Taking you even further into the philosophy behind SHAPE, the Pyramid of Health was developed over decades of clinical experience working with thousands of patients suffering with simple to complex health conditions.
You will notice at the base of this pyramid is what we refer to as the bull’s-eyes. Most doctors shoot for a bull’s-eye first when they begin treating you. Not only do they try to fix what you are bringing to their attention, they also try to fix what they deem most serious. If you present with cancer or diabetes, you definitely want a doctor with that specific bull’s-eye mentality and rightfully so.
Now, let’s be practical. What if you present with severe indigestion, fatigue, insomnia, low back pain and headaches? May I say, this is quite the typical patient. Where does the practitioner start? One must have a system of analysis by which to assess and treat this type of patient.
Dr. Frisch’s began with the healing pyramid.
At the apex of his pyramid is pH. If your pH is out of balance, you simply don’t heal adequately, no matter what symptomatology picture exists. Most patients with a pH problem are acidic and we would be so bold as to say that 90% are at this end of the spectrum. The remaining patients are too alkaline. This is the very first imbalance we need to correct.
Being acidic increases a long list of health symptoms. Simply balancing pH will decrease many of the complaints we see daily in our offices such common aches and pains, muscle cramping, fluid retention and excess mucus production. It’s sad to see all the females who are being diagnosed with fibromyalgia today. Once we begin working with them and address the simple fact that they are acidic, many of the muscle complaints they’ve been suffering with disappear. Embracing a healthier lifestyle will make a tremendous difference for many who are simply acidic.
Unfortunately, being too alkaline also increases its own list of negative symptoms. Although this is rarely seen, our practitioners have been taught how to treat high alkalinity, as well.
Because we believe pH balance is so important, we offer pH ReClaimed to all practitioners. Understanding the importance of pH and its contribution to lessening many of the common symptoms people suffer with today, adding pH ReClaimed to your water will make a tremendous difference toward restoring pH balance.
The second tier of Dr. Todd’s pyramid is stress management. If you don’t or can’t adapt to the stresses in your life, you can’t heal. Statistics state that 78-90% of all health complaints that are seen in doctor’s offices today are stress-related. If you are mal-adapting to stress in their life, it will be difficult to heal. This must be addressed early in your treatment program.
The question isn’t, “Are you under stress or not?” We’re all under stress. Rather, the question is, “Do you adapt or mal-adapt to stress?” Western or allopathic medicine’s approach to stress is either medication or counseling. While we believe there is benefit to using both when absolutely appropriate, we feel it is important to first look at stress from a physiological viewpoint.
Physiologically, stress is interpreted in the hypothalamus, which represents the nervous system and it will communicate via chemical messengers with the pituitary gland, which represents the endocrine system. It is really the only place these two vital systems communicate. It is a profound connection.
The hypothalamus and pituitary will talk the stress over, then send a message to the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands’ job is to physiologically deal with the stress by pumping out adrenaline and cortisol. We are all familiar with the primary reaction of fight-or-flight, but the secondary reaction is to increase cortisol. Cortisol is your stress hormone.
Let me digress a bit and explain our thoughts on treating hormones with a natural or prescription medication. There are three rules to follow.
Never replace something that’s not missing. Giving a female estrogen without adequate testing is dangerous and commonly prescribed. Bad idea. Replace hormones with substances as close to those chemicals that the body naturally manufactures. This is the current bioidentical hormone therapy. Monitor via appropriate testing procedures.
There is a huge percent of our female population using bioidentical hormones. The only true bioidentical hormone are those produced by the body. We can only mimic those hormones. Extensive research is ongoing and producing very favorable results. Most of these products, however, are prescription.
It is not only wise, but essential, to retest hormone levels after a certain amount of time has passed when taking hormone replacement therapy.
The adrenal gland also produces DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). DHEA is the “fountain of youth” hormone and has been completely and utterly misused. DHEA gives us energy, increases your sex drive and helps convert fat to lean body mass. It would seem obvious that everyone should be taking this wonderful hormone but this can really mess up a patient metabolically. DHEA is a precursor to testosterone and estrogen. We cannot tell DHEA which of these hormones to produce. Never take DHEA without testing hormone levels first.
Regarding the physiology of stress, the key is not to focus on cortisol and/or DHEA, but to focus on the cortisol to DHEA ratio. If this ratio is skewed, you most definitely will mal-adapt to stress.
How this mal-adaptation occurs will depend on what part of the body is affected. Let me detail five different areas: the brain, the digestive system, the immune system, inflammation and the pancreas. Many other areas can be affected but focusing on these primary areas will cover most of what walks through doctors’ doors every day.
Keep uppermost in your mind: it is all about the cortisol to DHEA ratio.
