#135 My awesome guest this week is Jeffrey Rediger with an eye-opening conversation around the concept of healing. Jeffrey is a medical director for the McLean south east, adult psychiatric programs and a leader in ground-breaking neuroscience research. He is also an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has a Master of Divinity degree from the Princeton Theological Seminary, and is a licensed physician as well as a Board-Certified psychiatrist. In this motivational episode, we talk about Jeffrey’s new book, Cured: the Life Changing Science of Spontaneous Healing and his professional opinion on how we as humans can heal.
I found this conversation incredibly interesting because Jeffrey really interweaves science and divinity and teaches us how we can utilize that in our everyday lives. We hear about everything from nutrition to healing our identities and beliefs and how it all ties together to make us as humans the healthiest that we can be. He then leaves us with the uplifting fact that we all matter. I was really influenced by the emotion and positivity in this episode and I hope you enjoy it as well.
If you enjoyed this podcast, you may also like: 5 Life Lessons From The Happiest & Healthiest People On The Planet | Dave O’Brien
About Jeffrey: Jeffrey Rediger, MD, MDiv, is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, the Medical Director of McLean SE Adult Psychiatry and Community Affairs at McLean Hospital, and the Chief of Behavioral Medicine at Good Samaritan Medical Center. A licensed physician and board-certified psychiatrist, he also has a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.
His research with remarkable individuals who have recovered from illnesses considered incurable has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Oz Shows, among others. He has been nominated for the National Bravewell Leadership Award, and has received numerous awards related to leadership and patient care.
Key points with time stamp:
- Jeffrey’s work in his own words (5:58)
- Why is there a division within medicine? (7:24)
- What attracted Jeffrey to spontaneous healing? (9:33)
- Why are medical anomalies so often dismissed and the Jill Bolte Taylor Case (17:57)
- Jeffrey’s definition of spontaneous remission (20:30)
- Common denominators triggering healing in patients: Nutrition (22:12)
- Are our diets actually healthy? (25:41)
- Common denominators which triggered healing in patients: Stress (29:36)
- Common denominators triggering healing in patients: Healing the Immune System (31:40)
- How much can our lifestyle effect the possibility of disease? (36:11)
- Common denominators triggering healing in patients: Healing your identity and beliefs (39:03)
- Can prayer and faith contribute to our well-being? (44:54)
- How was the reception of Jeffery’s book? (48:50)
- A low point in Jeffrey’s life that became a blessing (49:48)
- What is Jeffrey’s morning routine? (51:49)
- Who would Jeffrey’s choice of a dinner guest be, dead or alive? (53:24)
- What was the biggest lesson Jeffrey has learned from writing his book? (54:01)
- Jeffrey’s hope for his book (55:32)
- What Jeffrey leaves us with (56:22)
Mentioned in this episode:
- Cured: The Life Changing Science of Spontaneous Healing (2020), Jeffrey’s new book
- Jill Bolte Taylor
- My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey (2006), Jill Bolte Taylor’s book
- Louis Pasteur
- Germ Theory
- Claude Bernard
- Paul Tillich
- Woody Allen
- The Heartmath Institute
- Jesus Christ
- Martin Luther King
Jeffrey’s Website: www.drjeffreyrediger.com
Hello, awesome people. How are you? This is guy Of course. And thank you for tuning in to my show, my podcast. And, of course, I have conversations that go well beyond conventional house wealth and wisdom to inspire change in our lives. Please forgive me. It’s a Sunday morning when I’m recording this intro. So, I’m feeling a little bit more relaxed, slow, taking some time out, while kind of if you can call this timeout, but anyway, I love it. What can I say? And I’m very happy you’ve decided to join me today cuz you’re in for another awesome episode.
Today on the show, I’ve got Jeffrey Rediger. And, boy, what can I say about this man…he’s I just loved him. We connected we had a brilliant, brilliant conversation and he’s just the real deal. Just an awesome human being reached out to him, he released a book called Cured recently, :The Life Changing Science of Spontaneous Healing. Now, with a title like that you’re gonna be, you know, grabbed and what’s this all about? Now, just to put things into perspective, I’m going to read out his bio for a minute moment. He’s an MD, he’s a medical director for the McLean south east, adult psychiatric programs, one of the country’s top psychiatric Institute’s and a leader in ground-breaking neuroscience research. He is an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has a Master of Divinity degree from the Princeton Theological Seminary, and is a licensed physician as well as a Board Certified psychiatrist. he publishes in the field of medicine, psychiatry, and spirituality. His work has been featured on The Oprah and dr. oz show among others. In other words, he clearly knows his stuff. But like I said, what was amazing about Jeffrey is just an awesome human being to boot as well. And you know if you’ve been following my journey or all of or you might be even new to me but we you know, way back in like 2007 2008 I was working with cancer patients and doing their weight training programs for them to help part of the rehabilitation but it’s all a bit taboo back then. And what was fascinating for me was that by looking at the forms of food, nutrition, lifestyle and a lot of the principles Jeffrey is talking about in this book I was seeing quite amazing results and the very different the established medical system at the time if you like, and in my life that was the first time I had fundamental beliefs changed within myself that I didn’t even know that were there. I just assumed them to be true. And that whole sort of time in my life really opened my eyes to a lot things and hence why I’m so passionate about this work today. And, and of course, there are so many fundamental things and I just, I just encourage you all to sort of just continue to explore those unconscious beliefs that are driving our behaviors, because there are so many, so many things that we can open up to and explore. And I guess if you’re listening to this podcast, I’m sure you’re exploring those, anyway. I mean, a lot of what we do myself and the work I do today is how people explore that overcome it. But normally, they have deeper connections with themselves and the things that we talked about here, including source. So anyway, that’s what you’re in for today. It’s a Ripper. And I just want to thank for the guys that are you know, getting behind me tagging me on Instagram sharing my podcast passing along to other people leaving me reviews on iTunes and it’s a beautiful thing. I really appreciate it. And of course, if you know somebody that is struggling with their health in some way podcasts are a great place to share them like an episode like that you’re here with Jeffrey today would be a great place for somebody to start to share these with a friend. Put them on the map for someone you just never know it could really inspire change in someone else’s life. I just want to read a review out all the way from the UK. And it’s by I don’t even know Is this a name or a word is enormous. Act normal. I don’t even know if I said that right? Or somebody just picked the alphabet. But it says out there in a brilliantly enlightened way five stars have been a longtime listener. The guy’s podcasts from his previous podcast. That was yeah, that was a while back now, guy has stepped in, stepped it up to Marshall amp 11 for the quality of this podcast. Listening here will challenge your perception of reality in a scientific backed way. I always enjoy the learning experience with each and every episode. Not a bad one yet. Keep going Guy you’re making a difference. Thank you, mate. I appreciate it. And yes, things like this definitely helped me. keep me going. And all right.
