In this episode, I am speaking with Sachin Patel—the founder of The Living Proof Institute, an international speaker, and former functional medicine provider. We will talk about the truth about conventional medicine, and a new model of medicine.
In this podcast, Sachin will cover:
- What we need to change within the health sphere
- The KEY to fixing health (it’s not what you think!)
- The biggest problem with how we view our body and health
- The fundamental difference between natural medicine (food and herbs) and pharmaceuticals (this will blow your mind!)
- Why community is critical for your health and well-being
- “You can’t judge a book by its cover” (and how this relates to health)
- Why diagnostic testing for fatigue is a “waste of time and money” (and the best tool for measuring your current health state)
- Why happiness is key to a healthy future
- The sick care paradigm
- Why our brains have a hard time understanding why and how we are getting sick
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The Truth About Conventional Medicine, and A New Model of Medicine with Sachin Patel - Transcript
Ari Whitten: Hey everyone. Welcome to The Energy Blueprint podcast. I’m your host, Ari Whitten, and today I have with me Dr. Sachin Patel, who I am going to call Sachin on this podcast for reasons that we’re going to get into. He is a bestselling author, international speaker, functional medicine practitioner and founder of the Living Proof Institute. So welcome, Sachin, such a pleasure to have you.
Sachin Patel: Ari, thank you for having me. I appreciate the opportunity to share this space with you and to share some knowledge that can help all of the listeners and hopefully not just them. My intention, and I know your intention is for them to teach this or share this with somebody else. So that’s our call to all of you. Our call to action is if you enjoy this, please share it. Many people are suffering in silence. They don’t know who to turn to, and this could be the conversation they need to hear to turn things around for them, or at least maybe even shift them in millimetered increments so that they can get back on the right path that they were destined to be on. So thank you. I appreciate it.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Beautiful. So first of all, just before we started recording, you said, “I prefer if you call me Sachin, not Dr. Patel or Dr. Sachin.” I’m curious why.
Sachin Patel: All right. So one of the things that I always had in my head, my big hairy audacious goal was to retire when I turned 40. And so last year when I turned 40, that was my commitment to myself and representation of my retirement. So I guess when I thought retirement or when my child-brain thought retirement, it meant the death of a title, not the death of a passion or the death of a vocation. And so I haven’t seen patients in many years. Most people don’t know that. They think I still see patients, but I haven’t seen patients in many years. And because I realize I can have a much bigger impact coaching practitioners and instead helping them work with more people, and really not just helping them help more people, but changing the rooted philosophy from which they build their clinics–essentially changing the operating system of how their practice runs. When you think of a company like Apple, Apple has a completely different operating system than Windows. And that’s what we need. We don’t need a better version of Windows. We need a whole new operating system. And one that actually keeps the consumer and their interests in mind, not just the interest of the third party, so to speak, The administration or the government or these companies like big pharma, there’s nothing wrong with that. I have nothing wrong with companies making lots of money as long as they’re doing lots of good in the world. So to me, I feel like, in this current turning of the cosmic wheel, the thing that we value most, the thing that we use to measure things is money. And so there’s a paradox in life and you could do a lot of bad and make a lot of money, but you can do also a lot of good on the polarity side of it. You can also do good with a lot of money. And so I needed to change that narrative in practitioners because what happens in healthcare is practitioners want to give, give, give and then that destroys their practices, which then in turn destroys their communities. So we needed an operating system where the patient wins, because otherwise why would we be doing this? The practitioner wins, but also the practice wins. And only when those three things win does the community win, do cities win, do countries and the world start winning. So we didn’t just have to create a better operating system for them. And so for three years I’ve been coaching practitioners. So all this to say the reason I retired my license was because the Ontario Board didn’t like the fact that I was calling myself a doctor, even though I’m licensed in Ohio. They didn’t like the fact that I was operating my coaching business outside or in Ontario because they felt like it would mislead the public. And I’m like, I don’t even see patients. And they’re like, it doesn’t matter. I’m like, I didn’t know when you cross the border, the word doctor is stripped off of your back. And then I saw that at first my initial egotistical reaction was to be infuriated by it and try to defend myself. And then I realized this was bound to happen. This means I have somebody’s attention, And I’m going to beat them at their own game. So my initial thought as a teenager that I wanted to retire at 40 came as the death of my license because then I just said, you know what? I’m going to retire my license and I’m going to get rid of titles so I can speak freely as a civilian and as a citizen because now I actually have more of a voice. So I can say stuff that nobody’s willing to say because there’s nothing that you can take away from me. It’s kind of like Eminem in 8 Mile. I don’t know if you remember that last scene where he gets up and just says everything that the other guy’s going to say about him. And then Clarence has nothing to say after that. And he wins. So I’m like, okay, well let’s say what needs to be said and let’s call it out. And I actually don’t make the majority of my income through a clinical practice. In fact, at that point I had $0 dollars in clinical income. So there’s nothing you can take away from me.
The perspective that needs to be changed in conventional medicine
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Beautiful. I think that’s a perfect segue to what I want to talk about in this podcast, which is these things that do need to be said and called out that many people are afraid to. So with that transition in mind, I’ll let you take us into the meta perspective of what needs to be called out, what needs to be changed.
Sachin Patel: Okay. I think we need to change our perspective on things. So it’s really not about what does healthcare need right now? What does healthcare need to change? We’ve got to think bigger than that, on a whole different scale. And that is, what does the world need right now? So the problems that we have are not going to be solved by a bunch of zombies. By a bunch of people that can’t regulate their blood sugar from one meal to the next. That’s not a problem-solving community. That’s a problem-creating community. So what the world needs right now is people who have the ability to use their health as a basis or as a foundation to create a better world. So the world needs more healthy people right now. So then the question becomes, how do we do that? And you actually don’t create more health or better health outcomes by creating more hospitals or more clinics or graduating more doctors, even if they’re functional medicine doctors. The only way you solve this problem is by raising healthier people to begin with. And so, yes, we are still going to need hospitals, we are still going to need doctors, but we can actually dramatically change how much we need these services and why we need these services by changing the actual behaviors.
