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Dr. Mercola Interviews Chris Kresser About Unconventional Medicine


Dr. Mercola interviews Chris Kresser on his new book, Unconventional Medicine, and why reinventing modern health care is crucial in preventing and reversing chronic diseases.

Unconventional Medicine: Join the Revolution to Reinvent Healthcare, Reverse Chronic Disease, and Create a Practice You Love

The world is facing the greatest healthcare crisis it has ever seen. Chronic disease is shortening our lifespan, destroying our quality of life, bankrupting governments, and threatening the health of future generations. Sadly, conventional medicine, with its focus on managing symptoms, has failed to address this challenge. The result is burned-out physicians, a sicker population, […]

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Video Transcript
Today we are joined by Chris who is a leader in the. Uh functional medicine paleo movement and widely recognized a smart guy. He is a uh trained as an acupuncturist, but he is actually a wounded healer and I'll let him tell the story. He came to this discipline because conventional medicine failed him failed him.
Miserably when he was seeking uh approach a solution for his illness. Which was an acute tropical sea acquired fever chills vomiting sphere messed him up for a long time. And you know, this is a great example of how sometimes bad things happen to us in life. And we just get so distressed about it, but then we embrace it and realize that it's frequently it's for the greater good of her for something far more beneficial for you that you can't see at the time but you you only realize that in retrospect so well.
And Chris is the co-director of the California Center for functional medicine has been on Joe Rogan a few times I believe which is probably the most popular. I cast in the world. So, uh welcome and thank you for joining us. Say Chris. Thanks. Dr. Mercola the pleasure to be here. So I guess why don't we just start with um framing your um entrance into this area through your personal experience because you can certainly share a better than I can recount.
Yeah. So in my early 20s, I took off on a round-the-world trip. I was doing some surfing in Indonesia and I as you mentioned I got a cute. In this fever chills diarrhea delirium. I don't really remember much of what happened during those few days, but there was an Australian. Who is staying in the little village that I would then who happened after antibiotics that brought me back from the brink, um of that acute episode but that evolved into a decade-long journey back to health.
Um, you know, that acute episode was just the beginning as it often is and uh, you know, I came home eventually and and went to my doctor, uh and told him what was going on. And then proceeded to see probably no fewer than 20 or 25 doctors over the course of the next several years and three different countries, um, including flying back to Australia to you know closer to Indonesia.
Hoping that they would be able to help me and you know, most of the doctors I saw meant well, they tried their best to help but they. You know, I quickly found out that conventional medicine while it's fantastic dealing with trauma and emergencies, you know, if I get hit by a bus, it's fantastic was really miserable at dealing with the kind of complex chronic illness that I had developed and despite everyone's best efforts, you know, nobody was able to help so I eventually decided that there was no one that was more deeply invested in my own healing than myself imagine.
Yeah, so I started my own exploration which eventually led to returning to school to study Chinese medicine and acupuncture and I chose that because of all the modalities that I tried along my journey that was what had been most helpful to me. Um, but then, you know, even before I graduated from school realized that um that I wasn't going to end up practicing functional medicine, um, or excuse me Chinese medicine and and I discovered functional.
I kind of moved in that direction. Okay, great. And um, I was a big concern with you. Um. Uh, I guess association with functional medicine because I'm not I mean, I certainly better than conventional medicine the whole question its levels above but for the most part they seem to be at a relatively rudimentary level of understanding of some of the complexities of these disease, but we have this discussion before we do weeks ago on the telephone and you cleared up that confusion and actually shared the same concerns.
I did which I was glad to see that but. So, um, you know, this is now wide endorsement of functional medicine necessarily. But anyway, that's a tangent you are here today because you're you've written a number of books, but your most recent one is unconventional medicine, which is really good and you talked about your frustration with conventional medicine and and that's actually a significant part of the beginning of the book where you talk about some of the consequences of conventional medicines impact on chronic disease.
So why don't you. Summarize that from your perspective I think it did a really nice job on that and then we can go into some elegant Solutions, which is the primary reason. I wanted to discuss this with you really got of some very exciting Innovative, truly Innovative, um suggestions and strategies to how to conquer this in the long term.
Yeah, thank you. So, uh, you know the problem I see with conventional medicine is even though it's great for acute trauma emergency care. It's really not set up to deal with chronic disease. And that's because when it was developed the primary challenges, we are facing as a people were acute problems.
If you look back in the year 1900 the top three causes of death. We're all acute infectious diseases typhoid tuberculosis and ammonia. So in other reasons people would see a doctor. Also acute, you know had a broken arm or a gallbladder attack appendicitis something like that. So the treatment for those problems was relatively straightforward, you know, you put the arm in a cast remove the gallbladder or once antibiotics were developed, you know, prescribing antibiotics for an infectious disease.
Those treatments didn't always work, but they were pretty straightforward. It was one doctor one problem one treatment and that's the end of the story We fast forward to today. We live in a totally different Healthcare landscape. The 10 top causes of death are chronic. Diseases rather than acute diseases and unlike acute problems chronic diseases are complex.
They're difficult to manage and they usually last for a lifetime. So this model that we have uh, that was really developed for treating acute problems doesn't work for chronic disease and that explains why now one and two Americans have a chronic disease one in four have multiple chronic diseases including almost 30% of kids who now have a chronic disease.
