Learn True Health with Ashley James

On Learn True Health, Ashley James interviews today's most successful natural healers. 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.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
Learn True Health with Ashley James









All Episodes
Now displaying: June, 2023
Jun 30, 2023

Episodes About Fasting Mentioned In Today's Episode:

Self-talk episodes:

Go here to check out the answer to our broken health insurance industry


503: From Self-Talk to Autophagy: Ashley’s Inspiring 5-Day Water Fast Experience

In this captivating podcast episode, Ashley and her husband Duffy delve into their transformative experience with a water-only fast, shedding light on its profound effects on their minds and bodies. They explore various intriguing topics, including the power of self-talk, the remarkable process of autophagy, the intricate workings of the addiction brain, and ultimately the liberating sense of freedom they discovered through this challenging yet enlightening journey. Tune in as they share their insights and reflections, offering a fascinating perspective on the holistic benefits of fasting and its impact on overall well-being.


  • Ashley's first five-day water-only fast
  • Power of self-talk and overcoming resistance
  • Autophagy and its healing effects
  • Insights into the addiction brain
  • Discovering freedom through fasting


Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I'm your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 503.

[0:00:13.9] Ashley James: Hello, true health seeker, and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. I just finished my first five-day fast, and I know my husband is shaking his head. He feels like I'm really late to the party. How many fasts have you done? How long have you been fasting? 

[0:00:33.7] Duffy James: At least, maybe, half a dozen, or maybe more. I don't know, eight?

[0:00:37.1] Ashley James: Yeah, we kind of lost track. But when did you start fasting? 

[0:00:40.3] Duffy James: It was right after I stopped eating meat since early 2018. My first one was around July mid-2018, I think. 

[0:00:55.2] Ashley James: I remember one that you did in 2020, February of 2020. I remember that one because it was like 17 days, and that stuck in my mind. I remember what we were doing. It was right before all the COVID shenanigans, and that was a 17-day one. How was the longest one you've done?

[0:01:17.9] Duffy James: I can't remember if it was 21 or 28 days now because I don't keep track of it.

[0:01:23.0] Ashley James: You just kind of go, and then the days go by.

[0:01:25.1] Duffy James: Yeah, they do. 

[0:01:27.3] Ashley James: So my husband has slowly become way more of a fasting expert than me.

[0:01:33.6] Duffy James:  Not an expert. I just can do it. It's system muscle, right? 

[0:01:37.2] Ashley James: Yeah, well, so this has been, I guess, my third official fast in my life. I did when I was a kid because I had to because they were doctor's orders. Actually, I wasn't a kid; I was thirteen. And that was the doctor's order, though, because I had a stomach bug. And he's like, you have to stop eating. I'm like, what? And then I did it, and I was fine. I was just hungry all the time, but I was 13.

[0:01:58.6] Duffy James: Well, it wouldn't work now because you don't take orders from doctors. 

[0:02:00.9] Ashley James: Yeah, I don't take orders from doctors. I do take advice from holistic doctors.

[0:02:05.1] Duffy James: True. But you don't want medicine—those kinds of doctors.

[0:02:08.8] Ashley James: Yeah, those kinds of doctors. Then they also had me on antibiotics. So it was my first time ever to be on antibiotics, actually. I was thirteen, and it's totally my fault because I binged on Halloween candy against my mother's wishes. And that's what you get when you rebel and eat too much sugar.

[0:02:26.5] Duffy James: You have an addictive personality. Is that what it is? 

[0:02:27.7] Ashley James: Yeah, and you also happen to have an addiction brain. But I learned my lesson. So, yeah, I just finished my first five-day fast, and I've gotten a lot of insights, and I wanted to hit record and share it because I thought it would be really helpful. But I wanted to just jam with my husband Duffy here because he's done so many fasts since 2018. How many years did you think you did? 

[0:02:55.1] Duffy James: I think, two. It's been two. 

[0:02:58.0] Ashley James: Yeah. I mean, sometimes when you just don't eat, you're just like, I don't eat today. And you will just do it. And then sometimes it'll be like, I didn't eat yesterday, so I guess I'm fasting.

[0:03:13.0] Duffy James: And I don't feel hungry anymore. 

[0:03:14.7] Ashley James: Did you feel hunger before fasting? 

[0:03:18.5] Duffy James: Yeah. Even on the first couple. But these last few I've done, it's just like, okay, I'm not going to do it, and then I don't, and I don't feel any hunger or any shift until my body starts slowing down for not having enough fuel. 

[0:03:35.3] Ashley James: I wanted to definitely ask you a few questions since you've done so many fasts, and now it's transformed your body. It transformed more than just physical. It has transformed your relationship to food, your relationship to hunger and hunger cues, and food doesn't have that hold on you as much as it did. So I definitely want to ask you a few questions. But I'd like to share some of my stuff. 

Okay, so before I get into my story, I wanted to say to listeners because I know there's going to be one, just like my mother-in-law freaking out right now because on day 2 of my fast, she goes, “What about the people who die of starvation?” And she's looking at me, and I'm like, “Do I look like I'm going to die of starvation in five days of not eating?” But for someone who's never missed a meal or never has missed a day of eating, for so many people who eat three meals a day, the thought of not eating is crazy. It's ridiculous. And Duffy did that. He's making gestures with his hands, like putting his hands by his head and going ‘boom.'

[0:04:39.3] Duffy James: I think I could do that because I have a face for podcasts. 

[0:04:42.5] Ashley James: Yes, and you have a voice for podcasts too. But it's definitely a mental shift, and I resisted fasting so much. But I had Dr. Alan Goldhamer on the show back in Episode #230. I remember that because that is Duffy's, one of his dad jokes. What is keto, the joke?

[0:05:06.5] Duffy James: You already said it. 

[0:05:08.4] Ashley James: Well, I didn't say the joke. 

[0:05:09.2] Duffy James: What's the perfect time to go to the dentist? 

[0:05:10.9] Ashley James: It's what?

[0:05:11.8] Duffy James: It's at 2:30. 

[0:05:12.3] Ashley James: 2:30. Tooth hurty. Yes, your tooth is hurting, so tooth hurty, yeah. So, Episode #230 with Dr. Alan Goldhamer. He runs a fasting clinic, and he's a holistic doctor. It's really interesting this whole episode because he talks about an example, one of them being a woman who came to his clinic with end-stage cancer and left his clinic a month later without cancer. So what happened? What happened in that one month? And he talks about autophagy and this amazing process of how the body, after 30 hours of fasting, is digesting pathological tissue. It's like turning the dishwasher on. We need to clean out our bodies and clean out the pathological tissue. And we were actually supposed to fast. And he talks about how we, as humans, fasted regularly out of necessity before we figured out how to store food, so our body went into healing mode as a means of survival and cleansing. And so he reassures us that anywhere from one to five days is completely healthy under normal circumstances. I mean, if you're on a bunch of medications, you should definitely speak to someone, like speak to the naturopathic physician or licensed doctor that's also hopefully holistic-minded that can guide you through it. 

[0:06:43.6] Duffy James: Usually, a lot of churches can help too because that's part of the.

[0:06:46.9] Ashley James: Oh yeah, that's why we keep hearing our church say stuff like, you got to fast and pray, fast and pray. 

[0:06:54.4] Duffy James: We got the fasting part figured out. 

[0:06:56.4] Ashley James: We definitely got the fasting part figured out. I always wondered why fasting and praying. Is it just because you're sacrificing yourself? Is it because it really prepares the mind?

[0:07:05.6] Duffy James: It changes your frequency, right? Remember, that's what got me started in fasting. It's that episode you did with the woman, I don't know her name, but she talked about the different energies of food and how that animal is like the lowest frequency that you can get your body. 

[0:07:21.4] Ashley James: Robyn Openshaw? 

[0:07:22.2] Duffy James: Oh, okay. 

[0:07:23.2] Ashley James: Yup, Robyn Openshaw came on the show a few times, and one of them was Episode #390, and in Episode #390, she talked about how we can do modified fasting for people who are maybe on medications or can't do full water-only fasting. There's a way to do modified fasting or eating a little bit, but it's under a certain amount of calories so that you still trigger autophagy which is the healthy, programmed cell death star. I'm sorry, that's apoptosis. Autophagy is the healthy cell cleansing where the cell digests its own pathological tissues and digests scars and cysts. This has been published in clinical observations, but in some cases, tumors are even known to be digested by the body during an extended fast. 

Another really interesting episode I did was with Troy Reicherter, and this was Episode #369. That's another one to check out if you're interested in learning more about fasting. He does a 30-day fast once a year. And you got him beat because you do two fasts a year. You're not doing a full 30-day fast, but you do two or three weeks fast.

[0:08:38.0] Duffy James: It's kind of three. I think there was a year that I skipped because I think I've done eight. So, however many that is.

[0:08:46.9] Ashley James: Well, okay, eight very long fasts compared to me.

[0:08:51.9] Duffy James: Well, now that you're doing it, I'll probably do it more. 

[0:08:54.1] Ashley James: We'll see. 

[0:08:55.7] Duffy James: We'll see because you've had success. 

[0:08:56.4] Ashley James: I've had success, and I'm looking forward to doing more. Let me walk you through my fast and why I did it. Sometime about a week ago, maybe it was in church; I can't actually remember when it happened. But I got a voice saying, you're starting a fast on Friday. And I'm like, okay. 

[0:09:22.9] Duffy James: But what was the date?

[0:09:24.7] Ashley James: I don't remember. Do you remember when I told you I was going to start the fast? Because I was like, it might have been last Monday, but I got a message.

[0:09:38.7] Duffy James: Oh, that. I don't think you shared that.  

[0:09:41.0] Ashley James: No, I know. That's why you're looking so surprised because I haven't told you this yet. But I got a definite divine…

[0:09:47.5] Duffy James: Request?

[0:09:49.9] Ashley James: Command? I don't know. 

[0:09:52.4] Duffy James: Well, you have free will. 

[0:09:53.0] Ashley James: I do have free will, but it was definitely like a strong suggestion. But it wasn't an internal voice and nudge. It was a spiritual nudge. It was a divine nudge. So the Holy Spirit said, “Hey, guess what? You're doing a fast on Friday.” And I'm like, “Alright, I'm ready.” And the thing is, every time I thought about doing fasting, I would always come up with excuses like, “Oh no, I have an interview next week.” There are no five days in which I didn't have something on my plate, and I'm like, “Well, I have to have to be eating for this.” That was my first excuse. My brain would come up with all kinds. So the body doesn't want to fast. Your brain wants you to keep eating, and it doesn't like the idea of fasting. So it's going to tell you all kinds of things. So my brain was like, “Well, you have an interview. You can't do it. You have this business phone call. You have these client calls. You can't not be eating.”

[0:10:56.1] Duffy James: You know what I'm thinking of? It's how your dad was a master salesperson. So you got him in your head, selling you. You've got his skills in your head, so you can talk to yourself at a master level. 

[0:11:13.9] Ashley James: I have my own sales. 

[0:11:16.1] Duffy James: And then with all your training, and all. 

[0:11:17.2] Ashley James: Yeah, you know, like the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. I've got a little salesman on one shoulder. It's my body speaking to me like, “Okay, these are the reasons why you're not going to do it. I'm going to totally sell you on not doing it.” So your brain can be pretty convincing. And then the other reasons were like, “Well, you have to cook every day for your family. You can't do that. You can't fast, and there are lots of reasons.” But something happened, and I think it's been working on me for a while. I don't know if you've ever had that experience where you feel like the holy spirit's working on you for a while, and it's suggesting, nudging, and bringing things to your attention, putting videos in front of you, or putting whatever it is in front of you over and over. You feel like it's maybe whittling away layers of, I don't know…

[0:12:07.2] Duffy James: Pulling out the spiritual earplugs. 

[0:12:09.3] Ashley James: Yes, yeah, and those layers of resistance of, “No, I don't want to change. I like being comfortable. I don't want to be uncomfortable.” So I'm just going to say the holy spirit said, “Go fast.” And it was Friday. It was just very specific. So I said, “Okay.” And I looked at my schedule, and it's like, “Well, I guess we'll see how I feel. I might have to reschedule this. I might have to reschedule that.” But you know what? I'm ready. I've been thinking about it for a long time.

[0:12:38.7] Duffy James: I was really excited for you when you told me. I would have been way more excited if you told me about the spiritual nudge.

[0:12:45.1] Ashley James: Right. 

[0:12:47.2] Duffy James: I get what it was for now.

[0:12:47.6] Ashley James: Yeah, it was for now. He's smiling. I wish you could see him. He's proud of me. That's cool. So here we have this, “Okay, I'm going for it.” I did not want to tell Duffy because I'm then committed. Once I tell my husband, he's going to feel like, “Where's this fast?” if I back out, if I chicken out.

[0:13:09.8] Duddy James: I'm going to hold you accountable. 

[0:13:10.5] Ashley James: I know. So I told him pretty much right away, though. Because I remember, I think we were standing in the kitchen, then I was like, “Hey, so by the way, Friday, I'm starting a fast.

[0:13:19.8] Duffy James: Yes, you were pretty excited.

[0:13:21.6] Ashley James: And I knew the second I said it, it was real. So I had to do it as soon as possible before I chickened out. And then Thursday, I had plans to go to the spa with my friend to celebrate something that happened in her life, and I really overdid it. We spent like three hours in the hot tub and then in the sauna. And I was chugging water the whole time, but I was acting kind of invincible, and that's not recommended. Usually, when I do infrared, it's for thirty minutes, not for three hours. So I came home very dehydrated with like a heat stroke headache. I pulled out all my holistic stuff and got myself on the mend. But that was an interesting way to start a fast because the next day, I was kind of wrecked from being in a sauna and a hot tub for three hours, feeling a little bit hungover. But I was committed. I was like, “Okay. Now I'm starting my fast.” I've been drinking water. And so all day Friday, I just felt really awful and hungry, and at some point, the headache from the heat stroke went away. And then the headache from not eating took over.

[0:14:31.9] Duffy James: Yeah, Friday was pretty rough for you. 

[0:14:33.4] Ashley James: Friday was rough. But all in all, it wasn't unmanageable. I never needed it. I don't go on pain meds. I have to be feeling really bad to go to an over-the-counter. Yeah, I would have to be really, really bad. CBD cream on my neck and shoulders helped, magnesium soak, and doing a PS really helped. I used the phototherapy patches. That really helped. And I used bioactive carbon supplements through Dr. Jay Davidson. He is amazing. Go listen to his two episodes. I don't have the numbers pulled up right now. But if you type Jay Davidson in, you'll listen to him. He created a carbon supplement that soaks up toxins, and it really works. I took four of those capsules, and within twenty minutes, I felt it sucking away the toxins, and I started really feeling better. You can check that out by going to

So all of these things — I'm pulling out all the stuff, and of course, the phototherapy patches were so helpful. Hunger was manageable. It was just drinking water, but what was really interesting was every fifteen seconds, my brain would say, “Hey, it's time to eat. You're hungry. It's time to eat. You're hungry.” I wonder if you've ever had self-talk that was insistent, like your brain and body are going,” It's time to eat.” And then I would say — I would think this in my head, “No, I'm fasting.” And then my brain will go, “Oh, yeah.” Fifteen seconds later, “It's time to eat. You're hungry.” And I always had this constant OCD thought. I had to constantly remind myself. It was really interesting. I had to constantly remind myself, “I'm fasting. Oh yeah,” over and over again. It was like noise in my head, just constant noise. And so this was it. But on the first day, I was like, this is impossible. It was just like the chatter. Like, “I'm hungry,” and I had to keep saying, “I'm fasting. I'm fasting. Drink water, drink water.”

The next day, Saturday, I was feeling pretty good. I was a little tired in the morning, but I was in a good mood, and I noticed that it was only every forty-five seconds I had to tell my brain that we were fasting instead of every fifteen. I felt just a little bit light-headed, not too bad, and it would come and go, and it was totally manageable. And then we ended up taking our son to the park. We went for a long walk with our friend and her kids, and I felt great the whole time. I thought I brought enough water. Always bring more water than you think you need because I brought what I thought was enough water. And then our son spilled half of a jar, and then he drank the other half. So I ended up running out of water, and so I'm like, “No, I got to get home.”

[0:17:29.3] Duffy James: That's one of the main things I like about fasting. It's so easy to get water in. You just chug it.

[0:17:37.1] Ashley James: Yeah, you got to drink it. Also, I want to know how much my fast was helped by drinking the structured water from the analemma; all the water I stirred with the analemma. And I have an episode about that, with structured water. You can check it out on the website as well, You can find it there. And so, Saturday, I came home, and I had a tiny, maybe 1 out of 10 headache. I drank some water. I even went to the grocery store to get some supplies for the kid who never stops eating and is growing like a weed. I came home, and I just felt good. And then, Sunday, I was on top of the world. That was just day three.

[0:18:29.6] Duffy James: I believe that's the high.

[0:18:31.5] Ashley James: I was on top of the world, and I was just really full of energy. I was actually surprised at how full of energy I was. And we ended up going to church, and I couldn't believe that I stood, we sang. I felt so good. I felt so full. And I noticed something shifting because that constant, “You're hungry. Eat. You're hungry. Eat,” was gone. Maybe three or four times that day, it was like, “I'm hungry.” And I was like, “Yeah, but we're fasting.” Okay, and I'd drink some water, and it would go away. The hunger doesn't stay. It would come, and it would be painful. Not painful, but it would be uncomfortable, which is what we don't like. We don't like being uncomfortable. Our body doesn't like being uncomfortable. But that's something that we need. We need to be uncomfortable at times to push, grow, and learn. 

So Sunday, this is day three, I just felt amazing. And I noticed these moments where my mind was empty in a good way; that I was just being in the now. And I kind of lost the capacity, somewhere around day two, to fully multitask. Women can sometimes listen to the radio, listen to kids talking, text, do three or four things at a time. 

[0:19:54.8] Duffy James: Yeah, I see you do that. I still don't believe it. I don't know. I can't. I'm, like, one channel.

[0:19:57.2] Ashley James: I can do it. Usually, I can multitask.

[0:20:04.6] Duffy James: I know. I still won't believe it when you do it. 

[0:20:06.5] Ashley James: I know. I can do it. But on the fast, there was only one channel. And so, when I was driving, our son started talking to me, I'm like, “No, no, no, I'm driving. I can only focus on driving. I can't also focus on you talking.” And I just noticed that this single channel took over. And that's where I think the praying, the fasting and meditating, or fasting and praying, comes in because there's no chatter. There's no chaos going on in my brain. It was peaceful in my brain. Other than the occasional, like my body nagging for food.

[0:20:43.0] Duffy James: When your brain has changed its state, it's in a break state.

[0:20:46.4] Ashley James: It is a break state, yeah. 

[0:20:47.8] Duffy James: And on a slower time frame. 

[0:20:52.1] Ashley James: So then Sunday afternoon, evening, I started getting this huge rush. Now, I was also wearing the phototherapy patches, which I definitely think was one of the reasons why I had this huge rush of energy, and I spent hours picking away at the house, cleaning, running around, and Duffy just wanted me to sit down and chill with him, and watch some TV which he normally does not. He very seldom. 

[0:21:17.3] Duffy James: I needed you in the evening to slow down.

[0:21:19.1] Ashley James: Yeah, he was trying to get me to slow down so he'd put on something on TV for me, and I was like, “No, we're cleaning. I want to run around.” And I got really productive. I also noticed that I was very hot like I was making a lot of heat in my body. So it was like burning off energy, and I just felt happiness, peace, and I felt fulfillment. Not full of food, but I felt full of spirit. So then, I don't know what, I hit a wall. So Sunday was the best. That was day three. Originally I was only going to do a three-day fast because I wasn't told how long the fast was supposed to be. I was just told you're starting to fast on Friday. And originally, I was going to do three days, and then Duffy's like…

[0:22:02.3] Duffy James: Well, you don't get the benefits until day five.

[0:22:04.9] Ashley James: Well, come on. You do get some benefits on day three. The big stuff happens on day five, like the human growth hormone spike and the stem cells spike. There are some great benefits for 5-days. To be honest, there was, I think, a part of me that was kind of terrified because we have a friend, who's a naturopathic doctor, and she's afraid of fasting because a long time ago, she had a boyfriend who fasted, and then she had to rush him to the hospital. This was back before she was a doctor, and she didn't know what was going on and so she's afraid of fasting. She's like, “Don't ever fast. It's so bad for you.” She was so afraid of it. And I've talked to so many doctors there since then who were saying, “Yeah if you do it properly.” Sure, some people can experience some issues, but for the most, it's very safe. There are ways to get around issues and start slow. Don't do more, like Dr. Goldhamer says, don't do more than a five-day fast. Like he says, one to five-day fasts is totally safe to do at home as long as you're in fairly good health. You're not on a bunch of meds. And then my husband's like, “No, I'm just going to listen to my body, and I'm just going to keep fasting until…

[0:23:19.3] Duffy James: Yeah, I didn't really have any trouble. Something comes up, usually, and it's like, I should probably get back to food. I think every time I end it, it's because of some external circumstance. But I wanted to keep going. But it was like, in my best interest to eat. 

[0:23:34.2] Ashley James: Yeah. But it's usually like two or three weeks, and then you refeed. So, something happened yesterday, and I hit a bit of a wall. Wall in that, I was hoping the energy I had on Sunday would continue. And that was not the case. My body wanted to rest, and maybe that's because I was kind of coming out of the third day. I'm coming into the 5th day, the fourth day. There were some big transitions for me, and my body wanted to rest. And so we went to the park; I brought my lawn chair, and I sat in the sun, put my feet up, and closed my eyes. My friend, we were talking, and half the time, I couldn't even keep my eyes open. I was yawning, chugging water, yawning, watching the kids play, and just relaxing. And what I noticed is that that level of peace deepened, and I had really just a deep and full sense of peace. That's when I was like, oh yeah. I get the whole meditation, praying, or fasting thing because I'm already there. I'm already halfway into meditation, just sitting in my lawn chair, just relaxing into my body. There's definitely an experience of emotions, an experience of the spiritual aspect of yourself and of life. And I started to reflect on the things I've been working on, on myself, and the things I'm improving. I'm healing, and I'm grappling with the idea of an addiction brain and how I would look at food, like preparing food for our son or you. I'd look at food while I was on the fast, and I'd look at it, and I go, you know, there's this part of me that it's like, there's never enough. There's a pit inside, and nothing will satisfy that pit, and I think that's the addiction brain, right? Like nothing will satisfy that, and it was an interesting observation. I kind of looked at this from different angles throughout the years, but to look at it from a fast, it's like it's okay. It's okay not to try to fill that unfillable void. 

[0:25:53.7] Duffy James: It's a totally new perspective for your brain. 

[0:25:56.3] Ashley James: Yeah. And also, it's like looking at a part of me that I'm ashamed of. Because in society, it's definitely not respected to have an addiction brain and to talk about it, right? And so, I feel vulnerable talking about it, but at the same time, it's like I'm also working on it. I'm looking at it like, when did this start? And I was asking myself, when did this start? As a kid, I remember I did not care about food. I did not think about food as a kid.

[0:26:30.7] Duffy James: But when you usually talk about it, you'd say, “I turned into a teen. I started to rebel.” It was high school when you'd buy french fries in the lunchroom.

[0:26:39.0] Ashley James: That's exact. And that's when I was at the park and with my eyes closed, just with the sun and the breeze, and just being with myself; it's like the fast gave me the ability to not have any mental capacity for handling tasks. I was not a taskmaster. So I just sat there, and I was just with myself. I remember as a child, I just ate what was put in front of me, whether I liked it or not. I wasn't happy when they fed me fish. I didn't like picking the bones out, but I ate it because I didn't think that there was a choice. And they would put food in front of me, and I'd eat it. Sometimes I'd like it, and sometimes I didn't. Once in a while, we'd go to the restaurant. I liked that. But during my life, I wasn't even thinking about food, overeating, emotional eating, or caring about it. And then, right around thirteen, when I had the antibiotics because I rebelled and ate the candy. That's my first experience with antibiotics. And so, just looking at the shift, and then I saw in my teenage years how my mom would put me on a diet after diet even though I wasn't overweight. 

[0:27:51.0] Duffy James: And so, that might have messed up your metabolism that you're learning now.

[0:27:55.7] Ashley James: Yeah. And then going towards food, because I had this void in me, the hurt and the rejection, and all that stuff from my parents and from being an angsty teenager, food is the drug and can be used like a drug. But now, coming out from the fast, it's like, I can see more clearly that part of me. When it's going like I just want 100 bowls of that food, or whatever it is, there's that part that's just there's no satisfying it. And can I quiet it? I don't always have it. But it definitely became loud in the fast because I wasn't eating. And that's what it wants. It wants to be fed.

[0:28:51.8] Duffy James: But I think what you'll notice when you start eating as you're refeeding is that your relationship with food will have been completely reset. And the cravings, or at least this is what I noticed, that the food cravings or the need to eat out of boredom or anything like that, I felt like I had a completely new perspective on it. And I could just not be interested in it like I was for the same reasons that I was in the past. So it will be interesting to hear if you noticed that too.

[0:29:27.4] Ashley James: Well, my second official fast, which was…

[0:29:31.4] Duffy James: What were your two experiences?

[0:29:34.2] Ashley James: So this is my third fast. My first was when I was thirteen. My second was right when we got the Sunlighten sauna, and our son broke his arm, right? That kind of happened right around the same time. That was 2017. So in 2017, I did a 3-day fast, and then I broke the fast because our son broke his arm. We had to go to the hospital, so I wanted to eat something so that I could handle the mental hula hoops I needed to go through because we were going to a children's hospital. 

So overall, I had a really good experience. I noticed fears coming up around food, like interesting thoughts, and they weren't me. Sometimes it's like your thoughts, aren't you right? And so, I've become the observer of these thoughts, and I'd say, “That's interesting.” Like, this is an interesting thought because this thought was recurring. So I'm like, okay, so there's something to work here and uncover. It would help that I'd say, “Hey, this is a thought that I keep having, but it's not me. I don't own this thought, but it is a pattern, so there's something going on. And this thought kept coming up like, almost a few saying something like, “What if this doesn't fix me?” These are the fears. I know it's illogical, right? Fears aren't logical. But I kept going. This is interesting. So I go to the kitchen, and I cook you guys some food. I wouldn't eat, and then the chatter would come back. “Oh, I want to eat that.” And I'm like, “Well, how much do you want to eat it? Like, how much do you want it?” It's like, “I want all of it.” That void is like I want unlimited amounts. So the void, the addiction, the craving, or whatever it is, is like there's none. And I kept looking and going, but there was no amount that would satisfy that craving. So I don't need to try to satisfy it because there's no amount that would. The fear was something like, what if when I refed and got back to eating, it's all going to be the same? You know what I mean? What if this doesn't change me, or will this work? It was a weird, interesting thought. And I was like, okay. So I'm just observing this. I'm observing this thought because it's an irrational fear, right? But it was interesting because I guess these voices — not these voices. They weren't voices like a possession or demon or something. It was just more like the voices of this draw, this pull, this addiction. I keep calling it addiction because it's the best way I can describe it. Maybe I could call it a relationship I have with food and my self-talk around food. And so I just got to examine it. 

So anyways, I had dinner tonight. This is my refeed, and it was a very small meal because it was like I did three steamed carrots and a little bit of mashed potatoes. I ate slowly. I chewed. And I noticed that I got full really fast. I mean, that's predictable, right? But I put the food down, and there's still food in the bowl, and I'm like, I'm fine. I'm done. And that's something I expected. I expected to do that. But there was peace. There was peaceful eating, and there was peace afterward.

[0:32:59.8] Duffy James: But did you notice that when you set it down when you haven't finished it, you felt complete with it, instead of needing to feel complete with an empty dish? That was my thing because when I grew up, you ate everything on your plate, and it had to be done that way. So I think I had been programmed to finish my plate no matter what, and then the fasting showed me a feeling of need in the moment, instead of the need my brain is telling me or my programming is telling me to eat, to clear the plate. 

[0:33:34.6] Ashley James: Not until too full. Like, we would just eat too much. And you know, the studies with longevity are that those who eat nutrient-dense food, low calories live the longest. They have the least amount of disease, and we can survive on way fewer calories. I know calories are not a good measurement for food because really it's about nutrient density. We don't need as much, and there's something beautiful about eating simple. And a lot of people rebel when I talk about cutting out oil, cutting out sugar, cutting out flour, cutting out salt. “What am I going to eat?” Or cutting out meat, or eggs, and dairy.

[0:34:14.6] Duffy James: It seems when you're cutting out all these things, you have to buy or worry about, or it will go bad, or all these things. You just have to worry about so much less.

[0:34:26.0] Ashley James: Just try. Try cutting out these foods. They're left with, “Well, food is not going to taste good.”

[0:34:32.8] Duffy James: It's better.  

[0:34:34.0] Ashley James: Well, it does. But first, you have to adapt your palate to that. And a lot of times, people's addiction brain comes up, or their relationship with food, and their rebellion with food, and how they seek pleasure and comfort from food — that comes up. And it's a big conflict because they want to stay comfortable instead of making themselves uncomfortable to get healthy. So it's a challenge, but it's interesting. Ask anyone who wants to be healthy. Ask them, “Are you willing to give up these foods in exchange for these foods and just eat vegetables, fruit, starchy vegetables, and some non-gluten grains? Can you eat brown rice, kale, and broccoli? First, they think it's going to be gross. I'm not going to get pleasure. What about the holidays? And that's just like me and the self-talk at the beginning of every time I thought about doing a fast. That self-talk comes up. It's like, “What about this? What about that? I couldn't eat that way. I couldn't do it.” It's like, why not? It's because of your relationship with food. 

And so I was going into this fast. My intention really was to go into the experience. Everyone talks about how cool fasting and praying is, or fasting and meditating. So I wanted to know what's up. Does fasting really help prayer? Or does it feel like you're more connected to the source? And certainly, I did when I prayed because it's the only thing happening in my mind. It was the only thing happening in my body. I was so in the moment. That's another thing I haven't talked about. I was so in the moment. It's like the past melted away. The future melted away. I did not know what was happening in five minutes. I did not know what was happening tomorrow, and there was no anxiety about it, no worry about it. There's no thinking about the future. I was so in the now. My body was so present. I was just melted. It was like I melted away, and I just became the observer being in the moment. Even when we were cleaning, talking, walking, or just sitting, whatever I was doing, I just felt like I melted away, and I was just being in the moment. I had long stretches where there were no thoughts in my mind, and it was so peaceful. I was just in the moment, and I wasn't even trying to. That was just an effect of the fast. So I was like, there's something really cool about this. But everything came to the forefront and was really loud, so I could examine it easily. 

[0:37:16.2] Duffy James: That's a good way to put it.

[0:37:18.9] Ashley James: Yeah. It allowed me to mull over things like, “Oh, what's going on here?” Sometimes our worst enemies are our habits have created our own health problems — the things we choose to eat, the habits we choose to do, and the things we choose not to do.

[0:37:39.8] Duffy James: And supporting those toxic systems that want you to eat toxic food.

[0:37:43.9] Ashley James: Right, yeah. And all of that can be let go, and there's going to be resistance in your head. I don't know who it is. I don't know if it's the ego or if it's the unconscious, or if it's some kind of programming, or if it's the body, or if it's the dopamine you're seeking. Whoever it is, there's something in us that fights change, that fights the uncomfortable, that fights taking away little pleasures that are hurting us. And that fast brought forth a lot for me to process. So it was worth it. I really loved it, and I love that I had my husband here to cheer me on. And also, I can complain to him and say, “I'm hungry,” and he's like, “Keep going. You can do it.” And I'm like, “I know, but I'm hungry.” And then I would drink some water, and we would do something else. Oh, today, I'm on my fifth day, he gave me a foot rub, and that was really sweet of him. So thank you. 

[0:38:45.9] Duffy James: You're welcome. 

[0:38:48.3] Ashley James: So, your experience with fasting, did you have any ‘aha' moment that you can remember? 

[0:38:53.8] Duffy James: I think the reset with the relationship with food, and it's more of a body experience instead of a mind or brain experience.

[0:39:06.1] Ashley James: Yeah, cool. Anything you learned from refeeding after your fasts?

[0:39:12.2] Duffy James: Oh, that. I suck at that. I go straight for food. I take the pain. 

[0:39:18.7] Ashley James: It's not good for you.

[0:39:19.5] Duffy James: It's just easier for me to do it that way. I know you freak out about it.

[0:39:24.5] Ashley James: I definitely support him in refeeding by making him soups and smoothies, and what he's supposed to eat like soft foods for a few days, and then he's like, “Whatever! I want a burrito.” 