Ari Whitten: Can I just interrupt you for a moment? Because what you just said is so profound, so spot on, so exactly in line with how I perceive these problems. And I have been so flabbergasted that I have felt like I’m the only one who sees that. And everybody else just thinks the answer is more functional medicine doctors, more lab tests, more drugs, more vaccines, more supplements, more everything, more of the doctoring. And I think fundamentally when you zoom out in the way you just described, you realize that that’s actually not the answer. We need to get at deeper root causes here.
Sachin Patel: Right. And here’s the thing. We set up this whole idea, like all I have to do is convince somebody from a very young age that the answers are outside of them. And the moment I do that, it doesn’t matter. That’s all I have to do. Then I don’t even have to prove, I don’t even have to give them something that works. And even if I give them something that destroys their health and they can’t use it anymore for whatever reason, they’re going to go look for something else again, outside of them to find the answer. When in reality, the answer is right here. So we’ve shifted the paradigm and convinced people that their body is the problem. If somebody wraps a Ferrari around a pole, nobody’s blaming the car for that, So we’ve conditioned people to think that it’s the vehicle that’s broken, when in fact 90% of the cells in your body are not even six months old. You’re constantly in a state of replacing yourself. You’re essentially a hologram. So while you’re listening to this, cells are dying and new ones are being reborn, millions and billions of them every single day. And so you have to ask yourself, okay, if people get new cells every single day, then why did they stay sick? Well, if you give somebody a new car, that doesn’t make them a better driver. So you’ve got to give people the training and the understanding that hey, you have full control over this vehicle, not only how you drive it, but how you take care of it. And that’s the basis. Nobody gets in their car hoping that it turns on. I mean, very few people. Probably nobody listening to this is praying that their car turns on when they are going to work or coming home from work today. Your car turns on pretty much every time. Or you have an expectation that it’s going to and it’s going to get you from A to B and you don’t even give it much thought. And because you’re not thinking about your car breaking down, every single moment of the day or every single moment of the drive, you’re thinking about something else, potentially solving a problem. When we have problems and when we focus on them, it also means that we’re potentially not solving somebody else’s problems. So we can’t create a better world unless we have our problem solved, but then we’re also helping other people solve theirs. And that’s how we can contribute. But if we’ve got everyone thinking about their own stuff going on in life, that’s not a very contributory planet. That’s not the planet that’s going to solve the problems that we have right now. It’s going to take a collective consciousness for that to happen.
Why we need to look at our culture for health
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So there’s a lot in there that I want to dig into. I love your analogy with the Ferrari wrapped around the pole and I think what you said is so, so true. I think the conventional medical paradigm, the mainstream paradigm that most people, especially in the United States–I’d say in North America, maybe most of the Western world–grow up in now is one where the paradigm seems to be, for the most part, diseases arise for arbitrary reasons. They’re mostly genetic, and some people are just genetically wired for cardiovascular disease or diabetes or Alzheimer’s or whatever. And so people think, “Well, it runs in the family and that’s why I got it.” So disease arises for arbitrary reasons or genetic reasons and the solution is pharmaceutical intervention. The functional medicine paradigm has done a good job of stepping at least one or two steps in the right direction, but in my view hasn’t gone far enough. What has become a dominant narrative in the functional medicine community is disease arises for your unique personalized combination of triggers and susceptibility factors and genetic propensities and whatever lifestyle triggers are there. And so we need to run this big panel of tests to figure out what biomarkers are off and then we need to go about trying to manipulate those biomarkers. But I still think it’s not meta enough in that there’s still I think layers. There’s a gap between that paradigm and a really deep understanding of the fact that our culture, our environment and our lifestyles are fundamentally at odds with what our biology is designed for and what it needs to express optimal health. I’m just wondering if you have any thoughts on the kind of the meta perspective of those two paradigms.
Sachin Patel: I love where you’re going with this thinking. So here’s what I can say that I think would be helpful and reinforce your ideas. So when we think about genetics, I want people to think of like seven different types of vehicles, So you could have a pickup truck, an SUV, a crossover sports car, an ultra-high-end luxury sports car, sports sedan, whatever. Pick seven different cars. If you’ve got a perfectly smooth road, all those cars are going to operate under close to factory conditions. Now, if we start taking some of these cars on rougher roads, some cars are going to have major problems with that. Like the sports cars are going to have a challenge with that if you start going off-roading, whereas other cars are going to be in their element and that’s where they’re going to thrive. That’s where their skill set or their genetics are going to show up best for them, on a smooth road. Living in a pure and clean and pristine world, that’s what our genetics are expecting, right? They’re expecting certain things. It’s like growing a plant. So when a plant is wilting, I don’t start doing lab testing on it or genetic testing on it and trying to find out what’s wrong with it–why, why this plant? And playing victim for it.
Ari Whitten: Exactly.
Sachin Patel: What I do is I start asking, is it getting sunlight? Is it getting water? Is it getting proper nutrition? Why is it that’s not what we do when it comes to healthcare? And so I think in some regards, functional medicine has gone off the deep end because we’ve complicated things. Here’s the thing: the most elegant solution will be simple. And so our medical system is failing at epic proportions because it’s trying to go for complex solutions. It’s trying to match nature’s complexity. And what makes nature beautiful is its fractal architecture, which has infinite data storage capacity, which has infinite information stored in it. And we don’t even have the technology to approach anything close to that just yet, because we’re not doing fractal computing just yet. We haven’t even evolved to really understand the mathematics that governs the entire universe. So we actually use the wrong mathematics to solve healthcare problems. And we’re stuck in this Newtonian model, when everything in nature is built on a fractal model. So for us to pretend like we have finite solutions for software that which governs the universe, which is fractal in nature, which has infinite magnitude, we’re just kidding ourselves. So there’s this cosmic joke as Bruce Lipton calls it, that if we try to match nature’s complexity, that’s a fool’s game. It’s like going down the Mandelbrot fractal and trying to figure out what the surface area is. The surface area’s infinity. And so it never ends. And with infinite surface area comes infinite data storage capacity. So the code is so simple but so complex at the same time.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Sorry, go ahead. I’ll let you complete your thought there.
