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Functional and Integrative Medicine

with Drs. Amy Beard, Jason Beck, and Henri Roca

Watch the Original Interviews

Listen to the Interview

Listen to Learn:

  • How Functional Medicine uses more than drugs and doctor's visits to improve your health and wellbeing
  • Overcoming chronic illness
  • The importance of diet when it comes to health and longevity

Scroll down for a transcript of the show

Up In Your Business is a Radio Show by FlagandBanner.com

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Hilary Downey and Bridget Shinn

Podcast Links

Original Interview with Dr. Amy Beard and Paul Buch

Original Interview with Dr. Jason Beck

Original Interview with Dr. Henri Roca

Transcript Begins:



00:00:09] GM: Welcome to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. Through storytelling and conversational interviews, this weekly radio show and podcast offers listeners an insider's view into starting and running a business, the ups and downs of risk taking, and the commonalities of successful people. Connect with Kerry through her candid, often funny and always informative weekly blog. There you'll read, learn and may comment about her life as a 21st century wife, mother, daughter, and entrepreneur. And now it's time for Kerry McCoy to get all up in your business.


00:00:41] KM: Thank you, son, Gray.

00:00:43] ANNOUNCER: On this special edition of Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, we're going to begin the brand new year with the possibility of you looking at a brand new way to care for your body – lifestyle medicine. We'll hear from three experts, Jason Beck, Amy beard, and Henri Roca. And we thought we'd start the program with Kerrie McCoy introducing each one of her guests. First up, Jason Beck.

00:01:07] KM: Dr. Beck, do you call yourself a nutritionist?

00:01:10] JB: Probably the better description is a lifestyle medicine doctor for that side of what I do.

00:01:16] KM: Okay. Along with being a book smart academic, Dr. Beck is a creative entrepreneur. Having founded in 2006, Arkansas Specialty Radiology. And in 2010, Onsite Imagine Solutions. But it didn’t stop there. Today, we are going to spend a lot of time talking to the good doctor about his passion. His passion project for spreading the healing powers and nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet. Dr. Vegan, as his friends call him, believes so strongly that most chronic illnesses, diabetes and

cancer can be prevented and often cured with healthy life choices. And he is now board certified by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

It is a pleasure to the welcome to the table, the creative entrepreneur, hardworking radiologist, and vegan and lifestyle expert, Dr. Jason Beck.

You’re a third-generation entrepreneur.

00:02:13] JB: I am. I come by this very naturally. So my grandfather was an inventor, and actually brought the technology to the United States from Japan that debones chicken back before there were chicken nuggets. And my father was a computer software company owner, developer of software. And I’ve followed in those footsteps.

00:02:35] KM: Did you grow up in Arkansas?

00:02:36] JB: I did. Born and raised here.

00:02:38] KM: Where? In Little Rock?

00:02:38] JB: Little Rock.

00:02:40] KM: And your daddy was a software engineer. Must have been very far back.

00:02:44] JB: Well, yes. He was back when PCs first came about.

00:02:49] KM: When there were mainframe?

00:02:50] JB: Yes. Actually, when he started his company, everything was on a mainframe. He had not trained in software, but had an idea for a software that he wanted to make. So hired software architects to engineer that for him.

00:03:03] KM: So you decide you're going to be a radiologist.

00:03:07] JB: Yes.

00:03:07] KM: Did you always know you wanted to be a doctor? Or how did that come to be?

00:03:11] JB: I did from a very young age. I just always had a lot of respect for them and what they did, and just always something I want to do. I love the science behind it. love taking care of people.

00:03:25] KM: Jason, this is his – I want to tell, this is Dr. Beck's first time on the radio, and I didn't know you had a stutter. And you are very brave to come on the radio if you have a stutter.

00:03:34] JB: It's like the King's Speech. The only way to get past it is to get past it, right?

00:03:36] KM: Oh, I be you love that show, don’t you? I love that show. That was a great movie. I've watched a couple of times. All right. So then you decide you're going to go to college. Where did you go to college?

00:03:45] JB: Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas.

00:03:47] KM: All right. And you're going to be a doctor, and you're studying to be a doctor, and then all of a sudden you go, “I think I'll do radiology and get exposed to radiation every day.” No, really, how did that happen?

00:03:57] JB: Well, it was a combination of things. I love the technology behind it. I’ve been in computers ever since I was a little kid, inspired by my dad. So in college, worked at the Med Center as a network person. So that’s always just been a strong appeal of mine. Radiology is all very computer-based. CT Scans are computers, MRIs are computers. So that certainly drew me into it. Then it was kind of a constantly evolving technologically advanced field. So I figured it would kind of keep me interested through my career with everything new coming out.

00:04:31] KM: People that are smart and that are inquisitive and creative like that have a hard time staying stimulated in their jobs. You were smart to recognize that early on.

00:04:40] JB: It's definitely kept my job interesting through the years.

00:04:42] ANNOUNCER: Next, let's let Carrie McCoy introduce us to Amy Beard.

00:04:47] KM: Dr. Amy Beard, is not your atypical MD. Sure, she’s trained in western medicine at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine and went to work in the ER after her residency training, but she’s a lot more than that. At too young of an age, she became a patient herself, struck with a chronic illness that sent her into a life of despair and hopelessness until happenstance meeting with a woman changed her life, her health and her career forever.

Dr. Amy beard is not your typical MD. Sure. She's trained in western medicine at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine and went to work in the ER after her residency training. But she's a lot more than that. At too young of an age, she became a patient herself, struck with a chronic illness that sent her into a life of despair and hopelessness until a happenstance meeting with a woman changed her life, her health and her career forever.

Today, she is added to her list of credentials by becoming a board-certified dietitian, and functional medicine practitioner. Functional Medicine is a term we're all going to be hearing more about as chronic illnesses and pharmaceutical costs rise, and patients look for alternative treatments.

In addition, she is an innovative entrepreneur. Dr. Beard runs her functional medical practice entirely online, making her knowledge and scientific diagnostic techniques accessible to everyone no matter where they live. This people is the future of medicine. Tell us about how you decided to become a doctor. Is it a legacy family thing?

