The Top 5 Reasons Why Your Estrogen Levels are High – Men & Women!

Let’s talk about the top 5 reasons why your estrogen levels are high. We’re going to break them down today.


First, let’s look at the 3 major kinds of estrogens: E1 or estrone, E2 or estradiol, and E3 or estriol. In a woman’s regular cycle, it’s usually estradiol we’re talking about. When you start shifting to more menopausal and the ovary stops working, you start getting more estriol. The adrenals help in kick in a lot of DHEA and you make more estriol. Estradiol is more of the growth factor type of estrogen and estriol is a weaker estrogen.

Click here if you need to consult with a functional medicine doctor to learn more about estrogen and your hormones.


  1. PLASTICS. You’ll get it when the plastic is warm like in a microwave or out of a plastic water bottle especially if it’s in the car and the sun is hitting it or it’s outside. That’s why you want a good stainless steel or glass water bottle if you’re going to go outside or leaving it in the sun. The microwave heat and the radiation is going to cause a big release of plastic chemicals there, the xenoestrogens. One of the big ones are the phthalates but also BPA. There are other types of BPAs that are new which are supposedly safe but there are still estrogen-like compounds there as well. These plastics can affect women and men as well. Men are actually going to be more affected by them because men aren’t used to having estrogen in their environment and getting a whole bunch is going to be a problem.
  2. PESTICIDES. These tend to have an estrogenic quality to them and if you’re eating foods that are not organic, you’re definitely going to be getting organochlorines and various pesticides in your environment.
  3. PHYTOESTROGENS. These are found in soy. For example, I had a vegan-vegetarian patient. We ran a Dutch sex hormone panel on her and her estradiol was through the roof and really high. Phytoestrogens can be a big one, so soy may be a problem. With vegan-vegetarian, there’s a lot of phony protein consumption like fake meat kind of stuff such as the Beyond burger where there are a lot of soy and estrogen-like compounds in there. There are also hormones in meat. You have to make sure you get antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and ideally organic and pasture-fed or if you’re on the Whole Foods scale, step 4 or step 5 is ideal. Step 2 is at least pretty good. Organic means no pesticides, no hormones, and also the food they’re eating has no pesticides or hormones, too.
  4. HIGH LEVELS OF INSULIN. Too much carbs drive high levels of insulin because insulin responds to a high level of blood sugar. The blood sugars in your bloodstream go up and your pancreas comes in. The beta cells make a bunch of insulin to bring it down and bring it into the cellar and converted to fat. So, high levels of insulin upregulate an enzyme in men called aromatase that converts testosterone, the male hormones, to estrogen which becomes a problem. Now, in women, a similar thing happens but it’s the exact opposite or the big switch. Their estrogen is converted to testosterone. So, women can actually get more androgen-like issues which results in weight gain, acne, hair growth, and sometimes you can see some libido enhancements on that. So, that’s the difference between men and women.
  5. POOR GUT HEALTH. In the gut, we make healthy good bacteria in our gut that help us absorb a lot of nutrients. A good healthy gut function helps us break down protein for good HDL levels and good enzyme levels. We need these to break down protein into amino acids which are really important for helping us to detoxify. So, detoxification helps us to excrete estrogens that we’re getting exposed to in our environments such as the pesticides, plastic, or something that you don’t even know you’re getting exposed to. Good healthy detoxification will help your body eliminate that, so that’s a good backup plan.Also, if we have a lot of dysbiosis, SIBO and bacterial overgrowth, we can make a lot of what’s called beta-glucuronidase. This is an enzyme that’s made by bad bacteria and it makes it harder to detoxify estrogen. The beta-glucuronidase takes conjugated estrogens and binds it to a protein that helps us excrete it out the body. It takes that protein and it pulls it apart. It takes the handcuffs off that protein, so that allows that estrogen that’s been deconjugated to go back into the body in the general circulation. So, if we have gut issues, that could be a major concern.


We need things like cysteine, glycine, glutamine, sulfur amino acids, and things that help us methylate like B12, B6, and folate. So, these nutrients we have to get them in our diet via a good diet. We need to be able to break down and absorb those nutrients, so we need good digestion to get those things in there.

So, in general, we’ve got to make sure we have a good gut bacteria balance. Even fungal overgrowth can cause problems and H. pylori that can lower stomach acid and make it harder to break down nutrition on one side and then it can create this bacterial overgrowth enzyme that makes it hard to detoxify estrogen. These are really important components. If you have any issues with estrogen, you’ve got to look there.

Now, we may want to do things to help detoxify like make lifestyle changes, food changes, pesticide changes, make the changes in regards to plastics, and make in in regards to your diet, your glycemic load, and your gut. That’s a good first step to get to the bottom. There are also different things we may do to help upregulate detoxification to help get that estrogen. It may be activated charcoal or various soluble fibers. It could be things like bentonite clay. We could use things like DIM or Calcium D-Glucarate or glutathione, sulfur amino acids, and vitamin C. They’re all helpful in different situations. We would recommend them based on what’s happening but at least make the diet and lifestyle changes out of the gates.

If you want to find out the root cause of what’s happening, click this link where you can schedule a chat with me!

Histamine Intolerance and Root Causes | Podcast #289

Hey, guys! We have a new podcast today with Dr. J and Evan Brand talking about histamine intolerance and possible root causes. We start with symptoms of histamine intolerance. While mostly linked to allergic reactions, they can be IBS, cramping, anxiety, dizziness/vertigo, fatigue, flushing, hives, brain fog, and more. Often, you’ll see these overlap as symptoms of hypothyroid, adrenal issues, or Hashimotos. So, what next?

Nutrients important to helping break down histamine are DOA enzymes, Vitamin C, Copper, and B6 (very important to neurotransmitters). We know that gut permeability and absorbing the nutrients you need can be difficult in itself when mixed with gut irritation, stress, and/or certain symptoms and this becomes a triple-edged sword. You need the nutrients to break down the histamine but your body can’t break them down because it’s stressed, overwhelmed, or not working as it should and you don’t want to eat certain foods you used to be able to consume because the histamine’s memory is messed up and you’re exhibiting more food allergies. It can be overwhelming, so then what?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani shares common foods that increase the histamine response, palliative solutions for relief, and the reality behind finding the root cause.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:00 Symptoms of histamine intolerance

10:57 How to metabolize histamine

12:59 Testing for histamine, histamine markers and root cause

19:03 Histamine medications

24:06 Hormonal link


Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, guys! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here.  I hope you guys are having a fabulous week.  We are gonna be diving in to histamine intolerances and functional medicine solutions and what we do in our clinics.  Evan, welcome to the show, man.  How are we doing brother?

Evan Brand:  Hey, I’m glad to be here and glad to talk about this subject.  Something that I used to look at and I was confused by.  I would look at these histamine issues and I would say, “This just doesn’t make sense.”  Why does Jane Doe over here, why is she able to eat XYZ food and then you’ve got the other lady over here, and she can’t eat leftovers and she can’t eat mushrooms, and she can’t eat smoked meats, and she can’t eat ketchup, and she can’t do dried fruit without having problems?  And I was like, “Okay, what the heck is going on?”  Why, why, why.  I didn’t understand it and now that you and I have worked on this issue a thousand plus times, we start to find some connections.  And so, let’s first talk about some of the symptoms of histamine intolerance.  Many of these are similar to allergic reactions and allergic reactions can create histamine.  It could be anything from gut symptoms like IBS could be related to histamine, so abdominal cramping.  Anxiety could be part of it.  Dizziness, believe it or not, dizziness, vertigo could be part it.  Fatigue could be related.  Flushing, so when you rash out like on your skin or it could be your face from certain foods, like when you see people rashing out from alcohol, like red-faced from alcohol that could be histamine.  Alcohol is high in histamine and then it’s also gonna reduce DAO, right?  It’s gonna block the enzyme that helps metabolize histamine.  I believe that’s true.  Is that right that alcohol is high histamine?  I know it messes with DAO but is it high histamine as well?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Um, alcohol—what alcohol does, it’s also a histamine blocker.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It also blocks the metabolism of histamine and it just depends because a lot of alcohol, there’s fermentation in the alcohol.  So of course, the fermentation will create histamine as well.  So it’s a combination of the two.  I’m pretty sure there’s gonna be histamine in it due to fermentation, right?  Like wine will be, you know, fermented or beer, and then of course, if there’s gluten in there, the inflammation could create more histamine and then you have the effects of blocking histamine as well.

Evan Brand:  Yeah that, it is a double whammy.  Yeah, here it is right here.  It talks about how like for example, red wine has up to 24 mg per liter of histamine while champagne has 670 mg of histamine per liter.  So of course, heart rate, flushing, those type of symptoms from drinking alcohol is no good.  But the problem is you’re depleting DAO.  DAO is what’s gonna help you—diamine oxidase.  It’s gonna help you to break down histamine that you ingest and so if you’re putting in histamine and reducing the ability to metabolize it.  You get in bad shape.  I got a few more symptoms and we can go on and on and one.  I mean, any list online you look at may have 50 different symptoms.  So blood pressure issues or blood pressure changes, itching—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  So like the back of legs, you could just have itching.  I mean, for lack of a better word, it’s not necessarily a rash there but you could just be itching.  Nasal issues, sinus problems, nausea, and then swelling.  So like—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Tissue swelling.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.  I mean you see a lot of it with Asians and alcohol.  For instance, Asians typically will get flushed when they drink alcohol because they’re missing genetically some enzymes to be able to handle it and they take a lot of Pepcid AC which is like an H2 blocker.  So a lot of times you’ll see that with alcohol and you’ll see it in certain ethnicities.  They’ll miss certain enzymes to be able to metabolize it.  I’d be curious how someone of that ethnicity would do with like extra DAO.  I wonder if the DAO would work over just a—over a histamine blocker so to speak.  Because we know the side effects in some of those medications, you know, can be drowsiness, brain fog, you know, not so good symptoms either and a lot of times you’re just trading one symptom for another.  Hope—

Evan Brand:   I bet it would—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Side effects or less.

Evan Brand:  I bet it would work great.  I mean, I’ve done some experimentation with DAO.  If I have certain foods that will irritate me, like a big spice blend of you know, curry and cayenne and chili powder and cinnamon and those type of things.  Those can all irritate things, so I’ll take some DAO if I’m gonna do something with like a mixed spice blend and I feel fine with it.  I don’t really have any issue with dried fruit.  I know that’s an issue for some people but I’ll do like some freeze-dried blueberries just to see what happens and I feel fine.  So I think some of this stuff is there’s gonna be a spectrum of sensitivity with this.  Some people are gonna be extremely histamine-intolerant and then some people are gonna be totally fine.  So we’re trying to cater to all of those people.  If you’re somebody who—you can’t do fish, for example.  If it’s fresh-caught and freshly eaten or fresh-caught and flash-frozen for example.  That should be okay but if you’ve had, you know, fish that’s kinda sitting out at the market, open-air, you know that may be a bigger problem than if it were flash-frozen like on the ship,  I know there’s a couple of companies out there like Vital that they’ll freeze the fish as soon as they catch it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  And those are supposed to be well-tolerated.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%.  So you kinda went over like some of the symptoms, right?  The common ones, the flushing, the wheels or the urticaria, kinda hives on the skin, brain fog stuff, headache stuff.  It could just be allergy stuff like itching or sneezing or eye wateriness.  It could be fatigue.  It could be breathing issues.  It could be just swelling or inflammation or heart rate.  It’s just pounding, kind of the abnormal heart rate beating.  Now the problem is a lot of these symptoms can overlap with hypothyroid.  A lot of these symptoms can overlap with Hashimoto’s and adrenal issues.  This is the problem.  It’s this big overlap so that you get people that are like the histamine person or the adrenal person and you’re like, “But what’s the issue?  Is it an adrenal issue?  Is it a histamine issue?”  And this is where it gets really tough because you’re trying to seek out whose that person that can help me with this issue and the problem is everything overlaps.  So imagine like a venn diagram and then you have all these different issues, adrenal or thyroid, or histamine or gut, and then they all overlap in the middle and a lot of times that’s where people’s health issues, you know, really sit and you need a very good generalist to kinda parse these out because sometimes when we have these issues we don’t really focus on histamine, we focus on other things.  Like when you just magically reduce inflammation in the body through diet, lifestyle, supplement strategies, magically histamine can drop.  And we actually do need some histamine because histamine is a big stimulator of hydrochloric acid.  So it’s like, well, if you don’t have no histamine then we’re not gonna have good HCl stimulation and we know HCl is so important for digestion.  So it’s this, you know, it’s not like one of these things where we wanna just knock histamine down to nothing, right?  But we wanna modulate and prevent the, you know, the abnormal highs of it which tends to be driving a lot of the symptoms.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, that’s a great point and many people don’t hit that if you talk about the word histamine.  It’s sort of like a bad bacteria.  It’s just kill, kill, kill, kill, knock it down, knock it down, knock it down, knock it down but yeah, you’re right.  I mean, it’s a neurotransmitter and it does affect the immune system, too.  So it’s not something that you want zero off.  I know—I don’t know the exact mechanism but I know histamine has some role on energy like your sleep-wake cycle is somehow related to histamine.  Appetite, I know is involved with histamine.  So there’s a lot of things that people just, they skip out on and then they get on these H1, H2 blockers and then who knows what’s happening downstream?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I mean histamine is part of the stress or inflammation response.  I mean, it can cause clots.  It can cause cells to get more sticky.  It can cause your lungs to constrict a little bit more.  It can cause more swelling and fluid retention.  It can open up the blood vessels partly because imagine if you bang your elbow, right?  What happens?  Does it get more swollen or less swollen?  It gets more swollen.  Why?  Because of the inflammatory response.  It’s driving vasodilation, meaning it’s opening up the blood vessels.  Why?  Well, to help bring the immune cells there to help kind of bring the inflammation and recovery process under control.  So the problem is a lot of these mechanisms, they’re acute punctuated mechanisms.  They’re on then they’re off.  With chronic inflammation in the system through gut or other hormonal imbalances, it’s on and then it stays on and then now that it’s on, certain foods that may have been—may have not been a problem before, now perpetuate the problem.  Does that make sense?

Evan Brand:  Yes, it does.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So it becomes this vicious cycle where like, yeah, you may be fine.  You should be able to have some kombucha and some bacon, but now because of the inflammation.  Now that bacon’s a trigger, now the kombucha is a trigger, now the citrus fruits are a trigger, now the good avocados are a trigger, and it’s like people are pulling their hair.  They’re like, “What is going on?  I don’t get it.  These are good foods.  What’s happening?”  And they have to look deeper at of course, you know, when we look at the symptoms, the first thing I do is I say, “Okay, let’s try cutting some of these histamines out of our diet food-wise, do we feel better?  Yes or no?”  That tells me something and if that helps, then we look at, okay, let’s work on better digesting our foods, number two.  Let’s work at gut infections because we know the microbiome, if out of balance, can really create these abnormal histamine responses and we know how the microbiome is so important with gut permeability and that increases autoimmune issues, hence, thyroid, hence adrenal, hence gut issues, irritable bowel disease, so everything can just really spiral out of control if the microbiome is not there, if the food is not there, and of course, if stress is there, we know what the sympathetic nervous system response does in regards to burning up our B vitamins and decreasing HCl and enzymes and decreasing dopamine and adrenaline over the time and then we also know that certain nutrients are gonna be vital for histamine—for making the enzymes to break down histamine, right?  We know certain enzymes, the DAO enzymes are really important and we know vitamin C.  We know copper.  We know B6.  B6 gets burnt down so much during stress, it’s very important for our neurotransmitters, and we also know that if we have low stomach acid levels and we’re stressed, we’ll be burning them up at a much higher level and we know that when our gut microbiome is out of balance, we have more bad stuff than good stuff.  We know that the bad microbes will be eating those nutrients versus making it and we know those bad microbes will be actually making more histamine byproducts as well.  So it’s this double-edged sword, when the gut’s out of balance, we eat the nutrients we need to break down histamine, the bad bacteria makes more of the histamine and then we don’t get a lot of those nutrients absorbed that help us make the enzymes to degrade histamine.  It’s a triple-edged sword.

Evan Brand:  Yeah and then think about, too, you need vitamin C to help reduce or sort of metabolize histamine for lack of a better word and a lot of people are gonna be pulling out citrus, even like lime-lemon.  Those are kinda demonized in the histamine world, if you are reacting to it.  So now, you don’t have enough vitamin C.  So I’ll try to supplement vitamin C personally and clinically and see if it helps and in many cases, it does.  So we’ll have people do quercetin which is in the vitamin C family to help stabilize mast cells that way we can prevent the release of histamine.  At least in theory, if we take a, you know, a shot of 500 mg of quercetin before—when I say a shot, I mean a powder, put in a shot glass with a shot of water and I’ll shoot it down like a 500 mg quercetin before a meal and then mix a little vitamin C with it and that tends to help reduce some of the reactions and then also the DAO before meals.  Let’s go in, just real quick list and then we’ll keep talking because you hit on something that I think people miss the boat on which is that and this is something you and I talked about before we hit record, which is that histamine intolerance or histamine issues are in effect.  What is the cause?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct.

Evan Brand:  So if histamine issues—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct.

Evan Brand:  Are in effect, what is the cause?  So let’s rant on that more in a minute but we hit the alcohol, fermented foods, cheeses, smoked foods, shellfish—many people that say they have a shellfish allergy, we suspect it’s a histamine issue—beans, nuts—my voice cracked, I said nuts, almonds, nuts.  I don’t know why but certain nuts get moldier than others, so for example like macadamias, for some reason, those and cashews tend to be more intolerable versus I find a lot of people do well with almonds.  Chocolate, vinegar, tomatoes, citrus.  So those are kinda like the histamine triggers but let’s go back to the gut because what you were saying is that the gut bacteria are gonna be doing several things.  They’re gonna messing up the gut barrier.  They’re gonna be producing histamine.  So regarding testing, if someone says, “Hey, how are you gonna test me for histamine?”  Let’s dive into that because the answer is we’re not directly gonna test you for histamine, correct?  We’re gonna be—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Looking deeper.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct.  I mean, there’s the markers like the, you can do the tryptase marker.  It’s a tryptase enzyme marker that you can do.  When you break down histamine.  DAO is one of these enzymes that helps break it down and there’s also histamine N-methyltransferase (HNMT).  I think you can also test some of those enzymes.  But for me, I just—I make clinical changes with the diet and I also give specific supplements and I let those symptoms kinda dictate.  But we also understand that that’s not root cause and this is where it’s very important where a lot of functional medicine people.  I see it a lot with naturopaths where they’ll kinda come in there and they’ll use supplements to just treat symptoms and they’re not getting to the root cause.  So we always have—I always draw a line with patients.  What’s gonna be palliative changes to allow you to feel better in the meantime and then number two is what’s gonna be more root cause.  Because sometimes root cause stuff’s a little bit slow and that’s not good if you need relief now.  So we need to figure out a way to get relief now, like you mentioned some of the natural antihistamines—stinging nettle, quercetin, NAC, bromelain, kidney tissue that has the DAO enzyme, maybe B6, copper, zinc, good quality multi.  So we’ll do those things.  We’ll make the diet changes.  We’ll look deeper at the gut and the adrenals because we know steroids also are part of what’s given to address some of these issues, right?  From a symptomatic standpoint.  We know steroids, like the big medication we know are the H1 receptors and H2 receptors are the big ones, right?  We know the H1s like your Benadryl and your Claritin, these are the H1 histamine receptor blockers.  The Benadryl, the Claritin, right?  And then the H2 ones are gonna be like your Peptid AC, right?  H1 is gonna be more the histamines in the muscles, where H2 histamine is gonna be more in the intestines in the abdomen and that’s gonna be affect the heart.  So H1, H2, so keep that in mind.  Those are the big ones.  There’s actually H1 through H4, but the big meds are H1, H2 and we know that the medications can be helpful but they have a lot of side effects and we have to be very careful with that.  And we also know that the gut and all these nutrients play a huge role and when we look at the nutrients, we have to one, get a good quality multivitamin there that’s gonna have a lot of these nutrients that are gonna be bio-available so we can absorb it easily and number two, we have to get our digestion under control and number three, we have to look at other issues deeper.  That could be a mold issue or it could even be a Lyme or a co-infection issue.  I always table Lyme stuff unless there’s a strong history of tick bites, I always table it and deal with the gut first and the adrenals and hormones even before that and then personally after that I’ll—I typically will deal with mold—Evan and I may differ on this.  I’ll typically look at and test mold right away if there’s a strong history, water damage in the home, history of visible mold or if we’re on the fence, we do a plate test or a urinary mold test or hey, do you feel better when you leave your house for a week, right?  If those symptoms are there, we’ll look a little bit deeper and we’ll test.  I typically don’t go after and address mold right away because a lot of how the mold is removed is via the hepatobiliary system so that’s liver, gallbladder, gut, and the stools.  So if we don’t have great gut issues, a lot of times we can re-absorb stuff.  A lot of the binders that we may give to help pull out mold can actually cause constipation, so I always fix the gut, fix the gut motility, fix digestion before going after mold but we can at least test in the person, the patient.  Test it in the house and we can at least start making house changes right away.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so I go after it straight away regarding testing but yeah, you’re right.  You gotta get people pooping before you go and do binders.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  And a lot of times like some of the binders you and I are using have folic acid so constipation is really an issue and if you’re bumping up magnesium and vitamin C and that kinda stuff, generally it’s no big deal but how I approach it is that way you mentioned, plus what will make me go after it more beyond just history is just looking at the mold symptoms.  So in my intake form now, I’ve got like 25 different symptoms and if they check off more than a handful, we’re like, “Huh, this doesn’t look good.”  So we’ll look into it and a lot of times, I mean, it’s showing positive.  One thing I wanted to mention on the drug piece, you did a great job talking about like all the over-the-counter stuff that people get into on their own now.  So the Zantac and the Pepcid and the Benadryl and the Zyrtec and the Allegra that kinda stuff, those antihistamines may work in the short term but we’re gonna downregulate DAO and you get for lack of a better word, you get stuck on it because now you don’t have enough DAO so, therefore, histamine rises more than it did before.  And then one other thing, too, is that—and there’s a lot of people talking in forums about this on antidepressants and I don’t know exactly the mechanism.  Maybe it’s depleting DAO, maybe it’s increasing histamine.  I don’t have the mechanism and the study right in front me but if you just look at histamine intolerance Zoloft or histamine intolerance Cymbalta, Effexor, these really, really extremely in fact common prescribed and commonly dosed antidepressants—those cause histamine problems.  So how many people out there, in fact, there was a lady who had a big website dedicate to this which was histamine intolerance after discontinuing Zoloft, and so I don’t even know if the science is clear on it but a lot of people are talking about this.  So if you have been doing an antidepressant and now you’re reacting to more foods that may be something to look into.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah and also, so we talked about some of the big medications, right?  A lot of the Allegra, the Zyrtec, the Benadryl, a lot of the H2, 1 blockers, right?  Here’s the rub here and this is where it gets really, really, really, really confusing is that we talked about how histamine is actually needed to make hydrochloric acid.  So guess what happens with this histamine medications.  They also reduce acid levels and guess what happens when you reduce your acid levels.  Now your digestion goes down south.  What happens when your digestion goes down south?  Now you start to have more SIBO and bacterial overgrowth.  Guess what SIBO and bacterial overgrowth does.  It produces more histamine metabolism.  So it’s this unbelievable vicious cycle people get on and it’s—

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Very, very frustrating.  Not to mention that okay, there’s the other class of medications that help with histamine, guess what.  They’re corticosteroid-based.  You see it with Singulair, right?  Or a lot of these steroid-based medications, well, maybe our adrenals are so weak, we don’t have enough of our natural cortisol, corticosteroids, so we’re not—we have to fix the adrenals with it as well because the adrenals help make that that corticosteroid called cortisol which helps with our natural inflammation and if we can’t put the fire of inflammation in our body out every day that fire is gonna run rampant and create more inflammation and that inflammation is gonna drive more histamine issues and like we talked about before, all of those histamine medications, they deplete the DAO enzyme so then the histamine that’s made, it hangs out way, way longer so it’s not just about making histamine.  It’s about now you can’t break it down so now it stays at the party.  It’s like it’s the guy at the party that just lingers way too long.  It’s like you should be out of here, dude, right?  Closing time.  But that’s what’s happening with histamine in our body.

Evan Brand:  Oh, man.  Well, it’s not to say that we’re saying, “Hey, don’t do those drugs.”  But man, it would be a lot of better if before you get to the point where you get put on a daily Zyrtec or a daily Allegra or something like that or a Zantac or a Pepcid, it would be so much better if we could just stop those people and just say, “Hang on, hang in there.  I know you’re symptomatic.  I know you need relief.  Hang on.  Let’s try some of these herbal antihistamines.  Let’s give you some extra Vitamin C, maybe some extra DAO.  Let’s get you on maybe some leaky gut support.  Let’s get you on low histamine diet for now.  Let’s run a stool test.  Let’s run organic acids.  Figure out what’s going on.  Let’s test your environment.  Hang tight.”  And then if we could do that, it’s just such a deep rabbit hole.  It seems like every time you and I do a conversation on a different health aspect, there’s always a drug that’s involved in terms of being palliative but it seems like there’s always a double-edged sword to that.  No matter what the topic is.  Isn’t it funny how you and I always end up here?  It’s like crap.  The drug helped but now it actually put us in a bigger hole and now we gotta get them out of this hole because now they are downregulated of DAO even more than they were before.  It’s like, ugh!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  This is the problem, right?  And so, in general we gotta look at the adrenals, gotta look at the inflammation because if you’re taking steroids, we need to have our natural anti-inflammatories going.  We have to be very careful of the medication.  If we’re using the medication, fine, use it sparingly, but just know it’s gonna create more dependency in the long run.  Also, I’d say a big thing is environmental allergens.  Environmental allergens can dry histamine.  So imagine like we have this big stress bucket, right?  And I’ve given this analogy a lot over the years.  We put our stress balls in this bucket.  When that bucket fills up and overflows, this is where symptoms happen.  So, some people they come in genetically with a big bucket.  They can handle a lot.  They can deal with more stress and they have more adaptability.  Some come in with a small bucket and that bucket is already half full because they are exposed to mold, right?  Or heavy metals or they’re not eating organic.  So that now they’re bucket’s already at the very top and then you add in a little bit of gut dysbiosis or you add in some environmental allergens—BOOM! Histamine symptoms are going crazy now.  So we have to look at that.  So one of the first things is get the stressors out of that bucket and a lot of times so those stressors could be things unrelated to histamine, right?

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So that could be just eating organic, clean water.  The other component is environmental allergens can be a big deal.  If you’re out in Austin.  Cedar is big this time of the year.  You’re breathing in cedar and that hangs out in your sinuses all day and you don’t have a good air filter at home at night then you’re in this stressed-out state because that cedar’s up in your nose causing problems.  So my protocol with patients is we have a really good sinus irrigation system to flush thing’s out.  We clean it out with saline and Xly or Xylitol to knock out any biofilm.  We do it twice a day especially once we come in for the day, we are flushing our sinuses out so it’s clean for the day and we have really good air filtration so then when we are resting at night we are not in this fight or flight state because all the cedar is up in our frontal sinuses creating inflammation all night.  We flush it out once we come inside.  We flush it out when we start the day.  We may even do it midday if we’re really bad just to keep our immune system from overreacting and then we gotta have that clear air filtration at night so when we come home our immune system can relax.  Because if these environmental things are just keeping us in a fight or flight state, it’s gonna be hard to feel better.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so you’re basically saying, “Let’s try to get some of the things in the bucket, the external histamine bucket down, that way potentially you could tolerate that food and then we’re working behind the scenes to work on the gut and reduce some of the bacteria making histamine there.”  Now here’s one thing we didn’t hit upon yet which is the hormonal link and so I have had many women say that they’re symptoms are worse right before their period starts and I’ve heard of many women who are postmenopausal who are now doing like estrogen replacement and other hormones and estrogen decreases the breakdown of histamine because it actually messes up with DAO, too.  Estrogen can lower DAO.  So if you think about all these women that were doing birth control pills or hormones or anything to mess up estrogen or you just think about the thousands of ways we’re exposed to the xenoestrogens in the environment like reheating our food in plastic and drinking from single-use water bottles that got exposed to sun and things like that.  The whole estrogen-histamine link is big and maybe that’s why we see so many more women than men, you know, I would say it’s a vast majority.  We see a lot more women deal with histamine problems than men.  I think it’s probably due to the hormonal changes and so like if we’re looking at that stool, you hit upon the gut bugs.  When we’re looking at the stool, we’re also gonna look at that glucuronidation pathway and if we see that that’s messed up, and if they’re taking hormones or if they just have estrogen dominance as a history, that’s gonna mess them up more.  So we have to address that as well.  So if you go to the gut guy and he hits on your gut and gives you some herbs there and you don’t get better, the hormonal piece and I guess that would factor in to your adrenals, too, because the adrenal test that we’re looking at, you know, that’s gonna look at hormones, too.  So we’d probably kill 2 birds with 1 stone there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Exactly and also I would say, so you’re—what you’re proposing as a mechanism is that estrogen helps break down histamine?

