three times a day.


[40:25] Ashley James: Right. I’ve never heard of artichoke extract. I’ve never considered an artichoke as an herb or medicinal plant. So it’s very cool.


[40:36] David Tomen: It is. The next one is a very, very powerful supplement and that’s Berberine. Berberine increases glucagon-like peptide or GLP-1. This is peptide hormone plays a critical role in controlling diabetes but it’s also involved in cognition, learning, and neuroprotection. Studies have shown that when you enhance GLP-1, it enhances synaptic plasticity. It also reduces the aggregation of amyloid-β protein and TauBerberine can help prevent Alzheimer’s. I actually use it for insulin resistance.


[41:27] Ashley James: How much Berberine is good to take and can we take it with food or without food?


[41:33] David Tomen: You can take it with food. How much do I take? I’m trying to remember what’s on the bottle. The recommended dose is between 900 – 1,500 mg a day. I think I might use 500 mg. I’m taking that three times a day. I found that once I started taking it when I got my labs back, they were normal.


[41:57] Ashley James:  Nice. You mentioned diabetes and I think that’s really important to touch on is that there seemed that even if you don’t diabetes, you have just pre-diabetes or your blood sugar is not optimal. Even just having not optimal blood sugars, so your blood sugars high sometimes but not enough to consider diabetes, even that is enough to do damage to the brain. They’re finding that they can do brain scans and see that your brain has significantly aged and lost vasculature significantly because of unregulated high blood sugar. It’s like when a disease is painful, like arthritis, it gets a softer buts to take action and do something about it but when it’s silent like high blood pressure or having unregulated blood sugar, sometimes we’re not aware of the symptoms, right? There’s no pain so we’re not motivated to do something about it. Here the motivator is if we don’t have really good blood sugar then it is destroying our brain and many other parts of our body that we don’t see but high blood sugar causes damage to the circulatory system across the board and inflammation, especially to the brain. They’re seeing that even just pre-diabetes is enough to do a lot of damage to the brain. People with full-blown diabetes especially if they’ve had periods of unregulated high blood sugar that the brain is very negatively affected and ages very quickly in that state. Berberine wonderful recommendation.


[44:05] David Tomen: One of the drugs that are the primary the most popular drug that most doctors prescribe for pre-diabetes is Metformin. Berberine in clinical trials has been found to be as good as Metformin for diabetes.


[44:27] Ashley James: They tried to put me on Metformin. I was type-2 diabetic and I reversed it with naturopathic medicine and that’s one of the reasons why I do this podcast. They tried to put me on metformin and it made me so sick. I’m so thankful that I experienced every single side effect that it has. One of my friends actually went on metformin and it caused her to be in and out of the hospital for a year with acute pancreatitis. She was only able to drink broth for an entire year and it made her so sick. It made me sick but I would not have to live in a hospital but I experienced all the symptoms and decided to get off of it and decided to look for the more natural route. A lot of times people are put on Metformin even preventively like, “You’re pre-diabetic. Let’s get you a Metformin now so we can prevent you from going further.” I love that you’re pointing out that Berberine can be more effective and also much less side effects.


[45:34] David Tomen: Far, far for your side effects. The only side effect that I came across was long-term use of Berberine can affect muscle protein synthesis and cause muscle atrophy. If you’re worried about muscle loss either don’t use Berberine or exercise a little bit.


[45:54] Ashley James: There you go, or use it short term.


[45:58] David Tomen: Use it short term but it is a very, very potent supplement. Moving on, Berberine, Forskolin. Forskolin is the only known nootropic supplement to naturally and directly boost cAMP which is Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate. 


[46:20] Ashley James: Can you spell that? Forskolin?


[46:22] David Tomen: F-O-R-S-K-O-L-I-N. Forskolin. We already talked about this with artichoke extract. cAMP directly stimulates the production of CREB which is the protein needed for new neuron and synapse growth and CREB enhances long-term potentiation. Either from artichoke extract or forskolin.


[46:57] Ashley James: So they would do one or the other?


[47:00] David Tomen: One or the other. For Forskolin, 125 – 250 mg a day.  Another one that’s very effective for synapses is Vitamin B8, Inositol. Inositol which is naturally not really a vitamin they found out but Inositol acts as a “secondary messenger” that facilitates communication between brain cells. Lower than normal levels of Myo-inositol in middle-aged adults can signal the initial stages of cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. My wife uses inositol actually for lipido. Myo-inositol is pretty amazing supplements for whole bunch of different reasons but it will help you grow on your synapses. It helps boosts serotonin and dopamine in your brain, dopamine. And serotonin receptor sensitivity. It improves the effectiveness of serotonin glutamate and dopamine. Myo-inositol effects MRNA, which regulates cell volume. Phosphatidylinositol signaling pathways control signals inside and outside our brain cells. Inositol plays a role in DNA repair, long-term potentiation. It’s a component of brain cell membranes that regulates cell metabolism and cellular energy consumption.


[48:42] Ashley James: Is this something that’s normally in just a multi B vitamin or should we take it separately?


[48:51] David Tomen: This one you need to take in separately because it’s not in most B supplements and you want to look specifically for Myo-inositol. It’s M-Y-O dash Inositol.


[49:07] Ashley James: Is this something that we can take on an empty stomach or with food?


[49:12] David Tomen: You can take this on either one. Empty stomach or on food. This is a pretty amazing supplement actually. It’s one of those unsung supplements that most people don’t know about. It makes it easier for you to fall asleep but it doesn’t knock you out like sleep meds do. It increases serotonin, dopamine receptors densities so that you can think faster and your memory is better.


[49:42] Ashley James: Sign me up.


[49:44] David Tomen: Yes. Inositol is great for social occasions because anxiety levels decrease. Inositol outperformed Prozac at reducing panic attacks in one clinical study.


[49:59] Ashley James: Wow.


[50:00] David Tomen: Wasn’t that amazing?


[50:01] Ashley James: It is amazing. Now, are there foods that we can increase to get this?


[50:08] David Tomen:  Not that on amounts that we need it. If we need it.


[50:17] Ashley James: We want the concentration if we want to prevent panic attacks for example?


[50:22] David Tomen: Yes.


[50:23] Ashley James: Right.


[50:24] David Tomen: If you want to avoid Prozac but you still need the help, try out Inositol. The nice thing about Inositol is that you can use it with an anti-depressant. A lot of supplements you can’t because you’ll get into big trouble but Myo-Inositol is not a problem. Actually it helps, it seems to improve, it helps make your anti-depressant meds work better.


[50:51] Ashley James: Now I know that you take on clients that you just coach people and a lot of people will come to you because they’re on anti-depressants or they’re are other ends and they want to take in supplements but they don’t know what’s going to negatively effects them. We talked about this a little bit in episode 362 that most doctors have no training around, I meant the doctors would prescribe you with an anti-depressant but they don’t really know about the supplements and the herbs and what would be good and not good to take. This is just not in the real house. Can a listener get an appointment with you if they are on medication and they want to know if these nootropics would be okay? Do you have that level of research under your belt?


[51:49] David Tomen: Yes. I have been that. I have been doing consulting several times a week since I started about a year ago. It’s turning out to be pretty popular. If you’re using to this internationally, we’ll do it over Skype. If you’re in the United States or Canada we can do it over Skype or just over the phone but I do have power sessions or one hour sessions. Typically, the initial consultation is an hour because there’s so much to cover but if somebody’s dealing with depression for example and are on anti-depressants and want to get off or just want to start nootropics but don’t know where to start because it could be dangerous to combine some of this stuff, I’ll walk you through all that.


[52:30] Ashley James: Right because you’ve looked at all the studies so you’re basing it all on the science which I really appreciate.


[52:38] David Tomen: Yes. You can get yourself into loads and loads of trouble using some of these supplements.


[52:43] Ashley James: Right. If you’re on medication. If a listener is is not on any medication, they’re free to take these supplements, you’ve given us the doses at very safe levels?


[52:55] David Tomen: Yes.


[52:57] Ashley James: Excellent. I take it that none of these supplements would contradict the other ones. They will complement.


[53:06] David Tomen: You can take all of those at the same time for these particular thing for synapses then you’re fine. Included in this lesson, we still have more to go here so we’re going to have to move on but I also have to help synapse growth, magnesium, PterostilbeneUridine Monophosphate. Those all help restore synapse growth. The next thing I’d like to talk about Ashley is, Alzheimer’s and dementia and brain aging because it’s a growing problem. In the case of Alzheimer’s for example, they’re looking for drugs that inhibit amyloid b protein intel production. Nobody has been able to come up with the secret sauce yet with whatever drug that prevents Alzheimer’s but there are supplements you can take to help prevent it from happening. For example, Huperzine-A. Boosts neuron resistance to beta-amyloidinduced dysfunction that could lead to diseases like Alzheimer’s. Beta-amyloid affects ATP levels in mitochondriaHuperzine-A protects against this damage. Huperzine-A is 200 micrograms per day once every third day. You can’t use the supplements every day. Another great one for preventing B-Amyloid aggregation is Resveratrol because Resveratrol activates AMPK, which reduces levels of Amyloid-beta deposits in the cerebral cortex. It prevents β-amyloid aggregation by scavenging oxygen free radicals, which induces protective enzymes such as heme oxygenase. Which prevents the build-up of deposits causing Alzheimer’s. Resveratrol, depending on what you’re using it for 20 – 250 mg a day. Piracetam. We haven’t talked much about the Piracetams or the Racetams but Piracetam was the very first nootropic ever invented. It was invented back in 1962. I believe it was. It’s used as a prescription drug in many places around the world to treat things like brain aging, brain injuries, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Several studies show that Piracetam enhances ATP production. Mitochondria membranes and neuroid outgrow in neurons. One study the researches shows Piracetam is able to repair mitochondria in those with mild Alzheimer’s and return their cellular function back to normal. Which is a very big deal. Piracetam you have to know how to dose it. They don’t call it a dietary supplement in the United States but you can buy it as a supplement they call it a research compound. It’s not something that you can buy in like Amazon but there’s a few companies that sell it online like Nootropics Depot for example. Dosage is usually 4,000 mg a day divided into three doses but you have to take it with Alpha GPC or CBP choline because it boosts the use of acetylcholine in your brain and if you don’t take it with acetylcholine supplement, you’ll get a headache.


[56:51] Ashley James: Why don’t they just include it?


[56:57] David Tomen: That’s a very good question. [Laughter] I don’t know.


[57:00] Ashley James: They’re selling something that an uninformed person would get a headache every time they took the supplement. You think that they’d want to prevent that.


[57:08] David Tomen: The thing is that the uninformed person doesn’t buy something like Piracetam. Right? Because you have to search this out and find it. It’s actually called nootropil when it’s sold as a drug in some countries but here you just look for Piracetam. It was invented by Dr. Corneliu Giurgea. He was the one who coined the term nootropic in 1973.


[57:41] Ashley James: I’m going to put it out there. I think you should work with a really good company in private label supplement and just take all these wonderful nutrients and make some kind of multi-nootropic and you should sell that because I would buy that.


[58:02] David Tomen: You know it will probably be better to make individual stacks to treat depending on what you’re trying to treat. That’s a whole other conversation. Several people have suggested that I do it. It’s just starting a supplement company, it’s an undertaking.


[58:20] Ashley James: I bet. Yes. We’re all rooting for you.


[58:28] David Tomen: Thank you. St. John’s Wort. Research shows that St. John’s Wort extract decreases oxidative stress. It prevents neurotoxicity. It controls inflammation. And maybe an effective treatment for oxidative stress-related neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. St John’s Wort is easy to get but you have to be very careful with St. John’s Wort because it’s not something you combine with SSRI or you can get yourself into a load of trouble. If you’re not taking any anti-depressants or anti-anxiety drugs, St. John’s Wort is a fantastic option. 900 – 1,800 mg a day. The research shows that it has effective for anxiety and depression as prescription drugs. But we have the side benefit that it could possibly prevent Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Turmeric. Curcumin, which is the most active compound in turmeric, may help macrophages clear the amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin is something that we can do an entire podcast on because it does so many different things but just to sum it up, studies show that curcumin binds to amyloid-beta proteins found in Alzheimer’s disease and blocks its self-assembly. Studies show that heavy metals can induce Amyloid-beta aggregation that is concentrated in Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin, by interaction with heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, prevents the neurotoxicity caused by these metals.


[01:00:25] Ashley James: Really? Oh, that’s cool. Does it cross the blood-brain barrier?


[01:00:31] David Tomen: It does. It just needs a little help. They found that they could boost the bioavailability of curcumin or turmeric by 2,000% by using it with Piperine.


[01:00:45] Ashley James: Right. Adding the black pepper. That’s the only reason why I have black pepper at the house, it’s to boost my curry. [Laughter]


[01:00:58] David Tomen: I actually use Bioperine on it. I’ve got a separate Bioperine supplement that I use for certain supplements to boost their availability. Now, let’s talk about vascular dementia and cerebral circulation. Your chances of developing white matter lesions and strokes and dementia increases as you age. If your family has a history of these types of diseases, your chances are even higher for this happening. White matter lesions are damage to the white matter in your brain and the primary cause seems to be bad blood circulation. Blood vessel damages associated with high blood pressure and small vessel disease would put you at a greater risk for stroke and other problems. Dementia and vascular dementia seems to be related. Both types are associated with a host of brain problems including increased risk of Alzheimer’s, stroke, disorder of the blood-brain barrier and arterial sclerosis. Research shows that problems with cerebral blood follow and white matter lesions in other associated brain cellular changes begin in mid-life. So like around 40. It’s never too early to start using some of this stuff. How do we boost cerebral circulation? We can do that with cat’s claw. Cat’s claw is a South American vine. That’s a very potent anti-inflammatory, it’s antioxidant effects that support DNA repair, immune function and normal cell division. Cat’s Claw has been shown in clinical studies to protect the brain from damage from stroke. Recommended dosage of Cat’s Claw standardized extract is 250 – 350 mg a day. Forskolin, which we already talked about, also helps boost cerebral circulation. Gingko Biloba, which we already talked about, also increases cerebral blood flow because it increases nitric oxide. Oat straw increases blood flow through several different mechanisms of action. It contains the amino acid arginine, which synthesizes to create nitric oxideNitric oxide dilates blood vessels allowing blood to flow easier. There are also, they’re hard to pronounce but they’re certain bioactive compounds that are unique to oats that has been shown to enhance nitric oxide production in human smooth muscle cells. It suppresses the inflammatory cytokines that work in combination with increased nitric oxide, which increases blood flow. Recommended dosage for Oat Straw extract is 800 – 1,600 mg a day. Another good one that we haven’t talked about is Pine Bark Extract. Pine Bark Extract as a nootropic is used primarily to increase cerebral blood flow. It does it by increasing nitric oxide in your brain. Resveratrol. Did we talked about resveratrol, yes?


[01:04:28] Ashley James: You had mentioned it briefly.


[01:04:32] David Tomen: Some speculate that resveratrol found in red wine accounts for the French paradox which you know how the French can dine on baguettes and cheese and pate and pastries and they still don’t put on weight and they live longer. They think it’s because part of the reason is that Resveratrol increases cerebral circulation. Recommended dosage is 20 – 250 mg a day. One of my favorite supplements is Vinpocetine, which they’re trying to make illegal in the United States. You can’t buy it on Amazon anymore.


[01:05:15] Ashley James: Okay, explain what’s going on? What’s the controversy around it?


[01:05:19] David Tomen: Because somebody claims that back in 1983, they put a patent on it, so they want to sell it as a drug. It’s actually sold as a drug in several countries around the world. It’s just that it’s available for the last three decades or so as a dietary supplement. You can still get it from Life Extension and Swanson still makes it and a couple of other supplement companies but Amazon refuses to sell it.


[01:05:47] Ashley James: What is it?


[01:05:48] David Tomen: It’s a semi-synthetic derivative of vincamine, an alkaloid derived from the lesser periwinkle plant.


[01:05:58] Ashley James: I remember you talking about this a little bit on our last interview.


[01:06:02] David Tomen: Yes. It inhibits an enzyme called PDE1 it also reduces calcium levels in brain cells. When both of these are elevated smooth muscle in blood vessels contract, narrowing the diameter of blood vessels. Vinpocetine helps turn this around. I can actually feel Vinpocetine when I use it and I miss it when I don’t have it. I feel better. You know what I did yesterday, I went to see the doctor and I have a little problem with my blood pressure. I need to keep it under control and I was afraid going to the doctor that I was going to be like 150 something over 80 something and she tested it, my blood pressure was 138/69, I think.


[01:06:57] Ashley James: Very cool. It’s the second number is more important.


[01:07:00] David Tomen: Yes. You know how I did that?


[01:07:02] Ashley James: With the Vinpocetine?


[01:07:04] David Tomen: Yes. Just before I went to the doctor.


[01:07:08] Ashley James: The first number which was definitely high but that could absolutely be just from the stress of being in the doctor’s office.


[01:07:16] David Tomen: They’ve actually shown that. That your blood pressure increases when you’re at the doctor’s office. Vinpocetine really works. I love it. All you need is 10 mg three times a day. 10 mg before you go to the doctor. Vitamin B3 or Niacin, which most people know about, helps increase nitric oxide and helps blood flow in your entire body and cerebral circulation. Niacin does a whole bunch of other stuff too but right now, we’re just talking about increasing cerebral circulation so niacin does that. Vitamin Bis needed to regulate homocysteine. High homocysteine levels are linked to inflammation that can lead to blood vessel damage and possible plaque buildup leading to heart attack or stroke. Vitamin B12 or methylcobalamin is essential for the synthesis of DNA, RNA and neurotransmitters, the maintenance of myelin sheaths and red blood cell formation. You actually need vitamin B6 and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and Vitamin B12(methylcobalamin) to keep your homocysteine levels down. That’s my story on preventing Alzheimer’s. It’s not a sure thing but there are certain things that you can do to really increase your chances of it not happening.


[01:08:56] Ashley James: In terms of diet, what is a good diet for supporting brain health?


[01:09:04] David Tomen: I just did a video on that and I just published it this morning. In this video, there are 11 essential nutrients that we normally get from food and you need each one of these nutrients every single day for either two or three meals to maintain decent brain health and they include things like carbohydrates and potassium and sodium and check out that video on YouTube. I just published it. A normal brain-healthy diet is going to be healthy fats. You need carbohydrates but reducing the amount of or you want complex carbohydrates rather than simple carbohydrates.


[01:09:55] Ashley James: So don’t do flour-based foods. Eat the sweet potato. Don’t eat the bread. Don’t eat the pasta, go have some legumes.


[01:10:05] David Tomen: I actually stopped eating things like pasta and bread. I just feel better. A lot of things changed. Of course, fruits and vegetables. 


[01:10:18] Ashley James: Excellent. So whole foods plant-based diet would definitely support brain health.


[01:10:22] David Tomen: And healthy fats. Like grass-fed red meat provides all kinds of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. The other thing that happens with aging is neurotransmitter starts to decline and this is the last we’re going to talk about when it comes to aging. Studies show that the dopamine and serotonin levels decline as we age. Dopamine levels begin to decline by around 10% per decade starting in your early 20’s. That leads to declines in cognitive and motor performance. In other words, you don’t think as fast as you once did and you don’t move as fast either because you got less dopamine. Serotonin and brain-derived neurotrophic factor also decline with age. The enzyme monoamine oxidase increases with age, which degrades serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. The more monoamine oxidase, the more increases, the more you experience the negative effects on memory, mood, and behavior. As a matter of fact Monoamine oxidase inhibitors have long been used to treat behavior disorders including depression. Now we have several natural nootropic options for increasing neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin and for reducing or inhibiting Monoamine oxidase. Aniracetam is a fat-soluble ampakine nootropic that is well known in the nootropics community, it’s one of my favorite nootropics. It’s a fantastic anxiolytic.


[01:12:10] Ashley James: What does that mean?


[01:12:11] David Tomen: It means it’s anti-anxiety. It helps reduce anxiety and depression and fear and increase sociability. Clinical studies show that Aniracetam affects dopamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin receptors in your brain. The recommended dosage is 1,500 mg per day. Taken in two 750 mg doses, which is what I do. You’ve got to take it with a healthy fat like coconut oil and you have to take it with a good choline supplement like Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline because it –


[01:12:49] Ashley James: Why don’t they sell it in coconut oil with the choline?


[01:12:53] David Tomen: Because the Racetams are still research compounds. They’re not really sold as dietary supplements so you’re kind of like on your own when you’re using more of these “experimental supplements”.


[01:13:13] Ashley James: What is it made from?


[01:13:16] David Tomen: Aniracetam is a derivative of Piracetam and Piracetam is a derivative of GABA.


[01:13:30] Ashley James: I know that there’s lots of GABA receptors in the brain but I don’t know much about it. Do you know how do they make the supplement? Is it synthetic or is it from –


[01:13:44] David Tomen: Piracetam is a cyclic derivative of GABA and that was first invented by Dr. Giurgea back in 1962 because he was looking for a drug to treat motion sickness. I think it was motion sickness in astronauts. But he found out that it worked better for improving cognitive performance. Since then there has been probably a dozen at least Racetams invented developed off the original Piracetam that are all built around this, it’s a chemical core so if you take a look at the chemical structure of these things and you compare them side by side there’s just one little branch that’s different from the next. It’s a cyclic derivative of GABA. Aniracetam is similar to Piracetam. They have found in there has been tons and tons of studies done. It was invented by Hoffmann-La Roche. I believe in Switzerland in 1978. And it’s sold as a prescription drug it’s called Ampamet, Draganon, Memodrin, Referan, Sarpul in Europe but you can buy it as a research compound here. You can actually buy Aniracetam on Amazon.


[01:15:25] Ashley James: Just make sure you take it with coconut oil and choline.


[01:15:30] David Tomen: Choline, yes because it releases 2 – 300% more acetylcholine in your brain.


[01:15:38] Ashley James: And you don’t want to end up with the headache?


[01:15:40] David Tomen: Correct. You get a Racetam headache. DHEA which is also called the “youth hormone”. DHEA is the most abundant hormone precursor in your body and is the source of your sex hormones. DHEA levels start decline as you age starting at around your 25th birthday. This is for men and women it’s bigger problem for men than women but it’s still a problem. Higher levels of DHEA are directly related to optimal concentrationworking memory, and executive function. And DHEA is a natural MAO inhibitor which improves mood and energy levels

[01:16:26] Ashley James: How much is a good dose to take?


[01:16:27] David Tomen:  25 – 50 mg a day for anyone over 18.


[01:16:33] Ashley James: That’s the DHEA?


[01:16:35] David Tomen:  DHEA, yes. Now there’s controversy around this because this is a steroid hormone. See my full review in Nootropics Expert for DHEA but anybody over 18 can get away with 25 mg a day and stay out of trouble from my research. Mucuna Pruriens or L-DOPA is synthesized in your brain by the amino acid. Anyway, it makes dopamine in your brain. It’s the precursor to dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It boosts growth hormone levels in your brain to increase the production of neurons and glia cells. L-DOPA also produces neuromelanin, which are similar to the melanin pigment in your skin. So you get a tan easier and in your brain they absorb toxic quinones, and chelate heavy metals like mercury and lead.


[01:17:43] Ashley James: What’s its name again?


[01:17:44] David Tomen: Mucuna Pruriens.


[01:17:47] Ashley James: Can you spell that?


[01:17:48] David Tomen:  Yes. Mucuna is M-U-C-U-N-A new word P-R-U-R-I-E-N-S. Mucuna Pruriens is usually 98% extract. It is 250 – 500 mg a day. Very powerful to increase dopamine.


[01:18:11] Ashley James: It increases dopamine but it also helps you get a tan?


[01:18:16] David Tomen: Yes.


[01:18:18] Ashley James: That is so cool.


[01:18:20] David Tomen:  They use synthetic L-DOPA to treat Parkinson’s disease. Some have found that you can naturally treat Parkinson’s using Mucuna Pruriens and not have that side effects you get from synthetic L-DOPA because synthetic L-DOPA causes problems in your periphery and all of your places other than where it’s supposed to be in your brain. You don’t have that problem with Mucun Pruriens. L-Theanine which we were talking about before we started doing this podcast. L-Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea. L-Theanine increases GABAserotonin and dopamine levels in your brain. As well as increasing Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Nerve Growth Factor and L-Theanine is an antagonist of NMDA receptors, which can inhibit synaptic release of glutamate. Which protects your brain from over-stimulation caused by glutamate, and possible glutamate toxicity. Research has found that if L-Theanine ispresent in the body at the time stroke occurs, brain damage is significantly reducedA study in China concluded there was a 40% decreased risk of stroke in those who drank green, black or jasmine teas. Isn’t that amazing?


[01:19:50] Ashley James: Oh, my gosh. How much tea you just need to drink it every day or should someone take it as a supplement if they’re concerned they’re going to have a stroke?


[01:20:00] David Tomen: If you’re concerned for stroke, 2 – 4 mg twice a day as a supplement.


[01:20:07] Ashley James: Because it’s an amino acid, you take it on an empty stomach?


[01:20:10] David Tomen: Yes, but I drink it as green tea so I drink it whether I’m eating a meal or not. It’s just I’m drinking green tea all the time. You can get pretty much as much L-Theanine as you need for a reasonable normal healthy person by drinking four or five cups of green tea per day.


[01:20:29] Ashley James: Excellent and there’s no concerns about how much caffeine that is in the green tea of you’re drinking five cups a day?


[01:20:38] David Tomen: It depends on the green tea. Usually the caffeine amount is listed on the label so check the label but it’s by a third of the caffeine that you normally get from coffee.


[01:20:57] Ashley James: Is there more L-Theanine in green tea that is like the new leaf versus the oolong which comes from the branches, right? There’s this idea that drinking the newer buds versus drinking a tea that’s made more from a plant has been around longer has different compounds in it. Does that matter?


[01:21:27] David Tomen: It’s more about how it is steeped.


[01:21:30] Ashley James: How do we steep it?


[01:21:33] David Tomen: I actually wrote about this. Research at the University of New Castle in Australia set out to determine the optimal conditions for water extraction of healthy from green tea and they examined four different extraction methods and they learned that temperature, extraction time and ratio of water to tea and tea particles size had impacts on the extraction yield of L-Theanine from green tea. They concluded that the optimal conditions for extracting L-Theanine from green tea using water were found to be, are you ready for this? Extraction at 80°C for 30 minutes with the water to tea ratio of 20 to 1 milliliters per gram and a tea particle size of .5 to 1 milliliters.


[01:22:27] Ashley James: Okay, you’ve lost me at the water. [Laughter] 20 mg, so that’s 20 to 1 ratio of how much water?


[01:22:39] David Tomen: The water to tea ratio used to be 20 – 1 milliliters to grams.


[01:22:45] Ashley James: So milliliters to grams. Got it.


[01:22:48] David Tomen:  And the tea particle size a half to one millimeter.


[01:22:54] Ashley James: Okay. I’ve been grinding my tea in a spice grinder thinking that more surface area means more flavor I guess.


[01:23:03] David Tomen: That’s not what these guys found.


[01:23:08] Ashley James: Wonderful. So steep it and do keep it at 80°c for 30 minutes or you just bring it to 8°c and leave it for 30 minutes?


[01:23:18] David Tomen:  I’m thinking just bring it to 80°c then leave it for 30 minutes.


[01:23:23] Ashley James: Unless you’re cooking it. Cooking your tea. Like if you go to traditional Chinese medicine practitioner they will give you some stinky herbs to take home and cook on the stove.


[01:23:35] David Tomen: That’s water extraction. If you buy it as a supplement there is a patented version called Suntheanine. It’s L-Theanine extraction from green tea called Suntheanine so look for that.


[01:23:55] Ashley James: Right. Or you could just have fun drinking the green tea.


[01:23:57] David Tomen: Or you could just have fun drinking green tea because there’s so many different teas. You go to Wholefood’s and you look at the shelf of green teas. There’s just row after row after row to experiment. There’s got to be one in there some place that you like. If you’ve never drank tea before you don’t really care for tea there’s got to be one in there that you’ll like.


[01:24:19] Ashley James: So the supplement company that I buy all my supplements from sells a green tea blend and I’m in love with it. It tastes so good. I’ve actually got my husband loving it which is like a miracle because he does not like tea and this morning he goes, “Did you make me cup?” so he loves it. I discovered that he’s been brewing it on his own. I’m the only one who does anything in the kitchen. He’s been brewing it on his own. This is how much he likes it. I’m very happy that I found a great green tea blend. Now you give me the formula for proper L-Theanine extraction.


[01:25:02] David Tomen: My favorite is Tazo organic chai.


[01:25:34] Ashley James: You told me that right before we started and I’m going to have to get some the next time at Wholefoods. Yes, do you do anything to it or you just put it on hot water?


[01:25:16] David Tomen: Just put it on hot water. I got myself and went to Walmart. 20 bucks got this glass kettle so I can boil water in about 2 minutes and I can make it really fast and put a little bit of honey in it. It’s amazing. Anyway moving on here, we’re talking about increasing neurotransmitters. If you don’t want to use Mucuna Pruriens to increase dopamine. You can use N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine or L-Tyrosine because the dopamine pathway goes like this. It’s Phenylalanine to L-Tyrosine to L-DOPA to dopamine to norepinephrine to epinephrine. You can do it. You typically start with L-Tyrosine. L-Tyrosine is a gentler way to boost dopamine that Mucuna Pruriens that is a more direct way. N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is just L-Tyrosine with an acetyl group added to it, which was supposed to increase the bioavailability because L-Tyrosine is amino acid. Some people find that L-Tyrosine works better for them and some find that N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine works better for them. There was actually one clinical study that showed that N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is mostly excreted in your urine rather than getting used. I don’t find that’s the case with this body but it could be true for you. You would have to find out. If you want to try L-Tyrosine, it pays to experiment with both of those one at a time and see which one works best for you.


[01:26:57] Ashley James: How would you know if it’s working?


[01:27:00] David Tomen: Your mood changes, you’re thinking faster, and your focus is better. Your concentration is better. Because L-Tyrosine directly affects executive function which is the decision making part of your brain.


[01:27:17] Ashley James: Oh, I’ve got to give some to my son. 4-year-old’s mind.


[01:27:21] David Tomen: That one I’m not so sure because it also boosts libido. Libido, memory, focus, concentration, mood, and improves executive function, all of these things are influenced by L-tyrosine. Recommended nootropic dosage for N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is 350 – 500 mg twice per day. I actually use 700 mg. 750 mg three times a day for managing adult ADD. It depends on if you use too much and you boost dopamine too much because it turns into norepinephrine and then epinephrine which is your fight or flight hormone. You can get irritable and jittery, that’s when you know you’ve got too much. Now we also talked about monoamine oxidase, which increases as you age. It suppresses dopamine levels in your brain so you’ve got a double whammy over here as you age. Your dopamine levels are increasing and monoamine oxidase is increasing which is further forcing down dopamine and serotonin. What we would want is we want an inhibitor of monoamine oxidase. Oat Straw is that inhibitor. There also a couple of other ones but Oat Straw works really well. So it inhibits monoamine oxidaseB which increases dopamine levels. One of the problems was monoamine oxidaseinhibitors is that if you inhibit both A and B you have the cheese effect. The cheese effect is if you take a monoamine oxidase that inhibits both A and B and you eat cheese, you have a severe reaction. But if you only inhibit B like with Oat Straw you don’t have a problem.


[01:29:23] Ashley James: Or just don’t eat cheese.


[01:29:26] David Tomen: Don’t eat cheese or anything with cheese like pasta has got a little bit of cheese on it. Anything with cheese is going to cause a problem. Oat straw extract suppresses inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting nuclear factor κB activation.These Cytokines are implicated in a number of brain disorders including major depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Recommended dosage for Oat Straw extract is 800 – 1,600 mg a day. The final one that you really should be supplementing with this if they’re over 20, is a B complex vitamin because well, the B vitamins are arguably the most important anti-aging nootropic supplements that we’ve got available. Vitamin B1 is involved in the citric acid cycle that is used to produced adenosine triphosphate energy for your mitochondriaVitamin B3 is a precursor to NAD and NADH which provides electrons for ATP synthesis to power your mitochondria. Niacin enhances BDNF which is involved in synaptic plasticity and axon growth for memory and overall brain health. And it stimulates the production of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid is essential for the synthesis of acetylcholine, epinephrine, and serotonin. And is at the very heart of the citric acid cycle and electron transport chain which converts nutrients from food into energy which is used to make adenosine triphosphate for mitochondria. Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine is a required for coenzyme for the synthesis of dopamine, epinephrine, GABA, melatonin, norepinephrine, and serotonin. In fact, more than 140 distinct enzyme activities in your brain and your body depend on the P-5-P version of Vitamin B6Vitamin B9 or folate is involved in gene expression, amino acid synthesis, myelin synthesis, and is required for the synthesis of dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) is essential for the synthesis of DNA, RNA and neurotransmitters all of them and the maintenance of myelin sheaths protecting neurons, and red blood cell formation. And vitamin B12 is also needed to regulate homocysteine. High homocysteine levels are linked to inflammation that leads to blood vessel damage and possible plaque buildup leading to heart attack or stroke. That’s why you need a good B complex.


[01:32:37] Ashley James: I totally agree with you. One of the naturopaths that trained me had a patient that the family was in the process of moving that patient into a senior care facility. They had dementia. The naturopath said, “Let’s get them on a B vitamin supplement.” because B12 deficiency can cause dementia. I think they did B12 injections at this point but totally bounced back from the dementia. The dementia was not permanent. It wasn’t chronic. It was a symptom of nutrient deficiency. Another naturopath I studied with, he mapped out 900 different diseases that cross species line all are linked to deficiencies of 90 different nutrients. 60 minerals, 12 amino acids, all the vitamins and the fatty acids that each one just missing. If you miss copper if you have too little copper. One of the diseases that people can develop is or it’s not a disease it a fatal condition if you don’t catch it in time, hernia, chronic hernia. How you know you have copper deficiency? The symptoms of it are premature gray hair because copper is also needed in the production of the pigment. It can also cause pigment lost in the skin. People who are darker skin who start t have white patches like Michael Jackson had. That is a copper deficiency. Very classic signs of it but you can also have premature wrinkles and you can have problems with the vasculature like in your legs like the veins started popping out and having pain in the veins. All of that are early warning sign of copper deficiency. Copper being something you don’t want to have too much of but if you have too little of it’s one of those nutrient the body need to produce the building blocks to keep everything together basically. It’s part of the building blocks to build the strong vasculature and it becomes weaker without it and then we eventually develop aneurysm as a result. It’s just one of those nutrients that he mapped out. He sees that we can prevent all disease. All disease with nutrients and of course, diet because diet can cause tremendous stress on our body if it’s the wrong diet. He likes to point out that if we look at the diseases and the longevity of those in the United States that if its out of the certain line, I think it’s the Mason Dickson line? Is that what it’s called? Basically in the south where fried food is should be one of the amendments according to them, they’d fry water if they could but fried food is so much more prevalent in the diet and people die 10 years earlier that those in the north or in the Pacific North West where we eat less fried food. So they see the oxidative damage by eating fried food. Even once a week is enough to harm the brain, to harm the vasculature, to take 10 years off of our life and to decrease eye sight. It goes on and on. But diet is incredibly important. So avoiding oxidative stress but also making sure the we have these 90 essential nutrients in our food and also in our supplements because it’s very hard to secure minerals now. The 60 minerals very hard to secure. I would say in addition to, you’re saying take a good multi B vitamin and I say that’s absolutely true and I would add that take a really good multi-mineral and trace mineral supplement because even if you eat lots and lots of greens, it’s very hard to secure enough minerals these days because of the farming practices. Even organic farms, it’s just difficult because they don’t re-mineralize the soil which is something they used to do and they don’t do it anymore.


[01:37:20] David Tomen: I think Ashley that there would be a lot less disease if people just took a really high quality multivitamin which typically has higher dosages than with the RDA is. They’re in a form that your body can use and not synthetic. That’s the reason why I use the Performance Lab Multi because it’s all natural, it’s grown from yeast and there’s nothing else in it. Just vitamins and minerals. And a really high quality B complex vitamin. You would see a lot of fewer cases of dementia, alzehimers, Parkinson’s, depression and anxiety and I could just go on and on and on and that is just the brain. The things is that most of the nootropics reviewed on the Nootropics Expert can be considered anti-aging supplements. You know we’ve got tons and tons of research showing that taking the right nootropic supplement can optimize your brains health and protect you from cognitive decline well into the future. Dozens and dozens of nootropic supplements to choose from. You know we’ve got amino acids and herbs, minerals and vitamins and even the Racetam family that we’re taking about. The prime mutations and combinations that enough to perfect your anti-aging nootropics stack can your brain which is kind of counter to what we’re trying to achieve right? So here’s a suggestion, choose one or two from each of the categories that we talked about in this podcast. If I can listen to the podcast again and just pick one or two supplements from each one of these categories. Go to Nootropics Expert and carefully review the full article that I’ve written to make sure that you understand what exactly the nootropic does and how it can interact with any of your prescription meds so that you can understand the possible side effects. Choose the lowest suggested dosage per each one that you choose, and start using it.


[01:39:35] Ashley James: And when would they increase the dose?


[01:39:39] David Tomen:  Possibly never. Possibly, if there’s a recommended dose for just at random, a 500 – 1000 mg, so you start out with 500 mg to see how you react to it. If you feel absolutely nothing or there is no negative reaction that you might want to quick up the dose to 750 mg and see how you feel but never ever go past the maximum recommended dosage.


[01:40:13] Ashley James: Right. Yes, because we do have that feeling in the United Sates, I don’t know if it’s just a value or a personal philosophy but if a little bit is good then a lot is even better and we get into some trouble that way. Right?


[01:40:32] David Tomen: Yes, that’s absolutely the wrong thing to do. You don’t want to do that especially with stuff that’s affecting your brain.


[01:40:39] Ashley James: Just like you could eat too much celery you could kill yourself with water, you could kill yourself with healthy things. We just wanted the safe effective doses. You want people to start feeling the difference. They should feel that their moods improve, even their sleep is better. Maybe their sex drives improved, that they’re thinking clear, that they’re thinking faster. They’re going to see noticeable differences that even maybe people around them notice. It’s going to take a few months but then people will start to notice a difference in them as well after starting on a good regimen. I like that your advice of taking two from each section and just reading on your website the information and get really clear on the protocol that they’re designing or if they get confused they could reach out to you. They could book an appointment and see that you could help them to formulate their protocol.


[01:41:46] David Tomen: And if you don’t like using the internet, at least use the internet to go to Nootropics Expert and buy my book. It’s called Head First. It’s almost 600 pages, it’s a manual for fixing your brain. You can use the book or you can use the website or you can book a consultation with me or you can go to YouTube and watch anyone of the almost a hundred videos I’ve got now on the YouTube channel. There are all kinds of ways to get help for your brain.


[01:42:14] Ashley James: Very cool. Before we wrap up today’s interview, I’d love to hear since you’ve been working with people, you must’ve had some feedback. Can you share some stories of success? Last time we had you, you shared your story, which was incredible I definitely recommend listeners go back and check out episode 362 with David Tomen. Hearing his story because it’s a great one. I’d love to hear, do you have any stories of success that you’d like to share with us today?