[0:39:38.4] Duffy James: I was like, “When I'm done, I'm done.” 

[0:39:40.6] Ashley James: You can't just go for a burrito. You need to not eat salt. You have to definitely make sure you avoid any form of added salt. 

[0:39:51.1] Duffy James: But that's just my personality. 

[0:39:52.6] Ashley James: I know, I know. For me and for the listeners, do you have any advice for people who've never fasted?

[0:39:57.6] Duffy James: Well, do it. You just start. For any length of time, just pick a length of time and go for it. 

[0:40:07.5] Ashley James: For those who've never fasted, how do you get over the initial hunger? How do you get over the initial feeling of being tired? How did you do it? 

[0:40:16.3] Duffy James: Brute force. This is what's happening, and any pushback is ignored. 

[0:40:25.9] Ashley James: I kind of felt like I had to dig deep into that. I know deep down I'm really powerful, and I can do whatever I really, really put my mind to.

[0:40:36.3] Duffy James: I'd use a whole lot of won't power. I just won't do it. 

[0:40:42.7] Ashley James: Right. I'm just going to drink water and not eat.

[0:40:47.0] Duffy James: Right. Just set the intention and go. 

[0:40:48.4] Ashley James: And warn your family that you might be grumpy because there were a few times I was hangry and…

[0:40:53.5] Duffy James: You weren't that bad.

[0:40:55.1] Ashley James: I know. But I wasn't sweet.

[0:40:59.4] Duffy James: I can't see that any other way, so I don't know.

[0:41:01.6] Ashley James: Look at this kissing up to me. Love it. Did you observe anything in me during my fast that I haven't talked about? Were you surprised I did five days? 

[:41:19.0] Duffy James: No, I knew you could do it. I was bummed when you ended it because I was like, “Oh, go for seven,” because it gets better.

[0:41:27.4] Ashley James: Tell us about how it gets better after day five.

[0:41:30.3] Duffy James: I just remember it gets better. I need to journal because I don't.

[0:41:36.2] Ashley James: Oh, you need to journal. You need to journal. 

[0:41:42.2] Duffy James: There's no need to edit.

[0:41:44.4] Ashley James: I'm not taking that out. It is down. You said it. It's on.

[0:41:49.7] Duffy James: It's been said before. 

[0:41:52.7] Ashley James: It's been said. That would be so cool. You should totally journal during your fast. 

[0:41:56.5] Duffy James: Yeah, maybe I will. 

[0:41:58.0] Ashley James: And that's why I'm doing this. This is my journal, by the way. You could do an audio journal if you wanted to. 

[0:42:03.0] Duffy James: Click play, episode 510.

[0:42:10.4] Ashley James: I think this is going to be 503. I'm not sure. I got to look. But yes, I'm going to play it for you, and you're like, “See? Listen to yourself. You say you need to journal.” Why are you sticking your fingers in your ears? What have you said in the past? This marriage didn't come with earplugs?

[0:42:28.6] Duffy James: No, I did not. 

[0:42:29.2] Ashley James: No? Alright. Well, I do remember on your fast that somewhere in week two, you're just kind of so happy. And you've never had moments where you can't drive. You act like yourself, which is great because I'm down to one channel. I can only do one task at a time when I'm fasting. And you, you're great. You do the dad stuff. You drive our kid around. You do stuff in the business. But in week two, I do notice that you sort of kind of got cold.

[0:43:13.3] Duffy James: Oh, one thing that I did notice with two of the fasts that I've done that are longer than a week, is I was not strict with what went in my mouth. The gummy supplements we have, I would take a couple more. I would take a handful of cashews; that won't hurt anything. And that's a slippery slope. That's a lot harder to cheat. It's very hard to recover. Whereas if it's a strict fast, it's actually easier. You're not taunting yourself. So that would probably be the biggest advice. Don't even cheat a little bit, even though it's still considered fasting if it's less than 300 calories a day.

[0:44:19.2] Ashley James: I think it depends. Yeah, somewhere around 500 calories. It's like if you're going to eat complex or starchy carbohydrates, it will take you out of ketosis. But there are certain foods you could eat. It's more of individuals. I know someone who could eat asparagus or zucchini, and it takes them out of ketosis. Whereas another person could eat a potato and they're still in ketosis.

[0:44:42.3] Duffy James: I just found it was best not to. It's a slippery slope. 

[0:44:47.0] Ashley James: Sometimes, occasionally, you would have an electrolyte drink or clear vegetable broth with no sodium, just for electrolytes, and you felt fine. But anything beyond that would put a monkey wrench in the whole thing, and then it would make the fasting really hard. You kind of got grumpy.

[0:45:13.8] Duffy James: Yeah, and then I'd give up. I know I said they ended up external. There were two of them. Now that I'm thinking about it, I sabotaged it. I did not, really, because it wasn't like six cashews. It was only five.

[0:45:30.9] Ashley James: Yeah, you justify it. Those are the voices in the head. I know we're justifying it. This is just this. It can totally be fine. And those little voices, you got to observe them and then talk to them. Glenn Livingston, I had him on the show, like, five times, and he's amazing. You should definitely check out his episodes. Glenn talked about how we have this inner. He calls it his inner pig, and I call it my inner brat because I totally have a brat that's like, “I want what I want when I want it.” And Duffy definitely has his own inner brat that we all do. Is it a brat? 

[0:46:16.4] Duffy James: Uh-hm.

[0:46:18.0] Ashley James: Yup? And sometimes, we get stubborn, and we just want what we want when we want it. There were a few fasts I noticed where you got cold. Your hands got cold. Do you always get cold during fasting or just sometimes? 

[0:46:37.6] Duffy James: I think so. That's just part of it.

[0:46:40.8] Ashley James: I noticed I was cold. Actually, I was cold today. I wanted slippers on my feet, and I did notice that I was getting cold. So that's part of it. Nothing to worry about here. Cool. And sleep, was sleep deeper for you on fasting? Because I noticed some nights, I was in a deep sleep, and some nights it was almost like I felt I was still awake. I think I was detoxing. I noticed I felt like I was awake half the night. 

[0:47:08.3] Duffy James: I'm not as in-tuned in my sleep as you are. I just do it. Whether it was good or bad, I slept.

[0:47:19.5] Ashley James: So when is your next fast? 

[0:47:21.5] Duffy James: I don't know. Do you want to do it together on your next? 

[0:47:25.7] Ashley James: Ah, yeah. But this isn't going to be like…

[0:47:29.4] Duffy James: Would you ever do five days or not? 

[0:47:31.3] Ashley James: I'm probably going to do five days again. 

[0:47:32.2] Duffy James: I want double digits. It's more fun.

[0:47:33.5] Ashley James: Oh, I don't know. I'll work up to it.

[0:47:35.1] Duffy James: Okay. Well, I'll do it with you. I'm getting on the next one.

[0:47:38.8] Ashley James: Yeah, sure. I'm very happy about this fast, and I'm glad we could come on and share about it. It's an interesting experience. I like that I set an intention. I like that the universe, God, Holy Spirit, whatever we call it, was like, “All right, you're ready. Let's go.” So it does kind of help to have a higher power telling you, calling your name. But then, just the observation of what's going on mentally, what's going on emotionally — and the best thing was when I could become the observer instead of buying into the drama. If the brat was still freaking out in my brain about how hungry I was, or how I just wanted to eat, or “I'm so grumpy today. I just want to eat.” Well, I could just watch that and go, “Wow, this is an interesting behavior.”

[0:48:34.5] Duffy James: I think the biggest thing is the change in perspective because it's completely different. 

[0:48:38.4] Ashley James: Well, like today, when I had dinner to break the fast, it was a very small amount of food. I felt satisfied. I put the bowl down. There's still food in it, and I took a breath, and I felt my whole abdomen. I just checked in with it, and I went, “This feels right. This feels good. This feels right. This is good. Okay, cool.” And I noticed because we've been having this talk with our son who's fighting us on eating healthy. Well, we don't serve him junk food, but I'm trying to get more vegetables into him, and he's like, “I don't like vegetables.” He's decided he doesn't like them.

[0:49:12.7] Duffy James: Can you blame him? 

[0:49:13.8] Ashley James: I love vegetables. They're so healthy. 

[0:49:15.6] Duffy James: I don't.

[0:49:15.9] Ashley James: I know. Dude, you can't be a vegan that doesn't like vegetables.

[0:49:20.7] Duffy James: But I do it. 

[0:49:21.7] Ashley James: I feed him vegetables. So, I'm having these conversations with our son, who's like, he didn't want to eat dinner tonight. He's like, “I don't like the taste of this,” and he starts crying. He's eight years old. He's like, “Oh, please don't make me eat this.” I'm like, “I'm not going to make you eat it. But yeah, we made this, and we don't want it to go to waste, and it's healthy for you.” And so I negotiate with him. “What else will you eat? Pick another vegetable.” And I keep talking to him about how it doesn't need to taste good to make it healthy for you. That's just enjoyment. That's just a bonus. But it's okay to eat something that isn't the tastiest thing in the world, as long as it's healthy for you and it's building your body. So I don't love cooked carrots. I really don't. It's not on my top 50, and yet that's what I cooked, and that's what we had in the fridge. And I was like, fine, I'm making it. And I ate it, and I enjoyed it. It's not my favorite. I don't love it, but I'm like, I'm just going to be here in the moment chewing this food, feeling it, and asking it to nourish my body. And I'm going to be okay with and be at peace with eating food. 

I already eat super clean and healthy. I'm very, very good about the food. But I did in the past find that I was choosing meals based on the pleasure factor instead of the health and nutrition factor. Even though I was still eating whole food, plant-based, super clean, and organic, I still noticed that cravings would come up there. Like, oh, you know, don't eat that, eat this, because of the pleasure. I'm like, that's not what I want. I want to be able to make food choices based on how good it is for me and be okay with the different levels of pleasure I may or may not get from food. So that was another thing that I got out of this fast. Yeah. Awesome. 

[0:51:19.2] Duffy James: Well, thanks for having me on. 

[0:51:20.9] Ashley James: Yeah, thanks for coming on. Maybe we'll have you on again. 

[0:51:23.8] Duffy James: Yeah, we'll see how when my arm heals. Maybe I'll come on again. 

[0:51:30.4] Ashley James: Well, welcome to the 500s.

[0:51:32.1] Duffy James: Yeah, thank you. It took me that long to bring up the courage to do it. 

[0:51:36.5] Ashley James: But I think you said one sentence in an episode, like, maybe twenty episodes ago. So yeah, good job. 

I hope you enjoyed today's interview with myself. I hope you enjoyed today's conversation with my husband, Duffy, and me. I was talking about our experiences with fasting. When I recorded this conversation that you just listened to with my husband, Duffy, I had just finished my 5-day fast, and it had been a few hours after my first meal breaking the fast. Now, I'm sitting here about to hit publish. I wanted to update you. So it's been two days now into refeeding. A really interesting development — I thought the hardest part about fasting would be hunger. But the hardest part is refeeding. I just want to go back. I just want to jump back into regular food, and you can't. You really shouldn't. The longer the fast, the more gentle you should refeed. And as Troy Reicherter said in our interview, Episode #369, where he tells his story, he fasts one to three times a year doing these really long 30-day fasts. So you definitely go back and listen to Episode #369. He's been on the show a few times. Interestingly, he has spent over $40,000 of his own money and invested in blood testing because he wants to prove that we can use fasting to get rid of forever chemicals out of our body and to take out these chemicals that are known carcinogens, known as cancer-causing. So you can go back and listen to that Episode #369

One thing he tells is a story about how he got a little cocky. He had to fly to Asia. I believe it was a funeral he was going to. He is kind of distracted. He was just wrapping up a 30-day fast. And on the flight, he ate a bag of peanuts or whatever they gave, like pretzels or whatever they gave out. And I've seen the video where he's like, “Oh, I'm at the end of a fast. It's fine. I'll just eat regular food.” And the problem with that is, and Troy explains to us in the interview, our kidneys, while we're fasting, are so efficient. Then when we stop eating food, they concentrate our electrolytes. So they'll concentrate the salt and the potassium. They'll concentrate the wonderful electrolytes. And those who have kidney problems, if you're on medication or have any organ issues, you definitely want to talk to a doctor. 

You know, you could talk to Dr. Alan Goldhamer. That's Episode #230, and you can contact the True North Medical Center. That's his center, and it's a non-profit. It's a live-in center where you go and stay there. You can stay there for a week, for a month. He's had one man do a 100-day fast with him successfully, very healthily because you're constantly monitored by doctors. It's on my bucket list. I really want to go there. It's just a matter of money, and maybe when our son is older, so I would feel comfortable leaving my family to go do that or maybe taking my whole family if we could afford the expense of it. Last I looked, it was something like $180 a day, which is room and board. And when you're not fasting, they feed you amazingly healthy, delicious food. They have classes, and they teach you, and you're surrounded by holistic doctors who are all there to support you in your success. So it sounds wonderful. For me, it's just like a vacation. Like, I want to go to a fasting clinic where it's like a little fasting resort in California. But the True North Medical Center has Dr. Alan Goldhamer and other doctors you can call and do a consultation. Just go to their website. Just Google True North Medical Center and you can talk to them. So if you're concerned like, “Hey, I have these issues, and I'm wondering if fasting is good for me or right for me,” there are doctors who are really well educated on fasting. A lot of doctors aren't educated on fasting. So they would just kind of tell you what they think, but they wouldn't have the background, the science background, or the clinical experience to inform you correctly. 

So having said that, Troy ate some peanuts. Now, remember, the longer you fast, the more your kidneys are being very smart in that they're reclaiming the sodium and concentrating it, so instead of you urinating it out, it's keeping it, putting it back in the blood, And so, when you start refeeding, you want to eat soft foods like steamed vegetables, or broth, soups, juices, smoothies. But you want to make sure that it's soft. There's no added salt, no sodium added. I mean, if it's naturally occurring, like a carrot, there are five micrograms of salt and sodium in it. Okay, it came from the ground. And you do this for several days and slowly until you can eat solid foods again.

Well, he just fasted so many times. He was like, “Oh, what could this do? It's just a bag of peanuts.” And you are on this very long flight, coupled with maybe the stress, and maybe he's not drinking enough, and even just flying tends to kind of bloat people — well, he almost died. He ended up with his whole body becoming a balloon. His fingers became like sausages. He couldn't close his fingers. His feet wouldn't fit in the shoes. He ballooned out, and I think he told me he ended up going to a hospital or almost did, and then he realized, “Oh yeah, I broke my fast with possibly the saltiest snack in the world, with peanuts from an airplane.” That's a really good indicator, a really good warning. 

So it's so important whether you are doing a one-day, three-day, five-day, seven-day, whatever water-only fasting you're doing, you want to make sure the whole time that you're healthy with your electrolytes. If you start to get cramping or have any of those symptoms where you may feel like your electrolytes are a little off, I hear that diluted coconut water is a great natural electrolyte without fully breaking the fast. And so is the sodium-free broth. Not low-sodium, not regular broth, but clear, no sodium, vegetable broth. There's only one brand I can find, and it's at Sprouts. And so I buy up a few and keep them around for when Duffy's on his very long fast. When he does several weeks, he likes to drink one once in a while and just a little bit to keep him balanced. 

So, I refed and slept the last two days. And you know, five-day fast refeeding takes like two days. It's not that big of a deal. I'm back to eating solid foods again. I noticed that I eat slower. I chew more. I mean, I'm asking myself to chew more, but I also chew more because I'm really enjoying the flavors. I noticed that during the fast — I didn't mention this in our conversation when I talked to Duffy — I noticed that through the fast my sense of smell was heightened. Or maybe I did talk about it. I can't remember now. Because Duffy and I did mention — he says he has kind of, like people who say, they quit smoking and all of a sudden they can smell food again. They can taste food again. It's not like they couldn't before, but now it's just that everything's elevated. And that's what I feel, like my senses elevated, but I was expecting that to not be as intense and in a good way. And what's great is, now, two days after the fast, my sense of taste is elevated, and I am so chewing, and I'm going, “Wow, what's that flavor?” I made a salad, and I'm like, “Oh, what's that flavor? What was that? That was a tomato? What was that? That was some cilantro? Oh my gosh.” 

I noticed that I'm happier. I'm just happier in my body. Not that I was sad before. I'm generally a very cheerful person. But I have this peace, and I'm not going to say it's gone completely, but the intensity of the self-talk around food is calmer and more peaceful. Once in a while, my self-talk is a little judgy, like, “How many of those are you going to eat? I'm like, “Wow, a judgy voice in my head.” I'm going to eat one because I'm going to just feel my body and see how I feel. Even if it's healthy food, it's like, I could eat a salad, and this little voice in my head is going, “Wow, you're eating so much.” I'm like, “Where did you come from?” But I can hear those voices now instead of it being like this constant frustration, and the fast brought them forward. So now I'm working on the self-talk. And I've had interviews, by the way, on self-talk. Type in ‘self-talk' at I've had some mental health counselors come on and talk about working with self-talk and, why did we develop negative self-talk, and how to calm it, how to heal that or get rid of it. I've had different guests come on. So I've been leaning on those tools and listening to the self-talk; I'm going, “Wow, this is really interesting.” 

It's much calmer. There's much more peace in my head and in my heart. But in my body, there's a feeling — and it's so cool because I didn't know this would continue — but since the fast, I feel elated. It's very similar to euphoria, but it's not ungrounded. I feel grounded. I feel in the now. I feel at peace. My cells are buzzing with happiness, and I'm eating good food. Everything I've been eating has been pretty much vegetables, really healthy stuff, a little bit of fruit here, and I've got a lot of vegetables. I just made the most delicious white beans with garlic. They're so good. And I just had a little bit, and I'm going, “I can't believe how good this tastes.” I can feel my body is just happy. So I really wanted to share that with you. So if you're someone who has been just frustrated, struggling with their emotional health or their feelings around their body, please try it. Just try it for whatever you can. If it's right for you, do it. It's beautiful. It's similar to when I switched to whole food plant-based, and I started going, “Wow, I'm feeling happy. I'm feeling happy.” Every day was like layers and layers of inflammation went away, and also the gut microbiome and everything. My body just felt more and more happy with my choices. 

I love how Duffy mentioned cognitive dissonance. And when you have cognitive dissonance, there's that really uncomfortable right before the shift where you make your behaviors be in alignment with your values. That's uncomfortable to be there because part of you wants to keep doing the old behavior, but you know it's not right for you. For example, eating meat with something, or eating cheese, or eating pizza, or whatever. It's just, “I like it. I don't want to give it up, but I know it's bad for me.” And then if you do give it up and instead you replace it with amazing delicious, whole foods, and then a week since that, you're going, “Wow, I didn't know this could taste so good. I didn't know I could feel this way. I didn't know I could feel this feeling I have in my body 24/7.” It is way more important and worth way more than a slice of pizza. Like, a slice of pizza and beer gives you what? Fifteen minutes of pleasure? And then, the rest of the day is this constant background noise of misery because the body is suffering, and that spills over into emotions. So your physical health, your emotional health, your mental health, your spiritual health, all are connected. And when you do something for one, it helps the other.

There is one more thing I wanted to share, and that is that when I was talking about my three-day fast that I did back right around when our son broke his arm, it was almost at the three-day mark, and I didn't know he'd broken his arm. I know he had a fall, and then we put him down for his nap because he was a toddler, and everything seemed fine. And while he was down for his nap, I had this intense voice in my head, kind of similar to this voice that told me to do this fast. And this voice said — and it wasn't me, it wasn't a voice in my head because I was actually doing really well. I was totally congruent. It was right around day three, the time when everything started getting really good in fasting because your body switches over from burning glycogen, which is our sugar stores, to burning fat for fuel, which is ketosis. This isn't the ketogenic diet. This is the actual state of ketosis, which is burning fat for fuel and making ketones for your brain, and for your body, for fuel, instead of relying on what you're eating, which is glucose. 

So our son's down for a nap, and this voice says, “You have to eat right now.” I can't remember exactly what it said, but it was like, “You break the fast.” I think the voice was ‘break the fast' because I remember it was like a very short sentence. It was very clear ‘break the fast.' And yeah, that was it. And then I was like, “Okay, I'm listening to this voice.” Because it had been just like within hours of being on a three-day fast, I was like, all right, you know, it's not much for refeeding. I'm just going to serve myself what Duffy was eating, which I think was mashed potatoes and vegetables. It was something soft anyway. So I was like, okay, I'm just going to sit down and eat some of this. And I did, and right as I finished my meal, our son started screaming. He was waking up from his nap screaming, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, that's intense.” And then I went and got him, and then that's when we realized, oh, wow, yeah, there's something wrong. He couldn't move his arm, and that's when we rushed him to the hospital. And then Duffy asked me, like, “Why'd you break your fast?” And I'm like, “Well, it's good that I did because I needed the energy to be up half the night, waiting in the hospital, and x-rays and the doctors and everything that had happened. I don't think I could have really been there and been present while fasting, or at least it wouldn't have been fun, like, it was fun anyway. It was much more manageable, having had a meal going into that situation. 

I didn't mention that in the previous conversation that you just listened to because it just didn't come to mind to say that. But I didn't break the fast after we knew his arm was broken. I broke the fast right before we knew his arms were broken because I got a clear message that told me to do it. I don't know if you've ever had that, where you've had a voice not your own, but a familiar and not a threatening voice not your own, say something with a very clear message to follow it. I've heard some people say, “Yeah, I heard change lanes, and then I almost died in a car accident,” or, “Marry that woman.” Sometimes we are guided divinely, and we just got to listen. Listen to our intuition, which is listening to our own self, but then sometimes we receive divine guidance, and at least that's my experience of life. 

So thank you. Thank you for being on this journey for me. And if you do decide to fast, come into the Facebook group. I'd love to hear about your experience. The Facebook group, you could just search Learn True Health on Facebook, or you can go to, and that will take you to the Facebook group. We have a wonderful listener community that's there to support you in your success, and I love answering your questions. The group comes together, and we all help each other as we're growing on this journey. 

I've mentioned here at the beginning of this episode the three episodes you can listen to for more information on fasting and the science behind it — Episode #230 with Dr. Alan GoldhamerEpisode #269 with Troy Reicherter, and Episode #390 with Robyn Openshaw. So you can go ahead and go to your favorite app for listening to episodes, listening to podcasts, or you can go to and search for those.

Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing my podcast with those you care about. I don't know if you know my story. I was sick and suffering for so many years. I had multiple diseases. I was told by doctors I'd never get better, and I turned to holistic medicine. I was able to get my health back. I was able to reverse and end all those diseases, including I was told I'd never be able to have kids. But we have an amazing son. And it sparked a fire in me to want to help drive a passion for helping people to no longer suffer the suffering. It's so horrible that so many people out there have health problems, and there are answers for you. And the answers aren't readily available because the mainstream medical system is by profit, not by results. So, if you're new to this podcast, if maybe someone shared it with you, come on this journey with me. Through my interviews, let me show you how to no longer suffer, how to take control of your health and your life, and learn true health.


Get Connected with Ashley James!



Facebook Group



Learn True Health Podcast on iTunes

Free Your Anxiety!

Take You Supplements

Jun 24, 2023

Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering 90-Year-Old Dr. Henry Buchwald exposes what's broken in our current medical system and brainstorms how to fix it.


Go here to check out the answer to our broken health insurance industry


BOOK: Healthcare Upside Down: A Critical Examination of Policy and Practice


501: The Most Comprehensive and Affordable Health Coverage

In this podcast episode, Ashley James interviews Dr. Henry Buchwald, a 90-year-old physician with extensive experience. They acknowledge that the medical system is broken and driven by profits rather than patient outcomes. Dr. Henry suggests that individuals can take action by voting with their dollars and engaging in consumer activism. They can choose alternative healthcare plans or insurance options that offer better coverage and are more affordable. The episode emphasizes the need to support healthcare solutions that prioritize patient well-being over profit and to seek out individual doctors who can provide personalized care without being constrained by administrative demands. The aim is to shape and reform the broken system through collective action and make it more patient-centric.


  • The current medical system is broken, with the United States spending the most on healthcare yet having poor outcomes.
  • The system is driven by profit rather than focusing on patient well-being and true healing.
  • Dr. Henry Buchwald, a 90-year-old physician, suggests individual actions to combat the feeling of helplessness.
  • Consumer activism can be exercised by voting with our dollars and making conscious choices in purchasing health insurance or alternative healthcare options.
  • There are affordable alternatives to traditional health insurance plans that offer comprehensive coverage with no network restrictions.
  • The broken medical system benefits companies that profit from keeping people sick rather than helping them get better.
  • Seeking out individual doctors not bound by administrative constraints can lead to more personalized and holistic care.
  • By collectively engaging in consumer activism and supporting healthcare solutions that prioritize patient outcomes, the broken system can be reformed to provide better care.


Hello, true health seeker, and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. I know you're like me, and you are here because you believe that this medical system is broken. There's something wrong. There's something very wrong. We spend the most in the United States than any other nation on our healthcare, and yet we have some of the worst outcomes. It's a for-profit industry, not a for-results industry. It's so corrupt and so sick, and yet as individuals, we feel so helpless. Who are we against these giant industries that have made billions on our backs? They have made billions on keeping us sick and preventing us from knowing the true nature of healing. Because they have to find a drug for that, right? 

So I have an amazing guest here today. He's 90 years old. He's been practicing medicine for sixty-three years, as a physician, as a surgeon, and as a professor. He's written an intriguing book where he shares his sixty-three years of experience, and he saw the system changing. We're not saying it was perfect sixty-three years ago, but it has certainly gotten worse. My guest today is Dr. Henry Buchwald. One of the things that he suggests, which I thought was really interesting, that we could do as individuals to stop feeling so helpless against them — the 99% against the 1% — well, together, we can vote with our dollars. Another way to say it is consumer activism. But you don't have to go and get out there with a picket sign and march around. When I say activism, a lot of images come to mind of protesting together. We can protest with our purchases. We can choose to buy health insurance or alternatives to health insurance that are even better, that are cheaper, and give us better coverage. 

And that is why I was so excited about this, when I talked about it in Episode #50 because not every single state has it yet, but most of the states in the United States have this alternative to health insurance that is so incredibly cheap, and it's so incredibly affordable. I think it starts at $78 a month for individuals, and it is $600 or something a month for the average family. It's so comprehensive; there's no network. You can go to any state and go to any physician or any doctor, and you'll be covered. If you are like me and you'd like to put your money towards anything that has to do with helping to solve this problem, solve the juggernaut that is the broken medical system. And when I say broken, it's by design. It's broken when you look at it from a patient standpoint, but it is working very well for those companies who wish to make a profit off of our illness and not help us get better, either. They keep us sick because that is the most profitable thing for them to do. 

So, I'd love for you to go to Check it out and let me know what you think. I am very excited about it. You can purchase for your family an alternative to health insurance that is taking your dollars, and instead of putting it into an insurance company, it's putting it into a healthcare plan that is more comprehensive. They'll give you more coverage. It gives you more freedom, and it takes the profit away from the problem. Now, you can also go out and find licensed naturopathic physicians and osteopathic physicians, and other forms of working with a physician that is not buying into or putting your dollars into the problem, which are these clinics or these hostile networks that are run by the doctor's answer to the administrators. Instead of them being able to practice medicine, they have to adhere to the administration that they are being hired by. 

So instead, go find individual doctors. Seek out the holistic-minded doctors that are not part of those networks. I sit with my doctor for an hour, sometimes 90 minutes. I mean, this is amazing care for the same price because many of these physicians are covered under insurance. Or, as I pointed out, go to, and you can get an alternative to health insurance that gives you even better benefits for cheaper, and that is because what's popping up now are the answers to this problem, which is finding the care you deserve.

I don't want to put my money towards those health insurance companies that are part of the problem. I don't want to put my money towards clinics or those clinic networks or hospital networks that are part of the problem. That's why I go seeking individual doctors that don't have to adhere to or answer to an administration. And I go seeking health care that doesn't pay into the problem. So if we all get together, it's called consumer activism. If we voted with our dollars, we could help to shape this broken system, to turn it right side up, so that it can be focused on patient outcomes first, which is what we deserve. And that's what we talked about today with Dr. Buchwald. I'm so happy you're here. Please share this with those you care about and share this with those who are just sick and tired of being squished by the boot of this broken medical system, this for-profit medical system. It's really disgusting that these companies are getting away with it, and we've let them. But it happened so slowly that we didn't really see it coming. 

And now we listen to a 90-year-old doctor who's like, “Hey, wait a second. It used to be better, and we need to make changes because it's getting worse and worse and worse.” They are able to squeeze more and more profits out of us and get less and less results. Actually, they get results. They're just really bad outcomes. I want to see all of us be healthy, and we all deserve the best care possible, and that's not what we're being given here.

[0:07:10.4] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I'm your host, Ashley James. This is Episode #502.

I am so excited for today's guest. We have with us an amazing doctor, Ph.D., surgeon MD, teacher, healthcare pioneer, patient advocate, and author. For over 60 years, you've been in this field advocating for us and speaking out about the injustices in the healthcare system, Dr. Henry Buchwald, it's so good to have you here, and I can't wait to talk about your book, Healthcare Upside Down: A Critical Examination of Policy and Practice. We're seeing this as patients. We've been personally experiencing this, and we talk about it all the time on the show. How many times did we go to a doctor and, like we talked about before we hit record — “Oh, your disease is just a little bit. Let's wait till it becomes worse, and then we'll give you a drug.” Well, why not practice prevention? Well, there's money to be made. I believe that when people go to medical school, their heart's in the right place. I don't think that they're evil. I think the system is broken and designed to make a profit. The number one goal should be designed to help people live long, healthy, happy lives. But it's not designed that way. It's designed to make a profit first. And this is the problem. It is the moment that there's money involved then their corruption can pour in. 

So before we jump in to talk about your book, I'd love for you to share with us what happened in your life that made you want to become a doctor. Was there an “aha!” moment when your eyes were opened, and you realized, wow, this system is completely broken?

[0:09:06.1] Dr. Henry Buchwald: Well, thank you, first of all, for having me. It's a pleasure talking with you. I never wanted to be a doctor when I was young. I wasn't one of these kids who said, “I'm going to be a doctor. I'm going to be a doctor.” I liked learning. I like two things — athletics and learning. So as I went through school, every subject interested me. And when I went through college, Columbia College, everything interested me. My friends were going to medical school, so I said, let's go to medical school. The other area which interested me the most in college was philosophy of religion. And I spent some of my courses at the Union Theological Seminary with the great theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. But I didn't want to become a philosophy or religion teacher. So I went to medical school. Everything in medical school interested me. And then, finally, when I got into surgery service in my third year of medical school, I was at an externship in Cooperstown, New York, and I went to Columbia University Medical School College of Physicians and Surgeons, now called the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. And they had a rotation in this wonderful little place in Cooperstown, New York, Mary Imaging Bassett Hospital. So when I went there, it all jelled. Surgery seemed to fit me and, pardon the pun, like a glove. One day, my wife and I were at the lake where we lived close to Lake Otsego, and I listed all the things that were good about medicine, internal medicine, and so on. She said, follow your heart. And it took me about one second; I said surgery.

Surgery has always been my aspiration from thereon in. After my service in the Strategic Air Command on flying status as a flight surgeon, I went to Minnesota, finished my residency, and I've never left there. I am now at Emeritus status, having been a Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering and the first Wangensteen Chair in Experimental Surgery. During this time period, medicine and the practice of medicine changed. Looking at it from two ends — let's say, three ends — in the beginning, administration served the profession. The doctors, the nurses, the medical schools, the hospitals — administration was there to facilitate. The medical professionals — doctors, nurses — were independent. They did what they and their patients disseminated could be done or should be done. 

And let me get to preventing disease in a couple of minutes into this. And the patients felt they were patients. They went to a doctor. They were being taken care of. And this was epitomized in the patient saying, “My doctor.” What does that mean today? That has changed. It's no longer “my doctor.” It's a conglomerate. It's a bunch of robots. There is no “my doctor” anymore. And the doctor would say, “My patient.” It doesn't mean it's a possessiveness of a patient. It means, “I take responsibility for you.” And so that has been shattered. So if we look at the three elements again, the patient — and this is one of the chapters in my book — the words precede the actions. George Orwell, in his book 1984, knew this. So the patient is no longer called a “patient.” It's called the “client.” That's a business term. And the doctor is no longer called a “doctor.” The doctor is called a “provider,” and the doctor is no longer an independent entity. Essentially, all doctors, except rural physicians or those that work for government agencies, are employees. And then, finally, this administration that used to be the facilitator has become the dominator. The administration is in charge, and they run healthcare like a business model. Actually, I used to go to a nursing station. It's now called a firm. 

