Mold Matters

Mold Matters: DIY vs. Professional Assessment

Maybe you’ve found a water leak in your home. Maybe you’ve been dealing with symptoms that look suspiciously like mycotoxin illness. Maybe you’ve noticed a musty smell in your bathroom or kitchen. In any case, you need to find out the extent of the problem so you know how to address the issue once and for all.

So, do you order an ERMI plate and collect samples yourself, sending them back to the lab for testing? Or do you call a local mold inspector? Or is there another option?

How do you choose?

I invited Michael Schrantz, founder and operator of Environmental Analytics, to chat with me about these important considerations and offer concrete advice on how to choose and whom to trust. With over 26 years of active indoor environmental quality & building science experience, Michael has worked with those suffering from chronic illness and helped with thousands of indoor environmental projects. We had such a great conversation and Michael delivered some incredibly valuable information.

Click here for a copy of Michael’s slide presentation. And be sure to check out all the great resources at IEP Radio.

Want to connect with Michael for a virtual or in-person consult? Find him at Environmental Analytics.


Full Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:02):

Hello everyone. Sorry we’re a few minutes late. We got chatting and just were having a good old time, lost track of time, but we are here now for you. Welcome everyone. Today I have a wonderful guest for our webinar series, Michael Schrantz, my friend and colleague from the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness, ISEAI. Mike is a brilliant mold inspector, super fun guy. He’s got over 26 years of active indoor environmental quality and building science experience. He’s been involved in over 6,500 related projects, specializing in working with patients with chronic complex illness and environmental exposures. He is a Council-Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant, an accredited certification through the American Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC), and carries multiple certifications in various environmental fields, and you can find him on EnvironmentalAnalytics.net. Okay, so today I don’t have my helper assistant, Ms. Sarah, but for those of you who are here, please put your questions in the Q&A and then if you want to comment, say hi, where you’re from, how you found out about this in the chat, we’d love to hear from you. And what we’re going to do today is Mike has a 30 minute presentation that he will share, and then we will take all of your questions about mold, how to do all the home investigations. So I’m very excited for our topic today. Thank you so much for being here, Mike.

Michael Schrantz (00:02:01):

Thank you for having me, Kelly. I can’t wait to dive into this and thank you all for taking the time to join, and if you’re not here today, hopefully you’ll get to see this recording. So I’m happy to get started. If you’re ready?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:11):

Let’s go. Let’s do it!

Michael Schrantz (00:02:12):

Okay. All right. Give me just a second here guys. I’m going to pull up my screen here and get us all started. All right, I’m going to stop my video just so I can get out of the way and really share what’s going on here. So today we’re going to try to keep ourselves in a 30 to 45 minute time frame for the presentation so that I can have plenty of time to help answer any questions that you guys might have. But really I want to focus today on the fundamentals of do-it-yourself versus professional mold assessments. It’s obviously a hot topic, right? For any of you who are patients or clinicians, there’s always this whole thing of how much should I do myself versus how much should we put out to a professional to do? And we’re going to try to dive into just a little bit more education about the differences, but then also a sort of systematic approach in helping you decide whether or not, maybe more from a clinician standpoint, you should pull the trigger and recommend professional help versus sticking with the DIY.

(00:03:16):

So a little bit about myself as I get ready to transition here. As Kelly mentioned, I’ve been doing this for some time, so I won’t regurgitate everything. I will say that I also host IEP Radio, and that’s really my passion project that I do. It’s a free educational resource. I don’t get any kickbacks. I don’t make money off of it. It’s really just to help educate folks on topics. And there’s also references there to help you in case a lot of times people say, well, we think this, and you’re like, well, where are you getting your evidence from? Well, we show that. So it’s a great resource for you or for patients who are just wanting learning about the fundamentals of a host variety of topics. Before I get started, just a little bit about my family. This is my joy. Wow. I try not to get emotional.

(00:04:06):

Wow, beautiful, beautiful kids. That is my beautiful wife there on the right, Jennifer, and that’s my older son, Eli and Leo. Man, sometimes you just have to slow down and see what’s right in front of you. And this was actually taken in Florida on a trip to go see my sister. So, just our family, we have a lot of fun. We work really hard. We love our kids a lot, and most people that show photos, this might be the best foot forward of us. If you caught us at dinnertime with a kid talking back, we might not look like this, but this is our family and this is what keeps me going. Okay, so let’s get into the fun stuff of why we’re really here. Like I said, today we’re going to get into the basics of do it yourself, DIY versus professional mold assessments.

(00:04:47):

I’m going to start off with just some basics. When we talk about a DIY process, we’re thinking about mold, right? There’s a lot of different tests that are out there. Most people have heard the term ERMI. This is that dust sample. HERTSMI, too, which is a Shoemaker-developed scoring criteria. We’ve heard about petri dishes that you can do that are DIY, and there’s other things now, there’s more things being entered into the market, people doing their own spore trap samples than the other. In truth, and this is obviously my experience, so it’s going to be biased in that respect, but in working with people virtually across the United States and around the globe, I do agree that it can be a good starting point for that undecided patient or even to get a basic, I guess baseline. To be honest with you, a lot of times I see clinicians pull the trigger on doing DIY sampling.

(00:05:42):

When you have the disgruntled spouse, typically it’s the husband — sorry, husbands that are listening — where they mean well, but [they think] this is all voodoo, your doctor’s just trying to scare you and just suck it up, buttercup — when that is the thing that you are dealing with, it’s very awkward. How do you even suggest hiring a professional that might charge thousands of dollars for a really good assessment? I think it [DIY assessment] can be a great way to get the party started and help maybe provide some initial evidence that there might actually be an exposure. Of course, one of the problems with that is that it’s hard to get any sort of order or methods correct, right? There are assumptions to make. I can’t tell you the number of times where somebody will take a sample and then we’ll end up working with them after the fact. Maybe we didn’t know that they collected these samples, and then we find out that, well, you sampled it in a way that could give you a false negative or a false positive.

(00:06:37):

And so we end up having them re-sample. So that’s frustrating. And of course, the other issue is the interpretation. It’s not black and white often. Oh, don’t get me wrong. We have a number of times where the data has enough evidence on there, to where even if they didn’t sample, ideally it’s suggested between this visual and historic evidence that there is a source combined with that data. But oftentimes, and many of you who have done this many times will probably agree, that it’s not black and white. It’s the shades of gray. And so do we have a problem? Is that just normal background? Take for example, the ERMI panel. We like to refer to it as MSQ-PCR analysis because we are not personally fans of the ERMI score, but we do look at the individual mold species. Well, there’s certain species that are on that panel that would indicate that there’s water damage that are extremely common outside.

(00:07:29):

If you live in Miami, Florida, for example, one of the mold species that is on the water damage panel is aspergillus penicillioides, and it’s considered by many to be a reliable indicator for mold exposure in a home due to something in the home. But if you live in Miami, Florida, that’s also a common outdoor mold. You live on the islands, same thing. So understanding the physiology of the molds is important. If you’re doing a DIY assessment and you’re trying to make your own assumptions, you can find yourself in very confusing, frustrating, limbic-triggering states of mind. And then of course, the DIY goes beyond that with remediation. It’s not just about the assessment, but when we talk about remediation, one of the problems that we run into is that it’s a classic argument that, yeah, we want to use a professional, but they’re charging us $50,000 for the work.

(00:08:18):

Our budget’s $10,000, and so how do we do that in a way…? And going online and learning things can be obviously helpful. Heck, I have a resource on IEP Radio of the fundamentals, but the devil’s in the details and cleaning things that you can’t see is very challenging. And so oftentimes it’s met with failing results, frustration amongst the spouses, and you end up hiring a professional after that which costs even more money and more time. Now, I don’t want to make it sound like the IEP-driven process on the other side of the screen is always okay. I mean it is more expensive. That’s the last bullet right there. But I mean, let’s call it like it is. If both of these options were free, everybody would choose the IEP-driven process, this Indoor Environmental Professional who’s going to have the knowledge to go in visually look at the home, look for evidence of problems, help interpret that data, and certainly provide a remediation protocol — at least a good IEP.

(00:09:16):

And then also maybe understand finding local professionals. Because a lot of times patients are like, well, that’s great. I got this great assessment, but I don’t know who to use for remediation. If I hire a professional, a lot of times the local IEPs are going to have a list of people they trust, and it is a more holistic approach because with my line of work I do, I’m looking at this from multiple perspectives. I don’t just go in there and look at a sample. In fact, I find that the samples at best can be supportive evidence. A lot of times when we see an issue, we identify an issue, it didn’t necessarily require sampling. So we’re taking a look at that, your health picture, not that we’re playing doctors, we shouldn’t play doctor, but if I know that Dr. McCann is working with you and I know that she is suggesting that there’s mold exposure and these are the markers she’s using, I might be a little bit more driven to push a little bit more harder versus it’s just a person calling me up because they’re curious.

(00:10:12):

They want to be proactive moving forward. Let me just talk a little bit about what an IEP is. Some of you might be familiar. [It] stands for Indoor Environmental Professional. Keep in mind that it’s just a broad stroking term because you can — could just be a mold investigator or you might be an IEP that has EMF background, chemical background. And so unfortunately, it’s not specific or defining in that the IEP, they all are the same. They’re cut from a variety of cloth, knowledge, and experience, and that’s important to know. But know this about an IEP, a good IEP is going to take the time to explain their approach. If you call up a company to do this type of work, and they’re like, yeah, our standard fee is $495, it includes three air samples and they don’t even really take the time to listen, that’s probably a sign that you’re getting more of a traditional inspector.

(00:11:05):

You’re not getting the type that’s going to be in there and be more critical. What do I mean by that? Well, the insurance model IEP that’s going to go out is really doing the minimum amount of work. They’re out there for quantity, not quality. I don’t mean to group every single IEP working in insurance work to be like this, but typically the problem is, is that they’re going to be using the types of testing and interpretation of that test result in more of a — it’s got to be proven there’s an issue or else there’s no issue. How many times have those of you that are listening work with a traditional inspector who said there wasn’t an issue, but the clinical picture was suggesting continued exposure? So this is a very common issue we have. And so you’re looking for somebody who’s going to take the time and have some sort of sense, that they more have, more of the MacGyver, Sherlock Holmes type approach to inspecting the home.

(00:12:00):

They need to be more curious than prove that there’s a problem, or else. And the last point that I have on this particular side, please take this home with you. They [a good IEP] will take care not to make fearmongering comments or play doctor. This is a growing issue. I don’t think everybody does it on purpose, but there’s no doubt that fearmongering leads to more sales. If I can scare you about mold, you might be more inclined to work with me. You might be more inclined to do more sampling because I’ve scared you and that is not okay. A good IEP is going to be very respectful. We don’t play doctor, that’s not our role. We need to stay in our lane. And so if you’re working with somebody that is using fearmongering type comments or trying to play doctor, that’s a red flag to probably not work with that individual.

(00:12:49):

A little bit more about IEPs, and I promise we’ll get moving on. Another part that an IEP should be doing is formulating an appropriate assessment and testing strategy. We call that the scientific method, creating a hypothesis. It’s no different from sixth grade science class. We need to take the time to tell you why we think there may or be not be something based off of what we’re seeing, and then formulate an idea. This is very appropriate. It’s very professional, and many of your clinicians do the same thing. So we should be doing the same thing in our field. And this whole last part here is about third party separation. In most cases, you should be able to work with an IEP, and that person should be independent of a remediation company. If they find something, you’re going to want to work with a separate [remediation] company.

(00:13:32):

You don’t want to have the same company that does testing be the solution that who conveniently provide them remediation work for you. That is a conflict of interest. Now, in some situations, it’s hard to avoid that. Maybe it’s a podunk — maybe it’s somewhere in Montana or it’s somewhere else where you just don’t trust anybody, but you trust that individual. That’s fine. No law that says you can’t do that, but you might say that the moral obligation is to disclose that the IEP needs to be very clear that they can offer that service and — use your spidey senses. If it sounds like they’re trying to be gross and icky and trying to sell something more, you’ll probably pick up on that. But just be careful about that because there are companies out there that unfortunately have a reputation for doing sampling, conveniently finding a problem, and then giving you the most robust remediation plan, which I don’t necessarily think is appropriate for everybody.

(00:14:25):

Alright, now that we have the whole, “what is an IEP?”, let me just cover some basics of what we’re looking at. For those of you who might not be as familiar, it would stand to reason that we’re looking at what do we know about the history of the building? So most clinicians, we want to sit down and we want to talk about any known leaks or intrusions, any remodels. Sometimes if you have a new building material, let’s say on the exterior of the home mounted up against an existing, maybe it was a remodel that was being done in an addition, that can be a breach or a place of entry for water to enter. And so again, we do that, but we’re formulating hypotheses, but always staying open-minded. I find I still say this, that the most powerful tools that you can use in the field is a flashlight and a pair of eyeballs.

(00:15:10):

But we do have other tools. I mean we have infrared cameras. Let me just take a second on that one. There are people that claim that these infrared cameras are detecting moisture or they’re actually detecting mold. Those are incorrect statements. They’re looking for thermal changes, things that could indicate there’s a water source. If I see a dark spot as one example, I might go, that doesn’t appear to be like an insulating issue or something. I’m going to take that moisture meter that you see on the screen right next to it, and I’m going to get some confirmation that it appears to be moisture. Keep in mind that I had a recent leak in my laundry room and it was a hot water leak, and so it didn’t show dark. It actually showed bright white on the areas that got wet. But you want to be trained and know the basics.

(00:16:02):

I don’t think that everybody has to be an infrared camera expert, but they need to know, just like a gun, how to use it the right way if they’re going to use it and know the limitations. So if you work with somebody that says that I have an infrared camera that can help me identify mold or moisture, you want to give them an opportunity to clarify what they mean or else that’s a flag. Beyond that, some of this is probably basic for you. Temperature, humidity. We want to get an idea of what’s our level in the home. Do you live in Miami, Florida or do you live in Tucson, Arizona, like me? And are there conditions conducive for potential growth to occur? These are a little bit more specific. Manometer on the left. Anybody — a good IEP is going to have a good background in building science.

(00:16:43):

Again, they don’t have to have a PhD in understanding building sciences, but the fundamentals like pathways and driving forces. So how does a particle, a chemical, go from point A to point B? Is there a relationship between, for an example, the crawl space and the living space of the home up above? Is there a way to show that by taking pressure differentials that might support the idea of yeah, it’s possible for contaminants, chemicals, that sort of thing, to make their way from this location to the next. VOC meters. Those can be a great tool. In certain cases, carbon monoxide/dioxide meters are great tools. Carbon monoxide can help us with combustible issues in the home. It’s not just about mold. If you don’t have a mold problem but you have a carbon monoxide leak in your furnace, that will probably be a bigger issue and concern for you than the exposure to the mold.

(00:17:33):

Carbon dioxide is often used as a tracer gas for proper ventilation. Again, nothing’s perfect, but I come from an HVAC background and we often use carbon dioxide levels to determine whether or not the house appears to be getting enough fresh air from the outdoors. And then a particle counter. Particle counters, for me personally, help me determine how clean a home is. In general. I can’t look at the particles and go, oh, it’s this spore this size. Doesn’t identify that. But a lot of times when I’m in a really dirty home, a home that’s got a lot of dust, it’s nice to have a numerical picture of that so that you can show that to the client. And at the end of the day, maybe it’s not that they have a huge mold problem under their crawl space, maybe it’s just that the house is not really cleaned up and that improvement to those living conditions could actually make a great improvement.

(00:18:22):

So beyond that, what are we looking at visually, right? Some of this, again, I know it’s probably easy for you, others that are just learning. Water staining, microbial growth, suspect odors, listening to the client, “I always smell this weird thing in the master bathroom,” okay, that’s important. Maybe there’s something going on. A quick thing about odors, they’re tricky, they’re whimsical, but a general statement that we make about musty odors is if in fact it is coming from a mold or bacteria, it typically suggests that there’s an active growth issue going on. A little bit of debate in the industry about that because I’ve been in situations where there’s a musty smell in a home, but the moisture leak that caused the growth was over a year ago. But as a general rule of thumb, that could be a good indicator of something active. And we’re looking at all these other things that you can read on here, chemical exposures, that dust buildup I mentioned to you, and just general poor living conditions.

(00:19:16):

Some of the moisture sources that we talk about are obvious, right? When we think about when the house was built, was it built during monsoon season? Is the house that you’re getting in Seattle, which is known to rain a little bit, is there the potential for the house to have an issue like that? A potential source? Humidity related, right? Are we living in a humid climate? We got mold — like the house I dealt with the other day in the Bay Area, looked almost like this picture right here on the top right. They’re — mold growing because there’s just too much humidity and condensation. The good old fashioned plumbing leak, everybody is familiar with that. And even occupancy related, like our children who take 30 minute hot showers and there’s not proper ventilation, and we have a condition conducive for mold growth, which is what you see in that lower right photo.

(00:20:02):

However, there are situations where it’s not as obvious. For example, the picture on the top left is the envelope-related issue where — I’ll kind of describe it to make it easier to understand, but this is in a basement. There’s a window. Well, there was a breach of moisture coming through the wall from the exterior. The problem was that the wall was covered up with drywall and there was a piece of polyethylene or plastic on the surface. And you can kind of see that with the reflection, and the problem was that not only was there moisture getting into the wall, but the wall couldn’t breathe. So they basically wrapped moisture in the wall and it didn’t really present itself until much longer. And by the time they opened up that wall, as you can if I can use my cursor here, you can see there was plenty of growth even in this picture.

(00:20:51):

And no doubt there was more there. Now that wasn’t obvious. That wasn’t a plumbing leak with water coming out. Other sources like drainage, this might be a little bit more obvious if you’re in a basement, it looks like this, but a lot of people discount unconditioned basements, water coming in. It’s like, well, yeah, but it’s cementitious material, it’s nutrient poor, there can’t be a problem here. And these sorts of environments like you see here can be plentiful in terms of mold and bacteria. And so we’re looking at things like drainage issues. That picture is admittedly a little bit dramatic, but stuff like that, drainage issues that come into the home can be an issue and support microbial growth in many ways. Wind-driven sources. We see this along the coast. A lot of homes I’m working on in North Carolina right now where the windy weather, the hurricanes, water’s actually being pushed up against the cladding, the exterior part of the wall and going up.

(00:21:50):

Gravity tries to help prevent that. That’s what keeps us on the ground. But when you have wind-driven rains, it can actually go up into cracks and crevices that the home was not designed unfortunately to prevent, and end up giving sources of moisture in through walls and stuff like that. HVAC is classic. That’s a gross picture on the lower right. But in this particular example, what the issue was, is we had a humid climate. I always pick on Miami, Florida, and so if anyone’s by Miami, I love you guys. I love the city, but it’s hot and humid. And what we’ve noticed is that in this particular case, someone was bringing in fresh air from the outside, ducted it into their supply air duct. So moisture laden air that was warm was getting cooled. This is the supply –it was in the summertime — condensing on the fiber duct board that you can kind of see, and clearly creating the condition conducive for mold growth. A bit dramatic, but something that’s very important from — and that was hidden, right?

(00:22:45):

You couldn’t see that unless you opened it up and investigated it beyond the visual stuff. We get into the sampling, and I’ll try not to bore you with too much and try to leave some time for questions, but let me just cover some fundamentals of what I mean by this type of traditional sampling and real time sampling. When we think about mold, there’s different types of samples, right? If you’re looking to identify something that you see — not uncommon to do a tape lift sample, a swab sample, I love swabs because they give you the ability to do additional analysis. Most people that do these types of analysis on the left side will do what’s known as microscopy or direct examination, which limits our ability. I mean, maybe you don’t need to do more analysis if it’s obvious there’s a problem, but let’s say I do a swab sample and it doesn’t show much, but man, I’m an IEP and I just know there’s something there.

(00:23:34):

I can have it cultured or I can have it analyzed with DNA. You don’t get that option with tape lift samples. So I rarely do tapes anymore. I’ll skip the enzyme/source location one [assessment] and save that for last. But the wall cavities or floor or ceiling cavity samples, I’m really known to do those or recommend those. So a lot of times the issue is, okay, fine, you’ve done some air samples, you’ve done some dust samples, which are on the right there, but we really need to locate the source. And you’re looking at their kitchen sink cabinet. This is an actual photo of a job I did back in 2019 and there was water damage on the bottom shelf of the cabinet, but the homeowners didn’t want to spend unnecessarily $4-5,000 remediating that area, the replacement of the cabinetry, that sort of thing. And so they want a numerical evidence.

(00:24:21):

So we did a cavity sample and ended up finding the classic types of molds that we do see, the aspergillus, the penicillium, the stachy, the chaetomium, which were the same types of genuses (sic) of mold that we identified in the dust samples that we collected. So there was a correlation and it helped justify doing remediation. And then finally, or at least for the exposure stuff, is when we think about exposure, it is true that air sampling is a primary method of exposure. If it’s in the air, you could argue that you’re breathing it and there’s that. There are challenges with that, insomuch that air samples are often grab samples, short term, it was only there — you’re only sampling what was there at the time. And so a lot of sampling, including mold, has turned to settled. Dust sampling, which is an indirect measure of exposure if you are able to calibrate it.

(00:25:12):

If you know you’ve done it enough times, it can give you an idea of whether or not the home reflects — the term is, and we’ll talk about this in a couple of slides, normal fungal ecology. So there’s a bunch of stuff out there. You can have all sorts of air samples done that are analyzed differently. Culturing, direct examination, MSQ-PCR, DNA-based, but these are the types of things that you’ll see out there. That enzyme testing that I told you I’d wanted to save for last, that’s that top middle picture here. This is a non-intrusive way of sampling. Imagine if that picture on the bottom with the toe kick, imagine instead of drilling a small hole in there and sampling, if you ran that swab across the bottom of it to look for fungal enzymes, tests like this are available. Not every company does it.

(00:25:57):

Sometimes they’re just as much money as a cavity sample. It’s not going to tell you the type of mold it is, but it can be a tool if you’re dealing with a sensitive area where maybe you don’t want to cut open into a wall that’s got a $20,000 fabric finished job on it, like I deal with from time to time. I also want to make a quick shout out to John Banta who helped create Pathways, which is a similar test like this that looks for protein peptide bonds. That can also be a non-intrusive option. So I just want to throw that out. If I was to summarize what I told you in terms of the different types of analyses, we would borrow this graphic courtesy of the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness, or ISEAI, and just show you that — and I’m not going to go through all of these in the interest of time — but as you can see, these are the popular ones that are in our community. Gravity plates, whether they’re DIY, Immunolytics is a known provider of these, but so is Home Depot and other places.

(00:26:53):

I’m not comparing those two. I’m just saying that these are where you can get them. Swab/tape lift samples, spore traps, ERMIs, HERTSMIs, each one of them have an advantage and a disadvantage. If you wanted to put me on the spot and say, Mike, you can only do one type of test in the living spaces of the environment, which one would you do? I would say MSQ-PCR. People know that about me, but I’m also a fan of doing gravity plates. And believe it or not, I know this might shock a couple of you that know me, but I’m not against spore trap samples always, certainly not with cavity samples, but there are situations where the problem is so obvious and I’m working with a client’s budget, where we might end up doing spore traps. The problem with what I just told you is that depending on the clinician you’re working with, depending on the level of forensics or optics you’re dealing with, you are so limited with spore trap samples or gravity plates alone that I guess in the best of worlds, you’d want to do all of it because they all can potentially grab something that the other type cannot.

(00:27:48):

So you guys will have access to this recording and you can pause it and take a deeper dive or just go to ISEAI and you’ll have access to that, on the 101 Testing document that is free and available to the public. Alright, so that was the mold speech. But I would feel remiss if I didn’t talk about actinos and endotoxins. For some of you guys, this is a term, these are different contaminants. They’ve been around a long time, but you’re hearing a lot more public awareness of them. There’s a variety of reasons for that. We won’t necessarily get into that right now, but I just want to tell you that when it comes to actinomycetes, what we are talking about is gram positive molds, I’m sorry, bacteria, oops. And with actinos of short, what the focus has been on, is this kind of focus on whether it’s a human habitat or soil or environmental habitat.

(00:28:41):

Let me break that down into English. Human habitat is it’s coming from you. We have actinos growing on our body. That is a fact. And whether or not that is due to some sort of dysbiosis or something, a lack of balance in your body is a great conversation. Whether it’s due to some reaction to exposure, these are clinical questions that you should ask your doctor about. But in the environment when we are sampling them, I find that at this point in time — so if I change my mind next week, I’m allowed to. But at this point in time with the evidence that we have, really the knowledge we have, that I find actino testing more appropriate, more useful when we’re worried about human habitat exposure or the clinician is worried about that. However, one of the labs that does this type of testing, which as you can see is Envirobiomics.com there.

(00:29:33):

They also can look for other things like, on this next generation sequencing, which is the type of analysis that they do actinos for, can also identify other things like cyanobacteria. And that can be a useful tool in certain situations where maybe we’re concerned about that stagnant pond in the backyard, or other sources, and we’re trying to figure out what might be going on. Endotoxins, gram-negative bacteria. I do agree it is a great indicator for nitrogen rich sources. And so that goes back to sewage, farming livestock, and we could talk for hours about endotoxins. In fact, I’m getting ready to do a presentation in May about it. But what I will tell you, in short, is that endotoxins have been looked at for a very long time. They’ve just made a lot more public awareness recently. It’s a great thing to consider from an environmental perspective if you feel like there might be an exposure due to one of these sources or more.

(00:30:29):

I mean, we’ve had people where the sources was the spouse working at a sewage facility, not that there was a source in the home, but they were coming home every day. So we’re aware of that potential exposure concern. Now, with all that said, one of the things that ultimately comes up from time to time is how do we interpret the samples? I would like to break this down into a few key pieces that I know will not answer everyone’s questions, but at least maybe help filter it down a little bit. Our goal when we’re talking about mold is whether or not the house reflects normal fungal ecology. It’s not that it might be good enough for your patient or not, but that’s our goal because we live on earth, right? We are surrounded by molds, we’re surrounded by mycotoxins. You’re breathing them in as you’re leaning on, listening to me talk to you about this.

(00:31:21):

But of course, the elephant in the room is we have these background levels and we know we’re going to have them in your home because you don’t live in a bubble, you’re not in a clean room. But is there anything elevated? Is there anything atypical in the home that might suggest that your house does not reflect normal fungal ecology? And you could switch in the term normal microbial ecology. If we wanted to get away from just mold and talk about bacteria, it’s the same concept as, what do we think is normal? There is no such thing as mold-free. I know that some of us have used in the past the term mold-free, but I think that the people that are using it with good intentions are just trying to say you don’t want a mold source growing in the house, but rest assured you will have normal backgrounds if you take a sample.

(00:32:05):

Your goal is not to have nothing on it. If you have nothing on the results, that means you didn’t collect a sample. And so if you have questions for that, I’d love to help answer and dive into those further. But speaking of which, this is the other issue. We know that it is an art to interpret because there are no federal, state or guidelines — regulations. So there’s nothing that says in English: 14 spores per cubic meter is fine of this species, but 15 spores is not. There are guidelines, there are testing criteria like indoor-outdoor comparisons, comparing from one zone of a house to another zone, looking at indicator species like stachybotrys, chaetomium, different species of aspergillus and penicillium. But it’s an art because what your house might look like, normal fungal ecology in Florida, but those same exact results, if you found them in another state, another home, another time of year, could actually indicate a problem.

(00:33:05):

So a local qualified IEP who knows their climate, knows the area, might be better able to help you determine whether or not this house reflects normal microbial ecology. So we’re at 30 minutes in right now, and I want to save the remaining balance of time to talk to you about DIY first versus IEP. So what I’m about to share with you is this thing about guidance. Okay, Mike, we got the fundamentals in 30 minutes. It’s basically better to work with an IEP, but there’s going to be situations where DIY might be helpful. Gosh, I wish I had some sort of a template. I could use a map, if you will, to help me narrow that down. I hope that this is helpful for everyone, step one. So again, going back to when to choose A DIY versus professional. I’ll try not to regurgitate every single thing that you see here and just flow with you a little bit, but ask the patient if they have any history of leaks, floods, microbial growth in their building.

(00:34:02):

If they answer no, maybe can start with doing a DIY test, something that’s preferred by the clinician. I’m saying that because if the clinician is trying to help you, but you use a test they’re not familiar with, you’re going to end up calling an IEP to help you. So a lot of clinicians do have a favored DIY test. You all know that there’s a bunch of limitations with these, but I would definitely suggest that you work with them and that way they’re more able to help them. You see me treading lightly with how I’m talking about this right now, but with the interpretation, they might’ve been a little bit trained to help guide you. Obviously, if they [the patient] answered yes to, there’s a known history of water leaks, floods, or growth, you’re going to go right towards the IEP. And it’s important for clinicians to know that last point on the bottom that, please stress that this is just an indicator of maybe a particular type of exposure.

(00:34:56):

Nothing more. This does not solve world peace. If one DIY sample comes back negative, there are all sorts of reasons that might mean that it’s a false negative moving forward. So let’s talk about the results. Let’s say that you ultimately have them do the DIY sample. And the bottom line is that it does indicate an exposure, but if it doesn’t, what we oftentimes say is go back to the patient file and determine whether or not you can begin or continue treatment. So I’m not here to play doctor with anybody, but we all know that clinicians use a variety of markers, blood, NeuroQuant, cluster of symptoms, urine, and all these other things. And without getting into the politics of those topics, that would ultimately be what we’re dealing with is, okay, so we don’t see anything. Can you guys continue treatment? It’s really that simple at this point in the conversation.

(00:35:53):

But if you get a positive result, I’m probably not going to shock you, is at this point you need to get an IEP. So this goes back to what I said about 30 minutes ago, which is sometimes you’re working with a spouse or a family where it’s either a budget concern, a time concern, or spousal disagreement concern, and you’ve been able to kind of give evidence that there’s a problem, it’s time to pull the trigger here. I like to remind patients that I’m working with that. While we don’t want anybody to spend any unnecessary money, the amount of money that people are often spending in treatment and/or things to help with treatment, is often more and will continue to be more if you don’t address the root cause of exposure. I think that it’s ironic that there’s a different variety of camps out there that have their own ways of treating patients and their beliefs.

(00:36:51):

And sometimes those camps can feel a little bit polarized. But one of the things that I think we can all agree on is that 99% of those people do agree that one of the most important things you can do is get yourself out of exposure. So it’s important not to just think that you can get away with not really addressing this. You don’t have to make an issue out it. We don’t want to fearmonger people, but we also want to give it an honest opportunity. Going along the lines still of positive DIY exposures. Obviously if they’re working with an IEP, what you’re expecting, what we talked about earlier, was that you want to make sure that you’re going to work on with an IEP that doesn’t just write findings, but provides recommendations. What’s the point? If the IEP goes out, finds something and says, we found something, good luck.

(00:37:33):

What you need is a written report with detailed recommendations of what they want. Because when that patient goes to a local mold remediation company, that remediation company 9.9 times out of 10 is going to say, what’s the protocol? So it’s important that they do that. And just know in general that, and we might end up diving into the second point here a little bit more in the Q&A, but it’s not just about a passing score or mycotoxin result. That is the marker for success. And patient recovery is, and what I’m seeing in my career is that sometimes there’s this tunnel vision, which is understandable because being a patient myself, dealing with limbic system stuff myself, I want it to be straightforward. I want it to be black and white, but you don’t have to have a perfect score. You don’t have to have a perfect result.

(00:38:25):

We’re still learning. The industry is still learning of truly what’s normal. And that’s something that some clinicians are willing to tell you, but a lot are afraid to tell you is that we have evidence that suggests that nobody wants you to be exposed. But I think it can be misleading. And I’ve seen people get better with the HERTSMI score of 16. I’ve seen people not get better with the HERTSMI score of 8, and that’s the passing score according to the Shoemaker criteria. Nothing is by itself the sole metric. The ultimate success is patient recovery. The last thing I’ll say before we start to open up is I just want to let you know that some of you that are listening might be going, well, that all sounds great, but I need some help. I don’t know where to start, where to go.

(00:39:02):

Here’s a few sources you can do. I’ll tell you that ISEAI has a Find a Professional site. No one’s perfect. You might have somebody in your area that’s not the right fit for you. But a lot of the folks that are on this have demonstrated some level of comprehension about environmentally acquired illness and not being what we call a pump jockey that’s going to come into the house and charge you $500, spend 30 minutes and tell you there’s no problem. But if you find that you go on those maps, and before you do this, consider working with one virtually. So I work with patients around the globe, and a lot of times the issue is that there are people that could help, but the local IEPs need some guidance or suggestions. And I do that, and I am not the only IEP on that group.

(00:39:47):

There are plenty of them that do this sort of virtual work. So you should have plenty of options. But if you find yourself for whatever reason, that’s not helpful, go to the American Council for Accredited Certification. I realized as I’m telling you this right now, that there’s a little bit of a typo. But you’re looking for, when you’re looking for IEPs, you’re actually looking for people with CIEC/CMC type credentials. These are the more seasoned credentials. There are lesser credentials like a CIE or a CMI, which just demonstrate that these professionals have less years of field experience. Does it mean that they’re going to understand you or your patient? No. This is more about getting your foot in the door, that sort of thing. And again, if you feel a little bit distraught and going, oh my gosh, how would I know? I would encourage you to watch — and it’s free — plenty of my resources on IEP Radio that really get into what to look for with an IEP. It takes a deeper dive than what we covered in this time. Or also going to the CIRSx website. There’s a bunch of free videos that they post on there. Almost finished everybody. And then of course, if you are dealing with building a village and you are an actual remediation company or somebody that you want to promote and they’re looking to get educated, consider having them do the CIRSx Institute course that just came out. There’s its site. It’s $495 for 16 hours of a course that you get certification on. They’re in the process of working on continuing education credits. I will let you know as a disclosure that I get a percentage of those sales. I also was one of the people that worked for over two years on the project for free.

(00:41:30):

So just so you know, I promise you this is not a “Mike wants to make more money.” What this is, is a way to help people build awareness of proper ways of proper mold remediation. And the same ISEAI resource for looking for professionals in your area. If some of this information you found was valuable, I have plenty of resources that you can go to. Where’s Mike getting all this information? [There are] so many available free resources out there that you don’t need people like me for — mold testing guide, mold remediation, fact sheets, and we’re getting ready to release the Contents Cleaning Guide that’s coming soon. So there’s a wealth of information, and I’m just going to knock my IEP Radio one more time and say what I mentioned earlier, if you’re looking for more knowledge on a four part series of mold remediation, there it is right there. It’s for free. And a couple other things in terms of mold sampling and IEP things to consider. So I was able to get that done in 39 minutes and 48 seconds. I’m hoping that wasn’t too fast. I have a feeling it was, but more than happy to answer any questions in the remaining time that we have.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:42:35):

Fantastic. That was an amazing overview. Thank you so much, Mike. I really appreciate it, and I know our listeners do too. Okay, so the slides, let’s see. I think we will get the slides with the replay so you can watch the slides that way. Do you want to share the slides?

Michael Schrantz (00:43:00):

That’s no problem. I can send you a copy and then however you disseminate that. Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:04):

Okay. Great. Yes, we’ll send the slides out with the replay sometime next week when my lovely assistant, Sarah, gets back into town.

Michael Schrantz (00:43:15):

Right. Okay.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:16):

Okay, everyone, let’s see. I think you probably answered some of these questions, but if there are no reputable mold remediators in your area and only insurance companies who do not use very good mold remediators, what do you do?

Michael Schrantz (00:43:32):

Angela, I think that was your question. I would say work with a virtual IEP like myself. I am bad at this, I am very aware… “Of course, it’s working with you.” Then don’t work with me, work with somebody, an IEP who does virtual. There are plenty on ISEAI’s website, go there. But I would start with a virtual, because you’re right. The problem is even with the mold remediation companies that are in local areas, does that, usually they get 60 to 80% of the work, but then there’s always the, oh, we spray a bunch of antimicrobials, or we want to fog this or the cleaning. That always needs to be corrected. So a virtual IEP is not meant to replace a knowledgeable IEP or a remediation company. They’re meant to be your quarterback or your client’s quarterback (patients) to work through that process.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:44:21):

Right? So it’s really the IEP that’s going to dictate what the remediation company does. And if you have a good IEP, even if you don’t have a great remediation company, you can say, okay, you got to stick to the plan, guys.

Michael Schrantz (00:44:34):

Yeah, exactly. That’s pretty much it to us. I mean, I think the elephant in the room, right, for everybody, Kelly, is that there’s not enough of us to go around. And so that’s just an awkward reality. So this is what we’re trying to do to help. And there’s more and more IEPs coming out that are offering virtual consultation services that I think can help.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:44:54):

Yes, fortunately, I know my patients, even though I’m in California and you’re in Arizona, my patients have benefited greatly from your expertise. So thank you. Let’s see. And same thing with somebody asked about inspectors and remediators companies by state that you trust. Check out the ISEAI website. Those are probably the best resources and the other resources that Mike shared. Okay, so Anissa has a long question. Let’s see. She’s from Florida. Mom of two, got covid in 21, was told she had long covid, became bedridden, couldn’t even walk to the restroom in the shower. I’m so sorry, Anissa. It’s been the hardest season of my life. We did four remediations. Oh my goodness. And just had to move still even after the home remediations, where do you start? Mast cells. Gut super sensitive to everything. I know my pain has a purpose because I’ve been able to help so many people and advocate for mold illness.

Michael Schrantz (00:46:04):

Half of that question is obviously yours, right? On the clinical side. Anissa’s question is legit and regular, common. Typical. And yes, sorry to hear you’re going through that. Sorry for the struggle and probably the emotional toll that that’s had on you, too. I wish I could have met you a long time ago, but what I’ll tell you moving forward is that if somebody like Kelly was working with you and they still thought it was mold, we’re right back to what we talked about, which is, okay, hire somebody. If you can’t hire a local professional, maybe it’s a budget issue, then work with somebody virtually. Can’t even do that yet because there might be some issues? Go to those free resources. I’m not one of those. I find myself in a weird situation because when we promote best practices, we want it to be a certified company who does proper procedure.

(00:46:50):

We, no one wants the liability, but the reality of it is, and the people that I often get are not the easy ones. I often don’t get clients who lob easy situations my way. It’s always the complicated ones. And that’s what I’m here for. And what I will say is that when we’ve honestly filtered out our options, and if it boils down to DIY, then we talk about DIY, you’ve got to reach out to the church congregation, friends or anybody else, then that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to figure out a way. Can’t do that? We’ll figure out a way to isolate it. So there’s a lot of solutions that don’t cost a second mortgage or there’s no comma in the price, but it’s really hard to replace those, doing it the right way with those sort of options. But don’t feel like your hands are tied. There’s a lot of things we can do to help.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:47:37):

What is that tipping point where you say, I know we can’t get zero mold, but this remediation project has gone on along and we’re just going to bulldoze the house. When do you throw the flame?

Michael Schrantz (00:47:52):

Boy, it’s tough, right? When do you throw the Molotov cocktail at it? I normally state, what’s your budget? Because it’s not, we can fix the home. It is just how much money is it going to take? And I realize that’s the question, but that is the question. It’s like, do we know where it’s coming from? Well, no, we don’t. Okay, well, there’s the inspection that’s going to cost amount of money. Oh, well, we found out it’s a crawlspace issue. Okay, well, remediation improvements. What is that? 10, 20, 30, 40, $50,000? It depends. Is there a DIY component in there? We wouldn’t want Anissa to be the one in there scraping the floor joists. So I think if I was to narrow it down a little bit, what I would say is there’s not a straightforward tipping point, and it’s not based off of a square footage. It’s based off of some criteria that involves what’s your budget?

(00:48:49):

What’s your timeline? Do we think these are isolated issues versus a building defect? Building defect? The house is really not built well for the climate it’s installed in. So all of your exterior walls have mold growing in them. Don’t let that trigger anybody. Not saying that’s a common thing, but that’s what I mean as an example of a building defect. Is there something going on? And I think it’s about getting there responsibly so that you can trust the findings versus assuming because a celebrity IEP or a celebrity doc said something that triggered you, let’s slow down and see what we actually have so that we don’t sensationalize something that’s not there. And by the same token, if we do validate a significance, well now you have your answers. The toughest part of this process, being a patient myself, is being logical about it. It’s very emotional.

(00:49:44):

It’s easier to say it, especially when you’re not in it at the moment. But I would say if you work with a knowledgeable IEP, that demonstrates the sort of compassion that I demonstrate, that that’s going to be so therapeutic in and of itself, and you’ll be able to make some rational decisions. And it’s not going to necessarily lead to throwing out all your books. No, I don’t want you to sleep on a moldy mattress. If Dr. Jill is still on the call right now, we would talk about the time someone was sliding down a mattress on a stairway and getting exposure to that. We’re trying to weigh it out. But I think where it boils down to is that one of the reasons that there’s not a formula that fits everyone’s situation is that not everybody can solve the equation with the same answer. It’s like, well, I can do this, but I can’t do that. Okay, well, that’s different from that client, then we’re going to change how we do it. So it’s very complicated. Some clinicians, Kelly even said at times that, man, I feel at times the building environment is more complicated than the body, and it can be.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:50:42):

Yeah. Yeah. The building environment is super complicated, and I get it. I mean, I have had patients who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars because they were so attached to their homes, they were going to do everything that it took, right? And maybe it worked, maybe it didn’t. I also think that the other part of this equation is really looking at the nervous system, really looking at the limbic system, paying attention to mast cell activation on the clinical side that we have to address, the trauma, the gaslighting, all of the things that come along with being a chronically ill person. And recognize too that oftentimes it’s a cumulative effect that you might have been living in a moldy environment and then got Covid, which just threw a torch on your underlying inflammatory state, suppressed your immune system so that you could not recover. And in order to recover, then you have to deal with what I kind of call the three legs of mast cell activation treatment, which is calm down the mast cells, address the vagus nerve, and then address the limbic system. So yeah.

Michael Schrantz (00:52:05):

I will tell you this much just on that topic. I’m so glad you brought that up as I just had a really fantastic conversation with a close colleague just before the call. And we talked a lot about that very issue, the limbic system being such a big part of it. If you don’t feel safe, how much of that is actually affecting the recovery process? And maybe another interview for another time, but I just want to let you know that that’s another big piece. I mean, if you guys don’t know me and you go on my podcast, iepradio.com, you’d think that it would be just mold testing and chemical exposures and that kind of thing. Two of my podcasts are on limbic system stuff, DNRS, that sort of thing, and it’s not my point to promote one over the other. My point is to say that it’s such an issue, how many people do we see come in that they’re clearly triggered and it’s a sensitive thing, right?

(00:52:58):

Because you don’t want to feel judged. There’s a lot of people, a lot of spouses where it’s like, you’re crazy. Well, I’ve been there, I know what it’s like, and you do feel scared and you don’t want to be accused of being crazy, but there’s something more to that. So for those of you listening where maybe you resonate with that, if you’ve always wondered about that thing that Kelly just mentioned, absolutely know that that’s a very real thing, and that for me personally, where I noticed improvement in my own health, again, not trying to play doctor, but just my own observations that as soon as I corrected that my recovery just escalated, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:30):

Yeah, sometimes what I find is that it’s easiest for people to start with the physical world. I’m going to take the supplements, I’m going to adjust my diet, I’m going to take medications, I’m going to do these things. But in actuality, what we really need to do is work on the nervous system, work on that vagus nerve, work on the limbic system, and that when we do those things, when we start to not only do that, but then look at what are the beliefs, what are the things that I’m telling myself? How is it that I don’t feel safe in the world, and how can I shift my own internal dialogue so that I do feel safe or whatever it is I need to do? That’s when healing really happens.

Michael Schrantz (00:54:21):

Yeah, yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:54:22):

Okay, let’s keep going.

Michael Schrantz (00:54:24):

Yeah. I’m fine.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:54:26):

If we decide to leave our home after a slightly elevated ERMI, and not being able to find the mold, how do we determine the next place we go is safe? Number one, and this is from Amber. Number two, what are some good things to do when building a home for best air quality and helping prevent mold issues down the line?

Michael Schrantz (00:54:47):

Oh man. Juicy questions, Amber. Let me see if I can do my best here. And I know we’re not doing a 60 minute consult, Amber, but I’ll try to narrow it down in two minutes. It’s interesting when you said, if we decide to leave our home after a slightly elevated ERMI and not being able to find the mold, how do we determine the next place we go is safe? I can’t help this. My mind is, well, how do you know it’s not safe? Are we just basing it off an ERMI score that we don’t really rely on? Did you work with a professional? So I guess I would have to conclude that for the sake of time that we assume that there is a problem. Not that I agree with it, but that let’s just say there is so we can move on, is how do you go, again, not to promote my free IEP Radio, but actually episode 9 and episode 25 of that podcast gets into things to consider when renting, things to consider when you’re buying.

(00:55:36):

The buying podcast is more like strategy with your realtor. I actually interview my beautiful bride who’s a realtor, works in this community, but that’s what you do. You’re doing a lot of your own homework, right? You’re doing a lot of your own DIY, the visual assessment. You might not even do samples. What if you do an MSQ-PCR DNA sample? Okay, fine, I’ll call it an ERMI, and you sample in the home, but what you really sampled was the moldy shoes from the previous potential home buyers or that the house was cleaned to get show ready from a moldy vacuum used from a cleaning service company from 50 other moldy homes. In other words, the sample doesn’t even reflect the home. Oh, I just left this home. That could have been perfect because I put all my eggs into one basket. Not that you’re doing that, Amber, but that’s the concern I would have is, are we really basing it off of that?

(00:56:26):

Let’s look at other factors that see that bad sample adds up to that. Does that even make sense that it would? And that takes a knowledgeable IEP and a lot of times what I’ve gotten a lot of with my clients is they call me to consult, to educate and come up with a game plan that’s unique with their time, budget, energy and then say, okay, I’m going to go out. I’m going to be my own ambassador and my own soldier. And we’re going to look, your second question, which I can see here is what are some good things to do when building a home for the best air quality and helping prevent mold issues down the line? Juicy questions.

(00:57:04):

Well, on the surface level, I feel a bit 101 right now saying this to you, but good filtration, appropriate mechanical ventilation from the outside, keeping the house dry somewhere between, and there’s not an exact number here, but 35 to 50% or less relative humidity if you’re in humid climates. Those are the general. Hard flooring versus carpeting. These are all the 101s that I think most people generally will agree are ways to promote good indoor air quality or potentially prevent them down the line. But I mean, there’s deeper levels of things. I mean, again, if you are building a home, there’s a bunch of, I shouldn’t say a bunch. There are a few known, well-known IEP types in the industry that are geared towards helping people build and design homes. Cheryl Ciecko is one of them. If any of you know her, fabulous individual, she’s geared for that.

(00:58:05):

She’s not geared to do the work I do, but she’s definitely geared for building stuff, and I usually send her work, no financial ties. But also, I’ll tell you, another great resource is John Banta, Prescriptions for a Healthy [House], fourth edition. I have it next to me. And what I will tell you is it can be overwhelming because there’s so much information in there, which is why I recommend you buying the Kindle version because you can type in and look up things, a wealth of information of building materials. And I believe it was Paula Vetter, if I’m saying the wrong name that helped write that book, I apologize to John — Laport, thank you, thank you — who wrote that book and they just took the time and it’s got so much integrity and so many great balancing ways to do it. I would use that as your compass. But if you’re looking for more hands-on, it’s going to boil down to working with somebody like Cheryl because you can go to a home builder that has caught on to the hottest buzzword of indoor air quality, and then you find out that all they’re doing is running an exhaust fan in your bathroom that turns on every 20 minutes to say that they have good indoor air quality in your home. And that’s the poorest design of mechanical ventilation of all the designs. So I think it’s working with somebody who’s knowledgeable.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:59:23):

Yeah, I would also add Brian Johnson from Senergy360 to the list of well-educated building biology home builders, and then just think about things like, well, where do the water intrusions happen? They happen because the grading of the house is pouring into the house rather than away from the house. You have to make sure that when things are being built, that they’re clean, that they’re built properly, that you’re doing all the internal inspections and making sure that there’s no holes in the pipes and all of that. So I think whatever you’re doing and whomever you’re working with, you have to be your own advocate. You have to spend time at the building site and make sure that all the i’s and t’s are dotted. One of the hugest problems here in Southern California is that the buildings go up overnight and they are terrible. There are so many problems with all of those buildings. Okay, let’s see. There was a plumbing leak that came from my shower and flooded the apartment below mine a few years ago. Is there a way to assess the mold in the floor between my apartment and the one downstairs without investing a lot of money since I’m a renter?

Michael Schrantz (01:00:42):

So I guess the first question I would ask that individual is what’s the purpose? Is the purpose to help break the lease? Is the purpose to hold the management owner of the apartment — I’m assuming by apartment, I guess my mind from the West coast as I’m thinking you’re renting, but maybe you’re from New York and you own the apartment, so it depends on where you’re at — but if it’s about renting and justifying it either way, I think it would be more of like, can you get permission to do a cavity sample in that ceiling, even if it means opening up a nearby can light or some sort of ceiling penetration to squeeze in a little tube, about three eighths of an inch to get in there and take a sample.

(01:01:24):

That’s one way to do it. I think the other thing is, is there any evidence? I mean, if there was a plumbing leak for example, and we found out it was actually, well, you say it came from a shower or from your shower that flooded the apartment and you’re kind of getting into a category two gray water thing and there’s a little bit more weight to suggest opening and investigating that versus if it was a tap water category one leak. So I would do that. Beyond that, I’d have to kind of dive into the situation a little bit more, but I mean the first thing that comes to mind would be doing something like that.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:01:56):

And it’s really, as a renter, it’s a huge challenge to decide, okay, well what is the purpose of doing the test? Are you trying to get out of the lease? Are you trying to see if your landlord will fix it well enough so that you can continue to live there? Most landlords don’t want to touch mold with a 20 foot pole and anything that you do, you might end up paying for yourself. So I think that these are really important questions to consider. Okay. Hey, [I need] an IEP who works in Newport Beach. Is that Newport Beach, California or is that Newport Beach, Virginia? Anna Branch is my favorite in Newport Beach, [CA], IEP. She’s fantastic. Her website is My Home, My Health, Newport Beach. Anywhere else?

Michael Schrantz (01:02:51):

Yeah, no, I think the ISEAI website get help page for professionals might help narrow it down, but I agree with you. If we’re talking West Coast, California, I’m assuming Newport, is that like–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:03:06):

That’s where I am, right? I’m in Costa Mesa, CA.

Michael Schrantz (01:03:08):

Right California. So yeah, Anna Branch one of the best newer IEP, but I’ll tell you what, if it’s a situation you’ve ever read a book by its cover, she would be the exception. I think she was like the prodigy, she’s based in San Diego, goes up to LA all the time, is very professional, objective minded and does not just gloss over things and doesn’t charge a type of money just yet that requires a second mortgage. So I would absolutely trust her.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:03:36):

Yeah, I do too. She’s my go-to girl. What’s the best way to get mold out of a front loading machine and is it important? That’s my question.

Michael Schrantz (01:03:47):

Yeah, there you go. Thank you. Important. Yeah, fair question. I get it. Yeah, I mean, if it’s a front loading washing machine, I think the question becomes is well, where are we assuming, what do we know if it’s the gasket thing, right? A fair question. If it’s around the front of the gasket, do we clean it manually? Which is usually the answer is yes, you wipe it down. Then there’s the issue of, okay, but some of the manufacturers have actually gotten wise to this concern, so they’ve developed a little bit better efficiency drain systems within the gasket to where it does not much of an issue. You’ve already heard the thing about keeping the door open, heck, I do that and I have a top loader and all of that. Honestly, I’d like to put this in perspective. Maybe it’s not that, right? Maybe the question is more about the drum — it’s in there. And I find that the question is fair, and if the person who wrote that is basing it off of what they hear, I hear you. And so let me provide some reasonable rationale. We don’t put clean clothes in the washer. We put dirty clothes in the washer and dirty means mold spores that have settled on you from the outside. Kelly’s probably tired of me saying this as many times as she’s heard it, but I always say it’s funny how prejudice we are.

(01:05:02):

If a mold spore or a parts per billion mycotoxin from the outside settles on your T-shirt, you don’t really think twice about it. Well, maybe you are now because I brought it up, but you don’t really think twice about it. But when that same species, same mycotoxin, same concentration settles on your T-shirt from an inside source, we treat it like it’s plutonium. And what I would argue is that normal laundry would help. So if we’re worried about the washing machine, one of the things that people will do, and I know a lot of the newer designs have an auto cycle that does this or whatever, but do a purge cycle. Beginning of, if you do clothes like our family, we are kind of a little bit scattered, but maybe every weekend we start with purging it with just hot water and detergent, no clothes.

(01:05:45):

So purge it through and so that the argument that you’re really having any sort of noticeable burden of exposure to that is so low. Now, are you going to be that random person that has some sort of weird funkadelic exposure thing going on in your washing machine? I guess it’s possible. I’m not trying to be blind to that, but historically, with the hundreds of washing machines that we’ve had to look at, it’s usually just an issue of the topical sources. And if you’re purging the old water out, then you really have a lower level of exposure concern at that point. Certainly a better option than taking it to a public place or having it even dry clean, which is a whole separate topic.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:06:24):

Right, exactly. So, little brief vignette. Our top loading washer was starting to smell moldy. It was awful. It was terrible. And we tried running bleach and there were some other things that my husband did and it never worked. It — you know those self dispensing laundry detergents? We had never used it. Somebody had put detergent in it years ago, never turned it on.

Michael Schrantz (01:07:02):

Was that what was going on?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:03):

That was what was causing it.

Michael Schrantz (01:07:05):

Okay, I can see that. I can see that. We have one of those, we use them, but I want to go check after we’re done here because it makes you wonder.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:13):

Yeah, it was a brand new machine a couple of years ago. I had never seen one of those supercomputer washer machines that make me a little scared about all the people listening and who could hijack your washing machine. Anyway, I digress. But yeah, that was it. So you have a super technology one. Okay, I’ll move on. Erik Johnson sends Howdy from Incline Village, Nevada. You may have seen Dr. Fauci mentioned a famous chronic complex called ME/CFS aka chronic fatigue syndrome. The ME/CSF world remains confused about CFS and cannot find any clues regardless of the mold at ground zero for CFS being cited in four of Dr. Shoemaker’s books. As we are the new mold experts, could we perform — we would be performing a great service for the confused researchers by telling them it is true. It is mold. Mold is indeed related to CFS, chronic fatigue syndrome by virtue of being the actual documented clue for which the syndrome’s name was coined.

Michael Schrantz (01:08:38):

Well, Erik knows — hey, Erik — from our recent Facebook exchanges that I don’t have an argument about chronic fatigue being certainly a huge part of being related to mold exposure. So I’m not in a disagreement with a concern that there’s an awareness, but I feel like many of the practitioners are aware of the fact that chronic, even Shoemaker, dare I say, still believes that that’s one of the major symptoms and that’s related to, oh my gosh, probably have mold exposure. It doesn’t change how I assess a home. I think that going back to asking the clinician what’s going on, and that dialogue is important, and especially if you do have an unaware clinician that might be dealing with CFS and mold, not on the radar, but I guess maybe where my bias is at is that most of the practitioners, and we are in a lot of the same camps, Kelly, are aware of it. So other than tipping our hat to Erik and the work that he has done, I’m not more sure how to address that because we’re not unaddressing (sic) it. When I had my exposures, fatigue was one of the primary issues.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:09:59):

Oh yeah. Yeah, I hear you. I think it’s more a question of the folks that are doing mold, whether that’s clinicians, IEPs, need to be stating it more loudly that mold causes fatigue. Mold can lead to chronic fatigue syndrome, and I’m on board with that, but we can’t make people who don’t want to believe things believe them, either. So, okay. What do you think is the best air filter for mycotoxins and is there one small enough to get into a small bathroom?

Michael Schrantz (01:10:42):

Yeah, that’s a great question. Mycotoxins are not all just free floating radicals. There are some arguments that would suggest that they can be free floating, certainly some research, and then there’s also research that would suggest that they’re accompanying on a particulate so that they’re not that small. A little bit about the air filtration real quick — I love this topic — is efficiency of filters is actually looks like an upside down bell curve. So when you hear HEPA, for example, the bottom of the curve, the least efficient if you will, is that 0.3 microns. Now, I had some of my colleagues with air, we nerd out a little bit and say, is it 0.19 microns? And it depends on the media, but for the sake of this conversation, we’ll just say it’s 0.3 microns on either side of that curve, the efficiency of removal goes up not down.

(01:11:32):

So there’s a whole mechanics of attachment and deposition and all that of why that’s the case, but I don’t think you can go wrong with just a good old fashioned HEPA filter no matter what the brand is. There’s different brands out there. I have no financial affiliations with Air Oasis iAdaptAir, but I have had them on my podcast and I will tell you that their footprint is tall and skinny, so that might be a beneficial for a tight bathroom. I will say a bit that there’s a difference between filtration and purification. Filtration is the simple removal, we think filter, you think carbon for odors, that sort of thing. Purification is more the UV ionization, that sort of thing. And without getting into a 20 minute conversation, what I will tell you is that we’ve talked about this on IEP Radio more, but that when done correctly, it does show actually performance at breaking down chemicals, which would be included in the topic of mycotoxins.

(01:12:39):

There’s a little bit of debate about, again, what is a mycotoxin, but I will tell you that the research, at least for things like formaldehyde and VOCs, there’s a clear reduction. And so the problem with that of course is these arguments being made about, well, can it create a byproduct? And the classic was always ozone. But there are other things, and I will tell you that if you’re worried about exposures to chemicals and particulate exposure, having a device that gives you the option to do one or both technologies — filtration, purification — and experimenting with it might be a great way. I stand beside Air Oasis iAdaptAir for the simple fact — and again, I have no financial ties with them, I don’t get any kickbacks from them. But what I will tell you is that I’m proud of their research. They are one of the few companies that actually listens. They’re transparent. In fact, with my help and influence, they spent the money to even do ultra fine testing with their purification device because that was one of the hottest debates coming out is that they produce ultra fines. And I think there are technologies out there that unfortunately are doing that. I’m not seeing that evidence in these products.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:13:52):

That’s super cool. I got an Air Oasis probably a decade ago and I couldn’t use it because it whatever it was producing.

Michael Schrantz (01:13:59):

Was it the iAdaptAir or was it the Air Oasis itself?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:14:03):

No, it was the Air Oasis itself.

Michael Schrantz (01:14:05):

Okay, the standup tower unit. Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:14:10):

Okay. My ERMI shows a chaetomium of 3 and a stachy of 4. Is that bad?

Michael Schrantz (01:14:19):

Fair question. Common question. The first thing I would ask is what do you mean by bad? If you mean it from an environmental perspective, like it’s evidence of an indoor source, the first thing I would say is, well, hey, depending on where you live and all that, stachy of 4 might be common outdoors. Most people, we have old great pioneering doctors that still have the mindset, if you have one stachy spore in your home, burn it, get out. You must have a mold problem. It’s like, hello, all molds at one point in their lifecycle, originate outside. If it grew inside your home, there’s no argument. But where do you think it came from before that? It didn’t come from Mars on a spaceship. And so knowing what your outdoor background is important. Chaetomium of 3, I’m going to be honest with you, Maria, that’s an annoying number.

(01:15:04):

I wish — just make your mind up. Chaetomium can either be zero or be 30, but 3 is an annoying number because it’s not a lot. So almost there’s a forgiveness factor. Maybe you got wood chips as you’re landscaping in the front yard. Maybe that’s where it’s coming from or a moldy shed or something, but it could be an indicator source. So for me, from an environmental, when I see chaetomium and stachy of 3 or 4, I want to dive more into what do we know about the home? And that gets back into professional help versus trying to interpret an ERMI. I know you’re not saying the score, but the numbers of mold that they found, that’s questionable. You might not have an indoor mold source, but if you get done telling me after telling me that, Maria, well, we had a mold problem in our kitchen sink cabinet and there’s mold everywhere, I’m going to go, huh?

(01:15:47):

Maybe that’s where it’s coming from. And that’s the problem is that these molds don’t come with name tags. They don’t say, hi, I’m chaetomium globosum, and I came from underneath the kitchen sink cabinet. And so it’s important. A lot of times what I have my clients do is go and do an outdoor control sample, which is a whole other topic because it’s like we don’t do a direct comparison, but if you did find out that you had an elevated count in the outside, to go back to your “bad” comment, if you mean it more from a safety or an exposure issue, that would be good to know, wouldn’t it? Because if it was an outdoor source and you’re trying to figure out if you and your clinician feel that that’s a bad unsafe thing, that you’re going to really try to separate out the environment the best you can or do something. If it’s an indoor source, obviously you’re going to go mold hunting and nobody, well, let me rephrase that. I know that myself and Kelly don’t want to send you down to a rabbit hole and have you looking for something, spending thousands upon thousands of dollars only to find out it was coming from the outside.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:48):

Yes. So what would be the tools you would recommend for homeowners to have on hand?

Michael Schrantz (01:16:56):

If we’re talking about being proactive, I’ll tell you what, you know, I have strategically placed through my house are those little moisture alarms. It’s actually saved me on — [Dr. Kelly shows a device] well, that’s relative humidity and temperature. Yes. Also those. So you’d add that to the list. A hydrometer is what she’s talking about, but also a moisture alarm, like the ones that make that really annoying alarm sound that goes off when it’s stuck behind your toilet seat and your toilet leaks somehow. That’s actually saved me multiple leaks before and it’s like, oh my gosh, worth its money right there. You can find them on Amazon or wherever, they’re relatively reasonable moisture meters you can have — a bit tricky. A lot of people have a hard time understanding. I had a client the other day bought a $50 one from a big box store and said, Hey, I get these really elevated levels around the window, and what they didn’t realize is they were touching metal, like the corner beads of the windows and metal sets off it as an alarm.

(01:17:52):

It’s a false positive. So understanding how to use it is a problem, and I’m just keeping it easy, deeper issues about what it really can tell you. But I think a moisture meter, if you think something’s wet, you compare it to a similar material and it shows an elevation might be worthy. I think another thing a lot of people do if they want to be proactive is they have these, FLIR makes these thermal cameras that you can attach to your phone. Samsung, iPhones are the major ones. And what I love about them is that for $250, you probably get used on eBay for less to $450. You can get a pretty good resolution. And then you have your wide screen because now all the phones are big bricks again, and you can use it to screen things. So you’re worried about it raining, it rains. It’s like, man, do I have a roof leak going on? Why does it always smell musty? [That can] be a perfect opportunity to look for thermal anomalies that you then can take your moisture meter and go, oh my gosh, it is wet right here. I think that those are the low hanging fruit. I wouldn’t recommend having a pump ready for standby for wall cavity samples. I think it’s just that awareness of there being a mold problem or there could be one by responding quickly. So being diligent, I think the lowest, easiest things are those tools.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:19:07):

Great. What about VOC meters?

Michael Schrantz (01:19:13):

Yeah, the question is what VOC meter do you recommend we buy that is portable and accurate? The only VOC meter that I think, well, I’ll rephrase it. ppbRAE makes a handheld meter. But unless you want to spend $6-10,000, I’m assuming you’re not going to buy that one. Most VOC meters that you can buy that are in the $150 to $300 range are cursory screening tools. And I don’t necessarily know that they would help you. There’s a lot of false positive. If you take a shower, it will go off. If you cook, it will go off, that sort of thing. But it depends on how you want to use it. If you’re really concerned about chemical exposures, you might consider doing more like DIY sorbent tube testing with the name will come to mind in a second.

(01:20:14):

One of you guys are already thinking about it, but it’s not Prism. It was what they became. They’re one of the people I interviewed on my podcast or hiring a professional because I’m not so sure. Again, I need to get some context about that on the VOC, Lena, but I don’t know if it wouldn’t cause more problems. You talk about the limbic system, it’s like, oh my God, it’s like it’s 300 over here and we must have a problem. Then you find out it was because you were cooking or someone cooked popcorn and it set it off.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:44):

I would expect it to set it off if you have gas. So it’s showing that you have VOCs. It doesn’t differentiate. It doesn’t say, oh, these are microbial VOCs. These are benzene VOCs.

Michael Schrantz (01:20:58):

True. And I can give her that. I can say even if it’s total VOC, so inorganic, non-organic, whatever. But the point is what are you going to do with that information? So it comes back and it’s showing the other units are typically more like in micrograms or whatnot. They’re not in parts per billion actual counts. And it’s like, well, what do you do with it? But to answer your question, I mean you could find at this point any unit that’s in the $150- 300, we have no way to do a side-by-side comparison of them because they’re all that — there’s a quality of sensors that the company in China likely built. So I don’t know to what level they’re going to be able to pick it up. What I have found is that the most usefulness of a VOC meter in the field is to help validate a claim about something obvious.

(01:21:41):

Like you guys are using incense or diffusers, including essential oils, and you have a client that’s working that’s chemically sensitive, look at what your levels are in your bedroom. I’m not saying that this is a health problem, but if you’re worried about chemicals, you can clearly see that this is a volatile organic compound, a VOC, and it’s setting that off. So I find it more useful to that, and please don’t let me diminish the value of a VOC meter, but again, unless you get really into what the chemical is, it’s hard to know its value because you have to tie it to a source and find it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:22:17):

And that kind of ties into the next question for me. And what I will say is that I did recently find an AirKnight 9-in-1, which is like $135, and it does have total VOCs as well as for formaldehyde, and it does tend to correlate with chemicals, and it’s going to go up and down. So when we turn on our gas, if the fan isn’t on, the total VOCs will go up and the little guy’s face gets very sad.

Michael Schrantz (01:22:54):

But that’s a great point. I’m glad you brought that. This is real talk. So here’s the thing, it’s like, so what about it? If it frowns, what do we do with that?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:23:03):

So basically then you know that there is a release of gas, which can be a chemical that people can develop chemical sensitivity to, and VOCs are one of the most common things to trigger chemical sensitivity. So I’m thinking about the question from the anonymous person who said there’s a new build, no signs of mold, but they’re reacting, as is the husband. And we can talk about mold, but I do think it’s really important to also remember that the building materials that we build with are some of the most toxic things, and that’s where we’re going to be exposed to a ton of chemicals that can trigger symptoms that might be similar to mold exposure symptoms.

Michael Schrantz (01:23:57):

No argument. Everything that you just said, which is consistent with that anonymous claim, I agree with, I feel like what I want to stress is not an argument against that. It’s to also consider that you can get a lot of false readings. And speaking of limbic triggering, if we don’t have context and we get a frowny face on the VOC monitor, I see a lot more limbic responses when it really wasn’t anything. But I think what we both can agree on is that yeah, that’s fine. Okay, let’s be aware and education. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no such thing as a chemical exposure, especially to new build that Lana texted in the chat log. Yeah, I agree. We see that all the time where it’s like, oh my gosh, I’m reactive. And if you can have a VOC meter that gives you a numerical appreciation of that, because what am I reacting to? And then they have a number and it’s really elevated, say to a reference of your outdoors, then I would agree that’s a helpful indicator. My truth is that I get more false positive or lack of evidence than those, but rest assure I’m with you on those. Yeah, of course. That could be a great tool.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:25:07):

Thanks. This is from Kimberly. We had water coming in our fireplace for the last few years and when it was raining heavily, my doctor had us do a HERTSMI, which was 14, and then they had an air sample test as well. Do you recommend any other testing before we remediate the fireplace?

Michael Schrantz (01:25:28):

That’s a great question, Kimberly. I would hope that by all that testing and all this time and money, you would’ve gotten some sort of an answer, but I’m guessing by your question, it’s more like you can’t really tell from the HERTSMI if it’s coming from the fireplace. They did air sample, but it was inconclusive. It depends on the history. If you know that you had water coming in your fireplace for years and there was this thought topic of building materials being saturated, drywall, timber, and that it would’ve stayed saturated because you didn’t open it up and dry it out. So especially if you’re in a wet climate or whatever, then yeah, I would say wasn’t that enough evidence for you right there to justify it? And that’s easy for me to say, right? So if that’s not enough for you or if you and the spouse or whomever, or your partner, whatever, are on the same side or same page, maybe do a cavity sample if there’s the room.

(01:26:24):

And that’s the other issue is if there’s a cavity to sample. I think that one of the things that I run into with that fireplace example, bad flashing or lack thereof, is that if you know there’s enough evidence of water damage, even if I do a cavity sample, I might be inclined to just — and that sample comes back negative — I might be inclined to tell you to open it up because we’re not putting all of our eggs in one basket and it’s called a sample for a reason. It’s not the entire population. And a spore trap sample, a pathway sample, a micrometer sample, is not the all-seeing eye. So Kimberly, it’s very fair, but I think it boils down to your level of confidence. And it sounds like if this is a big investment, it’s worth your time to work with an IEP who might be more akin to our approach than who you’re currently working with. Because I don’t know that you’re getting a straightforward answer and maybe it’s more about saying, you know what, I hear where you’re coming from. We have the budget. Let’s just open it up. I wish it was black and white, but I’d have to know more about the test results, pictures of the home to really give you a better response.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:27:31):

Okay. Josie sent a question. AAA sent a plumber who said they could not find an event to lead to mold, so they would not do anything. We’ve cleaned the walls in both bedrooms, which seem to keep coming back, but in our bedroom, my husband put a primer with mold repellent and then painted the walls. Is this sufficient to keep mold out of our bedroom?

Michael Schrantz (01:27:58):

Wow. Another good question, guys. Thank you for being willing to ask these things. First of all, Josie, I need a little bit of clarification. I can’t tell by what you wrote. If we think this is a roof wall or plumbing leak or more of a, I live in a humid or marine climate and we’re having condensation growing on the walls. If it is the former — plumbing leak, roof leak, some flashing issue in a window, but a plumber from AAA, which I don’t know how qualified they would, not that they were bad, but I don’t know that that adds closure here, is that I would think you’d be more inclined to definitely open up that wall under containment because if the moisture source is coming from the other side of the wall, then that would mean that if you have mold growing on the side that you can touch, you probably have a lot more behind the wall.

(01:28:49):

But if it’s conversely the latter, which was condensation, live in a hot, humid marine climate, so we have mold growing on the walls where you can touch it, you putting a harsh chemical primer, mold repellent, call it an antimicrobial, is certainly not recommended in our community due to the exposure of the chemical. And here’s the irony, and I know that the people that sell the products don’t necessarily tell you this, is if you have a mold problem due to moisture related issues, putting in an antimicrobial is not going to necessarily solve that because the mold will just grow on top of the dust that settled on the antimicrobial. Not to mention that, I mean, we’ve seen mold still grow on surfaces that have the antimicrobial, and if you solve the moisture problem, de-humidification, better ventilation, whatever the challenge may be for you, you don’t need the antimicrobial. So I definitely don’t think it’s sufficient. I think you’d want to dive deeper of what we think is going on.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:29:47):

Yes. Yeah. Kind of along those same lines, are there any sealants that can be used on cement basement floors, walls, to prevent mold?

Michael Schrantz (01:29:59):

Yeah, when I think about sealants on cement basement floors, the first thing I think about is why are you putting the sealant on, other than maybe an aesthetical (sic) thing, like an epoxy finish or something like that so you can walk on it and that sort of thing. I would tell you that if you are having mold growing because of a moisture problem in the basement foundation, a sealant is not going to necessarily solve your problem. Correcting the moisture source is, so that might be a drainage solution, a sump pump solution, a French drain outside solution. And if it is a concrete exposed floor, but there’s no hard flooring carpeting, then maybe the solution is to leave it breathable in a nutrient poor environment, just exposed concrete, so that it’s less of a concern for the potential for growth. You might still put a dehumidifier in the basement, but some people try to use sealants to say, we’re going to force — the water is not going to be able to come up. And I’m not saying that there’s not some marginal benefit to that. I think the problem is, is the lack of ability for it to stop a real problem combined with the concern of the product you’re using in the first place when we don’t have a black and white answer of this many parts per billion of this unknown sealant is going to cause an issue when you walk on it with your bare feet or just in your environment. But we don’t want to add variables to the equation. If you have chronic illness and your equation to define that is 50 variables long, all we’re doing is adding another variable in most cases, by just simply adding a sealant. I would want to know why do we have a moisture problem in there? Can we do a calcium chloride test to even get an idea of if there’s a moisture problem coming from the concrete and hire a professional to figure out the best way? But blindly telling my friend here to just put a sealant on it would be probably one of the last things I’d want to recommend.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:32:02):

So we don’t want to add more chemicals with a sealant. It’s probably not going to solve the problem. And really we just need to go back to the same basics, find the source of the moisture, right?

Michael Schrantz (01:32:18):

Yeah, correct. It’s going down to the fundamentals. When we think about the fundamentals that most people, even the EPA would agree that it doesn’t matter whether the mold is alive or dead, then we’re not trying to kill the mold. We’re not trying to kill the contaminant per se. I mean, we can get into nerd conversations about viruses and things of that nature, but we’re talking about physical removal, and one of the things to prevent that physical growth is chop it off with the moisture issue. You’re never going to be able to have a mold-free environment, like get rid of the spores that can germinate. Because we live on earth, you’re rounded. You’re never going to get rid of really the nutrients because all of us have seen mold grow on glass at times, and it’s not growing into the glass, but it’s growing on the nutrients that settle on the glass.

(01:32:59):

So there’s that, which means that the only thing that we really have control on when we have control on it is the moisture. You cut it off at the moisture, it’s not going to grow. And that is why. Now the tricky part to the question earlier is, well, okay, Mike, I hear you. It does make sense logically, but I’m getting bids for 20, 30, 40, $50,000 to solve the moisture problem and our budget’s five grand. And so then you really get into those tougher situational situations where you need to work with an IEP like myself to dive into it to see if we can try to prioritize things. Or maybe there’s kind of a, I hate to say it like this, but like a triage solution once we even assume there is a problem. It’s one thing to say you got moisture coming through your concrete slab. It’s another to say, yeah, what about it? Is it producing mold everywhere? I would agree that that’s a major issue you need to look at.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:33:47):

Right? Is there a way to test, this is from Sarah. Is there a way to test upper crawlspace area where the HVAC system is? But we don’t have a way to get to it. Professionals have said it’s too far for them to visually see, so they don’t check it.

Michael Schrantz (01:34:07):

Okay. Let me see if I can break that down, Sarah, by upper crawlspace, and I guess it doesn’t really matter. I’m thinking you’re actually talking about an attic space because when I think crawl space, I think below the home and I think up there, I think attic, but let’s work with that anyways. So if they don’t have a way to get to it, it makes me wonder how the heck is the unit serviced? It’s supposed to be serviceable, which means someone should be able to get to it. So that’s a first yellow flag I have. And you said professionals have said it is, I don’t know if you mean like a mold inspector or if you mean like an HVAC company. If it’s an HVAC company, there’s bigger issues of how do they even service it If the thing breaks down, to your question, is there a way to test the unit? Yeah. I mean, some people do dust swab samples within the duct work, and it does become an interpretation issue. It’s like sampling carpet. What is a normal background level of the mold that would be there? It’s not like normal. It’s a reservoir, especially if you have flex duct or lined insulation, that sort of thing. But you could,

Kelly McCann, MD (01:35:08):

She did say it was an attic and a mold inspector professional.

Michael Schrantz (01:35:11):

Thank you for that, Sarah. So maybe the first thing is, did the inspector not want to go because they didn’t want to get on their knees and or fall through the ceiling? Okay, fine. Then maybe you can get an HVAC company to come out there or find another professional that’s willing to go out there. Because I think what you’re asking too is majority of mold problems that we see in the HVAC system is that the evaporator coil, that part that cools the air. If you have cooling where there’s the most moisture generation, blah, blah, blah, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have it in the ducts, in the registers, near the registers and all of that. So I think the answer is we need to try harder with your, not a lack of effort on your part, but try again and get an HVAC company to come out there and provide physical access and find somebody who’s willing to go out there.

(01:35:59):

Even if it has to be, and again, I don’t say this lightly, a DIY thing where you’re going out there, you need to do a sample, where do I sample? Immunolytics has a DIY swab sample you can get for, I think it’s like $34, 36 bucks. So you maybe buy one or two of them and go out there and then you sample for the idea to confirm. Now what are you going to do with those results? That’s a great question. I think it goes right back to working with a professional, because I guess if you say, well, I identified mold growth, are you going to replace the system or are you going to clean the system? And that’s the point is what do you do with the information on hand, Sarah? So I would just caution you as if we see mold growth in systems all the time and we replace them, but if you had mold growing in your flex duct, we would tell you to replace that on the whole. So it depends on where it’s at, the extent it’s at, and I’m sorry that your mold inspector wasn’t willing to go over there. I guess I can relate to some stances, but it’s weird to ignore the HVAC system. It’s the lungs of the home. It’s like you definitely would want to address that.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:37:04):

Gosh, there are so many questions you guys. I know. Do you want to take a gander, Mike and see if there are any burning questions that you think need answering?

Michael Schrantz (01:37:19):

I can answer Lana’s. Yeah. I think John Banta’s Pathway testing is great. It looks for the protein bonds, the peptides that are known to be produced by molds and bacterias. The problem is like any other test, it has limitations. It can identify proteins and other things. Pollens can create false positives. Peanut butter can create false positives. Eggs can create false positives. And so I guess if you have a 6-year-old and 8-year-old running through your house and having a peanut butter fight, maybe that’s not it, but there is a process that John Banta has created, which I have a lot of respect for. I think it can be a good tool in certain situations. To Amber’s question below, should cavity samples be zero spores? Absolutely not. If it comes back zero, I would be suspicious that the person never took a sample. I think it is an issue.

(01:38:10):

And Amber, that’s a great question because you talk about an art beyond the science. It’s definitely art when it comes to cavity samples because it’s not like normal settling. There’s a technique where you drill in the wall and you disturb the wall a little bit to kind of intentionally kick up stuff, so it’s able to be caught and trapped on the spore trap. What I normally do is I’m always taking a couple control samples outside to get a general idea of what I would expect to have as building memory or what we would have in the interstitial cavity space that we’re about to sample. And then again, a lot of times what I even do is I’ll sample other control sample walls in the home. Well, this is a really tricky climate, so maybe we’ll do an area that’s a non-complaint and compare that. That’s inner zonal comparison to see that say, should it be less than 10 or whatever.

(01:38:58):

There’s not a straightforward number. If you’re talking about per cubic meter, maybe a hundred count of As-Pen, that grouping of aspergillus and penicillium, may be normal in one climate, but suggestive of a source in another. Other indicators like stachy and chaetomium, we’re less likely to see those so that when we do it more as a yellow flag, there is no set number. It boils down to the professional’s interpretation, just like a doctor looking at clinical work, there’s not a black and white for all the markers they’re looking at to follow some trail, because oftentimes you can have one wall that looks like a problem, but it’s a normal exterior wall count. Not to mention the limitations of can you even do that sample? There’s insulation in the wall. There’s all these other things we could talk about. But the point I’m trying to tell you is that just because one wall looks a certain way doesn’t mean it’s a problem.

(01:39:46):

Conversely, one that shows –I had one sample, Kelly, where we found four counts of stachy in the cavity, and that was the raw count. And so it was like, wow, that’s not a lot. What’s going on here? The remediation company went out and opened up that stud bay. There wasn’t much there. They opened up the next stud bay and there was two square feet of it. It was a bigger issue. And so it really involves that critical thinking of not being so — and not to Sarah’s point or Amber’s point is — we’re not being tunnel vision. We’re like, we have to look at the bigger picture and go, well, why would it make sense that there is stachy or this elevation of this mold in here? Does it make sense as normal background or not? And that’s not a simple 30 minute teachable point. That’s years of experience and knowledge of figuring that out.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:40:36):

Okay, Mike and everyone who’s still here, thank you so much. I know we’re way over time, and I’m sure we could just keep going. I know I could, but I want to respect Mike’s time and all of you who are hanging out with us. This has been a wealth of information, and I hope that you all now feel a little bit more empowered to check out your homes and to find IEPs and remediation companies that can really work with you to answer those complex questions. It’s a little bit like functional medicine. We have to take assessments for functional medicine and the IEPs have to take assessments and really do that deep dive of the house, which is so very complicated. So thank you everyone. I’m going to grab all the questions before the webinar ends because when the webinar ends, everything goes away. So I’ll take a look. I’ll share it with Mike. If there’s any burning questions that we really feel like we need to answer, we’ll try and send those forward to you too. Thanks again. Any last words? Oh, and where can people find you, Mike?

Michael Schrantz (01:42:03):

Yeah, sure. No, thank you everybody for the engaging, I love these sorts of, these are my favorite sorts of engagements. So if you’re looking for just free education, probably heard it enough times. IEP Radio, iepradio.com. If you’re looking for more of consulting work, my website, EnvironmentalAnalytics, one big long word, and it’s .net, not .com, so EnvironmentalAnalytics.net. There’s resources there, there’s a contact page if you want to work. I’d be happy to see what we can do.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:42:30):

Thank you. Thanks everyone. Bye guys. Until next time.

