Learn about the one of a kind clinical method to resolve disease called the Balance Protocol — Discuss how simple nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes can radically change your level of wellbeing and resolve chronic disease — How our current health care system is broken and promotes disease — How the Balance Protocol is dynamically different than all other approaches to achieving optimal health — Principles that make the Balance Protocol so powerful — The 2 most important questions to ask to resolve disease — The 5 causes of all disease and how to correct them — Why its vital to correct imbalance in proper order — Hosted by Dr. Anthony G. Beck
Hello everyone and welcome to the Balance Protocol Podcast,
I’m Dr. Anthony G. Beck and I’m super excited to share with you my program called the Balance Protocol.
In today’s show I’m going to give you
- The history behind the Balance Protocol (BP)
- How Balance Protocol came to be
- Why the BP is so dynamically different than other health programs
- Introduce you to the back bone of BP called the 2-3-5-8 framework
- Show you how by applying the principles and methods of the BP in you life you can reach the highest levels of wellbeing designed specifically for You.
Our thinking about how we get sick is completely wrong. You can’t “catch” disease. You can’t “catch” cancer or heart disease, insomnia or depression.
Our medical system is based on the idea that diseases just show up, like an unwanted visitor.
That it’s unpredictable or just because it runs in the family.
This may have seemed true 150 years ago when Louis Pasteur came up with the germ theory of disease and felt that there were germs out there and some people, by a stroke of bad luck, just “caught” them.
There was not much you could do except hope that the germ (or disease) didn’t show up on your doorstep.
Then we found a drug for the bug in antibiotics–and low and behold–modern medicine could finally do something about disease.
In the 70 years since the discovery of antibiotics, we’ve been on a relentless search for a drug for every bug, a pill for every ill. The problem is, this completely ignores the real cause of disease.
The only way to get to the root of disease is to understand how your personal environment (your eating habits, stress, exercise, radiation, trauma and toxins in food, air and water) interacts with your genes to determine your state of health or disease. So what you can do?
Your genes are fixed. You can’t change them. That is called your genotype. But you can change which genes get turned on or off, and how that affects your physiology, by changing those things that effect and trigger your genes actions of expression.
Your environment interacting with your genes creates who you are at this moment–your phenotype. And that, you can change! Every environmental input, from diet to toxins to stress, all determine the healthiness of your body. It is like preparing healthy soil for plants.
To have vibrant growth you must mix the right amount of organic matter, the right pH balance, the right amount of nutrients, water, light and air as well as safe guard it from harmful chemicals and organisms.
Our bodies are the same way; we need to have healthy soil in order to be healthy. In fact, Louis Pasteur on his deathbed realized this. It’s the terrain, not the germ that is the most important determinant of health. This explains why giving zinc to malnourished children in the third world can reduce death from infections by over 75 percent. It doesn’t stop exposure to bugs, but zinc boosts immunity, helping the children stay healthy.
So by believing in this “germ theory” of disease, medicine has ignored one of the most important scientific ideas of the last century, that our health is determined by the interaction of our genes and our environment.
In their article “Diet, Lifestyle and Longevity – The Next Steps?” in the September 2004 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), two leading Harvard epidemiologists, Rimm and Stampfer agree. They tell us that the benefits of studying and addressing fundamental dietary, lifestyle and environmental factors is more effective and economically sound than trying to find the latest drug or surgical treatment for chronic diseases.
As a society, the United States spends billions upon billions on chronic disease treatments and interventions for risk factors. Although these are useful and important, a fraction of that investment to promote healthful lifestyles for individuals at all ages would yield greater benefit.
Simply looking at what we put in and around our bodies every day would be more effective and much less expensive. Since the leading causes of death are heart disease (597,000 deaths per year) and cancer (574,000 deaths), followed by things like respiratory diseases, alcohol, toxins, car accidents, sexual behaviors, and the use of illicit drugs, we have volumes of proven empirical data that all of these have major contributions from personal lifestyle decisions, then that is where we should put our efforts as individuals and as a society.
We certainly can not continue to just treat the symptoms of these with drugs to suppress them or just surgically remove body parts as they fail to function because of them.
I can understand that the information I will provide will seem a bit overwhelming, but you can understand it. Once you do, it will completely change your perception of the role of food and nutrients as well as your the impact of your lifestyle choices have in your physical and mental health forever.
This background knowledge will help you take full advantage of the Balance Protocol. If you know what is happening in the body, why it goes wrong, and how to fix it, you are much more likely to incorporate changes in your diet, behavior, and habits in the long run.
After all, It’s my goal and life’s passion to Educate, Motivate, and Inspire, YOU to do just that!
The Balance Protocol is a one of a kind clinical method to:
Educate You on the true root causes of disease,
Motivate You to take solid corrective actions in your life
Inspire You to reach the highest levels of wellbeing
It utilizes a science-based systems biology called Functional Medicine to provide a systematic approach to navigate You through the often complex puzzle of regaining your health and resolving chronic disease.
The Balance Protocol empowers You with a step-by-step process to discover how You can uncover the root causes of what is keeping you from a life of abundant health and vitality.
Then apply simple, yet transformational actions in your lifestyle, your eating, and the environment you live in.
The central theme to the BP is the fact that each and every one of us is unique.
Both in our genetic code as well as all the things that we live in and around.
I call these your environmental inputs.
Let me say this, as well all know there is a tremendous amount of noise and confusion out there about what is healthy, whats not healthy.
