Episode 059: Joe Mather MD, From Family Medicine to Functional Medicine, A Paradigm Shift in Chronic Disease Care
In episode 59 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Wellbeing, I have an explorative conversation with my functional medicine colleague and dear friend Dr. Joe Mather.
Having connected with Joe, as a result of our mutual friend and colleague, Michael Ruscio, our friendship has quickly blossomed, bringing together two functional medicine practitioners seeking value based care and a critical eye to this new root cause resolution approach.
After sharing his story of supporting his mother with a functional medicine approach, Joe outlines the clinical importance of addressing foundational concerns with all of his functional medicine patients, regardless of the overt presenting symptoms.
Outlining skin rashes, IBS and joint pain as the most common presenting conditions he’s seeing clinically, Joe provides some insights into his clinical approach as to how he is determining the root level of dysfunction in these myriad of conditions.
Digging deeper into how he’s addressing gut health dysfunction specifically, as well as the overall stages of his clinical approach, Joe gives us a clear and concise framework by which compromised gut health can be addressed without unnecessary testing, supplements and medications. Emphasizing the importance of addressing the terrain over the overt condition, Joe reports how he is preventing recurrence of conditions by treating the terrain over simply symptoms alone.
We then get into a thoughtful critique of functional medicine, collectively sharing insights regarding the strengths of functional medicine as well as some of the more controversial, misguided approaches such as food sensitivity testing, isolated genetic testing and expensive testing in general.
Moving further into the role of medications, Joe shares how he is moderating medication use, not completely eschewing medications in lieu of supplements and herbs. Giving examples such as genetic predispositions for lp(a) as well excessive supplementation, Joe shares how he is careful to utilize all available tools to address chronic health conditions.
We close the conversation with a thought experiment: exploring where functional medicine can go next so that we can address some of the controversial areas lacking rigorous evidence, all with the intention of increasing education as well as improving the gold standard of root cause resolution care.
I am so grateful to be able to share the work of another colleague who is practicing value based and rigorous functional medicine care.
Please check out the links in the show notes to see more of Joe’s work and how you can become a patient of Dr. Mather’s!
Dr. Joe Mather’s Clinic: http://www.doctormather.com/
Episode 058: Jennifer Iserloh, Blending Alchemy, Nutrition and Functional Medicine to Optimize Health and Healing
In Episode 058 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Wellbeing, I have a wonderful conversation with my new friend, classically trained chef and certified yoga teacher Jennifer Iserloh.
Jennifer is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is the best-selling author of 50 Shades of Kale and Healthy Cheats as well as her most recent book: The Superfood Alchemy Cookbook.
In this conversation, we begin with an exploration of Jennifer’s childhood, the role of chronic disease and family food addiction to influence her career into the culinary arts. From here Jennifer shares how some of her own health issues and emotional attachment to food lead her into nutrition, functional medicine and publishing books about nourishing and delicious food.
She then pushes us into a discussion of creativity, artistry and the role of her yoga practice to deeply influence her professional and personal pursuits.
Digging into her role as a health coach as well as a coach for functional medicine practitioners like myself, we see how she blends practical tips and empathetic understanding to support her clients. She provides some very inspiring advice and guidance for innovative clinicians to bring greater awareness to their practice and overall healing pursuits.
Expanding into the art of holding the therapeutic space, we engage in a thought provoking conversation about the many ways in which we can promote engaged listening, storytelling and a narrative of wholism to provide the greatest chances for us all to heal and remained nourished.
We then lead the conversation to a discussion of alchemy, starting first with Jennifer’s definition of alchemy, and how she has taken a deep dive into alchemical principles and the medicinal properties of certain foods to make a comprehensive book blending in therapies for the mind, body, and spirit using much more than just food. She even provides an interesting perspective that functional and bioindividual medicine is one form of modern alchemy.
This conversation is so positively intense and I’m so happy to be able to share Jennifer’s work as well as her tremendous passion to help grow this greater movement of root cause resolution and bio-individual medicine.
Be sure to check out the links below to get Jennifer’s latest book as well as links to get her free online program accompanying the book!
Superfood Alchemy Cookbook:
Check out more of Jennifer's Work:
Episode 057: Laura Schoenfeld, MPH, RD, Finding Your Way, One Woman’s Deep Desire to Pursue Wellness, Helping Women Find Freedom, Faith, Health and Joy
In Episode 057 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Wellbeing, I have a deeply nourishing conversation with one of the most authentic healers I know, functional nutritionist and women’s health expert Laura Schoenfeld.