What else is there to add? I don’t know we got lots going on. always come check us out sign up to the newsletter, you don’t want to miss anything guylawrence.com.au or liveinflow.co as we push on moving forward. We’ll be opening a couple of spots up for the group coaching in a few weeks time. So, if you want to consider joining us, and going deep with this work, just drop us an email and say you heard it on the podcast and we can send you the appropriate information. Anyway, hope to meet you in person one day soon. Much love for me. Enjoy this conversation with Jeffrey.
Jeffrey, welcome to the podcast.
I ask everyone on the show. If you are on an airplane right now and you sat next to a complete stranger and ask you what you did for a living. What would you say?
I would say that I’m a physician and I do research that studies people who have recovered from incurable illnesses. And it’s my passion to help people realize that there are keys for creating well being and health that we typically don’t study in medicine.
And then what would the reaction normally be from something like that? Especially the people with an illness?
People often very interested, you know, and I, the way I talk about it is I’d really talk about well being and that it’s not just about recovering from an incurable illness. These people are really the superheroes of well being and they’ve really figured something out. And it wasn’t the doctors medications that got them better.
Wow. I’d have to ask you as well, is this some…The first thing I would think in my mind, is this just some random cases that are sporadically appearing? Or is it a consistency of this coming up over and over and over?
Well, I’ve been doing this research now for 18 years, and initially it was all very confusing to me as a long personal amputee. professional journey. But over the years as I listened to person after person tell me their story, these people who had clear medical evidence indisputable medical evidence for recovery from their illnesses. I began to see these patterns. And I realized, wow, there’s some real factors associated with this across a lot of different very different illnesses and the fact that we don’t study this. That’s nuts.
It’s mind boggling, isn’t it? Because I, you know, I discovered a tangent here, but I often think why aren’t we harmoniously, sort of looking at what well being actually is from…because there’s almost like a division, you’ve got your medical establishment review, and then things that are deemed alternative, which is such a bad word, I think personally, because they did two incredible principles there. It’s almost like divide and conquer. If there’s a division, we’re not actually looking how we can support each other and come up with what’s best.
Well, the way medical science developed I think we have to understand the history. Early scientists took illness from the church several hundred years ago and said you cannot blame a person for their illness or say that they’re, they’ve done something immoral, and that that’s why they’re ill. And so that was a step forward in some ways, because judgment is such a big deal in terms of what prevents people from getting better. But it’s so what these early scientists did, they took illness and they began to create a taxonomy or a classification system for disease, they began to look at these signs and symptoms and how to distinguish them from the signs and symptoms of another disease. And so the focus was really to create a taxonomy and classification system of disease. So that’s what this era has been. And we’re at the end of the era of disease. I believe. We’ve really diagnosed a lot of illnesses. We know how to diagnose we know how to recognize signs and symptoms. That’s a very different set of questions than asking how people heal. And so what I’ve learned along the way is that as a physician, I was trained to make a diagnosis and to start a medication, but we don’t even ask how people heal. We don’t study how people heal for the most part. And that’s slowly beginning to change. I think we are the very early stages kind of ankle deep into a massive paradigm change, where we actually study how people heal, and where you can actually build a career on studying well being instead of losing your career for asking those kinds of questions.
Yeah, absolutely. And they need to be asked, Well, what, what drew you into this whole avenue, then I’m looking at this and looking, you know, at spontaneous healing, because I probably understand that, you know, as physicians, we have to look at the healing start to question it from their own terms, but you’ve taken it a step further.
Well, I think this was a very personal journey. For me. I come from an Amish background came from a very different culture. So I was going to a public school during the day. My parents left the Amish community formally when I was two, but they didn’t leave it in release so much. And so I grew up without TV, for the most part without access to radio, without store-bought clothes, much of the time is a really different world. A lot of homemade foods that were, in retrospect, a lot healthier for me, grew up on a farm. But it’s a very different world. And I couldn’t, I didn’t really have the opportunities to socialize with the kids at school. And so the disparity between my life at school where I was studying science and math, and that sort of thing was really different from the world. I grew up at home where the Bible was really considered the only thing that’s worthy of study, and that you should be studying. And so I grew up as a confused kid as kind of rebellious. So I left all that and I went to college when I was 17 or 18. And that began a lot period of questioning and I had some personal crises and I had a lot of growing to do. And the long the short of it is I went to seminary at Princeton to try to get answers to my questions. And I was only going to stay for a year. But I loved it. I had these great mentors. And one particular mentor was very important to me. And so I stayed, and I got a three year Master’s in divinity, and went really deep into theology and philosophy of science. And at the end of those three years, I was convinced that the relationship between theology and philosophy of science was really important. And I also become convinced that science is a magnificent gift to the world. And it’s also a paradigm with a lot of issues associated with it when you look at Newtonian science versus quantum physics and the ways in which our culture has not really come to grips with the implications of quantum physics yet and, and my mentor was writing books with physicists at that time as a theologian. And so I had a very great environment. So then I decided I really wanted to go out into the world completely and study science. So I went to medical school. And then from there went to residency in psychiatry. And that was just a really great experience for me. I was at Harvard Medical School for residency, but it was in a city hospital, a public City Hospital. So I was seeing lots of poor people and seeing a wide range of very different kinds of people and, and, you know, we had interpreters for 82 languages in the hospital it was very diverse. And it was just a really great opportunity for me to see the ways in which different cultures answer similar questions. And so all of these different cultures helped me kind of have this really great opportunity to, to come to grips with how different people and different cultures answer similar questions which we’re all asking very similar questions. And, and then after residency, the whole journey began around looking at how these people got better when they were told they’re going to die.