Everyone telling you what is “good”, “bad”. And stuff like that.
Here is the trouble and challenge.
So many are correct and so many are very incorrect.
Seriously though, the fact is there is a virtual avalanche of health information out there. Some from highly educated clinicians, some from archived research that so many just don’t know is there. And so much online from bloggers and self proclaimed experts and coaches.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe a very simple and eloquent fact…
The truth is the truth no matter where it comes from.
So, someone does not have to be a doctor to know certain health truths.
Matter of fact, the vast majority of doctors don’t know what is nor how to help patients truly have a powerful state of vitality.
This is because they are not trains nor wired to do so. They practice a medical model that is what I call the name it blame it tame it game.
But I’ll cover that more specifically in other podcasts.
So that brings us to the other sources you get exposed to. Virtual online prattling.
Again, don’t get me wrong. There are great sources of information online for health topics.
BUT and this is a big BUT
What is missing the knowledge of WHAT and HOW applies to YOU!
Here is an example….
There are all kinds of auto parts, fuel, modifications, tires, and all that stuff for cars. Right?
Well though those things exist and are high tech and performance based,
Do all of them apply to your car? See my point?
So although there are tons of diets and how to’s out there. We all know that we have tried stuff and it just didn’t pan out.
We read or were told something and we try it and BAM…a big fat flop.
We then do the temporary give up and say….ahhh…all that junk is junk.
Well, until we feel down on ourselves, think we are too fat and have to finally do something.
So what do we do? Look for and try some other weight loss or health trick
Or what is popular today….as “bio hack”
This cycle is all to common and is and of itself the problem. People are told all kinds of things to do, however….
They are not taught how to decipher the code that is YOU.
The vast majority of information out there forgets to embrace that fact that we all have quite powerful difference of self.
So for you to get to your highest level of well being your key is to learn the process to find and determine that which is best for you!
This is why my program is called the Balance Protocol.
Its the framework to lead you through the process of discovering what is optimal for you.
No one can tell you how to live your life. You have to take that journey of discovery and the Balance Protocol will guide you to find the way.
You can get educated, you can get motivated, you can get inspired…Yet, you have to do it.
Often when I teach the Balance Protocol to people they remark on how simple and obvious this seems. Why didn’t anyone explain it like that before?
Well, there is a very large spectrum of actual reasons, but sufficed to say, the good news is that it matters not. When you apply the Balance Protocol into your life you will naturally come to an understanding of why.
You will come to know that the answer to why is that rarely does anyone in the health field think of individuals as individuals. They just give the same exact advice to each and every person.
All that has changed now with the Balance Protocol.
I knew when I developed this system that it was going to be simple to understand, easy to live with yet be powerfully life changing.
Let me share with you the principles of the Balance Protocol…
Biochemical Individuality Based on Genetic and Environmental Uniqueness
According to Balance Protocol perspective, it recognizes that each person is a unique individual with a singular genetic structure, a unique life story and set of influences that make up their environment which they live.
The purpose of the Balance Protocol is to elicit and bring understanding to your own uniqueness.
Your lives journey and experiences are the context to understand the complex processes where environment merges with your genetic inheritance.
We have come to understand that our DNA does set boundaries on individual performance.
However, as the deterministic model of genetics breaks down, research has demonstrated a certain plasticity or flexibility to genetic induction not appreciated earlier.
Important to living the Balance Protocol is the idea that lifestyle translates into quantifiable effects on health through the energetics of our biochemistry and genetics.
These effects can lead to disease or they can produce health.
As we more fully understand the web-like inner relationships between environment and genetic responses, we can develop individual programs that reliably reflect the unique needs of the individual.
Dynamic Balance Between Internal and External Factors
Important in the application of the Balance Protocol is the idea that lifestyle translates into quantifiable effects on health and disease through the energetics of our biochemistry and genetics.
Different activities as well as emotions; such as eating, exercising or not exercising, joy, pain, and love are integral to inducing the dynamic mix of chemical reactions inside the body lead to the sum of experiences that our patients identify as their lives.
This combination of environments effects both gene expression and the bodies biochemistry on a daily basis. It is what gives rise to symptoms of what we call aging and disease.
The conventional medical model has done an outstanding job at hood winking the population
Has convinced them that they are just the product of what is in their family history.
Think about it.
If you have a chronic disease and go seek care for it, how likely are you to get the good ol token answer “its genetic”?
Did the doctor test your genetics?
Or did they have you check some box or fill out an intake form that asked you about your family history?
Most likely you are the victim of the name it blame it tame it game.
People go to seek care….they fill out the family history part of intake forms and that specialist who sees you for 7.6 minutes goes right for the easy out.
Boom. Its in the family.
What a cop out.
Now imagine that someone actually looked at your full life history and then
Combined that story with understanding of what is going on in your environment now
What is going on in your mind set now
Its critical for us all to come to embrace that we have a dynamic balance between our outside and inside factors
Web-like Connections of Physiological Factors
Fundamental to Balance Protocol is a profound awareness of web-like interactions among all systems of the body.
One of the biggest mistakes that is prevalent today is thinking that parts of our body are independent from each other.
Think for a minute.
Why on earth do we treat disease with just organ specific approaches?
Why is it logical to to treat allergies with drugs that block allergy reactions?
Why treat fatigue with stimulants?
Why treat immune dysfunction with immune suppressants?
Its beyond me as to think that we have allowed those who give medical care to dish out this approach and allow it to be the entrenched world view.