If the ratio imbalance affects the brain, you will observe decreased levels of serotonin. Dopamine, GABA and acetylcholine will also be affected. Clinically, you will begin to see problems with sleep, increased depression or anxiety, and also potential problems with ADD or ADHD. If the ratio affects the stomach, you will see a decreased production of hydrochloric acid, or HCl. This will lead to many digestive problems including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hiatal hernia, inflammatory bowel disease and even food sensitivities.
If the ratio is skewed, you will see heightened inflammation in the body. Virtually any term that ends in “-itis” can occur. Arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, gastritis, sinusitis, bronchitis, dermatitis are just a smattering of symptoms that can happen in the body when the cortisol to DHEA imbalance affects the inflammatory cascade. Every doctor’s office is flooded with these patient complaints. Are NSAIDS, prednisone or Celebrex® the only options to treat inflammation? Absolutely not.
If the ratio imbalance affects the pancreas, its domino effect can be devastating. As you know, the pancreas secretes insulin. Insulin, of course, is a huge influence on carbohydrate metabolism. Insulin will take carbs either into energy production or put it into storage.
When stress affects the pancreas, the first thing you’ll noticed is a decrease in energy and an increased craving for carbohydrates. This is often referred to as insulin resistance. If this continues, eventually carbohydrates will get shunted into the storage mechanism. You store these carbs in two ways. One path will be an increase in lipids, therefore, your cholesterol and especially triglycerides will become elevated. The second path is to simply build yellow fat to store these excess carbohydrates.
For the male, this fat is typically stored in the abdomen and neck. Excess abdominal weight statistically shows an increased potential for diabetes and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). Increased neck size correlates to sleep apnea. Heart disease is an obvious end result. For the female, this excess fat gets stored in the abdomen, hips and triceps more often than not. Flabby triceps can also indicate estrogen dominance.
Literally, under enough stress, you can not eat and still gain weight. Disturbing, isn’t it? I cannot tell you the number of female patients who do everything right nutritionally, exercise extensively, and yet, still gain weight. For years Dr. Todd believed they were lying. He was convinced they were sneaking cookies and such. After researching the physiology of stress, he completely understood how this could happen.
If this ratio affects the immune system, you can see that system suppressed. This can have a devastating effect on one’s health. Increased infections are common, allergic reactions are increased, but the most common thing you will see is an increase in yeast overgrowth. Vaginitis, jock itch, nail fungus, athletes foot are so commonly seen in every practice. Allopathic medicine will treat these conditions with a myriad of suppressive medications. Simply adding a good probiotic to your supplement regimen can profoundly enhance your immune system.
If this imbalance occurs for a long enough period of time, you will begin to observe what is now called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This entity was ignored and actually laughed at by the allopathic community for years. Anyone treating CFS will quickly realize just how difficult this condition is to manage. When you understand the physiology of stress, you will make a huge leap into understanding how your health declined.
Now, digging deeper into stress management, you can see the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenals will form an alliance called the HPA axis. This axis is an important mechanism in coping with stress. There is also an HPO axis (ovary), HPT axis (thyroid), HPP axis (pancreas) and on and on.
The significant point is the hypothalamus. Anything that can be done to enhance its function can have a dramatic effect on the entire body. The function of the hypothalamus can be recalibrated using SHAPE. Shedding toxic weight through SHAPE is a wonderful outcome, but the potential it has to influence so many other areas of the body is exceptional.
After stress takes its toll on your brain, your stomach, your immune system, your inflammation system or your pancreas, it then invites the nervous system in to combat the stress.
The nervous system is basically divided into two parts: the peripheral system (which we can control voluntarily) and the autonomic nervous system (which we don’t have voluntary control over). It is this autonomic nervous system that affords us a window into understanding the physiology of stress on a deeper level.
The autonomic nervous system is further divided into two parts: the parasympathetic nervous system (which basically slows us down) and the sympathetic nervous system (which speeds us up) as you can see from the list of body functions on this slide [right].
When you mal-adapt to stress, you will see an interesting cascade of events.
Let’s review sympathetic dominance. It is normal to be sympathetic dominant when the stressor in your life demands this event to occur. Suppose you are hiking in Yellowstone Park and a grizzly bear comes lumbering down the path. Your body will immediately go into sympathetic dominance: your pupils will enlarge to increase your visual field, your mouth will become dry due to fear, your heart rate will increase in an effort to pump more oxygen to your extremities so you can run faster, and your digestive system will shut down. This is a normal response to the stress before you. However, suppose you go into sympathetic dominance when nothing comes close to a grizzly bear encounter. This would be an inappropriate response.
In this day of incredibly high stress, practitioners are seeing sympathetic dominance rearing its ugly head with such a degree of frequency, it’s becoming commonplace.
