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:
In Episode 040 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Wellbeing, I have one of my most inspiring conversations with one of the leading visionaries in integrative and functional medicine: Kyle Braatz. Kyle is the co-founder of the wellness platform and online nutriceutical dispensary Fullscript and his radical approach to wellness is changing how integrative medicine is practiced.
In the podcast, you will hear some of Kyle’s fascinating background including some of the early inspiration behind his love of creation and pursuit of meaningful service. From biking across Canada to raise money for those in need to laying the foundations for Fullscript, Kyle life is one full of passion and relentless curiosity.
As we dig deeper into the conversation, Kyle shares his definition and vision for health.
What are the most essential components and where can we start to improve our health.
When then get into the vision, mission and ethos behind the wellness platform Fullscript.
What exactly is Fullscript? Is it for doctors? Patients? Or Both?
How and why should clinicians be using Fullscript to better serve their patients?
Who currently are the greatest utilizers?
And where did you even get the name Fullscript in the place?
Kyle even offers us a sneak peak of what it’s like to be a Team Member at Fullscript, how they seek to support each other’s wellness and the importance of self care.
We also explore some of the biggest challenges facing healthcare delivery and how Fullscript is seeking to address these issues with some creative and innovative solutions
As you will hear in the show, I am incredibly grateful for all the team members at Fullscript for providing an integrative wellness platform that allows me the better serve by patients and it was an honor to share this conversation with Kyle. I sincerely encourage all clinicians to explore Fullscript and incorporate this platform into your practice and I urge any interested patients to share the utility of Fullscript with your doctor.
And with that let’s dig into the show!
Check out Fullscript using this link:
Episode 039: Christina Bjorndal ND, Transformative Wellness: A Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Approach to Mental Health
In Episode 039 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Wellbeing, I seek to dispel some of the myths behind mental health with naturopathic doctor, Dr. Christina Bjorndal.
As you will hear in the podcast, Dr. Bjorndal’s journey to becoming a holistic mental health clinician is anything but linear or easy.
In this conversation, Dr. Bjorndal, shares some intimate details of her own struggle with mental illness, navigating the medical system, stigma and labels that sought to suppress her flourishing.
Growing through these incredible experiences, Dr. Bjorndal offers some of her own insightful wisdom as she realized the power of nutrition, connection and emotional freedom to cultivate whole being wellness.
She leads us through her own definition of health and walks us through her clinical approach to addressing mental illness, offering powerful physiologic and psychological therapies to bring about positive changes to an otherwise conflicted mind, body and spirit.
Dr. Bjorndal and I even dig into some potentially controversial topics, exploring the “victim” mentality and what it means to contribute meaningfully to society.
We even start to ask the question: What thoughts and beliefs are actually behind our most common habits and perceptions?
Dr. Bjorndal’s story and clinical work is beyond inspiring and will certainly empower anyone who has experienced mental illness.
I personally resonated with one her most poignant pieces of wisdom “you will be with you longer than anyone else, so why not start focusing on the relationship with yourself first.”
I hope you resonate with her authentic story and seek out some of her nourishing resources created to support people through their journeys of healing.
And with that, let’s dig into the show!
Learn more about Dr. Christina Bjorndal and her work by using this link to her website: https://drchristinabjorndal.com/
Episode 038: Erika Krumbeck ND, Why You Should Care About the Opioid Crisis, An Exploration of Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and its Potential Harms, and What Really is Behind Our Sensitive and Empathetic Children?
In episode 38, I welcome back one of my previous guests: naturopathic pediatrician and visionary mother: Dr. Erika Krumbeck. Dr. Krumbeck returns in this conversation to help us explore the uses, potential harms and relative unknown of the commonly used over the counter drug: Acetaminophen. She shares much of her research into the still unknown mechanism of action of this ubiquitous medication as well as some of the concerning associations with its use and certain disease states such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Krumbeck provides a very practical approach for helping children through febrile illness and shares some herbal alternatives for fevers that do not interfere with the body’s natural immune response to infection.
We then explore the newest literature showing the potential associations between Tylenol and decreased emotional responses that may interfere with normal cognitive and emotional development in children and adults.
We then end the conversation with Dr. Krumbeck discussing some of the genetic polymorphisms and potential neurotransmitter perturbations behind the “behavioral disturbances” we commonly see in our growing children. Incorporating an ancestral and evolutionary argument, Dr. Krumbeck offers her hypothesis and insights regarding the potential true reasons behind our most sensitive and empathetic children.
This second conversation is once again filled with numerous insights and wisdom from Dr. Krumbeck and I really encourage you to sit with some of the topics discussed and explore some of the small things you could do today to better support the health of your children and even yourself.
And if you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out my new collaborative endeavour the Charlottesville Center for Functional Medicine at our homepage: www.cvillefxmed.com where you can subscribe to get our Free Quickstart Wellness Guide and our 10-part email series embedded with nutrient guides, workouts, recipes and more to help you take control of your health. We also just posted the first video recording of our community wellness series, an exploration of sleep and stress and things you can do today to improve your resilience, decrease your total burden of stress and get better sleep.
I extend my deepest gratitude and appreciation for your interest in our work and would love to hear your thoughts on what you like, what we could do better, or what you would like us to address in a future podcast. And lastly I want to extend a big shout out and a huge thanks to the amazing team behind A Medicinal Mind this includes Tucker MacDonald, the brains behind the podcast and beautiful voice you hear in the beginning and end of each show as well as Rhett Deverich the passionate spirit the makes the blog, poems, podcast, and webpage come to life or simply exist in the first place.
And with that, let’s dig into the show!
Episode 037: Drew Gallagher, The Intersection of Faith and Fitness, What Really is the Role of Exercise?
