July 24

Stress reduction techniques with Dr. Amir Rashidian

We discuss how:

  • Stress plays a key role in the management of autoimmune conditions
  • Dr. Amir Rashidian has seen it countless times with his patients
  • His book “The StressProof Life: The Secret to Health, Wealth and Happiness” focuses on preparing your body to handle stress in everyday life
  • The starting point is that when you strengthen the body as a whole it can start to self-regulate and normalize
  • Stress activates ‘fight or flight’ mode
  • Various levels of stress bring our body to need different foods, depending on what the immune system needs
  • Dr. Amir identifies three ‘coins’, three dimensions in life that we have to consider
  • Each coin has two sides, for example the physical dimension has exercise as one side and rest as the other
  • The body has its own form of intelligence, called ‘innate intelligence’
  • Dr. Amir discusses the power of stress reduction via:
    • Sunshine
    • Visualisation (just 60 seconds per day)
    • Music
    • Sleep
    • Eating habits
    • Exercise
    • Breathing

Clint Today we’ve got a special guest to talk all about stress, because stress plays such a huge role in the exacerbation of autoimmune conditions. And the scientific studies show that particularly interpersonal stress, stress between loved ones or family members, friends and so forth show clinically worsening symptoms for people with rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory arthritic conditions. And so we can never get enough good information about stress reduction, and today’s guest is an expert in stress. He’s written a book, and I’ll talk about that in just a second. The book is called “The Stress Proof Life The Secret to Health, Wealth and Happiness”. And he’s also a Doctor of Chiropractic, he’s holding a Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry in Human Biology. And his chiropractic centre which he founded is the Mid-Atlantic Chiropractic Center, so with great credentials it’s my very big pleasure to welcome Dr. Amir to our episode today. Thanks for joining us.

Dr. Amir Clint thank you so much, I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now. I know you’ve got an amazing group of people who follow you and listen to you. So it’s really an honour to be here. Thanks so much.

Clint Well that’s lovely. Thank you so much. I’ve sort of set the scene in the introduction there that with auto immune diseases, everyone’s got this relationship between stress and conditions. And whilst we don’t need t spend our whole episode trying to tailor it specifically autoimmunity, why don’t we just talk about first of all the sources of stress in our lives, and then we’ll get into some examples that you’ve seen in your clinic of how people have been able to get rid of some stressful situations.

Dr. Amir Absolutely. You know when it comes to auto immune, it’s your body just not work in the way it’s supposed to, it’s your immune system. Finding things inside of you that it wants to attack, building antibodies, not allowing you to be free of inflammation and then that can be its attacking the joints or its through the gut attacking other substances. It can be awful, multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. We’ve seen it all and I do know that when you strengthen the body as a whole, then the body can start to self-regulate and normalize. I do know that how we respond to stress is what the focus should be. So just to back up a little bit, we need to define the word stress. And I’ve had so many patients come to me, throughout the years. I mean this is the reason I wrote the book, is because people say stress is the reason I’m sick. If I had less stress none of my problems would be there, I’d be great, I’d be healthy, and I agree with that to a degree. However if we were able and equipped to handle that stress properly then it made.

Clint So your patients are all telling me if I didn’t have this stress, I wouldn’t be sick.

Dr. Amir Exactly. So, you know I kind of think the best way to reduce your stress is quit your job and leave your family (inaudible). When there’s stress in our life our bodies will act in fight or flight. They’ll act in the sympathetic nervous system, which means they’ll direct your body’s resources and energy toward the things that are going to help you survive. Which means they stop doing the things that make you healthy, and go towards emergency response. I’ll give you an example, I was 9 years old the first time this happened my mother said, her Amir don’t forget to turn on your radio before you go to bed tonight. So I turn on the radio and turn up the volume went to sleep. There’s no programming it’s totally silent. But after midnight this loud siren blared through the radio and I jumped out of bed, and when my family ran out the door, ran down the hallway, ran down the stairs all the way down to the basement of the building where everybody else was waiting and they were terrified. And then we heard the roar of this jet engine overhead, and then we heard the whistle of a bomb that had just been dropped. And this bomb is getting closer and closer because the sound is getting louder and louder, but you can’t tell where it is. It’s too high pitched for an untrained ear to be able to tell. So it could be right over your head or it could be a block away, and all you can do is just wait and hope and pray that it’s not you. And then we heard the explosion and the walls kind of shock and the lights flickered and we knew we were OK, but someone must have just lost our life. Now that instance, that moment as that bomb is falling that’s the stress response in an extreme sense. Your pupils dilate, you turn pale white blood leaves your face and your hands and your feet. Heart rate goes up, your breathing is different, your digestive system stops and so does your immune system.