 

Chat Transcript

00:15:32 Jennifer Larkin: hello from Toronto
00:15:48 Josie: Hello from California
00:16:03 Maria K: hello from CA
00:16:17 Deb: is there a way to make sure we are muted and video is off?
00:18:10 Kelly McCann: this is a webinar so you are all muted and no video.
00:18:38 Emily Kavanagh: Annapolis, MD
00:18:58 Erik Johnson: Howdy from Incline Village Nevada.
You may have seen Dr Anthony Fauci mention a famous chronic complex illness called ME/CFS, aka “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”
The ME/CFS world remains confused about CFS and cannot find any clues, regardless of “Mold at Ground Zero for CFS” being cited in FOUR of Dr Ritchie Shoemaker’s books.
As you are new “Mold experts” you could perform a great service for these confused researchers by telling them it is true.
Mold is indeed related to CFS by virtue of being the actual documented clue for which this syndrome was coined.
Thanks.
00:19:53 Anissa Rupp: 100% husbands hahaha
00:25:52 Kelly McCann: feel free to drop any questions in the Q&A and Mike and I will get to them at the end of the lecture!
00:26:37 Josie: Yes, AAA sent a plumber who said they could not find an event that lead to the mold, so they would not do anything
00:27:10 Maria K: My ERmi showed Chaet 3 and Stachy of 4. Is that bad?
00:27:31 Rebecca Sosa: I’m here because I’m interested in getting my home tested due to my health issues and blood work showing mold exposure.
00:27:39 Kelly McCann: HI Maria – please put the question in the Q&A. thanks!
00:28:00 Rebecca Sosa: Do you have any recommendations for professionals for an inspection and remediation in NYC area?
00:31:18 Erik Johnson: It is notable that Stachybotrys Atra was the mold found at Ground Zero for CFS.
This is before S. Atra was renamed Stachybotrys Chartarum.
00:34:44 Joseph Weintraub: That measures are available to test mold in areas that are not moist but may be behind the wall on the pink fiberglass insulation. Our professional air testing firm was recommended by our doctor but the firm had a lot of false negatives. Their testing missed a lot. When we started to take samples from our drywall with the help of our mold remediation firm, almost all of our fiberglass insulation has black mold. Some of the mold was not showing until the insulation was looked at on the reverse side where there was mold. What testing exists to discover this without ripping walls. Almost all of our insulation in our 40 yr old home has mold. Finally, if mold is behind a wall, is it an issue if the mold is not visible?
00:38:00 Erik Johnson: Hi Kelly.
You may have seen the ME/CFS debate is at fever pitch and getting worse.
More major international symposiums with a big one coming up in London. The IIMEC #16.
And STILL they decline to discuss mold.
They say this is because no mold experts are telling them there is any connection between ME/CFS and mold.
This needs to be addressed.
00:39:25 Erik Johnson: “Are not”
Very silly reason, but is the one they are using.
00:42:20 Rebecca Sosa: Can you please post the website reference you just mentioned.
00:43:26 Erik Johnson: Dr Brewer and Dr Jack Thrasher failed to state that they worked with Dr Shoemaker and were aware that mold was the original clue in CFS.
They said their studies only “found mycotoxins in CFS patients”
In this way they made mold optional. As if CFS was something else, in which they found evidence for mold.
This target shift enabled ME/CFS researcher to continue ignoring it.
00:45:27 Erik Johnson: Ironic, because I educated both Dr Thrasher and Dr Joseph Brewer about this.
00:48:11 Erik Johnson: This is news to me.
But you see the way the medical profession lifted CFS away from its origin and tries to re-impress it back on tired people has removed the original basis for the syndrome.

This means they can set original evidence aside forever.
00:49:26 Rebecca Sosa: If you live in an apartment building where there are leaks in other parts of the building, that likely affects your individual apartment, right? All parts of the same structure.
00:50:15 Rebecca Sosa: Can you please put your contact information for a phone /virtual consultation?
00:50:48 Kelly McCann: MIke’s contact website is www.environmentalanalytics.net
00:53:45 Erik Johnson: Michael Rubino recently addressed the MassME/CFS/FM association but only said mold causes chronic fatigue.
This keeps it “optional” as regards any connection to Holmes 1988 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
00:56:15 Rebecca Sosa: thanks very much
00:56:36 Leyna Bautista – No overbooks please. TH 3-6p M/T/Th/F ; 1-5p Sa: Will we get slides? Excellent!
00:56:45 carol: Terrific information. very articulate and well informed. thanks for all the wonderful info
00:56:53 Mary W: Great presentation. Thank you so much.
00:57:31 kim: Thank you so much for such an informative session
00:58:43 Rebecca Sosa: Thanks Michael please don’t feel bad about promoting yourself and your services and expertise, it’s hard to find people and you’ve provided valuable information at no charge here, it’s a great way to ‘get to know’ you and your work. Thank you.
00:59:32 Denise M Wingo: Thank you so much!
01:01:22 Erik Johnson: This longcovid story is just like the origin of CFS.
Various viruses became intractable.
It almost didn’t matter what the virus was.
We discovered in 1985 that “black mold” was the driving force.
This is why I helped start CFS, to tell people.
01:02:55 susan: Is there a way to work with an environmental professional during the construction of the home to avoid remediation problems down the road? I am building a home in Williamsburg. Both my son and myself have a CIRS diagnosis with an actinos pattern. I have consulted with some one on recommendations but how can I assure that the home is built in the best possible way
01:03:20 deborah: Hello! I did an Endotoxin report from Envirobiomics. Did not pass. No visible mold in attic, house, or subfloor area. Does humidifier typically have issues?
01:04:48 Heidi: I have long covid ( got it twice in 2020 and been sick since). Also have mold and cirs , chronic Lyme , mcas , multiple reactivated viruses like EBV , but my worst issue is ME/CFS so try PEM. And probably more I’m forgetting . I truly believe mold is the core issue of all of this somehow.

We are remediating the house soon , and going to try mold avoidance like what Erik Johnson and Bryan Rosner have recommended. I think that might be the only thing left to try to get better .
Anissa , your story sounds similar to mine . Sending you hugs !
01:06:37 Erik Johnson: The curious thing about “CFSmold” was that to detox, we needed to “break the response” in a super pristine location.
Binders didn’t work. We had to be in a super safe environment or detox was not initiated.
01:06:38 deborah: Is there any vagus nerve stimulation apparatus that you reccommend?
01:06:56 CindyM: What was the name of the place podcast is on? Pls repeat
01:08:21 Sarah: IEP Radio
01:10:15 Kelly McCann: There are many vagus nerve devices – apollo neuro, muse, rezzimax, tru vaga, just google and you will find a ton!
01:10:19 Joseph Weintraub: will you be looking at the Q&A?
01:10:43 Kelly McCann: I am looking at the Q&A and taking questions from there
01:11:40 Heidi: Cheryl Ceico mold architect has a great program you can look into if you are building or remediating .
01:11:55 Heidi: She has great classes !
01:12:25 Leyna Bautista – No overbooks please. TH 3-6p M/T/Th/F ; 1-5p Sa: Spelling of Cheryl Siko’s name?
01:12:38 Heidi: Cheryl Ceico
01:12:44 Kelly McCann: John Banta’s Prescription for a Healthy Home along with Paula LaPorte
01:14:18 deborah: Metallurgy is real🙂. Caught a contractor securing a copper pipe with a nail!
01:15:24 Suzy: Uou have to disrupt it though for wall cavity?
01:16:05 Erik Johnson: John Banta was part of the team investigating the original CFS cluster buildings.
But he cannot talk about it due to a confidentiality clause.
01:16:38 CindyM: What does IEP stand for
01:16:58 Jodi Oliver: Indoor Environmental Professional
01:18:34 Alicia: what is name of person in NB?
and San Diego person? thanks
01:18:58 Kelly McCann: Anna Branch – www.myhomemyhealth.com
01:19:12 deborah: Anyone in Carson City/South Lake Tahoe area?
01:20:13 Alicia: https://o3waterworks.org
01:20:27 Erik Johnson: I haven’t found anyone in the Tahoe Reno region who understands mold illness.
01:21:02 deborah: Erik, is that where you are located?
01:21:02 m.nario: erik check survivingmold.com for practitioners
01:21:25 Erik Johnson: We have some locals who made the rounds of all of them.
None of them really “get it”
01:21:55 Erik Johnson: Yes. I live near Dr Kellyn Milani.
She is pretty good but is not taking patients.
01:22:02 Jodi Oliver: A cavity sample of my bedroom wall just came back with a Raw Count of 44 and Count / m3 of 2900 – of Aspergillus/Penicillium. How do we know if this is “communicating” through the wall and is a problem?
01:24:19 mcbrown: Michael you definitely can tell you were once a crazy mold person 🤣and know where our thoughts in our head go dealing with mold!
01:27:20 Heidi’s iPhone: I think it’s really important to know that chronic fatigue syndrome ( CFS)and myalgic encephalitis (ME) with post exertional malaise (PEM), are NOT the same thing as chronic fatigue.

Chronic fatigue is a symptom, while CFS/ME are diseases with many etiologies , including neurological . Not the same thing as chronic fatigue.
01:27:37 Steve Trindade: great info – thanks., Gotta run
01:28:26 Lorene: Have you heard of Hypo Air purification system?
01:29:22 Erik Johnson: I’ve explained the difference between chronic fatigue and an official CDC medical syndrome to them a zillion times.
They keep saying they don’t understand the distinction.
01:30:15 Mary W: I entered a few questions in Q and A as instructed, yet it appears you are taking questions from chat. Are you looking at Q and A for questions also?
01:33:19 Leyna Bautista: You need a thermal camera that can attach to a phone ?
01:35:50 Leyna Bautista: Off-gassing from a new build
01:36:44 Erik Johnson: At the time of the creation of Holmes 1988 CFS, toxic mold was not yet discovered.
It was not yet in the medical literature.
That is why they didn’t know about it.
Trichothecene toxins from Stachybotrys were not entered into the literature until the next year.
Croft Yatawara et al. 1986.
So they left the original “CFS” behind by never revisiting the origin of the syndrome.
01:39:59 Erik Johnson: The Holmes investigation was Oct 1985.
The CDC’s Holmes CFS definition was finished and published in April of 1988.
They totally missed all the mold clues.
01:42:32 Erik Johnson: See my point yet?
By conflating chronic fatigue with the official CFS Syndrome, this creates more confusion and leaves the syndrome unsolved.
01:44:48 m. nario: when a house is made of cement does it mean its mold resistant?
01:46:01 Jodi Oliver: A house cannot be made of cement. You mean concrete. Cement is a powder – one ingredient of concrete.
01:47:19 Erik Johnson: I got sick in a bunker built for Hitler in northern Germany while in the Army.
The whole bunker was nothing but concrete.
01:48:34 Sarah: Yes like an attic space. And a mold inspector professional
01:49:01 susan: It was recommended to use a product called Radon Seal on the foundation of the home we are building. I was told this is a very safe and effective product for keeping moisture and radon out of the home. Any thoughts?
01:50:36 Erik Johnson: My entire unit got sick.
It was so bad my battalion was removed from the active readiness roster.
01:50:38 Judy Gough: A book by Dr Neil Nathan called “Toxic” is great book on how to treat mold in the body.
01:50:50 mcbrown: Are there any recommended products/chemicals to use to wipe down things/furniture in your home to kill mycotoxins or spores?
01:51:49 Erik Johnson: Dr Nathan is very interesting.
A “CFS doctor” who never looked into CFS.
He finally learned about Mold at Ground Zero for CFS by reading Mold Warriors.
He never told ME/CFS researchers about his error in never analyzing CFS.
01:52:57 Heidi’s iPhone: Will there be a recording of this zoom meeting released ? I missed the beginning.
01:53:16 Kelly McCann: yes. the replay will be sent out next week!
01:53:23 Heidi’s iPhone: Thank you !
01:54:41 Michael: Thank you both!
01:54:48 Leyna Bautista: Amazing thanks
01:54:54 Maria K: thank you both.
01:54:57 Alicia: thanks a million!
01:54:57 Josie: Thank you!
01:55:11 Sarah: Such great info Michael, thank you so much!
01:55:15 Michelle Griffie: I need to see the replay. I am working and could not get on in time.
01:55:18 Angela Armour: Thank you SO much to Mike and Dr. McCann!
01:55:25 JudyLoring: Great information, thank you!
01:55:26 Freebird: thank you – challenging where I live as its rural and there aren’t any options for professional assistance
01:55:51 Jennifer Larkin: thank you very much
01:56:12 Leyna Bautista: If can send any answers to all of us, would be great 🙂
01:56:35 Victoria Cadby: Thanks to youfor all your knowledge!
01:56:40 Ann: Thank you Mike and Dr. Kelly


Trauma, Pandemics, and Oxytocin with Mary Ackerley, MD

Trauma, Pandemics, and Oxytocin with Mary Ackerley, MD

Mary Ackerley, MD, joined me for an invaluable discussion today about collective trauma and the power of oxytocin for tending to our mental health. Yes, you can take oxytocin (with a doctor’s prescription). Dr. Mary and I talked about how COVID impacted the mental health of everyone in the world, and how other types of trauma can deeply affect our ability to heal and be physically healthy. We’ve been dealing with more than one pandemic, and poor mental health certainly qualifies.

TW: there is discussion of suicide, death from overdose, and death from COVID

Dr. Ackerley would like to offer purchasers of this webinar a 10% discount when you register for her patient dispensary here and activate the autoship option! You can also find more of her content on her YouTube channel here and her practice website My Passion 4 Health.


Full Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:02):

Hello everyone. Thank you for being patient. I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off and now I’m here today with you and Dr. Mary Ackerley, my friend and colleague. And of course I forgot to print out her bio because I was running around doing all these other things. But suffice it to say she is an integrative psychiatrist. She has a practice in Tucson, Arizona. She is on the board and one of the founding members of the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness, ISEAI. And she’s a dear friend and colleague. And today we’re going to talk about some really very important topics; trauma, covid, the pandemic, and everything that we’ve gone through over the past three to four years, four years now, and what you can do about it. So thank you so much for being here, Mary.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:01:01):

Oh, you know, I’m delighted. I always enjoy talking with you. And I think over the years we’ve gotten to know each other really pretty well through ISEAI, some of the trials and tribulations of starting an organization and it’s continued on and we went right into Covid from ISEAI. And things really haven’t stopped, so I’m delighted to be here and thank you for asking me.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:01:25):

Yes, you’re welcome. Okay folks, for all the people who are here, you can go ahead and say hi in the chat and then if you have questions that arise during the presentation or our conversation, we will take questions from the Q&A section at the end. So please put them there. We’re so glad that all of you are here participating. And there will be a replay that’s sent out probably sometime early next week, so you can catch it later if you have to drop off for any reason. But we’re going to go ahead and get started. Now, Mary, did you have a PowerPoint presentation that you were going to share with us?

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:02:12):

No, just going to talk. I do have some notes I’m sort of looking at, but I wanted to just really talk directly to people because as the viral part of the pandemic is ending, and I’m going to talk about how I don’t think the mental health part has yet ended, but the viral part has become normalized. It, I’ve noticed — and remember I am a psychiatrist and I sort of forgot that for some years and worked mostly in the physical realm — is during Covid I began to get very reintroduced to the word trauma and the importance of trauma and how that was impacting my patients on so many levels. So trauma is an event, it’s a stressful event, it’s frightening, and it’s something that is difficult to cope with and people when they don’t cope with it correctly, and there’s a physiological way in which you cope with trauma, where you use both your sympathetic nervous system and your autonomic nervous system in a balanced way to handle trauma and normalize it, essentially balance it and then shake it off just the way you see the dog have something happen to it, run in front of a car, it survives, shakes itself off and is back barking and happy again within a few minutes.

(00:03:23):

Okay, well you’re sitting there usually as a human going, oh my God, oh my God, what happened? Because we don’t have nearly as good mechanisms for dealing with trauma.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:03:33):

Or even if we do shake, right? It’s so terrifying when we start to shake uncontrollably that we stop it.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:03:40):

Yes. And I can’t tell you how many people ask me, it’s like I got a massage and I started shaking, and I’m afraid my Bartonella is acting up. Like, no, that’s why you’re doing massages. You are releasing the trauma from everything going on. And we even have trauma release yoga, which is designed to stretch and fatigue the muscles. So you start to go into that kind of a shake and I’ll talk about that at the end. But I suggest if you’re looking for ways to work with trauma, trauma release, yoga is easily available, easy to do at home and involves really just letting yourself shake in a more controlled setting.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:04:16):

Fascinating. I’ve never heard of trauma release yoga. That’s great.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:04:20):

Really? Okay. It’s actually…it’s being used after school shootings now. I mean it’s so normalized. The trauma release team comes in and works with that, which is again, another trauma in itself. But we’re dealing just with Covid today as trauma in our society. And so you asked why was Covid traumatic? We know trauma does have lasting negative effects on people. Most of us don’t deal with it. Well, Covid was traumatic in so many ways, it just started with facing fears of death. And that alone is a big trauma for a lot of people. Even doctors, we get to see death and that’s sort of a privilege of being a doctor, I think is death becomes a more normal part, or people may have gone through it with their parents and have some idea. But for many people, death is something that happens behind closed doors and you only see a body or a little box at the end.

(00:05:17):

And so this whole fear of facing mortality when you’re only 35 is very frightening. And those fears were really played up, in retrospect, probably overstated. But most of us remember as we’re waiting for Covid to hit our town, it was coming from Italy — or China, then it was going to Italy. And all we heard, the hospitals were overflowing. They had no respirators. People were dying right and left. Remember this because as I talk about it, most people say, oh yeah, and then it hit New York and all you heard was, oh, all we hear is sirens day and night. They’re just going in and out. Our hospitals are overflowing and everyone’s waiting for it to hit because it seemed there was no way to prevent it in their town or community. So the fears of death were very real. But I do want to point out that by the end, the actual death rate of Covid is 0.1%.

(00:06:06):

That’s one in a thousand, which many people are very, very startled. And I pointed that out I think year two, our mold group would ask me to talk every year. So I’d sort of keep up on some of this, looking at the death rates. And when people heard what the real death rates were at the highest, they were like maybe 1.5% in the most elderly and vulnerable –and that’s 1.5 out of a hundred — is most people really overstated it. And there’s an interesting study done at one point showing the difference in what Democrats thought it was, which was like 50%. I’m serious, this is real. Versus what Republicans thought it was. And they still were overstating it, but they were down maybe more at 10% or something like that. But so politics played a very big role in your perceptions of what was going on. But everybody was really overstating death.

(00:06:58):

And that’s not an accident. It seemed to be very emphasized. And then there was the feeling of lockdown that went on right away. And the lockdown for many people who might not have even been that afraid of death, started having feelings of even being psychically held hostage. It was, especially if you had three school age kids, somewhat feeling of perhaps being held hostage, of being stuck at a home with children who had all their energy and no place to go and you were supposed to school them and keep your job — very, very difficult. And many people lost their jobs because the income stopped in many, many different businesses and there was just a lot of grief going around for everybody. And we were also told, and this is where the main theme of what I want to talk about today, is lying as a trauma. And the lies people were told as that started with, as you remember, two weeks to stop the spread, 15 days to stop the spread, which you’re smiling at this point, and part of my brain is always going, did they really say that? And I will go back and check.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:08:08):

And did we really believe that? What were we saying?

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:08:12):

Right? And yes, but I believed it. I remember believing it as, oh, this will slow it down in some magical way. This is going to keep the hospitals from getting filled up, which they weren’t actually even getting filled up in the way we thought, et cetera. But the lockdown didn’t go on for two weeks. It went on for maybe a year, maybe longer in some places.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:08:36):

Yeah, longer here for sure.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:08:38):

Okay, so all of this is extremely challenging and this is just like the first few months and many people reacted with reenactment of traumas they may have had from other times. And I was beginning at that time just to see a lot more anxiety and depression from what was going on. And they tended to be people who had previous trauma and really most humans favor stability. So when we get change thrown upon us this quickly, it’s not enjoyed by anybody and we don’t tend to react with resilience. And resilience is the key word to how you heal. All of this is just learning to roll with the punches successfully. So then just to continue on the trauma here, because it’s sort of useful sometimes to put words to it, for a lot of people they know something happened and they don’t want to talk about. And that’s actually common in pandemics. Like after the pandemic Spanish flu, you can’t find anyone really talking about it. They had, I think 500 million people die. I mean it was just an amazing amount of people I think, or became ill. But you don’t even find people writing about it. They’re just right into the roaring twenties and everyone’s having a good time and no one’s talking about the fears of death. And what happened is they were all trying to avoid dying.

(00:09:55):

So no one’s really talking much about this, but let’s go on to, we then got the vaccine and then we started the debates over vaccine efficacy and safety and those vitriolic, they were shaming. There was a ton of shaming there. Divisions within families that still have not been healed, mandates where people lost their jobs or went along with something they felt they shouldn’t go along with. And really these scars, I’m going to tell you, are more persistent to the lingering effect than the virus itself. For many, it’s the fact they’re not talking to family members. The fact they lost a job, lost a whole profession. The things that were said, the shaming, and I’m going to go over that a little bit later, but some of the things are hard to believe that were said to shame people into getting the vaccine, including threatening to put people into camps, which is all documented.

(00:10:51):

None of this stuff went away. It’s all available on YouTube, Instagram, if you go back and look at what was said. Alright, so mental health pandemic, as I’ve mentioned, I think continues to soar. You can see if you want more information, I have a YouTube video on the mental health statistics, which are pretty bad. They’re really quite bad. I’ll go over it a little bit. But really I think a lingering effect they see is that many people have become very upset to find out that authority figures have not been fully transparent with facts. And in public health, this is called a noble lie, which in medicine we’re kind of taught it’s okay to, we don’t use the word lying. It’s okay to color your facts in a way that you get people to do what the officials in charge feel they should be doing in this case, which is a pandemic.

(00:11:48):

And the noble lie, which I think we know in medicine is used to get people to be vaccinated. But my feeling has been, as in working with people — because most people, when they figure out they’ve been lied to and treated like a child, they’re pretty furious and rightly so. I’m going to go over a little bit of the shaming that’s gone on here and the lies that have happened and go over a little bit of the statistics about how mental health, I mean in mental health in 2021, which is the first year the vaccine was given, they found 42% Americans at that time were reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety. I mean nearly half the population. So I’m not making this up. And I think if you talk to a lot of people who deal with the public, everyone will say something has changed. They’re just not the same. So they’ve been traumatized. And the statistics are, it was 11% of the population before Covid actually had depression and anxiety, which is probably a little low, but to go to 42% is very, very high. It was very, very quick.

(00:13:01):

And there were many deaths that were going on. So there were deaths from Covid for the first year, which were 350,000. But we have something called deaths of despair. And deaths of despair are deaths due to drugs, alcohol and suicide. And in 2020, while we had 350,000 of Covid, which everyone heard about, everyone knew, everyone thought they knew someone who died. We had 170,000 people die that year of drug overdoses, alcohol and suicide. And I know from personal experience through patients and what I heard is at least several of those were due to lockdown where children of patients who were in drug programs, the programs just folded and the children suicided.

(00:13:52):

Those figures need to be more in two. But somehow that’s in the shade and a lot of Americans still are not aware how many people are dying of overdoses every year. It’s a phenomenal number. And I like to point out that it’s probably not just population’s fault. That’s something that everyone can squarely put the blame on the drug companies here as to why we have so many people dying of drugs. So this is going to be one of my points they make is why you might have some cynicism about drug companies when you look over their history of safety and efficacy that you’re told initially versus what we actually see. So in 2020 we have this many people dying of drug overdoses and that’s where you can say, Hey, there is a pandemic of mental health going. And the number of suicide deaths in 2022 is the highest recorded, exceeding the next closest year, 2018 by a thousand deaths.

(00:14:50):

And rates have actually increased 50% in the US population from 2000 to 2022. Yet we’re not really spending a whole lot of time on the pandemic of suicide. I mean once in a while you hear it with adolescents, but it’s kind of like, oh yeah, but it’s very real. And during the pandemic, again, going back on mental health and trauma, is teens’ use of anxiety meds doubled. These are the people I think who are most affected by the pandemic and lockdown, the years they’re supposed to be socializing with people, supposed to be in clubs, doing athletics, meeting people, they’re locked home with their parents whom — it’s normal for a teenager to fight with their parents. And they’re spending two years locked with their parents. And these are the people who seem to have become the most anxious and most suicidal. Their rates of meds just absolutely more than doubled actually from 2019 to 2022. And a lot of those were anxiety and antidepressants. And in fact–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:15:57):

Let’s talk about this a little bit, right? I think that these statistics are kind of overwhelming just in thinking about them.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:16:05):

Yeah, they are totally overwhelming

Kelly McCann, MD (00:16:08):

And the level of metaphysical, the place that people have to get to, metaphysically, in order to kill themselves or think that the world is not worth staying in, that their life is not worth living. And this is so traumatic and so huge. And so what you’re saying is that it’s not just the pandemic, it’s not just the fact that young people have access to these medications and that they should have been living their lives and they were not able to live their lives. It’s kind of all of these things stacked on top of each other, magnifying the horror that everyone is going through and nobody’s talking about it. Nobody’s paying attention to this, right?

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:17:08):

No, everyone has all eyes on Covid deaths and young people. I mean you would hear stuff, there’s the suicides and teens and bemoaning, but the amount of increase is really not being acknowledged. And I can tell you as a practitioner who still sees a lot of adolescents who have mold and Lyme too, I get a lot of kids who are much more psychiatrically disabled than I remember being at this age and on far more drugs, which is the part that really I find difficult, is coming to me on cocktails of five drugs, which bothers me a lot because the statistics are in [20]22, that I think basically we had more prescriptions written for antidepressants. 337 million prescriptions were written for antidepressants in the US –this is in [20]21 — and our population’s 332 million. That’s means that more than one prescription was written for every man, woman and child in the us and that’s just SSRIs.

(00:18:14):

And that rate has just very steadily increased. If you look at my video, I go over the statistics, more of the suicide statistics — I’m just giving you the highlights — is that really we get to 2022 is nearly a quarter of the population is actually medicating for anxiety and depression and half the nation’s reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression. So for all of us wondering what is happening to people because you’ll be in stores or you’re dealing with them in a service sort of way, and they’re angry, they’re upset, they seem very confused and not on top of things. There’s a lot going on that everyone is hoping antidepressants is going to take care of, but it’s not and it hasn’t ended. And it seems to just be getting worse because a lot of adolescents have in a sense lost their lives, a bit of their lives, or a bit of the years when it was very unnormal [sic].

(00:19:06):

And what they saw around them was probably a lot of mishaps and mishandling from society about the way this is going. Adolescents really like the truth. So does everybody. Okay. We just like consistency. We like to be told the same thing. And what we were told, the evolving nature of the pandemic necessitated all sorts of things being told that were hard to swallow, but there were just so many things told that were changed. Physical distancing, which turned out to be a made up number pretty much, the masking, not masking, masking, with Fauci saying mask, don’t mask, then mask, which left everybody somewhat angry at each other. And I’m going to talk about this whole thing about how the rage turns to the other person not doing what you think is correct, how that’s encouraged. So there’s the masking issues, there’s the wiping down everything because the pandemic, do you remember everyone was leaving their Amazon boxes outside?

(00:20:06):

You’re laughing. These were all done. And you can look at sometimes the pictures, you can look sometimes at the pictures of people wearing boxes over their heads because they couldn’t get enough masks, and walking with tents around them and balloons around them to keep people six feet away and wonder what was anybody thinking? They weren’t thinking. And that is one of the key points to make here about stress. When you’re in trauma, when you’re in stress — this is well documented — you just don’t get the blood flow to the frontal lobes that you should be getting. The frontal lobes of the adult. One of the reasons adolescents are considered adolescents and don’t get all the rights of adults is their frontal lobes are not fully developed. They don’t really have the same logical decision-making capacities, impulses are harder to resist. This is all documented neuropsychology. And what you were seeing was a nation of limbic dysregulation, which is the word we use in mold all the time as people in panic, fighting the tiger in trauma, doing foolish things. They were in fear, fear for their lives, which again was probably overstated and was clearly misperceived by many, but in fear or they were in freeze doing nothing and just, I still have people who haven’t left their rooms.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:21:25):

Oh yes, a very dear friend of ours, who’s well-known in the integrative community, still won’t go out to conferences, which is just such a shame. There’s still so much fear around that.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:21:43):

Right. That fear is very real. The facts may not be that real, but the fear is very real. I just want to make that point. I make it with mast cells all the time. The perception of fear and danger is in the brain. It’s not a reality-based situation. And some people’s limbic systems are just perpetually at a hundred. Okay? So then there’s a whole other set of lies. And the reason I’m focusing on lies is because of many of the things that were done — I think lying and finding out the government has lied and probably on purpose, although — finding out your government has lied to you is for many people very difficult. And the government did overstate certainly the idea of safety and efficacy, and I think that’s been really well shown. And these are just being read from what other doctors have written, a list of — this was someone examining, again, the sort of politics of compliance and lying.

(00:22:52):

And he said, here are the things that were said. It’s just a vaccine. That was the first thing said to everyone, [they] said, it’s just a vaccine. What’s the problem? It stays in the arm. It only lasts a few days. It doesn’t integrate into the genome. And it’s certainly not gene therapy. There is no DNA in that vaccine and it doesn’t go into the nucleus. All of these things were said repeatedly. It’s safe in pregnancy and doesn’t go into the placenta. I’m going to come back to that statement. It doesn’t stay in the arm, it goes everywhere. But that’s really a good thing, and this is where people get a little upset, is when things they were told turned out to not be true. And then there’s a plasmic concentration contamination, but it’s only in small doses and there’s no evidence that causes any harm until there is evidence that it may cause harm because it would be linked to dysregulation in the body and then okay, it goes into the placenta, but that means the baby’s protected too.

(00:23:52):

There are just so many things that we’re told that turned out to not be true. This is another sampler here. So many people at some point realize, and it may be realizing that when the many people asked for the safety, that we were told repeatedly it was safe and effective, safe and effective, safe and effective, no doubt. As well as effective vaccine will stop that transmission with you. The vaccine will stop. The virus stops with you, Fauci saying that. And the efficacy was 99%, 95%, 92%, 87%, 83% going down to 35%, in which case we needed a booster. So it was not effective. And then we needed another one, and then we needed another one. And it’s at that point that many people began to wonder what they meant by effective. So the point I’m making here is just that for many people they’ve had, everyone had to make a choice.

(00:24:55):

You’re going to get vaccinated or not vaccinated. And that was a choice everyone made, and it was a choice. Even if you were mandated, you didn’t have the choice to quit your job, not support your family, lose your profession. It was a very tough choice, but many people had to make that choice and you had to trust that the people were telling you the truth. And many people did not trust it based on — a patient just told me yesterday, and she may be listening, I said, I’m going to use this. She said, I’ve had 30 years of chronic illness and I can’t tell you how many times what doctors have told me has not only been wrong, but has made me much worse. They’ve never really known what I’ve had anyway. They’ve gaslit me. It’s all been psychiatric. Why would I possibly trust yet another new therapy? And I’ve had several patients tell me the same. It’s just my experience with chronic illness is such that I don’t believe anything. The CDC says, the FDA says, the CDC told me Lyme is just rare. Well, it’s not rare. Everyone in my family has Lyme.

(00:26:00):

Why am I trusting them now? So there’s a whole contingent of people who didn’t believe this. As somebody who’s worked with drugs for a long time as a doctor, I knew they lied about pain medicines. I still remember, I’m old enough to remember when I was told to take pain as the fifth vital sign, and I should medicate that as a good doctor, that I should medicate every pain symptom reported to me. Well, that’s flipped the whole way, and we’ve already talked about the opioid — but those were not truthful statements. There was no evidence to support that, but it didn’t enrich the drug companies. A similar story is in psychiatric meds. I document that on YouTube. We don’t have to go into it, but the data was very overstated. When you actually got a Freedom of Information Act and looked at the real studies, SSRIs really don’t turn out to be any more effective than diet and exercise.

(00:26:54):

And usually diet and exercise is more effective. That’s when you put all the studies released. So what’s happened with Covid where a lot of people have begun to wonder and catch on that truths weren’t being told is people asked Freedom [of] Information, wanted Pfizer to release the safety data because they were noticing that many things were going on with people seeming to be sick. And that was not being reported. They were told it was safe, but they were seeing people have reactions. Pfizer turned around and said, we want 75 years to release these safety documents. At which point any normal person would say, you have no liability for this product you’ve manufactured. You’ve made $33 billion in the first year alone on this product, and now you tell us you need 75 years to pull your safety data together when most of us will be dead. How in the world are you telling the truth?

(00:27:51):

That’s not transparent. And so many of the things I’m talking about are coming from the eventual dribbling out of the safety data from Pfizer, which the government and Freedom of Information had a press doing this. So that’s where we are with the safety, the transparency and the lying. And the lying is very traumatic because it’s a sense of betrayal. And many people who’ve been betrayed in their lives with family issues, with early childhood trauma, take lying very poorly. It breaks — we have a social contract with each other, and when that social contract is broken and you are lied to, it violates the whole social contract, which is the point of giving people power and government to govern you is you have a contract, you’re going to do what’s best for us.

(00:28:47):

That’s where we are now. So, there’s a lot more I could say about the politics of compliance and how probably a lot of basically media control was used to manipulate people who were compliant into pretty much hating the people who weren’t compliant and how that’s been used before in communist China. It’s how Mao actually has talked about it and how he ruled China by dividing his population into the compliant he called the People. And the noncompliant were always the Problem. Whenever anything went wrong with his policies like famine, it was against the People and it was the people who didn’t comply that were the Problem. And he would get the people infuriated that somehow they were being deprived of food or a livelihood because of others when it was truly the government’s fault. You can see similarities. I don’t think any of us really want to look at our country and say there’s similarities to communist China, but you can see similarities here in sort of weaponizing the truth, and compliance, and having us fight each other, which is not really a great idea as we continue to fight and shame each other.

(00:29:59):

And that is, as they say, one of the most lasting scars that I’ve seen, is families that don’t talk, children and parents that don’t talk, the hurt, the real hurt about not going to Christmas because someone believes that the third vaccine would do something. So to prevent anyone at Christmas from getting Covid, which everyone did get Covid anyway. So… you want to make — we’ve talked about division labeling, stereotyping, “divide and conquer” is kept alive and well, it’s almost military grade in some ways, the psychological manipulation that’s been used on our population, and yet all of us are living through this and need to heal from it. So I can talk about some ways, but you might still have some questions here, Kelly.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:30:50):

Yeah, gosh, it really, it’s interesting reflecting back on how it was in the very, very beginning when we first really knew nothing. And I remember we did everything that everybody else did. We did what they told us to do. We stayed home immediately and wiped down all of our groceries. And then I was thinking, this is insanity. How long do we have to do this for? Yeah, but I did buy the idea that oh, two weeks, it’ll be better. What? We know that —

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:31:35):

You’re looking back now is, did they really say that? Because I’m always asking myself, did I really hear this? Because this is crazy. Because I wouldn’t have believed that. But yes, I did believe it.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:31:45):

Yeah, I did believe it and so many things, and it seemed we could rationalize that as they changed what they told us, the government, Fauci, they changed what they told us. It was because new information came to light or we had to preserve the masks for the healthcare workers. And that’s why bandanas were okay–

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:32:16):

I forgot about that. Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:32:19):

Yeah. So there was a rational explanation that you could sort of understand, okay, well yeah, not everybody gets N-95s because the healthcare workers need it, but the longer and longer this went on, the more and more bizarre it became. And we’re taught that we’re supposed to have some sort of critical thinking, but at the same time, the critical thinking was not encouraged.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:32:58):

No, it was actively discouraged.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:00):

Actively discouraged. And I remember pretty early on too, when they would have a clip on the news about a young person who died, maybe they were 30 or something like that, and they showed pictures of this person. They were always overweight and nobody talked about the fact that, hey, it really seems that we could do a better job of getting healthy, losing weight, treating our diabetes, stop eating junk food, exercise, and take your vitamin D, and these things. This was such a missed opportunity in my mind as a person with a medical degree.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:33:44):

It was actively discouraged because I would make the point to my — when I talked every year — is I’d say, so far to the best of my knowledge, my active patient population, nobody has died and nobody’s even been hospitalized. People are lik, Oh my God, no, that couldn’t be, you must be a super doc. Like no, doing the same stuff that we’ve always done, which is emphasizing eat well, get sleep, take some supplements, look at your mental health, do some exercise, continue on your mold and Lyme treatments. And every year it’s like the same. It’s like, nope, nobody dying and —

Kelly McCann, MD (00:34:28):

Nobody —

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:34:28):

The most functional doctors, they have the same statistics. And we were all told to even talk about vitamin D as being helpful was wrong. Oh my God, was that wrong? And there was so much evidence base to show that vitamin D did nothing, and that was just encouraging vaccine hesitancy and on and on until we get to the big controversies, the drugs, which we should not name, of which the FDA, I think recently had to retract some of those statements they made because they were practicing medicine when they declared nobody should use this. It was only for horses, which wasn’t true. It had only won the Nobel Prize.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:06):

In medicine, not veterinary medicine.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:35:07):

But without doing all of that, just a normal functional approach to life. Everyone got through.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:13):

Exactly, yes.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:35:16):

So that’s the reality, and that’s why looking back, it’s like, wow, if someone had told me that three years later, I’d be looking back at my patient population and — hey, just keep doing what you’re doing because everyone makes it through, and sit back and relax because you’re going to see a lot of drama going on, but don’t get too involved. I would’ve appreciated it.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:36):

Hindsight is always 20/20 vision, right?

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:35:40):

Don’t get doing all the debate you see going on here. So that gets us a little bit into treatment, and one of the big things is just developing resiliency, and which is treating trauma, is a big subject, but one of the first things you learn about treating trauma is you have to be able to give words to it, which is one reason for going through this and why my even opening up this conversation with people can be so helpful. Most of us have just shoved it in our junk drawer as I call it– which is usually the hips by the way. But really just like, oh, I am back, I’m doing things I want to do, I’m forgetting about this stuff. And you really actually have to sort of acknowledge it and realize you did lose critical thinking. Everybody had fears at some point. It has impacted all of us as doctors, we definitely had, really, gag orders, not the same as say, Australia, where they had actual gag orders and people lost their licenses for just saying, hey, lockdown is not great when the father’s an abuser.

(00:36:50):

Basically, that’s not a great idea. There’s a psychologist in Australia who’s talking out about that. And she was amazed to see how censored she was for even putting out that lockdown really didn’t seem necessary for the school children, which was another debate in and of itself, who were we rescuing with the school children? So all of these things is just a healthy discussion without fear of losing your license, losing your life somehow by not doing the right thing, getting on a government watch list, all of these things, healthy debate, because a lot of this stuff has not ended.

(00:37:31):

I also tell people in the process of healing trauma, which I’m such a big proponent of for getting over chronic health issues, and has many approaches, most of them involve getting into your body, starting to tell the truth to yourself, starting to feel some suppressed emotions, learning to release them from the body in multiple ways. These things start to help. And I am going to just suggest that just sort of being honest, the things you did in the beginning, which you’d rather forget about, just be looked at, but the fears and stuff going through it, and I know I keep records now of all these little videos that come by my way on X or something like that of what people really said at the height of the vaccine, pandemic. And I keep them because it really was bad, and I can understand why it was fearful to hear this stuff.

(00:38:24):

I mean, there are people, commentators like, I’ll name some names — Howard Stern, Jim Cramer — screaming that everyone should be telling people exactly what they were in vulgar language if they didn’t get vaccinated and stating they should all be camps. They should all be rounded up and put in camps. Now, this is really strange in retrospect. Both of these people are Jewish and would seem to have the least, should have the greatest knowledge of why we don’t round people up and put them into camps when they don’t agree with the political majority. But those things are all on tape. No one can go back really on what they said. And now you’re beginning to see doctors somehow switching from totally recommending the vax [sic] to suddenly, oh, yes, I can see there’s some problems. Well, I think you’re going to need to own up for most of us as to what you said and what you recommended without just switching into, oh, there might be some problems. But that’s a whole other thing of like, Hey, as we come together to heal, just forgiving everybody isn’t going to be the easiest thing in the world. So for trauma —

Kelly McCann, MD (00:39:34):

Yeah, let’s talk about how we can start to treat that trauma and maybe go into a little bit more detail.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:39:44):

Sure. Things I recommend are going to be, well, trauma yoga is good, but I think first of all is the recognition. I recommend someone on YouTube who’s free, has a lot of good free stuff, who talks a language. And again, you need to start to learn the language. And her name is Irene Lyon, LYON. She’s excellent. Just listening to her voice will calm most people down, and voice is really important in trauma. So she’s really good, very easily accessible. She has some resources where she starts with somatic classes. A lot of this is going to be somatic experiencing, learning to feel that feeling in the gut, which — where I feel things often is a feeling in my gut of something bad’s going to happen. And I’ve talked before about how I began to see during Covid, several people who had these similar feelings or had unstable adults currently in the home with them and with lockdown, everyone was facing their demons, I think, a little. There wasn’t work and school to distract what was going on. As I saw gut issues actually just heal within a month when the unstable adult basically was removed from the home through separation and divorce. And I got it. Like Mary, trauma’s real, especially for these GI issues. You’re a psychiatrist. How did you forget this? Well, I did. You get so locked into like, should I do rifaximin or berberine, and it’s like, no, it’s the bipolar, alcoholic adult in the house who constantly is terrorizing the wife and children, needs to go, and suddenly vagal tone can come. So there has to really be an assessment of learning. Like no, it’s not normal to live in a state of hypervigilance, always defending yourself, always managing other people’s emotions. And these are the things you just start to explore. I’m not making suggestions to anybody, but when you start listening to some of the trauma tapes and recognizing what’s normal human behavior, what’s abnormal, and how people are harmed by other people’s behavior, most people begin to get a more realistic appraisal of their childhood and an appreciation that they actually may have been very brave in what they’ve gone through and that it’s time, as safety as an adult, to start to relax into it.

(00:42:02):

Because as many of us have learned, safety is how you get your mitochondria to work, which is a key point, which is not intuitive at all, that your mitochondria, your battery power packs, are totally ruled by your vagal nerve and safety. And so again, you and I both work with mold patients. We see it all the time. If you’re totally in a state, if you’re in panic over mold, running from home to home, fighting the “tiger of mold,” I call it, and you are not feeling safe and you’re not going to absorb all the supplements you’re taking, you’re not going to relax enough to actually detox all the stuff that needs to come out and you’re not going to heal. It’s really that simple. And I’ve stopped in many ways, pushing so many protocols and supplements and tried to get people to look at ACE scores, childhood ACE scores, which you can find online easily. And just find out what your childhood ACE score is–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:05):

Adverse childhood event for those who are listening who may not know what an ACE score is, adverse childhood event.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:43:12):

Right. And you may be surprised again, and it’s usually the most traumatized who are the most surprised to find out that the alcoholic father and depressed mother, and brother who killed themselves, puts them in a category that they’re going to have to work harder for their health than other people who had a good, they’re usually the most surprised because they’re the survivors who survive by minimizing it. So all of these things became a lot more clear to me through, through some of my own experiences, is just beginning to look at, wow, the nervous system, which I gloss over all the time from the brain to the body, just totally gloss over this vagal nerve and sympathetic system, is incredibly important in the role of health. And you can’t gloss over it. In fact, it’s the key obstacle to getting better. So Irene Lyon is good.

(00:44:01):

I lik, at this point, Primal Trust because it addresses trauma as well as brain retraining. I am not a fan of just brain retraining. And I’ll say it plainly, is I don’t think it’s enough to just sit there and go cancel, cancel. That you’re working with your inner child. When we say you’re working with your body, it’s really your inner child, the 4-year-old that was lied to. And so when you’re learning some technique where you’re saying, cancel, cancel, all the time, you’re dealing with a little inner child that’s going, you’re lying to me. You’re lying to me again, and I’m not listening. I’m not listening. And so these mind techniques that sort of just are mind over body and ignore body — not good. They’re not going to heal you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:44:43):

Many people get into trauma because, they get into these loops because when they were in a traumatic experience, they came out of their bodies, so they disassociate in order to survive that experience. And so the last–

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:44:59):

Which, I would say: many of us disassociated to get through Covid, if I were to make that point, including myself, including you, probably, of just like, well, I’m putting these boxes out. I don’t really believe it, but I’m going to leave them out there for five days. Anyway, we kind of dissociated from it to get through it, which you and I learned in medical school to just–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:45:19):

Oh, absolutely.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:45:20):

Totally reinforced.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:45:22):

Got to keep going.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:45:23):

That’s what they’re telling me to do. Just do it. No, I don’t really believe it, but I’m just going to do it. So that dissociation is a major key in getting better, is recognizing it. How many ways, many times a day you’d dissociate from your true self, your inner self, what you really believe.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:45:42):

And it’s that disconnection that I think is so key in all chronic illness, whether it’s mold, mast cell activation, Lyme disease, long haul Covid, all of the folks who are struggling with these chronic illnesses, trauma, and finding that sense of safety and healing, that divide, that division between your authentic self and your physical body. That’s where the true healing happens. And I think one of the challenges for doctors, whether it’s a medical doctor like myself, who’s an internist, or even if people are coming to you, Mary, as a psychiatrist, they’re still coming because they have physical complaints and they might have mental complaints. But for us to then turn around and say, okay, it’s actually the authentic self and the disconnection of the authentic self, that’s where we need to do the work. And I find that if oftentimes we have to start where the person is at, so they start with, I have headaches, gastrointestinal issues. I think I might have SIBO, I was mold exposed, I am depressed, I’m anxious. And then we have to help them with their symptoms. So then they trust that —

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:47:14):

They trust you, they trust you, Kelly.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:47:17):

Yes. So that we can actually move forward in a therapeutic relationship. And at some point, hopefully the trust is there so that we can have these difficult conversations and okay, now you’re ready. We’ve moved beyond the body and now we have to reconnect your spirit.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:47:38):

You and I are totally in agreement. I was going to say… to end, is the reason I talk about this, and will keep talking about it, is totally fascinates me how a whole world was, in a sense, hoodwinked into believing all of this stuff that is like, how has this happened? When in retrospect, most of us can look back and say, what? And I always think it’s just a pop quiz. You look at what’s going on in the world. Many of us are going to be given decisions that are difficult, may not be what the government wants or may not be what your doctor recommends. And you need to find that authentic self and listen to it. The regrets I hear most from people are, people who took the vaccine and had an inner voice that said, don’t do this, this is not you. This isn’t you, don’t do vaccines. This isn’t great. And they’re asking me, I don’t know why I took it. And all I can say is we can’t change what happened. There are things we can do and work with injury and stuff, but the biggest thing you need to learn is what seduced you into overriding your authentic self, your inner voice, and got you, hooked you into basically what I call mind control. And those are questions that I would just say people answer personally, there are many things, but the biggest one for most is the social good one. They want to be good people. We all want to be good people. We want to be liked and admired. We don’t want to hurt people. So the stuff about killing grandma, killing your grandchildren, or doing harm to other people, many, many people bought into that and are very regretful now because they’re finding all those people they thought were helping have scattered like the wind and they’re left with their vaccine injury and no one cares.

(00:49:25):

So that’s very difficult. And then if people want a bit of a plan to follow for how you heal trauma, is unfortunately in the last year or so, I’ve seen more cancer in my practice than I’ve seen. And I’ve been practicing for a while and I would see once every three years. And in fact, we used to talk about how mold seemed to be carcinogenic because of low Veg-F, so I’m getting more practice with cancer. And someone in stage four colon cancer who’s in perfect remission now, mentioned he was doing the book Radical Remission, A Guide to Overcoming Severe Cancer. And it’s a guide for the practices people do when they have cancer and they stay in remission. And I’ve thought it’s very good and it’s very good guide. But what I’d really like people to hear is, please, let’s start doing your gratitude journal before you get cancer. I really don’t want to hear another person tell me, I’m so grateful I got cancer. Now I know gratitude.

(00:50:23):

That’s a really harsh lesson, so I’m just going to read you what it is. And it’s really, again, everything you and I do in our practices working with people, because both of us seem fairly able to work with mind and body without thinking, oh, now I’m doing body, now I’m doing mind. For me, it’s like a very natural flow, right? One: is radically changing the diet when you get cancer and everyone does that, and unfortunately this person who’s staged four colon cancer, the first thing he said, I know for years you told me to stop the popsickls.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:50:59):

Popsicles or pop?

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:51:00):

Popsicles

Kelly McCann, MD (00:51:01):

Popsicles!

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:51:02):

The sugar. It was just high sugar. And it’s like, please, if I can get a message out to anybody, if I’m telling you to try and change your diet, don’t wait until you get this diagnosis. So he had radically changed his diet, had a personal shift, and he’s doing great. I just wish he didn’t have to go through this. Becoming — [two:] taking control of your own health. That realization you get when, oh, the only person who really cares about my health is not the government, is not even my doctor, it’s me. And if my doctor’s caring more about my health than me, there’s a problem. Okay, [three:] following your intuition, both you and I are talking about that. That’s that inner voice, that’s the gut feeling. That’s that feeling like this isn’t for me. Even if I don’t have the words here, my intuition is this is not a good thing, or I need a lot more information. [Four:] using herbs and supplements. Great. The total opposite of what we were told during COVID-19, in which it seemed every herb and supplement suddenly was dangerous, CDC was investigating, taking off the market like things that seemed totally safe for years, like Ivermectin, which has a 40-year safety history is now completely unsafe. And it was like, wow, I never knew about how much damage that could do.

(00:52:15):

I don’t know why WHO had it in its list of 10 useful meds! Okay, [five:] releasing suppressed emotions. That’s what we’re certainly talking about. And that’s one of the reasons I go through some of the unpleasant facts about Covid is just to get people to laugh at least, and not suppress them, but to realize a lot of us have suppressed anger and fear still about what’s going on, and there’s going to be a lot more, as more and more people kind of wake up, the vaccine injury is not going away. Things seem worse, the government still is not taking responsibility. I see more and more visible anger in patients, which I encourage to, you want to express it, and then you want to handle it in the same way that dog shakes it off and goes on, because that’s increasing positive emotions. And that’s your gratitude journal.

(00:53:08):

And actually that’s one of the keys I think you can take home. The easiest thing to do, it’s free and it really, really changes your neurochemistry to just start finding gratitude before you get cancer. That can be the first thing is, I don’t have cancer. I’m totally grateful. I’m learning about this now. And it says, [six:] embracing your social support and deepening your spiritual connection. Again, the inner voice. So I just think that this is — hey, 14 books out [in] 10 years, someone put together the recipe of what keeps people from relapsing and staying in remission. And that’s really helpful. And I know there’s some questions here. I know I talk a lot about oxytocin. I probably don’t have time today, there is on my YouTube channel, but oxytocin, as you and I have talked about a lot, is a very useful way to help the body feel parasympathetic tone, to enhance vagal tone, to decrease inflammation, to bring about a lot of positive health changes like bones, and it’s very anticarcinogenic, so you might as well put that in there with using herbs and supplements, oxytocin and low dose Naltrexone, top of my list for post-Covid.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:54:26):

I love oxytocin. It’s great stuff. It helps with sleep, it helps with anxiety and mood. I love that we talked about it on the Mast Cell Summit. For those of you who happened to purchase the most recent mast cell summit back last year, check out Dr. Ackerley and my conversation about oxytocin. Maybe we can answer a few more questions about that. But one of the things I really want to say is I think that we can use chronic illness the same way that people wake up when they get cancer. I think the big difference is that cancer is this discreet life-threatening thing, right? Oh my gosh, I got the C diagnosis, I got to do whatever it takes. Whereas when we have a chronic illness, it’s this slow decline, loss of certain foods, loss of ability to do things, increase in pain, loss of quality of life.

(00:55:30):

And it’s that slow decline where we don’t recognize that we need to make a change and we need to make a drastic radical change, radical remission in order to get from where we are in this chronic illness to where we really want to be. And so my encouragement would be absolutely, look, use these opportunities when you have chronic issues to evaluate what is your body trying to tell you. What is your being trying to tell you and paying attention, and following that thread, really listening to yourself and following that thread and using some of these great ideas like changing your diet and — [sneeze] excuse me — following your intuition, all of these things so that you can use your chronic issues for good in the same way that cancer patients do without having to get that diagnosis.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:56:36):

Please do the gratitude journal before you get cancer. And yes, it was kind of my point I was making is that everyone who is, in a sense, fortunate enough to be a patient of chronic illness during Covid survived as far as I know in my population and didn’t even get hospitalized because they were doing many of these things without the words radically changing their life, but they were doing enough of this stuff to keep good health going. And it’s just my biggest point, and I think yours too, is it takes a number of things to really change the boat around, but it’s quite possible when you have chronic health issues.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:57:16):

Absolutely. So a couple people in the chat are saying, I really want to hear more about oxytocin. So can you give us maybe a couple minute survey, tour, on oxytocin and then where people can get it? How do they get it? I’d really love to honor those questions.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:57:35):

Sure. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide. It’s the love hormone, and it has many, many positive properties in the body, which are amazing. It actually exists in all mammals and even reptiles. Rattlesnakes have oxytocin, which totally amazes me, but it’s pretty much probably how the human race has survived is by oxytocin, which allows mother and child to bond. And in terms of health benefits, they have two sort of types of benefits. One is very well studied for anxiety, anxiety and autism, social anxiety, and it is helpful and people do use it, but I think the physical effects, which is what Kelly and I have talked about, are very underappreciated because it’s so anti-inflammatory, in how much benefit it brings to the body. The bone growth is amazing. When you think of all the horrible options most women have for bone growth that are unnatural and do unnatural bone, oxytocin is a really good choice. The fact that you can take something that makes you feel good, help your sleep and is anticarcinogenic and helps wrinkles, and I’ve begun to notice it really does help wrinkles. I know you and I have joked about it, but I’m looking at some people and saying they are looking younger.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:58:53):

Oh, me too. Certainly.

Mary Ackerley, MD (00:58:55):

Right? It’s like perfect.

(00:58:58):

It has really positive effects for the heart and growing stem cells, and that’s a very big deal. We haven’t gotten into vaccine injury. I saw people have asked about it. Obviously, Kelly and I are very well aware of vaccine injury and we haven’t had time to talk about all of it. But when you have a vaccine that’s delivered really without safety, human safety data and was very limited and where the cardiac incidents were actually ignored, and that’s well documented too, that Pfizer had knowledge of deaths and cardiac incidents. It didn’t report when it was telling everyone it was safe. You need things to handle the heart, the betrayal of the heart of being lied to, and the regular heart. Oxytocin is a good choice, and I’m seeing it really help POTS patients who are having problems. So where do you get it? Belmar [Pharma Solutions Compounding Pharmacy] is where I get it, because I just happen to feel the tablets I get the most compliance with.

(00:59:55):

You can do intranasal and many compounding pharmacies will make intranasal and make drops and may be a better choice for some mast cell patients, although it is a mast cell stabilizer. And I’d say overall, I have less reactions with oxytocin than anything. I was just reviewing a study of adolescents and children, a big double-blind controlled study looking for how much had helped with autism. It did not help much when they really did this whole thing, and these were severely autistic, headbanging. But what was really interesting to me was when you looked at the side effects, which I was interested in, the side effects in the oxytocin group were for the most part, less than the control group. So if you think about what that means, folks, it did have some positive physical improvement in people, the random aches and pains. People were getting less in the oxytocin group.

(01:00:56):

So yes, it is a prescription, and yes, I think you do need to work with a doctor. There’s no way to really get this on your own. And the doctor can belong to ISEAI, listen to me, listen to other people. There are multiple ways to dose it, but I will just say for long-term dosing, I usually start at about 60 IUs and go up to 200 and higher in some patients. So that’s it for oxytocin, and low-dose Naltrexone I think is a similar miracle for many people with recovery from Covid and long Covid. Its ability to modulate the immune system. As we know, both Covid and the vaccine, the spike has really damaged the immune system in many people. And I think low dose Naltrexone is the best we can offer in somehow modulating this IG-4 increase and decrease in the other immunoglobulins.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:01:54):

And for people who — LDN is also prescribed, it’s usually compounded in low doses. There are some ways to get a commercially available product and diluted, I’m not familiar with how to do that, but I think that there are websites where you can figure out how to do that with a commercial — like, say you could only afford to go to your commercial doctor. The other thing about LDN is you can’t really, shouldn’t take it if you are on any narcotics or have anticipation that you might need narcotics because it will prevent the narcotics from working. And that’s pretty important to be aware of.

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:02:46):

Except if you’re working in a pain scenario where somebody who’s knowledgeable is using it to help get you off narcotics, which is really, really, really valuable. So they can use it at low doses and stuff. So I see we have, I can’t believe how many questions here.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:03:04):

We have so many questions.

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:03:04):

[Many] chats and 21 comments and things like how do vaccines, immunotherapy and homeopathy compare? I am a homeopath, I love homeopathy. I’m a trained homeopath. I’m aware of homeopathy and the vaccine and I’ve had interesting results in people’s blood works and the homeopathy that was available for the Covid vaccine. So it’s too long, I think, to go into that. But my preference, if you haven’t gathered, in all things, is to use things with the least amount of harm, of which homeopathy is going to be top of the list.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:03:38):

Do you want to keep going? Mary, do you want to keep going with some of those questions? So the next question is what about the fact that the public wasn’t told, oh, that’s not the next one. Yes. The public wasn’t told this would be a yearly mandated vaccine —

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:03:54):

Add it to your list of lies. I mean, just assume that almost everything we were told in the beginning, if they had told us the truth, you’re going to lose your job if you don’t get it, you’re going to get this every year or twice a year, it’s going to have damage, but we haven’t told you about it or to me, I would have to say the strongest lie that really bothers me a lot is that when pregnant women were told this was safe, the research was only done on rats, 40 French rats, if that makes any difference, I think it should have been American rats. But it just is an absolute travesty of everything we’ve learned as doctors and that keeps getting hidden. And even for me to say that — I checked it again, is this really true? Yeah, it is really true. Pfizer never let pregnant women enter their trials.

(01:04:41):

So there was no data on pregnant women when they told everyone it was safe. Not only that, but that’s a wonderful example of the bullying that was then done to women. Incredible bullying stories I’ve heard of by doctors who, pretty much intimidating them and you’re going to hurt your child and you won’t be able in the hospital if you don’t get this vaccine. So that’s one that might make the legal — you’re starting to talk about the Nuremberg Code and informed consent and things that I am very passionate about, is you don’t manipulate people into giving consent to novel therapies. Okay, so you hit a hot button there for me. And how were pregnant women and newborns affected? Well, you have to have the research done by people who are honest to know that. So. And [next question] how do we clear out the corruption? I mean these are great questions folks, but —

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:38):

They’re fantastic questions. Yeah–

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:05:41):

Kelly and I are saying there are real problems here and we are starting to be as honest as we’re allowed to be within the confines of regulatory agencies that there’s incredible problems. And I think that when people lie, there should be consequences at a very, that social contract I’m talking about is real, lying as you were taught, it was bad as a kid. There is a reason because we have to believe that people tell us the truth. It’s not okay to lie. It really isn’t. And your truth, your word, your integrity are built on this. And we live in a society where lying is an art form and you’re mostly told, well everybody lies. So we lie and we’re lying for people’s — the good of other people and it’s not really evil or it’s the lesser of two evils, everyone forgetting. It’s still evil when you say that. And the respect for truth and integrity is something that has to come from many, many different layers. And I think all of us hope we see that change.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:06:45):

Yes. Let’s see. I’ll just let you keep going. You’re on a roll rather than–

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:06:55):

Okay, do we think we know the truth on vax injuries? Of course not. We don’t know the truth about anything, but there is a paper that was redacted I believe that came out saying 7 million deaths, 17 million vax injuries. And I think that paper has been redacted, but that was an estimate. So as a homeopath, how did I approach Covid? In the same way a post chronic illness or chronic fatigue. And there were again, very underground homeopathic remedies for the vaccines and stuff that I had some patients find and use. And it was very interesting. Their blood seemed to show that it did help make changes in their blood, which I found fascinating as a homeopath to even see that, as it was more than energetic. How effective is oxytocin and healing trauma? Well, it’s as effective as Adderall is in cleaning your room. Okay, so oxytocin–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:59):

I like that analogy.

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:08:03):

What it is, is oxytocin by itself is not going to heal your trauma. It sets the conditions, helps you with the motivation, helps you feel what it might feel like to heal trauma. You are still going to have to do some inner work to make these connections. And this is just someone who’s been experienced a long time and people thinking a drug is going to fix their lives. Okay?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:08:25):

There’s no amount of supplements or even getting therapies like acupuncture, reading books, none of that is going to fix your life. You actually have to do the work.

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:08:37):

Okay. Long Covid is honestly, to me, is no different than long Lyme, long Epstein-Barr and long mold. I have not seen anything that makes it different. If it’s long vax injury, there probably is a difference in the immune system that we’re learning about very, very slowly. But just in terms of hearing that post Covid is different, I’m delighted that the phenomenon of postviral fatigue is getting a lot more notice and money directed to it. But it’s been present since I think the 1930s. And it’s another gaslighting, mostly women, sort of it doesn’t really exist, yuppie flu. It could be a whole long talk again about medicine and gaslighting. Is vaccine shedding a real phenomenon? I think there are many, many suggestions that it is real. And any articles or evidence we can draw upon? Not really. Are you aware of Kelly, of anything? I mean, there’s the breath with the exosomes and viral fragments being sent.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:09:47):

I’m not, I haven’t been keeping up on that literature.

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:09:51):

And I would say I have not quite either. And sometimes I can’t tell you how many things I read that are actually redacted. My best reference for people to look, if you want to refer to things is a paper that just came out and I was incredibly impressed by it, by Stephanie Seneff and Jessica Rose, who have been very, very pro-science in my words and spoke up very bravely at many times. The paper just came out a couple of months ago. It’s Lessons Learned From the mRNA Covid Vaccine. And you can just look up Stephanie Seneff as the author and they reference every paper that hasn’t been redacted and go through all of this. And I think it’s really good as a reference I’ve downloaded and look at it, to look through all the different stuff, that research that has been done. Because again, even as busy doctors, the real truths and the useful truths usually depend on people going through and redoing the data to find out what was really said. So we all depend at this point on a network of doctors who have the time and the expertise to actually wade through all of this stuff.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:11:17):

So somebody asked, does Dr. Ackerley preferred Primal Trust over DNRS Brain Retraining and the Gupta method? I think that you answered that one, but —

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:11:27):

I think I did, is my preference is for a program that’s affordable and seems to encompass the most trauma healing and really, really incorporates the body in a way more so than the DNRS does. And Gupta does do a lot of body, I’m just finding that people make it through Primal Trust, in a way, they get more engaged. And that’s really important to me. So I can tell you the number of people I’ve had who’ve bought the other programs, well, I’m doing it and two years later, I’m doing it and they’re not doing it. As Primal Trust seems to engage people in a way they’re making better progress. So, may not be content so much as the way it’s delivered.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:12:13):

I have one Mary, it is more personal, but I think — so this one is from J. I’ve been struggling with suicidal thoughts from childhood, PTSD, 20 years of mold poisoning. Now MCAS, no more money for medical care. Suicidal thoughts have gotten worse. I have a hard time going out of the house. I don’t want to live on this planet anymore. I used to work on my mental health, but now I’ve become resistant to healing because it’s opposite of my desire to die. Where to start?

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:12:55):

That’s a difficult one. And certainly you’re not alone, which might be again, why I would push Primal Trust, as you need to be with other people and have that social support of people who understand exactly where you’re coming from, many who’ve been in the same place, who don’t want to leave the house, don’t want to continue doing things, have — feeling suicidal. I’ve talked about, since the beginning of when I’ve learned mold, it’s part and parcel of mold. And I considered it an epi-phenomena of inflammation. I don’t think it’s real. And the reason I like Primal Trust is it’s $96 a month, which is affordable for just about everybody. And with that, you will be getting some small group participation, some different ways to look at what might seem unbearable and very difficult and seeing a whole lot of people in similar circumstances, because I don’t live in a rich part of the country, Tucson, and plenty of people don’t have money and yet have worked with me for years and have made progress.

(01:14:06):

And so I know it’s quite possible and I also tend to gear with what I say to things that are affordable. I’m just not a big fan of very expensive protocols that take people’s money and leave them in the state where you might be, so Primal Trust is a really good way. Irene Lyon is free and you can listen to her. But you have to reach out to other people. The more alone you get, the more real your thoughts seem, even if they’re not real. And you need input from other people who are a little bit further along on the healing path, who can say, look, we’ve been there, many of us have been in this place, but it’s really worth it. We’d like you — we’d like to see you rejoin us and do better. So I think Primal Trust and Irene Lyon would be my best recommendations.

(01:14:55):

And it’s going to be the same talk I give people about why you might not want to get the newest vaccine coming through or anything like that, is unfortunately, learning to develop some inner intuition and critical thinking when somebody tries to sell you another miracle that’s going to heal your 20 years of this is — please listen to your thought. Is this money? If am I going to stem cells from Mexico or going to some other very expensive treatment that’s going to be $10 – 20,000, that’s going to fix me. Don’t believe it. Okay? Because until you can heal some of this mental, psychological, this is almost always associated with trauma, this kind of hopelessness — until you can heal that, try and conserve your money for your health, eat the best you can, get out of the house once in a while and join something that’s reasonable and affordable.

(01:15:51):

That’s truly my advice is — I don’t have a miracle to tell you here — is just try and conserve your resources and look to the future, not to the past. And again, it’s what I tell everyone. I have people telling me I’m waking up every day feeling like I might die and just my gratitude now is just focused on the fact I woke up today and didn’t die in my sleep. Okay, we’re going to have to look to the future and let go of the past. You made a decision and figure out why you made these decisions, what got you into doing things that didn’t work out well for you. So there’s a hand in it, but I think you could find more care just being with other people who can help you see a better perspective.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:37):

And I think I’d also like to just point out that the fact that you are here and that you asked a question and that some part of you wants to continue to be here, focus on that part of yourself because that part of yourself is the one that’s moving you forward. Do as much as you can to not pay attention to the chatter in your head that is not serving you because that’s not your intuition. That’s the brain inflammation.

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:17:17):

I would say at this point. It’s the mind control, it’s the mass media, it’s whatever the TV is telling you and just global corruption. Obviously we’re all upset here about what’s happened, but the best way to fix it is fix yourself and get yourself back into wholeness and integrity. Become your authentic self. And it’s make it a lot harder next time for people to pull the wool over this many people’s eyes. Right? That’s why I keep talking up about this is, please, we don’t need to go through this again.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:17:51):

Nope, we don’t. And no matter what they may try and throw at us, the more we’re able to really tap into our own intuition and work on healing the issues that we have every day, that we’ll be better prepared, both physically, mentally, emotionally. Gee, Mary, I don’t know. I think this might be a good place to end unless you feel like there’s some burning question that has to be answered because I think, I don’t know. I feel pretty good about it.

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:18:34):

I do. I think you and I have both expressed the same desire that people really work on their inner connection. And it’s just my most important message to everybody these days in multiple ways, is we all have higher selves and the higher selves have the answers, not me or Kelly, honestly. And that the more you can develop your intuition, your connection to your inner self and work with people who may have some knowledge can facilitate things, but you are the player. You’re the one who has to take control of your health. And in doing so, we actually start to heal the world because it’s just much harder — when people are embodied and not running their own trauma and fear — to turn around and run another fear scenario over them, like, okay, you’re all going to die. Oh, but the death rate was actually one in a thousand. And that’s really hard to grasp because I certainly was watching the Italian stuff like everybody else thinking, oh my God, this is like really people are going to be dying if they inhale it. And none of that was true.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:19:39):

Right.

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:19:40):

So, I feel kind of bamboozled too. And I am telling you this stuff just from what I’ve learned, I think what Kelly’s learned, and it just is what’s coming out and watching it all play out, is like — what’s ever happened, Pfizer’s very enriched with $33 billion. And I think there’s a big lesson there for us. And Fauci seems to be a lot richer too. And we have the heads of the CDC going over to Pfizer, and those are the things that shouldn’t happen, and I think are going to be much harder to happen, when people have eyes more wide open to the big picture and are not so lost in, I got to hide in my bedroom and paper it up so that no molecule of Covid gets near me.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:26):

Right? And it is easy to get upset and to feel betrayed and to languish in that, languish in the corruption of the world. But I think our message is that the way through, the way to health, the way to heal yourself and to heal the planet is to really tap into that intuition and know thyself. So that, should something else happen again, which, and undoubtedly I think it will, you’ll be prepared. You’ll have your tools.

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:21:07):

Completely. Develop your resiliency. And also realize when you tap into your inner self, you realize nobody owns you. You are not owned as much as you think you’re owned, by your person who employs you, and the government, and all these other people you owe money to and stuff, that you’re not owned. You really are a child of God, is my feeling. And you can tap into that freedom, but it takes work to keep looking at what the truth is and discarding all the lies. You’re told that you’re little and nothing — and you don’t really deserve to live and nobody values you and your life isn’t worth anything, et cetera. Those are lies.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:48):

Huge, big fat lies.

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:21:50):

So anyway, as I say, don’t, don’t wait till you get mold, might be the better one. Don’t wait till you get cancer to start the gratitude journal because just even right now, get off and say whatever you’re grateful for, what you just heard. I’m really grateful I got a chance to speak to my friend Kelly and talk to other people and to be able to talk a little more honestly and with a little more wisdom than I had three years ago.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:22:15):

Amen.

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:22:18):

A lot more wisdom.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:22:20):

So much more wisdom. Oh yes.

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:22:23):

Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:22:25):

Thank you Mary.

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:22:26):

Thank you, Kelly.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:22:28):

This was really fun. Thank you to all the participants. We’re so glad that you’re here and we hope that you have found some useful pieces of information and can take these into your life. Go write in your gratitude journal and we’ll see you again next time. As I mentioned that, we’ll send out the replay early next week. Thank you so much.

Mary Ackerley, MD (01:22:53):

Bye bye.

Chat Transcript

00:07:35 Sarah: Welcome everyone! We’ll be recording this and all registrants will get an email next week with the replay and transcripts.
00:08:00 Sarah: Please note: the information in this webinar is for educational purposes and should not take the place of medical advice. Please share what you learn with your medical team!
00:08:58 Sarah: Feel free to say hi in the chat. If you have questions for Dr. Kelly and Dr. Mary, please put those in the Q&A, at the bottom of your Zoom screen. They will do their best to answer those at the end.
00:09:12 Gail Koel: Love you both!!
00:09:14 Dupont: Hi
00:09:17 Kay N.: Hi from Tucson!
00:09:19 Carol Moody: Hi from Missouri
00:09:19 Vikki Salmela: Hi!
00:09:20 Denise Edwards: Hello Denise from MD
00:09:23 Jeanette LoCurto: Jeanette from Bay area
00:09:25 kate sovell: Happy to be here with 2 of my favorite doctors
00:09:29 terri: Hi everyone! Terri from Las Vegas
00:09:50 Tom Davies: Hi everyone. Tom from Tucson
00:10:20 Ann: Hello from So. California
00:10:23 Barbara Kennedy: Hi Everyone – I’m Barbara Kennedy from Orange County CA! Nice to be with you all.
00:10:23 Kelly McCann: HI Everyone! So happy you are al here!
00:14:33 Carol Moody: The kill shots are the real pandemic.
00:16:48 Denise Edwards: Agree
00:19:10 Julianna Dudas: Vaccine injured over here 🙋‍♀️
00:20:21 Rachelle Braden: vaccine injured mom & daughter. daughter now post 15 SAs and in mental health residential rx
00:21:38 Jodi Oliver: I’m so sorry Julianna and Rachelle <3
00:22:07 Marie Gianos: what is post 15 SAs?
00:22:14 Rachelle Braden: 15 suicide attempts
00:22:29 Marie Gianos: very sorry to hear
00:22:59 Denise Edwards: yes, so very sorry, prayers
00:23:25 Rachelle Braden: teen girls affected the most, especially if BIPOC and/or LGBT or perceived LGBT and bullied…
00:23:32 Rachelle Braden: CDC report on teen girls
00:25:15 Rachelle Braden: here is the link – wonder if it is questionable or accurate https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2023/p0213-yrbs.html
00:25:22 Rachelle Braden: from CDC
00:27:00 Rachelle Braden: my daughter got tried on at least 10 meds – just garbage from the big pharma trained psychiatrists with too much power over our freedom
00:27:47 Rachelle Braden: collective insanity
00:28:45 Rachelle Braden: limbic system injury
00:29:31 Rachelle Braden: i found homeopathy so i didnt have the fear….
00:30:42 Carol Moody: There’s real fear of health effects from shedding from the supposed vaccines especially if someone already has a weakened immune system.
00:32:50 Rachelle Braden: it was a choice for people w/ more wealth. less choice for low income, disabled etc.
00:33:34 Carol Moody: It’s not a vaccine. It’s a bio weapon masquerading as a vaccine. There have been lies upon lies.
00:34:35 Rachelle Braden: truth. respect.
00:35:28 JL: What homeopathics are you finding helpful for fear?
00:37:37 Rachelle Braden: aconite – fear, shock, trauma
00:37:41 Rachelle Braden: ignatia
00:38:06 Rachelle Braden: arnica – perhaps dr. ackerley has ideas – she is trained as an homeopath
00:38:21 Rachelle Braden: staphysagria for shame and humiliation
00:38:36 Sarah: @JL why don’t you enter your question about homeopathics in the Q&A so the docs can see it
00:39:09 Rachelle Braden: the banerji protocol from india: was aconite 200 and bryonia 30 2x/day; plus eupatorium 1M qd
00:40:32 JL: Thanks Rachelle! I use and love ignatia – will look into the others.
00:41:17 Rachelle Braden: look up banerji protocols on covid – the banerji clinic is the busiest clinic in the world, seeing 1200 patients a day, 6 days a week. the homeopaths are trained also as MDs.
00:42:03 Barbara Kennedy: Support what is being said, however, what about the folks who didn’t die but now have real long COVID?
00:43:24 Ann: I also blame the Health institutions that pushed vaccines even though employees worked at Home Remote with no public contact. Also blame the Educational institutions that made it mandatory for admission/ stay in school.😢
00:43:39 Carol Moody: That’s because Dr Pierre Korey etc sued the FDA regarding ivermectin
00:46:54 Rachelle Braden: oh yes… doctors realized that the vaccine is bad and they don’t want it…mmmm
00:46:56 Athina: My daughter was severly vaxx Injured, now autoimmune – they did not wish to take the data and told her to keep vacmxxing
00:47:28 Athina: recommended to keep vaxxing
00:51:27 Rachelle Braden: adult ace score link https://www.acesaware.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/ACE-Questionnaire-for-Adults-Identified-English-rev.7.26.22.pdf
00:52:06 Kat: Primal trust is amazing. So helpful and comprehensive!
00:52:19 Rachelle Braden: primal trust vs. DNRS https://www.primaltrust.org/frequently-asked-questions/#:~:text=The%20difference%20is%20that%20the,focused%2C%20and%20so%20is%20this.
00:53:05 Ann: My daughter got 2 Pfizer vax and 2 mos after 2nd Booster fainted due to heavy period caused by Fibroid which kept growing until she got it removed 3 weeks ago. Has a 6 inch abdominal incision due to large orange size fibroid. She is only 24 y.o. And also suffers from Anxiety/Depression. 🙏
00:53:40 Kay N.: Agree!! Primal trust teaches many techniques to help regulate the nervous system!!
01:01:03 Alexis Armstrong: Are you going to discuss Oxytocin?
01:01:20 Tom Davies: I hope so
01:01:46 marylou: i tuned in to hear about oxytocin today
01:03:15 Denise Edwards: You are so right.
01:03:32 JL: Can you recommend a pharmacy to get oxytocin?
01:04:07 Rachelle Braden: how do you get oxytocin?
01:04:25 Michael: Long hugs
01:04:35 Michael: (for real)
01:04:56 Carol Moody: I write in my gratitude journal most every night.
01:05:12 Lidia: Does gratitude journaling increase oxytocin?
01:05:39 GeeGee L – AZ: Hugging for 15 seconds presumably increases Oxytocin for both.
01:05:57 Rachelle Braden: love the hugging science
01:07:08 Sarah: Reminder that if you have a question for Dr. Mary or Dr. Kelly, put that in the Q&A.
01:07:16 Marilyne: How do we get oxytocin??
01:08:16 Marilyne: Does it require a prescription? I’m confused.
01:08:25 terri: Yes, it requires Rx
01:08:50 JL: My doctor is willing to prescribe but doesn’t know where to go
01:09:01 Rachelle Braden: in POTS i saw you go to 100 twice a day
01:09:25 Robyn: My husband looks ten years younger and always had excellent bloodwork. Forced to get two Pfizer vaccines as a government employee. Several months later he started having AFIB and had a surgery to correct. Then just got diagnosed yesterday with prostate cancer. Nobody is coming to us asking questions though. UGH!
01:09:40 Lu: What if you don’t tolerate LDN? Any other options?
01:10:24 Rachelle Braden: robyn make an appt for your husband with one of these docs… ehh
01:11:17 Kristen Nygren: for Oxytocin, Dr Ackerly said she often uses Belmar pharmacy but other compounding pharmacies can also possibly make it
01:11:35 guest123: Any reasons why I don’t tolerate the oxytocin peptide ? I get this crazy heart palpitations
01:11:44 JL: Thanks Kristen!
01:12:57 Carol Moody: When they crash the economy and try to go to cbdcs they’ll require the vax and a hard or brain chip to convince to get it. We must not comply.
01:13:17 terri: yes!! no compliance!!
01:14:14 Barbara Kennedy: besides what you have already discussed in long-COVID, anything additional you might think of for anosmia or lung involvement?
01:15:24 Athina: Hearing educated intelligent women speak openly on this topic, albeit difficult, is healing. This is very much appreciated
01:15:43 Sarah: If you have questions for the docs, please enter those in the Q&A, at the bottom of the Zoom screen. Dr. Mary is flying through those and hopefully she’ll get through them all
01:15:58 Rachelle Braden: nuremberg code https://media.tghn.org/medialibrary/2011/04/BMJ_No_7070_Volume_313_The_Nuremberg_Code.pdf
01:16:17 Rachelle Braden: long covid is also long POTS
01:16:50 Ann: My sister works at Walgreens in Northern CA. Pregnant women and Parents still getting their kids vaxxed as young as 3 y.o. She said FLU shots/other vaccines will be using MRNA because it is cheaper to make. She said BEWARE. She was never vaxxed and never got COVID .
01:17:31 Carol Moody: They are not done now they’re doing humanized bird flu and then Ebola/Marburg. They want to depopulate the planet by 90 percent. More need to know and accept what’s going on so we can fight it/address the elephant in the room. Look at the Cairo accords they signed in 1994 where 160 countries signed on to agree to the depopulation agenda.
01:18:49 Lidia: thank you @Carol Moody
01:25:02 Zoom user: Hang in there, Jay. We love you and the universe loves you!
01:25:36 Denise Edwards: Yes. Hang in there. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
01:25:38 Lidia: Yes, Jay we are praying for you🙏💓
01:25:46 Marilyne: One day at a time Jay, you can do it.
01:26:26 Nikki Berry: Jay, you can live. Are you living now, and we all want you to keep living!
01:27:10 davidmckenzie: Thankyou Drs. Kelly and Mary
01:27:15 Denise Edwards: Thank you so much for caring and for this call.
01:27:19 Sarah: We’ll get the replay out next week, everyone, and we’ll include the video AND chat transcripts.
01:27:29 Alexis Armstrong: Thank you!
01:27:34 Sharon: Jay, Come to Jesus. I’ll pray for you. I think most of us have been living for many years in a place if desperation. I’ll pray for you 🙏
01:27:50 Ann: Prayers to Jay.🙏 . Don’t give up.Been Living with Long COVID for 4 years since March 2020.❤️‍🩹
01:29:24 Lu: Thank you
01:29:33 Sharon: You ARE a child of God. We must believe the TRUTH
01:29:44 Denise Edwards: Yes, trust in Jesus.
01:29:57 Ann: Thank you Dr.Kelly and Dr.Ackerley for this amazing presentation. May God Bless.❤️🙏
01:30:08 Gail Koel: Thank you for clarity and hope message!
01:30:10 Michael: Thank you
01:30:13 Merritt: Thank you!!!
01:30:13 Lydia De Jesus: Thank you for teaching me so much over the years!
01:30:13 JL: Thank you!!
01:30:18 Carol Moody: Thanks very much
01:30:19 Barbara Kennedy: thanks everyone!
01:30:20 Nikki Berry: Thanks so much docs!
01:30:21 Tom Davies: Thanks


Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:05):

Welcome everyone. I’m going to allow some time for people to come in and get ready, maybe grab a bottle of water, glass of water, pen and paper. I think you’re probably going to want to take notes. And Sarah’s in the background. The chat is enabled, so if people want to talk on the chat, you’re more than welcome to. What we would ask is if you have specific questions for Brian or myself, please put them in the Q&A so that we can answer these. I have a bunch of questions prepared, but it’s really open, so if you have questions, please put them in. We’ll try and get to all of them. In terms of replays, Sarah let everyone know that we will send the replay out with a transcript to anyone who’s registered. Ideally, that will be done next week. I do have my computer IT guy moving to Malaysia for a couple of months at the end of next week. So hopefully he will be able to get it all done before he leaves the country. If not, you will get the replay at some point. It just may be a little delayed. So sorry about that. I am going to give a few more minutes for people to file in and then we’ll get started. Thank you so much for being here.

Brian Johnson (00:01:45):

And there’s never not enough questions around this topic and it’s endless. So definitely write the questions down because I learn from all of you as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:00):

Absolutely. I learn from my patients all the time. That’s how we keep learning through adversity and challenges and obstacles, right?

Brian Johnson (00:02:14):

And new perspectives. Even though we specialize in what we specialize, even from our clients, we learn different new perspectives and how to ask questions differently.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:29):

Absolutely. Alright, so let’s go get started. Welcome everyone. Today I have as my guest, Brian Johnson. Brian is a builder, master construction person, biologist. How do you like to refer to yourself?

Brian Johnson (00:02:51):

Building science, contractor, builder, healthy home builder, healthy builder, healthy home builder is kind of the phrase that I’ve adopted. It makes sense. I love that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:03:03):

Yeah, that makes the most sense. That’s great. Fantastic. Okay, so we’re talking about building healthy homes, and of course, from my perspective, we can only have healthy bodies if we’re in a healthy home, healthy environment. So what does it mean to you to have a healthy home?

Brian Johnson (00:03:28):

A healthy home is, so the name of my company is Senergy 360, and Senergy means everything’s synergistic. And looking at it from a building perspective, all the materials plugged together, synergistically and 360. It’s the holistic overview of everything. It’s just not one thing. So for example, working with a professional like yourself, what are we looking for in the first place to help identify, is it from the home, is it from offices? What are these areas? So I took the approach in my background of health and performance and getting into the biohacking world, which opened me up to environmental, functional and integrative medicine, which was huge because all of that helped point me back to the direction of, well, what’s in the environment? And so within that envelope, I look at– the home should be a place of healing, not adding a toxic load back into the body.