00:06:01] AB: No, not at all.

00:06:01] KM: What did your parents do?

00:06:03] AB: Their salt of the earth people my dad worked at a power plant in Phillips County. My mom was a stay at home mom, and neither one of them have gone to college.

00:06:13] KM: So you decide to go to college? What did you graduate under?

00:06:17] AM: I was a dietitian first. I became an RD. I was a registered dietitian before I decided to go down the path to go to medical school and become a physician.

00:06:26] KM: Had you already gotten sick?

00:06:28] AM: I had gone through a lot. I mean, hindsight is always 20-20. So now looking back on my life as a child, I can see all the chronic issues that I was dealing with were just leading up to more and more problems that had the same root cause. They were just presenting as different things my entire life. But I was always very active, very interested in healthy lifestyles. And becoming a dietician was part of that. And then I realized that I only knew kind of one part of what made us really healthy. So I thought going to medical school would help me, of course, learn more about how the body works and how we can keep healthy and prevent all the chronic issues that was plaguing our country at the time and still becoming worse.

00:07:13] KM: It seems like as a dietician and your interest in being healthy that you wouldn’t have had any health problems, because as we were saying before we came on the radio, food is medicine.

00:07:27] AB: Well, at the time you realize that as a dietician –

00:07:32] KM: You’re just counting calories.

00:06:43] AB: Well, a lot was bad information. We were pushing diet colas on diabetics telling them to eat margarine instead of butter. It’s just a lot of bad dietary advice. The food pyramid was real big and I’m like, “This doesn’t make much sense.”

00:07:05] KM: This is what you said at amybeardmd.com, “Inflammatory diets,

00:07:28] AB: Well, at the time you realize that, as a dietitian –

00:07:31] KM: You’re just counting calories?

00:07:32] AB: Well, a lot of it is was bad information. We were pushing diet colas on diabetics, telling them to eat margarine instead of butter. Just a lot of bad dietary advice.

00:07:48] KM: Oh, all right.

00:07:49] AB: So the food pyramid was real big. And I'm like this, this doesn't make much sense.

00:07:55] KM: So this is what you said at amybeardmd.com, “Inflammatory diets devoid of nutrients, too little or too much physical activity, chronic stress, lack of sleep, high-toxin burdens are major contributors to chronic disease. Unfortunately, these things were barely covered and outright and neglected during my medical school education and residency training.” You went on to say, “Much of my education and training focused on using pharmaceuticals and procedures to treat symptoms, while treating symptoms is necessary and much appreciated by patients. What's more important is treating the underlying root causes that are contributing to those.”

00:08:46] AB: Yes, that's what we do as functional medicine physicians.

00:08:50] KM: You also said the conventional medicine approach does a very poor job of uncovering and addressing root causes of disease. As many of you know and have experienced, a typical visit is around 10 to 15 minutes and usually ends with a doctor handing the patient a prescription to treat a symptom. And then new symptoms typically develop as a side effect from the pharmaceutical prescription.

00:09:14] AB: I see over and over again in my own life and those in patients that will come to see me.

00:09:22] KM: On your website, you said, “I wanted no part of the pill for your ill approach to conventional medicine.” I love that. Did you make that up?

00:09:33] GM: I think that was probably you.

00:09:36] KM: Did you write all of this that I just read before you went to medical school or after you went to medical school and worked in the ER and then began to formulate all of these?

00:09:47] AB: Oh, yeah, that was afterwards. It was a culmination of all my experiences that just – And of course, the chance meeting with a functional medicine physician that got me on this path. And it saved my life. And it's helping help other people overcome their chronic issues.

00:10:04] ANNOUNCER: Finally, our third guest on this program about lifestyle medicine, and some changes you may want to make in your approach to health, is Dr. Henri Roca.

00:10:13] KM: Dr. Henri Roca III has done many things before receiving his medical license. Are you all ready? He was a geologist engineer working in the hazardous waste division of Tetra Tech in San Francisco, California. There he managed cleanup investigations and provided expert witness testimony relating to petroleum contamination. Somewhere in his 30s, he had what I call an identity crisis.

00:10:44] HR: Coming to God moment.

00:10:45] KM: And became a licensed masseuse, acupuncturist, shaman, and had the realization that helping people is what he really wanted to do, and that the best way to do it was to get a medical license.

He moved back to his home of New Orleans, Louisiana, and began medical school at Louisiana State University, LSU. While studying to be a doctor, he continued to work in his field of geology as a senior hydrogeologist for Burke-Kleinpeter, again, investigating soil and groundwater cleanups in landfills and industrial sites. It was in 1997 that Dr. Henri Roca III graduated from LSU School of Medicine and began his medical practice. Dr. Roca is among the very few physicians in the nation who practice holistic, integrative, functional medicine. He understands there's little separation between the mind the emotions, the spirit and the body. He says, “Everything that has ever happened to you, every choice you have ever made, brings you to the health you have today.” I love that.

This Louisiana transplant is now working and sharing his knowledge with the good people at Central Arkansas Veterans Administration in Little Rock, Arkansas. And he has opened a private practice in North Little Rock called One Medicine Wellness Services. You have a strong opinion about our diet, our habits, the power of prayer, meditation, touch therapy, about food as medicine and about blending all of these aspects with Western medicine, because after all, you're a scientist.

00:12:26] HR: A scientist and an observer. Observer of what makes humans human of our condition. There's an art to medicine, and there's a science to medicine, and we have to use both of those components. And then there's the unknown of medicine. We think we know way more than we actually do about how the human body works. Many of our providers are far more certain than the data would suggest they should be. We have to take that into account. We have to include in our understanding of how a person works and what creates their health. We have to take into account all the facts that we know. But we have to also recognize that those facts change over time. And they are just the tip of an iceberg. The human condition is far more filled with mystery and things that are not understood than it is with things that we do understand.

And that's one of the reasons why the whole idea of choice and the whole idea of what you think about and how your mind works and how it interacts and cascades into your body flows into your body. How your spirit works and the connections you have in the world around you? All of that also flows into our body. It turns our genes on. It turns our genes off. And it helps to contribute to either illness or wellness.