[01:42:45] David Tomen: You know there’s almost a hundred thousand people a month going through Nootropics Expert now. Where I get, the comments are coming in more and more often now. Either people will say, “I was able to manage ADHD or ADD or I was able to get off anti-depressant medication or anti-anxiety medication or I was able to get up in front of a group of people and do a presentation without panicking.” There’s just little stories like that that keep on coming out in the comments section.


[01:43:27] Ashley James: These are comments are the bottom. You have blog basically. All your articles are blog posts and at the bottom people can leave their comments. I’ve read them, they’re great. They were asking questions, you reply. So you’re saying that listeners can go there scroll down at the bottom of the article and read the comments.


[01:43:51] David Tomen: Yes and see what other people are saying, people are sharing they’ll leave a comment saying, “This is my stack now based on the stuff that you’ve suggested.” One of the most hardening things that I’m seeing now is people are getting it. People are saying, “This isn’t my stack, this is my – and this is what I’m taking in the morning. This is what I’m taking at noon and this is what I’m taking late in the afternoon. Have you got any suggestions?” Usually I would change this one thing. People are getting it now, which is just the coolest thing.


[01:44:33] Ashley James: I love that you interact with them because then those comments are there for years to come and people can even though you’re answering one person’s question, you’re actually helping thousands of people because they’re all going to go there and read your answer.


[01:44:48] David Tomen: And they’re doing that. Some of these threads are years old.


[01:44:55] Ashley James: Nice. I love it. I love that you’ve built this forum to help people. You put a lot out there. You put a lot of work into it. You give a lot for free and if someone wants the additional help of that personalized help, one on one, they could work with you and they could buy some supplements from you because you figured out some of the brands the you liked. They could also buy your book. Of course, the links to everything you do including your YouTube channel, we’re going to make sure that is in the show notes of today’s podcast. I have to commend my transcriptionist right now because the entire time I’m like, “Oh my gosh. I just have to say to my transcriptionist, as you’re transcribing this right now, I’m sending you hugs and I thank you so much for taking probably a week to transcribe this interview.” But my listeners are going to be really appreciative of the transcription because once it’s published on they can go and they can read everything that David said so they can reference. This is a very technical interview and they can reference all the wonderful supplements that David talked about. The doses and everything. Let’s just thank and commend the transcriptionist for doing a great job. Awesome. David, it was such a pleasure having you on the show toady. Is there anything you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview? Anything left unsaid?


[01:46:34] David Tomen: Just get started. If you haven’t started doing any of these yet just please get started.


[01:46:41] Ashley James: That’s a really simple like if someone kind of overwhelmed at this point? What’s a good like just get a toe in the door or toe in the water?


[01:46:50] David Tomen: You know, take something. Take something and see if it works. There’s so much information available now on a place like Nootropics Expert. Whatever you’re dealing with, whatever it is. If it’s anxiety or depression or ADD or OCD or traumatic brain injury or PTST or whatever it is. Use the search function over on Nootropics Expert and put it on the search box.


[01:47:16] Ashley James: And if you’re not taking a great multi vitamin like a multi B, start with that. Start there.


[01:47:23] David Tomen: The Performance Lab Multi I think it is the best multi-vitamin I’ve ever used. You can find my full review on Nootropics Expert Performance Lab Wholefood multi for men and women. The B vitamins complex that it recommends is the one by Life Extension.


[01:47:42] Ashley James: That is on your website?


[01:47:45] David Tomen: I don’t think that one is on my website. You’ll find it probably in the comments section in the places but I don’t think I’ve put a link to that one there. The Life Extension has got a really, really good B complex it’s called complete bioactive something like that. The nice thing is that it uses folate instead of folic acid and methylcobalamin instead cyanocobalamin and the B vitamins are the right dosages.


[01:48:15] Ashley James: Very cool. I take a powder that turns to a liquid and I was designed my naturopath but I really enjoyed itbut I’m going to check out you’re too. I know you sell, do you sell supplements? I don’t own the company I just work as an affiliate so get a little bit of money every time somebody clicks the link and buys one of these things. I’ve got a link to the website.


[01:48:45] Ashley James: You’ll give me links so that listeners who want to make sure that you get credit for spending the time to put this out there. They want to make sure you get the credit we’ll make sure the link is in the show notes.


[01:49:00] David Tomen: Okay, thank you.


[01:49:01] Ashley James: Awesome. Very cool. Thank you so much for coming on the show. This has been wonderful.


[01:49:04] David Tomen: Thank you for having me back.


[01:49:06] Ashley James: Yes. I look forward to having you again. I think we’ve got lots of topics to explore and I really enjoy. I like interviews that bring the meat. You know what I mean? It’s funny for someone who doesn’t eat meat, I want a lot of meat in my interview. I want a lot. I want people to walk away going, “Oh my gosh, there’s so much here, there’s so much available. I’m going to get a lot out of this. It’s going to help me change my life.” I want listeners to feel that this is life-changing and you bring the meat. So thank you, for filing this interview with wonderful information and I know it’s going to help people and please listeners, let me know how this helped you. You can go ahead and email me, Let me know how this impacted your life or you can join our Facebook group. Learn True Health in Facebook and start a conversation in the Facebook group about this interview and whether you have questions or whether you just want to talk about it with other listeners. Let’s start a conversation in our Facebook group. David, you’re welcome to join our Facebook group as well.


[01:50:13] David Tomen: Thank you.


[01:50:13] Ashley James: Awesome. All right. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to get you back on the show.


[01:50:18] David Tomen: Let’s do it. Thank you, Ashley.



[01:50:20] Ashley James: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition and how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity? Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business, support people in their success? Do you love helping people? You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health-coaching sort of vacation program and it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over a hundred dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition but from the standpoint on how we can help people to shift their life, to shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health. I definitely recommend you check them out. You can google Institute for Integrated Nutrition or IIN, or give them a call or you can go to and you can receive a free module of their training. So check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name, Ashley James and the Learn True Health podcast because I made a deal with them that they would give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information. We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctor’s offices, you can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help with your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them and their success and their health goals. There’s so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach. So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. Mention my name. Get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month, so you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. If you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.

Are you looking to optimize your health? Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are highest quality and the best price. That’s Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome referral program.


Get Connected With David Tomen! 




Book by David Tomen

Secrets Of The Optimized Brain (E-book)

Head First – The Complete Guide to Healing and Optimizing Your Brain with Nootropic Supplements  (Ebook)

Aug 6, 2019

Check out the info about my favorite bed for the best sleep:
The Inflammation Spectrum Book -


The Inflammation Spectrum


  • Dr. Will Cole’s path to Functional Medicine
  • Stress and autoimmune diseases
  • The non-food factors that affect our biochemistry
  • How can people figure out what’s the best diet for them
  • Inflammation from a Functional Medicine perspective
  • Dr. Will Cole’s Functional Medicine group
  • Dr. Will Cole’s Books: Ketotarian and Inflammation Spectrum


In this episode, Dr. Will Cole will share with us about the effects of stress in our body and how it can potentially develop an autoimmune disease. He will also share with us his list of the non-food factors that affect our body chemistry.



Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. You're going to love today's interview with Dr. Will Cole who is a Functional Medicine expert. He shares some amazing information.

Before we start today's interview, I want to let you know about a few things; one, come join our Facebook group Learn True Health, just search it on Facebook. Or you can go to And it'll direct you straight to the group. You know, we do lots of giveaways. In fact, one of the guests I just had on is giving away I believe five copies of his book, which is so cool. So please jump into the Facebook group. We're doing giveaways every month. Most of the time it's books from the authors but sometimes they give away their supplements. We had Clint Ober giveaway five grounding mats that was so generous of him. So come join the Facebook group. And also join us for the conversations and the support. There's so many great conversations going on right now. The whole community comes together and helps to support each other around questions like hormone testing, and diet and what kind of cleaners do you use in your home that are non toxic and what kind of shampoos and conditioners are effective, but also non toxic? So we have these great conversations. Please join us Learn True Health in Facebook.

And one thing that Dr. Will Cole talks about today, briefly but very important point is the importance of sleep when it comes to decreasing inflammation. That's something that you probably have heard before if you've listened to the show for any amount of times because it's the truth. If we have poor sleep, our immune system can become affected, our blood sugar can go out of balance. Those who even test their blood sugars will see that poor nights of sleep will lead to higher blood sugar. You will notice that people who have poor sleep will eat more calories during the day and have more cravings and also experience more inflammation. If you know that sleep is an issue for you and you want better quality sleep, please go to, that's and check out the two videos there - educational videos on how to select the best non-toxic mattress and the science behind it. This company wowed me. It's the best sleep I've ever had. I really, really enjoy it. And since I've been talking about it the last month, some listeners have actually gotten back to me and they've told me that they too bought the same mattress that I did and they fell in love. That is the best lead that they've ever had. So I'm not alone in this people are getting better sleep because I told them about this mattress. So go to and watch the two educational videos to inform yourself on how to make sure that you're selecting the best non-toxic bed for you and for your family. You'll be really glad you did. Excellent. Well enjoy today's interview.




[3:06] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health Podcast. I'm your host Ashley James. This is Episode 373.

I am so excited for today's guest. We have with us Dr. Will Cole who's a Functional Medicine doctor. He wrote the book Ketotarian which is the green way to do keto. I bought his book back when I was exploring the keto diet, specifically wanting to do it without needing to eat meat or dairy, which I'm very allergic to dairy. And I wanted to explore how could I help my body be healthy. And I loved his book, he was so down to earth and by the time I was finished chapter when I was like I need to have him on the show. It's so good to have you here Dr. Cole.



[4:00] Dr. Will Cole: Thank you so much for having me and these kind words about Ketotarian. It means a lot to me. Thank you.



[4:06] Ashley James: Absolutely. Now, you have a book coming out called the Inflammation Spectrum. And you know, it's kind of a buzzword, everyone in the holistic space is talking about inflammation. But not many people know what it is or you know why it's so important to prevent it. And when we have it Why is it so important to reduce it and support the body in being in a low inflamed state basically. So we're going to get into that. You also see that there is a connection between autoimmunity and inflammation which is pervasive, and so many people are talking about, but you have a very unique perspective because you help people heal with diet, whereas so many doctors don't. So I'm excited to get into that. But first I want to hear a bit about you and understand your path. What happened in your life that led you to want to become a doctor and want to focus on Functional Medicine.



[5:07] Dr. Will Cole: Yes. So my journey happened, started a long time ago in a faraway land in rural Pennsylvania, where I'm actually based back now, I live outside of Pittsburgh, and I grew up in the countryside. And my parents were into wellness before it was cool, before it was Instagram, sexy with glossy like photos with nice filters. And they're pretty like, you know, organic meal of their favorite organic restaurant. It was not cool actually at all to eat very healthy in the 80s and 90s especially as a kid. Even today, it's probably even worse. But I mean, there was no internet, there was no health culture in that way in Pittsburgh, which was like a working class city, it wasn't Abbot Kinney or the Lower East Side. It was quite like hamburgers, hotdogs mac and cheese. So I had the weird adaptogenic tonics and the raw grass fed goat crane, and all this stuff that my friends were like, "What the heck is this kid bringing into the school? So that was my foundation as far as going to the health food store and understanding the food industry on an age appropriate level. Like I just kind of knew like this was healthy food, that was not healthy food. My parents had a garden like that, that was normal for me. And my dad owned a gym when I was little. So I remember spending time there as a little kid, and he was in the healthcare like natural health care world. So I spend time at his clinic. And that was really a formative time for me. And then it turned to be blessed, my mom did it. My dad did it. They were interested in health and I owned it for myself as a teenager, and I knew I owned it for myself. At that point, my diet kind of evolved from a crunchy organic healthy sort of approach to more of a conventional vegan diet for about 10 years.

And you mentioned Ketotarian and I talked about it in Ketotarian. But my journey from being a conventional vegan to a Ketotarian which is still mostly plant based, but I brought in some specific food medicines. And then it was this high clean fat, low carb, clean keto way of eating. And that also was simultaneous of my diet evolution, was also me being formally trained in Functional Medicine. So I have already mean conditions on both sides of my family like my extended family. And I myself have the MTHFR gene (SNP) snip, which is basically a gene (SNP) snip. I mean, most of your listeners will know this, all the fellow health nerds out there, but for people that don't know it's the gene that makes the enzyme that converts folic acid into folate which is a methyl donor, or CH3 carbon hydrogen group that recycles homocysteine down to methionine, and does a lot of other cool things. It basically makes for healthy detox pathways and hormones and protects our DNA against cancer and other horrible things. So methylation is really important. And the MTH of our gene is a one major aspect of methylation, which is this big, fancy superhighway that happens a billion times every second in our body. So basically my gene isn't that good at making this enzyme. So there's a high correlation between the MTHFR genes (SNP) snip or gene chain variant that we get from our parents and our family and autoimmune spectrum issues. So meaning different types of autoimmunity. And then that's when I was also formally trained in Functional Medicine. I was at Southern California University of Health Sciences, which is sort of an integrative health, natural healthcare university, where MDs and DCs and LACs and Naturopaths and Nurse Practitioners are all there learning their craft within an alternative healthcare. And there was a guy who had gone to my school who was older than I was, his name was [Inaudible 9:30] and he's still today [Inaudible 6:40] and anyone in this space will tell you he's one of the like, godfathers of functional medicine, brilliant mind. And he really inspired me to seek Functional Medicine as a targeted field, instead of this broader natural health.

Yes, I wanted to get people healthy. But specific with Functional Medicine, which what appeal to me so much was this marrying of the best of alternative health, which is actually getting somebody healthy, with the evidence based nature, which my school is naturally very evidence based anyways. But just putting it from a lab perspective, and running the blood labs, running and the microbiome test, running the genetic tests, running the hormone tests to look at these clinical data, these diagnostic pieces to the puzzle that explain why somebody feels the way that you do. So when I saw autoimmune conditions on my mom's side, and my dad's side, like, "Look, I need to do whatever I can for myself, to take care of myself." But then also I just got married at that time, we were going to have a baby. And I started thinking not just as a functional medicine doctor, not just as a human being, but also as a husband and a dad, and me taking responsibility for my health in a deeper way. So that was really all collided in this beautiful sort of series of events that led me to getting into Functional Medicine formally. And now all these years later, I see patients around the world, I primarily have a virtual clinic, and I get to talk to people about these things, about these lab issues and give them a Functional Medicine perspective on the things that I know, and I've seen transform my own life, transformed my family's life, and in my patients lives.



[11:28] Ashley James: At what point did you know that you had the MTHFR (SNP) snip?



[11:35] Dr. Will Cole: Early 23andMe years. So it's been a while. Yeah, so we brought the raw gene data from 23andMe.



[11:43] Ashley James: Got it. And so that was like way early on, when not many people knew about MTHFR and methylation So you're kind of in there, like a pioneer?



[11:56] Dr. Will Cole: Yeah. I didn't think of it like that. But definitely, when we started with Function Medicine, there was people, it was crazy. I mean, this is over a decade ago, but people were saying, "What are you talking about?" Like, this is crazy. "You can't reverse diabetes, diet can impact your blood sugar." "You're crazy." "You're leading people on." But it's like, actually no, if you look at the research, and you look at this amazing evidence that we're at the forefront of there's so much power that we wield specific to methylation. There's older 23andMe test, you can get so much more in the raw gene data that they can't get. Now, there's a lot of like, no calls on these genes, they've cut down a lot. Like when I look at 23andMe. Now, I can't get all the same data, it's not public, at least on the same reports, I don't know how they do that with 23andMe, and why there's so much regulations on these things in there. And we're at the, again, the forefront of gene data and what that means from a privacy standpoint, and what they're going to release and how they can say it and all this stuff. So it is an interesting field. But we are using the best data that we have at this moment. And it's an ever growing and evolving field, to really say what are the action steps, there's a lot of data out there that there's not really any significant action steps. But my job is to kind of cut through the confusion of saying what are the things that are going to wield the most power to really make a positive impact in their quality of life and how they feel. But also how can we get these lives looking better? So yeah, it's it's exciting for me.



[13:31] Ashley James: Got it. How popular would you say the MTHFR (SNP) snip is in our population? Like as you work with people, what kind of a percentage do you see?



[13:41] Dr. Will Cole: While there's data to show that it's about 40% of the population has at least two heterozygous snip or one single gene change (SNP) snip stands for single nucleotide polymorphism, and a gene variant. I mean, we loosely use the word mutation, like the MTHFR mutation and gene mutation. It actually isn't a mutation, it's gene variant, or snip SNP, that we get a copy from my mom, I copy from my dad. And you can have a heterozygous gene snip, or homozygous gene snip, single or double gene snip or gene variant. So I have a double snip at the MTHFR C6770 location, which in studies is the more problematic one, when you have a double mutation at the C6770 versus the A1298. Those are the two main ones that are looked at clinically and being clinically relevant. So I've seen studies where it's about 40%. And I would say statistically, I'm not talking to the average population. Normally, I'm talking to people with some sort of autoimmunity, some sort of inflammatory issues, some sort of hormonal problem, some sort of digestive issue, I would say, our population of patients that we see it's a higher percentage than that. But I realized I'm not talking just the average person on the streets. So I would say 40% is probably a good indicator here. And that's the bigger point here that I think that you brought up and directly is that these gene variants have been around for 10,000 years. I mean, majority, almost all of our genes have remained unchanged largely in 10,000 years. So it's not the gene variant, like MTHFR Gene snips, that's the new kid on the block. Again, these things have been around for a long time. But what is different is the amount of stress we're putting our genes under. So that is what's dramatically changed in a very short period of time when you're looking at the totality of human history. So that's awakening and triggering these genetic predispositions like never before in human history.

Now, when you look at the rise of autoimmune conditions, like you opened up the conversation with 50 million Americans, it's expected to have an autoimmune condition and millions more that are somewhere on this inflammation spectrum, which is why I wanted to write the book, my second book on that topic, because of this sort of far reaching implications of this continuum of inflammatory cascades. And how much it impacts our life as a modern society. So it's quite a compelling topic to be explored and to be talked about, and to take what information we know now to start empowering people's lives because we have to do something different to see something different. And what we're doing as a society, I mean we both know this, and everybody, most of the people listening will know this too. It's unsustainable, how we're doing life largely in the West as far as healthcare is concerned, and our relationship with food and nature and all of that stuff. We have to do something different to see something different. So all that to say is that our genes are not what's changed. Yes, MTHFR and looking at these other gene snips like MTRR and the COMT and VDR, and all this fancy science stuff that I look at for patients to really further personalized recommendations. Yes, it's important, but it's only a slice of the puzzle. Research estimates that it's about a third of this autoimmune puzzle is genetics. So yes, we have to look at genetics, but two thirds is epigenetics. This is the stuff that's triggering these genetic predispositions. So it's the foods we're eating, or the foods we're not eating, it's our stress levels, our exposure to toxins, our lack of sleep, or lack of movement, or too much movement, it's the lack of balance. How can we find balance to be in alignment with our biochemistry, which again, is largely unchanged for 10,000 years? So that's really the heart of my work, it's really, largely an ancestral health perspective, at least informing me on a lot of things. So yeah, that's my thoughts on it.


[17:46] Ashley James: I love it that you brought up epigenetics that was my next question. This idea, which is, it feels just as new as sort of understanding the snips, this genetic variants. This idea that we've actually seen, our genetic expressions turn on and off in one lifetime, based on a set of stressors, or nutrients being present or being missing. There was this really cool test with mice where they exposed these little cute, fuzzy, soft white mice to Bisphenol A, the compound that people get exposed to every time I touch receipts, for example. And that it so messed with their genes that their hair started falling out and their hair became yellow, they became obese. It changed their genes because it got passed down for two generations after the one exposure before it corrected itself. So this is what we're being exposed to. We're touching Bisphenol A every day and getting exposed to these endocrine disruptors and obesogens that can affect our genes or genetic expression. And Dr. Joel Wallach wrote a book about epigenetics a few years ago that blew my mind talking about how we can see genes turn on and off, the expressions turn off based on whether there's nutrient deficiencies or not. So with that being said, is there a way to help stabilize or correct MTHFR variants or is it baked into the cake, and there's absolutely no way to epigenetically change it?



[19:45] Dr. Will Cole: So yeah, we can't change our genes. But by knowing these gene snips, the analogy that I use is the cup analogy. Some people have small cups, and some people have big cups. In the more gene snips, you have the more gene variants to methylation or gene variants to detoxification, or the endocannabinoid system. These are determining how big or how small your cup is, we can't change that. Some people are born with really small cups, meaning that they're going to overflow, their tipping points going to be a lot smaller than someone with a big cup. So some people can smoke three packs a day and don't take care of themselves, eat like crap, and like all the stuff, right? And they live a long life. And they're like, "How the heck can they get away with all this, when I'm trying to like do all this good, healthy wellness stuff, and I'm getting flare ups over salad." or like high FODMAPS or something seemingly healthy, that's these health foods are causing me having digestive or autoimmune flare ups, etc. So this has largely to do with the epigenetic sort of component here as the genetics is the cup, the epigenetics are what we are filling in the cup. And some people, it's sad, I mean you can't change your genetics, but it's overflowing quite easily. You can't change that. But you can change what you put in the cup, you can change the chronic infections and the exposure to toxins and the gut issues and the food reactivity. You can start to unload the stuff in the cup that's causing the flare ups and the overflow.


So that's what my job is to do, is to look at the framework, to look at the methylation gene snips, the detoxification gene snips, the endocannabinoid system gene snips, and then look at what's filling up that cup. Look at the heavy metals, look at the mold, look at the viral issues, look at the gut issues, look at the hormone imbalances, look at the nutrient deficiencies to your point - and that's a major one, looking at vitamin D, looking at selenium, looking at iodine, looking at magnesium, looking at zinc. All of these things are important to consider. Because these are the epigenetic factors, our body is alive because of brilliant biochemistry. And all these factors are confluent. It's a perfect storm of radiant wellness, or a perfect storm of health problems. So, definitely it has to be talked about, but it's not cutting it to say what mainstream medicine largely says which is, food has nothing to do with this. So that's just bonkers. And then the other side is, "Well just eat clean." And it's like okay, most of my patients eat really clean, and they're still struggling. So there has to be a nuance to this to beyond the basics, but still like not acknowledging the fact that epigenetics is a thing. And it's something we need to talk about. And it's not just about food too, we have to look at non-food factors that influence our biochemistry as well.



[22:43] Ashley James: So what non-food factors affect our biochemistry?



[22:48] Dr. Will Cole: I would say stress and I don't mean that in the fluffy, like sound by the sort of way where it's just like meditate more and don't stress. That can stress people out just hearing that. But I would say being mindful of healthy margins in your life. So and bringing back to this concept of balance, inflammation isn't inherently bad, it's a product of our immune system. So we just want balance, it's the Goldilocks principle, you don't want inflammation too high. You don't want inflammations too low, you want to just right at the right time when you need it. And that's the same way with stress, the human race has been here for a long time, because we can handle a certain amount of grit. So I don't mean to absolve yourself of all stress, I don't mean that. That's quite a millennial thing to think about. And we live in for the most part of human history in Western Civilization, and when you compare it to the rest of human history, we live a pretty stress free life in some regards. We're not being you know, there's no massive famines in the West, and things like that. But it's this insidious, chronic stressor that again, is out of alignment. It's a mismatch between our genetics and epigenetics, which haven't changed in 10,000 years genetics, which we get inundated with its amount of stuff. That is this low grade of being chased by a tiger, but there's no tiger. So it's this constant fight or flight sympathetic response all the time, which raises inflammation up.

So to answer your question, I would say, stress, but I mean, cultivating healthy margins in your life. And not because I want to look different for different people. Some people can handle more, some people can handle less back to their biological variability there. But it is, what's your relationship with food? What's your relationship with your body? What's your relationship with social media? What's your relationship with other people - it's all these things that so many people have, unhealthy or healthy relationships with and calibrating them to find a healthy margin. So you have to look at that, you have to look at sleep, it's so profoundly important. So I would lump sleep, almost under the stress category, because sleep isn't a luxury. It's not like I'll sleep when I'm dead, people say that. Sleep is a mandate on your health, it is necessary. So the amount of lack of sleep is really an epidemic in our society. People are staying up too late. They're on electronics too late. It's impacting their circadian rhythm. It's interrupted sleep. The amount of sleep apnea and poor sleep and just electronics impacting circadian rhythm are huge impediments to people healing through the night and restoring in their cells, rejuvenating through the night to get quality restorative sleep. So then that's throwing off there. Again, they're inflammation cascades in their circadian rhythm and their hormones. So that's huge. Looking at stress, looking at technology, looking at sleep - that is a major part of it, that has nothing to do with food. So we have to look at that, we have to look at environmental toxins, we have to look at what is the product that people using, you mentioned BPA, you have to look at what cleaning products, what's the skin products that people are using, what are the laundry detergent things that people are using. Largely it's unregulated, like Wild Wild West, we don't really know what this is going to do to our wellness, but hey, let's buy it. And then in the United States, at least, a lot of the chemicals are actually illegal in other countries, but yet we can get them in the United States.

So we have to educate. And again, this is so important, the dichotomy of this conversation is to inform, but don't obsess and stress out. Because I find that this is an endless vortex of like a pit of controlling everything, which is not good for your health. But yet still being balanced and informed you say, I'm going to do what I can to clean up my life. So I don't want to be a fear monger or make people like freak out and live in a bubble. But you do the best you can and then you don't stress about the rest. So the things that I bring up in the inflammation spectrum, the book, to start educating people to start realizing how these things impact our biochemistry.



[27:19] Ashley James: I love it. It was just reminding me how obsessed I'd become about clean food, clean eating, cleaning products. Making sure everything's chemical free, natural. And then you know, I'm cooking every meal for our family. And I just want a break I just want to go out to a restaurant and relax. And so I pick a restaurant, I'm like, "We're gonna go, we're gonna have a nice night out." As we're driving my husband's like, "Well, what if it's not organic?" Like, "What about the pesticides?" I'm like, "Okay, one night at a restaurant, because I need to destress and have a fun night with my family." But I mean, we picked the healthiest restaurant possible. And it's funny that it's like that one that you could always obsess. You know, "What about this?" What about that?" You know what, the benefit of me having a night off from cooking is going to far outweigh the potential small amount of pesticides that I'm going to be exposed to tonight. So we don't want to make excuses like eat at McDonald's, because that's decreasing my stress. No, we need to still make really healthy choices. But we don't want to scare ourselves into having stress around our choices.



[28:42] Dr. Will Cole: Totally. And I see it's oftentimes to that example, people that eat a little bit off of what they normally would eat. And even I would say going off of it more than they would ever. And they actually feel better because they aren't stressing. So I definitely, like you said it's a balance. And if you are then trading in like you're eating clean, but then you're like serving your body a big slice of stress every day and anxiety about every day. That's junk food for your soul. So it's counteracting all the good things you're doing. And I get it, we're living in an information overload age. That is a double edged sword. It's great. It's connecting us right now, or it's how we're connecting to people around the world right now. But it also is this endless vortex, I think I wrote about it in Ketotarian, this endless vortex of conflicting information. And Dr. Google is a very fickle, fickle man. And we have to be mindful of the fact that we can have paralysis of analysis where people are just basically paralyzed with fear and anxiety because they know too much. And they need to know what they need to know. But then they need to be able to manifest it in a way that's not going to destroy their quality of life. So I think a good part of people having a functional medicine practitioner in their life, is we can sort of break down what's relevant for them and say, "Look, this stuff, you don't really need to know, what's the basics for you, and what's relevant for you." So you can cut through the food confusion and the shame and the stress that can come along with all of this, navigating through this - a lot of great information. But again, there's a lot of good then a lot of overload too. So it's trying to break it down for the individual. So that's it to say that food is important. But our relationship with food is important as well.



[30:43] Ashley James: How can people figure out the best diet for them? Is there one diet fits all? Like, is eating a whole foods, plant based diet best for everyone and everyone thrives on it? Or there's some people who would thrive on like an all meat diet? I know that sounds really extreme. But have you found that everyone thrives on eating ketotarian for example, or eating a whole foods plant based where there's no processed fats? Or it really does depend on genetics and it depends on the person's disease state at the moment? What have you found when it comes to helping people dial in the perfect diet for them?


[31:27] Dr. Will Cole: That's a great question. So I would say this, when I wrote Ketotarian, and that was my own journey. And what I've seen over my years of I've seen patients of how to do keto and lower carb diets, the clean way and mostly plant based or entirely plant based way. But I know if I'm putting my Functional Medicine Hat on, I know even within the paradigm of keto or plant based or Ketotarian and a whole 30, or paleo or carnivore, Mediterranean or whatever, I realized that the types of food choices that you give somebody underneath that umbrella of whatever you want to call at that moment, is going to be different for person to person. So the umbrella changes, meaning what types of foods to focus on, but also what you're focusing on within that diet paradigm. So I've seen every variable under the sun, what works for one person can flare the next person up. When you're talking about intestinal permeability, or leaky gut syndrome or SIBO or histamine intolerance, or food sensitivities, or reactivities, and preferences and stress about food and all these other variables, there's so many variables to consider when you're dealing with somebody that doesn't feel good. And we're using food to improve their quality of life to consider.

So I have patients that are on carnivore protocols, and you would think the author of Ketotarian and why would I have a patient on a carnivore diet, because my allegiance is to the patient feeling better. And for a time, we use things like the carnivore diet, it's the ultimate elimination diet. We're removing basically every variable out there. So we have them on specific macronutrients, which are still predominantly fats with lower protein to still provide that. I don't want excess protein which can impact mTOR which is the pathway that you don't want long term to be activated. And they're not on carnivore for long term. The goal is to start down regulating these food reactivities. These are people with multiple food reactivities, it's not for everybody, but for a time we are using it to down regulate these overreactions to things like histamines or oxalate or salicylates, these compounds in plant foods, because of intestinal permeability, and this rise of inflammation that they're having. And then to start reintroducing foods as we're healing the gut. And then we have patients that would never do well on a carnivore diet at all, whether it's their biochemistry, let's say they have APOE gene snip, the have APOE 44, they have APOE A2 gene variant, these are two gene variants that in high saturated fats, they wouldn't do well at all on the carnivore diet. So we're looking at their gene snips and what's going on in their body. And we're putting them on a ketotarian diet and they're doing fantastic. They like eating more plant centric ways, they feel more fresh, more clean, more lighter eating that way.

So it works with a preference, but also with their genetics and biochemistry. And we're really improving their cholesterol markers, and it looks fantastic. So and then what works for that person in that moment may not be what they're doing forever and ever because their health is dynamic, their biochemistry is dynamic, and variable. So if I hung my hat on one way to do something all day long, I'd be proven wrong all day long seeing patients. So I have to keep an open mind to seeing what's your health history and looking at it comprehensively, looking at their labs, listening to the as a human being and what they're going through. And then using real life as a lab and what works and what doesn't, and tracking food logs and symptoms and correlating that. So that is really the truth. And that is really what birthed the concept of my second book, the Inflammation Spectrum. Because the whole concept is finding out what your body loves, what your body hates, and what your body needs to thrive. And that's what it's all about, because we're using food as a template to calm inflammation. But then we're reintroducing these foods that are more problematic for some people, but may not be problematic for you.

So I want to allow people to be more mindful and conscious of how foods impact how they feel. And I promise you, you have 10,000 readers, you will have 10,000 different variables, because they're all be slightly different, even slightly different, they may not be major different, but then you may see major differences. So it is so beautiful and one way because we're also created so beautifully different. But at the same time, it can be beautifully overwhelming. So hopefully through the book, my goal was to just cut through that food confusion and just lay it out. So people can start bringing these Functional Medicine principles into their life.



[36:14] Ashley James: You talk about different gene variants and how one person with this gene expression or gene snip would do better eating this way versus that way. Or you could look at someone's genetic expressions and know that they are having a difficult time with processing toxins, their cup is small. And so you'd be able to give them advice around diet and detoxification and helping clear up detoxification pathways. But for those who have never had genetic testing, they don't know where to even start. I myself want to get more genetic testing, but I'm worried about my results being sold to drug companies. We hear about this happen all the time. How do you address this with your patients? Are there labs that you recommend that promise to protect our genes and keep them safe, keep the results safe from the companies that want to buy them?



[37:20] Dr. Will Cole: That is definitely a concern for a lot of people. More I would say in the last couple years than it was back in the day look. I sold my gene data to 23andMe back in the day. So the drug companies probably have mine jeans by this point. But I would say in all seriousness, it is a concern, it is something that is a real potential. I think that that is a lot of the financial interests in a lot of these big geno like tech companies that they are looking to design drugs to be better or to market to certain people or to understand demographics and different gene variants and looking at the data. And I don't necessarily think it's all nefarious, I think there can be unintended consequences from it that are not positive. But I don't think it's necessarily all negative because of the one side of it as well, we're looking to better improve whatever... I'm trying to be [Inaudible 38:21] be so conspiracy theory bait, but I would say that the reality is there can be definitely unintended consequences, and it could definitely be a breach of privacy that I think is a problem. I think that at this point, there's no major cause for concern to go through something like 23andMe. I mean you can use the raw gene data on something like Prometheus or StrataGene or Genetic Genie or something like that.

But the other side of it, there are many Functional Medicine labs out there that will look at methylation gene snips that I do trust more than these big companies. So things like; people like doctors data, and there's other ones out there that will look at those gene snips that are privately owned, they are smaller labs, they're in the space of Functional Medicine, they're not in the space of big pharma. Generally what I would do is if someone did have concerns about making their genetic data public to 23andMe or something like it, then the alternative would be to go to one of the smaller labs that we could still get that same data. It normally is a little bit more expensive. But so if the price point is an issue that they would probably be better off going on through 23andMe or something like that. But oftentimes, they would rather spend a little bit more and get like there are more security, which is completely understandable.

And to be honest with you in full candor, in hindsight, I would probably do the more the local private Functional Medicine lab over 23andMe as well. Because I think that there are unintended consequences to things like that. Down the road, not now. Not now. Everything's fine now, but down the road, they have the full legal right for your genetic data. But you know, there's no reason for it to be alarmed now. But if I had to pick between the two, I probably spend a little bit more on the one that's not saying they're going to use your gene data for other purposes.



[40:32] Ashley James: Right. Right. Well, so there's a lot of options, which there weren't back then, there are now which is really exciting. Man, this is such a crazy world. You know, when we look at getting a PhD, for example, you have to be peer reviewed. So it's very difficult to think outside the box and challenge the status quo when you're getting a PhD, because if you challenge the status quo too much, your thesis will be rejected. You have to still be, you know, peer reviewed, right? You have to be accepted by your peers. And that's how science march us slowly forward. Even things that get published, studies that get published need to be, or the journals, you know, publish these case studies. Journals reject amazing case studies all the time, because it goes outside of the norm or the status quo. So we look at the MD allopathic model. And it is designed the way it was even if you look at the history of allopathic medicine, it is about protecting the interests of big pharma, protecting the interests of drug based medicine, and Functional Medicine is coming along. And Functional Medicine isn't rejecting drugs, but it's looking at how we can best serve the person and use the best tool that's needed, oftentimes not a drug. But if there's a drug that's needed, then fine. But that is still very threatening to the standard allopathic medical system, which says that there's no relationship between diet and health, you're looking to help people get healthy. So have you come up against any friction? As you're practicing functional medicine, have you come up against friction from the allopathic mainstream world?



[42:39] Dr. Will Cole: Generally speaking, no. I think what I'm putting out into the world, and what I want to continue to put out in this world is that we should be on the side of the person that's dealing with the health issues and our collective health as a society. So I would say, oftentimes, what to use as a spiritual principle, what you resist persists. So I feel like my whole ethos of what I'm putting out there is, "Let's come together, how can we make people feel great, and I'm not anti medication." Like you said. My job is to find what's your most effective option that causes you the least amount of side effects. And certainly, some people are alive because of medications. And there are life saving advancements in medications and life saving surgical interventions.

My question is, what is our most effective options that causes you the least amount of side effects, if a medication is the only thing that's given, and yet there are more conservative, safer little to no, most of the time, no side effects of getting healthy and using food as medicine. This is not radical stuff. This is not things that should be scary to the status quo. If anything, we would live a more vibrant, productive, healthy, long life. And yes, on one level, it looks like we're you know, if someone's off of medications, that's not good for the pharmaceutical industry. So on one level, I guess it could be threatening to the bottom line, but an industry that's depending on someone being sick, we have to change the paradigm of how we're even relating to that industry. Because it shouldn't be just sick care, it should be let's come together to get healthy. This is why people get into healthcare.

Every doctor takes the Hippocratic oath, well, let's start doing that. And really just first do no harm. Let's think about that. Hippocrates said, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food." And he also said all disease begins in the gut. So really, Functional Medicine isn't new at all. It's actually just Hippocratic healthcare back to the original. But we're using the amazing advancements of science that we know today, as far as diagnostic testing, to find these common underlying facets like microbiome health and genetics and hormone imbalances. It's to be as evidence based we can, but still stick to our Hippocratic oath. That's all Functional Medicine is. So I don't get a lot of blowback or negativity from mainstream medicine. I think because I'm just pointing out let's come together, there's a place for medications, there's certainly a place for surgery, there's a place for Functional Medicine, there's enough people out there that need help. And this should not be us threatening them. And this should not be us being threatened by them.

So I would say that's my position on it and, and ultimately, I think that, with that said, there are still people that are negative. I see it once in a while on Twitter. Twitter's like the armpit of social media. I love Twitter, as far as like getting news, like I love Twitter feeds and things that are trending, I think it's so great. But the amount of dogmatic, like dark bullying, is so disturbing on a deep level, on so many levels, and it's not good. And not to get too political, but I think that's why the President knows that. He puts out a tweet. And it feeds this negativity on social media. And that's just one aspect of it. He didn't start the negativity. It's been there for years. But it is like the social media platform that's amazing, but also, it's this weird dichotomy. It's great data, it's information really easy to read, and it's trending and connects people. But it's also these armies of trolls, that are mean, they're really nasty and mean. And it's not logical, you can't even engage in that with them. So when I see it, I just normally just put it away. But that's few and far between. The overwhelming majority of I mean, look, the Cleveland Clinic has a Functional Medicine health center now. I mean, you can't get more mainstream than the Cleveland Clinic they made amazing advancements in technology and healthcare, they have a Functional Medicine center. So for people that are still behind the times, and saying somehow Functional Medicine is quackery, or talking about it just is nonsense. The reality if the Cleveland Clinic is realizing there's a place for Functional Medicine, why aren't you? How evidence based are you? Are you going against what the Cleveland Clinic is saying? And other hospitals too, not just the Cleveland Clinic, but a lot of mainstream are bringing in integrative and Functional Medicine. And that's exactly what we've been talking about for the past 10 years myself, and many other people in functional medicine have been. So this is nothing new, I think they're just catching on. Because we have to do something different to see something different. And you can't look at the level of chronic disease we see as a society and the amount of money we're spending on it. We spend more on healthcare than the next 10 top spending countries combined. Yet we have the shortest lifespan of all industrialized nations, yet we have the most disease, the rate of maternal death and infant death is abysmal compared to other industrialized nations, yet, we have all this at our fingertips.