So, uh, we just been using the wrong tool for the job is really what it comes down to and this is why the healthcare debate which is really focused on insurance and who has or doesn't have insurance is really is missing the point because it doesn't matter what the insurance landscape looks like. If we don't get a handle on chronic disease, there's no method of paying for health care that will be sufficient.
Yeah, that was my primary objection and actually lectured at this at the Harper College and that's what we did a video of that lecture and it's on my site. Uh, when the Affordable Care Act otherwise known as Obamacare was was not yet passed. I had no objection necessarily to funding that but I absolutely massive objection to funding the wrong strategy precisely what they did.
Exactly. Yeah not gonna work. I mean you go. No, I mean. Still not going to work exactly. I mean just a simple thought experiment will show this it costs $14,000 a year to treat the average patient with type 2 diabetes and the most recent statistics by the CDC suggested 100 million Americans. Now either have pre-diabetes or pledge type 2 diabetes and you know, you don't have to be a math genius to multiply 100 million times 14,000 you get a number that's so big that there's it's absolutely impossible to.
Generate the money that we would need to cover that so actually even though that number is high that number is literally half the cost that half what it should be because it's not 100 million people. It's at least 200 maybe 250 million people who have insulin resistance, which is we both know is the foundational core of pre-diabetes and diabetes.
Yeah. So so there's those really. We I think it's not an exaggeration to say that um chronic disease existential threat to society and to humanity at the same level as you know nuclear weapons and uh, you know Warfare and other things that we typically worry about and concern ourselves with so I don't think that chronic disease gets the attention that it should get uh as a threat to our health well-being and.
As a species yes, indeed. In fact this approach actually causes his own complications. I just we just recently wrote an article that highlighting the fact that the top cause of deceptive death in people under 50. Is now overdose from prescription analgesics crazy. Yeah. Yeah, there have been two studies.
I think I'm sure you've seen this. Dr. Barbara Starfield Jama. Mm. And then a more recent one in bmj that suggests that Medical Care is the either the third leading cause of death on the record, but dr. Starfield suggested that because he after genic events tend to be underreported and did it could actually.
Be the first leading cause of death. These are studies published in major journals. It's not you know, kind of um, you know Fringe speculation, we're talkin about it's a real issue. It's a real problem. Yeah, in fact, I was still getting the print version uh of a different edition of Jama and in July of 2000 star Fields initial article was published and I actually created the headline that doctors of the third leading cause of death which became wildly popular on the internet hardly ever attributed me, but I did create that headline and uh, the irony of Starfield who was an MD PhD at Stanford is that.
She died just a few years ago in know what she died from a medical error Plavix complications from Plavix. Yeah, so she died. I wasn't aware that the ultimate irony, you know pointed out these problems and winds up dying from the very problems. But uh, this is somewhat of a tangent because you know, it's it's definitely bad and uh preaching to the choir here.
So but it's nice to highlight that but I really want to focus on is what the program you've. Up that really addresses some of these things and actually before we which is called the depth adapt. I'm sorry and I think before we talk about the DAP, there's another component that I want you to elaborate on which is the this incentives for Physicians because it's not like Physicians are stupid or greedy or some kind of conspiracy mode.
It's the system is just not aligned for success. Absolutely. Yeah, and I've often said, you know Physicians are uh can be victims as much as patients are victims of this system. Um, you know, most doctors I know went into medicine to help people and they feel really frustrated that they're not able to do that because you know, the average Primary Care visit is now 8 to 12 minutes, depending on what study you look at most primary care doctors you see in 2500 patients.
Uh, you know on their roster and 20 25 patients a day, which as we know that's the you cannot possibly provide care and a 10 minute appointment and you're seeing 25 patients a day. Um, the the incentives for Physicians are based off on how many patients they're seeing a day, um with the average doctor and $200,000 of debt.
Um, they have to see that many patients A Day In order to. Pay off their debt and and be able to survive and then you have uh, you know pharmaceutical companies whose interests are obviously not always if or even most of the time aligned with ours or Physicians, you've got insurance companies, um whose incentives are not necessarily aligned either with ours and and then you end up with what we might call reimbursement based medicine.
Where the treatment that's chosen is based on what will be reimbursed by the insurance company not based based on what the evidence suggests is the best option. So you've got all these misaligned incentives which almost guarantee that uh, the type of care that's offered to patients is not in their best interest or even in the Physicians best.
So it's really a Minefield that's almost a lined or guaranteed to essentially implode. No surprise that we have the the epidemic of chronic disease that you cited and there's a lot of other supporting evidence for this. So why don't we now shift over let's just any other um preliminary items you want to discuss before that.
We jump into the Adaptive program that you've developed. No, I mean I I think I would just say that um, the the the parrot the Paradigm just clarified like there's three issues here one is that uh, there's a mismatch between what our bodies are hard-wired for and the way that we're living now, and I'm sure we'll talk more about that as part of the part of death to is the medical paradigm.
Um that we have is totally smashed with what we need for chronic disease, which we've already talked about and then third is the way that care is delivered is is mismatched and we talked about that in part, but I just wanted to add um. If we recognize that diet and lifestyle is a primary driver chronic disease, which you of course have been writing about for many many years.