Sachin Patel: So one of the things that we teach our clients and what I hope everyone learns here is that because you’re built on a fractal architecture, only a fractal can solve you. And that’s why food works so well because it’s built by nature, which is built on fractals and because our body is fractal, that’s why food and herbs can heal us. And this is why pharmaceuticals, because they’re built on a different architecture and processed food is built on a different mathematical architecture, it can’t solve us. It actually creates problems for us. And so, one of the things we talk about–this is the big thing right now–is community is the answer. And we know how important community is for people. So the answer is also the problem. So the problem is: if the answer is community, then the problem is community. And so what our community does for us is far more important. And that may be lost in our current modern Western times. Most people don’t know their neighbors or don’t hang out with them or they do not have deep relationships like they used to. Everyone kind of keeps to themselves. And so we’ve lost that sense of community. And what comes with community is modeling. And so we can model other people. Because we have mirror neurons, we tend to model other people in our vicinity in three dimensions much better than we model people in two dimensions. And so it’s important for us to be surrounding ourselves, not just online but in person, with the right people because that community, because of the way our mirror neurons work, we start mimicking each other. And so we start elevating each other and we start raising the consciousness. So we need to start getting back to that. And it needs to happen more than just in online settings. It needs to happen in three-dimensional, in real life settings as well.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. What you said about fractals and why nature heals and why some of these isolated components, whether processed foods or pharmaceuticals, don’t have that same capacity I think is really interesting. I heard a quote from another interview that you did where you said something to the effect of if you can’t measure everything then you can’t measure anything. I feel like those two things are connected. Can you explain what you mean by that quote?
Sachin Patel: It’s almost like, you can’t judge a book by its cover. You’ve got a very narrow perspective on something. Or you can’t judge a person by how they look. There’s all these cliches in our modern times. So if you think about it, I think of life like software. And basically your life is a three-dimensional printout. We talked about how this interview even kind of came into coagulation. You had it written down on a piece of paper and then the universe kind of reinforced the necessity of this interview to take place. And then of course here we are. Everything is coming from a source code. And so we can’t look at life like one line of code. We have to look at it as a continuous line of code. And so there’s so many components to this when we try to think this through, but it’s almost like taking one word from a book and pretending you know the whole story, or even one sentence and pretending you know the whole story. If I were to say, “Hey, I’m going to upgrade your computer for you. I have a code that’s only one line.” There’s not enough information there for it to operate your entire computer. We need all that line of code there. And so nature has all that line of code. Whereas when we’re giving people isolated components, whether they’re grown, or whether they’re manufactured in the lab, or whether they’re pharmaceutical agents or even supplements, it’s not coming with that intelligence. It’s the hardware. But the software is missing. Just like your computer is a shell. It’s useless as garbage if the software doesn’t work. And if we update the software, the hardware actually works better. So I think a big shift in healthcare is going to take place when we separate those two things. Because right now we don’t. Because we can’t measure the software with the tools that we have with the hardware that we have, we can’t measure our own human software. We neglect it. And because we’re so busy trying to make the hardware better, I mean if you think about Apple, the reason they revolutionized computers–I mean, they have beautiful products–but the reason they revolutionized computers is because they changed the software. They don’t compete for the hardware aspect. They’re just computers that are faster, screens that have higher resolution, whatever. But it’s the software that makes the difference. And that’s the thing that’s really cool about us is we can upgrade our software instantly. We can also downgrade our software instantly. And some of us from a young age had information coded into us that’s not serving us anymore. We’re trying to take pills or herbs or supplements to try to fix the code, but it’s never going to fix the code because the code is written in a different context.
Ari Whitten: What is needed to fix the code?
Sachin Patel: There’s different ways to get there. I think the fastest way for most people is probably the plant medicines and there’s certainly a big emergence of that. But I also feel like, you can do it through meditation. You can do it through fasting. You can do it through, maybe, certain types of exercise. I mean, there’s different ways to get there for different people. You can do it through breathing exercises. You’ve got to find what’s calling you. Some are more work than others. Some are a little bit more active in nature, some are passive in nature. But, I think really going inside and getting really grounded and being really present is where we find some of those answers.
Why if you can’t measure everything, you can’t measure nothing
Ari Whitten: I want to go back to this idea of if you can’t measure everything, you can’t measure anything. I look at standard blood tests, and specifically for people with fatigue, it’s known–and this is actually statistics from published peer-reviewed literature on the subject from evidence-based guidelines that conventional physicians use to treat patients with fatigue. They have the recommended blood tests, mainly their standard blood tests, and then if the patient presents symptoms that are suggestive of some particular thing, like if their symptoms suggest tuberculosis, then you might do a tuberculosis test for example. But for the most part they just recommend the standard blood tests. And they publish statistics saying that 95% of the time they don’t find anything notable on the blood test, any findings that change their recommendations. And for reference, their basic recommendations for people with fatigue are a recommendation to do walking and stretching for 30 minutes a day, antidepressants, cognitive behavioral therapy and stimulants as needed. Those are the four things they got and 95% of the time you’re going to go do a blood test with your doctor. They’re not going to find anything on that blood test that changes their recommendation. So the point I’m making here is that they measured a whole bunch of stuff, but nothing in what they measured was able to even come close to explaining, didn’t have any explanatory power on why they have symptoms. In some cases, these may be people with debilitating chronic fatigue syndrome who are literally so symptomatic and so severely debilitated, they can barely function, get out of bed, their bodies don’t work, their brains don’t work. And yet you can do the evidence-based guidelines blood test and measure a whole bunch of things and not find anything meaningful there. Now then we also have functional medicine, which runs a whole bunch of other kinds of tests, some of which have questionable validity. But some of them are good and some of them may find some things that are wrong. However, I would still argue that we know a whole bunch of things that relate very directly to the symptoms that no one can measure. So for example mitochondrial function, there aren’t any good tests to directly measure how many mitochondria you have in your cells. There aren’t good tests to measure how much energy they’re producing. I mean, there’s a lot of people working on that and I hope they succeed. But as of 2019, it doesn’t exist. We know autophagy is a big deal. We know the glymphatic system purging toxins every night while we sleep from our brain is a big deal. We know the endocannabinoid system is a big deal. We know circadian rhythm is a big deal. We know a whole bunch about all these different systems in the body, and yet there aren’t any tests for it. You can’t go get a test done that says, “Hey, here’s the strength of your circadian rhythm based on this biomarker. Here’s how much autophagy your cells are doing each night. Here’s how much toxins are being purged from your brain.” So I would argue that however comprehensive a functional medicine panel is, there’s still tons of stuff going on in the body that we know are playing instrumental roles in health and disease processes that no one’s measuring.