We have even allowed health care to become a huge battery of specialists. You have a doctor for each separate organ system of the body. And rarely do any of them talk to each other.
Our system is for you do be the proverbial ping pong ball.
The things that predispose each of us to possible dysfunction due to our genetic susceptibilities, we call these “Antecedents”.
However, sometimes a force of change such as allergens, microbes, chemical exposure, drugs, endotoxins, and emotional stress are strong enough to create a dysfunctional response. These forces are referred to as “Triggers”.
The patient’s response to a trigger consists of complex, web-like effects on the biologic system through various inflammatory responses known as “Mediators”.
The Balance Protocol provides a turn-key approach to work through diagnosis and treatment protocols that you can incorporate to assess the unique risk factors present by virtue of your DNA interacting with your lifestyle, diet, environment, and thoughts.
Patient Centered versus Disease Centered
The individual—not the so called disease—is the target of resolution.
Its sad to admit that we are in a state of affairs where the focus on the uniqueness of the individual has been all but lost.
Because disease and disease management has become such huge business
and the amount of people who are not healthy is so overwhelming
The medical market has been forced to respond with a quick lock down type of approach
The Balance Protocol views disease not as an enemy (not even as an independent reality) in which to grapple, but as a manifestation of the breakdown of mechanisms that maintain control, resilience, and balance.
Dysfunction and disease are rarely organ-specific. Rather, they are an altered systemic physiological malfunction that requires an integrated model of therapeutic intervention.
The Balance Protocol focuses on the interaction between the person and his or her internal and external environment and the processes that can go awry in this relationship.
Health As a Positive Vitality, Not Absence of Disease
Today, medicine is at a crossroads. Although medicine has successfully contributed to the development of the science of acute disease diagnosis and treatment during the past four decades, it has not been as successful in promoting healthy aging or preventing chronic disease.
If fact, it has failed and continues to fail miserably at chronic disease.
The majority of us want to live a life full of energy and continue to be active regardless of our age.
This means health must be viewed as a positive vitality and certainly not be defined by simply not having to manage a diagnosis.
The challenge is that as we live at the speed of life in the world we do today, stresses that we could have once accommodated, now exceed our resilience, which results in health crises.
The key is to fortify ourselves with the power of knowledge and apply our choices in such a way that gives us an full set of armor to our life.
Earlier, I explained how our current model of medicine ignores the real causes of disease.
Now, Lets examine the 8 keys to Balance Protocol.
This revolutionary new way of thinking about health and disease will guide you toward something many people have given up on experiencing–Balance.
To get started, I ask every patient detailed questions about all their own individual story:
- What is the quality of what you are eating?
- Do you eat whole foods?
- Is yours a plant-based diet?
- Or are you following a disease-promoting Standard American Diet that makes you malnourished and unable to self repair, regulate and heal?
- What are the stressors in your life: your relationships, work, societal pressures, family, money?
- Have you been exposed to toxins in the air, water or in food and has that disturbed the balance of your health?
- Have you experienced physical or psychological trauma?
- Do you misuse or under use your body and not provide the regular benefits of moving, stretching, and strengthening it, that allows your organs, joints and muscle to function as they were designed?
- What is your history of use of recreational or prescribed drugs?
These are the real factors that influence and affect every system, function and process in you body. If we don’t deal with them directly we are just dealing with the effects, not addressing the real causes of disease.
Getting to the root of the environmental influences on your health and your life is the beginning of the possibility of your achieving Balance. It truly is something we all are capable of enjoying.
Over the next eight articles I will teach you how each of these core systems in your body holds the key to understanding why you are sick and how to navigate your way to health.
What do you need to add to promote healing and maintain health?
What do you need to remove that is taking away from your health?
(healthful eating, mindful study)
(lifestyle, physical activity, hormones)
(organs, blood, lymphatics)
(nutritional deficiency, dietary irritants)
(physical, psychological, emotional)
(biologic, elemental, chemical)
(bacteria, fungus, virus)
(chemical, biological, food)
In this first key of the Balance Protocol you will find several segments that make up what I call Environmental Inputs.
Environmental Inputs is a term that collectively speaks of all things that we both choose to expose ourselves to as well as the things that we passively are influenced by in our daily lives. Among these things both active and passive, are our “diet”, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the physical environments we move our body through, the psychosocial influences from our interaction with others, traumas both physical and psychological, micro-organisms including bacteria, viruses and fungi, as well as a wide spectrum of toxic chemicals we called Xenobiotics.
The problem is that most people (including doctors) know very little about nutrition and even less about how and why nutrients are so essential for organ function and health. In order to optimize function and health you have to know why, not just the what of what you are doing.
I certainly understand how there are just a myriad of points of view when it comes to understanding the world of nutrition.
Over the years, I have seen so many different opinions on what nutrition is, what type of diets people should be eating in different situations, and all kinds of dietary philosophies that simply are sets of instructions that sensationalize a certain aspect of the food world in order to gain the attention of the observer so as to portray there is a new and better way of eating.
This is simply not the case, in truth. The bottom line is there has always been and always will be a foundational understanding that must be realized. This is simply put that true nutrition and healthful eating are grounded in very basic and easy to follow guidelines.
I am constantly asked what do I think about this diet and that diet. Everything from the Paleolithic diet, to the Mediterranean diet, to the eating for your blood type diet, to the Atkins diet, and even the South Beach diet.
