173 Transcript: Superwellness (with Edith Ubuntu Chan)

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J: Hi, friends, I’m talking with Dr. Edith Ubuntu Chan and she’s a holistic Chinese Medicine doctor, author, speaker, and coach who has devoted her life to unlocking the secrets of our human potential. She shares a refreshingly new approach to wellness that integrates science, medicine, and spirituality. She has been featured on CNN with the Goddess Project documentary and more. And her academic background includes a doctoral degree in endocrinology and neuromuscular medicine, a graduate degree in traditional Chinese medicine, and a Harvard bachelor's degree in mathematics. So she is weaving together ancient wisdom and modern science and she's created a book called ‘SuperWellness’ which is a practical and powerful distillation of her entire life's work. That's pretty cool, Edith, to have an entire book that distills it down. Thank you so much for being willing to be here to share all about it with us.

E: Thanks Dr. Jen. Can I call you Dr. Jen?

J: You sure can. (Laughs)

E: Thank you so much for having me on your show. And I checked out your podcast and I love that you had your mom and your grandma on.

J: (Laughs)

E: And I love that you're creating this ripple effect of just honoring the deep inner wisdom that women and moms carry within themselves that really we can't ever learn from like a science article or an academic journal, this kind of like inner family lineage wisdom that I feel like our society has kind of lost, you know? So I love that you're bringing back these levels of conversation back into our culture again.

J: Cool. Well, wow, you make it seem so big; I like it. I agree, it's important, and I also love the work you're doing. So in your book, ‘SuperWellness’, you open with a really cool chapter called ‘Why eat right and exercise is not the key to essentially happiness’. So tell us more about what you mean there, why eat right and exercise is not the key. What does that mean?

E: Well, you know, this book is the distillation of a lot of bumping my head against the wall over many years of clinical practice. Because you and I both know that when you go out there and learn about health and wellness, everybody says, “To be healthy, you've got to eat right and exercise, it’s all about diet and exercise.” But here in the San Francisco Bay Area, when I work with my clients, you know, most people are already pretty health savvy. I don't get the McDonalds eaters out there coming to a whole medicine clinic to work holistically on their health. So most of the time, they are eating already all organic, very healthy, they workout, they do the yoga and the Pilates. I have basically 2 major groups of clients, the elite endurance athletes that are seeking their highest level of human performance, and then the very complicated chronic maybe autoimmune disease population that have been told, “There's no cure for your condition,” and they've trusted 20 different practitioners and they've hit a plateau and they're healing. So a lot of times they come to me having already done all the standard things and still they're not getting the results.

J: Hmm.

E: So for a long time, this frustrated me because I would nitpick at their lifestyle programs and really focus on fine-tuning their diets and I wasn't getting the great results. Until one day, I just asked such an obvious question which is, “What if it’s not about their diet or exercise at all?” you know? And then it's when you say that, I think all the audience members out there are thinking, “Yeah, that's so obvious, there must be so many other factors that are as important,” and a lot of times even more important than diet and exercise, like downtime to chill out and do some self-care, you know, getting a massage, going outside, seeing sunshine, getting a really good night's sleep.

J: Yeah.

E: You know, fresh air, deep connection with nature, community, hugs, laughter, comedy, dancing, all these things are weave together synergistically to create our sense of health and well-being. And some of these things are so free, so available, so obvious, so uncomplicated, it's not very sexy so we don't see the media going, you know, like doing advertisement saying, “Hey, maybe you should turn off the screen and go to nature and spend the day, you know, without screen time.”

J: Yeah, it’s…

E: You never see an advertisement reminding you to just simplify your life.

J: Yeah.

E: That actually the most potent and powerful self-care and self-healing work it's actually really simple. And they're so free so simple, almost too obvious so we take them for granted and we don't do it, and when we don't do it, we don't get the results and we forget just how powerful these things are. And so my book actually takes people on a journey to return to that simplicity of self-care, that to recognize that some of the most potent and powerful self-healing tools are those free ones that are abundantly available to everybody.

J: Mm. I love this because, just before I got on the call with you, let me back it up a little, 2019 is my year of health, and I come from a line of women (you're going to hear my story hear), a line of women who have traditionally loved sugar and used it as their form of dopamine.

E: (Laughs).

J: Well…

E: Yeah.

J: … and so there's a depression history there as well. So as part of my journey of health, I will tiptoe in the land of lower carbs and find my mood plummeting. So I've been thinking a lot about alternative dopamine sources essentially.

E: Yes.