Laura has fascinating background, bringing a rigorous formal education in public health and dietetics into the world of integrative and ancestral wellness. Working alongside Chris Kresser to help mobilize the ancestral health movement through dogma and initial growing pains, Laura has been finding her own way beyond Paleo, incorporating her Christian faith and desire to help women find freedom and wellness outside of just food.
In this conversation, we begin by hearing about Laura’s early childhood and her spiritual roots as well as her beginnings in the health space, expanding her interest in psychology from her undergraduate education into her pursuit of an education in public health and nutrition. From there, Laura leads us deeper into the flowering of her faith, the origin of intentional and deep friendships that allowed her to accelerate her spiritual and personal growth.
Laura opens up about the process of bringing her faith and Christ into her work, sharing how she works professionally with individuals seeking to grow spiritually, all the while remaining authentic to her values every step of the way. Acknowledging her own spiritual challenges, Laura describes how she has found a personal and professional clarity coming from a foundation of faith. Expanding upon a personal Biblical verse, Laura shares how she has been able to value her own needs as well as others’, and keep integrity to her clinical and personal approach.
And with that, let’s dig into the show!
Episode 056: Darryl Edwards, How One Man is Changing Your Relationship with Play and Cultivating Wellness through Radical Authenticity
In episode 057 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Wellbeing I have a deeply authentic and powerful conversation with one of the leaders of the ancestral health movement, the creative mind behind Primal Play: Darryl Edwards.
Darryl has been featured on numerous podcasts, sharing his beautiful spirit and desire to change your relationship with exercise, interjecting movement and play into every aspect of our lives. Today, however, seeking to delve more into Darryl’s life story, we explore aspects of Darryl’s journey, starting in early childhood through his initial career pursuits culminating in a radical shift towards cultivating wellness in everything he pursues.
Hearing first about Darryl’s childhood and his original desire to enter medicine as a doctor, we then get a glimpse of the reframing and birthing of a new inner desire to explore computing and a relationship with technological intelligence.
Moving from here, Darryl continues exploring his early life and adulthood, sharing his original pursuits into investment banking and the financial arena followed by his awakening to begin modeling his life using an ancestral and evolutionary perspective.
Describing his “child like” and playful approach away from the jungle gym, Darryl outlines how his perspective has changed within the health and wellness field from one of dispensing of concrete knowledge, to one of playful curiosity, asking questions and holding space for others to cultivate their own questions and encourage openness rather than concrete certainty.
Moving into a discussion of human behavior, Darryl offers some insightful wisdom taken from the observation of humans as we collectively pursue convenience, yet accumulate chronic health issues.
Sharing ways to positively avoid convenience, Darryl provides his approach to addressing chronic health concerns by encouraging a playful mind, body and spirit, positively avoiding convenience and including play where you didn’t think it was possible.
Getting into a necessary, but perhaps controversial topic, Darryl and I begin to explore how the greater ancestral health movement currently needs to change in order to become more inclusive and address the current barriers in education, language and accessibility.
Sharing a personal example from his own life, seeking to help his mother address type ii diabete, Darryl explains how he had to change and adapt his own educational approach to practically help his mother make the changes necessary to positively improve her health.
Darryl ends the conversation sharing some of his amazing resources educating us all on the practical ways we can cultivate play into our lives. From his website including blog and videos, to a recently released book and Animal Moves play card deck, Darryl has created some of the most enriching resources for anyone seeking to avoid convenience and cultivate joy.
And with that, let’s dig into the show!
Check out Primal Play: https://www.primalplay.com/
Primal Deck: https://www.primalplay.com/fitness-deck
Episode 055: Scott Dolly, The Undefinable Healer: Utilizing Intuition, Movement Analysis, Soft Tissue Mobilization and Deep Curiosity to Redefine Performance and Rehabilitation
In Episode 055 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Wellbeing, I have one of my most beautifully intense and inspiring conversations with one of the top sports performance and rehabilitation specialists in the field, my close friend Scott Dolly.
Starting with an exploration of Scott’s early life, we get a clear picture of the deep spirituality and intuition that was being cultivated long before his pursuit of sports performance and rehabilitation.
We then move to a discussion of Scott’s methodical approach, illustrating, rather poetically, the inclusivity of his therapeutic techniques, outlining how he combines his empathic nature, pattern recognition, and a deep understanding of biomechanics and physiology to help individuals achieve optimal performance or rehab from challenging injuries.