Amazing, amazing. It’s It’s when you’re in the almost like when you’re in the battlefield and you’re seeing it day after day, you can really start to your own understanding of what’s going on. Well, I think another [inaudible]
That’s right. And I think one of the things that really has been helpful to me and educational is that I’m a medical director at a psychiatric hospital at McLean hospital and during the day, and then in the evenings. I’m the Chief of Behavioral Medicine at a large urban Medical Center, Good Samaritan Medical Center where I am right now. And so I see the issues of mind and body and I see that there’s, they’re not near as separate as we think they are. And as specialists were taught to look at one or the other but we never step back and look at the whole picture and realize Wow for people to have a quality of life and to have well being, all these things matter, the physiology matters. Our nutrition matters. Our positive mindset matters how we feel about ourselves and the universe at a deep level in terms of our value and our purpose and the friendliness of the universe. All that stuff matters at a really deep level.
Totally. And where was the tipping point for you then with the spontaneous healing? Was there a particular case that just landed on your lap one day or where do you go? that blows your mind though?
So I was I had just finished residency and I had a new position as a young Harvard faculty member and medical director of McLean, and a nurse from Mass General. Cancer. an oncology nurse came to me and she said that she had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and she wanted my help explaining to her son, the nature of her diagnosis in to help tell him that she was going to die. Well, then she went to a Healing Center in Brazil, and begin writing me and calling me saying that she was getting better. And she thought I should look to it. And she said, I’m seeing amazing stories down here. And she said, You need to look into it with this a dual background that you have with your training. You’d be a good person to do this. I said, No, I was skeptical, but I didn’t think anything real was going on.
how long ago was this?
This was back in 2002.
Okay, 18 years ago,
Yeah. Right. So, so, so 18 years ago, so I was skeptical. I said, No. But she said, Okay, well, I’m going to have people I know start calling you with their stories. And, and that’s what she did. So these people started calling me and writing me and they said, Listen, I’ve got medical evidence for my recovery. Do you want to hear my story? And that kind of, eventually I did start paying attention to these files, they would send me because some them were confusing. It was hard to tell what really happened. They take in an experimental chemotherapy or something. And so it’s hard to tell what really happened. And it was some people they thought they’re better. But it turns out they weren’t. And they relapsed later. And so it’s a very confusing story initially, and, and so but then there’s a few of the packets that were sent to me that really, over time began to intrigue me because it didn’t make sense. And the evidence was there. And so that kind of became the paradigm for my study. I had three strict criteria. Number one, the person who had to have a genuinely incurable illness according to although we currently understand. Number two, they had to have medically indisputable evidence for accurate diagnosis and clear evidence for recovery. And number three, they had to have no competing or good explanation for how they got better according to all that we currently understand. I really adhered to those three criteria in the book here really adheres to those criteria. So it talks about really incurable illnesses most of the way through the book, because that’s the ones that I needed to have to bring my skepticism or to see if there anything was real here. And over time, listen to the stories, starting to realize that the factors of their recovery appear to be true across many different illnesses, and then becoming so inspired by the stories. You know, we study ultimate achievement in sports, and we study ultimate achievement in health, but we don’t study ultimate achievement, in, in, in health or in medicine. And I’m telling you, I think what we do is we study diseases, but that doesn’t really tell us how to heal a disease. We have to study how people heal, and so
why do you think that they getting pushed to the side as anomalies. And that’s just
“Oh,we can’t explain to let’s just leave it alone.”
Yeah, I think it’s so outside of our paradigm. And so anything we’re anytime that we’re all just human beings, right. And so when we’re exposed to something that’s outside of our paradigm, our normal way of thinking, what we do is we kind of put that in a little box in our pigeonhole that in our heads, and after time, we just kind of forget about it, or we might think about it when we’re having a cup of coffee late at night or something like that, but there’s no way to understand it, we think and so we call it spontaneous remission, and we consider it a fluke, with no medical or scientific failure. Well, it turns out there’s nothing spontaneous by spontaneous remission. It’s just that we never asked what these people were doing. You know, I had Jill Bolte Taylor is a famous neuroscientist who had a stroke when she was at McLean hospital. She was I think, 36 or 37 years old when her stroke occurred, but she had a significant stroke, took out a good chunk of her left brain. But it’s unusual to have a neuroscientist have a stroke and then live to write about it. She had a full recovery from a stroke. She gave a TED talk. That was the first TED talk that ever went viral has been seen millions of times. She has a book that’s been published. It’s something like 30 languages around the world or something. It’s been a perennial bestseller about her recovering from a stroke. She’s had Oprah working on doing a movie on her life. She’s been named by Time Magazine as one of the most important people of 2009. I think it was like the top 100 people to know of 2009. And when she and I spoke, she said, I’ve been waiting for you for 22 years. She said in 22 years, not a single doctor has ever asked me how I’d a full recovery for my stroke. And this is this is someone who’s known all over the world for her recovery from her stroke. And so it’s just astonishing. It’s just outside of our paradigm that we don’t realize that That these people have a lot to offer when you’re taught in medical school a spontaneous remission is a fluke, with no medical or scientific value, you just dismiss these things. And so every person I’ve talked to the good doctors they’ve had will say, Well, whatever you’re doing, keep doing it because it’s working. But they don’t get curious about it. And so in sometimes they get offended. And so it’s it’s a fascinating doorway to step through, because all of your assumptions have to change once you do that.