Sachin Patel: Yeah. I love that you bring this topic up because it’s exactly what we’re creating in our practice right now. I don’t know if we’re the first; I hope not. I hope somebody else has been doing this too, so I can learn from them. But we’re creating the first functional medicine program that requires no testing and no supplements.
Ari Whitten: Ah, wow.
Sachin Patel: The thing that we’re doing, the metric that we’re using is HRV. So HRV probably has the most data around it in terms of resilience and in terms of letting us understand the autonomic tone of an individual. Because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the tone of your nervous system because that determines the direction your health is traveling. And so you could have great markers now and you can feel great now, but if the tone of your nervous system is sympathetic dominant, you’re going to be up shit’s creek here pretty soon. I don’t know if it’s five years, 10 years, or 15 years. But if you’re parasympathetically balanced, then I know your body’s in a state of healing and repair, rest, regeneration, detoxification, reproduction. All of those things that people pay lots of money and take lots of pills and do lots of tests to try to acquire are all based on whether your body–and really your nervous system and then your body–is in a state of parasympathetics. And if it’s not, then it doesn’t matter what pills I give you, what potions I give you, what supplements I give you. You’re never going to heal. You’re never going to get better. I don’t care what anyone says and anyone who tells you otherwise is actually lying to you. Because we know what happens when somebody’s sympathetic and we know what happens when they’re parasympathetic. And every goal that a patient has–better digestion, better detox, better reproductive health, better sleep–requires them to be in a parasympathetic state. So, the reason we don’t find hardware problems is because people have software problems and we’re not looking at the software. So the healthcare questionnaire of the future is only going to be one question. And the question is, are you happy? Because if you’re not happy, then none of this matters. Having great health and not being happy actually doesn’t matter. Chances are if you’re happy, you’re very unlikely to be thinking about things that are making you sad and being in pain and all those other things. All that to say that it’s our mental state. Essentially our world is a 3D printout of what we think about the most. And so we can be in a happy state because we’re pursuing greatness. I mean, that’s what keeps most people happy is growth and the pursuit of greatness and good relationships, and community, which we can all accomplish. That’s really the key to the future. Because when you’re happy, you’re parasympathetically balanced. When you’re stressed, when you’re upset, when you have the wrong group of friends, when you’re not living by the principles of nature and giving your body the things that it needs, then you’re going to be sympathetic dominant. A good example is when you’re in a parasympathetic state, you get 50% of your blood flow going to your liver and kidneys. When you’re in a sympathetic dominant state, only 5% goes there. So one thing that we remind people is where we send flow is where we send function. So if I want you to increase function of your gut, I’ve got to send blood flow there first. So every cell in your body is surrounded by three things. It’s surrounded by an artery which gives blood, provides nutrition, but there has to be actual flow for that to happen; a nerve ending, so a nerve cell that signals the cell and tells it what to do; and the lymphatic vessel, which removes the waste. For a lot of people, their circulation isn’t getting the nutrients where they need to be because when you’re in a stressed out state, there’s an 80% decrease of blood flow to the trunk organs. So how can that person heal, even if I’m giving them the best supplements? We designed this program essentially to be able to get people using medicinal mushrooms, using HRV and building resilience through HeartMath, using other strategies like grounding and strategies like getting out in the morning, getting out in the afternoon, getting out in the evenings to kind of reset and rewire the nervous system from a circadian perspective. Getting them to improve their communication skills, getting them to resolve old grudges, getting them to reprogram their limbic brain so they’re not so triggered and sympathetic-dominant all the time. Because ultimately it’s that limbic brain, and a lot of times childhood traumas and childhood events, that’s regulating that stress response. So a lot of people I find are using yoga, meditation, tai chi, qigong as basically fire extinguishers and trying to put out the fire of their broken limbic system that’s always starting these fires everywhere in their body. So if we can fix this, which was unfortunately very hard-wired between the age of zero and eight, then we can change the limbic response if people have changed the state of their nervous system and then keep them parasympathetically balanced and then their body’s always balanced and healing.
The role of HRV in health
Ari Whitten: Beautiful. This is really a fascinating thing. I want to step back just a bit into HRV. I know what it is. I’m a big fan of HRV measurements, but some people listening to this may not know what HRV or heart rate variability is. I know you just spoke a lot about things that are very much related and tied into that concept, but can you speak directly to what HRV is?