And so the changes come, in my lifetime, from a doctor-patient relationship where the patient was a patient, the doctor was a doctor, and the administrator was a facilitator, and it's now turned. That's why I called the book Healthcare Upside Down. Now, the administrator sits on top and dictates what's going to happen to the employee provider, and the patient is left out of this. There are so many examples. For instance, if you call your “doctor” today, you don't end up talking to him or her. You talk to a robot, and probably the robot sends you to another robot, and then they send you to an inquisitor who wants to know everything about you. And really, do you ever talk to the doctor? And then, finally, you might be told, “Well, there are lots of providers. Doctor so and so could see you in two months. But in the meantime, you can see so and so.” Why? Because it's a business model. Because the second so and so has an opening. So you got to fill it to make the money to pay this person. 

And so, it has changed. And what I provide in this book is not only an analysis of how it's changed in the teaching, in the medical school, in the clinic, and in the hospital. I take on COVID, socialized medicine research, public health, etc., and end up with ten recommendations of maybe how to change this and put healthcare right side up. But the whole idea of the book is to draw attention to the fact that things have changed. And to do this, I don't want it to be my opinion. So throughout the book, everything is verified with statistics, with facts. I don't want statistics to be boring, but statistics have to be looked at, and I'll just give one. We have the life expectancy of a third-world country. And every country in Europe, Western Europe or Australia, New Zealand, and your home state Canada has a longer life expectancy. And within our own country, we have disadvantaged populations — native Americans and African-Americans. In every category of world statistics, how we do with heart disease, etc., diabetes, we're nowhere close to the top, except in one category — cost. Our healthcare takes 17% of our gross national product, and the nearest neighbor is at least 4% or 5% further down, and that is Switzerland. 

So, we are upside down, and I don't see any American would tolerate this in any other area. I'll give you an example. If you wanted to take your kids to the ball game, and you called and said, “I want a ticket,” and the person at the other end said, “Yes, we'll send you two tickets, but we'll tell you what day you can come. We'll tell you what teams are playing, and we'll tell you where you'll be seated.” Wouldn't you go? You wouldn't buy a car if the dealership would say, “No, I don't care what you think. You're going to get that car.” But we do this today with health care. We pay for it. That is “we” — everyone pays for it in one way or another; taxes, private insurance. And yet we have no say in what happens. And this transition has come about in my lifetime in medicine. And so I thought, okay, I'm no longer young. Can I at least write a book about it to call some attention, and maybe America can wake up and say we can do better? 

[0:19:10.3] Ashley James: I hope it's okay for me to say you're 90 years old. Is that correct? 

[0:19:14.2] Dr. Henry Buchwald: That is absolutely, and I hope to be older. 

[0:19:19.1] Ashley James: You don't look a day over 75. So you're doing something right. And what I love is that you're standing on your soapbox saying, “Hey, there's something to learn here.” We need to look to the wisdom of those who have come before us, and you, in your lifetime, have seen the change. It's easy for us to believe that how it is now is how it's always been. And that's a fallacy that keeps the wool over our eyes. Well, this is just how it's done. And yet it is not the best way. It's the most profitable way for those in charge and at the expense of us, at the expense of our mental health, emotional health, and of course, our physical health. Our physical health is degrading, and also our financial health. That is, half or more than half of all bankruptcies in the United States are because of medical bills. And yet we have the worst outcomes of all first nations. Like you said, we're the equivalent of third-world nations when it comes to our health outcomes in statistics, and yet we pay the most as a country. We pay the most than any other country in the world, and we get the worst outcomes. How is that even possible? Well, it's possible because, like you said, it is turned upside down; it is a for-profit industry. 

Now, I had my first experience when I was a teenager, and I needed medication temporarily because I had bronchitis or something, and I didn't know as much about holistic health as I do now. So I got a prescription. This is back when I lived in Canada. I remember paying $20 for it. I got so upset because, in Canada, it's supposed to be covered. Healthcare is supposed to be “free” because almost half of our paycheck goes towards paying for these social services like free universal healthcare. And the pharmacist looked at me and said, “Honey, in America, this exact same medication costs $400. So your $20 is not a big deal.” And I went, “Oh, I didn't know that.” And then, when I was visiting the States, I tripped on something. I twisted my ankle and went to the hospital. They took a good twenty X-rays. I thought this was complete overkill because, in Canada, you're lucky to get three. Usually, you only get two X-rays for something like an ankle or a leg. You got one angle, and you got the other angle. That's all you need. There are only two planes. Why would you do more than two? And they kept doing so many X-rays, and it dawned on me. I'm like, this is a for-profit country when it comes to healthcare. And in Canada, it's a “how much can we save on the medical.” 

So in Canada, the pressure on the providers, the pressure on the doctors is, where can I cut costs? So it is still money-driven, and the outcomes are not incentivized. Like, how can I make my patient the healthiest person? Let's focus on that only, even if it costs a bit more. In Canada, no, you got to cut costs. So you only get two X-rays. You don't get three, even if three was optimal. It's not about optimal. It's about cutting costs. And in America, it's about making money. So we're going to take as many X-rays as we can because we can get more money that way. Neither system is perfect because neither system puts the patient first.

[0:23:15.6] Dr. Henry Buchwald: Absolutely correct. It diminished, but we used to have an exodus from Canada for surgery. And why? Because they were on our waiting list. And a waiting list in countries with so-called socialized medicine, such as Canada, has several purposes. One, it delays costs, and also, there's a sort of hidden hope that maybe you die in the meantime and you won't need the surgery. And so we had an influx of people who could afford to come down to Minnesota for heart surgery. And neither system, I won't even say perfect, but neither system is adequate. One thing that people in this country don't realize is that 60% to 65% of our healthcare is socialized medicine. If you count the armed forces, the VA system, the NIH, the Indian services, and above all, Medicare, and medical assistance, you come to about 60% to 65%, and the rest is paid for by private insurance. And these private insurances, their CEOs take home 20 or 30 million a year or more, and all their staff takes home a lot of money. Where does that money come from?

If you have a business model, the business model provides the money. But the money is going to that top administrative group of people. And if you look at the Fortune 500, many of the top companies are in medical care or pharmaceuticals, instruments, and so on. And so they're getting the money. It means the providers themselves — the doctors, the nurses — are not getting the money. And the money is not going into actual patient care. I'm a great believer in capitalism. And if you wanted to invent a hula hoop that's better than any hula hoop that's ever been invented, and you become a billionaire by selling it, that's wonderful. But I just don't think that people at the top administrative level should profit from denying or overdoing healthcare for the actual patients. I don't think socialized medicine is the answer, and I don't think our current system of insurance medicine is the answer, either.

[0:26:25.4] Ashley James: Is there a country out there that's doing it right? 

[0:26:28.7] Dr. Henry Buchwald: I don't know. Socialized medicine may work for some countries that have a smaller population and a uniform population. Every time you look at that, you find some countries, for example, Austria. Most of the Austrians are happy. The people are happy. The doctors are happy. But there are flaws in it. Is there a perfect system? Probably none. As I said at the end of my book, I gave sort of ten suggestions. I can't change the healthcare system. But I give ten suggestions, and one of them is healthcare through not government per se and not-for-profits per se, but through some sort of fraternal organization. For instance, a huge fraternal organization is the postal workers and the Teamsters. Why shouldn't these groups self-insure or work through a group that will offer what they need, like a USAA? I belong to USAA because I'm a veteran, and their insurances are excellent policies, and it's a fraternal organization. 

These things can exist. And the unions, when they meet with management, and management says, “We can spare you some dollars.” If we eliminate, let's say, obesity surgery or eliminate this; they have to say, “No, we have to treat all diseases. We have to do this, and you guys have to take less, and we'll maybe pay a little more.” So if the people who are the end beneficiaries of healthcare can maybe get together in their fraternal groups, maybe this is a way of financing healthcare. But the current system is upside down, and if you just say it's a business model, it's a failure of a business model. What business should succeed by charging the most and giving something that's inferior? That's not good business.

[0:29:16.0] Ashley James: That's broken into parts because if we look at it, right now, we're talking about health insurance or healthcare coverage. And that's one piece of the pie that's broken, but there are other pieces of the pie that's broken, and of them is, like you said, the organizations that employ the doctors themselves dictate how the doctors should provide care. It's called the practice of medicine because doctors should be allowed to practice it. In the last few years, we came across something we've never before had, in that doctors got their hands tied. They were not allowed to practice medicine when it came to treating patients with COVID-19. The institutions that employed them said, “You are not allowed to provide these drugs. You are not allowed to do this. You're not allowed to do that. This is the only way we're doing it.” And that made a lot of people very uncomfortable because providers and doctors have always been allowed to practice medicine. But the firms and the institutions that employ them, or the hospital networks that employ them, are the ones making the rules. And so the doctors found themselves with their hands tied, unable to help their patients the way they saw best. 

The doctor should be empowered. They should be given the power to make the close calls because they're eye to eye with their patients, looking them in the eye and going, “I think that this is what would work.” And the doctors are the ones who've gone to medical school, who can read the latest literature, who can be up on the science. Medical decisions should not be made by people who don't have that science background. Instead, the decisions were being made by the institutions, the firms, the hospital networks, by administrators, not doctors. And that scares me. Can you speak to that? That section of healthcare is incredibly dangerous, people are dying, and people are suffering because the doctors' hands are being tied and the medical decisions, in some cases, are being made by administrators.

[0:31:28.0] Dr. Henry Buchwald: I agree with you. Forget all the controversy about COVID-19. But administrators in just ordinary times have come to dictate what operation should be done because of time in the hospital and what drugs can be used. Administrators like to get people into the hospital. Let's say a surgery patient — obviously, I know the most about surgery — comes in, let's say, the night before a surgery, oh there's a lot of money to be made. There are X-rays, there are labs, there's everything. That is great. And then comes surgery. Oh, there's a lot of money to be made. But then the patient is in bed for a day or so and recovering and then paying. That's not much money to be made. And so there is a push to get the patient out of the hospital. From the administrator's point of view, let's get them into the hospital, and then let's get them out as fast as possible. And this is being sold as this is the best thing for the patient. It may not be the best thing for the patient. It may not be the so-called “doctor,” now the “provider vendor” would like to do. But often, their hands are tied. And so many days after a gallbladder, one day you're out, and so on. Making individual decisions have to be justified over and over again rather than thwarting a rule. You have so many days to get this kind of patient out, so many days to get this kind of patient out. It was very different. 

Let me give you anecdotes of a retelling. When I was a medical student at Columbia, my wife had the flu. And I somehow talked about it or mentioned that my wife had the flu on rounds. And a distinguished professor of medicine, Dr. Pereira, overheard me. At 8:00 that evening — and we lived in a fifth-floor walk-up — on the door, there was a knock. I opened the door, and there was Dr. Pereira with his little black bag. He said I heard your wife may have the flu. I came to listen to her lungs if that's okay with you, and make sure she doesn't have pneumonia. And, of course, I welcomed the man in. He saw my wife, and he left. As he left, he said, “I expect that when you graduate, you will carry on this tradition of taking care of other physicians. So there was “medical courtesy.” But today, there are at least three or four laws on the books that do not allow doctors to do pro bono work or give medical courtesy to fellow physicians or to anybody. I mean, I know in my practice that patients who couldn't pay, I didn't charge them. But today, that's against the law. Unless you do it in an organized fashion. If your institution says, “We, as an institution, are going to help this Native American tribe,” that's okay. But you, as an individual, once again, the independence of the physician, cannot say, “Hey, listen. Forget about it.”

My first patient I misdiagnosed. I had two months before I needed to go, or wanted to go, to the school of aviation medicine to get into the air force on flying status. And so I went in what sort of a locum tenens in a community up in the mountains of New York, and a woman came to me and had lymph nodes at the back of her neck. And coming from a specialty institution, I said, “We have to go to the hospital and get some tests tomorrow morning.” And in my mind, I said, she may have lymphoma. The next day she called me, since I couldn't go to the hospital, “Can you come to my house?” And I thought, terrible, terrible. So I went over, and she had a big rash. She got German measles from her kids. And so I was wrong, and I was happy to be wrong. She was not a wealthy woman. She was in an impoverished area, and I didn't charge her for that. So it was a different time, and nobody would put me in jail for not charging her. So that has changed. So many rules, as you said, or even laws, are placed upon the practice of medicine today. And, of course, one of the main things that have become so evident is the loss of a physician, the loss of a personal doctor. 

And again, if we look at personal experiences, 1st of February 2016, I was thrown from a horse. Now, I've been riding horses all my life, and I was on a ranch, and usually, I went on roundup sitting and rode a lot. And anyway, for the first time in my life, the horse threw me. And I had eleven broken ribs, a comminuted scapular, a displaced lung was pushed over, and so on. So I was in the hospital for thirty-three days, half of which was in intensive care and then in rehab. Well, in intensive care — this was a hospital — every day, a new person would show up, usually a very, very young person, and he would say, “How are you?” And I would say, “Well, all right.” And he would say, “Good. Bye-bye.” And I never see him again. There was never a time somebody came over and said, “I am in charge of intensive care, and I'm your doctor.” It never happened. And then, when they transferred me to rehab, it was wonderful. The same hospital, but it was wonderful. It was run by an old man, relatively at the time. He was in his sixties and seventies, and I asked him, “How come this is so different on both sides?” And he said, “Well if they ever try to change my division, rehab, I'm leaving.” So, I was in that transition period. And that's what's happening. I never had a physician at the time. It would have been nice to have had a physician. 

[0:39:33.2] Ashley James: The gentleman who was in charge of the rehab, can you illustrate how your care was there versus the ER, where people were just coming and going? “How are you doing? Okay, bye.” And there was no point where you could communicate with the same person through your care in the hospital. There was not one liaison for you. It was just a bunch of random doctors and healthcare providers, which is very disorienting. But that's the experience now when people go to the hospital. And then you get upgraded to rehab; tell us what that care was like.

[0:40:18.4] Dr. Henry Buchwald:  Well, first of all, at 7:00 or so every morning, he showed up in my room. He made rounds. And we at least had a small conversation. He outlined the program where I would get out of bed, walk again with a walker, and then walk without a walker. He assigned me physical therapists, mostly people who would walk me, and then exercise therapists, who were superb and who were happy. And the same person came back the next day. I got to know them; they got to know me. It really helped me with rehabilitation there because this man was in charge, and everybody worked on the plan, and I had therapists who knew me and worked with me. It wasn't such a thing that every day I saw a different face, who really didn't care about much of anything, and I would see somebody else the next day. It was because he was an old-fashioned practitioner. 

[0:41:43.2] Ashley James: And you saw the same team. You were part of a team, right? 

[0:41:46.4] Dr. Henry Buchwald: Right. 

[0:41:48.2] Ashley James: And they had a goal for you, and it was a team of health providers working with you, for you, the patient, to get you to the end goal. You all were working together towards that goal, and you felt supported.

[0:42:02.6] Dr. Henry Buchwald: Absolutely. I think you said it perfectly.

 [0:42:06.5] Ashley James: So you said this was the transition time. You've illustrated what it looked like 60 years ago in medicine, where we could see it on black and white TV like Leave it to Beaver. Like, you go to your family doctor, and your family doctor sees your parents and sees your grandparents. It was the same practice and the same doctor. You had the same dentist, and you saw the same nurse. It felt very reassuring that someone knew you for most of your life and was able to guide you through your transitions in life because they really knew you, and they knew your family. They knew your medical history as opposed to the telemedicine or going to a clinic, and they're complete strangers. They're not really checking in on your health records. Your health records are incomplete. They really don't know your health history, and it's like getting in and out as fast as possible. He can't see a doctor for more than fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes would be amazing. People usually see doctors for nine minutes or less. And they don't really know you. How can they provide care if they don't really know you and your medical history, and you're not just a bunch of labs on a piece of paper? There's more to you. And so that's what healthcare is now. But back then, someone really knew you. And there was definitely a sense that people were happy. No, not everyone. It's not right to paint a picture that everyone is happy. But they were happier people in healthcare as teams, working with you towards goals to better serve you, the patient. And now it's the opposite. It's upside down, like your book illustrates. 

I'm sure it happened slowly because I think people would have really revolted if, overnight, this healthcare system had changed. But can you say approximately when did you start to see red flags that it was really going south?

[0:44:07.1] Dr. Henry Buchwald: I should say it went slowly. It never went overnight. As you said, people would have revolted. I think maybe twenty years ago, it started this pattern. I think in the 21st century, we started the top-down administrative rule of medicine, the loss of independence of the medical staff, and the feeling by the patient that they really didn't have a doctor. They had some sort of conglomerate. Do you know what I'd like to do if you would let me? Can I read you a couple of paragraphs from the end of my book, from my epilogue?

[0:45:06.5] Ashley James: I would love that. Yes, please.

[0:45:08.6] Dr. Henry Buchwald: Alright. “The opening moment of life, birth, involves healthcare for mother and child. Growing up and achieving adulthood involve healthcare. Being able to live a mature life, to work, to love, and to have children, is dependent on healthcare. And the final chapter, aging, can be realized and even made pleasurable by healthcare. Healthcare therefore enters and comes to life from beginning to end. Healthcare is not a commodity but a necessity. Healthcare needs to be treated with respect. The establishment, practice, and financing of healthcare affect everyone. It should not be neglected by anyone and must be the concern of all of us.”

“I've been a doctor for sixty years, and during those years, at times, I've also been a patient. I've held the hands of my patients. I've been the one whose hand has been held. I have received trust and given trust. The therapeutic decisions my patients and I reached were not subject to the interdiction of a third party. I do not want to have my life's role as a physician and surgeon by joining the process usurped by an ‘administocracy.' I coined that word. As a patient, I do not want to hold hands with a robot and confide my health problems to a faceless entity. As a doctor, a patient, and a person, I reject the currently shattered doctor-patient relationship. Healthcare is upside-down like I said it, right side up.” That's the end of my book.

[0:47:06.5] Ashley James: I love it. How can we best navigate this broken system?

[0:47:12.4] Dr. Henry Buchwald: I don't know an answer to that. I mean, when I first wrote the book, my daughters and my wife said to me, “So what? What are you going to do? All you've done is complain. You've put down the facts in this, the statistics to back up the complaints, and you've told the truth and all that. But what are you offering?” And I said, “Well, I look upon myself like the little boy in Hans Christian Andersen's story of The Emperor's New Clothes. Here comes the emperor walking down the street, and he's naked. His retainers are holding an invisible rope, and a little boy says, “The emperor has no clothes!” And then I always loved the line in that book which says, “Hear him, hear him!” And I am hoping that people will hear me.

Then I said, “Okay, I'll write a chapter with at least some suggestions.” And so the last chapter are ten suggestions. The role of medical schools, the role of individuals, the role of bodies of professionals like the American College of Surgeons, American College of Physicians, AMA, the role of government, the role of politicians, and most importantly, the role of media, people like yourself, to get the word out there, and then the role of fraternal institutions that I touched upon, and the final thing is, the role of everybody. This is not something that people can say, “Well, it's not my concern.” It doesn't matter how young you are. It doesn't matter how healthy you are. The odds are, one day, you're going to be a patient for something. And if that's true, what kind of care do you want? And if you're in the healthcare profession like I was, or I still consider myself to be in, I always considered it a calling. It was a calling for me. It wasn't a job. And I took joy in my work, and people have asked me, “What were the happiest moments for you?” I said, “My family.” And “What was the next happiest moment for you in your life?” I said, “Being in the operating room.” I love being a surgeon. I love taking care of people. 

Today, if that is missing, how can people be happy in the field? But with that comes what we've talked about. For instance, I not only show in my patients before we elected from surgery as a joint decision. But I saw them at the moment of surgery in the morning. I was in the hospital at six, and I saw the patient. I saw the relatives. People don't do that anymore. And then, after the case, if the patient was still half-asleep, I went out to see the relatives, and I talked to them. And then, I would see the patient when the patient woke up. And then, before I went home, I would make rounds and see the patient and again talk to the relatives if they were there. And that's the way I practiced. It was a calling, and it gave me joy. That's missing when you don't have patients but you just have clients. And you do things as a big amalgamated group. Well, I don't have to go see a patient. The nurse will see the patient. I don't have to do this. Somebody else will do this. And today, that's very true. Surgeons are kept in the operating room because that's where they can make the money for the whole group. And so we have people who can't make that much money in doing something over a period of time, and they can do the other things that a doctor really should be doing, holding the patient's hand.

[0:52:18.5] Ashley James: Right. There's a big billboard in the university district in Seattle that has a picture of a doctor, and it says, ‘This is the number one surgeon in Seattle,' or ‘This is the number one doctor in Seattle.' ‘Come to our hospital network because this is the number one doctor.' And I spoke to a doctor in the area, and he goes, “You know how they determine that he's the number one doctor?” And I'm thinking, “Outpatient outcomes? He must be incredible. You must be divinely guided to having the best outcomes.” And he said, “No, that's not determined by outcomes. It's not determined by patient care at all. They determine who the best doctor is by how much money he makes for the hospital system.” So when you're sold on, ‘we have the number one doctor,' ‘this is the number one doctor in this hospital,' that's the one you don't want to see you. You want to see the worst doctor, according to the hospital, because they're not going to put you through needless tests. 

Another thing that the doctor said to me is, “If you can help it, never go to a hospital in the last week of the month because, just like police, you definitely don't come to a complete stop at stop signs and don't speed in the last week of the month because cops have quotas. Some of them are given quotas for how many speeding tickets they have to write and how many citations they have to give. And doctors and hospital networks have to fill a certain percentage of beds and a certain amount of MRIs. They have to accrue dollars and profits. And so if you come in, they're like, “Well, you know, we could have handled this with an ultrasound, but I'm just going to send him in for an MRI.” It wasn't medically necessary, but it would have filled his quota. They might do that. They're incentivized because they have a mortgage to pay, and they have been put under pressure from the system that they belong to. The organization that they belong to — the firm — puts pressure on the providers, the doctors, to not put the patients first in every aspect of our healthcare system. It is how much money can be squeezed out of these patients and out of the insurance. And the insurance is going to do the opposite and try not to provide the care also. So we're left really kicked to the curb. 

And then you touched on it — that we have the underprivileged, the victims of the system. We're all victims of this broken system. And even further, the statistics show Native Americans, African-Americans, the list goes on and on, especially the disabled, the elderly, that they have worse outcomes because they're marginalized. They're not listened to. African American women, when they go to a hospital to give birth across the board, have worse outcomes and more deaths than any other race. I'm thinking, what is going on? But if they do home births, they have just as much success as any other race. So it isn't that African-American women genetically will just die more or have more infections. In general, it's that the healthcare system is not listening to them. It's treating them differently than those of other races. 

So what is up with the underprivileged in the medical system? I know I'm asking for help. I'm asking, how do we navigate? But maybe where you could help us, because again, how we fix this problem is we have to stop feeding into it. And that's kind of dangerous because what are we going to do? Stop paying for insurance? Stop going to the hospital? They know they've got us. They've got us by the neck. But we have to figure it out. Maybe we've got a lobby. Maybe we've got to elect the right people. Maybe we've got to write letters. Maybe we have to stand up and start taking action and do whatever we can. 

I like the idea of finding insurance that isn't traditional insurance, like healthcare. I actually just did an interview about this. It's like a health insurance alternative that actually covers everything, but it's a nonprofit. Listeners can go to for more information about that. So I like that idea of not putting your dollars into the evil system, the broken system, I should say. And we can't go to the hospital if we need a hospital. But maybe we got to do research and find a hospital network that's smaller, that has better outcomes, that has less pressure on the providers to make money rather than put the patients first. But maybe you could help us with this. How can we self-advocate? As a doctor, I'm sure you appreciate when someone says, “Hey Doc, I have a few questions,” and they start self-advocating. Can you teach us how we should self-advocate while we navigate this broken system? And especially those who have been made out to be victims of this system, in that they typically have worse outcomes. How can they self-advocate?

[0:57:48.9] Dr. Henry Buchwald: I don't know if I have any answer to that. I guess, reasoning. I guess, conversation. I think you need goodwill, and you need people at the other end who are willing and able and have the moral commitment to do better. To sort of give you an example: when I was in medical school, usually all major teaching hospitals associated with the medical school, such as mine, Columbia Johns Hopkins, where my wife's uncle was a cardiologist, had three distinct areas geographically. One was private and at Columbia Presbyterian in Harkins Pavillion. It catered to celebrities. I took care of several celebrities, or I was a card in the wheel as an intern. But they had private rooms. They had a fancy restaurant, etc. And then there was semi-private, and those were people who had insurance and maybe had two people or four people in a room. And it was very obvious they had a doctor, or in my role as they were under a surgeon's care. And then there were the ward patients. There were twenty-four people in a ward or more, like twenty-eight, separated by curtains, and they were given the care of the house staff, who were sometimes better than anything else. But primarily, they had no private doctor, and they had essentially no insurance or very little insurance. 

Then I came to Minnesota, and under Owen Wangensteen, one of the greatest names in American surgery, I went on the surgery service, and there were only rooms for four people, and for very sick people, one to a room. And I said, “Which is the ward? Which is semi-private? Which is private?” And they said, “There is no such thing. Everybody is treated equally.” The house staff is responsible for everybody, and the attending staff, the senior sergeants, are responsible for everybody. So when we made the rounds, we could enter a room where there would be a patient who had insurance, a patient who had zero insurance, and a patient who was extremely wealthy, and we had no knowledge of what their financial situation was. The attending — and then I came, of course, I was the attending. I was the professor — would go to each bedside with the same house staff, and we treated each patient equally. Whether I was paid as the surgeon or not paid at all, every patient was treated equally as a patient. And so here was an institution that in 1960 was doing that, and other institutions had to follow suit. We have to get away from this business model, and we have to do it on a patient model.

[1:02:00.3] Ashley James: I so agree. I am glad that you're opening up this conversation so we can examine it and we can say, “Hey, this isn't acceptable.” It's been going this way for a while. I know you said it's been the last twenty years. But in looking at the healthcare system, right around Nixon's era, doctors were practicing medicine as best they could to help cancer patients. And some of them were using juicing, liver cleanses, the things that supported the liver, and what you would call alternative medicine. They were doing that in conjunction with the medicine that they had access to at the time. And then there was this war on cancer that came out, and all of a sudden, if it wasn't pharmaceutical, it wasn't allowed. And only oncologists — so we've developed this — that only oncologists are allowed to treat cancer. And they're only allowed to use what is allowed to be used. They can't go outside of that. 

There are things that, in Europe, they're allowed to use, like ozone therapy, and they have studies to back it up. It's not quackery. And they have these chambers that they put them in, that increase oxygen, and they're finding that they're getting really good results. In conjunction with everything they're doing, they're increasing their usage of these different alternative modalities that are proven successful and have better outcomes. And like you said, we see better patient outcomes across the board in Europe, and yet those are not allowed in the hospital systems here. So who is at the top saying, “This is not allowed.”? When we look at the government and the rule-makers, they're being lobbied by those who are making that money — big pharma. The pharmaceutical industry is also making sure they have their foot in the door, stopping anything that could help positive patient outcomes if it means cutting profits for them. 

So you've talked about how it's a broken system on multiple fronts. We have policies that are driven by administrators to make profits for the company, the institution, the hospital, or the clinic institution. We have enough time in the hands of the doctors. We have the pharmaceutical industry with their foot in government and policy-making also to make sure that we're not cutting profits for the pharmaceutical companies. And then we have the insurance, which is equally as corrupt because they're seeing where they can cut their costs, meaning their costs are our care. So at every level, it's broken. 

One of my mentors is an old-school naturopathic physician, and before that, he was a large animal vet, pathologist, and research scientist. He's slightly younger than you. I think he's eighty-six right now. He grew up on a beef farm in Missouri, and he saw it as a kid that we would feed calf pellets which had lots of minerals and vitamins to prevent them from getting sick. And he said to his dad, “Why don't we make sure we're taking all the nutrients we need so we can prevent getting sick too?” Because if you had a cow that was undernourished and they got sick, and then they got an infection, then it would drive the cost of beef up, and your burger would be $50 instead of $12. They keep the cost down by making sure the cows are as healthy as possible, practicing preventive medicine. But where's our preventive medicine now? Now, it's “Wait till you get sick enough so I can put you on a drug.” 

So the entire thing is upside down because they're making profits off of us. If we flip it back, right side up, like your book talks about, where you put the patient at the absolute top, and everyone is serving us, and the ultimate goal is to make us healthy, money will happen. Everyone will get paid. It may not be millions of dollars for you guys, but everyone will get paid. Just make sure the patient is the healthiest and the happiest. And that's the number one goal. That's what we would love, but that's not what we have. And so we have to fight for it because we got blindfolded somehow, and slowly they slipped in and started creeping in more, and they saw, “Oh, we can make more money, and we can make more money.” How far can this go? How much can they bleed us? I mean, how obvious is it? Like you said, we're paying the most money in the whole world, and we have the worst outcomes. How far can they take it? I think they've taken it far enough. So I'm glad you are bringing the fight and enlightening us and showing us that we can stand up because we have to go back to the way it was because the way it was, we definitely had better outcomes. And you've looked at the statistics in the last sixty years since they've made these changes in the last twenty years. Can you look at patient outcomes in America? As a result of this slow shift into making healthcare completely upside down, can you see the outcomes are even worse as a result?

[1:07:31.9] Dr. Henry Buchwald: I think you just have to look at COVID. We're still in COVID. When we reached the million mark of deaths, dead people from COVID, that was the largest per capita. I don't know if I can believe the statistics from China or from Russia, but in all other countries where you can believe the statistics, the European countries, New Zealand, etc., we were way ahead. Why should our medical system, our care of people, our prevention, — as you keep saying, prevention, prevention, prevention — why should we have the largest number of deaths per capita? Would you say it is so true that whatever makes money rules politics, and politics ruled the day in so many areas? It's ridiculous the state that we treated COVID. We're still having COVID. But we didn't do well with COVID. Maybe it's going away. Other things have gone away. The Spanish flu went away without vaccination. Maybe this will go away. I hope so. Or maybe we'll settle in like the flu season every year or common colds. But certainly, as a nation, we didn't do that well. And here was a national emergency, and we didn't do very well at all. 

[1:09:27.3] Ashley James: I had a doctor on my show a few years ago during the pandemic, Dr. Brownstein. He's been a medical doctor practicing for over thirty years, or it might be forty. He's very well-versed in being a family physician, and he has some alternatives that are soundly in science. He recommends certain nutraceuticals to support the immune system in addition to other preventions. And while you're going through any kind of viral experience, upper respiratory viral experience, he has some stuff he's been doing for his entire practice, and he gets great results. So he wrote a blog about it. He has a blog. He's had it since the nineties, where he explained, “Hey, everyone. Here's what I'm doing in my practice.” He had five hundred patients with COVID. All five hundred of them survived. Maybe if he'd treated a million, five hundred is still a small subsection of the population, but he had such great results. He published it, just sharing the information, and the government contacted him and said, “You can't do that.” And he said, “What do you mean I can't do that? I've been sharing my blog talking about natural medicine in conjunction with everything else I do as a physician since the 90s.” And they said, “No, you're not allowed to say that there's a treatment for COVID. You're not allowed to.” And he goes, “What are you talking about? I'm practicing medicine.” They said, “You have to take it down,” and then they started to take legal action against him, so he sought a constitutional lawyer. The constitutional lawyer said, “Under any circumstance, I'd say fight this.” But the government is saying no one's allowed to say you can treat COVID because they would lose the Emergency Use Authorization. The vaccines back then weren't approved, so they were still in the Emergency Use Authorization. And therefore, if there was a proven treatment, they would lose that. So this was legal. This was political. 

Again, this was not a doctor being allowed to practice medicine. So he ended up writing a book about it. But he had to take his entire blog down. And this is where we see again an example that doctors should be allowed to utilize all their tools, not just pharmaceuticals, and not just what the government wants, which is administrators making decisions and not doctors making decisions. When it's safe, it's proven is healthy, it's effective, we should be allowed to have access to that information. So we should be allowed to make these decisions and be given this information. But the information was prevented by the government because they were protecting the Emergency Use Authorization at the time. So we see the corruption, and we need to protect ourselves as individuals. We need to fight and stand for what we believe. We definitely want to buy your book and check it out. Of course, the link to the book is going to be in the show notes of today's podcast at — Healthcare Upside Down: A Critical Examination of Policy and Practice. I think we should buy it for our doctor, although no one has a doctor anymore. So buy it for the next doctor you see. Leave it in the waiting room at your clinic. 

