The podcast that's here to affirm that you are your strongest medicine. Conversing with clinicians, patients, and (extra)ordinary people. Topics cross the thresholds of clinical medicine, strength and conditioning, lifestyle, behaviour and ways of living that enable us to maximise our own therapeutic potential, as well as that of modern clinical medicine.
#9: William Wayland; Pragmatism and Powering Through
Will is a Certified Strength and Conditioning coach who runs his own facility, Powering-Through, in Essex, UK. He works with athletes and individuals across all backgrounds, but specialises in MMA fighters, grapplers, motor sport athletes, and golfers. He is a Strength and Conditioning consultant to the PGA European Tour, and spends much of his time abroad working closely with professional golfers. He practices what he preaches, and pushes himself in his own training as much as he does his own athletes.
I sat down with Will to talk about his approach to Strength and Conditioning, and his views on pragmatism, iatrogenics, skin in the game, being a ‘do-er’, and dealing with imposter syndrome, amongst other aspects. He also shares his own experience with severe depression, how he got through this, and the psychological journey this involved. We finish up with Will giving us some timeless concepts and principles that he has garnered through his work in S&C, that we can all apply to our own lives.
WILL’S ARTICLES:The Pragmatists Approach to Strength and Conditioning: https://simplifaster.com/articles/pragmatic-coaching-strength-conditioning/Grappling with Depression: http://www.powering-through.com/grappling-with-depression/–LINKS: Powering Through website: http://www.powering-through.comInstagram @poweringthroughTwitter @WSWayland–LISTEN TO THE STRONGER MEDICINE PODCAST ON: Spotify: http://bit.ly/stmdspotify iTunes: http://bit.ly/stmditunes Stitcher: http://bit.ly/stmdstitcher–Get in touch: email@example.com www.strongermedicine.com
#8: Nick Parker; The Cancer Journeyman
In September 2015, Nick put his generalised muscular aches down to his keen squash playing, but soon after, other unexplained symptoms started to appear. On Christmas eve of 2015, Nick was found to have inoperable cancer on a CT scan, being diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer the following month.
At 625 ng/ml, his PSA (a prostate tumour marker) was 150x the upper limit, and he was given a gleason score of 9/10 (the most aggressive rating for prostate cancer).
Since that time, Nick has taken an extremely proactive approach to his cancer and health. He has assembled around him a multi-disciplinary team, including Cancer Buddies, complementary oncologists, yoga masters, psychotherapists, nutritionists, Chinese herbalists & acupuncturists, strength & conditioning experts, buddhists, GPs, nurses, conventional oncologists and his wife.
Alongside this, Nick has been on a mission to share what he has found through his own journey, and has been writing and speaking about the undeniable impact of lifestyle on our health and, as he sees it in his case, his own experiences with cancer.
Thank you Nick for your generous time on the show.
LINKS: Nick’s website: https://thecancerjourneyman.co.ukHis Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thecancerjourneymanHis Twitter: https://twitter.com/CansaJourneyMan
LISTEN TO THE STRONGER MEDICINE PODCAST ON: Spotify: http://bit.ly/stmdspotify iTunes: http://bit.ly/stmditunes Stitcher: http://bit.ly/stmdstitcher
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org www.strongermedicine.com
#7: Aaron Stark; Almost a School Shooter
Aaron Stark was almost a school shooter.
He experienced a childhood of relentless violence, trauma and being told he was worthless. Moving from school to school, with a chaotic family constantly evading social services and the police, he plummeted deeper and deeper into despair and depression. Despite reaching out a number of times, he remained mostly alone until, driven to ‘annihilation’, he resolved to buy a gun and attack a school.
An almost banal, everyday act of human touch from his friend, Mike, was the turning point that averted a catastrophe.
Listen as Aaron discusses his childhood experience, how he ended up in that dark place, how he narrowly missed an atrocity, and his journey of recovery that has lasted decades. He tells us about how surreal life has been since he started to talk openly about his experiences, and the thousands of people that have contacted him and, ultimately, how this despair can happen to any of us; not just monsters.
LINKS: YOU ARE NOT ALONE: https://www.facebook.com/groups/589481718072201/Aaron’s Ted Talk: https://youtu.be/azRl1dI-Cts
LISTEN TO STRONGER MEDICINE PODCAST ON:Spotify: http://bit.ly/stmdspotifyiTunes: http://bit.ly/stmditunesStitcher: http://bit.ly/stmdstitcher
Get in touch: email@example.com www.strongermedicine.com
#6: Prof Sabina Brennan; How we Impact our Brain
Professor Sabina Brennan is the author of the book ‘100 Days to a Younger Brain‘, which details how we can maximise our cognitive and brain health for as long as possible, through lifestyle.