Then we need to acknowledge that changing our behavior in our diet and lifestyle is one of the most important steps we can take to prevent reverse chronic disease and yet there's our medical system. Just pays like the briefest lip service to that and is not at all set up to actually deliver that kind of care.
So I think that's a really important, uh thing to point out as well. Yeah, it's almost impossible in the framework. You discuss all these s aligned incentives that mean that just I mean, how could you the best clinician in the world people have care of a chronic disease in 1215 physically impossible to do that?
Yeah, it's impossible and you know, you might get some vague advices the patient's leaving out the door. Hey, you know eat well and exercise and you know patient of course has no idea how to do that and actually needs real support. To put that in practice and that doesn't exist in the system. Yeah, and if we had if you and I both had the opportunity to treat someone uh with type 2 diabetes, which I'm sure you've treated a lots of people.
It doesn't cost $14,000 a year. It probably doesn't cost a thousand four hundred dollars a year and my guess if I was really tied to it, I could probably treat it for under $100 and maybe less. Yeah, I mean and not just treated. Reverse reverse it get rid of it, you know. Yeah make it disappear. So yeah, just I mean these principles work and you know, well before we get in to adapt, I'm just wondering I've always thought that.
It's like that the system is somehow somewhat like an alcoholic and that many alcoholics cannot to improve until they actually are in the gutter and I'm wondering if you think your view of the conventional system is that things are going to get a lot worse before the incentives in the motivation is required to turn to these therapies that truly address the foundational closet.
Yeah. That's a great question. I've gotten this lat. Um as I talk about the book and I I say there's a kind of glass half full answer and there's a glass half empty answer. I think I mean the upshot is I think we're going to get to where we need to get to one way or the other but there's an easy way and a hard way.
Um, the easier way would be is if we proactively decide as a, you know society that we need to make these changes and we we start. Um doing that before the ship completely thinks um, the glass half empty, uh version is that we just continue on our current trajectory and the healthcare system can just completely implodes under the burden that you know, growing burden of chronic disease and then we have to kind of start not from scratch, but we're forced to make these changes because it becomes.
Abundantly clear that that there's no way that we can keep going with business as usual. Now. If you held a gun to my head and asked me which I thought was more likely, uh, frankly, I think unfortunately that it's probably going to be the latter. Um, because I just don't. It's hard to see where the political will is going to come from to change the tide because there's so many deeply entrenched Financial interests that want to maintain the status quo.
Yeah, I was going to say I wasn't agreeing with the political component. I mean that's ultimately one of them but there's this fascist Corporation corporate influence on the government. So, you know, there's this as you mentioned these powerful Financial incentives that essentially control the regulatory bodies that we have that make it virtually impossible.
Like you cannot do anything– with with Monsanto Roundup in this country. I mean, they've totally. Wisely and smartly from a business perspective captured the federal Regulatory Agencies and their said the only thing you can do is good work up from the bottom from the consumer often and make them and allow them to make educated choices.
Yeah and pharmaceutical industry spends, uh orders of magnitude more lobbying Congress per year than uh, something like the gun lobby which we hear a lot about how powerful the gun lobby is, but they pale in comparison to the pharmaceutical Lobby. It's 10 days spent 10. More uh each year on lobbying Congress and the gun lobby does so.
Yeah. These are real problems that aren't just going to go away, uh, because we want them to. All right. So we're going to stop throwing snowballs at the the problem and describing the terrible disaster that we but it is important to highlight the depth of the problem because thankfully there's clinicians like yourself and others of course, but there's a handful of people who really understand that the foundational level how to turn this around and not only do you have the clinical knowledge to do that.
But you've also sort of develop a specific strategy with your adapt program. Framework that I I'm really intrigued with and really supportive of so, I think it's a good time to discuss which up with great. Yeah. So, uh, the adopt framework has you know, the word adopt, of course I chose because we need to adapt we need to adapt individually to our environment which is changed dramatically from what it was for most of our evolutionary history as human beings.
We need to adapt our medical Paradigm to one that's more suited to tackle chronic disease rather than just acute problems putting Band-Aids on acute problems. And we need to adapt the way that we deliver Health Care in this country and everywhere for that matter, um in a way that's that that supports the interventions that will have the biggest impact on chronic disease.
So those are the really the three separate elements of the framework realigning our diet behavior in our lifestyle with what our body. They're hardwired for. Changing the medical Paradigm to one that prevents and reverses chronic disease like type 2 diabetes instead of just trying to manage it for the whole patient's life and then 3 updating the way that we deliver care.
So it's supports the most the most important interventions which again are diet lifestyle and behavior change. So I'm happy to talk about each of those individually. Yeah, I think you know, most of the people here are pretty familiar with some of the specific strategies. I don't need think we focus on that so much unless you have some.
Interesting perspectives on it, but I'm really curious for you to dive deep into this strategy. I think it's really a brilliant Innovation and offers, uh, a real tangible hope and solution to uh an alternative to what. What's happening? Because it's not just telling people educating its really integrating.
The clinicians is emollient. Do it in a really elegant way. Yeah sure. So I mean maybe we can use type 2 diabetes as an example because this is a shockingly common disturbingly common disorder that affects as we know now 100 million people at least according to the statistics you and I know that there are more more people than not so so let's take a hypothetical person who is goes into their doctor and their die.