Evan Brand:  No, so estrogen depletes DAO.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, so when you’re estrogen’s too high, you’re depleting DAO.

Evan Brand:  That’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, so if you’re estrogen-dominant, you’re gonna be depleting DAO.

Evan Brand:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I would also say that when a woman goes through PMS, what’s happening in PMS, right? PMS is premenstrual syndrome, so right before menstruation that’s right at the heart of the luteal phase, if progesterone drops out early, that’s a lot of times what’s driving PMS.  That one, that enhances the estrogen dominance, right?  So high levels of estrogen deplete DAO, that supports and kind of, you know, backs up your mechanism there.  The other thing is progesterone is an anti-inflammatory.  Progesterone is a precursor to steroids like cortisol.  What do you get when you take Singulair?  You’re increasing cortisol.  If your progesterone is dropping out too soon?  What does that mean?  Less anti-inflammatory building block, right?  So all of this makes sense.  We’re trying to be the bridge to connect these hormonal issues to the deeper histamine but also connect the gut issues because it’s all connected, you know, in the interwebs of functional medicine.  So progesterone, estrogen dominance, all makes sense.  Progesterone anti-inflammatory.  Progesterone drops out too soon, that’s the PMS symptomatology there and that’s what driving the inability to regulate inflammation and then also estrogen dominance, right?  Estrogen higher in relation to the progesterone will deplete DAO which is the enzyme that cleans us histamine.  So all of this makes so much sense.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and there’s a couple of papers on this, too, about the estrogen effects and allergy and asthma, and there are these papers kinda talking about women that are doing supplemental hormones and all of a sudden they’ve got new-onset asthma when they’ve never had it before and it started after they were doing hormones, and so that talks about how boosting up the hormones is affected the mast cells too much and then that’s creating more of an inflammatory chemical-release of histamine and probably other mediators, too.  So this is interesting and I think this is probably the answer.  I didn’t really know this but until I looked at it but it makes sense why we see so many more women than men suffering.  What you say clinically, I mean, women as a whole more in general but with this specific issue, would you say what you’ve seen is more women than men?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Women’s hormones are much more of a symphony that happens throughout the month and it’s very easy for a symphony to turn into noise, right?  If the strings aren’t in there with the percussion instruments, you’re gonna get noise.  So when you start to have hormones a little bit out of balance, it’s gonna affect women in their ability to deal with stress and part of those stressors could be histamine.  So that’s really important and with stress in our environment, we are going to knock down progesterone and with a lot of the estrogens being in our environment, in plastics, pesticides, various chemicals, water, it just only drives more estrogen dominance, right?  It just drives more of these histamine issues.  So it totally makes sense but we have solutions and functional medicine is gonna be the best thing because we know just throwing birth control pills in there, guess what?  That depletes DAO further because that’s just heightening estrogen dominance, right?  And then just throwing in there antihistamines, well, guess what?  That creates more low stomach acid situations.  That’s gonna make digestion harder, breaking down proteins and fats harder, and that’s gonna perpetuate more SIBO, right?  Because if we don’t have good digestion, bacteria proliferate and an environment where there’s not good digestion.

Evan Brand:  Humans always have to complicate things, don’t they?  Will all the drugs, it’s like, “Darn it!”  I mean, without the drugs, I know drugs save lives, drugs save people, antidepressants prevent people from committing suicide and you know, heart drugs help stabilize the heart rhythm and blood pressure drugs help get the blood pressure down so they don’t have stroke.  I mean, I know drugs are needed, but man, every time we uncover some of these connections between the medications and these deeper issues, it’s just like ahhh.  I wish—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know.

Evan Brand:  We could save people from getting on them.  Yeah, if people just wanna look up, you just put in like estrogen DAO or you put in like sex hormone DAO, you’ll find some papers on this stuff.  It’s just—it’s pretty crazy how connected this stuff is and so.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It is.

Evan Brand:  We’re trying to cover it all.  It’s tough to do what we’re doing in half an hour but we’re trying to make sure you address hormones, you address gut, you address adrenals, you address the sleep, you address the diet, you have to hit all of these pieces if you fully wanna beat this issue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  Well, to get more info on this, guys, head on to to reach out to Evan and schedule with him.  You can also head over to Dr. J, myself, at  We’re here to help you guys.  We’re available worldwide via Skype, Facetime, phone, video consultation.  We’re here to help.  Just make sure you guys take one piece of intel from this conversation today.  Apply it to your health and life.  We hope that you guys understand some of the deeper mechanisms and why some of the medications may help acutely but long term may set you up for more problems.  I hope you guys enjoyed it.  Sharing is caring.  Give us a share.  Put your comments down below.  If you’re suffering from histamine, let us know.  We’re curious about it.  We wanna engage in a deeper conversation and hope you guys enjoyed the podcast.  Evan, anything else?

Evan Brand:  No, that’s it.  Y’all take care.  Have a great day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Take care, guys.  Bye y’all.

Evan Brand:  Bye.


Audio Podcast:

Two Ways To Take Binders To Detox The Gut

If you’re seeking out functional medicine, you may have your own agenda but listen to the practitioner’s agenda, too, because even if you’ve gone through this a thousand times, we can tell you straight up, “Hey, look, if you’ve got way too much inflammation–I know you wanna get rid of the bugs, so do we–but you may feel crap if we do it too soon.”  So we want to build everything up so we have that foundation ready to go.

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor to learn more about detoxification!

There are two ways to take a binder:

  1. When you know you’re eating questionable food or drink and you want it to be in your system to bind any potential crud with that up.  That’s where you would take that with that food.
  2. When you’re in the middle of a detoxification program and it’s a longer term thing.  We probably don’t want you taking that binder every single day with regular healthy food.  So we would have you do it typically an hour before meal and/or 2 to 3 hours after a meal to avoid binding up those minerals and nutrients.  So we would try to time it up on an empty stomach.  Now sometimes it’s easier to do it mid-day between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner or some people will do it when they get it and then when they go to bed, and just leave an hour before, half-hour or 45 minutes before breakfast in the morning, and then at least 2 hours after dinner at night.  Those are really good prime times and of course, a holiday weekend.

You can always take activated charcoal with any of your questionable foods and drink.  That’s super helpful. Dosing-wise, most of the time when you find activated charcoal, it’s going to be in about a 250 mg to 500 mg dose.

Detoxification and Binding

You have to mobilize a lot of your toxins but you have to detox them at the same time, so it’s kinda this seesaw where if you do too much glutathione but not enough binders, you may feel worse.  Or if you don’t do enough glutathione or enough binder, then you may still feel bad. When you feel like your best and you’re not recirculating toxins, it’s the perfect dose of glutathione. As per Evan Brand’s experience, it is about 200 mg of acetyl-glutathione with NAC 1 gram and then 500 mg of charcoal.

How to take it?

As an example, glutathione would come first in the morning 7 AM then wait an hour to do binders or in reverse.  So you could do binders first thing at 7 am, glutathione at 8 am, and then breakfast right after.

The hardest part is the timing and remembering to take them. Just remember to take them away from your medication, your other supplements and herbs.

Supporting the Lymph

  1. Drinking enough water helps support the lymph.  The solution to pollution is dilution, right?  Say that 4 times fast.  We wanna make sure we’re providing hydration so the lymph can move.
  2. Ginger tea is awesome.  I use this with a lot of my patients because ginger is anti-inflammatory.  It’s essentially an anticoagulant.  It keeps things moving.  It’s also a biofilm buster.  So the biofilm or these protective shields used by critters, it will definitely help with that and take those shields out of their hand and allow the antimicrobials to be more effective, so that’s for sure.
  3. Now a couple of other gentle lymphatic supports that we’ll do is we’ll do a red root which is gonna be a powerful anticoagulant.
  4. Slippery elm.
  5. Dandelion.
  6. Milk thistle.
  7. Skullcap.
  8. Rhubarb.
  9. Rosehips are shown to be incredibly effective at mobilizing toxins and just kinda gently nudging it out of the body.

These are all very, very powerful strategies that we can utilize to keep things moving.

If you have gut issues and would like to use binders to detox the gut effectively, click here to schedule an appointment!

Dealing with Co-infections and Fibromyalgia | Podcast #284

Here comes another episode of Beyond Wellness Podcast. It turns out that herbs are just more powerful than we know. For this episode, we have Dr. Bill Rawls, who went live with us to discuss co-infections, fibromyalgia. Also, Dr. Rawls shares more information on some of his favorite herbs to address co infections and also formulating them into supplements. Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

02:13     Special Herb Formulas by VitalPlan

10:19     Manufacturing

13:25     Dr. Rawl Personal Health Journey

23:40     Gut Infections, Lyme Infections

32:11     Keeping a Strong Immune System

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani in the house with Dr. Rawls. We have an exciting interview, we’re going to be talking about co infections. We’re going to be talking about fibromyalgia. We’ll be talking with Dr. Rawls here about, you know, formulating supplements, some of his favorite herbs to address co infections as well as real live clinical experience. I’m really excited to have Dr. Rawls on the podcast Doc, how are we doing this morning?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Oh, wonderful. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, thank you. Awesome. So how did you get into this field? Because obviously you were trained as a conventional medical doctor and you’ve had to go from go from medical school and get all this experience about things on the functional integrative medicine side. How did you make that journey from conventional medical doctor to more holistic, functional medical doctor?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah, sometimes life forces you into things that you’re not expecting. I actually went into ob gyn as my specialty because I dealt with wellness and was not heavy Lee And embroiled in medications. So it was it was definitely more active. But it came with really bad night call and bad health habits bad night call my health crash by the time I was at the end of my 40s call it fibromyalgia. Later I found out I was curing the microbes that come with Lyme disease. And my conventional colleagues couldn’t help me. They couldn’t figure it out. They and so I turned away from conventional medicine, became certified in holistic medicine, but found my real salvation with herbal therapy and ultimately got my life back and nowadays 62 better health than most people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow, that’s excellent. That’s really good. So I know you kind of have a lot of specific herbal formulas that you’ve created, you know, you’re over at, as well. And some of your herbs I find very interesting. Can you kind of talk about why you choose why you’ve chose some of the herbs that you have? And just some of your favorite clinically, as well, as you know, personally, because I think you have a story with some of these as well. Can you touch upon that? 

Dr. Bill Rawls: Oh, sure. Yeah, it’s, well, first of all, there are a lot of herbs out there that I think have value for Lyme disease, in really any kind of medical condition, especially chronic conditions. And even I think there’s some applications to things like COVID Yes, that are important. Herbs have antimicrobial properties, because if you look at what the earth is, it’s plant chemicals, what we call phytochemicals. So all plants producing a wide spectrum of chemicals to to protect themselves from various kinds of microbes, insects, free radicals, everything else. So when we take in that fight of chemistry of the plant, it’s especially intense and wild plants that we call herbs, we gain those benefits, we’re basically embracing the natural defenses. Where where it differs between plants is evolution, you know, one plant that evolved in one place will have a different spectrum of phytochemicals than another plant that evolved and another place. So like rhodiola, which is a really nice adaptogen and helps you to stress is grows in really harsh northern climates. So it’s not as much producing antimicrobials, but it produces chemicals that help resist stress, because that’s what the plants having to deal with. Whereas cat’s claw from the Amazon, while it’s having to deal with a lot of microbes, so it’s producing a lot of antimicrobials. So in our formulas, I typically use a balance and I think this is really Really important, um, the antimicrobial herbs like cat’s claw. Another one that I like is [inaudible], Japanese knotweed, garlic if you use a stabilized extract, [inaudible] is another one. Yeah, there’s there’s really a nice list of antimicrobial herbs. And these herbs have direct antiviral antibacterial properties. In fact, some of those herbs, there was actually a study out of John Hall, Johns Hopkins recently that showed these had better and some of these herbs had better antimicrobial properties than antibiotics, which is really cool. But, but you’re not getting just those those antimicrobial properties. You’re getting things that also stimulate immune system and drive things. But you can make the immune system too hot, you can drive it too hard. So I typically balance it with what we call immune modules. It hurts like reishi mushroom and cortisol and salvia militarize, which is a species of red sage. Okay, and so these things balanced the immune system and keep it from getting too hot. And that combination together, along with other supportive ingredients like Luna file can really do wonders for a lot of different conditions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now I find a lot of medical doctors, they kind of jump on the functional medicine or like the CO infection line bandwagon. A lot of them go really heavy on antibiotics, and I noticed you haven’t really taken that path. Have you evolved to this position? Were you more on the antibiotic path? Is there a place for antibiotics? It seems like you lean more to the herbs because it’s the immune building qualities, the immune modulation, the viral replication, a little bit more supportive than killing what’s your take on the strategy that you’ve chosen versus some of the antibiotics.

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah, You know it again, faith drives where you go in life so much. And when I when I, I struggled with fibromyalgia for years, and to get over that I started changing my diet, doing better health habits, etc, started doing some herbs. But then I found that I had the microbes was fine, but I immediately jumped on antibiotics and they made me much sicker very rapidly. So, I really was forced in this other direction of herbal therapy. And it was really years before I started figuring out why you know, what’s going on here? You know, I just said there’s a study from John Hopkins showing that some of these herbs were better than antibiotics. No, why are antibiotics such a problem? The problem with antibiotics is they’re indiscriminate. They’re, they target specific microbes, and they they’re very intense. So what happens when you use an antibiotic is you start a race as soon as you start that antibiotic, it’s like will I kill off the targeted the microbe I’m targeting before I kill off all my normal flora and destroy my gut and my system, which trashes my immune system even worse. So when you look at acute infections, and acute pneumonia, acute Lyme disease, antibiotics are effective, because they knock down the numbers. But this thing that antibiotics eradicate microbes is an absolute myth. There is no antibiotic on earth that will completely eradicate a pathogen. It’s always up to the immune system. And a good example of that is if you’ve got an elderly person or someone with AIDS, that has no immune system left and they get something like a pneumonia. It doesn’t matter how much antibiotic you give them, and they are going to die. That’s all right. Do it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I find that I find that to be 100% true where antibiotics may be better for more acute infection. But like you said, I think combining the herbs along with it or like right after it just because of the immune building effects. There’s also a lot of data on the fact that antibiotics can create a lot of mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress. And the nice thing about Mother Nature’s antibiotics, they tend to be packaged with a whole bunch of antioxidants as well. And actually nutrition and a lot of cases, right. some herbs actually have extra nutrients like magnesium or zinc and such and can help support the body on the nutritional side as well. And I imagine when you’re seeing a person and there, they have co infections, you may be using other nutrients along with the herbs. I think you already just alluded to glutathione what other nutrients Do you like to stack in there to really work on building up that patient’s immune response?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Sure. Well, just to finish it up on the herbs, I guess, you the when you look at that complex biochemistry of Europe, you’ve got Think about the fact that the plant, it has to kill off the pathogens and not destroy its own normal flora. Yeah, one interesting factor that I found with the herbs is herbs tend to balance the microbiome. They don’t kill the normal Flora like antibiotics do. So you can use them long term for years and years and years without having that bacterial resistance and without disrupting normal flora. So that makes them a really, really useful tool. So in our regiments, we use primarily herbs, but there are some other nutrients that are found to be valuable. As topped the list NAC is a good one and acetal cysteine has a lot of value. Basic vitamins can be beneficial like and but using the natural forms of vitamin E, like the natural phalates instead of fully acid. Correct, some basic minerals, those things are most important for someone who’s struggling with chronic illness though and may not be absorbing those nutrients for healthy people, they don’t need those those nutrients as much. But struggling with chronic illness, I think they can be very important in that recovery process.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very interesting. And when you source the herbs, how important is the quality because I imagine you know, just like we go out and we can buy meat from McDonald’s, we can also buy the grass fed organic meat from the from the butcher or the local farmer down the street. How important is quality when you’re sourcing supplements? Because I mean, you’re manufacturing your product. So you’re choosing the raw material that you’re buying.

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah, everything you know, and if I can do it, I would grow everything myself and process it all the way through but it’s not practical because what you find is like I said, rhodiola grows in an Arctic regions where catalog grows in the Amazon. So if you want to get that that full spectrum, you’re going to have to get different herbs from different places. So it is really a matter of the trustworthiness of the company and whether they’re doing the things that we need to do. And that tends to cost more. We, you know, I have a supply chain manager that I can I work together sourcing herbs, and we’re looking for the suppliers that we can trace it back to the form that we can, you know, we know that this particular farm is doing the right things to potentiate the value of the Phyto chemistry of the earth. And we know that because we do testing, so some of it is third party testing that the supplier does that you get a certificate of analysis that defines it is the species that you’re looking for that it has that photochemistry that you’re looking for, and it doesn’t contain contaminants, chemical contaminants, like heavy medical, metal, organic toxins, but we don’t stop there, we actually take a sample of that extract that’s coming from that supplier. And we have independently tested to make sure that that’s, that’s the truth. And then we actually test three times during the manufacturing process to make sure that everything is being mixed properly, and that our customers are getting what they want, and that we’re going to have something that actually works and that is the thing that I can do that it’s a real proof in the pudding is that the products work and, and we’ve had great success with them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. Yeah, cuz I know like I’ve seen like supplements on Walgreens and CVS, I manufacture my supplements too. And I see things on the shelf. I’m like, that product is too cheap. I know if I buy kilograms of that raw material. At a bulk rate, not even encapsulating or testing, it’s costing more than what’s on the shelf. So I know there’s definitely a quality impact and people tend to look at and price shop, but quality supplements definitely cost a lot more you get what you pay for, for sure. 

Dr. Bill Rawls: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, yeah, no, no. And it’s worth put the money in something that has the value that does have those credentials find.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. Now, I know you had a personal health journey, you kind of mentioned with certain co infections in fibromyalgia, which specific herbs or nutrients really move the needle for you that helped you get over some of the infections you were dealing with personally?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah. That’s where I think about Lyme disease, I think a little bit differently. And a lot of other practitioners out there, in that. I feel like more than anything else, what we’ve got here is an insult to the immune system. Mm hmm. And that is true. Driving the whole thing. So when we look at these things that we define as co infections, borrelia, and all the different species of microbes, most of these things are not highly virulent, they don’t have a high propensity to cause disease. Like me, I probably had been carrying these things in my body for years and years, it wasn’t until I trashed my immune system that I got sick. So when you look at this concept of microbiome in the body, we all have pathogens were riddled with access. And if you pick up certain things from ticks, then you’re going to increase your risk of chronic illness. But that’s not going to happen unless you actually trashed your immune system. So whether you’re talking about the vizia, or different species of rickettsia, borrelia, or anything else, all of these things are commonly carried harbored by people that do not become ill ever So typically when I’ve seen patients with the chronic illness, what we call chronic Lyme disease, typically they all have a story, you know, you can trace it back to a perfect storm of factors. It’s, it’s nice, you know, most people, it’s not like, well, I remember the tick bite and I got sick right after the tick bite. When I go back and asset history, it’s more than that. Oh, yeah, you know, my house burned down my business laughs My wife left and I had all this stress. And that’s when I became ill. So I think when we’re looking at this concept, we’re talking about all of the different pathogens in the body start becoming active because the immune system has been suppressed and it becomes a vicious cycle. So we have these things throughout our body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Imagine with yourself, you could probably try to trace it back to residency and years and years of being on call, and and maybe you know, I know medical school, there’s not really much education on nutrition. So maybe your nutrition wasn’t the tip top at that time, but that kind of be the sequence for you if you were to go back in time with that stress. 

Dr. Bill Rawls: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. You know, I was more I think enlightened. I was trying to do the right thing back in the 80s as far as nutrition, but we were getting bad information. You know, it was like, Oh, you got to eat all this whole grain. 

Unknown Speaker  


Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah. And you know, so it wasn’t until later when I started to question those things. And I was well off gluten before the gluten free craze came along smart but yeah, you know, I I promoted good health practices in my practice, but you take call every second to third night that you don’t sleep and then back in the 80s. It was good people were questioning the value of well Do we really need to sleep added on into that. So yeah, so when I wasn’t on call, it’s like I was going to make up for all the time I was on call by not sleeping. And I was averaging maybe four hours of sleep most nights. And it caught up with me along with just pushing that stress button way too hard and eating on the run. You know, I was telling people how to eat. I wasn’t doing it because I didn’t have time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So when you start with the patient, right, what are some of the simple diet and lifestyle changes that you’re making? It sounds like you’re having cut out gluten, which I find to be a huge game changer for me, I kind of lean on to a paleo template and then we kind of adjust macros and such and some people, you know, have autoimmune they need to cut out more foods. Some have a lot of SIBO and maybe even need to do you know, more restrictive things like fodmap but what are some of the foundational things that you do diet wise starting out and it sounds like you kind of set the foundation first and then and then do some of the others immune killing stuff maybe later on when they’re more supported. Is that right?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah, we do have In the protocols that we do, we have a diet, a progressive diet program that’s in phases. It’s probably a lot like what you’re doing. But it’s just getting people off processed food. So when it comes to diet, I have three rules, three primary rules that I follow for myself. One, eat more vegetables than anything else. By the end of the day, you should have eaten more vegetables than any other thing. Solid. Number two is eat fresh food that comes from living sources, which I think is really important and that cuts out most of the processed food. Number three, donate any more calories and then you need in a day. And if you do those things, if you can find a way it doesn’t matter whether you’re a vegetarian or eat meat or have some carbohydrates or eat some grains, you know if you’re doing those basic things, You’re probably going to going to gravitate toward a healthier diet. But the big thing for me that I did years and years ago and lost 30 pounds pretty quickly in the process was just giving up bread and things made with flour. That single thing was huge.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mhmm. And then when you’re seeing people with CO infant, I think it’s really it’s, you know, solid information. Like I always tell patients start with the low hanging fruit because, one, you’re increasing nutrients on one side, and two, those are foods or they’re suppressing your immune system. So you get a double whammy there. you support the nutrients that support the immune system, and then you decrease the stressors. So it allows that to come up a lot faster and better. How are you assessing Lyme? How are you assessing these co infections? Do you do any specific testing? Are you using symptom survey? Do you do any energetic muscle testing? What’s your perspective on assessing?

