161: Healing & Longevity through Functional Medicine with Sachin Patel
Sachin Patel is a functional medicine practice success coach, international speaker, and author. He believes that “The doctor is the future of the patient,” and that healthcare practitioners have a responsibility to keep people out of the medical system when possible, empowering them through education, self-care, and a new mindset.
Sachin founded the Living Proof Institute when he couldn’t find answers to his questions through conventional medicine. Exploring functional and lifestyle medicine dramatically changed his life, and he walked away from his formal training as a chiropractor to offer a different approach to patient care.
Today, Sachin joins the podcast to talk about the major problems he sees in the conventional healthcare system, how to integrate functional medicine into your healthcare practice, and why Sachin never wants to be retired in any conventional sense of the word.
In this podcast interview, you’ll learn:
- Why walking away from his medical license gave Sachin the freedom to speak his truth and say what he believes needs to be said.
- The basics of Sachin’s unique approach to functional medicine – and how he works to identify the root causes of his patients’ problems.
- How you can use functional medicine in your daily life to better understand why you feel how you feel and improve your health outcomes.
- Why Sachin has no desire to simply retire – and why he sees health as everything.
- The powerful – and possibly strangest – thing that Sachin does for his health.
- “We have a healthcare system that unfortunately keeps people sick and keeps them dependent.” – Sachin Patel
- “We have a healthcare system which promotes a minimum baseline level of health, but nobody’s really focusing on what’s the maximum potential of an individual when it comes to health and human optimization” – Sachin Patel
- 30 Ways in 30 Days
- The Longevity Diet: Discover the New Science Behind Stem Cell Activation and Regeneration to Slow Aging, Fight Disease, and Optimize Weight
- The Hanuman Chalisa
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Casey: Sachin, welcome to the podcast.
Sachin: Casey, thank you so much. I really appreciate you. I appreciate this opportunity to share valuable information with your tribe. I’m excited to have this awesome conversation that I think is going to enlighten both of us. We’re both going to learn a lot through this conversation and dialogue, and also your community. Thank you. I appreciate it.
Casey: Sachin, I had an amazing opportunity to work with you in a group setting at a dad’s retreat a couple of years ago. That was just an amazing and inspirational conversation that we had there, very insightful. I continue to practice so many of the things that you talked about with just the couple of hours that you spent doing a little Q&A. I continue to input these things and it continues to make an impact in my life, from grounding to some of the quotes, “Human beings are human doings in meditation.” There’s just so much that came out of that that I think has had a huge impact not just in my life, but all the people that I’ve been telling about it. I’m really excited to dive deeper into those things with you here today.
Sachin: Thank you. That fills my heart to know that somebody isn’t just teachable but coachable. They take action, they implement it and they’re spreading the love. Thank you. Thank you for putting it out there. Again, thanks for this opportunity to enlighten people.
Casey: I’m going to dive into some of the things and different areas that you’ve made an impact in my life as the discussion goes along, and some of things I continue to practice. Off the top, I think one of the things that I found really interesting during our conversation at the dad’s retreat started with your introduction of who is Sachin?
Usually I like to tell that story at the front end of the conversation here but with you, you told it. It was so interesting to hear how you made this transition from… One time you were a doctor and now you’re no longer a doctor. You went from eight years in school to become a chiropractor and then decided you were going to drop all that licensing. That was pretty amazing. Can you just tell that story for our audience?
Sachin: Yeah, absolutely. A couple of years ago for my 40th birthday I retired my license. It was actually a lifelong dream to retire— how fitting for this conversation— when I turned 40. I didn’t really know what that looked like, but it was getting rid of the titles. With titles, especially in the medical field, comes excessive, in my opinion, regulation and the inability for practitioners to actually express their truth.
Interestingly enough— this is a not so fun fact— many doctors will recommend things to their patients that they would never recommend to their family. That’s because it’s the standard of care. When you’re giving advice to somebody who’s paying you and you’re giving different advice to somebody who is a loved one and a family member of yours, that’s an important thing to take into consideration.
Now, as a chiropractor, we have a little bit more laterality because we’re usually working from the wellness side of things. We’re working with people on their lifestyles, on their mindset, on their physical movement, on their daily habits and routines that they do. We’re not prescribing drugs, we’re not diagnosing people with challenges but a medical doctor is forced to do that. They’re forced to diagnose somebody and then put them in a little box and then they’re also forced to then prescribe to them the standard of care. That standard of care may or may not even actually help that person in many cases.
I find that by getting rid of that license, by getting rid of that title, it allowed me to actually speak my truth and speak up and be a guardian of that light, because many people don’t have that capability. A few years ago, I started coaching other practitioners and because of that, I didn’t really need my license. Pretty much all my income comes from coaching other practitioners and teaching them how to run their practices and how to get their message out into the world, how to market. All the things we didn’t learn in school is what I teach practitioners to do now.
What happened when I got rid of my license was it gave me the freedom to speak as a civilian. You actually have more liberties to speak as a civilian than you do as a clinician. So many practitioners are afraid of speaking their truth because their board will come and take their license away and therefore their livelihood away.
Once I found an alternative pathway for me to make an income and more importantly, make an impact in actually more people’s lives than ever before, I realized that the thing that was holding me back was me being able to speak my full truth. Not having that designation, the knowledge is still there, the information is still there, the capability is still there, but now I don’t have that muzzle anymore. I can say what needs to be said.