Seeking to dispel the negativity attached to consistent judgement and labeling, Scott opens our eyes to see that as healers, we should not define ourselves simply by our formal training, and we should consistently seek further education as part of a greater exploration of ways to support healing.
Getting more specific, Scott begins an exploration of his manual techniques, defining and describing biomechanics, myofascial disturbance and the use of instrumented assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM).
Providing concrete clinical examples, Scott illustrates how his manual therapies must be combined with optimal nutrition and lifestyle habits in order to facilitate healing or improved performance.
Expressing his humility, Scott shares his evolution as a healer, outlining the changes in his nutritional and manual approaches, echoing the importance of continual and iterative improvements.
Expanding into some of the biggest challenges facing the health of our broad society, Scott offers his opinions on what he sees as the biggest barriers and drivers to dysfunction.
Getting practical, Scott leads us through what he calls “honoring the simplicity of movement” asking us to simply start moving our bodies through the breadth of angles and loads for which it was designed.
We close the conversation with a poignant exploration of the purpose of training and the desire to become more aware and mindful of our athletic pursuits.
There is so much in this discussion and I am really grateful to have crossed paths with Scott during my time in Winchester, and so grateful to continue my friendship with this dynamic healer.
And with that, let’s dig into the show!
Explore Scott’s Clinic: http://www.evolutionhpr.com/
Episode 054: Oren Sofer: Mindful and Non-violent Communication: A Path to More Nourishing Relationships
In Episode 054 of A Medicinal Mind, Wisdom and Wellbeing, I welcome a visionary in the field of mindfulness and deliberate, non-violent communication Oren Sofer.
Oren’s background is beyond fascinating. As you will hear in the podcast, he brings years of training in meditation from the Buddhist spiritual tradition as well training seeking to transform the way we communicate and interact with others.
Formally speaking, he has a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University, and spent two and a half years of living as an (renunciate) at various branch monasteries. Today, his teaching combines classical Buddhist training with the accessible language of secular mindfulness.
In this conversation, we begin the exploration with a look at Oren’s early childhood, its spiritual roots and his earliest experiences delving into the world of intimate awareness. Getting rather personal, Oren shares one of his most powerful experiences early in his life beginning his push to wanting to further understand the depth of emotion and what it really means to be human.
Oren offers his perspective on the power of loss and sorrow, letting us all see the universal nature of this experience and the beautiful acts of compassion and connection that can happen my allowing ourselves to fully experience it.
Beginning our deepening discussion of violence and non-violence Oren outlines how human beings seek both consciously and unconsciously to meet various needs and that this pursuit often times can lead to needs not being met and interpersonal conflict.
Defining violence as “any avoidable impairment of human needs,” Oren shares insight from Johan Galtung as to what perhaps really underlies an act of violence and how as a society we may be committing more acts of violence than we really know.
Stepping into the practical. Oren provides us with a framework for seeking understanding as well as collaborative clarification in order to address others needs and our own in a unified and non-violent manner.
Drawing from his just released book: Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication, Oren provides some of the most essential practices, techniques and tools for achieving more constructive clarity in our relationships, and ultimately meet your needs.
As you will hear throughout the conversation, Oren’s passion and expertise for the craft of mindful and non-violent communication and I cannot urge you enough to order Oren’s book: Say What You Mean. I have yet to find another book that practically addresses the most challenging aspects of cultivating nourishing relationships and engaging in the sticky, difficult conversations like Oren’s. Check out the show notes for a link to Oren’s page as well as links to order his book!
And with that let’s dig into the show
Oren’s Webpage: https://www.orenjaysofer.com/about/
Get Oren’s Book:
Episode 053: Neil Nathan MD: Navigating the Therapeutic Healing Relationship: How A Curious Physician is Helping Patients Recover from Chronic Illness
In episode 053, I welcome the incredibly talented and voraciously curious physician and expert in the field of environmental toxicity and chronic infections Dr. Neil Nathan MD.
Dr. Nathan is a board certified family physician and as you will hear in the podcast has an extensive background additionally in the world of pain management. He has spent over 40 years helping individuals recover from complex chronic illnesses. The depth of his expertise incorporating multiple healing modalities is beyond extraordinary and his determination to continually learn and explore the ways in which his patient’s can heal is matched by very few.
Recently Dr. Nathan released a groundbreaking NY Times bestselling book. Toxic: Heal Your Body from Mold Toxicity, Lyme Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and Chronic Environmental Illness and while he is certainly known for his expertise in these domains, his passions and skills as a healer extend far beyond than that of just chronic environmental illness.