Dr. Bill Rawls: You know, when I when I did a medical practice, I did a lot of different kinds of testing. I went through a phase where I was doing just tons and tons of functional medicine testing. And I, as I went through time, I found that I used those things less and less and found less value in them because I could learn so much just by talking to the patients. And I think that’s what so many doctors, especially conventional doctors don’t do is there’s really no rewards in our system for talking to patients. And that’s where you really learn the information. But when we look at this thing we call chronic Lyme disease. I’m not I can I see most illness is more of a continuum with chronic immune dysfunction right in the center. So I think there are people out there that have all the symptoms of chronic Lyme disease that aren’t carrying borrelia but they are carrying other microbes like borrelia, and they have immune dysfunction. So it’s basically all The same symptomatology, even technically they don’t have Lyme disease. And when you look at that, and that that concept of this disruption of the microbiome and picking up all of these opportunities to mystic microbes as we do through life, because we do you know, we pick up bartonella from pets, we pick up mycoplasma, we pick up chlamydia. So these are non tick borne things that all of us pick up that can cause the same symptoms. But about a year or two ago, I sat down in and researched all the microbes that I could find that or have the characteristics that we call stealth microbes, they live inside cells, they they manipulate the immune system, they tend to just have a presence deep in tissue inside cells. And I found well over 100 species of microbes that have the potential to be involved with this kind of chronic illness but can also be present In the body without causing illness. So there are a lot of potential things out there. So everything we’re touching the things that we’re testing for just really, it’s a drop in the bucket, you know, we’re barely scratching the surface. And that’s the cool thing. When you use comprehensive herbal therapy, you’re addressing all of these different things. So it often doesn’t matter is much. So I tend to use testing when people aren’t getting Well, you know, we put them on a basic protocol, change their diet, change their approach to life to put them on a regimen of herbs, and then if they’re not getting Well, well, that’s an indication that to seek out different kinds of testing, but most of the time 50% of the time or more, they will need it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. In my practice, clinically, you know, we set the foundation we work a lot with you know, adrenal stress because the adrenal is kind of our the big interplay with that sympathetic nervous system so we a lot of times we see cortisol imbalances or cortisol rhythm issues, usually from HPA access disruption. So we fixed the stress, we fixed the diet, really support the hormones and you mentioned like rhodiola as being one big, big fan of those adaptogens. And that really supports the immune system. I find addressing a lot of stealth gut infections, I tend to prioritize that first because I know 80% of the immune systems in the gut. So if someone has h pylori or SIBO or maybe a Giardia infection, I clinically find knocking that down one helps them digest their food better. So they’re getting more nutrition from their food. But to these infections aren’t there they are creating gut permeability. They aren’t creating as much inflammation. What’s your take on gut infections and how do you sequence addressing gut infections in relation to like Lyme co infections?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah, it’s, you’re right. You know, a significant portion of the immune system is surrounding the gut because the gut has so many challenges with we’ve got so much stuff coming Through our gut, we’re feeding all of those microbes. And if you’re eating bad food, you’re feeding bad microbes. Those microbes are very active as far as neurotransmitters they produce that affect our system, and damage to the colon itself. So you ended up with leaky gut, which I did, I was I did food sensitivity testing when I was in the throes of everything. And I was sensitive to 70 75% of foods that I was eating. And it was because and you see that commonly with leaky gut. So once the gutters damage, you get proteins that are flooding across. So a lot of times I didn’t know whether it was the microbes causing the symptoms or the food sensitivities causing the symptoms. And a lot of times it’s both. So yes, addressing that gut dysfunction is really important. Diet is the first step of course, because what you feed your microbes is so remarkable. Important some people find value with probiotics. I think it’s kind of hit or miss. And I think we’re you know, we’re still learning with probiotics but the thing that I found that addressed those those kinds of problems, more than anything else with the herbs again, especially herbs like berberine and berberine, containing herbs and others that support the gut. slippery elm is really good for protecting the gut and allow it to heal. But the other herbs that I mentioned also have some benefits to the gut to so the herbs tend to suppress the bad microbes suppress the bank microbes in the gut that are causing the SIBO suppress Canada. And if you’re, you know, getting people on good foods that are cultivating that, that normal, healthy Flora then then then you’ll get there. What were the struggle for a lot of people though, is our standard American diet is so bad and that’s what people have been used to since they were children. It’s really, really hard to move them over to a good diet. It’s a very gradual process. So we started out with a pretty strict diet that we, you know, use foods that don’t cause typically cause food sensitivities that cultivate good gut flora and move people to a better place beyond that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. I know some of the herbs that you know one of your famous products advanced biotic you have the Japanese knotweed, the cat’s claw, the Andrew graphics, the sask. Birla, which are great for some of these co infections. Do you have any favorite specific herbs that you like for just general parasite cleansing or just some of the herbs you’ve had really good success with clinically?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Well, all of these things have parasite capabilities. The cat’s claw and underground fists are traditionally been traditionally used. Going beyond that, for people that feel like they need a parasite. So, defining parasite, we’re generally talking about intestinal worms, which are multicellular organisms. And they’re good a classic combination is Artemisia, or warm wood, and black walnut and clove. And those are pretty stronger. So I don’t typically use them long term. Not everybody will need to, though. I mean, it’s, you know, the difference between what we call parasites that are multicellular organisms and the microbes that are in our body which are single celled organisms, protozoa, bacteria, viruses, etc. The all of the the microbes can reproduce within the body, whereas multicellular organism cannot. The only way that you can get intestinal worms is ingesting either eggs or larva. So you have to have that constant re inoculation. These things are not breeding inside your body. So once they die off, they’re gone. If and the only way to perpetuate those things is to keep reenact you lating yourself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How do you categorize amoebas? Like like blasto or like [inaudible], how do you categorize?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Well, they can they can reproduce in the body but but so some of those things are common and and they can take up residence and hang around for a long time, but your typical worms do not. So people in this country don’t have a big load of worms because we don’t have contamination of our food, typically with eggs, or or larva which comes from fecal contamination is really common in third world countries but we don’t carry as much of an intestinal burden, probably less than humans have ever carried. And in this country, it’s pretty much in been endemic throughout human history because of fecal contamination of food. And again, it’s still really common in third world countries, but not as common here. So I find that just most of the standard herbs would be under graphics and cat’s claw and those kinds of things will gradually take care of those problems. But then for people who feel like they have Giardia or can be Dora the kinds of things that they picked up, which do happen. That Art Museum close, but well not combination is great. And there are other ones that are good too. I mean, that’s a nice thing about herbs. There’s so many choices.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s very cool. Now clinically, is there is there any like low hanging fruit like it’s underrated people don’t really think about it as like a big clinical mover but you know for you, it’s better A big clinical success. In your practice, you use it a lot, but it may not be well known any like, Is there one or two big clinical pearls that kind of come to the tip of your head?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Hmm. Wow, probably just herbal therapy. I mean, I think that has more healing you than anything else out there. And there’s no doubt about it. And it’s just, it’s that different approach. You know, so much of what we do and how we’re how I was trained as a conventional doctor, is you, you take the patient, you collect the symptoms, you do a physical exam, you do labs to find the diagnosis and you treat the diagnosis with drugs or whatever. But what I started doing after my life changed by by chronic illness was working backwards to instead of asking the page, asking how a patient is He’ll ask why? Why is this patient You know? And so in my protocols, I always step back to look at the patient’s life, you know, what are they eating? how impressed what kind of exposure to microbes that they have? What kind of exposure to toxins, you know, that list and going down that list, and I always found answers. And most of the time, I could help a patient Well, before we even got to the point of finding the diagnosis.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I agree. I think a timeline history is so important I interview patients I like to find out Hey, when did things first start to go sideways? What was going on? And then what happened five years later after you move what happened after the divorce? I like that really understand with that timeline, the stressors and how did it impact you? Did you ever come back from it that you resolve it? Where are you at now and it gets really important because the history I think you know, good doctor will tell you history reveals a lot. I think that’s powerful. Next up any thoughts on this whole COVID crisis. I mean, we can go into it from you know, just your medical perspective, being a medical doctor as well as you know, what are things you’re doing to help protect you and your patients just to keep your immune system strong?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah, yeah, that’s we can have a whole nother big session on COVID. And I, I followed it from the beginning. And it’s, it’s quite an enigma. You know, the thing about this Coronavirus that makes it very frustrating is that most people don’t get very sick. It’s not nearly as virulent as I think everybody thought in the beginning. And typically, that concept of virulence is important. If something is very highly virulent than most people will get sick and you can identify the people that are sick very readily and you can quarantine them that’s why quarantine works so well for something like a bola virus. That’s why quarantine worked with the previous SARS and Mears outbreaks because those those microbes were much more virulent, they made people sick. So you could identify the people that were sick and quarantine them and contain it. This thing isn’t nearly as virulent you know, it’s looking at as they’re coming out with serology, it’s looking like this, the the mortality associated with this virus is closer to influenza, maybe even less than a year, I’ve seen that and half of people barely get sick at all, may not even have its symptoms of a common cold. So it is very, very difficult to control it. So whereas I think isolation was a good idea in the beginning to get let the hospitals catch up with supplies and everything else. Because some people do get really, really sick with this thing. Then I think that was a good idea. But I think as we go through time, it’s great. Going to become less and less and less valuable because it’s just going to destroy the economy. But what I don’t hear and what I really, really frustrated about is when I listened to the news when I listened to the medical establishment, I am hearing the latest statistics and what drug they’re looking for all of which have side of really bad side effects and when we’re going to get a vaccine so we can actually control this thing, and absolutely nothing about immune health. Nobody is promoting the importance of immune health. And what I can tell you is the people that keep their immune system healthy, have a much, much, much lower chance of ending up in the hospital and dying from this thing. And, and, you know, we’re just not hearing anything about that. And we do know something about some of the herbs. Some of the things that are already out there have been found a habit tivity again, Against previous Corona viruses. So Japanese knotweed Chinese skullcap some of the things that we’re actually using for line actually have good value have been shown to be effective for Coronavirus glue to fire them has been shown to reduce the severity of the the illness. Ginger, good old ginger tea has been shown to decrease the potential for these viruses defined for the to the respiratory tract. Yeah, so you’ve got all these and vitamin C, Vitamin C is extraordinary zinc. So we have all these natural things and we’re hearing nothing about them. In fact, they’re even being demonized by some people as Oh, we don’t know anything about that because nobody studied it yet. But and this knee jerk thing to to to incriminate natural therapy is being non effective, even though there’s evidence to the client Contrary, nobody’s looking at so I’ve found that to be hugely frustrating.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I 100% echo those sentiments. I think we are playing a defensive approach, washing hands social distancing, I think we kind of know intuitively to stay away from people that are sick, right? And, you know, a we can learn to wash your hands. That makes sense, but we need to get offense right. And the offense, like you mentioned, are some of those essential nutrients like I’ve been recommending ginger tea for over a decade. I mean, like you mentioned, the viral replication aspect for ending the virus from sticking on. You know, in this case that that h2 receptor site, you also mentioned, the lethality aspects and I’ve been talking about this quite frequently. And the data coming out of studies out of MIT, USC, Stanford, so when you calculate you know, mortality rate, people listening at home, right, you take the numerator, which is how many people died and then you put it over a denominator how many cases they are. The problem is there’s about 25 to 50 times more people that are part of that denominator that we don’t even know about. So then when you add the 25 to 50, then that makes that death rate a lot lower number two, if there’s 25 to 50 times more people now we got a lot more herd immunity out there, which is preventing that infection from being passed around, which I think is vitally, vitally important. And the other third issue I have is, I don’t know You can tell me because you’re in the medical you know, seen more. They created two diagnostic codes for this infection you owe 7.1 you owe 7.2. You owe 7.1 is an objective diagnosis with the PCR testing. Ul 7.2 is an epidemiological diagnosis that does not require any objective testing. If you have any upper respiratory tract symptoms and you die. You can be classified as you Oh, 7.2 totally subjective. Do you know any other diseases that have two diagnostic criterias and one that’s totally subjective. 

Dr. Bill Rawls: Well, I yeah. Coding System is-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is the flu like that at all?

Dr. Bill Rawls: No, I’m not sure about the flu. But I tell you, the whole coding system is a mess. And I think you and I are right on the same wavelength without one. You know, when when I started hearing, I mean, you’re being really immersed in this concept of microbes for the past 20 years. And just that concept of virulence has been very, very important to me that I don’t think a lot of doctors, including many infectious disease experts, really don’t understand the concept of virulence and how important it is and how these microbes function. But when I first started hearing the reports out on China, they were saying, okay, you know, the mortality that is 2.5% so it’s like, Okay, well, right up front, that’s a whole lot less than SARS, which was 10%. So we’re dealing with something that’s very much less virulent. And then they were saying, well, 80% of people will not be medical care, and that the testing that they were doing it was was not widely available. So right up front, I’m going, Okay, let’s put two and two together here. We’ve got a stated mortality of 2.5%. That of the cases they know about, but probably at least 50% of the mild cases aren’t being reported at all. Yep. And they don’t know about them. That means the actual mortality is probably around point 5% or lower. And now that we’re getting around to doing serology testing, that’s about where it is. Not to say this isn’t a serious illness, and yes, people are dying from it. And I’m not suggesting that we should be complacent about that. But I do think that we should be like you said morally offense of doing things to protect our elderly people that have immune problems. For everybody doing things to protect their immune system, herbs, better diet, sleep, everything, social distancing is very reasonable. But I think that people aren’t approaching this thing from a common sense point of view.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I agree. And I’m gonna be doing a video on this later on. Today I guess some of the data from Italy which are 2-3  weeks ahead of us in this whole situation. But this data showed  about all the people that passed from the infections– 61% have 3 or 4 comorbidities and over 90% had at least 1 comorbidity. And the average age of death is 90 or 81. I look at that and you gotta say, the working age, economy will be shut down or should have a more strategic way. Quarantined people like Sweden, Brazil, that’s number 1. The second component on top of that is the Covid 19 tends to not be doing as well with people that are put on ventilators. 10% survive. So there’s something different with the ventilators, corona vs the flu. I have some thoughts on it, do you have any takes on that?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Well I think anytime someone is put up on the ventilator, it’s always low. I mean their whole system is struggling and their lungs are all fluids. But ventilators in general are just really really hard on the body. And it’s anybody ends up in ICU and has a ventilator, they are going to have a very long recovery if they survive. Unless its for like a destructive procedure, something like that, where a person is healthy in the beginning but yeah, this virus does seem to act differently than influenza. It affects cells differently than it can, it has a modus operandi that’s different from influenza. But as you mentioned earlier though I think there are [inaudible] cases of probably influenza. They got bundled under covid too. And there could been some co infections that people have both in influenza and covid. If you look at this thing, there had been like, millions and millions of cases like 15 million cases of influenza since october and the death rate for influenza the last time was 15,000 people in the United States and this is a virus that we have a vaccine for. This vaccine does not work a lot of the time, people are dying and people don’t have a healthy immune system. So, you know it’s been kinda crazy that we got all these spotlights focused on this person on the ICU bed, struggling for covid, you shine the camera down away, struggling with influenza. It’s been such a visible thing and then neglecting some other things out there too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I totally agree. Use your strategy in using extra ginger, I like that. I think you said Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Are there any specific things, also NAC got a big one with viral application and keeping mucus and inflammation in the lungs and helping those pathways. Is there anything else you wanna highlight that you’re doing in an offensive approach, aside from washing your hands and standing away from the people?

Dr. Bill Rawls: Well, what i’m doing is I take immune modulating herbs and I think this is something looking at covid. One of the things that the virus does too is the immune reaction so it can be severe and creates a storm and is very damaging. And it has evidence that some stimulating anti microbial herbs like echinacea and astragalus can actually enhance the storm because they’re heating things up you know. So I think the immune modulating herbs are really impt. Take reishi, cordyceps. But I also take some antimicrobials that are not quite so hot. Our products with [inaudble] japanese knotweed, and we have chinese skullcap these are things that are commonly active. We have a product  with glutathione and NAC. I think glutathione is just as valuable. Something that you know you just pick up little bits of information. we get our glutathione from a company called Century and I spoke to the medical director when we were deciding on that as an ingredient, and he said you know I’ve been working with a group of high

cystic fibrosis, in cystic fibrosis is an excess of mucus and there’s a glutathione mechanism

behind that, and he said you know I’ve got him on this product and they’re living normal lives and it just stuck with me. So this the glutathione NAC both have some wonderful new coletek properties and some supportive health promoting properties in the lungs. Vitamin C another study from years ago medical school that really hit home is you know humans of the only humans of primates are the only creatures that don’t produce vitamin C. All other creatures do. And there was an experiment where they took rats and they took the rats and they just tested them in a non-stressed situation and they were producing about the equivalent of us taking 200 to 500 milligrams of vitamin C a day. So they stressed these rats and then measured how much vitamin C they were putting out and it was the equivalent of us taking 21 thousand

milligrams a day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow! 

Dr. Bill Rawls: It just shows that when we’re stressed we burn up a lot of vitamin C, and we use it. Well I typically I’ve been taking extra each day but if I get sick with a cold or a flu I take about a thousand milligrams an hour up to about 6 hours so I’m taking anywhere from 3 to 6,000 milligrams a day. Effort stories if some places doing 16,000 I typically use the buffered vitamin C, take a little bit of zinc with that and the herbs and and drink a lot of ginger tea these days. Yeah I’m following good social isolation practices. You know most of my work is from home now so I’m using good common sense. I’m definitely not being cavalier. I don’t want covid or anything else but you know I was doing that before I’m pretty clear about these things as it was and I’m doing everything I can to keep my immune system healthy and those things are just really critical. With covid or anything else.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know well the interesting thing is you know 20 years ago if you were in your OB practice right now you’d be shut down but you’re still able to help people and I’m still able to help people with with the whole virtual environment we have right now so we’re really a really benefiting from the technology and the times we live in.

Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah, thank you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well doctor, is there anything else you want to leave us with? I’m gonna let the listeners know Dr. Rawls, his website is We’re gonna put the links down below. Dr. Rawl supplements that is we’ll put the links down below and then my favorite product that he has is the advanced biotic, we’ll put that down below. Doc you also have a book coming out, so I’d love to have you come back on the podcast when that book comes out. We can chat about that. Is there anything else you want to leave the listeners here today?

Dr. Bill Rawls: After I took a year off of my life and a lot of people have found that valuable right now, I’m working on a book called for about healthy aging, and the how important this concept of microbes in the microbiome, and immune system gets in the healthy aging process or the aging process and just staying healthy as you age, so hopefully in some months, three months, six months we’ll have all that done out there. But thanks for the opportunity. It’s been a real pleasure 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks Dr. Rawls. We’ll put all the links that you mentioned down below and love to have you back in the next few months when that book wraps up. It was excellent chatting with you. Have a phenomenal day and you stay healthy. 

Dr. Bill Rawls: Awesome, thank you very much.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye now.


Audio Podcast:

Cutting Edge Healing Technology – The Neubie with Garrett Salpeter | Podcast #279

We are back to Beyond Wellness Radio! For this episode, we have Garrett Salpeter, producer of the amazing technology called Neubie. He works with professional athletes who are trying to recover from injuries. Check out this podcast to know more about Neubie, how it works, and it’s unique features. Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:15    How It All Started

3:50    The Framework of Neubie

16:47   Muscle Repairs

21:21   Unique Features of Neubie

35:07   Importance of Nervous System

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to Beyond Wellness Radio. I have a phenomenal guest friend and colleague, Garrett Salpeter. He’s here. Garrett runs an amazing clinic down in Austin, Texas where I am from. Garrett works with professional athletes, you name them across the board, all sports, people that are trying to recover from injuries and weekend warriors. Garrett has some amazing technology that he has produced, as well as a lot of different clinical techniques that people come to him to apply to help accelerate their healing and allow their body to perform at their max potential. Garrett, welcome to the show, my man. 

Garrett Salpeter: Thank you, Dr. Justin. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m excited to be on the show. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Same here. Well, I’ve been using your technology for a while and you’ve really taken it to the next level the last couple years creating your own device called the Neubie, and you also have a lot of education. Can you see illogical neurological techniques that you’ve encountered? into this. So, I know a lot of people listening may be potential patients or people that have injuries. Some practitioners may be listening. So how did you stumble across this technology? And how did you kind of bundle it up like you have the last 10 years.

Garrett Salpeter: So it’s it’s been an interesting journey and I definitely didn’t didn’t know this is what I’d be doing 10 or more years ago. And the initial catalyst for me was actually an experience I had as an as an ice hockey player. I played in college Division Three, mostly on the practice squad. But I had this this amazing experience where I had some torn ligaments in my wrist. I was supposed to be out for three months and have surgery. And I worked with a guy who was a chiropractic neurologist, and in working with him, and taking a functional neurology approach, as opposed to just a structural or tissue based approach that you would see in the traditional orthopedic or physical therapy right? You know, taking this this different approach, I was able to heal the ligaments in three weeks instead of three months, I was able to avoid surgery. And it really was a tremendous aha moment where I was was exposed to this approach and and saw firsthand how focusing on on the activation of the muscles and addressing these neurological patterns of protection and compensation that happened in the area around the injury. You know how focusing on that could actually make this profound impact. And so, you know, I was already doing my education and engineering I went on and continued and did graduate school and got a master’s in engineering. And with this experience that I had, I knew at the same time that I wanted to do something in this realm professionally. So I was able to find a way to to, I also went back and then did additional graduate work in neuroscience and has been able to combine everything but that that experience was a catalyst for me where I worked to open up a facility here in Austin over 10 years ago. Now and started in 150 square feet in the back of a different chiropractor’s office using older versions of electrical stimulation and some of these techniques from functional neurology, and, you know, it started to grow from there. And I just saw a lot of opportunities to improve the methods and the technology along the way. And that’s, that’s part of what led to the Neubie device as well. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s really interesting. I want to talk more about the Neubie, but before we do that, you’ve blended a lot of techniques, whether it’s chiropractic or functional neuro or even soft tissue techniques to help, let’s say set the foundation so the newbie and the bioelectric healing that comes from it helps work better. Can you talk about some of the techniques that you use structurally before you really get that device moving with patient care?

Garrett Salpeter: Absolutely, that’s that’s a great question. And I think it’s worth mentioning that the framework that I’m using first, I think this is a little bit of a of a throwback to my idea. As an engineer, also where there’s this concept of the black box and engineering, we’re going to put inputs into the black box. And then we see outputs emerge. And we don’t necessarily know what happens in there, you know, it’s a theoretical construct. And in some ways, the body is like that. We know from neuroscience and from physiology and you know, there’s a lot of course that we know about the body. And, and yet, it also in some ways can be like this theoretical black box. And so what I’m what I’m thinking about in any technique that we’re evaluating, and using is, okay, we’re thinking of that technique as an input. And then we’re looking at what happens within the, the system, and then we will see what output we get on the other end. And if we’re giving the right input, we should see an increase in output. Right? What What I mean by that, just for for context, is you know, in the in the context of someone that we might work with, oftentimes when someone is injured or has surgery which is, you know, more intense form of injury, or, you know, trying to recover from something. It’s so interesting that, that it’s not always as much about the original incident or injury as it is about their response to that injury response to that trauma, and how the body guards and protects and braces, yes, around that injured area. And that’s, that’s a big part of why it takes so long to heal. Because you know, just the excessive tension can literally block the flow of blood and nutrients and raw materials that would your body would normally use to heal. It also causes these compensation patterns where since he’s trying to limit movement in certain areas, you develop these patterns of less and less movement over time and start to move away from and try to unload certain areas and hold the excessive tension in others.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: In other words, if someone hurts the right knee, they may develop compensation patterns on the hip superior to that or on the other side of the body to help teach slack off that injured knee essentially.

Garrett Salpeter: Exactly, yeah, they’re gonna try, you know, subconsciously without even realizing it, try to walk more on the other leg and get it right from that. And so, so there’s all these interesting things that happened in the response to injury. And and because of that, you know, it’s interesting, that’s the response the brain and the nervous system, actively limit and govern and hold, right in certain areas. You know, our brains number one priority is survival and protection. So our brains actually limit us more than more than trying to get us to do to do more and dude, do a lot you know, our brains want to get us to do less to make sure that we don’t move too far don’t move too fast don’t get hurt. And so, the this it sets up this very interesting, this very interesting input and output process where because the brain is such a such a profound influence that limits the output of the body. If we can find the right inputs to tell the brain, Hey, it’s okay to allow this muscle to stretch further. Or this movement to go faster or this person to start loading that light, again, that had the knee injury that you mentioned, whatever it is, if we can change those inputs, then there’s an opportunity to change outputs very, very quickly. Because when, when we’re talking about some of these changes that people make them into, and when we’re talking about some of these manual techniques, the one of the coolest things that happen is, you know, I’ll use a handheld dynamometer. So I’ll do a test on someone’s quad, you know, the lie down, I’ll push down. Yep, they may be at 50 pounds of force on one side. 25 on the other side, so you think, Oh, my gosh, we have to we have to double this person strengthen the injured leg. That sounds like it might take you know, I don’t know a periodized strength program. It might take 16 weeks it might take two years right. But we’ll do some of these techniques will work on so you know, to act to actually answer your question. Now, you know about some of the techniques will work on certain reflex points will work on areas where the brain is holding tension and protecting, trying to break through those deals. Defensive and protective patterns. And all of a sudden, in just a few minutes now that like there was a 25. Now, it’ll be at 50. It’ll be equal to the other side. And you’ll start to think, well, gosh, how could you double someone’s strength in the span of a few minutes? You know, it’s an impossibly short period of time for them to build muscle or make neurological adaptations or do the different things that we think of as needing to happen to increase strength. Obviously, all we did was tap into strength that was already there lying dormant. So it’s like we have this black box is somewhere in there as a reservoir of untapped strength, we give the right signal, and now they’re able to get more more strength out so it’s more of like a software than a hardware thing. But that’s so-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. So it’s kind of like if someone has a backup generator in their house and they lose power. And now their house is relying on that backup generator. They may not be able to have the TV on they may only be able to use a couple of outlets, maybe keep the maybe keep the fridge going. They’re limited in regards to the electrical output. That generator versus if they’re, if they’re regular power reasons that sound right? So it’s kind of like, We’re going back to the regular power supply, which is providing a better, better, essentially input back into the muscle, which then allows the muscle to work better. Does that sound right?

Garrett Salpeter: That’s a great metaphor. And I would add to it by saying that, that it’s it’s not like the, it’s not like the power got turned off, you know by, by a flutter by lightning strike it’s like, it’s like, it’s like you purposefully went and turned off your main power breaker, be like, because the brain is intentionally turning off or reducing the output in certain areas, and then it can also choose to go turn it back on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So it sounds like if we’re relying on that backup generator, right, we wouldn’t go in there and try to put new wiring to the parts of the house that’s not working. In other words, we wouldn’t go to that muscle that has poor input from the brain and start to exercise it more. We actually want to fix The flow going from the brain down to that muscle, we don’t have to go exercise. So that’s kind of the different paradigm is, hey, that imbalance that you mentioned in the muscles. We don’t have to create this big strength program, we can just work on that neurological input to that muscle, and then things start to magically balance out. Without having to do that. Is that what you’re saying?

Garrett Salpeter: That’s exactly what I’m saying. I think that’s, I think that’s a wonderful way of saying and I hope that’s something I think it is something that would resonate with a lot of people. And so when we think about these different types of manual techniques, or using the new beer, anything that we’re using, we’re trying to find the strategic, highest impact inputs that we can use with somebody in order to create more output. And so so some of those techniques or you know, different manual techniques, like you mentioned, we use a blend of different things from from applied kinesiology, osteopathic chiropractic traditions. Yep. You know, a blend of different things. And that’s that framework is you know, it could be it. You know what, there’s a lot range of inputs, you could give somebody as long as you’re getting an improved output, then you’re you’re doing the right thing or you’re doing something that is beneficial for that person and their nervous system, and is allowing them to tap into more of the potential that they have. That’s just lying dormant

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And that’s one of the things I think that sets you apart from other people that provide technology, there’s an education, let’s say that sets the foundation for to work better. So I know at your clinic in Austin, you see patients virtually, you also offer that device for people virtually and then clinicians as well. And then you also offer that training. So I think it’s important because when I would see patients, and that you were if you were to just do the device without setting the foundation with those blend of techniques, the results are good, but not quite too great. So I just want to highlight there’s a educational aspect that sets the foundation that allows the technology to work better, so some people are just shiny object, but if you can marry the two, I think it’s gonna work a lot better for anyone listening?

Garrett Salpeter: Absolutely, I’d say, you know, it’s part of what we’ve believed to be a complete system in terms of assessments and manual therapeutic interventions and and work on the device. So. So it’s definitely something where you know, every part adds a meaningful piece to the overall equation. And I think this the whole is greater than the sum of the parts even.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. And I think the results speak for themselves. We’ll talk a little bit more about the tech and I want you to give us a demo here as well. I know you had a patient a few years back, you posted the progression on your YouTube channel and the patient had had an ACL injury. And the typical ACL injury repair time is usually 9 to 12 months conventionally. I know you had this person within three to four months back on the field, which is amazing. And I just think those kind of case studies are what resonates with people and really, it’s like, okay, you’re the proofs in the pudding.

Garrett Salpeter: Yeah, so that, you know, there’s A few different stories like that, that we’ve had. And I’ll, I’ll caution you know, there are people that that are resistant to go back to to go back to sport or activity ahead of schedule because they’re concerned about graph tooling. And so you know, I don’t want any of this to come off as kind of pressure anyone to go out and do anything they’re uncomfortable with. However, however, I’ll certainly share this, you know, this story because I think it’s instructive. One of these that comes to mind is a girl that we worked with young young woman who was senior in high school was already set to go to college to play division, one softball and her senior year. She was skiing over spring break, or Christmas break on New Year’s Day. She tore her ACL. She had surgery middle of January, so about January 15. And they told her that she was going to be out for at least seven months just to forget about her high school softball season, and to focus on going and playing college, you know, she’d be able to go Go started college in the fall and be joined the team and everything like that. And yet she loved her high school teammates, and she wanted to see if it was possible to play at all during her high school softball season that spring. And so we started working with her, her mom did some research online found us and they drove across town and saw started working with us a few days a week. And, you know, long story short, she made significant progress. She met all of her milestones a lot faster, she was off crutches and a few days instead of a few weeks, she our range of motion returned in a few weeks, instead of a couple months, her strength levels were back in, you know, six to eight weeks instead of, you know, four months. And so she just was meeting all these milestones faster. And at the three month mark, her surgeon who’s generally a very conservative person who said he would never clear anyone before six months. Her surgeon looked at her and said, Wow, this is the most stable knee I’ve ever seen at this range. And then You know, they were having a conversation and he actually cleared her just before just right at three, three and a half between three and four months he cleared or to go out and play. And so in the middle of April, she rejoins her team, as they’re getting ready for the state playoffs, the state softball playoffs here in Texas and she actually leads her team to win a state championship and high school softball season that that she was supposed to miss entirely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That is amazing. I love stories. I love stories like that. And I’ll put a link here below people listening. If anyone’s interested in this technology as a patient, even virtually if you’re like, man, do I have someone nearby that can help me with this kind of things. There may be virtual people that can help you on Garrett’s team as well. Or if you’re interested in the technology, I’ll put a link down here below, and then we have a promotion near /justinhealth. And I’ll put the link down below so if you guys are driving and you can’t quite get to I’ll put that down below for you guys and just if you even have questions about the technology, that could be a great place to get it, you know, answer specifically. So getting back to what you’re talking about Garrett, the thing that I like is the technology from what I see is accelerating healing and blood flow to these tissues that are a vascular, right? They don’t get a lot of blood supply, therefore, it takes forever to heal, right? Anyone that’s maybe pull the muscle muscle can heal in a couple days to a couple of weeks. But cartilage and tendons and ligaments can take months. So you have this technology that’s really driving blood flow, you’re working on these compensation patterns to get muscles working better. And thus those muscles now are absorbing force. So instead of that force going into the sensitive tissue, like tendons and ligaments, now you have muscles that are acting like better, smarter shock absorbers, is that correct?