(00:04:47):

And so for me, it’s just looking at all aspects of construction. We’re looking at the external environmental factor. Again, whether it’s office, whether it’s home, we’re exposing ourselves. And then two, identifying what’s in the home, how the home is built, and then of course our own personal health practices, eating and nutrition and those different types of things. So we’re looking at bringing everything together very in a harmonious way. It is just not all about medicine, it’s just not all about the house, it’s everything. So that’s how I look at what makes a healthy home. Of course, we’ll go further into that, but it’s the whole overview of everything, and then we dial it into the environment.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:05:39):

So it’s about the air and having healthy air. It’s about the water having healthy sources of water. It’s about avoiding chemical toxins, avoiding mold exposure, limiting EMF, all of those things.

Brian Johnson (00:05:58):

Yeah. So the first thing that I even look at is the environment. That’s the number one.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:06:04):

What do you mean by that?

Brian Johnson (00:06:06):

Everything that you just explained, where’s the water coming from? Where’s are homes located? From an electrosmog standpoint, we’re looking at the EMFs, right? We’re looking at the air quality because a lot of these things are kind of unavoidable, and these are some questions that you have coming up. So what do we do to help mitigate or reduce or protect us from that? I always look at the home as being the third layer of skin. So the first layer is our skin, and the second layer is our clothing. And then the third layer is the home. And the home is to help protect. Nature is the gold standard, and how do we mimic the nature within the home environment? But at the same time, nature can impose some pretty heavy duty environmental factors in itself too. And so the home is to protect us from the unwanted factors of what nature presents. So again, the environmental aspect is everything, the air quality, the exposures to electrosmog, different forms of EMFs, again, the water quality, and then using building materials, which that’s what opens up the realm of the exposure to toxic chemicals.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:33):

So what’s the difference between a healthy home and a green home? Because people throw that word green around a lot.

Brian Johnson (00:07:40):

Yeah, we refer to it as greenwashing. There’s a lot of good organizations out there that really started this approach early on, these different councils, and they started these programs. But it was what I found interesting. My background goes almost 25 years in the construction industry, both commercial and residential. And so it was really interesting to watch these councils and these programs. But it was interesting because early on before I understood what greenwashing was, I’m like, man, there’s kind of a flaw here because they’re looking at green just from an energy–a lot of people have heard of energy star rating, and from an energy star, energy efficiency, they’re calling that green, but they’re not even really addressing anything of the building materials and toxic building materials, or they’re really not looking at– it’s more on the commercial side. It’s starting to adopt over into the residential side, but they really, again, carbon footprint, the negative carbon footprint, like, hey, what can we to contribute to lessen the emissions? So there’s that aspect of it as well. So energy efficiency, world energy consumption on a global scale, which is huge. I mean, that’s really vital. But when it trickles down the line, especially into residential homes, they don’t look at residential as the same as commercial.

(00:09:17):

Then there’s that aspect of the disconnect of green. So what I like to refer to is non-toxic building, because if we’re building non-toxic in the residential realm, that would be green because we’re not using the chemicals, we’re not using the heavy practices and manufacturing. So by default, that would be considered green. So that’s when somebody uses the term green, it doesn’t really mean a whole lot to me because it could be energy efficiency or negative carbon footprint or different things like that. It’s not so much related to health.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:01):

That makes a lot of sense. And I think it’s important, it’s an important distinction for consumers to understand that green doesn’t mean healthy.

Brian Johnson (00:10:14):

Right. Yeah. No, it really doesn’t.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:17):

Green means hopefully sustainable, but what good is an airtight home if it’s filled with mold in other chemicals? It’s just…

Brian Johnson (00:10:26):

Well, and that’s a good point too, the sustainability too. It’s like then when we go so far on the sustainable side or so far on the green side and totally non-toxic, then you start to compromise on the sustainability aspect. And so for me, coming in as a performance builder, I’m always looking at for performance. So I kind of came from the extreme side of performance, but with that comes a lot of plasticizers, a lot of fire retardants, just a lot of different PCBs and all these different types of things, because it’s going to last for a thousand years,

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:04):

Just what we want.

Brian Johnson (00:11:05):

Yeah, yeah, exactly. So my mission early on was like, oh, I’m going to build these homes that are multi-generational and it going to last thousands of years, but yet I’m taking too far advantage of modern technology not being really mindful of the ancient practices In Europe. They have buildings that are a thousand years old today, and they’re built all natural

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:28):

And they’re a lot less toxic.

Brian Johnson (00:11:32):

Yes, absolutely. Correct. Yeah, right.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:36):

So there’s this balance that we have to try and find you as a builder, me as somebody who lives in a home, everyone who lives in a home, we have to find this balance between what is sustainable and what is non-toxic, right?

Brian Johnson (00:11:55):

Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:55):

What are some of the biggest challenges people have in having a healthy home?

Brian Johnson (00:12:04):

Well, some of the biggest challenges is, I wrote this down. I think personally, this is just my opinion is just lack of education.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:12:16):

Yeah, that’s true.

Brian Johnson (00:12:17):

I think that’s the number one, because really, whose agenda are we following? Who do we listen to? Who do we follow? And that’s really what brought me forward going, look, I understand both aspects and I really need to get my message clear till I can help educate the architects, the designers, the builders, the clients to really change this. Because in the residential realm of production building, they don’t really want to hear this mission and the message too much. And so it’s all about smart homes and again, energy efficiency and all these things, but they’re not, when we start getting into the non-toxic and the safe way of construction, no one really talks about that. And so we have to have, first and foremost, we need to have education. Once we have the education, then we can take the approach. And also too, not taking a fear-based approach, because I hear a lot of that, and especially in the environmental standpoint, there’s a lot of fear around that. Okay, well, this is great. And 80%, they say that 80 to 90% homes are sick and diagnosed as what’s referred to as sick building syndrome.

(00:13:55):

So it’s like, okay, let’s be aware. Let’s educate, let’s be aware, and let’s take action on what we can do. The second thing would probably be, there would be a cost factor that would be limiting, of course. But again, without education, how do we know what actions to take that are from the least cost, getting into more elaborate types of renovations. And then speaking of renovations, it would be new construction versus doing renovation work. Remodeling, believe it or not, it’s easier to build a new home because then we could factor all the design. We could source all the proper materials into–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:14:46):

Avoid all the mistakes.

Brian Johnson (00:14:48):

Absolutely. There’s so many factors into that. So renovations can be a little bit more challenging again, but it can be done. I definitely want to stress that fact that hey, there are solutions and it is just, there’s protocols and there’s ways that we can do these types of things. So those are the top three challenges that I would see.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:15:11):

So lack of education, avoiding fear, and then kind of following that middle path. Was that the third one? Cost…

Brian Johnson (00:15:23):

Yeah, cost renovations, new build kind of really, if you’re going to do some renovation work, I mean now again, the contractor, it’s be educated. There’s not a lot of contractors out there. And thanks to people like me, we’re out there educating and spreading the mission and spreading the word. And so I feel people in the construction industry, they want, for the most part, they want to do good things. They want to contribute and make an amazing space for their client. But if their client doesn’t know how to ask those questions, how are they going to be able to accommodate that?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:16:06):

Exactly. And I think when patients are dealing with ill health and now they’re learning, now I need to educate myself on my conditions and educate myself on all these supplements and all these things that I’m doing. And now I have to educate myself on how to have a healthy home that can get a little overwhelming. So what would be the cheat sheet, the Reader’s Digest version? The CliffNotes version of a way for clients to educate themselves? I mean, obviously this book is great [Prescriptions for a Healthy House]. Brian has this book. There you go, everyone take a picture and you don’t have to read it from cover to cover. It’s a great resource. Yes. But would that be what you would recommend? Are there other ways to help people navigate this so they don’t feel completely overwhelmed?

Brian Johnson (00:17:14):

Yeah, definitely. And I want to be here to give solutions. I’m only one individual across the globe. There’s other people that are like Paula LaPorte and John Banta. They co-wrote the book Prescription for a Healthy House. There’s a lot of people doing this movement, and that’s why the book is amazing. If you want to learn how to build a house, everyone buy that book and just, you don’t have to read the whole thing, just kind of brush through it. It gets into a lot of descriptions on building and things like that. However, it does prepare you to, when you go to your contractor, you can go to your contractor and say, look, I’m studying this book, and I highly recommend you study the book as well. Right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:18:06):

We buy you a copy.

Brian Johnson (00:18:08):

A hundred percent. 100%. Because it was interesting. I’ve been in the building industry for almost 25 years, and I came into it from a health-minded background. So I’m literally just merging the science and health and building all into one. So when I started several years back, I stumbled upon the Building Biology Institute, and that’s going to be a big takeaway for everybody. Huge. Probably the biggest recommendation I have is called the Building Biology Institute. And in the Building Biology Institute, there’s a lot of people that have gone through a lot of these different things, and they wanted to go through what is building science, and there’s different facets to it. There’s the EMF and what we’ll talk more about as we continue on. But from an EMF standpoint or an environmental consulting standpoint or new construction, there’s all these different facets.

(00:19:16):

And it’s a very extensive program. It’s not like somebody’s just going to pay a little bit of money and take a couple exams. They’re very passionate about what they do, and there’s a lot of guidance and facilitation to make sure people hopefully graduate the program and get their credentials. So it’s a very trusted source. So if somebody was to go to the Building Biology Institute website and look for an environmental consultant in their area, that’s beautiful because you can put in your zip code and it’ll find somebody close to your area. That way you can have them come out and do an assessment or help educate you or hopefully help navigate you through whatever the process, whether it’s a renovation or whether there’s some potential mold damage or maybe working with somebody professional like yourself. You know what? Maybe you might want to look into your home environment and see what’s going on.

(00:20:12):

There’s a lot of great, somebody I’ve seen on the text, somebody mentioned John Banta co-wrote the book with, he’s great. He’s an environmental consultant, and there’s so many great environmental consultants out there. So the building biology is geared more towards kind of building science a little bit around it, but working with environmental consultants is a great idea. The aspect that I bring, and I know I’m not the only one, but I’m [one of the] few, is I come into it as a builder. And so when I stumbled across Paula and her book, I was like, I was going to write her book when I seen her book. I’m like, oh, well, here it is. Now I don’t have to write it because it’s all right here.

(00:21:02):

So these are great resources for the audience, the book, the Building Biology Institute, working with a good environmental consultant that understands building background and building science and works close with, again, functional environmental integrative medicine, because that’s the link. I couldn’t do this without you because I wouldn’t have the education, what started my whole endeavor behind this whole thing. And then of course, you, you’re like, Hey, you want to help find your clients a sanctuary, a place to heal and not get sick. To be able to heal from all these symptoms and things like that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:21:48):

And so many of our patients are sick from mold or sick from environmental chemicals in a building that’s been poorly constructed, and it’s really challenging to try and figure that out. So let’s dive in a little bit more into some specifics. So what are some of the harmful chemicals that you see or that you are trying to help people avoid when you’re building or renovating? What are they? Where are they and what can people do about some of them?

Brian Johnson (00:22:26):

As far as chemicals? I’m going to just kind of be more just broad about it. It’s funny because again, coming in from the health background, we learn to read our labels. It’s no different in the construction. It’s the same thing.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:22:46):

That’s so cool.

Brian Johnson (00:22:47):

Yeah, because that’s what we’re doing, except for the labels in construction. Say for example, we’re using 8,000 different products or whatever, right now, we have to read, and the label isn’t just the back of the package. You have to know what you’re looking for. You have to educate yourself. We have to go in there. We have to look at what we refer to as the MSDS, which is the material safety data sheets and things like that, because that’s where we find the information. That’s where we find the hidden chemicals, because they have their workaround of what they, or some things are proprietary. They don’t have to claim it, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:23:29):

Just like supplements.

Brian Johnson (00:23:31):

It’s the same thing. Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:23:35):

And there’s a whole chapter devoted to how to read your MSDS.

Brian Johnson (00:23:42):

Thank you for bringing the book, because again, when I came across the book, I’m like, oh my God, this really covers everything. And so understanding that, then it’s like there’s a section on biocides, there’s a section on fungicides, insecticides, there’s an understanding of–and this is where I’m going to get broad–is it’s understanding VOC, which is volatile organic compound, and there’s hundreds of VOCs, and they come from petroleum-based products. Again, now we’re kind of hinging back to a little bit of the green aspect again, because once we start recognizing all the VOCs, flame retardants, PCBs, all these different formaldehydes, solvents, hydrocarbons, there’s a huge breakdown of it. Now, again, let me add this piece, not bringing into the– because when I first started the whole thing, I’m like, well, pretty much, there’s nothing left I can build my home out of.

(00:24:54):

But again, it’s the balance, right? And even in the book, and I’m just throwing little examples in the book, Paula talks about plumbing, and it was a big thing for me because I wanted to know the difference between PEX, which is plastic, polyethylene type plumbing, versus copper. In the early days, we sweat the fittings. There were different chemicals involved. There’s things leaching out of the copper. PEX — there was a lot of early problems with PEX in the early days, BPAs and all these, and then they switched it to a different compound that was hard to recognize or read the label on, and then they had to change it again because they had these big class action suits. Oh, yeah. So you’re like, well, do I use copper? Do I use PEX? Do I use this? What’s the lesser of the two evils?

(00:25:51):

Types of things like that. And believe it or not, the construction industry is really cleaning things up. You just have to know what it is you’re looking for. And so me as a builder, it’s like I’m recognizing all these 8,000 different products, and then I’m breaking it down and I’m finding the middle ground on where we’re at. Even I’m just going to use the plumbing still for, as an example, if I was on a project in Texas and the local–and I’m working with a contractor and he has somebody that works with copper, well, then there’s going to be recommendations that I’m going to have around using copper because they’re going to be very effective and very efficient at it, or vice versa in another town. If somebody who’s working with PEX, we can make all of these components work very, very clean and nontoxic way to get the outcome that we’re going for.

(00:26:48):

There’s just protocols and there’s steps around that. It’s interesting, too, from the biocides and the fungicides and the pesticides, and going back to the environment outside of the home, it is pretty interesting, and I am sure you’re very savvy to this too. All of these crops and the dustings and things like this, they travel thousands of miles and they attach to all the dust spores. So then there’s the balance of creating a home envelope that’s sealed to protect us from the outside air. But then we’re not getting proper ventilation. But if we do get ventilation, how do we clean the air from that ventilation? Because the more dense in the bigger cities that you get, that’s where the indoo–or the outdoor–quality, IAQ, they rate it parts per million by 10 micron and 2.5 micron, 10 micron would be more like actual dust, right?

(00:27:50):

It’s heavier. It’s a heavier particle. And then the 2.5 is a smaller micron and it’s a smaller particle. Well, all these biocides and all these fungicides, they get attached to all these, and they’re just–so, again, if you’re like, say, I’m kind of going on down a little shoot here, but let me run with this. So say for example, we’re building a home downtown Denver, or downtown Phoenix, or even Tucson, Arizona. The air quality’s not far behind Phoenix. Now. I found building science, there’s ways to help to build a sealed environment, but to ensure that we’re getting good mechanical ventilation, but taking that or what we refer to as passive air, so it’s making sure we’re getting fresh air within the home, but we just don’t want to pump all that stuff that’s in the air, toxins into the home. So it’s important, and there’s ways, it’s real practical.

(00:28:48):

Again, this kind of goes from a commercial, a lot of things together, because then we’re actually bringing in passive airflow, and then we’re pre-filtering it in through our home filtration systems and our HVAC systems. So we’re cleaning that up. I know I kind went down a rabbit hole there, but I was just kind of giving different examples. There’s always a solution to something, even if it’s an area that we can’t control the external environment because these chemicals, and kind of going back to the building industry, when I’m going through all these 8,000, I keep using the word 8,000 because I think it’s even in Paula’s book, it’s just a number. So when you’re working with a contractor, again, it’s kind of even referencing that book, just being mindful because she does a really good job of referencing a lot of, there’s a lot of high performance building materials that are sustainable, that are non-toxic, that perform well, and they’re very effective at what they do.

(00:29:49):

And again, so at least you as the client, you’re empowered to select, even if it comes down to a budget, like, okay, hey, you know what? I’m going to use these products on the exterior part of the home, and I’m just going to focus on, let me talk about paint for example. There’s a lot of manufacturers out there that use non VOC paint, but then when you start looking at the labels and you start looking at little further into it, you’ll see certain products that are certain solvents that somebody with multiple chemical sensitivities that actually might create a reaction for them. So even though it’s classified as a non VOC, they could actually have an adverse health effect just from the paint inside. However, there’s manufacturers out there in the paint industry that are using more like Earth-based or just natural types of fillers and additives into their paints that truly make it not only non-toxic, but low odor as well, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:30:57):

We run into this in medicine too, where say you’re eating a gluten-free diet, but you can’t have almonds, so you have to have these different things. We’re always making choices, and it’s going to be that same sort of situation with building materials. There’s going to be trade-offs. You have to take your budget into account. You have to take the ingredients into account, and you have to educate yourself as best you can, and then work with somebody who’s knowledgeable to help navigate those pieces.

Brian Johnson (00:31:33):

Yes. Yeah. Yeah. I kind of look at, again, I’ll just reference the building biology because it’s a great resource, but it’s kind of finding the environmental, integrative, functional aspect of somebody looking out for your home environment that has understanding that had to go through this rigorous coursework to understand that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:31:58):

Right? Yeah. Thank goodness for the building biologists.

Brian Johnson (00:32:02):

Oh, my God, absolutely. Yeah. And just kind of a little bit of a background, just a quick flyover. So the Building Biology Institute was formed post World War II in Germany, and a lot of their studies, I mean, their studies, it’s all scientific studies they’ve been doing for 60 years at that time even. And so that’s when the institute, it was called something different then, but it formed, and then it was adopted into the US in the early eighties. It was like, well, why? They’re building this way and they have these standards in Europe. Why aren’t we not following these standards here? And so it was the early eighties when one of the founders actually brought the Building Biology Institute into the US and they follow all kinds of great resources, like the bio initiative report, science based, it’s not assumptions, it’s not, “well, we think of…” no, this was all a factual thing. So all of the information that comes from the Building Biology Institute, it is science-based.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:09):

100%.

Brian Johnson (00:33:10):

Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:13):

Do you want to talk a little bit about EMFs too?

Brian Johnson (00:33:16):

Yeah, absolutely. So I talked a little bit about the electrosmog.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:24):

What do you mean by electrosmog?

Brian Johnson (00:33:26):

Electrosmog is just, it’s all of the interference outside that we really can’t control. The power grid, power lines, transmission lines, transformers. Now we’re into the era of radio frequency. The early days of radars could be pretty serious if you’re affected or close to a radar. But anyways, once we started coming from this 3G adopting into these multiple generations of radio frequency, they’re very high millimeter wavelength, and they can have a pretty big impact for a lot of people with constant exposure. So the cities are blanketed. So I look at electrosmogs from all the different aspects, all the different spectrums, and so I kind of blanket that. That’s what I refer to as electrosmog. But just a quick–this is a really important takeaway for everybody because EMFs, a lot of people just use EMF as just kind of a generalized term. And there’s four major components to of EMFs.

(00:34:51):

One is the electrical field. So it’s the electrons moving through wiring. It’s like plumbing. It’s almost just like plumbing. It’s like water going through a pipe. It’s electrons that travel. So we don’t get away from that. That just, that’s what power does. Okay. It comes in through your overhead lines or underground lines, goes into your home into a service panel. And then what we have, that’s the first. So it’s electrical field. That’s the first form of an EMF. The second form is the electromagnetic AC fields. So what happens is when you have current flowing in and going back, what it does is it creates a magnetic field. Okay? It’s called AC magnetics, alternating current magnetics driven by electrons traveling through, so you have the electrical field, and then you have the AC magnetic field, the constant exposure to AC magnetic field. That’s the low hanging fruit. That’s the one that’s actually, there’s a lot of studies around the dangers behind that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:56):

And that’s also the one that’s really hard to mitigate, is my understanding.

Brian Johnson (00:36:01):

Well, it can be. Yes, it can be. There are limitations. So for example, you don’t want to definitely live around a transmission line or high tension power lines. It’s always kind like this intuitive, “yeah, it doesn’t seem like a very good idea,” right? Because it’s pulsing out massive, massive amounts of AC magnetics, and the fields are huge. And so as it comes in through local distribution lines and power lines into the home, they start grouping all the cables closer and closer and closer and closer together. Once those cables get closer together, they start to cancel out the AC magnetic fields. Not without getting too crazy, but what happens is–so say it’s outside of the home, and then you have your lines coming into the home. Well, what happens is when we get into the AC magnetic issues within the home, a lot of it’s from wiring errors, believe it or not, in the commercial world, they use different types of wiring. They use different types of grounding systems, again, for public safety and for fire code. And what’s kind of crazy is residential commercial codes are completely different. If we were to follow a lot of commercial codes, our homes would be a lot safer, in my opinion. What I’m doing, a lot of my techniques and building styles are more commercial.

(00:37:34):

So through different types of wiring, grounding systems, in the way that we have to run our circuits by default in the commercial, we’re going to have low AC magnetics, if it’s done right. What happens in the residential route, they don’t look at that. And so what happens, a lot of electricians, sometimes they’ll cut corners. It’s common. It’s done all the time, and they’ll cut corners. And once you start cutting corners and playing around with electric in the house, by default, sometimes if something’s not done, it creates an AC magnetic field within the home, but that can be repaired. Okay. Alright.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:11):

That’s good to know that it can be repaired.

Brian Johnson (00:38:14):

Yeah. Yeah, there’s solutions.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:16):

But it’s a tough solution potentially, right? Because it’s the electric coming in on the water pipes oftentimes. That was my understanding.

Brian Johnson (00:38:27):

And that’s another thing too. So for example, and I’m just going to reference the Building Biology Institute, since we all have a dialogue of that. Now, some building biologists, they’ll study just on an EMRS, which is electromagnetic radiation specialist. And so when they’re coming in to look, they’re finding the current coming in, the AC magnetics coming in on your line, coming into your home or building, whatever, but you can isolate that. We can isolate our subs from the grid like that, and then we can fix all of the AC issues, magnetic issues within the home. What we can get away from is, if this is a good takeaway for everybody, if you’re in a room that hopefully doesn’t have the main electrical box–and it is crazy, I still see it all the time, you don’t want to be sleeping next to the main electrical panel coming into the house, okay?

(00:39:21):

Because by default, it emits a high AC magnetic field. And I’ll just kind of run with AC magnetic fields, another–refrigerators, motors, variable speed motors and things like that, and compressors–what they do is they actually–by default of just what they are, there’s no way of getting around it. But by default, they produce a high AC magnetic field. So I’m sharing that with everybody. So you’re just mindful of, Hey, I’m looking at buying a house, or, Hey, I’m in this room. Well, you might want to consider moving the bed away from, or going into another room from an electrical panel coming in, or the refrigerator, maybe it’s an apartment, maybe it’s a studio or something like that, and the refrigerator’s on the back wall of the bedroom where there’s a bed. Another thing, and I’ll just kind of run with this since we’re talking about, so we’re still talking about electrical fields and AC magnetic fields.

(00:40:16):

So with those two forms of EMFs, if your bed, these are just really simple takeaways. If your bed is up against the wall, what we’re going to have electrical outlets and their daisy chain around the bedrooms, right? It’s just for convenience and code. They’re there. So you can plug in your lamp. Well, hopefully you’re not plugging in to charge your phone while you’re sleeping anyways, but whatever, no judgment. But when you plug in a cord, okay, so now the power’s in the wall and the fields, they stay pretty tight to one another. So you could be 12 inches away from a field and not be too affected. So distance is your friend. Remember, distance is your friend. But what happens is if you take a lamp and you plug into the wall, well, now you’ve extended that electrical field from the wall to the lamp, and it’s right next to your head.

(00:41:14):

So that’s why extending things out, I know we want our convenience, but there’s other ways to do things. Like you could buy 12 volt lights with battery operated that are red light and all these different types of things for reading. I mean, there’s workarounds, simple workarounds, but these are the practicalities to understand. That’s just the nature of what electrical does. So once we’re like, okay, hey, distance is our friend. Okay, I’m going to get rid of everything that’s plugged in. I’m going to charge my phone in another room. Or you could even put alternating kill switches to kill all the power to the room. There’s different methods to mitigate that as well. Or having a metal bed frame–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:53):

A metal bed frame? That makes it better or–

Brian Johnson (00:41:55):

Worse. It makes it worse because with the metal, it’s a conductor, so it’s absorbing the frequency from the electrical field that’s in the wall, and then it’s extending it through the bed. And then of course, what we’re 80% water. So of course, we’re conductors. We’re absorbing that energy. So what it is, it’s just we’re absorbing this excessive energy. And where in nature, again, kind of back to nature, the gold standard, hopefully in nature, we’re going to be sleeping with the DC magnetic field of the earth and Schumann resonance and things like that. But now when we’re in a home and we’re exposed to all these, it’s just frequencies. It’s chaotic. How does the body recover in sleep? So these are just things to think about and be mindful of from the two main factors of electrical fields and AC magnetic fields. Okay. Those are two forms of EMFs. The third one is–did I cover, you feel like I covered?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:42:52):

Oh, yeah. Those are great. You did a good job.

Brian Johnson (00:42:54):

Okay. Okay, cool. Then it’s the RF, which is radio frequency. That’s the third. [Brian waves his hand and we see balloons floating up the Zoom screen.]

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:03):

Balloons, there are balloons that keep going up!

Brian Johnson (00:43:05):

I see the balloons.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:09):

I don’t know what’s happening. Every time you do this, the balloons go up. [Brian waves his hand again and we see balloons]. Yes, there, it is!

Brian Johnson (00:43:18):

I kept seeing the balloons and I’m like, oh, everyone’s really enjoying this because there’s a lot of balloons flying. Why?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:27):

I don’t know. It’s a setting in your [zoom], it’s pretty funny. Anyway, yes, everyone’s enjoying this. This is amazing. Keep going. More balloons.

Brian Johnson (00:43:36):

Yeah. Alright.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:39):

Okay. So let’s move on to RF, which everybody freaks out about, right?

Brian Johnson (00:43:44):

Yeah. And again, like we discussed, the AC magnetics for me is the number one thing that we want to look for. And then distancing ourself from the electrical field. So these are some, hopefully somebody could be writing this down, but we can follow up on it later on down the road or watch the recording. But then the third one is radio frequencies, and there’s all types of radio [frequencies] –AM, FM, like radar microwaves–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:44:15):

Your wifi, your router, your phone.

Brian Johnson (00:44:18):

Here we are. Yeah, cell phones. We’re just bombarded– Bluetooth. And again, I share this just to empower ourselves to understand, educate to know, Hey, okay, I’m cool. I’ll put my wireless earbuds in. That’s fine, but at least you’re aware and you understand it. I think a lot of people, it’s interesting too because you talk to a lot of people wearing wired versus the wireless earbuds. People intuitively feel like, yeah, when I wear my wireless earbuds for an extended period of time, I kind of get headaches or I get tension in the jaw and things like that. It’s like, well, I’ve measured and I use the formulation of radio frequency measuring everything in a millimeter wavelength. And it’s referred to micro watts per square meter. And according to the Building Biology Institute, and I’m going to take this to the practicality inside of the home, but if you could be under 10 micro watts per square meter is ideal for a sleeping environment.

(00:45:28):

And there’s a lot of great resources that we can share with the audience later on this. But just to go to the extreme part, I’ve actually measured the RF coming from the headphones, which is plugged into the ear canal and up to as high as 70,000 micro watts per square meter. It’s crazy. And I was guilty about it early on, but intuitively I’m like, something’s not right here. And then of course I measured them. But kind of taking RF back again, part of this whole electrosmog environment, there’s towers everywhere, and now they’re doing 5G, and 5G is a high millimeter wavelength, but it drops quick. So they have to put these repeaters and extenders. And now with wifi technology, 2.5 gigahertz and beyond that. 2.5 gigahertz, so that’s this high amount of frequency that’s flowing from these routers. And now we’re doing extenders because we want fast speeds.

(00:46:31):

We want to stream wirelessly throughout the whole [house], so now we’re coming out with all this smart technology within the home. So everything’s running on a Bluetooth device, everything’s running on wifi now. All of the appliances, washers, dryers, dishwashers, vent hoods, refrigerators, everything’s just connected to these. Everything’s smart, right? And there’s my powerful takeaway, and anyone’s more than welcome to adopt this, but what is a smart home versus an analog home? And that’s really how I’m taking everything back as a builder, is I’m building analog. I’m building homes that in the nineties, in the early two thousands, we had amazing automation and it was all hardwired before then. We had DSL and all these different internet services come out, and we had amazing automation systems back then. And so for me, I love my technology, and again, from a builder like, well, how can we build an analog home that performs like a smart home? And it’s going back to the basics. We’re hard wiring.

(00:47:50):

But what’s funny too is the more that we go wireless, even looking at security systems and security cameras, again, a lot of the automation, communication, telecommunication through the home, it’s hard to find contractors that will even go–it still exists though, and that’s why I want to share the message. So when I’m working with my contractors or whatever, we’re a hundred percent hardwired. There’s so many advantages, the speeds are faster, more secure. I mean, there’s just, again, now we’re eliminating the whole RF part. So wireless technologies within home, whether it’s Bluetooth, whether it’s wifi, wireless routers, again, microwaves, it’s crazy because microwaves and wireless routers, they put almost about the same amount. That’s why, in my opinion, if you’re going to use a microwave distance yourself from the microwave, just don’t stand right next to it. Right? Of course, all the microwaves are killing a lot of the enzymes and components in the food, of course, from that aspect.

(00:48:56):

But it’s the exposure to that microwave that you don’t want to have constant exposure, and you can be in the opposite end of the house and actually still be affected by the exposure in the RF from that microwave. Yeah, there’s a lot of studies out around that. So again, it’s just being mindful of all the different technologies that are used in these wireless capabilities, and going back to the basics of like, well, hey, we can hardwire. I can have an ethernet cable in every aspect in the kitchen or wherever you want to have ’em. You just got hardwire and you just got to plug in, right? Even with telecommunications and phones, there’s still hardwire phones out there, and it’s kind of beautiful because you can use these VOIP, which is voiceover internet provider, right?

(00:49:47):

Kelly McCann, MD: Have one right here.

(00:49:48):

Yeah. Well, are you in a commercial building or are you home?

(00:49:54):

Kelly K McCann, MD: I am in a commercial building.

(00:49:56):

Brian Johnson: Yeah, rough there. So there’s VOIP because again, in a commercial [building], everything’s hardwired. The servers, everything’s hardwired in a commercial building. That was my takeaway from that, is there’s no different–why we can’t have the commercial setting in a home application. Again, going more back to an analog–or let’s talk about potential. Okay, well, there’s these RFs, there’s a cell tower, there’s these smart meters, right of my home or whatever. What do I do? And there’s ways, believe it or not, RF is a little easier to mitigate because there’s shielding. There’s different types of graphene. There’s different types of screening materials, and what they do is they block those millimeter wavelengths, those high structured wavelengths coming through smart meters. What they do is they pulse every minute, 30 seconds.

(00:50:56):

They’re all different. They can pulse out to maybe 5,000 micro watts per square meter. So again, you don’t want, it’s not ideal to have the power supply outside of your bedroom, but then you turn around and you put a meter on top of that, and then they say there’s some coupling interference back into the system, into the home. There’s some talk about that as well, which I haven’t really tested so much for, but me, distance is a friend. So as me as a builder, I look at putting the electrical panel outside of a garage or away from the living area of the home. And if you can, opt out from a smart meter, a lot of power companies honor that. And you can do an opt-out program. I think you gotta pay $20- $30 a month extra for a meter reader. Those are some big things, but windows, low e[nergy] windows, even modernized low E, energy efficient windows by default, the window actually does cancel out and block RF. Yeah, there’s different faraday cages that you can put around your bed.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:52:03):

The Faraday cages have to be grounded properly too, so it is not just as easy as throwing up some copper or some drapes. You really need to know what you’re doing to ground it. Correct?

Brian Johnson (00:52:16):

Yeah. Thank you for bringing that up. But there’s different fabrics too. So there’s some fabrics that just block the field, so it’s not like it’s a metallic. There’s some silver products and things like that, but it’s more of just an actual blocking material. But you’re absolutely 100% right. When we’re actually doing shielding within a home, those homes are graphite and it is basically you’re trading a Faraday wall, and that wall has to be grounded. So there’s definitely, it’s not like a DIY type of a thing. You definitely want to work with somebody that understands that. I’ll just throw an example, two examples. So say you’re in a town home or there’s a common wall and your neighbor’s blasting the wifi, and your concern is like, well, I don’t have the budget to actually shield the entire part of my condominium or whatever. But you could, simple things would be, you could just do–there’s a bed canopy, at least you’re getting that quiet time for sleep. From that, you can put ’em underneath because maybe you’re on a second level and it’s coming up from the neighbor’s floor underneath all the way to the point of where you can actually shield the whole environment. So it’s all cost prohibited on how far you want to go take it, right? But there’s definitely solutions around the RF. Okay, there’s one more.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:37):

Yeah, one more. Let’s do number four.

Brian Johnson (00:53:39):

There’s number four and I — sorry, oh, the time.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:43):

Yeah. So let’s do number four and then we’ll jump to some questions. We’ve got a long list of questions

Brian Johnson (00:53:49):

And sorry that we’re running over

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:54):

I’m okay to go for a little while longer if you are, Brian.

Brian Johnson (00:53:58):

Yeah, no, I’m good. Let’s keep it running, but I’ll tie it up for everybody too. The fourth one is dirty electricity. A lot of people, they hear about different dirty– what is their dirty electricity? It’s micro electrical surge pollution, and basically what it is, whether it’s coming from electrical, excuse me, photovoltaic, solar power panels, sometimes it’ll feed back through, like the inverters converting the DC to the AC, dimmer switches, just so everybody knows on the call right here, even if you’re running your awesome incandescent lamps that are going to be kicked out anyways, but there’s technologies that trump that, using LEDs in the right fashion. However, the old school dimmers, those put out a lot. The transformers you’re charging for your computers, again, just different electronics through the homes. What they do is they put out what’s called line noise, it’s actual noise, and it’s a harmonic.

(00:55:01):

And what these do is they dump it into the electrical system, and some people with sensitive hearing, they can actually hear a really high pitch sound, and it could even be pulsating. Some of us can’t hear it, but what it does is it really affects, has a big effect on the central nervous system because it’s this singing, it’s this noise, it’s this almost invisible noise, but you don’t even know that it’s bothering you and it’s in the background. So that’s what we refer to as MEP or dirty electricity. So that’s the fourth form of an EMF.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:55:31):

And you can measure the dirty electricity with a stetsor meter, correct.

Brian Johnson (00:55:37):

Yeah. There’s a lot of good companies have different, so if you look up how to measure dirty electricity, Stetzer meter is one, green wave meter is another one. Again, a building biologist or an EMRS person. Actually we use oscilloscopes and we can actually go in there and measure what that wavelength is doing and find the source right away. It’s a lot easier when I go into a house and I see dimmers all over, I’m like, okay, I already know that’s a source. So it’s just a process of elimination to find it, but it’s pretty easy to find MEP, dirty electricity in a home.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:13):

Great. Okay. Let’s do some questions. Ready?

Brian Johnson (00:56:16):

Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:17):

You can look at ’em too, but I’ll read them out loud. So what list should we have and where can I find one to use when assessing homes or potential homes? So like mold, actinomyces, proximity to Superfund sites, cell tower farms, where glyphosate is sprayed, radon, et cetera. That’s a great question, Lena.

Brian Johnson (00:56:46):

And what are some resources for that?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:47):

Yeah, what are some resources? Is there a guide? Is there a list? Here’s the checklist for potential home buyers. Of all the things that you want to look at when you’re trying to figure out a home, is there some central repository where we’d have a list?

Brian Johnson (00:57:05):

Well, so in Prescription for a Healthy House, Paula writes that out.

(00:57:14):

There’s reading involved, but as time evolves and as we perfect these things, we’ll be able to make it more streamlined and more simple like, Hey, what’s this? Give me the 10 simple takeaways. My website, I’m doing some updates, as a matter of fact, on that. Hey, what are the main points to look at? Again, also, the Building Biology Institute. Again, these are really powerful resources, and so I know I keep bringing it up, but these are answers to the questions. Even working, consider consult with the building biologist in your area. They’re going to give you these lists because these are the things that we train for as a building biologist, because even me as a builder, I look at and as a builder perspective, and then it just breaks down to a client. But again, I’m looking at the environment, the external environment.

(00:58:13):

I’m looking at the building structure. I’m looking at electrical design. I’m looking at, we didn’t even get into climate and ventilation systems, which that’s a key one. I kind of did want to talk about ERV for ventilation and looking at the building materials again, so a building biologist is going to come through and do all the different types of testing. We didn’t even get into the mold testing and things like that, indoor air quality testing, measuring the VOCs, but it’s good to work at that. I recommend for everybody to consult with an environmental consultant or a building biologist to come in there at least to do simple measurements of EMFs, indoor air quality, do some inspections along with air, just simple air testing, which will test for mold spores in the air. I know I didn’t really zero in on that question, but there’s resources out there.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:59:21):

I think there are resources out there, and I know I’m trying to put together a list too, because we want to be able to provide for patients, okay, this is where you look for Superfund sites. This is where you go to assess air quality. These are the different ways that you can do air quality assessments in your area, in your house, and then you can get a building biologist. So coming up with ways to do it both for somebody who can afford to work with a professional and then somebody who is a do-it-yourself, or trying to do the best that they can. Let’s see. How about crawl spaces and humidity levels and when to know you need a vapor barrier?

Brian Johnson (01:00:10):

Yeah, me as the builder, when you get into crawlspaces, there’s just so many variables and so factors there, and it’s a really good conversation and a question to bring because whether it’s an attic or whether it’s a crawlspace, I try to, I look at even preconditioning these areas.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:36):

What does preconditioning mean?

Brian Johnson (01:00:37):

We’re actually acclimating it, almost close to the temperatures within the home, because that way we’re not getting this rapid influx and swing of a high dew point in here, or basement, or the crawl space, and it’s different within the home, and it’s cooler here. It’s hotter down there, and if you don’t have breathable membranes, what happens is the water will get trapped and it builds condensation, which obviously is going to lead to potential mold and factors like that. There’s a lot of good companies out there. What they’re doing for crawl spaces, they’re completely going in there and they seal 100% of that area, and they stop– just depending on what’s in the crawl space or a basement. If it’s cementitious, there’s different materials that we can put that stop the vapor from coming through the moisture vapor. If it’s dirt, there’s different types of non-toxic materials that they can line 100% the walls, the floors, and then insulate all the duct work or whatever’s running under that crawl space to help control, to acclimate that environment along with proper ventilation too, because it’s good to have–it could be done mechanically with fans. There’s a science to that. Absolutely, and there’s a lot of great resources. Again, it’s sealing it, but it’s controlling, it’s sealing everything, but it’s controlling that environment to maintaining proper airflow. So we’re not getting those rapid–again, that’s what happens is the rapid humidity and air temperature influxes between inside of the home and underneath the home. That’s what creates the condensation. So the goal is, what is it going to take to acclimate that environment so you don’t have those major swings between the two areas, and its the same applies for an attic as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:02:39):

Okay. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Let’s see. What questions should we ask a professional? We are hiring to do an inspection to make sure that they can do a comprehensive check. So some people from the International Society for Environmental Acquired Illness, ISEAI, most of those folks are mold inspectors, and so they may not be able to do a comprehensive assessment looking at some of these other things like radon and VOCs. So how do we best assess the qualifications of a professional to assess these different things?

Brian Johnson (01:03:28):

It’s a good point of what you brought up too, because from an environmental consultant, they’re trained to look at specific conditions that are going to potentially lead to mold and things like that, versus again, what I like about the Building Biology Institute is they have a program, it’s called BBEC, and it’s a building biologists environmental consultant. And again, they’re really looking at the building science. So there’s even a lot of environmental consultants that they’ll go through, again, the Building Biology Institute, because they want to understand more, even more mechanicals or the building science of understanding the building. So again, they’re looking at the building at a full scope. So me from my background, I do a lot of assessments myself, but there’s just not a lot of people like me because if you’re, say you’re selling a home and you’re doing a roof inspection, and then you’re just doing an overall inspection from a real estate perspective, not to knock anybody, but they’re not looking at what we’re looking at from an environmental standpoint, not even close. So I always recommend working with a building biologist, again, an environmental consultant, because they’re going to look at the building science, they’re going to look at everything from the roof all the way down to the foundation, all the way to air testing that environment. And what I’m seeing a lot more now is even in real estate exchanges, sometimes you only have 10 days to come in and to do an inspection.

(01:05:16):

Matter of fact, I’m putting together a program for that, where we could come in there, expedite all the testing, go in there and do a full day, write up a summary evaluation, and have that evaluation into the client’s hand within that 10 day inspection period, and they’re getting a comprehensive inspection versus just relying on, again, I don’t want to knock any home inspection company, but they’re just not looking at it the way that we’re having a discussion here on this platform here today, not even close. And so that’s why I like working with an environmental consultant. Again, Building Biology Institute, because that’s exactly what we’re looking for.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:55):

Is there a course that they offer for the general public or for environmental medicine doctors? So we don’t have to [garbled] everything?

Brian Johnson (01:06:05):

No, they do. They have a great–it’s called their advocacy. There’s two programs that they have, and it basically teaches the 101, and I recommend it for everybody that’s on this call today. I highly recommend it’s a simple course. You can do it on your own time, and you’re going to take away so much literature from that. So you’re going to get the support and a mentor through that just to help you feel good that you’re taking like, Hey, I actually learned a lot from here. But also too, you get that coursework. So having that 101 under your belt, even for you, Dr. Kelly, sounds great having that. Oh yeah, you’ll constantly always have a reference. Because the way that they broke it down in chapters, in the 101, they literally break it down piece by piece by piece, Hey, did we look at the environmental factor? Hey, did we look at the building factor? Now let’s go within the building factor and look at the EMF, the air quality and things like that. So it is a simple breakdown through the whole process.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:02):

That’s exciting. I can’t wait to take it. Yes, in all my spare time. Okay. More questions.

Brian Johnson (01:07:08):

And it’s fun. It’s fun too.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:10):

It sounds super fun. What are the best practices you know if you have a mold problem, but you cannot yet remediate? That’s a tough one, I know.

Brian Johnson (01:07:28):

I always like to have an answer for everything, but if I have an answer for everything, everybody should be concerned. And I’m just joking, but let’s see here. Kind of putting on my environmental hat on, I think a lot of people are starting to become educated on the ways of, okay, the ways of cleaning, right? Like, oh, hey, I’ll spray bleach on it. Or, Hey, there’s present mold there. I’m just going to clean it up for now until, does that make sense to the question? I’ll clean up for now until I can mitigate it properly.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:08:15):

I think so. Or can we use lots of air filters. Is there a way to wall–plastic it off? Or what are kind of the best practices? What’s reasonable? I say it’s tough, right? Say it’s in the bathroom. Well, you could not use the bathroom and plastic it off, but then you don’t have a bathroom. You can put an air filter in there…just ideas like that?

Brian Johnson (01:08:47):

Containment is definitely key and not spreading it. So the worst thing you could do is we’ll just eliminate, okay, hey, I’m going to go in there and I’m going to use bleach, whatever, and I’m just going to clean all this stuff off, right? Please everyone. Or Hey, I’m going to use an ozone generator or something. You sound like, obviously you have the knowledge in this, but it’s like you want to contain that area. You want to literally seal that area off, not only seal–say it’s an isolated area that you just can’t get to, our room or something like that. It would literally be plastic off that area, and the rest of the home it would be– here’s a big takeaway for everybody too. There’s different–3M makes different filters for HVAC systems. So if anybody here has a centralized system, I would changing the filters all the time, and they’re called Filtrete. 3M Filtrete, and they make different rated ones based upon the energy efficiencies. So you don’t want to take a really dense filter and put it in a non-efficient [HVAC system] because you’ll burn up the motor. Okay? So you want to match ’em carefully. But 3M actually was pretty genius around it because it’s and electrically charged filter–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:10:16):

Like electrostatic?

Brian Johnson (01:10:17):

Electrostatic. Thank you. And so what it does is it captures all of those additional mold spores, if you will, and you’ll want to run that if you have a circulation mode. So you’re constantly trying to scrub the air portable systems as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:10:35):

So I have a question, and I have this argument with my husband, so I am glad that I can ask this question. In a room that we know that there’s mold in the wall. Say for example, there’s a sprinkler system that’s hitting the wall. So that wall is a little bit moldy from the outside in. It’s a bedroom wall, so it’s not like there’s a leak, a pipe leak. And his argument is, well, if I put the air filter, like a portable air filter right next to it, I’m going to be pulling that air into the room and that’s a bad idea and I don’t want to do that. And my thought is, no, you actually want to put the air filter right there because then it’s going to grab more of the mycotoxin, well maybe not mycotoxins, but more of the mold spores to reduce the total burden in the room. What is your take on that?

Brian Johnson (01:11:34):

Yeah, I think what your husband might be concerned about is a negative pressure. So if you’re putting something in there and it’s constantly sucking and then it’s creating a negative pressure within that environment, then it would, but there’s–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:11:51):

The portable air filters can’t make negative pressure, can they?

Brian Johnson (01:11:56):

Yeah, exactly. Not from going one room to the next room where it’s pulling from one area to the–it’s literally just circulating within that environment. So I was just rolling out negative air pressure within the room because we’re not pulling it out of that source. So in fact, the portable filter will help filter just whatever’s in the air, kind of back to not disturbing an area that has that, until you, again, you can come back and address that. The home system, a portable system, isolating the area, and then the rest of the home, HEPA vacuum. I think everybody should own a portable–you can go on Amazon, they make more commercial type shop vac looking ones, but they also make Miele or whatever, that they make a really, really nice HEPA. They’re a little expensive, but you can’t–and it just kind of applies to everything.

(01:12:57):

And I’m going to kind of pull two pieces here together. So when we’re building a home, there is a lot of building materials that even come from facilities that have mold on it. There’s spores, even when you’re building and constructing the area, it’s getting in. It’s just the way it is. And so when we’re done building a home, the idea is to take full HEPA vacuum systems, vacuum everything. And then according to the IRC, we’re following certain types of guidelines for what we call microbial environmental cleaning, right? Because we’re cleaning all the physical dust, the heavy dust, and then, but we’re wiping the walls in a very specific fashion. I won’t go into the details of it. And then we’re discarding of all the media that we’re wiping these walls down. So the reason I share that is because if we were to go in and mold test after we do this full thorough cleaning, chances are we’re going to have very low numbers.

(01:13:58):

So I would even recommend that if there’s an isolated area, you contain that area, you make sure you’re not pulling any kind of a negative pressure and disturbing that area, treating it with ozone, wiping it down with any kind of a insecticide, biocide, fungicide, anything with a chemical in it. Because the chemicals that in fact can even kill these bacteria or mold and things like that, unless they’re the–now you’re putting a chemical in the air too. And then there’s this whole factor of what it does to mold, even ozone. Mold’s pretty interesting. It has a way to survive. So the idea is to contain it until it can properly get remediated. But the external areas around, you can keep those areas clean a hundred percent. Like I was explaining, I just gave just a quick little overview, but that’s what we do when we’re doing cleaning.

(01:14:56):

Because when I go in there to do any form of–I’m not so much of a remediator, I’m just a builder–but when we’re doing the work and I want to finalize it and hand it over to my client that’s super sensitive to these kinds of things, I’m going to make sure it’s fully cleaned thoroughly and tested to show, hey, the numbers are low. Now, that’s not to say that in six months without good housekeeping or just maybe you’re opening the doors too much and there’s poor air quality and it’s coming inside, we could turn around and test that in six months and actually have high numbers. Does it mean there’s a specific mold problem? No, it just means that’s the high mold spore count that’s accumulating in that area. That’s why cleaning is key. And I’m glad that I had the space to be able to share that with everybody. It gets pretty crazy, but if you truly want an area that’s mold free, so to speak, it requires a lot of cleaning, but a very strategic type of a cleaning, and we’re talking not using any chemicals. This is just mechanical cleaning, using HEPA and just using mild, non-toxic safe detergents. That’s it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:03):

Right. Great. Okay. I think we have time for just a couple more.

Brian Johnson (01:16:10):

Sorry, everybody. I wish we could answer all the questions.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:13):

I know. So what about a 34-year-old furnace? Can it get moldy if there’s no AC?

Brian Johnson (01:16:23):

So just a furnace.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:27):

Just for heat.

Brian Johnson (01:16:28):

Just for heat. So when we’re doing design for mechanical systems, whether it’s a furnace or an HVAC, I always suggest on using–I have to go further before I answer the question directly. We’re using what’s referred to as hard duct metal sheet metal plumbing ducts. And I would say at hopefully at that age, they’re all metal, which has its advantages. And the reason why I say that is over the years, more than likely, if we were to say, we were to do some kind of a surface test within the ducts of that furnace, chances are it is going to have been compromised once upon a time, bypassing the filters, maybe filters weren’t cleaned up, whatever. It’s just a lot of years. So I don’t know if they’ve been cleaned. But the good thing, it’s kind of a side note for everybody too, because if you have rigid duct work, sheet metal duct work, it’s easier to clean. And so I would definitely look into that and consider doing a thorough cleaning on that system. That’s really important. The thing about flexible duct work, it’s harder to clean. So at that age, I’m assuming the system could be cleaned. That would be my first recommendation is go through and do a full thorough cleaning on that. There’s companies out there, I’m kind of mixed on this whole thing, but if it’s somebody with mold sensitivities, there’s the whole fogging.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:18:16):

I’m not a huge fan.

Brian Johnson (01:18:18):

Totally against it? But, however, I’ve gone in on a lot of projects and I’ve actually tested post fogging and I’ll collect data from the client like, how’s the air quality, nosebleeds, dry air? Are they treating it with tea tree oil and all these different natural forms? And I haven’t seen any real big complaints from fogging. This is just my experience. Some people don’t agree with it, but I’ve actually tested and the test came back real minimal. There was hardly any mold count in the duct work. And we’re talking a year post having all the fogging done. So I’ve seen good results. I’m just trying to throw some things out there of cleaning, potential fogging, obviously, making sure that once you do that, you have good filtration, testing for leaks. Leaks is a big one, whether it’s an HVAC air handler system or furnace, whatever. Air leaks are a big one because in the wall cavity spaces or attics or, again, under crawl spaces. If there’s air leaks, you’re going to be pulling in the spores that are in that area, and it’s going to go right into that duct system. So I think it’s having a good inspection done on that to help be sure there’s no leaks, doing the cleaning, and then the fogging could just be an option.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:19:42):

Right. Couple last questions. So what would be your top two or three favorite portable air filtration units companies? Do you have some reputable companies that you really like?

Brian Johnson (01:20:00):

The one that’s being talked about right now is that Jasper unit.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:03):

It has an air filter?

Brian Johnson (01:20:05):

Yeah, portable, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:07):

Oh! Never heard of it.

Brian Johnson (01:20:08):

Is that the portable systems, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:11):

Right, portable systems.

Brian Johnson (01:20:12):

Yeah, the Jasper. A lot of people have been talking about, I haven’t had to use it personally, but in the building biology world and people that do environmental testing, they’re really promoting the Jasper, because I think what it does, is it actually measures– it gives you a light on VOCs and it’ll actually capture what’s going on with the air quality and notify you.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:38):

So it’s a filter and a meter of sorts.

Brian Johnson (01:20:42):

Yeah. Yeah. It has some kind of a metering system on there. Very cool. I’ve heard good things, but I love the Air IQ.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:52):

The IQ Air. Yeah, me too.

Brian Johnson (01:20:53):

IQ Air.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:54):

I love the IQ Air.

Brian Johnson (01:20:55):

Yeah, somebody just posted on there. Yeah, jasper.co. Hopefully that person has had good experience with that.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:05):

She’s our super researcher, Leyna. She’s putting all the information in the chat.

Brian Johnson (01:21:09):

Oh, Leyna, by the way, thank you for all your questions, because again, like I was saying, I learned a lot from you, and I actually wrote down the top things to look for like a checklist. But yeah, I love the IQ Air. Air Doctor is another one. Intelepure. Let’s just have a quick little piece on this. Less than one minute. So the UV, let’s talk about UV.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:36):

Okay.

Brian Johnson (01:21:38):

So some of these systems have UV. I think Austin Air is another one.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:44):

Oh, yeah. Austin Air is wonderful too.

Brian Johnson (01:21:45):

Right? Because those are true–the ones that we just talked about are true HEPA.

(01:21:52):

And they’re using carbon filters, HEPA filters, and they’re not UV, they shouldn’t–we’re not talking UV, we’re talking true HEPA. So the verdict’s not entirely out, but the science is really alluding to UV lights, by default create an oxidization process, a U–or an ozone. The byproduct, is ozone through this. Some of them are different technologies depending on what bulbs they’re using. It’s this hydroxyl process. But what they’re doing is they’re creating levels of ozone, and it’s breaking down the micron to fine particles. So in the building biology world, they’re like, okay, well, where’s it going? But I mean, some of them–NASA’s done testing saying, well, it’s evaporated. I don’t know. Scientists saying, well, where’s it evaporating to? But what I’ve seen is the complaint, this is what I wanted to share with everybody.

(01:22:58):

It’s aggressive. It’s aggressive. And so if you’re running constant UV systems in some type of a portable, it actually can create more asthmatic symptoms or burning in the throat or potential nosebleeds, a lot of irritation, potential headaches and things like that. So that is information–because I was really pro-UV again, because, as I talked about early in the beginning, I’m like all about the science and more is better, and I’m going to use the latest and greatest technologies, but latest and greatest technologies isn’t always the solution. And so through that, over the last several years, I’ve been doing a lot of understanding for myself, and personal experience with others using UV systems. And you know what? It’s back to the basics. Like I talked about a smart home versus an analog home, it’s relying on true air filtration, relying on HEPA, which is a Merv 16 and higher. It’s a score, a rated score that really assures that we’re taking everything down submicron into the air. And so that’s what we should really be relying on is true mechanical filtration and not using different UV systems to rely on that they work. But I think it could just be more issues down the road that we don’t need to go through.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:24:18):

Right? Yeah, there was a system called a high tech system that was recommended early on in the old days with Shoemaker, and it made me feel terrible. It was some sort of UV light system. But I think the other question that–so there was somebody who said the Air Doctor might not be true HEPA. I don’t know if you want to comment on that one. I don’t know.

Brian Johnson (01:24:48):

And I don’t want to really, I’m careful. I don’t want to knock it. I was just kind of giving some recommendations where–the Air Doctor, I can’t remember on that one, but I know the ones, the other ones that we talked about wasn’t UV.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:24:59):

The other ones are good. I’d love to do the same, ask the same question for water filtration. So portable under the sink. What are some of the top brands that you like?

Brian Johnson (01:25:18):

Water’s my game. It’s understanding–again, I’m a home builder, the idea of building–I’m a healthy home builder, excuse me. And the idea is that of every facet, every aspect of the home has some kind of a healing component to it. So we can use the NSF 42 standards of water filtration, but it goes beyond that too. What types of media are we using? What types of filtration? Like for example, and I’m just going to throw this out there. I encourage everybody to do their own research around it, but reverse osmosis, RO systems, I used to use them, but reverse osmosis is really aggressive on copper for one. And obviously I think a lot of us here probably understand it takes everything, all the impurities out of the water, including all the minerals. So you have to remineralize RO water. But the biggest thing, and there is all kinds of studies about this using different types of highly sophisticated equipment for measuring, but what it does is it deconstructs water, and I kind of mentioned it makes it very aggressive on pipes, but if you were to look at it through these different types of scopes, it’s very rigid and it loses its coherence.

(01:26:37):

They actually do it in some treatment plans too, because it’s a fail safe fit to really clean up that water, but it’s doing damage to the water just as much as it’s filtering everything out. So there’s a movement out, and it’s a big movement, and it’s water structuring. So structured water, there’s a lot of science behind it. There’s some companies out there that they might quantify using their own data. So then it becomes biased, but it’s becoming big enough now to where there’s certain equipment, ways that they measure, that they actually can capture how water is structured. So the reason why I share that is with good carbon, I’m a big fan of carbon block water filtration. So we use pressed carbon blocks. Then, and now they’re doing the treatment. No different, like the Filtrete, to where it has that same type of a reaction to where now it’s filtering water submicron, but it’s keeping a high flow.

(01:27:41):

Because what happens is if you’re trying to filter out fluoride and you’re trying to filter all these different, it’s submicron, you lose water pressure through the house. So I look at it as how could we have water that’s completely filtered out that’s purified and that’s clean and it’s structured coming out at the faucet versus just having a little portable piece. So what it comes down to is if we’re using, the simple takeaway is this, if we’re using carbon press block filters and we’re able to get it down to submicron size, then you might want to do that under the sink if you don’t want to drop pressure for the entire home, and then they have just a spigot like you see on top of a countertop. So the goal is to take it down to submicron, but you want to be able to find ways to structure that water. That’s why I don’t recommend RO. That’s me personally. Everyone’s going to have an opinion around that. But if you do the study around structuring, so there’s different devices that I use to filter this water coming into the home and then restructuring it through the entire home. And then if I want to take it–go ahead.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:28:48):

No, sorry. Do you have names of specific products or companies that you like?

Brian Johnson (01:28:55):

Yeah, there’s one, and I talk about it on my social media platform just because, again, I do a lot of research. I’ve been doing this for a very, very long time. And so I’m kind of careful. I don’t want to be so biased in one thing, but if I find something good, why would I not share it with everybody? And one of the systems that I talk about, you’ll see in my social media, it’s Natural Action Technologies, Natural Action Technologies, and they have carbon pressed filters, but then there’s a structuring device on there that actually structures the water. It’s amazing. We’ve actually done, we’ve installed a lot of systems. You could do whole house or you can do an under the cabinet. So if it’s just an apartment and that’s all you have access to, at least you can put a smaller system under the cabinet. Perfect. But if the budget allows and you want to do the whole house, there are ways to take it all the way down to submicron and still maintain a high flow and structure the water, which is ideal if you have that capability.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:02):

Oh, that sounds amazing. Yeah. So cool. Gosh, Brian, I think we gotta end. I have another engagement at three o’clock.

Brian Johnson (01:30:12):

Oh, no.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:13):

And I need to take a little break. This has been fantastic. So cool. I love all of the information and I love all the questions. And I’m sorry to all those who asked questions that we did not get to answer, they were such fantastic questions. How can people get in touch with you, learn more about you, find you on social media, things like that?

Brian Johnson (01:30:40):

Thank you. There’s so much more to share everyone. We just barely, I love talking about circadian lighting and all the lighting systems too.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:50):

Yes. We didn’t get to lots of stuff.

Brian Johnson (01:30:53):

We’ll have to share down the road, but however, everyone can follow me or contact me through–so the name of my company is Senergy 360, and that’s spelled S-E-N-E-R-G-Y, Senergy 360. And you can follow me, synergy 360 on Instagram. You can email me at brian@senergy360.com. Of course, my website is senergy360.com. We’re going to start being a lot more interactive on current blogs and what we’re coming across currently instead of just right now, it’s all about general contracting, project management. But now we’ll start sharing a lot of the science and everything that we’re learning, everything that we talked about here, I’ll just start breaking it down and recycling that information and keeping it all current for everybody to follow that, Hey, what’s going? I talk about everything, water filtration, lighting systems, EMFs, air quality, ventilation systems, building performance, how to inspect windows, what to look for on the roof, what to look around the foundation, integrated pest management, pest control, proper draining around the house, plants that are low allergen counts. I mean, it just goes on and on and on. So definitely follow me for sure.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:32:19):

Definitely follow you. And someone asked if there’s any chance unanswered questions could be briefly answered via email.

Brian Johnson (01:32:28):

Absolutely, yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:32:30):

We’ll make sure you get the questions. And you’ll also get the list of all of the people who signed up, there will be a replay, as I mentioned at the beginning, that we’ll send out along with the transcript, so you’ll get to read through it. Maybe we’ll try and add the transcript of the chat because Leyna and Sarah, many others put such great information in there as well. And thank you again, Brian. This has been really fun. We’ll have to do it again sometime next year.

Brian Johnson (01:33:02):

We’ll have to do it again. And just one last thing. For all of the viewers and everybody that’s on the call in the upcoming recording, I’m happy to do a free consult with someone over the phone on any questions because there’s just so much there. And so I want to extend that to everybody. So just know that that’s there. We’ll just have to schedule it out. Okay.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:33:24):

Awesome. Thank you so much, Brian. Thank you everyone for listening, and we’ll see you again soon. Take care. Thank you. Bye.


Hair Loss: Discovering the Root Cause

Hair Loss: Discovering the Root Cause

In this much-anticipated follow-up to my first webinar with Julie Olson, we got together to once again discuss the common and complex issue of hair loss. Julie walked us through some of the most prevalent root causes of hair loss for both men and women, how to treat thinning hair based on those root causes, and some pearls that Julie picked up from her recent summit on healthy hair. As always, participants brought thoughtful questions and Julie guided us through those with grace.

Watch the replay below!

Want more from Julie Olson? Catch her at her site here. And be sure to take her Healthy Hair Fix Program, which she is offering at 50% for a limited time using code HHF50

Julie has a wonderful resource page with amazing products, many of which are discounted with Julie’s code – click here to browse.

Also, check out my specially formulated Healthy Hair Formula (and get 10% off with a subscription)!


Full Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:03):

Hello everyone. Welcome. I am so excited that you are all here. This webinar series is Dr. Kelly’s Library, and each time we do this, we have amazing presenters and colleagues, and today is no exception. I have my friend and colleague Julie Olson, who is a triple certified nutritionist, functional medicine practitioner who is on a mission to help women with hair loss especially, and her mission really is to help restore women’s health, hope and hair naturally to look and feel their absolute best. And we’re so excited to have you here, Julie.

Julie Olson (00:00:52):

Oh, I’m so excited to be here. Thank you. Thank you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:56):

Okay, we’re going to let the participants come in. While we’re waiting for people to come in, I’ll let you know that first we’re going to do a little conversation. Julie and I are going to talk. I’m going to ask her some questions. She might ask me some questions, and then we’ll open it up to all of you to ask your questions as well. I’ll ask that you put your questions in the Q&A so that we can keep track of them. You are more than welcome to talk in the chat. And then my assistant, Sarah, is in the background, so she’ll be supporting us. If you have questions, she can answer those things in the chat. But specific questions for Julie and I, please put them in the Q&A when we get started.

(00:01:53):

So I know we have over 700 people who have registered for this. So excited. If you’re not here or you have to leave early, we will have a replay available and we will email it out probably next week since it is Friday. Okay, so Julie, let’s talk about hair loss. And what I’d really love to hear, many patients will come and they’ll say, I’m losing hair. It’s in my brush, it’s in my shower drain, and my doctor checked my thyroid and it’s normal. What else? What else could it possibly be? And you told me there are over 50 causes of hair loss before we started. Holy crap. That’s a lot.

Julie Olson (00:02:45):

Yeah. Well, I’m happy to rattle ’em off for everybody. Okay.

(00:02:50):

Okay, here we go. So, nutrient deficiencies or surpluses, gut dysbiosis/ imbalances, hormonal imbalances, elevated DHT, that’s dihydrotestosterone, Graves disease, Hashimoto’s, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, fungal imbalances such as Candida, PCOS, that’s polycystic ovary syndrome, diabetes, prediabetes — that’s the inflammation that’s driving that. COVID-19, anemia, iron deficiency, and also iron overload. There’s a small window of iron where you want to be. Poor digestion, malabsorption, toxic overload, mold, xenoestrogens — big one. Medications, certain medications, major unresolved stressors, trauma, environmental toxins, anti gladin antibodies, autoimmune alopecia — so that destroys the hair follicle. And also other autoimmune disorders like I just mentioned and others that I didn’t mention. Crash and liquid diets, parasites, chronic inflammation, adrenal fatigue, food sensitivities, food allergies, poor circulation, systemic lupus, syphilis, heavy exercise or a sedentary lifestyle, infection, chronic illness, viruses, heavy metals, mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, skin disease, genetics — we know that. High fever, excessive hairstyling. And of course mast cell activation syndrome, right? Circadian rhythm dysfunction, insomnia, and other sleep disorders. EMF sensitivities or overload. And I’m going to list off the top five chemicals that can cause hair loss. And actually there’s a number of lawsuits pending on these with major hair product companies. So that’s formaldehyde, parabens, phylates, sulfates, gly — I can never pronounce it. Propylene glycol. And then of course pesticides, such as Glyphosate.

(00:05:28):

Low protein intake, low branched chain and essential amino acids, dietary fatty acid imbalances, low intake of phytonutrients and fiber, undereating such as anorexia or bulemia, different eating disorders. So that’s scratching the surface.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:05:56):

Wow, that is quite a list. Yeah. Crazy. And it sounds like there’s this sweet spot in the middle. So if we have too much of something or too little of something, whether it’s amino acids or essential fatty acids or other nutrients like iron, for example, we have to have the right amount of iron. We can’t have too much or too little. It’s going to cause problems. We call that homeostasis being in the middle. So when you start to work with somebody, Julie, and you have this whole long list of things, how do you navigate that? How do you help them navigate that?

Julie Olson (00:06:43):

Well, I have a thorough questionnaire and I’ll look at their prior labs and then I’ll have an intake and I will then decide what functional labs they should have. So they usually need more detective work, but I like to start with a foundation program — which, we’re going to offer a discount code here at the end. It’s just to understand all this because hair loss is really complicated and what they’ve discovered, a new microbiome, we have our gut microbiome and gut health plays a huge role in this, but they’ve also discovered the new scalp, hair follicle microbiome.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:37):

Wow.

Julie Olson (00:07:39):

So it requires an enormous amount of energy, not only from nutrients, but ATP in our mitochondria. And unfortunately all that goes to our vital organs first. So our hair gets the last of the love and the last of all this. And because of the xenoestrogens and the stress and the chronic diseases worldwide, hair loss has become a lot more prevalent. I mean, it affects 80% of men and 50%, now they’re up to 60% of women worldwide. And those are no small numbers, but it is complicated. And I put it into four functional root categories because that’s what you need to do, is get to the root costs. Because you can go to a dermatologist and they’ll give you medications and cortisone and products and procedures, and sure, that can be a bandaid and it might help. And you can do both, but you really need to get to the root cause. And I put those into four categories. So digestive, you know, nutritional — number one — hormonal [number two], stress induced [number three], and inflammatory [fumber four]. And there’s overlap in those too. It is like a matrix.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:09:15):

That makes a lot of sense. And there’s a huge industry to help people get their hair back, whether it’s laser or injections or products, pills, and putting stuff on your hair and your scalp. But you’re right, none of it’s really getting to the root cause. So the practitioner and the patient both have to be super sleuths and follow functional medicine principles in order to really figure that out.

Julie Olson (00:09:46):

Right.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:09:49):

Just an aside, before we dive a little bit deeper, can you explain what you mean by xenoestrogens for our listeners?

Julie Olson (00:10:01):

Well, plastics, makeup, just a lot of products, especially us women use on our skin, even on our scalp, how food is packaged, processed. And what it does is it gets our hormones out of balance. You could probably jump in here!

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:30):

Sure, I’ll share. So xeno, it’s spelled XENO, and the idea means that it’s exogenous, it’s outside of ourselves. And so these are chemicals that have estrogen-like effects. And I remember reading books about and learning about when reptiles in the sixties and seventies started having androgynous genitalia. And I thought it was really crazy. But these xenoestrogens have been around for a really long time, and they include things like plastics, parabens, phalates. So there are two kinds of chemicals that are used in plastics. One group of compounds are called phthalates. And these are also in a lot of our personal care products. Those are the compounds that make plastic soft. So your plastic water bottles are actually kind of soft now. Then there’s BPA, the bisphenols, BPS, BPF. So the bisphenols, those make plastic hard. And those also have endocrine disrupting effects, not just for women, but for men too. And those have a huge role in messing up our hormones and therefore messing up our hair. Right. Crazy stuff. Can you tell us a little bit more about the hair follicle microbiome? That’s fascinating.

Julie Olson (00:12:11):

Yeah, it is. And it really needs the same attention that our gut microbiome needs. And it also needs, in addition, it needs stimulation. So massaging your scalp or there’s these massager — wire massagers, you can find it on my website. Getting exercise, doing exercise, standing on your head, your hands, getting that circulation to your scalp. That’s all part of the microbiome. And that’s another reason [for] the hair loss epidemic is people are so sedentary nowadays. And then again, getting the nutrients and balancing out your gut microbiome because it affects your scalp, hair follicle microbiome. And as we know, our gut has more bacteria than cells on our body, and it’s a 10 to one ratio, and the same goes for our scalp. There’s a lot of bacteria there that can play a role in hair loss. Even like if your scalp isn’t healthy, your skin isn’t healthy. Even not washing your hair a lot can plug up the follicles with oil and people, there’s so many myths about hair loss, and that’s one of them. You shouldn’t wash your hair. That is not true.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:13:55):

Is there — yeah, somebody asked how often should you wash hair? So is there the optimal amount? I mean, some people like me, I have very thin fine hair.

Julie Olson (00:14:09):

Yeah. So-

Kelly McCann, MD (00:14:10):

And so I can’t go more than a day, so I wash it every other day.

Julie Olson (00:14:16):

Yeah, it’s the same with me. It depends on the person too. I mean, some people can go longer without washing it. It depends. But don’t not wash your hair thinking it’s going to help your hair loss because it’ll do the opposite.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:14:29):

Okay.

Julie Olson (00:14:31):

So

Kelly McCann, MD (00:14:31):

There’s the right amount of frequency of washing and everybody is a little bit different. Certainly if people have thicker kinkier hair, they can get away with not washing it as frequently, but they still need to wash it. And then I’m sure, of course, what we wash it with really makes a difference too, because if we’re washing with lots of toxic chemicals, that’s going to be a problem. It’s going to disrupt the gut microbiome. Just like eating foods contaminated with glyphosate messes up our gut microbiome. Right?

Julie Olson (00:15:03):

Exactly. Exactly. And there’s also some new serums out that have these peptides that can really help stimulate hair growth. I’m not big on serums, but some of the new ones that do have these peptides. And there’s also this one that I can put in the show notes that has not only for peptides, it also has caffeine we talked about before. So that can help stimulate hair growth too. It’s probably because of the circulation mechanism.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:15:41):

So all those people drinking coffee, it’s helping stimulate their hair growth? [laughing]

Julie Olson (00:15:47):

But drink organic good coffee because coffee can harvest mold.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:15:52):

Exactly. Got to be good coffee. Yeah. Alright, well I can’t do caffeine anymore, so I’m still on my decaffeinated Fabula. But okay, very cool. It’s interesting about the scalp massage. I always thought that seemed kind of silly to have somebody — I mean, I know it feels good, right? When somebody massages your scalp, but it didn’t know that that’s actually bringing blood and nutrients to the scalp, which is helping with hair loss.

Julie Olson (00:16:21):

It is. And there’s a certain way to do it too.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:16:25):

Do you have a video?

Julie Olson (00:16:26):

I should do a blog on that. There is a certain way that you could be trained as a masseuse to do a scalp massage that helps with hair growth. But yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:16:41):

Let us know when you do that blog.

Julie Olson (00:16:44):

Okay.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:16:45):

Bring it to my masseuse. Here, this is how you do it. Love it. I love it. Alright, so we were talking about the four functional categories, digestive, hormonal, stress, inflammation. Obviously there’s a lot of overlap there. So tell us a little bit about what you might do with somebody when you’re trying to evaluate this.

Julie Olson (00:17:11):

Well, initially I want to do the detective work to remove the stressors and the toxins that are in their body, their GI tract and their environment. And that remove phase can last a couple of months. It’s really important to do that properly. So I use the five R protocol approach that you probably learned in functional medicine too. Remove, replace, reinoculate, repair and rebalance. The remove phase is just so important to just remove whatever, because if you miss something, then you start layering in supplements and foods and so forth. It can be kind of a waste, well, it can be a waste of time and money.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:18:08):

It’s like trying to do a ton amount of detox, buying a sauna, doing coffee enemas and colonics and taking all these supplements and not getting out of your moldy house. It’s the same idea. We have to really be diligent about identifying what are the root causes.

Julie Olson (00:18:30):

And I also have initial foundational four week food plan. It takes out the common allergens, including nightshades and everything. And it also has nutrients that help grow hair. So there are specific foods that help grow hair more than others. So that’s a good place to start too, because you also to need to remove, there could be some foods, usually healthy foods that for some reason you’re sensitive to them or even allergic to them, and you don’t know. You keep eating every day, but they’re causing that chronic internal inflammation.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:19:13):

Which is then translating to the skin, which is then translating to problems with the scalp. Right, right. So give us an idea of some common foods that are good for hair growth.

Julie Olson (00:19:28):

Oh, I would be — cold water fish. Salmon is a great one. Salmon, sardines, because they have the protein. They have both the branched chain and essential amino acids and they’ve got the omegas, the fatty acids.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:19:49):

That makes sense. Yeah. Any other foods at the top of your food? Healthy hair list?

Julie Olson (00:19:59):

Oh gosh, gosh. So greens, especially arugula and spinach, unless you have a problem with high oxalates or something. But especially the iron, the nice iron in the spinach, but also getting the heme iron from grass fed beef. Liver. Liver is a top organ meat. It’s a top nutrient for, oh, my lights just fell down. Oh dear.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:20:36):

Okay, so liver and organ meats.

Julie Olson (00:20:38):

Yeah. Good organic —

Kelly McCann, MD (00:20:41):

Yes. Organic.

Julie Olson (00:20:42):

That’s got tons of hair growth, nutrients.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:20:47):

Good to know.

Julie Olson (00:20:49):

Yeah, nuts.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:20:50):

Yeah. So lots of high protein, high fat foods, nutrient dense foods for the most part. So you’re getting the proteins, the branched chain amino acids, the omegas if at all possible. And

Julie Olson (00:21:06):

Yeah, the vitamin A, the iron, the B vitamins, vitamin E, minerals, those are fantastic. It’s hard to eat foods high in saw palmetto. That’s a really good — what are those foods, the DHT and other things like horsetail, but collagen, a good clean collagen powder can really help with hair growth as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:21:42):

Have you found that it matters if it’s like beef collagen, marine collagen, any other sort of collagen?

Julie Olson (00:21:53):

I’m researching that. I think just as long as it doesn’t have a flavor, it doesn’t taste as good. But I think animal collagen would be better. What do you know about marine collagen?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:22:12):

I don’t know much about marine collagen, but I have had patients ask about that. I have a beef collagen that I really like a lot. It’s grass fed, grass finished, no flavor. You can mix it in everything. In fact, I have a smoothie right here. I’ve got two scoops in it. I put some in my non-dairy yogurt in the morning. There’s not a lot of protein in non-dairy yogurt. So okay, that’s a great list. Alright, so we’re putting good things in. And it sounds like you really have a program where people can learn the foundational stuff that they need to do in case that they haven’t already learned that or they’re not working with a practitioner. So you’ve got the Healthy Hair Foundation course. Why don’t you tell us a little bit more about that and just what that would entail since there is a special for everyone?

Julie Olson (00:23:14):

Yeah, it does have the four weeks of recipes, grocery lists, meal plans. I mean everything’s done for you. And then it’s got about 17 handouts, or well actually guides and resources and checklists that go through all this along with four recorded videos.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:23:40):

Nice.

Julie Olson (00:23:42):

And so again, hair loss is overwhelming. It’s complicated. And this is a foundation, it’s to just get you started because yeah, you probably want to do some lab testing, but that gets expensive and this is a really good foundation for you to think about where you are and where, instead of doing Dr. Google, I mean we’ll give a 50% off coupon. It’s really inexpensive to do this and just get your foundation.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:24:17):

And it may very well be, I mean Google is great and it’s very empowering, but obviously you can go down rabbit holes and if there are 50 causes, like Julie mentioned, you might be going down the wrong rabbit hole. So at least start with a foundation and then get with a good practitioner like yourself who can then start to look at what are the things that are out of balance, do the necessary labs to have those evaluations done. So what sort of other things, go ahead. What were you going to say?

Julie Olson (00:24:57):

Well, I also want to state that if you’re losing over a hundred, 150 hairs a day and you’ll know it because it’ll be here, there, everywhere, then don’t wait because there is an urgency here because hair loss, it starts to miniaturize and then if you let it go too long, you can get what’s called scarring of the hair follicle. When you see those shiny scalps, that’s basically, especially with men, you see those, they have scarring of the hair follicle and that’s nearly impossible to reverse. And also–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:25:44):

That’s scary. Right.

Julie Olson (00:25:46):

And also, I mean people have done hair transplants for years and we talked about last time, Kelly, only 49% of them take. Wow. And that’s because that person doesn’t have a healthy scalp. You can’t grow a garden in clay, they haven’t addressed these other things that we are starting to talk about that I talked and you talk about, the foundation, you have to get your body in balance that can be very expensive. And they’re doing botch jobs like in Turkey and some of these foreign countries, they’re doing inexpensive hair transplants and then they don’t work and then they go to a surgeon here in United States, I’ve heard horror stories and these surgeons, they can’t do anything either because they’ve really messed up their hair follicles. So this is a really tricky business. And honestly, taking this on, the hair industry is set to build [$]211 billion, that’s B with a billion this year. And they botch the studies. So what they do is they’ll take even hair supplements, they’ll take like saw palmetto and they’ll use some study saying that saw palmetto can help with hair growth. And so they’ll apply that to their supplements saying that it’s clinically…

Kelly McCann, MD (00:27:27):

Proven.

Julie Olson (00:27:28):

Yeah, clinically proven. And they put that out there. And the thing is, they can, because there’s no regulations in this system.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:27:39):

Right. And so even–

Julie Olson (00:27:39):

Also for hair products and there’s some, if you Google hair companies that are in lawsuits, you’re going to be shocked. And there’s also some Netflix series or something on, it’s called Not So Pretty. I mean it’s shocking. And so what I’m trying to say here is don’t waste your time or money on the latest hair product, the latest, even just be careful because there’s a lot of scams in this industry and it’s not getting to the root cause. It’s not.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:28:24):

Right. Well, that’s thoughtful advice to really make sure that–

Julie Olson (00:28:32):

Scary advice. But…

Kelly McCann, MD (00:28:34):

Well…Yeah, I mean I think we have to be advocates for ourselves and make sure that we are paying attention to people who are trusted authorities who have walked the walk and talked the talk. And what I think I hear you saying is that just because there’s an article out there in the medical literature that says saw palmetto can help with hair loss, a company could put saw palmetto in their product and say, oh look, this is clinically proven to help hair loss, but there’s no proof that this particular product has helped with hair loss. It’s in the medical literature, doesn’t mean that this product works and this combination of stuff works well.

Julie Olson (00:29:16):

In addition, Kelly, what they do with these studies is they will take subjects that are, for instance, going off Minoxidil. When you go off Minoxidil or Rogain, your hair’s going to fall out. And so they take these people and put them on their product or they place the studies like — this is springtime, is when we have more hair fallout. And so they’ll do the studies in the fall when you start to grow more hair and they’ll place the products then. I mean they skew these studies and pick their subjects accordingly and do in-house studies and they don’t relay the studies that don’t work. It’s a moneymaking business. It’s very concerning.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:30:19):

And the bottom line is that the health of our hair, it really is a barometer for the health of our bodies. If we’re losing hair, then there’s something wrong with our bodies and we have to pay attention to that and figure out what it is.

Julie Olson (00:30:35):

It can be a gift, it can be a gift, an imbalance, a sign. It’s usually not an illness that you have, but it’s an imbalance. And that can be a gift. It was for me. I probably wouldn’t have paid attention to my health if it wasn’t for my hair falling out in clumps.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:30:52):

Right. Yeah, exactly. And look what you’ve done with this, built this amazing vehicle for really teaching people and helping women especially get their health back through getting their hair back. Okay, so let’s see. We talked a little bit about digestion and the food, and then there’s the hormonal piece, the other categories. So we’ve got hormonal, stress, and inflammation. Which one would you like to share a little bit more information about?

Julie Olson (00:31:29):

How about inflammation? Chronic inflammation, because that’s where mast cell activation plays a huge role.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:31:36):

Let’s talk about that. So how do you start to work with folks about that? And then I can jump in and give my 2 cents.

Julie Olson (00:31:49):

Well, I don’t test on mast cell activation and that’s–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:31:54):

Oh, right, yeah, that’s my thing. But if you’re suspicious, how might you start to work with somebody if it looks like they have inflammation?

Julie Olson (00:32:04):

Usually they all have inflammation. There’s different ways you can modulate it. Different — not only foods, supplements, lifestyle, but even CBD, some good CBD.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:32:22):

And are you using that topically or internally?

Julie Olson (00:32:25):

No. So I used to work in a functional medicine practice with an MD who was on my summit and now that’s all he does. He speaks worldwide about it. But so we have endocannabinoid systems throughout our entire bodies. And if you get a good CBD oil that you can take…

Kelly McCann, MD (00:32:48):

Internally.

Julie Olson (00:32:49):

By a capsule or by a tincture, it can help modulate that inflammation pretty quickly if it’s done — but it has to take into account other medications you’re taking, other supplements you’re taking. Then again, that’s an industry too where there’s a lot of bad products out there. You have to be careful. Here in Colorado, he actually teaches that at [University of Colorado, Denver] downtown. There’s actually a whole degree now on it.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:20):

Wow, that’s fascinating. Yeah, I have to be super careful about that. Lots of potential pesticides and bad fertilizers and things that could contaminate the plants for sure. So in terms of mast cell activation and hair loss, I’m so grateful to you that you asked me to speak on mast cell and hair loss on your summit. I learned so much just preparing for that. And it’s crazy how much mast cell activation is involved, particularly with the hair loss condition called odium effluvium, right?