Casey: What’s that one thing that’s the biggest difference in the truth you’re able to speak today over what you used to be able to talk about previously? When it comes to health guidance, health advice, you’re still having these discussions. What are you saying now? I know there’s a lot of different things you’re saying now that you didn’t used to say, but what’s the biggest one to you?
Sachin: It’s tough to pinpoint what that one thing is. I would say that I can speak in an unfiltered way. I can speak my truth in whatever topic it is. Whether it’s plant medicines or whether it’s speaking up against the system, whether it’s speaking up against the injustices that so many patients face. Just being able to be an advocate not only for practitioners but also for patients. I kind of play the role in the middle. I’m always looking out for the general public and the patients that are seeing practitioners, but then also for practitioners.
People say the health care system is broken. My belief is that it’s actually fixed. Dan Sullivan says that every system does exactly what it’s designed to do. We have a healthcare system that unfortunately keeps people sick, keeps them dependent. Unfortunately, that results in a decay in their health, a decay in their family structures, and it doesn’t give them confidence and certainty. We’ve got this amazing body that nobody’s taught us how to use, right? It’s like giving somebody a brand new million-dollar car but they have no idea how to use it. It’s also like giving somebody an iPhone and all they do is use it as a phone, not realizing that there’s all these amazing apps and tools and resources that they have at their fingertips, if they knew how to use and access them.
One of our missions has become… truly what we believe is that the doctor of the future is the patient. That was our core value from the very beginning in our organization, but people would come to see us and want us to doctor them back to health. You’re a living example of, hey, giving somebody information, giving them tools, if they’re teachable and coachable, they can go apply them on their own and start to see significant improvements in their health.
Our focus, my focus really shifted from getting people to see me, to getting people to see themselves in the mirror and take action and ownership and accountability for their own health. There’s nothing more important to me than teaching people how to be independently healthy. They don’t need a doctor to do that. They need to become their own best doctor.
Casey: It seems to me like one of the biggest problems for the health industry is the same as the financial industry: it’s confusing, it’s complex. There’s a lot of contradictory guidance and advice out there. In our industry, you’ve got financial planners, consultants, advisors, you’ve got retirement specialists, accumulations, but you’ve got IRAs, PHCs. You’ve got all these different things that can be very confusing.
I see the same thing in the medical field where you’ve got functional medicine practitioners, you’ve got naturopaths, you’ve got chiropractors, you have general practitioners. What is the difference? I think this is a lead-in to functional medicine, which is your practice. What is functional medicine? What’s the difference between functional medicine, integrative medicine, naturopathy and just general medicine?
Sachin: Awesome question. I believe there’s actually two sides to the functional medicine coin. One of them is the functional aspect, which is the biochemistry, the lab testing, identifying objectively what’s going on with the patient. Then the other side of the coin, which, in my opinion, is 80% of the equation is lifestyle and really accountability and ownership.
Functional medicine, in a nutshell, is personalized root cause medicine. By listening to the patient, by running the appropriate labs on the patient, by identifying what the antecedents and triggers are for an individual, we can identify what they need to do to actually feel their best. Root causes could include emotional challenges, it could include environmental challenges, it could be dietary, it could be toxicity, it could be heavy metals, it could be a toxic relationship or a toxic boss. Anything that really moves us away from homeostasis and balance is going to create a disruption in our health field and essentially eventually going to create a disruption in our body.
Now, to your point that health can be complicated, the opposite is actually true. Health is actually really simple. Let me explain this to you from kind of a higher-level principle and so this might help make sense. The governing principle of nature is sophistication through simplicity. The highest form of sophistication is when something is simple. What makes our computers so amazing is that they’re easy to use, right? If we had to learn how our keyboard works or how our monitor works or how the internal aspects of a computer work, that would not be very sophisticated. That would be super complicated and we’d never be able to use it. Most people have been convinced that health is complicated, so they always delegate it to somebody else when, in fact, health is actually really, really simple. It’s, I don’t want to say stupid simple. It’s smart simple, so you have to know what you’re doing, but the principles are actually accessible to virtually anybody. Most of the tools are actually free but nobody’s taught us how to access them.
What happens is we try to solve this infinitely complex body by matching its complexity, and that’s never going to happen. That’s why it’s like what Bruce Lipton calls a cosmic joke. Any time we feel as humans we figured out the body, the universe is just kind of laughing back at us because we quickly find out how wrong those conclusions were.
When you study people who are successful when it comes to health… Let’s assume that health is our wealth and happiness really is a metric of health. When you study blue zones, these people have very little, if any, medical interventions and they have very little, if any, knowledge on how to take care of their bodies. They’re actually doing it passively. A blue zone is where an extraordinary number of people live past the age of 100, or you have a disproportionate population that lives over 100 compared to anywhere else. There’s no gyms there. There’s no major hospitals. All the tools and resources that many of us are leaning towards when it comes to our health don’t exist in those environments. It’s the actual absence of those things that often results in people living a long and happy life. We help people through functional medicine–
Casey: I feel like I shouldn’t see a doctor now after saying that. I shouldn’t go to the gym, I shouldn’t go to a doctor and I’ll live longer. Am I interpreting this wrong?