Garrett Salpeter: I think that’s I think that’s a good way to put it. Yeah. And in terms of terms of blood flow. It’s definitely the case as you mentioned, that muscles can heal faster. And I think that makes sense because we’re used to you know, people would go to the gym, and I think most people would That, you know, if the muscles are sore get broken down at all, you know, they’re repaired in 48 to 72 hours. So the body is regularly breaking down and rebuilding muscles. So of course, it’s easier, there’s a, there’s a process in place for that. So it’s easier to repair muscle injuries more and more challenging definitely to repair those tendon and ligament injuries. And, and that’s that is such a key to it is that the muscles have to be able to turn on and create stability because if they don’t, then we end up bracing against or collapsing into those more passive structures. And that’s how those tendons and ligaments and discs and cartilage that’s how they get injured. And so I think that there’s a whole there is a whole component to this work that can be protective or pre emptive or proactive, where we can work with somebody. And actually, by identifying the same dysfunctions that we would treat to help them if they were injured. We can identify those dysfunctions and help them move better help them perform better and make them more resistant to injury in the First place. And that’s, you know, when you talk about absorbing force, that’s one of the most important principles there. And this is one of the differentiating factors between the Neubie, you know, between our technology and what else is out there in this in this space and these types of modalities is that most for instance alternating current devices typically as a signal goes volleys back and forth causes muscles to contract co contract fight against each other so, so it teaches you to move like if you’re driving your car hitting a throttle and the brake pedal at the same time, you’re resisting your own.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ah, yes, and so like with what kick though, just people kind of know about 10 devices, right? It’s kind of like a like electricity aspirin ,right? And that’s kind of the set the brake and the gas pedal at the same time and how’s your electric current different.

Garrett Salpeter: So, a 10s unit, it is like an electronic aspirin the way most people use it, that’s a great, great way to put it. They usually just put it on at a mild setting to try to distract or mask some of the nerve receptors that They go up to the brain that trigger ultimately within the brain the experience of pain. And so it’s like, it’s like a distraction. It’s like, it’s like if you have a headache, he’s, you know, do something to your foot or you don’t feel your head anymore because you’re feeling your foot. And yeah, it’s like something, something like that. But yeah, when if you turn it up to a high enough level to really make a difference in neuromuscular re education, in loading muscles and challenging muscles and teaching them to work in a new way, by actually activating underlying nerve pathways. If you did that, then you’d run into these these hurdles or these roadblocks, where you’d be causing the muscles to fight against each other because of that, that signal volleying back and forth alternating current, and how that interacts with the nervous system. So that In contrast, the direct current device to show you the the neubie, so when we’re using that- 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m sorry, can you can you put it up one more time when I spoke it, the video went to me go head, try again.

Garrett Salpeter: Yeah, so that’s so we’re using that there. So this puts out a unique direct current signal. And when that when that direct current signal is only going in one direction, it causes a much more controlled input of sensory pathways in the nervous system and a lot less of those contractions and co contractions. And if we’re talking about, you know, certainly injury recovery, but even this, this notion of proactively helping make someone more resistant to injury, that’s so important because remember, we want to be able to bend but not break, we want to be pliable and resilient. And so if we’re, if we’re stiff, then that means we’re more likely to break and not bend, we’re more likely to snap and get those injuries. Whereas if we can use technology like this, to amplify that ability of the body, to make the muscles more supple, make the tissues more pliable. That’ll ultimately make the body more resilient. And I think that that shock absorber metaphor that you mentioned, is a good way to do that. So that so this can actually help us re educate the the neuromuscular system to become more more pliable so that we’re not resisting our own movements, we’re better able to lengthen those muscles to accommodate greater ranges of motion, and to absorb force and protect those other structures of the body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. Let me summarize. So you have a current that’s going to be a direct current that’s more harmonious with the body. That’s like hitting just the gas pedal where an alternating current, which is what you see maybe with the 10s unit is like hitting the gas pedal in the brake the same time and it’s more just, it’s like white noise. And in a room where people are talking, it’s just kind of covering up that chatter, that pain input, where this is actually providing stimulation for oxygenation, which helps tissues heal, it’s driving blood flow as well which provides nutrition in and pulls inflammation out. And then you’re also and I know a little bit guys because I did this technique when I had a physical office for many years, I believe in it, I wouldn’t be sharing it with you guys, if I thought it was something that wouldn’t be beneficial. When you are doing scanning of the device, you’re also finding specific compensation patterns. So we’re not just smacking a pattern input onto a muscle, we’re specifically scanning. So we can find those areas that that aren’t communicating well. So there’s a specific way to target that. And I really want you to show that and I also want to highlight one thing with the newbie, that’s amazing. There’s double the amount of outputs that you would typically see on other devices. And this is what makes it awesome is with other devices, you’d have to have two machines to do what you can do a one I think that’s really, really profound as a clinician, you don’t think about it. But it’s, it’s amazing if you’re treating patients upper body or lower or patient at the same time. It’s really cool.

Garrett Salpeter: Yeah, absolutely. So there’s some, definitely some features and functions that make it user friendly, just from a clinician day to day perspective in terms of that scanning process that I’m glad you mentioned that because that is a huge part of that that neuromuscular re education puzzle, where, first of all, you need to figure out what the heck to re educate in the first place, right. And so this goes back to the, the response to trauma and how the brain and nervous system are oriented towards survival and protection. And that’s why our brains limit us in so many ways. And so if I, you know, for instance, if I’m scanning around on the body with something like this, if I’m scanning around, I’m going to be sending because of the unique effects of the direct current, and how it impacts the nervous system, I’m going to be sending the same signals as if that muscle is being loaded, as if that muscle is being challenged as if that muscle is lifting weights or if that muscle is stretching, and I’m going to be sending these same inputs. And wherever the wherever the muscles are working well, my brain will will see that input and it’ll just say, Oh, yeah, that’s it. Just you know, Garrett’s arm doing its thing, or that’s just that bicep doing what it normally does, there’s nothing threatening or, or you know anything about this that needs to be addressed or, you know, no reason to protect against it. And then if I get to an area here, where the brain is actually limiting output, because it because of either learned disuse from bad patterns over time, or because of a traumatic injury, where I have one of those compensation patterns, and my brain is saying, No, no, don’t move there. If I scan over an area like that, then that signal is actually going to be perceived as threatening, that’s going to be saying, whoa, you’re loading an area at at 40 that I only want to be at 20. And the brain is going to say that’s threatening and it’s going to trigger this output. So it’ll it’ll feel like, like a trigger point or something like that. But actually, you’ll actually notice something that’s distinct and different in certain areas. And so that’s how we know where exactly the brain is imposing those patterns and where we need to change that. pattern in order to optimize function, and to basically get rid of the impediments that are that are blocking the healing process, so you can get the blood flow there. So you can get, you know, open the floodgates so the body can send those healing resources and the healing process can progress as it should.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think that’s really interesting, because with other devices, like a 10s unit, for instance, you’re just going to smack it on the muscle, there’s not going to be really scanning involved to be ultra specific. And what’s really interesting is sometimes where you think the pain is, let’s say your lower back, you may scan there, but a lot of the hotspots that come back that are more sensitive when you scan may not necessarily be exactly where the pain is. And that’s kind of pulled back into this whole compensation pattern where the compensation may be in a different area than the pain is expressing.

Garrett Salpeter: Absolutely, absolutely. So there’s there’s two things I was in more than two, but there’s, you know, in the response to injury, there’s the original, the original response. So there’s the original insult. And then there’s the response to that. And the response can happen in many areas around that it can happen on the same side, the opposite side. And in synergistic, or antagonist muscles, it can happen in other tissues and other areas that can happen. Like you originally said, you know, if you, if you’re injured knee on one side, you might just start loading the other side more in general. So it can lead to things much further down the chain. And being able to have a process like this where we can map the body and identify where these issues are, it allows us to kind of fill in the gaps and figure out where those where those patterns where those problems, you know, are presenting or you know, where they’ve traveled to, and help really just kind of do it in a very methodical way to work on those issues.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s excellent. Would you mind showing the Neubie again, and just kind of showing where it’s a little bit unique with some of these extra outputs? I think it’s really fascinating.

Garrett Salpeter: Yeah, so we’ve got four there, they’re color coded just for convenience. And the-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Most would only have to like make the most would only have maybe that green and the yellow. But then with your new technology, you’ve really modified it to provide extra output.

Garrett Salpeter: Extra outputs. Yeah. And so, you know, we have either physical therapy clinics or professional sports teams or university athletic departments where they’ll have one of these on a station, or it’s usually like on a carton in the therapy room. And they can have one patient or one athlete using this side of the machine, another patient on the other side of the machines, they can actually have two, two patients working on the same machine. And there’s a range of presets for more mapping and the more therapeutic or for different work, that would be more in the fitness and performance realm still still based in in the process of neuromuscular re education. But would it be more of a little bit of a different use case. And so there’s ability to move between and among those settings and one of the things that actually is in our first first patent on this, on this technology is the ability to move between preferentially contracting In preferentially lengthening or relaxing muscle Wow. And so you know in a in a session for example, we can actually help someone contract their muscles to really challenge and build strength in a very targeted powerful way. And then we can help relax those muscles so they can recover between sets of an exercise help replenish helps you know send more blood flow to the area replenish some of the energy and get ready and then go do it again do another set of the exercise and and challenge the muscles there and so you know, you can contract and then you got to lengthen back out to prepare those muscles to contract again. And so we can we can even do switch between those those settings within a session sometimes. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That is awesome. Is there anything else that I mean you have amazing athletes. I mean, you posted on your Instagram a professional hockey player doing some of your exercise routine just just yesterday. I thought that was pretty amazing. I know you’ve had Trent Dilfer, a Super Bowl, quarterback come down there and get training as well. What are some of the biggest things that separate you or entice a lot of these professional athletes to work with you? Is it just the fact that they want to get better faster? They’re in pain, and they’re and they’re having a hard time recovering? Is that a performance thing? What’s their motivation? And what’s separating you from most of your competitors? 

Garrett Salpeter: That’s, that’s a good question. So thankfully, this has caught on in a few different places, one of which is with elite and professional athletes. And for them, a lot of the value proposition is in the results and the speed at which they’re able to see results because we’ve, we’ve probably all had the experience, please, most of us listening to this have had the experience of going in and doing therapy, you know, for some injury for some pain, and with traditional physical therapy, you know, sometimes it feels like, you know, sometimes it feels like a middle where they’re just trying to get as many people through as they can. There’s not much attention. Sometimes it feels like going through the motions. Sometimes it feels like we’re doing something for the sake of doing Something and no one’s really expecting to see a tangible result from that session. Certainly there’s there’s many forward thinking practitioners and people that, that, that care as much as we do about results, and so I’m not describing everybody by any means, but but there is a, you know, I would say a big opportunity for improvement in the traditional therapeutic practices. And so, so that’s the differentiating factor. A lot of times as you know, we’ll have athletes will have a separated shoulder like a grade two AC separation, for example, can’t lift their arm pass here, and it’s painful, and in one session, there’ll be up there, unbelievable overhead. And so, so that sometimes it’s just the you know, the dramatic nature and immediate nature of the results that that cause someone to believe like, oh, wow, this is really powerful. And then you know, then they tell their, their friends and teammates and colleagues and, you know, I can kind of grow from there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s excellent and you provide amazing education on it. On the functional neurological aspect and of course you have the newer technology. This may create a lot of questions for listeners again, we’ll put that link down below We’ll put that link down below. Garrett and his team would be happy to answer any questions that you guys have. Or if you’re, you know what this whole coronavirus, lockdown people aren’t able to go out and I know you offer that care where you can do it in house where you can mail out a device as well, which could be really convenient during this time, especially if people are in pain or just trying to heal and and exercise and not have to do it in a gym setting. So this is a great option for y’all.

Garrett Salpeter: Absolutely, yeah, that’s something that we know most of the time people have been doing it with a practitioner in, you know, no local physical therapy clinic chiropractic office, integrative medical practice. However, during a time like this, we’ve been working to make even more we know we’ve had people for whom we’ve already had to do it. So there’s a great model in place, and I think it’s being emphasized even more being able to do remotely at home. And so we have, you know, infrastructure in place to be able to accommodate people and, and get most of the results, you know, a vast majority of what we can do in person can still be done remotely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s excellent. And what’s your opinion in in incorporating stem cell technology with more severe injuries in what you do? Have you tried that? Have you seen that? What’s your opinion?

Garrett Salpeter: That’s a great question. So we have a few practices that are using the newbie in a in a practice where they do a lot of PRP or stem cell and regenerative injections. So we have some, some really good use cases showing that the combination can can really be fabulous. And I look at it as when we’re trying to help someone recover from from chronic pain from injury, structural tissue damage, there’s two aspects that we need to work on. There’s, of course, the structural piece, if there’s damage, we want that to be fixed. And there’s also the functional piece where when there’s this function when people aren’t using those areas of their body, they need to relearn how to how to do that. And if you’re if you’re giving someone stem cells or exosomes or PRP, that can be a fabulous intervention to help them regrow or heal or regenerate on the structural side. And yet, if we don’t also address the functional piece, there’s a good chance that they might just reinjure re damage that area. Again, they’ve invested thousands of dollars in stem cells, but because, you know, they’re still collapsing into their knee into their knee joint in the same way, they’re just going to reinjure it. So if they can also work on the functional side, then that can complement the the injections are the regenerative work that they’re doing. And the two seem to work together very well. I think there’s also a really cool bridge, because conceptually, when you’re when you’re giving someone PRP or stem cells, you know, part of what you’re trying to do is actually irritate the target tissue with the needle, so that you trigger the body’s own natural healing. Right, exactly, exactly. Yeah. So you trigger that that local inflammation and the cascade of different chemical processes to heal that tissue. And one of the things that we’ve seen is that the newbie helps the body heal so much more efficiently from injury, it also can help the body heal more efficiently from that little bit of injury that was intentionally and purposefully induced by the needle. And so the the two, it seems like, again, can be can be synergistic, and I think complimentary in a way that leads to better overall outcomes based- 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense. In other words, if we take this analogy and translate it to cars, if we were to do a stem cell injection that helps heal or it makes their their tire more fancy or better looking or heal faster, but the suspension or the axle or the whole shock system isn’t fixed. Those are the compensation patterns. Eventually that tire will wear down again in the future. So we’re trying to get to the upstream issue. And if we combine the two, it’s all it’ll be better.

Garrett Salpeter: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think you got it. You got to work on both and any approach that doesn’t address both is gonna leave some Sort of shortfall somewhere?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s excellent. Garrett, is there anything else you want to leave the listeners with today?

Garrett Salpeter: So, I believe, very, very strongly that the most powerful and transformative way to help people recover from pain and injury is to focus on the nervous system and work on these areas that we’ve been talking about. And I’ve seen people recover from incredible things like we’ve seen people use our technology to, you know, to regain function to get out of wheelchairs or start walking again, after spinal cord injuries or start moving again, after debilitating bouts with MS or things like that. And, and so, you know, even if someone doesn’t, doesn’t work with us or any of our practitioners, I really want to shift the dialogue and start introducing into dialogue, the nervous system and how powerful working with the nervous system can be and how empowering it can be. And I want people to know that if you’re in If you’re facing chronic pain or you’re having trouble getting back to function or if you’re frustrated because you can’t play basketball and tennis with your kids because of because your joints always hurt, you know, there there can be solutions out there. And I would just encourage people to look at this the power of this functional neurology approach and how it can help certainly with pain and movement and also things related to the autonomic nervous system and just there’s there’s a whole range of things that because the nervous system controls so much about the body, now just just you know, think, think neurology. I think if I had to summarize it in two words.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. That’s excellent. So for anyone listening here, that’s from the Austin area wants to travel down to Austin. Garrett’s got a great clinic right on the 360 Highway in West Lake right near the Rudy’s Barbecue is anyone from Austin knows 360 and Rudy’s they’ll know exactly where that is. And then if you guys want to reach out to anyone- 

Garrett Salpeter: If you’re not in Austin, you’ll be amazed to know that one of the best barbecue places actually inside a gas station. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It is. If anyone wants to fly in you got the gas station next door with some great barbecue. And if you guys want to reach out we have that special link for you guys today we’ll put it down below so you guys can click. And if you want to get more information on Garrett’s educational programs, click there. If you want to get information on the device, click there or being a patient or being a patient virtually all that’s going to be there for you, Garrett, anything else?

Garrett Salpeter: So that is you mentioned the educational piece that is one thing that you know, we definitely take very seriously that for clinicians who will get our device we have a whole certification education program with continuing education and ongoing support. And that’s something that you know, if you are a practitioner, we’d love to share with you because you know, the device is good. And yet, without the knowledge, it wouldn’t be nearly as good. So the system and the thinking behind it is something that we love to share with people as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I’ll give Garrett a pat in the back air as a PhD candidate at UT studying this time. Technology at a PhD level and obviously as clinics have gotten so big he’s prioritizing his patients over that now, but Garrett has a higher level of understanding that we’re not even talking about here, because we want to keep it simple. So Garrett, the main man to reach out for more education on that Garrett, thanks so much for being part of the podcast.

Garrett Salpeter: Thank you, Dr. Justin. It was a pleasure. I really appreciate it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank you. Take care.


Audio Podcast:

What Do Your Fingernails Mean? | Podcast #253

Our nails primarily serve as a cover for the top surface of our fingers and offer some degree of protection. Did you know that a person’s nails can say a lot about the state of their health? Nails serve as a visual advertisement of a person’s health. Both toenails and fingernails can show signs of an impending ailment and are therefore examined by many doctors to help in diagnosing certain diseases.

Today’s podcast talks about fingernails and toenails. Find out more here with Evan Brand as Dr. Justin’s speaker guest.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

02:30 On digestion

06:25 On fungus problems

12:47 Vertical/Horizontal Ridges

15:12 Spoon Nails

17:32 Clubbing Nails


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we live it’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan brand today were going to be chatting about fingernails. What do your finger and toenails mean. Evan, what’s cookin’ man? How are we doing? 

Evan Brand:  Hey, not too much. I got great feedback from a lot of our clients on the hair loss episode. People said, wow, I didn’t know the connection between the gut in the hair. Like, how could me having parasites in my gut affect my hair and course, we outlined that in the podcast. So if you didn’t hear that yet go check out the hair loss functional medicine episode. But today, it’s All About Nails because you can look at your nails easily. It’s a free test everyone loves free testing so you can look down at your nails and say oh my god. I’ve got this or that in my fingernails or toenails and then that can help us give us enough Clues to dig deeper. I’m not going to say based on this fingernail. Heres your protocol, but it’s a good good freeway to investigate some major underlying issues. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% but Nails give you a really good insight into how your digestion is doing because you need to use proteins and fats and collagen-based amino acids to build those Nails up also certain minerals like I think are really important for the nails as well. So you get a really good window into one. Are you digesting protein? Are you assimilating protein? Are you digesting minerals and fats? Well, if you have enough hydrochloric acid enzymes, so give you a really good window into how you’re breaking down proteins fats. Ionizing minerals. Of course, you can use a HCL and enzymes in digestive support engage that increase that and see how much that moves the needle. Of course. They did the other hidden stressors like cortisol, which could be more catabolic and braken tissue down also things like infection could also be a big driving Factor as well. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. So let’s go into like the most common things that you would see or hear of with complaints regarding Nails. I would say the biggest one is going to be toe fungus under the nail bed. Where is going to be a yellow or just Fungal infected toenail would you say a hundred out of a hundred times? That means there’s likely going to be a fungal infection in the gut as well some type of systemic candida or maybe we’ve got geotrichum that we look at we’ve got microsporum and other types of fungus is are you going to say hey look if its on the toenail, it’s definitely in the gut as well. What do you think?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, on the toenail? There’s definitely implications that it could be in the gut. The problem is you can address the guy in a lot of times that’s not going to be enough to address the toenails. Well, just because the time you put into the time to get into the bloodstream makes its way all the way down to your toe must have been very minor fungal infection most of the time you’re going to hit topically cuz your immune system in all these antifungals takes a long time to get to the outer periphery of where these fungus is located. It’s tough. So in general, yes, we should address the gut and then we should also address it topically on the nail. So we got to hit it from both ends inside and outside kind of put that fungus between Rock and a hard place. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. Well, lets point this out to let’s just say you go to your your foot doctor, right you go to your podiatrist. And you say hey, I’ve got a fungal infection on my toe. They’re going to end up giving you Lamisil or some other type of prescription or over-the-counter antifungal. But to me, I think that’s a short-sighted approach because that toenail is not having that infection for no reason. Theres got to be something underlying. So would you agree that the goal is not just treat the toe nail cuz you’re aren’t you missing something else probably? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. If it’s really bad you definitely want to be addressing your diet because a lot of the fungus or Yeast which is primary that yellow discolored nails to be fungus in that area. You gotta stop with feeding it. Its of course you want to look at the diet and stop feeding it all the refined carbohydrates. And that’s number one. Number two, you want to address the gut issues to begin with candida, which is a kind of yeast or fungus. But whether its microsporidia read its role like you want to address and knocked down some of these yeasts and then more than likely were Topically hit it as well. Now some of the Lamisil or the other medications that are antifungals very hard on the liver. So if youre going to go that way definitely take some herbs like milk thistle and take some extra glutathione to help support and tell him if I deliver if youre going to go that way now topically we can use things like Melaleuca tea tree and oil of oregano with topically rub it on the nail. That’s number one. And number two we can also do a fungal soap as well in the fungal cells work phenomenal. So theres a couple I have one thats an herbal concoction that you mix with apple cider vinegar that works amazing. That’s my herbal nail tongue herbal nail fungus soak that works phenomenal. You can also do that and then topically rub something on after the socks you soak your feet for 5 or 10 minutes mix with apple cider vinegar and then you can rub something on the nail once a day that’s phenomenal as well number two some people just do they use the topical nail as well. I like doing the whole foot that way it was. Fungus between the toes are in the heel or ever in the skin. You kind of get all of it vs. Just some of that sell nail fungal soap with also topically hitting the nails. 

Evan Brand:  Well, yeah, that’s good advice in the diet piece. I mean, I can’t say 100% that if you magically get rid of sugar and fructose, that’s your nails are going to look better. But to me anything that we can do to reduce that process of Aging the advanced glycation enzyme process to me reducing that EGE is going to be one of the critical steps to this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, the more or less stress in your body the better I mean nail fungus is really unique because once you fix a lot of the root cause stuff that may not go away. So you got to really hit Top of the hit it as well. So I see that as number one. Now other things to me look at the nails else you want to say about the fungal nail before move on?

Evan Brand:  No, that’s it. Let’s move on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we’ll put a link to my herbal nail fungus soak in the description of anything that Evan likes as well have put in description as well. I like that. Other mother of cream I use is called Wonder balm. That’s another really good antifungal cream, too. So I like that as well. 

Evan Brand:  What’s in that? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s got about 10 different herbs tea trees through a lot of those same herbs. I just talked about peppermint. Yeah, I like it too. So let’s talk about the next thing. So what about like brittle nails right? We see brittle or cracked nails. Of course, were always thinking about the fat soluble vitamins right number fats and fat-soluble vitamins are fat soluble vitamins or a d e and K K on biotin, which is a type of B vitamins also really important proteins. So all your amino acids. So the same kind of thing we want to make sure were eating a whole food nutrient-dense diet. You want to make sure we have enough acid and enzymes so we can break down the fats the saturated fats the Omega 3s as well as the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K. We want to make sure were eating food that contain really good nutrient-rich. Vitamins, so your meats and your vegetables and have lots of B vitamins. We may want to also supplementally add in things like biotin we can do things like silica or extra collagen or extra ways to provide good building blocks for the nails as well. 

Evan Brand:  You know, what’s interesting is a lot of people that come to us with Lyme disease or co-infections just gut infections, but also tick-borne viral type infections, they often complain about their hair their skin their nails because for example mycoplasma, it just is a scavenger for amino acids, and we know that amino acids of course are important for making your muscle tissues. A lot of these people are depleted. They’ve gained body fat and loss of muscle tissue, but then they often have issues with their hair, their nails and their skin. So there are like some hair skin nail complex that we use word will have like the Selleck as you mentioned by attend horsetail Etc, but you gotta figure out do you have some type of a [inaudible] as well or do you have some type of a tick borne issue? Because if you look at Stephen Buhner, he’s got a lot of really good books online and he’s co-infections. Hell tell people that supplementing collagen and supplementing amino acid complex is our critical because you’re just getting robbed. So until you get the upper hand on those infections, it’s almost like no matter how much hair skin nails supplement. You take your just not going to you’re not going to fix it till you get the bad guys suppressed enough like the line the babesia Bartonella whatever else is robinho. Mycoplasma for example. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I deal with all the gut the big gut infections first a lot of the herbs that we may use for the Box may also knocked down a lot of the co-infections to you unless you have a strong symptomatology or your testing that says to go after those things to typically focus on the big Gut Bugs first and if you do the good protocol, they’ll be a lot of herbs that kind of will also help knock down those confection. Typically after that if we see some things we can do specific herbal formulas that will go after those contacts to you. 

Evan Brand:  Yep, well said. So that could be a secondary issue, you’re not watch the webinar a few weeks ago. I was a guy and remember his name Musa Chiropractic. Functional medicine guy who was talking about. This is a webinar on Lyme and mold and he said that since I brought up Lyme co-infection that he doesn’t actually work on treating Lyme and co-infections until the molds taken care of because it’s such a strong immune suppressants. And if you do a perfect Lyme disease protocol, but if you still got mycotoxins in your body that you can’t fully mount an immune response against it. So that was pretty interesting for me because you know, Ive been using some Bartonella herbs but Im still focusing on mold as number one. I haven’t had any real issues with my nails. They look okay, I would say they’re still kind of weak though. I tried my daughter. She thought it was funny to try to lock me out of her bedroom the other day. So I tried to use my fingernail and twist a little thing in the door handle to unlock the door and oh, my fingernail was still kind of weak. So maybe I need some extra nail support here. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly. So I have the same perspective here, I’m going to focused at the gut stuff first digestion first making sure the hormones are good and stabilize could we can mount a good stress response, but you cannot be seen the energy go after the gut issues. Thats where 80% of your immune system is. And yeah, we see the history of mold will definitely give some gentle detox support and binders for that and then we’ll go after more than other stealthy infection on the back side of nose always liked one of my nerves you can do you like medicinal mushrooms, which will be helpful things like cement or cats clouds can be really good immune support of things or astragalus. So I’m always okay with some of these kinds of supportive. I call him like immunoe adaptogens, they will help your body deal with any of your infections too. 

Evan Brand:  Ooh, I like the sound of that immune adaptogen. Okay. Lets chat about vertical ridges is this one that we talked about literally probably 5 years ago when I had h-pylori noticed that my vertical ridges on my nails on my fingernail specifically, were super pronounce like you could feel the ridging almost like a running across the little bit of a mountain side or something just Billy hilly, I still have vertical ridges and if you look into the research on this some people say all vertical ridges are normal Etc. But then in some cases there could be nutrient deficiencies in my case. It was a b as in bravo B12 deficiency. Im sure I was deficient in magnesium and other minerals, but I’ve noticed the nail ridges have definitely become softer so that when people here that the vertical ridges, I mean, I can’t tell you how many people have mentioned. Oh my God. That was the clue something was off so not a hundred percent indicator, but I think it is helpful.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so in general with the ridging. You know, you want to make sure you can feel it. So you may see a tiny bit of raging but like just kind of run your fingers a fingernail your finger across the arch of your nail and see how it feels that feels relatively smooth at thats okay. I’m okay with some of that also, you could always try to let you know as you get it fixed over time. It takes a long time for the nail to the Integrity to change so you could always polish it up as you fix it, that kind of gets rid of it faster. But then over time if the proteins and get faster coming back in and hopefully it won’t come back. You know, it’s kind of a goal but in general with that you really just want to make sure you don’t feel it per say if you see a little bit not as big of a deal versus if you feel it. 

Evan Brand:  I mean mine were insane. I mean it was like it was like driving across one of those little things on the side of the highway if you run off the highway, but that was like my fingernails except it wasn’t and it was sticking up. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How much better is it now? 