No. That with prediabetes. So this means, you know blood sugar fasting glucose may be 105 or something like that. Hemoglobin A1c 5 what you know, so they go in there doctor says, well your blood sugar's a little bit High and the current standard of care and conventional medicine is to do nothing in this situation.
It's not high enough where they start prescribing medication. Well, that's actually helpful. Yeah. I mean in this case it is but what they'll say is like come back when you have type 2 diabetes. And then, you know, then we'll address it. Um, but what could happen in that situation is. Uh, you know, it could look something like this.
Okay. The good news is we've discovered this. You know that your blood sugar is high. It's not a full-fledged type 2 diabetes yet and the earlier we intervene the better prognosis you're going to have you know, the more chance that we have of preventing our reversing this and and and getting you back to normal blood sugar and making sure you never progress the type 2 diabetes and in order to do that.
Uh, we need to address your diet and your lifestyle because we know that's the primary driver this condition. And so what we're going to do is we're going to set you up with a health coach. Who is going to you know, come to your house do a pantry clean out? They're going to take you shopping.
They're Gonna Give You recipes and meal plans. They're going to work intensively with you to adopt this diet because we know that information is not enough to change Behavior. If it was we wouldn't be in this situation that we're in now. I can't just tell you to eat while I have to actually give you some support in order to do that.
And then we're going to set you up with a you know, a personal trainer at the gym and they're going to get you on an exercise and physical activity program that's going to also support these efforts and the good news is your insurance company is going to cover all of that because they recognize that.
They could save potentially half million dollars over the course of your lifetime just by preventing you from getting this one single leaf. And so they're gonna spend a few thousand dollars now to save a half million dollars over the course of your lifetime. So that's one just small example of how this the chain the this this model could work because uh, it's actually focusing on preventing the disease before it happens or.
Sing it once it started to progress along that track and nothing that I just said is not possible given our current technology resources, um, you know, and even the system as it currently exists this could happen tomorrow. Um, if it was the way that we decided to offer care. Yeah, and I think using type 2 diabetes was a brilliant, uh pick because as we know the foundational cause of that is insulin resistance and insulin resistance is the core of almost every single chronic degenerative disease.
We have arthritis heart disease cancer Alzheimer's if you take care of that if you're not only treating diabetic complications, you're preventing all these other diseases, right? So that's why it's so cool. And uh, you know, so this Integrated Health coach is part of your part of your process. I think it's broader though in that you have developed this collaborative practice model and Embraces of streamlined operation reduced overhead bureaucracy and really cuts to the core.
I mean of what we need to do and so why don't you expand on that because it really is yeah like a lot so. Uh, you know, one of the key changes of this model, of course is more time with patients. We've already talked about why that's necessary. If you're going to be talking to someone about their diet their physical activity their sleep their Stress Management and all these things.
You can't do that in a 10 minute appointment. Um, we we need to uh, start incorporating a team-based approach to care and some of the best most Progressive institutions are already doing this but uh that recognizes that. Um, you know a patient who is dealing with a condition like type 2 diabetes.
Just seeing a doctor for 10 minutes once every six months is not going to cut it. They need support implementing those diet and lifestyle changes and um, they need people to help help them understand the significance of their of their blood test results. They need people to make recommendations.
Uh, You know about how to actually address those with diet and lifestyle and behavior change. So, uh in this collaborative practice model teams, uh, you know, doctors and other licensed providers, uh, along with nurse practitioners, uh, physician assistants was also have a broad scope of practice and can do a lot of what a doctor can do but often can spend more time with patients with health coaches and nutritionists who can provide specific guidance on all of the diet and lifestyle Behavior.
But then as you mentioned, um doing that within a context is really set up to support people who are struggling with chronic disease. So that means longer appointment times it means. Um getting rid of all of the red tape bureaucracy over, you know, bloated inefficient, uh, electronic medical record systems that have all kinds of stuff that just get in the way and and frustrate doctors, um, you know, using technology to automate every the things that can be automated so that that actually leaves more time for the things that should never be automated the you know, the face-to-face direct patient care, which is so.
Um, and you know using uh, you know things like handouts online classes video meetings group CARE where people with similar condition get together and actually connect with each other and there's some Community that's built around that. Um, really, uh, you know, there's so many things that we can take from other areas outside of medicine implied in medicine and bring it into the 21st century in a way that really truly supports the reversal of chronic disease and that's what the collaborative practice model is all about.
Yeah, we can really leverage technology and I was an early adopter of technology and I think I had electronic medical records in the mid early 90s. So and now is pretty much standard. Uh, but it is a challenge to do that and still have that dialogue and interaction. Yeah Asian with the patient.
I've heard horror stories with it that doctors never even looks at the patient's entire visit. Yeah, just the computer. There are some that are better than I mean there's some EMR that are actually designed for this type of medicine that we're talkin about and they strip out all of the hosp stuff that you don't really need.
Um, And they focus on only what you do need and they have actually, uh, like the one that we use has all kinds of features that make it really easy to quickly enter what you need to enter so that I can focus on the patient, but I also have a nurse practitioner with me. And she does all the note taking so I can work, you know just make eye contact with the patient and do what I need to do and that's part of this team based approach to care as well.