Dr. Amir So now think about this, let’s say I’m someone who has a stressful job and I show up to work every morning and my boss yells at me all day. And at 5:00 o’clock when it’s time for me to go home, let’s say comes and drops off a stack of papers in front of me on my desk and says you can’t leave till you finish this. So I stay late and finish it, I get home at 7:30 – 8:00 at night, and when I go home now my wife is upset with me saying, why are you late again? I had to put the kids to bed by myself, I had to feed them whatever. And now I go to bed and I can’t sleep. Now why can’t I sleep, because there’s these thoughts that are circulating in my brain over and over and I can’t shut them down. You’ve heard the phrase, I’m too tired to sleep. Well it does sound like an oxymoron when you think about it, how can you be too tyred to sleep? It’s like saying it was raining so hard I didn’t get wet. So but the reason for that is because your body is in fight or flight, because when that bomb was falling do you think there’s any chance anybody could lie down and take a nap? You can’t sleep. Same thing when your body’s in fight or flight for other reasons. So we all have bombs that are falling in our lives right? Those bombs are anything from a big move you know like you did. It could be a job, it could be changing jobs, it could be higher education, it could be taking final exams, finances, you name it that disaster illness of yourself or a loved one now your immune system will shut down. So will your digestive system.

Dr. Amir So a lot of times when people under stress situation long term they have dry eyes, dry mouth, and dry skin. Because in that state of fight or flight blood leaves your face, so you constantly talk about feel dry skin. They’re the ones that have cold hands and cold feet, even in the summer the weather’s warm but their hands are always cold because during that fight or flight state that stress response. And they have constipation, their digestive system just doesn’t move properly, wh? Because their body, the brain think there’s a bomb falling. So you don’t want to divert any attention to the digestive system, you want to run away from the bomb. And then the immune system so they’re the ones that catch a cold in the summer when you’re not supposed to catch a cold or get the flu. They’re the ones who have chronic sinus infections, three or four times a year their sinuses are inflamed. And they’re the ones where they’re auto immune disorder will flare up, come out of remission, and they can’t work properly. Now their immune system is not acting right but then think about that, when you have that auto immune flare up, you’re more likely to go into fight or flight. So it just perpetuates that.

Dr. Amir Now when you first enter that fight or flight you have cravings, sugar is what you want. So you’re gonna reach for refined sugars, candy, chocolate. If there’s a bowl of M & M’s, you can’t eat just one. When you stay in this fight or flight longer than let’s say a few months, now your body’s depleted on that and it needs more things like triglycerides. So your cholesterol level starts to go up, triglycerides go up, your cravings change. You still want the M & M’s but now you want something with fat in it, so you want ice cream and doughnuts, so you’re craving sweets. So for the listeners who are going, Oh yeah I used to crave a lot of sugar but now I’m craving ice cream and doughnuts. You’re in that second stage, your body is more depleted. The last thing that happens is your adrenal glands get depleted. Now your adrenal is so important for your immune system. In fact so many other patients who have a low immune system would get sick all the time. Sometimes of course we run some tests and analyze this was something which put him on adrenal supports. And when you strengthen our adrenal, glands there’s normal amount of adrenaline in the body. All of a sudden our immune system goes up, and it’s fantastic how that happens because the immune system needs energy, lots of it. That’s why when it’s cold outside in your body take some of that energy and diversity towards maintain your core temperature, your immune system drops you catch a cold because the weather is cold. But what’s the craving you get in that last stage, is now you’re craving salty foods. Now you go from the ice cream and doughnuts, you also want potato chips and pretzels. Because your renal glands require salty foods and minerals to support those glands so they can continue to kick out the adrenaline. When you’re in an adrenal fatigue, that’s the person who falls asleep in a classroom. That’s the person who falls asleep behind the wheel when you’re driving. That’s the person who’s exhausted all the time can’t make it through a movie without falling asleep. That’s the person who can drink a cup of coffee in the evening and still be able to go to bed. So that’s kind of what I work with, is getting you stronger so you can handle your stress. So that we can hopefully send some of these auto immune things into remission.

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Clint Yeah. Wow some great stuff there and I think that everyone right now is just nodding their head they’re like Yeah I’m with you, I’m with you. What you’ve done is set this fantastic platform of here’s the problem. Okay so here is the problem everything that you’ve just talked about, you’ve got everyone nodding and people are definitely saying OK we understand. So what do we do about it? Now before we get into what do we do about it, I don’t want us to finish this conversation without addressing adrenal fatigue and some more information around that. And whether or not I don’t if we want to go into it right now. But whether or not you see people on drugs like steroids causing adrenal fatigue, and if so whether your approach of assisting with that has been successful for those people. Because Prednisone is very heavily used in the auto immune world. So I don’t know if we want to get it right now or whether or not we want to keep on your train of thought with the solutions to what we’ve just highlighted.

