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
Episode 049: Nasha Winters ND, L.Ac., The Changing Landscape of Cancer Therapeutics: Why Faith, Purpose and Your Psychological Well-Being Are Just as Important as Diet and Exercise
In Episode 049 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being, I share space with one of the leading voices in the integrative oncology movement, a pioneer in collaborative and whole person care, Dr. Nasha Winters ND.
Many of you listening to this show have likely heard of Nasha and her work, but for those new to her name and work here is all you really need to know: She is arguably the most widely spoken and passionate clinician I have ever met when it comes to integrative oncology, and simply to whole person care.
She is the founder of Optimal Terrain, an innovative healing venture striving to educate, empower, and assist individuals in knowing their bodies and their physiologic process from a perspective grounded in scientific research and clinical patient care, and above all else, address the root causes of cancer and cancer progression.
While we certainly could have spent the entire show talking about Nasha’ multi-faceted approach to cancer, getting into the weeds of the ketogenic diet and nutrition as well supplements and complementing therapies to chemotherapeutics, much of today’s show is spent in an entirely different realm, a realm science, on its own, will never fully be able to explain.
Starting with a dive into Nasha’ personal life story, we get a glimpse and the real reasons behind her pursuit of a career in medicine, a vulnerable look at her own journey with the cancer, and what she learned along the way that is informing her career now as a oncology physician.
Digging deeper, Nasha answers such questions as
What is the most challenging thing about being a patient? What are some of the best qualities of the most admirable physician, when precisely did you know, you were going to survive?
Delving into the roots of her faith, Nasha, shares her perspective on the role of spirituality, religion and the pursuit of something greater as one traverses the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Even providing her own definition of this terrifying word, Nasha shows us precisely how she enters into the therapeutic space with patient’s and their families, uncovering the real reasons and questions her patients are seeking to answer.
Sharing stories from her clinical experience, the depth an poignancy of this podcast is second to none and left me wondering on more than one occasion, why do we even bother with the science when we have human connection?
This conversation was an absolute blast, and a refreshing dive into spirituality and our connections to something greater, perhaps the real reasons healing is ever possible in the first place.
And with that, let’s dig into the show
Keep up with Nasha:
The Metabolic Approach to Cancer:
Episode 048: Morley Robbins, The Many Hats of Vitamin A, How Retinol Works with Magnesium, Iron and Copper to Keep You Well
In Episode 048 of A Medicinal Mind, Wisdom and Wellbeing, I welcome back the inquisitive mind of the researcher known affectionately as the Magnesium man, Morley Robbins. In my two previous discussions with Morley, Episodes 23 and Episode 32, we explored the foundations of mineral metabolism, the intricate dance between Fe, Mg and Cu and the overall implications of these minerals on our health.
In this new foray into the world of biochemistry, Morley leads us through a fascinating exploration of his most recent research rabbit hole into the importance of fat soluble vitamins, and most specifically Vitamin A and its part of the wider dance of mineral biochemistry.
Morley begins the conversation with a foundational discussion of Vitamin A metabolism, what really is Vitamin A, retinol, retinal, and beta carotene. Is the vitamin A in carrots the same Vitamin A in beef liver?
Exploring further questions, Morley helps to answer: What are some of the highest sources of retinol, what is the history of cod liver oil and the ingestion of organ meats?
What is retinol actually doing in the body? Besides its involvement in balancing oxidative stress in the body, Is it the molecule, and not iron, driving the production of hemoglobin and eventually the oxygen carrying red blood cell?
We then shift the discussion into the intricate science behind energy production in the mitochondria and the fascinatingly beautiful electron transport chain, where does Fe, Oxygen, Magnesium, Vitamin A, lipids and Cu enter the scene in order for us to make the energy currency of the body: ATP.
As the story unfolds we begin to discover that Vitamin A is behind perhaps the most important systemic processes in the body
and much more
Shifting back to the discussion of fat soluble vitamins, A, D and K, Morley fills us in with the reality that Vitamin D supplementation alone is likely not helping and actually probably hurting more people than we think. And where does Cu fit into the metabolism and function of the fat soluble vitamins?
And what really is the difference between a vitamin and a mineral chemically? Structurally? How does their chemical structure affect their function and location of action in the body.