Sachin: One of the things that we teach people to do is understand what’s appropriate for them. For me, for example, I haven’t been to the doctor in probably like 15 years. I haven’t had a cold. I haven’t a sore throat or anything like that. I haven’t had any reason to go see the doctor in 15 years. Now, there’s nothing special about me except that I’m human and I have the capability to think for myself. I have a consciousness. I can understand and predict my future based on the decisions that I make today. The same thing applies to our health. If we can make better decisions, more informed and intentional decisions about the things that we’re already doing on a daily basis, then it’s those little two millimeter shifts that make the biggest difference for us.
I’m not saying don’t do those things. If you love doing them, do them. A lot of times people do them because they think they need to do them when many times there’s more simple solutions for them.
I’ll give you a simple example. A lot of people come to us because they’re feeling tired, their hormones are out of whack, their sleep isn’t great, they’re gaining weight and they’re doing “everything” right. They’re eating healthy and they’re exercising. Well, here’s the thing. Eating healthy is important, but how you eat is more important than what you eat. We all know people that eat, let’s call it crap for now, that don’t eat very healthy but don’t have digestive issues, don’t have stomach issues, don’t have major health challenges. We all know people that are eating organic, eating whole foods, paleo, keto, whatever the latest trend is and they feel miserable.
Clearly through example, we can identify that there’s a disconnect there. Why is it that some people don’t eat healthy and they feel fine? Why is it that some people eat super healthy and they feel terrible? The reason is because how they’re eating. It’s not just what you eat but how you eat. Eating is a parasympathetic activity.
Let me backtrack a little bit because I think this concept’s really important. If people can grasp this concept… I call this the trillion-dollar secret that nobody wants you to know, except us and people who are really interested in helping create a healthy population. The trillion dollar secret is the key to health is the tone and resilience of your nervous system. I talked about this at the event. We talked about the autonomic nervous system. Right now the autonomic nervous system is controlling and operating all of the billions upon billions of processes that are going on inside my body right now. It’s controlling my blood pressure. It’s controlling my heart rate. It’s controlling my breathing. It’s controlling my digestion. It’s controlling my detoxification and hormonal production. Everything I need to survive is happening at an unconscious subconscious level through the autonomic nervous system.
Now, what’s really fascinating is the autonomic nervous system has two states that it can be in. It can be in a state of fight or flight, or it can be in a state of repair, restoration, regeneration. The fight or flight state is known as the sympathetic state. The rest and digest state is known as the parasympathetic state. There has to be a balance between these two equations when it comes to our autonomic tone.
Most people live in a sympathetic dominant state. Now, let’s give an extreme example of a sympathetic dominant state. Let’s assume that a lion walks into this room or your room or my room, wherever the interview is taking place. Let’s assume a lion walks in. Now, what has to happen first is my senses have to perceive that the lion’s there. I either hear it, see it, smell it. Hopefully, it doesn’t touch me and get that close but my senses have to perceive what’s happening.
Then that information goes to a part of my brain. I’m going to simplify this: it goes to a part of my brain called the amygdala. The amygdala then makes a decision. Before my conscious brain even recognizes that there’s a lion in the room the amygdala makes a decision. Based on my values, belief system and past experiences, in this case it would signal a signal of stress, right?
Immediately what happens is a signal goes from my midbrain, my reptilian brain, all the way down my spinal cord and to every single organ. Every single organ shuts off its function because the blood that was going to those organs now has to go to the arms and legs so that I can prepare for fight or flight, which means I need to run or I need to fight this lion. I can’t be digesting my lunch or my breakfast or my dinner if I’ve got to fight off this lion. Where we send flow is where we send function. That’s a good soundbite for you. Where we send flow is-
Casey: It’s been in my notes for the last couple of years.
Sachin: Yeah. Where we send flow is where we send function. If I want to send function to my arms and legs so I can run away or fight, then I need to send blood flow there. If I want to heal my digestive organs or digest the meal that I’m having, then guess what? I need to be sending blood there. Many, many people eat under stress. We live in the first time in human history where people complain about eating healthy, right? Go figure. How do you complain about eating healthy? It should be a blessing. There should be gratitude associated with that.
We have a principle when it comes to digestion that’s really simple. This could be something practical that people can apply. I promise you that within two to three days, you’re going to start feeling a radical difference in your digestion if you do these five things.
The first one is choose. You’ve got to choose foods that are appropriate for who you want to become, not who you are. Most people eat for who they are, not for who they want to become. Remember that the food that you eat today is going to become you tomorrow. It’s going to become your thoughts. It’s going to become your joint tissue. It’s going to become the cells that make up your body. There’s so much information in food. Eat the healthiest food that you can afford that considers who you want to become.
The next thing you have to do when it comes to choosing is you have to choose how you feel about that food. Do you feel grateful that you’re having that amazing meal? Or do you feel like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe I have to eat this salad. I hate this”? The attitude that we have towards our food also makes a difference. Being neutral is not the same as being grateful. Mindlessly eating is not the same as mindfully eating. Choose the right foods. Choose how you feel about it.
The next thing is you have to chew your food. Just like a carwash, every step in the carwash is required and every step requires that the previous step is done. Remember that you have to chew your food because your stomach doesn’t have teeth. Our mouth is required to chew our food. Our teeth break up that food for us and break up the cell walls in our plant foods and things like that. The enzymes that we produce in our saliva help start that digestive process.