Dr. Amir Yeah well now let’s hit it because I know a lot of people you know are on prednisone. And so typically what happens is when you’re taking something orally or intravenous or if it’s being injected into your body any form, your adrenal is usually stopped producing it because you go I already have enough. And that can make them lazy, that can make them stop. Cortisol gets released by your adrenal is naturally right? It gets released naturally to do some of those anti inflammatory things, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact I’m totally against calling anything that the body naturally produces bad, there’s no bad hormones, there’s no bad cholesterol. There’s nothing bad that anything the body produces and does is for the purpose of increasing your chances of survival. So absolutely adrenal fatigue can occur if you’re on a lot of prednisone. And then the other problem is you know all the metabolic issues that happen, they can lead to osteoporosis because of the metabolism weight gain, fat gain, and then lack of motivation and you name it. So bottom line, if we can get you off of the prednisone, and get your body working on its own properly it’s amazing. So you know then it goes into restoring the gut flora and then.

Dr. Amir So here’s the thing. So let’s switch the solutions right? So we don’t want to be on the prednisone, we want to send the auto immune into remission. I talk about the three coins, I believe life is a three dimensional thing. So the three dimensions of life are physical, chemical, and psychological. So if these are three coins, each coin has two sides. So in the physical dimension of life, one side of that coin is exercise. Are we exercising properly? You and I know that when you do something intense, you release some endorphins, some (inaudible). What’s endorphin? Endorphin is natural morphine, it’s a painkiller but it doesn’t have any side effects. And it may gives you this good feeling, so exercise is important. The other side of the coin is rest. Are we getting enough rest? I believe a lot of our friends who are battling things like rheumatoid, if we could get them to sleep better. Their bodies could start to repair better, adrenal fatigue can go away if we get proper REM sleep without supplements even. I mean it’ll start to recover, that’s when our bodies recover if we sleep properly. I always say how you sleep is more important than how much you sleep. You sleep eight hours, but if you’re not getting REM sleep, and you’re not in the right state, and you didn’t prepare for your sleep properly, now this sudden your sleep is not as productive as it was.

Dr. Amir Just like I firmly believe how you eat is more important than what you eat. I know that’s controversial because people are saying you know I eat organic foods and yes you do. But what if you eat it in the car while you’re driving in rush hour traffic talking on the phone and yelling at the people cutting you off? What’s your state? If you’re in fight or flight. Doesn’t matter what you put in your mouth your digestive system is not working properly, that food sits there becomes it ferments and now it’s not nutritious food anymore. By the time it gets to your intestines because everything’s moving so much slower, it’s not as nutritious as it was when you first put it in your mouth.

Clint Sorry. In addition to that what I’ve noticed over the years when I was inflamed and reacting to foods because a lot of you know food sensitivities are in play, that if I would eat when I wasn’t hungry guaranteed I’d get inflammation. And if I was extremely hungry when I ate the same amount of food the inflammation would be negligible. Same food.

Dr. Amir Yes.

Clint Hungry versus not hungry. So you know also when you’re sort of in tune with the body’s saying now I’m ready to process this meal.

Dr. Amir Absolutley you’re a hundred percent right. We call that innate intelligence or innate wisdom, the body has its own wisdom it knows what it needs when it needs it. You know a perfect example of that and I’ll get back to the three coins is morning sickness. You know you have children and I don’t know if your wife had as much morning sickness as mine did after three sons, and oh my gosh it was 24 hours a day morning sickness for the entire first trimester. So I did some research and studying on this and there was this thing called the Dutch famine study, where the pregnant women who lived during the famine not enough food to eat their babies were born normal weight and very very healthy. But as the famine continued through the second and third trimester those babies were underweight but in that first trimester you actually are supposed to starve, you’re not supposed to eat much the body rejects a lot of that. And then there been couple of drugs in history that were supposed to suppress morning sickness but the women who took those drugs had birth defects in their babies. You know you use your imagination, deformed hands and someone and organs. So there’s a theory that says okay maybe it was the chemical that they put in their body that cause deformities. But if you go by innate wisdom or innate intelligence you go okay, there’s developmental windows for that fetus. And every minute there’s a different organ or different tissue being developed and that fetus needs different foods so they’ll reject certain ones and it’ll create cravings for the other ones like my wife. She hates seafood but all of a sudden she said, I needed fish. So I had to get her fish.And when pregnancy was over she eats fish again but while pregnant she needed fish. So those cravings, that’s innate wisdom and when you use a drug to manipulate those things now you’re creating problems.