Sachin Patel: Yeah, absolutely. So, without getting too scientific, the way I would describe HRV is heart rate variability. So it’s the variability between the length of each heartbeat. So your heart might beat 60 times a minute. We’ll keep it simple. It doesn’t beat exactly one second apart. There’s going to be variability between each beat. The higher the variability, the more sympathetic you are, the lower the variability, the more, I’m sorry, the higher the variability, the more parasympathetic you are and the lower the variability, the more stressed out and sympathetic-dominant you are. And so we actually have a couple of different ways of measuring HRV. One is an Oura ring, which I think you’ve got one as well. And so we measure HRV while people are sleeping so we can see what their recovery looks like to make sure that they’re getting enough rest, and how hard they should push themselves if at all. And we’re also doing HRV training with something called HeartMath, which is a device that you basically clip to your ear. And then you have this two-way dialogue between yourself and your nervous system. So you’re using your breathing, which is the bridge between the sympathetics and parasympathetics. So now you’re using your breathing and specific breathing patterns and styles of breathing. Depends on what works for you. And you’re getting yourself into that parasympathetic state. And what that looks like on your HRV is a nice smooth curve. So it looks what we call a coherence, a nice sinusoidal type of curve. And so it’s almost gamifying the process. And now what you’re doing is you’re tuning into your nervous system and not only are you tuning into it, but now you can start actually developing it. So just like your bicep–and you’ve got big muscles there, my man. And of course you don’t wake up looking like that. You’ve got to work for it. So just like if you want to have resilience as much as people want to have strength and good muscle tone, for example, then you have to develop it. And it has to be a skill that you work on every single day. And the cool thing is that you have biofeedback. So in the gym we can lift more weights, on the HeartMath, we can actually see that coherence number going up and we can challenge ourselves with differing levels of difficulty on the unit as well. And so this helps us get finer in tune or more in tune with our own nervous system. And once you have the skillset and then you know what breathing pattern and what it feels like for you to be in coherence, you might not need to have the unit anymore. You can get into that state on demand versus having to have this tool helping train you. So we want to get people to know what that feels like and develop it, not just do the exercise, but to develop it as a tool for them to become more resilient.
Why the modern view on health care in many ways is wrong
Ari Whitten: Beautiful. So I want to transition to the sick-care paradigm. First of all, what does it mean to talk about the sick-care paradigm and, and why do you think our conventional medical paradigm is so off-track in so many ways?
Sachin Patel: Well, here’s the thing. I think we need to, as soldiers of this message or warriors of this message, need to change our language around the message. And we need to let people know that the reason the healthcare system is this way is because we as consumers let it get this way. I mean, if you don’t like the way the healthcare system is, then just take care of your health. And then you won’t need them. I mean, that’s how you beat them. You don’t get them to try to change what they’re doing. What they’re doing–that’s the best way they think that they can do or solve the problem they’re trying to solve. That’s what they’re doing. And unfortunately, if you don’t think that’s the best way, then do whatever it takes not to need those services. And as you’re doing that, you will actually get healthy. And as you’re doing that, you will actually model health for your family. And as you’re doing that, you will make it then unconscious for people to be healthy. The greatest asset and advantage that you can develop for your children is not their education, it’s actually their health. So if you can raise resilient and healthy children, that is a priceless asset that’s worth way more than someone’s Harvard degree. Because there’s people that get these degrees and they become sick and they can’t do what they were put on this planet to do. So, the real power in this conscious evolution is going to be people getting healthy and modeling health. And then that’s how we change generations. If somebody conditions themselves to think that I’ve got to take this natural supplement for me to be healthy, then they’re actually showing that to their children and now their children think that health lives outside of them. And it’s not from responsibility that I get healthy, but it’s from “responsipillity.” It’s the pills that we have to take. And so it’s really important for us to understand what message we’re sending to future generations by the actions that we take. So for popping pills instead of learning skills and modeling skills, then we’re modeling that into the future. So we’re actually creating more of that into the future. Not less of it.
Why the current health care paradigm is fixed and not broken
Ari Whitten: Beautiful. I’ve heard you say, actually James Maskell brought this up in an interview. He said, and hopefully he’s quoting you correctly here. I presume he is, but he said that one of the things that you say is our current healthcare paradigm is not broken. It’s fixed. What do you mean by that?
Sachin Patel: Yeah. So Dan Sullivan said that every system does exactly what it’s designed to do. So think about it this way. There’s three things we never learned in school. We don’t learn anything meaningful about money, except how to add it up and subtract it. We don’t learn anything meaningful about food or nutrition, and really about ourselves and our own health and how to take care of ourselves. And we don’t learn anything meaningful about food and how to grow our own food. And so modern day slavery is keeping people in financial debt, keeping them sick, and then not even teaching them what real food is so you can poison them into a slumber. And so that’s modern day slavery. They’re invisible handcuffs, not even golden. They’re invisible, so you don’t even know you’re wearing them. And so that’s the problem is that people don’t know how to take care of these areas of their life. And so it is fixed to be this way, unfortunately. Here’s a really simple analogy I can give you. So where we are right now, there’s somebody, imagine there’s somebody and here’s the evolution of humanity. So there’s somebody drowning in a pool. So before we used to throw them a toxic life jacket. The life jacket might save them from drowning, but it might also kill them, too. We don’t know. And that’s a dissolving life jacket. So after 30 minutes it dissolves and you’ve got to throw them another one, kind of like a pill. And then we said, you know what? That life jacket is killing people. So we’re going to give them a natural life jacket. So now we’re throwing people natural life jackets, and those life jackets still dissolve after every 30 minutes, right? So you’ve still got to keep throwing it to them. So that doesn’t evolve people. And if you’re drowning in a pool and your life jacket is dissolving every 30 minutes, you’re just going to grab whatever you can to stay alive. You’re not thinking about, is this causing other problems inside of me right now? You’re just trying to not drown. And that’s where people are right now. It’s where humanity is right now. And that’s why people think that there’s no money in healthy people. Well, here’s the thing. This is where we need to start thinking on different layers and on different timescales as well. It’s funny cause Eckhart Tolle says be in the now. But that doesn’t mean don’t think about the future.So we have to be in the now, but think about the future. And so let me turn this phone off here. So what’s happening is people are drowning in the pool. Nobody’s teaching them how to swim. And when we teach people how to swim, guess what? There’s a whole different economy and different things that people need when they’re swimming versus when they’re drowning. So that’s the next evolution is people learn how to swim. And the next evolution is they actually learn how to get out of the pool. And then when they get out of the pool, they don’t need life jackets anymore because they’re not in the pool drowning anymore. Now they need running shoes. And so the companies that were stuck and bent on making life jackets now basically dissolved because nobody wants what they have. Nobody needs what they have to offer. And now a whole new economy emerges that makes running shoes, right? So when we say the health care system is fixed, yeah, right now it’s designed, I mean, our economy would crumble if people got healthy, got out of debt and learned how to grow their own food. I mean, millions of people would lose their jobs, which are killing them anyway. But our economy would crumble to pieces. So we’ve set it up in such a way that it requires people to be sick, to be in debt and not know how to grow their own food. So they’re not going to teach us how to do those things. So we’ve got to develop those skills and that’s our way out. And that will create a whole new economy. The economy that they’ve created is a whole feeder system for that economy. So we’ve got to learn how to swim. And then once we learn how to run, we’re going to demand running shoes. And guess what? Companies will emerge, like maybe yours or mine, that will build running shoes for people. Not interested in building dissolving life jackets.