We then end the discussion with an exploration of Vitamin A and its importance in genetic expression and regulation? Why are people so terrified of Vitamin A overdose and toxicity?
I encourage you once more to listen to this conversation at least 2 or 3 times to really synthesize all of the ideas presented by Morley and myself.
And, be sure as well to explore the show notes for today’s show on our podcast page, our podcast app or other podcast media device to find our link to the intricately described Nutritional Testing Resource: a jam packed guide created by the visionary researcher Dr. Chris Masterjohn to help you discover how to properly assess, test and address functional nutritional status and any unearthed clinical deficiencies.
And with that, lets dig into the show!
Ever since I met Morley, I have been amazed by his youthful exuberance and passion for getting deep into the research. His ability to synthesize the literature, reach insightful conclusions, and then communicate it in an accessible manner is beyond that of nearly anyone I have met to date. As this conversation unfolded, I was continually left pondering what else is there to explore? What else is out there for us to uncover to help us restore our health? What of the many things we are doing now in medicine do we need to most rapidly forget? While Morley answers many questions in this conversation, his greatest talent is perhaps, not one of reaching new conclusions, but of asking the questions no one else can even think of in the first place.
To get Dr. Chris Masterjohn’s Nutritional Testing Resource go HERE
List of Primary Research Studies
Don’t forget to get Dr. Chris Masterjohn’s Nutritional Testing Resource HERE
Episode 047: Will Van Derveer MD, Integrative Psychiatry, Augmented Psychotherapy: The Role of Ritual and Mind Altering Compounds to Facilitate “Cures” in Clinical Psychiatry: A New Frontier
In Episode 047 of A Medical Mind: Wisdom and Well Being I bring back one of my previous guests, visionary integrative psychiatrist Dr. Will Van Derveer MD.
Back in Episode 19 of the show, Will gave us a great glimpse into his foundational approach to medicine and integrative psychiatry.
In this episode, we jump in right where we left off into an exploration of Will’s innovative research and clinical expertise utilizing psychedelics alongside psychotherapy to combat severe PTSD and treatment resistant depression.
Will leads us through an introduction offering an insightful rationale for using psychedelics in supportive psychotherapy.
Applying our emerging understanding of brain connectivity and the activity of the Default Mode Network, Will explains why this baseline “mind wandering” state of thinking is perhaps one of the greatest reasons for cognitive distortions leading to rumination, depression, obsessions and general maladaptive thinking patterns.
From this understanding of the importance of the DFN to our resilience and cognitive flexibility, Will explains the role of meditation and psychedelics to alter the activity of the DFN.
Getting more specific, Will then introduces the two psychedelic drugs emerging as effective augmenting treatments with psychotherapy: MDMA and Ketamine.
Will explains how his clinic and clinicians and general are using MDMA and integrative psychotherapy session to help individuals with severe PTSD breakthrough debilitating states of fear and hypervigilance to discover self compassion, forgiveness and paths to healing.
Expanding from here, Will also provides insights into the drug ketamine and how it is emerging through rigorous clinical trials to be off significant benefit to those undergoing psychotherapy for chronic treatment depression.
While the drugs are extremely distinct in structure and proposed mechanism of action, together they represent a new paradigm of psychiatric care that for perhaps for the first time can actually involve the word CURE.
We end the conversation with perhaps the most important and meaningful exploration I have had to date. Getting a little controversial, Will and I share our concern with our societal search for the quick fix, whether it be in the form of a pill, diet or green medicine.
Sharing vulnerable insights from our own journeys integrating traumatic experiences and doing the “deep work,” we open up about the reality that we cannot expect to heal wounds overnight that took years to form in the first place. From a place of hopeful curiosity, we urge everyone, clinician or layperson to recognize the deep need to engage in the process of iterative self exploration, extending compassion and forgiveness to all along the way.