Wow. And how would you define? I’m just thinking now, how would you define spontaneous remission? Is it something that happens instantly or something that happens gradually over time?
Both? Yeah, it can. I think it’s the factors are very similar. In some factors in one case can be more important than other factors in another case, but the factors are similar. Although it can be that one factor will be really, really important in one case, but then it might be another factor. Another case, but the factors are still, it’s usually a six set of factors that these cases all go between. And in most of the cases, all four factors tend to be very important to some degree. But a quick case, I mean, when a person has an experience where they feel so loved and seen, and faith just balloons out of them, and they see themselves and the universe differently and more benevolently or compassionately, there are times that things can happen fairly quickly. Other times, it’s a long journey that involves nutrition and changing one’s beliefs and giving up one’s judgments about oneself and starting to treat yourself with compassion. And so there’s a there’s a number of factors, but it’s the factors appear to me. I mean, we need a lot more research about this, to be honest, for the factors do appear very similar to me. It’s just they’re weighted differently in different climates.
Yeah, for sure. Let’s start let’s dive into the four pillars. Because we spoke about the criteria of, for people that read your book. And then what were the common denominators that you were seeing that were actually triggering the healings?
So the way I’ve put this together at this point, and we’ll see, you know, as I do more research over the years, how this, how my understanding develops, but for now, I look at these four factors as these number one is nutrition. And by that that’s a complicated topic in itself, you know, because not one diet is fits all people. You know, it’s not it’s just not a simple we all have different ancestries. We come from different parts of the world. We have different microbiomes from those different ancestries. Some people come from the Middle East, some people come from Australia come, some people come from the United States, etc, or Africa, and so, so but there’s common elements underneath all of these dietary changes. tends to be about giving up processed foods, sugars, and refined flours. There’s a lot of great evidence, scientific data that shows that these these tend to be toxic for our health. And we can do this for a while, but at some point our body begins to wear down, and we begin to wear down our immune system because of these kinds of diets. Now 88% of people that I study went vegetarian, but not everybody did. There are people that go for more ketosis diet, and there’s a person in London for example, who, who really went with a ketosis type diet and gave up he ate vegetables, but he gave up all sugars and he was really high quality meat and, and really kept his body in a state of ketosis and he recovered from glioblastoma multi form which is the worst form of brain cancer and is thought to be universally fatal. And that really worked for him. Now, I think one concern I have when people take that diet is that we, they need to make sure they eat the high quality fats, you know, I mean, because because I do suspect that all of the antibiotics that tends to be in a lot of the meat that we can see being system and that’s the last thing you need when you’re ill you need something that strengthens immune system and not weakens the immune system. You need meat with without chemicals. You need meat from animals that are not stressed, they’re not flooded the stress hormones, if you’re trying to get your body into a less stressed state with less cortisol secretion, well then you should be eating animals that are not living in highly stressed cortisol secreting conditions.
That’s incredible principles. I’m nodding my head here just going Yep, yep, yep. You know, because we were speaking on earlier when I back in 2007-08, I was working with cancer patients as a fitness trainer and the charity organization that it set it up the number one, the first principle they were doing was removing sugar. Refined carbohydrates, processed foods. They were they were leaning into the ketogenic diet. But they were removing vegetable oils and inflammatory oils that had been processed. And the meat had to be farm to table. But it was still still a high portion of vegetables in the diet that were organic, like they’ve, but what really fascinated me and I don’t know if you’ve seen this with your studies, is that most people think they were eating healthy.
Yes. Everyone I talked to pretty much tells me they eat healthy. And I as a doctor, look at what’s on their tray, and it’s not. Now part of it is in a hospital. It’s hard to eat healthy, I’m sorry to say, but when I talk to them about what they eat, or when I see what they eat when they are not in that kind of environment. I mean, I thought I ate healthy. I always physician and I thought I eat healthy. And I was eating crap. And I just didn’t know it. I did not know anything about nutrition. And I’m sorry to say that a lot of us who are doctors, or nurses or nutritionist, we don’t know about nutrition because our training has been so limited. And it’s been so influenced by industry, and by the ways in which academics have participated in that industry relationship and by government. And so those three institutions have not given us solid, healthy education about nutrition. That’s slowly starting to change, I believe, but it’s it’s not what most of us are trained with.
Only and and the one thing I realized there were two things I realized when I was witnesses in this because I witnessed, honestly over a period of time, probably hundreds of people who had cancer that were not like having spontaneous healings, but we’re actually doing really well and yeah, process There was progress, which is really important.
There were two things that I noticed though was one was that when I spoke about it outside of this people saw that was going mad in the industry.
Yes, that’s right.
And the second thing was was that the pressure that they put on the individual person while they were trying to change the, the moment that went outside of this small support network, they’re like, the family and things that it was almost threatening the families like, Oh, you want to change the date where you were like, yes, the paradigm was in there.
That’s right. And food is love, right? Food is fellowship, food in his relationship. And so, so it’s got all these layers, symbolic meanings and connections. And so how to do that gracefully takes some some real thought and sometimes some counseling to figure out how to do that.
Totally. So So you mentioned nutrition, what would what was the next?