J: And so I was creating my exact same list as you were, but what was interesting, I actually added one little thing to yours which was get a dog. I couldn't believe the thought even popped into my head, but the research is pretty solid that pets really increase happiness for people so I'm toying with it. But speak to, you know, that kind of topic when it's not an immune condition or a lead athlete driven but, you know, just regular people trying to be a bit happier and healthier in general. Would these things…

E: Yeah.

J: … help or do we need to go further? (Laughs)

E: Well, you know, what I found is that, you know, the book is largely based on a 6-week class, it’s called ‘The 6-week SuperWellness Course’ that I've taught I think 24 times now since 2012.

J: Mm.

E: And after about 10 or 12 iterations, it got really solidly fine-tuned and then eventually, people kept saying, “Dr. Edith, write a book, please,” so now we have a book. But in week number 1 of the 6-week class, one of the most profound and game-changing exercises we do is I just share with people, “Okay, well, what if diet and exercise is not the key? If that's the case, what's nourishing to you that is not food?”

J: Mm-hmm.

E: Because in nutrition science, they have this idea called the crowding out method. Have you heard of this crowding out method? Like, if you don't want to eat too many junky or sugary foods, crowd it out with eating more of your healthy veggies for example, and then you'll be nourished by all the good nutrition and you won't crave those other more junky foods. I say expand that way beyond food, crowd out so that you nourish yourself with all the non-food practices. So the exercise we do is, “Let's sit down and really get still. What are you really hungry for on a physical level, a mental level, an emotional level, and a spiritual level? How would you like to nourish yourself with your self-care practices beyond the food?” So the things people talk about are like puppies and kittens and playing with children and downtime to chill out and do nothing, go to nature, hug a tree, you know, all these kinds of things, music, laughter. What I've discovered is that these kinds of things are the real essential nutrients for health and well-being. And then as a side effect of really nourishing ourselves on all these levels with all the non-food practices, naturally you'll just eat healthier without all the rigid militant, you know, like calorie counting and, “Should I go keto or should I go vegan?” or whatever.

J: (Laughs)

E: You know, and all these things are… can actually be a natural side effect of a much more holistic approach or lifestyle. And there were some studies that we were able to cite in the book that were super interesting. Like one study was done in 2016 where they divided these women into two groups and they fed one group of women a super inflammatory diet on purpose that they knew would increase blood markers of inflammation like C-reactive protein and so on.

J: Mm-hmm

E: And then they fed the second group an anti-inflammatory diet that they knew from previous studies would decrease their inflammation. And then they track these women, they had surveyed them about their stress levels.

J: Mm-hmm.

E: Guess what they found?

J: Oh, those with the inflammatory diet were more stressed?

E: It was actually they found that if they reported high levels of stress, it didn't matter what they ate.

J: Mm.

E: The stress was increasing their inflammation and they could eat the perfect diet and it did hardly anything.

J: Oh no, that's terrible! (Laughs)

E: Whereas, if they had lower levels of stress, then it didn't make a big difference what they ate. So this is just one small study, but could it be your overall stress levels is primary and your food is secondary? So if you've got your stress well-handled, then go ahead and eat a healthy diet, but otherwise, you're already so stressed out of your mind, it almost doesn't matter what you eat or it could be… I always say… make a joke with my clients like, “If you're eating under stress, eating in a rush, you don't actually… you could eat the best diet and you're not really assimilating the nutrients because your digestion shuts down, your saliva doesn't make the right salivary enzymes, your gut’s not working right, you're under that kind of stress, eating in a rush, you know, you're not really digesting the nutrients and you end up eating super exp… you know, making expensive poop basically.”

J: (Laughs)

E: Right? Because your body can't actually… good nutrition is about what you can digest and assimilate, you know?

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

E: So you could be eating the perfect diet, but if your life is so super stressful, you don't have downtime to chill out, you're not, you know, really assimilating your nutrients, you could be eating the best stuff and just make an expensive poop.

J: Hmm, that's interesting. So I'm going to ask you a side question, Edith, that so it will guide me where to go. So that was my story with trying to lose weight, which is what I'm doing. My C-reactive protein level is really low, like I'm not inflamed because I'm putting into practice everything you're talking about.

E: Awesome.

J: So what would be the next step? What's the next question I would ask? (Laughs)

E: Just enjoy your good health. “What is the next level that you're seeking?” is that… I would ask you that question back.

J: Okay. So I don't want to just make expensive poop, I get what you're saying. You mentioned C-reactive protein, that marker of inflammation, I happen to know mine is very low and I think that's because I've been using all the tools you talked about in terms of self-care. And I think a lot of our listeners are getting better and better at using those tools. So however…

E: Right.