Julie Olson (00:34:08):

Which is more of a stress induced inflammatory hair loss.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:34:13):

Right? So the stress induced hair loss, and even with the other forms of hair loss, whether it’s the androgenic hair loss or the autoimmune kind of — your autoimmune alopecia, and even to the point where things start to scar, what they did in a number of studies is show that there are more mast cells in the areas in the scalp that have lost the hair than there is in places in the scalp where there’s normal hair. So we have an increased burden of mast cells. Now it’s not mastocytosis, we’re talking about normal people, not patients with mastocytosis, which is a form of mast cell cancer, but we’re talking about patients who have hair loss. That’s it. Potentially due to stress. And we know from a lot of the — Covid taught us a ton about hair loss due to stress and that there’s this relationship between Covid triggering mast cell activation in patients and hair loss was one of the common features of that condition. Along with chronic fatigue and all the other symptoms.

(00:35:42):

There was also an interesting mouse study and a lot of times we learn how these interactions work through mice. So they have genetically engineered these mice not to have mast cells or not to have certain kinds of receptors. And in those mice when they would be stressed, they didn’t experience the hair loss. So we know exactly what the pathway is. It’s actually a neurokinin receptor substance P pathway or a mast cell pathway that is not in these mice. And so therefore they don’t get the stress induced hair loss. So we know that mast cell activation is a big component of stress, hair loss. Fascinating little tidbit. Thank you little mice.

Julie Olson (00:36:44):

Now Kelly, how does someone know that they have mast cell activation?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:36:51):

Good question. If you just have hair loss, you probably don’t have mast cell activation. Mast cell activation is a much more complicated condition. So oftentimes people will have what I would call allergic or inflammatory symptoms in multiple systems of the body. So if you have fatigue, if you have headaches, if you have interstitial cystitis, if you have anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal issues, chest pain, palpitations, you get the picture right? There are multiple systems that are involved. It can be neurologic, some people will get bleeding and bruising, some people will get gynecologic changes. So people with endometriosis, but it’s really this combination of multiple conditions where things are inflammatory or allergic. So runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, allergies, asthma, hives. So if you have a combination of these and hair loss, especially after specific triggers like you moved into a moldy house, you got Covid, all of these things happened, then chances are you do have mast cell activation.

(00:38:16):

It’s really considered to be a clinical condition where you have a history. Maybe you were an allergic kid or you had eczema or asthma, but you were okay. And then different things happen over a period of time. So maybe you get exposed to something at school and you start developing headaches and then you get your period and then you have more symptoms that happen. So the history really tells the story of somebody who most likely has mast cell activation syndrome. There are lab tests that we can do and they’re not great. The mast cells are a normal part of our immune system and they are these pretty cells that have packs of chemical messengers in them called mediators. And when the mast cells get triggered because they perceive a threat like Covid, or a toxin or an infection, they dump their inflammatory mediators and there are dozens if not hundreds or thousands of different kinds of mediators in these mast cells. They can be things like histamine, heparin, serotonin, different kinds of enzymes that are proteases. So they break down proteins, they break down collagen. There are cytokines that — we now know that term, right? Cytokines, inflammatory mediators. So these mast cells dump all of their inflammatory mediators when they perceive a threat. And then we experience that inflammation and that experience can be widespread in many systems of the body.

Julie Olson (00:40:06):

Sounds so similar to Lyme disease and even some autoimmune issues.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:40:13):

And those conditions are often considered as a related condition. So for example, somebody could have a predisposition for mast cell, but be fine and then get bit by a tick. And now not only do they have the Borrelia bergdorferi, the Lyme infection in their body causing havoc, they also have their mast cells being triggered by the Lyme and expressing additional symptoms. And it does make it very confusing. But the Lyme has its own symptom list, which is very similar, as does mold. It’s really, I think about it as like — there’s a really bad analogy, a pimple on a pimple. So you’ve got Lyme disease, you’ve got mold, you’ve got Covid, and that’s your pimple. And then if you have mast cell, it’s a pimple on a pimple. It’s just that much worse, right? I need a new analogy, sorry.

Julie Olson (00:41:18):

Yeah. Stacking up inflammation.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:22):

Stacking up the inflammation. I’ll work on that analogy folks. I’m sorry about that one.

Julie Olson (00:41:26):

No, I like it. I think it’s good. Then the conventional medical, whatever institutions, they pretty much poo-poo mast cell activation, don’t they?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:45):

There are two camps. There’s what we call consensus one, which is your standard allergist, and they have a very rigid diagnostic criteria for mast cell. It’s based on one mediator I just told you. Mast cells make hundreds if not thousands of mediators. So based on one mediator. And their criteria is the tryptase has to be higher during a flare like 20% higher during a flare than baseline. What? That is the most ridiculous, simple-minded thing ever. And it means that most people who go to a conventional allergist will not be appropriately diagnosed and treated and then they get gaslit and sent out into the world and these poor folks don’t know what’s happening with them. We have consensus two practitioners. There was an article written by Lawrence Afrin, Dr. Lawrence Afrin and myself and 46 other colleagues about mast cell activation and the clinical diagnoses, the criteria, and then some simple treatments.

(00:42:59):

And one of the diagnostic criteria is response to treatment. So if you happen to have lots of symptoms and you take antihistamines and you feel better, great — check — then you can feel more confident. Now if you take antihistamines and you don’t feel better, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have mast cell activation. It may simply mean antihistamines are not the thing for you that’s going to really move the needle. Everybody is different. Remember I told you it has tens of thousands of mediators or — there’s a lot, there’s a of mediators and the receptors for your specific mast cells are different too. So what triggers your mast cells to release mediators might be different than what triggers somebody else. And the mast cells differ from tissue to tissue. So you can have mast cells that have certain triggers in the gastrointestinal tract that are going to be different than the ones that are triggered in the scalp, for example. Very complicated.

Julie Olson (00:44:05):

Now, does a low histamine diet help?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:44:08):

For some people? For some people it will help, and I encourage people to do that for maybe a couple of weeks to see if they notice a difference. And they may, and it may be differences not just in the gastrointestinal tract, but also they could have differences in their anxiety, can have differences in their brain fog because they’re not having that higher load of histamine in the gastrointestinal tract. There’s also a condition called histamine intolerance that can be associated with mast cell or could be separate. That’s really when people don’t adequately break down histamine. And we have two ways of breaking down histamine. One is an enzyme called DAO in the gastrointestinal tract. So if people have a genetic predisposition where they don’t make much DAO and then they have an insult, they get a SIBO or they get a mold exposure and it downregulates their DAO production, they’re going to have more histamine issues and a low histamine diet and maybe some DAO enzymes would be very helpful. But for example, I don’t really have histamine intolerance. I can eat leftovers and I don’t suffer ill consequences. So my DAO is fine.

Julie Olson (00:45:48):

So when someone comes to you and you discover they certainly do have the mast cell activation, what are the steps you take?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:45:59):

Again, everyone’s different. It depends on what their primary presenting system involvement might be. So say people have respiratory issues, well, we may try a specific mast cell medication called cromolyn, but we’ll do it nebulized or we might try it orally. There are obviously over the counter antihistamines like Claritin, Zyrtec, Xyzal and Allegra, there’s Benadryl, there are prescription antihistamines as well. Then there’s H-2 blockers. Things like Pepcid or famotidine, we used to have Zantac, don’t really have that anymore. They pulled that from the market. But there are some other ones available in other parts of the world that can be used. There is another mast cell medication called ketotifen. It’s compounded only in the United States. They have a commercially available eye drop. So if somebody has what I suspect might be allergies or mast cell activation eye symptoms, I’ve used that very rarely. But it does work in the right patient. But orally, ketotifen can be amazing. People do really well with ketotifen and it’s generally well tolerated too. So I love using that. And then there are tons and tons and tons of supplements that can be very helpful. Quercetin, luteolin, perilla seed, resveratrol, turmeric, pycnogenol is one that I like a lot, especially for hair. There’s actually some amazing literature on pycnogenol. It’s derived from French Maritime Pine bark, right? Great antioxidant. Yeah, great antioxidant. And it’s pink. I mean, who doesn’t want to take a pink supplement, right?

(00:48:12):

So there’s many, many things to try.

Julie Olson (00:48:14):

And then back to the symptoms, what would you say are the top five symptoms of mast cell activation?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:48:22):

Fatigue, probably usually allergic or skin symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms. Those would probably be the top ones. And then it’s going to be a combination of other things. Could be neurologic with headaches and migraines, could be psychiatric or psychological — anxiety, depression. I see a lot of patients who are also hypermobile and who may have dysautonomia. So the hypermobility piece is a connective tissue disorder. It can be for people who are double jointed or flexi-bendy, great at yoga or gymnastics. Ballet. They have genetic changes in their connective tissue that can also be associated with increased likelihood for mast cell activation. So there are some studies that show that there is an overlap. We don’t know exactly why, but we do see that commonly. And same thing with the dysautonomia. So the autonomic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that enables us to keep our blood pressure regulated, keep our heart rate regulated, keep our temperatures regulated, that allows our heart to beat and our lungs to breathe and our food to be digested.

(00:50:03):

And one of the most common conditions is called postural orthostatic tachycardic syndrome, where when people stand up, particularly young women stand up, their heart rates shoot up greater than 30 or sometimes even 40 beats per minute, or they might get orthostatic intolerance. So when we stand up, our blood pressures are supposed to kind of equilibrate with us. But if the blood pressures bottom out, that is a condition called orthostatic intolerance and can be very debilitating for people. They feel dizzy, they feel fatigued, they can’t really function, they can’t exercise because their heart rate or their blood pressure is fluctuating so drastically.

Julie Olson (00:50:55):

Interesting. People come to me and the only way they can sleep is taking an antihistamine. Is that also an indication that they might have mast cell activation?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:51:09):

Yes. Yes. I’m highly suspicious when people come in and they are self prescribed on an antihistamine, whether that’s Benadryl or any of the other regular antihistamines. And I’m also highly suspicious of mast cell when people come in and they have a long list of things that they are allergic to. I’m allergic to penicillins and sulfas and these three medications and I can’t eat these foods. It makes me highly suspicious.

Julie Olson (00:51:45):

So they’re living in a bubble.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:51:47):

Yeah, some folks get really challenged and they’re eating half a dozen foods and of course they’re going to have some undernourishment in those situations. And so it’s really important to get the mast cells under control because not only are they having hair loss, they’re having lots of other conditions due to undernourishment.

Julie Olson (00:52:14):

Yeah. Wow. That’s fascinating. And clearly you’re such an expert on, and there’s not too many experts out there on mast cell activation.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:52:27):

No, we’re trying to teach more and more, and patients are getting more and more savvy, thankfully. But yeah, it’s tough. It’s really tough out there. So let’s turn it back and talk more about — actually, you know what, let’s do some questions. How’s that sound? Okay. And actually the first one is about a hypermobile EDS, another connective tissue disorders. So I don’t know if you came across this at all in any of your summit, Julie or any of your reading, but do people with connective tissue tend to have more issues with hair loss? Have you seen that?

Julie Olson (00:53:15):

I never put that together, but now that I think about it, I can see a correlation.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:26):

And that would make sense too, based on what I just said, is that folks who are hypermobile are more likely to develop mast cell activation and therefore more likely to experience hair loss.

Julie Olson (00:53:38):

And I think it’s also the inflammatory component in there too, that inflammation, chronic inflammation is such a major, major root cause of hair loss. So that makes sense.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:50):

Yes. And on top of that, I think that when people are exposed to mold or other inflammatory conditions like — Lyme causes inflammation, mold causes inflammation, environmental toxicants cause inflammation, inflammation can be driven by mast cell activation and lead to hair loss and brain fog and fatigue and all these other things. So yeah, I think it all goes together. Alright, so the next person asked, you provided a very long list of causes of hair loss — for which of these, other than genetics, can we not reverse due to those particular causes?

Julie Olson (00:54:38):

Okay, well genetics, that is another myth. There’s some myth out there that if your grandfather has hair loss..

Kelly McCann, MD (00:54:50):

You’re gonna have it too.

Julie Olson (00:54:51):

That you will. But there’s a new study in science that Dr. Kelly’s very familiar with too called epigenetics. And we can’t change some genes, we can’t change our hair color, eye color, but we can re-express our metabolic genes. Those are the genes that metabolically — our digestion and so forth. I know those exact genes, you won’t understand them, but I have a whole class on nutrigenomics and hair loss. So you can definitely not use that as an excuse because there are metabolic genes you can re-express. And it’s done the same way with a functional approach.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:55:41):

And I think that’s really important because sometimes a lot of times patients feel like, oh, my mom had this, my dad had this, I had this too. And it may not be genetic at all. It could be, well, you all lived in a moldy house and there was a genetic predisposition to have hair loss due to inflammation, just like there are genetic predispositions to have depression or anxiety because of the way that you metabolize your serotonin levels. But it gets triggered by something. And that’s the part that you’re talking about.

Julie Olson (00:56:20):

And there’s been studies done on identical twins and they move to different places of the world. One goes bald, the other one has a full head of hair, and there’s multiple studies on this on different sets of identical twins. So that right there says they’re applying epigenetics.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:46):

Right? It’s all about the environment. Yeah, I remember seeing twins. One would be overweight, one would be thin, one would have — a different set of twins, one would be gray and look substantially older than the other twin. And so we know that environment is playing a huge role, especially now with all the environmental chemicals and all the things that we’re exposed to in our world.

Julie Olson (00:57:14):

And also, I want to commend you all for being here because education is power. And just to inform yourself about all this is really the first step, and that’s what functional medicine is. So you can be your own health advocate, but it’s a lot to learn and wading through it all. There’s a lot on the internet nowadays. So just thank you all for being here and just having an open mind to what we’re presenting.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:57:54):

Thank you. Yes, we’re so happy you guys are here. Alright, let’s keep going. We have a lot of questions. What are various markers on blood tests that can be ordered conventionally other than nutrients, iron, ferritin, a general thyroid panel? What would be some things that you might look at?

Julie Olson (00:58:14):

Well, I would look at the functional ranges, which are much narrower, but I would do a whole iron panel including the saturation and thorough hormone panel, including DHT, free testosterone and even some inflammatory markers besides the C-reactive protein. But was it TG beta one? TGF beta one, yeah, TGF beta one. That’s an expensive test, but that’s looking at inflammation a different way and looking at triglycerides. And some of those are included in the CBC and the CMP, but those could be valuable tests if you look at them in functional ranges. But even looking, you can do a blood test for the parathyroid. I didn’t mention that on the list, but parathyroidism is a cause of hair.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:59:24):

Yes. Hyperparathyroidism is one that’s really fascinating. There was a lab that we could do all of these tests and it was covered, [that] lab has since gone out of business. Wonder why. And they tested intact parathyroid hormone. For those of you who don’t know, the parathyroid are four little glands that sit behind the thyroid gland and they have actually nothing to do with thyroid function at all. They’re responsible for calcium metabolism. And I found over a dozen or 15 people over the years who were hyperparathyroid with marginally elevated calcium levels and they all had Lyme disease. And symptomatically, they got a bazillion times better when they got their parathyroid glands removed and they normalized their parathyroid level. So fascinating stuff.

Julie Olson (01:00:31):

Yeah, I had a gal who came to me hair loss, and that was one of the labs I did. And we discovered that she had a parathyroid tumor and thank god we caught it. Yeah, yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:57):

Yes. Okay. How about this question, what about birth control pills and what do they do to people’s hormones and does it contribute to hair loss?

Julie Olson (01:01:10):

Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:01:12):

Short answer. [laughs]

Julie Olson (01:01:15):

Short [laughs]

Kelly McCann, MD (01:01:16):

Do you have an idea about the mechanism? Are there recommendations to help people? Oftentimes it’s young women in their twenties, they don’t want to have a baby. I don’t want them to have babies at that age. What do we do? How do we help these young women who really need some form of birth control pills or need some form of birth control so they don’t get pregnant because abstinence is really not a reasonable form for most young people. What do we do for those young women? Any ideas?

Julie Olson (01:02:04):

They need to work with a gynecologist. I don’t know. I was on birth control for years and years. It, it’s not healthy, but they didn’t know back then, what they know now. But yeah, it can contribute to hair loss. That’s a really good question, but that’s a clinical question that I don’t think we should address.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:02:29):

Yeah, sorry. It’s a good question. We’ll save it for the gynecologist. Okay. Let’s see. What are some risky or dangerous approaches people are doing to recover hair that they’ve lost? I think you kind of talked about that a little bit. So getting hair transplants, doing different kinds of injections.

Julie Olson (01:03:00):

Well, we didn’t talk about the fecal microbial transplant, we talked about it last time.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:03:07):

For hair loss?

Julie Olson (01:03:08):

Yeah, I mean, I have a peer reviewed, published abstract, and there’s four subjects and they all were losing hair. Two of them had alopecia universalis. Two men.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:03:25):

Oh!

Julie Olson (01:03:25):

Once they took the fecal microbial transplant, they grew back their hair.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:03:29):

Yes. Then I saw Sabine Hazan, who’s a gastroenterologist who studies the gut microbiome and she had a little clip that said, but you have to be very careful about the donors because–

Julie Olson (01:03:42):

Yes, very careful.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:03:43):

You can get alopecia areata if you get a gut microbiome that is not ideal. So that would be potentially damaging. So I don’t think I would sign up for that just for hair loss. Let’s do some functional medicine tests.

Julie Olson (01:03:59):

Yeah, exactly. But got to mention it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:04:04):

How about good shampoos?

Julie Olson (01:04:08):

First of all, there’s a question too, also about dry shampoo. Stay far away. Dry shampoos are horrible for your hair. Do not go there.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:04:17):

Because they have so many chemicals in them[?]

Julie Olson (01:04:21):

And they stop up the hair follicle.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:04:24):

Oh, right. So they’re stopping the hair follicle from producing the oil, which is — we don’t want to do that. Wash your hair.

Julie Olson (01:04:32):

Yeah. Wash your hair.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:04:33):

Just wash your hair. Okay. Do you have specific products that you love?

Julie Olson (01:04:41):

Yeah, well I have some. Okay. I’ll just mention some. And also they can go to my website or they can email me. But it’s called More Hair Naturally. They also have a really good serum with peptides in it. And then Hey Hair, Hey Hair, some really nice–H-E-Y

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:09):

Oh, hey, like “hey.”

Julie Olson (01:05:16):

Wellnesse. They’ve got some really clean ones. And Anne Marie, she’s known for skincare, but she has a new haircare line that’s come out that’s really clean and natural. And then even Andalou, you can get at Whole Foods and they’re real clean.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:46):

Those are great suggestions. The other thing that I would say is if you want to look at other personal care products, because as we mentioned phthalates, parabens. Different kinds of bisphenols are also toxic. There’s a wonderful app called YUKA, it looks like a little carrot. And you can actually scan the barcodes of your personal care products and see what rating they are. So that’s another way to make sure. Now it’s not going to tell you if it’s a good hair product, but it’s going to tell you if it’s a non-toxic product. So if you are having issues with hair loss, you want to check out Julie’s stuff. Those are great suggestions. Thank you.

Julie Olson (01:06:41):

And also the Environmental Working Group has some on beauty products and hair products. It’s ewg.org.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:06:50):

Yes. Skin Deep. They have a wonderful one. I like Yuka. I can take it into the store with me and scan barcodes.

Julie Olson (01:06:57):

That’s a great tip. I didn’t know that.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:00):

Yeah. Okay.

Julie Olson (01:07:04):

Also try to look for products that are gluten-free too. You don’t need that gluten on your scalp.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:10):

Good point. Yes. Okay. Someone asked, I recently heard if one has cancer and does or takes things that direct the body’s energies and blood flow to the scalp that the extent of the natural medicines people take for their cancer are diminished because they’re being diverted from core organs needing support. So you’re getting hair loss due to cancer. I think I’m confused. I think really what we’re talking about is trying to heal the body and almost as a byproduct of healing the body, getting the nutrients that we need in the right amounts, not too much, getting rid of the bad stuff. Not only are we going to heal the body, we’re going to heal the hair.

(01:08:06):

So I think that that’s the way that I would think about this from a much more holistic, respective. Now certainly with folks who are going through cancer treatment and they’re losing hair because of the chemotherapy, the hair will grow back. The hair is being damaged because the turnover of those cells is so rapid that it’s damaging the cancer cells and damaging the cells that are rapidly turning over like your gut lining, like your hair follicles. And yet the pathophysiology is not the same really of what we’re talking about. So my encouragement would be focus on changing the environment in which the cancer grew in the first place in the body. And then the hair will kind of take care of itself at the time that it’s able to do that. Okay. What about coloring, bleaching or highlighting.

Julie Olson (01:09:13):

Not good, they’re harsh products.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:09:21):

Are there products out there that are less harsh, that are less toxic that people can use?

Julie Olson (01:09:30):

I thought for a while henna, and I did that. It totally trashed my hair. Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:09:47):

What about–

Julie Olson (01:09:47):

I don’t have an answer to that

Kelly McCann, MD (01:09:51):

Because a lot of people don’t want to go gray. They want to try and take care of their hair as best they can. I’ll be honest, I’m not this blonde so much anymore. So it’s definitely a dilemma to try and figure out how to do that in as healthy a way as possible and balance society’s desire to look young and healthy and also not show gray or look drab.

Julie Olson (01:10:28):

But if you stick with a wash, like a wash that washes out, it’s better than a dye. And yeah, that’s a tricky one. But there is a salon here in Denver that caters to Lyme patients, people with cancer, and they use really clean products. They get them from England. I don’t even know what, it’s not cheap. But yeah, there’s some out there. But yeah, we’ll have to do more research on that.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:11:09):

Okay. Alright. Someone wanted clarification. Why not washing the hair leads to hair loss? And this person was told by someone who had an amazing head of hair that their secret was only washing with shampoo once a week.

Julie Olson (01:11:28):

Well, that person could probably get away with it, but if you’re like Kelly and I who have fine thin hair, we can’t do that. So I think it’s bio individualist, it’s individualized. But the answer to that is if you have the type of hair, you only need to wash it once a week, then that will work for you. But if you don’t, then-

Kelly McCann, MD (01:12:02):

And I think this next question is kind of a follow up to that. Why do I experience significant hair shedding when I oil and wash my hair? Is there a specific reason for this? And I think you mentioned this before, the oil gets in the hair follicle, right?

Julie Olson (01:12:21):

If you’re going to deep condition your hair, you don’t want to put it directly on your scalp. Even like the castor oil is really heavy. You just want to put it on lightly on the ends and you can put it on your scalp, but just lightly, just don’t put a whole gob. I like olive oil. I’ll put olive oil on my hair and then go into the sauna without a cap or anything. Even wearing those caps, the deep condition in a sauna that’s going to be full of xenoestrogens, you get the plastic and that’s a disaster. So…

Kelly McCann, MD (01:13:04):

So you suggest putting a little bit of olive oil on your hair and then going into the sauna. So then there’s, there’s heat, but you’re not putting it on your scalp. We don’t want to put on the scalp, the hair follicles. We want to avoid putting oil on the hair follicles.

Julie Olson (01:13:24):

But there is some essential oils you can put on your scalp that can help with hair growth. That would be rosemary and peppermint oil, especially essential oils.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:13:35):

Directly on the scalp.

Julie Olson (01:13:37):

Directly on the scalp. And they sell those — well, you can go to, probably I have on my website, but even at, I saw them at Ulta the other day. Yeah, there’s some studies behind them too.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:13:59):

Interesting.

Julie Olson (01:14:00):

And then the reason being is they help with the circulation. That’s the general science behind it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:14:06):

Okay. So what have you found are the biggest factors in how long it takes somebody’s hair loss to start to recover and then fully recover? Is it a range? What are the main reasons for being a slow or a fast grower? Do you know those sorts of answers?

Julie Olson (01:14:28):

It just depends on the individual and it depends what’s causing that hair loss. It depends on the root causes.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:14:38):

Can you talk about the hair cycle too? This was something I’m sure I learned in medical school, but I had really forgotten. So can you tell the audience about that? Because I think that’s really important.

Julie Olson (01:14:53):

Right. And it is, especially with mast cell activation and the stress induced hair loss because it skips the growing phase. All right, so the first phase is anagen, and that is the growing phase. And that lasts from two to seven years. And that really does determine the length of your hair. And the second phase is the regression phase. It’s called catagen. And that stage lasts about 10 days and the hair follicle can actually shrink and detach. And then the third one is telogen, and that’s the resting phase. And that phase lasts around about three months, and about 10 to 15% of the hairs in this phase are resting, and new hair begins to grow. But with mast cell activation and inflammatory disorders, it skips and goes straight to the telogen phase. That’s why they call Covid the chronic telogen effluvium type of hair loss. And a type of hair loss that’s very prevalent in women is called telogen effluvium. And that’s named because it skips the phases and it just goes to the resting phase. It skips the growing phases.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:29):

And not all hair follicles are on the same phase. So fortunately it would be really bad if for two years your hair grew and then for 10 days everything falls out.

Julie Olson (01:16:43):

And that’s also another really good question because just like when you detox your body, the bad stuff has to come out and you can often have a Herxheimer reaction because the bad stuff is coming out too fast for the good stuff to replace it. And the same with hair loss. So some people, when they go on my program or what have you, they’re getting everything into balance. They start to lose a lot of hair. And that’s because that hair was going to come out anyway, so it comes out faster because it’s making room for the new regrowth. And some people get really discouraged during that phase. You just have to be patient. And it’s also really confusing that that’s happening. But it could be a good thing,

Kelly McCann, MD (01:17:35):

But you don’t necessarily know until it starts growing again that you’re doing it right. Keep you fingers crossed.

Julie Olson (01:17:43):

And there are studies on that too, I can share. But it’s definitely, again, I guess the best analogy is the Herxheimer reaction. You feel so much worse before you feel better.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:17:58):

That’s a good analogy that I think makes sense to a lot of people. Okay. Doctor told me that heavy metal testing in hair is not accurate because of the products and the shampoos we put on our hair. And the partial excretion of the hair doesn’t convey the whole picture. Do you agree or disagree?

Julie Olson (01:18:23):

I agree and I disagree. So I agree it’s a lousy, heavy metal hair analysis test where they actually wash, they wash the hair, and there’s only two out there that I think are worthwhile doing. And so I agree and disagree. Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:18:49):

It is a tricky one. I don’t tend to do, don’t do heavy metal hair testing because I have the capacity to do blood lead and mercury testing, which is really the gold standard.

Julie Olson (01:19:05):

And that’s what I do too. I agree totally with you. That’s a much better testing for heavy metals.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:19:11):

And then urine testing, pre provocation, and then post provocation. So that’s really the better way to assess a metal burden than with hair for a variety of different reasons. Let’s see. There’s a question about food that grows hair, but we kind of covered that.

Julie Olson (01:19:33):

Yeah, I didn’t go into that in very good detail, but another time.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:19:38):

Dry shampoo is bad — if somebody makes it with cornstarch and essential oils, however, what do you think about making your own dry shampoo with cornstarch and essential oils?

Julie Olson (01:19:52):

I think the cornstarch would not do you any favors. It’s still going to plug up the follicle, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:00):

Yeah. So the problem with the commercially available dry shampoos is that they’re toxic. The problem with the corn starch is it’s going to block the hair follicles and plug them up and make them not function very well, probably disrupt their microbiome, et cetera. So you have more potential problems, even if you’re just plugging them with products that aren’t toxic, right?

Julie Olson (01:20:29):

And what you can do is just a light wash. I mean, if it’s because of time’s sake, then just do a quick light wash and then you can avoid the whole dry shampoo scenario.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:43):

Yeah. What is your opinion on taking biotin for hair loss?

Julie Olson (01:20:52):

So that’s another myth in the industry. Biotin helps so that your hair doesn’t become weakened and then break off. But it doesn’t help with hair growth. But you’d never know that because it’s everywhere and you can actually get too much biotin. And most people don’t have a biotin deficiency. It’s very rare. And it’s usually in third world countries.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:25):

Let’s see. I eat a lot of animal foods, but my total cholesterol has always been around a hundred. Is cholesterol part of the building blocks for hair or only brain? I didn’t know the answer to that. Do you know? And then how do I build up cholesterol levels naturally? That one I can answer, but do you know if low cholesterol–

Julie Olson (01:21:48):

I think your cholesterol is so low, that’s an imbalance in the body.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:58):

Yes. Yeah. That actually tells us that the liver isn’t functioning very well because the liver is the organ that is going to make cholesterol. We need cholesterol for our hormones. We need cholesterol for all of our cells, and it’s going to require working with a functional practitioner to understand why and really get at that root cause because something is clearly not working the way that it should be. And I certainly see lower cholesterols in vegans, but if you’re eating animal protein and your cholesterol is still really low, you want more what we call bioactive lipids. So things like phosphatidylcholine, you want omega fatty acids, you want omega six fatty acids, and you probably need to do more detox. But to figure out really what’s using up your cholesterol or preventing you from making cholesterol would be important. Heather asked, can you share the recommended hair serums? I think you might’ve done this already, but just maybe run through your list. Recommended shampoos and conditioners.

Julie Olson (01:23:17):

I mean, I would go to my favorites page to my website on hair, haircare.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:23:24):

What’s your website for us, Julie?

Julie Olson (01:23:26):

You can go to Julie Olson with an O — julieolson.com, and that’ll get you there. And my practice is Fortitude Functional Nutrition, but that’ll get you there. And then go to the shop, the favorites page, and they’ll be there.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:23:45):

Perfect. And then Heather asked about the collagen product. It’s Perfect Collagen. That’s the one that we have at the office. I’m working on getting it on the website, so stay tuned for that. Let’s see.

Julie Olson (01:24:02):

Yeah, I also like Organixx. Organixx makes a nice collagen.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:24:06):

Yes. How about chlorine in the water? Does that have an issue with hair loss?

Julie Olson (01:24:18):

It’s not healthy for your hair, but I haven’t come across studies that it directly causes hair loss.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:24:34):

Right. I haven’t looked at that either. But I will say there’s not just chlorine in our water supply. There’s lots of other things like heavy metals, which are getting absorbed into the body, and so we really need to be conscientious about filtering our water as much as possible. Whole house reverse osmosis filters are going to be the best. Those are obviously expensive. There are some water filters that you can get for the source, like your shower. There are pitcher water filters. So my husband and I just bought a Zero filter water filter, and it actually has no contaminants in it. It’s pretty amazing. But depending upon how many contaminants you have in your water. So drinking water contaminants. We did this last night, it was really interesting. The water out of the tap had over 500 parts per million of particles, whatever those are. And then filtering it through a regular Brita filter got it down to like 420. Even my Mountain Valley spring water was 170. Now that has a lot of minerals and things like that, so I’m not sure that little meter is able to discern. But yeah, Zero Water has a reverse osmosis kind of filter. It was pretty impressive. Anyway, so we do want clean water as much as we can. Let’s see.

Julie Olson (01:26:24):

So collagen powder can create high oxalates–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:26:32):

And it can also be high histamine too. Again, I don’t have histamine intolerance. I can tolerate a lot of collagen. So those of you with mast cell or histamine intolerance, please be careful with collagen. So tips for efficiently counting the hair we lose beyond our pillow and our brush. How do we actually track how much we’re losing? That’s a good question.

Julie Olson (01:27:02):

You can get it all together and if it’s like a big mound of hair in your hand, grab it from your shower and your pillow. And my God, when I lost my hair, it was everywhere. But you’re going to know, and it’s more than a one-time occurrence. If it’s happening day after day, week after week, that’s a really good indication.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:27:31):

Got it. If you’re stuck for three months in the telogen effluvium and all the hairs are lined up there. Let’s see. Does PRP work as a treatment as well as finding the root cause for hair loss?

Julie Olson (01:27:51):

Some people have success with PRP and some people don’t, but it’s very expensive, so I would try root cause solutions before you spend that money.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:28:04):

What about red light therapy?

Julie Olson (01:28:07):

Yeah, that can help. Red light therapy can help.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:28:15):

Are there other therapies similar to that that might be helpful?

Julie Olson (01:28:24):

Other?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:28:25):

Other therapies similar? Yeah. What other therapies are out there that people use? So you’ve got red light, you’ve got PRP, could do stem cells.

Julie Olson (01:28:36):

There’s some lasers. Laser therapies.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:28:46):

Okay.

Julie Olson (01:28:47):

Yeah, I would say those are the top ones.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:28:55):

Anything to be done for male pattern baldness?

Julie Olson (01:29:00):

All the things we’re talking about.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:29:03):

Okay. Yeah. And then are there specific mobile red light therapy products you would recommend?

Julie Olson (01:29:15):

It’s called the DNA Vibe. I need to get it on my — back on my website, but it’s like, it’s almost like a heating pad, but it has red light and it has these different light therapies in it, and you can just put it on your scalp and there’s helmets out there, but they can get expensive. And just having a red light sauna, infrared sauna, I mean, yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:29:47):

Okay. I’m looking for a couple to end with.

Julie Olson (01:29:57):

Let’s see. Yeah, I just noticed for some reason my power’s going to go off pretty quick here.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:02):

Oh, dear. Okay. Well then we should probably wrap up. What about microneedling or the pH of the hair we can end with those.

Julie Olson (01:30:14):

Microneedling? Yeah, that can be very helpful. Microneedling, but micro derm rollers you can do at home. It’s not on my website yet, but I know a good company that’s got some good ones and they have the serum I was talking about. Yeah, microderm, that can be very helpful.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:49):

Maybe–

Julie Olson (01:30:49):

Microderm rollers, but you have to clean them properly and there’s a system to it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:54):

Okay.

Julie Olson (01:30:55):

You could do it wrong too, so you need to, yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:58):

We need to figure out how to do it. Okay. So I think there are still some more questions. I know we didn’t get to all the questions. Not only are you going to get the replay, but you’ll also get a transcript. So if you missed anything or you want to take notes, Julie did rattle off all those 50 reasons. And then some of the hair products like Hey Hair. “Hey, hair,” not “your hair looks like hay” [laughing]. More Hair Naturally. And Wellnesse as well as Anne Marie. There were a couple of other products and some serums. So if you have some ideas and you want to shoot them over, we can definitely put them in the email that we send out for the replay for everyone as well as the transcript, so you’ll all be able to access that. Any other last words or hope for people who have been struggling with hair loss? And also please tell us about your offering too.

Julie Olson (01:32:08):

Okay. Don’t lose hope you got this. And just be patient. The offer I have is 50% off my Foundation’s program. The code is — I’m sorry for Healthy Hair Fix. It’s my trademark protocol. So HHF50. Here, I’ll put it in here. HHF50. And then the program is here. I can put it in the, should I put it in the notes?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:32:46):

Sure. Sarah did it. Oh, there. It’s there. Thank you, Sarah.

Julie Olson (01:32:51):

Yeah, so you can go there and get started. So it’s regularly $97, and again, it includes all sorts of goodies and meal plans and resources and guides and checklists. And just for limited time for Kelly’s webinar here, we’re offering that.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:33:10):

Thank you so much. That’s very generous. I appreciate that. And I know our communities do too, so that’s fantastic. And we can find you at julieolson (with an o) .com as well as healthyhairfix.com. Thank you so much for being with us today, Julie. I really appreciate you and love your beautiful hair and all the wisdom that you shared with us. And thank you all for listening and taking time to nurture yourself and learn so you can have not only the best hair out there, but get your health back and live a healthy long life. So thank you everyone. Till next time.

Julie Olson (01:33:55):

Thank you.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:33:57):

Bye

Julie Olson (01:33:58):

Bye-Bye.

Chat Transcript

00:12:11 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: Hi everyone! I’m Sarah, I’ll be on the chat. Welcome! Please remember that the info provided today is for educational purposes only – take any useful info to your healthcare team!
00:13:44 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: Feel free to say hi to each other and let us all know where you’re tuning in from!
00:14:10 Kelly McCann: hi everyone! so happy to have you all here!
00:14:31 anjali singh: Hi everyone!
00:14:36 Janet: Hi there Janet in Chandler, AZ
00:14:58 anjali singh: Anjali in Vancouver BC
00:15:34 Elizabeth Olusanya: Elizabeth- UK
00:15:41 Mischa’s Aroma Freedom: Hello from Colorado. 🙂
00:16:07 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: I’m in Colorado, too!
00:16:49 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: Reminder: make sure to set your chat to Everyone – that’s the blue box in the chat area where you type
00:17:25 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: Reminder #2: if you have questions for Dr. Kelly or Julie, put those in the Q&A, which is at the bottom of the Zoom window next to the hand
00:23:45 Heather Lewis Sebring: How often should you wash your hair?
00:24:45 Jennifer: What about using dry shampoo?
00:24:56 Heather Lewis Sebring: Do you have a recommendation list for shampoos and conditioners?
00:25:27 Kelly McCann: can you put the questions in the chat? Thanks Heather! -)
00:26:59 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: Type those questions into the Q&A at the bottom of the Zoom for Dr. Kelly and Julie to answer at the end!
00:27:34 Jennifer: Do you recommend a certain detox?
00:27:50 Kelly McCann: sorry. I meant Q&A!!
00:28:13 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: @Jennifer, would you enter your questions into the Q&A? Dr. Kelly and Julie may not be able to follow the chat – it moves fast
00:30:16 Jennifer: Thanks!
00:35:39 Kelly McCann: please put the questions in the Q&A, Aurelia. thank you
01:03:56 Sil: I put my question in the Q&A. Can you see it? about the pill…
01:05:00 Mischa’s Aroma Freedom: They’ve just started answering the questions in Q&A. 👍🏻
01:07:43 Ian: Thank you Dr Kelly & Julie for today’s session! very informative!
01:07:58 Mischa’s Aroma Freedom: Thank you so much!
01:12:03 G Young: I’m assuming we are all muted by the host. I cannot find my button to mute myself and I have lots of background noise
01:12:26 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: @G, yes, attendees are muted, no worries
01:13:03 G Young: awesome. thanks!!
01:15:37 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: https://morehairnaturally.com/
01:15:39 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: https://heyhair.co/
01:15:58 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: https://wellnesse.com/
01:16:09 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: https://yuka.io/en/
01:16:46 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: https://shop.annmariegianni.com/collections/all
01:17:15 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: https://andalou.com/
01:17:23 Debbi S: Can you enable “COPY” so we can copy all those links? Thanks!
01:17:55 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
01:18:41 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: Darn, I’m not able to, but I will include the chat transcript in the replay we email next week. You can also click those links, which will open the sites, and you can copy from there
01:18:44 Heather Lewis Sebring: Thank you to Dr. McCann and Julie! I truly appreciate this sharing of knowledge!
01:18:54 Sheema Tank: What’s the best hair dye to use to cover greys?
01:19:33 Claudia: What about Naturetint color?
01:19:41 Terry: Henna King covers grey.
01:19:59 Heather Lewis Sebring: What is the safest of the options?
01:20:29 Sil: herbatint?
01:20:47 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: This is where the Yuka app is so helpful. I go to the health food store and scan all the things
01:20:49 Claudia: Naturtint is the spelling
01:21:12 Christine: Andalou products have TONS of complicated non natural, created ingredients in a lab process. Also NOT organic. Awful. Soap nut products are about the only thing I have found that I don’t feel like I am adding chemicals onto my scalp/.
01:21:34 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: Good tip, @Christine, thank you!
01:22:11 Carol: What about C60? I noticed change in hair color from this product without even searching for it.
01:23:45 Sheema Tank: What’s the ideal range for iron levels that we should aim for?
01:24:02 Christine: Ah… that is what is not good about the soup nut, coats scalp a bit.. Too thick. What to do….
01:25:05 Sheema Tank: Should the rosemary oil and peppermint oil be diluted in a carrier oil before application?
01:27:40 Ann: Vegamour serum helped my hair loss for 3 months then fallout happened again.
01:29:25 suzanbognanno: What about the DUTCH test? Helpful?
01:30:20 Debbi S: Is the Wellnesse dry shampoo OK?
01:33:38 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: julieolson.com or https://fortitudefunctionalnutrition.com/
01:34:40 Sheema Tank: Is collagen powder high histamine?
01:36:27 Debbi S: Clearly Filtered makes a good countertop pitcher.
01:38:47 Sheema Tank: Are there any mobile red light therapy products you would recommend?
01:42:36 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: Here’s the link: https://healthyhairfix.com/foundations
01:42:49 Amber: Thank you very much 🙏🏻🌟
01:43:12 G Young: what’s the code? HHF50?
01:43:18 Sheryl Moi (she/her/hers): thanks for an informative session
01:43:40 Lise: Thank you!
01:43:49 Sarah — DrKellyMcCann.com: You’ll all get a replay next week
01:43:50 Debbi S: Thanks!


TGF-beta: Rethinking Chronic Illness with Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN

TGF-beta: Rethinking Chronic Illness with Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN

Transforming growth factor beta – a mouthful of a lab test that has been used by the Shoemaker protocol for years. Often, an elevated TGF-beta indicates mold illness (in conjunction with other tests and clinical indicators) but Dr. Gail Clayton has found that it could mean so much more.

Dr. Gail joined me to discuss a patient case that examined this test and the mind-shift that was needed to truly make healing happen. She shared her insights about the immune system, T-cell dysfunction, and the role of the master antioxidant, glutathione. Her presentation helped us all rethink TGF-beta and chronic illness, and she answered some salient questions from webinar participants.

Check out the replay below, along with the video and chat transcripts. Click here to download Dr. Gail’s slides.

For more from Dr. Gail, go to https://www.molddetoxdiet.com/drgailclayton


Full Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:04):

Hello everyone. Very excited for our webinar today. I’m going to wait a few minutes. I was just saying I need to figure out a music option so people can listen to the music. While we’re waiting for everyone to come in, I’m just going to wait a few minutes. Welcome to my library of webinar series. Today my guest is Dr. Gail Clayton. She is a clinical pharmacist, and we were just joking about how many letters she has after her name, so many letters, so much work that she’s put into all those letters. She’s also a certified nutritional specialist. She has a BS in Pharmacy from the University of Houston and is licensed in Texas. She earned a master’s and doctorate degree in clinical nutrition, and since she’s retired from working as a pharmacist, she opened her own private nutrition practice to help alleviate the suffering of others coping with devastating health conditions. And she looked to the Western medical system for help with severe chemical and mold sensitivity after exposures and found her answers in alternative and functional medicine. And since then, she’s become an expert in functional medicine. She loves sharing her knowledge and works part-time as an adjunct professor teaching biochemistry and functional medicine and runs her own successful Facebook nutrition group. She loves working in her garden and tending to her farm animals. That sounds like so much fun. Okay, today we have a treat for you. Dr. Gail is going to give a case presentation about TGF beta and we’ll learn how useful or not useful that marker is, all about mold in the immune system. I’m really excited for today. Thank you, Dr. Gail.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:02:10):

Thanks, Dr. Kelly. And I’m really honored to be here today. I wanted to talk about TGF beta because that’s an immune marker that a lot of the doctors are using when they’re suspecting mold illness and there’s a lot of chatter in the environmental illness community about the usefulness of that marker. Some love it, some don’t. And then the differences between the labs, that — they’ll send samples to one lab and send to another one and get big differences. But like I told Dr. Kelly, I said, well, that may be true that the labs, their values may vary, but if you get a TGF beta 6,000, are you going to treat it any differently than a TGF beta 16,000 or 60,000? Isn’t the approach going to be the same? So those smaller variations aren’t as big. I don’t know. I don’t think they’re as big of a deal.

(00:03:26):

So the marker does have some usefulness, but sometimes I can just tell that TGF beta is high just by reviewing the background, reviewing the symptoms, looking at the signs. And so hopefully by the end of this webinar you’ll understand what I mean about looking for things that are causing TGF beta to go really high and things you can do about it, and changes, and what’s driving it and all of that. So with that, I made some slides, which I will share my slides after the presentation. I’ll get everybody’s email that signed up for it, and I’ll send you a link to a landing page where you can download all my slides because I’m going to go through it and I even have extra slides that I’m not going to have time to go through, but I’m going to throw those in because I find them kind of useful on TGF beta.

(00:04:32):

So with that, I’m going to go ahead and share my screen. And so this is going to be about TGF beta, but I had a very interesting case study that I want to present. Okay, so let’s talk about this client of mine. Okay, her initials are L.K., 55-year-old female. Her main symptom complaints is that, the very first thing she said is she said, I’ve been to several doctors and I’m chronically fatigued. I never feel well, my gut symptoms have gotten worse over the last three months. And so as I listened to her and looked over her intake form, I like to kind of categorize some of the symptoms. So for the central nervous system and hormonal — brain fog, poor concentration, horrible sleep, severe fatigue. I mean, she said that she just couldn’t hardly function, couldn’t hardly get out of bed and slept a lot during the day too. She was told she was iron deficient, but a bone marrow biopsy didn’t show anything. I don’t know, Dr. Kelly, I’ve never heard of a bone marrow biopsy to diagnose iron deficiency anemia.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:05:57):

That’s very aggressive. So typically we’re looking for a ferritin or iron saturation. TIBC is often elevated when people are iron deficient. I would think the only reason she would get a bone marrow is if they suspected something else or it actually didn’t really look like iron deficiency. That’s an unusual situation. So they could have been looking for a myelodysplastic disorder or something where the bone marrow was suppressed and not really producing red blood cells. And remember when you have a CBC and people are anemic, there are those other markers like RDW, MCH — and especially the RDW when that one is high. And then the MCH is low, the red blood cells are small, and you’re probably making — trying to compensate and making more red blood cells that are varying sizes. So you can get reticulocytes, and that tells you an idea of how the health of the bone marrow. So there’s a lot of labs that we can look at before we get to a bone marrow biopsy.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:07:25):

Well, that’s what I thought, it was a little strange that she said that. Anyway, she also had depression, anxiety, mood swings, fluid retention, hormone imbalance. So just with that, the first thing in my head is she’s got a lot of neuroinflammation going on and probably not enough brain energy, maybe excessive histamine and some kind of maybe problems with methylation or something in her gut. She had extreme bloating. She said she couldn’t even buckle up her pants a lot of time. It was really extreme, such severe constipation that she couldn’t have a bowel movement without an enema and lots of belching and that had been worsening over the last few months. And the skin rashes, eczema, joint pain, weakness, stiff, dry skin, bumps on the backs of her arms, excess sweating, loss of eyebrow hair, and then loss of sense of smell. And of course, I always think about zinc with that loss of sense of smell. Okay, so that’s kind of what was going on with her. She came to me with her labs and of course her TGF beta was greater than 10,000.

(00:08:38):

So I want to talk a little bit. Some of y’all may not really know what TGF beta is, and even if you do, it’s kind of a good idea. I want to just give a little lay person’s explanation of how the immune system works. So we have two arms. We have the innate immune system, which is extracellular, and we’re born with it. That’s the immune system we’re born with. We have it for life. It’s nonspecific, it’s always patrolling. It has all these general housekeeping chores and it recognizes about a thousand patterns. Then we have the adaptive immune system that’s developed over time. Usually after we start eating solid food. We can still survive if we lost it. And it ramps up after about five to seven days, and it has over 10 million pattern[s], and it is intracellular. So basically these T cells and B cells and antibodies, they just go and they kill the entire cell.

(00:09:43):

In the innate immune system we have these macrophages and all these lymphocytes that just go around and just kind of eat up dead and dying cells and pathogens. So this is kind of how it works. So we have the innate immune cells, the macrophages, dendrites, neutrophils. And so this little dark colored Pac-man here, he’s the neutrophil, he’s the first responder. So when and antigen or a pathogen or something gets in our tissue that’s foreign, there’s chemicals that are released, and then the neutrophil wakes up and here he comes and he’s diving down into the tissue to eat it, right? And he eats it and inside there’s nasty enzymes and it kind of starts dissolving it. Well, after that happens, then the monocytes, the big yellow guy, he comes in and he eats that whole neutrophil and he’s chomping it up and breaking up the pathogen into little body parts. Then he travels over to the lymph system, and the immature T cells in the lymph, he spits out the body parts on it and he gives it a set of instructions and tells the T cells how to mature.

(00:10:57):

So if you’ve got a virus or a bacteria, you’re going to make a T helper-1 cell. And if you’ve got a parasite fungus or mycotoxin or other kind of toxins, you’re going to make a T helper-2 cell, and they’re going to go and stimulate the B cells to make antibodies, and the antibodies are going to go and help the innate immune system. And then naive T cells are also going to make killer T cells. Now, these are very, very specific. Those antibodies, they’ll hone back to that spot. So that’s it in a nutshell. You understand how the immune system works without all the JAKs and the STATs and the interleukins and all that. Just understanding how it works is important. Just to get a gist of what’s going on, we really want our innate immune system to be strong. As we get older, that typically dies down and the adaptive immune system ramps up, and the more our adaptive immune system ramps up, the more [at] risk we are for inflammatory responses, autoimmunity and all of those kinds of things.

(00:12:08):

So let’s talk about the adaptive immune system. We have these T cells, those T helper cells. Remember I said that the innate immune system, it’s going to deliver those nasty substances to the T cell. Okay, so the T helper-1 cell is secreted when we have viruses and bacteria, the T helper 2 cell like worms and mold and fungus, mycotoxins. And then we have the T helper 17 cells, and you might’ve heard of the interleukin-6. It’s very inflammatory. That’s basically the autoimmune pathway. Then we have the T regulatory cells. They’re secreted every time we eat, and then they’re also secreted anytime one of these other three are secreted, it’s basically pulling them back saying, whoa, don’t go too far that way. So anytime one of those rise, we’re going to get interleukin-10 or TGF beta. And we typically measure the TGF beta because that one is more ubiquitous, it’s easier, it’s more, I don’t know, it shows up better in labs.

(00:13:25):

Some of these other interleukins, you start to go measure them individually and you’re not going to get it very accurate because they’re kind of localized. So wherever it is, you may have an interleukin-6 high in this elbow. You take a blood draw from the other arm and it shows that it’s negligible or normal, but it just kind of goes all over the place. Okay, so that’s it. And this isn’t normal. We get these polarizations, but then our immune system, once the threat is over, it’s swings back into normal. But when we have chronic assault, chronic stress, chronic infections, it can get polarized and it can stay in one direction, and we may actually be doing things to even make that worse. And so that’s what we want to look at is when we’re chronically ill, and what are the things we’re doing and eating and taking and being exposed to, that’s keeping our immune system polarized in the direction that’s making us not feel well.

(00:14:40):

And so I really wanted to just focus on TGF beta and I like to think of TGF beta and the TH-17 as a teeter totter. When one goes up, the other one’s pushed down, when the other one’s pushed up, the other one’s pushed down. And there’s things we can do to modulate that as well. And one thing we can get in this self stimulating loop, you see this one here over to the right, the T regulatory cells, the higher they get, the more TGF beta you have, and then you have more tolerance, and then they stimulate the naive T cells to make even more. And then you’re getting in this feedforward loop. And the problem is we have high TGF beta in the gut. We’re not going to have a very good immune system, and the immune system in the gut needs to be very ferocious.

(00:15:39):

Where most of the antigens and pathogens get into our body is through our food. We want to have a good TH-17 in the gut. We want it to be very ferocious. And people think, oh, well, I don’t want that because my gut’s already a mess and already inflamed, but it’s probably something else going on there, maybe really high TGF beta causing all of that aggravation. Okay? Now, there’s a lot of things that cause our immune system [to] become unregulated, and there’s a few of them here. As we get older, our immune system can become dysregulated, infections, not getting enough oxygen. So people with asthma, COPD are at higher risk. Sleep problems, not getting good sleep,

Kelly McCann, MD (00:16:33):

But sleep apnea too. There’s a double wing. It’s got sleep disruption and hypoxia sometimes.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:16:39):

Yeah. Or cardiovascular disease. If you have cardiovascular disease, you’re not getting enough oxygen to the tissues. Stress. Stress is a big, huge one, especially since covid hit and all the lockdowns and the mandates and the isolation and suicide rates have gone up and everybody’s in fear. You turn on the TV, it’s nothing but fear mongering. And then it’s important to have good vagal outflow, the vagus nerve that’s connected to the gut, that’s very important for that to work. And if we have blood sugar problems, nutrient imbalances, dysbiosis, food sensitivities, even just a bad diet, and genetics do play a role. And if you have traumatic brain injury, toxins, toxic mold exposure, COVID-19 and even vaccine injury. The vaccines that have that spike protein and it causes a huge cytokine storm that can mess up our gut and polarize our immune system. So TGF beta isn’t all bad.

(00:17:50):

We have to have it. TGF beta — I always think about fibrosis and scarring because when we’re inflamed and TGF beta rises, the reason is because it’s got to bring all the repair material to the site of the inflammation. So it’s bringing all kind of excess material to the site so that we can do wound repair. It helps build collagen. It restores the tissue strength, restores tissue integrity. It protects the heart from rupture and protects the epithelial lining of all of our cell membranes. And it can be activated by reactive oxygen species. But if you get too much, we’ve got all these diseases that it can cause, kidney, lung, heart, liver, fibrocystic breasts. If you have fibrocystic breasts, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, then most likely you have elevated TGF beta. And you need to look for why is TGF beta high? Where’s the inflammation coming from? What are the drivers? Even scleroderma, neurofibromatosis.

(00:19:03):

And I’ve seen people that just get these little cysts all over their body. That’s a sign of high TGF beta as well. Now, this is a clinical picture that you might see in somebody with high TGF beta, the antecedents, triggers, and mediators, grains and fermentable fibers and probiotics actually can raise TGF beta. Every time we eat we’re raising TGF beta, so like snacking. Some people like to just graze all day long. That’s not really a good idea. Okay? High stress, poor sleep. Somebody that has fibrosis and scarring, high oxidative stress. And most people with mold illness will get elevated TGF beta. And a lot of the symptoms are food sensitivities, allergies, chemical sensitivity, loss of the tolerogenic mechanisms. They start losing their tolerance for foods and they have pretty severe dysbiosis. Now, you can measure TGF-beta in the lab directly. It’s kind of a pricey test.

(00:20:17):

And I’m pretty careful when I’m making recommendations for labs that — I don’t want to break my client’s piggy bank by ordering labs that I’m like, I know they got high TGF beta. Why should I even order it? Right? And how accurate is it? Just, we got a lot of stuff to clean up here. Let’s just clean things up and then see how they do. Right? Okay. They may have high eosinophils. Now, eosinophils are part of the innate immune system, but they don’t really have any housekeeping chores. They’re excreted when there’s something too big for the immune system to eat, and they’re always in the hollow spaces in the gut, the lung, the kidney, the sinuses. That might be a sign that you have high TGF beta when your eosinophils are elevated. And that’s a very cheap test. It comes along with the CBC. Low glutathione, and I’m going to get into glutathione and it’s relationship with TGF beta in the next slide, the high GGT and then low cysteine. Okay, so let’s talk about that glutathione and TGF beta teeter totter. Anytime you see high TGF beta, automatically assume their glutathione is depleted. Okay?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:21:41):

That’s a great pearl.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:21:43):

Yes. And this is why: TGF beta uses nine cysteine molecules.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:21:52):

Wow.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:21:53):

It binds to nine of them. And cysteine is the limiting amino acid in glutathione. Glutathione has three amino acids, glutamine, cysteine, and glycine. Cysteine is almost universally the rate limiting step of making glutathione. So if you’ve got this TGF beta eating up all this cysteine, how are you going to make glutathione? So you want to always think that. And then you want sulfur amino acids, sulfur foods, NAC, and probably even some glutathione, especially if their TGF beta is really high, right? Some people can’t tolerate glutathione. And with those people, if they can eat some sulfur foods like the brassicas, that’s a good source of sulfur to make cysteine. And I may give them rosemary, rosemary extract. Rosemary stimulates glutathione production. So that’s what I’ll have them do. A lot of people that are just really, really sensitive to glutathione–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:23:10):

Have you found that using molybdenum when people are sensitive to glutathione is helpful?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:23:19):

Well, I like to look at uric acid if I’m going to recommend molybdenum, because molybdenum is the co-factor for that monoamine oxidase enzyme. And if the uric acid level is less than 4.5, then I know that they’re molybdenum deficient. If it’s greater than 5.5 and you give a molybdenum, then you’re risking making too much uric acid crystals and causing gout. And uric acid typically comes with a CMP. So I don’t know. What I like to do — most patients when they’re this sick, I like to have them on electrolytes and trace minerals because when your brain fogged and your adrenal fatigued — the whole brain is electrical, and then the adrenals are fatigued, you want to flood the body with electrolytes and minerals because that takes the pressure off because the adrenal’s job is to regulate intracellular and extracellular fluid. And then that sodium-potassium pump? That takes up most of the energy that our body makes. When you flood the body with electrolytes, it just takes all the stress off that because now that sodium has to be pumped out and the potassium has to be pumped in.

(00:24:48):

So now you’re flooding the body with all these electrolytes and trace minerals. Now the brain has the minerals and all of those enzymatic reactions, and usually I use a complete mineral complex, and it typically will have some molybdenum in it, but giving a big dose of, they usually come in what, 500 micrograms or something or, yeah, it’s something like that. And some people can tolerate it and some can’t. But usually I’ll have a CBC, and I just quickly look at that uric acid, and if it’s up like 6, 6.5, I don’t dare give them any molybdenum. Actually, my last webinar, I did a case presentation and her uric acid was 6.5, and she was having — I always ask, do you have shooting pains in your small joints? They may not realize that that’s a sign of gout. And she did, and she was on minerals and it had molybdenum.

(00:25:51):

So that’s the first thing I did is take her off. And of course, the joint pains went away. So you want to be a little careful. Okay, let’s go back to TGF beta. Now, TGF beta will be high in tumor and cancer growth, fibrosis and scarring, you’re going to have, it’s going to impair your innate immune system when TGF beta is high, okay? You’re going to have an ineffective phagocytosis, and if you don’t know what phagocytosis is, that’s those innate immune cells, that little Pac-man, those little black and yellow Pac-man eating dead and dying cells, that’s phagocytosis. We eat those up before they turn into cancer, and then we lose our immune surveillance. All of those guys that are swimming around and they’re not even activated until something comes in, they become ineffective. And then so now we have increased risk of pretty severe infections. Now, one thing, if you’re very inflamed, if you’re interleukin-6 is really high, you can — it can lead to TGF beta being high and TH-17 being high, and that — you’re very inflamed. Now, there’s two schools of thought on what’s the range of TGF beta. Dr. Shoemaker came up with this 2380, and I haven’t figured out where he got that number. Do you know where he got that number? Because what I see in the literature is like 3000, I don’t get excited if it’s — unless it’s 3000 or greater than, or 4,000.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:27:37):

Right? I’m not exactly sure where he got that from either. And certainly the reference ranges for both Quest and LabCorp have changed a great deal in the past decade or so when I first learned about, or more than that, when I first learned about TGF beta. So who knows what the labs are saying and how they’re, I mean, hopefully you’ll teach us that, right?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:28:03):

Well, and I’ve heard even ever since Covid and the mandates for the vaccines that they increase the reference ranges of TGF beta to be even higher because now everybody’s inflamed and they’re like, oh, well, the reference range is high, so let’s just make this the new normal. It’s not a new normal.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:28:31):

I think the same thing happened with the white blood cell count. It used to be over four, and now for some labs it’s 3.8 because the entire population is having some degree of immunosuppression and leukocytosis. So let’s just normalize the reference range down a little bit.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:28:52):

And that’s with all the stress. I mean, we’re under massive stress from all the fear mongering, the shutdown, the isolation, and then long Covid and just the way we live our life and all the massive chemicals we’re exposed to, it’s affecting us. We’re not built to withstand all of that. Anyway, so let’s get back to this slide. So what happens is that it activates the inflammasome, and then that inflammasome is what turns on the autoimmune. It’s like the autoimmune switch. You turn on inflammasomes, the autoimmune pathway gets turned on. Then if you’re hypoxic, then you’re creating these myeloid derived suppressor cells, which are those lymphocytes, those little Pac-man. What happens instead of them maturing in the bone marrow, they become nonfunctional and then they become inflammatory themselves. Now, the adaptive immune system is like, what do I do with this? So it’s activated.

(00:30:00):

Oxidative stress. You have this high tolerogenic effect, your phagocytosis is inhibited, and then your natural killer cells are reduced. So where do we start? Just to — you want to remove the triggers first. Always in functional medicine, I teach at the university and my students have to participate in a discussion board, and I’ll ask all kind of questions, and they just want to jump to throw in a supplement at it. I said, I don’t want to hear one supplement. I want you to tell me what is this person doing wrong? Walk in there without making one supplement recommendation. What is this patient doing wrong that you can make a change? So you want to gather all the information. Are there — if you have TGF beta, is it in an optimal range? Do they have fibrosis and scarring? Do they have cancer? Do they have fibroids, tumor? I had this massively long intake form, and by the way, I give that away for free.

(00:31:10):

I think it’s on my website somewhere. You can just download it. I know! It’s in the organic acids on my website. If you click on the tab for the organic acids course and you scroll down, I give away my intake form of all the questions that I’m asking my patient, because I want to know. I want to know everything about them, because if you’re missing the triggers, how are you going to get their immune system to swing back into balance? And then their diet with high TGF beta, you have to remove the grains and a lot of that fiber, you got to stop snacking in between meals. If you can do some intermittent fasting or maybe just two big meals a day, that would be fantastic. Don’t snack in between. You can have your coffee or your teas, but with no sweeteners. And then probiotics may make things worse for these people. And short chain fatty acids — do you know what the precursor is to make TGF beta? It’s butyrate. Butyrate is the starting substrate. And so you’ve got all these functional medicine doctors that are throwing everybody on butyrate with high TGF beta. Butyrate’s fantastic. But if you’ve got high TGF beta, aren’t you just going to feed it more ?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:32:38):

Potentially.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:32:40):

Okay, so a lot of times I’ll remove some probiotics. They probably have got overgrowth because if the TGF beta is high, that means you don’t have a good immune response in the gut, and you’ve got all kind of critters growing in there. And adding probiotics sometimes just makes them even more bloated and makes things worse. So let’s stop feeding them and then let’s kill, kill, kill. And then let’s give them some good probiotics and fermented foods. You want to know if they have a lot of oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species, gut inflammation, inflammasome activation, and myeloid derive suppressive cell activity going on. Because just removing — if they’re being exposed to mold, you have to remove all of that. Okay, so let’s go back to our patient, now that I explained the immune system and about TGF beta. All of y’all can really follow along now.

(00:33:46):

So I look at their symptoms, number one. The second thing I look at is their diet. So what she was eating that, I always make a list. These are your highly allergenic and inflammatory foods that you’re eating. I make them fill out a food questionnaire and I list them all, and I’m like, these have got to go for now. And she doesn’t eat red meat, but she eats fish and chicken and tofu. So what’s wrong with that? Everybody thinks that red meat is a villain that omega-6 fats are bad, but in reality, we have to have omega-6 to turn on the immune system.

(00:34:33):

I think our grandmothers told us to drink chicken soup when we’re sick. Chicken is an omega-6, but I don’t think she was eating enough of it, and she was avoiding red meat. So how are you going to get your B12 and that kind of stuff? And so the meat is very inflammatory, but what happens when you’re too under inflamed? You can’t even mount an immune response. You can’t kill any gut pathogens. And then the second thing, she was doing daily smoothies. She got these super greens powder supplement. She was making this smoothie every morning. It’s like, oh, this is healthy. All this good, healthy stuff, kale, greens, spinach, lots of blueberries every morning. So what’s the problem with that?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:26):

Well, it’s definitely high oxalate.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:35:29):

Well, oxalate wasn’t really her problem, although with some people it is, but it’s very, very anti-inflammatory, and we need to move her from a TGF beta. Blueberries will push a TH-2 and lots of mucus in the gut. So when I see high TGF beta and especially a lot of mucus and a lot of stuff going on, what I want is, I want a more balanced omega-3 and omega-6 in the diet, and I take them off of smoothies, honestly, I just take them off of smoothies. And then she says she had comfort food cravings, bread, hot cocoa, cookies, chocolate and sugar. So she probably had some candida going on. I didn’t recommend a stool test. They can spend several hundred dollars on stool testing. And what are you going to do? You’re going to do a gut protocol, right? Elimination gut protocol. And that’s going to clear up most of it. And a lot of times I tell people, let’s just do an empiric treatment gut protocol and along with the elimination diet, and then let’s see what happens. We might just save you several hundred dollars or more from all this testing that we don’t need. Okay?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:36:55):

Absolutely. I mean, she’s got enough to do simply with making dietary changes and getting rid of her junk inflammatory foods and her comfort foods.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:37:07):

And this is something those of you that are watching you can do on your own. You don’t need to hire me or Kelly’s staff or a health coach, and I’ll give you more information about the inflammatory — diet changes later. So these are the predisposing factors. She had a fear of weight gain, and she was really cute, a very attractive lady, very slim, but she was so afraid of gaining weight and she lacked desire to eat. She was wearing perfume and fragrance. So Kelly, what’s wrong with that?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:37:45):

Oh my goodness. The phthalates and the VOCs and just all the chemicals. There’s so many chemicals in personal care products, but especially fragrance. So she’s really poisoning herself with those products.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:38:01):

And what does that do to the limbic system though? The olfactory bulb sits right on top of the amygdala. You breathe it in, it sends off stress chemistry. Cortisol is part of the stress chemistry. Cortisol is going to the gut and doing what?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:17):

Yes, activating the limbic system. Alert, Alert! Danger! This is bad for you.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:38:23):

Yeah. Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:24):

Turning on mast cells, who knows, all sorts of terrible things, not to mention they’re immunosuppressive and they’re endocrine disruptors and they’re neurotoxins. So yeah, got to go.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:38:38):

Yeah. And initially I thought this patient, when she walked in my office, I’m like, okay, yeah, this is another molded person, but she was in a new home and I actually know where she lives. And it was new home, no water damage, no mold. And she’d always lived in upper, newer homes. And so we kind of ruled that out. She’d had severe fatigue her entire life. Her doctor thought she had iron deficiency anemia. Bowel movements only when forced with an enema. She did have MTHFR, the C677t homozygous. And that’s the most dreaded MTHFR variant to have, especially homozygous. So she may not have been methylating. Well, if you’re not methylating well in your brain, you’re going to have a lot of those neurocognitive issues. High viral titers. Anytime I see high viral titers, their innate immune system isn’t working.

(00:39:43):

So if TGF beta is high, it’s pushing down the innate immune system. IBS, constipation, a lot of childhood trauma. Almost every single one of my patients with IBS has a history of childhood trauma. That just sets us up because as a child, we’re supposed to feel safe, love valued, and that trauma puts us in a PTSD, high alert state, lot of cortisol, a lot of histamine, and that turns on and it stays on throughout life unless you do a limbic retraining like DNRS, Gupta, Primal Trust, and there’s some other ones out there. You have to retrain that brain and it’s actually curable. Hormone imbalance. And then she was taking Ritalin just to make it through the day. So that’s basically some things that was going on. So now I looked at her current supplements that could be driving some symptoms. I had her stop her B12, I don’t know why she was taking it, maybe because she wasn’t eating beef, but I wanted to do some organic acid testing.

(00:40:54):

And then sometimes you can just over methylate when you take too much of this stuff. I let her keep her B complex. Now, I had her stop that D3. She had two different supplements of D3. D3 can increase TGF beta. I didn’t feel like she had iron deficiency anemia. I thought she had anemia of chronic disease. And so I recommended some new labs just to test, but I wanted to stop it. And I don’t like people to take iron if they’re not deficient and they don’t need it because it’s quite inflammatory. And then what’s wrong with taking vitamin C tablets when you have not enough immune response in the gut? Vitamin C is very anti-inflammatory. That was making it worse. Omega-3, another way to anti-inflammatory. I wanted to restore the immune system in the gut. And then vitamin A can also push TGF beta up, probiotics, and then those super green powders.

(00:41:57):

So our first session, it was mainly diet drivers and supplement drivers. So we removed all those allergenic foods and remember she was avoiding red meat and she’s doing those smoothies with the greens and the blueberries driving a TH-2 dominance and eating grains, the precursor to TGF beta. And then the supplement drivers was Omega-3, the super greens, the vitamin A and D, the iron driving oxidative stress, and that further depletes glutathione, vitamin C and probiotics. And then there was some labs I thought we needed to look at, like organic acid testing, adrenal hormones. And I just made recommendations, I like to look at the conventional. I wanted to see if she had any anemia, look at her blood chemistry, thyroid, vitamin D levels, lipid, cholesterol, kind of see what’s out of whack there. And then maybe some food sensitivity could be at play driving things and some stool testing.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:18):

And I’d like to just say it’s really important to understand that not — her supplements weren’t bad. They just weren’t the appropriate supplements for her at the time for the things that she was dealing with, right? Because people do need vitamin D and do need fish oil. And she may have been put on these supplements by well-meaning practitioners. She may have been just taking them because she had read that they were good for her. And so I think, I don’t want people to get the idea that if they have high TGF beta-1, they need to take themselves off all of these things because they’re bad for them or they’re going to drive TGF beta. But know that there’s a time and a place for all of our supplements. What do you think about that, Gail?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:44:10):

Well, you’re right. I have to tell you, I asked her, when I looked at all her supplements, I said, well, who’s managing your supplements? I said, whoever it is, you need to fire them. And she says, me. And I asked that to a lot of clients that are taking — one lady came to me with 89 supplements a couple of weeks ago! And so people get attached to them, but you hear this is good. Oh, I heard this is good, or I heard that’s good. And they keep taking it. I had this one young man one time, he was taking all these supplements, he was weightlifting and it was messing up his prolactin levels. Men’s prolactin levels should be like 2, right? His was 800 and something and he had — they were going to do a brain surgery and they told him he had a tumor on his pituitary. And I said, what are you taking? You’re driving it. And so I changed his diet massively, and I took him off all those things. And four months later, his prolactin level was 2 and his tumor thingy went away.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:45:19):

And his non-tumor went away [laughs].

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:45:23):

[Laughs] So he didn’t have to have brain surgery after all.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:45:25):

Oh my goodness. Yeah. So that’s a really good illustration of how important it is to work with a provider who knows what they’re doing. And she might not stay off vitamin D forever. She might need to go back on it at some point, right?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:45:42):

Well, I wanted to measure it. That’s why I took it off. So she was so brain fogged that it was all she could do to wrap her head around the diet. And so I made a course, the Mold Detox Diet, and I use that for any autoimmune disease or chronic illness or mystery illness. It’s a really good elimination diet. Even though she didn’t have mold illness, I want her to add herbs and spices that helps regulate the immune system and the gut drink. Herbal teas, I kind of felt like she had a histamine component to it. So I said, drink one cup of nettles tea a day. Only eat fish two to three times a week. Don’t be eating out every day, five servings of vegetables, stop the smoothies, different colors [of vegetables], don’t juice it, and I want you to eat the whole thing. Include the omega-6 foods.

(00:46:40):

And then because of her history of trauma, I wanted her to do some type of limbic retraining or at least deep breathing. There’s lots of exercises you can do, and it is just good practice for everybody to do some self-care every day. Of course, she had to stop the fragrances, and I wanted her to go to 12-step Adult Children of Alcoholic and Dysfunctional Family group. I mean, it’s free. And those 12-step groups are pretty amazing. Gives you a lot of good community support. So anyway, we stopped all those supplements and I wanted her to add in these supplements, but she didn’t. Okay. She didn’t — she’s like it was all I could do to do the diet. So she came to me two weeks later. So just to review, she had all these inflammatory foods, green powder, berries. She had MTHFR, unresolved trauma, hormone imbalances, anemia of chronic disease, IBS with constipation, high viral titers, and taking Ritalin. And so she had poor sleep, digestive issues, severe bloating, constipation, neuroinflammation, brain fog, and severe fatigue. So I had her do the diet.

(00:48:08):

I recommended the neuroplasticity work, which she didn’t do. She says she’s not ready to address any of that, but even so she didn’t. And then just stop those supplements. And so within two weeks, her symptom score — I use the MSQ by IFM — dropped 50% in two weeks, and she had a detox flu. And so if y’all don’t know what that is, it’s like the Herxheimer, even diet changes can cause you to have a herx reaction when you’re changing from, she had so much anti-inflammatory stuff that she couldn’t mount a sufficient immune response. And the TGF beta was so high she couldn’t kill pathogens on her food. Her gut was all gassy and bloated, brain fogged and all that. We have to have some sort of inflammation to turn on our immune system. That’s what our immune system, that’s how it works anyway. And so then we kind of emailed after four weeks.

(00:49:16):

She says, the last two weeks I’m living the dream. She said, my brain fog lifted and now I’m productive. No longer taking Ritalin, not willing to address my trauma yet. She didn’t start the gut protocol, but just within four weeks without any supplements, this is kind of the result when you’re removing all the triggers and getting the diet a lot more balanced. So then we got her tests back. And so basically you can see here the 3- and 4- hydroxyphenylacetic acids. Those are more indicative of dysbiosis. And then these [benzoic acid and hippuric acid] are bacterial products of the bacteria, how well — I mean they’re metabolites. This is how well you can detoxify that. So she was kind of really having a tough time getting rid of those bacterial metabolites. And then of course, she has some indication of yeast. Arabinose is not specific for candida, some of these markers, but it was pretty high suspicion.

(00:50:36):

And then also, let me see her FIGLU marker. Now FIGLU is the marker for folate, but it doesn’t even go up high until 90 days after a deficiency. So it’s really a good idea to order homocysteine if you’re really thinking of folate deficiency because that [homocysteine] should go up within 10 days. And she had that MTHFR. So this is a significant finding of it being greater than the reference range. And then the pyroglutamic acid, whenever you see that elevated, you always want to think about glutathione wasting in the kidney because that’s a marker of how the kidneys are binding the glutathione to glycine and pulling it back in to recycle and that elevated marker just — so that’s not happening. And a lot of times when we’re have a high toxic load, we’re kind of glycine depleted, and glycine is the simplest amino acid, and that’s what the liver uses to bind toxins. And so it can get depleted pretty easy. And then also, if the renal energetic pathways are disrupted, a lot of people don’t know we make a lot of ATP in our kidney too. And so doing this requires three ATP. So it could be like she was so severely fatigued that even her kidney couldn’t even make energy.

(00:52:24):

Pyroglutamate can be an indication of metabolic acidosis. And also if you’re taking acetaminophen, that will make that go high, or foods rich in — high in glutamate.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:52:39):

And just for people listening, this was an organic acid test.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:52:44):

Yes, yes, yes. Okay. So these were my recommendations based on her organic acid results. So basically she had the high bacteria and yeast markers, high FIGLU, glutathione wasting in the kidneys. The mitochondria showed a cell danger response, and I’m not going to show that pattern, that’s kind of a little more in depth. I do have an organic acid course that I’ll be sending y’all a link to take a look at. That really goes into deep explanation of all the patterns in organic acid testing. Her amino acids were normal, fatty acids showed that her enzyme was impaired and probably needed some support with some nutrients. And of course on her follow-up, I didn’t want her to add grains back in for now, but I did allow her to add back in nuts and seeds and quinoa, and it’s really funny. I wanted to add more in.

(00:53:51):

She said, oh, no, no, I’m staying on this diet. I’ve never felt this good in 20 years. I’m good. I love the diet. I want her to start on some neuroplasticity, but you can only tell ’em to do it, but if they don’t do it, what are you going to do? Okay. So basically as a result of her tests, we started some antioxidants, electrolytes, minerals, then methylfolate, 5 milligrams. Since she’s homozygous, I tend to give a little bit higher dose. Glutathione, B complex — I think she was already on that — restart her vitamin A and D and then some melatonin because she had some high cortisol on her testing. And so the cell danger response that I talked about is basically the mitochondria inside the cell is the powerhouse, and that’s where we make all our energy, our ATP. But it’s a universal response to environmental threat or injury.

(00:54:53):

There’s a sensor like these proteins on the surface and they sense that danger and they shut down. And so it stops manufacturing energy and it goes into self preservation mode. So then you’re fatigued. You’re inflamed, you don’t feel good, you can’t think straight, all of that. Okay, second follow up. Six weeks after our initial consultation, her MSQ score went down from 165 to 40. Rashes, eczema was going away, no longer taking Ritalin, brain fog completely lifted, gut protocol, much less bloating, unable to tolerate — I had wanted to do essential oils because like with candida, sometimes you’re more successful if you do some essential oil. She couldn’t tolerate it, and that’s common. She’s having regular bowel movement. She no longer needed enemas. Wakes up feeling energized. And those follow-up lab results showed electrolyte imbalance, low fasting glucose, total cholesterol was a little bit too low. I thought uric acid was low, and that’s going to affect histamine metabolism because molybdenum is part of the histamine — is a co-factor in the histamine pathway.

(00:56:19):

And so my recommendations: avoid sugar, that’s correlated with eczema. I am like, okay, throw out the essential oil supplement, continue the gut protocol for another four weeks. Many times, within 30 days their gut is back in order. But I mean her first month she couldn’t wrap her head around doing anything but the diet. So we’re continuing the gut protocol because she still had some symptoms. Increase the protein intake so that she could stabilize blood glucose and support cholesterol, and continue the trace minerals and other supplements. And this is what she told me. She says, you can never retire. I’m never seeing another doctor beside you. She had been going to doctors for 20 years and nobody looked at her diet and her supplements and what she was doing. Okay, so you can scan this QR code and it’ll take you to my landing page. And there you can join my Fullscript.

(00:57:30):

You don’t have to purchase anything, but you can go in and inside there you can download all these slides and there’s extra slides that are hidden because I could just talk all day on subjects that I like. There’s information about the Mold Detox Diet course, about my advanced mold immune course and the organic acids course, and that’s mainly for practitioners. But I’ve had some pretty good geek biohackers that love to do it. And a lot of people are just frustrated because many doctors will order the organic acids and they don’t know how to interpret it, or they just go by the little guide and they don’t get much out of it. And so I’ve had people do my course, it’s only $99, and they get the workbook and they study it, and they get out all their past tests and they figure it — come up to some kind of conclusion.