Tasting our food is really important because the taste and flavor of our food is deterministic in telling our body what enzymes it needs to produce to digest the fats, the proteins and the carbohydrates. Looking at your food is also important because it signals to your brain what phytonutrients are present in that meal. This is why artificial flavors and colors can create a huge problem for people because the brain is not used to that. It hasn’t evolved to eat foods that are artificially flavored or artificially colored because it uses that information in order to make decisions as it’s producing the enzymes and digestive juices that are required to digest that meal.
For example, if you taste something sweet, if you’re using an artificial sweetener, whether it’s Stevia or whether it’s aspartame or sucralose or whatever people use, the taste of sweet signals to your brain that something sweet is coming. Your digestive organs are preparing for carbohydrates to be entering into the system. When they don’t, it creates challenges because it’s producing enzymes to lower or to break down carbohydrates. When the carbohydrates aren’t present, there is going to be a dysfunction there.
So, choose your food, choose how you feel about it, chew your food. Then the third one is chill. You’ve got to be in a relaxed state. Remember, if I want to increase digestive function, I’ve got to be sending blood to my digestive organs. Most people eat under stress. They view stress as a chore. Especially entrepreneurs, right? We’re in the flow state and you’re like, “Oh my God, I’ve got to eat something,” and then it kind of throws our game off. We’ve got to make sure we’re in a relaxed state not just while you’re eating. Remember that the digestive process is continuing several hours after you’re done eating. You don’t just have to send blood to your digestive system while you’re eating, but it’s after you’re done that that process is going to continue to take place. You can’t eat in a calm state and then run back into a stressful environment. This is one of the reasons they tell us not to exercise right after we eat because you’re going to be competing for where you’re sending blood flow.
Chill. Get in a relaxed state. You could do some deep breathing. You can be more mindful while you’re eating and then keep in mind that while that food’s in your stomach and while you’re digesting it, you want to stay as stress-free as possible.
The next is to cherish. Having gratitude for your meal is vitally important. I like to do a visual exercise of just kind of imagining who planted the seeds to grow my food, who nurtured that food, who harvested it for me, who packaged it for me, who drove it to the store for me and then shelved it for me. All those things I’m kind of going through that visualization. There’s about 12 steps for food to get onto our table. Even the preparation, who prepared it for me and having gratitude for that person goes a long way.
There’s an energy that’s stored in food that goes beyond the ingredients. We’ve been conditioned to think of food in this kind of one-dimensional way. It’s like calories and nutrients, right? There’s energy and food and there’s actually fractal information in food, which maybe we’ll talk about it in a little bit.
The last thing is to check. Checking means just taking a quick glance at your bowel movement every day. Then at least annually testing your stool because there’s billions and billions of bacteria in your bowel movement. The ratio of these bacteria and the type of bacteria and parasites and pathogens that are present can be indicative of some deeper-brewing issues. Most health challenges actually start in the digestive system.
All of this is overlooked. People are eating organic, they’re eating healthy, they’re doing all these things but they may be eating under stress. They may not be chewing their food. They might have the wrong attitude towards their food. They’re not having gratitude and they’re not doing this annual checkup. I know you and I, we travel quite a bit and we’re eating out in restaurants or we might go to foreign countries and we can pick things up. We might not realize it but we might even pick up pathogens and parasites and things like that.
It kind of reminds me of a story of when I went to Costa Rica a few years ago. I was teaching a class there for 10 days and my son and my wife came with me. We felt fine. We were eating foods that were organically grown in the cloud forest. It was like pretty cool. It was very nostalgic when you think about it. The people that were preparing our food, they were kind of keeping it real and not washing the food because they wanted us to get all the healthy bacteria from the soil, because there’s benefits in that as well. Turns out that many of us actually picked up worms while we were there. We picked up parasites while we were there.
I didn’t really have any symptoms, my wife didn’t have any symptoms but a few months later, my son started burping. Sometimes symptoms don’t show up right away. He started burping and we just thought he was being a boy. He was like six at the time. We were just trying to get him to stop. We found it annoying and kind of disgusting, but it wasn’t him being a boy. It was actually him having a pathogen. Part of our annual testing— we get tested every year— and it turned out that he had parasites or worms, and so did I. We did a cleanse. Our whole family did a cleanse and lo and behold, the problem went away. Had we not checked, we would have never known. My wife and I had no symptoms. Sometimes when you’re pretty healthy, when you have robust health, you could have imbalances that are going on below the surface that don’t create symptoms until 3, 4, 5, maybe even 10 years down the road. That could be the antecedent that created the challenge in the first place.
It’s kind of like the crack in the foundation, right? It’s not really a problem until it rains, right? The crack is irrelevant until there’s a downpour and then there’s stress on that system and then the problem exposes itself. Many people who are dealing with chronic health challenges, the symptoms may have started now but the problem may have started many years prior to that. That’s why we recommend prophylactic testing just to be sure that people are on the safe side and that there isn’t something brewing below the surface. Whether you’re symptomatic or not, we recommend at least annual stool testing for people. All that to say that there’s so much that we can learn by just applying those five principles. It’s choose, chew, chill, cherish and check.