00:13:40] KM: When did you come to this realization? You're a geologist, you're –

00:13:45] HR: I started off as a paleontologist, a micropaleontology.

00:13:47] KM: Is that dinosaurs?

00:13:49] HR: Well, micropaleontology is plankton. So yes, it's the other end of the spectrum from dinosaurs. They were really big. And these things you look at under a microscope. My thesis was the Planktonic Foraminifera of the South Atlantic in the Oligocene Epoch. It's just quite the subspecialist, even within paleontology. So I know what it means to take this information and bring it down into smaller and smaller and smaller pieces. But when

you do that, you get a lot of information about a specific thing, but it doesn't mean that you understand how the oceans work, or the mountains work, or how the planet works, or how humans work. And so that is part of my journey into healing was the idea that I had known so much about something so specific. And I had lost the beauty of the earth. Because I was a geologist, that's what my initial degree was in. Paleontology is what my master's degree was in.

And in rediscovering the beauty of the earth – And I have to tell you. Here in Arkansas, it's one of those places where I rediscovered it. When I was eight years old, I was digging for crystals in Hot Springs way before the crystal craze started. This was the place where Louisianians came if we wanted to experience elevation, we came to Arkansas. It was the closest set of mountains you can find to Louisiana, to New Orleans. And so I fell in love with the earth and rocks here in Arkansas in Hot Springs.

And coming back to that, it's like, “Wow! Look at the mystery and the majesty of the earth.” I know a lot about it. I can interpret a lot about it. But there's so much more. It's such a bigger thing. And the culture that honors that is native culture, Native American culture. They honor walking their path on the earth and recognizing nature and recognizing the seasons and how it all comes together and how it fits with the culture of the community and the life of the individual. And in that awareness, I came to the place of shamanism. So shamanism was actually my first step on the healing path.

00:15:55] ANNOUNCER: Now you've met the three participants in today's functional and lifestyle medicine special program on Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, we'll take a short break and we'll come back and learn how each one of our participants got into this style of practicing medicine.


00:16:13] GM: You're listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. Over 40 years ago, with only $400, Kerry founded Arkansas Flag and Banner. During the last four decades, the business has grown and changed starting with door-to-door sales, then telemarketing, to mail order and catalog sales. And now flagandbanner.com relies heavily on the Internet and live chats with customers all over the world.

Over this time, Kerry's business and leadership knowledge has grown. As early as 2004, she began sharing her knowledge in her weekly blog. In 2009. She founded the nonprofit Friends of Dreamland Ballroom. And in 2014 Brave Magazine, a biannual publication. Today, she has branched out into podcasts, Facebook livestream and YouTube videos of this radio show.

Each week, you'll hear candid conversations between her and her guests about real world experiences on a variety of businesses and topics that we hope you'll find interesting and inspiring. Stay up to date by joining flagandbanner.com’s mailing list. You'll receive our watercooler weekly eblast that notifies you of our upcoming guests, happenings at Dreamland Ballroom, sales at flagandbanner.com, access to Brave Magazine articles, and Kerry's current blog post all that in one weekly email. Or you may simply like upinyourbusiness.com’s Facebook page for timely notifications.

Telling American made stories, selling American made flags, the flagandbanner.com.


00:17:38] ANNOUNCER: This episode of Up in Your Business is all about lifestyle medicine. And we have three people who've been on the show with Kerry McCoy in the recent past, all of whom practice some kind of wellness and lifestyle medicine. We've gotten to know a little bit about them in the beginning of the show. Now let's see what this is all about, starting with Dr. Jason Beck.

00:17:56] KM: How did you become so interested in diet and wellness?

00:17:59] JB: So my journey was a personal one that happened very organically. At age 35, I was 70 pounds overweight. And I went to the doctor for a life insurance physical, and my blood pressure was a little bit high, and my cholesterol was a little bit high. And so he said, “Well, I'll just put you on a little low dose blood pressure medicine, put you on low cholesterol medicine.” And I came home that day and I thought to myself, “I'm a pretty active guy. I go and run my mountain bike with friends, and I go on hikes, and I try to watch what I eat and yet I'm not right.”

And so I was fortunate at the time to be married to somebody who had explored a plant-based diet and gave me the window to start to look into that. And so her offer to me was, “Why don't you just try it for three months and see what it was like?” And so I did. And three months later I had shed quite a few pounds. My blood pressure is back down to normal. My cholesterol was back down to normal. And at that point I thought, “There really must be something to this.”

And so I began about a two-year process of self-education, and I devoured every journal article, every podcast, every expert in the field just to learn everything that I could about it. And at that point, I got very into where I transitioned my diet to completely whole food plant-based diet and had gotten my family on board with this, my sister, my brother-in-law, who's an interventional cardiologist, my father and my mom, and just saw dramatic changes in all of them. I mean, my parents, over the course of a few years, got off all their medications and now have normal numbers.

00:19:30] KM: How old are they?

00:19:31] JB: In their mid-70s.

00:19:34] KM: Because of a plant-based diet, wholefood plant-based, they take no medicine.

00:19:37] JB: That is correct.

00:19:38] KM: You know how many people die – And you probably didn’t know. I don't know. But a lot of people die from drugs.

00:19:45] JB: Absolutely.

00:19:46] KM: From overmedication, or side effects, really. Not overmedication, but from side effects.

00:19:50] JB: Absolutely. One of our top killers actually.

00:19:53] KM: Is side effects from medicine?

00:19:54] JB: Yes.

00:19:56] KM: All right.

00:19:56] JB: Yeah. So over the course of the last decade, I maintained my ideal body weight. And my numbers are all normal. I checked my blood pressure a couple days ago when I went to work out, it was 100, over 65, to being 10 years older and having the blood pressure of a child just reinforces to me like I'm doing the right thing.