J: … I'm still overweight and I probably need to lower my weight for general health. I don't want to die of a heart attack or something because 30% of deaths are (Laughs) heart related. But…

E: Right.

J: … what would be the next step then for anyone with that situation?

E: Okay. Well at the end of the ‘SuperWellness’ book, I have a chapter that looks at what areas of the ‘SuperWellness’ lifestyle to especially focus on depending on your goal, like, “Is it lose weight? Is it to get out of pain? Is it to enhance your immunity?” you know? So all of these things help everything, right? Like, all these lifestyle practices we're talking about are really like an operating system upgrade, like recreating a brand new foundation for lifelong health and well-being off of which all the other things you do, like working one-on-one with a practitioner, with a nutritionist, with a fitness coach or whatever, with a doctor, you'll get much greater results because the foundation is back in order.

J: Yeah.

E: So it helps our… but if we're going to focus on weight loss for example, the Dr. Edith SuperWellness Weight Loss Plan has nothing to do with diet. So I hope that some of the listeners out there are really excited to hear that you could optimize your body weight without dieting, and this is my…

J: Yeah. And it works? You've seen it actually work? (Laughs)

E: Over and over and over again, 16 years of clinical practice, I've seen so many cases of people that have done all the perfect things dieting, and then they forget about the diet and focus on these things and they finally get the results.

J: Ah.

E: A recent participant that in our recent round of class just lost 40 pounds and her mind is blown. Everybody around her its shocked that she's not doing any dieting and she lost her 40 pounds, she's back to her like pre college weight like it looks like she was when she was in high school, you know? So the plan, some people might want to be taking notes on this right now because this is a real game changer. The plan is, number 1, stress reduction in whatever form works for you. So really figure out how you can lower the stress levels because the stress levels really change your hormone profile so that it makes your body think that we need to be conserving energy and, you know, decreasing our metabolic rate as a survival response, right? Evolutionarily speaking, if we're at high levels of stress, our body things, “Okay, it's survival right now, I need to hang on to the calories,” so to speak.

J: Mm-hmm.

E: So stress reduction is number 1. Number 2 is sunshine.

J: Oh.

E: Sunshine is a huge piece. And in our book, we have a big section about synchronizing our body's rhythms back to nature's rhythms and not being so afraid of getting out in the sun anymore. There's a lot of research that shows that non-burning regular doses of sunshine is hugely important and beneficial for our health, for cardiovascular health, for decreasing diabetes and obesity. Even all forms of cancers as long, as you don't burn your skin, there's a study that shows that non-burning regular sunshine decreases your risk of even melanoma.

J: Oh.

E: So that's the thing, it’s like a nuanced thing, right, you don't want to damage your skin, but complete sun avoidance is also not good for your health. There was a huge study I think it was like… I can't remember if it was like tracking these huge groups of women in Sweden over the course of 20 or 30 years, there's tens of thousands of subjects that are being tracked and they compared the sun avoiders to the sun lovers in terms of all of their disease rates, all of their mortality rates, and they discovered that sun avoidance is a huge risk factor for all of the diseases on par with smoking.

J: Oh wow, oh my gosh. (Laughs)

E: So not… avoiding the sun can increase the risk of all of those chronic inflammatory diseases that we're all worried about such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancers and so on. So the point is don't burn your skin, but complete avoidance, being like a vampire's not great either.

J: So does that mean we need to go out without some sunscreen for some minutes every day.

E: Right. So that is the nuanced discussion that nobody else wants to really have, because as a doctor, you know, we always want to make sure that we cover our liabilities, right? We don't want anybody out there to damage their skin and actually get skin cancer, but if you completely avoid it, it's also not good either. So what I've discovered (and there's a nuanced discussion in the book about this) is that it's not so black and white. If you've been living like a vampire for a long time and then suddenly you go to Hawaii and lay out in the sun without any sunscreen for a week straight, you're going to burn like a lobster, you know?

J: Mm-hmm.

E: So it's like retraining our body's ability to synchronize with the sunlight outside and then using wisely, “What kind of sunscreen?” if you do, don’t use those mineral sunscreens that have all those toxic ingredients. And try to go out in the sun during the not very intense hours. And when it gets a little bit too much, you know, put a layer on or get a hat or a layer of long sleeves to protect your skin, you know? There are smart ways to protect your skin non-chemically also.

J: And what about people living in, you know, further and further from the equator and they're in the winter, should they I guess take vitamin D supplements? It probably doesn't do exactly what you're mentioning though.