Casey: I’m really glad you reminded me of that. I revisit this on a regular basis, but I haven’t checked my notes since the last time we got together. This morning I did choose. On the way in, I thought, “I want to go to McDonald’s. I haven’t been to a fast food restaurant in quite a while. This morning I don’t really feel like making breakfast. I’m just going to go grab something quick.” As I started to pull into Wendy’s instead of McDonald’s, I decided, “Sachin wouldn’t like this.” I ended up going on over and getting a smoothie instead. I took the healthier route because I remembered that what you eat becomes you. It’s going to affect your energy, not just your health but how you’re going to interact today. I wanted to be on my A game working with somebody like you.
Then number two, chew, I always go back to chew like your life depends on it. Especially when we’re eating greens, you talked about breaking down those components of the greens and making sure you get the real nutritional benefits of that. Then number three, you said chill. I always revisit your saying, “We’re human beings, not human doings.” That is something I struggle with. As I’m eating I want to be doing something. I want to be working. I want to be checking my phone. I don’t want to be cherishing, which was your number four. I think that’s where I fail quite often. That’s the one that has passed me by. That one’s so important just to express some gratitude for the food that you’re receiving.
Number five, check. We like to do this with the kids. You said this is a really great thing for you to do with the kids. It can actually be a little fun. Now they like to turn around and look at their poop. They want to find out if there’s anything in there. I say, “We have to chew like our life depends on it. I want to make sure there’s nothing in your stool, and if there is then we’re going to talk more about it.”
Those are all really helpful things, I think, that have made a positive impact in our family’s life. We talk about them on a regular basis but we need to continue to revisit these things. As John Groman says, “It’s not always about learning something new. It’s about remembering something true.” When we talk about functional medicine, it sounds to me, in the way I think about functional medicine, and tell me if I’m wrong, it seems like education. Functional medicine is education. It’s not something that’s used necessarily in a vacuum. It’s used alongside other medical practitioners. Is that a good assessment of functional medicine? Would you describe it in a better way?
Sachin: Yeah. No, exactly. I think functional medicine as a whole kind of takes the best of all different forms of healthcare. It takes the best of naturopathic, it takes the best of chiropractic, it takes the best of allopathic medicine and creates a personalized solution. Many people, when they go see the doctor, they get a diagnosis.
We know statistically, depending on whose research you read, the diagnosis is wrong anywhere from 20%-40% of the time. If the diagnosis is wrong then all the algorithms that follow that are going to be wrong as well. We try to operate outside of a diagnostic model and more operate in a functional model.
A really simple example for people is think of your functional medicine practitioner like a tuner and a driving instructor, and think of your traditional medical doctor… This isn’t to put anyone down. I’m not saying one’s better than the other. You need both, right? Think of your medical doctor like a mechanic, right? They’re going to fix something when it’s broken. If you took your brand new Porsche to a mechanic, there’s nothing they can do for you. If you took that same car to a tuner, they could add another 100 extra horsepower for you. If you took it to the track and had somebody train you on how to drive it, you could push that car safely to the limit because you understand how it works and you understand how to get the most out of it.
I like to think of us as driving instructors and tuners for people because no matter where they are in their journey, we can add performance. We can add an edge to whatever they have. We can work with people like yourself who are already healthy and help them further optimize. We have a healthcare system which promotes a minimum baseline level of health, but nobody’s really focusing on what’s the maximum potential of an individual when it comes to health, when it comes to human optimization. I know there’s a movement that’s taking place right now, but that’s separate from the allopathic mechanistic aspects of healthcare.
Another simple differentiator for people to recognize the difference between one versus the other is the medical system is focused on hardware. It’s focused on the things that we can measure. It’s focused on things that we can see. This is why people can feel like crap, go to their doctor and the doctor can tell them everything’s perfectly normal. This can go on for years. People come to us after seeing many specialists, many doctors year after year, having scans, having MRIs, having bloodwork done, having ultrasounds done and being told that everything’s normal and essentially feeling dismissed. That’s not the doctor’s fault. The doctor’s limited to only understanding what they can see.
If you were to buy a used car or even a house, whatever the case may be, you would probably want to walk through that house. You’d probably want to flush the toilets, right? Turn on the taps, turn on the shower, make sure things are functional. You can’t see function in an image. If I take an image of somebody, I can’t see function. I can’t tell how well that system is working unless I use functional testing.
An example could be the difference between a colonoscopy and a functional stool test. A colonoscopy is going to tell me if there’s massive amounts of inflammation, if there’s polyps, if there’s a tumor there, but it’s not going to tell me anything about the function. It’s not going to tell me, “Is this system working the way it’s supposed to?” A stool test, on the other hand, is going to tell me about the enzyme function. It’s going to tell me about the bacteria that resides there. It’s going to tell me about the inflammatory processes that are occurring. It’s going to tell me anything that’s disrupting the homeostasis of that system, and then I can start working on it.
A lot of times we love when people come to us and they’re told everything is normal because we’ve ruled out the big stuff. We’ve ruled out the cancers. We’ve ruled out the major diagnoses that certainly the medical system can potentially have great resources for. Where we compliment that is, “Let’s give you an action plan. Let’s give you a strategy so that you can start feeling better.”