I actually see naturopathic physicians go through medical school just like MD's. What's really interesting is in the states and provinces where they are licensed to be physicians, the insurance covers them, and you're allowed to see them for sixty to ninety minutes at a time instead of that 15-minute window for MD's. So, when I see a naturopath, I see her for a full hour, and I appreciate that. I have to seek out and build a relationship with a doctor that sees me twice a year that we check in with my lab. I want that model that you, as a doctor, grew up in, that model where you see the same doctor. So as a patient, I recommend you go out and find a physician that isn't in a big network, either a naturopath, an osteopath, or a medical doctor, that's in their own clinic or at least the smallest network possible. The smaller the network, hopefully, the policy that's tying their hands. Either that or find one that's independent. You got to go out of your way sometimes to find someone as independent and then advocate for yourself. Ask questions, like you said. Be curious, and ask questions. Another thing is, be willing to fire your doctor. As long as your life isn't in danger, not in the ER bleeding out, and you're not in an immediate medical situation, it is okay to fire the doctor. If you don't feel you're getting the best care, fire that entire institution and go find another clinic or find an independent doctor. 

I also had a gentleman on the show recently who's an advocate because his daughter was killed by the policy in a hospital, and he is working with lawyers and speaking out. And he says the best thing you could do is research all the hospitals in your neighborhood, in your area, or find an independent hospital. Find a hospital that is in the smallest network possible and look at its outcomes; just do your research. Know the clinics, know the hospitals, so you can make the right choice when you go to the right one. And definitely be willing to talk to the doctor and ask questions. 

When I was at the ER with my son a few years ago, they started putting needles into him, and I turned and said, “Wait a second, I need informed consent.” And she turned to me, and she actually was surprised, and then happy, and I was so relieved because I thought maybe a doctor would be angry at me for saying that. And she goes, “We're administering magnesium” because we came in with respiratory distress. And then she proceeded to explain, “This is not a drug. We're putting magnesium intravenously. And then, every time they did something to him, she came to me, and she said, “This is what we're doing. These are the possible side effects. These are the alternatives.” She gave me true, informed consent, but I had to ask for it. And I believe we should ask for it. Ask for the known side effects. What are the alternatives? What kind of outcomes do you expect? And we should work with the doctors to advocate for our own health. 

I'm very happy to have you on the show and to expose this information. Is there anything that you came here to say that you didn't get to say yet? Is there a message that you definitely want to make sure that you hit home with us?

[1:15:58.7] Dr. Henry Buchwald: Well, I agree. Everybody has to think this over, and let's just say, is this what we want? And I think the answer is no. And then how can we make it better? Again, I don't think the individual can. I think I've seen individual doctors revolt against individual patients. They don't get anywhere. You have to use your group. Now it could be a professional group, like the American Medical Association, and it could be a union. A major union that says, “Listen, our job is not only to get the highest wages and shortest hours. Our job is to get the best healthcare.” And they have to become knowledgeable and negotiate for that. 

So I guess my message is for every American to realize that we're not getting our money's worth. To get our money's worth, you have to do something about it. And probably the best way to do something about it is through some fraternal organization. And a little sidebar to that, I'm for entrepreneurs. As I said, I believe in capitalism. Now let's just say an entrepreneur says, “I'm going to start a medical center where you will see individual doctors. They will be your doctors. I'm not going to take an exorbitant multi, multi-million-dollar income home. You don't have to do the first thing you do, come in and pay a co-payment before anybody will even say hello. I'll do all that. And I think that person might get a tremendous following and make money for themselves, for the organization and have happy patients, and do medicine right. Entrepreneurship and capitalism can come in and win this day. They just don't have to be greedy for the top but give what they are supposed to give, and then everybody will be served. So certainly, I'm in no way against business in medicine, but it has to be business first for the patient and not for a client. Thank you. 

[1:18:55.3] Ashley James: Yes. And the clinics and the hospitals that organize that model will transition to move to them. If someone invents a better system that is pro-patient, they will get all the business. So if anyone's listening that has the capacity to do that, go do it because people will navigate towards that. People want to vote with their dollars. And right now, people don't even know that there is an alternative, that there's a better way. But we need to invent a better way, and we need to fight for it. I need to get your book and read it to really understand and have the full picture — Healthcare Upside Down: A Critical Examination of Policy and Practice

Dr. Henry Buchwald, it has been so amazing to have you on the show. Thank you so much for advocating for all of us.

[1:19:43.9] Dr. Henry Buchwald: And thank you ever so much for having me. It's been a great pleasure. 

[1:19:49.5] Ashley James: I hope you enjoyed today's episode with Dr. Henry Buchwald. It definitely gives us a lot to think about and how important our individual choices are because, collectively, we can make a difference. We can fight back; we can push back. And if you'd like to fight back and push back, provide your family or just yourself, if you're single, with better healthcare, if you live in the United States and you are sick of paying into a system that's broken. Check out and check out the previous episode, Episode #501, for more information. 

You can always reach out to me through our Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group. Come join it, reach out there, or you can write me I'd love to hear from you. If you do decide to jump in and purchase that healthcare for yourself, then let me know. I'd love to hear your results. I have been talking to some others who have that coverage, and they've been sharing with me amazing stories about how well they've been treated. They are able to go to any doctor they want, in any state they want. They can get any surgery. They can go to any hospital, get any surgery. 

I have a friend where the surgeon wanted to do a specific kind of surgery with a newer apparatus that's 3D printed, with surgical material, and it would have been a much safer, shorter surgery. It would have meant faster healing time, and recovery time, that for the rest of her life, she'd be better off, and the insurance company said, “No, we're only going to pay for this type of surgery.” We have to cut her open six inches and do a bunch of other stuff that makes it twelve weeks of recovery, and they would not cover that. The surgeon went to battle and fought them and fought them, and the insurance company said, “No.” And if it had been this alternative to health insurance, — if it had been that one, the one we talked about in Episode #501, they would have covered it, and it would have actually been cheaper for her. This is just mind-blowing that we've been conned by these industries, and they keep squeezing us and squeezing us. 

I've been paying for health insurance for so many years. It has been over nine years, and every year I noticed that I was paying more for my family. I'm paying more, and not just because we're getting older, but seriously paying hundreds of dollars more for less and less coverage. And in the last year, it was ridiculous. It went up several hundred dollars per month, and it felt almost like they cut our coverage in half. It was crazy, and they're going to keep squeezing and squeezing us because they can, and we need to push back. I'm calling for a healthcare revolution. We need reform. We have to stand up for ourselves and do it ourselves because the people we elect into office are bought by these industries. And so we have to vote with our dollars. 

Collectively, we have the power to overthrow a corrupt industry. And I've seen it time and time again. When consumers decide to cancel culture, cancel that old thing, it goes down the tubes. So with our dollars, we can, as collectively, make the right choices. If all of us follow our values and put our money towards the practitioners, the healthcare, that alternative to insurance — for example, if we put our money towards maybe smaller run clinics, individual clinics, instead of the group clinics, where we're going to actually receive better care, more individualized care. If we collectively do that, we can overthrow it. 

So make sure that with every purchase you make, put it towards something that you believe in. Buy organic. Buy local. Connect with local farms. Buy from them. Put your money towards things that are going to build your health and also build the health of our future.

So it's Check it out. Let me know what you think. Thank you for being a listener, and thank you for sharing these episodes with those you care about. And if you haven't already, go back to this Episode #500 because that was a really amazing episode filled with some wonderful stories of success. And who doesn't like to hear stories of success? I know I certainly do. Stay tuned. I have a bunch of episodes I'm going to be releasing, and they've all been really great interviews. So I can't wait for you to hear them. Have yourself a great rest of your day. 

Get Connected with Dr. Henry Buchwald!


Books by Dr. Henry Buchwald

Healthcare Upside Down: A Critical Examination of Policy and Practice

Surgical Renaissance in the Heartland: A Memoir of the Wangensteen Era


Jun 14, 2023

For all the details visit 


501: The Most Comprehensive and Affordable Health Coverage

In Episode 501 of the Learn True Health podcast, the host, Ashley James, introduces Megan Williams, who discusses a better and more affordable alternative to traditional health insurance in the United States. Megan explains that she discovered a system that offers comprehensive and affordable coverage aligned with holistic and preventive healthcare values. They discuss the challenges of navigating the healthcare market and the benefits of this alternative system. Megan highlights that the system is non-profit and aims to provide a solution without someone profiting from it. They address concerns about coverage limitations and the simplicity and effectiveness of the program.


  • The importance of having access to holistic and preventive medicine that aligns with our values
  • Introducing a system that offers affordable and comprehensive health coverage
  • The challenges faced by self-employed individuals and the flaws in the current healthcare system
  • A non-profit, non-insurance alternative that aims to provide a solution for healthy individuals seeking alternative healthcare options
  • The system offers freedom and control over healthcare choices, including access to chiropractors, naturopathic doctors, and telemedicine services.
  • The need for accessible and affordable healthcare options

[00:02.1] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I'm your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 501.


I am so excited for today's guest. We have Megan Williams on the show of the system. I've been looking high and low, for years, for a better way to do health insurance because I'm self-employed. My podcast is my income and all the other things I do like holistic health coaching. I'm self-employed, and so for years, I've had to buy my own health insurance, which usually our family of three pays $1,400 a month for an okay health insurance. It's not that great because we still have to pay $9,500 out of pocket before we really start getting coverage. It's just been very expensive, and we can only see our chiropractor ten times a year. We can only see our naturopath a few times a year. We get one free visit a year, and then everything else is just pretty much out of pocket. It's been very stressful to have to pay for our own health insurance. 

Talking to a lot of my friends, even their health insurance is covered by their jobs, and it's really not that great. A lot of my friends either end up buying secondary health insurance to try to pat on and compensate for what they have, or some of my friends simply don't have health insurance at all. I have one who just had surgery to remove a benign tumor, and she doesn't have health insurance. It's really scary out there. Her husband's work provides health insurance, but the insurance they sell to the employees is so incredibly expensive and has way worse coverage than I have at $1,400 a month. 

I'm from Canada, originally, so this concept of paying for health insurance and having to go on the market every year and go on the exchange — I have a broker that I talk to — and having to shop for your health insurance to get locked into for a year; it's been super stressful. I look at spreadsheets and compare them all. But at the end of the day, I've never had a good experience with any health insurance company since I've been self-employed back in 2010, so I've been looking and looking and looking.

I have a friend who was in a health share system, and she had some good experiences, she had some bad experiences. I've talked to a few other friends that have done more alternative styles. Some had really great stories; some were okay. And nothing was as bad as the traditional health insurance that we have now. But I've been looking. There's got to be a company out there. There's got to be a better way. Because I want to have access to preventive, holistic medicine. This is what I invested in. I invest in my health. So I want my health insurance to also be something that reflects my values. I know that a lot of my listeners want a type of health insurance that reflects their values of focusing on freedom of choice, focusing on being able to make holistic preventive medicine affordable. 

That's how I found Megan Williams. So in walks, Megan teaches me all about this amazing company, and I'm really, really, really excited. This is for people in the United States. I get it, my Canadian listeners. Maybe you'll just find this interesting simply because it's like looking at a different planet when it comes to how it works in America. But most of my listeners are in the United States, and even if you do have adequate coverage through your work, you might have kids that have outgrown your system. If they're 27 years old, that can't be in your coverage anymore. And there are so many people that don't have good health insurance simply because it's unaffordable. 

Megan, I'm really excited to have you today because you're going to teach us about your system that helps us to have affordable coverage that's comprehensive and that aligns with our values so that we can go see a chiropractor. We can see our licensed naturopathic doctor. We can get the lab work once a year to look at everything and make sure that we're on the right track — everything that I normally go to, all the cool stuff I normally go to. And then, of course, having the whoopsie daisies in life, like the ER visit because your kid broke his arm or something like that; that's all covered as well. So I'm very excited to talk to you today because I think that this is a tool that's going to help so many of my listeners, and it's so needed. And it's so frustrating and heartbreaking for people who don't have the coverage, especially the coverage that rewards them for making good healthy choices, like holistic and preventive health care.

Now, listeners can go to to check out this system and see if it's right for them. I was first amazed by the amount of money I would save. It is like a fraction of the cost, and I actually thought the numbers were wrong. I was like, this can't be right! There's going to be a glitch or something. It's way more affordable. And I've always kind of looked at health insurance like it's a racket, like there's someone at the top making a ton of money, jumping into piles of bills and swimming in it, like that cartoon duck that swims through his money. I just imagine there's this evil billionaire sitting at the top of the food chain, collecting all the money because health insurance is so crazy expensive. And so here we have the system that you provide and teach us about, which allows us to pay a fraction of the price and yet have more coverage and better coverage than what I've been paying for years. So I'm really excited to get into it at, for listeners, this is a need. I know you'll love it. 

Megan, please share with us how you have been doing with this and with all of your clients, helping them. I know you have a ton of stories. I'd love to hear a bit about how you got into all this. 

[0:06:34.5] Megan Williams: Absolutely! Well, first, Ashley, thank you for having me today. I love sharing and giving value, and you have been doing this for years, which is so exciting that you've got so many people who have been blessed by your insights. And just listening to you, you are an expert already at all about it. You know, even though I know you claimed to be Canadian, you definitely have the terms down as we Americans do. That, dang it, it stinks when you are an independent contractor, and you have to pay for yourself. And you hit so many points that I think are difficult points for so many of us. You hit how much it costs every month, and then can we even afford the out-of-pocket deductibles and copays that come along with that. Even when employers are offering it to try to retain their clients, they're getting priced out of good plans, so you're getting subpar. And many providers, doctors, and hospitals don't even want to work with it. Then the fact that you even mentioned that there are brokers out there that are trying to be solution-oriented and make a little bit of money trying to help people like you and me in the marketplace. But the problem is if you're looking at the price point, you're cutting out all the care. And so this has been something that really is difficult, and just like you, I've been an independent contractor for the last 17-plus years. Prior, I taught high school, and my husband was in law enforcement. So those are “jobs that give you benefits,” right? So you're thinking, “Oh, this is great. I get these benefits.” But there are so many fine little gotchas in those contracts that we've learned over the years. 

Let me just give you a little background. I have been offering solutions for high prices for a lot of different essential services for the last 20 years. My husband and I really love helping people. We love bringing them more value. We love getting to have great relationships, just like you. And what was so interesting is we were introduced to our healthcare option here with Impact, and we knew that we were not going to offer something that would not really be a solution. Like, money is number one. It's like a house payment; you have to pay for it, right? Or you have to knock on wood and pray nothing happens. Like you just said, so many people go without it. And Ryan and I were not going to even say one word about it unless we knew it was going to be a good solution. 

So I would love to hit some of the points that you talked about and why this is so great. But I do want everyone to understand that I get it. I get what people are paying for. I get what people are not wanting to pay for. I'll give a great personal example, and then we'll get into the benefits of this. So we had healthcare through our great providers, that are the ones paid for, and I had twins back in 2010. I had to take one of my boys to get an x-ray because he was crying, and he never cried. He was like the happiest baby ever. He's about ten months old. We got there; I called the insurance company and said, okay, where should I go? What's your “in-network”? And we go over to this facility to get an x-ray. The doctor saw us for literally maybe 8 minutes after the x-ray. He told us he just needed a sling, and his little collarbone was broken, but that's how you repair it. A few weeks later, I got a bill for $13,000, and I was like, are you kidding me? So I called up this big major insurance company that's supposed to be included. All the stuff is supposed to be included. They're like, “Oh, well, if you have gone to the hospital at this entrance, then you would have been a network. But because you went to their outpatient on the other side of the building, that wasn't in our network.” And I said to them, I am paying you $2,400 a month to have healthcare, and you're telling me that you're not going to help me work this out? They're like, “No, it's out of network. So you're responsible for this.” Now that's normal. Out-of-network for a family can be close to $22,000 a year. I was ticked. I canceled my insurance that day. I called the little outpatient I thought hospital and worked with them, and I ended up paying cash and renegotiating prices. Mind you, this was 13 years ago, and I thought this was ridiculous. Well, I was like, I don't want healthcare. I'm not paying for this; I'll just pay cash with cash as king. At that point in 2010, you could just pay cash. You didn't have to do it. And then the government changed the rules, and you were fined if you didn't have health care. At first, the fines were not that expensive, and then once you made too much money, the fines became out of control. And so they then instilled this idea of affordable health care. But the problem is anybody in this country who makes a decent living cannot get the subsidies. Or they can get subsidies until they show that they made more income, and then again, you have more fines. So it's this broken system. 

And so, again, Ryan and I were looking. We have been praying for solutions, and we have tried everything. We've gone with big disabilities. We've gone with low payments, but then it has a lot of piecemeal coverage, and then we pay cash for things. But ultimately, with three boys, there's no way we can live life like that. And so when we were introduced to this, we were blown away. I will tell you, first off, everybody, the neat thing about this option in this group share program is that it is a non-profit. So there isn't someone at the top trying to make all the money on us. That got me really excited that nobody owns it because it's not a company. It's a non-profit, non-insurance alternative that gives us a solution. And so, just like you were saying, Ashley, that for most of us who are generally healthy, we were paying into a broken system — a system that is 3% or maybe 5% of the country that really needs health care. But the rest of us, we are healthy and are looking for alternatives. We want to use chiropractors. We want to use holistic ways. And even today, I had a good friend call me. She's been in our program, but she's been so afraid to use it because she thought there were gotchas. And then she used our telemedicine which we have unlimited access to everyone with $0 provider fees, and she was blown away. She's like, “In two minutes, I was talking to a doctor, and I told her what was going on, and they got me two prescriptions in one hour. I was worried for nothing, and it was so simple.” And I started laughing, and I said, “I know. We are brainwashed to think it is going to be complicated, and it's going to be difficult.” And what our group has done is modernize this, made it affordable but giving us, just like you said, the freedom and control back to us. 

[0:14:05.2] Ashley James: Right. So there's a monthly fee that you pay which is a fraction of normal health insurance like I'm paying $1400 a month for ‘okay' health insurance, which is not that great. I'm frustrated that we have to pay out-of-pocket $9,500 before we start really getting coverage. Our family, knock on wood, or knock on my Sunlighten sauna, which is right beside me — that's wood; I know that's wood — thank God, we're in good health. You know we have the oopsies that happen once in a while, and that is why we have insurance. But like I said, I want to go to my chiropractor. I want to go to my acupuncturist. I want to go to my licensed naturopathic physician and to my holistic providers, and I want them paid for. I'd love to have access to quick telemedicine to speak to a doctor, just to be like, “Hey, should I go to the clinic with my son? He's got a weird rash.” And you know that it's free. I'd love that. The gotchas are something that is looming in my mind; like that sounds too good to be true because it costs so little, and you're getting way better coverage. I have a friend with a different company who is in a sort of a healthcare thing. And it was like, “Well, if you do this, then we'll drop you.” And so the fear is, is this something that is in a regulated industry? Can they just drop you if they decide to? So we definitely want to talk about those red flags, these elephants in the room. 

But one thing that I first want to talk about though is this idea of in-network and out-of-network. What you described happened to us similarly, but this is back when my husband was a foreman union carpenter. This was about 13 years ago, also in 2010. And so the carpenters' union, I thought, had good health insurance. He had an oopsie, and we went to the hospital. He had to have an emergency experience at the hospital, and it was a hospital that was in-network. Then we get the bill. And the anesthesiologist, although working at the hospital at the time, was out-of-network. How is this possible? So we had to pay the entire everything for the anesthesiologist because they wouldn't cover that bill. And yet I'm like, how is this possible? We went to a hospital that was in-network, and my husband got rushed off to an ER, and any of the practitioners in that ER could not be covered by the insurance. And I hate that. And when I gave birth to our son, we got a $5,000 bill within weeks of giving birth. I'm like, I did all the work. What is going on? You guys didn't do anything. I did all the work. So I hate it that you have to pay every month. I don't use the word ‘hate' often, but I just loathe this system that makes us feel like we're indebted slaves. It is not freedom, and you get surprise bills, and if you don't pay them, they're going to send you to collections really quickly. And it's a surprise! We get to charge you with whatever we want because it's out-of-network, and we decide what's in there, and you don't know beforehand, even though you do all the research. We could switch out an anesthesiologist and put in one that was out of network, and you don't get to decide. 

So this idea of in-network and out-of-network feels like a total scam. So the company that you're working with, that you're telling us about, there's no such thing as out-of-network?

[0:17:57.3] Megan Williams: Correct, and it's amazing! So the main point that I'm just going to hit, and then we're going to hit all these points you just said, is yes, there are no network providers. And now, no provider network in general. So if something happens and you end up on a vacation at a hospital with your finger cut and they've got to do stitches, there's no triple the price because it “was out-of-network.” You can go to every doctor, every provider that you like and you're used to. And even if they've never heard of our group, Impact, what's neat is we have what's called an EDI number, and that EDI number is what they have in their systems for every network. So we have our own licensing. Currently, we are in 47 states, so that we can have service then in all states and all the countries around the world if something should happen. But the neat part is that they will not triple the price because you're “out of network,” and that is really nice. The other great thing is because it's comprehensive medicine, anything you go to the doctor for, even before your deductibles are met, they do what's called reference-based pricing. And so, again, they are working to be our advocates. 

So that's what's so neat about it. It is that we've got an amazing price point, and we're going to explain how that works. We're going to answer that question that you just asked about. Could they kick you out for no reason? No, because we've got guidelines that are our legal standing, that makes this work for everybody, and you go in totally transparent, and you know exactly what you're going to get without any gotchas, no provider restrictions, which is huge. So again, no double or triple prices, and we've got this advocate with Impact that's going to work with us and help us every step of the way, which is so unique in this industry. It just doesn't happen anymore. You know, it's just all about the bottom line, and for us, it's not. And so I think the neat thing is when we really are trying to help as many people as possible, and it's inclusive. 

So a lot of the background about sharing groups that we've heard is they're all religious-based, while ours is under the umbrella of love thy neighbor because that can be any religion. So we have no religious affiliation. Everybody is welcome. And really, there is no denying being part of our group. The big thing is we do have a 36-month pre-existing, and we'll get into that in a little bit. But what I want to explain to everybody is we're looking for generally healthy people. All of us who don't go all the time and will love the idea of alternatives. Well, because of that, the only thing they look at is the oldest member of the household's age and how many members are going to be part of the group. So it will be one, two, or three and more. So you could be a family of eight, and it's the same price if you're a family of three. If you add more children, it doesn't hurt you. Again, that's kind of unheard of too. 

So like you said, the average American's paying $1,800 a month for decent health care coverage, with a $10,000 family deductible and $22,000 out-of-network. That's what we're used to. Usually, you get a 20/80 split when it comes to your co-shares and things like that. Well, let me explain how ours works. 

[0:21:28.9] Ashley James: Could you just explain what 20/80 is? So let's just slow it down. Normally what people are paying — so like I said, our family of three is paying $1,400 a month, and we have to pay out of pocket $9,500 in a year before they start really covering things, and we have a few things. Like I can go to see a chiropractor ten times a year, and after that, it's out of pocket. Like, I have to pay 100% of it, basically. So I've got a few things, but it's like you're just buying car insurance. You're just hoping you don't get into an accident, but you're glad if you have it because it's going to sort of help for the big stuff. So the 80/20 split, can you just explain that? That's the standard health insurance that we are not happy with. It's like a train wreck. It is a broken system. Okay, broken system explanation. 

[0:22:23.9] Megan Williams: Yes. So the way it works in traditional health care is you have it as a deductible, and usually when you go to the doctor, you have to pay a copay or provider fee upfront. So then you get the full bill. So you pay your provider fee then they send the bill to the insurance. The insurance reprice as is. If you have not met your deductible, then you pay that repriced bill to the doctor, and they apply it. The problem is, as you are starting to utilize that, then you get to a place where now you've met your deductible, and you have to pay 20% of the bill, and they then will cover 80% of it. Well, normally, that doesn't have a limit.

So let's say a child, heaven forbid, gets cancer, and you meet your in-network deductible of $10,000 for the year and even some out-of-networks because, again, like we just heard with sweet Ashley, is that the anesthesiologist was not in-network, so you have to pay that price. So they try to tell you, “Oh, max out of pocket, it would be $12,000.” Or, in her scenario, it was $9,500 if it was in-network. Out-of-network, that max might be $22,000. Well then, after that, heaven forbid, your child has to continue getting therapy and continue being in the hospital off and on, you then pay 20% of those bills, and if a bill comes to a million dollars, you are now responsible for 20% of that. And what we've found is most of the bankruptcies in the United States come because we cannot afford this healthcare. When something tragic comes, and, like you said, these oopsies turn into something really big; now we're in a big bind. 

Well, the neat thing with our guidelines and the way that they have set us up for price point is it is the oldest member of the household. So in my family, I'm the oldest member of our household, and we have five members of our household. And so, our price point is determined as I age, not by what medical expenses have happened in our family, which is huge. But we also know that no matter what threshold we pick — I'm going to explain in just a minute how this works — you get to pick four options. One is the amount of your deductible, which we call a primary responsibility amount, and then you pay your monthly rate, or what we know in traditional health care is called premiums, and you decide if you want to pay less every month and have more exposure on the backend with our deductible. Or would you like to pay a little bit more for your monthly premium or standard rate and then have a household deductible that's much lower? And then once you meet that, we would then have a 10/90 split, but it maxes at $5,000 for the whole family for the year. So that same million-dollar incident would not cost a family more than the amount they picked for their deductible, which thresholds are $2,500, $5,000, $7,500, or $10,000 and $5,000 in your kosher amount. So you could be as little as $7,500 for the year to $15,000 for your whole entire family. And you know going in that if something happens, this is all that I would come out of pocket besides my monthly rates. And that is a huge place to start from, where most of the time, we start at, like you said, $1,400 a month. It's piecemeal. We don't really know what they're going to cover and what they're not going to cover. And then all of a sudden, we have bills coming out because some were in-network and some were out-of-network, and it is a colossal tough situation. 

[0:26:25.5] Ashley James: You said the million-dollar — God forbid, knock on wood and knock my Sunlighten — medical bill, which would be over $200,000 for average healthcare, your health care caps off after you pay your deductible. It caps off at that $5,000. 

[0:26:47.0] Megan Williams: Yes.

[0:26:47.5] Ashley James: Per family. 

[0:26:49.3] Megan Williams: Yes, which is so incredible.

[0:26:51.5] Ashley James: It's amazing! So like you said, the 20/80 split, it's a 10/90 split that gets capped at $5,000. That is insane, and I love it. It's so freeing for so many families. I just looked it up; 66.5 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States are caused by medical bills. 

[0:26:51.5] Megan Williams: That's right.

[0:27:14.9] Ashley James: Really, it's really sick. It is a broken system that keeps us so stressed out and so stuck. The way the financial system is going, the way our food costs have risen, we've got to get more creative when it comes to saving money and still being healthy. This is a perfect system to do that. This system is the perfect system because I order, for example, as your standard — I'll make sure the link is in the show notes — as your standard is a produce company that gets organic fresh from the farm kind of thing, and you can also do both. I buy brown rice and beans in bulk. I save a ton of money doing it. I buy my sprouting seeds in bulk. I get frozen organic produce and fresh organic produce through them, and they get it directly from the farm, and they promised that it's not radiated, that there's no Bill Gates spray, that new kind of spray they called Apeel, which has been around for a while for the last few years. That's not sprayed on their produce. So they're fantastic. I've been buying from them for years, but when my friends were like, “They're a Christian-based company,” I love it when a company is like, “Hey, these are our values, and we just want you to know that we're not going to poison you.” That's how I save money because even though I'm pinching pennies, money's tight, and I'm not going to sacrifice my family's health. So I will still continue to buy organic, and I'm just going to find more and more creative ways to do so. I'm throwing my own potatoes in my backyard. That kind of thing. So I'm buying from companies that I can buy in bulk and save money and looking at how I can cut costs, but not cut care, and not cut quality. And what I love about your company is that it's a fraction of the price, and we're getting even better care. 

Now, I know you have so much to talk about. But I got to tell you my absolute favorite part, besides the fact that you're not going to get surprised by $200,000 bills. So there are no surprises when it comes to bills. But what I love is that you have so much more access to holistic health providers. So, let's talk about what you do get to do with this insurance. Do you call it insurance? 

[0:29:53.4] Megan Williams: We don't. We call it healthcare or health sharing or a non-insurance alternative. And it's very nice because the only thing about our platform is it's a five-year-old group that's been around for five years. But what's so neat about it is they took this modern approach, and the CFO and the board have come together from past experience of what works and doesn't work — what are people wanting, what are they looking for, what do they need. And even to this day, there are some things holistically that we can't share yet. But there is so much more available here than I've ever seen, which is incredible. I absolutely love it. So I'll give a great example of that. 

With our group, everybody in the entire group gets a wellness visit, and they get $150 of labs without having to pay into their PRA or deductible that comes first. And then, as you are getting treatments and you're working with new situations, they will actually share or apply visits up to fifty per member for either chiropractic, physical therapy, mental health, things that they might need like respiratory therapy, the things that sometimes are overlooked. And if we were doing them, it would prevent other things from happening, right? And I really like that because my chiropractor and I had worked out a way to be affordable and be able to use him because my children are so athletic. We tend to have things pop out and hurt. My knees have popped out. We've been in and out of the ER for a lot of stuff, and we have found that utilizing our chiropractor has prevented a lot of these issues. Well, when we came to Impact, we were really thrilled to know that each person got to come by and visit. So let's just say we pay cash $200 for our chiropractic visits as a family every month — I'm just going to use that number because it's a round number. It is easy, right? Maybe it was $100 a visit. Well, what we worked out with Impact is we pay the hour $100, and then our chiropractor's staff then sends the paid invoice with the correct codes of treatment to Impact. Well, Impact then worked with him and said, okay, listen, this is a new treatment, so we need these codes. They worked out the correct code, so everything was right. And then, they could take that bill of $100 and apply it to our deductible. So things that I had been paying cash for years, 10-15 years now, actually got applied to our PRA. So then one of my sons needed physical therapy, a new therapy for an injury that he had. Again, we were able to take that physical therapy bill, get the code, submit that to Impact, and have it applied to our PRA. Before, we would just go and have that therapy done without getting any type of application to it. So it actually went to something, and that was huge. Oh my gosh, that was huge. 

And then, over time, we had other preventive care that when you're in your forties, you need. And those were getting applied. But the amazing part was, in some of the scenarios, they would readjust those prices, and in some of them, it was just what we paid cash. But it got applied. And so, very quickly, we had chosen as a family, we were paying, just so everybody knows of our background; we had gotten it whittled down to about $1,800 a month for healthcare with a $10,000 family deductible. Now on Impact, we pay $605 a month with a $2,500 household PRA or deductible. So very quickly, $2,500 between five people and little incidents adds up quickly. And it just made it so nice because as things were coming in and different processes and bills were coming in, Impact kept all that transparent. They worked with all the different providers. Over the last year, we have seen checks come back for things we paid for in cash with that 10% taken out because they're like, “No, you've met this PRA now. We got to make sure you guys get your money back.” So everything's doing the right by us, and that was huge. 

[0:34:35.2] Ashley James: As I said earlier, when I looked into how much our family of three would be paying, it came out to be about $600 with, like you said, the $2,500 household deductible. Now with the insurance I had, it was $9,500. So that was a huge difference. And I was paying $1,400 a month, and now they're closer to $600 with you guys. I was sitting there going, something was wrong. I didn't input something correctly. There's got to be a glitch.

This is amazing paying for it, and I love that you called it a non-health insurance alternative because that sounds like my latte. It's like I'm going to have the non-dairy alternative. It's better, and it's healthier. This is like that — the healthier, non-insurance alternative. This is the holistic non-insurance alternative. It just sounds like my entire diet. It's like, I'm going to have the non-meat alternative or whatever. 

[0:35:42.2] Megan Williams: Yes, it's so true. It feels like that. You're absolutely right. So for those of us who are used to non-traditional, this is a perfect solution. Now, there are scenarios, Ashley, 100%, that we're not the right fit. But it's not all or nothing. And that's some of the things that really blew my mind as I was helping families trying to find solutions. I'll give a great example — we had a mom who has been diabetic since she was born, and she needed very specific medicine, and it was very, very expensive. And so, on the marketplace, there are some great plans that are out there. But again, it's nice. Like you said, there are brokers who actually helped. And so, in our hunt for helping people find solutions and really trying to find the best so people can come to our group, we have made some really great strategic partnerships. So this family comes, we look at the price point, we look at everything it covers, and she goes, “Oh my goodness, this is perfect for my husband and kids. They don't have any issues. This is what we've been looking for.” Well, they were a family of four, and what we did was we were actually able to put the entire family in our group with Impact. She worked with a broker that we knew and got great diabetic coverage for what she needed because that was pre-existing for her. But she can utilize our group as her secondary. So she gets her wellness visits, you know, included. She gets her normal thing. She gets all the benefits of the discounts for our prescriptions, but she gets what she needs with traditional. So, yes, they're paying a little bit more. But if they had kept the family on that traditional plan for the four of them, it was going to be $2,800 a month. Instead, she could have that plan for right around $600, and the family, including her, could be with us. They were a little older than us. So it's about $650 a month with a $2,500 deductible. Well, that was still $1,200 less than the $2,800 they would be paying if they were all on traditional. So it's not an all-or-nothing scenario. 