Yeah, you know from my experience as a clinician unless you can. Have that deep communication judges, you're going to fail miserably as a question absolutely essential so but I think what's really important about your model is that you're integrating these Allied Health Care practitioners and not necessarily the north threat nurse practitioners rpas.
My view are pretty close to a physician physician level of experience and expertise. Absolutely. The health coaches in the attrition is now, you know, we both said nutritionist, but I want to emphasize this is. Early train functional medicine style nutritionist damn the basics. I mean the most diet is not a dietitian conventional addition to different light years apart so and leverage their skills because they they can I mean someone's got invest hours and hours in this patient before they turn around and these are the these are the the in my experience of the clinicians that are most able to do it.
So perhaps you can comment on that. Absolutely. I mean we know only 8% of people actually fulfill their their New Year's resolutions and there's a ton of evidence on Behavior change. That's that the that uh, strongly suggest that as I said before information is not enough. It's not enough to just tell someone eat healthy and exercise.
I just doesn't work. That's not how you know human beings, um need more than information in order to successfully change their behavior, especially if we talk about. Term and uh, what we know is that um people need support they need support from someone who is not only knowledgeable and has the information that they need but who is actually trained in things like motivational interviewing, uh, coaching to strengths and positive psychology and other techniques that that are.
Evidence-based that have been shown with you know with evidence to actually promote successful Behavior change and so a well-trained health coach or well-trained nutritionist that has these skills can be kind of on the ground with the patient working with them side-by-side. To actually put these changes into practice and uh, you know, the good news is I think more and more clinics are starting to employ health coaches and nutritionists.
We have health coaching nutritionists that our Clinic I know many others do but we're still on, you know on the edge of this it's not yet something that you see at every clinic, but I believe it has to be have to get there and ultimately. I would even say that the proper ratio of health coaches and nutritionists and doctors would be probably like five or six health coaches and nutritionists to one doctor in each practice.
Yeah, you just anticipated my question as I was in think it was somewhere between 5 and 10. Yeah, I would say yeah, five six seven depending on the patient load and you know, uh, we're moving towards the program at our Clinic where when the patient comes in they actually work intensively with the health coach and nutritionists for several months.
They even see the doctor now, of course, you can't make hard and fast rule some people need to see the doctor right away. They have a more serious issue that needs to be dealt with but in general if someone has a what we could call a lifestyle disease, which is of course most chronic diseases and they haven't yet taken the steps to address their diet and lifestyle.
What's the point of them even working with the doctor until they get that stuff under control? Because we both know. That in many cases. If once they get that stuff under control, they may never even need to see the doctor. Okay, so I think you'd have to be highly irrational to disagree which both you just said.
I mean it makes perfect sense. So the Practical challenge to implementing that strategy however would be uh compensation out. The patient's paint a pocket doesn't matter. But typically we rely on third-party payers like insurance companies to to help the patient pay for this process and in my experience most most health coaches aren't billable hours.
Our billable visit. So what is your take on this? And then how do you see that? Uh barrier obstacle being overcome? Yeah. So this goes back to your earlier question about how we going to get there um there so there is a there are a few interesting models that have emerged. They're sort of test beds.
There's oral health indent they're based in Denver and they operate in the Rocky Mountain area and they are uh, basically trying to. Type 2 diabetes with health coaches and they they use uh, something called capitated payments where they go to the insurance company and they say give us your patients with type 2 diabetes.
We will reverse, you know will reverse type 2 diabetes will reverse pre-diabetes or at least get your diabetics back to pre-diabetes and we're going to do this mostly with health coaches and if we are successful you pay this much. If we're not successful you pay us less if we are more successful than we then we said we would be passed more.
So that's that's already an attempt to realign incentives your it's actually performance-based, uh compensation instead of the way. It usually works in medicine where the compensation happens no matter what and uh, That system has been pretty successful and I think um, it's a it's a good proof of concept that that could actually work even within our current system.
But you know, this is this is just one company in one one area. Um, so if that will need to roll out obviously on a wider scale for it to be successful and whether or not that happens goes back to that other question, you know, is that going to happen or voluntarily or willingly or is it going to happen because it.
To happen and it's just one insurance company referring to uh, I think there may be that more than one insurance company that sends patients to them. But okay. Um, so there's again this is an example of it working within our current system. Um, but it's it's not yet widely available. Yeah, yeah, so that is the key because the really, you know, when I have was seen patients.
I I applied a similar model. It was like 20 years ago. We had the bulk the bulk of the Care was administered essentially by health coaches. They had a little more but essentially they were health coaches. I mean we embraced also, uh emotional components because that's of course another massive component and it's, you know, leading to the ability to implement the suggestions because.
Typically, there's some psychological trauma or barrier that is there or disbelief that they can do it or some secondary gain for being sick. You know, we've got address those issues. Yeah. Well, there are a couple other developments that I think are positive. Uh, so the national board of medical examiners has recently teamed up with the international Consortium of Health and Wellness coaches or IC H WC to try to create some standards for you know, what level of training for health coaches and that's.