Evan Brand:  Oh, I would say it’s at least 75% better yet. You still see it but it’s almost– 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Can you feel it? Can you feel it though? Barely? 

Evan Brand:  It’s much much smoother than it used to be and good. I’ve run I don’t know, 5 or 6 stool tests in The Last 5 Years. And so I’ve seen the progression of my gut barrier getting better. I’ve seen the progression of eliminating layers and layers of infections. So to me I am on the healing path, but I still think the nail itself is a little weak, I don’t know maybe that maybe Your average person. But if I try to really crank on that nail, like I said, I was trying to unlock that door, you know Summer she thought she was in there laughing. Hahaha. She had that door locked in my car and I tried to turn that little a little slit in the door handle where it locks. There’s like a special key for it. I thought of my nails should have been strong enough to crank that thing but it wasn’t.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Aww, I hear you man. That makes sense. We also have white spots of white spots could be just you being in your fingernail against something it’s possible. It also could be zinc deficiency to what we do to see a whole bunch of white spots. So is that, keep an eye on again? We don’t do anything different cuz thats not going to change itself because we’re already making the diet better were already adding supplemental think were already adding HCL and enzymes. So we just kind of keep an eye on that and see if some of these things change over time.

Evan Brand:  The spoony. I think it’s I think the spoon nailing is important to mention because this is often related to some type of an iron issue. It could be something bigger could be thyroid. I’ve heard of people that the nail is a man. I guess that’s why they called spooning but the nail kind of Curves up at the tip like you could all ride a skateboard ramp off of the nail and then I’ll usually just run a basic blood panel just to look at thyroid and it different like ferritin iron saturation. A lot of times you’ll see stuff off. Now as you mention this stuff doesn’t get fixed overnight, so I can’t do while I cant say directly. Yes. We saw this woman had low ferritin. So we gave her something to boost are attended in the spooning went away. This is literally something you have to track with your clients and patients over like a 2 to 3 year. You really make it better. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, exactly. So when spooning stop right if we see low iron that’s going to be like a number one. So a vegan vegetarian we see a woman that may be having excess menstruation right bleeding more than three or four days three to four tampons per day low iron. Do you know where run will be testing ferritin will be testing iron saturation we test Tibc uibc iron serum and if we see some of these nutrients low, maybe even B vitamins while maybe we have an intrinsic factor pernicious anemia happening and we can absorb B12 because intrinsic factor to absorb B12, even if you’re consuming it, we may want to look at, you know, Morse higher-quality supplemental B12 sublingual and methylated. Obviously, we may also want to add extra iron or liver glandular in they may want to look at fixing the underlying issue is that low iron could be caused from estrogen dominance that’s causing excessive bleeding. So a lot of times this could be easily from hormones too. 

Evan Brand:  Wow. Okay, so lets say that again cuz thats thats a pretty profound thing. So you said iron deficiency due to estrogen dominance in the estrogen dominance you’re saying is going to be linked to excessive bleeding.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, excessive bleeding. So we see more than 4 days 5 days of bleeding but more importantly greater than 4 so tampons per day, you know, that could be a sign that were bleeding too much and were losing a lot of blood that way again men don’t have that. Problem, but you know on the hemochromatosis side, but could be the excess iron, but I’m more worried about the low iron because that’s going to be in my opinion a really big deal breaker cuz you’re going to be really fatigued, you won’t be able to carry oxygen in your mitochondrial be really really stressed. 

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so if you go up a flight of stairs and you’re just winded you and it’s not just you out of breath. It seems like you’re not getting enough oxygen. It could be related to that anemia issue and you want. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly paler skin to another big signs as well, lower energy.

Evan Brand:  What about when you take the palm in your hand, you kinda bend your fingers back, aren’t the lines supposed to go more red to where you can see the blood flow..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, more red, which is a sign of just better circulation. So if you take your hand like this and you see the new lines here to get redder.

Evan Brand:  But if you’re anemic, I’m guessing you may not get as much red color in the lines. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, because the heme the heme portion of the hemoglobin has that kind of red or more pinky tone to it. So when they Hemoglobin is low that ping ketones last so you have that more of that pale kind of Outlook. So you won’t have that. You know that rosie, you know, if your skin more there white skinned, you won’t have that like Rosie next to it is kind of stays pale. 

Evan Brand:  Yeah once again, so that’s more of like a hey here’s a free at home test you bend your bend your fingers back. Look at the lines in the palm of your hand if they dont go red. Maybe it’s related to a blood do blood panel figured out.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So let’s go with some other Nails here. We have a couple of them are the one to talk about of course we have clubbing as well. So when we see clubbing it’s literally looks like a little hoof at the end where you see a little curvature at the end of the nail and a lot of times that’s from oxygen deficiency. So that could be from extreme low iron. They could be from a lot of respiratory distress, whether it’s like sleep apnea or some kind of like just COPD just youre not able to really take on oxygen appropriately and then that low oxygen level can really cause that clubbing affect so you See with lung issues you can see with kidney issues liver issues heart issues dietary and IBS issue immuno issues like 80 things like that. But a lot of times are some ability to transfer and carry oxygen to proclaim. The body makes sense. You’re looking at bigger picture pathology people that have that level of clubbing. They’re already going to be on the conventional medicine radar as some kind of a diagnosis already being there. So you work on stabilizing that but then you want to get to the root issue, especially if you have like you so you can see cloudy with some autoimmune issues too and autoimmunity obviously Lots inflammation in the body. So you can you stabilize with the conventional medical docs and then you work on getting to the root cause.

Evan Brand:  Yeah I would say autoimmunity would link to any of this, if you have got any of immunity that you got Hashimotos and now your thyroid slowing down, we know that hypothyroidism could cause some of these nail issues as well. So yes, I would just say I messed up nails and your autoimmune you could blame it as as that being a piece of the puzzle. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and also pitting nails too. That’s associated with psoriasis, which is autoimmunity also reiter syndrome as well. So lot of pitting Nails, which these conditions have an effect on connective tissue. We look at autoimmunity as well. So anytime you see penny nails or even just the the the clubbing Nails there any type of nail issue I will give these so big because the. Interplays and once you start messing up iron and fat soluble vitamins and good fat digestion of protein digestion and B vitamin absorption, especially B12. You could see a lot of these physical presentation with the nails of the totally possible. Excellent next we have I would say you have the horizontal Nails as well that could easily be from scarlet fever with her and that one in school and of course Carla fever at the staph infection, I think and I can easily affect the heart to increase heart valve problems as well as your horizontal lines or beau’s lines that can also be due to psoriasis as well or any type of circulation issue because scarlet fever can usually affect the lungs and potentially the heart so that’s always a possibility,any comments?

Evan Brand:  I don’t know much about scarlet fever. So no, I don’t have anything to add to that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, excellent. Anything else you want to talk about after that?

Evan Brand:  The easy one that some people forget that they did something to their nails. Like if you smash your smash your fingers in the door or like you shut the car the kids shuts the car on your nail and sometimes people forget to say. Oh my god. I’ve got this black spot under my nails, you know, Bob Marley died of melanoma under his big toenail had a dark spot under his big toenail and he said well, yeah and he said well. The Rastafarian mine said is you you don’t amputate any of your parts cuz they wanted to cut off his big toe to get rid of the melanoma and he’s like no I didn’t want to do it and then unfortunately the melanoma kill him. So yes a dark spot under the nail could be A possible skin cancer its rare, but it’s possible. So in some cases of dermatologist may want to look at dark spots under the nails but a lot of times it’s oh I bang my my hand to get something and I forgot and now I’ve got medicine blood under there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And just poor digestion not digesting absorbing. A lot of these good fat soluble vitamins fats and proteins can be a big one and vitamins and minerals too, we have Terry’s Nails as well. So Bose nails are going to be the horizontal lines kind of more midline. Terrys nails are going to be The White Strip at the very top that’s also going to be a horizontal line as well at the very top. So you’ll see kind of a big white strip at the very top and that one is some of these ones can mean you no more significant issues to me and they can mean different types of potential liver issues. Kidney issues diabetes. So the more unhealthy you get the more your nails just really go to hell in a handbasket. So to speak you have the area Nails think of in school. We learned Terry Nails T4 tip tea for tip and then bows, Bose in closer to the base B for bass, Terrys horizontal here bows more in the middle closer to the base and then autoimmunity plays a big role and then more of your bigger issues like kidney liver cardiovascular issues COPD, we can start to see more clubbing issues. And of course psoriasis is connected to a lot of these different ones of General. 

Evan Brand:  Lets just briefly mention cuticle health to you no cuticle health I would say is correlated with the nails my cuticles back when I had a lot of gut issues. My cuticles were always red and puffy and inflamed and I don’t know if it was directly correlated. All I can tell you is that my cuticles look much better now, so I think if cuticles are irritated, maybe its cuz you’re picking on your nails. Maybe it’s the way you’re biting your nails if your bite or it could be something like that. But to me, I think cuticles are correlated somehow. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think its good day every now and then to go get your nails done and just have those cuticles really opened up. 

Evan Brand:  I like talking about how the cuticle grows up over the nail your head. If I’m at those getting pushed back.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, getting pushed back and trimmed out. I like that. I’ll do that. Maybe once once a year of what twice a year. I get my nails kind of turned up. It’s getting cleaned up with us cuticles. Nice. Anything else want to say? 

Evan Brand:  Well, there you go when you have the official go-ahead from Dr. J go get your nails done. I can tell your husband a Dr. J told me to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I just be careful. I use a lot of chemicals and then I also just make sure that they’re you know use their everything’s kind of coming from like a I sterilize type of Enclave or I forget what its called. I don’t know but its Anyway, its type of sterilization unit sterilize those tools. 

Evan Brand:  Maybe there’s some like, you know crunchy like organic type nail salon out there, but God most nail salons. I can’t go anywhere close to them. I’ve actually had quite a few I don’t even know what you would call him like a nail technician. I guess nail salon workers that have been clients and you should see the amount of xylene. So cylons often used in gel nail polish oh my goodness. Im talking record record levels of xylene, which is super neurotoxic. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So don’t depend on two people going in just just take some extra activated charcoal with some extra glutathione if your health is okay, if you really getting spun out afterwards and just do your best to limit exposure, but I just go and get mine just get the base and get those cuticles trimmed up someone worrying about that the moon underneath the nails thats a good sign of circulation. But a lot of times the cuticle grow up over that Moon so you may not be able to see it. Most people can see it in their thumbs, but they may not see another nails like I cant you cant See mine that well, but once you once Im on kind of goes down and gets that cuticle out, you can see it a lot more. Sometimes that cuticle covers it.

Evan Brand: Yup, were there any other questions. I didn’t have those pulled up in front of me. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Someone broke a nail fungus be acquired from outside sources yet totally can being and that’s why you really want to topically hit it. That’s why it may not always necessarily be a gut issue. So easy as first thing is just do a good fungal so what your nails and topically headed as well. Usually it’s going to take about three to six months for a fungal nail to grow out. So I had a fungal big toe issue and it was very light. It wasn’t even yellow. It was just kind of like the nail you could just see their integrity was lost a little bit. Were all the other nails were fine. And I thought it was a mile mile fungus topically hit after a month. You saw the bottom part grow out nice and clean and I took about three months 3 to 4 months to grow out the big toe. 

Evan Brand:  I’m surprised. It happened that quick that seems pretty fast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, 3 to 6 months may depends, you know, like your pinky nails going to grow out that nail much much faster than your in your thumb. So it’s all got a pen how much real estate has to move. Yeah, but still you provide extra building block so it grows faster and then you number to you topically hit along the way so it doesn’t reinfect the new tissue coming out. That’s why sometimes its so expensive cuz it sucks at times can really penetrate things deeper, which is nice. 

Evan Brand:  I haven’t needed to use it but I have recommended a few people to use that after you told me about it. And yes, I’ve heard it. Thanks. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I’m a big fan of two if you gotta do is Soak. There’s a couple I use one that’s got an Epsom salt in it as well. And so I just love the epsom salts in a foot bath. Like I am so relaxed and so chill at such a great way to get extra magnesium in especially if you know your tummy problems just soaking in through your skin. It won’t cause any diarrhea or anything thats goes right into your bloodstream. So bypasses the gut so you get extra magnesium. I don’t have any at having any laxatives that either. 

Evan Brand:  You could probably throw in some essential oils to I can’t tell you right off the top of my head. Hey this essential oil or that one would be better for the neales lot of times people talk about like the tea tree, but I think if you did a foot soak, I don’t know if you mention that fungal so having essential oils in there, but I think I could be a good extra little boost. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I have a separate one. Ive to that I use are the herbal nail fungal soap, which is really just good for killing nail fungus and help me with fungus like athletes foot or you know, cuz a lot of times you can see fungus on the feet with a lot of excessive dead skin is like a lot of excessive dry skin. Cracked skin around the footer to heal a lot of times that can be fungus too. So I’ll put some links but low for like my favorite fungal foot soaks cuz I won that does the Epson salt and some essential oils like lavender and peppermint and its very very good. Very last time I do after this up Podcast cool. Excellent. Anything else you wanted to highlight today Evan. 

Evan Brand:  I would just say dig deeper. If you have nail issues hair issues skin issues. There’s probably something else going on. So yeah, maybe you do a foot soak cool, but what else is going on? There’s probably not a situation where a nail issues going to happen in isolation. There’s probably some other symptoms may be anxiety depression sleep issues gut issues bloating, you know gas constipation burping the spice something else happened. So it’ll be like the zoom in on these issues because one you all gave great feedback on the hair loss but never too because thats thats what people look for. It’s the vanity that gets people interested in their health in some cases like somebody doesn’t just wake up and say I want to Look at my gut fer infection. That’s what you and I do because we love and breathe this stuff. But your average persons going to wake up and look and say oh my nails look how hideous my nails are all my hair. Look how ugly and then they get motivated to dig deeper, but I would encourage you just to get dig deeper on your own. Just think about what else could be going on don’t wait until you have a bunch of other ships of is it if it’s just the nails may be running organic acids test and see if you’ve got a big candida problem run a stool test and see if you’ve got a big fungal problem there. These are really low-hanging fruit items that we can look for that encourage us to do a test find an answer and then you can make a protocol to address it from the inside out as well as the outside. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% someone wrote and what happens if one nail is yellow, but we have just been talking about Im just now same thing. You can have it on me. That all of them that’s what the whole podcast is about. So just go back and listen everything Shawn Rhoden on vacation in Greece notice my hair and skin were significantly healthier than when I was at home along with better sleep any reason. So first thing is she said I was eating a lot more gluten. So is less gluten content in the food in Europe bus pass the size and such but could be a combination of stress being lower than if you’re sleeping better has to be less stress to be better sleep. I’m not sure what your diets like when you’re at home already. So you have to look at the variables of stress sleep also sunlight maybe you’re getting more sunlight exposure. All of those factors could have a huge role in what’s happening that she was amazing to think you could see the difference. 

Evan Brand:  Is that quick though? Like, oh I went to grease my hair got better say well, I don’t know about that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Also, its a vacation like you’re going to like paradise, you know, you’re going to other kind of a more Paradise relaxing space. So there is a level of excitement. And just being in an awesome Place probably been saving up for a for the year. So there’s a lot of you know the kind of emotional things that are part of that as well as not just a you know, a physiological thing to. 

Evan Brand:  Maybe it was a bunch of olive oil. I just don’t think you would see changes like and lets hit him if it was like a month vacation may be but if it’s like a week and now you’re just do an olive oil and bread on everything 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Maybe the olive oil help maybe lot more fats how stressed you were but I personally don’t think you see it that fast because it takes time for your skin cells in your hair cells that turnover. Yes, you’re on vacation for a good month or two and you start to see it might want a month to I think it’d be hard unless you’re just not getting any sunlight. Now you get a little bit of a tan and your skin feels, you know, a little bit better cuz of the vitamin B, I think it takes longer.

Evan Brand:  I have a friend who, when I say he was maybe fifty-fifty to sound like that last time we hung out we went hunting together and he had brown hair, you know, good-looking dark brown hair and then it would this was in the fall. We would like doing a Fall deer hunt and then the next spring we were going to go hunt turkey and his hair was all gray. Im talking just over the winter. His hair went 100% gray and I thought oh my God, and so what happened to your hair and guess what happened over the winter? He got a divorce and Superbad divorce, you know wife went crazy excetera. And so then I see him I didn’t see him through the summer I catch up with him again for another fall hunt. So went from you know, the fall before Brown the next spring gray to the next fall. Guess what his hair was brown again perfectly Brown. I said, did you color your hair? And you said no, it just went back to Brown and I said always a divorce over he goes. Hell. Yeah, everything settled my thoughts. Wow, look at the emotional connection to hair. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. The hair going gray is the catalase enzyme is really important enzyme for the hair going gray. And that enzyme is associated with glutathione. So glutathione is really important for hair color. And I just think what happens is all the sulfur I think all the cortisol is going to cause you to just burn through a lot more that sell fur and so you have less sulfur available for the hair. Is your body kick your ass doesn’t care much about the Aesthetics like its first on the priority list to go. 

Evan Brand:  Yes survival or crossed off the list.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, you know, what I recommend is when that happens. You should hear starts going off the glutathione up the selenium right? Make sure you’re digesting and you’re consuming lots of good high Quality Meats with sulfur and good high-quality, you know sulfur Rich vegetables. 

Evan Brand:  Yeah, his hair is looking good now, so maybe just the stress alone. He he self-regulated but– 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Man you can just make sure that grows and you can do also extra green vegetables used to be really helpful. That’s great. Excellent. I’ll do a podcast or I’ll do it video right after this on gray hair. I’ll do a little summary video afterwards people coming in and they want to recap I’ll do my own little shop talk to you. Cool. Do it or anything else having you want to highlight here. 

Evan Brand:  That’s it for the nails if people want to reach out Clinically Justin and I work with people around the world so you can check out his website for scheduling consultation set is at My website is and we both work with people around the world were super grateful for the opportunity to help you also. Thank you for letting us serve you and if you have feedback suggestions on podcast topics symptoms think we have covered. I’ll put it in the comments if you’re on Justins YouTube video or if you find us on Facebook. Twitter Instagram somewhere look us up and let us know. Hey, I want you to cover this or that and we’ll make it happen. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, let us know your experience with your fingernail or hail here issues. Love to hear it. Love the comment about it as well. And if you enjoy the podcast smash that like button, it really helps the YouTube algorithm and that read us a review. I,, and we really appreciate the reviews, and Im share this with your friends or family. When did you know that could help her benefit you feel free to share with them and also our link below will be there for consultation if you want a diving deeper and look at some of the deeper issues, We’re here for yall. Hope you have a phenomenal day. I will be back tomorrow with some more contents and you guys have a phenomenal day. Take care. 

Evan Brand: Take care. Bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye. Bye.


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Audio Podcast:


Heart Rate Variability Tracking, ETRF and Keto Mojo with Dave Korsunsky | Podcast #252

For this podcast, Dr. Justin is with Dave Korsunsky of Heads Up Health to discuss this new software program that measures their health in new ways and can also be connected with your different health wearables. Know more about how we can track our heart rate variability, ETRF, ketones, blood sugar monitoring and a lot more.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover: 

01:08 What is Heads Up Health

10:03 How we increase heart rate variability

15:23 Fasting

22:30 How Keto Mojo works

30:20 Data trends, charting


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live Dr. J here in the house with Dave Korsunsky, Dave. How are we doing today, man? 

Dave Korsunsky: You know, I always always a pleasure when I get to jam with Dr. J on on the on the air. So yeah good to be back in connecting with you again, sir. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So what’s going on in heads-up world if anyone not connected or not with it heads up as a great software that you can plug in a lot of your wearables. You can track various data from heart rate variability to blood sugar to sleeve tattoo, you name it and you can quantify you can really get some interesting friends in correlation to Mint. What’s happening in the heads-up world? 

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah. Well, we’re a software program for the health optimizers out there and Optimizer could just be with someone whos going to daily work and wants to kick more butt it could be someone working on a chronic illness and really trying to figure out exactly what’s going on could be a high performance athlete so We’re always building ways for people to understand and measure their health in new ways. So a lot of the work we do is Im helping people see all of their medical records together instead of in 50 different PDF files. And one of the things were going to talk about today is that there is some really really amazing technology on the market that’s becoming available to the everyday consumer that didn’t exist five years ago. And this technology is letting us measure our health in ways that are incredibly insightful measurements in many cases that a lot of health and medical professionals are not even Up to speed with so we see a lot of people who actually have incredible amounts of information on their house and using this sophisticated data to self optimize. So Id love to just share a few of those new metrics and measurements and Nuggets that people are using to fine-tune their house. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. So you see set up an account,, I’ll put link down below and then once you’re there you can plug wearables like your Fitbit if you have an Oura Ring you can connect that as well. You can also just create you know ways where you can sink in or monitor blood pressure blood sugar ketones, right? So you can plug all these other markers in as you kind of correlates some of these other things you’re talking about is that correct? 

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah, the goal is to help people see cause and effect. So you keep touched on one part of it, which is I can enter my nutrition information my blood sugar in my weight. My heart rate a Kinect up all my stuff. Okay, that’s cool. But the other part of it is also linking up. Medical lab test results and other things like your thyroid markers, inflammation markers, your lipid panels. And what we want to do is okay. I’ve got all of this information here. That’s helping me measure my lifestyle choices. Am I getting enough sleep? Am I eating metabolically Friendly Foods, but we want an overlay that with your lab test results so you can you can see exactly okay if I change this what happens to my TSH marker.that’s what you and I first worked on many many years ago in your office yet, you know, and the problem was like, okay. I got all these lab tests there somewhere in some PDF files are in Dropbox they’re in Google Drive and Im like, yeah, I think I have a patient portal. So that’s like the state-of-the-art for most people trying to understand their Labs. You have the real hardcore patients that will actually put it on a spreadsheet which is better act like but still a massive pain in the ass and theres no way to cross-reference that with for example, Lifestyle Changes supplement protocols. So that’s why we put it all on one screen and then it becomes plain as day where you can start to see cause and effect. So that’s the service we provide to people. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: that’s good. So why don’t we just to make it visual? Are you able to share your screen and we can go take a look just kind of you know, you just going through at the people so they can see it and why you getting that setup, you know, what is the what are the top three things that the average person is coming to your site? What what are they tracking? What does that look like? What are the three or five most important things that you’re seeing off the bat? 

Dave Korsunsky: Absolutely. The number one is blood sugar. Everybodys got some type of health condition. It could just be some extra weight in the midsection or it could be something such as I don’t know pre diabetes or epilepsy or Cardiovascular disease at the root of all of these issues is poorly controlled blood sugar. So one of the most important things people are tracking whether you’re on a keto diet or a low-carb diet or you’re just not wanting to deal with any of those symptoms or in my case. I was very physically active and healthy, but I just couldnt get the fat off at the end of the day. It was all metabolic at at at the route. So the number one most important markers people are looking at our daily blood sugar also looking at some blood Ketone. We also see a lot of people measuring weight and body composition metrics because as you know, as you start to control blood sugar and you control those post-meal blood sugar surges Weight starts to come off. So we see a tremendous amount of people checking wait, were starting to see a lot more people getting comfortable with the idea of looking at their own blood work and you don’t have to be medically astute. You just need to know how to look at a few labs and work with some a stud like yourself who can then provide some extra interpretation on those tests. So a lot of people doing blood work and now theres some really cool metrics out there heart rate variability not internal heart rate variability being able to look at a very detailed sleep cycle analysis being able to look at correlations between food you eat and how that affects your sleep when you eat and how it affects your sleep. So theres some incredible ways we can self optimize now and that’s where were seeing a lot of this very Progressive people who are self optimizing are those are the things that theyre looking at. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: very good, so well dive in a Little bit deeper into some of these markers like youd actually shared on screens people that I have a second that maybe you’re like hey, how does this look–

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah, I’m going to share my screen. This is going to be my personal data Justin, So I I I will hereby release you from all liability for accessing my Phi voluntarily put my pHi on YouTube. Okay, cuz now so we can do this demo. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What is heart rate variability mean just for the average person. There is 70% of the heart cells are actually neurological cells that there’s a connection between the heart and the brain and the more that you say uneven between each beat the more variability between each beat. It’s a good marker of the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system response, the more variability greater parasympathetic less variability more predictability between the beats the more of a sympathetic nervous system responses. That kind of a good summary. Do you want to elaborate more than that? 

Dave Korsunsky: If you really want to strip it down. It’s just a number to measure stress. So..

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: and it’s a little bit contradictory cuz you would think the more predictable your heart rate is the better but not necessarily the more predictable the more of a sympathetic kind of response the less predictable more of a parasympathetic kind of response. 

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah, that’s exactly right. Basically between each heartbeat. There is a certain amount of time you really just say its its measured in milliseconds and each beat has a slightly different interval that there’s a slight variation 997 a thousand a thousand and two, these are all the elapsed times between each be so actually like you said, its counterintuitive. Higher heart rate variability more variation between each beat is representative of someone who is well recovered. Well rested managing their stress and you know, this is technology that 10 years ago. You you would need to go into the hospital and get rigged up to hospital grade ECG machines to to get a really detailed heart rate variability analysis. Stop sharing my screen here for the second now you just do with one of these and this is something the average consumer can buy for $79 or something like the order ring and you track your heart rate variability and your stress on your own. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely love it. that’s great. I have one of these guys here through hartmuth. Exactly one goes like this- 

Dave Korsunsky: putting you in a state of coherent. Its its synchronizing is harmonizing the heart and the brain and the electrical signals in there and you’ll start to see as you do some guided breathing some relaxation and meditation. You’ll start to see you’re at your stress response actually get much better you’ll resilience get much better. So it’s incredibly powerful and more people are starting to understand how to use HRV heart rate variability. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely, in order to tracker chart this data, you know, you’re going to be plugging it into [inaudible] in which we’ll talk a little bit about what are some of the big strategy people can do to increase coherence or increase their heart rate variability. Is it just Breathing. Is it focus on the brain on gratitude? What what are the biggest factors that you’re seeing that make a big difference to move the needle?

Dave Korsunsky: well for the record, I’m a technologist. So I’m going to give my technologist take on it and then. J can put the actual on Healthcare professionals expertise on it. But what affects heart rate variability doc really goes back to the core functional medicine principles, which is is infection present is is there a pathogen is there a toxin somewhere in the body so that can exacerbate heart rate variability. It could be a physical stressor. So is a person injured is a person in dealing with a chronic illness. Are they getting sick? So that would be like an acute type of illness that can affect heart rate variability. And then the third part of it is psychosomatic part, which is basically just a fancy word to say the emotional part. What is it? What is your daily life your your work situation your interpersonal situations that creates emotional stress. So those are the three things that really diet blood sugar those will be others. They all negatively affect or heart rate variability and they are all what we would call. So as you work on things like detoxification protocols strengthening the immune system working on Digestive Health blood sugar regulation meditation. that’s when you’ll see your heart rate variability start to get better. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellence. So for instance, just to make it tangible on the psychosomatic side. This is inner balance right here. You can plug it in. Im already in coherence, which is the red and you can see it. Its monitoring the heart rate there and it took me a variability. This is primarily just addressing the psychosomatic part. Basically, it’s a five-second breath in 5 second breath out. And as this expands here in the middle that’s breathing and imagine your lungs expanding and as its Contracting, that’s your lungs Contracting. Now, if you have an infection in your blood sugar or a whole bunch of information going on just changing your breathing and changing your mental focus doesn’t fix those underlying issues. So kind of like what you said, we look at functional medicine. We look at the underlying physical chemical and emotional stressors and that maybe a nice palliative way to shift some of the emotional stressors and in promote more of that parasympathetic nervous system respond. So we gotta put one tool in the whole kind of conglomeration of tools and then we want to be able to chart it. So maybe we corporate this we charted use an or raining or use them. The balanced athlete we incorporate other things like addressing it back. 