There's a new medical specialty that has emerged called Lifestyle Medicine. And I was made aware of that a couple years ago. And so excited about that, I went and got board certified in it. And it is a medical specialty that focuses on lifestyle changes to prevent and cure chronic medical problems. And so they focus on the things that we kind of all know to be true, right? Which are, if you eat healthy, and you move some, and you sleep well, and you don't smoke, and you don't drink too much, you will live a better, healthier, happier life, right?

And so what their shift is, instead of a patient coming to the doctor and taking vital signs of blood pressure, and labs, and everything, prescribing them medications to fix their problems, their vital signs become questions about their lifestyle, right? What do you eat every day? What is your stress level like in your life? How do you sleep? How is your social support network? Do you take time every day to relax? Things like that.

And so it really gets engaged with what we know from these Blue Zones around the country, which are these areas in the world where people live long, happy lives. We can learn lessons from there and then apply that to our medical practice where we take care of patients. And that's what got me really excited, because I think is we are in a healthcare crisis in this country where we're spending $3 to $4 trillion a year taking care of everybody, we know that can't persist, right?

And so the average health care expenditure is growing, I believe, at a 12% rate per year, which means it's going to double very quickly. And so we're on a trajectory right now where the last numbers I looked at seven years from now, the annual household income will equal the annual household health care spend unless something changes.

So you've seen people like Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon, and JP Morgan Chase get into the health care arena. And I think that's wise that they see that we're on a crash course, or something that will destroy our country from an economic level. And it's got to be fixed. And so, I believe lifestyle medicine is the way to do that. Because most chronic problems, most cancers, most of the things that we treat can be prevented with lifestyle changes.

00:22:36] KM: Diabetes.

00:22:36] JB: Diabetes, absolutely. Diabetes is a curable disease in most people. Yes.

00:22:40] KM: For the most part. Or probably 99% of the people out there.

00:22:44] JB: Correct.

00:22:46] KM: People make a choice every day what they put in their body, what they eat.

00:22:50] JB: They do, three times a day.

00:22:51] KM: Probably one of the biggest choice – These decisions you make a day.

00:22:55] JB: Absolutely. Well, and it's also the largest interaction we have with our environment. I mean, if you think about it, the air that touches us, the water we drink, and the food we put in our bodies are really all that happens to us every day, right? And so that food that we put in our body is a predominant director of our health outcomes in no uncertain terms. The genes may load the gun, but the diet pulls the trigger, right?

00:23:19] KM: I watched a TED Talk getting ready for this show. And it said that there was a Danish twin study, and only 10% of our health comes from our genes. 90% of our health comes from what we eat in our life.

So you talked about the Blue Zone a little bit. And I never heard of the Blue Zone till I started this interview today. And the Blue Zone – Tell everybody what the Blue Zone is. And about that man who started it.

00:23:48] JB: Sure. The Blue Zone’s concept was by Dan Buettner. He basically traveled around the world and identified the places where people had the longest, healthiest, happiest lives and looked at the common characteristics of what those people that lived in those places did, right. And the idea is you want to like live until you die, right?

And so in the United States, here, people kind of live until their 60s and then they're going to the doctor every week and they got a bag of medications they carry around with them and they don't feel good. And they just taper from there, right? Whereas in these other areas, that rural people are living vibrantly into their 80s, 90s, 100, right?

00:24:30] KM: And then most of them die in their sleep, which is the way everybody wants to go.

00:24:34] JB: Right. You want to like live long and die short, right?

00:24:36] KM: Yes.

00:24:37] JB: And so basically what he did, which makes complete sense, is let's just look at some of the characteristics of how these people live. And let's see if we can see what the common threads are. And apply those to our, right? And so some of the common threads that he saw were a predominantly plant-based diet.

00:24:55] KM: Meat only like once a week.

00:24:57] JB: Meat is a celebration, very small portions.

00:25:01] KM: Three or four ounces once a week.

00:25:02] JB: Correct. Yes. Lots of natural movement, a lot of good social support, living in close contact with loved ones a sense of purpose. Let’s see.

00:25:16] KM: A sense of purpose is very important.

00:25:17] JB: A sense of purpose is very important.

00:25:20] KM: And they don't even have a word for retirement.

00:25:23] JB: They do not, most of them. And the ability to downshift every day at the end of the day is one of the key things. And that's where –

00:25:29] KM: Reduce your stress to a daily ritual.

00:25:31] JB: Right. Right. Whether you do it by stopping and having a glass of red wine or whether you do it by going and doing something that you enjoy doing with friends. That key I believe is to downshift every day and remove kind of the stress from the day and move on into your pleasant evening. And those are just some of the characteristics that carried through all of those cultures.

00:25:51] KM: Prayer, meditation, walk in the woods.

00:25:54] JB: Correct. All the things that we as Americans don’t do near enough of in general.

00:25:59] KM: We feel guilty, or at least I do. I’m like, “Oh! Downtime? I couldn’t have any downtime.” I like the one, the 80% rule.

00:26:09] JB: Yes. Eat till you’re 80% full. Very good rule.

00:26:11] KM: That was a great rule.

00:26:14] JB: Right. I think sitting down in a meal, we pray oftentimes, but I think you can also – In addition to praying, give some consciousness to the food that you’re eating. Where it came from? How it was prepared? I think when you stop and do that, you’re much less inclined to kind of overeat, right? You eat in a much more conscious way. And so it’s easier to appreciate the food that you’re getting. Eat till you’re comfortably full and stop.

00:26:43] ANNOUNCER: You're going to hear quite a few similarities between Jason Beck’s story and Amy Beard’s story, as we find out what brought her to lifestyle, medicine, and wellness practices. She suffered for many problems as a young person, and decided to get trained as a dietitian, and then a physician to see if she could help herself. Here's the story.

00:27:04] KM: So you become a dietician. Your diet is not fixing it. You go and become a doctor. You’re going to get science to back you up. You go to work in the ER after your residency training. You're working in there. And then –

00:27:18] AB: My health is deteriorating the entire time. And I'm a physician and a dietitian.

00:27:25] KM: And you can't fix yourself.

00:27:26] AB: And I can't fix myself. That's right.