Clint Yeah. Absolutely. My sister had a terrible morning sickness just absolutely appalling, and she found that all she could eat was just white rice. And like she just couldn’t keep anything down for the first few months as well. And again her children are just outstanding they are like the smartest, fastest, healthiest. I mean and I’m a little biased because on you know her brother. But really like they’d get all the awards in sports and she just ate rice for three months. So like I totally believe it. It’s amazing isn’t it?

Dr. Amir Absolutely. That’s good, I’m glad they’re healthy. So these these coins, these three coins in one is physical which is exercise and rest. The second coin is chemical right? And the chemical dimension there’s the two sides are deficiency and toxicity. And this is especially important for auto immune frenzies is you’ve got to address both not just toxicity and not just efficiency but we’ve got to see both sides of that coin. There are things we are deficient in vitamin D as you know just an example. There is a lot of new research coming out that they’re saying probiotics for your guts, there’s no strand or no spectrum of probiotics that’s complete. And then there’s other substances now that we’re reading about that we need to put in there to make that Flora grow on its own and support itself which again goes by that innate wisdom.

Dr. Amir The third coin is your psychological dimension. We do need to avoid the negative stuff, but we also need to feed the brain with the positive. So it’s two sides of that coin is just constantly avoiding the bad but never really putting the good into it. Right now we can close our minds and visualize something incredible in front of us, and the hormonal. Visualize someone attractive stand in front of you, your hormones will change. Visualize your worst nightmare having come true different hormones get released in the body. So we’ve gotta watch that and if we approach it a three dimensional approach along with the treatment for the auto immune, address these three dimensions of stress and stress is literally a force that causes change in your life.

Clint Okay. Sorry, continue.

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Dr. Amir Stress can be gravity. Gravity is a force that keeps your feet on the ground but it can also cause you to fall, doesn’t mean it’s good or bad. Fire is a force it can burn your hand but it can cook your food, it’s not good or bad. Money is a force it can fund terrorist activities, but it can also put your children through college. You can’t say it’s good or bad it’s neutral, and we need to look at stress as something completely neutral. It’s not good and it’s not bad, but you can use it to create change in your body.

Clint Beautiful. I often try and teach my kids that with regards to positive or negative for all things really. Because like there’s the parable that I’m not going to share because it’s quite long but basically that the moral of the story is there is no good, there is no bad, there it just is for everything. It’s all in the interpretation isn’t it? If something happens to us and we interpret, for example if we interpret a rollercoaster ride as to be terrifying and our stress response kicks in then we actually have a negative physiological response to that experience. But if we get on the rollercoaster and we think that’s thrilling, and amazing, then our body like you mentioned endorphins we get a positive result from the experience. And two people that the same experience no one has come out with a negative physiological outcome, and the other is positive. So it’s all in the interpretation for everything.

Dr. Amir Not only that you release the interleukins that are such strong anti cancer medication. I mean it’s like one hundred thousand dollars worth of anti cancer drugs that you just put into your body by enjoying that experience. Absolutely.

Clint Nice. All right. Let’s talk about some perhaps some case studies or if you’d like to talk a little bit more about the Three Coins in practice. It’s a great not metaphor, but it’s a great packaged way of putting this together. Have you got some examples for us? Or if you get some maybe some illustrations of how this can work.

Dr. Amir Absolitely. So you know when you look at the chemical dimension you know vitamin D is one, sunlight is a great source of vitamin D. It doesn’t actually give you vitamin D but what it does is it makes your skin convert cholesterol to vitamin D. And then vitamin D helps you have a healthy heart and her healthy bones and it supports a lot of other systems in your body including your mood. So many times if we’re having mood issues and anxiety or depression 15 minutes in the sun once a day can really change all of that over time. Another one when we’re looking at the psychological dimension would be visualization. You know we talked about how if we worry, worry is negative visualization. We’re visualizing something terrible happening, and then we’re believing that it’s actually going to happen when 90%t of things we worry about never happen. The other 10 percent we realized it wasn’t as bad or sometimes we go I shouldn’t have worried about it in the first place.

So I recommend visualize something good, you take 60 seconds once a day you close your eyes you go back to your favourite vacation spots in your mind. And try to visualize it in such detail that you’ll feel the breeze on your face or the sounds or the does the site or whatever it was that that made it so special for you. Recreate that inside of you because your body doesn’t know the difference between something that’s actually happening, versus something that’s imagined in vivid detail. And you’ll get better and better at it, and your body will start to change all of a sudden you open your eyes you feel like you actually went on that vacation. Another one is music How crazy do some people act when their favourite song comes on, they could be at a wedding or a party. They’re sitting there sipping champagne and their song comes on now they’re jumping around like hyenas making noises and dancing and they don’t care who is watching.