Dave Korsunsky: Why don’t we do a little demo here doc. You can see here my meditation time. And I’m going to actually put my meditation time. right next to my heart rate variability See, let’s do it this way. So what you see on the screen here for people are watching on YouTube. It is III track meditation time. I like to meditate I can’t say I do it every day, but I try to do 20 minutes in the morning before I pick up my phone and start the craziness and then I try to do 20 20 minutes before bed. And so that’s logged here and then I can look at my heart rate variability, which is measured by the Oura Ring. that’s one of my favorite devices. There’s others that I use and recommend like I’m the biostrap and Elite HRV. These are things anyone can purchase and measure heart rate variability basically measure stress. So as my meditation sessions increase does my heart rate variability improve and actually there’s a very strong correlation. And so the weeks were meditating regularly. I’ll see my heart rate variability in the high forties and fifties and the weeks when I’m traveling and I’m on the road and I don’t have my healthy foods handy, and I’m not getting as much sleep. I’ll start to see my heart rate variability Trend down could go as low as 20 sometimes if I’ve been on a red-eye flight and running to meetings so I can use these as levers and for me as a business owner everything I do is about my resiliency my recovery and my Stress Management, this is actually probably one of the most important numbers I can look at and you can see here if my blood sugar is good. You can see I know about 88 on the blood sugar. I’m in a really nice State and nutritional ketosis here about .8. I’m getting really good sleep. You can see that my heart rate variability styled in so that’s just really simple examples of how people are on Doing these self optimization exercises. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What correlations do you have with fasting or with ketones or even just blood sugar fluctuations? You notice anything like that at all? 

Dave Korsunsky: There’s a couple aspects to that one is that there are people out there who will ask you to eat. Let’s let’s use your example. One of the first things you ever ask me to do as your patient was to do a function of glucose tolerance test. Yeah. You said Dave go your favorite breakfast. I don’t care what it is. Bennys, bacon and eggs, whatever and you said test your blood sugar before you eat your breakfast. So your fasted. Yep, and then test your blood sugar 1 hour to hour 3 hours after said food. Yep. And so what you wanted to see was does this person have a healthy response to that food? Not those nights in sugar rise? Okay. It doesn’t go into the stratosphere. It comes up to a reasonable level and then the body’s systems kick in and it has a nice taper back down to Baseline. So a lot of people will measure blood sugar response to food the also measure heart rate variability response to food that may actually indicate there’s a significant food sensitivity. So if you’re highly gluten or highly lactose intolerant, you might see your HRV plummet after you eat some of those Foods. So that’s the connection directly with meal timing. If you look at it from a slightly different angle, which is something we wanted to talk about which is like, when do you eat know when you eat can be just as important as what you eat? If your back loading all of your caloric intake to your biggest meal which happens at 7, 8 p.m. And then you go to bed at 10 or 11 and your body is still in a very proinsulin State. you’re still digesting your heart rate is still elevated that’s going to trash your heart rate variability through the Sleep Cycle. So a really common example is people who are checking HRV and adjusting a meal timing. So one of the biggest things I learned Justin was some I sleep the best and I have the best numbers the earlier in the day. I finish eating so I like to have my biggest meal with 4th Down finished by 5 p.m. And I might have a light snack before bed. But then I’ll see my heart rate and my heart rate variability just really plateau and bought them out to the night. Those are my best nights sleep that is stuff. I never would have known unless I had some data to help me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: do you feel a difference though, clinically regarding how you function or feel the next day. I see a lot of people that get alot of data on Oura Ring and then I feel like they’re getting stressed over the data, but maybe that dated us necessarily manifest an actual production or how they feel are you noticing that a correlation with the date and how you performing seal. 

Dave Korsunsky: So is a couple things you can do there one is actually don’t even look at the data until your two or three hours into your day. And that way you can start your day and really just go go through the first couple hours of your day. Just based on how you physically feel and then later in the day or like Im kicking ass today. I feel amazing. I want to check it with the numbers or I feel like complete dogshit today. Okay. Now I’m going to go in and look at the numbers and see if they actually match how I feel most of the high-quality devices on the market now are very protective of how you physically feel so I find a very strong correlation between what the numbers show me and how I feel in the morning, especially the devices that are Looking at all of the variables during sleep heart rate variability heart rate sleep cycles. They can get very very close to how you’re actually going to physically feel and perform but you bring up a very important Point some people get a little too wrapped up around the numbers and that that can also be an adverse effect and that’s the kind of the dark side of the data if you will. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That can create a stress response in and of itself. 

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah, totally people are freaking out cuz he can get this number or that number and at the end of the day you’re like, okay one or two bad nights. I’m still going to feel good. I’m still going to perform fine and we have to learn as individuals how to properly use this data. So that is not actually creating more stress than is removing. And this is all new technology for us. Oh, yeah, people are going to obsess over something that some of these numbers and They may need to just take a break from the tracking. They may need to just learn how to take it with a grain of salt. Maybe learn how to work with you to cancel them to say it’s actually not that bad. So interpretation and interpreting that in a way that is healthy is something we all need to start form. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, one of my biggest metrics cuz I’m creating content and doing podcasts and videos dealing with a patient from all over the world by big is metric is like a verbal fluency. Im thinking and talking on the go and it’s how clean can my words come off how clean can I transmit thoughts and ideas and and and and keep it moving and keep it fluid. I’m doing lots of Q&A. So I’m constantly thinking and communicating on the go how fluent how smooth connect communication be so that’s a big thing. One of the things I know this is getting the bed before eleven makes a big difference taking adaptogens an extra stress handling nutrients makes a big difference. I didnt wrapping up that mitochondria. I still been tracking my Fitbit for my sleep and just you know, I try to get 10 to 15,000 steps today. So I have that data that Like Im looking to get the Oura Ring as well so I can look at both of those combined and then you know, if I’m doing a podcast from in a stressful situation or dealing with patients that are tough. I’ll just try to use the inner balance heart rate variability and try to just check myself into that green place a couple of things people can do and then I think if you get more data, I like seeing a change if I take magnesium before bed do I notice an improvement in heart rate variability or Sleep Quality? If I add adaptogens, right? I had a meditation routine or if I exercise too late. What do I see? Is there a change in One Direction or the other do I like using it as a means of bringing things in or out of my routine stressors in stressors out? And then just seeing what kind of change it happens and I think you may notice that when we talked about doing functional glucose tolerance. Hey, go eat the Denny’s meal what it do to your glucose. And you know, I think you learned a lot from that. 

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah, absolutely and it becomes very clear once you have access to some good. Information. Okay. I did a really heavy work out at 7 p.m. And actually it took me an extra hour to fall asleep and my heart rate was still jacked until 3 in the morning. How do I know I’ll walk yours the numbers right here. There’s all my heart rate measurement through the night. Okay tomorrow I’m going to finish my heavy work out by 4 p.m. Then what happens to my heart rate to sleep and then the next day like you said I’m going to take 30 ml of CBD oil and some magnesium before bed then what happens so these are all things people are playing and learning and becoming more in tune with their physical body. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And then you can one you can develop correlation and then you can see that correlation equals causation having pulled it in pulled it out multiple times and this is a really cool way especially when you’re when you’re already at a good level of Health. Now, you’re kind of tweaking I like this live kind of data feedback loop that you can get and you can really develop you be your own. N equals one trial but you have harder data that they just you know, your subjective opinion. 

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah, and I’m not dogmatic about any lifestyle. I’m not dogmatic about any way of eating any diet. I think based on lifestyle factors genetics. There’s going to be different ways people need to eat. So carnivore vegan paleo keto whatever. Find exactly what works for you and then actually have some data to figure it out because the problem a lot of times as there’s too much information out there and how do you sift through it all and then you and then you share what you’ve learned in someone gives you a completely opposite opinion and then you have an existential meltdown and then you realize okay. Let me just get back to the lowest common denominator here, which is some objective data. If I change my diet according to what doctor Justin tells me. Lets I go autoimmune keto for 6 weeks according to Dr. J. Do the labs get better that is simple stuff anyone can do but you need the numbers and there’s a lot of people who eat and live a certain way but their Labs might look like total crap. So that’s where the numbers can actually maybe tell you that you’re not doing as good as you thought you were. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Also one of the big things is depending on where your level of health is. What tier healthier in let’s say, here’s the highest tier, your the middle tier. Here’s a low-tier people that are in a low tier already have hormonal issues or thyroid issues or an autoimmune condition bringing in something like intermittent fasting may not may actually be a stressor bringing in something like resistance training or interval training or some kind of a more intense exercise may actually be a stressor but this person up here at a higher level of how they may be able to do some eating restrictions before bed and actually benefit they may be able to do more resistance training and Crossfit and benefit. These are the people that made you well at with carbohydrates at two or three hundred grams per day because of their oxidative stress and how much resistance or aerobic training they’re doing. So theres different tiers and I always recommend like figure out what tier you’re on and don’t try to be, you know at the lower house here and do that do things that people are on at the higher level up here doing some it’s not a direct correlation. It’s not Is he poor healthy because it do that because they are healthy they can do that and it and you have to attend, you know, figure out what Avenue to go into. 

Dave Korsunsky: You bring up some really important points there one in some. So there’s probably a lot of people and you’ve mentioned is before me. There are people who are actually two low-carb and their training too hard in the gym doing CrossFit and you’ll see that you’ll see your HRV and it’s in the toilet and maybe your thyroid numbers are in the toilet and you’re not feeling great and you’re sleeping great and you’re cold and then you ratchet up the carbohydrates and you look at the numbers and you like holy crap. I feel better. Im sleeping better in my HRV is better. So that’s a part of it. And then you bring up another great point which is when I was working with you as a patient. There was a period where I was completely healthy and I could go train like a beast in the gym and then just basically go to bed and Great sleep and go to work the next day and then as I went through some life stressors, I got to the point where that same type of exercise actually was a nightmare for me cuz my body was already in a high-stress state so that same workout that I could have done without even thinking about it a year ago. Now my cortisol would stay elevated and I’d be awake till 3 in the morning because my body was already distressed date now, I’m out of that stress date and I can do those types of exercise I couldn’t do before. So again, that’s were having some numbers can also be really really helpful. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I remember you doing that and Insanity Workout has like a 90-minute type of interval circuit. 

Dave Korsunsky: I was commuting from San Francisco to Palo Alto everyday–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: hour-and-a-half commute to work 10 hours a day already. 

Dave Korsunsky: I did a stress have a good knowledge about how to eat healthy for my body in terms of right and I was just still standard American diet and it pushes me into a very high-stress State and then I was no longer able to do the types of things physically that I could do before until those stressors were removed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’re having an Oura Ring or some kind of heart rate variability is helpful because you can go into that work. I’ll be like, I got a lower number today, you know, maybe let’s just do a little bit of yoga on some walking or just a couple a little bodybuilding resistance movements and be out of the gym in 20 or 30 minutes. So you think– 

Dave Korsunsky: I can’t even imagine what my HRV number for when I was going through that I don’t even know that there was a really good technology to measure it at that time. It was 2012/2013. A lot of this amazing technology didn’t even exist. There was there was really no easy ways to measure it. So I wish I had that information now, I know exactly what my HRV numbers would look like in that situation and I know that that’s some serious interventions would be required. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: so for like interval or circuit training you may look and make sure you have a higher rate of HRV score for that day. And if not, maybe you could– 

Dave Korsunsky: A change is not so important. You know, you can have a crappy night’s sleep in a crappy HRV number to it’s just one day that doesnt mean Im not going to train–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You may adjust the intensity and length for that day though. 

Dave Korsunsky: Maybe, maybe not but if my HIV was in the toilet for a week straight now, I’m really going to change my training measurements. So a lot of the time to look at seven day averages maybe you just had a bad night’s sleep. But the previous six nights you were dialed in you. Can you might still be able to train pretty hard on that day, but like I just came off three weeks of straight business travel and my numbers were in the tank for a couple weeks. I’m really going to do some heavy resilience before I trained. So that’s where having like 7 Days 14 days trailing data. I can show an example here if you want, but that’s where it would be really helpful to look at them for longer Trends versus just day-to-day acute variations. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So acute vs. Day today. Im sorry cute verse Is long-term. So you look at both when you make that I mean, I think I do a lot of that. I own intuitively. I think you know, if you can’t I just get an assessment of house food bad how sleep and how stress pain and then from there you can always get it. My general consensus is high intensity low amount of time in the gym. I am out of tent city while they’re in my big gauge for me is always walk out feeling feeling more energized. So always stop the work out prematurely. So I feel better. I’ll always make sure emotionally once I come down for my heart rate being at a hundred 50 hundred sixty after I am back to Baseline you can I mostly repeat it. And then how do I feel that next day? that’s a pretty good gauge that most people can use without even having an HRV just to make sure that the exercise is not a stressor.

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah a hundred percent so you can do it based if you know your body well enough you can just do it instinctively intuitively. You can also get you can also get data, you know, a lot of athletes at the elite level are looking at 7 day, 14 day trends and HRV and they’re looking to say, okay. I just introduced a really new heavy training regimen is my body adapting properly. So that’s where you do need some hard data and some Trends. So that’s one way and then the other way like you said, it’s just knowing yourself well enough and doing it instinctively. Im a data nerd and I like the numbers. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think it’s great. And what other things are you tracking or charting against the HIV? Have you added more variables to compare? How many variables can you compare in heads up. 

Dave Korsunsky: You know, Dr. Justin said we have to graph up to seven things at a time. So we we finally did that. I’m going to grab my heart rate variability here. At the at the previous version of the software, you could only graph to markers at a time. Yes. Now you can do up to 6 actually that pressure. So let’s look at my heart rate variability what you can see here and you can see it’s been just trending up nicely and let’s also just put my meditation time on the graph and see how that correlates. This is awesome right here. So you can see I really got into my meditation routine and started measuring at about months and you see right where I start those 20-minute meditation sessions, you know, luscher enough HRV is is actually the highest point. It’s been in the last 30 days go figure love that and then also let’s look at my blood sugar was high track with my keto Mojo and what’s happening with blood sugar nice and low ride in the mid-80s dialed in so then you can start to look over different time ranges and 270.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Do you have ketones with that too?

Dave Korsunsky: funny you should ask doc that we go on the grass and lets take off blood sugar. So here’s the ketones you can see Im in a really nice state of nutritional ketosis the whole last 30 days. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I kind of see a little bit of a correlation there with a heart rate variability and ketones.

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah you can see ketones are high, the HRV is high right here as ketones are a little lower the HRV. So that is a really nice correlation. You know, we could we could look and say OK as people go into nutritional ketosis. Those are HRV get better. I would probably bet. Yes, you’re burning a much cleaner fuel source.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: cleaner fuel source think of glucose and carbohydrate is like a dirty diesel kind of fuel that has a lot of stick to it afterwards and think of you know on this is like a really clear–

Dave Korsunsky: Here’s the correlation doc. I just took meditation time off. So now we’re just looking at nocturnal HRV basically a trivia while sleeping and ketones. you’re right now there’s Probably a really nice correlation curve there. We could [inaudible] for people. There you go, man. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: that’s awesome. It makes your serging insulin in your serging cortisol and adrenaline and that just by itself creates a sympathetic nervous system response and that makes sense because that would decrease heart rate variability that makes a lot of sense.

Dave Korsunsky: Yep so we just found a very nice correlation on nutritional  ketosis and heart rate variability. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:I got a keto Mojo just recently. I’ve had some older blood sugar monitors and I got a new one so I’ll have to get the keto or the Oura Ring as well and get now that I know you have six things that up. That was the thing I was waiting for so I can start charting some of this data. So that’s awesome. I’m going to start right away. 

Dave Korsunsky: Yeah, the keto Mojo also sings electronically with our app, so– 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, how does that work?

Dave Korsunsky: You basically I’ll show you let me just get my keto Mojo. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: This would be great people can see.

Dave Korsunsky: We work directly with the team over at keto-mojo to do there was no Ketone meter on the market that we could sink was electronically all the Precision extras in the nails and all that stuff. They don’t have a mobile app. So there was no way for us to sync the data. So if you have the keto Mojo which is here then all you have a website and you order the Bluetooth connector. And so the Bluetooth connector just goes right and where the test strip goes. And then it sends the readings to the keto Mojo app and then it automatically sends them to your Heads Up Health dashboard. So you can breathe out of the keto Mojo readings. Let me just change this to keto-mojo. I have the glucose to ketones in the index the glucose Ketone index these automatically sync with keto Mojo the Oura Ring automatically syncs on your dashboard. We have a fasting timer so you can track your fasting intervals will sync with chronometer MyFitnessPal so you can get you nutrition data on their your blood pressure, body composition. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m excited now that you have this multiple data.

Dave Korsunsky: and then and then the other part of it is just let me show you guys this as well. This is really kind of our differentiate or Justin is then you can actually look at peoples lab test results and see if the numbers are getting better as stress goes down. So as HRV goes up does my hs-crp number? Better does my inflammation markers get better. So that’s where having the blood work here actually become super important. that’s what we’re trying to create his like if I make a lifestyle change, I see it on the dashboard to my labs get better and my house here. that’s that’s the main function of our of our software. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: that’s very cool. Is there any love stuff that you wanted to show any of the listeners that you want me to take a look at now?

Dave Korsunsky: you know, Im probably overdue for some Labs, you know with mine personally some of the ones that I have to keep a really close eye on our ferritin high ferritin, which means I do need to give blood pretty regularly to keep that number down. Yeah, so that’s when I monitor very closely homocysteine is another one because of some of the MTHFR mutations if Im not taking that methylfolate. Supplement then my homocysteine will be out of range High 11 12 13 14 supplementing. It’ll be down six seven eight. So that’s when I really keep a close eye on that something I learned from my genetic report. You can get one from nutrition genome or others and they show me some methylation issues. So homocysteine is one that I keep a really close eye on my thyroid numbers are good. I’ve had some high reverse T3, which you help me with a lot of that was just cleaning up blood sugar and stress. So Im and hs-crp just an all-around really good marker of inflammation that I keep a close eye on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it.

Dave Korsunsky: You know the cool thing as you can get Labs yourself now online so you can order from Dr. J or you can just go and get them in and all them yourselves. Even if your doctor won’t run some of these tests like a fasting insulin. No super cool number really good early predictor. Metabolic house a lot of doctors want to order it? Cuz theres no diagnostic code for it. So this is what it yourself or I’ll call Dr. J. Get him to order check it yourself make some changes. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it love it will put link down below. To get subscribing with Heads Up Health in will this tomorrow podcast on these topics? I’m going to get some of my stuff set up here and we’ll do some Lab podcast here.

Dave Korsunsky: You know, doc, we will give you a discount on your subscription, you know, just cuz I like you you you qualify for the friends. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I appreciate it. I appreciate it. Dave awesome.

Dave Korsunsky: Don’t mention it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I appreciate it. Anything else you want to dive in here today?

Dave Korsunsky: It’s always good jamming with you where we’re going to need to build this thing [inaudible] talking about some of the new health metrics and how people And use them and get a little more dialed in on their health, so I always take the opportunities to come on the show when it come from Dr. J. So thank you for having me sir. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent day will really appreciate the amazing technology that you produced on the ease of access and the ability to sync up and make correlations on your own so we can all be our own little n equals one guinea pigs out of space. So really appreciate that. Dave will be in touch soon and look forward to connecting again. Have a good one. Bye. Bye.


Audio Podcast:

Get to the Root Cause of your Headaches | Podcast #246

Headache causes pain and discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck. It  may appear as a sharp pain, a throbbing sensation or a dull ache. Headaches can develop gradually or suddenly and may last from less than an hour to several days.

Today’s podcast episode is one of the most common complaints that we experience in our day to day life. We are going to talk about different types of headaches,  what are the do’s and don’ts, conventional vs functional alternatives, and a lot more. Have an overview of this very interesting topic in today’s talk.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

01:15 All About Ibuprofen medicines

07:33 Other Migraine Medications

09:28 Food and Diet on Headaches

17:49 Electrolytes

21:20 Essential Oils, Effects on Technology


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house. I’m hitting record. Give me one sec and we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house really excited for today’s podcast. We’re gonna be chatting about headaches and natural solutions to get to the root cause of why you may have a headache. We’ll talk about different kinds of headaches– from allergies to migraines to cluster headaches and we’ll go from even from die off from killing gut gut bacterial infection so we’ll go over the gamut. Evan how we doing today man.

Evan Brand: I’m doing wonderful. Let’s begin this thing talking about the conventional solutions usually we do that later in the podcast. But let’s go straight to the crap, the stuff that unfortunately works but we don’t want to depend on like your ibuprofen is the brand name ibuprofen is it. Is that aspirin or is that Naproxen? I need to look that up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ibuprofen is basically going to be your typical end said right. That’s ibuprofen it’s also a Meloxicam I think as well. And then you’re gonna have like your Advil and then you’re going to have like your aspirin. Those are your big two or three right there there’s some different kinds I think Advil is the same as ibuprofen, Tylenol is going to be I think you’re acetaminophen. I’ll look those all up and I’ll get the all the typical common anti inflammatory is for headaches. We’ll dive in a little bit more specific on the on the medication side. We’ll go over the natural support side as well. On what’s typically used and we’ll go over all the root cause so in general we have a couple different headaches right. We’re going to have a tension headache which is a primarily happened with just stress and pain. A lot of these muscles here in the shoulder in the neck get tight and that can really cause trigger points and create headaches that are more musculoskeletal and soft tissue base. OK we’re going to have cluster headaches where you’re going to be really really severe you’re going to feel it behind the eyes. They’re going to be very very piercing pain and there’s different reasons for why those may happen. We’re going to have potential sinus headaches this can be from antigens or foreign allergenic material if you’re in Austin it could be Cedar etc. and this could get into the sinuses create inflammation and there’s different things that we do to it to decrease inflammation to decrease histamine and also flush a lot of this stuff out. And then we also have headaches that are more migraines based where we kind of have like an aura that open book kind of feeling we may be nauseous blurry vision and these could be hormone based. They could be blood sugar based as well and then we could also have different types of mixed headaches as well. So that kind of gives you a general idea of the different types of headaches and also know seeing patients in our clinic that we deal with mold detox or dealing with gut bacterial detoxification or gluten exposure we can see a lot of headaches from these aspects too as when we get rid of toxic debris a side effect could be headaches and we see that from time to time in the office too.

Evan Brand: Yes. So the prescription I was thinking of in my head it was actually a combo like Excedrin it’s a combo of acetaminophen and aspirin and caffeine. And that was the one where I’ve had many many people just dependent on the Excedrin. You know though even go for extra strength reliever for further headaches. I had one lady I remember I was actually when I was still working at the chiropractors office this lady said she had migraines headaches almost daily for 20 years she was pretty much debilitated by it and we were just getting into the very early stages of nutrition with her just getting her off gluten and dairy and that’s all we did and her headaches went away. I got anything after going to magnesium officially on all these supplements I thought we were going to do all we did to get rid of gluten and dairy and the headaches went away. She was like Oh my God I wish somebody would have told me it was this easy 20 years ago.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly right. Totally. So just to kind of give people a bunch of the different families of medications we have our acetaminophen medication which are primarily going to be like our Tylenol for instance and that’s going to be the acetaminophen then we have the solicit acid will be more of like your aspirin your baby aspirin that’s going to be white willow bark type of extract and then we have our various and says that are going to be ibuprofen Maloxica type of of medications that are more on the Cox 1 Cox 2 type of pathways that kind of gives you a pretty good idea. There are some medications that are more prescription based. All right. But those are the big ones that you’re going to see mostly over-the-counter Advil kind of falls into the same category as ibuprofen and then like you mentioned the other ones that are kind of combined with the caffeine that are going to be more of your migraines pain relievers typically they add the caffeine in there partly because migraines for instance part of the mechanism is Vasodilation and caffeine actually does create some vasoconstriction. And so you would think that more headaches are caused by vasoconstriction and that caffeine or stimulate would make it worse for most of the time it’s days of dilation and the caffeine actually does a little bit more constriction and does help with the headaches.

Evan Brand: Yes the drug that you’re talking about the prescription people end up on is called Topamax. It’s like an anti seizure medication but a lot of people end up using that for migraines as well and that’s what this lady this whole 20 years of migraines that’s what she was on I remember it like yesterday. She’s been on it and it helped her but she had a lot of side effects from memory issues and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’ll see whether or naproxen as well. Kind of similar things you’ll see you’ll see it with those as well some of the pain relievers that kind of have the ibuprofen slash caffeine kind of combo in there for sure and some of these medications work but they may not get to the root cause we really want to make sure we get to the actual root cause of why these medications are needed in some people they may need it every now and then as a quick kind of stopgap but if we can get to the root cause number one we’re going to need less of those medications because we know for instance ibuprofen does kill people 20,000 people a year on the low side. So we know it’s not going to be the best medication to use long term if it’s a short thing here or they are fine. So what we want it to be a kind of a last ditch stopgap measure not something that we’re using daily. And then number two you know other things like for instance Tylenol for instance you know it notoriously decreases glutathione as well where ibuprofen didn’t really decrease gut function and liver function to Tylenol will hit the liver as well. So a lot of these things really do play good at iron. So then if you’re getting exposed to mold, toxins or you just need your body’s detoxification systems to be upregulated to deal with whatever stress is in your environment. It’s gonna be harder to detoxify your body and get rid of these toxins.

Evan Brand: Yeah I remember when my daughter Summer she had a concussion and she you could tell I mean she wasn’t to the point where she was talking as good as she is now at age 3 but she you could tell right headache she wasn’t feeling well. So we talked to the pediatrician we go well what do we do. You know we don’t we don’t want to just depend on topical magnesium etc. Maybe she needs something a little stronger. And she said well go for ibuprofen because you really don’t want to take that hit. It’s like a 30 plus percent hit of decreased in glutathione with the acetaminophen. So she said you really have to choose your battles when it comes to pain relievers and Ibuprofen is generally the better choice over the acetaminophen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly yeah. And then also there are other ibuprofen or other let’s say I like Imitrex and there’s also other migraine medications that are SNRI medication that are selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors as there’s a lot of let’s just say data that dopamine and serotonin can play a big role with migraines so I’ll see a lot of people that have migraines that have issues with their serotonin doped me and we’ll work on supporting some of the building blocks of amino acids to boost up some of these precursor nutrients to make serotonin and dopamine in their brain. That’s a big one. Also stress depletes a lot of these things. So we want to fix the underlying stress that may be causing a lot of the neurotransmitter depletion. Then we’ll work out supporting some of these nutrients along with B6 as well and that can play a huge huge role. We’ll also do extra magnesium along with that because magnesium really helps with brain inflammation. Any of the micro glial cells that have an unregulated due to brain inflammation magnesium can really help relax them B6 is also very important too and we may also do herbs like feverfew and ginger which can really help attenuate and relax a lot of brain inflammation decrease headaches for sure.

Evan Brand: Good call in the amino acids. So in terms of a testing standpoint looking at inorganic acids of someone who has headaches can be very fruitful because you may see the B6 deficiency you’ve talked about. We may see low serotonin like you’ve talked about issues with dopamine and endorphin balance. We’ll look at vitamin C as in Charlie you’ve got B12 on there as well so there’s a ton of data that you can get that way you’re not just guessing and checking. We think it would be fine to just go and take some extra magnesium but if you don’t get better from that it could be an amino acid brain chemistry based problem or in my case it could be gut related. You know I had gut infections and I had headaches all the time and once I got rid of my gut bugs I think partly due to the liver stress that the gut bugs created I had headaches and once I got those taking care of supported deliver headaches were gone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep 100 percent. So there’s different medications that are out there there’s different nutrients that are out there. One of the big mechanisms that I see that are going to drive headaches is going to be gluten. All right gluten and grains there are some mechanisms out there that they can decrease blood flow to the brain. And if we’re decreasing blood flow to the brain we’re not going to have good oxygenation we’re not going to be able to carry nutrition and our frontal cortex and our brain needs oxygen to work. So it’s possible that decrease constriction or should they increase constriction which will cause decreased blood flow to the brain can really drive up pain in the brain and isn’t to make it harder to get rid of the inflammation and have healthy cognitive function. So getting the gluten and grains under control isn’t the big that’s an all out better perfusion or blood flow up the garden hoses on the side of your neck called the carotid arteries. That’s very important.