To explore Dr. VDV’s Integrative Psychiatry Training starting in October: ipi.higherpractice.com
Visit Dr VDV’s main page at www.ketaminetherapyboulder.com
To learn more about MAPS and psychedelic studies visit maps.org
Episode 046, Tommy Wood PhD, MD and Christopher Kelly, Innovation in Functional and Ancestral Health: Machine Learning and Blood Chemistry, How Two Friends Are Seeking to Change How Medicine is Practiced
In episode 046 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being , I welcome TWO guests, and new close friends. Dr. Tommy Wood and Christopher Kelly of Nourish Balance Thrive. Between the two of them, Tommy and Chris have been helping burned out athletes achieve both optimal performance and wellness through a combination of targeted testing, nutritional approaches and selective augmentation. The two have helped thousands of athletes and are constantly providing nourishing content, no pun intended to thousands more via their NBT podcast. Additionally Tommy puts out an incredible weekly review: a “Highlights” emails that will leave you with more to chew on that just your thumbs.
In this episode we start the conversation exploring the origin stories of Chris and Tommy, finding their way into the ancestral health space. They both offer descriptions of the paths that lead them to their current work in addition to more specific details regarding the nature of the education and scholastic background.
When then explore the birth of Nourish Balance Thrive and discuss in depth the vision, passion and ethos behind this unique and innovative initiative. Chris offers a personal look into his own leap of faith starting the business, followed by the quick collaboration with bright and curious minds like Tommy.
We then get into the meat of the discussion, the newest technological feat between the two and their partner in crime naturopathic physician and biochemistry extraordinaire: Dr. Bryan Walsh. Chris and Tommy describe their blood chemistry calculator, a tool utilizing machine learning and incorporating data from thousands of athletes, that can actually predict nutritional status, blood sugar regulation, and even potentially xenobiotic exposure from just a handful of laboratory tests. While still early in its implementation, this calculator has the ability to transform medical care and functional medicine testing, and you will here from them both how they see it being optimally used and explored.
Combining perspectives for both clinicians and the lay audience, Tommy offers some great reasons, why machine learning and this calculator should be on your radar.
We then end the podcast with Tommy sharing a little of his background leading the innovative group: Physicians for Ancestral Health, an organization of which I am proudly affiliated. Tommy shares some of the vision and initiatives of the group and how he hopes to expand its reach in the months and years to come.
I still cannot fully believe I was able to share this conversation with Tommy and Chris, having listened to the two over many years during my own incubation and exploration of ancestral and functional health. I am extremely excited to share this conversation with you all and please be sure to explore the podcast show notes with links to their page, podcast and their Blood Chemistry Calculator.
And with that, let’s dig into the show!
Check out Tommy and Chris' homepage: http://www.nourishbalancethrive.com
Blood Chemistry Calculator: https://bloodcalculator.com
Physicians for Ancestral Health: http://ancestraldoctors.org
Episode 045: Ashley Mannell RD, NP, Integrative Psychiatry and Nutrition, Bringing Whole Being Wellness to Virginia’s Capital
Before I get into the introduction for today’s show, I simply want to thank you all for your patience and support over the past month as we have taken a brief break from the podcast. The entire team has been hard at work over the past two weeks and have just released the newest version of the Ultimate Integrative and Functional Medicine Education Resource. The 2018 edition has a whopping 57 pages and is filled with 170 total resources from blogs, books and e-books to podcasts, practitioner trainings and conferences, all with embedded links to get you right where you need to be!
The book is also full of amazing pictures from none other than my partner in crime, my twin brother James, and I think you will really enjoy the combination of artistry and content. And I have to give some major thanks to my dear friend and the woman behind the scenes of nearly everything you see on the webpage and social media, Rhett Deverich. She was instrumental in getting this E-book designed and I am lucky to have it .
AND, if that wasn’t enough, I just announced my partnership with Mickey Trescott and Angie Alt of Autoimmune Wellness. If you have not already, you must check out the work of Mickey and Angie, pioneers in the field of nutrition when it comes to the nutrient dense elimination diet The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. I am so fortunate to have partnered with them and have already published our first collaborative blog post: Is Baking Soda An Effective Treatment for Autoimmune Disease? Be sure to explore the article with the link on our podcast page or your podcast player.
So, are you ready for today’s show?
In Episode 045 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being, I welcome my close friend and fellow Virginian, Ashley Mannell. Ashley is the only dual-credentialed psychiatric nurse practitioner and registered dietitian in Virginia, who is ALSO a certified practitioner of Functional Medicine through the Institute for Functional Medicine.