Dr. Amir Music can really change, I’ll give you one example. I had an aunt, (inaudible) I was seven years old my dad said aunt (inaudible) coming over, she’s just left the doctor. The doctor said she only has six weeks to live because she has breast cancer. So aunt (inaudible) came over, and been a seven year old I’m thinking how should I think? how should I act? should I act like I’m sad? Should I act like nothing’s wrong? What should I do? And while I’m thinking about all this aunt (inaudible) walked in said Hi to everybody, walked over to the stereo and then you know this this is many many years ago so we had these big giant you know stereo with a dual cassette player (inaudible). So there was a bin on the bottom with all the cassettes and she searched in there and picked our favourite cassette and put it in and pushed play. And the speakers just came to life and music started come in and she started dancing. And she grabbed my dad and pulled him to the center of the living room started dancing with him. Grabbed my mother and they started dancing and she chased me around the living until she caught me and made me dance with her. And all of us were dancing, so the song ended three, forur minutes later on when the song and then she said listen, I may only have six weeks maybe more maybe less. I’m going to play that song once a day every day, I’m going to dance to it and I’m going to celebrate that I’m alive that day and I’m going to enjoy these days as much as I can.

Dr. Amir She started going to therapy and she became really weak and lost her hair and didn’t have the energy to stand up and dance. So two people would hold her up, when they would play that song and all she could do was just tap her foot and maybe bob her head a little bit. But then little by little she started to get the strength back and she started to become healthier and stronger. She still died of cancer but not for another 10 years. 10 years, and then in those 10 years she played that one song and dance to it every single day. She would probably tell us that those were better ten years than the you know 30 some years she was alive prior to that. So music is one of those things.

Dr. Amir You know sleep, we talked about earlier a little bit sleep is important so wonderful so many things happen. Now where we’re starting to link alzheimer’s to poor sleep because beta amyloid is a substance that builds up in the brain and it becomes toxic and forms the plaques that you see when you do autopsy on someone who had Alzheimer’s. And so we know that the more deep REM sleep we get the less toxins we have in our brain. In fact REM sleep is when the brain detoxify. Now it’s signified by dreaming, now you’re not supposed to remember your dreams but if you don’t dream you’ll start to have hallucinations during the day. That’s where the delirium tremors come from, from alcoholics. Alcohol before bed reduces your ability to dream and hit REM sleep. So if you’re not dreaming enough and you become an alcoholic you start to have hallucinations when you don’t drink alcohol and that’s why they’re normal when they drink, not normal when they don’t drink. (inaudible) be able to get proper sleep reduce temperature in your house before bedtime for about two 3 hours before bedtime. Make it cooler you’re signifying your body that it’s almost time to go to sleep. Melatonin gets ready to be released. Make sure you sleep in the dark, make sure you don’t drink coffee or any caffeinated drinks for six hours before you go to bed. I would recommend don’t watch the news before you go to bed or anything negative because that can send you at the fight or flight.

Dr. Amir And then you know screens, you know stay off of your phone and your tablets for 30 minutes before you go to sleep because that light the blue light that gives you in your eyes can stop melatonin production as well. Just like your skin produces vitamin D under the sun, your skin produces melatonin when you’re in pitch black darkness. That’s why we cover ourselves with a sheet even in the summer when it doesn’t get that cold, you cover yourself because it’s literally blocking the light that’s why you’re more comfortable. So it’s very important that you sleep well and then another one would be how you eat. You know I’m a very busy person, we see hundreds of patients on a daily basis in my practice. I have two other doctors on the team, several team members and there are times if we take emergency patients. There are times where I I only have 15 minutes to eat. And your natural tendency is you know I’ll make sure I eat healthy right? But the tendency is in these 15 minutes let me get in as much nutrition as I can. That’s not going to work. So what I do is I pretend that I have an hour break, even though I only have 15 minutes. I’ll play a little bit of classical music, I’ll sit down and put my food out on my desk, I’ll tell turn all the work off, I’ll tune out I’ll say a prayer of gratitude and I start eating as if I have all day to eat. And when the 15 minutes is up I’ll pack my food up and put it away and go, because I know that the food that I ate was received in a state of rest and repair which means it’s going to get digested properly.

Clint I love it, that’s a great tip. And you did mention earlier exercise, we’ve gone through sunshine, vizualization, music, sleep, and eating. Why don’t we we talk a little more again about exercise because we can’t get stress reduction for free by doing that too don’t we?