00:27:29] KM: I’m speaking today with Dr. Amy Beard and her adorable husband, Paul, who is an organic farmer. And Amy is board-certified online MD, functional medicine practitioner, dietitian, and a chronic illness survivor. Let’s just call her a patient at one time. And I think you're cured, aren't you?

00:27:48] AB: So you know, well, it's a battle still because of some of the things that have happened to me.

00:27:52] KM: Okay, we're going to get into that. Why did you quit the ER?

00:27:55] AB: The stress. The stress –

00:27:57] KM: You thought it was what was making you sick.

00:27:59] AB: I mean, it’s erratic sleep schedules, shift work. You work nights. You work days. High-stress demands. And I wanted to help – I kept seeing people come in for chronic illnesses on 15 and 20 different pharmaceuticals. And you just see them all the time, and you're like, “I've got to go help some people.” I was helping people in the ER. But I thought I wanted to empower people to take better care of themselves.

00:28:29] KM: So let's talk about your illness and why the hopelessness. You’re diagnosed with possible MS. And you were treated for many chronic problems, horrible. And you put horrible in all caps and in parentheses on your website. And you say, “I mean, (HORRIBLE) constipation, IBS, reflux, depression, neuropathy, spastic bladder, restless leg syndrome, vertigo and rashes. Paul, were you married to her?

00:28:56] PB: Not that time. No.

00:28:57] KM: I wouldn't have been either. Yeah, that's a lot right there. So let's talk about your illness and how did it first began?

00:29:09] AB: Looking back, I was a child who was hyperactive. I literally was told that I could climb walls. I had repeated strep infections, lots of allergies, and then that progressed to, as a teenager, lots of issues with depression, anxiety, acne. But a lot of people get that. But mine was really bad. And then it was restless leg syndrome, dizziness, orthostatic hypotension. I was passing out. And it just kept getting worse and worse no matter what I did. I'd been to all kinds of specialists.

00:29:43] KM: Even as a young child.

00:29:44] AB: Even as a young child.

00:29:46] KM: Did your mother believe it could be diet related?

00:29:48] AB: No.

00:29:49] KM: Nobody ever connected those dots.

00:29:51] AB: No. No one ever mentioned that ever. Not that I have asked mom about it. But no, that was never mentioned.

00:30:01] KM: You had surgery? How old were you when you had your first surgery?

00:30:06] AB: My first surgery was the abdominal, the colectomy, the partial colectomy. I was third – Gosh!

00:30:15] KM: Were you in medical school?

00:30:17] AB: I was in my residency, my first-year residency, and they did not like the fact that I had to have that done, because I got knocked out of a resident. But it had to be done and it reached the point where I was just extremely sick.

00:30:32] KM: Do you think being a patient has made you a better doctor?

00:30:35] AB: Absolutely. Yes, I can relate. I felt like an experiment for most of my life.

00:30:41] KM: Paul is nodding. So you’ve quit the ER. You’re at home sick. I’m just trying to paint me this picture. You’re at home, sick.

00:30:51] AB: Well, and you have to go back. I was in residency when I had my – They took all but 18 inches of my colon, because it just basically did not work anymore. I had seen all kinds of gastroenterologists, colorectal surgeons and what have you, and that cured the chronic constipation, but then it was replaced with chronic diarrhea. Then my health really started to deteriorate. The symptoms that I had prior to the surgery remained, got worse, and then others started to develop. So it got rid of the constipation, the one symptom, but everything else remained the same.

00:31:28] KM: Because you haven’t found the root cause of it. You’re just treating the symptoms.

00:31:32] AB: Yes.

00:31:33] KM: So you’ve quit the ER and how did you meet the woman that would change your life?

00:31:39] AB: I’ve been to a concierge practice in the Greenbrier Conway area, and it was just this weird chance meeting.

00:31:48] PB: I found her and I started telling Amy about this person. I said, “She does –” Because since she was a dietician, I was hearing a lot –

00:31:55] AB: I was already on this path.

00:31:56] PB: But she does didn’t know what it was yet.

00:31:58] AB: I didn’t know what it was called.

00:31:59] PB: I said, “You may want to talk to her, because it sounds like what you want to do, but there’s training for it.” Then Amy met her.

00:32:06] AB: She started speaking to me about things I’d never heard in medical school, at residency. I was like, “What are you talking about? What is this gut microbiome you speak of, and alpha-lipoic acid, and all these things?” She told me about her training in the Institute for Functional Medicine and she said, “You got to go try it, check them out.” So I did. I signed up for a conference, attended it. Did not know what to expect, but was astonished at the amount of information that was presented to me that I’d never really heard. I was surrounded by other physicians. So that made me feel comfortable that this wasn’t just a group of quacks and that they had science-based, evidence-based research backing up what they said, and I was sold. I signed up for all their conferences.

00:32:55] KM: Was it online or did you have to go somewhere.

00:32:56] AB: Initially, you had to attend physically the locations, but then they started opening them up – They would stream the modules so that you could attend from your home.

00:33:07] KM: What is functional medicine?

00:33:10] AB: Functional medicine is not a specialty. That’s what everybody wants to think. It’s just a different approach to uncovering and treating chronic disease. They’re looking for root causes and not just treating symptoms.

00:33:29] KM: You said on your website, “The root cause of my problems was a very unhappy microbiome, major –”

00:33:38] AB: Dysbiosis.

00:33:39] KM: Thank you. She wrote it, she should know, major dysbiosis and leaky gut, which is a term you’re hearing all the time these days. You said, “I discovered that I had intolerances to wheat, whey and eggs, and those diet Cokes,” that you just described you were telling people to go from a regular Coke to a diet Coke weren’t helping either. That as a dietician, you’ve been told that was a solution. I made sure I got rid of toxic exposures. I discovered I had elevated mercury levels, and a regular sleep schedule helped too.”

00:34:18] AB: Yes, tremendously.

00:34:20] KM: What did your doctors think when you came in and told them that –

00:34:23] AB: I didn’t tell them anything. Are you kidding?

00:34:26] KM: Well, okay. So something had to happen to make you a believer. Was there a turning point?