(00:58:31):

But anyway, it was a pleasure chatting, teaching y’all about this patient. This year I’m going to be trying to do a lot of webinars on giving people hope on some incredible stories of healing and give you some hope and inspiration because she was going bike riding with her husband on the weekends and she was just neurotypical. Her life was back and she never thought she could feel that good. But if you really know, if you understand the immune system and you understand how it all works, the biochemistry of the body, you have to really focus on removing the things that we’re doing — I’ve had lots of patients that come in and they were taking this supplement, that supplement, and really causing a huge havoc in the body. Those supplements can be very, very powerful. So–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:59:46):

Don’t go anywhere, Gail, we have some questions if you have some time.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:59:50):

Oh, sure. Yeah. Hold on. Let me stop my, well, I’ll just leave that up. How’s that? So if —

Kelly McCann, MD (00:59:56):

That’s fine.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (00:59:57):

I can send this. I’ll send everybody an email probably tomorrow after I get the email list from Dr. Kelly, and then you’ll be able to be links to get to the landing page where that QR code will take you.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:15):

That’s perfect. Yeah, if you want to stop sharing, then we can be seen again. That’d be great. Answer some questions.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:00:23):

Oh my gosh, there’s 77 in the chat.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:27):

Yeah, well, we’re not going to answer from the chat. We’re going to answer from the Q&A.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:00:31):

Oh, Q&A.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:32):

Right. We’ll go until you feel like, okay, I’m tapped out. So let’s see. I will read these questions for you. Are fibroids, polyps, nodules, and cysts in the body more likely to occur with TGF beta?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:00:52):

TGF beta is what’s causing those.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:55):

Okay.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:00:56):

Remember TGF beta, its purpose is to bring wound repair to the site of inflammation. So you’ve got inflammation going there and those fibroids in the endometrium, it’s all inflamed. It could be because of the fatty acid imbalance. It could be high oxidative stress. I don’t know. It could be your diet, it could be a food sensitivity, it could be some kind of infection going on. And the TGF beta is there to help you. It’s there like, oh, we got to fix this. Let’s bring all this collagen, all this stuff. And then it gets there and it’s like, what a mess. I’m just going to dump all this right here. And then you got this fibroid growing.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:01:39):

Right? And I think — I’m really glad that we did this webinar because TGF beta in the mold world is seen as bad if it’s high and it’s got to be mold. And what you’re sharing today is, it’s not just mold and it’s not actually even that bad. It’s just the body’s response to some sort of trigger and it’s causing all this fibrosis, which is something that we want it to do, but it needs to be in balance. It’s really about getting that immune system to be in balance. Right?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:02:18):

Right. And it’s polarized. And when the immune system’s polarized, you have to assess the whole history and see what are the drivers. Yeah, you may have had an infection at first or a mold exposure, but then you get away from that. Why isn’t it swinging back down? Why isn’t it swinging? Because you think of a pendulum swinging back and forth. It should always go back to the center. And if it’s not, you could be doing something or there’s something that’s keeping it in a feedforward negative loop like she was for 20 years.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:03:05):

Exactly. So someone asked, how do you test for TGF beta and how do you treat high levels? And then someone else asked about can it ever be low in mold illness? So I think those would be two good questions.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:03:20):

Yes to both. TGF beta is just a regular blood test you get from LabCorp or Quest. It’s quite pricey and insurance doesn’t like to pay for it. It may be 2- $300. And some labs, I’ve seen it even higher.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:03:37):

Although there may be some, I don’t know. There are some places where you can pay for the lab yourself or if you say–

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:03:45):

Yeah, but they’re not cheap

Kelly McCann, MD (01:03:47):

Right? Gosh, I think when I first started running TGF beta about a decade and a half ago, it was like $130. So it shows you some inflation for sure.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:04:00):

So yeah, you can measure it directly, but if you’ve got some of this stuff going on, why don’t you just clean up your lifestyle and clean up your diet and fix your gut and just see what magic happens. Why spend hundreds of dollars on all this stuff? I didn’t even do a stool test on. I recommended it and then — I always recommend it, and at the end and their eyes are kind of bulging and swimming and I’m like, look, money is an issue. I want to be very careful about what I’m recommending. If you can only afford one test, and I love organic acids. I mean, I can extrapolate all kind of pictures from that. That’s usually my go-to unless somebody — whatever. But anyway. So let’s talk about low TGF beta. You never want low TGF beta. I don’t want to see TGF beta below 1800. And yes, it can be low with mold. If you have a low TGF beta, then TH-17 is going to be on steroids. Okay. It’s going to be extremely inflammatory, a lot of pain. And so you want to give some probiotics, you want to give some fiber, you want to give all the things that you were taking away with high TGF beta, you want to snack between meals, eat some greens, take some butyrate, get that TGF beta up.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:37):

Oh, that’s fascinating. How awesome is that that you learned two for one what to do with low TGF beta and what to do with high TGF beta? So someone asked, and I’m looking at the chat as I’m looking at the questions, I think what I’d like to say is it looks like some insurances cover TGF beta, some insurances, it’s hundreds if not $900. So I think each person, if you do decide you want to have TGF beta-1 run, check with your insurance company before you have the test run. And then Scott Forsgren said that the Shoemaker community now only does TGF beta with Quest and does not recommend LabCorp. And I had heard that and found that too, that LabCorp is less accurate. They had changed their reference ranges.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:06:35):

Well, like I said, if it’s high, does it matter if it’s 6,000 or 16,000? If it’s high, it’s high. How big is the difference between LabCorp and Quest? Sometimes I think that these people, they look at it, they’re treating labs, they’re not treating people.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:06:53):

Sure. I completely agree. So I tend to use Quest more anyway rather than LabCorp. But I think that there’s some variability from lab to lab, lab drawing station to lab drawing station. I remember at one point TGF beta was supposed to be double spun and things like that, and I don’t know if it’s necessary to have that level of rigor to get an accurate one, but just food for consideration.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:07:27):

Well, I rarely recommend that marker to be measured. When I’m looking at everything they’re doing, eating and drinking and all their symptoms, and I’m like, yeah, I’m just going to empirically pretend that their TGF beta is high and let’s do all this miracle stuff and then let them come back and sing my praises. Their symptoms are down 50% in two weeks or so.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:08:01):

So hey, how about hormones? Do these influence the levels, such as somebody being in menopause?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:08:09):

Well, hormone is not my specialty. When I graduated, a wise person told me find a niche and find something that there’s a high need in the community and that hardly anybody is good at and you become the best. And so I can’t say that I’m the best mold expert, but I do know a lot about it. I’ve written courses, written books. And then organic acids. That always fascinated me. My first career was a pharmacist and I was always like the teacher’s pet chemistry student. I just loved it. It was so fascinating. And so when I took Dr. Lord’s class in grad school, I was just blown away that we could even measure those intermediates. I was like, this is like sliced bread. And I just studied it and studied it for years and I don’t know, I became really good at it. And so I thought, well, everybody’s doing hormones and I’m not an MD, so I can’t write prescriptions. Why would I want to do that? Everybody knows that it’s not that hard. And then I want to put all my focus and things that other people can’t do. Even people take my organic acids course, they’re still not me. It’s a lot to learn.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:09:43):

It is a lot to learn.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:09:45):

Even if you take my class, you’re going to be better than 95% of the people out there.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:09:53):

That’s great. Gail, we’re so grateful for you and your help. Can I ask you a few more questions?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:09:59):

Sure.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:10:00):

What about LDN? Would LDN help high TGF beta-1?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:10:07):

I don’t know, but I know LDN is really great for neuroinflammation in a lot of mold patients and a lot of people with histamine intolerance. It’s always worth a shot. I don’t know if it actually affects TGF beta. I don’t know.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:10:23):

Okay, good to know. When someone notices that scars take a really — or I guess she said scars, but maybe she meant when she gets a cut or something like that — scars take a long time to heal, even years to heal. Does that mean that they likely have a problem with TGF beta-1?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:10:45):

No. That means their innate immune system isn’t working, or low protein. The best thing to do if you have a wound is to take amino acids. Freeform amino acids put your body in an anabolic state. So if you’re going to have surgery, you can take 10 grams of glutamine or 20 grams of glutamine a day. Studies have shown that the wound healing time is much shorter, if you have a broken bone wound or burn, taking amino acids, protein powders, because the mitochondria –think of that as a teeter totter. Okay. mTOR is middle. When the amino acids are low, the mitochondria is turned off. When the mitochondria is turned off, you’re not making energy. When the amino acid levels in the blood are high, and it doesn’t even matter how much protein you eat, it all depends on how much protein you’re absorbing, your digestive ability.

(01:11:42):

High protein diet is not always reflective of high amino acids in the blood. I’ve seen people a lot of times, like just my colleague, Dr. Christensen, she called me yesterday and one of her nurses, she was asking my — I mean she had been really sick, had a breast explant, and she had been really, really sick and severe fatigue. I said, niacinamide and amino acid powder. Got her up like that [snaps]. Niacinamide turns on the crebs cycle and the protein powder brings her amino acid level up because one thing she said is she’s really tiny, barely 108 pound, and she doesn’t eat much. She eats like a bird. I said — I like that Designs for Health Paleo Meal, it’s bone broth based. Get your immune system working, get the amino acid levels up, your brain will start working and the amino acids turns on the mitochondria. You’ll have all kind of energy and sleep through the night.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:12:53):

Fantastic.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:12:54):

And so the next day she had enough energy to get going again.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:13:01):

That’s great. One of the participants asked what her uric acid levels were. When you said that they were low. What is your —

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:13:11):

I don’t remember exactly what hers were, but I don’t want to see it below 4.5 and then I don’t want to see it greater than 5.5.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:13:23):

That’s perfect. Thank you. Have you ever used proteolytic enzymes like Wobozyme or things like that?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:13:33):

Absolutely. I’m a big — I take ’em myself. Proteolytic enzymes are fantastic for pain and fibromyalgia, cancer, all kinds of things, but you got to take them on an empty stomach. They’ll leave the stomach and go into the bloodstream. They’ll eat up those spike proteins and stuff too.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:13:54):

What about probiotics? Are there any probiotics that are tolerable with high TGF beta?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:14:02):

I would probably use the spore-based and the bacillus, but the lactobacillus and the bifido probably are going to exacerbate a TGF beta.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:14:18):

Okay. Someone asked about vitamin D, so what is your goal for vitamin D levels?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:14:29):

Well, over 60, and this is the thing. If they have high TGF beta and really low vitamin D, you want to do some microdosing, you can do very low doses to try to raise it up and kind of go up as tolerated. I mean, of course if vitamin D levels are really low and they have high TGF beta, you don’t want to just ignore the vitamin D. I would say, yeah, we got to treat that and not everybody — it’s really more like if you’re symptomatic, TGF beta is high and you’re really symptomatic that we have to do anything. I didn’t recommend reordering TGF beta. A lot of times people say, well, shouldn’t we reorder? They come back and they’re feeling great, and I’m like, why don’t you spend that several hundred dollars and go on a trip or a vacation? I’m like-

Kelly McCann, MD (01:15:31):

Go sit on the beach.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:15:33):

You’re here. You’re feeling great. Why do I have to order a lab again? I mean, you feel great. You’re riding bikes, you’re running and cycling.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:15:44):

We don’t need another organic acid test either to tell us that you–

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:15:49):

If you want to spend another thousand dollars on testing, I can recommend that, but for me, I’ll take that a thousand dollars and go shopping or something and celebrate, go to a nice dinner.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:06):

Let’s see. Is there a relationship between TGF beta and migraine with aura?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:16:16):

I think the migraines, I don’t think it’s the TGF beta that’s causing that. I think it’s probably neuroinflammation, histamine, a lot of time. A food intolerance, ongoing mold exposure, a nutrient deficiency, probably problems with methylation.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:42):

Right. And then someone wanted to clarify, are you saying that a high prolactin in a male can indicate high TGF beta?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:16:51):

No, no, no, no. That had nothing to do with TGF beta. I was just giving an example that that guy, he was taking all these anabolic supplements at the gym. He’s like 45 and he wanted to look like the 25-year-old guys, and he was taking all these protein powders, all these supplements, all these bodybuilding things and this maca, and I don’t remember what all he was taking. I had to look it up. I’m like, why is he taking this? And it was driving his prolactin levels through the roof.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:17:25):

Yeah, that’s crazy. So somebody wanted some clarification. I think this is important. So is it accurate to say that high TGF beta means you’re not inflamed enough? That’s actually–

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:17:40):

It’s a measurement of excessive inflammation because one of those other arms of the immune system are inflamed and TGF beta rises up. We measure the TGF beta as a reflection of, it doesn’t tell us which of — a lot of times you have a dual polarization like TGF beta and a TH-1, or commonly what we see is TGF beta in TH-2 dominance. That’s what we see in mold illness. The TH-2 dominance is usually in the gut, in the sinuses, in the lungs and the hollow spaces, and then the TGF beta is high too, but you can have a TGF beta combination with any of those other polarizations, and that’s basically telling you that TGF beta is trying to manage that.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:18:30):

Right. And then how are high lipids related to TGF beta or are they looking at cholesterol panels? Do you see patterns there?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:18:39):

Well, one thing when we’re inflamed are cholesterol gets upregulated because cholesterol — the cell membrane, 60% of it is cholesterol. Okay. So when we’ve got cell membrane damage, the body is panicking. It’s like, oh no, we got to repair this. Let’s make some cholesterol. And so conventional medicine is like, let’s beat down that cholesterol. You are going to get a heart disease, but really they should be saying, oh my gosh, they’re inflamed. Where’s the inflammation? Let’s fix the inflammation. Why would you not want that cholesterol to go to the side to repair the cell membrane? It just makes no sense to me. They’re just insane. Our whole medical system is broken.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:19:29):

And on top of that, then when we see low cholesterol and people who are inflamed, that really is a dire warning because they’re–

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:19:39):

They’re going to get a stroke.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:19:40):

Their liver cannot keep up with the demands of the body. So just because it’s low, don’t assume that it’s good. That’s actually not a good sign.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:19:51):

No, I don’t ever want to see cholesterol below 179.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:19:56):

Yes, I hear you. Okay. Gail, have you had any success with HMO or basic insurances covering organic acid tests?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:20:06):

I have no idea. I don’t do insurance and I have my patients pay for the test cash and then they can submit or they can go to Genova or wherever, and I don’t have staff. I like it that way. It makes my life less complicated. I don’t have to manage, I don’t have to do payroll. It’s just me and I only take on what I can handle, and then I try to take one or two days off a week to go play and have a balanced life. So I’m not all crazy working from 6:00 AM till 10:00 PM every night. And that’s just one thing I don’t want to deal with and I don’t have to. There’s enough people that think that I’m worth it, that they’ll do a cash pay and that’s their headache, not mine.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:01):

Right.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:21:01):

But a lot of people said that their insurance does cover it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:05):

Some insurances do cover it. It really depends on the lab.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:21:08):

Aetna does not.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:10):

Aetna never pays for functional tests.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:21:12):

No.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:13):

Medicare absolutely will pay for functional tests. So Medicare, I love when patients come in on Medicare. We can bill Medicare insurance for many of these functional tests.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:21:24):

But I’m not an MD, so Medicare will only pay if an MD orders, and I tell people that right up front. I’m like, if you got an MD that’ll order it, get them to order it and then take it to me to let me interpret it for you.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:39):

That’s great. A couple questions about the smoothies and shout out to Scott Forsgren for sharing his link to his power shake that he does on a regular basis. And he and I have talked on his podcast about using phosphatidylcholine and phospholipids in our shake, so I did want to say that, but it was really the ingredients in her shake that were the problem, right, Gail?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:22:14):

Yeah. Yeah. And well, it wasn’t just the shake by itself. It was everything. And it never is just one thing. It’s usually a conglomerate. And when I’m going through a patient’s history and their intake form, I’m making a list of everything and then by the time I get through with it, I’m just like, they’re a metabolic mess and they’re causing it themselves. So let’s just remove some of this stuff and then let’s see what happens. And let’s see if the immune system swings back because the immune system takes about two weeks for a full swing back into homeostasis. If you’re removing all the triggers that’s driving it, it takes about two weeks.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:23:06):

Okay. Can high TGF beta contribute to vagus nerve dysfunction and adrenaline surges?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:23:16):

Well, the immune system and the nervous system are connected, and anytime you have high TGF beta, you’ve got chronic inflammation going on, probably neuroinflammation, and you’re going to have a limbic dysregulation. And that’s what’s causing those adrenaline surges is the limbic dysregulation. I urge you to look into one of the limbic retraining programs. I’m hearing a lot of really good stuff about Primal Trust. I think it’s like $99 a month and it’s no long-term commitment, and you can log in several times a day. There’s no pill to fix that limbic. We have to get that stress level and retrain all those neuropathways, especially since Covid. I mean that fear mongering and the TV and everything that’s going on politically, oh my God, it’s a mess. And the wars, rumors of war. If we can get that limbic system back down to here, those adrenaline surges aren’t going to continue to happen. We’ll be in peace. We’ll be able to digest because if you’re having that [stress], then the vagus nerve isn’t sending the signal to digest. It’s over here like fighting this tiger, and we’re just in this chronic stress. Turn off the TV and go for a walk and try to connect. You’ve got to have a community. You’ve got to have support. You’ve got to have a community of people that you feel safe and you feel connected to in order to feel safe and secure. That’s very, very important.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:25:03):

Yes. I think that it’s the drivers of the things that are leading to the TGF beta-1 that are also driving that nervous system dysregulation, that limbic system dysregulation. And hopefully then if your patient had not gotten the success that she did simply by cleaning up her diet, then you would’ve had more incentive and she might’ve had more incentive to really do that deeper dive into her autonomic nervous system and her limbic system. Right.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:25:42):

Yeah. I mean, I haven’t heard from this lady since — I guess it was 2021, she contacted me. She’s like, well, I just want to — what do you recommend if we get covid? We don’t want to do the vaccine. And none of my patients died or got really sick. I gave them my protocol and I was the first one, I think to say, you got to have niacinamide because it supports the immune system and the krebs cycle and glutathione recycling, and even if that’s all you took was some vitamin D and zinc, you did fine. But anyway, but I haven’t talked to her in three years, so apparently she’s still, well, she hadn’t contacted me.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:26:38):

Well, sometimes no news is good news, right?

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:26:41):

Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:26:42):

Okay. Well, I know we have more questions that we didn’t get to folks, and I’m sorry for that, but I think we’re going to let Dr. Gail go now.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:26:52):

Yeah, we’ve been on for an hour and a half and the Q&A keeps going higher. It’s not going lower! [laughs]

Kelly McCann, MD (01:26:58):

I know!

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:27:00):

A lot of the questions I saw pop up had to do with things that I already talked about. So you’ll get an email probably tomorrow and you can log in and download the slides and you can rewatch the thing, and you can pause it and take notes if you want to do all of that too. But anyway, I really enjoy teaching people. I like helping people. I want everybody to be well and safe, and I want everybody to recover their health. That’s like my whole desire. When I changed professions from pharmacists to nutritionist, I got sick with toxic mold myself and couldn’t find any help. I mean, I didn’t even know what functional medicine was, and so I had to become the doctor that I couldn’t find. And usually those of us that got graduate levels in nutrition find ourselves there walking away from other professions due to our own health issues. And then we find our niche. We walk the walk. Now we’re talking the talk, and people like to hear stories. I was that crazy person in 2008 walking around with a mask everywhere because I was so sensitive, so sensitive. And so now I’m that crazy person that refuses to wear a mask. I’ll get adamant about it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:28:35):

Thank you so much, Gail. You’re a wealth of information and just a joy and an excellent teacher. Really appreciate your hard work at putting those PowerPoints together. They’re so cute and informative. You really lay it out there for people.

Gail Clayton, DCN, CNS, MS, RPh, LDN (01:28:50):

And remember, there’s several more that are hidden that you’ll get, so you’ll get a nice little surprise when you download ’em.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:29:00):

Perfect. Thank you so much everyone for joining us. I do have another webinar coming up in a couple of weeks. We’ll talk about hair loss with Julie Olson, if that’s of interest to you. And I know we talked about how we should take people off supplements, but I do have a flash sale today. It’s WOMEN20 is the code. You get 20% off the adrenal stress and sleep support. So if those are of interest to you, and if you’re a man, you can still use that code, WOMEN20, on the Dr. Kelly McCann website. So thank you so much for joining us. I really appreciated this. Thanks everybody. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Chat Transcript

00:09:44 Sarah: Welcome everyone! We are going to record this webinar and send out a replay, so no worries there! Please say hi in the chat and if you have questions you want the docs to answer, enter those into the Q&A at the bottom of your Zoom window.
00:11:52 Sarah: Quick note everyone: the information provided here is for educational purposes only. Please take this info to your medical team for personalized care!
00:12:30 Ruth’s iPad: Hi
00:13:03 sherry davidson: Happy to be joining in from Ireland
00:13:21 Jackie: Hello from Chicago!
00:13:23 Kelly McCann: HI everyone! so glad you are all here!
00:13:27 Taube Becker: Hello Gail and Kelly !!
00:13:28 Ruth’s iPad: Slides 👍
00:13:32 Kimberly O’Bier: Thank you for sharing your slides
00:15:00 Jackie: Thank you for doing this! I lived with mold for about 9 months about 11 years ago and I suffer from IBS and chronic fatigue.
00:18:00 Kelly McCann: You are welcome, Jackie. happy you are here!
00:18:47 Hilary: Hi from North Dakota
00:18:51 Sarah: We are recording and we’ll send out the replay early next week.
00:19:01 frizela cameron: 🙏
00:21:50 Zoom user: Can your doctor order a TGF beta level test? And how do you treat elevated levels??
00:22:24 Anna Rider- Flourish Mentoring: Can it be tested in Canada?
00:22:41 Sarah: 👆great questions – would you enter these into the Q&A so the docs can see it? They will answer Qs a bit later!
00:23:48 Kristie Lengel: My TGFB1 is 52,000 🙁
00:24:40 Roxana: Hello from Los Angeles!
00:24:45 Dr. Erin Hession-Wooton, ND: Mine is almost 3,200 but my C4a is almost 17,000…eek
00:36:27 Patricia Butterfield: Mine was 40 K
00:36:32 Dr. Erin Hession-Wooton, ND: Quest has the range at 344-2382 as of last Fall
00:37:50 John Boston: normalize illness…yikes.
00:40:41 Sarah: Here’s that OAT course: https://mold-detox-diet.mykajabi.com/organic-acid-tutorial-series-course-1
00:41:39 Patricia Butterfield: That is interesting- Butyerate
00:43:01 frizela cameron: eggs?
00:44:16 Kristie Lengel: One physician I saw had me taking probiotics and butyratic acid daily and I got FARRRR worse! Makes sense now!
00:47:01 Scott Forsgren, FDN-P: I’d suggest that the right smoothies can be very healing. Probably not a “smoothie” issue as much as an ingredient in the smoothie issue. I love my daily Power Shake.
00:48:40 Kami: Kristie, same for me with these products- who is your doctor now helping you
00:48:48 Kelly McCann: HI Scott! I love the Power shakes too. Gotta get that PC in!
00:48:58 Scott Forsgren, FDN-P: Amen!
00:49:03 annegill: I missed the point about butyrate, what did they say?
00:49:35 frizela cameron: ibs is curable, i’d love to be able to help cure this with your teaching <3
00:49:36 Joan: What is in your power shake?
00:49:37 Alicia: what shake is power shake?
00:50:04 Jackie: She seems a lot like me!
00:50:28 Taube Becker: Methyl B12 make me feel awful !!!
00:53:11 annegill: Is this webinar recorded?
00:53:28 Taube Becker: yes Gail said it would released next week
00:53:38 annegill: Thanks Taube!
00:54:42 frizela cameron: great case helping this man get back to level 2 prolactin avoiding brain surgery!
00:55:53 Kelly McCann: Scott – will you share your Power shake recipe for the participants? 😊
00:58:31 Taube Becker: got rid of the high salicylates smoothies !
00:58:44 Geoff: This is great info, thx!
00:59:23 Taube Becker: the high benzoic can be from salicylates too ?
00:59:57 Karen: I have tested positive for 18 molds and live in a cottage that has mold that was incorrectly remediated by landlord. Does anyone have resources on how to safely figure out how handle all my personal and household items? How do I get stuff out of the cottage without contaminating me, my car, my hotel, and eventually a new place? I just got my test back two days ago and moved to hotel last night. Thanks 🙏🏼 for any info or ideas! 💕
01:00:11 Scott Forsgren, FDN-P: Sure. I change things from time to time, but here is the jist of it. https://www.betterhealthguy.com/powershake
01:00:36 Kelly McCann: Fantastic! Thank you Scott!
01:00:59 Sarah: @Karen, Dr. Kelly wrote a blog on this: https://drkellymccann.com/mold-in-your-home-what-to-do-with-your-belongings/
01:01:51 Sarah: She also has a webinar where she talks about her mold experience, including how she dealt with her belongs: https://drkellymccann.com/product/dr-kellys-live-qa-my-mold-story/
01:01:59 Dr. Erin Hession-Wooton, ND: Karen, check out the book “Mold Illness: Surviving and Thriving” by Vetter, Rossi & Edwards and “Toxic” by Neil Nathan
01:02:11 Sarah: and here’s another mold webinar! https://drkellymccann.com/product/mold-and-mycotoxins/
01:02:58 Taube Becker: she is a smart woman avoid the nuts !
01:05:01 Cheryl Diamond: Karen get in touch with a man named Doug Kaufmann. He has a daily program called Know the Cause. He is a pro on mold.
01:06:08 Taube Becker: Gail is the BEST !
01:07:32 frizela cameron: is the molddetoxdiet.com website where I can find the link to join the full script also ?
01:08:00 Nicole Lamphere: This was amazing. Great job!!
01:08:07 annegill: Thanks Gail and Kelly 😊
01:08:22 Patricia Hinojosa: thank you !!!
01:08:28 Susan Westlake: Thank you. Gail, you are a wealth of knowledge!
01:08:37 Danielle Katz (she/her): Thanks so much! Really insightful!
01:08:39 db: Is there a way we can copy the chat notes?
01:08:45 Taube Becker: Gail – — were you saying the smoothies were counter productive because the berries were turning OFF the immune system ?
01:09:01 jw: this is just wonderfully interesting and the slides are fantastic
01:09:23 Angela Armour: Thanks to Gail for sharing her expertise (I’ve had the pleasure to listen on a summit too)! Thanks Dr. McCann for facilitating great experts so we keep learning!
01:09:31 Sarah: We’ll make sure to share the chat transcript along with the replay
01:10:45 Beautiful 1.: @Sarah, THANK YOU for including the chat transcript!! (No one does that, so this is appreciated!)
01:10:57 Sarah: My pleasure!
01:11:04 annegill: Can TGFB ever be low in mould illness?
01:12:48 Beautiful 1.: @db, you can sometimes do a right click, select all….but you may also try ‘shift A’ or ‘shift S’ for selecting the chat to copy and paste.
01:13:06 Scott Forsgren, FDN-P: The Shoemaker community now only does TGFb1 with Quest and does not recommend LabCorp. Do you use both?
01:13:22 Cheryl Diamond: TGF Beta test is now $900.00
01:14:33 annegill: Thank you!
01:14:34 db: Please repeat what causes high TGF-beta.
01:14:59 kristi: Tricare covered ours!
01:15:05 MP: do you have the normal range?
01:15:18 iPhone (4) QT (2) Andrea: I’ve been on a liquid diet for 13 yrs, I can only tolerate 6 things to blend, become allergic to all chemicals and foods, had intestinal bladder cycytis, ecoli infection for 9 years, thyroid problems, Epstein Barr virus, can’t sleep, menopause, brain anyurisime. Really having a bad time. No doctor can seem to help. Can you get the TJF bater in England?
01:15:25 kristi: Quest also
01:15:34 Cheryl Diamond: I have Depytures Contracters, will my fingers straighten out with a normal TGF Beta?
01:15:48 MP: is 4000 high?
01:16:08 kristi: 4000s yes – she said over 3000. We were all in the 4000
01:16:19 frizela cameron: if TGF beta is >3000 yes, High
01:16:55 John Boston: Is Tgfbeta usually high with MMP9 being high? thank you
01:18:03 db: @Beautiful 1 I can highlight all but it won’t copy/paste
01:18:56 Robert: Will there be a replay
01:19:00 Sarah: @db we’ll include the chat transcript in the replay link, which we’ll email out early next week
01:19:13 Beautiful 1.: @Andrea, I am so sorry for your suffering. I hope it’s ok that I suggest possibly trying this gentle, amazing quality, pure BENTONITE CLAY made by headtotoeproducts.com ? SO MANY benefits to using this to bind to toxins safely, while mineralizing, and LOTS of testimonials with this special clay can be found at bentoniteclayinfo.com. Safe enough even for babies. PLEASE give Perry a direct call, she LOVES TO HELP! Her info is on both websites. Prayers for your healing.
01:19:24 susan j: what is LDN?
01:19:34 Kristie Lengel: Low dose naltrxone
01:19:35 kristi: Low dose naltrexone
01:19:47 susan j: thx
01:20:20 Kristie Lengel: I’ve been on LDN since August. It helped my brain fog a bit, but still trying to find my root cause
01:22:40 Beautiful 1.: @db, consider doing screen shots and paste to word (prnt screen is on top keys), or use screen shots or cell phone to take pix…or try shift x, shift v (cut/paste ) also, if you can get it to highlight, maybe shift s to paste. lotsa times the ZOOM has restrictions. crossing fingers for ya. 🙂
01:24:53 Beautiful 1.: Can you post Gail’s website in the chat please? Is she taking clients? (I tuned in late, may have missed it.)
01:24:53 Miranda: What was the enzymes they recommended?
01:25:21 frizela cameron: @miranda proteolytic
01:25:38 Miranda: Thank you
01:25:41 Beautiful 1.: @Miranda, a person asked about WOBENZYME that she spoke of also.
01:25:42 Sarah: Here is Dr. Gail’s website, there’s a place where you can schedule a free discovery call: https://www.molddetoxdiet.com/drgailclayton
01:26:10 Beautiful 1.: Thanks, @Sarah. Does SHE PERSONALLY still take clients?
01:26:17 Sarah: She does
01:28:31 Beautiful 1.: Which FREE FORM AMINO ACIDS product do you use and DOSE, and WHICH FORM and DOSE of the niacinamide did you recommend for the fatigued client you spoke of please? Do you use NIAGEN form?
01:29:50 frizela cameron: 🌹stop and smell the roses
01:30:19 Joan: Mine was covered Anthem
01:30:28 susan j: does medicare pay for TGFbeta test?
01:31:23 Sarah: Here’s the link to Scott’s shake if you missed it: https://www.betterhealthguy.com/powershake
01:32:01 Beautiful 1.: @Joan, were you saying that ANTHEM covered your OAT test? If so, was it ANTHEM/BLUE CROSS? Tia
01:34:15 Beautiful 1.: For calming meditation and getting into a peaceful limbic state, I LOVE the meditations on free yt channel SARITA SOL at solhenge. BEAUTIFUL CHANNEL!!
01:34:42 Joan: Yes. Was Anthem Blue Cross
01:34:59 Anna Rider- Flourish Mentoring: I love worship music and just soaking
01:36:12 frizela cameron: So grateful for your perspective, practice, and protocols that help us help ourselves and patients dr. Clayton!!
01:36:13 Lisa Anderson: Thank you so much! You’re wonderful!
01:36:18 Beautiful 1.: Thanks @Joan!!
01:36:24 Alexis: Thank you Gail. You are a wealth of info!! Be well!
01:36:35 sherry davidson: Thank you Gail and Kelly!
01:36:49 Sarah: Look for Dr. Gail’s email with the slides and early next week we’ll send an email with the replay link, slides, transcript, chat, Dr. Gail’s website, etc!
01:36:51 susan j: Thanks, Gail, you ARE amazing!!!
01:37:02 db: Thank you both of you for helping to teach us to understand and think through this complicated stuff !
01:37:09 Edward Zadeh: Thank you for a life saving information. God bless
01:37:20 frizela cameron: healing from toxic mold, it’s possible from your stories, can’t wait to learn even more!
01:37:31 Anna Rider- Flourish Mentoring: Thank you so much,
01:37:39 Beautiful 1.: YAYYYYY to NO FACE DIAPERS Gail!!!
01:38:04 frizela cameron: Following your path <3 thank u!


Decluttering

De-Cluttering: Living Lighter with Heather Aardema

I was honored to be joined by Heather Aardema of the School of Living Lighter. She and I discussed not only how to reduce clutter in our physical space, but also how clearing out clutter cleans up our mental and spiritual space so that we truly can “live lighter” in every way. Heather offered practical advice and inspiration to kick start our de-cluttering journeys and answered some thoughtful participant questions.

Watch the replay below, and be sure to scroll down for the chat transcript, where participants shared some great thoughts and resources!

Want more from Heather? She has generously provided a HUGE discount on her robust de-cluttering DIY course, exclusively for registrants of this webinar. Click the link below and use the code DRKELLY to purchase Heather’s de-cluttering course for $99 – a 75% savings!

https://www.schooloflivinglighter.com/less

Coupon code: DRKELLY


Full Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:04):

Hello everyone, and thank you so much for taking time out of your busy Friday to hang out with my friend Heather Aardema and myself. So excited for today. Heather is going to help us figure out how to declutter our lives — and look at my backdrop. Woo! It’s a little busy! So we’ll get started in a few minutes. Actually, I think we’ll probably just jump in, but again, I’m so glad that you decided to spend your day with us. We’re going to chat a little bit, have a conversation. Feel free to put questions in the Q&A. Of course, you can chat amongst yourselves too. But we’re hoping that we’ll spend about, I don’t know, half an hour, 45 minutes chatting, and then we’ll answer questions. Let’s see. I often get carried away, so sometimes we’ll go a little bit longer, but if you have to take off, no problem. This will be transcribed and then the replay will be sent to everyone. Okay, so let’s get started. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, Heather, and how you came to make this such a passion in your life?

Heather Aardema (00:01:36):

Well, part of it was actually getting sick with toxic mold. I was born a maximalist. I was born with a thought that more was more, and I mean really as a child, I remember at the breakfast table, my dad would make toast that would go with our eggs or cereal.

(00:01:55):

And I would look at my sisters, I’m the middle daughter, and I would look at that toast and I was thinking, how can I get more of the toast than my sisters? I always, always wanted more. Fast forward a few decades when I was in my early thirties, my husband, who is naturally a minimalist, he started saying, why are you always buying the things? What is it? And of course, I took offense. I thought the idea of minimalism was restriction and deprivation, and I didn’t like it at all. And then a friend of mine wrote an essay about downsizing, and it was beautiful, and I realized that minimalism could be an incredible pathway to intentionality.

(00:02:50):

And so I started playing with idea of minimalism or simplicity, downsizing, and I started looking at my things and asking myself, why do I have these things? Do I like these things and am I using these things? And then I found some research that said that on average, we use only 20% of our belongings, so 80% of stuff is just there and all this stuff, it’s energy, it has a frequency, and if we’re not using it, and when we look at it, if we feel heavy, it’s not doing anything good for us. And so I kind of got into minimalism. I read a few books. Well, I read a lot of books. I really, really got into it.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:03:40):

Because I like a lot of books too. So I buy a lot of books to read.

Heather Aardema (00:03:44):

Yes, yes, exactly. Oh my gosh, I love books. And so I came upon one book called Essentialism by Greg McKeown, and he introduced the idea of “less but better.’ And so that’s when I kind of bridged my way over from more is more to less is more, which didn’t quite feel right to me, to less but better, quality over quantity. And I am so grateful that I did that because this all happened before I got sick with toxic mold. You can hear me coughing, you can probably hear me wheezing. So I’m still on that journey. I’m getting better and better, but it came to a point where I was looking at what I had left and I realized all those books– mold loves paper. And so I thank goodness I had learned how to declutter prior to that because it was so much easier to then let go of everything.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:04:51):

Right? Yeah. A lot of the mold patients that we deal with, that’s the hugest trauma for them, is to go through and get rid of everything, especially beloved books and papers and belongings. I know for myself, that was super hard. My friends and family used to joke that I had the second largest library in Arizona, because I had tons and tons and tons of books, and I was somebody who moved a lot. I would have 20 boxes of books that I would move, and I moved probably, well, I moved 18 times in 15 years or something. It was insane. And I never really embraced the minimalist lifestyle because I always felt like, okay, one day I’m going to have my own house and I’m going to want my books and a library. I just always loved that. Thankfully, these books were here in my office and they weren’t contaminated, so I didn’t have to throw all those out.

Heather Aardema (00:05:59):

Right, right.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:06:00):

My bookshelves at home are now — post three mold moves — just a handful of books.

Heather Aardema (00:06:08):

It’s so interesting. We keep things because of the stories that we associate with them and the meaning that we associate with them. And I had all the books too, and my dad was a professor, my mom was a criminal defense lawyer. Education was everything. And we had so many books growing up, and so of course I thought, well, of course I have to have a lot of books too. Plus I just loved — and it was actually, I made the act of letting go of my books more complicated than the act of letting go of my wedding dress. I just took my wedding dress to Goodwill. It’s a donation center. No drama, no mind clutter, just took it there, no problem. But the books, I kept holding onto them because of the stories that I was creating.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:06:59):

Right. Oh, yeah, I have the same thing. My dad was a lawyer and then a high school social studies teacher, and my mom was a librarian, so of course we had books.

Heather Aardema (00:07:12):

Yes, yes. Yeah, it’s understandable.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:16):

So you had worked on the decluttering and then you got exposed to toxic mold. How did that shift your consciousness?

Heather Aardema (00:07:30):

Oh, well…

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:32):

Or how didn’t it shift your consciousness?

Heather Aardema (00:07:33):

Yeah. Exactly. I mean, everything changed with that. And I had a number of autoimmune conditions prior. I didn’t realize I was living in a moldy environment, like many [peope]. And so I’ve had the chronic mold and then I also had the acute mold. I will say that it’s been an incredible journey. It’s been a challenging journey, but I know myself better today because of this journey, and I now know what is a distraction and what is really important to me. And I don’t think I could have said that before. I was attracted to all the shiny objects.

(00:08:21):

I filled my calendar past the point of full. So much calendar clutter. I never said no. I didn’t feel comfortable saying no. I was raised to always say yes. And so anytime somebody invited me to do something, I would of course go. And today I’m on such solid ground in terms of what matters most to me? And I think that is a really simple question. It’s a question that we don’t ask ourselves very often. We’re really concerned about what matters most to others because of this journey. I’ve taken a step back and I’ve asked myself that question, Heather, what matters most to you right now? How do you want to show up? How do you want to lean into your values and live into those? And so I don’t know if I’d be here if I did not experience toxic mold. Probably not. I’d probably still be buying, buying, buying. And so I’m able to, I think, live a more honest existence with myself today because of it.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:09:41):

Yeah, there are certainly so many gifts that we get from going through our life experience and especially dealing with illness. As much as we fight against being sick and want desperately to get back to our lives, I think there’s so much beauty and so much possibility if we really embrace the experience that we’re going through on all levels of our existence. So it’s more often than not going to get us to a healthier place on a physical level, on an emotional, psychological level, and often on a spiritual level too.

Heather Aardema (00:10:29):

Absolutely. I like how you just said that. And when I think about clutter, it’s not just the physical. We have so much emotional clutter, spiritual clutter. We have all kinds of clutter. And actually one thing I really want to emphasize is that what may be clutter for one person is not for the next. And so it’s all about perception as well. And so at School of Living Lighter, we like to look at clutter as mind clutter, body clutter and home clutter. The mind clutter can look like thoughts that we’re not worthy, thoughts that we’re too much. That was a lot of my personal clutter, Heather, you’re so loud. You’re so rambunctious, you’re too much. And I carried that with me for a long time. That’s so — well, you know what? It’s so human.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:33):

Yes, it’s absolutely.

Heather Aardema (00:11:34):

Really, really human. We feel that we’re either too much or not enough, somewhere along that continuum. And mind clutter can also look like anger and frustration without a plan. If we just wallow in those feelings, they don’t do anything good for us. We just sabotage ourselves with them.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:59):

And depression too. Depression is a saboteur, right?

Heather Aardema (00:12:03):

Absolutely. Absolutely. The way I look at it is with more of the emotional clutter, because we have a lot of feelings, and I think all the feelings, we’re meant to have them, but do we use them as information to move forward in an intentional way or do we wallow in them? And so I like to call that clean pain and dirty pain, sadness. My aunt just passed away. She was in her early nineties. She lived a full life. And I can be sad and that can help me grieve, but if I were to say she’s gone too long, this wasn’t her time, then all of a sudden that’d become clutter because it would be me arguing with the past, arguing with reality.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:12:59):

And that certainly doesn’t serve us to not be in the present. So essentially what you’re saying is that clutter keeps us from living in the present.

Heather Aardema (00:13:09):

It distracts us. Yes. Yes, absolutely. It completely distracts us. And all we really have right now is the present moment. This moment right here with all of you here. Thank you so much. It’s incredibly — it’s an incredible privilege because we have this moment. Nothing else is guaranteed. And when we are so distracted by the clutter, it is hard to show up in a way that we really want to show up in.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:13:48):

Yes. Yes. So what would be some tools? Say people are listening, they’re like, okay, I get it. Yeah, I got clutter. I got home clutter, I got mind clutter. Obviously there’s a lot of body clutter. Where do we begin?

Heather Aardema (00:14:07):

Yeah, so the body clutter, clearly that was the toxic mold I was breathing in.

(00:14:13):

Definitely clutter in my body, although it didn’t impact my husband or my kids in the same way, thank goodness. So it is unique. Clutter is unique. And what else can be body clutter? Food, food that you’re sensitive to. If you are having reactions to certain things, it can be clutter. Water, there can be gasoline, additives in water, there can be all kinds of toxins. So those are areas that if you have a little intentionality, you can really kind of clean up that body clutter quickly. The home clutter, we tend to think like, well, it’s just all the stuff. If we have an uncomfortable amount of stuff — actually, let us know in the chat. If you’re open to it, when you look to your left right now, does it feel like you have an uncomfortable amount of stuff? If so, give us a yes. If no, then you’re doing something really, really right. Alright, so you’re feeling that uncomfortable. So you know what that means.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:15:24):

Lots of feelings of — Yeah, I would say yes, yes. Here, look at this clutter.

Heather Aardema (00:15:28):

Yes. Well, again, it’s perception because here’s a question that can really help. If you ask yourself when you’re trying to declutter something, does this thing feel light or heavy? If it’s light, it’s right. You keep it. It’s not clutter. If it’s heavy, that is your permission slip to let it go.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:15:52):

Right? I love that.

Heather Aardema (00:15:55):

So home clutter. Yes. It’s the stuff. It’s the uncomfortable amount of things, and it’s also sensory overload. So for example, say you walk into your house and the news is on 24/7, we know how uplifting the news is, right? It’s really uplifting and encouraging. [laughing] And —

Kelly McCann, MD (00:16:17):

Maybe usually that last 30 second clip that they have some kid rescue to cat in the tree and everybody in the neighborhood is happy.

Heather Aardema (00:16:28):

Yeah, exactly. But you have to watch all of the other stuff to get to that part. And so if you have the news on 24/7, that can be clutter too. I used to work in advertising. I spent 20 years in corporate America, and it was my job to come up with the idea that you would see in the commercial, the TV commercial that would air on tv. And I was always told we have to leave people wanting more. We have to have them think that their lives aren’t complete until they buy our thing. And the news stations, they follow a similar strategy, leave people wanting more. We have to hook them in with fear and uncertainty and doubt. And so when we talk about clutter in the home, yes, it’s the stuff and it’s also the other sensory items as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:17:27):

So at my house, I love to put things away, put them in the closet, put them in a drawer. I don’t like having things around that are out of place. My husband likes to have things available because he’ll forget them if they go in a drawer or a closet and he wants to remember to do them, take his supplements or pay this bill or know where his sunglasses are. I’m like, oh my God, there’s so much crap everywhere. How do you navigate different modalities of stuff?

Heather Aardema (00:18:07):

This is such a great question. This is such a great question. Usually we are the ones with the clutter or our loved one is the one with the clutter. And so there’s a couple different layers that I want to unpack here. Okay, so I want to kind of step into your husband’s shoes for a second. He likes to leave things out. It’s also very human of him. And here is why at the most primitive level as a human being, we want to do one of three things. We want to maximize pleasure, we want to minimize pain, and we want to conserve our energy. I too drove my husband crazy because I wanted to leave all my supplements out so that I would remember to take them. And it went even further for a while. I decided to keep the lids off the supplements.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:19:05):

Oh my goodness.

Heather Aardema (00:19:07):

Because it was too much work for me to take the lid and take it off and put it back on multiple times a day. And then I took a step back and I recognized, okay, that’s very human. I want to conserve energy. That’s what this is all about. And then I found one of those wonderful pill packing containers where you can just do them for two weeks and things got easier. And so from your husband’s perspective, it’s just very human that he wants to leave things out that helps him conserve energy. Now, the beautiful thing is as humans, we all have something called a prefrontal cortex right here that allows us to say, okay, we’re human and we actually want to show up in a more intentional way. And so your husband has that option. I would recommend that he arrive at that option more on his own versus you kind of pushing. And hopefully in time, maybe he’ll be inspired by your approach to putting things away and so forth.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:20:17):

Or not. I mean, he looks at me and he’s like, you have so much stuff. You have stuff. I’m like, yes, but my stuff is put away.

Heather Aardema (00:20:26):

Well, here’s another aspect.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:20:28):

What [are] the psychological aspects of clutter in the closet versus clutter on the counter, right?

Heather Aardema (00:20:34):

Exactly. And so let’s talk about the psychology of that because is clutter in the closet better or in the drawers, stuffed in? No, it’s still heavy on us. And so, often we’ll be like, well, at least this is a little bit better, but is it better? I would say clutter that’s stuffed in drawers or clutter out on the countertop, they’re both neutral. It’s really going to be the story that you decide to make about it. And the organizing industry, the professional organizing industry, it’s a billion, billion dollar industry, and they want people to think that the answer is just to organize more. What I say is the answer is to actually declutter. And then you don’t have to organize more. Let go of the things that aren’t useful that you don’t love, so that you’re no longer distracted so that you can show up the way you really want to.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:21:33):

My grandmother grew up in the depression era, and so she saved everything. She would save and wash plastic bags, like bags that you would put — sandwich bags or plastic bags that you would put things in. And I do the same thing because like, well, I don’t know. Why would I pay for more bags if I can wash this bag and use it again, whatever. So we have a bag fight in my house too, but there’s this inclination to save — what if I need it? And especially, never actually owning a home has made me think about, well, I remember I was in residency, I was given a Mexican tile sink from one of my professors. I carried that. This is 2004, mind you. I carried that sink for 10 to 15 years with every move. I was like, one of these days I’m going to buy a house and I’m going to want to put this sink in there just thinking that eventually I can have a place to call my own and build the sink that I want. Oh my God. So when I say I’m a pack rat, that’s kind of what I’m talking about. But at the same time, I just wanted to hold onto these things so that I could really make my home the way that I wanted to.

Heather Aardema (00:23:15):

Yeah, we will hold onto a lot of things for some, and if that feels light to you, there’s no problem with it. However, if it’s starting to feel heavy, if you’re like, gosh, I’m going to start bringing something on move 16 and move 18 and move 20, that’s your answer. Again, it’s time to part ways with it and trust that when you have that home that you want that you’ll be able to find something like that if you still want it.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:23:43):

Yes. But of course, I’ll have to pay a lot more than I did when I got it for free.

Heather Aardema (00:23:49):

Well, and here’s the thing though, you may have received it in that moment for free, but your focus, your time is worth something. And if you put a lot of time towards thinking like, oh, I still have this. Oh, I haven’t used it yet, it’s still costing you something. It’s costing you peace of mind. It’s costing you lightness. It’s costing you freedom.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:24:15):

Oh, and it’s costing me money every time I move it.

Heather Aardema (00:24:17):

Every time you move it. Exactly. Exactly. So do we get things really for free if we keep them and don’t want them? Often we will store things in our homes. They’ll become massive storage units basically, and think that that’s actually better than donating it so that somebody else could actually use it and like it, or throwing it away. And so often people say, well, where do you start? Where do you start? And I suggest you want to get to the root of your clutter. You want to ask yourself, why do you have it? Why are you holding onto things? For me, I created a lot of clutter when I was working corporate. I had some wonderful experiences, and towards the end of my corporate career, I was looking for more meaning. I was feeling empty. We had lost a lot of business. I had a lot of free time, and I was in a space where my boss did not want us to do a lot of work and attract attention. So I shopped during the day online and I told myself, if you can’t be busy at work, at least you can be productive and buy your family things and move your family forward. That was the meaning that I was putting behind the clutter. At least you can be important in your family.

(00:25:46):

I did a lot of traveling before I had kids and I bought things actually, I would spend more time on the trips thinking, what will I buy to prove that I’ve been to this amazing place that I can show my friends when I go back home?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:26:01):

Yes, I’ve been there.

Heather Aardema (00:26:03):

I spent so much time thinking about that. And so what I made those things mean was that, oh, Heather is interesting. Heather’s valuable. Heather’s worthy. And there are many that say at the end of the day when we were looking at our clutter, it really is just a conversation of self-worth.

(00:26:25):

We buy things and we surround ourselves with things that we want to tell the story of who we are. However, often we also inherit a lot of things. So maybe our loved ones pass away and all of a sudden we inherit a whole house of things, and that can be really heavy to figure out what to do with that. And so we’ll have stories. Well, if I let go of something and my mom liked it, then I am dishonoring my mom, if our mom has passed away. And so at any rate, start by understanding why you have your clutter and then you create a plan. And I can help, of course, with the plan and the different steps, and we can talk all about that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:27:14):

Okay. Yeah, this is fascinating. The clutter really comes from probably a misunderstanding or an incomplete awareness of what our self-worth is really about. Yeah. I remember growing up with this visual of my house that I would someday own and all the cool knick-knacks and things that I would have collected from all my travels. And I’ve been to some really amazing places, so I completely resonate with that idea. [In fact] I think I still have — yeah. Up there [on the shelf], I still have some things, like the little wooden thing was from a trip to Belize that I took years ago, so I get it. There’s a little thing from Costa Rica, right? This little — I love these things. Isn’t that cute? [showing small blue oxcart]

Heather Aardema (00:28:25):

Yes. It’s great!

Kelly McCann, MD (00:28:25):

Little oxcart.

Heather Aardema (00:28:27):

Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:28:28):

My parents had two growing up because they had gone to Costa Rica when I was little, and so I didn’t buy the whole huge oxcart. I just bought the little tiny one.

Heather Aardema (00:28:40):

Yeah. Stories. Stories. My mom, along with being a lawyer, she was an artist and she felt it was really important to support all of her artist friends. And so she made it mean that when she would buy all their things, that she was a good friend, a loyal friend. And if you tell her to get rid of those things, all of a sudden there goes the story that she’s a good friend.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:29:10):

Right.

Heather Aardema (00:29:10):

But the good news is that all of our thoughts are optional. And if our thoughts aren’t serving us, and if we want a different outcome or a different result, all we need to do is get a little curious about a different thought that might serve us better. And so let me share a story of one of my clients. She inherited all of her mother’s belongings, and there were a few things she really liked and there were a lot of things she didn’t. Her mother had this collection of teacups, incredible collection for a person who loves teacups, so many teacups in pristine condition. She worried that if she let go of that collection, she was going to dishonor her mother. And so we got to a place where again, the collection for her was clutter because it felt heavy. There were other things that felt light. So there was a distinction there. We got to the place where we realized that her mother had fully enjoyed the collection of teacups, and there was no more work for her to do that. The teacups had been so fully, so fully appreciated that her daughter did not need to keep them to honor her mother’s memory, and instead could either sell the collection or could give it to goodwill or a donation center so that somebody else could come along and delight in those teacups.

(00:30:52):

And so when we just pivot slightly and choose to be open to a different way of thinking, decluttering can be so fun and so light and so empowering instead of being something heavy and something we dread.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:31:11):

So let’s help people with some practical advice. Where do you start? Do you start with mind, body, or home?

Heather Aardema (00:31:25):

I really like starting with that first question, getting to the root of the clutter.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:31:32):

Why do I hold onto things?

Heather Aardema (00:31:33):

Why do I hold onto things? It can be really helpful for the long run. What I see happening is that if we don’t get to the root of the clutter, the clutter comes back. So we can say, well, I’m just going to do a weekend of purging, or I’m going to do this slow and steady like a turtle, and either route is fine, but if we don’t get to the root of the clutter, then it just comes back and that’s no fun. It’s an opportunity to know yourself better. Another one of my clients found out — she’s in her mid sixties — and she realized her mother had been so militant about the house and where things were supposed to be, that she was rebelling. Even though her mom had long passed, to this day, she was still rebelling because we all have a little rebel inside of us too. And she realized that she was turning the act of decluttering into the parent figure. And so if we can pause and listen and ask ourselves, why do I have this clutter? What’s at the root of my clutter? What am I rebelling against? What are my fears? What are my uncertainties?

(00:32:59):

We start from a place of knowing and a place of intention that will last us throughout the journey. So at School of Living Lighter, we have a compass. And if you just think of a compass, at the very top where north would be, we have the word listen. And you want to start by listening and asking yourself what matters most to me? Maybe the clutter isn’t a problem. Maybe that’s society and pressure from others. And if clutter is not a problem for you, there’s no issue. Most of us come to the decision that it is an issue and that we want a lighter, more supportive home environment because it feels better and it’s better for us, not only better for our psychology, but it’s better for our physiology as well. We can talk about the different impacts clutter has on our physiology too, if you’d like. And so that first step though is to listen. Ask yourself what matters most to me? Why do I have this clutter? And then it’s to come up with a plan. Before you dive into that plan though, what I suggest my community do is to do a simple exercise with the hands. So take your hands and clasp them together like this.

(00:34:30):

Now unclasp them, and now put them back together with the opposite thumb on top. How’s that feel?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:34:39):

Awkward,

Heather Aardema (00:34:40):

Awkward, uncomfortable. That is how decluttering feels in the beginning. And so we get to tell ourselves, oh, this is a good sign. It’s feeling a little uncomfortable. That means I’m getting curious and I’m doing something right. You come up with that plan. You remind yourself that in the beginning it’s going to take some practice to get used to the decluttering until it starts to feel lighter and lighter and more fun. Now, what will happen is when we come up with a plan, our brain can get kind of sneaky sometimes, and the brain will come up with all these subtle excuses for why the plan won’t work.

(00:35:27):

You can’t declutter this, or it will become judgmental. You should have started years ago, or you have to do it perfectly. There are so many different ways that we will self sabotage. And so the second step on the compass where east would be is to let go. Let go of these thoughts that aren’t serving you, that are sabotaging you. We have all these voices [that] say, okay, okay, yes, maybe I could have done this. Oh, you’re still going to need that. You’re still going to need that. It’s going to cost you so much more to replace that. And we get to remind ourselves that’s actually a lie. We don’t know that. We act as if it’s a fact, but we don’t know. And we let go of those thoughts. We let go of the excuses. We let go of the fear, the uncertainty, and we start small.

(00:36:28):

So any great achievement has a foundation of so many tiny achievements. And so start with the low hanging fruit. Start with stuff that you know you don’t like. Maybe it’s, I don’t know, maybe it’s used Kleenex that’s like on the countertop. Throw that away. It can be that easy. You want these little wins. And that’s our third step really, is you’re learning, you’re learning, you’re rolling up the sleeves, you’re going from deciding to do, to doing, and you’re trying different things. So you embrace the question, does this dirty piece of Kleenex feel light or heavy? I think for all of us, it would feel heavy and we let it go. Yes. We also remind ourselves, yes, this might feel uncomfortable at first, and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. And we also tell ourselves that things are meaningless until we associate meaning with them. This is why it’s so much easier to go declutter in somebody else’s house or to declutter your husband’s things or your wife’s things because we don’t have those same stories.

(00:37:53):

And so we learn, we experiment, we see what it’s like to let go, and frankly getting rid of one thing, another thing, another thing. And all of a sudden you’re going to start to train your body and your mind to have that dopamine hit as you lighten your home. So often what happens when we buy, we get the dopamine hit. All we have to do is hit the Buy Now button online. And you get it. It feels good to buy. And what I want to offer is that you can actually flip that good feeling and translate it over to decluttering. Now the fourth step of the compass, because we’ve got listen, let go, learn. And the fourth step where west would be is love. Make it fun, make it fun, make it exciting, celebrate. And so it’s the idea that — I just read in a book, it was so beautiful, and the book was talking about sacred moments. Sacred moments being the natural, the now and the ordinary.

(00:39:08):

And what really that means to me is if you’re in your home and you decide to declutter for 15 minutes, that is all about the now and perhaps the ordinary and just getting so present with what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. And if that doesn’t work, play some good music, some uplifting music that helps you let go, or — there’s so many different ways to do it, but bring in that love. And if you bring in that love, I mean, decluttering is an act of self-love. Life just gets lighter and lighter and lighter, and before you know it, you realize your thoughts are lighter, your body’s lighter, good begets good, and your home is now this really supportive environment.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:39:55):

Very cool. Okay. I think we have a bunch of questions, but I have one more. So I keep thinking about all my stuff and obviously with mold exposure, multiple mold exposures, I’ve gotten rid of a ton of things, but I have held on to, I think I have five boxes at home of things that I’ve kept, and some of them are little metal figurines that I want to put on an altar somewhere in a house when I have a house that’s big enough to have an altar and I don’t know when I’m ever going to find them again. And I have all this fear about getting rid of stuff and then wanting it back, not being able to have it again with one of the moves. There were so many things that I just let go of, and then a couple of weeks later I was like, oh my God, I didn’t have to get rid of that. I want it back. And I went to the Goodwill place, and of course it’s all gone.

Heather Aardema (00:41:15):

When it was all gone, did you feel heavy and do you continue to feel heavy or did you find a place to… find your path to lightness in that, since that happened?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:31):

There’s probably still some sadness about some of the things that I let go of that I didn’t want to let go of, and frustration that I let go of things that I didn’t want to let go of. There’s still some attachment there.

Heather Aardema (00:41:46):

Right. Can you give an example of one of the things that was no longer at Goodwill?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:55):

Let’s see. Well, one thing was, there were some — I mean, this is not something that most people get attached to — but there were these outdoor cushions for a dining set. Chair cushions, and they were really nice chair cushions. They were like Pottery Barn, and they were probably pretty expensive, and there were eight of them, and they hadn’t been in the house. They hadn’t been that contaminated, but at the time we were like, okay, we’re getting rid of everything. And I haven’t been able to replace them, which has been incredibly frustrating for me. So we haven’t been able to sit outside on this dining room set that we have because I don’t have any cushions. It’s been two years. So I’m really angry and frustrated that I gave them away and they’re gone.

Heather Aardema (00:42:56):

Okay. They’re being sat on by somebody else right now, so why haven’t you replaced them?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:04):

Because I actually haven’t found ones that are thick enough or sturdy enough, or not a bazillion dollars. They’re super expensive. Between Covid, everything’s doubled or tripled in price. And I think that that’s definitely something that prevents me from getting rid of other things. Like I have a bunch of pots out there that I want to put plants in, but if I get rid of the pots that are out there, I’m going to have to replace it and it’s going to be three or four times more expensive.

Heather Aardema (00:43:42):

Yeah, definitely.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:44):

I know this isn’t about me. I mean, I’m just hoping that in sharing my stories, that you can help give people solutions. I can’t imagine nobody has these issues either.

Heather Aardema (00:43:55):

Right, exactly. Well, I want you to know I experienced some of the same things, and I’ll tell you what has helped me. So with the toxic mold, I thought I had to get rid of everything, and I became militant about it. We got rid of everything. My kids got rid of all their artwork. I mean, we completely decluttered the house and then all of a sudden my tolerance to toxic mold — well, not all of a sudden, it took some time — but it really increased and it improved. And I had a thought, oh no, you got rid of all those things. My diaries since I was 11, I got rid of, and now I’d actually be able to be around it and not get sick. Not that I want to be around it a lot, but I’d be able to have an interaction with it and not get sick.

(00:44:50):

And I had that thought, oh no. Oh, no. Then I realized that that was my saboteur brain. That was not my sage brain. My sage brain is the intentional brain. My sage brain is the one that has my back. What my sage brain said to me, my prefrontal cortex, Heather, those diaries were all about looking backwards. You want to look forward. You can be sad. That’s an option. You can be upset. That’s an option. And you can decide those diaries served you for the time that you had them, and now you no longer need them. And so when I gave myself permission, and of course it was totally normal of me to be like, oh no, I could have kept all these things. And I want to say, oh, this makes life so much easier for me in the future. Many people want to declutter so that their children don’t have to do it. Now my kids don’t need to go through all my things to figure it out. It’ll be so much easier for them because I’m being intentional today. And so with those seat cushions, yes, they were thick and they were quality, and they were expensive, and it’s a bummer because you didn’t need to get rid of them. And you get to just anchor into the thought, okay, I no longer have them, but I’m going to have an abundant mindset. Cushions are going to find their way to me again, and I am going to be sitting comfortably outside and just think maybe there was a family that would never have been able to afford those cushions and how much they love them, and they’re so excited that they have them, envision them for a moment. And that might make it a little easier.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:46:47):

Sure, yeah, I hear you. And of course, when I’m feeling connected to my true authentic self with meditation or what have you, or recognize that I’m not my body, I’m not my mind, I’m not my stuff, it’s a lot easier. We don’t get to take any of it with us. But on the journey of life, I like my stuff.

Heather Aardema (00:47:15):

We like our stuff, and we are told it’s important. I mean, as children, our parents tell us, society tells us. I remember at one point I’m kind of klutzy and ran into an etagere with a lot of vases and things from all over the world on it, and things came tumbling down and my mom was horrified and distraught, all these precious things, and it was an accident, and I learned in that moment. And then as a child, I interpreted it, are these more important than me? Right? There can be trauma in all of that. And so yes, we like our things, and if it feels like it’s okay, no clutter. But if these things are feeling heavy, get curious. I feel so much lighter today without all this stuff. Again, remember, I’m a maximalist. I was not born a minimalist. I am sentimental. I like meaning. And my life is so much lighter today because I don’t have the distractions.

(00:48:32):

What I have in my house now, only things that are useful or that I love. I have a little paper clutter, not too much. Got rid of a lot of that paper clutter. And if you’re dealing with paper clutter, just remember that paper — all that is are unmade decisions. And so if you’ve got a pile and it feels really heavy, often what I say to my community is just make three decisions today with the paper. And over time, you can get through a lot of paper. Or make more decisions if you want to, or just make one decision. But those paper piles can disappear. I did have a friend come in, a new friend came into our house and she’s like, where’s all your paper? And I used to have piles and piles of paper, not anymore. Where’s your paper, Heather? they said. well, I’ve got a little bit right here, but not much. And so all of that can be figured out. And you feel so much lighter.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:49:34):

What are the decisions you’re making about the paper?

Heather Aardema (00:49:37):

Well, so in my community, we’re doing a 15 minute challenge. Right now. We’re 15 minutes a day on different areas, and so on the day that I did paper, I switched health insurances last year, and the one health insurance didn’t realize this and still wanted to charge me, and there were lots of bills, and so it required a phone call and then I could shred everything and get rid of it. Another piece of paper was from my bank. And so it’s things that have to be dealt with — don’t have to be, actually, I don’t have to do anything. As humans, we don’t have to do a thing. We do because we want to. I often say I don’t have to feed my kids. I do it because I want to. Because often we’ll have mind clutter like, oh, I have to make dinner for the whole family again, or whatever it is. And that’s just clutter. And so yeah, that’s what paper was looking like for me.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:50:38):

Yeah, my paper is more, I have this article, I have this thing that I want to be able to share with patients. I need to organize all of the papers so that I have access to the information that I need because it’s not all here [in my head] all the time.

Heather Aardema (00:50:57):

And you don’t want it up here all the time. That is exhausting for the brain. And that’s mind clutter too.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:51:02):

Right.

Heather Aardema (00:51:03):

You do want a system. Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:51:05):

I need a better system.

Heather Aardema (00:51:08):

So here’s something, and I just noticed in the chat, Nancy, I just noticed that you wrote many, many small decisions with paper and it’s exhausting. And so even for you, if you’re thinking of all your paper, often what we’ll do is we’ll spend more time thinking that we have to deal with something than actually dealing with it itself.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:51:29):

That’s true.

Heather Aardema (00:51:30):

And that’s what is exhausting. The dealing with it is not exhausting because it’s actually invigorating. Each time you figure out what to do with the paper, one piece of paper, you get that dopamine hit, it feels good. What doesn’t feel good is all the time prior that you spend thinking about it, not doing anything. That is what is so exhausting

Kelly McCann, MD (00:51:59):

And anticipating it’s going to take hours and hours. I need a whole afternoon just to devote to this stack of stuff.

Heather Aardema (00:52:07):

And you carve out that time and you say a whole afternoon, three, four hours, that’s maybe what two movies? Possibly. Who knows? So this is what we do is when we keep things vague, they stay heavy. But when we get crystal clear, all of a sudden we get agency.

(00:52:32):

And so what I want to say to all of you, own the experience. Get really clear on what it is that you want. Okay, four hours to figure out this paperwork. Oh my gosh, make it fun. Make it an adventure. You love to travel and so decide that this is going to be some kind of adventure and that you’re going to celebrate. You’re going to celebrate all the small wins with it. I have this tool that one of my mentors shared with me, and it’s so powerful, and it’s called promises and consequences. You make the promise I’m going to declutter for 15 minutes a day or whatever that is. I’m going to declutter for 30 minutes. I’m going to focus on this drawer and declutter it. And then if you don’t do it, there’s a consequence. And so let’s just say you have a cup of tea every morning that you love. Well, what this would be is, if I don’t declutter the drawer, I don’t get my tea in the morning. And that helps us act on our behalf. It’s like kids, kids need consequences. So do we. Yeah. So you get to say, okay, this paper thing, I’ve been thinking about it long enough. It feels heavy. It’s that invisible load on our shoulders.

(00:54:03):

I’m going to do something about it so that I no longer need to think about it all the time. And so you decide what day when, and you give yourself consequence. If you don’t do it, you don’t get your tea the next morning or you don’t get to go watch a movie or whatever it is. And this is how you learn to honor what it is that really matters most to you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:54:32):

That’s great.

Heather Aardema (00:54:34):

We can give more tips on decluttering. And if you’re listening intentionally, I have been sprinkling tips throughout this entire conversation.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:54:42):

Yes, you have. And congratulations, Susan. You’re decluttering while you’re listening, wow.

Heather Aardema (00:54:51):

That’s awesome. Way to go.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:54:54):

Okay, let’s do some questions. Let’s see. Suzanne asked: technical question about paper stuff. Once I go through paper, I’ve got separate piles at the end of the day and I’ve just created more of a mess. How do I get past the stage without creating that mess?

Heather Aardema (00:55:13):

So that’s kind of called the messy middle. And so basically it’s the idea of allowing yourself to know it’s going to get messier before it gets lighter. And that’s okay. You’re not doing anything wrong. If anything, you want to interpret the mess as a positive that’s available for you as well. And so if you can lean into that and keep going, you will get to the other side, guaranteed. It’s when we stop. It’s when we say, oh, this mess is horrible. I’m doing something wrong. That’s when the clutter remains. So play with the idea that the mess is exactly as it should be on your journey toward a lighter life.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:03):

It’s the same thing with detox. When your liver is detoxing, oftentimes things get more toxic before they get less toxic. So it’s a situation that happens in a variety of things. We got to upset the mess, make it even worse before we can organize it and get clear.

Heather Aardema (00:56:25):

And also, you can decide to do a small pile of papers. Maybe you don’t do a huge pile of papers. Maybe it’s not three file cabinets that you’re going through, but it’s just one fourth of a drawer of the file cabinet. So keep the project small. If that feels lighter, I always recommend go small, start with small and start with a time limit so that you don’t get overwhelmed. So often what will happen is if we go too long, we’ll tell ourselves, oh, it has to be that way every time and it doesn’t. So just try five minutes, 10 minutes, throw away 10 papers.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:57:11):

Sounds good. Okay, how can we not be attached to things?

Heather Aardema (00:57:17):

How can we not be attached to things? So this is what I do.

(00:57:21):

When I was really struggling with getting rid of my books, I told myself, okay, what is it? And I pulled out a book and I said, what really is this? It’s paper, it’s ink, and it’s glue. And so when I realized that and I realized that it was possibly keeping me sick, it was so much easier to let go. I divorced myself from the meaning and all my books meant that I was a person interested in health and wellness, interested in psychology, and I was able to separate myself from that and say, paper, ink and glue. I can definitely let go of these. That’s okay. And yes, I spent a lot of money on these books and I’m choosing to believe that these books served me and now I can let them go. Will I buy them again in the future? Maybe or maybe not. I thought I would buy a lot more books now that I’m in a house that’s safe, I haven’t. Books find their way to me. And I’ve definitely lessened the amount of book buying behavior for sure.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:58:37):

Me too. Okay, time for a closet clear-out. Do you have any tips on what to keep and what to chuck? I’m interested in building a capture wardrobe. I think —

Heather Aardema (00:58:51):

A capsule wardrobe. Those are really fun. That’s what I have right now. I used to have so many clothes because I like clothes and I wore very few of them. I kept wearing the same ones over and over and over again. And so I got rid of all my clothes and only, I mean really, I have very little, maybe 10 shirts. I don’t have much today. And so what, you can go about it in a couple of different ways, but I’ll tell you my favorite way. You can look at the clothes and you can start off by saying, what are my favorite 10 items? Or maybe you’re doing a capsule wardrobe of 30 items. What is my favorite shirt? What are my favorite pants? Look for your favorites. First, pretend like you’re shopping in your closet.

(00:59:45):

Identify the favorites, and then know that you can give yourself permission to let go of the others. Now, often people will go the opposite route where they’ll say, let me figure out what I want to get rid of first. But that can feel heavy. And so what seems to feel lighter is the idea of shopping for your favorites. Ask yourself though, again, we’re all chemically unique and decluttering is going to be unique to each one of us as well. Either look for your favorites first, and these are clothes that you feel good in, that are complimentary, that are comfortable, that you want. And guaranteed in that closet there are some clothes in there that don’t fit well, that aren’t complimentary, that you don’t like. And so know that you can create this capsule wardrobe within what you already have.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:43):

Nice. How and where do you begin to declutter? There’s anxiety in knowing where to begin. And this can lead to some paralysis.

Heather Aardema (01:00:55):

So in the feng shui world, they say start with the front door because that’s where the energy comes into the house and that’s where it leaves. That might work for some, and that might not work for others, because we’re unique. So others might say, start in the bedroom because clutter impacts our sleep as well. And so if you’re not getting restful sleep, you might want to start there so that you can build up your strength and your tolerance for decluttering. I shared this question before and I want to share it again because at the end of the day, you want to do it in a way that is right for you. And so that it is sustainable. And so ask yourself, does starting at the front door feel light or heavy? If it’s heavy, don’t start at the front door, even though all the feng shui people do it, don’t do it. Maybe it’s the kitchen, maybe it’s your sock drawer. What feels light and start there. So I had somebody the other day, I thought for sure she was going to start in her kitchen and she ended up saying, Nope, it’s my office desk. If I had tried to force her to do the kitchen, it would not have gone well. It has got to be individual. Tell yourself — because that anxiety, I understand that, that tell yourself as long as you start, you can’t go wrong.

(01:02:25):

Let go of any anxiety. You can’t do this wrong as long as you start.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:02:33):

And then the follow-up question to that was actually — can piggyback what you said — because some people might get into this role of throwing everything out and then you indiscriminately throw stuff out that may have meaning to you due to the self-inflicted pressure. So how do you manage that?

Heather Aardema (01:02:56):

Well, if you throw something out, you can decide whatever it is you want to make that mean. And so you can decide, well, somebody else will now have something that they wouldn’t have been able to have otherwise. I would choose to make it mean something empowering. Maybe I accidentally threw that out and maybe I think I need it right now, but actually maybe I don’t. There’s very few in life, very few things in life that we actually truly need. It’s really more of a want thing. And our wants, our wants — what’s so great — are dynamic. They’re not static. I like to say, create the home for the person you are today, not the person you were 10 years ago or 20 years ago. Create your home environment for the person you are today.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:03:49):

Nice. Someone asked a question about collections. Like you mentioned the tea cup collection and it may have value, but selling it can take time. So do you just donate it and don’t worry about the benefit financially that you might get or do you make that effort?

Heather Aardema (01:04:15):

Yeah, I would say depending on how much time you have and what your financial needs are, and so say you’re not working and you have a lot of time and selling it feels lighter than donating it, then definitely sell it. There are places — you can do Craigslist, Facebook advertise or marketplace. There’s different places to sell things if you have time. Scarcity, if you feel like you don’t have a lot of time, I’ll tell you, for me, it was just much better to let it all go, let it all go. It got out of my house faster and there was a lot less mind drama or mind clutter about it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:04:59):

Yeah, I’ve used some consignment places and oftentimes you can just send a picture via email to consignment places to see if they’d be willing to take it. So that’s another option too, which sometimes works out, sometimes doesn’t, depends on the place.

Heather Aardema (01:05:17):

And if things are in the family, I would recommend before getting rid of something completely, I would reach out to other family members and say, I have this item. If you would like it, it’s yours, and if not, I’m going to donate it or sell it, so that you get family members, maybe first dibs, if that feels right to you.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:42):

Okay. Leslie asked, what’s a good way to know “this feels heavy?” Is it a first impression when the stories come up? How do you discern that?

Heather Aardema (01:05:54):

That’s such a good question. So go back to the compass and go back to listen. And so often we’re so distracted, we aren’t even really sure of our own feelings anymore. And so carve out a little space, little time away from distractions, away from others, and ask yourself if it feels heavy. Now it’s easier to know if something feels light, so the brain’s not going to try and trick us. We are more connected to our intuition with lightness than heaviness. And so usually when we’re hemming and hawing, it means that we’re trying to find excuses to keep something that we don’t absolutely love. And usually there’s a little baggage there. If something feels like it immediately, it’s your favorite shirt, it’s your favorite picture, it’s your favorite, whatever, all the other stuff. Again, if there’s that hemming and hawing, it’s your brain trying to find a reason to keep something even though it’s not that immediate. Yes. Another way is if it’s not a heck yes, it’s a no.

(01:07:09):

So for example, I talked earlier about calendar clutter and I was invited to go to an event tomorrow evening, and I was like, eh, I kind of would like to go, but all the work in doing it. And if it’s not a heck yes, it’s a no, boom, no more pressure. Clearly it’s a no for me because it’s not that heck yes, it feels so much lighter knowing that instead of being at that event tomorrow evening, I’ll be in my cozy PJ’s with my cup of tea, reading a book or something more quiet like that.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:49):

And I think that really helps this idea of sorting. So it’s pretty easy to say, heck yes and no, I got to get rid of it. It’s the in-between stuff that we really struggle with. There it is.

Heather Aardema (01:08:08):

And so with that in-between stuff, don’t start with the in-between stuff. Start with the heck yes or the no stuff. So much easier. That low hanging fruit. Often one of the biggest hurdles to begin is we’ll think about something. So for example, something sentimental that maybe has been passed down the line, generation after generation, and maybe we don’t love it. Maybe our grandmother loved it or our grandfather, but we don’t love it. And we’ll say, I can’t really start decluttering because I’m going to have to deal with that thing. And so we have a massive stop. We don’t move forward. Don’t start with that thing. Start with the easy stuff. Yes. Another reason why we have trouble starting is often we will say we have a big decision to make on the other side of decluttering. So for example, I need to declutter my house. This is what I just heard this week. I need to declutter my house. And after I get it decluttered, we might sell it, we might move. My husband wants to move, my daughter does not. Why can’t I start decluttering? Well, because you’ve got this big decision you don’t want to make on the other side of it, and you’re using the decluttering as a means to an end. Instead, make the decluttering the end and make it fun so that regardless of that decision, you are showing up for yourself today.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:09:42):

Absolutely. It also makes me think about maybe we don’t have to do the a hundred percent decluttering right away, right? So say you take a drawer or you go in your closet and you say, I’m going to go through all the things that are hanging. I’m going to say, heck yes and absolutely no, and then I’m going to leave the stuff for in between and not make that decision today.

Heather Aardema (01:10:05):

Yes, yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:10:07):

You’ve done two thirds of the work.

Heather Aardema (01:10:09):

Exactly, and you got momentum and you have honored yourself and what it is that you truly want. I like to call, I mean, basically you just gave your closet an upgrade. And so sometimes instead of the word decluttering, what’s fun for me is to think about, okay, I want to give my kitchen pantry an upgrade. Oh, this is going to be fun. Or my refrigerator needs an upgrade because my refrigerator, after I clean it out, it’s so pretty. It’s so clean. I love it. Everything’s organized and I feel good about it. And so upgrades can be a fun way to think about decluttering.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:10:54):

I like that. Okay. We talked a little bit about email before we started, and Gabriella asked about the clutter of email can be overwhelming. Oh my gosh, yes. How do you work with that?

Heather Aardema (01:11:08):

Yeah. Yeah. Email clutter. I will tell you that’s an area that I really need to stay present with or it comes back to me and I know why my email clutter is there. I figured that out. And so there are services out there. They’re free services. Unsubscribeme.com is one of them where you can sign up and then you can just go up and down all of the subscriptions that you have and check the ones you no longer want to receive. So that slows down the inflow, which is really important because you can unsubscribe to a ton. I mean, delete a lot of emails, but if you don’t slow down the inflow, they will reappear. And so start with slowing down that inflow, and then you can bulk delete. And so if you find a person that you’ve been following and you’re ready to move forward without their inspiration or their input anymore, you can, depending on which email system you have, they all have this capability. You can click on that name and you can pull up all their emails and do a bulk delete. And that could be 300 emails depending on how often they mail and when you signed up.

(01:12:28):

So that’s another way. Another way, there are some people that talk about not deleting emails and instead of archiving them, for me personally, I just want to delete them. I don’t want to have a huge archive either. For those who are nervous about deleting something important, maybe the archive system is appropriate for you. For me, I did not want that, no. And some people like the idea of getting to inbox zero. That idea for me did not feel light. So ask yourself, is inbox zero, is that my goal? If it feels light, go for it. If it doesn’t feel light, you’re not doing anything wrong.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:13:10):

Right? Yes. Let’s see. How many emails in my inbox? 37,523. Yes.

Heather Aardema (01:13:19):

Yes, I’ve been there. And frankly, there are probably people here with a hundred thousand emails. I mean, there’s a lot of email especially. There’s just so much. And so when you’re ready to unsubscribe from certain people, do that. I would use one of the other tools where you could unsubscribe quickly to a large number of companies and watch that inflow and know that a lot of people who have mailing lists will repeat their messages, sometimes even repeating similar emails. And so usually when we have 35,000 emails, they’re not all from family and friends. And so know that if you delete a bunch and you unsubscribe, you could always subscribe to them again and probably get a very similar message. And one more thought on this. I love this topic. Decluttering is so fun. You all okay with email? Also note, if you are following wellness experts, health experts, minimalism experts, decluttering experts know that an email that they sent three years ago is going to showcase their thinking as of three years ago. Life is constantly evolving. What we know is evolving and changing. And so you can keep that email from three years ago, but their best work is going to be the one that landed in your inbox today. It’s okay to get rid of their thinking from three years ago.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:14:56):

I like that too. Okay. Let’s see. Anything else in the chat or the questions that you really feel called to speak to?

Heather Aardema (01:15:10):

I just saw a note from Nancy that I really like, and she says that there are many shelters for people starting over that need items and how happy they are to get something they need. Women’s shelters, people fleeing their home with their kids, often have nothing. And so I just want to call that out, that when you are intentionally letting go of things, know that if you decide to donate them, if these are things that aren’t going into the trash, there are going to be people that are so grateful beyond words. There are so many refugees right now. There are so many migrants that have gone through the unthinkable to get to where they are. And if there’s a coat that you haven’t worn in 10 years that’s really warm and they get to have that coat and they get to be warm, transforming that moment for them, you’re giving them a sense of hope.

(01:16:16):

And there are organizations, if you used to work in corporate world and you have a lot of suits and fancy clothes, there are organizations that will take those clothes if you’re no longer wearing them and give them to people who are interviewing for jobs. And you give them pride and confidence when they have access to these items. And so know that, ask yourself with your items, are you just storing them or are you loving them and using them and appreciating them? And if you’re just storing them, know that somebody else might value them more than you do and it really could improve their life. I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for people that really had just been through the worst and could use some love in this way.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:17:12):

Yeah, that’s really beautiful. Very beautiful. And I think there were a couple of comments similar to mine. I don’t want to get rid of stuff because I’m on a limited income and I don’t want to have to pay for that again. And yet, I think kind of along these same lines is like, well, you have the resources, even if you have a limited income, you have those resources potentially to have those things again, whereas some people have even less resources than you do.

Heather Aardema (01:17:45):

Yes. And you bring up such a good point. So in that case, I would ask myself if I was really worried about having the money in the future to pay for something, again, I would say, at what age did this start? So usually as children, if we’re around parents that are really struggling to make it, we are scared. We have no control. We’re kids, we can’t make the money. We can’t solve this for our parents. And that scarcity mindset, that fear will travel with us throughout life. And what I want to say is that you are an adult and you have agency, and you can figure this out if you figured it out to have it in the first place. I promise you that down the line, if it is something you truly need, you’ll have the agency to figure it out again. And I also say, conjure up an image of 7-year-old you and give that little girl or that little boy a hug and say, you had no control back then and that wasn’t your fault. You do have control today. Our outcomes generally reflect our thoughts and our perspectives, and so you are able to have the thing, buy it and have it. You’ll be able to do that again if it’s something that’s super important to you. And maybe this will happen maybe 2% of the time, so know that this is not going to — often we think, what if I had to replace everything? You won’t have to replace everything, one or two things. Maybe you might want to, and that’s okay. The cushions definitely replace those. Definitely.

(01:19:40):

Know that you have resources. Maybe you have resources, mental resources and financial resources that your parents did not have. Yes, you’ve got your back. You’ve got your back. So if you figured it out before, you can figure it out again.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:19:58):

Absolutely. Heather, this has been wonderful.

Heather Aardema (01:20:02):

Thank you. I’ve enjoyed it. Thank you so much.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:06):

Yeah, it’s really inspiring. And it links with so many other things. It does link with our health and with our sense of empowerment over our own lives and our ability to make healthy choices for ourselves and to build the life that we want, not just our physical health, but our entire life because it’s all connected.

Heather Aardema (01:20:35):

There’s a, if I may, there’s the Top Five Regrets of the Dying. And this was an essay written by Bronnie Ware, and she was a palliative care nurse in Australia. And the essay was so popular that it became a book, and then it became a course. And in those top five regrets of the dying, she spent 20 years with these people. Not once did “I wish I had not decluttered” land in the top five, but I just want you to know, often people come to me like I don’t — I’m yearning for more meaning, I have too many distractions, too much clutter, and I want to die with fewer regrets. And yes, don’t let the regret be, gosh, I wish I would’ve decluttered so that my kids don’t have to do it for me. One last thing to note, there’s something called Swedish Death Cleaning. Have you heard of it?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:44):

Swedish What? Cleaning

Heather Aardema (01:21:46):

Swedish Death Cleaning.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:48):

I still can’t hear that second word.

Heather Aardema (01:21:50):

Death, Swedish Death Cleaning.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:53):

Death Cleaning. Yes. No, I have not heard that.

Heather Aardema (01:21:57):

In Sweden, they see the clutter as something to deal with while they’re still alive, and they’ll have parties and sell things off. And the clutter is dealt with so that the next generation doesn’t have to deal with it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:22:17):

Fascinating.

Heather Aardema (01:22:17):

And so it’s not anything we have to embrace if we don’t want to embrace, but this is something that’s worldwide. What do we do with our stuff?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:22:30):

We can’t take any of it with us.

Heather Aardema (01:22:33):

Exactly, exactly.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:22:39):

I appreciate you so much, and you sent me this bracelet “I am light” and I’m still wearing it.

Heather Aardema (01:22:48):

Yeah, it’s a choice. It’s a choice in life. We can go light or we can go heavy.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:22:53):

Right? Let’s make it a light choice.

Heather Aardema (01:22:56):

Make it light. Make it light. And if you notice you’ve got heavy, give yourself love, no judgment, no shame, and just get back on that lighter path.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:23:05):

Absolutely. Thank you so much, Heather. Thanks for everyone for joining us. There will be a replay that’s sent out, and hopefully we’ll see you sometime again soon. Thank you. Where can they find you, Heather?

Heather Aardema (01:23:19):

Oh yes. Oh yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:23:21):

My goodness.

Heather Aardema (01:23:23):

We got, so this has been so fun. And thank you all for your time and for your engagement and involvement and your attention. It’s such an honor. You can find me at schooloflivinglighter.com and if you really are thinking that this is the right time to deal with your clutter, and if you’re not quite ready to soar on your own, if you’d like a little assistance, we have a decluttering class. It’s a course with a few live workshops with me. And because you’re a part of this community, we have a fantastic discount code to offer as well. And so I can, if you like, I can put this in the chat.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:24:09):

Sarah already did. Thank you, Sarah. Okay.

Heather Aardema (01:24:12):

And the discount code too, definitely. It’s 75% off, so you definitely want that discount code.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:24:17):

Yes. So Sarah put it in the chat. It’s schooloflivinglighter.com/less and use the coupon code, DRKELLY for that discount. So thank you so much for that generosity of sharing your course and for spending time with us today. This has been really wonderful. I appreciate you.

Heather Aardema (01:24:39):

Thank you. To a lighter life for all. Take care everybody.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:24:43):

Okay. Bye-Bye.