Well, we have to start looking at how can we be more effective and cause people lower amount of side effects. So let's just be open. When healthcare or medicine becomes a religion, you're exactly like the religious radicals, but your religion is medicine, your god is medicine. And you're putting your false god before people. And that's a sad place to be in. And that's where a lot of these people that are trolls, they are. Their god is their beliefs and their radicalized to the point of treating people horribly. And that's a sad place to be at. But to me, it has nothing to do with me, and that says more about them than me.


[48:49] Ashley James: Interesting. I just read an article about why there are trolls, why there are people who will lash out and argue and really insult people. Or like if there's someone puts out a video, and then some troll will come along and just say the most nastiest things about the person. Why is that? The average person is so nice. Why is that? And it has to do with megalomania, where the person is, and maybe I'm saying it wrong, but the person is, they believe that they're the only person in the world that they don't have a relationship, that their actions are hurting someone else. Because they believe that they're the only person in the world. And no one else matters, everyone else is just an object to control.



[49:45] Dr. Will Cole: Yeah. Fascinating.



[49:47] Ashley James: So those people are attracted to social media because they can hide behind the screen and lash out at others. And it feels good to them. And because other people are objects, not humans with feelings that they're hurting. So I don't think that the average person goes in and hurts people online. I think it just attracts a type of psychosis. So we just have to be aware that you're doing the best thing by walking away. Arguing online is not going to solve it. We're not gonna enlighten anyone because those people believe we're objects. We're not actually human beings with feelings.



[50:27] Dr. Will Cole: Amen.



[50:28] Ashley James: Yeah. So, we just walk away. And we if we want to help people, we have enlightened loving conversations in person. You know, that's the best way to do it. Because then we can enforce our boundaries healthfully. But you're right in social media it can be wonderful. And then when it's not we need to put it away to manage our stress. That is the healthiest. That's the healthiest choice for us. And I love that you called functional medicine Hippocratic medicine, that's a really great way of putting it. I love it. For those who've never been to a Functional Medicine practitioner, can you enlighten us? Like, let's say we walk into your clinic, we're sitting down with you right now, we're having our first meeting. What kind of labs do you run that we would not normally have never seen run because we've always gone to an allopathic MD?



[51:25] Dr. Will Cole: Yeah. So, it's really a cool thing because it's like the Institute for Functional Medicine, IFM which is my self has been trained and my team has been trained with, and they're the same governing group of training physicians that are also training the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic's Functional Medicine Center. And most are MDS, most of the doctors like the overwhelming majority are allopathic, the trained medical doctors that didn't go to an integrative medicine school like myself. It's interesting, because whereas my training was five years in natural medicines, and lifestyle and diagnostics, and all the same anatomy, physiology, psychology, all that stuff. But from a natural medicine perspective, versus the conventional allopathic doctors that don't get, I mean, they have next to no training when they leave medical school, from a health and nutrition, there's studies that actually talked about in the inflammation spectrum, my second book that most doctors in this one study actually failed the basic nutrition course, because they aren't trained anything. It's like going to a mechanic for gardening advice. It's like it's just not there. So that's why they typically refer out to RDs and things like that. So even them weighing in on health and nutrition on Twitter is interesting to me, because they don't really have much, if at all training on that. But with that said, there's a growing amount of amazing brilliant, kind hearted, Hippocratic hearted medical doctors, allopathically and conventionally trained doctors that are realizing and they're looking at the same things that we're seeing, and like, we have to do something different to see something different.

I mean, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. We need to do something different in our healthcare, and just human care, from a societal standpoint. So what are they doing? They're going and being trained in Functional Medicine, they're going to IFM, they're going to these conferences to get postdoctoral education like myself. So it's very interesting because they start the IFM training with very basic stuff, because these medical doctors, bless them, they want to learn, but they're not taught that in school. Whereas I think a lot of us that went to integrative medicine schools already like okay, like this is our whole doctorate training. But then as the advanced practice modules go in, they get more into the meat, so to speak, of Functional Medicine, which I love.

So with that said, when someone comes to a Functional Medicine doctor, the way that I run my clinic, at least, it starts with comprehensive consultation. So I really want to dig in as far as like asking questions that haven't been asked before, we have pretty in depth questionnaires that are pointers as to what areas are the most relevant for that person. And I try to be like fully present and open minded and literally looking at every case as a fresh slate of what this person is going through. And it's sometimes hard to encapsulate five years, 10 years, 15 years, 30 years, however long this person's been going through this in an initial meeting. So I want to really hone in on how this is impacting their life. What does this look like? What is the day in the life of this person and put myself in their shoes as much as I can. And I try to do that for every single person. And again, we primarily see patients online, which people think like the more old school people are like, how can you connect with people that aren't in front of you? I'm actually able to get so much in depth with person. And oftentimes people are less guarded, when they're not there. Because going back to social media, I'm using that social media thing to an advantage, I guess in that moment, because people can be a little bit more vulnerable, I think if you're not right there. So that's an interesting thing. But I see patients locally in Pittsburgh, too. But we asked a lot of questions. And we had one older gentleman say to me, "Are you in the KGB? Because we asked so many questions on the questionnaires. I'm not in the KGB. I just want to know like why the outer third of your eyebrows is thinning. That may mean something, it could be a thyroid issue. Or if you're craving salt, maybe a cortisol, adrenal HPA axis issue.

All these nuance stuff that seem irrelevant to the layperson means something to a Functional Medicine practitioner. So we start with a good health history, which is a good pointer and a foundation to what lab is the most relevant. So I don't want to run labs just for the sake of it, which is I guess a relevant argument or criticism of Functional Medicine is that you run too many labs. I think that can happen. I agree with you. I would say let's start with a good solid health history to see what labs are the most relevant. So we can be comprehensive, I do want to run more labs than you're running because guess what, they're not running enough labs in the conventional medicine status for most people. Running just a TSH for thyroid issues isn't cutting it. So the fact that I am running T4 and T3 and free T3 and free T4 and thyroid antibodies and the reverse T3 and the iodine and selenium. Yeah, that's needed. That's not over testing. That's understanding your thyroid hormone physiology and pathways. So that's pretty basic from a Functional Medicine standpoint. But all they need for that thyroid is to give you Synthroid or Levothyroxine or a thyroid replacement hormone drug, they just need the TSH. So they're running the labs they need to give you the medication. That's fine if all they're doing is giving medication. It's completely relevant within the paradigm of conventional medicine. But it is wholly inadequate from a Functional Medicine standpoint, it's incomplete. Because you can't hang your hat on one biomarker and say, "Well, it's above 4.5. Let's give you Synthroid." Or, "Your cholesterol is above 200. Let's give you a statin drug." Well, why is it cholesterol high? Why is it TSH? High? It's not a medication deficiency. So let's actually find out what's driving it. So these are the questions that we're asking.

We're sort of clinical Sherlock Holmes from a Functional Medicine standpoint. So good health history, running the appropriate labs. And so that involves typically a more comprehensive blood tests. And when it's appropriate - microbiome testing, hormonal testing, we talked about the genetic testing, we look at mold issues, if that's showing up higher on the scores. Because mold can trigger these autoimmune issues and fatigue issues and these immune mediated issues. Looking at viral issues like Epstein-Barr Virus, Cytomegalovirus, [Inaudible 57:58] virus, other viruses, multiple pathogens that can be at play and then Lyme disease which is a problem in our society, tick borne problems, coinfections to Lyme like the BCM, bartonella, and all of these co infections are an issue. And then obviously, the gut dysbiosis; things like SIBO and food sensitivities can be a component to it as well. So all of that is sort of the confluence, the perfect storm of things that we want to consider, where we want to be comprehensive, but still be cost effective, and not just running labs for the sake of it. So that's when a good health history falls into place as the foundation. So that's typically the order. And then we are clinically monitoring somebody and coaching them and educating them about their health and leaning into these findings. We're using those labs. We're getting multiple labs perspective, from their vantage point, like, what the heck is going on here? Why do they feel the way that they do? And really educating and informing and equipping the patient with a self education process of like, this is what's going on in your body, and that empowers them. That empowers them to say, "Look, I can do something." These are things you can overcome and heal from and deal with, or support.

So I love that process of really educating a person about their health. Because obviously, I don't say it with glee of like, "Look at all these problems that you have in your life." But honestly, it's this bittersweet moment, because they already know that something's not right with them. And the last thing they want me to say is everything's fine on these labs, even though they don't feel fine. So it's like this moment, "Okay, look, this validates why you feel the way that you do." You actually weren't just exhausted because you were lazy. You actually had reasons why you were exhausted. Oh, you have that horrible digestive problems. And everyone just said, you just have IBS, which is just explaining how you feel irritable bowel syndrome is not a real explanation. Yes, I know my bowels are irritable, but why? Or I have acid reflux, why? Or I have low thyroid, why? We're explaining all the why's. Everyone can say the check engine light is on. But what's underneath the hood, what's misfiring that's causing the problem in the first place? So that's fun for me, because we have to know what we're up against to do something about it. And this is like really good stuff, solid data to then lean into. And what's even cool, that's normally the one on one stuff, where I'm clinically monitoring them and coaching them. And that's my day job, I'm normally standing up my standing desk and consulting people about this stuff with my team. But what's cool is we are working on this different template, or a different form of Functional Medicine care, which I'm really excited to be rolling out over these next coming months. That's a group care, it's an online class where people can get Functional Medicine blood labs, like I just mentioned.

And then we look at it through a Functional Medicine lens, we put it on spreadsheets, and we color code it, and we show what's optimal compared to the functional range, we show what's not optimal, and we give them suggestions based off of their labs. But we're doing it in a group class, that's still HIPAA compliant. So like, no one's seeing each other, and all the questions are private, all that stuff. And I'm just educating them on what their labs mean, because so many people have these labs and get from their doctor, and they don't even know what they mean. So I can really like say, "Hey, let's run more labs, but also run the labs that they typically run." But empower you to explain what this means to give you insight on why you feel the way that you do. But the goals of the group class is to make Functional Medicine accessible, more accessible, more affordable, to help more people. Because I only have so many hours in a day. And so for the most part, I still see patients one on one, but we're holding these group calls classes monthly for an entry point, maybe they don't want all the expanded testing, maybe they don't want to have all these tests and the one on one care, but they know they can optimize their health. And I feel like this group class that's online can be a good entry point for people. It allows us to lower the cost and we can impact more people. And it's going to get them more accessible Functional Medicine care. So I'm really excited about this functional medicine group class we have going on.


[1:02:29] Ashley James: Cool. And I will make sure that the links to everything you do is in the show notes to today's podcast, your website being, we'll make sure that all the links are there for your books and your group class and how they can reach out to you to learn more about that. That sounds fascinating. So everyone gets their labs, and then they sit in the class with you. And you're going through kind of just each lab talking about the optimal ranges and what to do what not to do. And so everyone's looking at their results, it's going okay, he's talking about this and talking about cholesterol, high cholesterol you mentioned and I see that my cholesterol is high on my lab, and then you start talking about what they can do if their cholesterol is high, so no one sees others. And in the group classes, are they able to ask questions of you and can people learn from your answers?



[1:03:18] Dr. Will Cole: They can. Well because we're making it HIPAA compliant, we're not making it public on people's health information. It's like shooting, we don't want to obviously do that. So the questions are going privately to our team and myself, and we're going to be answering them privately. So it's still HIPAA compliant. So we're educating them on the group class about their labs. And then individually in private, we're giving them suggestions based on their labs. So yeah, they still have action steps to leave based on their labs. But it's all just one on one with us and them.



[1:03:52] Ashley James: So I was wondering if you could give them a code name, like, you're A and your B and your C. And then idea one knows each other's code names. So then you can still answer the questions public, not publicly, but you know, in the forum, so that everyone can learn from your answers. Because what if there are five people in the class with high cholesterol or whatever? And then everyone else is learning from that, from that question. So give everyone a code name.



[1:04:20] Dr. Will Cole: That's a good idea. I just have get back to my team, we'll find that. But yeah. It's so funny that I've heard so many questions over the years that I basically know what people are going to say like the handful of questions I know they're going to have. So I tried to cover the FAQs throughout. But I love that, I think that's good, we'll have to look at the compliance factor of that and make it happen. But yeah, it's really cool. I'm excited for people. I'm trying to meet them where they're at. And if someone doesn't need a full Functional Medicine support, or maybe they just want an entry point. And that's another criticism that's made on Functional Medicine is, it's only for the wealthy, and you have to be super rich to cover. And that's definitely not true for our patients, our patients are almost all working class like normal people. But I wanted to make it even more affordable and more accessible. So it has been a passion project of us for this virtual group class for the past year.



[1:05:15] Ashley James: How many people are allowed to attend the group class? And how much is it going to be? Do you know?



[1:05:21] Dr. Will Cole: Yeah. So it includes blood labs. So it includes a full Functional Medicine blood array, that's quite a bit of data on that, and includes the group class itself with myself, includes the food recommendations, the natural medicine recommendations, and any additional recommendations based on their case. And it's going to be under 2000. It's going to be about 1900. around that, so to speak. And that includes the blood labs and everything.



[1:05:48] Ashley James: Yeah. That's pretty expensive.



[1:05:50] Dr. Will Cole: Yeah. If you look at that, just to give people context to this. If you look at what the insurance gets billed from the labs, for that same labs is going to be about $4,000. So it's a lot more inefficient and expensive.



[1:06:08] Ashley James: And can people go through their insurance to do your class or go to their insurance to bill for labs when working with you?



[1:06:16] Dr. Will Cole: It depends. I think it depends, generally speaking the answer is absolutely yes. And most of our patients on one on one care, they have private health insurance, they are going through their insurance. So I would say yes, largely for one on one care. As we're beta testing the group classes that are online, we wanted all the labs to be standardized to get into the same time. So there wasn't lag time when the group class comes around, and someone doesn't have a couple of lab results. So we wanted it just to be like systematics ,we get the data and we know the turnaround. And sometimes with insurance and labs, especially in different States, you can get a lag time with certain lab results. So we wanted to make it less clunky. But in theory, as we're furthering the group class beta through beta testing, we can make it more efficient on the insurance front too, especially if there's a longer lead time, or the patients getting the lab early enough for us to get the turnaround to write the report and the recommendations before the online class.



[1:07:13] Ashley James: Very cool. You've talked about high cholesterol, and that's such a controversial subject. I'd love for you to shed light on it. My understanding is that the doctors that set the, you know 200 originally it was like 200 and above its high and then they lowered it and then they lowered it. And they kept lowering it. And I've seen interviews with them. And they said that they had to come up with. It was a team of doctors but they had to come up with a number and they just kind of had to pull it out of their butts. And the reason why they wanted because they had to pick a specific number to say everything above this number is high cholesterol, everything above this numbers below or low or normal cholesterol. And they needed to lower it so they could get more of the population on statins because then they could see whether it's working or not. They needed enough people to lower their cholesterol and it was kind of a guessing game and they wanted to see what would happen over time. And that kind of shocks people that you know, we've been told that fat is bad, cholesterol is bad cholesterol is what causes heart disease. And now we're seeing that the cholesterol or now there's a different perspective that cholesterol is actually the band aid the body's using to try to patch up areas of high pressure that are not able to heal itself because the body's deficient in the nutrients and it needs to heal itself. And so there's this controversy around what is high cholesterol? Is it really bad? And isn't there parts of cholesterol that are good parts of the cholesterol that are bad. What should we do about it? Is it all just genetic? Can you shed light on what is high cholesterol? Why is it bad? And how can we increase good cholesterol and decrease "bad cholesterol?"



[1:09:15] Dr. Will Cole: Great. It's a great point to talk about. So total cholesterol which is the sum of HDL and LDL. And LDL is typically what they call bad cholesterol and HDL is what they'll typically call good cholesterol. But looking at total cholesterol, and then seeing that as a barometer for good or bad if it's above 200, it's bad. If it's, it's below it's good. That's incomplete. And then also saying HDL is good and LDL is bad, it's also incomplete. So, in Functional Medicine, the approach would be more in alignment with with a lot of the modern data and science looking at the context of it. Context matters here with cholesterol as it does with so much of life. That it's just when you're looking at one facet of it and then hang your hat on that and saying, "Well, then you should be on a statin, it's above 200." Well, let's understand the nuance of it all.

So about half of people who have heart attacks and strokes actually have normal to low cholesterol, and evidence points to that. So the reality is that it may be a problem or may not be a problem. It's like flipping a coin. So we want to understand what's the quality of it and not just the quantity of it. So to your point, one of the labs we run and we run this on one on one patients as well as group class patients, we run a nuclear magnetic resonance or NMR test to look at the subfractionation of the lipids basically. Let's measure the quality of the particles that carry cholesterol which is protein, the protein carrier, and you can be largely in pattern A, which is the fluffy, buoyant, protective LDL like a cotton ball, its protective, it kind of clean things up. And then the small dense LDL, which is oxidized rusted BB bullet that has the potential to tear through arterial walls. So it's the quality there, are you more in pattern A, the fluffy cotton ball or the pattern B the little BB bullets. So it's the inflammation and the oxidation and it damages the particles that carry cholesterol. That's the problem, not cholesterol inherently. So we can see that on a test.

So for example, you could have a 250, let's say 250 cholesterol that's in pattern A or you could have a 250 cholesterol that's in pattern B. You could have a 150 cholesterol that's in pattern A or pattern B. So someone in theory looking at the context of this would be better off with 250 and pattern A than a 150 in pattern B. So you have to look. The context matters there - is that low in cholesterol, for all intents and purposes is not helpful for a large amount of people, for women, for senior citizens, for children. There's really no solid research to show that's beneficial. The only group of demographics that is shown to be beneficial or middle aged men who have had a heart attack, the benefits of taking statin drugs, but the benefits of that, the mechanism it seems to be it's because statins are a mild anti inflammatory. So that's good because it's inflammation that damage is the particles that carry cholesterol that's the problem. So you would assume someone that had a heart attack he has the inflammation so lowering inflammation would improve outcomes. So it seems to be it's not lowering the cholesterol that's the problem. That's the benefits of statin drugs for people that are middle aged men who have had heart attacks. It's actually the anti inflammatory benefits.



[1:12:39] Ashley James: Oh my gosh, and it's like they could get the same benefits if they just ate some vegetables.



[1:12:44] Dr. Will Cole: Totally. Yeah, I mean just deal with the inflammation.



[1:12:48] Ashley James: Great. And people don't know that statins, they don't know how they work. We just go, "Oh, they just lower cholesterol." But statins bruise the liver, purposefully damaging the liver and making the liver ceased to produce cholesterol is nothing. It doesn't stop the amount of cholesterol that you're eating. If you eat a steak and then take a statin it's like the silliest thing in the world because now you're just bruising your liver, the cholesterol is so important for the body, the liver produces it, we need it. And so just boggles my mind that an MD will put someone on a statin and instead of telling them to just shift their diet.



[1:13:28] Dr. Will Cole: Yeah. And to your point it is like, you said it was almost like a band aid. The analogy that I use is blaming the firemen for a fire. The body is producing cholesterol for a reason, and typically is it's damaged, and it's actually trying to put out the fire, but we are then destroying the firemen and then the fire is still raging on because the larger lifestyle changes are made. And again, that's not to say that some people shouldn't be on low doses of statin drugs some time for a period of time while they get healthy. I'm not saying there's never a place for that. But it's so overprescribed to so many people and based on such a simplistic data of just total cholesterol. It is really incomplete when you're looking at the real truth like nuance of what's really going on and what's actually causing this. And to my earlier point, nobody has these problems from a statin deficiency. So let's get to the root cause here for long term sustainable results. So yeah, just to get people like good things to look out for. In Functional Medicine, we want to make sure HDL is good and strong. So low levels of HDL are linked to cardiovascular issues. So we want it above 60, we want to make sure triglycerides are below 100. Because above 100 can be a sign of increased risk cardiovascular issues, insulin resistance, mainly which is the leading driver of heart attack and stroke, we want to make sure that you're in pattern A on the NMR test, we want to make sure sure that your CRP or inflammatory markers are below one, we're going to make sure homocysteine inflammatory markers are under seven. Hang your hat on one total cholesterol number isn't going to cut it, you want to look at all the other nuances of this that explain actually what's going on here. And then liver enzymes and other things like the AST and ALT would be appropriate too for people with fatty liver issues and insulin resistance and then blood sugar and A1c obviously, looking at your glucose, looking at your three month average of your blood sugar with the A1c, we want it under 5.6 in Functional Medicine and glucose under 100. Under 90 would be ideal from fasting glucose. So that's what we're looking at with cholesterol. Just like with the thyroid example, we have to look at the full lipid, insulin resistance, metabolic panel too for people with the set of issues. So you can't just run a TSH from a thyroid standpoint, and you can't just run a total cholesterol for a statin drug. But yet, that's what's largely done. Because they want to give out the statin drugs and the other medications. That's what they're largely trained to do. They're trained to diagnose the disease, and match it with a medication. It's this medicinal matching game that they're trained in medical schools. And that's what they're taught to do. So your standard PCP or GP is giving out the blood pressure meds and the high blood pressure meds and the statin drugs and all this stuff. But they're not really trained look at these other nuances, which is what's driving a lot of these good hearted doctors to go learn Functional Medicine because they're learning to help their patients.


[1:16:32] Ashley James: Mm hmm. Absolutely. So what things can we do in our life to increase the good cholesterol? If it let's say is below 60? What are some? I mean, is it exercise and eat healthy fats? Is it that simple?



[1:16:49] Dr. Will Cole: Yeah. I would say exercise definitely would be appropriate - aerobic exercise and getting your body moving, sweating, and healthy fat. So that you've got it right, completely there. You've been doing this podcast, I think over 300 times. I think you've heard you've heard this once or twice. But the healthy fats like olives, olive oil, avocados, avocado oil, healthy omega fats, wild caught fish, nuts, and seeds. These are all things that can help. Eating healthy, saturated fat obviously, grass fed beef can be great. And then to that point, if I could talk a little bit about the saturated fat because I mentioned earlier about the carnivore diet and the APO and the APOA and all these gene alleles, there are some people and I talked about this in Ketotarian and I talked about this in the Inflammation Spectrum, that too much saturated fat which grass fed beef is not just saturated fat, it has good omega fats and other things too. But too much red meat, which is higher saturated fat, coconut oil, and dairy fats like ghee, and milk and cream and things like that. Too much saturated fats for people with these gene alleles it can raise inflammation, and it can raise your cholesterol to places that you don't want it to be. Because their body is just in this state of inflammation. So the firefighters are happening come out by leaps and bounds. So that's not good.

So you can see here that biological variability will then say that they should just be running these tests, I'm not saying everybody needs to go get genetic testing, I think that's a good differentiator here, maybe just run the cholesterol markers run the NMR test, look at what pattern you're in, run your CRP, your inflammation levels, run your glucose, your insulin. All the stuff that I just said, just run those. You don't have to run all the genetic test if you don't want to, just start off with a baseline of these inflammation tests. And then look at how the food impacts your biochemistry. So that my point of getting HDL up, I would say most people do better, like overwhelming majority do better with more monounsaturated and healthy omega fats. But some people should be having more saturated fats, and some people should be having lower saturated fats. So gauging and tracking your labs is something to consider. So the Inflammation Spectrum, my second book, I put all these labs there, so people can track this, of seeing what their body loves, and what their body doesn't love. So they can see their biological variability. We're all different.



[1:19:20] Ashley James: I love it. Adjusting your diet, for example, whether you should be eating wild caught fish and grass fed meat, versus you should be eating more nuts, seeds and, and coconut meat and olives based on labs. Looking at your labs in in seeing where your body is, where your cholesterol is, and what your body is saying it needs and what your body says it doesn't need any more of. That is so cool that we can do that. And that we can tip the scales. I myself was a type two diabetic, reversed it naturally and so to have that experience, and I also had a few other problems, I was told I'd never have kids and I have a four year old that we conceive naturally. So using natural medicine, using just food, herbs, supplements when needed is so profound, because the body wants to correct itself. The body really wants to come back into balance. And now we can see, with the Functional Medicine labs we can see a clear picture of how we're harming the body and how we can help it. What kind of diseases and illnesses have you seen reversed through Functional Medicine that allopathic medicine says cannot be reversed? Like you know, allopathic medicine loves to just give a drug for the rest of their life to manage their disease, whereas you've helped people to reverse it and no longer have it anymore.



[1:21:02] Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, that's a great question. I think it's important to say like when I say the word reversed, that could be for some people completely, like healed and they go into remission, meaning they don't have any evidence of it. And for some people that are using food and functional medicine to reverse it to the place of managing their symptoms, meaning it's in remission, but they can't go off of what they're doing because it could flare back up. So autoimmunity is a good example of that. Autoimmunity, we have amazing results with autoimmunity in putting these things in dormancy, remission, decreasing the frequency and the intensity of their flares dramatically naturally. But it's not appropriate for me to say we're curing them, because we're not curing them. That genetic predisposition for our immunity is turned on. But they're living a long, healthy, vibrant life through Functional Medicine and what's working for their body. So all our patients with MS and other autoimmune conditions, Terry Wall is a friend of mine I'm sure you're aware of. She uses Functional Medicine to reverse her symptoms and to manage her symptoms. And she lives a long, healthy, vibrant life instead of my patients. But Terry, and my patients wouldn't say we cured ourselves of MS, it's different. Versus type two diabetes is different, type two diabetes is you can reverse it to the point of being non diabetic. They are living, they could even eat foods that maybe they wouldn't have when they're diabetic and their blood sugar isn't spiking because you've increased insulin sensitivity. That's a different mechanism at play there. That's a hormonal resistance pattern caused by insulin receptor sites to be more resistant to insulin. So there's a lot of people that are type two diabetic that can completely reverse their diabetes wholly. And certainly not every type two diabetic, there are people that are severely insulin resistant, that again, they're doing more like what Terry does with autoimmunity, they're reversing to the place of managing it. So people like Jimmy Moore, who's my co-host on Keto Talk, his labs look amazing. But he knows he's just genetically more insulin resistant. So he can't eat all the carbs that maybe I can eat. When I'm doing my cyclical, ketotarian thing, that would flare his blood sugar way up if he kept doing that. So but I know I'm maybe getting a little bit more nuance.

But I think it's important to understand what our clinical objectives are, from a Functional Medicine standpoint. Let me just say this, there's so much you can do. People with autoimmunity, people with insulin resistance, people with hormonal problems, people with digestive issues, people with neurological issues, you're my people, like these are the people I hang out with way too much, probably. But I've been on the ground, proverbially speaking with these people dealing with these things, we wield so much power with our life with the choices we make, with insight into our health. So these are the people that I know, in most cases, there's so much power that you wield, to decrease dramatically the frequency and intensity of things. So I want to be able to say for the average person in six months to two years, depending on how long they've been going through this and all the variables that go into play with that is that we can significantly decrease the frequency and intensity of your flares to the point of someone saying, "Hey, I'm 70% better." Or, "I'm 100% better." Somewhere moving in the right direction, whereas the point of markedly moving the health needle in a positive direction and improving their quality of life. And when you look at the risk factors go down, the quantity of their life as well.



[1:24:44] Ashley James: I love it. Very cool. So basically, we can improve everything. Because we're supporting the body's ability to heal itself.



[1:24:53] Dr. Will Cole: You can improve a dramatic amount of stuff. Absolutely. And there's so much power we wield, so much power we wield. And I see the difficult cases, like I'm the guy that God brings me the people that they've seen every doctor into the sun and they're still struggling. So I'm used to seeing very, very difficult patients. If I'm being optimistic, there's no reason why other people shouldn't have so much hope. Because I realized the average person that doesn't see a Functional Medicine doctor, but that still wants to improve their life. Maybe they're just picking up a book, they have so much more health potential because they're maybe not as bad as some of the patients that we see in Functional Medicine.



[1:25:38] Ashley James: Your book that's coming out addresses inflammation. So many people talk about inflammation. Like I said, it's this buzzword, but can you teach us something we don't know about inflammation? Can you give us your unique perspective on decreasing it, because decreasing it, we're also helping the body correct itself and get back to a place of health?



[1:26:05] Dr. Will Cole: Sure. So I think the big point that I wanted to bring up in the inflammation spectrum is; A, educating people on my concept of the inflammation spectrum. So this concept is in the book that we have a picture that just kind of show what it looks like in my mind and how I see it impact people's life. Is that inflammation exists on a spectrum, on a continuum from one end being low grade brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, maybe digestive issues, muscle joint, tightness, all the way down on the other end of the inflammation spectrum being full blown autoimmune disease, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hormonal problems, and then everything in between on that continuum. So it's A, educating people on this far reaching implication of inflammation. Meaning that it's really the commonality, chronic inflammation is between just about every health problem we face as a society. So things from autoimmune disease, all the things we mentioned before, to things like anxiety, depression, brain fog and fatigue are also inflammatory in nature. And this is reflected in the scientific literature that being full blown inflammatory issues, or at least having an inflammatory component. So it's A, educating people like, "Whoa, I didn't realize my anxiety can be inflammatory and my brain fog or fatigue can be inflammatory cytokine activity in the brain." People think of mental health and they separate mental health and physical health, mental health is physical health. So we have to look at the physiological manifestations that's impacting your mental health.



[1:27:37] Ashley James: I love that you point that out, because having been a diabetic, I felt like I was going crazy when my blood sugar was out of control. And I was told by Naturopath that people get misdiagnosed as being bipolar, when they're undiagnosed blood sugar imbalance, that people when they're going through those highs and lows of blood sugar, it doesn't drastically affects, like you said anxiety, depression, you could have bouts of anger. I mean, you're just all over the place. And it's so common that people feel bipolar. No wonder their inflammation is through the roof. Because of uncontrolled high blood sugar and then when the blood sugar comes crashing down, the anger and the hunger and the confusion, the body's in a state of stress, the blood is shunted away from logic centers of the brain because they're in the stress mode, stress response. So mental health and physical health are absolutely related. I love that you pointed that out. And so even just low grade inflammation can affect our emotional mental state.



[1:28:47] Dr. Will Cole: Absolutely. And our energy levels, fatigue is an epidemic in our society. And what's driving it? Again, saying someone has chronic fatigue syndrome is really the same as saying they have IBS or they have fibromyalgia. They're just descriptive terms. But what's actually driving that, why is someone chronically fatigued? So we're looking at the facets of that in the book. And so finding out where somebody is on the inflammation spectrum is the goal of the Inflammation Spectrum book. So we have a quiz that's adapted from all those questions that I asked in my Functional Medicine clinic where that older gentleman said I was in the KGB. I just wanted to really dig deep and make it applicable for the person, the layperson that's reading the book to say like, "What's going on here? Why do I feel the way that you do?" So that's important, because when they know where they're at, they can do something about it, and it educates them and empowers them to do something about it. So I think that's the insight that I bring on the concept. The topic of inflammation in the book is finding out where they're at on these inflammation spectrum. And then obviously, what to do about it, and how to use food and how to use non food things to help improve someone's health. And then we can start to bring things back in and see what our tolerance is. To see how big or how small your cup is - your genetic tolerance to these things. Because my experience is some people with bigger cups, they can heal, they lower things, they lower the amount of stuff in the cup, they lower the epigenetic variables. And they've healed their cup to the point where they can bring things back in. And they don't have any symptoms, they can have more flexibility. And then some people have smaller cups, and they have really little flexibility. But at least they know what flares them up and what doesn't. And that's freedom. And that's really the second point of the book is empowering people to not say this is another fad diet to do, because we don't need another fad diet in our society. But how can you use food to feel great? How can you love your body enough to feed it good things and to know what your body loves and doesn't love? So at that point, it's the transition from a diet to a way of life. It's a diet to just knowing what makes you feel great. So avoiding that food isn't punishment or restrictive or like, "I can't have all this stuff." No, I just love feeling great more than I missed that food.



[1:31:27] Ashley James: Right.



[1:31:28] Dr. Will Cole: I actually like feeling better more than I miss whatever food that is. Because it's that switch that people make to be like, "Whoa, this concept of self care is a form of self respect." And it's that transition to saying that's freedom, that's freedom from food, and then when you go in the junk food aisle it's not like, "Oh my gosh, I haven't getting all these cravings" To, "No actually, I value feeling better, so much more than I missed that junk food." Or whatever that is. So that's also the heart and the ethos of what I want to interweave through that book. Because that that's what makes sustainable wellness. Because when people make that shift, that's ownership, that's heart and there's a grace and lightness in their wellness at that point. And it's not this dogmatic diet that they're just gritting their teeth to get through the 30 days. It's just this freedom that they find in knowing what makes them feel great.



[1:32:28] Ashley James: Brilliant, I love it. So your book just sounds like it's chock full of wonderful, wonderful information. I love that you also cover the labs, which so many people are curious about, and they want to take their health into their own hands and you're empowering them. When is your book coming out?



[1:32:48] Dr. Will Cole: It's on pre order now, but it comes out October 15th. So yeah, depending on people hear this or on replay, whatever, but it's October 15th 2019. It's when it comes out.



[1:33:00] Ashley James: Awesome. So I'll put the link in the show notes so that listeners can go preorder it right now. And that way the second it comes out they'll receive it. That's very cool. When you do this work, it must be so rewarding. Can you share some stories of success? Obviously not disclosing anyone's name. But can you share some stories of success that have really inspired you?



[1:33:31] Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, one that comes to mind. When I think about all the cool things I get to see. Just to give you context to this, we have a virtual clinic and we have a brick and mortar clinic as well where my team is at. So we're primarily no one gets to smell or like nice essential oils diffusing in the air because is everyone's online. But it smells amazing here. But anyways, I'm sitting with my team looking over the schedule every day. So we start our morning off of just in prayer and meditation and then the clinical stuff of saying how can we serve these people and be there for them in a way that's meaningful that the way that they need it on a clinical level, but a personal level too. And then it's looking back as we're going over these names of seeing all these amazing things that they've done, like so and so, "Wow, they've done this in this in this." Okay, on this visit, see how they're doing on this, like it's this amazing journey that they become almost like family members to us over the time that they're with us. But one that comes to mind, happened earlier on in my career. And I think that's why it still sticks in my mind because it was earlier on and seeing someone outside of myself and my family, but like on a patient level, how Functional Medicine could impact their life positively. It was an older lady. She was actually in her 90s, early 90s at the time. And her... I'm not breaking HIPAA because the least she did a blurb for us. But her name is Blanche just because I think it's a beautiful classic name, I think it's appropriate for the story. She married her husband for ages and he wheeled her in a wheelchair. And he said, "I want the love of my life to be here. I don't want to lose her." And she was like this human story and like I was married and I still am. And I just saw myself in him, and my wife in her and this expounded love because it's like decades and decades and decades of growing old together. And I'm just like I saw myself in him on a deep level. And I just saw the desperation in his heart. And she wasn't very lucid, severe brain fog, couldn't walk, she's diabetic, and she's not doing well and her blood sugar's out of control and blah, blah, blah. That's what they said. And meaning that's what they were told by the doctors, that's what she was telling me. That's what he was telling me and she would interject every so often. So we ran labs and the lab sometimes, and all the Functional Medicine doctors out there will tell you sometimes you get labs that are so high or so low, that you will get a lab alert and they typically will call you and the lab will say hey look so and so's number is like really high really low just to let you know. Even though they're sending it to you, I think they have to legally have some sort of conversation or maybe it's just good due diligence on their end. I don't know if it's mandated or not. But we typically will get a phone call if it's that high or that low. Her cholesterol was that low where the lab alerted us and for labs to say cholesterol is low, pretty dang low.



[1:37:02] Ashley James: It was all the cholesterol or good and bad?



[1:37:05] Dr. Will Cole: Everything. It was everything, it was really low. And amongst many other things there was more than just that. I don't want to oversimplify it, it's definitely more complex than just that. But the thing that sticks out in my mind was that cholesterol being low. Well, as you pointed out, and actually a full circle that we're talking about cholesterol again, but because our brain is 60% fat, 25% of all your body's cholesterol resides in your brain, and you need healthy cholesterol for brain function, which is why one of the potential side effects of statin drugs is cognitive decline and memory dysfunction amongst all the other potential problems too. So the this woman literally was starving her brain of the nutrient that it needed for brain function. Her blood sugar was out of control too and there were other things going on. But we implemented Functional Medicine principles, we ran labs where you changed her diet up that was appropriate for her, we brought some natural medicines and this lady was so dramatic. She went from being wheeled in and could barely talk to me to walking in by herself with a cane. And she was the sharpest wittiest woman like you would ever just a normal, lovely lady in her early 90s. Talking about her health and improvements and about food and just like it was night and day. And something that she said is what stuck in my mind all these years later, she said, "I was planning my funeral, when I met you. Now i'm planning vacations with my grandkids." And that to me was like everything because I thought like how many other women and men are like that, that are just taking these medications? They're told that's all they can do. And they trust it because it's coming from a white coat. And even the white coat is thinking they're doing the right thing. But where no one's questioning? Is this the best option that's causing them the least amount of side effects? Is this what's being called, you're just getting older, and they settle for it? This is madness.

So I just got invigorated the next 13 years in my career, so far, of just like seeing Blanches in all different shapes and sizes all around the world, of people who just want to live a better life. And they're seeking and they're searching and they want to do the best they can for their body and the time that they have left. I mean, she was 91. Look how many I don't even know where Blanche is today. But I know the latter years of her life is way better than what it would have been. So to me, that's my that's my story that is kind of an archetype for the last 13 years. We have a lot of Blanche stories, and we've been blessed enough to be a part of someone's health journey, because it's really a sacred responsibility. Like, that is sacred. And all stories like that is sacred, to be a part sort of that fine line between health and disease, that fine line between life and death. To start bringing people more to life is a very humbling opportunity.



[1:40:12] Ashley James: That's beautiful. I love it. I love it. Now I know everyone's different. So it's hard to tell everyone, like I know some people say, "Everyone go gluten free." Right? And I think everyone could benefit from trying it for 30 days or everyone could benefit from just experimenting and trying dairy free for 30 days or try ketotarian for 30 days. Just try and see how your body feels, do elimination diets. But is there homework that you could give everyone that you know would benefit everyone? Is there some homework that you've seen really help people in general that you could give all of us?



[1:40:52] Dr. Will Cole: Yeah, I think that's a good point. You obviously know that we're all different and that's important to caveat here. But I would say this, what I would recommend is a form of an elimination diet, because I think it's an action step that allows you to find that biological variability. And that's what I put in the inflammation spectrum is based on a quiz, which is again adapted from Functional Medicine intake forms. To make it more reader friendly. It's less dense, academic, but it's just easy to understand. You take the quiz, find out where you're at on the inflammation spectrum. And then you can do based on your score, do easier elimination diet or more advanced one. If you're saying to me, what's the first thing that you can do, when you're talking about food and Functional Medicine? To me, that's a good starting point. Because at that point, you can kind of use food to calm inflammation, because you're not just avoiding food, you're focusing a lot of anti inflammatory foods too and then after four weeks for the lowered scored ones, or eight weeks on the higher scored ones, you can bring foods back in one by one. And then to your point, you can reintroduce grains and gluten containing grains. And there are some people that feel fine on them. And there's some people that don't feel fine on them. So it allows us to make less broad sweeping over generalized statements and actually see what's right for you. So that, to me is a good starting point. It's in the Inflammation Spectrum. And it allows you to really finding out what your body loves and doesn't love. So again, you can make that transition from like a diet to like food - grace and food freedom. That to me is a good starting point that anybody can do.