It never ceases to amaze me that people have lost touch with the very fact that nutrition is about eating and not dieting. Though I understand, that the word “diet” has become a catchall word for putting things in one’s mouth one way or another, I have always tried to encourage my patients to think in the terms of the word “eating”.
So it is my intent to share with you that we should get back to knowing that it’s okay to eat and that “dieting” is simply a word that indicates we are trying a new set of eating rules to make up for our mistakes of having not been eating in a healthful way.
It is important to understand that my views on nutrition and healthful eating are from a perspective of preventing and reversing diseases. This is where the rubber hits the road. You will not hear me speak of dieting methods to loose weight.
So as I share my knowledge and experience in the world of nutrition, remember that my goal in feeding the body is to prevent a breakdown in systems biology, optimize function, and enhance enjoyment of the things we eat.
What it will not be is yet another fad diet that has an agenda limiting you to just one purpose such as to lose weight, or sell you some pre-made meal wrapped in cardboard and plastic.
A historical review of our understanding of chronic diseases affirms that we now know that “lifestyle diseases” such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and type II diabetes, just to name a few, all have roots in poor eating, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Then we mix in the gene–environment connection. This is where certain genetic strengths and weaknesses are powerfully influenced by these environmental choices, and give rise to the patient’s health phenotype. The phenotype is a result of the interaction of the genotype with environmental factors: eating habits and nutrients, area and water, physical exercise, psychosocial influences, microorganisms, environmental toxins, and even trauma.
When you combine all of these Environmental Inputs that cascade over our genetic code you can begin to understand the influence on our metabolics, and how an individual acts and feels. Genes are expressed as a consequence of the environment in which they are immersed. Environment–gene interactions give rise to the expression of the diseases of our culture.
No medicine or therapy can prevent the interaction between genes and environment. Unfortunately, it is not possible to attack causality in many chronic diseases without dealing with multiple environmental factors.
Fortunately, we do know that the outcome can be affected by modifying the environment. The trouble today is, in our disease-centered view of medicine we are not using this information effectively to modify our approach to health care. We need this new, primary model for addressing the prevention, management and even resolution of chronic disease. That is a central theme of Functional Medicine and the Balance Protocol.
Key #2 Optimizing Gastro-Intestinal and Elimination
Every living organism, whether cell, organ, whole body, or even a community of people, has to have two fundamental capacities: to bring in substances that provide energy and sustenance, and to remove waste.
It is an inevitable consequence of human biology that being alive means waste is generated within the body. And, it is also a fact of life that we are exposed to innumerable substances, both beneficial and detrimental, simply by breathing, eating, walking, or lying in bed.
All kinds of substances are present in food, air, flooring, walls, and everything that surrounds us. Therefore, healthy function requires that the body differentiate between the good and the bad in our environment.
Moreover, it is essential that the body can identify the substances necessary to maintain health and selectively take those substances into circulation, where they can nourish the cells throughout the body, while keeping out the damage materials.
To do so, the body must have protection and defense systems in place, healthy transportation and circulation functions, and optimal elimination of waste.
Over a lifetime, a person will consume over 25 tons of food, providing the body with nutrients through the digestion and absorption process. During this process, the body must maintain protection from harmful extra organisms and toxins that accompany food.
For example, in 1999 alone, over 1,000,000,000 pounds of pesticides were applied in the United States, and over 5.6 billion pounds were applied worldwide.
Pesticides are now ubiquitous components of our environment and can be found within the home as well as in our everyday environment. Even eating an organic diet cannot guarantee elimination of pesticides. Its a medically substantiated fact that pesticide exposure is related to several types of cancers, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, soft tissue sarcoma, and mutations of cells in virtually every organ of the human body.
Conditions such as Diabetes mellitus, Parkinson’s disease, Asthma, and Hypothyroidism are all related to environmental exposures to toxic substances. Toxins such as dioxin are long-lasting in the body because they are fat-soluble. They accumulate and become stored in body fat.
Even pharmacological drugs have been found at measurable levels in rivers, drinking water, and sediments, which presumably occur primary from the elimination of metabolized drug through urine and feces.
The magnitude of these insults was discussed in a 2001 review on toxic exposure, which indicated that the expense of treating environmentally related conditions accounts for between $57 billion and $397 billion of the healthcare economy annually in the United States and Canada.
Clearly, the ability to protect against these damaging substances must be part of a healthy digestion and absorption process.
Unfortunately Xenobiotics such as pesticides and pollutants aren’t the only dangers that enter our system through the food we eat. Pathogens can also be present, and many individuals find that they are intolerant to certain food substances.
Food allergies alone, which can be immediate (e.g. IgE mediated) or delay (e.g., IgG mediated), are estimated to affect approximately 8% of children and 2% of adults worldwide.
Food allergies and intolerances account for a diverse range of symptoms, from migraines and skin problems, to cardiovascular effects and gastrointestinal disorders.
All these examples have in common that the body must differentiate good from bad—that is, the body must selectively identify those substances that are necessary for existence (nutrients, water, oxygen, vital nutrients, beneficial microbes) from those that are either not beneficial or, even more important, those that are detrimental.
After this first step of recognition, the body must selectively absorb and transport the necessary substances, while eliminating the detrimental materials. To do this, the body has elaborate systems for digestion and absorption, protection and defense, transport and circulation, and waste elimination.
So many people have something wrong with their inner tube. It is even highly likely that you suffer from or have suffered from some type of digestive disorder such as irritable bowel, bloating, constipation, heartburn, or even things too gross to mention.