E: Right. So vitamin D is one piece of the benefits from sunshine. So when we are exposed to UVB rays, the sunshine hits the oils under the skin and converts that cholesterol into vitamin D, and it takes about 24 to 48 hours before that vitamin D gets absorbed into your bloodstream. So a lot of reason why we have vitamin D deficiency in epidemic proportion is either because we don't get enough sunshine or when we get sunshine, then we jump into the shower and slew it off with lots of soap and water, and all of that medicine that's in the oils under the skin is not getting absorbed. But I always recommend my patients to get their vitamin D tested, and then if their vitamin D is low, it's a sign that, not only is their vitamin D low, but their general access to sunshine is lower than optimal. And sunshine gives us a lot more than just the UVB rays and the vitamin D. For example, UVA rays has been found to be really good for bone growth, and UVC rays have antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal properties, you know? And we all know that full-spectrum sunlight elevates mood, stimulates the production of serotonin. That's why people have so called seasonal affective disorder when they don't get enough sunshine.

J: Yeah.

E: So there's a huge list of benefits of getting non-burning sunshine on a regular basis that we list out in the book that is so powerful. But sunshine has been correlated with obesity; or lack of sunshine and I should say.

J: Yeah, good.

E: And so when I get my patients out in the sun more regularly, that's an effortless weight loss tool for most people.

J: Oh.

E: And sun actually fuels our cellular biology and metabolism. So that full-spectrum light hits our blood vessels and promotes healthier microcirculation and has been known to help lower blood pressure in high blood pressure patients. So there's all of these benefits of actually stimulating the flow of Qi and blood and metabolic energy in our body by accessing the sun.

J: Mm, so good.

E: And the latest science shows that the water molecules in our body is not even always H2O, this is cutting-edge stuff that they… I think in the next 50 years will start changing the biology textbooks. The latest science shows that our body water is sometimes H3O2 and has miraculous properties of being charged up by sunlight and turning that sunlight into electrical energy, which fuels our cellular biology. So if you feel like you have little energy, you'll actually notice that your body is full of water, right, we all know that the human body is full of water, that water can be charged up by the sunlight and that fuels your metabolic energy in your body and in your cells and in your tissue. And you'll… actually, it's a kind of food for our cells.

J: Mm.

E: And as a side effect of that, you'll have less hunger, you'll have more energy. So I say test it out.

J: Mm, yeah.

E: Don't burn your skin, but just notice what happens. I think everybody's had this direct experience, I say trust your experience. If you get regular doses of non-burning sunlight, notice that you feel less hungry (as many people do during the summer time), notice you have better energy, better mood, and when you have better mood, you don't stress eat as much, right? It becomes a natural unfolding that you're eating, you start eating lighter, you start eating less junky foods because you just feel good in your body.

J: Yeah.

E: And on the flipside of that, when you get enough natural full spectrum light, then at nighttime when you expose yourself to complete darkness, then you'll make the optimal amounts of melatonin at night.

J: Mm.

E: So everybody knows that melatonin is a sleep hormone, but it turns out it does a lot more than sleep. It has broad-spectrum anti-inflammatory and tissue healing properties at night and it actually bathes every cell of your body and promotes tissue healing at night.

J: Wow.

E: So a lot of us at night with like a nightlight or maybe we stare at a bright screen on our computer or iPhones right up until bedtime and we've just gypped ourselves of this free medicine that happens every night. And we all know that when you sleep deeply and soundly and get really good quality restorative time in complete darkness at night, everything heals faster, and there's all this research that shows that your sensation of satiation is different if you sleep enough versus if you're sleep-deprived.

J: Ah.

E: Right? So if you're not sleeping enough, then that's a level of stress and it kicks up your body's… your brain's craving for all the sugary and fatty and junky foods. And so it becomes a game of pure willpower to try to eat healthy then, right?

J: Yeah.

E: So go with the low-hanging fruit things, make sure you get natural sunlight during the day, sleep in complete darkness at night, start with that as a foundation first and you'll just notice a natural side effect, you're craving for the junky foods go away, eating healthy just becomes so natural and effortless without any kind of willpower or discipline required. And then on top of that, in ‘SuperWellness’, a huge practice that we encourage everybody to explore is breathing practice.

J: Mm-hmm.

E: It turns out that most adults are breathing something like 30% of their lung capacity.

J: Oh my goodness! (Laughs)

E: We’re all walking around tired, frazzled, cranky because maybe we're just not breathing enough. You know, it's our natural state if we're kind of stressed out to be half holding our breath.