Yeah, and I should say to say one more Think about sugar, for example. Okay? Do you know that that cancer’s favorite food is sugar. And it’s such a big deal that when a doctor wants to look for cancer because he or she is concerned about it, they will radio label glucose, which is sugar and inject it into a person’s veins. So it travels around the body and then that will put the person into a brain scanner and look for if there’s any place in the body. This just sucking up sugar like crazy. And if it’s sucking up sugar like crazy, there’s a concern that that’s going to be cancer. And so that’s just, I mean, Pablo, in London, his, his whole thing was, man, if cancer loves sugar, then I’m going to starve it to death. I’m just going to get rid of the refined sugars and flours in my diet that are basically sugar. And that was a big part of his strategy.
Totally. And the other thing I want to add is that when I was witnessing this was the first thing I did removed refined sugars. And even though I didn’t have cancer, it’s like I’m, I’m seeing the devastation of what could be possible it was leaning that way and I think it and boy the huge impact on my, my energy, my well being my mental clarity
Me too. it takes some discipline because you’re kind of on a different path than most of the people around you. And so it really into still do that in a way that you can share love with those who care about it does take some every individual situation is unique and has to be considered in its own right for all the different pieces that need to be dealt with around that.
Yeah, absolutely. And I believe Another thing you looked at common denominator was stress, was it?
Yes. Yeah. So that’s, that’s another pillar. So the second pillar is stress. And you know, not all stress is bad. We all need challenge stress to help us grow and learn. running a marathon for example, can be challenged stress if it helps you reach into your higher self and extend And your understanding of what you’re capable of. But I tell people if you’re in a toxic relationship, or if you finish work every day depleted, run down and questioning your value and worth, then something needs to change because you’re going to be in chronic fight, flight or freeze. And that means your body is going to be secreting cortisol and bathing your immune system in stress hormones, and numbing your immune system and causing your immune system, all these brilliant cells in your immune system will be begin behaving sluggishly and incorrectly under the impact of constant stress hormone secretion. And so I’m a big believer that if a person is in that chronic fight, flight or freeze, then something needs to change. And every one of us whenever we’re in that kind of situation, we need to either change our environment or change our response to our environment. That’s a very individual situation where one has to really know oneself and decide where one has to draw the line and in what way?
Yeah, I actually learned the term on my podcast last year and it was called the allostatic. load. And yes, it talked about those stress loads, you know, if you’re in a neighborhood or your neighbors or your family not supporting you in a job you hate, you’re driving to work every day. You’re eating poor food, you’re sitting right and you’re moving. You know, they all stack up.
That’s right. Yeah. And I think I think if a person has so many things going that they don’t take time to pay attention to their own well being to the activities that put a light back in their eyes and restore them, then they’re going to be secreting these stress hormones that can be really hard on your immune system.
Yeah. And that [inaudible] lead into inflammation must have come up with in your work.
Yes, that’s the third pillar actually. So the third pillar is about healing your immune system. So what what we’re starting to realize is see doctors are trained to specialize in body parts. And so if you’re a neurologist, you specialize in the brain. If you cardiologist you specialize in the heart. If you are a psychiatrist, you specialize in the brain in a different way, etc. But what that has helped us to do is to help in some ways, but it’s helped us not see the real picture in other ways because it turns out that a person doesn’t have a blood pressure problem, or a heart problem, or a cancer problem, or an autoimmune problem or a diabetes problem. more fundamentally, a person has a chronic inflammation problem. And if you want to heal the inflammation in your body, then you need to heal your immune system because it’s the immune system that’s going awry, that creates inflammation in your body. So I tell people, you got to avoid toxins. Don’t over medicate. Spend time with people you love who make you laugh, get plenty of rest, get nutrition, that sort of thing. Those are the kinds of things that can non inflammatory lifestyle, non inflammatory foods. Real connections where you feel love and connection with people. Those are the kinds of things that create a non inflammatory lifestyle that heals the immune system.
Wow, yeah. Have you looked at much of the gut and the microbiome with it?
Yeah, that’s a massive paradigm shift. And that’s, that’s really good research that’s accumulating. They say it takes 30 years for research in the lab to get to the clinic. And there’s a change. Yes. So it’s a really thick stack of thousands of studies on the microbiome now that are revolutionizing the way we think about health, and it is the future. But here we are. And it’s not what doctors are training their patients to do most of the time, for all kinds of reasons. And so we really need to help people become aware of the microbiome, like this whole pandemic thing here. We are talking only about social distancing. we’re only talking about quarantining and these restricted activities that are causing enormous suffering and anxiety for people and even death for all People who are restricted and locked into their nursing home rooms, and they just can’t figure out why people aren’t visiting them. And so they stop eating and die. There’s all kinds of awful things that are coming from that being our only tool. If we were also helping people develop healthy microbiomes, using healthy nutrition to develop strong immune systems, knowing how to change our relationship with stress to develop strong immune systems, it wouldn’t be the only go to strategies that we have. And there’s I mean, no, there’s a story I tell the story and cared about. This story about Louis Pasteur who invented, he’s the father of germ theory, he helped identify that bacteria exist in a way that we know is real. But he was in a lifelong argument for the rest of his life with Claude Bernard and a few other scholars who said no, it’s it’s the germ is not the problem. The germ is a symptom of the problem. And the whole thing is, why would you just keep waving away waving the flies away from a heap of garbage in the room? Why don’t you just remove the garbage. And in other words, we are surrounded by millions of bacteria and viruses inside and outside of our bodies all the time, good bacteria, bad bacteria, good viruses and, bad viruses. And the only way they can become an invader is something breaks down in your immune system or in your microbiome in a way that they can then gain entrance and create illness. Take over, create an unbalanced, it kind of become unbalanced in your system. And so, you know, the famous story is a Claude Bernard took a glass of cholera, you know, the cholera plague was a was a devastating plague for Europe. And he drank the glass of cholera in front of his students. He said, If you take care of your inner terrain, what we now call the microbiome, you’re not going to get ill. And so that was his way of saying it. Louis Pasteur his deathbed, he said you’re right, the germ is nothing. The terrain is everything. We didn’t we didn’t follow that path. And we need to that research is there to do that. It just hasn’t gotten to the clinics yet.