We've had people who have high blood pressure. It's pre-existing. With us, any of those bills or doctor visits about high blood pressure would not be applied to the deductible or to sharing. But if they had a heart attack, or they ended up in the hospital thinking they were having a heart attack, that would be shared with the group because that pre-existing does not affect future cardiac and vascular events that could come up. So again, it's not an all-or-nothing for individuals with us. It just is; what do you feel comfortable with? We sometimes have where the parents don't even come to Impact. They stay with their employees' coverage, and their children come to us because it's so much more affordable to mix-and-match per se. So again, this is the non-traditional approach, folks. It's not all or nothing. It's crazy, right? I mean, they pay into any type of chiropractic, physical therapy, vision therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, or respirational. They look at mental health. They want to help us. With preventative ladies, we all get our preventative care and work with all of those things, and they'll share in it. It is big. They have limitations, but the limitations can be for a favor and/or protect us from people abusing the situation. So it's really neat how they word our guidelines. And when you go to Ashley's link, you can look at the guidelines and see the transparency of it, which is huge. It's fantastic, so we love that.

[0:39:38.2] Ashley James: So it's You definitely want to check that out. I love that I can go to my chiropractor every two weeks and not have to worry about it. I like to see my naturopath once every six months. I don't have major health issues, but I really like to check in twice a year. I like to do some blood work if we feel like we need to. Pretty much I like to do blood work once a year. But if there's anything coming up, I like to just check in on it. I like knowing that I have access to these other services, like physical therapy. I got to tell you physical therapy for women after giving birth is the most life-changing thing. I have an interview about pelvic floor therapy, and it's not just for women. If men are having trouble urinating, have pain during sex, and pain during evacuation, they can also have a disruption in their pelvic floor. So I had this great interview about pelvic floor therapy. I've seen three different pelvic floor therapists. I had one before my second pregnancy and two after. And one of them did a type of massage. Yes, it's a vaginal massage. They wear gloves and everything. What she did was she broke up scar tissue. I didn't even realize that this was the problem, and it corrected everything. It was amazing. I could walk properly. My chiropractor pulled me back together because my pelvis was twisted. But it's really interesting how scar tissue, after giving birth vaginally, can throw off the whole pelvic floor, which throws off the glutes, which throws off the hips, which throws off our gait. It is all connected, and I ended up because my crappy expensive health insurance wasn't covering it. I had to pay $5,500 out of pocket for all the PT I got, and it was so frustrating. I am paying so much money for health insurance, and on top of that, I have to pay for the care I need because I was in pain, and this might be TMI. Well, my listeners know me. But intercourse for seven years was painful, which doesn't make it fun for the husband because he's like, “I don't want to hurt you.” But that was the scar tissue left behind, and that was the stitches that the doctor did without really consulting me, and it caused so much scar tissue that it wasn't fun. It was no fun experience for the last eight years. And then I had the PT, and it was like everything down there was reset to pre-having kids. I couldn't believe it. And then, finally, there was no pain during intercourse, and it was like, I didn't realize how much I missed not having pain down there until it was reset. But this is pelvic floor PT, not covered by a lot of very expensive health insurance companies, and here we have something. These are licensed physical therapists. This is a legitimate service. This is a legitimate physical therapy, and it can be covered by this non-insurance, healthier alternative. 

[0:42:55.3] Megan Williams: That's right. No, it's really true. So let's talk about maternity because that's one of the big questions. I have a new member family that is young. They have two children. They want to have another one, and they have been looking. Her husband changed jobs, and with the new job, healthcare wasn't really a viable option for them and their family. They're like, “It's not really providing us care. It doesn't do what we want.” And she just happened to see one of our posts on Facebook, and she sent me a message. Her mom and I have been friends for years, and she's like, “We really want to have another baby.” I said okay, stop right there. If you come to us, we need to get you in the system fast because you need to be a member for one year before that baby is born. So she's like, okay. So she's been a member for one month, and she's been waiting for three months. “So four months total before we started trying for another baby,” and I started laughing, and I said, “Yes, because with our program, you guys, you get up to $150,000 towards any single pregnancy event that is shared in the group.” The neat part, just like you said. Afterwardsafterward, physical therapy would be something that would definitely be shared with the group. You can also pick which kind of doctor you can be performed with. So you can go to a facility. You can have a midwife come to your house. You can have a water delivery as long as the midwives/PA are all certified and registered in that state for delivery as long as they're properly licensed. 

Now this is a huge option because so many people now are looking for alternatives for that. It is great. And then, of course, the newborn will become a member and be added right when they're born. So it's perfect. And then they get extra visits that first year and then up to the age of six. They get all their visits, and all that stuff included that is shared with the group to make it very affordable for us. And so I think that that is a really huge blessing because, like you said, these doctors, in and out of network, all of a sudden emergencies happen, and you get these extra bills. And that's not what you want to be focused on when you have a baby. That is a fantastic added benefit. For our members, they really want us to recover, and they want us to have great options. And absolutely, that type of therapy would be included because it would fall under physical therapy. So it's fantastic.

[0:45:29.8] Ashley James: Absolutely. I'm so excited. As far as people with pre-existing conditions like asthma, for example, they can still use your non-insurance healthier alternative, but when it comes to their pre-existing condition, it is not covered for the first 36 months. 

[0:45:52.5] Megan Williams: Correct. In our guidelines, let me just say it exactly right so everyone understands — so pre-existing medical conditions are conditions that are known signs, symptoms, testing, diagnosis, treatment, or other use of medicine occurring within the last 36 months. Now asthma would be something that would be pre-existing because it's been diagnosed. But at the same time, the nice thing about asthma is that besides having a prescription and being aware of it, there's no long-term effect. So a lot of people would say, okay, I could come to this group. I know my prescriptions are going to be discounted because I'm not part of the group anyways, but maybe if I have a special respiratory scenario, if they've just been recently diagnosed prior to coming to the group, that would be considered pre-existing. But some people haven't had treatment. They may have just been on medicine for the last ten years but have not had any type of diagnosis or treatment per se in the last 36 months. So anything new coming up would not be considered pre-existing. 

I'll give an example that happened to me personally. So I have acid reflux from having twins. They always say when you're pregnant, you have heartburn. Well, let me tell you, when you have twins, it has nothing to do with the hair on their head because my two are bald. But it definitely was something that I got, and then I continued to have it off and on for the last thirteen years. Well, when I was with my last traditional insurance, they saw on my doctor's notes that I had gotten a prescription for heartburn, and they told me that it was pre-existing. And if anything ever comes up — an ulcer, esophagus cancer, anything — we will never cover those things because you have a pre-existing. Now mind you, I've gotten medication once in the last six years, but it was in my records. So I came to Impact, and at that point, I was so mad that I didn't get prescriptions for it. So I haven't had a prescription for that for years. I just use over-the-counter stuff every once in a while because it's there. Well, on my application, when we become members, you fill out things that, have you had any issues? So I put in acid reflux because I'm honest. Well, then later, I talked to Impact, and I said, listen, I have acid reflux. I take medicine for it every once in a while. I said, is that a pre-existing? They said, no, it's not a pre-existing condition in a sense; it's for your future care. So I thought, okay. Well, I went in to be scoped for both my colonoscopy and endoscopy. I think it's how you say it, through your throat, to make sure you have no cancer. Guys, when you're in your forties, they care. They want to make sure, and it runs our family, so I had to go get checked. And I've been avoiding this for years, by the way. Well, the doctor goes in and realizes I have a herniated esophagus. He did some different things during the procedure that helped immensely. And I'm sure he put it on the bill, but what I did realize on my bill is I got all of that shared “covered” with the group, and it was not considered a pre-existing. 

And so that was a huge thing for me to see that they said, “Okay, you might have gotten that prescription years ago, but we're not going to hold it against you even though I'd still take medicine for it.” And I think that that was huge. That was a really big thing. So again, it's not all or nothing. And when anyone joins our group or wants to even ask, they can talk to Impact prior to joining and ask all their personal questions and feel super comfortable about those answers just in case. So it's really nice for them.

[0:49:56.3] Ashley James: So they can go to, and that's where a lot of the information is, and they'll be able to find the phone number to talk to someone.

[0:50:09.6] Megan Williams: To request, absolutely. 

[0:50:12.5] Ashley James: To talk about pre-existing. So I'm a little confused, and if I'm confused, then there's got to be a lot of listeners who are confused. Again, I'm a Canadian here.

[0:50:20.9] Megan Williams: Yes, I know. I know.

[0:50:22.4] Ashley James: That's making sense to me, right? You know an American can walk into a Canadian hospital and get care and not be kicked out. But I'm not saying their system is any better. The healthcare system is broken because it's all about pharmaceuticals and profits. And in Canada, it's not about profits. It's about cutting costs. So, it's, again, a broken system. But we're doing the best we can to navigate a broken system by choosing freedom of choice, which is why I love this non-insurance healthy alternative to insurance because we can have the freedom of choice to choose our practitioners. There's no network. And I want to talk about this. You can go to a different state, and if you're in a different country. You'll get coverage, and you're protected under this umbrella, which is what insurance is supposed to do. But I love that you have the freedom to choose your holistic, licensed practitioners, and that makes me so excited.  

So let's just talk about this just so we can fully understand it. If someone has a pre-existing condition, and then they join this wonderful non-insurance healthier alternative to insurance after being with you guys for 36 months, are there pre-existing conditions that are covered or pre-existing conditions that are never recovered? 

[0:51:46.7] Megan Williams: Okay, so let's use an example. So the condition has to not have had a treatment or a diagnosis or any signs and symptoms testing in 36 months. So I'll give an example of my friend who had shoulder surgery. So she just had a treatment. She had a shoulder repair a year and a half ago. She joins Impact. She knows if anything comes up with this left shoulder of hers, physical therapy, or she goes and gets more treatment on it, that would not be shared with the group. Now, Impact would help reprice any of those expenses. They would help be the liaison. But because that experience happened within 18 months, it's still in that 36 months. Now, let's say she doesn't have any issues. Her shoulder's been fine, and we finished 36 months, even though she's only been a member for that 18 months because now the total amount has been 36 months of that time of treatment, diagnosis, surgery, whatever — now, anything that comes up from that shoulder would be shared with the group. It would be able to not be all out-of-pocket expenses. And so, it's not about being a member for 36 months. It's when did that sign, symptom, and diagnosis happen.

So, I have a friend who had a heart attack, and he has a big family. They were paying $3,200 a month for the health care for their family of eight, and they were able to come to Impact for $700 a month. And his biggest concern was I had this heart attack. While he gets a screening every year, he has not been on medications. He has not had a diagnosis. He has not had treatment for that heart attack for more than thirty-six months. So, according to Impact's guidelines, it's as if it never existed. 

[0:53:49.8] Ashley James: Got it.

[0:53:51.3] Megan Williams: So even though he gets a screening for it, that's not a treatment or test. See the difference. So that's why this is so neat because, for example, if you've been diagnosed with cancer and it's in complete remission, and you're only undergoing testing for surveillance purposes, as long as that cancer hasn't been treated for 36 months, it is as if it never happened. 

[0:54:19.7] Ashley James: Now, let's say he did, for example, had his heart attack and then immediately joined, and let's say it's an ongoing problem; it's a pre-existing condition because it's within the first 36 months he has joined. Is it like 10 years, 20 years, or 30 years that forever it's not covered, or is it just not covered for the first 36 months?

[0:54:50.5] Megan Williams: I'll give another example of someone who had a heart attack on New Year's Eve. He has joined Impact while still getting treatment and medicine for that. So that portion, he gets an employee stipend for his medical. But his wife does not. So they decided to both come to Impact because the medicine that they prescribed him was $700 a month. Through Impact, though, because he's a member, it's only $73 a month. So even though he has traditional health care that's going to cover his pre-existing heart attack scenario and all the testing and treatments he is still going through, he's almost done. The doctor's like, “I can't believe how well you're doing.” Let's just say that by October, he no longer needs to have treatment or medicine; they'll just do a screening because everything's looking great. From October now, the clock will start for 36 months. So even though he's been a member since January, that one condition, the clock starts once the treatment stops. 

So it's not about membership. It's about when the treatment stops before you come. But he wanted to be a member, and it's his actual secondary as a member because he wanted the medication discounts that our group got him. So it was worth it because he saved $600 a month on the medication even though he's paying for a secondary with his wife with this. Actually, this is her full coverage, and it's his secondary. But they're both on Impact because he wants those benefits. So again, it's not all or nothing. But the nice thing is, yes, he has a heart attack, but if he had a stroke, that has nothing to do with the heart attack. Or if he got colon cancer, that has nothing to do with the heart attack. So all those things would be shared with the group and have “coverage.”

[0:56:53.6] Ashley James: And so in a few years, let's say he's heart attack free, the heart's fine, cleans up his diet, listens to my podcast, learns how to prevent and reverse heart disease — that's a really great episode with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, How to Reverse and Prevent Heart Disease. Just so you know, if you know anyone with heart disease, this is the book. The interview is amazing, obviously, but the book is phenomenal because he performed the world's longest study using food to reverse heart disease. Within two years, they've taken photos, and they show you that there are four blockages in the heart. These poor people who are too sick; they were on death's door and too sick to have stents put in or have surgery. They were within weeks of dying. Too sick to do anything else, so he was like, okay, well, let's just try a diet. And he gets them on a whole food plant-based, no salt, sugar, oil, flour, or alcohol diet. And there is also stuff you have to eat that increases heart health, that helps the endothelial lining of the cardiovascular system. It's like science. You're eating six times a day of all these different foods that are all heart-healthy, and he gets people to go from four blockages in the heart to zero blockages in the heart. Angina pain is gone in the first month. Blood clots in the leg are gone very quickly. It was absolutely amazing. 

So anyway, let's say one of your guys has a heart attack, buys your non-insurance, healthier alternative to insurance, and gets this coverage, and then he cleans up his life. He doesn't have any heart health issues for 36 months, even though it was his pre-existing condition. But 36 months of no health problems around the heart, according to you guys, it's no longer a pre-existing condition, and should he have heart issues in the future, like five to ten years down the road, then it's covered?

[0:58:55.3] Megan Williams: Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. You got it!

[0:58:59.1] Ashley James: Yey, I understood it! The Canadian's got it.

[0:59:02.7] Megan Williams: Now you did perfect. And I love that podcast because I have friends who need to listen to it too. 

[0:59:08.4] Ashley James: Yes, all your friends need to listen to my show. Absolutely. It's amazing. Our body has a God-given ability to heal itself. We can heal ourselves. I reversed five major diagnoses, and so can you. Your body can heal itself. We just have to stop doing what everyone else is doing because everyone else is sick. Just go become a black sheep, go against the grain, cannot eat like everyone else, can't stress out like everyone else, right? Listen to my show.

[0:59:37.7] Megan Williams: It's so true. Well, that goes to this whole thing of thinking outside the box. So then a lot of people ask me all the time, and they go, “What about the providers? Will they even work with us? Because most people haven't heard of Impact.” Let me give you a little scenario. Most marketplace plans are just the bare minimum. So what that means is the provider might get 70% of what medicare pricing is, or 80% or 90. Sometimes they're lucky. With the Blue Cross Blue Shield, they still get 100% on certain things. Well, the new thing is when Impact looks at reference-based pricing, they're not trying to get the cheapest thing that nobody wants to work with us. They actually start their pricing with 150% of medicare pricing. So now, the doctors like working with us because the price point isn't insulting them, which is so good too. And again, when you're thinking outside the box, half of these medical professionals have just been beaten up. They've been told that they're not worth what they think they are. And we'll say, no, you're worth it, and we want to work together to find solutions. So when you are talking about how your body can heal, we can also heal these relationships with doctors and facilities. All of us, because we're coming to the table, not just trying to find solutions for us, but also for the providers. That's a really good place to be because it's about solutions, and that's what makes it so nice. You know what I mean? So I really love that. I love that your listeners listen to outside-the-box thinking, but in this scenario, just like in yours, it's a win-win because we got to be smart. We got to make everybody feel important. So we're cutting the cost but not the care. The providers are not getting gouged and say, “Oh, we don't care that you have 20 years of experience. We're not going to give you what you deserve.” No, we're going to help you get what you deserve. 

[1:01:46.4] Ashley James: It's not a pyramid where there are these shareholders at the top going, “Mwahaha, I like sitting on and swimming through bags of money.” All the other traditional health insurance companies gouge the customers, and they gouge the providers. They keep the profits for themselves and are just evil. And we have you guys, who are the non-insurance, healthy alternative to insurance. Why should listeners go to You created a great website that explains this a lot. You can play with the quote and see how much your family would be paying, or individual. Maybe you're not a family member, just an individual. You're a single person. How much you'd be paying, play with the quote meter — but what else will they see at

[1:02:38.3] Megan Williams: Well, what we love is we really wanted everyone to understand why this is so different. And so, on the homepage, I do a 7-minute video that breaks down all the benefits of our program and helps you feel comfortable. But then we included videos that Impact has made over the years about important facts and why this is such a smart, different way of thinking. But on it, you could even see testimonials. You can see what groups could pay. We work with businesses where they've been priced out of healthcare options for their employees, and so they're losing employees to other companies. And we have an entire page where you can get a quote for your company. We also have wonderful videos that explain going to the doctor and how we work with everybody and their no-network restrictions. It is very transparent. But when you're on the guideline little page, the overview is directly linked with our share group. So it's updated as they make legal changes. Everything is transparent. Everything is there. 

And what we love is that you don't have to try to figure it out. I have a lawyer who's in our group, and when he read the guidelines, he's like, “Oh my goodness. This is one of the best-written documents I've had.” Because if it's not in there, they're going to share it. They're very specific about what is a concern and what's not a concern. And as you said, we can play around with the pricing. Our individual starts at $73 a month, families at $250 a month with a family of two, and then, of course, three and more. We are not trying to make this difficult. We want everyone to feel very comfortable. So, when you're on our site, you can even request more information and hear from Impact themselves and/or our associates because we've had so much experience as members of the program to help out as well. We run live events that you can register for and learn more about. And, of course, working directly with Ashley's group and this community, we really know that we'll be able to give great solutions, and it's really nice for that too. 

[1:04:58.5] Ashley James: I just love that you can get all the coverage you want, and it's cheaper than your car insurance. Well, at least it's cheaper than what I'm paying for car insurance. And I'm a good driver, and knock on my Sunlighten sauna; I haven't had any tickets. I don't know; I think I was in my twenties the last time. Oh, I mean, I had a parking ticket a few years ago. But other than that, I haven't had any traffic violations. Knock on my Sunlighten sauna; I haven't had any traffic violations. But car insurance is expensive, and you guys are cheaper than my car insurance. I'm shaking my head thinking about how many Generation Z people, young professionals — I'm friends with some of them — who don't have health insurance because they're like, “Well, I can't afford them.” $73 a month? Yeah, you can. 

I have a friend who's a chef, and he's like, “I can't afford.” Half the year, he lives out of his truck because he loves to travel. He works at resorts, out in Vail ski resorts, and then the rest of the year, he is traveling and having fun, and he's just like, “I can't afford health insurance.” I can't wait to tell him it's $73 a month. He can absolutely afford it. And then when he cuts his thumb off or whatever, then he does something stupid while in the kitchen, or burns himself, or something. I mean, he's traveling, and what if he gets chased by a bear? He's traveling all throughout the country, living the van life half the year. I'm thinking he would love this type of insurance, so he could go to any licensed provider in any state and be covered. 

How cool is that, that you can choose where you want to go. Your location doesn't matter. The insurance that I've had for many years, that I've been buying for many years, the traditional insurance — I couldn't even go to the other side of town. It wouldn't cover me. I had to only go to this one hospital network. It's just ridiculous. They say you're covered pretty much in every ER, but then if you're transferred from the ER into care, it's just ridiculous. The traditional system does not work. And I love that you can even do your non-insurance alternative to better insurance. You can do this as a secondary, which gives you even more coverage. So, anyway, I like the savings. I like the savings, and I like that I can now see more of my providers. That's super exciting. Tell us a little bit about traveling. So you could choose to go see a doctor or clinic in a different state. And also, what about traveling, like you're in Mexico or you're in Cancun? Tell us a bit about how that works. 

[1:07:42.1] Megan Williams: Absolutely. So the neat thing is, there are no provider restrictions. We had a young member who was diagnosed with cancer in the Arkansas area, and the doctors just weren't a good solution for this type of cancer. And so, he ended up going to Dallas with his family and getting all of their coverage. Well, after the repricing and everything like that for the year — I mean, we're talking a couple of million dollars of procedures — the out-of-pocket for the group was only around $280,000 for the year because the markup is so absolutely insane. Well, the new thing is if you were just traveling and you have an emergency, that also is covered. So you can have planned trips in America and go to any provider as long as it is not elective. So still today in healthcare, elective surgery is not covered. So sorry, ladies. Facelifts, botox, and all the little fun extras that people might pick, like hormone therapy, those things are not covered. Same with out of the country. So if you planned a specific surgery out of the country because it was cheaper, those are also not covered. But if I'm in Mexico, which I was a couple of weeks ago, and having a situation with coral that I needed to go and run to an emergency room quickly, I got that bill, and I could submit it to Impact. And yes, it was shareable with the group, and yes, it would be covered. So you could be traveling anywhere in the world, and if you end up in an emergency situation, those bills are going to come back through the group and get shared. And the nice part is there is no lifetime limit. So if you end up having a big scenario, you're not kicked out the next year because you cost the group too much money. That's very important. 

The other really great thing is, right now, we do have a yearly or annual limit per member, not per household, of $500,000. But what they found in the last five years, even with these huge expenses with the reference-based pricing, we aren't even getting close. I had a friend who was out golfing and all of a sudden had abdominal pain that he thought he was dying. They rushed to the emergency room to a hospital. He thought it was an appendix. Well, he ended up having a ruptured spleen, and he was in the hospital for five days. The entire bill came to over $152,000. It was actually four days, and then he was out on the fifth day. It was $152,000. Well, with the reference-based pricing, it came to $36,000. So he didn't even meet his max limit of the $5,000 10% co-share because they were able to reprice it so much lower. 

And so, this is a really great thing because, again, you've got advocates. And he said the best part was the little lady in billing at the hospital who came in and said, “Don't worry, Mister Chris, we've got everything. We've talked to Impact, and everything's being paid for a hundred percent. You don't have to worry about a thing. I'm working with them. You just get better.” And then, when he got home, he had a message from Impact saying, “Hey, we know you've had the surgery. We hope you're feeling better. If there are any questions or any bills come, let us know. We'll help take care of everything.”

[1:11:08.1] Ashley James: What??

[1:11:09.9] Megan Williams: What is that? Because this is more personable, it really is about making it a better scenario. 

[1:11:19.8] Ashley James: I love it. I was a little slow in catching the numbers. So it's a $150,000 hospital bill. How much did he have to pay out of pocket?

[1:11:31.0] Megan Williams: Well, I actually even have this on one of our Zooms, and we were working on some of these kinds of examples so people can see. While he was repriced to $36,000, he paid $150 for the provider fee for the ER. So he paid $150, and then he still had about $1,588 left on his deductible or his primary responsibility amount. He paid 10% of the co-share of that $36,000. So out-of-pocket for that entire expense, he paid $5,200 and not $152,000.

[1:12:14.4] Ashley James: So $152,000 — that's like buying three brand new cars — got down to a $5,200 hospital bill when the whole thing was said and done. Now let's say that happens to one of our listeners who joins, who goes to and checks out the cool Zooms and the videos and does the quote. They join their whole family in. If something, God forbid, happens to them and they need this kind of emergency medical help, and then they get on the other side of it, and then they get the bill — so it's $52,000 — do they have to pay that all at once? Can they do a payment plan? How does that work? 

[1:13:02.2] Megan Williams: Very good question. So the nice part is once Impact has negotiated and they send in their portion that they pay, then legally, the hospital — that includes all the providers; this list had everybody on it from the anesthesiologist to the pharmacy, when he was leaving the hospital — once they accept that reference-based price, then that bill is locked. They can never come back and ask for more amount. But Impact then would send you, “Okay, your portion is this.” And then they send you where to send the bill. And absolutely, you can call their facility and say, “Okay, I'm making plan payment.” And you might pay $1,000 for the next five months, and then you'll be done. So the nice part from my experience is, with them getting the lion's share of what they really needed and then you paying your percentage, they work with us as humans to make those payments.

[1:14:07.8] Ashley James: Who are you paying that to? Are you paying that $5,200 to the hospital, or you're paying it to Impact?

[1:14:11.4] Megan Williams: Yes.

[1:14:12.4] Ashley James: Okay. You're paying it to the hospital. So you can negotiate with the hospital and pay $200 a month instead of $1,000 a month? 

[1:14:19.9] Megan Williams: Yes.

[1:14:20.5] Ashley James: You can make it manageable. Yeah. Okay. 

[1:14:23.0] Megan Williams: But they got the big amount. So they are feeling the burden off their shoulders. So then they are so much better at working with us. The problem is when people say, “Oh, I have a two-million-dollar bill, and I want to pay you $200 a month.” No, that's not how this works. So absolutely, that's what's so nice about it. But the best part is that they legally can never come back and say we want more money from you. So the nice part of having someone like Impact as your advocate, and it's in the system legally, they can't come back and say, “Oh, we changed our minds. We don't want to just accept $36,000. We want you to pay $50,000.” They cannot do it because they accepted that price and took the money from Impact. So that's what's so nice about having a person like this and not just being cash-paying where you could get screwed because you don't have an entity that is your facilitator. Impact has a legal team, and they know all the rules. They know how the system works, and it's a fantastic peace of mind.

[1:15:30.9] Ashley James: Now, something you don't know about me is that twenty years ago, I was an insurance salesman. Funny enough, it took me this long to actually think about this and go, “Oh yeah, I used to sell insurance.” I mean, it was twenty years ago, a totally different lifetime ago. It was door-to-door. It was a combined, and this is in Canada. I don't know if you've ever heard of combined health insurance, but this is, again, twenty years ago. It was either they had accident insurance, and they had sickness insurance. For Canadians, our health insurance is like you pay almost half your paycheck to social services. It's like we get taxed through the nose. It was just crazy. It's like something between 46% and 48% of your paycheck is bye-bye every month, just paying all the social services. Healthcare is not so great in Canada, but again, pluses and minuses all across the board, I don't think Canada is better than the United States or vice versa because it's a very different system, and the system's broken no matter where you go. So you got to think holistically and go to the right providers.

But there I was in Canada, and I was selling door-to-door insurance. What it was is you paid $14 a month, and then if you broke a bone, they would give you $1,000, or they give you $1,500. If you had a car accident, until you've missed some work, for every day you're in the hospital or ICU, they would give you $5,000. They would basically be giving you money to get injured. Obviously, don't go buy the insurance and then injure yourself. I've actually met some people who had injured themselves and received the payouts. And they're like, “Yeah, this company is amazing. They really do pay out.” And then they had sickness insurance. So if someone was in the ICU because of an infection, or in the ER because of infection or whatever, if they had to miss work basically and that they live in the hospital because of the infection, they got paid every day a certain amount. There was a limit, though. There was a cut-off. It's like you can only have this many days in the hospital that we're going to pay. So we're going to pay thirty days, for example, because it wasn't a traditional health insurance. It was just more like an accident or sickness insurance. It was more like your paycheck insurance. It's what it was, which I thought was an interesting safety net. Because life happens not to everyone, but life happens, and it's great to have a safety net. 

Anyway, that was an interesting experience. I got to see that world while I was kind of figuring out life, and I did it for a summer. It was interesting. It wasn't my cup of tea, but I'm meeting a ton of people and learning about the industry, which was interesting. And so the thought that came to mind, I know this is not that, but is there a limit to how many days someone could be in the hospital? Like you said, you get to see fifty providers a year with all these different services. So all these services are covered, but is there a cap, or they're like, “Sorry, you've been in the hospital for fourteen days now. You're cut off.” Is there any kind of gotchas like you said?

[1:18:53.0] Megan Williams: I love it. I was going to say, I know exactly what you're saying. So this is a great thing to be paired with something we call in the United States, disability insurance, or, like you said, paycheck insurance, like Aflac, where they'll match, or you can get reimbursed for those copay provider fees and things like that. But what's neat is if somebody is in the hospital, like we add another friend who's been in Impact and she was in the hospital for almost a month, and Impact shared everything with the group and repriced it all. So there isn't a limit to those kinds of things. There is an in-patient limit or things that are not eligible, like in-patient rehab or residential drug alcohol treatments. So they give a specific list that is not eligible at all, and it's normal things that they don't share or cover in normal insurance. But there are no limits if someone ends up in the hospital for a month because of whatever disease is going on. Like this little boy, who had been relocated to the hospital in Dallas for months at a time, there is no limit on that. Like I said, with a repricing, then they have not met that limit for the annual amounts either. And so I think that what we can really know is that they're going to do their very best to make sure that we're taken care of. 

Now, there are some limits for home care as well. So, some of the things they do share into are forty visits for a member who has home care. So, let's say they have an RN who has to come to the house, and they're in their homes, that is limited to forty visits for the year per member. And if someone needs transportation, like air ambulance and things like that, they are limited to $25,000 lifetime limits for those kinds of things. Usually, an ambulance is about $500 to $600 of usage. So that gives you a lot to work with. But there are some specific limits. Anything that is a limit, they specifically tell us in the guidelines. And if it doesn't say in the guidelines, then there's not a limit, which is really cool. 

[1:21:16.9] Ashley James: Oh, I like it.

[1:21:19.7] Megan Williams: Yes, it's very transparent that way, and that's a great question, Ashley.

[1:21:24.5] Ashley James: And all these details can be found at I love that you lay it out. You made the website so easy to understand, and you've got the videos, and people, like you said, can read through everything, see what the limits are, see what the limits aren't. And if it isn't listed, it's not a limit. Even though it doesn't provide rehab facilities, for example, it does provide mental health. So someone could go to a licensed mental health professional and work on healing through addiction. 

[1:22:04.7] Megan Williams: That's right. Absolutely.

[1:22:06.0] Ashley James: It's not that we're saying those people are screwed. It's just you're not going to pay for the Betty Ford clinic experience. 

[1:22:14.8] Megan Williams: Correct. As long as people are honest about it. We're looking for people who are making wise choices. So, for example, my husband always says if someone wants to go skydiving, good for them. There's no limit here. But some insurance companies won't care or cover any skydiving accidents. But my husband says, the way they worded it in Impact is, let's say I wanted to go skydiving and I decided to throw my shoot out first, then dive to my suit and put it on. Well, that was negligent behavior. And therefore, when you are hurt, injured, or killed, they're not going to share into that because it was stupid. Like if you're using illegal drugs, that's stupid. But if someone happened to get in a car accident and they had been drinking, yes, those are going to first go to your car insurance, but Impact is going to share in those medical expenses as well because those kinds of accidents do happen. They weren't trying to be grossly negligent, if that makes sense. So they do have a little provision that protects people like us who don't want people to do stupid things and think that then we'll share it. But I mean, hey, you got a little life. Have fun and go river rafting and do fun things, or have a life. It's really nice because even motorcycle accidents are covered up to $125,000 per incident, which is a big deal. It's a really big deal. We had a young man who's 17, whose friend ran into him and severed his toe, he almost lost his life, and Impact has shared to the whole entire situation, even though he was on a dirt bike. He wasn't being negligent, and it was an accident. And I think that that's also very important to understand that there is a difference between negligence and accidents, and they work with us and help us, which is fantastic. 