And in today’s show we get into the story that lead Ashley to such a unique place of healing. Starting by sharing her early experiences as a child and in the healthcare field as a whole, Ashley offers some background behind her pursuit of medicine. Growing from here Ashley leads us into her journey into more holistic practice, why she ultimately decided to pursue functional and integrative medicine over more traditional clinical practice.
Ashley then leads us into a discussion of her clinical practice, first seeking to define integrative psychiatry and psychology, outlining the methodical and foundational approach of her visionary clinic Richmond Integrative Psychiatry and Nutrition Services. She shares a little about their design, describing the team based approach of the clinic and the way they focus on key lifestyle habits while supporting and healing the gut on top of integrating in support for mental wellness.
We then explore some of the current hot topics in psychiatry, discussing the role of psychotherapy and genetic testing alongside nutrition and targeted supplementation. We even begin to speculate upon the future of psychiatry and the road ahead for mental health care.
This was an absolute joy to record and I am so lucky to have a partner in Virginia with such knowledge and passion for healing using root cause approaches. Functional and integrative medicine in Virginia is only going to grow with clinicians like Ashley.
And with that, let’s get into the show!
Stay up to date with Ashley and her work using this link:
Episode 044: Emily Deans MD, The Future of Psychiatry and How Your Genes (And Their Regulation and Expression) Influence Your Mental Health
In Episode 044 of A Medicinal Mind, Wisdom and Wellbeing, I welcome evolutionary psychiatrist and a pioneer studying the genetic underpinnings of mental health, Dr. Emily Deans MD.
Since first discovering the ancestral and functional medicine movements, I have been an avid follower of Emily Deans and her curious, yet practical explorations into our evolving understanding of psychiatric illness.
Dr. Deans is a practicing psychiatrist who utilizes an ancestrally informed nutritional approach as well as targeted pharmaceutical interventions to improve those with previously treatment refractory depression.
She is a regular contributor at Psychology Today with her blog: Evolutionary Psychiatry where she explores the role of nutrition and genetic variability, amongst many other topics, and their impact on mental well being.
In this episode Dr. Deans starts us off with a little background into his first experiences in medicine and her choice to pursue psychiatry, detailing her own life journey that lead her to explore more integrative approaches to well being.
She then leads us into the meat of today’s discussion, a beautifully articulated story detailing the function, regulation and variability of some of the most well studied genes in psychiatric health including the recently popularized MTHFR and COMT.
Taking us on a journey of the neurotransmitter from its production, release, reuptake or breakdown to its eventual signalling and the downstream cascade of events stemming from its simple signal, Dr. Dean’s offers insights as to why many of the medicines we use to treat psychiatric illness are not effective or simply not enough to help someone through a period of significant depression.
She provides us with an integrated theory of mental illness, combining our emerging understanding of inflammation and immune activation in the brain with the role of neurotransmission and neuronal connectivity circuits influencing our behaviors.
This podcast is one of my absolute favorites and it was such an honor to have Dr. Deans on the show. It is quite incredible to think back to my own journey struggling with depression in medical school and the influence of Dr. Deans work some 5 years prior to lead me to a new understanding of whole person wellness.
And with that let’s dig into the show!
Read up on Dr. Dean’s blog here:
Episode 043: Matt Bodnar, The Science of Success, How to Become a Better Learner and Why You Should Never Stop
In episode 043 of A Medicinal Mind Wisdom and Well Being, I welcome the creator and host of the top rated evidence based personal growth podcast, a visionary leader in the self improvement movement, Matt Bodnar.
Outside of hosting the podcast “The Science of Success” Matt is a partner at early stage investment firm Fresh Hospitality where he focuses on deal-making and strategy.
In the podcast, Matt leads us into a explorative discussion of our current education system pointing out some of the key inefficiencies and downsides of modern education.
He then guides us into the role of lifelong self directed learning and shares much of his recent dive into speed reading and how to remember more of what you read and learn.
Expanding from this, Matt offers his evolutionary hypothesis for learning and explains why we have a much greater capacity to encode and retrieve associative visuospatial memory over concrete words and objects.
When then move into a discussion of Matt’s podcast: “The Science of Success” and explore his definition of “evidence based personal growth.” He shares some of the most insightful wisdom he has gained from these conversations and the importance of being a curious and purposeful listener. Matt explains why he believes the two most practices one can engage in are building self awareness and learning how to effectively deal with challenging and negative emotions.