Yeah, mating. I’m actually blessed to have married a naturopath who specializes in the gut.
You’re way ahead of lots of people.
And, and, you know, over the years, like, we’ve been together five years, and I was already looking at the gut then but but having you know, an advisor there with me, 24 seven has been has been incredible. And you will when the first thing she did was like a case history with me, and to see any cases of Oh, yes. To me, from birth all the way through to this moment in time. And and when I actually look back and reflect, there’s like, Oh, my God, like, really abused myself in some areas and food poisoning and intoxication and all different things. And, you know, probably the last two years I’ve been very disciplined in resetting that and getting rid of leaky gut and, and working on those things and it transformed your life like, it does. It’s huge. And I just it still boggles my mind. It’s like, I wish more people knew about this to really Yes, trust and even explore it.
Yes, people need to know about this because it does change your life. 90% now used to be that we thought most diseases were genetic. But now we know that genes can change and heal stress changing the relationship of stress changes, genes turns genes on and off, we now know that 90% of illnesses are lifestyle related. And that’s a complete difference. From the days we thought thing was genetic energetics fixed, or were the fixed state but now we know genes are turned on and off by lifestyle by Yeah, how by illness, by nutrition by all these things,
and that puts the responsibility back on us then to actually start to take care of ourselves as opposed to just hoping for something to fix me.
Yeah, and I but I also think that it’s important to not do things in a way that people feel judged. Because I think I think when because a person needs to do what they feel ready for, and to not feel judged for doing whatever path they choose, that’ll fix a judgement is one of the most disease creating things in the world, I believe. And we all need less judgment in our lives. I believe that every person needs to do what feels like an opportunity to them and not another burden. And I think that’s a really big deal. Because though, for people to get better, they usually need to get rid of burdens and not have more burdens.
Totally. Yeah, I know, I look back at the things that I’ve learned the mistakes I’ve made. And I know at that point in time, I was doing my best with what I knew at that point.
Same here, same for me. It’s it’s been I’ve made lots of mistakes, lots of truth producing errors. But we all know, we’re all just people. We just want to help each other out. Do this.
Yeah, absolutely. And what’s the we’ve gone through the three pillars so far.
Yes. And so the fourth, the fourth pillar is about healing one’s identity and beliefs. And this is a big one, it’s it’s abstract, but it’s a really big deal. And so what does that mean? It means that in this is for all of us, you know, we have to learn how to treat ourselves. We have to learn how to focus on what’s right and good about us. It’s just easier I think, for a lot of us to believe the bad stuff for all kinds of evolutionary biology reasons and all kinds of things. It’s just easier to, to doubt that we have value or, or, or that sort of thing. So it’s important to learn how to focus on what’s right and good about us. It’s important to eliminate false beliefs that cause us to question our value. It’s important to learn how to treat ourselves and others with compassion and understanding rather than judgment. One of the most common things that people have said to me over the years in the context of getting better is that it took an illness for them to wake up and realize that they needed to stay stop taking care of everyone else, they needed to stop responding to the perceived expectations of others, and instead also really focused on what creates life and well being within them. There’s a lot of people that I see who are admitted to medical hospitals in psychiatric hospitals, because they are just rundown, they have been spending so much time taking care of everyone else. They don’t even know what heals their soul or causes them to feel alive anymore. They don’t even know what helps them come alive with excitement and purpose and a real deep visceral understanding of their value. And so that’s a big one. And so there’s, uh, you know, it can actually I help people set up what I call, sometimes I call it a selfish bitch project, because in the early stages, they feel like doing this kind of stuff. Feels selfish, but it’s not. And so my friend gave our motto as a great writer in British Columbia and he says, if you don’t know how to say no, your body will eventually say no for you. And I think that’s true. I think That’s how a lot of the mental and physical maladies that we have that are lifestyle related. I think that’s a very deep comment. So, one of the things I’ve learned along the way is if we can die to an old version of ourselves in such a way that a new, truer expression of who we really are, can be born. Sometimes it turns out, we don’t need to die physically. I can’t tell you how many people who have been diagnosed with cancer, or something like that, and they’ll tell me, you know, they said that the cancer actually was a release, because either they were so rundown, they just wanted to die at that point, either subconsciously or consciously. Or it was like, a doorway to freedom because it’s like, Oh, you mean I don’t have to. I’ve got cancer. Now. I’ve been told I have two years to live. So I don’t have to go to law school just because my parents want me to, I can do what I want. I have an excuse to take care of myself. Now. Those kinds of things are really a big deal. And so when a person begins living an authentic life for themselves. Again, it might seem selfish initially, but it’s not. When you begin not trying to pull everyone out of the water who’s drowning, when you yourself are drowning, and you don’t know how to swim yourself, but you instead really focus on creating a life that creates vitality and well being where you know, your value and your purpose. That’s a really different life, a really different kind of relationship that you have with yourself and with others. And when that occurs, it’s sometimes it’s astonishing with them becomes possible.
Yeah, that’s huge. Isn’t it is huge. Well, I often think of my own life because I left school at 15 I didn’t go to college or university or for anything I was I was a bit lost growing up in Wales and I ended up becoming a plumber. Just because I was getting this job and I didn’t even know what plumbing was when I turned up. You know, it was just like, you work it’s a recession. Go, you know, you’ve caught yourself lucky kind of thing and, and I remember my heart sinking more and more and more, as I was, but I I didn’t know what what else to do is like I just I there was a rebellious side to me that didn’t agree with what I was seeing. But at the same time I had no concept of what I should do or whatever and not go against plumbing but it was just my the cards I was dealt with at the time. And I remember my auntie coming to visit me I was I think it must have been about 17 I’ve been doing it for about two years and it was a Friday afternoon she had driven down from London she was a high fly and corporate up in London kind of thing and I was covered in , I’d been up in the loft all day covered in fiberglass and pipes in and she’s just think that you get to do this for the rest of your life. And I remember it just it was terrified me and but it forced me to really question what I want. So even though it was hard, pulling away from Wales and pulling away from the things that I I did value that there was something underneath and I want I always wonder to this day if I’d actually made different choices that would be presented to me by what the normal was around. Yeah.