J: Mm-hmm.

E: But we forget that actually we can control our breathing. So breathing can be an autonomous involuntary pattern or we can consciously influence it by practicing deep breathing. And there's many good methods out there and it doesn't have to be anything complicated. In ‘SuperWellness’, we teach people to do say just 3 by 10 huge deep power breaths to kind of reoxygenate yourself throughout the day. And when you have enough oxygen in your system, it's only when you're well oxygenated you can burn fat.

J: Mm, I didn't know that.

E: So go do aerobic exercise or maybe you just need to practice 3 times 10 deep breaths throughout the day whenever you feel tired or stressed out. You know, I have a lot of people in our workshops, I say, “Okay, right now, scale of 10, how are you guys feeling? How's your energy?” and people will say, “Oh, I feel like crap, 3, 4 or 5,” and we just say, “Okay, let's stand up nice and tall, do 3 by 10 breaths,” and everybody feels like a 10 within a couple minutes.

J: Mm, that's amazing.

E: Yeah, these are those low-hanging fruit things that are so free, so obvious, so available, this is what I mean. If we don't breathe well, we don't get sunshine, we're not sleeping right at night, and we have stress up to our ears, no amount of diet and exercise can undo the damage of those things. But the good news is correcting those things can be really easy, really fun, really joyful, and doesn't have to be requiring so much rigid militant kind of willpower game like we used to think, you know?

J: Yeah, wow, that's amazing. So reduce stress, non-burning daily sunshine, complete darkness at night, and the 3 by 10 deep breaths, wow.

E: 3 by 10 deep breaths, and I would also add 1 more which is really focus on hydration.

J: Ooh, yes.

E: Before you focus on the food that you eat, the hydration piece… here's a little mind blower that I often share with my audience. I say, “Okay, everybody thinks diet is really important,” and it is. I know that you guys (audience out there) have all experienced great benefits from cleaning up your diet, we've all experienced it. But let me ask you this, how long can a human being live without eating physical food?

J: 30 days.

E: Something like that.

J: Oh.

E: Right.

J: Yeah.

E: Like, it's like 30 or 40 days, and there's these exceptions, there at these like Qigong masters and Yogis living in the Himalayas that have been documented to be able to live for long periods without food because they're tapped into some kind of a transcendent state chronically, right? But for ordinary mortals like all of us, it's been found medically that we could live say 30, 40 days if we had access to water.

J: Yeah.

E: You know, I'm the medical practitioner so I don't want anybody out, you know, testing this out, but this is just for a point of illustration, how long could you live without drinking water?

J: 3 days I think.

E: Something like that, right. So is it possible that your hydration is 10 times as important as your nutrition?

J: Of course, that all makes perfect sense. And it's so freeing not to have to do the willpower route, yeah.

E: And then take it to another level, how long could you live without breathing air?

J: 3 minutes.

E: Something like that, right. Well, you know, well-trained like deep divers could go for longer, but could it be that your breathing is something like 1000 or 2000 times as important as your hydration, which is something like 10x as important as your nutrition? So nutrition can change the game of our health, no doubt about it, but what is hydration is 10x as important and that you could get so much more benefits with so much less effort if you work on, not just drinking enough water, but really study what's in your city tap water system, get the right water filtration going, you know, drink the best quality water and hydrate your body properly and really focus on that. And then on top of that, really work on oxygenating and breathing properly. Because not only are most of us mal oxygenated, it turns out that 70% of your body's detoxification happens through the exhalation if you're breathing properly.

J: Ah.

E: Only 30% is through the peeing and pooping and sweating. So we all feel really (pardon the pun) crappy if we don't poop properly, right?

J: Yes.

E: But most of us are kind of half constipated in our breathing.

J: (Laughs) Yes.

E: And breathing is really free, you can do it anytime, anywhere, you just need to remind yourself to take a few deep breaths when the stressful situations of life arise to remind yourself and train yourself to do that as your number 1 go-to tool. So I have the saying, “Get your A's in order; Air first, Agua second, and then my husband came up with this Amph, as in Amph eating is third on the list; air, agua then amph.

J: Amph, okay.

E: (Laughs)

J: Nice, that's good. So you mentioned water filtration, do you have any certain water filter that you would recommend?

E: Yeah. So in the book, we encourage those listeners that are in the United States, there's a great water database. And I'm sorry, this is a little bit bad news, I try to bring uplifting news to everybody, but when it comes to water, there is unfortunately some bad news that we have to contend with, which is that even those of us that are not living in Flint Michigan, we have some problems with our city tap water system unfortunately.