[1:42:38] Ashley James: And I like that you brought up that it's not always, for example, irritable bowel, like some people go, "Well, I didn't eat gluten and then I ate gluten and I didn't get diarrhea, so I don't react to it." But that you're saying listen to whether you're tired more on certain foods or whether you have brain fog or depression, or anxiety. We need to look for more subtle symptoms, that the body is saying this increases inflammation or it doesn't.



[1:43:09] Dr. Will Cole: Yeah. Oh, yeah. It's so much more than just digestion. So digestion is definitely probably the common one, right? It's going to increase digestive issues like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or stomach pain and cramping. But not always, because I mean, our guts are our second brain, so it can be impacting the brain, the brain fog, fatigue, hives, rashes, it could be like you said just more tired and more irritable, blood sugar fluctuations, there's so many variables. So I lay it out in the book, like all the different implications because it's inflammation, it's a lack of inflammation and balance and regulation that's going on. That is impacting people where they have the most problems or specific to them what they're dealing with.



[1:43:53] Ashley James: Awesome, I'm really excited for your book to come out. I encourage listeners to go preorder it now. It's going to be great. The links to everything that Dr. Will Cole does is going to be in the show notes of today's podcast of Dr. WIll is there anything left unsaid that you'd like to say to wrap up today's interview?



[1:44:14] Dr. Will Cole: It's a principle that's been in my clinic for a long time. And it's a concept that I talked about in Ketotarian, but I talked about it in more depth in the Inflammation Spectrum is that you can't heal a body you hate, and that we have a problem in wellness now born out of good intentions. But just like we talked about earlier, unintended consequences of all this amazing data has also created this really stressed anxiety ridden vortex of people not knowing what the heck they should be doing. So I really want people to bring it back to the basics and bring it back to the center and eat more intuitively. And finding out what their body loves and doesn't love because shaming your body into wellness is not going to work. Like stressing about all the things on Dr. Google isn't going to work long term. So you have to inform yourself and equip yourself. But then again, just what do you need to know versus what's this just going to end up stressing you out. So hopefully, through our work and what I'm doing here, people can be more conscious of that, and having a healthy relationship with their body, a healthy relationship with food once again. And just bringing a grace and a lightness back into wellness and not all of this dogmatic stuff that is kind of remnants from the sort of dieting consciousness that's really antiquated and really should have no place in wellness in my opinion.



[1:45:49] Ashley James: Love it. Thank you so much Dr. Will Cole for coming on the show. You are welcome back on any time. I'd love to have you come teach us more. This has been wonderful. And of course, looking forward to your book and looking forward to your Functional Medicine group. As you launch it, please let us know more. I'll make sure that I can inform the listeners about it. And yeah, can't wait to connect with you again.



[1:46:18] Dr. Will Cole: Yes, thanks so much.







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Get Connected With Dr. Will Cole!


Books by Dr. Will Cole


The Inflammation Spectrum

Jul 31, 2019

Check out the info about my favorite bed for the best sleep:

Listen to my interviews about Sunlighten Saunas and detoxification:

 Grounding for decreased inflammation and stress:


The Clear Path To Health



  • Recognize the help of health professionals around you not juts MDs
  • Pharmaceuticals can only manage the symptoms we have to go to the root cause of the illness
  • food is either causing disease or it’s healing our body
  • Food and stress are triggers of our health


Considered as a “taboo” when it comes to conversations, one may never know how important gut health is. Listen to today’s interview to learn more about how to take good care of your gut health besides treating it as a simple digestive system which simply has to function.


[00:00] Ashley James: Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. Today Dr. Tim Gerstmar shares some excellent advice for those who have gut health issues and autoimmune issues and who wish to no longer have them. He talks about the foundations of health that when disrupted lead to exacerbating those issues, inflaming them and creating acute symptoms and how to get them under control. He works with people that within a year most of them are in remission which is really exciting. He gets such great results. There’s three key things. We talked a little bit about the importance of sleep and stress reduction and some ways to do that. I mentioned that my absolute favorite mattress that a few months ago I got. My husband and I love it. It completely changed how we sleep. We sleep deep. We get such great quality sleep. You can go to to learn more about my favorite mattress. There’s a really great special that they’re providing for my listeners. There’s 2 educational videos on that site talking about the science behind the mattresses. They’re non-toxic. They have I believe it’s a 20-year guarantee, a 20-year warranty. What I mostly love about it is that the science behind it allows you to no matter what you’re a side sleeper, whether you sleep on your stomach, whether you sleep on your back, any direction. It relieves pressure and allows your spine to be straight the entire time. It’s the most luxurious deepest restful sleep you’ll ever have. I highly recommend going to to check that out. I also mentioned that I absolutely loved using my Sunlighten Sauna both for detoxification and to decrease stress. You can go to and search sauna or search Sunlighten to listen to the two episodes I’ve done on sunlighten sauna and why it’s my favorite. I had the co-founder Connie Zack on the show and she shares some great information about their low EMF non-toxic saunas. I have one in my house and I’ve been using them for over a year. Getting some really great results with detoxification. Like I said, it’s also wonderful for stress reduction and that’s really important in today’s interview. My third thing that I absolutely love that I have to mention especially about autoimmune and decreasing inflammation, are grounding mats. I recently had Clint over on the show. I highly recommend listening into that episode. You can join the Learn True Health Facebook group. Check out the pinned post right now which is the movie. The documentary that Clint created so you can learn more about why people are going into remission. Going into remission from autoimmune condition when doing grounding or earthing. They explain the science of it in that video which is in the Learn True Health Facebook group. Excellent. If you want to learn more about the grounding, you can go to That’s Thank you so much for being a listener.  I know you’re going to love today’s episode. Please share it with those you love who have gut issues and who have autoimmune issues so we can help them to learn true health.


[03:44] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 372. I am so excited for today’s interview. We have with us Dr. Tim Gerstmar who is an expert in autoimmune and gut health. He’s actually a local naturopathic here, just south of me in Redmond, Washington but he can also consult people all around the world through the magic of Skype or the magic of the internet. Tim, I’m really excited to have you here today because I actually know your office manager, Lorelie. She’s the one that introduced us and she became an avid listener. She raves about you. She says that people around the world come to your clinic who are just the most complex cases of gut health and people with autoimmune conditions that - she see miracles performed in the clinic. You must have holy water on your office desk or something that people come in and you help them to dial in their diet, their herbs, their supplements, their lifestyle and that you’re really helping them to gain a foundation of health especially after they have seen so many other specialists and they feel like the medical system has failed them. So really excited to have you here today, welcome to the show.


[05:11] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: Thanks, Ashley. I really appreciate it. I’m very grateful to get in front of your audience and share some nuggets of wisdom here. See if we can help people. I really want to thank you. You’ve created something magical. I’ve seen your podcast, your Facebook group. To everyone listening, you’ve done a good thing for yourself by being part of this community and thank you for the kinds words. I also don’t want to take too much credit. One of the things, the good thing and the bad thing about integrative or holistic medicine is compared to conventional medicine is it’s not like the doctor as the mechanic. I’m taking out your muffler and putting in a new one and it solves all your problems. Certainly, a lot of our great results come from people who are really engaged in the process. They’re really willing to dive in there and get into their own diet and lifestyle. Work on their mindset and make some of these changes and do some of these things. I owe so much of my results to the hard work and the willingness to change that the people who come to work with us are willing to do because without that the people who come to us and they’re just like, “Hey, give me the magic herb that will fix my problems.” They invariably walk away disappointed and in fact over the years I’ve been practicing, I’ve been doing this for over 10 years now. We actually have a screening process to turn those people away not because there’s anything wrong with them but we just know that they’re not going to get the results. They’re going to be disappointed and it’s just a waste of their time, their money, their energy. Nothing’s are going to happen unless people are engaged in and that is probably the single biggest reason not to engage with holistic medicine is because some people just start in a place where they’re already willing and able to make those changes. We understand and we’re grateful. We’re going to talk about a different approach to autoimmunity but I also want to be clear, I’m not anti-drug. There is a time and a place for those drugs. They saved people’s lives they continue to be valuable tools. We don’t believe that they address the root causes and the issues that are going on but they’re a helpful tool that can have their place and some people even with the best holistic medicine that we have available find that they still do need some of those medications.  A lot of people are able to get off them. A lot of people are able to reduce their medicine or move from stronger ones to less potent ones but it is important to know one of the very first things that we talked about. For anyone who’s interested to come and see us is understanding what the goals are. A lot of people their goal is to get off medicine. We always say, “Look it is really easy to get off the medicine, just stop taking the medicine.” but of course, that can be a very, very bad thing for the person to do. Their quality of life can be very poor. Their pain or disability or other issues can be quite serious. So our goal first and foremost is that people have a great quality of life. Not only do they feel good but they’re thriving in all the aspects of their life. If we can get a person to that place without the need for prescription medicine and immune suppressant or anti-inflammatory or other medications then awesome. That is our goal. But if we do need those medicines for people to achieve that quality of life, that safety of life and limb now we’re going to make us the medicine. I’m bringing this off right of the bat because there may be a few people who hear that message and are like, “I don’t know if I want to continue in this conversation if this guy is saying that medicines are useful.” and that’s okay but we do believe medicines aren’t bad. They’re tools. A lot of times they’re misused or they’re used to just put a band-aid on top of things instead of really going in and addressing it but they are valuable tools nonetheless.


[09:20] Ashley James: With naturopathic medicine, you learn how to use other tools. Whereas MDs are taught how to use pharmaceutical medicine. They’re not taught how to use herbs or how to use supplements even how to use diet. They’re not taught anything about therapeutic diets or foods or herbs so you have bigger tool belt than MDs. For those who don’t know much about naturopaths, there’s a lot of listeners that would know a lot about naturopaths because I have them on the show all the time but for those who don’t know about naturopaths, I urge listeners to get yourself a naturopathic physician. They are the best. Because of naturopathic medicine I’m no longer a diabetic, no longer have polycystic ovarian syndrome, I no longer have chronic adrenal fatigue. The things that plagued me. I was so sick in my 20’s and 30’s. I was so sick. I was bedridden. When I was 19, I was told by an endocrinologist I’d never have kids. I was infertile my entire adult life until naturopathic medicine and we conceived naturally and our son is 4 years old. Whereas MDs that I saw through my 20’s and 30’s said, every time I came to them it’s like, “Okay, here’s another drug, here’s another drug.” They had no tools in their tool belt for help me heal anything in my chronic illness. Could you just let people know what’s the difference between a naturopath and a medical doctor in terms of your education and your ability to help people.


[10:58] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: Totally. Absolutely. Listen it’s important to recognize, I’m happy to answer that. This is just quickly on what you said. MDs in the conventional medical system there’s no one better to treat serious illnesses life-threatening disease, injuries, surgeries. Nobody does it better than the conventional system and regular MDs. That is where they absolutely shine. If I get in a car accident, I’m not going to go see a Naturopathic doctor if I’m bleeding. I’m going to get myself to a hospital. I’m going to get the surgery that I need. I’m going to take the medications to protect my life and limb. Exactly what you said in this chronic health issues like PCOS like chronic digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome or heartburn or autoimmune disease. The best that MDs can do is manage those things for you. Use prescription medications to manage those things. Diabetes, for example, is considered as incurable, progressive, meaning it will just continue to get worse and worse over time disease. Basically any Naturopath work the result will tell you that type II diabetes, we’re not talking about type 1 the autoimmune type of diabetes. But type II diabetes is incredibly manageable. The vast majority of the time it’s completely reversible and can disappear and it does not have to be a chronic progressive disease. Of course, you have to go far beyond just taking medications to try and manage it. You actually have to get into diet and lifestyle and all of these factors. Like you said, MDs just don’t have the training. People express frustration all the time. “Why won’t my MD talk about these things with me? Why won’t they prescribe this type of treatments for me? Why did they look at me like I have two heads when I bring these things up?” There are a lot of reasons but fundamentally most MDs out there are dedicated, diligent, very intelligent, hardworking people. They’re trying to make a difference in people’s lives. They just don’t have the education to understand that these thing are possible or to know what to do about them. Again, use an MD for their expertise and the things they’re good at. My hope with integrative medicine is that instead of each side saying, so again if you break a leg, don’t come and see me I’d be a terrible doctor to help treat those. If you need to have surgery, you do not want me to be wielding the knife and doing the surgery. You probably not going to make it out there. At the same time, what I want is, when someone like you Ashley goes and says, “Hey, I have PCOS. Hey, I have diabetes. Hey, I have these other issues.” In my dream world that MD says, “You know what, this is not my wheelhouse. This is not my expertise. You need to go see someone like a naturopath to get those issues resolved. We’d all worked together and be friends.” In some ways it’s starting to happen a little bit, in other ways it’s a long way off. One of the deep frustrations of basically everyone that comes to see us “Why isn’t this stuff more commonplace. If I’d only known 2, 3, 5, 10” – was just talking to a lady on the phone the other day who’s had chronic digestive issues for 40 years and has tried to seek out help many different places and just hasn’t found it. There’s a very good chance within the next six months we can have these things majorly improved for this person. So why don’t people know about it? To answer your other question quickly. Naturopathic Medicine for many people maybe not the listeners of this show, for many people it’s something they’ve never heard about before. People may think, “Does that mean a herbalist? Does that mean a nutritionist? A homeopath is that what you’re talking about?” and the answer is No, that’s not what we’re talking about. We are talking about the profession of Naturopathic medicine, which is to attend a rigorous medical school education. I went to 4 years of intensive medical school. All of the sciences that MDS have. Anatomy, biochemistry, we were in the labs dissecting the bodies, we were doing rotations, we were doing all of these things. The major most critical difference is after we get that education in basic science, instead of going on to exclusively focus on drugs and surgery, our focus is on lifestyle, nutrition, therapeutic diets, the use of herbal medicines and on and on and on. A whole host of different therapy. We know prescription drugs but we also know and favor the use of non-prescription drugs. That would be the single biggest difference. You get the same level of medical education with a completely different focus for therapies and that’s what is many people are looking for.


[16:25] Ashley James:  I love it. Thank you so much for just laying the groundwork. Moving forward to the interview, everyone knows you’re a naturopathic physician. It’s like the best of both worlds. You can diagnose. You have drugs to treat if you want them but you also have the herb supplements, diet like all the other things out there. Naturopaths love to help people by doing the least amount of harm. And so you’re going to find the tool that does the least amount of harm and helps the person the most.


[16:57] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: Well, we always talk about, you can imagine a pyramid. In your mind, you imagine pyramid or a triangle with four different levels on it. The lowest level to the ground, we talk about is diet and lifestyle. That is the foundation of what we’re working with. You go one step up to the second level of the pyramid and that’s things like herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients go in that second level. The third level up is going to be prescription medications and the fourth level up is going to be things like surgeries and other very aggressive type of therapies for people. We always start at the bottom and work our way upwards. Again, it’s not that no one ever needs prescription medicine or no one needs surgeries, that’s definitely not the case but were saying to the MDs like, “Look, you’re starting to the third level up. How about we back up and make sure that those two bottom levels are taken care of first and a good trunk of the time we find out if those base levels are taken care off. We don’t even need to get to the third and fourth levels.” Again, it’s not that one is good ant the other is bad. It’s saying we need a bigger picture of what’s going on. Again, I find that MDs are stuck at the top of the pyramid and I find some natural practitioners are stuck at the bottom of the pyramid and refused to acknowledge that just the bigger picture all around. If our goal is the well-being, the health and the well-being of everyone or at least the people we come in contact with and are able to help. We need to use every tool that’s available. Again, some people need drugs, a lot of people don’t. We want to have all those tools available and thank you for tuning the horn for naturopaths here. We are one of the few professions that really has the training and the understanding to make use of all of it. That is the reason I evaluated many different types of medicine before I chose to become a naturopath and it was that blending together. Getting the best of all worlds. That’s the reason that I chose this profession and I pursued it all these years. Because it gives me the flexibility to deploy a whole range of tools for people.


[19:25] Ashley James: I definitely want to get into how to help people. Later in this interview, we’re going to give some really great actionable advice and help people have a clear path to health. The name of your book, The Clear Path to Health. I want to first learn a bit more about your story. What happened in your life that made you want to become a doctor specifically a naturopathic physician?


[19:50] Dr. Tim Gerstmar:  Yes. If you ask most the majority of doctors or other health practitioners, you’re going to hear one of two stories. Either their own personal health struggles and their journey led them into healing and medicine. Then they pursued that down a particular path. Or that a loved one their struggles brought someone into medicine and that second one is me. I was on college at that time about to graduate and finish college. My dad went into surgery, it all went perfectly fine. I can remember very vividly, I was at work. I came home late. Full disclosure here, I was popping a microwave meal into the microwave to have some dinner after a long day of school and then work. The phone rang and I picked it up and my mom was just sobbing on the other end of the phone. Long story short, after the surgery, while my dad was in recovery, he’d have a massive stroke. No one had known or paid attention because he was unconscious from the sedatives. It was only when my mom said, “Shouldn’t he be waking up?” And they were like, “Well, maybe but it’s okay.” And then she finally said put her foot down and said, “No. Listen, it’s been hours and hours and hours now. He should be awake. Wake him up.” and suddenly it was, he’s had a severe stroke. They rushed him off. So she called me and said they were taking him to intensive care. He might not live through the night. I scarfed down my microwave meal and that began my health journey. The short version is. I moved home. Along with my mom, his caretaker for a little over a year. Taking him to all his appointments. I’ve been grateful and lucky to be a healthy young man. I never really had too much experience with medicine or the medical system but I was in and out of doctor’s offices and physical therapists and other therapists near constantly so I got to see everything from the inside. All the good stuff that was awesome and all the bad stuff. Like so many other people, I was asking “What else can we do? What else can help him?” You know, the conventional answer was nothing. There are no other options. No, his diet doesn’t make any difference. No herbs or nutrients can possibly help. No other therapies beyond physical therapy speech and occupational therapy could make any difference on him. Like so many other people, I refused to accept that answer. In those days, the internet was not such a big thing. Google and Facebook didn’t exist at that time. It was a little harder to find information. I started going to libraries during the day and bookstores. I started calling practitioners and talking to them, trying to understand what other options. I found out for example in China, if you have stroke while you’re there in the hospital, they will start acupuncture right away and find that the combination again of conventional medicine and a more holistic approach is more effective than one or either alone. After that year and a half or so, I was aimless. I didn’t quite know what I needed to do. Short version is, medicine sounded really interesting to me. I spent so many hours studying and talking to people but I was trying to figure out which one was right for me. I thought at first, I would go the conventional route. Get an MD and maybe like Andrew Weil who was just kind of becoming popular around this time. Maybe I would be a more integrative. I had a fortune of talking to a few good MDs who very quickly stirred me away from that path and said, “You’re setting yourself up for a very unpleasant number of years if that’s what you’re really hope to do. You’re not going to find it within the conventional system.” I explored many other options from chiropractic to acupuncture and just could not find the right fit for me until I heard about this little profession. It was headquartered in the Pacific North West in Washington, in Oregon. Really where it’s home was called naturopathic medicine. I explored it and knew immediately that that was the right choice for me and that’s been my path ever since.


[24:24] Ashley James:  I love it. As you were going to school, were you able to help your dad further? Did you start to see that natural medicine could help him?


[24:37] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: That year plus that I was caretaking him, we engaged in quite a bit of holistic medicine. From acupuncture to something called neurofeedback. To some vitamins and minerals and such and we found that they were all helpful. One of the greatest tragedies of anyone who learns this stuff either as a professional practitioner or just as a layperson listening to a podcast like this and educating themselves, one of the greatest tragedies is that the people closest to us so often don’t listen to us. My mom who since passed on was more than pleased to tell everyone that I was a doctor. Her son the doctor but when it came to listening to me about making changes or trying this, they very rarely happen. Unfortunately, despite all my expertise, I like to believe I was able to help a little bit but that was not the be my calling but instead, help with other people locally here and all over the place, all over the States and all over the world to help them.


[25:53] Ashley James: When did you decide in autoimmune and in healing the gut?


[25:56] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: That’s a great question. The gut had become trendy now. You look on the internet, you listen to shows and you hear a lot about the gut and were having more and more research every day coming out telling us about how the gut and what’s going on in it affects basically every single part of our bodies. One of the beautiful things about naturopathic medicine which is about a hundred years old now, the profession from the very beginning focused on the importance of the gut. It’s always said from the earlier part of our schooling was always, “Look, disease begins in the gut.” That old Hippocrates, that ancient great physician Hippocrates quote, “Disease begins at the gut.” And so we always took that to heart.  When I graduated, no matter else I was doing what other symptoms someone had going on. I was always coming back to the digestion as an important part of healing that. The gut is not a very glamorous thing. It’s not something most of us want to talk about. Our digestive function, what’s happening in in the bathroom. I found as I was working with people that I just grew more and more interested in the gut. I was very grateful that I got into the earlier research on the microbiome or the bacteria that live inside our digestive tract and began to see the influence that it had on health. I was just able to make such an impact on people’s lives that I very quickly transitioned to sort of just being a general naturopath to working on the gut. What I found over the years was that many people came to me with autoimmune issues both digestive and autoimmune issues and as we worked on their digestive issues, we saw a lot of improvement in their autoimmune issues. It wasn’t the primary focus but we saw so much improving. Coupled with more research and the increasing prevalence of autoimmune disease it became a segway for me moving from exclusively working on the gut to working with people with autoimmune disease as well. Thankfully, now there are many practitioners who are queued into the importance of the gut and are helping people. There are still far and away not enough people taking a holistic approach to autoimmune disease and helping people with that.


[28:33] Ashley James:  Since you decide to focus specifically on those two, what kind of results have you seen? Can you share some stories of success or some kind of results that you’ve gotten through the years of helping people to recover from autoimmune and heal their gut?


[28:51] Dr. Tim Gerstmar:  Yes. Absolutely. It’s a joy to see people go from the bad place that they’re in to go to feeling great and many even thriving. One recent for example, I had a gentleman in something called inflammatory bowel disease. This is one of our specialties because it is at the inner section between the digestive system and autoimmunity. Inflammatory bowel disease is a type of autoimmunity specifically affecting the digestion. This gentleman had a version of it known as ulcerative colitis.  It causes a lot of pain in the gut, diarrhea, and blood. It’s a very scary disease because you can imagine you go to the bathroom, your guts are hurting, you pass some diarrhea which is unpleasant enough to start with but you happen to look down into the toilet bowl and there’s just blood everywhere. It’s a very scary experience for people to go through. So this gentleman had been dealing with ulcerative colitis for a number of years now. He’d been on and off medication with ups and downs going on. Finally, like many people, he said, ”Is there something more that can be done rather than having to keep running back to the doctor and getting a prescription for steroid or prednisone every time something flares up?” He came to see us. We worked with him over the course of about 9 months. Made dietary changes for him. Recommended some different herbs and nutrients. He has done exceptionally well. We’ve been monitoring him now, his ulcerative colitis is in complete remission. It’s absolutely dormant and quiet for him. He’s not taking any medications. Actually in his case been able to wean off many of the supplements, the herbs and nutrient as well. There’s a few that he takes. Does definitely pays attention to his diet. He finds it’s a major factor. We help him identify specific foods that are problematic for him. Others that don’t have any issue whatsoever. It was such joy at his last visit, which was a few weeks back to see, not only was the UC not bothering him. He had no digestive issues whatsoever. He had no other complaints of autoimmunity that were going on. He was actually thriving. He was happy. Speaking to going just beyond the symptoms. Of course, when people come to us they’re hyper-focused, “I’m going to the bathroom 5-10 times a day. It’s diarrhea, there’s blood in it. It’s scary. I don’t feel good.” All these issues are going on. One of the things that we found in his case was that stress was a big factor for him. Stress at home. Stress at work. By his willingness to dive in and start addressing those factors. He’s made some fundamental changes at work. He’s made some changes at home. He’s made some changes in some of the relationships in his life. Again, not only is the UC quiet, but his quality of life, his ability to thrive has skyrocketed. That’s just one example. We’re so incredibly proud of all the work that he’s done and the progress. In contrast, what would have happened if he had just gone down the conventional routes is there would have been an escalation of medications possibly up to the biologic medications, which if insurance covers them that’s good. There’s often major out of pocket cost. Most of the medications run $20,000 or more a year as their base price. These are very expensive medications for people. They either have to give themselves injections or they have to go into the facility and have IVs put in every once in a while to get these medications. There would’ve been no discussion of diet, no discussion of stress, no discussion of these other factors. If everything worked right and we hope it would. His UC would’ve been quiet and not bothering him. We wouldn’t have moved to simply being symptom-free to thriving having a better quality of life than before.


[33:18] Ashley James:  Awesome. I love it. I love that story. Do you get people who have an autoimmune and gut issue all the time? Is that your main focus or do you find that you get people with just the autoimmune or do all autoimmune people have some gut-level issues?


[33:35] Dr. Tim Gerstmar:  I shy away from all, every and none. Those big categorical words. Does every person who has autoimmune disease have a gut dysfunction? I don’t believe the answer is yes. Do the vast majority of people with autoimmunity have gut dysfunction? Yes, they do. We found our experience has been that 80-90% of people find that making dietary changes result in from major to at least minor improvement in their autoimmunity. Do there seem to be some people maybe 10% of people out there from our experiences where diet seems to play little to no role in what’s going on for them? Yes. I’m cautious when we say every person but our experience the people that we worked with, almost all of them. They may not recognize they have gut problems. In fact, it’s very common when you come in they say, “I have rheumatoid arthritis” “Okay, let’s talk about your digestion.” “Oh, it’s fine.” “Okay, no worries but let’s talk about it a little bit more what’s going on.” “Oh yes, I have this issue. Oh yes, I guess I have that as well. Oh, doesn’t everybody have that?” It’s just like, “Okay. There is a dysfunction.” Now a gut dysfunction seems to be at the root of many cases of autoimmunity and again, we routinely find that by improving the gut function that we’re able to make a real positive difference in people’s autoimmunity. Again, if everybody remembers the pyramid, at the bottom of it. Diet and lifestyle and we would also put gut function right down there at the base. is just treating the gut going to cure all autoimmune disease and deal with everything? No. It’s not, unfortunately. I wish it was a simple answer that we could say like that. Is it fundamental that many, many people are going to find significant benefit by treating their gut? Yes. Again, what would you say to people, look if diet and lifestyle and treating the gut are not enough to take care of your problems on their own, it’s good to start at a lower level where the side effects, the issues there are very minimal. Again if you clean up your diet and lifestyle and even if it makes absolutely zero impact on your autoimmune disease, it’s going to make a significant impact on the rest of you as a human being. Who has a body who has all the systems functioning? The worst we can say, for example, another case were still going, we have a person come to us with autoimmune thyroid disease, Hashimoto's, hoping to get off their medication. Again, one of the things we tell people, we cannot guarantee that you’re going to get off your medicine. I just want to put this out there. If people have seen other practitioner or other courses or other people saying, “Absolutely, positively, I guarantee you can get off your thyroid medication if you do this thing” either they have some magic that I’m not aware of or my experience says that’s a false spell of goods. There is no guarantee that everyone everywhere will be able to get off medication. We found through some dietary changes that have been ongoing thus far, we have not been able to make a big impact on her thyroid function or the hashimotos. But at a minimum, she lost some weight, her skin is better, her energy has improved. She feels better. Her stress levels are down. That’s what we always tell people is look, by starting with these fundamentals even if it’s not able to make a big impact on the autoimmunity or the other disease or issue that you have going on. It’s able to improve the general quality of your life and your overall well-being and reducing your long term risk for things like heart disease or cancer. The big E’s that cut people’s life short and destroy their quality of life. I personally believe it’s always worthwhile to address this. Most of the time it’s going to improve a persons’ autoimmunity and in those instances where it doesn’t. I have yet to see someone who doesn’t feel that it’s improved their quality of life or their overall health.


[38:27] Ashley James: Got it. There’s this theory that autoimmune issues are caused by leaky gut syndrome which has been exacerbated by or caused by gluten and grains among other things. Can you talk about that? Do you get everyone off of grains or every one off of gluten? How effective have you found that? I’ve heard from other practitioners that they cannot get results with an autoimmune client if they don’t go gluten-free. Is that your experience?


[39:07] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: Sure. Gluten is one of the more common problematic foods. Again, I am not an every and all. So generally, if we have our way, we start people on a gluten-free diet. We often will use a paleo diet or an autoimmune paleo diet as a starting place to put people on. I want to say a lot of people with autoimmunity definitely do have problems with gluten. It is a very problematic food for people as is dairy. Probably the two biggest problematic foods that are really unfortunate because so many foods that we all love to eat have gluten and dairy in them but they are very problematic foods for people. Having said that, does every person with autoimmunity must be gluten-free or cannot heal if they eat gluten? That has not been my experience. Again, many people have problems with gluten but not everyone does. I’ve seen people with a variety of autoimmune diseases, again, we usually cut it out in the beginning as we get to work and as we’re trying to identify the problematic foods for people but in a later time, we almost always recommend that people re-introduce gluten and see if it’s a problematic food for them. There are percentage of people they find that gluten is just not an issue. They’re able to eat it and be perfectly fine.


[40:37] Ashley James: I know you’re not always person when it comes to advise. What are the most common things though that you found are really helpful?


[40:50] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: Definitely diet. We always recommend unless people come to us already have done a lot of experimentation with diet, already identified a lot of the triggers and issues that are going on but virtually everyone who comes to see us. Again, we kind of consider this low hanging fruit. We go through to an elimination diet. There are a lot of different ways to do it but again, something like a paleo diet or an autoimmune paleo diet is a nice segway into it. A paleo diet remove grains and dairy at its base. There are a few different tweaks to it. An autoimmune paleo diet goes one step further taking out all of the big problematic foods to include things like eggs and nightshade and nuts and some other foods as well. It can be quite a restrictive diet. Certainly, if no one has ever done that before this idea for you that food could possibly impact what’s going on. The number of people that have been told by their gastroenterologist, that’s a conventional gut doctor, or rheumatologist, kind of conventional autoimmune doctor that food has zero impact what’s going on. I’ve wanted to bang my head against the wall so many times for that bad advice for people. Food absolutely for the majority of people plays at least a modest role in their autoimmunity. The majority of people by finding their dietary triggers and removing them can make a significant impact in their autoimmunity and in their health in general. Kind of a low hanging fruit for everyone is I do recommend if you’ve never done it before. Do an elimination diet. In fact, not quite autoimmunity. Just yesterday I spoke with someone and they found they were healing with eczema. Very common immune conditions. Eczema is not autoimmune. In fact, Ashley do you think you would help just briefly to talk about the different between inflammatory or an autoimmune issues. I find there’s a lot of confusion about that.


[43:07] Ashley James:  Absolutely. Go ahead.


[43:08] Dr. Tim Gerstmar:  Inflammation a lot of people specially the educated people who are listening to a podcast like this have heard the word inflammation before. They know that information is at the root of many different conditions and problems and diseases that are going on. I find that a lot of people who come to see me don’t actually know what inflammation is. Inflammation at its heart just means an active immune system. When the immune system gears up and activates itself a whole bunch of things happen. Chemicals are released and things happen but globally we call that those changes inflammation. Now we come to think of inflammation as a bad thing. Somethings that’s a problem and it absolutely can be. Inflammation can also be a very good thing. If we are able to magically reach in and shut down inflammation in your body, you would not be able to fight off infections. We need inflammation to happen. Again, inflammation active immune system when we’re fighting off a virus or bacteria. It’s one of the reasons that these immune-suppressing drugs whether they’re steroids or whether they’re the more aggressive immune suppressors make people more vulnerable to things like infection and possibly cancer as well. It’s because by shutting down the immune system or reducing it’s effectiveness, it can’t fight off those things in the same way as if it didn’t have those drugs pulling down immune functions. Inflammation in and of itself is not bad. The problem is inflammation and active immune system is supposed to be there to fight off an infection. To help heal an injury or wound. Again, if anybody’s taken steroids or immune suppressants, you can see that cuts and scratches and other wounds just basically can stop healing or take forever to heal because the necessary inflammation that the body needs to generate to cause that healing just isn’t happening. Again, that inflammation continuing on unshackled or too much of it or for too long is where we see all of these problems occurring. Something like eczema which his very common is an inflammatory condition. The immune system is flaring up, it’s causing the skin to react to become red or itchy. In contrast, an autoimmune issue is when the immune system has decided that part of your body is a problem. It is treating your joints for example as if they were a foreign bacteria that invading you. It’s attacking those joints and causing damage and pain and destruction to those joints. Something like eczema is inflammatory but not autoimmune. The body is not attacking or trying to destroy or damage the skin or other tissues but it is immune-inflammatory. Psoriasis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease. Now we have the immune system targeting the skin and causing issues for people. I just find a lot of confusion for people so I hope it helps to clarify and give people a little bit better understanding of the difference between inflammation and autoimmunity. If you have autoimmunity, you’re going to have inflammation but if you have an inflammatory issue it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s an autoimmune one.


[46:40] Ashley James: Got it. As someone who has an autoimmune condition, you want to make sure that you’re not doing things that increase inflammation in your life. You want to decrease inflammation. I learned from an old school naturopath, I think he’s in ’80s now. He said that this issue with autoimmune which is it feels new to me. It doesn’t sound like something that we had hundred years ago that was as big of a deal. I don’t know if that’s because diagnosing has become so much more advanced or is it that we are really seeing this like huge leap in auto immune conditions in the last 50 years through just the toxic environment and those standard American diet and the chemicals that we’re exposed to. The body is just way more toxic now than it is ever been so more agitated and inflamed. He says that - he also before he became a naturopath was a pathologist so he has that unique relationship to tissue and on a cellular level and he says that when someone has inflation cell damage at the tissue at the cellular level that the immune system comes along to clean it up. That autoimmune is where there’s inflammation on and damage like let’s say to the thyroid. A healthy thyroid but there’s inflammation in the body and the immune system keeps going keeps trying to clean it up and in doing so, it's digesting the thyroid. The MDs will say, “Okay, the body’s attacking itself we need to suppress the immune system.” He says, “No, the immune system’s trying to clean up the damaged tissue. But the damages from the inflammation so something about the immune system of people with autoimmune is a little either hyperactive or what’s going on that some people can have inflammation and that their body doesn’t continue to clean it up and clean it up like an autoimmune response whereas others do. What is the difference? Can we see through genetics? Can we see through like toxicology reports? What can we see that is the difference between those with autoimmune and those without?


[49:11] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: Right. That’s the million-dollar question. If I have that exact answer for you, I would be trumpeting it to the world because all these we’re doing, all doctors were doing the best that we can. There’s a lot that we do know and frankly, there’s still so much that we don’t know and we’re hoping to continue to uncover. Now for most autoimmune disease there seem to be some genetic pre-dispositions, I argue that there are. Like for example why does one person get rheumatoid arthritis where the other gets ulcerative colitis where the other gets multiple sclerosis. I think there are some genetic predispositions. Now there’s no smoking gun that’s been identified oh if you have this gene you are going to get multiple sclerosis. I think the way I look at it is in autoimmune disease the immune system loses its way. Our immune systems have a very difficult job. Their job is to be constantly be patrolling around our body looking for things that don’t belong. Now when everything works properly even if the immune cells that are a little too aggressive or that want to target the body’s tissues get weeded out. They don’t exist. Where we‘re seeing autoimmunity occur is because something has gone wrong there. Cells that can target the body are now doing so and that process gets laid down and gets locked into the body. I think from my perspective again, my focus is to try and keep zoomed out and keep a holistic picture on someone. You name a number of factors. I think both detection of autoimmune disease is greater. There are more treatments we can argue about how much we like the different prescription drugs but there are many more treatments available for people than they were in the past. Hundred years ago someone with rheumatoid arthritis was just sort of doomed. They were stuck in their home or they were stuck in a wheelchair. They were just going to live a shorter more miserable life because there were really no, from a conventional side, there were really no available treatments for them. When steroid first become available, they were hailed as a miracle drug because these people that are crippled with pain, their joints and finger were all deformed from damage suddenly could leap out of their chairs and they could move around and they could be pain-free and they could have energy again. Certainly, part of it is that we’re able to detect these things now. The treatments are available. People come forward and they’re diagnosed and they’re brought out into the light if you will some of them were kind of captive in a way in the past. Yes, absolutely we’re seeing a dramatic uptake in autoimmune disease and other issues. One of my mentors begin practicing in the 1970’s he said to me that in his experience diseases all from the 70’s to the present day. He’s seeing diseases happen 20-30 years earlier in people than they used to. Something used to effect to people in their 60s we’re seeing it now affecting people in their 30’s. If something only affecting adults before we’re seeing it now affecting children and teens as well. Definitely many, many factors from our environment. Things we put out there to the way that people are living their lives now. I think all combined together. Whether on autoimmune disease begins as a healing process like you said, it is true when tissue is damaged or needs to be broken down or gotten rid of, it’s the immune system’s job to be a little janitor or a little garbage person and take out that trash and help that tissue rebuild and be healthy again. Whether it’s a genetic predisposition. The immune cells are little faulty in that regard. They’re a little too aggressive now and they’ll go after things they should be restrained from. Think about like we have guard dog on a leash if that leash is a little bit too long or the guard dog is a little bit too aggressive, it can end up biting things that you don’t want to when you want to protect other things. Whether there’s a genetic predisposition or whether the balance that’s going on with that person’s life. If your listeners can imagine those old scales where they have a pan on one side and a pan on the other, you put weights on one side it goes up or down and the things are balanced out. The level with one the other sides heavier it’ll be down lower than the lower one. We can imagine having a balance like that. One side of the scale you can imagine one of those pans being all the anti-inflammatory factors in a person’s life. A good nutritious diet, getting enough rest, reasonable level of exercise, managing their stress correctly that can be again certain supplements or nutrients, all of those different factors that serve to calm the immune system and reduce inflammation go on one side. All the factors that increase or raise inflammation go on the other side. The fact is that the modern lifestyles tilt heavily towards a pro-inflammatory state. My opinion is whether it’s a damage or other issues that kick things off for people, whether you throw in a dash of genetic predisposition towards it and then you tilt those scales heavily in terms of inflammatory factors, it’s no wonder that so many of us are suffering in health conditions in general and autoimmunity here in specific that we’re talking about.


[55:26] Ashley James: It’s really scary and interesting to see that what we used to suffer in our 60‘s and 70s’ with, we now suffer in our 30’s or 40’s or even earlier. I know Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, the cardiologist I’ve had on the show. He’s in his 80’s and still practicing. He’s the man that wrote the book, How To Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. He said that when they would open people up and they would see this sort of the beginnings of heart disease that they see beginnings of heart disease people like 40 or 50, these are autopsies from people who died in accidents. Like car accidents. They do those autopsies and they’d find sort of the baseline of the population in terms of heart disease that they could see a 50-year-old beginning to have maybe some blockages or some calcification build up. They’re seeing that in teenagers now. As a population as a whole, we are dying sooner of preventable lifestyle-based diseases and we are as an entire population going down the wrong path. You said the lowest hanging fruit is fixing diet. We definitely all need to be responsible for our diet and I want to talk a bit more about that. What about the toxins that people are exposed to? Do you look into chelation or detoxing or sweating in a sauna. Have you find that helping autoimmune patients to detoxify? Has that also benefited their condition?