00:34:29] AB: I treated myself. I started applying the functional medicine principles that I was learning on myself, and it was working.

00:34:39] KM: What were those?

00:34:40] AB: First of all, I did an elimination reintroduction diet and found out –

00:34:43] KM: What does that mean?

00:34:45] AB: It’s something that we do in almost all of our patients if they’ve never done one, because it’s first and – You have to do that. You have to find out if you have any foot intolerances. You remove the most common ones, and then –

00:35:01] KM: The ones I just listed, wheat, whey, eggs, dairy.

00:35:04] AB: Dairy, corn, soy.

00:35:05] KM: Corn?

00:35:06] AB: Yes.

00:35:06] KM: My favorite thing.

00:35:08] AB: A lot of people who cannot tolerate corn.

00:35:11] PB: This gets real complicated real quick.

00:35:12] AB: It does. It is sometimes not just the corn. It’s the GMO corn. There’re all kinds of things to consider here.

00:35:19] PB: Sweet field corn is still good for you.

00:35:21] KM: Sweet what?

00:35:21] PB: Sweet corn. On the ear that you’re eating, that’s not the issue.

00:35:25] KM: Oh, that’s the same. That’s okay, because that’s my favorite.

00:35:27] AB: Yeah, we all love that stuff.

00:35:27] PB: It’s the GMO processed corn that’s almost in everything. It’s a thickener.

00:35:32] KM: Like the corn syrup?

00:35:33] AB: Oh, yeah. The high-fructose corn syrup and things like that.

00:35:36] KM: That stuff. Yeah, everybody knows. Don’t eat corn syrup. This is corn syrup. Please don’t eat corn syrup.

00:35:42] AB: Yeah. So I did that.

00:35:44] KM: You did an elimination diet. How long did you have to do that?

00:35:48] AB: It’s about a 60-day process. We do ours kind of differently, because we rehab people’s GI tracts the same time when we start the reintroduction phase to see if you react to certain foods, because it takes about – It can take up to three days to know whether or not you have a problem with a particular food.

00:36:06] KM: It takes me two days to give a reaction to wheat.

00:36:09] AB: Yeah.

00:36:09] KM: It’s always a two-day. I marked it a million times.

00:36:11] AB: Mine immediately causes restless leg syndrome and some GI pain and headaches, and joint pain.

00:36:19] KM: Aha! If I’m going to call you up and say, “Okay, help me, Dr. Beard.” First thing you’re going to do is you’re going to Facetime with them and you’re going to talk to them an elimination diet.

00:36:32] AB: The process is quite intensive and it’s a good way to rule out or to weed out patients who are not going to be very good candidates for us, because –

00:36:43] KM: You got to be committed.

00:36:44] AB: You have to be committed, and you have to be committed to making lifestyle changes, because those are going to come. So if you’re not at that point, you’re probably not a good fit for us.

00:36:52] KM: You’ve got to be miserable to be willing to do that.

00:36:55] AB: Well, come to us before then, because it’s much easier to help you.

00:37:00] KM: Are you cured?

00:37:02] AB: For the most part, yes, unless I fall off the wagon. I’m human, too.

00:37:08] KM: Sometime you fall off the wagon accidentally. You eat something that you don’t realize.

00:37:12] AB: Yes, I have done that where, “Oh, yes. This is wheat free, and it’s not.”

00:37:16] KM: I took the communion wafer for a year and couldn’t figure out why every Tuesday I was inflamed, and finally my husband said, “I bet that wafer is wheat.” I said, “Oh! It’s so awful. It’s got to be just a piece of rice paper.”

00:37:33] AB: It was enough to –

00:37:34] KM: It was wheat. Every 48 hours, like clockwork. Yes, you can take it accidentally.

00:37:42] AB: Absolutely, you can.

00:37:43] KM: You can eat cheese dip that has wheat in it and you don’t think is going to have wheat in it.

00:37:46] AB: There’s wheat in cosmetics, lotions.

00:37:49] KM: Cosmetics?

00:37:49] AB: Yes!

00:37:51] KM: All right.

00:37:53] AB: This stuff is everywhere.

00:37:55] ANNOUNCER: Amazingly, as we visit our third guest, Dr. Henri Roca, to find out what brought him to lifestyle medicine, it again was a personal epiphany. Here's Dr. Rocha.

00:38:08] HR: I’m loving my job in California. I came to a family reunion at Mount Nebo. I had been listening to this program that build more years did; one of the first programs about holistic medicine. As I'm driving up to Mount Nebo and Highway 7, beautiful scenery, right? Just there with nature thinking, “Okay, I don’t know. Should I do it? How do I want to do this, right?” I mean, I really want to embody natural medicine and natural healing, but I also want my voice to be able to be heard.

I still really liked what I was doing in California; very successful in that career. I went up there to Mount Nebo. I said, “Something being is going to have to happen to me to make this change.” One of the first things that happened was my nephew ate a mushroom and had to be rushed to Little Rock to have his stomach pumped out. That was not big enough. That medicine had saved the day there was not big enough. The next day, somebody actually drowned at the pool and was brought back with CPR. Not big enough. The third day, a big thunderstorm came up over the mountain, struck the cabin that the whole family was staying at and three of my relatives got struck by lightning. Usually, God speaks to you in lightning strikes when you're not listening, but that was not big enough. Not big enough.

00:39:25] KM: No. My gosh.

00:39:27] HR: I told my mama, “This was going to have to happen.” If this happened, I'd go to medical school. I went back to California. I went back to where I was living. The dog that was there that I was living with, it actually jumped up and bite me in the face. Really, I needed to go get stitches. I told my mama something's going to have to jump up and bite me in the face to go to medical school.

00:39:47] KM: I just got goosebumps.

00:39:49] HR: I said exactly that.

00:39:50] KM: You’ve been struck by lightning.

00:39:51] HR: No. Family members had. Nevertheless, it happened really close to me, right? It's like, “Okay, I get the message.” So this is not a choice that I can make. This is a choice – this is my life's work. This is my path. I need to go to medical school.

00:40:06] KM: No kidding. That is your shaman side of your brain working there, baby.