Ari Whitten: Or maybe we’ll form a community of like-minded people who can help people in the ways that they actually need to be helped to support and maintain good health rather than waiting for sickness to emerge, and then treating that. And speaking of which, I had a researcher on the podcast recently named Dr Martin Picard, who’s an expert in mitochondrial psychobiology and he said something really nice. He said the big problem right now with the scientific community is we know a lot about sickness. We study sickness, we focus on sickness, we researched the hell out of sickness, but we don’t know much about health. We don’t know much about what are the things that create health. And he’s speaking sort of from within the scientific community. And you and I, people like you and I have been studying health for a long time, but within the scientific community and the conventional medical paradigm, it’s like we focus on sickness, we research sickness. We try to uncover the genetic and biochemical mechanisms behind why a sickness emerges with the idea that we all develop a pharmaceutical intervention that interrupts that particular biochemical abnormality or process. And therefore we’ll slow the disease or reverse the disease. And that’s the paradigm. But, and I’m kind of paraphrasing him, he said the problem with it is that it’s palliative. You basically got to sit around and wait for somebody to get the disease and then once they get a disease, now you can go about this process of trying to use drugs or surgery or whatever to try to fix it, which as you and I know is for the vast majority of chronic diseases a pretty epic failure. So, to contrast that, I think what we really need is a paradigm that is focused on health and what are the conditions that we need to create health. As you said, from the time that we’re raising young kids. I thought I’d interject that, those comments from him here and see if you have any thoughts on that.
Sachin Patel: Well, here’s the thing. The two answers to health are love and happiness. That’s it. If you can continuously move in that direction, doing the things you love, spending time with people that you love, and you’re in the continuous pursuit of that and happiness, health will be something you don’t really have to think about it. It’ll be self-governing. I mean, what makes us so amazing and what makes us so special, in my opinion, and of course I understand there’s unique circumstances, but I’ve seen so many transformations take place in people just by changing, not “just” as a minimizer, but by simply changing the way they think. I mean, here’s the thing. I ask this question at every health talk I give–I ask people, how many of you feel better on vacation? And most people do. I would say pretty much everyone raises their hands. Everyone’s like, yeah, of course I feel better on vacation. And I’m like, well, so what makes you think that your body is the problem? What makes you think you can’t feel better in three days? Because you’ve proven to yourself time and time again, every time you go on vacation you feel better. So who is at fault here? Is it your body or is it your lifestyle? Is it this jail cell of the life that you’ve created for yourself that’s not allowing you to fully express your body? You know, pain is a communication system. Disease, in my opinion at least, is a communication system from your body that you’re out of alignment and you’re out of resonance and out of frequency with who you are supposed to become in this lifetime. And so when you’re out of resonance, then you’re going to start developing diseases because at a soul level, your resonance is not disease. It’s health; it’s vitality. But it’s when you’re out of that frequency that you start developing illness and not many people are ready to hear that, but some people are. And so if you’re listening and that resonates with you, literally and figuratively, but if that resonates with you, then you actually have an opportunity to heal very quickly. But if you’re just kind of stuck in this idea that it’s going to take me forever to get better, which is a very mechanistic way of thinking of things versus a fluid way of thinking of things, I mean, people can feel happy in one moment and want to kill themselves the next. That’s the dynamics and polarity of being human. And so I think that if we can shift what people think about every day, why they wake up every day, who they spend their time with, how much time they spend in self reflection, in nature. I mean, there is a recipe. Just like there’s a recipe to grow a plant. I just don’t think our society currently is set up to favor those type of opportunities. We have to seek those types of things out. And it’s a rarity. And in fact, a friend of mine and I and his friend are working on a project where we can actually create community and create community-conscious community centers where people who are looking for deep conversations and intellectual meetings and watching cool videos and talking about things that actually matter. I mean we’re trying to create an environment like that for people because that’s part of what’s missing as well. Being healthy is one thing, but being healthy and then getting better at doing something that isn’t serving you. I’m like, why do people want to be healthy? So they can work longer hours? Why do they want their health? And if it is working longer hours, does what they do make the world a better place? Because that’s what I’m interested in. I’m interested in working with people and mentoring and coaching people who are trying to change the way things are, not maintain a better status quo. I’m not trying to tighten the screw if the shelf is crooked. We’ve got to straighten things out and then we’ve got to put the right people in place to tighten up the screws.
The importance of community for health
Ari Whitten: Yeah. I feel like some of what you just said there, my brain is reeling with all the things I want to go into. I want to go into the community stuff, but I also want to come back to what you said about this idea that a lot of people are not ready to hear taking ownership and responsibility for the fact that they create their health, the fact that these disease processes and symptoms are signals. They’re ways that the body is communicating to them that they’re out of alignment with what their body needs. I like this analogy or this metaphor that you gave at the beginning of this podcast about the Ferrari being wrapped around the pole. I think there’s a problem of perception and this is how the human brain is wired, that we have a really hard time seeing that the car being wrapped around the pole also applies to our health. So what I mean by this is, when you see a car run a red light and get into a car accident, it’s like boom. It happened in an instant. In a matter of seconds, the crash took place, you saw the light was red, the car ran the red light, there was a crash. There’s consequences. People are injured or dead or whatever, or mad. Cars are bashed in. So it’s taking place in this timeline of just a few seconds or minutes. But when it comes to our health, the car of our body being wrapped around this pole and getting into an accident, it’s happening on a such a different timeline that I think our brain has a really hard time grasping that it really is true. So for example, what I mean by this is it might take 20 years or 30 years of bad habits for someone to develop obesity and diabetes. And so we have a hard time connecting the dots between those potato chips and french fries and pizza that we had every Wednesday night or whatever. Oh, I had a little meal here and there that wasn’t great. And we have a hard time connecting that with these very long-term outcomes. Our brain can’t put the pieces together and we think, well, why do I have diabetes now? I’ve been eating this way and living this kind of life for so many years. Why would it just appear now? It’s just happening now and therefore it can’t be connected to all these things I’ve been doing for the last 20 years. It must be genetics. It must be random reasons that I’m just wired this way to have this disease. Do you get what I’m getting at? Our brains have a hard time really connecting the dots and understanding that we’re crashing the car into the pole. It’s just happening very, very, very slowly over a long period of time.