Over 100 million Americans have digestive problems. The number 3 and 7 top selling drugs in America are for digestive problems costing us billions and billions of dollars. There are more than 200 over-the-counter (OTC) remedies for digestive disorders, many of which – most unfortunately – can create additional digestive problems.
Visits for intestinal disorders are among the most common to primary care physicians and that’s not even the worst news. Most of us do not recognize or know (including most of your doctors) that digestive problems wreak havoc over your entire body leading to allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, rashes, acne, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, autism, dementia, cancer and more.
So having a healthy gastrointestinal system means more to you than just not being annoyed by a little bloating, heartburn, occasional constipation. It is central to your entire health. It is connected to everything that happens in your body.
EVERYTHING! That’s why I almost always start helping people treat chronic health problems by fixing their gut. With the first step of only sending healthful foods through the pipes to begin with. Later I will tell you how to find out if you have a problem with your gut (though many of you won’t need me to tell you – your gut will speak for itself), and how to create a healthy digestive system.
Key #3 of the Balance Protocol is to Calm and Develop the Mind
The vast majority of science today gives attention to the effects on human health of various well-known and often well-researched biological and physical factors and their interaction with individual genetic predispositions.
What I believe is missing is a stronger attention to the psychosocial realm which incidentally has a very strong source of prolific research and a myriad of books and articles written about common and uncommon clinical approaches. We must take an opportunity to turn our attention to the impact of spirituality as one of the key building blocks of health.
Understanding the role of biochemical individuality “that is, genetic predisposition influenced by environment) is a cornerstone of Functional Medicine.
One of the great things about the Functional Medicine model of patient-centered medical care is the fact that it states that the medicine of today involves more than just the physical, matter-based body; it also includes the spiritual experience of the patient.
As the changing research record indicates, an understanding of the role of spirituality in health and healing is attracting considerable attention in the last decades. For example a search of the national Library of medicine database using the word “spirituality” shows that only 62 articles were published on this subject in the 20 years between 1970 and 1990, compared to 477 articles between 1990 and 2000, and more than double that number 1226 articles, from 2002 to 2004.
This increased interest was triggered by studies such as that of King and Bushwick, in which it was noted that 94% of patients admitted to hospitals believe that spiritual health is as important as physical health, and 77% believe that physicians should consider their patients spiritual needs, but only 20% of patients reported their physicians addressing spiritual issues with them in more than just a passing fashion.
A 2003 study in which physicians were asked about their attitudes and preferences regarding spirituality and the medical encounter found that, of the 84.5% who indicated they should be aware of patient spirituality, most would not ask about spiritual issues unless the patient was dying.
In a discussion on the role of spirituality and health Levin makes this assertion:
“by excluding matters of spirit from clinical research and practice, physicians run the risk of leaving out a large piece of what it means to be a human being. If physician sincerely wish to treat the whole person, they first one have to set their patients as more than just a body and a personality, or, worse, a collection of isolated organ systems.”
Given the importance of the subject to patients and practitioners alike, it is valuable to spend a little time exploring some new findings that suggest there may be a physical, biochemical basis for spirituality.
Interestingly, as with other building blocks to health, this biological connection appears to be experienced differently by each of us; that is, spirituality (our experience of the divine) is another example of how we all show biochemical individuality.
Moreover the research is showing more clearly how our spirituality, life experience, and physical bodies are all intertwined in such a manner that ignoring one means leaving out part of the web.
There is a dramatic and powerful connection between our mind and body, and of our body on our mind. In fact, it really should not be called a connection because it is just one bidirectional system.
Hans Selye, MD, the man who coined the word stress and first mapped out it’s biological effects said, “The modern physician should know as much about emotions and thoughts as about disease symptoms and drugs. This approach would appear to hold more promise of cure than anything medicine has given us to date.”
It is true. The most powerful pharmacy in the world is right between your ears! Imagine if you could turn on fat burning–and lose weight–by using only your mind.
We are seeing an epidemic of stress related disorders. Americans live on caffeine and Antidepressants. We use substances to manage our moods. In fact the four top selling items in grocery stores are all drugs we use to manage our mood and energy – caffeine, sugar, alcohol and nicotine. That is just simply appalling. Depression, anxiety, autism, attention deficit disorder, memory disorders and dementia are epidemics in our society. They are making the pharmaceutical industry highly profitable. But how do we really deal with the root of this problem? I will tell you what the causes of brain problems are and how to fix them a little later.
Key #4 is to Clear Inflammation and Support Immunity
Here I can only give a primer on inflammation biology describes the mechanisms of innate and acquired immunity, and the key players in the inflammatory response, explicating and disentangling the connections between.
I argue the case that the entire spectrum of inflammatory diseases represents host defenses gone awry. A number of cardiovascular conditions, some exotic, but many common, involve an important component of inflammation, representing host defense mechanisms that can cause disease.
Assessing your level of inflammation begins with a few very simple blood tests. These can measure the degree of hidden inflammation in your body. This is important because almost every modern disease is caused by or affected by hidden inflammation, including heart disease, cancer, obesity, and Parkinson’s as well as arthritis, autoimmune disease, allergies, and digestive disorders.
If your immune system and your ability to balance the inflammatory forces in your body are impaired, you are standing on the edge of a very tall cliff, and are headed toward illness and premature aging.
But addressing the causes of inflammation and learning how to live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle can lead you to Balance.
Everyone who has had a sore throat, a rash, or a sprained ankle knows about inflammation.
Those are normal appropriate responses of our defense system to infection or trauma. We need inflammation to survive.