[57:26] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: Yes, because we know there are many different toxic compounds. I define a toxin. My personal definitely is going to be any substance that interferes with the normal functioning of the body symptom. The most basic level is you hold your breath the carbon dioxide, it builds up in your body becomes a toxin and then things your metabolism things start not working correctly so you desperately breathe out to get rid some of that carbon dioxide and get more oxygen into your body. Anything that interferes with that normal functioning there are normal body process that are going to produced toxins and sort of unfortunately we are the inheritors we’ve done a really great job of putting out a lot. The estimates range about a hundred thousand man-made chemicals into the environment that were not there before and are new to the environment. We either dug them of the ground or we synthesized and created them in a laboratory. The sad thing and I wish it weren’t true is that many of these compounds have undergone very minimal testing. It’s usually been around how much you have to give to someone to kill them or to cause them to have cancer. The newest research that has been accumulating shows that lower levels of these toxins of these compounds that won’t kill you can still have a chronic long term impact. We know many of these chemicals are endocrine disruptors. Endocrine’s another word for hormones. We have these compounds that act as hormone disruptors. Whether that’s in causing obesity, diabetes, whether that’s being a carcinogen or chemical that causes cancer. Immune disruptors. So we know many of these chemicals have these issues. Now when it comes to treatment, again, there’s kind of a low hanging fruit and then there’s the more complex stuff. Everything at the simplest level for your listeners reducing as many of these compounds and chemicals in their life as possible. We can break them down into a couple. We have beauty products, I’m sure you’ve probably had experts on before to talk about in particular women’s make-up as a very unregulated field. All the big cosmetic companies, there is no big oversight of them. They voluntarily are supposed to keep an eye on the stuff that they put into their make-up and their beauty products. We know many of them are full of some really nasty products so if people haven’t seen it, the environmental working group has a nice website. A section of it is called skin deep and they talk about a number of different studies and analysis of various cosmetics and beauty products and they make recommendations for some cleaner more organic, less toxic compounds. We always think about beauty products things, people are putting in their skin is being one factor. Household cleaners would be another and then the yard or the office would be another place. We’ve seen many people they move into a new building or a new workplace and their health took a big downturn. Obviously, there could be a variety of factors. One that I just want to bring up because it is so often ignored when we focus on diet, we focus on things like toxins are is mindset as well. That stress factor we find this is such a big deal. We’ve seen people eating good clean diets. Let me back up for just one second Ashley, we talked about the health triad. The three most critical health factors for autoimmunity. It’s not saying that there are other factors that aren’t important or that need to be addressed. The three most critical factors that we see are one, diet. Two, stress and three, sleep. We see it all the time. If one of these factors get a little off, people go out to eat or they go on vacation or they’re on traveling of for some reason their diet gets a little off track. If the other two factors sleep and stress are really under control, they’ll see either just a minor shift in symptoms or they may not notice much of anything. If two of these factors get out of control, we often see a flare and if all three of these factors are out of control, look out this person is set up for some pain unfortunately in a not too distant future. So diet is one critical piece we’ve kind of talked about that to some degree. Sleep is critically important. When people sleep well that is the signal to repair and rebuild their body. We see a lot of improvement from that. Stress is a factor that is just very often overlooked. We were talking earlier about doctors saying if they don’t get gluten out of the diet, we found in addition, that if people don’t or unwilling to look at their stress or unwilling to make changes in their life to help manage and deal with stress then we are unable to get long-lasting significant improvement for people. That if they just changed their diet, that they will see improvement in their autoimmune disease but if they don’t get some of these other factors and stress is probably the elephant in the room if they don’t get that addressed then they’re not going to see really significant results and they’re not going to see really long-lasting results.


[01:03:19] Ashley James:  I really like that you pointed this out. I had a client who was she was transiting into type 1 diabetes. The doctors were calling it type 1.5. I’ve never heard of that but she was basically pre-diabetic and then they could see that her even though she was, this was like adult onset type 1 coming on as an autoimmune response. I was helping her as a health coach with her diet and her supplements and I kept addressing stress. I just intuitively felt this was probably the biggest piece of the puzzle and she kept fighting me on it. At one point she said, “I don’t feel stressed.” I said, ”Thank you. Thank you for pointing this out because stress isn’t an emotion like anger and I think we’re all sort of waiting to feel stressed but it’s not an emotion” Right? Can you tell us what is stress and how do we know we have it?



[01:04:19] Dr. Tim Gerstmar:  The short answer, there’s a few pieces to answer here. We don’t ask people anymore if they are stressed. We ask them how they’re managing their stress because almost everyone with the exception of a few retirees or Microsoft millionaires who are independently wealthy and no longer working and can structure their life however they want. With the exception of few people, the vast majority of us are stressed. Now when we ask people or think about stress what they imagine is that inner sensation of pressure. That could be a psychological feeling like, “Oh my gosh, I’ve got so much to do today. So many things going on.” It can be that physical sensation of pressure or tightness. The classic shoulders-up-in-your-ears tension in your body that people are feeling but at a fundamental level there are two kinds of stress. There’s the mental-emotional stress, so this is everything from deadlines to children to bosses to traffic. All of those mental-emotional feelings that we have going on. Then their physical stresses as well. Those can range from inflammation is a kind of stress on our body that can go from poor fueling strategies, blood sugar crashes are going to be a source of stress on the body. It’s important to realize that no matter whether it’s a mental stress whether it’s a physical stress the reaction that happens in the body is the same. From a primitive physiological or body-based perspective, stress is gearing us up to deal with a life or death situation. The gazelle on the grasslands, they don’t have too much mental or emotional stress. They’re not thinking about jobs or deadlines, planning for retirement, or dealing so much with the kids or any of those things. Their life is mostly built around the physical stress which is a lion wants to eat me. When that stress responds kicks in we call the fight or flight response is really what stress is. That causes changes within a person’s body. It changes within that animal’s body. Changes within our bodies. Based around that response which is to fight off something that wants to hurt us or run away from something that wants to hurts us. Now human beings we have the blessing and the curse. For most other animals out there, their stresses are mostly physical. For human beings who are fortunate enough like we are to live in the modern world most of us were not dealing with starvation, work or physical harm as real ever-present issues that are going on for us. Most of us modern humans are lucky enough not to deal with those and most of our issues are psychological. Traffic that I had to wave trough, my kids bugging me, my boss is nagging me. All those kinds of issues. It’s important to realize those mental stressors trigger the same physical reactions to occur in a person’s body. Now the other big piece that you said is most of us are dealing with a load of chronic stress but like the story of the frog in the pot of water. If people haven’t heard, I don’t think this story is actually true but you hear it repeated everywhere so it’s good to use as an example. You put a frog in a pot of water if you suddenly pour boiling water on there, it will hurt and the frog will leap out of the pot. The story goes if you just slowly heat up the water the frog gets used to that hot water and doesn’t leap out of the pot. For most of us, we’re in the same situation as the frog in a pot of hot water that’s been turned up and turned up and turned up. That hot water feels normal to us. The chronic stress that we’re under is what we call normalized. We don’t even know it because most of the time it’s there. It’s become background and baseline but still affecting us but we don’t notice it. It's only when there’s big changes in our lives. When we go away on a extended vacation, for example, we’re able to get out from under all that stress and then we suddenly go, “Oh my god. I didn’t even realized how much this was affecting me.” It’s very common. We see it all the time with people. For example with food, there are food that they really need to stay away from. They see flares of those food when they eat those foods. They go away on vacation and they suddenly go, “Oh my god. I was able to eat that food. I thought –“ I accidentally got it for example. “I was so worried that thing were going to flare up” And you know what? They didn’t. Maybe I felt the twinge or maybe I actually felt nothing. It’s very common for people to do a celebratory dance and say, “My gosh, I no longer have problem with gluten. I no longer have a problem with the foods that are an issue for me.” They get back home and they climb back into the pot of hot water that stress level and all of a sudden they go, “Why can I not eat that food? When I was on vacation I was able to eat that food and now I can't do it anymore?” If you remember back to the scale the one side is anti-inflammatory, the other side being pro-inflammatory. If you’re on vacation, your stress level goes way down. There’s other factors you’re’ loading at the anti-inflammatory side of the scale. Now it’s hanging down low. You put a little bit of inflammatory food on the other side it’s not enough to tip the balance into big active inflammation. It’s not a problem. You get back home. You load up the pro-inflammatory side of the scale and so now, you drop that inflammatory food on and it and it shift things over and brings up a flare of symptoms for people. I’m so glad you’ve recognized it. Oftentimes it can feel like talking to brick wall. People either say,” I’m not stressed.” When majority of the time we find when we dig into it, there’s a lot of normalized stress going on for the person. They’re stressed. They just don’t pay attention to it anymore. For some people they just refuse to acknowledge and work on it because on some level, it’s much easier to change your diet that something external to you than to dig into the issues that are stressful. It can be work, it can be family life, they can be priorities, they can be issue patterns that you have, it can go back into all the way into childhood. They can be challenging to deal with it. It feels more internal and it feels more personal. If people are willing fundamentally we’ve seen if they are not willing to address this they’re going to limit their healing and what positive things that can happen for them.


[01:11:38] Ashley James:  I interviewed a naturopath actually local one here as well. She made a funny joke. She goes, “You know every time – “she just had another client come back from Hawaii. She says, “Every time a patient of mine comes back from Hawaii, all their symptoms go away. I think I’m going to start prescribing vacations to Hawaii.” It’s just, it’s amazing how you’re painting this picture. This correlation of my condition gets better when I’m on vacation and then I come home and it gets worst. Hello, this is the soup we live in. The stress soup. We want to do things like see mental health counselors to learn healthy coping strategies and mechanisms for helping us on a daily basis. Deal with the daily stressors like you said even from childhood. I know that I run programs that I learn from my parents who are both entrepreneurs. There are things from my childhood that I need to examine and re-program. What can we immediately do or implement on a daily basis to significantly reduce stress? What do you see works really well in your clinic?


[01:12:56] Dr. Tim Gerstmar:  This is one of the more personal approaches because again, there is no one perfect things that one person finds stress relieving can be stress-inducing for another person. Right?


[01:13:13] Ashley James:  Like meditation?


[01:13:14] Dr. Tim Gerstmar:  Meditation. You totally read my mind there. Meditation works beautifully for some people. Such a magical tool. For other people, it makes them insane with rage. It’s like the worst possible thing that we can do. I’m happy here to give you a few suggestions. It is important for anyone listening to know while we can roughly come to some generics like, “Hey, from our perspective try something like a paleo diet or that autoimmune paleo diet or the whole 30 diet. Those are all specific carbohydrate diets. These are all reasonable starting places to work with diet. When it comes to stress, there are few basics. As always it’s figuring out what works for you. Doing this “stress-relieving thing” leaves you feeling more stressed out. It’s not working, right?


[01:14:13] Ashley James: If they’re not in touch with their body and in touch with their stress levels, how do they now whether if it’s working or not? We know of heart rate variability. It’s difficult to find an affordable and effective heart rate variability monitor so how would they know that they’re actually lowering their stress when they’re doing something new?


[01:14:34] Dr. Tim Gerstmar:  Again if stress is triggering the fight or flight response then de-stressing should trigger the relax and digest response going on. Certainly, we can conjure back to those times in our lives when we were not stressed. We can watch what little kids look like when they play. Kids, of course, can get stressed out and have their own issues but by enlarge most kids thankfully aren’t dealing with all the chronic stressors that we have. So there’s smiles, there’s enjoyment, there’s play going on. From a big-picture perspective, this takes most adults totally aback when we ask it. What do you do for play? What do you do for just pleasure and enjoyment? For example, a lot of people have come to us understandably have been doing a lot of research on the internet, reading books, listening to podcasts, watching blogs or vlogs and videos. All of these things to try and better understand what’s going on for them. One of the challenges that will put to people is “What was the last book you read for enjoyment?” Not self-help. Not health related but purely for enjoyment. A lot of times they sit there and stare at us, trying to think up the last thing they did that was purely for joy. Purely for pleasure and have a hard time and often we need to put people, I’m all for people being educated it’s great but often times we have to put people on little bit of a fast of information that’s purely help their self-improvement, make it a homework piece to read something fun or something enjoyable. An activity that people can get lost in by its nature, that flow state is a state of not being stressed. Right? So what do you enjoy doing? This time of year in the pacific northwest, is it getting out for a walk with your dog? Not a power walk, not an “I need to walk for 30 minutes and get my heart rate to 85 % of my cardiovascular maximum” but “Can I actually get outside and enjoy the view? Can I just get some time to de-stress and to bring my creativity out?” One of the things that we see that disappears when people are stressed is creativity. Because we’re on fight or flight. There’s no need to be creative when a tiger’s trying to eat you. Creativity by its nature is a more relaxed flow state. We can’t be worried about the next thing trying to be too creative when you’re driving to work and bumper to bumper traffic. It’s not going to happen. But when we’re talking a nice hot shower. We’re relaxing, our mind is pacing out and all of a sudden the ideas come flooding out. We know we’ve switched off from that sympathetic fight or flight response into a more parasympathetic one.



[01:17:40] Ashley James:  I love it. My husband has the best ideas when he’s in the shower. He always comes to the shower and tells me something really cool. He’s really creative. I love my time in the sauna. I got my sunlighten sauna, which I absolutely love. Decrease stress and sweating out the toxins which is so great. I have my grounding mat. I really feel relaxed on it and it’s funny because I have it on my bed and I also have it on my desk and now whenever I’m on it, I don’t want to get off of it. I’m lying there going, “I have so much energy, I’m so awake, I’m so ready to get up out of bed but I’m so happy and relaxed right now.” I know that’s working for me. I have a newer mattress. I got a few months ago which I adore. I’ve talked about it before on the show. It’s completely changed how I sleep. That in and of itself decreases stress because when I don’t get sleep, I worry about not getting sleep and I worry about not getting sleep increases stress. Just like about worrying about diets can increase stress. Worrying about stress is going to increase your stress. Worrying about your sleep so it’s that vicious cycle of “Oh, I didn’t get enough sleep. I’m not going to be able to function today.” That worry exacerbates it. That exacerbation of worry it means the next night you won’t be able to sleep well. We’ve got to have that break state. Before we hit record you were talking about the studies they’ve done around getting out in nature and how effective that is in decreasing stress in general. You obviously mentioned, “Let’s go for a walk with our dog.” What about just being in nature? Why is that so important? Why is that rather than walking down a busy city street. Why is so nature so relaxing?


[01:19:37] Dr. Tim Gerstmar:  Right. We can dissect it a million and one ways but anyone who’s interested amongst to look at any of the research there out of Japan in particular and some of the Asian societies there is a long-standing ritual that is very poetic sounding it’s called forest bathing. It has nothing to do with taking a bath or slipping into a bathtub in the middle of a forest that sounds like a drug commercial that we see sometimes. Forest bathing merely means to get outside and be surrounded by nature. Whether that’s sitting and spending time in a natural surrounding or walking through a forest or being around a natural scene. There’s a lot of theories. Now we could talk about and I think this is so very cool. We know the plants breathe themselves. Opposite of us they breathe out oxygen and they breathe in carbon dioxide and we actually know that for example, if you go for a walk in a pine forest and we’re blessed to have many pines and evergreens here in the Pacific Northwest but we actually know that in that exhalation those trees there are essential oils. We know that when we breathe in these exhalations of the trees we’re breathing in trace amounts of these essential oils and other compounds and it’s been theorized that they’re one factor that’s having a positive influence on our immune system. On our nervous systems or stress levels as well. I think most of us have the experience partly it’s noise, I don’t know about you but I know for me going out in a natural scene where there’s some stillness and some quiet and you can hear the wind moving through and you’re not hearing cars and airplane sand jackhammers and all sorts of people yelling and screaming and doing all the stuff that people do. I feel personally if I spend time there I can feel my nervous system ratcheting down whereas for me if I’m walking downtown there’s people everywhere. There’s car buzzing here to and all over the place and there’s all of that. There’s lights, there’s sounds, there’s all these things going on it is profoundly non-relaxing experience for me. Evidence bears that out. There was an interesting study done in Europe as well that asked about people living in downtown areas with constant noise and the constant activity and again to our idea of normalized stress Ashley. When they’re asked these to self-report like, do they feel stressed, do they notice the noise anymore, does it bother them? They basically say no. They don’t notice the noise. It does not bother them. But when they measured their body and what was going on with their body they found that their body was indeed still reacting to those stressors from the noise and the activity and everything else that was going on. Even for people who would live there for a very long time. Again, I don’t believe - you’ll find many people out there and I hope I can caution your audience. Human beings love simple answers. The reason that we have autoimmunity, more autoimmunity and they’re suffering from it is gluten. That’s the answer or maybe it’s glyphosate or maybe it’s whatever like X, Y, and Z. It’s a traumatic childhood. You’re seeing people say The Answer, again, I caution people, there is no The Answer. There’s been a lot of changes. We live very, very different lifestyles from those of our ancestors. Our ancestors of a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago or 25 thousand years ago. We live very different lifestyles. Those changes while there are many very positive changes, I personally don’t want to go back 25 thousand years ago and live that lifestyle that our tough as nails ancestors lived back then. Along with the positives, not having to starve and not worry about a tiger eating me, there are a whole host of negatives. I think what we’ve seen in the past 50-year or so we sort of tipped over the line where those negatives have really compounded in so many ways. That’s why we’re seeing more autoimmunity, why we’re seeing more diseases in general and why we’re seeing diseases younger. I’m sure you know that type II diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes because it basically only ever happened in adults and they had to take away it’s not called that anymore because we see unfortunately so many kids and teens with type II diabetes these days.


[01:25:45] Ashley James: Yes, it’s just so sad. It’s so sad but luckily the listener here is enlightened and doesn’t go eat fast-food, basically do the basic American diet which causes disease. We have to think about this way that food is either causing disease or it’s healing our body. It’s either destructive or restorative. There is no neutral. It’s either building us up or tearing us down. It’s a fuel. People feel in general have disconnected from food and beverages that they look at this one little pill. We could get a pharmaceutical one tiny pill the size of a pea could give us side effects that could potentially kill us. That’s how powerful this tiny thing is the size of a pea. And yet we eat cups and cups ad cups of food and drink everyday not aware of their side effects. They’re molecules as well. That can either harm us or help us. So food, stress. I love that you point out that stress is so vastly important. That those people who lived in the cities that were studied. They became habituated. I think we become habituated to the diet reading as well. A lot of people say, “I’m not allergic to gluten or grains.” But you spent a month cutting them out, oh my gosh. I’m not allergic to them. I don’t have an autoimmune condition that I know of. My husband and I cut out gluten 8 years ago. We cut out barley, wheat, rye, and oats. What happened to us was miraculous. I lost 25 pounds of water weight and my husband, he lost something like 11 or something but what’s interesting is that our rings started to fly off our fingers. We had them actually made for our wedding. We have them made by a jeweler. We knew our wedding bands were properly fitted when we got married years before and they started flying off our finger so we waited a few months because I was worried that it would, this was temporary, right? This decrease in inflammation was temporary. After six months, we were still having our rings fly off our fingers. We went it to get resized reluctantly because my engagement ring is actually a hundred years old. It’s been passed down to my family. So I really didn’t want it to have it changed in size if not needed. So we went in and I went down two ring sizes and my husband went down one and a half, no sorry. I went down one and a half, my husband went down to two. Now I’m getting them mixed up. Either way, it went down significantly. I think I went down two because I lost more water weight. What’s funny is that we have our pictures taken for our driver’s licenses right before we went gluten free. We have this before and after. We hold it up to people when we meet them and they’re like don’t believe gluten makes a big difference. I’m like “Look we’re not celiac.” This is just pro inflammatory grains. We showed them the pictures and its like I look like the difference between Bert and Ernie. My face is round and puffy. I’m just so surprised when people go “I don’t have any problems with that. It doesn’t cause any damage.” Just try it. Try cutting out gluten for a month, try to cut dairy for a month. Then you go back to it. I had a friend call me up so angry at me because she’s Jewish and she goes, “I can’t eat bagels anymore.” She was so angry because she was habituated to gluten then she went off it for a month. She felt amazing. She got on some supplements and I gave her some health coaching. She got off foods that were pro-inflammatory. A month later her migraines had stopped but she went back to eating a bagel and she felt so sick she goes, “I can’t believe you’ve taken bagels away from me.” She’s in all just she’s very happy to continue to be gluten-free. Almost seven years later, she’s still doing it because we become habituated. We become habituated to stress. Even become habituated to sleep. I can’t tell you how many people have to told me “I only need 4 hours of sleep.” What’s up with that? Do you find that people that come to you, they just have poor sleep in general because that’s sort of one of the biggest factors that helps to set the groundwork for having autoimmune? Do most people tell you they can function on four to six hours of sleep just fine?


[01:29:34] Dr. Tim Gerstmar:  It’s a mix. We get people saying things like they do definitely are people who say like “Oh yes, I sleep four to six hours and I feel great.” and you’re like, “Okay. Unfortunately, it’s design for if you will but that part of our brain, that monitors our state like our wakefulness and how we feel is one of the first to go down from lack of sleep. In the same way and this is very difficult. Again, sleep and stress we often find more difficult for more people than dietary changes. Diet is tough. Listen no doubt about it. Some people took it very easily some people don’t. Sleep and stress can be even more difficult and will often challenge people to do a two to four week challenge of getting more sleep. Whether that’s adding an hour or whatever is appropriate for their situation of getting more sleep. When they do it almost uniformly people go, “Oh my god, I have no idea how much better I could feel getting more sleep than I was.” Again, “I thought I was okay because I was used to it but I really wasn’t. I don’t have those crashes. My mood is so much better. My energy is improved, my inflammation is down.” So many of these pieces improve for people with, two things, better quality sleep is important. Like you mentioned, for example, having an old uncomfortable mattress can impair people’s quality of sleep. So you can sleep a lot quantity-wise but quality is bad, you’re not going to be getting the benefit out of it. You can simply for a lot of people, just not getting enough. A lot of people who come to see us reality admit that. “I’m sleeping six and a half hours a night. How’s that going? Well, I’m tired. I know I should sleep more. I don’t. Okay, we’re going to have to talk about that and see what we need to do to make some changes for you.” This reminds me of a point often when we’re taking someone’s history and we’re looking back through it, autoimmunity can feel like it came on overnight for people. One day I was fine. The next day I wasn’t. Sometimes things do happen. Type 1 diabetes, for example, is typically now not in the example you gave up the adult-onset, that is a little bit into type 1 diabetes but your classic type 1 diabetes, what is thought to happen is the child gets sick with a cold or a stomach bug or the immune system reacts to that stomach bug and there’s a cross-reaction that occurs. That the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin so we could control our blood sugar would close enough like that the gut bug that the immune reaction against the gut bug pivots and a start attacking the pancreas. Often that onset can be within a few weeks. The kid was sick and sort of never really recovers well and gets into the symptoms of having type 1 diabetes. But for most the majority of people, most autoimmune diseases they may say to us “Well, it felt like it just came on overnight” when we track their health back to their history often what we see are the roots and the stirrings of that autoimmunity years or decades before hand. Usually culminates what we call the straw that broke the camel’s back. That’s often a hugely stressful event. That can be a divorce, job change, going to school, some big event travel or something else that was just kind of the last straw that tipped people over into a full-blown autoimmune disease. We often see that and they’ll say, “Well, it was this trip that gave me autoimmunity or whatever the case might be and almost never is that actually the case. That was just the final straw that kicked off the autoimmunity in earnest but often will see it going on for years or decades beforehand.


[01:33:50] Ashley James:  Got it. Very interesting. You talked about the paleo or the paleo autoimmune protocol. What about the GAPS diet? Have you had success with that? The GAPS diet being really about helping to restore the gut.


[01:34:07] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: Yes. Again, not an all or nothing guide. I’ve seen the GAPS diet worked wonderfully of people it’s a little more of in my experience a little bit more of logistics kind of a complicated diet with different stages in it. I find a lot of people have a lot of trouble understanding how to do the diet. How to follow it. I’ve certainly used it. I was certified by the creator of the diet to work with it. I found it be quiet helpful for people. Again, just because of the logistic I often found that people do a little bit better with paleo diets or autoimmune paleo diets. It’s just a little bit more straightforward. Yes, found that gaps diets worked well. We’ve mentioned one called the specific carbohydrate diet. It’s been around for quite a long time. Had worked nicely for people before. My biggest thing is, not that anyone diet, in particular, is the right one and all the others are wrong. The question for me is several fold. Does the diet take away foods that are problematic for a person? If it does so then they’re good to be seeing improvement in what’s going on. Secondly, we have to say, along with that diet is a gut dysfunction. You know, a very common story. I’m sure some of the listeners have heard it before is that they remove some food from their diet. Say, for example, gluten. “Oh my gosh, everything got so much better when I took gluten out of my diet. But now it’s been a while and kind of seen some symptoms have been creeping back and things are a problem so now I need to eliminate more foods from my diet. Maybe that’s okay for a while. Everything got better again great. Then it came back again now this is a problem. Now that’s a problem.” So we’ve seen people get down to this three or four foods that they feel like they can eat safely. It’s a very bad, hard place to be in. That’s fundamental because diet is one component of healing a person’s gut. But it’s not the only. For some people when they take the food out, their gut is able to heal itself. Everything rebalances and they’re in a good place but for other people taking the food out can merely be a band-aid.  One of the places without actually addressing the underlying causes of the leaky gut and the sensitivity in the first place, one of the areas that I found that a number of more holistically minded practitioners really let their patients down. They run some sort of test to identify sensitivities to food or they put them on an elimination diet and they go, “Great Ashley, gluten is problem for you. Maybe whatever nuts are a problems, eggs are a problem whatever the food is that’s an issue for you. Great, don’t eat those foods. You’re all good. See you later.” It’s like we haven’t actually address the underlying factor. You have to get those inflammatory foods out to get the system to calm down. Some of those removed foods may be permanent. They may be foods you really need to stay away from or you should stay away from them. Many of those foods can be temporary. While the gut is dysfunctional and disorder the immune system is activated and inflamed, a lot of foods can be problematic. We commonly see that in the beginning, you need to take out quite a few different foods but over time as we heal the gut as things get to a better place for many people, many those foods can start to make their appearance back in a person’s diet and not be problematic for them anymore.


[01:37:58] Ashley James:  I love that you brought that up. That we can go down that road of eliminating things from our diet but people can get very restrictive and that’s a level of stress.


[01:38:12] Dr. Tim Gerstmar:  Absolutely. Yes, it is.


[01:38:14] Ashley James:  Right, so we have to find that balance. We have to address stress. We do have to help the person figure to what diet is, the most healing way to eat for their body at that time and then help them address sleep. When you help the patient to dial in this trifecta, how long do people get results? Is it immediate? Is it within a few months? I know you can’t say like a hundred percent of people everyone always. I know you can’t say that. Let’s just say that the people who are listening right now have autoimmune maybe also have some gut issues, if they work with you, in six months from now, could majority of them be in remission? Is there that much hope?


[01:39:11] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: Again, please I know Ashley just did a good job with it, it does depend. Some people get very huge results very quickly. Sometimes, 80% of their symptoms can be improved within a month. That does happen. Is it common? No. Depends on what’s going on and all the rest.  But can it make that big of a difference for people very, very quickly? It can. Often it doesn’t. Generally, here’s the timeline that we generally use for people. When we think autoimmune disease, we typically think a year of treatment. We’re confident that within 12 months we could’ve made substantial and long-lasting changes for those persons. Again, some people move faster, some people move a little bit slower but we’re generally looking at that. Often by 3 months, again ballpark figure, we’ll often see 30-40% improvement in symptoms. People would be feeling noticeably better, digestion working better, pain levels down, skin improved, thinks feeling better. By six months we’ll often see somewhere around 70-80% improvement so massive. Big changes people are feeling very different than they were six months ago. Then that final six months as often what we’re getting at last 10-20% and also critically important is when we’re cementing habits for sustainability and the long-term. We used to aim for six months of working with people knowing that we can make really major changes. In those six months what we found where we really let people down is that we would say, “Okay, great. You’re good to go. You know what to do. You’ve addressed many of those factors. Keep up the good work. Follow up for your check-up and make sure everything’s on track.” We found there are still a significant percentage of people who would backslide, their habits would come loose with life stressors and things happening in their lives. Yes, diet was in really good shape. Then things got busy and the kids went back to school and this happened. Job changes or moved. Whatever happened and the diet kind of came undone and that trifecta we’ve talked about, the sleep, stress, and diet came apart and then people started to backslide and symptoms returned. What we found is by talking that additional six months of really making sure that all those changes are really cemented, the fundamentals have all been addressed, lifestyle changes have become permanent for people. We found that after 12 months the chance of recurrence of backsliding and having things come back drops really dramatically. So our recommendation for most people with autoimmunity is going to be a plan that encompasses 12 months or a full year.


[01:42:21] Ashley James:  I love it. I love that you get such great results and that you help people to sustain at themselves.


[01:42:29] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: Right. That’s the goal, right? There is a place and obviously, I’m biased as a medical professional who does this for a living but there’s a place for medical professionals. I know many people out there who have horror stories. Really terrible experiences with doctors or the medical system. I hear them every week people tell me about those stories and I understand why some people just give the whole medical system a middle finger and say that they’re just going to manage their own health. Again, we come back to that pyramid there’s a place for self-management. Your doctor , your health professional, your health coach. All of these they don’t go home with you. They don’t cook unless you can have a professional chef preparing all your meals for you which some people are very fortunate to be in that place but vast majority of us we have to get our own meals. We have to eat our own meals. We don’t have a personal trainer to be there to force us to do the exercise we need to do. We don’t have someone mom or dad telling us to go to bed and make sure these things happens. We have to be responsible for our own lives and for our own health habits. By doing that we can take our health into our own hands and we can make big changes. But there’s absolutely a place for health professionals for people who do this, who’ve gone through the training, who’ve done the work, who do this on a day to day basis. We need both of those. We need a practitioner who will work with the person and we need the person to do their side of things as well. That’s how we get optimal results. Again, it’s not an either-or, it’s an and both type of situation.


[01:44:15] Ashley James:  I love it. You told me that you have some advice for those who have been maybe they like you said, have felt as though the medical system has failed them and they’re quite upset about it so they go to google and they try to get advice from great podcasts like this one, from blogs and from wiki, from all kinds of medical websites to try to help themselves. There are a million websites out there to tell you what to do. Many of them contradict each other when it comes to gut healing and autoimmune and then forms, Facebook groups. We could just go on and on. We are at a wonderful age of information and it’s up to us to dial it in and figure out what’s best for us. Unfortunately, if we are in a state of stress and we have autoimmune, we probably have brain fog because being in the sympathetic nervous response shunts blood away to logic centers of the brain so we’re not thinking straight so now we’re being overwhelmed with too much information and we don’t know what actionable steps to take. Can you tell us how can we figure out what’s best for us and what sources of good information versus maybe non information will best serve us?


[01:45:39] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: Unfortunately, there is no super easy answer and just shameless plug here, my book called The Clear Path To Health was in large part me trying to lay that out this extremely common situation. Where someone’s gone to their doctor looking for help. They’ve got one of two different things that happened. They were either diagnosed with an issue, given some sort of treatment for it. If they asked, “Is there anything else that could be done beyond taking this medication or doing this thing?” They were told “No there are no other options.” Type II diabetes again, right, you have to take your drugs it’s a progressive disease it’s just going to get worse over the course of our life. “Is there anything else that could be done? Nope. Nothing else that could be done.” A lot of people wisely go, “Hold on. That doesn’t sound right. There’s got to be something else that I could do to help.” Of course, they go to doctor google to try to look for answers or unfortunately, we hear this very often people are feeling bad. They go to their doctor. They get some tests run and they’re told that, “Everything looks fine. Nothing’s going on” or maybe there’s something going on but it’s unclear what it is. What can we do about it? Nothing. Please get out of here. You’re clogging up the office.” and people are just thrown out left on their own and don’t know what to do. Again, completely understandable they turn to Doctor Google looking for some answers.

The key piece that I think is important to keep in mind is always start with the fundamentals. To make it easy, we’ve honed in on three starting places. Three fundamentals and we’ve talked about them. Diet, sleep and stress. Does that mean that just addressing those three things will take care of everything that’s going on for you and there aren’t other issues or things that need to be taken care of? No. It does not mean that. Like what we talked about before with the pyramid. These three are the foundation. If you aren’t eating well, you’re stressed out of your mind and you’re not sleeping well. You can be taking all the supplements in the world, you could be doing all the practices, all the mediations, all the other you-name-it-you-can-be-doing-it. Will they give you some benefit? Yes. But will they give you the benefit that you’re really looking for? No, they will not. To go back to diabetes, why do MDs say that diabetes is an incurable progressive disease? Type II diabetes again, just to be clear it’s because when you slap medications on it but you don’t address the fundamentals, the medications will help but hey cannot get the root of what’s going on and they won’t fundamentally stop diabetes. Similarly, with autoimmune disease. You can read all about the latest herbs, potions, pills, patches, therapeutics, all these different things. Is there some benefit in many of them? There are. But if you don’t have the fundamentals in play, you’re chasing shiny objects. One of the things we humans are cursed with is shiny objects syndrome. Like Kosar, we like things that are shiny, interesting, sexy and the problem with me banging in the drum about food, sleep and stress is people go, “Yes, yes, yes. I got that. I know that I already sleep fine. I already eat a healthy diet. I’m not stressed out.”

The majority of people that we work with when we analyzed those factors they may or may not done a lot of great work in their diet. Often there’s a lot of various that still need to be addressed and worked with. They almost always have not properly addressed stress. Again, I want to be really clear I don’t believe in shame or blame. This isn’t about telling people they’re wrong or bad or anything else. It’s just these are things that are not taught. They’re not reinforced in our society. We don’t recognize them and some of the cures for things like stress and sleep go against the varied values that we’re taught about. Always working hard and trying to get ahead and trying to do the things in our life sometimes that we need to be doing. These factors are important and if they’re not addressed first then we can get caught up in all the shiny objects and all the new supplements and all the latest greatest testing. It comes back to making sure that your foundation is solid. The base of that pyramid is there before we jump on to other factors. Then again, shameless plug finding a good holistic practitioner who can work with you. Again, I spent years and years researching and working with these materials. It’s fairly straight forward for me to look up something going to the internet and go, “That sounds reasonable” or maybe that sounds like maybe it’ll work for a few people but it isn’t going to be useful for the vast majority of people. Can be difficult for people out there struggling through on their own. So really finding a practitioner to work with who can guide you, can really shortcut and save you a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of years of your life. Finding a good one. Again, in the back of my book, The Clear Path to Health, I lay out the 11 questions that you need to think about and ask a practitioner that you’re considering working with to help you understand if this is someone who might be a good fit for you. Might give you the help that you need or unfortunately might be a waste of your time money and energy and you should keep on looking to find someone different.


[01:51:14] Ashley James:  I love it. Thank you so much and I know you’re doing a giveaway. It’s in our Facebook group. Listeners who would like to potentially win a copy of your book. They can go to the learn true health Facebook group. After I publish the show, we’ll do the giveaway and they can comment to enter into the giveaway. Thank you for that. I love that you have simplified things. It is very complex. There are I believe there’s over 200 different kinds of autoimmune conditions. Is that correct?


[01:51:50] Dr. Tim Gerstmar:  I’ve heard varying numbers. The number I’ve most commonly heard thrown around is about a 150 but listen, we’re in a ballpark. There are many, many types of autoimmunity. Some of them are very common. They have common names. We know about them. Some others are much more uncommon or rare or even discovering that some conditions we thought that no autoimmune kind of basis are now being shown that there is autoimmunity involved in them as well. Unfortunately, for us, autoimmune disease is one of the curses of modern life. Thankfully we’re not getting chased by tigers, most of us are not striving to death anymore but we traded that for autoimmunity. Among many other things. The good news is that many of the things that are within our control that we can do can make a really big impact. For a lot of people, they need for immune-suppressing drugs, they may to need them. We’ve seen many people with a whole host of different autoimmune conditions either not need to get on drugs or be able to get off of them. Some people definitely do need them and we recommend that they use them. But again, use the whole pyramid. Don’t just start at level three the drugs ignoring steps 1 and 2. By layering in steps 1 and 2, we often need less drugs if we need them and we minimize or reduce the side effects that can happen with those drugs. There’s a lot that can be done and I hope people are taking this as the hopeful message that I’m intending it to be.


[01:53:33] Ashley James: Absolutely. It was very positive. It was wonderful having you on the show. Is there anything left unsaid? Is there anything you wanted to make sure that you cover before we wrap up today's interview?


[01:53:46] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: Well, I think we’ve gone to a lot of really good stuff. I hope people have taken some notes or if they feel like it’s gone by in a whirlwind I hope they come back and give it a listen too. There’s a lot of good stuff here. Be aware that all of us we have the shiny object syndrome as an issue. It can be fun to research the newest latest greatest stuff but make sure before you waste your time, money and energy chasing over those shiny things that your fundamentals are being taken care of. Know that there are qualified, caring practitioners out there who can help you. We’re not anti-MD but recognize the strengths and the weaknesses of anyone you work with. No one will be able to do everything. So recognize what the health professionals in your life are skilled at and if they can’t meet a need that you have, then it’s time to get someone involved who does have that expertise who can help you make those changes.



[01:54:58] Ashley James:  Dr. Tim Gerstmar, it’s been such a pleasure having you on the show today. Dr. Tim’s website is Of course, the links to everything that he does is going to be on the show notes of today's’ podcast at It’s been wonderful. Thank you so much for coming today and sharing with our listeners. I hope that it fills them with hope and it gives them the clear direction for them to know that they can take step by step. In a matter of months to a year, they can see great changes in their health.


[01:55:34] Dr. Tim Gerstmar:  Yes, profound changes for sure. If this has been helpful for people, please feel welcome, drop us a line on our Facebook page or send us a message. Just saying that you’ve found the podcast helpful. It always warms my heart, makes my day to know that this has made  a difference in people’s lives. If you’re looking for a practitioner if you’re local in the Seattle, the greater Seattle area. Feel welcome to give us a call or drop us a line or if you’re listening from somewhere else know that through the miracles of modern technology, we can do virtual consults with people all over the States and really all over the world. There is hope and please feel welcome to reach out and contact us. You can find all of our information at our website as Ashley said, and I hope you’ll check it out.


[01:56:24] Ashley James: Awesome. Thanks so much.


[01:56:25] Dr. Tim Gerstmar: Thank you.


[01:56:28] Ashley James:  Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition and how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity? Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business, support people in their success? Do you love helping people? You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health-coaching sort of vacation program and it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over a hundred dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition but from the standpoint on how we can help people to shift their life, to shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health. I definitely recommend you check them out. You can google Institute for Integrated Nutrition or IIN, or give them a call or you can go to and you can receive a free module of their training. So check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name, Ashley James and the Learn True Health podcast because I made a deal with them that they would give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information. We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctor’s offices, you can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help with your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them and their success and their health goals. There’s so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach. So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. Mention my name. Get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month, so you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. If you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.

Are you looking to optimize your health? Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are highest quality and the best price. That’s Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome referral program.


Get Connected With Dr. Tim Gerstmar!