You can step in the right direction in terms of legitimizing health coaching and the eyes of medical professionals and with you know, eventually incorporating them into the Health Care system so that there is reimbursement offered for their services and you can see that there is an actual movement for the NBS to provide certification for health coaches.
Uh, they have teamed up with this. Yeah. I see H WC to that is defined standards. Yeah, so that's that's. Development and then uh the CDC, uh, which is not known as being a particularly Progressive organization has come out and and recognize publicly the need for health coaching and the role and contribution to health coaching could have so I think we will see.
Even without the full collapse of our Healthcare System. I think we will see more integration of Health coaching in the next uh, you know decade whether we can get all the way to where we need to get to is is another question. Yes exciting. So, um anything else you want to add to that that uh expand on maybe some some components we skipped over.
Um, I think one of the you know, this probably goes without saying for your audience, but um, it's really is a paradigm shift to move from the idea of just using drugs to suppress symptoms to treating the underlying cause of a problem and um, I found an even just with friends and family members people who've been aware of my work for a while often get questions.
You know, how do I deal with this symptom? And you know, I assume since we've been following my work and they know the basic perspective that they'll know that my answer is is going to be you know. You got to look for what that symptom is there in the first place, but I think it's Insidious. We all many of us were you know, we've been conditioned for so long to think.
In terms of symptoms depression that we often forget. Um, even when we have some awareness that that's not the right approach that that's the way to go and let me you know one example that comes up over and over again is uh behavioral disorders in children. So I open my book with a story of the kid that I treated, uh that I call Leo.
Um, and he had. Oh, you know the combination of of uh, disorders that are now disturbingly common sensory processing disorder and ADHD and you know, some kind of aspects of autism spectrum disorder. Um, he was you know, uh, Would throw just these epic Tantrums? Um, it was really difficult for his parents.
He couldn't really even go to school because he because of his kind of obsessive-compulsive Tendencies and at no point during, you know, his parents took him to lots and lots of different doctors. Nobody even suggested the possibility that it was something in his diet. Or you know, I have a metal toxicity or any number of other underlying causes that could be contributing to this poor kids symptoms.
It was just a parade of different medications that they would try to address these symptoms and his parents didn't consider that and and that's that's what we need to shift. And that is a big part of the adapt framework is shifting. The attention away from suppressing symptoms with drugs or even with herbs or supplements.
I mean herbs and supplements have a tremendous role to play in treatment. But unfortunately, sometimes they're used in a similar way where you know, you have this symptom you take this. Supplement you have this symptom you take this herb, whereas they can actually be used in a much more powerful way to address the underlying cause of problems and I know I'm preaching to the choir here as well.
But I just wanted to point that out because I think at the fundamental level that's the biggest shift we have to make in terms of our the way. We approach chronic disease. I'm sure we're both in agreement that. Didn't know don't necessarily need to avoid all symptomatic relief. I mean as long as you're no no, it's okay to relieve symptoms as long as you're addressing the foundational call exactly and used as a crutch or a band and you know, that's a crutch for band-aid and long-term use of that is.
Yeah, and sometimes symptoms can become their own cause like if you feel the pain is is intense enough that can then interfere with sleep which then causes other symptoms. So I yeah, we're absolutely on the same page there. I just think you know, like you said, we always want to start with that exploration.
What what is it the root of this problem and at least ask that question. It's not always possible to answer it, but we should at least be asking. Yeah, you'd mentioned sleep and I think anyone who's interested in natural medicine has an appreciation at least at the function of sleep. I recently read.
Dr. Matthew Walker's book. Why we sleep if you write that one always I mean, I thought I understood the importance of sleep, but I only understood like 10% of it. I mean, I don't that was your experience. I said, wow, how did I miss all this? Very eye-opening? Yeah, so I won. If you could just because you did talk about that a little bit in your book how one third of Americans are getting less than six hours of sleep and literally 50 years ago.
55 years ago was like I was only two. Yeah. Yeah, so why should expand that because sleep is so crucial to getting healthy. It's absolutely crucial. Most people if you ask them, you know, what are the most important things you can do to maintain healthy body weight the top they're going to say eat a good diet and exercise.
People who study obesity have now rekt have now, uh come out and said that actually sleep. Is the second most important factor Beyond diet in terms of maintaining healthy body weight and even a single night of sleep deprivation has been shown to cause insulin resistance in healthy people with no pre-existing insulin resistance.
Just getting a few hours less sleep than you should impairs your judgment around food so that um the next day after a poor asleep. You're more likely to make uh, you know bad choices around food, which of course then contributes to uh, weight gain and directly. So so, um, you know sleep if you look at traditional cultures, most sleep 78 hours most human beings need that amount of sleep.
Of course, there are some outliers. But today as you mentioned a third of people are getting fewer than 6 hours of sleep. And that has just incredible repercussions not just for for weight gain and obesity and diabetes, but for brain and cognitive Health, which you always see this epidemic of Alzheimer's um, you know it growing each year, um for auto immune functions sleep is absolutely crucial now, we have estimates suggesting that up to 1 in 6 Americans have autoimmune disease.
Now which is um, pretty staggering number considering that the burden of autoimmune disease, um, and just just you know at a more basic level, um, like uh, Dr. Walker, um explained in his book sleep is the time where we rejuvenate and regenerate our mind and our body and our spirit and if we don't get enough sleep that doesn't happen and we basically start to fall apart in every area of our life.