Many times people don’t necessarily realize this, but they can feel better very, very quickly. A simple question I ask of everyone is how many days into your vacation does it take you to feel amazing? Most people are like, “Oh in two or three days I feel awesome.” I’m like, “Okay, so we’ve proven to you that there’s nothing wrong with your body, right? Maybe it’s your environment. Maybe it’s your relationships. Maybe it’s your job. Maybe it’s your house.” Some people have mold in their homes that creates a lot of illness for them. “Maybe it’s your life is so rushed and you’ve got to be somewhere else. Everywhere you are, you’ve got to be somewhere else, so you’re always mentally somewhere else although physically you’re here.” People are never really present, but when they’re on vacation why they wake up is different. What they’re going to do that day they’re different. How much time they’re going to spend outside is different. They’re usually not rushing their meals or having amazing, relaxing conversations and their phone isn’t there with them. Their laptop’s not at the table with them. We’re changing their behaviors and instantaneously the body responds.
One of my pet peeves is when somebody says, “I’m fighting cancer,” or “I’m fighting diabetes,” or “I’m fighting…” name the disease. Well, there is no fight. Your body’s never fighting you. Your body is the only thing that you have that’s working for you. Everything else is working against you. Time is working against you sometimes. Our environments can be working against us. Our jobs can be working against us. The demands that we have can be working against us. Your body is the only thing working for you. All 70 trillion of your cells are working for you.
If we can learn how to tap into that by becoming more present and more aware and being stewards of the tone of our nervous system, which we’ll talk about that too, then we can actually create transformative health, no matter where we are. We just have to have that consciousness and that awareness. That excites people because when they realize, “Yeah, you know what, I can feel better pretty quickly,” it motivates them and inspires them. Sometimes people feel like their health is so bad and it’s so far gone that it’s going to take them years or a long time to feel better again, so they never make that investment in themselves.
We know, from our own past experiences, and those of you that are listening to this, that you can feel better really, really quickly. You can feel better after a conversation, can’t you? If you have the right conversation, you’re laughing, you’re giggling. You can watch a comedy show or go watch a movie. Get outside in nature. You can feel better really, really quickly. The reason that happens is because we’ve taken the noise out of our nervous system. We’ve switched from going into being sympathetic dominant to being parasympathetic dominant.
If you study animals in nature, like if you ever go to the zoo… I’m going to the zoo on Saturday with my family and it’s going to be a drive-through zoo, which will be kind of interesting. When you watch the animals, what are they doing? They’re just lying around doing nothing. If you watch a lion, who’s the king of the jungle or the Sahara or whatever, it’s sitting around most of the day. It’s not out fighting and in a stressed-out state and trying to be somewhere else all the time. It’s present. It’s in the moment. Guess what? So is its nervous system. We are designed to be more parasympathetic dominant and balanced versus being sympathetic dominant.
A fun fact: This is kind of a good visual because a lot of people will come to us where they’ve seen other people after doing a detox or working on their digestive challenges. Interesting fact is that when you’re in a state of rest and digest and repair, 50% of your blood goes to your liver and kidneys. When you’re in fight or flight, 5% of your blood goes to your liver and kidneys. If I want to heal somebody, I don’t give them magic pills. I teach them magic skills. I teach them skills to change the tone of their nervous system so that they can start sending blood to those organs. If you’re not sending blood to the organ, good luck trying to heal it. It’s impossible because you’re not sending nutrients to it. It’s almost like watering my front yard and expecting the backyard grass to grow. It’s just not going to happen.
The tone of our nervous system plays such a huge role. The bridge between the sympathetic and parasympathetic side is the mind— our beliefs, values and experiences— and the breath. If we can use our brain and our breath, we can change the tone from fight or flight to making it more parasympathetic dominant.
Casey: You spend a good portion of your time talking about the mind quite often. Maybe it’s just the things that have stuck with me, but it’s mostly about mind and then also nutrition or food and how we eat seems to be a good chunk of the conversation. I don’t think I’ve heard you speak a whole lot on fitness and working out. Sometimes one of the things that I often think about being into bodybuilding previously, that we used to joke bodybuilders are beautiful on the outside- they’re dying on the inside.
Some believe that— and I used to feel this way— as long as I’m working out, I can do whatever I want to do. I can eat whatever I want to eat. Is it fitness over nutrition? Nutrition over fitness is what it sounds like.
Sachin: Above all, it’s mind. The mind is at the top. The mind is what chooses what to eat. I believe that what we eat is an unconscious display of our self-worth. That’s hard for people to grasp, but it’s self-worth at the end of the day.
Casey: Or a painful reality.
Sachin: Yeah. What we eat is a reflection of how much we value ourselves and how much we value our health and what we believe to be true. If I believe to be true that this is a poison to my body then I have to be a self-sabotager in order to consume that food. I’m glad that, just going back to your story, that just the idea of being on this call inspired you to make better choices. That’s holding yourself accountable and knowing that, “Hey, I’ve got to show up in this interview with full integrity. I can’t show up and talk about diet, and nutrition, and wellness, and health, and fitness if I had Wendy’s for breakfast.” It’s really that self-worth piece that’s vital and critical.
I would say that fitness… Everything matters. As Jim Rohn says, everything matters. I don’t know if you can always… It’s hard to say everything matters these days with everything that’s going on. One of my quotes from Jim Rohn, my favorite one is that everything matters. People who are exercising, breaking down their bodies, guess what? They’re going to have greater requirements to build their bodies back up.
