Now that you understand the basics about our program, let’s dig a bit deeper to help you understand why SHAPE is more than just a “diet,” by sharing the healing philosophy behind the development of our product. All of the ingredients in our formula were chosen to support this philosophy, formed out of decades of clinical experience by Dr. Todd Frisch.
When a doctor looks back at his or her career, they realize they saw patterns or similarities with many of the patients who sought their care. As Dr. Todd began working with patients and developing his own protocols, he realized patients got sick in many of the same repeating patterns. This helped to create a theory he refers to as his Dis-Ease Model. He describes “dis-ease” as the disharmony or lack-of-ease in the patient. Those in functional medicine are comfortable with this term. This isn’t “disease,” it's “dis-ease.”
We assume every patient was once vibrantly healthy. It’s everyone’s greatest desire to live a long and healthy life, understanding full well we will all eventually succumb to death. Every patient will fall somewhere along this spectrum. It is always our hope they are closer to the healthy end of the spectrum and not nearing their final destination.
Our job is to do everything humanly possible to help them remain healthy or regain their health. “Doctor” means “teacher.” Our role is to help you understand what it takes to sustain vibrant health for as many years as God grants you life.
So, let’s begin. There are basically three phases a patient will travel on their journey from being vibrantly healthy to being sick and heading toward death. With Dr. Todd’s strong background in Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, he calls the first phase the Chi Phase. Chi means life force of life energy. There are no significant or major symptoms in this phase, however the patient typically reports feeling “off.” They simply don’t feel as great as they used to, yet they don’t seek professional help at this point.
The second phase is the Water Phase. In this phase, the patient has symptoms but no known medical cause. Two-thirds to three-fourths of the patients seeking our help fall into this phase.
The third phase is referred to as the Blood Phase. In this phase, the medical tests (blood tests, X-rays, CTs, MRIs, etc.) will begin to show abnormalities. Medicine will begin to label the patient “sick” or “well” based on the findings of these tests.
This is where he believes the weakness begins with Western or allopathic medicine. The patient must basically be two-thirds sick before they recognize a problem. This isn’t a slam against medicine, it’s simply his observation. The patient knows they’re sick, their doctor knows they’re sick, and yet the tests show them to be textbook/midline normal. Who’s out there to help these patients but healthcare professionals who think outside the box?
We believe the best doctor in the room is NOT us. It’s the doctor inside each patient. Oftentimes, we simply need to listen to our patient. They’ll tell us what’s wrong if we’re willing to be open and listen to the voice of their innate doctor. Our job is to find the missing link and help them resolved the problem. We must develop diagnostic skills to evaluate patients in the Chi and Water phases.
It is very important to realize that once the patient crosses this two-thirds line, the hyphen disappears and “dis-ease” becomes disease. At this point, the patient must be treated medically. This is where Western or allopathic medicine shines. The problem is: medicine has no ability to assess the patient until they cross this critical line. They’re not typically trained to help the patient stay healthy.
We in functional medicine have much to offer and can provide tremendous support while you are undergoing medical care. As an example, acupuncture for patients undergoing chemotherapy, nutritional and herbal support, nanomolecular medicine like SHAPE, detox programs, exercise, counseling, etc. Sometimes the greatest support we can give is validity to your symptoms.
Medicine doesn’t put much emphasis on supporting the weakened immune system. This is where functional medicine shines. We believe the body is only as healthy as its weakest link. We must do everything we know to support and strengthen any area of weakness. We must respect what medicine is doing but we believe that much more can be done to benefit our patients and their ability to heal.
Once a patient crosses this imaginary line, we don’t treat these patients without a medical doctor being involved.
Now, let’s take a deeper look. Now you’re beyond feeling “off,” and are experiencing nagging symptoms manifesting into what we refer to as the Water Phase because you can have too much water, causing expansion, or not enough water, causing contraction. We use the term “water” figuratively. It has nothing to do with edema or dryness, although, these are symptoms that can occur. This verbiage came out of Dr. Todd’s years of studying the macrobiotic diet. Expansion is yin and contraction is yang. These terms might be confusing if you’ve not devoted a significant amount of time to studying Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Symptoms can be categorized as expansive or contractive. When we refer to muscles, spasm is obviously contractive, whereas, a muscle laxity or weakness is considered expansive. As you can see, we’ve listed a sampling of symptoms but the list could be quite vast. It’s important to note that you don’t have to be one-sided. As an example, you can have a damp/heat syndrome in your body that could manifest itself in asthma, vaginitis or athlete’s foot, and you can have symptoms on both sides simultaneously. Another example would be the bipolar/manic depressive patient where the pendulum swings between depression and anxiety.
When you understand this philosophy, you may experience an “aha” moment. This could be the first time you feel validated and believe your doctor understands your plight.
So, now we have symptoms that are expansive or contractive, as well as many things that influence expansion and contraction. You’ll see items listed under each category. Things that are on the expansive side tend to make you fat or dizzy. Whereas, things on the contracting side tend to shrink or dry the patient. When you consume one side, there is a natural tendency to crave the opposite side, in order to create balance. Your body will constantly strive to maintain that balance or homeostasis.
When you eat something salty, you tend to crave something sweet. That’s why the popcorn and soda taste so good together and why theaters douse their popcorn with an excessive amount of salt, knowing full well the patron will need the “big gulp” to complement the duo. This same premise applies to the cigarette and coffee. This is why bars serve salted peanuts, hoping their customers will consume more alcohol. To take it even a step further, this is why drugs are given for depression. It can absolutely balance the body but these drugs will never heal the patient.
When we consume one side, the body will crave the opposite to create balance. The pendulum is constantly swinging back and forth in an effort to create that balance.
So what’s the point of all this? The point is: Everything we do as healthcare professionals should be focused on creating balance. Regardless of who you choose as your SHAPE healthcare professional, each will make an effort to help you obtain and maintain balance. Our desire is to help you heal.