Book by Dr. Tim Gerstmar

The Clear Path To Health

Recommended Reading by Dr. Tim Gerstmar

Epidemic of Absence by Moises Velasquez-Manoff


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Jul 30, 2019

iThrive Series:

Utopia Found: A Blueprint for Spiritual Renaissance and World Peace


The Search For Truth In Science And Spirituality


  • Know that it is possible to achieve world peace and it starts with you
  • Science, quantum physics and it’s role in the world and people’s lives
  • Spiritual and religious freedom while creating a tight-knit community
  • Multi-dimension understanding of the universe


Is world peace achievable? If everyone has their own voice and enforcing their opinions on other people then peace will never come. In a world where war is at par, today’s episode can help us further realize why we need to invest in the quality of life, respecting each other’s freedom and most importantly, what we can do to help each other achieve what everyone wants in their life- peace.


[00:00] Ashley James: Hello, True Health seekers and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. You’re going to need to strap on your seatbelt for this one. It is quite a ride. I have a really great interview for you today. First, I want to make sure that you know about this free docu-series. It’s available this week only. It starts today and for the next 9 days. You are definitely going to want to check it out. It’s called iThrive. John has in the beginning of this docu-series, he is well over a hundred pounds overweight. He has type II diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and he is essentially is getting towards his deathbed. He’s only in his 50’s and he hits a brick wall emotionally and physically realizing that he’s going to be a statistic. He’s probably not going to make it into his 60s. That’s when he deiced to film himself going through his transformation. Now if you suffer from all those things you know how hard it is to turn that around. He decided to put cameras in his face and go to, I believe he consulted 44 holistic health doctors and worked with them and to pull the great information out of them and he followed a program that’s natural and that’s science-based. It’s wonderful are the results that you see. If you go to That’s all one word. You can put your name and email in and then the next video it shows you is him. His before and after. It’s so cool and then, of course, the 9 days, every day they release another episode and you follow his journey and you learn from him. From his struggles and from him as he has his Aha! Moments with this holistic health doctors that showed him how to adjust his diet and lifestyle and how he can get his body back to be a hundred percent healthy and off all medications. That’s right. By the end of the docu-series, he’s no longer diabetic. He no longer had high blood pressure. He no longer has obesity. He no longer has heart disease. It’s all reversible. It’s wonderful to watch. It’s great to learn from. Please go to Check it out. That link will also be in the show notes of today’s podcast. Share that link to all your friends. We’ve got to get this information out there so we can help as many people as possible to learn true health. To learn what it feels like to their body to have true health. Excellent. Enjoy today’s interview.


[03:12] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health Podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 371. Well, here we are again in the garden with Troy Reicherter. He was in episode 138 and more recently in episode 369. We discussed when you first came in the show two years ago in our backyard so we’ll continue the theme of having you out here. It’s such a beautiful day. You discussed a few projects you’re working on. At that time, it was the Seattle peace project. Where you were getting groups of different churches and different people from around the Seattle area to meditate and pray on peace to see if we could make an impact and the crime rate because there has been experiments done that I’ve shown that getting enough people to meditate and pray on peace that it can lower the crime rate. Another thing that you have been passionate about for the last few years is testing the toxicants in your body while you are doing detox methods like sauna, fasting, eating organic and taking different supplements and seeing how many pesticides and different toxicants you can lower in your body by using these methods. We just finished a follow-up interview episode 369. Now we’re going to talk about a book that you’ve published and this is, did you say 26 years in the making?


[04:42] Troy Reicherter: 26 years, yes. Started about the same time I started fasting it was 1993. I was a 23-year-old living in Taiwan. Oh, no this is after 23 but I got to Taiwan when I was 23. Anyway, the same group that introduced me to fasting. Well, they were psychics. A lot of psychic people. They had centers they were building around Taiwan including up in the mountains of central Taiwan and doing meditation and all kinds of purification methods. Their goal was to bring about world peace through a kind of a new religion exactly but just an understanding of all the different religions in context with one another so that you see it as one giant mosaic. When I was with them, I started to find a lot of answers to question that I had when I get to Taiwan, which led me later to study Chinese medicine. After understanding how these things work how chi and in and yang how they really work and what they really are. It led me to start writing it was almost like automatic writing. Where you just feel like my hand just wants to write. I wasn’t even hardly thinking of what I was writing I just started cranking at everything that I had written. Another thing that happened really soon on was after listening to them talk and talk about things that they saw and people’s auras and different colors and different symbols that were important, I started to I just went back and started re-reading the new testament. So all of these notes that I took, they turn into a paper and then I just felt the need to write another one and another one. I wrote one about science. One about Jesus. It just went from there. Then I needed to connect these papers together. It provided an answer to a question that I’ve been asking since I was a kid. How do we get world peace? How do we look at the world in a way that makes sense so that we don’t have to fight anymore? So that we could have a sustainable way of life, environmentally sustainable, peaceful. Do that so there’s no more wars with people looking at each other from different religions saying, “I don’t understand how you fit into this picture. I can understand my religion but I don’t understand yours and I don’t respect you and we need to have a war about it to see who wins and who loses.” Since having been studied history I knew that religion was one of the main forces pushing wars that seem to be a crucial part of the puzzle is to figure out how what is it the nature of reality at least to the point where we can agree on some common ground. Agree to disagree about certain things and then agree to agree about other things so we can be close to each other but still without surrendering our own beliefs. Then have world peace. I’ve been thinking about these questions for a long time. What will that look like? Then reverse engineer if you just think realistically about what we have to change for saving the environment? What we have to change to end the culture of warfare? What we have to do to be close enough to our neighbors of different faiths and ethnicities that we can end conflict. What does that look like? How do we do that? Where do we begin? I’ve been wrestling with those problems those questions for my whole life. The people that I met in Taiwan didn’t have all the answers but they had a lot of answers and they started me writing what turned into this book 26 years ago. That’s what I’ve talked about. The book is called Utopia found: A Blueprint for Spiritual Renaissance and World Peace. That’s exactly what it is. It’s unlike any book ever written. I think. It’s a little bit like a cartolase, a new earth but it is a blueprint for spiritual renaissance and world peace because it’s a plan. It’s a path of logic and then it reaches a point to where you can’t prove everything. We go beyond logic you might say go into the spiritual realm a little bit and yet we can observe similarities from around the world to come up with the points of agreement that we need to make communities of the future that will work for all the different parameters I just mentioned. Yes, so that’s what it is. I’ve been doing other things in the past 26 years besides just sitting in the room writing this book. I’ve been going to school, acupuncturist, teacher, couple of master’s degrees in Chinese medicine education but that has been, I consider my magnum opus really. Whatever else I do in my life that proving we can detoxify our bodies of cancer-causing chemicals or what not to belittle any of that but in my own mind. I think that this book is like a trunk of the tree and all the other things are branches of that trunk.


[10:20] Ashley James: Take us back to where you were in Taiwan. How long did you lived there? Do you speak Taiwanese?


[10:25] Troy Reicherter: Mandarin Chinese, I speak. My wife is from Taiwan and I didn’t really take the time to learn the dialect because it’s only when you’re there that you’ll use it. Sometimes I’d like to not understand what they’re saying I just want to tune it out. I was in Taiwan for about 5 years all in all. I’ve gone back to visit periodically. It was from 1991 until I left at the end of 1996 and I came back to the States a couple of times in that time period. I stayed in Mainland China for a period learning Chinese medicine. Taiwan is a very unique because they still use the full from Chinese characters and they never underwent the Cultural Revolution that they did in mainland china. You’d find a lot of very interesting cultural relics. It’s more like ancient china than anywhere else in the world. I would say. There’s nothing quite like it. Every street you go down is just temples. Like crazy. Temples of all different religions and mixes between traditional Chinese, folk religion and Buddhism and Taoism and Confucianism. You find a lot of people there that are really into spirituality. A lot of psychics too.  A lot of people whom I’ve know had the same experiences in Taiwan. They’ll meet someone who’ll tell them something about the future that comes true. It happens all the time. You may have to go out of your way to look for it but it’s an amazing place. I was lucky enough to meet some really good teachers who I’m still in contact with. Although the group is no longer existing as it used to be. I think at the moment, they want their privacy. That’s where the answer started to come for me. My parents were a product of the ’60s. They started to question organized religion soon after they got married. By the time, I was born in 1968, they didn’t go to church. They didn’t believe. I was raised there’s just no mention of religion in our house. On my own growing up in American culture. I just got noticing what was in TV. Noticing what’s in the wind and the way people started to celebrate certain things like Easter and Christmas. I started to say, “Who’s this guy Jesus? What’s He all about?” My parents never talked about Christ and all. I went back and read the bible myself and actually joined a couple of churches in Sacramento area when I was a teenager. I went through the whole admission process and was baptized. Believed very strongly on it. Then when I became older then I started to question like, “Well, what about the seventh day Adventist? What do they have to say?” They have a pretty good argument. “What about this? What about that?” Eventually, when I was in college I had a lot of questions and I reached the point where I wasn’t so sure about my faith. Then as I got closer to the time I went to Taiwan I started to meet more and more people who are telling me things that I couldn’t accept but I really respected the person. It was mostly about reincarnation and miracles. They would tell me about just over and over that reincarnation is a fact. I couldn’t accept it. I didn't believe it. I thought it was ridiculous and yet it was very ironic because those were the people who I respected the most and yet I doubted what they’re telling me. People were talking professors at Sacramento State University, for example, we're talking about Indian religion, Hinduism, meditation. They talked about miracles that people could perform if they done enough spiritual practice. I started to open my mind to that possibility as well. So then when I went to Taiwan, that was kind of the frame of mind I was in. I was a history student at that point and had all these questions about how does that world really work? Are these things real? Are they not real? Can physics and chemistry explain everything or not? That was a crucial question to me because if they could, then that meant that there’s no afterlife, there’s no spirit. All those things that people in the spiritual realm are telling us. They can’t be true. Which isn’t. I not to say if those things are true the we can’t use science anymore, of course, we can use both. I really had a lot of questions about the fundamental nature of reality and I was trying to answer the question of how are we going to live in the future with this large population dwindling resources, pollution, wars, global warming. All that things that are facing us. What are we going to do? Seriously. Not just what am I going to do? How am I going to get by but we as a species going to do? We better do fast or we’re in big trouble as we can see. That was my guiding motivation the entire time. My girlfriend who’s now my wife at that time she was my girlfriend. I decided I was going to study Chi Gong. Energy control basically. Controlling your chi. She happen to have a person at their work who that’s just one of those things that were my karma matched the karma of the situation, it was like a lock and a key. She from some person she had never met before just got a note saying, “Why don’t you take your boyfriend to this place.” so I went. She said two things I thought were irresistible. One is, “These people are psychic and they know why you came before you come there. They know you’re coming. They’ll expect you and secondly, they won’t charge you any money.” I couldn’t say no to that. Sure enough, they said, “Didn’t I tell you there’s this foreigner who going to come down here.” Anyway, I joined the group and learned a lot from them. All those things from my earlier experience with the new testament, Jesus came to the fore because half of what they’re talking about was Jesus. And they weren’t Christian. They would describe his energy. They would say I can feel it right now. If you get to the stage where I’m at you can just feel it. You call out. You sense out that vibration, you can sense his energy. He’s omnipresent. He’s everywhere. I thought that was really interesting. It caused me to go back and read the new testament over and over and over. I started to take notes. It was funny because the things that I was hearing from my teachers in Taiwan were exactly the same things that Jesus Christ was saying 2,000 years ago in Israel. I started to look at the whole thing in new way. That becomes one of the components of the book. The book is laid out in a specific order. It’s a like a path you have to go follow to get to the end with the answer you might say or the pieces of the puzzle laid out for you to put together. Or you can think about it like a rubik cube. I got into an interesting debate with a science-minded friend of mine because he was saying that I was a critical of science in the first part of my book. He say, “Why did you even start talking about science?” it’s not the biggest problem we have. It’s not like science does do anything accusing a problem it’s in and on itself. I had to rewrite the beginning of the book to explain a little bit better that it’s like solving a rubik cube. I’m not good at rubik cubes but I see that there’s a set operation. A series of event of operations that you have to do. You have to begin with number 1 then go to number 2. So you can’t move certain colors to where you want them to be unless you do that first initial twist. It’s knowing when to do that is part of the key. The book starts out talking about science. There’s five sections of the book and the first part is science and the search for truth in the west. The way most people think is there’s this assumption that science and technology are leading to progress and that progress is going to make things better and solve our problems. In that first section, I go back through the history of the origin of science. Talk about the Greek philosophers briefly and how science started from a search of moral truth. In the beginnings, Socrates was trying to look for the right way for people to live. He likened it to a cobbler making a shoe he said, “If you don’t know what a shoe is, how can you know the right art to make a good shoe.” So we have to know ourselves. We have to know our spirits. And so he said the famous line “Know thy self.” Socrates was talking about things like this and he was coming after a long line of pre-Socratic philosophers who are always looking for the nature of reality. Then along comes Plato. Plato didn’t exactly say that the world as it exists is real. He says that we should study the world through abstractions and we should use things like geometry. We should use the Socratic method of question and answers but then we should also use things like geometry because geometry forces us to rise above the mundane and go to something that can be measured. We’re talking about number and abstractions like lines and points. We’re no longer talking about the real world which may for all we know be an illusion. So it’s very interesting that how that turns to Aristotle coming along and say, “Let’s not worry about the question if it’s an illusion or not. Let’s just assume it’s real and measure it and just be empirical about it.“ I can see this, I can taste this, I can measure this.” and don’t make any assumptions and just stick with the fact. This is the origin of science basically. Following on Thales and his ideas that things can be explained. Aristotle says, “Stop worrying about the world being an illusion. Stop worrying about some higher levels of consciousness that may make this seem like an illusion. Let’s just stick with the facts.” This is what later on in the renaissance and the enlightenment turns into science. It’s getting back to Aristotle’s philosophy. The first section of my book is talking about how this has led to amazing advances that we can all see but it has basically left behind the original quest of how people live.  Science can never really answer all the questions that we have. As Douglas Hoff Stetter said in his book because in order to do that you’d have to have a system that could make reference to itself. When a system becomes so big that it can have self-reference it can no longer be objective. There’s a trap there of logic. That we imagine that we’re going to go figure out everything there is to know through science somehow but it can’t. It is not necessarily leading us to a better world because every time we get a new technological invention like cellphones for example. Well, give me an hour and I could tell you about a lot of things cellphones are doing even just in the classroom that are very, very bad. Not to mention all the environmental effects and everything else. So the assumption that we’re making about science. That science and technology are leading us to a better world in and of themselves is not true. It could but the question is do we have the wisdom to use it properly? Because it’s really a tool. Just like a knife, a knife can be used to do great things like cut up these strips we’re eating here or it can be used to commit mayhem, right? It’s all in the way you use the tool. That comes down to something you can’t really measure we call wisdom. You can have the greatest scientific minds in the world and they can be employed to make weapons of mass destructions, or work for the Nazis or for Stalin or for Kim Jung-un. It doesn’t matter how smart they have or how much technology they have if their wisdom, if they’re building something that shouldn’t be built in the first place then there’s a problem. So that what I point out in the first section we shouldn’t be making this assumption that science and technology are solving our problems by themselves they could if we employ them the right way. That comes down to a question of wisdom and lifestyle. The second section of the book is – feel free to ask a question anytime you want there.


[24:10] Ashley James: Oh no, this is great. I’m enjoying the ride. I like it.


[24:17] Troy Reicherter: The second section is called towards a multi-dimension understanding of the universe. What I realized in my experiences in Taiwan and elsewhere is that there are things going on that can never be explained by chemistry and physics. There are those who believe that and there are those who don’t. The ones who don’t are in the realm of science. They don’t usually talk to the people that don’t believe that and the people who don’t believe that usually don’t talk to people that do believe that. I’m trying to bring the two sides together and make both sides understand what’s really going on and be willing to see the other’s point of view. Scientists would take this an attack may be to their position but it isn’t. It just fine-tuning our understanding of what’s really going on so we could use this tool of science and technology more rationally because right now we’re assuming things that aren’t true. When I had a physiology class before it thought it was really interesting in the opening few pages of a book they said, “There’s two ways of looking at the world. There’s the mechanist view and the animist view. Animist view assumes that there’s things like spirit, energy and intangible things out there that have something to do with the way the world really works. They pointed out really clearly, this book doesn’t believe that. This book about physiology believes that humans are biological machines. There is no spirit, there is none of this just forgot about all the idea, romantic idea. There’s anything else going on expect just anything that can be explained by chemistry and physics any thought you have is just synapses in your brain, chemicals. Something like that, something that can be expressed in some kind of chemical and physical formula. That’s called the mechanist theory. It’s that everything is mechanical. If you really believe that as most scientists do right now it would seem and I just heard someone he wrote a book about consciousness [00:26 Inaudible] just in the last year he was basically saying that as time goes by he thinks more and more that he’s not making any decision. If someone asks him where he wants to go that night, if he thinks of what he wants to do, everything that he’s doing is predetermined by everything else that happened up to that point. There is no free will. That’s kind of where you end up if you believe that. Through my experience, I’ve just been collecting. For the last 30 years, just been collecting anything that disproves that because I just saw more and more evidence as time went along that these things aren’t true. Some for the evidence is like, like the evidence that I know that my teachers in Taiwan were psychic. I can’t really prove that to you. I could tell you some stories and anecdotes and you could go through and say, “Well, that doesn’t really prove anything.” No, it wasn’t in a clinical setting but I know for myself and so I have been looking at those things that were so overwhelmingly persuasive those pieces of evidence that I can include them or else things that were a result of an actual study where there’s really no question about it. That’s the second section of my book. Toward a multidimensional understanding of the universe. I just present all the evidence that falsifies the mechanist theory because this mechanist theory doesn’t say that most phenomenon can be explained by chemistry and physics, they say all phenomenon, everything. All phenomenon the entire observable universe, everything that exists can be explained through chemistry and physics and I’m saying no, can't. They’re wonderful chemistry and physics. I was collecting things from the news, I was collecting things from my own research and I started out being the weakest part of the book but over time it basically becomes the strongest point because I have so many cool things that I go through. I think the first one is about near-death experiences. I won’t go through all of them you can read them on the book but near-death experiences have been researched by a number of researchers and everyone who’s looked into it has found this amazing degree of correspondence between what people say they saw happening when they were clinically dead. According to the mechanist theory, their brains couldn’t be working and yet they saw things, heard things. Even people who have been born blind could describe the colors of things. How could they do that? This is a so pretty impressive section with several researchers who were very skeptical of it and they look into it they came away complete believers because they couldn’t explain that they discovered. There was a big death study done, a dutch study [Inaudible 29:19] in 2001, I believe. The researchers said in the end, “There’s no physical explanation for near-death experiences and scientists may re-think their theories on the nature of human consciousness.” Was their conclusion.  That was 18 years ago and yet I don’t think there has been a lot rethinking on the nature of human consciousness since then. A lot of these conclusions are put out there and they’re not acted upon and the people like me collect them but the scientific community and the world at large needs to face the facts that this research has been done. There’s a reason to believe these things. Also, I found a lot of evidence about reincarnation which I came to believe in because of my own experiences but I found a number of other examples and some of them by researchers who described things that they could not possibly have known about and which were looked into. Including a case of a woman who claimed to have been killed in medieval England. She said she was Jewish and she was killed in this church, in the crypt of the church. The researchers looking into it and said, “Well, Okay. It could have to be this church based in what she said the problem is there was no crypt in the church.” A little later on some workman were doing some renovation they found actually there was a crypt that they didn’t know about underneath the church. I have a score of these kinds of things collected in my book basically proving as well as we can prove that people are able to say things in certain cases that they couldn’t possibly have known about previous lives. That prove to be true when you investigate it. There’s a couple of instances I found Dr. Ian Stevenson looked into about people who began speaking a language they had never learned. There was one where a Swedish woman started speaking German and a woman in India she took on the personality of a Bengali woman and suddenly started to read, write and speak Bengali. Language shed never studied. In the other case, the woman from Sweden she started speaking German and then she basically became the other person. Here is another one, in Hungary, there was a 15-year-old girl who suddenly started speaking Spanish and then she lost the ability to even read or understand Hungarian. There may be other things involved there like I don’t know phony’s word possession I’ll just call it unlearned language ability. Someone almost starts speaking a language that they never learned. Researchers investigators looked into his case they can find no explanation for it. Yes, this happened in 1933 but you know, people weren’t stupid then. They were able to do investigations. Sometimes we think before they had cellphones nobody could think. There’s a number of other things in the book including the effectiveness of traditional Chinese medicine including pulse diagnosis. Having gone through the curriculum for traditional Chinese medicine I have a number of accounts of people that I met. They’re miracle curers for things. Like in one case, there was a doctor at ACTCM where I went to school in San Francisco. She had a patient who was told he had to remove part of his colon because he had Crohn’s disease and there was no cure but after a year of acupuncture, he was completely well. Cases of people told they would never walk again, walking. People who couldn’t hear, hearing again. There was a famous study from the journal of the American Association where 260 pregnant women had breached presentation where the fetus was in a head-up position not ready to go into the birth canal. They randomly divided the women and one group just got moxibustion which is applying a heated herb. They light it on fire kind of like a big cigar to an accu-point in a little toe which is supposed to in Chinese medicine theory make the fetus go into the proper position. Sounds crazy, right? But in the controlled group, there were only 81 women who had a cephalic presentation at birth but 98 women from the moxibustion group did. The researchers said, “We cannot foreknow physical explanations for these results we can only comment that the mechanism of action is not clearer and more investigation is warranted.”


[33:58] Ashley James: When I was pregnant, 32 weeks I was breached it’s kind of normal still safe but definitely wanted to turn the baby. My midwife has sent me to an OBGYN who I thought for sure she’s going to be allopathic against good natural medicine. I nearly fell off the table she said, “I want you to go see an acupuncturist because your baby is breached.” and she said, “Yes, there’s a study. As OBGYNs would be a fool not to believe in it because they’ve shown most cases than not without any side effects reverse the breach naturally with acupuncture.” So I went and it was like aliens. My baby’s head pushed up and I could see him turning. He turned half the way during the one-hour session on the table with the moxi and the acupuncture points and then he turned the rest of the way in the next 24 hours. 24 hours after getting one acupuncture session my baby was ready basically presenting with his head down ready to be born at 40 weeks. He came out when he was already but it was perfect. It was brilliant. I totally believe in acupuncture.


[35:22] Troy Reicherter: I heard people laughing in the radio saying I’m sitting here holding this burning in my little toe and this was supposed to do something? Because it was in dama, people believed it. I don’t know if they’re still giving that recommendation but it appears to work. How can we explain such a thing? Chinese pulse diagnosis it doesn’t make any logical sense and yet I’ve seen again and again that it works so well that Brian Laforcia at a seminar I attended explained how he wants just by doing pulse diagnosis he was able to tell that a mitral valve of a woman’s heart had a problem. Or that someone else was developing a tumor on a particular lobe of their liver. There was one person who just by pulse diagnosis alone Dr. Leon Hammer was able to say, “You are locked in an attic when you are young.” and the person said, “Yes. How did you know?” He could tell from the pulse. Yet some people would say like author Liane Saytel who wrote a book about traditional Chinese medicine he wrote pulse diagnosis shows even though this is about traditional Chinese medicine he says, “Pulse diagnosis shows a disregard for modern knowledge about the structure and function of the human body.” See that is the mainstream attitude is that it can’t possibly work. This is ridiculous and yet it works. So there’s Chinese medicine which I have many examples then extrasensory perception many studies done, many cases of people knowing things they couldn’t know, predicting things they couldn’t predict. Experiments where Dean Radin calculated if you put all these ESP experiments together for a card prediction they were done between 1882 and 1939. You wind up with the odds against them those results being a billion trillion to one. It’s just fantastic remote viewing exercises and the stories there by Dr. Russel Targ describing how he and a psychic Pat Price were able to discover where the getaway car for Patty Hearst was put. He was describes how they walked into the Brooklyn police department and he just Pat Price said, show me your book of mugshots and flipped through it and said, that’s the guy who kidnapped Patty Hearst, Donald Defreeze. He had nothing to do with the case. So, again and again, we find all these amazing examples of the extrasensory perception isn’t just a myth but then it’s true. knowledge of future events many, many times people have made predictions which I’ve been collecting that we couldn’t explain another way except to say that somehow they could really see the future. Nostradamus I have quite a number of Nostradamus quotes that are actually quite impressive. I could read a little bit of it but you really need to get into the book to get in the heart of it. So many things. Nostradamus wrote in century 1 quatrain 25 he refers to Pasteur. He says the last thing will be discovered – Pasteur also means it comes from the word pasture. So some people have said maybe he was just talking about a field. He says Pasteur will be celebrated as a demi-god. A god-like figure and the last thing will be discovered. Then Pasteur shows the world that microscopic organisms were the cause of disease which seems to have been understood by Egyptians and even by pre-historic people because they were eating things off the trees that had anti-biotics in them. There’s one example. There’s quite a few of them. Nostradamus seems to have predicted the rise of Hitler. He says there will be a second anti-Christ. The first one he says was Napoleon. The second one he says is Hifter which is close to the spelling for Hitler. It’s also another name for the Danube river near which where Hitler was born and raised. He says he’ll be born of poor people and by his tongue will seduce many. He mentions what he translates as a crooked cross of iron in connection with the pontific sending his power to the Danube. Hitler, of course, have the swastika. His actions were condoned by Pope Pious the 12th. On and on about Nostradamus. I know Nostradamus is very controversial. A lot of people have said that you can’t prove, because you can’t prove everything then there’s no point at looking at those ones that seem to correct. The final one I had was century 1 quatrain 70 Nostradamus wrote that wars in Persia would not cease. Too much trust or faith will betray the monarch and the end commences in France. This seems come to pass when the Americans stalled Shah of Iran who’s overthrown on 1979. Too much faith could refer to the shah having too much faith in the US ability to stop the uprising and the strong fundamentalist religious belief of the revolutionaries. He says that the end commences in France. Well the shah, the end of the shah did commence in France because was in Paris [Inaudible 40:51] until the revolution was over. There’s many things if you read carefully about Nostradamus that he talked about the fleet traveling underwater, he talked about people traveling by air, he describes what sound like missiles, a dart from the sky. He says the world will get smaller. There’ll be peace for a long time, people would travel safely over land sea and air. Then he says wars will start again. Very, very interesting stuff. Telsomatics is where one person can suddenly feel what someone else is feeling. There’s a few cases of that recorded very carefully.



[41:27] Ashley James: I was just talking the other day to a naturopath who I’m actually interviewing tomorrow about that. Last week I’m was talking to him about that. I called my mom up when I was about 19. She was in Florida with my dad that time and I was in Toronto going through massage therapy college. I was like I have this pain and I thought I had thrown out a rib because I had pain radiating from the front of my liver to the back of my liver. My mom goes, I can’t remember which one of us told the other one first but, my mom said I have this pain I just did yoga class and I had this pain so we both thought we threw out the same rib the same day. It turns out she went to the chiropractor to fix the said rib. That chiropractor said I want to do an ultrasound I guess that chiropractor had an ultrasound machine for some reason. That night she flew back to Canada to Ottawa and was in an MRI machine that night. That’s when she found out she had stage 4 liver cancer. The pain she was feeling was her liver end of life liver cancer and I was feeling it. I called her to tell her I felt the same pain. I didn’t injure my back, I was feeling her pain. The same pain she was feeling. To talk about that and it was long distance she was in Florida I was in Toronto. I was going through college. To have that same pain I wouldn’t say fake but mine was energetic there was no psychological explanation for mine. Hers was real. Hers was physical.


[43:08] Troy Reicherter: It’s amazing isn’t it if we start comparing our stories and we could say, “Oh that’s just this, that’s just that.” We start to look at the sheer volume of these things and usually, we keep it all to ourselves but every now and then it gets documented and then we can compare. So just to summarize there’s other things in here like dowsing examples, magnetic field alteration, effects of meditation the unexplained reason of why people have religious faith seem to be more healthy, powers of healing that people have demonstrated over time, distance healing. Well, there’s the whole idea of disempowered spirits or what we call ghosts. I have many many examples of this kind of ting even one of my own. With my grandmother at my parent’s house where myself and others experienced the music box started playing by itself, we’d hear footsteps when there was no one there. It just so happens that one of my teachers from Taiwan the female teacher who I was halluting to earlier she was visiting in the year 2000. It was really strange because my father was going through this period were for a couple of years there he thought he was going to die. His energy level had dropped to zero. He’d been to see all the doctors no could explain it. My grandmother had passed away in the house in 1995. Well, my teacher spent the night there. The next day she at the end of the day she says, “Can I have some wine. Like what do you need the wine for you don’t drink?” She says, “I need to drink something so I can sleep.” I said, “Why?” then she says, “Well, I guess I have to tell you. There’s this woman downstairs.” I said “There’s no woman downstairs.” she says, “No, there is. There’s an old woman walking around with a walker. She got a pink sweatshirt on and she doesn’t have any hair. It’s your grandma’s ghost basically.” She’s in the house she hasn’t left. She can’t bring herself to leave the family. She said that my mother’s spirit was pointing at this thing on the wall, my teacher doesn’t know any English at all. Yes and no. That’s about it but it was a tapestry. My grandmother had woven it and it said to the tapestry “Reach out as far as you can and God will reach down the rest of the way” she says that all night long when the spirit starts to realize that she could see her. She wouldn’t leave her alone. She’s trying to get attention. She kept pointing in the tapestry. My teacher said it sounded like “Samy. Samy.” which I can only guess “Save me. Save me.” Because she didn’t know where she was and what was going on. It was kind of like the sixth sense. My teacher said, “Look, we need to talk to the spirit. Let’s all get together and my grandmother you need to go tell dad when he’s asleep communicate in his dream, go to him tell him you need to leave. We told her she had passed away, it wasn’t that we were ignoring her it was because she was dead. She needs to leave the house because she was sucking all the energy out of the living in the house and it was affecting my dad.” So we did that and then next time I talked to my dad he was fine after like two years having such low energy that he really thought he was at death’s door. He was fine. I’ve talked to other people who had the same exact experience about just the idea of being in a house with a spirit takes all your energy out of you. It all seems to correspond.


[46:30] Ashley James: Going back to what you said about having a connection with the people in your past. A listener of the show who became a client of mine had an experience where and I’m saying hi to her. I won’t mention her name but, hello. She was born and raised in the United States doesn’t know another languages. She was I think this happened in Ireland. She was walking around and a man behind her said something cheeky about I guess her butt or her breast or something and she wiped around and in Gaelic replied to him and everyone else all of the people that are with her, “What did you say?” she was, “What do you mean?” She knew what she’d said and she didn’t know Gaelic. She’s like, “what’s going on,?” she had that every instant like she understood what she said, in Gaelic, she spoke he was whispering to his friend about how good looking she was and she wiped around and kind of told him off and it was all in Gaelic. She’s like “what’s going on?” Then there was another time when she was driving around, she’s never been to Ireland but her grandmother was from there. Who had since passed. They were completely lost no GPS and she knew exactly how to navigate. She knew all the streets, turn left turn right, she knew everything. It turned out the whole area which felt very familiar to her was where her grandmother was born and raised. Little events happen to her like that that made her feel like her grandmother was with her. She was somehow connected to her spirit. But to be able to talk in Gaelic and understand it. It doesn’t happen to her all the time but to have that experience of knowing with no scientific explanation.


[48:27] Troy Reicherter: Yes, it is amazing. If only we could compare note wed find out a lot more. Although you could always say it’s just an anecdote but so many anecdotes put together it has force. There another thing about the effects of consciousness. There’s this thing called the global consciousness project. They’ve been doing for some time now. Where they’ve got this random event generators when something global catastrophe happens they find that they tend to what they consider the negative. It’s like an electronic coin flip but they’re doing thousands of time every second at centers all around the world and they’re recording and you’d expect them to be at a certain bell curve but they’re not. Overtime when something good happens like a whole bunch of people got together and pray, New Year ’s Day, interfaith events. You get things going more to the positive side. The results basically up until to 2015, it started in 1998 and so up until 2015 they calculated these results that they got as being about one a trillion. Less than one in a trillion.


[49:33] Ashley James: So you’re saying that the chances of every time a large group of people gets together and does something very positive that it, for example, affects the crime rate in the area, right? So you’re saying that if there’s just no odds that could possibly explain why obviously there’s something there.


[49:53] Troy Reicherter: Science, the idea’s that everything can be quantified. It’s very hard to do with social sciences like crime rates but they try. They try as best as they can. Like in that Washington DC study in ‘93 that I was trying sort of replicate here in Seattle having people pray for peace. Dr. Dean Radin has done some amazing work in he’s found that just having people basically focus on a laser light inside a closed box. They can change whether the light is a particle or a wave. So when you’re not observing things it’s a wave then when you start to observe it, it’s a particle but this observation in question is doesn’t from a distance. They don’t even have to be even in the same room as the box. People are doing this online in his website where they just focus for a few seconds and then they press the button as they’re focusing and he measures is it a particle more often than it’s a wave. The answer is yes. People are affecting it with their consciousness. He’s found basically he describes this as a sigma effect of between 4 and 8. Which is so great that there is really no possibility of this being due to chance. There’s a lot of experiences like this done like Princeton engineering, anomalies research program and other places where we definitely showed that consciousness has an effect which is not something we can explain with chemistry and physics. Homeopathy was studied and found to be effective in 81 out of 105 trials in Glasgow by Dr. David Riley. Then there’s getting back to epigenetic effects. Jock Benveniste, if I’m pronouncing his name right. This is in the book The Field by the way by McTaggart, very good book. She cites that the scientist in France found that you could take these antibodies and dilute them like a homeopaths would dilute their active substance. Diluted down to the point where there’s basically not a single antibody left in the vial but the water will still produce a response from immune cells. At a certain point, the response after the 9th dilution, the response gets stronger the more it’s diluted. Then in 1988, they published this with this big editor’s caveat saying that “There is no physical basis for such an activity and although he was discredited by a bunch of quack busters, Professor Madeleine Ennis of Queen’s University in Belfast headed a large pan European study which showed that it completely validated his results. Except that was not trumpeted as much as the fact that this is a fake, this is a hoax and then they left it at that. Nature magazine never printed a retraction or the later research. Although it’s been shown that this is really happening. One thing I find really interesting is in 2013 at Emory University in Atlanta, they had a mouse where they conditioned him to dislike the smell of acetaphino smells like orange blossom and artificial cherries by giving him a shock after smelling this odor. The did basically test-tube babies for the 2nd generation and the third generation. They’ve never even met. The kids never even met their father, grandfather and then they check the mice and they also had that trait. This is not a genetic trait. The question is how did they get passed along? How is it that 2 generations down the road they’re afraid of the smell he was afraid of? No one can explain this. There’s a lot of amazing stuff going on. What scientists generally say when they don’t want to open their mind to this possibility that the mechanist theory doesn’t explain everything. They’ll say, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and we’re still waiting for more evidence.” As I say in here if you really take a look at what we know now and have known for a long time abut physics. Quantum mechanics cannot be explained by anybody yet we know it’s true. If you go back to the arguments between Einstein and Niels Bohr basically what they’d covered is consciousness is forming the universe. When you’re not looking at the moon, the moon isn’t really there. That drove Einstein crazy. He says, “I like to think it’s there when I’m not looking at it.” Right? Because if we are in a mechanical universe then everything is just running on its own mechanically. But what we found is our consciousness is making things happen. There was a consciousness exercise from the body of this section I didn’t mention also where fascinating I thought they had random sounds that were generated on a tape or some kind of a recording device. It would make a sound completely random. Either on the right or left headphone of a listener for the next day to listen to. This is thing is generated completely randomly and if a person flipped a coin that morning as to whether they wanted to hear more on the right or left. In the morning after the recording has been made, they did studies and they found that the person sits there and focuses “I want to hear more on the right or the left” based on the random flipping of the coin the day after the recording was made. They’re actually influencing what happened the day before because they can actually either make the sound go more to the right or go to the left. That’s just numbers so they could look very clearly at the statistics and say, “What’s the possibility of this happening?” It is significant. We can’t change things from the past as long as no one’s seen it yet. The whole uncertain difference, right?


[55:40] Ashley James: It’s like when I hold on to my lottery ticket and I didn’t check the numbers that night. I’m like, I held it before I’m like, “Schrödinger's lottery ticket.”


[55:49] Troy Reicherter: Schrödinger's Cat. Yes, exactly. In the case of a cat, I don’t think it’s going to work because a cat is a conscious entity but if it’s a card from a deck and you flipped it over without looking and the next, “I want it to be queen. I want it to be a queen.” You’ll have more of a chance of it being a queen even though it’s already been flipped.


[56:05] Ashley James: The question is do we know somehow know that it is a queen or is the quantum physics it isn’t a queen until you flipped it over and it’s observed?


[56:16] Troy Reicherter: That’s true. Yes. Which came first? Is it the chicken or the egg? Quantum physics, light can travel through two slits and strike a surface to form an interference pattern. So it’s either a particle or it’s a wave. Its usually a wave but when you look at it, it become a particle again. It’s a totally different pattern. That’s called the wave particle duality of light and no one can really explain that. How it can go back and forth from one to the other. When we look at all this, we’re finding that It has huge effects on all kinds of things. Like in biology they’ve discovered that there is a particle called exyton. Its energized by a photon of sunlight and then it seeks the enters reaction center in the leaf. It’s spread out as wave but then when it strikes the nearest center that collects that energy then it becomes a particle at that point. It’ll be like one of us looking for the nearest gas station we become a wave and go on all directions at then same time then when part of that wave finds a gas station you appear at that point. That’s basically what leaves have been doing since the beginning of time and we haven’t known it. Things can’t be in two places at once. 


[57:28] Ashley James: I really like the movie about the book “Do we know?” I’ve talked about it in the podcast before. I highly recommend everyone watch that wan watch it twice. When I first watched it I was bawling my eyes out at the end and I got it and I immediately hit play again. It was back when DVDs. This was like 2004-2005 and I just immediately hit play again. Stay until two in the morning I had to watch it twice. I got it. It hit me. It really did. This how much control we have over shifting our reality. At that time, I was in Canada. I really wanted to go to the States and study NLP. It was going to cost a lot of money and I had no options for making that happen but after watching it, it hit me that I can change it. I know so many people go they put up a brick wall and go, “Oh, I can’t do this because I’m out of money or I can’t do it because I’m not skinny enough. I can’t do this because I don’t have a car. I can’t do this because I don’t have this or I can’t do that because I don’t have kids or I do have kids.” Whatever. Just people making a reason if it’s like that mechanical view of the world. “Well, I need this for this so I guess I can’t do it.” Then they just stop. They stop exploring how to create the life they want. After watching that movie with the book Do We Know. I went “I can change even though there’s no possibility right now.” There’s no logical explanation for me being able to raise this money. And I went into the “I don’t need to know how am I going to do it. I just need to know this is the sole thing I’m focusing on so I going to get this done.” In days, I had the money. It was like $25,000. Within days, I had the money. It’s a matter of shifting consciousness first. That’s where if you want to create if you shift your consciousness first. It was that exactly what you’re talking about that helped me to realize that the reason why I wasn’t creating what I wanted in my life was because I believed that I couldn’t. It was a really big wake up. So yes, I love what you’re saying.