Chat Transcript

00:28:49 Sarah: Hi everyone! We are recording and you will get a replay!
00:29:03 mary h.: Yay!
00:29:13 Sarah: If you have questions for Dr. Kelly or Heather, please enter those into the Q&A, which is at the bottom of the Zoom link
00:29:43 Deborah Blount: Hello from Houston, Texas
00:29:56 Carol: Hello from PA
00:30:10 Lasita: Hi from New Mexico
00:30:23 Janet Fox: Hi from Ontario, Canada
00:31:14 Julie Bartos: hello from Minnesota
00:31:40 Anna Rider- Flourish Mentoring: Hello, I’m also from Ontario Canada
00:32:05 Vita: hello from the Gta in Ontario.
00:35:38 Nancy: yes, books are tough – they are filled with promises
00:37:16 Sarah: I don’t know about you all, but I was able to let go of books by sharing them with other people. Now it gives me joy to give my books away!
00:38:06 Faheem Nazar: Hello… from Pakistan
00:38:30 Jane: If you live in mold though, how can you give away items (books or others), knowing they might have mold in them?
00:39:20 AGW: Buy Nothing
00:40:56 Sarah: For sure, mold is a different story. I’ve been fortunate not to have mold, but if I did, I wouldn’t be sharing those books!
00:43:35 AGW: yes
00:43:38 Sarah Apke: yes
00:43:39 Carol: Yes
00:43:41 Gail Koel: yes
00:43:42 Deborah Blount: yes
00:43:42 Vivienne Kaplan: Yes
00:43:42 Barby Ehrenburg: yes
00:43:42 Jane: yes
00:43:43 Gabriella Miotto: yes
00:43:43 Susan Joy Schleef: way too much stuff
00:43:46 Sue: TOTAL OVERWHELM!!!
00:43:46 Ter Wielenga: yes
00:43:47 Barbara: Yes
00:43:48 Vesna : yes
00:43:48 Leslie Linton: yes
00:43:49 Sue: yes
00:43:49 Wendy Hammarstrom: Yes
00:43:49 gitte dam: yes
00:43:51 Anna Rider- Flourish Mentoring: Yes- I have supplements everywhere and need to put them somewhere
00:43:53 TRF: Hell yes. Lol
00:43:53 Pam: No
00:43:55 C C: yes
00:43:56 janiceevans: yes
00:43:59 Lynn: Getting there!
00:44:00 Nancy: paper on my desk yes
00:44:02 Gail Koel: yes
00:44:05 Carol Ransom: YES!
00:44:07 Megan M: Yes
00:44:14 AnnaMaria: junior hoarder
00:44:15 MARIA EDSTROM: YES
00:44:20 Nancy: Yes, but this is a better part of the house
00:44:33 mary hendricks: yes
00:44:41 gitte dam: but people are preppeing now
00:44:48 Nancy: I want to pack up 3/4 of my closet and donate it
00:45:03 gitte dam: prepping
00:45:18 gitte dam: bec of worldsituation
00:46:05 Nancy: me too
00:46:11 Nancy: organize
00:46:52 vio: what if it is traumatick experience -living in frieze mode?
00:47:06 gitte dam: stores are closing down hope you know that!? so how to balance decluttering and knowing that things are out of stock–soon
00:47:40 Vesna : as if I were tied to my things by some threads
00:47:49 Sarah: Reminder: if you have a question you want Dr. Kelly or Heather to see, pop those into the Q&A at the bottom of your Zoom screen
00:48:23 AGW: Tips for the de-cluttering itself?
00:49:59 Vesna : how not to be attached to things?
00:50:01 Vivienne Kaplan: How and where do you begin to declutter? There is anxiety in knowing where to begin to declutter your environment.
00:50:14 Arsia Ahulia Adams: OPEN supplements destroys ALL the benefits of what is in theml
00:51:47 Sarah: @Vivienne, that’s a really good question, everyone will appreciate that one. Would you enter it into the Q&A so Dr. K and Heather can see it? At the bottom of the zoom screen, if you don’t see it you might have to click the More button
00:52:50 sandy: One of my favorite quotes;
00:53:12 sandy: What is fear of nreed, but need itself
00:53:16 Vesna : I think the problem is that I can’t let go of the past…that’s why I keep things from the past
00:53:34 sandy: Kahlil Gibran
00:53:39 Sue: E-mail clutter is “heavy”. When you have health issues you can end up on all kinds of email lists. You want to keep them because “you might learn something helpful.” But you can’t realistically get to them all. Suggestions please!
00:54:56 Sue: Yes, Sue – I am pretty much the same as you with this digital clutter 🙁
00:54:58 Sarah: @Sue, email clutter is definitely heavy. Pop that question into the Q&A so we can get Heather’s take!
00:55:00 Maria Hanley: Any ideas on “collections”?
00:55:25 Vesna : yes e-mail clutter is heavy
00:57:16 TRF: I’ve started using an app called Day One. It’s a journal/diary app. And for things that I’ve kept that have meaning, I take a photo of it with the app, make a note about the year and any important info (can even adjust the date on the entry to that time in history!). Then I get rid of the item, but still have the photo in a digital journal.
00:58:17 Kimberly O’Bier: Buy a picture frame in each place and put a vacation photo in.
00:58:21 Suzanne Noel: TRF–great idea! thanks
00:58:21 Sarah: @TRF, that’s so creative. Do you find yourself looking back at the photos fairly regularly?
00:58:57 AGW: are you going to talk about anything practical for us or just tell your own stories?
00:59:52 TRF: @Sarah, I do every once in a while! The app also will send you a daily look-back of random memories so it’s a fun surprise 🙂
01:00:11 Sarah: @TRF – that’s really cool! I’ll check out the app!
01:12:48 Suzanne Noel: Kelly’s question is really good
01:14:34 Nanette P.: I can relate to that balance of letting go of things and the cost to replace…especially now when supply and cost issues is a real thing.
01:16:29 Sue: this is a really empowering webinar – lots to think about and lots to do!!!!
01:17:02 Nancy: If we live simply, those we leave behind are not left a big mess – most of which is thrown out. No one knows when their number is up so I say – do you want to leave mayhem or peace behind?
01:18:50 Nancy: paper – many many small decisions – exhausting
01:22:25 Susan Joy Schleef: I realized about 20 min ago that I could work on starting to declutter my desk while listening to this webinar! So I’m tearing pages off the small notepads I like to use for notes. I’m using the 3-hole puncher on them and filing them into 5×8 binders I ordered from Amazon months ago but hadn’t started using them yet. I’ve gotten the ball rolling – yay!!!
01:22:49 AGW: wasn’t this supposed tp be about us learning to declutter rather than listening to you chitchat about your stuff?!?
01:23:15 Nancy: Yes, thank you for the tips
01:24:01 Lasita: I do appreciate the work on mental/emotional clutter
01:24:18 Jane: How do you not get distracted when you declutter? I often start and then my mind gets distracted with something I’m decluttering, and then I run out of time…
01:24:32 Lasita: Sellf-blaming is such a temptation…
01:24:48 Lasita: Typo… self-blaming
01:25:01 Suzanne Noel: Thank you, Heather. That is a good way to look at it.
01:25:02 Mary Russo: I just came on. There seems to be some confusion with a seminar offered by another expert.
01:25:04 Lasita: Loving ourselves is key…
01:25:22 Mary Russo: Will we get a replay? Can we ask questions?
01:25:30 Kourafas, Alexis: I love watching either reruns of the office or trashy tv while decluttering (something where I don’t have to think). 😂 Why is shredding so fulfilling?
01:25:32 Lasita: They promised a reeplay
01:25:39 Lasita: Replay
01:25:44 Jane: Do you still use a “junk drawer” in your house?
01:25:52 Nancy: I just organized my resource paperwork into a lot of binders. It was a lot of work. But now, I don’t want all those binders around and feel like chucking everything into the recycling bin.
01:26:32 Nancy: 🙄
01:27:12 Nancy: Space is more important than information
01:27:12 Jane: What I find difficult is thinking about the cost of replacing some of the items I’m throwing away. I prefer to hold on to them, as I have limited income and do not want to have to pay for those items again.
01:27:21 Kristine (she, her): Do you know how long this webinar is?
01:27:40 Lasita: Maybe 15 more minutes… just guessing..
01:28:05 Sarah: We are recording this, so everyone will get a replay. We’ll send it out early next week (probably Tuesday). You can put questions into the Q&A, at the bottom of the zoom window.
01:28:25 Nancy: great idea – shopping in your closet
01:28:40 Antoinette: Will there be a replay? Couldn’t get online timely.
01:29:08 Sarah: @Nancy – what do you think about scanning all your papers and keep the digital file(s) on an external harddrive?
01:29:35 Sheila: Thanks for recording. That will be helpful.
01:29:53 Antoinette: I love/like everything I have, with the exception of containers/bags I keep for just-in-case. It’s the j
01:30:21 Antoinette: … “just in cases” that are my prob.
01:31:07 Susan Joy Schleef: as long as you start AND keep going!
01:31:09 Sharon Marie: My mold remediator had a dry cleaner that specialized in cleaning my clothes, and determined what had to be thrown away.
01:31:22 Lasita: Love that: “if you start, you can’t go wrong”
01:31:43 Nancy: @Sarah. That’s a very good idea. I just have a lot of docs in binders so it would take me a very long time and then I’d have to print them out again.
01:32:00 Michael: Regarding paper, is there a scanner or two that beat the Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500 + Evernote combination for scanning thousands of blank printer paper with pen-written notes on them (average handwriting) to organize, title docs digitally, and have them be searchable notes (by typing XYZ words)? Perhaps some have better optical character recognition abilities to read non-horrible handwriting with AI proliferating the last couple of years?
01:32:35 Sarah: @Nancy, that is tough. I wonder if a FedEx/Kinkos type place would do that for you. Of course, that costs, but your time is valuable!
01:32:48 Nancy: get someone to list them on ebay (tea cups)
01:32:51 Lasita: It would have been nice to save the panel-chat… maybe make that available next time…
01:33:28 Sarah: @Lasita, we can include the chat transcript in the replay, as well as the video transcript
01:33:39 Nancy: a great mold remedy is a thyme-based, enviro friendly product called Benefect. It smells wonderful and kills mold.
01:34:57 Lasita: I appreciate that you’ll include the panel-chat. There’s a lot of wisdom here.
01:35:04 Sue: Yes! Chat notes with the recording would be everso helpful! Thanks!!
01:35:11 Lisa: I also have my dad who passed aways collections of stuff, wish there was a museum or something we could all bring this stuff to! I cant just give it away but it is definitely baggage just sheer quantity wise
01:35:42 Suzanne Noel: “Create the home for the person you are today”–Brilliant! Same goes for the clothes in your closet. I need to get rid of all those clothes that USED TO fit. My clothes should be the ones I can wear today.
01:36:06 Lasita: “If it’s not a “heck yes”, it’s a “NO.”” Great!
01:36:08 Nancy: heck yes!!! agree
01:36:19 Louise Mathewson: What about a small blanket made by my grandma, kinda hard to give up! Maybe take a pix?
01:37:20 Antoinette: I find the best file folders are 10 9/16in x 10 3/4in (1 gallon) Ziploc bags. They are transparent and easily contain small/loose papers.
01:38:14 Lasita: “Make it FUN!”
01:39:26 Lasita: Good attitude: “I need an upgrade”
01:39:45 SusanAnthonyWhite2: My ADD makes it hard to pay attention to decluttering, cleaning. Also, all the messages that keep popping up on this chat, I want to read them & I start missing out what the webinar information is telling me. So this will be my 1st & last msg.
01:39:53 Mary Russo: @Sarah, thank you so much for the chat transcript, video transcript and video recording – what a true gem to have. Thank you!
01:40:31 Antoinette: LM – I’ll take good care of your Grandma’s blankie … 🙂 I know that deep guttural feeling.
01:40:59 Kimberly O’Bier: @Louise you can cut a square of your grandmothers blanket and put it in a frame on the wall.
01:41:13 Zoom user: Recently sold a lot of vintage ‘stuff’ I’d inherited from various family members that weren’t sentimental to me. Was really cathartic and bonus was I put the money towards buying a coffee machine. ☕️👍
01:41:20 Nancy: there are many shelters for people starting over that need items. How happy the people are to get something they need. With women’s shelters, they often are fleeing their home with their kids, only with the clothes on their backs. They often need stuff for infants, kids, and adult clothing… shoes. One time, we donated 2 almost brand new bikes. Some of the women at the shelter were so happy to be able to go for a bike ride.
01:41:50 Anna Rider- Flourish Mentoring: I have close to 50G emails
01:41:51 Nancy: you can load important computer docs onto a thumb drive
01:42:06 Nancy: or an external drive
01:42:15 Susan Joy Schleef: I have over 180k
01:42:20 Maria Hanley: I leave most of my emails in trash & spam so that AI takes longer to track me. Everything is being run thru the DoD & NSA computers.
01:42:23 Nanette P.: Suzanne…I just did that. Only the items that fit and that i wear, are in my closet. The next size down that I almost can get into, are now in bins. Its now so easy to dress each day. At home clothes and leaving the house clothes are separated.
01:42:27 Kimberly O’Bier: Even better put it in a frame along with a photo of your grandmother.
01:42:38 Jane: 229,000 emails… I gave up trying to keep on top of them…
01:43:06 Antoinette: MH – Brilliant!
01:43:16 Vivienne Kaplan: Emails are the one area where I can declutter. I love unsubscribing from emails that irritate me. Books are my downfall.
01:43:26 Suzanne Noel: @Nanette — Fantastic!
01:43:32 Lasita: Heather, that is cute… to think of it as fun… I’ll keep your smile in my mind.
01:44:12 Vesna : Thank You Heather and Kelly 🙂
01:44:56 Maria Hanley: Also domestic violence shelters – I have given so much over the years to help these families start over
01:45:03 Antoinette: Fortunately, my size is static. I pack/store per season.
01:45:06 Suzanne Noel: Relying external drives can be a potential problem. Our external drive bit the dust (I don’t know how). But all that info is gone.
01:45:13 Nancy: Yes, it feels so easy to donate knowing that someone will be so grateful to have it. ❤️
01:45:27 Pam: Yes, please donate to shelters, rather than Goodwill. Musical instruments can be donated to nursing homes.
01:45:29 Sue: THANK YOU BOTH!! Can’t wait to re-watch and share the recording.
01:45:49 Nanette P.: Some colleges are collecting interview type clothing for their students.
01:45:57 Carol: Thank you, Heather and Kelly! Such great tips and information!
01:45:59 Mary Russo: What about papers that have a lot of handwritten notes with phone numbers, “To Do’s and notes from classes. I get overwhelmed with piles to enter into contacts, and calling businesses, and mostly, for “writers, authors, and teachers” – we tend to collect resources to use for our jobs. I feel I need a professional paper organizer to help me get started to “speed read” through 3 files drawers and spare piles and boxes of paper??
01:46:17 Debbi Silverman: It was very satisfying to donate >35 household items to a homeless woman getting her first apartment… & I gave away 5 big electronics (old printer, fax, even a rotisserie that still worked!). It’s the books & papers that are killing me!…
01:46:25 Gabriella Miotto: Thank you for this discussion🙏
01:47:07 Antoinette: I use index cards from the Dollar Store. Easy to organize. Life is much easier to manage.
01:47:22 Andi: Thank you!
01:47:52 Susan Joy Schleef: that definitely started in childhood for me. I have a lot of memories of wanting newer, more stylish clothes and being told we couldn’t afford it. Instead I got hand-me-downs from older cousins!
01:47:57 Nancy: that is a fundamentally great mindset shift
01:48:01 Sarah: We’re getting ready to wrap up, we’ll send out a link with the recording, transcript, and chat transcript by Tuesday
01:48:19 Debbi Silverman: THANK YOU for this program!
01:48:22 Maria Hanley: This is so good. Thank you both.
01:48:23 Nancy: ❤️
01:48:32 Pam: Thank you!
01:48:32 Maria: thank you
01:48:37 Kristine (she, her): Will you be able to send out the chat as well as the recording?
01:48:53 Vivienne Kaplan: Truly wonderful. And so helpful. Thank you both.
01:48:54 Vesna : Thank You:-)
01:48:54 Nancy: thank you Kelly and Heather!! 🥰
01:48:56 Tanya: I love that we have the opportunity to look at our things and decide if we are just storing them for later or if we are enjoying them and loving them. I am reminded of Erma Bombeck’s poem, If I Had My Life to Live Over – where she said she would burn use those beautiful rose shapped candles instead of storing them for a special occasion and then they melted in storage.
01:48:57 Susan Joy Schleef: I was a bit afraid to attend, but I’m glad I did. Thanks for the inspiration!
01:49:03 Tricia: Thank you. You gave me the kick in the pants, I needed to make a call today.
01:49:09 tiscione, Laurie: Thank you so much! very inspiring.
01:49:14 Antoinette: Thank you! Much appreciated.
01:50:37 Nanette P.: Thank you both so much to Kelly and Heather…appreciate all the great comments! Blessings~
01:50:48 Nancy: oh a party to give away stuff is brilliant
01:50:55 Nancy: 🙂
01:51:15 Nancy: Gracias!!
01:51:16 Sheila: Swedish what?
01:51:25 Kourafas, Alexis: Swedish death cleaning
01:51:27 Lasita: Swedish Death-cleaning
01:51:30 Robert’s iPhone 8: Many thx🙏
01:51:31 Sarah: Check out Heather’s course! And she’s giving all of you a huge discount: https://www.schooloflivinglighter.com/less and use coupon code DRKELLY (this link and coupon code will be in the replay as well)
01:51:35 aliza: Book: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning
01:51:36 Kourafas, Alexis: thank you Dr. McCann and Heather!!!
01:51:37 Jane: Thank you so much.
01:51:38 Sheryl Moi (she/her/hers): Thanks
01:51:39 aliza: Magnusson
01:51:58 Nancy: thank you. Blessings to you.
01:52:18 aliza: The gentle art of Swedish death cleaning : how to free yourself and your family from a lifetime of clutter
Magnusson, Margareta (Artist)
Published: 2018 | English
01:52:26 Sarah: https://www.schooloflivinglighter.com/less and use coupon code DRKELLY
01:52:50 Nancy: have a great weekend!!
01:52:52 Lasita: 75% coupon
01:53:05 Alicia: thanks!
01:53:08 Lisa: Thank you!


Mastering Pre-Tox with Nafysa Parpia, ND

Mastering Pre-Tox with Nafysa Parpia, ND Replay

Understanding the journey of detoxification is essential for achieving optimal health, and it begins with an often-overlooked step: Pre-Tox. This webinar, “Mastering Pre-Tox” with Nafysa Parpia, ND, helped to shine a light on the critical role of Pre-Tox in your wellness journey.

Dr. Parpia has been teaching about Pre-Toxing for some time, helping doctors and patients alike navigate this very important step before starting a more in-depth detox program. Dr. Parpia shared her Pre-Tox protocol, discussing toxin avoidance, optimal nutrition, and how to reduce symptoms and sensitivities to calm the system before embarking on detox.

Watch the replay and find the transcript below. Check out Dr. Parpia’s Pre-Tox Protocol for her step-by-step approach to getting started on your Pre-Tox.


Full Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:05):
Hello everyone. We are going to wait a few minutes. I’m Dr. Kelly McCann. Thank you for joining us today. I’m with Sarah, my assistant, and Dr. Nafysa Parpia. She’s one of my dear friends, and we’re so glad that you’re all here. We’ll wait a few minutes, as I mentioned for people to get into the webinar and then we’ll get started. We’re so excited today to talk about Pre-Tox and detox and what that all means. Dr. Parpia actually coined the term Pre-Tox, I think, right, Nafysa?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:01:05):
You know, Pre-Tox — I just found out when I was speaking to Chris Shade last month that there was another naturopathic doctor who talked about Pre-Tox a while ago, but I think I resurfaced it, thinking I made up, but actually I didn’t. Someone else had. But the way I’ve been thinking about it is different because I’ve been thinking about it in the context of complex chronic illness. So I’d say I coined the term for people who have that going on, but it’s been a term floating around for a while, turns out.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:01:33):
That’s very cool. And now you all who are participating in our webinar will understand what Pre-Tox means. So why don’t we go ahead and just get started and then people can watch the recording if they missed the beginning. We’re going to start with a PowerPoint presentation that Nafysa has put together. But before we do, Sarah has a few words for you all.

Sarah (00:01:59):
Thank you. Hi everyone. Welcome. This is going to be a really great talk. Just a quick little reminder that this is educational. This is for your educational purposes. This information is to be taken to your healthcare practitioners. It can’t be taken as medical advice, so we just want to make sure you know that this is going to be really good info for you and your practitioners moving forward. And then the second thing I want to let you know is we are definitely recording. There’s going to be a replay, so everyone who is registered, if you have to duck out early or you come in late, we’re going to email you a link with the replay and with the transcript. That will be early next week. So keep an eye out for that. And that’s all I have. I’m going to get off of video so that you two wonderful doctors can get going.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:51):
Thanks, Sarah.

Sarah (00:02:52):
Thank you. Thank you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:54):
Okay, so Nafysa, go ahead and share your screen. Let’s get started.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:03:01):
All right. One second here.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:03:16):
Technical difficulties!

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:03:24):
Technical difficulties, but we’re working through them. One second here.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:03:28):
That’s right. Mercury retrograde. I don’t know.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:03:33):
C’mon, one sec. Here we go. We’re almost there. Okay, we have it.

(00:03:38):
Welcome everybody. First of all, I just want to say thank you, Kelly, for inviting me to do this. I’m excited to share our audiences together, share our communities together. So it’s super exciting. Our communities have a lot in common. Actually, they both suffer with complex chronic illness. So this webinar is really speaking to both the communities.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:04:03):
Absolutely. And just so you know, we had 1400 people sign up for our webinar. I was pretty excited about that.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:04:13):
Yeah! It’s super exciting and it’s very often that we don’t have all the people show up when there’s this many, but then they’ll be watching our links. So I’m super excited about that as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:04:24):
Yes. Okay, go ahead.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:04:27):
Okay, so now I’m going to be talking about Pre-Tox as it pertains to people who have complex chronic illness. Now, most people who are here today watching probably do suffer for complex chronic illness, or maybe you have a loved one who suffers from it. So this is really for you and your loved ones. Now, most of the patients who have complex chronic illness, they’ve got diagnoses like long covid, Lyme disease, ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, various autoimmune conditions, mast cell activation syndrome, of course. Now this patient population, it’s very often they do a detox and nothing happens or they do the detox and they have really bad reactions. So I’ve had patients come into me who’ve said, Dr. Parpia, I did a detox and it was the worst thing I’ve ever done. Don’t tell me you’re going to make me do that. And what I tell them is that it was probably the right thing, but at the wrong time, it was done prematurely.

(00:05:32):
What we need to do is set your system up to be ready for a detox. So when Dr. Kelly and I talk about cellular detox, we’re talking about removing toxins that have been bioaccumulating in the cells. So using substances like phosphatidylcholine or glutathione. So those two substances will actually remove toxins that are stuck inside the cells or stuck on the outer membrane of the cells. Now, when we are removing those toxins, we then use other herbs usually to flush the toxins out through the organs of elimination, the liver, the kidneys, the gut, the skin. Now, if we’re using substances to remove toxins from the cells, but the organs of elimination are not supported, or say the patient has mast cell activation syndrome, what’s going to happen? Those toxins are just going to recirculate and end up in other tissues, which is why people feel bad when they’ve had those substances, right?

(00:06:45):
I’ve had many patients say, oh, I do terribly with glutathione, or I can’t handle phosphatidylcholine. Well, there’s a reason for that. Your system was not ready for that. So there are certain things that everybody can do in general to prepare for detox, and we’ll leave that for the Q&A, but generally that will be to remove yourself from the trigger, to eat organic foods, to have appropriate hydration, to sleep, to move your body. What I’m going to be getting into today in the first 20, 30 minutes is how to make this personalized. When a patient suffers from complex chronic illness, they need to do a lot more than those simple things I just mentioned. So these are the tools for you to take to your functional medicine or naturopathic doctor when they want to put you on a detox therapy.

(00:07:42):
So most of my patients and Dr. McCann’s patients are stuck in a loop of chronic inflammation. Really I’m talking about cell danger response one. So inflammation is meant to be transient. We actually do want our mast cells to be able to flare. We do want to be able to have oxidative stress and inflammation at the appropriate moment to contain an insult. So when we have an acute infection, we need that to happen. We need that inflammation to take place, but then we also need it to stop. Now, most of our patients, their immune system doesn’t know what it means to have inflammation transient. Their immune system doesn’t know anymore how to put the brakes on that. So because they’ve got inflammation constant and ongoing, it’s no longer transient. It’s inappropriate inflammation. Now, when we detoxify, we do increase inflammation, and that’s meant to be transient as well. So if we have a patient who is highly inflamed, we know it. We know it from the way they present, we know it from their labs, we know it from these complex diagnoses they have, they’re inflamed. If we detoxify them, we’re going to just increase inflammation. And instead of that being transient, it’s going to add to what is already continuous inflammation. So this is why we need to have Pre-Tox that is personalized in our patients who have complex chronic illness, mainly because they’re already highly inflamed.

(00:09:25):
So on this slide, are signs that Pre-Tox should be considered. These are symptoms that you might have. Now, some of these symptoms — actually, I would venture to say most of these symptoms — are due to multiple root causes, and of course, having environmental toxins is one of those root causes. Now, some of these we can actually fix, or I’m going to say we can bring to a level of homeostasis before we begin detox to help bring that inflammation down. Constipation, for example, sleep issues, headaches, blood pressure issues, hormonal balancing. Now, the rest of these symptoms, once we begin detox and we begin the treatment of the infections, the inflammation will start to come down. The rest of these symptoms will start to resolve. Now, it’s true that when I’m treating the things that I can prior to detox, that is band-aid medicine, I’m going to say that, but we need that in order to set the homeostasis, right?

(00:10:29):
I tell my patients it’s like this, I am putting in new compact soil in your garden because there are some nasty weeds that I’m going to need to pull out. Now, when I’m going to pull those nasty weeds out, infections, toxins, I need to make sure that we’re not going to have runoff, but I need to make sure that we’re not going to have a landslide, right? So I’m packing the soil in by treating these things first that I can, and I’ll get into the details about those. So when detox is premature, patients are going to notice it. They’ll notice it by either nothing happening or they’re going to have symptoms like these ones here on this slide, but often they’re going to feel flu-like symptoms, fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, for example.

(00:11:24):
So here are the circumstances under which detox is premature. So both Dr. McCann’s and my patients, I would say 90% of our patients have all of these going on at the same time. Toxin overload. We see this on the labs, and we know this when we do a thorough intake on you as well. Nutritional deficiencies. Well, we need adequate amino acids, minerals, B vitamins as co-factors for our detoxification pathways to be optimal. SNPs in our genes of detoxification. So when we’re looking at our patient’s genes, it’s very often we see that they have SNPs in their genes of detoxification pathways, inflammatory pathways, metabolic pathways even, or even the endocrine pathways. It’s very common in these patients. And when we look at it side by side with their, excuse me one sec, I need a sip.

(00:12:23):
We look at it side by side with their toxins, and we can see this is why their toxin load is high. Not only have they been exposed, but their genes are not optimal for removing detoxification. They have dysregulation of their organs of elimination. The gut, the liver, the kidneys, I’ll get more into this in the talk, their emotional state, their emotional state might be fragile or it might be highly volatile. That’s perfectly normal in this patient population because we’ve got inflammation that has crossed the blood-brain barrier, and the brain can be inflamed, and that’s going to amplify emotions that might already be difficult to deal with when you have complex chronic illness. And then these patients also have issues with structural integrity. Very often our patients will have tissues that are tight, so maybe their fascia is tight, when that’s happening, we’re not getting adequate blood flow, we’re not getting adequate oxygenation or adequate lymphatic flow.

(00:13:32):
When the ligaments are lax. I’d say this is the other half of our patient population. The ligaments are lax. Well, the chemicals that the mast cells release — and remember, these patients are releasing it constantly — are going to tenderize the ligaments. So the ligament that holds up the brainstem, a lot of our patients have that already, somewhat lax, but they’ve been able to deal with it throughout their lives. Well, when there’s mast cell activation syndrome happening, it’s going to tenderize the ligament and put pressure on the brainstem, craniocervical instability, and then we’re going to have a host of other problems due to that. So these are the things that when these are going on, we know that detox is premature. And again, as I said earlier, most of my patients, and I know most of Dr. McCann’s patients, have both. Both of us, both of the communities have these things going on simultaneously.

(00:14:27):
So this list over here is of the conditions that need to be treated prior to detoxification. So looking at the gut, a lot of our patients are constipated or they have diarrhea. Now, if constipation is an issue, then as we pull the toxins from outside of the cells and we try to flush them out, they’re not flush because the patient is constipated, the toxins are just going to be recirculated back into the tissues. If the patient has diarrhea or consistently loose stools and we try to detox, it’s just going to exacerbate that the patient’s going to be depleted. A lot of our patients, both mine and Dr. McCanns have consistent urinary tract infections. It happens a lot with women post menopause, or hormonal issues. So if we have constant UTIs, if we have interstitial cystitis and that part of our system is inflamed, then if we send toxins through the bladder, it’s not going to work very well.

(00:15:32):
We’re going to inflame that system further. MCAS, which Dr. McCann has been so great about advocating for our patients for, so you all know what that is. Now, when that is flared, again, we’re going to, the patients are going to have a reaction to the herbs and the medications we often use to detox. So when MCAS is in a flare, this isn’t the appropriate time to detox either. If someone has high blood pressure or low blood pressure, we can exacerbate those with detox as well. Headaches, again, for obvious reasons, if we’re recirculating toxins and you already have a propensity to headaches, it’s just going to flare that system more. Hormonal imbalances, we need to fix those first. And insomnia, this is a big one because our glymphatic system, that’s our detoxification system of our brain that’s most active when we sleep. So if insomnia is a problem, and I know it is for most of my patients and for Dr. McCann’s patients as well, we need to work on that before we begin a deep cellular detox.

(00:16:48):
So a little bit more on the factors that affect our efficiency of detox. So I talked a little bit about the genes and the genetic expression, but when we have more environmental toxins, it’s actually going to cause those genes to express more. So we’re really looking at the genes at the same time as the toxins to help us understand your genetic propensity. Now, the emotional state, this is a big one. A lot of our patients have experienced trauma, the trauma of being sick, the trauma of not being believed by doctors, the trauma of isolation when you’re sick. A lot of our patients have had adverse childhood events or even current traumas. We know that these things contribute to autoimmune conditions. They set the stage for other downstream illnesses. So it’s important that we work with the trauma piece, with the emotional piece, and Dr. McCann and I both really, really care for our patients as individuals. And so we’re really with you in your humanity as you’re going through this. And I think that having a doctor who listens to you, who takes you seriously, who understands you, is a big part of your healing. So we both strive for that as well.

(00:18:16):
Now, we can have a lot of environmental toxins, of course, that is actually going to affect our ability to detox. The higher the load, the more difficult it’s going to be to detox. We have to make that go – the detox process — go slower. I tell my patients, you’ve had these toxins. You’ve been accumulating these toxins for, say they’re 52 years old, right? For 52 years. So you’ve got this burden that’s really, really high. If I start to mobilize those toxins quickly, your body won’t be able to handle that very well. So we start slow. But here are areas where toxin load comes from, so it can come from within us, from our own normal metabolic processes. Some people due to constipation might not be excreting normal metabolic toxins optimally. We can also get toxins from bugs. So for mold, as you all know, probably we can get mycotoxins. We can get biotoxins from other infections. Those can accumulate in our system and exotoxins, these are toxins that come from the outside. So things like glyphosate, heavy metals, mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminum, for example, EMFs, even. The structural integrity piece. So I spoke a lot about this earlier. If you have more questions about that, you can ask us in the Q&A. But this is a big one, of course, for our patient population.

(00:19:57):
So this is a list for things that you can take to have your doctor do for you prior to putting you on a detox protocol. And there’s a list on the other side of the slide for you to do on your own. Now, it’s really important that your doctor takes a clear history. So your doctor, like Dr. McCann and I do, we spend a lot of time with you and we really get to know you thoroughly, getting to know you, the human being, getting to know your exposures and doing a lot of labs so that we can make the appropriate diagnosis. Because when it’s complex chronic illness, it’s never just one diagnosis. It’s never just one bug or one toxin, but it’s multiple root causes. And so we’re casting a wide net to understand what your root causes are and how they affect you. Once we’ve made the appropriate diagnoses, then we can begin the appropriate treatments.

(00:20:56):
And then of course, you’re going to want your doctor to evaluate and balance each of the systems that I talked about earlier, the structural integrity, hormonal balancing, the gut, the genito-urinary system. All of this needs to be taken into deep, deep consideration by your doctor. And then there are things here for you to do. Eat an organic diet, using a good air filter, using a good water filter, hydration, moving your body regularly, but not pushing it. A lot of our patients, they can’t push themselves like maybe they once were able to, because it’s going to cause them to have a relapse in their symptoms. So really just doing what you can in that moment.

(00:21:48):
And of course, the emotional and trauma work. So here are some basics on cleaning up the diet. I’ll save this for the Q&A. And about detoxing the home, we can save that for Q&A as well. I think that could be a good conversation for us to have in Q&A. Right? Moving the bowels. If people have issues with constipation or diarrhea, we want to make sure again, the bowels are not moving too much before we detox or they’re not constipated. We can save more for this on Q&A if you’re interested. These are common GI issues that will cause a patient to have either loose stools or constipation. Believe it or not, having a high parasite load often correlates with constipation. And so sometimes I have to treat people’s parasites prior to detox. It’s very often I’m trying to treat all of the gut before I begin deep detox for my patients.

(00:22:50):
Now, sometimes we can keep trying to treat SIBO, for example, and that SIBO just keeps coming back. That to me is a hint that they have environmental toxin in the mucosa of the gut. I wish there was a test for me to actually know that that’s true, but if I’m treating SIBO and it just, it’s not working, that’s going to be a reason for me to start detoxing slowly, gently, and hopefully then the SIBO will start to resolve once we’ve done that. So this is not cut and dry. It’s not black and white. It’s different for each patient, and it’s very much a dance with each patient. And this slide is more about moving your body. We can talk more about that if you like in Q&A. And the importance of emotional and mental healing. Like I said before, we know that you have a lot of trauma due to being sick, and when that trauma is unresolved, it’s just going to contribute more to being sick. So it is just key. I can’t stress this enough, and the mindset of healing, that’s really, really important. A lot of patients, it’s just so hard to even find a positive mindset because it’s hard to be so sick. So Dr. McCann and I will work with you very gently to come into another mindset, because I know this, our mindset does reflect into what happens to us in the physical form. So bringing those things together with compassion, with love, gentleness and strength, that’s very important.

(00:24:41):
And then this slide here is about the power of advanced testing. So when we cast a wide net and we can test for all of these things on this slide, then we can understand where you’re at prior to beginning a detox protocol. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining me for my presentation, and now we can open up to Q&A.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:25:06):
That was wonderful. Thank you. You really encapsulated all of the major points for people, so that’s fantastic. Thank you. Okay, lots to dig into here. We’ll go through some of the questions, and I’m sure we can elaborate and talk some more. So I’ll just read you the question and then let you give your answer. Maybe I’ll have a few comments too. So if someone sees you, can they expect to receive Pre-Tox and detox suggestions after the first visit, or is it usually split up between a first and second session covering Pre-Tox and then a second session being detox?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:25:52):
Okay, if you’re somebody who isn’t sick, we can do this quickly, but usually people who enter both my practice and Dr. McCann’s practice have a lot of complexity going on. So Pre-Tox can last months. Some people who are highly, highly sensitive, it can last a year. So it depends on the patient. In our first intake, we’re really assessing you, we’re understanding who you are, and in that first intake, we’re deciding which labs we need to do in order to make our appropriate diagnoses. Then in the second intake, that’s when we’re going to understand, well, when the labs are back, we’re going to understand how much Pre-Tox do we need to do, and then how much detox do we need to do. So it’s different for each individual, but if you are highly sensitive and you do have these mysterious diagnoses, the ones we’ve talked about in the beginning, chronic fatigue syndrome, long covid, Lyme disease, chances are Pre-Tox will take some time and so will detox.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:26:56):
Yeah, I don’t think about it as this finite thing. I think it helps to really think about approaching your health from a global standpoint, and we’re looking for root causes. That’s where we’re doing all the diagnostic work, and then we’re looking to figure out what are the few things that we can start right away to help you feel better. We’re not going to wait ages and ages to start things. We’re going to try and calm down the mast cells if that’s going on, or treat your thyroid if you’re hypothyroid, things like that to help start the ball rolling so that you’re feeling better and hopefully able to start doing more detox. I talk about things like avoidance, which is really important when you’re trying to detox because you’ve got to do all the avoidance stuff too. So it’s that clean water, clean air, clean food kind of idea, putting people on an organic diet, cleaning up the diet, helping with the gut, all of those sorts of things. So I don’t really think about it as Pre-Tox and now we’re ready for detox. It’s all combined together.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:28:14):
It really is. It really is.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:28:17):
Okay, when are different bodyworks appropriate to introduce in, which popular massages or other exercises are often started too soon or should not be done with a detox protocol? What are you a fan of and what are you not a fan of?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:28:36):
Okay, so again, it all boils down to the individual. Some patients who have a very high toxin load, they do poorly with massage. I once had a patient who, she had a Maya Abdominal Massage. After that massage, she became ill for months and months and well, I checked her toxin load, her toxins were through the roof. So what I think is that massage released toxins that were stored in the visceral fats and in the omentum. So some people, massage is great. Some people need cranial sacral therapy to work more on the energetic systems, to work on the fascia. So it really depends on the patient and their needs.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:29:27):
Yes, I also really like fascial counterstrain. For people on the original mast cell summit, mastering — no, many manifestations of mast cell activation. I did interview Kelly Barnes, who is a physical therapist who does fascial counterstrain. You can learn more counterstrain.org, and it’s a very gentle form of craniosacral therapy that’s exceptionally good for patients who are very sensitive, patients who have EDS. So that is one therapy, but sometimes we have to start with a variety of other things. Again, it’s so personalized. It’s really hard to say, oh, this is the one thing that’s going to be great for everyone. Some people don’t like massage. Some people don’t like touch. Lymphatic massage may be fantastic for some people and it could just push them over the edge, somebody else over the edge. And that’s part of working with a practitioner who understands the subtleties of these different modalities and is able to tap into their own intuition to say, I think check out these couple of things so you can really continue to move forward. Okay. Can compression in the neck at C5 vertebrae cause nervous system agitation with major recurrence of anxiety and insomnia in someone with MCAS? And if so, how to calm things back down?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:31:12):
I would say it absolutely can. Compression in the neck can cause inflammation and agitation to the vagus nerve and really all of the other structures, the surrounding structures, and that can definitely lead to anxiety because you can have inflammation very easily crossing the blood-brain barrier, think of how close that is. Also anxiety because you’re now in pain that’s going to cause you anxiety for sure. And yes, I think it can flare mast cells definitely because when you have mast cell activations and your mast cells are on a hair trigger anyway, so pain and structure integrity issues are definitely going to flare the mast cells. And so I’ll put my patients on, excuse me, I’ll put my patients on a mast cell protocol personalized to them, and I’m also going to have talented body workers and healers work on the structural integrity.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:32:21):
Yes, I agree. And anywhere along the neck is going to contribute to those things. Depending upon how much anxiety is there or how much insomnia is there might shift how we proceed. So getting the appropriate neurological referrals if necessary, and body workers who know what they’re doing. And then we have so many different tools that are great for anxiety, great for insomnia, great for MCAS, and so working through those different options for people to help manage the symptoms while we’re working on the structural piece is super important as well. And which ones we choose really depends on the individual person. I love oxytocin, for example, becoming a huge fan of oxytocin, it’s great for anxiety, helps a little bit with insomnia, may not be great for pain, but then we could use LDN, and that might be something that would be really helpful. So there’s a lot of options that are good for a variety of different things. [Next Question.] I have horrible methylation genetic SNPs, unfortunately. Are B vitamins methylated or not? Are beets enough — the food beets — or are there more bases to cover?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:33:56):
So a lot of people who have a lot of SNPs in their detoxification pathways, including methylation, when they’re given the end products of methylation, meaning methylated B vitamins or glutathione for example, it backfires. It’s like pushing that system too fast. Now, the methylation cycle, think of it as — it is a cycle. It’s connected to the COMT cycle on there. So if we give too many end products of methylation in a system that is not optimal, what happens? It kicks that system into high gear, which then kicks the wheel of the COMT cycle into high gear, and that cycle produces your adrenaline. So it can make people feel angry, agitated, irritated, and it can also, at the same time as we’re kicking the methylation to high gear, it can send too many toxins out too quickly. So we can do a panel which looks at what the biochemistry of your methylation looks like, so we can see if your glutathione is oxidized, we’ll know if you’re under oxidative stress, we’ll look at your folate derivatives. We’ll get an idea of what is going on biochemically with you as it relates to methylation. A lot of times patients with a lot of SNPs like this, they need co-factor support first — minerals, amino acids, and then we could go on to the non methylated B vitamins and typically not glutathione or not phosphatidylcholine because those are the things that are going to engage in cellular detox like I was talking about earlier. So we have to set the stage for you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:46):
The other thing that I would encourage you to consider is a reframe. You don’t have horrible methylation genetics, right? Everyone is unique and beautiful exactly how they are, and we’re just given the opportunity to learn how to do things a little bit different from the norm, which is actually a beautiful thing because you can be unique. I have a homozygous MTHFR 6C77T gene variant. I’ve got two of those and two COMT, but it’s not the end of the world. It just gives you the opportunity to navigate the world in a different way. And I think this goes back to the whole emotional piece that’s really important for all of us to understand that we’re here on this planet to grow and to learn, and to have the opportunity to express ourselves as fully and completely as we are. And sometimes illness doesn’t have to be this terrible thing that we have to push away from and reject our bodies. We really want to come into a place of loving compassion for ourselves.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:37:09):
How beautifully said, Kelly. Absolutely. I agree with you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:37:13):
Thank you.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:37:14):
Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:37:16):
Okay. Next, what is your opinion of frequency devices, microcurrent, PEMF, bemer, rife and others in conjunction with natural foods, herbs — or in lieu of?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:37:31):
Well, frequency specific microcurrent is typically the one that I’ll use early on in treatment. It’s very gentle and it works very well with hands-on body work. Now, I’ve seen patients on a bemer or the PEMF machine, I’ve seen it do bad things because the patient isn’t ready for that level of frequency. So sometimes those can be great depending on the right person at the right time. As for rife machines, I’ve seen them be very helpful with people.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:10):
Yes, and same thing with rife. You can get a lot of detox and Herxheimer reactions. I had one patient who had mycoplasma pneumonia, and we were just struggling. IgM positive for years. We did all of the herbs, we tried the antibiotics, and finally I was like, okay, you got to go see my rife guy. And unfortunately it just blew her out of the water, so we had to back off and start again. These things happen, and yet I’ve seen rife clear covid like that. So it can be super helpful for a variety.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:38:47):
It all boils down to who you are and what treatment you’re approaching and at what time of your life.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:57):
What I’ve learned over the past few years with patients with complex chronic illnesses, the more that I can empower each individual and all of our listeners out there, the more that you can feel empowered yourself to really tap into your own intuition. Again, this idea that somebody out there has the answers is not really true. You may need somebody to tell you about something that you don’t know about, but then you can go inside of yourself and decide, does this feel right to me? Is this something that I really feel that could be of service to me? So I teach my patients muscle testing, and I think that this is part of the healing journey to reestablish that trust and faith that your body is not against you and you can learn to trust your intuition again. In fact, that is critically important for your healing.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:39:58):
I tell my patients the same thing. There’s a silver lining to this. All of this that you’re experiencing, it’s allowing you to tap deeper into yourself to really become your own master, your own healer, because ultimately you are. I’m here to guide you, but you’re tapping into your own clairvoyance, your own intuition to learn to trust yourself again. It’s really a huge part.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:40:28):
Yes. Okay. Going back to more concrete things like poop! Alright, if the bowels are not moving, pooping every week or so, would having lots of fiber powder or fiber rich foods and lots of water be safe?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:40:47):
Well, sometimes a lot of fiber rich foods can even gum you up a little bit more, so you don’t want to do too much of that. But yes, you do want to have fiber, you do want to have proper hydration, and there could be, your nervous system could be agitated, you might have parasites going on, you might need some magnesium. There could be so many reasons as to why this is happening. I think that increasing your fiber intake, but not overdoing it, increasing your water intake, making sure you’re having at least 8 to 10 cups of water per day. If that’s not helping you, then there’s something else deeper that you want your doctor to evaluate.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:33):
Yes, absolutely. Okay. How do you remove candida and should it be done after all the mold toxins are removed?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:41:44):
So when I’m removing toxins — it’s usually not just mold toxins, by the way, I know the same thing is with Kelly — we’re removing toxins and then typically we do go to infection treatment after we’ve begun to treat the toxins. So how do we remove candida? Depends on the person. Some people do — I think you’re talking about candida of the gut probably. So some people do better with Nystatin than they do with herbs. Some people do better with herbs. So it really depends on the patient.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:42:27):
And I do find now what I’m doing with mold patients, people who have been mold exposed and have mycotoxins and I’m suspicious of a colonization, they usually do have candida overgrowth. And so oftentimes we’ll start with treating yeast candida in the gut with herbs and/or Nystatin, and then I’m escalating up to more potent antifungals as they’re tolerating it.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:42:56):
Yes, me too.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:42:57):
Eventually getting to the antifungals that will actually treat the mold colonization. So I’m sure we do that similarly. Yeah. Okay. I have tested extremely high at the hundredth percentile for most environmental pollutants on the GLP Tox. If I’m drinking and pooping well two to three times a day, I can move forward with — oh, can I move forward with herbs that work on the liver and other pathways safely? Or if my gut is leaky and my brain barrier is leaky, can those chemicals somehow enter my brain or other organs?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:43:36):
Some chemicals can, yes. And those chemicals, the chemicals bioaccumulate in the cells of the fat, metals bioaccumulate in the cells of the organs, and it’s true that chemicals and the inflammation they create can cross the blood-brain barrier. So we have to make sure that you are ready for that. Kelly, the question was about adequate pooping and adequate hydration, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:44:06):
Right. So they’re drinking and pooping two to three times a day, which is very, very adequate. That’s fantastic. So I think in terms of clearing out the organs of detoxification, at least having normal bowel movements, it sounds like that person would be ready.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:44:24):
I would think so. It depends. Now, we might give you something and you might just hate it or we might give you that same thing and you might love it. We just don’t know how the patient is going to respond. When, if you have mast cells flaring, then you’re not going to like it. So it really depends on the individual. You might be ready for it. Some people give them those herbs and they say, oh, I just love that. It really depends on you, your responses.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:44:54):
The other thing that I would say is remember that a urine — the GPL Tox, which is no longer available right now, is an excretion test. So it’s actually showing us what you’re dumping, which is fantastic. So what we don’t want to see, and part of the whole purpose for talking about Pre-Tox is if we know that somebody has had numerous environmental toxicant exposures and they’re not pooping and they’re not excreting, that’s a big problem. And that’s where all this Pre-Tox really comes into play. So for somebody who has high levels, yes, it’s important to get those out, but you’re already detoxing them. Your kidneys are working and dumping them as fast as you can. So in those instances, we really want to look at avoidance. So what are these things that are in your life? Are there hobbies [where you are being exposed to toxicants]? Are there exposures that you can clean up to reduce the ongoing burden and then start to detox slowly? So good luck with that. Okay. Next we can talk about your favorite stuff. Peptides! Can peptides like BPC 157 be used to help with the Pre-Tox stage, or is Pre-Tox needed before starting peptides for things like GI issues and SIBO?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:46:25):
Okay. I really do like to use BPC 157. I’ve noticed in very highly sensitive patients, it’s not the first thing that I’m going to want to use. BPC 157 also can wire some people. So I tell my patients, don’t take it after 2:00 PM. It might keep you up at night. There are other peptides I do use to help calm the immune system. First I might use TB4 first, TB4 calms the immune response, KPV calms mast cells, amlexanox also calms mast cells. So I might, depending on the patient, use those before I use BPC. Now, if the patient isn’t highly sensitive, but they have a lot of GI inflammation, I might give them BPC 157 or also larazotide. That’s another peptide that helps with leaky gut. So again, it really depends on the patient. Some people are so sensitive they just need a toothpick dip and they’re going to feel that. So it depends on you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:47:30):
Okay. The next question says, I have MCAS, Lyme, Mold, MTHFR gene and COMT and other SNPs. I’m sure I have parasites. How do you test for parasites? Do you use a stool test like Gut Zoomer?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:47:47):
Okay, so within two hours of pooping parasites send out an enzyme that make themselves disintegrate. So then we can’t find them on PCR tests, at least not very well. How are we going to get a stool sample to the lab and analyze within two hours? That’s not possible. But I like the Parasitology Center test. They have somebody there, and I tell my patients this, I don’t envy their job, but they’re looking through that poop manually with their equipment and they’re looking for the nematodes. Those are the eggs of the parasites. Those eggs don’t disintegrate within two hours. So if we find the eggs, then we know that the parasites are there. And I would say that I find that very, very often in my patient population. So I like that lab.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:48:38):
And it’s inexpensive and patients can order it directly themselves. So it’s parasitetesting.com. Do you just use the comprehensive stool test, I think?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:48:49):
Yeah, I think it’s called the Complete —

Kelly McCann, MD (00:48:51):
Yeah, $176. Hey, it’s a bargain.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:48:55):
It’s, it really is. And then I like to pair it with Biome FX or GI Map in order to take a good look at the beneficial bacteria in their gut and the inflammatory markers and look at those two tests together.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:49:10):
Yes, I do find that the functional tests, like the ones that you mentioned or Doctor’s Data or Genova, although they’re excellent tests for other things, they’re not great for parasites. So it’s very unusual to find parasites there. Now another alternative is to do empiric treatment. So if patients are not exquisitely sensitive or they muscle test well for certain anti-parasitics, I will often use the pharmaceuticals because there’s less things in them, like parasitic herbs are usually chockfull of so many things. I call them kitchen sink supplements. They’ve got everything in them and they’re really tough for mast cell patients. But we’ll do a course of ivermectin, we might do a course of nitazoxanide, or Alinia, and see how people do with that. And then a couple other antiparasitics that are more readily available would be albendazole or praziquantel, and you just kind walk through those and see when you have resolution of your symptoms. Now there are certainly other anti-parasitics, but that gives people an idea.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:50:29):
Yes, I’ve got the same way of doing it as well. So a lot of the patients are sensitive to the kitchen sink herbs, and then you probably do, too. But I have a lot of patients say, I don’t want the pharmaceuticals. I’d rather have the herbs, but I actually, I have to tell them, you know what, those pharmaceuticals, those anti-parasitics are easier on your body than the herbs.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:50:53):
Yes, I agree. Okay. What types of labs do you run for environmental toxins, and what are the things that you’re seeing commonly in the screening?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:51:08):
Okay, so lately I’ve been doing the IGL 24 substances lab. That’s a German test. And it does look for, it looks for fungal metabolites. It looks for many, many different solvents and pesticides, chemicals. I use that one. Now, even though Great Plains doesn’t exist anymore, Mosaic Labs, I saw them at ILADS and they told me that they’re going to be bringing that panel back. So it still hasn’t come back. But I’m very happy with the IGL test.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:51:46):
And the IGL test is not one that is commonly available. You have to have a really highly skilled functional practitioner who has access to that test. Not everybody has access to that test. It’s a German lab and it’s not a screening test. It is really looking at what we call DNA adducts, meaning these are the toxicants that are sitting on your DNA. And not only do we figure out what toxicants are sitting there, we know exactly what SNP it’s sitting on. So what is the DNA that’s being affected. And it can also look at glutathione levels, phosphatidylcholine levels, phosphatidylethanolamine levels. It does have a leaky gut component to it too, as well as looking for these different toxicants and then how functioning your mitochondria are. So it’s a fantastic test if you have a practitioner who can order that test for you.

(00:53:00):
There is another lab that does — so Vibrant, does some environmental toxicant testing. I’m not sure about how valid they are, but they are available and many practitioners order those tests. There are a couple of other companies, like Real Time Labs does do a glyphosate panel, although in the dozen some odd patients I’ve ordered it on, I have not yet seen an elevated level. Whereas with Great Plains, we found glyphosate levels much higher. Although I was told by the lab that it’s the same technology, I haven’t really seen that come to pass. So there are some other options out there. Real time also has an environmental toxicant panel that’s run through another lab whose name is escaping me right now. So there are a couple company — oh, Biotech, US Biotech. So there are a couple, but there are not that many right now. The other possibility would be a heavy metal test, and I don’t know about you, Nafysa, I do blood, whole blood levels, whole blood mercury levels, and then I personally use Doctor’s Data to do my pre and post provocation chelation test to look at metals.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:54:33):
Me too.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:54:34):
Okay. Let’s see. How do, well, we kind of already answered this. How do either of you use peptides in the Pre-Tox or detox protocols since recent bans on being able to get them compounded?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:54:51):
Okay. So yes, I do use them and I’m able to, yes, we use them and Integrative Peptides is a great source for the oral and the sprays. Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:55:11):
This question feels incomplete. Detox protocol for high mercury load.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:55:19):
That’s a loaded question. Yeah, I’m going to defer right now because that is something that we do every day in our practice. I mean, I do, I’m sure you do, Kelly, we’ve talked about this. Yes, we detox our patients, but this is, there’s a lot to this. You know what, we should give another webinar on heavy metals in the future, Kelly. Let’s do that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:55:46):
Sounds like a good plan.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:55:48):
Yeah, we’ll do that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:55:50):
Okay. So stay tuned for that. What I would also say is, particularly for sensitive people, I don’t personally, I don’t touch metals until people are 60, 70% better because it’s just so hard on the body. And what you could do in the meantime is make sure that you don’t have any amalgams in your mouth, that you don’t have any other exposures. Limit your fish intake. Be careful with light bulbs. If it’s a fluorescent light bulb and it gets shattered, there’s mercury in there. You have to be careful with that. There are some mercury in tattoos. So lots of things that you can do in terms of avoidance in preparation for our next talk. Okay. What are the things that are most overlooked with those who have Ehlers Danlose Syndrome?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:56:50):
I would say that MAs cell activation syndrome is most overlooked in this population. Craniocervical instability also is most overlooked. I know that EDS is exacerbated by the chemicals from MAS, especially when they’re in constant flow and that the cranial cervical instability is typically a factor in these patients. So we want to look at ways by which we can help the patients with their CCI [craniocervical instability]. Often, I might use BPC 157 cream or GHKCU peptides to help stabilize the neck first. Sometimes wearing a neck brace for moments when you’re going to be on a bumpy car ride can really help. Traction with an over the door traction device can help with CCI. If it’s severe, then people need surgery for that. But we try to avoid that as much as possible. The surgeon himself tries to avoid that if it’s unnecessary. And then MCAS, you guys know all about that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:58:04):
I’ll add to that. Dysautonomia is of course, and perhaps getting the diagnosis of EDS is probably the most overlooked thing. Yeah, that’s probably — And so it was my intention and my hope with the summits to really educate practitioners to think about EDS in our mast cell patients, in our mold patients, because we recognize that there’s a relationship between these conditions.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:58:40):
Very common in our patient population.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:58:45):
How can you possibly treat MCAS and regulate nervous? Oh, yeah. Regulate nervous system prior to detox. When this is coming from the root cause and the person reacts to any supplements to treat this, even reacts to limbic retraining. Isn’t this a catch 22?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:59:04):
It’s absolutely a catch 22, but I don’t know if you recall me saying earlier, it’s, it’s like I’m putting compact soil into your garden before I start to pull out the nasty roots, right? Those nasty roots are all of the triggers. So what we’re doing is we’re setting the stage, creating a new homeostasis as much as we can. It is absolutely bandaid medicine to begin with until we remove the triggers. But we need those bandaids to prevent you from bleeding out, so to speak. So once we remove the triggers, then your new baseline is going to be established. Pre-Tox is not establishing your new baseline. It’s not going to resolve the issues. It’s stabilizing the issues and creating a safe homeostasis. And when somebody is in a place where nothing works, absolutely nothing works. Oh, we just honor that person and slow it down. Really, really slow it down.

(01:00:07):
And often we have to enter through what we call the back door, right? We can’t come barging in the front door with treatments. And entering through the back door really means working with your emotions, working at the energetic level with you, the soft, gentle, gentle ways because that’s what you need at this point. And then we can start to give you medicines. Usually with these patients, it’s like I said earlier, a toothpick dip. That’s it. Some patients do well with, they can feel that toothpick dip. You give them two toothpick dips of the medicine and it backfires. So it’s really finding out where you are at and what does work for you. And it’s different for each person.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:55):
And if limbic system retraining is too much, and it certainly is for some people, there absolutely are ways to calm the nervous system that you can do. Like Beth O’Hara talks about when she was super sick, all she could do was go lay on a blanket in a grassy area with her Lyme protective thing under the blanket to prevent from ticks. But she would just lie under a tree and ground herself, spending time in nature. So there absolutely are things that we can do, listen to beautiful music, that will help you reconnect and calm that nervous system down.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:01:42):
Absolutely.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:01:44):
Okay. I think we already answered this, but do either of you employ muscle testing, applied kinesiology or autonomic response testing [ART]?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:01:54):
I used to do ART back in the day. I don’t so much anymore, but I work a lot with my patients and their intuition. And if a patient wants me to do muscle testing, I’ll absolutely do that. I think Dr. McCann, I think you do it more than I do.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:02:10):
I do. I do it a lot actually. And I teach my patients how to muscle test themselves because I don’t want them to be reliant on me or anybody else. And I want them to grow that intuition, grow that connection with their intuition, and it’s really fun. It’s so exciting to see the empowerment as people feel more and more confident in their muscle testing. Okay, how can you even start Pre-Tox when you have an immune system that’s in dysregulation? It gets activated and never resolves. And the inflammation is always present. Heavy mold, I’m sorry, heavy metals, mold, viral, tickborne overloads, as well as TBI and three autoimmune.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:03:00):
Those are all the triggers. Now, the autoimmune, the autoimmune issues are downstream illnesses, secondary illnesses, including the mast cell. That’s also secondary downstream illness that started from the TBI and from the mold. And starting with immune dysregulation is really, really important actually. Just like with the nervous system, it’s very often I’m beginning with MCAS even before I can do anything else. So it all depends on the patient. Some patients, actually, they need their hormones balanced before I can do any immune dysregulation treatment. Some people, that needs to come first. So we know when we’re talking to you because we’re also using our intuition as we’re working with you. And we’ve got to find the best way to each patient. Each patient has a different key different door, and we’re using our own intuition to understand where to enter your system first.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:04:05):
Exactly. So I’m sure we do this very similarly. We’re looking at your history. Say a patient comes in, the one that we’re describing who’s asking the question, we’re looking at your history, doing a physical, looking at all of the testing and all of the things that you’ve done before you walk through the room. And asking, okay, how did this work for you? How did this work for you? And it’s going through all those little details to figure out what are the things that haven’t been tried that can be tried, and then dialing in there. Nobody is hopeless. Nobody is in the point where, oh, there’s just nothing. Everyone has a key that we can access. We just need to find it. And usually there’s more than one key. It’s not just one thing. We’re not looking for a needle in a haystack. We’re looking for several ways in. And once you get in the door and we start to make some progress, then we can open the door for more and more things that can be layered in to help people get better.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:05:21):
So beautifully said. It’s absolutely true. That.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:27):
Okay, what are the rules of thumb for hydration and mineral consumption that the doctors recommend?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:05:33):
Okay, I have to go in a couple minutes. I’m going to make this the last. I know we’re almost out of time.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:39):
Darn.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:05:41):
So for hydration, I actually, I really like using, of course, filtered water, but can’t believe it just escaped me. Structured water, a structured water device that is very healing for the body when we’re using both structured and filtered water. So it’s called the Aqua Energizer. That’s the one I like for structuring our water. And usually we tell our patients to drink 8 to 10 cups of water a day. Depending on your size. When you’re drinking structured water, it hydrates you even more. So you don’t even have to drink as much, as a little bit less is fine. Appropriate mineralization is very, very important as it comes to detoxification. So I’ll look at my patient’s mineral status in order to determine how much I want to give them. I don’t want them to [have] too much either.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:06:39):
And of course, electrolytes are also really important, particularly for patients with autonomic nervous system issues, they may need a lot more salt and electrolytes. So we’re looking at all of those things. Oh my goodness. Nafysa, thank you so much. I wish we had more time.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:06:59):
Me too. I really enjoyed this. Thank you so much for having me.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:03):
And I know we didn’t get to everyone’s questions. I’m not quite sure what we’ll do about that, but we will hold onto them and maybe I’ll try again at some point to answer some of these questions. We’ll definitely talk about having Dr. Parpia back so that we can dive in deeper into detox and look at metals. Thank you so much.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:07:25):
Thank you so much.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:27):
Alright. Goodbye everyone. As Sarah said at the beginning, we will get the replay up to you as soon as we can and we’ll see you next time. Thank you so much.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:07:39):
Thank you. Bye.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:41):
Bye.


Healthy Home & Body: A Masterclass with Dr. Kelly & Brian Johnson

Healthy Home & Body: A Masterclass with Dr. Kelly & Brian Johnson

I’m a doctor, not a building biologist!

In all seriousness, it takes a team approach when it comes to your health, and having someone on your team to assess and help you create a healthy home is imperative. I’ve spoken to a few mold inspectors and building biologists before, but for the first time I got to have an amazing conversation with “healthy home builder” Brian Johnson from Senergy 360.

Brian shared a wealth of information, but in the world of healthy homes, our talk barely scratched the surface.

In our chat and Q&A Brian talked about:

    • Healthy home experts, from inspectors to consultants to builders
    • Some of the chemicals that healthy home builders steer clear of
    • Some of the simple, pre-remediation ways to deal with a space that has mold
  • Crawlspaces and how to keep them clean and healthy
  • HEPA, vacuums, water filters, air filters, HVAC systems, etc.
  • The 4 types of EMFs and some tips to protect yourself
  • And the book that you need if you’re thinking about remodeling or building a healthy home!

There were so many amazing questions and several people who participated had a lot to share in the chat! So we decided to include not only the replay and the transcript, but also the chat, so you can check out the websites and products that were shared from the community!

Check out Brian’s website and be sure to take him up on the free consultation at http://senergy360.com/.


Chat Transcript

00:06:14 Sarah: Welcome everyone! Feel free to say hi in the chat and let us know where you are. If you have questions for Dr. Kelly or Brian, please enter those into the Q&A (at the bottom of your Zoom screen)

00:06:49 Sarah: We will send out a replay with transcript to everyone who registered!

00:07:17 Jennifer L.: hello from snowy Toronto.

00:09:19 Phillip Weaver: what is estimated turnaround time to get a reply from Brian’s website after contacting him?

00:22:58 Leyna Bautista: I love Banta! he’s great

00:24:23 Jennifer L.: Missed the name of Brian’s book.

00:25:04 Leyna Bautista: https://restconenvironmental.com/about-us/new-edition-prescriptions-for-a-healthy-house/

00:25:13 Leyna Bautista: @ jennifer

00:25:31 Leyna Bautista: https://buildingbiologyinstitute.org/

00:25:48 Leyna Bautista: https://buildingbiologyinstitute.org/find-an-expert/

00:27:12 Jennifer L.: Thanks Leyna!

00:27:51 Leyna Bautista: welcome!  I’ll post one other resource of John’s

00:28:12 Leyna Bautista: https://www.johncbanta.com/

00:28:40 Leyna Bautista: wealth of info!!!!!!!  I contributed 25$ to get access to a whole bunch of awesome articles but not sure if in book, could email to ask

00:31:50 Sarah: Leyna, glad you’re here today! Thanks for sharing those resources!

00:33:01 Leyna Bautista: https://iseai.org/education/ – another resource to look for inspectors / education – love this group

00:33:41 Leyna Bautista: https://emeiglobal.com/podcasts/

00:35:01 Leyna Bautista: Thanks Sarah!  These resources are excellent and reputable

00:40:13 Leyna Bautista: Info on lead – can off dust into the dust In your home from even your pyrex or be in your salt = https://tamararubin.com/

https://shopleadsafemama.com/

https://www.youtube.com/@LeadSafeMama

00:44:08 Leyna Bautista: Yes – no limits for VOC’s in residential buildings

00:48:04 Leyna Bautista: I shut the electricy off at night to all except fridge etc, I have a battery pack to charge phone if needed when electricity off, and can use the light from the phone if need to get up at night

00:48:36 Kourafas, Alexis: Is there anything you can put in your room to block or filter out some of these electrical currents/EMFs if you’re sleeping in the room where the electrical box sits? (i.e. something to put over the box)

00:49:18 Michael: Incredible haha!

00:49:37 Lynnea Wright: is # 3 RF?

00:50:40 Lynnea Wright: “Smart Meters” = RFs?

00:52:37 Leyna Bautista: recommended by Schrantz (from ISEAI) – https://www.emfanalysis.com/about/

00:53:32 Leyna Bautista: Jeromy Johnson’s website

00:53:41 Lynnea Wright: Hooray for Analog!

00:54:06 Sarah: @Lynnea, I’ve read that many or most smart meters contain RF transmitters, giving off some RF radiation

00:55:02 Lynnea Wright: Thank you, Sarah.

00:55:22 Lynnea Wright: Thought so.☺️

00:56:23 Lynnea Wright: Is an apartment complex a “commercial building”?

00:56:57 Leyna Bautista: residential  – no voc limit

00:58:50 Leyna Bautista: Will questions from the chat be answered?

00:59:29 Sarah: If you want Dr. Kelly and Brian to address a question, best to put it in the Q&A (at the bottom of your zoom screen)

00:59:54 Jennifer L.: Live in a condo which provides internet service . 16 months ago, they upgraded to a very fast wireless system.  I can’t tolerate wireless.  It took me 14 months and over 50 hours talking to a dozen “tech experts” at the provider to finally find a manager who said “sure, we can install the new modem with ethernet cables so you’re not wireless”.  Never give up!

01:02:23 Jennifer L.: what meter did Dr. Kelly mention?

01:02:53 Leyna Bautista: Yes ! list to make sure that we assess 🙂

01:02:56 Leyna Bautista: Thanks!!

01:04:37 Leyna Bautista: Need to look beyond the building – I’ll post some links

01:04:51 Sarah: @Jennifer, I heard it but it went out the other ear. Anyone else hear the name of the meter Dr. Kelly mentioned?

01:04:57 Leyna Bautista: https://www.homefacts.com/

01:05:16 Leyna Bautista: helpful thank you!

01:05:40 Leyna Bautista: https://projects.propublica.org/toxmap/

01:06:19 Jennifer L.: Sarah, I think it was somethingwave

01:06:58 Leyna Bautista: https://eia.maps.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=bf5c5110b1b944d299bb683cdbd02d2a

01:09:54 Leyna Bautista: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/search-superfund-sites-where-you-live

01:10:53 Kelly McCann: www.iseai.org

01:11:18 Zoë: Sarah – Greenwave was one that she mentioned

01:11:39 Kelly McCann: Stetzer meter or green wave for measuring dirty electriciity

01:12:08 Leyna Bautista: awesome!

01:13:51 Leyna Bautista: https://buildingbiologyinstitute.org/course/mentored-home-study-course/natural-healthy-buildings/

01:16:43 Sarah: @Jesika do you mean hypochlorous acid?

01:16:45 Leyna Bautista: https://iseai.org/resources/   includes mold info

01:19:31 Leyna Bautista: awesome readhttps://neilnathanmd.com/how-to-clean-effectively-by-john-banta-cih/

01:20:44 Leyna Bautista: “Simple Change 2.) Always Use a Properly Functioning True HEPA Vacuum Cleaner

The most important single tool for cleaning mold spores or small dust fragments from soft or porous materials such as wall-to-wall carpet, area rugs, upholstered furnishings, and pillows is a quality “High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance” (HEPA) vacuum cleaner. Regular vacuums permit mold spores and many other irritating particles to pass right through regular vacuum cleaner filters and spews them back into the indoor environment. Some unfiltered vacuum cleaners are so bad they pump out more small

particles than they collect. This is because the particles are bounced around inside the vacuum cleaner which can fracture them into smaller fragments that exhaust back into the room air. A HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner has a specially designed filter which helps remove dirt, mold spores, and even smaller fragments.”

01:26:52 Michael: I would think the real-time monitoring Jaspr has adds to the EMF output

01:26:54 Leyna Bautista: https://jaspr.co/

01:27:04 Leyna Bautista: lol

01:27:15 Leyna Bautista: 🙂

01:27:45 Leyna Bautista: https://www.iqair.com/

01:28:40 Leyna Bautista: https://austinair.com/

01:30:12 Leyna Bautista: banta says just get plain heap – avoid PCO /ozone / uv

01:30:16 Leyna Bautista: hepa

01:30:27 Leyna Bautista: Also CALCULATE COST OF FILTER CHANGES/FREQUENCY 🙂

01:30:36 Leyna Bautista: into the total purchase 🙂

01:30:55 Leyna Bautista: air doctor only has 2 lb carbon filter – if need help with VOC’s it’s useless

01:31:53 Leyna Bautista: need one that gets out nanoplastics and does not make the water worse!

01:32:38 Leyna Bautista: https://www.pureeffectfilters.com/filter-units/pure-effect-ultra-disinfect.html

01:34:21 Leyna Bautista: cool info! don’t know that pure effects structures water … Lyn Patrick likes this one above so got it for mom

01:34:44 Leyna Bautista: https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/water-filters-review/water-filters/ —-   zerowater filter added extra plastic to the water per this review

01:35:29 Leyna Bautista: https://naturalaction.com/

01:36:17 Leyna Bautista: Thank you so much!

01:36:21 Kourafas, Alexis: Amazing! thank you so much for all of this helpful information!!

01:36:22 Sheryl Moi (she/her/hers): Thanks so much

01:36:23 Michael: Thank you

01:36:25 Sarah: Thanks so much everyone! We will send out the replay — we hope next week, but our web person is moving, so we’ll get it out asap!

01:36:26 Jennifer L.: Thank you both, this was excellent!

01:36:38 Lynnea Wright: Thankyou so very much!  This is GREAT!

01:36:52 Sasha: this was awesome thank you

01:36:59 Sarah: Senergy 360

01:37:12 Leyna Bautista: https://senergy360.com/

01:38:00 Jennifer L.: any chance the unanswered questions could be briefly answered via email?

01:38:20 Jesika: Thank you so much!

01:38:25 mary: Thank you!!!

01:38:38 Michael: Would be great if those on the call all receive the answer snippets

01:38:53 Zoë: Thank you!

01:38:53 Leyna Bautista: environmental health in regards to mental health, may be more for clinicians – I like there webinars https://www.psychiatryredefined.org/environmental-health-toxicity-and-mental-health-disorders/

01:39:20 Leyna Bautista: other water filter info : Sources of information online include:

https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/water-filters-review/water-filters/

https://www.ewg.org/healthyhomeguide/water-filters/

01:39:22 Leyna Bautista: thank you!!!!!!!!!!!


Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:05):

Welcome everyone. I’m going to allow some time for people to come in and get ready, maybe grab a bottle of water, glass of water, pen and paper. I think you’re probably going to want to take notes. And Sarah’s in the background. The chat is enabled, so if people want to talk on the chat, you’re more than welcome to. What we would ask is if you have specific questions for Brian or myself, please put them in the Q&A so that we can answer these. I have a bunch of questions prepared, but it’s really open, so if you have questions, please put them in. We’ll try and get to all of them. In terms of replays, Sarah let everyone know that we will send the replay out with a transcript to anyone who’s registered. Ideally, that will be done next week. I do have my computer IT guy moving to Malaysia for a couple of months at the end of next week. So hopefully he will be able to get it all done before he leaves the country. If not, you will get the replay at some point. It just may be a little delayed. So sorry about that. I am going to give a few more minutes for people to file in and then we’ll get started. Thank you so much for being here.

Brian Johnson (00:01:45):

And there’s never not enough questions around this topic and it’s endless. So definitely write the questions down because I learn from all of you as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:00):

Absolutely. I learn from my patients all the time. That’s how we keep learning through adversity and challenges and obstacles, right?

Brian Johnson (00:02:14):

And new perspectives. Even though we specialize in what we specialize, even from our clients, we learn different new perspectives and how to ask questions differently.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:29):

Absolutely. Alright, so let’s go get started. Welcome everyone. Today I have as my guest, Brian Johnson. Brian is a builder, master construction person, biologist. How do you like to refer to yourself?

Brian Johnson (00:02:51):

Building science, contractor, builder, healthy home builder, healthy builder, healthy home builder is kind of the phrase that I’ve adopted. It makes sense. I love that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:03:03):

Yeah, that makes the most sense. That’s great. Fantastic. Okay, so we’re talking about building healthy homes, and of course, from my perspective, we can only have healthy bodies if we’re in a healthy home, healthy environment. So what does it mean to you to have a healthy home?

Brian Johnson (00:03:28):

A healthy home is, so the name of my company is Senergy 360, and Senergy means everything’s synergistic. And looking at it from a building perspective, all the materials plugged together, synergistically and 360. It’s the holistic overview of everything. It’s just not one thing. So for example, working with a professional like yourself, what are we looking for in the first place to help identify, is it from the home, is it from offices? What are these areas? So I took the approach in my background of health and performance and getting into the biohacking world, which opened me up to environmental, functional and integrative medicine, which was huge because all of that helped point me back to the direction of, well, what’s in the environment? And so within that envelope, I look at– the home should be a place of healing, not adding a toxic load back into the body.

(00:04:47):

And so for me, it’s just looking at all aspects of construction. We’re looking at the external environmental factor. Again, whether it’s office, whether it’s home, we’re exposing ourselves. And then two, identifying what’s in the home, how the home is built, and then of course our own personal health practices, eating and nutrition and those different types of things. So we’re looking at bringing everything together very in a harmonious way. It is just not all about medicine, it’s just not all about the house, it’s everything. So that’s how I look at what makes a healthy home. Of course, we’ll go further into that, but it’s the whole overview of everything, and then we dial it into the environment.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:05:39):

So it’s about the air and having healthy air. It’s about the water having healthy sources of water. It’s about avoiding chemical toxins, avoiding mold exposure, limiting EMF, all of those things.

Brian Johnson (00:05:58):

Yeah. So the first thing that I even look at is the environment. That’s the number one.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:06:04):

What do you mean by that?

Brian Johnson (00:06:06):

Everything that you just explained, where’s the water coming from? Where’s are homes located? From an electrosmog standpoint, we’re looking at the EMFs, right? We’re looking at the air quality because a lot of these things are kind of unavoidable, and these are some questions that you have coming up. So what do we do to help mitigate or reduce or protect us from that? I always look at the home as being the third layer of skin. So the first layer is our skin, and the second layer is our clothing. And then the third layer is the home. And the home is to help protect. Nature is the gold standard, and how do we mimic the nature within the home environment? But at the same time, nature can impose some pretty heavy duty environmental factors in itself too. And so the home is to protect us from the unwanted factors of what nature presents. So again, the environmental aspect is everything, the air quality, the exposures to electrosmog, different forms of EMFs, again, the water quality, and then using building materials, which that’s what opens up the realm of the exposure to toxic chemicals.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:33):

So what’s the difference between a healthy home and a green home? Because people throw that word green around a lot.

Brian Johnson (00:07:40):

Yeah, we refer to it as greenwashing. There’s a lot of good organizations out there that really started this approach early on, these different councils, and they started these programs. But it was what I found interesting. My background goes almost 25 years in the construction industry, both commercial and residential. And so it was really interesting to watch these councils and these programs. But it was interesting because early on before I understood what greenwashing was, I’m like, man, there’s kind of a flaw here because they’re looking at green just from an energy–a lot of people have heard of energy star rating, and from an energy star, energy efficiency, they’re calling that green, but they’re not even really addressing anything of the building materials and toxic building materials, or they’re really not looking at– it’s more on the commercial side. It’s starting to adopt over into the residential side, but they really, again, carbon footprint, the negative carbon footprint, like, hey, what can we to contribute to lessen the emissions? So there’s that aspect of it as well. So energy efficiency, world energy consumption on a global scale, which is huge. I mean, that’s really vital. But when it trickles down the line, especially into residential homes, they don’t look at residential as the same as commercial.

(00:09:17):

Then there’s that aspect of the disconnect of green. So what I like to refer to is non-toxic building, because if we’re building non-toxic in the residential realm, that would be green because we’re not using the chemicals, we’re not using the heavy practices and manufacturing. So by default, that would be considered green. So that’s when somebody uses the term green, it doesn’t really mean a whole lot to me because it could be energy efficiency or negative carbon footprint or different things like that. It’s not so much related to health.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:01):

That makes a lot of sense. And I think it’s important, it’s an important distinction for consumers to understand that green doesn’t mean healthy.

Brian Johnson (00:10:14):

Right. Yeah. No, it really doesn’t.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:17):

Green means hopefully sustainable, but what good is an airtight home if it’s filled with mold in other chemicals? It’s just…

Brian Johnson (00:10:26):

Well, and that’s a good point too, the sustainability too. It’s like then when we go so far on the sustainable side or so far on the green side and totally non-toxic, then you start to compromise on the sustainability aspect. And so for me, coming in as a performance builder, I’m always looking at for performance. So I kind of came from the extreme side of performance, but with that comes a lot of plasticizers, a lot of fire retardants, just a lot of different PCBs and all these different types of things, because it’s going to last for a thousand years,

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:04):

Just what we want.

Brian Johnson (00:11:05):

Yeah, yeah, exactly. So my mission early on was like, oh, I’m going to build these homes that are multi-generational and it going to last thousands of years, but yet I’m taking too far advantage of modern technology not being really mindful of the ancient practices In Europe. They have buildings that are a thousand years old today, and they’re built all natural

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:28):

And they’re a lot less toxic.

Brian Johnson (00:11:32):

Yes, absolutely. Correct. Yeah, right.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:36):

So there’s this balance that we have to try and find you as a builder, me as somebody who lives in a home, everyone who lives in a home, we have to find this balance between what is sustainable and what is non-toxic, right?

Brian Johnson (00:11:55):

Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:55):

What are some of the biggest challenges people have in having a healthy home?

Brian Johnson (00:12:04):

Well, some of the biggest challenges is, I wrote this down. I think personally, this is just my opinion is just lack of education.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:12:16):

Yeah, that’s true.

Brian Johnson (00:12:17):

I think that’s the number one, because really, whose agenda are we following? Who do we listen to? Who do we follow? And that’s really what brought me forward going, look, I understand both aspects and I really need to get my message clear till I can help educate the architects, the designers, the builders, the clients to really change this. Because in the residential realm of production building, they don’t really want to hear this mission and the message too much. And so it’s all about smart homes and again, energy efficiency and all these things, but they’re not, when we start getting into the non-toxic and the safe way of construction, no one really talks about that. And so we have to have, first and foremost, we need to have education. Once we have the education, then we can take the approach. And also too, not taking a fear-based approach, because I hear a lot of that, and especially in the environmental standpoint, there’s a lot of fear around that. Okay, well, this is great. And 80%, they say that 80 to 90% homes are sick and diagnosed as what’s referred to as sick building syndrome.

(00:13:55):

So it’s like, okay, let’s be aware. Let’s educate, let’s be aware, and let’s take action on what we can do. The second thing would probably be, there would be a cost factor that would be limiting, of course. But again, without education, how do we know what actions to take that are from the least cost, getting into more elaborate types of renovations. And then speaking of renovations, it would be new construction versus doing renovation work. Remodeling, believe it or not, it’s easier to build a new home because then we could factor all the design. We could source all the proper materials into–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:14:46):

Avoid all the mistakes.

Brian Johnson (00:14:48):

Absolutely. There’s so many factors into that. So renovations can be a little bit more challenging again, but it can be done. I definitely want to stress that fact that hey, there are solutions and it is just, there’s protocols and there’s ways that we can do these types of things. So those are the top three challenges that I would see.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:15:11):

So lack of education, avoiding fear, and then kind of following that middle path. Was that the third one? Cost…

Brian Johnson (00:15:23):

Yeah, cost renovations, new build kind of really, if you’re going to do some renovation work, I mean now again, the contractor, it’s be educated. There’s not a lot of contractors out there. And thanks to people like me, we’re out there educating and spreading the mission and spreading the word. And so I feel people in the construction industry, they want, for the most part, they want to do good things. They want to contribute and make an amazing space for their client. But if their client doesn’t know how to ask those questions, how are they going to be able to accommodate that?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:16:06):

Exactly. And I think when patients are dealing with ill health and now they’re learning, now I need to educate myself on my conditions and educate myself on all these supplements and all these things that I’m doing. And now I have to educate myself on how to have a healthy home that can get a little overwhelming. So what would be the cheat sheet, the Reader’s Digest version? The CliffNotes version of a way for clients to educate themselves? I mean, obviously this book is great [Prescriptions for a Healthy House]. Brian has this book. There you go, everyone take a picture and you don’t have to read it from cover to cover. It’s a great resource. Yes. But would that be what you would recommend? Are there other ways to help people navigate this so they don’t feel completely overwhelmed?

Brian Johnson (00:17:14):

Yeah, definitely. And I want to be here to give solutions. I’m only one individual across the globe. There’s other people that are like Paula LaPorte and John Banta. They co-wrote the book Prescription for a Healthy House. There’s a lot of people doing this movement, and that’s why the book is amazing. If you want to learn how to build a house, everyone buy that book and just, you don’t have to read the whole thing, just kind of brush through it. It gets into a lot of descriptions on building and things like that. However, it does prepare you to, when you go to your contractor, you can go to your contractor and say, look, I’m studying this book, and I highly recommend you study the book as well. Right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:18:06):

We buy you a copy.

Brian Johnson (00:18:08):

A hundred percent. 100%. Because it was interesting. I’ve been in the building industry for almost 25 years, and I came into it from a health-minded background. So I’m literally just merging the science and health and building all into one. So when I started several years back, I stumbled upon the Building Biology Institute, and that’s going to be a big takeaway for everybody. Huge. Probably the biggest recommendation I have is called the Building Biology Institute. And in the Building Biology Institute, there’s a lot of people that have gone through a lot of these different things, and they wanted to go through what is building science, and there’s different facets to it. There’s the EMF and what we’ll talk more about as we continue on. But from an EMF standpoint or an environmental consulting standpoint or new construction, there’s all these different facets.