And yeah, it's hard to overstate how important it is. And the problem is that it's so easy to think that you're an outlier and that you can get by with less needed and you know, we got so much to do and doesn't really matter and they just don't get it. Yeah, so that's the key thing. But you know, you said all the components of of the diseases but I think Foundation asleep is like one of the most crucial things far more important than exercise for.
Yeah for help and probably mitochondria health. I don't think Walker goes into it and the book and I'm wondering the other top I wanted to interview him, but he just doesn't want to let me interview him so he but because one of the things he does not go into his book is about the impact of EMF exposures specifically electrical fields at night and I'm wondering if you've done any work with that in your own Clinic about helping people improve their sleep by shutting off the electrical circuits in their bedroom at night.
Do have some basic recommendations that we give out about that admittedly. It's not an area that I have a lot of expertise in but we have patients who are highly sensitive to that and have found that that those changes have made more of a difference. In their health then even, you know diet and exercise and Stress Management and all the other things that we tend to talk about.
So I think that you know, just from what I've seen there's a pretty big very uh A variation in level since tivity and for some people that can actually be the most significant difference or change that they can make well I would opinion that the or a pine I guess would be the correct him for uh that.
They may not notice it but it's still in pairing them biologically. So, you know, we did we just don't appreciate it because they have resilience or they're just not symptomatic, but that doesn't mean necessarily. They're not being impaired by it. Absolutely and that's one of the problems with the modern environment in general.
There's so many influences that. Antithetical or harmful to health it can be really difficult to piece all of those out. I mean if you're living in an urban area, you're exposed to a lot of Airborne contaminants that you don't even really recognize that are going in and I mean that can be like, uh discouraging and in a way, but for me it just makes.
The importance of nailing all the basics, um that much more significant because if you're eating really well getting plenty of nutrients, uh, you're sleeping enough you're exercising and moving your body you're managing your stress, you've got connection with people in your life. All of those things are going to make you more resilient.
They're going to make you more able to deal with the things that we can avoid just being in the modern world. And so, um, those are. Always what I come back to those Basics. Yeah, and um. You mentioned exercise of course and we didn't talk a lot about it. But I want to uh, thank you and point out that you were really an early adopter of movement.
And I remember interviewing you in a previous interview when you pointed out that you are walking 7000 steps a day and I had no thing Lou how many steps I was walking now, you know, I'm now in probably 15 20 thousand steps a day, but you are really one of the first people to point out to me the importance of just simple movement.
So thank you for that and for recognizing that early on yeah, my pleasure. I mean. Sir, it's something that I have focused on for a long time. I'm actually standing at a standing desk here. I've got my desk over here. My latest thing is I have a even when I'm sitting I'm now pedaling the under the desk elliptical.
Oh, it's a neat little thing. So even when I'm in the chair and I'm sitting I'm moving my legs a little bit. Um, but yeah this uh, I think that's the biggest shift in our understanding that's. In the past, uh, 10-15 years is yes exercise is important distinct periods of exercise is important, but just not sitting as much and moving more throughout our day is it has a bigger impact for most people on their health and well-being.
So if someone is completely sedentary. It would be more important for them to increase their they're just general activity to walk more steps to stand more than it would be for them to go to the gym two or three times a week. I mean, ideally they would do both but um that that non-exercise physical activity is probably a bigger predictor of mortality or lifespan than exercises self.
And I've interviewed. Dr. Joan barnico who's a real early leader in that from NASA and pointing those out some of those steps. So thank you for doing that. And then I want to get back to the Adaptive program and sort of get an update as to where you are. Now what your plans are for the future because I'm really excited about this model.
And actually we'd like to facilitate and support you in it's uh spread. Hey, yeah. So we've we've trained over 400 clinicians. Now, are you have either graduated or in some stage of the training at the moment? Um, so we have a program for for license health care provider. And then in uh, June of this year, we're launching our adapt health coach training program.
Oh great, which was an obvious Next Step given on my understanding and recognition of the important role. Are you going to coordinate their training with a certification by the national board of medical examiner's it's going to be certified by the IC H WC which is okay group that's working with.
Okay. And um, so anyone who does the health coach our program will be. Eligible to sit for the IC H WC board exam and get that that accreditation which would be internationally recognized. So we're really excited about that. And um, I view that as the next step in this collaborative practice model because I'm we're training the practitioners and we're training them on why they need health coaches and nutritionist and then we're training the nutritionists and the health coaches on how to work effectively with licensed clinicians, and we.
Want to create that Synergy all under this adapt framework umbrella. So so that's uh what we're doing and I'm really excited about it. So we'll definitely give us the links and and the for this because we'll put it put them in to the article. So people can sign up for that if your clinician or even a health coach now my understanding for health coach and I want to I'm curious as to what your requirements are to enter that health coach training program because the more.
The less rigorous academic you make it the more likely it's going to be useful because I mean there's some really motivated knowledgeable Housewives now not to disparage Housewives but no formal medical training or health training yet. They can be some of the most unbelievable healers in the planet.