The trouble occurs when that defense system runs out of control, like a rebel army bent on destroying its own country. Most people are familiar with overactive immune responses and too much inflammation in common conditions like allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease or asthma.
But few people know that hidden inflammation is at the root of all chronic illness such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, cancer and even autism.
The real concern is not our acute response to injury, infection or insult, but the chronic smoldering inflammation that slowly destroys our organs, our ability for optimal functioning and leads to rapid degradation of our organs.
We may feel healthy, but if this inflammation is raging inside of us, then we have a ticking time bomb.
Common treatments such as anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen or aspirin), or steroids like prednisone, though often useful for acute problems, interfere with the body’s own immune response and lead inevitably to serious and deadly side effects.
As many people die from taking anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen as die every year from asthma or leukemia. Stopping the use of these drugs would be the equivalent to finding a cure for both.
So what is the best way to control inflammation while we’re still upstream? First, identify the triggers and causes of inflammation, and then help the body’s natural immune balance reset by providing the right conditions for it to thrive.
If inflammation and immune imbalances are at the root of most of modern disease, how do we find the causes and get the body back in balance? Thankfully the list of things that cause inflammation is relatively short:
- Poor eating: mostly sugar, refined flours, processed food and inflammatory fats such as trans-fats
- Foods that at a time in our lives is not appropriate
- Lack of exercise
- Inappropriate Stress
- Hidden or chronic infections with viruses, bacteria, yeasts or parasites
- Hidden allergens from food or the environment
- Toxins such as mercury and pesticides
The solution is to find those inflammatory factors unique to each person, to see how various lifestyle, environment or infectious factors spin the immune system out of control leading to a host of chronic illnesses.
Carefully listening to a person’s own story and a few specific tests help me find the cause in most people. It is important to understand that this concept of inflammation is not specific to any one organ or medical specialty.
In fact, if you read a medical journal from any of the specialties you will find endless articles about how inflammation is at the root of problem.
The issue is the lack of communication between specialties. Everyone is treating the downstream effects of inflammation, instead of addressing the cause: multiple problems that are really linked together by inflammation.
Take for example, it is terribly common for me to see someone on about 15 medications for about five different inflammatory conditions including high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, colitis, reflux, asthma, and an autoimmune disease.
What is interesting is that sometimes when I asked them how to feel they say “fine”. I tell them that I am surprised because I see you are on so many medications.
Then they say, “but everything is very well controlled with the latest medication given by the my doctors”. Its entirely true that someone like this has seen a specialist in every field: the lung doctor for his asthma, the gastroenterologist for his colitis and reflux, the cardiologist for his high blood pressure, the endocrinologist for his pre-diabetes, then throw in the dermatologist for hair loss.
I ask these patients, with all these top specialists they see, did anyone ask him why they had five different inflammatory diseases and why their immune system was so pissed off?
Was it just bad luck that they “got” all these diseases or was there something connecting all these problems? Just about everyone looks at me puzzled and says “no”.
When I search for and find the cause of there problems I find things such as an undiagnosed bacterial infection in the intestines, a gluten allergy, or a heavy metal toxicity.
I proceed to teach them how to live the Balance Protocol.
Six months later they came back pounds lighter, have regular blood pressure, no asthma, no reflux, no more colitis. They report having normal bowel movements for the first time in their life and even their hair was growing back. Subsequently, was off nearly most if not all medications.
Now the greatest part is not the fact that we were able to sort through all the interconnections of multiple systems producing this broad spectrum of “diseases”, is the fact that when the Balance Protocol is applied, the body is able to do all the work spontaneously.
Key #5 is Strengthen Structural – Musculoskeletal
When discussing the “structural” aspect of the Balance Protocol, we commonly think of the muscle skeletal system; this is appropriate since the majority of the body is comprised of the bones, muscles, and interconnecting joints that form our limbs, torso, neck.
Structural considerations are also relevant for several non-muscle skeletal conditions.
In some of my patients, aspects of their “structural imbalances” or “structural dysfunction” may be readily apparent and obviously relevant to their primary health concern.
In other words, structural imbalance may be more subtle and/or and less obviously relevant to their clinical situation. It is important to distinguish subtle from unimportant; many structural imbalances and dysfunctions may go undetected, or may be categorized as “non-relevant” if they lie outside the practitioner’s awareness or scope of training and specialty.
Examples of these important subtleties and branches of structural integrity include the slight increases in intestinal permeability associate with eczema, inflammatory bowel disease, and several types of arthritis and the defects and subtle aberrations of joint motion and that may contribute to chronic back and neck pain and predispose to recurrent injury.
The more we know about micro and macro physiology, the more we are challenged when attempting to draw clear boundaries between organ systems and biochemical versus nutritional versus structural versus neurologic processes.
It is increasingly clear that all muscle skeletal conditions involve numerous overlaps with other elements of the Balance Protocol framework. The best way to convey the interconnectedness of the structural aspect of this framework with these other elements is simply to discuss and give examples of each with an appreciation of the bidirectional linkage whereby one aspect affects the other.
The sections that I will detail will provide a brief review of those aspects of the framework that most strongly affect and are affected by structural imbalances.
Subtle structural dysfunction can lead to clinical conditions of sufficient severity that intervention is warranted. In addition to deficits in functions that contribute to low back and lower extremity pain and injury, are subtle restrictions and or excesses of joint mobility, particularly of the spinal column these too may lead to chronic pain.