J: Mm-hmm.

E: So there's a website that the Environmental Working Group put together, which is a database of all the tap water testing that's ever been done into 1 single database. So you can look up by your zip code what kind of chemicals have been found in your city water system. And so once you know, then research what kind of water filter filters out the undesirable contaminants that's in your specific water. You know, I don't get it and kickback from any companies that do water filters, but at our place, we have a fresh spring water delivery and then we also filter out all of our tap water with a Berkey water filtration system. So Berkey has a special attachment that you pay a little extra for, this extra cartridge that filters out the fluoride, the chlorine, and some of the other smaller chemicals that you might not want in your water system. But in the book, we talked about some concerns about why fluoride is in something like 70% of our city water system still when most of the other first world countries have started banning fluoride already. You know, the research has gotten pretty clear that fluoride really shouldn't be in our water systems.

J: Hmm.

E: Chlorine is used to kill the germs. This is a… the slightly unpleasant part of the conversation. Most city water systems is what's called a closed loop water system, meaning they take the waste water and they clean it and they recycle it.

J: Mm-hmm.

E: And you'd like to think that they really do a good job cleaning all of the germs, but UV treatment and ozone treatment tends to be more expensive so they rely on cheaper chlorine treatment and they put chlorine in there to kill the germs. But, you know, we all know we shouldn't be drinking untold amounts of chlorine either, right? But add to that, there's all the drugs that your doctor didn't prescribe because people unwittingly maybe flush their pills down the toilet and metabolized through their body and it gets into the wastewater. And so there's a lot of studies testing water that's from different drugs like birth control hormones and blood pressure medications and Lipitor and antidepressants and different kinds of medications have been found in most city water systems. And, you know, these drugs really should be prescribed very carefully on an individual basis, it shouldn't be leaching into the water for our babies and our elderly people and our pregnant ladies to be drinking untold quantities of this stuff.

J: Wow.

E: So I think…

J: Yeah.

E: Yeah, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, you guys, you can go ahead and throw some rotten tomatoes at me, but it's the truth that I feel like we need to be aware of. So do your research, get the best water filtration system, and as the opportunity arises, you know, rally together with your community to demand better quality water across the board, not just those of us that are in Flint Michigan as … you know, as a first world country, it’s really I think amazing and inappropriate that we still struggle to get the best quality of water, you know? And…

J: Yeah.

E: … at the same time, I'm so grateful that we have potable water because there are parts of the world of course that don't even get potable water, but I think we could do better on the water front. So I'm excited to be part of a growing population of people that are aware of these issues with the water.

J: Wow, yeah, this is great. I'm really excited to start this, I'm going to get a filter. I live with well water, but I would imagine even some of those medicines are leaching into the aquifers too, would you guess?

E: Right. You know, that's the thing, we all live on one planet, you know, and if you have different kind of industries in your community, eventually it leaches into the water table. And so I think we can't… it's really the truth of life that we're all interconnected in these intimate ways.

J: Wow, I love this. Well, let's take a quick break for our sponsor and then come back and shift the topic a little bit and talk about some of your other favorite things to talk about. We'll be right back.
Okay, so welcome back Dr. Edith. Before we hit record, you were excited about a topic and I'd like to just let you bring us there right now. (Laughs)

E: Alright. Well, first of all, I just want to say I know a lot of listeners are moms and grandmas and caretakers and women leaders in their community and we all know innately that we are changing the world together.

J: Mm-hmm.

E: And so often, we're not getting the credit that really in my opinion women deserve. You know, you're like the silent heroes in the community. And being a mom is this… I have a 4 and half year old and I have a second one coming in my belly, and I just have such deep respect for the sacredness of motherhood and what all of you guys are doing in your families. And so in writing this book, ‘SuperWellness’, a lot of why I became so excited and so motivated to write the book is that I couldn't dare anymore that our world has flipped things backwards and upside down. We've started valuing… you know, for example in the world of medicine, we have a tendency to think if something is more expensive, fancy, sexy, it must work better. And it's not that those expensive fancy things don't work, it's just that all too often, our culture has skipped over those fundamental even more important foundations.

J: Mm-hmm.

E: So in our health, we're seeing that people don't sleep well, they don't get sunshine, they're not breathing right, they're not hydrated right, they have stress up to their ears. These foundational pieces of health and well-being is so out of balance that really, no pill out there will ever replace a really good night's sleep or a really relaxing vacation immerse in nature. No pill will ever capture the medicinal quality of these fundamental things that are essentially free. Likewise, in the broader society, I feel so drawn to this… really, it’s a revolution and awakening that's happening where we realize, “You know what? All those expensive, complicated, sexy things out there are really out of alignment with our deep inner human truths.”