Matt ends the show sharing a few of the wonderful free resources available on the Science of Success homepage that seek to help you become a better decision maker and empowered learner.
This was once again, another serendipitous and thought provoking podcast and I am incredibly grateful to have connected with Matt and to be able share his wisdom and work with you.
And with that let’s dig into the show.
Keep up with Matt and his awesome work using the links below:
Episode 042: Ryan Munsey, Self Mastery and Making Better Humans, Why Self Optimization Is Not Really About You
In Episode 042 of A Medicinal Mind Wisdom and Well Being I welcome my new friend and one of the leaders in the self optimization and self mastery space fellow Virginian Ryan Munsey. As you will hear in the show, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Ryan and his incredible work through a dear friend Steve Fullerton and this conversation was an absolute blast to record.
Ryan is the co-founder of the new podcast the Better Human Project More, “a movement; sharing inspiring stories from people of all walks of life, stories made to given all people the tools we need to become better humans while simultaneously building bridges to foster unconditional giving to improve our communities.
In the podcast Ryan and I start out with an exploration of his childhood, going through his early years in sports and even a foray into strength training and the modeling industry as he sought to discover what it was he was truly called to do. We even explore rather philosophically what perhaps we are getting wrong today when it comes to raising and holding environments for creative and curious exploration in our youth.
Ryan then offers us his definition of self mastery or self optimization and provides a rather incredible insight that self mastery is really not about making a better you, but a better we. Ryan explores how we can take the energy we pour into ourselves through self care and increase our capacity for giving to others.
The conversation then turns into an exploration of human behavior as we collectively ask what is really behind our actions? Are our rational minds running the show or do our feelings have much more control than we wish to believe?
Ryan gives is a great overview of the basic neurobiology behind human behavior and we some people succeed at their goals and others fall tremendously short? It can’t just be about will power and tangible resources can it?
We end the podcast exploring Ryan’s new innovative endeavour the previously mentioned podcast and initiative: The Better Human Project.
I was so lucky to connect with Ryan and to be able to share this conversation with you all. I encourage you to explore Ryan’s work and the Better Human Project for it is people like Ryan and initiatives like this that are making meaningful and positive change in our world.
Stay up to date with each new “Better Human Project” podcast using this link: https://www.betterhumanproject.org
Follow Ryan and his work on his website: http://ryanmunsey.com
Episode 041: Jamil Sayegh, How to Live a Joyful and Meaningful Life: One Man’s Journey to Uncover the Roots of Flourishing
In Episode 041 of A Medicinal Mind Wisdom and Well Being I have perhaps my most intimate and inspiring conversation to date with my close friend, naturopathic medical student and transformation coach Jamil Sayegh. I could provide a short bio for Jamil, but there is simply no way to adequately articulate the passionate drive and story of this incredible healer.
In our conversation, Jamil lets us in to his miraculous life journey, providing a vulnerable glimpse into his path to becoming motivational integrated healer. Jamil shares the early years where his diet was far from optimal and the self-directed journey that led him to holistic nutrition and the empowerment of lifelong learning.
Jamil offers his insights as to the role of a transformational coach in bringing about dramatic and meaningful life change. Jamil tells the story of what it was like growing up in a medical family and the surprises that unfolded as he brought his newly discovered passion for holistic health into this traditional medical space.
We then explore perhaps the most powerful story ever told before on the podcast, the story of Jamil’s father and how their relationship grew during his father’s own personal struggle with illness. Since the original recording of this show, I have gone back 5 times to listen to this story and I have yet to make it through without being moved to tears.
Jamil’s passion for wellness and joy is unrivaled by anyone I have ever met. It is impossible to not be moved and motivated by his story, his life’s work and his vision for a better world.
Please explore the show notes to find links to Jamil’s page and get his amazing free Ebook: 20 Steps To Your Next Breakthrough, one of the most practical guides to realizing your greater purpose and service to others.
Check out Jamil's book: "20 Steps To Your Next Breakthrough" using the link below!
Jamil's website: http://jamilsayegh.com
Follow Jamil's journey on Instagram at: thelifedoc
And keep up with Jamil using his Facebook:
Explore our conversations, delving into the depths of the authentic human experience.