I wonder where I would be today with that, you know, wow.
Look at where you are now. I mean, and, you know, I mean, you have a great story, your story is a great paradigm for what all of us need, in a sense that that is the story. And the fact that your wife, a natural path actually asked you about your life story and looked into that and looked at that in the context of your health. That’s really important as doctors that I was trained to actually exclude the story, exclude anything personal in order to get through to the underlying science and symptoms of disease, and the story. The story holds everything. And the story is so important, and you have a great story. Yeah, that’s really different place.
Yeah, for sure than where I was. I pulled a quote from you as well, and it touches on what we talked about. You said both prayer and faith are expressions of belief. Yeah, I was interested in what you’ve looked at with, if at all with prayer and faith and what that generates within the body of how that could could contribute to our own healing.
So that’s a massive topic. And I don’t pretend to have all the answers here. Yeah, I mean, I go through, and I analyze the studies on prayer in the book and cured. And the studies are complicated and mixed results. And I think that they’re not very well designed studies because you have to design I mean, science as it’s currently configured, which is a whole big topic in itself is built around only studying things that can be the only things that you can touch or smell. It’s the evidence, the five senses, that’s what Newtonian science is built around. And so prayer is ineffable. It’s not doesn’t have anything to do with the five senses typically. So how do you study that you can’t study it directly. Most of the studies are deeply Law methodologically. So that’s a whole other issue. I think what’s true is belief is a big deal. Conscious belief and subconscious beliefs are different. And so Paul Tillich is a famous theologian I studied in seminary and he said, all of us have just one ultimate concern. There’s one thing that we wrap our lives around. It’s one ultimate belief that we have. And I think sometimes our conscious beliefs are very different from our subconscious beliefs. We think we believe one thing, a person like I think Woody Allen said something like his parents beliefs were God and carpet. And I think I grew up in a very conservative, religious environment. And looking back on that there was very fervent people who believed that they had a lot of faith in God and all that kind of thing. But the truth is their minds were From beginning to end, constructed around fear, and, and so anyone who knew them well would have said, okay, you have these beliefs in God and love and faith. But what you call faith is actually built around massive loads of fear. And that’s kind of the opposite of faith. And so. So I think what we think we believe, is not always what we really believe. And so we’re not as human beings, at our current stage of evolution, we’re not very good at knowing our true beliefs versus what we say and think we believe.
Totally, totally. And that’s something I explore a lot with that work and it’s really fascinating. But one thing that’s a great little practice that I do every day and it’s thanks to the world of science in the heart math Institute, I’m not sure if you’re familiar. Yes, and the studies they did but it allowed me to get past my ego and different things and actually look at heart and how it affected the autonomic nervous system, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic and Right, and then generate an emotions while holding. It’s almost like a mini prayer where you find gratitude within your heart. But in my mind, I’m like this is actually influencing my nervous system, which is allowing me to relax and might actually change my perception of each moment as opposed to being fear based. And can I see it with compassion and love? Non judgement?
Yes, yes. That’s beautifully said, You’re right. When we open our hearts, it changes our perception of what’s going on. It changes our perception of our value, the value of others, we see and experience the world differently, even though we’re looking through our eyes and thinking with our brains, but when the heart is open, it changes what we think of and perceive.
Totally. How did you book been received, by the way?
Very good. I’m very grateful. The pandemic it canceled a lot of touring. Yeah. Hopefully that’ll happen down the road. But I just signed the German and Portuguese edition Last week, and it’s going into lots of languages. Yeah, it needs more attention needs more podcasts and that sort of thing. Because the pandemic did shut down so much, it’s still doing well. But there’s a lot of people that don’t know about it yet. Right? It’s such a different way of thinking. I was initially really afraid about how people would respond, especially like my colleagues, and that sort of thing. And I’m grateful for the good reviews it’s gotten. And for the emails I’m getting that just is very gratifying for me. So I’m just going to continue plugging away at this as the pandemic wanes, and get out there more and talk about it. So yeah.
Hopefully this will reach a new audience for you. Anyway, this conversation.
Yeah, I really appreciate the opportunity.
Oh, not a problem. I’m going to ask you a few questions that I asked everyone on the show. Yeah. And and the first one is kind of leans into maybe beliefs around things that you’ve talked about anyway. But what’s been a low point in your life that’s later become a blessing?
That’s a great question. I think I could answer that with several different things. I think the by far the most difficult was my childhood, which was very difficult I, I tell a little bit about that in Cured. It was very violent and very confusing, and. And so, but it turns out I think the universe happens for us and not against us. It took me decades to really begin to understand that. I think it was the perfect preparation. And it created a fire in my gut to get out of that situation and to get to the bottom of what’s true. And it caused. I had for many years I’ve had this kind of rebellious distrust of institutions and authority figures and stuff. Well, as long as I could get to the point where I knew what I was for instead of what I was against. It turned out to be a fabulous thing for me because it helped me see things differently in begin, just I had to have answers to questions that were more than just professional, they were personal. And that helped me go deep into things because I needed to do so. So that’s that’s the biggest thing. The death of my fiancé in college, and the spiritual experience associated with that and the death of my grandfather on the same day out in Montana, I mean, that my life ended around there. And it caused this Pandora’s box of all these issues that I’ve been ignoring, to come out from my childhood. But that’s what drove me to seminary. I demanded answers. I had to have questions as an angry kid. And that opened up a box of things that I needed to look at.