J: Mm-hmm.

E: We all know that a stay-at-home mom raising lovingly her children, that should be valued, you can't even begin to put a dollar value on how hugely important it is to the fundamental well-being of society for a mother to love her children…

J: Right.

E: … to nurse them, and yet society says, “What is that contribution to GDP? It’s 0. What is her economic value? It’s 0.” That is so backwards and upside down compared to say a hedge fund manager out there who's making millions. Well, actually if that hedge fund manager disappeared, honestly would that really fundamentally change society, whereas if all the mothers stopped loving their children, what would happen to society? So until society starts changing the economics on our value system back to alignment with our inner human values, I think we women need to really put that conversation back out into the community and not allow society to change our inner values. You know, like I really want to encourage everybody out there to start these kinds of conversations and also just change our culture and help everybody know that this is what really is the fundamental tenets, the fundamental foundation that society needs to be built upon, solid families, loving mothers, children being raised in a healthy, happy environment. We cannot possibly have a healthy society without that, and it is, to me, heartbreaking the society would value those kinds of activities at $0. It is absolutely backwards and upside down.

J: Mm, so, so true. How do we even begin to get this on the agenda, the conversation? I mean, it's so backwards that we almost don't recognize it anymore.

E: Yeah. You know, I don't know if I have the perfect solution to this, but right now it's kind of an exciting time where the democratic primaries are starting to kick up and there's a lot of exciting candidates. And I know this isn't a political podcast, but I got inspired by a candidate named Andrew Yang who it happens to be the only one of the many Democratic candidates that is proposing what's called a universal basic income. And a lot of the motivation is to give financial support to the stay-at-home moms, to the ones that are say, you know, to give people the choice to say stay at home and take care of their elderly parents and so on and have the financial means to do that. So I’d encourage people to check out this guy's platform. I don't know if he's going to get elected, I’d love it because I really love his ideas, but these kinds of conversations need to start circulating in our political conversation in our community so that we can think bigger than the current paradigm has been allowing us. You know, so much of our education system has indoctrinated us to think that these things are okay, when really, if you pause to really digest all of this, is all this stuff that's backwards and upside down, we need to piece by piece by piece start dismantling these old paradigms. And my motivation for writing ‘SuperWellness’ is to start with health and wellness as the beginning of this level of conversation of what a new kind of humanity will look like to live from the state of, you know, radiating our inner values from inside out and not let society’s systems influenced too much what we know is our inner truth.

J: Wow.

E: And to be willing to say that so much of society's systems across the board, economics, medicine, even education, so many of these systems have indoctrinated us into small-minded thinking.

J: Mm-hmm.

E: And to think in a way that allows us to tolerate all kinds of injustices that is just deeply out of alignment with the love that is in our hearts.

J: Mm-hmm.

E: You know, so… and to not be okay with that anymore. And that's a very uncomfortable transition we have to take part in, I think.

J: Yeah. And maybe it begins with just imagining, “How would we like to live?” It's funny because, yeah, we think Social Security is the way, but maybe what you said with Andrew Yang's idea of universal basic income, why not just take the same money and allow parents to do a better job or kids to do a better job caring for their parents? I see what you're saying, just giving ourselves permission to look out of the box just a little bit. (Laughs)

E: Yes. And you had mentioned that… I know one of the questions you often ask your guests is about your happiness formula.

J: Yes.

E: Is that something that we were going to get into?

J: Let me ask it. (Laughs)

E: Okay.

J: Well, so Dr. Edith, tell me what is your formula for being a vibrant happy woman?

E: It's related to what we were talking about before, for sure. I think the first key is to go within ourselves and to have an inner confidence and really deep attunement with our inner truths, our inner values, and let that be unshakable. Be willing to not be in agreement with all the injustices that are happening in our society. Because if we've really listened deeply to our hearts, to our souls and we speak our truths, there's a freedom that we'll experience in our bodies. And when we suppress that truth, what I've discovered over 16 years working with thousands of clients is that eventually, that actually manifests into some kind of illness if we don't allow our inner truth to come out and play within our lives.

J: Wow.