Magnesium will down-regulate the sympathetic nervous system, whereas, potassium will up-regulate the parasympathetic nervous system. This treatment is very effective. Once again, pH ReClaimed will help to balance pH, alleviating many of these symptoms. However, the most significant aspect that occurs when you are in a sympathetic dominant state, is that you will become acidic.
So, now let’s go back to Dr. Todd’s Healing Pyramid. Do you remember what is the apex of his pyramid?
Yes, you saw this slide earlier [see above, "When the 'Body' Becomes Acidic"] but we wanted to bring it back to your attention once again. What goes around, comes around! We started with pH at the apex of the healing pyramid and we end with pH being a mal-adaptative component of the stress model.
SHAPE practitioners will consistently test urine while you are in Phase I and will make the necessary recommendations to assist achieving pH balance. Your SHAPE practitioner will run consistent urine tests to monitor pH and nine other metabolic markers.
The third tier of the Healing Pyramid deals with liver detoxification. If the liver is not functioning up to par, again the ability to heal is compromised. The liver has approximately 800 major functions according to most authorities. Half of the functions deal with digestion and the other half with detoxification.
Healthy detoxification is of utmost importance when managing any chronically ill patient. Every practitioner should have an armory of detox techniques they feel comfortable recommending. We have clinically observed, your ability to heal is lessened dramatically if your liver is not functioning to the best of its ability. If detoxification pathways are compromised or down-regulated, the potential for metabolic disorders are increased.
The process of detoxification involves much more than the liver.
It is important to realize we simply cannot avoid toxins. Our world is exceedingly toxic and becoming more so with each passing decade. Fortunately, our Creator put a system in our body that can deal with or self-regulate how it removes or eliminates toxic substances.
Even though you have this miraculous system that handles toxic substances, it can become overloaded. Your body will begin to break down and develop symptoms that run the gamut from simple to serious or acute to chronic. I’ll be explaining the theory of homotoxicology in our final video.
The fourth tier of Dr. Todd’s pyramid represents our immune function.
Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet or, better known as SAD, is inflammatory and immuno-suppressive. If we can convince you to end the madness of consuming man-made foods and embrace our 80/20 mentality (meaning 80% whole food; food that has the ability to rot or spoil; food that God has created to repair, rebuild and sustain vibrant health), then we are one step closer to turning the tide on the horrific health epidemic in our country.
It’s no secret a weakened immune system means a more susceptible host or body. When the immune system is not functioning as it was intended, illnesses from recurring infections to named diseases take over. We are all familiar with acute infections and understand the benefit of allopathic medicine’s ability to treat these common infections.
Unfortunately, mainstream medicine tends to mistreat and oftentimes use an excess of antibiotics that lead to an overgrowth of yeast. Antibiotics are very effective for acute infections, however, overuse can lead to chronic candidiasis (in medical terms) and that alone can overwhelm the immune system’s ability to do its job. SHAPE’s program is anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal in nature, thereby, contributing to improved immune function.
With the advancements of allopathic medicine and its understanding of our complex immune system, we have tests that can measure different aspects of our immune system. SHAPE practitioners are trained to recognize the subtle imbalances of this system and have supportive options in their armory to strengthen and improve immune function.
This sums it up, folks. SHAPE Reclaimed was developed and has been effective in achieving dramatic improvement across four tiers of our pyramid. When we balance pH, strengthen adrenal function, improve digestion and detoxification and enhance immune function, then your pH raises (considering the majority of our population is acidic), your adrenals handle stress more efficiently, your digestion improves dramatically (meaning you are less dependent on proton pump inhibitors or PPIs), your blood sugar levels stabilize, you become less dependent on prescription medications to manage your symptoms and diseases, and your immune system starts doing the job it was created to do.
So now, let’s go back to the beginning of our discussion regarding this insightful pyramid. Remember me saying: You will notice at the base of this pyramid is what we refer to as the bull’s-eyes. Most doctors shoot for a bull’s-eye first when treating their patients. Not only do they try to fix what the patient brings to their attention, they also try to fix what the doctor deems most serious. If you present with cancer or diabetes, you want a doctor with that specific bull’s-eye mentality and rightfully so.
But if you present with severe indigestion, fatigue, insomnia, low back pain, headaches and the list goes on and on, dare I say, this is the typical patient that every practitioner is seeing day-in, day-out. Every office is flooded with health challenges that are brought on by poor lifestyle choices, more often than not.
What do we treat first? We start with SHAPE, because we know we will resolve many of these common complaints by simply detoxing and cleansing you, first and foremost. We help you to incorporate an anti-inflammatory and immuno-enhancing diet. We address underlying weaknesses and we work tirelessly to convince you, that you need to change, you need to embrace a healthier lifestyle, if you truly want to restore your health.