In this discussion, we start off with a exploration of Dr. Nathan’s early childhood, hearing about his spiritual upbringing with Orthodox Judaism and his eventual journey into numerous other spiritual traditions and practices. Distilling down his spiritual core into three fundamental mantras: Be Mindful, Be Grateful and Be of Service, Dr. Nathan provides some tremendous insight into perhaps the ultimate purpose of any religious or spiritual pursuit.
Moving from here, Dr. Nathan offers a very personal look into the diverse explosion of his medical education, most of which occurred AFTER his time in medical school As a self proclaimed seeker, Dr. Nathan shares the real reason behind his exploration of osteopathy, pain management and other healing modalities, as a seeker trying to discover the tools that would better support the spiritual wellbeing of his patients.
Expanding into the art of medicine, Dr. Nathan articulates the essence of medicine as truly listening and holding space so that patient can engage positively in the act of story telling.
Dr. Nathan provides incredibly practical insights for any current practitioner or student of the healing arts as to the most supportive ways to listen, to collect a history, to hold space, to remain curious, to engage in the day after day, month after month journey of helping to remove the roadblocks preventing patients from healing.
We close the podcast with a critical analysis of functional medicine as Dr. Nathan helps us to understand how to really discover the root causes of illness and not just treat effects with supplements and drugs.
Offering wisdom from 40 years of practice, Dr. Nathan shares his observation that as a healer, you will come into contact with fundamentally very different types of patients. Using the terms difficult vs complex or complicated, Dr. Nathan shares a compassionate view towards physicians who feel they are not successful in the practice of medicine, telling us that the most challenging art of medicine is discerning the complex patients who are dedicated to healing no matter how long it takes, vs. the difficult or demanding patients who may still have unconscious or other blocks preventing them from progressing in the healing journey.
There is a wealth of wisdom in this podcast, and I strongly encourage you to take time to listen to the many insights of Dr. Nathan as well as check out and buy his book Toxic.
And with that let’s dig into the show!
Dr. Neil Nathan’s Main Page
Podcast with Better Health Guy
Buy the Book: Toxic: Heal Your Body from Mold Toxicity, Lyme Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and Chronic Environmental Illness
Episode 052: Kelly Halderman MD, How One Woman Came By Beautiful Serendipity To Integrative Medicine, Healing Chronic Disease Through Mind-Body Medicine, Nutrigenomics and Augmented Detoxification
In Episode 052 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Wellbeing, I share space with integrative and naturopathic physician, a pioneer in the field of nutrigenomics, Dr. Kelly Halderman.
Dr. Kelly Halderman completed a Family Practice Medicine internship with the University of Minnesota; has a Naturopathic Medical Degree from Kingdom College of Natural Health where she is the current Academic Dean of Students. She holds certification in MethylGenetic Nutrition by the Nutrigenetic Research Institute and certification from The American Functional Neurology Institute in Functional Neurology and Neurofeedback.
Despite the temptation to simply geek out in the world of nutrigenomics, detoxification and chronic disease, we spend most of this enlightening conversation exploring the miraculous background and journey of Dr. Kelly.
Beginning with a walk through her early childhood, we are given a glimpse at Dr. Kelly’s spiritual background, the ethos by which her first years were imbued. Sharing reflections from her experiences witnessing her father’s own chronic illness, Dr Kelly provides a rather raw showcase of her first visions of healthcare, physicians and the medical system as a whole.
Stepping away from her years as a witness to medicine, she then leads us into her own years in medical school and residency, ultimately leading to her own period of suffering, disillusionment and incredible awakening into the true power of healing when one surrenders to the powers of something greater. Offering story after story of her life’s journey, Dr. Kelly illustrates the foundation by which she currently practices blending her deep spiritual roots with her fascination with the quantifiable, the biochemical and the poetically physiological.
Stepping away to end our journey in the world of nutrition, genomics, and detoxification, Dr Kelly starts us off with a description and definition of nutrigenomics. From here she guides us into practical applications of how understanding one’s genetic template, its current state of expression, and the nutrients we supply it impact the progression or reversal of chronic disease. Providing a solid foundation for understanding our genetic code Dr. Kelly leads us into a thoughtful explanation of how certain genetic variations or SNP’s when expressed within the context of poor lifestyle habits can lead to compounding negative effects and perpetuation of chronic disease. She even gives us a sampling of some of the most common genetic variants and how she is seeking to support individuals with these SNP’s suffering from a myriad of symptoms and chronic illness.