Clinically, the technique of motion palpation is a validated method of joint assessment and can be used to quantify and qualify subtle abnormalities in joint function.
Restrictions in motion can be ameliorated with manual manipulative therapy (commonly known as but not limited to Chiropractic Medicine) and excesses in motion can be addressed by therapeutic exercise and ergonomic modifications.
This approach is particularly relevant for patients with; for example, chronic back pain wherein deficits and imbalances in muscle strength and tension can be alleviated with a multi component intervention that includes spinal manipulation, physical therapy, targeted muscle strengthening, and stretching. And of course, feeding the body the nutrients and building blocks it needs for repair.
Intra-articular adhesions and entrapment of synovial folds that call for a physical rather than a pharmacologic intervention.
Key #6 Boost Energy Metabolism
The tiny cellular organelles called mitochondria are present in almost all cells, with predominance in highly metabolically active cells such as skeletal and cardiac muscle and the nervous system.
The relationship between mitochondria in the cell in which they reside is a unique interdependence and has much to teach about the important principles of energy and oxidative stress and their importance within the Balance Protocol.
Biochemical processes that occur within mitochondria are known as oxidative phosphorylation (respiratory chain ATP production) Citric acid cycle, amino acid synthesis, fatty acid oxidation, just to name a few.
But it is important to remember that many other functions also take place inside the mitochondria.
In a simplified and laymen’s terms the mitochondria are basically small organelles within cells that are responsible for various complex metabolic reactions.
Bottom line is they manufacture energy for the tissues of the organs in which they reside.
The role of your metabolism is to take the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat and process it to make energy, the fuel for life. (The fuel for your car is called gas. The fuel for your body is called ATP and it is produced from the combustion of food and oxygen.)
Are you tired and worn out? Do you feel burned out and have sore muscles, fatigue and brain fog? You might have metabolic burnout!
These are examples of a dysfunction in your mitochondria.
But remember, the key is to ask and find out, WHY.
Imagine if you could find a way to tune up your metabolism, to increase the amount of energy you have, to be able to think clearly and feel less achy. Imagine if you could prevent diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s and depression.
Imagine if you could heal fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Imagine if you could get to the root of aging and slow the whole process down and eliminate most of the age related diseases. All that is possible by giving yourself a metabolic makeover; a metabolic tune up utilizing the Balance Protocol.
You might have heard of the rats fed high doses of resveratrol, the red phytonutrient found in red wine. They lived thirty percent longer while eating a bad diet. In fact, they even became fitter and lost weight without changing their diet and eating the equivalent of the standard American poor quality diet.
How could they eat more, eat bad food, not exercise, become fitter AND live thirty percent longer than the average rat? The answer is optimal functioning Mitochondria.
The resveratrol protected and improved the function of the mitochondria through its effects on special master aging genes. When they are not working properly, you suffer all the symptoms of low energy: fatigue, memory loss, pain, rapid aging and more. Along the way, many things can go wrong that may impede your metabolism, make it run less efficiently, or practically shut it down.
Fatigue is the most common symptom of poorly functioning mitochondria. We need to keep them in top shape. The reason we run out of stamina as we age is the constant insult and injury we give our mitochondria. We have over 100,000 trillion of these powerhouses in our body, and each one contains 17,000 little assembly lines for making ATP, our major fuel.
They use over ninety percent of the oxygen we breathe. They take up forty percent of the space inside the heart cells. The only problem is they are very sensitive to damage and the injury is from uncontrolled oxidative stress, which results from toxic insults, infections, allergens, stress and just eating too much poor quality food.
Dr. Bruce Ames, the renowned scientist from the University of California at Berkeley, has spent the last decade discovering how we can give ourselves a metabolic tune up.
In one study he gave old rats who were tired, wouldn’t get on the treadmill anymore, and couldn’t find the cheese in the maze, or swim very far, two molecules that boost metabolism, that make the mitochondria run better.
They are alpha lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine. Overnight these rats became young rats. They got up on the treadmill themselves, swam long distances without fatiguing and could easily find the cheese in the maze like young healthy rats. How could that happen? Well, he simply gave the cells the raw materials they need for optimal function. As we age, our metabolism burns out from a lifetime of damage and insults.
So again, the way to get healthy is live the Balance Protocol… its that simple.
Key #7 is Balance Hormones and Neurotransmitters
The health of the human organism is determined by its flexibility in responding to the environment, and by the balance between the breakdown in use of functional and structural chemicals and their replacement. This essential process is called metabolism.
Response to the environment is determined primarily by
- Information obtained through the senses and mediated by the brain and hypothalamus (the adrenal side)
- Information obtained from food or other environmental exposures and mediated by the immune system and the pancreas and liver (the insulin side). The research literature is flooded with interesting examples of the interconnectedness of these functions.
Biologic function can be broadly conceptualized into reactions of approach or avoidance:
- Negative sensory information from the environment (e.g. fear) leads to an avoidance reaction that involves withdrawal, contraction, and shutting down of growth and reproduction. It is mediated by the adrenal (stress adaptive) hormones, adrenaline, and cortisol. Adrenaline is primarily activating, for fight or flight; cortisol is primarily suppressive (e.g., of the immune system, of the brain as in depression, of growth as in osteoporosis).
- Positive environmental sensory information (e.g., attraction) allows for growth and reproduction and is represented by the hormone insulin, which allows for growth and storage of energy. Insulin interacts with a number of trophic hormones (including estrogens, testosterone, DHEA, and thyroid) that balance adrenaline and cortisol in different ways. Insulin is triggered both by environmental signals ( e.g. the presence of food in the G.I. tract) and by internal signals of glucose status.