[1:24:12.3] Ashley James: Love it, love it. And another thing, again, I've been looking for this solution for years, and I had not found and had not been satisfied by all the other companies I've seen until I found this company. I was like, finally, this is exactly what I've been looking for. I'm so excited. So, my friend who's in a health share, it's a Christian health share company, and at first glance, it looked good. And then I looked further, and it was like, well, you have to be this BMI — body mass index — meaning, you have to be skinny in order to be a member. We're going to weigh you. So I get it; they just want healthy people. And if your cholesterol is at this level, you can't be covered by us. And if you join us and you're skinny but then you gain weight, you're going to get kicked out. And so that kind of health share company, I felt, was too restrictive. It wasn't giving freedom of choice. What I love about yours is, let's say someone is obese and they're working on themselves to be healthier people — and one-third of the American population is overweight or obese, so that really limits you if you were to not allow those people to join — and so there is a small, increased fee. I saw that, and I thought that's amazing. It's worth it for someone who's overweight, who knows they're overweight. They're doing their best. They're looking at being as healthy as possible because weight loss should be a by-product of a healthy lifestyle. It's not the goal. It's the by-product of the goal being to be as healthy as possible.

[1:26:00.0] Megan Williams: That's right. 

[1:26:00.6] Ashley James: So eat healthy, exercise, lower your stress, get good nutrition. The weight is going to come off, and you're living healthier and healthier and healthier. And even skinny people can die of a heart attack.

[1:26:13.5] Megan Williams: That's right.

[1:26:14.9] Ashley James: But the point is that you guys don't exclude people who are overweight. Or let's say everyone in the household, except for the dad, is overweight. You're not excluding the whole family because one member is overweight. The people who have some weight that they want to lose, they get to pay a little bit more, not an exorbitant amount. Just a little bit more, and then they get to be covered. And I thought, how inclusive is that? I love that you would include people of all faiths. You include people of all bodies and health. I love that you don't charge people more because they have a large family. So a family of eight or a family of three, they've got enough expenses if they've got five kids, or they've got six kids or seven kids. They've got enough expenses, and you're not going to continue to gouge people who have so many kids. Typically, kids don't have a lot of health issues compared to adults. Hopefully, fingers crossed, they will listen to my show and follow all the wonderful health tips. So I really love that. 

I love that you can travel. You can travel to different providers in different states. You can go to different countries and feel rest assured. I used to buy travel insurance. Being Canadian, I used to pay for and buy for a few hundred dollars. I'd be traveling. Every three months, I go down to the States because I was doing different conferences and stuff like that. This is back in my twenties, and I would pay upwards of $500 for coverage, and I never had to use it. I never used it. But I didn't want to be in the States without health insurance because I just knew that that was a bad idea. So I bought traveler's insurance every time I went somewhere outside of Canada before I moved to the States. And just to know that you're covered is so reassuring. That is so cool. 

[1:28:09.8] Megan Williams: Yeah. It really is peace of mind, and that's what we're trying to do with our group. And, Ashley, I think all of your listeners are the kind of people who want that. They want to have choices and freedom, and that's what we're really trying to give. And what we love is grassroots movements like this being able to share with people and let them make an educated decision for themselves. What is the right fit? I love it. You're individuals, and you're a tribe, I want to say, or educated. They want to have better options and solutions, and you are giving them that every single day and I love that. I think that's fantastic.

[1:28:50.1] Ashley James: I think I know the answer, but I want to check. So vision and dental supplements are things that are not included?

[1:28:58.0] Megan Williams: That's correct. A lot of times, everyone thinks in insurance, you have to have dental and vision. Well, you can get a policy for that very easily anytime, anywhere, from any group. So what Impact has chosen to do currently is that if it has a medical connotation, like you were injured and you need surgery on your eyes, or your mouth, or your jaw — I had a young man whose roommate hit him in college. He had to have jaw surgery. The dentist came in and did that reconstructive surgery. Those are, of course, all shared. But when we're dealing with just having our teeth cleaned and our eyes looked at, that is not part of this group. But it is definitely something that people can find in America with tons of different brokers, and that's not a concern. I use Costco for one of mine, and I've got a great family dentist that works out stuff as a small business owner for other business owners. So again, those are things that are not on our guidelines because they're not as expensive to manage for a family. 

[1:30:06.6] Ashley James: But if it was like an abscessed tooth or like an eye infection, would that be covered? 

[1:30:11.9] Megan Williams: Yes, because the eye infection would come from something that was medical usually. And so then it starts at a medical. Now, the neat thing is, you don't have to go to a doctor to get a referral to another doctor to have this be “covered.” If you were having infections, you could go right to that kind of doctor, like my sister, who has been a member, and her knee started bothering her. She went to a specific orthopedic that she had heard was the best, and she didn't have to see seventeen doctors beforehand and spend all the extra money. She just went right to him and started doing work with them.

[1:30:49.7] Ashley James: I love that. My friend is from a different company. She's with a health share company. She has stenosis in the neck. She was in a car accident years ago, and stenosis is like the bones are closing in around the nerves. So she had pain going down her arm, and every few years, she gets a CT scan. She has not gotten surgery for it, but she's debating and does everything natural to keep it at bay. She's doing a really good job managing the pain. But she found a search, and she's like, “I'm really interested in just cleaning up the bone spurs that are pushing on the nerves.” And their insurance is like, “No, you have to do it in this order. You have to see this doctor before you see this doctor. You have to get this scan before you see this doctor.” And it was so confusing and so annoying. She couldn't just go see the guy. She had to do all these other things first, and they wouldn't even cover her to see him until she had met their criteria. 

So I love the freedom. Like we said at the beginning, this gives freedom of choice and allows us to navigate the whole medical system, which is weird. It allows us to choose the providers that are holistic that are preventive, that help us to gain our health, to build our health up. You should only ever see a doctor who believes that you can build yourself up and you can become healthier. And if they think that you're sick and you just need to be on drugs and you can't get healthy, then you need to get a second opinion or third opinion and see holistic doctors because they believe your body can heal itself. So the fact that we have the freedom to do it and the freedom to even cross state lines, I love it. 

Now, another thing you do is you also help companies to create plans. So it's the whole company. Suppose you have someone, like, for example, a listener who has ten employees, or fifty employees, or five hundred employees; they can talk to you. And also, if we have a listener who is an insurance broker, they can talk to you. We can hook you guys up with Megan, and she can talk to you because insurance brokers love to provide this. And also, small businesses love to provide this because it's cheaper for everyone and gives better care, gives better coverage, so everyone wins. So Megan can talk to you. In addition, you've been doing this for twenty years. This company has been around for five, but what you've been doing even before this is you help business owners, you help families, you help professionals to cut costs of other services. And so I'm excited about there too because we're living in a day and age right now where I am unwilling to eat conventionally-grown food. They call it conventional. It's the weirdest thing. It's like conventionally grown should be organic. They should call conventional food pesticide-laden. But it's all marketing. Obviously, we're all paying more for food. I'm paying more for organic, clean food, and prices of everything have gone up, and they're going to continue to rise. Unfortunately, this is just the state of affairs. 

So for us to be able to afford being healthy, we have to figure out how to save money. And Megan showed me how to save hundreds of dollars on other things that I paid for already, which I'm really, really excited about. So, Megan does that. That's what she does for businesses; she does it for families. And this one thing, though, is what I was looking for, which is the ability — the — to get the coverage that you want at a fraction of the price and take those several hundred dollars that you would be saving. Like, for me, it goes from about $650 for my family that I used to pay for $1,432 or something. So I take that savings of hundreds of dollars, and I put that aside in my savings account, and I then get to put that money towards the things that are healthy for us, like supplements, and just to save it for a rainy day. Because it's in my budget, keep it for when our family needs the help it needs. And just a peace of mind that we get that we're not shelling out $1,400 plus a month to a broken medical health insurance system.

[1:35:31.4] Megan Williams: It's so awesome. That's it, exactly.

[1:35:32.4] Ashley James: Yeah, I love it. I love it so much. Yes, exactly. Megan, it's been so wonderful having you on the show. 

[1:35:37.4] Megan Williams: Thank you.

[1:35:39.5] Ashley James: I love the stories that you shared. I feel like this was God-driven. Bring me to you at the right time, and I think this message is landing for people at the right time. Now, here's another question. Usually, to buy insurance because this isn't insurance; it is an alternative to insurance. It is better than insurance in many ways. The insurance industry has an open calendar period where you can only purchase, like in January. You could only purchase from December 15th to January 15th. That's the open calendar. And if you get dropped coverage, you don't have coverage until January or until the end of December. So you're SOL if you're not able to stay covered. And some people lose coverage halfway through the year because they're changing jobs or it got too expensive; they lost their job. This covers you right away, right? 

[1:36:36.1] Megan Williams: That's right. Yeah, there is no open enrollment. There is no time frame. You can sign up on the last day of the month and have coverage the very next month as long as you do it by 10:00 at night. But the nice thing is, yes, absolutely. We don't have to be worried. Now, there are people, even with small businesses, that may have signed contracts, and they have to wait until open enrollment to turn that off and bring their whole company to us. But we can start with new employees that are coming in, and we can get them coverage right away. We can also do it with families. So I started the minute we got it. I started June 1st. I didn't have to wait until October or November to get on it again. And it's just amazing that they look at every scenario that can happen for families, individuals, and businesses, and they are finding that solution. So absolutely no restrictions. Let's get you signed up right away, everybody, and get you the best plans. And you can cancel your other health care the next month. So you can pick a four-month window when you go in to sign up for when you want it to start, and it gives you time to turn off your other insurance that you had before.

[1:37:50.7] Ashley James: Oh, that's so cool. So you say next month. So let's say it's the end of June, and I sign up, then at the beginning of July, I am covered, or do I have to wait until August?

[1:38:01.3] Megan Williams: Nope. It's the next day.

[1:38:06.3] Ashley James: If I signed up on the last day of June, let's say at 6 pm, I go to and I sign up, then the next day, which is the 1st of July, I'm covered?

[1:38:24.2] Megan Williams: That's right. Absolutely. It's that good. It's that quick, and it's amazing. And the process to sign up takes less than ten minutes for an individual. When you have a family of more, then they have a few questions about everybody's health, and you do need to know your kids' heights and weights. But that is about what takes the longest. What we love is that it can work for anyone who's a resident of the United States legally and is welcome to be a member as well. So there are no restrictions on that either. So, you can get signed up right away, your kids can, and it will take you about 15 minutes to be in the system, and you're good to go for the next month. 

[1:39:06.0] Ashley James: That was actually a question I didn't think about. So you can be abroad, just living in the States, and you don't have to be an American citizen?

[1:39:15.1] Megan Williams: Yes, as long as you're here with the correct documents, like a green card.

[1:39:21.7] Ashley James: Or a visa, a student visa. Can it be students from abroad?

[1:39:25.9] Megan Williams: Yup.

[1:39:27.0] Ashley James: Oh my gosh. 

[1:39:28.3] Megan Williams: Yup, employees. All sorts of things, and even in scenarios where the oldest member of the household isn't a citizen and maybe their spouse is not, but they're younger, that household can get coverage, including the non-resident. It's kind of crazy. It's very, very good. So Impact will help in any of those scenarios. Get the right documentation uploaded so they can have coverage for sure.

[1:39:53.9] Ashley James: Awesome. Listeners, go to Check it out. Share with all your friends who need this kind of coverage. I'm very excited that this is something that we can use to go to the kinds of practitioners we want, that we're not restricted by networks or by state lines, and that we can go and see that amazing naturopath in other states. Or we can go get the care we need in a different state, in a different county, or whatever, and that we can get telemedicine. There are just so many things that we can get, and it's just amazing that it's way better and also way cheaper. That's what I want from everything. I want everything to be way better and way cheaper. 

So, thank you, Megan, for coming on the show. This has been so exciting. I just know this is going to help. I can feel it. I can see my listeners. I know that this is going to be the answer to so many people's problems. Like we've discovered, 66.5% of bankruptcies are from medical expenses. How many people are suffering, either spending too much or they don't have any coverage at all, and not having coverage is dangerous because then we ignore the little thing. We should do blood work every year. We should look at the labs but with a good holistic practitioner that can examine them and go, “Okay, you're not optimal. Let's get you optimal. Let's make these slight changes to diet, lifestyle, and exercise. Let's make these changes and help you get optimal.”

So, my thing is holistic health is about addressing every part of our life, including preventive medicine, and helping us become optimal in every aspect of our health. And we can't do that if we keep our heads in the sand. We can't keep our heads in the sand. We have to look. And they say women live longer than men. I think it's because we're willing to look, and men are like lalalala. No, if I don't look at it, it doesn't exist. Lalalala. I'm just going to ignore it. You can't do that. We can't ignore what's going on. We have to listen to the symptoms of the body because that is the way our body communicates things to us. Then we also get labs just to check and see what's going on. But when you go to a holistic practitioner that's licensed, they can help guide us and keep us healthy and make the right choices so we can have optimal health and get so healthy we don't need medications. That's my goal for everyone, and we can accomplish that. Now we can accomplish it with cheaper coverage. So love it, love it. 

Thank you so much, Megan. I'm so excited. Definitely, check out all the videos that Megan made at And then, for those who want to contact you directly, should they be business owners that want to get all their employees, they want to offer it to their employees? 

[1:42:57.3] Megan Williams: There will be a place on your site in the link where they can request information, and we will work directly with them to help them. But definitely, through your link, everyone utilizes the link to get connected. So we can know what kind of mindset you're coming from, and we'll have the best solutions for you. 

[1:43:16.1] Ashley James: Because you're going to take care of my people. 

[1:43:18.1] Megan Williams: That's right. 

[1:43:19.1] Ashley James: My listeners, you're going to take care of them. Thank you, Megan. Thank you for taking care of my listeners. I want to make sure that we help those in need, and that's why we're here. So, I appreciate you and what you do. And I know that I really want to have your husband on at some point because he's got some amazing stories. So I will be hearing from him at some point. I'm just telling you I'm going to interview him, so now you know.

[1:43:48.4] Megan Williams: Perfect. You know I love that, and he'll give us a whole different insight into this. For those of you who aren't convinced yet, you'll want to be part of this group when it's all said and done. It'll be great. So thank you again for having me, Ashley. 

[1:44:00.7] Ashley James: I appreciate you, Megan. Thanks so much.

Get Connected with Megan Williams




Facebook Group

Jun 3, 2023

Testimonial #1: Mary

Official Member of the LTH Listener 500 Club!

Mary recommends listening to the following:

Episode 443 Dr. Laura Kelly, Treating Osteoporosis and Osteopenia Naturally


Episode 294 Magnesium Soak with Kristen Bowen

Be sure to use coupon code LTH at to get the listener discount!


487 Catherine Arnsten Chlorella and Spirulina (Recovery Bits are Chlorella, Energy Bits are Spirulina, Vitality Bits are a 50/50 blend of each)

Be sure to use coupon code LTH at to get the listener discount!


Episodes 292 and 293 PES Ionic Foot Detox with Kellyann Andrews


Episode 343 Debugging Your Health with Susan Luschas


Episodes 178, 358, and 390 with "Green Smoothie Girl" Robyn Openshaw


Testimonial #2 Katrina Reeser - Breast Implant Illness Survivor! 

Katrina recommends:

Episode 457

Breast Implant Illness (AKA Forgine Object syndrome)


Follow Katrina on IG!

IG: Bii_warrior_


Testimonial #3 Linda Valdez 

Linda recommends: helped her father-in-law get out of pain, improve his cognitive function and come back to life!


Magnesium Soak

Be sure to use coupon code LTH at to get the listener discount!


Chlorella and Spirulina

Be sure to use coupon code LTH at to get the listener discount!


Medicinal Aloe Vera Drink:


Testimonial #4 Mellissa Lee Diaz

Migraines are Gone, Perimenopause symptoms are gone, and improved immune health.


Mellissa recommends:

Episodes 292 and 293 PES Ionic Foot Detox with Kellyann Andrews


Sunlighten Sauna: 

Be sure to get my listeners' discount when buying your Sunlighten Sauna!


Analemma for increasing/improving hydration

Be sure to use coupon code LTH for the listener discount! 


Melissa also had great success using the supplements she got from


Testimonial #5 Morgan

All symptoms are gone after using the Phototherapy Patches to correct polarity. 


To get on the phototherapy patches, please schedule a free call with me (Ashley James)


Testimonial #6 Dana (read by Ashley)

Episode 479:


Episode 107:


Episode 477:


Episode 224:

Also, be sure to listen to the follow-up interview with Dr. Paul Thomas:


Episode 245: Sunlighten Sauna

Be sure to get my listeners' discount when buying your Sunlighten Sauna!


Episode 294 Magnesium Soak with Kristen Bowen

Be sure to use coupon code LTH at to get the listener discount!


Episode 484: Ozone

Be sure to use coupon code LTH at for the listener discount!


Episodes 401 & 474: Medicinal Aloe Gel Drink


Be sure to use this link to get the listener special:



Testimonial #7 - Listener gets off nine medications!

Listener shares in the LTH FB group how she quickly got her health back and got off of 9 of her ten medications thanks to the advice followed in the episodes as well as the wonderful guidance and supplements she got from 


Episode 366: Earthing and Grounding with Clint Ober


Episode 402: Dr. Stephen Sinatra Earthing and Grounding


Episode 294 Magnesium Soak with Kristen Bowen

Be sure to use coupon code LTH at to get the listener discount!


Testimonial #8 Natalie is beating Type 2 Diabetes

Episode 233:


Episode 489:


Episode 492:



Testimonial #9 - Ruth and ending anxiety's control over her life

Check out episodes on how to eliminate anxiety:


Schedule a call to work with Ashley James:


Testimonials 10, 11, 12 & 13: Heavy Metal Detox with Platinum Energy System

Call Kellyann: 1-877-225-3388 - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm PST



Interviews about PES Ionic Foot Detox with Kellyann Andrews

Episode 292:


Episode 293:


Episode 329:


Episode 330:


Episode 396:


Episode 454:


500: Stories of Success and Tools for Optimal Wellness

In Episode 500 of the Learn True Health podcast, the host, Ashley James, reflects on the journey of reaching this milestone. She expresses gratitude for the listeners who have shared their healing testimonials about improving their health through holistic methods, shares her story of healing from chronic illness, and discusses the importance of taking small steps towards better health.

Ashley emphasizes the body's innate ability to heal itself, highlighting the complexity and interconnectedness of its processes, and encourages listeners to challenge limiting beliefs and take control of their health by understanding the root causes of their diseases. Through testimonials, Ashley demonstrates that small steps can lead to significant improvements, no matter where someone is on their health journey. The episode concludes with gratitude for the listeners and a reminder to continue sharing and learning together.


  • Magnesium soak and its benefits
  • Experience with the Platinum Energy Systems ionic foot soak
  • Using ionic foot soak and RECOVERYbits for faster recovery from illness
  • Breast implant illness survivor's journey
  • The positive impact of
  • PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) treatments
  • Managing perimenopause with Sunlighten infrared sauna
  • Using phototherapy patches to adjust polarity

[0:00:02.6] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I'm your host, Ashley James. This is episode 500.


Hello, true health seekers, and welcome to Episode 500 of the Learn True Health podcast. This is very exciting. I remember the day I decided to do this podcast and one of the people I really looked up to had over 800 podcast episodes, and I thought, man, if I could get to 800, that would be amazing. Of course, now he's like 3000 episodes. But 500 feels like a milestone, and I think I got the hang of this now. After about seven years, I think I know what I'm doing. It's amazing. One foot in front of the other, and you can be a complete beginner at anything. Anything you want to learn, anything you want to do, just set your mind to it and put one foot in front of the other. You could be an absolute and complete beginner, not knowing what you're doing. Just like me, I had no idea, and I just put one foot in front of the other and learned as I went, and look at me now. Look at me now.

So here we are, Episode 500. We have some amazing testimonials lined up today. I just love it. In the last few months, I've spoken to over 100 listeners and heard your stories. And a lot of people are super shy to get on the microphone. They'll tell me their story. They gush and cry and tell me these amazing stories of healing, amazing success stories of people turning their lives around. They're so grateful, and then it's like the scariest thing in the world is to get on the microphone. So I commend those who did get on a microphone and share because I get it; public speaking is scary for a lot of people, and thank you. Thank you for submitting your testimonials and for all those that were too shy but have had amazing results with everything. I know thousands of listeners have learned from the podcast. Just thank you for continuing to share these episodes with those you care about. That's really where the rubber hits the road. It is when we can take an episode and share it with a friend or text with a friend and be like, hey, check this out. I've listened to you. I thought of you. This made a lot of sense to me. This podcast, or this information, has really helped me. Maybe I could help you too if you give it a try. 

Just opening people's eyes and minds, and hearts to the idea that our body has an innate God-given ability to heal itself, that we grew our cells from a single cell. I mean, think about it. The sperm and the egg came together and made one little cell, and now we are 37.2 trillion cells. A cellular biologist, I heard one say, when you actually study the cell, like PhD-level studying individual human cells, there's more complexity in our cells than the entire city of Manhattan; that there's more going on. It is like thousands of these genetic expressions because we can epigenetically have expressions turned on and off. We can have enzymatic processes, we have the Krebs cycle, and we have electrons going here and there. We have mitochondria producing cellular energy. We have detoxification. Nutrients are coming in, and hormones are signaling. It's just amazing how there's so much going on, and yet we could really nail it down to something very simple.

I had a guest say once he was dying in the hospital. He himself is a doctor, and he was dying in the hospital of liver failure. His doctors said go home, put your will together. You've got two weeks to live. And as he sat there, he thought, well, I know how the body works. Let's just chunk it up to each individual cell like a house, and the house needs groceries to come in and garbage to go out. And as long as we get the groceries in and the garbage out, what is stopping the groceries from coming in, and what is stopping the garbage from coming out? Then he thought about everything he had to do to get the garbage out and to get the groceries into every cell in his body, including his liver, where the liver failure was, and he lived a good fifty years more. So we can make this concept simple and take these beautiful simple baby steps no matter where you are in your health. 

I remember I was so incredibly sick. I was on prescription drugs and constantly on antibiotics; I had Type 2 diabetes, chronic adrenal fatigue, chronic infections, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and infertility. I was a mess. I was hungry all the time. I was gaining weight out of control. I couldn't exercise. I actually had this weird thing where I constantly twisted my ankles. I was inflamed. I was in pain. I had headaches. I couldn't think straight. And this was in my twenties. We're supposed to be having fun in our twenties, and I felt like I was dying. I feel like a prisoner trapped in my own body. My body was so ill that I would just cry. I haven't talked about this a lot in the podcast, but there were moments, and I remember them well, where I felt as if I was dying. My heart would start racing out of nowhere. I had this feeling like I was leaving my body. I hope you've never had this before. But I felt like I was leaving my body, and my heart would be racing. And I had this weird sense of dissociation, like my body became distant from me, and I'm like, what is going on? Usually, what would happen is I'd be lying down, and I would get really scared. I was young. I was in my twenties. I'm like, what is going on? And I wasn't drinking or doing drugs or anything like that. 

What I finally figured out later on in life, once I started studying holistic medicine, was I actually had adrenal dumps. So I'd have cortisol dumps, and that's part of the process of going into complete adrenal fatigue and burnout. You'll have these moments where you are having these huge dumps of adrenaline. And so I'm actually having these adrenal dumps, but I'm lying down, and what's causing it? Where is it coming from? I don't know. At the moment, I had no idea, but what I figured out was I could do some deep breathing. I would get in the shower, do hydrotherapy, do hot and cold, and do some deep breathing, and I could calm my body down. I felt like my body was my enemy. It was an unpredictable enemy, and it was a scary place to live. And now, my body is my home. My body is my friend, and my body and I love each other. We've been through a lot together, and I feel so comfortable in my skin. I'm so grateful for the health journey I've been on. I'm so grateful that I was able to turn my health journey into a tool, into something that could teach others, because I want to reach into all of your earbuds and your speakers and your phones. I want to reach in through there, hug you, hold you, and let you know your body can heal itself.

If the doctor told you, you had this because of your genetics, because of your age, because of your race, because of your sex; I want you to say no, thank you. I don't buy into this belief system. You aren't sick because of your age, race, sex, genes, or whatever it is. That's not the cause of it. You can actually turn off Type 2 diabetes. You can reverse that type 2 diabetes. If you have Type 1, you can get your body so healthy that your insulin needs to go down. Like within the parameters of Type 1 diabetes, we can even improve health. So I have seen people reverse major health issues that MDs told them were life sentences. If I had believed the MDs, I would have never taken the necessary steps to no longer have Type 2 diabetes to no longer have PCOS. I was told after a battery of tests by an endocrinologist that I could never have children. And thank God I did not buy into her belief system because I believe the body has a God-given ability to heal itself, and all we got to do is bring the groceries in and take the garbage out. 

Now, inflammation; well, inflammation is not the root cause of disease. It is present in most diseases. But what causes the inflammation? We have to go even further upstream to figure out what caused the information. So inflammation is like a flood. If you've ever turned on the weather news and seen a part of the world where there's a flood happening, maybe after a hurricane, and people are sitting on their roofs, nothing good is happening. The groceries are not coming in, and the garbage is not going out. That's inflammation. Inflammation is a flood that surrounds the cells and makes it hard for the cells to get the groceries in and get the garbage out. 

So think about the little steps we can take every day; sometimes, this whole idea of holistic health seems so big. Like, oh, I feel so sick. How could I make these major changes and get on the other side of this? And people don't even believe they can. But my goal for episode 500 is to show you that some people were incredibly sick and took little baby steps, just like me, and got on the other side of it. And some people were listeners who didn't have a lot of health issues, but they thought they were in perfect health and even improved their health. So no matter where you are, you can get that. No matter where you are, you can take your health to the next level, even if you are bedridden.

I have a client who's currently bedridden. And just with some holistic health changes, she's even improved her health, and I'm so excited. I'm going to have her on the show at some point, sharing how she was knocking on death's door at absolute rock bottom. And she is now improving her health in leaps and bounds. It is so exciting. If she had listened to her doctors, she would have died years ago. So don't let other people's belief systems tell you you can't heal yourself. I know it seems cliche; never give up, keep at it. But the truth is, if you believe you can't, you won't even take the first steps. So you have to believe your body has the ability to heal itself, which it does. And so we've just got to take one foot in front of the other and take the steps. 

What I love about the testimonials that you're going to hear today, some listeners share the episodes that made the biggest difference for them, and they share the tools, and even some wonderful insights and daily habits that they do that make a big difference in their lives. So you can listen to other listeners and hear what they're doing and check out the resources. Of course, all the links are going to be in the show notes of today's podcast of So be sure to check out the show notes, or wherever you're listening from; iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you're listening from. You can click on the show notes or click on the details of today's episode, and you should be able to see all the links there. 

Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing this podcast with those you care about. Health is so important. It's not just physical, right? It's not just eating salad and exercising. Health is emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, and energetic. It exists on all these planes. And health is as much the health of your relationships, the relationship you have with yourself, your experience of the world, your career, your family life. Every aspect of your life could be considered part of your health because nothing happens in your body in a vacuum. Here's an example: you could have thoughts that affect your physiology, and every day they do. What you think about affects your physical health. You could say that everything about your life is your health. So if there's a part of your life you want to improve, let's improve the health of that part of your life. And that's what my show is about. Learn True Health is about improving every aspect of your life holistically because it all matters to you. Every aspect of your life matters. By improving the parts of your life that are not the best; so maybe for you, it's physical health, mental health, spiritual health, or the emotional health of your relationships, right? Every aspect, whichever one you want to work on and improve, that's going to affect the overall health of your life and your experience of your life. So let's do that together. Keep sharing this podcast. Keep listening. 

The first testimonial up is Mary entering the LTH 500 Club of Learn True Health listeners because she has now listened to 500 episodes of Learn True Health podcast. So she's just like me. And I know I have a few more of you out there because you guys have been in the Facebook group saying I've listened to every episode and are super excited. So go back and check out all the other episodes that make a big difference for people. And I love Mary's advice. She's got some great advice. 

Enjoy today's episode and learn from everyone else, and check out the future episodes because I've got at least 20 lined up in the hopper ready to publish that I'm looking forward to you guys hearing. Jump into the Learn True Health Facebook group. Just search Learn True Health on Facebook, or go to to find the Facebook group. It's so supportive there. Anytime you need any help, you can reach out to me there. It's a great community. I love answering and helping answer questions, and helping people as well as the other listeners chimed in, and we all learn from each other. So it's a wonderful place. So when you have questions, it's a good place to come for resources as well. The search function on my website is a great place to go as well. You can search for different topics on Now there are 500 episodes for you to lean on, learn from, and enjoy. 

[0:14:40.9] Mary: Ashley, dear friend, this is Mary. I want to thank you for helping me, and my loved ones have better health. I would consider myself a generally healthy person. I just turned 50 in November, and I've been eating well for a long time and exercising lightly. What you gave me are tools to help my health and life be even better. Actually, there's a request from my friend. What can I do about osteoporosis and osteoarthritis naturally?

I dug in and started to do my research and found your amazing podcast. I started with Episode #443 with Dr. Laura Kelly and her book The Healthy Bones Nutrition Plan and Cookbook. I learned so much from your podcast and was especially amazed to learn that you also need magnesium to hold your calcium. I purchased two other books—one for me and one for my lonely library. In the book, there was a recipe for magnesium spray, and I had the thought; I remember Ashely mentioned something about a magnesium soak she loves. I searched and found Episode #294 with Kristine Bowen from Living the Good Life Naturally. I was amazed at what I learned and quickly devoured the other three episodes by Kristen and was convinced to try the magnesium soak. I bought the magnesium soak and didn't expect to have anything happen. But I wanted my whole family to try it, so I soaked my feet too. I didn't notice anything right after soaking. But the next morning, I realized that I had slept through the night for the first time in ages. I found that soaking in magnesium has helped take some of the swellings away from my fasciitis and my shoulder, and I can sleep on both my left and right sides now because my sinuses are clear. And my knees don't bother me when I climb the stairs or try to chase the dog in the yard. I can tell my body is less inflamed. I'm so grateful for this. I even explain the magnesium soak to just about everyone I see. It's easy to share your podcast so that they can learn more about it for themselves. I never recycle an empty magnesium bottle. Instead, I put enough in it for two magnesium soaks and give it to someone I think could benefit from it. In fact, in my notes, I realized I've helped at least fifty people experience magnesium soaking in just the last year.

In December, I had the privilege of making the pilgrimage to Logan, Utah, to pick up my magnesium order in person. On the way, I wanted to stop and share it with a dear friend of mine. She hesitated to have me come because she was sick. I told her I'd be fine because I use magnesium and chlorella. Well, I had a wonderful visit with her while soaking her feet and giving her some chlorella to eat. In the form of recovery, that's two. Not long after my visit, she reported that she and her family were healthy and cleared to go on their international trip. She thanked me for sharing these tips with her. 

Looking further into your podcast, I found the Platinum Energy Systems ionic foot soak from Kellyann Andrews. Your first episodes with her are #292 and #293, plus four more. I was intrigued and decided to purchase the PES ionic foot soak system for our family. First of all, Kellyann is amazing. She will spend as much time as you need to complete your first ionic soak, even if it's an international call. She's so knowledgeable, patient, and kind. I've had a wonderful experience working with her. I know I can email her or call her with any questions I have. That's the kind of help and support you get from the products you recommend on your podcast. It's so awesome.  

The ionic soak helps me move along much better. After my first soak, I felt so energetic, even though it was later in the evening. I woke up the next morning wanting raspberries though it was February. So I dropped my son off at school and went to the store to get raspberries and chlorella. Chlorella was another tip from Kellyann. I bought and ate the raspberries and some of the chlorella. Suddenly, my body felt better. My guess was my body wanted more antioxidants to help clear the toxins that the PES ionic foot soak had undrowned and needed to clear out of my body. I've continued using the ionic foot soak for myself and my family members. It's been so helpful. In June, I became sick and realized, wait, how about I soak in magnesium? The magnesium made a big difference. That made me realize how to use the ionic foot soak in recovery. 

I learned about recovery in several episodes with Catharine Arnston, but my favorite episode is probably #487, where she talks about both the RECOVERYbits and ENERGYbits. So I used the ionic foot soak and RECOVERYbits two days in a row, and it really helped me recover quickly from being sick. My fever broke after the first session with the ionic foot soak, and most of my aches went away too. I've used this ionic foot soak on my parents too. My mom loves it and has noticed that the neuropathy in her toes isn't as bad after each use. She's also hooked on the RECOVERYbits and ENERGYbits too. She finds that she can stay on top of her arthritis pain mainly by using the magnesium soak and the chlorella. She used to have big bottles of Tums and ibuprofen that she'd buy. But now she doesn't use them much at all, and she's almost entirely off of her blood pressure medication too. Recently, her hairdresser commented on how quickly her hair has grown. My mom thinks it's due to the recovery, but I wouldn't doubt it. I feel so blessed to be able to share these helpful things with her.