I always think of it like renovating my kitchen. Any time you work out, think of it like tearing out your kitchen and then replacing it with new cabinets and countertops and faucets and all those things. That’s what your body has to do. The trauma that’s caused from exercising is then going to cause your body to repair and regenerate that tissue. If I’m replacing my kitchen and renovating my kitchen, I’m going to use better parts. I’m going to have nicer cabinets, a nicer countertop, nicer faucets, nicer finishings. The raw materials that I’m going to use are going to be nicer.
We always want to pair the two together. The more I’m exercising, the more it’s required for me to eat healthy, not less. This whole paradigm of calories in calories out is two-dimensional, maybe even three-dimensional, but food is five-dimensional. Food isn’t just calories. I think that we’re purposely hiding that information from people. I don’t know what the right answer is or when that change is going to occur, except us kind of realizing it. Food is fractal information for our body. This a bit advanced of a topic but I think it’s very relevant.
The mathematics that we learn in school is what we call Euclidean mathematics. It’s great for drawing a sphere, and it’s great for drawing a cone, and understanding the volume of things, and creating perfect circles and squares. Here’s the thing: there is nothing smooth in nature. Nothing. There are no straight lines in nature. No perfect squares in nature. No perfect circles in nature. There’s roughness in nature.
That roughness stores information. Everything that you see around you, from the smallest cells in your body all the way up to the universe, is built using what we call fractal mathematics. Now, for those of you that are really interested in going down this rabbit hole, I definitely encourage you to research it. Nature essentially has a branching architecture. If you look at a tree, a tree starts off as a trunk and then it branches. It splits into two and then again, and it keeps splitting and splitting and splitting.
Well, that’s how your body works too, if you look at the inside of your lungs. If I look at your lungs in an x-ray, we’re going to see that branching architecture. If I look at your brain, it has branching architecture. If I look at mycelium, which is the roots of mushrooms, that has branching architecture. Everything in the world, in the cosmos has a branching architecture. Once we recognize that we understand there’s dimensionality and information in the food that we eat.
Now, processed foods don’t have that same information because it’s partial information. Take a tree. If I take a tree and I grind it down, that information is gone. That branching information is gone. If I extract just one aspect of it, that information is gone. It’s important for us to recognize that, that nature has this branching architecture and that architecture has information in it.
We are fractals as well. If you look at us, we branch. Our hands branch into five. We’re actually five-dimensional beings, believe it or not. Our toes at the end of our foot, it branches into five toes. We are branching architectures as well. This is why nature, this is why whole foods can be so powerful at healing our body because of the information stored, the mathematics and information and software stored in that food.
The way food is viewed right now is it’s viewed as hardware, so calories, nutrients. Those are the components. That’s like looking at the hardware of my computer. The thing that makes computers amazing is the software. Steve jobs was famous for saying this, “I can make a computer, and the hardware is only going to be just a few percentage points faster or slower than the latest architecture that’s out there. The software I can make a thousand times better because… and that’s what’s going to control the actual hardware itself.”
In our body, the software not only controls the hardware but it creates the hardware as well. The information that’s coming from our nervous system is telling our body what tissues to create, what STEM cells to differentiate into. It’s telling our cells when to die and when to replace themselves. It’s also controlling the function of those cells as well. It’s controlling the hardware and also creating the hardware at the same time.
Now, interesting fun fact: about six months from now, 90% of your cells will have replaced themselves. In fact, by the end of this week, your entire digestive lining, which is 3,000 square feet, will have replaced itself. You’re getting a new body. Every year you’re getting virtually a new body. “Why do people stay sick?” is a question that comes up. My rebuttal to that is does buying you a brand-new car make you a better driver? The answer is no. It doesn’t make you a better driver.
We have to teach people how to drive. We have to teach them how to take care of themselves. If we can send the cells the right signal through unbalanced nervous system, only then will healing, repair, and regeneration take place. You can spend thousands of dollars seeing all kinds of experts, taking all kinds of pills, but if you don’t learn the skills to tonify your nervous system and get it into the right state for healing to take place, you’re never going to get better.
Casey: It sounds like there’s this hierarchy, I hear, of mindset, nutrition, fitness. All valuable, but it starts with mindset. If we lead with mindset, I wonder what are your thoughts are on retirement and the impact on your mindset and ultimately the impact on the body.
Sachin: Yeah. That’s an interesting question because I think retirement is… See, the way I look at retirement from my perspective is I never want to retire. I’ve found something I love doing and it’s something that I can do literally for the rest of my life. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be financially independent. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to have the capabilities of not working for financial reasons, should that be the case.
I think that many of us, once we find our purpose, once we find areas where we can add value into our own lives and, more importantly, into the lives of other people then… I dread retirement in the traditional sense. I dread not being able to do this. I dread the day where I wake up and I don’t want to do this anymore or I can’t add value to people’s lives. You probably know the statistics better than I do, but I know that many people shortly after they’re retired, their purpose is gone. They usually pass away within a few years because they lack that purpose. One thing, interesting fun fact as well is that people with pets usually live longer than people without pets because there’s a sense of dependency. There’s that codependency that people have with their pets. After their pets die or maybe even after their spouse passes away, shortly afterwards they pass away because they’ve lost that sense of purpose.