Sachin Patel: Yeah. And I think that analogy was meant to maybe more illustrate who we would actually blame. So the person broke the rules and that’s why they got into the accident. And we would not blame the car for the accident. We would assign responsibility to the driver. And by assigning responsibility that’s actually empowering to the driver because if it was the car, then there’s nothing they can do about it. But when we assign that responsibility to the end user or the driver, then now we’re actually giving them full control and permission to actually become better drivers. So, I think from that analogy, I see what you’re piecing out. You’re piecing out the acuteness of the actual incident versus my assessment of that situation is more about who do we point the finger at. So you wouldn’t be able to take that car to the Ferrari dealership and say, listen, there’s something wrong with the car. They’d be like, no dude, most likely it’s you. And so I think with this idea, if we can take ownership and I interviewed Kelly Brogan today and it was an epic interview and her book, I’ve got it right here. It’s called Own Your Self. Great read. So anyone listening to this, a little shout out for Kelly. I love her work.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, I’m actually supposed to interview her next week.
Sachin Patel: Oh, amazing. So dude, that’s going to be an epic interview. So anyway, we just started talking about the title of the book, Own Your Self, and I said, if a human being came with a manual, it wouldn’t be a user’s manual, it would be an owner’s manual, right? You’ve got to own your health. Not use it and abuse it. You’ve got to own it. And when you can take ownership over that, that’s actually a lot. I mean, some people don’t want that responsibility. They want to delegate that responsibility to somebody else. But when you can really own it, that’s when you can own your power as well. And really own whatever future you want to create. But if we’re just victim-minded, I think that a lot of it is kind of playing victim and people might do that initially, until they’re willing to accept that, hey, I had a role in this. And then if they are willing to accept that only when they’re willing to accept they had a role in it, are they willing to accept that they can actually do something about it. Otherwise they’re just going to become, a guinea pig of experimentation, whether it’s natural supplements or whether it’s pharmaceutical supplements, it’s really got to start with the consumer changing what they demand, not only of other doctors or practitioners, but what they demand of themselves.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. I have just a couple more questions for you. One is, I’ve heard you talk a bit about biomarkers and this focus on biomarkers and there’s so much, especially within conventional medicine but to some extent also within functional medicine, this focus on, you measure stuff, you get some abnormal biomarkers and it’s like, okay, this set of abnormal biomarkers or this abnormal biomarker means I give you this pharmaceutical and we end up chasing after the lab numbers. What’s wrong with that approach?
Sachin Patel: Well, I think one thing for sure that’s wrong with that approach is that we’re taking a snapshot in time and the human body makes hormones, it makes chemicals in real time. So when our emotions change, when we’re thinking about changes, the chemistry in our body changes. So when people are getting blood drawn or when they’re doing these tests, they’re only getting, it’s like a word in a book. That’s all they’re seeing. They’re not seeing the full story. And to me what’s more important is how your body responds, not where it’s at, because where it’s at doesn’t tell me anything, what direction is it going in? To me that’s important. And how does it respond under certain situations? So there’s actually a couple of things that I really like looking at. One of them is HRV, as we mentioned earlier, and the other one is a continuous glucose monitor because if we can get people to regulate their blood sugar levels throughout the day, then it’s telling me that a very fine dance between cortisol and insulin is taking place, very nice. But when it’s going like this throughout the day, then I know that as a result of that cortisol and insulin being off, we’re being all jacked up, that they’re going to create all kinds of sympathetic dominance. And so cortisol’s main function in your body–most people think of it as a stress hormone, but it’s actual main function and physiology is to raise blood sugar. So anytime your blood sugar is yo-yo-ing up and down, cortisol is going to become involved. Of course when we’re stressed out, we need more blood sugar to run away from something that’s chasing us. So it makes sense that our body does that. But if we’re stuck in that state all the time, then eventually we become insulin resistant. But what a lot of people aren’t talking about is that we also become cortisol resistant. And when you become cortisol resistant, it actually takes more cortisol to create the same physiological response because the cortisol receptors have become desensitized. And so one of the things that we sometimes have people do is take melatonin because the adrenals have a receptor for melatonin. So the moment melatonin is sensed, basically we shut off our cortisol receptors. So kind of an interesting dance between melatonin and cortisol. So there’s ways to rebalance this system, but we want to know what’s happening in real time with people, not what’s happening at a specific, like millisecond in time because it doesn’t paint the full picture for us.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. I think also more broadly, it’s failing to address root causes. It’s mistaking abnormal biomarkers, which I think of personally as results of problems, not the problems themselves.
Sachin Patel: Well that’s why it’s called a lab result. It’s in the language, too.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. I think it’s ultimately just confusing consequences of stuff that’s going on at the root cause level and then trying to treat those effects rather than address the root causes.
Sachin Patel: 100%.
Ari Whitten: On a final note, I am wondering what you would like to leave people with and if you have one thought or maybe three things that you want to list off here as the last thing that you want to leave people with from this interview. I want to mention, actually I hope you’ll just mention community a bit more. You’ve touched on that a couple times in this interview. I agree with you 100%. That’s something that’s hugely needed and is a massive cause of many health problems, including, I think it’s the single biggest cause of the epidemic of depression and anxiety that we’re suffering now. So maybe you want to touch on that, but I’ll let you leave people with the last thought or two that you want to say.
Sachin Patel: Yeah. So, I’ll hit on community then I’ll get back to kind of a–I don’t wanna say a final message, it sounds kind of morbid.
Ari Whitten: Haha. The last message you’ll hear before you die.