Evan Brand: Yep. Great call. How about we talk about maybe beet powder. I mean you you hit on this issue with blood flow. I wonder if you throw in some beet powder. I take it all the time so it’s not like I wait until I have a headache and then do beet powder but I wonder if beet powder could be a good solution if you had an acute headache and then you take some I guess I could experiment.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah well there’s nitric oxide that can be increased from the beetroot which could definitely help with vatal dilation so there’s different data out there like migraines are supposedly caused by like I mentioned more days of dilation. Therefore some of the medications that have caffeine that cause more constriction can help with migraines and there are some headaches that like stress headaches they may already be more of a slow constriction there and some of these things may actually make it worse. So like I mentioned earlier that’s more for migraines with the vatal dilation but other more tension headaches. Could there it could be actually more constriction so that’s why magnesium things that help relax the body can be helpful. Soft tissue work especially in the area of like the skeletons or like the elevator scapula all these muscles in the back they all connect in the Oxo port area in the back of the neck the ligaments and nuke and just that that Nucor ridge in the back of your neck all those muscles attach there. So if it’s really tight you could really create a lot of tension and getting good cranial cycle adjustments could be helpful getting your C1 and C2 adjusted in the neck getting making sure your spine is moving well making sure postural things are good because the more your posture goes forward these muscles get really tight here. Is to create lots of stress down your temporals and your master part of your head which can then create trigger points and those trigger points can refer and create headache like pain in the referral process.

Evan Brand: People that are listening and don’t see the video. What he was doing. He turned to the side and he was doing this kind of turtle head forward. Like most of us do when we’re sitting on a computer on our smartphone. We’re kind of turtle head sticking out and you see the whole posture change just kind of falls apart. So you didn’t directly say it but you basically said hey go to a local chiropractor for headaches that can be very helpful too to get adjusted. I’ve had several different adjustments that have helped me with headaches.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Anything that’s posture related and or soft tissue related a good chiropractor up a cervical chiropractor or someone that does active release technique or a good massage mile Fascia release therapist or trigger point therapist can be really helpful on the structural side. Then we just kind of have the the more let’s say chemical based type of headache that could be from M.S.G or aspartame. It could be from mold exposure. It could be from breathing in a whole bunch of benzene exhaust products from petroleum byproducts. It could be from abnormal levels of estrogen and your cycle or a premature drop in progesterone. This is for female hormone female patients now so hormone imbalances can can really dry out especially if your estrogen is kind of up and down and there’s estrogen dominance that can really drive a lot of headaches too. And then of course we have nutrient efficiencies like magnesium and B6 and some of the serotonin and dopamine based amino acids like five HTP and Tyrosine and B6 can be really important for headaches too. And then of course anytime we have inflammation in the gut inflammation in the gut can create whatever inflammation we’re.

Evan Brand: Definitely in the brain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And the brain. Yeah and that’s part of the reason why I think Ginger helps or curcumin helps serve as various relief and help anything they can pour CBD oil can help anything that can really help drive down inflammation really makes a big difference the difference is some of the over counter over-the-counter medication like your Tylenol or your Advil or your acetaminophen or your solicit gas and like aspirin some of these things have side effects that you have to weigh out the side effects and it’s always better doing something more natural even if it’s not getting to the root cause because at least it’s not going to have side effects that will increase your chance of dying in the future or decreasing your body’s ability to make load of iron which is your master antioxidant and help a detoxification.

Evan Brand: Yeah. So let’s just paint a picture of how you could go down that rabbit hole robotic as you mentioned toxin exposure like car exhaust mold exposure you’ve got all these toxins. So then you take acetaminophen for your headache you deplete your body’s ability to detox the chemicals that cause the headache in the first place. You see how you can get stuck in this loop because now you’re just trying to manage the headache you’re further depleting yourself depleting yourself becoming more toxic and more toxic. Getting rid of the hormone you need the antioxidant you need to detox it gets nasty. So in some cases extra glutathione could cause headaches too. If you move out too many toxins I know when I took a double dose of glutathione I remember I called you one night it was like 10 o’clock. I’m like dude I messed up. You like what you do. Like I took a double dose of glutathione my head is killing me. And so eventually it settled down after a few hours so you got to you’ve got to have somebody helping you with this because you could just take magnesium and maybe it goes away but if you’re having a recurring problem like this there’s probably a root cause that hasn’t been addressed. So getting the testing done like the organic acids getting a stool test done to look for these gut infections like you mentioned SIBO can’t eat or overgrowth parasites all these bad guys are going to release toxins into the bloodstream to make you feel bad so that they can still feed on your food and then when you try to kill them they may release more toxins and create this die off. And that is designed to make you feel worse. So you stop using the herbs that are gonna fix the problem but so it’s always a matter of balancing killing versus supporting deliver the lymphatic the adrenal. It’s kind of this seesaw balance that we’re always trying to work on with people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly and let’s kind of review the medications one more time the conventional ones are gonna be your Tylenol which is your acetaminophen and that’s going to have big glutathione decrease with it then you’re going to have your more ibuprofen. This could be like the Meloxicam or Motrin or Advil and these are worked very well. But you know long term they’re going to have negative impacts on the gut alterations in your liver. And then we have Aleve and the proxen which are kind of very similar to ibuprofen and these could help with migraines to again similar side effects. And then we have your your bufferin or ascriptin which are essentially very similar to aspirin. And then we have your more migraines ones which are the aspirin acetaminophen and caffeine combined. So it’s kind of like your tylenol with your aspirin in caffeine and that’s like you’re Excedrin and that’s going to induce the vasoconstriction that we talked about because a lot of migraines are driven by these are violations of the caffeine added. So it’s basically a Tylenol and aspirin and caffeine to create the constriction which will help with the migraines which are typically associated with these vasodilation the brain opening up.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Let’s go back to diet real quick. We’ve talked about gluten we talked about dairy being an issue. I think we should also mention nice shades just as a whole. Tomatoes peppers potatoes those can sometimes be issues with headaches high histamine foods can be issues as well. So like fermented foods in some cases can be a problem. Kombucha can be a problem for some people. Avocado. You know I love avocado I did one every day for a long time and then I started to get migraine headaches from it. I stopped the avocados for about three to six weeks. I added them back in. No more headaches. So I think it’s important to look at a high histamine food list like coconut Amino so. Very good option as opposed to soy sauce but super high and histamine. So you may need to try a low histamine plan for a little bit to see if that can Congress symptoms down way of working backwards.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100 percent. Also alcohol can be a big one. So anytime you drink alcohol you’re going to inhibit ADH. ADH is your anti pee hormone. So when you have when you have anti pee hormone that means you’re going to pee more. Right. And you have less of your Anti pee you’re going to pee more so then you lose a lot of your minerals. And that’s why I’d recommend always having one glass of alcohol to one glass of a Topo Chico or a Pellegrino to get the minerals in there and you can always add some minerals into your water like a Redman’s Real Salt. Those are excellent ways to get the minerals and because minerals are part of how your nervous system works and if you’re sodium potassium pumps aren’t working adequately and then your cells aren’t going to be able to communicate and have adequate action potential to work neurologically. So sodium potassium magnesium chloride very important minerals and they will get more depleted with alcohol.

Evan Brand: So I’ve got some electrolytes in my mason jar here. That’s what I was drinking since I went out this morning in the sunshine and I started to have a headache come on maybe my electrolytes are imbalanced. So it’s not going to hurt to play with this and hopefully that will help me to replenish myself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, with you being on the boat and being really hot it just probably some mineral issues. Your body’s probably just sweating a little bit and you’re losing a lot of those minerals and you probably just needed to bring on board some extra water with with extra minerals on there. So it’s good that you’re on top of that question came in right now what’s the best way to cure your headaches. Should you do something like Gatorade. Here’s the deal guys what you see right now with Gatorade over the counter is just a commercial version of how it actually came to be. I think it was the 1969 or 1970 see their Orange Bowl or Rose Bowl. Right. College football championship. And I think it was the Florida Gators. This is how we got the name Gatorade. I think it was someone in their science department created this electrolyte formula and it honest to god tasted like rat piss. It was really bad it was actually called Gator lights gator lights not Gatorade. And then I think Pepsi or Coke bought it then 20 30 years later made a marketable drink out of it. That is nothing like the original formula. But basically it was just loaded in a hope we had it loaded in electrolytes and they weren’t that nice tasting they added them to the water and then neurologically and muscular wise they could just perform way better because in that kind of heat you’re just losing so many electrolytes and they had a huge advantage. So what you’re seeing now has lots of excess fructose lots of excess food coloring and dyes and more than likely a lot of GMO corn as well. So you’re much better off just getting those minerals in your body by itself. There are different formulas that are out there that we both use. I mean you can do a Redmond’s real Salt’s great trace mineral formulas makes a couple one called Endura one called forty thousand volts. That works could we use another product called potassium HP and then obviously I’ll use nuke salt and Redman’s real salt and we’ll work these in as well. These are great first steps and then also making sure we’re getting enough potassium on top of that avocados to be your best source. If you don’t the histamine issue we can also do a lot of green vegetables. We could do sweet potato squash etc..

Evan Brand: Yeah the potassium huge I think I probably still don’t get enough. I try really hard. But you said the RDF potassium is what like close to four grams around four grams for.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Forty five hundred forty seven hundred milligrams today. So it’s hard to get enough. You need one full avocado six servings of vegetables and maybe one piece of squash or sweet potato when you’re close to it. Right. Cause you at about five to seven hundred milligrams a serving of each of those of you doing six times five for vegetables around 3000 an avocado you’re at 1000 if it’s a good size one maybe a sweet potato squash around forty seven hundred. So that kind of gives you a good step in the right direction and then if we need we just would add in some new store that would add in some of these trace mineral support formulas that we use.

Evan Brand: Well you want to talk about essential oils for a minute. I have essential oils on hand. I put them in the diffuser. I’ll put them on topically. I’ll mix them into epsom salt and put that into a mineral bath. Lavender is my favorite. So what we did is we just got fraction a coconut oil mixed it with some lavender and put it into a little roll on. So we’ll just keep it in the backpack with the kids. So if something happens to them or something happens to us could just be anxiety. Rub it on the insides of the wrist or if it’s a headache you know you could just rub that roll on the temples or on the back of the skull. It’s a Band-Aid but it’s a pretty darn good one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. I mean with headaches I mean essential oils we can do peppermint really anti inflammatory can do Rosemary which is very high in vitamin E we can do a lavender which really helps relax the muscles. We can do eucalyptus or chamomile and a lot of teas before beds so we can easily do that. There’s some good blends out there by essential oil companies. But you know just kind of one off thing. That’s kind of how you can do it and you can delude it in a carry oil or MCT or a little bit of coconut oil you can rub it on your on your temples or on the back of your neck wherever it feels tight and that can really help relax the muscles and help relax your nervous system too.

Evan Brand: Yeah something to have on hand. You know we always keep like a bottle of adaptations a bottle of some sort of essential oil and a bottle of enzymes enzymes that I say enzymes first enzymes essential oils can adaptogens. Those are the three things that we carry and travel with no matter where we go.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. I love it. Very good. I think we’re hitting some really good aspects and then also a lot of patients that see us we’re maybe in the middle of a detoxification protocol or we may be doing some killing gut issues or see bar bacteria sometimes headaches can happen from that and if that happens it means you’re going to fast slow it down a little bit. We may also add in some binders so we can taper things up a little bit better. You may also add in things like glutathione and or ginger tea to help one with you know the effectiveness of the killing what to to help with the limb and three to help provide extra anti inflammatory support as well.

Evan Brand: How about heavy metals we didn’t talk about that but we should mention that heavy metals could be a cause or source of mercury lead cadmium arsenic. We’ve done many things with binders and chlorella and other things to move metals out but mercury can be a big trigger of blood pressure problems headaches ears ringing et cetera. So you may need to investigate heavy metals and then EMF You know it’s not super common that we have someone that says hey I’m actually sensitive to EMF but I had a woman in London who she found out that her Wi-Fi router was causing her headaches. And how do we know. Well because when she turned off the router at night the headache would go away. And so I said well let’s just try putting hardwired in and get rid of that Wi-Fi completely and the headaches were gone. So she had mold in a bunch of other issues as well. But I think the EMF for someone who’s already compromised could be enough of a trigger to cause headaches.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah possibly could be. I mean I have to jump to that extreme ongoing hardware I just put your put your wireless your Wi-Fi on a Christmas tree timer. So it goes off maybe around 11 or 12 whenever your bedtime is and then it goes on maybe when you get up or a little bit later that way you kind of have your whole entire night without any EMF gone. That could be a good option to me.

Evan Brand: When my wife first got pregnant with our first daughter we did the timer thing with the Wi-Fi. Then I started sleeping better and I thought well if I’m working from home during the day what am I missing out on or what am I sacrificing in terms of like focus and clarity. I didn’t really need Wi-Fi which is convenient. So we just went all hardwired and and I don’t miss it now that it’s gone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah I mean it just depends on how sensitive you are with today’s day and age. I mean you can go to your Wi-Fi network especially if you live in a big area you’re going gonna have Wi-Fi and 5G and 4G everywhere. So I don’t know how much you can get away with it now but the key thing is the healthier you are the more nutritionally fed and rested and you take care of your body the better chance you have to adapt to it. So the people that are more sensitive you know do your best to limit your exposure. But in the end, right now it’s really impossible to get away from it just make sure you’re not living next to a cell phone tower or one of these new 5G towers is to do your best and keep all your antioxidant reserves and you’re good at glutathione and your nutrition up as best as possible.

Evan Brand: Yeah and there are canopies too. You know there are silver canopies you could sleep in there’s like some sleeping bags on the market bed canopies that look like a mosquito net that can protect you if you’re into super urban area. Luckily my my closest neighbor and they probably use Wi-Fi but it’s maybe like five or six hundred yards away.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I haven’t thought about how sensitive you are. Right. Most people I find they aren’t that sensitive or if they are once they fix their diet and they fix their gut they become less sensitive to it. Very rare that I find let’s say EMF is the root issue. Yeah it’s usually one of those things lower on the list that becomes bigger when everything else is an address. But when the top things are addressed then it becomes less of an issue.

Evan Brand: Yeah totally. So that lady once we got her on some binders and detox mode the sensitivity went away she said she was able to go back into town and go to the grocery store where they have Wi-Fi blasting. And she did not get headaches.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah yeah that’s good. Most important is you know these try to control it when you sleep. That’s a pretty good way to do it. And then next is just do all the nutritional things and mentioned earlier we talked about heavy metals and headaches. The biggest thing with headaches and heavy metals is get your gut work and don’t come in and go after heavy metals until you know your guts working. Work with a good functional medicine doctor tend to do things to help bind it up and to give you nutrition help support phase 1 and Phase 2 maybe give you some extra glued iron support as well just to make sure that we’re collating things in a very slow methodical way and the guts working well is we’re not reabsorbed a whole bunch of toxins deliberate.

Evan Brand: And if you’re someone who went and got your Mercury amalgam fillings removed by a conventional dentist assume you have mercury poisoning and you need to get that taken care of. If you did not go to a dentist who does the smart protocol to safely remove the amalgam that’s silver quote which is 50 percent or more mercury got drilled out and you breathed in the vapor and it’s in your brain and it is in your bones. It’s everywhere. So it takes a while to get it out so zeal light other binders can be used. We had some lady like send us an email like oh my god you said zeal I don’t you know zeal light increases aluminum in the body. No it doesn’t. That’s not true. There’s plenty of data on companies using professional zeal like clinically we’re testing and retesting aluminum levels and they only go down not up. So natural binders are very very helpful for.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I haven’t seen zeal like go up having tested this I have not seen aluminum go up with Zola. But again you know it all depends on the quality. This probably cheap zeal like you can get from China that may have aluminum in it. Right. So just try to make sure you have good stuff. And also we would never just gives the lie by itself abysmal lighting and some other things as well and we’d be supporting glutathione and we never would just go all in on one thing.

Evan Brand: Yep exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great. Anything else you want to dial in or kind of reassess today?

Evan Brand: I would just tell people to get some information get some data. If we always say if you don’t test you’ve guessed. So could you take magnesium and lavender and feverfew and B6 and trip the fan. Yeah you could but do you know what you’re doing do you know what you’re going after what’s your goal what are you what are the puzzle pieces get the puzzle pieces you’re going to save money and you’re going to save time by getting the data upfront and if you want to reach out. Justin I work with people around the world we can help you get some of these functional medicine tests done on yourself so we can get to the root cause. So Justin’s website is My website is We love helping people we’re grateful to be in the position we are to help change lives. So please share the podcast. Send it to somebody you know I guarantee somebody you know has headaches and they could benefit from this podcast more than the new advertisement on the nightly news that says hey here’s this new medication for headaches this is better content than that advertised.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent that we’re really working on the root cause. Hope everyone enjoys it. And if you do put your comments down below what have you all done to help improve your headaches or improve anything related to your neurological health. I’m just curious to know what supplements what natural strategies we want to be able to share that with the listeners. Would love to respond back. And if you guys are enjoying this. Sharing is caring. We’re gonna have a good MP 3 audio version as well. Click below to get the podcast version with a real high quality audio and transcription and if you’re listening to us on the podcast and you want to see the video version that will be down there below. We really appreciate you guys being participate you know the kind of engaging. We get a lot of questions coming in we try to wing it kind of add in some of the questions into the Q and A here that come from that like you and I. Which is wonderful. And if you guys enjoy it head over to or to write a review as well as getting reviews out there really help our kind of rankings in the podcast world that go up which then allows more people to be able to see our information and then they get help as well. Evan and I always thought that 99% of the people that hear our message never actually see us which is in some way amazing because they are getting great information and improving their health. And then if they want to get to the next level this information down below. Hey Evan great podcast today man. We’ll be in touch. We’ll talk soon.

Evan Brand: Sounds good. Have a good one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You take care bye now.

Evan Brand: Bye bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.


Audio Podcast:


Weight Loss, Lifestyle, & ARX Fit with Jim Keen | Podcast #170

In this video, come and join Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Jim Keen as they both share some of their thoughts on living a healthy lifestyle. Jim Keen from ARX Fit used to be a trumpet player for more than 5 years. His lifestyle used to be sedentary and his circadian rhythm was not being followed. Here, the two health experts will give you some tips on how to live healthier, how to exercise better, and how to enjoy a healthier body.

Learn how Jim went from being overweight to being healthy and fit, find out more about his story, and pick up some valuable info which you can use to help you kickstart the health journey of your own!

Jim Keen of ARX Fit

In this episode, we cover:

02:47   Circadian Cycles and Sleep

09:37   Importance of Dinner-Bedtime Gap time

10:45   Adaptive Resistance Exercise (ARX)

15:27   ARX Can Never Be Excessive

19:13   ARX Alpha Versus ARX Omni





Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, guys. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. Welcome back to Beyond Wellness Radio. We got Jim Keen in the house. JIm is a fellow Austin native. Just moved down here last year from Chicago. He’s part of the ARX scene. Again, I’ve seen Jim many times over at the Bulletproof conference over at Paleo. We got a connect here soon in Austin now that you’re in town. But, welcome to the show, Jim. how are you doing?

Jim Keen: Thank you very much for having me. I feel superlative. They can’t stop me now. Two cups of coffee deep, and uh— living the dream here in Austin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s it, man. Well, you’re interesting because you work with kind of newer cutting edge technology with the ARX, which is cool. You kind of gotten some of these diet and lifestyle stuff down. You kind of intertwined the two. But, you also have a— a personal story. I know you were up to 270-280. And, look at you now. You— you’re all stealth. And not to mention the something that we said for that moustache, too.

Jim Keen: It’s not actually the same way. It’s just the moustache’s just so sonic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [laughs] I love that.

Jim Keen: It’s an illusion.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Optical illusion. I love it, man. Very cool.

Jim Keen: [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Walk us through your story. How did you get to where you’re at?

Jim Keen: So, I was a trumpet player, my first career. I have a degree in trumpet performance, of all things. And for six years, I worked on broadway shows. When they go on their first national tours, uhm— I would play in the Pit orchestras for those tours. But, I was about 270-280. In college, I got really good at drinking, uh— which was fun. But then, I got super fat, so that was no fun. And then I had just three hours of work, everyday, at night, So, my hobby during the days became how do I get not fat. So, that led me down the big rabbit hole, with which we are all accustomed to, the Primal and Paleo side and also to the Lyle McDonald down on Aragon. Count him up, macro sort of side [crosstalk] mixed together. And then I became aware of the prototypes of what would eventually become ARX. And, eventually, it just  became too much. Couldn’t handle it. I said I’m getting off the road. I took some tour money. And I bought what was a previous generation of an— an ARX machine and I put it in my apartment in Chicago, a one-bedroom apartment. I— instead of a couch, I had this ARX Omni machine, uh— which is great. Bringing people over, nowhere to sit, but we had an Omni. So that was good. Uhm— but…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice. [crosstalk] Nice.

Jim Keen: …anyhow, one thing led to another and then I’ve come now to— to work for the company.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great. So, kind of walk me through kind of how the diet and lifestyle component became added, ‘cause I’m always fascinated how people kind of arrive at optimal health. And some people take different journeys. I mean, you had access to this really awesome cutting edge kind of— we’ll talk more about it, kind of isokinetic technology that really kind of shortened your workouts and allows you to hit kind of your best bank for your buck there. But how did you incorporate the diet and lifestyle component? What did the integration look like?

Jim Keen: Well, the diet and lifestyle stuff, I— it was actually the reason— one of the big reasons for my career change uh— was when I became aware essentially of Circadian cycles and…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: …sleep. And that was my first big “aha!” moment. It was like, I am messing up. I— The show ends at 10:30 every night, and I’m playing trumpet, bright blue blue lights and loud noises and, like, stress levels and your heart’s beating ‘cause it’s got to sound like cast album. You got to sound good all the time. And so, it’s a high stress thing at 10:30 at night. And uh— that dog ain’t gonna hunt. So that actually learning about all these type of stuff spurred my inspiration to get off the road and— and do this. And then, other than that, uh— just reading all the books we all know in love uh— and just learning the reasons behind like, plants and animals and uh— good clean water, and no blue light after dark, and all these. It all kind of come together. And then when I got off the road, I started actually putting it into practice ‘cause I didn’t know if it’ll work or not. I had read read about it. But then, you don’t know who’s blowing smoke and who’s just selling things. And— So I— Then I tried it on my own, and uh— some things didn’t work, but some things really worked. And then, in each area thereafter, I just became really enamored with those things that gave you a great return on investment. So, in food and in sleep, and uh— and in exercise, which is why I became aware of ARX and sort of joined that movement. Uh— It’s just like in this area, it gives you a great return on investment. So, let’s maximize that and really concentrate it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. So, kind of walk me through. Kind of— where was your diet before? Was it kind of a Standard American thing? And what was some of the first couple of shift that you cut? Grains out, did you just— you know, get more good proteins in, more vegetables versus other types of starch? What are that first diet shift look like? You mentioned the lifestyle shift, which is kind of a Circadian rhythm. I know Dr. Jack. You’re a big fan of him. We know the Circadian rhythm stuff. If you’re out of harmony with it, it can create Insulin resistance, just like eating too much carbs or grains can. [crosstalk] But walk me through that diet transition you made first.

Jim Keen: Well, uh— It was actually me bumping my head against the wall, about seven or eight times in a row, like Einstein’s definition of insanity. And I was just the— “Eat less” sort of idea, and I would count calories. And— So, we’ve all been there. Anybody who has uh— excess weight to get rid of has been there. So that’s where it started, and that didn’t work long-term. So, the first thing— I think this is back in 2008/2009— I’m not exactly sure when the book came up, but I— I read like Garry Taubes, and that was…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yes.

Jim Keen: …my first. It was like a good calories bad calories, and I…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Good calories.

Jim Keen: …thought, “Okay. That’s simple enough. I get that. I’m a smart guy. I can just sort of not eat carbs.” And it wasn’t really anything uh— about food quality that I was focusing on. I was just like a— the early days of carb counting, you know, like almost an Atkins style thing. Uhm— and so, that was the first thing. And that was successful. And a lot of people have initial success with that. And then, like a lot of people, your success sort of plateaus out. But to me, hanging out after that weight loss and plateauing, great success. Fantastic. Loving it. I— And so, that was the first sort of thing. And that then leads down the rabbit hole. And there’s lots of articles that are written about that, blog posts that are written about that. And uh— and so, I was absorbing all that information and then slowly took that same basis. And then, started adding in some things I was learning about food quality. Uh— so, it was that book, uh— Jonathan Bailor. Uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Jim Keen: The Smarter Science of Slim…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The Calorie of Illusion—

Jim Keen: …and The Calorie Myth later.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Jim Keen: Uhm— That was great background information; a lot of research there. Uh— and the most recently, along that same line is the Jason Fung type stuff, I’ve been given too, about [crosstalk] fasting.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: About fasting. Uhmnn—

Jim Keen: Uhm— the metabolic uh— scenario that’s created in that context. So, I really like that, and that all ties in well. And then learning a lot of other stuff along the way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great. So, just curious. System on the clinical side here, just give a quick diet recall. What was your diet like? Just from a…

Jim Keen: Oh yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …breakfast, lunch, and dinner perspective before. And then, just kind of walk me, where’s it right now?

Jim Keen: So, before, it was a— sort of a— my 270 days. It was sort of anything goes, [crosstalk] with the emphasis on that—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The seafood guy, right?

Jim Keen: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The seafood—

Jim Keen: Yeah. It— Precisely, right. And uh— so I had no problem with fast food and deep-fried stuff, and I’ve just crushed that. And my— my torso was just this well-equipped cauldron of stomach acid that— that could handle pretty much anything. I was invincible. It was great. Uh— but I just get super fat instead. Uh— So [laughs]— So that was cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.

Jim Keen: I had a lot of late night eating, especially when you go drinking. Got to have fourth meal, and then sometimes, fifth meal. Uh— so I just crushed that. I was really good at that. I— and so, these days, uh— I do more of a— like I mentioned before, Circadian approach of sort of a large breakfast, protein and fat, primarily. Uhm— and then, if I’m gonna do a workout later that day, maybe a little bit of carbohydrate. Uhm— and then, I have a meal right around 3:00 or 4:00 PM, on a day when I’m in control of my schedule. Uh— 3:00 or 4:00 PM, I’ll fire up another sort of smaller meal. Uhm— and I am sort of weird. I like to mix breakfast uh— for dinner. I don’t mind…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love that.

Jim Keen: …having dinner foods at breakfast. I—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love that.

Jim Keen: I have no problem having a burger or pork chops at breakfast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Jim Keen: I’m sort of weird that way. And I have no problem having, you know, six eggs and a bunch of veggies uh— in a bowl with— with some seasonings for dinner. Uh— and my girlfriend thinks it’s weird, and I regret nothing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love when I do bacon and eggs for dinner, just really mix these things up. It’s just awesome.

Jim Keen: So, it— yeah, makes the moustache thicker, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [laughs]

Jim Keen: More power.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. [crosstalk] I like good [inaudible] of that.

Jim Keen: [inaudible] to that. Yeah. [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very good. So, I’m just curious, like when it’s all said and done, like, what do your macros look like? And you may not have run it through like a Chronometer or MyFitnessPal, but any idea kind of where they sit, protein, fat and carbs?

Jim Keen: Sure. So, I do kind of a— a cycling thing, ‘cause my ARX workouts— I get…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: …a whole week’s worth of workout in uh— just one day. So, typically, i’ll do one day a week of a very intense  ARX workout . And uh— so I usually have that to be my Carb Day. So, I’ll workout, fasted, and then, as far as macros, I might go 200 grams of carb, 140 of protein and the balance in fats. Uh— I don’t add extra to really hit uh— any macro goals these days—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you don’t like— just like whole foods, like chicken thighs, like just real foods with real fat in it, right?