00:40:10] HR: That is. When you choose any path that you're on in life, when you choose to step on it, then God shows you the way. If you do not listen, then he still shows you the way.

00:40:22] KM: I’m speaking today with Henri Roca, who is one of only a few doctors in the nation that practices and teaches the methodology of integrative medicine, holistic medicine, functional medicine and western medicine. He is currently on staff at Central Arkansas Veterans Administration and at his own clinic in North Little, Rock Arkansas aptly named One Medicine Wellness Services.

00:40:45] HR: Integrative medicine is when you're putting many different components of other healing techniques and perspectives together. That's using chiropractic, or acupuncture, or massage, or yoga, or Tai Chi, or different energy things, or working with nutrition, working with spiritual approaches, all of these things being brought together to help the individual toward wellness.

00:41:12] KM: Integrate all these things together.

00:41:13] HR: Integrate them. All of these pieces, but it’s still pieces being brought together. The wonderful thing about my training, I think of people as if they are a crystal, right? When you look at a crystal from one perspective, you only see one face. If you have many perspectives to look at that person through, it's as if you see many of the facets of the crystal. By doing that, you get an idea about how the whole works. If you only look at an individual through one particular lens, whether that's a conventional medicine lens, or a Chinese medicine lens, or Ayurvedic, or homeopathy or whatever it may be, then you're screening all of your information through that lens. If you can see the person from many different perspectives, you have a better chance of seeing the whole person. And that's holistic, when you see the whole person; their mind, their spirit, their body, how their community interacts, how they interact with their community, how they sleep, even issues around financial wellness. Everything that goes on with the person contributes to how that person exists in reality in this moment. Everything that they've done over the course of their life turns their genes on and off toward either illness or wellness. That's the holistic perspective.

00:42:30] KM: That was integrative. What about the functional medicine?

00:42:33] HR: Functional medicine is when you're saying, “Okay, well instead of looking at all of these different descriptors, all these symptoms, and let's just treat the symptom. Let's treat this itis, or that osis, or whatever it is.” What we do in conventional medicine is we identify those things, we give them a name and then we work to treat them with, usually, medication. Let's look more deeply. Let's look at how all of these things may be related to some core processes that are not in balance and how those processes, those functions contribute to all of these symptoms being created. Let's look even more deeply than that and say what drives those processes to be out of balance? What kinds of choices? What kinds of things have happened over the course of that individual’s life? What kinds of genetic predispositions might they have that lead them in this direction?

00:43:27] KM: Genetics would fall under the functional medicine?

00:43:29] HR: Genetics falls into functional medicine. Life choices, life experiences, life exposures fall into functional medicine.

00:43:35] KM: Functional medicine looks at your life and how its evolved and what you're doing in your habits. An integral medicine looks at how to take all these different applications of acupuncture and diet and integrate them all into your life?

00:43:51] HR: Integrate them into your life, integrate them into a therapeutic plan to help you bring your life back to a better place of balance. Functional medicine helps you understand what is out of balance. If you use the metaphor of the stove, right? And you are a pot and you got a lot of stuff boiling, then what are your choices? You could put the lid on the pot, ratchet it down like a pressure cooker. That's what we do when we put medicine on symptoms. We just try to cap it off, right? But the fire is still burning. The process that's driving that symptom is still going. You may have shut off one symptom, but it's going to pop up someplace else. Functional medicine works to understand what's in the pot and understand what's driving the fire and work to turn that fire off. When you turn that fire off, those symptoms resolve largely on their own.

00:44:45] KM: We don't just treat the symptoms. We go to the root of the cause.

00:44:47] HR: The root of the root. When you think you have the root of the root, then you ask the question why and see if there is an even deeper root.

00:44:56] KM: It sounds like a lot of psychology goes into this.

00:45:00] HR: Every chronic disease is a psychological challenge. Every chronic disease is something that has been created largely, something that's been created by a behavior somewhere along the way. And so, any behavior is a question of how does a person's mind work? What are they compelled by? What’s been reinforced in their life? And those are psychological questions.

00:45:24] KM: I remember when I was watching you speak, a girl said something about her eating habits and something – I don't remember exactly what she said, but she attributed her youth having sweets was a reward for her as a child and comfort for her and that she was having a hard time breaking away from the comfort of eating chocolate. Like you said, the root came from so far back as a reward from her parents.

00:45:59] HR: That's exactly right. That's why you need to understand the entire history of a person. Very often in conventional medicine, we do something called the history of the present illness. If you let people talk about it without stopping them, they'll talk about 90 seconds at most. Do you think that that's the summation of everything you need to know? No. But with conventional medicine, we're often very happy with just a few pieces of information; when did these symptoms start? When did it get worse? Does it get better? Then you work to treat the symptom. Here it's like, so what contributed to the creation of that situation? There you may have to go back way deep in life. You certainly have to know what the family history is. It gives you an idea about the genetics. You have to know what the intrauterine history is, when you were in utero, when you were a little baby in the womb –

00:46:51] KM: It goes that far back?

00:46:51] HR: What was going on with your mama that may have changed how your genes work through the course of your life? Did she get antibiotics? Was there a lot of stress? Did she smoke? Did she use any other substances? That's a critical time, of course we all know that. In that critical time, some of those genes get turned on and they don't get turned off. Sometimes when those genes get turned on early in life, it looks like you can't turn them off. The best thing you can do is to learn how to cope with that. To learn coping strategies that help you work around that. Now if those genes are turned on like when you're five or six, it looks like those things can be turned off. Bit early in life, things sort of get hardwired at a point.

00:47:35] ANNOUNCER: We'll have some final thoughts from our three guests on today's episode of up in your business with Kerry McCoy, featuring a broad overview of guests who have adopted the lifestyle medicine, integrative medicine, wellness approach to health, their final thoughts in a moment.

00:47:51] KM: I want to remind everyone, after each show's airing, a podcast is made available on all popular listening sites and YouTube.