(00:19:16):

And it’s a very extensive program. It’s not like somebody’s just going to pay a little bit of money and take a couple exams. They’re very passionate about what they do, and there’s a lot of guidance and facilitation to make sure people hopefully graduate the program and get their credentials. So it’s a very trusted source. So if somebody was to go to the Building Biology Institute website and look for an environmental consultant in their area, that’s beautiful because you can put in your zip code and it’ll find somebody close to your area. That way you can have them come out and do an assessment or help educate you or hopefully help navigate you through whatever the process, whether it’s a renovation or whether there’s some potential mold damage or maybe working with somebody professional like yourself. You know what? Maybe you might want to look into your home environment and see what’s going on.

(00:20:12):

There’s a lot of great, somebody I’ve seen on the text, somebody mentioned John Banta co-wrote the book with, he’s great. He’s an environmental consultant, and there’s so many great environmental consultants out there. So the building biology is geared more towards kind of building science a little bit around it, but working with environmental consultants is a great idea. The aspect that I bring, and I know I’m not the only one, but I’m [one of the] few, is I come into it as a builder. And so when I stumbled across Paula and her book, I was like, I was going to write her book when I seen her book. I’m like, oh, well, here it is. Now I don’t have to write it because it’s all right here.

(00:21:02):

So these are great resources for the audience, the book, the Building Biology Institute, working with a good environmental consultant that understands building background and building science and works close with, again, functional environmental integrative medicine, because that’s the link. I couldn’t do this without you because I wouldn’t have the education, what started my whole endeavor behind this whole thing. And then of course, you, you’re like, Hey, you want to help find your clients a sanctuary, a place to heal and not get sick. To be able to heal from all these symptoms and things like that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:21:48):

And so many of our patients are sick from mold or sick from environmental chemicals in a building that’s been poorly constructed, and it’s really challenging to try and figure that out. So let’s dive in a little bit more into some specifics. So what are some of the harmful chemicals that you see or that you are trying to help people avoid when you’re building or renovating? What are they? Where are they and what can people do about some of them?

Brian Johnson (00:22:26):

As far as chemicals? I’m going to just kind of be more just broad about it. It’s funny because again, coming in from the health background, we learn to read our labels. It’s no different in the construction. It’s the same thing.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:22:46):

That’s so cool.

Brian Johnson (00:22:47):

Yeah, because that’s what we’re doing, except for the labels in construction. Say for example, we’re using 8,000 different products or whatever, right now, we have to read, and the label isn’t just the back of the package. You have to know what you’re looking for. You have to educate yourself. We have to go in there. We have to look at what we refer to as the MSDS, which is the material safety data sheets and things like that, because that’s where we find the information. That’s where we find the hidden chemicals, because they have their workaround of what they, or some things are proprietary. They don’t have to claim it, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:23:29):

Just like supplements.

Brian Johnson (00:23:31):

It’s the same thing. Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:23:35):

And there’s a whole chapter devoted to how to read your MSDS.

Brian Johnson (00:23:42):

Thank you for bringing the book, because again, when I came across the book, I’m like, oh my God, this really covers everything. And so understanding that, then it’s like there’s a section on biocides, there’s a section on fungicides, insecticides, there’s an understanding of–and this is where I’m going to get broad–is it’s understanding VOC, which is volatile organic compound, and there’s hundreds of VOCs, and they come from petroleum-based products. Again, now we’re kind of hinging back to a little bit of the green aspect again, because once we start recognizing all the VOCs, flame retardants, PCBs, all these different formaldehydes, solvents, hydrocarbons, there’s a huge breakdown of it. Now, again, let me add this piece, not bringing into the– because when I first started the whole thing, I’m like, well, pretty much, there’s nothing left I can build my home out of.

(00:24:54):

But again, it’s the balance, right? And even in the book, and I’m just throwing little examples in the book, Paula talks about plumbing, and it was a big thing for me because I wanted to know the difference between PEX, which is plastic, polyethylene type plumbing, versus copper. In the early days, we sweat the fittings. There were different chemicals involved. There’s things leaching out of the copper. PEX — there was a lot of early problems with PEX in the early days, BPAs and all these, and then they switched it to a different compound that was hard to recognize or read the label on, and then they had to change it again because they had these big class action suits. Oh, yeah. So you’re like, well, do I use copper? Do I use PEX? Do I use this? What’s the lesser of the two evils?

(00:25:51):

Types of things like that. And believe it or not, the construction industry is really cleaning things up. You just have to know what it is you’re looking for. And so me as a builder, it’s like I’m recognizing all these 8,000 different products, and then I’m breaking it down and I’m finding the middle ground on where we’re at. Even I’m just going to use the plumbing still for, as an example, if I was on a project in Texas and the local–and I’m working with a contractor and he has somebody that works with copper, well, then there’s going to be recommendations that I’m going to have around using copper because they’re going to be very effective and very efficient at it, or vice versa in another town. If somebody who’s working with PEX, we can make all of these components work very, very clean and nontoxic way to get the outcome that we’re going for.

(00:26:48):

There’s just protocols and there’s steps around that. It’s interesting, too, from the biocides and the fungicides and the pesticides, and going back to the environment outside of the home, it is pretty interesting, and I am sure you’re very savvy to this too. All of these crops and the dustings and things like this, they travel thousands of miles and they attach to all the dust spores. So then there’s the balance of creating a home envelope that’s sealed to protect us from the outside air. But then we’re not getting proper ventilation. But if we do get ventilation, how do we clean the air from that ventilation? Because the more dense in the bigger cities that you get, that’s where the indoo–or the outdoor–quality, IAQ, they rate it parts per million by 10 micron and 2.5 micron, 10 micron would be more like actual dust, right?

(00:27:50):

It’s heavier. It’s a heavier particle. And then the 2.5 is a smaller micron and it’s a smaller particle. Well, all these biocides and all these fungicides, they get attached to all these, and they’re just–so, again, if you’re like, say, I’m kind of going on down a little shoot here, but let me run with this. So say for example, we’re building a home downtown Denver, or downtown Phoenix, or even Tucson, Arizona. The air quality’s not far behind Phoenix. Now. I found building science, there’s ways to help to build a sealed environment, but to ensure that we’re getting good mechanical ventilation, but taking that or what we refer to as passive air, so it’s making sure we’re getting fresh air within the home, but we just don’t want to pump all that stuff that’s in the air, toxins into the home. So it’s important, and there’s ways, it’s real practical.

(00:28:48):

Again, this kind of goes from a commercial, a lot of things together, because then we’re actually bringing in passive airflow, and then we’re pre-filtering it in through our home filtration systems and our HVAC systems. So we’re cleaning that up. I know I kind went down a rabbit hole there, but I was just kind of giving different examples. There’s always a solution to something, even if it’s an area that we can’t control the external environment because these chemicals, and kind of going back to the building industry, when I’m going through all these 8,000, I keep using the word 8,000 because I think it’s even in Paula’s book, it’s just a number. So when you’re working with a contractor, again, it’s kind of even referencing that book, just being mindful because she does a really good job of referencing a lot of, there’s a lot of high performance building materials that are sustainable, that are non-toxic, that perform well, and they’re very effective at what they do.

(00:29:49):

And again, so at least you as the client, you’re empowered to select, even if it comes down to a budget, like, okay, hey, you know what? I’m going to use these products on the exterior part of the home, and I’m just going to focus on, let me talk about paint for example. There’s a lot of manufacturers out there that use non VOC paint, but then when you start looking at the labels and you start looking at little further into it, you’ll see certain products that are certain solvents that somebody with multiple chemical sensitivities that actually might create a reaction for them. So even though it’s classified as a non VOC, they could actually have an adverse health effect just from the paint inside. However, there’s manufacturers out there in the paint industry that are using more like Earth-based or just natural types of fillers and additives into their paints that truly make it not only non-toxic, but low odor as well, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:30:57):

We run into this in medicine too, where say you’re eating a gluten-free diet, but you can’t have almonds, so you have to have these different things. We’re always making choices, and it’s going to be that same sort of situation with building materials. There’s going to be trade-offs. You have to take your budget into account. You have to take the ingredients into account, and you have to educate yourself as best you can, and then work with somebody who’s knowledgeable to help navigate those pieces.

Brian Johnson (00:31:33):

Yes. Yeah. Yeah. I kind of look at, again, I’ll just reference the building biology because it’s a great resource, but it’s kind of finding the environmental, integrative, functional aspect of somebody looking out for your home environment that has understanding that had to go through this rigorous coursework to understand that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:31:58):

Right? Yeah. Thank goodness for the building biologists.

Brian Johnson (00:32:02):

Oh, my God, absolutely. Yeah. And just kind of a little bit of a background, just a quick flyover. So the Building Biology Institute was formed post World War II in Germany, and a lot of their studies, I mean, their studies, it’s all scientific studies they’ve been doing for 60 years at that time even. And so that’s when the institute, it was called something different then, but it formed, and then it was adopted into the US in the early eighties. It was like, well, why? They’re building this way and they have these standards in Europe. Why aren’t we not following these standards here? And so it was the early eighties when one of the founders actually brought the Building Biology Institute into the US and they follow all kinds of great resources, like the bio initiative report, science based, it’s not assumptions, it’s not, “well, we think of…” no, this was all a factual thing. So all of the information that comes from the Building Biology Institute, it is science-based.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:09):

100%.

Brian Johnson (00:33:10):

Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:13):

Do you want to talk a little bit about EMFs too?

Brian Johnson (00:33:16):

Yeah, absolutely. So I talked a little bit about the electrosmog.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:24):

What do you mean by electrosmog?

Brian Johnson (00:33:26):

Electrosmog is just, it’s all of the interference outside that we really can’t control. The power grid, power lines, transmission lines, transformers. Now we’re into the era of radio frequency. The early days of radars could be pretty serious if you’re affected or close to a radar. But anyways, once we started coming from this 3G adopting into these multiple generations of radio frequency, they’re very high millimeter wavelength, and they can have a pretty big impact for a lot of people with constant exposure. So the cities are blanketed. So I look at electrosmogs from all the different aspects, all the different spectrums, and so I kind of blanket that. That’s what I refer to as electrosmog. But just a quick–this is a really important takeaway for everybody because EMFs, a lot of people just use EMF as just kind of a generalized term. And there’s four major components to of EMFs.

(00:34:51):

One is the electrical field. So it’s the electrons moving through wiring. It’s like plumbing. It’s almost just like plumbing. It’s like water going through a pipe. It’s electrons that travel. So we don’t get away from that. That just, that’s what power does. Okay. It comes in through your overhead lines or underground lines, goes into your home into a service panel. And then what we have, that’s the first. So it’s electrical field. That’s the first form of an EMF. The second form is the electromagnetic AC fields. So what happens is when you have current flowing in and going back, what it does is it creates a magnetic field. Okay? It’s called AC magnetics, alternating current magnetics driven by electrons traveling through, so you have the electrical field, and then you have the AC magnetic field, the constant exposure to AC magnetic field. That’s the low hanging fruit. That’s the one that’s actually, there’s a lot of studies around the dangers behind that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:56):

And that’s also the one that’s really hard to mitigate, is my understanding.

Brian Johnson (00:36:01):

Well, it can be. Yes, it can be. There are limitations. So for example, you don’t want to definitely live around a transmission line or high tension power lines. It’s always kind like this intuitive, “yeah, it doesn’t seem like a very good idea,” right? Because it’s pulsing out massive, massive amounts of AC magnetics, and the fields are huge. And so as it comes in through local distribution lines and power lines into the home, they start grouping all the cables closer and closer and closer and closer together. Once those cables get closer together, they start to cancel out the AC magnetic fields. Not without getting too crazy, but what happens is–so say it’s outside of the home, and then you have your lines coming into the home. Well, what happens is when we get into the AC magnetic issues within the home, a lot of it’s from wiring errors, believe it or not, in the commercial world, they use different types of wiring. They use different types of grounding systems, again, for public safety and for fire code. And what’s kind of crazy is residential commercial codes are completely different. If we were to follow a lot of commercial codes, our homes would be a lot safer, in my opinion. What I’m doing, a lot of my techniques and building styles are more commercial.

(00:37:34):

So through different types of wiring, grounding systems, in the way that we have to run our circuits by default in the commercial, we’re going to have low AC magnetics, if it’s done right. What happens in the residential route, they don’t look at that. And so what happens, a lot of electricians, sometimes they’ll cut corners. It’s common. It’s done all the time, and they’ll cut corners. And once you start cutting corners and playing around with electric in the house, by default, sometimes if something’s not done, it creates an AC magnetic field within the home, but that can be repaired. Okay. Alright.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:11):

That’s good to know that it can be repaired.

Brian Johnson (00:38:14):

Yeah. Yeah, there’s solutions.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:16):

But it’s a tough solution potentially, right? Because it’s the electric coming in on the water pipes oftentimes. That was my understanding.

Brian Johnson (00:38:27):

And that’s another thing too. So for example, and I’m just going to reference the Building Biology Institute, since we all have a dialogue of that. Now, some building biologists, they’ll study just on an EMRS, which is electromagnetic radiation specialist. And so when they’re coming in to look, they’re finding the current coming in, the AC magnetics coming in on your line, coming into your home or building, whatever, but you can isolate that. We can isolate our subs from the grid like that, and then we can fix all of the AC issues, magnetic issues within the home. What we can get away from is, if this is a good takeaway for everybody, if you’re in a room that hopefully doesn’t have the main electrical box–and it is crazy, I still see it all the time, you don’t want to be sleeping next to the main electrical panel coming into the house, okay?

(00:39:21):

Because by default, it emits a high AC magnetic field. And I’ll just kind of run with AC magnetic fields, another–refrigerators, motors, variable speed motors and things like that, and compressors–what they do is they actually–by default of just what they are, there’s no way of getting around it. But by default, they produce a high AC magnetic field. So I’m sharing that with everybody. So you’re just mindful of, Hey, I’m looking at buying a house, or, Hey, I’m in this room. Well, you might want to consider moving the bed away from, or going into another room from an electrical panel coming in, or the refrigerator, maybe it’s an apartment, maybe it’s a studio or something like that, and the refrigerator’s on the back wall of the bedroom where there’s a bed. Another thing, and I’ll just kind of run with this since we’re talking about, so we’re still talking about electrical fields and AC magnetic fields.

(00:40:16):

So with those two forms of EMFs, if your bed, these are just really simple takeaways. If your bed is up against the wall, what we’re going to have electrical outlets and their daisy chain around the bedrooms, right? It’s just for convenience and code. They’re there. So you can plug in your lamp. Well, hopefully you’re not plugging in to charge your phone while you’re sleeping anyways, but whatever, no judgment. But when you plug in a cord, okay, so now the power’s in the wall and the fields, they stay pretty tight to one another. So you could be 12 inches away from a field and not be too affected. So distance is your friend. Remember, distance is your friend. But what happens is if you take a lamp and you plug into the wall, well, now you’ve extended that electrical field from the wall to the lamp, and it’s right next to your head.

(00:41:14):

So that’s why extending things out, I know we want our convenience, but there’s other ways to do things. Like you could buy 12 volt lights with battery operated that are red light and all these different types of things for reading. I mean, there’s workarounds, simple workarounds, but these are the practicalities to understand. That’s just the nature of what electrical does. So once we’re like, okay, hey, distance is our friend. Okay, I’m going to get rid of everything that’s plugged in. I’m going to charge my phone in another room. Or you could even put alternating kill switches to kill all the power to the room. There’s different methods to mitigate that as well. Or having a metal bed frame–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:53):

A metal bed frame? That makes it better or–

Brian Johnson (00:41:55):

Worse. It makes it worse because with the metal, it’s a conductor, so it’s absorbing the frequency from the electrical field that’s in the wall, and then it’s extending it through the bed. And then of course, what we’re 80% water. So of course, we’re conductors. We’re absorbing that energy. So what it is, it’s just we’re absorbing this excessive energy. And where in nature, again, kind of back to nature, the gold standard, hopefully in nature, we’re going to be sleeping with the DC magnetic field of the earth and Schumann resonance and things like that. But now when we’re in a home and we’re exposed to all these, it’s just frequencies. It’s chaotic. How does the body recover in sleep? So these are just things to think about and be mindful of from the two main factors of electrical fields and AC magnetic fields. Okay. Those are two forms of EMFs. The third one is–did I cover, you feel like I covered?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:42:52):

Oh, yeah. Those are great. You did a good job.

Brian Johnson (00:42:54):

Okay. Okay, cool. Then it’s the RF, which is radio frequency. That’s the third. [Brian waves his hand and we see balloons floating up the Zoom screen.]

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:03):

Balloons, there are balloons that keep going up!

Brian Johnson (00:43:05):

I see the balloons.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:09):

I don’t know what’s happening. Every time you do this, the balloons go up. [Brian waves his hand again and we see balloons]. Yes, there, it is!

Brian Johnson (00:43:18):

I kept seeing the balloons and I’m like, oh, everyone’s really enjoying this because there’s a lot of balloons flying. Why?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:27):

I don’t know. It’s a setting in your [zoom], it’s pretty funny. Anyway, yes, everyone’s enjoying this. This is amazing. Keep going. More balloons.

Brian Johnson (00:43:36):

Yeah. Alright.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:39):

Okay. So let’s move on to RF, which everybody freaks out about, right?

Brian Johnson (00:43:44):

Yeah. And again, like we discussed, the AC magnetics for me is the number one thing that we want to look for. And then distancing ourself from the electrical field. So these are some, hopefully somebody could be writing this down, but we can follow up on it later on down the road or watch the recording. But then the third one is radio frequencies, and there’s all types of radio [frequencies] –AM, FM, like radar microwaves–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:44:15):

Your wifi, your router, your phone.

Brian Johnson (00:44:18):

Here we are. Yeah, cell phones. We’re just bombarded– Bluetooth. And again, I share this just to empower ourselves to understand, educate to know, Hey, okay, I’m cool. I’ll put my wireless earbuds in. That’s fine, but at least you’re aware and you understand it. I think a lot of people, it’s interesting too because you talk to a lot of people wearing wired versus the wireless earbuds. People intuitively feel like, yeah, when I wear my wireless earbuds for an extended period of time, I kind of get headaches or I get tension in the jaw and things like that. It’s like, well, I’ve measured and I use the formulation of radio frequency measuring everything in a millimeter wavelength. And it’s referred to micro watts per square meter. And according to the Building Biology Institute, and I’m going to take this to the practicality inside of the home, but if you could be under 10 micro watts per square meter is ideal for a sleeping environment.

(00:45:28):

And there’s a lot of great resources that we can share with the audience later on this. But just to go to the extreme part, I’ve actually measured the RF coming from the headphones, which is plugged into the ear canal and up to as high as 70,000 micro watts per square meter. It’s crazy. And I was guilty about it early on, but intuitively I’m like, something’s not right here. And then of course I measured them. But kind of taking RF back again, part of this whole electrosmog environment, there’s towers everywhere, and now they’re doing 5G, and 5G is a high millimeter wavelength, but it drops quick. So they have to put these repeaters and extenders. And now with wifi technology, 2.5 gigahertz and beyond that. 2.5 gigahertz, so that’s this high amount of frequency that’s flowing from these routers. And now we’re doing extenders because we want fast speeds.

(00:46:31):

We want to stream wirelessly throughout the whole [house], so now we’re coming out with all this smart technology within the home. So everything’s running on a Bluetooth device, everything’s running on wifi now. All of the appliances, washers, dryers, dishwashers, vent hoods, refrigerators, everything’s just connected to these. Everything’s smart, right? And there’s my powerful takeaway, and anyone’s more than welcome to adopt this, but what is a smart home versus an analog home? And that’s really how I’m taking everything back as a builder, is I’m building analog. I’m building homes that in the nineties, in the early two thousands, we had amazing automation and it was all hardwired before then. We had DSL and all these different internet services come out, and we had amazing automation systems back then. And so for me, I love my technology, and again, from a builder like, well, how can we build an analog home that performs like a smart home? And it’s going back to the basics. We’re hard wiring.

(00:47:50):

But what’s funny too is the more that we go wireless, even looking at security systems and security cameras, again, a lot of the automation, communication, telecommunication through the home, it’s hard to find contractors that will even go–it still exists though, and that’s why I want to share the message. So when I’m working with my contractors or whatever, we’re a hundred percent hardwired. There’s so many advantages, the speeds are faster, more secure. I mean, there’s just, again, now we’re eliminating the whole RF part. So wireless technologies within home, whether it’s Bluetooth, whether it’s wifi, wireless routers, again, microwaves, it’s crazy because microwaves and wireless routers, they put almost about the same amount. That’s why, in my opinion, if you’re going to use a microwave distance yourself from the microwave, just don’t stand right next to it. Right? Of course, all the microwaves are killing a lot of the enzymes and components in the food, of course, from that aspect.

(00:48:56):

But it’s the exposure to that microwave that you don’t want to have constant exposure, and you can be in the opposite end of the house and actually still be affected by the exposure in the RF from that microwave. Yeah, there’s a lot of studies out around that. So again, it’s just being mindful of all the different technologies that are used in these wireless capabilities, and going back to the basics of like, well, hey, we can hardwire. I can have an ethernet cable in every aspect in the kitchen or wherever you want to have ’em. You just got hardwire and you just got to plug in, right? Even with telecommunications and phones, there’s still hardwire phones out there, and it’s kind of beautiful because you can use these VOIP, which is voiceover internet provider, right?

(00:49:47):

Kelly McCann, MD: Have one right here.

(00:49:48):

Yeah. Well, are you in a commercial building or are you home?

(00:49:54):

Kelly K McCann, MD: I am in a commercial building.

(00:49:56):

Brian Johnson: Yeah, rough there. So there’s VOIP because again, in a commercial [building], everything’s hardwired. The servers, everything’s hardwired in a commercial building. That was my takeaway from that, is there’s no different–why we can’t have the commercial setting in a home application. Again, going more back to an analog–or let’s talk about potential. Okay, well, there’s these RFs, there’s a cell tower, there’s these smart meters, right of my home or whatever. What do I do? And there’s ways, believe it or not, RF is a little easier to mitigate because there’s shielding. There’s different types of graphene. There’s different types of screening materials, and what they do is they block those millimeter wavelengths, those high structured wavelengths coming through smart meters. What they do is they pulse every minute, 30 seconds.

(00:50:56):

They’re all different. They can pulse out to maybe 5,000 micro watts per square meter. So again, you don’t want, it’s not ideal to have the power supply outside of your bedroom, but then you turn around and you put a meter on top of that, and then they say there’s some coupling interference back into the system, into the home. There’s some talk about that as well, which I haven’t really tested so much for, but me, distance is a friend. So as me as a builder, I look at putting the electrical panel outside of a garage or away from the living area of the home. And if you can, opt out from a smart meter, a lot of power companies honor that. And you can do an opt-out program. I think you gotta pay $20- $30 a month extra for a meter reader. Those are some big things, but windows, low e[nergy] windows, even modernized low E, energy efficient windows by default, the window actually does cancel out and block RF. Yeah, there’s different faraday cages that you can put around your bed.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:52:03):

The Faraday cages have to be grounded properly too, so it is not just as easy as throwing up some copper or some drapes. You really need to know what you’re doing to ground it. Correct?

Brian Johnson (00:52:16):

Yeah. Thank you for bringing that up. But there’s different fabrics too. So there’s some fabrics that just block the field, so it’s not like it’s a metallic. There’s some silver products and things like that, but it’s more of just an actual blocking material. But you’re absolutely 100% right. When we’re actually doing shielding within a home, those homes are graphite and it is basically you’re trading a Faraday wall, and that wall has to be grounded. So there’s definitely, it’s not like a DIY type of a thing. You definitely want to work with somebody that understands that. I’ll just throw an example, two examples. So say you’re in a town home or there’s a common wall and your neighbor’s blasting the wifi, and your concern is like, well, I don’t have the budget to actually shield the entire part of my condominium or whatever. But you could, simple things would be, you could just do–there’s a bed canopy, at least you’re getting that quiet time for sleep. From that, you can put ’em underneath because maybe you’re on a second level and it’s coming up from the neighbor’s floor underneath all the way to the point of where you can actually shield the whole environment. So it’s all cost prohibited on how far you want to go take it, right? But there’s definitely solutions around the RF. Okay, there’s one more.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:37):

Yeah, one more. Let’s do number four.

Brian Johnson (00:53:39):

There’s number four and I — sorry, oh, the time.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:43):

Yeah. So let’s do number four and then we’ll jump to some questions. We’ve got a long list of questions

Brian Johnson (00:53:49):

And sorry that we’re running over

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:54):

I’m okay to go for a little while longer if you are, Brian.

Brian Johnson (00:53:58):

Yeah, no, I’m good. Let’s keep it running, but I’ll tie it up for everybody too. The fourth one is dirty electricity. A lot of people, they hear about different dirty– what is their dirty electricity? It’s micro electrical surge pollution, and basically what it is, whether it’s coming from electrical, excuse me, photovoltaic, solar power panels, sometimes it’ll feed back through, like the inverters converting the DC to the AC, dimmer switches, just so everybody knows on the call right here, even if you’re running your awesome incandescent lamps that are going to be kicked out anyways, but there’s technologies that trump that, using LEDs in the right fashion. However, the old school dimmers, those put out a lot. The transformers you’re charging for your computers, again, just different electronics through the homes. What they do is they put out what’s called line noise, it’s actual noise, and it’s a harmonic.

(00:55:01):

And what these do is they dump it into the electrical system, and some people with sensitive hearing, they can actually hear a really high pitch sound, and it could even be pulsating. Some of us can’t hear it, but what it does is it really affects, has a big effect on the central nervous system because it’s this singing, it’s this noise, it’s this almost invisible noise, but you don’t even know that it’s bothering you and it’s in the background. So that’s what we refer to as MEP or dirty electricity. So that’s the fourth form of an EMF.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:55:31):

And you can measure the dirty electricity with a stetsor meter, correct.

Brian Johnson (00:55:37):

Yeah. There’s a lot of good companies have different, so if you look up how to measure dirty electricity, Stetzer meter is one, green wave meter is another one. Again, a building biologist or an EMRS person. Actually we use oscilloscopes and we can actually go in there and measure what that wavelength is doing and find the source right away. It’s a lot easier when I go into a house and I see dimmers all over, I’m like, okay, I already know that’s a source. So it’s just a process of elimination to find it, but it’s pretty easy to find MEP, dirty electricity in a home.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:13):

Great. Okay. Let’s do some questions. Ready?

Brian Johnson (00:56:16):

Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:17):

You can look at ’em too, but I’ll read them out loud. So what list should we have and where can I find one to use when assessing homes or potential homes? So like mold, actinomyces, proximity to Superfund sites, cell tower farms, where glyphosate is sprayed, radon, et cetera. That’s a great question, Lena.

Brian Johnson (00:56:46):

And what are some resources for that?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:47):

Yeah, what are some resources? Is there a guide? Is there a list? Here’s the checklist for potential home buyers. Of all the things that you want to look at when you’re trying to figure out a home, is there some central repository where we’d have a list?

Brian Johnson (00:57:05):

Well, so in Prescription for a Healthy House, Paula writes that out.

(00:57:14):

There’s reading involved, but as time evolves and as we perfect these things, we’ll be able to make it more streamlined and more simple like, Hey, what’s this? Give me the 10 simple takeaways. My website, I’m doing some updates, as a matter of fact, on that. Hey, what are the main points to look at? Again, also, the Building Biology Institute. Again, these are really powerful resources, and so I know I keep bringing it up, but these are answers to the questions. Even working, consider consult with the building biologist in your area. They’re going to give you these lists because these are the things that we train for as a building biologist, because even me as a builder, I look at and as a builder perspective, and then it just breaks down to a client. But again, I’m looking at the environment, the external environment.

(00:58:13):

I’m looking at the building structure. I’m looking at electrical design. I’m looking at, we didn’t even get into climate and ventilation systems, which that’s a key one. I kind of did want to talk about ERV for ventilation and looking at the building materials again, so a building biologist is going to come through and do all the different types of testing. We didn’t even get into the mold testing and things like that, indoor air quality testing, measuring the VOCs, but it’s good to work at that. I recommend for everybody to consult with an environmental consultant or a building biologist to come in there at least to do simple measurements of EMFs, indoor air quality, do some inspections along with air, just simple air testing, which will test for mold spores in the air. I know I didn’t really zero in on that question, but there’s resources out there.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:59:21):

I think there are resources out there, and I know I’m trying to put together a list too, because we want to be able to provide for patients, okay, this is where you look for Superfund sites. This is where you go to assess air quality. These are the different ways that you can do air quality assessments in your area, in your house, and then you can get a building biologist. So coming up with ways to do it both for somebody who can afford to work with a professional and then somebody who is a do-it-yourself, or trying to do the best that they can. Let’s see. How about crawl spaces and humidity levels and when to know you need a vapor barrier?

Brian Johnson (01:00:10):

Yeah, me as the builder, when you get into crawlspaces, there’s just so many variables and so factors there, and it’s a really good conversation and a question to bring because whether it’s an attic or whether it’s a crawlspace, I try to, I look at even preconditioning these areas.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:36):

What does preconditioning mean?

Brian Johnson (01:00:37):

We’re actually acclimating it, almost close to the temperatures within the home, because that way we’re not getting this rapid influx and swing of a high dew point in here, or basement, or the crawl space, and it’s different within the home, and it’s cooler here. It’s hotter down there, and if you don’t have breathable membranes, what happens is the water will get trapped and it builds condensation, which obviously is going to lead to potential mold and factors like that. There’s a lot of good companies out there. What they’re doing for crawl spaces, they’re completely going in there and they seal 100% of that area, and they stop– just depending on what’s in the crawl space or a basement. If it’s cementitious, there’s different materials that we can put that stop the vapor from coming through the moisture vapor. If it’s dirt, there’s different types of non-toxic materials that they can line 100% the walls, the floors, and then insulate all the duct work or whatever’s running under that crawl space to help control, to acclimate that environment along with proper ventilation too, because it’s good to have–it could be done mechanically with fans. There’s a science to that. Absolutely, and there’s a lot of great resources. Again, it’s sealing it, but it’s controlling, it’s sealing everything, but it’s controlling that environment to maintaining proper airflow. So we’re not getting those rapid–again, that’s what happens is the rapid humidity and air temperature influxes between inside of the home and underneath the home. That’s what creates the condensation. So the goal is, what is it going to take to acclimate that environment so you don’t have those major swings between the two areas, and its the same applies for an attic as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:02:39):

Okay. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Let’s see. What questions should we ask a professional? We are hiring to do an inspection to make sure that they can do a comprehensive check. So some people from the International Society for Environmental Acquired Illness, ISEAI, most of those folks are mold inspectors, and so they may not be able to do a comprehensive assessment looking at some of these other things like radon and VOCs. So how do we best assess the qualifications of a professional to assess these different things?

Brian Johnson (01:03:28):

It’s a good point of what you brought up too, because from an environmental consultant, they’re trained to look at specific conditions that are going to potentially lead to mold and things like that, versus again, what I like about the Building Biology Institute is they have a program, it’s called BBEC, and it’s a building biologists environmental consultant. And again, they’re really looking at the building science. So there’s even a lot of environmental consultants that they’ll go through, again, the Building Biology Institute, because they want to understand more, even more mechanicals or the building science of understanding the building. So again, they’re looking at the building at a full scope. So me from my background, I do a lot of assessments myself, but there’s just not a lot of people like me because if you’re, say you’re selling a home and you’re doing a roof inspection, and then you’re just doing an overall inspection from a real estate perspective, not to knock anybody, but they’re not looking at what we’re looking at from an environmental standpoint, not even close. So I always recommend working with a building biologist, again, an environmental consultant, because they’re going to look at the building science, they’re going to look at everything from the roof all the way down to the foundation, all the way to air testing that environment. And what I’m seeing a lot more now is even in real estate exchanges, sometimes you only have 10 days to come in and to do an inspection.

(01:05:16):

Matter of fact, I’m putting together a program for that, where we could come in there, expedite all the testing, go in there and do a full day, write up a summary evaluation, and have that evaluation into the client’s hand within that 10 day inspection period, and they’re getting a comprehensive inspection versus just relying on, again, I don’t want to knock any home inspection company, but they’re just not looking at it the way that we’re having a discussion here on this platform here today, not even close. And so that’s why I like working with an environmental consultant. Again, Building Biology Institute, because that’s exactly what we’re looking for.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:55):

Is there a course that they offer for the general public or for environmental medicine doctors? So we don’t have to [garbled] everything?

Brian Johnson (01:06:05):

No, they do. They have a great–it’s called their advocacy. There’s two programs that they have, and it basically teaches the 101, and I recommend it for everybody that’s on this call today. I highly recommend it’s a simple course. You can do it on your own time, and you’re going to take away so much literature from that. So you’re going to get the support and a mentor through that just to help you feel good that you’re taking like, Hey, I actually learned a lot from here. But also too, you get that coursework. So having that 101 under your belt, even for you, Dr. Kelly, sounds great having that. Oh yeah, you’ll constantly always have a reference. Because the way that they broke it down in chapters, in the 101, they literally break it down piece by piece by piece, Hey, did we look at the environmental factor? Hey, did we look at the building factor? Now let’s go within the building factor and look at the EMF, the air quality and things like that. So it is a simple breakdown through the whole process.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:02):

That’s exciting. I can’t wait to take it. Yes, in all my spare time. Okay. More questions.

Brian Johnson (01:07:08):

And it’s fun. It’s fun too.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:10):

It sounds super fun. What are the best practices you know if you have a mold problem, but you cannot yet remediate? That’s a tough one, I know.

Brian Johnson (01:07:28):

I always like to have an answer for everything, but if I have an answer for everything, everybody should be concerned. And I’m just joking, but let’s see here. Kind of putting on my environmental hat on, I think a lot of people are starting to become educated on the ways of, okay, the ways of cleaning, right? Like, oh, hey, I’ll spray bleach on it. Or, Hey, there’s present mold there. I’m just going to clean it up for now until, does that make sense to the question? I’ll clean up for now until I can mitigate it properly.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:08:15):

I think so. Or can we use lots of air filters. Is there a way to wall–plastic it off? Or what are kind of the best practices? What’s reasonable? I say it’s tough, right? Say it’s in the bathroom. Well, you could not use the bathroom and plastic it off, but then you don’t have a bathroom. You can put an air filter in there…just ideas like that?

Brian Johnson (01:08:47):

Containment is definitely key and not spreading it. So the worst thing you could do is we’ll just eliminate, okay, hey, I’m going to go in there and I’m going to use bleach, whatever, and I’m just going to clean all this stuff off, right? Please everyone. Or Hey, I’m going to use an ozone generator or something. You sound like, obviously you have the knowledge in this, but it’s like you want to contain that area. You want to literally seal that area off, not only seal–say it’s an isolated area that you just can’t get to, our room or something like that. It would literally be plastic off that area, and the rest of the home it would be– here’s a big takeaway for everybody too. There’s different–3M makes different filters for HVAC systems. So if anybody here has a centralized system, I would changing the filters all the time, and they’re called Filtrete. 3M Filtrete, and they make different rated ones based upon the energy efficiencies. So you don’t want to take a really dense filter and put it in a non-efficient [HVAC system] because you’ll burn up the motor. Okay? So you want to match ’em carefully. But 3M actually was pretty genius around it because it’s and electrically charged filter–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:10:16):

Like electrostatic?

Brian Johnson (01:10:17):

Electrostatic. Thank you. And so what it does is it captures all of those additional mold spores, if you will, and you’ll want to run that if you have a circulation mode. So you’re constantly trying to scrub the air portable systems as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:10:35):

So I have a question, and I have this argument with my husband, so I am glad that I can ask this question. In a room that we know that there’s mold in the wall. Say for example, there’s a sprinkler system that’s hitting the wall. So that wall is a little bit moldy from the outside in. It’s a bedroom wall, so it’s not like there’s a leak, a pipe leak. And his argument is, well, if I put the air filter, like a portable air filter right next to it, I’m going to be pulling that air into the room and that’s a bad idea and I don’t want to do that. And my thought is, no, you actually want to put the air filter right there because then it’s going to grab more of the mycotoxin, well maybe not mycotoxins, but more of the mold spores to reduce the total burden in the room. What is your take on that?

Brian Johnson (01:11:34):

Yeah, I think what your husband might be concerned about is a negative pressure. So if you’re putting something in there and it’s constantly sucking and then it’s creating a negative pressure within that environment, then it would, but there’s–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:11:51):

The portable air filters can’t make negative pressure, can they?

Brian Johnson (01:11:56):

Yeah, exactly. Not from going one room to the next room where it’s pulling from one area to the–it’s literally just circulating within that environment. So I was just rolling out negative air pressure within the room because we’re not pulling it out of that source. So in fact, the portable filter will help filter just whatever’s in the air, kind of back to not disturbing an area that has that, until you, again, you can come back and address that. The home system, a portable system, isolating the area, and then the rest of the home, HEPA vacuum. I think everybody should own a portable–you can go on Amazon, they make more commercial type shop vac looking ones, but they also make Miele or whatever, that they make a really, really nice HEPA. They’re a little expensive, but you can’t–and it just kind of applies to everything.

(01:12:57):

And I’m going to kind of pull two pieces here together. So when we’re building a home, there is a lot of building materials that even come from facilities that have mold on it. There’s spores, even when you’re building and constructing the area, it’s getting in. It’s just the way it is. And so when we’re done building a home, the idea is to take full HEPA vacuum systems, vacuum everything. And then according to the IRC, we’re following certain types of guidelines for what we call microbial environmental cleaning, right? Because we’re cleaning all the physical dust, the heavy dust, and then, but we’re wiping the walls in a very specific fashion. I won’t go into the details of it. And then we’re discarding of all the media that we’re wiping these walls down. So the reason I share that is because if we were to go in and mold test after we do this full thorough cleaning, chances are we’re going to have very low numbers.

(01:13:58):

So I would even recommend that if there’s an isolated area, you contain that area, you make sure you’re not pulling any kind of a negative pressure and disturbing that area, treating it with ozone, wiping it down with any kind of a insecticide, biocide, fungicide, anything with a chemical in it. Because the chemicals that in fact can even kill these bacteria or mold and things like that, unless they’re the–now you’re putting a chemical in the air too. And then there’s this whole factor of what it does to mold, even ozone. Mold’s pretty interesting. It has a way to survive. So the idea is to contain it until it can properly get remediated. But the external areas around, you can keep those areas clean a hundred percent. Like I was explaining, I just gave just a quick little overview, but that’s what we do when we’re doing cleaning.

(01:14:56):

Because when I go in there to do any form of–I’m not so much of a remediator, I’m just a builder–but when we’re doing the work and I want to finalize it and hand it over to my client that’s super sensitive to these kinds of things, I’m going to make sure it’s fully cleaned thoroughly and tested to show, hey, the numbers are low. Now, that’s not to say that in six months without good housekeeping or just maybe you’re opening the doors too much and there’s poor air quality and it’s coming inside, we could turn around and test that in six months and actually have high numbers. Does it mean there’s a specific mold problem? No, it just means that’s the high mold spore count that’s accumulating in that area. That’s why cleaning is key. And I’m glad that I had the space to be able to share that with everybody. It gets pretty crazy, but if you truly want an area that’s mold free, so to speak, it requires a lot of cleaning, but a very strategic type of a cleaning, and we’re talking not using any chemicals. This is just mechanical cleaning, using HEPA and just using mild, non-toxic safe detergents. That’s it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:03):

Right. Great. Okay. I think we have time for just a couple more.

Brian Johnson (01:16:10):

Sorry, everybody. I wish we could answer all the questions.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:13):

I know. So what about a 34-year-old furnace? Can it get moldy if there’s no AC?

Brian Johnson (01:16:23):

So just a furnace.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:27):

Just for heat.

Brian Johnson (01:16:28):

Just for heat. So when we’re doing design for mechanical systems, whether it’s a furnace or an HVAC, I always suggest on using–I have to go further before I answer the question directly. We’re using what’s referred to as hard duct metal sheet metal plumbing ducts. And I would say at hopefully at that age, they’re all metal, which has its advantages. And the reason why I say that is over the years, more than likely, if we were to say, we were to do some kind of a surface test within the ducts of that furnace, chances are it is going to have been compromised once upon a time, bypassing the filters, maybe filters weren’t cleaned up, whatever. It’s just a lot of years. So I don’t know if they’ve been cleaned. But the good thing, it’s kind of a side note for everybody too, because if you have rigid duct work, sheet metal duct work, it’s easier to clean. And so I would definitely look into that and consider doing a thorough cleaning on that system. That’s really important. The thing about flexible duct work, it’s harder to clean. So at that age, I’m assuming the system could be cleaned. That would be my first recommendation is go through and do a full thorough cleaning on that. There’s companies out there, I’m kind of mixed on this whole thing, but if it’s somebody with mold sensitivities, there’s the whole fogging.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:18:16):

I’m not a huge fan.

Brian Johnson (01:18:18):

Totally against it? But, however, I’ve gone in on a lot of projects and I’ve actually tested post fogging and I’ll collect data from the client like, how’s the air quality, nosebleeds, dry air? Are they treating it with tea tree oil and all these different natural forms? And I haven’t seen any real big complaints from fogging. This is just my experience. Some people don’t agree with it, but I’ve actually tested and the test came back real minimal. There was hardly any mold count in the duct work. And we’re talking a year post having all the fogging done. So I’ve seen good results. I’m just trying to throw some things out there of cleaning, potential fogging, obviously, making sure that once you do that, you have good filtration, testing for leaks. Leaks is a big one, whether it’s an HVAC air handler system or furnace, whatever. Air leaks are a big one because in the wall cavity spaces or attics or, again, under crawl spaces. If there’s air leaks, you’re going to be pulling in the spores that are in that area, and it’s going to go right into that duct system. So I think it’s having a good inspection done on that to help be sure there’s no leaks, doing the cleaning, and then the fogging could just be an option.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:19:42):

Right. Couple last questions. So what would be your top two or three favorite portable air filtration units companies? Do you have some reputable companies that you really like?

Brian Johnson (01:20:00):

The one that’s being talked about right now is that Jasper unit.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:03):

It has an air filter?

Brian Johnson (01:20:05):

Yeah, portable, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:07):

Oh! Never heard of it.

Brian Johnson (01:20:08):

Is that the portable systems, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:11):

Right, portable systems.

Brian Johnson (01:20:12):

Yeah, the Jasper. A lot of people have been talking about, I haven’t had to use it personally, but in the building biology world and people that do environmental testing, they’re really promoting the Jasper, because I think what it does, is it actually measures– it gives you a light on VOCs and it’ll actually capture what’s going on with the air quality and notify you.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:38):

So it’s a filter and a meter of sorts.

Brian Johnson (01:20:42):

Yeah. Yeah. It has some kind of a metering system on there. Very cool. I’ve heard good things, but I love the Air IQ.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:52):

The IQ Air. Yeah, me too.

Brian Johnson (01:20:53):

IQ Air.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:54):

I love the IQ Air.

Brian Johnson (01:20:55):

Yeah, somebody just posted on there. Yeah, jasper.co. Hopefully that person has had good experience with that.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:05):

She’s our super researcher, Leyna. She’s putting all the information in the chat.

Brian Johnson (01:21:09):

Oh, Leyna, by the way, thank you for all your questions, because again, like I was saying, I learned a lot from you, and I actually wrote down the top things to look for like a checklist. But yeah, I love the IQ Air. Air Doctor is another one. Intelepure. Let’s just have a quick little piece on this. Less than one minute. So the UV, let’s talk about UV.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:36):

Okay.

Brian Johnson (01:21:38):

So some of these systems have UV. I think Austin Air is another one.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:44):

Oh, yeah. Austin Air is wonderful too.

Brian Johnson (01:21:45):

Right? Because those are true–the ones that we just talked about are true HEPA.

(01:21:52):

And they’re using carbon filters, HEPA filters, and they’re not UV, they shouldn’t–we’re not talking UV, we’re talking true HEPA. So the verdict’s not entirely out, but the science is really alluding to UV lights, by default create an oxidization process, a U–or an ozone. The byproduct, is ozone through this. Some of them are different technologies depending on what bulbs they’re using. It’s this hydroxyl process. But what they’re doing is they’re creating levels of ozone, and it’s breaking down the micron to fine particles. So in the building biology world, they’re like, okay, well, where’s it going? But I mean, some of them–NASA’s done testing saying, well, it’s evaporated. I don’t know. Scientists saying, well, where’s it evaporating to? But what I’ve seen is the complaint, this is what I wanted to share with everybody.

(01:22:58):

It’s aggressive. It’s aggressive. And so if you’re running constant UV systems in some type of a portable, it actually can create more asthmatic symptoms or burning in the throat or potential nosebleeds, a lot of irritation, potential headaches and things like that. So that is information–because I was really pro-UV again, because, as I talked about early in the beginning, I’m like all about the science and more is better, and I’m going to use the latest and greatest technologies, but latest and greatest technologies isn’t always the solution. And so through that, over the last several years, I’ve been doing a lot of understanding for myself, and personal experience with others using UV systems. And you know what? It’s back to the basics. Like I talked about a smart home versus an analog home, it’s relying on true air filtration, relying on HEPA, which is a Merv 16 and higher. It’s a score, a rated score that really assures that we’re taking everything down submicron into the air. And so that’s what we should really be relying on is true mechanical filtration and not using different UV systems to rely on that they work. But I think it could just be more issues down the road that we don’t need to go through.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:24:18):

Right? Yeah, there was a system called a high tech system that was recommended early on in the old days with Shoemaker, and it made me feel terrible. It was some sort of UV light system. But I think the other question that–so there was somebody who said the Air Doctor might not be true HEPA. I don’t know if you want to comment on that one. I don’t know.

Brian Johnson (01:24:48):

And I don’t want to really, I’m careful. I don’t want to knock it. I was just kind of giving some recommendations where–the Air Doctor, I can’t remember on that one, but I know the ones, the other ones that we talked about wasn’t UV.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:24:59):

The other ones are good. I’d love to do the same, ask the same question for water filtration. So portable under the sink. What are some of the top brands that you like?

Brian Johnson (01:25:18):

Water’s my game. It’s understanding–again, I’m a home builder, the idea of building–I’m a healthy home builder, excuse me. And the idea is that of every facet, every aspect of the home has some kind of a healing component to it. So we can use the NSF 42 standards of water filtration, but it goes beyond that too. What types of media are we using? What types of filtration? Like for example, and I’m just going to throw this out there. I encourage everybody to do their own research around it, but reverse osmosis, RO systems, I used to use them, but reverse osmosis is really aggressive on copper for one. And obviously I think a lot of us here probably understand it takes everything, all the impurities out of the water, including all the minerals. So you have to remineralize RO water. But the biggest thing, and there is all kinds of studies about this using different types of highly sophisticated equipment for measuring, but what it does is it deconstructs water, and I kind of mentioned it makes it very aggressive on pipes, but if you were to look at it through these different types of scopes, it’s very rigid and it loses its coherence.

(01:26:37):

They actually do it in some treatment plans too, because it’s a fail safe fit to really clean up that water, but it’s doing damage to the water just as much as it’s filtering everything out. So there’s a movement out, and it’s a big movement, and it’s water structuring. So structured water, there’s a lot of science behind it. There’s some companies out there that they might quantify using their own data. So then it becomes biased, but it’s becoming big enough now to where there’s certain equipment, ways that they measure, that they actually can capture how water is structured. So the reason why I share that is with good carbon, I’m a big fan of carbon block water filtration. So we use pressed carbon blocks. Then, and now they’re doing the treatment. No different, like the Filtrete, to where it has that same type of a reaction to where now it’s filtering water submicron, but it’s keeping a high flow.

(01:27:41):

Because what happens is if you’re trying to filter out fluoride and you’re trying to filter all these different, it’s submicron, you lose water pressure through the house. So I look at it as how could we have water that’s completely filtered out that’s purified and that’s clean and it’s structured coming out at the faucet versus just having a little portable piece. So what it comes down to is if we’re using, the simple takeaway is this, if we’re using carbon press block filters and we’re able to get it down to submicron size, then you might want to do that under the sink if you don’t want to drop pressure for the entire home, and then they have just a spigot like you see on top of a countertop. So the goal is to take it down to submicron, but you want to be able to find ways to structure that water. That’s why I don’t recommend RO. That’s me personally. Everyone’s going to have an opinion around that. But if you do the study around structuring, so there’s different devices that I use to filter this water coming into the home and then restructuring it through the entire home. And then if I want to take it–go ahead.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:28:48):

No, sorry. Do you have names of specific products or companies that you like?

Brian Johnson (01:28:55):

Yeah, there’s one, and I talk about it on my social media platform just because, again, I do a lot of research. I’ve been doing this for a very, very long time. And so I’m kind of careful. I don’t want to be so biased in one thing, but if I find something good, why would I not share it with everybody? And one of the systems that I talk about, you’ll see in my social media, it’s Natural Action Technologies, Natural Action Technologies, and they have carbon pressed filters, but then there’s a structuring device on there that actually structures the water. It’s amazing. We’ve actually done, we’ve installed a lot of systems. You could do whole house or you can do an under the cabinet. So if it’s just an apartment and that’s all you have access to, at least you can put a smaller system under the cabinet. Perfect. But if the budget allows and you want to do the whole house, there are ways to take it all the way down to submicron and still maintain a high flow and structure the water, which is ideal if you have that capability.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:02):

Oh, that sounds amazing. Yeah. So cool. Gosh, Brian, I think we gotta end. I have another engagement at three o’clock.

Brian Johnson (01:30:12):

Oh, no.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:13):

And I need to take a little break. This has been fantastic. So cool. I love all of the information and I love all the questions. And I’m sorry to all those who asked questions that we did not get to answer, they were such fantastic questions. How can people get in touch with you, learn more about you, find you on social media, things like that?

Brian Johnson (01:30:40):

Thank you. There’s so much more to share everyone. We just barely, I love talking about circadian lighting and all the lighting systems too.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:50):

Yes. We didn’t get to lots of stuff.

Brian Johnson (01:30:53):

We’ll have to share down the road, but however, everyone can follow me or contact me through–so the name of my company is Senergy 360, and that’s spelled S-E-N-E-R-G-Y, Senergy 360. And you can follow me, synergy 360 on Instagram. You can email me at brian@senergy360.com. Of course, my website is senergy360.com. We’re going to start being a lot more interactive on current blogs and what we’re coming across currently instead of just right now, it’s all about general contracting, project management. But now we’ll start sharing a lot of the science and everything that we’re learning, everything that we talked about here, I’ll just start breaking it down and recycling that information and keeping it all current for everybody to follow that, Hey, what’s going? I talk about everything, water filtration, lighting systems, EMFs, air quality, ventilation systems, building performance, how to inspect windows, what to look for on the roof, what to look around the foundation, integrated pest management, pest control, proper draining around the house, plants that are low allergen counts. I mean, it just goes on and on and on. So definitely follow me for sure.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:32:19):

Definitely follow you. And someone asked if there’s any chance unanswered questions could be briefly answered via email.

Brian Johnson (01:32:28):

Absolutely, yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:32:30):

We’ll make sure you get the questions. And you’ll also get the list of all of the people who signed up, there will be a replay, as I mentioned at the beginning, that we’ll send out along with the transcript, so you’ll get to read through it. Maybe we’ll try and add the transcript of the chat because Leyna and Sarah, many others put such great information in there as well. And thank you again, Brian. This has been really fun. We’ll have to do it again sometime next year.

Brian Johnson (01:33:02):

We’ll have to do it again. And just one last thing. For all of the viewers and everybody that’s on the call in the upcoming recording, I’m happy to do a free consult with someone over the phone on any questions because there’s just so much there. And so I want to extend that to everybody. So just know that that’s there. We’ll just have to schedule it out. Okay.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:33:24):

Awesome. Thank you so much, Brian. Thank you everyone for listening, and we’ll see you again soon. Take care. Thank you. Bye.


Post-Event Q&A - Mastering Mast Cell Activation 2023

Post-Event Q&A - Mastering Mast Cell Activation 2023

Join Dr. Kelly and co-host Beth O’Hara answer a host of questions from participants of the Mastering Mast Cell Activation Summit. Grab this replay to learn more about:

  • MCAS Testing
  • Taking Supplements
  • MCAS Stabilizations and much more!


Transcript

Beth O’Hara (00:00:00):

Know everybody’s here for the Q&A. So let’s hop in for the first question. So Kelly, the first question is, how long do I need to stop antihistamines? Cromolyn, anti-inflammatories, supplements, et cetera, in order to be tested for mast cell activation? My doctor was thinking three weeks. And then do you see the testing for mast cell improving in the future?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:24):

Those are very good questions. In actuality, you do not need to — that’s weird. My speaker view, just I still see Beth in my speaker view.

Beth O’Hara (00:00:37):

You might have me pinned.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:40):

No, I don’t know. Anyway, okay, so you do not need to stop cromolyn or antihistamines or even really anti-inflammatory supplements, although you can. You don’t need to stop those before you do the mast cell testing. And part of this is because remember, the way that antihistamines work is they block histamine at the receptor site. They actually don’t block histamine from being released by the mast cells. And so you’ll still have the opportunity to have that positive histamine on your testing. The only recommendations that Dr. Afrin makes is no aspirin and no NSAIDs. So no anti-inflammatory medicines prior to the testing and the recommendations are like a week or so. Do I see the testing improving? Gosh, who knows. Hopefully somebody will come up with a better test — as you know, not great testing right now. I find that sometimes the easier thing to do are the CD 117 stains, so that’s a good way to go if at all possible. So yeah, you don’t have to give ’em up. In terms of next questions, I’m going to ask a question for Beth.

Beth O’Hara (00:02:17):

There was just a little second part on there, which is do you see the testing improving in the future?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:25):

Do I see the testing improving in the future? My answer was, I don’t know. I hope so. There are so many molecules that are released by the mast cells, but they’re not always definitive for mast cells exclusively. And I think that that’s one of the challenges. If we’re looking at cytokines, there are multiple different cells that produce cytokines, so it’s harder to find mass cell exclusive molecules that we can capture in a lab. Not really my area of expertise, but my answer is hopefully, although I’m not certain. And then for Beth: phenols such as quercetin are great for many reasons. How much do these supplements add to an oxalate load and can they be taken safely if you address mold following a low oxalate diet?

Beth O’Hara (00:03:31):

That’s a great question. Interestingly, salicylate levels and oxalate levels don’t always correlate. They can, but they don’t necessarily. So there are some high oxalate foods that are low salicylate and vice versa. And the same with herbs. One of the most wonderful resources we’ve had in oxalates is the University of Wisconsin does offer testing, and if anybody’s interested, you can join the Trying Low Oxalates Group and they can tell you how you can sponsor testing. There’s been quite a lot tested and they do maintain a database. It’s a private database of results. I’ve sponsored quite a bit of testing including different herbs, and I tested — quercetin was tested already and I tested isoquercetrin. That’s a form that Integrative Therapeutics offers, and those came back as fairly low, quite low oxalate. Even the Pure Encapsulations vitamin A with carotinoids that has beet powder as a coloring agent and a filler came back pretty low oxalate because it’s such a tiny amount, knowing that beets are high oxalate, so often oxalate and salicylate issues will go hand in hand because they use some of the same pathways. There’s oxalate degradation in the gut, there’s salicylate degradation in the gut. Oxalates and salicylates both need the sulfur pathway to be working properly, but there’s differences.

(00:05:08):

Like, oxalates can get lodged in the cell membranes and so on, where salicylates can be an intolerance where other pathways in addition to sulfur glucuronidation needs to break them down. But we don’t have as much glucuronidation involvement oxalates. So that’s where I’m saying we’ve got some biochemistry differences in how they’re processed and how they affect people. So short answer, for people who don’t want the biochemistry explanation, the phenols don’t always add to the oxalate load, depends on which phenols you’re doing. The best thing is to look at our cross-reference lists on the website. And typically if it’s high oxalate in a food, depending on the quality, it may be high oxalate in that supplement. So our clients don’t do things with spinach powder as a main ingredient with beet powder as a main ingredient, like a greens powder, reds powder, if those are in there because they’re pretty high oxalate.

(00:06:02):

But if there’s a tiny amount for coloring, the testing shows that that’s not really adding to the load. Can phenols and salicylates be taken safely if addressing mold and following a low oxalate diet? So oxalates — a lot of people, not everybody, but a lot of people with mold toxicity have to lower oxalates if they have colonization. And this can be because candida and aspergillus are known to feed on oxalates as a food source. So we eat high oxalates, we can be driving that colonization with a food source just like sugar can drive fungal species. But the salicylates is really an issue if those pathways are affected. And about 20%, maybe 30% of our client base have salicylate intolerance, that doesn’t mean everybody with mold toxicity does. So hopefully that answers it. The short answer there is that most people with mold toxicity following a low oxalate diet can eat salicylates.

(00:07:09):

It’s a smaller percentage that have both issues, and it’s a bit of trial and error and exploration to find out what it is for you, or you can work with somebody who’s really knowledgeable in both and they can help you pin it down. The salicylates are the hardest, in my opinion, to determine as an intolerance because it mimics so many things. So people usually figure them out one by one. But if you don’t have to eliminate salicylates, please don’t. They have so many mast cell stabilizing properties, anti-inflammatory properties, then if you do have to limit them, you want to be working on repairing the pathway so you can get them back because they’re super important. Kelly, can you cover more information about mast cell and diarrhea?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:59):

Mast cell and diarrhea? So we know that mast cells line the areas of interface between our cells — [session interrupted by an unmuted participant]

(00:08:24):

Okay. Okay. Mast cells and diarrhea. There are definitely some interviews that you want to check out. I interviewed Dr. Lenny Weinstock, who’s a gastroenterologist as well as Dr. Allison Siebecker, who’s a naturopathic doctor, specializes in SIBO. And so there’s lots of potential reasons for mast cells to cause a whole host of gastrointestinal issues as well as manifest issues gut mast cell reactivity to the rest of the body, depending upon the differences in your mast cells, your cytokine profiles, your inflammatory mediator profiles and your presentation. But in terms of diarrhea, if somebody was coming in to see me with that as one of their primary mast cell symptoms, again, each individual would respond to a variety of different things. And so I usually start with making sure that I’m not missing anything else like SIBO, like intestinal dysbiosis, et cetera, and then start to try and quiet down the mast cells that are manifesting in diarrhea. In many ways, this question is almost so vague, I can talk for a long period of time, but depending on the person, I might start with some cromolyn or some quercetin to see if I can stabilize the GI mast cells. And then we walk through the different antihistamines depending upon how people are responding.

(00:10:23):

So I’m thinking about the cause, I’m thinking about root causes even more deep than the mast cells, which we covered extensively all throughout the summit. And then thinking about the treatment modalities, do you have any other things you want to add to that, Beth? Now Beth is muted.

Beth O’Hara (00:10:50):

Got it. Okay. We also see diarrhea and things that are, I always think like what’s the most downstream, what’s the most upstream? So what’s triggering those mast cells and thinking, we see a lot of diarrhea in mold toxicity. We also see constipation and how that can trigger SIBO. What flavor SIBO are we working with? Histamine intolerance can cause diarrhea or constipation, but more often diarrhea, salicylate intolerance can trigger diarrhea, excess oxalates can trigger diarrhea, gluten intolerance can trigger diarrhea. That’s good. And so I think we just have to kind of think about what’s triggering those mast cells in addition. And we sometimes — you just got to eliminate the most likely and then you go to the next likely. But a lot of times people get help with diarrhea. In my experience, adding in binders for mycotoxins if they’re ready for it, adding in some bulking fibers, making sure there’s some bulking fibers.

(00:12:01):

And then also sometimes we’ll use things like, I’ve had great success if people tolerate eggs with IGY powder. There’s not many companies that make that, but Moss Nutrition does. I think we carry it in our supplement store. And a combination of IGY, IgG, some probiotics if they’re tolerated. So sometimes we can get some big improvements there. And Tributyrin-X, if you guys haven’t checked that out, if you can start with a whole capsule and we got a blog post on that, if you’re going to look into that, make sure you read the blog post on Tributyrin-X, but that’s been a game changer in my practice for diarrhea and especially really chronic cases, that combo I talked about.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:12:47):

Yes, I find a lot of probiotics can really help too. It’s often a dysbiosis situation, so if you have a probiotic that you tolerate, you can actually increase the doses. So let me ask you, Beth, how should trauma be addressed? And if you’re hearing about soothing trauma and not revisiting it, how do you do that? And then as far as stabilizing mast cells, how do you know when they’re stabilized?

Beth O’Hara (00:13:26):

I think we should both take that second question. The trauma really, again, is so individual. It depends on what the trauma is, how extensive it is. However, if we’re going to talk generally soothing, the trauma is really about soothing the nervous system and coming into the present moment of safety, assuming that you’ve created a life of safety for yourself. And I find many of us who have extreme sensitivities have been in unsafe situations emotionally, usually sometimes physically. Sometimes I’m amazed. I work with somebody for two or three years and they finally tell me, “well, when my husband gets mad, he can get physically aggressive” or, “my wife” and I see that hidden a lot more with men. Men are more ashamed to talk about it, but there’s a huge amount of abuse that happens in this community, unfortunately. So step number one is we must be in a safe situation.

(00:14:30):

A lot of times we think about family situations, but I see this also in friendships. I see it in extended families. I see it in work relationships, and I’ve worked with a number of people, even people in C-suite positions who had an abusive employee or an abusive boss who was really holding them hostage. Sometimes it’s an ex-partner, so you really have to be safe, and that means emotionally safe. So that’s step number one. We’re not getting anywhere in trauma if we’re being PTSD triggered on a regular basis, then once we’re safe, then we can soothe and soothing can be doing things like — I love Primal Trust and we’ve got a discount over on the resources page. I’ll give you the links to both mine and Kelly’s summit resources page where you can get your discounts and all of that. But Primal Trust is a trauma-informed program.

(00:15:34):

I have done a lot of limbic programs and I’m just really impressed with what Kathleen King’s put together. Sometimes that’s too much for people to start and it means lying down on the ground someplace. I like to use an insect shield. I get their cotton sleeping bag and I cut it open so I get a big sheet and I lie down on the ground. Or you might have to bring cushioning or you may have to just sit in a chair that’s comfortable for your body. If you can’t leave the house, it may means you look out the window and watch the birds. Just watch the birds, watch the trees, watch the light change during the day. Those things bring us back to the present moment. There’s also a practice called re-parenting, but we can apply it also to other situations where we take scenarios that we’ve been in that weren’t safe.

(00:16:30):

You could even do this with medical trauma, and we rewrite the script, we get a redo, and sometimes it’s really helpful to do it as a role play like with a therapist or a safe person. So for example, what if we give a quick example, Kelly, and I’ll do it with medical trauma. Could you just be, we’ll do like a one minute example. So here’s my example is that I saw a physician in my twenties. I had extreme fibromyalgia pain and I have a very high pain tolerance. And I came into her because she did osteopathic manipulation and I had spine injuries and I thought she could help me, and my blood work was normal. And she had a idea in her head about what a sick person looked like, and it wasn’t a 26 year old. And so she told me that I wanted to be sick.

(00:17:24):

It was all in my head. And that was the first time I was told that. And it was very painful and shameful to me because I was working so hard. So I had to work with that for a long time because I slowly stopped believing myself, even that I was really sick, and then I was making bad decisions because if I wasn’t sick, I shouldn’t need this stuff. So my redo would be with somebody really safe like Dr. Kelly and to go, can I redo this? And it can take a long time, but for our short example, I’ll just say, I would just do a redo and say, can you stand in as that doctor? And I say, I’m having extreme pain. I can’t lie down to sleep at night. It hurts so bad. I just toss and turn. I can’t tolerate pain meds. Is there anything you can do to help me? And then she can respond.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:18:21):

I hear you Beth. I hear that what you’re experiencing is really real for you, and it’s extremely distressing to be in pain and to not be able to soothe yourself and know what to do. We did all this blood work and we looked and we saw that in actuality, all the systems in your body, all of your blood work looks really good. And so I do want to reassure you that many things in your body are working really well, just like they should be. And I want to acknowledge you, that you’re still experiencing things that your body doesn’t feel like it’s working. So let’s figure out how we can start to work with where you are.

Beth O’Hara (00:19:15):

And that’s just like, oh, that’s so healing to hear, even though — I mean even in this moment, even though I worked on that for so long in therapy. So that’s how we can soothe, is to ask somebody who’s really safe. And that’s why I love talking to you as you’re so empathic and knowledgeable, but we can do that with childhood stuff. My parents did their best. They tried really hard, but they were not equipped for the needs that I had in childhood. And there was a lot of extreme trauma that I haven’t talked about much because they’re still alive. I don’t want to hurt them, but I’ve done a lot of reparenting around that. I didn’t have school clothes. So then I do a re-parenting around, what do you need? And I took myself shopping and I got some nice clothes. So we can do these ways of soothing.

(00:20:12):

Then once we’re out of the severe chronic illness, then we can do things like EMDR and go back and revisit and do those more intense. But when we have chronic illness, we have to focus on feeling absolutely safe in the conversations we have, the people we spend time with, the ways we spend our leisure time, even where we live. I lived downtown or right outside downtown and there were gunshots every week. I had to move. It was too stressful. And so I had to move someplace that felt peaceful, peaceful, peaceful, peaceful. Even the movies you watch, the TV shows, the music, you listen to everything peaceful and safe. That’s how we soothe trauma. How do we know mast cells are stabilized? We start to get improvement of symptoms. We just have to watch how people are doing. And that’s relative. What’s stable for one person may be super stable, maybe a little stabilization is amazing for another person.

(00:21:16):

So I have to see what’s relative, what’s possible, and it’s a moving target. I’m way more stable than I was — with my mast cells — than two years ago. And two years ago I felt like I was doing pretty darn good. So you’re just looking for improvements in your symptoms. Alright, Kelly, let’s see what we can move through here. So this is, I have terrible muscle spasms from inhaled allergy, so I can hardly walk. I have mold reactivated, Epstein-Barr virus, gut infections, parasites. After the basic trio of limbic, vagus, and mast cells, it would help to know what order would you address these other problems?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:22:05):

That’s a really good question. I find that many of the symptoms of the allergies of the gut, infections, parasites, whatever else is there, do get better when we start to address the nervous system and the mast cells. But in terms of treatment, as people get to this place, usually we’re dealing with mold first. There are a lot of practitioners out there in the space that think that parasites are the first thing that people need to address. I don’t find that in most people, not to say that that’s not the case, but usually it’s the mold and we have to deal with that next. Oftentimes more often than not, there are other chronic bacterial or parasitic infections like Babesia that come underneath the mold. Long before we get to Epstein-Barr — I find that reactive viruses are much, much lower down on the priority list for the body.

(00:23:20):

In fact, usually by the time you deal with the limbic system and the nervous system, mold, and Lyme — sometimes even Lyme and Bartonella tend to improve on their own. But certainly if you’re dealing with those things the Epstein-Barr can resolve on its own. Now there’s always zebras out there that come into play. Like I’ve had patients with legionella or Q fever or brucella, many infections that people don’t even hear about, and have had patients with toxoplasmosis and other parasites, as well as interstitial cystitis. So bacterial infections in the bladder can play a huge role too. So it really does depend on the person. And then we just keep plugging away and making sure that we’re doing all the mast cell stabilizing things and the nervous system reboots. Okay, let’s ask Beth another question. So let’s see. This particular person had covid, tested for food sensitivities with a dermatologist and an allergist who only gave him Zyrtec. Okay, that’s really unfortunate. Further testing for MCAS and recommendations besides food sensitivities and environmental allergies. So what do you think about that one? We kind of talked about that a little bit, but…

Beth O’Hara (00:25:06):

Yeah, we talked about testing. I think I want to come back here to, especially since we’re on Zoom here, I’d like to actually talk about, we can talk about it on here and we’re not going to be censored. What I have seen, and I’d love to hear what you’ve seen, Kelly. So when the pandemic first hit, I was terrified for our client population and I really thought we were going to lose about half of them based on what we were seeing coming out of Wuhan, which is when I started following the research, and probably about when you did too, because I know we were both tracking that coming out of China, and I knew when it left Wuhan we were in trouble. So I was reading every article, I was reading articles 20 hours a weekend and I’m just terrified. And that’s how we started our Facebook Lives until the FDA started censoring.

(00:26:05):

My fears didn’t play out. And in fact, we’ve had a lot of people with long haul come in, as well as vast majority of the client population, had covid. And we can’t talk about any this publicly because the FDA is still after anybody talking about it outside of the standard repertoire. But I just want to share with people since this question brought it up, about having had covid, that we have had — except for two cases — complete remission in all the long covid that we’ve seen. And we’ve had some short cases of long covid in people that are in the clinic. And what I found in the patterns of following what people were doing and their outcomes is that people who were exposed to mold were having the worst outcomes, people who were still living in mold and the extent of the mold that they were exposed to.

(00:27:01):

Even people living in mold, though, when they had a lot of nervous system work on board and a lot of mast cell support, they were faring the best, and interestingly, super sensitive people suddenly when they caught the virus could tolerate mast cell supports at levels they couldn’t tolerate before. So we learned within a few months to — even for sensitive people — to support their immune systems by taking things up they couldn’t tolerate before very quickly because it seems like — the way Neil Nathan conceptualizes it that makes sense to me — is the immune system turns its focus away from hypervigilance of everything to going after this virus. And we have a window we can fit a lot in, support the immune system, get over it, but then the hypervigilant comes back so they got to come off of it again if they’re super sensitive beforehand. Sometimes the sensitivities were improving.

(00:27:58):

One of the biggest things I think we were missing early on was hypercoagulation and addressing that. So we’re putting a lot of focus on that kind of support now. And the other thing that people — really is important to know — is to have a kit on hand, start it as soon as somebody develops symptoms in your household or you were exposed, or as soon as you have that first sniffle or any symptom, start and go up as quickly as you can right away, get ahead of it. Those that have really shortened from clinical observation, really shortened duration and severity. Where I’ve seen the worst cases are when people reached out three weeks in and said, I was in the hospital last week. I haven’t done anything other than what they gave me in the hospital. And then it took several weeks to turn it around, but I have not had anybody hospitalized who really got on a hefty protocol at the beginning.

(00:28:59):

And so just be thinking about that. My source for a lot has been the FLCCC, which I think is doing fantastic research, strong supporter of them. And then I’m so sorry, I cannot release the protocols because of the situation that we’re in, and I don’t have the funds to fight them like Joe Mercola does or Jill Carnahan, but I just took it and made a mast cell version and call it a support protocol. And then on the coagulation, yes, people are putting in buoloke, nattokinase, serrapeptase, and the way I introduce those is buoloke, then serrapeptase, and then nattokinase because nattokinase comes from fermentation, but if there’s no histamine tolerance, it’s well tolerated. Nattokinase needs to be Allergy Research Group, and I know Kelly can speak to that probably more than I can. If it’s tolerated, low dose baby aspirin can also be helpful.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:30:04):

So all about covid, I will say I have a more broad functional medicine practice. The patients who were in my practice originally, I had no hospitalizations and no deaths, a thousand patients in the practice. And I can say that I had very few long haul covid patients, and my experience is similar to Beth’s. It was the people who were in mold. It’s the people who hadn’t quieted the nervous systems yet. And for the most part, people were sick for a couple of months. I’ve had one single long hauler who’s taken a couple of years to get better, but she also got sick in March of 2020 when I didn’t have any tools at that point.

(00:30:59):

Coagulation is absolutely a huge issue, and please check out my conversation with Ruth Kriz about that. She talks all about biofilms and hypercoagulation and it’s fascinating and really, really important. I’m actually doing testing on all of my patients now about the coagulation genes, the genetics and the way to really think about it is we’ve got two cascades — coagulation on one side, which is clotting, and breakdown of clots on the other side. And so there’s a bunch of different proteins, this very complicated dance to get you to the building blocks of clots, which are fibrin, and then the fibrin sticks together and it needs to be broken down. And most people think that you get clots when you have Factor V Leiden. They think about things like pulmonary embolism and DVT. But what was happening with covid was that people were getting micro clots because of localized inflammatory responses in somebody who may have hypercoagulability or a decreased capacity for breaking down clots. And that’s what I’m finding is that there’s a gene called plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, PAI-1, and close to 85, 90% of my patients whom I’ve tested so far have had PAI-1 gene mutations. That’s on the breakdown of clot side, meaning we’re not as good about breaking down clots, and that’s really important.

(00:32:46):

The proteolytic, or sorry, the fibrinolytic enzymes is really the lumbrokinase, which is buoloke and nattokinase. Serrapeptase is less of a fibrinolytic, but can be used as a proteolytic, and you can use combinations of those things. There are also genetics that Ruth goes — I’m sorry, not genetics. There are also blood markers that Ruth goes over that you can request from your doctors. Prothrombin fragment 1+2, or 1.2, is an active clotting marker that I find is really important to check. And if it’s elevated, people need to be on buoloke and/or nattokinase. The aspirin, the baby aspirin is going to block platelet aggregation, which may not be as relevant for the protein components of the coagulation cascade.

(00:34:01):

In terms of covid, I did the same thing that Beth did. I followed the FLCCC and was able to use more of the pharmaceuticals, and that was very, very helpful for many, many people. Additionally, I started recommending that people check out rife treatments. I have a local chiropractor who’s been treating Lyme disease with rife for decades. And when I got covid myself and was doing all the things, and was still feeling pretty crappy. I went to see my chiropractor colleague and one rife treatment made me 80% better, and I became a true believer of rife. Interestingly enough, it’s super easy to treat covid with rife frequencies. So if people have an interest in that, it can be very, very helpful. Three treatments, and I had no problems after probably a week, maybe 10 days. So it’s very, very quick to clear out that virus. But other things, if you don’t have access to rife frequencies, yes, it’s r-i-f-e. Some people talk about coils, but really it’s the frequencies that are important and getting that right frequency of the organism. The way that I describe it is when an opera singer is able to shatter glass with her voice by singing that perfect note that matches the frequency of the glass, it shatters the glass. So the rife is the same idea. If you get the right frequency, it will destroy the organism, whatever it is you’re targeting.

(00:36:05):

So it works really well. Let’s see. What else did I want to say? I guess I’ll move on, but those are some ideas for everyone. Okay, now where are we? Oh, how about this one, Beth? I’ve been doing Brain Tap off and on, and sometimes it causes a flare. I don’t feel well, super sensitive and more shaky. Should I attempt it anymore? Am I too sensitive? What do you think is going on? Breathing exercises sometimes flare me too. What should I do?

Beth O’Hara (00:36:51):

So, I’ve definitely seen this, and Brain Tap is one, is a fantastic vagal rebooting and brain rebooting program, but what can happen is that when our nervous systems are extremely shut down, which is where I was about 12 to 15 years ago when I had to wear sunglasses inside with the lights off, I couldn’t process conversation. When we are that affected with nervous system dysregulation, Brain Tap is too much. And at that period of my life, I couldn’t even listen to classical music. It was just too much to process. So Brain Tap wouldn’t be where we would start then. So that’s normally what we assess. And if you haven’t taken my nervous system course, you might want to check that out, it’s on sale right now through the end of the Encore weekend, and that’ll help step you through when and how you try things. But I never recommend somebody going to Brain Tap unless they can tolerate classical music.

(00:38:02):

Now, a gentler program, I’ve had some people who tolerate. Now, again, I would make sure you could listen to some gentle classical music — is NuCalm, N-U-C-A-L-M, NuCalm. They have restore and a deep sleep. Now they have some that are excitatory. The other thing with Brain Tap is even if you do want to use Brain Tap or you have a subscription, there’s a lot of Brain Tap recordings. So you got to make sure you’re doing the music only. They’re very meditative, not the ones with the voice, because Patrick Porter, he’s brilliant, but he has got a little bit of an auctioneer kind of voice. It’s very rapid. It’s too much for a lot of people. And so the ones without the voice are best for the Brain Tap. If you can’t tolerate any kind of audio support like that, what we talked about before, watching the birds, watching the sun move through the sky, watching the trees, things that are super soothing.

(00:39:02):

It may mean turning on some kind of ocean or fish tank thing on your television off a YouTube and just watching fish. I’ve watched live webcams of animals, things like that. You got to see what’s soothing. What are you drawn to? I love watching ocean animals. So coral reefs, things like that. For other people, it’s watching the grass blow in the fields of a plain, or watching the snowfall in the mountains. You can find anything on YouTube. And so the key is to find what works for you, find what your nervous system can handle right now, and just do something. For quite some time all I did was breathing. Some people can’t do breathing practices. They have to watch the Kathleen King talks, watch Kathleen King, watch her talk. She talks about what she did before she could handle even a limbic program. And that’ll give you some ideas too. Alright, Kelly, let’s jump into another one here.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:40:08):

Sure. I just wanted to say also, when you’re having reactions to things that you previously were tolerating, you want to think about mold, you want to think about what’s really going on. Is your environment safe? Was there a new exposure or things like that?

Beth O’Hara (00:40:26):

Yeah, yeah. And also I think about acute Bartonella or really chronic Bartonella affecting that nervous system. Okay, Kelly, how about what’s your view? What’s your view on what is optimal in treating — [session interrupted by unmuted participant] Whoops. Let’s see if we can get everybody muted again here.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:40:53):

I got her. I got her.

Beth O’Hara (00:40:54):

Thank you. Alrighty. What’s your view on what is optimal in treating by seasons? Meaning are there some months or seasons that are best for allergies versus other health related conditions? And if you have noticed wise decisions to avoid or medicate issues. I’m also thinking about with that question, how Lyme can flare in the cold months and parasites have a cycle. And I think this is an interesting question about seasons and cycles.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:29):

Yes. Yeah. I have one patient I saw recently, she gets hives in the fall and the spring, and clearly there’s a seasonal allergy component to things too. And I don’t think we talked a whole lot about low dose allergy therapy in any of these particular summit talks, but if you look for Dr. Darin Ingles, he may have some other resources available on low dose allergy therapy or the American Academy of Environmental Medicine is the academy that trains practitioners how to do low dose allergy therapy. One of the reasons that I’m bringing it up is it is a very gentle, very easy way for people who are not hypersensitive — but sensitive mast cell folks, or even just allergy and food sensitivity folks — to treat and calm down those reactions. And it can be very, very effective in terms of the seasons.

(00:42:51):

I also think about, what’s his name, Elson Haas, Healing With the Seasons. So this idea of, more from traditional Chinese medicine, that eastern philosophy of really eating with the seasons and that we should be eating different foods. You don’t want to eat berries in the middle of the winter. You want to eat what’s appropriate. So if you’re finding that there’s cycles where things are worse and things are better, just like oftentimes we see patterns with menstrual cycles, I think there are clues in those cycles. There are messages in those cycles and the flares that can really point you and your healthcare team — how to begin to navigate what’s going to be the best treatment options for you depending upon what those cycles look like. I hope that’s helpful. Let’s see, Beth.

Beth O’Hara (00:43:52):

I just want to share really briefly on that too — to listen to yourself. Listen, really pay attention. And sometimes, you may never know, I had for three years in a row, every January, February, I could no longer tolerate cooked foods. It would last three months. Everything had to be raw. If I ate even a bite of something that was cooked, I had extreme digestive distress that probably was linked to porphyria that I didn’t know about at the time that I have. And I have genetic acute intermittent porphyria, but I had no clue. Nobody had a clue. People thought it was crazy, but that’s how it rolled. And it was coming on after New Year’s Eve, and this was when I still drank alcohol and I think I would trigger with the alcohol because I wasn’t drinking hardly any. But I’d have two or three drinks New Year’s Eve, and then it would hit me a few weeks later. So listen to those because there’s a reason. And even if we don’t understand it, that doesn’t invalidate it. And it was really important for me to do that and listen to my body.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:45:01):

And there may be traumatic experiences that are associated with specific times of the year that allow you that opportunity to listen and explore and to really heal. I mean, I think one of the things I did want to share at some point was it’s really important to understand that your body is not against you. You and your body are one. It is not against you. It’s not a fight. It’s trying its best to protect you in the best way that it knows how based on the programming that you’ve received in your life. And if we start to reframe the way that we’re thinking of ourselves and our bodies as on our side, I think that that really can help shift the way that we hold the symptoms that we’re having. They may not be quite as terrifying, not be quite as disabling, because there’s a message in those symptoms that if you listen and you allow that opening and curiosity to guide yourself and your intuition and your line of inquiry, then you can really start to shift those experiences for yourself.

Beth O’Hara (00:46:28):

And I just want to refer people to your talk where I interviewed you and you talked about what we really need. This is in Dr. Kelly’s multi-prong approach to healing from MCAS. If you haven’t listened to that, please listen. Because what you talk about is it all comes down to are we going to love ourselves? Are we going to love ourselves? And that’s the foundation for all of it. If we don’t love ourselves, it doesn’t matter how many medications, supplements, food intolerance diets we follow, nervous system work we do. Love is the ultimate place of safety. And no one will ever love us more than we love ourselves. So please listen to that talk. That was so powerful, and it was so powerful and that’s the message I preach, and it just took me up another level on it.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:47:33):

Thanks, Beth. Yeah. Okay. I’m going to ask another question. What is the best treatment for sensitivity to chemicals and odors if you can’t always avoid them?

Beth O’Hara (00:47:51):

Yeah, I get that one from so many times of holding my breath in the laundry detergent aisle or starting to get on an elevator and going, Nope, I can’t handle that. And walking out of offices because I was going to pass out. So I found the best is one, getting out of mold. Because mold, remember, the limbic system has a nerve straight to the nose called the olfactory nerve. And so when we are in mold, whether we can smell it or not — and remember, mold doesn’t always have a smell. Mycotoxins don’t have a smell. It’s other chemicals coming off of the mold that smell musty. But if we’re exposed to mold, that nerve registers it. And so what we do with smell is really important to the limbic system. And there’s a huge amount of research that came out of France on essential oils that calm the limbic system, smelling them.