In Episode 037 of A Medicinal Mind Wisdom and Well Being I dive head first into fitness and faith with innovative nutrition and movement coach Drew Gallagher. Describing Drew and his passion in a single sentence is nearly impossible, so I will do my best to showcase a bit of his varied background and extensive training in the world of fitness. Drew has a bachelor’s in Exercise Science and is a certified coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Level 2 Kettlebell instructor through Strongfirst, Titleist Performance Institute Level 1 instructor, certified Level 2 instructor through Functional Movement Systems and Level 1 Precision Nutrition Coach.
More importantly, however, Drew is a visionary in the field of fitness exploring the real role of exercise vs. developing functional movements and differentiating the purpose of workouts vs formalized training.
As you will hear in the podcast, in his most recent incarnation, Drew is now specializing in a unique approach of functional movement and performance through biomechanics and neural motor control that maximizes overall function, performance and health.
In our conversation we start the ground running seeking to define exercise vs. movement, workout vs. training and the real reasons why we should pursue movement and exercise in the first place.
Drew offers both insight and personal reflection as part of his journey navigating the sometimes misaligned fitness industry.
Drew illustrates the importance of the breath in initiating and creating positive movement and engaged exercise and then leads us into a thoughtful discussion about neural control and the role of neuromuscular training vs simply lifting heavy weight.
Through it all Drew offers his fatherly voice, sharing how he structures his workout with his kids and integrates dedicated training to expand his capacity to be a better role model and facilitator of play for his kids.
We end the podcast with a heartful discussion of faith, spirituality and wisdom as Drew shares how he incorporates his deep rooted Christian faith into his work with clients as they seek create whole being wellness.
This podcast is packed with wonderful nuggets for anyone with a shred of interest in fitness and movement, and you will likely hear something contrary or new to your present understanding.
I am so grateful for connecting with Drew and I think you will this conversation, inspiring, enlightening and just plain fun.
At with that, let’s get into the show!
In Episode 036 of A Medicinal Mind Wisdom And Wellbeing, I welcome the founder and innovative voice behind Evidence Based® Birth Rebecca Dekker.
Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN, received her Master of Science in Nursing and her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of Kentucky and has built a strong reputation in maternal and infant health circles for her pioneering work as the founder of Evidence Based Birth.®
In the podcast, Rebecca shares here personal story of childbirth, the true origins behind the birth, pun most certainly intended, of her research and greater work with Evidence Based Birth®. Rebecca offers her insights into the evolution of pregnancy and the birthing experience, sharing her passion for putting practical evidence about childbirth into the hands of families and professionals with the ultimate desire to empower and educate all curious enough to explore.
The conversation is spilling over with Rebecca’s passion and drive to hold nourishing spaces for mothers and their families to discover what they really need to support themselves and baby to be.
We explore some of Rebecca’s newest groundbreaking work, expanding the content and reach of Evidence Based Birth ® and even discuss the role patients can play it helping to appreciate and understand the burdens clinicians face in trying to provide compassionate care to all patients.
It was such a honor to share this time with Rebecca and I really believe no matter your background or interest in childbirth that you will enjoy this conversation.
Many thanks again to your continued support of the podcast and work at A Medicinal Mind. We extend back our appreciation and love for you in this our St. Valentine’s Day podcast.
And with that let’s dig into the show.
Stay up to date and involved with Rebecca using the links below:
Home site with newsletter signup: https://evidencebasedbirth.com/
Podcast page on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/evidence-based-birth/id1334808138
Information on our Professional membership:
Application link for our Professional membership student scholarship:
Our upcoming events page on Facebook:
The About EBB page:
Rebecca's EBB bio page: https://evidencebasedbirth.com/author/
Episode 035: Benjamin Richardson, Personalized Carbohydrate Testing, Insulin Resistance and the Flexitarian Approach to Eating Well
In episode 035 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being, I welcome back the curious citizen scientist Benjamin Richardson.
In Part I of this series, Episode 031 to be exact, Benjamin introduced us to intermittent fasting, the fasting mimicking diet and the role of personalized experimentation to discover what your body really needs to remain well.
In this conversation, Benjamin leads us into a discussion of personalized carbohydrate testing, insulin resistance and a thoughtful examination of all the reasons we choose to eat the food that we do.
We start out the podcast with Benjamin sharing some background behind his reason for undertaking another self experiment, this time to meticulously monitor his blood sugar in response to various foods and eating environments. Together we delve into the implications of personalized glucose testing and tailoring one’s diet to avoid large fluctuations in blood sugar.
Benjamin then explains some of his own personal findings as part of the experiment and describes the importance of understanding all of the inputs, outside of just diet, such as sleep, stress, and chronic disease burden that can influence someone’s insulin and blood sugar response to certain foods.
Benjamin then moves us into a thoughtful inquiry of the many reasons we humans choose to eat the food that we do. Benjamin offers his thoughts on the concept of eating for pleasure, and explores the implications of one’s food choices on the health (or lack thereof) of our gut microbiota.
This is another wonderful discussion with Benjamin and I am honored to have his efforts and wisdom as part of our podcast. Be sure to check out the podcast page where Benjamin has provided a wealth of links and additional resources related to the conversation today.
And lastly, I wanted to also share some exciting news as I have recently partnered with my close friends Ryan Hall and Kerri Cooper in starting my newest and perhaps biggest wellness endeavour: The Charlottesville Center for Functional Medicine. While I will still be in Front Royal for the next 2 years as part of my family medicine residency training, we are already laying the foundations for discovering whole being wellness in the City of Charlottesville. You can explore our new homepage at cvillefxmed.com as well as our facebook page to find out more about upcoming free community workshops.
And with that, lets dig into the show!
Explore our conversations, delving into the depths of the authentic human experience.