She is a neuroscientist with specific interest in the risk factors and impact of lifestyle on dementia, cognition and brain health across the lifespan. Currently as a Research Assistant Professor in the Neuroscience department at Trinity College Dublin, she made her move into this field through studying her psychology undergraduate degree at the age of 42, after leaving her previous career in acting (a leading role on Ireland’s soap opera, Fair City).
As well as her work in lifestyle and neuroscience, Sabina is passionate about challenging the stereotypes that pervade ageing in the West, asserting that there is much to celebrate in our later years and that we are capable of much more than society would allow us to think. She has created around 30 short animations in multiple languages across the globe to share education on brain health and lifestyle.
In this episode, we discuss:
Why Sabina wrote the book (2:33) Why we are not doomed to decline despite our brains shrinking with age (8:25)How even a brain that appears to be ravaged by Alzheimer’s dementia may not result in any outward appearance of disease (10:25)Sabina gets into the difficult area of how best intentions can sometimes steal independence from loved ones and patients (20:30)The concepts of brain resilience and reserve (22:55)The odd lack of awareness about our brains (29:14)Sabina does a deep dive into how sleep is perhaps the most important thing for our brain health (32:20)Learn why stress can be both bad and good for us (47:50) How your attitude and approach to life can make or break you (56:26)We close with reflecting on how we are absolutely sabotaging ourselves as we age through how society views the process of getting older (01:06:09).
‘100 Days to a Younger Brain’ is available in all good book stores. Check out Sabina’s website at http://www.sabinabrennan.ieFollow her on Twitter @Sabina_Brennan. Also take a look at her (excellent) animations on dementia, ageing and brain health at http://freedemliving.com
#5: Prof Mike Lean; Reversing Diabetes
I’d never before put into perspective that the ten year survival of type 2 diabetes is worse than many cancers. Today, we get into what can be done about this, once and for all.
Mike Lean MA, MB, BChir, MD (Cambridge), FRCP (Edinb), FRCPS (Glasgow), FRSE holds the chair of Human Nutrition, is an acute medicine consultant physician, and has completed extensive research in obesity, nutrition and diabetes. In more recent years, his work as joint Principle Investigator with Prof Taylor and team has uniquely proven that diabetes is a reversible disease process. The DiRECT trial is the first of its kind to have focused on remission of diabetes as its outcome, by calorie restriction alone. Almost 50% of those recruited reversed their diabetes, with 9 in 10 people who lost 15kg achieving complete remission and coming off all diabetes medication.
In this episode, Prof Lean tells us where he thinks we have gone wrong with diabetes and its management. We learn what actually causes diabetes, the relation of body weight and fat to this disease, and why those who seem to be of a normal weight can still get diabetes. Prof Lean tells us why just focusing on good blood sugar control may not be adequate, the findings of the DiRECT trial, and how YOU or your patients can actually reverse your diabetes, and come off medications completely. We hear about the ins and outs of approaches such as low carbohydrate, fasting and calorie restriction for diabetes management, and is there such a thing as a ‘healthy food’?
This was a real privilege as Prof Lean is at the absolute forefront of diabetes research and management, and is in great demand internationally to share his work. He was kind enough to steal some time to talk with me during a busy working day when he had just finished his morning ward round, and so I’m grateful for the opportunity.
Let me know what you thought! Do you have diabetes? Do you care or work with people with diabetes? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Further links: https://www.directclinicaltrial.org.uk where the ‘no doubts diet’ and other resources can be found, as well as Prof Taylor’s area on https://www.ncl.ac.uk/magres/research/diabetes/reversal/#publicinformation.
#4: Dr Mike Banna; a GP with skin in the game
Dr Mike Banna is a GP Partner in the south of England, Regional Director of the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine, a co-host on the Fitness Unfiltered Podcast, and proactively brings much needed balance and realism to topics across medicine and fitness.
His transformational journey that began around ten years ago resulted in him almost halving his bodyweight. He has a passion for mental health and realistic, achievable lifestyle change, whilst bringing his own skin in the game and transformational experience to his interactions with his patients.
In this episode we discuss his work (6:22) the psychology, practice and challenges inherent in his transformation (10:26), and the narratives we tell ourselves (27:30). We also deep dive into how Dr Banna’s work with patients was impacted (33:10) the complexity of lifestyle (36:30), and how areas such as weight loss can be made way over-simplified to our detriment. We discuss the danger of echo chambers in the fitness industry (45:25), the pros and cons of utilising a ‘call-out’ approach (52:45), and the direction and some potential concerns of the lifestyle medicine field (59:27).
A big thanks to Dr Banna, who can be found at the following places:Instagram and twitter @drmikethe2nd Also check out his excellent co-hosted podcast, Fitness Unfiltered