[59:49] Troy Reicherter: Some other thing about quantum mechanics is that a particle go towards another particle and then instantly appear on the other side of it, it’s called quantum tunneling. No one could explain this. When two sub-atomic particles became linked close together, no matter how far apart they are after that, one particle instantaneously affect the other particle. This is called quantum entanglement. Two particles can be on opposite sides of the universe and they will instantaneously faster than light be going the exact same things at the exact same time. They remain twins forever. No one can explain this. And when you think about the fact that the whole universe came from the big bang. This infinitely small thing you realize at some level everything’s is quantum entanglement with everything else because we were all in that little microscopic thing. To freak out at the thought of telsomatics or ESP or clairvoyance or me being able to communicate mind to mind with you, it’s not that far. If you remember of course, again, that consciousness is the things creating all of these. Even as physicists are saying, again, the observer effect light behaving as a wave when it is not observed as a shower of particles when it is observed blow people away. Einstein didn’t like that at all. Max Planck the physicist wrote, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness.” That was over a hundred years ago. Consciousness is different from everything else in the universe. It’s not just chemical reactions in our brains. It’s unquantifiable, inexplicable thing. It’s the foundation of all reality. Physicist Werner Heisenberg wrote, “The atoms of elementary particle themselves are not real they from a world or potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or fact.” We’re all talking about finding a physical explanation for something that scientist have said doesn't exists. There is no such things as physical stuff basically. What they’re doing is kind of absurd. Einstein didn’t like this idea at first. He fought against it in 1935 he co-wrote a paper criticizing this idea of quantum entanglement saying it’s spooky action at a distance. Later he was forced to admit that it worked. Actually, I guess it was later that it was proven. In 1968, John bell the physicist he found a way to test quantum entanglement and by 1982 it had been absolutely proven that it was true. Einstein did change his way of thinking. By 1954, he said, “I must confess I was unable to find an explanation for the atomist character of nature. One must find a way to avoid the space-time continuum altogether. Although I haven’t the slightest idea of what kind of elementary concept could be used in such a theory.” A month before he died he wrote, “The distinction between the past, present, and the future is only an illusion. However the tenacious the solution maybe.” They’ve done a number of experiments that showed all kinds of crazy things like John Wheeler, he did maybe the most interesting one of all. He did one where he was looking like a giant experiment with the double-slit only he was looking at the light coming around distant galaxies. Light from a quasar it bends around galaxies. It either takes the right path or the left path to get to your telescope so he made two telescopes. One pointing to the right, one pointing to the left depending on how you chose to look at it, it changes back and forth from a particle to a wave. But the light was sent billions of years ago. So how was that possible that light from that star before we even evolved here before the earth was even here as going right or left based on whether or not we’re looking at it today. Yes, that’s what he came up within the end. It’s almost like it’s going back in time but remember there is no time. Time is just something that we’re inventing. It’s like Einstein said, “There is no difference between past, present, and future.” and in 1979, Wheeler had made fun of parapsychology saying, “It’s a pseudo-science we shouldn’t be studying the stuff.” By the 1990’s he said, “We live in what we call the called it a participatory universe”. Reality is created by the observer and he coined the term participatory anthropic principle to describe the way the universe is shaped by our observation of it. That’s completely repudiating the mechanist theory. It’s already basically been debugged. I’m just putting all the pieces together and showing you we need to stop acting as if it’s still there. Of course, I’m not saying we can’t use science and technology definitely we should. We should use it in a wise way. We should be aware that it has basic limitations of explaining the universe. It’s never going to explain everything. We have the power to change the universe by changing our thoughts literally. Not just by believing in yourself and trying harder but literally, you think something and that send ripples instantaneously throughout the whole world to the whole universe. Your good thought or to your bad thought. Your thought for someone’s betterment. That’s basically my section 2 where going the fact that there’s more than chemistry and physics. That leaves us in a funny place because where do we go from there, right? To develop wisdom you need to talk about spirituality. The third section is where I basically I go through and try to show what in the preface to section 3. If you just look at the mechanist view what it’s assuming you know there’s no such thing as free will, no such thing as ESP, metaphysical powers don’t exist, religious teaching is all just imaginary, there’s no purpose in life except just to go on living and to reproduce. There’s no reason to believe that there’ll be blissful or happy ending for any of us or the earth or the universe. The universe is just going to turn cold and dark someday and everything is just going to end in oblivion. That’s the mechanist theory but if you look at what I’m going to call the yoga world view which is yoga in an expanded sense the yoga of all worldwide traditions all combined. Of course, I used the word yoga because the Indian system is the most systematic and the first to put it all into one big ball of wax. The yoga worldview says everything happens for a reason. Things aren’t random. You have free will. You have a consciousness that is special and separate for the material world. The material universe is created by the thoughts of all conscious beings. Ordinary chemical and physical rules can be breached. Magic and miracles are possible. And on and on. It’s not just wishful thinking. This is really based on all those scientific things that we just looked at. I know this is hard for some people to. This is where some people in the scientific realm will have a hard time and they may have some personal experiences with some of these paranormal things so to speak before they can make a jump to accept this. From here on it’s pretty much just talking about spirituality. Section 3 is called Jesus Christ and the worldwide traditions of yoga. Where I’m going to explaining to I’ve learned about trying to put together all of the things that I learned about Christ and that I believed about Christ with all these other religions that are out there. I was in a situation where it was all or nothing. Either you believe in Christ and you go to church and you believe that everyone who doesn’t go to church and believe in Christ is going to fry in hell forever or you just don’t believe at all. You can just be an atheist. How do you reconcile? I couldn’t believe that Christ was just a regular man but on the other hand I couldn’t until I had my Taiwan experience. I couldn’t explain how these stories about Christ and his teachings and his miracles how they fit together with all the other religious teachings of the world. This section goes through and explains how if you adopt or brought a perspective and not just view Jesus within the Judea Christian tradition but look at Him within the context of spiritual traditions worldwide. His teachings and the powers that he seems to exhibit in his miracles. They’re not just unique to him but they common to other masters of yoga. And Christ’s message is fully in keeping with the message the philosophy of yoga. Yoga is a Sanskrit word it means attaching. Yoking yourself to the universe around you. There’s various forms of yoga abut the ultimate aim of each one is to control the fluctuations of the mind reach a state of transcendence and the individual self merges with the absolute infinite reality that we can call God. That’s what this book is about. This section of the book is about is where I go through and basically just take right out of the new English bible or the world English Bible right out of the new testament and some quotes from the old testament and say what Jesus said and then explain what he might have meant if you look at it from a brother perceptive instead of just maybe what you’re told n Sunday school. And how everything fits completely with the other teachers of yoga.


[01:08:58] Ashley James: One thing we haven’t talked about in detail, you’ve told me before we hit record and so I want to go through that is that your purpose was instead of which I think what our focus is right now is looking at what difference. Like what’s different between Christians and Muslims? What’s different between yogists and Christians? What’s different? We’re always so fixated on what’s different because what’s different is the threat. That’s why people feel threatened by other ethnicities, races, and religions because we’re afraid that they are going to take away our freedom. We’re afraid they’re going to this unknown if they have a difference than us then they’re going to impose their difference on us. It’s going to take away our freedom it’s looking at this fear. It’s a fear-based world that we’re living in. where people are afraid of other races and other religions because we’re afraid of what’s different. And what you’re doing in your book is looking at what’s similar. What are the similarities? Where do all religions meet? Where can we all have common ground? Through your book, you want to create a world where we can be close to our neighbors and instead of be afraid of the color of their skin or the religion they practice. We can see the commonality and go, “Wow we have so much in common and celebrate our differences and there is actually nothing to be afraid of because we have so much in common.” I’m hearing that in your book you want people to start to see and open their minds whatever religion they’ve been practicing or studied that they can actually see that isn’t wonderful that there’s commonalities that Christianity has commonalities in other religions? We can look for these commonalities in order to celebrate and grow our own spirituality? 


[01:11:05] Troy Reicherter:  Exactly, yes. I’m trying to be benevolent altruistic but it’s also very practical. We live in a world with other people. We’re not all going to convince them that our way is the right way. We may feel inwardly that we’re right but we have to learn to live with others. We just have to and our kids have to. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Man must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.” Almost all I found was just similarities when I delved into it. A lot of people will say Christ didn’t talk about reincarnation for example.


[01:11:39] Ashley James: This is interesting you bring this up. I’ve talked to people one of which has been underneath the Vatican on the private libraries and what has been understood is that reincarnation was taken out of Christianity that it was actually believed but it was taken out because they didn’t want people to think that they had more than one chance at life because if you have more that one chance maybe you won’t be a good person in this one. Whatever. I’m just going to, I didn’t know what but they have this idea they could control people where it’s like listen, It’s like raising a freaking 4-year-old. I’ve got a 4-year-old. “Listen if you don’t do it right, you’re going to hell.” If you look at the they way they created Christianity it’s like, “If you don’t do it right you’re going to hell so you better do it right now. That’s like if you don’t clean your room you’re getting a time out.” It was very authoritarian but there’s multiple sources that are saying that reincarnation was actually a part of early Christianity.


[01:12:44] Troy Reicherter: Well, like in John 16:12 Christ said,” I have yet many things to tell you but you can’t bear them now.” There’s quotes like this from Him and from Mohammed also saying there’s lots more that I have to tell you people but you couldn’t deal with it so I couldn’t tell you we don’t know what ekes they wanted to say. As you say, yes, a lot of early Christians were Arians which means Arianism after Prince Arius of Alexandria, not the Arian race. They considered Jesus to have been just a man who then became Christ through practice. They didn’t believe that He was part of the Trinity. This pre-existing Holy trinity which that came later. The council of Nicea and the council of Constantinople they sat down this creed saying, “This is not right. Reincarnation is not right.” Reincarnation so many people believed in it. Yes, that’s right a lot of these early beliefs got snapped out into one flavor fits all religion. Then it just became the religion of the Byzantine Empire and the roman empire so then they used that to justify “well, in order to predict Christianity we have to have this war” even though Christ said to turn the other cheek, don’t hurt anyone, love your enemy. That’s nice but they went ahead and had their wars anyway and called it Christian. This whole idea of his was just like a guru in a forest in India. It’s not what it became later as a justification of every western empire that’s existed where we say we’re doing this to spread Christianity or to save Christianity or whatnot. Christ’s teachings were really no different from Buddhist teaching any important way that I can see. I have some of that in the footnotes here, in the end, some comparisons between some of the miracles of Christ and others and his references to fasting, of course, the importance of fasting. This is section 3, is pointing out how to view the teachings of Christ in a larger way so that you see it as part of a worldwide tradition to yoga not just limited to the Judea Christian interpretation of Abraham and the one God and the ten commandments all of those rules which basically tells everyone who’s outside of that circle you’re going to hell and you’re going burn there forever. I think it’s much more accurate all the more useful for getting along with other people. So that’s section 3. Section 4 is the biggest section of the book. It’s called the unified section culture.


[01:15:22] Ashley James: Before we go into section 4, you’re starting to tell me before you hit record about being in Taiwan and finding the book in the library.


[01:15:38] Troy Reicherter: Yes, thank you for reminding me. When I was basically researching what became this part of the book and the other part, I was praying constantly. I felt reinvigorated. Like I hadn’t felt since a teenager going to get baptized. Okay, if Christ is omnipresent if my teachers in Taiwan in a basement in Taiwan can feel his spirit why can’t I? So I made this call saying, “Christ, I know you’re out there and I really believe in you now.” After having believed and not believe and believed again. “I want to tell the true story about you, please help me find what I need.” Someone told me about a book which led me to another book. So I was looking for the book The Nag Hammadi library which turned out was in my school library at the National Taiwan Normal University. There was one floor at that time devoted to English books. I was looking for it. I found it in the card catalog. I went upstairs to get the book it was a reference book so it couldn’t be checked out. I went to the spot where it’s supposed to be but it wasn’t there. I didn’t go ask for help yet but I just thought what are the odds that I can find this book on my own. Unless someone has left it lying out. It’s like a needle in a haystack. It’s not the biggest library it the world but still considerable. As I was leaving, just almost felt - I didn’t hear a voice exactly but it’s like someone was tugging me saying “Come look this way. Come look this way” and remembering my prayer that I made. I just followed my instincts and I was walking around thinking I’m looking for something but I don’t know what and I’ll know it when I see it. I made several turns and I was looking at a big line of books, 6 feet high and one book caught my attention. It had nothing to do with the subject that I had been looking for and I don’t remember what it was. The very first book I reached for because it got my attention, I pull down, looked behind it and hidden behind it was the book The Nag Hammadi Library that I had been looking for.


[01:17:47] Ashley James: What is the Nag Hammadi Library?


[01:17:49] Troy Reicherter: It’s a compilation of gnostic texts from Egypt from about the 4th century. They were discovered right after World War II in clay jars in the town of Nag Hammadi. So they called it that the Nag Hammadi Library. I have the most amazing quotes from it in my book.


[01:18:09] Ashley James: What is it? What are these texts from the 4th century about?


[01:18:14] Troy Reicherter:  It’s a Christian sect that was basically stamped out. They don’t go into reincarnation so much but I can read you a little bit of it from my excepts. What I did with section 4 was, I basically realized in my studies of comparative religions that there’s certain number of principles and practices that are common to most religions. Not everyone has all of them. I came up with the number 30. 30 principles and 30 practices that I go through, I delineate, and that’s pretty much my systems for inclusion in this section. I go through beginning with indigenous peoples and then Jewish traditions mostly by the age of the tradition in question. There’s a section of each one just going through this 30 principal and practices which they’re basically yoga ideas that we could all agree on. Like, get to the right part here. Like the first principles is, for example, people should focus on love and compassion above all. These qualities are the basis of all yoga practice. They dissolve the imaginary divisions between self and other and motivate one to move forward so they can help all suffering beings. Number two, an omnipotent omnipresent force exists. No names or images can adequately describe this power because this is infinite and exist in dimensions outside time and space. Number three, multiple agents of God exists. These divine agents which could be called gods, buddhas, Bodhisattvas, angels. They can in one sense be viewed as independent entities but in another sense, they remain integral parts of God just as different hand puppets may be filed and animated by the same puppeteer. These agents exist around us and within us speaking with us according to how available we make ourselves them. Number four a spiritual force exists within all things. And so on. There’s the principles and then practices. 30 practices which begin with meditation and prayer. Number two, contact mindfulness to repel evil thoughts. Number three, constant control of one’s temper and emotions. So then in each section as I go through each different tradition I’m just highlighting things that fit from those. It’s way too complicated to put a footnote with each one because sometimes in a single sentence you’ll have connection to maybe four different principles and practices but if you got them all in your mind you can read through and recognize as we go. There’s a lot of things we’re talking about 26 years of research. Involved and studying everything from things that very few people know about. The Incas the way they look at the energy in the body almost like the way they do in India or China or the Nag Hammadi library from the Christian section. What I found also is that in the major religions or the major monotheistic religions there is an esoteric aspect to this one. In Judaism, they’ve got the kabala where they believe very clearly in karma, reincarnation, the whole idea of a bodhisattva, a being who keeps coming back again and again to help people. There are Jews who believe in these things. This is just not the mainstream Jewish version. There are Christians who believe in these things. In the Islamic tradition, there is Sufis who believes in these things which we would normally consider to be sort eastern religions. There is a hidden inner part to these larger religions that really are almost exactly identical what they’re saying one with another when breathing practices, meditation, the terminology that they use, the stories that they tell. It’s a very rich section. I enjoyed writing it although it took forever because of all the great stories that I’ve came up with. This section on Christianity is actually the largest because that is the religion that I the found most on that very few people know about. Like the sane gospels that might have been, you’re referring to about the hidden library underneath the Vatican. Couple other things like that. Get to it first then I could tell you the name again. Things about India and China more people know about eastern religions but the monotheistic western religions they generally keep those things more hidden. I would like to quote to you from the Nag Hammadi library a little bit since you’re asking.


[01:2319] Ashley James: I want to know what they had to say about Christ.


[01:23:23] Troy Reicherter: Yes, they were Christian but they call themselves children of the light basically. Each one is a different text. Here’s one called the prayer of the apostle Paul. Paul calls out for help saying that the ultimate truth is his mind and his repose. The disciple asked for the perfect thing that is beyond his grasp. There’s a text called the treaties on the resurrection. Where it says, “The resurrection is no illusion and is more fitting to say that the world is an illusion.” There’s a text called the tripartite tractate where they say “God is the form of the formless, the body of the body less, the word of the wordless and the wisdom of those made wise.” My battery just died here. If I could plug it in your house, I could quote for more of it. The Nag Hammadi Library has Christ also saying things that aren’t in the new testament that are quite interesting. The whole idea of it is that people should be constantly mindful and praying and saying prayer themselves at all times and that there’s an effect from every thought that you have. Just like what you see in the Islamic section with roomie and his teacher saying that every single thought you have affects everyone in the whole world. The principles and practices were used as the guiding principle for writing this section. It goes all the way from indigenous people up to I added an elven section for Bhai because it figured it a large enough to merit that. I hope that by reading it gives people the principles and practices aren’t just academic. Just to say isn’t that interesting that they have these similarities but it gives us a common ground that we could in the future. Make intentional communities where we by intention and design focus on spiritual living, focus on sustainable living, environmentally sustainable. Plan our communities so we’ll have much more interaction with our neighbors so that were close to them and have friendships with them and yet not go down that religious path of either making a new religion or having religious warship. On the actual living space so that it doesn’t become, its spiritual community but not a religious community in a sense that everyone has to agree on this is the right way. That’s been one of the main tricks in the world up to now as I see it because we have this fights over religion and yet we want to be friends with people of all different religions so we don’t. How can we live closely with them and still have common ground and yet have your own freedom? The fifth section of the book is called creating a spiritual renaissance. That is where we take all of the stuff that we learned up to now about the nature of reality. The fact that our consciousness determines our reality. The fact the science and technology are great but we need is wisdom to make a livable, sustainable, peaceful world. The fact that no one religion has all the answer but they’re all part of this larger whole, the yoga of worldwide traditions. If you look the boundaries, we draw on the map. The political boundaries are just invented by us and so are the boundaries between the religions. They really are all the same as the Sufi say. So looking at that way and using this principles and practices to guide us is something that we can just agree if employed the right way can be beneficial. It doesn’t mean that everyone has to use each one. For example Muslims and Jewish people they’re not going to use statues in their practice it's just against in their religion but one of the principles or practices is that statues can be used so that they can just agree that, “Okay, statues can be used. So my Hindu neighbor, my Buddhist neighbor, my Christian neighbor they might use the statues that they pray to. I’m not going to do that but neither am I going to insist that they stop doing it.” These are things that are reserved for each person just like we all have the right to freedom of expression but it doesn’t mean we have to go out and use it every day. Almost like a bill of rights that things people can agree on. From there, looking at the teachings of the sages that produce these traditions the first place. You look at the way they told people to live in groups. It almost always the same. Large groups are self-sufficient. Where the focus is on spirituality where they share common meals most of the time. Whether they have little or few possessions. At least to say they’re not materialistic, try to be as welcoming as they can. Each one has its own rules on what and what it cannot do. We design a whole new type of economics which I would call cooperative economics. Coops aren’t new and neither is cooperative economics but the way I’m talking about it is a new thing.


[01:29:00] Ashley James: I’m friends with someone that lives in a farming coop and actually a few people in Manitoba. It’s a whole community everyone has their own house or large building with several apartments. They all run a farm together and when you call everyone just has one phone number and there’s an operator with an extension and you tell what house, what family member you’re trying to reach and they have business hours because they run this whole farm and this whole coop. Yes, they live together as a community and it works really well because they save money together. The whole community gets together and will buy solvents in bulk or buy grains in bulk or something so they can get together and save money that way. They can all take turns cooking. It’s neat. It’s a level of community that we really have lost but we had it a long time ago.


[01:30:12] Troy Reicherter: Yes. Definitely. I miss it. I was in Taiwan and I grew up kind of like that. It was like one big family. Based on the success and the failures of the group that I was in, I’ve learned a lot of lessons. Mine was a spiritual group and it had certain spiritual leaders and the group I’m talking about would be something three would be a spiritual leader per se but everyone would have to sign on to I think the way to build it as I say in my book is to start with associations. People could create associations with certain by-laws and the 30 principles and 30 practices would have to be something that would be agreed upon by everyone and then one of the goals of the association would be to build up coops. That you get a group of people together saying, “Okay, we actually want to live together in this way, on this piece of land. We’ll do what it takes to get the capital, to get that and to make it happen.” It would be an intentional community where I think looking at the lessons of the past, it should be as sustainable as possible, try to grow your own food, everyone should have a hand in growing food being close to nature and trying to eat more together more often. That’s one of the lessons that they found in kibbutz in Israel that’s like, when people aren’t eating together then they just start to stay at their house all the time but if people are eating together then it’s like a big family. That closeness is something we’ve completely lost. Most people have completely lost in the modern world. Where we barely know our neighbors and we don’t have much in common with them. When we do know them sometimes it’s scary. If you’re in a community like this but it can be multi-racial and of course, many different religious groups they’re all together. There has to be other rules which I’ve included in the book based on my experiences and thinking about it a lot. Like you couldn’t have a religious institution that coop property they would have to be on the periphery. If you have communities based on, a coop unit of I think 300 is a nice number. Larger than that you get to have so many people there that you don’t remember all their names. Then next door, you can have another one, another one with up to that number. Then for those people in that regions coops who are Hindu, they’ll set up some Hindu temples nearby but not on the coop. Of course, in the future the way I see it things are going to go ways that I can’t predict of cause. Just like Martin Luther King, he nailed his 95-thesis challenging the Catholic Church to a debate. He had no idea he was starting the revolution reformation. He wound up other people took charge and they just ran in different directions. Things will happen and of course, not everyone’s going to make coops the way I foresee. There could easily be Christian coop over here and a Muslim coop over there and an atheist coop over there. I think that for the future, if we want to really peaceful sustainable world then we need to live in some kind of close-knit communities where we can make decisions about the products that we buy, the things that we do to the earth rather than have it be all spread out so that you and I make decisions based on preference, convenience.


[01:33:36] Ashley James: Amazon rating.


[01:33:37] Troy Reicherter: Amazon rating. Once in a while, we try to do what’s best for the planet but most of the time we’re like, “Well, everyone has a cellphone I need to get this.” If we could be in large groups and say, “What kind of paper should I buy?” In the book, I make the example for toilet paper. Probably the best for the planet will be something complete recycled something brown, something rough, something that can go easily into a compost toilet and go back to the land. And yet we don’t see those on sale. What you see is nice fluffy bleach right with lost of chemical in it not good for the environment. Yet there’s no demand for the right thing because it’s not pretty. It’s going to be harder to make. Who wants something not wrapped in plastic because wrapping it in plastic seems so clean? Making those decisions about what to buy, how to affect our environment and our world. They need to be made in a way that is wise and that hold each other accountable. We can’t say this is the right thing to do but we're doing to the wrong thing anyway because no one else is doing the right thing and it doesn’t really matter and I’m only one person. We make all these excuses. Letting demand just guide things the way it is right now isn’t really working out. We need to have more thoughts and responsibility and accountability if were going to do what they say we need to do by cutting our carbon emission so quickly, so dramatically. There’s no real action taken around the world to do this. When we come out to the end of the tunnel and I’m very optimistic that we will do all of those one way or another. When we come out to the other end of the tunnel, we will be living in communities that are sustainable and that are peaceful otherwise we won’t be here. I’m assuming we will be here so I’m saying we will. So by reverse engineering what we have to do to get to that point that’s how I came up with all of these. I think in the future people will take them for granted they’ll say what took him so long to realize these things and to start living that way.


[01:35:43] Ashley James: Your book sounds fascinating. You’re talking about living in communities and that reminds me of a town in Italy where they couldn’t believe the heart disease was almost non-existent and compared to the rest of Italy, compared to the rest of the world. They were just one of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world in this one region of Italy. This American scientist went over to study them. And to figure out what is it their diet or they’re eating differently? Is it the olive oil that they get in this region? What is it that’s going on that has these people so healthy? Almost no heart disease. Almost just like a disease, rates are really low. He went over there and he watched them marked down what they ate. Him and his whole team went over amber and like, “Okay well, they’re eating the same meatballs. Probably the same recipes been passed down from grandma to grandma. The same meatballs, the same pasta, they’re drinking the same wine, everything was the same as the rest of Italy. What genetically different about these people and it took them a while to figure out that in this whole town was pretty poor as an area. They weren’t ever rich. Most of them worked in the factories but after a hard long day working in the factory they on the walk home they stopped off four different friend’s houses and sit around and drink wine together. He noticed that it was a totally different social pattern that they have. Everyone knew each other and they had a multi-generational families who’d have three generations in every household because they were poor so they had to. The kids were always around aunts, uncles, grandparents. There was a large support structure. Children always had loving people surrounding them and anytime you’ve had a stressful day you can rely on the friends you grew up with. You can go to their house and have some wine on the porch and then walk to your aunt’s house or walk to your mom’s house whatever. He figured out it had nothing to do with their diet nothing to do with their gene expression. Non-genetic but maybe gene expression is triggered by low stress. Even though they were very poor to our standards they had very little stress because they had the support of the community. If someone’s house burnt down the entire village would get together and rebuild. If someone fell in hard times, they would immediately have a support system. They had low stress but also a support system they always knew was there for them. As time went on, the world has become our transient and the people in the town moved away and jobs changed and within one generation, the disease rate rose to be the same as the rest of Italy. He figured out that it was, in fact, the community was the reason why they had such low disease rates.


[01:39:06] Troy Reicherter: Yes, it sounds like the Roseto Effect. It was a town in, I think Pennsylvania. Similar thing with research in it seems to be the lack of stress. There a book that came out recently I can’t remember the title right now. My computer’s battery died. We’re in a garden here but I think it was called lost connections. It was on democracy now. That was the author’s what he was finding was people were mostly unhappy about their lost connections with each other lost connections with nature and just the whole idea of always having to work over someone richer than you and being in a society where you’re not valued. Billionaires are valued and common people are just not. It constant stress and belittling feeling and isolation and when you put all those connections back together in a more sane kind of socioeconomic system, where you have those friendly loving relationships with all your neighbors and friends and family and you see them all the time. Your levels of stress drop way down, you don’t have to worry what’s going to me if this happens and that happens and you don’t always feel like I need to go out and do something and compete with somebody else. You know you just have time, they’ve proven just time and nature makes people feel better. It does all kinds of good things to your body. I think it’s crucial that people get back to farming themselves. We’re so used to just going and getting the food we need. Less than 1 % of the population think is farming right now in America. I really admire the fact that you’re planting some stuff back here. I have some beds in my house that I’ve been meaning to plant for a long time but I keep getting caught with these experiments of mine. It’s really important to teach people not just “Oh yes, this is what a tomato looks like but this is where it comes from and this is how to prepare it and to grow it.” If you’re every other food. Education should be a big part of the coop system. Valuing education above all. Above all the things that we’re doing and every kind of education. Moral education. Spiritual education. Yes, to self-sufficiency, environmental education. Teaching people how to appreciate all the ancestors who came before them and to live in peace with others and to pass it forward. Pay it forward. As we set an example if the elderly were totally focused on teaching the younger generation instead of going cruises to Alaska and you know then that will show them, “Oh this is what I’m supposed to do when I’m old. I’m supposed to take the stuff that I’ve learned and teach them to the younger generation instead of just flying around but that what our culture teaches people right now that’s the to do and if you go to a school and say can I help out they’ll just look at you funny and like you don’t really fit in here what are you talking about. We have to restructure so many things and I think a lot of those answers were common sense answers if we're able to sit down in a round table discussion with our neighbor and say, “Well, doesn’t it make sense to do things this way? Yes, it does. Why aren’t we doing this way? I don’t know” then well suddenly make that shift. There’s so many things we’re trapped in our current socioeconomic system that’s driving us into this massive defense spending so every country can be armed to the teeth against other countries. If we keep down this path, you see what going to happen. Not for a minute besides just the global warming aspect of it. China. What if China decided they want to have all the nuclear submarines that we have? Just so they can have parity with us. What if then India decided and then Pakistan decided they want all those. Look at all the close calls we had just with the United States and a few other countries having nuclear-equipped submarines. Then the long-range bombers. We can’t keep doing this every country can’t have all those stuff. We really need to tone our spending on military way, way, way, way, back and invest in things that really matter.


[01:43:06] Ashley James: Invest in the quality of life.


[01:43:08] Troy Reicherter: Quality of life, education commonsensical things like that. Infrastructure and above all I often think of it like that movie Apollo 13. Where those guys were stuck in space and they weren’t sure if they make it back or not so they made a little replica of the unit down on earth they said, “Here’s all you guys have to work with. Make it work just keep figuring out until we figure out how we’re going to make that space ship get back here.” Well, we're in a spaceship, spaceship earth. We’ve go to figure out how to make it with what we’ve got. They’re telling us within another decade or so if we don’t do something we may have passed the point of no return in terms of carbon emission. That’s just one thing. Look at the pollution we were just talking about earlier. Just think about in what is the last 40 years, sperm count has dropped to 50%, keep going at that rate who’s going to be able to have kids anymore? There’s a lot of things that were just getting worse exponentially and we need to stop it right away. As that teenager, Greta Thunberg said in Sweden the girl who’s refusing to go to school one day a week because there’s not being done about global warming she says, “You have to treat a crisis as a crisis and right now, we’re just not treating this as a crisis.” My book is many things. It’s philosophy, it’s an explanation of what we know about the way the universe really works. It’s an explanation of how all the religions relate to one another and they’re really all one big thing that can live the adherence which can live together in peace and should. It’s a blueprint for getting to work, make associations and one day cooperatives that people can live on to make that world peace start to come about. If that becomes a dominant model, it's spiritual based self-sufficient coops around the world instead of everyone kind of “every man for himself. I’m going to get a  job. I’m going to get that paycheck. Get a big house and environment be dammed while I’m driving my gas cars around and everything else totally unsustainable system. It’s not going to be pretty and so we have to think about not just today and tomorrow but our kids and our grandkids and our great-grandkids what are they going to inherit from us if we don’t start to thinking seriously about these bigger issues because the bigger issues are there right on our face now. The future is now. We can’t say, “Oh, we’ll do it in the 22nd century.” Can you imagine what kind of bad dystopian science fiction movie you’ve seen that look likes the world is going to look like? Like Elysium or one of those other ones where the whole world is basically just a giant or Wall-E, where the world is just garbage. That’s kind of where we’re headed unless we do something seriously to change. That’s what this book is. It’s a serious attempt to make a blueprint. So it’s called utopia found and it’s coming out just about 500 years after the original book. Utopia. Yes, almost exactly. It is as it says a blueprint for spiritual renaissance and world peace. So I hope you’ll give it a try. It’s on Kindle. The introductory price as we speak is $5.00. May change later. Oh, that book you can print that one up. It's $16.00 currently for a print version. I just ordered two so I can have one of my own but if you prefer the printed version it cost a little more to make them one at a time and that’s $16.00.


[01:46:56] Ashley James: That’s on Amazon?


[01:44:57] Troy Reicherter: Amazon kindle, yes. Amazon yes, kindles like that electronic version and the print version is also there.


[01:47:06] Ashley James: Yes, on Amazon. We’ll make sure the link to Utopia now? Found? I knew it. Utopia Found. I want to say it’s now.


[01:47:16] Troy Reicherter: Remember Eckhart Tolle’s the power of now. A new earth. It’s little like those but I’m not so focused on what each individual person needs to do like in their own spiritual practice exactly. I’m talking about the generalities of the big picture of how things put together. How each religion recommends you do the same things. How we can have a path connect the dots. A path moving forward to actually building communities is that they have to look like if we are going to survive.


[01:47:48] Ashley James: To allow each individual to have their own spiritual practice and not step on anyone’s toes and allow everyone the spiritual freedom, religious freedom. While creating a tight-knit community.


[01:48:02] Troy Reicherter: Yes. I think there will definitely people who will say, “Well, I’m Christian. I only wanted to be around another Christian.” that’s fine but not if we divide the world up into and if everyone did that and you just have Muslims over here and Christian over there then were almost down into like mini civil wars where people would be able to see eye to eye with each other. I think the best thing is that the majority of people or the center if you will, the center has to be able to see all points of view and be as inclusive as possible to other people. That was also in mind when I designed this.


[01:48:41] Ashley James: Awesome. It’s been so wonderful having you on the garden today. Is there anything you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview?


[01:48:48] Troy Reicherter:  Well, again the book is called Utopia Found. I’ve spent 26 years writing it not that it was all I was doing this time. 26 years of research and thinking and experience. Some of my own experiences and at the end of it, there’s a lot of very positive prophecies. I’ve got over 2 dozen prophesies that I’ve collected for every inhabited continent about the future and they’re all very bright. They all say that there is this new age coming. It would appear some of them are very specific saying like right now in the 21st century this will happen. They all do say that we’re going to pass through a very difficult period but they all say that we’re going to come out of it in a great state where there will be world peace. I’m talking about from the bible to Nostradamus to Islamic to native American. I have many, many prophesies that I’ve collected. I draw my strength from that when times are tough. I do believe that they could see the future and they’re all saying essentially the same thing that all people from all races will be living together in peace as if they’re members of one big family and even one Chinese prophesy says, past and future will be joined as one and there won’t be cities anymore. As if everyone had gone back to the land self-sufficiently. People of all colors will be living together. I have a lot of hope that that will happen but we have to have a bit of sea of change in our thoughts. Thoughts lead the way and then our actions can follow. We can actually build this better future. So please check it out. It’s called Utopia Found. I’m Troy Reicherter. You can see my author page at Troy Reicherter. It’s with links to the books and same information and links to my other projects.


[01:50:46] Ashley James: I’ll make sure all those links will be in the show notes of today’s podcast at the Troy it’s been a pleasure having you here today. Thank you so much.


[01:50:53] Troy Reicherter:  It’s been fantastic Ashley, thank you so much.


[01:50:57] Ashley James: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition and how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity? Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business, support people in their success? Do you love helping people? You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health-coaching sort of vacation program and it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over a hundred dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition but from the standpoint on how we can help people to shift their life, to shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health. I definitely recommend you check them out. You can google Institute for Integrated Nutrition or IIN, or give them a call or you can go to and you can receive a free module of their training. So check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name, Ashley James and the Learn True Health podcast because I made a deal with them that they would give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information. We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctor’s offices, you can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help with your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them and their success and their health goals. There’s so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach. So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. Mention my name. Get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month, so you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. If you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.

Are you looking to optimize your health? Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are highest quality and the best price. That’s Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome referral program.

Get Connected With Troy Reicherter!






Jul 26, 2019


The Art Of Loving



  • Get to know Michelle and Shane Eldston – The Art of Loving Center
  • The foundation of a good relationship is friendship
  • “Repair attempts”
  • Have an “affair” with your spouse
  • The difference between love and desire
  • Workshops and the Power Weekend sessions
  • The emotional bank account
  • The Six Hours A Week Homework


A good relationship starts with a good friendship. In this episode, Michelle and Shane Elsdon shares with us the secret of having a vibrant relationship. Get to know their workshop schedules and discover The Six Hours A Week Homework to rekindle your relationships.


[0:02] Intro  


Hello true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. You’re going to love today’s interview. Now it is for couples and couples who are married. However, they have some great information here even for people who are no longer in a relationship, in between relationships, or someone who hasn’t yet entered one. It’s just amazing advice. And for those who are in marriages, you will love exploring and integrating the advice that they give today, because it will intensify the love, the connection, the communication, the joy, the intimacy, the romance in your relationship. So you’re just gonna love today’s interview.

I want to let you know, I just got an email today from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. The IIN is the company that I graduated from, I took their online health coach training program to become a health coach. Now you can do this even as a busy mom or working full time. It’s online, they pace it so that busy people can do it in their spare time. Right now, until August 4, you can sign up risk free, zero down. Meaning for 30 days, the first 30 days you enroll, you don’t put any money down. And you can drop out if you decide to, feel like this isn’t for me, you can drop out no problem. So basically the first 30 days of being in their program and just trying it out for you is 100% risk free. So if you’ve been listening to the show, and you keep hearing me tell you how amazing their program is, now’s your chance to get a taste of it totally for free for the first 30 days. And not only that, but they’re taking in instant $1500 off the tuition. That is a huge chunk of the tuition they’re taking off. And that’s both for their paid in full, and for their payment plan option. I went with the payment plan and it was affordable, it was like the same as a credit card payment. So it was very affordable. I love that. When I enrolled, they said to me that because  after the first six months, you start working with clients, and you graduate six months later. So you actually start working with clients halfway through the program. And they told me that the the really successful health coaches have their program totally paid off by the time they’ve graduated. So it’s really that easy to build your coaching practice when you apply yourself. Now with this special, they also give a bonus, you get a course that is almost $1,000 it’s one of their advanced courses totally for free. It’s the How to Successfully Write and Publish a Book. And it’s a self paced book writing program. The second bonus is you get to be on to live group coaching calls led by an integrative health coach. It’s an excellent opportunity for you to experience firsthand what coaching is like and how the transformation process can help you to set your goals and to achieve them. And the third bonus is you get $100 gift card to the Thrive Market which is so awesome. So if you have any interest at all in learning the tools that the Institute for Integrative Nutrition teaches you to be able to be an amazing health coach to take your health to the next level, and to help those around you. Then Google IIN – the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, just Google IIN and it comes right up. Give them a call. They’re really amazing. I love how just kind their staff is, all of them are health coaches. So you’re going to be able to ask them what it was like for them. And let them know that I sent you, Ashley James from the Learn True Health podcast so that you get this special. I’m really excited for you guys and everyone that listens that gets this deal.

Any male listeners that become health coaches, I love mentoring. So if you’d like to also be mentored by me as you’re becoming a successful health coach, please reach out to me. You can write me I would love to support you and your success, while you’re going through your program and after to help you help others. This is what Learn True Health podcast is all about. It’s helping as many people as possible to gain the health that they deserve.

Now this episode is not about physical health. This episode is about the mental emotional health that is so important when you’re married. If your marriage is not doing so well, the stress of that can drain your magnesium. As Kristen Bowen pointed out to me yesterday when I was talking to her about my interview. Kristen Bowen the magnesium soap lady that I love so much. When we are stressed out from being in a marriage that is unhappy, it can affect our health, our emotional health, our physical health, everything. And so you’re going to love today’s interview because it’s going to teach you wonderful lessons to creating a life full of love and joy. And you keep listening to the Learn True Health podcast and you’ll have a life full of health as well.

So go ahead and call IIN the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and just check it out, completely risk free zero down the first 30 days and dive into their program and see if it’s right for you. It really was life changing for me, so I know you’ll love it. Excellent. Enjoy today’s interview. Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day.



[6:12] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 370.


I am so excited to be back in the gardens today. I mean, this whole week has been doing interviews in my backyard, in the garden. And a friend of mine who’s a Mental Health Counselor messaged me, must have been a few months ago. Time really flies. And she said, “You have to interview this couple. This couple is amazing. They help people have fantastic relationships, and they get such great results, you really have to interview them.” And so I’m here with Michelle and with Shane Elsdon, and their website is It’s so good to have you guys here.



[7:05] Michelle and Shane Elsdon: Thank you. It’s so great to be here.



[7:07] Ashley James: I’m holding the mic. So we’re going to do our best to share it three ways. Who would like to start with sharing your story?