(00:48:59):

So if you tolerate essential oils, not everybody does, but if you tolerate them, get good quality, and frankincense and rose, rose is very expensive. But if you get on eBay, you can find sometimes a sample bottle. And I’d get a really good brand. I love Rocky Mountain Oils, Young Living, I think Vibrant Blue oils might have a rose or they might have a rose blend. And theirs are my favorite oils, Vibrant Blue oils. And I think we’ve got a coupon code people can use. Rose and frankincense really calm the limbic system, particularly with sensitivities. But nervous system work, nervous system work, nervous system work, and a break. You got to give your body a break because when we’re constantly bombarded by any of these stressors, our nervous system can’t calm down, get a break, really soothe yourself. And then what I did was I practiced a lot of meditation techniques.

(00:49:58):

I did a lot of yoga. I did a lot of pranayama. Somebody — Misha — said vanilla also. Yes, vanilla is really good. Thank you, Misha. And you can even get a vanilla bean, get a raw vanilla bean, keep it in a little glass jar, open it sometimes and just smell it if you like. The smell of vanilla — and the smelling usually is not a problem for salycilates. But then when I would have an exposure, I would go into my meditative state or self-hypnosis — learn self-hypnosis — and I go, I’m safe. I’m safe, I’m safe, I’m safe. I didn’t force myself to stay. If I started flushing, I stayed too long. If I started getting lightheaded, I stayed too long. I would just stay and relax. And then if I got to a point where I couldn’t relax anymore, I had to leave. I didn’t force myself, because when I force myself, my nervous system locks down more.

(00:50:49):

That’s how our nervous system does when we try to push it. So you’ve got to be loving, loving, loving. And another technique I use a lot is imagining my favorite, who’s precious. And if my favorite three-year-old child in my life was dealing with what I was dealing with, how loving and soft and gentle, encouraging would I be? And that’s how loving, gentle, soft and encouraging I need to be with myself. And it’s easier to think about it with somebody else and then transfer it back to us. So that’s another one we can use. Also for soothing trauma. If you had a three-year-old, such a precious little angel in your life, how kind and loving and sweet? And then can you do that with yourself? Somatic focusing is another great tool for soothing trauma I just thought of. I just was seeing your comment, Jay.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:51:53):

Okay. Other ideas. That low dose allergy therapy that I mentioned does have a chemical antigen, which I found works great. I had a lot of mold exposures that led to chemical sensitivity. At one point I was walking around with a personal air purifier. It was Christmas time and I had to go to the mall and get gifts. And so the scents were just overwhelming.

Beth O’Hara (00:52:26):

I’m going to put a link in for the one, because I found, Dr. Dennis told me about a polarized one, polarized ions. That works really well. I’ll put that link in for people.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:52:35):

Great, thanks, Beth. Yeah, I mean, in the short term, if you have to go into places like that, but it’s oftentimes a combination of things. And so the environmental toxins, the different solvents and volatile organic compounds that are from chemicals, usually what happens is there’s a chemical exposure at some point earlier in somebody’s health journey, and you may not even really realize it. And then you get mold exposed. And the molds also produce volatile organic compounds that have an equal neurotoxic effect. And so you’re layering on all of these reactions. So the mast cells are just getting angrier and angrier, and usually what has to happen is detox. And of course if you’re super sensitive, that’s later on in the game. But there are ways to quiet down those reactions and to understand what’s happening. So those chemicals are the solvents and the VOCs. And so you can start to understand the trajectory of how you ended up where you are now. And Beth has some great tools. And then you can layer in things like LDA [low dose allergy therapy] for chemical and eventually start to detox so that you can get your burden down and have less reactions. Okay. Where should we go next, Beth?

Beth O’Hara (00:54:10):

Alright. Right. Let me just get this in here. I’m just putting a note about EMF shielding with EMFs on the personal air purifier. I dropped that link in the chat for you all [https://amzn.to/3tOPJye]. That’s the one that worked really well for me, but I did have to shield it a little bit. Alright, let me get back to our list here. So Kelly, this has come up a few times, is finding a knowledgeable practitioner about MCAS, both locally or not locally, but in the states, but also internationally? What kind of advice can you give people?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:54:45):

Well, on my resources page, I did put in a variety of professional organizations where we’re trying to educate other practitioners about it, about MCAS, and that includes the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness. We call it ISEAI. And there are a number of board members who were interviewed in our summit, including Mary Ackerley, Michael Schrantz, Nafysa Parpia. And so those are great talks, but that’s also a fantastic resource. So you can look for practitioners, who are ISEAI members on that link [https://drkellymccann.com/summit-resources/]. There’s also the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, and they’re not necessarily mast cell trained, but they understand environmental toxins, they understand mold, and so they can at least help get you moving along on your treatment journeys. In terms of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and hypermobility, there is an international society for EDS, I think it’s called EDS International. And so those practitioners know more about the hypermobility piece of things.

(00:56:12):

There’s Dysautonomia International, which is going to have more understanding about the autonomic nervous system dysfunction, things like postal orthostatic tachycardic syndrome, and you may get lucky and have some folks who are knowledgeable about MCAS. Unfortunately, there is no real database of practitioners who are MCAS specialists. I tried to put it together, I think it’s really hard. Dr. Afrin has put together a listserv for practitioners, and there’s over 380 practitioners on that listserv. And so oftentimes reaching out to myself, to Dr. Afrin, sometimes we can figure out where there might be a practitioner in your area by querying that listserv. It’s not an ideal situation. I’d much rather have that list available to you all, so I don’t have to be the intermediary. But those other resources of practitioner databases are a good first step,

Beth O’Hara (00:57:35):

Right? I think I can do a couple, one question each left and then I’ll have to get some dinner. Almost eight o’clock here.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:57:46):

Okay, which one would you like to answer, Beth?

Beth O’Hara (00:57:49):

Let’s do this one about the mattresses.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:57:51):

Okay, let me see if I can find it.

Beth O’Hara (00:57:54):

We’re on row 20.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:57:59):

Okay. Okay. So this person knows that their mattress is probably the worst offender in a moldy house and that they’re wondering, they just bought a mattress and should they bring the mattress home or wait until after the room gets remediated running the risk of ruining their new mattress if it comes into a potentially moldy home?

Beth O’Hara (00:58:39):

That’s a good question. If your home is still moldy, you’re going to get mycotoxins in the mattress. The longer it’s there, the more you’re going to get. Here’s what I would suggest. If you know you’re going to get a mattress and you really want to use that sale because that 20% off doesn’t come very often, it’s normally 10% off. So that’s a special. It comes wrapped in plastic. I would get it and leave it in plastic. If you have a safe space, you can store it until you get out of the mold or get it remediated. You can do that if you don’t leave it in the plastic in your house. But when you move, you got to throw the cardboard away. Don’t take any cardboard, cardboard’s a huge harborer of mold, and I learned this year, I’ve always done no-till gardens and put cardboard down and stachybotrys loves cardboards.

(00:59:32):

So now my gardens grew stachy and my dogs like to roll in the mulch and the gardens and they bring it on their fur. So I had to block them from the gardens and don’t disturb it and don’t dig anything anymore. So I’m not doing — I think I’m going to switch to burlap for no-till gardens — but really think about getting rid of cardboard, no cardboard in the house, but that’s where I would go on the mattress. If you really need to take advantage of that sale, just don’t open it. So the plastic, and then when you move it, you’re going to do any kind of hard service remediation or non-porous remediation. You’re going to wipe it down really well with Borax. Or you can use those HavenWipes from BioBalance or something like that. They even had people use Seventh Generation wipes. I really like the BioBalance ones. And there’s a coupon code on those websites if you guys want. Okay, Catherine’s asking about coupon code for Primal Trust. So we’re going to get there. You guys, I want to share some resources before finished, but Kelly, let me ask you one more question here. Okay. And then Sarah, I hope my message to you made sense. I’m trying to get a shortened link of Dr. Kelly’s link to buy recordings. So I just need you–

Sarah (01:00:52):

I think it made sense. I just sent you a direct message with that shortened link.

Beth O’Hara (01:00:58):

Perfect. Okay. Hopefully that works.

Sarah (01:01:00):

It just goes to the order page.

Beth O’Hara (01:01:03):

Perfect. Okay, wonderful. Thank you. Can you text it to me, Sarah? It’s lost. Oh no, I found it. I got it. Thank you. Alright, Kelly, why don’t we wrap up about, do you have a preference for your last question or you want me to pick one?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:01:23):

Oh, you can pick one and then if I don’t love it, I’ll add something–

Beth O’Hara (01:01:28):

You can change it. Okay. Like that. Well, a lot of people are interested in peptides, so where can I learn about more peptides used to help with MCAS And what can you share about peptides and MCAS?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:01:42):

I do, let’s see. I know that Dr. Nafysa Parpia and I talked about peptides last year on my summit. I don’t think we talked so much about it this year, but she’s definitely an expert on peptides. And so there may be some lectures of her talking about peptides for MCAS out there on the internet. And peptides aren’t for everyone. They may not be the first place to start, but some of them can be super helpful. So for example, BPC 157 can be taken orally to really help heal the gut. I like that one a lot.

(01:02:31):

Thymosin beta alpha, I’m sorry — yeah, thymosin beta — Thymosin alpha. There’s a variety of other ones too. And Dr. Parpia does go through that a lot. So that would be my suggestion. I don’t use them a whole lot because I feel like many of my patients are on a variety of other things and they can be quite expensive. They are available as injections, but those are also very expensive, and you have to be conscientious about the sources. So in California, we can’t get them from compounding pharmacies anymore. There’s a lab that has them for R&D purposes, but you just don’t want to buy something on the internet. You really don’t know if it was cooked up in somebody’s garage or basement or who knows. In terms of oral peptides, there’s a company called Integrative Peptides and they make good quality products if you are wanting to learn as a patient. Again, there’s definitely resources on the internet from different compounding pharmacies. I think the state licenses are different across the country, so you may be able to access — Google “compounding pharmacy peptides” and see what you can learn that way. So that’s what I have about peptides.

Beth O’Hara (01:04:11):

What kind of message do you want to leave people with while I’m wrapping up some slides to put up with resources for people? And then Christine, I just sent you a quick text if you could please check it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:04:24):

Beth is excellent at multitasking.

Beth O’Hara (01:04:27):

I’m trying to get these slides done so we can give everybody the resources here.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:04:31):

Okay. Alright. Beth and I are so grateful for all of you and your interest in yourself and getting better. And we want to leave you with a message of hope. Always hope that there are ways to heal and there are so many tools out there, and I think when you’re looking for a practitioner, when you’re working with somebody, when you’re looking for somebody to work with, one of the qualities that I would encourage you to look for is somebody who has lots of tools in their toolkit, or if they don’t have the answer, they have a curiosity and a willingness to work with you to figure it out. Beth and I don’t have all the answers, but we have a lot of tools in our toolkit and we have colleagues that can help if we run into a block in helping people get better. But the truth is that you have many of the resources inside of yourself to get better. And sometimes the first thing that people need to do is have the hope that they can get better. And I can’t give you that hope, that has to come from inside, but it is our fervent wish for you that you find that hope, that little glimmer of hope, and you nurture it because you really can heal from this.

(01:06:16):

My interview with Beth was also about how, which I encourage you all to watch, was also about how mast cell and chronic illness offers us the opportunity not only to heal ourselves, but to heal each other and the planet and the planet certainly needs some healing. So I hope, we hope, that this will be the start of a transformation for you all. Yes.

Beth O’Hara (01:07:04):

And Sarah, if you could please make me a co-host. I’ll share a slide here in a second. That’s really what it comes down to is we talked about earlier — Dr. Kelly’s message of are we going to love ourselves? Because this world needs a lot of love and it’s beautiful. Misha — she says, put your hands over your heart and feel a hug. So yeah, I think maybe we can do that together. And that’s why we have community so we don’t have to do this alone. It was so terrifying to do this alone and to be the only sick person I knew, chronically ill sick person in my twenties, and to not know anybody with sensitivities. And what we can do with all of this is pay it forward. What we learn, pay it forward somehow, whether we can teach. It doesn’t matter if you have a website and a podcast and a clinic or if you just teach your children that they’re loved.

(01:08:09):

I think that’s the greatest service. Or if you teach someone else’s child that they’re loved, that’s the greatest service. And so we’re in this boat because we’ve forgotten how to love. We’ve forgotten how to love ourselves, how to love each other, how to love this only home that we have, which is the earth, the only home. We’re not going to go set up a colony on Mars or the moon and be okay. There’s massive amounts of money that goes into keeping astronauts healthy and they still come back wrecked. They don’t come back and get off that spaceship and go, oh, cool, I’m going to go do jumping jacks. They’re wrecked. We are only healthy because of this earth that we’re sitting on and the earth’s healing field and the love that we can generate. And so let’s generate it together for each other. Let’s heal by learning, remembering.

(01:09:08):

It’s not learning, it’s remembering. We already know how. That’s what Paul Berg, my teacher teaches. We already know. It’s just remembering we forgot. But it’s innate. It’s our birthright to know all of this. And so what’s happening for us isn’t a victim space. It’s not happening to me or to Kelly or to you. It’s happening to the planet because we’ve forgotten. And so we’re all poised, and that’s our real mission is to help you guys. We want you to get back to eating more foods and go out to eat with your families. And that’s great. We want that for you guys. We want you to feel good. But what we really want is for you to get your lives back so you can live your purpose and mission on this planet because it’s going to take all of us here, all of us here, to turn it around. And so our great-grandchildren and their great grandchildren aren’t in this boat that we’re in.

(01:10:12):

So I just want to share just briefly, just a quick reminder that, do I have the right screen up? Kelly, can you see the slide? Yes. Okay. Recording transcripts and additional bonuses. Is that what you want? Yeah. So I hate it. I hate it. I hate it when I am on the fence about buying something or I’m going to pull the trigger and then I go back and the price hops up $50. And so that’s what’s happening on Monday, and I’m just going to let you guys know we don’t set these prices. The summit company does, the recordings and transcripts are available for $79. If you have the budget, you’ll refer back to this for a long time to come. And I encourage you to print off the list of speakers and talks, keep it where you find it. And that way two years down the road, it’s like, oh my gosh, I didn’t know I had that talk right there by Ruth Kriz.

(01:11:10):

I’m going to listen to it and now I’m going to be educated about it and know what questions to ask, what to look for, and know the conversation to have with my doctor and so on. Oh, three years from now, I’m in the market for a mattress. What do I need to know? Or, Hey, I’m getting back to coffee, or whatever it is. Oh, I just realized I’ve salicylate intolerance, let me go learn about that. You’re going to have a whole library, a whole resource, and if you’re going to get it at the good price, at the $79 if you’re going to get it, it really helps Dr. Kelly and I if you use one of these links, that’s Dr. Kelly’s link to buy the recordings, and that’s mine. We’ve worked on this summit for a year. There’s no pressure, but if you want to support us back, it really helps us because we split all of the proceeds with the summit company and we really keep the price down for you guys. But this has been a well over a hundred thousand dollars. I don’t even know what the production costs are, Kelly.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:12:11):

I don’t know either, but it’s a very expensive endeavor to put these on, and that’s not counting the hours and hours of Beth and I and our teams working on the videos and the resources and everything.

Beth O’Hara (01:12:30):

I think it was 230, maybe, to produce 230,000 just to produce without any of our time. So we’ve been working on it literally for a year. Dr. Kelly and I met right after my last summit in October and hers was in September. So if you’d like to support us, that’s a way you can support us back. Another way you can support us back is if you are going to pick something up, or even if you’re not, we’ve got a lot of resources for you, but if you want to pick something up, we’ve both got Summit Resources pages with links, there’s affiliate links in there [https://drkellymccann.com/summit-resources/, https://mastcell360.com/summit/]. There’s a small commission that comes back to us. If you buy through links, you buy a product from an affiliate link. It doesn’t cost you anything more, but that helps us keep putting out these free events and our blogs and our Facebook Lives and all the various things that we do for free for you guys.

(01:13:21):

So if you’re in a position to support us back, that really helps us to keep doing this because neither of us are wealthy and neither of us — this is a labor of love for us and we want to keep doing it for you guys. And we’ve got some sales going on of our own courses. You’ll find that on the summit pages if you’re looking to pick that up. And I believe you can find the waiting list for the practitioner training that’s coming up over there. Don’t forget, Dr. Kelly’s got a sale on her environmental exposure course, which is a great course. So check those out and your sales run through, I believe Monday on everything. But most importantly, we are so grateful that you’re here with us because we could sit on here and talk to each other and it would not make a lick of difference.

(01:14:10):

And we can here and talk with people who, it doesn’t really impact them, but we’re both real strong empaths and we feel your energy and your energy is beautiful and just, I came on so tired and it just filled me up. And I think probably the same for you, Kelly, and we’re so grateful for you guys for being here and just sending you a lot of love and keep going. No matter what, no matter how dark it gets. Put one foot in the front of the other and keep going. You will get there if you keep going. I don’t know where you’re going because it’s different for everybody, but you’ll get somewhere. But if you give up, you’re going nowhere. So let’s keep going together and let’s change the world. That’s what we’re doing.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:15:03):

Thank you everyone. We’re going to say —

Beth O’Hara (01:15:07):

You what?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:15:08):

We’re going to say goodnight so Beth can eat something!

Beth O’Hara (01:15:11):

Wait, wait, wait, wait. We got two more Q&As. I want to put the Q&As up–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:15:16):

So I’ll answer a couple of questions. When you buy the summit, you have lifetime access. As long as Health Means is still around, you will have lifetime access. If you get a jump drive for a little extra, you’ll have that access for lifetime. The Q&A here, you’ll, you have access to this through Health Means. And then eventually, I don’t know what Beth will do, but I’ll probably eventually put it on my website, but you’ll get it for free through Health Means in the replay. So if you want to watch it again or share it with other people, you’re welcome to do that. And then here we are with our live Q&As. We have two more. I’m doing a live Q&A tomorrow on Zoom, so it’ll be similar format. And there I’m going to share a little bit more about my story with mold and my journey with MCAS. So if that’s of interest to you, you can join me tomorrow.

Beth O’Hara (01:16:23):

And then you can join me on Saturday, October 28th, two o’clock Eastern, and that’ll be on Facebook. So mastcell360.com/october 28th. Take a screenshot of this with your phone. If you’re on a laptop, just take your phone and do click. Or if you’re on Windows, do Windows S and that’ll grab a screenshot. If you’re on your phone, do a screenshot real quick so you can grab those links. That way you got ’em easy to find. And then for anybody who didn’t get a screenshot of these others, I’ll just pop these up as we’re saying bye. I’ll pop these slides up for you guys. But I think that’s it, and we’re so happy to see you Friday and Saturday. If you can join us–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:17:07):

And the summit runs through Monday, so be sure to watch all the interviews, any the ones that you didn’t get to see or want to see again. Okay. Thank you so much everyone.

Beth O’Hara (01:17:20):

Grab these links, I put ’em up and take care.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:17:25):

Bye-Bye now.


Pre-Event Q&A - Mastering Mast Cell Activation 2023

Pre-Event Q&A - Mastering Mast Cell Activation 2023

Missed the 2023 Mastering Mast Cell Summit? No worries! We’re excited to offer you the chance to access the replay of our in-depth Q&A with Dr. Kelly and Beth O’Hara. This is your opportunity to explore the world of mast cells at your own pace. Whether you’re seeking answers to persistent health issues, eager to learn cutting-edge health strategies, or just curious about mast cell science, this Q&A has it all.


Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:00):

Shall we get started?

Beth O’Hara (00:00:01):

Let’s get started. How about I read you a question?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:04):

Okay, sounds good.

Beth O’Hara (00:00:05):

Okay, so this first question was directed to you. What protocol does Dr. Kelly suggest for those who react to many or most medications? And in parentheses, it says, mentioned in last year’s summit.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:19):

Well, I think whenever you’re starting with medications and/or supplements, it’s really important to start things one at a time [and] to start with lower doses. And some of the medications have what we call excipients in them or inactive ingredients in them. And oftentimes it’s those inactive ingredients that are causing a lot of the problems that mast cell patients might have in terms of the reactions. So when I see a patient who comes in and they have an allergy to medication list that’s quite extensive, I am very suspicious of mast cell activation and also suspicious that it may not be the medications themselves, but more so potentially the inactive ingredients. And so oftentimes then what we can do is compound different medications. I have patients who are on compounded antihistamines, compounded benzodiazepines, and that really seems to help because the medications themselves are useful and then the excipients are the problem. And as people get better, those reactions come down and we can eventually use the less expensive ones with the excipients or find better cleaner options that are commercially available.

Beth O’Hara (00:01:47):

I just wanted to add too, if people have already done that route, because that would of course be the next phase, but then what if we’ve tried all that and we’re still reacting? So I’ve seen a lot of those cases, and I frequently find that in those cases where people are reacting to everything and it’s not making sense, and we’ve had people who couldn’t drink water and they tried every kind, reverse osmosis, and they finally found this one water in plastic bottles that they could tolerate, that there’s more going on. And I often find that the hands down again and again and again, when people get that sensitive, that they are either being exposed to, well being exposed to mold and or in some kind of toxic unsafe situation, usually a relationship, and not recognizing that it’s abusive or not being able to get out. So for you guys, you’re really sensitive, really tune into those talks on the summit if you’re struggling at that level.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:03:04):

Thank you. Okay. I’ll read the next question. Can MCAS go away if we address the underlying cause?

Beth O’Hara (00:03:17):

I think this is the theme of our summit, right? Because the whole summit is about mastering this, not about surviving. We didn’t want to use the word surviving because surviving is like, you’re just making it. It’s like we want to use, we want to thrive, and then we want to go on and take what we learned. And for me, it’s about paying it forward. And so how do we get there? I see incredible cases of people turning around their MCAS in sometimes two or three years when they really went after those root causes. And in my practice, the biggest things that are underlying there may be entero viruses, but there’s layers and layers and layers and layers to this. And so a lot of times I see people working more, if we think of this like a pyramid of health, and I like how Bob Miller has his genetic pyramid and kind of an order of operations.

(00:04:26):

And so we keep trying to pick off the entero virus or the Epstein Barr up here on the pyramid, but if we can pull out that base layer at the bottom of the pyramid, then the whole thing can fall down. Otherwise, it’s just like pulling out little Jenga blocks. And maybe someday you’re going to get enough blocks out, but you’re still going to have that base layer, right? So your MCAS isn’t going to be gone. So what’s that base layer? It’s different for everybody, and that’s what makes it challenging to work with. But I would say most commonly, in probably 90-95% of cases that we get in our clinic — and I can only speak from that, so that’s my limited view, and then of course, we have different populations, so I want to hear your take Kelly, too — I see over and over people exposed to mold or they’re colonized with mold and they got into a clean place, but they never got rid of the colonized mold. A big one that I’ve been seeing and really getting on my radar this year is living in a household with someone else who’s colonized or has actinobacteria infections on their skin and not treated. And so I learned this year that that person who’s not getting treated will recolonize the house and can recolonize other people by breathing the spores out through the sinuses, from the sinuses. So there’s the mold component, whether we’re talking about environmental or the mycotoxins, the colonization, and then the tickborne infections are huge.

(00:06:10):

I’m assuming we’re past poor diet, we’re past poor sleep habits. We’ve got all that. We’re not drinking, we’re not using drugs and things like that. So we’re already living a healthy lifestyle. Then the next one is stress and trauma. And I have talked to so many people this year who are realizing, oh my gosh, I’ve been spinning my wheels for five years and I’m in an abusive relationship, and I just realized it. And so that’s one. We’ve got to really protect ourselves because of how the nervous system and the immune system and the mast cells are so intertwined that we cannot, we can’t separate them. So if we feel emotionally unsafe, our mast cells feel unsafe, and they will constantly be trying to protect you, even if it’s an emotional threat, an energetic threat. And so many people are very empathic in this community. So that’s where I go. And there’s all kinds of other triggers we could go into and we can get nuance and nuance and nuance, but if we can take out those big blocks at the bottom, then that’s where I see the big breakthroughs. How about for you, Kelly?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:33):

Yes. I would say the same. I mean, I think that mold is a huge one for the vast majority of people. And it can also be layers upon layers. So it can be mold and Lyme and chronic infections. It can be EMF. And oftentimes my experience has been that people are so sick that they just want to feel better first. And so I may not have the level of sensitive patients that you do, Beth, but usually —

Beth O’Hara (00:08:13):

We see some really complex cases.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:08:15):

Yeah. Usually we’re working at the physical level first. And even having those conversations about trauma and the emotional piece, sometimes they don’t happen right away. And that’s okay because we need to build a rapport. You need to trust the process that I’m going to be there for you or what have you, that your practitioner is going to be there for you. And many practitioners don’t have the skillset to address the trauma, the emotional, spiritual aspects of things. And that’s okay. You can still work with a practitioner who has the capacity to help you on the kind of, what I call biochemical pathophysiology perspective, the body perspective. But we both, Beth and I, really see the patients who heal are the ones who are willing to look internally and figure out what are the hindrances inside? What is the lack of safety? What are the belief patterns that are no longer serving us?

(00:09:43):

I mean, I think the important thing to remember is our bodies and our beings, mind, body, spirit are for us. They are on our side and they are sending us messages. They’re not against us, and they’re sending us messages that if we’re willing to listen, we can start to heal. And I think if we think about it from that perspective, like your body’s not against you. It’s not fighting you, it’s sending you messages and it’s on your side. That can shift the whole paradigm of how we think about health and not having health, what we perceive as health. So I just offered that as a starting point. And yes, our whole summit was really not just about the physical body, but about the mind, body, spirit. Yeah. Okay, let’s move on. We could spend all day talking about, I know —

Beth O’Hara (00:10:51):

That’s our favorite topic.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:52):

All right, we’re on number three. Okay, here we go.

Beth O’Hara (00:10:55):

Let’s see if we can pick it up a little faster.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:57):

Yeah. Are there particular HLA or SNPs, genetic variants that are implicated for MCAS?

Beth O’Hara (00:11:06):

It’s interesting. There’s quite a lot. And the first gene that was really talked about around mast cells were the KIT genes, and Kit genes are really implicated in mastocytosis, which is a rare condition for anybody who’s new here. Some of you know all about it. That’s a really rare condition where there’s a genetic predisposition towards producing way too many mast cells. So that’s about a numbers issue. Some people have KIT variants that are not at the extremity to cause mastocytosis, but they could have some involvement in MCAS. So those KIT genes are ones that are well known. There’s a number related around histamine clearance that can affect mast cells. And then there are genes for all these different receptors. So I hope you’ll catch our many talks during the summit, everyone, because we’re going to give you all kinds of background for the talks, and you’re going to get lots of nuggets, whether you’re a brand new beginner or you’re a practitioner, I think you’ll get things out of those mini talks at the beginning of the day.

(00:12:14):

So make sure to catch those because they’re really important to help you get the most out of the talks. And they were really popular last year, but remembering that, so I mentioned that, because we go over some of the basics of mast cells, so I’m going to touch on that briefly. Mast cells have over 200 receptors on their outside, and so there are genes that code for all those receptors. And there are genes that code for the mediators, and there’s over a thousand. So we have genes for like interleukin-6 and interleukin-13. And so [we] really could go through hundreds of genes because then you go from the ones that are very specific to mast cells or to the cytokine signaling, and then you can go out from there to, well, anything that triggers inflammation, like problems with iron regulation, problems with detoxification, can trigger MCAS. And we did a great talk with Bob Miller on the genetics of MCAS. I’d really love for you guys to check that out. And I was just looking for his talk title here, Cutting Edge Genetics and MCAS. So that will be coming up here. I think he might be on day two. I don’t have the days listed in front of us, but make sure you check out that talk.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:13:44):

And then Carolyn Ledowski and I speak about some of the genetics as pertaining to histamine intolerance, but also the whole methylation cascade. And she’s got some fantastic information about MTHFR and the other methylation genes that are really pertinent to mast cell as well. Alright.

Beth O’Hara (00:14:12):

Let me get a question here for you. Okay. Any tips for newer practitioners wanting to master working with MCAS clients and/or more in-depth trainings?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:14:25):

Well, if you want to come to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine’s upcoming conference in San Antonio, the first week of November, Dr. Neil Nathan and I will be heading a panel about MCAS and its relationship to how our practices have changed over the past three years with the covid Pandemic. And certainly MCAS has come into the limelight with covid, but that’s one way. And we also teach low dose allergy therapy, which has been a fantastic way to help modulate the immune system and calm down many of the reactions to chemicals, environmental triggers, and food triggers. So that’s one plug for a professional organization. There’s also the international, I’m sorry, there’s International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness, ISEAI.org, and we have our annual conference the second weekend in November, which is virtual. That one will be mold focused. But in answer to the question regarding MCAS, I would suggest watching all the videos and participating as much as possible in this summit because there’s a wealth of information there available to you. And we’ve got all the big name players, Dr. Lawrence Afrin, Dr. Tanya Dempsey, Beth and myself, talking about many different aspects of MCAS. And so those would be some of the ways that you can start to work with patients. The important part that I think both Beth and I would say is, one, you have to believe the patients that they’re experiencing what they tell you they’re experiencing, and two, you don’t have to understand all the reasons that it’s happening to be able to help them.

(00:16:38):

I suggest slow and steady whenever you’re working with patients. Many of the patients come in and say, I saw this naturopath and this practitioner and this practitioner and these practitioners, and I can’t detox. I just keep hitting walls and I feel worse and worse and worse. So the number one thing that you can do is don’t do that. Go slower. You have to start really, really slowly with people calming down the nervous system, working on the mast cells. Don’t go after heavy metals, don’t go after Lyme. Get people in a safe place. You can’t even usually go after mold. So all of the ways that you might have been trained as a practitioner to take care of patients, to do naturopathic medicine, to do functional medicine, you have to halt that and work on the dysregulation for patients. I hope that’s helpful.

Beth O’Hara (00:17:44):

And then I’m very excited. You’ll get more information about this in the many talks if you attend those and I think around day two or three, but we have the, as far as I understand, the first practitioner certification program starting in 2024, and it’s going to, we’re bringing in as many mast cell experts as I can get to teach. It’s a comprehensive program. It follows the order of operations that Kelly’s talking about. And so you can sign up for the waiting list to get more information. My team will drop in the link for you, but it’s just mastcell360.com/hcp. So that stands for Healthcare Practitioner — HCP. And Tanya Dempsey has agreed to teach, Dr Theoharides has agreed to teach, Neil Nathan, I’m hoping to get Kelly to teach, and we’re going to have just, I’m still reaching out and pulling a panel together and we’re going to have some incredible people coming together because my vision is to have a consolidated certification program.

(00:18:57):

So stay tuned for that and you’ll get more. I don’t want to spend too much time on that because we’ve got so many other questions, but check out the end of the many presentations and you’ll see a little more details on that and study as much as you can. It really is a fire hose. So go to the ICA conferences and go to the American Academy for — I lost it — Environmental. Environmental. I had it and I doubted myself. Make sure just everything you can get and make sure you keep getting current information because what we were doing two years ago isn’t what we’re doing now, and it’s changing continually as we’re learning. It’s an emerging field. It’s a really exciting time though. So much better than 15 years ago, we were in the dark ages. Okay, next question.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:19:45):

Okay, any medicine or treatments you can suggest to heal from extreme EMF sensitivity and the person listed a whole bunch of symptoms, but I think we’ll just talk about EMF sensitivity. Do you want to take that, Beth?

Beth O’Hara (00:20:06):

Yeah, I’m going to do a real high level, and then I just really want to encourage anybody with EMF sensitivity to listen to Roger Billica’s talk. I’m trying to find the talk title here. Roger Billica on easy and highly effective EMF protection. And so that is a great talk. Make sure you catch that. But high level, first you have to think about reduction. So don’t be sleeping in the same room with the router. Turn the router off at night. At least have a router that’s programmable. You can turn the wifi off at night if somebody needs to stay hardwired or you have it running, something that’s hardwired. Look for things like where the power lines come into the house. Is that where your bed’s sitting? Pay attention to. Do you hold your phone to your head? Don’t hold your phone to your head. So if you’re really sensitive though, I’m assuming you already know all of that and you’re working on mitigation. Mold toxicity does greatly worsen EMF sensitivity.

(00:21:17):

So you’re right on with that. The other thing is that if you have issues like I’ve had with a QR malformation here where your brainstem sits down in the hole, and that’s not uncommon. This population because of what happens with the ligament laxity, I mean the connective tissue laxity, then you can’t drain the fluid and pressure builds up. So there’s no room like other people have for this wax and wane of the pressure on the brain. And so that can cause these vice grip headaches, Laurie, that you mentioned here. And shortness of breath can be pressure coming down into these nerves that control breathing. I also really want you to check out Roger Billica’s talk because he’s going to talk about some devices, and I never got into pendants. I’m really, I’m not into the stickers that you put on phones and stuff. I didn’t find those work.

(00:22:20):

I didn’t find harmonizers worked, and I’ve tried a lot of stuff. Shielding helps some people, doesn’t help everybody, but he talks about these devices and you’ll learn more about these. And these creates a quantum field, creates a healing field, and offsets the EMFs. And these have scientific published studies on how they work and changing the electrical potential in the body when it jumped with a cell phone call and come back down. And there’s a necklace that I’m wearing that you guys can learn about. So let me refer you over there. In terms of just getting out of it, Lori, it’s really giving your body time to reset, making sure you get rid of the mold. Bartonella is also a huge trigger and really working on the nervous system and things like electrolytes, antioxidants, rosemary sometimes helps astaxanthin, bilberry and just time. I used to be so EMF sensitive that to go through an airport, I would have to be completely covered in shielding clothing.

(00:23:31):

And then when I would go under one of those big monitors, I would have to curl up in a little ball on the escalator. And the time that I didn’t, my legs gave out and I couldn’t walk because of the neurological issues that would come on. So I used to be extremely sensitive. This is not my MO. I prefer to be hardwired, but I just want to share. I went from that to I can now work off a wifi if I have to on my laptop, and I’m not being able to do that for 10 years. So things do change. I just want to give you some encouragement, Lori,

Kelly McCann, MD (00:24:06):

And if you’re needing to find somebody to help you mitigate, Building Biology Institute trains EMF professionals, building biologists, either look for how to build a healthy home or they do EMF mitigation. So you don’t have to do this all alone. You don’t have to learn all that there is to know about EMF mitigation. But that would be where I would suggest you start looking. There are dozens, if not hundreds of building biologists who are trained throughout the country that you can use as resources.

Beth O’Hara (00:24:48):

Oh, there was a question that came in real quick. I just wanted to answer briefly. Someone asked, can a mental health practitioner do these trainings that we’ve been talking about? So I’ll let you answer about the conferences you mentioned, Kelly. We will have an audit option for people who are either not working directly [with] biochemistry. The certification, you have to have functional medicine, some functional medicine training, either as a health coach or a licensed practitioner. But if you have functional medicine background, yes, if you don’t, you still want to take it. We have an audit option and you still get all of the same information. You just don’t have to go through the certification stuff at the end. So that’s all. How about your conferences? Can mental health professionals and can laypeople attend?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:25:40):

Yeah, so for the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, laypeople can attend. So go to AAEMonline.org, I think — if that’s not it, it’s .com — but it is one of the oldest environmental medicine — it’s actually one of the oldest professional organizations that has been around since the early seventies. It was founded by Dr. Bill Ray who had the environmental health center of Dallas, and his specialty was multiple chemical sensitivity. And the amazing thing is mast cell activation syndrome was only really recognized in the medical literature in 2007, 2008, but multiple chemical sensitivity has been around for many, many years. And now Dr. Lawrence Afrin and Dr. Claudia Miller have come together and written a paper really showing that people who have mast cell activation often have chemical sensitivity, or people who have chemical sensitivity often have mast cell activation and they’re related if not the same thing. And so this is the organization that has been training physicians since the seventies and how to manage multiple chemical sensitivity, EMF, mold, et cetera. So it’s a fantastic organization and the conference is open to laypeople. So I would strongly encourage anyone who’s in Texas or wants to go to Texas to join us for the American Academy of Environmental Medicine Conference. And then online for the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness, there is a track for laypeople. If you go to their website, ISEAI.org, you can learn more about how to watch the lectures as a layperson.

Beth O’Hara (00:27:47):

Good. Okay, let’s do another one. This is for you, Kelly. What’s the correlation between mast cell activation and lipedema? And this is from Jackie and Bonnie.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:27:58):

So lipedema is an unusual accumulation of fat in the lower extremities. We don’t know exactly what is the cause or even necessarily the relationship between MCAS. My suspicion, however, understanding that fat gets stored in, I’m sorry, environmental toxicants get stored in fat, there may be an environmental toxicant exposure in the fat cells in particular areas of the body that can then go on and trigger MCAS. So that would be my hypothesis of the relationship there because we know that environmental toxicants can trigger MCAS. I have a conversation with Lynn Patrick, who is a wealth of information about environmental medicine that you can check out in the summit. Okay, let’s find the next question. If there is a very severe rash reaction on the skin after a minimum amount of glutathione as part of a detox protocol, the listener is assuming that’s a mast cell reaction. And then what is the best immediate action to take after taking a break from detox? And what other precautions are recommended when resuming detox?

Beth O’Hara (00:29:55):

So when I think about this, definitely a detox break that is going to include sauna. A lot of people forget to come off their sauna, but I would probably keep on the binders if you’re able to take binders. If you weren’t, I wouldn’t in this population — for most people, take glutathione without binders, but that’s really common. I see it’s really common, that this reaction to a tiny amount of glutathione. And so could be a reaction to excipient, could be over detox. However, something I learned from Jill Crista, and if you guys don’t know her, she’s an incredible naturopath. She specializes in mold. She’s got a great book called Break the Mold, and she’s very research-based like Dr. Kelly and I. And what she learned is that sulfur compounds, often called thiols, can activate gliotoxin. So sometimes if you’ve got this pattern of these sulfur — you have trouble with glutathione, but you’re also having trouble with glucosamine sulfate and alpha lipoic acid, these sulfur based things.

(00:31:07):

And it may be a gliotoxin issue. Sometimes I find if you tolerate water, drinking — I meant lemon — drinking lemon and mineral water is really helpful. Baking soda like a half a teaspoon. If you don’t, you’ve got to decide if this is right for you because some people have severe stomach pH issues. So if you’ve not used baking soda, start with a little sprinkle, build yourself up. If you’re really robust and nothing bothers you, you could do a half a teaspoon of baking soda, about eight ounces of water and drink that on an empty stomach two or three times a day. And that has a couple actions. It does help alkalize things, but also bicarbonates like the baking soda, they inhibit a pathway — this is for you practitioners, that pathway is called SIRT2, Sirtuin 2 — that drives inflammasome production, that drives mast cell activation. And then I’ll distill that down if that made no sense to you. If you’re not a practitioner, what you need to know is bicarbonates, like sodium bicarbonate and baking soda, reduce a pathway that triggers mast cells. So you can calm some of that down. And Jamie just said, Jamie finds lemon super helpful. Yeah, always. Even when I was down to 10 foods, Jamie, I could still do lemon for some reason. Some people can’t. Anything else or do you want to just keep going back and forth?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:32:47):

Let’s see. I mean, the other possibility is that the sulfur reaction is because there’s an imbalance in the gut microbiome and the body actually needs that sulfur. So there could be something going on there too with the glutathione, but we can move on.

Beth O’Hara (00:33:11):

Let me ask you this one. I’m an MCAS patient getting a colonoscopy in the next month. What type of premedication do you recommend? I’m only on one zyrtec a day. And also what type of anesthesia is the safest?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:24):

It’s a very good question. We don’t have a lot of medical literature about MCAS patients and anesthesia, but we do have more information about mastocytosis patients. And so what’s good for a mastocytosis patient and would probably be good for an MCAS patient, if you’re only on one zyrtec a day and that’s managing your symptoms, you’re probably in the pretty hardy group and will do fine. The usual conscious sedation anesthetics that are given for things like colonoscopies are propofol, which is very well tolerated even in the mastocytosis population.

Beth O’Hara (00:34:09):

Could somebody please mute, Jill? Or if you can make me a co-host, maybe Sarah, can you mute Jill’s iPhone 10 or Jill if you can? Yeah, thank you. Thanks so much, guys.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:34:22):

So there’s a great website that I often refer to. It’s the UKmasto.org. They have a whole pamphlet on mastocytosis and anesthesia for patients that can go through the different skin aesthetics, sorry, anesthetics that are good. The sedatives. Most of the benzodiazepines are very well tolerated by mast cell patients. So getting a colonoscopy when you only require one Zyrtec, I think you’ll do fine. For those of you who have more symptoms or are undergoing surgery, it tends to be my experience that it’s the surgery itself, it’s the inflammation because of the surgical intervention more so than the anesthesia that causes the problems with patients. And so sometimes people need to be pretreated with additional antihistamines. Sometimes people need to be pretreated with steroids too, although we don’t love to do that because that then can interfere with wound healing depending upon what procedure you’re undergoing.

(00:35:45):

So it’s really important to work with your anesthesiologist, to do your own research, and to share that research with your practitioners if you’re going to have a procedure or have a surgery, especially for a surgery. So those are my recommendations. Also too, with the prep, there are some colon preps that are less desirable. Depending upon your heartiness, you may be able to do colonics or even just coffee enemas in preparation to help. Or there’s something called Sutabs, which are “horse” tablets that you can take rather than drinking the polyethylene glycol products that are more problematic for most people. So I hope that was helpful. Okay, next question. Does mold cause mast cell activation or is it a trigger for MCAS? And if it is mold, if you remediate, does that cure the MCAS?

Beth O’Hara (00:37:03):

Well, that’s one of my favorites. Mold is absolutely a trigger for MCAS, and there’s a huge body of literature on this. I’ve got study after study after study after study on the effects. And these effects on the immune system, these studies, you guys, go back into the early 1990s, so this is not new. We’ve known this for 30 years. Why is it not getting traction? I don’t know. There’s a lot of politics wrapped up in that and just a lot of old guard that’s going to have to shift. But it’s absolutely a trigger and it’s a trigger — and different mold toxins have different types of toxicity. But if you have the general complement of mold toxins we usually see — so you have ochratoxin, gliotoxin, zearalenone, trichothecines, aflatoxin. So you have all of those. You’re going to have toxicity of almost every organ system.

(00:38:12):

But to think about this question, I want to pull back and go again. So what Dr. Kelly was talking about in the beginning, our mast cells are here to protect us. We can’t survive without them. And that’s why they’re so complex, why they have over 200 receptors, why they have over a thousand mediators, why they’re in every tissue in the body except the retina. And their job — what are they protecting us from? They’re protecting us from toxins, pathogens, stressors. Stressors can be physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and even energetic. That’s a whole other thing. But you might, if you listen to mine and Kelly’s talks, that’ll start to come through.

(00:39:01):

So anything that’s a toxin is a mast cell trigger, is what I’m saying, because the mast cells are involved in protecting you from it, surrounding it, trying to help get it out. They’re not the only player. There’s hundreds, thousands of players, but the mast cells are highly involved. If it is mold and you remediate correctly, does it cure the MCAS? Remediation is a very important, and one of the most important, steps in recovering from mold toxicity. However, you have to go on from that because you’re still going to have those mold toxins in your body, and 70% of adults are colonized. That means the mold’s growing inside of you. Where does it grow? Anywhere that’s dark and damp. So you think sinuses, it can be in the ears, but more often sinuses, and then it drains from the sinuses down and populates to GI tract. This is where we get all these intractable GI issues frequently where just things aren’t making sense. So you have to do more than that.

(00:40:12):

I have a talk on mold toxicity, and there’s a good bit on mold, but make sure you check out that talk on mold toxicity and MCAS special considerations. And then you may want to go on and check out our mold course, or if you’re a practitioner, Judy, you may be interested in the practitioner training or you’re an advanced person who does all these summits and everything. You might want that information. They’ll be way more in depth than the online course, but you’re on the right track. I just want to encourage you to keep going there. Okay, Kelly, here’s one for you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:40:55):

Okay.

Beth O’Hara (00:40:56):

Are any of these frequently used herbal treatments for tick-borne infections, mass cell stimulating? So she lists a number of them, cryptolepis, Japanese knotweed, cat’s claw, Biocidin, Chinese skullcap, sida acuta, houttuynia, andrographis, astragalus, cinnamon clove, oregano oil.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:20):

So the most important thing to understand about mast cell activation syndrome is that each person is unique and their mast cells are unique. The mast cells, the mediators that they release, the receptors that they have, as Beth was talking about, are unique for each person. They are unique in the different tissues. And so what one person can tolerate, another person may not be able to tolerate at all. There are certainly some things in that list that tend to be stabilizing for mast cell, like Chinese skullcap I find really helpful for a lot of people that’s scutellaria. Andrographis and astragalus also have some mast cell stabilizing effects. But that doesn’t mean that it might be safe for you, nor does it mean that it won’t be safe for you. So when you’re treating tick-borne illnesses with any sort of herb, there is the potential as you kill these organisms, that you are going to trigger a mast cell response or a Herxheimer reaction.

(00:42:41):

So we call these die off reactions, and if somebody is sensitive and already has mast cell, just triggering a die off reaction can trigger a mast cell reaction. So it may not even be that the mast cells are responding to the herb. They could be responding to the death of the organisms, which is really common and why people feel “I can’t detox, I can’t get better from Lyme” because the mast cells are reacting to not just the herb potentially, but the die off symptoms. So it’s much more complicated than saying, this herb is bad, that herb is good, this herb is bad, that herb is good. So that’s where working with a knowledgeable practitioner and some of the other things that we tried to cover a little bit in the summit would be starting to understand your own intuition. It is far better if you are able to start to learn the language of your own body, the language of your own intuition. If I have hundreds of different things that I can give someone for mast cell, how do I know what to give you? I’m starting with my clinical experience, my own intuition. But if we can tap into your intuition too, when we’re partnering together, that may really help hone in on what are the individual things that are going to be most helpful for you to move forward with stabilizing your mast cells, your unique mast cells, and then eventually layering in treatments for mold and chronic infections.

Beth O’Hara (00:44:30):

I can just add briefly here. The sida acuta is one that I’ve had experience with. I have had some reactions to Biocidin because probably the shiitake, sometimes, not always, but sometimes people with mold colonization end up reacting to a lot of fungal species. That’s a little rare because it’s akin to if you are allergic to lettuce, then you can’t have carrots and asparagus because they’re in the plant kingdom. That’s really rare, but this happened. But cinnamon and clove are histamine liberators, so that’s more on the histamine side. If there’s histamine intolerance, then people might have to be careful with the cinnamon and clove. But otherwise, the rest of those people tend to do well with when they’re brought in at the right time. And everything’s about order of operations in MCAS, and there is no one set order of operations. What’s the order of operations for this person for where they are in their healing journey at this point in time?

(00:45:40):

And that’s again, why skilled practitioners really helpful. I just want to encourage you guys as much as possible to work with somebody. And if you don’t have the finances for that, at least invest in something that gets you more information to guide yourself, whether it’s — and that’s why we made this summit. So low cost is really, the lectures that you get are typically given as a practitioner training for thousands and thousands of dollars. And you can get, if you take your first offer, it’s less than a hundred dollars, way less than a functional medicine appointment. So if you can work with a practitioner who’s really experienced, that’s your best way to go. If you don’t have the finances, though, Dr. Kelly and I are really committed to making sure there are options for people at all income levels. And multiple times in my life I was quite poor, and having access to those things really saved my life. So we will always have those kinds of access for people as well. So you can keep moving forward. Are we ending at 12 or 12:30?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:46:56):

We’re supposed to end at 12. I can do a few extra minutes.

Beth O’Hara (00:47:05):

Okay. And I just wasn’t clear. It was on my calendar until 12:30. Okay. Alright. You want to ask me this next one?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:47:14):

Sure. Can mast cell activation be a reason for histamine intolerance?

Beth O’Hara (00:47:20):

Yes. That’s a good question. And vice versa, histamine intolerance can trigger mast cell activation. So why is this? Well, mast cells have histamine receptors. They actually have four histamine receptors, H 1, 2, 3, and 4. So you might’ve heard of H1 blockers and H2 blockers, that’s referring to that blocking of that receptor. And so if you have MCAS, you have to remember too that the mast cells have histamine as a mediator as well, that they can release. And so if the mast cells are being triggered at a high level, they may be releasing more histamine than you can break down. And this is where it’s really important to do a low histamine diet, at least a six week trial. We’ve got all kinds of resources for how to do that, but you’re going to learn a lot about histamine intolerance. And Gail Clayton’s talk that — Kelly McCann interviewed Gail Clayton on managing MCAS and histamine intolerance from food to phenols to pharmaceuticals.

(00:48:26):

So make sure you check that out. And then histamine intolerance can also trigger those mast cells just by this buildup of histamine and triggering those histamine receptors. So not everyone with MCAS has histamine intolerance, and we’ve got a wide variety of people on here. So if your symptoms are really minor, you may just have histamine intolerance. If you have more significant symptoms, you may have just MCAS or you could have MCAS and histamine tolerance. So check out how to do a six week trial to find out if you’re histamine intolerant. That’s really important to do. And then you do a re-challenge with really high histamine foods. If you didn’t have any symptom changes through the trial or the high histamine foods, then you’re probably not histamine intolerant. That’s how you find out. So let’s get one more in. You can answer. How about this one from Laurie? Do you believe that MCAS is caused by SIBO or leaky gut? Could it be a contributing factor?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:49:37):

My answer is no. I don’t really think that SIBO alone or even leaky gut alone is going to trigger MCAS. Remember, we’re talking about a genetic predisposition. There’s so many more things involved than just SIBO. However, we do see SIBO a lot in our MCAS patients. And you can check out Allison Siebecker’s talk with me, as well as Jill Carnahan’s talk Functional Medicine Approach to MCAS, where she tells her own story. It’s actually really interesting, conversations with both of those practitioners. In my experience, and probably Beth’s as well, many times people who have SIBO, particularly recurrent SIBO, are in a moldy environment. And the mold is also triggering the MCAS. And so we see these combinations of presentations with people. And when we’re talking about MCAS, it’s a clinical diagnosis. There’s no one test that’s going to say, this is what you have. Because remember, we’re talking about thousands of mediators. We’re talking about dozens of potential triggers in somebody who has some underlying susceptibility, energetic susceptibility, nervous system susceptibility. And so when we’re peeling away the layers, it’s much more complicated than that. So when we’re trying to treat, we have to treat all of those things simultaneously to reduce the SIBO, to calm down the nervous system, to calm down the mast cells. It’s a multifactorial, multi-prong approach in order to help get somebody better.

Beth O’Hara (00:51:45):

I think we have to always think about, to me, SIBO is one of those upper blocks in the pyramid. Why is there SIBO? Why is the immune system dysregulated, not keeping it in check? And we frequently, frequently see SIBO with mold toxicity. Really, really common in there. We see it a lot with those tick-borne infections, the immune dysregulation and stress and trauma. And I tell you one of the most amazing things that I’ve found for SIBO was hypnosis. And I’ll just throw out a little tidbit for people. There’s a app, an IBS app called Nerva, and I’ve had intractable SIBO for seven years after drinking contaminated water. It was a water filter that was growing mold and bacteria, and I didn’t know it for three days, and my gut was better in four sessions. So think about the nervous system component, you all, with these GI issues. I think that’s all the time. Oh, go ahead.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:52:52):

And along those same lines, the nervous system dysregulation, we’re talking about the autonomic nervous system, right? So the autonomic nervous system, the vagus nerve that is coming from the brain, the central nervous system through the vagus nerve, and it is the wanderer, right? It is important for swallowing muscles, mastication, heart beating, lungs breathing, and all of the digestion. And if our vagus nerve, autonomic nervous system is off, the dysmotility is going to happen, it’s going to be a setup for SIBO. And we know that mold and mast cell and autonomic dysregulation are part of that picture. So it’s not surprising that we see SIBO so commonly.

Beth O’Hara (00:53:47):

And I just saw one other thing that came through — I loved on — I love this thread and how you guys are supporting each other and all the questions. This is why we do this is so we can come together as a community and be not be alone in it. Because when I was so sick, I didn’t know anyone else who was sick. There wasn’t a name for MCAS, and we didn’t know about mold toxicity. I never met anyone as ill as I was or as sensitive as I was. And many times I started to believe what I was being told that I must be making things up. We come together like this and we know that it’s not just me. I’m not some weirdo. There’s over 200 people on here and there are thousands of people coming to the summit. There are thousands of people that come to Kelly’s webpage, to our webpage, to our Facebook pages.

(00:54:42):

So stay with the community. It’s so important to healing, to stay in the community, and we learn from you guys. So it’s so important to us that you’re here too. It’s not a one-way street. We learned so much from you all. So I hope you’ll join us for the upcoming Q&As. And could Sarah or Christina let everyone know when those are coming up? And then again, don’t forget the summit opens on Monday. We can’t wait to see you there. We can’t wait to keep having these conversations with you. I think we actually have, if you can make me a co-host, I’ve got a slide I can share that’ll have all those Q&A dates. And then we have a couple other things, just quick announcements for you to watch out for and some real goodies for you.

(00:55:37):

Things that we got, our team pulled together for you guys that I wanted to show you here really quick that you can go ahead and start diving into. And if you buy, here’s the other thing is if you want to own the recordings — you don’t have to purchase anything — but if you would like to own the recordings, this is probably a summit to have. I know there’s a lot of summits, but this is the one that is going to have a lot of those aha moments for you. And you’ll probably want to go back again and again into the transcript. So if it’s in your budget, honestly, before I would apply to Mast Cell 360 as a clinic, I would buy these recordings and start working through them because you’ll keep coming back to it. And whatever you do beyond, it’ll still be a resource for you in your library. And you may say, Hey, right now I don’t really need to know about POTS. And then you realize you have POTS or osteoporosis and you’re like, there was a talk in that summit. Now I’m going to go back and listen to it. That’ll help you now. So think about that, you all, and I think I just about have some of these slides up for us. Any other announcements?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:52):

Yeah, I did see somebody ask if there was a hard copy. I think unfortunately, health Means has gotten away from making books of the transcripts sadly. But I do think that they are available electronically. Hopefully our team can help share that information with patients. I know it’s difficult if you’re not tech savvy. The transcripts are these huge books and the books are fantastic. But I don’t know, call Health Means and say you want to bring the hard copies back.

Beth O’Hara (00:57:30):

And yeah, and Sarah said they can do thumb drive. So what somebody could do is get the thumb drive and just take it over to Kinko’s, FedEx or something like a print shop, and they can just print it out for them. Okay, so just to remember that we’ve got these other Q&As coming up for you guys, and here are the dates for you. Okay, that’s a little prettier for you. So we have coming up Monday, October 16th, so the opening day of the summit, and I’m going to put all these up so you can grab a screenshot. Those are your links. So Monday, October 16th, 11 Pacific, 2:00 PM Eastern will be with me over on Facebook. So you can join us with this link here Friday, October 20th at 11:00 AM Pacific, two Eastern, Kelly’s going to be on Zoom, and that’s your link there for her Zoom room.

(00:58:38):

Then Kelly and I are coming back together to do a Q&A together for you all. That’s going to be Thursday, October 26th at three 30 Pacific, six 30 Eastern. And then Kelly’s going to have another one on Friday as we’re closing out the summit. And I’m going to have another one Saturday, October 28th. So I hope you can join as many as you can. We’d love to have you there with us. And so grab that screenshot, put it in your calendar right now so you don’t forget about them. And lastly, I just want to make sure Kelly people know how to get to their resources pages because — here we go. Because there’s already things, so many things you can access in there. So two resource pages for you. And you can take a screenshot of this as well with your phone, mastcell360.com/summit and drkellymccann.com/summitresources. And you’re going to find different things on each one. So lots of free downloads. We’ve got links to different resources mentioned in the talks. We’ve got discounts for you guys. We really wanted to put together something just to help everybody out because we know how hard this journey is having gone through it ourselves. Anything else?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:00):

No, thank you everyone for joining us. It’s been a joy to spend some time with you, to see some of your faces and hear your questions. And yeah, this is all from the heart for us to be able to help you find your path on your journeys.

Beth O’Hara (01:00:21):

We’re so grateful for you guys. Be really gentle with yourselves no matter what. Keep going, and we’ll see you in the next Q&A. Let us know what talks you like. We’d love to hear from you. All right.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:35):

Thank you so much. Bye-Bye everyone.


Mind Body Soul Healing: A Masterclass with Dr. Kelly & Amy B. Scher

Mind Body Soul Healing: A Masterclass with Dr. Kelly's & Amy B. Scher

As a functional medicine doctor, I take a whole-person approach, which means that I take a step back to look at the patient’s symptoms, medical history, genetics, diet, environmental exposures, etc. This whole picture helps me really see what is going on with a person’s health.

One big piece of that picture, which is sometimes touched on but rarely deeply explored, is the person’s emotional or energetic aspect. When we talk about mind-body medicine, we often forget that it’s actually mind-body-spirit.

People go to their spiritual leader, clergy, or guru for emotional and energetic guidance, but it’s actually incredibly helpful to work in that way alongside your physical health work, and often we separate the two. Doctors don’t usually have a lot of experience with emotional, spiritual, or energetic healing, and spiritual leaders may not have the knowledge you need to address your physical health concerns.

But that doesn’t mean that energetic and physical work should be separated. Just as the body and the mind, or spirit, is one complete entity, working with that entity should encompass all those important areas.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with author and energy therapist, Amy B. Scher, for a beautiful conversation about releasing emotional and energetic blocks that can hinder physical healing. Amy told her chronic illness story and talked about the realization that to fully heal she had to dig deep into her soul and find out what it really means to love herself.

During this conversation we discussed:

  • A new way to consider symptoms–as the body’s unique language
  • How to overcome the labels of symptoms and diagnoses and instead explore those as experiences
  • Ways in which messages, from others and ourselves, get us stuck in harmful patterns
  • How to fully embrace our souls and our bodies as lifelong partners
  • New ways to think about illness, pain, and what our bodies are trying to protect us from and teach us
  • Plus we answered a few important questions about working with our inner selves to heal our bodies

I enjoyed every second of my time with Amy. I highly encourage you to check out her work, especially her book, How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can. Find that and more information about Amy at her site: https://amybscher.com/


Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:04):

Did it!

Amy B. Scher (00:00:04):

Yay. Hi, it’s so good to see you and be here with you today.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:09):

Thank you. So happy to be here. Very excited for this. We’ve been planning this conversation for a long time to share with each of our tribes and communities. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, Amy, and then I’ll do the same.

Amy B. Scher (00:00:30):

Okay, perfect. I love how, I feel like the universe has been planning this longer than we have because we both knew about each other for so many years, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that we actually connected. So I think this is extra special that there’s been so much momentum behind today, long before we even really knew each other. So my name is Amy B. Scher. I am an author and energy therapist, and I help people release blocks to wellbeing, to happiness, to just being their best, happiest and healthiest selves. I learned all of my work from my own experience with chronic illness, chronic Lyme disease, and an entire list of other diagnoses that took pages and pages to fill. I actually just shredded my list a few years ago. When I found it, I went, I don’t need this anymore. But one of my–or my biggest discovery through this sort of decade of my life where it was very debilitated from chronic illness, was that our mind, body, and spirit are all one.

(00:01:34):

And this was mind blowing to me because it’s not often discussed in the medical community. By no fault of the medical community’s, it’s just not something that comes up in that area of that sort of community. And so I discovered on my own that if I really wanted to heal, I was going to have to address the me inside of my body and not just all of the symptoms. And I went on a big journey to do that. I ended up finally getting and staying well after many false starts and tries and fits and spurts, thank you, and have gone on to help thousands of others to look at our emotional landscape, to see what could be misaligned in our body that is making our body unhappy and trying to get our attention. So I use energy therapy, which is a way of addressing mind, body, and spirit through various techniques to help people. And I’m just so happy to be here in conversation with you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:34):

Thank you. That was a beautiful synopsis of your journey and what you do now. So I am Dr. Kelly McCann. I’m a medical doctor. I am board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics. I had always been interested in holistic medicine and what is now called functional medicine, even though I didn’t know it at the time. Originally I wanted to go to acupuncture school and I made a deal with myself that if I got into medical school I would go and if I didn’t, I’d go to acupuncture school. And I was actually really disappointed. I got into four medical schools and I was like, darn it, okay, universe, I guess I gotta go to medical school. So I did. And then along the way, trying to optimize my overachieving self, I got a Master’s [degree] in Public Health and Tropical Medicine along with my medical degree. I did two residencies, internal medicine and pediatrics concurrently. And then thankfully I was released from conventional medicine training and got to start to do what I had intended to do, which was really learn all the tools and skills for helping people as holistically as possible. So I learned medical acupuncture, I did reiki training and healing touch, had always been really interested in the mind-body connection was very powerful and important for me. Somewhere along the journey, I got trained in functional medicine. I spent time in Tucson with Dr. Andrew Weil and his program in integrative medicine.

(00:04:22):

Then I took a deeper dive into mold and chronic infections like Lyme disease, learned that many patients who were very sensitive had mast cell activation. And so I just kept putting more tools in my toolkit so I could help more and more people. And then somewhere along the line, I also got a Master’s [degree] in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica. And that was probably the most useful and challenging degree that I have ever gotten because it really forced me to look inside of myself and to evaluate what are the things that I believe about myself and how are they serving me or no longer serving me. And it was a two year program. It was really intense. I remember initially feeling so disgruntled because it was requiring me to be vulnerable in a way that I was not used to being. I’m the doctor, I’m the expert.

(00:05:28):

I don’t get to be vulnerable. And yet I was able to see that only through vulnerability were people able to really connect and to have that level of intimacy. And so I learned some really powerful lessons about what it means to be vulnerable and how to show up not only for myself, but for my patients. And my favorite conversations with my patients are really about the bridge of the mind-body connection and how is our body speaking with us? And I think it’s really propelled the patients who are willing to go there to the level of healing that everyone is really wanting for themselves.

Amy B. Scher (00:06:15):

And I feel like we all, at least I did, I came to that last, it was like, well, okay, nothing’s working as fast or as well as I want it to. Let me try this thing that was here and free all along. But we come to it last. And I don’t know if that’s just part of the process. I often wonder what would’ve happened if I would’ve embraced this sooner. And now I think patients are introduced to it much sooner. When I would say this was in the early two thousands and this just wasn’t part of the conversation. Nobody was talking about this on the Lyme or chronic illness message boards. The doctors weren’t talking about it. I had one doctor that I remember asked me, so how is everything in your life? How’s your relationship and stuff? And I remember thinking to myself, why is he asking about that? I’m here for Lyme disease. Now I understand. He was wise enough to try to ask that question. I definitely was not willing to listen to it or answer it because I got defensive at least within myself. But the conversation has really expanded now and thank goodness because more people have access to this.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:25):

Yes, thank goodness. Yes.

Amy B. Scher (00:07:26):

Yes. And just to let everybody know, the chat is not working for some reason, but you can ask your questions in the Q&A. So if you look at the bottom of your screen, there’s a little Q&A button, and if you click that, you’ll be able to type your question in there. And we’ll watch this.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:45):

Yes, thank you. It is really amazing. What I’ve been thinking about recently is that when we have physical problems, we go to the doctor. So there’s something wrong with my anatomy. There’s something wrong with my physiology. I need to go to the doctor because it’s a mechanical problem. It’s a biological chemical problem. And then if we have emotional, mental problem, we’re going to go to our therapist or something like that. So we go to somebody to deal with this. If you think you have a spiritual problem, you might go to a rabbi or a minister or some sort of spiritual help.

(00:08:32):

We can’t think about the body that way anymore because that’s not how we’re designed. Our minds and our bodies and our spirit are linked. And hopefully more and more practitioners and patients will wake up to this idea that we really do have to treat the whole person and not just give it lip service. I mean, I do think that one of the challenges for medical doctors is we don’t have any training in this, really. So it’s not their fault if they don’t know how to ask these questions. They don’t know how to deal with the answers.

Amy B. Scher (00:09:13):

Yes, yes. I think that’s totally true. And I think one of the things that I’ve noticed over the years is that I’ll get emails from doctors, psychiatrists, saying, I don’t know what you’re doing, but my patient told me that they’re going to you. And after they started going to you, their liver enzymes regulated or now some of their immune markers are normal. So I think patients deserve a lot of credit for being courageous enough to try these things and brave enough to also share with their doctors. Because this is how doctors start to understand that while they may not be responsible for having this information and knowing how to do these things, that it’s available and that just to broach the subject or to then share with other patients that can be enough. Patients are so resilient and resourceful that they can go out and find this.

(00:10:08):

But so many people, like, I had no idea it existed. I didn’t know until literally nothing else was working. And I was kind of like, well, I’m out of money. I’m out of options. What can I do? And that was the only reason I ever turned inward. I don’t think I would’ve ever looked to the extent that I did. And I mean, I grew up as a hippie child and I read Ram Das and all the spiritual books, but I thought that positive thinking was what made a difference. And it’s not. It’s so much more. It’s really, I see it as illness is calling us to pay attention to our lives. What do we want? Are we living in fear? Do we have boundaries? All of those things. And I thought the whole time I had Lyme disease, well, I’m so positive, why am I not getting better? And it’s very different to force positive thinking than to actually feel good in yourself. And so I think we try our best, but it’s a journey to get to the right information as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:14):

Yes, absolutely. It’s really interesting that sometimes, I mean, I love your story in that you did everything that you could to avoid doing the thing that you needed to do the most.

Amy B. Scher (00:11:29):

I’m a Virgo. I checked everything off the list. I did it all right. I listened to everybody. Then I was like, oh no, I see where this is going. And I think we do. We get to it when we get to it. And I mean, I had been to therapy. I was happy to talk about things. I was happy to do the things, the steps, but I never was really willing to be honest with myself. I think that’s where true mind, body, spirit healing kicks in. What is going on inside of me? What am I so afraid of? In what ways am I people pleasing? Or what ways am I not being–I mean, it really comes down as I see it–in what ways am I not being my true self and why and how can I fix that? Either internally or then maybe in some relationships and externally. But yeah, I tried to avoid it at all costs and then eventually went, oh no, I think I’m going to have to figure this out. And it was the thing. It was the thing. And I am sure all of the therapies I did before that helped, but none of them actually did the thing. None of them actually, and we talk about this, no doctor, no matter how wonderful, no therapist, no matter how brilliant, can do the thing for you that you have to do for yourself,

(00:12:50):

It’s so annoying. We want someone else to do it, but they just can’t.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:12:53):

Just take a pill and make all that stuff get better.

Amy B. Scher (00:12:57):

It would be delightful, right? It’s not the point of life apparently, but it would be so much easier.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:13:04):

Not the point of life. No, I think that that’s really probably the crux of it is the journey of illness is a journey of exploration. It’s a journey of turning inward and really starting to allow the language of the body to show you where you need to do the work.

Amy B. Scher (00:13:26):

Yes, yes. And listen, I mean, we wouldn’t pay attention any other way until something comes and desecrates our life. I always say this, it had to be illness for me. There would be no other way [that] I would stop a life that I was micromanaging so perfectly to then change everything and throw everything up in the air, burn it all down and rebuild it. There just would be no reason I would’ve ever done that. And so I think when we see illness, not as a convenience, but a calling, we can use it. If this is going to be here, we should use the heck out of it and come out on the other side better. And I really feel like the whole time I was sick, all I wanted was to go back to pre-Lyme. And now in hindsight, I’ve been, well almost 15 years, I mean much longer than I was ever sick. And I think, oh my gosh, I wasn’t healthy before either. Now I am healthy. So I wanted to go back, but because we think, oh, I was healthy until I got bitten by the tick or until I got this autoimmune condition. But you can’t get chronically ill if you are perfectly healthy, mind, body, and spirit prior to that break. That’s how I see it.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:14:39):

So dive a little bit deeper into that, Amy, because I think it’s really important for people to understand what does healthy mean, mind, body, spirit. Because I think a lot of people out there have this idea that, yeah, I’m healthy and then all of a sudden I got cancer or then all of a sudden I got this autoimmune condition or I got Lyme disease or all of a sudden out of the blue I got mast cell activation. No, let’s explore that a little bit more.

Amy B. Scher (00:15:08):

So I think it just brews for a really long time until your body just kind of goes, okay, that’s it. And really again, I think it comes back to not being who you really are, whether you’re contracting your body, spiritually or emotionally, because of fear. Whether you don’t–another thing is being really hard on yourself, being a perfectionist, being self berating. You will just destroy your body doing that. And I mean, I can be very, very hard on myself. I’ve trained myself much out of that because I realized that it just doesn’t help. But I think it really comes down to, in what ways am I not the freest, most relaxed, most expressive person I can be? If you want to really look at it, you can rewind to before you got that diagnosis, before the joint started bothering you, before the “whatever” seemed to come overnight.

(00:16:08):

And you can ask yourself, how was I not living in alignment with who I am? How was I stressed? How was I fearful? How was I trying to change myself for others? How was I not loving myself? All of these things cause, to just simplify it, a stress on the body, it’s stressful to live an entire life not being in your most relaxed, expressive state of being. That doesn’t mean we can be a million percent ourselves. Sometimes we have to go to work, we have to do things we don’t want. That’s all okay. But at your core, you have to feel like you are freely living as yourself. You really do. And I find that of course there are societal restrictions, there are all kinds of things we all have to deal with –financial [for example]– but the ways that we’re held back most is by ourselves.

(00:17:02):

We hold ourselves back more than anything else. And that is really a violation of your spirit. And that is when the body becomes really unhappy and you can only get away with it for so long. You can only get away with it for so long. You can only lie to other people for a long time. But it’s really hard to lie to yourself before your body goes, I really don’t feel good doing this. And it can manifest as physical symptoms. And I always like to say, that doesn’t minimize what your labs look like. That doesn’t minimize anything that shows up on any test. We’re not saying–I always like to say–this doesn’t mean that the physical stuff is not real for you, but we just want to look a little bit under that to kind of see where it might’ve been brewing. It showed up. And that’s sort of the journey that I really had to go on for myself.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:17:56):

Yes, I’ve been reading the four agreements recently and I just love that little book. And in that book he talks about the real human being, the two-year-old little child who is fully a real human being who’s not domesticated. And that’s what we’re talking about. It’s that little person who doesn’t filter when they’re happy, they’re happy, they can love everyone. When they’re upset, they cry, but they don’t have a filter. They don’t have to try and please anybody else. They’re just all about themselves and in love with the world and in love with life. And then we learn–we become domesticated, as I like his terms– we become domesticated because of our parents and our teachers and our siblings and the world, who tell us it’s not okay to cry. It’s not okay to laugh too loud. It’s not okay to do this, that and the other thing. And then that gets reinforced and then we start to domesticate ourselves and put ourselves into a little tiny box. And it’s the beliefs. It’s the beliefs from those experiences that will continue to reinforce the problems and the behaviors that aren’t allowing you to experience who you really are.

Amy B. Scher (00:19:40):

Right? Yes, yes. And I think–I always like to say too–you don’t even have to be perfect at it. You can still say a couple things to please your mother or go to work and put on a smile. You don’t even have to be perfect. You just have to become as much of yourself as you possibly can. And if you are cutting that off right now, even becoming 25% more yourself will help your body. And then from there you can become 25% more yourself. We don’t have to be perfect in our thinking and our feeling and our doing and our being. It’s not about getting it all right. It’s about really embracing this journey and understanding why our bodies are so unhappy. And I love that term, of that idea, of domesticating and what you’re saying is so true. It’s like some of that domestication may happen when learning the rules of life and we’re getting, we’re learning from our parents and our peers, but so much of it, again, we do to ourselves. And when we betray ourselves, it does far worse damage than when anybody else does anything to us. And not living as who you are is a self betrayal that you have to fix. You have to fix it.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:20:57):

Absolutely. And I’m not suggesting that you get mad at your parents or you get mad at

Amy B. Scher (00:21:03):

No, of course.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:21:04):

So the domestication happens because that’s how we teach each other. That’s how the world is set up. Your parents did nothing wrong. You didn’t even do anything wrong. You learned what you were taught. And so now you have the opportunity to unlearn. So it’s really important to not get angry at your parents, to not rebel, to not get pissed off, that isn’t going to serve you either. It’s about uncovering who you are underneath.

Amy B. Scher (00:21:42):

I’ve seen, I mean, through working with thousands of clients, it’s been so interesting to me because people who had wonderful childhoods have a lot of the same deep wounds as people who had really difficult childhoods. And my mom and I have a joke because when I was growing up, my parents called me their superstar. They just, a child could not be more loved. And I’m so thankful. But when I went through my healing journey, I said to my mom, I feel like because you and dad always told me I was perfect, that I had to meet this bar, that I put this pressure on myself. And she always said, so what? I loved you too much and I screwed you up. But it’s a funny joke because it’s true. It’s like it’s not anybody’s fault. You’re so right. It’s not anybody’s fault. It just happens. It’s just life. And I think it’s really important for anybody who’s read my books or seen me classes, I keep things very lighthearted because the last thing you can do is go into the emotional work too serious or it’s pretty miserable. And so it’s true. It’s nobody’s fault. We all come out sort of needing to reveal and repair or rebuild certain things and nobody’s fault. It’s a product of life. Right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:22:58):

Absolutely. And I love that you lived this amazing loving childhood because it’s a testament to how we just get, we misperceive things. It’s all about misperception. So you had this misperception that you had to be perfect because your parents said, oh, you’re the perfect super child. Other people have a misperception that they’re unworthy because they experienced terrible abuse. None of it’s true. All of it is a misperception of our experiences. And so the opportunity is regardless of what you went through, know that everybody has wounds and everybody has beliefs that don’t serve us anymore. And we can all benefit from seeing where they’re coming from, learning how to listen to our bodies, which are telling us information about where we need to go, and then clearing those out because they don’t serve us anymore.

Amy B. Scher (00:24:10):

And I think some of us tend to, especially those of us that kind of manifest or feel things in our body, tend to be very sensitive, empathic people who internalize things. So somebody else could have grown up in my situation and thought nothing of it, thought great, my parents love me and if I screw up, they’ll love me too. Which was absolutely the truth for me. But because of the unique individual I am, and because I was kind of born a little bit of a perfectionist and a people pleaser, I took– I am a Virgo, definitely not my fault–I took that and I made my own meaning from it. And while I knew all of the facts, that was just one of the things that I misinterpreted, like you talk about. And so we have to just, so much of our programming happens before we’re seven years old. That’s where the subconscious programming happens. So I always joke with my clients, I say, so many of us are running around like seven year olds, but we’re adults in the world. How dangerous and how ridiculous. And so it’s just going back and undoing some of that stuff that we are programmed with because that’s just how it works.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:25:15):

Right, exactly. I’d like to touch on more specifics about symptoms because I think that that’s a language of the body that can be really, really useful at understanding where to go. And you mentioned in your book a variety of different systems like the chakra system or the meridian system, traditional Chinese medicine. Talk to us about that.

Amy B. Scher (00:25:48):

So I have sort of a whole encyclopedia about what each part of your body could mean if it’s displaying symptoms. And I think as a general way of figuring it out, I say that anything that has to do with pain is usually a pretty– a person is pretty tough on themselves. I think that the body, if the body believes that it should be punished, or if a person believes that they’ve screwed up or they’re not good and they believe they should be punished or they punish themselves, there is no worse punishment than pain as the body reads it. And so pain disorders, or pain, is a lot of self punishment. So there’s some–migraines are typically people who are really, really hard on themselves. I’ve never met somebody that had migraines that didn’t just constantly think of what they should have said, what they should have done.

(00:26:48):

There’s a lot of narrative going on in the head. Then there’s different parts of the body or different chakras. And I feel like there, there’s a lot around–so much has to do with the heart chakra, insomnia, when the heart isn’t settled either because something bad has happened and we haven’t resolved it internally or because we’re worried, our heart chakra can become really imbalanced and that can cause all kinds of things like shoulder pain and back pain and chest pain, also palpitations, which are scary. Then we get even more panicked because stuff in the physical body is really scary. I always say fatigue is people are tired of something. What are you tired of? What are you tired of dealing with? What are you tired of thinking about that you haven’t let go of? So there’s all these sort of cues that can point you in the right direction.

(00:27:49):

But I always say you kind of already know, if you really get honest with yourself, which is so hard to do because then we find out about a lot of things we don’t want to deal with. But if we really get honest with ourselves and just go, what is wrong? Why am I so unhappy? Or what is hurting my body so bad? Usually we know it takes a while and we don’t believe that we know, and we say we don’t know, because we’re not totally in touch with it. But I think we do know, and I think these guides in terms of what we can find in my book or the things that you can figure out about what means, what are all helpful in terms of pointing you to the right thing. But I feel like we know somewhere inside, we know.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:28:33):

We do. Of course we do because we have our intuition, we have our subconscious. Wherever you think about it in your body, we have our soul, our spirit that is hopefully propelling us. I mean, that’s what I believe. You don’t have to believe that, but that’s definitely what I believe. And it helps. We have to have a purpose.

Amy B. Scher (00:28:56):

We have to, and I just wrote about this actually today in my newsletter about purpose. And it doesn’t have to be mind blowing or we don’t have to save the world. Purpose is just something that drives us, something that’s bigger than ourselves. And it’s a great distraction from symptoms. Trying to figure out, even if the healing journey to get to a better place of wellness is your purpose for now, make it about that instead of figuring out symptoms, it make it about using this time to better yourself in whatever way you can. But yeah, it becomes so easy to be fixated on symptoms and unless we’re really trying to figure out what they’re telling us, I feel like it just instigates more fear, or at least that’s how I remember it for myself. Every new symptom was so terrifying.

(00:29:48):

I feel like sometimes too, when I talk to my clients, they’re like, and now I have a new thing or now this, whatever is happening. And I always say, we feel like we have 20 new things, but I find that most of the things are connected to the same core things. And so I always tell people, you might only have two or three things and then all those things are happening from it. And so if you can find the two or three core things emotionally or spiritually that you’re dealing with and focus on those and then have your doctor help you with all the other tent poles that you need to do to really try to be less overwhelmed, we feel like we have to figure out every little thing. But if your big goal is becoming more of who you are and being relaxed in that, that can help so many of the body systems, right? That can help the immune system, the nervous system, all the things we need to fix. If that’s the job of the patient, then that can do so much.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:30:44):

Absolutely. I also think that it’s really important for us to remember that our body is on our side. I think with chronic illness, we feel like our bodies have betrayed us. We feel like our bodies are against us, whether it’s cancer or an autoimmune condition, chronic fatigue, Lyme disease. My body didn’t do what it was supposed to do. It was supposed to defend me from this, and now I have this thing. And we need to reframe that as much as we can. We need to really repackage the way that we’re thinking about it because the truth is your body is always trying to protect you. It is always doing its very best to help you navigate and to survive.

Amy B. Scher (00:31:38):

Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:31:40):

When I think about it, I think about somebody who has sepsis, somebody who gets pneumonia, gets an infection, and they get so sick, the are in the bloodstream. And now they’re in the intensive care unit and their bodies are trying really, really hard to fight. And what happens is that the body gets flooded with inflammatory mediators. We’ve heard about the cytokine storm now. So you get a ton of inflammatory mediators, you might get edema/ swelling and the blood pressure bottoms out because the body is trying to push all this fluid there to dilute the infection, bring white blood cells and fighters to the source of the infection. Even in those moments, it is doing everything it can to protect us. And whether you’re dealing with migraines or chronic pain or whatever, your body is doing everything that it can. Yes. And if we can reframe that and start to see it as the body is trying to send you messages, it’s trying to get your attention. If you get another symptom, another diagnosis, it’s simply more information for you to point yourself in the right direction.

Amy B. Scher (00:33:08):

Yes. And I love that you talk about that because as easy as it is to hate our bodies or be mad at our bodies, it’s not effective either. It’s like trying to–right? It’s like anybody knows that in any relationship you’re not going to get anywhere when you’re fighting, you’re just not. It’s not going to work out. And so I think, I always say symptoms are the body’s only way of speaking. There’s no other way it can do it. That’s the language. That’s what it is. So your body is actually trying to talk to you. The fact that you may not know what it’s saying is not necessarily your body’s fault or your fault. That’s frustrating for sure. But befriending your body is really more important than anything else because you are just not going to get anywhere. If you hate it, you’re just not going to get anywhere.

(00:33:57):

And when you direct that hatred or that frustration or that anger, you’re directing it into the thing you want to heal. So it’s like throwing fire on it. And from an emotional standpoint, you’re talking about the inflammatory response of stress, which I also see as unprocessed emotions or beliefs. All this stuff can be read as stressed by the body, that causes inflammation. And so you’re only furthering that inflammatory process. And by working with the emotions, even if you have the physical thing going on, that can help calm some of the inflammatory process. Because if we’re looking at–any “stress” could cause inflammation. We want to look at the mold. We want to look at all of the things, we want to look at the stress we’re inducing on ourselves too. Because that’s sometimes the easiest thing to get under control. And so one stress you can take away is the stress of being mean to yourself.

(00:34:52):

The body doesn’t do well under that stress. And so even if you take baby steps, I remember when I was practicing this, I couldn’t quite get to self-love, but I got to self-like first, which was like–I used to be like, I’m the worst person in the world. I forgot to do X, Y, and Z. And then it was like, okay, I’m probably not the worst person in the world. There’s probably people who are doing worse than me, worse things than me right now. Maybe I’m not the worst person in the world. And I went from that to like, okay, I did most things right today, or okay, I’m learning. And I just baby stepped my way there. And I feel like just bettering the relationship I had with myself was a huge burden off my body. A huge burden.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:33):

Absolutely. I have this wall of diplomas in my office, not this office, it’s in another office. I didn’t want to look at it every day. And at some point during my journey at the University of Santa Monica, I realized that that wall represented my wall of shame. Wow. I was not good enough as I am, I perceived. So I had to go get all those degrees. I had to accumulate degrees, I got double degrees whenever I could because I needed to prove to myself, and the world, my family, that I was okay because I could do all these things

Amy B. Scher (00:36:20):

With your worthiness.

Kelly McCann, MD (