The major hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) appear to have a critical role in maintaining life and balancing the metabolism but, by themselves, would not provide the flexibility in response to the environment that has characterized us humans.
The minor hormones provide a much higher degree of flexibility.
Once we have a better understanding of how these hormones interact with each other to balance metabolism and respond to a changing environment, we can design treatment strategies that are consistent with the body’s attempt to create longevity and avoid some of the missteps previously made with regard to hormone replacement.
Hormonal balance adds yet another layer of complexity to the understanding of physiologic function and malfunction.
In order to apply the concept of genomics to the disease primarily affected by hormonal imbalances, we first need to follow these hormone molecules through their “life cycles” to describe both balance and imbalance.
Key #8 is Enhance Detoxification
The concept that toxins accumulate in the body and are the cause of various health problems has long been a fundamental tenet of traditional healthcare systems around the world.
For centuries, societies have valued therapies that have promoted the idea of cleansing and detoxifying.
From the simple water fast used since antiquity to the sometimes-elaborate detoxifying regimens of spas, including saunas, enemas, hydrotherapy treatments, and dietary modifications, detoxification as a therapeutic goal has long been pursued.
In the early 21st century, as society has increasingly been exposed to toxic compounds in the air, water, and food, it has become apparent that an individual’s ability to detoxify substances to which he or she is exposed, both exogenously ( Xenobiotics) and endogenously (products of metabolism), is of critical importance to overall health.
Many of the chemicals to which we are exposed show little relationship to previously encountered compounds or metabolites, and yet healthy bodies are often capable of managing these environmental exposures through complex systems of detoxification enzymes.
Pubic acknowledgment regarding the extent of environmental exposure to Xenobiotics is at an all-time high. For example, the EPA estimates that in 1994 alone over 2.2 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were released into the environment in the United States.
EPA estimates for 2002 have grown to 4.7 billion pounds.
This adds up to the statistic that , it is likely that at least 25% of the US population suffers to some extent from heavy metal poisoning.
The complex systems of the detoxification enzymes generally function adequately to minimize potential damage from toxic chemicals.
However, common dysfunction may occur when these systems are overloaded or imbalanced.
Some studies have suggested an association between the ability of the body to radically transform toxic Xenobiotics and metabolites, and the etiology of various puzzling disease entities, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and multiple chemical sensitivities.
Research has also begun to validate the hypothesis that chronic neurological symptoms, such as those seen in Parkinson’s disease, may result from impairment of detoxification ability.
It is been suggested that many cases of cancer are due to compromised ability to adequately detoxify the xenobiotics, a condition that may result from a few things such as
genetic tendency towards lower detoxification activity, insufficient nutrient support for detoxification, and/or excessive intakes of Xenobiotics or environmental carcinogens.
Research is emerging all the time that casts doubt on earlier findings and opens new avenues for further investigation. Linking detoxification to a specific disease in a research study is nearly impossible with today’s tools, since the detoxification enzyme system is so complex and individualized, and is involved in supporting so many functions in the body.
As in countless other areas of medicine, however, clinicians must still make decisions for their patients in the light of the best information available.
New cutting edge functional assessment tools are now available to significantly enhance our understanding of biochemical differences between individuals.
These tools allow clinicians to quantitatively analyze the body’s ability to adequately detoxify the compounds to which it is exposed.
Additionally, as our understanding of the underlying biochemical mechanisms involved in the regulation and nutritional support of the detoxification systems continues to deepen,
the connections to the disease are becoming clearer, and clinicians are gaining a better understanding of how to develop therapeutic detoxification programs.
So we cover a whole bunch of things in the podcast.
But the take home here is what the Balance Protocol is and how powerful it can be once you start living it. Using it as a template that you can always have in your mind at the ready.
When you or a loved one has symptoms and you don’t know where to or how to find the answer to resolving it, you simple can turn to the Balance Protocol’s 2 3 5 8 framework.
Ask yourself the 2 questions…
What do I need to replace that is missing
What do I need to remove that is standing in the way
Then make sure you proceed in with doing so in the correct order
Nourish the body and mind and get your strength up
At the same time you literally recruit all your bodies systems to come to your aid
Balance your immune system and inflammation
Get your body moving and structurally fortified
Balance your energy making capacity and hormones
One you have shored up your body and gotten your biochemistry back in working order then you can move on to
Purifying your organ systems and helping them take out the trash and remodel.
While seeking for root causes simply turn to evaluating the 5 causes of disease:
Physical and emotional stress
Toxin compound exposures
Allergens we eat or live in
Realizing that take all that CSI work and apply it to the 8 systems utilizing the keys of the Balance Protocol that applies to each of them.
Its that simple. Its that powerful.
Promise of the Balance Protocol
By applying this powerful framework you will see that applying simple efforts can afford you high levels of well-being, perpetuate longevity, prevent disease and even resolve chronic illnesses.
Because at the end of the day…YOU…are the only person who can make…YOU…healthy.
Well, I have certainly enjoyed sharing this podcast with you.
For more information on the Balance Protocol and to join the Balance Nation…please head over to my website
You can also find me on FaceBook.com/dranthonygbeck
if you would be so kind as to take a few seconds and leave me a review on iTunes I’d sure love you for it.
So until next time…
Remember, LETS LIVE LIFE IN BALANCE!