Dr. Kelly closes the conversation with an elegant summary of detoxification, including the newly understood phase 2.5, and how we can apply an evidence based approach to detoxification so that we do not end up in the world of expensive and potentially harmful green medicine.
Lastly, I am incredibly excited to announce, if you are listening to this upon its initial release, that I have just joined my amazing collaborative at the Resilient Roots: Functional and Evolutionary Medicine and am now accepting new patients seeking support through functional and lifestyle medicine. Using the links in the show notes, you can read more about our clinic and how to become a new patient.
And with that, let’s dig into the show!
I have been continually amazed by the depth of curiosity in so many of my podcast guests, and I found myself over and over again wondering how miraculous it is to bear witness to the amalgamation of Kelly Halderman’s inspiring pursuit of spiritual truth with her uncanny desire to definitively understand the incredible complexities of human physiology. A living testament herself to the power of the human body to heal itself, Kelly showcases over and over again in this conversation that medicine and healing for that matter, is not an act of warfare, but an art of enlightened surrender. Whether wadding in the pools of the mindbody connection, or spilling herself dry through the bile cannaliculli, there is no place off limits for Dr. Kelly and her passion for discovering how do we really heal.
Dr. Halderman’s website:
Longer 2.5 podcast w Better Health Guy (just in case you want to geek out more into the science of detoxification): http://betterhealthguy.com/episode79
Become a New Patient at Resilient Roots: Functional and Evolutionary Medicine
Episode 051: Benjamin Richardson, The Citizen Scientist Returns: A Deep Dive Into Quantified Self, Exercise Snacking, and Functional Blood Chemistry
In Episode 51 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being, I jump back into the world of quantified self and self improvement with our good friend, Benjamin Richardson. Ben has been featured on the show, not only once, but twice before in Episodes 31 and 35 and has brought a wealth of knowledge as a self proclaimed, practical citizen scientist, seeking to use emerging technologies and our understanding of the human body to improve his health, and through that exploration, make it easier for others to do the same.
In this episode we get our feet wet with a methodical discussion of quantified self, as Ben offers his 5-step approach to identifying and addressing self challenges. From this framework, Ben delves more deeply into each of the essential steps, from choosing a quantifiable goal, to selecting an intervention and measurement technique to actually assessing your progress and adapting based on your results, Ben gives us incredible insights into the practical things one must consider when attempting to make or quantify positive change.
From here we begin our dive into Ben’s real life application of this framework as part of his attempt to improve his movement patterns and variety with a concept known as “exercise snacking.”
We end the show with an in depth discussion of functional blood chemistry, and a second personal experiment and exploration that occurred as a result of Ben’s first intervention. Applying our previously identified quantified self framework, Ben takes us through an exploration of his approach to address and further understand the roots behind low testosterone. Starting from a set of plausible hypothesis, Ben outlines a second multifaceted intervention to address this new identified concern and describes how he partnered with a holistic practitioner to obtain complementary testing to support and guide his personal self experiment.
This was as always, an absolute blast, and whether you are a citizen scientist, or clinician, you will gain some tremendous insights into cost effective and simply more effective ways to guide and support positive behavior change.
While this may have been my third conversation with Ben, I found myself throughout the podcast continuing to uncover pieces of Ben’s story and passion I had yet to fully see. Driven by the details, but fulfilled by the bigger picture, Ben’s willingness to experiment, to explore and to let others in on his vulnerable journey is rather remarkable, and in truth, beyond rational explanation. While most seek to showcase a filtered version of their perfected lives, Ben has never been afraid to offer his authentic self, genuinely encouraging people through purposeful intent to see how they too can find more fulfillment, better health, and above all, greater meaning in their lives.
Episode 50: A Case Study in Functional Medicine and How to Effectively Develop Your Clinical Skills and Fluency with Clinically Relevant Research
In this week’s episode Dr. Abbott walks us through a clinical case, outlining his therapeutic approach, offering along the way insights into the best ways to expand your integrative medicine education as well as improve your skills as a clinicians. Not to be left out, Dr. Abbott also offers his tips for patients on how to best partner with a holistic health clinician to effectively improve your health without breaking your budget or morale!
Please check out the links below to a text version of the case study as well as more resources to expand your functional medicine education!
Link to the Case Study:
Link to Dr. Ruscio’s Future of Functional Medicine Review:
Explore more functional and integrative medicine resources from our E-Book
Explore our conversations, delving into the depths of the authentic human experience.