Dr. Amir Absolutely. Now you know there’s this thing called species specific exercise. So you know a frog would hop for exercise, and I would assume a giraffe would have to move his long neck for exercise, and whatever else species you want to think about a turtle or a dolphin. But for us the number one best thing we can do from a neurologic standpoint is walking, not jogging but walking. Running is good, running is better than jogging because you’re swinging your arms. Now what’s the first thing we do when we’re babies? First we learn to rollover, then we learn to get up on our hands and knees, and then we learn to crawl. Crawling in neurologic terms is a cross crawl pattern, which means this hand works with the opposite leg then, this hand works with the other leg. Right? And you teach your body so their synapses between the hemispheres of your brain and they crossfire. That cross crawl pattern teaches you how to read when your eyes have to track across a page, they make you more intelligent they build coordination.

Dr. Amir So a personal example, my mother would tell you that I never crawled when I was a baby. I learned to sit up, and then I would put my hands down and slide on my butt until I would grab something and I’d find a railing I’d pull myself up and stand and start walking. So I never crawled. I have severe dyslexia, if it takes you one minute to read a page in a book it takes me ten times, it takes me ten minutes to read one page. In fact when I wrote my book, I couldn’t read it to edit it so I had to hire someone to read the my own book to me on the phone so I could listen and edit it orally. She would make the edits and then read it back to me. It took six and a half years to write this book for that very reason. But even now when we want to neurologic, nervous system is everything. If I take my brain out, I am not going to live. This is the most important thing right here. And we know that there’s a nerve that connects this to everything else in the body. We have nerves that go to every cell, every tissue, every organ, in the body. There are studies that have shown that if you cut nerve supply to your hand and you have a cut that hand doesn’t heal properly.

We know that if there’s interference on a nerve to the heart The heart doesn’t respond to stress properly. That’s when you get things like panic attacks or anxiety where nothing’s wrong but often your heart starts to race. There’s so many examples of that. So the nervous system one of the best ways to feed your brain is to have that cross crop patterns depending on your needs. If it’s a child and you didn’t crawl I say you need to crawl 30 minutes twice a day, even though you already know how to walk and get on your hands and knees and crawl. To force you do that cross crawl pattern, I’ll make some kids do skipping because when you skip you really push up one arm and one knee the other arm and the other knee. And skipping can act like that cross crawl pattern and can be something that’s fun. There is this thing called the lizard exercise, I have children lie down with one arm up like this the other down, and the opposite knee is bent and they have to be coordinated enough to change all of it all at the same time. It teaches the brain to work together right and left hemispheres. So walking, go for a walk 30 minutes once a day. Do it in sunlight, now you’re getting the vitamin D. Visualize some really great things while you’re walking, and listen to your favorite song. You’ve got all the things in one right there.

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Clint That’s fantastic. Absolutely brilliant. Love it. Before we close out have you got a case study that some maybe that you’ve worked with at your clinic who you’ve taught this to or do you teach this? I know you’re real busy at your chiropractic clinic, do you have time to go into this stuff or do you just work with patients the way that sort of classic chiropractic works where you’ve got you know people lie down and they get adjustments and corrections and maybe some massage? So talk about how you’re able to connect this information on a one on one basis, and if you’ve got some examples of how it’s changed people’s lives.

Dr. Amir For sure. You know we have a stages of care that we put you through. So when you first come in whatever the condition is it brought you in and we’ll obviously address that. So phase one, is get you to feel better, then phase two is to make you stronger because how much stress how healthy you are is 100% dependent on how much stress you can handle. So it’s kind of like going to the gym, if you’re lifting weights today and you can lift 100 pounds today, but tomorrow you go to the gym and you only lift 50 pounds. In the next day you go to the gym you lift 20 pounds and each time you go to the gym you lift less weight, you’re not going to get stronger.

Dr. Amir So we’ve got to introduce stress into our life, little by a little in a controlled fashion to get stronger. So how do we do that? Is we run a test called heart rate variability. So back up when you first come in the first thing we do is look at your nervous system. So I want to know how is your coordination, because that tells me if it’s the right side of the brain, left side of brain. If it’s for the front or the back, if it’s if it’s visual cortex versus auditory versus motor functions that are affected. If it’s the cerebellum, I’ll make you do some weird tests, like walking a line with your eyes closed or try to touch your nose with your pinky finger with your eyes closed and see if you miss. I’ll make you walk with your arms in front of you with your eyes closed, just to see if you turn to one side or you stay straight. So we’ll analyze those patterns, and then we’ll do a surface electoral myogram with the computer will digitally map the tone of the muscles on the sides of the spine. We’ll do a thermal scan, look for heat patterns and blood flow on the sides of the spine. X-rays are critical, we’ll take specific x rays for example want to be right through the mouth, so we can see if the first bone in the neck is aligned properly. Because if it’s not it presses on the brainstem, where the brainstem is where the vagus nerve comes that goes to all your vital organs. And so if someone’s having trouble breathing or heart problems or issues with their gut, a lot of times that needs to be balanced. So the nerve to the organs are balanced, and then those problems tend to get better.