[7:17] Shane Elsdon: I’ll be glad to. So Michelle and I were married. And we live down in Southern Oregon. And I was doing therapy down there in Ashland. We have seven children.



[7:32] Ashley James: Seven?



[7:33] Shane Elsdon: Seven children. Yes.



[7:35] Ashley James: You look amazing, by the way.



[7:37] Shane Elsdon: Our last child went off to college. And when that happened, Michelle said, “Hey, let’s go live in a big city.” And so we started looking around, and we found Seattle. And we decided to come up here and take a look at it. And through our adventure, we found Bellevue and decided to make that our home. So when we came up here, we opened up the Art of Loving Center. And we decided at that time that we were going to try a different little niche. And we were going to approach couples counseling as a couple. So you know, most of the time we hear a lot of people when they’re coming, they’re trying to decide, “Do we want a male counselor?” “Do we want a female counselor?” You know, “Who do we want to have in the room?” And, “How do we want to do this?” And that in itself can lead to argument. So we decided that we would give it a shot to see how it worked with both of us in the room. So we started working together in Bellevue, in the room with our clients. And our clients really enjoyed it. They really liked having that dynamics of both of us in there. Sometimes we’ll do some role playing with them and show them how not to do things or how to do things. And then it kind of kicked off. And we had other therapists started calling us saying, “Is it true, you two are both in the room?” And yes, we are both in the room together. And so more clients, more couples started getting sent to us. At the beginning two years ago, when we first got up here, we were working with both individuals and couples. And we’ve just gotten so in depth with the couples that we primarily just do couples counseling, now we will see individuals over relationship issues. But it’s primarily just for relationship issues. And it’s usually because they either have just gotten out of a relationship, or they’re in the process of trying to figure out some of their issues about keeping into a relationship. So yeah, so that’s how we got started up here together. And the two of us started doing this, and it’s really taken off and we enjoy it.



[9:53] Ashley James: That’s awesome. Well, my friend who has a great marriage herself, said it wasn’t necessarily that she felt like she needed to fix something in her marriage. But that we could all benefit from tools of communication, we could all benefit from making it even better. There’s always room to make a relationship even better, even more compassionate, even more respect and understanding and appreciation for the other person and you know, setting boundaries in a healthier way. So there’s always room for these tools. And so she went to your, she did, she did some kind of workshop with you, where she was blown away, loved it and said it was wonderful. And she herself who has a great marriage has even grown further. So this isn’t just for people who have a rocky marriage, but look at the divorce rates, I mean, isn’t it like 50% of marriages are going to end in divorce? So you know, you’ve guys have an unlimited supply of clientele at your doorstep?



[10:58] Shane Elsdon: Well, I often joke… the joke comes from the fact that people who come into counseling typically are bringing a problem that’s been with them for about seven years. So I always joke and say, if I was king for a day, I would make it every couple has to come to counseling about every three and a half years, whether they’re in a great place or not just to do a little maintenance. You know, we do that kind of maintenance with our health, we go in for checkups with doctors, we take our cars in for general maintenance and checkups. I think it’s a good idea to take your marriage in. And that’s the nice thing about the workshops that we do is for those who, you know, “We don’t need counseling.” Or, “We’re afraid of counseling, and we don’t want to go in there.” The workshops are what we call psycho education. So they’re not counseling, but they’re teaching you the tools. They’re giving you some some new prospects to look into your life and see where you can gain some value and increase some connectivity with your partner that leads to better understanding.



[12:03] Ashley James: And you have a workshop coming up August 3rd and 4th. It’s called The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. That sounds really powerful. How did you guys create this workshop? Was it like a light bulb moment? Or was it a long time in the making?



[12:22] Michelle Elsdon: Well, we we both are Gottman trained. And so we studied the Gottman methodology. And so The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is written by John Gottman. And it’s a book and then these workshops are based off of the book. So when the couples come to us to the workshop, they get a workbook and the book. And we kind of go through and just talk about starting at the basis really like we even have premarital couples that come to these workshops, you know, so that they can really get off on a good start. And when you think about it, it’s like you learn so many things in school and, and in your life, but you don’t really learn how to be in a relationship. And so we were really giving you just some basic tools on communication, but also like how to keep and build your friendship. And that’s one thing that a lot of people overlook. It’s like, they just think that, you know, we meet and we’re connected, and we’re friends, and then it kind of starts to wane a bit sometimes. And so staying cognizant of the fact that you need to be friends and work on your relationship by building it, by going on dates, and just having fun with each other like you did when you first met.



[13:48] Ashley James: Yeah. My husband and I will be celebrating our 11 years marriage next month.



[13:53] Michelle Elsdon: Oh, congratulations.



[13:54 ] Ashley James: Thank you. And he’s my best friend, we always say that, like we’re best friends. Like above all else. We’ve had that friendship grow deeper and deeper and deeper. And I see other couples that they don’t do anything together. They basically come home, maybe they eat together one meal a day, sleep in the same bed. But they have different hobbies. They spend most of the work day away from each other, maybe they spend some weekends together, but they’re not best friends. When couples work with you, do they become best friends, or best friends again? Are you looking to create that deeper relationship? Or you just want them to like at least like each other? Like, what’s the goal?



[14:36] Shane Elsdon: Well, science has shown us that the foundation of a good relationship is friendship. You know, one of the things when couples come into counseling, they come in with a problem, and they want to deal with the problems, just solve the problem. And I give an analogy that you know, you and I this is our first time of meeting. If we were to cut each other off in the safeway parking lot, we don’t know each other. You know, we could be flipping with each other, we could be rude to each other. And it’s just whatever at that time, because we don’t know each other. And we have no foundation or friendship between us and you know if we’ll ever see each other again type of thing. But if you and I were childhood friends that have grown up together, if we were roommates in college, if we barbecue every Wednesday together and we had this friendship, when we cut each other off in the parking lot, we may tease each other a little bit about our driving or something to be funny with each other because we have that friendship to do that with. But we would also be more empathetic of each other and more cautious about how we offend each other.

And it’s the same thing in a relationship. When you come into counseling, if you come in and you have lost that friendship and you’re not having that connection with your partner, it’s going to be hard to be empathetic with them, to be passionate with them. And to hear all of that aspect and trying to work through the problem. So oftentimes, when we get into this, we first learned how they’re doing in their relationship; is there a lot of positivity in the relationship or a lot of negative sentiment that’s going on in the relationship? Are they actually interacting and having a friendly relationship? If not, we start with the basis of building that friendship up, we try to get them interacting, being friends, connecting together. And it’s amazing when they start acting as friends. And when they start to build that friendship, then we can enter into the conflict and we can talk about the conflict. And it’s much easier to deal with conflict when you’re dealing with a friend than it is to deal with conflict when you’re dealing with someone that you’re no longer connected with.



[16:48] Ashley James: How can you start to build a friendship in a relationship when trust has been lost? When maybe for the last few years, there’s been fights, there’s been cattiness, there’s boundary pushing, and it feels more like a hostile environment? Maybe it’s a bit passive, but it feels more like a war zone or like dealing with like two different politicians fighting in the home rather than a friendship? How does trust and friendship start to become fostered when there’s that fear that the other person is going to revert back to hurting them verbally?



[17:35] Shane Elsdon: Well, first off, it’s a slow process. And oftentimes couples come in and they want to fix things today. And it’s not going to happen today, it’s going to take a little bit of time. So at first, what we do is we try to get the people to open up and start sharing. We also teach the people to look at themselves instead of their partner. So typically when couples walk in the room, the first thing is it’s, “I don’t have the problem, Michelle’s the one with the problem, you need to fix her.” And of course, Michelle’s over there pointing back at me saying, “I don’t have the problem, Shane’s got the problem.” And that’s how we look at this. And so the very first thing that I tried to explain to the clients is, we’re not here to fix your partner for you, we’re here to help you fix yourself, for you to become a better husband, a better man, a better brother, a better son, a better father, just a better man in the relationship. And for her to fix herself in becoming a better wife, a better mother, a better daughter, girl, just a better woman in a relationship. When the two of them start focusing on what’s going on and then they start to identify what their needs are in the relationship. And that’s one of the key things that we believe is a primary factor of getting us past and getting it started into being able to listen to each other. When we can just find a couple of little needs, and we can start making those needs happen for partners.



[19:01] Ashley James: Can you give some examples of needs that people express to their partner, when they’re starting to open up?



[19:07] Shane Elsdon: Well, a lot of times, they’re going to have just simple needs, like I need a hug, or I just need some alone time, I just need like an hour of quiet time to just gained my thoughts, I need connection. That’s a big one, I need the feeling of connection. And for this feeling of connection, it means that we have to put everything else aside and focus on our partner. So when we focus on our partner we focus on creating this connection with our partner through whatever it is. And oftentimes, you know, I tease our clients and tell them that we have a coupon for him to go get a tattoo and that tattoo we want him to get us across their forehead, and it says, “What do you need from me right now?” And if our partner asked, you know, the need is, “I just I need to connection.” The follow up question that I would ask is, so what does that look like to you? What does that connection look like to you? And that connection could just be you know, “I just want us to spend a little time together.” “I wants to take a walk.” “I want us to hold hands” “I need you to just listen to me.” I just need to vent, not to judge me not to tell me I’m wrong, but just to be an active empathetic listener to me and hear what I have to say.” So, you know, we start out with the basics like this, and trying to work with couples to help them to understand what’s going on and what their needs are in the moment. Okay, we spend a lot of times looking at what we call the ‘big picture,’ or this futuristic picture of something that is a narrative that we’re writing in our head. But it’s not really what our needs are, if we can identify what the needs are that we have right now with what’s going on, and our partners can help us to meet those needs, then we start to feel connected with each other, then we start to feel trust to start to build up again. And trust is one of those things that it takes. It takes a while. It takes not only just the words, but it takes the actions. And it takes that feeling of connection and that feeling that your partner is listening to you, they’re empathetic with you, they’re connecting with you. They’re not fixing you or shaming you, or guilting you, but they’re hearing you and meeting your needs.



[21:27] Ashley James: There’s so many different methods out there for family counseling, for couples counseling. Why did you resonate with the Gottman method the most?



[21:39] Michelle Elsdon: Well, we really like the fact that it’s science based. And so there’s 45 years of research in the methodology of the Gottman work and you know, they studied couples over 10 years and did 3000 couples in this what they called the ‘Love lab.’ And so they had these couples come in and they monitored them. It was basically like a bed and breakfast type situation and they would come in and they would hook them up to EKGs, and do blood work. And then they also had like these scientists behind like a two way mirror that we’re taking notes of their responses to each other, and how they were acting together. And they could leave, of course, and come back because it was a weekend that they did this. But I think from that research, it really built those seven principles of what was working for the couples. And so they kind of had what they called the masters and the disasters after this whole workshop or work that they did. And so the masters were the ones that they kind of pull these seven principles from. And so we really resonated with those. You know, Shane and I in our marriage, we’re doing a lot of those things. And so it really made sense to us that when we read about it, it was something that…



[23:12] Shane Elsdon: Something watching us.



[23:13] Michelle Elsdon: Yeah.



[23:15] Shane Elsdon: Some of the stuff we read was like, “Hey, this is what we said that these guys have been following us.” But you know, that’s the whole thing. Like Michelle was saying, that’s what the masters came from. So they didn’t have these seven things that they taught the masters to do. What it was, is in watching these couples, they found out that these were the seven things that they were doing. They didn’t know that these were the right things to do. They found out that these were the things that they were doing.



[23:41] Ashley James: That sounds a lot like neuro linguistic programming, where Richard Bandler and John Grinder looked at different therapies and tried to find what really works. Like Virginia Satir’s method and Milton Erickson, and they were looking for what really, really works and then they would model it. So what you’re saying is that Gottman and the Love Lab, was looking at amazing couples that had great marriages, and then they found the seven commonalities. And if they could model that and teach it to the disaster couples and disaster couples could transform their marriages. Is that what you’re saying?



[24:20] Shane Elsdon: And the idea is that, you know, just like we go through, and we show the six signs of divorce, that is written in the Gottman’s book, and a lot of times when we’re doing that couples will read through and they’ll think, “Oh, my God. We’re doing all six of these things.” Or, “We’re doing five of these things.” And that’s okay. That doesn’t mean that you’re doomed, and you’re going to be divorced and it’s there’s no hope for you. You’re doing the first step and coming to counseling or coming to a workshop and identifying that, wow, these are the things that we’re doing. These are the things that are creating these problems in a relationship. And so now we can look at, so what are the ways we needed to change in order to have a better relationship? How can we open up to each other in this new way? And again, if you’re 50 years old, and this is the first time of doing this, you’ve been living with this habit for 50 years. You’ve been doing these, this way. If you’ve been married for 20 years, you’ve been living for 20 years doing these habits. So to come into a workshop or to counseling and to think that you’re going to have a session, here’s the tool, now go do it, and don’t make a mistake, that’s not going to happen. Okay, you’re going to make mistakes, but the idea is you have the tools. Now we just need to practice the tools, keep using the tools over and over and refine them as we move down our relationship. Learning new ways to do things.



[25:52] Ashley James: I like that your method has each couple take 100% responsibility for themselves. And in looking at themselves and bettering themselves and also putting that tattoo on their head, you know, ‘what do you need right now?’ And if each couple can take 100% responsibility, then it feels really good. Because I think that’s concern over time it’s like, “I’m doing more than my spouse.” Or you know, “I’m putting more in and they’re not.”Or, “I’m loving them more, and they’re not.” Or, “My needs are being met and his or hers are.” And so going in and going, “Okay, wipe the slate, we’re both going to take 100% responsibility.” I really like that. That also helps to build that trust, I think if both can can say, “I’m willing to commit.” When you were talking about friendship, I was almost crying because I’m my husband and I have this thing that we developed early in our relationship where if one of us was upset, the other one would try to make the other one laugh. I mean, in a way that honors them, right? And in a way that helps to make light of the situation. And then once the person is not about any more than we can talk it through and work it out. And it’s just like that was part of our friendship.



[27:09] Shane Elsdon: Right.



[27:09] Ashley James: Right. Because you can do that with a really good friend. Like you said, the friend you went to college with and barbecue every Wednesday with, you know, you can do little jabs at each other and joke with each other. And if something heated happens, you guys can you know what I mean?



[27:23] Shane Elsdon: Repair attempts. So humor is a great repair attempt. Repair attempts are when; one, you can see your partners in a place. So you use a repair attempt to help them or when you and your partner get off track. Say you’re having a discussion or an argument about a particular subject, and you start to get off track. When you get off track with that the key to the masters is, is that they use repair attempts to get things back on the track, to bring it back to what the actual discussion was about. And the idea is to try to keep the problem about the problem and not about making it personal with each other. So that’s one of the things that we will oftentimes do with couples is we will ask them to remove the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ from their vocabulary when they’re discussing about problems. When you’re discussing an issue of what needs to be done, or what your feelings are, take those words out. First off, it slows you way down, you have to slow way down and think about how you’re saying this, and you can keep the focus on that. But one of the things I did want to go back to was, when it comes to friendship, we believe that friendship is the basis of a good relationship. But one of the things that we also really believe in our couples and this is going to sound, I’m going to make all the listeners out there kind of jump in shock for a second here. But one of the things that we like our couples to do is we like our couples to have an affair when they’re married.



[29:08] Ashley James: An affair?



[29:09] Shane Elsdon: An Affair. Yeah.



[29:11] Ashley James: Like a sexual affair with someone else?



[29:13] Shane Elsdon: No, we wanted you to have it with your partner. This is the thing that we feel is lacking. We fall into love with our partner, we get married and we become best friends and we count on love. Love is that safety. love is that feeling that we come together, you can come home, you know that your spouse is going to be there, you can count on them, you rely on that being there, you become complacent with it. Because it’s accountable. It’s just there. What happens though, is we have a tendency with this friendship – is we have a tendency to lose desire. Desire is the opposite of love. It is not stable, it is not safe, it’s just the opposite. It’s unstable. It’s passion. It’s adventurous. It’s spontaneous. That is what we need to keep alive in our marriages. And that’s the part that fall short. So we ask our couples to date each other. But when we have them go out on a date, we want them to take one date a week. And during that time we say when you go out with your spouse, I’ll say husband and wife here, when you take your wife out on the date, we want you to take her out as your girlfriend, not as your wife.



[30:40] Ashley James: So like, take the rings off?



[30:43] Shane Elsdon: You know what, it’s funny.



[30:44] Michelle Elsdon: If you wanna play that way.



[30:45] Shane Elsdon: If you want to play that way, you can. But when we when you go out, we don’t want you to talk about your kids, the bills, the house, you know all the things that are caught up in your marriage. Instead go out like you did when you first met. Go out talk about where you’re going to be in the next three years, talk about if you go anywhere in the world, where would you want to go and why? Be adventurous, go make out, go have a picnic. Do those things like you used to do when you first were together. Rekindle the desire in the relationship. And we all do have this kind of multiple personality and the way that we handle our relationships. I mean, you’re not the same person sitting here with the mic in this job as you are when you’re in the room with your you know, child or when you’re at home, being a wife and a mom. There’s a difference of how we do that, we put on our work clothes, we go to the office and we become the work person and we handle that. Well, it’s the same thing in a relationship, we get this complacency where we go back in and we become the husband or the wife. And that’s what we do. And we become, like I said consistent with that. And that’s great because there’s safety in that, that what makes us feel safe.


[32:01] Ashley James: But it’s not sexy.


[32:02] Shane Elsdon: It’s not sexy. And it keeps us feel safe. It keeps us in this spot to where we start forgetting about things and we lose certain parts of it. Again, we do have that safety love of each other. You know, we’ve been married for 20 years, we love each other, we have that. But we start to lose some of that passion and desire. So if we keep it alive, I personally think you should do one day to week where you are boyfriend and girlfriend for that date. And no, I’m not saying you have to take off your ring. If that works for you then go for it. But I’m saying that you act in that way. We’re going out, you court each other. You know, you send your husband a little note about your date that you’re going to have tomorrow night, you send him a flirt full little text and tell him that kind of stuff that you want to do. You know, and spend maybe a weekend a month where you take off. Michelle and I will go out and we actually will in a playful way we will go out to the car and when we start our weekend away date and we’ll act like we’ll do this little like striptease where we take off of our husband and wife clothes and we throw those in the garage and we put on our boyfriend and girlfriend clothes and we get in the car, we go away for the weekend. And we are boyfriend and girlfriend. We don’t talk about the kids. We don’t talk about the bills or the house or the office or any of that stuff. We just go and we have fun. We do the things like we did when we were younger, we explore each other in a new way. And we keep that part vital and new. And that’s what I believe husband and wives really need to do. And it’s amazing to me to watch couples when they come in and we give them the spice and just like your eyes got really big. When I said have an affair, you’re like what, wait a second.



[33:45] Ashley James: This is not that kind of podcast.



[33:49] Shane Elsdon: “I got an idiot in here, what is he talking about?” You know, but the idea is to have that affair with your spouse, have that moment where you let go of that and you keep that passion and desire going. And that’s what we want to do and we want to see. And when we see our couples, when they start holding that, when they start having that kind of fun and they start bringing things back together, we start to find that couples really start to interact better. And it’s amazing. You know, when we talk to our couples about having sex with each other, and we open up and talk about sexuality with our couples – when they start having those kinds of interactions with each other. And I’m not saying that sex is the answer to everything. It’s not. But it sure does help bring couples together.



[34:35] Ashley James: Why? Why is that? I mean sex isn’t sex isn’t love. And that’s something that women, I think all women around the world keep telling their husbands. Because I think men are very physical, and they associate love and sex but I could just be too serious, be me.



[34:51] Shane Elsdon: I joke and say women are like ovens. Men are like microwaves. Women need to be, like an oven they need to be preheated. Men are like microwaves, you just have to press the button. Okay. And the problem, I believe with sex and in general with the couples is, you know, typically when a couple goes into the bedroom for sex, they go into the room and the male is already excited and he’s there if he has an erection. He’s already at about a six on a one to 10 he’s at a six when he walks in the room and he easily gets to the 10 and that’s over. When the woman gets into the room, she comes into the room about a two. So she needs to be warmed up. She needs to be brought up. The idea behind this is to start… I don’t know if you’ve ever heard Esther Perel. She often talks about this – foreplay. We’ll ask couples when does foreplay start in your relationship? And oftentimes, they say when we walk in the bedroom, or when we get into bed, and it’s those couple of activities that we do right before sex and as she stated, and I agree completely. Foreplay starts right after your last orgasm. That’s when foreplay starts. It’s sending each other the texts the ‘I love you’ the ‘thinking of you,’ ‘you look really sexy this morning when drool was running down your cheek onto the pillow.’ You know, it’s ‘you look good in the shower.’ It’s walking into a meeting and sending a text, ‘Hey, I missed you.’ It’s coming up behind your spouse and giving him a kiss and asking if you can help him cook dinner, do the dishes. It’s being flirt full, that’s the foreplay that gets things going, that’s what brings us up into that mood to go.

And that’s what’s lacking a lot of times, which I believe is why a lot of women feel the way that you were starting to explain. So the idea is, and again, I want to go back, I’m not saying that sex is the cure for everything. But I am saying that when you look at couples that come in, that are having sex, and who have a good healthy sex life, they come in with a good working format with each other to work with each other in a way that they can interact and get through a lot of their issues and problems.



[37:15] Ashley James: What about when one of the people in the relationship or both has had trauma – sexual trauma in their past? And that impedes them from having that deep connection with their spouse?



[37:31] Michelle Elsdon: Well. I think, first of all, we’ve run across some people who haven’t really shared that information with their spouse, and so then it’s very confusing to the spouse on what’s happening or why they’re avoiding sex. And so I think the first step is trying for that person to make sure that they’ve been able to work through it and get counseling and kind of understand why they feel the way they do and to kind of get better within themselves first. And I think that that’s been amiss on some people’s part where they’ve just tried to push it down and kind of stuff it way inside. And so they think that it doesn’t bother them, but really it does.



[38:16] Ashley James: And their spouse can then take it personally like they feel inadequate, but it’s really the other person has insecurities because they’ve gone through trauma. But that’s why, like you’re saying they need to share with their spouse.



[38:33] Michelle Elsdon: And some people think that it doesn’t bother them. Like it was a long time ago, it was in the past, it doesn’t bother me. But it is kind of spewing out in little pieces and in avoidance and not wanting to have sex. And they don’t realize that that’s really what’s happening. So that’s kind of the first step. And then the next step would be working with each other. I mean, you don’t have to have intercourse to be connected and have sex. So maybe you start out with some sensate or just cuddling, so that it’s not so dramatic for somebody who’s had that experience that they’re having a hard time with.



[39:16] Ashley James: What was the first thing you said?



[39:17] Michelle Elsdon: Sensate. So it’s like where you kind of touch each other’s arm and kind of rub in like circles. You know, it’s kind of like a massage technique in a way except instead of it. You know, typically when you think of massage, it’s like on the back. It’s more like maybe on the arm, you know, you’re just kind of lightly touching.



[39:38] Shane Elsdon: It can be over all parts. In the office, we will have clients that we will sometimes just give them, like I said, we’ll do a little role play where we’ll give them an example of where we just do it on the arm, you know, it’s just we learned to touch each other. So, again, when we talk about sex, of course, everybody wants to go to the you know, penile-vaginal intercourse, and that’s the sex. Sex isn’t just that. Sex for a lot of people can be a lot of different things. So first, it’s to identify what is sex to a couple. So we have couples and for instance, like the [inaudible 40:15] have the saucer cards. And if you look, there’s one, two, and three pepper and if you look at the one pepper is often for some people, sex to them and getting back into sex can be maybe, you know, sitting under a blanket holding hands while they watch Netflix together. And that’s their night of sex. And for somebody else, maybe it’s going to an adult shop and buying a toy and being playful with each other. Sex is to whatever it is, it’s you as a couple. So it doesn’t have its confinement of this is what it is to be sexual. And the idea is to identify what sex is between the two of you and then to start working from there.

The idea of just learning how to touch each other and talk about each other and to learn that. And this is something that we find with couples, and you were asking about, like somebody who’s had sexual assault or something in their past. We will do a sexual assessment with them and we will find out a lot of sexual history. And it’s amazing when couples start to open up about it and it really will change even the partner. The partner who used to feel that, “Oh, you just don’t love me.” You know, “I’m trying to do this, and you just don’t want to be with me.” And then when they start to understand what’s going on, they can have a whole new look at how to approach things, how to identify different ways of dealing with stuff. And that’s where you start to learn about your partner. It’s amazing to me at how much partners don’t know about each other. We have clients that have been married for many, many, many years. I’m talking many years, and still cannot ask each other for sex. They just don’t understand how to do so. They aren’t able to talk to each other about it. And interestingly, there was some studies done, we did actually a study few years ago. Public displays of affection. There you go, PDA. Sorry, I couldn’t think of the name. All of a sudden I went blank. During that we were looking at some other studies. And we found out that there were some studies out that showed relationship happiness. And relationship happiness was they looked at couples that had great communication, but horrible sex. And then there were couples that had great sex, but horrible communication. And interestingly, the study showed that the couples that had great sex and horrible communication actually scored higher on relationship satisfaction than the couples who had great communication, horrible sex. But interestingly, there was another group, the group that scored the highest of all was the couples that had great sexual communication. Those couples scored the highest on relationship satisfaction and think about it, if you can talk to your partner about your sexual needs, probably going to have a lot less hard time telling them you forgot to mail the Visa bill, you know?

So to be able to talk about those things, and we all have an erotic self, we all have an erotic person in us that drives us. And it drives us through our every day who we are. Again, I use the word erotic and we think in the bedroom in that, but who are you erotically in other aspects of your life? Maybe somebody you know, when they give speeches, they become empowered, they feel at their fullest. And that’s an erotic state that you’re putting yourself in. When you get into that erotic state, who do you become? And learn to share with your partner and how the two of you can then manifest that into your relationship, of having this good relationship together, where you’re sharing with each other.



[44:10] Ashley James: I want to know how long have you guys been dating each other?



[44:14] Michelle Elsdon: Well, we’ve been dating each other since the day we met, really.



[44:19] Ashley James: You never stopped? You never had a low time in your marriage or did you know about the Gottman method before you got married? I mean, has your marriage always been great?



[44:29] Shane Elsdon: Well, our marriage we feel has been great. We didn’t know of the Gottman method before but as I said, remember the couples that went through and became that were labeled the masters, they didn’t know what the Gottman method, either. They were practicing these techniques. And that was why I think it was kind of interesting when we were reading it. It was kind of like, “Hey, they’re following us.” It’s because they were reading things that we were saying like, “Hey, we do this.” “This is what we believe.” “This is what we’ve been telling people. “You need to be like this.” “You need to be doing this kind of stuff.” And that’s what the tools were. And that’s actually what they found in that Love Lab.



[45:08] Ashley James: So the two of you were the lucky couple that were naturally doing so many things right. So many things that make a marriage work. My husband and I have always felt like we were a team. We’ve been entrepreneurs together. So we run a business together like you guys, right? And we’ve been best friends and been married and it feels like marriage is more than just one level. Right? It’s many levels of intimacy and connection. Share with me before you guys knew about the Gottman method, you were just having a great marriage, did you look around and see that you were so different from other couples? It doesn’t sound like you had to work on it. Can you just share a bit about the quality of your marriage before you sort of consciously thinking about the things that you’re doing right to make a good marriage?



[46:10] Michelle Elsdon: Yeah. I think for the two of us, we really take the time to listen to each other and we always have. And I think just having that presence of mind to listen to the other person and try to understand their point of view and to do some of those repairs like Shane was talking about. He’s really great with humor, which makes me laugh. Sometimes even in an argument, he’ll just pipe out like, “Give me a kiss.” And I’m like, “What?” He’s like, “Give me a kiss.” And it’s like, okay. Yeah, and it just changes my whole perspective. So humor and some of those things, I think just kind of came naturally for the two of us. And I think that that’s a lot of it. Just taking the time to listen, to have fun together, to not take life so seriously. And also, one thing that we teach in the workshops is keeping a positive perspective about your partner. And I think that that’s where people can kind of get in a problem – is when you start down a negative path. And so you start thinking of all the bad things that you don’t like about your spouse, or your partner, instead of thinking of all of the positive things of why you got together with them in the first place. And so when you get into that negative perspective, where that’s all you can think about is, you know, he never picks up his socks, or she never helps me with this, and then you build up this ugly resentment. And so remembering to stay positive with each other and think of all of those reasons why when you first met, like, why you fell in love with each other and to keep that fresh. It’s really important.


[48:04] Ashley James: It’s really easy to accumulate over the course of a marriage, sort of a tab of all the wrongdoings, all the things that they don’t do, kind of like having a bad roommate. Right? Because that’s what it is to a lot of people in a bad marriage. It’s kind of like having a roommate that doesn’t pick up after themselves in a way.



[48:30] Shane Elsdon: That’s one of the things that we do. Remember, I told you there’s those six signs where you’re heading towards divorce. One of the last signs is what we call ‘rewriting history.’ And that’s where you start going back in your relationship, and you start looking at details. And then remembering them in a negative perspective, you start remembering the negative parts. If you think about everything that you do, there’s a positive and a negative outlook that could be seen in all of them – even going out having a good time, someone can sit there and start to look at, “Oh, but it was so expensive.” And oh, you know… and you can find the things to look negative. And that’s when we get a negative perspective with our relationship. Like what Michelle was saying, when we get into that spot, and we start rewriting history, we start looking back at things where instead of seeing it as the fun we saw it, we see it as the bad parts of how it was. And when that happens, that’s the part where we have to change. We have to start using some tools to regain that positive change, and start having positive thought processes about our partner. About our partner and about our relationship. And I think, you asked questions like how are you guys in your relationship stuff? Part of it is we’ve always just kind of kept our relationship a priority. And it’s not something we work at, but it also just kind of sometimes we just have fun. We just try to have fun, even with the kids and as much chaos can go on, we just had fun with doing it. And that’s a big part of it, having fun, being spontaneous. Being spontaneous with each other, keeping things alive.

And again, remember, when I went back and talked about the affair, I talked about the difference between love and desire. And that’s where desire also comes in, is when you’re having that fun, you’re making each other a priority. And you’re you’re seeing each other from that other light. We’re always going to have the fall back to. We’re always going to be able to go home, and, “Oh, gosh. We got to get the dishes done.” “We got to get the kids in bed.” “We’ve got to get that.” But then we can look at the fun parts of it, where we can have the little funs along the way. And that’s the part where I think it’s really important. And that’s the part that falls out in couples, or quite honestly, we have a lot of couples that it’s not that it fell out. It’s that no one ever told them to do that. And so they got into the relationship, they start having a relationship, and they’re doing the work of a relationship. But they forgot about the whole idea about having fun with the relationship. And we get caught up because so many things divide us. We get married, we are together, we are right there together. And of course, we’re on the radio, so you can’t see the visualization of my hands coming apart. But we get married, we have a kid. And that separates us a little bit, it gives us a cushion in between, it gives us something to focus on. And we get a career and then we get a mortgage. And then we get car payments, and we get everything else. And by the time you know, 20 years goes by, we’re standing out here at arm’s length apart from each other, and we’ve had this cushion that we’ve patted each other on. But then all of a sudden we retire, the kids go off to college, or they go into their own relationships, and we’re both standing there basically like strangers. And it’s amazing to me how many empty nesters we have come in. Because now they don’t have that cushion, that focus that they always kept themselves on. Now, they’re just looking at each other. And they’re strangers. That’s why we believe you have that affair. You keep your girlfriend or your boyfriend – you’re husband and wife, but you keep that part alive as well. So that when the kids are gone, when the careers are over, you’re standing there with someone you know. Your girlfriend and boyfriend, you’re standing there together. And that means also that the husband and wife, the other personality in you also is familiar with each other. Because those different personalities are still in the same you. And so you have a better understanding of each other when those emptiness times come together.

I mean, Michelle and I are now empty nesters, that’s when we moved up here to Bellevue as we became empty nesters. And so now we’re up here and we’re having fun. We’re still doing all kinds of fun stuff, we go out together, we kayak and we do those things together. Now it’s important and it’s okay to have your own individual things. Michelle’s an artist, and she likes to paint and do stuff like that. And I can’t draw stick figures, you know, to save my life. But it’s okay to have things and to do things together… I mean, individually, but it’s really nice when you can do things together. Michelle loves art. She likes to see museums, to be honest with you. If I never set foot in another museum again, it wouldn’t be too soon. They don’t ever put those black velvet Elvis Presley pictures and dogs playing pool up, you know, so what’s the point, right? But, you know, Michelle and I went to Italy a couple years ago, and she has all these pictures of the art. I literally have like 600 pictures of Michelle taking pictures.



[54:08] Ashley James: You’re his art.



[54:11] Shane Elsdon: You know, I enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. And that, but I also got to enjoy seeing the art through her eyes. And that was what was really interesting. I enjoy riding a Harley, I like to get out and Michelle rides with me on the Harley, she gets to see the world through my eyes on that. And so we get to enjoy those things together. You know, I mean, if I was to pass away tomorrow, I doubt Michelle would drive a Harley. But we do it together because we enjoy it. And it’s not I have to, it’s because we enjoy doing those things and seeing our partner appreciate those things. And that’s the part that I think is important. You don’t have to, “Oh, great. Michelle likes to paint, I gotta go take paint classes, and I gotta learn how to paint.” No, I can still throw paint on the screen and not be able to identify what it is, but I can have fun watching her, and that’s what’s important.



[55:05] Ashley James: A friend of mine in marriage counseling said she felt like the therapist was always siding with her husband. And the two of them were kind of beating her up. And I imagine it’s a very different scenario working with you as a couple – the two of you, because you’ve got the male and the female, the wife and the husband perspective as counselors coming in and helping that couple so it’s more balanced. Do you ever find that, Michelle, you’re taking the wife side and your husband’s taking the husband’s side? Do you ever see that, like you just see totally different perspectives in an argument?



[55:40] Michelle Elsdon: Yeah, we do sometimes. And I can understand what the woman is saying, and Shane can kind of identify more from the man’s perspective where he’s coming from. But interestingly, sometimes it’s the opposite. Where the guy will connect with me more, and the woman will connect with Shane more. And I think sometimes that has to do with our personalities. I’m a bit more of an introvert and shades a bit more of an extrovert. And so in understanding that thought process when couples come in, and there’s situations where maybe the introvert is needing more individual time or quiet time, and the extrovert doesn’t quite understand, like I can understand better, because I’m a little bit more similar to that. So I think that’s another way that Shane and I sort of balance each other out is because we are a little bit different personality as well. And so we can kind of see our couples from that perspective as well.



[56:46] Ashley James: I definitely recommend listeners, if they want amazing counseling, to see you guys. Do you only work in person, or can people do Skype sessions with you?



[56:59] Shane Elsdon: We primarily just work in-person. We will do some Skype sessions with people in the state of Washington, like if they’re from Yakima or Spokane or something like that. We’ve had a few couples that have called us for Skype sessions. But primarily, we do it just in session. We like to keep things local. And we’ve had clients that have driven here from a lot of different places. We have clients that drive up from Olympia. We had one client that called and set an appointment where they were in Idaho, and they had called and came over for the weekend to see us. And the workshops that we do, this workshop that’s coming up, we have people coming from Canada, people coming from Oregon, people come from all over the place. We get some locals as well, but we get a lot of people from a lot of different areas. And we do it usually at a hotel, we’ll have the conference room where we do it and then we get rooms at the hotel where the people coming to the workshop can get a room there and be able to stay for the weekend and make and make a weekend out of it. Make a date weekend out of it and have fun and get away from the kids. So they can come in and learn on Saturday and have an affair with each other that night and then come back into session on as husband and wife on Sunday.



[58:27] Ashley James: I want to talk a bit more about your workshop weekends. And I also want to talk about your Power Weekend. They’re very different. I want to talk about both of those. And then I’ve got a questions about the Gottman steps. So first, how many times a year do you do these workshops?



[58:53] Shane Elsdon: We do them about probably six times a year. Yeah. Every other month? I mean, we kind of are practicing with them up here in the sense that we found that some months, people just don’t go to them, and other months that they do. So I would say we do about six a year. Yeah, that every other month. We have one scheduled in August, at the beginning of August. And I think our next one is October that we have set up. And then I think we also have another one in November afterwards. So kind of a back to back one.



[59:28] Ashley James: And my friend highly, highly recommends it. She loved it. How long have you guys been teaching these workshops together?



[59:36] Michelle Elsdon: We’ve been teaching them for two years now. So we’ve really had fun doing them. And our workshops are a little on the small side. And which we really enjoy because we’re able to focus on the people that attend and give some individual attention. So when we do the breakout, so we have like so much your time. And then we have, sometimes where we show you a tool and Shane and I will show you how not to do it, and then how to do it like a role play situation. And then everybody will do a breakout. And they’ll go with their partner and go into the lobby and stuff. And then we walk around and kind of help people learn how to use the tool, make sure they’re doing it right. And if they have questions or struggles then we can help them out. So it’s nice for us to have a manageable group that we are able to go and see everyone. So that’s really kind of unique, I think with some of the other workshops where they’re a little bit bigger, and it’s harder.



[1:00:43] Ashley James: Could you share some stories of success? Obviously, not talking about names. But can you share some outcomes that have really excited and surprised you from people taking your workshop?



[1:00:58] Michelle Elsdon: Yeah. We’ve had some people that come to the workshop, and they’re there just really paying attention. And we never know, for sure what people’s thoughts are, while they’re there. Like some people are tired or, they’ve driven a long way. We’ve gotten emails and responses from people about, they go back home, and they start doing the tools, and they’re so excited, because it really is life changing. And we’ve helped a few couples that have come to the workshop that were it was sort of like their last ditch effort – where they were either going to get divorced, or they were going to keep… Yeah, even hired attorneys. And so I think that to me was really just amazing. That workshop was able to help the couple enough that they were willing to give each other a second chance and stay together. And some of the couples had been married 25, 30 years. I think that’s really cool that they were able to come and learn the tools and really make a commitment to each other to do them and have some happy results.



[1:02:20] Shane Elsdon: Several couples, the workshop was the opening that they needed to enable them to come to counseling. So we’ve had several couples that have went to the workshop, learn the tools, and then called us a month later and said, “Hey, can we come see you guys?” And then they come in and see us for counseling, and to continue on. And that is actually where you’re going to get your best results. Michelle likes to say when you go to the workshop, we put a lot of information out and she says, “You know, it’s like drinking from a firehose because you’re just being overwhelmed with a lot of information.” And the tools that you get, you get a workbook, there’s the exercises we go through with them, we help you. But then when you go home, oftentimes we will forget or will miss some of the more intellectual intent of the workshop, or of the tool that’s being used. It can sometimes cause more arguments or more fights, so then coming back to us. And and then sometimes, you know, these tools that we have, they’re great for getting us through there. But if you have some history that’s underneath and behind it, and sometimes we have to dig into that, and we’ll have to get into that history. But that’s where we change roles, though the role at the workshop is we’re education, and so we’re just doing psycho education, we’re not there as your therapist. When you come into counseling afterwards, then we’ve changed the roles and we become therapist. And that’s where we’ll change the roles in that part and move into that aspect.



[1:04:06] Ashley