E: So I say the number one key is deep alignment with your inner truth, an unshakable alignment with what is calling you in your heart and soul is the number one key. And then the number 2 key (especially applies to the women, the moms, all the caretakers, the healers out there) is getting good at also asking for help, rallying your community, attracting to you the right people that can support you and that inner vision. And that starts from speaking your inner truth first, right? If you hide your inner truth, people never know what you're about. So if you speak your inner truth, then you can start to attract the support system around you, the community around you, and be willing to not just always be giving help and caretaking for others, but be willing to receive help, to receive support from others. That is the number one really important key that I love for people to take to heart.

J: Mm.

E: And then the third key is we all know that life throws us curve balls and all the ups and downs of life, and to keep this as a rule of thumb that even the bad stuff that happens to us is happening for us to help us clarify what we prefer and what we don't prefer, to help us clarify that rule number one, that inner truth, you know? So these all kind of come back full circle. So the good stuff is there to help us celebrate to know that we on the right path, the so-called bad stuff is there to help us really get clear what we want and what we don't want. And if we're always learning and growing from those ups and downs of life, then we become more unshakable, we become wiser and hopefully more compassionate, we have more depth because we've had more life experiences. So the bad stuff is good and the good stuff is good, you know?

J: Mm-hmm.

E: So I would say if we have these 3 pieces going strongly in our lives, we will constantly be living in that flow of happiness that nobody could ever take away from us…

J: Wow.

E: … that it is unshakable because this is coming from deeply within ourselves, it's this permission to let your soul shine into the way that you live, to turn your life into a brilliant masterpiece. And I would love for women to show the world how that is done.

J: Yes!

E: You know, so I thank you guys for being that example of a new possibility out there.

J: Well, gosh, Dr. Edith, I love this. And I find myself wanting more of what you have to say, and I think many of our listeners will as well. Where should we go? Besides getting ‘SuperWellness’, where can we learn more about you?

E: So first of all, ‘SuperWellness’ is a great start because it will take you on a journey of contemplation, really a taking 360-degree look at your lifestyle, all those simple free low hanging fruit things that we forgotten that our society has told us to take for granted. And so we'll stop taking those things for granted, put them back into place, and kind of blow our own minds how beautiful and powerful our lives can become again when we put these simple things back into play. And so this is kind of like an operating system upgrade, a first step I feel that we need to clarify as a human family that these things are important and foundational to our human well-being. The ‘SuperWellness’ book by the way can be found on Amazon, if you just type in ‘SuperWellness’, all 1 word, you'll find the book really easily.

J: Mm.

E: The full title is ‘SuperWellness: Become Your Own Best Healer’, and the book comes with a really rich library of supportive book bonuses like guided breathing practice, very simple Qigong inspired self-care practices. We talked about the water, we about the importance of getting non-burning doses of sunshine, the best sleep hygiene, all that kind of stuff like really distilled down to quick actionable steps for you both in the book and in the book bonuses. And then if all that calls you, of course that we have also other deeper dive programs like the 6-week class and retreats and so on. So I’d love for you to explore the SuperWellness website which is just superwellness.com. But in terms of this kind of conversation, you know, I just want to say, Dr. Jen, thank you so much for doing this podcast. I also have the honor of hosting a podcast, it’s called The Dr. E Show where I get to interview all these game changer, world-class guests who are looking at really the future of humanity, where we need to lead our society towards with this deeper awareness of our inner power, our true human potential. So we have world class people like Wim Hof, the 26 times Guinness world record holder, the guy who discovered this new water science about how water is basically a rechargeable battery system. We've got people that are talking about game-changing ideas of changing, bringing sacredness and soulfulness back into the economy system, all of these things that we've touched on today, I don't claim to be an expert at this stuff at all, I'm just interested in these conversations. So I've invited all of these world-class guests who are experts in these kinds of topics into my show. So if you're interested in that, you can just go to thedreshow.com, thedreshow.com, and there's a lot of really interesting conversations there to explore together; love for you to join us.

J: Ah, I will definitely be listening, it sounds just like what I need. You awoke something in me today, I wonder how my podcast is going to shift as a result; I think it is going to (Laughs).

E: Mm-hmm.

J: So thank you so much for inspiring me, inspiring all of us.

E: Thank you so much, Dr. Jen. And I want to say again, thank you so much all the listeners for being the powerful game changers that you are in your community. Even if you are the silent hero, everything that you're doing that you know in your heart and soul is good for your family, good for your community doesn't get recognized, know that I see the value, Dr. Jen sees the value, and on a bigger cosmic level, we'll all come to understand just how important and powerful you are as a game-changer on this planet.

J: Yes, game changers unite! I love it! (Laughs) Thank you so much, Dr. Edith.

E: Thank you so much.

J: Take care.

E: Thanks.