Dr. Amir That’s the first visit, after about three months we’ve got him feeling good and able to exercise and do some of the strengthening. Now we do a test called heart rate variability. Of course we take post x rays to see if those changes we wanted or are occurring. Heart rate variability tells me a few things, it tells me at rest if you’re stuck in fight or flight or if you’re exhausted. And if you’re stressed adaptability is where it should be or if it’s lower. So we call it gap, General Adaptation Potential is your ability to adapt to your environment, and that test tells us that. So the second stage takes about a year, is to make you stronger sure you can handle stress. Once we finish that if you want to stay with us, third stage is longevity. Now we’ve got to add years to your life. We taught you how to overcome injury, we taught you how to get strong in the face of stress, now let’s work on longevity. How do we get you to live longer? And that’s some of the things we talked about today sleep, nutrition, exercise, on a deeper level on a more intense level. And then lastly I want to make sure you let you feel younger. I want you to feel younger in your age all the time, because if you feel better you’re stronger, you’re living longer, and you feel younger, you’ve got everything you want. And once we teach you all those things you’re on your own and you may want to stop in every once in a while just to get checked out. But we’re pretty much done with you.

Dr. Amir So quick story I’ll tell you. Because I’m such a fan of proper sleep, I had a family that used to come in every few weeks just to get checked. And if they needed an adjustment, we’d adjust them. And the dad and the two kids showed up without their mother one day and I said, where is she? They said well she’s in the hospital and they didn’t want to really tell me at first, they were embarrassed about it. But turned out she had attempted suicide, and she was in the hospital recovering. And so I wanted to go visit her, and I went and found out that this was a police officer in a neighboring town. The lady was and she worked the night shift. So she would work from you know I don’t know midnight to 7 a.m., and then she’d come home wake up the kids get them ready for school take them to school go back home and sleep during the day. And then she would wake up pick up the kids from school, help them with their homework, get them their dinner put them to bed go to work. So she worked there in the night and slept there in the day. But she’d been doing that for you know 15 years and no problem.

Dr. Amir So what’s the difference now? Well it turned out they had just built a new house, and this house had a skylight right over the bed in the master bedroom. And so she was sleeping in the master bedroom with a window over the bed, and during the day it’s sunlight. So she couldn’t get it dark enough, and because she couldn’t get dark enough no melatonin was being released, her serotonin levels were off and she was starting to have some depression anxiety mood swings and so on and that’s what led to this whole thing attempted suicide when life was good and there was no reason for it. So we said hey we’re going to put dark curtains on the guest bedroom, and you’re gonna sleep in there. You’re going to seal it so it’s dark, it’s so dark when you open your eyes you can’t tell if it’s you know if your eyes are open or closed. And she started sleeping there. We supported her adrenal also with some supplements but you know what, literally a few months later all depression went away she was normal and felt fine. That’s how important sleep is.

Clint Wow, very confronting story isn’t it? To think that someone’s life was almost taken away just because of the sunlight coming through the ceiling. Yeah, crazy stuff. Okay, well thank you’ve been very generous with your time. I took some notes along the way I was fascinated by your real life story about the the bomb example, you were you were raised in Iran weren’t you?

Dr. Amir That’s right.

Clint When did you move to the United States?

Dr. Amir 1985, so first there was the revolution. So I was five years old and there was fighting in the streets, rioting and so on. And the government was overthrown and then Saddam Hussein and Iraq’s attacked Iran because we didn’t technically have a military. So all the bombing started, and then I lived up north near the Caspian Sea where it was a vacation area, lots of recreational facilities and beautiful beaches and so on. So there weren’t any bombings there but if we were ever visiting in the capital, if we went to Tehran that’s when we experienced the bombing. But then they converted there was this beautiful park across the street and that got converted to a P.O.W. camp. They got all the prisoners of war over there and once a month they would escape, and there’d be bullets flying through the streets and we all had to go run and hide. And they would ring the doorbell, and we’d have to open a gate and hope that it’s not that prisoners of war that are coming into our house that it’s actually the soldiers that want to protect.

Dr. Amir Anyways lots of stressful times, I can tell what stress feels like and you know I tell you this you know moving to the States was actually more stressful than even the bombing. Because we showed up in Los Angeles with two suitcases and and no place to live and couldn’t understand the language in you know. So anyways all of that together is where I am today.