Sachin Patel: Haha. So, the thing with community is, I spoke in Guernsey a few years ago. I think it was three or four years ago now. I’d like to think the world’s leading experts were there, but I know there were people that weren’t there who are amazing experts. So I want to say some of the world’s leading experts were there speaking on longevity. And, I was gracious or fortunate enough to share the stage, but what I learned was more powerful and more important to me than being on the stage. And that was the power of community. And every speaker came back to that. Virtually every single speaker came back to the power of community. The principles that we’re teaching today are the same principles–health and wealth and relationships. It’s all connected. How you do one thing is how you do everything. And so it’s no coincidence that your health is just one of the ways your life’s problems or inadequacies show up. And I know that’s hard for people to grasp, but if you’re willing to accept that, then you can change it. And so, how we do one thing is how we do everything. And that’s important, but also how we show people how we do things and how we teach other people how we do things. That’s also very important as well. And that only happens, again, in a community setting and the next closest thing we have is podcasts like this. Of course, we also have group podcasts or webinars, videos, things like that, that can be done. We have live events that you and I meet at and go to, and that’s where we really feel like we belong somewhere. And then there’s smaller groups as well. Jim Rowan, who’s not just interested in health, but also wealth is famous for saying that you’re the average of the five people you hang out with. And that applies in every area of your life. So if you hang around five jackasses, well, unfortunately you’ll probably end up becoming just like them or you’re outnumbered by them. If you hang out with people who are very polite and loving and conscious and trying to make the world a better place, guess what? You will gravitate and move in that direction. So you’ve got to surround yourself with the right people. So when we say community, it’s not just a bunch of random people that you don’t share values with. You’ve got to find people who you share values with because that’s how you grow each other. That’s how you raise the level of vibration of each of you. And as you grow together, you start doing, you start showing up as a better version of yourself and then more people are going to be attracted to that and gravitate towards that. So it starts with a small group of people really in high resonance and becoming better versions of themselves, and then attracting more people who want to be in that resonance with them. And that’s again, how important community is. It’s probably one of the most important tools we have. And as as James says, the community is the guru. It’s where all of our experiences come together. All of us can mastermind together. So even in the wealth world, we call it a mastermind. In real life we call it a community. It’s the same thing. If you want to grow health, then mastermind with other people who share the same values with you, and people who can be vulnerable with you, too, as well. And add something of value into the community. And having a sense of purpose is very important. As we all know, having a sense of purpose is important for our overall health and wellness and community is somewhere you can pour that contribution into where it’ll actually be valued. And that’s why you have to share the same values as your community. I could ramble on and on for this; this is super passionate for me. But I do want to be respectful of your time and your audience members’ time. So I’ll leave everyone with this idea. And that is that the doctor of the future really is who we consider the patient today. So for those of you listening that are clinicians, I want you to be prepared for that. I want you to be prepared for a day–at least I’m working towards that, I know, Ari, you’re working towards that–where people don’t need a doctor anymore. And that would be the happiest day of my life where people aren’t calling me up and saying, I’m sick. I need help. Yesterday one of my good friends called me up, his son’s got colitis. So I don’t want those kinds of phone calls. I want a phone call that says, “Hey, my son’s feeling awesome. He wants to play with your son and they want to do some cool stuff.” Those are the kind of calls I want to get. So I know that you want that. I know that people listening to this want that. And so the only way that happens is if we become our own doctors and role model that to our children, to our communities and hold each other consciously accountable to raise the vibration of this planet because the world needs more healthy, high vibing, wealthy people of contribution. The world needs that now more than ever. And so it’s our responsibility to become that person. And if we can do that, then we can make the world a better place.
Ari Whitten: So beautifully said. Sachin, this was one of my favorite podcasts, and I think literally the most important message of any podcast I’ve ever done.
Sachin Patel: Oh, thank you.
Ari Whitten: I want to thank you for your time and sharing your brilliance with my audience. I really appreciate it and I’ve really enjoyed this conversation personally as well. Where can people follow your work and find your website and what do you have to offer? What do you want to direct people to?
Sachin Patel: Sure. Maybe this will be my final message. So if you’re a practitioner listening to this, then I want you to change your practice philosophy from how can I attract more patients, and I want you to change that philosophy to how can I keep more people out of my office? Of course, I can’t recommend you do that unless I’m doing it and modeling it myself. So I actually created a free 30-day program. It’s called 30 Ways in 30 Days. If you go to www.30in30.org, then you’ll get 30 of my best tips. So if you were to pay me to tell you these things, these are the exact 30 things I would tell you, but I’m giving that away to you at no charge because I want you to stay out of our office. I don’t even want you in our office. So that’s the actual solution. So we’re providing that solution to you. Go and grab it. People love it. It’s one of our most popular programs and I’m honored to be able to offer that to your audience members so that they can start taking the stuff that you’re saying, the technology that you’re bringing to people, the mindset shifts you’re bringing to people, the stuff that I’m saying and I know a lot of your other guests are saying, and we kind of put it into one nice little package in 30 easy steps that people can take. Before you ever see a doctor, do this program. Even before you see a functional medicine doctor. One of our prerequisites for our patients is they have to go through this first and hopefully they don’t need us after that. But if they do, then they’ve got to be doing these things before they come and see us. So the work that we do is actually much more meaningful if the patient themselves is doing their job. So this is a great starting point no matter where you are in your health journey.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Beautiful. Sachin, thank you for coming on the podcast. Thank you for the work that you’re doing and sharing these messages. I think it’s really important work that the world needs and seriously, thank you.
Sachin Patel: Thank you my brother. Appreciate it.
The Truth About Conventional Medicine, and A New Model of Medicine with Sachin Patel – Show Notes
The perspective that needs to be changed in conventional medicine (5:36)
Why we need to look at our culture for health (10:30)
Why if you can’t measure everything, you can’t measure nothing (21:49)
The role of HRV in health (30:09)
Why the modern view on health care in many ways is wrong (33:19)
Why the current health care paradigm is fixed and not broken (36:13)
The importance of community for health (46:30)