Jim Keen: Correct. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Jim Keen: And uh— and then, uh— normal days, I typically keep carbs by happenstance, around 50 grams uh— or fewer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhhm— uhmn—

Jim Keen: Sometimes, it’s just sort of a steak and eggs. Like old-timey bodybuilder, we just like kind of eat steak and eggs, and Brussel sprouts and broccoli, and chew on some nails. And then, that’s it. Uh— It’s so— Sometimes, I won’t have any use for any sort of starches or fruits or anything like that, and I’ll go for five or 6 days like that. And then it’s time for the workout day, and I will uh— kind of skip breakfast and do the workout, fasted. Uh— tear up some muscle. Empty out the remainder, the glycogen. And then, carb up again that afternoon. Being careful to leave four or five hours between the last bite and your head hitting the pillow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: ‘Cause I hate going to bed on a full stomach these days.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Jim Keen: Uh— I like to— like to leave plenty of room there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And do you feel like you sleep better when you up your carbs like that or do you feel like it doesn’t matter? You don’t notice any difference with diet changes and sleep.

Jim Keen: I feel like uh— it doesn’t make any difference, so long as I leave plenty of time in between dinner and bedtime. Uh— you’ll— you notice a heating up affect you. Burn through those carbs and you might start sweating a little bit more than normal. Uh— those nights, I sometimes wake up at 2:00 A.M. having covered to sheets and sweet, just ‘cause my body’s still revved up from that. Uhm— but, normally, yeah. I— I sleep pretty well, normally. I’ve put a lot of uh— thought and time and energy and money invested into my sleep thing. Like, I’ve got a Magnetic Sleep pad and a nice mattress…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh!

Jim Keen: …and I have a…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice.

Jim Keen: …blackout shades. And I keep my bedroom uh— you know, pitch-black and cool. And so— Away from— no electronics, and all that sort of stuff. So, uh— So, it would— it would take a lot to have me sleep best.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great, man. Really cool. And then, just curious. So, you kind of get this diet stuff dialed in, anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, low toxin kind of uh— Paleo template. And then, walk us through. How did you start incorporating the ARX? And then also, can give you just keep people— just a first— I— just a cursory overview of what the ARX is. And then, let’s dive in detail. What’s actually happening, scientifically, there.

Jim Keen: Yeah. So, ARX stands for Adaptive Resistance Exercise.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: And what ARX is— is a technology that we uh— invented, that we produced and that we shipped out and sell, that allows people to perform strength training— resistance training. So, it’s a tool for that purpose. And uh— I was uh— still am, a big fan of high-intensity training…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Jim Keen: …which I heard about first from a guy named Ellington Darden, that has a book—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Aah.

Jim Keen: He has a lot of books, but one of them I got a hold of. Uh— 2007 was my first introduction to that. Very quickly, I became aware of a guy named Arthur Jones. And if you…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Jim Keen: …remember that name, he’s the guy who invented the Nautilus…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Jim Keen: …line of equipment and also founded MedX. Uh— and so, I read everything he’s ever written. Uh— that took a little while but I had a lot of free time. I was out on the road, just living in hotels. So, I had a lot of free time to read. I— and so, I became aware of the idea of brief and intense and infrequent exercise. The modern uh— iteration of this is Body by Science, the Doug McGuff and [crosstalk] John Little book.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Jim Keen: Uh— And so, some of your listeners might be aware of Doug McGuff and Body by Science. And it sort of uhm— a revision of the high-intensity training principles. And uh— So, that was what I was trying to do. That’s the protocol. That’s the goal. I— And then I was just looking around for what’s the best tool for that purpose. And you could use a barbell to do it. You could use can use a dumbell. You can use a selectorized weight stack machine. Uh— But I became aware in 2009 of these uh— what would eventually become ARX machines. And they’re just another form of resistance, just like a weight is, but they’re a better tool for the job. And so, uhm— what it actually is, is a computer-controlled motor-driven form of resistance. What it allows you to do is uh— it provides what we call adaptive resistance. But essentially, it just means equal and opposite. However hard you push, that’s the resistance you receive in return. So, a weight is the same weight, up and down. It’s just using gravity. So, if you lift a hundred pounds, you have to lower a hundred pounds. But, the weird part is that, that means you’re underloaded for a lot of the time. And you might notice, lowering a thing is easier than lifting that thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Jim Keen: And a lot of people say, “Well, it’s because gravity is helping you.” But, that’s not really the reason. The reason is, you have a far greater potential for producing force in the eccentric when your muscles are lengthening. And that happens when you lower a weight. So, for instance, you can control the descent of a far heavier weight than you could have lifted in the first place. And a lot of the research these days sights 40 percent as the number. You can lower 40 percent heavier than you can lift. Now, if you’re using a weight, I would agree, you can control a forty percent heavier weight on the way down than you could have lifted in the first place. But there’s a big difference between lowering a weight, and resisting and irresistible force. So, with an ARX machine it’s moving at a constant velocity. The motor is moving it. It’s man versus machine and you’re fighting the motor. And you’re intending to not move, and then it moves you, right? So, it elicits a far greater response from your muscles. But then, even on the pushing part, it resists you now. So first, you’re resisting it, then it’s resisting you. And at all times, the resistance is perfectly matched to your strength with the weight. Here’s your strength— you’re fresh starting strength. You need to select the weight that’s down here just so you can have multiple repetitions and have a set of exercise. So, after the first rep, now your strength is here. You’re a little fatigue. After the second rep, after the third rep, after the fourth rep— and you get all the way down until your strength is equal to the weight that you selected. But it took you like a minute or two to get there. So now, that’s the failure moment. That’s where you can’t move anymore,and that’s where your set is done. But what if you can have a weight that matches your strength right away, and then matches you each step on the way down. What if you had that failure intensity right from the very first rep and the whole way through. That’s perfectly match resistance. And it’s because of that, that it’s such a potent dose of the active ingredients in strength training: mechanical tension, muscle damage and metabolic stress. So you take those three things, you concentrate them, and you get a better bank for your buck.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Imagine it probably also decreases injuries as well, because the weight’s always within what you can handle. Your threshold versus— Your threshold drops 20 percent now; the weight 20 percent over. So, imagine you must see less injuries as well.Is that true?  

Jim Keen: Precisely, right. And the main two reasons uh— like you just mentioned, the first thing is it can never be excessive. So, we’d all experience being in the weight room, and the weight that you selected is all the sudden excessive. Maybe because you picked the wrong weight, but maybe because now you’re fatigued. So, that big heavyweight you chose for your fresh  strength is now being applied to your fatigue _____[15:26] So that’s the first thing. ARX can never be excessive. It’s only responding with you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. [crosstalk] That’s nice.

Jim Keen: But the other things is that nothing’s gonna fall on you. Gravity acts on the user a hundred percent of the time, through gravity. So, as soon as you picked up a weight, you’ve just made a commitment to lower that weight. No matter what happens. So, you feel something weird in your shoulder, your hip, your knee. Well, good luck getting that thing back to the ground ‘cause it’s trying to get to the sun [inaudible]…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Jim Keen: …and you’re in the way. Uh— but ARX can only act in response to the user, so uh— it’s very safe for that reason. Nothing’s gonna fall on you. It can never act on you unless you first act on it. And if you stop pushing, the resistance drops to zero, instantly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, the cool thing I like about it is the feedback of the— the new screen— uhm— feedback, where you can see your power [crosstalk] output. And that’s phenomenal because the cool thing about it is you can go back and you can look where you started the workout. Where you ended it. You can see how you progressing from previous workouts. And then, isn’t there like a threshold where when there’s a drop from your maximum output, 20 percent or 30 percent. What’s that threshold where ar— you’re done, you’ve hit that maximal threshold decline? What’s that at?

Jim Keen: That’s uh— will be called In-Road mode. And there was…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: …an idea from Arthur Jones that it means fatigue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: And, you can program it to end after a certain number of reps, after a certain amount of time, or— and this is for people who want to be really targeted about what is the minimum effective dose. You want to induce a very specific amount of fatigue and no more. So, what we uh— have is the In-Road mode that establishes a green work zone, and you could set it for any percentage you like. Let’s say, you set it for 50 percent. And what that means is whatever your maximum is and you look at the— the screen right in front of you— whatever your maximum is, there’s a green zone that is then established based off at that maximum. Uh— that represents 50 percent [inaudible].

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: ____[17:14]

Jim Keen: And then, each rep, you would attempt to get up into the green zone. So, as long as you get up into the green zone, you get  to do another rep. Congrats. [laughs] You do another one. Another one. When you encounter the repetition, where you can no longer get up into that green work zone. I as the trainer, I know. I’ve taken 50 percent of your strength away from you and your steak is done. We take you off the grill.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That it?

Jim Keen: And I press stop. And that’s it. ‘Cause you’re 5 percent fatigue. That’s all I want. Next movement. I am— So, that is like, “Whoah! Why eight reps? What if I need ten today? What if I only need 6 today? Or, how come two minutes? What— What if I only—” I mean, people are very dynamic. They’re not static with their recovery ability. So, if you’re having a bad day, it might be only four reps. And I’ve taken half of your strength, and you just don’t have it today. Why do any more? Why beat a dead horse? So, we can measure that, which is very cool. And the other thing you pointed out was uh— we have a couple of people on the team who were fans of Mario Kart, from back in the day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Jim Keen: And  so ghost car in Mario Kart is where you do a run and then you race yourself in the ghost car and how you did before. So, we thought, what if you could do that in your workout instead of just lifting per sets and reps? What if I could see as I was doing the workout. What if I could visually see what I did a week ago, or six months ago, or a year ago, and compete against that guy? That’s really cool. So we have the ability now to do that, where I can pull up any workout I’ve ever done, put that up on the board, and then fight against it, in real time. Just the whether I’m improving or not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love that. That’s so cool. Now, you guys kind of started that with like a fixed type of device to start. It was like uh— kind of a straight push, or a straight— you know, with the— with the arms…

Jim Keen: Uhmn—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …or with the legs, or a pull, correct? But then now you kind of moved your way to a cable so it’s a little bit more of an unstable environment. Can you talk about that transition and what’s on the horizon? I know, we interviewed Keith Norris last year, around May or so. And, you know, Keith is part of— one of— one of the founders behind ARX. So, anyone listening to this interview, take a look at Keith’s interview last year. But can you talk more about that transition, and where are you guys next?

Jim Keen: So, it started out with— and we still— the motor on this machine is still humming along from 2008. Uh— but it’s— Imagine a forklift laid on its back.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Jim Keen: And the thing just goes back and forth. [laughs] and you put a plate on it to put your feet. You put some handles on it. So, with that, you can do a leg press, and you can do a chest press in a row.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A row.

Jim Keen: So, upper body push and pull, and legs. And that is, developed over the years, so ten years later, a bunch of R&D into what we call our Alpha, the ARX Alpha. And it’s the main sort of— when you think ARX, you think about the Alpha. It’s the maximum in efficiency. It’s a whole body workout in three moves, from the same chair. Uh— it’s for the masses. There’s zero learning curve. It’s kind of like uh— how people all drive automatics, typically, today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: There’s some people who drive manuals, and that’s if you’re an enthusiast…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: …if you’re a car guy, or if you want to have that versatility and control. But, most people— they just want everything done for them. Thanks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: Like, what’s the easiest possible thing? We even train people to drive using automatics now. So, that’s what the Alpha is. It’s all your major skeletal muscles. All the medical benefits in strength training. Uh— and off you go. Great. Very quick workout. But then, we, of course, uh— ourselves, and through a lot of people who are athletes or enthusiasts, weekend warriors or people like that who want a little bit more novelty, and wanted a couple more bells and whistles and different angles of things, so then, we created the Omni. That was the second uh— of the two machines that we offer. And the Omni’s like the manual transmission.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: It’s a little bit more in versatility and control. There’s— a— anything you can do from a Cable Pulling Machine, you can do from the Omni. But it still has that motorized resistance, that is the real the real driving force behind the technology. So, uh— a Pulldown with any attachment —bles of chest press, a belt squat, a deadlift— Romanian deadlift, compound, row, biceps, triceps, shoulders. It’s— it’s got all that type of stuff. Uhm— but again, for my parents, and my grandparents, uh— it’s just Alpha all the way. It’s just sit down. Sit down, Ma. Push. Pull. Alright. Go live your life. See you next week. And then, week after week Ma gets stronger. Proveable uh— in the data. So, those are sort of the difference between the two that we have now.  

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mixed. So, one’s more of a cable type of environment. What’s happening next? Is— Can you share what the next evolution’s gonna look like?

Jim Keen: Well, at this point, we’re sort of the next evolution uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is it more portable? I— I know you guys have a portable one that you give demos with. But is that where it’s moving, where it’s a little more portable?

Jim Keen: There’s uh— yeah. The demo unit is one thing. We’re sort of innovating new ways to have a smaller footprint…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Jim Keen: …so, we don’t need to build a big crate ship one. Uh— and we could carry it in our cars to trade shows, and we can give it to people for that purpose, for home use. So, that’s on the horizon. But really, uh— essentially, we’re a  technology company now, ‘cause we’re having all these data. We have uh— over a 115 units out in the wild. So, we’re collecting all these data in the cloud and doing nothing with it, right now. And so, that’s our next thing. How are we gonna use just all of this data we’re accumulating? Uh— We don’t know. That’s a big blank spot. We’re also uh— We have, in Beta version, adashboard people can see their data from home. Obviously, we have to build an app for that same purpose. Have all the API calls, satellites linking in space, talking to each other, and you can start to integrate your ARX data with the rest of your uhm— you know Internet of Things quantified self data. Uhm— so that’s sort of where it heads at uh— where it heads at now. And then, integrating that into larger uh— corporations and employee wellness initiatives, or in the assisted living communities around the country, and having them compare notes and share data. And, what’s the best way to help that population? And so, uhm— there’s a— a bunch of different sort of avenues that way that we’re also uh— focused on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. The cool thing I like about it is it’s an objective workout. You can see your performance. You can— you can see trends, and it’s fast, and you’re not gonna hurt yourself. That’s kind of the big benefit of it. And you’re always pushing. You’re always pushing but you don’t have to go to the rack and grab a bigger weight and throw it up, and hope you can get it down like you said. It’s this— You’re kind of being pushed in a zone where you’re not gonna hurt yourself.

Jim Keen: Yeah, and what you’re describing is just one of the what I call barriers to entry. And for a health practitioner, it’s sort of huge that everyone sort of knows we need to be strength training. But, we’re just not gonna spend— spend a time to go to the gym in three, four or five times a week. And we’re gonna look stupid. And we don’t know what routine to do. And there’s people grunting in there and loud noises. So, you know what, I’m gonna retreat to my elliptical or retreat to my uh— treadmill or my bike. But, we need to be strength training. If it were a pharmaceutical, it will be a billions of dollars per year industry. It’s per bone density and metabolic health, and tendon and ligament…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally.

Jim Keen: …resilience and longevity, and on and on. This big scroll like long list of benefits. And so, for a practitioner, to put even like just the Alpha in a facility and uh— and you s— you read out that l— laundry list of benefits, and then you say, “I have a non-invasive outpatient procedure that I can now do. Takes about 10 minutes.” And you come in for it once per week, and you can get all those benefits and completely avoid the bone and muscle loss associated with aging. What do you say? Like, what sort of patient is gonna say no to that? That’s like, “Shut up and take my money.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: I— And so, in that way, it’s providing strength training, real meaningful strength training to the masses who aren’t gonna do it otherwise. Democratizing strength training. It’s for the masses now. It’s just a better, easier to use tool uh— for that purpose.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. So, let’s say someone— So, first off, how can someone get a hold of some of these devices? Where can they find who has them? And then, let’s say, they’re not quite there yet, or they don’t have something near them, what can people be doing at home outside of just conventional, you know, resistance training with compound movements or interval training? So, I’ll kind of give you that in two parts. Go ahead.

Jim Keen: Sure. So, the first part, uh— go to our Facebook page,, forward slash arxfit. Uh— you can just shoot us a message. Let us know where you are, and uh— we’ll uh— connect you with whomever is closest. Uh— and that’s probably the best way to figure out where one is near you. And uh— the other thing, that what to do if I don’t have an ARX near me? Or I don’t have a wherewithal to go use one, what do I do? Uhm— the first thing I would do is uh— go check out either the book, Body by Science.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Jim Keen: Uh— you get an audiobook or regular book, whatever your flavor. Uhm— read that book as just a primer. If you know nothing about strength training or even if you have a little bit of a background, still, read that book as a good primer on…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Jim Keen: …what to do and why. So, that’s the first thing. That’s great. And then, uhm— whatever routine you end up doing, based on what you learn in that book, I guess the important thing to realize is uh— a misconception that we fight with all the time is the idea that more is better. And people think that more is better because they imagined that the benefit, the good part happens during the workout, while they’re burning the calories, while they’re on the bike, while they’re doing the thing that’s when the good stuff is happening, and that’s just not true. The workout is the stimulus, and the adaptation that we want, the muscle development, the bones, tendons, ligaments, all that— that happens while we’re resting and recovering. So, when you go to the gym, just realize the good stuff isn’t happening in the gym, and so, more is not better. And basically, uh— for some more specifics, I would just recommend that each workout be a full body workout, just for return on investment purposes. And while it is, you can do six days a week and do the bro split. Mondays, chest, then Tuesdays…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: …biceps and back in Wednesdays.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Jim Keen: You could do that but I— we’re talking about return on time investment, and less wear and tear on the joints. And I’d say, two times per week max. Uh— just go, like the workout should fit around your life, not the other way. So, uh— a full body routine that prioritizes multi joint movements. So, compound, multi joint movements, uh— like a leg press or a belt squat, or something similar for the lower body, uh— a horizontal push pull/pull and a vertical push/pull. That’s a good basic starter routine. Those five sort of things constitute a full body workout. And uh— my basic recommendation would be trying to again find the minimum necessary dose. The minimum effective dose uh— would be one set of each thing. And if you’re using free weights and you’re not being too hard-core about it, okay. Do a second set of each thing. That’s fine. Not gonna kill anyone. Uh— just do a couple of rounds of that. Select the weight that permits between eight and 12 repetitions. If you get to 12, make a note to increase the weight for next time. And then, slowly, you increase the weight. Increase the weight. Always keeping between that eight and 12 repetition range, and that will produce an amount of weight that’s not dangerous and hard to handle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: And is not unmeaningful either. So, it’s a good sort of happy place. And even that, that’s like your 80-20. That will get you a lot of the [crosstalk] benefits in strength training. And once you have more competence, and once you’re convinced that it’s safe, then you’re into the groove of it after three or six months. Then you can branch out and do as you like. But that’s good to build a base. If you don’t have access to uh— an ARX machine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you like a longer contraction. So, like a seven-second kind of contraction. So, you’re really stimulating the lactic acid and the growth hormone. Is that correct?

Jim Keen: Yeah. I— [crosstalk] I’d say—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That longer contraction?

Jim Keen: Yes, so long as your eliminating momentum.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally…

Jim Keen: You’re in control…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …and

Jim Keen: …of the weight the whole time and there’s so—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And if someone’s used to using momentum at all, you don’t need nearly as a heavy of a weight. Because when you just take away all momentum, it’s amazing how much harder that weight becomes to push.

Jim Keen: Right. Precisely right. So, if the goal is to lift some weight, you’re gonna— yet the goal is external. I’m gonna do whatever I can to use momentum and lift this weight. But, you have to reverse your perspective. The goal is in your body, and we’re just using the weight as a tool. I don’t care how heavy the weight is. I care what’s happening in the body. So, to your point exactly. You can use far lower amounts of weight, which makes it safer, which is good uh— ‘cause weights are inherently dangerous. So, yeah. Less weight and really control it uh— ‘cause the goal is in here not extra.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. So, some kind of uh— a push or pull something in the— in the frontal plane here, where you’re pulling down straight, uh— a hip extension, a knee extension, uh— just things like that, that really hit all those different factors there. Is that true?

Jim Keen: Yeah. The most consolidated routine you could do and have like kind of your 80-20 effect would just be like a leg press, a chest press and a row. Even if you did those three things intensely and focused, uhm— I’d maybe call it— Yes, 70-30. It’s better than sitting at home. It’s— it’s great for longevity and all the rest. You can add two more upper body movements to that uh— to make it a little more rounded out. And then, if you wanted to expand that, then you could talk about some of the single joint things like leg extension or leg curl or uhm— typically, it’s young males, but uh-huh— people will just— yeah, do some biceps, do some triceps, rows— Don’t let bros skip biceps. So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Jim Keen: …to be fired up

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Jim Keen: Oh— Oh, it’s the guns every now and then. And uh— get your life together like that. And uh— but yeah. So that— so that’s what I would recommend. Have. Try to make each workout be uhm— worth your trip. Full body workout, focus. Be intense but safe.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome, Jim. Is there anything else you want the listeners to know…

Jim Keen: What up—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …that you think is important?

Jim Keen: Yeah. I— I think the uh— the— the ARX— I’ve kind of explained what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, and uh— I—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Jim Keen: Of course, all about that. I changed careers to be part of the ARX movement. [crosstalk] So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Jim Keen: So, I’m into that. But as far as uh— a take away for your listeners- ‘cause I keep forgetting it myself, how important it is to prioritize sleep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm—

Jim Keen: And no matter how much you learn about it, seemingly— at least this is me. Maybe I’m just slow. Uh— and no matter how much you learn about it, it tends to just eventually get neglected until you wake up one day, and you’re like, “Why am I eating 30 minutes before bed? And how come I’m going to bed at 11:30 after watching some movie, and how come I’m— uuh— I needed to go to bed earlier. I need to get the electronics out of the room. I need to make it pitch black in here. I need to not go out so often.” Or whatever you need to do, when you start sleeping really well, uh— everything is better. Your decision making is better. Your thinking is better. So— And you grow better from your ARX workouts. Uh— and your growth, your sleep— That’s where more is better. That’s where the good stuff happens. Whatever [crosstalk] change you want, your body is produced while you’re sleeping. So, get the hell to bed. It’s my— my main advice.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Make sense. So, we got growth hormone tapping out between 10:00 PM and  2:00 AM, so get in bed. The hours on the other side of midnight count for double, so keep that in the back of your mind. Maximize your hormone so you can grow outside your workout. Love it, Jim. Alright, man. Hey, appreciate it. Checkout the Facebook page as well. And Jim, can people follow you anywhere?

Jim Keen: Uh— Well, my personal uh— Facebook page tends to get a little wild and willy. So you can follow me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It does. [laughs]

Jim Keen: As you know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know.

Jim Keen: So, you could follow me. Uh— I’m the guy who does the ARX posts for Facebook. But…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah.

Jim Keen: …of course, family show language. And so, uh— you can follow me at ARX’s Facebook page. It’s probably the best way to get my takes on uh— on the latest and greatest in the health and wellness, and technology uh— field.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love when you managed it, and you have people that have silly posts and you— you kind of comment [JIm laughs] on it, and then you took a screenshot of it. Oh, that is just—

Jim Keen: I— I am not immune uh— to messing with the trolls. Uh— I— I got to avoid boredom too, you know. I— I got to— I got to keep myself busy, so that’s always a fun time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You should never feed the trolls. I love it, man. Very cool. Well, Jim, appreciate it.

Jim Keen: [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Jim Keen. Uhm— phenomenal. We’ll have the show notes up, and everything below. Any last link to send the listeners at all?

Jim Keen: Just We have a bunch of videos and resources there. Check us out. Reach out via personal message of the Facebook page. It’ll be me answering that message. So, if you uh— have any questions for me, personally, just shoot  ARX Fit a message and I’ll get it. I— and then uh— yeah that’s— that’s probably best. I look forward to hearing from everybody.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And if you want to troll Jim, you’ve been warned. [laughs]

Jim Keen: [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank you for coming to the show, Jim. Really appreciate it. You take care.

Jim Keen: Right. Uh— thanks, Justin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.


Dr. Jack Kruse

Garry Taubes

“The Smarter Science of Slim” and “The Calorie Myth,” by Jonathan Bailor

Jason Fung

High Intensity training by Ellington Darden, PhD.

“The Nautilus Exercise Principles” by Arthur Jones, founder of MedX

“Body by Science” by Dr. Doug McGuff and John R. Little

The Ghost car in Mario Kart

Keith Norris’ May 2017 Interview in Just in Health 

How Sugar Feeds Illness

 How Sugar Feeds Illness

How Sugar Feeds Illness

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

America takes first place… as the top consumer of dietary sugar in the world. Our sugar consumption is a major player behind the skyrocketing rates of chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and cancer. The average American now consumes an average of 130 grams of sugar per dayfor reference, the daily recommendation for women is a maximum of 20 grams a day! This is more than just sad: it’s dangerous. Today we are going to outline some of the effects of sugar on our immediate and long-term health.

What is Sugar?

What is Sugar

This might seem obvious, but food producers are getting craftier with their labeling as they realize more and more people are making the choice to eat healthier. Sugar goes by many names, with new ones popping up all the time. Some sugars are natural, most are processed, and more and more are being created in labs. Here are just a few names to look out for on product labels:

  • Agave
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Honey (raw, pasteurized)
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt sugar
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Sugar
  • Sugar molecules ending in “-ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
  • Syrup

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor and discuss underlying health issues preventing you from living your best life!

What About Fruit?

Yes, fruit technically contains sugar, in the form of fructose. However, there is a big difference between enjoying a piece of fruit as an after-dinner treat, versus having orange juice with breakfast and fruit juices as your beverage of choice throughout the day. Studies have shown that eating fruit whole can lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, drinking fruit actually increases your risk! The fiber you get from eating fruit whole slows the absorption of the sugar and keeps the glycemic index low. Plus, it takes a lot more squeezed fruit to fill a glass than you could possibly eat in a serving, meaning you’re consuming way more sugar than you realize!

The Effects of Sugar

The Effects Of Sugar

Consuming large quantities of sugar has been linked to an increased risk of a variety of chronic diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as well as cognitive decline and even some cancers!

There are also many health issues caused by sugar that aren’t as talked about:

Sugar depletes the body of critical electrolytes, antioxidants, and minerals, which leads to cell death, muscle spasms, insulin resistance, and other health defects. Its effects on the immune system leave you prone to getting sick more often and more severely.

Sugar feeds bacteria and parasites, like yeast and Candida. It also depletes the body of good gut bacteria, promoting Leaky Gut and other gut infections. Chronic pain, vision problems, and even wrinkles can be worsened by sugar!

Sugar causes chronic inflammation in the body, and inflammation is said to be the root cause of almost all disease.

How Sugar Feeds Cancer

Sugar consumption has been proved to feed cancer cells and speed up the growth of tumors. Too much sugar consumption causes insulin resistance, as well as a specific protein to be released from your pancreas. This protein causes your cells to replicate and become immortal, which is how pre-cancerous cells can begin to take over.

Cancer cells prefer glucose over oxygen, but our mitochondria can’t use the glucose as energy. White blood cells are our immune system’s soldiers, and need vitamin C to function properly. A cancer patient needs lots of healthy white blood cells to fight the disease, however, sugar blocks the absorption of vitamin C in our bloodstream, weakening our immune system.

In summary, sugar causes cancer cells to reproduce and thrive, and blocks the mechanisms that would slow down or kill cancer cells and tumors.


Sugar addiction runs deep, and can be hard to kick. Stay tuned for Dr. J’s thoughts on artificial sweeteners, approaches to beating sugar addiction, and healthy alternatives for sugar.

Click here to talk to a functional medicine doctor about staying healthy this holiday season!

The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Justin Marchegiani unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Justin and his community. Dr. Justin encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Marchegiani’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any products.