Clint Wow it’s amazing story. I love hearing stories of moving from one country to another particularly from middle eastern areas. And just as an aside that interested me I was in a taxi actually, getting a taxi back and saying goodbye to my parents. I helped them drive their cars back towards the farm out in Sydney and then caught a taxi back because they had to take both our cars to the farm. And the taxi driver he had an accent and I asked him where he’s from and he didn’t want to tell me and I said, why not? And he’s like, you’ll think different of me and I said, what do you mean? And I said Where are you from? He said Afghanistan, and I said why would you think different? He said, people change their attitude towards me when I tell them I’m from Afghanistan. And I said Well you know I’ve been doing stand up comedy for 20 years, I entertained the troops in Iraq and throughout the Middle East and I’ve got friends who went to Afghanistan although I didn’t go to that country. And my appreciation for the Middle East is immense because I’ve experienced some of these countries. And I feel that it’s eye opening and you developed an affection for that part of the world that you otherwise don’t if you’ve not been to any way. Especially countries that have been through war times and how tragic that he’s embarrassed to say where he’s come from and yet here he is, he’s moved countries and he’s done all these things. And I said you want to be proud of where you’re from, no one should be embarrassed or upset. It just touched me that he had that opinion of himself and I did my best to try and change that. It’s crazy you know.

Dr. Amir Exactly. And when I came here, we weren’t too far away from the Iran hostage crisis. And so what Iran did to America taken over, you know the U.S. embassy and holding those people hostage for such a long period of time. I mean a lot of people really hate any Iranians, but I never really experienced any prejudice. And people were like hey listen we know you’re not your government and they treated us really well. So I was blessed with that.

It’s fabulous, fabulous and we’re blessed to have had you talk with us now for the good part of 40 minutes or so. The stuff you talked about adrenal fatigue was really interesting. Off line I might get you if you don’t mind to provide us some guidelines for your, if you have some sort of standard practice around prednisone reduction approach. A lot of it may be the, you’re three coins and the early examples of lifestyle things. But if there’s any specific supplementation that you mentioned or some help with adrenal fatigue, that’s stuff I’d like to to share with my audience as well. Because the 30% of people with rheumatoid arthritis are on prednisone. And you highlighted the osteoporosis that comes with it, and the increased interpersonal stress responses and stuff so I’d like that. And then you know the idea around innate wisdom and innate knowledge, we all have this it’s common sense isn’t it? We’ll have this could a common sensical stuff that goes out the window when we’re worried about so much going on, we make decisions that are otherwise just illogical. The three coins is fabulous, the physical, the chemical, the psychological, is just great. And then your examples around how sunshine, visualization, music, sleep, eat well, exercise well, and how all these things can help reduce our stress. And if you put them together you’re going to feel a lot less stress aren’t you?

Dr. Amir Absolutely. And in the book we also talk about breathing. So if anyone’s interested in the book it’s offered on Amazon. And I have a whole section on how you breathe can flip that switch from fight or flight back to rest and repair. And then you’ll be able to fall asleep even if you had trouble falling asleep before.

Clint Excellent. Let’s talk about the book for a moment further. Now we mentioned that the book is called The Stress Proof Life – The Secret to Health, Wealth and Happiness. It’s a five star 22 out of 22, absolutely sensational I’ve never seen that before. That’s a huge huge pat on the back. Now they can get it on Amazon, fantastic. And let’s see now that’s probably all we need. I wanted to ask about your clinic, your clinic sounds fantastic. How can people actually see you in person if they’re in the same state for example?

Dr. Amir Oh yeah. Just go to www.midatlanticclinic.com. You can schedule a new patient appointment right there. You can contact us, send us an email and we’ll reply to you if you have questions. I will definitely send you, we have specific protocols for for things like rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis and so on with herbal supplements and so on. Unfortunately, I have to give that disclaimer that you know unless I’ve examined you I can’t say this is where you should take. So I’ll give it to you in forms of hey here’s what we did with patients in the past that worked very very well, talk to your doctor and see if it works for you. But yeah I’m happy to give you all that information. There’s tremendous amount of information there and if anyone wants to just talk to me, I’m happy to get on the phone with them and hear their history and see if there’s anything we can do.

Clint Oh that’s fantastic. Thank you I’m very grateful for that. Now I’ve got one last question, and this last question is, what was the name of the song that Aunt seamy wanted to dance to?

Dr. Amir Oh my God it’s an Iranian song, so I don’t even remember the name of it, But it was and it was a Persian dance song kind of like a wedding song. If I had to say it’s similar to this song I Will Survive. You know it had a big following and you know everybody liked that.

Clint Wonderful. Thank you. Okay well thank you so much, this has been an absolute pleasure. Again you’ve been very generous with your time and I’m very grateful. Thanks for coming on this podcast.

Dr. Amir Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.


adrenal fatigue, exercise, food, stress reduction

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