I have been introduced to so many wonderful people on your podcast. I often turn to Susan Luschas' website from Episode #343. She has so much information there. I love the science, and she certainly has it. It's easy to share Susan's website with others, and she's really good about answering questions too. 

You also introduced me to Robyn Openshaw, the GreenSmoothieGirl, in Episodes #358 and #390. I liked what she had to say, so I went to her podcast live to listen for more. She has a recommendation for a dentist in our area, Michelle Jorgensen, at Total Care Dental. My son was told that he needed his wisdom teeth out, and if so, I wanted it done right. So he went for an evaluation, and as it turns out, he doesn't need them pulled. Thank goodness for an honest evaluation. I decided to go with Total Care Dental for a new patient exam as well. I was thinking I had pretty good dental health, which I do. But they were able to do an upper and lower jaw CAT scan, and the things that they could see there were amazing. My ex-dentist couldn't see them on the X-rays that he'd been taking for years. I had two cavitations from my wisdom teeth being pulled over 25 years ago and a failed root canal. They cut off to see that my airway was small, probably due to inflammation from the cavitation infections and the root canal. I also have a moderate tongue-tie. I've since had two mercury fillings replaced at their office. The failed root canal was pulled, and the tooth cavitation was cleaned out. I've been amazed at how much happier my body is. It's like I got a metabolic reset. My body knows how to handle food, and it's been incredible. 

Before I had the two mercury fillings replaced, I started on Dr. Jorgensen's detox protocol, glutathione, vitamin C, releasers, grabbers, minerals, and vitamins. By the end of the first day, I had a major headache. This happened three days in a row, so I stopped the protocol. Then later, after listening to one of your podcasts, I had an epiphany. I didn't have enough grabbers. I started the detox protocol again, and this time I added fifteen RECOVERYbits three times a day to the regimen. This time I had no headache. Once again, Ashley, you helped me figure out how to use the tools in my help toolbox even better.

I purchased at least a dozen other products you've recommended. I've been very impressed with each one. Each one has been very high quality and improved my family's health. I appreciate your recommendation. When in doubt, use coupon code LTH. Thanks for the money savings too. Your podcast has served so many helpful gems. Many of the things I've learned from your podcast are completely free. Some of the free, or at least low-cost health hacks that I've added to my life because of you are: I sun dry my mushrooms for extra vitamin D and use them often; I make my own sauerkraut and other fermented fruits and try to eat some daily. I do more deep breathing with a longer exhale, and breathe as much as possible through my nose, even during exercise. I try to approach things in life with curiosity and love. I'm better at acknowledging my emotions and allowing space through them. I check my morning PH to see if my body was building or breaking down during the night. I avoid fluoride. I drink filtered water. I even gave our children [inaudible 0:22:32.2] for Christmas. I include more omega-3 in my meals. Now, I have no more cracked skin, even in the dry winter. I keep my cell phone on the desk instead of in my pocket. I try hard to go to sleep at an earlier, consistent time. I walk through the yard more often with my bare feet. I try to go out and greet the sun in the morning. I try to spend more time in nature. I eat more plants and grow more sprouts. 

I recently joined Learn True Health Facebook group and have been amazed at how responsive and helpful the community is. I appreciate connecting with other like-minded people and look forward to contributing and learning even more in this group. I enjoy sharing these podcasts and insights with my family and friends. They may think I'm nuts, but I'm enjoying better health because of you and your podcast, and I want to pass it on. Thank you for sharing, teaching me, and being the open-minded skeptic that you are. Thank you as well for being my friend. I've listened to all of your episodes, several of them, multiple times. I'm looking forward to being an official member of the Ashley James Learn True Health Podcast 500 Club. So thanks for inviting me. Thanks to you, my sleep is better. I feel more energized. I've lost weight, which I wasn't even trying to do. I've learned so much from you and your podcast. My health and the health of my family and friends is better because of you too. Congratulations on your 500 episodes! Keep up the excellent work, and always remember you are loved.

Sending you and your wonderful family love, happy thoughts, prayers, and birthday wishes to you, Ashley. Your friend, Mary D. Thanks again, Ashley. You're amazing.

[0:24:08.8] Katrina Reeser: I started listening to Learn True Health with Ashley James back in the summer of 2018 when I first started having systemic symptoms, numerous doctor visits, 911 calls, ER visits, lab scans, and testing procedures. The specialist couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, and I just got sicker and sicker. I was determined to figure out what was wrong with me. I stumbled upon Learn True Health that summer. Not knowing what was wrong, I listened to every podcast Ashley put out. Using the knowledge she shared, listening to her podcast gave me hope and comfort. All the while, I was learning. This continued from 2018 through 2021. Still learning, in the fall of 2021, I became bedridden. I had nothing but time to listen, learn, and use what Ashley and Learn True Health was sharing.

My health came to a point where I had lost 45 lbs in 4 weeks, so sick with systemic symptoms that I couldn't lift my head off the pillow. Specialists and tests still showed nothing. I prayed a prayer like no other. God, let me die or lead me in the direction of what was causing my illness. The next day I stumbled across breast implant illness. I knew then and there that after reading the list and the symptoms, that was what was wrong with me. I met with a plastic surgeon two weeks later and had an emergency explant on December 1st, 2022. Almost immediately, the symptoms were gone. I have been healing and detoxing over the past year. I truly believe that Ashley James and Learn True Health podcast and using all the information I learned from her many podcasts, is why I heal so quickly from all of my systemic symptoms. I was so healthy once the implants were out. This past year I continued and still listen to her podcast every week.

I'm always learning, and I feel like she is one of my closest friends, and I haven't even met her. Thank you, Ashley, and Learn True Health for educating me and giving me hope and healing. I never gave up. I created an Instagram after I explanted — bii_warrior_ — in hopes of spreading awareness, educating others, and mostly giving hope, like Ashley gave me hope when I thought there was no help left. Thank you, Ashley. 

[0:26:28.8] Linda Valdez: Hello, my name is Linda Valdez. I just wanted to share some thoughts about the Learn True Health podcast. I've been listening to the podcast for years, and I've learned so much. There's a wealth of knowledge there on everything health. As of yet, I have not had to face a serious diagnosis. But I do work on improving my health, especially as I get older. But I have friends and loved ones who have had various serious diagnoses. Often I share what I've learned from the podcast. 

Recently, we had my 89-year-old father-in-law move in with us. When he came about five months ago, he was on about 12+ medications. He's kind of out of it; he has early dementia. He also had a very painful hip and knee joint for years that was not improving. I heard about on the podcast. So I reached out and got him started on the vitamins and minerals. We also weaned him off of most of his medications. Three months later, he rarely complains of any pain. He is alert. He has conversations with us. He jokes and laughs. He walks much better, and he has literally come back to life. It's really been an incredible change. 

I often share episodes with my patients from the dental office I work at. Many have begun using the magnesium that Ashley recommends from Living the Good Life Naturally or taking algae from the ENERGYbits to help them detox, or they are using the aloe vera from Haley's. People listen to the podcast, learn how it can help them, then they order the product, and it improves their health. I'm amazed at how we can heal our own bodies if we just know how and what to use. The podcast has been that link we need to get there.

I can't say enough of how grateful I am that Ashley has put together this podcast and websites that are so easy to navigate and find what you need. I love listening to her on the podcast, explaining what's been said so that anyone can understand it. She has shared her family and some very personal things in her life. I feel it makes her real, as if I know her personally. Thank you, Ashley, for all you do. Please don't quit. This world needs more people like you.

[0:28:56.6] Mellissa Lee Diaz: I'm Mellissa Lee Diaz, and I've been listening to the Learn True Health podcast for a couple of years, and I just briefly wanted to share my testimony of all of the health benefits that I have personally received throughout that time, and following protocols from the people that Ashley has interviewed. So I have struggled with migraine headaches for about 18 years. And I've also most recently been diagnosed as being in perimenopause. So I have also been having hot flashes, mood swings, anxiety, sleepless nights, and whatnot.

I have been listening to the protocols from Dr. Kellyann, who has a foot detox that I decided to purchase. I would say, a few times, after doing my foot detoxes, my migraines started to decrease rapidly. I also decided to purchase one of the Sunlighten brand infrared saunas that have also played a huge part in perimenopausal symptoms. I no longer have hot flashes. I've been sleeping a ton better. I have also had lots of less anxiety. I've also done something that wasn't actually brought up by Learn True Health, but I did want to suggest that Ashley do an interview with someone that offers PEMF treatments because that is something that I did, that is a holistic protocol on a machine that is an electromagnetic field generator. Again, it's PEMF. And I also received a ton of health benefits by going that route as well. So I'm hoping that at some point, she'll be able to interview someone that speaks on PEMF because that is also another major influence that I've had, positively affecting my health in an amazing way. 

Most recently, I also tried the analemma stick crystal that you put in water. And I've noticed that I've been much more hydrated than I was previously. And I can actually taste a difference, not in the taste of the water, but in the texture of the water, and it seems to give me major hydrating benefits. And I've also gotten sick way less this year. I think I might have battled one cold in a total of 18 months. So there's something to be said for all of the benefits. I have been migraine-free as of now from doing all of the things that people have suggested on her podcast. I haven't had a migraine in six months and counting. I also have today no symptoms of perimenopause whatsoever. I sleep amazingly. I stay hydrated. I have little to no body aches. And honestly, I have felt better now at 46 years old than I did when I was 30. So kudos to you, Ashley. I am so very grateful for your podcast. Keep going. I love this holistic advice that you give people, and I have been totally blessed by your show. Thank you.

[0:32:13.1] Ashley James: Thank you, Mellissa, for that. I wanted to make a little side note and tell listeners that Melissa has had seven children. So for a woman who is in her forties and has had seven children, she feels better than she did in her 30s, using holistic health and these simple tools, one at a time. Sometimes it's drinking more water, getting a structured water device, and drinking more water. Sometimes it's detoxing. I love the PES for detoxing. And I also know that Melissa takes the supplements from, and if you go to takeyoursupplements.comthere's a video of her and her gorgeous daughter giving a testimonial in a video form that she did a while back. The supplements there, I know she has been on for quite a while because she actually used them for her last and final pregnancy. Although I don't know, maybe she wants to have more kids, which she'd probably say she's done after seven. But she did take those supplements during her last pregnancy. I remember her telling me that it made that seventh pregnancy the easiest and the best pregnancy out of all of them and that she just kind of flew through that pregnancy, and actually, it was like the healthiest baby. I mean, all her babies are healthy. It was the healthiest. It was the easiest birth and the healthiest baby. It was the healthiest pregnancy, and she really attributed it to all the wonderful advice she got from 

Those supplements that she's on are the same supplements I've been taking for 12 years. My family takes the majority of it. It is liquid plant-based, plant-derived, bioavailable minerals and other nutrients that fill in the gaps in her diet. So, no matter which eating style you choose to do, it's really hard to secure our minerals because the farming practices of the last 150 years don't remineralize the soil. So it's easy to accidentally get vitamins and eat enough plants. So if you're on a diet that doesn't include enough plants, if you're eating the same American diet, you're definitely not getting enough vitamins. If you eat really healthy, you can accidentally get all your vitamins. It's very hard to get all your minerals, unfortunately, because of the farming practices. So a lot of times, people walk around minerally deficient, especially in magnesium and zinc, but they don't know it; there are only symptoms. It's really interesting how the body speaks in symptoms. 

And so, takeyoursupplements.comyou fill out the form, and they talk to you for free, and they're trained by the same naturopath I worked with, and it's amazing. Actually, the head coach there is Jennifer Saltzman, who's been on the show three times, and she has the world's biggest heart. She wants to help you, but only if you're ready. If you're ready to get healthy and you want to take your health to the next level, and you want to fill in the gaps of your nutrient deficiencies, talk to her. Go to I love those supplements. They're safe because they are dosed based on body weight. They're actually safe for anyone at any age. I know that there are pediatricians that use it for infants, infants, and up, basically. One of my mentors designed the supplements, and I love the science that went into designing them. They are really beautiful in that they're all balanced. So nothing is high doses of anything. It's all very balanced, and it's what the body really needs. If we lived in the Garden of Eden, that's basically the nutrients we would be getting from our food. If we had just the perfect soil, this is what we'd be getting anyway. So I really do love the supplements from

Next up is Morgan. She left it as a voicemail when she gave me a call, and then afterward, I asked her permission to share her voicemail with you guys. And she said, sure. So, as of now, I have about ninety of my clients using the phototherapy patches that I talked about in Episode #496 with Trina Hammack. Since Episode #496, I've had an amazing personal experience with the patches. My clients have had amazing experiences, and Morgan is one of them. She in the first week of using the patches, had a complete reversal and elimination of these crazy symptoms that she's had for the last several years, and it's been wonderful. We're having these really cool experiences with my clients. I have some words like, it's subtle. I have some words like, yeah, I noticed more energy. Wow, I'm getting deeper sleep. Oh yeah, my aches and pains are going away. I have an amazing couple who are using the patches, and one of them has several fractures, and it's healing much faster than the doctor expected. It triggers, through the phototherapy process, our body's ability to optimize certain physiological functions, including increasing stem cells and increasing glutathione-balancing hormones. It's really neat. 

I have one client who was eating Tums and drinking Pepto-Bismol like it was candy because of how bad her heartburn was. And she reported to me that after three days of doing the phototherapy protocol for supporting gut health, she no longer needs to take the Tums and drink the Pepto Bismol. Yes, we're supporting the body's ability to come back into balance. So it's not anything you're absorbing, which is so neat. It's just a frequency medicine that's gently pushing the body back into balance and asking the body to optimize certain processes. I know it sounds totally wild. There are over a hundred studies around it, proving that it does what it does. And these are double-blind placebos and all that. There are these super cool studies, and then they've been around for 20 years. So it's not like this new fly-by-night kind of thing. It has been proven. 

So if you're someone that would love to try this out and support your body's ability to heal itself, increase stem cell production, and gently bring the body back into balance and it is safe for all ages. It doesn't go against any medication, so it's safe, and all those scenarios, which are really neat. It's gentle, and we see amazing results. Like I said, I have ninety clients wearing these and experiencing phenomenal results, like the testimonial you're about to hear. And if you would like to try the phototherapy patches, I'd love to talk to you and help you order the right ones to get on the right protocols for you. You can go to my website, learntruehealth.comAnd on the menu, it says, “Work with Ashley James.” So go to and just find the menu, click on “Work with Ashley James,” and it's the first option as you scroll down. You can book a free consultation with me, and I will answer your questions about it. I'll also send you a big email full of really cool videos and stuff you'll geek out on.

If you like my podcast, you'd love the email that I can send you with all this information. And I can invite you to our hidden Facebook group of practitioners so you can learn the protocols and you can see the testimonials; it's wild. We have bald men and women growing their hair back. We have age spots going away, wrinkles going away, and waddles under the neck tightening because one of the patches stimulates collagen production. So we have a full-on facelift, breast lift, and neck lift protocols. It's not medicine. It's not surgery. It's not anything the body absorbs. It's just phototherapy. It's patches that change the frequency of the photons our body admits back to us to stimulate a specific function. I could send more information. All I could say is I've got several really cool science videos that go into explaining this, and it does kind of feel like we're in Star Trek, basically. I love it. 

There's a combination of these patches I wear. When I started wearing them, I was consistently able to do 5 minutes on the rower at the gym. And after I started wearing them, I went from 5 minutes on the rower to the next day, 23 minutes on the rower. I was consistently getting kind of exhausted after 5 minutes. You know, when you push yourself, and then your body's like, okay, I need a break. I need a few minutes. I hit that lactic acid wall at 5 minutes. And then, the next day, I did 23 minutes. I was like, woah! It wasn't like I went from 5 to 6 minutes. I went from 5 to 23 minutes. And there's something said about these phototherapy patches that have been really cool not just for me but for all my clients that get on it. So if you want to try it, definitely reach out to me because I love it. I love the results we're getting, and it's wild. Listen to this testimonial. You can hear about how wild it is. 

[0:41:36.3] Morgan: Hey, Ashley, this is Morgan. Hey, I just wanted to tell you how incredible the patches are so far, and just adjusting my polarity, which was running completely backward. It has made such an incredible shift in my life in such a short time. In probably the past six years or something, I've been going from practitioner to practitioner, trying to figure out all these crazy symptoms that no one could explain, anything related to grounding or anything that increases the earth or water element. I would be riddled with anxiety and have massive bloating and this kind of dizzy feeling. It's hard to explain, but I just felt like something was so off. And after adjusting the polarity, everything shifted. I can drink water again, which I couldn't do before, like with any minerals. I'd have to do reverse osmosis because I couldn't handle any kind of minerals. They would make me just feel so out of whack. And I'd have urgent urination and just an intense rapid heartbeat. I can be around trees again and listen to music again. Before, I couldn't handle anything that had a heavy bass or many kinds of music. Even a female voice was too grounding to listen to. Sleeping was insane. I couldn't sleep because every time I lay down, I would just have really intense symptoms. Even walking into my house, because it's on the ground level, with lots of trees in the yard, would throw me into a dizzy state. I can do breathing, meditation, or stretching. All of those things were too grounding. Even reading and writing were really tough. 

So anyways, long-winded, but those have all shifted in just one day or two days. It's doing the polarity switch. So I just wanted to tell you that I'm so grateful, and I broke down a couple of times this weekend in tears out of just straight gratitude for this technology and healing message that you're sharing with people. So, thank you so much. I do have a couple of questions about the next steps, so I'll just email you about that. But I just so appreciate you and wanted to let you know. Thank you so much. Okay, hope you're having a nice day, take care.

[0:44:11.7] Ashley James: This testimonial is from Dina. She shared it in the Learn True Health Facebook group, and it made me cry. I love it. It's a true testament to the power of the body's ability to heal itself with natural, holistic-minded medicine and how we can take all the great information from hundreds and hundreds of amazing guests and use it in everyday, real applications to save our lives, to save the lives of our loved ones. So here's what she says.

[0:44:46.8] Dana (read by Ashley): How has Ashley and the Learn True Health podcast helped me and my family? In more ways than I can count, each and every day, in some large or small way, but for this post, I will rely on two major scenarios where Learn True Health has guided me and my family through important decisions. Get comfortable. This is going to take a minute. Hospital scenario: let me start by talking about a medical illness where Learn True Health insights guided me just one day before my eighty-year-old mom was hospitalized with COVID-19. I had coincidentally listened to Episode #479: Our Amazing Grace, wherein a father, Scott Schara, described how his daughter's fatal experience, which began as a COVID admittance to the hospital, could have been avoided. The interview left the listener with a heightened awareness in, a perspective to be cognizant of a hospital's transparency and the operational protocols often based on revenue streams instead of the patient's positive health outcomes to not implicitly, without question, trust the white coat; to not allow hospital staff and doctors to bully or belittle you in your role as advocate for your loved one; to ask uncomfortable and difficult questions of doctors and nurses and so on. 

My mom was in the ICU for ten days, and my sister and I took alternating 24-hour shifts as her advocates. As the 10-day ICU ordeal began to unfold, I watched in mounting frustration and then in dismay as an eerily similar scenario to that which Scott had described unraveled before my eyes. My sister and I asked a lot of questions as to each physical protocol and each medication. We were not argumentative or disruptive but wanted to understand. Some of the nurses and both doctors in my mom's case clearly did not want us in the room. My sister and I were repeatedly bullied and were actually yelled at on multiple occasions. The supposed life-saving prone positioning protocol ordered by the pulmonary doctor was not being carried out by the nurses in the least. And the deadly mixture of drugs prescribed in the case of Scott Schara's daughter was being duplicated in my mom's case, even though the package inserts indicated not to mix them or use them for several days together. About midway through my mom's ICU case, it became clear to us that we needed to transfer our mother to another hospital. We were successful in arranging that transfer. 

Also, early in the ICU scenario, other LTH episodes came to mind that bolstered my own endurance in my difficult role as an advocate. I recall Episode #107, where JJ Virgin describes her role as an advocate for her hospitalized son. Helping me advocate for a critical patient can be rigorous and exhausting, and how JJ Virgin knew in Episode #107. She had to keep up her own wellness routines in order to have the strength to continue in the advocate role. She talked about ways in which she supported her health and stamina during the long hospital hours by doing things like climbing hospital stairs to replicate high-intensity workouts and using the corridors to get in her steps. She talked about making sure she did not give in to the convenience of inflammatory hospital cafeteria food and how she prioritized sticking with her own foods and supplements. She also talked about how she used her knowledge as a functional medicine practitioner to support her son's recovery by doing things like bringing in nutritional supplements and healthy foods for him. 

So, I took many cues from JJ Virgin's hospital survival kit in Episode #107 of the Learn True Health podcast and replicated her practices in my role as an advocate and part-time hospital dweller. In addition to bolstering my own health, I supplemented my mom's hospital protocols with vitamin D and other nutrients. For example, I brought in thermoses of bone broth. She didn't have an appetite for many solid foods. Another episode that helped me during this ICU time was Episode #477: Proof of Heaven, with near-death experience survivor Dr. Eben Alexander. From day one of my mom's ICU stay, the pulmonary doctor's outlook for my mom's survival was bleak. She had severe pneumonia. So facing what might be a fatal outcome, I came prepared to read to my mom passages from Dr. Eben Alexander's book, Proof of Heaven, in the hope that I could minimize her fear of death and of what might come next and offer some level of comfort that if death was what she was facing, she could at least visualize a place of love and safety as Dr. Alexander described in his near-death experience. 

Alternative childhood vaccine scenario: The first episode I've ever listened to on Learn True Health podcast was forwarded to me by my daughter, a first-time mother, five months in. It was Episode #224: Safe Vaccines, wherein Dr. Paul Thomas describes the pros and cons of childhood vaccines, promotes parental informed consent, and offers a vaccine schedule alternative to that of the CDCs. This episode was so informative that it started me and my daughter on an in-depth journey into the world of childhood vaccines which, after a study period of about six months, led my daughter to quit her job and stay home with her daughter in order to have the freedom to choose an alternative vaccine schedule without the strict daycare vaccination rules governing her decisions as they relate to her daughter's health. Ashley's episodes on homeschooling also gave my daughter the courage to embark on this journey that she had never before considered for herself.

My own health journey: I'm presently diagnosed with mycotoxin illness, which, if not eradicated, would likely lead to one or more of the following; cancer, kidney damage, liver damage, Alzheimer's, or Parkinson's. The only remedy is detoxification by supporting all of my body's functions and elimination pathways. In addition to my clean diet and supplement regime, I have learned of some other excellent health-promoting modalities through Learn True Health, which I am now using to amplify my overall resilience in detoxification ability. These include infrared energy therapy Episode #245 with Sunlighten sauna, daily magnesium foot soaks for maximum cell saturation and overall mineral support, Episode #294: Magnesium Foot Soak, the use of ozonated water and ozonated oils to eradicate biotoxins and pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and molds in Episode #484, and the medicinal drinkable aloe gel for reducing gut inflammation in Episode #401 and #474 and starving any cancer cells that may be taking root in my body as a result of mycotoxins. Many, many thanks go to Ashley James. Her quest to share important, empowering health information is quite a calling. She is an excellent podcast host, as well as a self-informed and certified nutrition and health coach. I completely trust Ashley James and recommend her podcast to friends and family every chance I get.

[0:52:44.2] Ashley James: I loved reading this. The first time I read it, I was crying. I couldn't even finish it. The tears were filling my eyes. I was just thinking about her mom and how that could have been a really bad outcome. That could have been a devastating outcome and a horrible way to pass alone in a hospital if it wasn't for her family advocating intensely for her. And I weep for all the families who lost loved ones in the last three years who were left alone, neglected in the hospitals. I know that there are nurses and doctors out there who have really big hearts who care, and there are also a lot of really burnt-out nurses and doctors. And the worst thing is the hospital protocols are horrendous and are not designed to support our overall health. I don't know if her mom would have lived if she hadn't heard that episode on my show where she learned how to rigorously advocate and how to look for the signs of malpractice, essentially. She did an amazing job. Her whole family did an amazing job supporting her mom. And the fact that they were able to have such a positive outcome is why I do this. I do this show so that your mom's life can be saved, so that your dad's life can be saved. 

I couldn't save my parents. I lost my mom when I was twenty-two to cancer, and I lost my dad six years later when I was twenty-eight to sudden heart failure. And that should not have happened. They should have lived. I didn't know at the time what it would take to prevent and reverse heart disease and cancer. And through my own personal health journey in the last fifteen years, and then the last seven years doing this podcast, if I had a time machine, I could go back, give my parents this information, and they would still be alive today. Think of all the loved ones that you can take all the information from my show, and you can help yourself and your children, your friends, and your family to live long, healthy, disease-free lives in optimal health regardless of where you are now, regardless of how old you are now, regardless of where your health is right now.

Every day you can build your health. Either you tear it down, or you build it up. Every day, every decision, every meal, every glass of water, every walk, every time you go to bed at a decent hour, just every little thing that seems insignificant, is actually monumental. And then the little things add up. If you can make it a game and make it fun, you know, let's see. Can I get to sleep before 10? Can I get it with 120 oz of purified water? Can I get my 10,000 steps in? Can I get 50 grams of fiber from a variety of plants throughout the day? Can I have three healthy bowel movements a day? Can I get out in the sunlight first thing in the morning? These little things can become a game. Can I walk outside for 5 minutes or 20 minutes with my bare feet on the ground or in the grass? Obviously, make sure you don't step in dog poop or walk in pesticide-laden grass. These little things — hydration, nutrition, fiber, sleep, moving your body in a way that brings you joy, grounding or earthing, loving yourself, watching your own personal self-talk, correcting it — so you become nurturing inwards and nurturing outwards, and decreasing stress, getting out of the stress response, having tickle fights with your partner, your kids putting on comedy shows, doing zumba in your living room to 90s music, or rock and roll or whatever. Have fun and do the little things, and every single day you will be building yourself up. Make it a game and see how many of these fun little activities you can incorporate. 

Take a little account of yourself. Go write down everything, every symptom. If you want, I can give you this if you email me or you message me on Facebook, or if you email me at I'll send you my symptom inventory checklist. I can also include it in the show notes of this podcast. But the symptom inventory checklist is phenomenal for doing a once-a-month check-in. You just write every single thing you don't like about your health, every symptom, even the ones you were told that you have because you're a woman, or because you're a man, because you're older, because you're young, or because of your genetics, whatever excuses they've given. If you could have a magic wand or Aladdin's lamp, come and grant your wishes and remove every single symptom and bring you optimal health; you think about it from that standpoint. You write down everything you don't like about your health, and you grade it — intensity, duration, and frequency. Then, once a month, you come back to this list, and you'll see if things are getting worse or better or staying the same.

When I work with my clients, they are surprised at how this list changes just in the first month alone. I've had clients cut this list in more than half in the first month of working with me when we adjust supplements and diet and lifestyle changes, and we get to the point where there's nothing on their list. There are no symptoms that they are unhappy with. They get to a point in their health where they're happy about every aspect of their health, their body, and their emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical health. So this is a great way to keep track. 

I've actually had two clients who forgot they used to have chronic migraines before working with me. And how do you forget chronic, almost weekly, daily, or monthly, really intense and often recurring headaches or migraines? I reminded them. I asked both of them on two separate occasions, two different clients. How are your migraines? And they both looked at me like, what do you mean? I had to remind them. And they're like, oh yeah, I forgot. I forgot I used to have daily headaches. I'm like, how do you forget? But this is what we do. We just forget. So if you write down your symptoms now as you make these healthy changes, you might forget how bad you felt, and then you get this great health routine, and then you think, well, I could stay up late. I can do whatever. I can drink some alcohol. And then we build these habits, and then we can fall out of our habits. And we forget how great we feel when we're in these habits. 

So keeping track of that, we can go back and say, okay, I have a motivation. I have a reason to stay on these healthy habits because they've built me up. They've removed all these symptoms, and I don't want to go back to the way it was because I could recreate type 2 diabetes. I could go to McDonalds every day. I always pick at McDonalds, but you know, insert fast food restaurant. I could just eat the way everyone else is just eating a standard American diet. And sure enough, I could recreate type 2 diabetes. I don't have it anymore, but I can recreate it. So we can turn disease on and off with nutrient deficiency, with stressors in life, with living the sad life, the standard American diet life. We can turn disease on, and we can turn it off with these health changes. The whole podcast, all 499, now 500 episodes, is about the little changes you can make to support your body's ability, the God-given ability you have to heal yourself. 

And if you believe you can't heal yourself, then you have already lost because your belief system matters. It does take you believing that your body can heal itself. If you don't believe, you won't even take the first step. So you have to believe, and you have to visualize and see yourself healed. See you that you want to have in the future, and see that future you and believe it as if it is now and real, and go, “Okay, future me, I'm going to I'm going to see you soon, and I'm going to do the things it takes to be there and do that.” And then you have to forget everything every MD ever told you because everything they tell you that has to do with limiting your own body's ability to heal itself, you've got to throw it out the door and say no, I do not take that in. That is not my belief system. I believe my body can heal. Because if I believed what the MD said, I would still be sick because I would never have taken the first step.

The next testimonial comes from the Learn True Health Facebook group, and it's more of a visual thing. So I'll describe it to you. It's an image of a Facebook message that I got from one of our listeners, and she shares an image of a large ziplock bag filled with ten big prescription bottles, and she says, “Check this out.” All the things that she's been doing since listening to the Learn True Health podcast, she goes, “This was my bag of prescription drugs that I had to take before the Learn True Health podcast,” And she goes, “and this is now.” And it's one drug in the big bag instead of ten. So she's removed nine. Her doctors have taken her off nine prescription drugs since listening to the Learn True Health podcast. And I said, “Woohoo, congratulations! That's so awesome. May I share this?” And she goes, “Yes.” And I said, “What is the last drug?” She says, “Blood pressure. But I'm conquering that too.” And she shared what she has done to get off of nine of her ten drugs. You can see this if you go to the Learn True Health Facebook group. You can see this post there. Just type testimonial in the search bar of the Facebook group, and you'll see it. But she says that she did grounding or earthing, and you can learn more about that by going to the Learn True Health podcast and listening to Episode #366 with Clint Ober. It's fascinating — grounding and earthing — and also Episode #402 with Dr. Stephen Sinatra. 

She also used the magnesium soak, which I love. If you take oral magnesium, you're getting only a tiny percentage of that actually is getting in your tissues. Oral magnesium is the hardest way to absorb magnesium. And the best way, besides paying for very expensive intravenous, which is not achievable for most people to do long-term, is soaking in the magnesium in this undiluted magnesium soak is amazing, and you reach full cell saturation. About 70 to 60 percent of people reach full cell saturation within 30 days of soaking every day. You soak for a minimum of 20 minutes, a maximum of an hour, and you just put it in a bowl with your feet. You don't even have to have a bath to do it. I do it when I'm watching TV or when I'm just relaxing and doing some work at the computer. I can put my feet in the bowl there, and I can also do it in the sauna. So there are plenty of ways of getting it in while you go about your day. As long as you can sit still in one place and keep your feet in a bowl for 20 minutes, you're good. And that is several episodes with Kristen Bowen, but the first episode worth listening to is Episode #294 of the Learn True Health podcast. She gives a great discount, that coupon code LTH when you go to That's her website. She has very high standards for ingredients and makes sure that everything is pure and ethically sourced. Everything that she sells, she uses herself. She uses it with her grandbabies and her family. I just love connecting with ethical, like-minded people and supporting these small businesses that are committed to helping our health. So Kristen is one of those women who will do everything she can to help you, and she suffered so greatly. I'm not going to do any spoilers, but I will tell you, you've got to listen to Episode #294. She was in a wheelchair, under 100 lbs, barely able to talk, having thirty seizures in a day, and she was on death's door. That was about twenty years ago, and now she is vibrant and healthy and has a huge beautiful family. And she's a grandma of so many amazing kids and a mom to amazing kids, and she's the founder of a beautiful and wonderful business. So I love that it provides people with a great workspace and then provides the customers with high-quality ingredients. But the magnesium soak is like no other, and you cannot get it from Epsom salt. It is not even comparable, and she talks about that in our interviews. You can't reach full cell saturation with magnesium flakes. It doesn't work with Epsom salt. You can't reach that full cell saturation, and she goes into explaining why. That is Episode #294. Then you can go to the Learn True Health website or wherever you listen to Learn True Health and search for all the other episodes with Kristen Bowen because we have several of them. Remember to use coupon code LTH on her website,, and grab yourself a few jugs of her magnesium soak.