Absolutely, and that is uh, one of the important things about health coaching is not to make the eligibility requirements to stringent because we need to train an army of Health garage. Absolutely and um, if you think about the skills that a health coach needs to succeed it's really more about developing a relationship with the client, uh, lots of Studies have shown that it's the quality of the relationship.
And of course, you know, this is true from a doctor. With a doctor and a patient as well, but it's with the health coach. It's even more about the supportive nurturing relationship that's developed. Uh between the the coach and the client that makes them successful over the long term. Yes coach needs to have some specific knowledge in nutrition and lifestyle behavior modification, but that's actually relatively easy.
To teach an acquire what's more important is that they have those critical relationship, um, you know building skills that the ability to um, help the client to discover their own intrinsic motivation to change instead of telling them what to do because that expert model of care where the the doctor or the authority tells the you know, the client or the patient what to do that's appropriate in some circumstances, but it doesn't work in a healthcare.
In context so health coach is more like a guide or an ally that helps the client to discover their own Solutions. So you don't need to have a bio chemistry background for that. You don't need to, you know have uh, four years of graduate school to qualify for that. So, yeah, um, most people who meet some basic requirements will be able will be eligible for the speaking as long as we're on acquirements.
I'm wondering if you've considered adding. Some baseline parameters about their own personal health because it would be seen to be counterintuitive to be taking instructions from someone who's morbidly obese, you know, not exercising not sleeping. Well and really hasn't applied these so I suspect you have but I haven't discussed it with you.
Yeah, that's interesting. Uh one that we've been tossing around and thinking about how to approach. Um, That's true. I would agree with that and on the other hand some of the best healers and best. People, you know teachers are people who have struggled with something that teaching and guiding like you like so so that we're not sure how we're gonna approach that yet at this point.
Well, if they're still in the process it would seem to be useful to integrate that but obviously it's something you're going to work out and if they've struggled with obesity and they've had success. I mean, that's incredible. I mean, there's a lot of people out there like that and maybe there's an introductory phase where they're interested in then you could coach them.
To be a healthy and once they graduate then they can go into the program. And then yeah, I mean part of what we're we're offering that I'm really excited about is is um the in order to get the IC H WC, uh accreditation, uh, you have to complete 50 practice coaching sessions and so through my consumer platform.
We have people who are looking for health coaching and we're going to create a low-cost Health Care, uh coaching Clinic where the students in the uh adapt health. Training program work with these people really affordable sessions. And a way that they can get experience coaching and then people looking for coaching can get very very affordable health coaching sessions.
So I'm really excited about that this currently exists or is this going to be developed in a few months? Okay good because it's going to be a while before we get this interview out. So hopefully we'll have that available. That is just been nominated. Because that is the missing part of the equation, you know, you know, I've been doing this for 20 years and teaching people and it's helped others a number of people who can take the information apply personally, but that's a relatively minor small small percentage of population.
Most of them need to be met. That's mean you anything wrong with you is just the nature of human reality. Absolutely and I completely agree that that's the missing element and it's you know for years. It's something I've wanted to provide to people who follow my work is like, you know, like you said there's certain number of people who.
Read a book or read a blog post and they'll take that and they'll run with it and be successful. And then there are people who can afford to go work with a functional medicine or whatever, you know kind of Integrative Medicine clinician, but there's a whole Gap in there of people who would be don't need the whole nine yards, but can't get what they need just by reading or listening to a podcast and they need they need some support and that's that middle ground that we're approaching now.
Yes so critical and then you can use the information on the podcast or the Articles and support with the health coaches doing. Now I get it because sometimes like one or two little pieces. They don't make they can't connect the dots and what they do. Yeah. Yeah, now that's great. I am so excited man.
You have really knocked it out of the box and you know, this is exactly the type of thinking that we need to solve the solutions that you talked about early in the problem. And we've got serious, uh challenges to you know, essentially existential threat to the species that are not insignificant and we need out of the box thinking like you put together.
So I'm really grateful that there's Innovative guys like you out there, who are. Helping provide the solutions. Well, thank you. I mean, I feel like this is what I'm here to do at this point, and I'm I've been through it myself. Uh, and I just want to help everybody else is out there struggling with chronic disease, which is unfortunately.
Yeah, most people now. Yeah. Yeah, uh to find a better way through it and um, it's been an incredible teacher and learning experience for me. And I've I feel grateful that I actually like you said in the beginning of the interview, um illness can be a powerful teacher and it can be a blessing in disguise and it's made my life way better.
Actually, it doesn't have to be really true for any tragedy that you encounter in and that you know, having that perspective of turning it around and viewing it from a perspective of how this is can really was designed to make you a better person. Yeah, and once you do that it really alleviate the suffering that typically is associated with yeah.
So that's the tremendous opportunity we have here. That's great. Well, I'm here to support you and will definitely will probably rebound. At this as you continue to grow and you know, when we need to talk offline to about how we can work together with you so great concept. So, uh any other clothing items you'd like to re-emphasize or state.
No, I think that's it. I want to thank you again for the opportunity to get this message out there because that's an important one really is. And uh, you know, I didn't when I first read your book. I was a little skeptical because I think well, he's just rehashing old stuff. It wasn't it was really insightful and Innovative, which is exactly the type of material that we're seeking to provide with people.
So thank you for doing that. Well, thank you. Dr. McCall for everything you've done.
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