00:47:59] ANNOUNCER: Dancing into Dreamland is only a couple of weeks away. On February 12th, everybody's going to be gathering for the first Dancing into Dreamland in two years. Join us. We’re celebrating our major construction accomplishments of the past few years. Despite the pandemic pressures, we've been able to continue all the work getting the Dreamland ballroom up to code. Some interior restoration still to be done here in 2022. But come help us celebrate. Tickets for dancing into Dreamland and sponsorship opportunities are still available. You know, we continue to take COVID safety very seriously. And we've amended our guidelines for the event concerning vaccination requirements. We want to let you know that proof of vaccination will be required for adults who are attending Dancing into Dreamland February 12th. Proof of vaccination can be shown a check-in or sent in prior to February 12th if you email your proof to friendsatdreamlandballroom.org. A negative COVID test taken within 48 hours of the event will also be valid for entry. We're going to be setting up sanitizing stations with masks around the ballroom. And all the food's going to be served in individual boxes. Luckily, we've got a very open room. And that makes for a spacious seating arrangement. Dancing into Dreamland, February 12th. Before we go, a few final thoughts from our guests first, Dr. Jason Beck.

00:49:17] KM: So if you're laughing every day, and being happy, and eat right, you're going to die in your sleep and you're 100-years-old without any health problems. I got it. I’m doing it. I’m just going to have cartoons from now on out. Do you ever eat meat? And is there anything that you're going to miss out if you just completely quit eating meat? I feel like if I never ate meat again, there'd be something I'd be missing because I don't do anything to extremes. I don't do anything completely extreme.

00:49:45] JB: Right. I think in the last 10 years I've probably consumed four ounces of meat maybe.

00:49:50] KM: You’re pretty extreme.

00:49:51] JB: I'm pretty extreme.

00:49:52] KM: You don't eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

00:49:54] JB: Sometimes we'll have a nibble if it appeals to me. But most of the time it doesn't appeal to me.

00:49:59] KM: And you're not tired, and you don't think there's any – You're a doctor. You're a scientist. You're everything. And so you don't think there's anything that you're missing by not eating meat? I mean, why do I have these two things right here on the front of my mouth if I'm not supposed to be eating meat?

00:50:16] JB: Well, if you'll notice, your fangs look more like a cow's fangs than they do a tiger's fangs. I don't know that it's the fact that if you do eat meat or don't eat meat, I think the biggest problem we have is the quantity, right? If you look back over history, people would take a small serving of meat, use it a garnish or flavoring for their meal. So they may take a four ounce serving of meat and split it among six kids as a garnish for flavoring, right? Whereas now we think we need a four-ounce serving of meat with breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. I mean, even carnivores don't do that, right? Carnivores get a piece of meat every couple of days, and they're good. And so we're just eating in ways that we’ve never eaten before.

00:50:55] KM: What about a variety of food? Like I end up eating the same things over and over and over. So do you have a big variety? And is that important?

00:51:02] JB: What I could say is eat the rainbow, right? So just start with your yellows, orange, reds, greens, purples, everything. I think if you eat a variety of all those foods every day or every week, you're fine.

00:51:15] ANNOUNCER: Here's a final thought from Amy Beard.

00:51:18] KM: Sleep patterns, you said that that was important. Do you need to stick to a specific sleep pattern?

00:51:22] AB: Your body likes a schedule.

00:51:24] KM: It wants a schedule.

00:51:25] AB: Yes. So try to do that. And sleep is everything without sleep, your body's not going to work right.

00:51:29] KM: So the bullet points, we've talked about sleep patterns, diet. We spend a lot of time on diet. Exercise, you can exercise too much.

00:51:35] AB: Yes, you can.

00:51:37] KM: Meditation.

00:51:38] AB: Downtime.

00:51:39] KM: Some people don’t like that word, downtime. Someone don't like the word prayer. Some people like the word meditation. Toxins. They could be in your fillings. They could be in your air. They're everywhere. Is there a way to find them? To look for them?

00:51:52] AB: Yes, there's websites that you can go to that can help you use more natural products as far as cosmetics, cleaning agents and things like that. And we just do that as a part of educating our patients on where they might be going wrong and how they can just eliminate as many –

00:52:08] KM: Cleaning agents.

00:52:09] AB: Yeah. getting rid of the chemicals in your home. And you’d be surprised.

00:52:13] ANNOUNCER: And some final thoughts from Dr. Henri Roca.

00:52:16] HR: Laughter is amazing, right? Laughter is one of those things that can control pain, because laughter induces the body to release the hormones that the body makes itself to control pain. Laughter is an amazing thing. It can relieve stress, relieve tension, it can take you out of any kind of stressful moment that you're in. And it doesn't have to be like spontaneous laughter. Like somebody tells you a joke and tells you a funny story. Or you watch the Three Stooges or something funny on TV, you can do something called laughter yoga, where people just start laughing. And people got all kinds of silly, crazy little laughs. And before long, people are literally belly laughing, not because they're making themselves do it, but because they start making themselves do it. And because they're with a group of people and all these other people laughing in all kinds of weird ways, you end up laughing spontaneously and deeply. And when that happens, it lifts your spirit. It relieves pain, it helps you sleep. It is a wonderful therapy. Laughter yoga is a great way to get to it.

00:53:20] KM: I do love your quote, “Everything that has ever happened to you, every choice you've ever made brings you to the health you have today.” We're out of time today. I just want to thank all our listeners for spending time with us. And if they think this program has been about them, they're right. But it's also been for us. Thank you for letting us fulfill our destiny. Our hope today is that you've heard or learn something that's been inspiring or enlightening, and that it, whatever it is, will help you up your business, your independence or your life. I'm Kerry McCoy, and I'll see you next time on Up in Your Business. Until then, be brave and keep it up.


00:53:53] ANNOUNCER: You've been listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. If you miss any part of this show, or want to learn more about UIYB, go to flagandbanner.com and click on radio show, like us on Facebook, or subscribe to her weekly podcast wherever you'd like to listen. All interviews are recorded and posted the following week with links to resources you heard discussed on today's show. Underwriting opportunities are available upon request. Kerry's goal is to help you live the American dream.



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