Also, I love the cream. I love the muscle cream. Those are delicious as well. That's great for local applications. If you just need to relax some tense muscles, it definitely works. And then our listener — just for privacy's sake, I don't share her name — she was kind enough to share this information so that I could pass it along and give people hope. The last thing she did to make these changes and get off her nine out of ten medications very quickly was she went to and signed up to have a free conversation with Jennifer Saltzman. Jennifer has been on our show several times, but you can listen to the latest one, which is Episode #458 of Learn True Health podcast. I have been on these supplements for 12 years, and so is my husband. Our son's been on these supplements his whole life. And I've had the creator of the supplements on my show twice. They are phenomenal, and they're plant-derived. They are very bioavailable. They're all in balance with each other, so there are no high doses, and it fills in the gaps of our nutrient deficiencies that we have because of the farming practices of over 150 years. They do not remineralize the soil, so we are left with anemic plants. You can eat spinach, but the spinach could have zero iron in it, literally zero iron. And even though we were raised to see Popeye and think we're getting our iron when we eat our spinach, well, spinach used to contain high iron just like Brazil nuts can contain selenium, but it doesn't mean they do. Because you can grow plants in water and sunlight, and some NPK does not need to take all sixty minerals. Our body needs sixty minerals. But the farmers do not remineralize the soil, so that's a really big problem with modern farming. And then in addition to that, we treat our crops with the types of pesticides like Glyphosate, which is a chelator. This is not the only one that does this, but it binds to the minerals and heavy metals and carries it away. And the way we farmed, the way we till the soil, the rain washes away the nutrients, and we're left with anemic plants. Of course, now, a lot of plants we buy are grown hydroponically, especially if you're buying your microgreens. I buy these power greens from Costco in a big bag. It says organic, but you know as you're eating them, you go, this is too clean. This just looks like something that was grown in a factory, not something that was grown in the ground that contains minerals. So it is really important to get our minerals, and I love the liquid minerals that can provide you with. 

So those are the three biggest things that she did. She grounded herself, or she did earthing and walked outside barefoot. You can also get a crowning mat or mattress pad for indoor use, but it's free if you just put your feet barefoot outside. I even had a listener, and I loved this; this was so great. After hearing this episode, the grounding episode, I think she was in Minnesota when she went outside in the middle of winter and dug some snow until she found the grass, bundled up, sat in a lawn chair, and put her feet directly on the grass. And I'm like, that is my kind of woman. And she's like, “I am earthing right now. I heard this episode, and I'm going to earth right now. I'm not going to wait for springtime.” And that's the kind of passion you need to have when it comes to gaining true health. When we put our feet barefoot, directly on the soil, directly on grass, plants, or the earth, we are getting back to earth's potential. You are releasing electrons which are free radicals that are causing damage to your body. You are releasing excess electrons, and you're getting back to the earth's potential. That's what we're supposed to be.

Think about if you've ever gone camping as a kid, if you ever slept outside, or maybe when there are power outages, and how good you sleep. You sleep so well when we're not around all this wi-fi and electricity, when we're touching the ground, if you've ever slept on the ground, besides the fact that the ground is hard and you use a mattress, or maybe you've taken a nap outside. Just go lay down in the grass and let yourself connect with the earth, in that you are releasing electrons and getting back to the earth's potential, which is discussed a lot in Episode #366 as Clint Ober talks about the several studies that he funded to learn more about the effects on the body of doing earthing and grounding. So you're going to love to dive into these episodes if you're like my listener and you're carting around a gallon bag full of prescription drugs, and you don't want to be on prescription drugs anymore. You want to be so healthy that you don't need to be on these drugs. If you want to be so healthy that your doctor says, “Well, we got to definitely take you off these. What are you doing on them?” If you want to be so healthy that your body is drug-free, that your body has just energy abound, that your body heals itself quickly, that you bounce back quickly from colds or flu, that you jump out of bed in the morning, that you have a full day that you feel like in love with life on every level, then you want to listen to and do what all the other listeners are doing that they were able to cut their prescriptions. I once helped a woman cut her prescriptions. And how she had two drawers full of prescriptions and cut them in half just by making tiny changes. And she could have done more, but she just did a few tiny changes. These are suggestions that are shared in the podcast and suggestions that I love to follow. She made these suggestions, and it's madness that MDs don't have these tools. To help you get so healthy, you don't need to be on meds. That's not their training because the system is designed to sell drugs. Now, I appreciate and love MD-based medicine when we need it. Allopathic, drug-based medicine for emergencies is wonderful, and it's the best thing we got. But when it comes to chronic health, they only have drugs. And you have to go to a functional medicine practitioner or holistic health coach to even find the information on how to support your body's ability to heal itself, so much so that your body gets so healthy that your doctor takes you off those drugs that you no longer need to be on drugs. And that's the kind of doctor you want to see.

You want to see a doctor that says, “Yes, let's get you so healthy. I don't know enough how to get you so healthy, but if you get healthy, I want to take you off these drugs. There are some doctors that won't even take you off your drugs if you get healthy. You got to really watch out for that. So interview some doctors and find one that goes, “Yes, I want you to get so healthy that you don't need to be on drugs.” And look at how simple this was for her. She stood outside with bare feet in the grass. She's soaked in magnesium. She took some supplements. She made a few dietary changes. She started moving her body in a way that brought her joy. She started hydrating herself, and she cut down her pills by 90%. Her prescriptions got cut down by 90% in a matter of months. How amazing is that? That's so cool. 

So I just love all the testimonials that are shared in the Facebook group. I love that we can make such a huge difference in people's lives. I am so proud of Natalie, who is our next testimonial. Natalie has been listening for, I guess, over a year now. She was struggling with prediabetes even though she was doing a lot of healthy things that kept creeping up on her and creeping up on her. And then finally, she ended up with an A1C of 9.6, diagnosed back about five months ago, where she was in full-blown diabetes. And she was just so upset at herself. She'd been listening to the podcast. She'd been making a lot of good health changes. But one thing that hadn't changed, even though she was eating very healthily, was she was still eating foods that we'd see cause insulin resistance. And so, I encouraged her back in December to listen to Episodes #233, #489, and the most recent #492, and especially to get the Mastering Diabetes audiobook. I love that audiobook. They come on and give updates. So, when you buy a physical book, it's like the author can insert updates, maybe if it's an ebook. But what's great about the audiobook is that they don't come on and give some updates as new science and stuff come out. It's one of the guests I had in those episodes. He is a Ph.D. who wrote his thesis on insulin resistance. The whole premise is how we can use the food you don't eat and the food you do eat to heal insulin resistance and support the body's ability to heal itself and become so healthy that the body naturally loses weight, lowers triglycerides, develops healthy cholesterol and develops balanced, healthy blood sugar. 

So Natalie came to me a month after being on the program. It's only a month, and it does take time. So don't expect to be completely done in one month. One month is just the beginning, and that's the hardest part. The first month is the hardest part because, a lot of times, people are battling. They don't even realize how intense the food addictions and cravings are when they cut out those foods. So Natalie went through her first month of eating a super clean way and battling what we all go through when we cut out the foods that our bodies are addicted to. And at the beginning, she had an A1C of 9.6 back around January of this year. And in April, so four months later, her A1C was 6.7. I am so proud of her. This testimonial that she gives, she recorded in January, a month into her program. She was already seeing success, but I got an update today from Natalie, and I want to share it with you because I want to celebrate with you her success and just how proud I am of her. She's really been struggling for years like so many people, even though she makes really healthy choices. She doesn't eat the standard American diet. There are so many things she does right. And that's the frustration. We can feel like we're already doing so much, and then we're still unhealthy. Sometimes it just takes a few simple changes. Sometimes it takes a major overhaul. But being willing to look at your numbers now and go, “Okay, here's where I am, and here's where I want to be, and I'm going to get there. I'm going to close that gap between where I am and where I want to be.”

I talked to her a few times back in January, and she felt defeated at times because things were not progressing fast enough. I said, “Just keep at it.” And she was not happy with me. She wanted me to join the pity party with her, and I totally understand that. When you just want to complain with someone, and then you want them to join your pity party, and I'm like, “I'm not having it. You are going to keep going. You're going to keep doing this.” I was her cheerleader. She wanted me to get out the violin for her, and I'm like, “No, you keep doing this, and you're going to be amazed at your results.” And here we are, only a few months later, like five months really into it. She said she didn't start getting super serious until February. So I'm going to give her the five months into it because she really did start about five months ago. So here it is in May, she said, “I was super serious starting in February.” But she started easing into it at the beginning of January. But here are her numbers so far. So please, I want you to put your hands together for Natalie.

I'm so proud of her. When she started back in December, when she came to me, her fasting blood sugar was in the 180s. That was waking up in the morning, not having eaten for 8 to 10 hours, and it was 180. Now it should be below 100. A good fasting blood sugar is between 60 and 80. And hers was 180. Now her fasting blood sugar is between 90 and 100, and I'm so proud of her. Now, she's not done yet. She's still helping her body heal itself. But look how far she's come and not even six months. It's not even half a year. Look how far she's come. Her blood sugar, when at two hours post meal, used to be in the high 100s or the low 200s, usually around 200. It's now between 120 and 150, two hours post-meal. So I'm really, really proud of her.

I'm so excited to see what her A1C is going to be in a few months because she's trending in such a great way. But another really big change for her is her weight. At the beginning of this, she was 250, and now she's 190. She's lost 60 lbs. You have to get between 10 and 20 lbs. When we lose weight, when we adapt to a healthy eating lifestyle, a lot of that is water weight. That's inflammation. So it might not all be adipose tissue that the body is losing. But she definitely has dropped her body weight when she's eating vegetables like crazy. Basically, she's eating just lots and lots of wonderfully healthy, healing vegetables. She sends me pictures of some of her meals, and I'm drooling. And Then I send her pictures of my meals, then she says, can I come over because your food looks better than mine? I'm like, hey, we're just eating our medicine. But the fact that in such a short period of time, she was able to get such traction and remind her today was great. Because sometimes we're just in the thick of it, and we're staring at the scale every day, we're looking at our labs, or looking at a glucometer, and it doesn't feel like it's budging, right? We're making all these healthy changes, and the progress is so slow it is frustrating. And the addiction brain wants us to give up and just go eat the thing that we're addicted to because we need to have that pity party. The addiction brain is going to latch on to anything to tell you you're not progressing fast enough, so you might as well have a cheat. Well, this isn't working. I might as well go eat some chips, or chocolate, or ice cream, or whatever Chinese food. 

What I'm telling you is to imagine yourself wherever you are a year from now, having achieved the goals that you have for yourself and every day working towards them; surely and steadily, you will get there. And I kept telling Natalie that, and it came to fruition. And here she is, coming out of diabetes like a champ, feeling amazing. She now can believe that she can see herself at her ideal weight, feeling so confident. But in her first month, her numbers started to come down and level out a bit, and what she did see right away was energy. That's one of the first things we get when we start eating super healthy. She said, “Oh my gosh, my energy is really good. I'm really feeling it. And my body composition is already changing.” So listen to her testimonial and listen to this woman back in January, who was just starting her journey, still a little unsure about it all, but trusting the process and doing it. And as you listen, just remember that a few short months after she had recorded this, she had lost 60 pounds and shed several points off of her A1C. Three points off of her A1C. I love it. And now her fasting is under 100, and how exciting is that? So big congratulations to Natalie. 

And this is what I live for. I live for helping people to get on the other side of it, whatever they're facing, help them get on the other side of it, and get their progress back on track. I love doing blood sugar coaching. It's one of my favorite things to do. You can go to if you'd like to check out working with me. I'd love to chat with you about it. You can message me on Facebook or email me at I love doing health coaching. Everyone is unique. Everyone's life is a bit different, and I love to plug into someone and listen to their health goals, figure out where the roadblocks are, and help them create habits that stick and strategies that get them there. So if you want to be like Natalie and see significant progress in a few months, then I'd love to be your coach. 

So, listen to Natalie, and give her a big round of applause. If you see her in our Facebook group, tell her how proud you are of her because I'm certainly proud of her. Natalie, thank you so much for coming here today. And as a listener of the Learn True Health podcast, you wanted to share to encourage others. You've been through your own health struggles. Natalie came here today to share some of her stories and to help and encourage those who feel like they are stuck, or they're suffering, and they feel like they're at a dead end in their health. So Natalie, what were your health and your life like before you discovered the Learn True Health podcast?

[1:26:07.5] Natalie: Well, you know, I thought I was pretty healthy. But as you listen to the episodes and then you hear about all the things that you could need, like magnesium, and that when you're tired, it isn't that you need more coffee. You're actually either not getting the nutrients you need or you're not getting the exercise you need. You start to really rethink about how healthy you really are. And then, when I got diagnosed with diabetes, that was just such a hard hit for me. I knew I'd been working hard to try to be healthy, and I had prediabetes, and so I was like, no, I got this. But then that does kind of came as a hard blow, and I think if it wasn't for your podcast and really starting to implement the changes I really needed to do, your heart changes. But I wanted to do it. I mean, it's like the proof is in the pudding. 

As soon as I started implementing some of the changes from your podcast and other great advice from your guests, it was just like you could just see it. My blood sugar started dipping down, and I started getting into those normal numbers that I needed. My energy and all the things I thought I was so healthy, I was just like, look at the inflammation. Look at how much it went down. Look at how my energy is up. I can go up a flight of stairs, and I'm not so winded anymore, and that's only from just small changes. I can't imagine how many more changes I can implement and how much better I can get as I keep listening to you and the things that you have to share with us. The way that you come about talking in the episodes, it's just like you're talking to me. Like, you're talking to a friend. I just understand you. And you also shared a lot of things from your life, and I just feel like I know you on a personal level, and it just makes it so much more relatable to me and to my struggles too.

[1:28:10.0] Ashley James: Thank you so much for sharing that. What I love that you shared is that so many people are suffering, but they think that they might already be healthy. And when we dive down this rabbit hole through all the episodes that we've done, all 499 episodes, and we start really realizing that there's a whole level of health we don't even realize we're missing. And so with you, within a short period of time, implementing some of these changes, some are easy, some are hard, your energy has improved, and your body composition has changed. You would describe it to me that you once were feeling like you had lost the battle. And through implementing these small daily changes, now you're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Now you're seeing that you can recover your health. There is going to be a Natalie, soon in the future, that doesn't have diabetes and that you're well on your way. 

[1:29:12.3] Natalie: Exactly! I am one hundred percent agree. Again, it's not easy. It's not easy to do the changes because they take real work. And I think the other part of the podcast is it keeps you motivated because you hear the person talking about the changes they made, or there's a sharing of what you can do. And you said, yeah, I can do that too. I can make one more step. I can do one more thing. It's like stacking things. You can't do all of them at once, but little by little, you can add a little bit more, and a little bit more, and that gets you closer and closer to that healthy person that you want to be. 

[1:29:47.8] Ashley James: Awesome! I love it. Thank you so much for sharing that, Natalie. And I can't wait to see where my podcast takes us — takes me, takes you — and where our health

goes and grows and improves through the next 500 episodes. 

[1:30:01.4] Natalie: Thank you for having me. 

[1:30:03.6] Ashley James: This next testimonial is from my dear assistant Ruth, who has been working with us for years. She's amazing. I am so grateful to have her in my life. I saw her struggling during the last few years, especially in 2020, when so many people were in fear. Not everyone knows this, but I've been teaching health coaching and neuro-linguistic programming, which is a combination of behavioral psychology and cognitive therapy. I help people reverse and end anxiety's control over their life. So I have techniques that I teach. One technique takes 30 to 90 seconds, just depending on the person. We turn anxiety 100% off at the moment. When it comes back, you got to do the technique again. So every time anxiety comes back, you got to do the technique, and then it turns it off, do the technique, and then it turns it off. But I teach people how to gain control over their lives again, so anxiety is not controlling them and running rampant. And I also teach tools so that you can rewire the brain to no longer create anxiety. And I have at least a dozen interviews that you can find. Just type in Ashley James anxiety, or Learn True Health podcast anxiety, or just go to, type in ‘anxiety,' and you'll find some wonderful episodes where I teach these techniques for free — how to eliminate anxiety. And if you want hand-holding, I can coach you. I can do coaching. You can go to ‘Work with Ashley James' in the menu of, and then you can schedule a time to chat with me. You can hire me as your coach if you'd like to work with me. I've been doing that since 2005. I've been helping my clients using your neuro-linguistic programming and timeline therapy to end anxiety's reign in their life, to just completely dominate anxiety and be able to have control over it and learn how to turn it on and off, which is phenomenal. 

So with Ruth, she started experiencing anxiety. And for a lot of people who normally aren't anxious people, they'll go through a traumatic experience, and then they have anxiety, and they don't even know it's anxiety. So they're having panic attacks, and they don't even know it's anxiety until someone says, hey, that might be anxiety. And this was happening to Ruth. She thought she was dying, which, you know, I've had that before. I've had a panic attack, and I thought I was dying because, at the moment, it doesn't feel like it's in your head. Your heart's pounding, and your palms are sweating. Your chest hurts. It's hard to breathe. You're dizzy. It feels like a heart attack. And yet it starts with our thinking, with our stinking thinking. So I sat down with her and taught her some of these techniques, and she was able to gain control over her anxiety. Just being given the ability to understand when it's anxiety, and then given the tools, you can choose to do the tool to turn the anxiety off. It is so empowering for people to know, wow, I've control of this. It doesn't have control over me. 

And so Ruth wanted to get on and share with you her story. So, if you know anyone who has anxiety, please find my episodes; just pick one of them. Just go to and type in anxiety. Pick one of my episodes. So I teach these techniques and share them with those you care about because everyone needs to know these tools. It's so important. It's like, we weren't born with a manual, and I feel like if we had been born with a manual, that would be in the first chapter — here's how you turn off anxiety. It's so important. I teach how to manage stress and how to understand it. It's really hard to understand and process our emotions in a way that allows us to navigate this world so that we're not a victim of it. You look for those free resources, and then if you'd like to hire me and work with me, if you want that one-on-one, I'd love to do it with you. It's a big passion of mine. I've been doing it for a long time, and I love helping people to get on the other side of it.

I also do timeline therapy, where we get to the root cause and release the unresolved trauma in the body. We release anger, sadness, fear, hurt, and guilt so that the Gestalt, the entire chain of all the past, unresolved negative emotions, are completed, released, and resolved. You'll be able to think back to your past, and you won't have negative emotions come up for you because you resolved them, and your body lets them go. This technique is very powerful. So if you want any of that, check out those episodes I did. And then, of course, you can reach out to me if you'd like to schedule time to work with me. 

[1:34:36.8] Ruth: Hi, my name is Ruth. I am Ashley's assistant. I've been working for Ashley for the past six years, and I'm very thrilled to share with you my testimony about the incredible treatment that I received from Ashley to help me manage my anxiety. First, let me give you a short background about how my anxiety started.

It was in July of 2020. We were five months into the pandemic. The virus was slowly getting closer to my home, and the death toll in my country was continuously rising. The media talked about COVID and death every day. A lot of people that I know, like my relatives, close friends, and loved ones, started to get sick with COVID-19. Unfortunately, some of them were not able to survive the virus. My worst fear was for my family to get sick because I thought back then that there was just a little to no chance for a person to survive if they got the virus. So I started to worry for my family's life, especially for my senior parents, for my parents-in-law who are seniors as well, for my husband, for my kids, and for myself.

At that time, I thought COVID was synonymous with death, so I was totally over-thinking. So that thought kept repeating inside my head until I could not control it anymore, and I started to have panic attacks. I felt palpitations. I felt light-headed. I'm having a hard time breathing. I couldn't sleep. I didn't want to go out of the house. I didn't want other people inside my home, even family members that we didn't live with. So I knew within me that there was something that was not normal. So that was the first time that I ever felt it. So I didn't fully understand what anxiety was, like what's going on inside my body when I feel anxious. Why did I find it difficult to breathe when I felt afraid? Why did it feel heavy on my chest? So aside from my anxiety about COVID, I also started to overthink my symptoms. 

So back then, again, I didn't fully understand what was going on inside my body. I thought I was having palpitations. I was having difficulty breathing because I was having heart problems. I started to overthink again. I actually thought before that I was just about to die. So it was a never-ending trail of overthinking. So I went to a doctor. I asked for something to help me sleep or relax because my head was really aching. It's been days since I last slept, and I didn't feel really good. The doctor prescribed a medicine to help me sleep, but that didn't help me at all, actually. It made me feel worse. So I decided to also see a cardiologist. This was during the height of the pandemic, so it was really a struggle for me to finally take a step out of my house and leave my comfort zone. But I was really paranoid. Most of the time, I was wearing two layers of masks, one surgical and one N95, plus a face shield, and I was also wearing gloves. So I was asked to take some laboratory tests like ECG, x-ray, ultrasound, and blood tests, which all came out normal. So I thought, okay, so you know, I don't have a heart problem. Then why do I still feel the symptoms? Why can't I still sleep? So that's the time when I finally decided to ask for help from Ashley. Right there and then, she called me up; she helped me to understand my symptoms and realized that it was anxiety and not a heart problem. She taught me how to control my breathing and how to recognize when I'm having an anxiety attack. She patiently listened to my fears and worries and explained to me the science behind anxiety and how my body reacts to it. She gave me strategies to help me cope and manage my anxiety. And she helped me to see the reality and accept it. She taught me that it's okay to feel anxious because it's part of being human. 

So all these helped me to gain control of my anxiety and cope with it better. But you know, though sometimes I still have anxiety attacks every now and then, I'm happy that I can manage it now a lot better. So I'm glad that I took the step and opened up to her. I am truly grateful for her help and guidance in helping me to understand and manage my anxiety.

[1:39:44.1] Ashley James: Kellyann Andrews has been a guest we've had on the show at least six times that I can recall — Episode #292#293#329#330#396, and #453. Each time, she brings a wealth of information about making the body so healthy that disease can't live in it, creating balance and pH, getting rid of heavy metals, and getting rid of excessive lactic acid. And as she describes it, it's making your fish tank so clean and healthy. Clean up the fish tank so it's crystal clear, and then the terrain of the body is so healthy that disease doesn't live there. Her device, which we've had guests talk about and even in testimonials here, has talked about Platinum Energy System. I love it. Our family uses it. I've had great results with it, personally. It helped me overcome acute mercury poisoning. It also helped me to detox heavy metals, and it was an essential component of my recovery from heavy metal toxicity. 

I've also used it in times with my whole family and with my friends when we experienced a low immune function. It really helps get us back up on her feet fast. It's such an impressive technology, and she, of course, shares about it in the episodes that I just mentioned. So you definitely want to check out my episodes with Kellyann Andrews. She shared with me some testimonials from our listeners, those that have been written to her, and I thought it was so cool that she has permission to share these. So I wanted to read a few of these to you. It is this neat. It is actually just such a really cool device to have. You're going to love hearing these stories. So I'm going to leave their names out. So I'll just say the first initial. This is from A.

[1:41:41.1] Testimonial A (read by Ashley): My experience with Platinum Energy Systems has been nothing but positive since bringing one into our home. Five weeks ago, I underwent an invasive surgery and had 10-year-old breast implants removed. Along with all the medications they had me on and the amount of toxic waste that came from the old implants, my body was feeling extremely overwhelmed. I was suffering from a massive migraine for one week after my surgery. When I was finally feeling good enough to sit up and soak my feet, I did two sessions back-to-back. The amount of metal that had sunk to the bottom of the base after my session was like nothing I'd ever seen before. With that, my migraine had reduced by 70 percent. The following day, I did two more sessions, and again, an alarming amount of metal was dumped out of my body. I was relieved. Up to 95 percent of my migraine was gone after four sessions, and after a good night's sleep, I woke up, and it was gone. 

The Platinum Energy System has been, without a doubt, one of the best investments I have ever made. You can truly feel relief through the body. I've actually done it before. I've done about maybe twice. I think I've done back-to-back sessions where at the end of the 30 minutes, I was like, nope, I need to go again. And it was definitely worth it. But most of the time, after the 30-minute session, I feel like junk just got sucked out of me, and it is the coolest feeling. You'll feel so light. Your legs feel so light like things just got sucked out. 

[1:43:14.0] Ashley James: Now, here is one from a woman. I'm just going to say her initials, A.M.

[1:43:20.1] Testimonial A.M. (read by Ashley): As a certified lymphedema therapist, massage and bodywork therapist, yoga teacher, and Ayurvedic Wellness consultant, I do my best to help my clients live in their bodies with more ease, comfort, and energy. In terms of detoxification and rejuvenation, the Platinum Energy foot bath system is the single best tool I have ever integrated into my practice. There are few things that act upon the tissues as effectively and quickly as this does. I am incredibly relieved by the truly remarkable results in my own health since making it part of my regular self-care regimens, such as a decrease in tension, lethargy, gastrointestinal bloating and digestive distress, anxiety, and sleep disturbance. With the drainage effect of the foot bath, I can feel all my lymphatic tissues and inner organs release that heavy tension of stagnant energy. There is a palpable cellular sigh of relief and a feeling of lightness throughout my body that would make a whole lot more sweat, effort, and time to achieve without the foot bath, and I would probably not do it as effectively. If you haven't tried this, you must. If you're a practitioner thinking about getting one, just do it. Talk to Kellyann, and she will help you.

[1:44:38.6] Ashley James: I know Kellyann is wonderful. In our Learn True Health Facebook group, you could probably type in PES or Platinum Energy System or Kellyann, all one word, into the Facebook group search and find dozens and dozens and dozens of testimonials for people saying Kellyann is amazing. She spends so much time on the phone with you. She's so supportive. She has such a huge heart, so I just love, love, love her help. 

Now, this is from a person with the initials OI. 

[1:45:10.1] Testimonial OI (read by Ashley): Platinum Energy Systems is a game-changer. For the past five years, I have been trying out different approaches to functional medicine and holistic modalities. Some were effective, and some were not. I'm a person with an autoimmune that has affected me more or less my whole life, and in the past years, has had some chronic health issues. When I heard about the PES on one of my favorite podcasts (Learn True Health) about the science in holistic approach behind it, I knew I had to get the system to try it for myself. I must say it was like the icing on top of all the detoxes and modalities that I have tried to help my body heal. The PES was so gentle yet impressively powerful. The first day I did it, thanks to Kellyann's patience and phone support to set up the system, my body that night felt an instant charge. I actually had energy and didn't crash into bed like I normally do. Slowly, I started noticing the constant stuffiness in my nose cleared up. My brain fog was gone, and I was more alert and energized. When I wake up in the mornings, I feel refreshed and don't find myself dragging out of bed like I normally do. I felt a difference when I stopped using it for regular maintenance. It's important to use it at least once a week to help your body stay maintained and supported.

[1:46:34.3] Ashley James: Now, listeners can go to and check it out there. But really, give Kellyann a call. Her phone numbers are on the website. It's also in the episodes I talked about — Episodes #292, #293, #329, #330, #396, and #453. And, of course, those will be linked in the show notes of today's podcast at You can also just search Kellyann at, and those episodes will show up.

The last testimonial is from H, who consistently uses the PES with her eight-year-old son. 

[1:47:12.1] Testimonial H (read by Ashley): We can't believe our eyes as to how well S is doing. I really am astounded. He's never done this, well, consistently, without taking steps back again. I do believe in the science of the foot bath, but I never dreamed it would be as dramatically helpful to him and this quickly. Don't get me wrong, we have a long way to go, but it's just so dramatic. The school can't believe it and is baffled by how he's improved in the past few weeks. Just to list some of the things that have improved, the most noticeable is temperament. He would quite frequently be irritable and have a dysregulated mood, but he is dramatically more mood stable and easygoing, and less rigid about things. His speech is coming along wonderfully. He has a lot more interaction in attempting to play with his sister and classmates at school. He has much more focus, can gain his attention, and keep it more easily. Generally, there's more of a glow about him, and his complexion is better. We're just thrilled and so happy that we decided to try your system. May you continue to change people's lives.

[1:48:17.9] Ashley James: That's how I feel about it. I went to take a friend whose son was about four or five at the time. This was a few years ago. You couldn't understand him. His speech was so slurred. It was like a mouth of marble. It was really hard to understand him, and we had him sit with his feet in the PES. It's not even the full session. After about 20 minutes, he started talking, and you could understand him, and the mom was freaking out. She was filming it. He was able to spell his name and was able to say, ‘My name is,' and he and you could understand him. I'd been hanging around this kid every week because our kids would go play together. We'd go to the same gymnastics classes. I'd seen this kid every single week for months, and after one session, it was like his brain just cleared up. Maybe it brings out inflammation. I don't know what it does so quickly. But it went from not being able to understand his speech to having a completely clear speech, and that was such a mind-blowing experience.

I first learned about this device in my episode with Dr. Klinghardt. So you can go back and type in heavy metals Dr. Klinghardt in He talked about how he uses this as part of his routine in addition to using the Sunlighten sauna, which I highly recommend, in addition to using the ENERGYbits, chlorella, which I highly recommend. And, of course, I get great discounts for the listeners at, coupon code LTH. There's a great discount for the Sunlighten sauna when you mention Learn True Health. And then, when you talk to Kellyann about the Platinum Energy Systems, you have to call her to buy it. She gives a huge discount to listeners, and that was so, so cool of her to do that. So she really, really does take care of you. She talks to you for a long time and makes sure you're fully set up before you buy it, after you buy it, when you're setting it up, and when you're using it. She's very supportive and gives a great discount to listeners. So she's just absolutely wonderful. 

But I first learned about this through Dr. Klinghardt, who will take people who are on the spectrum, do heavy metal detox holistically, and then they're no longer on the spectrum. They're no longer showing any symptoms of heavy metal toxicity in the brain, and they're no longer showing any of the symptoms. So, then the doctor says, well, I guess we must have misdiagnosed them. And that's the thing. Are we misdiagnosing most children nowadays because what we actually have is heavy metal toxicity as one thing? So this is what Dr. Klinghardt proposes, and he talks about it in his interview with me, that a lot of the neurological stuff their kids are being diagnosed with and treated for is incorrect. They're being misdiagnosed, they're being mistreated, and we need to clean up. As Kellyann says, we got to clean up the fish tank. You clean up the fish tank, and everything works better. So clean up the internal environment of the body, and everything works better. This machine helps, and it's so gentle kids can do it. It's so effective; we see results in the first session, which is so exciting. Awesome. 

I'm so glad I could share this tool with you because I love finding game-changers. I love finding diets that are super healing for the body and reverse major diseases and sharing these game-changers with you. I love finding tools, devices, supplements, and lifestyle changes. Sometimes these things are free. Go put your feet out inside in the grass, as Clint Ober talks about in our interview about earthing and grounding. That's something you could do for free. Get your feet out there on the dirt or the grass outside as soon as you can every day, especially first thing in the morning. If you can walk out on the lawn, that's even better, as long as there are no pesticides and all that stuff sprayed on it. That is free, and so healing for the body. 

All my 500 episodes are filled with ways that you can support your body's ability to heal itself. Some you have to pay for, but I always try to get you a discount as much as I can. For the most part, everything that I found that are real game-changers that make a huge difference, I get the company to give a discount. And then there's lots of great, free advice. I got this one episode that teaches you how to walk better, that'll take the wear and tear off your knees, and it's called chi running and chi walking. I think I did that one year ago, but that one still sticks with me. When I go walking, I still do what he taught. And it's funny because it's not a visual thing. He's just describing it, but you have to feel it. So you just go for a walk, put on that episode, and then as you're walking, do the steps that he tells you to do; you change your center of gravity and change your gait, and you will take the wear and tear off of your limbs and joints. He does Iron Man's. He does his 500 miles in the desert Iron Man. I think he's in his 70s or something, but he's figured out how to because no one teaches us this. No one teaches you how to walk optimally. How do you position your body to walk? Everyone's got bad posture, right? And imagine if we were taught how to have good posture and how to use our core. How do we use this body we've been given optimally? 

So my episodes are filled with amazing advice. Lots of it is free. Some of it you got to pay for, but I get you a discount. And between everything you learned in the last 500 episodes, you're going to find so many game-changers. You're going to take your life to the whole next level. I'm so excited to be here with you on that journey. Join our Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group, as we help each other. I'd love to see you there. And as always, you can reach out to me. You can email me at I'd love to hear from you. I'd love to see you in the Facebook group. Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing these episodes with those you care about. We are going to change the world together, one episode at a time, with everyone we care about. If you can imagine if every episode we shared with a handful of people that we know would make a big difference, that will spread like wildfire. And I want to turn this ripple into a tidal wave and help as many people as possible to learn true health.

Get Connected with Ashley James!


Facebook Group



Learn True Health Podcast on iTunes

Free Your Anxiety!

Take You Supplements