For those of you that are listening that want to retire, I think that definitely working with Casey, creating the financial independence is going to be very vital. I definitely would encourage you to create the independence of health because there’s nothing more valuable than your health. People say health is wealth. I say health is everything. If we have our health, we can make more money. If we have our health, we can add more value and add more impact into the world, and be of service to our community and be of service to the people that need us the most.
Casey: We talk about this concept of retiring with purpose. Chris Smith shared in a past podcast that retire with purpose doesn’t mean we’re going to retire then find purpose. We find purpose today and we retire with that. Along the same lines of nutrition or fitness for that matter, I think we have this concept that nutrition or fitness should change as we age. Maybe it should, but I also wonder if maybe it’s not that it should change as we age. We just didn’t start soon enough.
Sachin: Yeah. There’s definitely shifts that do take place in our body as we age, and that’s well-documented. I also know that if we take better care of ourselves, we can slow down that progression. Males, after the age of 25, we tend to lose lean muscle mass. If you’re sitting around all day, especially nowadays in front of a computer and you’re not creating the need for that muscle mass then, yeah, you’re going to lose it so much faster. Anything you do, whether it’s eating, whether it’s financial strategy, whether it’s exercise, everything you do should have a great sense of purpose to it.
Casey: Now, what are the biggest areas that we should be making shifts to when it comes to nutrition and fitness as we age?
Sachin: I think the biggest shifts would be eating less. All studies have shown that calorie restriction is extremely positively impactful in longevity. You can have rats live 20% longer simply by eating less food. I know that’s contradictory in the bodybuilding world because we’re trying to shove as much food into our bodies as possible. Restriction is super valuable and fasting, intermittent fasting, or a three to five day fast, or fasting-mimicking diets can be very powerful in the healing journey for people.
Casey: Now, I like to fast a couple of times a year. As we age, should we be fasting more often? What is fasting to you? I think some individuals get fasting wrong where they think that fasting is a juice cleanse. What is fasting and should we do more of it over time?
Sachin: There’s a variety of different fasts. A basic fast could be skipping your breakfast and having a narrowed feeding window, so a seven to eight hour feeding window where you’re eating only between the hours of, let’s say, 11:00 and 7:00. That’s one way of fasting. Another way of fasting is a water fast where all you drink is water, let’s say, for 24 hours up to 5 days. Then another type of fast could be a fasting-mimicking diet where you’re still eating some calories, but you’re eating restricted calories enough so that you can create stem cell production.
The true benefits of fasting actually come on days four and five. Most people never quite fast that long. On days four and five, your body is flooded with stem cells. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells which can basically turn into any tissue where your body requires them. Some people will extract stem cells from their bone and inject it into their joints because that’s where they need that healing. Fasting can actually create that. There’s a great book by Dr. Valter Longo called The Longevity Diet. I definitely encourage people to take a look at that if they’re interested in learning more about fasting.
Casey: Awesome. Sachin, I didn’t even get a fraction of the way through all the questions that I have for you. I think you’re just a wealth of information and I love to have these conversations. I hope we get the opportunity to do this again. I know you have a hard stop here, but do you have time for one more question?
Sachin: Sure. Let’s do it. I appreciate this and we’ll definitely have to do a part two.
Casey: What is the strangest thing that you do for your health?
Sachin: I think it depends. When I say strange, it might be strange to some people, but for me it’s obviously super powerful. The thing that I do is an incantation every day. It’s usually playing in the background constantly. It’s called a Hanuman Chalisa. The Hanuman Chalisa is the story of hanuman, which is the monkey god. You’ve probably seen him if you’ve ever been to a Hindu temple. Hanuman is the representation of man. He’s the incarnation of man. He represents the perfect human, so to speak. The Hanuman Chalisa is 40 verses telling about his beauty, his character, his generosity, his strength, his power. The words are actually incantations. The vibration created from simply singing along or even listening to this imbues those properties into you. It’s really powerful. The first time most people listen to it, they start crying. It breaks down all these things that they’ve been holding on and gives them that ability to release and feel true love.
If you study the hanuman chalisa in English, if you study the translation of it, you’ll see that virtually all personal development comes from this. All the scriptures that are written is everything you learn in the personal development world, and this was written hundreds of years ago.
Casey: That’s awesome. I’m going to put that in the show notes, for sure, just for my own information. That might become a new part of my routine. If there’s others out there, I know that there are so many listening that are just like me, that eat up this kind of information. If they want to follow you, if they want to learn more about you, learn more from you, how do they do that?
Sachin: The best thing for people to do is go to a program that I created called 30 Ways in 30 Days. If they go to www.30in30.org. It’s 30 of my best tips. It’s the 30 things I want everyone to start doing on a daily basis. It covers the very foundational things you can do for your health and it goes into more advanced topics as well. That’s a great place for people to start. If you were going to come see me, let’s say, as a client, these are the 30 things I’d tell you to do first because then we have an amazing baseline to start working with.
Casey: Awesome. We’re going to put that in the show notes as well. Sachin, thank you so much for this. It’s always a pleasure and I do look forward to doing it again.
Sachin: Thanks, my man. The time just flew, by so that means we’re having fun. I love it.
Casey: Take care.
Sachin: Bye for now.
END OF INTERVIEW