Wow, thank you for sharing that. Wow. Yeah. What does your morning routine look like?
So my morning routine changes a lot. But lately for the last few years, I don’t tend to eat breakfast like I used to and I love breakfast and what kind of a love breakfast. But I don’t really eat as much anymore. I group my eating mostly into about a five or six hour period of time. I get up, I have a little meditation session, which isn’t really meditation, it’s more contemplative. I learned more by thinking and reading and writing. I probably benefit from that and also lose some benefits from that because it can get a little bit stuck in my head probably at times. But that’s, I don’t I need to learn meditation and I don’t understand it well enough to do that. Yeah, really. So I do. I’m more of a contemplative. I really do. Do contemplative work at a pretty deep level around experiencing unconditional love, lack of judgment, for myself and for others. And that’s a big focus for me. And that’s, I think, fundamentally over time, built a foundation in me it’s helped me move from a foundation of blame and shame, to a foundation that’s really much more loving and accepting. And I have a long ways to go there. But that’s, I think, It’s slowly building a completely different foundation in me. And so that’s how I start off in the mornings. And sometimes I’ll just journal around that kind of thing. And it’s having a very deep effect on me over time.
And then I take off to the hospital and do all my stuff there.
Yeah. So the day begins. Yeah, yeah. If you could have dinner with anyone, or several people from any time frame in the world. Anyway, who would it be? Do you think and why?
I think it would be anybody it would be the Buddha or Christ. I think if it’s suddenly more modern era, within the last century, or be someone like probably Gandhi, or Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King had a deep impact on me. I think I think that’s the place to start.
Yeah. Great. And what’s been the biggest lesson for you from writing the Book? On a personal level?
I think that we write about things that we are trying to learn and understand better ourselves. And I think that’s been really helpful to me because it’s helped me really begin to congeal within myself. some clarity around these issues. I think expressing what we deeply believe to be true. After doing a lot of work around that is also liberating in some way. I think taking responsibility for my beliefs has been really important. Being in the conservative world I live in affirming science, but also saying there’s more and saying there’s a better kind of science that we can do. Newtonian science is slowly being displaced, but we’re not there yet by any stretch of the imagination. So
Yeah, I am, I only just last week I interviewed Donald Hoffman, do you know The Case Against Reality?
Definitely check out his work. It was really incredible. Incredible, man.
Yeah, I’ll take a look at that.
Yeah, the Case Against Reality. It’ll be I’ll send you the podcast when it goes live you, I think you’ll get a lot out of it. For sure.
Please, I would appreciate that. Thank you.
No problem. And what is your hope for your book?
I hope that it helps people find a level of well being and health that they did not know was possible. It’s not like I said, it’s not the doctors and medications got people better. And I think medicine and science and I mean, I prescribe medicines every day. I will prescribe medicines this evening after this is over. I believe that there’s a place to treat symptoms that’s compassionate and true. But medicines only treat symptoms and I think if you want to heal the cause of what is ailing you, or if you are lacking something in your life and understanding of your value or level of well being that causes you to just feel really alive, then these factors are really important. And different factors are more important to different people at different places in their lives. But these factors are really important, and we’ve got to talk about them some more.
Totally. And is there anything else you’d like to add for the listeners to ponder on? To remember, as we wrap up.
I was asked once, what would I put on a billboard if I was asked to, you know, put together a billboard along the side of the highway. And I would say that you matter. Every one of us brings an unrepeatable light into the world. And it doesn’t matter if we’re drunk sitting on a street corner for the rest of our lives. That person and every one of us brings a light into the world that nobody else can bring. And we suffer only because we have not become fully aware or awake to that yet, and the more we can wake up to the dignity of that more our lives will change.
Amazing, such a great place to end this now. “You matter.” Absolutely. And where can I send people? If they obviously listening to this somewhere? They want to grab a copy of book? is it available? pretty much everywhere?
Yes. Available on Amazon. It’s available at bookstores. It’s available at Dr.jeffreyrediger.com
Anything. Yeah, that’s right.
Yeah. Audible. Yeah. Fantastic. I’m an audible junkie at the moment as well. So that’s digested. Absolutely love Jeffrey, I just really want to thank you for the time today and everything that you do and what you’re putting out into the world. I it like I said, Before, we before we press record, it’s a topic close to my heart and, and it’s just wonderful to hear people coming up like yourself that has an incredible background to back the things that you’re showing them bring it to the world. So it’s so important and I’d encourage everyone to grab a copy of this book because whether you’re ill or not that the printing symbols are for everyone. You know it? Yes. Amazing. Amazing. Thank you.
Well, thank you for having me. It’s been a real honor to be here. You have a really important story yourself. I’m glad we can connect around this kind of work.
Thank you Jeffrey. Cheers.
Awesome guys. Hope you enjoyed that conversation myself and Jeffrey today, certainly lots to ponder on. Like I said, don’t get share this with a buddy if you know somebody that’s struggling with a health a little bit or wants to make some changes in their life, these podcasts are a great place for people to start to listen to them in your own time and slowly start to go down the rabbit hole, which is what it’s all about. And if you want to find out more about our retreats that we’re running in January and March next year, one in Europe, a couple in northern New South Wales here in Australia, just come back to liveinflow.co sign up for the newsletter the best place Have a look around the website, all the informations there. And as I mentioned at the start, we are opening up a couple of spots two or three to join us in the group coaching over the next couple of weeks, so if that interests you as well come, just drop us an email through the website just so you heard on the podcast, and we can send you more information if you want to find out. Anyway, have an amazing week. Much love for me. I’ve got some incredible guests lined up for you coming up in the next few weeks as well and yeah, happy days.